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belenen: (Default)
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: (ADD-PI)
ADDeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

While I love my job, it takes up literally all of my ability to focus, most days. It's very detail-oriented and often tedious work and the past few projects I've worked on have been on stuff I find both boring and offensive (so-called history that's full of outright lies, and I have to describe it without adding commentary or arguing). So I get home and I have a very hard time controlling my brain as I have kept it on such a tight leash all day. Mostly it endlessly refreshes facebook and watches netflix. So I installed browser blocks for the first time in my life (leechblock for firefox and stayfocusd on chrome) and so far it's helped a lot, because my problem is not that that is what I actually want to be doing, but just that if I start at all I can't stop, and I need SOME down time to watch stuff and I want some time to catch up on facebook. So I gave myself 45 minutes for each one, and after that I can't use it the rest of the day. Thus, today I managed to come post! and not for LJ Idol!

But my brain still does its runaway carriage thing, as evidenced by the fact that I spent like five hours updating my layout the other day... and then as soon as I wrote that line I went and spent three hours more. (resize your browser for Fun Timez) annnnd there's still a thing I haven't figured out. oh well calling it a night since I'm overdue for sleep already arghhhh

ETA: figured it out the next day. SUPER PROUD of it right now.


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belenen: (oneness)
LJI topic 7, "where I'm from": I am from the Internet, from a little city called Livejournal.
icon: "oneness (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," sitting very close together, both looking off to the side and laughing)"

My country is the internet; my state is the mid-90s to the mid-00s, and my city is Livejournal, though I have lived in other cities for short periods of time, and I visit other cities often.


My experience with the internet began with AOL on Windows 95. I used the internet to download midi files of music I liked, endlessly search for info on my favorite musical artists, and find people to chat eagerly with about music or about God (my two obsessions at the time). I made some pretty intense friendships, one with a white guy in Canada, and one with a black guy somewhere in the Midwest. I didn't seek out guys, I don't think, but there just weren't any girls my age that I could find (and at that point I didn't know that nonbinary people existed). My friendships with those two highly ethical and thoughtful people allowed me to create healthy expectations of male behavior, rather than accepting selfishness and disrespect as 'normal' which would have been the case if I did not have access to the internet.

During the early days of my interaction with the internet, my use was limited to chatting, searching for information, and exploring the Anotherworld MUD. Then at age 20 I took an intro computer course which was utter shit but one of the assignments changed my life: we had to make a simple webpage with the most basic coding. I found this really fun and started teaching myself HTML, building two websites from bare code. I probably spent more than 200 hours on them over the course of the next three years. No one I knew ever cared much about this project, but I loved it so much I didn't need external interest to keep it going. I did get interesting and meaningful responses in the guestbook of my site, particularly about my anti-racist stance. This is where I developed my ethic of content creation and self-education: I shared what I made, and when I wanted to do something I trained myself on how to do it. This was no small feat, because how-to resources were still scanty at the time.


At the same time, Allison (who is now my oldest friendship) introduced me to LiveJournal. I joined first as a way to stay in touch with Allison and it quickly took on an important role in my life. I met new people through add-me communities and through shared-interest communities. This is where I developed my norm for getting to know people: if I thought they were interesting I added them to my friends list and consumed their online content. If the interest was mutual and they added me back, I would respond to their posts and have turn-based conversations. I rarely had any direct interaction at first -- I only commented if they required it before adding them, and most of the time if they required that I just didn't add them.

That is how I would prefer to be able to get to know anyone; indirectly and not in real time but with intensely intimate levels of sharing. It's a strong enough norm for me that I can rarely have a lasting or nourishing connection with someone who doesn't share intimacies indirectly. It's usually too hard for me to sync up in real time, but I need that level of intense sharing to feel nourished and to maintain investment. But I've realized that in most places, getting to know someone indirectly first is considered 'weird' at best and people often refer to it as 'stalking' which I find utterly baffling. I accept that it's taboo and I don't talk about it to out-of-towners, but where I'm from, that's just how you do it! (obviously I don't look at anything that's not set to 'public' because that's creepy)

Also at this intense time of change, I started going to group therapy. Through the group therapy I started learning to be vulnerable with others, and within a few months I dedicated my journal to openness and honesty. It was a difficult project for a long time, because only a few months into my LJ life I started having flashbacks to childhood sexual abuse (sparked by having consensual penetrative sex for the first time). I began going to therapy weekly, and it got worse before it got better.

So for about two years I could not leave my house without someone by my side, and I had no local friends so I rarely went out. The internet saved me: I built real friendships to a depth I never had before. For the first time in my life, people sharing freely with me happened on a daily basis instead of once or twice a year. This was the first time in my life I truly felt like I belonged and like I understood how to interact in a way that would be appreciated. I rapidly dismantled my inner barriers to openness, and what I didn't dismantle was destroyed for me. It became important to me to share my own story in a public way, because I knew I was not the only one dealing with recovery from abuse. That built my immunity to trolling because when people mock you for being an abuse victim, there's not much lower they can go.


In late 2004 I also came across a community celebrating hourglass shapes and when the owner deleted it due to fighting over what counted, I decided to make a better version. I created a body-positive community with the idea of it being for medium people, like I was at the time (size 10) since there were fat positive communities but they had a minimum size requirement. But as people much smaller and larger than me joined, my idea rapidly changed, because the idea of excluding people for being 'too much' or 'not enough' was not okay to me. Within a few months, it was for anyone who self-identified as curvy, regardless of size or gender. This community was like a commune, a gathering of people who I mostly didn't know but who all were working together on the same beautiful project. It was home and work and family all at once; I took it from one person to more than 1,300, and it remained a thriving community for about four years.

That community was where I learned to love myself, and I got to watch lots of others do it too. It also brought me and Hannah together, which was a whole new experience because for the first time I met someone who was better at questioning and being open than I was. Hannah and I would regularly spend 9+ hours talking and sharing: we'd write on LJ and read each others' writing, we'd explore deviantart and share favorite works with each other, and just talk endlessly on gchat.



Deviantart was, for a time, almost as important as LJ to me. It's where I shared my artistic nudes and developed immunity about people expressing disgust toward my body. I also experienced so many people thanking me for sharing and telling me that it helped them to see their own beauty. DeviantArt is the town where I developed myself as a public artist, and I had some celebrity for a short time, but now my style has evolved so much that no one recognizes it as mine when I put up a new piece. It's a place I visit once in a blue moon to look at my old work on the walls, but all the artists I loved there moved away so even the nostalgia is dusty. I can't bring myself to stay long enough to get invested in the art circles there anymore.

Twitter was paramount for about a year in 2011; I kept up daily and interacted often. I was put off by the lack of reciprocity: I was following and interacting with people who never read my tweets and it felt cliquish. I learned a lot from the feminists there, esp the trans and WOC feminists, but it was more like a newspaper than like a social space. In a lot of ways it reminds me of my college experience: no matter how much effort I put in, no one wanted to connect at more than a surface level. Twitter is a city I drive through almost every day but never stop anymore; the roads where people live are confusing and parking is fucking torture, so I just go on through.



I got a facebook initially due to curiosity, kept it because of its value at organizing gathers, and slowly began spending more time there as my local activist network developed. Over the past two years it has become a more real space for me, as people have begun interacting with me more, but it still feels somewhat alien. Facebook feels like the building where I work: I go there often, but always in costume while leaving my more scandalous self at home. Without ever consciously deciding to, I had developed a habit of restricted my sharing on fb because fb culture is so pro-judgement. Once I realized this, I began working to bring more of myself into my facebook life because I don't actually want to make it more difficult to get to know me. Facebook will never be home, but I am making it into a workplace where I can be more of myself.


There were several shakeups here on LJ over the years and I lost friends to vox, wordpress, blogger, dreamwidth, and even facebook, but still I remain here. My LJ friends list is like a neighborhood where every single house is owned by a friend of mine. The idea of moving is absurd and always will be unless most of my friends move away. Even when it was mostly empty for a few years, I stayed in the hopes people would return, and eventually filled up those houses with new friends. Now, I have a small handful of friends who returned but most of my neighborhood is people I have met within the past three years (and I have been on LJ for more than 13 years).

I get so excited when I meet someone who is also from the internet, and even more so when I meet someone from livejournal. I imagine it is how other people feel when they live far from a hometown that they love, and then they meet someone from there. I might not get along with everyone from LJ, but if they have lived here a while, I immediately know we share similar values in a lot of ways. Especially if they love it here as much as I do.


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belenen: (curious)
quick question
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

[Poll #2061628]


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belenen: (overwhelmed)
unintentional haitus? oops.
icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

Hi friends!

I've gotten terribly behind and I miss all of you. I was unfriended by a few people, one of whom I really cared about. I don't think it was the content of the stuff I did post so much as the lack of other posts and comments on people's journals, because it's probably been at least two months since I was really keeping up. When I was working at starbux, I had no energy for anything because it took so much work to be social AND on my feet for many hours AND parsing sound constantly. I just watched netflix with my spare time, or did necessary chores or watched netflix w Topaz. My new job is amazing and I feel accomplished yet not drained at the end of the day, but it does take 52-60 hours a week including driving and time for lunch (I take a 30 min lunch). And I haven't worked 40 hours a week in like 10 years, haven't driven 10-15 hours a week in years also. So I'm still adjusting to that. It will help once work starts back up again because then I will have a set schedule -- starting in December meant having work broken up by off time since we follow the academic calendar to a certain extent. Once I am definitely working M-F I can pick time to dedicate to LJ and manage to do it.

Solstice was amazing and Xmas was relatively low-stress too, but all the hustle and bustle wore me out and I am glad to have this week to recover. I'm still emotionally exhausted and having stress dreams when I sleep, about things like writing a bunch of papers or getting trapped on the wrong floor in a giant building by someone who intended to put me in the 'playpen' which sounded epic levels of ominous.


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
thanks for being wonderful, LJ friends / poll: where do you live?
icon: "interconnectedness (two bald purple-skinned people in the ocean: from Joan Slonczewski's "Door Into Ocean")"

Finally caught up on replying to comments today. I really do have just the sweetest friends list. In fact, overall I think my friends list right now actually has the highest number of meaningful connections that I've ever had. I really adore many of you and am excited about getting to know some of my newer friends. LJ is my beloved home and I'm pleased that we share this building *heartglow*

Speaking of home, I'm curious as to how my current readers are scattered (only I can see who chose what).
Please ONLY answer if you read my journal )


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belenen: (revolutionary)
me on LJ vs me on FB: beginning work to correct perceptions of me by being more open on FB
icon: "revolutionary (a gif flipping through four of my nude self-portraits in dancy poses lit by natural light, showing my soft rounded body)"

I had a conversation with Cass the other day about the way people perceive me through facebook. She told me that I come across as very judgemental and hasty to dismiss people as unworthy; that she in the past and others who she has talked to have this perception. At first I found this really baffling, because I am used to people who know me through the internet thinking of me as really accepting and emotionally warm, and anyone who has known me for a while knows that I always want to work shit out rather than throw people away. But it has been a long time since I took a 'fresh read' of people's opinions of me and even so, the last time I did I think people only responded if they had something nice to say (which wasn't my goal, but was nice to read). So maybe people's perceptions of me have changed in general and I just don't know it.

Anyway, there is a huge difference in my LJ presence versus my FB presence. Livejournal gets the best of me. Things I am sure I want to read again, I put on my LJ. Random comments go on twitter which cross-posts to facebook; those posts are automatically less nuanced just because they're 140 characters or less most of the time. I don't share my more warm-fuzzy or introspective stuff on FB because nobody responds so I expect that that means nobody is reading them. My tweet-sized comments usually get about a dozen likes/reactions, whereas my cross-posted LJ entries are lucky to get 3 likes/reactions.

But this means that people are never reading about how I am working out difficult friendships or how I am dealing with personal struggles, so they really don't get a good feel for who I am. And I don't want people to get the wrong impression of me, so I have decided to try and be more open on facebook, even if I get no feedback. Then at least it is not my fault if people have the wrong impression. I'm going to try to cross-post even the 'unimportant' 'too personal' stuff for a while and see if that helps.

There is also the fact that livejournal allows me to give responses to people's experiences rather than just dealing with the more surface stuff. On facebook most people do not bare their soul, so there isn't a lot of valuable reflection I can give; an "I read this and I care" means a lot more in response to a soul-baring than it does in response to a post that isn't very personal. So I can't show my caring so easily there, even with the same amount of effort. That, I do not think there is a remedy to. There are simply too many people and too many posts for me to be able to find the emotionally-deep posts that would be best for thoughtful responses.

ETA: Just realized that the fact that my comments on LJ have mood-appropriate icons (often of my face which makes me more relatable) and the fact that I am much more affectionate in my speech on LJ must also contribute to the difference in perception. The latter I can be conscious of and shift somewhat on facebook. I don't necessarily feel less affectionate toward people I know through FB, but I tend to be more reserved with affection there, not sure why. Perhaps because it does feel much more public. People can happen across my facebook pretty easily, whereas when people come to my LJ, it is a much more deliberate act of connection.


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belenen: (interconnectedness)
my lj patterns / job stress / Ace visits, explosion of social w biofam & friends / Sense8 marathon
icon: "interconnectedness (two bald purple-skinned people in the ocean: from Joan Slonczewski's "Door Into Ocean")"

reflecting on LJ patterns )

job hunt stress ) Also I was super social for like a solid week and am just now feeling like I can handle voluntary interaction with human beings. My youngest sibling, Ace, came in town with almost no warning and hasn't visited in at least four years, so I hastily threw together some plans so that Ace could meet my people and vice versa.

discomfort with biofam due to them not putting in any effort to connect with me )

Anyway, other than that discomfort, it was an okay visit. Ace wanted to go to a lesbian bar, so we did, but it was Monday night so not much was happening. Cass, Katie, Katie's person Molly, and Topaz hung out with me and Ace and just talked, and afterward Topaz and Ace and I went to dinner and Ace laid out some heavy questions. First Ace tested Topaz with a point-blank "so what do you feel about [livejournal.com profile] belenen?" (or something very close to that) and Topaz reeled briefly and then answered honestly and openly while looking me in the eyes, and Ace judged them as truthful. Ace is extraordinarily observant and blunt and doesn't fuck around when they want to know something.

Then Ace asked me "why do you hate our parents?" and I replied calmly that I don't hate them, I'm just not that attached. Topaz later told me that they were amazed at the full blast of the questions (because they got more pointed from there) and at how I handled them, and then I realized that they were some hard questions, but I appreciate bluntness and while Ace did ask very leading questions, I'm pretty good at not being lead. However, I was also way too literal in answering them, because I think what Ace was looking for was some empathy for their suffering, but what they were asking about was my suffering, which they were then comparing to theirs. I didn't realize this until later, talking about it with Topaz, who realized it during the conversation. I felt shitty that I didn't realize and thus missed the opportunity to connect there.

The next day I had planned a small gather which Topaz hosted, with Topaz, me, Ace, Allison, Elliot, Serenity, Kylei, Jaime, and my cousin. It was a wonderful group of people and I really enjoyed everyone's company, though my ADD got way out of hand when we all played Dixit together. I'm gonna trust the box next time and agree that more than 7 people is too many, unless everyone is a fairly quiet person. We had four or five boisterous people and I just couldn't manage it after a while. Nobody got mad when I said I needed a break or when we didn't end up returning to the game, though, so it was okay.

I was hoping to have more time with Ace but since they were smoking a lot of the time and thus were outside while I was inside we didn't really interact directly very much. They said they liked all my friends (said this to me multiple times) and said to Topaz "I love you for my [sibling]," which I was very pleased by because they're usually very suspicious of anyone I am close to. This was also the first time I got to introduce several people to each other (which I love doing) and people volunteered their positive impressions of each other to me which made me VERY happy.

Then Wednesday I spent time with Ace, my cousin, and my grandparent, very casual, working on a long-term art project of Ace's. I was so so so wiped out after that though -- family Sunday, family AND new scary place (I'd never been to a lesbian bar and I get very anxious about not looking queer enough) Monday, big social thing including family Tuesday, more family Wednesday. I took Thursday to recover and then spent Friday vacuuming the dust/dander/fur out of the rugs and then spending time with Topaz.

Saturday was a day I had been planning for two months: a Sense8 marathon. Topaz, Sande, Evelyn, Serenity, and I watched it on the projector that I borrowed from Kylei. I don't remember how many episodes various people watched but it felt really wonderful to be with people that I feel such strong connections with, watching a show that feels like a part of me. And it was good that it was low-interaction because I certainly couldn't have handled more active social at the end of such a week!

It was really really wonderful to have Topaz in my house, after so long of them not being there due to allergies. I replaced the air filter very recently, dusted the week before, vacuumed the day before, and Serenity mopped the floors the day before too, and I turned the air conditioning high while Topaz was here (because cold helps). It all paid off -- Topaz didn't seem to have much of a reaction at all, and was able to stay for like five hours.


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belenen: (eccentric)
LJ stats
icon: "eccentric (a photo of me tilting my head and with raised eyebrows and a pursed-lipped smile)"

I looked at my stats today and liked the repeated numbers. Look at all the threes! also, my comments-received finally outstripped my comments-posted. *sigh* I liked having it ahead!

screenshot of my LJ profile stats


[purple dragon userhead] belenen
[icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"]
challenging [blue down arrow]
the eclectic ecstasy of an ecphorizing eccentric
treehugging, agender, queer, fat & proud, ADD social justice activist

[gold star] Permanent Account, Created on 29 August 2003 (#1289251), Last updated on 12 July 2016
[miniature bar chart] 13 place in User ratings
[gold coin with face on it] Social capital: 193

2,363 Journal entries
33,934 Comments posted
33,994 Comments received
339 Tags

174 Memories
3,545 Photos
15 V-Gifts
163 Userpics


Share yours? (please just copy paste the text if you do so that the comment thread is accessible to screen readers, or describe your image) I am very curious to see all of them in one place to see if there are any patterns *smiles hopefully*
connecting:


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belenen: (curious)
poll: do you read the comments before, after, or neither?
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

I realized just now that I usually do not read other people's comments before leaving my own, because I do not want to sway my response -- yet I often do read the comments before adding mine in places that aren't LJ. So I want to see if this is unusual, or if there is a discernible pattern to be found.

[Poll #2048714]


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belenen: (bluestocking)
an access request (dyslexia related): spaces between paragraphs, more breaks
icon: "bluestocking (photo of a book lying open on a table with a bright window in the background, overlaid with a yellow fractal that looks like the sun shining through dust motes)"

I've realized that there are some things that make it hard for me to read. One is a lack of spacing between paragraphs; making a new line but not skipping a line. This is apparently an issue for dyslexic readers as well. I am part of a facebook group that works to be inclusive and one of the guidelines is breaking up text into smaller chunks, rather than having long paragraphs. I can actually read long paragraphs without too much trouble, but I have started trying to break mine up a bit more to make it more accessible.

The other problem I have is the opposite thing, where there are several paragraphs that are each only 1-3 lines, usually list-type posts. I can't read these without a huge amount of effort. I think it must be that on some level I take in multiple lines at once when I read, and parse them together, but I can't do that with the list-type posts. It's like my eyes skitter all over the page and I have to focus very hard to actually read.

All this to say: I care about all of your posts or I wouldn't have you on my friends list, but if you post without spaces between paragraphs or if you post list-type posts, I will rarely be able to read them and it will take a lot of work for me to do so. If it doesn't matter to you, I would vastly appreciate spaces between paragraphs. There's no way to help me with the list-type posts, I'm afraid.

Lastly, small images (like emoticons or decorative text) within posts also make it difficult for me to read, as does text with background color. I understand these can be important to one's textual sense of self, so I'm not requesting anything, just sharing my experience. I don't know why these things have become an issue for me, since they weren't years ago, but I think that as my ADD-PI got worse, these things became more difficult.


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belenen: (curious)
polls: audio recordings of my posts? / opt-out for sex talk filter
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

Sometimes I read my posts out loud to Topaz while they're cooking or otherwise have hands and eyes occupied, and lately I was thinking about recording them for broader use. I'd like some feedback on the idea -- no one but me can see what you answered! I'm screening comments in case you want to give a private response but will unscreen unless you request otherwise.
[Poll #2046442]
Oh, and I realized that those new to my LJ might like some context for the people in my life, so here is my most recent version of the characters in the story of my life. It does need updating, but it mostly has the people I reference often.

Oh! and I automatically add people to my sex talk filter. It's the only content filter I use, and I don't use it often but if I am talking about sexual experiences I friends-lock them if the person/people I am having sex with prefer it that way (as is usually the case). Here is your chance to opt-out:
[Poll #1433403]


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belenen: (hopeful)
Hi new friends! about me / slurs hurt me / if I hurt you, lemme know / sincere questions are welcome
icon: "hopeful (close-up photo of me wearing cat-eye makeup, jewels on my cheek, and a violet glitter goatee. I'm gazing off to the side with a hopeful smile.)"

I have added a lot of awesome new people recently, and I'm very excited to have the chance to get to know you! I recently wrote an 'about me' that is exceedingly dense and comprehensive: it describes my identity, core values, personality characteristics, my attitudes about language and art and friendship, my access needs, and my spirituality. That is very long, so here is a summary )

The most important part is the part about slurs. You probably use some of these (ableist slurs are really common), and it will probably break my heart a little bit every time. Sometimes I will take damage and betray my beliefs rather than discuss it, because I am afraid of losing people, but when I feel strong enough, I will ask people not to use these. I can handle it when it's an occasional slip-up and generally people try not to use them, but if it is constant, I just can't take it. So, here's your easy exit if you feel this is an incompatibility -- you can unfriend me with no ill will (please let me know with a comment, because LJ has been failing to notify me).

If there is ever something I do or say that hurts you or seems to be adding to systemic injustice, please let me know. I can promise that I will look at my behavior and if there is a way for me to change my behavior to prevent hurt (without violating my core values) then I will absolutely make that change as quickly and completely as I can. Relevantly, I'm bad at guessing what needs a content note/trigger warning but tell me and I will keep a list and do my best to remember.

I can be rude but I am never disrespectful on purpose, and I am never (intentionally) rude to people who are open to learning. My gentleness is most often expressed privately, because that is usually how people with sincere questions approach me. Feel free to ask me any question anytime, as long as it is sincere and you're not going to get angry if I take a while to answer or need a reminder because I have forgotten.

CN: ableist slurs used in comments (by a new friend who is now unfriended).


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belenen: (polyamorous relationship anarchist)
Friendzy Summer 2016: find active LJers who write the way you wanna read!
icon: "polyamorous relationship anarchist (a rainbow-colored heart with the 'anarchy' capital letter A cutting through it, over a brick texture that suggests the heart is graffiti)"
arms of two people who are back to back - each arm has one half of a heart with the word besties on it

Looking for more active LJ friends?
Post about yourself and find new people!




also please spread the word!


It's been a while! I have some awesome friends now and I want to share the wealth, and meet any of your awesome friends!


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belenen: (nascent)
fear of love being taken away if I'm not comforting & helpful / my worth / who I am vs what I do
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 translucent blue hands with pointy nails)"


The weirdest thing about not dating Topaz right now is how I feel like I have an abundance of time. I take a leisurely route home, stop at the thrift store or grocery store, I make myself tea and read, I craft, I organize and tidy, and none of it in a hurry. These were things I did already but I always did them in a kind of defiant or splurge-y kind of way, and it didn't happen that often.

It's weird to realize how much I put restrictions on myself to be available for Topaz. It's a little scary, because it was an unconscious rule that I couldn't do things that would make me unavailable to Topaz unless I arranged it ahead of time. I know Topaz would never ask something like that of me, nor would I ask it of someone else, yet it was such a rule in my head that I had to work up a feeling of defiance in order to disobey it. And I know this isn't the first time I've had this subconscious rule, though it is the first time I feel sure that my person wouldn't be secretly wanting me to fall into that pattern (which is why I was able to break out of it at all).


I have this fear of love being taken away if I ever am not there for someone when they want comfort or help. I don't fear that the person will really suffer damage from me not giving to them one time -- rationally I think they will be okay (and if maybe not, then that is a completely different situation). I fear, selfishly, that if I don't do it, they will make a tally mark. Each "not there" tally mark crosses out four "good support" tally marks or eight "mediocre support" tally marks. Partly I don't want to have to make up for not being there because that's usually more work than the being there would be. I don't get afraid of this right away. It's only when it becomes a habit for me to be comforting/helpful that I get afraid of not doing it.

I think that I earn people's love and I find it very hard to resist the idea of a few more gold coins, even though I should have far more than I need. I feel a compulsion to hoard in case I make a mistake and that causes inflation that makes my previous earnings worthless. Ugh, I had no idea that my attitude toward love was so capitalist. I don't even know how to restructure it.

I can't really grasp the idea of someone not loving me less when I am not an automatic comfort/help. Of course they would! how could they not? I'm not sure where this fear came from, because I don't remember being a comfort to anyone as a child, and I don't remember having love withdrawn for not being a comfort (at least, not for the first 2 decades of my life). Although, thinking specifically on being helpful, my parents definitely withdrew love if I didn't 'help' by which they meant 'do what I want.' I think my understanding of help is muddied by their emotional abuse around 'gifted' labor.

Ultimately I think 'comforting/helpful' is the new 'smart' - the thing people value about me which is not part of my identity and which becomes a bigger deal than it should be. That feels close to the truth.

It doesn't help that almost always people refer to my various forms of giving when I ask why they love me. And it makes sense that people would love when I am generous, and I do want my giving to be appreciated, and I know that actions are part of the reason I love others. But it feels like the innate things are less important, like maybe they could take or leave those as long as I was giving. But for me, actions are almost never one of the first things I love about a person, except when they are an expression of something innate (like an artist making art).

What am I without giving? am I still worthwhile? I think I would be, to me, if I was someone else. I think if I was someone else I would feel nourished by my mere existence. I am actively nourished by myself, in that when I am being most myself, I enjoy my own company and I enjoy the space I create. Being in my bedroom (when I am in a good place and thus it is tidy) is like a constant cuddle from a rainbow and a forest together. I wish it felt that way to others. I want other people to be able to appreciate me in the way I do, because that is the way that feels like it's really about ME and not just about what I DO. I don't know how to explain this well.

I bounce back and forth between thinking that I give too much and wondering if I give at all. And also always wondering if I could be loved without earning it. If I could be appreciated for just existing, like a tree.

I'm too scared that the answer is "no" to try it out. I don't really know how to do it. I am constantly working to earn love -- it's automatic. I feel like because I can avoid making people do work or feel bad, I should. I should always be careful in my phrasing, gentle with feelings, avoiding misunderstanding, offering solutions, helping. Sometimes I try to be 'natural' but I am almost always drained by such efforts and it seems counterproductive, as it makes me feel worse about myself, and usually it makes me feel disconnected because when a bad feeling happens the other person often simply leaves it there. Sometimes people attack me in response, because my behavior changed and it made them feel bad, and they think of it as me attacking them. Other times they drop out of my life because the thing they came for is not there.

This is part of the reason that when someone doesn't care one way or the other about my journal, I feel very suspicious of the idea that they could love me. How could you possibly love me if the purest expression of who I am is something you could take or leave? My LJ is as much who I am as my face is -- nay, more so. It is more me than my cuddles, more me than the way I move, more me than my sex, more me than my presents or my fractals or my photos. Literally the only thing that is more me than my journal is my consciousness and spirit, maybe my body but that's questionable as I didn't create my body. If people don't enjoy reading in general, I can intellectually understand that but emotionally I do not understand.


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belenen: (vivacious)
an 'about me' that is exceedingly dense and comprehensive.
icon: "vivacious (my face with bold cat-eye makeup, with my head tilted down and to the side, looking at the camera with a wide close-lipped smile, hugging myself)"

There is a steep learning curve for most people to be close with me because I am so different from the default in identity, values, and language.
photo of me

I have pale pink-toned skin, blue hazel eyes with light brown bushy eyebrows, and very dark brown hair with silver in it. My eyes are long and fairly narrow, my nose is medium-sized and upturned, my mouth is wide with full lips, and there is a gap between my two front teeth. I am wearing cat-eye liner that is very dramatic, with violet on my upper lids and shimmery white under my eyes down to the curve of my cheeks. I'm also wearing silver and violet jewels on one cheek and a goatee made of violet glitter. I don't wear foundation or lipstick, so you can see freckles on my cheeks and that my lips are a pale cherry red. I am making eye contact with the camera and grinning widely enough that you can see my upper teeth. I'm leaning against a scaly bright green plant so that it frames my face in the foreground and background.

--------


my identity has many facets )

my values and qualities )

I am careful with language )

This on top of the fact that most people have to learn a whole new set of words/concepts to even start to understand me: queer, trans, agender, polyamorous, demisexual, fat & proud, nudist. To understand these things you have to break down the idea that gender is a continuum from male to female or that gender is any set of discrete categories, the idea that there are only two sexes, the idea that you can only be attracted to one gender, the idea that everyone has a gender, the idea that true love is exclusive, the idea that sexual attraction happens by appearance, the idea that fat is bad, the idea that nudity is sexual or scandalous -- for starters.

I'm invested in social justice and respond to injustice in every aspect of life )

I have non-average needs in communication )

I cherish art, I cherish creation )

I build my own spirituality )

I prioritize friendship )

I'm not an easy friend! but my friends have told me that I am trustworthy, compassionate, empathetic, generous, encouraging, insightful, creative, genuine, and growth-inspiring, so I think that I am worth the effort. Still, it's so much easier for someone to be comfortable with me if they are already careful with language and already self-educate on sex, gender, relationships, race, disability, etc.


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belenen: (writing)
I love LJ's 'notes' feature.
icon: "writing (a relief carving of Seshat, overlaid with my fractal "Colorflight")"

reason #652 I love LJ: notes. I use them when first adding someone so that I can check on how long we have been friends - if it has been more than 8 months and we haven't connected, I will probably take them off. Once I connect with people I make the note their name. If they are still new to me I will add several key facts because unless you use your face as your icon or regularly post photos of yourself, it's the key facts that are the link to memory.

On facebook I have added people from so many sources and I am often lost as to how we initially connected. Also I might forget who has done something terrible on FB, but on LJ notes save me. If someone is a raging bigot I don't want to accidentally add them again because they changed their default icon and I couldn't remember the name -- and re-adding someone I never clicked with after months and months is just awwwwkward.


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belenen: (satisfaction)
PSA: friending meme particularly for returnee & long-term LJers
icon: "satisfaction (a graphic of a notebook with a photo taped to it: inside the photo is a gif of the character Beth from the show Moonlight, grinning and scrunching their nose and nodding. on the bottom of the photo is written "yessss!")"

Like Vines Toward The Sun -- a friending meme for returnee & long-term LJers!
This is fantastic! I have found a number of new awesome people (welcome!) and I know that some of you here ([livejournal.com profile] reed_wolf I remember, I think [livejournal.com profile] sidheblessed and at least two other people) were wanting a more active friends list -- I think this meme will help you find some!

sharing my response to the questions because I really liked some of them )


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belenen: (inspired)
the purposes I want my LJ to serve and the efforts I take to make that happen
icon: "inspired (a painting of my face (in my early 20s) with reflected blues and purples on it, done in miniature by my friend Kate)"

What steps do you take to make your LJ into a place you want it to be, which of them work, and do any of them happen to trap you in the image of yourself you have already created here and impede you expressing everything of yourself here? (from here)

What I want my LJ to be:
1) a memory repository
2) a way for me to explore and learn myself and to note patterns in my life
3) a connection with others and a way for others to know me deeply
4) an inspiration for the pursuit of justice
5) a work of art
6) an outlet for strong emotion
7) a way to share skills I have learned
8) a resource for others who experience similar oppressions and marginalizations (queer, trans, nonbinary, femme or afab, ADD & neuroatypical people, fat, demisexual, poor, polyamorous/relationship anarchists, activists, etc).

Steps I take:
1) a memory repository:
I try to write down descriptions of events that are meaningful for my life. I title and tag so that I can have memory tags both for searching for things in my journal, and for tagging things in my brain for bringing up more easily. I re-read and explain and summarize.

2) a way for me to explore and learn myself and to note patterns in my life:
I write about things that I am just considering for the first time, things I have learned, things I am unlearning. I write about my spirituality, my goals, my desires and emotions. I use my journal to gain an overview in order to note patterns in my dreams, my moods, my experiences. I hadn't realized how continuously overwhelmed I was until I considered how often I used my 'overwhelmed' icon, for instance. I often realize things about myself as I am writing also -- trying to put things into broadly-understandable words makes me understand the things myself at a deeper level.

3) a connection with others and a way for others to know me deeply:
I add people and read their entries and comment (sometimes -- not as much as I would ideally) in order to develop friendships and connections where we mutually nourish the shared space that is LJ. I keep my journal mostly public so that anyone who has a desire to know me may do so, at their own pace. I try to keep it accessible (with photo descriptions etc) so that I am not blocking out anyone.

4) an inspiration for the pursuit of justice:
I write about justice issues as I learn them, and attempt to model growthful responses to my mistakes. I confront people about their harmful behavior (especially regarding slurs) when I feel I am able to.

5) a work of art:
I deeply customized my layout using css and html, and crafted my profile carefully over time. My journal is more expressive of my personhood than anything I wear; maybe than anything else. I also (sometimes; not often lately) share my photography, fractals, and mixed media here.

6) an outlet for strong emotion and for messiness and unedited expression:
I attempt to share my feelings thoroughly and without censoring myself. I attempt to be complete and leave myself open to mistakes and criticism.

7) a way to share skills I have learned:
When I realize I have learned a skill that is not commonly held, I try to break it down into the individual parts and explain it clearly and thoroughly so that anyone else who wants to learn the skill can use the guidelines I write in order to do so.

8) a resource for others who experience similar oppressions and marginalizations:
I share my experiences and emotions so that people who have similar ones can feel less alone. I write about how to treat me and people like me so that allies can learn how to be inclusive and respectful of our differences, so that other people don't have to do the work of explaining. I want this both to be a thing people can link to and to be an additional force for increasing awareness generally.

I think all of these steps work to some extent or another. Do any of them trap me in the image of myself I have already created and impede me expressing everything of myself here? Probably. 4 and 6 clash sometimes because to be ethical I need to be careful about my language -- English is filled with the detritus of centuries of oppression and you simply cannot speak it unthinkingly without causing damage. 4 and 3 clash sometimes because I feel that if I were to point out every instance of issues no one would want to be my friend, and I feel like I have to build some kind of connection before pointing it out would do any good, but it is hard to build connection when someone is using slurs, for instance.

This was a hard question to answer, but I really appreciate having explored it because being aware of my intentions makes me much better at being thorough in growing toward them! Thanks [livejournal.com profile] kehlen_crow!


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belenen: (garrulous)
psa: flist pruning

icon: "garrulous(a photo of my lips with the skin greyed out and the lips overlaid with a green and blue fractal pattern)"

I just cleared out my friends list of people who I hadn't interacted with significantly in at least half a year, including some read-only journals. I had never taken inactive journals off if I wanted them to read my stuff, but I decided I'd rather know who is actually here. If you still use your LJ to read and want me to re-add you, let me know. Otherwise, if you feel a desire to maintain contact elsewhere, I'm cool with being friends on FB (facebook.com/belenen).

also, I keep meaning to respond to that question -- do I like responses even when I don't reply: YES. I love reading people's responses. Especially if they contain emotion words or a description of thought process. I always intend to respond, but it often gets away from me. It is always appreciated though! never fear annoying me with too many comments -- it really won't happen.



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belenen: (ADD-PI)
updated my layout to this decade, mostly.
icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

well I just got SUPER hyperfocused stuck on updating my LJ layout (worked on it for about 7 hours solid), but I got rid of the tables and cleaned it up a lot, and made it work better on small devices (shrink your browser window and it will transform). I'm trying light background with dark text for a bit to see if it is kinder to my eyes. Check it out and tell me what you think! *grins* Also, if you notice any accessibility issues please let me know (now or anytime). I'm trying to minimize them as much as possible.


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belenen: (connate)
what i have learned from Topaz, from being w Topaz, and from the last 3 years in general
icon: "connate (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," facing each other with their faces so close that their noses almost touch, both with eyes almost closed, wearing slight smiles)"

(from Topaz) What, if anything, do you think you've learned FROM me; And, what, if anything, do you feel you've learned from being with me; And, what, if any, big things have you learned since we got together?

Ummm... I have learned a huge lot and my memory is full of holes, so I'm not even gonna try to make this comprehensive.

From you?
I have learned what media really means. I learned that even hostile anti-theists can have understandings of the world that fit with my spiritual beliefs. I learned that nail polish can be butch. I learned that chameleoning can be a powerful tool against oppression and that it doesn't always touch your soul. I learned that Carl Sagan is wonderful, and that wonder is a core value of mine. I learned about and came to love Michael Jackson, M.I.A., Lowkey, Melissa Ferrick, Sonia Leigh, and Ani Difranco. I learned that I dearly love giving presents to people who love getting them and have a variety of interests. I learned that sometimes, doing dishes can be worth it. I learned that I can enjoy cauliflower. I learned that I like many kinds of sex that I hadn't been interested in before. I learned that sometimes climbing a mountain is not the worst thing. I learned what a migraine is, and why it is so not the same as a really bad headache.

From being with you?
I've learned to be more patient with communication, and that 'I can't tell you yet' is not necessarily code for 'I'm going to put this off until you forget.' I learned that I can't deal with much indirect communication, and I learned how to respond to it in a useful way. I learned that I really love sweetness. I learned that I can ask for what I want without fear of pressuring someone into giving it. I learned that I really value (maybe need) independence in a lover, mixed with willingness to express needs and desires. I learned that I can brush someone's hair for literal hours, and that I miss having hair long enough to brush.

Overall big things?
I learned I don't believe in an afterlife or in spanking (both from logical conversations with you). I learned a ridiculously huge amount about racism, cissexism, ableism, and oppression in general. I learned that I have talent in stats. I learned that my ADD is bad enough that I can't really function without meds. I learned that my fractals are beautiful to more people than just me. I learned that I suck at picking people and need to get input from my insightful friends. I learned that LJ is still alive and that I can be 'in' it like I did years ago. I learned that I can motivate myself to do things with colorful stickers. I learned that my mental health is negatively affected when I don't eat breakfast and lunch. I learned that I can forge on ahead with something completely new, even when my future rests on that thing. I learned that parts of my biofamily are kinda great and that my bioparent M is the most selfish person I've known. I learned that I need group focus time as well as one-on-one. I've learned that I need for my lover(s) to combine specific compliments with touch for me to feel desirable or aesthetically pleasing. I learned that nourishing connections are increasingly difficult for me to find. I learned that similarity of inner self or similarity of overall goals doesn't make a connection nourishing: that I need connections with people who are on a growth spiral and not too far away from me. I learned that my privilege as a colonizer race means that it would be inappropriate for me to profit from doing spiritual healings or divination (since I only have access to these things due to historical and modern spiritual theft). I learned that I can build spiritual practice that is more growth-inducing, challenging, and meaningful for me than any externally-created practice I have come across.


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belenen: (intrigued)
my hobby: watching other people's friendships
icon: "intrigued (a photo of a snow leopard with ears to the side and eyes intent, peering over a log)"

I love social media especially LJ for the way it lets me watch the development of other relationships. Oftentimes if I am on the fence about someone, it will be their interaction with someone else that make me decide one way or the other about whether or not I should invest in them. If someone is unkind to my friend, they're unlikely to be a decent friend to me. If someone expresses understanding and empathy to my friend, I feel affection for that person and desire to connect more with them. I like this in my real-time conversations as well, but people don't often remember to tell me or even realize I want to know. I'm always curious about my friends' interactions with each other.


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belenen: (writing)
stepwise processing: lists both ordered and otherwise / how I set goals
icon: "writing (a relief carving of Seshat, overlaid with my fractal "Colorflight")"

The other day Abby gave me feedback about my post on 5-steps to educate or eliminate that made me realize that I have subconscious processes for a lot of things, and when I make those processes conscious and concrete, they become more useful to me. So I'm probably going to be making more stepwise-processing posts in the future, and I'm gonna go back and tag the ones I can remember. The first one that comes to mind is how I apologize when I have hurt someone -- 1) empathize 2) explain 3) change (the order of that is VERY important). I'm including lists in this too, even when they are not ordered lists, such as my draws and dealbreakers: my reasons to fight for a relationship and my reasons to end one. If you can think of any of my posts that involved processing through lists, that would be super helpful if you'd tell me about them, even a vague topic would help me find them.

------

How I set goals: I set goals by my desires, and figure out those with these questions. I used to set goals out of guilt or fear or shame, but not now. I have to be pulled to make something a goal, not pushed.

1) What do I most feel a lack of in my life? What do I have the most unfilled yearning for? What do I most quickly start missing when I don't have it?

2) What are some ways I could get more of those things?

3) How can I make small daily habits or once-a-week tasks out of #2's answers?


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belenen: (giving)
nudging
icon: "giving (two cartoon figures: one fills in a heart with red marker on its chest while the other watches. Then the other points at it and "...?" appears as a thought above it. The one with the heart on it smiles and glomp-hugs the other, who looks startled, then blushes and hugs back. The first one pulls away again and the heart has been copied onto the second one's chest. both smile. image repeats.)"

If you don't like being nudged on LJ, please tell me, because I love that feature. I like being nudged too. If I nudge you, it means I really love reading your posts and want more! but I am not at all bothered if you completely ignore the nudge, I won't notice because I have a bad sense of time and a shit memory. So please never feel obligated or bad about not posting in response *smiles*


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belenen: (rainbowarrior)
Recently: amazing time w Topaz, Sydney, Kei-Won-Tia / energy healing / victory over self-doubt / job
recently (12th to now): this got long because I kept putting off posting. includes photos! )
sounds: Zoë Keating - Whistle [*] | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , ,


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belenen: (pensive)
suddenly busy flist!
FINALLY caught up on my flist. This is a sudden and HUGE difference in reading quantity, damn. Now that I have a moment of being caught up I feel like I can post first catch up later. I'm hoping it sticks because otherwise I'll not get writing done and that's super important to me.

just a corkpopping; substantial entry after I have some dinner.
connecting:


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belenen: (garrulous)
lost passion for LJ / how I use facebook & twitter
I have a particular style of journaling; most of my posts are "this happened [in detail] and this is how it made me feel and these are the philosophical/spiritual/relational thoughts it inspired. [in a looooong post]" And that's the sort of journal I prefer to read, also, as it almost invariably inspires me both emotionally and mentally. For years I had several friends who posted primarily in that style -- first Anika, Ash, & Kate; then Hannah, Meliae, & Ava; then Aurilion, J, & Andie. (everyone I friend has some element of this, but they're the ones who did it the most) Now some of those have moved to other journaling sites or have changed posting style or very rarely post or have taken an indefinite hiatus, and I feel rather tenuously connected to LJ. I miss Hannah the most -- a post that takes at least half an hour to read (at least four full-screen-length paragraphs) and an hour to reply to, THAT is my kind of post! I can sink into it, live it. (sharing photos is a big part of that too) Ohhh I miss that SO much. And it makes me really sad because without that I've lost a lot of my passion for LJ. I comment really rarely now even though I read everything and often hit the reply page -- I just feel disconnected from LJ itself. And what's more annoying is that I've stopped replying to comments in MY journal. I want to find some way to revitalize my love for LJ. I think it'll involve finding new people with whom to form that sort of intellectual foursome, which seems to be unlikely amounts of too-perfect. (says the faithless one) I need to at least make an effort -- I have a permanent account f'cryin'outloud, I don't want it to go to waste.

With LJ, I only friend people who post often and in a style I like, because otherwise I'll just end up skimming their posts and I'll feel like I'm lying to them by having them on my flist but not reading them. But I friend most everyone who requests it on facebook, because I don't have the same goal there. With LJ, I want to develop real friendships; with facebook, I just want to keep in contact and get to know people. I'm open to developing friendships via facebook, of course, but I don't feel I'm setting a goal of friendship by adding someone there.

facebook and twitter )
sounds: Kate Havnevik - I Don't Know You | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


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belenen: (curious)
poll: April post-every-day project
[Poll #1389017]


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belenen: (creative)
poll: what do YOU want to see here?
[Poll #1371594]

Also! if you have any questions feel free to ask in comments, and I might respond directly or turn it into a post.


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belenen: (hypnotiq)
poll: what to post (bottlenecked!)
Been feeling so freaking overflowing with ideas that they've bottlenecked. please help me choose the first one to focus on! Choose 1-3, no more please!

[Poll #1241542]


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belenen: (kissy)
woot! faith restored!
Thank you for contacting us about this matter. We became aware of an issue which involved the most popular interests list over this past weekend. The list has been restored to the proper format today.

We apologize, and this will not happen again. It was never the intention to insult anyone or to make a judgment on the content of these interests.

Marta
LiveJournal.com

hurray! :D thanks so much to everyone who sent them a note. I checked it and it's true. ;-) Still waiting for explanation, but a response is good.


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belenen: (antagonistic)
SUP's homophobic censorship of LJ
SUP has censored several interests including BISEXUALITY and faeries from their list of most popular interests. Stewardess writes:

"Using the wayback machine, I was able to compare Livejournal popular interests from May, 2007, with those of today. In order of size, these are the interests 6A/SUP has disappeared from the daily popular interests report:

Sex, Boys, Girls, Fanfiction, Yaoi, Hardcore, Porn, Bondage, Faeries, Pain, Depression, and Bisexuality.

I confirmed the interest faeries leads to GLBT links, along with a sprinkling of Spenser study groups, pagans, and collectors of winged dolls. Since Wicca was not censored from the most popular interests, it's clear who 6A/SUP is going after."

Help me do something about this. Click here and enter in this text (edit the last paragraph to suit you):
I just discovered that SUP has removed these interests: "Sex, Boys, Girls, Fanfiction, Yaoi, Hardcore, Porn, Bondage, Faeries, Pain, Depression, Bisexuality" from LJ's daily popular interests report, and I am outraged by this censorship. I want LJ to reflect its users, not the prejudices of its owners. I have seen a large number of my friends moving to another journaling site, with more threatening to do the same, and I think that LJ needs to pay attention to this before it loses a large chunk of its paying customers.

I am a _______ (plus, paid, permanent, basic, early adopter) account holder, and if I left, you would be losing the revenue I bring in by ________ (viewing ads, paying yearly, inviting new people to join LJ).

of course, you can also just write your own text. and re-post this! I want to see it FLOOD my flist because I want LJ to at least take NOTICE, which it doesn't seem to be doing. And if you think of anything else we can do to make it known, please let me know and I will take part!


ETA: If no one speaks up about this, they assume that no one cares, and the next time a censorship issue comes up, they are far more likely to act in favor of it because they don't see any negative consequences. If, instead, they face outrage at this, they are less likely to censor in the future.

LJ fixed it!


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belenen: (curious)
poll: what and how often should I post & my LJ is ___, your LJ is ___.
[Poll #1118320]

EDIT: c'mon guys, give yourselves a little more credit! Your LJs obviously have something fantastic about them, because IIIIIII read them and I have excellent taste! ;-)


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belenen: (bisexuality)
lj idol topic 5 -- "sexual ethics" poll
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )


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belenen: (exuviate)
permaccount / breaking down walls with Hannah / A Mighty Heart
a moment to shriek with joy: I have a permanent account! Thank you soooooo much [livejournal.com profile] shioneh, [livejournal.com profile] clown_frog, [livejournal.com profile] rescoto, [livejournal.com profile] rosefox8, [livejournal.com profile] roina_arwen, [livejournal.com profile] broken_sodalite, [livejournal.com profile] spindell, [livejournal.com profile] lorelei_sakti, [livejournal.com profile] shadowlily, [livejournal.com profile] smurfb1ue, [livejournal.com profile] aubkabob, & [livejournal.com profile] wallbrat!!! And I bought it in the first 36 hours, so LJ donated $25 to RAINN out of the purchase. Out of YOUR donations really. :D

(skipping the first few days of Hannah's visit) We went out to see A Mighty Heart today (thoughts on that later), and as we left I noticed that Hannah was really quiet. I asked if she still wanted to go shopping and she said sure, so we headed over to the store. At one point I put my hand on her knee and she didn't respond at all, which is unusual, so instead of going straight to the store I pulled over into a nearby parking lot and asked her what was wrong.

She told me that she'd been feeling completely disconnected from me, and felt that I didn't care about her or the relationship, like I didn't even try to connect. After rambling for a bit (I felt that I had been trying my hardest, with the low amount of energy I have right now), I realized I had felt like she wasn't wanting to be communicative, and I felt like I had to just accept that. I had developed that mindset because for a while this year she wasn't able to connect with me, and there was nothing I could do about it, since I don't live in the same country. Even though that's not consciously something I would be okay with, I hadn't realized that I felt that way, so it hadn't changed. I also felt like I couldn't 'call her out' if I felt like she wasn't being open/honest, because I didn't want her to feel attacked. (and she felt that my lack of 'calling her out' was because I didn't truly care to hear her heart) So we talked about it a lot and she said that yes, she's sensitive, but it's okay for me to be direct, she appreciates that. And I changed the way I was thinking, and decided to operate in faith that she's okay with me challenging her. We both believe that's a big part of soulfriendship -- challenging each other to stretch and grow. This year hasn't been kind to us, nor to our relationship, but we're moving to the next stage.

Before that discussion, we'd been disconnected in such a way that I hardly even felt her presence -- since then, we re-opened our hearts to each other and I feel her presence -- the soothing, loving touch of her spirit brushing with mine. It's amazing... I just want to curl up into a teeny tiny ball and snuggle into her belly button.

---

A Mighty Heart was a wonderful movie... the cinematography could have been a hell of a lot better, but everything else was pretty amazing, and Angelina gave (in my opinion) the absolute best performance of her life. That woman inspires me so much ♥ and I am so grateful that she's making some 'real' movies again.


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belenen: (confused)
poll: what to post first? / dream (homechurch w/ mom and lil sis, 'Hercules' tree, strong winds)
so much to say! I'm feeling blocked, hopefully if I can decide which to post when, it will help. (eventually I will post it all, most likely) Please vote on which I should post FIRST (1 or 2 choices please, 3 if you must):

[Poll #966289]

also, last night I dreamed that I went to a home-church meeting (in the jeep, I drove) with my mom and lil sis, and after we got there I called my partner and invited him to come too (he drove over in Sylvia (our current car)). All the other people were old, grey-haired, wise, kind, and very openminded. (and they were all about feeding us, I remember potato salad in particular) I think I took my clothes off shortly after coming in. The house was very open, practically nothing but screened windows from the waist up (second time I've dreamed about a house like that). It was very sunny and fairly warm, with a cool breeze. After a little while I looked out the back of the house and saw a MASSIVE tree, with its lower branches gnarled and thicker than I am tall. I was awed, and one of the old men noticed and said, "oh, that's Hercules." I responded, "Hercules?" and he said yes and showed me a drawing of a warrior with horns. I looked at it and then up at the tree and saw that they were exactly the same shape. I was further awed and in love, and went outside to lay at its roots and stare up and take photos, even though by that time the wind was VERY strong, strong enough that you'd need to lean against it -- but still coming in gusts rather than steadily. My partner was a little worried that a branch might break and fall on me, but I was completely calm.

that is the third dream I've had of trees lately, the second that features a HUGE tree which I spend time at the roots of, and the second that involved my mom & lil sis and trees AND cars! *meditates* hmm, also the second in which I call someone.

what dreammoods says about the symbolism )


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belenen: (curious)
poll: recommend me a friend & a topic
[Poll #913650]


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belenen: (analytical)
commenting vs. posting
[Poll #769289]

Hopefully things will change to allow me more time after hannah's visit, but we'll seeeee... most likely I will continue commenting rarely. I actually comment fairly often, but it gets sprinkled around all 70+ of you and you all get small bits. If I can ever get past my perfectionism and spending soooooooo long on every comment, then I will be able to comment more. I hate thinking about how little I comment. I feel like I know so many of you so well, but of course YOU don't feel like that because I so rarely reply. :-( I'm sorry, but I think it's a flaw I am going to have to live with a while longer. I don't know the real root, though I'm sure it's fear of SOMETHING... I'll deal with it eventually.

also, THANK YOU WONDERFUL [livejournal.com profile] invisibleglue!!!!!!!!! I got the CD and photos and letter and it all made me so happy. ♥ ♥ ♥ You are so amazingly generous! I hope to write back sooooon. I love you gorgeous girl!

also, THIRTEEN DAYS. *screamfaint!* By the way, any mutual friends who feel like flying in for a day, feel free! But only for a day, greedy me wants hannah mostly to myself. *snatches her*


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belenen: (artless)
poll on the frequency of my posting / happy birthday Veronica!
I'm in a poll-y mood and I've been told that I don't post often enough! I thought I posted too much. So let's see what the average opinion is:

[Poll #740508]

also,
Happy Birthday [info]synisterchyck!!!


You are the bravest, strongest woman I have ever known -- and I don't make sweeping statements lightly. Even when carrying burdens that would be far too much for most people, you manage to find the guts to poke fun at the situation. (and make posts like this!!!) You makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has -- and the entire time I have known you, your life has been very difficult. I am in awe of you, lady. I look forward to meeting you after life because I can't wait to clearly see your intricate, glowing spirit.


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