Newton’s Cradle

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
II. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.
III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

December 21, 2011 12:03am
“And what are you?” my mom asked me.
“I like both,” was my soft answer.
And after bickering back and forth about what I meant, and finally getting through to her that I am bisexual, the words that left her mouth next are words that will be forever burned into my mind.
“I reject. You should die.”

Even thinking back to that moment and reliving it in my memory still brings tears to my eyes. On many lonely sleepless nights of introspection, this scene often floats around in my mind, haunting me. My own mother stood there like it was nothing to say that the eldest daughter was a shame to her. I wanted to call out to her, I wanted to explain that regardless of my sexual orientation that I was still not going to have girlfriends purely on the basis that it would upset her, above all, that I loved my mom so much that I was willing to put away any happiness I found within a female partner just for her.

But as I finally caught myself reeling from her blatant rejection of what I am all I could see was her short grey-cropped hair swiftly exiting the rented townhouse room that I stayed in at the university. There was so much to explain to her in that moment that I have slowly done so over the years. That in large part that it was no fault of her own that I “turned out” this way. That unlike what she has been brought up to believe that being gay or bisexual is not a failure of providing an emotionally stable home with strong female and male role models. That there is a very strong genetic component that was found in mice that made predisposed female mice lesbians, that there is also a very strong environmental basis that was obviously fulfilled when I attended one of the most liberal universities in all of Canada.
If only she had stayed behind and listened.
Days passed. Then weeks. Then before I knew it, it had been roughly two months or so that my mother had spoken to me in earnest. Of course there was the usual answering when asked, and the general acknowledgement of my presence. But at the same time, it was as though she was seeing through me, much like how people see through hotel attendants and people who work the cash registers. Like the past nineteen years (at the time) of existence vanished before her eyes just because of those simple phrases.
I did cope during that time, but it was not well and was not through methods that I approve of now and then. I clung onto the boy I was dating like a lifeline, and slowly but surely, he became the centre of my world even though I knew that the relationship I had with him was running on nothing but hot air and ashes. He did not have any of the traits that I was looking for, but yet I could not help but drift back to him. Do not get me wrong. I did not use him at all. I insisted on splitting the bills, I returned favours when I could, and I stood tall and supported his weight when he needed me to. I loved him, very much, and I am forever grateful that he was able to lend an ear and a shoulder to cry on during this trying time between my mother and me. Although we did not part on good terms (I feel) I am grateful for his presence at that point of my life.
December 26, 2011
Over Christmas break I dreaded going back to that house. On the last day of my exams I spent an additional four hours at my boyfriend’s place because I could not stomach the idea of going back to that house with my mother hating me for being what I am, and what I have decided to be. But at the same time, it was not like I had a choice being bisexual. I knew, I’ve always known, I always knew that I was different from other people, and that there was a reason why I never seemed to have a “crush” on boys my age. Even if I did, it was not for the earnest reason of having a crush. I did it because it felt, more or less, normal, for me to have a crush on boys.
I could not figure out for the life of me, all the way through middle school, high school, and other such instances of my life where people would insist that I had a crush on so and so because of the way I interacted with them. At first I told myself that it was because I thought of them as a brother, that they were all dear friends of mine and I did not enjoy having thoughts of romance planted into my head because of their misconduct. But yet, idiots in my class once said, “Oooohh!! She a lesbian!” I was angrier at the fact he was yelling that for the entire class to hear than the actual accusation itself.
But I digress.
In that Christmas break it was hellish to be back into the house where it felt like the people who were supposed to love you suddenly did not. My brother had asked me that break, “So are you gay?”
None of you were there and I would never want you to be. But to hear that tone in his voice and know that I would never have his support when I eventually had to face my mom and dad about this was devastating. I was constantly calling friends and my boyfriend at the time for moral and mental support. It felt as though I was slowly dying in the confines of the house, and bits of my soul and who I am were slowly seeping into the walls of the house conforming to the bleached white walls, like I was slowly not being accepted into the family because of who I am.
Those two weeks back at home seemed to drag on forever. Going back to school could not come fast enough, I was anticipating going back to school where friends would accept me for who I am, not what I am, and I knew ultimately the friends that would matter in the end would not care if I was lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, straight, and whatever else have you. It felt strange having to hide what I was in front of my parents, the same people who gave birth to me and changed my diapers when I was young.
I struggled in school. Every time I sat down to study my mother`s words would drift through my head and I would bawl like a little baby. I gave up studying. It wouldn’t work for me. If anything I was remembering the pain I felt during those times and it hindered my marks more than if I didn’t study. I read a lot of extra-curricular books; I threw myself into the world of fantasy and make-believe because it was easier to be in that world than to face the reality of mine. Anime also became a form of escape. I criticize my friend right now for doing this when in reality I`m not much better. But at the same time it is because I believe that my friend is capable of so much more, and by extension is much better than I am; that I am so harsh towards them. I have nothing against the anime itself, but what my friend is using it for I know is not healthy, and I’ve been there before and know how difficult it is to get out of.
During this time I liked group projects more than ever because it was easy to stay on task when my mind was being filled and cluttered up by the chatter of the group and the drama that usually happens when working with people. It was also easier to study with others because interacting with people was a good way of keeping my mind occupied. But at the same time it also exposed me to more instances I would not have been exposed to.
It happened roughly in March. I remember it was around there because it was the projects rush that often happens during university, and it was also right before exams. I was working on a group project with an old friend of mine and we were bantering, bickering, and play-fighting like we normally do.
January 3, 2012
Then it happened; the accidental breast-grab that led to two and half years of clamming up my emotions towards my friends and family. But at the same time, it also felt as though my friend – let’s call him Phil, accidentally flipped on a switch that flooded the repressed portions of my memories.
Let me tell you something about repressed memories. Movies and books and television shows show them as though you had no recollection of those events before the “trigger” in my case, an accidental boob-grab, and then suddenly everything is remembered. I’ll let you know what happened in my case. I always had those memories. Always. Phil grabbing me did not unlock a door or a wall in my memory that let the memories spilleth forth. Like I said before, I always had those memories, but for me, it felt as though they were someone else’s memories. Let me put it this way. When you watch home movies on the internet or, heaven forbid that I mention this outdated reference, America’s Funniest Home Videos, you will never feel those memories are yours. Similarly, before Phil touched me, it felt as though that particular phase of my life belonged to someone else. Whenever I recalled those memories because of some sort of visual trigger I was always confused whether or not that memory was an actual memory or whether or not it was a television program. Plus I was always very good at pushing emotions away and whenever those memories surfaced I forced them to reside at the back of my mind.
One day, I plan on thanking Phil. I doubt he will ever know what it’s for, but it will be from the bottom of my figurative and biological heart and it will be in all honesty. What happened to me when Phil grabbed me was that he added another sense to the experience that I had never had in my memory before. Touch. When Phil added the component of touch to the memory it suddenly became more real and no longer was it a black and white silent movie. It became a living breathing memory. All of a sudden, I remembered how it felt have his wrinkly old face hover above mine when I was sleeping because of a sickness. How confused and hurt I felt that this was happening to me and above all how betrayed and hopeless that whole situation was because of how the Asian cultures are built around respecting your elders. Due to the fact that he was my grandfather and that I am from a culture that almost worships elders; I was utterly helpless in defending myself against him at any level.
This is a feeling that I avoid to this day, this inescapable maddening hopelessness that I experienced that fateful day in my childhood. This no doubt had some sort of invisible hand in how I grew up into an adult woman and who I currently am today. For instance, I’ve always hated my grandfather, but I could never explain or reason out why, even when I saw him in person I could not recall the reasons for my abhorrent and absolute hatred for him. I could never explain why it felt as though someone was ripping out my intestinal organs slowly whenever I did him any favours or sent him any sort of gifts I was forced to endure this throughout my life, and subsequently was yelled at by my parents whenever they felt that whatever I did for him was not up to par.
But I am painting them with a bad brush. I remember telling them about this. I remember my mom believing me to some sort of extent with a follow up question of, “Are you sure?” To be honest, at the time when this happened I was not sure, or if it was simply my mind blowing things out of proportion. Also for some reason, my ten to thirteen year old mind deemed that it was necessary that the assault had to happen multiple times on separate occasions for it to be true. It just wouldn’t be very scientific of me if I went accusing him if I did not have more evidence now would it? Hence I decided this had to happen a grand total of at least three times before I report this to my mother again. It happened once more, but never again seeing as how he moved away from us. I don’t know if I was relieved or disappointed that it didn’t happen one more time before he moved away.
January 27, 2012
I started dating again after a little while. I dated a friend whom I had fond feelings for over two years. During that time I was slowly becoming more and more obsessive about him, and got increasingly jealous whenever he talked about crushes he had, and girls he went out with. We dated for a grand total of three months, but admittedly, I still love him and I would never trade in those three months for anything else in this world. Except for maybe another chance to date him and have it work out in the long run.
He asked me why I was so contradictory. For example, how come I was so terrified of sex itself when I had absolutely no trouble making out and was damn good at it? (Apparently. I’ve never made out with myself before.) Why was I so afraid of crowds but couldn’t stand being alone? And thus I told him the only reason that I could think of to explain that. It was also at this moment that I fell completely and utterly in love with him.
“I see. That makes a lot of sense,” was his response.
For all of you out there who have fortunately never been through my situation, you have no idea what those words meant to me. At that point, I told a few other people, and their response was something akin to, “I’m sorry to hear that.” I know some of them were genuinely sorry about what had happened to me, and thank you for that, but to be “sorry to hear that” meant, to me, that they had rather wished that they didn’t hear it at all. That it would be best that if in their world the virginal Solstice had never told them, and that they had wished that they had plugged their ears in at that particular moment of time and never heard my story. For him to just accept that, and fully comprehend me at the same time, meant everything to me. The way I have described it to others is that he shook hands with the skeleton in my closet instead of denying its existence and tucking it away like my parents had with my bisexuality. But unfortunately this could not last. Shortly after I told him about the incidence with my grandfather he broke up with me. I do believe that it was like he said, that he could not handle the long distance and would like to break up with me and save me the trouble of heartbreak when in the long run it would not work, but a part of me feels that the incident with my grandfather did play a factor into his decision.
When he broke up with me I felt betrayed. I cannot explain why I felt this way, but I suppose that because he was one of the few people at the time that knew about that thing and I had shared everything about it with him, it felt as though he was rejecting me as a human being. It is most illogical that I felt this way, but I cannot lie about this and it is what it is.
Slutwalk was me trying to deal come to face with my inner demons and recognizing that these demons existed and were there and that no matter how much I pined for them to disappear; at one point another I would have to face them for what they are. My fear of crowds started to kick in soon enough, and thank goodness Poison was there to keep me grounded. It was amazing to see the support that was generated from this rally, and to know that I was not alone in this ordeal. That together, we could fight the good fight I guess. What irked me though was that the press were focusing on the scantily dressed individuals, and not necessarily the individuals like me, who had actually gone through a traumatizing ordeal. Among that crowd, among that mass, I wondered how many of them were like me, silently suffering.
At Dream’s and my ex’s insistence, I gathered the courage to seek professional help. They assured me that I would not be bothering my family, that nobody was going to be sent to jail, and that if I wanted to press charges that it would be done, but if I did not, then nothing would happen. Thus I went. I spilled to the psychologist everything that had happened and I begged for help on how to manage this ordeal, how to tell my parents this is what had happened and that this had nothing to do with my bisexuality because this incident had happened after my attraction for both sexes.
I know she was trying to do her best, but Children’s Aid was contacted. I had to tell my parents.
My mom was shocked, but at the same time she remembered that moment of time when I went to her about this issue. I was surprised that she had because it was never brought up. However the first thing she asked me was whether or not I was still a virgin.
Because yeah, great mom, my virginity at this moment is more important than my mental health. That she believes that because if I’m not a virgin, I won’t be able to find somebody “good enough” for me because of it. Like being sold for cattle was how I felt.
“Why didn’t you tell your family first?” was the question she asked.
I didn’t answer at the time.
Maybe one day, when she asks again, like I know she will, I’ll be able to answer this.
But I was honestly afraid that she would look me in the eye and state, “You whore. You deserve to die.”
And once again I’ll see her short grey-cropped hair bobbing out of sight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s