It’s a long ride young lady. Why don’t you tell me your story?
Why? Why should you care? You’re just my ride to the methadone clinic. Oh, what the hell do I have to lose? I’ve got to talk to somebody about all this before I go totally bat shit crazy. Why not talk about my life to a perfect stranger? How could you possibly make it any fucking worse? It is not like you are actually going to give a shit anyway. Oh Christ! My life is such a fucking mess that I don’t even know where to start. Nothing has turned out the way I hoped or wanted it to, and right now my future isn’t looking too bright either. I’m a recovering drug addict clinging to sobriety by the thinnest of threads because drugs are everywhere and they are still a part of my fucking life even though I am trying real hard not to use anymore.
At first, I liked getting high because it seemed like a cool distraction from the everyday bullshit of life. Later it numbed the pain and hid the sadness caused by those I loved and those I thought loved me who constantly let me down and in one case even brutalized me to the point of permanent physical injury. At some point, even my fucking little romance with chemicals let me down because after a while nothing eased the pain, and profound sadness I felt. But like all druggies I kept on using until there was nothing left but the drugs and the additional suffering and loss they brought on me.
If it weren’t for the three children I lost custody of and the one now growing inside me, I am quite sure I would have taken a lethal cocktail of drugs at some point and just ended my fucked up life. I had gotten to such a low point in my life that I didn’t think anyone would miss me, but the thought of my children being left without a mother was more than I could bear. Their fathers are fucking assholes, but I do love all of my children. Despite my issues and what some might tell you, I know I was a better mother to my children than most of the stupid bitches that come through the clinic. I am only twenty-six years old, but between the drugs and bad relationships I feel like an old woman.
Driver, this ride isn’t long enough to tell you about all my bad relationships, but there is enough there to fill a cheap romance novel. Sadly, parts of it would be scary enough to send Freddy Krueger screaming back to his silly dream world. Simply saying that I have sucked at picking guys to have intimate relationships with is a huge understatement. I don’t know what it is about me, but I gravitate toward guys that will hurt me, cheat on me, or let me down. The good guys or unusually sensitive guys that I should want to be with tend to be clingy and needy, and unfortunately too much of that shit brings out the bitch in me, so I wind up hurting them. I don’t know what it is about you men, but you all seem to go from being insensitive pricks to overly sensitive little mama’s boys with little in between. The crazy thing is I really do love men, I enjoy being with men, and I enjoy talking to men, but my trust in guys is in the crapper and at this point I don’t think I could tolerate being hurt again. The funny thing is despite having a few health issues, being on methadone, being pregnant, being half-asleep all the time, and in general being a train wreck of a young woman that may not even survive her pregnancy; I can still attract men of all ages. Unfortunately, all of you crazy guys think I am some kind of broken doll that needs to be fixed and I am not even sure I can fix myself sometimes. Oh Hell! I can’t even figure out why I am burdening an almost total stranger with my fucking life story. The fact that you’re a man makes it seem even weirder. I do know what it is about you, driver, but I get the sense that you’re different in some way and for some odd reason… I feel really safe with you-as a matter of fact, safer than I have felt in a very long time.
Well if you’re a train wreck, you’re one of the most adorable train wrecks I have ever met. We all have stories and I’m glad you felt safe enough to tell me yours. Yes I do care, but the truth is we all should care about young women with stories like yours. Look around any corner and you’ll find a woman who has gone through at least some if not all of what you have gone through or a young girl who will go through some if not all of what you have gone through. The only thing unique about stories like yours is that they are rarely ever heard because first, you are a woman in what is still very much a man’s world; second, you are a single mom and that is all your fault and responsibility even though a penis attached to another person helped put you in that condition; and third, you are a drug addict, so put them all together and you are in the druggie single mom group which, not unlike the homeless in this country, are considered a shit stain on the social fabric of America that we as a collective group choose to ignore or pretend doesn’t exist. The truth is that some individuals will care and some will try to help in different ways, but the reality here is that the buck stops with you, young lady, so the question on the table is not whether someone cares, but what are you prepared to do to change your current situation? You can sit there and try to boohoo your problems away, but to my knowledge nary a tear has ever solved a problem. The only thing you accomplish by crying is wasting a lot of tissues you can’t afford. You can sit there and be angry at the former men in your life who helped put you in your current situation and hope they help you without forcing them to make a court appearance, but that would be like wishing in one hand and shitting in the other and we all know which one of those hands usually gets full first. You can continue to use drugs and keep trying to medicate your pain and problems away until you accidentally take too much or mix the wrong drugs and in the not too distant future leave the children that you say you love so much standing over a tombstone or a box of ashes crying over a mother they never really knew because you chose to spend most of your life and all of theirs fucked up on drugs. What you should be doing first is staying the course in this drug program you are in to free yourself from your addiction. The narcotic turnpike you’re barreling down only leads to a place where potential withers on the vine, hopes become a dust swirl in the dry wind, and the seeds of dreams die in the parched soil. The final toll will be the destruction of everything you were, everything you are, and everything you could have been. This is no kind of road for a bright young woman like yourself to be traveling down , so take the exit ramp now before it is too fucking late, and never look back. The second thing you should be doing is trying to figure out how to build a life for you and your children without a man and judging by the number of children you already have and the size of your belly you have already had enough of that to meet the Biblical quota of “be fruitful and multiply.” What you need to do now is work on yourself. Start by redefining yourself and knowing your true worth.
Unfortunately, it is harder for a woman because from the time females are born in this country, they are socialized in a society designed by men, so women are patterned from the male expectation of what a woman should be and shamefully their worth is inexorably linked to that male concept. From birth, male and female roles are being established to define them and the future roles they will play in society. Almost immediately, baby girls are dressed in pretty pink and boys in the more masculine color of blue. Later little girls are given pretty dolls to play with and boys are given trucks to play with and the evolution of roles continues from there. Somewhere during the course of this evolution little girls become daddy’s little princesses and not very long after this young girls burgeoning into womanhood realize that if they look, and behave according to this male expectation of what girls and women should be that boys and later men will be nice to them, do things for them, and protect them. The reason why certain mental illnesses like anorexia and bulimia are associated more closely with females is that they are trying to meet or exceed our society’s expectation. This is patterned from the male conception, of what a woman should look like, so a female no matter how emaciated she becomes from these diseases will always see a woman in her mirror that is too fat to meet this expectation of what a woman should look like.
Men and women both might argue the point that our society is a male construct, but a quick look at how slow laws were passed for women and how the legal system treats women in general most clearly makes my point. Until just a couple of years ago it was perfectly acceptable to pay women less for the same job a man did and until 1973 a man could beat the shit out of his wife and not be arrested for it if the scared battered wife or a witness did not swear out a complaint against the husband. With the number of single moms trying to raise children on their own steadily increasing for years you would think passage of logical legislation like this would have come sooner, but it didn’t because men make the laws and males have always been perceived as the family bread winners in our society. I wonder how many men beat their wives to death before a group of men in the legislature decided it was a good idea to pass a law to give women some minimal protection against spouse abuse. I guess the socialized concept of a man being the king of his castle kept a lot of good men from seeing sooner that allowing the King to beat the Queen of his castle to death over bullshit wasn’t such a good idea. As far as how badly women are treated by our legal system, you only need to watch an episode of “Law and Order” to get a clue. It was determined a long time ago that rape is a crime of violence period, yet still to this day what a woman was wearing at the time of her rape and how many men she had sex with during the course of her life comes up in a rape trial as if it should be relevant to a jury or court to render a fair decision. Where is it written in the law that a vagina of promiscuous women is worth less than that of a virgin. If worth was the actuary used to determine the value of a vagina, one would think the one that has frequently entertained would be worth more, not less. In my opinion, if the rape victim were a prostitute, a charge of theft of services should go along with the rape charge. Why does it matter what the victim of a violent crime was wearing? If the woman was wearing a miniskirt at the time of her rape, how is she less of a victim than a woman wearing a pantsuit? Are women wearing miniskirts less of a victim because they are perceived to be granting the rapist easier access? What is the defense lawyer’s argument here? “Your honor my clients junk has mind of its own and saw that woman’s short skirt as an open invitation and it could not resist the temptation to quell its violent carnal desires.” Our socialization, in this example, makes us believe that women who like to screw a lot of men and wear miniskirts are helping to cause their rape, so in court they are raped again by a system that is supposed to protect everybody. The effect of this socialization is so strong that rape victims themselves will wonder what they did to cause a man to violently attack them. In a man’s world women operate from a different metric, but one that was created by men and unfortunately women define themselves and garner their self-worth from it. My point here is women have to define themselves and recognize their own worth beyond the male prism that they have been socialized to see themselves through. It is not wrong to want to be with a man, be in love with a man, and spend your life with a man as an equal partner, but in order to accomplish this you must first see yourself as something greater than just a hot baby-making receptacle for every cute swinging penis that comes your direction.
You must up your game and you start by getting off drugs, getting an education, and striving for your own personal independence. This is your “Fight Song” because this is how you take back your life. Yes, you might find your Prince Charming somewhere along the way “Sleeping Beauty” and get the fairy tale situation you always dreamed of as a little girl, but you must prepare yourself for likelihood of awakening from your deep slumber only to find that you are in a hard lip lock with a frog. Why should I care about you and all this you wonder? I am nothing but a guy who drives a train wreck to a methadone clinic everyday wondering how an adorable exceedingly bright feisty young woman like her wound up in this fucking circle of hell. One, who silently prays that this particular one has enough fight left in her to claw her way back to a life that doesn’t include a score or a hit? The question here should not be why I should care. A better question would be why don’t we all care? Adorable train wrecks like her are not very hard to find all you have to do is look around any corner.