As we go into Lent, the penitential season in Christianity (Advent, not so much, although some theologians disagree with me), I turn inward and evaluate my very soul. It sounds so dramatic, but in a way, it is. My words on this page are as large as I can make them so that 20 years from now, I remember how integral it was to my development. It is also one of my favorite pieces of music, because Diane’s voice turns me inside out. It’s my favorite memory of Diane and my mom, because at St. Mark’s she was Diane’s accompanist. They were greater together than they could ever be on their own, because Diane’s voice makes her the star of a concerto and my mother her private orchestra. Hearing them together is one of the greatest blessings of my life, because when I get into a bad space about Diane, the accompaniment starts and I remember sitting in the austin-stone cathedral and beauty filling the room. I submit to the music in a wonderful way, because I sit down in grief and get up renewed for whatever lies ahead.
My life got so much better when I realized that what I thought of Diane was none of her business. I took the emotional space I had to explain my feelings to myself. If she has picked up anything from reading, I hope it’s that my divinity forgives her and my humanness disappears in some moments. I go to my nothing box and allow myself to feel what I would do to her if her body and my rage were to meet each other.
It’s the spectrum I have struggled with for the last two years. I was so angry I was nearly dead inside trying to hide it. It felt like the pain would never end, because 25 years is not exactly NOT permanent. If you were a member of St. Mark’s, you probably tried to rescue me because you could see farther than I could in all 180 degrees. My escape from her control was being able to see it myself. Catching up to what you knew 25 years earlier than I did. If there is anything that makes me swell up with pride, it is that she did not allow her abuse to physically abuse me. That if I was a factor in her decision to move to Dallas, I commend it. I hope that she saw what she was doing and had a change of heart. That she loved me enough to give me up, if that makes any sense. Then, I felt angry and utterly abandoned. The night before I started my freshman year of high school, I was so distraught with grief that I regressed to the point of waking up and getting into my parents’ bed. I was a few weeks short of my 15th birthday, grieving the loss of a physical (as opposed to virtual, not sexual) relationship so intense that an adult would have gone psycho ex in a fraction of a second. I didn’t have that option, because we weren’t dating. I didn’t feel I had the right to expect or demand anything. I withered into myself for the rest of high school, desperate to keep what we had on the ground strong in the cloud. Remembering just how desperate I was is painful even today. When Diane left town, it took me three years to start dating someone else, because I felt it. We loved each other as if we were made of the same blood. There was no way that I wasn’t going to have a long recovery process from it.
When I did meet someone else, it lit me up from the inside. I called her my light in the middle of the mess, because she’s blonde. These past two years, I’ve had to forgive myself for all of the misplaced energy that went to Diane instead of to her. I could have loved her so much better than that. I could have stopped those ruminations where I got lost in my own thoughts about Diane and couldn’t make it back into the present…… as has happened with every relationship since. It wasn’t right or sane that I had my heart broken to that level three years before I could vote.
I think Susan was hoodwinked into believing that I had this cute little girl crush on Diane. No. That is not the truth and I will not accept it anymore. It was never cute, and it was never little girl. Diane set my body on fire and according to someone who makes a career out of this sort of thing, told me quite plainly that I had been groomed by a predator. I also want the people of my church at Bridgeport to know that I am telling the truth, that it is not my lie to tell, but the truth handed down by a professional who made me hold on to my chair with my nails until all the evidence was in her possession so she could make the call.
I believe that Diane was a predator, and you have the right to know it. She has the right and responsibility to tell you whether there were any other teenage conquests, either by fucking with their brains or their bodies. What I know is that if it has happened, it’s never been reported.
Do you think there is an unrelated reason that I am so fucking hard on Bill Cosby?