What is it about being myself in my body in my life that I don’t like today? Today – so far – seems to be one of those days when just being myself makes me feel crabby. At least I can feel grateful I don’t recognize this feeling very often. I wonder, “What is the source of my irritation at being me today?”
Now, the one word that is stuck in my mind – as irritating as a burr would be stuck under the saddle of a horse, or a pebble inside a person’s shoe — is this one. OBLIVIOUS.
I can’t say that I understand how this word, ‘oblivious’, could possibly be making me feel so irritated and crabby at myself this morning – except to say that because I think of myself as a ‘writer’, I expect myself to be able to beat words at their own game – at least most of the time!
Struck dumb by a word? By THIS word?
My main train of thought these past few days is about the silence of child abuse – the silence that surrounds its reality, the silence of the suffering child, the silence even of adult survivors of child abuse – the silence of the society that lets child abuse continue – and on and on and on….
Does our society choose to remain OBLIVIOUS about the reality of child abuse?
Well, I thought I could use this word correctly in this way – until I began to look at the connection between OBLIVIOUS and OBLIVION.
– OBLIVION evidently relates as a ‘measurement’ of degrees of forgetting.
1. : the fact or condition of forgetting or having forgotten;especially : the condition of being oblivious
2. : the condition or state of being forgotten or unknown
– OBLIVIOUS is about not remembering – PLUS
1. : lacking remembrance, memory, or mindful attention
2. : lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness —usually used with of or to
Strangely, by looking into the root connections to these words another word comes up that I had never heard before –
1.: polish, smooth
2.a : to grind to a fine smooth powder while in moist condition
b : to separate (fine powder) from coarser material by suspending in a liquid
Do we ‘forget’ (pass into oblivion, become oblivious to) things we have known about in an effort to make smooth a path of life – take out the bumps – ‘make nice’ our lives by leaving things out that don’t fit the picture we wish to have of – whatever – both as individuals and as a collective society?
Is this denial? A handy kind of forgetting what we do not want to remain consciously aware of — WHY?
If I choose a word related to OBLIVIOUS am I really saying that people know perfectly well what infant-child abuse is, that it exists, know of the damage it causes a survivor for a lifetime – as they choose to conveniently FORGET that they know/forget what they know?
As a writer I do not often stumble upon – no, trip and fall flat – from words I encounter. What is it about this word, OBLIVIOUS, that has me stuck in Crabby Ville today?
Never mind this word first appeared in my thoughts with a demand that I place if first in this book I am intent on writing next – as I mentioned in my last post. This word (Can words talk?) said to me, “I want to be the first word in your book. And then I want a period to follow me. Just that. Just this.”
Well, what to do when a word becomes so troublesome in its demands it will not let me simply SKIP it and move on? It won’t let me ignore it. I have always believed I know (of course) what this word means – but do I?
I am writing this current book as the introduction to the multi-volume series of “The Demise of Mildred” because I know perfectly well that for 18 long years her abuse of me remained (evidently) invisible to anyone who could have stopped it from happening.
Or – nobody cared. Nobody had any kind of vested interest in looking after my well-being.
This is true for everyone that has ever been abused as a child – true for children (and infants) that are being neglected, abused, traumatized, terrorized NOW.
OBLIVIOUS is an issue! Nobody is going to see Mildred’s abuse of me in her own writings. Nobody saw it in real time when it was happening to me. I can’t change the past, but I am going to do my best to prevent readers from being OBLIVIOUS to Mildred’s abuse as they read her writings.
Or – are we survivors supposed to comply with the status quo, keep our mouths shut – and let the abusers continue to ‘get away with it’?
Of course – this is exactly what we are supposed to do! Let abuse fade away into oblivion, let everyone remain oblivious to the reality of abuse of innocents within our society that does not, frankly, give a damn.
Synonyms: clueless, incognizant, innocent, insensible, nescient [not informed about or aware of something], ignorant, unacquainted, unaware, unconscious,uninformed, unknowing, unmindful, unwitting
Antonyms: acquainted, aware, cognizant, conscious,conversant, grounded, informed, knowing, mindful, witting
Synonyms: forgetfulness, nirvana, obliviousness
Webster’s does not list antonyms for this word!
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