Careful remarks for “Success Against The Odds: Filling My Technology Knapsack From Scratch”

In conclusion, let me extend my appreciation for what Adria Richards has done in “Success Against The Odds: Filling My Technology Knapsack From Scratch”—she has exposed herself in an attempt to not be mistaken for a cherished child of privilege who was given technical skills from a silver spoon downloaded at 9600 baud. Adria marks for 21st century what is black history for women all over the world since the rise of patriarchy—that’s “black” in the European sense of the word. A world of neandering darkness, the wolfish howling of animals all around…

Me and Adria Richards at Blue Bottle Coffee

Me writing that Adria Richards is victim of patriarchy sounds like a dry, distant, academic full stop. It reveals nothing of my past steeped in many, many intimate worlds of women—including that of my own mother—that are colored by physical and metaphysical abuse—colored black (in the European, Ice-Age sense of the word). It has been my role in many, many relationships with women to be “the guy after”—I was the one who rather clumsily uncovered the devastation left by some endless night of horror in the past.

One sister-friend looked at an object on my bathroom floor in the late 1990s—it reminded her of brain tissue left after her mother’s boyfriend shot himself after locking down in their bathroom. During my 20s, another sister took a trip to Spain and a taxi cab driver drove her to the top a lonely hill and ordered her to remove her clothes. When my first wife was about my daughter’s age, she was on an elevator in a Chicago housing project alone with some grown man who exposed his genitals to her. Oh yes, there’s the bright college girl of the early 2000s who has her light put out as her dorm room turns into a prison cell after the date rape—I not only heard her story I could feel her story. These are just the beginnings of the stories of the same old, intimate patriarchal body of work—because patriarchy means poverty—and poverty means thieves—and stealing on a massive scale means war. …and war means telling lies on a massive scale, strategically…

I have yet to know a woman (knowing in the Old-Testament sense of the word) who has not had something precious stolen from her—and I deeply resent this… I resent this not because of some twisted blaming-the-victim shit. I resent this because I’ve found myself alone and strange in these relationships. I don’t get into relationships with people in order to be alone—alone with their fears and insecurities. I don’t get into relationships with people so they can send me a public Tweet like we’re in some deep, serious, adult-driven realm of wisdom when we’re actually in a frivolous, child-driven world of profound vulnerability.

What this intimate stalemate also implies is that it is “normal” to steal from women. This means all of us are over-prepared to protect against criminals and few of us are prepared to actually participate in a functioning, nurturing relationship. What makes Adria Richards positively and constructively stand out is her power to articulate what most of us cannot express… This is why I take the time to write these words—even when these may be yet another jumble unwelcome by Adria herself…

Continually I’ve been found unwelcome and declared “black” (in the European, Wagnerian-indignation sense of the word) for at least three decades—so let me leave this sulfuric realm of hungry ghosts with a few twinkling points about this heartbreaking matter (and when I write the words ‘heartbreaking’—I’m talking about my heart too):

  • I have experienced women (in my youth) seething with tears and asking with all of their sincerity, “What are men for?” From a pure, empathy-based inspiration, I’ve taken those words in… I’ve never dismissed them… It was only later that I learned that it was not my place to answer that question in any physically-present way…
  • Victims of severe abuse often become self-focused (self-defense-focused) literally for survival. Enacting and reenacting these survival skills compete with the time required to develop functional empathy for others.
  • Victims of severe abuse may develop “empathy” for the abuser—especially when it’s a family member (like Adria’s father). Vast quantities of time can be spent actually and symbolically performing rituals with representatives of the abuser. I commend Adria for recognizing this trap and getting beyond it. A lot of guys complain that too many “girls” “like” to be abused—they don’t “like” “nice guys”… this observation is rarely true: too many girls want to establish some kind of steady state condition with a terrorist—because negotiating with terrorism is all they know—instead of transcending beyond barbarism entirely in an enlightened, mature manner.
  • Modern victims of abuse tend to gender-ize or racial-ize the realm of the abuser. So one might actually hear some adolescent stuff like, “Real men hit me—but little boys just cry, whine and complain.” …or…“I just feel safer and more accepted around white guys.”
  • Another thing I learned (from watching David Viscott at 3a.m. in the 1980s) is that, at the proverbial dinner party (or any other crowded room), the child of the alcoholic will supernaturally gravitate to another alcoholic to form a passionate co-dependency death embrace too many call “love”….
  • Victims of abuses large and small are likely to think of themselves as insignificant. For women who become mothers this can have devastating effects because entire generations of humanity can be deeply influenced by people who assumed they had no influence.

My unsolicited and probably-profoundly unwelcome opinion is that striving, bright survivors of abuse, looking to become thriving and brighter should form supportive relationships with other self-healing abuse victims. I assert that this is the case in my North American context because “we” tend to be obsessed with the childishness around someone else thinking they are “better than” us. I also assume this is one of the reasons why there is a Twelve-Step Program (“…helping others who suffer from the same addictions or compulsions…”). I assume that an enlightened abuse victim would be more generous to repeated false accusations coming from another abuse victim, overwhelmed with memories of the past.

One of the great Blues questions of the millennia is “Why does she respond so defensively when I try to be loving and kind?” How dare I answer this question? I do it like this:

  • She’s got one response: defense. America is the home of road rage because America is the home of uni-emotional consciousness—the one emotion of being pissed off. That’s all she has… sorry kids, habits are stronger than Love.
  • She knows deep in her heart that your moments of loving kindness comes from a childhood she never had—and the grief of loss is just too much… And it hurts even more when you are a Black man behaving so gracefully—because too many childhood stories require evil black men… everywhere… ultimately…

In spite of my self-proclaimed Africaness, I am a typical American in many ways—but I will forever fail to assume that wisdom-based parenting can be replaced by some artificial factory system that can manufacture adulthood. It takes years and years—and years of ‘counter-conditioning’ to undo childhood brainwashing and terrorism… I have too much respect for the endurance power in womanhood—especially Black womanhood—to desperately hold on to what must clearly be “correct”—only to find at 51 years of age she was wrong… so was so wrong… she was blind… she rejected those that would truly help her and embraced those that encouraged her to live in fear… I have too much respect for the civilization-shaking effects of motherhood, followed by fatherhood. Remember kids I’m not just talking about some cute girl who won’t “friend” me on Facebook because I remind her of her evil father—I’m also talking about my mother at the end of her life… Real lives self-destroyed… Cathedral-scale architectures of self-imprisonment…

There is no joy in finding out that “I’m right” and she was wrong… on the contrary… welcome to the Blues…

I’m done with this. No more ‘savior’ for me…

Signed by Bryan Wilhite, conservator of my mother’s estate…

BTW: my mother was not abused by her father… my grandfather was a loving and kind man… the Blues, baby…

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