Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Borderline

Friday, January 5th, 2018



In the beginning, the plan for Year of the Kat was to get on medication. That, thus far, has not come to pass, mainly due to the runaround and wait times in seeing a psychiatrist meaning I had one single appointment before I left on tour (in which the psyche questioned whether I needed medication at all).

Medication is an option to enable a quality of life, and I may still come to be taking it before July and stay true to the intentions of YotK, but whether I am certifiable is no longer relevant to me. Reality dictates that, in conjunction with attachment difficulty, complex PTSD, and depression/anxiety, I frequently animate debilitatingly agonizing borderline behavior and patterns, and what makes those times relevant to me is that I suffer when in that state.



Observation and history dictates that, since my experience learning to care for myself is the origin of my ability to teach others how to care for themselves, I do indeed possess the ability to treat myself in ways that reduce the impact of those time periods, and potentially prevents them entirely. 

The issue of debilitation virtually always coms down to one of two things: I am being gaslit or otherwise abused by someone I trust in my life, or I am neglecting the care of my own self.

One tidbit I know works for me to maintain a sense of direction (I no longer believe, in my ‘higher’ self who compels to write these things, in the common concept of identity) is to periodically write out who I am for myself, rather than in order to display it for others — on tinder, my biographies on my websites, facebook.

We have experienced recently that you, Kat, are a person who cannot be healthy, and be talking to Dad, at the same time — and thus, I cannot be healthy, as you are a part of me, and I am a part of you.

 It’s about time I reminded myself, again, as ever, who it is that I am, so that I can hopefully better remember it, the next time you need for me to be who that is for you.





This is why Year of the Kat. This is why we reconnected. We have one another, to remind us of who we are.

—— W H O I AM —— Jan, 2018

Artistically, I focus my outward attention (and my internal monologue) on my advocates, sustainers, enablers, supporters; and do not give any of my true fucks to the people who do not know me, do not like me, either, or both.

Professionally, I continue to forge my vibrant, dynamic, challenging, grueling, and unique path of resistance and integrity; as derivative of white supremacist parasitic capitalism, and also source’ one that processes many a cathartic shit releasing what terrified white men in suits tell me about how to meet my needs or measure the success of my life’s work.

Personally, I fuck the binary, poop on rape culture, and disembowel the ableist colonial white supremacist heteropatriarchy however, wherever, and whenever I am able, oppression dynamics withstanding, and spoons provided.

Emotionally, I remain ever in search of my tribe, my home, my sanctuary, by continuing to search in myself.

Socially, I am committed to restoration, integrity, and decolonization, including for me. 

Especially, for me.

—-



We have one another, Kat.


I’ll handle Dad from now on.

#hotline

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Lately, I have been very raw and sensitive and emotionally reactive. Being that way comes with effects, which include being oversensitive to damaging others. Things like feeling really gutted for days if I unintentionally hurt someones feelings, and digging too hard into myself to look for subconscious sinister motivation, when I forget or misconstrue boundaries and tolerances (we should do this as recovering abusers, as I am, but I get relentless and shameful in it when triggered or emotionally fatigued — I go back to the habit of digging for the molten core of awful I must be to be capable of being so shitty).

Generally when that happens is when I reach a tipping point where I go into isolation to avoid people. That, I have discovered, is when I usually fall into the pit.

I have been noticing this, and noticing that I have needed to talk numerous times in order to mobilize myself to be functional in the last few days, and even after scrolling over my lists, short and long and public and private, I find I have no one I feel I can talk to in those moments.

This is all self talk, shame, depression, and insecurity. I am blessed with SO MANY people I can talk to. Perhaps they might not understand, and perhaps they might not be the people who are immediately around me. But I can speak without logical fear of retribution to many people in my life. Yet I don’t, or if I do, I am so clumsy and desperate and self critial that I feel bad about it afterwards; I didnt ask well enough for proper consent before talking about something potentially triggering, I took up too much time uming and stumbling to get my words out, and so on.

And well, writing here is triggering more often than it isn’t, to be perfectly honest with y’all.

So I called the hotline again today, while I was stuck managing the anxiety of going to a place I work where someone who violated my boundaries and emotionally abused me also frequents, still vibrating from #metoo triggering. 1 (800) 273-8255. I talked to a person who has already given consent to hear whatever it is I need to say, who is not my friend thus also not my long term emotional responsibility, who can also hear the details of that assault without potentially having personal investment in protecting the asshole who treated me like shit.

1 (800) 273-8255

1 (800) 273-8255

1 (800) 273-8255

A little poop on the stigma, and a glimpse of what a suicide prevention hotine actually looks like:

“I got into this field because when I was a teenager, I was also trying to kill myself on a monthly basis, or cutting myself, or ending up in the ER,” she says. “I finally met a therapist who said, ‘Well of course you want to kill yourself. Your life is terrible.’ And the moment she said this, I thought, ‘OK, now I can fix my life.’ Because before I had been so busy trying to prove to people that my life was bad, and once someone believed me, I could go do something about that.”

That’s why, according to PM, traditionally trained clinicians are not always the best crisis counselors — they first have to unlearn a lot of what they were taught.

“Most counselors and social workers are profoundly uneducated about suicide prevention techniques,” she says. “This can lead to a lot of frustration or even panic.”

On the other hand, “at one of my hotline jobs I worked with a guy who, on paper, looked like a terrible candidate,” she continues. “His last job was manufacturing, and before that he’d been a bouncer at a couple of different strip clubs. But … he was the most sensitive person ever, and he knew how to approach a call. ‘It sounds like you’re thinking of suicide.’ Totally non-judgmental, but puts the topic out in the open so we can talk about it more freely. When he’d hear a person talk about why they wanted to die, he’d be compassionate. ‘Given all that, I understand why you’d think about killing yourself.’ That may sound like a really bad idea, but it’s actually been proven to be really effective: You’re actually hearing them, which makes them feel more open to talking. Then you can circle back to reasons to live.”

Source, with All The Trigger Warnings: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2338-5-disturbing-things-i-learned-working-at-suicide-hotline.html

#triggerwarning #mentalhealth

Monday, June 19th, 2017

#triggerwarning #mentalhealth

I’ve been struggling badly with my mental health since last fall. It’s been pretty awful in general, and then the small shred of resource and sanity I felt I had — my van/house/freedom — did what vanhousefreedom things do when they have 204,000 miles on them, and started breaking things.

Expensive things. While I was 3000, 1400, and 800 miles from ‘home’, which is a place I don’t really identify much with anymore, that I can’t afford to stay in, but is the most familiar to me.

I’m broke, in quite a bit of credit card debt, which is rising as I’m trying to take care of my body, which is also really pissed, and enjoyed a ratio of playing shows that leaned toward the ‘really sad empty dive bar’ sorts of ways far, far too often for my tender worrysome heart.

I’ve got pals and a warm place to sleep, which is helping me not completely lose my shit. I’m also spending most of my time manically making slapdash art, or sobbing and paralyzed and thinking about how easy it would be to clip an aertery and be done with this shit.

Every day, though, I do something meaningful to get better. I’m seeing a chiropractor to take care of my spine. I got that horrible inflammatory IUD pulled out, and acknowledged my gratitude for the ten years of effective birth control that little angry shit provided me. I’m on antibiotics for an infection I’ve likely had for about 8 months. And for now, I am living somewhere I can actually stand up in.

For a while, I was taking classes to get my massage license back before recognizing the returns were not sustainable (and, let’s face it, I’d be much better off making sandwiches 8 hours a day than going back into the job of touching people). But I enjoyed the classes and I learned things. That’s what you take classes for, right?

I’m also working edges like usual, one of which being to get better at letting go of money when I spend it, rather than being attached to the notion that everything I spend money on be some sort of investment.

I’m having a particularly hard time working up the nerve to get back into therapy, though, and to get on meds, which I’ve recognized it’s time for me to do. Like, actually do, and go through with, this time. I have an appointment with my primary care person in July to talk about it, but frankly, I’m really worried I’m not going to make it that far.

I’ve attempted multiple times before when it’s gotten this bad, and self harm is becoming a regular thing to deal with the sobbing fits, like the one I am stuck in right now while attempting to get ready for the one damn thing I committed to doing today.

I spend so much effort holding in a wall of sadness behind my face, and when the dam breaks, relief doesn’t come with it. Just more pressure and exhaustion. I think about doing the morning walk-in freeforall at the clinic, or going to the ER, usually multiple times a day. But I don’t.

I’ve been trying to figure out why, after so many years of being capable of getting help after how hard I worked to get there, I’m so stuck now.

I feel like my spirit is broken and no one can help me.

I’m consumed with fear that hopping on a medication rollar coaster will make it worse, and I don’t think I can handle anything more.

It seems I’d rather smack at myself qnd bruise my own face to feel relief than walk outside and pull weeds out of the ground (and risk fucking up my back again, I say to myself. Oh, my back went out while putting my pants on a half hour before a band rehearsal about a month ago. Did I forget to tell you that? Probably).

It’s hard to remember a time I’ve felt so alone.

But even moreso, I am finding that I am deeply mistrusting of the health field now. The last two therapists I had (out of four) had pretty shit boundaries.

Both relationships were helpful in ways, but ultimately the situations were very messy and consisted of a lot of loss, especially the last one, which was long term and complicated and multifaceted and ended traumatically.

There are quite a few things I used to be interested in/enjoy that I no longer enjoy after realizing I had to get out of that relationship. And getting out at all kicked up so many self criticisms I have about my limitations in maintaining close connections, and so often being the one suffocated and scrambling to get away.

When that relationship broke, so did my last frayed ties to the ‘healing community’, my trust in it, and my trust in my abilities as someone who was once a teacher in that realm. It broke my confidence in my worthiness to continue to be any type of healing guide or mentor, too. For the best, maybe, but disorienting all the same.

Of course, as I have created distance, I have recognized where being in unethical ‘healer’ relationships enabled me to be unethical and damaging to others myself in my care practice.
For the bulk of my time in the scene, I was surrounded by and looking up to healers and mentors providing therapy to people they were fucking, providing therapy to people they then started fucking, providing therapy to friends who didn’t ask for therapy, incepting their own notions and beliefs into vulnerable people looking for their help, having unintegral boundries and phasing in and out of roles without communicating or garnering consent.. the list just went on and on. And I belonged there. That’s the kind of shit I did, too. I think about some of the things I chose to do now and cringe so god damn hard.

It was a shitshow and I’m glad to be out, but, I’ve not found an alternative for the positives being in those communities allowed me to receive. The modalities, when respected in safe containers, were very powerful and helpful to me.

My trust in writing, which in the past has brought me a lot of connection and relief in the absence of stable relationships, has also faded. I no longer feel empowered by posting vulnerable shit like this and writing about my mental health struggles here. Or anywhere really.

I no longer feel fueled or that I am ‘helping’ anyone by sharing my stories, after a lifetime relying on that to make finite connections while constantly growing and transforming and leaving people behind who were important in my life but wanted me to stay the same when I needed to move on.

I simultaneously feel like such a loud obnoxious burden, and that I’ve forgotten how to take up space.

I feel like a complete sticky fucked up projectile mess, and also like I’m so constricted I can barely breathe.

But maybe broaching the subject now that I’m onto this will shift something. I’ve got shit to do, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let today be another fucking day I beat myself in the head to stop crying long enough to get it done.

P.S. if you are like I’ve been in the past and have become again and are hurting yourself to deal with your overwhelming emotions, this might help you feel like a little less of a freak about it. It helped me to remember how normal this all is, for all of 5 minutes, anyway.

Well, here we are again.

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

After some time keeping my head barely above water, my hearts busted open into a suck wound of fuzzies and my brain is linking up solutions again. Good night! 

What will I wake up to, though? Ugh, I hate waking up. Maybe that adjustment today worked, but I can’t know until I sleep how things will be when I wake up. 

I need to work on trusting my body more, and relying on my mind less. My fatigue right now probably isn’t physical. I forget that my ballcurled psychic emergency cutoff is to be too exhausted to carry out the plan. I forget that I know how to not spin myself comatose with infinite looping worry when something is wrong with my body. 

Yes, somethings wrong with probably my nerves, and yeah, it hurts. And having my legs giving out on me periodically is not any kind of ok, I’m not gonna lie. 

All the same, I think it’s about time to look into what’s happened in the SSRI world since I visited it last. Aside from being back in a mental place where I must consider that I really could die from this; I cannot accomplish my goals while feeling this way.

Is it valid? Yes. I dont deny or begrudge it. But I’ve got shit to do, god damnit. Shit to do so I can be in a position to handle whatever this is without feeling like I’m waterboarding myself while reciting the most horrible things I can imagine people I love saying about me. 

I trust you, gut. And I can’t right now. You’ll have to wait. 

I’ll get to you, too, but you’ll just have to wait.

I think.

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

If love is wishing for others what you would wish for yourself, if it is protecting others how you would protect yourself, then love is what I am likely to give in most of my moments, and what I have regarded most with in the past.

If do unto others is the basis of love, then the idea of love being any particular quality — that it is only kindness and light, that it is forgiveness, that it is acceptence, that its bones could be universally recognized in behavior observed from outside me — cannot be held authentically in that same space as autonomy.

There was arguably little humanity in how I learned to view my self, my needs, my emotional body. But there is NO fucking humanity in ‘elevated’ New Cage love.

Even Gandhi was a rape apologist and a misogynist.

Stop telling people they can only ever love others once they ‘learn’ to ‘love’ themselves.

Stop disconnecting further by perpetuating the bullshit myth that loving others is possible only once you don’t have any more personal issues with yourself.

I am love.
For better and for worse.

I am love.

Fuck you.


I need my teeth cleaned, a physical, to figure out why it seems I’m always cramping, see what I’ve got for birth control options after this IUD expires.. which might be why the cramping.

Hell, I need a massage, and more safe enjoyable cuddles, too. And I need to relax. I’m so tired all the time.

This place (Seattle/Home) has a tendency to suck me up. I got back here in May for the purpose of healing up, and it is basically October and I’ve done none of the stuff I’d planned to do the minute I got here.

It took me almost 6 months of occasionally irrational, fearful procrastinating just to make an OB/GYN appointment which is now scheduled for the middle of November.

I’ve tried to relax in significant ways, two “vacation” trips so far, and each attempt has brought expressly traumatic experiences resulting in mental and emotional breakdowns, and unexpected labor/expense.

I’ve been doing other important things, and the work I am doing now is expressly healing without me being as a professional healer. My experiences in between these mess vacations has been pretty fucking good.

But hanging out in the dirt cleaning up our human mess with good people isn’t enough. I am hoping my subconscious has been setting me up for a good nest, because that’s all I can figure has been going in this last season, with how much resistance and distraction I’ve had from going in and looking at the state of my shit.

Do you know why you enter into relationships?

Over the last year, I’ve found that my explosion into my deepened relationship with social justice marked another wall I have built up around myself. In isolation I once again have become to me a person of such deplorable character that I do not deserve the care I require to function.

Doing unpaid, emotionally intensive social justice work, which has involved a lot of painful personal dismantling and centering of others, has significantly contributed to my current state of being.

And I think I did it, to myself, on purpose. Because I’ve done so much work resurrecting things from my subconscious, apparently I have this idea that I have some sort of control over it, or something. As though having the tenacity to do that to myself again and again illustrates the instinct and the muse that drive me being fully fledged in this dimension.

But I’m pretty sure I’m still a ghost puppet and that’s not how things actually work.

“Some people need to create a nightmare far worse than the one they came from before they will go back and heal their early wounds. We see this in trauma survivors all the time. They pile hell upon hell, until they have only two choices – die, or heal the wounds they are fleeing.

I used to find this confusing, but I no longer do. Sometimes the first hell was so bloody bad that it takes a far worse hell to uncover it. Bows to those who choose to heal their hells, after so many years on the run. Bows to those trauma survivors who give reality a try before they have any evidence that it will serve them. If that isn’t courage, I don’t know what is.” —Jeff Brown

I wrote at some point perhaps a year or two ago, during Year of the Nee I think, recognizing that I’d begun embracing the work I’d been working to do in my romantic relationships on a world scale.

At the time I still identified as a healer and was in private practice, I was still on what seemed to be the front lines of hashtag activism, and it was still serving to open eyes and create dialogue among my circle. My friends were coming with me where my lovers had failed to walk, and I set out to built a new model for what my relationships looked like.

I’d also recognized somewhere around that same time, that while I do not identify as them, the diagnoses I’ve collected over the years served to assist in addressing behavioral symptoms. But it wasn’t until I entered into PTSD therapy after walking myself into a crisis center that I really began to understand the underlying cause that those diagnosis didn’t seem to be touching quite right.

Those days of blossoms of Social Justice Me from buds of Social Critic Me are pretty long gone, though. More and more I am shown and reminded that my work there is done and that flower has wilted, decayed, and died (happy fall btw). The conversation I was challenging people around me to engage with is happening now, and there are so many activists out there who are more skilled, effective, knowledgable, and deserving of platform than I am.

And yet, I still go to that place to preach and hide, to dwindling response. We are all tired of that, believe me. I don’t want to fucking yell about shit any more. I want to make art, and I want to create public protest performaces, and I want to make music and sell paintings and maybe some day get into a relationship again with someone I want to fuck.

I want all those things and yet my social media presence has turned into the adult version of phuqed.org. It is too often my new version of skinless, toolless, teen angst me pointing and complaining about the state of the world without actually doing what needs to be done for myself.

“Even though I know better, even though I can sometimes see it when it happens elsewhere (IE, Jian Ghomeshi getting the drop on the narrative first), even though I have been shown over, and over, and over, and over again that I can’t trust the narrator, my first instinct is to protect the person being held accountable for their abuse. To spend my emotional labor helping them save face, rather than protect myself by staying the fuck out of it.
This has shown up over and over again in my life. So often I can even name abuse, see it happening, see them doing it TO ME, and I walk right into it, thinking my familiarity with it makes me impervious. Makes me smarter than they are.

It’s true that the level of abuse I’ve suffered in my life has made me incredibly sensitive to the presence of emotional manipulation, gaslighting, and subversive power plays. It is true that I am well versed in these areas myself and I’ve used the tactics both unconsciously and consciously in my life and in my relationships. Knowing that about myself is how I rationalize WHY my first instinct is to put my boots on, go in there, and ultimately, protect abusers.

I say to myself that this is a chance to use my skills to say “l see what you did there”, to hold them accountable, and to get involved in the movement to stop this fucking shit from being what’s normal in our society. And then I DON’T DO THAT. My sensitivity is there, but my sensitivity is often like a rolling compass. My brain works, and it works well, but it does not work when the person who is abusing is someone I view as being in a position of greater social capital than me.

I choke. I get freaked out. I go into compliance. I protect their feelings. I talk myself out of saying things I need to say because they are harsh, because they reflect things I’ve done, because I’m ashamed of having done those things myself.

I give myself credit for having critical thought I don’t have access to in these situations. The work I’ve done has not made me the person I thought it made me. Sometimes I can behave like that person. When I see someone as being on a level playing field as me, I can be that person. But that’s rare. It’s a lot more rare than I’ve let on.

It is true that part of the reason I don’t have better access to this skill I sometimes have is because I have been conditioned and oppressed my entire life, and part of that is having been told that I cannot trust my instincts. It is true that I have patently been victimized by this cultural reality.

It is also true that I do not have access to this critical thought because I am still using these tactics myself. I am still controlling the narrative and running from being accountable for the things I’ve done in my life. I am still using toxic masculinity to protect myself and garner power.

This has become more and more clear in the last year as I’ve stepped into my nonbinary gender identity. When I did that, all of a sudden the sexist femm degrading slurs started creeping back, like a fucking tick. I’ve imagined it feeling like tourettes, though I have no actual frame of reference to assume that. I only know that when I am angry, stressed, or triggered, I feel like I HAVE to say them, like I will fucking explode inside if I don’t say them.
The anger started coming back more often, too, and the association with my masculinity being violence and guns and militant appearances resurfaced.

I am a person who was forged in a way that I have to get ok with the expectation that I will always have to be managing this shit. I am an abuser who was raised breathing and eating and drinking abuse. While I have experienced times in my life when this was not as apparent as other times, this is something that I’ve never fully accepted and embraced about myself.

I am learning that I don’t have the luxury of being the idealist I’ve been trying to be. I expect I can’t be living on a shoe string, floating around in a van, alone, without emotional or intimate support, resources, or even a therapist, and live to the level of integrity that I need to live by in order to be ok with myself and who I show up as.

I’ve tried to name what I’ve been noticing about my personality shifting and recognizing that I’m experiencing setbacks. Many long posts written and deleted, acknowledging that I’ve been slipping. I haven’t really known how to approach it and all of the posts have felt like I’ve been making some kind of announcement as a perceived social justice leader, like ‘here I am, being an example’ and that just didn’t fucking sit right. It felt good, but it didn’t sit right.

I have to find a way to do better.”

I’ve noticed that while my mental diagnosis’s over the years (Bipolar disorder, Attachment disorder, CPTSD, Depression, Anxiety Disorder) have not painted the entire picture, incrementally addressing their symptoms has brought me into better alignment with myself, relieved some of the burdens of keeping myself alive, and given me insight into the deeper and more complex elements at work in my psyche.

In my seeking, I’ve been wanting to move into some sort of somatic therapy, ultimately in an effort to reacquaint myself with my sexuality and safe touch. I am tired of being isolated and touch starved. I want to learn how to allow touch and sex and tenderness and cuddling back into my life in an authentic, whole hearted way.

“I still believe if I go back far enough, if I heal hard enough, if I dig deep enough, I will come to the place in my life that I can remember being.. Not this. The time in my first tiny memories before it all started showing. Before the behavior problems happened. Before people started shunning me because I was violent and reactive and weird, or embracing me because I was a 6 year old adult. Before the suicidal/I wish I was never born thoughts. Before I started running.

I was tiny and there are so few of those memories, but I have them. I’ve believed in them like most people believe in things they hold dear enough to ignore facts: like the one that tells us that memories are unreliable as shit.
But even if I give myself the benefit of mine being accurate, these tiny faded senses of what I was Before, they don’t matter. I can never dig myself back there. What was installed after them was firmware that I can’t roll back, can’t even dig through.

Who I fundamentally am includes a dozen versions later than where I have been trying to go.

I will never have the peace I’ve been searching for.”

Black and White Image: Foggy ocean horizon

Liminality

In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”[1]) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold”[2] between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.

Experiencing this In Between, where I still notice and attract familiar interlocking wounds with people, but recognize my instincts and veer away before I’ve done the sort of damage I’ve identified with relationships, has been very, very educational. And frankly: Rewarding, in that awful way of people like me who are always moving.

“I understand it now. I know what the compulsive development drive is. I know when I will feel satisfied with who I am as a person.

I am working now to become someone with the resilience and the knowledge and the discipline and the alignment and the tools to stand accountable for the atrocities I committed while being a fucking insecure terror for most of my life.

I want to be able to see anyone from my past at any time and know in my gut of guts that I will survive whatever I have coming to me, and I will hold presence with it in a way that will not cause me more harm, and if it does, not in a way that will ripple out to others.

I don’t know if this is any more reasonable a goal as digging out my psyche to once again experience the perception of my lost innocence but there it is all the same.”

Thus far, I’ve engaged in therapeutic efforts to address all of the diagnosis’s I’ve been given, except one: Borderline Personality Disorder. The impact of accepting this diagnosis as reflective of my personality is devastating to my self image. I’ve done just about every fucking mental gymnastic I’ve been able to do in order to avoid addressing it.

The stigma associated with people who have BPD (a ‘womans’ mental health issue, too, btw, diagnosed 3x more often in women than men) is suffocating. It’s like fucking hysteria was in 1900. Like Sociopathy and Psychopathy, both of which Social Justice Me has been desperately trying to dismantle my prejudice about and stop using as pejorative insults, people labeled with BPD are often viewed as lost causes to be emotionally abandoned by anyone with their head screwed on straight. They are seen as self serving emotional vampires with no hope of being anything else. I don’t see positive comments on the internet about people who have Borderline Personality. From the looks of it even their friends talk shit.

Are my friends talking shit?

I have struggled intensely with the ableism I embody toward mental illnesses such as these. I am afraid of what’s ‘wrong’ with me.

I cannot show up as the person I want to be until I address myself. And I am tired of trying to be someone I am not yet, or the someone I was before and can never be again, while setting myself up to externalize what needs to be my inner work.

I cannot continue failing in this.

I will not continue to make my suffering and profound feeling of hopeless disconnection an integral part of addressing my privilege in society. I release that coping strategy as the waste product it is and look forward to the fertilizer I’m gonna have a year from now when I’ve long forgotten what I wrote here.

I will not continue to abandon myself in response to seeing how our culture has abandoned others. To do so will continue to create an atmosphere where I feel martyred, unseen, and unsupported in the communities I interact with. It is up to me to find my place in relation to those communities, not make one for myself within them.

I will not continue to ignore my warning signs and put off constructing my life around taking fucking care of my mental health. I see that life is pushing me in that direction, anyway, even as I try to resist the change.

So, I am back on the blog. Back on the therapy and accountability track, finally doing what I came back to Seattle, limping and licking wounds, to do.

Right on schedule, I guess, when you think about what my falls and winters are generally like. But I think this metamorphosis will be a big one. I think that perhaps if I am successful, it will be so successful that one might not recognized it’s happened at all.

I am ready.
… I think.

Fuck I am tired.

My Last Spoon

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Inner Voice 1, immediately after taking the first pull in weeks from ther dab rig: “She AGREED to it! How is this NOT her fault?”

Inner Voice 2: “You mean it ISN’T our fault all this happened?”

Inner Voice 1: “Dude. You warned her about what the fucking cat needed. You told her she was indoor/outdoor and you were worried about CJ only having the balcony. You told her the cat hadn’t been around toddlers so you didn’t know what to expect, but that the cat doesn’t respond well to being alone for long stretches of time either so the family environment might balance shit out.”

Inner Voice 1: “AND you even fucking gave her time with the cat before we packed up and fuckin left as a trial run, and she said she absolutely wanted to keep her knowing you’d be gone AT LEAST A YEAR.”

Inner Voices into the mirror: “A FREAKIN YEAR!”

Inner Voice 3: “You even told her that you had noticed that she tended toward men, when it seemed like CJ wasn’t taking to her immediately but loved her husband and son.”

Inner Voice 1: “And not even a weeks time later when we’re already hundreds of miles away she fuckin’ says she can’t hack it, and then dumps the cat off on someone who lives in an urban condo, works super long hours, and is MTF HRT. On top of that all that. That was HER fault.”

Inner Voice 2: “But I still feel so bad. I feel like feeling bad means being in the middle of this now has got to be my fault somehow.”

Inner Voice 3: “It’s because we didn’t speak up about the situation not seeming like a good fit because the person taking CJ in was trans. We didn’t say a lot of what we needed to say because of that, specifically, not wanting to rock the boat or hurt their feelings after being considered. We let this happen because we didn’t want to deal with looking like a bigot or being questioned about why. Even though we had so many other reasons to say no, it is our fault because we’re fucking transphobic!!!”

Inner Voice 2: “Ok now I feel even worse.”

Inner Voice 4: “It’s our fault because we expected someone else to take on the expense of having CJ but let us retain ‘ownership’ and be able to maybe take her back whenever we got home and could have a cat again. It’s our fault because we’re a hypocrite capitalist financial fucking leech and neverending pit of needs and a horrible burden on everyone around us.”

Inner Voice 1: “It’s our fault because our anxiety and fear and scarcity made it impossible to find CJ a home remotely. It would have been hard and finding this person took weeks of exhausting work already but we barely even tried to find her another one once we were on the road! It’s our fault CJ ended up in an even worse position from the sounds of it.”

Inner Voice 2: “Ok jesus fuck now I feel really, really worse and I don’t think I ever even DESERVED a cat. Or money or help or friends or anything nice ever.”

(WEED, having blossomed far enough to intervene, waves a “Sleep” hand like the aliens in Dark City.)

(All the voices, including the ones who were just listening in, curl to the ground comfortably)

(Collective sigh)

Me, calmly petting a large green cat: “As you all know, we have shit to get done, today. Super, super, reasonable, shit. Shit that we are totally capable of doing. Y’all have been at this with one another long enough, driving this bus.”

(Me puts out ther cigarette, only two drags in, like usual)

Me: “We aren’t gonna spend another day on facebook complaining about our feelings and being all caught up in how we’re not a perfect person. We aren’t gonna spend another day procrastinating, reading Everyday Feminism and The Establishment, posting links about personal development and how hard it is to be single and what a garbage fire the world is. And we are NOT going to continue getting into fights with people on the internet for pointing out that they too are also not a perfect person, either.”

(Flat Starvation Stomach growls, writhing uncomfortably. The two raw eggs and glass of OJ are processed. The familiarity of hunger returns. The smell of days of body odor lofts into the room for a moment, then disappears.)

Me: “…while in utter fucking depletion, no less. We are just gonna get. Shit. Done.”

With the voices no longer drowning out my commands, my body proceeds to begin responding to my direct requests. I decide I will start by taking care of packaging the things I need to return to Amazon, some of which are in front of me on my friends kitchen table, along with the return labels another friend printed off as a favor for me yesterday — one they probably don’t know helped me as much as it did. I even have the boxes I need. The other things, like getting food, seem too big. Start small. We’ll start small.

I am slow and forgetful, but I am moving. I walk across the living room four times while leaving to head to the van.

Oop, the keys: On the table. Oop, left the kitchen light on, switch all the way across the room. Wait, we need those printouts for the packages. Wait, before we take the boxes outside, is there packing tape in here?: Check the drawer across the room. Nope, not here, ok let’s get down the stairs, fuck my steps are loud in these shoes. Wait, I just had the keys, where the fuck?: Walk across the room 1.75 times until they’re found. Clip, clap. Clip, clap.

Me: “This is ok. There is nothing wrong here. It is just taking us time and effort to track things because we are coming out of an intense depressive phase. It’s just like any other time when we are sick. This is normal. This is what happens when we are sick. Keep Going.”

Downstairs is the same experience of tracking, fumbling, forgetting, and dropping things out of my head. Tracking the steps of packing and taping and labeling a box is like trying to catch a handful of thrown bouncyballs in my cupped hands all at once. Without moving my hands. Because they are sore, and exhausted, and frozen cold clear through.

As were all the steps of all the tasks in all the world before this one, it would seem. I under stand the sickness. From the sheer stress being noted in my body, that I had been screaming over so I couldn’t hear.

Me: “No Facebook. No laptop. No phone. No worrying. No watching, no learning, no empathizing. Remember your last spoon. This is our spoon and no one else’s spoon. We are gonna use this spoon and we are just gonna get. Shit. Done.”

The van is a different type of challenge, because it’s a van that I live in, and currently a total sty. The packing tape could be any number of places which need to be unveiled by pulling other milk crates and tools out. And now that I am home rather than in a friends house, I am swimming through a jumble of task after distracting task piled up after a weeks long depression while trying to accomplish… tasks.

But it’s a little better. I am outside. Just being outside, is getting shit done. I open up all the van doors. The temperature is nice, and there is a cooling breeze and it’s almost a little bit too cold for perfect when I am not in the sun. I keep my scarf and hat on so I can feel just a little sweaty. I’ve been greasy and unkept for days, but this sheen, feels productive.

I realize that the replacement cheap knockoff drivers side mirror is just as shaky as my newish cheap knockoff drivers side mirror and remember that buying cheap shit that is going to break is a familiar part of my existence, an annoyance which is offset by the fact that now I don’t have to dig out my new toolkit (Thanks Dad!!) from the back of the van and swap out the mirrors. I just have to put this new mirror back in its box.

Inner Voice 1: “You know what would be nice right now? Music.”

Inner Voice 2, projecting an image of Me with ther iPhone headphones in: “WANT! But we said no phone. :(((((“

Inner Voice 4: “Wait. Ancient Sacramento Friend who Works In Tech just spent a ridiculously uncomfortable $847.74 on gifting us that car stereo that took like 5 hours to get installed. Why don’t we use that?”

Inner Voice 2: “I usually don’t like to bother other people with my noise. I want to feel small and invisible and safe and secure and I am better off alon–

(WEED scooches closer to Inner Voice 2 and leans in a little, rubbing at her shoulder with its face. WEED slowly morfs into the shape of the large green cat)

Inner Voice 2, as projection of image of Me with iPhone headphones starts flickering away: “You know what, that’s bullshit. No, I don’t. I don’t want to be invisible! I’m afraid to take up too much space and being seen is scary sometimes but being perpetually unseen does not make me feel safe! Let’s use the radio!”

Inner Voice 3: “I usually don’t want to use it because of the van running and the carbon footprint and the resources and the battery drain if the van isn’t running I mean..”

(The Green Cat rubs at the shins of Inner Voice 3 while sauntering by)

Inner Voice 3: “.. but hey, this is a good place to test my fear of the battery dying. I have no idea if the radio will actually drain enough to justify how much I have been worrying. We can test it! It would be easy to ask a neighbor to jump start the van. This is our hood! Let’s use the radio!”

Inner Voice 1: “I don’t care how, just want music.”

Me: “Ok then. Let’s use the radio. Nice work everyone.”

It takes me less time this time to find my keys. There is a slight spring in my step now as I walk to the side of the van which is getting sun. I remember how cute I look when I am dressed this way, in a tank top with a hat and a scarf and my utility belt — which I just pulled my keys out of which means I just remembered to put them into — around my waist.

I imagine how cute I am opening up my door, putting my keys in the ignition, and turning on the radio of my big white van with paint peeling off and stickers on the back. KEXP is playing Love Buzz, a song that reminds me of a time in my life when I used to play Bleach on repeat for days on end, maybe as long as that last depression was, even.

Inner Voice 4 begins to question the link between how the superficial teachings of a white supremacist herteropatriarchy may have dug a trench that links my feeling pretty with liking myself and begins wondering whether it is feminist of Me to allow that process to happen without examining and critiquing it immediately, right now, and doing it publicly where we can be at the risk of being criticized, bruised and battered emotional body be damned.

The Green Cat meows, distracting them before they can say anything to ignite the others.

I smile a little at the rotten terror of a teenager I used to be and remember for a moment that I actually like a lot about who I am. Because of who she is, still, in me, even; The voice who got shit done when I needed my mama and someone holding me. The voice who convinced Me to take a spoon yesterday when I was 200 miles away from friends and out of them.

Inner Voice 1 side eyes all of Me, the actionable thief. For a moment he looks like a macro image of a spider’s eyes. I love spiders. The Green Cat stuffs itself into ther mouth before he can say anything to ignite the others, as they both wander away to contemplate quietly.

I notice my spoon in my vans drink holder, and how tight the end to Love Buzz sounds.

The other voices, satisfied for now, wander away into the background, to do what it is they do.

It takes me 12 minutes, to package two of three return boxes. I feel just a tiny bit more capable, in general. Almost done!

I stop to take an hour to write this post, because I am a fucking artist. And a narcissist. And mentally ill. The Green Therapy Cat handles the voices who want to dissect it all. I write for myself, truly, for the first time since I updated this blog.

Me: “Remember right now that we are sick. Keep Going. Just get the shit done. Do what needs to be done to get shit done. No more perfect.”

No more perfect.

It takes me 4 minutes to package the last box. I only have to walk back into the house once, before I locked the door, to get the box I needed from the garage.

When I return to the van looking for the tape, I find that I’d actually put it away again before I came back inside to write this.

Now my packages are waiting in my van for me to drop them off later today, on my way to class. Before I come back inside, I think to grab the sachet for the borrowed photography lenses that are sitting on the table, waiting to be returned. I stuff it in a pocket of my utility belt, confident I will remember I put it there.

As I run through my post edits, an email comes in: It’s the translation of the instruction sheet I asked for, for the portion of class I’m teaching tonight about the auto-populating time sheets I created for the organization.

It occurs to me that I should probably start feeding and hydrating myself, to be ready for that. I feel like maybe I have what it takes now to get that done. One more edit. Another hour has gone by.

Now I am actionable hungry. I stand up while I type the end out.

More shit to get done.

NEXT!

There is Nowhere

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Just south of Green River, Wyoming

One thing that nearly a year on the road has shown me: There is nowhere.

There is nowhere to go. There is nowhere to outrun patriarchy. There is nowhere to outrun capitalism. Nowhere to feel safe. Nowhere to feel comfortable. It’s gone, along with my blissful ignorance. Anywhere I go will be touched by it, if not in any other way than by my being present there.

Another thing that nearly a year on the road has shown me: It is damn near fucking impossible for a person to understand something when their survival depends on them not understanding it.

This is why reform of capitalism won’t work. This is why people don’t see how bad their relationships are until they leave. This is why you can’t dismantle a system which pays your salary. This is why making a difference “from the inside” is ultimately a bunch of tyrannical horseshit. This is why there can be good in people, but there are no “good” cops or judges or politicians.

Y’all tell yourselves what you need to in order to deal with it, tell yourselves you’re somehow starting a revolution by playing the same fucking game you’ve always played. You and I always will be fooling ourselves to some degree, as long as we’re inside the machine.

As long as I’m using money, as long as I smile and thank that server who is obviously treating me differently because I’m fuckable in their eyes, as long as I’m alive and interacting with this society, so too will I be telling myself that somehow my participation is warranted and benevolent and different than everyone else’s. That for some reason my reluctance, my anger, my squeezing myself dry to avoid as much as I can changes the impact of my acts of compliance.

I shopped at Walmart today because they have the cheapest price on motor oil, which my van burns like a chain smoking gangster.

I put gas in my house twice today, and twice yesterday, blazing across Wyoming to beat a looming snow storm.

I paid my taxes. On time. But only because I fear being hunted.

These are the choices I have made, the things I hold onto in order to survive turncoating on the tech industry, on rape culture, on romance supremacy, to resist couples privilege, being kept.

There is nowhere.

The only way actually out of this mess is to stop going along with things that insult your fucking soul.

All The Things.

And that’s a life’s thankless, lonely fucking work, right there. Chipping away.

A whole life’s work, at least, planting seeds for more life’s works in the future. Slamming your head into the ceiling.

Existing is so fucking expensive

and so, fucking, exhausting.

Full moon in Scorpio

Monday, April 25th, 2016

They say the full moon in Scorpio signifies transformation. In particular, they say it will illuminate things that need to be released and let go. They also mention that it probably won’t feel very good.

I don’t know about all that.

But I do know that I’ve felt like massive shit lately. Like, really, really fucking bad.  A few things have come up in the last couple days that I am recognizing it’s high time I left behind me.

My hair, for one. Bzzzt.

The IUD I got inserted 9 years ago, when I was still in full-psycho trauma mode from the worst fucking relationship I’ve ever had, for another.

And I’m also noticing new details about my dysphoria in regards to my identity.

Ideas as to why it’s so horrifying to me to not know who I am, to probably never know that, when over and over again I prove to myself that that’s the entire point.

That’s what I’ve always been as far as I’ve been able to put a finger on it; A person who changes too fast to settle into any solid basis of knowing, and who is too varied to be stable or predictable.

So why have I spent most of my life desperately trying to immortalize myself?

Why do I have 21 years of art, writing, pictures, stories, stored on my websites, dragging me back into what I used to be?

Why do I spend damn near every waking fucking minute of my life trying to show virtual fucking strangers on social media who I am in the moment?

Why am I constantly deleting my posts, constantly fighting with myself to achieve equilibrium between being blown wide open and being socially extinct?

Well, I guess I don’t know about that, either.

But, I am off the social media shitshow, in order to find out. Twitter, facebook, tumblr, G+, done for. I’ve kept patreon, instagram, and the blog.

I am tired of spending the majority of my life compulsively documenting myself.

I am tired of giving EVERYTHING I have away online.

I am tired of doing that on myopic platforms that manipulate what I and others see.

I am tired of feeding gluttonous companies that make me sick.

I am tired of wave after wave of overwhelming advertising and propaganda.

I am tired. After over 20 years of living my life this way, compulsively, addictively, I am tired.

There has to be something more. I don’t know what it is. I hope the result is that I can say whatever it is I am trying to say in a way that doesn’t crush my fucking soul and invent limitless amounts of work for me to do. But all I know for now is that I have to try something different.

This seemed like the right thing.

 

A meditation: New Cage 

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

The door to the original Pony Express Station, Gothenburg Nebraska.

Bipolar disorder, Attachment disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and Serious Depression are all diagnosis I’ve received at various times in my life. 

They all added up symptomatically at the time, but there was always something under the surface that wasn’t touched by those theories. I presumed, for most of my life, that was an unattainable evil core deep inside me that simultaneously responded to, and created, the painful circumstances I kept repeating.

Medication didn’t make sense for me, mostly (I tried Zoloft for a couple months after a horrible breakup, with no intention of staying on it longer than it took to break out of the suicidal phase, and it made my brain spasm and was super fucking creepy).

Like most everything in my life, my mental problems weren’t consistent, and for me, I am so very thankful I faced what I did without getting caught up in the medication cycle. Two years later, I’d find suddenly that I had some other disease that was causing my misery. I can’t imagine what a fucking rodeo trying to medicate me would have been.

What was actually happening for me, I came to find, and which exactly zero psychologists pointed out, was that as I healed and became honestly self aware (as opposed to debilitatingly self critical and constantly trying to dig out the evil black core of me and stab it in the throat until it died) the outward and internal symptoms of my traumas changed flavor.

I thought I was a lost cause, a lot of the time, but what I was experiencing was progress. My anecdotal and professional observation is that trauma, especially for people who have formed in many types of it, seems like it should all feel the same, trigger the same set of responses in a nice tidy list (protip: there are no nice tidy lists). But each experience is locked away, and responded to, uniquely.

I really got clear about this in my bodywork practice and with my interactions with clients: If we’re doing it right, the pain moves. It changes once the shoulder girdle is attended to, moves into the ribs, the hips, knees, or maybe the neck. The quality adjusts, the locations shift, and once one thing is addressed another takes the opportunity to ask for attention.

It’s the same with mental and emotional struggle, and we don’t give ourselves room for that enough. Knowing this gives me mixed, conflicting feelings about the mental health industry. Long term, and as my only form of psychic hygiene when I first decided to get help, I found nothing more enabling of my caustic personal vendetta with myself than the brutal, over-intellectualized Western model of psychological therapy.

I am critical of its resistance to acknowledging the disembodied grief we share as a species and a collective, as well.

I had many, many levels to slog through before I got to an actual clearing in my personal work. I ran around in self defeating circles for years, it seemed. Sometimes I still do. Sometimes it’s all I can do. But not all the time, anymore. And that really counts for something when hurting myself was all I used to have.

It all came down to, rather than this cocktail of mental illnesses I supposedly had to blame, an inability to process and complete grief. Grief recovery skills (I talk about it here: http://artfultouch.info/grief-recovery/) and PTSD-specific therapy for the consequences of knowing nothing but misinformation about it for so long, were the key elements that a lot of other very valuable, helpful patchwork experiences were missing.

And still, I struggle. I want to say that having these tools gave me a happily ever after, and sometimes it even does feel that way for a while. But I am an empath, and our species is dying. I am sensitive, and I’ve rarely had a chance to heal from one trauma before another has come. I experience glimpses of comfort which fade, or less ideally, explode in my face.

Sometimes progress is taking a few steps back into the fire after walking into a dead end; a feeling I know all too well. Sometimes progress is never making it to an end goal. Sometimes progress is just surviving a whole entire life.

Stop telling people that no one will love them until they love themselves. That they are broken or inferior or somehow bereft of human connection until such time as their issues are resolved. 

Stop planting the idea in peoples heads that they are unworthy of love due to their struggles.
Stop holding ‘love’ up as the be all end all standard of human existance at the expense of being awake, taking in and processing a whole other spectrum of emotional wisdom. 

Stop listening to these out of touch, privileged assholes

But more importantly, and this is what I am finally feeling some relief from recently; stop saying that shit to yourself about you. 

Stop holding yourself and others to the inherently abusive concept of perfection.

Being incapable of being loved is not the same thing as being incapable of receiving love. 

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.

You are allowed to be both profoundly lovable and profoundly unable to receive that love in its fullness, at the same time.

Love means so many things, looks like so many things, and is so often passed off as things it really isn’t

Learn what love means to you. Accept that can be a life-long task for people like us. As you go, learn to treat yourself with that love

Along the way, others can and will share with you, and direct their concepts of love toward you; for better, and for worse.

There are infinite definitions, and infinite applications of love; You are lovable just the way you are, whether you are content with being that way, or not.

me, Clayton, rape.

Friday, April 15th, 2016

me, Clayton, rape.

It wasn’t rape because that’s what he growled at me the first time he overwhelmed and coerced me when I’d just said I wanted to wait before we started having sex together.
It wasn’t rape because he’d only gone down on me and fingered me and heroically resisted sticking his cock in my body.
It wasn’t rape because when he walked out without fucking me, saying “That’s all I wanted”, licking his lips at my door, I smirked.

It wasn’t rape because if it had been rape it wouldn’t have signified the start of a long term relationship.
It wasn’t rape because I came so many times, every time.
It wasn’t rape because I’d agree to do things I’d said I was uncomfortable with after he said over and over that he needed them.
It wasn’t rape because I’d agree to try things I was scared of and it would be my fault he wasn’t satisfied with the outcome.
It wasn’t rape because we were “the power couple”
It wasn’t rape because he was the “top”

It wasn’t rape because I tried to leave him 7 fucking times and kept going back.
It wasn’t rape because I suspected I was with a sex addict and still stayed with him.
It wasn’t rape because I suspected he was a sociopath and still stayed with him.
It wasn’t rape, because he was cheating, and it has to be one or the other.
It wasn’t rape because gaslighting.
It wasn’t rape because manipulation.
It wasn’t rape because power struggle.

It wasn’t rape because ‘his sexual needs’
It wasn’t rape because I became accustomed to never not having sex when we were together.
It wasn’t rape because he made sure I got off before he did.
It wasn’t rape because any critique of his treatment of me was immediately escalated to my accusing him of it and rape is a bad, bad word.

It wasn’t rape because I’d done the same toward others and couldn’t face it.
It wasn’t rape because I knew I’d ‘met my match’ in him.
It wasn’t rape because I was trying to be less controlling — surrendering was the whole point.
It wasn’t rape because we were ‘sex positive’

It wasn’t rape because I was already damaged.
It wasn’t rape because I had to be Good, Giving and Game
It wasn’t rape because I was learning.
It wasn’t rape because I was getting what I deserved.
It wasn’t rape because love is hard.

It wasn’t rape because my life revolved around being good at sex.
It wasn’t rape because I suspected he was in love with Zita, and not me.
It wasn’t rape because he bought me dinners and marathon texted.
It wasn’t rape because he invited me to meet his family.
It wasn’t rape because there was something wrong with me.

It wasn’t rape because losing my mind in that relationship was my fault.
It wasn’t rape because I was the one who screamed and yelled
It wasn’t rape because I could see the scared little redhead boy he kept trying to cover up
It wasn’t rape because part of me wanted to make babies with him
It wasn’t rape because part of me wanted to marry him

It wasn’t rape because I let him get away with it.
It wasn’t rape because I knew no one would take my side.
It wasn’t rape because I’m not supposed to have to need anyone to take my side if I’m telling the truth.
It wasn’t rape because I didn’t want to be in love with a rapist.
It wasn’t rape because I didn’t want to have been a rapist.

It wasn’t rape because what about the theater we worked at together.
It wasn’t rape because it was my fault his ex’s wouldn’t talk with me about him
It wasn’t rape because all those other girls are just jealous of you, Courtnee.
It wasn’t rape because I was the dangerous one.
It wasn’t rape because I was the evil one.
It wasn’t rape because I was the powerful one.

It wasn’t rape because fighting for my sanity was exciting.
It wasn’t rape because I was the one who was so fucked up I’d get suicidal
It wasn’t rape because when it all came crashing down, I was the one the ‘sex positive’ community ditched.
It wasn’t rape because he succeeded at peopling and I failed.

It wasn’t rape because the Judge clearly hated me and sided with him.
It wasn’t rape because his pretty ex girlfriend made amends with him just in time to show up in court by his side.
It wasn’t rape because the other woman he raped and then pretended didn’t exist ran and hung me out to dry.
It wasn’t rape because I needed to burn the shit he had given me and that’s just crazy.

me, Clayton, rape.

So I watched Jessica Jones on binge a few months ago. Alone.

I shouldn’t have been alone for something like that, but I didn’t expect for it to bother me so terribly.

It bothered me so. Fucking. Much. I hated her so. Fucking. Much. I spent the second half of that show vehemently wishing she would kill herself. I kept wanting to see her kill herself and when she did it I would have woken the neighborhood celebrating. I fucking hated her fucking dramatic drinking and her stupid decisions and I fucking hated how fucking weak and pathetic she was. I wanted to see her die.

I knew when I was watching it it was bringing up some massive shit, but I couldn’t figure out from where. It couldn’t have been from David. David was a fucking meatheaded boundary pushing fucking emotional moron who finally went too fucking far, not a god damn Major of Psychological Warfare like Killgrave.

So what the fuck was it? What the fuck was triggering me so badly?

Yeah. OH.

How did I write this, without seeing ^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^? I don’t know. I’m not supposed to know everything. But I’m going to Keep Going. I am, perhaps naively, looking forward to a time in my life when my gnashy, suicidal trauma surfacings don’t revolve around figuring out/remembering who in my distant past fucking raped me. This broken record shit is getting really, really old.

ROAD UPDATE: Pensacola

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Originally posted to my Patreon community at https://www.patreon.com/posts/4413008

Mississippi: OH EM GEE you’re heeeeere omg yay! Here, have a welcome center with all kinda free camping with picnic benches and spigots and shit and a FUCKING NASA SPACE CENTER!!

Alabama: Fuck you. Welcome center closed.

Florida: Fuck you. Show us your vegetables. Then welcome center, maybe. Also toll roads. Also palm trees. Also fuck you. — Facebook

The above selfie was taken in the divey bathroom at The Handlebar last night in ‪Pensacola, where I played an impromptu show for a tiny, tiny audience in a mostly empty bar. I got a nice fueling practice in and made my beer money back.

New Orleans shaped me as a musician. It is different now; stronger. More solid. More joy in it. Truly beginning to embrace and simultaneously transmute the darkness. Thank you for that. I like being a performer. I just needed to figure out what kind of performer I am. It’s taking a while, but I think I am well on my way, now.

Here are some amazing pictures of me doing my thing, taken by an amazing man: http://neevita.net/louis-maistros-lower-decatur-street-new-orleans/

And here is some soul healing no nonsense darkness for anyone who might be feeling the pitch lonely creeping in today, or know someone who is: http://blog.neevita.net/archives/14927

I plan to be in Florida playing and enjoying the weather/beach for a bit, then moving up northish. I’ve shifted my long term plan, and will be back in WA state this summer rather than heading all the way up to the NE. I need to see a doctor about a few things and get my motorcycle sold.

Keep Going is a year old today. It is an album I released last valentines day about healing, heartbreak, patriarchy, sexism and rape culture, which is surprisingly soothing and, if I may say so, well-crafted. It’s well suited for the day particularly if valentines gives you the intense desire to side eye the fuck out of everything.

Http://courtneefallonrex.net

In a somewhat fitting turn of events, on the same day as Keep Going’s first birthday, Wounded was played on That Indie Thing with Rob on sinwebradio.com! As far as I know, this is my first radio play from the album. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1182534628424252

Also, Reverbnation keeps sending me emails complaining that my ranks are slipping. So, this seems like a good time to mention that there’s a pretty decent sampling of original music up there including most of my originals from Keep Going and a couple of my old ambient electronic tracks. It is representative but also not too long. If you wanna go stream ’em and give RN something happy to mail me about I wouldn’t mind. :)

I’ll be picking from my Feb 14th random pool of $15 a month and above potential art receivers and notifying the winner today. $5 and above Patrons: Also look for another Seven Deadly Days of Naked (SDDN) post in a few minutes.

Glad you’re all here with me,
-nee

Finding Amanda: An internet love story

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Amanda Palmer and Courtnee Fallon Rex Photographed by Steve Kuhn The Art of Asking Book Tour. Sat, November 22, 2014. First Unitarian Church – Los Angeles

When I was young, I thought I had all the answers. Or at least, I thought I knew the problems, the deeper causes of the things I was seeing in people, that needed answering.

And I thought, since I seemed to be the only one who really *saw* what the problems were, saw them and felt them in my guts and talked about seeing them and feeling them in my guts, I was naturally responsible for fixing them, too.

All of them. Everywhere.

That turned out to be a bit of a problem for me. One I’ve since largely solved in my growth, accepting my role as a healer, an activist, and learning about boundaries.

Back then, I kept wishing I had been born earlier, so I could have been a part of the uprising in the 60’s, when “shit mattered”, when the ambient rage against this profoundly sick world order had a focus and a voice.
Now, I really really miss the 90’s.

I did my best to rebel and find my own way, but internalized a contempt for my own perspective and an intense hate for my sensitivity.

As a tiny girl I had started cussing and spewing sexist racist shit like a motherfucking truck driving military sailor, and I basically hated everyone. I lied about my age (when I was 11 I was 14) and hung out with older boys. I started smoking when I was 9, drinking when I was 10. I stole shit and resold it at school. I experimented with drugs.

In middle school I had found my niche as a leader of a small group of nerdy weirdos. I, like most middles schoolers, was bullied and pushed around, once by a large group in my own front yard.

I was the girl who peed her pants laughing, daily, at lunch. I was the girl who responded to being given flowers by immediately eating them. I was the girl who stayed at school until 6pm hanging out with the uncool teachers because they cared about me and I didn’t want to go home to an empty house and I secretly loved and adored them even though that wasn’t cool and I don’t think I ever told them how much they meant to me and I wish I had now (Thank you Mr. Pericone, Mr. Ebi and Mrs. Wollard).

By the time I was 15 I was so acutely aware that the system was a sham, I was going insane. I saw so clearly the dynamic of perpetrated violence in society, and in my life. I saw the pain hiding in peoples eyes, but I didn’t have the support to find my ground to stand against it. Everywhere I looked what I saw was how we were killing each other, and how I unconsciously contributed to that cycle.

I hated High School, even though I barely attended, and once I went there, I immediately fell deeply into drugs. I’m talking deep. Few know how bad it was. I quickly dropped out to join the workforce with a fast food job, so I could go on USEnet and use my minimum wage to buy Nirvana bootlegs, and more drugs.

I had no direct examples of self-supporting ways to cope with the cruelty of the world, and if I did come across them indirectly, they weren’t cool or appealing anyway because they weren’t ‘powerful’ like domination and violence seemed to be.

Emotionally, I was broken open and rawly empathic, connected with attrition and the damage we inherently do to one another simply by existing, and enraged at my impotence in fixing it. Physically, I was, frankly, killing myself.

I hadn’t lived enough then, well enough, to have the decades of varied experience and intense healing it would turn out I’d need in order to break out of my patriarchal conditioning and trust the instincts I was trying to snuff out. I was going crazy in part because that’s what I believed I was.

A new (digital) hope

In early 1995, in Sacramento California, from a commodore 8088 connected to a shell account with crl.com on a screechy modem with an actual WIRE, my dad showed me how to get on this Internet Relay Chat thing he’d told me about.

CRL’s root .ircrc file had a bunch of dead servers referenced in it, and I’d spent likely not nearly as long as it felt like I had being suicidally-frustrated with trying to figure out how to get the fuck online. Dad swooped in, figured out there was a /server command, and my life thus changed forever.

There were words on a screen attached to real-yet-fantasy humans who, when they weren’t talking about overthrowing governments and anal rape, were telling me I was not alone. That the social system we inherited was fucked and we were going to unfuck it by fucking it. There was a space, suddenly, to tell people what I saw.

There were vulnerable conversations about emotion and loss and pain where the ‘real’, world had been about image and learning how to be an expert on being fake. I’d found people who weren’t afraid to talk about the despair we all felt, through a medium that protected us better than any person had.

That was where, I thought, I found salvation. And for a while, I suppose I did. I wasn’t a sad sack high school nerd druggie statistic everyone fucking picked on, I was a social engineer in the thick of a god damn underground hacker revolution that only some people picked on.

My social life was with criminals on IRC, where I could explore my rage, screw the man, and say whatever the fuck kind of offensive abusive shit I wanted. I spent my time on meth and anything else I could find, listening to The Prodigy, chain smoking reds, fucking around with linux and waiting for the years to cycle to the next DEFCON.

I started maintaining my own web pages, gnashing my teeth about the worlds fuckedupedness (and how it caused me to feel), in 1995. I was one of the first webcams on the internet. I had my own irc channel (#nee). I had fans.

People emailed me often to tell me they’d found my site and how much what I was writing mattered to them. That my words mattered to them. I kept expecting waves of hate. They sent me fan art. They shared their stories. They told me I had saved their lives and that my spews of misery and hopelessness gave them hope. They told me I helped them feel less alone.

The first time someone told me I should write a book of my life I had been alive 15 years. I was a social advocate without really knowing it, a musician without accepting it, a community leader without being responsible for it, a digital artist. A flawed and miserable human being, with an intimate community online that fueled and supported me, nodding, saying; I see what you see, thank you for saying it.

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As a musician I had a bit of a business on the original mp3.com in 1999/2000, but had started recording cover songs long before. I went by the name Not Applicable, and I insisted, vehemently, proudly, that my music would always, always be available for free, on my site.

But things change, and so did all that.

The RIAA destroyed mp3.com, and with it, my faith in the world supporting my niche-y emo-enya never-gonna-sell-shit-for-sony music. I went from identifying as an empowered independent artist with a support structure that validated me, from being featured and interviewed by ABC news (and my cam images being used in the original piece as well) regarding the success of the movement I was a part of, to feeling displaced and bullied and utterly rejected, with my dreams in flames at my feet.

With the fall of mp3.com, I also went from being a part of a community of artists and musicians who were, once again, revolutionary, by collaborating worldwide via audio files online, to drifting alone in space. I was always in the top 3 of the ambient electronic charts, and many people sent me remixes of my work and collaborated with me by finding me there, including one of the trance musician idols I’d had at the time, and lots of unknowns who are still unknown.

We were a creative artist economy birthing cross-pollinated artwork existing inside the payback for playback and DAM CD models for making money. It wasn’t going to make us all filthy rich, but it was a god damn fucking internet revolution utopia all the same.

I shrugged it off and didn’t let myself think about losing that community part all that much. I spewed anger at how unfair mp3.com’s demise was, and suddenly focused on the money, the wopping $2700 I’d made in a year, because of course it was just weak and selfish and shitty to want support and connection and love from people.

It had taken such immense courage for me to share my deeply personal and vulnerable music, music that made me cry from being so good and double over in pain for being so raw, music that rose out of me from a dark place I didn’t understand. I kept waiting for the hate to come, especially after I joined the mp3.com community from sharing my songs by DCC sending to friends in my IRC channel.

mp3.com was my taste of vitality as an artist. It was the first place I was confronted with irrefutable proof from strangers that my music was good. It was my bridge, back when I was still the only Courtnee on the internet, and the internet was all the connection with the human race I had that fucking mattered to me. It was a community that I’ve never found a comparable replacement for.

The hate never did come. Perhaps because it never had the chance to. For my efforts, for my courage, I received virtually nothing but waves of acceptance and love, feature after feature on the site praising my work even though I was a screwed up crazy hermit making weird whiney sad music that would never end up on the radio.

Losing that relevance changed me, reconfirmed my doubts in myself. I utterly loathed the music industry, threw up at the thought of playing shows. With mp3.com, I had let myself open up, and feel some hope. The loss of this flow of connection for me was staggering. And because of it I hardened.

I turned to the other revolution I was a part of for comfort and belonging while grieving my artistic self, to find it wasn’t there anymore, either. The geeks, the remaining foothold of my revolutionary home base, are no longer the underdog freedom fighters, and they haven’t been for a very long time. They’re the ruling class in the same system we despised.

It hurts to see your revolution become the system. Maybe even more than it hurts to see the revolution get flat out crushed by it. It’s a fucking betrayal I can only barely wrap my head around, but I feel it in my body. It’s a fucking betrayal I keep seeing over and over again in my life. Seeing the entropy, seeing the fear, seeing how the people who are doing what is most needed in this world are getting fucked and assimilated.

It got under my skin when the powers that be managed to napalm the countryside we were beginning to settle with mp3.com. Feeling like I almost had it, like I was almost valid — and then I closed my eyes and covered my head while the power in the world which already had way more than it needed clubbed me, and when I opened them again everything was different.

I didn’t realize how much I was still hurting. Not until Amanda walked into my office.

I can articulate now, after a lot of processing, and galvanizing our connection a few weeks ago by performing for her and her fans in Los Angeles, I hated Amanda Palmer because she represented for me the person I was who died with mp3.com and the internet as I had known it. Died “because” I didn’t have what Amanda Palmer had — a stream of fanbase supporting her when her conventional link to them [a record label], which I knew would have fucked me, fucked her, too.

She represented who I could be now if I hadn’t divorced from my core and spent years of my life chasing money and stability betraying myself in the tech industry before finding my way back to myself.

She represented for me the damage I did to my soul by choosing to take that path, for going through the motions while shutting down who I really was, for taking the RIAA attacking the home I’d found in mp3.com so unbelievably personally.

She represented the pain in becoming even more isolated and quiet as a musician, my most vulnerable and profound form of art, the paralyzation of being introverted and insecure and losing my foothold.

She represented the reality of only knowing how to be a solo musician making music in the safety of my dark little cave and posting it on the internet.

Healing is a pretty important aspect of being a revolutionary. It’s hard to cheer someone on who breaks through the glass ceiling you’re still concussed from smashing into and weakening for them.

In the rise of the digital music revolution, the unsigned artists of mp3.com got royally fucking fucked. As we grew in closer path alignment over the years, Amanda served as a screen for me to project that disembodied grief.

I had it first. I was there first, I had it, I had the following, I had the waves of love, I had the future, I WAS the future, I was AHEAD, and then I fucking wasn’t. In utter projective emotional simplicity that makes little logical sense, I was an Amanda Palmer before Amanda Palmer.

And then I wasn’t.

In the decade after the blow of mp3.com, and countless other events that knocked my fragile sense of self around back in those days, I am finally beginning to feel and trust in the ripples of reward for the tremendous amount of exertion and surgical accountability it’s taken to come back to where I am ready to step into myself again. Into my seeing, into my caring, into my vulnerability, into the vivid authenticity that steams off of me as a performer and a music maker and a singer, into my talents, and into my contributions.

It’s been a long decade.

Finding that I was still so emotionally fucked up over a website going down a decade before was an embarrassing reality to resign to in order to write this, but it’s just the honest truth of things. The impact to fragile hiding 22 year old me, losing mp3.com and what it represented in my life, at that time and at that point in my delicate career, caused a painful rift between me and myself that has taken a long time to sew back up.

Thank you for helping me heal it, Amanda. Thank you for helping that part of me come back.

Sleep, drugs/alcohol, and death.

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

“What was it that made you come back and give hope and life another chance?”

“You listened.”

In terms of reporting, Kevin makes quite a few mistakes here; he speaks graphically about the nature of the deaths, speaks in language that is known to stigmatize those who have completed suicide attempts, and does not give crisis access information. I’ve done this myself in the many long years I have written and spoken about suicide; and am better educated now.

To learn more about how to report and present about suicide respectfully, check out http://reportingonsuicide.org/

If you are experiencing suicidal ideology or are considering taking your own life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. For online help, check out http://unsuicide.wikispaces.com/Online+Suicide+Help

The Real Monsters by Toby Allen

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Character designs based on mental illnesses.

The artwork is not at all intended to make light of these conditions but instead is intended to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more manageable as physical entities. – Toby Allen

An utterly amazing ongoing project which I’ve no doubt has and will help many, many people. This is what it’s all about!

Source: http://zestydoesthings.tumblr.com/post/61131470551/the-real-monsters-are-reborn-upon-getting-so

Purchase the prints here: http://society6.com/TobyAllen

So you’re suicidal: A reference guide for you and yours

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Note: This is a personal thinkpiece about living with, and interacting with, suicidal ideaology. The following is not meant to address acute crisis. If you are in danger and need immediate attention, please consider these 10 places to ask for help.

I believe that by hiding death and dying behind closed doors we do more harm than good to our society.

I believe that the culture of silence around death should be broken through discussion, gatherings, art, innovation, and scholarship.

I believe that talking about and engaging with my inevitable death is not morbid, but displays a natural curiosity about the human condition.

I believe that the dead body is not dangerous, and that everyone should be empowered (should they wish to be) to be involved in care for their own dead.

I believe that the laws that govern death, dying and end-of-life care should ensure that a person’s wishes are honored, regardless of sexual, gender, racial or religious identity.

I believe that my death should be handled in a way that does not do great harm to the environment.

I believe that my family and friends should know my end-of-life wishes, and that I should have the necessary paperwork to back-up those wishes.

I believe that my open, honest advocacy around death can make a difference, and can change culture.

The Order of the Good Death

And I believe in a persons right to be the arbiter of their own death, should they so choose.

At one time, I was incensed by the doctors who brought me back. Now, I am indescribably grateful. You can #livethroughthis 1-800-273-8255 – Sept 13, 2013 on twitter

In many situations, suicide is not chosen, however; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. And while I advocate for each individual to have agency over their death as well as their life, if that’s how they want it, I also advocate for all people to have unstigmatized and affordable access to trauma recovery skills, mental health support, medications, grief recovery support, and simple human witness to enable them to better live their lives, while they are alive.

These things, to me — along with housing, medical care, food, water — in any society that is worth even half a shit, is a manufactured right for all. In many cases, having this makes all the difference. And in many people’s lived realities, even in the richest and most ‘civilized’ nations in the world, these resources are not readily available to all who need them.

Suicidal ideology has been a part of my world for as long as I can actively remember. One thing I can attest to is that, contrary to the limited narrative of how suicidal thoughts present and what they mean, ones relationship with suicide can be incredibly complicated and nuanced, and that it can change over time.

Suicidal ideation doesn’t always present like the dramatic depictions we are familiar with. It can come once, ever, via external circumstance like a familial loss. It can come in familiar, dramatic spurts when we are stressed to our limits. It can be a constant companion with which one ebbs and flows indefinitely.

Sometimes it sneaks up on you quietly over time, a soft whisper as you fall asleep, welcoming the embrace of death should it come naturally in the night. Sometimes it swoops into your life and takes you along like a bat out of hell, violently and urgently forcing its way into your view of absolutely everything.

Sometimes it signals hopeless tropes and embarrassingly human cliches we want so desperately to be above participating in (“I’ll never find another person who loves me”). Other times it illuminates a subconscious, locked away trauma rising to the surface of ones experience with seemingly no rhyme or reason to the cause… at first.

You may even be tapping into a place of profound knowing that threatens the status quo of your core identity. You may, in fact, be threatening to grow beyond your current capacity to even imagine yourself, thus setting off your own internal alarms. You may be feeling the collective grief of a world tragedy, contributing to your individual struggles.

Suicidal ideology does not always manifest simply in those critical deciding moments we most fear, or in chemical imbalances in our brains. If you’re feeling suicidal, there is a lot that could be going on.

Here is an incomplete reference list of relatively simple, low cost, or free things I’ve found helpful to both survive as well as better understand my lifetime relationship with suicide, suicidal thoughts, and my resulting mental health advocacy.

This post serves both as a reference list for the suicidal, and for those concerned about someone in their life. If you have a suggestion for something you think should be on here, please email me.

  1. Take care of your own self.

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    * If you are in an abusive relationship, and are not ready to leave, please read this unique and vital perspective.
    * Kitty Stryker talks about her 10 ways to help someone who is suicidal at The Frisky.
    * 26 times that advice actually worked, as told by those suffering the mental illness.
    * 21 tips for keeping your shit together (when you’re depressed)
    * 81 Mental Health Resources when you can’t afford a therapist.
    * Printable, and excellent, self care checklist.
    * Interactive self care game that incorporates many of the suggestions mentioned in the resources above in a format that can help with the paralyzation that often accompanies suicidal thoughts.
    * Take a break in The Quiet Place
    * Take an Inventory of your body and give your mind a rest.
    * Explore the wisdom of your Vulnerability and Shame

  2. Dispel the myths, many of which you yourself may unconsciously hold, that we’ve all been taught regarding the nature of the people who suffer from depression and suicidal ideology (including if that person is you.). You can read more personal accounts of this here, and here.

    If you are an advocate who writes about suicide, you can also read the basic guidelines about careful and respectful methods of speaking about suicide at http://reportingonsuicide.org/ to avoid unknowingly contributing to the problem.

  3. Know this number by heart: 1-800-273-8255. It is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the United States (if you’re from another place, know the number for yours). Be unafraid to use it or provide it, even if you don’t know what else to say; ESPECIALLY if you don’t know what else to say.

    Head off immediate crisis online at IMAlive.org and U Can Cope.

  4. Don’t go it alone.

    Solitude is a fertile ground when leveraged intentionally, but isolation is a greenhouse for hopelessness, and the internet is an insidious perpetrator of it. Attend a suicide bereavement support group or otherwise enroll others, in person, including seeking therapy for yourself. 

    Whether it is you who struggle, concern for a friend, or you have lost someone, you will be stronger, better educated, and have a support framework after having sought out the presence and participation of other people.

  5. Look into compassionate listening, nonviolent communication and mirroring techniques.

    A person who is contemplating ending their life often simply needs to be acknowledged and heard authentically to turn the moment around; your having skills in effective listening could save a life. If you are the person contemplating ending their life, exploring these may enable you to develop self talk skills that can help you move through acute suicidal ideology and allow your inner voice to change over time.

  6. If your loved one has been diagnosed or believes they suffer from a specific mental illness, learn everything you can about that illness. Seek especially information that falls in within the guidelines at http://reportinsonsuicide.org and/or cites legitimate medical sources.
  7. If you are concerned, gently ask the person if they are suicidal. It is a myth that simply bringing up the subject will give a person the idea to attempt suicide.
  8. DO NOT SAY: “I don’t believe you’ll do it” – “I know how you feel” – “It can’t be that bad” – “You’re being selfish” – “I just don’t understand you.”
  9. DO SAY: “I recognize your crisis. I am here with* you and listening” – “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I am so glad you are talking to me about it.” (Using ‘with’ maintains the persons autonomy and empowerment while leaving room for you to simply be present, without having to be doing anything ‘for’ them.)
  10. Read, learn, and share your story of life after attempting suicide with the Live Through This project, run by suicide attempt survivor Dese’rae L. Stage.
  11. Read, learn, and share your story of loss by suicide with Scott Crisholm at Left Behind By Suicide (Collateral Damage)

It simply can’t be understated how important it is for us as a society to get over our irrational fears, avoidance and unreasonable notions regarding depression, death, suicide, grief, recovery from loss and what those things actually look like. The Grief Recovery Handbook (and associated in-person counseling) helped me be better at it, and eventually lead me to become certified to teach the method. Maybe it will help you too.

When I was just a little girl…

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Want to help me flesh out some specifics from a scene in my newest show?

Please respond with what immediately comes to mind when presented with the phrase “Inner Child”.

Mine was: Inconvenient asshole.

If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

“For in that city there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.” ― Evelyn Waugh

The New York subway has its own distinctive scent, like a cocktail of black tar and metal shavings, that I immediately find familiar and comforting every time I retun. You’d think it would mostly smell like pee and refuse, but for the most part it doesn’t.

I was periodically thankful for having that sense memory, and generally a lot of time, the half dozen or so instances I took the train in the wrong direction during the week I was visiting; also a bit of a staple experience for me here.

In the first day I was back, I remembered one of the reasons I considered moving to New York City – all the free stuff on the streets! Within a few blocks of walking a neighborhood, there’s always some motley crew plethora of building materials, toys, electronics, old furniture (much of it antique) and, of course, actual trash laying around. I remember fantasizing about having to purchase nearly nothing for my shoebox apartment should I have moved, back in 2005.

I also remembered one of the reasons why I decided not to move to New York City; There’s, uh, fucking trash everywhere. And with trash, comes vermin, which is also everywhere, including squashed on the streets and scurrying across all manner of floors, sometimes even near my stuff. Humph.

Slow Start

For various reasons, including working my way through the antibiotics I started in Sacramento and actually getting a ton of shit done in between, I spent a couple entire days in PJ’s (or rather, the clothes I slept in, because I didn’t really bring PJ’s) without going out or eating much of anything. With the exception of a few days in which I had plans already, I found that I didn’t have the motivation to do much, and was rather steadily depressed with a few spikes of life in between.

Sitting alone in a small, tidy NYC diner. A white nondescript plate of steaming corned beef hash that most certainly came from a can sits half eaten in front of me, its ridiculous portion blanketed in eggs over medium. I’m listening to Dido seeping from the ceiling, remembering my trip to Toronto when I listened to her a lot. The cold, mostly, and the alone time on the vibrating street cars. My heart is lighter than yesterday, allowing for sweet sadness to spread to my throat and the furrow of my brow. A small wise smile finishes the edges of my lips that feels like a gate to the knowing field. Everybody seems to want to ask me about myself. Perhaps it’s because they know, too. I’ll stay here until the plate is clear. Two more rest periods, I’ll bet. – June 7, 2013

It rained as much as it was nice while here, complete with the signature humidity of an NYC summer, but thankfully it never got agonizingly hot. On the few days it never stopped raining I pretty much hung out in bed with Bejeweled, which I had played for the first time on the plane ride out.

That said, there were plenty of standout times, starting with seeing my friend Rob Paravonian (for the first time in like 6 years) opening and MCing for his friend Liam McEneane’s live show taping at Union Hall in Brooklyn, the day after I arrived. They’re both funny as shit and super sweet – buy their stuff.

Saturday

On Saturday I went to FIGMENT NYC with Donia, my friend from Seattle whom I originally learned fire spinning from, and my host in NYC. FIGMENT is a giant not for profit public collective interactive free-for-all art event on Governors Island, an amazing retired military base converted into a public park, complete with dozens of huge, gorgeous Victorian era houses and lots of green hilly things. The weather, thankfully, was perfect for it.

The day before FIGMENT (a Friday that was lost to the rain and the comfort of Donia’s guest bed), after looking over the website and really liking what I saw, I sent a little introduction mail through their contact form explaining a small portion of my background in the arts and non-profit work and expressing my interest in putting on a FIGMENT event in Seattle. To my surprise, I was quickly responded to by the Executive Producer and given contact information to be utilized when I arrived.

Within about 3 hours of meeting, wandering, philosophizing and effectively interviewing one another, I was given a nametag, shirt, and was being introduced as “working on Seattle”. Suddenly, I had plans to return for the second day to attend the producers brunch in the morning, which I did, and it was pretty glorious too. One of the things that traveling to the east cost illuminates is just how fucking passive aggressive and flakey people in Seattle are. It’s a wonder anything ever gets the fuck done.

I feel confident that there is intense possibility here, though. Many more things need to fall into place before I know exactly where I fit into the Seattle plans with FIGMENT, however, it’s safe to assume based off my experience with the organizations core assets and many representatives from other areas, including Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and even Australia, that it’s rather likely I will be involved in some sort of leadership role in the process. (Unless, of course, I decide to stay in Sweden.)

Hack tha planet, bitchez

After my first day of FIGMENT, and discovering my notable sunburn, I stopped by a place in midtown for some Summercon afterdrinking with my hacker boys, and to pick up the convention badge I never ended up using. I had supposed to attend con and meet up the night before but I simply didn’t feel well enough yet.

I did, however, show up eventually. In turn I got to visit with a few of my favorite people in the world, many of which I hadn’t expected to see, and got a little bit of my drink on.

I was met almost immediately with a pretty awesome exchange with my longtime friend and hobbiest photographer Weld, who happened to notice some time ago that I borrow the SLR camera I often use. He also happens to have a Canon 40D he is not using, and happens to think I need to be taking WAY more pictures. What can I say, the man’s a problem solver – He offered his old camera to me, and I’ll have a 40D of my very own shortly after I settle from my trip. I live a charmed existence indeed.

I invited my distant ex to join us as part of our shenanigans and we ended up having an awesomely entertaining and rather public series of heart to hearts, in which we aired out a lot of the crazy shit we’d pulled on one another, sometimes for the first time since it had happened, and recounted some pretty awesome memories in there as well.

There was a lot of laughing, from both us as well as the people around us who were listening to these tragically hilarious recountings, and a lot of recognition between us. Much Good Stuff was had from our interactions, especially for him, as he’d been slower to process and grow out of the place we were back then and had apparently been holding on to a lot of stuff I’d put down some time ago.

It felt really good, and I was aglow with the familiar feeling of having contributed profoundly to another persons inner world by being generous with mine, though I never stop being surprised when that happens. Nothing we talked about triggered me and I felt a lot of gratitude and connection about it all. It’s sort of amazing how healing admitting to your ex you were kinda happy when you saw he got fat can be.

I ended up spending a night in Manhattan which consisted of very little sleep, not enough dancing, and long awaited connections of multiple types. It was a welcome contrast to the work emails, event coordination mode, recovering from infection, actual work, etc. I got to just be myself for a while, say what came to my mind and be with people who’ve seen it all and stuck around anyway. It really felt great.

Sunday

Spent some time at MOMA in NYC yesterday, mostly mouth agape at the ridiculous piles of shit that the elite seem to think constitutes as artwork. A few things stood out for me, including an antique slideshowing depicting horrific facial deformities, many appearing to be the result of bombings and shootings to the face in the world wars. Some of them were so brutalized it was difficult to imagine how they continued to exist, missing large portions of their bone structure. Something about it captured me but I couldn’t put my finger on it; I realized this morning that the exhibit spoke to my experiences regarding the uncertainty of the results of healing. I expect a scarless, flawless result from mine, particularly when addressing emotional and spiritual injuries. But sometimes, no matter how much more you fiddle with and stretch your skin over the giant hole collapsing your face in, there comes a time to accept that it’s just always going to be tender and unsightly. Disturbing.

I have decided that most Modern art is a bunch of fucking bullshit, and the Museum of Modern Art kinda sicked me out. It’s almost impossible not to compare my work to the work that’s displayed, and so much of it is SO BAD it’s just unbelievable.

Indecipherable pencil scribbles on torn pages of newsprint? Horrifying greenscreened clunky dancers in garish bedazzled zentai suits on video, chunks of which are invisible because the colors of the costumes matched the screen too closely? Chunky paper with strands of human hair swirled sloppily on its surface and put in a frame? Duct tape squares on fucking cardboard?

It seems that any old piece of trash is modern art as long as you make it a series. Who the fuck decides to put this shit in a museum, anyway – cause I’ve got a pile of my crap smeared to a 2×4 to fucking sell the pretentious fucker.

The one thing we were actually there for, the Rain Room, was an hour and a half wait when the exhibit closed in an hour and 15 minutes. No pictures in the Rain Room for Will and I on Sunday. We decided to try later in the week. BLECH.

A Case of the Mondays

Low energy and fairly uncomfortable, strumming the uke without much direction. I’m traveling, taking antibiotics and have pooped twice all week. Help a sista out and suggest some songs you’d like to hear me cover. If any of them work out well I’ll post the progress to soundcloud.

Once that eventful and potentially life altering weekend was over, New York City spent another solid day raining. The last time I was around these parts for this kind of weather, I spectacularly wrecked on the NJ turnpike with my ex after hydroplaning over a temporary lake I couldn’t see.

That was about 16 years ago now and the sound still shoots me up with adrenaline, but that’s about the only thing that remains in me from our ridiculously abusive (both self, drugs and one another) history, for both of us now, I think, and I found the weather to be almost communicative, like a final nod goodbye to all that fucked up victim bullshit. I found myself wondering if I would still periodically panic when I heard hydroplaning anymore.

Monday also happened to be the day that I traveled farther east in Brooklyn to meet with Dese’Rae Stage of the Live Through This Project (for those who know NYC, I was staying on Atlantic Ave near the Nostrand stop on the A, and went to Saraghina off the Utica stop for my meeting) to talk about life after an adolescence wrought to the core with suicide attempts.

When I had originally contacted Dese’Rae after discovering her project, I was in a pretty solid mindstate. I offered to talk about my experiences because I felt I had a lot of encouraging words and insights that could help people who weren’t feeling that life was very worth living, or were questioning if it was all worth it. I’d been there and done that and was proof that it got better.

Of course, when it came time to actually talk to Dese’Rae, I felt like total fucking shit. I was worn down again, tired, sad, alien, weird, alone. My trip wasn’t freeing and energizing like I was expecting, the time off felt like an emotional prison plagued by sickness and conflict, all these fucked up emotions kept surfacing and for much of the weeks leading up to this commitment I’d been stifling tears and avoiding feeling what was calling them out.

As I sat at the table with her chatting and occasionally advising about the administrative challenges of her project, what felt most real to me as my time to speak and be recorded loomed in the distance was how hard it still is. How hard it is at least a portion of almost every single day of my life. How hope for living is a constant battle, a constant struggle to remember that year that gets farther and farther in the past where I didn’t see suicide as an option, or a concept that was just at my fingertips, at the ready, waiting for me to slide down far enough to have nothing but it to cling to. How hard it is to remember the tiny strands of that reality, to remember when I feel bad that it is possible for me to feel better, for what felt like a long time, and maybe some day if I work hard enough I might feel that way again.

So, that, and ideas and insights surrounding that, was what I talked about, once I got through the basics of my history, which took a while in and of itself. I’ll be interested in seeing what she chooses to include in my story on the projects website, which as far as I can figure is about 6 months off from being published. I’m glad I did it, and I know I will be touched by what comes out of it. For now, though, I am comforted by the fact that I’m likely to forget about it entirely in the meantime.

The Final Act

This vacation, thus far, has turned into a lot of work, very little movement/exploration, and laptop forearms. Considering unplugging entirely while in Sweden.

The last few days in NYC were pretty typical. I slept a bit, scheduled a shoot in Sweden for the 17th, checked a lot of email and took Donia for Indian food as a thank you for letting me crash at her place.

Will and I did get some good pictures in the Rain Room exhibit first thing in the morning the day I left, and I was reintroduced to SnapSeed, which I had tried but didn’t really get into before, for post processing arty images.

Up at 7am preparing for a second crack at getting into the MOMA rain room exhibit to have some pictures taken of me. After that, a final couple of hours in NYC which are likely to include central park and stopping by the piano stores I noticed in the neighborhood last time. Then back to Brooklyn to pack up, and the long flight to Sweden.

I had the opportunity to play a Yamaha C7 grand piano at the recommendation of my friend and musical collaborator Aaron Marshall, who suggested I try a Yamaha after reading about my experience with Steinways. We hit up Central Park for a walk and some ice cream and had a ridiculous lunch at a place called the Jekyll and Hyde club in Times Square. It was good to see Will again, it had been since 2005 that I had, and he is what one might call Good People.

The plan is to return to New York for FIGMENT next year. We shall see. I have a lot of travel, still, this year, and next year might need to be a year that I stay home and tend to my various businesses. Especially considering a majority of my commitments in the near future include SEAF and FIGMENT which are volunteer. I really need to figure out how to get paid for this shit.

Packing up and soon to be out of communication until July. If you’re planning on having any big news or have something to say to me before then now’s the time to speak up. Otherwise, see you on the flip side.

Given my penchant for spiraling into the social networking abyss, I will be offline apart from updating my blog until I return from my trip.

I don’t want to play.

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Everywhere I turn and look
Someone around is telling me
How the only way to keep good relationships
is to be playful
And the only way to be a real woman
is to not care about being sexy

Everywhere I turn and look
Someone around is telling me
That the only way to make money from my art is
to spend every waking minute of my life
pouring my soul into the laps of strangers and
asking them for handouts

Everywhere I turn and look
Someone around is telling me
How the only way to be good for the people around me
is to think positively always
And the only way to salvation
is fucking love
love
love.

Fuck love.

I don’t want to be playful.
I want to fucking screamcry
like an angry
raging baby and
slam my door
in your smiling fuckass face.

I don’t want to have to overcome
being fat
or haggard
or missing a fucking limb
so you can see I’m a worthwhile
deep person
because I have a fucking persecuted vagina
that men want but are afraid of
and I know
how to put on eyeliner

I don’t want to pretend
that I’m not a fucking introvert
who wants to be paid first
and loved later
for my god damn
soul sucking
work

I don’t want to pretend
that the first thing I see
when someone tells me a lie
or fucking hurts me
is their god damn good intentions

Fuck your good intentions.

I don’t want to pretend
that love is the be all
end all
of what life is about

Even if
that means
you’ll find someone else
to play with.

The Sun

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Last night was the big anger zit. I was up until 4:30 just fucking gnashing with irritation and distaste, and woke up 4 hours later from a shitty fuckass dream, and in short order was listening to the sweet melodic sounds of my cat barfing next to the bed I was still laying in. ‘Sup, Tuesday – hey, go fuck yourself yeah?

It took me a while to get moving, even though I had had grand plans of cleaning up my damn room and finally doing some laundry. Mostly I sat on facebook and email instead, still naked and half in bed, lurching over my laptop like a fucking primate trying to lick its own balls. And I was about as useful as one, really.

After that, in a fit of intense anxiety over the amount of time he will be gone over the next month (nearly every fucking weekend – ARGH), I tried in vein to break up with my boyfriend over text message, to which he responded much like this:

Yup, still knows what he got himself into. Check.

I didn’t eat until well after noon and when I did I didn’t eat much. I recognized later that it’s due to feeling toxic as hell, resulting in the resurrection of my juicer this evening. It has been neglected since the last time the weather was cold and crisp in favor of the blender for smoothies or, more recently, fucking ass food that doesn’t make my life any easier. I’ve been drawn to breads sweets and fats and haven’t given enough of a rip to resist, or make my own lunches, for the last few weeks.

I also hit the Doctor finally – blood work on D, B12, CBC and thyroid should be in by Friday when I get my annual and more than likely try my second antidepressant since I went on zoloft for about 8 weeks in 2011.

Today also ended up being the day that I went from crying periodically in pent up despair to emotional tide crying whenever the damn hell I felt like it. I did a lot of that. I cried on the bus, while walking down the street, while sitting in a restaurant, while peeing, while looking in a mirror; the works.

Once that had gone on for a while, I noticed that, when not actively crying, I was actually glancing at people while I walked to my office and doing things like looking at the people through shop windows. It occurred to me then that I hadn’t done so in a notable amount of time; I was either staring at the ground, staring at my phone, or had my face buried down in my scarf, shutting the rest of the world out of mine. Looking at people means they might be looking back at you.

I was sad, mostly, still, but it was better for some reason. I could move with and through it to interact with people and even occasionally make swift eye contact. Coming to a place of giving into not knowing why I was crying, and not letting it matter, was proving easier than inventing reasons why – like that my guy is going to leave for a weekend gig and decide he’s in love with a riverdancer, or that I am doomed to always repeat this cycle and therefore my life isn’t worth living, or because people are evil coated bastard fucks with bastard filling and I hate them all.

I had a visual of the front of my ribcage missing as I walked, the inside covered in fresh baby foliage growths just beginning to sprout from the clearcut napalmed shitstorm vacancy nearly two weeks ago now. I remember the cold air feeling raw in my chest cavity, like touching the fresh skin under a ripped foot blister.

Over the last 8 hours I’ve continued to surface and feel more ideal. Today I talked about disneyland and hard core elegant dudes like Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, who are not much longer for this world and will make a huge gaping hole when they no longer hold the standard of Men that just seems to be slipping away, and went shopping and made juice and had a nice lunch with a good friend.

I can already feel the distance growing. It already seems like it was longer than yesterday that I was still in the pits and it feels like a lot longer than a few days ago that I was in full crisis mode. Strangers are wanting to talk with me on the street again.

Suckers.

Friday, September 21st, 2012

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are” – Kurt Cobain

Thrashing

Friday, September 21st, 2012

I feel like I’m thrashing around emotionally, after emerging from a long stretch of intense computer-focused work. In the last month, including my massage, teaching and metrix jobs, I’ve released three albums (Autochthon, Embodied, and Embodied Limited Edition), finished 95% of a DVD, all with cover art and sound mixing/video editing that I’ve done, and redesigned four websites (neevita.net, blog.neevita.net, fakehair.net, notapplicable.org). I don’t even want to know how many full days and nights I’ve spent sitting on the computer filling out forms, rendering shit, uploading shit, editing images..

I’m pretty worn out, and now I find myself wildly ambivalent about these projects. Earlier today as I listened to the “world” release of Embodied (which will only be available in the US on physical CD because I can’t justify another $400 to license the fucking covers for anything more than that) through a nice stereo, I felt proud and accomplished and hopeful, like I’d produced a damn fine album and at some point the right person is going to notice the damn thing and maybe something will come of this stupid expensive hobby that I periodically vomit my soul at.

A half day and a few hours of online researching later, I’m discouraged and want to give up, and I remember that all along, always, knowing my music is good is painful. The thought of managing the licensing for Embodied for the scale of release that might get me anywhere is depressing and daunting, and every time I imagine someone buying the album, I get a knot in my gut about the unfinished ends regarding it. I feel like I can’t truly seek the attention I want the music to have because I’m fucking broke.

Once I let Embodied aggregate, I have no way to control how many times a station plays which song, or how many people stream the songs from other websites. And even if I did manage to license 500 streams or whatever, I’m terrified that one of the songs will take off and I’ll get busted for not having the proper licensing in place already. Which is stupid because that’s not actually going to happen.

Conflictingly, part of me really must feel that if the right people just HEARD this shit my style would find a wide audience. I was thinking about open mic’s again and maybe going to one and what songs I should prepare. I was getting excited about the nervous silence there would be as I started playing, knwoing it would be intense but I could handle it, with my mind racing behind my squint trying to feel out what people were thinking but not being able to look at anyone, and then imagining the one person in the bar/coffeshop/whatever who would approach me after the show and talk with me and give me feedback, and how good that would feel and how alive that would make me and what a big step that would be for me to take and maybe if I did it a few times it wouldn’t feel so scary and I could gain some confidence playing for unknown audiences in environments I’m not in control of and play shows around here and have people actually hear what I’m doing and it would all snowball and I’d start having fun with it finally, finally finally and over a short time I could solve all my fucking musical problems.

But for open mic, the cover songs make more sense than the originals, and are what people would actually react to/identify with, and I can do many of them on portable instruments but I don’t have original music I want to share on those instruments and then I think about how much of a pain in the ass my synth rig would be to set up for a tiny open mic and how annoyed people would be at me for taking time to set up and then it turns into a nightmare where everyone in the place wants me off stage before I even start singing my whining weird pussygoth crap and the audience just sits there wondering who this high pitched whining bitch is and they sit there in silent protest until I pack my shit up and leave with nothing but a sense of how cold and unforgiving the room was, knowing I was too awkward and nervous and insecure to ingratiate myself to the audience and win them over, just like the second night of Embodied where I played nearly an entire show to silence and timid applause even though the audience was full of people who know and love and support me and I remember how uncomfortable and failed that felt and how I’ve questioned it ever since the show and how I should have learned from that and never fucking gone to that stupid bar in the first place and how I should just go throw myself in traffic or find a way to drop my synth on my stupid tiny worthless head.

And, once again, I think about going to an open mic for less than a minute before I’ve talked myself out of doing it for some reason.

It’s kind of amazing how convinced I am that if I perform someone elses song now some men in black will approach me in 15 years when anyone knows who the fuck I am, wagging their fingers and suing me. And even though I make the songs mine, it just doesn’t feel right in my heart and I know it’s not right to profit from a song someone wrote without them seeing something from it. I know how fucking pissed off I would be if I saw someone selling an album with my unlicensed song on it. I wish the world worked differently and I could just fucking paypal the artist $20 to let me use their damn song and call it good. That’s how it was happening on mp3.com when I was being approached by film makers and shit. That shit makes sense to me.

Getting on Pandora is apparently hard now, and requires a subscription service to Amazon just to apply. I signed up for the Amazon account today, as well as to SoundExchange (they collect royaltiest for recording copyright holders), who was apparently aware of one of my songs (Preterition) already. Then I started looking into BMI/ASCAP or SESAC (they collect royalties for publishers and songwriters) as which publishing rights company to go with and just felt overwhelmed.

Even just trying to figure out what fucking GENRE my music fits into in while filling out all these forms and shit makes me fucking face palm. I swear every form I’ve filled out for Embodied has a different genre, each company has their own list of possibilities and none of them are consistent and even if they were the only genre I’ve fully agreed with is “Live performance” and that doesn’t say anything about what the music SOUNDS like.

Since the release, I’ve sold three digital copies of Autochthon, and one physical CD. I’ve even sold a Limited Edition version of Embodied (and gave a lot of them away). I should be excited, I know. Instead, what I see is either the mountain of work I still have ahead — including finishing the fucking DVD for the Embodied LE I sold –, or the mountain of work I’ve already left behind. I feel like it’s an uphill battle that I’m fighting without any weapons, trying to relive my past, fighting to get something back that I stumbled upon 10 fucking years ago when the world was different, and then gave away shortly after.

I’ve been a wreck ever since I took on the Embodied album and decided to get formal about music. Clearly, I need help, or I need to fucking give this shit up. I feel like I need someone who understands the business and wants to invest in my music, deal with all these fucking forms and jargon and rights issues, look over what I’ve already done and see if I’m fucking things up, and get me heard, who I can also trust.

But I don’t fucking trust anyone, and I don’t know anyone in music who gives a shit about the kind of music I make, and after 10 years of being a self published hermit, I don’t know where to start even if I wanted to challenge that mistrust and take a leap to try to find someone who does, and I’m pretty fucking sure that I won’t find them in Seattle.

Is it only in my world that “progress” is so sad and frustrating and fucking hopeless feeling? Because I feel unbelievably alone in this.

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Tried with the full size tonight. My initial response to the video was something like HOLY SHIT I CAN ALMOST PLAY THE VIOFUCKINGLIN HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT. Then I tried to play the song again in front of someone and sucked and got a bunch of shit pointed out to me that I am doing wrong and now I don’t even really want to post the stupid fucking thing. One interaction and I went from cloud 9 to wanting to drug myself to sleep and not talk to anyone.

Whatever. Stupid learning. *sulk*

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” – Peggy O’ Mara

Friday, July 20th, 2012

“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.” – CS Lewis

“Madness lingers” – Music from Alice

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

(if player doesn’t load, please install/update flash)

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Earlier this year, partially due to extended illness, I became deeply entrenched in the game Alice: Madness Returns, which is the sequel to American McGee’s Alice. It’s the first game I’ve really sunk my teeth into in a decade, and once I did that, I thrashed it around in my mouth like a rabid bulldog for weeks.

I found myself relating to the visuals, storyline and music in the sequal even more than I had the original, and in ways I can’t summarize quickly. There were even pieces of my original songs that stuck out in this soundtrack. The feel and movement of the audio in the game has, but especially had then, a sinisterly heavenly feel to it. It overtook me, gave me nightmares, personified my own flavor of festering pain I’d refluxed up at the time, and extended its hand to me.

In a word, it was fucking beautiful.

I don’t recall how I stumbled across wickedslicks1003‘s game extensions on youtube, but I did, and I’m glad for it. I still try to fall asleep to this stuff sometimes, but because I still have really fucked up dreams when I do that, I mostly listen to it as background and sing with it. I imagine at some point soon I will make good on my priority to learn how to play some of it, and I won’t be surprised if some of this music makes its way into Obsidian next year.

Above isa flash-player offering my favorite of the games musical pieces, extended into ~10 minute long tracks.

Below, one of my interpretations.

Enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/soundofnee/alice-madness-returns