Quote Of The Week

‘Did you ever feel, as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using.’

Brave New WorldAldous Huxley

6 comments

    • Speaking for myself I reckon fear of hostile attention was always the main barrier to ‘realising my potential’ (whatever that means, really I just mean ‘doing anything different’).

      Some of my earliest memories are of my mother trying to instill shame into me for acting differently (e.g. walking around on my toes – an aspie thing) and the only result was I tried to avoid being spotted doing it, not feeling bad about myself for it. School reinforced that heaps of course (which was probably what my mum was trying to protect me from).

      So yeah, I reckon I feel pretty intense shame for some things I’ve done and changed my behaviour as a result, but I don’t feel it’s ever held me back from doing anything I wanted to. Of course our society tends to use shame as a means of regulating women more than men so I should probably check some privilege here.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It does seem like your mum wasn’t trying to hurt you, perhaps was trying to protect you and she didn’t want other people to target you and make you vulnerable. It’s good that you didn’t feel bad about any behaviour and you weren’t held back from doing anything you wanted to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, my mum copped both barrels of family culture. On her dad’s side she got the “don’t let anyone know you’re an Aborigine” stuff that goes with multiple generations of kids being threatened with removal during the Stolen Generations. On her mum’s side she got the ‘bad blood’ of madness in the family – something equally important to hide, especially when eugenics was more fashionable than at present.

      There’s a real gender divide on our Aboriginality, with the women insistent on hiding it shamefully (and pragmatically, given what it could mean for their kids) and the men reluctantly going along but secretly proud. I suspect that’s where I got my approach to my madness from. My mum was the first woman in her line to ‘come out’ as an Aborigine since the 19th century (lots of bullshit stories about where the complexion and appearance comes from), which happened gradually (for decades only via allusion in her paintings) and was only completed after she separated from my (racist) father. During school she was taunted as ‘lubra lips’ (‘lubra’ is used by whites as a derogatory term for an Aboriginal woman, though it originally comes from a valid word in a Tasmanian dialect).

      So no, I don’t hold my mum’s insistence on conformity, superficiality and insincerity against her. She has her reasons,

      Liked by 2 people

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