Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Really? That's It?

I'm learning I am really, really hard to shock. Don't get me wrong; I'm not hard to offend. There are horrors and horrific people in the world and I am appropriately offended by them. But shock? Shock is different.

Several times during the summer ~ even going back to late spring ~ people have said to me "I don't know if I should tell you/show you/share with you" some great thing in their lives because they are concerned it will shock me. It will be too much for me. It will change the way I feel about them.

Each time, I have assured these people that they can tell/show/share with me anything they want to and, if it shocks me, I will at least respect them for being able to admit to this huge thing and we would go from there. Each time, they have shared with me. Each time, I have waited and waited for the other shoe to drop ~ for the horror to be revealed.

A messy basement. A teenage pregnancy. A teenage abortion. A couple tattoos. A closet full of bondage toys, used consentually. Several too many drunken evenings.  ...  ...  Really? These are supposed to shock me? Do you know me? Have you met me?

The Lovely Cats "confessed" her messy basement to me. Talked it up so much that I expected a crack house lurking below us. Wouldn't let me go down there because it was, as she had been told by another friend, "like an episode of Hoarders." I finally took matters into my own hands and went down there. Obviously, these people have never actually seen an episode of Hoarders. Where were the dead bird carcasses? The piles of trash and waste? The towers of moldy newspapers? There aren't even paths down there, because there don't need to be paths! The stuff is spread out enough that large-ish stepping gets you through.

And, of course, there are the stories she is finally sharing with me that come out of her marriage. Again, don't get me wrong; they are awful. And yes, I would happily hand him his dick. And yes, she is a different victim because she is who she is in my world. But folks, I worked domestic violence for thirteen years. I can take what she can tell me.

It has been a season of Confess to the Pobble, because all of those abovementioned things have indeed been shared with me by different people. But no one has mentioned shooting up cocaine into their genitals, or molesting children, or drawing a weapon for the first time before they hit puberty. Also, no one has confessed to wearing flip-flops to high tea, cutoffs to the opera, or a t-shirt to dinner at 5-star restaurant, either. A warm salad fork I can handle, but just because I love you.

For months now, my friends and acquaintences and family have talked and I have listened. And the only thing that shocked me was how hard it is to shock me.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.


Ian Lidster said...

Yes, it is amazing how, with life experience, we can get inured to some outrageous realities. When I was addictions counseling, working with junkies, meth-heads and the like on a daily basis, along with assorted jailbirds etc. and people would say I don't know how you can do that. Those people would scare me. I never really much thought of that, even though I would hear tales that staggered me in terms of my own life experience. So, I empathize with what you write.

BostonPobble said...

Ian ~ I think it is partly not being 19 any longer and getting that people and lives are messy (both literally and metaphorically) and being willing to accept this reality instead of the pretty picture we all like to pretend exists. I do think the other part is that those of us who have worked human services, as the two of us have, have seen so very much that there really is a sense of "that's all you got?" In other words, I too empathize with what *you* write. As for the lovely things you said in the comments over at your blog, know it is all very mututal and I'm honored to have you over here, as well.