Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Please help...

My wife's sister, Kirsten, is one of the strongest, smartest, most courageous, and incredible people I've ever been lucky enough to know.  She moved across the country to put herself through med-school, then lived in Alaska for two years for her residency, and then moved back across the country again to open her practice as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.  I admire her and love her in a way I can say about few others.

Earlier this year, just as she was struggling to get her practice on its feet, she began experiencing some difficult and debilitating health problems.  Between the medical bills and the lost work, she needs help right now.

I don't know who reads this, but whoever does, I hope you will be able to help Kirsten.

Please donate any amount you can through her GoFundMe site below.  And either way, whether you donate or not, please share her site through your social media; there are links to share over Facebook or Twitter on her GoFundMe page.  It only takes a couple of seconds, but could help out more than you know.

Please do what you can to help.  If not for Kirsten, then do it for me.  And if not for me, then do it for yourself.  There's no wrong reason to help someone.


http://www.gofundme.com/kirstenandtim

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Twenty-twenty...

Why am I telling you any of this?!

This isn't a diary, for fuck's sake.  This is a MEGAPHONE.

Jesus christ, I'm such an asshole.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Apparent Exaggerations...

Still need more time to write out the full story/explanation, but I did learn something that requires an immediate update.

I knew that the language I used yesterday didn't feel quite right.  It seemed inflammatory, and loaded with a ton of connotations that were not actually part of the experience I was trying to communicate.  But what other language was I supposed to use?  How else was I supposed to describe it?

Well, finally getting around last night to doing some very preliminary research into the topic of child-on-child sexual abuse, revealed the rather obvious fact that I'm not the only person in the world who has ever had experiences like these, and that as such, there is already a whole lexicon available to me to describe it, if I had only bothered to look.

I learned right off the bat that I was not, in fact, molested.  I was not abused.  What happened to me would be characterized as "Normative Childhood Sexual Play," even if it was a little more advanced than most.  The difference being, I was never coerced, or threatened, or manipulated, or made to do anything I didn't want to do.  All this friend of mine did was suggest the ideas; I went along with them willingly, even excitedly.  And I enjoyed them completely, to the point that I then went on to suggest them to all my other friends for the next 20 years.

What I went through was a normal part of growing up that pretty much everyone goes through at some point.  The big difference for me, was that it happened to me about 10 years earlier than the average.  I was regularly having sex in elementary school, and I was having the kind of sex that most other people don't even know about, much less start trying to engage in, until middle school or high school.  (Oddly, I steadfastly maintained my virginity, however technical, until I was much older; I think having so much sex as a child made my virginity seem more precious to me somehow, and I was determined to save it until I found someone I really loved.)

I still think my friend was abused, though.  It's the only explanation I have right now for how he could be so sexually aggressive, and adventurous, and knowledgeable, at such a young age.  And so it's still possible that, from his point of view, he was acting out from his history of abuse.  But whether he was attempting to abuse me or not (who knows how he would've responded if I'd said no), I wasn't abused.  I went willingly, and loved every minute of it.

And while I feel a lot better now, knowing that I don't actually have to wear the "childhood sexual abuse victim" label for the rest of my life, there's still a lot left here that I need to unpack.  I'm still not sure what all this means, or what I'm supposed to do with this new information.

Monday, February 9, 2015

We Are What We Remember We Are...

I realized this morning, that I was - rather technically, I must caveat - molested by one of my very first childhood friends.  And that this series of events was directly responsible for shaping a very large portion of my personality; of who I still am today.

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this.  There's way too much story there to be able to tell it all right now.  But I had to at least get this much, the realization of it, the acknowledgment of it, out of me and into existence, before I forgot it again, or subsumed it in some other way.

I feel like I'm supposed to be upset about this.  But I don't think I feel particularly upset about it, at least not yet.  (There is a small part of me, however, that is upset at myself for not being upset about it, for whatever that's worth.)  I'd always remembered - and still remember - our "playing doctor" as being entirely consensual.  (As much as it could be, at least.  We were about the same age at the time, so technically, legally, neither of us could consent; but we were also the only ones involved.  So how does that work?)  So, I've never felt - and still don't feel - victimized in any way.  I feel no enmity or ill-will towards this individual, and never have.  And the parts of my Self that I can now suddenly attribute to my early friendship with this person (at least, the ones I know about) are not things that I've ever felt particularly bad about or wished to be different.  Nor have I ever felt a need to investigate their root, or determine their origin.

Which I guess is part of why it feels so strange to suddenly know where they all come from.  I received an answer to an absolutely massive question, before I had ever even asked it in the first place.  There's an almost vertigo to it; the sensation of it makes you dizzy.  A memory you've had for almost 40 years, and suddenly, from out of nowhere and apropos of nothing, one tiny little detail you'd left behind somewhere along the way comes back into focus; and it fits like a keystone into place with all the other memories it connects to:  that time, that place, those people; filling in a hole you never knew was there; and now you see it all so clearly, understanding it all for the very first time, after 40 years; and that realization leads to another, which leads to another, cascading down through your history like a line of dominoes, until suddenly four decades of Self have been re-written.  You understand yourself now in a new, better, more complete way, a more whole way, than you ever have before.  But you also know now, that you're not who you thought you were; and you never have been.  So, then, who are you?

That's kind of a lot to handle when it all hits you in a matter of seconds while you're driving down the highway late to work on a Monday morning.

So, yeah.  This one's gonna take a while to unpack, I guess.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gloria...

It's a stupid song
Hearing it come on the music station in the restaurant
after the thumping House music that preceded it
I laugh
because it's an old song
a stupid song
so familiar song
My eyes close heavy, rebellious
all I can hear is the song
it comes back to me in the wave pattern
vibrating the memory loose
In the back of the old station wagon
Vista Cruiser
with all the other kids and cousins
on our way to Summer camp
windows down Summer wind lovingly whipping us
with salt sand scrub-pine lashes
making fun of the drivers behind us
SCREAMING this song
Top of our lungs
All of ourselves lost in THIS SONG
This stupid song
that I loved so much so long ago
playing overhead in this stupid hipster sandwich shop
with the sudden ocean-salt taste of these tears
being back there in that Summer
flying to Adventure in the Vista Cruiser
Nothing but open road ahead of us
As far as the eye can see

Friday, January 16, 2015

Screen Door Summer...

first days of Summer
early childhood
first, second, third year of school
when Summers first started to mean something

Free.

I am Free.

i remember
i remember those days
i remember that feeling
only remember
i remember one morning
early
seven or eight
both of us
myself and the day
just starting to heat up

i remember finding our front door open
wide open
propped open
because we'd just bought a new screen door
our first
to let the Summer in
i can still remember the sweet smell
of the soft blond wood frame of our new door
blending with the scent of suburban Summer wafting through
cut grass and pool water
dandelion and hot asphalt

i remember the sparkles of dust twinkling
through the enormous beam of radiant Sun
pouring through our open front door
flooding through our new screen door
pooling in two golden domino blocks
on the orange shag carpet

i remember lying down then
right there on the carpet
right there at our open front door
in my pj's
in that bath of light
and doing nothing else
doing nothing at all

i remember it was so warm
so comfortable
so wonderful
so perfect
i didn't want to leave
i didn't have to leave
i could lay there as long as i wanted
i had nothing else to do
all i had to do was whatever i wanted
and what i wanted was to lay right there
and let the blissful Summer Sun caress me all over
until there was nothing else

i remember i felt free then
absolutely felt it
for the first time
a sort-of tingle in the belly
like falling
or flying
the exhilaration of that new-found freedom
knowing i was free
knowing this was only the beginning
knowing there were months more of this left
months more to look forward to
the upwelling joy that knowledge brings
the surge of happiness at having nothing better to do
than drown in a pool of starlight

i remember recognizing
even then
that there was something special happening there
i didn't know what it was
not then
but i knew there wouldn't be many days like that
and there haven't been
this is the only one i can remember
anymore

but i'm glad i remember
it feels good to remember
it dulls the ache
left from wondering
if i'll ever get to feel that way again

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In Our Rags Of Light...

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

        -"If It Be Your Will"
         Leonard Cohen, Various Positions