Monday, May 21, 2007


This bitch had to step back from the computer this weekend and get my head back together.


Okay, maybe not get it back together…I can’t claim to have been right in the head in the first place…but at least closer to my individual definition of a healthy mental state (wink).

As most of you know last week was full to bursting with concern for a 14 year old young woman I know who was raped. I can share that she is not pregnant as a result of the rape. I can also share that the waiting and worrying over whether she was pregnant or not was torture...torture. Since she was not given the option of emergency contraception at the hospital, I believe that torture was unnecessary and unethical.

I made myself sick with worry and the worry doesn’t go away simply because she is not pregnant.

I officially hit overwhelmed Saturday.
This bitch stayed up all night…couldn’t sleep for shit. There I was…watching but not really seeing television…thinking over and over again about some of the encouragement people shared last week.
People have said that I’m an amazing person…that the young woman in question is lucky to have me in her life…and that my volunteer work is extraordinary.

Now don’t get me wrong, I find that kind of communication very encouraging…to a point. It can easily become something else...fuel for a perception that could be dangerous.

I am not an amazing person.


Well, I am amazing (wink)…but not because I volunteer.

Trust that this isn’t a dig for praise…I’m way more obvious when searching for adoration.

Ask yourself the question I asked myself Saturday night whilst not sleeping.

Should folks that volunteer and are activists within their community be considered amazing or heroes or special?

What does seeing them that way mean…what impact does elevating them have on society’s perception of the participant citizen?

I think that way of thinking creates an environment where volunteering, being a mentor, supporting your community through action and participating in local organizations is the exception not the norm.

And this bitch thinks that society reflects the outcome of that…big time.


I am a volunteer.

That isn’t exceptional or amazing.

Young women aren’t lucky to have me participate in their lives.

I’m lucky that they tolerate me being there (wink)…and we are blessed to have each other.

The way I see it, we may need to redefine amazing to really address some of the shit that really needs addressing.
Just a thought...


Maya's Granny said...

Shark fu,
It is sad that people like you are considered amazing. It should be just part of life that we help each other; it is very sad that it is rare.

I'm so glad that your friend is not pregnant, and know that she still has much to face and live with as a result of the rape. Please tell her that there is a grandmother in Alaska who wishes her well and is impressed with her courage.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad the young lady didn't turn out pregnant. Is she planning on pressing charges against her rapist?

Also I agree with this assessment...

The way I see it, we may need to redefine amazing to really address some of the shit that really needs addressing.

I volunteer as well and I get props from the people in my life as being either a "such a good person" or "amazing"...I tell them I am not really a good person, but doing what I feel as right...Maybe I don't really see myself as doing anything monumental, I am just doing what I must. *shrugs*

Sparks said...

You're right - no, we shouldn't be considered extraordinary because we volunteer. Extraordinary usually is not a result of making every effort - it's a collision of various goodnesses. Suck it up - you are fabulous, just because you are.

It is hard to accept a sort of online awards ceremony in the context of this nightmare, I'm sure. What we meant to say was keep walking the walk.

Phil said...

Exceptional and amazing not withstanding, the fact that you give your time and concern freely makes a difference.
Just having someone concerned enough to care just made the load on that young woman easier to bear.Having someone to share advice that she would not have had matters.
You go girl, it makes a difference.

TwinsGoddess said...

What a relief.

It is unfortunate that in this age of blogs and talk radio and CNN, when it seems like everybody has an opinion about everything and is happily broadcasting as much to the world, that a person who is willing to put themselves out there and take some real action to back it all up is called "amazing."

But the bottom line is that you advocated for your friend in a way that no one else in her life was able to. You provided comfort to a young person in need. And I think the fact that your friend was willing to share what had happened to her with you at all speaks volumes about your character.

What you did goes way beyond being a volunteer. It was about being involved, it was about speaking out in the face of the unnecessary and the unethical, and, most importantly, it was about being human, even when it's ugly and painful and it sucks.

I know a lot of people who probably would have done one or maybe two of those things, but you did all of it, and that's what makes you exceptional.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear the lass isn't pregnant, and again it's just a disgrace she was put through 2 ordeals.
I think it might be said that people who say they are amazing, or at least believe they can see the amazingness inside them or in their actions are truly the selfish and self-centred ones doing good for the wrong reasons. Sure, good comes from it. No one denies that. But then there are some who just get on with what they feel they have to do. They are the ones that inspire.
Again, I'm pleased the wee lass is not pregant and is spared a further trauma.

M A F said...

I don't believe in heroes anymore....I believe the word no longer holds the same connotation as it once did. The word hero was reserved for the few and not the many when I was a child. Heroes have become a dime a dozen today.

After reading about the 14 year old girls I came to think of you as something more than a hero. You are an extraordinary person who acts in a manner that all should aspire.

The world would be a mighty different place if everyone where to give of themselves as my favorite bitch gives of herself.

ben said...

i a weird way, i think it might boil down to the fact that many of us don't want to live in a world where a young woman who is sexually assaulted is left without an advocate or comfort...and this story reminds us that we don't *have* to. the system let your friend down quite horrifically, but it is possible on an individual level to begin to step up.

Anonymous said...

"amazing" isn't graded on a curve. We all have the possibility of being amazing - or despicable - or both, at different times or situations. Ordinary people are amazing when they live into the best of their humanity to give in some fashion to others.

You, of course, are fabulous. Fabulous is not accessible to every human.


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