Tomorrow I have to cope with both the landlord and the representative from the DV ‘support’ organization coming to inspect the apartment and sign paperwork. I put ‘support’ in inverted commas because support is not at all what they have done for me and the Boy. They have done nothing that I needed help with, just judged me, caused me stress and told me to ‘go home’. I don’t feel cared about, supported, wanted here, or understood. I don’t even feel believed. I find dealing with them immensely stressful, because it is one thing dealing with people who I expect to work against me, and not care about me; it is another totally different thing to deal with women who should help, have the means to help and do exactly the opposite of that. To be frank, it hurts.
Nevertheless, I have to cope the best I can. I know she is going to be unpleasant, and that is that. The landlord is a sweet, decent man, so that is not too stressful. I am beyond stressed, way past worried. I can’t concentrate on anything. I just really need this to be ok. I only have a three month extension on the subsidy, which is upsetting, especially since they could have given me a year, but then I don’t expect much from people who fail to listen when I tell them about the Hague, about the abuse I suffered in my international marriage and running for my life trying to protect my child. I don’t expect anything at all except hostility. All this makes me wonder just what kind of victim would be more acceptable to them? The compassion I received from the homeless shelter was more real, more helpful, and much kinder than anything I have got from this women’s group. I felt encouraged, supported, even liked. This women’s group just makes me feel as if they would rather I had stayed in Japan and been beaten to death, and not come to ‘their country’.
As a result I feel very sad, to be frank. I feel very sad, because I know that there is no real help out there for me, apart from the kindness of friends. I suppose I should just deal with the evils of the day and not pick at the disasters waiting in the wings. Sometimes I feel as if me and the boy would be better off if society collapsed around us and anarchy reigned. If the legal system, the structures of patriarchal justice, the bloated capitalist nightmare which eats the poor, then eats itself when it is done, the mechanisms of oppression and racism all imploded and left a clean slate to start anew on. It is impossible to fix this uncaring and unjust cruel society. It is too corrupt to fix.
No amount of joyous raids on orange men’s decadent and grotesquely decorated Floridian homes can ever clean up the mess we are in as a society. Women being erased and men in dresses taking our places in every aspect of society, food becoming a luxury item, the planet heating up unbearably, all of it can’t be fixed while the vast majority of us act like spoilt children wanting it all, wanting it now and now caring about the consequences of our demands. I am not blameless. I wanted a life and I fought tooth and nail for one. I needed to live and I drag that boy to safety. It is my opinion that if I had stayed my husband would have killed us all. The last incident where he smashed all the floor to ceiling windows around me was the most dangerous thing that has ever happened to me. It was only luck that I left with only scratches and minor cuts and the usual black eyes and broken ribs.
One shard of glass in the wrong (or right depending on your point of view I guess) place and I would have bled to death there in Tokyo. Knowing his ability to blank out and enter an uncomprehending rage, I think once he had nothing to lose, the children would have been in mortal danger without me there to protect them. I selfishly ran to the only country where I knew I was safe, that would not pursue me for Hague charges, that I had friends in, that the children had half-decent family in. I selfishly decided not to go ‘home’ and to jail for running with my babies. I selfishly went on the road instead of staying and waiting around to die. Of course it was outrageous of me to come here where I was not legal, but I and my children were safe. Of course it was. Extraordinary situations and dangers require extraordinary solutions. This was the only move I could think to make. Now he is sitting legal and documented (and American) a few states away from me, and I am sitting here in fear and terror wondering if I can stay in my home, wondering if I can make a living out of writing and wondering how much longer I can possibly stay with my beloved Boy.
Since living in this apartment the Boy has blossomed. He is on the honor roll at school. I read his final review yesterday, and ended up crying my eyes out. The grateful young man, so grateful to be able to go to school, thanks to a kind friend who paid for his online high school, put so much into it that he finished an entire grade in 6 months and did so well he is looking at colleges. He has a wonderful English teacher who has been a total inspiration to him. This wonderful kind man suggested reading James Baldwin, and told my son he could be whatever he wanted to be, that he could survive and thrive and more than that, he had an ally in him. I am very proud of the kid. He runs every day, lifts weights, eats sensibly, and never has a book out of his hands. Of course my heart breaks every day because I consider myself to have totally failed as a mother, but at least he loves me and I carried him out of Tokyo, away from his abusive father who hurt him too, and towards a life where he reads me James Baldwin and tells me about all the things he wants to do with his life. I love him so very much. The idea of life fucking up to the point where I have to say goodbye to him destroys me. I am so tired. I needed help so very badly. I should not have to survive the ‘help’.
So, I have to get through tomorrow in one piece. I have to just take the fact that this woman who should help considers me and my son unworthy of assistance and doesn’t want us in the USA, and rise above her cruelty. I have to get through it with my head bowed and my lips buttoned. It reminds me of being back in Japan, silent because there was no other way to survive.
The evils of the day will suffice, indeed….