Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Life in 1994 (part 4)

Here are more excerpts from my college diary.....




James still hasn't called or written. That hurts a lot. What Susan did hurts a lot. David hurt so much, but there was a difference. He was always an asshole. He kept switching from a darling to a total jerk. Part of the trauma was not knowing at each moment where he would treat me like a girlfriend or as an enemy. 

But James and Susan were so stable. I could count on them almost always to be my friend. Okay, with James it was only a week. But still he brought me comfort and then they betrayed me. (4/1/94)

I might be wrong, but I believe the betrayal I spoke of doesn't go beyond simply drifting away.  

It bothers me that I would use the word betrayal in that circumstance.  

To me, betrayal is breaking a promise or betraying a confidence. It's not simply drifting apart from someone.

I think we can FEEL betrayed by someone's innocent behavior. But that's different than imagining that someone has done something to wrong you.  

Ayub annoys me because he keeps telling me to stop reading. He also said that he thinks he is better than most people. He is an asshole. (4/2/94)

Yeah. Sounds like it.

I'm amending my policy of silence. People will begin to get suspicious. Ayub is definitely suspicious. For now I shall answer questions in the simplest way possible. I will never volunteer information. (4/2/94)

This makes me suspect that society HAS become more narcissistic. In the past decade or so, it's been so much easier to go through these silence things. Most people seem perfectly happy to keep the conversation all about themselves. Back then, it seems I felt I was annoying people by being secretive. Now it's the opposite.

A woman from B'Nail Zion called. She was not friendly. I'm in the immersion phase of immersion/emersion. I want all Jews to be perfect. (4/4/94)

I don't remember what all that means, but it sounds fascinating. I'm going to look it up.

Okay. I found this website.  It's about racial identity development. I had been taking Psychology of the Black Experience at the time. I think I took what I learned there and applied it to being Jewish.

I see immersion-emersion listed as one thing, so I'm not sure what I meant by being in the immersion phase. 

Basically, the whole stage is about becoming immersed in your own culture. For black people, it's becoming pro-black. For me, it was about being pro-Jewish.  

I'm guessing what I was saying is that I was in a stage where one believes their group is superior. They have unrealistic expectations. But as I began to meet annoying Jews, I'd come out of that stage.

 I want to call James, but I know I must not. I think of calling him and just hanging up, just to see if he is still alive. 

I called Ayub. David answered and he knew it was me. He was nice (fake). He wanted me to type his paper. Without thinking, I said I would, and for free! After I hung up, I regretted my words. I don't want to type his stupid paper. Stupid David. I don't want to be used by him. I wish people would leave me alone!! (4/5/94)

It's nice that these days we can sometimes check if someone is alive via Instagram, Facebook, etc.  

I'm wondering if I used Ayub as an excuse to talk to David. Did I call Ayub in hopes that David would pick up the phone?  I was pretty negative about Ayub. Why would I still want to be his friend?

On the other hand, there are other friends in the diary that I frequently bitch about.

I think I've always been into that—remaining friends with someone, but then frequently bitching about them.  

I was relieved because David said I didn't have to type his paper. (4/6/94)

Good! I like to imagine he realized it was wrong for him to have asked me.

We are not to blame if someone has feeling for us and we don't have equal feelings for them. But if we are aware of their feelings and try to take advantage of that...it's NOT very nice.

Today I asked myself, are blacks paranoid about racism. I answered, Yes, very paranoid. I asked myself, are Jews paranoid about anti-semitism. I answered yes. But this is the thing. Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean people don't truly want to destroy you. 

I read a book review written by a black Jew named David Green. He said blacks were seen as less than human—animals. Jews were were seen as evil.  (4/6/94)

I get what I was saying there and agree with my past self. It can apply to any group that has experienced systematic abuse—black, brown, Jewish, Asian, women, gay, transgender, disabled, etc.

We become hypersensitive, but there is a very valid reason behind that hypersensitivity. 

It means, though, that we might jump down the throat of an innocent person and accuse them of bigotry.  

Tim told me about a person on Twitter who accused someone of mansplaining simply because this person commented on the fact that there's another Asian TV show besides Fresh off the Boat.  I though the accusation sounded ridiculous, but I can kind of understand where the accuser was coming from. Many of us are so sick of the condescending and misogynist attitude of men. We have dealt with it all our lives.  Now there's a strong wave of fighting back. And within that fight, sometimes it  feels that ALL men are condescending, and all men are misogynist. It can feel that everything men say to women is mansplaining.

It might rain today. You might want to bring your umbrella.

STOP MANSPLAINING!!!!

Sometimes we become irrational.

But I can't blame black people for distrusting all white people.

And I can't blame women for distrusting all men.

Centuries of shit can't be easily cleaned up. And it's absolutely impossible to clean up when new shit keeps being added onto the pile of old shit.

My head keeps hurting and the cruise guys aren't calling. Someone is knocking on our door. I'm not about to answer it. I think people who bang on your door at 11:41 PM are very rude.

I read a Catcher in the Rye today. I thought it was nice and all, but I don't see why people pick it as their favorite book and carry it around like a diary. Susan carries it around like I carried around Alex. (4/7/94)

Alex was the book that brought me into the Cystic Fibrosis world.

I wonder what other books commonly people carry around...besides Catcher in the Rye and the Bible.

I'm a bit worried about my health. I keep having headaches. You know, I'm so symptomatic. I have symptoms, and no diseases. For God's Sake. I limped around for a month for no reason. (4/7/94)

I don't think I ever went to the doctor for these symptoms, so I'm not sure why I concluded there were no reasons. 

I think my headaches were sinus because I took some sinus medicine late this afternoon, and I never had a headache. Maybe I am cured. (4/8/94).

I went out with Vanessa, Carlina, Carlina's sister, and Auka. I felt so detached from them. I felt as if I wasn't even there. Vanessa scares me. She is a terrible driver. (4/9/94)

I still am not too fond of Rabbi K. Today I was thinking my feelings may be like this. I shall love every single Jew, but I shall not necessarily like them. I shall not love a gentile in the same way. I will love them in a different way.

Jews are like family. Even if they are despicable, you still love them. Gentiles are like friends. You only love them if you like them. 

That is very warped shit.

Oh well. (4/9/94)

I've grown to believe it's better to be liked than loved.

The love-without-like is obligatory love. 

There's something really blah about obligatory love.

Is it even really love?

Maybe a better word would be "connected".

I read The Promise by Chaim Potok today. It affected me a lot. I felt like the author was talking directly to me. 

The whole book dealt with how people write their opinions and get in trouble.

The book made me think about my own life.

My silence is lifting.

I find myself telling people things.

I think I have to find mediation. Don't be a blabbermouth, but don't be a psychological hermit.

I still don't want to tell Vanessa anything. I feel like I end up criticizing Judaism to her. I think it's okay to criticize Judaism,  but not in front of a nonJew who is like Vanessa. They may take your words and use them against you. (4/10/94)

 This is a lesson I'd hear and learn again, a few years later, in my early adventures in parenting.

Don't complain about breastfeeding a toddler to someone who thinks its easier and better to bottlefeed, or to someone who believes children should be weaned before their first birthday.

Don't complain about not getting good sleep with your toddler in the bed to a friend who believes babies should sleep in their own room.

Don't complain about the stresses of homeschooling to people who believe children need traditional schooling.

Don't vent about unschooling to a homeschooling friend who has been vocal about being anti-unschooling.

If we're going to vent about things, it's better to vent to people who are going through the same thing, are from the same group, or have made the same choices.  

I am HORRIBLE at venting to the wrong people.

Today was another day of anger. This time it was directed towards the high school that Spielberg spoke to. They're mad that he made a Holocaust film and not a slavery film. They are the ones that laughed during Schindler's List. Outside the place, they had protests saying Spielberg was a Jew-Zionist and the Holocaust was a lie.

My belief is people should work for their people first. But he should also leave time for other causes.

So, in my opinion, it is not good if a Jewish person is more committed to blacks than Jews or a black person tries to combat anti-semitism before racism. 

Then I also think it is wrong for a Jew to think the Holocaust is the worst atrocity to humankind and to only worry about Jewish causes. Same with blacks.

Dr. Pope always stresses the blacks have had it worse than any other group in America. What about the Native Americans?  (4/12/94)

I no longer believe that people need to help their own group first. If a Jewish person is more passionate about slavery, it will probably be balanced out by a black person who is obsessed with the Holocaust.  

I think it's fine when people are focused on a particular cause, as long as they A) understand there are other causes out there B) Don't push people to abandon their cause, because it's not the cause that YOU'RE most passionate about.

Now if it's an oppositional cause, that's a different story.

Wearing a Make-America-Great-Again Hat instead of a Black Lives Matter t-shirt is different than wearing a pro-immigrant t-shirt rather than a Black Lives Matter t-shirt.

I guess what I'm saying is all marginalized groups need to come together to fight prejudice, genocide, and discrimination rather than fighting about which group's problems are more important.

This asshole-fucking asshole, on TV inferred that prejudice only matters if it happened to you personally. He was saying this hatred shouldn't bother me until I'm barred from doing something.  Fuck him. I get so upset about things that don't involve me personally. I was upset about Alex, about Heather, about homophobia. I wasn't just theoretically bothered. I was upset personally. (4/14/94)

I'm wondering if I misunderstood the guy on TV. 

From where I'm sitting now, I get the idea that he was talking about the difference between prejudice and discrimination.  

As a Jew, I've faced prejudice. I've had things that hurt my feelings. I've been offended.

I've never been prevented from doing something because I'm Jewish. I've never really felt like my life was in danger.

I think people could have a debate about what was worse, the African slave trade or the Jewish Holocaust. Each side would have valid points.

But in terms of who has it worse today in the world—black Americans or Jews?  If someone said Jews, I'd think they were ignorant, delusional, and suffering from persecution fantasies.  

There ARE dumb ideas in the world, though. So who knows, maybe the guy on TV was actually saying you can only be passionate about things that have harmed you personally.  It seems to me that this would make for a pretty selfish world.

Well, the world IS a selfish world. But I like to imagine most of us are trying to make it less selfish. 

I hope one day people will read my diaries like my grandchildren so they can know what life was like back then. I think it would be neat to read a diary and know some secrets. (4/16/94)

Good. I'm glad she was okay with her diary being read. 

I have felt a tiny bit conflicted about posting this stuff. It's like I worry I'm betraying the confidences of my own self.

I kind of do remember feeling that one day I'd want people to read my diaries. I might have even had a future audience in mind when writing the diary entries.  

I'm not sure I ever imagined my future self would be posting excerpts on the Internet.

I don't think my diaries give much insight to what life was like in those days. For the most part, it's about a girl waiting for a guy to contact her.  And THAT story is probably timeless.