I’m going to be honest: I’ve never seen anything on television at the conceptual level that would be necessary to pull off CONFEDERATE without seriously offending a large chunk of their audience. It would take an act of either genius or obsession to manage it. I can think of a show that would please white Southerners. Or white people in general. But I have a difficult time imagining a show that would please black people. And I’m not sure at all I can imagine a show that made the majority (or even a respectable “chunk”) of both demographics happy.
Danger, Will Robinson.
I have a student who is in a relationship with a woman who had a very sexual past. It flips him out. According to him, she talks about it all the time. He can’t stop thinking about the other men she’s slept with, and those thoughts are slut-shaming to the max. There are a few things that he needs to grasp:
- The problem is his, not hers. Even if there was something wrong with her previous actions, he either accepts her as she is, or needs to walk away. To stay with her while constantly criticizing her, or repressing terrible thoughts, is good for no one, and unfair to her.
- His problem is that he doesn’t love himself. He has no connection to his OWN sense of connection and divinity, and probably finds it in his lady’s arms. The fact that she has shared this bliss with other men rips him to pieces. No matter what, he circles around to “why do I have to hear her talk about those other men…” The answer is: because you’re listening. She might be talking because she knows it bugs you, and is waiting until it stops before opening her heart. Or, she might have a problem, and doesn’t notice that it disturbs you. Or: she might do it because she know it bothers you, and enjoys that.
- In all cases, the solution is the same: love yourself. In the first case, it will transform the relationship. In the second case, you guys have matching damage and probably need therapy to bridge the gap. In the third case, you are bleeding emotionally, and she is sniffing after the blood, a carnivore.
In all cases, the problem is yours: YOU ARE THERE. In that last case, the problem isn’t that she’s a carnivore…the problem is that you are Bambi. At the very least, be Thumper: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
To boil it down:
- You are searching for love.
- Something, possibly in your childhood, interfered with your healthy maturation process, such that you sought love from outside yourself rather than from within your own heart.
- This creates a potential co-dependent relationship.
- You are attracted by this woman’s abundant sexuality but repulsed by the very experiences that helped her develop it.
- IF she has an issue (I’ve only heard this story from one side. The heartbroken are notoriously unreliable narrators) then you should either love and support her…or leave. You have no right to ask her to change.
- IF she is unhealthy, then the important thought is that she is also the best you can do, right now. To attract and hold someone healthier, he would need to be healthier himself.
- My best recommendation would be celibacy for at least a year, during which you works to connect with that sense of love within yourself, balancing your male and female selves. Take responsibility from a position of “I wasn’t ready for her” and stop expecting her to be MOMMY for you if you cannot be a loving, nurturing DADDY for her. It is not fair, or right, or mature.
And all of that is IF she has an issue. Really, my best guess is that the problem is his. At any rate, HE is the only one in the equation he can change. That’s where you start.
Did you “get” the story he told himself to create this nightmare? How he chose to interpret the events? TOXIC. Individuals do this. He is attempting to control HER story, the meaning of her sexual past. Trust me: people have done this to you. And on a social level, it is constant, a “what do the facts of your existence, your history MEAN?”
This is why the third step in transforming the world is “Understand history without guilt, blame or shame.” On a personal level, on an inter-personal level, on a social level.
On a social level, Steve? But don’t you rail against racism and slavery? Isn’t that blame? Isn’t that an attempt to trigger shame?
Not to me. Blame isn’t responsibility. I’m not pointing fingers as much as saying: “look at these universal human behaviors. Justifying and rationalizing. Hierarchicalism. Tribalism. Dehumanization. We do this to each other. We are also doing the best we can.”
Not everyone using the building blocks of the “Current Southern Apologia” is a racist, but EVERY racist I’ve ever encountered uses those building blocks. Sorry, but I’ve stopped extending faith. When I hear these excuses, rationalizations and obfuscations, I assume you are either asleep, deluded, or a monster. Don’t like that? GET OVER IT, OR GO AWAY.
Shame? No. I’m not interested in your shame. I’d rather you just accept human equality between racial groups, and not the mealy-mouthed “I think our souls are equal in the eyes of God” or the “we should all be equal in the eyes of the law” or “we should all be treated with respect.”
No. If that’s as far as you can go, you can be a good person, and even a good neighbor, but you cannot be a brother or sister or ally.
Have a great life, seriously.
But I need to know that you see your soul in my eyes, because I see mine in yours…but will NOT take your damage into my spirit, any more than the lady in question above has responsibility to be other than who she is. She may be fine the way she is. Or…she may be dealing with some damage. Hell, everyone is.
My community is dealing with damage. But if you think we were driving the bus that hit us, or that your bones would have knit faster after the impact, you cannot be family with me.
I cannot trust you.
(control of “the story” is absolutely critical, on every level. This is Lifewriting. And our OCTAVIATOBLACKPANTHER.COM seminar we’re repeating is so important we’re going to repeat it this Saturday. Free. Important. Join us.)