Too Long

Dec. 5th, 2012 05:29 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
Been hunting me down a counsellor. I have a couple of recommendations. This has been going on a little too long.

Using the impetus from the first blood day to actually book things.

The problem?

"I'm feeling pretty ambivalent about some (maybe all) of the major things in my life and I'm trying to decide how to make good decisions about them. Right now I just waffle in my head and go with the path of least resistance in everything I do; I know that as a human I do best rising to challenges, but I'm afraid to challenge the wrong things and yet can't let things lie. I need to figure out how to do good reality checks, how to decide what's okay to leave included in my life and what to get rid of and what to go stretch to add.

But I don't know where to start.

I'm innately and irrevocably poly, something that's taken me my entire romantic life and a lot of heartbreak to finally accept, and I'm finding it hard to shoulder that in a number of ways. I have a couple of other identities, particularly nudist and sex-positive and geek and feminist, that sometimes leave me feeling like only me against the world, or like a grotesque oddity. I'm torn between making money and doing something I love and knowing I can't change the world anyhow."
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I use the word fat in here. It kinda triggers even me. I do this deliberately to try and break down my unpleasant stereotypes. Tread lovingly with yourself here.

This is the tail-end of the marathon-three-days I spend at work/school. I should be at school this second, half an hour into class, but I dropped my bike off and they're keeping her for a week, which kind of broke my stride, and I'm sitting down and that feels amazing, and since about noon today I've really been wanting to write something.

I've been poly for a long time, and I've learned to erase some cultural norms from my psyche and to set aside others in order to do that. I know I'll likely always feel weird sneaky traces of poly guilt, for instance, which results in my believing that any given person is better off partnered to a monogamous person than to myself. This just sits there deep-down, despite my knowing that I am better off partnered to people who have other things going on in their lives (whether those other things are people or different passions) and despite being genuinely happy for my partner's pleasure when they're in a safe happy situation with another person.

I've also been skinny all my life. I don't feel skinny nowadays, I feel "normal" and sometimes jiggly and weird, but during adolescence and through my early twenties I was this same height, 5'8" or 5'9"ish, and 110 lbs, 120 max. That's really pretty skinny. In the last bunch of years I've gained both buoyancy and muscle to the tune of 20 or 30 lbs, topping out at my maximum weight when I'm in very good shape and literally sheathed in inches of muscle, getting softer and wider and dropping weight when I'm in poorer shape. And till a couple years ago I've always slept with tall skinny computer geeks with ponytails, basically.

This is a tangental way of approaching the idea that I've never had to deconstruct my ideas about fatness, though I have had to pull apart other received information like that about relationships. I've been the butt of hostility in the past ("skinny bitch" and "beanpole") but those days are over too.

Oof. This is hard to write. I'm not proud of this.

So, not thinking of this, and then diving into a really intensely hot sexual relationship with Angus (who has tended to carry 'a couple extra pounds' since I've known him) and then with Michael (who is more than twice my weight) I managed to be a total dickwad.

I have to be brief because this hurts to write. Think about this situation:

I meet Michael. We start sleeping together. I find him very hot, the way he thinks, the way we interact, but also his body itself, just the way his thighs feel and the line from his shoulder to his hip and his hands and the texture of his skin and the everythingness of him. And I keep saying to myself, not mindfully at all but in bemused wonder: I never would have expected to feel this way about you. I would say, in with that same bemusement, you are so fucking hot. And I didn't think about it.

And I would forward all this stuff about overeating and the obesity epidemic and whatnot because I'm pretty involved in food activism. Aaaaaand... finally the incongruity hit me. I poked at this in my head for a couple weeks, like a sore tooth, and realised what was going on. I was saying I never would have expected you to be hot because you're fat.

Except it wasn't graceful like this. After all this subtext, after accepting all these unspoken and unconscious endings to my sentences and not walking out on me, Michael had to endure a conversation where I basically said, "I don't know how to reconcile your body type with me thinking you're hot, any pointers?" and it hurt him pretty bad because, face it, it was maybe one of the jerkiest things I've done in my long career of being a dick.

So he was hurt and got quiet and I took it away and thought about it some more. And after a bit I stopped using the subtext. It stopped being woah, I'm shocked that you could be hot and started being just, you're hot. That made me happy, but I wasn't really sure what was going on in my head. Then today someone made a post on facebook and I grasped something more consciously.

It's true that carrying a lot of weight is a health risk.

It's true that stressing over things is a health risk.

It's true that working a desk job is a health risk.

Driving in a car is pretty goddamn dangerous, actually.

Smoking, drinking from plastic bottles, all sorts of things: health risks. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. Then heart disease, in which weight is definitely implicated. But, you know, people die, and statistics are statistics. No one actually chooses a mate by running a statistical analysis of everyone in the room and taking the person most likely to live a long time or we'd all want to date Japanese schoolgirls... oh, wait.

So the next argument, and one dear to the food movement, is that fat people are socially irresponsible because they do something which makes them unhealthy and thus a burden on health care and the rest of society, etc. The usual rebuttal to this is: we've all got our vices, so if you conflate attractiveness with health with skinniness, then also conflate attractiveness with health with nonsmoking AND not driving on dangerous roads AND not drinking to excess AND to not getting sunburns AND to using only glass containers and organic food AND teflon pans AND etc etc or you're a hypocrite.

But I've realised that it's much simpler than that for me, suddenly.

I find some people, and some bodies, maddeningly earthshatteringly attractive. I find some people and some bodies very much not. I don't control and can't anticipate this attraction; it's a gift when it's put in my hands.

And, separately, I worry about the economics of health: health care; the high cost of good veggies; eating well; desk jobs; yes, high fructose corn syrup and the subsidy pressure from the agroindustrial machine to maintain a steady cheap supply of that rather than fresh fruit and veggies and by the way more veggies would mean more farmers instead of more jobs where people sit down and that's socially unacceptable; and in the same category a lack of biking infrastructure and pesticides and the lack of self-worth driven by our lack of worthwhile projects to break our teeth on and thus teach us how to be effective in the world and how that leads people to do stupid self-harm or self-risk to fit in; a poor definition of health overall; no actual value placed on a culture where people can share knowledge about how to live well or have socially-sanctioned conversations about same; epidemic depression, the list goes on and on and on.

These two things, what we find attractive and what we approve of morally, are rarely connected and in fact often backwards-wired as per the girls-like-bad-boys stereotype. So it's really not cool what we do: we project all the guilt for our broken food culture and food system onto the people who bear the most visually obvious symptoms of it, then we use the threat of sexual and romantic rejection, which really drives to the core of our happiness as humans, to try and get them, any them that's not us, to make it go away. And we dangle romantic acceptance and sexual fulfillment as the carrots gained for successfully putting that societal skeleton back in the closet where we don't have to look at it. But, that's getting a little meta. My real point is merely the separation.

So there's how I was a dickwad with my projected shit and my inability to treat a human like, you know, a person instead of as a social issue. And that's why I try to be mindful about it now. And it's kinda incoherent because I've had a long week, but I really really needed to get this out. And I'd really like people to respond to it if they have something to say, gently if possible, because I need to hear the voices of my friends on this.
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I am so tired. I'm not sleep-tired, I'm bone-weary. I can't relax unless I'm being distracted. I can't let go of myself. I can't stop poking at the world. I can't just sit.

Party tonight. Good people. Fun dress-up. Food, company, just couldn't focus. Spinning my wheels, wearing a figure eight in the carpet of my mind. Today was a really busy day at work, music was off cause I needed all my cognitive abilities. Still bleeding. One glass of wine at the party and I feel like I'm in a glass jar again. Maybe someone's gonna slide a piece of paper under and put me outside. The only time I could be in myself was... oh, fuck it.

I don't even care right now. Maybe I will in the morning.

Here's the repeat song for the moment:
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There are a lot of things I could be writing about, and this would be a post on starting a menu for the housewarming except that I've been... inspired, I guess. I've had some recent experiences, and read a poem on greatpoets this morning, and I feel called to perhaps echo a post I made quite some time ago but don't want to dig out right now.

Lately-- last couple of years, last couple of months --I've been playing with and learning about my body's capability for lust. It's not something I come to easily, so to speak, because in my experience lust involves slipping the body off its leash, or perhaps letting it pull the rest of me along. Lust is a pull entirely physical, a sexual demand, and let's face it: for me sex is bound up in some pretty strange stuff. For me to surrender to my lust enough to even know what precisely I want, let alone to know how to get it, I have to feel really safe. I don't mean safe as in soft-blankets padded-room safe; I mean I need to feel like if there are other people involved they won't freak out, they won't be broken, and they can handle what comes up or call a stop to it if they can't handle it.

I wonder if that hasn't been part of my ongoing attraction to people who are jerks, who keep me at arm's length, who have egos beside which I am a mere shadow, who are emotionally distant or unavailable... at least at first, or at least until I become so trustworthy and available and giving that they let down their defenses. Hm. I wonder if that explains some of my rotating-door syndrome? We already know I like breaking through shells. There are beautiful things inside. I suppose, though, that in a lot of way those shells make me feel safer.

Now I feel like a jerk, but I will persevere (I typoed that as 'perseverse' which is awesome) because I really wanted to nail this desire thing.

Lust is about me. It's about what my body wants, what I want. It's active, it's about an end.

Desire is about another person. It's about immersing myself in them, surrounding myself, it's about experiencing them as deeply and fully as possible. It's a loss of self, if you like, submersion in the other. A conversation can slake desire; you know those long winding conversations that lead down deep surprising paths and cement immovable intimacies in your soul and then leave you in a quiet safe place together as if two worlds hadn't just shifted? Touch does it; taste, sight, no other person can stand in, can satisfy that specific craving that is desire for another.

Now most of my experiences involve some aspect of both of these, and I would write more about it, but I'm a little shaken by my jerk epiphany up there and I can't concentrate. Furthermore Angus is having his second bad day in a row, and although he's not in the room I can feel the pain radiating from him. He's rarely cried openly and loudly outright when he hurts in the last several months; things have been perhaps not so bad too. He's not crying now. Still, you become attuned to a person and that little catch of breath, the smell of their body, the way their eyes move, the type of sounds that come through the wall when they shift position-- it's really hard for him right now.

It's really hard for me, generally. Going into this I was so idealistic, naive, I had never done this. The things I thought would be hard (there, it's eased up, he just came past and smiled at me) like him being in pain-- well, when he's hurting really badly I can deal with that. He wants to be held or left alone or go out and smoke, it's something I can do.

It's harder not being able to do things together sometimes.

It's hardest not being able to read whether he's unhappy with me or just hurting. I often read his signals-- hunching away, or a clenched jaw-- as his being angry or feeling beat down because of something I've done or some interaction we've had. If I ask him-- hey, what's up-- sometimes that helps clarify, but the truth is that I spend a lot of time with someone my gut and my subconscious read as displeased with me a fair chunk of the time. It comes and goes in waves. It's not bad lately.

Also hard is some stuff where some of our stuff interacts in such a way that it's difficult to sleep closely cuddled together. He night sweats when he's really sick; when he's really sick especially, my dermatographia/whatever it is totally freaks out when I come into contact with that sweat, even through an allergy pill or two.

And I never knew just how much time being sick took. I'm a really busy person, and I schedule and plan things to within an inch of my life. I try to schedule and plan other people in as part of this, so I know how I can and cannot rely on them. Angus has a huge swinging block of ;he may feel great and be productive, he may be sick and stuck in the bathroom all day' in which case I need to take up some slack. Don't get me wrong, he pushes through more than I could -- he's had practice -- but sometimes he can't. And sometimes he doesn't engage the discipline to do things when he's well-- perhaps because he spends so much time pushing himself when he's sick?

I dunno. This has been totally hijacked. As if to disprove any points I've made, he's doing dishes and smiling and being loving now. Maybe that is the point, though: the thing is unpredictable. Neither of us know whether he will be worse or better in an hour, a day, a year, in ten years or forty.

I can't cure him. I can't even make him go to doctors, try new treatments, go for different tests when the last set comes back negative. I can't make him take pills on time. All of that is his, with me waving a pom pom in the back when I can and calling out in a thin voice from the distance.

And in this context desire is a strange beast. His body is becoming his enemy, if it isn't already. There is always some degree of pain, more or less. There are areas-- stomach, ass --to be avoided except by the gentlest occasional touch, perhaps forever, when my hands wish to taste the skin there. And when desire for him surges up-- him, him, only him-- he might well be buried, not only absent from his body but left emotionally tattered by just coping.

I suppose everyone has complications like this to some degree or other: I come home, I cannot take my head out of work, I'm short and snappish and go straight to the computer and stare through it for an hour. I am working this weekend and volunteering next and out of the country the one after and have no days off in-between. I have not had time to sleep and am floating in a haze all week, somewhere else entirely. I suppose everyone has barriers.

I didn't grow up with a normal family, with a normal relationship between my parents, and I seldom went to see how other peoples' families interacted. There was always a locked door between mom and dad when they were in the house for six months of the marriage once and I didn't even notice. I don't know what's normal; I don't know what's acceptable; I don't know what's tolerable. I know mileage varies per person anyhow.

I don't know where I'm going with this. Something about my Writer, though, about how those barriers are different, clearer, not entangled up with coming home from work and emotional support and the whimsy of an unpredictable illness. Something about how when I bury my face in his hair the world recedes, and how that has stayed simple so far, and how I always go looking for complications and so I drag my guilt behind me like a bloody mangled piece of my own soul sometimes, and other times I can leave it alone.

It's late. I'm tired. Someone made me dinner and did the dishes and I'm doing something that sounds a lot like complaining. I need to sleep, I need rest so badly. I need to surrender up my ability to affect the world for eight hours or so-- more than four or five, at least. I need to let bed happen to me.

Ha. Talk about rambling. Talk about incoherent. It's definitely bedtime. Be well, y'all, and remember I'm not really unhappy-- I just need to rest, and then engage with the lovely challenge of coming up with five or six or seven tasty vegan wheat-free dishes for my housewarming that can feed a horde, that will be cheap, that will be super tasty, that don't need a table to eat at, and that won't use up all the dishes in the house to feed people. I fully expect to have a brilliant stroke of genius about a way to serve quinoa tabouleh salad, to plagarize mimi's bean dip, to come up with a brilliant riff on pizza, to go through some sort of inspired root veggie thing, to do marinated mushrooms come hell or high water, to do something involving our lovely-textured friend the avacado and maybe his sidekick the mango (sushi? booooring...?) and to do something involving risotto and/or that amazing wild-rice-pecan-maple-orange-stuffed squash I did at Avi's thanksgiving. I wonder if I can figure out a tofu recipe that actually tastes like heaven?

I can *so* do this.

And then there'll be desserts. I wonder how I can serve fried bananas in a non-messy way. Corn tortillas? Hmmm. And some kind of sugar cookie. And... and... and...

This post is gonna have the weirdest tags ever.

Y'know, I really like cooking for people.


Apr. 6th, 2010 08:11 pm
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Two days ago I wrote that I was coming to the end of my strength. Now I am beyond it. Any hope of grace, strength, empathy, power, or ability that I could muster then is now lost. It's all I can do not to start screaming in public or throwing things near me as far as possible to get them away. Acknowledge my dark side? Right now I am nothing but. We'll see how this plays out when I walk in the door.

greenstorm: (Default)
I am so fucking tired of spending all fucking night busting my ass to get everything done that needs to be done because some lazy petty-theft-minded time-server wants to take 'an extra hour and a half break so we don't finish early and have our hours cut for the umpteenth night in a row' and then ending up twenty minutes past the end of shift, drenched in sweat from working flat-out as hard as I can, while he sits around and holds a piece of equipment and watches me-- all this after the other person in the three-man team I work on wandered in four hours late because her phone died and she slept through it, and after they might not be able to find anyone to fill in for me on the 27th so can I just come in after I go to the concert and work all night-- thus making three more nights of this gong show instead of only two, and making the last one a ten hour shift on no sleep. Um, I'd really like to help you guys out, you're a great company, you're great managers, you treat us well, you pay us well, you give us nice perks, I realise more than half of your workforce has likely been fired for disappearing on the job, sleeping through the job, or picking fights with the police in the past two weeks and you're holding it together gracefully and I really WANT to help you with that panicked look on your face when you realise you've forgotten that I asked for that day off a month and a half ago, but I'm not sure I can deal with even only one extra night of this bullshit on no sleep.

Holy fuck. Between this and Sequoia and my co-worker there's take on hourly wage, I will never, ever, ever hire anyone on hourly ever. Thank god for my new job where I can just get my work done, go home, and not talk to any of these people ever again.

And now you can take your fucking hockey game cheering, and your fucking appointments, and your fucking important scheduling and questions and information, and you can go fuck yourself with them, because I am going to shower put in earplugs and go to sleep and let the computer and the cellphone go suck it till the 28th. Don't call me. I'll call you.

This communication has been brought to you by ovulation on no uninterrupted sleep for several days.

End transmission.


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