The Wandering Poet

Buffy Brinkley on the Things that Inspire my Life, my Pen, and my Heart.

My Sisters’ Mirror

on November 19, 2015

Three years ago, I became a fan of the greatest actor of my generation. I wasn’t prepared for him in any way. I wasn’t prepared for the changes he would bring to my life. Changes that would be all for the better.

I am very good at standing up for myself, but sometimes life’s monsters facilitate an epic fail in this endeavor. One such monster, in the disguise of a trusted friend, taught me this lesson when I was 14. To say that I wasn’t ready to no longer be a virgin is an understatement. But, that’s not a choice I got to make. This lesson left me traumatized, mistrustful of everyone, and angry as hell.

My natural affinity for writing was an outlet of which I took full advantage. Stories, poetry, songs, and free association writing drew out my ordeal in harsh slashes upon the page. The pages bled the blood-red ink of my pain and screamed out in jagged scribble the words I could not voice. My anger was being brought under control. But I was still traumatized. Still withdrawn. And, that made me vulnerable to a wave of bullying at the hands of my attacker’s siblings (and why I started my Twitter account under the name Katheryne Laine). This new ordeal would last over two decades and it would teach me a new lesson: I am a lot more resilient, intelligent, and brave than I ever gave myself credit. I wore all their abuse like a medal that they (and I) mistook for weakness. The truth was that I survived! I faced my attacker in court. I sent him to jail. I showed up at every parole hearing and kept him there! I didn’t give in.  And that took the kind of courage I could see in others but never myself. Until last year.

Who gave me this ability to see it in myself? My sisters did. Who introduced me to my sisters? Richard Armitage did (sort of).

When Gandalf opened Bilbo’s door and I met Thorin Oakenshield, I couldn’t have guessed where that unexpected journey would take me. From the very first moment, I was a Richard Armitage fan. So strongly was I drawn to him, so inescapable his magnetism, that I knew instantly: if I wanted to follow Thorin, I couldn’t remain where I was in any respect. I had to move and I had to allow myself to be moved. I also knew that if I allowed this man to move me, I would never be the same. Life as I knew it would end. Then I thought: maybe that’s not a bad thing. Scary, yes. Hard, maybe. Painful, probably. And Richard, being the kind and beautiful man he is, made it all very easy on me. My sisters were already waiting for me, I just didn’t know it yet.

Two years later, Richard joined Twitter. And, I followed. This time without a second thought. But, I couldn’t have known what would come next.

I found myself in the midst of a fandom filled with incredible people, all of them seeing in him what I saw the moment Galdalf opened the door. And I am so grateful that the unexpected journey with Thorin brought me to this place. I am so grateful to Richard for being so inspiring and worthy of such a fandom. I wouldn’t know my sisters otherwise. In this enormous new world, I met them. First Rachel, then Candi, then Laura and Maxine and Martha (and they led me to so many others). We all have waged a battle against something horrific in our lives. I told them what happened to me. They being the first people outside a courtroom or doctor’s office I’ve ever told. I realized I trusted them. And that it wasn’t a mistake to do so. I have their trust and their love and their support, and they have mine. And suddenly, I could see myself through their eyes. I came to understand that I am strong and courageous. My scars don’t matter anymore because they led me here. My sisters saved my life.  I thank them. I love them. Knowing them helped me discover my courage, garner my strength to fight back, and returned to me my hope. It’s the hope that defeats monsters. I’m no longer afraid of the dark.

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5 responses to “My Sisters’ Mirror

  1. Maxine Vurley says:

    Buffy, that was quite emotional to read, you are a truly inspirational and brave woman. It’s been a pleasure over this past year since we met, we’ve all laughed and cried and I’m so proud to call you all my Sister’s. Love you xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esther says:

    I’m glad you have come to this profound change of insight and to think it came through being an Armitage fan… Yes, you are strong! Your attacker is the one who is weak…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tessa says:

    Bless you heart Sweetie….I cried reading this….Bless your heart….I too was smitten at Bilbo’s front door, joined Twitter when RA did and have met some beautiful, strong, courageous, supportive friends…While I have never met them face to face, I know they are there, I know they care, we all care, for each other…..I consider myself lucky to have you in that circle of sometimes crazy friends in HIS Army…..Thank you Richard Armitage for bringing us all together..

    Liked by 1 person

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