“This is emotionally magnificent.”

denver airport mural

I’m in a weird headspace.  I just spent 20 minutes in a massage chair in a very public space.  It was an incredible experience I plan to repeat often.  The massage itself was mediocre, and I didn’t allow my head to rest against the pillow (because I have ridic rules about my hair.) Nevertheless, strangers sitting on either side of me and hundreds of others from all over the planet passing by made it fascinating.

I didn’t feel sensory overload, which is astonishing.  It’s possibly due to being so overwhelmed, it went full circle, and I landed back in my comfort zone.  (Selects save for later.)  I was present while in a crowded space, and it didn’t result in a new distance record for projectile hurling.  Being present in an international airport made it not only simple to navigate, but kind of fun.  I helped someone new to flying to get to their ride after our flight.  We even did chit chat on the train!

I was able to respond out loud when she asked me where I’m from on the first attempt.  (No awkward pause to compile.)  I had a fun conversation with my Lyft driver en route to my hotel.  Here’s a tip:  If you struggle with making small talk, place personal interest identifying stickers on your suitcases.  (My carryon has Steven Universe and Star Wars stickers.)  I had three great chats about the upcoming Star Wars installment with fellow geeks, all of which left me smiling.  Much better than grinding my teeth to suppress anxiety while failing to respond to direct questions out loud, resulting in retroactive mortification.

denver-airport-horse

I traveled to reset my depression and anxiety levels back to manageable.  I intended to do this by using recreational weed in a legal setting.  I just realized I don’t even need the pot to achieve this; the journey was the synergist.  (I see what you did there, dear universe.)  🤭 I’m going to redirect that energy and visit a museum.  (Not something I could do while stoned because I require a buddy-sitter.  Shup.)  🙃

Guitar Hero is out of town for something related to fame.  (He’s not famous to me as I had never heard of him when we met.) It’s more relative than ever these days.  It amuses me how excited I feel about certain people I’ve never met, but others who are well-known are just people to me.  I’m a(n) carbon interest-based life form.  Heh.  (And grammar is still not an interest.)

I’m on a roll with social interaction.  I’m going to think up a challenge and go for it.  Maybe visit a comedy club or something.  If I find a comedy club with a pinball machine, I’ll squee.  I’d also like to talk to some strangers about religion and spirituality, so I’ll probably head back to the airport early.  Funny how a place that used to resemble a hostile environment has morphed into a fun place to pass through.  I’m off to the museum.  ✌🏽💜

p.s. I love Denver; scary, weird art included.

“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.  💜✌🏽

“Cut off your nose to spider face.”

foggy bridge

It’s been a challenging week.  My central air ran out of freon and froze up.  I had to shut it off and wait until a professional could come out and refill it (the following day.)  I’m stunned by how much this minor situation threw me off.  I didn’t want to stay at M’s or get a hotel room for a single night without ac.  (It’s not like there was a giant spider.)  The temperature in my apartment fluctuated between 76 and 79 F; however, the humidity rose to 90% overnight.  I spent the night watching Steven Universe on my iPad.  (It’s such a fabulous show.)

I thought a lot about how much I love central air and how grateful I am to have access.  Heh.  The cat ran between windows half the night (like ALF was out there or something.)  Her delight in making the best of the situation helped, I guess.  I can’t remember how miserable it was anymore because it’s working great now.  I took a nap while my apartment cooled and slept so hard I was disoriented when I awoke three hours later.  Last night I slept soundly and comfortably, probably grinning.  🙃

I think I’m starting to grok how my subconscious communicates with me when conscious.  I usually notice when it’s Pi Time (3:14 PM.)  I often glance up and look at a digital clock at that time.  (Then I announce it’s Pi Time, smile, and think about it for a while.)  Lately, it’s shifted to 3:16 PM;  (Matthew 3:16 in the New Testament.)  As someone taught by Christians, I know the verse.  The first time I hyper-focused on what it meant, it made me incredibly sad.  I didn’t feel worthy, and it made me want to scream, I object at God.

child pretending to be a monster

I was eighteen and exploring religion for the first time as an adult. 🤣 Now, I feel like I understand the verse.  My former reaction has transformed into acceptance, calmness, and awe.  It only took thirty-two years.  Yep;  that sounds about right.  Always late and excited to arrive.  Love thy neighbor as thyself is more apparent to me than ever before, as well.  (It rings true like all the bells of Westeros.)  I believe this slight shift in time noticing was a message from my subconscious informing me of new connections in my mind.  The pathways feel more solidified now that I’ve connected the dots while awake.

Side Note:  When I was eighteen, I was at my cockiest.  Completing basic training made me so confident in my abilities, I was a supreme asshole.  Then I went home on leave, my niece beat me up, and I got over myself damn near immediately.  (I thought about defending qualifying that, but it just kept making it worse.)

Our minds are so fascinating.  (Yells, brains, in my zombie’s voice.)  I’m a believer in shouting into the void.  Six degrees of separation and the interwebs makes it viable.  (It’s also a great movie starring Will Smith.)  I discovered my participation in social media is unnecessary;  I’m still in the loop through my tribe.  (I only see the memes my friends know I’ll appreciate.)  I don’t train rogue AI for free (or at all), so I’ve never used Facebook.  (Avoiding all the political brainwashing by Cambridge Analytica and Fuckerberg is a nice bonus.  Still happening, yo.)

I didn’t rejoin Twitter after hearing someone lashed out at Hey Fran Hey and Crissle West.  I’m proud of myself for heeding the option to stop and think first.  I have a theory about the tweet author.  The hateful words were a cover.  The person who aimed them and fired was pain-talking.  The targets are people who consciously chose to heal from their pain and grow and thrive while on their journey through life.  From wanting to do that, to actively doing so, it is a journey in itself.  It takes dedication, hard work, and doing lots of shit you’re not confident you can pull off without weeping the whole time.

spider web

It’s daunting when taking your first baby steps away from crisis mode — just thinking about it when that shaky can make you want to cry.  Or maybe even say something horrible to people who are showing us how to do it.  Because now you can’t deny the possibility, which means you probably have to do all that hard shit, too.  And it’s going to suck so badly at times; you’ll be astonished healing isn’t fatal.  It’s not fair.  But lashing out at padawans makes them grow.  So, get a therapist, and get busy because misery is a shitty investment.  I’m off to make noise.  💜✌🏽

“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.”

flying drone in desert

I waited too long to write this entry, and now I’m bursting.  Unfortunately, this means the information I previously translated and organized a bit in my head is now scattered.  (Inner 19-year-old:  Nobody will notice the difference.  Duh. ((The rest of me’s giggling in the background.)))  My sister is buying another property a few hours further north.  (It’s effectively Canada where Americans have rights.)  I immediately assumed the universe made it more possible for me to drive there, even though it’ll take longer.  I’m running with it.

My sister likes outdoorsy stuff.  The Army ruined outside for me; now, I only appreciate nature from air-conditioned, creepy-crawly-slithery-free environments.  Preferably in 4k. 🙃  I love animals, but I’m the reason my family couldn’t have a dog when I was a kid.  We tried a few times, but my inability to control my excitement got in the way.  The puppy would sense my enthusiasm and mirror it back, usually in the form of a puddle.  Or that time I became hysterical when our new white poodle got loose during a snow storm.  (I was sure we’d never see her again and overreacted. 🤪🤭)

Pets are attracted to my energy.  I have to be mindful of this, especially around working dogs.  I suspect I give off a high level of excitement to meet them, and they love it.  Their owners do not.  Some people don’t invite me to visit their pets anymore.  It’s because they hate seeing them lose their shit over some rando who has never even held them during fireworks.  It’s not something I know how to control, so I force myself to ignore working dogs.  I also watch my neighbors’ dogs from my balcony and resist fussing over them in the elevator.  It’s hard.

excited children

I’ve noticed my cat is changing along with me as I heal and grow.  We’re no longer agitated by thunder and slamming doors.  A year ago, both triggered a panic attack like clockwork, and Amelia B vanished for over every loud noise.  Now, we notice, but carry on as before.  Better than winning the lottery, yo.  My shoulders are two inches lower, now.  (I didn’t even know they were perma-hunched!)  All the aches and pains I discovered when (re?)learning to live in my body were directly related to being stuck in survival mode.

I thought I was safer in that mode, but I was wrong (immediately followed by feeling retro-horrified.)  I used a powerful massager and aromatherapy to train my body to relax.  For 21 days, each time I realized I was hunched up, I sat down in a designated spot with my massager and turned on a lamp. (I use light therapy, too.)  Next, I breathed in my Embodiment oil from Hey Fran Hey and Resonance Apothecary, via The Friend Zone podcast.  Finally, I used the messager on my entire back until relaxed.  It feels incredible, and gradually, it became a habit.  Now, I notice immediately when my body starts sliding into survival mode and correct.

Seeing my cat become more chill along with me is a nice bonus.  The weight of the massager provides additional pressure, which is fabulous.  I want to start getting a professional massage regularly in the future.  Today, the thought of a stranger touching me makes me want to scream, but I know this is temporary.  Wow.  I can remember when the mere suggestion of such a thing made me want to fight.  That’s what I like about baby steps; they leave a trail.  Seeing that little bit of progress motivates me to keep moving.  And Beyoncè.  I’m off to twist all the knobs and push all the buttons on my new Arturia MicroFreak synth. 😆💜✌🏽

Arturia MicroFreak

“I haven’t had a decent sandwich in 13 years.”

RA by Hey Fran Hey

I got my special gift from The Friendzone Podcast.  (!!!) It’s fabulous (despite my crappy photo.)  The shipping box, the presentation, the product;  all well designed and created by Hey Fran Hey and Resonance Apothecary, specifically for us, (listeners.)  It’s beautiful all the way through.  M is upset I didn’t have the partnership acumen to purchase one for him as well.  (Ouch.)  Therefore, I’m sharing mine with him.  (Lesson learned, application in progress, ego pouting.) 🤪🙃  I feel a bit like I’m in school again.  The universe is showing me all sorts of things I either didn’t notice, declined to process, or wasn’t prepared to accept in the past.

I’m glad I have this new healing tool to help train my brain to adapt to these revelations.  The effectiveness of aromatherapy in this process is impressive.  I smell the oil (Embodiment) whenever I start to wander; both physically and mentally.  I sit on the rug (Criss-cross-apple-sauce) and sniff.  (Putting both feet on the floor doesn’t help me ground myself.)  Then I fill my lungs as full as I can, hold for a moment, and release slowly.  That’s it.  That’s all it takes to get back in my body, now.  🙃  My kit, even halved, will last a long time.  I think some readers didn’t order in time, so I’ll need to wait a while before reordering, (after they recover from fulfilling the first offering.)

Amelia B. my cat
Amelia B: S’up, yo?

The universe is treating me like an adult survivor who has sat with, processed, accepted, and adapted to the joys, traumas, and everything in between on my journey so far.  I’d very much like to fall to the floor and weep because I feel like I need more time to adjust.  But life insists; ready or not, here I come.  I’ve noticed the distinction between sad and depressed as a result.  I’m sad because I can’t make the universe journey at my particular pace.  It’s merely a feeling; not a condition bent on owning me before ending me prematurely.  (Mosquito bite compared to cancer.)  It took longer to type this paragraph than to move on emotionally.  Yay.

I didn’t know what to expect regarding my healing path.  Before I had my map, I felt like I was flailing about aimlessly.  I didn’t even know how to recognize healing.  My intuition served me well as I was already doing many helpful things without realizing it.  The vocabulary and comprehension of what I’m seeking were what I most needed.  It’s certainly a process.  I’m delighted that much of the most challenging work takes place in my sleep.  I don’t awaken from nightmares anymore, which is fabulous.  But I do feel like I spend the nights in an emotionally intense therapy session.  I’m healing my spirit.  (All this time, I assumed it was my mind.  🤪)

My mind is amazing.  It’s not at all broken.  I just had to embrace a lot of hippy shit before I recognized the mind-spirit connection.  If my spirit is curled up in the fetal position in the corner, my mind loses its effectiveness and reliability, (autopilot.)  My eureka moment lasted a while, as I traced the useless pattern back to elementary school when I had an epic meltdown in class.  I learned the difference between memorization and comprehension that day.  Before that, I functioned by rote and memorized everything I heard or read while comprehending little.  My mind and spirit were not working together.  I’m autistic, and the physical environment was far too hostile for me to be all the way there.  (I figuratively sent a tape recorder to class from jump.)

funkopops
My Funko Pop collection (so far)

Then one day, it didn’t work.  Parroting didn’t cut it any longer.  My teacher wanted me to explain with my own words and prove I comprehended.  I just kept repeating my script while getting more and more agitated.  I was like a skipping vinyl record.  When the tears began, I ran home.  It was a horrible, awful day.  Fortunately, one of my brothers taught me math from fractions to trigonometry.  He made it fun, and I love math ever since.  My mom was a voracious reader.  She went through at least two novels a week.  It rubbed off on my siblings and me.  I spent much of my free time as a kid reading the books my mom gave me.  Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Judy Blume, and Erma Bombeck were my favorite living authors until my brother introduced me to science fiction.  😆

In Elementary school, the only classes I could process were art and music.  I also learned about racism, self-defense, and the magic of not responding.  Junior High school was when I figured out how to cope with being in a classroom.  My science teacher, Mrs. Zeeb, was the first teacher I had that treated me like a student.  (She wasn’t overtly-even-to-an-autist offended I was allowed to attend school as the token black kid.)  She saw me as a human child and taught me about science.  It changed everything.  I looked forward to school for the first time in my life.  It was no longer mandatory trauma.  It was a place where I could find out fascinating information about the world.  It was a place where not all the adults were tormentors.  Mrs. Zeeb showed me not all white adults automatically hate me for existing.  I’ll never forget her.

loot
New Stuff! 👍🏾

I believe I scored well on testing because my mom had me keep a journal so we could communicate effectively since before I began school.  My brothers bought me puzzle books and loved having me recite mathematical equations for their friends, and do their homework.  (It probably would have amused teenaged me, too.)  Most of what I knew about the world came from novels and lyrics before I joined the Army.  While I had nicknames like Yoda and Professor Einstein in training, the fact I couldn’t pull off a conversation with people led to my being evaluated and diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.  At my first permanent duty station, they called me, E.T., because I was obviously not from this planet.  (I love E.T., so I was like, bet. 😂)

I’ve been filling in knowledge holes ever since.  The assumptions I made based on limited information were probably right once in a while, but it seems like they were wrong a great deal of the time.  (For example, I assumed birth control pills were necessary to get pregnant.)  Conversations with people are required.  😂  I played basketball with my neighbor the other day, and we talked.  I’m having second thoughts about being her friend.  I like her.  Her blatant, willful ignorance, also hurts me.  She gleefully announced she’s lazy and gets all her news from a single, questionable source while denying climate change.  (In my head, I was defining what friendship entails.)

I’ve decided we’re neighbors who greet one another.  I’m unwilling to invite her into my life as a friend.  I don’t want to spend time with someone who hurts me because they’re too lazy to grow and become their best self.  I don’t want to waste my precious energy, trying to coax her into being a reasonable citizen of Earth and adult.  It’s her choice to ride her privilege rather than live her best life.  Many choose this path, unfortunately.  Not it.  I’m low-level grieving what could have been.  However, I won’t allow anyone to hurt me.  I’m off to band practice.  💜✌🏾