Dreams, Tragedy, and The Holiday Hiatus

Poof!  I’m back!  I bet you thought I disappeared for good from blogging land, didn’t you!  Perhaps abducted by aliens never to be seen again, or traveling cross-country with the band of circus misfits that might have convinced me to be their new acrobatic horseriding lady, but alas, I was just lost and awash in the world of work and the normal holiday chaos that ensues sometime after Thanksgiving Day, and doesn’t stop until after New Years Day. Both of those other options might sound more interesting to me too, depending on which day you ask me.

The honest answer, in addition to the much-loved holiday chaos (and no that was not tongue in cheek, I really do love the craziness that comes with holiday preparation), was that the terrible tragedy of the Sandy Hook massacre, where some suburban nutcase annihilated innocence from an entire community, truly shook me to the core, and left me feeling inside like a house of cards in the wind.  I couldn’t write.  How could I write about sex and joy in the wake of that?  I felt inadequately trivial for even considering it.

I’m still not quite right.  I worry a lot more…about everything.  But, as all good healing processes progress, so do we find ourselves more willing to be comfortable once again with the world we were once accustomed to before everything came crashing down, and I am in that place where I feel ok to be back and living without feeling like a cloud of doom is hovering over me.

I was not immediately effected by the loss at Sandy Hook, but something I experienced made it touch me more intimately.  Up until this point, I had only shared it with those closet to me.

On the Wednesday night into Thursday morning, one day before Sandy Hook, I had a dream.  It was a dream that wasn’t even really a dream, as it came without any images at all.  I was finishing up a dream.  You know that point in the dream when you realize that it’s coming to an end, and a new dream is now waiting to begin trickling in?  I was in that space.  The first dream fading out had me in a warehouse assembling mannequins with other people.  There was nothing scary about this dream.  No mood of ill-affect, or any hint of foreboding.  It simply was a normal, weird,  everyday dream.

And then there were no images.

Blackness.

There was nothing but a simple and solemn male voice that spoke in my ear.

It was all on the right side, as if someone had leaned down and whispered in my ear.

He said, “I”m sorry I have to tell you, Fran was murdered today.”

What happened in the next few seconds after hearing this was pure horror and panic that raced through me as I tried to make sense of what I had just heard, and I flung myself straight up in bed, heart pounding in my chest, mind reeling, grasping for some bit of the waking world to hold onto.

She could not be dead.  This was not true.  Did my Dad just tell me this?  I think it was his voice.  It sounded like him.  Was I on the phone?

These were the thoughts flashing through me.

(Two pieces of background, so you can understand this situation better.  One, Fran is one of my closest and dearest friends.  We ere roommates in college beginning sophomore year, and we have been tight ever since.  We have goofy pet names for each other, have held conversations with each other about the day while one of us was in the bathroom with the door open and peeing, have been to each others major life events like marriages and births of our children, and know each others inner most joys and sorrows.  Friends for life.  Two, my father calls me every workday morning at 6:15 to help me get my lazy ass out of bed, because sometimes I like to sleep through my alarm. )

I checked my cell phone which sits on my bedside table on my right side, and it read 4:14am.  It’s a dream, it’s a dream, it has to be a dream.  It was not my Dad.  It’s not even close to wake-up call time.  Everyone’s asleep.  This is not really happening.

I started to cry.

I was completely and utterly sure it was a dream, then real, and now knew it was indeed a dream.

I laid back down, my heart still leaping out of my chest with panic, and I spent the next five minutes consoling myself that it was not real.  I wanted to call Fran, but she lives in Houston, so it was only 3am there.

When I finally got back to sleep, my alarm, and then my father rang at 6:15am, normal time.  I told him about my dream, and he asked me if I called Fran to check on her, but I reminded him about he time difference.  My Dad is in her same time zone, and said “Well she’s probably up with the baby, so call her.”, but I couldn’t risk waking her.

Finally after I got to work I sent her both text messages and a Facebook message urging her to let me know she was ok.  At around 9:30am (HOLY SHIT – JUST MAKING THIS CONNECTION NOW!!! – 9:30am the next day would be Sandy Hook), she let me know she was ok.  I never did tell Fran what the voice said.  I just told her that it told me something very scary had happened.  I did’t want to scare her, and still don’t, so no worries because she doesn’t read my blog on a regular basis.

The next night I stayed up as long as I could.  I was afraid to go to sleep.  I don’t have nightmares very often, hardly at all, and when I do they are about things less emotionally devitstaing like being swallowed by a tidal wave, or losing my teeth.  Both of which are indeed very scary to me, but those kind of dreams are easier to spot as being only dreams.  I was able o chat with Fran via Facebook before I finally gave in and let myself go to sleep. Just getting that time chatting with her made me feel comforted.

Sandy Hook occurred he next morning.  I didn’t hear about what had happened, except mild inklings, until around 9pm that night.  I was working overtime, and was in the office late.  I sat at my desk reading the reports, but it wouldn’t be until the next day when I would be sitting here where I sit now, at my desk in my bedroom, when I would read all the articles and be rendered paralyzed with sadness.

I cannot imagine a world in which that could happen.  I cannot fathom the kind of heartless and desolate soul that it would call for to be able to harm anyone, let alone tiny innocent children, in the way that man tore those lives from this earth.  I cannot, without rendering myself into tears and a throat that suffocates itself closed with tension, imagine what it is like to be the parent of one of those children, left behind on earth to live a life without the sound of their voice filling their home, or the look of their smile that following Christmas morning.  I wanted to take down my own Christmas tree because it didn’t feel right to celebrate joy when others so close were in such despair.  And I wanted to knock the heads together of those who took it upon themselves to use the threshold of the aftermath of Sandy Hook as a political pulpit for either more gun control, or less gun control.  I just wanted those fragile people to have their time to breathe, to feel, to be comforted, and not to be used as a soapbox issues.  I wanted people to respect that space, and imagine for a moment, just what it would be like to be one of those parents or surviving children.

I was a teetering house of cards.  I felt like if someone pushed me even the slightest, I would topple over, fluttering in all directions.

Slowly I am coming back, but I am still worry more than before, about everything: my daughter’s safety, my parents safety, car accidents, shootings, anything and everything.  It just feels like any illusion of safety in the world has been ripped from the very lining of my soul.

I’m crying even writing this down.  I have to realize that nothing has changed, and yet, everything has changed, and the two concepts are one in the same.

My cousin Mike posted this single comment on one of my Facebook statuses regarding my fear surrounding the days after the shooting:

“Fear is the mind killer”

So true.  If I allow terrorists of any kind, brutal soulless monsters, to steal away my joy and life by freezing me with fear, than they have won.  And that was how Dune became one of the book gifts I gave my daughter this Christmas, and ended up being the first one of the 4 books given her, that she chose to read.

I will not allow fear to wither my spirit.

Welcome 2013!

And now onto cultivating life with caution, but without fear, and unrestrained joy…one baby step at a time.

 

 

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No Down Low With The Flow?

When I was 19 and I had just met Norris, we had scheduled our first “date night”.  It was summer and I was home from college.  Read “date night” as us grabbing some dinner, and then watching a movie back at his place aka code words for “fucking”.  From the moment we scheduled it, I was anxiously looking forward to it.  That man made my crazy colored artsy girl heart go BANG, ZOOM well, more like my lady bits, but at 19 sometimes we often get these parts confused.

In any case, I was having my period, but it was waning.  Still, on the eve of date night, I still had it, and knew it would still be there for the “Big Night”.  This distressed me.  I was always under the impression that sex on your period was “dirty”.  No one ever told me this flat out, but I suppose it’s there in the underlying text when you learn about this marvelous womanly wonder. On the one hand here is this awesome thing that allows your body to produce life, and on the other, it’s deemed a nuisance, and sometimes, a painfully uncomfortable one.  One that is to be kept hidden, and spoken about only in hushed tones and whispers with sideways glances.  Congratulations, you’re a woman!  Oh, sorry, and also dirty and you should be ashamed.

So, needless to say, I had taken it to heart that this was something I should never, ever, consider coming anywhere near a man with.

Oddly enough, there was something about who I was at that point in my life, and luckily so for me, that I was brave and brazen enough to approach the subject with him.  On the eve of the date when he called to confirm our plans, I told him that I had something to ask him.  I tentatively explained that I was finishing up my “monthly”, and while it was mostly gone, there still might be traces of it around for our night together, and hesitantly asked if this would be a problem for him.  What happened next basically spells out how most of my 17 plus year friendship with him ended up being like: he said, “I had a feeling you were going to ask me that.  No, it’s not a problem at all for me”.  You know, that seems like such a small deal, but it was actually quite pivotal.  It’s also one of the many reasons it made him so easy to fall for, as a sexy friend, or otherwise.

This was the beginning of the reversal of any negative subliminal programming I had received regarding my period as dirty or disgusting.

After this I was never afraid to go there without hesitation with lovers, and I have to say I have been exceptionally lucky in that I have never had a man say “No” when I was on my flow.  “Red Wings” have been earned by many a lover, and many a cock have been smothered, covered, and love”red” with my crimson flow.  In some ways, it feels very primal.    I love a man who isn’t squicked out by something so natural, and likewise, wouldn’t justify it as a reason to pass up orgasmic bliss.  I find it hard to imagine enjoying a lover who has such a roadblock.  I’m guessing we wouldn’t be very compatible, as I am not waiting 7 days to stop bleeding just so I can jump my partner.  I am not that patient.

Its blood.  That’s all, people.  Just blood.  Hey, if you read Twilight and swoon over vampires,  obviously the thought of blood isn’t all that disgusting to you.  Why should it get in the way of your pleasure?

Sheets can get thrown in the wash, and come out unstained.  Towels can be placed underneath if you don’t want the hassle of changing your bed sheets.  Most of all, bodies wash off!  Continue that sexy time with sensuous clean up in the shower afterwards!

Think of it this way, if he says “no” to having sex with you for fear of period blood, but has no issues with the thought of anal sex (and thus the possibility of getting shit on his dick) then what does this really say?  Things that make me go hmmmmmm.  Might I add, I love anal, and men who love anal, and men who are just not afraid of bodies in general.  I love a man who can go with the flow.  Red Wingers, I salute you!

In the interest of good science, and just plain nosy curiosity for those out there who are so inclined to share, how do you feel about getting down when you, or your lover, is bleeding?

Ladies, do you avoid sex when you have your period?  If so, why?

Men, do you avoid having sex with your lover when she is having her monthly flow?

Or, because I just like a good story, feel free to share a similar story about this sacred taboo.

Everyone Has Layers, I Too, Am A Parfait

I’m human, and as sex-positive as I am, I still feel the occasional bout of guilt or tinge of shame from allowing myself to be open and vulnerable, written or verbally spoken,  about all the various places my explorations in my sexuality have taken me.  Recently, as I have been sharing these details of times waned, and those waxing in my erotic life, I’ve noticed a recoil within myself; a judgement, or a fear of judgement, about the kind of person I am, by the people I know, and those I hope to know in the future.

All of what you will read here in this blog are true life experiences.  I am not telling you stories, or simply recanting fantasies that have crossed my mind.  This is me.  This has been my life so far, and the posts you read from here on out will share what appears on the horizon of the future.  Speaking as someone who considers herself to be an open person, I can still share with you that this openness, this vulnerability, does not come without some reservation deep down inside.  I worry, “If they know the real me, the more forbidden places I have been, will they still like me?  Will they still love me?  Will I still love me?” (writing this sentence has literally welled my eyes up with tears, and this keyboard is getting difficult to make out through the blurred vision).  There must be something there for me in that thought right there, some nugget to bring into the light, that maybe, just maybe, I need to love myself more thoroughly.

If you know me in real life, you would say I was a fairly average person as people go.  I live my life in suburban normalcy; raising a teenage daughter as a single parent, working, and participating in various social circles and events that are completely unrelated to these facets of myself, and I like it this way.  I want my day-to-day life, and those in it, to be stable and rewarding.  That doesn’t mean that I want a boring and uneventful life, or one so riddled with routine that there is no joy found in the living of it.  I guess you could say that I want to be, and am, an “unconventional conventionalist” (Thank you, Rocky Horror Picture Show for that term).

My father once described me perfectly.  He said that as liberal as one might believe me to be, that I really am quite conservative.  He’s right.  I want a fairly traditional life.  I want to be married, in a monogamous relationship, but I “don’t want to be married to some dolt”.  I wasn’t always certain that this was what I wanted, but after exploring various relationship configurations, I am certain of it now.  I want to be married to someone who wants that stability and consistency of the everyday, but who is not a totally rigid and conventional being.  I want someone who is open and expansive in their mind, heart, and way of being.  I want life to have some adventure, vibrancy, and exploration with it.  At some point my father also said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t be mediocre”.

The Jesus picture my Mom has on her dresser

Photo Courtesy of: Today’s Catholic News

I was raised Catholic, but from a very early age challenged that belief system.  I just knew that somehow, it didn’t fit me.  I assume though, that as much as I didn’t resonate with that religion, I couldn’t help but not only absorb it’s core values, which are inherently pretty good (love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you would have done to you, etc), but also, it’s core flaws (guilt, shame, and basic emotional flagellation for anything remotely associated with sexual expression, especially so as a girl/woman).  Plus, I had a really hard time imagining that God was only a man, seeing as most everything around had a masculine and feminine duality.

When you’re raised in any religion, no matter how much you might not fully believe or resonate with it, it’s still very difficult to fully revoke the power of the framework that was laid.  It’s hard to unlearn that programming.  I’m not saying “programming” like as in brainwashing, but rather in learned behavior or belief as programming.  And honestly, not all of it is bad, so it’s like I have to pick and choose what fits and what doesn’t, and go from there, but then you have to reconcile within yourself why certain parts work, if certain parts don’t.

So when you learn from a young age that certain ways of thinking, feeling, or being, are considered bad or wrong, it can’t help but stay with you, and affect how you move through not only the world around you, but your own inner world as well.  I know even as much as I don’t consciously believe it affects me, that it still does.  Yes, what you have heard about Catholic guilt, is true!  It’s all true!

Photo Courtesy of: The Magic Farmhouse

Coloring outside the prescribed lines is not always easy, or effortless.  When the majority of people run in one direction, and you choose the other, there is bound to be some conflict.  Society, as a whole, doesn’t really jive well with differentiations from the “norm” as well as it likes to think it does.  This can be easily seen in any group that thinks it’s all fringey and unconventional, like say “goths” or “emo” kids, when their way of being different often looks the exact same on all of them.  Don’t worry, I have been guilty of this too, so it’s not a judgement.  Yep, celebrate non-conformity with conformity! LOL

I get a kick out of the kids that give me judgmental sneers when I shop in Hot Topic for band shirts, and I’m wearing a plain tank top and a pair of shorts, and basically look like a Gap ad.  I once had multi-color hair and mismatched vintage clothes, and I’m still as unconventional now as I was back then, except now I can count on being gainfully employable.  I actually think it makes me less of a poser than they think I am, because all of my unconventional tendencies are cleverly disguised in this nice, unassuming package.  Or, like my ex-husband who wants everyone to think he’s so avant-garde with the way he dresses or expresses his views, but is really a well-package conservative Republican.

So, although I am a person who is extremely comfortable in her own skin, I still do have the occasional fears that not all of the myriad of layers I have will be palatable to the people I want them to be.  I don’t want to be written into one category because someone assumes something of me, just because I express myself a certain way, or believe as I do.  I guess what I want most out of this blogging experience is for people to realize that I am, and on the grander scale, we as women and men are, simply not one thing or the other.  Life is not black and white.  There are a million shades of grey (not just 50, sorry E. L.)  There is no, “if this, than that”.  Being one way does not mean that we ascribe to all the attributes that one would assume we would, based solely on one way of being.  I am not to be pigeon-holed.

I am not bad, wrong, slutty, easy, loose, whorish, or less than because I embrace my sexuality, and all the intricate workings of figuring out just what that means to me and looks like, personally.

I am a good, loving, intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, kind, quirky, unconventionally conventional woman, and I hope you will take the time to know the real, all-encompassing, me before judging me.