Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Aftermath

I have been thinking about something for a while and witnessed an incident that made me feel like blogging it:

Firstly, the party was great, memorable, rocking, fantastic. I have the greatest friends in the world. Thank you to everyone who came, and if you brought a present and I have not thanked you personally, it is because I got a few without cards and am not sure where they came from. Everything is much appreciated, though. I am a huge fan of presents and an even bigger fan of hanging out with friends. Jonny ran the party beautifully, Poker Chris rocked the house and everyone got nice and loaded, including Drew, who lets just say thought he was taking the pill to make him tall when it was actually the pill that makes you small. A few of my friends got so friendly they went home together, and two people who shall remain nameless didn’t finish the party until 5 pm the next day. But all are safe and sound at this writing.

That being said, there was a big melee in the middle of the evening, which ties into what I have been thinking about lately:

I have a warrior spirit. I am convinced that I spent a past lifetime, or lifetimes as a war leader. And probably not a strategizing general, but some kind of maniac with a painted face and a hatchet, roaring into battle with no fear for life or limb. Think I’m nuts if you will, but I know it in my bones. I have had a few past life flashbacks over the years, none about this one but a couple of very interesting ones, and I have a sort of bodily memory for this. I can feel it when I watch battle scenes in movies, and from the situations that I have been in throughout the years. I know I could handle it, I know I have the backbone and the mind for it and it feels familiar. In this lifetime, in less stable times, I have been what you might call a berserker, anger setting me off to a place where there is no turning back, a primal instinct to step into what feels like the natural solution to the problem at hand.

I remember the exact moment in childhood when I realized that anger and violence gave me power. I was a particularly powerless child and when I finally figured out how to wield my rage I stopped being such a crybaby and started being a force to reckon with. I beat the crap out of my siblings and learned how to talk low and mean to people I wanted to scare. It might seem incredibly unevolved, which it was, but it seemed better to be feared than to be wounded, that’s for sure.

Then when shit started falling apart because of my temper, I took a look at what was really behind it. And I realized that every time I blew up, there was sadness and hurt hiding right behind it. I would freak out and have a tantrum and then five minutes later burst into tears and feel embarrassed about my behavior. And I didn’t enjoy having people afraid to set me off. My friends called it “the wrath of Raff”. One friend swears that when I flipped my right hand up in a certain way it was time to stand back. One time she was tripping on acid and doing something dumb (besides just tripping on acid) and I started yelling at her. She says that in her state she thought her hair was blowing back from the force of it and my mouth looked like a giant cavernous maw of black rage rimmed in red lipstick. So pretty! We still joke about it 15 years later. So there are some funny parts and stories to it but a lot of excess energy and suffering expended as well. It takes so much more out of me to get in that state than it will ever give me, and it has never been my intention to be a person that causes other people pain, so I have worked very hard to become kinder and more gentle.

Still, it will always be my nature to react to being made uncomfortable with strength and volume rather than gentle good will. I simply will never be mild mannered, it isn’t my natural state. But I try, I really do, and what is happening now is that I will sometimes be too nice when someone deserves to get an earful, or I will overreact to something small because the previous ten times I have been too quiet. Sometimes I’m so afraid of reacting with anger that I freeze up, unsure of what the proper response to a situation should be. But I expect that one day there will be a balance, and in the meantime I am learning to accept that I will always be a little bit scary to those who don’t understand how difficult it is to be a born berserker in a world that so desperately needs peacemakers.

One of the interesting things in my life is that if I do manage to sit back and allow the world to flow as it should, my enemies (and yes, I have had them in my life, and I have no patience for people who say they don’t hate anyone because it rarely is true) usually suffer some demise through no action of my own. I swear that it happens each time and I haven’t figured out why yet. There have been overdoses, deportations, breakups and general malaise. I try not to get too happy about it but sometimes it’s hard. I know that we are all of the same spirit and what hurts one hurts us all. I want to be spiritual, I do. So I just grin a little and then feel guilty for enjoying the revenge. Work in progress, people, work in progress…

So, at our party there was a vicious fight that ended up in innocent people being injured and not-so-innocent people going to jail. I have my own feelings about the whole thing, but I can’t go into that in any detail because I can’t figure out how to get all of my insiders onto the preferred blog list and I don’t want to publicly air my current opinion. Anyway, suffice to say that it was crazy and dangerous and continued from the inside of the bar to outside where police and an ambulance showed up.

Thirty seconds before it happened one of the persons involved that I am not fond of sort of demanded that I step in and take care of the brewing situation. I didn’t, because it was my birthday party and I wanted to have fun, because I didn’t feel like lifting a finger for someone I don’t like and who was not asking me, but telling me to do something, and because I have had enough of my own battles and am trying to just keep my trap shut these days. 

So when the fight broke out and people tore into each other, I found myself feeling a few things. First, woo hoo, this is an old school party complete with cat fight! Second, shit, someone is really going to get hurt! Then serious fear that one of those people hurt would be my boyfriend as he stood in the eye of the storm trying to break it up, then guilt that I didn’t step in and try to stop it before it came to blows and hair-pulling, and lastly, surprise that I was not in any way desirous of  jumping in as I might have in the past. I actually felt real real horror and sorrow at the violence of the situation. The whole thing seemed so awful and painful for the people involved.

So am I cured of my warrior ways? Is the past behind me? I think for the most part it is. I never really enjoyed violence or violent emotions to begin with, I just didn’t know what else to do with my feelings back then. And now it just really seems so ugly and pointless to me. Nothing gets solved and people get hurt, emotionally and physically. But I am never going to be mild-mannered. If I was really behaving in a loving manner I would have stepped in and helped the person I don’t like, regardless of my feelings. But I didn’t. Deep down I knew that if I sat back that whatever this weird karma energy that I have in my life would take care of this interloper the way it always does. It was an easy way to say “fuck you” without saying a word. And is that really the way of peace? I seriously doubt it. 

So I’m still confused about my part. Would it have been more mature to try to control the situation? That method hasn’t always worked out very well for me either. I am so tired of being the one to step in and take control, the one with the mouth, the one with the responsibility, the mommy, the manager, the warrior in charge. Even though it is my very nature to be that person and I know that sometimes people need me to be it. And maybe part of the personal power that has been given to me this time around means that I have more of a responsibility to take care of others, even if I don’t particularly like them.


I guess I’m overthinking it, as usual. Truth is I’m always going to be a little bit tougher and sharper tongued than I would like to be, and if I don’t like you I will not be able to hide it completely. I’m sure I'm destined to be one of those crotchety old ladies that Shirley Maclaine always ends up playing. My first instinct is still to get mad first, ask questions later, and I’m still learning how to take a breath and wait until the wave passes. I think most of my close female friends are the same, we are a tough and bitchy bunch of broads. Perhaps we were all in battle together in those past lifetimes and now we are finding our way through a world that needs our strength, but also our patience. To those of you who are the peacemakers, I salute you, and I hope you will be able to show us the way.


And now, a night of spaghetti and watching all the great DVD’s you people gave me, while still wearing the tiara that Corinne gave me.

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