Tag Archives: invisibility

The eternal quandary

I qualify everything I’m about to type with the fact that I am sick. Therefore, if a sentence doesn’t make sense or there’s an obviously misspelled word, please forgive me. I’ll probably catch it later, but it has flown through the holes in my brain for the moment.

What to do? What to do? I am so confused. I think I’m in a phase where I actually have an attraction to men. I don’t mean a specific man, but men in general. That scares the daylights out of me! I have no idea what to do. I am not straight. I haven’t been straight since I was about four years old. I admit that most of my intimate emotional and physical relationships have been with males, but that general attraction pretty much stopped in my late 20s. It was then that I came out as bisexual, but I wasn’t a “true” bisexual. I didn’t like men and women equally. I definitely preferred women even though I was involved with a man at the time who was the lover of the woman who became my first female lover. If there was a box I could check that said “It’s complicated,” that would be the one I’d mark.

I think there are two factors at work. The first is that Prof. B brought up the issue of me sleeping with men and having to become monogamous AND completely lesbian. I can understand both desires. If there were a woman who connected with me intellectually, emotionally, socially and sexually, and I with her, and; who didn’t think that developmentally disabled children were things, not people and certainly not “its,” I would be happily monogamous in a lesbian relationship for as long as we both shall live, as it were. I so want that! It physically hurts at times that I don’t have a mate. The yearning is so strong that it threatens to tear me in two. I’ve been alone most of my life. Yet, I am not someone who is emotionally equipped to be alone. I need that person I can trust to have my back. I need that person I can turn to when there is no one else who will listen, even if that person doesn’t have answers for me. I need someone who values me as a person and as a bright, loving person who has a great deal to give to someone else and to the world. I need to know that I really do matter to another person. If I could build that person, she would be a woman with a penis. Really! Thank the good Lord that penises can be ordered online!

The second factor is that I’ve been spending time at the gym, although I haven’t been in over a week because my body feels like crap due to a fibro flare I thought I could exercise through, but couldn’t. While I haven’t really spoken to a lot of men, I do have an opportunity to see more of them up close and personal. They don’t stink the way they used to. Did my sense of smell change? I also saw a couple who fit my two, very different, physical profiles of attractive men. The first profile is what gay boyz call a “bear.” That means big, probably bearded, strong, very masculine. The second is one I didn’t realize I had until men kept physically reminding me of the-ex-who-shall-not-be-named (TEWSNBN, maybe I’ll pronounce that “twos’ nibin”). That type would be a bit on the short side, no taller than about 5’9″; canine teeth that are noticeably sharper, and; arms that are slightly long for his height. As TEWSNBN once said, he looks a bit simian. At the time, I tried to deny it, but he was right. Like it or not, black men with that look immediately grab my attention.

There are a couple of each kind at the gym. I’ve said a few words to one of each type. Nothing I actually thought about, but things that came out of my mouth organically. For instance, there was this machine where I couldn’t lock in the weight and I asked this big, handsome bear of a man if he could help. He was a doll, as “bears” frequently are. He not only showed me how to do it, but explained a couple of the other machines too. The more “simian” guy just happened to catch my eye in the mirror as I saw him leg press an incredible amount of weight and I said, “Wow!” as my eyes grew big. He smiled back and I asked him how long it took him to be able to do that. He said that he’d been at it for years. I couldn’t help but notice how cute he was. Eh, I’m human.

I know that sexuality can go back and forth like a pendulum with some people, me included (I suppose). It’s as though there’s this smorgasbord out there and I want to taste it all. In many respects, I’ve had the sexual adventures of two or three people’s lifetimes. I just haven’t found the right person for me and s/he has yet to find me either. I’m not the kind of person who likes sitting around and waiting for things to happen to her. I like going out there and making things happen for myself. However, I think this is the most difficult task I’ve ever faced. I don’t know how to find the right person or how to be found by the right person. I feel as though I’m alone in a fatally opaque bubble where I shall remain until my dying day. I, like the rest of humanity, do not want to die alone. I have too much love to give and I know that I’ve got one hell of a hot-danged love affair in me full of intense passion, great sex, opening of windows to allow fresh air in and peace. I need to share it with someone who will appreciate it. I think my problem now is accepting that it is possible that person could be male. I’d have to do a huge mental make-over, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.

It has occurred to me that maybe my mate could be a male amputee. We could understand each other on a level no one else can. The idea only came to me a few hours ago as I was watching Thursday’s network evening news about vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan missing limbs. That led me to think about the photos I should have already taken and have been stressing about because I have zero energy, but they must be done because I’m utterly broke. I don’t do “poor” well because, frankly, I’ve only been poor once in my life and I could have hauled my butt back home, which is what I subsequently did. At any rate, it is my hope that my very tastefully suggestive photos reach a good man among some of the . . . shall we say . . . less than desirables. I know that I have to treat each with respect and I will. However, that doesn’t mean some won’t earn a greater respect than others. There are days and nights when it sucks to be me. I am, however, trying to make the best of it.

Lonely on the Great Lakes

Trippin’

There are days when life seems like someone’s dream. I understand Australian aboriginal societies view dreams as valid as anything they may experience while awake. That might explain why sleep is no respite. I’m angry with myself for having sex with a guy old enough to be my father, (not that that’s bothered me before, but I was younger then), and; for eating things I know are not good for me, although I have honestly tried to get better. I went from not eating for days until I felt so faint I could no longer walk to eating all of the things I know have a zillion calories and feeling like a pig who’s as big as a house. I keep asking myself and God, “When will this end?!” I can accept hurting myself by cutting or something, but I can’t accept myself if I eat, especially when I already feel horrible about my weight. There are days when I want to hide. In fact, for over a year, that’s exactly what I did. I hid. I’d only leave the house for doctors’ appointments. Even then, I hid myself under baggy clothing because I wanted so badly to be invisible.

Looking at the above as a complete outsider, I’d say that this chick needs some help. Yep, she does. She’s a hot mess. My therapist can only see me a couple of times a month because she doesn’t work full time. I don’t want to break in a new therapist, so I’m sticking with this one. Besides, she’s really good. I asked her if she treated people with eating disorders as we were walking to the door. She said that she didn’t treat eating disorders specifically, but has run into them in the course of treating other disorders. It’s essentially the same thing she said about another pathology with which I have to deal more and more often.

People don’t understand that cutting is not about attempting suicide at all. It’s the exact opposite. By cutting, the person can release some of the anger, pressure, stress that’s going on inside so that they can function. Another reason is that cutting or, in my case, burning, is the only way to express the intense pain felt. I burned myself nearly to the bone about a decade ago because I was dying inside. I wanted to scream, hit (inanimate) things and curl up in a tiny little ball forever. I desperately wanted someone to understand what I was going through and, at the same time, knew they wouldn’t. I just wanted someone to look my way and realize that I was at the end of my rope and needed help. No amount of cutting/burning would release enough pain to allow me to function, but I did want to function. The only reason I’d want to die was because no one would understand how hurt and devastated I was. It was Glenn who pushed me to the point where I wanted to die. That is, he and his buddies who decided it would be funny to hear some stupid, foolish, idiotic chick 500 miles away who’d had a 17-year relationship with him until he disappeared for two years, leaving said chick to discover she liked women a hell of a lot more than men, including Glenn, tell that rat bastard how much she loved him still, wanted to get back together and have him pretend it was within the realm of possibility. I think of what he did to me and I am still humiliated even though I shouldn’t be. If he had a conscience, Glenn would be the one who feels shame and humiliation. However, it seems he doesn’t and never will.

I’ve been told that I have to move past this–that Glenn’s threats against my life weren’t credible because he lives 500 miles away. They don’t know him like I know him. Five hundred miles is nothing for him. He used to drive that regularly to see me. He loves to drive. And if he chooses, he certainly has the means to hire someone to carry out his threats. Barring some monumental law enforcement fuck up, he’ll be the first person the authorities will look at. Since he would have had to cross state lines either to conspire or to have someone carry out the plot, it then becomes a federal crime. My lawyer thinks I’m diverting all my attention to him when I’m really grieving my mother. Hello! Ever heard of multitasking? Glenn can and will wait for years until his victim is most vulnerable and then strike. He’s already done it to me once. I’ve seen him do it to other people before as well. I only saw a glimpse of his dark side. It’s a place from which no light escapes, like a black hole in the center of his soul. With me, his chosen weapon was always the great mindfuck. I cannot begin to describe how much he hurt me until he finally decided he wouldn’t anymore and we became lovers, although he’s the one who had control. I guess he figured that there was something inside that was worth dealing with and needed a second, third and fourth look. What was going on is that I took a lot of body blows to my emotions and continued to love him, for better or worse.

Do I go to bed worried that I won’t wake up? No. Do I go to bed worried that my furbabies won’t have anyone to care for them if something happens to me? Damn straight I do! If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t care who did what to me to end my life. I’m tired of living it myself. I want peace in death and a chance to come back one day in different circumstances. Then again, I wouldn’t get a chance to choose my life. That would be up to The Powers That Be. They could decide that I’m unworthy and put me in even more untenable circumstances always ending the same way. Eventually, I won’t want to come back. I’m almost to that point now. As I said, I’m tired.

Yes, I Am Here

Lipstick with an Outline

Lips clothed in red lipstick always impress.

My mother is the kind of woman who can wear brightly colored clothing in either prints or solids accessorized by large pieces of jewelry and not look like a $20 hooker. In fact, she looks great even at 84 years old. The fact that she is blessed with lustrous skin and the wrinkles one normally sees on someone who is in her 60s helps. Despite the fact that she’s quite shy, Mom would definitely not fade into a beige wall.

Anyone who has ever seen my mother and me together says that we look alike. With some very minor differences, this is true. Her skin is yellower and fairer than my mocha-based skin tinted with red and yellow. She also has a conspicuous fingertip-shaped birthmark that I think is adorable and a gap in her front teeth that gives her face character. With the exception of the additional shades of melanin added by my father, I almost look like my mother’s clone. However, that’s about as far as the cosmetic similarities go. Where she wears vibrant colors and prints, I wear earth tones. Where she wears larger, colorful jewelry, I tend toward simplistic gold, silver, white and some blue smaller pieces. Neither of us has ever worn much makeup–until recently.

It is not unusual to hear disabled people complain that they are invisible to the able-bodied world. In many instances, I think that’s true, especially if you’re a woman in a wheelchair. Those of us in wheelchairs are looking at everyone else’s navels (or something lower on the male body) as we try to make it through a crowd. Able-bodied people walk, talk, eat, daydream or generally don’t pay attention as they go from Place A to Place B and expect everyone else to inhabit the same general vertical space. However, if a person is in a wheelchair or on a scooter, they’re not in that space. They are somewhere else that can be blocked out of the conscious brain of the able-bodied person. Usually, a loud, “Excuse me!” will get their attention. But absent a polite (or impolite) exclamation, the wheelchair- or scooter-bound person doesn’t exist. And sex?! Most able-bodied people (read “men”) don’t think of the disabled as sexual. Again, we are invisible unless it’s for all the wrong reasons.

Some weeks ago, I realized I was tired of not existing. I think it was probably around my birthday this past March when I began to think of how long ago I was born versus how old I feel. I don’t feel older than my mid-30s. My body worked a whole lot better then than it does now. Nevertheless, in my mind–indeed, in my very being–I am that 35-year-old woman. Better yet, I am beginning to think of myself as a 35-year-old woman who is very sexual and very sexually attractive. I made a conscious decision to feel this way because, truth be told, getting laid was never a real problem for me. The problem was getting laid by the right person. I didn’t have the confidence and so I didn’t get the attention I wanted from the right people. It was as though my pheromones told people to “Stay away!” In truth, I think it was my desperation.

I have been ill for nearly seven years straight. My life has changed dramatically. People I thought were friends, really weren’t, and; people I thought were family were only related to me by chance DNA. Part of this time has been deeply painful. It has been so painful that at times I’ve wanted to leave this world forever. The only thing that stopped me was three days in ICU. But from there, I began to heal. I’d already begun some parts of my healing years before, but the last suicide attempt resulted in me finding the very best therapist I’ve ever had. If it weren’t for her helping me make sense out of something tragic, I doubt I’d be around today to write these words.

I have a birth defect called proximal focal femoral deficiency, (aka PFFD), that is the result of exposure to the drug thalidomide in utero. My right leg is significantly shorter than my left and I have to wear an above-knee prosthesis to walk. I am different. I have always been different. That difference didn’t physically effect me until I was in my mid-20s. From there, things began to slowly go to hell in a hand basket. But today, at this moment, there is a tremendous sense of hope. I think it is the hope that has unleashed my desire–my sexuality–and my yearning to be noticed. You see, part of the desire to blend into a beige wall stems from being a rape and incest survivor. We never want to be noticed. But part of it stems from being disabled–different and vulnerable to predators. So, there are two very strong instincts fighting me and telling me to go back into my cave where it’s safe. I won’t do it. I want to look and feel pretty again. I want to be noticed again, even if I’m using my wheelchair at the time.

In that vein, I’m buying accessories to brighten up and enhance the clothing I already have and I have my eye on some really cute, sexy underwear. I’ve also gone through all of my jewelry and realized that I’ve got some exquisite pieces that only need the right clothing and makeup. Yes, I have begun to wear makeup far more often. I’ve purchased two types of mascara that I’ll wear depending on the occasion and I am searching for diverse, colorful eye shadows that make my eyes POP and lipsticks. I think the eyeshadows I want are only to be found at a department store, but I’ve discovered a lipstick vendor with many varied shades at my neighborhood drug store. To be blunt, I want to be so fucking attractive that I don’t have to sit and wait for ANYone to call. It can and will happen. In fact, I think it might be happening now. But, for the moment, I think we’re playing a game. I am amused, no doubt, but this person won’t be the only suitor if they play too long. Yes, I am here!