That fucking birthmark

•September 5, 2011 • 5 Comments

I have a birthmark on my neck that looks like a hickey in the very faded stages of healing. I hate hickeys. I hate them because I have had this birthmark all my life and I have been teased and picked on to the point where I won’t even acknowledge it. I would rather they think I’m being stubborn and crazy. So I say, “What hickey?” Over and over until they get bored.

The thing is, it’s not random strangers or friends. It’s always the same people. My uncle-by-marriage, my stepfather, and once upon a time, my mother’s ex-boyfriend. Yeah. The one who molested me. That’s a great association.

So now and then, when I’m at Thanksgiving or Christmas and it comes up, I want to reply, “What hickey?” a few times. Then I want to say,

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about because I don’t have a hickey. I have a birthmark which you have been inappropriately teasing me about all my life. Let me tell you a few things about that, Dad. First off, you know who else teased me about it, poked fun at me for it, and never let up about it? Yeah. Him, the guy who molested me when I was eleven. And you know what has always been true for me, Dad? When you look at me and joke and pick on me for having a hickey on my neck that has never been a hickey and will never be a hickey, all I can remember is being eleven years old.

I remember being eleven, and having that scum ex of my mother’s in my room. I remember him teasing me about it in public, and then in private I remember him telling me that it looked like I let boys suck my neck. I lay there scared and terrified thinking, ‘My dad says the same thing.’ And when he went on to tell me it proved I wanted it, it was really hard not to think my dad was telling me that too. It was one among many many thoughts that went through my fucked up little head as he was jerking off onto my thigh, Dad. All the same, I’d really appreciate it if you’d stop fucking referencing sexual acts at family gatherings for the sake of humiliating me and making me feel like either a whore, or a prude.

Because, Dad, you shouldn’t have a goddamn thing to say about if I’m a whore or a prude. And I’d like it if you’d stop fucking crossing that line.”

Does Not Follow Directions

•July 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

That statement adorned at least a full 70% of my school papers, reviews, quarterly grades, etc. “OG is very bright, but rushes and doesn’t follow directions, jumps to conclusions on the assignment.” Later in college, “OG, your paper was great, but it’s arrogant to assume you can write whatever you want and pass with flying colors. See me for a redo.”

When I sew, I can’t follow patterns. They’re right there, and easy to follow, in theory, but I can’t. I can’t see how they go together. Someone shows me, and I understand, and the pattern becomes “safe”. When I knit, I have to visualize how every step will go, or I won’t even try to follow a pattern. I’ll just make up my own.

The thing that none of those teachers or tutors ever got was that i was reading the goddamned directions. They just didn’t make sense. A paragraph of directions flew into my head and I barely picked out a few words. Sometimes, if they put carriage returns between each step, I could figure out what they wanted. But more often than not, I just didn’t think the same way they did. If I couldn’t understand the application, the purpose, I had no way of fulfilling the task. Made worse when the purpose was just to waste my fucking time and make me repeat memorized facts.

Sometimes I would read directions, and they would say, “Find the square of the hypotenuse.” If I was very lucky and had paid attention, I could do that. But the moment they said, “You have a triangular yard, and you know that it is 12 by 18 feet, but you have no idea what the third measurement is…” I wouldn’t know what equation to plug in there. It got worse in Statistics, which I passed with a D, because there were entire problems where not only did you have to solve them using 3 pages of formulaic bullshit, but you had to determine which totally fucking obnoxious three page formula to use – and it was subjective. Which formula is best to determine how many students in an exam will do better than a percentile of students from another school? Answer: You are over thinking this please stop torturing your students.

I am not a stupid person. I can knit, sew, make lovely photocollages, I’ve been published three times, and I have led choir sections. I have all sorts of talents. What I can’t do is get from someone else’s bullshit reasoning example to what problem they want me to solve.

 

Love Is

•July 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve thought a lot lately about what love will have to be like for me, because it has become clear to me that I am not basic dating/marriage. I am poly because I require freedom and lack of obligation for me and my partner. I want my partner to go get sex elsewhere if I can’t for a month or two because my head shit has gotten too deep. I want them to want me to go to who I need for what I need when I need it, not require me to put them first in all things even if someone else would be better for me right then.

I’ve thought a lot about what love means, and what I’ve concluded is that love isn’t the happy times. Infatuation and giddy Cloud 9 love affairs are easy. The giving, adoring feeling when you’d walk through fire for a person and want nothing more than to spend every moment with them is easy.

The moments of truth are in the rough times. Love isn’t two weeks of clingy bliss. It’s the helplessness of sitting outside someone’s room as they lie in bed miserable with depression and don’t want to see you. It’s the raw terrible feeling after a knock down drag out argument and whether you can make it back from that.

Loving someone is easy. Staying when they need you or being able to tell them you need them is hard.

I’ve come to the realization that it’s not that I’m unlovable, or undesirable. It’s that I’m complicated, and I’m going to need a very special person to love forever. I’m going to need someone with a well of patience that is near bottomless. I’m going to need someone with a depth of compassion, a thick skin, an ability to take care of themselves and their needs without putting pressures on me, and I’m going to need someone who can catch me if I fall and tolerate being vulnerable enough to be caught if they fall.

This is good. I’ve found some guidelines. I know what won’t work. It’s a start. When I want to date again, at least I have some ideas of what will work.

Dying cat scream

•July 14, 2011 • 1 Comment

I had an evaluation with a psychotherapist recently. It was in-patient. They pushed me hard to try and see how unhinged I could get, because my future depended on it, as did getting the support and medical help I needed. She wrote in my file, “When OG is at a ‘breaking’ state, she screams. It is a terrible, unbridled sound like a dying cat or a person being sawed in half. It is a horrible, heartbreaking sound of grief and rage, and I am utterly convinced that if she were able to restrain it, she would.”

When I was sixteen, I screamed like that. I don’t remember all of the circumstances. I remember it was innocuous. I remember that the reasons I had for screaming should never have pushed me to that. I remember that something that didn’t really matter that much to me triggered some deep, abiding, primal cry in me that went on for hours until I was vomiting, and my mother almost brought me to the hospital with a nervous breakdown. In retrospect, I wish she had. I might’ve gotten help ten years sooner.

I remember a few years ago, we talked about that night, and my screaming, and my mother told me the first time she heard that scream.

When I was three, she remarried. I had never met my father, and it had been she and I and my grandparents, as long as I could remember. Then we moved in with Stepfather1, and he became “daddy” by force of will. If I didn’t call him dad, daddy, or father, I was disrespecting him. After a few months, he convinced my mother that she was far too soft with me and let me, “get away with murder”. Never minding the fact that I most definitely was the most well behaved child in many of our social circles. My mother wielded disappointment, not a belt. My “father” believed to spare the rod was to spoil the child.

Often, over some issue that I had transgressed, or some problem I had caused, he would corner me. He would confront me and demand I apologize. Then he would grab me and whip me with his wide leather belt as I tried to run away, walking me in a circle and dragging my arm. Sometimes I ran too much, and he would swing me into the arm of the couch and bend me over it to beat my ass with the belt, yelling that I was being disobedient again because I was trying to run away. I would cry and wail and beg my mother to come get me, help me, stop him. He had convinced her that any attempt at intervention, or even being where I could see her, would totally undermine his authority with his new daughter and forever mar our relationship as a family.

But, see, that’s not when she heard the scream.

The problem was that eventually, after letting him beat me for two years, she and he finally had a falling out and she finally found justification to leave him, because him beating her daughter wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough that he put me down constantly, because I think at that point she was just glad she wasn’t the target. I was a necessary target, so she could be a good wife and mother for a while. She could dry my tears and be the good mother who soothed me after, and his wrath was always mine first.

When he left, though, suddenly she was stuck with a child who had become used to being beaten, and I would act out, and dart away when she tried to correct me even gently. I was no longer impressed by her disappointment because I had been beaten instead, and disappointment was nothing in the face of a two inch leather strap whaling on my ass twenty or thirty times. I no longer looked to her with the gaze of, “Oh no, did I do wrong?” Instead, if I suspected I had done wrong, I ran away, which made her angry – where was her tractable daughter? So she would spank me.

It didn’t matter that she never beat me. It didn’t matter that she didn’t beat me with a leather belt until my ass was so bruised it stayed that way for five days. No, all that mattered was that my one bastion, my savior, the one person I could run to after the beating, was now the one administering a wallop, no matter how much more gentle.

That was when she first heard the scream. She would paddle me and flinch and cry as I screamed for her over and over again, because I had no one at all else left to scream for. My horrible dying cat scream, crying mommy until it was clear I had no idea what I was even crying for anymore.

My dying cat scream has never left me. And on some mornings, when I am trying to sleep after dawn (because I cannot sleep at night) when I cannot sleep and something snaps deep in my head, I scream.

•June 30, 2011 • 1 Comment

So I read this article, here.

 

This reinforces something I’ve done all along. I fantasize about shit I shouldn’t, and have even played out things that one would think of as “sick” or “unfathomable” unless they were in the same mental place. The kinds of things that make ignorant people say, “Well that proves it wasn’t rape because you liked it!”

I don’t pretend to understand all of psychology, but I’ve gone to school for it for three years before my head shit got too intense to keep going. There’s something to be said for the concept of getting back on the horse. The thing is, idiots think that with a rape or long time sexual abuse, just “having sex” is getting back on the horse. Just for the record, if your girlfriend was raped, and you argue with her that she should get back on the horse, what you’re actually saying is, “You were raped, so let me rape you again.” Even if that’s not what you mean, because currently, you’re coercing her into sex.

Having sex isn’t getting back on the horse when you’ve been held down and raped as a child, or thrown through a screen door and then forced to give your boyfriend head with the threat of him “really losing his temper”.

Maybe it’ll scare some people, and maybe some troll fucktards will think clearly bitches all want rape if we’re willing to talk about rough sex helping with PTSD. There are also people who think rape is a myth or that fat chicks can’t be raped, so, well, I pretty much rank all those ignorant fucks together.

What if, part the second

•June 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve spent some time thinking about it. And I don’t know if I’m trans or not. I don’t know if I have such a dysmorphic dislike of my own body that I feel it isn’t mine, or if I’m just unhappy at being fatter than I’d like to be. I do know that I have gender bending tendencies. I’d like to butch out now and then. I’d like to learn to pass, somehow, if I want to go somewhere safe to do so.

The one thing I have firmly established from this meandering is that I need to put the hammer down on differentiating between, “attracted to” and “want to be like them.” It’s a very strange situation for a bisexual genderqueer to be in. Sometimes I see someone and I think they’re just the bees damn knees, and I knew this about women. Some women I wasn’t attracted to; I just wanted to be like them. I wanted to be more tolerant, or more pretty in some specific way, or what have you. I think this revelation has taught me that I can feel that way about men, too. I have dated no few men that in retrospect, I go, “How could I even be with him?” He isn’t what I want in a relationship, how did I manage that?

In the end, it’s that I meet a guy, I like who he is, and I misinterpret that admiration and desire to be like them as attraction. There’s a two fold problem there, because it bases my ability to be attracted to them off of my extremely high standards that I would fulfill to be close to that person. IE, in order to be myself, but be like this guy I think I’m interested in, I have to be myself in the ways that I like AND adopt the things I like about him. Conversely, when he starts to be exceedingly different from me, particularly ways in which I find to be dealbreakers, I lose all attraction for him.

Net result is that from here on out, I need to start seriously differentiating what I find attractive and appealing sexually and emotionally, and what I identify with and admire. I have known this is an issue with women, but previous to my recent what if contemplations, I had never really looked at how it could affect the way I pick men as lovers.

I’m still sorting out my what-if issue. Maybe in time I will realize that I really am transgendered, but right now I believe I’m leaning toward something like, “Mentally intersexed” which is to say that I loathe gender boundaries mentally and emotionally, and I wish I could just… Move between the two sexes. I may experiment with genderbending more, and see what I find.

 

Now, naturally, this begs the question I haven’t been answering: How does my childhood sexual abuse affect my possible genderqueer issues? I’m not sure. I need a therapist before I can start sorting that shit out. I can’t say it’s unrelated, at all. I mean, part of my childhood sexual identity was the knowledge that my inherent gender qualities made me a victim. In retrospect, I know that’s not true. There was another little boy in our complex getting abused by his father, and at the time I had no idea.

But I daresay there is something off-putting about having your sexual identity impacted by your sexual violation starting at age 8.

I think in time, I’ll understand more. For now, I think the most important part is to start differentiating between “want” and “want to be.”

What if?

•June 28, 2011 • 3 Comments

All my life, I have prided myself on not allowing expectations to define me. But haven’t they?

I was born into a family that prided themselves on being LGBTQ friendly – in 1982, before it was trendy. I marched in my first Pride parade when I was 7 years old, proudly holding up a banner with six other people that read, “SILENCE = DEATH”. It came up to my nose. I raised my tiny fist in the air and yelled, “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER, AND WE’RE NOT GOING SHOPPING!” long before I had a clue of what the joke meant.

My mother has asked me many a time if I’m sure I’m not gay, and it’s not because she wants to push me that way. It’s not because she’s convinced I should be gay. At the very worst, it’s because she always wanted to support me. She always wanted to fly the flag for me and shout. It’s sad that being bi was never enough to have pride about.

 

Tonight, for the very first time, I asked myself the question I have been avoiding for 20+ years:

Am I transgendered/transsexual/intersex?

I’ve always wanted to have a baby, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be the one having it. I did, but I didn’t. In “If These Walls Could Talk,” Ellen talks about feeling insecure and useless because they’re having a baby and she can’t put it there. I empathized so strongly that I have never to this day finished that movie, and this is the first time I’ve even talked about it.

Usually, I discard notions of being trans because, well, I like men, don’t I? I like the cock, therefore I can’t be a man! Except that’s… Ridiculous. Ridiculously ridiculous. Because there’s all these men out there that are, you know, gay. Then I feel foolish, because isn’t it an awful lot of work, the notion of transitioning to male only to be a gay male? The thing is, I like gay sex, I lust after it. Maybe I’m not trans. Maybe I just have a lot of lust for the one thing I can’t ever be a part of directly.

I’ve had sex with a woman, with a strap on. It was fantastic. I’ve written, played, and acted as male characters before, and been told I have such an intimate understanding of the complications men face that it’s surprising that I’m a girl. I’ve been called out for being a “mangina” on the internets before because clearly I’m a guy.

The thing is, I’m not sure. I’m not sure at all. I saw this interview with this man who looks like a biker and has a clit instead of a cock and suddenly I felt my heart race and just thought, “But he could do it. It exists. I could… Be a man with girlparts and that would be okay?”

This isn’t about coming out as trans. Maybe after I’ve thought it through, and looked at myself seriously, I’ll answer the question and the answer will be, “No. I’m not trans. I just have a very fluid gender definition and I feel very androgyne.”

But I have to ask the question. What if?

Responsibility

•June 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have, time and again, dated someone only to then find out that I no longer wanted to sleep with them. It was an interesting thing, where I was like, huh, why is it that I don’t want to sleep with them? What’s wrong with me? Then I began to realize that the same thing had happened every time in almost exactly this order.

1. We have crazy fun awesome amazing sex for a while.
2. Something happens. One of us is sick, or goes away, or gets super stressed from work.
3. Partner makes a whiny comment about how all the sex stopped.
4. I never, ever want to fuck them again.

Thing is, I have maintained decent sexual relationships over time. There’s someone in my life that I’ve been having good sex with for… Oh, seven years, on and off, when I’ve been in a non-poly situation or whatever. That person also is the only one in my entire life to ever flat out say: “Hey, I feel like an orgasm. I’m gonna go whack off. Wanna join me?”

For the very first time in perhaps ever, someone came to me saying, “I have a desire for physical gratification which I can get with or without you and do not think you ‘owe’ me. Would you like some as well?”

There are, I’m sure, a lot of counterarguments about how intimacy is necessary for relationships and how people feel really shitty when their SO stops wanting sex and how they NEED sex and you know, no. You don’t need sex. You need companionship, human contact, maybe even snuggles. You don’t need sex. You got by just fine without it before you started having it, probably for 25 years or more given that attitude.

When it comes right down to it, it’s not my job to breathe for my SO, or supply them with all the food they can eat and put it in their mouths for them, or to personally build a house so they have shelter, or to sleep next to them all the time so they’re warm. We meet our own needs as human beings. You’re not a wolf cub, you don’t need your fucking food pre-chewed for you and vomited up, and you don’t need my vagina in order to get off. If your right hand is tired, just don’t tell it you’re considering an affair with lefty.

Thing is, I like sex. I’m not sitting here saying I’d prefer to be frigid and nasty and any guy who dates me better get used to never getting laid. What I am saying is that I’m fucking done with being bullied and bullshitted into sex. I’m done with the notion that I OWE someone sex. I don’t owe anyone sex. So you can sit and bitch that we haven’t had sex in X many days, sure. Just know the second you do, you won’t have sex with me again.

I’m so fucking done with taking pressure for sex.

Dramatic Song Lyric Usage

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment
“We’ll ring the bells that lead you home
‘Cause the only truth I’ve ever known
Is that nothing ever hurts us more than love
So circle up your best of friends
And we’ll celebrate the way it ends
At least we live tonight, at least we live tonight.”
 
-Ring the Bells, Satellite

Faith

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have heard all the jokes about the rapture. More than most, I have heard all the snide remarks because I am not Christian and I am not openly practicing a faith. I have heard all the humorous anecdotes about leaving piles of clothing and open books around, about the “idiots” who think they will be seized up in god’s transport to heaven tomorrow. I have heard cracks on The Onion, on every corner of the internet, on every social network, and I have said nothing.

I have said nothing because I really envy anyone who can muster that kind of faith. It may be misguided and it may be for naught, but who’s to say? Not me.

I would love to believe in something so strongly. I would love to have faith in something so utterly otherworldly even if it didn’t come true. It would be crushing to be laughed at, but I wouldn’t need to believe it for anyone else’s sake. I could just believe in it for me.

Now and then, when things are particularly dark for me, I play with the notion that suicidal ideation is just the powers that be calling me home. In my rational moments I know that’s not true, but now and then I envy those disturbed people with their black bed sheets and matching sneakers on bunk beds not because they were part of a scary cult, but because they believed. They didn’t kill themselves out of despair, the way I am tempted to. They killed themselves out of hope.

It sounds rather thin even to me, but I admit, now and then I truly envy anyone who would consider suicide as a way into the light.