You are the sky. Joy is the atmosphere. Everything else is just weather.

Danielle LaPorte on Roundhouse Radio’s Trying to Be Good talking about why she focuses on joy. (23:30) She describes it as not being the same as happiness, which is “sort of carbonated. Happiness moves, it’s the weather, it’s the clouds. But joy is the atmosphere.” I started floating a little bit when I heard this.

“Joy is so big that you can feel anything in the midst of it. You can feel joy and still feel rage.” And then she made me jump in my seat. “You can feel joy and feel grief.”

I was alarmed, jarred, startled by this statement while being flooded with hope that it might be true. I did a quick scan of her other assertions to discern the likelihood of the accuracy of this possibility. She says we can feel joy and still feel rage. Do I have any evidence to support/refute that claim? Cue a memory of the plate smashing exercise from last month. (Thanks, brain.) That was one of the most joy-rooted activities I’ve ever done. So, yes, I can say that joy and rage can simultaneous be true.

So, holy fuck, is it really possible that I can be rooted in joy and grieve at the same time? Joy is not going to be ripped away from me by my grief? That is news!

I just got a whole lot safer to put my cat to sleep when the day comes. And the dread in anticipation of that day and the future days of never being able to touch him again or hear him purr, the trembling dread is a little more still. Yes, I won’t have a Rufus to reward my sense of sight, touch, hearing, but I will still have joy.

Oh. Yes, please.

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Whose truth is it?

God love Mara Glatzel. She says the things I know, but she says them in a way I will listen.

Started Ferocious Truth with her last week. Fucking head cannons everywhere. Starting with this one: “There will always be more than one version of the same story for you to pick up and play with at any one moment.”

My own personal revelations:

Tuesday: For the last 18 months now, I get knocked down to a comatose bag of guts every time I travel or even when friends I adore come to visit me for a few days. I’ve been judging the shit out of myself for that. I have been hearing my stepmom’s voice telling me that it’s unacceptable, the response my body has to these types of events. So, I’ve mainly tried limiting the negative effect it has on other people. I thought it was so radically accepting of me when I decided this year that I schedule an equal number of down-days as any trip I go on – but the whole point was to help me avoid disappointing other people when I got back and couldn’t function for a few days. So, finally, I decided to try owning my mess and I summoned the courage to tell a few people. Those people weren’t upset with me for being like this. They were worried that I was suffering and they were hopeful that maybe there was help so I could suffer less. So, I reached out to my homeopath and talked it out with him and my remedy is in the mail and we are going to start getting to the bottom of this. Massive.

Wednesday: Walked an hour at the lakefront before this truth finally started talking through my voice box.

ff2b004510d01601c465a30aa001fba9John and I don’t “fight.” What we do instead is live quite peacefully and happily until he misinterprets something completely benign that I’ve said as an attack. And he gets super defensive and then gets really upset with me for hurting him. I remember what it is like to live under constant assault. My stepmom terrorized me. I was regularly under attack and when I responded by being hurt or recoiling, I got attacked for that, too. So, when John is triggered by something random, and he thinks I am attacking him, I go into care-taker mode and try to get us back to safe ground ASAP, trying to resolve the misunderstanding and assure him that I don’t have these negative opinions toward him or his actions that he is accusing me of. But that damage-control response is also hugely motivated by my fear that having any emotional response from me will just escalate it, so I am terrified and he is terrified but blaming me, and all I want is to get safe again because I am worried he is about to leave forever over something that was a complete misunderstanding. But all this means that I’ve been lying to myself for 8+ years about being emotionally hurt when he accuses me of hurting him when I’M NOT HURTING ANYONE. So, here’s the truth: THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT AND I AM A GODDAMN HUMAN BEING SO I HAVE FEELINGS TOO AND BEING ACCUSED OF ATTACKING THE PERSON I LOVE IS A GODDAMN ATTACK IN ITSELF AND I AM FURIOUS THIS PATTERN IS PART OF MY LIFE AND I DEMAND BETTER. Luckily, I finally realize that I don’t have to act on this new realization yet, I get to process it and decide how I want to bring John into it at a future date when I decide I am ready. I was worried that acknowledging my anger and pain would mean I was required to act instantly and that scared the fuck out of me, so I wouldn’t go there. Mara reminds me that I don’t have to do jack shit until I decide to, so right now it’s huge just to FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY acknowledge how bad I get hurt when that pattern happens. BTW – it happens a few times a week. But we somehow continue with this narrative about how we don’t fight.

Thursday: Rufus is dying. Prognosis is his kidneys are way worse and I’m a goddamn wreck.Rufus and Heather

My stomach basically quit working the day he was at the vet last week. I can’t eat decent food, and for a bunch of nights I was having nightmares so I couldn’t sleep. I’m shaky and I cry a lot. It’s the physiological shakiness that I’ve been attacking myself over. I have reclaimed crying – I can defend it pretty easily when I hear Polly’s stupid fucking voice in my  head. But when it comes to what is happening inside my body, which, reminder: I HAVE NO GODDAMN CONTROL OVER, it’s Polly’s motherfucking voice just insisting that I am so, so bad for not being 1. in control of my own body, 2. controlling it in a way that makes it perfectly cooperative to what everyone else’s body would be able to do and 3. 100% sure all the commitments I’m making are going to get done because I’m pretty emotional and sometimes that makes it hard for my brain to concentrate on anything at all.

Today: So, I’m laying on the couch, crying about how “bad” I am. I am so upset that I am so bad, even though I have spent my whole life trying not to be bad. I am incapable of not being what Polly taught me is to be hated. And that is devastating. I am totally powerless to change that I am so, so bad. No wonder I was a suicidal 11 year old. What other conclusion is there?

Luckily, Who I Really Am spoke up a little while ago to remind me that the “bad” me isn’t the one we have a problem with. It’s the part of my that judges the rest of me that actually earns my wrath. This is already pretty relieving news. Makes enough space in my psyche for me to sit up and at least go get some Ensure from the fridge because only the judge thinks I don’t deserve nourishment and only the judge is confused about how much quicker I will “get with the program” if my basic nutritional needs aren’t met.

But here comes Mara. Telling me that I will never be anyone other than who I am. And that is like deliverance. It reminds me of one of the most meaningful exercises I did when I started recovering from my eating disorder 10 years ago. “Imagine a world in which no one’s body changes at all. Ever. No one can do anything to alter the appearance or condition of their body.” When I imagined this, I felt the iceberg of body-hatred in which I was encapsulated instantly melt and slosh to the floor in a crashing wave. If I literally COULDN’T change myself, then I wouldn’t believe that my entire life responsibility revolved around the obligation to successfully change myself. It would become a non-issue.

So it goes with being someone other than I am. I’ve been spending most of my life, desperately trying to become not-me. But, apparently, that is not possible. It’s not even an option. So, two things: 1) I can focus on something else because this goal is a non-starter, and 2) I AM NOT A FAILURE for never having become someone other than me – because it’s not possible.

I can live my life, give up that plan/dream/goal/intention of becoming not-me, and I don’t even have to accept the label of failure or even of disobedient (my attempt to reframe the label of failure because sometimes I willful fail at living up to the demands of the Polly that lives in my head).

This is what we have. It’s crazy how many different times and ways I have to learn the same lesson. But for real, getting more proficient at being this person I am, at being a person at all,

 

 

Today’s Disobedience, or, How to Make Me Come

It’s possible that I didn’t close the tab I was reading while video games dominated the TV.

It’s possible that when I opened my computer this morning to begin working, An Archive of Our Own was open to a collection of one-shots called Sherlollipops, in which Sherlock and his pathologist get into their (and mine and your) shares of smutty fun. And it’s possible that I glanced harmlessly at the words on the screen and then 90 minutes and 6 orgasms later, I’m finally beginning my work day quite a bit later than usual.

During that glorious interim, I may have read a few more one-shots in that collection, visited my Pinterest page of Benedict Cumbarbatch pics and gifs of him clearly prepared to have his way with me, and then listened twice to this little Youtube masterpiece of Benedict reciting Ode to a Nightingale accompanied by a series of photos of him clearly prepared to have his way with me. Oh, and that Pinterest page may also have interspersed gifs of exemplary spanking and satisfyingly realistic nipple teasing that I can play while Benedict looks impatiently into my eyes.

I could have just started working this morning instead of clicking the mouse and writing up this recap while my fingers are still tingling from handy Lelo Lily 1. This beats obedience any day. (Pun intended.)