Friday, November 13, 2009

A Personal Update

This is the 50th post of my blog, about a week short of two months since I started it one sleepless night. Somehow it feels proper and fitting for me to update it with the fact that I cried. No, not just any mundane leaking of tears, but a veritable flood of highly emotional, bittersweet ones, because one of my dearest friends, the friend who was there for me last year, the friend who went to the ER and the police station with me, the friend to whom I owe so much of my sanity, wrote a piece about her own feelings about the event and what it means to the fraternity that could have supported me but didn't. I've known that she feels this way, but it was so powerful to see it written down in her own words; this is the kind of support that I needed then, but I am grateful to have it now.

I long ago stopped hoping that my fraternity would help me heal. The pressure to keep quiet, the pretending it never happened, the eye-rolling at my insistence that this not be brushed under the carpet-- there was only so much that I could take. While I have pledged to myself to move on and look elsewhere for support, I will always hold some bitterness in my heart that people who called themselves my brothers would not and did not care. Sometimes, some days, the old sadness and anger reemerges, wells up, and overflows, and I need some time to cry for myself, for the girl who I was, who felt so very alone for such a long time.

This weekend is my fraternity's Sink Night, an event that is supposed to not only welcome in new members but also to strengthen brotherhood bonding. This term I have chosen not to attend. I explained my decision to the pledges (whom I do like very much) as follows: Sink Night is about affirming brotherhood through fun and games. While I think that is certainly important, I think my fraternity has lost sight of how to handle anything but fun and games. Many of the serious matters that I have seen brought up are either dismissed, mocked, or handled brusquely and disrespectfully. Until I see that this brotherhood that I used to believe in and love can treat people and situations maturely and respectfully, I will not participate in the 'fun and games' and perpetuate the idea that we are above handling things with appropriate gravitas. There is more to a family and brotherhood than superficial niceties and parties-- or at least, there should be. I hope that one day things will change.

I really look forward to moving on beyond this juvenile atmosphere into a world that recognizes it's not all about fun and games and doesn't try to keep up the illusion that it is-- and guess what? I am!

Dear world,

I started my application to grad school this afternoon.
I have confirmed housing in a wonderful place for at least the next six months.
I reached the halfway point assignments-wise in my classes.
Things are going well and finally settling down into place.

The world looks so much brighter when I stop looking through the windows of my undergraduate college fraternity.
Maybe I should invest in a regular window-washer*.
Perhaps chocolate?

Much love,

* metaphorical, of course-- chocolate would make an awful window-washer. The smears would drive me crazy.

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