I’m worried that…

During the course of this project, many people have emailed me about how this project has affected them.  Artist Christy Roberts (Berkowitz) also had a very personal response to STATE OF THE UNION, and when she delivered her contribution to this project, I was deeply touched by her sharing a very personal story with me.

Christy Roberts (Berkowitz) is an interdisciplinary artist in the truest sense.  Community projects, performance, installation, sculpture and text, all make up her art practice.  In addition, her very name relates to this project.  Christy Roberts sometimes uses her mother’s maiden name, Berkowitz, as a feminist statement disrupting the tradition of a child taking the father’s surname or a married woman taking on the surname of her husband.

For STATE OF THE UNION, Christy presented me with a series of framed images:

Christy-arrangement

CR - 4

CR - 1

CR - 3

She then read to me the text that accompanied the work.  Though the story she was sharing with me was her own, I was struck at how some of lines within could have been written about my story.  Once again I was reminded how we all share similar experiences in our human existence, even if those experiences manifest differently.

Christy-reading

Below is Christy’s text.  How many lines apply to your story?

I’m worried that I’ll give in.
I’m worried that I’ll end up like my mother.
I’m worried that I’ll be a victim like her…perpetual victim.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to leave when I need to.
I’m worried that I’ll listen to my 11 year old when she asks me not to leave her father.
I’m worried that I’ll tell my adult daughter that I didn’t leave her father because when she
was 11, she asked me not to.
I’m worried that I’ll be like my father.
I’m worried that I’ll alienate myself.
I’m worried that I won’t be strong enough.
I’m worried that he’ll kill himself.
I’m worried that that he’ll kill me.
I’m worried that I’ve forgiven him for the violence.
I’m worried that I’ve forgiven him too easily.
I’m worried that I’ve forgiven her too easily.
I’m worried that I forgive too easily.
I’m worried that I shouldn’t forgive someone who pointed a gun at me, as I begged for my life
and his.
I’m worried that I’ll threaten to do the same.
I’m worried that I’ll threaten it in front of my children, like he did.
I’m worried that he’ll do it.
I’m worried that he won’t do it.
I’m worried that I think life would be easier without him.
I’m worried that he won’t listen.
I’m worried that I won’t know what to do.
I’m worried that he’ll take her with him.
I’m worried that they won’t take me with them.
I’m worried that it won’t be okay.
I’m worried that I have no backbone.
I’m worried that I’m not brave, but masochistic.
I’m worried that I’ll have to choose between success and happiness.
I’m worried that I’ll never be happy in love because I don’t know what that looks like.
I’m worried that I’ll have to choose between children and a career.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to afford to adopt.
I’m worried that I’ll spend all my time parenting my parents.
I’m worried that I’ll only ever be a parent to someone who’s dyeing instead of someone who’s
living.
I’m worried that I’ll have to choose between being politically active and having a family.
I’m worried that my disease will affect my loved ones.
I’m worried that I’ll never be a mom.
I’m worried that it was my fault.
I’m worried that I lost my only chance.
I’m worried that I’ll never have someone to live for.
I’m worried that it’ll end with me.
I’m worried that it won’t end with me.
I’m worried that it’ll end.

One comment

  1. “…never having someone to live for” was the line that resonated with me but only after the build up from the long list of worries. It was the line that suggested if you live well and try to confront the other issues that there could be a gift of the right relationship in the form of a soul mate or child. Living for someone means being inspired by them and to be vulnerable through emotional openness and honesty. I have finally found such a relationship and it is most beautiful….

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