LJ and I had been primping in front of his bathroom mirror when I commented on how great I thought my hair looked. He's been wanting to iron it straight for a while now, and offered to do it before we headed out. I agreed to it, and *that* was the beginning of the end last night.
He made a big deal about how good I looked with my hair all tamed. And I thought I looked so ugly, in that this-is-not-me, i-look-like-my-twin-sister (no offense) kind of way. I ended up feeling more "not enough," standing in his doorway, crying and screaming about how I want him to find me beautiful the way I am.
OMFG. What is wrong with me?!
I went on about wanting him to think that I am aesthetically pleasing when I am most *me* - wearing my hippie skirt with my hair all wild and free.
[ I am wild and free. ] [ And it feels good and right in my soul when my body reflects that. ]
I cried and I screamed and then I calmed the fuck down and asked for what I needed -- for him to tell me what he does find beautiful about me.
AND HE DID. He took my journal, and he wrote it all down for me. So that I can go back and read it when I need it. And then he cried with me while I read it.
My vagina is a thing of beauty, made more beautiful by the work required to learn to see it.
My vagina is tattooed, the story of lovers and demons inked deep into its skin. Yes, it hurt, but I wouldn't be me without it.
It is Katahdin, the summit reached only after traversing the joy and grief and 2,000 miles of trail.
It is a sacred place of magic, where amazing things happen, from whence life will someday emerge.
LJ and I were talking about my moon time, my vagina. He was busy being grossed out. I told him I love my vagina. He knows my story, knows it's been a long road, coming to see my body (my vagina in particular) as a place where good things happen. He wrinkled his nose and said "eeeeeew." I asked him not to yuck my yum. His response: "ick."
I want to be with someone who will cherish me. All of me. I feel like he tolerates my female body because it's the package I come in, the cellophane on my soul. And, on a level so deep I can often ignore it, that hurts. It feels like rejection. It is the opposite of validation.
I'm struggling with my body right now. I want it to be making babies. Instead, it's bloodletting. Like there's a giant invisible vampire-zombie-leech latched on to my nether regions all the time. I often think, "It can't be possible, to bleed like this and survive." And yet, here I am, three weeks into last month's period. Still bleeding. I don't feel like the fertile temple of goddesshood I know I am.
And LJ, with his wrinkled nose and his "ick," is not helping.
There's been a lot of crying (on my part) this week. I'm hormonal, overly tired, and feeling "not enough." Not pretty enough. Not healthy enough. Not fertile enough. Not woman enough. (And ironically, not man enough either.)
But when I cried outside Sushi Ko, he cried with me. On Monday, he greeted me after work, coming up behind me, holding me, rubbing my shoulders even. He keeps asking me to spend the night. I know that he wants me. I just want him to want my body too, to see it the way I do.
I wonder if it's even possible, to be at a place where you don't want your female body but desire someone else's. I don't even know. Austin's right - I need a support group.
I need him to figure this out. To want me or not. This in-between is impossibly hard.
I'm not sure where I first heard this. But I've been guilty so many times of not listening.
He keeps telling me he's an asshole. I'm still not sure what he means by it or where it's coming from. Does he really believe this about himself? I've seen him be kind, gentle, even nurturing. But again, I'm not listening. I'm looking for all the ways in which I can prove him wrong. I know this much: if he believes he is an asshole, eventually he'll act like one. And that's where heartache begins.
Last night, he told me he doesn't want me to settle for him. He questioned if I was attracted only to the sex. It's definitely true that sex with him is blowing my mind in huge ways, changing even the dynamics of how I see myself. [And that's no small thing, given how stubbornly I've held on to this identity that never really fit.] But if sex were the only good part, the only part I wanted, I don't believe that kind of mindshift would even be possible.
I love his brain, his ideas. His stories, his words and the wit his uses to string them together. I love his willingness to explore whatever floats to the surface and his commitment to honesty, his realness, his self-awareness. He respects me, takes my thoughts, feelings and wants into consideration. Watching him with altarflame 's kids made my heart so happy. And the way he loses himself in a song is beautiful.
But it's not all roses. His whining makes me want to scream. The "I hate my job" conversation and his lack of motivation to even start looking for something else is scary when I consider its implications on a broader level. [What else is he unmotivated about, doing because it's comfortable, or unwilling to take initiative on?] The lack of self-confidence is sometimes daunting. Then, of course, there's the beast of gender, which while not a big deal to me, I really see how it is a HUGE THING for him. And it makes me a little sad that he doesn't want to go camping with me.
"Loving a person just the way they are, that's no small thing." -- Sara Groves
I don't know if any of these things are dealbreakers. I don't even know how to figure that out. He makes a big deal about his inexperience. And that makes me want to laugh out loud. [Tho I didn't, because that's not nice.] I'm only experienced in disturbingly sad, dysfunctional and failed relationships. Maybe I'm still figuring out what I don't want. Maybe some of these things will become things I don't want. Maybe one day, he'll sit on the edge of the couch and rub my back as I rock and moan my way through birthing our babies. Maybe this will become one of those disturbingly sad, dysfunctional and failed relationships. Maybe we'll find a way to be friends in the aftermath. Maybe we won't.
There's no way to know but to be here, now. And listen.
*melts* Did he really say that? What kind of crazy dream am I walking in? That's usually my line.
We've had some intense conversation on commitment and relationships. There's no title or definition here, but I feel like I'm moving at a pace that warrants them. Tho they only lull me into a false sense of security that's not fair to anyone. <<ech>> All logic has flown out the window here. I'm staying up till all hours just to talk or play or touch. I'm spending unplanned days and nights at his house. All the lines are blurred. I am so playing with fire. I'm not convinced that a label could make this any safer for my heart.
I'm not his perfect boy. He wants a perfect boy. Is it even fair to be here when I'm not exactly what he wants? Are we setting each other up for so much sadness?
"If we do the unthinkable would it make us look crazy,
Or would it be so beautiful? Either way I'm sayin',
If you ask me I'm ready."
Stupid love song is constantly bouncing around in my head, polluting my consciousness with the notion that we should just jump into this. And really, am I ready? What do I even have to bring to the table if he decided to do this, to be in this today? I'm just starting a new job. I've got all this -=stuff=- I've been carrying around. The overwhelming weight of midwifery school and desire to get on with procreation and baby-having. That's a lot of heaviness to pile onto a new relationship. But if I wait til it's all sorted out, I feel like I'll be single for the rest of my life. [And really, that's just not okay.]
It's all just a bunch of what-ifs and commitment phobia. What if the world comes to an end next week, and LJ is exactly the one for me and we were too busy waiting for perfection to even notice?
He's sitting across from me at lunch today, and I'm all dreamy and emo and shit. So he says, "Are you over me yet?" WHAT?!? I kept my cool and said something along the lines of, "Not quite yet." But I wanted to shout, "Can't you see I'm falling for you more and more with . .every. .single. .breath. . you take?"
Loving a Person
by Sara Groves
Loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way
Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through
There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free
Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through
If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it
[I could talk to him forever.]
I am deeply aware that I am walking in a dangerous place. I'm not what he wanted, what he was looking for. I am the guinea pig - by my own choice. I am walking into my worst fear. I am completely disposable. I have been warned and I have chosen to stay.
The tears I've built up for days are finally falling.
I have never been so conscious, so honest in something so real and so raw. That alone makes it worth it. [What does that even mean? What is worth what?? Just hiding in the fillers.]
Worst case scenario: He decides I am not worth the risk, and I never hear from him again. He is free to walk away. So am I.
He has given me every out.
Hour after hour,
I am learning his stories.
I have never been so
so willing to show
my broken places.
What am I doing?
*Why am I willing to lay down like this?
I am elated
I am flowing
My heart is in every word I say
I am terrified
It is impossible to be in this space without loving him. It's required. You can't survive this kind of intensity without love.
He is beautiful in his intensity, in his willingness to be seen, in his soft and flowing vulnerability. The potential for pain here, for both of us, is huge.
"The jumping in is easy.
The falling is fun.
Right up until you hit the sidewalk." -Ani Difranco
"If I lay here, would you lie with me, and just forget the world?" -Snow Patrol
Last night we talked about the violence he's seen against other people who've transitioned. We talked about the physical risk, the emotional risk of transitioning. The night before he cried and his body shook under the weight of the fear and the sadness and the shame he feels. and I'm afraid for him.
He is walking in a dangerous place.
Please stay safe, because I do love you.
He is strong and brave and beautiful. It breaks my heart that he doesn't see it.
[It's happening already.]
I'm afraid for him. For the risk involved in being real. For the pain of surgery. For the vulnerability inherent in authenticity. When he says, "I know why people don't make it," I am terrified I'll push too hard. Is it possible to be too supportive? To push him into something that is not real? He is tiptoe-feeling his way on all four edges here, a teeter-tottering dance. I believe it is far worse not knowing, not doing the dance, while your reality is exploding inside of you.
It's been seven days and I am emotionally exhausted. Is this just the initiation? Will it always be this intense??
Every corner of my mind is exploding. Every space within my heart is full.
I've never been so real.
I've never been so blessed by someone else's realness.
My profile says I want to meet people who bless the world by being themselves. [He is giving me exactly this.]
It is beautiful and sacred and he doesn't even know he is giving me such a gift.
And so I hold it in my palm. Turn it over in awe of its beauty. I want to deserve this. The heaviness of responsibility lingers on my fingers, my lips. Keeps being real. Don't stop swimming.
I am a beautiful mess.
Blessed enough to know.
Powerful enough to decide.
Graceful enough to dance.
Whole enough to hold this space sacred and safe.
I am wading through all the feeling of the last seven days. Unsure of the lines between what's mine and what's his.
His physiological sex and expression of gender are so irrelevant to me. Right upto and until I am swimming in all his joy and pain.
I am scared I will drown in all of my own. Last night he reminds me of the heterosexual implications of our sex.
HETEROSEXUAL <-- this word conjures up soo many scary words/feelings/scenarios of power imbalance.
"I am determined to survive on these shores." -Ani Difranco
It is not how I see us relate to each other. Even if he has surgery, even if he moved inside me. We are just us, Gloria and LJ, swimming in the intense intimacy we create when we are in the same room.
I'm meeting his best friends tonight. I am beyond nervous. I feel like I'll be under a microscope because I identify as a lesbian. Or I did... or... um...
LESBIAN <-- I am so comfortable in this word. Right upto and until it excludes
PANSEXUAL <-- One who loves in many forms.
YES, "pansexual" fits better. But what's the point of a label is no one understands wtf you're even talking about?
I'm so over all the rules.
"If you ask me, I'm ready." -Alicia Keys
Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.
1. Is innumeracy a word? I don't think so.
2. Bach's Cello Suite No.1 is one of my very favorite pieces of music. The first time I heard it was on West Wing, performed by Yo Yo Ma. It makes me exceedingly emotional. I've never heard anything else by Ma.
3. Coincidentally, West Wing is one of my very favorite television series.
4. It took me 8 years, and countless tries at this one single afghan, to learn to crochet. It took me one afternoon to learn to knit.
5. The only things I know about heterosexual sex came from a book called The Sexual Secrets of The Other Women. I pulled it off my sister-in-law's bedside table when I was 15 years old. I'm just now realizing there may be some serious gaps in my education.
6. I love chocolate. And I love ice cream. But I REALLY don't like chocolate ice cream.
7. I've been engaged to be married twice in my life. The first time I was 16 years old. The second time I was old enough to know better.
8. I'm going to be 30 years old in a few short months. While on some levels that really freaks me out (how did I get to be so old? what have I done with the last ten years of my life??), I don't feel any older than I did at 19.
9. I love word puzzles like Boggle, Scrabble and RobinWord.
10. Although I almost always wear the same jewelry, I love to buy new pieces, especially when I travel.
11. I spend an extraordinary amount of money on books in the average year. Yes, I could go to the library, but I never manage to return those on time. And it's not the same as owning a book.
12. The Indigo Girls is by far my favorite band. I don't care how much of a stereotype that is. I love them for their harmonies and the poetry of their lyrics.
13. Some years ago, while babysitting, I read the book Jamberry over and over and over and over again. I can still recite it by heart. "One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry..."
14. I love to slow dance, with my partner's hand on the small of my back, pulling me close. It's sad that life does not present us with more opportunities for slow dancing. We should dedicate ourselves to creating more moments for that kind of intimacy.
15. Everyone in the Bauta family has the same eyes and eyebrows. It's our defining trait. Ironically, my twin sister is the only one who doesn't share this. She is also the only one of my siblings I don't look like.
16. I haven't been camping in ages. This is the perfect season for it, and I'm getting desperate.
17. I often wish my friends and I were more musically inclined. I'd like to get together and play guitar and sing songs around the living room. Or better yet, a campfire. Maybe Kevin can help me become *that* lesbian -- the one with the guitar and all the folk songs.
18. Coming up with 25 interesting things to tell you about myself is much harder than I would have thought.
19. I like to think of my curvy body as a Klimt painting. Now I just need some of those curlicues and golden orbs in my hair.
20. I used to have my left nipple pierced. I kept inexplicably smacking it against door frames, and it made it painful to sleep on my belly. So I took it out.
21. GLEE has become my guilty pleasure. The show is addictive -- like candy. And Rachel is sooooo HAWT.
22. I love bedtime stories. They make me feel warm and fuzzy and cared for.
23. I used to feel conflicted between my feminist ideology and my desire to be a stay-at-home mom. And then I realized feminism is about my right to make those choices for myself.
24. I believe you should never stay in a relationship with someone you wouldn't want to accompany you on a road trip. If you can't stand each other at the end of that weekend, your relationship has no long term potential.
25. Nothing in the world is more peaceful than swimming naked under the full moon. And I don't mean my ass.
Weave your fingers soft through mine.
We'll climb the trees
and walk on stars
As the wildflowers looks on.
Lay in this open grassy place
And I'll lay by your side.
We'll talk of joys
and cry our tears
While feathery clouds float by.
Dance with me on the sandy shore,
Our toes like pebbles skimming waves.
We'll weave this magick
Just this moment
Here in this happy space.
My BGM was 88. And this was cause for celebration, for I have not been under 90 in some time.
I watched a movie "Happy Endings" this morning. And played on Twitter and discussed the perfect low-carb cupcake. And rediscovered why I love TiVo, for because it is hard to keep up with a movie and daydream about cupcakes.
I worked on my Super Top Secret Project, and took lots of pics so that you may see the progress when it's done.
I read and wrote poetry. I read my email. And I cried.
I looked into gym membership at FIU, and while I'm sure of it not burning any calories, the micromovement felt good.
I paid down some karmic debt. L and I talked about self-care and refilling the bucket.
I found an orthopedic surgeon for C, and got her all the details for appointment making. For because she is in pain. But I think too scared to take the steps herself.
And now, I listen to my Girls with Guitars station on Pandora. I interpret songs, sometimes on my fingers, sometimes in my mind.
(I'm a little worried about how rusty I am. Will I know how to tell you all the things I'm think-feeling? Will my fingers keep up? It may or may not be true that I've been brushing up on ASL Pro.)
And that Super Top Secret Project is calling to me from across the couch.
Sometimes I can't say it out loud.
Sometimes I wonder
while I don't want to know.
Sometimes it is lonely on the surface,
and scary to go deeper.
Sometimes I don't know what I'm reaching out for.
Sometimes I refuse to touch.
Sometimes I can't make out the details,
even while I feel it in my bones.
Sometimes I keep my fingers busy, my heart in every stitch,
for because I can't be there
And I am wishing to be.