Posts Tagged ‘moving forward’

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Friday, August 18th, 2017

I’ve been observably manic since last week, and my appointment with my social worker was canceled this week. I’ve fallen into the online social justice trap after a successful march on Sunday where I stepped into the opportunity to utilize my skills and street medic, expecting that I would have the aftercare of a therapy session the next day. So often, these small victories in actionable social justice incite me to return to old habits and guilt fueled hubris if I don’t take care of myself properly. I tell myself I cannot stop, because it feels righteous. I tell myself I cannot take a break, because those below me in oppression hierarchy cannot take one. I note others moments of rhetoric to convince myself that no one I am fighting for has any respite, no one I am fighting for ever takes a bath, or a meal, or laughs about the good things in life with friends. With dwindling reserves and increased isolation I maneuver traumatizing, triggering subject matter and personal pain for The Cause, whichever flag it is I wave at that moment, with an unspoken urgency that I must do it all myself, that I must be the one to stand loud and naked and public and brave and triggered, and that what little I am doing by putting myself through these things in the gaze and at the mercy of others matters more than it does. My nearly-lifelong addiction to social media is insidious, and once again I face the maddening dichotomy of what fuels this addiction, so I can dig in my heels and stop before the tide turns, and I find myself latched to 1’s and 0’s when I crash, to once again find I am alone, in the dark, and in real fucking trouble.

#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.

Revisiting The Rape Song

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

I’m tired of pretending what you did wasn’t rape
I’m tired of making creepy shit be ok
With me
So I’m writing this song
Calling you out
I’m calling you out
I’ve been hoping too long
You’d get some help
Some psychological help
Cause fucking me while I was so drunk I couldn’t stand up
Negotiate no condom on a boundary I’d held steadfast for a year
That’s rape
Push your way inside of me I’m so dry disinterested
I’m curled in a fetal pose I’m glassy eyed and silent
That’s rape
Yeah, that’s rape
OH! Finger me while I’m asleep but never even asking
If it was ok with me
Well honey, there’s a word for that.
It’s rape.
Fuckin’ rape.
See it took me far too long to figure this out
Been so full of doubts
How we’re playing, it’s fucked up
And I’m calling you out
Calling you out.
So just in case you’re not pickin up what I’m puttin down I’m done with all you Rapey McRaperson rapers who rape
Nah. It’s not a date.
Yech.
No thanks
I wont pussyfoot around it I’m angry and fed up with softening my language around this shit fuck it it’s rape
The veil is raised
What I’m saying is I’m done helping you out
By keeping my mouth
Shut (Full)
Don’t believe me? look it up for yourself
Look it up for yourself
(Wow they actually wrote that down somewhere?) YEAH!
RCW
9a
.44
.050
Never. Again.

I wrote that song over three years ago, but I never, really, called him out. The glassy-eyed and fingering verses are references to periodic experiences I’ve had with many sexual partners in my life – starting with this one. The song, though motivated by certain incident, is not solely about him.

I said his common first name a few times #onhere, where I know virtually no one follows anymore. This blog, that isn’t indexed by search engines anymore, that I link to a handful of times a year, usually from my Patreon of 50 supporters, most of whom I’m pretty sure don’t actually read my posts. That was me ‘calling’ him out.

I am tired of protecting his identity and beating around the bush when I talk about the shit he pulled on me and how that effcted my life. I am tired of being what I claim to abhor; someone who protects predators in the sex positive community.

I am tired of carrying it in my guts, with me, I am tired of concerning myself with backlash by calling him out; because he is nice and charming, because he is a lawyer, because he didn’t come to my office that night maliciously intending to rape me, because I sucked it up and performed a house show for y’all with him days later, because I refused to focus my energy on reporting or prosecuting him rather than focusing on healing my own damn self.

I also didn’t trust the community to listen to me after Clayton Hibbert, who I experienced as being a selfish, vindictive, predatory, abusive, manipulating, intentionally deceitful, cheating, gaslighting, malicious, horrible excuse for a human being; Way worse than the guy I wrote this song about, frankly, and a lot more dangerous, too. But communities don’t really care all that much about that, and cared even less in 2007 when that shit happened.

But I am tired of refraining because what David did wasn’t as bad, as prolonged, as devastating as what other people have done. I am tired of avoiding validating any other women who experience similar with him because of the pain I still feel from people who were supposed to, I thought, stick the fuck up for me and didn’t.

I am tired of believing the apologist bullshit other people fucking said to me in order for them to avoid facing and dealing with what the fuck he did.

I am tired of being cagey out of fear that shitty things I’ve done in previous relationships will surface in retort; Which is fucking ridiculous, because one of the most challenging steps I took in my recovery included writing a god damn screed about it that’s been read tens of thousands of times. https://medium.com/@courtnee/i-dont-like-being-raped-4fcd0320dd5d#.fwpmkndt0

I am tired of holding this, insulting my own soul, and being a fucking coward. It’s high time I walked my talk of no longer viewing to rape victims as mothers and daughters and honestly calling out the men who have raped us as fathers and sons. And friends.

As of 2014, David Cohen was a serial boundary pusher toward me who eventually crossed over to date rapist. We had many conversations about his unsettling behavior over the years we dated, in which the pattern was his enthusiastic appreciation for the feedback, because he didn’t want to ‘be that guy’, gobbling up advice on alternative actions to take to replace the hurtful ones, and then going back to the same fucking thing again.

In addition to that seemingly well-meaning density, he confided in coercing an unsure women into having sex with him at an out of state blues dance convention (and questioned after the fact if she might have been a virgin because the sex sucked) and it literally made my skin crawl. There were other stories he shared that caused me discomfort, but that’s the one I really, truly remember, because it was toward the end of my relationship.

After he raped me without a condom while I was in hysterical emotional crisis, shitfaced stumbling drunk and suddenly saying I didn’t care about protection, he proceeded to make each of the few conversations we had about the incident thereafter a coredump about how awful he felt. This included the conversation in which he violated me again by contacting me after I’d told him not to, in order to tell me, for the third time, how badly he wanted to stay friends (we dont even have to keep having sex!) and how important it was, to him, to be a trusted fixture of my recovery… from him.

Oh, and I found out only after he’d raped me, that he’d stopped using protection with another partner months before. Cherry on top!

When I caught up with one of his friends months later, whom he had lived with for a notable amount of time, their reaction to the news when they asked me about him was a nod and a comment about having observed his ‘selfishness’ in that area (in-fucking-furiating). I, thusly, know at least some of y’all close to him have seen it.

Perhaps a year later, David was claiming to just not understand what he did to upset me, or why I won’t have anything the fuck to do with him now, to a mutual friend he was attempting to have sex with. She mentioned to me then that he still seemed upset and confused about me cutting him off.

How the fuck that man could possibly tell anyone he did not know? I left my primary partner over their tone policing of my angry, pointed, bitingly truthful, scathing fucking explanation of what an underhanded fucking asshole I thought he had been, how fucking infuriated I was at him contacting me. I emailed him a final email explaining why he would never hear from me again. I removed him from the show I was producing and avoided and ignored him when he showed up to that festival anyway like a selfish fucking weasel. He had been apologizing profusely and centering the living shit out of how bad he felt about what he’d done, but then he was playing the dumb butthurt victim while trying to get into my friends pants?

That is a simply fucking inexcusable and a flat out predatory Sanford frat boy rapist-level fucking lie. Surprise! Guess who went to Stanford?

This was my experience with someone who has been historically active in Seattle’s sex positive and social dance communities, and who in my both personal and professional option did not show promise of improving these harmful and unacceptable behaviors while we were still in contact.

David is intelligent, well liked, generous, well known, teaches dance. Regardless of those qualities we all appreciate about him, these are the memories that linger for me from that relationship. It was impressively traumatizing, subversive, and difficult to pin down or call out, even while I intuited that he was doing this shit with other people by the stories he would tell me.

If you have a feeling about him being dangerous for you now, it might be because David Cohen is a rapist. I encourage you, to heed it.

Thanks for giving: a shit. 

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Third rockin’ass orgasm of the day. Enjoying the hell out of my solo day-long water fast. Fuck your oppressive shitass holidays. — https://instagram.com/p/BNNjpf5hffd/

Water fasting as of midnight last night. Had no idea when I decided to do this a year ago, take the next step in personally divesting from the lies and the cognitive dissonance, how apropos it would be as I closely follow Standing Rock.

This is the thing about trying to figure out how to meld my art with activism. I fasted today as a self care and development experience because I believe we must decolonize ourselves, and that includes, perhaps most importantly, the means and motivations for our connecting with each other. So we can stop passing up connecting with real friends to complain about being “alone”.

I could have made it into art, I could have organized people who wanted to do it together and bare witness in a collective. We could have decided to have made it disruptive and done it in the street, or in a plaza, or quietly somewhere for the groups healing and told our actual friends about it. Part of the reason I didn’t do any of those things, is because I didn’t realize this was art until now.

Art is how I sneak up on myself. It’s how I tell me my own story, and I warn myself of things, and the fucking CURSE of it (and also what makes it work?) is that most of the time I can’t see it until I’ve experienced my own fucking art! It’s like Westworld, I look at the poem or I sketch the choreography or I sew my own mouth shut in watercolor and I go ‘meh. doesn’t look like anything to me’. Until one day it does look like something, and I laugh at myself for not seeing it then.

Developing ourselves is art.

The world needs more art.

Make more art.

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.

Revisiting pencil

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Going a layer deeper in my pencil skills. I feel as though I used to have this down pretty well when I was younger, but I need different drugs now or something. These are both within the last few days.

The framed piece on the right will be given away next month. $15 and above patrons who are signed up by Monday 5/30 get their names in the hat for this one. Good luck! She’s a stunner.

ROAD UPDATE: Fort Walton Beach

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Originally posted to my Patrons at https://www.patreon.com/posts/4470079

Right now I am hanging out in the van with the side door open, out of the wind but in the sun from my waist down. The temperature is perfect like this, mid 60’s and cloudless, and I still have lots of time left in my day to do fuckall before heading to a show to see Hank and Cupcakes tonight.

My days right now consist of mostly resting, reading fantasy, practicing music, working my grumpy back with a theracane and racketballs, eating, my return to self care rituals/smudging/affirmations, and walking along white sand beach barefoot while wrapped in a blankie.

And the internets, of course.

I am finding it possible to kill time here easily without spending money, which I desperately need for a couple of months to recover from NOLA. People in general don’t bother me unless I approach them, I haven’t been getting hassled or hit up on the regular, and the beaches are damn near deserted, which are all immensely relieving changes.

I am having periodic moments of clarity and stillness in and around the water, which is proving to be wonderfully cold, and which is reminding me that while I am skilled and familiar with managing abrupt transitions, I am often much more satisfied and less triggered by taking my time.

Yap, it’s true — the earth is changing, we’re all dying, and everything is fucked — but it’s ok. I am having vivid, cinematic, meaningful and encouraging archetypal dreams that are aligning with other indications that I may have, finally, cleared through some major shit in terms of my recent cocooning, and I feel much more willing and able to be myself — which resembles Kali and Akhilandeshvari catfighting in a steel box — again.

Giant silver alligator blocking a doorway. I have a broom. The silver alligator pike eel thing can jump very high. Large blonde viking lady appears as I fight, eventually remarking that she hasn’t seen me in thousands of years, around the same time I find out her alligator thingie has jurrasic park gill wings that can cause it to hover in the air for a few moments. We’re both good natured and somewhat natural but I don’t trust her cause her pet is trying to eat me and I dislike that she thinks she knows shit about me when I’m god damn 37 and I’ve never met her before. Silver gilled pike eel alligator thingie is slow and predictable but does eventually take my broom, which viking lady then rides, along with him, and I grumble that she’s a fuckin witch. We stop fighting and discuss things. She insists that I have to cook a small chunk of what looks like top ramen soup, pour it into a bowl with what looks like grated cheese (probably wood pulp and cellulose, according to a recent scandal!) and ‘choose some’ to, what I instinctively expect, turn into allies of some sort for whatever stupid side quest journey I have to go on next. We talk about items I need and call another person, someone who I sense is a man, and discuss pickup times. It turns out that the day she wants is better for him to drop off, and as I am realizing the van has gotten too warm in the sun and am waking up I hear her tell him a drop off address in Manhattan, reminding me of Blair Hopkins . My last pull from the dream is endearment and excitement at spending some time doing things with viking lady for the next few days.

I’ve also made some significant strides in processing a few emotionally and mentally violent interactions I had with a couple of former friends, which I found had been blocking me from pursuing anything spiritual, healing or ‘magic’ related in my self care based upon unconscious associations with occult and groupthink community I’d maintained in response to their behavior.

I’ve also loosened the social justice noose I’d placed around my neck when I decided, also unconsciously, that I wouldn’t have been raped and betrayed by my lovers two years ago had I been a nicer person, a more open person, a more tolerant person, a more perfect person. Social evolution is still at the core of my interests and passions, but not in the unsustainable, violent, and self destructive way I had been going about it since all that happened.

Things are good here.

How are you?

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

Still pooping on rape culture

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

So I was told yesterday that comically centering my own nonsexual nudity in any of the constant reminders I post about my patreon existing is disingenuous, because I rail against rape culture.Mmmkay.

I was told that it’s ok to use nudity in my art, which I have done for over 20 years, but it’s not ok to make a joke about posting boobs on patreon so haha sign up.

Mmhmm.

I was told that harnessing my own agency and inviting people to support me in a way that ever centers that portion of my body of work devalues everything else about me.

*files nails*

A man, who has been at times clearly conflicted with his own attraction to me, which is what he centered when stating his ‘honest opinion’ about his perception of not being able to afford to see my tits (the image is public, actually, in my modeling portfolio) told me this, and claimed to be trying to point out what he viewed as internalized sexism.

*yawn*

He told me I couldn’t have it both ways, that I couldn’t critique and work to transform a culture which seeks to objectify and shame my body without my consent, and ever consent to being gazed upon with my nipples showing and having the audacity to suggest that it’s possible to be financially supported in that.

*side eye*

He told me this in response to the first post I’ve penned in almost two years in which I centered my nudity, much less in good humor, and, even though he is a fucking therapist, failed to recognize how deeply vulnerable and brave of a step that reclaiming was for me in my healing.

*scowl*

This is an aspect of rape culture. That women are not allowed their own pride, agency, or to make money with their bodies, as long as any old man who gets a boner doesn’t have free license to objectify her any time he wants.

It’s a part of rape culture to hold the belief that a womans figure, nudity, sexuality is consumable only if she’s giving it away freely, and doesn’t expect compensation unless she sits down and shuts up.

I am officially on record as not here for that shit.

I’m not here for being shamed and diminished by some creepweasel fingerwagging shitbiscuit just as I’m rising from ashes and reclaiming an openness about my own fucking body  — an openness that has brought me joy and exhileration and freedom and makes me laugh and allows for me to return to a more complete expression that I’d long since lost to fucking trauma.

I am not here for shaming nude artists of any form, including my friends who are porn stars and sex workers, or even remotely implying that their willful participation in that negates their stances or validity as rape culture critics/consent culture advocates.

So you can thank this asshole for the verocity of the flood of nudity that is likely to become present in my immediate work.

And you can sign up to support that work, along with my book, my music, my neverending nomadic journey, at http://patreon.com/courtnee

*sips tea*

No more I Love You’s

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

“I am starting to tire of these memes and these standards. I am beginning to feel as though the stringent ‘enlightened’ perfectionism in what ‘relationship’ is supposed to look like and what love is supposed to look like is just as damaging as other dehumanizing expectations inherent in society. I look at these standards and I wonder where the hell the person is, and where the social environment comes into play. Who the fuck talks without intention? What even is that? If I wanted to approach life like an unattached non-structured ghost shell I would go be a fuckin monk in a vacuum where I might actually be able to accomplish reducing myself to that. Otherwise, I no longer see these ideals as attainable or even remotely empowering. I especially dislike these supposed values when they are placed in expectation upon women, who are historically supposed to somehow be whole people, but also be the empty containers of infinitely flexible nurturance for all of society. For whatever reasons and because of wherever I am at, this really rubbed me the wrong way.

And by ‘starting to tire’ I actually mean I am so fucking done.

Like seriously fuck this meme.” — Facebook

I’ve been contemplating my strengths lately.

Which is different from what I am usually doing, which is attempting to bolster and improve upon my deficiencies — enough so that I’d actually come to view the incessant practice of striving toward the improvement of my flaws as my core strength (it’s not).

You’d think, with how long and hard the road has been, and how many backslides I’ve experienced, that perhaps I wasn’t really designed for loving. And I’ve said/accepted as much, before, usually as a way to make myself feel like shit.

But funny, how I’ve not really come to terms with this objectively, in regards to what ‘love’ actually even MEANS.

When I am honest with myself, it is clear as day; To most anyone’s standards, including my own, I’ve never, ever ‘loved’ anyone. Not a single fucking person.

And yet, I’ve told people I loved them.

Whatever the hell that meant at the time…

And until now, I’d maintained that I had been in love, while also maintaining that I do not know how to love.

..Indeed.

I spent most of my young life putting up with shit from people who I knew didn’t meet my standards. Then I spent a chunk of my adult life markedly alone trying to calibrate my radar to detect even one person I could love with unconditional acceptance. So I could finally prove to myself and to all of you and to the people who’ve ditched me in my life for not being good enough that I had learned to ‘love’ the ‘right’ way, the enlightened selfless malleable accepting unattached spiritual perfection way everyone tells me, and themselves, is the correct way to do it.

Well, I am done with that horseshit. I’m done trying to do it your way.

My love is god damn fucking conditional. In fact, my love is downright fucking finicky. My love doesn’t look like the bosom of squishy motherly space making sacrifice that many people, including myself, seem to want love to look like.

My love doesn’t look like the fantasy love your mommy never gave you, and *it’s never fucking going to*.

My love looks like I give a fuck about you when generally I don’t bother with most people.

My love looks like I am intimately encouraging and engaged with you when I am not that for the rest of the fucking world.

My love looks like being invested in your growth.

My love looks like the truth when you wanna hear some kind of placating watered down bullshit.

My love looks like having your phone number saved in my phone for longer than a minute.

My love looks like dropping everything to help you when you’re fucked sideways or stranded somewhere.

My love looks like I actually reach out to you myself sometimes.

My love is for sale.

My love comes and goes, and at any point in time, you might be the direct recipient, or you might not.

My love doesn’t mean I set myself aside for you, or that my space is always your space. My love doesn’t mean I won’t swipe at you when you’re acting like a fucking asshat or playing out oppression dynamics on me. My love doesn’t mean I’m going to meld my everything with your everything and be attached to your hip. My love isn’t reserved to be focused in one way or in one direction. My love is a droplet of silkspun supermoon primordial spit trickling out of a unicorns cunt, not blasting like a fucking firehose 24/7 for your fucking convenience.

That’s what my love fucking looks like.

But in actuality, I’m also done with calling any of that ‘love’. Because that fucking word has caused me more interpersonal grief than any other word in our entire fucking language.

That word has been used against me to punish me for not loving right, completely enough, fast enough, long enough, for not doing what YOU wanted me to do.

That word is a fucking un-fileable non-entity with the weight of the entire fucking universe attached to it, and I ain’t got time for it.

I’ve used that word to project unrealistic and subconscious expectations on others. And myself. HOLY SHIT myself. I’ve used peoples inability to live up to my evershifting concept of that word as justification for punishing people who didn’t do things my way. And I have had the same done to me.

Aside from the impressive number of people who have used their ‘love’ for me as rationalization for doing shit like raping me, gaslighting me, lying to me, manipulating me, dumping me on my ass, stringing me along — or the impressive number of people for whom my ‘love’ has meant all of that and a sense of possession or resent-laden self sacrifice or both — when I say that word, there is an exceptionally high probability that whoever I am saying it to won’t actually know what the fuck I am talking about anyway.

They will instantly decide what my love means in a vacuum in their own heads. They will decide it means they’ve found a fantasy others never gave them or relate it in comparison to what other people who are nothing like me project love to look like and then punish themselves and me for not living the fuck up to it.

Hell, sometimes I don’t even know what the fuck I am talking about when I say it. Sometimes I say I love you to explain away, cop out, or to make my emotions or actions someone else’s problem to figure out. Cause ‘love’, a word that speaks of mental state, emotion, action, intention, and a whole clusterfuck of other intersecting ideals and performative concepts, is just something that’s supposed to be understood, somehow. Even though it doesn’t fucking MEAN anything concrete or directly referencable and it shows up differently in everyone.

And in my experience, even when the meanings behind ‘love’ are intentionally explored, that equates to fuckall in reality. Because all that unconscious heavy overrated fantasy crosscrossing shit that word holds uniquely for each person is engaged in their consciousness already, instantly, filtering, and selectively deciding how to fill in the rest.

So no more “I love you”s. No more of that lazy confusingass shit. I may not be great at ‘loving’ the right way but I AM great at expressing and articulating my emotions in terms that actually make fucking sense, mean something tangible, and don’t open a spring loaded door into my fucking face.

I need just one catchall word in my vocabulary, that can speak to a great many number of various things and bring me a constant stream of emphasis, expression and amusement. That glorious word, is fuck.

So that’s my current language exercise, now. No more “I love”. Instead, I am working on describing in detail, in words that illustrate actual things, what it is I actually mean.

Fuck ‘love’.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

In so many ways, we were profoundly comfortable and well suited. And you were so nice to me. Affectionate, generous, caring. Dedicated. Loving. Available. Consistent.But too consistent. Frozen in carbonate consistent. Unwilling, if it meant loosening your utter strangle hold, the compulsive denial, the tamping down of your darkness, that actually ran the show.

You implied that you were imperfect, occasionally, with a heaviness that illustrated the shame you carry. Alluded once or maybe twice that you had vague flaws and sinister qualities. But save for superficial, polite faux paus, not once did you ever admit to one. Ever. Not once did you have that courage.

But I felt them. I knew they were there. They hurt me sometimes, but that never changed how I cared for you. You may think that because I am gone now they scared me, but they didn’t. You saw mine, also, and it never changed how you cared for me, either.

But the difference was that I acknowledged myself. You couldn’t give yourself that with me. So we couldn’t share in it together. The vulnerability and effort in that imperative bond only went one way.

That’s what scared me. That’s what ultimately became my decision to be whole with myself, rather than fractioned, and forever reaching, for you.

Nearing the Bosque

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

As is per usual for my cycles of things, I’ve spent the last two weeks or so in a weird funk, anticipating the next stage of my life, which has me leaving the van behind with friends in Texas and traveling to Mexico.

“So I’ve noticed a lot of procrastinative anxiety and difficulty articulating the source, even though I can sorta tell what it is.

And I get the sense that if I can get it out somehow, even imperfectly, that maybe I’ll feel some movement happening with the energy that’s been sitting in my fucking large intestines and backing me up doubled over in gas pain periodically for three days now. (I HATE WHEN MY BUTTHOLE BLEEDS ARGH takes FOREVER to heal stupid giant hardass shit..)

*ahrm*

I know that I write about stuff and talk about stuff and seem to be pretty clear and focused about looking at my own uglyass faults and dipshittary, but it’s hard. It hurts. Not like it used to when I was mostly uncovering the horrible crap I’d pulled in service to my unconscious avoiding bullshit, but it hurts. Worldviews are sacred and delicate, and even though I do challenge mine periodically, getting there fucking sucks. For every goosebumpy triumphant blog post imbibed in clarity and direction you may have read, there were weeks or months or more of petulant, painful fucking suffering to come to terms with what I wrote in it.

So, here’s the thing; for the last year or so I’ve been really focused on unpacking my role in a structurally oppressive hierarchy that favors, on a systemic basis, people who look like me and/or choose to maneuver socially the way I do. I can fill out spreadsheets and have a nice phone voice and charm people at social gatherings, I can easily look fitting for success, I am fluent in basic technology, I have a lot going for me — if I want to play the game, I can play it.

I’ve recognized I really don’t want to play it. I really just want to tell the whole system to fucking fuck itself, I want to dig a hole in a mountainside and never set foot in a city again, I want to be off the grid, I want to create a tribe with a new social order, I want to unplug, and I want to leave this entire festering pile of colonized bullshit behind.

In fact, in these fantasies, I don’t much mind if the way I do that equates to tearing the whole fucking thing down entirely. And in many ways I do think I am an abolitionist, but we’re talking like, bombs and shit, which in reality, I’m really not into. I’m more into tearing the system down by refusing to participate in it and starving it, and on many levels, my peeling away my belongings, getting out of residing in typical housing, and giving myself the freedom to move around has been a part of that life trajectory.

But there’s a thing, a nasty little thing, that keeps bugging me about this phase in my life right now. An aspect of my ‘privilege’ I haven’t really dug into, yet. The part where I grew up in tech, have tech at my disposal, and rely on tech as my avenue to receive my income — and simultaneously fucking hate it and everything I’ve come to see it standing for.

I can’t find the words to properly illustrate how uncomfortable I am — how uncomfortable I’ve been, under the surface. As I am looming over my trip to the Bosque — a move that was rooted in my desire to shed, to leave tech behind, but quickly became about my bringing tech and my technical skills to help the social reach of the forest expand and grow — it’s boiling over, hissing out from under a shuddering lid.

I’m unable to ignore the symbiosis, the reliance, how intrinsically the net and computers are a part of me and have been a part of me, how fucking privileged that makes me, and how deeply fucking conflicted I am about it. How fucking disgusted with myself I am that I use Apple products of slave labor whether they are handed down to me or not, that in attempting to extract myself from the machine my entire livelihood, even more so, revolves around using, leveraging, and myself slaving over technology that represents, to me, so much of what is profoundly, disturbingly, hopelessly fucking wrong; What is, quite literally, fucking destroying *everything*.

And I’m just really not fucking ok with it, right now.” — Facebook, Aug 25th

Just like the process I went through when I was choosing to leave Seattle and all the shit I was deciding that meant, I’ve been going through that again lately when processing my temporary move to The Bosque.

And, just like the process I went through when I came to a point where I broke through all the worry and displacement and inner voice naysaying that accompanied my new mobile life, I’m coming to the point now that I am starting to trust that I’ve actually got this thing maybe.

“I don’t think anyone will understand what I am trying to create until It has been created, and even then it will evolve.” – Brian Fey, regarding new ways of communicating, documenting and publishing The Bosque.

My response? “Proof of Concept; it’s a thing for a reason.”

I realize that is what I am doing, here. My proof of concept that I can survive, thrive, make a difference, live, and find some form of solace by doing things this way. I have to remind myself that this is brand new. I left Seattle 3 months ago. Each new step is a challenge in so many fashions, confronting my views of myself, my limits, what it is I need, why it is I chose this for myself.

I googled images of Patzcuaro, the small Michoacán town nearest The Bosque, for the first time today.

It is beautiful.

Next up: The Bosque Village

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The conversations have been had, the mutual admiration has been expressed, the values and goals are well aligned, the time is right, the action item list is soft drafted. I’ve the plane ticket and the passport renewal submitted in plenty of time (presuming no catastrophic postal issues) and am thus ready to let the population at large know what my patrons have been hearing for a while now – after having Brian Fey and his amazing project on my radar for many years, my next adventure begins in September, in Mexico, at the Bosque Village.

A good page to familiarize ones self with what the Bosque is: https://www.quora.com/Mexico/What-is-the-Bosque-Village/answer/Brian-Fey?share=1

The Bosque facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bosqueforest

Patrons will continue to get my personal experience and musings/updates about my travels. $5 a month at http://patreon.com/courtnee gets you all the updates and the opportunity to support what I am doing, directly. Sign up, and spread the word if you would. My goal is to break 35 patrons before I depart in September.

A large part of my contribution to the Bosque will include video production, process documentation and social media, in addition to faciltating music, art, movement programs and of course, hands on learning about sustainable forest living.
Between my personal projects, philosophical musings, and the work I will be doing to contribute to the Bosque specifically, I expect to enjoy a very rich and busy rest of 2015.

BAM.

For Kirsten

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

I told you so

There is nothing
So precious
As a sisterhood
That softly cautions
Of ones ability
To disregard
Our profound knowing
Instead, to fill
His jagged caverns
Brimmed in untapped dark
With the naive light
Of our hopeful
Imagination

The journey that began thrice

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Originally, I was planning to leave for Spokane last Friday, giving myself a whole day to prep for the house show I was to be headlining in Spokane on Saturday.

Alas, a 3 hour brake job ended up taking all day long on Thursday, setting me back and causing me to be working late on other elements of the trip. It took forever because my emergency brake light was stuck on. They checked and checked and checked, and had gotten to the point of tracing wires and dealing with electrical, convinced that it was not a brake problem.

By 5:30 I said fuck it, and just decided I would pull the damn handle before I moved the van ever, and call it good until I could get down to New Mexico to hang with my pal who has a shop (and who I will be doing work on the van with anyway) to figure out what the stupid electrical problem is.

And of course, the tow equipment I ordered arrived late Friday evening without all the proper hardware I needed, so it was a somewhat stressful pain in the ass to get put together, too.

By the time I was planning to leave on a 5 hour trip Friday evening, I still had some things to deal with in Seattle and I was a deep fried shade of worn out tired. So much tedious shit had gone wrong I was walking around muttering ‘skullfuck’ most of Friday afternoon. So I decided to leave Saturday morning, rested, instead.

That was the first time I didn’t start my trip. No biggie.

Take II:

IMG_6413http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6413-1024x768.jpg 1024w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6413-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_6413-688x516.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

I left around 11am Saturday morning, driving by that fuckass eyesore inconvenient ass canoe fucking sadium for the last fuckass time in a long while, commemorating my pleasure at this by snapping a picture while I waited at the light.

Not long after North Bend, I started having the roadtrip feels. During my first solo road trip in 2011, the surge hit me as I was maybe 20 miles south of Seattle. Pearl Jam’s “I’m Still Alive” came on the radio.

I hadn’t heard it in years, but that trip was all about confronting the darkened hallway of my past in California. I didn’t understand exactly what I was in for at the time, but I did sense that song was the perfect floodgate opener for what would come in the weeks later.

This time it was about 20 miles outside of town again, east this time, listening to Keep Going, when my cover of Heavy in Your Arms came on.

Like the Pearl Jam song, there were a lot of applicable layers to why it hit me like it did. It’s a fresh wound that’s also been salted recently. And like the Pearl Jam song, there is hope there.

I recognize how I anchor myself stationary in order to ‘be’ with people. How heavy I HAVE to make myself to justify doing that, how hard I lean in to them because of it. And I also recognize how much I received from them while I stayed. I recognize how much I still miss some of them, sometimes. A lot, sometimes.

But mostly I recognize how done I am with all that shit. I cried out my doneness. I cried out the regret and the pain and the loss and the missing. And I let in the goodness and the openness and the raw cold air taking its place. Just like I’d done with Pearl Jam, when I’d finally gotten done being anchored by my heavy past life in Sacramento.

Mixed in with the missing and the hope and the exhilaration was a sense of relief, of freedom. Against many odds and my own resistance and fears, the van was packed, running, stopping, full DOT inspected, puttering down the road. My motorcycle was softly swaying on the tow carrier and I had alternative, maneuverable, affordable transport other than the huge van. Just that I was here at all proved I could count on myself, and that I could trust my instincts well enough to ask and receive from people.

I started smiling through my tears. I started feeling the excitement. I started believing in the possibility, in the adventure, in all the shit everyone ELSE has been so excited about while I’ve been making big asks, and doing a lot of physical and soul grinding work to make this actually happen. I started believing in the positivity of my choice to leave, not just the necessity of it. I started having faith.

And then I smelled the smoke.

The first time, I figured it was the semi next to me, burning some brakes, like they do. I recently saved a friends van transmission with my nose and insistence that we pull over in Maui, so even though I thought it was likely nothing, I rolled my window down and sniffed and paid attention. Then the smell went away.

..And then it came back, right next to a road construction site another mile up the road or so. I wanted to believe I was smelling something in the air, but as my friend Neil so elegantly taught me not long ago, while wandering a crowded area with a friend, if you smell the same fart twice, that means it’s your friend farting.

In that teaching moment, I was the farting friend, in case you’re wondering. And in this case, I was pretty sure I was the farter by now, too.

Trouble is, I had no shoulder and nowhere to pull off for another 3 miles or so. The smell was getting worse when I opened the window. It took me a while to figure out my cab was filling up with a delicate haze of white smoke. And my brain kept spinning back and forth between believing it was me and thinking it was some horrendous tire fire or something somewhere.

As if I didn’t know tire fire smoke is black, or what burning breaks smell like. Stupid brain.

I finally pulled into a rest area, went to the semi side, got out and popped the hood. Nothing. The smell wasn’t even very strong now, mostly in my scarf and clothes. Then I took a look down the passenger side of the van and saw this:

Neato.

I wasn’t particularly worried — I have AAA, I’d mentally prepared myself for breakdowns of many types, expecting things to go wrong. I wasn’t expecting them to go wrong on my first day, with a system of the van I’d just had worked on two days ago.

I knew it would take forever to get a tow (I was right – 5 hours), and that I was too far from Spokane for that to be my destination, so I cancelled my performance immediately, thankful that the house show organizer had found a couple of openers and the show would still be great without me (it was). Then I started trying to figure out wtf went wrong.

At first, I thought it might have been the weight of my motorcycle on the back. That was the only thing that was different from yesterday, when I’d eaten half a tank of gas driving that damn beast around running errands, and the back of the bike made for the load to be slightly heavier on the right side.

I know how ridiculous that sounds NOW, but at the time I had decided I wanted to take the bike off the tow carrier, turn it around, and try to make it the 30 miles into Cle Elum without waiting for a tow.

I walked around a bit and asked a couple truckers to help me get the bike off the rack (it’s not possible for me to wrangle it off myself). Once we got the bike off, one of them asked me what was up with the van, looking at my tire pensively.

We talked a bit about what happened, and soon thereafter I had confirmation from three separate people who tow shit for a living that there was no way the bike caused my breaks to seize up. We tried backing the van up to release the brake adjustment, which we confirmed was stuck slammed to the inside of the drum.

I suppose you could say the van moved.. If two inches of strenuous lurch and then locking up again under a tremendous amount of engine torque counts as moving. I tried both directions. Both back wheels were stuck as fuck. Which begged another question — why wasn’t the left back wheel of a rear wheel drive vehicle, which wasn’t brake seized, spinning?

Thus began the wondering of whether the ebrake was stuck on, perhaps the cable broke while I was driving or something. Plus that stupid light being on. But that seemed unlikely, given that I’ve left my ebrake on before (who hasn’t) and it’s more of a lagging kind of thing rather than a seizing up kind of thing, and I felt nothing while driving. I thought maybe it could have been the ebrake, and with the drag at 60mph for god knows however long I was driving, maybe I’d friction welded my breaks or something.

“You got a jack?”
‘Yeah.’
“Well, I’ve got tools. And I don’t have anything better to do, my pick up got cancelled and I’m stuck out here til Tuesday. This sort of thing happens to our rigs all the time. I’ll bet we can get this fixed”

The plan was to get things cracked open to see if I’d thrown a spring into the brake which had gotten stuck, check the shoes/see if I’d need to ride over to Cle Elum to get parts or not. So my new friend Marcus started working to get the wheel off and the brake cylinder open, while we talked about what could have caused the seize and what to do next.

*bang*bang* .. and the break cylinder open. *pry* … and the break cylinder open? … *tap taptap* OPEN SESAME, FUCKING BREAK CYLINDER!!..

Or, not. Not is fine too, I guess.

By this time, I knew I was getting towed back to the place that had done my break job, Tire Factory in South Park, and I’d be spending another night in Seattle. In fact, Owen eventually worked out a way for him to come in the next morning (Sunday) to get me back on the road, so I didn’t have to wait the entire holiday weekend.

That sounded about right, to me. I was convinced this was their problem, anyway. In fact, I was pretty pissed off, especially about that brake light, and letting them convince me my breaks were fine while the fucker was on. I was handling it super well, though. Like someone I didn’t really know very well.

Like someone who knew they could count on themselves, maybe.

Many hours, a nap, and much conversation later, including two more people coming over to see if I needed help/drinking water/etc, and my tow driver stopping by to let me know his person before me needed a tow to Tacoma (4 hours! yay!), Eddie from Cle Elum towing showed up, for the second time, to rescue Vandwell.

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Day 1: Spent at a rest stop outside of Cle Elum, waiting for this. Rear right brake (which was adjusted along with other brake work two days ago) stuck and burned to utter shit over the pass, van won’t move. Met many helpful people, was actually a pretty enjoyable day all considering, perhaps a blog post about that tomorrow. For now, lotion on my increasingly roughed up hands, an unexpected extra night of KEXP radio, van tea, and sleep.

PS: Loretta’s in South Park for breakfast around 9:30, if you want the in person version, or are curious what fried brake smells like, cause everything I own smells like it now.
I will quit you yet, Seattle. (And sorry I am not performing tonight, Spokane)

Her name is Vandwell now, btw. And as she was pulled onto that tow bed by a metal rope with a skid under her back paw, I saw her big pretty face for the first time, a little sad, a little scared, a little sick, and I realized: I love my van. I love my big stupid rusty gas guzzling van. That, and also there was something in my eye.

I also noticed that with the skid, passively, all three of the other wheels were rolling, and the ebrake caused a noticeable change/lurch when Eddie took it on and off. So, no ebrake sticking there.

Eddie and I took my tow carrier off the van, since her fat ass took up his ENTIRE tow truck bed, and ratcheted it to the bed floor near the cab. I rode the bike back to Seattle, into the sunset, as it were. I beat Eddie to the tire place by a few minutes, hung around while he dropped off the van, got the tow gear back on her big dirty butt, and wished him a safe drive home.

And that was the second time I didn’t start my trip. Somewhat bigger biggie.

Take III

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I didn’t sleep very well that night, in a deserted parking lot BY THE RIVER (y’all happy now?). On Sunday morning, Owen rolled in around 9 and started getting to work on what I felt surely would be a much bigger deal than he seemed to think it would be. I was thinking for sure I’d friction welded my breaks dead and I’d be in Seattle another fucking week getting them fixed. But hey.. better than Cle Elum where I don’t fucking know anyone, right?

I started wandering around to find a place to get breakfast. The place I wanted was closed. I met an artist rapper named Kaev on the sidewalk. We walked for a while, chatted philosophy, drugs, trust, art. Sat in the Subway for a bit, until I gave him the $4 he asked for to cover the gap between what he had and the sim card he wanted. Then he disappeared. Funny how that works.

Did you know, btw, that if you stop in at Subway really early in the morning and order a cookie (so you can kill time in their shop, being the only place open at 9:15am on a Sunday in South Park), there is a possibility they will tell you with a crinkled nose that those cookies are from YESTERDAY, as if you wouldn’t want them? And when you say, well, how about selling me two cookies for the price of one, then, they might look over the entire case of cookies, about two dozen maybe, and offer to sell you the whole fucking batch for three bucks? Cookies have been on me ever since. YMMV.

Since I was back in the area, my friend Chris, who walked me through making the brackets for my bedframe last weekend, met up with me to get breakfast. Around the time Loretta’s was about to open, I got a call from Owen, asking if I was ready to hit the road.

I stammered a little, cause actually, I wanted breakfast now (that wasn’t cookies), and I was a little shocked that it’d taken less than an hour. Incredulous even. I had questions.

“You got the cylinder off?”
‘Yep! Needed a chisel and hammer, but yeah, it came off. Those semi’s, they’re big, they use big tools. I’ll bet what your friend had just wasn’t small enough to get in there.’
“Wait.. the pads are still good?”
‘Yep! You caught it early! They’re still super thick.’
“And the spring is still there? It didn’t break/get caught?”
‘No problem with the spring. Your adjustment wheel just froze up. I had to really work at it to get it loose’
“I’ll be right over. Do you still have the wheel off? Can I see?”
‘I can totally take it back off for you and show you.’

And show me he did. The shoes were, in fact, in darn good shape. There was a fresh coat of shiny metal goop on the adjuster mechanism that I found out was lubricant. He also told me about how neither wheel would move under engine power because the right wheel is always the drive wheel, so the left wasn’t trying, either.

I got under the van and looked at the star wheel through the adjuster hole and was taught how to use a screwdriver to adjust my breaks if they ever lock again — which they shouldn’t. But, as is made clear by the existence of this story, sometimes shit happens.

Slowly and surely, it was coming back to me, how much I liked working on my own cars when I was a kid. I started remembering my drum breaks on the Superbeetle, how I’d change my own muffler, and how I’ve periodically been thankful for my Dad teaching me about tools and cars when I was younger.

Chris, Owen and I put the bike up on the rack, and said our goodbyes.

The moment when I put Vandwell in reverse and she MOVED was very exciting, indeed. We were back in business, and while I wasn’t thrilled with losing 60 miles of gas, I was very glad I’d taken her back to Tire Factory and gotten complete with them, without being charged, or having to wait for the holiday weekend to be over, even. I gave them a chance to take care of me, and it worked out. Otherwise, like if I’d gotten towed to Cle Elum instead, I might have been farther along in my miles, but I would have been out more money, and stayed pissed at those guys for a good long time.

I took the opportunity, since I was in Seattle again, to hit up Ballard one last time to pick up my NAS, which I’d realized I’d left just before this break shit went down. I was getting low on gas, the needle had hit empty, and I remembered still having about 6 gallons left the last time it’d been there — plenty to get 9 mostly-highway miles away to the Safeway by the shed for the cheapie gas. Right?

#nope.

Not only did I run out of gas, like full on engine death out of gas, I ran out of gas … on 99, in the battery street tunnel.

For those of you not in the know, it’s a two lane one-way tunnel with a 40mph speed limit where people regularly do 60+, with zero shoulder in sight, an onramp/merge point about 50 feet past the tunnel, and a concrete median between lane directions once you’re in the daylight again.

In short: A motherfucking death trap. Even if I could have gotten out and pushed, it would have been a level of stupid I just won’t go to anymore.

I can still hear myself mumbling encouragement as my dead full ton van full of everything I own in the world rolled along like a fucking steel whale in the dark. Just a little farther, boo, and we’ll be heading slightly downhill. Maybe we can get off the highway and onto Harrison if you have enough momentum, big girl. Hoo, that’s not looking so likely, creepy mccreeperson. Just get us out of the tunnel, then. Keep rolling until we’re out of the tunnel.

I came to a stop a few car lengths outside of the soul eating dark, with my hazards on, and my eyes unable to stop watching in my rear view as people blasted out of the hole, seeing a horizontal motorcycle hanging off my ass end, gears in their heads turning, changing lanes around me.

First things first: I called 911. I never call 911, and honestly, I was pretty cool and focused about this whole thing. I knew what to do, that I wasn’t getting out of my car no matter the fuck what, and that I had AAA and I’d be covered (if you don’t have AAA, fucking get it.).

But I did use 911, because that was the quickest way to get the information I needed to get to the people I needed to get it to rather than trying to fuck with my shit cell service to look up numbers. Besides, I knew I was about two freaked out drivers away from having the cops called on me, anyway.

I am in a very large stalled vehicle in a very, very unsafe location. I said, yo, you need to know I’m out of gas on 99. I’ll call AAA after you, it’ll be a quick fix, but I have no idea how quickly they can come to me, and when they get here, they’re gonna be a sitting duck in the road (my gas tank is on the drivers side, and I was in the right lane where I’m supposed to be). You might wanna get someone down here. Like, now.

I called AAA for the second time in as many days which is as many days as I’ve been on this fucking ‘adventure’, and get an estimate ‘within the hour’, but I’ve been red flagged, so it should be less than that.

Well let’s fucking hope so.

I settled in, continuing to watch Rear View Roulette in some weird abstract fascination. Being a holiday weekend, traffic was fairly loose. I wasn’t bogging anything down save for maybe two or three cars when someone had to actually stop and wait a few seconds to get around me. But it was steady, always cars coming.

I remembered hearing that they generally ticket people for breaking down on the bridges and wondered if I’d have to deal with any shit when the cops showed up. I hoped since I wasn’t actually fucking traffic up they wouldn’t think about it.

At one point, a big truck changed lanes smoothly behind me, seeing me in plenty of time — but the Car to Go that had been tailgating that motherfucker blind barely, barely missed my bike.

Every time a large vehicle came up on me slowly, I fantasized that they’d stop, hop out of the car with a gas can and come ask if I just needed gas.

I wondered if maybe I should make a cardboard sign that says “Need Gas!” and keep it in the car, cause, despite the encouragement from my friend that I keep 10 gallons of it with me in the cab.. that ain’t gonna happen.

Then my phone rang.

“Hi, this is Mikey from AAA.”
‘MIKEY. How far away are you man.’ (in my ‘I have a sense of humor AND this is fuckin serious’ voice)
“I’m about 5 minutes away. Are you past the denny onramp? Or before it?”
‘I am just outside the tunnel, before the onramp. I’m blocking the right lane.’
“Ok. I will be there soon. Hang tight.”

5 minutes. Ok. Cool.

About two minutes later, a giant truck pulled up behind me. I watched in the mirror as the door opened and showed a big WSDOT on the side. Then I noticed the light bars — not tow lights. MOVE THE FUCK OVER lights. They started blinking bigass arrows toward the left.

The tension broke and I laughed. FOR ME?

The driver walked to my passenger side, I shuffled over (the van is so wide, I can’t adjust the rear view mirror while sitting in the position I drive in.. it’s like two steps to the passenger side) rolled the window down and let him know AAA was close, and thanked him for showing up so quickly. I wasn’t sure what they’d be sending, but I was really pleased it wasn’t a cop, which is what I guess I was expecting.

I really don’t like cops. Not because I have anything to hide or reason to fear them, other than not having the money to pay the damn tickets they write, but because the police as a system require a bunch of brainwashed (in the best cases) uniformed oppressors masquerading as service workers. The institution of policing is one of the most violent dirtyworker tools of the imperialist capitalist colonialism bullshit I fucking hate about America that’s infecting the rest of the world. Their jobs exist, and have always exited, to bully and injure and kill a demographic of people I have come to care about, and many Seattle police have fucked over and hurt and maced friends of mine. Upon first glance I pretty much fit the stereotypical demographic they’re supposed to ‘protect’ (rich/not obviously poor, white) but I don’t trust them, I don’t think we as a society need them, having them around makes me nervous, I can’t pay their fucking ransoms, and I don’t like dealing with them basically ever. Which is kinda why I don’t call 911.

But I’m glad I did, in this case. For me, it was the smart thing to do, and having that truck on my ass felt like the most direct protection I’ve had in recent memory. I was in a bad way and someone flat out had my fucking back, no question, literally, standing up and in the way for me. I really felt the bigness of the truck, the power in the engine, the magnitude of that signal saying, fuck off, get out of the way, heed, we’ve got this. I felt covered. It was good.

I’ve had a lot of support from a lot of people in recent weeks, amazing support. And, I didn’t realize until I wrote this, after having some rugs pulled out from under me by people I thought I could trust to stand the fuck up for me and help me when I’d fallen flat on my face, how much I needed to feel something just like that truck at my back.

And then a second WSDOT truck came, stopping behind the first, and I chuckled again. YES I AM THAT GUY. I AM THAT FUCKING GUY WHO RAN OUT OF FUCKING GAS IN THE WORST POSSIBLE PLACE EVER.

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I called Mikey back to let him know I had a posse behind me now. He said he was almost there and he had an officer with him. I had a flash of a cop in the cab with him waiting to fingerwag me and write me expensive tickets. I pushed the thought away and decided I’d play that as it came.

Mikey showed up a few minutes later, escorted by a police car with lights on, who rolled right past us and kept on his way. Mikey got me my gas, shared a few commiserating words (He has a suburban that likes to run out of gas before empty — I just didn’t mention I actually WAS empty :P), was helpful, fast, and friendly, and did in fact completely avoid getting run down in the middle of the street just as I’d suggested.

Mikey left. The WSDOT guys smiled, waved, told me to have a good weekend. I was moving again, about 15 minutes after I’d stalled in the tunnel. I got back to Ballard and picked up my NAS, filled up my tank, and went on my way toward Spokane.

I stopped at the same rest stop, which will be closed permanently in two days, to get a healthy picture of Vandwell, pleased to not have been inhaling break smoke getting up there this time. It’s really a shame, save for the Bonneville Salt Flats rest area, this was by far the nicest one I’ve been to.

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I caught up with Marcus in Ellensberg for lunch, still hanging out waiting for his next pick up of hand sanitizer or apples. “I wish I’d thought of lube!”, he said. Indeed. :P

And, I stopped at a scenic overlook, walked up (and down) a bigass hill in flip flops to snap some pictures.

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I’m now safe in a little attic in Spokane in my friends, Craig and Mark’s, house, who have been fans of my music from the beginning. I played their house a couple years ago for their wedding, my first house show ever, and here is my home base for the next week or so, complete with a bath tub that I am using indiscriminately, along with the ridiculous selection of bath sauces Mark picked up for me knowing how much I dig his tub.

I’ll be getting the glass tinted in the van on Friday and after that, be continuing on my way, potentially camping a night in Coeur d’Alene. I’m thinking Zion, after that, but the for-sure part is that I’m heading south, toward Los Almos, and what is sure to be a prime selection of problems to solve, working on getting the AC functional in the van.

Here’s hoping I’ve gotten this good batch of teaching moments and calamities out of the way, and I’ll have mostly smooth sailing for a while. I was shocked at how tired I am today after all that excitement and problem solving and learning. Which, it turns out, I’m remembering, I’m actually quite good at.

Also; My stupid parking break light? Still on.

It’s been a long time since a blog post took 4+ hours to write. Time for another bath, I think.

Fluid

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Identity. It’s ideally supposed to be fluid, but not too fluid. Stable, but not stagnant. A means of psychic survival, context, and reference. A way to form and rationalize our routines and habits.

A way to garner an illusion of a security and control in ones experience, and view of, life.

Part of my approach to that illusion of security has depended on figuring out, identifying, who the fuck, I, consistently, am. Or so it has been that I have told myself.

Thing is, I would think that someone who has spent the kind of effort and energy and focus scrutinizing themselves, changing shit, and showing the world exactly what they’re fucking made of, would have a bit better concept of who they are and what they’re about in their core than I seem to.

Instead, I have spent as long as I can remember struggling with shaping my identity, and in many ways resisting against the natural fluidity of my personality in the face of attempting to establish one.

One example of how I have struggled with identity is having seen my tendency for picking up the mannerisms, gestures, and accents of the people I admire as immature and shameful. As childish indication that I don’t know who I am, can’t be trusted to hold to my convictions, and don’t know how to be my own person already.

Another example is seeing my propensity for diving, passionate and headlong, into activities, communities, relationships, and cultures, as proof that I am not strong enough to maintain a selfhood of my own free from the frivolous influence of others.

Yet another example has been seeing the impermanence of these dives as being a fault I can work away somehow, a problem with my personality that needs to be solved.

And, worse, I have seen these sorts of things as confirmation that I just leech my messy hodgepodge selfhood off other people.

Which is sort of a fucked up way of looking at things since that’s how people.. you know. Grow. Which is sorta my thing, I think, maybe.

And yet on the flip side, I periodically ignore what I *have* come to know about myself.

For instance, I do things like experimenting with attempting to form myself into a person of routine and habit when I have never in my entire fucking life accomplished having the same fucking morning twice. As if that isn’t really me, I just, what.. haven’t found the right habits, yet? Am not disciplined enough, yet?

Sure. The person who kicked heroin, meth, cigarettes, and has transformed their existence on multiple levels multiple lives over with no end to the rebirth in sight just hasn’t picked up the *right fucking habits* to be a person who functions on a basis of reliable morning routine?

The fuck outta here.

I have yet to come to a balance between what I know myself to be, and what I expect to be able to convert of myself, with enough effort to ‘grow’ as a person. My self-dar in this way is broken.

Currently, I am in the midst of a deep personal transition, probably the most core and uncomfortable, uncertain one I’ve ever experienced.

In picking apart what I’m going through, limping along as this half-mutated caterpillar sprouting butterfly limbs thing with no fucking shelter to speak of as the life I built over the last 17 years crumbles away, I’ve started coming to a bit of clarity about this. A bit of clarity as to my hopelessness in attachments and love, and in my hot/cold fear complex that virtually guarantees the continuous re-enactment of abandonment in my life.

I’ve come to think I’ve been stuck, and resisted a lot of my self-knowing in this way, because I believe somewhere deep that it’s the reliable, steady ones who are, ultimately, deserving of love and longterm devotion.

Which sort of explains why I’ve always kinda hated people like that, the lazy stagnant self-avoiding fuckers.

I think it’s true, though — in my subfloor belief system, it’s the stable ones, who don’t move around much, don’t shift much, have a consistent manner, can be trusted to do the same things the same ways, who are the deserving ones.

Because somehow (kidding — I know exactly how.) I picked up the notion that it’s those people, the ones who stay forever, the ones who can be counted upon to be there, stationary, prepared to reflect that dedication back; Those people deserve love.

People who are me do not.

So I went along my merry way, thinking, I expect, that if I can just figure out what I am, consistently, and represent that accurately to others, I’ll finally be worthy and capable of lasting love, and finally be drawing people who appreciate and can joyfully roll with those things about me, to me. Right?

Except what happens when what you keep finding out about yourself is that you’re not conventionally consistent at fucking ALL?

What happens when you equate a fixed, resilient identity with personhood and worth, while simultaneously being of a personality that is a constant rolling boil of introspective challenge, experimentation, movement, transformation, and change?

I won’t bother describing it. Imagine it for yourself. If your stomach drops into your asshole and you feel like you have to cry, chances are you’re my people. Sup. *fistbump*

Ultimately, what I am finding is that identity is a piss poor reflection of personhood.

Regardless of what I identify myself as, whether it be a drug abuser, an artist, or a ‘healer’, or snarky, or someone without a racist bone in their body, at any moment that identification, if I’m paying any fucking attention at all to the world around me, can be utterly shattered.

And it’s been my experience that if I am at all actually living my life, my identity is shattered in that way often.

I guess even my identification with identity wasn’t safe from my bulldozer personality.

Good.

Tiny dreams hit the road

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

As part of Year of the Nee, I’ve recognized a few things about myself that I’d discovered at one time and then lost again. Things like an affinity for dinosaurs, and reading fantasy and sci-fi books.

I’ve also gotten back to music by making a very focused album (the whole thing is about patriarchy) in a way that I haven’t approached creating albums before.

I’ve come to accept that I miss performing, particularly after performing in Los Angeles during Amanda Palmer’s ‘Art of Asking’ tour, and that I want to do a lot more of it somehow. I periodically miss Little Red Studio, theater which laughs in the face of the fourth wall, and being part of a troupe.

I’ve also come to accept that I need, desperately need, to relearn how to have fun again. I’ve been saying that, but I’m getting it now – I am fucking dying over here without that shit. YotN showed me how imperative it is that I relearn how to relax for the joy of it, not because I am in an isolated burnout from the weight of the world. One avenue toward that is to reconnect with my skills as a performance artist in a way that also helps people — like what I had set out to do when I created Vita, but with way less weight and responsibility.

And I really, really need to be out in nature, more. Less media. Less internet. Less fucking ‘stuff’. More rest. More air. More dirt. My hatred of capitalism, my horror at the declining state of the world, following politics, following activist movements, trying to fit in with this fucking society.. it hurts. I gotta get rooted in the basics, get grounded with being an actual part of this living rock rather than an earth raping meatsack alien invading it, or I’m going to lose my fucking mind — and I need all the practice at that I can get.

All these things have been swirling around as I’ve been working within the status quo I’d created for myself around making a living and maintaining a private healing practice in the heart of a gentrifying city.

I’ve been wondering how to put it all together, melding past and present interests, sticking as close to my ideals and what I want to support in life as I can and still manage to eat. At the same time, I have become aware of how fatigued I am of doing it all myself — maintaining my own office, putting on and producing my own shows, etc.

It seems this summer, I may be getting a little taste of what all that might look like — just as I was finally, finally letting this life of mine as it stands now, go (and completely fucking freaking out about it, frankly).

It all started when I put some ‘home’ savings, which I’ve been clinging to for a year now, where my mouth has been, and bought a friends van to live and travel in. Nothing particularly hospitable for that purpose, mind you, but something with enough room to carry my gear and art supplies around, small enough to park anywhere, big enough to crash in.

That set in motion the desire to set something, anything concrete really, to actually travel toward. I’ve been planning to leave the area near the end of May, when Shedlyfe has run its course, but hadn’t had a specific destination in mind. I had ideas of what I want to be doing (busking, sleeping, playing open mics, visiting old friends, meeting new people, checking out healing and arts communities), but not where. Mostly I’ve been kinda suspended in this super uncomfortable what the fuck am I doing freakout place without actually having a vehicle to do any of this stuff in.

One thing lead to another, and I found myself planning to visit a couple friends in Austin, TX as part of my trip. As circumstance would have it, no sooner had I pinged my friend about when would be good for her, she asked if I would want to hang out in Austin to do a job.

For two months of the summer.
At an immersive literary theater camp.
For creative, booklovin’ kids.
Where I would play a 3000 year old androgynous storytelling singer poet.
With a story outline, and tons of improvisational interaction.
In a realm created in a series of fantasy books for 6th graders.
Which is rooted in greek mythology.
Wherein the 12 year old protagonist is dyslexic and has ADHD (both of which indicate that you might be a demigod).
In a state park.
For money.

Um. Yes.

Yes the fuck I would.

Sweltering heat be damned: Camp Half-Blood, here I come.

http://kylekurlick.blogspot.com/2009/10/camp-half-blood.html

The support of my patrons at Patreon is how I am getting to Texas to do this (and eating, and filling the van with gas, and basically living, period): Thank you.

PTSD no moe

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

EXPERIMENT: Cognitive Process Therapy to address nearly 30 years of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Fin.

Here are the results.

In black and white.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

As some of you may know, part of my Year of the Nee (my year of celibacy and no intoxicants) that I began in May (Half way!! WOOO!) included seeking out a more formalized psychotherapy approach.

In doing so, I ended up at the Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress unit at Harborview with a diagnosis, finally, of clinical PTSD, engaging in Cognitive Process Therapy since June. (They are amazing, and I highly recommend them).

I’ve filled out many surveys, usually every couple of weeks, tracking my PTSD, Anxiety and Depression symptoms. I’ve completed many worksheets and modules, made improvements, and things were kind of clicking, but it wasn’t quite.. complete, seeming. I still felt like my wheels were spinning for some reason, and even with all my supplemental healing strategies, I was water logged.

In my third post in my series about rape culture on Medium (the one that goes into how I am healing from it), I talk a little bit about having to be willing to be lonely. To be willing to cut people out of my life who don’t align with what I’m discovering are my core values.

I’ve had to do this multiple times — when I quit doing drugs was one of the biggest, because at that time in my life, my friend base was based on basing. I had to start over, and it was fucking scary. But.. I found new friends. Good friends. People who are still my friends, after many a transformation since.

What you’re seeing above is my depressive symptom graph. The spike is the sprint time period in which I was desperately attempting to keep engaged with the last of the rape culture intimates in my life. The last throes of my incredulousness as to where he stood. The drop is when I finally picked up my jacket, walked away, and didn’t look back.

Not everyone has the gift of this kind of visual feedback in their process. Even as I’ve felt my fog lift, even as I’ve settled into my sense of self that I have, even with how clear I have been about being done with that relationship, seeing this visually was incredibly profound.

Maybe you’re in a struggle right now. Maybe you’re trying to find your way out of something, surrounded by people you know aren’t good for you, people whose positive traits you’re weighing over your own needs, people you know in your soul are bringing you down and holding you back.

For you, and for those like you, I wanted to post this, in black and white.

You are worth dropping the cement blocks that keep dragging your face under the water.

You are worth that.

Thanks for that, dude.

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
― Edmund Burke

This Ghomeshi thing, how his friends and community are admitting to knowing he was up to some shit, brings to light some ugly things for me. Ugly things that encouraged me to continue raping in my sex life. Ugly things that effected me when I broke out of my own cycles of abuse at the hands of others.

I’ve been thinking about that Edmund Burke quote a lot lately. Thinking about myself, thinking about the agonizing impotence of many people who have let me down, standing aside, watching. Thinking about how that contributed to how long I remained an unconscious rapist. How long I remained in corrosive situations that deeply, deeply damaged me.

Most pointedly, these events have been reminding me of something a man I know said. Something that angers me, and has been the perfect surface from which to reflect my collective grief and rage.

It was something this person said about the man who raped me in April, when I told them — a close friend of his, who had lived with the rapist for a period of time — that I didn’t know how said rapist, whom he hadn’t seen in a while, was doing, because I didn’t speak with that guy anymore (and why).

His response was: “Yeah, I’ve seen how.. selfish, his maleness is.”

Yeah. No. This shit needs a do-over.

Let me tell you a little story. See, me, as a woman, and the friend of mine who was also dating the same man who raped me this year, as a woman, both talked with him about his creepy behavior. We talked with him about it in the context of our own discomforts and boundaries which he sucked at respecting, was always rubbing up against and trying to push past. But it went even farther than that.

We figured out we both got the creeps from him in the same way and, because we considered him a friend, we had a *fucking intervention* with him about it. He was all appreciation and ears, as he normally was when we were swatting him on his fucking nose about being a pushy cockbrained asshole; wanting to know how he could do better, because he didn’t wanna be “that guy”, even though it turns out he, acting like “that guy”, and continuing to return to behaving like “that guy”, was totally “that guy”.

QUACKs like a duck? Hmmmm.

A few months after this friend and I took him to dinner and schooled him, the guy I’d had consistent confusion around and periodic boundary conversations with raped me after witnessing my getting shitfaced drunk while choking on massive waves of grief.

Additionally, he had sex with me without the condoms I’d had to constantly insist that we fucking use because he made sure to remind me every time we had sex that he’d been ‘tested’, and for a special added bonus, did so without having told me he’d stopped using protection with one of his other partners months before.

The next morning, and throughout the week-long shock period before all the elements of his dickbaggary had come to light and I dropped him like a sack of hammered shit, he’d already started bitching to ME about how bad *he* felt, expecting me to be his fucking support system for it.

Here’s a thing that I think people on the more powerful aspect of this sexist patriarchy spectrum are missing: Even when the courageous miracle happens, where someone who is being leveraged upon by this system of ours that has trained us for thousands of years to see femininity as property, stands the hell up for themselves within their relationship, it *doesn’t work*.

The women these people are fucking have zero power to influence the unconsciously indoctrinated cultural behavior of these men. Zero.

The reason for this in my experience is that there’s not enough incentive, when women these men are already getting their toxic masculinity validating sex from, speak up. They are the people with whom that creepy fucking approach was proven to work on already. They are the people who have shown investment in that approach, and in the person behind that approach. They are the people who have already volunteered to represent what is silently and unconsciously hated and objectified, people with whom that physical bond is already established.

It’s like throwing a toothpick into a volcano when a woman who is in an active loop of this behavior stands up and says that shit actually, well, stinks. They are the people who have been putting up with the fucking shit and listening to the fucking excuses and still giving up that good ol’ validating sexual property.

I suspect it really doesn’t work from that being-fucked position when attempting to influence people who apologize for this behavior, either; The men who stand on the sidelines listening to the struggles the women they fuck are having with the pushy abusive men in their lives, or the harassing ‘nice’ guys on the streets. I spent the last 7 fucking months, learning that one.

It’s really easy to sit back and say, ah, well, let her handle it, when you know something is wrong. It seems like the really nice, polite, proper thing to do; mind your own business, and as a bonus, cover your own yellow ass.

It’s also really REALLY easy to look at the results of a mans misogyny and abuse manifesting in the woman they’ve been dating, and decide she’s just off her rocker and that’s more of a problem than what might have been wrong with the way she was treated by the guy.

I know how easy that is, in part because it is what happened with the one “top” (HAHAAHAH) I dated, who used to get pissed and entitled toward me for not liking the sex he’d pressured me into trying in the first place. Who had been gaslighting and lying to me about the multiple people he’d been cheating on me with for the entirety of our relationship. Who had been systematically breaking down my psyche with his lies and selfishness, and done that while he was using the Edward Cullen stare on me and talking about babies. Who I had been calling out on his shit over and over and over again and being met with lies and accusation.

When I finally, finally cornered him in his lies and that relationship finally, finally hit the fan, everyone who seemed to have had any influence on the fucker, including prominent voices in the sex positive and BDSM communities we had both been a part of, stayed ‘neutral’ and watched bewildered as I had a fucking nervous breakdown. Many of them lifted the abusive sociopath to the top levels of the festival community I had once been a part of, all while failing to understand and even shaming me for being so fucking angry and betrayed by them for it, not seeming to grok how I could feel so abandoned and unprotected by their complacent niceness toward him.

You effect what you have your attention on. And too many of you have your attention on proving women aren’t being truthful, proving that you’re the good guy by standing back and doing fuckall to actually act like one, proving that it’s women who should be accountable for some boundary pushing asshole that YOU KNEW ABOUT ALREADY raping them and “making” you feel like cowardly shit.

Well you know what? You *should* be feeling like shit, hiding your real power behind willful impotence and listening to yourself talk over the women who you claim to give a fuck about.

Use your fucking privilege and get the fuck in the ring with us already.

I know you’re dying to throw it around, because every time I talk about this stuff, there’s a gallery of you at the ready to chime in and tell me about your intellectualizations of my life as a female. There’s always a few of you to press your resistance toward accepting that my life experience is real into my conversations. There’s always a few of you to talk about what you think from your objective perspectives needs to be “done”, and usually it has to do with what you as a fucking man think *I*, or “they”, need to be doing.

I’m telling *YOU* what needs to be fucking done, you clueless wounded fuckers: Drop your own sexism, that shit that helps you think your philosophical opinion of this issue trumps the lived experiences of the people who actually fucking deal with it, take your incredulous self-involved topic-shifting bullshit the fuck out of my facebook threads, and then go work to drop the act that being neutral about the abuse, sexism, rape and misogyny you see in other men is anything but fucking cowardice.

This is tough love purification by fucking fire. This is ending thousands of years of conditioning and inertia. Your greatest self can only rise from the fucking ashes of the lesser you, and here I am the motherfucking flame thrower. Stop telling ME you’re not that fucking guy: tell other MEN you’re not that guy, and tell them WHY, and actually BE NOT THAT GUY when you fucking say it, or I will FUCKING INCINERATE YOU. Grow some FUCKING BALLS and stand the fuck up for the women in your life, stand the fuck up for the men you want to see other men grow to be.

That best friend of yours isn’t a “White Knight”, he’s a sexist who thinks women need his saving, and he probably hates them for it and abuses them and that’s why all his girlfriends are fucking crazy and can’t seem to function. That friends boundary pushing-coercive maleness isn’t ‘selfish’, it’s fucking rape, and it’s probably why all the women he dates eventually refuse to ever talk to him again. Use your fucking privilege to be the fucking change.

And yes, it IS fucking street harassment, and here’s a guy doing what you should be doing: Working his ass off to walk the fucking walk, and contributing to other guys on how the fuck to walk it too.

But there he was, that close friend of the man who raped me, a person that the guy actually valued, listened to, had meaningful conversations with, looked up to, a person who wasn’t relied upon for their dick-wetting validation, tsk tsking in the seat next to me — because aww, how unfortunate that male mans selfish maleness had bit me in the ass, too; that maleness he’d seen and grimaced at and knew was fucked up — who had been in the position to take a stand and to make a difference. And he didn’t.

Thanks for that, dude.

And by thanks? I mean fuck. You.

Friday, October 31st, 2014

“I’ve watched men go through two phases, myself included. First, you have to unlearn being sexist. Then, you have to come to the realization that your silence is approval of sexist behavior. That second one is hard. Both involve having to make peace with the fact that your previous self was responsible for harm.” — Shabbir Imber Safdar

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

“Wounds are the means by which we enter each others hearts. Healing is the means by which we remain there.” – Courtnee Fallon Rex

Monday, July 7th, 2014

“Do not fall in love with people like me. I will kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave, you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.” ― Caitlyn Siehl

You said I was safe

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Friday, June 20th, 2014

“My words may not be pretty enough for you, but they are true and they are mine.” – Mariann Martland