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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: (distance)
qualities from each of my friends I'd use to build my ideal friend / what I lack in friendships
icon: "distance (two hands (from a brown person and a white person) just barely apart, facing each other palm to palm)"

prompt from [livejournal.com profile] webgirluk: Imagine a new friend who was to become in your life and the person had one quality from each person in your core circle of friendships all rolled into one new person? What one quality would you choose from each person?

Topaz' self-awareness & cuddle skills/style
[livejournal.com profile] shioneh's skills at asking meaningful questions
[livejournal.com profile] hardigrin's ability to give me new perspectives
[livejournal.com profile] secret_keep's unedited openness
Allison's passionate, analytical love of art
Sydney's sincere connection with nature
[livejournal.com profile] kmiotutsie's outgoing yet take-no-shit attitude
[livejournal.com profile] sandracaprice's determined thoroughness
[livejournal.com profile] morwen_uial's perception of magic in everything
[livejournal.com profile] call_me_katya's critical, deliberate thinking
Cass' thoughtful generosity
[livejournal.com profile] volamonster's method of valuing people
[livejournal.com profile] chillychilly22's matter-of-fact assertiveness
[livejournal.com profile] tikva's habit of humorous phrasing

Prompt from [livejournal.com profile] webgirluk: Even though you seem to have a lot of rich friendships, is there one quality none can really bring you that makes you feel at times sad or something missing in connection needs, or can this be explained in a different way?

Not really any quality missing, but I am missing something in the sense that most of my friends have one situation or another that makes them mostly unavailable. Most of my friends have depression and/or anxiety and/or chronic pain and/or ADD, and/or they live far away, and/or they're busy with work and big life events like moving (4 people) or getting married (2 people, not to each other). I miiiight have one local friend whose life is not in a giant upheaval, but until a month ago it was, and it may be still. I don't lack in wonderful people in my life but I do lack the ability to actually have the company of wonderful people (with two exceptions, thankfully). I'd really love to be able to just make plans with friends and have them happen, but that hasn't been true in my life for years.


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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: (effervescent)
birthday w Kylei Heather Topaz Sydney Allison Hannah Sande Jacqueline / BTFP & truth-or-truth jenga
icon: "effervescent (a cartoony gif of neon multicolored bubbles bouncing chaotically and occasionally falling to the bottom)"

I had maybe the best birthday of my life! Kylei came over to Topaz' the night before (great because I didn't have to worry about them being late) and on the morning of my birthday Sydney and Heather came over and the five of us went to Big Trees together. The energy in the car was almost too much! Odd Squad is me, Topaz, Heather, and Kylei, while me, Topaz, Kylei, and Sydney are all violet spirits, so it was this complex pattern of two overlapping quads that almost makes a pentagram, and every single one of us is a silly, playful person. Loud! bouncy! I haven't felt that much playful energy probably since I was in high school, maybe ever.

Allison met us there, with a present of dragonfly-shaped mirrors (dragonflies and mirrors are both sacred to me), but couldn't stay long because they had to go to work. We walked in a little ways, enough that Allison got an introduction, and they said they want to do plein air painting there (which would be very fun for me if I could come along with a book or something). Then they left and the rest of us wandered through the forest, taking photos and playing. Sydney and Kylei had stick swordfights, and Topaz got Kylei to hold sticks for them so they could kick them in two. It was not at all my usual kind of forest visit, but it was cute and fun and I enjoyed all the glowy energy.

Then we stopped at Trader Joe's because Topaz begged (and while there Topaz got me blueberries and dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and Heather got me ginger chews). We made it through and out in less than 20 minutes! Then went to Sweet Tomatoes (probly my favorite restaurant: I make a mountainous salad) and back to Topaz' where everyone sort of lay around with full bellies and snoozy brains. Sande and Jacqueline arrived and Sydney left (they had homework & other obligations). Kylei left not long after Jacqueline arrived because they wanted to go to another party (which I would have been annoyed by if they hadn't already spent like 7 hours with me). Sande brought blood orange & mango & kiwi & other fruit, and sliced it up for us when they arrived. It was my first taste of blood orange and WOW is it unique! I love it.

We started playing truth-or-truth jenga* with the intention to do crafts after, but it took way longer for the stack to fall than we expected! I belatedly remembered that Abby and Hannah were supposed to vidchat in, so I set up the hangout, but Abby didn't show (I figured they had assumed it wasn't happening when more than half an hour passed w no invite). Hannah did, and played with us (I pulled the blocks for them). It was really fantastic! Sande and Jacqueline hadn't ever played before, but they answered thoughtfully and openly (at least that was my impression). And it was so, so, so great to have Hannah there! It was Heather's first time meeting Hannah and they had a strong positive reaction, which made me happy. Sande and I had a 'sloof' (saying the same thing at the same time) which also made me happy because I'm rarely that in-sync mentally with someone. And Hannah explained that the word (which came from Hannah and Nick) is 'fools' backwards.

Overall it was very sweet and included nearly all of my favorite people and two of my favorite activities (being in nature and deep personal sharing) so I think it was my favorite birthday so far (it is hard to tell because my memory is so bad I only have vague ideas to compare it to.

*this is jenga with 2 questions on each block. You pull a block, read the two questions, and pick one to answer yourself or ask of someone else.


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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: (dreamy)
dreams (lots w ex-in-laws & bodies of water & sex & escape & dealing w evil people)
icon: "dreamy (a painting by pupasoul of a human figure in a cage, holding a hand out from which radiates light and squiggly sparkly vines of energy)"

15-12-22: wanting to connect w ex-spouse )

15-12-23: hannah came to visit: we are chased, rescued by small boy )

16-1-8: dating two people, cuddling in church )

16-1-9: ex-in-laws give great gifts then punch me in the crotch, later I deal with an attacker who is impossible to kill )

16-1-10: ex-mum-in-law very happy to see me, then deal w roaches )


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belenen: (dreamy)
dreams (drowning a rapist / ignored at my b-day / dinosaurs kill the noisy people / rescued kanika)
icon: "dreamy (a painting by pupasoul of a human figure in a cage, holding a hand out from which radiates light and squiggly sparkly vines of energy)"

Here are some old dreams that never got posted:

May 14, 2015:
hannah-my-hannah came to visit me and we were at a mossy creek taking photos. such magic.

June 10, 2015: drowned a rapist but they wouldn't die )

June 12, 2015:
Dreamed that it was my birthday and everyone came but then ignored me and talked only to each other.

July 5, 2015: dinosaurs killing noisy people )

July 14, 2015:
dreamed I was in a giant second-hand shop w a copperhead whose mouth opened up to the size of 2 dinner plates. had to find & rescue Kanika.

September 1, 2015: dinosaurs w glowing heads, colors witch, other magic, then Aurilion shows up at my trauma graduation )


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belenen: (nascent)
work / sickness / snapchat / fb / bioparents / kylei / heather
icon: "nascent (a painting by Michael Whelan of a person with long flowing hair and large breasts sitting naked and cross-legged inside a green egg, which is being held against the sky by giant blue hands with pointy nails)"

Ugh I have my first ever sinus infection (so gross so gross sooo GROSSSSS) and it keeps making me want to puke. I hate it so much I bought a neti pot with my meagre funds to hopefully rinse out some of the oozing slime.

Work is odd, my boss keeps forgetting what I'm doing (???) but I am making some serious progress and I think I might actually be done by the end of the month. When I do finish (hopefully before), I have to get my name officially changed (I have a plan, send me luck pls). It has become a need because literally everything I have done in stats is in my real name, not my legal name. I've got the bones of my website ready and I think it looks really great. I designed it in html5 with lots of newer css tricks which was quite fun. It is as accessible as I could make it, and it should work very well on mobile when I finish. I'm proud of it. I wish I could design websites for money. I also have been working on my portfolio (basically the print version of my website) and I mostly need to figure out exactly what sort of fancy container I need, as I'm sure a 3-ring binder will not do. Then it's time to start applying to all the jobs. That's terrifying.

I have been not writing because first I was ridic busy and then Topaz was SO sick and needed tending and couldn't do more than watch netflix. I can't pay attention to other things when there is a show playing, especially one I like (we're watching Grey's Anatomy, my second time through and Topaz' first). So I did nothing but watch netflix and pet Topaz and fetch them things. But things should settle into a routine now that winter break is past and I hope to be able to meditate regularly and to write daily. I did manage to meditate last week! But I have a bunch of tabs open at home waiting for me to fully read, so I am not up-to-date on your lives yet (tomorrow I think).

Topaz introduced me to snapchat, which at first I hated because it sacrifices usability for streamlined esoteric bullshit which is VERY BAD DESIGN VERY BAD NO BISCUIT. But then Abby was all like 'yeah I do that because it's low stress and so I can actually keep in touch' so I thought I'd give it another shot. I had to google "how to use snapchat" - that's how terrible the design is. But I managed to reassure myself that I wasn't going to accidently break all the things, and also Hannah reinstalled it, and Sydney and Topaz use it regularly and Anita and Trevor and Kylei chat with me on it. Mostly it's Topaz and Hannah that snap with me, but I feel closer to everyone I listed and I actually feel more in touch with myself because I am more aware of what is going on in my life when I think of how to share it. So if you use snapchat as a little window into your daily life let me know your username *smiles*

Yesterday and today I got very stressed out over this argument on facebook that I really just don't want to engage with at all. It's just not worth it because it was my best guess, not an actual fact. I don't care if people disagree with my guess. But it was a bucket of discomfort and it stressed me out because I'm sick of being the voice of doom.

I think overall I am doing okay. My parent P has been helping me over the break (no work means no pay so it's not actually a relief at all) and we have been emailing back and forth with actual content. I think we might be able to connect this way, because with international calls being expensive, they're not going to try to push me to talk on the phone. It's a huge relief to have the help especially because M is being extra terrible and may have fucked up my relationship with my mechanic which is vital to my mobility (M is forcing my mechanic to house a vehicle that M had promised to gift me and then decided it was too much trouble to transfer the title). Such a selfish person. Anyway, P has been there for me, which is a new turn for our relationship, and we have had real conversations (that didn't revolve around M's abuse).

I had a wonderful weekend with Kylei last week. It was very low-key because I was wiped out and I think Kylei was too, but we had a few hours of focus time and a lot of mildly connecty shared-space time. Kylei said they really want to do this again (spend 32+ hours at my house w me) and I love that idea. Hopefully next time I won't be so wiped out and we can have more focus time.

And I had a super lovely hang out with Heather yesterday. We just hung out and talked, but all the talking was very full and nourishing. They shared some difficult and some magical stories with me, and I shared some difficult stories and some wistful feelings with them. At one point I was talking about spaces for public sex or power exchange, and said that the reason I like that and want it is not because of an audience. I would not feel any less happy if no one noticed, and it actually surprises me and throws me for a loop when people do watch (I don't mind, but I also never expect it). The reason I want public intimacies like that is because it is explicitly not-hidden, and that is the thing I want. (I was realizing this as I was saying it, processing it out loud) Heather got very excited and said that they felt the same way and hadn't previously been able to articulate it. We also talked about other things we have strong resonance on, like the experience of being perceived as not-polyamorous or not-queer because of situations external to our choices. And we also finished each others' sentences in a helpful way (not the annoying kind where you have to keep correcting them) and I realized that I feel like Heather and I have a mind connection too. There is some particular thing that makes them very difficult for me to predict sometimes and I'm not sure what it is but I'm very curious about it.


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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: (connate)
relationships: Kylei, Kei-Won-Tia, Ashe, Aurilion, Ben, Hannah, Topaz, Heather, Anika
So when I was at TBC I had an intense discussion with Kylei about how I was upset that ze wasn't working toward a renewed connection with me. I told zir I wanted zir to be developing strong self care so we could be close without triggering my urge to fill all the need and that I have been working to strengthen my own boundaries and know myself better and learn more self-care so that I could meet zir too. Ze told me that ze didn't think I meant it when I said I wanted to be close again and had given up. We sort of opened all the things and made a plan to talk later, and a week after we met up to hang out for a morning.

That morning ended up being most of the day -- we talked about building closeness and we talked about values, forgave each other -- that happened in the first two hours or so. Then we went to Kylei's house and lay on zir bed and talked at a very slow pace. We made a lot of eye contact, and Kylei said ze was overwhelmed with feelings. I felt happy and resting and contemplative but also very strange. I realized as we shared silent overlapping energy that part of my broken-reality feeling last year was because the damage to our connection broke a part of my ability to sense things, so it's like when you're in shock and you look at a shard of glass stuck in you and you know it should hurt but it doesn't. But it's like that about a sense that is important for me to feel joy. And looking in Kylei's eyes I knew that that part of me is not as completely shattered as it was, but it is still broken. At the same time I felt safe with Kylei for the first time in more than a year and a half, and I feel like rebuilding our connection will help me to heal my magic-sense. And I felt vindicated. Once I love someone it is there always, just sometimes I can't feel it. I know this, but when I can't feel it I doubt it, yet it's really important to my sense of self. I decided to stay past the time I had planned to, and I waited while Kylei went to an appointment and when ze came back we cuddled and played -- I asked Kylei if ze wanted to be a pillow and ze said yes, so I lay my head on zir belly. Then ze said something and I said "pillows don't talk!" and ze laughed and I said "pillows don't laugh! bad pillow!" and bit zir, and ze giggled more and then I lay my head back down and we dozed a little. Play is an important part of our connection and it felt like an affirmation of rebuilding to play again.

Then this week we met up in between two classes to hang out near my school, and we ate lunch together and went park-hopping and found a really beautiful place (after two duds). We wandered together and apart, and I realized that part of the reason that it has been difficult for us to reconnect is that we've been meeting in places we can't really cuddle or feel magic (restaurants) and that it's important for us to share time in nature/ sacred space and cuddling alone. It was kind of rushed time we had and I had a lot of ambient stress about school work because this week has been a beast, but it was still good, and adventure, and promise.

Kei-Won-Tia is someone I'd known kinda peripherally for years but had never hung out with much until last month. After spending some one-on-one time with zir ze's become an important person in my life, very quickly. Ze's possibly the most empathetic person I've ever met, and so incredibly loving and generous. When we talk I often feel like ze's reading my mind and I like it. We have a lot in common with how we feel about the world at large and what our values are. I feel grateful for the chance to get to know zir and I hope we get to spend lots more time together.

I hung out with Ashe recently and we talked for three hours but it didn't feel like that long, which is a sign of great time spent. I feel like it's going to be a slow route to be close again because Ashe is dealing with some heavy shit and we're starting from scratch since we did more misunderstanding than understanding of each other before. But I like that we've begun and I feel like we're heading in a positive direction.

A few days before Aurilion sent me that email, ze found a ring that I had ordered made for zir (a blue topaz in a sterling butterfly setting) that ze had thought ze had thrown away years ago. The circumstances were very strange -- it showed up on a desk and zir parents said they didn't move it. Aurilion referred to it with awe and called it deep magic. I feel like it's significant that this happened three days before the email; I feel like it sent a message that Aurilion rejected. I imagine that ze has changed zir interpretation and probably discarded it again.

My emails with Hannah and Ben had gotten stalled out early this month but started up again this week. I don't know where the Ben interaction is going, but I feel good about it. I feel really hopeful about the interaction with Hannah. It's just so important to me to be connected with Hannah. I want to share the piece of an email from Hannah that made me cry with a mixture of joy, pain, and longing:

... I want to be able to spend time around trees and in the company of other special living things with you. I want to sit quietly with you and think and just be. I want to create art with you. I want to discuss art with you. I want to read poetry and books with you or discuss them with you at the least. I want to discuss colours and impressions of people and things in the way only you can. I want to one day be able to be outdoors, in the car, at night, again. I want to share music and other joys. I want to discover new things with you, that I don't know about yet and can't expect. I want to hear your feelings and for you to hear mine. I want to express my opinions and thoughts and hear yours. I want to cuddle. I really miss looking at your face and your eye-contact. I want to discuss many topics, social justice included, with you, analyse, deconstruct, build, express. I want to enjoy being a living thing and a friend with you. I feel those things honestly. I want to write letters, I want to share truths.

We both have anxiety around certain ways of communicating and they're opposite in several ways and long-distance is hard anyway, but I think we're finding a way that will work, I'm afraid to believe it will, I'm afraid to think that maybe the wait is over? Even typing that feels utterly terrifying. I'm so scared that Hannah will get overwhelmed by my feelings and run away.

Godde I was so lonely for so long :-( I'm writing this and I'm feeling overwhelmed with the idea that Kylei and Hannah might be part of my life in a deep way again, crying. My connections with them are the equivalence of spouse-connection, if you can imagine your spouse having to go on a trip that left them out of touch for years, and then them coming back, then you might get a feeling of it. And the time when neither of them were openly connected with me was terrible, even though I have the same depth of connection with Topaz -- I would never not feel the loss, there is no replacing.

Speaking of Topaz, we've been spending less time together, but it hasn't felt bad for me, which I credit to me having developed self-care in a way I haven't done for many years. We have both been overwhelmed lately, zir with work and me with school, so we both needed a lot of down time and our time together was turning into all slush time since we didn't have any space to decompress. So we stopped spending so much time together, which was hard because our shared touch is so perfect and we're both cuddly creatures, but it was good because the time that we have spent together has been more deliberate and we've had more focus time.

I've been communicating more with Heather and I just love zir so much. Ze started journaling and I feel like every post is so wonderful, I love being welcomed into zir brain-space. I would spend way more time with zir in person but we live pretty far apart and zir car is not reliable and I get sick of driving because I do so much of it, so it doesn't happen super often, but I still feel like we're getting closer quickly because of zir in-depth shares. Ze understands me really well, I feel, and I want to catch up.

Anika and I have been communicating regularly, mostly through LJ, and it makes me feel so happy to be able to be home here with zir again. I feel like we have a chance to build a connection that was almost there and then lost -- we've come together in a place where we have similar values and desires and it's so nourishing. I wish ze lived closer.


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belenen: (loving)
love memory bank 2 - Topaz, Heather, Kei-Won-Tia, J, Abby, Kylei, Roger, Hannah, Anika, Ben, etc
I haven't been keeping up but I just was reminded in a sort of roundabout way by [livejournal.com profile] kiwi of how important it is to remember the good, so here's the latest from my love memory bank (and I have set an alarm on my phone to check it daily)
love memory bank )


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belenen: (strong)
bad dreams, worries / happy hangouts w Topaz & Sydney / vandalism / cutting the cord to Aurilion
So today's been a ridiculous tumult of emotions. Last night Aurilion sent me an email full of things that were neither kind, true, or necessary and I think ze was actually trying to hurt me on purpose. Most of it was laughably projecting but one of them struck an insecurity I've been struggling with for the past few weeks which is the idea that it's my fault when people leave me. I've been waiting on a response from Hannah for a while, a response which will determine whether or not there is a future friendship for us, and Aurilion's deliberate cruelty made me feel worse. So I had a bad dream that I went to visit Hannah, and we met in the airport, and ze talked with me only because zir mom thought it was a good idea, and ze told me that ze would never visit again. I woke up because I was so upset. Later in the day Hannah messaged telling me that ze was still working on a response, and that made me feel both relieved and more stressed (because the tone wasn't a happy one).

Then I had a really positive and interesting conversation with Topaz and zir friend Sydney, who I felt a really strong resonance with. We had hung out before but always with other people around who I didn't know, so I didn't feel up for directly engaging at those times since I felt like I'd be interrupting. We talked about spiritual things and I felt like we just got each other and I really hope that the three of us can hang out more.

Then they went to some festival and I went to my local coffeehouse to read for a while. While I was there this couple who I interpreted as two guys were cuddling on the couch next to "my spot" (which is the comfy chair with a bright light above). One of them left for a minute and the other started talking to me about having fallen asleep while cuddling and I responded that they were cute, so ze started talking to me about some people fretting that they would "catch queerness" and I talked about how I don't experience anti-queer sentiment OTP despite the perception, and ze was like "oh, are you...?" and I giggled and said yes. We talked a little more and then I tried to politely get back to my book, and I gave them each one of my contact info cards when I left.

Then I came home to find that my two crackled glass solar light orbs had been deliberately smashed on the pavement in front of my house. One of them had fallen over a few days ago and so it would have had to be lifted up and carried over to smash, and the other still had the pole in the ground with just the glass bit smashed. I see two possibilities: one, some shitspewing pimples decided to destroy them because they were available and the zits felt destructive, or two, said pimples were motivated by having previously seen my exceedingly queer car and were sending me a message of hate. Either way, it made me feel unsafe because people who would destroy someone else's possession because it's breakable or out of hate are (in my opinion) quite likely to hurt animals and my black cat likes to go outside. I felt like I'd just been proven wrong in the thing I told the young queer couple (though, on later reflection, I think it was random violence, not targeted).

I went inside and tried to find ways to calm myself. I talked very very briefly to Kylei, I made dinner and ate and watched a show, I read LJ, I texted with Topaz (mostly monosyllabic responses to zir happy shares), I tried and tried to calm myself and it wasn't working. I cried and laid in bed and pet Kanika, and could not feel better. I wanted to write about so many things but I couldn't. I wanted to clean up and make some hot chocolate but I couldn't. I started wondering if this was caused by Aurilion (deliberately or not) and I cut the cord between us with a swipe of my hand. I immediately felt better and was able to get up. I picked up my yellow obsidian, pressed it between my breasts on my heart chakra to close the cut, and felt almost entirely better, so I sat down and wrote this. I don't know what the deal is with Aurilion but whatever it is I am NOT meant to be in contact with zir right now, not even energetically. I've never deliberately cut cords from people I love before; the only other times I did this it was to remove ties placed on me without my consent. So. This is very different from the other endings I've had with Aurilion.


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belenen: (tenebrous)
relationships after TBC 2014: Hannah, Kylei, Abby, Adi, Aurilion / community & alienation, isolation
So in February there was this flurry of activity of people coming back into my life, but it mostly stalled out. Now I'm reevaluating all of my connections because I opened the door on the question "what if this never changes?" I realized I'd been expecting some things to change eventually, mostly because people told me that the change was something they wanted. If I say a change is something I want, that is me setting an intention and whether or not the person checks in I'm going to work on it until I get there. I realized other people might be saying "if everything lines up on its own, I'd be happy to connect" rather than "I have a vision of how I want things to be between us and I'm going to work continuously to bring it to pass."

The first person I realized this about was Hannah. It has been literally years since we were close, and even longer since we were close in a continuous way. I feel the difficulty in overcoming depression and I've been waiting for Hannah to be in a place where depression & etc doesn't prevent closeness. I only just realized that that might not be a goal of Hannah's, or it might not be possible, or it might be lack of desire not presence of obstacles, etc, and holding the space just leaves a hole in my soul that hope flows out of, especially when there aren't any signs of change. I emailed zir something short, ze wrote back, and I wrote out my feelings more in depth. Ze said ze read it and wanted to consider before responding, and I haven't heard back. The idea that my friendship with Hannah might be really over is -- fuck, it's foundation-crumbling. There is such a gaping hole where communication is not.

Then I got that feeling about Kylei, because it seems to me like zir life is going in a completely different direction from mine and that made me realize, I've been waiting for zir to be centered and ready to reconnect without the old patterns, and ze might not even have that as a goal. So I messaged zir and we had a long email conversation about it and didn't really find resolution but we're meeting tomorrow to talk. Even though I have told zir over and over that I want to work towards closeness (and have been working on myself to make this more feasible), ze did not believe that I wanted it and had stopped trying. I find that really upsetting; if someone's going to give up I would at least like to know!

And I realized that I've only gotten to spend time with Abby without the presence of overwhelming stress maybe 3 or 4 times. That gave me the understanding of the frustrating draining feeling I get around Abby, even though there is nothing bad happening. It's that I keep trying to connect subconsciously and it keeps not working, but I can feel that there is a possibility for it. I finally brought this to my conscious the day before I left (I was staying with zir during TBC) and shared it and realized that now that it was conscious I could find ways to move into sync and feel connected. But ze lives in CT, so it's very hard to practice this.

And I realized that I have not felt fully connected to Adi in years also, and that as a friend I don't feel like I'm important. I messaged zir today about it. I could work on this consciously too, but ze lives in TX now. I hope there is some kind of long-distance connection we can make, because I miss zir. I didn't realize how much until TBC, when I saw zir for the first time in 6+ months and listened to zir talk in panels and felt such resonance and such longing.

Yesterday and this morning I've been talking with Aurilion about a bunch of stuff, it's all very in the air and pretty upsetting. I felt like we were going in one direction and I feel whiplash about realizing that that is not true.

So, good job me for being open and telling these people how I feel but fuck, everything seems to be going to shit. Also fucking hell why does everyone live so shitting far away. I need, need, need, need ACTUAL locals who prioritize friendship intimacy and spirit/soul/heart connection and aren't too busy to make it happen. I feel like this is never going to exist for me. I hate the divide between ITP and OTP (Atlanta city snobbery and/or lack of access to places outside the perimeter). I hate how it feels impossible to find people I connect with on a deep level. I don't know how to spot them. I don't know where to go. I don't want to look in Atlanta because it's not long distance but the effect is often the same. Everything in my city is so default, it's fuckin gross, but my rent is so cheap, I can't afford to give it up. I hate that my house is not accessible (the only bathroom is up a flight of stairs because the downstairs one was ripped up for renovation and then left that way). I'm so tired of losing everyone, I'm so tired of being far away from everyone, I'm so tired of waiting for change that never comes.

TBC always has the effect of making me reevaluate every relationship (3rd time's a pattern), maybe because it's the one place in the world where I feel like everyone I meet is a potential friend, that they're not going to cherish slurs, insults, and opinions over learning and compassion. (I'm weeping as I write this) I feel community, I feel kinship, I feel noticed, I feel valued, I feel accepted, I feel SAFE, and I feel like I can bring anyone with me and they would feel safe too -- all with mostly strangers!!! I can be queer and genderfree and wear skirts with a 'female' body and be feminist and be trans and be fat and have large unbound breasts and never have my identity questioned or assumed. I can "be that person" and know that other people are going to support me if I call out classism or racism or ableism etc, and sometimes someone else speaks up first (oh Godde how I need that :-(). That only happens for me in my house otherwise.

Someone said that TBC is the one place other than their house where they don't have to leave any part of themselves at the door, and I feel that so fucking hard. So TBC makes me realize how much I need this in my life and how much I don't have it. I'm so lonely and sad. I plan to draft an affirmation and try my best to bring this into reality for myself but right now I'm too mournful. I think the most intense othering I experience is about language: someone says 'bitch' or 'douche' or 'girly' or a racist or ableist slur etc, and I experience it as a slap to my face, spitting on me, saying "I want you and people like you to suffer, fuck you, stay down, I'd like a carpet of you and your kin." And it happens so constantly. People being outright prejudiced doesn't happen that often to me because I am relatively privileged but people revealing their subconscious prejudice with their language happens EVERY TIME I go out of my house. I know that I'm relatively privileged but I never feel community with these shitty white and/or male and/or cis and/or hetero and/or non-disabled people and they're EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME. CAN'T YOU JUST STOP PUNCHING FOR ONE DAY. But even if that happened, unless I knew ahead of time for sure that it was going to happen, it wouldn't be a relief because I'd still be tensing waiting for the blow in every interaction.

I should add that there are some good things happening in some of my friendships but this post is long enough so I'll write that later.


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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: (wanderlust)
relationship updates: Topaz, Hannah, Abby, Aurilion, Adi, Kylei, depression, exes with strong needs
With Topaz, things have been quite different because now we're spending a lot more time apart as we're both working. That plus spending time with Topaz' friends and family and my friends (and recently, family) there's just not a lot of time we get just the two of us, and since Topaz doesn't get much down time, a lot of that time is spent on distraction things like shows/movies, or on maintenance things like cleaning/laundry/gardening. It means I miss zir a lot more, even when we are together, but we still connect deeply and often. One thing I've noticed is that ze is low spoons a lot of the time now, but so far that hasn't gone sour; Topaz is pretty good about not taking zir stress out on me. I miss zir such a lot though.

I've been talking to Hannah more which is infinitely relieving but also full of missing. I haven't seen zir in five fucking years, it hurts, I MISS ZIR SO MUCH. But video chat is more satisfying than text chat and we both have the appropriate tools for it now, so at least I get to see zir expressions and hear zir laugh and see zir cuteness. I need zir to come visit me. I'm gonna start scraping some savings together for it.

I've been spending more time with Abby also, which is bittersweet as ze's leaving at the end of this month and won't move back for years, possibly never. I feel like we were together at a time that didn't work because we both needed to learn things and I'm sad that I don't get the chance to try it now, probably never.

Aurilion has been writing me letters and we've been texting occasionally, which is tenuous as always but feels good because having zir absent from my life always feels like a loss.

Adi I haven't seen for ages and haven't had a real conversation with in months. Ze's dealing with work and chronic pain. I hope the situation gets better for zir and I hope we manage to be close. I don't feel like that will happen anytime soon though, which means that I don't feel motivated to initiate.

Kylei I haven't seen much either. Last time we hung out we had a weird post-breakup conversation where ze assigned me some blame that I felt was completely situational (if I do my best and so do you, it's no one's fault). I feel like that happens whenever we don't talk for a while -- I become this bad person in zir mind. I know Kylei was hurt by the breakup but I am confident that I wasn't cruel or careless at all. I don't feel like I can start a fresh connection with Kylei until ze is no longer upset with me about breaking up with zir. But I want to keep in touch enough to tell when/if that happens.

Overall I feel like I have little ability to increase connection with people I already know due to physical or emotional distance, and finding new people is so hard. But I miss feeling more connected.

My depression is improving -- I'm able to give and be supportive without it instantly draining me every time, though I don't have anywhere near the capacity I do when I'm healthy. I've gotten pretty sensitive to when I need to stop, which I hope is a new skill and not just a function of the depression or meds.

I've been thinking a lot about some previous relationships. There's a certain level of need that I cannot handle (especially when I'm depressed), particularly when the person in question wants to meet most of that need with me. Maybe at some point I'll be able to set boundaries and keep them but until I can say "no, get your need met elsewhere, leave me alone until you're less desperate" I need to just not be entangled with people in that situation. Because I want to be able to do all the things and I will just do them without considering until I'm near death from exhaustion. I need to be able to stop myself from taking responsibility for other people's happiness, even when they are actively wanting me to take it.
sounds: Austra - The Noise | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
moment of lingering happiness <3
I just talked to Hannah! and it was so nourishing that I'm buzzing from it, feeling a lingering happiness, which hasn't happened in SO LONG. It's been at least three weeks since I felt suicidal (which is a relief) and I haven't had any crying jags in like two weeks, but this is the first time I've felt a lingering glow of happiness in at least five months. And happiness feels more real when it lasts longer than the event itself. I feel so good right now. Hannah and I talked about how we build each others faith and that was just a small moment in the conversation but it was so good to feel that resonate, to feel connate. I'm recovering from depression!

I'm sure it helps that I feel like I will be able to get a job and survive, which has been a giant question mark in my head until today. Interview in the morning!

I love you, all my darlings <3 It's so good to feel that affection for the world again.
sounds: Florence + the Machine - Kiss With a Fist | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (disconnected)
cracked open and spilled out
Godde why is everything so fucking hard. I've cried so fucking much today; at school, at the auto shop when I got an oil change, at school again, at home. I had an intense discussion with Abby about the lack of communication between us and the imbalance in initiation, and I feel a sliver of hope now but also just so fucking sad. Why is it always so hard for people I love to come to me (emotionally and physically)? How can it be that even at the edge of ending it's a struggle?

I also got some wonderfully encouraging messages today, one from someone I had never really talked to and one from someone who has been important to me but for whatever reason we see each other very rarely and one from someone who's been a long-time LJ friend and one who I have a heart-on-thorns-in-paradise history with. And one from Nea, who always finds the perfect thing I need to hear, that I'm listening to over and over.

I feel like something cracked, like I had been holding myself together so hard, waiting and waiting and waiting for things to get better, and they didn't, and then finally I just couldn't wait anymore and I let go and this shell cracked and all of my pain came spilling out. And I feel more alive but SO FUCKING SAD.


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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: (progressing)
how Hannah taught me to keep compassion in my anger
A world where Hannah and I were never friends is inconceivable for me. But even more so, myself without the changes Hannah has inspired in me; most importantly, how ze taught me to keep compassion in my anger.

My earliest education in how to be angry involved yelling, throwing things, calling names, breaking things, and generally trying to hurt the person one was angry at. Through my first romantic relationship I learned how to refrain from those things, and I thought I was really good at being angry without being a jerk. But then Hannah and I had our first fight. I was very angry and I did not want to hurt Hannah, so I withdrew into coldness and silence, trying to dissolve my anger before interacting. Hannah got very upset with me about this, which baffled me. Here I was, not attacking, restraining myself, trying to avoid being mean, and it wasn't enough? what more could ze possibly want?

We talked about it for some hours, and ze tried to explain to me that one could be angry and compassionate/kind at the same time -- that ze practiced this with zir partner Nick. I didn't even believe zir at first, because in my mind anger was the opposite of love, and they could not coexist. But when I saw how upset ze was, I realized that even though I was trying very hard not to hurt zir, my methods were doing just that. So I opened myself up to the possibility that one could be angry and compassionate at the same time. I asked how ze did it, and I do not remember any more what ze responded -- but it took root, grew and became an inextricable part of me. I didn't even realize this until I found myself getting upset with people for how they treated me when they were angry. In trying to articulate why, I verbalized how it is that I try to act when I am angry.

1) hold off on getting angry; assume good intentions. Most of the time, the anger is coming from a misinterpretation of someone else's behavior; first ASK what their motives are. Don't jump straight from "they did this" to "and that means BAD THINGS." Take a pause in the middle and ask. In my experience, the vast majority of the time people are not trying to hurt me. Most of the time they are missing some key information or understanding that would have prevented my upsetness.

2) treat them as a whole person; don't turn them into a cardboard cut-out labeled "enemy." Don't ignore or discount the good, even if they have been a total shithead for the past day and a half. Remind yourself of previous kindnesses, things that contradict the statement their actions seem to be making to you.

3) listen and empathize. Being understanding of their reasons does not invalidate your own pain. I used to refuse to empathize because I thought if I did, the other person would take that as proof that my suffering wasn't really that bad, or would ignore my suffering because they hurt too. But through practice I learned that it is possible to give compassion AND receive it in a situation of hurt on both sides.

4) don't disconnect. It takes a hell of a lot of strength to stay emotionally connected to someone who is hurting you, but it's a hell of a lot easier to rebuild afterward if you haven't severed bonds. I can understand when people do this because it is instinctual, but I believe it is the more damaging route. For me, at least, it definitely is.

I can't even imagine myself without these practices. Not that I'm always true to them; sometimes I need to be called out on my turning-people-into-cutouts, for sure -- but I do usually manage to follow #1 and avoid anger all together. But they are so much a part of my personhood that without them, I cannot conceive of the kind of person I would be.


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belenen: (woven souls)
KYLE'S BACK! / spirit connections w Kyle, Hannah, etc / how our connection is helping me grow/learn
There are just no words for how much relief and joy I feel at having Kyle back. Y'all who knew me when Hannah or Aurilion came to visit know how excited I was picking them up at the airport after not seeing them for 3 months (Aurilion) or a YEAR (Hannah) and I was nearly that excited about seeing Kyle after NINE DAYS apart. And I think we talked (mostly on gtalk) for at least three hours every day except for Friday and Saturday... but I crave Kyle's touch all the time, and I crave touching zir, and I crave eye contact and exploring new things with our bodies and energybodies. I now understand why Hannah missed Nick even when ze was with me (which I found upsetting at the time because I was like, "but it's US! how can you miss someone else when filled with THIS magic?") -- and find it flattering that it took a while for the missing to start. I've never lived with someone who was both WIDE FUCKING OPEN and deeply connected on multiple levels before -- I had a little taste of it when I lived at Serendipity and everyone was actively practicing openness, but it's different when it's already habit. I don't think I ever wrote about how Kyle and I connect energetically and I still don't think I'm ready to write about it but it's really insanely intense -- we're even more alike than Hannah and I. And I think it's funny that people probably don't see us as alike (especially because when I'm around Kyle I'm often so enchanted with watching zir interact with people that I'm much quieter than usual) but we are. We just developed opposite coping mechanisms, heh. Kyle and I fit together like Hannah and I but ze inspires me in different ways. Hannah pushes me in compassion and knowledge and creative expression (individual) -- Kyle pushes me in adventure and exploring and creative expression (co-operative). They both push me in openness but in different ways -- Hannah pushes me with questions that help me find hidden areas of myself, and Kyle pushes me with simply living an example of unedited openness (which is the most beautiful thing I can imagine). Not to say that those are totally discrete categories, 'cause I certainly learn all those things from both of them, but those are the ways they lean.

And right now, even with all the fruitfulness of my life (and I feel it is really flourishing), whenever I am not interacting with Kyle I feel like I am waiting for the next interaction. That feels like the greatest 'work' of my life at the moment, !!! )

One thing Maggie mentioned about the way Kyle and I interact is that we do things just "in tune" with each other -- if we're cleaning or cooking or just setting something up, we don't bump into each other or have to discuss much, we just act in tandem. I consider this a function of our spirit connection 'cause I've experienced it with everyone else I have spirit connections with; it's just stronger with Kyle and extends past conscious projects to spiritual senses about things. And that? I can't explain directly but I think I can explain sideways by saying that I feel we could share an altar. (which is a new and profound realization)

And I've learned that making personal taboos is not a way I want to try to keep myself on track. I developed a taboo against "being untrue" and instead of helping me be true, it made me afraid to change or explore things that were on the edges of me-ness, because if I accidentally did something that wasn't true to me, that would not be okay. I started realizing this a long time ago when I decided that being a little bit of a hypocrite was important to me, but I didn't realize just how important that is. I've decided that accepting/celebrating imperfection (and calling it hypocrisy to take the sting out of that word) is important to me and something that I will add to my list of core values to make them unabsolute.
sounds: Beats Antique - Runaway | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


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belenen: (woven souls)
KYLE'S BACK! / spirit connections w Kyle, Hannah, etc / how our connection is helping me grow/learn
There are just no words for how much relief and joy I feel at having Kyle back. Y'all who knew me when Hannah or Aurilion came to visit know how excited I was picking them up at the airport after not seeing them for 3 months (Aurilion) or a YEAR (Hannah) and I was nearly that excited about seeing Kyle after NINE DAYS apart. And I think we talked (mostly on gtalk) for at least three hours every day except for Friday and Saturday... but I crave Kyle's touch all the time, and I crave touching zir, and I crave eye contact and exploring new things with our bodies and energybodies. I now understand why Hannah missed Nick even when ze was with me (which I found upsetting at the time because I was like, "but it's US! how can you miss someone else when filled with THIS magic?") -- and find it flattering that it took a while for the missing to start. I've never lived with someone who was both WIDE FUCKING OPEN and deeply connected on multiple levels before -- I had a little taste of it when I lived at Serendipity and everyone was actively practicing openness, but it's different when it's already habit. I don't think I ever wrote about how Kyle and I connect energetically and I still don't think I'm ready to write about it but it's really insanely intense -- we're even more alike than Hannah and I. And I think it's funny that people probably don't see us as alike (especially because when I'm around Kyle I'm often so enchanted with watching zir interact with people that I'm much quieter than usual) but we are. We just developed opposite coping mechanisms, heh. Kyle and I fit together like Hannah and I but ze inspires me in different ways. Hannah pushes me in compassion and knowledge and creative expression (individual) -- Kyle pushes me in adventure and exploring and creative expression (co-operative). They both push me in openness but in different ways -- Hannah pushes me with questions that help me find hidden areas of myself, and Kyle pushes me with simply living an example of unedited openness (which is the most beautiful thing I can imagine). Not to say that those are totally discrete categories, 'cause I certainly learn all those things from both of them, but those are the ways they lean.

And right now, even with all the fruitfulness of my life (and I feel it is really flourishing), whenever I am not interacting with Kyle I feel like I am waiting for the next interaction. That feels like the greatest 'work' of my life at the moment, !!! )

One thing Maggie mentioned about the way Kyle and I interact is that we do things just "in tune" with each other -- if we're cleaning or cooking or just setting something up, we don't bump into each other or have to discuss much, we just act in tandem. I consider this a function of our spirit connection 'cause I've experienced it with everyone else I have spirit connections with; it's just stronger with Kyle and extends past conscious projects to spiritual senses about things. And that? I can't explain directly but I think I can explain sideways by saying that I feel we could share an altar. (which is a new and profound realization)

And I've learned that making personal taboos is not a way I want to try to keep myself on track. I developed a taboo against "being untrue" and instead of helping me be true, it made me afraid to change or explore things that were on the edges of me-ness, because if I accidentally did something that wasn't true to me, that would not be okay. I started realizing this a long time ago when I decided that being a little bit of a hypocrite was important to me, but I didn't realize just how important that is. I've decided that accepting/celebrating imperfection (and calling it hypocrisy to take the sting out of that word) is important to me and something that I will add to my list of core values to make them unabsolute.
sounds: Beats Antique - Runaway | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


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belenen: (garrulous)
random -- yay LJing! / school and money stress / body changes / Kanika is staying at Serendipity
blatherings about happiness over LJing again ) I'd forgotten just how RICH it is to write here, and how wonderful I feel when I look at my journal and see my thoughts painted out and framed. It's been bugging me for a long time that I haven't been writing but I just haven't had the pull because most of my LJ inspirations have also been posting less (or moved to dreamwidth, which I could just never get into because I couldn't take my custom style with me and I'm so attached to it). Now I've been talking to Hannah, which sort of puts me in the right mindspace for writing, and I've gotten back in contact with Aurilion, who is writing (♥ ♥ ♥!!!) in the style I do, which makes me feel all kinds of fingersmacky.

talk about stress )

talk about body changes )

Also Serendipity has adopted Kanika, or perhaps the other way around. I went to visit this weekend and 'Nika had pretty clearly decided that Arizona is zir new person (though ze was excited to see me and went back and forth, so I've not been forgotten), and as they were willing to keep zir, it seemed right. I'll miss zir a lot but I know ze will be happier in one place and I'll probably keep being a tumbleweed so it would just stress us both out.
sounds: Beats Antique - Spiderbite | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , ,


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belenen: (garrulous)
random -- yay LJing! / school and money stress / body changes / Kanika is staying at Serendipity
blatherings about happiness over LJing again ) I'd forgotten just how RICH it is to write here, and how wonderful I feel when I look at my journal and see my thoughts painted out and framed. It's been bugging me for a long time that I haven't been writing but I just haven't had the pull because most of my LJ inspirations have also been posting less (or moved to dreamwidth, which I could just never get into because I couldn't take my custom style with me and I'm so attached to it). Now I've been talking to Hannah, which sort of puts me in the right mindspace for writing, and I've gotten back in contact with Aurilion, who is writing (♥ ♥ ♥!!!) in the style I do, which makes me feel all kinds of fingersmacky.

talk about stress )

talk about body changes )

Also Serendipity has adopted Kanika, or perhaps the other way around. I went to visit this weekend and 'Nika had pretty clearly decided that Arizona is zir new person (though ze was excited to see me and went back and forth, so I've not been forgotten), and as they were willing to keep zir, it seemed right. I'll miss zir a lot but I know ze will be happier in one place and I'll probably keep being a tumbleweed so it would just stress us both out.
sounds: Beats Antique - Spiderbite | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , ,


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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: (connate)
being around similar spirits makes me more me / intuition-link with Anita / "what are you thinking?"
stream-of-consciousness ramblings about how I'm affected by being around similar spirits )

Ooooh, and last week when I was at the borderpagans meeting (and then at dinner afterward) I kept having that chill-down-my-spine shiver -- like 7 times in three hours! I felt like there must be something odd energetically going on (because I do occasionally have that shiver but never more than two in a day) and when I asked Anita what ze was doing at that time, ze told me ze was reading my LJ and responding to my survey. hee. I can't remember how long it took for Hannah and I to link up to the point where we could feel each other's strong emotions (even across the ocean) but this feels like the start of that. Everything has been so insanely intense so far and I'm trying not to let my excitement pull me faster than I can process the experience. Just... wow.

Also I love that instead of getting annoyed with my constant "what are you thinking/feeling?" questions, Anita has started doing the same thing, hee. (that's a thing I do with anyone interesting, and the more interesting you are the more often you get asked to share your thoughts. It's my way of getting to know you and honing my understanding of your expressions/moods :D) Although ze gets entirely too much enjoyment out of playing on my curiosity and refusing to tell me perfectly simple things just to torture me :-p AND making "thinky" faces just to prompt me to ask and then laughing at me! :-[

And something random-and-totally-awesome? Both Wade and Anita have blue-hazel eyes! I don't know how rare they are in actuality but I've met only a scant handful of us blue-hazeled people, so we seem rare to me :D and it's so fun to watch the colors shift!


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belenen: (connate)
being around similar spirits makes me more me / intuition-link with Anita / "what are you thinking?"
stream-of-consciousness ramblings about how I'm affected by being around similar spirits )

Ooooh, and last week when I was at the borderpagans meeting (and then at dinner afterward) I kept having that chill-down-my-spine shiver -- like 7 times in three hours! I felt like there must be something odd energetically going on (because I do occasionally have that shiver but never more than two in a day) and when I asked Anita what ze was doing at that time, ze told me ze was reading my LJ and responding to my survey. hee. I can't remember how long it took for Hannah and I to link up to the point where we could feel each other's strong emotions (even across the ocean) but this feels like the start of that. Everything has been so insanely intense so far and I'm trying not to let my excitement pull me faster than I can process the experience. Just... wow.

Also I love that instead of getting annoyed with my constant "what are you thinking/feeling?" questions, Anita has started doing the same thing, hee. (that's a thing I do with anyone interesting, and the more interesting you are the more often you get asked to share your thoughts. It's my way of getting to know you and honing my understanding of your expressions/moods :D) Although ze gets entirely too much enjoyment out of playing on my curiosity and refusing to tell me perfectly simple things just to torture me :-p AND making "thinky" faces just to prompt me to ask and then laughing at me! :-[

And something random-and-totally-awesome? Both Wade and Anita have blue-hazel eyes! I don't know how rare they are in actuality but I've met only a scant handful of us blue-hazeled people, so we seem rare to me :D and it's so fun to watch the colors shift!


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
photos: candlelit black-and-white nudes by Hannah
I'm usually not at all a fan of black-and-white photography because I just love color too much, but low light and really strong lines just call for it. ;-)

These are from my trip to visit Hannah in June 2008. We did a completely impromptu (wild hair and everything) candlelit shoot on one of my last days there. This was only a few days after my heart was completely shattered, yet there is still true joy in some of these. I love these because Hannah and I work SO well together artistically and I love zir sense of composition -- I just love how ze captures me. I'm pretty sure Hannah took this whole set -- I know Nick took some of me but I think those were the set before.



30+ photos )
sounds: Damien Rice - Volcano | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (curvygirl -- me (nude))
photos: candlelit black-and-white nudes by Hannah
I'm usually not at all a fan of black-and-white photography because I just love color too much, but low light and really strong lines just call for it. ;-)

These are from my trip to visit Hannah in June 2008. We did a completely impromptu (wild hair and everything) candlelit shoot on one of my last days there. This was only a few days after my heart was completely shattered, yet there is still true joy in some of these. I love these because Hannah and I work SO well together artistically and I love zir sense of composition -- I just love how ze captures me. I'm pretty sure Hannah took this whole set -- I know Nick took some of me but I think those were the set before.



30+ photos )
sounds: Damien Rice - Volcano | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , ,


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belenen: (plant magic)
important events in 2009 / tangled joy and pain, vibrant growth
"Curl and Tangle, Color and Thorn" by me:



This is a photo I took on a trip with Ben to Big Trees in November. It expresses the entire year to me -- the sharp pains and vibrant joys, and most of all the crazy tangled unforseeability of it. And the focus too -- not seeing far behind or much ahead. Oh, what a wild ride.

I dedicated 2009 to risk-taking (since the focus of 2008 became faith-building instead) and I feel that I fully met that goal. I practiced living in the moment, doing things because they feel right without concern for how they might turn sour; being with Viv, going to San Francisco, deciding to end my partnership with [ex], beginning a relationship with Ben, moving in with Ash, hanging out with people I didn't know well and didn't feel miraculously connected to, couchsurfing, driving a rental car. Those are all things I wouldn't have done a year ago out of a habit of thinking "but what if bad stuff happens."

This year brought me the greatest disappointment and the greatest joy I've ever experienced. It's been such a blend, every joy right next to suffering (and vice versa). This is the first year I have had local friends since I was 20, and the first time in my life I've had a sense of community, an actual CIRCLE of people whom I love and feel that I belong with. It used to be so rare that I spent time with friends that every single time was intensely noteworthy and now it has become NORMAL to me! I feel immensely rich. I get hugs at least every single week -- after YEARS of feeling like a leper because no one touched me. I speak and people listen and care and respond -- after years of having no one to talk with in person (well, no one who cared about the same things or was very interested in my thoughts). I am so profoundly grateful. Thank you Deity, thank you universe, thank you localtribe, thank you everyone and everything!

important events in 2009 )


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belenen: (Default)
important events in 2009 / tangled joy and pain, vibrant growth
"Curl and Tangle, Color and Thorn" by me:



This is a photo I took on a trip with Ben to Big Trees in November. It expresses the entire year to me -- the sharp pains and vibrant joys, and most of all the crazy tangled unforseeability of it. And the focus too -- not seeing far behind or much ahead. Oh, what a wild ride.

I dedicated 2009 to risk-taking (since the focus of 2008 became faith-building instead) and I feel that I fully met that goal. I practiced living in the moment, doing things because they feel right without concern for how they might turn sour; being with Viv, going to San Francisco, deciding to end my partnership with [ex], beginning a relationship with Ben, moving in with Ash, hanging out with people I didn't know well and didn't feel miraculously connected to, couchsurfing, driving a rental car. Those are all things I wouldn't have done a year ago out of a habit of thinking "but what if bad stuff happens."

This year brought me the greatest disappointment and the greatest joy I've ever experienced. It's been such a blend, every joy right next to suffering (and vice versa). This is the first year I have had local friends since I was 20, and the first time in my life I've had a sense of community, an actual CIRCLE of people whom I love and feel that I belong with. It used to be so rare that I spent time with friends that every single time was intensely noteworthy and now it has become NORMAL to me! I feel immensely rich. I get hugs at least every single week -- after YEARS of feeling like a leper because no one touched me. I speak and people listen and care and respond -- after years of having no one to talk with in person (well, no one who cared about the same things or was very interested in my thoughts). I am so profoundly grateful. Thank you Deity, thank you universe, thank you localtribe, thank you everyone and everything!

important events in 2009 )


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
characters in the story of my life: present and past
These are the characters in the story of my life:
from 2009 )


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
characters in the story of my life: present and past
These are the characters in the story of my life:

most mentioned:
Ace (lil sis) aka [livejournal.com profile] girlslovegirls7 -- younger sister, deep friend, soul-kin.
Ben aka [livejournal.com profile] justben -- lover, deep friend, heart-kin, soul-kin.
Ash aka [livejournal.com profile] theroamer -- deep friend, flatmate.
Hannah aka [livejournal.com profile] shioneh -- deep friend, spirit-kin.
Nea aka [livejournal.com profile] acid_burns -- deep friend, soul-kin.
S -- close friend.

localtribe:
Shel aka [livejournal.com profile] aerialmelodies
Sara aka [livejournal.com profile] theindiequeen
Kristen aka [livejournal.com profile] gods_ornament
(under the general tag: Anna, Kat K, Chase, Anita, Saleena, Nicole, Brigit, Greta, Brandon, Sakka, Josh, Paul, Ryan, Nikki, Wolf, Tali, Scarlett)

often mentioned but not currently part of my life:
B, my ex-partner -- ex-partner, ex-lover, heart-kin.
Aurilion -- ex-lover, heart-kin.
Viv -- ex-friend/love, spirit-kin.
ex-partner's family -- my ex's family
biofamily -- my biological family

those I rarely talk/write about lately, but who had/have a big impact on my life:
Kate aka [livejournal.com profile] clown_frog -- deep friend, heart-kin.
Nick aka [livejournal.com profile] aquilian -- friend, spirit-kin, heart-kin.
Kat aka [livejournal.com profile] kmiotutsie -- good friend, soul-kin.
SabR aka [livejournal.com profile] sabr -- good friend.
Anika aka [livejournal.com profile] cunningbunny -- friend.
Paula & Spencer -- spiritual parents.
Gabe -- spiritual sibling.
elya -- sister-in-law, friend.
Ava aka [livejournal.com profile] mourningdoveava -- friend, spirit-kin.
Meliae aka [livejournal.com profile] earthy_goddess -- friend.
Rebecca -- sister-in-law, friend.
Kaylene -- friend.
Allison -- friend.





most mentioned: )
localtribe: )
people I talk/write about who are not active parts of my life )
people I rarely talk/write about lately, but who had/have a big impact on my life )


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
hookah is meditative / missing Hannah / frustration with cold and etc.
Last night I went out with [livejournal.com profile] justben to Cafe Istanbul and had delicious food and smoked hookah. I really love smoking hookah; it's such a meditative activity for me, maybe because I focus on my breathing when I'm playing with the smoke. I want to buy a hookah of my own and incorporate smoking into my spiritual practice. It's not something I'd do every day -- I think my limit would be once or twice a month -- but I think it'd be useful.

the rest is sort of stream-of-consciousness and not well written and mostly has a wintery tone and just ugh )
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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
hookah is meditative / missing Hannah / frustration with cold and etc.
Last night I went out with [livejournal.com profile] justben to Cafe Istanbul and had delicious food and smoked hookah. I really love smoking hookah; it's such a meditative activity for me, maybe because I focus on my breathing when I'm playing with the smoke. I want to buy a hookah of my own and incorporate smoking into my spiritual practice. It's not something I'd do every day -- I think my limit would be once or twice a month -- but I think it'd be useful.

the rest is sort of stream-of-consciousness and not well written and mostly has a wintery tone and just ugh )
connecting: , ,


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belenen: (heart in my throat)
complete mutual openness with Ben, intoxicating intensity / moving in with Ash
I find it so difficult to express what it's like to be with Ben, but it's almost all I want to talk about! It's so inCREDIBLE. I've been practicing openness as a focus of my life for about five years, and had it as a mutual focus in most of my relationships, so I thought I knew what openness felt like. Now I'm realizing that I'd only had little tastes: flashes or moments of complete mutual openness. My ex-partner and I had rare moments of it in sex or in prayer; Hannah and I had short stretches of it when we were both in happy, healthy places; Aurilion and I sort of had it when we focused on it, but it was shallower because ze simply didn't know much of zirself and therefore couldn't share much; Viv and I had it for those first two days when we met and have had moments of it since then; but I've NEVER experienced it in this sustained way. Every single second we touch or look at each other, we're connected intensely, completely, and it builds and builds to where I feel like I'm going to faint or cry because it's almost too much. I feel my own feelings and the reflections of zir feelings, so it's like I experience it twice at once! And for once it's not a struggle to have faith in the connection, because it IS sustained and while I can doubt a moment or a flash, I can't doubt hours on end. It's just so unequivocally THERE. And not only does it build while we're spending time together, but it feels like each time we see each other, it's stronger.

in perfect stillness
we flow into each other;
there's no space between


I'm so utterly wide-eyed in wonder over this... and thinking, if those little moments I'd had before created such ripples in my life, what is this doing and what is it going to do? how it feels )

In other news, Ash was quite offended at being put in a bulleted post that included a complaint about my ex and demanded zir own post but I don't respond well to demands so you get put in a Ben post, howd'yalikethatASH??? But I'm actually moving in with zir! Tomorrow the books 'n' furniture are going and then I'm going to collect the bits and pieces and then, and THEN, I'm going to have MY OWN SPACE for the first time in almost 6 years!!! I cannnnnnnot wait! And I'm pretty excited about having Ash as a flatmate too, because ze's my kin (not blood-kin but kin in the way that matters) and I think that it's going to be lovely to bond more with zir. And I think we'll work well as flatmates because we enjoy sharing but also are pretty good at recognizing our boundaries and communicating them. And our flat is so beautiful and peaceful -- and when I walked into my room at 6pm, I fell to my knees in delight because it was SO FULL OF LIGHT. But I refuse to take share any photos until I have my new room all set up :-p


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belenen: (heart in my throat)
complete mutual openness with Ben, intoxicating intensity / moving in with Ash
I find it so difficult to express what it's like to be with Ben, but it's almost all I want to talk about! It's so inCREDIBLE. I've been practicing openness as a focus of my life for about five years, and had it as a mutual focus in most of my relationships, so I thought I knew what openness felt like. Now I'm realizing that I'd only had little tastes: flashes or moments of complete mutual openness. My ex-partner and I had rare moments of it in sex or in prayer; Hannah and I had short stretches of it when we were both in happy, healthy places; Aurilion and I sort of had it when we focused on it, but it was shallower because ze simply didn't know much of zirself and therefore couldn't share much; Viv and I had it for those first two days when we met and have had moments of it since then; but I've NEVER experienced it in this sustained way. Every single second we touch or look at each other, we're connected intensely, completely, and it builds and builds to where I feel like I'm going to faint or cry because it's almost too much. I feel my own feelings and the reflections of zir feelings, so it's like I experience it twice at once! And for once it's not a struggle to have faith in the connection, because it IS sustained and while I can doubt a moment or a flash, I can't doubt hours on end. It's just so unequivocally THERE. And not only does it build while we're spending time together, but it feels like each time we see each other, it's stronger.

in perfect stillness
we flow into each other;
there's no space between


I'm so utterly wide-eyed in wonder over this... and thinking, if those little moments I'd had before created such ripples in my life, what is this doing and what is it going to do? how it feels )

In other news, Ash was quite offended at being put in a bulleted post that included a complaint about my ex and demanded zir own post but I don't respond well to demands so you get put in a Ben post, howd'yalikethatASH??? But I'm actually moving in with zir! Tomorrow the books 'n' furniture are going and then I'm going to collect the bits and pieces and then, and THEN, I'm going to have MY OWN SPACE for the first time in almost 6 years!!! I cannnnnnnot wait! And I'm pretty excited about having Ash as a flatmate too, because ze's my kin (not blood-kin but kin in the way that matters) and I think that it's going to be lovely to bond more with zir. And I think we'll work well as flatmates because we enjoy sharing but also are pretty good at recognizing our boundaries and communicating them. And our flat is so beautiful and peaceful -- and when I walked into my room at 6pm, I fell to my knees in delight because it was SO FULL OF LIGHT. But I refuse to take share any photos until I have my new room all set up :-p


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belenen: (progressing)
feeling better / how to trust without pure openness&honesty / Viv's moving
After your amazingly loving comments, a ton of sleep with disjointed muted-anger dreams, a wonderful night out with most of my local tribe (Saleena, Ash, justben, Davey, Brigit, Josh, and Paul), and a long thoughtful conversation with Viv, I'm feeling better. I'm still quite hurt but I'm not so angry at myself or B anymore, and I'm not feeling like I want to curl up and die.

I guess I'm going to have to accept the fact that most people aren't going to be able to give me the pure unvarnished truth, because they cannot reach it themselves. I think I looked at the fact that I learned it and that Hannah learned it, and I assumed that it was something everyone could learn and once learned, anyone would be as passionate about it as Hannah and me. I really, really wish that were true, but it's not. I think the biggest part of the problem with B was that ze was doing it for me, not because ze actually wanted it for zirself (and the same thing happened with Aurilion, although ze showed a lot more enthusiasm than B did). So ze only went as far as I pushed, and then when I stopped, lapsed right back into passivity and detachment, with the occasional shift when I got upset about it. And I didn't want to see that so I went along with the occasional shift and pretended that that was a sincere devotion to honesty/openness.

If I were ever to have a partner again, I'd have to be with someone who had their own devotion to honesty/openness, completely separate from me; most likely it'd have to be something that was already a habit for them before meeting me. But for friends and lovers, I think I can take whatever is offered. the conflict I still face... )

In other news, Viv's moving to Seattle in about two weeks, for probably at least a year. :-( It's a good thing for zir (secure place to live and job opportunities) but it's hard for me to be happy for zir because I'm just going to miss zir so damn much.
sounds: The Postal Service - Recycled Air | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (progressing)
feeling better / how to trust without pure openness&honesty / Viv's moving
After your amazingly loving comments, a ton of sleep with disjointed muted-anger dreams, a wonderful night out with most of my local tribe (Saleena, Ash, justben, Davey, Brigit, Josh, and Paul), and a long thoughtful conversation with Viv, I'm feeling better. I'm still quite hurt but I'm not so angry at myself or B anymore, and I'm not feeling like I want to curl up and die.

I guess I'm going to have to accept the fact that most people aren't going to be able to give me the pure unvarnished truth, because they cannot reach it themselves. I think I looked at the fact that I learned it and that Hannah learned it, and I assumed that it was something everyone could learn and once learned, anyone would be as passionate about it as Hannah and me. I really, really wish that were true, but it's not. I think the biggest part of the problem with B was that ze was doing it for me, not because ze actually wanted it for zirself (and the same thing happened with Aurilion, although ze showed a lot more enthusiasm than B did). So ze only went as far as I pushed, and then when I stopped, lapsed right back into passivity and detachment, with the occasional shift when I got upset about it. And I didn't want to see that so I went along with the occasional shift and pretended that that was a sincere devotion to honesty/openness.

If I were ever to have a partner again, I'd have to be with someone who had their own devotion to honesty/openness, completely separate from me; most likely it'd have to be something that was already a habit for them before meeting me. But for friends and lovers, I think I can take whatever is offered. the conflict I still face... )

In other news, Viv's moving to Seattle in about two weeks, for probably at least a year. :-( It's a good thing for zir (secure place to live and job opportunities) but it's hard for me to be happy for zir because I'm just going to miss zir so damn much.
sounds: The Postal Service - Recycled Air | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
hannahbel conversations!
I neverever do this but I talked to Hannah for the first time in months and months today and so I'm sharing some of our profound wisdom with youuuu :D :D :D

bits of HANNAHBEL CONVERSATIONZZZZZZZ )
sounds: The Postal Service - Brand New Colony | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (bel bites happy apple hannah)
hannahbel conversations!
I neverever do this but I talked to Hannah for the first time in months and months today and so I'm sharing some of our profound wisdom with youuuu :D :D :D

bits of HANNAHBEL CONVERSATIONZZZZZZZ )
sounds: The Postal Service - Brand New Colony | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (nascent)
the nourishment of 2008 has healed & helped me so much w/ spending time with people, overcoming fear
I've lived in and around this area for the past six years, but have never really put down roots in a community sense (with the land, I am rooted). That's starting to change but before I go into that I want to explore the reasons that it hasn't happened before.

the history )

After going through the hard parts of recovery (the agoraphobia/paranoia), it became really difficult for me to be around people. I'm not sure why -- maybe because part of me opened up and I sensed things that I had been closed to before -- but it really drained me, no matter how much I liked the person. To put it another way, being around a person took 100 points of energy, but most interactions only gave me about 30 points of energy. So unless it was a truly miraculous meeting, one where absolutely EVERYTHING clicked and I felt that the person and I had mutual affection, trust, understanding, and motivations AND felt sure that we were building a relationship which would last (an experience that most people would describe as 'meeting your soulmate'), it ended up draining me a lot and making it an experience that I feared and dreaded, even though it WAS enjoyable. (even the miraculous meetings drained me, just not as much) So in 2007 when I was looking for new local friends I would meet someone and it would be fun, but it would drain me and I just wouldn't feel like it was worth the effort of doing again.

But 2008 changed that. While being flooded with so much energy from all the miraculous happenings of that year, a void in me that had existed for as long as I can remember was finally filled and I was able to learn how to better use that energy. It's like I was growing in drought for so long, and then I finally had a fully nourishing year -- now I have a much more effective root system and can draw water in even though I am in a mild drought again. And now it only takes me 50 points of energy to be around a person, so I can enjoy interactions that are just good or great (not miraculous) without feeling utterly drained afterward. (usually there is still a gap which makes it more draining than nourishing (since I find sexism very draining and almost everyone is sexist), but it's a small gap now and I can pretty easily make up for it)

It was a really big deal for me to go to the pagan meeting a few weeks ago -- to go out alone to a new place, at night, where I would know only one person, and knew that I would be driving home alone in the cold and dark through a part of town that I'm not familiar with. And it was a little scary, but not terrifying, and it took effort, but not a debilitating amount -- and I felt REFRESHED afterward rather than drained. It was an even BIGGER deal for me to go to the drum circle -- because I invited two people (one a near-stranger), organized it, and followed through, including driving to a new place, EVEN THOUGH I didn't feel good. It used to be that I would want to do something, but wouldn't make plans -- and then when I did make plans, would stress out so much that I got physically ill and then used that as a reason to back out. This time I went through with it even though I was on the first day of my period (when I usually never leave the house). And that was life-alteringly wonderful!

I'm so thrilled that these things don't take SO MUCH from me nowadays. (it's still difficult -- still a stretch -- but not prohibitively so) Even if I end up transplanted soon, I'm going to put down some community roots here, because I can, finally, and because I will be back.
sounds: Darren Hayes - Dublin Sky | Powered by Last.fm
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