Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Dear Buffy,

I just read the comic where you and Willow fight to get your power back. I really feel like I'm fighting right now to get my power back too. For a while I was struggling to stay afloat, and the more I struggled, the harder it got. I was devoting all of my strength to one area of my life, and I neglected the other parts of my life that give me strength back, that give me power, and that make me me. When you were saying that you didn't feel like yourself without your slayer powers, I really understand. I am working hard to do the things that make me me, that make me feel strong and like myself. I am learning it's really important to nurture the power center of one's brain that makes us the warrior that we are, in order to best be able to be there for others. It seems counter-intuitive but I'm actually spending a lot less time with someone, so that I can work on my own inner strength, so that in the long run I can actually be there more for them than ever.

I just want to be a whole complete person but it's so lonely.
"There's that word again, what you are, how you'll die: alone."
"Isn't it great that we're hot chicks with super powers? Takes the edge off."

Love you, B,
Thanks for saving the world a lot.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Hey B,

I just watched the episode from season one where Marcie becomes invisible. The invisible episodes always seem to affect me. I find it very poignant that she isn't a victim of a spell, it's her own insecurities fueling the demonic energy that turns her invisible. I can relate to that. I am pretty sure most of the crap that happens to me is the effect of my own problematic demonic energy that I create. (And I don't even live on a hellmouth!) I, however, would probably never turn invisible. I don't feel ignored, but rather extra scrutinized. I feel looked at, watched, examined, checked out, judged, and very much seen by others. And despite that, I don't truly feel known or heard by very many people. I think part of this is being a woman in a patriarchal society so fueled by the male gaze. But, part of it is also my profession as a performance artist. I guess I like performing because I feel looked at and scrutinized no matter what I do, so if I'm on the stage with a microphone, I can control HOW I'm being looked at. Also, I'm aware this is self centered and egotistical and that realistically, people don't really notice me. It's just a feeling I have of being exposed, of exposing myself.

I think my favorite part of the episode is when Cordelia confides in Buffy that she feels lonely. When Buffy asks why she works so hard to be popular if she still feels alone, Cordelia answers, "Because it's better than being alone all by yourself."

Love you, B

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Dear Buffy,

Hey B. I just watched the episode "The Pack," where Xander is infected with a hyena demon, and somewhat gradually deteriorates into a selfish, violent, predator. It kind of reminded me of what happened to our country, to my comedy community, and just collective unconscious thought in general. I know that sounds really pessimistic, especially for me, but I keep seeing tiny seeds of evil clog their way into the frame works of a group, and the destruction of common decency. I wonder if "the powers that be" chose the title "The Pack" with the theme in mind that often group think can release humanity's darker traits. It's like the election gave so many evil people encouragement and permission to be racist monsters, because, hey, if almost the popular vote could elect one... Right now the Cosby trial is underway, and the (group of) jurors are still deadlocked on what to me seems like a very easy decision. And in comedy, it seems like the more people in the community, the more likely as a whole they're able to excuse or ignore violence. Hiveminds often perpetuate our worst impulses.

I'm not saying I'm giving up fighting. I'm still trying to be an ally and stand up for what's right. I guess, in the end of the episode, your method to defeat the pack was to outsmart and then beat up an old crazy white man. ...That sounds like fun!

Keep saving the world, please.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Hey B,

Last night I fell asleep while watching the episode where you turn invisible. (Rhymes with blinvisible?) It's interesting how invisibility as a super power appeals to so many people. I understand and relate to how much you loved being invisible. It gave you the sense of existing less that you were craving, while also allowing you the freedom to move through your life without everyone constantly scrutinizing you. (One of the first sentences you said in the episode was to your hairdresser: "Make me... different.") It's a contradiction that I want so badly to be ridiculously famous for my work as a performance artist (stand up) but I reject the intensity of people looking at me. I love being on stage because I feel that I am controlling how I am being looked at and judged. But offstage, I feel eyes on me constantly, I feel judgement and often contempt, especially from men. I probably react defensively too often to this level of gaze and watchfulness. Being seen can be a heavy burden.

At other times I feel that I am invisible to other people. I often feel talked over, ignored, pushed down, and unseen. While on the outside I may be standing still quietly listening, on the inside I could be jumping up and down, waving my arms, calling out to others. Can you see me? Am I here?

My heart aches a little bit thinking about how the freedom of invisibility seduced you. I think a lot of young women crave to be seen less, to take up less space, to exist less. I wish I could empower women everywhere to stand up, to be loud and visible. I think you do that with your powers, but to be reminded that even someone as strong, compassionate, brave, and empowering as yourself still craves that invisibility... that makes me feel less alone.

Keel slaying. You save the world a lot.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dear Buffy

Dear Buffy,

I'm having a lot of problems dealing with triggers in my life. I know you've survived so much, and I am constantly in awe of your ability to handle triggering stimuli, and turn that pain into compassion and love for others. This letter isn't going to be very concise, and will mostly be about me, so if you don't feel like reading it, please don't!

A few years ago I was in an abusive relationship and I didn't realize it until he knocked me unconscious. To this day I still question what actually happened in the relationship. He would constantly bruise me, and in the beginning I thought they were just sex injuries, because I occasionally like rougher sex, but no partner before or since has ever bruised me during sex or at all. It took me months to realize I was getting the bruises and pains on days we didn't sleep together, simply from him picking me up to move me out of the way, or grabbing my arms or my side to move/ direct my body. I still on some level wonder whether it was just accidental coincidences, but it happened daily, like while we were having fun, or cooking, or watching tv. We weren't even fighting, he just repeatedly physically moved me around his home like an object, and I got really physically hurt. I still am confused about it. The emotional component of the relationship was also very confusing as well. The last day we spoke he knocked me unconscious and left me without checking on me.

Around the exact same time that I was trying to deal with this, two abusers were "outed" who had been close friends of mine in the past. I really struggled with knowing how to handle the information, and ended up cutting them both out of my life, but I was still very hurt and triggered and it sucked it was happening around the same time. Years before this I used to say to one of the abusers, "I love hanging out with you because I can pretend that a man as amazingly kind as you could ever love me in real life." Their outing confirmed the suspicion that no one could ever love me.

(I just want to say that I'm currently in a very healthy relationship with an amazing man who is sweet, kind, uses lots of consent language, is self aware, and is very trustworthy and treats me with utmost love.)

Currently I am being triggered/ reminded of this time of my life. I am in my limbic system. My heart is always pounding. My stomach is in knots. I don't really know how to get out of it. I keep having flashes of my abuser's cocky smirk, and feeling his hand on my arm. When I close my eyes I can see his face. When I see men with his body type or similar leather jacket, I feel like my internal organs are shaking. I feel like I'm vibrating like a humming bird. How do you get out of these triggers? Do you try to address and hold the anxiety? Do you try to physically move around and shake off the feelings?

Right now I feel like I can't be strong. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, and so many other heartbreaking traumas. I'm sorry to everyone who's had to go through this.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Dear Buffy happy Buffy Birthday

Dear Buffy,

Hey Buffy buddy! Happy 20 year anniversary!!!!!! Thank you for everything you've done for me, and for women everywhere!

Here are some things that you (Buffy) have done that have helped me in my life:

1. Taught me that loving others and being full of love and compassion is the greatest strength
2. Taught me that we need friends and family and reaching out to others
3. But also, that it's okay to take alone time
4. Exemplified altruism
5. Gave me the strength to finally wear leopard print
6. Allowed me to make fun of myself, other people, and laugh even when I'm sad (which is often. As Cordelia would say, I'm kinda a "little cry-buffy.")
7. Taught everyone that fighting for what you believe in is the only option, and you always have to try.
8. Reminded us that those with privilege need to stand up for those with less
9. Got me really into witch stuff and werewolf stuff
10. Taught me never to try to control another person, to respect everyone's consent
11. Reminded me that it was always okay to be sad or to be different, as long as you weren't hurting anyone
12. Taught me about relativity
13. Showed the world that super heroes can come in any package.

Thank you for everything.You empower women.That's saving the world. I hope to be like you when I grow up.

love, Babs

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Hey B! Happy International Women's Day!

I just want to say thank you for everything you've done to empower women in the last twenty years. Thanks for using the scythe to share your power with all women, instead of keeping the slayer abilities all to yourself. Thank you for being brave, strong, and full of love in the face of both evil and confusing moral ambiguity. Thank you for teaching me that compassion and love are a type of strength and that they give strength to others. I'm sorry that so much terrible stuff has happened, and keeps happening. I'm so sorry you and so many other amazing women have had to survive so much toxic masculinity (Angel, Riley, Xander) and assault (pre-ensouled Spike). Thank you for being one of the most altruistic women ever and letting your light give light to others. I hope in a few years everything is better and you can just chill out on a beach drinking margaritas and eating yummy sushi with (hopefully prophecy fulfilled) Spike.  

I want to be like you for other women when I grow up. (Even though now I'm older than you.)
You save the world a lot.