I consider myself to be a private person. I can repress a multitude of thoughts and feelings within a single sigh. What I’m saying is, if you’re dying to express something with, to, or in the general vicinity of me I’m probably not going to want to talk about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fantastic listener/responder/advice-doler-outer, okay? But if you’re looking to listen to me, like really listen to me, be prepared for an awkward silence. This behavior has become too damn habitual to actually disappear altogether, but I’m learning. Call it a syndrome of being an only child to a talkative single mother or a result of fear of commitment, daddy and/or trust issues, or the inability to let go – WHATEVER – if you’re a human alive today, you probably know very little about me because very few are close. It’s really not as sad as it sounds.
In a world becoming more and more viral, digital, incessantly squawking, this is kind of an amazing (bad and good) feat. So when this air of privacy became compromised on Christmas Eve of 2014 at 6:20AM, I was, not surprisingly, a bit shaken.
All of my roommates were away visiting their national and international homelands; it was just me and the cat. I was awoken by the doorbell; confused, I rang my mother but she was already at work. I went downstairs to find a package and a card addressed to me. Longer story shorter, words like “love” and “friendship” were tossed around in the scrawled note. Odd further still was who it was coming from, a person who was more of an acquaintance of the family than a lifelong pal.
It didn’t stop there, over the course of 2015 this person came to the house unannounced and at strange hours, banged trash cans, sent notes, gifts, called and texted repeatedly, left cryptic Facebook messages, even coming to my place of employment with a large and expensive bouquet of pink roses, sending me a picture of them to make sure I knew who they were from. He appeared at a random assortment of shows that he knew I would be at, (most recently at a Psychic Readings gig in November in Providence where I had to “make a scene” and have fellow attendees stay close). Apparently his own marriage and a child held for him no restraint.
I was not flattered. It was not cute. I had never led him on nor had any romantic interest in him, (and isn’t it sad that I have to say that anyway?). SO, WHY THE FUCK AM I TELLING YOU ALL THIS? Well, firstly because as I was being dropped off from work this morning by a co-worker, he was there behind us in his own car so no, this isn’t over. Secondly, because I’m tired of keeping such heavy shit to myself when I know there are others out there like me, who are keeping things to themselves as well and thirdly, because I need a platform to say this:
To the individual in question: STOP. LEAVE ME ALONE. THERE ISN’T A SINGLE THING ABOUT ME THAT BELONGS TO YOU.
To other victims: You don’t have to be polite and go through something like this alone. Reach out to people, build a support system. If you’re in the Boston area, check out Jane Doe Inc. (Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence) for a list of your rights and resources.
To me, a promise for 2016: I aim to be more visible in my community, to reserve more time for my own projects, to go to more shows, to be kinder to myself, to be a little less polite, to take more risks, and to breathe. Just fucking breathe.