Thursday, August 25, 2005

Invisible Bitch…

Chil’ren, a bitch must apologize for the delay! Bit-ness had to be taken care of this morning! All is done and my ass has some shit to say!

Last night a bitch settled down with a vodka cran to watch the PBS documentary on Ralph Ellison. My ass hasn’t cracked open Invisible Man since college, but a bitch was fascinated to learn more about the man behind the novel.

After watching the documentary a bitch sat and philosophically sipped my vodka with ice followed by cran and allowed the subject to settled in my mind.

How many of us are invisible? How many of us live on the margins of society? How many times have we walked by someone and never really registered that they were there?

Confessions of a Former Invisible Bitch…
A bitch grew up in very white St. Louis County. On the first day of kindergarten, my ass was shunned and called a nigger to my face. When a wee bitch shared this with my mother, she counseled me to pull my ass together (there were a lot of tears) and to learn to “live this life black”. This bitch interpreted that to mean that my ass should learn to live under the scorn of others. A bitch developed coping skills that included angry glares and a general ability to sit silent for hours in the back of the classroom.

As a wee bitch grew into a young adult my coping skills were perfected. By the time a bitch arrived at college my ass was an invisible bitch. Imagine a young black woman moving within society but never really being seen…that was ABB in college for the first semester.

Second semester a bitch came out as an AngryBlackBitch…silent curses became loud verbal rants and the mask of anger replaced the mask of indifference. ABB the black militant radical feministah was born.

But a bitch has a confession. My ass didn’t throw the mask away. A bitch entered the workplace and was immediately thrown back into the same world that confronted my ass the first day of kindergarten. To my shame, this bitch retrieved the mask. And so it continued for several years…a bitch in disguise and invisible in plain sight.

Until…

In 2000 a bitch discovered a lump in my belly. My ass freaked out because it was clearly not a gas bubble. Without telling anyone, this bitch hurried to Planned Parenthood to get the lowdown. The lump was in my lower abdomen and my ass wasn’t even sure it was a Planned Parenthood worthy thing but it was the weekend and this bitch would be damned if that shit was going to wait until Monday! The nurse was wonderful and it turned out that a bitch had fibroids, which are nasty fast growing non-cancer containing tumors that grow in a woman’s uterus.

A bitch was referred to a gynecologist and set up an appointment. The appointment changed my life forever.

My fibroids were of the worst-case nature. They were large and would have to be surgically removed. No laser and outpatient convenience for a bitch…these motherfuckers required the knife and staples and all manner of drama!

A bitch promptly named my tumor Enid and strategized with my surgeon on the best way to kill her.

Fast-forward to the day of the surgery. A bitch sat down with my sister to sign the hospital forms. It hit me that my ass was signing a form that acknowledged my possible death. A bitch was so stunned that my ass cruised through the pre-op in a daze. Dead, death, die…would a bitch die?

If a bitch died on the table how would my ass be remembered?

As the mask.

The surgery was a success and Enid was murdered with no complications. Once my ass ran through the fantasmic meds and my mind cleared a bitch resolved to come out as an AngryBlackBitch once more.

People might not like me, but they sure as fuck will know the real bitch that they don’t like.

November 18th is the anniversary of the death of Enid and the second coming of an AngryBlackBitch. My ass will celebrate it by keeping it real and being authentically me. My scar, which runs from my belly button on down to the valley of paradise, is a reminder to be real and never be invisible again.

Are you living life invisible?

If so, are you ready to be visible?

How do you want to be remembered...?

23 comments:

ergo said...

That story is exactly what I needed to hear right now.
Thanks.
Glad you're still with us.

BaltimoreLenore said...

That is some serious shit to have to face. [Toasting with a hypothetical vodka cran] Here's to your second coming! Glad you're here.

Crystal-Lynn said...

ABB left out the post-op Lupron shots that made her a psycho-bitch for half a year! Nice post, sis.

Dixie said...

ABB and I share the exact same scar. Not the exact same surgery but related resulting in the same scar. I'll never look at mine again without thinking we share it in common.

I became visible when I decided that I was going to stop being what I thought everyone wanted me to be and started doing what felt natural and comfortable to me and when I decided I'd be with who would enhance that feeling.

You've said it best - people may not like me but at least they're not liking who I really am.

dondon009 said...

Thank You for that post. It reminds me of all the years I had the shit kicked out of me for being Gay..... until I finally started kicking back! OH WHAT A FEELING! ABB you keep me inspired, and for this, I thank you! FYI... Equality Florida is confronting Ronda Storms tonite in an open forum. I'll keep you posted! Don~

Disgusted in St. Louis said...

Thank you for this post, because it really struck home with me on two levels, invisibility and scars.

Invisibility: Like dixie "I became visible when I decided that I was going to stop being what I thought everyone wanted me to be." You perfectly summed up my feelings with "People might not like me, but they sure as fuck will know the real bitch that they don’t like."

Scars: I have experienced more than my share of being on that table which has left me with a 10" scar on one arm and 12" scar running across my abdomen just below the right side of my rib cage. A very dear friend, who has recently passed on, gave me a beautiful book, which I read while in the hospital recovering from surgery, Scars Make Your Body More Interesting and Other Stories. I came to realize that not all scars can be seen and it is more often the invisible scars that mold our lives.

DUB said...

This is exactly what I'm fighting to prevent my daughters from having to experience.

Growing up in this "society," I can't shelter them from experiencing ignorance, hatred, discrimination, and sexism, but I can help prevent them from having to live a lie - from being anything short of what and who they are.

Their mother is one of those Africans who emphasize that they're not a "black American." She has my children attending a lily-white, conservative, christian school, ensuring that the only people they're exposed to are but a sampling of what is out there to experience.

As a white man I have a overwhelmingly-difficult task ahead of me, but my daughters WILL be able to hold their heads up as strong, proud black women.

And at times, maybe even angry black bitches. Just don't let me be around if that label's applied.

brother said...

So glad to have you on my daily list of must-reads... Thanks for sharing your story.

I thought it interesting you named your fibroid Enid...

A few years back, the Barenaked Ladies had a song named Enid. The tune was about a heart-broken teenager... Here are the lyrics (and I apologize in advance that my f#%ked up mind thought of this...)

BD

Enid

Words & Music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Chorus
Enid we never really knew each other anyway.
Enid we never really knew each other anyway.

It took me a year to believe it was over,
and it took me two more to get over the loss.
I took a beating when you wrote me those letters,
and every time I remembered the taste of your lipgloss.

Chorus

Maybe we always saw right through each other anyway
but Enid we never really knew each other anyway.

There were times when I wanted to hurt you,
and there were times when I know that I did.
There were times when I thought I would kill you,
but can you blame me I was only a kid.

Tell me why we never respected each other.
and tell me why I never believed that you were a person too.
I always thought that you fancied my brother.
I may not have liked it, oh but memory is a strange thing, oh, and Enid?
Enid I remember you.

Chorus

Maybe we always saw right through each other anyway,
but Enid we never really knew each other anyway.

it took me a year to believe it was over,
and it took me two more to get over the loss.
I took a beating when I wrote you those letters,
and every time you told me to get lost.

Now it's not fair to say that it's
'cause I was three inches shorter then,
and it's not fair to say that it's 'cause
I was only fifteen years old.
But maybe it's fair to say it was a lack of communication,
I took a phone message, oh and speaking of communication,
oh, and Enid,
Enid you got a cold.

I can get a job I can pay the phone bills
I can cut the lawn, cut my hair, cut out my cholesterol
I can work overtime I can work in a mine
I can do it all for you,
But I don't want to.

Enid we never really knew each other anyway.
Enid we never really knew each other anyway.
Enid we never really knew each other anyway.
Maybe we always saw right through each other anyway,
But Enid we really never knew each other anyway

(Ed)
I can teach you how to dance, how to sing, how to knit,
How to make things that you never ever made before
Enid, I can teach you how to use cookie cutters
To make crazy things out of Play-Doh.

Little houses, little farms, little accessories for your mom,
For your Barbie set, for your friends and your family
Enid, I can teach you how to snowmobile, cross-country ski, snowshoe,
But I don't want to!

Enid we never really knew each other anyway
Enid we never really knew each other anyway
Maybe we always saw right through each other anyway
But Enid we really never knew each other anyway

Judy said...

Glad you're still around and an ABB. I'm not invisible anymore either. I'm a lesbian, and for years I didn't dare "come out", so I stayed invisible. Then one day I got tired of hiding, of being invisible, and I said no more of this shit. I am who I am and if you can't handle it that is YOUR problem, not mine.

That was 3 years ago, and now I am a leader in my LGBT community in Central PA, and proud of it!

Thanks ABB for being you!

thatfarmgirl said...

Mother of Gawd...you never cease to amaze me. So glad we're on the same planet.

Sangroncito said...

Another great post. Good riddence, Enid.

I remember a girl in my elementary school. I still remember her name: Cleta Boyer. She was the only black girl and she, too, sat in the back of the room, was invisible and silently endured the white racist bitch who was our poor excuse of a teacher. I hope Cleta is an ABB, too. I'd love to see her again someday and give her a big hug.

Maidink said...

Awesome post, ABB (as always).

I try to teach my little girl that everyone needs a friend and we all need hugs and love. She knows people look different but she also knows we all are the same.

When I die, I may not be remembered for what I was, but my child will be to carry in her heart and show the world what I was to her.

dmfinny said...

You never, ever cease to amaze me; even your admiration for a certain French chick is laudable!

Seriously, as the wife & I turn onto 40-Year-Old Lane, we're both firmly committed to not wearing any masks of any kind. And December 19 makes 2 yrs since I had dermoid cysts removed from my ovaries, and I also had the early childhood incident, although the White kid who called me a black cookie was smart enough to not say nigger, or he wouldn't have lived through lunch.

Another spot-on piece, sis.

It's Me, Maven... said...

Another authentic and inspiring post, ABB. Truly.

We all have our moment of reckoning, realizing who we are and being brave enough to just simply "BE."

One thing I *KNOW* is, although people might think one thing or another about us (and most of the time it's no where near the truth), or might marginalize us into convenient little humanoid nuggets of who they think WE ARE, that does not change what OUR REALITY IS.

The moment we surrender our power and our sanity and actually start believing any of the garbage strangers on the street or even our own flesh and blood think or say about us, THAT is when we cease being AUTHENTICALLY US.

CrankyProf said...

A brilliant wake-up call for honesty across the board -- with others, and most importantly, with ourselves. Stand and be true to yourself first, and the rest will fall into line. If it doesn't than it wasn't meant to be -- or more likely, was unwilling to accept you for waht you were and are.

SO glad you ditched Enid and stepped forward to enlighten us!

The Foxybrown Show said...

Hot Post!
Feel free to stop by my show when you can!

Have a Foxy Weekend!!

BarefootCajun said...

A totally inspiring post, ABB.

You and I and Dix all share similar scars. Mine was thanks to a malignant uterine tumor. My doctor had a clearance sale that day and everything had to go. Nov. 27th will be the 15th anniversary of my being cancer free.

We all have our reasons for becoming invisible at some points in our lives. I've managed to be invisible a lot of mine. I am a large woman and rather than having to face what I perceive others are thinking about how I look, I just tend to fade into the woodwork.

Thank you for reminding me that I have to be proud of who I am and speak my truth.

It's Me, Maven... said...

Cajun,

I agree. As a larger than average gal, sometimes I feel that way, that the bigger one gets, the more invisible one becomes. Amazing how much anonyminity a few extra pounds affords.

kara said...

damn, i didn't want to think this much this weekend.

excellent post. too many of us are invisible, and nobody should be.

Melody said...

You're an amazing writer, ABB, and an inspiration to turn obstacles into opportunities.

I can't remember how I found you, but I'm so glad I did. Have a vodka cran on me and enjoy your weekend!

farfar said...

You're amazing.

- Brown Ass Bitch.

fahren said...

Glad I reread this. I couldn't take it all in the first time. Lupron? Enid? Scar? ABB you and I are leading parallel lives of a sort. This post gives me the courage to confront a few things I've been ducking. I've always had the black bitch part straight, now I'm angry. Thank you.

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