Monthly Archives: February 2015

6 posts

Kiery's Very Complicated Very Long Travel Day

I took a couple naps in between bounties for Destiny, and then I walked outside with my suitcase and laptop bag to discover a snowstorm happening. We drove slowly and quietly in the snow that was very hard to see through until we got to the bus stop. I got on the bus, watched Robin Hood: Men in Tights and noted with increasing anxiety how far away we were from my stop as the time between our arrival and my trains departure grew ever closer together.
I chose this bus because it would get me to the train station with about an hour to spare.
We had 10 minutes before my train left and the driver decided to make a stop for the commuters right before dropping us off at our destination, almost an hour later than scheduled.
He pulled up behind a stopped car, that shouldn’t have been stopped, but was because snow. Where we waited, and waited, moments feeling like hours as 8:15 drew steadily closer and not only had the commuters not gotten off, but the car didn’t move. He let the commuters out into a snow bank, and resumed waiting to merge into the lane of traffic we should have been in, originally.
By the time we pulled out into traffic, it was approaching 8:20. My train had almost certainly left, without me on it, all because one bus driver made an unscheduled stop that resulted in waiting in even more traffic. If I had been able to get out and walk,I would have. Had I been able to get to my bag, I would have almost certainly made the train, but that was not an option I had. So I arrived at the train station, almost 8:30 now, bag in tow, boiling with rage, attempting to calmly find a customer service representative to see if it was even possible to continue my journey – at great expense to me in both time and money.
It was. For $130 I could catch a train to DC where I could then get on another train and finish my commute south to see my friends for my birthday. It seemed like a promising chance to hopefully right an abysmal bus drive and not have to cancel my birthday plans, so I took it.
 
This train, my dear readers……..was supposed to arrive almost 3 hours ago, at the time of this writing. Shortly after our departure we started having engine trouble, which resulted in hefty delays at each stop in Connecticut until we finally made it to one stop where they had another engine, which we then waited at while they put it on this train. Connecticut is a long state to get through, but today, exponentially so. I got on this train in Boston at 9:30am, and we didn’t get out of Connecticut until somewhere between 3 and 4pm – well after we were supposed to have been out and dropped off passengers in New York and New Jersey. I was to arrive in DC somewhere around 5pm and board a later train at 6pm.
 
It is currently 8:07 PM and we just exited the Delaware stop and are approaching Baltimore.
 
If I had made my original train, I would be mere minutes from my end point by now. As it is, I’m still hours north of where I need to be and by the time I get into DC there are no buses or trains taking me past my destination until tomorrow morning. By the time I get there, I will have had an almost 12 hour train ride on one train, just not the train I was supposed to be on.
 
All I want right now is some food, coffee, and a burrito of blankets and pillows. Tomorrow I get to start part two of my journey which will hopefully, if all goes to plan (and I’m not holding my breath at this point) involve renting a car and driving myself.
 
Other adventures today have included: very few vegetarian options on the cafe car, an anti-planned parenthood propaganda pamphlet in the bathroom (I suspect delivered by the lady giving off all the religious vibes who was sizing me up earlier) which I promptly trashed and buried with paper towels, and computer rescue due to the person in front of me reclining too fast and almost locking my laptop in between the chair and tray.
 
On the upside, I’ve successfully managed not to sit beside anyone today.

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SOMEONE NEEDS TO COFFEE THE KIERY

 

The Future

Dream job didn’t pan out, and the Ruby Academy was cutting it too close to moving for my sanity, so I decided to go to plan C….
Which is basically do more of my own thing, quietly. But maybe not so quietly.
I recently snagged a Nerd Deal bundle full of game dev and game design courses, which means I have something to do in preparation for the April Ludum Dare!
This also opens up time for me to actually work on those Ruby projects I’ve been sitting on….
After I move I’m looking forward to getting back to making shit again – learning Ruby and javascript (again, for real), C# and Unity and game design and how to make game art, doing several game jams, and making more comics – maybe FINALLY making the comic hosting alt I’ve been wanting to exist for ever.
Making the things I want to see in the world is what I’m basically about anyway.
 
In the meantime, you can find me playing (and possibly streaming) Destiny.

Why Bother?

I had been in NCFCA for a year and a half, I had, at that point, never made it out of the preliminary rounds in the two or three tournaments I’d been to. I put a lot of work into what I did: spending hours researching, memorizing, practicing, and learning how not to take criticism personally. I failed to make it into any following rounds and spent the day cheering on my friends – when I got home from the tournament, my parents said:
This isn’t working, and obviously you aren’t going anywhere, so we think this was your last tournament and you can focus on other things. 
— in other words: I wasn’t good enough, despite the effort, and I wasn’t allowed a chance to improve, because I wasn’t progressing quickly enough —
I was barely fifteen. NCFCA was the only place I saw other humans – friends – my age who I could communicate with. And like that it was gone.
 
I like to tell myself – to believe that those crippling words were left to debater Kiery in my past and I’ve moved on; proven I can do things – or that things are worth doing even if I don’t succeed as much as I want to.
But it hasn’t. Any unsuccessful attempt to improve anything leaves me broken in shambles, reliving that speech from my parents where I wasn’t good enough now, so why bother even trying? It haunts me with every application and interview, every competition I lose. I can hold my head up so many times before it kills me. I can keep persisting for so long before I start questioning.
Why bother?
Is it even worth trying to get into this course or apply for that job?
I would love it if I did.
But is it worth, the (likely) inevitable rejection?
Am I better off going solo, quietly, unnoticed, like I have been?
It’s so easy to say yes.
So much safer to just stop putting myself out there, to stop working so hard for what I want when I have all these voices telling me I’m not good enough and not to bother.
And every time an opportunity vanishes, I feel like they’re right. Like my parents were on to something when they said I was only good for breeding. Like I’ll never make it out there with the other people. It’s better to keep doing things myself, silently, alone, where I feel like I’m doing something but no one notices enough to shatter me again.
Where I spin my wheels and feel progress and if I don’t look out the window then I’m not going nowhere.
 
But here’s the thing, I’m not going nowhere, I just have an opportunity to accelerate.
I’ve had other opportunities to accelerate, and I’ve taken them, and was left in the dust, watching others arrive closer to where I wanted to be. And I cheered for them, and kept doing my thing, quietly.
 
But I don’t know if I can bother again. I want to, desperately, but I don’t know if I can take that reminder.
 
You’re not good enough, you’re not progressing, it’s pointless to keep trying. 
 

My Blog is Breathing

Seriously though, it’s weird. Every other year or so, I expand out (exhale) I disperse my art and my thoughts across various different sites for a couple years to compartmentalize them in my mind, and then over time, every thing comes back together (inhale) and I try to put everything back in one place again. I’ve done this enough times that it’s starting to feel like breathing, a natural inhale and exhale of my online presence, going more places and coming back in. I’ve added back a couple handfuls of posts from KieryGeek.Com because I keep writing (or wanting to write) about games here, and keeping up an entirely separate and more quiet blog has been thrown to the wayside, but then I feel guilty and like I’m neglecting it. If you check out the KieryGeek category, you’ll see a bunch more stuff than before.
KieryGeek.Com will still be around and alive, as an archive (so all the links will work, yay!) until I decide to exhale again.
I’m also breathing.
I changed meds and have been taking Lexapro for about two weeks now and I feel a lot better than I did on Zoloft. The vivid dreams have started to die down so I’m sleeping again, which is helpful. I got my hair cut, and I get to play business Kiery this weekend, which involves makeup and some pretty rad shoes.

What is Sex When You Have Vaginismus?

It’s not something I talk about much, it’s not something anyone talks about much because there’s so much weight to it. I’ve spent the last 5, almost 6 years that I’ve been sexually active trying to deal with the shame and confusion that comes from having a condition that makes penis-in-vagina sex painful, if not impossible. That hasn’t really left a lot of room for talking about it because I’m still dealing with a lot of stigma.
 
There’s this thing that happens when you teach people that sex is only sex if it involves penis penetration, and when you can’t do that, for any number of reasons, when you’re in a relationship with someone who has a penis, it does kinda wear on you. And when you’re the first of your group to get married (or have sex) and everyone is asking you questions about this mythical magical sex that you can’t have….it’s hard. You get good at deflecting, sending links to resources, and never, under any circumstances, telling them about your actual (lack of) experience.
 
Add on to that, a lot of people just don’t comprehend how having intense pain equals stopping – we’re often told that pain is just a part of sex, not that pain means something is wrong. Most people are expected to just push through it, but that’s not fun and doesn’t really foster anything good – at least my case. A lot of “comfort” or solutions to me feel tone deaf: oh just keep sticking things in it until your body figures it out. I realize this is also the only advice that exists, but to me it’s like saying, no keep inflicting intense amounts of pain until I can take it, and sorry but that just doesn’t…make me less tense.
 
So when everything you know and have been told and promised about sex is something you can’t physically have – or don’t have the emotional stamina to physically force yourself to have because pain…..where does that leave you?
 
It didn’t take us long to figure out that trying to do The Sex wasn’t working and was more upsetting than anything else. Which made it not a thing we wanted to do much…until we realized that sex is supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone. That the focus on sex only being insert-dick-here was wrong and damaging and narrow. That there were so many other ways to have fun sexytimes that would actually work for us, be fun, and give us the warm fuzzies.
 
Buying a butterfly vibrator was the first baby step and introduced us to a world of possibilities in which the way to have sex doesn’t even have to be or involve penetration.
 
This has turned into something I emphasize to everyone now: sex is what you make of it, sex is exactly what you and your partner decide it is. If you’re both happy with it, it counts. It is not limited to inserting one kind of genitals into or around a different kind of genitals and when you finally realize that, the range of expression you have is so much greater.
 
And as hard as it is for me, and as much shame and confusion I still have sometimes – especially when I’m bleeding and remember, oh yeah, not only do I have a uterus, my vagina is a problem too – redefining sex to be “what makes us happy as a couple of consensual adults” instead of “put penis here” has made us so much happier.
 
To other people who have this problem, it’s okay, it’s not the end of the world, and most importantly, as much as you feel broken and wrong, you are not. Just do what makes you happy, and fuck everyone who scoffs and doesn’t understand. You are valid, and what you do for sex is valid too.
 
If you want to learn more about vaginismus, wikipedia and vaginismus.com were useful to me in naming what was happening.
Also I want to be absolutely clear that the pain being bad thing I’m talking about specifically only relates to vaginismus, because it isn’t consensual, it’s a physical reflex of not awesome-sauce. Pain in other ways can be great for people who are into BDSM, and as long as it’s (obviously) consensual it is a beautiful and wonderful thing. There will be no BDSM shaming here. You do you.