We don’t have words for the in-between.

The in-betweens is that place where you’re not quite in one state and not quite in another. It’s not the same as being on a journey from point A to point B. It’s more like being in a place where you can’t quite say you are at Point A or Point B but both are somewhere close by but where you are to them is still a bit unknown. That’s the in-betweens. It’s the place of the un-named things which renders them almost un-real as if there is a real power in the naming or the un-naming of things.

We just don’t have words for the not quite rape and not quite a violation. At least I don’t know of them. This is the world I’ve lived in for a very long time. I’ve been raped, a long time ago. And yet listening to all the talk about rape victims and rape apologetics and how rape occurs, I don’t relate. But then again, my situation is a little different and who I am is very different.

I was that groomed child, born to a Pedophile father and was raped as a child. I was raised in such a way I lacked the ability to say no. Yet everything I did was saying no in the most non-verbal way possible. I was planking before planking was a thing. Silent rivers flowed down the mountains of my cheeks. My gaze became focused on the dots of the ceiling to count them. This was not a one-time occurrence. This was my life.

I can point back to that and say yes I was raped. My trauma and my reaction are different. It’s not the same as a violent rape victim but it’s still trauma. For a long time, this was in the in-between because it wasn’t violent, that I wasn’t beaten black and blue, that I didn’t scream. My image of what rape is had to change for me to even admit, that yes, this was rape. But what about the other times I didn’t say no or more to the point, I didn’t say yes either? What about the other in-betweens?

I didn’t say yes to a threesome in my early 20’s. I know I was sober and I still don’t recall how I got undressed. I wasn’t interactive. I do remember being remarkably bored and merely waiting for him to finish. I wasn’t even aware that I might have been switching in and out back then. I do recall the feeling of being pressured but it wasn’t physical. Was it rape? Maybe, maybe not. I simply don’t know. This is that moment of in-between.

A different time, a different man, having sex with agreed up conditions, for him not to ejaculate inside me, and as predictable as it sounds to me now, he did exactly what he agreed not to do. For a long time, calling this failed expectations or a broken promise just didn’t fit. Now the newly coined term consent violation fits and explains the situation. For a long time, this was one of the in-betweens.

There was a moment where I was almost gang raped, non-consensual partner swapping that I hadn’t agreed upon and was sprung on me out of nowhere. This one is a bit of a tangle to talk about, so much packed into a few moments of time. I still leave it in the in-betweens because a gang rape didn’t happen. It almost happened but it didn’t.

I don’t know if I’m willing to go so far and say the in-betweens’ are traumas unspecified. Some are and some are not. Some have left deep scars and other’s just an eye roll. Maybe someone has better worlds out there, different ways to explain things. I don’t have a vocabulary for the downside of sex. There used to exist, only one term, rape. Now there are two, consent violation and rape. But there is still a whole lot of in-betweens out there, some traumatic and some not. I don’t have words for them.

Well, I never!

I have never faked an orgasm in my life. 

I get on Fetlife and read quite a bit and it turns out there are more than a few women who have routinely faked an orgasm. It never occurred to me to even fake one. Oh, I can tease like I’m having one but it’s not the same at all. It’s identical to porn star orgasms which makes me think those are all fakes. Because I sure as hell don’t sound like that!

I have never dressed up in a latex suit. 

I have to say the shiny is very attractive but I’d look like some sort of blobby sausage if I got up in a suit like that. I’ll stick to admiring the photos from afar.

I have never felt the bite of a whip on my skin.

Oh, I sound like a wimp! But I’m not counting all the snap fights I get into with my hubs at all. That sharp snap! Oww!! If he can land a good one, it makes a nice welt and makes me howl but, of course, I wiggle and run and snap back a few good ones of my own.

I have never sung karaoke.

Nope. Nope. And a whole bag full of nopes. Hard limit. I call RED. This is not happening. This is dig heels in territory. I’ve had more than a few friends try this on me with a few drinks in me and yeah, still not happening. Nothing sobers me up faster than saying “Let’s do karaoke!”

I have never gone to a local munch, now that I’ve moved to a different state. 

It’s taken me some time to settle into this place and I’m still feeling my way around here. It’s a bit of a different culture out here and it takes some getting used too. But I’m at a loss to dipping my toes into the local kink community. I’m not sure what I am anymore nor what I want out of kink anymore. A side-effect of too many questions and not enough time and I still have to set priorities. Who knows? Might go one day and say hello.

So, these are my five “Well, I never!” statements. All true and All odd and all just fun to have thought up. So what are your five statements?

The Oddity of Dreams

Last week I had a dream I still don’t know how to interpret. My dreams are often prophetic or informative. This felt different in a way I had not experienced.

When my father died over a year ago, I spent the next six months having nightmares. Each one reliving the days after my mother died. Each one reliving the abuse at his hands. Each one in perfect detail and recollection. And they hurt. Yet the dreams stopped as abruptly as they started and I breathed a sigh in relief.

Been almost over a year and then I had a dream about my father.  In my dream, I returned to the family home and saw on the door a child’s drawing and pictures taped to the side of the house. The fury and rage that coursed through me should have sizzled me awake or at least into awareness that this was a dream. I opened the front door to see my father alive, healthy and in good spirits. He was surrounded by other people, unknown people as kids ran around, in and out of the house. Even the home was different- bigger, more alive, farm like. There were even goats there in the back yard.

This wasn’t the same man. It was as if I was given a glimpse in the multiverse and saw a version of my father that had made all the right choices and was rewarded for them. Family, love, life, grandchildren, laughter all surrounded him. And I, I was a stranger.

In this dream, I didn’t exist. I nor my sisters were born to him. And I went out to pet the goats, bemused. I was drained of anger. That man was not the one I was angry at. Yet I live and am alive due to his wrong choices.  We don’t get to choose the why of things in life. We do get to choose what to do with the choices we have.

And the goats. Never forget about the goats. I used to dream of taking care of goats once upon a time. They are so cute! And my father had the stock phrase of someone “getting his goat.” I guess in that universe he kept all his goats after all.

The Question of Forgiveness

This has sat in my draft box since 30 May 2016. It’s a very angry response to the issue of forgiveness after my father’s death. It raises the hair on my arms reading this, feeling the anger roll off in waves. Time has passed and with distance, some perspective gained. At this moment in time, I’m still working on the idea of forgiveness in my head. For what I demand of others, I shall be held to account in myself.

I find it infuriating being told over and over that I need to forgive my abusers. I’ve heard many good-natured people tell me this bit of homely advice over the years. As if it’s for my own good that I should heed their advice. Well, let me tell you something, Fuck No!

I’m not sure where they get off, thinking they can pass on this tidbit of advice as if it’s the right thing to do when facing someone who absolutely refuses to forgive this crime.

It’s divine to forgive.
It’s for you that you forgive him.
You forgive so that you can move on.

Blah blah blah. It’s a crock of shit, that’s what it is. Not everything is forgivable nor should it ever be. Some things are so horrible that forgiveness is unattainable. And what is this phantom damage done to me if I don’t forgive? Oh, the old train of being able to move on with my life, the whole letting it go portion that is a part of recovery. I have moved on with my life. I don’t live in the past mixing in on my present. That’s what I’ve gained for myself, not him.

None of you get to the right to tell me or any abuse survivor that we need to forgive. It’s bullshit. It takes away our anger. It takes away the right to our anger and you don’t get to do that. I have every right to be angry and I am. As should any person who as lived with the shit I endured.

I have a right to my anger. And I have the right to not forgive him. This isn’t about being a good person and letting go of the past from a spiritual perspective. It’s about setting boundaries and standing firm.

Saying, ‘I forgive you’, is letting the other person know everything is okay, that it’s something that can be worked through and moved past. It’s something said for many things and rightfully so.

I choose to draw the line. It was my choice, my boundary. What was done to me is unforgivable. So why would I ever forgive him, either in life or in death? I will not.

And those who promote forgiveness carelessly do harm. I do not expect everyone to accept my choice. It’s been made clear to me that forgiveness is a very touchy issue.

Forgiveness isn’t acceptance. Forgiveness isn’t for yourself. It is rather the outcome of a conversation that makes restitution to the one who’s been wronged.

Say someone stole some sentimental things from me. And in the silence of this person’s actions, I become angry and upset. Is there any reason for me not to be? Say this anger upsets me so much I can’t confront this person over what they have done. Is this where forgiveness is given? Too many people I’ve met say yes. I could choose to let it go, let go of the anger. That is not the same as forgiveness. Letting it go is something done for myself, not for the other person. And let’s say this hypothetical thief, later on, confronts me and asks for my forgiveness. Now I have a choice. Have they been repetitive? Have they never stole from anyone else? Have they confessed their crimes? Have they tried to make things right with me? If the answer to each of those questions is a no, tell me why I should forgive them?

I wouldn’t be looking to restore a relationship with them. I wouldn’t be wanting to act like a friend around them. It’s not a matter of seeking revenge by withholding forgiveness. It is a statement of redemption or in this case, their lack of it. I would not forgive them. Forgiveness is wiping the slate clean, a pardon of past crimes. Restoring them to a condition of innocence, of not holding their past crimes against them. It would not be right to forgive a person who’s done nothing to earn forgiveness. To forgive carelessly opens up more doors to your own abuse. Forgive the thief in silence and he may again steal more. Forgive again, and even more is lost. Get angry. Stand your ground. Demand things change for if they do not change, no further relationship can be had with them.

Forgiveness is about relationships, you and the person who did you wrong but they must seek to repair that relationship that they broke due to their actions. Some relationships are permanently broken. Some things are simply unforgivable.

Additional Reading:

To Forgive or Not Forgive: That is the Question

Forgiveness Is Good, Up to a Point

Does “Forgiveness” Make Sense?

Why Forgiveness is Overrated

Why Being Unable To Forgive Makes You Smart, Not Weak

Why I Reject Forgiveness Culture

 

Intimacy

I thought I had done shadow work before. I mean the kind of work where you work on all the icky parts of your personality.I’m fairly sure I had but this that I’m working on is different. I’m not ready to discuss it as I’m still working through it.

I’d like to share a memory instead.

There was a warm day when I was little, I think I was around six or seven and I had just left the garage. My father was still in that garage as I walked away. I was hurt and angry. More angry than I’ve ever been in my life. That anger fueled a determination that lasted over ten years. And a hate for my father that’s lasted a lifetime. That was the day I started counting down to graduating high school. I think I was only in first grade or was going to first grade.

That day is shrouded by a thick brick wall. There is a moment where everything is bright and gay and then there was me walking in extreme anger as an angel and a daemon augured on my shoulder as the sun sets. What lies between I have yet to fully recover. I suspect much. I’ve broken into the vault and gotten glimpses, seconds of memory that make no sense at all. Why would I study so hard at the dust motes? Why the pattern of black and white lines of shadow and light on my skin attract my interest? Why is the memory so far recovered only images? No sound, no scents, no emotions at all are contained in those memories.

But that day is the day I became convinced I was damned. I had two screaming, fighting voices on my shoulder and I wasn’t a part of their conversation. They were so loud I ran. I could not run far enough from them as they sat on my shoulders.

I was damned and this was proof of it. The demons my mother believed and feared in where right there corrupting me. How could the innocent be possessed? Surely that wasn’t possible, was it? Who could I have asked? I kept my mouth shut out of fear.

I think those two have always been arguing over me. I recall how loud and long their fights would be. So bad that I’d whimper down holding my head hoping they would shut up. It would be years before they choose names. And even more years before I came back. I didn’t last long. I died at 12. I didn’t return until my physical age turned 36 and a half.

Those two, the angel and daemon, the ones I call Isabella and Autumn have lived longer than me, seen more than me. In all these years I have never once asked them what they were arguing about.

That answer is a shadow I’ve yet to expose to the light of day.

The Deamons Among Us

Learning how to Love Yourself Part 2

Everyone ends up in deep conflict once in a while. But rarely does one end up in a full-fledged battle with themselves. Not me, I was in an ugly battle for my life with myself.

You know how family conflicts turn ugly? Take that and intensify it by a factor of a hundred and that might come close. I found out first hand just how shitty I can be. I am not a fair fighter. When the cause is important enough, nothing is barred, nothing is fair. I was an evil bitch. Just as weird as it sounds to me still, the bitch I was being too was myself.

Isa and Autumn are much like sisters in personality. Isa is my love, sensuality and emotional side. Autumn is my hard nose, logical, protector and feeler of all the ugly emotions. And me, well I was asleep. Shhh, I may be whole now but I can still break into my parts and talk still. Weird how that turned out.

And like any family of sisters, the fights are all too often over a man. And this was the case. I was in a fight over my husband, over my poly family and later on over my involvement in M/s relationships. Autumn was angry as hell. Not only did she not agree with my marriage, she didn’t trust my choice. It was she who was picking a ton of battles. In singleton speech; I was conflicted and unsure of my choices.

My husband is a man with flaws but a good man. And he was tossed into a situation without all the knowledge that would have helped us out. I couldn’t give him what I didn’t know. So when there were moments that Autumn would peak and lash out, he would be at a loss. Not only did I not know what happened, I wouldn’t remember. It was a crazy making time. Isa was often hurt emotional because she would catch the brunt of the consequences of Autumn’s actions. And Isa’s pain would inflame Autumn’s anger. It is a vicious cycle that had to be broken.

And what stress would create this crazy making cycle, you ask? Poly.

About nine years ago, I found my dear boy and his wife. I’ve known him since we were in high school. He was the one I let go and yet he was the one that got away. He is the father of my angel baby. I had a lot of emotions that I had vet to processed at all. After he left me and moved away, I boxed up his memory and tossed it in the back of my mind, deep into the shadows. My feelings couldn’t hurt me anymore. I could barely remember them.

He was once the one who’s word was my law. And I was only sixteen, physically.

Back then, I had no clue about Domination and submission. It came naturally to me and it scared the hell out of me. For what is this strange power to speak and then I lose my will to go against what he said? Worse, that even actively trying to disobey would have me crumbled down into a heap on the spot? It terrified me. And I hid as best I could my reaction to him. This was craziness. Why would I obey?

So when he came back into my life, I was a married women with a child. My husband knew my past with him. He could remember things where I could not. And I was like a moth to a flame. I could not deny I would do anything to get my dear boy back. In fact I did everything I could to do just that. Even ignore the hurt I was causing my husband.

That’s how the war began. Between compromise and unyielding desire; the players were set. The pawns were moving across the table and the queen sat protected by her king.

Autumn came out more often and picked fights with my husband. And Isa would run away on weekends into the safety of him who’s word was once law. Actually his word was still law. It took me a very long time learning how to say ‘no’ before I could shake it. To this day I have to actively use ‘no’ when dealing with him. Distance has made things easier as well as having a Master. But in person, it’s an effort.

I was tearing my marriage apart, on purpose. Autumn does not forget nor does she forgive. She is unyielding once set on her purpose. Oh Dreamwaker; this is why I asked about how to learn to forgive.

I was out of control. My blackouts were frequent, hours out of a day, weeks at a time. Home was full of emotions that I couldn’t figure out. Bitterness and hurt hang in the air like perfume.

One weekend I was with my boy and his wife and Autumn got caught out. Not only are my alters split on emotional lines, they are split on skills too. Isa is the writer. Autumn is my art, my gamer, my logic. And she was needed to do a job. My boy knows me well, too well. “Who are you?’ Caught what no one had ever caught and as such I could not switch back to deflect the answer because it was he who’s word was law. I must answer. I speak words which never before spoken “Autumn” and switched in the blink of an eye.

We all had a very long conversation with him. I’m still not sure all that was said. There is a wall still in the memory of that conversation. I didn’t believe him. I didn’t want to believe him. This I already knew but I sure as hell didn’t want this to be real. I thought if no one had ever noticed and confronted me, then it was just all in my head. Those voices were just figments of my over active imagination. I could live with the fear of being crazy and do my best to work on not being so. I could control myself. I must control myself. Ha! What a lesson to learn. I could not control what I refused to acknowledge.

The dam was breached and the floodwaters were rushing in. The voices were back. This time they weren’t going to accept getting boxed away. They weren’t gonna take my refusal of their existence. Quite frankly, there is nothing more shocking than getting slapped in the face. I had lost control over the most basic of things; my body. Autumn was strong enough to steal body parts at her will.

Becoming co-conscious was both familiar and weird at the same time. Instead of having my angel and deamon on my shoulder, I was instead the angel with a deamon and a very drunk, rude and crass man who could make her laugh on her shoulder. The I that I once was, was deeper inside sleeping in a grave only chiming out my age, an age that had no relation to my physical age. I had been emotional stunted at 12 and had remained that way.

I had died at 12 and my body lived. I know this know now. I even know when this happened. I know when the angel came out as primary. I gave up at 12. I had went catatonic once and wanted to sleep, see nothing more of this world, escape the abuse and be done. Except I blinked my eyes open at the end of the day and I got up. We were once a co-conscious system way before then. It was confusing as the voices were gone and I wasn’t sure what happened. I simply carried on. My angel, my Isa carried on with my life. Autumn took the abuse and kept it from Isa. And Jay, that crazy man in me would steal the memories, box them up and sit on them. Asking my age, was always a bit of confusion. It was the only clue that something wasn’t right for even Jay stole the memory of being split.

The first steps to healing is accepting there is a problem. The second is figuring out what to do about it. Of course I hit the books and read everything I could about this physiological condition. Even in that, I know I’m a bit weirder than most who claim DID. The core was build twice each with different rules. The maxim we had lived under was simple; “don’t get caught.” Fear was real and the consequences of being caught was frighteningly real. I was a child of seven afraid that I was deamon possessed, of being banished from her home, afraid of hellfire, afraid of seeing the dejection in her mother’s eyes if she knew her daughter had deamons inside her. The second time being built, the maxim was simpler “keep moving forward.” Hellfire had nothing on her as she lived in hell everyday.

To be continued…

Part one

I am still here

It’s been quiet here since February. I took a break and walked off, not knowing if I’d be back. During those months, life continued on. Up’s and down’s, oh, a whole lot of downs. A lot of family issues. And then my father died last month.

Hold the condolences.

I can trot out his errors, his crimes, his personal dysfunction and how it all has impacted me but I’ve hashed this out before. See Here. And a little bit Here.

It’s not grief I feel. It’s sorrow for all the what could have been’s that never were. And it’s a bit of anger at what was but not grief. And it is a lot of exasperation. At the cusps of his life, I saw him for exactly what he was, no more and no less. I understood the twists and turns of his mind and the whys of his actions, current and past. His was a heavy burden to die with, unforgiven.

He asked for forgiveness. I could not give that. I asked if he could forgive himself for the answers are inside. I did not deny him my love, for he is my father. The child still wants to love the parent even when the parent is toxic and harmful.

Somehow, my hate for him had dissolved.

I took refuge in the heart of Love and let Love guide my thoughts and actions. I found peace settle over me and change me. It is still changing me.