I’m still not okay. I’m way more okay than a lot of people. I’m white, middle class, cisgender, straight, employed, pretty mentally and physically healthy, and all sorts of other things that give me bucketloads of privilege. I am so keenly aware of that.
Like any woman, I’ve experienced my share of sexual harassment and assault, and the worst of those incidents have been running through my brain on a loop for some time now. Now on top of the video loop is a chorus of people sneering at me, telling me it was my fault, that they can’t wait to do that to other women and to hurt other people. It hurts a lot and my brain is not coping terribly well with it.
Yesterday, on my day off, I only intended to do one or two sheets of drywall to keep plugging away at a house project, and I couldn’t stop. It made sense. It was occasionally vexing, but it was not difficult or complicated. Measure, cut, hang, screw. Do it again. See clear progress. I just kept going.
So I didn’t get to the barn until 7pm. I hadn’t ridden in a week, because – clear signs of depression, ahoy – I didn’t want to.
I went just thinking that I would sit on him. I didn’t do that. I forced my hands to pick up a longe line, and after five minutes I couldn’t. So I checked all of the gates and doors in the indoor, unclipped the longe line, and we ran around together for 30 minutes.
Tristan was really happy to bomb around. We jogged next to each other, and played tag, and he took off bucking and farting and even, once, adorably, squealing. He rolled and rolled and then came up to me blinking pathetically to ask me to brush the dust off his face. We worked on body language, me directing him from place to place, and on proper free longeing as he worked in a circle around me.
Once he’d cracked his back with a few good bucks, he showed off a lovely floating trot and his walk opened up, which made me feel marginally better about my benign neglect. I mean, he still has shit for a topline, but he is not actually suffering.
It was a good way to spend some time. I smiled and even laughed once or twice. We both needed that.