I want to stop the screaming in my head.
I want to stop the endless internal monologues that I have to prove to myself that another person's words, or actions towards me, we wrong or baseless.
I want to fully recognize that someones hateful and bigoted action towards me is simply hatred and bigotry and as such exist in their heart not something that exists in my reality.
These are hard things to want, but I want them.
We got on the elevator at the movie theatre. The only way to get to the movies there is by taking the elevator one floor up from main. This time, we were going down after the movie. We got on, pushed the button and started chatting about what we saw. After a few seconds, I said, "We're not moving." Joe pushed the button again and we didn't feel the elevator car shift even a little. He then pushed the open button and the doors slid open.
Two men were standing there, both of whom clamoured on even as we explained that it hadn't moved. Joe pushed the button again and again the car didn't move. He opened and closed the door a second time. The man on my immediate right, the one who was crushing into my space, the man who seemed to be radiating hostility, got off the moment the door opened again, he looked back at me and said, "Maybe it's not working because it's overweight." He put an emphasis on overweight to let me know that the word tasted bad in his mouth.
We sat there in shock at the vehemence of his attack as the elevator closed and this time journeyed down. We got off and I said to Joe, "Well wasn't that aimed directly at me?" Joe just said, "Asshole," and we continued on.
So did my mind.
I began a long talk with myself - explaining that I'd ridden the damn thing UP the theatre, how did he think I got there - I magically appeared at the door. I ride on elevators almost every day of my life, at home at work, on the subways ... they all work. This had nothing to do with my weight.
Versions of this went on for a couple of hours, at increased intervals and decreased intensity, but they went on.
It's kind of like when someone treats me as a person with a disability I am a person of little to no worth - and the long talk begins .. I talk to myself in lists of accomplishments and lists of attributes and lists of skills. I make lists to justify my own worth to myself in order to assure myself that I have worth. Forgetting, of course, that my worth comes from nothing on those lists, my worth comes simply from my status as fellow citizen.
But the dialogues I have with myself to explain to myself that a bigots judgement is incorrect, that a bigots actions are unjustified, that a bigots words are wrong - are long, and tedious, and reek of desperation.
And I want to stop.
I want to become someone who recognizes that hateful people who target me and hurtful actions which are aimed at me are just what they are ... that there's not a thing I can say to myself which will affect them or their behaviour. It's a lot of work with zero payoff.
I want a silence to ring inside me when I am targeted ... I want that silence to shine coldly through my eyes. I want to be a target that isn't pierced by sharp words or penetrated by hateful actions. I want the silence within me be so evident that it begins an internal dialogue where it begins - in the heart where hate lives.