Kim Rhodes: Wayward Daughters Campaign
04 December 2015
An excerpt from Kim Rhodes blog www.rhodeside.vuxe.com
A Round For All My Girls
The first memory I have of my sister is being told to be gentle with my Mommy's tummy or I'd hurt the baby. This seemed both illogical and utterly unfair. I mean, here was my mother, lying on her back on the floor, and she was TRANSFORMED INTO A PIECE OF PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT! I could slide down her stomach! I could bounce on her boobs! But noooooooo, somehow this mystical, magical "baby" would be harmed. Whatever it was. I didn't get it, but I knew I was mightily put out.
I have another image of a moment after my sister came home from the hospital. I sat on the stairs, waiting to be cuddled good-night, and allllllll the way across the room my mother sat in her orange rocking chair with THE BABY in her lap and my father bent over to smile at them in a rare moment of harmony. While I remained woefully uncuddled. It was at that precise moment that I understood what my sister had done. She had taken everything from me. All the love and resources that were not only necessary for my existence by my right of conquest had somehow transferred into her possession and I was well and truly fucked. They couldn't love me if they loved her. What the fuck. I would never be Prom Queen.
She grew and I was told she loved me. I argued that if she loved me then she wouldn't pull my hair when I tried to hold her. That she wouldn't keep falling down when she was trying to follow me so I had to slow down and wait. That she wouldn't INSIST on doing what I did all the damn time. If she loved me she would do what I told her and abdicate. She didn't.
And she loved me. What. The. Fuck. She was smart and funny and gorgeous and athletic. She was brilliant. I was the rough draft and she was the final copy. She was good at everything I was good at and better at the shit I couldn't do. She didn't need to love me. But oh, she did. She loved my petty, mean, spiteful ways. She loved my threats not to tell secrest and my machinations to get her to take the fall for my crimes. She loved the stupid puns I made her laugh at and the costumes I made her wear. Or, if she didn't, she loved me through them.
I eventually realized this may have been her devious counter attack.
A later clear memory plays itself in my mind like a gif. Her face, wet with tears as she looked up from her ice cream on the ground and my hand, reaching out, replete with my own Double Chocolate Fudge, giving it to her against my will. Totally against my will. And how somehow the feeling I got was better than the ice cream tasted.
There was the time I put a big, scary dude in the club on the floor using only my elbows because he touched her ass. He scared her. How dare he? That was my job! In fact, I stood up to a lot of scary creatures, many of whom wore my father's face, like the clown in a rodeo, deflecting anger and rage away from her and toward myself because...
Well, holy fuck. I love her. I love her and it was returned and somehow her love not only filled the gaps that were torn open when she arrived, but gave them ornaments and filigree in a way the rest of the world couldn't. I was incomplete without her.
She is one of my life's most important lessons, because my old habits haven't died. My old fears still have nasty voices and cunning, articulate ways of being heard.
I work on a show I have come to relay on as a source of emotional support. However, my place has always been the solitary girl. THAT MAKES ME PROM QUEEN, RIGHT? RIGHT???
When another girl showed up, I was three again. The NEW GIRL was smart and funny and gorgeous and good at everything I was good at and better at the shit I can't do. But I have a sister who taught me well. "Self", I told myself, " you are jealous and ridiculous. Because it's preventing you from knowing the person standing in front of you. AND it's making you miserable. What say we do something about it.
I can't stop the way I feel. I can't MAKE myself only experience noble and evolved feelings. BUT. I can recognize them and take action to CHOOSE a different response.
My Prom Queen crown came off. I was the only one who could see it anyway. I risked losing the love and resources I needed to exist, (I didn't. That's what fear sounds like), to go talk to this charming, amazing woman. Who now apparently loves me. And that makes me cry with gratitude. Because I love her.
The Prom Queen sits alone on a cardboard throne. She dances in a spotlight with one person and everyone else in the room gets to party. Or judge her. A FRIEND, on the other hand, tells jokes and secrets. A friend doesn't wonder if she can trust, she trusts and is trustworthy. She can celebrate another's successes in addition to her own and then guess what? There's twice as much to celebrate. There's twice as much to celebrate. She also might even call a different friend and apologize for the time SHE was the New Girl... and, in my case, receive more love in return. We are not the enemy to each other. And the idea that resources are limited to one per customer is consummate horseshit.
I don't fight wars in my head with other women anymore. I never became Prom Queen and if I ever was the prettiest or most desirable in a room, I didn't get the memo. It wasn't what I needed. What I truly want, a deep and loving mutual connection with another human being, is right there when I let it be. (And, I mean, when the other woman is not in her own battle, But even then, I can take my ball and go home. I don't have to engage. That's a loving act too.)
I would like to encourage sisterhood. Be fearless. Make a friend. Be a friend. It's better than ice cream and THERE'S ENOUGH TO GO AROUND!
Erica Starr March 20, 2016
I love this, Kim you are a rockstar!!! Plus you are my superhero.
Melissa Phelan March 01, 2016
This is lovely, stumbled upon this blog by mistake but, took the time to read it. I am in awe reading the words from another female; writing about her sister. I am an only child~ I have a half brother I have never met. All my life I had friends whos relationships with their siblings ranged from battles to best buds and the only thing I can compare this to is my cousins and friendships. Any relationship where 2 ppl. are close and share things there is at some point in time, drama of sorts. It is something special to grow in this life-able to look at what made us into the woman we have come to be today! My cousin and I were as close as sisters growing up. Each holiday or event in our family, ppl. made an effort to make sure we were treated equal to avoid either one of us feeling shorted or less then in any way but, seems like at some points as we grew older that was impossible~ the thoughts we have and the way you told your story here, shows that in our minds we are questioning our value~ secretly compairing ourself to thoes we love. The happy ending is not in the cards for everyone… My cousin and I speak but, not often enough. Today I am the one who took the “wrong road” she has the husband, career, degrees, a home and did so many things that made everyone proud. I made many bad choices and found love in toxic and abusive relationships. I have the bad temper and got myself into all types of trouble. I wasted my talents and I put my faith into “friendships” that proved to be anything but rewarding. The story above showed me that, so many of us women have grown up to be a better person after we displayed a less than good effort then we KNOW WE COULD HAVE. Noone can change the past so learning from it is the blessing we have now… & I’m sure as we continue to share our lives with others who we love & respect, it is the things we cannot change that we can now avoid- and go about things in a honest and loving way! I enjoyed this story!! Thanks for sharing!
Andrea Gantz December 05, 2015
Kim your amazing ,I wish I could get one of these shirts .I was the lady at Chi-con who asked about Mark Sheppard and his personality and we both were brought to tears .You are a amazing woman if it wasn’t for you and your battles and being able to rise up you have inspired me.I have became a fighter Jared’s always keep fighting campaign and my braclet keep me going too! I am fighting to get to Nashville not come see you again due to health issues Financing a trip is not possible so I started a go fund me on Twitter and facebook my dream trip Nashville hope to hug you and let you know you truly saved me !
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