Literature·Uncategorized

Born Privileged: A Very Short Story

After the trauma of having her life, or the lives of her fawns threatened, a white-tailed doe becomes paralyzed.  She will stand vibrating in the woods until all of the built up energy of fear is released.  This makes her an easy target for hunters who understand the characteristics of their prey.

Born and raised in a small Canadian town, Jane Doe’s childhood was, overall, happy.  Her large extended family all gathered often to celebrate birthdays, Sunday dinners and holidays.  Belonging to this family of kind and honourable people, Jane felt safe. There was no reason not to.  She was born privileged.

Her Great Grands were settlers.  Her Grandfathers fought in World War II and both eventually became farmers.  Her Grandmothers were strong, hardworking women, something she aspired to be.  

She was often called pretty with long blonde hair and light blue eyes.  She was smart enough, fast enough and capable.  She had to be, it is what is expected from the privileged. 

The first time she remembers feeling unsafe was when her parents offered her up to babysit full-time for free, for an entire summer, when she was only 11. It was for a family who was underprivileged.  She cooked, washed clothes and cared for the children who fought and raged.  The mother was depressed, a term at the time she had not heard.  Even the dog would growl and show her teeth every time she came near.  Jane was told she should do more for them: ironing and cleaning, so she did.  Each day she dreaded going; only once did she cry and tell her dad, as he dropped her off at 6 a.m. that she did not want to go.  He dropped her off anyway.  It was her duty as one of the privileged.

It wasn’t until the mother of the family committed suicide by stopping her vehicle on a railroad track, that the danger Jane knew she was, in but could not define, was elucidated.  She felt deep, unexpressed sadness and an even deeper fear.

In her early teen years a boy Jane knew well would beat her up leaving her with deep, large black bruises on her arms where he punched her over and over each time she refused to do what he said.  She remembers wondering how long each time it would go on and how much she could endure.  She endured it all, perhaps because they were privileged.  

Jane ended up in a physically abusive marriage. The first time he hit her in the face was only one week into the relationship.  She thought it must have been an accident – she must have been in the way.

Jane also ended up in abusive work environments.  

She knew no boundaries and no real self-care.  As much as the world proclaimed the need to take care of one’s self first, Jane learned that this was not really meant for the privileged woman.  She lived her entire life pretending and playing the game.  When she did try to take time for herself she was criticized for taking more than her share.  They called her selfish.  

After her daughter died, the result of abuse, Jane was never the same again.  Her smile hid her pain and the intense fear of life that kept growing, in hopes that the rest of her undeserved privileges would not be taken away: her life and her other children.  

She learned that divorce does not stop abuse when you are privileged.  In many ways it gets worse.  Jane often wished he would just hit her and get it over with. 

The effects started to come out physically.  Jane would get debilitating attacks of adrenaline running through her body at the most inappropriate times.  They said it was from past trauma.  She began having nightmares – when she was able to sleep.  

Drinking became her only escape, sometimes it would offer her dreamless sleep.

She sat quiet at work others exclaimed that anything that hurts the “white people” was a good thing – they needed to pay.  She could no longer speak openly of her pride of her own hard-working ancestors because they were just “thieves and rapists and murderers.”  It was part of her privilege to endure such statements.  To be so free with words and accusation without consequences was not. 

The next day, she sat, still drunk, in her vehicle on the train tracks and contemplated the possibilities and the consequences of life and death.  

Each day she would walk or drive over the train tracks on the way to the liquor store only a block away.  She would sometimes linger and wait for a train to go by, listen for the screaming whistle, see the flashing lights and feel the vibration of the fast moving train.  Fear. She knew she was dying, but she was also aware that she had never learned how to be alive.

She started attending sobriety support groups.

Four-months sober, Jane started to feel again – and it hurt.  As the anger and resentment surfaced, it also boiled over, burning her open wounds.  After one-year of sobriety she understood that there was more to her disease, and just like every other disease this one had eaten away pieces of her body, mind and her soul.  

One-night Jane was driving home alone after having coffee with some new friends from her sobriety meeting.  When she was one block from home she received a phone call.  She knew she should have not answered.  She knew she should have just gone home.  She knew she should have kept driving.

Jane’s vision was blurry, but she could hear the the bells warning of an oncoming train.  There was a car stopped in the middle of the tracks.  The train was coming.  The doors were locked.

The whistle became louder, the vibration of the nearing train intensified.  Jane started to pound on the window, screaming loudly trying to wake the listless woman inside.  There was no response.  She smashed the side of her hand through the glass, her body was shaking. The train was coming.  She opened the door and started to force the woman out of the car.  She opened her mouth to scream for help, but there was no sound.  As she looked up and her eyes froze mirroring the stare of the light blue, tear stained eyes looking back. Jane was paralyzed.  

After the trauma of having her life, or the lives of her fawns threatened, a white-tailed doe becomes paralyzed.  She will stand vibrating in the woods until all of the built up energy of fear is released.  This makes her an easy target for hunters who understand the characteristics of their prey. 

CALGARY, AB. — Sunday at 10:03 p.m. a white female was pronounced dead after her vehicle was hit and by an oncoming train.  Police have confirmed that alcohol was involved and that the vehicle she had been driving was stopped on the tracks.  Suicide and foul play have not been ruled out.  Police are asking anyone with information about Jane Doe, to come forward. 

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