Yearly Archives: 2013

121 posts

On being a broom (and why I can't just relax and enjoy shit)

I realized why I have a hard time relaxing and taking actual vacations and even enjoying the holidays.
As a child all of the times that most children have “off” to play and relax and do their own thing, I never had. We never had summer break, we took Nov-Jan off every year instead, and during those two months we never rested. During those two months, my mom made lists, my mom kept us running ragged either baking or crafting or “ministering” to other people, or doing deep seasonal cleaning. I remember, vividly, begging, all of us, begging to keep ONE DAY in two months free so we could just watch a movie and relax and not make cookies (or make cookies that we actually got to eat instead of for everyone and their aunt).
We had “parties” that I don’t ever remember being fun, because the entire time leading up we spent deep cleaning, and cooking, and setting up, and then when it was party time I had to help mom keep the party and the guests organized and on-schedule, and I had to make sure the dessert came out of the oven at the right time, and often was interrupted with some kind of caretaking need in the middle of a group activity.
My mom hated it when I planned my own (graduation) party and I told her she couldn’t do anything and that I had no plans, and we were just going to hangout, maybe watch a movie and order pizza. Even then she still tried to dictate what happened when, I was still pulled aside, it was still stressful.
All I remember my mom doing during breaks, and actually for the majority of my childhood was sitting in her recliner, writing us lists of things to do, and getting upset when we didn’t do them all fast enough for her.
Her version of helping and “being productive” was sitting there, after giving us our lists, watching us do the things on the list and telling us what we were dong wrong or should do differently, or coming up with more things to do simultaneously.
There is no pleasing my mother. We had “breaks” solely so we could do chores and things we couldn’t have done while we were “schooling”. Forget that we didn’t school on Fridays, because Fridays were intense cleaning days, you know, on top of normal cleaning all week.
Even my dad, my mom would write HUGE “honey-do” lists for on his one week off (you know, when we kids just wanted to play and have him rescue our toys from the packaging). My mom was a slave-driver who bred her own slaves.
And yes, I do feel like I and all my siblings are just slaves in my mothers eyes. She wouldn’t say it that way, but that’s exactly how they live(d) and practice(d), and people wonder why I have horrible self esteem issues.
I mean, I was told, outright, for years, that my purpose and job in life (while I was home) was to serve my “family” (i.e. mom). I felt, literally (I cannot emphasize this enough) like I was just a broom with arms, legs, and a heartbeat. I remember standing in the kitchen one day, fighting back tears, devastated as I was doing two things at once, that I didn’t have 8 arms, because I could. not. keep. my. mother. happy. I could not physically clean, and cook, and hold the baby, and do the laundry all at the same time. I was human, I ONLY HAD TWO ARMS, and yet, there was my mom, in her chair in the next room, berating and harassing me because while I was cleaning the dishes and cooking and had a toddler draped around my leg, I hadn’t yet started the laundry, or brought her snack.
If I was “caught” doing anything that loosely resembled “relaxing” that was immediately rectified with other tasks (unless it was bedtime, or the like 90 minutes of “free time” I had that rapidly shrank). I feel horribly guilty if I am not doing some kind of mundane work when I could be, because I was never allowed to breathe.
I wasn’t a person until I ran away. Before that, I was nothing more than a breathing, walking, broom. 

Housekeeping

If you are following KieryGeek and Humorotica I have an important note.
For reasons that involve creating safe places and also to get me to actually use more than one twitter account and figure out how to…multitask? or is it focus? something like that – if you get all your updates from @kiery28, or don’t get twitter updates about either project at all, but want them please go follow @kierygeek and @humoroticathulu.
I’m going to be using them more, more than once a week for Humorotica and more than once a month for KieryGeek. I’ll try to make it interesting and worth your while, I swear.
Thanks so much for helping me out <3
(also, if Facebook is more your style, KieryGeek and Humorotica currently share a space at KieryGeek: Rebooted. I know, I know, Humorotica should have it’s own page. One step at a time)

Realizations

*There is no coherent flow to this, that’s why it’s numbered. Just needed to let these escape my head, so hopefully I can kill this migraine now.
I was remembering some things, about being homeschooled – with a few years of distance the ridiculousness of some of it has been made obvious, but I also realized a couple things:
1) I’m pretty good at ignoring things for long amounts of time, which sometimes makes me consciously unaware of micro-aggressions and things that bother a lot of people, because I got that all the time growing up and just tuned it out until it became impossible. This isn’t healthy, I don’t recommend it, it’s not cool, because it unconsciously affects me still, even when I don’t realize it, and it’s only when I become consciously aware of it, that things start to make sense.
This comes with a caveat though – the amount of time I can ignore a thing depends a lot on who’s saying it and how (and how many other things they’ve said over a period of time). Or I suppose, how quickly the boxes that all of these things go in get filled up, because after they get filled up, I notice – until my brain makes other boxes (but the things I notice don’t go in the new boxes after I’ve noticed them. This is, I suppose, how I’ve picked up on a lot of passive aggression, or aggression). This is a strange coping mechanism I didn’t realize I had until recently.
But this is what helped me get through childhood – especially puberty. I was able to drown out my mom’s comments about my appearance/self/existence for a very long time, it wouldn’t bother me (except that it did, but I didn’t feel it at the time). I was somehow able to write it off as stupid and shove it in a box to deal with later. It worked well in my early teens, and began to take it’s toll in my late teens, and kind of really started wreaking havoc after my parents rejected me in 2010. Suddenly all of the negative things they said about me, for years were cemented in a way I didn’t realize they had been before.
2) The role my parents treated me and my education has a lot to do with how I perceive myself, and is somehow connected to my gender identity (or seems to be. This is all subject to change because I’m still trying to figure things out). Because I was born anatomically female, I was raised as a woman and limited.
They got out of trying to educate me in higher maths and sciences because I was a woman and wouldn’t need them anyway (after all, I’m just going to be keeping house and having kids like my mom when I grow up). I spent more time taking care of my siblings and running the house because I was a woman and needed the practice. I was refused the option of college because I was a woman and women don’t need higher education to be homemakers.
The fighter in me, the warrior and protector in me, the chemist, the geometrist(? what name do people who do geometry give themselves?), the astronomer, the molecular biologist in me were never allowed room to be or grow or develop because I was a woman (and also, science is evil).
Being a woman means I am not able to exist as a whole person. I cannot be a woman and a fighter, a scientist, a creator, an entrepreneur, a techy, anything not associated with the pinnacle of femininity and child having.
Which, is, unfortunate? (I guess?) considering I’m everything BUT the pinnacle of femininity and child having and actively avoid it.
I know logically, identifying as a woman does not mean I can’t be any of those things. My favorite scientist was a woman (Marie Curie < coincidentally, the only one I managed to learn about), women started the tech industry, having a uterus does not actually mean that I cannot be X.
Except that, in the way I, and so. many. others. have been raised and conditioned, that is what it means. And it’s the strong ones who come out of that and fly in the face of what patriarchal society says a woman is, and still identify as one.
But I can’t. It doesn’t fit me. I don’t feel like I belong, because I just feel so trapped by it.
I don’t want to be defined and have my role in life “set” for me (by societal pressure) because of the body parts I have or don’t have, and I admire the people who are able to move past that and not let that affect them. But for me, calling myself a woman just means I’m holding myself back from my own existence, and I’ve spent enough of my existence being held back.
3) There are so many nuances and things I need to learn that I’m just not in a healthy enough mental place to deal with. I don’t have the mental or emotional energy to pour myself into women’s studies and queer theory or learn about all the ways people are biphobic. I wish I could, because then I could combat it, and I would learn more about myself in the process, but I just can’t. And sometimes that makes me feel like a bad person.
Because, it hurts when people question my faithfulness because I’m bi, and I know there are little things about my sexuality and gender identity that are being put into those boxes subconsciously.
But I just can’t. I can’t get through a talk on privilege without starting a self-loathing cycle and realizing how horrible of a person I am, and also feeling as though people are trying to silence me (when I’ve been silenced for so long). It’s not for lack of wanting to learn, it’s just, I’m not in a place where I can do that and keep my sanity and keep depression at bay.
It bothers me. It’s probably horrible of me.
But I know where I am and I know it’s just not a healthy thing for me to do right now, and as bad as I am at taking care of myself, this is one of those things I just have to wait on.I’ve been dealing with feeling out of body or trapped inside more often because stress and life and exhaustion.
I’m on the cusp of change – of realizing things about myself, awakening another piece of me that was long ago forgotten. I can feel it. I feel the restlessness and the tension, there is something brewing in my subconscious waiting to step out. Right now, I need to guard my calm like my life depends on it (sometimes it feels like it does).
4) When I lived in the south, my complexion was a lot darker than it is now that I live up north, where the sun is less strong and we don’t see it half the winter. When we moved to Georgia, I somehow became aware of this fact (that I had a middle-eastern/olive complexion). I don’t know why, I don’t know what caused it, I just remember becoming aware that I was ever so slightly darker complected. Not even in comparison to anyone, because in Florida and Georgia we had a lot of different ethnicities and Maine actually weirds me out because it’s so homogenous.
I don’t really know why I’m bringing this up. I just remembered that I noticed and I reacted and it was odd.
No, I remember now, this was the lip hair thing. Because I have dark, thick hair – especially on my face – very thick eyebrows, and my mom was like, yeah, it’s because you’re part lebanese, that’s why you have dark lip hair, and then the pain with the cream…that’s why I didn’t like it, that’s why I noticed, because in that conversation, she also brought up olive skin tones. And that connection is what triggered the odd only-parent-induced sense of shame and self-consciousness about my genetics (which, wtf).

Cocoon

I want to build a nest around myself, and burrow into a hole made of blankets.
Life is a blur and I am overwhelmed.
I feel too big for my skin and too big for my house – like I’m growing and my clothes don’t fit right.
Like Alice when drinks the growth potion (or is it the cake?).
Simultaneously, I feel so inconsequentially small.
Like one minute mistake is enough reason for my existence to cease.
Like I have to be perfect in order to deserve living.
I’m prone, of late, to panic attacks and find myself struggling to feel as though I’m still in my skin and not just fighting to escape it. I feel like my bones are growing and pushing through the tips of my fingers.
I wash dishes and feel the hot water and the soap on my hands, or I stick up the bows that keep falling off my door and notice the tape stuck to my cold fingers.  I snuggle my octopi and my cat and feel the soft, and it helps for a while.
Things that are small bother me more than they should – the pile of dishes, the cookies left out, the boxes on the floor. I need my peripheral vision to be clear, I need to create around myself a space that is blank so I can draw all over it with my mind later.
I feel too big and too small. I don’t have enough room, and the room I have I don’t deserve because I’m imperfect.
I fight, I flip out, I panic, I cope.
If I can manage to get past the hair-triggered chaos that occasionally likes to pop out in my brain – I remember that I don’t have to be perfect, that my environment matters to me, currently, more than it usually does, that life is a thing that happens and it’s okay to be swept by the tide.
I remember that eventually this will equalize – this overwhelming and restless essence will turn into something useful, as it always has.

Brain Stuffs

I crashed for two hours and I feel a little better about things.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of self loathing and emotional exhaustion and anxiety and just feeling like I’m the most horrible person ever to walk the earth (which is ridiculous if I think about it, because I don’t actively TRY to hurt people, but the fact that I do, or may inadvertently, tends to kill me sometimes, especially because I often don’t know if that’s actually happened because I’m just overthinking every single thing I think and say).
So, I feel a little less like I should just be eradicated from the earth, which is a plus.
A lot is happening and has happened, and I don’t know really how to deal with everything and I don’t know how to give myself what I need.
I don’t know how to extend to myself the humanity that I try as hard as I possibly, humanly, can to everyone else. And the fact that I often times, fail fucking miserably at it doesn’t help either, because then I feel like I really don’t deserve and shouldn’t be patient with myself at all.
I don’t actually know what brought this on, and I’m guessing this looks fucking ridiculous to everyone reading, but it’s not a healthy headspace for me (add the completely valid discussion of privilege, but used to call one specific set of people out and/or shut people down, and it’s sort of a recipe for disaster in my psyche. I KNOW that’s not how it’s supposed to work or be interpreted, but for some reason it’s a fucking loaded term and just triggers a complete shutdown and self-hate autocycle in my brain), and I don’t really know how to fix it, so I’m doing the only thing I know how to do that does actually help, which is put it here.
Feel free to ignore – this isn’t meant to make sense to anyone outside my head, I just need to like, get it OUT of my head so I can sleep and not deal with insomnia or try to build a house out of rocks so I can live under it.
 

Aging Backwards

When I was 8, I was expected to be an adult. I had adult responsibilities (taking care of kids) and was expected to act as mature as an adult – learn all the things, do all the things, cook all the food, wash all the babies – I had to fight for some semblance of my own childhood. My mom wanted me to grow up and grow up fast. I remember her asking me, before I was 10, to stop playing “dogs” with my brother (we’d run around on our hands and knees barking and stuff) because, essentially, it was embarrassing. I don’t remember the exact words she said, but that was the gist.
I just looked at her, and willfully ignored her until I was 11, and by then, I was too busy doing her job that I didn’t really have time to play with my siblings, because if I did, I was quickly ushered to change someones diaper.
Funny, because my mom said that I should be happy I have so many siblings/sisters to play with and that I don’t NEED friends my own age. But I never had time to play with them even if I wanted to – and honestly, they were so much younger than me, and she had them with such frequency, that I wasn’t even on the playmate list – I was the caretaker, the other kids, they all had each other, but I was quickly forced out, alone, and expected to be happy about it and have no needs.
I wasn’t allowed to have needs. I wasn’t allowed to be a child after I started puberty.
As I aged, I was expected to be more adult – not in like the normal, kids mature way, but in the I-was-8-and-was-expected-to-be-20-and-go-from-there kind of way. By the time I was 13 I’d lost any semblance of childhood that I’d had. I’ve never experienced the care-free years of being a kid or a teenager, because the entire time I was a kid(‘s age), I wasn’t.
I don’t understand teenagers, I don’t understand 18 year olds who don’t look and feel like they’re 40. I don’t understand 16 year olds who still play and aren’t crushed under the weight of grown up responsibility. I don’t understand 22 year olds who act like 22 year olds are supposed to act, and don’t have random existential crises because they feel like their life is over and they’ve accomplished nothing.
I’m 22, but most of the time I feel like I’m so. much. older. and learning how to act my age – I’m actively trying to become more immature, because I can’t handle the continued weight of having to be more responsible and older than I am, of having to be the parent all the time even though there’s no one around to parent (except myself, which isn’t healthy either).
When I got married, I was 18, but I felt as though I’d lived a lifetime before that even happened. It said 18 on my documentation, but in my head I was in my 40’s, most of my life lived – well, survived, and it was time to do something else. Most people are like, no, you can’t marry at 18, and I agree and feel bad about it until I realize, when I was 18, I wasn’t actually 18. I was much older than that – because I was forced and pushed into growing up well before I even had the ability to understand what everything meant.
When I was 8, until I was 18, I was given all of the responsibility of an adult, with none of the power. I often felt like the only adult in the situation, like I was the actual parent, but I had no ability to change things for myself or for my siblings.
My mom confided in me things that really she should have confided in other adults to – things I didn’t need to know and didn’t understand and had no idea how to respond to. You shouldn’t tell your kid about how you’re mad at their father, or what you do in the bedroom and how it’s sinful (because every sperm is sacred), but you just really don’t want to be pregnant again (and pulling out is SO effective) – bearing in mind, I still thought sex consisted of invisible metal tubes connecting at the belly button of the other person.
When Alex and I started going out, I wasn’t even 17, and they heard wedding bells. They wanted me married right away, it felt like I was being pushed out, which was strange, considering.
My parents wanted everything to move so quickly. They said “but you WANT to get married, right?” and I was like “sure, yeah, but not RIGHT NOW” (because, 16, even I knew that was a bad idea). They didn’t seem to understand the concept of time.  They wanted me to grow up so fast and never experience having grown up.
I never had a relationship with my mom and I think this is largely why.
I was the parent. I was the confidant. I was the one who had all of the responsibility, the consequences, and the anger shoved on to. I bore the brunt of her frustrations and I was the one who was berated for simple mistakes.
In every way, I never had a mother. I was never her daughter, I was only ever her tool.
The only time my mom was ever sweet to me was when she was trying to butter me up and manipulate me.
So when people say they’re so sorry I never had a relationship with the person who made the choice to give birth to me (and then demanded my life in return), I stare at them blankly. I don’t understand why they would say that. It actually hurts, because it’s almost as though they’re blaming me for not having or wanting a mother-daughter relationship – like I’m unjustified in my relief to have finally left her grasp.
I’ve grown in odd patches, with massive gaps where experiences should be, but aren’t. Learning what to do with feelings, and learning what needs are (after not being allowed to have them, because adult…which is BS, actually, my mom had ALL OF THE NEEDS). I feel old, I look young, I have experience and naivety in all the wrong places.
I hate having had to fight for everything – whether it’s for childhood, or autonomy, or myself. I am tired.
I don’t know what made me think of it – maybe it’s because it’s the holidays and I really want the gingerbread that we used to make, and that reminds me of the fact that holidays were chores and mostly unenjoyable, save christmas morning, and I get tired from the memories and the forced aging and I feel like Benjamin Button.

General Stuffs

Thanksgiving was a thing that happened. I’m still recovering.
Our apartment flooded on Wednesday, so we’ve had to re-arrange until, hopefully, our roof actually gets fixed.
Our computers are currently in the kitchen, because it doesn’t rain there.
My body is trying to find equilibrium with the progestin, and it’s making me kind of moody – well, that and the weather, because sinuses.
I’m grumpy because my setup is all messed up and my workspace is cluttered because two computers and all the wires and I feel like I can’t draw. I don’t have enough visual space to draw and it’s frustrating.
I can’t decide if I feel christmasy, and like decorating, or if I hate it’s guts because every night from 5-9 on the half-hour the LL Bean tree has a loud lightshow that I can feel the bass of.
A lot of very small things are stressing me out at unreasonable levels and I know I just need to wait it out, and meditate, and cry, but it’s frustrating. I hate feeling like I’m going to have a meltdown because I don’t have enough room to use my tablet, but, reasons.
In other news, making progress with Ni No Kuni. I stop after I die and take time to re-think my strategy. I’m working on the boss in the golden forest, I think he may be immune to fire, so I should try frost. I should try more slicing and less sand too, maybe less pebble throwing.

Out of the (agnostic) closet (and into the fire?)

This has been coming to a head and swirling around for some time and I just need to let it out now:
I. Don’t. Believe. In. God. Any. More.

For so many reasons.
One, I became a christian entirely out of fear. I was terrified of going to hell. I can’t mesh staying in a religion that preaches damnation, operates on fear, and then tells you, simultaneously, to not be afraid of nuthin – because perfect love casts out all fear. I can’t balance that paradox.

Pascals gamble is so so flawed. Pascals gamble is not a reason to become or remain a christian and when I realized that the only thing keeping me in christianity, was fear (and if it’s true I win everything, if it’s false I lose nothing, but if I’m wrong, I’m screwed – fear tactic 101), I realized that living completely in fear of everything, was stupid and not a way to live and certainly not a way any deity I’d want to follow would want me to live.

Two, I can’t take the non-answers, the cliches, the culture, the holier-than-thou, and the unacknowledged hate that pervades much of christianity. I KNOW not all christians are like that (duh), but the truth is – since I stopped living as though I had to be The Most Holy Human, I’ve become a better person. I’ve become more empathetic and compassionate and I can actually be myself – because I don’t have to repress all of the things that may or may not be heaven dealbreakers.

And I have to believe that a truly loving god would want that – not for the people he created to live in constant fear, to live not fully, or to live as shells to save face.

Three, a long time ago, I wrote about how christianity is about love. I feel very deeply that it’s what it should be about (more accurately, that’s what any religion should be about), but from discussions with other people (outside and inside the comment section) it’s clear that it’s not. Christianity is about sin, it’s about being worthless and trying to get better to be worthy of heaven even though you don’t have to do anything but believe to get your pass. The True Christians alter their lives and personalities and values completely to be the best christian they can be, worthy of heaven, because being a christian means you’ll want to change like that.

There are so many contradictory things within the message of christianity that I just can’t take anymore.

Jesus loves you as you are; you are broken and worthless and need to change to bring glory to god.

God loves us all equally; but if you’re not straight you’re going to hell.

Jesus elevated women; but SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STAY HOME AND HAVE NO PERSONHOOD SO SAITH GOD.

Men and women are equal; men must rule the women, and women must submit to the men, for the glory of god.

There are so many.


Four, I couldn’t deal with worshipping someone who cursed women with pain for half of their life (and then MANDATED them to have all the babies) and told men: hey, look out for the thorns on those roses, oh, and, it’ll be hot tomorrow. And people wonder why I have issues.


Five, so Jesus’ remains weren’t in the tomb (oh yeah, I’ve read ALL the apologetics books, and I went to apologetics camp, briefly practiced competing in apologetics), that actually proves very little. But what’s to say that the other gods aren’t real (the bible never says no other gods exist, just that this god is a jealous bitch and you better only like him)? All religions have things in common and all religions (for the most part) think that their way is The Only Way (TM) and  who’s to say? I can give you all the meaningless pat answers I learned as a teenager (which basically equates to: But it IS true), but those get old and don’t hold much weight – at least not for me, not for right now.


Lest you assume I jumped into deconversion haphazardly, let me assure you – no, I struggled with this for a long time. It’s HARD to leave christianity, it’s HARD to even be THOUGHT of as having LEFT christianity, it’s harder still to ADMIT to having left christianity because, by the time I hit publish on this, any semblance of normal relationships I had with other christians is going to go down the drain. They’ll tell me how easy it is to not believe, but it’s not true. It’s HARD and it’s hard knowing the fallout – knowing I will suddenly become a project, or a black sheep – knowing that the thread of personhood I had with them will be eradicated.


It’s HARD not having excuses for your behavior (because god), it’s HARD not having someone you can point to to get people to stop pestering you about your life (because god), it’s HARD suddenly not having a handy little good christian girl’s guide to life and living. It’s HARD having to own my decisions, my behavior and my path.


What’s nice, is not having a massive guilt complex every time I think someone may not share my faith, what’s nice is not having to not take bread with those people because they don’t match my version of christianity and may be corrupting influences, what’s nice is being autonomous and being me and not living in fear that if I am myself (the way god, apparently, made me) that I’ll be doomed to eternal torment.

But what about the afterlife? what about heaven and hell?


Honestly, I don’t really care. I want to love as many people as I can, and live as fully as I can while I’m here. If I do that, then I’ve lived a good life, I don’t care what happens next. I take comfort in the thought of nothingness (which I know, bothers a lot of people), I’m fine with the idea of just ceasing. If I’m wrong and I go to “hell”, well, hey, it was worth it to be able to live.


Comments are on, but if you start preaching at me, being concerned at me, or generally overreacting and being a dick, I’ll delete it. I know where to find all the answers you’ll try to give, and I’ve gone through them all. Nothing you can do or say is going to change anything – I have no qualms about your religion and I’m not going to try and de-convert you or stop you from talking about it, but don’t try and shove it down my throat.
 

You should see the other guy

IMG_1846

So, this afternoon I finally did it.

I went to Planned Parenthood and got The Implant. I AM NOW BABY WORRY FREE for the next 3 years.

The amount of stress that just vanished from my shoulders after the nurse said “okay, it’s in” is like…..unbelievable.

I know I’ll be dealing with side effects (and I’m hoping they’re the less blood kind instead of the more blood kind) but it helps with cramps and I can deal with irregularity if I’m not crippled with pain and I’m not facing the, oh right, now I have to worry for another month, thing.

Right now I’m rocking a badass looking bandaid, and being very happy that I’m safe until 2016.

Life Happened

I have this familiar sense of needing to write – because all of the things happened – but not having enough coherent thoughts to put anything together. This happens a lot if I write infrequently, like I have been lately – lots of life happens in between posts and then I’m like, wait, what?
So here’s a brief listy-like update:
1: Humorotica has it’s own domain and new comics! And twitter (@humoroticathulu)
2. So does KieryGeek (and twitter @kierygeek)
3. I went and saw Aleka for a week and we went to a RenFaire and it was awesome.
4. While I was there, I CHOPPED OFF MY HAIR. And I think it looks awesome, and goes well with my new Gunnar’s glasses (Crystaline for drawing, yay!)
IMG_1828
I actually realized, today that the way my hair is cut is verrrrry similar to the way I draw my hair in my comics, which wasn’t intentional, but it feels very me and I’m happy about that.
5. KieryGeek 3.2 is out, about Guild Wars 2.
6. Crazy week. Thoughts. Things. Interesting. my brain is a blob right now.
7. Ni No Kuni, that is all.