from my ancestors with love

Last night I had a very weird, hellish dream in which I was stuck in a classroom with two of the biggest bullies from my highschool.

They weren’t the only bullies by far, but they were the ones who hurt me the most when I was a kid. It was a pretty horrible school, where everyone — even some of the teachers — joined in the bullying.

The dream felt like being taken back there, only in a college setting.

After being humiliated by a very mean girl, I put my head down on my desk and was very sad. Putting my head down was actually part of the game we were playing in class. Those who didn’t answer questions right had to put their heads down, so they weren’t chosen again.

My teacher noticed that I was upset and I was surprised when she came to me, put her head down next to mine, and expressed sympathy and concern. It was bizarre to me. In real life, no teacher ever cared about me or that I was being bullied. Perhaps if they had, perhaps if just one person had showed me any kindness, my life would have been vastly different.

The professor in my dream said a few very peculiar things. She told me she had been watching me a long time (as in all my life — very strange) and that I had a great laugh. She spoke like a family member, like someone who loved me (though she actually looked nothing like me). When I complained miserably about the bullies, she told me I could change things, which was — again — bizarre.

I suddenly realized I was dreaming and pulled myself out for fear it would become a nightmare.

There are many cultures in which people believe their ancestors watch over them from a spirit world, providing comfort and guidance. Even Catholics believe this.

I have never believed in anything like this — I mean, how boring would it be to sit around watching your ancestors descendants all the time? But after I woke up, I had the exact feeling that an ancestor, who’d been watching me all my miserable life, felt sorry for me and wanted me to know I was not alone.

The exact feeling.

I am still baffled that she told me I could change things. I think she meant that in a larger sense, as in I could have an impact on people, I could change the world.

That’s insane.

I’m a dot in the grand scheme of things. I don’t matter, not even to the other dots. I already learned a long time ago that no one cares about people like me. People like me don’t even get to be human. 

One thing I always loved about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was the message behind it, that message being that even the smallest person can make a difference.

In real life, it’s not like that. In real life, smaller, physically weaker people are oppressed and bullied. We live in a society that mocks and belittles women for not being as physically powerful as men — as if physical power were the only thing a person’s worth should be determined by. (Here’s a hint: a person’s worth is not determined by physical strength.) In fact, it’s so awful, women aren’t even allowed to have power fantasies in fiction. We live in a world where it’s feasible that a tiny hobbit can save an entire world, but not a feminine woman (because women have to be masculine to be worth something, apparently). And god help her if she’s a woman of color, because that’s given as even more inconceivable.

So do I live in a world where I can change things? No. Call me a pessimist, but I don’t believe I do. In fact, there’s an entire system in place to make sure I don’t change things. And it extends into the literary world.

The dream leaves me with thoughts of my hellish time in gradeschool and highschool. Kids today are lucky, I think. I grew up in a time when people who read were constantly mocked for it. I was a geek, whose books were confiscated by mean teachers or else meddled with by mean kids. Even my ex mocked me for reading because he was insecure about his intelligence and thought everything I did was to make him feel stupid.

Loving to read was something I had to hide. It was something I simply wasn’t allowed to talk about for fear of upsetting mean, insecure people. Growing up, I never knew other people who liked to read or who had read the same books as I. I never had anyone to share my love of books with.

So when I found Goodreads — a website full of thousands of people who loved to read — I was amazed. I had no idea so many people like me existed. Of course, nerds are just as god-awful as non-nerds. Nerds love to play the victim, but most of them are shitty bullies. A lot of nerds are sexists, racists, homophobes, it goes on. So I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising when I tried to join in the discussions on Goodreads only to have the people there act like assholes and brush me off.

Apparently, the website is only for readers. But . . . authors are readers too. Does becoming a self-published author mean I am now forever barred from talking about the books I love with other readers? I guess so.

I’m not really shocked, though. I’m used to being isolated from other people. What’s heartbreaking is that I’ve gotten used to it.

In other news, I managed to fix Chapter 9 of The Suns of Anarchy yesterday. The past couple days have been kinda bad for me because I’ve had allergies. Taking pills for it has knocked me out of commission and I haven’t been able to get any writing done, but I’m pretty content (for the time being) with how I fixed the scene I was frustrated with. It still needs work, but at least it’s headed in the right direction.

I also managed to work some more on my new upcoming humorous fantasy series. I’m thinking I might take a break from The Prince of Qorlec after I publish book 3 and write the first book in my new series. Then when that is published, I’ll start working on book 4 of The Prince of Qorlec. 

I also really need to revise a lot of already published books. The Thieves of Nottica needs better chapter dividers and the chapter headers need to be fixed. Project Mothership just needs a revision and so does Tales of Talithia. 

Sigh. So much to do, so little time.