I’m recovering from a meltdown. An airshow (and the practice leading up to it) shut me down like an off switch. Bose QC35 noise-canceling headphones, worn from sunup to sundown, couldn’t shield me from the ridiculous pilot shenanigans; she said, acidly. I was in air defense units for several years of my military career. I’ve been vigilant of the sky ever since as if programmed to assume watch whenever outdoors. It wasn’t part of my specialty, but I had the opportunity to witness, and a few times, (range) fire all of the Army’s air defense weaponry. Cherished experiences.
I don’t worry about war, as many do. America has been at war my entire life, and likely yours. I have a tremendous amount of faith in our military from experiencing it firsthand. I paid for this comfort with sweat, tears, and anxiety that too often manifested as inopportune hurling for distance. (Raising fist in solidarity with anyone who has ever been beaten up for accidentally barfing on someone.) It was worth it. Plus, I had access to a lot of cool shit a decade before civilians; (like email.) I just deleted a whole paragraph about the old days. You’re welcome. 🙃
I’m hoping to regain my ability to speak aloud today. I’m confident Solange’s A Seat at the Table on repeat will draw out my voice. Music’s power over my neurology and mood astonishes and delights me. It’s my favorite survival tool. When I can’t talk, I tend to stop communicating altogether. People are especially dangerous at these times, so it’s isolation without my consent. When I recover basic functionality, I may enjoy solitude a little too much. The rock I used to dwell beneath sends such warm invitations. (In my head, Stevie Nicks clears her throat, then burns them while making eye contact.) No worries on that front. Heh.
I’m off to start wrapping my head around a mini-vacation this weekend. Good thing I like obsessively planning for shit. 😂✌🏾💜
A Black Lady Sketch Show on HBO is my new favorite show. I’ve been streaming it like it’s Homecoming by Beyoncé. I’m an okay bitch with autism, yo. (Flutters my bald eyelashes.) HBO is still the only network that can tell me where to be and when; (so bossy.) 😉 I hope they have Wanda Sykes and Whoopie Goldberg on there at some point. (And Regina King, Ellen Cleghorne, Aisha Tyler, and so many more.) 😆
I’m going to stream it again after this. Heh. I keep wanting to talk about Solange, but words don’t work here. It would be a post of me typing Solange over and over again while grinning like a doof. (You have no idea how close I came to doing just that.) At least it would feel kind of like expressing my joy for her existence. Sigh.
Solange isn’t just the newest member of my Healing Sisters Internal Advisory Panel (HSIAP via music.) She’s the boss. In my head, she walked right up to Stevie Nicks, Amy Lee, Agnetha Faltzkog, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, (there’s more) and Beyoncé, and said, can I hold the mic, please? (All signs indicate Solange won’t be giving it back any time soon.) She skipped trying to reach me with mere lyrics and went right for my spirit. 😳🤭
Solange has been here before. Her music. Nobody who only lived that long for the first time can do that, yo. That’s the best I can articulate. (And yes, I’m working on it.) I know a lot of other artists are popping right now, but frankly, Solange practically owns my ears at this time. Aside from Brown Skin Girl, of course. That song is on repeat whenever I’m not listening to Solange’s When I Get Home. Everything else is on pause.
I’m getting ready for a solo road trip north. My sister needs me, and she’s the one person left on this planet who has mom-like powers over me. (Otherwise, oh hell no.) It’s a big deal for me to drive five hours in a single day with ridiculously monotonous scenery. I’ve done it before, but not often. To go from that challenge immediately to being in someone else’s space to offer my services as a sister is bigger.
My spirit stirred me to do it, which is something I haven’t wrapped my head around yet. (I don’t think I would have even picked up on it if not for Dr. Keia mentioning these things happen.) Hence, running with it. My sister knows me well enough to avoid hinting since it’s futile with me. (Tell me what you mean, or disappointment will ensue.) It’s time to stretch my more healed self and flex my growth. I’m terrified, but I’m going to do it anyway.
When I get home (heh), I’m going to Denver for a mini recreational vacation. Guitar Hero is going to buddy-sit while I transform from a nodder who never makes eye contact into someone who suddenly uses gestures, looks at people, and won’t STFU for an hour after two hits. He finds it amusing and claims it’s like hanging out with my anime version. (Possibly said animated, but I like anime better.) Enough oversharing. I’m off to belly laugh over my new favorite show. 💜✌🏽
Welp. Healing is hard. It takes a lot of energy and mindfulness. I didn’t realize it, but living on autopilot for so long has consequences. I’m having to train my brain to be present without exhausting my energy levels at an alarming rate. It’s rocket science, yo. This level has a lot of work involved. I feel surprised every time I get a moment to catch my breath (thanks, Solange) and look back at what I just accomplished. It’s not a comfortable feeling; more like, whew! I don’t have time to over-analyze everything while zoning out anymore. It requires me to trust my values and make decisions before I feel confident in my choices.
It’s another part of adulting that wasn’t in the brochure. I’m relieved my love of speculative fiction comes with the bonus that most epic sci-fi and fantasy novels are also ethics training guides. (You still have to do the work of understanding the symbolism and lessons interwoven into the story, though.) In my case, it means rereading and or viewing after thinking about it for a while. I often have to listen to my favorite podcasts more than once to take it all in. I love this quirk because they’re always funnier the second time. (My epitaph shall state: She lived her life on CP time.)
Speaking of podcasts; I want Crissle West and Kid Fury (of The Read podcast) to read my life when I pass. (I set up a savings account just for this purpose.) My funeral is going to be hilarious and healing (assuming they agree to do it.) I’ll leave them a note, a recent decent photo, and the keys to my apartment, and let them snoop through my stuff (and kiki until they feel like they get who I was.) Random peeks at my journals, going back to age four will probably more than suffice. (Good thing I had access to a typewriter, but my spelling was phonetic-ish.)
I want it to be for the people who grew up with me. The kids who went to school with me and played with me as a child. The neighbors who were part of my village and accepted me as a child in the community. The teachers who stood out as exceptional and excellent. The people who perhaps didn’t treat me well, but since evolved into better people, and want to heal from past mistakes — my village. I’m very attached to Sioux Falls. I’ve traveled and lived in other countries, but when I got to choose, I came home.
I recognize this is a wee bit morbid, but I still have PTSD. One of the symptoms is being hyper-aware of my impending death. (And every single time someone murders a transgender woman, I have to claw my way up from the floor and somehow convince myself I can handle living on a planet where people do such fucked up things.) When I stop having a blast planning my funeral to amuse myself, I’ll know I’ve healed. Until then, I’m good at managing it. I’m no longer treading water; I have the upper hand with depression and anxiety now. They can only challenge me, not own me, which is a blessed distinction. I celebrated hard and long, heh.
Depression: Whatever, bitch, you still have to fight me off, even if it no longer takes all your resources.
Me: Look at you, so sassy. Don’t interrupt when adults are talking, please.
This week on The Friend Zone podcast was their 200th episode. It was so good. I mean it’s always good, but this week was special. They were openly vulnerable to the degree you couldn’t help but love them to pieces. It’s so rare when people you don’t know IRL are publicly unshielded like that. Part of you can’t help but slide into protection mode and start daring anyone to criticize them in any way, (because you’re unbelievably poised to correct any such shenanigans with a thoroughness likely to result in mild emotional trauma for anyone feeling lucky.) That good. 💜💜💜
I’m still stunned these babies (to me) are teaching me so many things for which I didn’t even know to wonder. My life is more joyful since I started listening to their podcasts and trying the things they introduce, reading the books, and doing the homework. I need to get busy paying it forward because I’m building up a deficit. I signed up for Daily Harvest after Fran mentioned it thrice. (3 times is magical to me, thanks to Patrick Rothfuss.) I’ll update when I get my order. It’s as if the universe witnessed how preparing a whole chicken ruined my ability to eat meat, and said, I got you. Yay. I’m off to beat my drums with sticks. (Excellent way to recalibrate my brain when I sense an impending meltdown.) 💜✌🏾
Things are possibly about to get uncomfortable around here. I’m going to talk about my process of forgiving individual care providers who have mistreated me at the Sioux Falls VA, (SFVA.) I’ve been working on forgiveness for several months, now. I’ve done well enough; I was able to enter the VA building and get my annual checkup and visit the dental clinic. I have no intentions of seeking care with mental hygiene. My skin has always been an insurmountable barrier to getting any treatment there. (Abuse and medication are the only options since I got out of the service.)
Frankly, I’m embarrassed by this sorry state of affairs. Fortunately, I’m capable of healing without subjecting myself to the people as mentioned above, who chose to behave horribly toward me when I asked for help. I have the tools, map, vocabulary, the ability to recognize healing, and the support. My goal is to die with a healthy, healed spirit at peace with the world as it is. I don’t know what, if anything, occurs after death. I live my life in a manner that allows me to feel proud of myself for persistently striving to be my best possible self. (It makes enjoying my own company delightful.) 🙃
I’m accountable in this process to myself and my life partner. I accept course corrections and guidance from the members of my social tribe and others who offer wisdom through various media. I learned a great deal during the traumatic period of my life when my (elite military forces veteran) ex-husband stopped taking medication for his mental illness. It took me years to process it all. Some SFVA providers automatically disbelieved, verbally abused, and humiliated me when I went there seeking assistance. I won’t forget, but I will forgive it.
I’m struggling to forgive the ER doctor, who when I reported rape, offered to do an exam. I refused the exam, and he took my refusal as permission to ignore my report altogether. When I first entered the SFVA after being raped and tortured, my ability to find the words to describe my state of mind, and what just happened, was grossly lacking. Not because I’m autistic, but because I’m human. All I could do was hold back the scream that was threatening to escape and never end. That I even managed to get out the word rape, is heroic.
Sadly, I was black that day, too, she said, disgustedly. South Dakota is a red state, meaning Republicans are in charge. Republicans motto should be: We hate abortion, but we love racism, rape, homophobia, and god. Facts. A holybible was signed by 45 and sold on eBay – eleven damning words, yo. It’s uncanny how well they sum up many Republicans. I’m not a Christian. I used to think I understood what holy meant in respect to the bible. I don’t know anymore. The word Christian doesn’t mean anything to me any longer. I feel like an ass for believing for so long that it defined someone actively striving to live as taught by Jesus Christ.
When I was a member of a fundamental Christian church in my late teens, (cult according to family 🤭), I had an experience that shook me to my core. I asked Jesus (in my head) if it was wrong to be other than heterosexual. I didn’t expect an answer, but I wanted to know from Jesus. (I didn’t trust anyone else to tell me the truth.) I didn’t hear words or anything like that. I felt a moment of intense intimidation like Jesus threatened me if I dared to mistreat anyone. It scared the shit out of me. I wish I could articulate the experience more clearly, but that’s my best attempt.
It more than answered my question. It’s also why I don’t call myself an atheist. I can’t undo that incredible, scary experience. There are a few other things involving strangers who helped me in extraordinary ways, including a woman who held me after the first time my ex-husband hurt me. I was hysterical and confused, as it was out of nowhere and defied past behavior and logic. Neither of us knew he was sick at that time. We were both on active duty in the Army, and I was in a Circle K convenience store, weeping, disheveled, and trying to hide.
It was just what I needed at the perfect moment. My spirit insists the universe had something to do with it. Things like this make it hard for me to dismiss God altogether. When I look at how numerous people around me who identify as Christians behave and treat me, I’m wary of association. I don’t know many who live as though they believe what’s written in the Holy Bible, (new or old testament.) We each decide how we experience life, and how we interpret scripture, or not. Actions still speak louder than words.
I was just following orders. – ICE members when hell demands payment, probably.
I have no respect for those who claim such association while embracing things like rape, homophobia, and racism. These are traits of people who fail at coexisting with other humans who do them no harm. Fortunately, they’re all going to die. Yay. If you’re a Republican and don’t support these things, why are you a member of a group that openly, loudly does so? Association is support. I’m off to continue reading, Fall; or Dodge in Hell, by Neal Stephenson. It’s so good! 💜✌🏾
Welp. I cooked my first keto meal today. I used an instant pot/pressure cooker and a recipe from a keto book. It was successful enough that I can still eat the results. I learned a great deal in the process. Before this, M cooked my food. He’s a vegetarian; I didn’t even ask him to prepare food for my keto diet. I’ve baked cookies from scratch, but that’s about the extent of my kitchen abilities. I blew it as a kid in my mom’s kitchen. (If the same flooring exists in the kitchen of my childhood home, I’m confident I could still create suds with just a little bit of water.)
I put liquid dishwashing soap in the dishwasher. I used a liberal amount. Then I dared to play with the resulting Bubblepalooza until my mom returned from the grocery store, horrified. I was sofa king banned from even entering the kitchen after that fiasco. I had to stop at the threshold and ask for things. It sucked. Don’t try this at home. The Army spoiled me by providing mess halls. For years after, I didn’t eat hot food unless someone gave me some.
M made me a pseudo vegetarian. (I didn’t know how to select and cook meat, so I ate what he cooked. And lots of candy.) I have a huge sweet tooth. My mom was on the health kick before I existed and throughout my childhood. I was ten the first time I had a Coke, (and it burned my mouth and made me choke.)
I recently found out my sweets craving has an off switch, much to my delight. Increasing the (right) fats in my diet turned it off. I didn’t even notice at first. I just stopped craving sweets. My challenges with cooking today were based on not having the proper equipment, and not reading the instructions for the instant pot, beyond the warning labels. I overcooked and slightly burned my Mexican Egg Casserole. (It’s breakfast until it’s gone.)
While still edible, it lacks flavor, probably because I overcooked it, which is something I’m surprised I identified with my middle school taste level. (Thank goodness for hot sauce.) Had I read the instructions, I would have realized pressing start was necessary for the timer to begin counting down. Whoops. (Fortunately, it told me my food was burning with a beep and text.) 😂🤭 The recipes are not autism-friendly. They leave out a lot of information. Chopping an onion for the first time (with a crappy steak knife) took a while.
I wish it had given precise instructions on how to go about this task, including which tool to use. Start from washing the onion, and finish with chopped onions ready to be added to the pot. Pictures in progress would be immensely helpful. (They say a thousand words and all that.) Next time, I’ll choose a book that has a better quality of presentation over the number of recipes included. (600 seemed like a good idea at the time.)
Since there’s a good chance the grocery delivery person has more meat choosing experience than me, I ordered my ingredients from Hy-vee grocery. (+10 for accepting available assistance.) I just ordered all the tools I need for next time. A food scale, measuring cups and spoons, knives and cutting boards, and mixing bowls. Now I know why M only cooks at his place. 🤣 (He’s too polite to tell me my kitchen is lacking, no doubt.)
I’m proud of myself for barely succeeding on my first try. Heh. I’m amazed by how much food I got for so little money compared to buying junk food. I have all the ingredients for a week’s worth of lunches and dinners in my fridge. This weekend will be my second attempt. I anticipate it going much better. Fortunately, M’s cooking is keto-friendly if I skip the bread, so I have time to learn. (Premature publication) I’m off to continue reading Fall by Neal Stephenson. I love it so much and am at about halfway through. 😆✌🏾💜