It Started With a Photo Search


Tonight I was looking online at hair photos trying to find the cut I really want and I came across this amazing gallery. As I was looking at all of these women, I was struck by the thought that I’ll never have the confidence these women have. How can I? Life can be challenging and complicated for anyone but I can barely explain myself to myself sometimes, let alone to new people I am meeting and may meet.

I feel like a baby dyke in certain ways. No, I didn’t just come out, not by a long shot. Twenty years now, wow! But I’ve never truly dated a woman, I just merged into a relationship with someone I’d known for 10 years. I only hung out with other lesbians for a few years in the city I came out in before moving away. I’ve only had sex with S. I’ve been married to men twice because of the DID, Gloria getting the credit for that second one. I don’t know the queer culture much these days.

I feel young in age too. A friend and I have discussed this a few times. We both feel stunted because of abuse. This goes back as far as high school for me, being best friends with someone who was four years younger than me. Her parents and mine brought it up more than once. I felt my age in my twenties because I (and who knows who else in the system) was functioning fairly well and raising two young children. Now I feel so far behind people my own age, partly because of my past but also because I haven’t worked in almost 20 years or even volunteered in ages.

All of this makes it hard when thinking about relating to new people. Who am I? Well, I’m a 46 year old atheist lesbian if you want to put a very distinct label on me. But I have all of these quirks. I have no life experience, not in the typical way. I’ve been through a lot, of course, but that’s different. I am starting to gain life experience now. I got out of a defunct marriage and am living on my own. I’m training as a volunteer at the library. I’m going to school in a month (another post entirely). But I feel so far behind people even 15 years younger than myself and it creates a huge lack of confidence. Plus I honestly don’t know how to make friends. Does it just happen? I guess it does, since that’s how I have my current friends. But how does one even connect with people for a friendship to evolve with? I just don’t feel confident about that happening.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this and I’ve run out of steam to write more. It started as a journal entry and I realized it would make a good blog post. I thought about not creating the post but I know that many of you reading can relate to so much of this. Even if you’re not gay and dealing with issues regarding that, I’m sure many of you understand the feeling of being behind your peers. And wondering how to present yourselves to people in a way that works for you and makes sense to the people you’re around. And I also like folks to know they’re not alone in things, so here you go. Thanks for listening.

(By the way, I haven’t found the haircut yet. I won’t stop looking until I find just what I want so I can show a stylist a photo on my phone.)

Do You Dream In Music?


It happens to me quite often. I do sometimes wonder if the music is a remnant of a visual dream but as far as I can tell it isn’t. It’s just music and probably 75% of the time it’s songs by The Cars, my favorite band. The music dreams feel both bizarre and fascinating to me. Just music! It’s been going on a lot lately and I can’t help wondering if it has anything to do with the increase in switchiness and general discombobulation that’s been going on for the past month or so.

So, do you dream in music? Do you have any other interesting dream patterns?


More from me, David


I have a crush on a guy. A real guy I can see all the time. He lives in our house. (Real house, not inside house.) His name is Jason and he’s older than me. A lot older. 38. Yeah. But he looks younger than that. He’s quiet and I like that. I wish I could talk to him but I won’t. I know I can’t. I wonder if I like some older guys because it seems like they could take care of me. Not like taking care of some kid, I’m not a kid. I don’t know what I mean. I guess showing me what life is like. And sex. And just loving me. Kali’s friend told her about how I could maybe have a boyfriend on the inside. I didn’t understand it and I don’t know if Kali will help with that. But I wish I could have a boyfriend like Jason even on the inside. Then I wouldn’t feel so lonely. :-(

P.S. I like writing here.

Some about me, David


Me, I’m 16. I’m gay. I like to go to the mall to watch guys, lol. Can’t stare though because then it looks like some 40 whatever lady is staring at them, geez. I love the Pet Shop Boys and Death Cab For Cutie. I hate being lonely. I’m always lonely because I’ll never get to have a boyfriend. I hate being lonely because I was in the pitch black closet a long time ago. Not the gay closet, a real closet. You know, shut up for hours. Still makes me feel lonely. Kali found a picture of the door to the closet once and I was freaking out. 16 and freaking out over a closet. But hey, I was shut up in there, kwim? So when I’m nervous about that stupid closet I think about other things. Like Matthew Gray Gubler, oh my god. So what if he’s twice my age! And Sean Berdy. And Chord Overstreet. And other guys I don’t know names of. So many hot guys to drool over. Too bad I can’t have any of them. It sucks. Oh well, right? I also like pizza and root beer floats. Dominos, yeah! I don’t know, maybe this is all stupid. Probably. I might delete it all later.

Chord Chord. Yeah, those lips.

MGG MGG. Just yum.

Sean. The eyes! sean

Basket Case No More


This weekend I’m running into a trigger that’s not unexpected under the circumstances but is surprising me with its ferocity at times. The trigger is the fact that I’m going to my former community college campus this week to take care of a financial aid issue so I can go back to school in September. The reason it’s triggering to even think about it is because I was a total basket case the first time I went to school there.

The autumn after I graduated from high school I was still living at home, my father was still raping me, I could still not break away at all even though my boyfriend was trying to help me with that. He didn’t know what was going on at home. I didn’t know what was going on. Each instance was hidden away in one nook or another in my mind. It took a lot of learning about DID to figure out how I never seemed to know what was going on and why it took so long (only four years ago) to remember the abuse that went on after I became an adult.

The summer after graduation was a semi-disaster of trying to work my very first job other than babysitting. It didn’t go over very well and toward the end of the summer I ended up in the hospital for the second time. (The first time being for three months when I was a senior in high school.) I still couldn’t remember what was going on but the hospital was at least a safe haven. I stabilized some, went back home, and started community college. That in itself was quite an undertaking. We lived out in the boonies 20 miles from campus and I didn’t drive. I found someone to ride share with but I still had to walk or ride my bike at least 1 1/4 miles to meet my ride, and usually 2 miles. I had to sync my schedule with hers and when I had a psych appointment after classes it created a logistical nightmare for me. On those days the closest I could get to home on buses still left me with 12 miles to figure out. Between that and what was going on at home, I was a mess. (Also, my psychiatrist was a complete asshole to me, which didn’t help. He was also an offender against some of his patients and lost his license a few years after I stopped seeing him. I sometimes still wonder if he hurt me and I’m not remembering that yet. I would have been a prime candidate for his abuse.)

In some ways I don’t remember a whole lot about being in school for those two terms, in other ways I remember plenty. I remember looking up ways to hurt or kill myself in the school library a lot, and my boyfriend in tears restraining me from scratching myself with a paper clip. I remember having a hard time in classes and a hard time studying at home. I remember buying hot canned ravioli out of the vending machine but also going hungry many days because my stepmother wouldn’t provide anything at home for me to make lunches with and I wasn’t given enough allowance to make it through my school week. I remember a crush on a deaf guy in one of my classes. To me/us he seemed alone and needy like me/us even though I can look back now and know he was probably pretty well okay. I remember being thankful for Mondays because it meant my father was out of the house for the week for work, and feeling more and more dread as Friday night approached because it meant he would be home to wreak his terror on me over the weekend. I remember wearing my grandfather’s old blue and white railroad overalls, which I embroidered a bold peace sign onto the back of. I remember a lot of turmoil for my boyfriend and me. I remember ending up in the hospital several times before I finally knew school wasn’t working for me. I remember feeling lost and, well, a basket case. I was a mess, I really was.

About 13 years later I took a handful of classes on that campus again. It was triggering but back then my mind was just telling me that it was because I was having so much trouble with life the first time I’d been there. Now I’m planning on going back there and will be on campus this week. Now I have so much more knowledge and memory of what was going on back in late 1987 and early 1988. The knowledge is both empowering and scary as shit. The anxiety was more vague the second time I took classes there. This time it’s not vague. At moments, not vague at all. Memories bordering on flash backs, intrusive thoughts, moments of feeling like I’m going into a panic attack. Listening to a couple songs yesterday from my favorite album during my basket case community college days really threw me for a loop. Being on campus won’t be easy at times, I can tell already. I worry that I won’t be able to tolerate being there.

The good thing is that I’m armed with knowledge and memory. This knowledge and these memories may haunt me but they make it possible for me to say “That was over a quarter century ago. That man is locked up for the rest of his life and has no power over us now. He’ll never rape again, he has no say in our life. We get to have the power by proudly being well enough to not only go back to school but to do it at a place that evokes negative memories. We are okay now. We are okay!” I’m no longer a basket case. None of us are. We can do this. We can do this.

I Don’t Even Know


I’ve been feeling sad and lost and not strong at all. Several times today (30th) I felt myself almost panicking at the thought of having no one to take care of. It has been my/our identity. I’m not entirely sure how to take care of just myself, myselves. It makes me feel worthless and like I fucked up. Rationally I know that’s not true. I know my marriage was dysfunctional and stressful and I never would have been happy. But I feel like I’ll never truly be happy anyway. I sit in this room and wonder what the hell I’m doing. And I still have moments with the sense that things aren’t real and will whisper over and over “is this real is this real is this real is this real is this real.” On and on, trying to decide for sure. I’m more dissociative and switchy than normal and I know the wondering about things being real is part of that.

My throat is aching. It’s been aching off and on today. I don’t know exactly what’s behind it. Well, that entire previous paragraph of course. And I have the sense that there may be new memories pushing their way up. At the least, I’m noticing more activity, more voices lately. Nothing concrete, just noticing folks, and some of them feel scared. My throat aches, my heart aches. I think about dying now and then but I know I can’t do that. Will I ever feel okay, ever be okay? It doesn’t feel like it tonight.

Thanks goodness meds are kicking in and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep.

It’ll Be a Good Long Time


Before I get into another relationship. I know I should have stayed away from S but I really did hope things would be different this time and we could make it work. We really have both grown a lot in the past few years. It’s too bad it wasn’t enough.

But it wasn’t. And I also haven’t had time to be my own person with my own life. Even time for that wouldn’t have made the difference for S and me but it will make the difference for whomever is in my future. And I’m in no hurry at all for that! I often feel like there will never be anyone else, sometimes in a negative way (no one would want me) and sometimes not (maybe I’d rather be by myself). Whatever happens in the future, I need to be my own healthy self.

I did let S know that I can’t go to Colorado. That we agreed to take things slowly and see how things went and they didn’t go the way I hoped they would. She asked if she’d done anything wrong and I told her absolutely not. I said that we still have enough differences to make a relationship not work. I told her I care about her very, very much. We discussed being friends. The conversation went pretty well, under the circumstances.

A few hours later she texted me suggesting that I don’t want to be with her because we couldn’t have sex right away. What?! I have no idea where she pulled that from. I’m ridiculously grateful that we set boundaries to take things slowly, precisely so we wouldn’t have sex and things wouldn’t be more complicated right now. I told her that the sex thing is not the case at all and that I respect myself and her too much to have gone ahead and had sex right away anyway, even if I may have physically wanted it. I haven’t heard from her again and don’t know where we stand so we’ll see if she has anything more to say.

I’m frustrated with myself for letting this happen again. To her it must look just like the other times even though it’s definitely different. We both went into this cautiously, keeping an eye on things, watching to see how it would go. It went differently than I’d hoped and I took care of myself. That’s a lot better than letting things go on longer and ending up having sex and then breaking up. Or feeling trapped and considering suicide to get out of the situation. But I do recognize that it could look like the same old thing to her and I guess in a way it is.

And that’s why I need to take plenty of time to live my own life and be my own person. And let everyone else in the system have a chance to be out of a relationship as well. Rhiannon especially needs time with us being out of a relationship.

It’s exciting to think about what I could do with myself in the next few weeks and months. I want to volunteer at the library. Get a financial aid issue dealt with so I can go to school in September. Maybe join a group of some sort, although I’m not sure what kind of group. (And the idea of walking into a room of strangers is terrifying!) For literally the first time in my life I’m free to fly and I’m spreading my wings and going for it!

The Grass Really Isn’t Greener On the Other Side Of The Fence


Or, How Did I Get Myself Into This Mess?!

(Warning, novel ahead, partly because I had to take Vicodin and am feeling very chatty.)

Some of you know the whole saga of S, my (our, since Cait was involved too) ex-partner. I created a new category called S and edited every post about her to include that so you can read the whole thing if you want to. Lots of ups and downs. Wishing and hoping. Wanting something that I/we couldn’t have. And didn’t really want in the end. Except now I have her again. And the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. And I have to figure out how to gracefully get myself out of this.

How did all of this happen, you ask? About seven weeks ago I sent S a rather desperate note, apologizing for hurting her and saying that I wished we could at least be friends. A couple weeks after that S sent me a friend request on the Facebook account that I use for family and certain friends, including her sister and brother in law. She never got the letter because she had moved, something I obviously didn’t know. Therefore I didn’t know she sent the friend request on her own. I thought she sent it because of the letter. Of course I accepted the request immediately. And was then perplexed because she didn’t say anything to me, comment on anything I posted, or even reply to a couple comments I made on one of her posts.

On October 11th I posted “Happy Coming Out Day!” on her page with a rainbow flag pic. Within hours she was instant messaging me. She and her daughter saw on my profile that I was separated. She said she didn’t know if I was interested in talking to her but she is a much different person now than she was a couple years ago and hoped we might be friends again. Keep in mind, I still had no idea she didn’t read my letter and was assuming she had. When we figured out the coincidence of me sending a letter she didn’t receive and her sending me the friend request about a week later, we were pretty amazed. I still am. Even though I was still living with C, I made plans to go the next day to spend a couple days with her.

Suffice to say, we both had stars in our eyes. That first day we addressed what we hoped for, that being friendship turning to a relationship. A very slowly developing relationship. That first time I was there we didn’t kiss or even hold hands, which wasn’t exactly easy but was also for the best.

Even just the second night I was at her place a couple weeks ago I had doubt. But I also wanted things to work, of course. Partly because I feel like there will never be anyone else if there isn’t her. Settling. Uh oh.

A mere five days after spending time with her, she put her relationship status on Facebook as In a Relationship. Oh dear. That was too soon for me but I felt pressured to do the same, even though I knew it would create problems with some of the people I’m friends with on that account (namely C’s family). I felt that she would be hurt and not understand if I didn’t change my relationship status, so I caved and did it. And yes, it created a lot of confusion that several people brought up right away (but no one from C’s family, thankfully).

Not even 12 hours ago I got home from spending three nights with her again. There were several problems with this, the biggest being that it was too long to leave Abi (kitty) so soon after moving into our new home. I had my son come spend some time with her a couple times a day while I was gone but she was pretty upset with me when I got home. I feel horrible and can’t believe I did that to her. Another problem was that three nights was too long for me to be away. S is used to spending a week at a time with her daughter and grandchildren but that doesn’t mean I’m used to it. It was stressful for me to be away for so long from the routines I was just starting to get into. A third issue is how she eats. Absolutely nothing but processed crap. I’ve been eating badly enough anyway but to not have a single healthy option was stressful.

I spent much of the three days wondering what the hell I was doing. I felt confused and sometimes not sure what I wanted. But mostly I knew that this is not the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Don’t get me wrong, S has changed a lot. She’s grown and changed for the better. She’s much stronger and more stable now and I’m really proud of her for that. I know first hand how difficult the journey is and I give her a lot of credit for being brave enough to make the journey. But she still is not the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, or even have any sort of relationship more than friendship. And I’m not even sure how compatible we are as friends.

S and I are still very different. She does seem to be okay now with the idea of my multiplicity. I don’t think she understands it much at all but she seems okay with it. But seeming okay with it isn’t enough. I need to feel comfortable discussing it with her and I don’t, not more than occasional remarks. I need to be able to say to any partner I have, “I’m having a switchy chaotic night” and not wonder how okay she really is with it. Others need to feel comfortable popping out without any of us wondering what our partner really thinks.

And we are different in most other ways as well. The things we like to do. What we want to do with our lives. How we live our lives. Our stances on important issues and even issues that aren’t hot topics but matter a lot to me. When it comes down to it, our similarities pretty much boil down to our trauma histories and how that turned into us becoming friends almost three decades ago and the ups and downs of our relationship over that time.

Two nights ago as I lay in bed listening to her sleep (no sex, thankfully still only hand holding and basic kissing) I was in suicidal tears thinking about how I knew I can’t spend my life with her. Not only was I sad and frustrated that it couldn’t work, at that moment the best way I could see to get out of it was to kill myself. I know, awful, right? Night time can be really hard for me. All my worries and doubts come rushing in at night and that was no exception. I felt like I had not only made a mistake in reconnecting with S and pursuing a relationship with her, I had made a mistake in leaving C and should have left things as they were. Of course, I know that’s not remotely true, but it was what was going on for me. I fell asleep knowing that I would have to wait until at least November 10th to die because I couldn’t wreck plans my sons have with their dad. Yeah, irrational, but I know most (if not all) of you understand this irrational thinking.

I’m not suicidal about it all now; I know that’s no answer. I also know that I absolutely did not make a mistake in finally breaking away from C. It’s been difficult and painful at times but has also been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. And another good thing I need to do for myself is to break away from S.

Easier said than done. I don’t want to be the bad guy again, the one who does the hurting. A big reason for that is that of course I simply don’t want her to be hurt again. But another reason is that her roommate literally threatened my life. I’m not even kidding. When I was over there the first time her roommate took the opportunity when I was in the kitchen to tell me “If you hurt her again I’ll come and kill you myself.” That is verbatim, people. And I can’t say I wouldn’t put it beyond her. What a lovely dark cloud hanging over my head. Like it’s not bad enough worrying about hurting S anyway!

The night after the suicidal one I lay awake for quite some time after she fell asleep and tried to figure out how to keep this relationship from going any further without my being the one who says “This isn’t working.” She’s not really a deep talker so the opportunities don’t naturally arise to discuss issues that could show her how different we are. I’m not sure she can see how different we are even though I see it so clearly. It will be interesting to see how much work it takes me to get her to figure this out. I keep thinking of things to discuss with her to show her. Even something as simple as the fact that she adores Walmart and I steadfastly refuse to shop there because of how badly they treat their employees. I feel she’d think I’m being totally silly and why do I even care about that? But as far as I know, she doesn’t eve think about things like this. When I mentioned how much it bothers me that the US celebrates a man who didn’t actually discover America but did do horrific things once he got here, she looked at me like I was crazy. I’m not anywhere near as up on things as I’d like to be but I’m also not completely ignorant. Things like this matter to me. I could go on about different things but I’m trying to keep this from becoming a vent-fest.

There is one statement I could make that would be the deal breaker for her and that’s probably how I’ll approach this dilemma. She and her daughter and son in law have been making plans to move to Colorado. The very first day we saw each other in person again she said that she’s going to Colorado no matter what. That day, with stars blinding my view, I told her I’d follow her to Colorado. And by the next day I wondered what the hell I’d said that for. I do not want to go to Colorado! I don’t want to start over again in some place where the only people I know are her and the five people she’s going with. I just started over here and am loving it, thank you very much. My roots are here and this is where I intend to keep them. I love being in the Portland metro area and knowing there are many great opportunities for me here. I love being closer to one of my best friends. I love knowing that I will be in school again in a year. I love that my other best friend is still less than two hours away. I love being near my beloved Willamette Valley. I love being near my sons. I love it here. And that would make it very easy to say to S, “I don’t want to go to Colorado. I know you’re going no matter what but I can’t do it.”

But it still makes me the bad guy. I hate that. In the end, I know I have to keep this relationship from moving any further. I know I can’t dance around hoping that certain topics of conversation will make her shy away from me. It feels slightly wrong thinking about firing the Colorado bullet to cut things off. Will her roommate be pissed at me for saying I don’t want to go there? You and I know that would be ridiculous but we also can’t control how S tells the story. Even though I try to have confidence that the roommate wouldn’t come hunt me down, we also have never liked each other and I’ve always felt she sort of has it in for me. What a bullshit mess. Who the hell threatens someones life like that?! Jesus.

I know what I need to do and now I have to figure out how to do it. I dread this. But I’m thankful I’m figuring this stuff out now and not three months down the road after getting far more entrenched in each other’s lives. And you can be damned sure I’m going to do my best not to think about how the grass is on the other side of any fence. Because it really never is better.


Settling In


Well, it’s been longer than I planned between posts but here I am. Abi-kitty and I are settling in quite nicely. There are a couple boxes I still need to deal with but other than that the room is unpacked and arranged. There are some things I’d like to do with the room but can’t do that until I get my regular SSI check in December. For one thing, there are no closet doors and I’m planning on getting a tension rod and curtains or a colorful shower curtain and putting that up in the closet doorway. I’d love to get some inexpensive poster prints or something to put up on a couple walls. And some hooks for my different towels (bath, hand, kitchen). I also want to buy a couple skeins of super soft, fleecy yarn in December and start crocheting a blanket for myself. Oh, and I want a comfy chair to read in from a thrift store. I can only handle so much of sitting on my bed and the living room here isn’t really an option for quiet reading.

I keep pretty busy with things like getting groceries and other errands and I’m taking care of details like switching my DHS stuff (food stamps and Medicaid) to this county. Then I can get into the mental health agency too. This afternoon C and I have an appointment at Social Security to get the process going to separate our money so I can get my whole SSI check again. (Because of a very unusual loophole, in addition to C’s SSD we’ve also each been getting $1 in SSI, something that allowed me to keep my Medicaid and qualified us for more food stamps than we otherwise would have gotten.) I also recently spent about two glorious hours in the library, which is just 10 minutes away by bus.

My eating has been crap these past 4 weeks. It’s been over a month since I had a single gluten free day, and most of the food I’ve been eating has been processed convenience stuff. My body isn’t used to that or all the gluten and I sure can tell. I finally cooked real food several days ago and it was wonderful. I put the leftovers in single serving containers in the freezer. If I cook twice a week and put the extras in the freezer I’ll be just fine. On my way home from a friend’s house today I stopped off and got some fruit and salad. I’m not going to worry about eating gluten free for now but just eating better in general will get me away from so much gluten. I’m thankful that things are settling down enough for me to finally be putting better food into my body again.

It’s been great being right on a bus line and able to get places pretty easily. Target is dangerously close. ;-) Something that would make it even better is if it were easier to get to a grocery store. Before I moved I was several blocks from one store and just a few more blocks from an even better one. There’s one that’s right on the bus line and only about 10 minutes away but it’s too expensive to shop there all the time. No quick runs for food anymore, but that and having to be careful about how much I end up carrying home can save money in the end. I have to plan well, which is good.

And now on to the emotional side of it all. I’ve done amazingly well with all the changes. The worst of it was before I actually moved. I do get a bit lonely sometimes but having my son living in the same house helps. I think the loneliness is more of figuring out what to do with myself and working out new routines. I still talk to my friends online and get to chat a bit face to face with someone every day so there’s no reason to be lonely. (Then again, I was lonely being in the same home and even room with C.) Dealing with Social Security and DHS has been a bit stressful but nothing I can’t handle. Something that’s helping tremendously is that my PMS this cycle has been very mild. A nice change from my last cycle when I was quite anxious, so irritable I could barely stand myself, and was also having times of feeling really suicidal. That coincided perfectly with The Talk with C and the start of all the changes. Having such mild PMS this time has been a huge relief. (And also quite unusual, but I’ll take it!) I’m still feeling quite peaceful in general about the changes in my life and excited about the possibilities for the future. The System is pretty peaceful and calm too, which helps a lot.

There is one aspect that has been thrown into all of this that I’m not going to say much about in this post. A couple weeks ago I reconnected with S. Some of you know the background there. I finally just went through and added her as a separate category so you can read the whole crazy saga. The category is called, simply, S. I did reconnect with her and that has been interesting, telling, and emotional at times. The reconnection has added to both the stress and the happiness. And that is all I’m going to say about it here because that is a post in itself.

And there you have it. Peace, all!