“Did you know your ID says you’re a security threat?”

mural of two human heads

I need to get this out of my head (before I forget.)  Forgive me if what I’m about to share upsets.  I spent years of my life overcoming an irrational fear of men.  (It resulted from being raped by a male soldier while serving in the Army.) It also (weirdly) led to me becoming a super-soldier for a year.  Then reality caught up to me.  I’m still in awe of what I accomplished during that year.  (Even though being a human-robot is often synonymous with being an excellent soldier.) 🤭

Suddenly, all men became predators who would hurt me if I ever let my guard down.  I was too ready to burst into a tornado of violence or flee like the wind at the first hint of danger.  People who typically would have been like brothers made me tremble if they merely noticed me.  I could reason that my feelings were ridic intellectually, but it did not affect my fear.  Worse, I didn’t realize I was physically reacting to the men I encountered as if I was steeling myself for an inevitable attack.  Eventually, I figured out why men kept giving me the stink eye.  They were offended (and rightly so.)

I had to train myself to stop, and it took time.  It was horrible to be terrified of nearly half the world while knowing it was due to the actions of one.  I hate being irrational against my will.  Thank you, dear universe, for gay men (who were immune.)  It helped tremendously to spend time with them and allow myself space to reclaim my sense of safety.  Eventually, I stopped behaving like I was anticipating ambush all the time.  (It was exhausting.)

eerie person running from the light in the woods

Also, thinking that way made me incredibly paranoid.  At one point, I had to pause life and figure out how to stop negotiating the world like a win-or-die game of chess (that only I was playing.)  I even created a crappy video game to encourage myself, instead, to anticipate joy whenever I entered a room or went around a corner.  The graphics were so poor they were funny.  (Parody is a fabulous copyright loophole when creating while depressed.  Especially for people ((like me)) who love comedy but lack the gift.) 🤫

I was seriously worried I was losing my grip on reality, though.  Then I realized I was imagining the worst-case scenario and behaving as if it were the reality (like there was a prize), followed by wondering why I was sofa king anxious.  🤪  Eminem had a positive influence on my reclaiming safety among men.  So did Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter.  From there, I was able to pinpoint what about them was helping me heal.  It turned out to be their willingness to be vulnerable publicly as a man.

The more instances of witnessing men sharing their feelings and perspective, the more I healed.  (Hello, Will Smith obsession.) 🥰  But the man who had the most significant healing effect by far is Chaz Bono.  The documentary, Becoming Chaz, helped me to understand important distinctions between men and women from both perspectives. It helped that it was from a source I valued since childhood (when allowed to watch Sonny and Cher only when their kids were on.)  The information presented in the doc is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Hopefully, what I learned can help provide a healing shortcut for others who struggle with something similar.  💜✌🏽

“I didn’t think you could detect abnormal behavior among your own kind.”

person giving side eye

I’m on the fence about continuing to blog with WordPress.  I’m not happy with the changes they’ve made to their service.  The overall vibe is greed.  Gross.  (I reserve my loyalty for corporations that are playing the long game. Thanks, Jeff Bezos, aka Ironman IRL.)  I messed up flexed one of my features, and now my ability to focus is AWOL.  Whoops.

I started brainstorming a new project with a small group and got too excited.  It’s been two days, and if anything, it’s increasing.  Sigh.  I forgot where I left my focus controller.  Welp.  I bet I sleep well tonight, at least.  I’m burning through energy like it’s an open bag of Hi-Chews.  (My need to maintain effective spoon conservation is crying in the corner.)

person flexing balance

On top of that, I sat wrong again.  Now my left foot won’t obey commands.  It’s hella numb halfway up my shin, and I keep getting a charlie horse in my arch.  Good times.  It’s gradually self-correcting, but the slowness is astonishing.  M brought me some compression socks (and said some medical stuff that floated by.)  I remembered to thank him in real time.  Yay.

All of this is related in that it’s happening while I’m present in my body, which is a new skill.  Alison 3.0 would have fled inward at the slightest hint of body betrayal.  (Blushing, because I just glimpsed my own awesome.)  Leveling up is laden with new growth opportunities.  I understand now.  The universe had to teach me how to recognize them before they started showing up all over the place.  (I used to mistake them for overwhelming obstacles.)

person with camera

The good part of being unfocused is I think differently.  It often results in new insights.  My whiteboards are covered in notes whenever this happens.  (My foot is still janky.  My hi-hat foot!)  I’m multitasking with healing now, too.  Multitasking used to set off meltdown alarms.  Well look at that;  Anxiety is my bitch, now.  Hah!  I’m going to celebrate hard because I know this means the next step is reclaiming all the shit I’ve been avoiding over it, and it’s a lot, (she said while internally reciting fear is the mind killer.)

I compared notes with some of my autistic besties (my new favorite game,) and discovered we sleep with arms in the praying mantis position.  It wreaks havoc on our arms and shoulders when we awaken numb.  Those with EDS pay far more for the habit.  (I don’t have EDS, which is likely why I think this common thing we have is fascinating.)  I’d better go and drag my foot around until it wakes up and stops playing too much.  💜✌🏽

“Stop it, Kramer, you’re freaking me out.”

person in cosplay costume

I just got back from a mini vacation in Denver.  M thought it would be an excellent way to shake loose from the downward spiral into a pit of depression.  It worked.  I’m feeling so much better.  I’m nearly giddy — a pleasant side-effect of getting baked while in Rome.  I feel energized from reaching a state of zero anxiety.  Half the effect is from the sense of awe over the achievement.  I always forget how incredible it feels.  It makes for a delightful surprise each visit.

It also reminded me of the cost demanded in vulnerability.  In my case, partaking is a buddy exercise only.  Heh.  I cherish this knowledge like someone who thinks way too much.  🙃 (Jordan Peele made us cool.)  I slept like Gayle King after an R Kelly interview last night.  I woke up laughing, feeling like I could conquer my chores before noon.  (Done.)  I worked on my story in progress like Mavis Beacon was testing my typing for several hours.  The Muse must have been pleased to see me discover that headspace.

The only con is I didn’t do an ergonomic check before I jumped in.  I’m don’t stay in the same position for too long, or you’ll move like you’re 100 for an uncomfortable minute years old.  It’s still funny every time I forget;  bonus.  I had a great time in Denver.  I behave like someone who hasn’t been around enough diversity for a long time and can’t reign in the huge grin.  I strongly suspect it factors into why I find the people of Denver so kind.

cute bearded person

I beta tested a prototype while visiting, and it’s triggered all sorts of thought paths for potential usability.  Air traffic controllers, surgeons, and neurodiverse people were obvious beneficiaries immediately.  By the time I strayed onto a different thought tangent, I had decided it would probably be useful to everyone who wanted to use it.  I merely applied a bit of capitalist tinged triage on the fly.  (Those are people I know are often under tremendous pressure.)

Despite having fun, coming home was the best part.  I longed for home while enjoying myself.  It’s confirmation I’ve successfully configured my living space.  It’s where I want to be.  I had no idea this was the prize.  It’s fabulous!  The funny part is I think it’s going to weaken my tendency toward agoraphobia.  When I know, I have a place where I can genuinely exhale, awaiting my return, going out is a lot less painful.  Yay.  Thank goodness for Marie Kondo.

I think the most important thing she taught me is organization and awareness of my connection to my stuff is a beautiful coping skill for anxiety and depression.  (Usually, what’s good for us is good for most, because many don’t know they dabble in juggling these challenges, too.)  I didn’t bring my new camera because I’m not even sure which parts of it I’m not supposed to touch yet.  I only know those parts exist.  (I’m such a noob.  😂)  I’m off to continue re-reading A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  (We’re in Fae.  😆)

“That’s the guy who threw George out of the wedding.”

traditional wedding

Today I am so very contrary.  Anxiety keeps pinching my adrenal glands, giggling at the hormonal chaos that ensues.  My mind betrays me further by throwing up too vivid snapshots of moments in the past that triggered this response.  Yeah.  Thanks for reminding me why Anxiety took up permanent residence in the first place.  I’d forgotten.  Not.  (Yep.  I talk like it’s still 1987.)

M asked me if I have an idea of when we should marry.  I didn’t immediately answer.  Instead, I instantly regressed to a 5-year-old mentality, then willed myself to mature back to adulthood.  It was like passing an emotional kidney stone, but I managed.  I’ve been low-level processing this question for months.  I know what I want.  I was afraid it wouldn’t match what M wants.

I used the whiteboard to outline my pros, cons, and an alternate option.  It was a necessary bridge to the discussion that followed.  I feel like I destroyed some of M’s innocence in the process.  He’s never experienced the repercussions of being virtually owned by another entity.  I don’t think it’s something people ponder unless it touches their lives.paper beats rock

I know many others have experienced the potential horror of seeking asylum from an abusive marriage by using 911.  They too see how the attitudes and beliefs of individual law enforcement affect the justice for a perceived possession far more than any laws.  They’ve probably also experienced medical professionals in their face asking why they don’t merely call the police; while glaring with accusing eyes.

I think M understands why paper beats rock, now.  A paper marriage license almost got me killed last time.  Experience outweighs statistics in this instance.  I don’t want to do it again, even if my reasons are (now) irrational.  I’d prefer creating a partnership that doesn’t involve the government.  (Especially one that’s attempting to transition into The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.)

It disgusts me that in 2018, what is or isn’t between my legs has more influence over my life than any other factor on this planet.  I know when people look at me, they’re automatically assessing my worth based on things for which I have no control.  Many determine how to treat me, and whether I deserve respect or even life itself on the same basis.  I’m an NPC (non-player character) in this vile game of fraudulence and domination.wedding hands

I catch myself thinking about the citizens of Germany during the Holocaust of late.  Visiting the Dachau concentration camp memorial in Bavaria transformed (and broke) me more than any other single event in my life so far.  It’s likely why Anxiety is beating me about the head and neck.  I’m a pattern finder.  It’s no wonder I feel like I can’t catch my breath most of the time, these days.

M told me he wants to be my partner for life, and we can celebrate it however I want.  I responded like a 13-year-old who just found out her crush like-likes her, including the pre-choreographed dance routine and high-pitched squee.  Shutup.  Heh.  I’m relieved it didn’t turn out to be a case of, This is Where I Leave You (funny movie, btw.)  I’m off to work on my vows for our untraditional partnership.  🙃 💜

“You know, these movies are great, but they’re just so emotionally exhausting.”

Growing sprouts

I used up most of my energy before noon, today.  Whoops.  I’m allowing too much news to get through.  I’m battling against an overwhelming desire to isolate, as a result.  I remember when I used to surrender to this urge.  It seems like a long time ago, but it’s been just over a year since I crawled out from beneath that rock.  Life is quite challenging now, and it’s building me up.

Anxiety has been dangling me by my ankle over a pit of doom.  I’m hanging there, trusting in The Force while my body trembles.  I need a Star Wars marathon.  I’m going to do a chronological order viewing over the course of a week.  We’re heading to Denver soon for a short tree planting session.  M is going to play with drones.  I miss the smell of freshly turned earth.

I watched Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, yesterday.  I started from the beginning and watched through Sarah Jessica Parker.  Jim Carrey made me laugh so hard I cried.  I didn’t know he was a painter.  You get to see lots of his works inside his art studio.  I love the show because it’s not only hilarious, it’s fascinating.  I love Netflix.  Heh.

flying drone

I think I may need to include a rest day in my workout schedule.  My muscles feel itchy, which is distracting.  I haven’t quit running yet.  When I step onto the trail, my body starts running automatically.  I roll with it until I get to the first street crossing.  Then I walk for a bit until my mind wanders again, and I start jogging.  It’s a stim, not my workout, so I don’t mind.  It calms me.

I create mashups of songs by Stevie Nicks and ABBA in my head while I run, lately.  Edge of Seventeen mashed with Does Your Mother Know is ridic dope.  I may even try to mix it myself just because I need it in my life.  It’s in my top two songs right now, including Nice For What by Drake.  The creative part of my brain works so well when I’m in constant, rhythmic motion.

I regret pushing to muscle failure in my workout this morning.  I forgot I’m in my 40’s or something.  I don’t feel older; I need more time to recover, and stretching is no longer optional.  I remember when my body could do whatever I demanded without flinching.  I would miss it, but I’m too busy being pleased with what I can still do.  Recovery time and lots of stretching are acceptable.  I practice meditation while I stretch like it’s worth extra credit; (it probably is.)  I’m off to make popcorn for my marathon.  😆 💜