relationships

Evolution…

Things have been getting pretty hectic here since the beginning of the year. But in a good way. It’s been giving me time to reconnect with my roots, clear out the old junk that has been holding me back from jumping off the cliff, and make room for all the really awesome stuff that has been percolating in the background.

It’s been a good clearing, as I’m finding the ideas that I’ve been waiting for are finally starting to bubble to the surface. How I want the back yard to look, what I want the house to look like, what my office should be and finally….what my job will be! That part is the most exciting, because it finally allows me to bring every thing I do in life together into this one little bundle.

I’ve always known that I’m that person who will always be a step behind, but it’s never really bothered me that much because I’ve found that I always arrive when I need to do so. Guess that makes me a little wizard in the Tolkien vein. 😀

As things progress, I might talk about it more here, even though I do want to keep things a bit separate. Maybe I’ll hit a stride where I finally don’t care again and can fully open up. But it’s hard to explain how awesome it is, when that part that you thought was dead inside – buried in thick concrete and hidden for all time – to crackle back to life. To hear the muse that you had pushed aside, to become something that someone else wanted you to be, to forgive you enough and trust enough that she’d begin talking to you. And to finally hear the gods of old start to sing their songs with you. The awakening that we all search for, cry out for, and seek every single day.

But then begin to realize that it’s a process of a lot of small circumstances and details that add up.

In light of the #yesallwomen…

I wanted to make a list of habits I've developed or red flags that set off personal alarms because of situations I've been in with, or because of, men. So here we go:

When driving, if there is a car pacing next to me for a length of time, I avoid looking to see who it is because of a time when I was driving home. The guy in the SUV next to me had his rear view mirror angled so that I could see him masturbating (and doing a very poor job of it).

If I go on trips involving a team I'm on, I either room with guys I can trust, or I room alone (assuming there are no women to room with). Because a teammate made sure I got no sleep one night.

I have trouble accepting compliments on how I look, because a friend thought I was dressing up for him, and tried to force himself on me. And, when I went to a gala after I got out of an abusive relationship, my bf at the time leered at me and said, "I can't wait for you to get home so I can molest you."

When I go to concerts alone, or in strange places, I sneak my spiked wrist bracelet in with me. I wrap it around my fist so I can interest people to move away from me. Because someone at a concert thought my being near him was reason to put his hands in places they shouldn't be.

On a trip to my favourite swim spot on the river, I made the mistake of taking a teammate who I wasn't comfortable in being around (I chalked it up to cultural differences). He tried to force himself on me. When I told him no and decided we were going home, he went and told the inner circle of the team that I had sex with him.

I learned BJJ because an ex used leg locks and choke holds to "keep me in line". Learning it led to the one above, along with learning that someone I respected wasn't worth the respect.

I locked myself up both emotionally and sexually, because I was told by an ex that I was too emotional and I needed to get control of it (I'm still trying to unlock all of that).

I'm fearful of overly affectionate drunks both because of the demon I call my grandfather, and because I'm fearful of having to hurt someone because they won't listen to the word no).

I have bolted away from what might have been first dates, because the guy was just trying to be nice, or paid for something I didn't expect, because I was getting the wrong signals. I'm pretty sure they were both just nice guys, but it set off alarms from "nice guys" who were expecting repayment.

A guy who decided I had wronged him, put my unlisted home number up in a gas station bathroom, with the note "for great anal sex call *my name misspelled*". I got so many phone calls between the hours of midnight and 4AM that I almost had to quit my corporate job because I wasn't getting any sleep. I called the cops, they took my statement, and I never heard from the detective on my case. I ultimately had to change my number and move. This is why I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know.

In college, a guy called me – wrong number. Apparently, he had a female friend who would let him talk to her while masturbating. He did it to me quite a few times. I hung up on him, a lot. The only way it stopped, was when it turned out a friend of his fiancee was on the hockey team with me. He told her. I started making sure my dorm number was unlisted. As an RA, it was only available if you were a student in my building.

I won't get into the catcalls I've gotten, walking down the road. I also make sure that, if I'm on the bus or the train, I'm sitting or standing with my back against a wall and my bag between me and other people. I also walk with headphones on, normally – not necessarily listening to anything. I used to walk with my keys in my fist, now I only do that in places I'm not familiar with, or when I'm alone. I'm always looking at my surroundings and sizing up everything and everyone.

None of this is fair to the really nice people who don't deserve this. But it is because of a few – because I don't know who they are and they are good at hiding. I differentiate between the "nice guys" and the Nice Guys. I love the Nice Guys because I'm like their sister, and they protect me like their sister. And I have their back like a little sister and will beat the crap out of anyone who messes with them. I just wish there were more of them, so everyone can have a little sister.

Edits:

The other day, while I was waiting on the train. A stranger walked up to me and asked if I could use his phone. I stood there frozen, not willing to let my phone go because I had been witness to how phones get stolen, and conflicted on that. I was very hesitant on calling the number because I felt sorry for the excuse he gave me (and his phone really was dead), and afterwards I kicked myself because he now had my phone number. How messed up is it, that those thoughts go through my head in trying to be nice and help someone out.

So…this last weekend…

I went to the mountains and surrounded myself with women. Strange for me, I know. But it was actually a good thing. I've been thinking about my hip and shoulder issues over the last couple of days and I can't remember if my therapist attributed the right-side issues with my lack of femininity or with my over-usual masculinity. But the thing that got me was the amount of hip opening I had, not necessarily from sharing (because we all know that I'm willing to write more than talk), but just from being around and listening to the stories of those who were willing to share. I admit, the heart center has pretty much been shut down and humiliated into quiet submission – again – and if I think back, that's about when the hip and shoulder really started to act up. Like an internal struggle to force me into opening back up and letting all the emotion and energy that I used to have pour out. In a manner of speaking, I guess that need to round kick and undercut/haymaker someone was directed at myself.

One of the activities we did was a trust exercise (at least, that was my interpretation of it). We had to walk around the room shoulder to shoulder with our focus first on ourselves, then on our partner, then split between the two of us (total of 6 times). My partner and I had a somewhat rough start, but by the end we were walking about like we were strolling in the park. One of my takeaways was that yes, I can be selfish (as the first round was focused on ourselves). I hesitate to do that because I've known too many selfish people. But the reminder with focusing on someone else, is that it can be done in moderation. I've known I've needed to put a focus on taking care of myself, as in a manner of speaking, I am a caretaker. I've spent the last couple of years with this huge, not glorious burden from the business. I'm also still coming down from this expectation of who and what I am supposed to be, how I present myself, and what attention I'm supposed to give to others and when. It's a mess. Some real, some imagined, but all true to my experience.

This was also the first time I realized that I need to stick my hand out. I've always lurked in the shadows. I've been happy with that. But at the same time, I do want to spend more time with my friends and meet other people. Going back to the expectation above, I've always waited for them to have time for me, instead of asking for their time. Yes, I will always make time for my friends, if they ask – and they know I will. But I need to ask them for time, too. And, for better or worse, I've also failed in getting past one remainder of the dark years – I'm not stupid, I'm not an idiot. The wisdom in my head is not what most people want to discuss, but there I felt completely at home. Still hesitant to crack open my skull and let this stuff come out, but the first blow has been dealt and at some point I will feel comfortable in sharing it. And I have to, because if one has wisdom, it is their duty to share it with those who wish to learn from it. If I don't, I have failed one of the tenants of my spirituality, though, I just think that my problem has been the how. My experiences and what is up there has worth, contrary to what some have successfully convinced me of thinking.

One more step.

In this holiday of thankfullness…

I'm finding that I'm getting more and more pissed off. In talking with my mum, it dawned on me that my irritation has been with the small courtesies that used to be common, but are not so common…even in a laid back atmosphere such as the one I strive to create around me. For the most part, I run on the "what works for everyone" time. In my business, I'm a bit anal about being on-time (meaning, 15 minutes early), and my scheduling. If we're scheduling out and my schedule doesn't mesh with people, I try to work with it. But that has come to the point where it's resulting in my loss, and it's pissing me off. I come into my office in order to either work on the back end of things, or see clients….especially around holidays. But apparently, there seems to be this disconnect at the idea that I don't see other clients…or at least, that's the impression I get in dealing with some of my clients. Today's doozy was someone that I normally don't see, because I normally don't work past 5.30pm on Fridays. We moved him to my schedule, earlier in the day, and then all the miscommunication started. Needless to say, he didn't show up, and wanted to come in at his normal time instead. Yeah, I like wasting 6 hours of my day, no biggie (which yes, I know he was unaware that I've been sitting around getting my panties in a twist in the meantime).

At any rate, it's a small piece of a larger picture. Earlier, a client decided to use this "you never confirmed a time back with me" to excuse his lack of communication. Maybe I'm weird, but if someone doesn't get back to me on a business transaction, I tend to get back with them….and I also check my spam box regularly, which is where the following communications from me went (thanks Google! Love that algorithm, really, I do).  Other clients cancelling at the last minute because they schedule a meeting to start when our appointment ends…and expecting to not pay for the cancellation.

It just amazes me. I know my yoga teacher discussed how we would want to crawl in a hole, away from society during our transition. And I really do. I need to take a serious break from people, just so I can hit that proverbial reset button on all of this. My boundaries have gotten so blurred, that it's next to impossible for me to come up with a polite way to enforce them. The online scheduling is going to help, if Google would quit sending the emails from it into the recipient's spam box.

Just too much, really, it's just too much. I don't know if it's just the culture around me, or if it's me (and yes, I know that the only thing I can really control are my reactions). But when you get the amount of mindlessness and lack of common courtesy that has been thrown in my face, it happens. As I told my mum, I don't know if it's just because I'm seeing it and it's bothering me that I'm seeing more of it, or if it really is THAT bad.

I just need to become a hermit.

Today is…

Thorn’s birthday. Not sure how I feel, because there is a mixture of happy and sad today. Been thinking about him all day, no matter what, because my posts to him won’t be returned with a thanks of any sort. But…I did find 2 mantids last night on my blackberry bush. One of them had just molted and the other one was preparing to. This morning they were overly active, which meant they needed to move to a bigger bush (the roses) so the Pneus didn’t get them, and they needed to go outside. So that’s my positive for the day. Also, went and hung out with L, to check in on her post-op. She’s doing ok, feeling like shit, but I was there for the PT and a few other things. I’m proud of her, even though she’s having a time of it, because she’s progressing.

I think that’s another thing I’ll take away from Thorn…his love of his friends, and the fact that sometimes I can just be a mindless imp. But I think that’s because I just fail at letting everyone know when I’m thinking of them (which is pretty much every day). The checklist running through my head isn’t what I have to do, it’s everyone who has been in my life. Whether it’s wondering what they’re up to, or just smiling at whatever memory has arrived. There are very few people who are banned from my memories, even though their name will pass unattached through my head.

So…please know, even if we don’t talk, I am thinking about you. Everyone, even the random folks I’ve known since kindergarten. And I still know your name, it just might take me a few minutes to get out of my mouth.

With that said, tonight, just lift a glass and toast all your friends who have made a difference in your life, whether it was a compliment or a slap upside the head that righted you. They made a difference.

It has been interesting…

And a hard weekend. The trip out was an effort, as apparently the first flight to Atlanta, from Detroit was delayed by 30 minutes, which meant I missed my connection from LA to Sacramento. So, instead of being in Redding by 4pm, I arrived at around 9pm. Gotta love airport screw-ups that result in an additional 5 hours of travel time.

Anyway, that's not the point. It's been a hard weekend, but a good one. The weather has been chilly and rainy, but at least it was sunny up in Burney. It was nice to re-see some more friends, meet new ones. It was also nice to hear that my parental fears were totally unfounded. They totally loved me, so I now have 3 sets of parents and a totally awesome brother and SIL, that I was finally able to meet. I honestly wished that it had not been in this manner, but I love them anyway.

I am eternally grateful for everything right now.

Not sure what the plans are for today, but I guess I should wake  up before she sleeps the day away.

So, I slept in this morning…

Then preceded to attempt at finding a balance in the latest cheap coffee I bought, will not buy cheap coffee again, least not Arabica cheap coffee. I've discovered that I much prefer the gentle wood scents of Sumatra, Arabica smells like Starbucks.

While doing that, I managed to not really check facebook, so much as I responded to a message about the upcoming Equinox ritual tomorrow night. I'm filling the priestess role and my brain is still in yogaland – but at least said brain is functioning. Instead, I grabbed my book and headed out on the patio, after prepping the chairs with their mats and cleaning off the patio from my adventures in sawing window props from my old closet shelves (BTW, I still have a bathroom mirror to whoever wishes to give it a good home, since Pastry won't let me crack it an either make art out of it or send it to the landfill). Lost track of time and spent a good 3 hours out there reading. It's the first time, since I'd bought this place, that I've spent that much time out there. No music, no podcasts, just birds and cats chasing carpenter bees. And has anyone else realized, how stupid carpenter bees can be? They fly around like they have a broken horizon and bounce into things. Knowing how a bee's eye is set up, I can understand that whole "seeing triple" issue, but really, I'd think they could see in 3D.

Yoga stuffs, cut for your sanity…