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what’s missing?

May 17, 2015
  1. A project big enough to sink my teeth into, that requires NT and NF skills, plus movement
  2. Visual poetry forms
  3. writing about Chesapeake Bay
  4. play: torso garments
  5. play: choreographing dance
  6. play: metal/mixed media arm to hold my bowl of treasures
  7. play: portal into secret worlds 1 & 2
  8. play: sinuous vessel(s)
  9. more colorful flowers in potager
  10. play: balancing; folding
  11. playing with clay
  12. play: jeans skirt, re-imagined
  13. play: hair shape and color
  14. play: multilingual poetry
  15. play: color/pattern {synesthesia} collages for my archetypes, personas
  16. play: change the colorway of my robe
  17. play: dressy outfit that suits me

the fit of my feelings

May 16, 2015

I’m getting much better at noticing that something is bothering me. But the pace of figuring out what it is seems glacially slow.

And then I still have to decide how to deal with it.

Everyone else must’ve learned this stuff when they were kids — by the time they were grown and their brains were complex, they were whizzes at it. But it’s a developmental stage that I must’ve skipped, or if I learned it, it was only in the most slapdash / guesstimate way.

All I can do is start from where I’m at.

= = =

Parts of me feel like learning these sorts of things, in real time, in public, is so unseemly that that discomfort trumps (should trump) how useful it is, and how much hands-on respect for my inner voices I’m learning.

Parts of me disagree.

I want to someday have the skills to talk about my feelings (if I wish) in real time, even if they are intense and/or uncomfortable. Currently, there is a lag of several days; sometimes, it’s weeks or months.

It’s still scary to… have… feelings. To admit to having feelings. 40 years of being utterly convinced I was an INTP indelibly marked me.

People who “deal with their feelings — where other people can see them!” are fluffy, woolly-headed, flaky types. I’m nothing like that! I’m rational! I’m logical!

And I am / can be rational and logical. But that’s not the whole story.

= = =

I’m experimenting with new gender labels: maybe agender fits me better than nonbinary.

I just realized… I’ve probably known people on Twitter for a while that identify as agender, but… there’s a new-to-me person, who’s a scientist, and seems NT-ish. I think I have a bit of a crush on them. In some ways, they (seem to have) made all the ideal choices that I couldn’t/didn’t. And while their life is still difficult in many ways (including many ways my life was not), they have arrived to professional heights I will never reach. They have colleagues and friends who respect them.

I miss feeling like that was something I could strive for.

If I just “fix myself” enough, someday there’ll be a place for me.

= = =

My former therapist, P, insisted that human beings can only negotiate big changes in their identity amidst their relationships with other human beings.

That hasn’t been my experience at all.

In some ways, it would be easier if it had been.

Thing is, I’m pretty solitary: does that mean that I can’t change my identity?

If I try to make new friends mostly so I can renegotiate who I am, wouldn’t that kind of be under false pretenses? “Hey, you like Mea-CurrentVersion, and that’s great! But she’s on her way out, as soon as you agree to let her be Mea-FutureVersion!”

It also holds me hostage to what they will allow.

Which has actually been a problem for me: I have felt so trapped by other people’s expectations / wishes for who I was allowed to be with them, that I felt like I was being strangled.

I’ve ended my relationships with all of those people. But it took years and years to figure out that that was what was bothering me.

There’s not one person in my family of origin that I could (even imagine) say/ing to them, face to face: “I don’t know what my gender is. I’ve never ‘known’ what my gender is. Why do I have to pick just one? Why do I have to choose at all? I’m Mea. If that’s sufficient for me, it needs to be for you too.

“We can explore the possibilities together. Or we can break up. Because I am this person, and only I get to decide who this person is.”

CONSENT isn’t quite the right concept, although it’s close. Havi would call it SOVEREIGNTY, which I don’t quite like either because of the embedded rank/status aspects of the word itself. Only ‘kings’ and ‘queens’ get to choose who they are? (Also, what label for a ‘ruler’ with no gender?) Also, I don’t want to rule anyone. This isn’t about other people at all.

But many words really are about other people, about relationships. They’re not designed for you to talk about just you.

I guess maybe lots of other people don’t have a “just me” to talk about.

I want other people to be as fascinating to me as I am to myself, but, in a lot of cases, other people are orders of magnitude less interesting. Also, they’re un-self-aware. Also, they’re (broadly) predictable. They don’t surprise themselves, and they rarely surprise-me-in-a-Good-Way.

= = =

I’ve been in lots of social situations (job, volunteering, AROHO) where people are supposed to identify themselves or something significant about themselves, and they use words like:

Wife/husband, mother/father, sister/brother, aunt/uncle, friend of X.

If we could do a list, and we proceeded down through… 50-100 items, I might arrive at those places. I guess.

It’s not just that I don’t get along with my family of origin — even when I was little, I wouldn’t have thought those words were about me.

I am an individual.

Or, that thing I keep reading about social networks, where they say you’re the average of the 5 (human being) people you spend the most time with.

I don’t think I spend time with 5 human beings. But even if I did, that’s not what you’d need to know about me.

The HB person I spend the most time with is Spouse, and we’re broadly similar.

A list* of what you’d need to know about me might be: “trees, rivers, rocks, flowers, bumblebees, slime molds, fungi, frogs, salamanders, mountains, clouds, stars. Books. Art. Ideas. Photography. Walking, Dancing, Dreaming, Inventing, Imagining. Encounters with the numinous.” For Spouse, his list would begin with “Photography”, and… I’m not actually sure what else would be on it.

*It’s actually a gestalt, but (written) language requires linearity.

Spouse and I are certainly each other’s favorite and most important HB persons. But that’s not part of our identity.

I can’t even figure out how that could work.

Although if most other people are actually like that {~ the average of the 5 HB people they spend the most time with}… that explains a lot about why I don’t understand most other people.

(Also, why I find a lot of people… really boring.)

= = =

I need to be learning… pretty much, constantly. That’s why I read as much as I do, spend time thinking as much as I do. That’s why I can’t (and don’t really want to) break my Twitter habit. That’s why I might start / try to start a conversation with anyone interesting I run across.

If you’re more or less the same person you’ve been for the past 5 years or 17 years or 41 years or your whole life — if you’ve just gotten older but you haven’t learned anything much — spending time with you is going to hurt my brain. And maybe break my heart.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

= = =

It’s taken me years to realize that… my friends need to be actively creative in their lives. Because creative people are always learning how to create, by creating. Creative people are comfortable with failures and setbacks, confusion and realizing you’re stuck — they’re essential parts of the process, but then you do something about them. It doesn’t matter so much if what you do works; it matters that you keep trying stuff. Trying stuff = > learning = > growing as a person.

= = =

I don’t call myself “Garrabing” anymore, since that was part of being “Laiima”, but maybe I should return to it, because “Garrabing” meant ‘trying (clothes) on’.

“Nonbinary”, “nonbinary (transgender)”, “agender”, whatever, they’re garments that I’m not certain yet if they suit me. I have to walk around in them, dance in them, sit, lie down, drive, climb trees. What do they allow me to do? Do I feel “more me” when I have them on? Do they inspire me with possibilities?

Do they help me find new directions to explore?

Do they feel good on?

Are they fun?

family and worth

May 15, 2015

I keep seeing on Twitter somebody quoted about how of course poetry is still relevant — poetry is still read at weddings and funerals and other momentous life occasions because ordinary words just won’t do!

I guess I’ve been hanging out with the wrong people.

= = =

One of my nieces writes poetry — I’ve read one of her poems. One of my cousins said she wrote poetry, but I’ve never seen any of it; she’s seen mine, but had no comment.

My aunt taught journalism to kids who went on to have careers in journalism.

My aunt liked at least one of my poems, and the poem my niece wrote. (She’s blunt and no-nonsense, so I have to assume she’s being honest.)

Years ago, I read 1 term paper my little brother wrote in college. I read 1 essay my sister wrote for college; and 1 short story she wrote for herself — iirc, there were vampires involved, but all of this was 15+ years ago, so I may have some of the details wrong.

But outside of letters and emails, that’s all the writing I’ve ever read of any of my relatives.

+++

Many people who had more-than-bog-standard-dysfunctional/epically shitty families of origin… went on to form “families of choice”.

I haven’t been able to do that. I can’t even figure out how that could happen.

Of course, the whole idea of ‘family’ just…

I mean, the word is useful for a cool concept, but…

Back when I called myself a Pagan, whenever people would talk about the Great Mother, or the Mother aspects of the Goddess or anything to do with mother archetypes, I would… shudder deeply (even if not visibly, then) change the subject as quickly as possible.

Although it’s not nearly as fundamental, anything about sisters, or sisterhood, same thing.

I could do Grandmother.

I could maybe, sort of, kind of do Aunt.

I could definitely do Cousin, since the word might encompass almost any degree of kinship.

Father didn’t come up much, thankfully.

My dislike of the archetype isn’t nearly as visceral as for Mother, but it definitely doesn’t appeal to me. In 39 years of a relationship with my own father, we had exactly 1 conversation where he talked to me like I was an individual — that he knew well — that he liked. Lots of talking at, when any audience will do. Lots of unwanted/unhelpful advice. Lots of heated arguments because he enjoys them (“debating”).

Lots of deferring to my mother.

Let’s be honest. The father of my childhood preferred boys to girls. And he infinitely preferred my sister to me. My father avoided me every chance he got, while going out of his way to spend special time with my siblings.

It’s almost like I was… adopted. Or, a stepchild. Or something weird.

Thankfully, a Brother archetype never comes up. My little brother might be cool, but I don’t know him at all.

The one good thing I can say about my other brother is… he seems to love his daughters. He actually spends time with them, and knows what is going on in their lives. Presumably, he actually talks to them; maybe he even listens.

(Am I coming up with crazy ideas or what today?!?)

= = =

Since my father only has 2 granddaughters, 0 grandsons (and afaik, 0 nonbinary grandchildren), I hope he has learned to love girls that maybe aren’t so similar to his wife and the daughter he liked.

Whenever someone tells me the elder of my nieces is “just like you, Mea!”, I… flail inwardly. If she were truly just like me, she’d be despised or ignored by everyone she loved. She’d grow up thinking she must be a monster, otherwise why can no one love her?

(I was not close to Gramma until I was an adult.)

Instead, my niece seems, from the outside, to be beloved, well-adjusted, to have a respected place in both her nuclear and extended families of origin. People want to spend time with her.

That’s not like me at all.

= = =

When I was younger (and not married), there were 2 friend groups that I thought I was (at least nominally) part of. Captain Awkward says, though, that people in friend groups are friends with individuals in the group; that you can’t be “friends with the group”.

I wasn’t friends with any of the individuals, I realized much later. They tolerated me. But we weren’t friends.

I don’t know how to behave in a group of friends. I’m always waiting for everyone to turn on me, to bond over scapegoating me and pushing me out. Or just ignoring me.

That’s what ‘family’ means to me.

So it’s probably not surprising that I haven’t tried to recreate that dynamic with the friends I have had.

In fact, I try to find friends who don’t know each other. And will never run across each other. That way, if a mob ever forms, I’m less likely to be the target of it.

= = =

It’s kinda like the old cliché that I was raised by wolves. (Except that I think wolves would’ve been nicer. And would’ve taught me some useful social skills.)

= = =

I have never in my life been around > 3 people at once who knew me well and genuinely liked me and enjoyed spending time with me, whom I also felt like I knew well and genuinely liked and wanted to be around.

Whenever I try to imagine the interplay of social dynamics of a group of 4+ people like that, my brain stutters to a stop: I have 0 data points to work with; therefore, “imagining” is not possible.

I’ve seen it happen for other people. I’ve read books.

When it works well, maybe that’s what being on a team is like!

I’ve never been on a team where I was a valued member.

When I’ve been valued, say, in a work situation, it’s been as an individual performer. (Even if it was a “team environment”.)

I’m also happy to help people out, especially if I like them. But that’s because helping people feels good, and is broadly useful, not because we are (or are not) on a team together.

= = =

I have issues with ‘sharing’.

My mother’s idea of ‘sharing’: she would take one of my favorite toys away from me and ‘give’ it to my sister, who would hack it into pieces. My mother would return it to me, saying, “isn’t it nice that your sister likes playing with your toys too!” When I cried or protested that my toy was now ruined, my mother would admonish me: “your sister is too little to know any better. You’re the Big Sister now: you have to set a Good Example!” Rinse, repeat.

My sister enjoyed destroying my toys, and my mother… enjoyed helping that happen, then telling me I was being ‘selfish’ for not wanting to ‘share’ anymore.

My sister never did learn how to behave better, because there were never any adverse consequences for her.

I learned to hide things I valued. To never play with them when anyone else was around, so they couldn’t be taken away.

Sometimes my mother just… threw out random things that I owned. Because she thought I was too attached to them, or that I ‘owned too much stuff’.

I hid that stuff too.

I still have some of it. Not the toys, but the Cricket magazines that I hid in the crawlspace in the basement.

+++

I wonder what it would be like to be valued for being yourself? To be liked for being yourself?

I wonder what it would be like to be valued?

What’s so great about ‘family’ anyway?

May 14, 2015

{Questions and comments sparked by re-reading my recent blog post on my series of personal traumas in 1990.}

Was it just my mother who arranged for me to be ambushed by EvilCousin in OKC? Or was my aunt also involved?

Was EvilCousin bribed? Or did he want to be there? What was he hoping to accomplish?

Did my aunt know before I arrived that I wouldn’t actually be allowed to drive her daughter’s “spare” car? If she did, did it occur to her that that meant I was trapped in her house of horrors, that escaping (on foot) would mean I’d have to leave Gram behind? (So, I would never ever do that.)

Was Gram [77 years old, mostly deaf] lured into the trip under false pretenses too? The lack of the spare car impacted her too, as she was trapped in the house all day, just like I was.

What was my aunt’s intention when she made sure I ended up in EvilCousin’s car that Friday night? Did she hope we would kill each other? Or did she truly think that I just needed to be trapped with him, afraid for my life, for us to reconcile?

Have any of my relatives actually ever considered that maybe, just maybe, I’m not actually a crazy paranoid liar?

Do any of my relatives remember that, before late 1985, I had never ever ever lied to my parents about anything? I Did Not Lie. Period. 18+ years of Utter And Complete Honesty! (I aspired to becoming a Catholic saint someday.) Did anyone… notice… that about me?

What does EvilCousin remember about 1985? Is it possible he’s blocked it all out? Or has he just been lying to everyone for 30 years?

Did destroying my life in 1985 have anything to do with him becoming a heroin addict, or nah?

How come David rescued EvilCousin, and turned his life around? What’s so great about him anyway?

When my mother was bashing me by saying EvilCousin was a good person while I was a bad person, and she wished I could be more like him, so that she could be proud of me (like his parents were proud of him), were his parents actually proud of him? Why?

+++

Did my mother ever feel guilty for dumping all her fears on me, and expecting me to mother her?

Did it ever occur to her that I might also be afraid she was going to die? And I might want/need some emotional comfort?

{Short answer: Nah.}

+++

Whose idea was it for EvilCousin to accompany his parents on a visit to my parents’ house? Why did no one give me a heads-up that he was coming?

Did my mother and my aunt even notice EvilCousin chasing me, while I ran away, afraid for my life?

Did my mother and my aunt notice EvilCousin pounding on my bedroom door, yelling for me to let him in? Maybe they thought that was a sign we were “getting along”.

Did my ex-brother-in-law ever wonder if marrying my sister was a good idea, when he considered how shitty my parents had historically treated both my sister and me?

+++

If EvilCousin did try to enact my recurring nightmare* in front of our entire extended family, would my mother hand him a knife? Like in the dream, would everyone else either watch, or ignore it?

*Not a metaphor. I actually had this nightmare, repeatedly.

Did anyone ever notice that I got addicted to sleeping pills, twice, before I turned 25? Did they wonder why I might need sleeping pills? {Hint: Hard to get to sleep, knowing I’ll have godawful nightmares; maybe I can at least not remember them in the morning.}

+++

Did my parents ever notice that I treated them… differently… after that horrifying conversation about EvilCousin?

Why does my mother hate my guts?

+++

My sister swore to me that EvilCousin wouldn’t be invited to her wedding, but he was anyway. Did she ever… mention… to my mother that he shouldn’t be invited? Or was my sister actively setting me up for another ambush (like the one I got at my brother’s wedding, 3 years later)?

Why was my sister jealous of my shittastic post-1985 non-relationship with EvilCousin?

Why does my sister hate my guts?

Has anyone in my extended family ever noticed… just how many people seem to hate other relatives? Since the hate seems concentrated in my direction, maybe no one cares. Maybe Hate is a Family Value.

+++

Something I didn’t know, when I wrote the November 2014 post… the visual thinking you do when you rotate imaginary objects in your mind’s eye… it’s a skill. It can be learned, or at least, improved. The people in my Drafting 101 class had probably taken Drafting in high school. Maybe they had mechanical aptitudes that they’d been exercising all their lives too.

Why did my parents insist on sending all 4 of us kids to a “college-prep” high school, if, as they’d always said while I was growing up, they had no intention of helping any of us attend college?

Is there some non-patriarchy/kyriarchy reason that (in the late 1980s/early 1990s — not the Dark Ages) my parents shelled out $$$$ to pay for both of my brothers to attend Catholic universities, paying out of state fees (!), for 4 years, plus spending money… but they begrudged paying for my sister and me to attend the local community college? Why is it that my sister and I, after age 18, had to pay room and board and do chores, while my brothers had to do neither?

My father spontaneously gave me money exactly once in my life — a $20 bill, when I was 20 or so. My cousin David did the same thing, but when I was 13 — a beautiful, magical moment, never repeated. (I think David did it to piss my parents off. It probably had nothing to do with me personally.)

+++

I’m really fucking angry about shit that happened to me 25 and 30 years ago.

Why, though, am I raging about this stuff today? Well, I’ve been revising a poem about 1985 that I began working on 3.5 years ago. That led me to re-read my recent blog post about 1990.

And… 25 years ago, and certainly 30 years ago, I was afraid anger could get me killed. I was afraid. I was always afraid.

Somehow I lived through all of it. Hundreds of miles away, many years later, estranged from everyone, I… finally feel safe enough to… be ANGRY.

I AM ANGRY.

+++
DOES ANYONE CARE THAT MY LIFE WAS DESTROYED IN 1985?

That my Faith in Humanity … except for Mike … vanished, never to return.

I AM SO FUCKING ANGRY.

Dream: 5.9.15

May 10, 2015

There is a narrative to this one, but it makes no sense chronologically.

+++

It’s lunchtime, and I’m in the cafeteria of a job where I work occasionally, which I think is in a warehouse-sized supermarket. I’m eating by myself, people-watching. I see a bunch of older white guys doing their usual “old boys’ club” thing at their usual table. One of them looks enough like Chris Matthews that I think of him as Tweety in my head.

I see Curtis, a tall, attractive, well-dressed African-American man in the cafeteria too. He’s fairly new to our workplace, and doesn’t know to avoid attracting the attention of these old white guys. He overhears them saying something (probably bigoted), and objects vociferously, but politely.

As I watched things unfolding, I was already worrying that the old guys were planning to jump Curtis in the parking lot after work, beating him up or worse.

Curtis, meanwhile, walks away, probably not thinking much about it. Everyone else knows he’s in danger, but they don’t say anything to Curtis. I do. I walk over and introduce myself, then suggest that, at quitting time, he and I walk out to the parking lot together. Also, maybe he should leave earlier than usual. (I’m fairly certain that the old white guys will not attack Curtis if I’m there. I don’t expect them to attack me, either way, but I’m not completely certain that they wouldn’t.)

= = =

It’s a very long day, and somehow, Curtis and I go to lunch together later that day. We leave the store, to go to one of my favorite restaurants, which is dark and quiet and moody, a jazz vibe, and has great food.

First, though, we stop at a Catholic Mass. We can’t hear anything very well — Curtis mentions to me that “the acoustics are terrible”; we also both agree we are too hungry to stay. We leave.

We go back to our grocery store to get some snacks. I attempt to buy a large candy bar that’s marked as costing $7.50 before tax. Rifling through my purse for cash, I run across a very large Kennedy half-dollar [it’s approximately the size of a dinner plate]. It’s very shiny, and looks brand-new. I can’t seem to find the year it was minted though. Anyway, I think to myself, “this is probably worth a lot of money; I could hold onto it.” But I decide to go ahead and use it to pay for the candy bar anyway.

Curtis signs in as the cashier, scans the candy bar, and readies to take my money. But it rang up as costing $9.17, so he must’ve entered something incorrectly. (Also, I don’t have $9.17.) I tell him he’ll have to void the transaction and re-do it. He hasn’t been trained on voiding yet. I go in search of a more senior employee who can do the void-out. The person I find is a youngish white guy, with curly light brown hair, wearing red fingernail polish. After I explain what we need, he says Curtis has to do the void himself; he walks Curtis through the procedure.

= = =

At some point, I say something to Curtis about how I like being seen with him because he’s cute. He laughs.

= = =

The restaurant is a place where I commonly see mixed race couples, friends, and families, so I’m not expecting any side eyes from anyone. (And there aren’t any.)

= = =

Curtis’s suit is kind of a dark mango color. {Really cool color, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in waking life. I’m not doing it justice with that name.}

= = =

At lunch, I say something to Curtis about how Tweety et al. won’t allow [Curtis] to “get away” with treating them as his equals, which he (inadvertently) did by publicly disagreeing with them. Nobody does that, even though Tweety’s group is full of pompous, insufferable tyrants.

Of course, Curtis is their equal. He didn’t do anything wrong. And yet, there’s gonna be unpleasant consequences.

= = =

At some point, I’m alone when I walk by a hair salon I’m familiar with, that’s closed for the evening. I think about blue hair, and resolve to come back on a different day.

+++

Spouse and I had somewhere to go early this morning, so I handwrote notes, but had no opportunity to write this post. Later, he was trying to install software on my laptop that kept crashing.

Because of the racial aspects of this dream, which, when I woke up immediately reminded me of Emmet Till, I’ve waffled all day about even writing this post.

Also, if the opening scenario occurred in waking life, where I honestly thought “Curtis” might get shot or beaten up, I don’t know what I’d do.

The dream wants to be written about, though, so here I am.

= = =

NOTES:

The supermarket where I/we worked… looked like a particular location I used to take Gramma to, when I lived with her. She’s been on my mind lately because Thursday I sent a copy of the poem I wrote about her to somebody. I wondered if the person would receive the poem by Saturday, which would be a sort of Mother’s Day remembrance of Gramma, 17 years after her death.

I’ve never actually worked in a supermarket. But Spouse has.

I’ve been noticing in the few months that a lot more people of color appear in my dreams these days; I think historically my dreams’ characters were probably 100% white people, and I never even noticed how weird that was.

I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone named Curtis.

Dream-Curtis, once I woke up, reminded me a bit of Derrick Rose, the NBA player I’d just been watching play the night before. But Curtis had much darker brown skin, and a bigger build.

The thing about Derrick Rose is… while watching March Madness and the NCAA tournament on TV, Spouse and I kept seeing the commercial showing the African-American boy bicycling through the streets of Chicago, while someone recited a poem about roses growing up through sidewalks. I really loved the poem, and I was seeing Chicago, where my parents grew up (poor, but not black) and I was just powerfully moved every time I saw it. I finally said something to Spouse about it, and he said, “yeah, well, the guy at the end is Derrick Rose” (whom I’d never heard of). That just added this whole other level of stuff. Because roses are a motif in my life, and have been since I was a baby.

The shiny Kennedy half-dollar segment echoes both David using Grampa’s special coins to pay for ice cream bars, and child me deciding to use the Kennedy half-dollars I’d received as a gift to contribute to the collection plate at Mass, for several successive Sundays. I felt virtuous doing so, but I also felt… something was “off”. In retrospect, I think the discomfort came from being told I could save the money, or I could donate it, but no one ever suggested I could spend it. The whole point of resources is to use them, (hopefully) use them wisely. So, in the dream, thinking, “this coin is probably really valuable, I could hold onto it… nah, I’m gonna spend it on this thing I want right now” is a sea change. In A Good Way.

The more senior employee being a youngish (white) guy with light brown curly hair and red fingernail polish? A younger me, it must be. But instead of taking charge, he directs Curtis to fix the thing himself. That’s gotta be my issue with inner authority vs. outer authority figures — I’m switching over to relying on my own judgment, especially about creative things, rather than waiting for some “authority” to tell me what I should think or do.

Orange is a power color for me, but calling Curtis’s suit color “orange” hardly captures the beauty and complexity of it.

I want to like jazz, but listening to it hurts my brain. I like the idea of it, though.

When I told Curtis I liked being seen with him because he was cute, I was flirting (which I don’t do that much in waking life). We had an easy rapport, despite not knowing each other very well. I also didn’t get caught up in wondering if he found me attractive back. I just enjoyed his company. I think this part means I’m relaxing with even some personas I don’t know very well.

I had just stayed up all night 2 nights ago reading Just Call Me Superhero by Alina Bronsky, wherein the narrator was disfigured in an attack by a Rottweiler after he pushed his girlfriend out of the way. We learn near the end of the book that he did that out of instinct, and regretted it afterwards, so he never wanted to see or talk to his girlfriend again. Would I deliberately put myself in harm’s way to protect someone else? I have done so, but nothing like as drastic as the dream scenario.

I think this part of the dream was about standing up for my own inner selves. Making a stand to take them seriously, and value them, no matter what anyone else would do (or not do). Which I’ve been doing in small ways for a while, but bigger ways more recently.

Clearly, the hair thing is important, because I keep dreaming about it.

bemused by boundaries, part 1

May 5, 2015

On Twitter a week or so ago, I explained how it’s really important for me to not act like an asshole, so if I “had a problem” with someone I knew from Twitter that I knew also read my blog, I would either take it up with them directly, or just write about it in my journal (and not post anything to a blog).

That statement came about as a result of someone I knew from Twitter thinking a blog post was about people they knew when it wasn’t. (And yet, because I have no way of knowing if the person it was about reads my blog, I don’t want to “name names”.)

= = =

I don’t really have “friend groups”, because I tend to be friends with only a few individuals at a time, nowhere near a representative sample of all the individuals in any group, but… I’m a Kuiper Belt (outer outer outer circle) ‘member’ of several groups at any one time, and almost none of them overlap at all.

I infinitely prefer my groups not to overlap almost-at-all: when I’m at the fringes of any particular group, the “group dynamics” are as manageable for me as they’re ever going to be. When separate groups mingle, though, the complexity of “group dynamics” skyrockets, and… things that are Bad for Mea happen.

= = =

Something has come up that is not “an issue with Person X” so much as it’s… a blindspot I didn’t know I had, and I want to think through it, here.

I don’t know if Person X reads my blog. I don’t think they do. Even if they do, though… my blog is a way for me to think through things. Why would someone (potentially) reading it trump my own purpose in writing the blog in the first place?

I mean, I write stuff out here, so that I can later write letters or emails (or, rarely, have face-to-face conversations) that are clearly thought out, rather than tangled snarls that => ugly arguments.

Also, I’ve written in my journal about this, 3x already, but it hasn’t helped me at all figure out how to proceed.

I’m not even sure of what the actual-things-that-bother-me-about-this are.

+++

All the high quality interpersonal interactions I had at AROHO in 2013 seem to have (finally) pushed me over a threshold so that, going forward, I now have sufficient data points to… draw meaningful conclusions about how my social interactions are proceeding. Sometimes I can even tell in real time — but what I can usually tell is that things are foundering. Trying to figure out a new strategy on the fly when I already know I’m in trouble… definitely not my best skill-set.

It’s much harder for me to tell when things are going well… because (up until AROHO) I hadn’t experienced that a sufficient number of times to have enough data points to work with.

I still think that I have to meet 500–1000 people before I find 1 person that I might be able to be (good / deep) friends with.

However, I’m personally going to like at least 50–200 of those people. And I’m going to try to get to know them better, to see if we’re compatible. And then… we aren’t going to be, 98+% of the time.

It’s really discouraging for me.

And there have definitely been times that the other people involved thought we were sufficiently compatible for whatever they were looking for, but I wasn’t happy with what we negotiated between us. (Which can take me quite a long while to figure out, though, due to that historical lack of data points.)

Once I do figure it out, though, what options are open to me?

If we’re already some measure of friends, breaking up.

In this particular case, though, we’re not friends yet.

In past situations like this, I’ve ungracefully burnt bridges in my haste to “escape” overwhelming discomfort.

I’d prefer not to do that here.

= = =

It is good news that my Boundaries are now, clearly, doing a great job letting me know what works for me, and what doesn’t, even very early in the process.

Dream fragments from 3 days

May 3, 2015

I’ve been fasting from books since 4.28, hoping I would hear my inner voices more clearly. It hasn’t led to meatier dreams that I remember though. I probably need to go to bed earlier, sleep longer, and wake up without Spouse working from home. Anyway.

+++

 

5.1.2015

  • Oklahoma
  • Translating
  • Not being recognized (by name)
  • Rowing in a boat with 2 other people
  • Basketball players as examples

= = =

Heart-shaped leaf, floating on water — attached at stem end (to a rock?), but floating, moving, responsive.

+++

 

5.2.15

  • Transgender
  • Looking at myself in the mirror: my hair is sky blue; I have 1 or 2 skinny braids in it.

+++

 

5.3.15

  • Poetry written by the disaffected, the oppressed
  • Gender
  • Changing the world via poetry
  • Epistolary w my mother: I sent her a typed letter on handmade paper (part usual letter stuff, part my own poetry); she sent back my own letter, but with her own comments in blue ink interleaved with mine. I re-read my own part to refresh my memory (and found pleasure in what I’d said) before I was going to read her words. And then I woke up (not having read her words).

+++

5.1 is the first time I recall that I dreamed about Oklahoma any time recently. It could just be that I’ve heard from my aunt who lives there recently, and I wrote her back. But if Oklahoma is a motif (the way New Mexico is definitely a motif), I don’t know what it means.

I’ve been thinking a lot about translating lately because I want to do it. I’ve been reading poetry in translation. I’ve been wondering how I would go about it.

I’ve also been thinking about experiences that aren’t easily put into words: can I find a way to write them into poetry?

I keep dreaming about names, including being called by OldName. Last week, someone searched for my blog under OldName which kind of pisses me off as I changed it almost 2 years ago.

Spouse and I watched some of the NBA playoffs last week, mostly to watch former UK basketball players. So we saw Patrick Patterson and John Wall play. I didn’t see any closeups of PP, but JW has a nice smile. My favorite UK players all have nice smiles, and they display them periodically; now that I think about it, I don’t pick as a favorite anyone who is serious all the time. (Also, they’re very likely to be cute.)

The leaf floating on the water… is probably a motif for me, “going with the flow”. I have a heart-shaped face, but the heart shape is probably more about my motivation? (Or it’s just a pretty shape? I don’t know.)

+++

Transgender continues to be a motif, since I started using the word to describe myself (after shying away from it for years). Maybe it keeps showing up because I feel like I need to ‘come out’ to more people? Except… I don’t know anyone who would care. There’s few things more deflating than ‘coming out’ to someone about a significant issue, only to have them be bemused, uncomfortable, and change the subject as quickly as possible. “No questions”… tells me something I am always sad to learn about somebody I liked.

I’m getting closer to getting my hair dyed in a shade of blue, but I was definitely not considering sky blue. That has to mean something in particular.

My hair hasn’t been long enough for braids in a very long time. In the dream, though, the hairstyle was kind of feminine looking, but overall, I looked nonbinary. I’m not sure how I achieved that, actually.

+++

The protests in Baltimore City have been much on my mind lately; I’ve been following things closely on Twitter.

Can poetry actually change anything?

I told someone I want a pen pal to talk poetics with; I wrote a blog post about it; I’ve been thinking about people I know (Twitter-friends). Maybe I’m my own best friend to talk things over with? Because… how many times have I been in an epistolary relationship with someone, and yet, when I receive their letters, all I really want to find out is what they thought about what I had written them? And almost invariably, it turns out that… they didn’t respond to anything substantive that I had written. They just wrote about their own stuff.                         I no longer think that’s actually a conversation — that’s people talking past each other.

I want to converse with someone who is actually interested in what I’m saying. That… eliminates from consideration all my relatives, I’m pretty sure. With my relatives, I always feel guilty about ever mentioning my own experiences, because I know they’re not interested. And yet, if I don’t talk about my own experiences, I don’t have anything to contribute (except for telling them how great/interesting/whatever they are), which is fine for a little while, but if that’s always how things go — I’m constantly supposed to be the adoring audience sitting at your feet, never allowed to say anything that you or anyone else listens to — it’s depressing as fuck.

And if/when no one ever asks me any questions… I’ve finally finally learned, that’s not a relationship that I want to have. No matter how cool or interesting the person is — we just aren’t compatible.

I AM NOT A RECEPTACLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS/EXPERIENCES/DESIRES FOR AFFIRMATION.

I AM A PERSON IN MY OWN RIGHT.

I AM INTERESTING IN MY OWN RIGHT.

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