I’m not OK, but that’s OK

Today has been…productive? Maybe. Therapy session this morning was surprisingly illuminating (not that illumination is a total anomaly). Somehow, we got onto the subject of some things I’ve been writing about here, and found ourselves on the topic of developmental issues of childhood, issues like attachment. I had never explored this issue before, and the phrase “attachment disorder” came up in our conversation, and a huge bell sounded in my head. As I learned more about it, and the reverberations stopped, I felt as though blocks were falling into place, puzzle pieces were interlocking, the picture was somehow becoming more clear, more defined. I was sent an article and the suggestion of doing some further research on this (since I am the Google queen). I’m very motivated to do this, and feel as though I might be on the verge of turning a corner in my recovery, or maybe i should say…discovery. The uncharted land of Ann. Get it? Land of Ann. Some days, I get really tired of fooling with myself….

OK, I started writing that yesterday, so now it’s today, and nothing much has happened. Of course, I have not left the apartment, and I have only had one cup of coffee. I slept reasonably well…only got up once to relieve the trusty bladder, but was able to go right back to sleep. I woke up a few hours later, loved on the dog for a minute or two, or maybe five, and got up to make coffee. Life is…okay so far. I can’t tell if it’s going to rain or not, but if i am smart, I’ll get up and take the dog out while it’s not precipitating. Not sure if precipitate can be used in that fashion, but whatever.

I’m not sure exactly what’s on my mind this morning, but there’s something in there rattling around. I suspect it’s a little more about what I’ve learned about this attachment disorder concept. That feels right for me, like it explains a lot of stuff about the how and why my relationships are so fucked up. Some of that isn’t exactly my fault, but i need to figure out how to do something about it. Still not looking for any kind of romance, or capital R relationship, but would not mind getting along a little better with my fellows. Having a little more of a support circle. Maybe not feeling as though I’m living in some rural area where the nearest neighbor is a couple of miles away. The space to spread out is great, but the solitude gets a little old. I hold people to distances like that, which has been my choice, but I am starting to second guess that now. We’ll see.

I’m now listening a bit to CNN, and it amuses me just a bit how the media is just beginning to give steady coverage to what they are terming “right wing extremism”. This is white supremacy, y’all. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the KKK v.3. The hatred and the insistence that white people are deserving of the apex of all things has not changed. It’s how this country was founded, and the white people who showed up on the shores of Massachusetts were not the best and brightest of Great Britain. Mix superiority with mental illness, narcissism, greed, selfishness and you get genocide, you get murder and mayhem, you get slavery, and you get…the United States of America. We an overcome that, but we choose not to.

Intentional digression here…as a person of color, I have to accept that no matter how much the “system” of white supremacy oppresses me and other non-white people, I participate in it, uphold it, support it in all kinds of ways. This is beyond frustrating, but unless I can remove myself from the grid of life in a first-world nation, I have no choice. Every dollar I spend contributes to the complex and inequitable network of capitalism, and puts more money into the pockets of those who already have more than enough dollars. I don’t know how to fix that. I can make small personal changes, and I do – I support small businesses when i can, like my chiropractor, a black-woman-owned business. I could go elsewhere, but I choose to stay with her specifically because I feel that it’s the right thing to do. So yes, I can make certain personal choices that support the businesses and efforts of those not part of the 1% of our society, but unless we ALL do that, we’re just dropping fractions of pennies into the fountain. I suppose on some esoteric level, that’s still productive in changing the dynamic, but it would be nice to see visible change, on a larger scale. We hear that “it’s not time yet, it’s going to take some time”, but damn. When IS it time? People are dying from this fucking coronavirus, and diabetes, and high blood pressure, and heart disease and HIV and still…those at the top of the pyramid have a far better chance than all the rest. They don’t have time. So let’s get on with this.

So, back to the whole “right wing extremism” thing. These assholes that believed they could actually take over the U.S. Capitol and overturn an election are the same assholes, or at least their demonic spawn, as the ones who resisted Reconstruction after the Civil War, the same ones who formed the Klu Klux Klan, the same ones who brutally massacred and lynched Black people, burned entire Black communities, burned houses of worship with people inside, denied education to Blacks en masse, and socially engineered this entire nation to ensure their kind came out on top. This is why the zombie mutants parading around in the Capitol, waving Confederate battle flags and carrying podiums, believe this is THEIR country. That’s the reality of how this was created, and that’s what they’ve been taught and what they’ve seen. That’s what everyone has seen. This is not “our” country. There is no “our”, there is no “us” for most, wherever you stand. We’re boxes on an organizational chart, we’re body counts, we’re demographics, but we’re not people very often. We’re metrics. And for some, we’re short-lived chalk outlines on the asphalt, and evidence of our lives are found only behind crime scene tape. Invisibility is a cognitive disconnect. You know you’re here, you know you are seen, but the only evidence of your reality that you get is the negative reaction to your mobility…the panic-stricken clutching of a purse in the elevator, the hurried buttoning of a jacket, the quickened pace and step to the other side of the street. When that is the only evidence you have that you are really visible, it’s maddening. Makes you wanna holler.

This is our narrative. How they do us, make you wanna holler. So holler we do – loud music, loud voices, loud living. Look, dammit. Here I am. Over here. Oh, you’re gonna turn your head, well, I’m gonna holler louder. Oh, you gonna cover your ears? Well, I’m gonna turn up my speakers and make you hear me, make you see me, make you understand that you are not the only motherfucker here. Oh, you gonna shoot me? Call the police and have THEM shoot me? How about that. Fine, what do I have to live for? Tell me – what do I have to live for? Explain to me what exactly I have to live for. I have no other way to let you know how much this hurts, how desperate I am, how hopeless I am, how badly this feels, how enraged I am, with no place to go. The only thing I know to do is punch you right in your arrogant, ugly, lying face. You who think you are better than me, smarter than me. You who get what you want when I get nothing. If I punch you, beat you until the blood leaks out of you and onto the ground, I’m gonna die. But I wanna punch you, over and over and over again, until you stop talking, until you stop moving, until the ground is flaming red with all that shit that you throw at me every day. But I don’t know if I wanna die, so I’m gonna leave. And you laugh, and you are screaming evil words at me, and telling me I’m nothing. But I leave. And I’m still mad. So mad. And now it’s days later, and I’m still mad. And now it’s months, years later, and I’m still mad. And I don’t know how to get un-mad, because it keeps happening. And now I’m not a kid anymore, and now it’s not about loud music and how I wear my pants. Now it’s about how you won’t hire me and pay me right to do a job I know something about, so all I can do is this restaurant shit, still having to smile at you and serve – fucking serve you – and do what you tell me to do, because I have to follow your rules. Like always. Your rules. And I’m still mad. And when I get home, the baby is crying and the woman is bitching and we don’t have money, even after I have put up with all your crap and cleaned up all your shit. I’m going out, I’m gonna hit it with my homies, hang with my fellas, ’cause they understand me. I don’t have to explain nothin’, don’t have to follow anybody’s rules. We know what time it is. We gon’ smoke a blunt, we gonna have us a 40, we gonna just…be out here. Nobody askin’ us for nothin’. Now here you come again, blue lights, all macho, wanna know what we doin’ out here, somebody called. Somebody scared. We not doin’ nothin’. Oh, you smell mary wanna? Now you wanna search me. Now you wanna make me stand over here with my hands against the wall. Well, fuck – i know what you do next, and I’m not gonna stand here and wait for that, so I’m gonna run. I’m gonna get away from all this shit, all these rules, your rules. I got nothin’. Nothin’. And jail is not somewhere I want to be. So I’m runnin’, I gotta run, and I want out. And then…there it is…that sound. And another one. Then everything is kind of silver-gray and way too bright for nighttime. And I’m falling in slow motion, and then I’m down, and I think there is motion, somebody grabbing at my neck, but everything is haze and it’s all echoing, and then…nothing. So now I’m dead. Fuck.=


When you can run, you run. When you can’t run, you stand your ground. That’s fight or flight on the street. If you fight, you defend yourself by any means necessary – with distance weapons, with restraint of your opponent, or with close-range implements. In either case, the impetus is the same, or at least that’s what is said…I was in fear for my life. Reasonable, understandable…assuming the threat is real, But regardless, that is where the similarity ends. If you are the runner, and in fear for your life, the risk of death is high. If you survive, you’re going to have a criminal consequence, because the law is going to descend on you like the raven of gothic stories and screech “nevermore” as the cell doors close. You’re not going to be running anywhere for a while.

If you don’t survive, your death will inform all comers that your flight was unsuccessful, unjustified, and that you were resisting the commands of law enforcement personnel. Whether your death was justifiable in the eyes of the law remains to be explored, but … regardless of that determination, you are undeniably dead. This is an irreversible circumstance. There is no second chance, no photo replay that will reverse the outcome. You are done, game over, no points this round, another coin will not render you another chance.

The real battle in a situation with a fleeing suspect seems to be more about whose life is more valuable. The prevailing norm is that an officer’s life is more valuable, and that an officer is justified in taking the life of a suspect when the officer must preserve their own life. One of the officers at the Capitol on January 6th, who was pulled into the hostile crowd and attacked, explained that he was armed; people were attempting to remove his gun, and others were urging that someone shoot him with his own gun. I cannot imagine the officer’s terror while in this situation. The officer, however, said that he did consider using deadly force, but decided against that because he knew he couldn’t neutralize everyone in that huge crowd that surrounded him. He knew that if he killed a few of his attackers, the others would feel absolutely justified in shooting him. He knew that he would not survive that, and he knew that he would possibly harm people that were not actively involved in the assault on him. He said that he decided to appeal to their humanity, and shouted out that he had kids. That seemed to work, he said, and a few people began to form a circle to protect him. He survived. And he did not kill anyone else. This is the crux of the entire conflict, and i am sure this all happened in mere seconds, while in a state of abject terror. But it is possible to pause for a split second and make a more equitable decision, even though your life is still in danger. The argument after death of a fleeing suspect is difficult, pretentious, and outright contentions. If you weren’t guilty, why did you run? If you ran, you must have been guilty of something. It looked as though you were reach

So. Back to the insurrection. It certainly ain’t over. The revolution is happening in slow motion, but it’s happening. We won’t see it until history shows us. And that’s really ok, because if we could see the whole thing in wide-screen view, it would be so horrifying that we’d move to another planet and start from scratch.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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