Posts Tagged ‘insight’

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.

#metoo

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

A meditation on what comes after #metoo

After a long few days I finally crashed like a brick last night. I am so tired. I am so tired of the groupthink onus being on victims of abuse, to rehash, to out themselves, to display their pain, to direct. What can you do? Figure out why you don’t actually care. Figure out why your problem solving skills, your observational skills, your creative solutions, your inventiveness, your ingenuity, is inaccessible to you regarding the topic of rape and abuse in yourself and your community. Figure out why, even though it is fundamentally imbibed in our society, even though it is everywhere, including in your own life and your own actions, you can’t see it. Figure out why you spend your resources and energy trying to invent external accountability incentives that don’t exist in a society that bred this into all of us and rewards it. Figure out why you feel entitled to victims having to attempt over and over again to convince you to leverage your power to choose to be accountable, to choose to be observant, to choose to question yourself — and to choose to question other men. Figure out what is stopping you from taking responsibility, what is stopping you from even wanting to pay attention when there isn’t a bi-annual mass movement of mobilized agony being shoved in your fucking face forcing you to look, what is stopping you from stepping in to take on your share of the labor in evolving YOURSELF and YOUR PEOPLE who benefit the most from how things are. Figure out why you see that lack of motivation as an answer you’re entitled to be given by someone else rather than the personal work of actualizing your own damn self. Figure out what the fuck is going on with you and then take action to address it. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Do the work. Do. Your fucking. Work.

I’m grateful for the positive outcomes and breakthroughs that came and will come of this, and future campaigns like this. And I am also thinking enough is a fucking nough

From my angle, #metoo is where we the privileged once again ignorantly twisted the existing healing work of black women, this time launching into another traumatic upheaval rife with the mass demand for further extraction of exhausting, gut-wrenching labor. We did it in the incompetent medium of a digital suckwound, in order to step, again, into the unattainable responsibility of educating and reforming the benefactors of our oppression, and those who are complicit in their behavior.

Did it ‘work’? Seems so. And, I am critical of the further damage being done to women of color in how the campaign was launched, how #metoo is being capitalized upon now by one of us without compensating the originator (that fucking disgusting hat!!), and the damage done to every abuse survivor that is ripped open again right now as a result. I am critical of the (irresponsible, frankly) mass reanimation of trauma I am myself experiencing and witnessing the consequences of. I just don’t think we have the fucking resources for that, the support network, and as I sit with it, I am coming full circle back to the deep roiling anger that motivated me to come back on fb, to participate, to inform my rage at being called AGAIN to say ME TOO, rather than stew in it from the sidelines.

Is #metoo a net positive? I’ll work to think of it that way, for my own sanity. But listen: There are better ways to be doing this work. Even online. Less painful, more connecting, more effective. I know it. And I know that it’s not Alyssa fucking Milano and her friends who know how to do it better.

White women: We share in our abusers grooming, at the very least as part of white supremacy. We share in the violence of oppression, the disconnection of hierarchy, and the familiarity of manufacturing agony in order to feel.

Why the FUCK are we still trying to lead this shit, y’all? Why are we still listening to the half cocked ideas of out of touch celebrities on top of that?

Where is OUR accountability?

Is our lack of it part of the reason we periodically enroll feminism in performing its suffering to all-but-guaranteed pain for dimished, shot-in-the-dark returns?

And how much of this gaping maw in my gut is really because we, I, us, ultimately, still, have yet to reconcile and address our own incompetence, our own culpability in our cultures abuses, even within our own movements?

Why are we still doing it this way?

Like how many more victim-centric campaigns gotta morf into victims-teaching-abusers, holding space for people who dont get it, doing all that work, before I act like I understand that my pointing my griefguts at perpetrator recovery ain’t being accountable, but punishing myself. One fucking day of going to bat with #metoo and I felt drained, disrespected, misunderstood and want to curl up in a fucking hole — and that’s dealing with the well meaning and not a single fucking troll. I wish it weren’t so hard to GET that I am worth treating myself better than this, but I think part of the issue is that I don’t see another way to handle the tension and energy yet. Just hearing #metoo was happening put me in a spin, fucked up my appetite, raced my thoughts, and called me back here. I care about this shit, but fuck man. The waves won’t stop coming, and I won’t stop caring, so I hope this last wave is the one where I finally learn how to be involved in this cause without putting myself through a fucking meat grinder every time.

WIP: I Hate The Fucking Internet Today

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

I’m working on a maxi-single for I Hate The Fucking Internet Today while simultaneously fleshing out the lyrics (WIP = Work In Progress, afterall).

It will be 5 songs I think, 4 of them versions of this one, and I think I’m gonna tack on What Kind Of Asshole Are You. I have a fast/cute solo ukulele version, a piano version, a guitar/looper version, and an Not Applicable version.

Been mucking around with the song this eve. Like, for long enough. But I had this urge to practice it again, even though now is the right time to stop.

While I was sitting there thinking about whether to push myself, I realized that my motivation to do that is out of fear that I will lose the mojo unless I force it down my own throat to exhaustion.

Like I actually have the story in my head that I will forget how to work the looper patch I’m setting up and practicing on, the foot dance I am literally fucking choreographing for myself around a song I’ve been chewing on for months.

I’m not really sure if this is actually how I learn, but I am pretty certain that the impulse comes from a deep insecurity and lack of confidence in myself in part because, get this: I find it so exhausting and strenuous to learn shit.

Like what the actual fuck.

#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.

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.

Serendipitous gifts

Friday, August 5th, 2016

“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.”
James Baldwin

Just now, I texted everyone I have a current iMessage conversation with “Thank you for being human with me”. It is because I associate those people with the ones I maintain the closest friendships to because we share our phones messaging app between devices.

This is, invariably, a false equivalency, though it became more balanced when I changed my phone number and worked through (am still working through) who to tell.

The truth is there are many filters that would leave deserving people out of the loop about this mass, and yet personal, messaging spree I just went on, but what alarms me is to discover that the selection process is not as intentional as I’d like to think it is.

It’s not even a selection, really. It’s laziness, lack of awareness, automation, which causes me to turn to iMessage. The fucking automation. The fucking machine that plugs my supposed need for that kind of connectivity and false belonging to sell me unethical products that are not meant to last.

Look. There are people I will never talk to again who deserve to hear me say “Thank you for being human with me”. Every single person I’ve ever met deserves this recognition. And I deserve that recognition from all of you. And I think it’s fair to say that it seems pretty universal that we have all been unconsciously programmed not to acknowledge one another in this way, but to pretend that we do. Like the quotes in Embodied said on the walls of Fred Wildlife Refuge,

“I am the collective effort of everyone I’ve ever known.” — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Apart from never being able to truly trust anyone, I wasn’t a hacker, or a bone fide hardware geek. I appreciated that stuff, but I was drawn to hackers because I was a *communicator*, and I could relate to hackers. I like being clever and sneaky and destroying shit as much as I like creating it.

For a long time, being a part of the hacker community — and later the little red studio, specifically, had me feeling very special. I felt popular, I could say whatever the fuck I wanted, I threw weird parties, and I had a community with which to be creative.

In both those instances I’d locked societal woundings with whole communities, and the learning was fertile and priceless. We were communicators who wanted to build our own god damn platforms, to cultivate relationships with our expression forms, and with technology, that mattered.

Well, as far as I can tell, most of us still want to do that. But where the fuck are we? What the fuck are we doing? We are on facebook, and google, and twitter, and none of us trust these fuckers with the soul we give to them.

How is it that we got to the point that your fucking words, your thoughts, your fucking anniversaries, your fears, your personality scores, your rants, your sorrows, your calls for justice AREN’T YOURS, AREN’T OWNED BY YOU, instead being fucking manipulated and distilled and romanticized for profit.

What the fuck.

My space. My fucking space.

That’s fucking better.

I have a deep desire to be in structured school, with a goal, challenges, variation, and letters after my name. So many of us do, I think; we crave knowledge, a safe space to explore not already knowing, guidance, and we crave our own continued understanding. We crave the idea of education that the educational system abandoned in order to survive civilization.

For people like us, right now the best we can be doing is learning by teaching what we know to our communities, but more importantly to each other, our fellow activists; especially those of us who recognize that without drinking water, without being able to be naked outside in the sun, without food, without air, without the ancient peat bogs and rainforests holding so much carbon for us, we are fucking lost. Those of us waiting for the cleansing fire. The birth to the destruction to the birth.

It’s people like us that need to be learning from people like us who are focused on different parts of The Thing.

Start hosting workshops to teach the shit you know. Start risking your ego to make a difference, to open yourself up to learning by empowering others. Make that shit happen, and do it with fucking integrity. Give credit where it’s due and don’t make money off the backs of those society deems yours. Admit you don’t know it all. Explore. Let them come to you, and when they do; Teach.

Teach.

Y’all want fucking revolution? Then let’s use our fucking skills to prove it, and create one.

One day at a time, one habit at a time, ween yourself and take responsibility for your own shit.

Stop fucking leaning on the systems you recognize are corroding your fucking soul.

Learn what it is to nurture and toil the food you eat before you eat it. Learn what it means to be have less stuff. Explore options of supporting yourself that don’t rely solely on the internet, or invisible slave labor. Invite a friend over to your house to chat. Share your mentors with the people you love. And ffs stop fucking maneuvering your most precious relationships via fucking text messages, ya fearfulass Previous Me insufferable text-dumping asshole.

I’m not sure exactly what that looks like, but when I really sit with what it feels like to give facebook and even instagram the product of my mind, I feel a gross sense of self betrayal inside. I’ve grappled with it a long time, but I think I’ve made good headway lately.

And I’m fucking watching you, Patreon. Every greedy fuckshit mistake you make by us, I’m holding your asses accountable and taking fucking notes. You have to earn the shit out of my trust. The shit out of it. Do better.

The Notebook

I am noticing one of the blockages I experience around my writing, is that I rarely write. I type. And that’s different.

I have also noticed that my organization of ideas is scattered as shit. Self sent text messages, voice memos, emails to myself, google spreadsheets, soundcloud, patreon, my blog, the notes app on my phone, and hardcopy notebooks — all house my fractions, experiments, and prose. Ideas for my current album, Cold Front, span all of these mediums. Even if I wanted to work on it, just going through my fucking notes is like looking into a shattered mirror.

While I excel during projects when I allow the process to be messy, and I do best while fragmented and having multiple, different projects in the fire at once, I recognize that I lose myself in obsessive tracking and procrastination when I do not start those projects from a place of organization, grounding and levity.

It is time to carry a notebook. Everywhere. And to utilize technology as a backup, a failsafe should something happen to it, rather than.. Whatever the fuck it is I have been doing. Amusingly, I was just gifted one by a new pal.

I made him sign it. Oh, the pressure I put upon y’all.

One of the people who passed through my life at one time is a very famous, beloved author. He understands the value of a hand written page. I am thinking about him as I make this commitment to myself, and my work, to intentionally try things just a little bit differently, now.

Besides. I know how the brain works, at least in regards to how it processes information in the context of expression methods. I learned this as a student at Brian Utting. Writing, with my hands, on paper, making marks, will download the essence of what I want to capture into a place that is very unlikely to be taken away from me, even if something happens to my notebook.

And when I was out in the woods, exhausted, overwhelmed, spread to the breaking point while literally holding up another human being, losing my own mind and breaking my own heart and remembering what really fucking matters; the safe, private notes I drew to myself kept me going.

Keep Going.

I trust me, and my mind, which god damn fucking WORKS, to level up about the kind of care, thought, and and attention that goes into my functioning effectively. Efficiently. Conservation, restoration, nutrients; they are not just for the world around me, and not just applicable in the literal senses I am learning these skills via.

I trust me to fucking take care of myself, even though I have spent, and will still spend, effort and time struggling, and making mistakes, in that department.

I am ready to take another step towards strengthening me, so I can hold what it means to be bigger. Braver. More. Less.

Funny, how significant, this dumb little shit can be.

I’m Courtnee Fallon Rex, and this is only barely scratching the surface of what kind of writer, activist, teacher, and human being I can be when I am fulfilled in my work, selective with my friends, appreciative of my fans, careful how I spend my energy (and why), have the means to support and nurture myself, bathe, farm and harvest my own food, am seen, and paid, and create and perform my music on my terms for fans who truly appreciate my. Fucking. Work.

So thank you, for being human with me. I know I am not alone in this. I know I am not alone in my frustrations, my desire to see more empowerment outside of the constrained, incompetent systems that are all we’ve ever been truly encouraged to know ourselves by. In every career path I’ve taken, I’ve been the one standing up and asking: Why? Why are we bowing? Why do we immediately attempt to contort under these strains, these fucking invented, arbitrary oppressions? When the fuck are we going to stand up?

We are. It’s just.. slow. And I am going to keep doing what I need to do, respecting the influences, the tides, and the sheer fucking magnitude that is the task of standing up. Over, and over, and over again.

I am angry, at society. Today, and to some degree, every day. Today I also accept the possibility that this will not change.

Returning home has been a long, steady, breakthrough; a return on previous investments. Level: up.

Next challenge: learning how to respect my opponents.

Ugh.

A Cart for Your Invisible Horse

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

I started really chewing on class accessibility issues in my work about 6 months after I moved from the Medical Dental Building downtown, to the Pioneer Building in Pioneer Square.

For those who don’t understand Seattle, that’s basically from the hoity toity business and shopping district to the historic bar crawl and stadium area where all the human resources, walk in clinics and homeless shelters are.

For a while, I was my typical entitled self that I was back then, avoiding the beggars on the street, feeling unsafe and deeply inconvenienced by their presence.

Over the course of the years I had my practice in that area, though, I transformed as a person. Some of y’all witnessed that, and know how profound it was.

The last two years I had Artful Touch, one of the biggest road blocks for me was that I wanted my work to be accessible to the types of people who were sleeping on benches in front of my office, not only the types of people who were supporting my businesses existence with their money.

I hadn’t found a way by the time I couldn’t afford, even with help from friends in terms of living situations, to stay in business in Seattle any longer (which, amusingly, coincided with the first year I finally grossed $20k, a long-time goal of mine).

And without my business, I couldn’t afford the office I’d been half living in already, so there went my last semblance of housing as well.

A year ago, almost to the day, was when I packed into the van I’d spent 1/2 of my savings on and left. I’ve spent the last year doing this:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=1Fz43w54SqRabmekWCnNyq4JRY0Y

Before that, I’d spent 6 months living in a friends backyard shed — which, frankly, turned out to be one of the best living situations I’ve ever had.

That year on the road has shown me what a fool I was. And I fear, that in most cases, people tend to remain foolish about this until it or something similar to it happens to them. It’s why it can be so easy to dismiss someone who is houseless for not behaving properly, for not having more than they do.

But I know better now. I know it is virtually impossible to function without shelter, without a place to bathe, without a way to shit. Not just function in terms of being capable and receptive to the type of exploration, trauma recovery and deep work I offered at AT, but just to fucking get the basics covered. Just to make a meal and clean up after yourself. Just to shit into the plastic bag without making a mess in your living room.

I learned this when, after being on the road 6 months or so, and not even actually hurting for industrialized comforts much via couch surfing and guest rooms and room and board via summer job, I understood how much my production rate would have to change now that I did not have a stable housing situation anymore.

I realized I couldn’t belt out the paintings and the albums and the performances like I had been able to in the past. That I needed a lot more sleep, I needed more down time that wasn’t sleep, and I had been too hard on myself for not producing as much or excelling as quickly as I wanted.

And this was BEFORE I started really living in that van, really experiencing what it was like to wake up with a start at 3 in the morning HAVING to shit and having nowhere to do it but hanging my ass out the side of my house and picking up my turd from the side walk. Experiencing the dichotomy of wanting to use sustainable methods of handling my period but having no running water. Having most of my entire world revolving around how to manage the blood when the days came. Sleeping in layers and layers of clothing and not being able to stand upright.

And this was while I HAD a place to retreat to, that was mine, and relatively safe, and warm when I wanted to put in the effort.

I am understanding another layer of this now that I am in a stationary room again for a while, and noticing how I am EXPLODING with patreon updates, the amount of energy I have now, how much less I stress about managing basic tasks, how much less time it takes to accomplish things when I don’t have to set up and tear down hunched over in a living space the size of a couch every time.

I was a fool, thinking that my desire to work with the homeless and addicted represented for me anything much more than the guilt I felt by participating in the offering of classist, privileged healing work.

I’ve stopped wondering how I can transcend a persons need for shelter and food in order to contribute to their development as people.

I get that the houseless don’t need massages or hugs or one of my cow chip cookies to thrive as human beings again. That’s the shit I needed to feel better about what I had that they did not.

It’s not just the social stigma the houseless face, the little cuts of every clumsy swishypants white girl that tries to see them as people but fails, that keep them from overcoming their traumatic circumstances. I mean, I knew that. But now I KNOW that.

I’ve stopped wondering how I can swoop in and create a magical illusionary container of safety for people who have none. Especially as someone who barely has that container for themselves. The houseless need fucking *houses*.

Now, I wonder more about what little thing I could start to do, about that.

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

Belonging

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

I used to think I would never find a place I belonged.

The lonliness filled me to the point that for a long time I didn’t even have the energy to wander anymore, looking for it, literally or figuratively.

I’d talk myself out of going anywhere I felt I might find my place before the possibility could take shape.

I talked myself out of distancing from people who I could feel saw me as projections of their fractured selves and believed they were smarter, better, and more worthy than me.

I struggled against a rising tide to stay where I was, even as it became clear while the life I’d built for myself fell away piece by piece that it was time.

For years, opportunity and the damn near limitless directions I could take overwhelmed and paralyzed me. And it seemed as though no matter where I went in the world, no matter how well my skills or personality fit into a certain group of other humans, I would never be free of that feeling; I don’t belong. Anywhere.

So in a way, it didn’t matter what the fuck I did. But I had to do something.

So I decided to belong to myself, even though I only felt it part way.

I decided before I was ready, before I really believed, that I had to figure out a way to believe that the possibility of belonging was someplace other than where I was told it was, where I had been encourage to look for it.

I decided to give up most of what I know the majority of the people in my life to work their entire existence stabilizing. I let go of things that I know friends of mine lose sleep over getting, having, and keeping.

I gave away massive amounts of expensive possessions, one of a kind art, things that had defined me for decades.

I flew the nest I’d spent 17 years building and tending as it smoldered behind me, wrought from the merciless determination of a universe demanding transformation, and I left.

One thing I’m quickly learning after doing that, one thing that keeps coming up for me as I look around Texas and camp and experience myself in this environment, is that I don’t actually ‘belong’ any more here and now than I have in any other time of my life.

Yes, it’s true, this camp is strangely well suited for my natural theatrical gifts. And yes, it’s true, the recycling mentality in Texas makes me actually cry sometimes. It’s a mixed bag. Seattle was a mixed bag, too.

But the path to belonging, that feeling I thought meant I was so close to having belonging for myself for so long, was actually control, and dominance. I felt I belonged when I was in charge, when I was leading, when I was on display, and when I was in power.

I learned a long time ago that sort of ‘belonging’ was not only fleeting, high maintenance, and high anxiety — but that I didn’t feel very good about myself once I was dethroned, either. The mist that rationalized the oppressive nature of my height and status, and the grief of having worn mask after mask to maintain the facade that I enjoyed it, once gone, paved a view of someone I was deeply ashamed of.

Belonging is something I now know as a learning.

It’s something that helps me grow, expand, and something I take with me in my soul when I move on.

It’s not popularity in high school, it’s not being the better half of a beguiling power couple, it’s not running a nonprofit — belonging is a muscle I work, that gets stronger and stronger when I am where I should be, experiencing and connecting in ways that feed my soul.

So much has changed in my life. Almost everything. But those changes aren’t why I belong where I ended up.

What’s changed is me.

I belong with me.

Beauty in the Breakdown

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

I had come to the title for this piece while it was in progress a couple weeks ago.

It’s fitting that I finally finished it today, which was largely spent processing through a complex and incredibly irrational emotional trigger.

I figured it out, and figured a few side notes out, too. Like that my ex now represents abandonment for me rather than my mother — he shows up when my little is feeling desperate and lonely — and no matter how grown up I get or how professional I act or how ‘correct’ the response is, it hurts and is deeply scary as fuck when someone I care about doesn’t seem to care too much about losing access to our intimacy.

While I was finishing this watercolor, I sobbed and wept a lot, and I sipped through the last of the discontinued tea that marked intense bonding and sense memories from my last romantic relationship. It felt like the right time to officially complete that part of my life.

These hideous and beautiful and incredibly uncomfortable processes helped me figure out what was happening with me today, and what needed to be done to balance it. Hint: I’d forgotten an important step in completing a grief transition.

Always comes down to that, doesn’t it.

IMG_5547http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_5547-550x760.jpg 550w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_5547-252x348.jpg 252w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_5547-688x951.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 741px) 100vw, 741px" />

A little birdie told me to Keep Going

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Photography by Chris Clark
Post Processing by Courtnee Fallon Rex
Ink by Mike of All Star Tattoo, Tacoma

Experiment: 1000 words

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Challenge: Relegate my targetedly offensive language (against women, mentally ill, etc).
Duration: Ongoing

Compendious Result: The road, she is long.

I’m exploring how my language use reflects in the social consideration I’ve been developing the last few years. I rather automatically say a lot of things that bother myself now, after discovering that everything I historically thought was funny, isn’t.

Looking at this closely and exploring new words is how I’m re-establishing a sense of humor. The things we say matter. Basically what I am going for – in general, but not necessarily with this exercise specifically – is cultivating the skill of expressing rage in a way that respects my emotions AND other people.

I REALLY don’t want to give up motherfucker! Or bastard. Or bitches. Or bitchery. Or douchebag. I will very much miss cuntary too. Such a classic. I dropped ‘pussy’ years ago, because calling someone that is fucking stupid. ‘Wuss” or ‘fucking twit” is way better.

But what’s been seen can’t be unseen. I want shit to fucking change, and if I as one dedicated person can’t consider ways to make fun of someone without insulting their single mother, insulting the lovers of mothers or their fucking feminine hygiene, what god damn hope does the world have.

I’ll be keeping my blasphemy, though, thank you very much.

How it’s going..

I have been racking my brain for a long time trying to come up with a quippy fun insult like ‘bitchez!’ or “motherfuckers!’ that isn’t a) Degrading of femininity and/or b) culturally appropriated, since I can’t say either of those things anymore without feeling like a fuckass. And “fuckasses!” doesn’t ring.

I’m also working my way out of calling shit retarded, since battling mental health stigma is important to me. That one is hella hard. ‘retard’ and ‘fucktard’ and ‘lactard’ and ‘glutard’ — all those ‘tard’s — are where I slip up the most. Currently the frontrunner replacement is “lobedonor”.

I posed this conundrum to facebook and got a lot of good response. “Shit for brains”, “fools”, “wankers”. I am rather partial to “Knuckle Draggers” and “punkass”.

Also considering “suckers”, but wanna say it suckahs, which brings up the appropriation aspect. I like ‘homies’ but I’m white as your 6000 thread count fucking sheets, and save for a slip up a couple days ago when calling EBT grocery shopping ‘ghetto shopping’ I’ve dropped ‘ghetto’ too.

I’ve been leaning on ‘shit’ for my cussing a lot more of late, and “Meatbags” is a pretty solid staple of mine. For more direct insults, I quite like using “prolapse” to get my point across.

Interestingly enough, ‘bitchez’, which is what spawned this whole examination, gets to stay:

Alright. I have done my due diligence. I have explored my intentions, my stances and my sensitivity. I have searched far and wide for a manner of expressing that feels as right or as gleeful and I have found mostly self censorship and confusion. I have walked the path and searched the soul and hence forth it is written: I am keeping ‘bitchez.’

YEAH BITCHEZ!!

Funny, how things work out.

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

“The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive.” – Bill Watterson

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

“Remember that changing an entrenched family pattern is only for the boldest among us.” – Harriet Lerner

A word on friendship: Featuring Brenè Brown

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

There are moments in people’s lives, people who decide to move through the world ever growing and opening their hearts, where a pattern of truth can no longer be unseen.

Here’s the tricky part about compassion and connecting: We can’t just call anyone. It’s not that simple. I have a lot of good friends, but there are only a handful of people whom I can count on to practice compassion when I’m in the dark shame place.

If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm. We want solid connection in a situation like this — something akin to a tree firmly planted in the ground. We definitely want to avoid the following:

  1. The friend who hears the story and actually feels shame for you. She gasps and confirms how horrified you should be. Then there is awkward silence. Then you have to make her feel better.
  2. The friend who responds with sympathy (I feel sorry for you) rather than empathy (I get it, I feel with you, and I’ve been there). If you want to see a shame cyclone turn deadly, throw one of these at it: “Oh, you poor thing”.
  3. The friend who needs you to be the pillar of worthiness and authenticity. He can’t help you because he’s too disappointed in your imperfections. You’ve let him down.
  4. The friend who is so uncomfortable with vulnerability that she scolds you: “How could you let that happen? What were you thinking?” Or she looks for someone to blame “Who was that guy? We’ll kick his ass”
  5. The friend who is all about making it better and, out of his own discomfort, refuses to acknowledge that you can actually be crazy and make terrible choices. “You’re exaggerating. It wasn’t that bad. You rock. You’re perfect. Everyone loves you.”
  6. The friend who confuses “connection” with the opportunity to one-up you. “That’s nothing. Listen to what happened to me one time!”

Of course, we’re all capable of being “these friends” — especially if someone tells us a story that gets right up in our shame grill. We’re human, imperfect and vulnerable. It’s hard to practice compassion when we’re struggling with our authenticity or when our own worthiness is off balance.

When we’re looking for compassion, we need someone who is deeply rooted, able to bend, and, most of all, we need someone who embraces us for our strengths and struggles. We need to honor our struggle by only sharing it with someone who has earned the right to hear it. When we’re looking for compassion, its about connecting with the right person, at the right time, about the right issue.

-Brenè Brown “The gifts of imperfection”

And who had I chosen to be the main support and companionship in my life?

One man who had massive boundary issues around my sexuality and consistently expressed how they just couldn’t understand my emotional struggles, my abuse history or my shame (You’re perfect!). And another, who thought compassion meant pity (My poor girl) and forcing me to stand on a pedestal (Your angry response to your rape is unjustified) for him.

Ugh. What a horrendously damaging multi-year mistake that was.

So let’s be real now, then, shall we?

Even as my sense of self worth and compassion (the root of which means “To suffer with”) has developed, I am this friend to others all too often – the scolder, the blamer, the shame confirmer – because I let people who haven’t earned my vulnerability, have it anyway.

I have lived my life assuming the list above is relationship, that this is intimacy, that the scolder, the blamer, the shame confirmer, the pityer, the perfection seer, the worthiness piller needer, was sufficient to support me through the intense excavation, completion and transformation of the grief, the pain, and the horrible things I’ve done to survive in my childhood and continued to do much of the rest of my life.

I have lived my life assuming these things because that is what I learned in my family, and even after recognizing the error in that, I have been unable to confront my own shame around so often being such a bad friend to the people I care about.

I am currently unable to show up for others, embedded in scarcity and a place of emotional guarding and urgency, after all this effort and work to pull myself out of that, because of the frequency with which my need for connection and understanding isn’t being met in the relationships I have chosen to prioritize.

I am not still struggling so much with this because I’m so fucking broken and set in my patterns that I’m incapable of cultivating real connection and trust with people.

Though claiming over and over again that I’ve wanted it, I have literally never chosen to be in a romantic relationship with a person who was capable of empathy regarding my experiences in life, or who has shared in my values in terms of personal growth, openness, and what the journey of existing means to me.

I have let people who don’t empathize, don’t understand, don’t share their own vulnerability, and don’t show up for me when I need their support cause me to question the validity of my painful feelings, and turn my back on my basic human longing for connection and acceptance that has not been met in my relationships with them.

I have let them do this by allowing a small part of me to believe their insistence that my pain from those situations is entirely due to my triggers, my patterns, my personality failures; that I’m just not good enough at controlling my shit and bending myself around their righteous plans for me, yet. That I’m just seeing things.

I have let them do this by allowing a small part of me to believe that the compassion and holding I’ve been asking for was me expecting them to be my ‘therapist’, was asking too much, and that the intimacy I needed to be close with them with the depth and authenticity that I choose to live my life in, was wrong.

I have been afraid of isolating and closing down, of repeating that pattern which leads to suicidal ideology, to the point that I have been damaging myself with the opposite.

And, I have felt emotionally obligated to be open with these people because of the money they have chosen to spend on/with me, and their consistently expressed desire to be validated by my trust in them.

These are not the friends I need for the big shit, the people I should be trusting to hold and protect me when I’m threadbare and broken, no matter how much they think they should be or that I allowed them to be in my heavy hitters club for as long as I did.

These are not the people I need to be spending the majority of my time with, entrusting my body with, having sex with, being vulnerable with, talking about therapy with, or relying on for emotional support in my struggle.

These are my art patrons, colleagues, and my fans. They are my supporters in that they are admirers of the results of my hard work, not people who had earned their privileged place as part of that intense and ongoing personal process.

At a time when I was at my most vulnerable and fragile, my most brave and broken open, tackling the deepest darkest shit of my life, precarious in every aspect of my psychological journey as well as in my situational circumstance which is wrought in uncertainty and transition, I have turned to people in search of consideration and awareness who have proven time and again that they are not really there for me.

Not because I’m stupid, or a masochist, or because they are bad people; but because I honestly, even after all this time, haven’t known or believed that better, for me, was possible. Or that I really, really, need it to continue to practice openness and reaching out for authentic connection.

No wonder I ended up such a mess.

I may fall down, and I may hit hard. I may forget to use the tools I have for a while. I may sometimes be too taxed, beaten, tired and weary to be courageous. I may regress and become triggered and show my mean biting ugly. I may brood and stew and go through vile, aggressive phases of pure unadulterated hate, blame, and verbal violence. And I may not always like what I see of myself. I may be forever resigned to dig down deep and introspect and not like what I find and want to change it.

But the thing that’s different about me, though it doesn’t always look like it, and I’m not always elegant at communicating it; I’m on my side, now.

This intention, my drive to keep practicing what I’m learning, to keep growing and providing myself the environment to do so, to keep trying, keep learning how to put my heart out there, to keep opening back up again and again to love, to keep trying to understand what closeness and and belonging look like for me, to keep practicing courage and empathy whenever I can, is more important than maintaining any imbalanced interpersonal relationship. With anyone. Ever.

I’m on my side, no matter what.

EMFUCKINGBODIED

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

I swear I just saw myself for the first time

I told myself in the mirror

As I cried after connecting so incredibly profoundly with multiple people (And once again meeting another incredible man I can’t have in my life like I would prefer, god damn stupid growth opportunities)

“You are..

An amazing woman.

And you will ALWAYS be
An amazing woman.

No matter what
Anyone else thinks.

And when you die,
The world will be a better place

Because you
were in it.”

I am an artist.
And I am fucking amazing
And I am going to get what I want for myself.

Because I am worth it.
And there is no worthier cause than my happiness.

Thank you for showing me what is possible.
And thank you for believing in me.

SOLIDARITY: My Next Visual Art Project

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Sort of eerie, looking back at old art, and seeing in hindsight how descriptive it really was.

I made this pencil drawing in one night in 1996, before I used references to draw. As I recall, I had never tried to draw cracked surfaces before, and I was stunned that I was able to draw the heads and hands so well, in addition to being able to portray the slouching of the character on top of the head, which was, of course, me.

In fact, I would venture to say now that it was all me, and that this was a self portrait, though I didn’t view it as such at the time.

Generally, historically, I’ve had no deep direction or purpose when drawing. I haven’t really been the type to realize what my artistic compulsions are actually saying until long after I’ve said them, even when I do have a bit of an idea (like with Obsidian). Usually, it’s something like “Hmm, I think I’ll try to draw a head” and off it goes.

Though it would still be difficult to articulate (or maybe my brain isn’t working that way right now because I have a cold), I am able to see myself and who I was so clearly in this work that it’s a little frightening. After this last year or so of resetting perspectives, doing some deep psychological work regarding my expansive inner world, and gaining a few more artistic skills, I have a plan for my next big thing; I have decided my next visual project will be a series of self portraits in all the artistic mediums I know. Acrylic, watercolor, ink, ballpoint pen, pencil, charcoal, oil pastels, sculpture, sewing, photography, digital art, bloodwork, etc.

As an experiment in support options, I’ll be moving my art blog content to my Patreon account for the duration of this project and potentially beyond. I’m new to the site and still figuring things out, so I don’t have any videos or goals laid out just yet. You can help me by suggesting the types of things you’d like to see from me, and participating by pledging support, and sharing my Patreon page with your friends. Readysetgo!

Monday, October 28th, 2013

“Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love.” – Paulo Coelho

Well. That explains a lot.

Friday, October 25th, 2013

A child’s mind will normalize almost anything if nobody around them reacts negatively to it or validates their feelings of discomfort. – Jess

Why We Bleed Art by Satyros Phil Brucato

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

My talented author friend wrote this article about the plight of true artistry. I have vivid memories of reading it a few years ago, and when it comes along my newsfeed, I don’t re-read it very often. It’s powerful stuff, and sometimes I don’t want to cry and feel all torn open and understood. But if that’s where you are today, if you’re an artist wondering why you bother or what drives you to continue slamming your face into the cement to live your life on your terms, and you’d like someone who has been there to blow your fucking doors off, this is the article for you.

Why We Bleed Art

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” – Robert Fritz

SEAF 2013

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Disclaimer: After a long week on my feet, I am a bit fried mentally, more than a bit exhausted physically, and yet still rather awake and energetic. My creativity is in the shitter, though, so if you’re hoping for poetry unfortunately I doubt you’ll find much this time. You will, however, find a blog entry about my experience performance directing for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival this year, and a little bit of a backstory as to why that’s kind of a Big Deal for me. Also; I speak only for myself on this blog, and do not represent any official stance of the FSPC or SEAF directorial committee here. Enjoy.

Well, that was really something!

This year’s Seattle Erotic Art Festival had us returning to one of my favorite festival venues – the Showbox Sodo – which, at the time of our last occupation in 2007, was the Fenix. The Showbox had the best facilities and friendliest staff of any venue I’ve worked in, ever. They were wonderful and contributed highly to my enjoyment this weekend.

After many years of vastness and what became a disproportionate focus on spectacle performance art and dance parties, it feels to me now that SEAF has again embraced its roots as an *ART* festival. Though the event wasn’t perfect (um, we seriously need to strike those walkway tables after 10pm next year – great when there’s 100 people, not so much when there’s more.), I would be hard pressed to be more pleased with the results of our hard work this year.

Up until 11pm, patrons could browse, hold a conversation, ask about the artwork and purchase pieces without being interrupted, or having to scream over loud thumping music. During our after-parties when we’d raised the volume some, patrons never had the lights illuminating the artwork shut off on them and were still capable of browsing and buying, and were never forced to pay attention to anything they didn’t want to.

The artwork was the best I’ve ever seen at the festival, which is including the catalogues from previous years in which I did not attend. Most of the pieces that weren’t really my style had a clear validity and seemed to belong in the festival regardless of my personal preferences. I think I only truly disliked perhaps two. The film exhibition, which I unfortunately had absolutely no personal experience with due to it being offsite (I’d like to see the films onsite, or staggered next year with the visual art festival on another weekend), was spoken of incredibly highly and sold very well.

My absolute favorite parts?

In addition to this, I directed a suite of beautifully organic and diverse performances that included many shapes, sizes, and colors that complimented the art, captivated our audience and helped maintain a dignified, elegant and erotic atmosphere.

My team was impressive, I had an excellent stage manager, and every single one of my performers made me look really fucking good.

In addition to that, my workload was reasonable enough that I got to have a lot of fun at the festival, both during my tenor as a director and after my performances were finished. The vibe in the venue was positive, and everywhere I looked patrons were smiling and happily chatting. I even spent a bit of time at the bootblacking station overseeing most of the venue, smiling, watching people slowly pour in through the cash doors.

And boy do I fucking love being on a headset!

These are only my vanity pictures. To see the other amazing pictures of the festival check out SEAF’s flickr stream and be sure to log in to see the ‘adult’ ones with buttcrack and boob.

SEAF for me carries a long backstory with many deep layers, in regards to my individual growth in sexuality, as an event director/performer, and in terms of healing from an abusive relationship. I was first involved in the festival as a model in an accepted piece in 2003, and nearly every year since then.

From 2005-2008 I contributed to SEAF directly as a performer, patron and director. After the 2008 festival, in which I had directed aerial performances and performed, I stepped away from SEAF during a bad breakup with the Performance Director at the time, who had eyes on directing the Festival.

When we split up, we were both heavily involved in SEAF and the Little Red Studio together. In the separation, though we never officially divided things, I basically got LRS, and in turn got Obsidian (If you don’t know about that show, you probably should.), and he got SEAF, and with that, the Director title he’d wanted, eventually.

I was angry, hurting, mentally dismantled, and felt left out by cutting myself off. I was also busy with my own creative endeavors, and really, I had no choice but to leave given the circumstances.

Over the years, I heard through the grapevine of the changes being made to the festival, how it had become bigger, more glitzy, more stage show, bigger, bigger, bigger, and less focused on the artwork or feeling like an art festival.

In 2011, I submitted artwork, a performance proposal and returned in a limited capacity under the direction of Eva Luna as an ambient performance artist, with my most estranged year away being 2012 in which I strenuously returned to having no involvement.

I had no idea how much I missed SEAF, in part due to these changes I didn’t agree with and my bitterness toward the person making them, until I was capable of returning in a directorial capacity when my ex left on bad terms in December. I wrote after being invited to the first planning meeting I’d been to in 5 years;

It’s funny, when something is simply off the table, how disconnected with missing being involved in it you can be. – http://blog.neevita.net/archives/13498

I had forgotten that SEAF, when available to me, is one of the few places I absolutely, without doubt or apology, belong.

My reentry has been validating, satisfying and very fruitful after a rough start in preproduction earlier this year. I can attest with no hesitation that we pulled off a miracle given the circumstances and logistical/administrative turbulence we all went through.

One of my favorite things to do right now is marvel at how impressively all the people who remained involved stepped up and gave this event everything they had. We worked together naturally and without any pettiness, arguments or personal difficulty that I could see. Everyone was amazing at their jobs and awesome to work with.

I am so thrilled that I stuck with this through my storm of concerns over the last few months. I have learned a lot in the past 6 weeks and grown as an event director as well as personally through this experience. I really just can’t express in words how lovely it is to be back, or how proud I am of what the festival has become/returned to being.

As the smoke clears I can see that the occurrences which lead me away for a while had also saved me from the corrosive aspect of the learning experiences the org went through during the time my ex was in charge, and for that I’m thankful. Had I still been working on SEAF since 2009, regardless of my personal feelings regarding him, knowing myself as I do, I suspect I would have been worn of it and have moved on by now, just as it’s getting good again.

Instead, I get the best of both worlds – I didn’t have to continue working with him, didn’t have to be around him, I got to take a break and focus on my own work and artistry, put on some amazing shows, created an arts nonprofit, nurtured my massage and gallery business, and now I have the ability to reap the benefits of his work and what was learned from his mistakes regardless. Thanks, dude!

Now Extrovert Entertainer Whip-cracking Chatty Me fades into the background, and Tender Introverted Drained Me begins her recovery from intense connection fatigue and activity of the last few days. I connected with a LOT of people in profound and significant ways, my feet are killing me, and I am very, very tired.

For now, I will be behind the scenes again for a while, tending to myself, my personal creative work, and processing through the emotional impact of a very big few days – which includes being rather elated and prideful of my accomplishments, and planning my strategy for next year.

It feels good to be back to what was my element for a long time, and to again embrace it as a keen expression of who I am and who I want to be in the world.

Looking out for #1

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The last year has been… hard. The last few weeks… have reminded me that sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall into place.

New client this morning, local 360 lunch and shopping for tea and sexkitten pretties with David, currently sipping sangria while awaiting a prescreening of Pacific Rim (mech vs. godzilla) action, which I was invited to by Mr. Neilhimself, who agreed to sign the copy of “Ocean..” I bought today for a friend. Smiling? Oh yes. – Facebook, July 4 2013. I caught the fireworks from the deck of a 27th floor highrise that night, too.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to write through a lens of inherently carefree positivity, for what seems like quite a change from my end.

The theme among those who share my journey is that of an “it’s about time” sort of bent, with some “ride the wave as long as you can because you deserve it” thrown in for good measure.

I agree. It is rare for my life to have this kind of ease and excitement to it, and I have committed to myself that I will unabashedly ride this wave for as long as I can.

The whole of my trip, including connecting profoundly and nearly seamlessly with my once-distant-now-close friends Per and Ingrid in Stockholm, and returning to Seattle (despite my reluctance to return to America) to the immense validation and opportunity I’ve experienced in the last week are taking their wonderful toll.

Even for the rough parts, including much of my time in New York where I was gritty, sick, depressed and fucking working while on vacation, bared impressive fruit in their opportunities to test the bounds of my courage and grace under fire. Which, I guess I was up for, this time.

A few important arrangements that were not working well in my life have since been addressed (skillfully, may I add – it doesn’t always happen that way) because of the time I had to be with myself and figure out what was going on, even if the experiences themselves were somewhat agonizing.

For the time being, it seems as though the floodgates I normally keep closed to this kind of feeling for whatever reasons (in order to focus on what I consider to be the important work in my life? Guilt? Self harm? Lack of space? Ignorance?) are open.

I am giddy and goofy and affected and expansive. I am thinking of others and able to reach out and help more. I am not worried about money. I am bathing myself in the affections of the wonderful men in my life, treating myself and allowing others to treat me, eating good food, cooking, snuggling my cat, sleeping in, enjoying my work, and playing.

Many thanks to Neil Gaiman for choosing to publicly attest to his excellent taste in massage practitioners ;)

Inside, I am wearing a sparkly tiara. A black one.

There is light shining in through cracks I’ve apparently been urgently stuffing dirty oily rags into for as long as the backscroll goes. The light from these spaces is illuminating the floating dust in the air, challenging my eyes, and killing bacteria.

All of the people in my head are on vacation, smiling, grazing, laying in the grass, resting, when I look to them. In comfort and relief, they are sighing. Sometimes, I cry a little. It is good.

I am finally figuring out how I want the key of my relationship map to look. Like, how I REALLY want it to look, in reality, not in some kind of socially perpetuated soulmate fantasy my childhood self created an eon ago. And I can see better why I have kept making the same mistakes, letting myself so often be drawn into vortex after vortex, letting them get in my way.

Though some of the changes I’ve made in my life, like releasing my most treasured lover from any form of fidelity to me, are scary, the part of me that yearns for a sense of security that I never find in partnerships is gaining some perspective about the definition of insanity.

Whether I manage to blackbox my way into doing it again, for now I am keenly aware that I have spent quite long enough martyring myself for my imperfections in relationships.

Why must I only be either the perfect smothered partner with someone, or hopelessly alone? Why is part of me so violently convinced of that? Some day, I will know the answer to that question, I am sure – for now, I am satisfied that this part of me is no longer captaining my emotional ship.

Currently, for whatever reasons I came to this place in my life, I am for myself, wholeheartedly, because I completely want to be, not because I am punishing, running, or protecting myself from the sickening vulnerability of being loved. Due to finding my place in that, I am also finding myself more open to the significance of others in my life than I have been in a very long time, and as such my relationships are blossoming again.

It seems I got precisely what I needed from my travels. Good reflections, revelations, time off, lots of food, the right kind of solitude, an appreciation of just how wide and far reaching my options are, and an equal amount of appreciation for my capacity to take any number of them by the balls and own the living fuck out of it.

While on vacation this time, I looked back to my takeaway from my big solo road trip in 2011, and was surprised to see that though I had forgotten I’d written a wishlist at all, I have made great strides in addressing all the wants and lacks I had discovered – most notably figuring out the Tiny House thing, and changing my perspective on a couple aspects of my life, like how much time to give myself between commitments in a given day.

This trip, I came home knowing how I would shift things and why my proposed changes, even with uncertain outcomes, would work – and my timing was perfect this year, returning just as the sun decided to come out. For me, of course. Duh. :P

So. This is what it’s like facing the world when *I* am taken care of already.

I see…

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

“I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing” – Neil Gaiman, Stardust