Saturday, June 17, 2006


Spending time listening to young people. Setting up a session for themselves. By creating a situation where they just have to freak out. It just gets so tight that boom, and they know when someone can be there and listen.

Sitting in instead of walking away when the young one erupts. And they may kick and scream at you. Blaming you for all of it. In that pain, that instant, it's good to stay close and remember this is their hardest stuff and they want attention to heal it. At least to sort it out.

Racism may not end today but having an emotional release with someone who cares and remembers you're good can stop the racism from being internalized. It can stop the person from believing the confused and mean / brutal messages about themselves that are being basically broadcast into society daily.

Having those loving arms around the person who needs to be free from taking on the crap makes all the difference.

The same with what little boys have to put up with across racial lines. My son, white, is finding the pressure to be "tough" is something he says, in his words "heartbreaking". We both eventually sobbed together; his large tear dropping into my mouth accidentally at one point. It was salty.

The pressure on boys ... to not be close to their moms, to not play with dolls... And the way a group of boys can thoughtlessly laugh at someone in the group.

I don't think I can bear to speak of specifics. It's just something I never wanted my son to have to see. But he is in this world. I can't end all oppression coming at him right this minute. But I can stay beside him and listen as he rages, grieves, fights and sorts it out in his powerful wise, way.

I also am pleased with myself for keeping my mind. By that I mean I did not let what I call distress take over my thoughts. I remembered--even when Z was directing the blame for all his pain at me--that we are close, that I'm a good mom, that I can go discharge on this later (the hopelessness that comes up and how even global warming comes into my head at that moment as an "all is fucked" doom and gloom recording.) But I did well, at staying even when he was shouting to leave. I stayed nearby giving him respect at times and other moments not respecting his distress, just the person inside that distress.

You can even mock a pattern. But that might be tricky to tell you about at this moment.

I sense that there's a sadness inside that at this very moment I could mock. Because it's not based on an underlying wellness which flows through everything. By mocking that "recording" I could shake it up sufficiently that it could roll off. Granted, the rolling off might be great heaving sobs with my shoulders heaving and guts rhythmically contracting (I don't mean puking--if I feel like I'm puking I need to tremble that's just fear.)

So I show up and may not end all oppression today. So oppression is like a huge boulder we're all sitting under and the oppressed groups get the shittiest end of the stick but we're all under it.

And if I fight it by grabbing my partner's hands and pushing and he listens while I scream and cry for however many minutes, then I fight the place in me that wants to believe that oppression as being true. The place in me which thinks I have to accept that I'm a dumb blonde that I'm a hopeless owning class racist that cares nothing for other humans. That's what's going around about human nature and it's a load of shit.

We do care. We do love each other. We are fighting for a better world. For peace, for justice, for giving a shot to the young ones at a better life than we had.

Sea Ganschow is a Parenting By Connection facilitator and director of Listening For Change in Portland, OR, USA

crossposted at New York's


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
Join | List | Previous | Next | Random | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Skip Previous | Skip Next
Powered by RingSurf