belenen: (Default)

June 2017


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: (intrigued)
time w Evelyn & Quinn: clearing tension, overcoming previous miscommunications, setting intentions
icon: "intrigued (a photo of a snow leopard with ears flattened, peering intently over a log)"

Back in early November Evelyn had told me that the reason they couldn't be with me was that it was too stressful for Quinn, and that Quinn felt somehow inferior to me and didn't want Evelyn to be with me. Evelyn has since told me that they told Quinn that they had set boundaries with me around touch (which they had not, but had thought about it so much that they felt like they had: not because they didn't want it but because they were afraid of Quinn's reaction) and that I had touched them anyway. Quinn was understandably resistant to the idea of Evelyn dating me with that idea in mind. Evelyn said they had cleared that up with Quinn but I was feeling like Quinn must have a terrible impression of me and I wanted very much to fix that.

I also just wanted to clear the sense of tension and establish that I feel a desire to community-build with Quinn, that I want to approach their feelings about me with compassion and be as helpful as I can be within my resources. I don't do the whole "keep your feelings about me to yourself" thing with metamours (lover-of-my-lover) and friends. I am not going to take responsibility for someone else's feelings, but I do want to know as much as possible so that if I am able to adjust my behavior to help someone feel more safe, I can. And it is my responsibility to take care of myself and let the other person know if I cannot meet their needs, NOT the other person's responsibility to guess what I can handle and not ask me for more than that.

So I went to Evelyn's yesterday after work to hang out with them and Quinn, who I hadn't ever had a real conversation with. I was so nervous I was shaking and driving distractedly, so I stopped on the way and got a coffee, which helped. (sooooo glad that it was payday and thus I could do this!) When I arrived, Quinn wasn't there yet because they had to do something before that went long. So Evelyn and I sat and talked a little but we were both so buzzing with nerves that we couldn't really connect. When Quinn did arrive, we sat around for like two hours talking about random stuff, while I tried to get up the guts to address the whole reason I was there. Evelyn talked a lot while we mostly sat silently. It was so stressful. At about an hour before I was supposed to leave I started feeling like I was going to end up leaving without ever doing what I came to do, having drained myself of days' worth of energy for literally nothing.

Finally Evelyn was distracted with looking something up on their phone and there was a long enough silence that I was able to ask Quinn, "can I ask you a really awkward and uncomfortable question?" (knowing that they'd already expected such a question) and they said yes, and I asked how they felt about me. They were taken aback but gamely attempted an answer. I don't remember exactly what they said, but it was sort of generally about feeling bad for having indirectly caused the distance between Evelyn and me. I assured them that I did not blame them for it, and we talked about the community-building emotional stuff I mentioned earlier in this post.

They then asked me if I remembered meeting them, and I did only in the most vague way (I remembered meeting someone by that name and I remembered the location). They told me that they had talked with me about polyamory and their personal situation, and that I said "oh, you're penis-monogamous" and laughed and then left shortly after. I was like holy shit, RUDE, so sorry! I have no memory of that conversation but it does sound like me. (the things I remember from that night were getting more drunk than I expected and leaving the party to go have sex with Kylei at the back of the apartment up against the wall: I was QUITE drunk) I can imagine that in my head, at the time, I was making a casual statement and then when they stopped talking to me I assumed they were done with the conversation and did not even realize I was rude. To me it was a summary of what I just heard, confirming that I was listening and making a joke by restating it in hyperbole. (this is why I usually don't make jokes, because god do I flop at them. My sense of humor makes no sense to other people) After Quinn mentioned this experience I was swamped with the realization that I've probably been unintentionally rude to a LOT of people. Especially during the time that I was dating Kylei because I met a lot of strangers then and it takes knowing me a little bit to be able to read me with any accuracy, since I express so differently than most.

Anyway, I was very impressed that Quinn brought that up because it was the only way for it to be recontextualized, but it is taboo to point out that someone has been rude. So I felt like they understood the need for telling me that, and they wanted to clear the static between us enough to break the taboo and tell me. And I was pleased that when I exclaimed over how rude I was to say that and apologized, they accepted my explanation without any resistance. It having been like five years ago, they could have built up a whole structure of belief in me as a dismissive, cruel person because I had seemingly mocked them when they were trying to connect in a way that was vulnerable, and they could have defended such a structure. Instead, they allowed me to be the one to give meaning to my actions, which is so utterly necessary for me to feel safe.

I'm really not talented at communicating. I know it seems like I am, especially here, but it's because I am so naturally terrible that I have built up amazing skills through LOADS of practice. In my most natural state, I say shit backwards and upside down to how most people talk. And my skills are mostly non-oral in that I am skilled in writing, not in speaking out loud. I can't organize my thoughts well enough to speak them most of the time and when I can, it's through dropping the filters that protect me from insulting people. My options are: communicate through text and say what I mean and be understood; communicate audibly and don't share anything meaningful but manage to avoid hurting or offending people; or communicate audibly and share meaningful things and definitely upset anyone who doesn't know me very well already and/or anyone who isn't willing to let me be the one to assign meaning to what I say. One has to be willing and able to say "it sounds to me like you're saying this ____. is that what you mean?"

This is part of why reading my LJ matters so much to me. You cannot know me if you don't read my LJ. Most people are really meatspace-centric and auditory-supremacist and they think that what you say out loud, in person, is the truest expression of what you think/feel. That is so fucking untrue when you have multiple lines of thought running all the time that often jump tracks AND you have an unbelievably glitched memory. When I go to a therapist without having written stuff down, it's completely useless. I usually can't have any important conversations without writing about it first. My LJ is more me than anything that comes out of my mouth, ever. Relatedly, Quinn also mentioned that they occasionally read my LJ and I instantly felt more understood and more trusting. I'm always surprised and flattered when someone reads my LJ without it being at least partly as a favor to me.

Since last night Quinn and I have texted back and forth a good bit and I feel like we could be really great friends. I feel excited and hopeful, but also nervous because it seems like every time I try to build connection with someone they leave my life, and that would be doubly upsetting if I became invested in them and then they cut me out. But things seem to be finally turning around for me after losing person after person last year. And Quinn and I relate in some ways that I don't have anyone else in my life to relate to (terrible biofam that's still trying to insert its unwanted self into our lives, for one) so I think that could be really nourishing for me.

I feel a little worried that Evelyn may lose interest now that I'm not essentially a symbol of the unattainable, but I think that's irrational? I think that they care about me for who I am and not just what I stand for. Also a little worried that they're gonna just want to hang out as a group and not want one-on-one time with me, and I don't have any proof to reassure myself about that so I'll just have to stick a pin in it and wait for time to tell.

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belenen: (connate)
time w Evelyn: they speak my language & believe in me / positively overwhelmed / playing by heart
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)"

So since I last wrote about them I've had two dates with Evelyn, and both times they came to my house AND there was no big struggle to plan or need to reschedule. There's not even been occasion to question whether or not they wanted to come over, because it required so little effort on my part, comparatively. Unfortunately a lot of it has fallen into the cracks of my memory already, so this is just gonna be a mishmash of impressions from what I can remember.

When they first arrived, I opened the door while standing behind it like I always do because my neighbors are terrible and I'm never wearing anything over my boobs at home unless I'm sick or really cold, so they walked in and there was a pause while I shut the door and then they made a tentative reaching motion while I started to ask if they wanted a hug -- I may have gotten it out or maybe not -- and I snatched them into a hug. And I wanted to cry because it felt like such a relief, but I was also in shock and not fully convinced they were actually there. I felt relief and gladness from them too.

At one point later when we were cuddling they said "you're real" in a tone of wonder and I felt so much resonance with it I felt like screaming, like there were not enough ways to express how extremely and exactly I felt that. Those few hours we spent together that day included a lot of cuddling and talking about the last time we saw each other in November and how it was painful for both of us, and expressions of gratitude on both sides for being reunited. A lot of kisses and sweetness and a lot of frank and occasionally painful discussion.

I once again feel able to be just utterly blunt with them. I don't have fear of being misunderstood )

I'm realizing in writing this that being trusted to be truthful even if it doesn't make logical sense is vital to me. Because I am truthful, but sometimes I don't make sense. I think that's one of the things that hurt me so much about Kylei -- they would never believe me when I told them how I valued them and wanted time with them, despite all the proof I offered. It just felt like a constant invalidation of my core self, to not trust in my love and my dedication. I need to know that the people I love believe in my love, believe in my dedication, believe in my truthfulness. Else being around them makes me feel a dissolving of my self-hood and my own faith in my worth.

I told them that I'm still building up my tolerance to their presence )

I also keep getting overwhelmed by all the experiences I want to have with them but I can't do them all at once and it feels like there is so little time. And I know a part of it is this fear in the back of my mind that they're going to disappear any moment and if I haven't done the things yet I won't ever have the chance, but I do not want to do any of the things out of fear, not even out of fear of no future chances. So I actually end up moving slower toward those things because I am resisting the shoving of fear. I know it hasn't even been two weeks yet and that fear will fade.

We watched Playing By Heart last time )

This Friday we have a plan for me to go to their house and hang out with them and their spouse, who I've yet to have any real conversation with. I started freaking out yesterday because Evelyn was talking to me in a way that made it seem like I was supposed to be on my best behavior, so to speak? being polite, talking about inconsequential shit? and I'm terrible at that and I already spend so much fucking time and energy on it with work and Topaz' family and to some extent my biofamily. The idea of adding respectability to the one part of my life that didn't yet have it in it was just awful. I expressed this (in less extreme terms) and they checked with their spouse and confirmed that it was okay for me to just be me in all my *waves hands* non-neurotypical impolite glory, I guess. So, I'm still nervous but not stressed out, and I feel hopeful that it could be really lovely.

I've more to say but it shall go in my sextalk filter. Opt in or out.

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belenen: (intrigued)
date w Evelyn: meeting Demeter, intense emotional & philosophical discussions, many cuddles & kisses
icon: "intrigued (a photo of a snow leopard with ears flattened, peering intently over a log)"

So I had a date with Evelyn on Saturday that was surprising, nourishing, exciting, scary, and overall quite magical. Part of our time will be described in my my sextalk filter, but this whole experience is so long and complex that I decided it was fine to put it in two separate posts.

seeing their house, meeting their cat )

Evelyn asked me about my life and I talked about frustrations with biofamily, then asked about their life. They didn't know how to answer at first and said that they have been feeling a particular kind of anxious that means they are avoiding something but don't know what it is (I do the same thing) and as they talked around it, the thing that had been weighing on them came up. They looked really sad and I asked if I could lay next to them -- they said yes so I climbed next to them on the couch and pulled them into my arms.

They talked about the thing that was making them so sad and cried, and apologized and said they felt bad for imposing their vulnerability on me. That made me laugh because it is so the opposite of my experience, and they said "I know, I know" when I laughed because they know that I feel it as a gift and not an imposition but still have the guilty response. We cuddled that way and I listened while they talked about it until their housemate arrived home, and then we went upstairs to their room.

We talked a lot for a while, about all kinds of things. I talked about my philosophical stance as an idealist and how I see 'objective' reality as an illusion, that to me all minds contribute a nearly-invisible layer of reality and 'objective' reality is merely the conglomeration of all that, a sort of 'average.' That the more complex a thing is, the easier it is to change the reality of it through thought due to a domino effect. I mentioned my experience of my self as five parts and how my non-physical parts are capable of shapeshifting. I can't remember all we talked about but it was really interesting.

They wanted to be spooned several times, so I asked them what being spooned meant to them and they talked about it: being small, being held. As they talked about it I realized that I do like being spooned also, but I like spooning someone else more. I like that feeling of enveloping someone. They also talked about how they find themselves more and more attracted to traits commonly referred to as masculine. I listened and didn't say much as they seemed to be working out a self-perception, but I think in me they're attracted to my assertiveness and power (which I do not consider masculine, as nothing about me is gendered).

I asked for coffee so Evelyn made french press and we sat in the living room to drink it. Demeter came to sit with us and Evelyn scooped them up and cuddled them, telling me how Demeter had helped them through the emotionally difficult times they've had lately. Evelyn said they had never connected with a cat before (partly due to allergies) and had considered themself a dog person, but that Demeter had changed that. Evelyn blamed the effect on toxoplasmosis, which I like as a general theory but in this case I think it is more about Demeter's personality; they seem very nurturing and sensitive.

We talked about the fetishization of coercion/non-consent, and about my insecurities around the fact that people might like someone being careful with consent, but they don't fetishize it, they don't think of it as actually sexy, and how sometimes that really gets to me. I can't NOT be careful about consent but I don't want to be considered unsexy because I check in and don't do things without discussing it beforehand. They told me that they find it sexy. I think still, not in the way that I mean, but I appreciated them saying that.

kissing them is wonderful )

discussing future plans )

They are outrageously beautiful and sexy to me and I remarked on this several times, to which they responded with hiding their face and laughing in seeming disbelief (with maybe/hopefully some happiness to it). I told them that they will eventually get used to it because I will do it a lot! I feel very strongly about them and so I notice every gorgeous aspect, and they have several aspects that I find aesthetically pleasing as well.

One feature I find sooo aesthetically pleasing is their lower eyelid shape -- their lower lid comes part-way up the curve of the eye, enough that there is a crease under the eye. I don't know why I find this so beautiful but I do! (Angelina Jolie has lower eyelids like that, which is one of the reasons I find them so aesthetically pleasing) Evelyn also has very mobile eyebrows, lips that are very sharply defined, a full lower lip, and very pronounced smile lines as well as dimples! all of which I adore because it makes the face seem more expressive to me. And their face is very expressive overall, and their eye color is gorgeous, and their smile is so radiant! I am more than a little smitten.

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belenen: (feminist)
my experience at Atlanta's vigil for the slain at Pulse in Orlando: profound gratitude & joy & hope
icon: "feminist (the trans-feminist fist symbol colored in a rainbow gradient, with the words "intersectional or bullshit" on top)"

I went to a vigil at the Center for Civil and Human Rights for those slain in the Pulse massacre on Tuesday. I went because Topaz wanted to go, and didn't realize ahead of time but I was expecting it to be dissatisfying and maybe terrible, whitewashed normative cis gay stuff that was all fluff and no meaning. I have not had good experiences at any mass gathering and I expected this to be no different.

Instead, it was profoundly beautiful and very nourishing and actually gave me hope. It was held outdoors despite occasional rain, because there were more than 2,500 people there. It wasn't perfect of course but it had so few sour notes. I was overwhelmed with pride in my city over the fact that we were represented in our diversity -- and not as an afterthought, but truly throughout. The speakers were varied, with Latinx, Black, Muslim, Indigenous, Trans, Two-Spirit, & Jewish speakers as well as white Christian ones. There was Spanish translation over the same audio system (and one speaker spoke in Spanish followed by English translation) and there was ASL interpretation. One person from an Atlanta Muslim organization told us about reaching out to the LGBTQ community in Atlanta and being met with reciprocal concern (that people would use this as fuel for islamophobia) -- hearing that made me cry. And having Amina Abdul-Jalil, a Black, queer, Muslim woman, speak to us was a moment of profound hope for me because I felt such a kinship with her rareness and how she spoke of being rejected from each group for being part of another. "I know what it’s like to feel like you have to choose," she said, and my breath caught with such strong resonance. She also said that prayer was great, but "the work starts after the amen and after the ameen," and we all applauded.

I was also deeply moved and very grateful for the words of Two-Spirit Collective activist & Lambda legal organizer Holiday Simmons, who said "Remember, it was our Christian siblings who wiped out indigenous people in the U.S." It needed to be said, considering that people keep calling this the worst mass shooting in US history when in fact we've done far worse to Native peoples and to Black people. (Pulse Massacre Horrible. Not Largest Mass Shooting in US History. by Sam Diener) Simmons also said "We want to be mindful of using this word 'terrorist.' While in fact this was an act of terror, such words have become inflammatory in these times, and they only strengthen public Islamophobic sentiment."

Some articles with more info: Atlanta Vigil Held Tuesday To Honor Orlando Shooting Victims by Mary Claire Kelly (this one has some wonderful quotes from the speakers at the end). Atlanta 'We Are Orlando' Vigil Conveyed Message Of Inclusion by Lisa Hagen (this one has the quotes from Amina Abdul-Jalil). Atlantans say 'We are Orlando,' demand Pulse shooting not contribute to bigotry by Camille Pendley (this one has the quotes from Holiday Simmons).

I went with Topaz and Serenity, and we met up with Hope and Allison and two of Topaz' relatives. Allison gave me hugs and pets when I got so overwhelmed that I started crying. I felt so full of love and connection and hope at an event with literal thousands of people. I've never felt anything like that except at TBC, and I have never felt that on that scale. I am so grateful to the organizers, so grateful to the speakers, so grateful to Topaz for driving us and paying for parking, because otherwise I could not have gone.

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belenen: (hypnotiq)
I need my social and alone time well-mixed / productive, good job me
icon: "hypnotiq (my fractal "Windwheel" -- an abstract swirl of yellow red and orange with a little green)"

So, this break has taught me that 5+ days in a row of intentional social is too much, and 3+ days with no intentional social is too much. At the end of day 2 with only my own company I start feeling lonely. Although, if I had forced unintentional social (like going to work or the store) every day, it would take way longer for me to get to the point of needing people.

I have been so productive yesterday and today. I did 5 loads of laundry, including washing the couch cover and my bedclothes; I consolidated all the recycling and took 4 bags to the drop-off; I tidied the downstairs bathroom and hung a pretty sheet to block off the view of one of the unfinished sides; tidied the living room; hung up and put away all my clothes including making sock pairs; chose my outfits for work next week; tidied the upstairs walkway and the cuddle room; cleaned half of the kitchen and did dishes; cleaned the cat box; changed out half a gallon of the fish's water; and kept my room tidy. My house is so pretty and welcoming now. It's still not done (I neglected it for months) and could do with a mopping, but I'm proud of myself.

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belenen: (confused)
pushing back on cis bigotry using... confusion
icon: "confused (photo of a purple diamond-shaped sign with a line leading to four arrows all curving and pointing in different directions)"

Earlier today I had a strange interaction with a cashier at a farmers' market. The Killers song with the line "you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend" was playing and the cashier said, "that would freak me out, if I had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend haha." I stood there silently for a minute (while they repeated themselves in different words, seemingly wondering why I wasn't laughing), toyed with the idea of walking away without another word, and then decided to just say whatever came out of my mouth.

Me: "Well that's my favorite kind of person, so..." *shrug*
Them: "what? A boyfriend who looks like a girlfriend?" *surprised*
Me: "Yeah, or the other way around. I like to mix it up."
Them: "a girlfriend who looks like a boyfriend?" *half mumbling now* "but what would they even be? A boy or a girl? Now I'm totally confused about gender."
Me: "well, that's my ultimate goal in life, to make people completely confused about gender" *walks off*
Them: *still mumbling confusedly about their confusion*

Not sure if they thought I was joking, but confusion is better than confident ignorance! The main thing that keeps me from talking back when people say transphobic shit is not knowing what to say, not being able to think fast enough. I don't think I said anything very meaningful and certainly I didn't give a clear understanding of my perception of gender, but I pushed back. Maybe that weird little interaction will plant a seed. If I had been able to think faster I could have said something that might have actually taught something, but I couldn't, and that's just going to have to be okay. My instinct at being attacked (however accidentally) is to freeze, and I don't know a way around that.

Who knows, maybe random blathering is more effective.

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belenen: (progressing)
optimistic / my mindscape / kwt
icon: "progressing (a deeply, vividly green forest of thick vines and trees, with a tunnel running through where unused train tracks lay)"

I'm feeling oddly optimistic today. There is no particular reason, but my mindscape has more magic in it than usual. If I had a tablet, I would draw (my main problem with drawing nowadays is that mistakes are too hard to remove without ruining my momentum, and I couldn't bear to just waste).

My mind is a constantly shifting place, but the one thing that remains most constant is the sense of a garden, forest, and massive hedge labyrinth. The garden I can go into at almost any time. The forest brings me in only when it pleases, and the labyrinth I can only enter when I am hopeful and brave. Today, I can enter the labyrinth.

Tomorrow is my would-be friendiversary with KWT, and that's got me thinking about them. It's now been over a year since we've parted ways. I don't know anything about their life right now but I hope they are okay.

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belenen: (garrulous)
Blah blah work busy brain fried
icon: "garrulous (a photo of my lips with my skin desaturated and a green fractal overlay over my lips)"

I feel like I've been busy forever ugh. I really just wish I could stay home for a week. I am only scribbling out something short before I go to bed. Last night I felt I didn't have enough time so I stayed up late and regretted it. This morning in the first 3 hours of work I just kept fantasizing about sleep and felt time would never pass. I eventually hooked in to some hyperfocus and the rest of the work passed quickly. Then I got gas and groceries, came home and made a smoothie with a shitton of kale, did laundry, read LJ. I feel like I did nothing because I didn't create, which is what I crave. I also felt weak and my heart was fluttery all day. At least, I think that is what that feeling is. It's  like when you almost fall, but milder and only in my upper chest. It's been happening a few times lately but today was the first time it happened most of the day. It was really uncomfortable.

Yeah I guess that's it, gotta sleep.

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belenen: (exuviate)
fuck you perfection I'm taking action: sweeping, crafting, gardening, tidying / time w Kylei / jobs
icon: "exuviate (photo of a dragonfly with shimmery green wings after its last metamorphosis, standing next to its previous exoskeleton)"

frustrated with myself because I've been writing, but not posting because I get to the 99% done point and stall out. Gotta edit, reread, edit, reread, wait and see if I think of something else, ugh. And then I don't write little random posts like this one because I have such a better one and I want to post THAT instead. Whyyyyyy do I get so fixated on perfection? Why do I break my own ethic of taking imperfect action?

Though, I did a number of things today where I didn't let perfect be the murderer of actually-getting-shit-done. Instead of thoroughly sweeping the back porch & stairs and getting every little flake of leaf off, I just did a quick and dirty job -- first time in ages that that porch & stairs has been swept. The pile was more massive than me, no hyperbole. I also set up a rig (not fancy, but sturdy) so that I can hang fabric along the side where there aren't enough trees to block the neighbors, so that I can sit out there in nature without having to think about my terrible neighbors or ever suffer their gaze. I'm sure not all of them are awful, but at least some of them are. Last year someone(s) deliberately smashed my two glass globe solar lights that were my shimmering joy (I took a photo because it smacked of hate crime (my car makes it super obvious that I'm queer) and I wanted evidence in case something worse happened) and recently someone sent me a nasty note for not having a tidy yard (it's since been tidied, because that has been my intention for months but I haven't had the spare energy).

Also I planted my newest garden baby, a sweet orange pepper that Topaz gave me. I also have a sweet green pepper (poblano I think), a Mexican Sour Gherkin cucumber and another that I don't remember the name of, Ititarod Red Dwarf tomato and some kind of small green tomato, a purple tomatillo, and cinnamon basil. Topaz has some seedlings for me that I'll hopefully be able to add soon.

I swept more things and watered and did lots of tidying and dishes, went to lunch with Lily and Tasha (whose cat is living in my basement room right now because Tasha can't keep them where they live and can't move yet), and spent time with Kylei. They were exhausted like always after a burn so they came over, took a nap (I made them up a bed) and then a shower, and then we had dinner (on plates at a table because Kylei wanted a ritual dinner; I enjoyed it more than I thought I would). We lay on my bed and stared at my fairy lights, which I tried on a new setting, slow glow (they have 8 patterns for flashing/fading). It was utterly hypnotizing and beautiful; definitely my new favorite. I can't believe I hadn't tried it before. When it went to red especially I felt like I was being bathed in healing. (I'll try to remember to get a video though I have no idea how I'd describe it!) We cuddled a little and Kylei told me about their burn experience. We hung out for a few hours and then Kylei went to bed but couldn't sleep, so I gave them melatonin and silent hair pets for a little while until they seemed almost asleep. I haven't heard them up and about since so I think it worked but now I'm afraid to go pee because I don't wanna wake them up *awkwardface*

I have two prospective jobs, one where I am 99.99% sure I have the job (waiting on paperwork) and another with an interview scheduled for tomorrow. I reeeeeeally want the one I'm interviewing for. It's an absolute dream.

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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
connecting: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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belenen: (shimmering)
Recently: talk w Ace / time w Topaz / Anika visits / Rant Jam / INTENSE Intimacy Practice / dreaming
Last Thursday I talked with my little sister for about 2 hours, which is the longest we've talked in ages. Ze seems to be in a healthy relationship, which is fantastic, but ze is surrounded by terrible people at zir work. I tried as per usual to convince zir to move and live with me, but I don't think that will happen. I hope ze will at least visit.

Friday Topaz came over to help me with the grass but I was feeling ill so ze just did it for me <3 <3 <3 then we went to zir place, picking up fireworks on the way. We built a bonfire and Topaz made silver turtles and lit fireworks and smoke bombs and we drank barefoot bubbly and it was really relaxing and cozy. Then we made talismans together, where I lost track of time and Topaz was super patient. (I thought it took an hour but it took 3)

That night I slept badly (which has been happening almost every night I spend at Topaz' lately, not sure why) and thus slept in. I started freaking out a little about time but Ashe and Anika were running late so once I found that out I got to have cuddles and Topaz made us breakfast and coffee (ze makes the best breakfast sandwiches). Then I went home and whirlwinded through the house, tidying and cleaning, and didn't stop until about 20 minutes after they arrived (hyperfocus sometimes makes me the worst at greeting people). I got to hang out with them for a little while, but Ashe was exhausted and had to leave right as Kei-Won-Tia arrived. Topaz and Zawn and Jeff arrived a little later, and we had some pretty awesome conversation, ranting about evils in the world (which was the purpose of the gather). I got a little drunk and felt super happy about all the interactions, especially since Topaz seemed relaxed. Zawn and Jeff brought pizza, which was a fabulous gift. The gather wasn't what I had pictured but I liked it better than what I had pictured. After Zawn and Jeff left and Anika crashed out, Kei-Won-Tia and Topaz and I played Personalogies, which had some good questions but frankly I could make a deck 47201x better. When they left, I missed them a lot and texted with Topaz for like an hour, because my missing zir got so strong it hurt. I feel really extra deeply in love with zir. I'm also not used to spending time with Topaz that isn't one-on-one or followed by one-on-one, so there's this subconscious expectation of that time and I want it to hurry up and get here.

Sunday I went grocery shopping with Anika and Suzu in the morning and then Kei-Won-Tia, Abby, Heather, Kylei, and Roger arrived for cuddle puddle. I pulled Abby away and talked with zir about zir relationship with Roger because they'd been having a painful time, and I felt upset by it. I was sort of getting up my courage, and then we went back. I told Roger that I felt a need to talk about Abby and Roger's relationship, and asked if ze'd prefer to talk alone or with everyone - ze said no preference so I asked zir to tell me about how ze had experienced the recent troubles. After ze did, I expressed my feelings about it (vague because not sure how much they want private) and I felt that Roger took them in. Even though nothing was really resolved, I felt that I had expressed myself fully to them both and I didn't feel stressed out and divided any more. I don't think I've ever done that before - it felt incredibly awkward and I was quite worried as to how it would go, but I think it was good, and Roger expressed appreciation for being able to talk openly about it. I cuddled Abby during it because ze was vibrating with anxiety. Afterwards we all had early dinner, during which Topaz arrived, and we began intimacy practice. It was super intense and really long and really great, even though we didn't get to everyone (argh we have got to restructure the large ones!). I felt like we all moved a lot closer to each other through this one. I usually feel we are closer afterward but this one was especially bonding. Everyone was so sweet and wonderful and I loved spending the day with everyone! Suzu was really good, interacting with us some but for age 7, being remarkably low-maintenance. This kid is pretty amazing. I want to explore the world with zir to notice what ze observes. So cool.

Topaz stayed a little late for me to take the braids out that Heather spent hours putting in as we were doing IP. Ze lay in my lap and I finger-combed zir hair for a while, which was really, really good for me because the day was so intense and I desperately wanted Topaz cuddles. Next cuddle puddle I'm going to make a nest in my room because the living room made it too linear.

Monday I hung out w Anika and Suzu for a while (Suzu painted several pictures) and then took them to meet Ashe at a coffeehouse. Suzu played with the kids there, expressing upset at the one terrible kid who was mean to insects but otherwise seeming to have a blast. Ashe and Anika and I talked for a while, about what I am not even sure now because my memory is out. We stopped by Ashe's house and ze introduced us to trees and cats and zir spouse, and we got back to my house late. Anika and I had tea and ice cream (rather, the approximations I had on hand) and talked for a good while before going to bed.

Tuesday we just stayed home. We were planning on doing a ritual while Anika was in town, but when one thing after another fell apart, I felt it just wasn't meant to be and cancelled it. I was relieved to relax, because I was getting pretty desperate for down time.

Eeeeeearly Wednesday morning I took them to the airport, came home and tried to nap (which became 8 hours of sleep). Afterwards I went to Topaz', we had dinner and cuddles and went to sleep, where I slept for over 15 hours. Usually I feel guilty and annoyed if I sleep more than 8 hours, but this time I decided it was important and that I needed the processing (because dreams are really good for me in that way). When I got up I got shit done in quick succession, including writing an entry for LJ Idol (which I'm super nervous about). I had dinner with Topaz and helped zir tidy a little and then we cuddled and I went home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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belenen: (vivacious)
Playing By Heart screened w new people/ time at Sanctuary/ poly, mono, & friendship
This weekend was very busy with social things but I didn't get overwhelmed and crash! Saturday I got up very late and Topaz made us breakfast (sprouted grain bagels with goat cheese and fresh-picked spinach and grilled bell peppers and egg and chipotle sauce) and we drank coffee together. I had wanted zir to come to the Saturday events (watching my favorite movie followed by Kyle's birthday party) but ze was feeling exhausted and in need of down time so ze chose not to go.

I was disappointed but also happy to realize that I didn't feel like going out and being social on my own would drain me. This is the first time in a very long time that that has been true, and I think the reason for this change is that I feel super safe and cozy with Kei-Won-Tia and Heather, and affectionate toward Kyle, Christo, Kylei, and Brian, who were also coming. Coyote was also going which made me nervous because I feel sure ze dislikes me now that Kylei and I broke up, but I still felt safe.

So we watched Playing By Heart, and I didn't really get a chance to discuss it with anyone, but I got some initial senses about people's reactions. I felt that Kei-Won-Tia resonated with Joan (who is like 90% me) and several other characters. I wasn't sure which parts Kyle and Heather resonated with but I felt like they definitely connected with the core of it. I am unsure about Brian and Christo, but would like to know their thoughts too. Coyote hated Joan, to the point of wishing zir dead, which made me feel incapable of pointing out places where I especially resonated, or saying anything really. I felt disturbed that Kylei (the only one who had seen it before) seemed to be agreeing, because a lot of the things I love about Joan are also true about Kylei. Coyote also seemed to think that one of the love stories was ridiculous because the two didn't interact for much time, which made me see it in a new light. It still makes perfect sense to me though because when you're really looking, it is the easiest thing in the world to fall in love, and all it takes for me to tell if a deep connection is possible is a long hug or long eye contact.

After this we started playing Imaginiff (a board game that I actually like because it's all about asking questions and getting to know people) but Kyle (whose birthday we were celebrating) wasn't into it so we put it away after only a few turns. There was a clash between Kyle and Kei-Won-Tia after which Kei-Won-Tia started feeling ill and went to bed. I felt concerned but not yet comfy enough to barge in without invitation. But the rest of the evening was fun and I felt like Kyle and I connected a lot over the evening; we talked about Douglas Adams and ADD and other things, and I feel like we can be friends. I only interacted a little with Christo but I thought ze was pretty awesome for reacting with good humor to people poking at zir masculinity. I feel safer around people who don't guard their gender aggressively because I feel it means they are less likely to try to police other people in that way.

I went from there to Topaz' and hung out while ze cleaned for a while and then we went on the front porch to be near the rain, and talked about my experiences that evening and somehow moved into talking about poly. I occasionally get hit with a wave of worry that because ze's monogamous, when we break up ze won't be my soulfriend and cuddle buddy any more. Ze's assured me that ze wants that as much as I do, but I still get scared sometimes because I really don't understand rules in relationships and they make me uncomfortable. The idea of two people being in love but not being together for some external rule (a partner says no, or it would endanger their identity, stuff like that) is so horrifically sad to me; that's the entire reason I'm poly. I expressed this and added that with poly people, there's a pretty fine line between friend and lover so I don't feel worried I'll get shut out after a breakup. Ze said this fine line feels to zir like one category so it's either "friends and maybe lovers" or "acquaintances but no closer." I've definitely felt that myself before but I think that not valuing/prioritizing friendship is a problem with poly and mono people alike. (the only people I regularly feel a resonance with on the valuing of friendship are asexual people) Logically, I know Topaz and I will continue to be friends because we both do value friendship highly and we prefer to work shit out rather than avoid. But we haven't broken up before so I still feel the need for reassurance sometimes.

The main reason I'm not even casually looking for another romance is that right now, I have so many relationships that are just budding or in recovery, and I don't want to take time from building those connections to focus on a new romance. I feel like I'm finally recovered enough from depression that it would be possible for me to fall in love with a new person, but that's not what I want right now. I feel so excited and happy about spending more time with my friends and I feel so encouraged about long-term friendships. That's what I want to do with my relational energy.

Sunday was disappointing because everyone cancelled on the crafty party, but like I told Topaz when ze exclaimed at my calm response, at least 90% of my friends have anxiety, depression, physical disability and/or ADD. I expect frequent cancellations because a lot of the time you can't predict what you're going to be up for. Topaz and I crafted and took turns reading "The Mer-Child" to each other, which was adorable and fun. Ze left to watch Cosmos but I was in the zone and kept crafting for another 3.5 hours. I've now finished the tedious part of my new project and the next step is fun ;-) Also, Kylei and Heather offered to come visit and craft with me this week, so I'm looking forward to that.

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