trigger warning for suicidal ideation and self-harm.

i want to tell you this secret because you love me with your reading, and i love you back with this telling.
i was both disappointed and relieved when they closed the fence on the bridge, after they had installed phones to a suicide hotline and after peoples’ choices to end their own lives had disturbed other lives who chose to continue on.
i still say in deference that ‘if x then i would find myself on [the bridge],’ but i don’t mean it as much now as i once did, because i can’t.
i do still know the buses i would take, how much fare costs at mid-day and at early morning, or on a sunday. wouldn’t need the all-day pass, now would i?
but it has been a long time since i checked the bus schedule and counted minutes before i called someone and said, please. please please, i need you to come, and waited, choking on tears, terrified of my own hands and what they might or might not be able to do.
a strange calm comes over after the call, emergency halted. i can’t go anywhere now, because she’s coming and someone has to let her in. it’s a dark night, but her eyes and hands are bright.
the long time is not so long, i am so young. in between the time when we said off, the time we said on, and oh yes, the time when we said off again.
anyways. i am thinking of the way that she carried me that night in her cool, pale hands, until i was safely on the other side.
survival is one step at a time across the bridge, but sometimes you need someone to carry your steps for a little while. tricky thing is to make sure they don’t carry you too far, make sure at the end you’re still standing on your own two, and not theirs.

trigger warning for: incest, repressed memories, PTSD shit. take care of yourself, this shit is rough. -RD

if the heart is a drum machine, then maybe the part of my brain that tracks trauma is a sun dial, and my body follows in its turn. January is usually a pretty crummy month for me. not only is it the dark heart of winter, but it is also the anniversary of my departure from my father’s house, culminating at the end of the month.
this month started well enough, i spent NYE with several close friends in a city a few hours’ train ride away from my own, and returned home feeling refreshed and renewed, optimistic and planning for the new year. how quickly winter’s darkness returns! my nightmares returned at a frantic pace, a series of anxiety attacks ensued, and i got sick for the 2nd time in <6 weeks (still sick now). i’ve been feeling pretty exhausted and disconnected with only the occasional respite.
here in the Pacific Northwest where winter means an even further reduction in exposure to sunlight as well as an increase in rain, i don’t think that any of these sensations are unusual, mine just so happen to be connected to prior trauma. <shrug> c’est la vie?
i’ve always known that my father was a creeper, and descended from another creeper (my grandfather), and while i’ve been able to remember some of the weird stuff he did (insisting i sit on his lap at an inappropriate age, being super-possessive, treating me more like his girlfriend than his child, attempting to buy my affection, etc), i could never remember actually being molested. in some ways i am pretty fucking grateful for that. a therapist once told me it didn’t really matter if i had been molested by him or not, that he had crossed my boundaries in so many other ways that were so wildly inappropriate. in some ways i am inclined to agree, but i have still wondered what actually happened–if it was him, or someone else, and i still don’t know for certain, probably never will.
last week i was having a bad evening and decided to make myself some pot-infused milk to relax and get back into my body (ah, dissociation!) so i could sleep. it took awhile to take effect but finally i could feel my body again, and decided to masturbate myself to an appropriate level of sleepiness. at first pleasurable feelings ensued, but then out of the ether i started having visions of myself at a much younger age and performing sex acts on a much older man, probably my father. it was all i could do not to scream and wake up my housemates. or it would have been if i could move, but my entire body was frozen and instead i was forced to watch in psychedelic cinema as body parts came up out of the ether. the memories themselves (as i think of them–it’s hard to say if they’re real memories or not) were like a step out of time, some animation sequence, the colors inverted and strange like a hallucination, and much of the images were shrouded in darkness. after a long time of thinking, i finally fell asleep.
in the morning i at first did not recall the vision i had received on the night previous, and began my day as usual, maybe a few minutes late for work. later i felt a wave of panic and anguish wash over me, and i remembered everything as it had passed*. i pinged a friend who had experienced repressed memories, and described what i had seen and experienced. they confirmed some similar sensation of those memories being a step out of time, like no others, without going into too much detail.
my panic gave way to relief in some strange way, as if this half-knowing is a win in and of itself, the mind finally revealing a long-kept secret.
that day i filled out the intake form for a local queer counseling referral service, so hopefully i’ll be back to therapy soon. been thinking for a couple of years that it would be really useful, and this experience only re-confirms that.

-RD

*for clarity’s sake: the events of the previous evening

01/23/2012

[ugh, scheduling hell]*16*2*3=stresscold+cough+cramps.

~e and I used to say it: “I wasn’t free to say yes until I could really say no.” it seems like irony now only because there was (in retrospect) so much under the surface of our relationship where he didn’t feel safe enough to say no–or even yellow (the safe word for hold up, wait a minute!) until I was too frustrated and I slammed the brakes on our partnership myself. I don’t kick myself much one because I did as much I could at the time to make it safe for him (tho I can think of ways I might have done so differently), there’s just a lotta baggage in his overhead compartment, so to speak. and I can relate to that, can’t I? I’ve just got different baggage is all.

it’s been almost two years but I can still feel the scar tissue, shiny and new, still hurts if you press on it too hard, like that shoulda-got-stitches gash in my knee, took years to heal proper. one of these days I will wake up good as new, maybe better than before because I’ve got these lessons under my belt now, and the memory of the things we shared, both good and bad. places where we were strong and places where we were weak, places where we connected and places where we were so at odds it was like trying to build a toothpick bridge from Australia to Canada.

*****

(journal 3-27-2010)

I am in mourning. Don’t tell anyone, I’m trying to keep it secret. I still keep wearing bright colours and dancing, I haven’t given up on light or life or love.

But I have given up on the intimacy that we used to have, the way that your hands used to spread heat. Some times it is a sucker punch in the gut, that you don’t want me–you don’t want any body, now. Maybe barely even your own, maybe only when you’re astride one of your trusty lugged steeds.

I get warm. Under your hands, I writhe, ravenously nipping at your shoulder, but there is no chance to feed. It’s like rubbing dry sticks together only to blow the smoke out. There’s never even flame.

Every  now and again, you give small respite, but it’s never enough to nourish this ache out from my bones.

I clutch at you. I know that I do. I put my hands on you, hoping. I want more, more, more, all because I’m hungry for what I can not have. It is futile, it is not about me. It is about the limits of flesh and the spirit and your own ability to overcome sorrow.

The morning I came home after fucking someone else I washed, but I could still smell it on me. My uterus wept tangy salt tears, skating down my thighs as I walked, yeast and hunger and sex, the things your sheets used to smell of all the time. Sex was tangible in the air, thick as grief or longing, desire drifting in currents.

In other relationships, I have been the one whose desire waned. If yours hadn’t, would mine have done the same? Perhaps. We are not the most sexually compatible pair of people to ever stroll, starry-eyed, hand in hand. More than making sweet and gentle love, I want to push boundaries, push buttons, fuck, though sometimes still tender and kind. But still. I have other lovers with which I do these rough-trade things.

I want you for what we have had, for what we will have, and for what we have, just now–learning and making and analyzing and just settling, comfortably, into our bodies, side by side, in the night.

trigger warning for racist jokes and the craptitude of white supremacy culture.

de nada

I have very mixed feelings about this meme.

dear A:

let me proffer you my more immediate reaction when you posted the above.

it was Thanksgiving and we were all a little bit drunk. one of my best friends in the entire world (one i claim as brother, not blood but chosen) is laid back on the couch, tossing their head back emphatically as they speak.

do i even remember what they said? i don’t. not the whole thing, but the part that still triggers me a little.

“‘chu,” i can’t even remember the sentence it was strung in, and oh, that put-on accent, the el campesino mock-up, the one no white person should ever put on because it grazes so close to the n-word or lynching jokes.

how could they ever really get it?

i don’t even know if i could even explain, because in my privilege and my place of hiding i laughed uneasily and said, “ugh, stop it! you sound like one of my uncles!”

what i didn’t explain was, you sound like one of my uncles as he dismisses those other Mexicans, the ones we are supposed to be better than, the ones who replaced the Japanese as strawberry-pickers when they were interned into camps, the ones whose backs (and those of other undocumented laborers) carry the weight of this agrarian soon-to-be wasteland, tilling the earth to waste with forced abundance that doesn’t even get distributed but rots in silos like so many dollars in a Swiss bank account (so much waste, waste, waste). the ones whose lives are not even legitimized by the state to live in the US, despite USians’ dependency on their bodies for sustenance (blood, sweat, and toil, toil, toil).

every once in a while i replay this failure of mine to speak up, think of it as the mark of my privilege, passing as white most of the time except when i deem it the right time to call it.

race always comes to the table at Thanksgiving, it’s never forgotten. i keep my family’s many-hued faces in my pocket, rub them like a stone that pricks me with so much hidden.

sometimes i think that the real plague that wiped out so many lives was not smallpox but whitewashing, passing quietly shame that bleeds forgetfulness, pretend we’re better than them because we pass, achieved some measure of economic privilege beyond that of our peers born to other lives with different choices, or because our subset of the family tree has married into legitimacy in the eyes of the state. shame that kills me softly. it’s not true, but it feels sometimes, it feels.

i must do better next time, that’s all. no more blankets of convenience, no more letting  us to ignorance or carelessness.

-RD

Kropotkin, Peter Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

ed. Snitow, Stanesell, & Thompson Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality

ed. Brown, Angela Set in Stone: butch-on-butch erotica

Eckburg, Maryanna Victims of Cruelty: Somatic Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Byatt, A.S. Possession

Robinson, Kim Stanley The Gold Coast: Three Californias

Peregrine Entropy

Plath, Sylvia Ariel

Pennington, Amy The Urban Pantry

Various Politics is Not a Banana: Journal of Vulgar Discourse

Team Colours Collective Wind(s) from Below: Radical Community Organizing to Make a Revolution Possible

Voltaire Candide

Werner, David (with Carol Thuman & Jane Maxwell) Where There is No Doctor: a village health care handbook

Coumeau, Joey Lockpick Pornography

Coetzee, J.M. Waiting for the Barbarians

Kramis, Sharon & Kramis Hearne, Julie The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in your Kitchen

[and of course, too many more to be listed, and still hacking my way thru some of these a chapter at a time!]

***

It seems I have run out of words lately, I feel compelled to spend ever-more time holed up in my room or at a coffee shop/bar over whatever text I’m frothing thru. I feel hungry for company at times but not like I am very worthy of it, what of interest have I to offer? More prattling about bikes, maybe, but even then I run short on conversation. I have neglected the Self so long and so hard that I have nothing to offer, so I’m sinking into burnout-thirty, knitting socks, working on household projects, reading, watching movies, neglecting the laundry. These things feel okay, too.

I think I want more space from ___, but our lives are so entwined that it becomes difficult to do so. Thinking of moving away this summer, a place with new faces and new entanglements, as well as the familar arms of two people I hold very very dear to me. Maybe make a house with them (I hope?).

Biking on the snow and ice last nite I fell down at the base of a short/shallow descent and giggled some, popped up almost immediately. Sometimes I just want to lie down for a bit, tho.

Being sick (just a sinus thing, no big) this weekend has allowed me that chance, mostly. Don’t leave the house, just make extravagant meals and sleep for ten hours and more at a time, read the whole day long with P. Good things, all of those, even if they are couched in this unpleasant thing, the brief decreptitude of a head cold.

Okay, inwards!