Friday, June 29, 2012

Perspective

I'm thinking quite hard about about the different kinds of bdsm play I have engaged in. It seems somehow important. Who did I play with and how? Was heavier play a sign of greater trust or greater stupidity? I'm not sure.

It feels weird to talk about being a masochist. Mostly it hasn't been part of my life since having kids so I haven't thought about it much in years. Except that I'm starting to feel that itch. Part of why I picked Noah as a partner is the way he reacts to that itch. I like the way his reactions make me feel. When I want him to hurt me he gets excited. Visibly excited. Nearly trembling with excitement. I like that I can make him feel that way just by saying yes. Ok, I usually say a lot more than that. I'm kind of a talker.

I don't think I would be able to come up with an accurate list of "everyone I have played with". I think of different event spaces as my way of trying to come up with memories and it isn't a fool-proof system. It's easy for me to forget. I remember some more than others.

The night before Dore Alley in 2000. I hadn't "met" anyone from the scene yet. I hadn't been to a munch yet. An old guy from match.com sent me to the Power Exchange. He gave me an address and told me to go. He didn't explain what I would find. Technically he sent me two weeks before Dore Alley. I was a towel girl with my sister. I was afraid to go alone. She was freaked out. I came back the next week by myself. A gorgeous trans woman picked me out of the crowd and beat me. It was my first flogging. I don't really like being flogged. But it was intense. It was my first experience. I'm grateful. I had to top it off by finding one of the PE employees and expressing my interest bluntly. He pulled me into the laundry room and fucked me there. He wasn't supposed to have sex during his shift. Oh well.

It wasn't my favorite scene ever, but it was my first. It broke the ice. It taught me that there were indeed people who wanted to hit me. It wasn't my imagination. If I found one person I could find more. The next day I went to Dore Alley and spent time with two lovely queer men I knew through campaigning for Californians for Same Sex Marriage. They took delighted half naked pictures of me at the street fair. I had just pierced my nipples. They wanted to see. Sure, why not?

It isn't enough for me that I have done these things. That in the privacy of my own mind I can think back on these events. I like talking about them. I don't like being the only one who knows. When I feel like these stories are only in my head I feel like I should be actively trying to hide them. If people know this about me they won't respect me any more. They won't like me.

When I was eighteen I ran to the sex communities as fast as I could. I had sex with just about everyone who was willing to say "yes". It was awesome. There is power in being a young woman who is willing to say yes. It's a power I have watched slowly slip through my fingers as the years go by. I appeal to different people now. I don't know how to approach them. And now it doesn't matter. I will never go hunting again.

I learned hunting as a skill. I learned how to smell for people who would be interested in me. It's not just that I break the Embargo left and right it is that the kind of sex I want is not standard issue. And for the love of shiny green apples I wish we could dispel this myth that men want to have a lot of sex and women don't. It's horse shit. Some men want a lot of sex. Some women want a lot of sex. And vice versa. Move on. I have ended up with a shockingly high number of partners who were completely uninterested in trying to keep up with my libido. I'm really tired of this myth that men want tons of sex and women turn it down.

When I am thinking about my compulsions fairly clearly I can direct them. I know how to ask for kinds of pain (spankings, canings) that really aren't going to damage me long term--they don't carry the inherent risk that cutting has. Cutting myself with a scalpel is far more potentially dangerous. People do slip and cause too much bleeding. Hit the wrong blood line and you are in trouble. I've looked into that a bit and I avoid those areas but that isn't the point.

Somehow using spanking as a means of controlling my paralyzing anxiety seems nearly benign. I asked Noah for a spanking this morning. I don't feel the strong urge to start the day by smoking pot. My stomach isn't churning. It relieves a lot of that ache. Forcing myself to go through and experience negative/painful feelings causes a relief from the miasma of crazy that rules my life. I can feel a lot more control over how much I hurt when I decide the causes of pain. When my pain comes from the fact that I'm just plain crazy--it's been a rough life--I can't do a lot about that. I feel helpless and scared and trapped. When I am being hurt by a partner as a conscious decision it takes up the same space as my normal crazy and my normal crazy kind of has to back off into a corner and take up less space.

It's going to be interesting to describe my relationship with Tom. I used him. He didn't want to understand what I was doing but I had a pretty clear picture of what I was doing. He didn't want details. I filled my life with externally supplied pain because that allowed me to be much closer to functioning. It couldn't do all the work. I'm still me.

I would like to move through the world without fear. That sounds trite. I would like to move through the world without feeling heart-pounding-terror that people will hate me. Soon more people will come who hate me. They will hurt me. I am different. I am bad. People like me end up in jail. When will I go there? What will I have done? I don't know. I feel like I haven't done anything that bad. That doesn't always seem to matter.

If I lived in the wrong time and place I would absolutely be locked up for being a sexual deviant. That's scary. It is weird knowing that I exist at this intersection of privilege and experience. I don't know what the future will bring. I don't know what experiences I have yet to come.

I'll tell you though, I look at Noah and I'm a lot less scared. He is my bulwark. I feel guilty when I think about my history of partnership because I was desperately searching for someone who was not close to their family. I can't be all that close to someone who has a close relationship with their parents. Steve's parents hated me and openly attacked me at Christmas dinner. Tom's parents didn't like me but weren't loud or rude about it. Puppy's parents and siblings openly ridiculed me and laughed.

Noah's mom hated me when I met her. The first time I met his parents his mom sneered at me that she wanted to have a private conversation with her son and pulled Noah off for a three hour tirade about how awful I was. Noah's response to this was to stop coming home for holidays. He has only gone back to Texas for his brother's wedding. He only did that because I pushed him to do it.

I don't understand why people hate me so much. I know it must be my fault if it happens so often. If the only consistent force in your relationships is you then you must bring the problems, right? Why do so many people feel the urge to berate and belittle me? Why do so many parents feel like they have to tell me how disgusting and bad I am? Steve's parents told me I was going to ruin his life. That was part of why I ran. I couldn't live with that. I couldn't take on the position of whipping girl in a new family. I couldn't once again be the person whose fault every bad thing was. I just couldn't.

Noah picked me. Noah didn't like his family much to start with and he was quite ok with the idea that his path would diverge from theirs. He says their dislike of me isn't my fault or my problem and I don't have to deal with it. I feel so guilty about being the reason he doesn't see his family. To be fair he saw them aout as little as he could get away with before we were together. But now that tolerance has dropped to once every five years. His family has met Shanna once. They haven't met Calli.

I can't be in the closet. I can't keep my mouth shut about who and what I am, about the things I have done. I just can't. I can't act like I am ashamed. Silence is consent to the larger social order. I don't agree with it. I break the rules. I do it loudly and consciously.

For years I have known someone who refers to herself as a sexual outlaw. She did a lot of actual sex work: stripping, phone sex, escorting, being a prodom. I don't do things for money. I do them because I want to. It's confusing. I don't do these things because I need to earn money and I don't mind doing them. I do them because I can't not do them. I need them. I want them.

I like stripping. I've done it in clubs a few times. I always let the people who are on shift have the money. I like having sex with lots of people. I like cybersex and phone sex. I've done them with a myriad of people over the years most of whom I can't really remember.

What does it mean to be a sexual outlaw? I think I have avoided money partially because I don't want to deal with the potential legal ramifications. It's one more thin line I don't have to skate. My income has been small and traceable my entire life. Well, until marrying Noah. Now "my" income isn't small. It's still highly traceable.

I have slept with a number of very inexperienced boys/men. I have done the whole, "I'll teach you how to do this" thing. It's quite fun to take very well endowed boys condom shopping. When they discover that there is a variety of sizes and brands to try so that maybe condoms won't hurt anymore... they light up like a roman candle. You just gave them a present beyond measure.

Sex is a skill like any other. I found out a lot about the variation possible. It was fun. How can I talk about it without sounding like I am still hunting for it?

I've been thinking about my Top Five. Why they are there. How I feel about them. How I feel about the fact that there are four men walking around in the world I will have a difficult but not impossible time saying no to. They are the ones who have earned privileges over many years. They are the ones who understand the compulsive hypersexual part of me. They are all compulsively hypersexual as well. That is a lot of why I bonded with them so fiercely. Not very many men understand the degree to which sex has shaped my life. Very few men have enough sex to understand it. Very few men run across women who are willing to have the kind and quantity of sex I have had.

The internet is not providing me the data I want. Stupid internet. All I can find is that most extremely promiscuous women max out around twenty lifetime partners. That makes me giggle. I love how websites say: "Then you find out your 23 year old girlfriend has slept with 17 men and you feel kind of repulsed." Ha. By 23 I hit triple digits. I'm repulsive. Awesome.

Why does this make me repulsive? I don't understand. It's a taboo. I rigorously get STD testing. When I was being rampantly slutty I got tested every three months and I used condoms religiously and I even used dental dams a few times. I never got good at them, but during the really risk-taking stage I tried to figure it out.

I feel defensive and sad. No one is actively judging me this minute (I can believe this because it is early in the morning and normal people are sleeping) so I don't need to feel these feelings. Sometimes life just works that way.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Compulsions


I'm obsessively staring at my training schedule. I'm scared. This week I run twenty miles for the first time this round. Woof. The peak of training gives me forty miles in a week. I am lovingly and loathingly (yes I know that isn't a word) noticing that hell week is my birthday week. I turn thirty-one and then immediately have to run forty miles in the five days following. I don't fuck around.

I'm scared and elated. I'm going to do this. It can be done by a human being therefore it is god damn going to be done by me. I will. I won't fuck this up. Perseverance is one of my more admirable attributes. Tenacious as a honey badger. I tell myself while running in my "Badass as a Honey Badger" tshirt. I'm the exact opposite of sexy.

I don't know how to be this person in the world. I don't know how to be open to people and yet not available. I have committed my life and all that I am elsewhere. How do I have time for other people? You just do. You have to. You have to be part of something bigger. At least I do. I need to have friendships. I'm having trouble keeping my panties on. I have a hard time not sitting on peoples laps. That is how I break the ice. But that's ice I don't need to be breaking ever again. Awkward.

There is this reserve developing. Now there are parts of me I will defend with a machete. Off limits. It is scary for me to think about having to say no at some point. I am nervous because I like to stand in places where asking is significantly more friendly than not asking. Most folks go out to hunt. I don't even know what I'm hunting for.

I want people who want to know my kids. Who want to part of my familial dynamic. Who want to have a real space in my life. Most people fill these roles with family. Most people think of friendships as low stakes. I will always be a low stakes relationship. I will always be who they see when people are "avoiding their family".

Part of what I have been thinking about while running lately is how it isn't my fault I don't have a family. It's not like I am less deserving than other people. But you roll the dice and you take what you get. There is no deserving in life. I am not physically capable of keeping the silence my family of origin required of me. That just can't be asked of me. Too late. I'm an evil liar, blah blah, whatever. It doesn't matter what I deserve. It matters what I can create with my hands and my mind. It matters what effect I have on the world.

When I ask former students what I taught them they say that I taught them to like themselves. That's a fuck load more than my family did for me. My family taught me that when the men and boys in my family couldn't find a willing pussy it was my job to lie down and provide.

What can I create? What can I be? What matters? If you can't be a good example be a horrible warning?

I don't know. I'm afraid to take pride in anything. I don't want to develop a weak spot where I can be attacked. I don't want to feel insecure about someone letting me know that I actually really suck at that thing I think I am good at. I am terrified to build myself up.

I'm well into training for a marathon. I don't talk about it much in person. I don't think anyone gives a shit. I think they listen with glazed eyes so I should just shut up and let them tell me what they are doing. That's all they care about anyway. Why don't I brag about this? I'm fucking doing it. I'm out running four days a week and stretching and doing strength training. I'm doing it. I'm not going to win speed records and that's ok! Doing this is a fairly big deal. Why do I minimize this to myself? Why do I act like I'm not doing this good enough? Why do I feel like if I am doing it then it must not be that hard. I'm nothing special. If I can do it then it must not be a big deal. Talking about it is rather fraught, so I don't.

It's kind of weird, this being a writer. I have been blogging fairly consistently for nearly nine years. A number of people have read basically all of it. That's a large body of knowledge about my life. But it was acquired in a room without me in it. There was no shared intimacy. This is very similar to the sexual exhibitionism. I feel like a freak because I can't talk about a period of my life without talking about how and why my sexuality went through a massive change. And for me that has meant a lot of different partners and different approaches to sex. I understand why my former therapist asked me pointed questions about multiple personalities.

If I make sure people only see me in a certain set of circumstances with a certain environment I can tailor my behavior. I can be appropriate with great effort. If I keep people out at arms length. That's kind of awkward with this whole out thing. Now I don't really know what people are thinking about when they look at me. Oh holy fucking shit. For most of my writing life I've known the dozen or so people who seriously followed my writing. We had dinner so that I could fill in the bits on the stories I won't tell in public. I tailor what I share with the world. I feel odd wondering what that actually looks like. How close is it to me?

What is more real, after all? The image that I carefully construct in writing (or rather the image that free form spews out of my brain never to be looked at or thought about again--I couldn't reread the volume I produce; there isn't enough time in the day) or how I behave? I'm never really sure. If you are judging me by how I behave then which group of friends will you judge by? I'm very different in different settings.

Compulsive hypersexuality is kind of a funny thing. If I think back I can see parallel lines between when I started smoking pot and when I stopped sleeping around. I guess I traded addictions. I am a very compulsive person. Right now I'm having a hard time with food. I'm having trouble respecting my body's "full" signal. I'm making myself hurt. And I'm gaining weight... while training for a marathon. I'm eating a lot.

I'm scared because I think I'm getting closer to one of those periods where I feel the need to experience pain. That was how it worked with Tom. That was what our relationship did for me. I stayed with Tom instead of cutting. He was a reliable source of discomfort. He provided the hogties that fueled his masturbatory life and he was willing to play a lot harder to meet my needs. I think I came up with most of our heaviest play. In no way shape or form was I a victim. But I'm very compulsive. And I have a strong disinterest in my continued physical safety. Or had, anyway.

It is weird looking over at Noah. He's biting his finger nail. He's the only person I will ever have sex with again. Well, barring early death. If he kicks the bucket I'm not staying celibate for his memory. I'm not that devoted. He wouldn't either and fair is fair. It's weird looking at him. I get to sit here and have this intense feeling of power and ownership. He is mine. I don't have to check his google calendar so I can schedule a date with my husband. I don't have to know when he is out dating and fill that time carefully in a way I can handle without crying or freaking out. He does go out and do things occasionally, but it is rare. What he is doing with his time is hanging out with his kids and his wife. I feel really special. This really amazing person wants me. He does have kind of a funny hunch back. I guess we truly are perfect for each other. I'm not quite Beauty and he's not quite the Beast. He's not all the way to Quasimodo either so he still works for me. Definitely cute enough to be the hero.

While I'm running I'm playing over the years in my head. What am I going to write about? Which relationships are the most important? How can I show the pivotal times and places and people? How am I going to set the different tones of the different parts of my life? How am I going to make it obvious in text that my behavior radically changes based on where I am standing? How do I make an image of me that is real and true?

The first book was what happened to me. A lot of it I couldn't change. I could have made different decisions, maybe. Whatever. It's over. What happened when I was an adult is different. I had agency. I made choices. I acted. I wanted. I was compulsive. I learned to manage my compulsions in a variety of ways. What did that trial and error process look like? What bridges did I burn and when and how and why in the process? I'm trying to get my head around the whole story arc and it feels so large. So complex. I feel like a freak as I carefully compare the continuing evolution of my behavior in separate, non-adjacent parts of my life. What did I learn? How did I learn it?

I don't know. I can't find an object lesson in my life. I survived. I just did. That was all I did. I can't make a lesson out of it. Maybe it is closer to a horrible warning. I feel bad about that though. I'm not. I have had a fairly decent adulthood. I want to explain why rape is just such a casual part of my life. I want to really work through all the connections between different parts of myself growing up.

Tom gave me a safe space to grow up. He hurt me when I asked nicely so that I could deal with my urge to self mutilate. After Tom I went on to drugs and a rather indecent amount of casual sex. And graduate school. And teaching. And dancing. More travel.

I've done a lot of things. Not all of it has been sex. Yet when I think of myself I see nothing of potential interest outside of sex. That says a lot about my priorities.

I am trying to figure out how to be proud of myself without sounding like I am bragging. I'm not bragging. I'm telling the truth. Sometimes the truth sounds cool and sometimes it sounds fucking embarrassing. Bah humbug. It's time to go to sleep.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hand-me-downs

I think I know eight pregnant women right now. And a close friend has a one month old. And there are lots of slightly older kids. It's weird thinking about getting rid of things, now. There are a few ways I can go about maintaining sanity in my house. I can ensure that we have a small enough number of items that cleaning it takes very little time or I can allow items to creep in and spend more and more and more time cleaning. It's time to purge.

This is more complicated now that the stuff is "Shanna and Calli's". I really shouldn't just raid their stuff all the time getting rid of things. That's rude. Sorta. Letting them make my life shitty is far more rude let me tell you. I have no fear that the river of stuff will run out. More will come, inevitably. They age out of things anyway. How do I allow them to form sentimental attachments and yet bow to the inevitability of life that stuff comes and must go? I think we are going to go through stuff today and make piles. Shanna loves giving gifts. How can we be generous with our bounty?

This leads to all kinds of maybe-not-polite-but-necessary corollary conversations. One pregnant friend has few friends and no family. Others have many friends and large, wealthy families. We have people in our lives who have very different levels of need. That makes a very large difference in how I behave with people. I offer to treat friends who are barely surviving. I let friends who have more money than me pay for me. I smile and say thank you. I don't offer to return the favor. For me I am very ok with accepting favors from people who have a lot to give. Sure, no problem. I struggle with allowing friends who have more need than me do things for me. It's complicated.

I feel like it is important for me to be very clear what my values are and why. I'm teaching how to be a part of society. What part do I play? To have great privilege is to have great responsibility. What does that mean? What does that mean in terms of our life? What does it mean that the people around us have equal and sometimes greater privilege? How do I think responsibility trickles around us?

Part of what I am teaching is responsibility to the household. It is not fair that I have to spend so many hours cleaning up messes I am not making. If she can't clean up after herself we need to start scaling back so that she can. She needs to learn how to take care of the amount of space she can handle. I need to give her a smaller scale so that she can succeed. Right now I am failing her by giving her a task that is far too large for her. I am not properly scaffolding her learning experience. That's fine. We have pregnant friends.

Today is going to be one of those structured learning days, as I am starting to think of them. I have a specific lesson I am working towards. We are all responsible for maintaining our stuff. How much stuff do you actually think you can handle? I am going to do a preliminary pull of stuff that will be good to give away. We'll negotiate from there.

It's going to be a long day. It will be a good day. As long I remain patient today will be fantastic. Shanna is really happy to work with me towards goals like this, at least for now. She likes making decisions. She likes being generous. It makes her feel good to think about other people being happy to "get" her stuff. I talk about how neat it is that objects can take on a history and a story. "Oh this used to belong to ____ and then it went to _____ and now it is _______'s." We have things like that. We tell those stories often. I constantly talk about the origins of objects. Shanna thinks her grandparents in Texas are the most generous people in the world because most of her favorite clothes and toys arrive magically from them. She thinks about it a lot. I have feelings about that but I keep my mouth shut about all of them. What I say to the kids is, "Your grandparents love you." That's it.

Shanna and I will have fun going through the clothes pile and deciding which pregnant woman needs that item more. She gives good "why's". Not all needs are financial or material. With most people I expect the story of items to be lost. When the story of an item is important I have to be careful who I give it to. We have a lot of clothing from Noah's family. We may be the second or third in hand made clothes. That story matters to me. It's not particularly rational. This is the story my children are being born into. This is what they have of their family on that side. I want them to know where it goes once it leaves them. I just do. That means I need to be careful where I send it.

I want to send the clothes to people who will take pictures of their children wearing it and give them to me. I want to be able to send them to Noah's mom and show that things she made are still being used and loved. That is all the family relationship I will ever have. That depresses the fucking shit out of me. I feel like I come from nothing and I will become nothing and there will be no trace of me. I have no connection to anything that will outlast me. I want other people who touch me to understand that the touch carries on. They are still actively doing good in the world by having done this thing years ago. Thank you for doing that. It's a thing. Maybe it isn't a rational thing. But this is what I have right now. It's the best I can do.

So when I think about pressuring my daughter into going through her belongings so we can give them away it's kind of a loaded thing. This is going to be a long and emotional day. Which things can I give to people and have no expectation of the story carrying on? Which things do I have an attachment to the story moving on? How will I deal with it?

This is why I normally give stuff to a thrift store and come home and cry. Letting go is hard. I do understand attachment. I just can't function and be a nice person when I have to clean all the f'in time. No. It's just not necessary. We have to figure this out. Ok. I think I have girded my loins and set my purpose and all that shit. Time to go mommy. Oy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

{tmi} pick up play

Fairly explicit sex stuff. Read at your own risk.

Noah would like it if I could get it up tonight. Which means I'm trying to get in the mood. Right now my favorite song is Stuck on f*cken you. It makes me happy. I've been thinking about what stories I want to tell in the book. On one hand this is my version of exhibitionism; on the other hand I'm not just doing a gratuitous listing of the sex I've had.

I have been thinking about a woman I dated for a while when I first got into the scene. Technically I dated her and her master. I was already seeing Tom but we hadn't decided to be monogamous yet. I was out having experiences that he didn't really want to know about. I had an interesting time hearing them talk about doing drugs and playing. That was something forbidden in Tom's corner of the scene.

I met all of these people through an IRC channel. There was a local room. I spent a lot of time there. When I was bored late at night I would periodically ask people what they were doing. Then I would meet up with them wherever they were. This couple in particular lived in San Francisco. She was a database administrator for , a large internet company with ties to many nations. He worked at the same company in a much less prestigious position. I suspect it was partly because she was technically his superior at work that it was so fucking hot to own her and have the right to degrade her whenever he felt like it. 

I remember visiting them in the office. She was babysitting something and couldn't leave. I drove up from San Jose. She mostly worked but occasionally walked out for a fondle or a grope. The guy and I had a highly suggestive conversation. Of course we would be going to their place once she finished up for the night. While we were killing time the guy told me to walk over to the large windows at the front of the building. It was after ten at night in the financial distract--at least there weren't many people around. When I was there he talked me through masturbating in front of the window. He was quite explicit in how he wanted to see it happen. Pull my skirt up. Move my panties to the side; don't take them off. It's nice seeing the cloth bunch up in the crease between my thighs. It's dirtier. He had me fuck myself with my fingers for a while. Then I sucked them clean. I smiled when he asked me if I was a dirty whore. Only on my best days.

When we went back to their place it was interesting. The woman and I pretty much had to wrestle one another to decide who got to be in the middle. Who is more aggressive? It was clear that the boy was going to be giving most of the directions. Who had to be on the bottom of the pecking order?

Wasn't me.

I hurt her. I hurt her a lot. I spanked her. I used a cane on her thighs. I beat her with her clothes on. He smiled and watched. They both knew I was new and he gave me occasional pointers. She was generous and accommodating with her smart ass comments designed to provoke me into hitting her harder. Eventually I got tired of pushing her around the living room and I grabbed her by the hair. I asked him where their bedroom was and he pointed. I half dragged half pushed her in an awkward position somewhere between being down on all fours and up on her knees down the hallway. I didn't want her to get there in any kind of comfort or dignity.

We had our safety chat with her on her knees in front of me. STD prevention is important.

I lay back on the bed and pulled my skirt up and my panties off and she decided I was a low enough risk that she was happy to start licking my cunt without a dental dam. I have never managed to figure out dental dams. I feel like this is a failure in my sex life. Anyway.

After a few minutes of squirming I sat bolt upright and said, "Right!" Then I grabbed her by the hair and dragged her on to the bed on her back. I stopped and breathed a big deep breath and smiled slowly and deliberately. I knew this would be different. When I got her pants and panties off I smiled again.

"Nice clit, girl."

She beamed at me. She glowed. She looked like it was her birthday and Christmas all rolled up in one. She bit her lower lip as she squirmed. I think she liked how I looked at her.

"How do you want me to touch you?"

She showed me.

I was fascinated. The point was not to get the biologically-still-a-penis hard and sit on it. What the hell do I do now? It was different. It was lovely. The point was making her squirm and moan. The point was alternating biting her thighs with gentle strokes on her clit. That made her fists clench and her toes curl and she had the best throaty growl/giggle.

After a while I started getting bored again but I wasn't sure how to transition. Luckily she was a perceptive girl. "You want a dick, don't do?"

I conceded that this might in fact be the case. She sighed deeply and reached over her head towards a drawer. I looked because I am nosy as hell. Out came a strap on harness and dildo. Oh my.

She was really good at fucking. This was back in my oh my god it all feels so good I think I'll orgasm again, thanks stage. I miss that stage. We went through a variety of positions and eventually my head was buried in a pillow as she fucked me from behind. She alternated slamming her cock into me with slapping me on the ass to make me scream.

Her partner got tired of watching. I found this out when he grabbed her by the hair and yanked her off of me. I only knew that was happening because she cried out when it hurt. Then I felt him behind me. I reached back with my hand, felt a condom, and started saying, "Yes" over and over. He fucked really well too.

I like fucking people who expect to get a show. They both wanted big reactions out of me and they were quite happy to taunt me, ridicule me, hurt me, or be sweet and loving if they had to. But not for long before they want back to hurting me and fucking me. I liked them liking me. I felt really hot.

Sometimes with slutty people I think, "Ah! You have low standards" and sometimes I think, "Ah! You are highly sought out" and it's more fun to fuck the second kind. With the first kind it feels kind of extra dirty in the less fun way. I still do it because I have low standards. See, this is why I don't want to do that any more. I digress.

There is a particular kind of fame that comes from being able to do the fun-to-watch performative sex well. It's very limited in scope unless you get into porn and then it defines your life in a different way. I have never been paid as a pornographic model though I have done it for free. It's all about fuzzy lines. I've never been a sex worker.

The after cuddling was almost as fierce as the sex. There is an intense bonding from violent sex. You are orchestrating an experience together that is about skirting the line of how much pain can be doled out. It's a complicated balance. In my experience I feel a lot of bonding emotion short term and I always maintain a little bit of a connection. Sex is intimate. With them there was a lot of relief all around at finding another person who gets us. Wanting to be hurt the way we all hurt one another isn't common in the vanilla world and we were all young and fairly new to the scene. We still had the thrill of recognition of tribe.

She is the one who told me that I shouldn't call myself bisexual. I asked her why not. She asked me if I wanted her to pick a gender and stay there or is she allowed to play somewhere in the middle. I told her that she can do whatever she wants. She told me then there isn't a binary gender and I'm not "bi". I asked her what I was and she told me queer.

I remember how she raked her nails down my neck. It hurt. It burned. It felt really good. It made me gasp. I like it when my breath comes short like that--with a little squeak. I like being surprised.

I watched them have sex next. I asked them to tell me why they like each other so much. It was quite sweet hearing what they each like about the other. The beauty they find in one another. I was just a visitor--what bound them together?

I had private reservations about some of the things they said but I decided that it wasn't my life and I could be just supportive. I focused on the good sex. How can I help you two?

Eventually I passed out on the bed. I think I ended up in the middle. I love being in the middle of multiple bodies after sex. It feels comforting and assuring. Here are these people who like me and will be here to guard my dreams. If you have the intimacy of shared sleep after group sex it is a different experience, in my experience at least.

Your early experiences form who you are.

I run into her every so often. Him too. They aren't together and haven't been in a long while. Life has taken them very different places. When I saw her last I told her I didn't feel like I was queer any more and she laughed at me. She stroked my face and told me that leopards don't change their spots. Then she kissed me. I lurched towards her to kiss her back. I would have done pretty much whatever else she wanted too.

Now I'll never kiss her again. I don't feel very queer any more. It feels like my orientation is "not hunting".

But when I masturbate sometimes I think of her. I think of touching her. I think of her smile and the way she sighed. I think of the taste of her. I think of how surprising it was to have her suddenly start fucking me. I think of how nice it was when it wasn't a surprise any more and we had been fucking for weeks and we knew the rhythm and the height and the speed. She was really good at fucking. She taught me how to use a strap on. She bought me my first vibrator and taught me how to make myself come.

Eventually the guy kind of scared me and I stopped coming around. I didn't like finding out he was on ecstasy while single tailing me after I had been made to bleed repeatedly. I would have made a different choice.

Once you say yes once your only way to say no is to walk. That's my life experience. It makes it hard to have ongoing relationships. I have to be very careful what I say yes to.

Time to go think about this Noah person.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Working is fun.

I don't know what I was thinking. How did I think I would get through over-night without Noah and the kids yesterday? Ha. I came home for bed-time. I called and told Noah to let the kids stay up a bit late and wait for me. When I got home I felt better.

I crawled into the lower bunk between Shanna and Calli. I cuddled both of them. Shanna rapid-fire told me all about her day. I wanted to know. I wanted to know about every second I missed. I was sorry that I missed them. I was sorry she got hurt yesterday and I wasn't there to kiss it. She survived, of course. Kids get hurt. It's ok. It sounds like she figured out most of the "class" parts of ballet. No more telling the teacher no one else was present. Ha.

I spent the day working in a coffee shop. That's tiring work. I worked from the minute I arrived until I left. I took one ten minute break. I was in the shop for seven hours. Then I left to find food because I was starting to feel mean. I can understand why people in the community tell me that they don't come in because they don't like the food selection. We don't have filling food. We have snack food. Hm. And I don't want to take food from the shop because we need to make money and I'm too stubborn to pay for my food there after working that hard all day. Complicated. Luckily my share of the tip money (which I didn't expect to get--that was kind) covered dinner. Woo.

At the shop I am working with Noah's former partner. The one he was dating when he and I originally met. It was quite smooth. She has a very cheerful professional "face". If she has a problem with me it was totally absent from her training me for the job. I wouldn't say I felt comfortable but there is no way that I can say that any discomfort I felt was her fault. I was really impressed with watching her as an employee. That woman works like a demon. She takes pride in where she works. (Not this whole Gay Pride weekend stuff.) If something needs to be done she up and does it. She doesn't wait for anyone else. She certainly doesn't wait to be told what to do. I'm quite glad the coffee shop has her. I doubt we would have made it this far this year without people who just up and do things like she does.

It was kind of funny. When I got there an employee I don't know was the only one working. I introduced myself as one of the owners and asked what work needed to be done. She gave me tasks and it worked out. She kind of fished around for how I got involved. I told her I met R many years ago at Shibaricon and then I ran TNG4 with him. D and I knew one another in junior college--we met when I was sixteen. She expressed surprise. Oh! Then you do know these people. Because she has never seen me around it is hard to understand that I existed all that time. Ha.

I like talismans. I like fetishes (in the traditional sense not in the modern "kinky" version). "An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit" Like that. Noah and I do not have a formal all-the-time d/s or m/s relationship. We play with power exchange occasionally but it isn't a formal all the time part of our life. This means that I have strong feelings about collars. 


In the bdsm world that I grew up in there are signals. Signs that help people understand how to relate to one another. Different collars are used in different ways. The thing is, this varies by person. I have seen patterns emerge but there are always people who break the pattern. Nevertheless I observe trends. I have given away most of the collars I shared with Tom. He wished that I gave them back so he could reuse them. I said hell would freeze over first. You are a rich guy. Fucking replace it if you care so much. No you may not use my god damn collars on your long-line of women. Just no. Anonymous people with little-to-no-connection can have them with pleasure. Enjoy them. I still have some collars we shared. I don't think I will ever have them around my neck again.


When I am going out to a bdsm event and I do not want to be hit on I have to think about signaling. I have a Big Shiny Wedding Ring quite on purpose but in the poly world it doesn't matter much. In the bdsm world many people are at least open to playing with many people even if they won't have sex with them. If you represent yourself as property then you aren't approached as much. People have to feel really fucking confident that it's ok before they ask to play. And they don't do things that are pushing my boundaries because they want to respect my partner. It's hilarious. People don't seem to care if they offend me but if I look like property they want to not offend my owner. Fuck all y'all.


So I wore a shiny padlock on my sternum. It's a very simple, old fashioned sort of collar. Dog choke chains make a statement. It's been a long time since I have gone out in public making this sort of statement. I notice that I have a different kind of wariness now. I assume I am invisible now. I feel like I have learned better camouflage as prey. I no longer feel hunted a large percentage of the time. The space I take up in the world has changed.


I have spent a lot of my life moving from place to place. I always meet people easily. Looking friendly and approachable was part of how I had friends at all. People see me from across the room and come over to say, "You look like a good person to talk to." I can generally talk to just about anyone. I am quick with words. Part of this was because I was in the habit of scoping every room I was in for people to have sex with. It makes you look friendly. Seriously. You smile a lot. I don't do it any more. I can feel my facial expression. I always look harried an frustrated. Ha. Harried and frustrated looks like it might bite your head off, not give you a pleasant chat.


I spend my life in a very small and secluded sphere. I live in my role of "mom" for the vast majority of my time. Even given how much time I spend on that role I give it a disproportionate amount of energy compared to any and every other thing I have done. I am no longer hunting. It's quite simple, really. I am not looking for lovers but I'm also not looking for friends. I have a full roster right now and I don't even feel the need to particularly seek out new acquaintances. People will wander into and out of places I am standing. I don't feel the need to chase them any more. I don't need to fill up idle hours of my life. I'd give anything to have more idle hours. Oy.


I have no interest in modeling m/s or d/s while my kids are little. I want them to see a partnership. I want them to think that women are bad ass, not obedient. I want my kids to see an actual long term partnership. Staying together is important to me. People get distracted and unhappy with one another and they turn to other relationships to keep things interesting. I want my kids to think that their parents find one another interesting. I want to spend a lot of time with Noah. I like him. Being near him and talking to him makes me feel far better than I have felt at any point in my life. There is no other person on this planet who is as willing to put a mountain of time and energy into me. I am special to him. If he took that energy and gave it to someone else I would know. It would be an active withdrawal. There is a limited amount of time and energy in this life. I have something really special. I want to nurture it, not ignore it.


I have learned a lot about being gentle from being with Noah. He is the only big-tough-guy I have ever dealt with who will actively tell me I am hurting him. He's both extremely picky and not picky at all--meaning that he chooses when to talk about when he is feeling. He can endure things stoically like the next big-tough-guy. He just doesn't do that with me. He thinks I shouldn't hurt him. He doesn't want to be hurt by me. So he tells me when and how I hurt him so that I can lean to do better. Mostly we don't hurt each other any more. It's rare to have a slip. I don't even lick his nose.


I feel really glad that I get to model the relationship I have with Noah. Some day we will do more with other power structures because we want to. I really like that it will happen after many years of earning careful trust. In the modern USA "slavery" is kind of an ephemeral concept. It's not real. It's not binding. It's a choice to have a conscious power structure with someone else. It's just a consciously and specifically chosen relationship style. There are a lot of Father Is In Charge mentality left in this country, I'm not sure why people are surprised that people want to formalize this. The language is charged, yes. 


Right now I am using all of the caring-for-other-people energy I have for my children. They will not always need it and some day it will be unhealthy for me to pour this much energy into them all the time. I will still have this energy. I had this before I had kids. Noah spends a lot of time massaging me. He went to massage school as part of his learn-to-pick-up-chicks training. He really did go to school for how to be a better partner for me. I win. He also did hypnotherapy training. I'm totally going to be able to make him sound like a freakishly good fit when I write about him. I'm thinking about dialogue. I think I am hilarious. This will be a very different book to write.


I'm thinking very hard about what slavery meant to me. What did I do with Tom? How did that relationship fill my needs? I was under contract for two years. He ended that part of our relationship in a couples therapy session wherein the counselor told me that our problems were all my fault because I was asking too much of him by saying that he should follow the relationship rules of the contract we both signed. Needless to say, I felt quite good about myself at that point, right? That was when I started hounding him about kids. I was nearing the end of college. I had told him that I had no interest in getting married before I graduated from college. There was the strong implication that I wanted to get married after. He prevaricated for a while and pushed me to consider grad school. 


I decided I had two paths for teaching. If I was going to do the get married and have kids thing I should teach K-12 something. If I am going to "be a grown up" forever and build my life around the bdsm scene I should teach college so that I can be out. I decided to start the masters program first. Either way I didn't feel qualified to teach much yet. I felt like there was some magical level of smart I would feel at some point and then I would be qualified to teach. I would know enough about a topic that I felt comfortable saying, "Yes! I know this!" It's ironic that I failed the final test after years of getting good grades and being told I was good at this--writing, that is. Oh well.


I asked Tom if we could open our relationship in December of 2003. I didn't technically have sex with anyone till January. I think I knew from the first person that I was hunting. I started the masters program first but I started the teaching credential the next term. I moved out of living with Tom in October about six weeks after I broke up with him. I started the credential and broke up with him at the same time. He would never answer the marriage and kids thing. So I disengaged. I threw that energy out into the world. I went hunting. I started dating Noah in February.


It's going to be really fun to write about Noah. Knowing how this story goes it means that I am having an interesting time figuring out how to approach tone. This is going to be so different to write. How do I represent my time as a slave? What did I tell Tom? What kind of relationship was that?


I want to wear a lock on my sternum while I am working at Wicked Grounds because I want to announce that I am protected. I am wanted. Someone has already found me. When I was part of those communities I was always hunting. Always willing to say yes. It changed how I talked to people. In the past I have had issues with men taking liberties. I want to discourage it. Signaling is complicated.


I have been raped at a public sex party. I'm aware that it happens. A coffee shop isn't a sex party. But I have had people casually touch my breasts. I have had people grab my ass. These actions aren't "rape" but I'm kind of a ticking time bomb. One of these times I am going to break something on someones body as a result of them grabbing me. And it will probably escalate from there and be "all my fault", right? I'm scared. I don't like that I am scared. It is very hard for me to be in places I think of as hunting territory when I am not hunting. I feel physically sick. I feel scared. I am going to bring any fetish of protection I have.


Slavery is a way of acknowledging that someone is that interested in me. Different people do slavery differently. I'll write more about that later. It's time to start getting ready. Today will be a long day. I need to bring a water bottle and specifically drain it every so often. I think I was dehydrated yesterday. I know I was hungry. I ran five miles yesterday morning before working on my feet for seven hours making food and washing dishes. I ate a bowl of oatmeal, a thin slice of quiche... and that wall before dinner. By which time I was starving and had a raging headache. I think I should take better care of my body today. Today is supposed to be a "cross training" day. I hope this counts. I hope it will be fun. I had fun yesterday. It was fucking awesome to get to talk to people with a counter between us so they couldn't touch me. I have serious issues. Whatever. It worked. I felt safe. I felt like I was doing something and I had a place and a purpose. I was using some of my caring-for-other-people energy on that community. Twelve years is a long time. I'm not gone. I'm on sabbatical. I'm training for my next relationship. It will be very different to use more of that energy on Noah. I feel specifically spooked. 


And I should go take a shower. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

worth


A ridiculously high portion of my arguing with Noah happens because he is angry about the ways I am self-denigrating. I went to a friend’s house for a birthday party this weekend. They have a pool! And a diving board! I like diving. I love the feeling of impact on the water. I always have. Someone I have known for over a decade asked me if I used to competitively dive. I snorted and said no. I never lived in one place long enough to do anything competitively. When I brought this story home to Noah his comment was, “Naw my ex-girlfriends little brother competitively dove and you don’t do anything like that.” Roughly paraphrased. I lay in bed for a while and cried. When other people were doing things like competitive diving I was trying to find people to have sex with me. That was what I did with my time.

Noah has a big chip on his shoulder that all that time I spent in school learning about English literature has worth. I think he is quite ridiculous. I failed at the degree. If I go off into the world no one thinks that my skills have merit because when it mattered for my field I failed. I won’t ever be hired for a job where someone is supposed to have that skill set because I failed. Obviously I don’t have them. I could go back to teaching, if I was willing to go back to school and earn another credential. I’d kind of rather slit my wrists. I’m really tired of jumping through hoops to prove I am worthy only to be told I am not. I would be able to earn a credential again because no one ever actually measures you in the process. The credential is pathetic and a joke. Thus why I don’t want my kids going through an educational process spearheaded by a training program that doesn’t train people.

I’m at this weird point. I’m thirty. My youth is over. I’m not old yet, but I am a full on adult now. I will never be young again. I don’t feel like I am a person who has done much that is worthy of being proud of. I feel ashamed of myself. I don’t know how to be much of anything other than a dirty street kid. I feel like the world doesn’t have a lot of use for me so why should I bother to try? I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough to do anything worthy of doing.

It was interesting going to the birthday party. When I met this group most folks were in their thirties. Now they are in their fifties and I am in my thirties. I am the grown up I perceived them as being. It was interesting seeing how people change. Or don’t change. What is life anyway? What are people doing here? Everyone gets to decide for themselves. There isn’t an arbitrary yard-stick of important. It doesn’t matter if there is an arbitrary line or not I feel pretty worthless. I have worth in the sense that some human being has to be present with my very young children basically constantly in order to meet their needs because that is the deal for our species.

I feel proud of myself for having been a teacher. I felt really good about the number of people who told me they went their entire educational career (I had them for junior or senior year) feeling like a worthless piece of shit and I was the first teacher who ever made them feel good about themselves. I taught them to like themselves. Why can’t I like me? I feel dirty because of the sex I had. I feel like some how that tainted me. I feel like being as compulsive as I was makes me a disgusting person. This is certainly a common enough trope in our society.

Seriously think about how we judge loose, easy, slutty girls and women. Every bad thing you have ever heard or thought about a woman or girl for having too much sex or sex with too many people—I’ve probably had a lot more sex than the other person you were judging. When I hear people being nasty about slutty girls, the kind who have slept with five people in high school, about how disgusting they are… that’s me. I don’t personally know very many people who have had sex with more people than me. It’s a very short list of people. I have been somewhat horrified to find out that the “biggest sluts” in a few communities had body counts less than half of mine. What does that mean about me?

I don’t know how to talk to people in the sex communities about the fact that part of the reason I don’t want to be a big slut for the rest of my life is I’m kind of tired of the reaction. I’m tired of having to brace myself for the disdain and the sneering. I don’t even know where it all comes from.

It’s not that I feel bad about myself for not being a competitive diver. It’s not that I think that I know nothing about English literature. It’s that the only thing I have done in a way that no one can take away from me or say it “doesn’t count” is fuck people. The only thing that is really and truly mine is my body count. No one can uncount it. They can refuse to give me jobs based on my lack of a formal degree proving that I know things about English literature. No one can say I don’t know much about sex. Ha.

If I continued to sleep around I would eventually decide I wanted to hit four digits. I don’t really want to do that. I know I would. I know that in the marrow of my bones. If the only thing in this life I have to compete with is the number of people I have fucked god damn I have Wilt Chamberlain to catch up with I had better hurry.

I am a deeply competitive person. That’s why I don’t play games. That’s why I don’t like doing anything competitive. Because I can’t deal with losing and I will think very unhealthy things in the process. Because I have missed the boat in this lifetime to compete in things that might actually be healthy. All I can do is compete in a race to the bottom.

I feel vaguely ashamed of myself that I am going to go run a marathon and probably one of the last 100 people over the finish line. I’m going to barely survive this. I can tell. I can run far but I can’t run fast. If I’m lucky I will finish in less than seven hours. I’m praying I don’t have to keep walking the full seven and a half hours they leave the finish line open. I’m really really praying I don’t fail and have to continue the route on the side walk afterwards even though I don’t qualify as a race finisher. I will get through the miles. I feel pathetic in my stubborn determination. I know I won’t be good. I’m not even bothering to try. I’m good enough to be in last place. Damnit.

I feel pathetic because I am so sad that I will never be good at anything. Most people aren’t, right? I’m good at not dying. Aren’t people like me supposed to die? When I think about who and what I am I feel ashamed. First and foremost in my self-assessment needs to be survivor. I am vain enough to believe that I get that word. My father held a gun to my head and asked me if I deserved to live and I am here writing about it more than twenty years later and he is dead. I survived.

At the birthday party I sat down and talked with an old friend about being raped at a party he DJ’ed. I explained why I ran away from that community. I talked to him about why I didn’t bother saying anything at the time. No one believes worthless pieces of shit like me. I had deliberately ingested GHB and gone to a sex party. My right to say no evaporated at the door, right? Either play the game or get the fuck out. I got out.

Recently I heard someone talking about their ex as “a waste of skin”.  The phrase sent shivers through me. Am I a waste of skin? Am I just a hole? Well, kind of. Depends on how you think about it. At this time I am a mom. That’s about that hole.

I like telling people that Calli’s labor took nine days and I almost bled to death in my house. It makes me feel like that hole has finally earned the respect it deserves. Yeah. My cunt is epic. Ok, so labor is only really about the vagina for the last couple of minutes, but it’s an important couple of minutes. And the uterus is so connected you can esteem the whole system at once.

One of my lovers went through gender reassignment surgery after we stopped dating. I sat down and talked with her about the experience years later. She bled out while she was alone in her apartment and almost died. She said that when women-born-women try to pull the, “But you don’t have to deal with your period so you don’t really know what it is like” she likes to say that she bled enough in that one night to make up for a whole lifetime. Because if you bleed enough you count, right?

Did I bleed enough during my labor? Did my transformation into a mother do enough to make up for being a dirty whore for so long? I don’t know. I know that I live in a world that actively tells me I am bad. I know that I live in a world that tells me on one hand I have worth and on the other hand pays me less, values all of my contributions less, and says I should keep my mouth shut about being raped. What else do I expect? I expect that it doesn’t matter if I am a 24 year old woman at a sex party getting raped or an 11 year old girl who has the 60-something year old neighbor push me for sex or a 15 year old girl fucking a 42 year old guy. It’s all my fault. It’s all just what I deserve. From what I can tell it isn’t what every single woman deserves, but it is for me. You get what you deserve in life, right?

Noah thinks that he can convince me that there is some merit somewhere in the world for the act of criticizing writing and I have earned it. I have gone out and learned how to do that skill and I should be proud of it. He thinks I should feel like I have actually done something. I just can’t be that self-delusional. Whatever merit there is in the world for that skill I failed to attain it. Time to move on. I’m really glad that I know I was a good teacher. It lets me believe I am not completely required to fail at educating my children. I have successfully educated people in the past. I even mostly avoided the topic of sex. When I talked about sex I told them to masturbate because people their age suck at sex.

If you can’t be a good example be a horrible warning. I’m fairly certain there is no hope this lifetime of me being “good”. Some days that is harder to live with than others.

Today I will bake and clean the bathroom. I will spend time with a friend. I will try to believe in the pit of my stomach that it doesn’t matter if I am “good” or if I “deserve” the life I have. I have it. I get to decide what to do with it. I think the girls and I should plant some seeds. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Passing

I feel like I have been blessed at this point in my life. I have a wide variety of friends who tolerate my moods and writing about all kinds of hostile things. In person I generally behave myself. I have a hazy understanding of the fact that most people are guided by rules of behavior. I just don't understand what they are, mostly, and when I do I actively want to do the opposite. Just because.

I'm told that I shouldn't care what people think of me. I'm told that because Noah grew up one of those Gibbs' in his town. The rich ones. He doesn't have to care what people think. He has a fairly codified set of permissive behaviors that are tolerated from the rich geek. He knows how to behave. He knows when and how he has to care.

There is this unspoken set of behaviors that people follow. Mostly they have no idea what it means about them. If I follow the behaviors I was taught then it is patently obvious that I am still white trash. I curse regardless of who is around. Sometimes I dress in absolutely trashy clothes--to be fair I'm mostly eccentric and not "trashy" in my clothing style. I'm weirdly conservative. I have spent my entire life dodging the "you must have asked for it" line about being raped. I make sure no one can tell me it is my fault because of what I am wearing.

I have a carefully constrained life. The most important piece of my life right now is that I learn how to pass. I need to learn how to pass as a normal, stable member of the middle class. I need to learn how to not offend people. It's harder than it seems. It's easy for other people because they were taught to be unoffensive from when they were quite young. I was taught quite the opposite.

This weekend I spent time with a friend I have known for more than ten years. We met in a bdsm relationship class on protocols. It was a six week course on Dominant/submissive and Master/slave variations. It was more interesting than it sounds. What is protocol?  I'm not going to steal the Lady Victoria's class and tell you much about it. If you like such things, I recommend the extended classes. People find interesting things to say.

Anyway, I was hanging out with this friend. I met her early in the M/s portion of my relationship with Tom. I asked her if she was aware that I was depressed and cutting through my relationship with Tom. She said she had no idea. She is pretty sure no one knew.

I pass pretty well when I want to. But I don't always pass as what I want to pass as.

I know how to be not-me. I'm not great at the fine tuning of what people really see. I have a nervous energy I get at parties. I giggle a lot. I'm scared shitless. I usually feel like I want to vomit on the floor. Being around more than two or three human beings triggers my hypervigilance and in my head I am rehearsing polite ways to deflect attention I don't want and I'm praying for attention I do want. Long before I can try to get attention I have to decide the appropriate way to deflect unwanted interest. Or I get in trouble. My natural reflexes are not PC. When I am given truly unwanted attention my impulse is to be violent. I don't hesitate. I have to defend myself and no one else will. Ever. Period. I live in a "polite" society, though. I am not allowed to be violent in defense of myself. I try hard to think of ways to "use my words"that won't get me booted out. If there is a problem it will always be my fault. I'm sure that this guy who has raped other women (I hear the stories) could not possibly have done anything rude to me I am just over reacting. I'm the problem.

I know how to be not-me. I know how to pretend a certain level of passivity so that I can be tolerated on the fringe of society. I don't know how to feel safe. I don't know how to feel like I belong. I don't know how to make friends with multiple people in a demographic. I tend to hold on to a few people from each community. I don't know how to interact with large groups of people because I'm used to tailoring the things I say to one individual person. I can skirt the line of offensive more easily that way. When I'm around a group I feel petrified with fear because someone in the group is going to be an outlier in a different direction and someone will be snotty or aggressive or ... something. Someone will behave in a way that I read as picking a fight. And I will have to walk away or bear the consequences. I can't engage. I can't respond at all. I will be the problem.

I don't mean that I spend my life wanting to hit people. I mean that I don't verbally spar with people. I shut up.

I have friends I can argue with. I have people I have known intimately I can argue with. Unless someone has been close to me at one time I am unlikely to take the chance of arguing with them. I don't go looking for random arguments on the internet. If I bother to argue with you it is probably because I have years of pent up frustration I need to vent in your direction. You have been pissing me off for a very long time. Mostly I felt that I had to keep my mouth shut. At some point I will feel comfortable enough in the turf and I will fucking tell you how you have pissed me off. I can only do that with people who have shown a previous tolerance for me. It's terrifying. I have to trust there will not be repercussions. I'm wrong, still. I go off on people and lose friendships.

I'm supposed to pass as a not-angry person. That is a mask if ever there was one. The same people who tell me to "be myself" are the people who tell me to not be angry. It's a lie from the first breath. And I can't point that out. And I can't be angry about being lied to over and over.

There are a lot of things I have to pass as. I'm in the first truly stable period of my life. I have lived in this house longer than anywhere. I have to pretend I know what this feels like and I am comfortable here. I am so uncomfortable I am ready to crawl out of my skin. I want to move. I want to not have to feel scared when I leave the house. I don't feel scared when I feel invisible. I feel so scared here because people have been seeing me around for a long time and they have expectations of me. I feel like I am going to let people down at any moment. Soon they will learn how very angry I am.

I feel very weird about the other ways I pass. I pass as straight. I am now in a monogamous relationship. We don't have the time to be non-vanilla if we wanted it. Not really. I have to walk away from being the kind of freak I was.

Not everyone does. I can't be part of an experiment to raise children in an "open" household. I can't. I need more boundaries than that. I want my children to have a theoretical knowledge of my sex life. I don't want them to see my sex life parading through the house. It's different with their dad. We don't flaunt our sex life. It isn't obvious that I'm keeping him around for that. I do though. He's great at sex.

I feel weird about the fact that I shouldn't talk much about being queer. I certainly don't tell the lesbian moms in the home schooling group that I'm queer. I don't want to see rolled eyes. I have two options: I can shut the fuck up, or I can roll out my CV to prove I am the person I say I am.

It's easier to pass.

It seems to me that queer is complicated. I can never take back the fact that I have had sex with a good thirty or forty women. I don't know the number any more. Hard drive crash. But people don't know that when they look at me. How could they? I have a much larger body count than most heterosexual men. How in the hell can I ever be not queer? But I don't partner with women. I have too many issues with them. I have a hard time working things out with women. With a man I assume he won't be able to figure anything emotional out so I'm ok with spelling things out in small, easy to digest words. With a woman I get incandescently angry that they are so stupid about figuring out my emotions and I just refuse to keep talking.

Women are scary in a way that men aren't. My experience of the men I choose to get close to is that they are not passive aggressive. They are aggressive. They do it or they don't do it. My experience of the women I get close to is that they are going to serve #1 first but they will actively lie to you and say that you are first, no really. When women speak I have this filter in my brain, "Are they lying to me" that I just don't have in the same way with men. Men lie too, but generally about different things and in different ways. Men are easier to predict. Men feel less complicated. Women can smile at you and poison your drink. Women are like me. Women are terrifying. But hot. So there you go.

I loved Julia. I lived with her. I thought we could find a way to figure things out. She showed up one day out of the blue and said she was moving to Boston next week, uhhh bye.

I grew up in a house of women. Women aren't going to do the bad things to you. They are just going to leave you. They are going to let you down when things are hard because they have been overstressed for a long time and they never told you and now they have to focus on themselves and you just aren't important. My mom did that. My sister did that.

And I can't be angry. Not if I want a shred of relationship left. Not if I don't want to be alone. I'm telling you, though: I'm angry. I'm fucking angry. I have to pass as not angry. It will be a carefully constructed lie because I am no better than anyone else. Because I know that continuing to behave in my normal fashion won't teach my kids how to have healthy relationships. I have to pass as someone who is capable of having normal, healthy relationships.

It's hard. It's a game I play every day. How to pass as a "normal" person. I'm not. Normal people didn't go out and get a PhD in sex. I haven't heard of very many things I haven't tried. That was my hobby for the first twenty-five years of my life. It has been one of the largest parts of my identity. It decided my behavior. That is how I use identity. I decide what identity I want/need to have and then I align my behavior with it. I am not just Krissy. It's all a game. Who and what I am varies dramatically in different situations.

I didn't tell my dentist he was a fucking asshole when he told me that he wouldn't recommend my book to people because it is too hard and people shouldn't have to know about such things. Instead I just told him, "That attitude is why it happened. Because no one can bear to know I exist." I hope he felt bad.

I have to pass. If I don't then people don't want to acknowledge that I exist. I have to have a presentable, tasty candy coated shell. I have to pretend to be good enough. I have to pretend to be of the class of the people I am talking to.

I'm god damn tired of being scolded because my manners are terrible. You have no idea. Go to hell.

Everything about the life I am choosing right now is a carefully constructed lie. See, I'm a good mom. I can play this role. I can be patient and kind. I can be tolerant and mellow. I can be careful what behavior I model. My children are not going to learn how to be a whore by watching me work. When I am in the mood to I can go pick up sex basically anywhere. There is usually someone willing if you know how to look. I'm trying to learn how to ignore those signals. I'm modeling the behavior that I believe a "good" woman would have. I'm a fucking fraud.

I don't even make people buy me dinner before I fuck them and leave. I want to have physical contact, not intimacy. I don't want my children to learn that. Not from me.

I think that my relationships with my children will be pretty much the most intense ones of my life. The most intimate. My mother treated me like an obnoxious burden. I don't do that to my kids. My mom dumped me on people I didn't know. My kids are getting to know a short list of people very well.

I will spend significantly more time with my children than anyone else. Far more time than Noah. Noah will take decades to catch up on time spent because he likes his alone time. I will have a good solid ten years of being with my kids before they start really trying hard to get away from me. I have to pass as a good mother.

What makes someone good or bad? I'm not sure. I'm told that you are bad if you do bad things. I've done a lot of very bad things. I guess that's that.

After my experience with my girl friends a couple of weeks ago I remain convinced that I am not a dancer. If I am to be defined by my behavior I am not a dancer. I occasionally dance. I enjoy dancing. I'm not a dancer.

I am a mother. That will never be taken away from me. Nothing can change that. I think it is the most permanent part of my identity. Will I ever want to pass as not a mother? In order to act like a slut I would have to. I don't want to. I want to have this permanent change in who and what I am. If it is possible to simply be another person I want to be. I want to figure out how to stop being bad.  It's not that I think that all people who have multiple partners are bad. The sex I like is the most high risk kinds there are. I just can't model that to my kids. I can't. I have to pass. I have to.

What does being queer mean then? How is that going to work in my life? Am I giving that up to? I was talking to a friend about passing this weekend. The Godmama. She said she doesn't really think about being queer any more. It's there but it's not a conscious part of her life. I said, "You are trans and married to a woman. You don't have to think about it to wear it on your face." I am who those disgusting ministers point at when they say that you can get over being queer. I pass.

I tell my children that they grow up to love men or women or men and women. I tell them that the most important part of relationships is that you respect your partner and can trust them. Some day my kids will figure out that I know some really weird people. It's probably going to take them a while. To them this will be normal.

Why do I want to consciously construct a heterosexual monogamous life and model that? It's not the norm. Not really. Look at history. I want to model picking a life and really doing it. I want to not be distracted by all the could-be's in life. I want to be creating something with a person. Noah and I have a lot of joint goals. We are building something together. It happens that he is a guy. It was a lot more convenient for that "having kids" thing I wanted. No woman ever wanted me the way Noah wanted me. That's why I picked Noah. Not because I don't like women. Not because I'm not attracted to them. No one ever wanted to take on the project that is my mental health. I don't blame them.

My teenagers will understand that non-monogamy is a common, perfectly reasonable path that I do not choose. They will hear which people we know are doing it well (Grandpa J) and which people are not doing it well (name redacted). We will talk a lot about ethics. Heck, we already do.

Am I trying to pass as not depressed? Yes. I don't want them to learn the physical behaviors of depression. I don't want them modeled. I want my kids to grow up around productive people. It's ridiculously important to me. It doesn't matter how I feel. I have a place in my head that allows me to go through the rote motions of life. I may not be cheerful but I consciously work on maintaining a neutral facial expression and I god damn do everything I am supposed to do. I make food. I do chores. We go to the park on park day. I have a role to fill. It doesn't matter how I feel. I can pass. I can do this.

Sometimes when I sit and think about what hard things I have done I feel confused. Like those must be the acts of a different person. Doing those things would make someone strong. I feel so weak. I'm trying to get stronger every day. I have to. Even if I have no interest. I have amazing willpower. My willpower seems to be inhuman. I have tremendously more control than I let on. That's part of the game. That's part of passing. You have to fake it until you can make it.

I have a picture of Jenny and her mom in my garage. I think about them and their relationship a lot. I try to puzzle out the has been from the should have been. I haven't been able to stand near very many mother-daughter relationships. I don't understand them very well. Jenny doesn't have overly close relationship with her mother for a variety of reasons. I think about the lessons to be learned from the choices her mother made. Jenny's mom was nicer to me than any other mother of a friend when I was a kid. It's complicated in my head to set that aside and think of her from other perspectives.

When I'm trying to create this person in my head, the person I am supposed to "pass" as I think hard about my role models. I try hard to think through the long-term consequences of their behavior. I don't want to adopt other broken models. That's not useful. I feel scared. When I look around my life I see that most of the people who want to know me are people who also come from problematic back grounds. People would rush to say, "Not like yours!" but whatever. No, incest is not rampant among my friends group. But people who tolerate me probably had an emotionally unstable parent or close relative so they have coping skills. That's kind of not great.

I feel afraid because I feel like I am trying to create a person who genuinely could not exist even under the best of circumstances. I know a handful of people who came from stable, happy, affectionate, appropriate families. They are oddballs. They know it. They are nearly mythical. At least in my head. I'm not trying to be Mary Poppins.

We live in a strange time. Through most of history people basically grew up to do what their parents did. Sure there were transition times when people left farms and came to cities, but then the family found a trade in the city. Mostly people did what their parents did. What kind of person do I want my children to grow up with?

On the subject of body wind: Noah tells me that farting is one of those things that tells you which class someone really is. Rich people ignore bodily functions. Middle class people apologize for them. Poor people laugh. I go back and forth between ignoring them and giggling. I feel anger over the idea of apologizing for them.

I am expected to follow all these stupid made up rules. They have no basis. They are regional. They don't matter. That's what you are supposed to do in "polite" society. How in the fuck am I supposed to teach this shit to my kids? My goal is to take them out of the country at formative ages so they understand exactly how irrational and arbitrary these rules are. But I don't want them to feel the same anger I feel.

I don't want my children growing up with the idea that getting angry all the time is normal and natural. That's really hard on your body. It causes long term stress for the rest of your life. So I have to model not being angry. This is not a good cycle for me.

It's ironic that I had two girls. It means I have to work on my emotional intimacy issues with females. Festive. When Shanna gives me a nasty look I respond with surprise. I say, "Oh gosh! Am I looking at you like that?" Then I rub my forehead to get rid of the deep lines of scowl and I repeat whatever I had said to her previously. I explain that I wasn't feeling angry but I was thinking hard. She generally smiles and repeats whatever it is she is on about in a more friendly way.

I'm going to have a hard time with the homeschooling group. I don't really like how often the topic is, "Obviously we love our kids more than working mothers." I'm not yet in a position where I can sit and argue with people. I keep my mouth shut and my eyes on the ground. It's horse shit. It's self-serving dogma. You can't measure love. You don't take care of your kids a certain number of hours per day and compare it to a chart to see how much you love your kids. Not all mothers want to subsume their complete identity into parenting. Some people might call that healthy.

Not all homeschooling mothers subsume their entire identity into their children either. But they give up a much larger chunk. Either that or they drag their kids along into their identity. Is there or is there not a barrier between your children being full members of your life? For me there just isn't a lot left they can't be part of. I go to adult-only events sometimes but it's rare. I have a lock on my bedroom door so that I can have a sex life. I write behind a closed door. I don't smoke near them. That is all I do away from them. They are part of the whole rest of my life. I really enjoy the company. I really enjoy feeling seen all the time. I enjoy the fact that what I do with every minute of my day matters because I am going to be accountable to this person for the rest of my life for my behavior. This relationship is the opposite of temporary. This is the the most intensity I will ever have in my life. I want to really experience that. I want to drown in it. I want to find out what it is like to really and truly be responsible for another human being at all times. Yes, working parents are still responsible for their kids, but they delegate a lot of the day-to-day supervision. The ultimate responsibility is still there. Just wait till your kid steals a car. Ha. I did that.

I am integrating my children into my life. I am creating a life that is fully appropriate for them. Who do I want to be? What kind of person are my children likely to respect and trust as they grow up? What do I have to do to pass as respect-worthy and trust-worthy?

This is so hard. I was not taught to be this person. I am a judgmental bitch and I will say that I did not grow up around people with a strong work ethic. Most of my family survives on welfare of some kind. There is no impetus for working to better your life. You just have to learn how to hussel to fill in the cracks. Declare bankruptcy every so often. Let other people support you. Don't pay your rent and get angry when your (relative) landlord tells you that you have to move because they need to make enough money to pay the mortgage. You are owed a living, aren't you?

I grew up angry poor. The kind of poor that is surrounded by beauty and wealth which only emphasizes how terrible it is. My Uncle Bob and Auntie live down in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's beautiful. When you spend most of your childhood surrounded by the California Redwoods you travel and think, "I can see that they have nice bushes but where are the trees?" It's a very wealthy area. Our neighborhood slowly gentrified during my lifetime. When my relatives bought in it was the cheap and cruddy area. The poor people lived there because it was what they could afford. The original mortgage more than forty years ago was $40,000. Last I heard the mortgage was several thousand a month and Auntie had to work full time to pay it. She was in her seventies.

Our house was the unsightly dump at the end of the road. Lots of cars on blocks. You know those big metal storage PODS people use? There were a few there as permanent instillations. Several big ramshackle barns on the property. It was a serious health hazard. Uncle Bob was a serious hoarder. He spent money like it grew on trees and never got rid of anything. So he could never find anything in he mess and would go buy new over and over. He was so bitter about not having... something. I never knew what.

I went to Los Gatos High School and I was on the free lunch program. There weren't many of us. When I went to Lakeside, up in the mountains, it was different. There were always a few other poor, problem kids. A lot of fucked up people go hide in the mountains. Which isn't to say that everyone in the mountains is fucked up. Anyway.

I wasn't allowed into the nice homes. I was only invited to play with the other kids who had alcoholic parents. The other girls who watched their parents have sex. I had Brittney. That was it for a stable friendship in my life. Every family has issues, even Brittney's family. I learned some bad things there as well. Mostly lying.

What do I want to teach my kids? How do I need to pass out there in the scary world? I would be less scared if the consequences mattered less. How do I not fail my children? How do I not teach them to grow up and act like they have an alcoholic parent? This is hard.

I feel like they shouldn't have to deal with the fact that I am an angry person. Full stop. I'm not angry at them or about them so it isn't their problem. I don't give other people the same leeway. I'm not sure why.

Shanna and Calli are unabashed in their need. They still truly need me in order to grow up whole and healthy. I have to be a positive force in their life. Someone who makes them feel good about being themselves. That's my job. It's a lot of pressure, meeting their needs all the time. It's a lot of work. In many ways it is unsatisfying work because they feel like bottomless pits of need and I never make a dent. But that's not true. They are very happy people. Life is going well for them. They don't have unmet needs. Even though I feel like I can't I can't I can't I am.

I think about how their needs are going to change. How I have to be the bad guy sometimes. I have to be the mean mom. That's part of the deal. I have to set limits. If I don't then you won't learn how to deal with them in the world. Everyone has limits. People who tell you that you don't have to worry about what other people think are mostly lying. I want my kids to make the conscious choice of which opinions to care about. I hope they will respect me enough to care about mine. I don't take it as writ.

How do I need to act in order to be someone they can respect? That feels like a lot of pressure. How do I need to change? How do I need to pass?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More on anger.


Right now I’m having internet connectivity issues. I read comments on my phone but the interface on blogger and lj mobile suck. I’m not going to type responses with my thumbs. Especially because my thumb bloody hurts. In the past week I have cut it more than once and I have a nasty thorn or splinter or something I can’t get out. I’m not going to write elaborately on my phone. On the computer I am composing in Word and then when I get five minutes of being connected I hit post. Which is a long winded way of saying this post will hopefully include the things I would say to people individually and I like comments.

I think that class things play in as well as gender things, yes. Men and women talk down to me differently. Men treat me like I am stupid. Women treat me like I am not important. Men know that I have some use at least.

I grew up in a very female dominated environment. Men came and went and weren’t big influences. I lived with my mom and my sister and Auntie and my cousin and her daughter. The boys were Uncle Bob, my nephew Denny (who is eight years younger than me), and my male cousins would rarely show up for dinner. The avoided the hen house. Uncle Bob thrived in an environment where he was the only cock. It allowed him to strut and act like he did the important male jobs and we were all weak and stupid. The important jobs like sitting in his chair and waiting to be served. Awesome.

Over and over my experience of men is that they talk down to me and expect me to be grateful that they are imparting wisdom. It’s not just an engineer thing. I get the same kind of condescension from the maintenance guys at the local elementary school (That’s what Uncle Bob did for the last ten or fifteen years he worked).  I am more surrounded by engineers these days than I used to be and the feeling has intensified. I feel like being an engineer takes male bravado from seven to eight. They are just slightly more full of themselves. Either way I’d like to walk around with a baseball bat taking out kneecaps. Maybe they would stop fucking looking down on me.

Not really. I’m kidding. Mostly. The thing is, I like men. I find them comfortable to be around. Men think I’m not as smart as them so they don’t expect much from me. When I do things they are surprised and complimentary. Wow! You can do that? Why always the tone of surprise? Oh yes. Because it is a shock that I’m not sitting at home waiting for a man to deliver. Right.

I used to work technical theatre. I had two bosses. The technical director is a sweetheart and I adore him still. He is equally insulting to everyone who walks through his door. He does not treat women as less competent. I thought it was beautiful to watch him interrogate boys the way I normally only see women be questioned. “Have you ever used a drill?” He assumes everyone who walks through the door is completely unskilled because otherwise his liability lawsuits would be enormous. I can respect that. He works with large saws all day long. The other boss was in charge of more hand-wavey shit like lighting design and painting and directing. He is a piece of shit misogynist. He openly made nasty comments about women and he and the “boys” would sit around laughing. He was constantly rude to me because I was doing a “man’s” job.

I was one of two people trained to work the rail. The rail is the system used to hang the large backdrop pieces. It is a very carefully balanced pulley system that involves a lot of loading 10-50 lb bricks onto the device from a platform 50’ in the air. It’s not for sissies. The boss I liked thought I was one of the most attentive people there and it was safest for me to be in the air. The other boss would do things to make it harder for me. Like stop in the middle of the ladder right in front of me in order to have a conversation with someone. I just had to hang out on the ladder indefinitely. He would hear I was up at the rail and make loud comments about how we should evacuate the building before I kill someone. To be fair, before I figured out a way to attach the wrench to my belt loop I dropped it once. That was a dangerous mistake. He didn’t attack any of the men the same way. Even if it was their first time walking into the building and they didn’t know an Allen wrench from a Philips head screwdriver.

It’s not just about sex. It’s about the meeting point of class and gender. That’s where I feel stuck and angry today. Men and women manifest the ways they look down on people differently. I have different kinds of anger at them. Women are more subtle and horrible. Men talk to you like you are a piece of shit. Women will smile prettily and spew poison behind your back. Women are afraid of direct confrontation so you have no idea what to expect from them, ever. Women will lie and use relationships to manipulate people. Women get people to “take sides”.  I do it too. I’m not going to lie.

My experience of the difference is that men charge through life just asserting that they are better whether it has any reflection on what they have actually done or not. Women go through making sure other people can’t buck the system. They impose order. Once you are at the bottom of the barrel women don’t tolerate social climbing. You are bad and they won’t let you forget it.

I say these things and wonder how defensive my friends feel. Obviously I don’t want to set the whole world on fire with a torch or I probably would have. I’m expeditious. There are people of both genders who are not terrible people. Most people are not terrible people. Most people are self-obsessed and just don’t bother to notice how they are treating other people. I think that is part of what makes me so god damn mad. They aren’t trying to be mean. They just don’t bother to think about how they are acting. People really don’t put any thought into their tone of voice by and large. And the ones who say they do? They are often the worst. God save me from men who consider themselves feminists. It can go strongly one way or another. Either they are genuinely willing to consider me an equal human being (rare) or they like to tell me how evolved they are and that means that sex with them will be better. To this I say: Bitch, please. The sex is better with raging misogynists and I know it. Why are we lying here?

I think that is a lot of the problem. I do think the sex is better with misogynists. That is a lot of why I have kept my mouth shut in the ways I have. Men who carefully treat me like I am breakable don’t hit my radar. There is an assumption of basic competence when someone drags you through an experience because that is what they want to do right now. There isn’t a lot of room for, “But I have this weird little quirk”—they don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear about how easily my vaginal tissue tears. They don’t want to hear about the various health issues I have as a result of violent sex. They just want to get off. There is this assumption that my body is going to handle whatever they feel like doing whether I enjoy it or not.

What? Not everyone has their father train them that all sexual contact is supposed to hurt and you are supposed to learn how to keep a straight face the whole time? That’s not what toddlerhood is like for most people?

I’m broken. I’m broken because I like people who want to hurt me. In a deep animal way I can respect them. In an animal way I don’t have a lot of respect for the people who use kid gloves even though I desperately need the kid gloves at this point in my life. I am so terribly wounded. I don’t think I can continue to just get up and moving on while people hurt me. At some point you lose the will to live. I need to stop accepting what I am used to accepting.

I feel deeply confused by how other people manage these things. For the life of me I don’t understand why I have the friends I have. I have quite a few really intense relationships. They enjoy my company for no reason I can fathom. I’m trying to just show up. I’m trying to trust them.

I hate how much dissociation I still have from my body. I am not interested in soft gentle bunny sex because I can’t feel it. My body doesn’t pay attention, mostly, until pain is applied. I feel very broken.

I have trouble with women, I perceive, in large part because of the Embargo. I’m hoping that fades as I am no longer competition. I can’t count how many women have told me, “I hated you when I first met you but then I started to kind of respect you.” Oh thanks. I’ll try not to let my head expand from that praise. People really don’t give a shit what they say to you. I’m so glad I have earned some grudging respect. That makes me feel better. I earn respect, near as I can tell, from trying to very seriously to do what I say. It’s unusual. I don’t stop doing things because they become annoying or difficult or unpleasant. That is when I feel a rush of adrenaline. I fucking said I would do this and I am not going to god damn fail. I don’t very often. It’s why I don’t casually say I will do things.

Men and women are different kinds of liars. There is overlap, of course. Men are more likely to trash talk you while giving you a chance to do it anyway. Women will gently put their hands over yours to prevent you trying because you don’t want to be humiliated when you fail, right? They are just trying to be kind and save you from your own failure.

The flavor of the condescension changes a lot as social status changes. Low class men talk down to women differently than very educated men. It’s easy to argue with low class men. I suppose I should say that it isn’t hard for me to convince a low status man that I am higher status than him. I can get them to back the fuck off. I am smart and extremely well educated on an unusual arrangement of topics. Low status men can be convinced that I am useful. Once they see that I have skills they specifically respect (no shit, I can build things) then they mellow in tone.

This is where my anger and rage at the engineers come in. They have no respect for all those low status skills I have. They really don’t care that I can do a wide variety of low status low paid jobs. It’s just more proof that I am not as good as them. If I can’t sit there and pretentiously spend my life talking about some minute thing they learned in college I am not as good as them.

And as much as I like all the people in my life who went to CMU or Stanford or whatever Ivy League school I’m really pretty tired of them spending parties talking on and on and on about their teachers. Isn’t college over? Can you move on? Yes, we are all aware that you went to this bad ass school. That’s nice dear. Have you done anything since? Get over college. Seriously. If it was more than ten years ago it is probably a good thing to talk about something more recent. Those of us who are not in the clique are heartily sick of it. We talk about you behind your backs. We are sick of hearing about your college experiences.

Why? Because my college experience was kind of shitty. I went to CSU Hayward before it gave up its place identity. I knew the names of three fellow students when I graduated because those were the ones who talked to me during classes. I lived with Tom. I was a 24/7 slave during college. I went to class, sure. But I went because there were hoops I had to jump through on my way to having the life I wanted. Not because college was so awesome. I went there after junior college. I certainly have stories about the college period of my life but the fact that I was in college wasn’t really the point.

When I deal with people who had transformative college experiences I have trouble being patient. They tend to overinflate the importance of that experience. Like you can’t truly grow up unless you go through an experience like that. But I didn’t have an even remotely similar experience. I read my books and wrote my papers and argued more in class than the teachers liked but it wasn’t my life. It was background noise to my life. It feels like one more way there is something wrong with me.

I didn’t have the same kind of experience other people had. I can’t talk about that period in the same way. It feels alienating. It feels like once again I did it wrong. I’m kind of tired of having to hear people over and over and over describe how awesome college was! Really? Uhm, whatever.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that people have good experiences. I’m glad that other people have transformative experiences. I’m just tired of having to listen to the same ones over and over while knowing that my transformative life experiences are ones that I should keep my fucking mouth shut about otherwise people will be appalled and horrified. My life experiences are disgusting and inferior. Can’t I shut up about them already? I would harp on that less if I was told to shut up less. I am told to shut up and give everyone equal time to talk. So I can listen to forty people tell me the stories of their college experience and they can all tell me the same stories about the same professors and the same papers they had to write. But sweet Jesus no one wants to hear about my shit. It’s just too hard.

In graduate school I wrote about some of my early life experiences. I was told it wasn’t realistic and I should try to write about things people will believe. I really can’t get over that. I can’t get over being told that I should make up a life story that won’t offend people so that I can participate in the vapid cocktail chat. Fuck no.

Men and women talk down to me differently and I hate them differently for it. I suppose that part of the problem is a big part of me accepts that men will always look down on me. When women do the same thing I can’t contain my rage and violence. It feels more visceral, more offensive, more shocking. When I say, “Can’t contain” what I mean is I say very mean things in my head, silently.

When a man talks down to me I can roll my eyes and shrug it off. When a woman talks down to me I want to punch her in the face because doesn’t she fucking know better than to act like that? What is her fucking problem!? I think there is a part of me that is just as big of a misogynist as anyone else. I hold men and women to different standards. I expect women to have a better idea of how to talk to me and they really don’t. It’s not fair or appropriate.

I suppose I expect women to give me the same tolerance I give men. Ignore my attitude and tone of voice and we will do fine. But I don’t give them the same tolerance. I think it is because they do it differently. If a woman is the same kind of angry-tetchy I am we can normally figure out how to get alone. There is a lot of bluntness available and we can muddle through how to relate. It’s the ones who have a high idea of protocol in their head that I will never measure up to that I have trouble with.

I deal well with other wild animals. I can respect that. It seems to be a harshness of spirit that I can recognize from a ways away. Very wounded people all seem to move or smell the same. It transcends gender in a variety of ways. There are two kinds of wounded people, in my experience. There are victims and there are wild animals. Victims think that they are wounded because they were terribly treated. Wild animals think that life is hard and sometimes you don’t get out of the way fast enough. There is a basic acceptance of brutality that I can work with. I don’t have a lot of patience for victims. Victims seem to think that the world is basically a just place so why were they treated badly—it’s not fair!

 I have never had someone who was black hear about my life and tell me, “You should be dead.” That has only come from white people. Only white people seem to think that the indignity of what I experienced is such that I simply should not keep going. People of other races nod and say that shit happens. Now what am I going to do?

It’s a very complicated intersection of race and gender and social class that drives my anger. I’m tired of being treated like a delicate wilting flower. I’m tired of being told that I should not survive what happened to me. I should lay down and die. I should shut up. I shouldn’t offend people. I should accept my place in the pecking order and stop being angry about it. There isn’t a point. Actually there is a lot of point. I’m glad I have enough anger to walk away from tense interactions more determined that these fuckwads are not going to kill me. They don’t get to win.

Sometimes I’m angry with people I don’t need to be angry with. That is unfortunate. But it’s life. Sorry. I apologize a lot. I think I’m quite the sorry individual. And that is why I am so angry. I believe I am low status. Despite all kinds of markers in my life that might indicate otherwise. I am completely convinced that there isn’t a lot of point in me continuing to waste oxygen. Ok, at this point someone has to raise my children but wouldn’t they be better off with someone who was less disgusting? Someone who was more appropriate?

I think a lot of this anger is all self-directed. Why can’t I be what I see in my head? Why can’t I be just a good upstanding citizen? Why do I have to fight all the damn time? Why do I have to argue? Why do I have to deal with men telling me that I am willfully blind if I do not see the world exactly as they do? I don’t think I am the blind one. But I seem to have bought into the idea that I am less than them. And I hate them for it.