The Satyr

Oct. 22nd, 2016 11:57 am
neversremedy8: (Book Lover)
In August, I wrote a lyrical poem, "The Satyr's Gone," about the loss of my sexual identity since the traumatic birth experience I had at the hands of an abusive doctor. By sexual identity, I mean the loss of my sense of self as being, at my core, a satyr.

But in September, I worked on a project, which involved reading old diary entries of mine, and it helped me see my sexual desires in a new light.  I saw patterns in my behavior, and could deconstruct and unpack some of it to examine.  Enough so that I can, over time, decide which parts were really me, and which were learned behavior or a reaction to harm that was done to me.

I'm still processing it, but I feel a little more myself again.  Though I doubt I'll ever be as I was, possibly never as overt in my sexuality and desires, when I do express them, they will be authentic and completely my own.  I will make choices that honor what I really want and respect my internal boundaries, which I violated many times because I felt I had to.  Because I felt they were expected of me, and sometimes because I'd been (quite literally*) trained to do so.

I'm taking things slowly.  Letting myself revel in small pleasures and acknowledge them for what they mean to me, especially those that I hold in secret, private moments.  Because at those times, I have a chance, without the distraction of someone else's desires, to fully examine them and claim them as my own for later exploration.

Last night, I drove to and from a restaurant to pick up dinner for my family.  Since my car stereo hasn't worked in over a year, I opened Pandora on my phone to help keep me awake and alert.  I don't do it often because of the cost of data streaming, but sometimes I need it.  Everything that played on the chosen station was in synchronicity with my life. And then an INXS song came on, and it crept into me, and reminded me that the good feelings I have listening to it came from a time before my trauma.  It came from a time when I was entering puberty, and my desire was my own.  I listened in the car to the song, listened to the sensations in my body and the resonance it held, and I knew without doubt.  The satyr was a part of me then.  She was there in me, developing, growing, and full of the desire for life and pleasure, before he'd ever laid his hands on me.

Elation and tears came as I drove home, because I knew without hesitation or doubt, that this sense of self was my own.  Not shaped by the desires of those who wished to control me.  And it isn't just this one song, but a chorus of artists who kindled similar feelings in me at the age of 11 or 12 or the early part of 13.


When I was 13, my step-father who'd raised me since I was 2 decided I was fair game. He molested and raped me, groomed me for prostitution, and rented me out to other men who raped me under the assumption I was 1. 18, and 2. a willing prostitute.

I told my mother shortly after my 14th birthday, and she called my biological father who helped pay for plane tickets to get away.  I've had PTSD since, though I was, until recently, managing it better

The traumatic experience of my son's birth brought back everything, fresh and new.  I've spent most of the last three years celibate because I needed to find myself.  Small gains often resulted in sliding back.  Now I feel as if I can truly move forward little by little, and with it, reshape my sexual identity.


Feb. 28th, 2010 10:34 am
neversremedy8: (Smug Rogue)
Before I head back to my writing journal for the week...

It's insane, I know. A 31 year old, 260 lb. woman with bad knees from years of dance thinking of even aiming for Parkour training as a goal, but that's exactly what I'm doing. I don't know how long it will take me, or if I'll ever really be able to leap tall buildings in several clever steps and a few hundred rolls (it'll probably look something more like this and nothing like this), but my ideas are never small and easily achievable, unless I'm planning my attack on the dishes. Since I don't have the health insurance to check out my knees and see if they need surgery or just some good physical therapy, I'm starting by researching the latter so I can work to strength the muscles around my knees to give them better support (it isn't going to hurt them, at least). My upper body strength isn't as good as it was when I carried Ana around everywhere, and my core muscles need improvement. So, plan of action: strengthen, build stamina, and tone up some of the core. Then we'll see where that takes me.

My brain, of course, likes to remind me how easily distracted I become. It says things like, "But Raven, what about poi spinning? You've got old socks and tennis balls up there, and you never, ever put them together and practiced!" This is true, but that has more to do with logistics (or so I like to tell myself, since it's warm earlier this year, I could do this in my own yard). If the learning experience requires getting to some place that requires transportation other than my feet, then it's a logistical negotiation. As it is, I'm still trying to negotiate Ana's aerialist classes.

But what I'm talking about starting only requires my environment at any given time, and we have lots to work with: exercise ball, yoga supplies, my old portable ballet bar, stairs, floor, and a big, tangly backyard.

Perhaps by the time I make these changes within myself, I'll have the means to get around more and find instructors who can show me the next steps.

But seriously, I can't keep living in pain and illness all the time. In mid-June, I graduate, and I'll need to seek out a form of employment (assuming my co-author and I haven't found a publisher and been told we're the most promising thing since [insert famous author here], and they lavish us with money all within the next four months), which means I can't take two or three days a week off for sick days. Even with this degree, without my Masters, I won't have many options as an anthropologist, and I dread saying this, but might have to revert back to my customer service/administrative skills to survive.

*laughs* I typed that with a straight face. We all know that the jobs I've had in the past don't provide a living wage, and the degree I'm getting, while useful on many levels within any job or work with other people, isn't likely to swing a lot of weight for money anyway (link clicky! it's worth it!). I'm starting to wonder if I should put in my proposal for next quarter's independent study the provision of time for me to look into grants and non-profit jobs that can best utilize my skills. Something tells me it'll be ok with Holly, so long as I put in further networking with the RSOL/CFCWashington and local reps.

Enough tangent! The short of it is: I'm working to become the man I always wanted to fall in love with me. Or Marlene Dietrich. Either, way, I think I'll enjoy myself more. ^_^


Nov. 11th, 2008 04:22 pm
neversremedy8: (Speaking with Spirit)
Last night I posted something in a rather narrow filter for only specific people to read about my feelings of inadequacy in various parts of my life. Today's post is was an evolution from the day before, all part of the process. I then responded to the comment on last night's post that I couldn't find the words for at that point. That comment seems like an important enough follow-up to the changes in myself that it deserves its own post. (Names eradicated to protect the successful.)
You didn't make me feel bad. I made myself feel bad by measuring myself against someone else. Please don't censor your sharing, it does help me more than I can say. If I see myself reflected in your words and find my reflection inadquate, it is not in any way your doing.

Recently I have reconnected with people of my past. G. is a successful actress and evey playwright (she just had a tour of her play), B. is now a man and a successful writer of erotic non-fiction, V. lived out her dream of being a fashion model and is now a rather successful photographer. And now you've made a major change in your life where you've followed the knowledge of exactly what you needed to do and went out to do it. Your (ally'all's) experiences are inspirational.

I just look at all of what each of you have achieved, and I feel that I don't have the same level of success. I may blame my choice to have a child young, or my procrastination, but I think a lot of it has to do with not being ready to accept my "good work" in this world. I think I don't see myself as successful, because I don't have the tangible, material success to show for it. I don't have a novel published, I didn't explore my acting abilities (assuming I really had any talent other than an early exploration into it), and I'm not living exactly they way I wished to be (not that I think anyone is necessarily living exactly the way you wish, but I mean to say that there is a great deal of resonance in each of your environments with who you are and what you do).

But I'm starting to wonder if my success is in claiming my good work, in realizing what I need to do and pursuing it. I got into a college pretty much on my essay alone--a college that rejected me out of high school despite my grades and extracurricular activities. Maybe they knew then what I didn't know: that I wasn't ready yet. Getting into university without having to work an outside job is a huge success, even if it's not as tangible as a published book or the royalties that come with it. Being aware of my flaws and working to change my behavior, a long process indeed, is a success of mine. I think I often feel like a failure in these areas because I want everything NOW and I want to be able to hold my success in my hands, not just have some abstract idea of achievement. You know?

Yes, you know.

I love you. Don't blame yourself or use this to censor your words. Be well.
And then there's something I can post later that I wrote about the very basic needs I have in seeing my own self-worth. I'll post it later, even if y'all're tired of reading my "oh-so-amazing-inner-revelations." ;)

Oh and tonight: Repo! The Genetic Opera Aren't I lucky? Ana thinks I am, and she backed it up with examples. Very cute examples. ^_^
neversremedy8: (In the Looking Glass)
It took me two and a half hours to open and close code the interview transcriptions from my conversations with my great aunt Alice. While I did it, I used my TA's suggestion of semantic fields to help me organize certain categories on which I wish to focus for my 5-8 page thesis/ethnography. My thesis paragraph and concept paragraph are both due on Friday. This procedure was totally worth it. No matter what thesis I choose (and I have not yet found the right words to frame my thesis), I have all of the data I need to back up the claims I might make. This is huge to me. I feel very reflective of my own values and views of myself in this light--like I'm more aware of why I have this view of myself that I'm not good at constructing sound arguments, and it stems from Rockie's constant demands to know where I came up with certain ideas, this need for me to always cite my sources, even in casual conversations. Now I have all of my sources cited for this paper, and all I need to do is construct an argument and fill in the pieces with the data I collected. I've never really felt I could do such a thing competently. Even my paper on Sunday, while I had reems of notes on my readings, didn't feel very sound, in part because I didn't give myself enough time to reflect.

Ana's teacher and I had our conference yesterday afternoon and discussed Ana's lack of reflection in her reading. I realized I did something similar, for although I can glean quite a bit of information from a reading, I don't usually dig very deeply into it. I've gotten by most of my life on being able to write bullshit and getting an A on it, because even my casual perusal was usually analytical enough for the average human. Now I have a chance to prove to myself that with a combination of passion, reflection, and serious delving into the data provided, I can create a valid, deep, structure argument. A sound one. Just this morning, I ran into Marco, one of the dads at Giddens and he mentioned needing to write today. I inquired into his project, and he said his "fall project" was looking at the food consumed during year 1 BC. I had a mock conversation with him in my head about how I'd never be able to handle writing non-fiction because I'm not good at backing up my arguments and I didn't want to publish three hundred pages of bullshit. At least with fiction, I can create a universe in which my arguments are always sound and everything works to my rules--and let's not forget the use of poetic language that is often found lacking in historical non-fiction. Anyway ...

I've been rather stressed... )

And the funniest part is, I now have the budding skills of an ethnographer and could print out all that I just wrote about my experiences today, open code each line, create semantic fields, and go back to close code everything in search of points to back up any themes I might wish to focus on. I could gain greater insight into my own views of self, health/sickness, values, and cultural beliefs. Ha! No matter the grades I get, this is the type of learning I was looking for when I returned to college. Gaining more of the skills I feel I need to be a whole, well-rounded human being. I could even manage to analyze my language for patterns in use and how they might connect to cultural contexts.

Oh, and did I mention that my attempts at begging worked? The prof for the BIO-ANTH 477 class, which requires a pre-req in BIO A 201, which I don't yet have, gave me the add codes anyway. I'll get to take a class on viewing human gender evolution in a variety of cultures. Yippee!

Also, yesterday, I sat down and brainstormed the ideas of what my values are for education on becoming a whole human being. I told Ana what I was about, and backed it up by saying, "and you know that these are my values, mommy doesn't actually possess all of these ... yet."

I began with the quote:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein
Emphasis mine for all things I have thus accomplished. I would add a few things to that (e.g. birth a baby), but the concept is what interested me most. That to be whole, one must have exposure to and experience in the basics of a broad range of topics. I told Ana I would type up my ideas later and formulate them into something more eloquent. I asked her if she'd like to read it when I was finished, and she nodded her head adamantly. (I know I did take a look at educational goals I would have for a school if I designed one, but they looked more at classes, and I realized that what I really should like at for my expectations of self, daughter, and future projects, is not a range of classes, but a range of values that could be achieved by a combination of classes, experiences, and other elements.)

At some point I also need to take another look at the recent death and death-related experiences I've had in the last year. I think Ana needs more coping skills offered to her as well, since her main one currently seems to be to ignore the world and plunge into computers and video games. But that's an entirely different post.

I'm out of time now. I need to go get Ana. With my short amount of time left, I could read more of the Hmong book, write up notes for the bio-med timeline I have due on Friday, or write notes for preparing my thesis. I think I've already ruled out reading, because I can do that any time. Note writing seems like a good idea, since I'm so clear and organized in my thoughts right now.

Whatever you take from this, please remember to always take breaks when you feel yourself overwhelmed. Real breaks aren't escapist, they are the exact opposite. Real breaks bring you back into your body and recenter your being on all levels. Find your path to achieving this when you need to. Love to all. Be well.
neversremedy8: (Girlfriends B&W)
Please send healing thoughts to [ profile] damashita and [ profile] sebab. Thank you.


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