Category Archives: introspection

Ready, set . . .

I am sitting in my bed trying to wrap my mind around what I’m going to do in the next few hours. Little by little, I’ve been preparing my bedroom to serve as a set for the disabled erotic modeling I will do. It’s taken a lot because my bedroom has been a real mess for years because I’ve been so physically limited for so long. In addition, psychologically, part of me has learned to be wary. I am normally a very sexual person in appropriate circumstances. Indeed, I revel in my sexuality! I’ve even envisioned photographs taken of me and one of my “types” of lovers as we lay in bed semi-nude. It would be gorgeous and I’d be very proud to be a part of it. The thing that concerns me here is that, once I deliver the product, I have no control over what happens. I know what’s supposed to happen and I know that the site will do all that it can to protect me and the art if for no other reason than they lose both money and the trust of their models when photos end up where they were not intended. Be that as it may, all it takes is one person to buy the set and then put the photos on one of the many bulletin boards that cater to different fetishes. I know what happened to a couple of short stories I wrote ten to 15 years ago. They went what we’d now call “viral.” I’m still finding them and sending cease and desist letters! A friend asked if he could publish one of them on his website and I agreed. That was a very long time ago, the story is still there and I have no idea how to reach my friend.

The other issue that gives me pause is that I am about to launch a brand new business. In one sense, the photos could help publicize the new business. In another sense, the business could, at some point, not only publicize the photos, but spin off a site specifically for women of a particular type. I’ve always been a believer in the aphorism that less is more. In this case, the less skin shown, the more the viewers’ imagination can fill in the blanks. In this way, no one is in any way put in a position where they must engage in more explicit activity to receive higher payment. The site where I will put my photos does not pressure models to engage in explicit activity as I understand it. Until I experience otherwise, I’ll take the owner’s word for it. However, I do know that the more explicit material does sell better than less explicit. I can understand that and I do believe the models deserve more for their material.

I wonder, however, how many women are like me. I am doing this not because I seek to create art for art’s sake. I am doing this because I have no where else to turn financially. I am doing what women have done since time began: I am trying to save my family. My family consists of me and my three four-legged “daughters.” The primary issue is keeping a roof over our heads, especially since I need surgery and am in no way strong enough to undertake a major move, particularly since that move would involve packing my belongings, probably leaving many here, and leaving the state. Right now, I’m facing a citation from the city because my lawn needs to be mowed and the weeds our former lawn person brought in when he dumped infected fill dirt in our beautiful back yard (without permission, I might add) absolutely must be eliminated. I also owe my attorneys thousands of dollars and will have to break a promise I made to myself to never, ever give the bank that made a very predatory loan to my mother, KeyBank National, a dime. In short, my back is against the wall. I would be so proud to create true art with semi-nudes or even full nudes. My skin color lends itself well to black and white photography. I would not be ashamed or hesitant to engage in a photo shoot like that. Hell, I’ve done it before and was very pleased with the results. But I hate this. I hate this because I cannot be my full, wonderful, sensual, sexy self. I will do my best, but I don’t know if I can make it seem as though I’m not doing this under duress. The duress is that I absolutely must have the money that will come from these photos. Even a little bit every week would be immensely helpful.

There is so much to say and no time to fully explore the ramifications at this moment. I have to dust, make my bed, hang lights and get myself ready. I still don’t know exactly what outfit I’m going to wear. Oy! I’m also going to put on my smile, hold my head high and represent the very real sexuality of black, disabled, Rubenesque women. We ROCK!

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A “Wow!” moment

I’ve just written on a younger cousin’s Facebook wall to say that I’m here if she needs me because, clearly, I’d missed something important that was going on due to my own angst. I told her that I’ve adopted a new motto: Strength above all! However, a second part of that motto has taken shape. The whole thing is: “Strength above all! Family above all else!”

I believe in that motto wholeheartedly. That is not to say that I won’t or shouldn’t have bad days, they are inevitable. What it does say is that I will push forward and through those bad days to get to the other side. I may take a little time along the way to get angry or upset, but in the end, I will prevail.

I look back on the obstacles I’ve had to face to reach this age and they are many. I can lay here in bed and recite my tale of woe as well as the next person. I can also bet that my tale would trump that of most people. However, wallowing in it, unless answers may come from doing so, is pointless. It is in my nature to examine inconsistencies and information voids from all angles because I need answers before I can let go and move on. Nevertheless, the goal is to move on. It is when I feel trapped with no way out of the pain–physical or emotional or both–that I engage in self-harm or self-destruction.

People will do inhuman, inhumane, unspeakably cruel things to other people. Much of the time, it is simply for the perpetrator’s amusement. At other times, the perp plays with other’s lives in front of an audience so that they can feel better about themselves. They are like the sick, twisted individuals who pour flammable liquid on animals, set them on fire and laugh as the poor creature is cooked alive. I wish there was a criminal penalty for intentional infliction of emotional distress but there isn’t. Retribution can only be had through a civil suit because the act of intentional infliction of emotion distress is an intentional tort (i.e. personal injury). In most jurisdictions, even though this is a recognized harm, it usually cannot stand alone. The assertion must be predicated on another, primary assertion.

What recourse do victims/survivors of heinous emotional battery have? Not many. The most important thing is to recognize that what happened was perpetrated by unimaginably cruel “people” who barely deserve to be considered human. In other words, you, the victim/survivor didn’t do anything to deserve what happened.

The second thing that may bring some small comfort is that, at the end of the day, these sick and twisted individuals feel worse about their own lives than you should about yours. They see kindness as a weakness and trust as a way into your soul to wreak havoc, cause as much damage as possible and then get out. Some will then attempt a coup de gras and lay all the blame and responsibility on you! Their warped sense of themselves colors everything they see and touch, often projecting their own beliefs and reactions on to you. The perps lack a greater understanding of the world. Therefore, empathy is, for them, impossible. Looking for empathy in them is a waste of time that could help nurture the goodness inside yourself.

I have been forced to learn that, while there probably is a reason for the perp’s actions and words, you will likely never know it because they don’t know. The only thing that is known is that being cruel to others makes them feel better. It becomes an addiction that can only be “cured” by having someone stand up for themselves and say “No! You will not poison me with your bile.” Better yet, say that in front of the bullies’ friends. They generally run in packs, btw. By doing so they have witnesses and a cheering section to validate their anti-social behavior. Be that as it may, running in a pack can be used to the survivor’s advantage. Standing up and saying “No!” in front of the perp’s audience will most assuredly cause him/her embarrassment and pain. It will cut more deeply than any knife. Furthermore . . . and this is the really important part . . . you will feel better about yourself. You will realize the strength inside of you. It is a scary proposition to stand up for yourself, especially when others are silent and/or are telling you to be silent as well. You must challenge that paradigm to its fullest and shout your resistance against abuse, the perps AND their enablers. I am strong. YOU are strong. Why? Because we are survivors and this is what we do.

I look at myself now and consider what I’ve accomplished in the last decade. Even after three major operations, one of which nearly killed me because I came thisclose to bleeding out and had to be put in a coma for a day so my body could have the strength to heal, I learned to walk again three times. Indeed, I had to re-learn everything about the way my body moves. Worse yet, I had to do battle for myself when I was least able, but I did it, although Mom vehemently disapproved of my method.

I am scheduled for another major operation to repair or replace the prosthetic knee that was put in in 2010. It was supposed to last 10-15 years, possibly even 20 if I was careful, but there is something very wrong with it, most likely because I fall a lot or the benign, but highly aggressive tumors in that knee have returned. My bet is on the latter.

I’ve also absorbed a lot of losses these last five years due to death. I think there’s only so much someone can lose and not lose their own minds. I came very close to trying suicide again but realized my babies need me.

I’m still working out the kinks in my life, but I think I’m going to be OK. Right now. I need to be kind to myself, refrain from unreasonable expectations for myself and remember that I didn’t make anyone hurt or harm me. I did not provoke another’s words or actions, and believe that I am a good person who I deserving of love and respect. If someone uses and abuses me in any way, they have no business in my life. Period. No matter who that person may be.

I. MEAN. BUSINESS!

Let ’em see me sweat

I am in PAIN! I finally made it back to my gym after a 2-1/2 week absence. It was kind of strange because I surpassed my personal bests on all of the equipment. I didn’t hurt then. In fact, I was a little disappointed because I didn’t feel the burn. I’m going to have to continue to find ways to push my body because I need that burn to know that my body is doing what it’s supposed to do: get stronger. It doesn’t matter if it’s cardio or strength, my body needs to improve. It’s improved already, actually. When I wasn’t eating, I noticed that my fatty areas were not as “fatty” as before. I could see more firmness. I also seem to be stronger.

OnX at Anytime Fitness using the leg press

OnX at Anytime Fitness takin’ care of business on the leg press.

There were a couple of things that were new experiences at the gym tonight. I actually sweated. I’m not used to that. Before, no matter how hard I worked, I didn’t sweat that much. Tonight, my heart rate got up to 155 sustained. That’s not too shabby. I also cycled farther than I usually do, 3.17 miles, and cycled for seven minutes more than normal (22 min). I have this thing about whole numbers, especially if there’s a song playing on my iPhone I’m digging as I peddle. For example, right now I’m listening to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. It’s kind of my anthem. If that was up while I was working out on the cycle or the rowing machine, I’d keep going until the song ended. If it happened to end when I was at, let’s say, 2.4 miles, I’d keep going until I hit 2.5 or 3.0 miles. I really get into my music as I work out. I’m actually looking for more hip-hop that I like to use as workout/anthemic music. I think that I’m going to get more Eminem and check out Jay-Z once I get some more available cash. Shh! Don’t tell my lawyer. 😀 Naah, he’s a sweetheart. I’ll pay him first. Right now I’m mixing hip-hop, some classic proto-hip-hop (i.e.. Ohio Players), select R&B (O’Jays and Keisha Cole) and electronica in the form of Portishead. Hey, it works, OK?

Before I forget, I wanted to recommend a set of earbuds that I love. They are made by a company called Skull Candy. I was about to reach the cash register at my local T.J. Maxx when I happened to see a rack of earbuds that looked interesting. I’d really detested the earbuds Apple includes with the iPhone, all iPods and possibly the iPad, although don’t quote me on the last. The Apple earbuds kept falling out of my ears when the new design was specifically supposed to take care of that. They took care of it alright. They made it worse!

I allowed a couple of people to get in line ahead of me because I was enthralled my these earbuds. I believe there were two models: the 50/50 earbuds with mic, (MSRP $49.95), and; the Ink’d 2 with mic (MSRP $19.95-$24.95) model. I purchased the Ink’d 2 model and I have never regretted it. The sound is like a really good mid-range stereo. I’d prefer a bit more bass, but that’s just me. The earbuds come with a hard case and three different sizes of rubber buds. I should also mention that both models come in many different colors. I stuck with basic black and chrome because that was the only color available at that time. The best selection is, of course, at the SkullCandy.com store. The company also offers free shipping on all purchases. Still, I’d compare pricing because there may be better deals out there. It is those earbuds and my iPhone that make my workout infinitely better than it would be without them. Almost everyone at the gym wears some kind of earphones or earbuds. I’m assuming that’s the case with other gyms.

The other thing that happened is that my shoulders hurt. That’s never happened before. I did 20 reps @ 20 lbs. on the pulldown, but that wasn’t challenging enough so I upped the weight to 40 lbs. and did 30 reps. I went from the rowing machine where I spent 23:15 min., burned 145 calories, achieved 51 strokes/minute at #5 resistance. I’m wondering if I worked my shoulders too hard. Doing that many reps on the pull down far surpassed my personal best. However, again, no burn.

The real surprise as far as my workout was the leg press. I did 100 reps @ 40 lbs. and didn’t even feel it. It’s time to increase the weight. Now, what did hurt was my right hip, which is the one with the prosthesis. I used it in addition to my left leg, something I usually don’t do quite as much. Afterwards, I realized that there’s going to come a time when I’m going to need a hip replacement. I’ve heard the recovery from that is easier than the recovery from a knee replacement.

I was on my way out when I saw a gentleman about to use a set of weights on a machine I’d never noticed. It turned out that it’s another type of leg press. We talked for a long time about exercise, our respective careers and our families. When he told me how old he was, I had to do a double-take. I’m well aware that black people age differently than whites, but even I was shocked. I never, ever would have clocked him for his age unless he’d told me. He also offered help and said that he hoped we’d meet again and told me a couple of times when he’s usually around. Fortunately, his hours and my hours overlap. Hmm, I think he was flirting. Best of all, he didn’t give a hot damn about my artificial leg. Yeah, Mama’s still got it. *smirk*

I went to the grocery store before heading to the gym. I had to get a few essentials since I am still fighting anorexia. I am trying to think of food as fuel for my body instead of looking at it as a useless necessity. Since I’m ambivalent about food, I’m trying to get things that I really like but are also somewhat healthy. I got home and made a turkey sandwich. Would you believe that I had to stand up in the kitchen to eat it because the Demonic Duo were poised to steal it at any cost? I learned the hard way that I have to watch them both even as I put one in her crate. I didn’t do that the other day and the youngest slipped in and stole a roast beef sandwich with scarce colby cheese (my favorite) off the table. She’s so little that she looks innocent. She isn’t. If anything, she’s the brains of the operation. Not that her partner in crime is dumb. Indeed, far from it. However, the youngest is sneakier while the older is more like a snatch-and-run thief.

At any rate, I did manage to eat all of the turkey sandwich and I think I had something earlier in the day, too. So, I’m getting better, but I know that I need to eat more. My metabolism is so screwed up it doesn’t know what to do. That’s the other thing that exercise is doing for me: my metabolism is increasing and getting more normal. I seem to get hungry when I exercise regularly. Maybe that’s my body saying that it needs more fuel. Whatever the case, I’ve lost two pounds. I know that a lot of it is water weight because I’ve been very conscious of my liquid intake since I am prone to dehydration.

I’m sure I’ve bored everyone to death about my exercise experiences, but I’m rather proud of myself. In addition, it’s almost like I’m in a bubble when I’m on one of the machines and my earbuds are pumping out a really sick playlist. I’ve found that I can be more introspective while exercising. That helps me solve problems, be more creative and realize that I have feelings that I didn’t know I had. It actually gets pretty deep. I’m going to really try to get in more than two days a week. I want to do three days. When that happens, watch out world, my body will become a weapon of mass destruction that’s about to launch!

What now?

I don’t need to see Glenn again. I don’t want him in my life. I don’t want anyone who can do what he did and won’t accept any responsibility for his own actions. I am the one who swallowed a handful or two of benzos to end my life. What he did to drive me to do so is on him. No, I do not need to see him again. On the other hand, *evil grin* I want him to see me.

The thing about Glenn and I was that neither of us were sitting around waiting for the other to call. Well, I should qualify that. I did sit around waiting for him to call when I was in undergrad. I was young. However, after I crossed the threshold of 30 years old–actually before that–I was off doing my own thing. I had other relationships and, as he learned, I chose to actually do something about my attraction to women. That was our Waterloo. That’s what he couldn’t handle. He really couldn’t deal with me now. I am no longer willing to put up with a manchild. Heck, I don’t even know that I’ll ever want a man as a lover again. Part of that is thanks to him, but it’s mostly because I have a very hard time trusting men. OK, so more of that is due to Glenn than I’m admitting. *shrug* It is what it is. The only one who can make it go away is me. I have some idea of how, but I’m just not willing. It would mean becoming involved with a man for a while and gradually learning to trust again. It’s not an easy or quick road. I do think that I might be willing to get royally fucked off the edge of my bed by some hot young thing with an appropriately-sized penis, but that would be a quicky and meaningless. A little meaningless sex has it’s place, though.

In the last couple of weeks, almost as if I knew Valentine’s Day would come and I’d finally be more or less free of Glenn, I’ve done a couple of things to move my life along. The first was to re-join a dating site I’d left sometime last year. It was annoying to me that their clientele wasn’t as educated as I’d like. So, I took my money elsewhere. The “elsewhere” was Match.com. Oy! That place is infested with con artists! I encountered two in the first week. I would definitely suggest staying away from them. I won’t divulge which one I’ve joined, but I will say that it’s gotten better. There still aren’t the number of educated women I’d like to see, but there are those who can manage to put together a profile that’s worth a second look. There’s one woman in particular that’s piqued my interest. She’s pretty, tall, into the arts and, as I wrote tonight, gutsy. She’s been through things to which I can relate even though I haven’t been through the same things. We share some interests as well. We’ll chat and see if there’s anything that is worth a third look and, perhaps, a fourth. It’s fun discovering new people even if I don’t find The One.

The second thing I did was join a gym. I’ve never done so before, but I am so very ready to get in there and make my body into the weapon of mass destruction I want it to be. NO ONE will ever laugh at me or play cruel games because of my body–any portion of it–again. Glenn was the first time and he will be the very LAST. In addition, as much as I don’t feel my age intellectually, my body does. Things are going south when they used to be perkier. It’s time to do something about it. I was supposed to meet with a trainer today, but she had to cancel and I’d overslept anyway. I can’t be upset about oversleeping because stress has kept me awake for two nights. Actually, so has chatting with a fellow fibro patient feeling very depressed, poor dear. I know what that’s like and I wasn’t going to leave her alone in her depression. Therefore, I believe that I lost sleep for good reasons. However, I can’t lose any more. It’s too easy for me to get back into a habit of insomnia cured only through medication. The exercise will help, so I’m told. Personally, I just want to: 1) tone, firm, reduce; 2) repeat an infinite number of times until complete. Since I have a tendency toward anorexia, I have to be very, very careful about eating at all, eating properly and not over-exercising. Nevertheless, my body will become a W.M.D. Boom!!

Getting real about BDSM and me

I don’t feel like going into my history with BDSM. It’s too long and too long ago to write about when I’m tired, sick and the tiniest bit wobbly from a smidge of bourbon in my hot toddy. Suffice it to say that I was a submissive to a few and a bottom to a few more. I loved it. The only reason I’m out of the scene now is that I had medical problems that sidelined my entire life beginning in the early 2000s. I don’t even want to think about how long it’s been since I’ve had sex with anyone. I don’t mean sex during a scene or within the context of BDSM. I mean that I haven’t had sex at all for years. I’ve learned to bury that part of myself, so I don’t miss it . . . most of the time.

Tonight I felt a yearning I haven’t had for years. I want to be owned. Actually, I wish that I’d been owned a year or so ago so that the relationship would be on solid ground by now and I could have a safe place with a safe person to let my guard down. Needless to say, that isn’t the reality of my current life. The reality is that I’m a submissive/bottom without a Master/Mistresss or Top. I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t been in the scene at one time or another can grasp it, however, I feel as though half of me isn’t here. It’s supposed to be here, but it isn’t.

Looking for a Dominant/Top online is one of the trickiest, most dangerous things I can think of doing now. I don’t mean tricky and dangerous only for me, but for anyone. That being said, I found my first Master online many years ago. That relationship ended after three years and I found a couple more as well as my first Mistress afterwards. However, this was well before the entire world knew and used the Internet. There weren’t too many degrees of separation between regular users of the chat program IRC, the mechanism I used to gain access to the online kink community, or; those who posted on Usenet, a group of bulletin boards with different topics. Now, there are so many wannabes who have no fucking clue about what it takes to be either a sub or a Dom. They read things that are meant to be fiction and would be horrendous practice in real life and think that’s what BDSM is all about. It isn’t. Not by a long-shot. I should say that I have yet to read the Grey trilogy, but have plans to do just that. I’m curious about how realistic the characters and scenarios are.

I am a great believer in “Safe, Sane and Consensual” play as opposed to RACK (Rick-Aware Consensual Kink). The two are not necessarily in opposition at all. However, from my experience, those who follow RACK tend to be more hard-core and not respectful of people with limits reasonable to them. In writing this post, I happened across an essay that explains the two themes quite well. In essence, the author boiled the them down to the notion that SSC people bury their heads in the sand about any risks they may encounter in their play. In contrast, people who practice RACK go out and do the research to discover the risks and what to do should they encounter them even if that means asking someone who is more familiar with a particular way of playing than they are.

I do not believe in the dichotomy. At least, I don’t believe in that dichotomy. It has been my experience that a good Top or Dom will in fact research a type of play along with their partner so that both can find out if they are comfortable trying something new. Remember: A good Dom always has his/her sub’s well-being at heart. If they don’t, they don’t need to play with ANYONE. If the Dom is part of a community, then peer pressure can be a wonderful thing to keep potentially errant Doms/Tops on the straight and narrow. For that matter, community can keep unsafe subs/bottoms out of the scene as well. It’s a whole lot easier to teach a sub/bottom about what is expected than it is to teach a Dom/Top even though they are the ones who need to know most. I realize that will be an unpopular statement, but that’s been my experience. Some Tops just do not, and will not, listen to either their bottom or other Tops who may pull their coat and try to teach them the right way of doing things. I believe that their egos get in the way. Some, although I don’t know what percentage, are probably just narcissists who are emotionally abusive and call it BDSM.

Losing my mother and having to deal with her very complex and totally FUBAR’d estate has been a lonely experience. That’s partially my doing because I feel I have to keep myself together. That means there are times I have to withdraw to keep from falling apart. I realized Friday night that I need someone to lovingly take care of me. I need the safety, compassion and strength of a good Dom so that I can let go in a safe environment with someone who knows me well. That’s one of the things fiction, at least that found on bookshelves, doesn’t teach. A Dom/sub team is the most intimate kind of relationship two people can have. A Dom knows his/her sub inside and out; what makes the sub tick; where his/her vulnerable spots are; what buttons to push when, if ever; how to calm the sub and provide an anchor when things get really tough and the sub is in danger of falling over a figurative cliff. I need and want that kind of intimacy now. However, I should have been moving in that direction with someone a year or more ago if they are to help me now. I’m wishing for something that should have happened already. Talk about impossible!

There are some Doms who specialize in taking subs who are broken and damaged in some way and helping them help themselves. When/if their time comes to an end, both are better for having been together. Both can be proud of the progress the sub has made because s/he couldn’t have made it without the Dom’s influence. That’s the kind of Dom I need right now. I need someone who specializes in the damaged and broken. The thing is, I’m not so damaged and broken that I can’t fend for myself. In fact, I’m likely to resist submission. It’s not that my conscious mind doesn’t want it. My subconscious mind may not allow me to do it. I can see that happening very easily. That would be the part of me that has to learn how to trust again. That’s one of the primary reasons I got into BDSM in the first place. It was the only kind of relationship I felt would force me to trust another human being. Well, at present, there aren’t too many humans I trust. In fact, I can’t think of anyone I trust completely. There used to be people, but they are no longer in my life. I’ve also had the whole Glenn mess. That, alone, is reason to never trust someone with my heart and emotions. The irony is that, but for our first sexual encounter, I probably wouldn’t have discovered I was turned on by BDSM.

I must admit that I’ve been thinking about Glenn because of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o scandal. It’s too close to the crap I went through with Glenn. At least Glenn and I had 17 years of some form of real world togetherness before the break, me calling him and him tricking me into believing we could rekindle our relationship. I wish with all my heart that the news media would leave this kid alone. What they are doing is, perhaps, driving a young man to do something for which everyone will be sorry–too late. Think about Te’o as a person first and a news story last.

Anyway, although Glenn shattered me into so many pieces years ago, I have managed to mostly put myself back together. I finally have no interest in him except that I hope this Notre Dame thing reminds him of what he did and he’ll have the decency to hang his head in shame. Am I together? This is the first time I’ve ever asked this question of myself. I’m functionally. I can feel joy even though I’m covering up a mess of sadness. I can still write, but I have yet to write something that is instrumental to my future plans. I am honestly not sure that I’m bad enough to seek a Dom who specializes in putting the broken bits back together. Then again, I can see myself as the primary partner of such a Dom and helping him/her in helping others. For some reason I don’t understand, I would feel more comfortable doing that with a male partner than another woman. I have absolutely NO reason why.

I’ll end this post by saying that I need to really think about what I want. I believe I want a Dom. In researching this piece, I learned that the group that originally took me into the fold still exists, but my ISP doesn’t have Usenet access. I may end up paying for the service. But do I really need anything else to take me off task? My life has become one of questioning what I want against what I need. I both want and need someone who can chip away at the walls to get to my core being because I don’t think I can do it myself. That person needs to be around while I heal. From what I’ve been told, I may never heal, but I will learn to live with the pain. I just don’t know if that’s true–the part about learning to live with it. I live with it now by barely acknowledging it’s there. What happens when it is exposed to the light? I need someone to catch me when I tumble, because I most definitely will tumble. For now, all I can do is write, keep both my eyes and my mind open and hope like hell that someone crosses my path. I’m not sure I need a specialist, but I do know that I need someone who has truly lived in the scene for a long time and has the other, emotional characteristics I need. A dilettante, Dom-wannabe can’t deal and I deserve better. *sigh*

For a great FAQ about BDSM please see this site.

Of mourning and brokenness

I am listening to The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. I wanted it sung at my mother’s memorial service, but her brother, who isn’t paying for a goddamn thing, inserted a vocalist from his church along with his church’s minister without my consent. I am so angry with him I could throw him through a window and not give a good damn. He is a fucking hypocrite. He stood in front of a church full of people and broke down in tears to the point where I went up to comfort him even though I had an internal shield of numbness holding back the deepest pit of grief. He and Mom were as tight as two people can be. In a dispute, she’d take his side over mine any day. For that matter, she’d take any of her brothers’ side over mine any day. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but that’s the way it was. So now, this tearful brother is going around telling anyone who will listen that I got a large insurance payment when Mom died and, therefore, he doesn’t feel he ought to chip in the remaining $250 owed to the church that graciously agreed to host Mom’s memorial service even though it had been many decades since we/she attended. She would have been there if we’d known the congregation was still in existence. We didn’t. We thought that the local presbytery had closed the church’s doors. Instead, it simply moved to a newer building out in the suburbs. At any rate, I am now stuck with a $250 bill that the minister “forgave,” but that I feel has to be paid because it’s just bad karma not to do so.

I exist thanks to minimal Social Security Disability payments that I just barely had enough working quarters to get; a small stipend from my mother’s retirement fund; Medicare; Medicaid, and, in all probability; food stamps when I get over my embarrassment and get real. Yet, I am the one who bore the FULL cost of my mother’s cremation and memorial service. I will make the payments in honor of my mother and make sure that it says that I am the one who contributed in her memory. That hypocritical, ass of a brother and his social-climbing witch of a wife will get no credit.

I do not agree with the minister’s take on Christianity at all. Through means of which I am totally unaware, this Presbyterian minister is a fundamentalist. She actually believes that the Bible should be taken literally. That isn’t the Presbyterian way that I am used to. What’s important is that she would not allow Mom’s BFF, an ordained minister, to give the eulogy because she wasn’t “Christian enough.” What the FUCK?!?! That’s another thing that happened behind my back. The BFF and I were really ticked as hell about that. When I casually mentioned that I don’t take the Bible literally and neither did my mother, the minister and the social climbing twit wife of my mother’s brother laughed at me AND my mother’s beliefs. I think that was a little inappropriate given that we’d just held a memorial service for her. That made no difference, it would seem. These are “good Christians.” Yeah, they are about as good Christians as I am an observant orthodox Jew. In fact, hell, under two different branches of Judaism, I was BORN Jewish because my father converted before I was even conceived. So, theoretically, all I’d need is a bat mitzvah and I’d be considered a full-fledged member of the tribe. I guess that makes me more Jewish than these women ever were Christians. No wonder they act as if they have no judgement as human beings or as supposed benevolent, almighty Christian zealots. The social-climbing witch was no surprise. She affects a pious air, but has been seen for what she is by the larger family. She is what she is. However, the minister is quite another story. She was just wrong. There are no two ways about it. I shook my head when it happened and turned to talk to the other people at my table. Pa-the-tic.

In case it isn’t apparent, I am angry. I have reason to be angry, but I am also tired of it. I know that part of my anger is from the mourning process. My mother shouldn’t be dead. I strongly suspect malpractice, but it will cost hundreds of dollars I don’t have simply to get my hands on her medical records. So, the cardiologist who supposedly said that there was no need to do anything about my mother’s aortic aneurysm will get off scott free. A vital, if confused, woman is sitting in my china cabinet on a shelf instead of walking around. I could also look at it another way. My mother had some form of dementia. If she were forced to face that fact, she would be devastated. Perhaps her relatively early death–and 86 years old is young for a death in our family–was a secret blessing. I don’t look at it that way, but someone else could.

I find myself wishing for days of old when my great-uncles, Mom’s uncles, were alive and were active heads of this branch of the clan. So much shit wouldn’t happen. For one thing, I wouldn’t be forced to leave town because I get absolutely no respect from the second generation of the clan here even though there would be no family reunions without all of the work and money that I put into them. I could plan one practically in my sleep with only six months lead time. There are certain things at which I am extremely good and there are some things I know very little about. I know my limitations. That’s why it is rare that I fall flat on my face. I admit what I don’t know and I either learn that skill on my own or ask someone to teach me. However, more often than not, I ask someone who knows what they are doing to help. My momma didn’t raise no fool. I wish I could say the same of everyone in the clan. My blood relatives are all incredibly smart and talented. The step-children we inherited due to the hypocritical brother’s marriage to the social-climbing witch are . . . well, let’s just say that they leave a lot to be desired intellectually. For that matter, if I really think about it, even his natural children have their issues. They are still smart and talented, but they get themselves into screwed up situations. I’m hardly the one to pass judgement on them, though. I’ve been in one fucked up situation after another. At least that’s the way it seems.

I don’t want to leave town at all. I keep telling myself that even if I change location, I can’t run from myself. The thing is, I’m not running from myself as much as I’m running from people who disrespect me at every turn. I can’t stand it anymore. I am not valued as a human being, much less as part of the clan. For example, I asked the only cousin I could if I could have/borrow $3,000 to pay lawyers to keep fighting foreclosure on the house for a few months while my credit improves. He left me dangling and waiting. I’m sure he knew that he was putting me through hell because that’s his specialty. He loves it when I squirm or hurt thanks to something he’s done. He’s tried to destroy me for over a decade. I didn’t want to ask him for the money, but I was desperate. In some way I have yet to discern, I was told by another cousin that I’d alienated the one I’d asked for money. She said it was something I said on Facebook. I’ve looked through all of my posts and I can’t find anything. I did make a distinction between “family” and “relatives.” I did say in a letter that I thought I wrote after I’d withdrawn my request that he was a relative but that I’d wanted him to be family. He knows what he did to me. How else am I supposed to feel about him? I forgave him some time ago. But I will never forget. I can’t. What he did to me over a decade ago easily falls within the Top 5 most influential events of my life. The first thing is being born. The second is dying (which we all eventually do). That leaves three open spots and I can fill one of those three, thereby really leaving two. That’s fairly profound.

Why stay in a place where there aren’t people who see me as intelligent, capable, imaginative, talented, etc.? All the cousin from whom I’d asked the money said was that my plan to pay him back would fall through and that I’d better have a “Plan B.” Since I didn’t give him the specifics of my plan at all, he has no basis on which to make that judgement. He also assumed that I didn’t have another way of getting my business off the ground. Is it me or is it men? They seem to feel they have all the answers to questions that haven’t even been asked. In their eyes, I couldn’t possibly know what I’m doing. That’s not to say I don’t take advice because I do. It’s just that the advice has to be from a credible source and the criticism be constructive and valid. As I painstakingly said above, I know my limitations.

What does this have to do with mourning? Well, as I said, I’ve been really angry lately. There are days when I feel as though I will boil over with rage. I have less patience for people, but definitely have patience with my girls. Even when the oldest of my resident master thieves, my middle child, stole a steak I’d delicately prepared for over two hours until it was finally broiled just the way I like it, I yelled at her and put her in a time out in her crate. I didn’t hit her at all. She has since gone on to steal my cereal by quickly standing on her hind legs and copping a couple of licks out of the bowl or knocking the bowl out of my hands from underneath. She’s getting more and more daring and I honestly don’t know what to do to stop her. I think she’s doing this as her way of saying that she needs more intellectual stimulation. We need to get back outside on our favorite trails, just the two of us. I don’t know how to fit the other two in, though, and I feel guilty leaving them here.

I don’t want to leave my home. My mother, in her dementia, put me in this position. Truthfully, I’m not sure this house will last another six months it’s in such bad shape. She took out a predatory home equity loan for half of the appraised value. Well, the appraisal was inflated by at least $20,000. She refused to see that. She also said that she wouldn’t die and leave me holding the bag. I was so furious with her when she did that. I tried to stop her using reason, pointing out that the loan officer was not her friend but was working for the bank, had a hissy fit and said that the bank would not see one dime from me. They won’t. I don’t want this house, but I need a place to live while I fix the good credit that was ruined trying to keep the house running on my measly SSD check. My bills didn’t get paid. I could barely feed the girls and me. Then, to have her brother spread the malicious lie that I got a lot of insurance money when Mom died? That puts a period at the end of my desire to have anything to do with 90% of the clan. I want out and away from their toxicity. I will end up sad, bitter and broken-hearted if I stay here. I’m sad, bitter and broken-hearted now. I don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life.

In an earlier post, I asked for help making a decision about using this blog to promote my “character” when I begin shooting and submitting photos of myself to devotees of amputees. I’ve decided that I will keep this blog as is. Few know it’s here and I want to keep it that way. I can easily start another one specifically for the character I’ve named “Velvet Mocha.” I thank all of you who’ve at least read the blog entry even if your only comment was to say that you “Liked” it. I finally have all of the equipment and costumes/underwear/nightgowns I need for the first set of photos. However, I have to clean my bedroom from top to bottom so that I can use it as a set. I have to vacuum another room that has very fine sawdust on the floor that will get on the fabric I intend to buy as a backdrop that’s going to cost about $100. Needless to say, if I’m going to spend that kind of money, I don’t want to ruin it the first time it’s used.

I have some misgivings about taking advantage of a fluke of biochemistry. It’s not so much that as it is that I don’t want to get too explicit in the photos. I am all for erotica that celebrates the sexuality of disabled people. I do not want to be a porn star. I am deeply concerned that I’ll end up having to get more and more explicit in order to make the money I need to move. But, it’s always been women who do what we must for the good of our families. I’ll just have to suck it up and be as explicit as I need to be to sell photos and site memberships. I don’t want to look back one day and say to myself, “What have I done?” That is, I must admit, putting the cart before the horse. For now, I plan to make the experience fun, sensual and sexy. I can do that and not feel badly about myself at all. In fact, I would like to tap into my suppressed sexuality and allow it freedom once again. I can be proud of that even if this entire situation is one that should not be.

Forgiveness

I was originally going to title this post “The Exhaustion That Will Not End,” but the exhaustion is a symptom of, possibly, other things. It would all come back to Glenn one way or another, so I’ve decided to simply write about him. I am having a difficult time remembering what I’ve said about him in posts here and what I”ve written to him. Therefore, I’m going to assume that I’m repeating here what I’ve written in letters. If I repeat myself, I do apologize.

I wrote to Glenn, the love of my life I met in undergrad, and told him that I forgave him for something absolutely horrible he did to me about ten years ago. What he did had a profound effect on me and, had it come from someone else, I would never forgive. It took me many years to understand the reason for his betrayal, but I think I finally have with age and experience. The reason was two-fold. It was revenge for basically coming out to him in a less than stellar manner after he’d left me high and dry for two years, then called me so he could have phone sex. Needless to say, I was a little bit annoyed that he’d done that. Hence, the “Sorry, I’m not sleeping with men at the moment,” comment. He said a shocked “What?!” I repeated what I said and he hung up on me. Then, some years later, after being emotionally devoured by a cousin I couldn’t fight back because of our uncle and patriarch’s wishes, I tracked Glenn down at a club and, after several conversations leading me to believe he was still interested, he said that he was joking and that he didn’t want me because things changed. Mind you, he didn’t say this until I pressed him for a date when we’d get together since he’s 500 miles away, or was then. Now it’s more like 400+. This is the man I’d hoped to spend my life with, but he decided to marry someone else. Still, we couldn’t stay away from each other. So, for two or three years, we continued to see each other. If he’d married a woman I gave a damn about, even a stranger, I probably would have at least attempted to end things. He had to marry the woman he did and I could not have cared less about her feelings.

I believe second reason for the above-described betrayal was that he hoped I’d stay away on my own because he still had/has feelings for me. It is this reason and this reason alone that I didn’t get it. I didn’t think he had any feelings left for me at all. How could he and knowingly do what he did? Then, I began to think about men and what men will do when they are desperate and have too much pride for their own good. I didn’t want to believe that he still had feelings for me. That sentiment was born from the same one that wouldn’t allow me to believe he had ever had feelings for me. In the end, it had more to do with my lack of belief in myself than anything he hadn’t said, although he really should have said something. He broke me. No, I truly mean that he literally broke me. He pushed me up and over a cliff called “Suicide.” I almost made it.

My mother died probably not knowing that I’d forgiven her for something she’d done that wrecked both our lives. I can’t go through telling the story again, but suffice it to say that I could not go through life not forgiving Glenn for something that was nearly as bad. Like I still loved my mother, I still love Glenn, though differently than my mother of course. Furthermore, I want him back. I got so damned tired of hating him for what he did and being afraid he’d do it again that I couldn’t do it anymore. I finally threw up my hands and pulled out the tissues and wrote to him. I began the process on July 10 with one letter. It took me two days, but I finished the second one tonight. But for the fact that I had to go through his online store to tell him that it may have gotten lost between my computer and his, I’m not sure he would even have known I’d sent private e-mail. For all I know, he’s got me filtered out. In one sense, I can’t blame him. I’ve made several attempts to reach him over the years with no response, which doesn’t mean he’s not reading, but doesn’t mean he is. If he’s behaving like he did when we were in college, he had to wait to see how serious I was before he’d make a move. I wouldn’t move past the initial couple of letters because I thought it was pointless. That ended on July 10. I’m very serious. I haven’t let another man into my heart since he went off to marry the woman I’ll assume he’s still married to. He can have her. I just don’t want to be without him at all.

This is going to be a long, drawn-out fight unless he actually grows the balls to tell me that he’s uninterested. Even then, he’ll have to tell me to my face and not on the phone. Skype is a wonderful tool, isn’t it? So are the airplane and the highway. I’ll be in his area in October. If need be, he can tell me then. My guess is that I’m going to have to keep things going until he gets a big ass clue that I’m not going away quietly into that good night again. As I think I said here before, if two people have to work so fucking hard to stay away from each other, then there’s a reason. As my mother once told me, I’m a threat to his marriage. I prefer to think that I’d be an addition as opposed to a threat. The only reason I give a damn is that I know he has at least one daughter. I don’t want her caught in the games grown-ups play. I wish I hadn’t let him go so easily when he told me he was going to marry that woman. I just didn’t have the experience to fight back. All I could do was cry and I cried for days and weeks. He didn’t enjoy my pain. It hurt him, too. However, the marriage was logical. That’s the other thing I’ve had to accept.

Knowing how to fight for him meant that I had to remember things about him that I knew probably wouldn’t have changed and believing in myself. I don’t doubt one bit that I’m going to have to move once/if we reconcile. He can’t explain long absences the way he could before. With Mom dying, there’s no more reason to stay here except one and I can fly in to see her or have her fly in to see me. I’m referring to my last living great-aunt. She’s like a mother or grandmother to me. She has more than enough people to take care of her, but I adore her. I’ll also have to leave the only blood cousins in my age group. That, too, will be difficult. Basically, I don’t want to move. It’s just that I see it coming.

I’m also going to have to figure out, with his help, how do deal with my sexuality. It doesn’t lend itself readily to monogamy. In the past, I’ve used polyamory as a way to detach myself. It’s what I learned to do from those who’d practiced polyamory as the central figure in past relationships. That isn’t the way it should be. I think some part of me knew that there was only room for one love of my life and, therefore, thought it better to keep my distance on some level.

In addition to being “fluid” in my affairs of the crotch or heart, I still consider myself as a practitioner of BDSM. In short, I consider myself a leatherdyke. Or, perhaps, a leatherbyke. Whatever, BDSM is in my soul and he isn’t into it. What’s so funny is that he’s the one who got me started without knowing it. If need be, I can give it up.

The question I’ve had while making all of these compromises is: What is Glenn willing to give up to be with me? Only time will tell, assuming I can break through to him at all. I may have to resort to changing e-mail addresses periodically and actually chasing him around the Internet until he stands up and says, “Go away!” If he does that, then, aside from a few questions I want satisfied, I’ll leave him be. I’m betting he won’t, but I don’t know for sure.

I vaguely remember telling him that while I forgive him, there’s still a large part of me that doesn’t trust him not to repeat the same evil deed. It’s true. That’s something I’m only going to be able to work on once we’re in conversation again. I can’t do it alone. There’s a difference between forgiving and forgetting. I don’t know that I’ll ever forget. I do want to get to a point where I can put my distrust in the past and not have it staring at me in the present. People make mistakes. At last glance, he was a person. He is a person I want back in my life.