crunchy

I wrote a very horned-up post last night. But underneath that energy was a wild undercurrent of anxiety.

Last night was so weird. I don’t even have appropriate astrology to pin it on.

K was on a date-type thing with someone she hadn’t seen in a long time. In my gut I knew it was going to be weird, that she was going to feel weird (spoiler: she did). She’s super intense with her attention so I also knew she probably wasn’t going to text like she usually does.

Logically, I knew all that. But then it was midnight and I hadn’t heard anything from her. So all my insides lit up like they were on fire. Sleep kind of became impossible.

I read some erotica because I thought it would distract me. All it did was make me feel even more on-fire. Of course.

So I texted a sometimes-lover to tell him about it. He responded by insisting that he come over—NOW. Yes, I’d stoked his fire by talking about princesses turning into slave girls. But the sudden intensity of his blaze still startled me.

He did not come over. It was midnight and I needed sleep or else I’d be worthless.

But K never texted so I did not sleep well, which meant I was still worthless.

Eventually, of course, I did hear from her. She feels terrible and wants to come over, cuddle, care, all of those things she is so good at doing. But I am feeling a little crunchy. It will all be okay, but I need a minute to catch my breath, regain my footing.

Also I don’t really want her to see me cry and I will probably do that if I see her.

Good lord, humans are so complicated. But also extremely simple and primal and beautiful. Now off I go to wrap my big raw nerve of a body back up in a blanket.

warning: this gets kind of horny

I’m feeling stuff so I’m going to write about it.

First things first, I have a girlfriend: K. I don’t know why that word feels scary to write when it’s true. She is the coolest person ever. A sensitive and curious artist. Extremely hot. Fun. Communicative. Adjectives. I feel incredibly lucky, and that scares me, so I try not to think about it like that. More on that later, I’m sure.

We are kind of open. We’ve gone to queer sex parties; I watched her zap a line full of curious people one-by-one with an electric wand (it was awesome). I told her that sometimes I hook up with men and she was okay with it, “as long as you don’t feel used afterwards.”

I also told her that deep down I’m really submissive. She got me a little leather collar that is on its way soon (taking a while to be constructed). Huff. She is the best.

Relationships and commitment scare me but I’m also just feeling flooded with how much I like her.

She’s mentioned wanting to try out being a professional Domme. That it would be really fun and fulfilling to help people actualize their fantasies. People are beautiful and complicated.

One of her friends is a trans woman with a fantasy about being pregnant. She is currently having dinner at K’s house. It’s a friend hangout but also kind of a date. K has played along with this woman’s fantasies before, telling her things like how she wants to impregnate her and take care of her, that kind of thing. They are going to make soup tonight. K’s focus can be really intense and I know this is why she hasn’t texted me.

I feel okay about her doing this with this person, but I’m finding that the not-hearing-from-her thing is not fun. But I’m dancing around my apartment doing chores and trying to keep occupied in the meantime.

…this includes reading a super-horny book by Anne Rice and texting men. [covers face with hand]

There are three men that I talk to, and lately I’ve felt weird about seeing them so I’m basically acting like a cock-tease at this point. But then I had a breakthrough fantasy today: that when I’m with them and making them feel good, K is in the background whispering approvingly in my ear. Or she’s trained me so well that somehow pleasing men is still coming back around to pleasing her. Or… something. *fans self* Is it hot in here?!

I don’t really know anyone who won’t think I’m a complete slut weirdo if I tell them all this, so I’m writing it down here. Thank you for joining me while I make sense of my own brain.

just need to breathe

when you are trying to take a selfie of us and I don’t know what to do with my hands or face or body

when I am at your house and you are wrapped around me and I’m feeling trapped

..or terrified that I’m not good enough for you

just breathe.

you once told me that whenever you see me, at first my eyes and body language are always nervous for a few minutes. Like I’m subconsciously begging “please don’t get mad at me”

you said “but don’t you know by now how much I care about you, don’t you know yet that you’re safe here”

I just need to breathe

and move beyond being scared you’re going to think I look fat or bad

because things are different now

let all of that go silent

sink into my body and know I am enough.

[image found here: https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/jlarriva/tempest/ ]

eclipse after a birthday

I’ve been learning about myself. That’s all I ever seem to do.

The sky rumbles and planets crash into each other and you think, is this really going to affect me this time? And then you’re awake at 3 AM in a panic over how invisible you are. But you’re not.

I get lost in my own head. A personality test revealed this even though it is so obvious. I get lost but it doesn’t feel lost. It feels like reality. That’s the danger of it.

So many stories to tell you, sweet one. It was my birthday and I didn’t tell anyone. Bought myself a cake and threw most of it in the trash (sorry).

When your tendency is to lose yourself in your own thinking, a solution is to make contact with other people. This can feel awkward and anxiety-inducing in its own right. And that’s ironic. But it’s still what you should do.

So on Friday I did that. My friend is a songwriter and he was having a show. He hadn’t performed in 3 years. So I thought yes, I will go to this and pretend to be the cool girl whose friend is the lead singer. Even though the idea gives me nervous stomach.

Sometimes you step out of what’s comfortable and everything feels weird. Other times you do that and you find a seat, the venue is cozy, and your friend plays music that hits the exact soothing spot you needed. Then you hug him after the show and he asks if he looked nervous.

I’m so good at telling myself stories that sometimes I paralyze myself.

the truth of things

Last night got intense.

I watched something extremely stressful before bed and had a rough time sleeping.

In reality that’s all that happened. But “tossing and turning” is too cute to describe what it was: endless panicked thoughts that wouldn’t ease, even with meditating. Flashing worries that every single component of life was being lived incorrectly. Even though that’s not true. Even though yes, of course meditation helped. But where was that instant hit of bliss. Why isn’t it like that. Why is it actually something so much deeper and more subtle.

Why does it make you work for it so hard and not at all. Why do we make ourselves panic when nothing is there. Or maybe that’s just me.

The morning had a completely different mood than the night. It was so much more innocent. Watched a friend’s dog. She lives in my neighborhood, a few streets over. Her dog is sweet and ugly-to-the-point-of-cute. He never left my lap except to go on walks.

It was such a simple shift, being in a space like my own but not mine. Curled up with a little friend. How is that all it takes to feel completely different. It’s how we’re wired I guess.

Over and over we face that cold lonely terror at night. And every time we try to remember that love, warmth, coziness are alchemizing forces against it. Sometimes we remember and sometimes we don’t. But that doesn’t take away the truth of things.

when cooking dinner sparks ptsd

I once had a boyfriend who made me feel weird in the kitchen.

We didn’t have a lot of money but we pretended we were fancy. So we went to the expensive grocery store every night and spent too much on a dinner we would make from scratch. All of this sounds like “what you do” when you’re dating someone. How romantic. But it was really stressful. The crowds were too much. The lines were too much. The bill was too much.

Then we’d get home (to his house, where I basically lived after two weeks of dating) and he would be too much. Ordering me around. Snapping at me. Getting quiet and intense for no real reason. I have a clear memory of crushing garlic with a knife and trying not to cry. In the moment I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you why. But it was all his little comments, all the little ways he made me feel like I was doing something wrong. The ways he made me feel small, gross, unworthy. “That’s not how we do that.”

Once, I so badly wanted to be a good girlfriend that I did what I genuinely thought would be a nice gesture: cleaning his cast-iron skillet with soap and water. That is definitely not how we do that. But he ended up being an emotional abuser, so I regret nothing.

Anyway.

Cut to today. I’ve just started seeing a man who wants to come over to my apartment and cook together. He wants to go to that exact same grocery store and pick out something nice for dinner. Now I can afford to buy things there, but I warned him that I am not fancy. That I might not have things that he thinks I should have. He said that all he wants is to spend time with me.

This is sweet. But the old scars from the old relationship are still there. That relationship was 5 years ago, and I have worked as hard as I could to heal those scars. But this still feels like a huge test. Now excuse me while I scrub everything down and try to hide the gross parts of myself.

cards and boys

Spent New Year’s in a quiet beach town with friends. A wonderful time. Laughing and snacks and drinking. Magical to see friends like this.

Learned a card game in that beach house. The rules were confusing and weird, but once you got the hang of things it was really fun. You could talk shit, surprise people with your cards, win hands. There were lots of comments about how sweet I am on the surface, but how I’m actually a killer when it comes to cards.

My best friend shot me a knowing look.

“She’s only like that with cards and boys.“

I thought that was going to start the inevitable heart-to-heart about a boy I’ve been thinking of, reminded of, this whole trip. But I held the cards tight to my chest and nothing happened. My poker face was blushing furiously and I know I was so obvious. But no rejection-filled conversation happened.

I am playing so far out of my depth with you, any kind of reveal feels like it will make me lose my hand and face crushing humiliation. I don’t even know what I’m playing for. The moment passes and I exhale like I’ve been holding my breath forever.

You’re just a boy. I don’t know why you fill me with the craziest fire I’ve felt in years. You clearly do that to a lot of people. Or maybe I just can’t have you and it’s making me crazy. Maybe it’s both.

I don’t know. Ugh.

I’ll take this energy and move it through my body. I can find ways for this to work. Use the crazy energy to push myself into a huge creative rebirth. It can happen. It can be incredible. Amazing. Just direct the fire where it can burn productively. And maybe masturbate or something, I guess.

the big explanation

The past few days have been a rollercoaster.

We picked my sister up at the airport. My parents and me. We gave her a huge hug and chattered excitedly with her all the way home. Dad poured glasses of wine and gave my sister a beer. We had cocktails around the tree. The room was soft and rosy and we were all together.

Our parents left the room to go grab various items, go to the bathroom, etc. My sister leaned over to me.

“I think I’m going to tell them my thing in a few minutes.”

I took a deep breath. “Okay.”

“Yeah.” she said. “I want to get it out of the way.”

“It won’t be out of the way. But it will be let go.”

Our parents came back and I pretended I wasn’t about to anxiety-barf. I went into the bathroom and put my hands on the sink, stared into my own eyes, tried to breathe. I came out of the bathroom and it hadn’t happened yet.

“I’m really happy to see you guys.” she said. “I can’t believe it’s been 2 years. It’s been weighing on me.”

Bubbles of reassurance from our parents.

“There’s something I want to tell you. It has to do with me.”

She then went into the single most beautiful coming-out explanation I’ve ever heard. She talked about never having felt comfortable with masculinity. Always connecting more with women. Being so much happier now that she was living as her true self. How everyone close to her in California knows and calls her by her female name and pronouns. Including the company she works for.

She would eventually tell me that her biggest worry with this was that she would get disowned. She had actually made arrangements to stay with someone, just in case she ended up getting thrown out of the house.

During her speech our dad stood up. He said she would always be loved and accepted in this family. That he was so happy for her. He gave her a long bear hug. She started crying. So did I.

My mom asked if she was going to start wearing woman’s clothes.

“Well… yeah. That’s kind of the point.”

About an hour later, my mom was clinging to me and sobbing. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do.

“It’s okay.” I said. “You don’t have to know what to do right now.”

The next morning was… tense. My mom was quiet and she is never quiet. Her eyes looked like she had been crying. That never happens either. Seeing her sadness flips some ridiculous switch in my head where I say dumb things and try to make myself the butt of some stupid joke. I have no idea what to do here.

Our parents had planned a surprise visit to a cute hotel by Lake Erie. My sister and I shared a room. Mom and Dad used the wrong name and pronouns the entire time. They didn’t even act like they wanted to try and get them right.

“We’re doing ‘she’ now? Really?” Mom said to me in private. “I can’t do that.”

Yes. We are. That’s the point.

I feel like I am terrible at navigating this. I have no idea what to do. So I’m just going to keep using her name and her pronouns and hope some kind of fucking miracle happens and this tension can start to dissipate, even a little.

Well. Maybe I need to reframe that.

Maybe it’s okay that there is this tension. It’s necessary. Even though it’s horribly painful and I hate it.

Instead of waiting for tension to leave, I need to focus on taking care of myself. But how the hell do I do that when everyone else in this house seems like they’re so much more in need of some kind of care.

I don’t know. But I’m really tired and feeling blue. That’s all I’ve really got to say at the moment.

a more regular write

My sister is coming home today from LA. I haven’t seen her in two years. She lived in Seattle last time I saw her.

I’m over-the-moon excited and also anxious. She is planning to come out as trans to our parents. They’re loving and supportive but also have no idea what trans means.

For instance, a trans woman has been kicking ass on Jeopardy. My mom has called her a couple of not-so-great things and then made a shocked face when I’ve yelled at her. I hate yelling at her. But girl I need you to cool it with this transphobic shit really fast because you’re about to have your world blown open.

It’s different when it’s someone you love. That’s what I keep hearing and hoping. So we’ll see. In the meantime there will be chats and games and shows about vampires.

at the end of whatever I was doing with you

I am new to polyamory.

At first I liked the idea of having a boundless amount of love in your life. I liked the emphasis of communicating all your feelings, even the hard ones. To be honest I am really lonely and still recovering from months of extreme isolation in NYC. I want to have a big endless pile of love and connection.

A few months ago I began sleeping with a poly married man who was “very experienced.” We would have dinner every so often and then sex. The conversations were funny and fascinating. The sex was pretty good. Things progressed like this for months and felt fine.

Then he and his wife had a sex party. And at that party, I had a panic attack and had to leave. I didn’t have any sex and I couldn’t stop crying in the car, in my apartment, in my bed.

I have been trying to figure out what made me freak out at that party. But it is so obvious. I watched another woman touch the man I was dating.

Earlier she was bubbling over about how much she wanted to be friends with me. She told me she wasn’t really at this sex party to do anything. She also vented at length about another man she was dating. Then she touched my partner’s chest and I wanted to vomit.

Cut to an hour later, she and my partner are fucking and I am crying in that car.

What followed was a lot of talking. About me and my feelings. Not him, or what he was doing. Because at the time I thought I was having irrational emotions. He and I would talk through all my jealousy and I would feel better until we got off the phone. Minutes later, I would be sad again.

Then I had dinner with his wife. She blurted out that he was now regularly seeing the woman from the party (who at that point was following me on Instagram and looking at everything I posted).

He hadn’t told me that he’d started seeing her. He hadn’t mentioned that she’d come over, watch Sex and the City, and fuck him. He didn’t feel like he needed to.

I wanted to throw up again.

But I still thought that reaction was because I was crazy. I didn’t know that I don’t have to do things if they don’t feel good. Even if those things involve dating an “experienced” polyamorous person.

I’ve been out of the city now for weeks. He has called once or twice. I’ve never really felt great after either time.

And then, yesterday. I learned the uniquely foot-on-stomach horror of seeing that the two of them are now following each other on Instagram. I yelled “I can’t do this anymore” at my own phone and unfollowed both of them.

And then I went a step further and told him I’d done that. Like an insane high schooler.

“Freak outs happen. Sorry you’re having a tough time.”

Now I have the luxury of some hindsight. None of the other people I’m dating have ever made me feel like this. They don’t expect all their partners to be at a party together and hang out.

If I hadn’t gone to that party, I wouldn’t have cared about this woman’s existence. But I did, and now every time I learn about something she did with my (….I guess *our* at this point.. gross) partner, it makes me feel that much more rejected, invisible, insecure.

And it doesn’t have to feel like that. Even if it’s polyamory.

So have a great time, you two. I’m fucking done.

Anybody know a good therapist?