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belenen

June 2017

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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.

belenen: (Default)
2016 summary: some of the best weeks and worst months of my life.
icon: "confused (photo of a purple diamond-shaped sign with a line leading to four arrows all curving and pointing in different directions)"

I started 2016 with a lot of hope. In January I connected a lot with Kylei, Sande, and Hannah; I had two graduation parties and started making more plans to spend time with people, and I started meditating weekly-ish with Elizabeth. But by the end of January I ended up in a dark crash over how little I felt connected to people. The beginning of February was a little better -- I got to go to Big Trees with some of my favorite people, and Topaz hosted Heather's birthday which was also nourishing and fun. But then I went to a party at Kylei's and had a terrible anxiety crash which ended up leaking into the next day and causing a horrifically painful miscommunication with Topaz. Later that month I went to the activist meet-and-greet for the first time after meaning to go for ages, and met three awesome new people. But just introducing myself made my heart beat painfully hard. At the end of February I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe me anxiety meds and start being medicated for that for the first time.

In March I did a lot of social -- met with four friends as well as with my ex-mother-in-law. I also began a four-week break with Topaz, in an effort to re-set our relationship which had become too central for both of us. In April I had two tinder fails (one flaked and the other I could hardly talk with), made a new friend, hosted a crafty party and a cuddly communion, spent time with Roger and Serenity, and went to Euphoria where I gave a talk on intimacy and made a game with it. (yeah I'd say that the anxiety meds were helping!) In May I spent a lot of time with Serenity and Evelyn, hosted a cuddly communion, spent time with Katie, Allison, Serra, and Indie, and wrote a lot of important posts. In June I spent lots of time with Serenity, presented at APW and SFQP, hung out with Arizona, Sande, Allison, Kylei, Evelyn, and Cass, and had a truth-or-truth videochat with LJ friends, as well as writing a lot of important posts.

In July stuff started getting very stressful -- Topaz went through something really traumatic, Kanika had a medical emergency and I had to take her to the vet, my little sister came in town unexpectedly, and I ran out of money and had to start begging from my bioparents. But also I spent lots of good time with Serenity and had several gathers -- two with my lil sis, also Katie, Allison, Hannah, Kylei, Elliott, Evelyn, Sande, Cass, and even Adi, so that part was positive. But August brought a lot of painful stuff for Topaz, was when I ran out of ADD meds with no access to a doctor, and was the last time I saw Evelyn for months. Roger and Allison were supportive and helpful, and I went to a SONG membership meeting which gave me hope like nothing else except for TBC ever has.

September I got a job at Starbux and finally started getting call backs and interviews for a few of the hundreds of applications I had sent. My awful bioparents also invaded my house and stayed for a month, harassing me about money, rearranging my stuff and throwing some of it away without my permission, invading my bedroom, and being transphobic. October was mostly filled up with my awful bioparents and working at Starbux but at the very end I began doing LJ Idol again. In November things got still worse -- Evelyn officially broke things off with me and Kylei blew up at me and told me we can't be friends. Then later that month Evelyn invited me to a party at their house which ended up being an emotional disaster. I quit Starbux for my new job.

December was a very mixed bag. I started my new job, which was amazing; I got a new psychiatrist and finally got medicated for ADD again; I got to spend time with Arizona, Felix, Felix's people Blaire and Shay, Allison, Jonathan, Heather, Brian, Jessica, and my little sister. But also, my grandmother died and I had to spend time with my awful biofamily, and I was so emotionally drained that I couldn't really enjoy Solstice. It was also a sad reminder of my estrangement from Kylei and Evelyn, because I wanted them at Solstice so much.

detailed events )


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belenen: (disconnected)
relationships review: Topaz, Kylei, Heather, Allison, Cass, Serenity, Arizona, Evelyn, Sande, etc
icon: "disconnected (a gif of the lovers from the tv show "Moonlight" standing on opposite sides of a door and both looking devastated. One leans their forehead on the door and the other leans their face on their hand on the doorsill. Underneath the repeating gif is the word 'pain' in a handwriting-font.)"

topaz )

kylei )

heather )

allison )

cass )

serenity )

arizona and evelyn and etc )

Last night was really wonderful. Topaz hosted a gather and Sande, Allison, Heather, Brian, Cass, and Jess came, and the 8 of us had alcohol and snacks and just hung out and talked. It was very relaxed. I got very drunk (first time in a long while, and more drunk than usual). I got sad at one point, thinking about Kylei and feeling abandoned, but people were kind to me and helped me feel better.

I loved watching everyone interact. I think this is the first time I felt like Allison was there for more than just me -- it's quite possible that happened before but this time I felt like Allison would still have attended if I didn't, and that made me happy. And I didn't catch much of what was being said, but Sande and Topaz seemed to have conversations with lots of resonance which pleased me lots. And I cuddled with Topaz and Sande and Cass and a little with Allison, all of which were sweet nourishing cuddles.

I'm realizing the more I think on it that I am really deeply sad about Kylei. I feel really lost and adrift. I feel a deep sadness in the loss of hope for being close with them anytime soon. I think it could still happen eventually but I no longer can trick myself into thinking it's just around the corner, next week maybe. It's not going to be soon. And I miss Kylei in particular, or rather, I miss the way we used to connect. I miss their magic. I miss doing magic together.


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belenen: (spiritual)
APW: volunteer idea, decidin to be more active w fat-positivity / date w Arizona / ritual w Serenity
icon: "spiritual (a photo of a snow leopard with (edited) violet eyes staring straight into the camera)"

So, I went to Atlanta Poly Weekend (APW) yesterday and today, and had intended to go to all of it but I've discovered that even though the anxiety meds help enough to keep me from spiraling into negativity from not being able to interact, they don't actually reduce the amount of effort it takes. So I get super worn out from the constant brush of people. I've realized that I actually can't do conferences without staying in the hotel; I can do a one-day visit but that's it. The con takes all my energy and I don't have the extra for driving back and forth, especially when I never get a chance to be alone all day. Hopefully I will be able to afford a room next time.

I also realized two ways that I want to be more involved in local community; through anti-looksist work in general and by being volunteering to help with planning accessibility for APW. I don't think that I'm especially qualified, but I have learned a lot by example from the disability coordinator for TBC (and they're a friend of mine so I could probably ask advice) so I think I could be helpful, and I don't think APW can afford to hire someone. I sent a message offering, and if they don't follow up I'll seek them out more directly. Things I would definitely do include setting aside a quiet non-interaction space for anxious folk to take a break because fuck did I miss that.

I realized I want to be more involved in anti-looksist work because I went to a session about dating while fat and polyamorous and I realized again how radical a force for change it is to be anti-looksist, and how many skills I have in this area. I need to skill-share because it's so vital for all bodies to be treated as acceptable. Fat-hating connects to so many other oppressions, so destroying fat-hating reduces the power of other oppressions. I tend to think of self-work as 'fluffy' or less important but it isn't. People need self-love to survive oppression, and we need oppressed people to survive or we cannot destroy the system.

I also got to have a little date with Arizona yesterday! Their partners let us have the hotel room to ourselves for a few hours and we cuddled and talked and then we played with thumpy toys! I brought the floggers I made recently and hadn't had a chance to use, and Arizona brought toys too. We started with Arizona thumping my back with what is called a 'billy club' -- a long rubber rod about 1.5 inches in diameter with little rubber spikes on the end (like on a meat tenderizer). Arizona used one at first, then added another and played my back like a drum! I got really into the rhythm, which changed the way it felt because I felt like I was experiencing it in both physical and auditory ways at once. Then Arizona used a steel cane (a thin metal rod about 1 cm in diameter) on my back and bum and legs. Then we took a break and had cuddles, and then Arizona used my mini floggers, my rainbow flogger, and my black suede leather floggers. (I'll try to get some photos to show soon.) The rainbow flogger was actually my favorite -- it's heavy because there are many loops of cord, but it's diffuse at the same time, so it doesn't feel 'too much' in any particular way. Lastly Arizona used my paddle (a thick hairbrush-shaped wooden one) on my bum and legs. It's really interesting how different the sensations are, even after I'm somewhat desensitized due to build-up.

Arizona and I kissed a little bit and they swayed and smiled and said they loved kissing me, which pleased me very much. I wanted to have more time to kiss today but there were a lot of people around the whole time and it was too distracting. But! They're coming back up in two weeks and they said they definitely want one-on-one time with me then. I miss them a lot and it saddens me that I can only see them so rarely.

Tonight when I got home Serenity (my housemate) had been doing a ritual for the new moon and invited me to join. Together we lit candles (including the rainbow drip candles I had been saving for ritual) and incense, smoked hookah, and they danced to music while I drummed along and then after I put the drum aside and seat-danced for a little bit they playfully pulled at me with dance movements and I got up and danced with them. I didn't feel self-conscious while dancing and only felt self-conscious while drumming for a little bit. Drumming along with the music was lovely because I was more patient with myself than usual and didn't get angry when I missed a beat. I shifted this way and that with rhythms and felt in harmony with my drum in a way I haven't since before I moved into this house, three years ago. Kanika (my cat) and Lily (Serenity's service dog) kept us company and enjoyed the energy. I feel like tonight was meant to be -- I had a lot of maybe-plans that fell through for this to happen as it did.


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belenen: (exuviate)
relationships: Topaz, Kylei, Heather, Hannah, Allison, Sande, Roger, Cass, Rocky, Arizona, Tinder
icon: "exuviate (photo of a dragonfly with shimmery green wings after its last metamorphosis, standing next to its previous exoskeleton)"

So I have a goal of examining all of my connections every 2-3 months, to help me stay aware and keep from getting into any ruts. I'm a bit late but I think that's because March was muddy for me with literally everyone, and I couldn't have explained much of anything.

My relationship with Topaz is still quite muddy. Today our break ends and we're going to see each other for the first time in three weeks. I'm quite nervous actually. I feel like I've realized ways I can change to make our connection more healthy for both of us. One of the main things is that I go a bit too far in trying not to pressure them; if I think they may want something and be afraid to ask for it, I offer it as if I have no preference one way or the other. Often this is upsetting for them because it makes them feel like I don't care about something that I do care about, which is confusing and sometimes hurtful. I talked about it vaguely with Heather last week, and then today I did it out of habit and it hurt Topaz' feelings, and we talked about this habit and I told Topaz I would work on being more frank with them and practice trusting them to assert their needs and desires. Last week I also told Topaz, "I want to be able to trust that if I say 'I have a need' you will react by reflecting on what you can possibly do to meet that need, and then telling me what steps you will try and what you think the likely outcome will be." They said they can do that. I think these two things will help me to not get stuck in a pattern of subverting my needs.

I had a clash with Kylei that lasted way longer than usual (more than 2 weeks), because I kept trying to arrange time to talk about it and it kept not happening, which was the very thing I was upset about. We finally did talk about it -- I told them that usually when plans don't work out it is disappointing but not hurtful because it's true for everyone, but lately I have seen them prioritize other things but not me. And that it feels impossible to believe that I am important to them when with other things that are important to them, they find a way and make it happen but with me they don't. They agreed that they hadn't been prioritizing time with me and that they were sorry about it but didn't know why it was happening. We talked about making plans but this month is too full, so we have a maybe plan for the first week of May. I feel better, not angry or frustrated any more, but I still feel in limbo and I feel sad and a bit hopeless about the idea of ever being reliably close again. If there isn't a cause that can be found, there isn't a cure that can be found.

Heather and I have spent time together recently that was very nourishing for me (and hopefully for them). A few months ago at their birthday party I had the urge to kiss them, and asked -- they said yes and we kissed very briefly. Then about a week after that I asked to kiss them again and it was brief again and I felt some hesitation (at least this is how I remember it but my memory is not great) so I asked them if there was hesitation and why, and they said it was emotionally complicated and we should talk about it later. When we did get time to talk about it, they explained that they feel we are not compatible for a romantic relationship, because of what they see me wanting from a romantic connection. I talked with them a bit about it because I felt like they were going on outdated information, but the sum of it was that anything romantic is not desired for now, at least. I feel a little weird that there is this "off limits" bit just because I'm not used to it existing, but it doesn't reduce anything.

The next time we hung out we talked about how we process things, and Heather mentioned that the main thing they give is not a thing I value (validating people's feelings), but I don't consider that the main thing they offer me at all! I think the thing they give to me the most, which I value so intensely, is a new perspective on things. Almost every time (I don't have the memory to be able to say for sure every time) we have a significant conversation they tell me something that makes me go "oh wow I hadn't realized / didn't know that" and that is literally my favorite thing a person can do. Realizing or learning something new, especially about the way people work or the way I work, is the most nourishing thing for me. More than eye contact, more than cuddles, more than people showing curiosity about me. And this in itself is a new realization which I had because of this conversation with Heather. I feel very nourished by our friendship.

more - this is a long one )


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2015 / learning and growing in the midst of spiraling anxiety and loneliness
icon: "progressing (a deeply, vividly green forest of thick vines and trees, with a tunnel running through where unused train tracks lay)"

2015
abstract fractal entitled Shriek
"Shriek"

An abstract fractal in christmas green, coral orange, and bright rose red with accents of fuchsia, peach, and capri blue on a black background. At the top in the center is what looks like a snarling cat or hissing cobra, in profile facing left. Just underneath is another could-be face, this one like a dog, facing right and sniffing the 'air' of colored light, which you can see swirling into the dog's nose. In front of the dog's face is a bowing-out bubble of swirling blurry colors. Above that bubble behind the cat/cobra's head is a fragmented reflection that could be of the cat/cobra or the dog or both. In front of the cat/cobra's face is a misshapen cone of green light, with some flecks of other colors: it looks as if the cat/cobra is exhaling this and it is pouring down over the back of the dog's head. Neither creature has a body.

---



January
1-4 -- visiting biofam: racism, discussing sexual abuse history, misgendering, prompting family to grow
2 -- visiting Anika: having deep talks w Anika & energy work
* Unethical behavior: loopholes out of agreements, poking people's sore spots *
4 -- ritual for Nuit and Renenutet, Topaz keeps me company
7 -- I make a friending meme
-- trying to develop closeness with Anika
11 -- have a somewhat-disastrous crafty party where a new attendee says things that are very problematic and hurtful to Allison
17 -- I decide to require require gender-neutral pronouns in reference to me
18 -- ritual with LilyWolf for connections
24 -- met up with Cass and had our first meaningful one-on-one conversation
* 5-step educate or eliminate / when I realize I'm wrong / reducing privilege effects *
-- hung out with Heather at least once a week

February
2 -- Kei-won-tia has a major crisis, I find out through Abby, try to get in touch w KWT but can't.
4 -- meet Jezza for one-on-one conversation
6 -- have a great birthday night with Topaz, Kylei, Sydney, Heather, and Lilywolf; Allison, Nick, and Hannah drop in. I set up a photo-booth of sorts with weird colorful lighting and take some photos of people.
7 -- went to Heritage Park with Sydney & Topaz
9 -- met Kayla for dinner and conversation
* forms of intimacy and societal assumptions made: there is no highest form of intimacy *
11 -- my grandmother is in the hospital; I see my aunt and cousins for the first time in years
12 -- have intense conversation w Anika and Kei-won-tia about openness and intimacy and assumptions
* overwhelmed and ineffectual / cowardly and shit at making friends *
14 -- I get up in front of a huge number of people and speak a short poem about trans erasure.
** the intersection of openness, intimacy, and privacy as it relates to me **
20-24 -- Topaz and I go to the last Xenacon, which is worth it but emotionally very difficult because I can't bring myself to talk to anyone and I'm allergic to the air.
27 -- Heather casts runes for me on my next romantic relationship: I get 'wait wait wait'
28 -- art swap at Jezza's: my sorta-kinda first show of my fractals.
-- conflict with Kei-won-tia continues throughout the month, ends in them telling me they need to be able to lie to their friends.

March
7 -- I experience my first kirtan, with Heather.
* helping people figure out their desires without taking responsibility for their self-awareness *
11 -- march for Anthony Hill (with Jaime & Lilywolf)
13 -- meet Lisa in person for the first time! we hang out for the day.
15 -- mostly-online crafty party with Topaz, Jaime, Paige, Heather, Leah, Anika, Jezza, and Lilywolf.
** what nourishes me in friendship: self-care/growth/awareness, shared passion/enthusiasm, creating together, spiritual working together, asking me meaningful specific questions, cuddles/focused touch, gifts of effort **
28 -- Anika visits, Topaz and I take them to the Cherry Blossom Festival
** PSA: use of ableist slurs will cause me to unfriend you **
31 -- I pick up Anika from KWT's and take them to Big Trees and to my favorite metaphysical shop

April
2 -- do magic ritual with Anika, Topaz picks us up after
3 -- drinking and playing red dragon inn w Anika, Heather, Topaz, Kylei.
4-5 -- KWT is supposed to spend time w Anika but doesn't... lots of complex shit between Anika and KWT. KWT is supposed to take them to the airport but I do it instead.
9 -- crafty party: Lily & Fey & Alisha in-person, Anika & Paige & Allison online
** slurs are still very harmful when they are aimed at a situation/action/thing instead of a person **
** emotional/artistic work is still work / types of cuddles: giving, receiving, sharing, passive **
** essential qualities to be a good cuddler: good at consent, emotionally present & aware, not in need **
-- school stress
-- made a set of reflection beads
-- applied to be a professional cuddler: they wanted to exploit their workers, no thanks.

May
-- exhausted
4 -- sweet nourishing time w Kylei
* my eating habits: what I don't eat at all, what I generally avoid, favorite meals & ingredients *
* realization: I need group intimacy as well as one-on-one *
13 -- meet Rachel in Atlanta for lunch
15 -- sleepover w Odd Squad and truth-or-truth w Nicky & Aubrey via ghangouts
17 -- first zikr w Kaleemi Khanqah Atlanta
20 -- start work at my uni
* 4 levels of friendship: fun, support, learning, mutual accountability *
26 -- truth-or-truth gchat w Aubrey, Vola, Elizabeth, Jaime
** on the 'rudeness' of canceling/lateness caused by chronic pain/fatigue/anxiety/depression and/or ADD **
** energy work: 1st efforts, shielding / a funnel not a source / avoiding manipulation **

June
-- stressssssss
1 -- TransParence gather at my house: Jaime, Jazz, Jude, Hope, Serah, Allison, Michelle
4-10 -- Elizabeth visits! we do alllllll the things
5 -- shopping & Kirtan at SEWA w Elizabeth
6 -- Etowah Mounds w Elizabeth & Jaime, then chill game night w Elizabeth, Heather, Jaime, Topaz, Allison, Jonathan
7 -- Big Trees w Elizabeth & Topaz, then Cracker Barrel for dinner & Breakfast on Pluto with dessert.
8 -- to Margaret Mitchell house and Marietta square with Elizabeth.
9 -- to carlos museum then revolution doughnuts with Elizabeth, then Topaz makes us dinner.
10 -- take Elizabeth to airport.
13 -- intense videochat w Anika about the lack of balanced investment in our relationship
-- scattered ???
** why I identify as demisexual / what makes sex worth the effort / sexual vs sensual touch / kissing **

July
-- very stressed, can't seem to do much
-- Heather is out of town the whole month
12 -- host cuddly communion #1 w Serah, Alison, Hope, Evelyn, Cass, Heather D, and Joey.
-- elsewise, nothing but work & rest & topaz & writing
** rant: friendships are important / my levels of relationship for everyone **
* what makes me fall in love & how it feels when I am in love *
*** on saving kids from 'broken hearts' & teaching kids about consent / red flags for bad-at-consent ***
* on changing the amount of fat on your body: cortisol, blood sugar, stress, food as fat/carb/protein *
** 4 elements needed for me to feel sexual attraction: consent, bodily respect, awareness, generosity **
* depression is not a cramp, it's a broken bone: a 'mild' situation has intense effects when depressed *

August
* Open letter to self-proclaimed reasonable white dudes *
13 -- see Arizona, we have very connected time
16 -- host an OPALS meeting which is just me and Johan, also have an amazing talk w Evelyn at Cool Beans
20 -- emotionally falling apart
* too many variations to out myself in a sentence / wordweaving & thought remodeling are central to me *
23-29 -- time at the beach w biofam
30 -- OPALS meeting w me, Saleena, Alison, and Serah

September
-- dealing with name change paperwork, lots of trips to courthouse and notary
-- exhausted and overwhelmed, lonely
-- topaz' family has health troubles
-- run out of hope for being close friends with Evelyn
* lonely in any crowd / spirit-to-spirit contact / conflict is a tool of intimacy *
23 -- feeling terribly unwanted
27 -- OPALS meeting w just me & Garnet
-- make chant booklet for my reflection beads

October
1 -- worst I felt in a year, unwanted, useless
15 -- present about appropriation at Sex Down South, no energy to go the other days
* how I manage my neuro-atypicality in relation to others *
31 -- walked Springer Mountain w Topaz, then had a bonfire at their place w Topaz, Heather, Brian, Cass, Kelsey, and Elliott
-- spending more time w Topaz' family
-- reading The History of White People

November
** an analogy to explain why the privileged are responsible for ending oppression: the racist babysitter **
*** after learning more about microbes, I no longer believe in an afterlife ***
** people demonize spanking because of classism / how corporeal punishment damaged me **
** trust: what builds it and what burns it, for me **
* the art of hugs *
** if you mourn only for the deaths of white people, your empathy is broken. and racist. **
16 -- cry for hours
17 -- see bell hooks & gloria stienem
19-22 TBC w Topaz
27 -- name change denied
-- investing more in getting to know Cass

December
-- loads of work on final papers, getting minors made official, getting my name sorted
* 5 qualities needed to practice polyamory: awareness, norm-breaking, security, energy, connection *
6 -- great connected time w Cass
15 -- graduation
** my ADD-PI: stimming and prosopagnosia (difficulty recognising faces) **
* creating your own moral code: a ritual for finding your core values & strengthening focus on them *
* ritual tool: reflection beads for my core values, desires, gratitudes, people, deities, & nature kin *
19 -- Solstice gather! Kat, Summer, Abby, Topaz, Kylei, Heather, Sydney, Jaime, Allison, & Jonathan came and Cass vidchatted in due to being sick
22 -- Arizona visited with me for a little while at my house
23 -- breakup w Anika
24 -- Gabe reveals their transphobia
25 -- Xmas at Topaz' family, exhausting, realize how much worse my family is
26 -- time w Abby in the morning, walking in nature and then cuddling at my house, then intense time w Abby & Topaz at Topaz'
27 -- breakfast, coffee, cuddles w Topaz & Abby
28 -- terrible crash of a morning, bad for Abby, bad for me, bad for Topaz. endless crying.
29 -- awful day, more endless crying. reach out to Allison for the first time, feel glad that that feels okay to do.
** prosopagnosia and memory as it relates to taking photos and believing in love **
30 -- recovering some
31 -- connected time w topaz



2015 started off in an intense but growthful way for me, as I had my first ever real conversation with my biosib S, visited Anika and had deep talks with them. I also did a ritual for deities (something I had never done before), and another ritual for connection, connected in new ways with Allison and Cass, and spent a lot of time with Heather. Then Kei-won-tia had a major crisis and I was very worried about them but didn't really get to talk to them until two weeks later. They got very upset with me for talking about my worries to Heather, and there was a whole huge mess which finally ended when they said that they need to be able to lie to their friends. During the same month as the KWT conflict, I had a bunch of other really intense experiences -- Xenacon, my first art show (sorta), speaking about trans erasure in front of loads of people, gma in hospital, interacting with family I hadn't seen in years.

March was more nourishing and less draining, with my first kirtan, my first protest march, and my first time taking Anika to Big Trees. April turned sour with a huge conflict between KWT and Anika, and otherwise intense school stress. In May I had some good connected time with friends and experienced my first zikr, but overall I was exhausted. Lilywolf moved out which was sad and relieving and stressful, and I started working at my university as a student assistant. June started out with a bang, a trans-connection party followed by a wonderful visit from Elizabeth (which included my first visit to a Sikh service), and then became scattered and lost under stress, mostly shared/reflected stress from how awful Topaz' job is, I think. In July I hosted a 'cuddly communion' which was wonderful but otherwise that entire month was empty of nourishment. In August I had some connected times with friends, and spent 6 days with my biofamily which is both good and exhausting; August marked the first of monthly breakdowns, though I don't notice this pattern until later. In September Topaz' family started having health troubles, and I dealt with the laborious process of applying to change my name.

October I felt the worst I have felt in a year, managed to present at Sex Down South but felt so socially anxious I couldn't talk to anyone and couldn't participate in the conference; I went home crying. I started spending more time with Topaz' family (which is nourishing in some ways but a lot of added stress) because they all seemed to be feeling the need for more company with each other due to the health worries. I started actively building a friendship with Cass around this time. In November I was massively stressed and overwhelmed, but seeing bell hooks and getting to attend TBC gave me enough energy that I was able to give three talks and speak on a panel, and handle some very difficult emotional conversations and realizations with Topaz. But November ended with me finding out that my name change was denied, which is massively crushing. December started with me finishing my 2 huge final papers and giving a presentation for school, doing a shitton of paperwork and hoop-jumping to get my minors made official and my name read correctly at the ceremony, then finally graduating (where my biofamily mostly flaked out and I realized that my dad was planning for a graduation present for my cousin but didn't even congratulate me). I only had three days to recover before Solstice, which was the best ever though hugely energy-consuming. Then I had an intense conflict with Cass, then Arizona visited me briefly which made me miss them a lot, then Anika broke up our friendship by attacking me, then Gabe (my emotionally-adopted little brother) revealed that they're transphobic by choice not by ignorance, then I spent Xmas with Topaz' family which made me realize how bad my biofamily is, then I spent an intense morning with Abby and an intense evening with Abby and Topaz, and finally I had a massive terrible crash that negatively affected both Abby and Topaz and lasted almost through the end of the year. Honestly, reading over December I'm amazed that I made it through without falling apart much more. That was so much, way too much.

Looking back over this, I feel like losing KWT set off a sharp increase in my social anxiety because when we initially became friends, it was built on mutually valuing intimacy and openness -- I actually felt that KWT was better at being open than I was, that they were more willing to take risks in sharing. To have them do such a complete turnaround and say that they value lies in friendship and they want to control who knows what about them was so shocking and confusing that it made me feel like I can't know people, I can't believe them, and I can't find ones that I can genuinely connect with. A similar thing happened with Anika -- I can’t explain because it would be a breach of their privacy but even though it wasn’t the same on the surface, it felt very VERY similar. That followed by the OPALS meetings falling by the wayside and getting very hopeful about a new friend only to have that vanish -- by the time I got through September I was feeling so deeply sad about friendships that despite my repressing, I was having at least one multi-hour crying jag a month about it.

So overall, 2015 brought me a huge increase in social anxiety although the relationships that I currently have are mostly at all-time highs and are overall very nourishing. I think I learned a lot through my black feminisms class in the spring, my internship, my whiteness class in the fall, and TBC, and I made a lot of progress in designing my spiritual practice, but I feel like my interpersonal life stalled out in most ways, and I lost myself as far as my social self goes. This year I will regain my social self.


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belenen: (shows -- Xena happiness)
characters in the story of my life: present and past
icon: "shows -- xena happiness (Xena and Gabrielle looking at each other and smiling as they walk)"


It had been 2 years so it was way past time for an update. I didn't include all of the people from before but those are still available via tags *smiles*
If you're wondering what spirit-kin, heart-kin, soul-kin or mind-kin mean (or -twin, the stronger version), read this post.

If there is anyone I've mentioned often who is not included here, please remind me.

all of the people! it's pretty long )


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belenen: (inspired)
recently: art, energy work class, time with lots of people, magic talismans, headache crash
I want to start doing a weekly summary on Mondays (if I can remember). I keep wanting to share things and then forgetting. If you are curious and I miss a Monday, please poke me about it.

Last week I did a shitton of art, editing photos and working with fractals. Last Monday's energy work class was great because we got to practice sensing energies with each other. I have learned some new techniques but so far the thing that has benefited me the most is the shared practice. It's hard to learn by yourself because you don't have anyone to tell you when you're off-base and you can't get a sense for what 'true' feels like as opposed to 'likely'. We practiced looking at energy during an impromptu healing that the instructor gave to someone who came in upset. We also practiced using our hands to sense the edge of people's energetic field.

Arizona was in town this week and I spent Sunday with zir, talking and cuddling and then having dinner with Arizona, Deb, and Jerry. Deb and Jerry are people I feel very very fond of but quite awkward about building a relationship now that I'm not so closely connected to their kids. They feel like family to me which also sets off my "not successful enough, not contributing enough" anxieties. I shared this with Arizona and ze invited me to dinner. The four of us had pretty great conversation and they invited me to visit - I want to get over my anxieties and actually do that. Next meteor shower I'm gonna ask to visit, at least.

Wednesday Arizona and zir partner Sulley came over to hang out with me for a while. It was kinda bittersweet because I miss them and now they live out of state, but it was good to catch up and great to see Sulley so happy: ze's at zir dream job and the contentment just radiates.

Thursday Kei-won-tia came over and we talked for a little while before I mentioned wanting to watch Adventure Time with zir and Kyle. Ze said we could do it now, and I decided to skip oneness blessing and we went to zir place. We had a great time and I felt so cozy there.

Friday the internet went out and I frustratedly tried everything but the modem had crapped out so nothing worked. The only productive thing I did that day was clean out my bettas' (3 gallon) vase.

Saturday I went to Hannahcohn's cat's funeral, which was sad but really perfect, as far as that kind of goodbye goes. There was a lot of love. I felt that my presence was comforting to Hannah, which was why I wanted to go. Hannah loves that cat more than many people love their children and the loss must be so immense. Afterward I realized I was only 15 minutes from Sanctuary (Kei-Won-Tia's house) so I went over and we watched Adventure Time interspersed with very meaningful conversation between me, Kei-Won-Tia, and Kyle. I drank a bit and was leaning towards staying the night, but then I sobered up and realized I didn't have a change of clothes and would wake up feeling super gross, so I went to Topaz's where I went to bed but couldn't sleep for ages (I think I lay in bed for 6 hours before sleep) and eventually got just 4 hours or so.

Sunday I woke up and scurried home, whirlwind cleaned my house for a bit, and then people started arriving for the crafty party. Ashe came over, which was interesting because it is the first time ze's been to my house for years. Ze played piano which I unexpectedly enjoyed (I usually find piano music bothersome because my parents made me play for 4 years). Ze also brought a new friend, Rayne, who is pagan and seems awesome. I felt so awkward but really happy, and I enjoyed both of their company. Then Heather and Heatherby and Taz and Olly showed up, and were surprised by the mellow feel. Kylei and Allison are my bouncy boisterous friends (I'm only like that if I'm drunk or extremely happy) so without them everything's pretty chill. I like for things to be bouncy but I am not invested enough to make it so myself. Bouncy is not a creative energy for me -- when I am creating I get very quiet and focused. Anyway it was a very successful crafty party! I really liked the things people made and I loved my craft. I made magic talismans for the people in my energy work class: I wrote blessings for them (intuiting what I felt to be their need) on tiny slips of paper which I rolled into spirals and placed in a painted plastic bottle cap along with scraps from calendars, glitter, glass, and resin. They turned out amazing and I cannot wait to do more.

Monday I had to be up early for the internet to get fixed but I couldn't sleep until late, so I got another short and interrupted sleep. I went to the last energy work class, which was intense -- we learned a technique that I feel is very good for removing doubt*. At one point we did an exercise where we thought of something unlikely (buying a dinner for two at $200 a plate) and removed doubt until we could see it as possible. When I got to the point where it felt possible, I started crying, not just tearing up but unable-to-speak-and-occasionally-sobbing. I hadn't realized it because it was so beyond my life experience, but being able to give others experiences that they would treasure is very, very important to me. I thought of this experimental restaurant that Topaz loves and how I would love to take zir there and it just hit me hard.

At the end of the class I gave out my talismans along with the blessings written out on post-its so they could have them, and they were welcomed so happily. Five of the people said that they were spot-on (the other did not comment), one person cried, one person thanked me profusedly. Also, as I was leaving one of the students told me that ze had practiced an energy work thing I had suggested and it had helped, which made me feel so happy. The thing I got out of this class more than anything else was coming to trust in my intuition, and to believe that the things that I feel as right often are. The doubt-removing exercise was also very useful and I will definitely be using that.

As I left, this headache that I'd been pushing away for 2 hours finally just crashed in -- it was awful, crushing pain. I started to drive home but the lights from other cars were stabbing me and I didn't feel fully there and I kept feeling like I was going to puke, so I called Topaz and asked if I could come there. Ze said yes and so I did, and by the time I got there all I could do was lay on the floor and whimper. I didn't know if it was lack of sleep or lack of food or dehydration or some terrible combination, but it hurt so much. Topaz pet me and gave me cold compresses and brought me water and saltines and made me soup. Once the nausea faded enough that I could eat, I ate and took ibuprofen and the headache went away over the next hour. We went to sleep early and I slept deeply, finally, though I had strange dreams about the trailer I lived in from ages 2-8.

*You think of a situation and rate its possibility for you on a scale from 1-100, using intuition for the rating and imagination to picture a sliding scale. Then you think of the things that make it not possible, and let them go -- all judgements and etc. Keep checking on the scale and don't stop until you get to a point of 90-95% possibility, when you can just push the slider up with your mind. Then you take a mental picture of the situation and send it outward from you in a ripple. It doesn't sound like much but when you do it, you realize a lot of subconscious things that you believe, that you might be better off if you didn't believe (like "everyone will dislike me if I...").


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belenen: (adoring)
Who speaks to my soul w their existence? 1st impressions? How do they inspire?
Prompt from Kei-Won-Tia: Who are the people in your life who speak to your soul with their existence and what was your first impression of them? What qualities in them inspire you to better yourself?

There are a lot of people in that first answer! I'll go chronologicallyish, name then first impression then qualities. Remember these are not characterizations just first impressions!

Allison. first impression: small, bouncy, happy, clever, creative. Ze inspires me to get in touch with my more expressive self, and be unabashedly enthusiastic.

Hannah. first impression: brilliant, careful, compassionate, silly, generous, yearning. Ze inspires me to ask prying questions, to seek a more blunt truthfulness, to embrace my tenderness (used to be very difficult as I prided myself on toughness).

SabR. first impression: fierce, wild, bold about beliefs, generous, welcoming, easily angry, confidently creative. Ze inspires me to put more of myself on the line with my art, to be bolder about sharing vulnerable beliefs, to be wild (like a leopard not like a spring breaker).

Aurilion. first impression: too interested in being seen as more evolved than the next to be really honest about anything, loving, seeking (I didn't connect w zir much at all until we met in person). Ze inspires me to believe in my intuition and to be open to possibilities.

Ashe. first impression: sweet, affectionate, loyal to an extreme (I got annoyed with a girl who was deliberately flirting with our crushes but ze was infuriated/outraged and I'm pretty sure hated that person from then on). Ze inspires me to believe in myself - I think ze was the first person to believe in me, which is a huge damn deal.

Anika. first impression: angry, open, curious, creative, clever. Ze inspires me to share more, to yield less, to grow and learn and be unafraid.

Viv. first impression: anxious, eager to explore, cuddly. Ze inspired me to explore my transness, undo my partnership, reconsider my whole life, take emotional risks with no security.

Vola. first impression: quiet, intense, very thoughtful and thorough, determined. Ze inspires me to think (through zir thoughtful sharing) and to be true to the more analytical, ethereal parts of me. This is kinda rare because people tend to like my sensual, affectionate side more.

Nea. first impression: impossibly kind, compassionate, nonjudgemental. I think Nea is still the most nonjudgemental person I've ever known. Ze inspires me in that way and also by being a person who doesn't share many words and yet is as open-hearted as can be. It makes me see more possibilities in people.

Laura. first impression: honest, creative, loving toward everyone but zirself. Ze died last year but continues to inspire me with zir hope in all things. I want to believe. I miss zir so much, I hate that ze's gone.

Angie. first impression: sweetest, gentlest person I've ever met (that initial impression is still true). Ze inspires me to remember that there are still kind people in the world, even when surrounded by cruelty, not everyone becomes cruel. Ze makes me believe in love.

Lisa. first impression: honest, cheerful, directionless. Ze inspires me because I've seen zir take ownership of zir life and unflinchingly examine where ze can change to bring about the life ze wants, and then just fuckin do it. (Not directionless, obv)

Firekat. first impression: opposite of me, adventurous, risk-taking. Ze inspires me to take risks! I've followed in zir footsteps in a lot of ways (not intentionally, but partly given courage by seeing Kat) and been the better for it.

Ben. first impression: argumentative, stubborn, smart, affectionate. Ben inspires me with zir desire to grow and learn. I almost never see this in someone who passes as a privilege-pinnacle person, and it gives me a little hope for the world.

Arizona. first impression: sharp-minded, open to any new idea, enjoying life, stable and secure in zirself. Ze inspires me to believe in my ability to sense magic. Ze was the first to affirm me in that way (we got together because I dreamed we kissed and then I asked zir out as an act of trusting my intuition).

Kylei. first impression: extremely emotional, creative, impulsive, open, affectionate. Ze inspires me to be more open, honor my feelings, follow my heart.

Heather. first impression: friendliest person ever, totally free and kind. Ze inspires me to share (because ze read my ENTIRE journal even the early parts and still liked me) and to see myself as a relatable person even though I get socially overwhelmed sometimes (if it can be true of the friendliest person ever, I must be relatable too).

Abby. first impression: nervous, creative, generous. Ze inspires me to treat emotions as a shared unfolding of knowledge, a collaborative project, and ze inspires me by sharing new knowledge.

Adi. first impression: bold, honest, unafraid. Ze believed in my goodness at a time when I felt everyone would judge me and it made me feel hope that I could be myself without going way out of my way to explain and still have people see me truly.

Topaz. first impression: capable of listening intently and engagingly, caring about social justice, fierce, free, unavailable, sexy as fuck. Ze inspires me to continue learning and attempting to educate others (because ze also self-educates and agrees and supports me) and to go after what I want (because ze believes in zirself and prioritizes zir needs so I feel I can too).

Camellia. first impression: no idea because it was so long ago and ze was just a kid. Ze inspires me to be welcoming, because ze makes me feel like that part of me is appreciated.

Kei-Won-Tia. first impression: distant, loving, self-deprecating, a bit lost. Ze inspires me to practice gratitude, build intentional connections, trust in people, share what I learn.

There are many others, really.

Also all of the good parents I know: Anika, Jess, Clare and spouse, Christine, Issa and Joshua, Mandy, Brian and Sarah, Ksej, others- people raising their children with love and creativity and understanding and freedom, giving them the chance to flourish instead of squashing them into a mold like most progenitors. I feel this very deeply and personally, as if in doing so they are giving me what I never had. It moves me to tears.


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belenen: (kanika kitty)
prompt 12: my connection with Kanika, from adoption to now.
[livejournal.com profile] sabr gave me this prompt for March 12: This is my horse, TC Nighthawk's birthday. I have a close relationship with him, and we are very close in age - I want to know more about your connection with animals, and where they fit in/shape/improve your life. Tell me about an important connection you have to any particular animal, past or present!

I like this prompt (sorry about it not being on the right day!); I want to tell the story of my relationship with Kanika, because it is certainly an important connection.

I got Kanika as a kitten of about 2 months old, nine years ago. When I met zir, I knew ze was mine when I held zir on zir back in my hands and looked at zir little face, and ze just lay there calmly and made eye contact with me for a minute. Now if you've met Kanika, this should blow your mind; ze doesn't like being held, and would never tolerate being on zir back and not fighting. I think it was just that ze was distracted with my gaze. Ze was a squirmy little thing and a wild teenager; my ex-partner who lived with me then thought ze would never listen to anything. But I'm a very patient person, and I knew that repetition was the key; now I can ask zir to move and ze will, unless ze's feeling threatened, and ze waits patiently when being fed instead of shoving zir face in the way.

When very young ze did like to be held; this changed when ze was sitting on my lap one day and I was petting zir during an argument with my then-partner, who slapped Kanika out of my hand and across the room out of anger at me. (if not for the fact that my ex then cried for literal hours and my belief at the time that marriage meant forever, that would have been the end of our time together. ze never did anything like that again) I was terrified but Kanika was unharmed physically; however ze does not trust people. It was that trust-breaking moment that was the reason ze doesn't like being picked up and rejected it entirely for years. I believe in respecting the wishes of other beings, so I will pick Kanika up when ze is being friendly, but as soon as ze meows I put zir down. Sometimes ze meows as soon as zir feet leave the floor, sometimes it's a while later, sometimes ze doesn't meow at all but I can tell ze is done and wants to be put down and I do it without zir asking. Ze sometimes likes to be hugged loosely and petted when ze's sitting on my desk right at waist level, and when ze wants to do that ze will come over and put front paws on my leg and meow (if ze's being polite) or just jump up (when I usually give a quick pet and hug and then put zir back on the floor). Ze sleeps at my feet a lot when I am at my computer, and always comes to lay on me for a minute when I first get in bed.

photos and videos, apologies for poor quality on most of them )

Kanika has bonded with people I've lived with, to the point that when I didn't have a good place for Kanika ze lived with Arizona and I would have left zir there. I would not miss Kanika very much if I knew ze was in a safe space where ze felt cared for. Ze's not my baby, ze's more like a sibling (with pretty intense social anxiety). I love zir but we don't have the bond I had with my other cats. Maybe this will change over time, as ze seems to be getting more relaxed, but I still have to be on guard with zir. We've never reached a place where I can just trust zir to not lash out (though I can trust zir not to cause damage, but the lashing out feels like a slap to the face and it takes a while to calm down from). I feel deep understanding of why ze does things, so I don't resent them, but they keep us distant.

I think another reason Kanika is anxious is that in the early days of me having zir, I was working through childhood sexual abuse and was in a state of terror pretty often, and Kanika is very empathetic. I couldn't leave the house alone and if the apartment yard maintenance people came by I ran into my room and hid (holding an axe no less), and Kanika ran with me. I think this taught zir some fear of strangers. Ze still gets really freaked out if someone knocks, leaps up and looks scared like I used to when strangers would come around. Ze's still anxious around people but it is much lessened now that there are no other cats or people living with us; ze can even hang out when there are guests without freaking out.

Kanika's sensitivity to energy also means that if someone touches zir -- or reaches to touch zir -- who has bouncy energy, ze reacts as if that person literally bounced a rubber ball on zir. And even with me there are a limit to the amount of strokes ze can handle before being overstimulated. It also means that sometimes when I'm sick or in pain (physical or emotional), ze comes and kneads me, rubs on me, tolerates more holding than usual. When I'm doing magic, ze comes and sits within the energy of it, or climbs on top of things (when I'm crafting this is not as true, so I feel sure it's the energy of it and not the mere activity of it). So despite not feeling very close in some ways, I feel like we do have an important connection. I value zir company and love zir in all zir anxious, cranky, clever, playful, beautiful, sensitive glory.


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
characters in the story of my life: present and past (updated for the first time in 4 years!)
If you're wondering what spirit-kin, heart-kin, soul-kin or mind-kin mean (or -twin, the stronger version), read this post.

If there is anyone I've mentioned often who is not included here, please remind me.

all of the people! it's pretty long )


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
relationship updates: Topaz, Abby, Arizona, Firekat, Aurilion, Kylei, etc, self, Hannah
At intimacy practice one of the things I talked about was about how Topaz and I haven't had much time together since I've been working and ze's been in a constant swamp of stress for at least six weeks, through work and family obligations. A few days after that we had a conflict over some misunderstanding and we didn't have time to heal it right away which felt HORRIBLE. The next day we had long talks over text and agreed to have just quiet healing time and not discuss our relationship, and I think that has sort of kept on going, which makes me a little nervous. I'm not sure that that is accurate because it all feels good between us, I just don't feel resolved on the tangled worries that Topaz was having that might or might not include our relationship changing. I miss time with Topaz so much, real time where we focus on each other and explore life. I have maintained my own internal health though, instead of trying to fix everything and spending all of myself on it. I give what I can and also take time for myself.

Abby and Arizona and Trevor all moved out of state and I was feeling not only sad that they're so far away, but also worried that I wouldn't have enough open/honest people in my life and wouldn't be able to find more. I feel reassured after last week's intimacy practice, because there were three newbies who all participated fully. I felt so honored that they all opened up so much, and also felt encouraged that our friendships would become lasting ones.

I've spent time with friends (Aaron, Laure, Taz, Camellia) who had all been on my 'list of people to invest time in' which is a fantastic development as it means I have actual energy for more than survival! And I've had really positive interactions with Aurilion, including a conversation that made me realize that (as Aurilion put it) ze wasn't ready to claim zir agency when we were together, and is coming into true ownership of zir life now. I don't know what that means for us, but it is really good news for zir. Also I randomly messaged Viv tonight and exchanged updated contact info; hopefully we can reconnect. Also I skyped with Firekat and with Abby, which made them feel much more within reach. I feel like I am much more of a person when I have active connections. I feel a strong need for a local heart connection, and I'm trailing out little energetic tendrils looking for that.

I feel like Kylei and I are finally getting to a good place; I'm beginning to feel affection for zir again. It's pretty bizarre how I get totally numb -- I guess it's my psyche's way of saying "no really, if you give one more speck of energy you're gonna die, so I'm gonna make you stop caring." I remember this happening with Hannah when we broke up after our short romance, and how it was scary as fuck. At least with Kylei I knew it would be temporary, but I also know if I try to rush it it will be completely counterproductive. But hugs feel better, and I am encouraged to know that the stasis has ended and the recovery has begun.

My relationship with myself is blossoming right now, as I'm editing and sharing photos (on dA and tumblr and flickr), writing and crafting, reading and organizing, listening to lots of music at the rate of about 2-3 new albums a month. I'm really happy at my self-kindness and pleased that I haven't sacrificed my relationship with myself for other things that I want.

I miss Hannah so much. I feel hopelessly out of touch; I keep trying but haven't managed at all lately and I feel sad and a little hurt about it. But I'm saving, and hoping that ze can come visit me this December.


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belenen: (exuviate)
shedding, shifting, movement and temporary endings in my relationships.
Fuck. This past week has changed SO MUCH in my life. I realized on Thursday that I was creating all of the momentum in ALL of my romantic relationships, and that it was draining me entirely. I've been feeling incapable of happiness; even in moments of extreme joy I would suddenly crash and feel disconnected and apathetic. I was worrying that it was a chemical thing and that I needed some sort of medication, which is extremely scary for me because I know of the struggles my people have had in trying to find the right pill (one that didn't just make their problems worse).

I had a long conversation with Kylei on Thursday about our particular set of issues; things that were innocuous that became habits and thus problems; basically I had become Kylei's mood stabilizer, safety blanket, and braindump receptacle, because I often act those functions and without any intention for it, Kylei had grown to expect it. That, combined with Kylei not investing in zirself or in people other than me, led to this loop of need that meant we never got above neutral. I felt like it might be best for us to take a break, but we ended up deciding to try and shift expectations in another way, which is what we're living now. It feels weird but I am hoping it will lead to renewal. I was feeling / am feeling scared that we won't be able to renew our magic, but I am having faith and Kylei said ze was going to work on having faith too.

Then Friday I had a long conversation with Abby about the same thing, realizing that with zir and others I was constantly investing without realizing it, shoring up my feelings which would slowly slip with every day that I didn't hear from them, and fall dramatically every time I found out something significant had happened in their life that they didn't share with me. While I was logically okay with these things, emotionally they damaged my connection every time and I fixed that damage by pouring my own faith-energy into the cracks. It worked, but it left me neutral or negative on energy all the time, and it's been going on for so long that I've forgotten how to manage "more than neutral." I only realized these things after hanging out with Topaz and feeling nourished afterwards instead of sad or just okay. I thought to myself, "healthy connections create energy, this needs to change." So I shared all this with Abby, feeling super-worried that ze was going to be upset with me, but ze was just sad and caring for me, and we agreed to take a break from our relationship (because I can't manage to stop investing energy without that). I want to have a similar conversation with other people whom I'm 'dating' but haven't actually had any significant amount of time with since ... I don't even know. I can't keep trying to make the impossible happen.

And there's this weird selfishness in it where I don't want to give up because I don't want to have my world shrink, which is what it feels like will happen if I break up with people. But that is a shitty reason to stay with people. I need to let things happen in their own time instead of being like NOW NOW NOW GODDAMMIT. I want these things to blossom and flourish but I KNOW that is not going to happen right now and we're delaying the future joys by creating issues now that will have to be healed later.

I also had some fucking astonishing world-shifting beginnings this week, and loads of TBC learning, but those will have to go in further posts.


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
initiating contact / communication patterns w Kylei, Adi, Arizona / talkin w Abby about expectations
There tends to be a disparity in my relationships regarding initiating contact: I tend to do much more of it than the other person, and when that happens for a long period of time, my self-worth takes a nosedive. So my first reaction is to see if the other person is willing & able to do more initiating, and if that's not the case, then I decrease the amount I'm doing until I don't feel bad about it anymore. I get caught in horrible loops if the other person gets upset with me for decreasing, but otherwise it works.

It's strange to me how my relationships shift around in completely unpredictable ways. Currently I'm in romantic relationships with Kylei, Arizona, and Adi. Kylei I live with (and have lived with for the last year and a half) and see every day (on the days where one of us is out of town we tend to have at least one hour of phonetalking per day). Adi is extremely busy as ze's dating five other people, and ze also has ADD so we don't really talk unless we're in person. Arizona is also very busy and not much for distance communication. I have intense emotional/spiritual connections with both of them and ideally I'd like to have the kind of relationships with them where we talked at least via text at least every other day, but I know realistically that that is not going to happen, and I've come to acceptance about it. Lately I've been reflecting on it and while I'm okay with having relationships that are at this low level of communication, it's not very nourishing for me. It IS nourishing, just at a very low level and I'd like to be creating what I want.

But most people don't seem to want that level of communication, or if they do want it they are not able to do it. I was really, incredibly lucky to find Kylei, who wants to maintain our super-communicativeness as much as I do, but I want to develop at least one more bond like this. But it has to be a yearning PLUS ability on the part of the other person and that seems difficult. If Kylei and I didn't live together I don't think we'd have been able to maintain it while Kylei was dating others, because I think Kylei's lack of dating outside the house I was living in was what facilitated us staying connected like that while living apart. That sounds convoluted but I'm not sure how to untangle an explanation.

A month ago Abby and I decided to "officially" reclassify ourselves as friends because our romantic relationship had dissolved due to a mixture of things. I think our relationship began on the heels of a very intense and hurtful relationship of Abby's, and there were a lot of things that Abby needed in zir life in order to heal and ze subconsciously expected these from me. That worked badly with my own issues; a combination of 1) when people have expectations that I fail to meet and they get hurt by it, I feel like renegotiating is not an option and I just MUST do the things, but I can't, and then I feel like shit about myself which means I have less to give, and 2) when someone expects me to give, I don't want to, because I feel like the gift is taken away and it has become a duty. Abby and I met up today and talked about a lot of things, including this aspect of our relationship. I think we've both learned a lot. I've learned that I have a problem with not confronting expectations if they are expectations of things that I would naturally do 95% of the time, but I need to be wary of that and make sure that I'm not falling into old patterns of guilt and taking-on-responsibility-for-someone-else's-happiness (which is not necessarily an action of theirs at all) and stress. Instead I need to be clear and honest with myself and my people; I need to make sure that I give gifts that are received as such, and that if I do not want to give a gift, I don't. And I need to check in with myself regularly and ask, "is there a pattern?" whether good or bad. Kylei is very generous with small favors -- getting me water, letting the cat out, bringing me things -- but I only noticed this as a pattern this past week. Now that I have noticed it as a pattern instead of individual moments, I am much more nourished by it. And obviously if there is a negative pattern I need to notice that in order to change it.

Also I realized that I really missed Abby. Near the end there was so much stress and guilt and hurt for me that I felt relief to be out of contact, but after that went away our connection is still there. When we hugged today I just wanted to stand and hug for like an hour. We're going to work on our friendship, which makes me happy.


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


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belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


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belenen: (gender is a lie)
dating Arizona again / sexist professor / discussing poly&queer w/ biosib S / bluntness not caution!
It's been ages since I wrote -- partly from busyness and partly because I was so freaking stressed about financial stuff that I could not spend time in reflective mindspace or I'd fixate on it. My financial aid finally came in this week (two and a half weeks into the semester, having no books) so I have a little room to breathe. and so much has been going on, argh, I'm frustrated that I haven't written.

Things are SO busy, I've scheduled weekly dates -- one with Kyle and one with Abby -- and I've started seeing Arizona again. When we broke up in November, it was mostly because at that point Arizona intended to stay at Serendipity for the rest of zir life, and wanted to be with someone who could become part of that family too. I couldn't do that and Arizona couldn't help hoping for it and it was making us both sad. But now zir life has taken a different turn, ze's making new roots with a new lover that ze's very serious with, and there are possibilities between us again. And it's pretty amazing -- I don't feel like the sad parts or separation damaged our connection at all; it feels even stronger than before. I think we're both much more 'ourselves' than we were when last we were together and when we touch and make eye contact I feel like a plant soaking up the sun. It's just so purely nourishing. Although I realized recently that the breakup was much harder for Arizona than for me, because I always thought that we'd get back together in a year or two, but ze thought we were over forever. I think one of the lessons I am most grateful for learning/believing is that if you have a true connection, and you leave space open for it, it will always come back (even though you can't predict when). When I lost Hannah the first time I thought I was going to die, and losing Aurilion the first time crushed me too -- but after a time, we reconnected. These things are too real to die (I think sometimes they might hibernate until the next lifetime, but they're eternal).

Classes are 3/4ths pretty cool, and 1/4th INFURIATING. ignorance and prejudice are ESPECIALLY INEXCUSABLE if people are trusting you to teach them )

My biosib S was in town last week and I went to dinner with zir and my bioparent M. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was surprised. The evening ended up being S and I talking about real things, much to M's consternation (ze shook zir head and pursed zir lips and drew zir eyebrows but mostly stayed out of it). S asked who I was dating and I answered, which sparked a whole conversation about polyamory and queerness. The poly was a short conversation but the queerness conversation went on for a while -- S asked how it fit with my [religion/beliefs (can't remember the word ze used)] and I said, "ummm, it just fits? that's a vague question." Then ze tried to come up with a better question and I said that I understood that the church has an anti-homosexuality doctrine, but it's based on a handful of verses taken out of context and misinterpreted. M tried to challenge me and then got a bit intimidated because I clearly know those verses better than ze does. Then someone mentioned Sodom and I said that the sexual sin of Sodom was rape, and to claim otherwise is to say rape isn't that big of a deal. Which somehow got us on the topic of marital rape, and I tried to explain consent and coercion to S, which I think mostly went over zir head, but I think some of it got through. And M said that it wasn't rape unless it was forced and I corrected that lie (sternly). I was a little drunk by that point because S bought me a margarita and it was REALLY strong. But I was pretty happy that I didn't back down or even feel like backing down and it was actually kind of a relief to be able to confront those ideas directly with people I don't think will get it. With people whom I perceive as actually WANTING to understand ask, I speak so carefully, trying to say just the right thing. I think it's counterproductive sometimes, but I feel responsible. I think it might be better if I could stop worrying whether or not an individual is "won to the cause," and just say "that's ignorant and prejudiced, and here's why." I think the overcaution is the equivalent of trying to save people -- I need to stop thinking that I have the power to change people's minds, and just be naked and blunt and if they seem open, THEN speak carefully. I need to try for people who actually care instead of trying for everyone. Throw seeds everywhere, but only water the ones that sprout.

Anyway I ended up being impressed by how S listened, and decided that I wanted to try to have a friendship with zir. Amusingly, this is an attitude I developed from being poly. I learned that I could still find value in relationships that were the emotional equivalent of candy, because it wasn't that or nothing. I can have candy AND food that will actually nourish and satisfy me. I don't think I will ever be super close with S, but I think that ze can be a good way for me to learn communications that I won't otherwise learn, and I think I can help zir learn about people who are different from zir.


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belenen: (gender is a lie)
dating Arizona again / sexist professor / discussing poly&queer w/ biosib S / bluntness not caution!
It's been ages since I wrote -- partly from busyness and partly because I was so freaking stressed about financial stuff that I could not spend time in reflective mindspace or I'd fixate on it. My financial aid finally came in this week (two and a half weeks into the semester, having no books) so I have a little room to breathe. and so much has been going on, argh, I'm frustrated that I haven't written.

Things are SO busy, I've scheduled weekly dates -- one with Kyle and one with Abby -- and I've started seeing Arizona again. When we broke up in November, it was mostly because at that point Arizona intended to stay at Serendipity for the rest of zir life, and wanted to be with someone who could become part of that family too. I couldn't do that and Arizona couldn't help hoping for it and it was making us both sad. But now zir life has taken a different turn, ze's making new roots with a new lover that ze's very serious with, and there are possibilities between us again. And it's pretty amazing -- I don't feel like the sad parts or separation damaged our connection at all; it feels even stronger than before. I think we're both much more 'ourselves' than we were when last we were together and when we touch and make eye contact I feel like a plant soaking up the sun. It's just so purely nourishing. Although I realized recently that the breakup was much harder for Arizona than for me, because I always thought that we'd get back together in a year or two, but ze thought we were over forever. I think one of the lessons I am most grateful for learning/believing is that if you have a true connection, and you leave space open for it, it will always come back (even though you can't predict when). When I lost Hannah the first time I thought I was going to die, and losing Aurilion the first time crushed me too -- but after a time, we reconnected. These things are too real to die (I think sometimes they might hibernate until the next lifetime, but they're eternal).

Classes are 3/4ths pretty cool, and 1/4th INFURIATING. ignorance and prejudice are ESPECIALLY INEXCUSABLE if people are trusting you to teach them )

My biosib S was in town last week and I went to dinner with zir and my bioparent M. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was surprised. The evening ended up being S and I talking about real things, much to M's consternation (ze shook zir head and pursed zir lips and drew zir eyebrows but mostly stayed out of it). S asked who I was dating and I answered, which sparked a whole conversation about polyamory and queerness. The poly was a short conversation but the queerness conversation went on for a while -- S asked how it fit with my [religion/beliefs (can't remember the word ze used)] and I said, "ummm, it just fits? that's a vague question." Then ze tried to come up with a better question and I said that I understood that the church has an anti-homosexuality doctrine, but it's based on a handful of verses taken out of context and misinterpreted. M tried to challenge me and then got a bit intimidated because I clearly know those verses better than ze does. Then someone mentioned Sodom and I said that the sexual sin of Sodom was rape, and to claim otherwise is to say rape isn't that big of a deal. Which somehow got us on the topic of marital rape, and I tried to explain consent and coercion to S, which I think mostly went over zir head, but I think some of it got through. And M said that it wasn't rape unless it was forced and I corrected that lie (sternly). I was a little drunk by that point because S bought me a margarita and it was REALLY strong. But I was pretty happy that I didn't back down or even feel like backing down and it was actually kind of a relief to be able to confront those ideas directly with people I don't think will get it. With people whom I perceive as actually WANTING to understand ask, I speak so carefully, trying to say just the right thing. I think it's counterproductive sometimes, but I feel responsible. I think it might be better if I could stop worrying whether or not an individual is "won to the cause," and just say "that's ignorant and prejudiced, and here's why." I think the overcaution is the equivalent of trying to save people -- I need to stop thinking that I have the power to change people's minds, and just be naked and blunt and if they seem open, THEN speak carefully. I need to try for people who actually care instead of trying for everyone. Throw seeds everywhere, but only water the ones that sprout.

Anyway I ended up being impressed by how S listened, and decided that I wanted to try to have a friendship with zir. Amusingly, this is an attitude I developed from being poly. I learned that I could still find value in relationships that were the emotional equivalent of candy, because it wasn't that or nothing. I can have candy AND food that will actually nourish and satisfy me. I don't think I will ever be super close with S, but I think that ze can be a good way for me to learn communications that I won't otherwise learn, and I think I can help zir learn about people who are different from zir.


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belenen: (ecstatic)
important events in 2010 / overwhelming change, desire, and passion wrapped in community
a drawing titled "Adolescence" by Norman Lindsay
& a fractal titled "Conception" by sideoutman:



2010 was such a huge year that I'm intimidated by the idea of trying to sum it up, but combining "Conception" and "Adolescence" is a good start. The fractal is expressive of a coiled, freshly-created energy and purpose, which I certainly conceived in 2010. The drawing (oh Norman Lindsay I love you <3) is full of exploration and communication and relating. I see myself in quite a few of the characters, and the harpies and sphinxes with their worshipful open faces speak to me of turning lack and mystery into love and knowledge. The horned characters make me especially happy, as the presence of Pan in my life this year has been quiet but oh-so-profound.

Last January I declared 2010 the year of passion, and oh GOD/DESS yes it was! both good and bad kinds. It started off with a BANG -- hate (which I hadn't felt in years) and fury (over the ex-partner), followed by a few months of stress and worry (mostly over finances), then a few days of delirious happiness (in an almost-triad with strong energetic exchange), then depression and anger (break-up pain and mistreatment), then an explosion of sheer joy (Arizona!) which increased (Serendipity!) and increased (Chip!) and increased (Kyle!) for two months, then contentment and productivity (living & working with Serendipity), then stress and shifting (school again! culture shock, not dating justben actively), then horrible pain (herpes AGH), then exploring/adventuring inspired by Kyle (meeting more people, going new places, having more sexperiences), then an emotional breakdown as I finally reach my coping limit (so much change! so much intensity!), then my first burn-type event!, then breaking up with Arizona, then lots of intoxication with dancing and kissing, and lots of friendship exploration (mostly in Kyle's social group).

Or, most everything I expressed gratitude for at the beginning of the year. It was DEFINITELY "filled with all the love and sex and joy and passion and boldness" that I could handle -- and I was able to handle more than I thought possible. And I certainly met more people with whom I connect deeply, and learned more about sex and the role it is to play in my life. And for the first time, I've experienced being satisfied by the amount of loving touch I get, and for the first time since the Wynnes I've felt fully understood and appreciated and accepted and desired. And I've become more comfortable sharing my art (I did photoshoots! with people I didn't know well at the time!) and became healthier. The only thing that I feel didn't increase is my understanding of my spiritual connection with nature and having my lil sis live with/near me, so those move to my 2011 presumptuous thanks :D

important events in 2010 )


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belenen: (ecstatic)
important events in 2010 / overwhelming change, desire, and passion wrapped in community
a drawing titled "Adolescence" by Norman Lindsay
& a fractal titled "Conception" by sideoutman:



2010 was such a huge year that I'm intimidated by the idea of trying to sum it up, but combining "Conception" and "Adolescence" is a good start. The fractal is expressive of a coiled, freshly-created energy and purpose, which I certainly conceived in 2010. The drawing (oh Norman Lindsay I love you <3) is full of exploration and communication and relating. I see myself in quite a few of the characters, and the harpies and sphinxes with their worshipful open faces speak to me of turning lack and mystery into love and knowledge. The horned characters make me especially happy, as the presence of Pan in my life this year has been quiet but oh-so-profound.

Last January I declared 2010 the year of passion, and oh GOD/DESS yes it was! both good and bad kinds. It started off with a BANG -- hate (which I hadn't felt in years) and fury (over the ex-partner), followed by a few months of stress and worry (mostly over finances), then a few days of delirious happiness (in an almost-triad with strong energetic exchange), then depression and anger (break-up pain and mistreatment), then an explosion of sheer joy (Arizona!) which increased (Serendipity!) and increased (Chip!) and increased (Kyle!) for two months, then contentment and productivity (living & working with Serendipity), then stress and shifting (school again! culture shock, not dating justben actively), then horrible pain (herpes AGH), then exploring/adventuring inspired by Kyle (meeting more people, going new places, having more sexperiences), then an emotional breakdown as I finally reach my coping limit (so much change! so much intensity!), then my first burn-type event!, then breaking up with Arizona, then lots of intoxication with dancing and kissing, and lots of friendship exploration (mostly in Kyle's social group).

Or, most everything I expressed gratitude for at the beginning of the year. It was DEFINITELY "filled with all the love and sex and joy and passion and boldness" that I could handle -- and I was able to handle more than I thought possible. And I certainly met more people with whom I connect deeply, and learned more about sex and the role it is to play in my life. And for the first time, I've experienced being satisfied by the amount of loving touch I get, and for the first time since the Wynnes I've felt fully understood and appreciated and accepted and desired. And I've become more comfortable sharing my art (I did photoshoots! with people I didn't know well at the time!) and became healthier. The only thing that I feel didn't increase is my understanding of my spiritual connection with nature and having my lil sis live with/near me, so those move to my 2011 presumptuous thanks :D

important events in 2010 )


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belenen: (wanderlust)
what home means to me -- a resting place, not a living place
I've recently realized that the way I spend time and the way I think of home is different than most people I've lived with. Home, to me, is where I go to rest and feel secure -- and this usually involves being relaxed/passive/solitary. It's not where I want to spend most of my time -- it's where I want to go back to after adventures. If I'm happy and healthy I want to be OUT most of the time (at least 5 days out of 7), interacting with people and exploring. Being out satisfies my yearning to wander. The only times I spend vast lengths of time at home is when I'm feeling depressed or need to process/recover or feel like I have no one to explore with (I can explore on my own if it's warm, but if it's cold I need people with me to motivate me to brave the cold).

But for most people, "home is where the heart is" and home is where you are happiest spending your time. I remember this being a point of conflict when I lived with the Wynnes -- I loved that family more than anyone else I'd ever known, and I LOVED my room SO much (it was FULL of light and they let me paint it purple and green and it had a built-in-desk and its own full-of-light bathroom), 'yet' I was out all the time. I was working full time and going to school full time and dating and going to group therapy (which for me was a wonderful social activity), and I loved the whirl. I think Paula started to feel like I didn't care about them because I wasn't often home, and she started asking me to call when I was going to be out late (ostensibly so ze wouldn't worry but really I think because ze didn't want to feel forgotten) -- which I could never remember to do until it was already past the time ze'd be asleep. I didn't realize (until now) that it is possible they felt unloved or like I didn't want to live there -- yet it was probably my favorite place I've ever lived.

it was also conflict with Ash and Ben and Arizona )

All this makes me worry that I'm not suited to live with people I'm close with because it seems really difficult to get around that expectation. My daydream looks like this: sharing living space (a house or multi-room flat) with people I love who are either wanderfooted or solitary or not emotionally invested in me; having my own, separate space; having communal space where everyone living there has equal freedom to invite people to (this is very important! I've NEVER had this and yearned for it all my life); having no one be sad if I'm gone for days at a stretch, and no one be upset if I'm home but don't want to interact. I dunno if that's possible. I hope so, and I want to try it with my lil sis and Kyle (who is probably more out-oriented than I am even) and maybe some others. Am I the only one who thinks of home like this?
sounds: Massive Attack - Spying Glass | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


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belenen: (wanderlust)
what home means to me -- a resting place, not a living place
I've recently realized that the way I spend time and the way I think of home is different than most people I've lived with. Home, to me, is where I go to rest and feel secure -- and this usually involves being relaxed/passive/solitary. It's not where I want to spend most of my time -- it's where I want to go back to after adventures. If I'm happy and healthy I want to be OUT most of the time (at least 5 days out of 7), interacting with people and exploring. Being out satisfies my yearning to wander. The only times I spend vast lengths of time at home is when I'm feeling depressed or need to process/recover or feel like I have no one to explore with (I can explore on my own if it's warm, but if it's cold I need people with me to motivate me to brave the cold).

But for most people, "home is where the heart is" and home is where you are happiest spending your time. I remember this being a point of conflict when I lived with the Wynnes -- I loved that family more than anyone else I'd ever known, and I LOVED my room SO much (it was FULL of light and they let me paint it purple and green and it had a built-in-desk and its own full-of-light bathroom), 'yet' I was out all the time. I was working full time and going to school full time and dating and going to group therapy (which for me was a wonderful social activity), and I loved the whirl. I think Paula started to feel like I didn't care about them because I wasn't often home, and she started asking me to call when I was going to be out late (ostensibly so ze wouldn't worry but really I think because ze didn't want to feel forgotten) -- which I could never remember to do until it was already past the time ze'd be asleep. I didn't realize (until now) that it is possible they felt unloved or like I didn't want to live there -- yet it was probably my favorite place I've ever lived.

it was also conflict with Ash and Ben and Arizona )

All this makes me worry that I'm not suited to live with people I'm close with because it seems really difficult to get around that expectation. My daydream looks like this: sharing living space (a house or multi-room flat) with people I love who are either wanderfooted or solitary or not emotionally invested in me; having my own, separate space; having communal space where everyone living there has equal freedom to invite people to (this is very important! I've NEVER had this and yearned for it all my life); having no one be sad if I'm gone for days at a stretch, and no one be upset if I'm home but don't want to interact. I dunno if that's possible. I hope so, and I want to try it with my lil sis and Kyle (who is probably more out-oriented than I am even) and maybe some others. Am I the only one who thinks of home like this?
sounds: Massive Attack - Spying Glass | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


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belenen: (magical)
photos! Arizona & I at Big Trees, Arizona and R & I after pagan pride and before colab ;-)


Arizona and I go to Big Trees Forest Preserve (zir first time there) )




photos from when Arizona and I took R to Pagan Pride and then dressed up for going out (we went to Colab because the club was too crowded) )
sounds: Sergei Prokofiev - Juliet's Bedroom | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , ,


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belenen: (magical)
photos! Arizona & I at Big Trees, Arizona and R & I after pagan pride and before colab ;-)


Arizona and I go to Big Trees Forest Preserve (zir first time there) )




photos from when Arizona and I took R to Pagan Pride and then dressed up for going out (we went to Colab because the club was too crowded) )
sounds: Sergei Prokofiev - Juliet's Bedroom | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , ,


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
talking with ex-partner / contact with Maggie / family / Pride & feminist queer community / in flux
So much has happened recently, agh, I keep wanting to write and being either blocked or too busy. I'm blocked right now, thus this is rambling.

friendly terms with ex-partner and ex-partner's ex )

School is going decently and I'm not too freaked out about it anymore. My car desperately needs to get in the shop (ze's guzzling a quart of oil for every two gallons of gas :-<). Home is lovely... I haven't been spending as much time there but when I get to spend time with my people it makes me very happy. Last weekend Arizona and I took R (the oldest kid) to Pagan Pride festival and it reminded me so much of spending time with my lil sis when ze was younger <3 I love this family so much. G (the five year old) talks to me now of zir own volition (which means I'm officially Cool). And P is so full of questions about everything! Ze knows that being queer is pretty important to me and so ze brings it up with questions whenever ze can think of them ;-)

Speaking of which, I went to my first Pride the other day and was very disappointed. I think I might have felt differently if I'd gone on Saturday to the Trans March and the Dyke March, but I just went to the festival and saw only one booth that seemed even genderqueer-friendly. Arizona (the same person I started dating in May, going by a different name online) and I agreed that probably it's much more fun if you go with a bunch of queer friends, but it's not a place to discover community (which I was subconsciously hoping for). BUT. Two weeks ago Arizona and I went to a Feminist Outlawz Queer Pride dance party which was OMFGGGG amazing, art and feminism and queerness and genderfucking <3 And it reminded me that I need to make more of an effort to get down to Atlanta because the community I'm looking for does exist! That was a big deal for me because I went without having someone as my tie-in, you know, the person who is already connected to the community and acts as a bridge? and yet no one kicked me out, heh, and now I feel much more confident about joining in on things that before I felt I needed someone to bridge me in on.

My romantic relationships are all in pretty major flux at the moment... I don't have the time to write about them right now but I think that I'm weaving threads that are going to last a very, very long time in my life pattern.


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
talking with ex-partner / contact with Maggie / family / Pride & feminist queer community / in flux
So much has happened recently, agh, I keep wanting to write and being either blocked or too busy. I'm blocked right now, thus this is rambling.

friendly terms with ex-partner and ex-partner's ex )

School is going decently and I'm not too freaked out about it anymore. My car desperately needs to get in the shop (ze's guzzling a quart of oil for every two gallons of gas :-<). Home is lovely... I haven't been spending as much time there but when I get to spend time with my people it makes me very happy. Last weekend Arizona and I took R (the oldest kid) to Pagan Pride festival and it reminded me so much of spending time with my lil sis when ze was younger <3 I love this family so much. G (the five year old) talks to me now of zir own volition (which means I'm officially Cool). And P is so full of questions about everything! Ze knows that being queer is pretty important to me and so ze brings it up with questions whenever ze can think of them ;-)

Speaking of which, I went to my first Pride the other day and was very disappointed. I think I might have felt differently if I'd gone on Saturday to the Trans March and the Dyke March, but I just went to the festival and saw only one booth that seemed even genderqueer-friendly. Arizona (the same person I started dating in May, going by a different name online) and I agreed that probably it's much more fun if you go with a bunch of queer friends, but it's not a place to discover community (which I was subconsciously hoping for). BUT. Two weeks ago Arizona and I went to a Feminist Outlawz Queer Pride dance party which was OMFGGGG amazing, art and feminism and queerness and genderfucking <3 And it reminded me that I need to make more of an effort to get down to Atlanta because the community I'm looking for does exist! That was a big deal for me because I went without having someone as my tie-in, you know, the person who is already connected to the community and acts as a bridge? and yet no one kicked me out, heh, and now I feel much more confident about joining in on things that before I felt I needed someone to bridge me in on.

My romantic relationships are all in pretty major flux at the moment... I don't have the time to write about them right now but I think that I'm weaving threads that are going to last a very, very long time in my life pattern.


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belenen: (blossoming)
photos: May & June 2010, nature & Arizona & Kyle & Ben & Nicole & Atlanta & Coyote & Chip
photopost! I'm getting my confidence back at last ♥





36 photos from many different days )
sounds: Muse - Sing For Absolution | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (blossoming)
photos: May & June 2010, nature & Arizona & Kyle & Ben & Nicole & Atlanta & Coyote & Chip
photopost! I'm getting my confidence back at last ♥





36 photos from many different days )
sounds: Muse - Sing For Absolution | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (wild)
speed-living / moved in at Serendipity / the taste of my life / Kyle: wanderlustin open-hearted bard
I know I haven't written in ages upon ages -- there has been just SO MUCH happening I've not even had the time to check my email. And I JUST realized that it's been an entire MONTH. I thought it had been two weeks because my life has practically been on fast-forward. I've been sick for the past three weeks or so, I think mainly because of the pace of life. It seems to be settling some now and hopefully that means I'll recover.

So, I moved in at Serendipity on the 18th and I've started working in exchange for room and board (mainly helping to fix up their old house so it can be rented out). I'm nervous about it because having business arrangements with people I care about has mostly led to broken relationships. But I do have the one example of that NOT happening (the Wynnes) and this feels more like that than the others did, so I'm hopeful that this will turn out to be mutually beneficial and not slanted one way or the other. It helps that they have experience with this sort of arrangement.

I want to write about the incredible beauty of love and change but words are so damn pale and my heart spends itself all day long in the unspoken poetry of kissing and biting and caressing and hugging and eye contact, and yes words but they're not the kind that drip glitter and petals -- they're the kind that build glorious-but-sharp castles out of shared pain and joy, desire and wonder, fear and hope. They're salted with tears and spiced with blood. Everything is so complex and blended. I live in constant sharing -- what are you thinking? what are you feeling? with almost never a serious refusal/absence of answer (Arizona WILL answer "nothing" when ze wants to tease, which is pretty much whenever the answer involves desire :-p). I've yearned for that for so long, so long. Daily communication, especially the sharing of emotional reactions, is so important to me. You know how my yearly Hannah-visits were such a source of joy and growth for me? this is like that, only with more people and for a longer time (I'm soooo yearning to have Hannah and Nick come meet everyone, oh so much).

And I've not written about Kyle really at all yet!

We're about 6 weeks into this unexpected ebullient mutual orbit (we'd seen each other maybe three times and never had a real conversation before the spontaneous hang-out which ended in kisses and my heart flinging itself at zir and three days later love-confessions). Kyle is... incredible. Kyle has what I think of as a tumbleweed spirit* -- ze has wandering feet and a passionate love for chaos (whether fortuitous or no). Holding zir hand and walking is an invitation to adventure; I'm so thrilled to have found a wildchild who wants to share life with me (for my heart is a child that stumbles lonely for the arms of the wild). We are strays and if you feed us we'll keep coming back but close the door behind us and we panic. We've been smiled upon by the Deity I've yet to speak of here. I know that ze is one I can nestle under trestles with and one I can make the most ridiculous 'mistakes' with and one who also sees that beauty in the dark and the dirty and the broken. And ze's a bard, and I mean that in the truest and most sacred way. Ze wears zir violin nearly everywhere and offers gifts of living song to anyone who shows an openness to receive -- and sometimes just to Music, and every now and then to Love. And oh, I've never met anyone so clearly and constantly open, seemingly down to core. The amount of bravery in that absolutely breaks my heart (in that way that only the most intense beauty can). How ze came to practice openness/honesty so constantly without any encouragement I cannot even understand but I am so grateful.


*edited after I learned that "gypsy" is a racial slur.
sounds: Bat for Lashes - Pearl's Dream | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (wild)
speed-living / moved in at Serendipity / the taste of my life / Kyle: wanderlustin open-hearted bard
I know I haven't written in ages upon ages -- there has been just SO MUCH happening I've not even had the time to check my email. And I JUST realized that it's been an entire MONTH. I thought it had been two weeks because my life has practically been on fast-forward. I've been sick for the past three weeks or so, I think mainly because of the pace of life. It seems to be settling some now and hopefully that means I'll recover.

So, I moved in at Serendipity on the 18th and I've started working in exchange for room and board (mainly helping to fix up their old house so it can be rented out). I'm nervous about it because having business arrangements with people I care about has mostly led to broken relationships. But I do have the one example of that NOT happening (the Wynnes) and this feels more like that than the others did, so I'm hopeful that this will turn out to be mutually beneficial and not slanted one way or the other. It helps that they have experience with this sort of arrangement.

I want to write about the incredible beauty of love and change but words are so damn pale and my heart spends itself all day long in the unspoken poetry of kissing and biting and caressing and hugging and eye contact, and yes words but they're not the kind that drip glitter and petals -- they're the kind that build glorious-but-sharp castles out of shared pain and joy, desire and wonder, fear and hope. They're salted with tears and spiced with blood. Everything is so complex and blended. I live in constant sharing -- what are you thinking? what are you feeling? with almost never a serious refusal/absence of answer (Arizona WILL answer "nothing" when ze wants to tease, which is pretty much whenever the answer involves desire :-p). I've yearned for that for so long, so long. Daily communication, especially the sharing of emotional reactions, is so important to me. You know how my yearly Hannah-visits were such a source of joy and growth for me? this is like that, only with more people and for a longer time (I'm soooo yearning to have Hannah and Nick come meet everyone, oh so much).

And I've not written about Kyle really at all yet! remedying that! )
sounds: Bat for Lashes - Pearl's Dream | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (hopeful)
the crazy happenings of the past 11 days -- relationships and Dreaming
my life has gotten even MORE insannnne and at this point I'm going to have to start posting outlines in order to get anything down. This past timespan has been just... massive. And there is so much I haven't said!

the 11th through the 21st in list form! )


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belenen: (hopeful)
the crazy happenings of the past 11 days -- relationships and Dreaming
my life has gotten even MORE insannnne and at this point I'm going to have to start posting outlines in order to get anything down. This past timespan has been just... massive. And there is so much I haven't said!

the 11th through the 21st in list form! )
sounds: Flunk - See Thru You | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (heart in my throat)
missing Arizona / things I love about Arizona
I feel bruised and tangled. Bruised not from pressure, but from the absence of it... How can it hurt? just to be apart for a few days? I feel ridiculous. But I miss zir, so much, oh God/dess. My hands feel empty without zir fingers entwined in mine. My arms feel lacking in purpose because they aren't wrapped around zir holding zir against me. My lungs feel far too full, my shoulders feel naked, my thighs feel indolent. I miss everything... everything. )
sounds: Owl City - Vanilla Twilight | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (heart in my throat)
missing Arizona / things I love about Arizona
I feel bruised and tangled. Bruised not from pressure, but from the absence of it... How can it hurt? just to be apart for a few days? I feel ridiculous. But I miss zir, so much, oh God/dess. My hands feel empty without zir fingers entwined in mine. My arms feel lacking in purpose because they aren't wrapped around zir holding zir against me. My lungs feel far too full, my shoulders feel naked, my thighs feel indolent. I miss everything... everything. )
sounds: Owl City - Vanilla Twilight | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (eccentric)
ramblings / setting a photo-challenge for myself
disjointed ramblings )

Also I haven't really taken ANY photos in AGES. My confidence got shaken and now I'm afraid to take portraits and I haven't been out in nature lately. It's really bothering me. Which is part of the reason I miss Hannah, because Mx. Clickyclicky is quite shutter-happy and it's easy to make photo-taking normal for me when it's normal for someone around me. I think I need to set some sort of challenge for myself to get me back in the habit. Maybe "every day, take at least three photos of each person I see." Even in bad lighting. Yes. I'm going to get myself out of this funk. I don't promise to share any though -- we'll see if I can manage some improvement on the CRAP I've been producing lately.
sounds: Owl City - If My Heart Was a House | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (eccentric)
ramblings / setting a photo-challenge for myself
disjointed ramblings )

Also I haven't really taken ANY photos in AGES. My confidence got shaken and now I'm afraid to take portraits and I haven't been out in nature lately. It's really bothering me. Which is part of the reason I miss Hannah, because Mx. Clickyclicky is quite shutter-happy and it's easy to make photo-taking normal for me when it's normal for someone around me. I think I need to set some sort of challenge for myself to get me back in the habit. Maybe "every day, take at least three photos of each person I see." Even in bad lighting. Yes. I'm going to get myself out of this funk. I don't promise to share any though -- we'll see if I can manage some improvement on the CRAP I've been producing lately.
sounds: Owl City - If My Heart Was a House | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (Chip sells RV, little boy runs pulling me by hand, bioparent's GA house's backyard)
I had a really unsettling dream last night, which I can't remember much of because my alarm woke me up at a key point and scrambled it all. I remember it was something about Arizona and Chip (and, to a lesser amount, the rest of the family) and camping -- I think Chip was selling zir RV? (which ze doesn't have in real life) Then there was something about two little boys, one I was caring for and one who was leading me somewhere by the hand, running so fast uphill that I almost fell on my face and had to urge zir to slow down (and for some reason the sex of the kid pulling me seems significant). The setting seemed familiar -- I think it was the backyard of my bioparent's Georgia house (and now I'm remembering something about my old room in the basement). Confusing. And it set off some strange urge in me -- closest thing I can compare it to is the desire to run. Not away, but not to either. I've been feeling restless and unsettled and a little worried all day. And missing my bioparent P, which is VERY strange (also missing lil sis but that's normal).
sounds: Halou - Wholeness | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (dreamy)
dream (Chip sells RV, little boy runs pulling me by hand, bioparent's GA house's backyard)
I had a really unsettling dream last night, which I can't remember much of because my alarm woke me up at a key point and scrambled it all. I remember it was something about Arizona and Chip (and, to a lesser amount, the rest of the family) and camping -- I think Chip was selling zir RV? (which ze doesn't have in real life) Then there was something about two little boys, one I was caring for and one who was leading me somewhere by the hand, running so fast uphill that I almost fell on my face and had to urge zir to slow down (and for some reason the sex of the kid pulling me seems significant). The setting seemed familiar -- I think it was the backyard of my bioparent's Georgia house (and now I'm remembering something about my old room in the basement). Confusing. And it set off some strange urge in me -- closest thing I can compare it to is the desire to run. Not away, but not to either. I've been feeling restless and unsettled and a little worried all day. And missing my bioparent P, which is VERY strange (also missing lil sis but that's normal).
sounds: Halou - Wholeness | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (connate)
Arizona ♥ "The Ratio of Freckles to Stars"
I've just spent the last two hours hunting through my music to find a song that expressed how I feel about Arizona. I was just going to play it on repeat for ages but it's so perfect I want to share:

The Ratio of Freckles to Stars -- Halou )
sounds: Halou - The Ratio Of Freckles To Stars | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (connate)
Arizona ♥ "The Ratio of Freckles to Stars"
I've just spent the last two hours hunting through my music to find a song that expressed how I feel about Arizona. I was just going to play it on repeat for ages but it's so perfect I want to share:

The Ratio of Freckles to Stars -- Halou )
sounds: Halou - The Ratio Of Freckles To Stars | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (ecstatic)
memorial weekend at Serendipity -- bits I want to remember
I'm going to put this whole post under an LJ-cut so it looks all tiny when really it will be EONS LONG.

Serendipity hosted a memorial weekend party )
sounds: Owl City - Fireflies | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (ecstatic)
memorial weekend at Serendipity -- bits I want to remember
I'm going to put this whole post under an LJ-cut so it looks all tiny when really it will be EONS LONG.

Serendipity hosted a memorial weekend party )
sounds: Owl City - Fireflies | Powered by Last.fm
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belenen: (semi aitiaidi colour roc)
growth in uncertainty / how it feels to connect with Anita: kisses and energy / Chip & trust
I'm remembering last summer, near the end, where I felt like I'd hit an endless plateau and had no way to grow further, and it's making me laugh. I knew then that it was an untrue feeling but I also couldn't see far enough ahead to the next steep climb. Now I'm in the middle of it. Everything is scary, everything is new, everything is so uncertain. Yet I feel no desire to solidify things, strangely -- I think part of me enjoys being awash in possibility. And so far my reaching here and there has resulted in so much MORE than I could have even imagined to ask for. And if something doesn't work out the way I wanted, it's because it had to end to make room for something even more suited to me and now.

attempting to string emotions and sensations into word patterns -- what it's like to connect with Anita )

Two years ago, when I went to visit Hannah and Nick, I experienced more joy and more pain than I'd ever even imagined before. When our so-brief triad ended I felt so much despair because it was such a rare thing and I couldn't imagine finding anything even similar again. but NOW I can imagine it )

...and I have so much more to say but no more time to write.


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belenen: (semi aitiaidi colour roc)
growth in uncertainty / how it feels to connect with Anita: kisses and energy / Chip & trust
I'm remembering last summer, near the end, where I felt like I'd hit an endless plateau and had no way to grow further, and it's making me laugh. I knew then that it was an untrue feeling but I also couldn't see far enough ahead to the next steep climb. Now I'm in the middle of it. Everything is scary, everything is new, everything is so uncertain. Yet I feel no desire to solidify things, strangely -- I think part of me enjoys being awash in possibility. And so far my reaching here and there has resulted in so much MORE than I could have even imagined to ask for. And if something doesn't work out the way I wanted, it's because it had to end to make room for something even more suited to me and now.

attempting to string emotions and sensations into word patterns -- what it's like to connect with Anita )

Two years ago, when I went to visit Hannah and Nick, I experienced more joy and more pain than I'd ever even imagined before. When our so-brief triad ended I felt so much despair because it was such a rare thing and I couldn't imagine finding anything even similar again. but NOW I can imagine it )

...and I have so much more to say but no more time to write.


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belenen: (nascent)
safe
I'm so in love I can hardly breathe. But it's a different kind of love than any I've tasted before. It doesn't just throw me around all wildly like ocean waves -- it also folds around me with fierce tenderness and lifts me with delicate water-fingers and I feel safe in a way I never have before, and I'm so scared because if I adjust to this, if I believe in this and lean into it, all that exists will be transformed. I don't know what that universe is like.

last night I came apart )
sounds: The Notwist - This Room | Powered by Last.fm
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