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.
love,
Babs

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.
love,
Babs

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.

love,
Babs


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Hey B,

I recently watched part of the "Puppet Show" episode, which is so creepy and funny (just like us!) I always enjoyed the episodes where Giles is in danger. (Wait, that came out wrong...) I mean, I think it's really scary to see that even the person who seems the most level headed, the grown up assigned to protect you in some sense, he still is not impervious to harm. Especially right now, it seems like so many people are in danger in our world, and everything is so scary. I guess the only thing we can do is use what little power we do have to protect those who maybe can't protect themselves. That sounds like something Professor Xavier would say. I hope you're doing okay. I have a cold, reminds me of the creepy death demon that stalked the kids in the hospital. I wish you were here to slay it in a flu fever haze.

Keep slaying,
Babs


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dear Buffy,

Dear Buffy,

I recently was thinking about some of Willow's behavior in season six. She grows to become so controlling of Tara, messing with her mind, doing intense memory spells that backfired and almost killed the entire group, fighting when Tara was just trying to be helpful and supportive... I personally have been in relationships with controlling, manipulative people, (also see Spike and Buffy before he got his soul) and so many of my friends have as well. It's so scary because Willow was introduced as such a sweet, awkward, funny, gentle, nerd. (Honestly, she was much more relateable to teenage Babs than you were, Buffy.) How did Willow, who wore red cordoray overalls and baked treats for her teachers, grow into becoming an abusive partner? The short answer is that she became addicted to magic, which is an allegory for drugs. It scares me because if drugs could do that to Will, who's to say that my eating disorder hasn't in the past and won't in the future morph me into someone who can hurt the one they love? I guess in order to keep the people we care about safe, me and Willow both have to put in consistent work on our mental health. We have to take care of ourselves so that we don't hurt or viciously flay anyone. I'm gonna work on my mental health a lot this year.

love you, B,
Babs