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I thought it would be nice for people who were posting here (yes I am looking at you Cass & Sean) to write little mini-intros if they want to, especially now that we are reading a bunch of new journals written by people who are not other multiples. I am putting them in ABC order so nobody can complain.

Cassandra )

David )

Sean )
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Look! I am posting!

It has been forever because I have not been taking much time in the body, and also because Cassandra has been focusing on writing, and making some very good progress on it. But it is a Friday and we have to go to our daughter's school in an hour to help out with her holiday party and listen to her holiday sing-a-long and so forth, so there is definitely not going to be any writing today, and also we are sick in the body so not really feeling focused, and we have finished a lot of books lately so are not in the mood to read so -- look, here I am!

It is funny how I can go months and months without expressing myself in any way really, not here or anywhere else, and then suddenly I start to talk/write again and it is lovely and feels not just wonderful but vital, like I am alive. Which I think means I don't feel very alive when I am not expressing myself, but I'm not sure; when I don't want to I really, really don't want to and it feels horrible to try to make myself. I am sure it is fine however it is but I am curious about it because I like this more, and also Cassandra has this theory that when we get shut down it is about shame, which is an emotion that I know the word for but until recently nobody really knew what it felt like. Sometimes now we can spot it, but I think for my part of the system shame is just that feeling like you have to hold as still as possible and just cannot talk/share/move/desire/look/hear/etc. When it is really bad we don't want to get out of bed but with two kids lying in bed isn't really possible, which is a good thing since it means we are out living our life.

Anyway, it is a new thought, that the shutdown feeling I have been experiencing where I don't want to communicate with anyone or even write down my own thoughts for myself, might be a kind of shame about being seen and fear of being judged and all those things. I am not sure yet what I think but I am going to keep it in mind. In the meanwhile I am writing here right now, and I am hoping to maybe get a penpal or two via Instagram but it is hard because I am not only 15 but I am really not 40, so I don't feel like I can just write back to someone who says 'I want a penpal between 15 and 30...' -- where do I fall? So I am posting my own ad instead about being multiple but we will see what happens. I have gotten penpals like 87 times in my life and always, always, always when it comes time to write them back I just fall apart and don't, and sometimes other people do, or they bridge it and I do some of it, but always inevitably that paralysis happens and I just cannot stand even the THOUGHT of writing to someone and then a year goes by. Ugh. This time I am going to think it is shame and deal with it directly and not let it win. But first I need the penpal!

I am being reminded we need to change into Mommy Clothes which is true, I am wearing fleece pants and a way too big sweater, it is very cold outside (for here) and our house doesn't have central heat so to stay warm we have lots of comfy old clothes on. But I will not be happy if we go to the school like this, I have a bunch of Mommy Uniforms which are jeans & shirts & stuff that are current and not stained. Anyway, I should go do that.
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I watched the first two episdoes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix yesterday because I was told that the main character was a lot like me, and um... well, I was all ready to be offended by this, but no, she kind of is. I do not wear a yellow sweater all the time, though. :-) But it is a very funny show, and while it is a comedy and just skips over lots of things which would really happen (how much scared there would be in the open sky and learning to move your body and talk to people and all of that) it actually touches some things really nicely -- what it is like to be in the world after years of being out of it, the way PTSD is for some people, where really things are very ordinary on the surface but sometimes your reactions are slightly off-kilter because your normal is so very different from other people's normal. Being multiple it is easier for all of us because we have each other to check against, although that can also go a bad way where it ends up being really constricted and nobody lets anyone talk in case the honest reactions are too weird.

There is a bit in the first episode where someone tells Kimmy that they want to protect her, and she says, "Protect me from what? The worst thing that ever happened to me happened in my front yard." And I have been thinking about that a lot. I have had some worst in the past, not a lot, but some. I am sure life could do more worst to me, it probably will just because I plan to be alive for a long time and do a lot of things. But I am not willing to quit being alive and only do really careful safe things and never talk to people and pretend not to exist to avoid feeling bad, and it just makes me so, so sad how many people I know who do try not to exist much at all. Sad for them because they are not living their lives, and sad for the world because the world needs people who are alive to live in it.

Anyway, I liked the show a lot; I hope the rest of the episodes keep being both funny and true. I wish we could skip over the learning how to be in the open sky part, though, like they do in the show. :-)
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After a false start at our more typical cafe, we are back at the one with foam frogs, although today it was a bear, which is also very cute. The typical one has many nice features but this morning it was really, really noisy, and full of Men In Suits talking about important stuff very loudly and that was just not what I wanted. So I came here, which is smaller and more expensive but I like the music they play a lot -- I do not know how to categorise it, it is jazz but the kind with people singing beautifully and soulfully, maybe torch songs? Anyway, it is lovely, and the space is more open and the energy lower-down than the other place was today. Also I like that they serve the coffee in real china; we have been getting medium honey vanilla lattes, and it comes in this gorgeous blue mug with indigo flowers on it that Cassandra loves. We looked to see if we could buy them online and they are Ralph Lauren and $50 for a set of four, so no, but it does explain why this place is more expensive. :-)

Oh the song they are playing right now I actually know, it is Rosemary Clooney singing "As Time Goes By". Well, whatever genre that is, that is what they play here.

I am going to do a separate reading post because otherwise it will get way too long.
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Really there is, but it is just latte foam with chocolate eyes, so it is cute instead of a crisis. :-)

We are out at a cafe! But almost out of time before we need to shut down the laptop and go get our kids from their various schools. Cassandra was starting to write a long thing about genre expectations shaping plots of books and other things she is thinking a lot about but then she got frustrated because words did not do what she wanted to do, so she saved it as a draft and she will work on it more later or tomorrow. You see, I wrote it here, so it must be true.

Things have been up and down, a lot more down than up sometimes. A lot of our life energy right now is going to... oh how do you say it in words? Trying to let light and air into emotional/internal spaces which have been closed off for a really long time, with the people inside those spaces often fighting it tooth and nail because they have been in the still dark for so long that the idea of anything different is really horrifying. It is a long way around, to let in some light, and then let all of the upset happen and the fighting and the shutting down everything so only the necessary things get done but there is not any living, and then maybe a tiny bit of space and more living and more light gets in and then another wave of upset and struggle and shut down... on and on and on. The new therapist is definitely helping because there is a space to open without the worry that parenting is going to come crashing down on us, plus she is just excellent in her energy, and a little bit pushy (maybe more nudges than pushes) without being dictatorial about it.

I would like to try to promise myself I will write in here, hmn, three times a week? But the problem with promises like that is you have to remember that you have made them, and you have to take them seriously so that you do them when you don't want to, and when things are shut down, none of that works. Even if I can manage the remembering (like setting an alert or something), shut down is the opposite of caring. So maybe I will have to just be frustrated for a while longer, I don't know.

I do really like this cafe, though. I will see if we can come again tomorrow!
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Well I am really here in the body for the first time in a long time. I had not realised how not-here I have been until just now that I am here. I am blaming a lot of things for the being back; we have started therapy again and found a therapist who is very good so far (although the whole idea of doing therapy is very very mixed and it is so expensive and that is a rabbit hole I am stepping over, see I can learn!) and I came out last week to talk to her on purpose but this week (today) I ended up out without meaning to. I think partly it was because her little white noise thing at the door was making the sound of crickets which is a growing-up sound that they do not usually have here. But in between therapy a week ago and therapy today also we did yoga on the weekend, YouTube yoga because going to an actual studio is not something we are ready for yet and also it costs money. And dear reader, yoga is the most wrong of wrong things in the world, it is the exact opposite of everything we learned to do with our body and energy and ... oh it is awful. Which means it is very very good for us (my us) I think. I might even try doing some tonight, I don't know.

I am not sure why I was gone except for the time.

Anyway right now I am here in the body and I am having feelings. I had kind of stopped doing that! And I had truly forgotten about how last year I was having lots of feelings about things all the time, but then just now I was reading back here to find out when I had turned 14, and so I saw me writing about all the feelings I had. And that is when I realised that the autumn me and winter me is not the 'real' me. (Dominic kind of said this the other night which started me thinking, too.) I guess the spring me and summer me is not the 'real' me either, I guess they are all me. But it is one thing to know in my mind that there is a calendar in the body and another thing to see it in myself. It makes me want to rip it out which is not how anyone else feels about it, at least not anyone who talks about it. But how dare that be there? I did not pick it myself even if we did. The thing is I do not think I need to rip (even if I could which I am not sure if I could, and if someone else tried I can tell I would fight all the way through), I think it will probably go away on its own with time, like things melting. But maybe not all the way, ever? I am not sure. It does not matter what I think, though, that is a good thing about the world.

I am going to go back to watching Sailor Moon Crystal and eating a cookie and maybe drinking more; Cassandra was going to have a pleasurable night writing to Dominic and drinking marsala and reading and doing more yoga, but I ended up out by accident again (when Nicholas was trying to talk to Shandra) and so it was clear this is going to be my evening. I did not know I would spend it with all these FEELINGS though. At least I am alone so nobody is trying to fix it. And since my body is not a teenager I can drink hard cider as much as I want, as long as we can get up in the morning and get our daughter to school and play with our son and everything. But drinking just makes me sleepy before I really get drunk anyway so that is not really a risk. :-)
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Wow it has really been a long time since I've written here!

Right now I'm at a lovely cafe where I have commented extensively on The Toast's open thread and eaten a grilled pork sandwich and drunk hot Vietnamese coffee and two glasses of water; I am drinking my third and looking out the window (not enough) and trying to read Lucy Knisley's French Milk which seems really just like the sort of thing I would like, but so far it is not. Maybe I am just overwhelmed with envy at someone who travels around so much and has a family and goes to New York City and of course Paris which is what the book is about. I am definitely going to keep reading and even if I don't like this one I will try the other one of hers I have. But I thought reading it might make me (or someone!) want to draw, and it does not at all instead it just makes me wonder why it is I'm not enjoying it.

It is maybe a sad thing that not liking something makes me want to come write here so I can talk about it much more than liking something does, but ... when I don't like something unexpectedly I do spend a lot of time trying to figure out why.

So what am I enjoying? Well we are rereading The Dream Thieves and it is fantastic. And the weather outside is amazing, it has been very cold (for here!) in the mornings but right now it is quite warm and sunny outside and there is a little wind but not too too much. It is supposed to be warm all weekend so hopefully we will go garden... I am not crazy about gardening myself but I like being outside and it makes some people happy to do and also just relieves some tension.

There has been a lot of tension lately, lots of past things bubbling up and circling around and occasionally moving through. I am really good at not feeling anything so mostly I do not feel anything about it, but I think if I did feel something it would be angry that I am not just 14 in this body which is so much older but that so much of people's time is spent trying to figure out what parts of the past to keep and what parts to let go of and how to honour who they were before but maybe move onto something new... ohhh, it is just complicated. Words are actually failing me, that is fascinating, it is not just a phrase, the words will not come and when they do come they are all wrong. And the cafe has gotten noisy again and these women at the next table kept interrupting me because they cannot plug in their laptops OH NO and I am sitting by a power outlet but there are two of them and only one free space and they were just going to stand there waiting for me to BE NICE until Sean said we were leaving in 10 minutes so they should just chill until them. Go Sean.

Okay, I will post this now, then we have to pack up really fast and go home to get milk for the kids and then go pick up the kids from school. I want like 2309482309 more hours like the last few. I do love our kids, oh gosh I love our kids, but it feels like every time we start to get enough space to breathe one of them gets sick or school is on vacation or something that means we are parenting forever. Whine, whine, whine.
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I do keep meaning to update here but there is always something, and it has been another of those times where there is a lot of weight of ... well, I was going to write silence, but actually it is the reverse, it is the weight of noise. Parenting involves a lot of talking, a lot of meaningless talking in that you have to remind the kids to say please and thank you and ask them if they need more milk and say (like fifty times) 'Yes, I see that! Yes, that is a good picture! Yes, I see that you are wearing red! Yes, that is a car!' and so on and so forth. Okay, obviously it is not meaningless underneath, we are being present with our kids and letting them know that we are there seeing them and understanding them and caring about their lives. But it is tiring, even for people like me and Sean who are extroverts, and for the introverts it is exhausting down to the bone and it never stops for good, it just pauses while they sleep. And of course our partner needs our time and attention too, and our housemate needs to talk to us about why there are bananas next to the trash can, and so on and so forth, just - always. So when a time comes when none of that is happening even though I am really pretty lonely and have a lot of things to say for myself about me and would like to talk to other people in an adult way, the words are all gone and we just want to sit and read or watch TV or sleep until the next time we have to make the stream of validation for our kids again.

So that is why it is so quiet here. But I think it is not serving me to just lie down under all that noise and let it make silence, so I am posting anyway. Also I am trying to write an actual piece of Professional Email which is ridiculously difficult and posting here makes it easier, so there might be 15 posts today, we will see. :-)
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Ooof, the body is not happy today, although it is hard to figure out exactly what it is not liking. Our partner was very kind and stayed home this morning and took our daughter to school and all of those other necessary things so we could sleep, which we did for about 3 hours very deeply. Now we are awake, and have had some toast and water and coffee, but there is still a pretty bad headache and a sort of weird nausea that is more in our head than our stomach. It is not a big deal but it is annoying. Sean thinks we're just bouncing back from not sleeping much in October, and not eating in any kind of rhythm for a while -- and Sean might be right! I do not know, but I hope it clears up soon.

I got two new dresses in Chicago (well, one is for me, one is for Cassandra), and I will take pictures of them and post them when there is time. Mine is red and really easy to move around in; it will be good for most of the year out here as long as I find a sweater or jacket or something for evenings. Oh! Also Avalon gave us a dress for a birthday gift, but I have not tried it on yet. It is very nice, it is black and white striped but thin stripes; some of our inside kids are calling it our zebra dress.

Now that I am not angry at our partner any more I am mostly just sad our vacation is over and people are so far away and that there was not more time, which is silly because it really was a lot of time, and of course it cannot be forever. But more time would have been nice. We are missing our LDSOs very much right now. It is a new thing to be with them in the body for so long, and it is wonderful, but then it is a hard transition to go back to words and shared space -- well, that is not exactly true, it is not hard to do, but it feels like going from being a flower that is blooming to being back underground again, very very squished and there is no sunlight. (Rereading that hours later I was conflating things, it is not being in words with our SOs which is the squished, it is coming back into this house we live in where there is not a lot of space to be right now. Being in words with our SOs is not as good as being in the body with them but it is still very good.) It is going to rain here tomorrow which will help, yes I know that probably doesn't make sense... well, in Chicago it was really autumn even though we had some warm days and that is very opening and then back here where we live, it is all drought and heat and dying trees and some people feel it very deep into them. So a good day of rain might make it less like a closed flower.

This is not one of my better posts, I think it is too lateral (I got that word from Shandra, it is a good word), but Halloween is tomorrow so it is just a lateral time. I am glad to be writing, anyway. I hope in a few more days the space changes and then I (we) can write about Chicago for real, it was pretty amazing, even the little bits of confusion or arguing or not being able to find the train station were very real.


Oct. 29th, 2014 01:21 pm
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We are just back from five days in Chicago with our online-except-once-a-year SOs ([personal profile] avalon_storm & others in her system)! I want to write about it but it is so big that it is hard to know what to say, and I think a lot of people are not ready to say anything yet. Except it is not big like an awful thing or one really good thing, it is just big like really, really living life, which is something we are still not very good at yet. But for five days in Chicago we did it.

Now we are home. It is always hard saying goodbye, and coming back in to everyday life, with all the things for the kids and for our partner and everything. We got back late last night and I looked at some stuff but we were so tired it was better to sleep, and then this morning it was a rush, we had to figure out the school picture forms due today, and none of our daughter's homework had gotten turned in, and on and on like that. Some people are pretty angry at our partner for letting it slip even though it is not a crisis, she is so little nobody really cares when her homework gets turned in. I am not sure what I think myself. I do not mind people making mistakes -- well, I might mind but everyone does it, it is not that big of a deal most of the time. But with our partner, he never knows why, he is just very confused, like, oh, I thought that had gotten done. And it is infuriating (even if I don't feel it like a feeling) because he has his job and he is very good at it and things do not slip like this at his work or he would not be so successful in his career. So it comes back around to feeling like, well, he does not take parenting seriously, it is not really 'his' job and he doesn't feel like he has to stay on top of it because he knows we'll come fix it. Of course we are his partner, we will come fix it if we have to, but he ought to be trying to make sure we don't have to, not doing half of what has to happen and not worrying about the rest because we'll take care of it.

So I guess I am angry. :-)

I am going to try to get back into the habit of writing here, and then maybe other people will, too. It is annoying that there are so many hard times of the year because of the stupid past, but I think we went a little too deep into the wrong kind of quiet lately. At least for me talking here helps.
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Well I posted that last entry feeling not so good, and then I found this lovely discussion of Lev Grossman's The Magicians on [personal profile] rachelmanija's journal and suddenly I am feeling much better about the entire world. Because there are books and other people read them and want to talk about them? I am not really sure.

Cassandra just said because I am lonely and that made me feel less lonely. And well, it is true, I am a little lonely. But I think it is not so much that I am lonely right now as that being wrapped up in the past is very isolating, both because in the past we were actually very isolated, but also because in the present it means that the sorts of stuff I am thinking about is stuff that does not usually come up in casual conversation, or even in less-casual conversation, it is the sort of stuff you talk about to your most intimate friends when there's a lot of space and time and room to breathe. Or even then maybe not, because who wants to hear about this kind of thing? And do I really want to talk about it? Ugh.

It is hard to put my finger on because it is not as though I do not have people who will listen. I can think of lots of people who will listen. But I am not sure I want to be listened to warmly and patiently. I want to be talking about something interesting! It is all so annoying. I would rather talk about Quentin in The Magicians and have new thoughts about that, and I guess that is the other reason it cheered me up some, because it is so nice to have new thoughts. Not just, oh yes, the world has all these awful things in it, and everyone pretends it does not, and I don't know what to do about it and I am angry.

That is kind of in a circle, but it is where I am right now.


Sep. 16th, 2014 11:59 am
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I have not felt like writing in a long time. I don't really feel like writing now, but I thought I would anyway. Things are not bad here but very busy; our daughter started school and it is very very complicated. Not for her, she loves it and has a fantastic teacher and is really thriving. But for us it is complicated, going to a school every day, some very familiar smells and the sound of walking on concrete and it just brings the past back very strongly. Some people got very frantic trying not to deal with it but now there is more space, which is good because I really do believe that things move through, but it is awful to be in the middle of them moving through. I am having one of those times when I am just so angry at... well, people, I guess. Because kids get raped and used all the time and so many people manage to believe it is this vanishingly rare thing that hardly ever occurs, and then meanwhile these same people create the culture of abuse and usage that makes it so easy for this to happen and so hard for the kids to be believed. Ugh. I do not like going through my days angry and sad and feeling the past. I hope it changes soon.
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Oh wow what a week, I am not sure where to start.

I went to a party! I mean, I went to a party. I used my name not the body name. I was out as multiple there -- it is for a website I follow (The Toast) and I comment a lot and I am pretty open about being multiple in the comments although I have never really explained why it is that I use the plural a lot. So at the party there was no reason not to just be me, and there was a point where someone said 'Oh you are Bryn Plus Others!' and I said 'Yes! I am not very good at driving so the others drove.' And everyone laughed and the conversation moved on and it was just really nice because I do not have any idea what was going on in anyone else's head or what they understood about it all and I didn't really care at all. They will ask if they want to know, or maybe (just maybe) we will try to write an article about it. But the ethos of the community around the site is that they accept people as they are if those people are not being jerks, and they call out the jerks, and so nobody is fussed if I use plural pronouns or say the other people in my body drove me to BART.

So that in itself was amazing. The party was fun, I talked to some great people (not as many as I meant to, it was very crowded and hot and loud and I met some people early on who were friendly and just stuck to them) and met a cute girl who was interested in me but has not emailed me back which is actually just fine because I think I was a little in over my head. I realised last night that I really am 14 and it makes things in the body complicated, our body is a lot older than that, and even though (based on reporting) we look much younger than we are -- we are physically close to 40 but we are being mistaken for late 20s a lot lately -- still, late 20s is not 14. So people have certain expectations based on seeing us. But I am 14 and so my reactions to things do not match my body age, which I think is just fine for going to parties and light socialising but if I am going to try to have a closer relationship to someone new (romantic or not) I am going to have to figure out how to make that clear. Plus the ethics of it make my head hurt. When we were visiting our friends for the 4th of July I talked a lot to their 18-yr-old son, and it was fine, we as a system have known him since he was born. But then after I had some sort of vaguely romantic dreams about him, and it was weird because, well, we have known him since he was born! He is a lot younger than us! And it would just not be okay in any way as far as I am concerned to get involved with him (which is not remotely a possibility), but emotionally he is a guy just a couple of years older than me, so I have to sort of check my responses so they are appropriate to the age difference. It is a little hard but there is just no question, he is a kid.

With meeting new people who are older but still a lot younger than us, though, it is trickier. The cute girl was in her late 20s and so on the one hand she is younger than us (although not enough so that I think it is a problem), but she is a lot lot older than me and I just ... really felt it, that where she is and what she would expect is another adult, and I am not. I do not think it would be impossible to work out with someone, but it would be a very slow process because I think it would take a lot of singletons a lot of focus to remember that I am 14 even though the body is almost-40 and if they really do accept that I am 14, would they want to date me if they were late-20s? I am not 14 the way a singleton would be 14, after all, but still.

This probably sounds like I am really worried or stressed about it, and actually I am not. I just had not actually realised all of this until last night. If the right person comes along and wants to try and I want to try (and our partner is okay with it and so forth) then we will try and see. But it is very interesting to see all the complications up close and also just to be there, really really there and in this situation and realise that I am not adult and to be so glad that I do not have to be, and that everyone else was there to back me up or help me out and that if I did get in really over my head someone would step in. (Sean did a little bit at the end, just to make a clean goodbye point, which worked because it changed the energy.) And then there was a whole other set of emotional things happening linked to the past and being in the part of the system that I am in, and riding that out was very tough and I felt very, very lucky that I could go to Cassandra and Dominic outside of words and just lean on them while it went through. I think it has now, but if there is more then it will come when it does. I might write about it later or not. Now I need to pack things up so we can go pick up our kids!
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It has been a busy week! We got dental work done which was necessary and only a little bit awful and now it is taken care of so we don't have to go back until December. Our garden is still making lots and lots of vegetables, I think now that the oven is working again Cassandra is going to make zucchini bread to try to use up some of the zucchini. I am not sure what we will do with the cucumbers, they are pretty bitter, although our partner has been making quick pickles out of them and that is very yummy, so if he wants to do more of that I would not mind at all. :-) But they are awfully bitter for sandwiches or cucumber salad. Maybe I will try making a Thai cucumber salad anyway, we have peppers in the back although I would just use jalapenos so it doesn't come out too too spicy.

Tonight we are going to go see Much Ado About Nothing performed by our local Shakespeare in the Park group (that Jessica wants to audition for someday when the kids are older) & then on Saturday there is a party we are going to. I am excited about it but trying not to build it up too much in my mind since we are going with both kids and it might end up just being nonstop parenting. But we will see!
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I was talking to people in comments (how nice that people comment! thank you!) about United States of Tara and had my own little revelation that part of what seemed off to me about her system is that the people in it were not being but instead they were performing. T and Buck and Alice do not just go live themselves, they perform themselves, and of course they do, because it is an actress playing characters for television. But I do wonder if as the show went on she (and the writers) started to find the difference and to tone it down some -- although I do not wonder it enough to watch the rest of the show.

But yes, while we do have clothes we like and stuff, we try to live the life that is in front of us in the moment, so David is nudging me and nudging me and I think he is going to come front and make lunch because it is true, we should eat lunch, I have been on the computer a long hour. But he is not going to go upstairs and put on jeans to do it (we are wearing a dress Cassandra really likes, it is blue and some other colours and very comfortable), because it is a waste of time when what he really wants is to eat lunch. He does not need to go dress like a boy to be here and himself, because he is himself even if he is not performing Davidness.

And now we should really go eat lunch before the baby wakes up!
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I watched some of The United States of Tara last night, which was interesting... somehow I feel a little bit guilty about it, like I did something I was not supposed to & I am going to get into trouble if I'm caught, which is very silly. But anyway, it was interesting for itself too. It was a lot more like seeing a real multiple than I was expecting, despite being over the top in all sorts of ways (who changes clothes every time they come out? where would you find the time?), and I am finding the next morning my biggest reaction is that I want to sit down with her system and have a Serious Conversation with them about a lot of their parenting choices (which are just horrible, wow) and how Tara needs to get co-con ASAP and a bunch of other stuff that I would not actually say uninvited to another human being because it is not any of my business, but with a fictional character it's different. I am I think kind of bothered that it got under my skin that much, that I am a little bit thinking of these people like they are real and out there.

There were two things that seemed off to me, from the bits I watched which were just pieces of episodes that looked interesting, not the entire 3 seasons. The first and really big one is the idea medication suppresses switching. This might MAYBE be true for some multiples with some medication, but is not A Thing, like nobody goes in for treatment for a dissociative disorder and gets handed pills for it, it is just a side effect some systems experience from anti-depressants or anti-anxiety pills. So I get why they made that up to make the show work, because otherwise how is Tara so totally unaware of the rest of her system? But it was really stupid.

The second thing, which did not bother me but seemed very unrealistic, is that nobody in her system is trying to hide. None of them had any shame about themselves, and oh, that sounds awful, I am not saying they deserved to, just... I have never met a system (and both in person and online we have met quite a few!) that didn't at least START by trying desperately to hide that they were multiple. For everyone in her system to just come out and change into their preferred clothes and use their own names and expect to be totally accepted, rather than trying to hide, was very interesting but it did not seem real to me. After all, in the show they were there to protect from trauma, and it is not a very good protection to be like 'Oh hi I am so-and-so let me go change into my clothes!' Thinking about it more... I think the people who wrote it forget that trauma-based multiplicity is a survival strategy, and so the kinds of things which happen in the later episodes to make things embarassing and hard for the family, are not really very likely to happen because there is nothing conducive to survival in switching like that.

Hmn, also, it was weird to me that her system did not know about each other or relate to each other very much, although that might have happened in parts I didn't know about. But then again, having been on that support forum back during the winter, I found out that LOTS and LOTS of systems are like that, where nobody talks to anybody or connects to anybody else inside. Maybe it is a thing that happens in a particular sort of trauma? Or if the trauma is fairly contained in time, like a few years and then it stops?
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The other reason I am so mad is that my name is Bryn because I decided (in 7th grade or so) that I was Sorshella Bryn Alton y Ardais. That is to say, when I realised I was myself and not this nebulous person who doesn't really exist named after our body name -- when I realised I was me and separate and unique, a snowflake in the blizzard -- I named myself after Darkover, because I loved it so much. I was an Alton because they had the scary dangerous telepathic powers (they can kill people WITH THEIR MINDS which is just awesome) and I was an Ardais because they were catalyst telepaths, which meant that they made latent telepaths active. I really liked the idea of being someone who could kill people with an angry thought and unlock things which were locked up.

But I was also an Ardais because of Danilo Ardais in The Heritage of Hastur, which was my favourite of the books. Danilo is a teenage boy (14 or 15) and he is harassed and tormented by Dyan, who is a relative of his (an uncle or something) because Dyan really really wants to fuck Danilo and Danilo says 'No' and Dyan is not the sort of guy who takes no for an answer. And since it is Darkover and people have psychic powers, the way he doesn't take no is that he psychically tortures/rapes/assaults Danilo until Danilo attacks him, and then Danilo is sent home in disgrace for attacking an Important Person and his life is ruined.

Except in the book you see all of this from the outside, from Regis who is Danilo's friend, and who doesn't understand why it is his friend is getting more and more angry and volatile, and is sure Danilo must have had some kind of good reason for the attack, and eventually hunts Danilo down in his family home and finds out the truth -- which is when the reader finds out what Dyan has been doing all along and how awful it is. And then there is a wonderful scene with hugging and telepathic intimacy and ponies (maybe not really ponies) in which Danilo and Regis are Best Friends Forever (and happy gay male lovers, too) and it is wonderful.

When I read it in 7th or 8th grade it was especially wonderful because I could imagine that maybe one day someone would notice what was happening to me/us, and then there would be hugging and intimacy and ponies, and then whoever it was fucking us would get yelled at for it, and most importantly I would have a Best Friend ever afterwards who wanted me to be with them always and I would never be alone again.

Here is what the author of that lovely scene which I kept as a happy fantasy for so many years had to say about it all:
My message, of course, had not been intended to give aid and comfort to Gay Liberation; the message, if any, had simply been that no one can live and be healthy without self-knowledge and self-acceptance, whatever form one's own differences may take. I am not a crusader for anything except the right of everyone to be what he must be, without being brutalized by the opinions of others. I regard Dyan Ardais, not as evil, but as unhappy, a man desperately at the mercy of his own misery and his own obsessions; and Dyan's tragedy, I have always felt, was that he did not come to know Regis well until he had destroyed himself irrecovably in the younger man's eyes.

Doesn't that just make you want to spit?
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Do not read this if you do not want to hear ugly things.

About six weeks ago I had this dream in which I had finished a novel and was talking to Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB) about it. In real life I had never met her, but in the dream she was this lovely older woman who was mentoring me and supporting me in writing my novel and it was just warm and amazing.

When we checked our email the next morning a friend had sent us the stuff about how not only did MZB enable her husband to abuse lots of young boys, but her daughter, Moira Greyland, had come forward to talk about how MZB had abused her from ages 3-12. Moira, if you ever come across this post, I believe you. We all do.

So today I have finally started tearing up my MZB books for compost. It is a funny thing, people here are very respectful of books as physical objects, we do not write in them, we take care of them... it is a little snippet of memory from childhood, being angry at our mother because she would break the spines of our books and otherwise not treat them well. So to rip up this woman's work for the compost bin is really not very much like us, but we -- I -- am just so angry. That she did these terrible things, and enabled her husband to do them, and a lot of it has been out there for people to find out for years and years and years and nobody really talked about, and even now there are plenty of people saying, "Well, let's not be too hasty, this is very suspicious..."

Our mother is a respected lawyer in the relatively small town we grew up in. She was not wealthy or famous, but within the legal community very well thought of, in part because she did so much poorly paid work as guardian ad litem to minor children. She has served on the board of organisations dedicated to child protection and family services. She also abused us, physically and sexually, as well as turning a blind eye to all of the other abuse we lived through until at age 19 we finally left home. In our twenties she still demanded we sleep in the same bed at her when we visited, until at age 22 or 23 we checked in with our therapist about it, was told that it was Just Fine if we said no, and then we did. We visited once or twice after that, and then quit, and haven't seen her since -- I don't know exactly how long it has been, nobody wants to go take the time to figure it out, but lets say at least 14 or 15 years as a rough guess. Maybe more.

When people say, 'Why didn't Moira Greyland come forward about this when her mother was still alive,' I want to bite them. When we found out through Facebook that someone we knew in high school let her daughters to spend the day with our mother, it took us about a week to work up the courage to write her and say, look, I know our mother is your friend and has helped you out a lot in your legal problems, but you should not let your daughters be alone with her. (We were lucky, this woman believed us, although she was also clear she was not unfriending our mother. But she did say she would not let the girls go there by themselves any more. Thank goodness.)

Sometimes I think about just coming out on Facebook, right there under our real true legal name, with all those people maybe reading, our mother's law school friends, people we went to school with in elementary and junior high and high school, people we only met after we ran away halfway across the country and started our lives over. I think of writing: You know, from our earliest childhood memories until we left home, someone was always raping us.

And then the panic hits like a truck, like thunder, like cramps, because there is just no way. I do not judge myself for it, or any of us. But I think of it when people wonder why Moira Greyland waited so long before telling the truth. If after our mother's death people are lionising her, if someone starts a fund or a memorial or a scholarship in her name, if they put up a plaque to her or something -- would we tell the truth then? I don't know. But if we did I am sure someone would say, if she really did this to you, you would have said before.

This did not go where I expected it to go, but that is just fine. I wish this was written beautiful but I am not a writer, despite that dream.


Jun. 22nd, 2014 03:25 pm
brynplusplus: (Default)
It is June! Our garden is full of tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini and peppers and sunflowers. There is also some corn but it is being crowded out by the sunflowers and we never did thin it (the corn) because there was just too much else going on.

Things have been busy and very stressful; the staff at our daughter's preschool failed pretty badly to handle some issues she was having with other kids -- by which I do not mean that they did something wrong, they just ignored it as long as possible, then tried to make it a situation between the parents (which it is not, the parents are NOT THERE so how is it something they can manage?) and then went back to not doing anything. So we pulled her from that school (where she was going to be for the summer before starting kindergarten) and enrolled her in this really neat looking Montessori summer program which is just opening (so cheaper than a Montessori would usually be) and will take kids as young as her little brother, so they can go to school together. Which means free time for us when both kids are in school, plus our son really needs more stimulation and social time than he gets at home, he is very high-energy and very extroverted and totally ready to start being in a preschool setting.

Wonderful, yes? Except the Montessori didn't actually have their license yet, and so the first day of their program came and went and they couldn't open! And we'd already pulled our daughter from her previous place, plus even if we hadn't I'm not sure it would have been good to keep putting up with it, so -- both kids were home with us all week last week. It was crazy. We really love our kids, and some of us really love being parents (I don't dislike it, but, well, I'm 14, in my own personal individual life I would not be having kids yet), but parenting 12 hours a day every day all week is just overwhelming. Thursday & Friday the Montessori opened for morning drop-in play, and that helped a lot since it gave the kids something to do, but still, it was just an energy-sucking week with the kids alone, plus some drama-y stuff going on with our partner.

The weekend has helped a lot, we have had some good down time, and some fun with our partner, and just now a lot of gardening. The kids are in the bath right now, and when our son is done we'll go wash our daughter's hair and then she'll make a pizza with her dad and we'll all have homemade pizza for dinner (well, not homemade crust although we're working up to that) and put the kids to bed, and then an online date for people, and probably a reasonably early bedtime since the Montessori still doesn't have their license (next week, they hope, but they don't know) and so we will need lots of energy to parent again. And I am not even getting into all the errands we have to get done without the kids along (DMV, doctor, dentist, a few other big ones) which are making Sean crazy annoyed because she was going to do them last week and now they are on hold. Our partner will stay home and take the kids if he has to, but he is in a hugely busy time at his work, so right now it is looking like we will have to spend his early-July mandatory vacation running errands while he does childcare, instead of the previous hope which is that they would both be in school and we would have some actual couple time. Who knows, though! I am trying to be hopeful about the place getting their license ASAP but right now I am just sick of being disappointed.

Still, it is nice having vegetables in the garden.
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For our anniversary with our partner we went downtown to a vegan cafe, which is not my thing in terms of the food (I like meat, lots of meat, and some starch to ballast it with), but they had a really amazing beer list, with like 15 things on tap, which blew my mind. So being a sensible person, I had a small plate of food, and a beer flight, which is a fancy way of saying they gave me five small (3oz) glasses of different beers so I could try a lot of them.

The five I had were arranged from light to dark:

1. Sunshine Mead, which was mostly for Cass since she has this crazy honey fixation. It was dry and sweet and just fine but did not make me pass out with joy.

2. Trade Winds Tripel, a golden Belgian ale with a great kind of creamy mouthfeel.

3. Deschutes Mirror Mirror -- I am pretty fond of Deschutes beers, I visited their brewery once long ago, and this one was fantastic. It's a gorgeous glowing dark brown colour, it smelled fantastic, and it tasted like malt. I'm not good at this fancy description thing, which is why I'm linking the actual reviews, but I think this was my favourite of the five. Sadly it looks like a 22oz bottle of this guy costs about $15, so I'm not sure if I'll be picking any up for home.

4. Duchesse De Bourgogne - Brouwerij Verhaeghe. This is a sour beer, which I have never had before, and to me the words 'sour beer' sound totally disgusting. My favourite beers are cream stouts, so I like them heavy and bittersweet and creamy, and a sour beer isn't any of those things. The thing is, this was actually great -- it tasted like sour cherry (real sour cherry, not mass produced candy flavour), it had an incredible bite to it, and I could really imagine how great it'd be after a few hours of doing work in the sun. It's exactly what you'd want when you're hot, sweaty, and knocking off for the day. But the awesome thing about it was that it was also really good sitting in a sketchy vegan cafe in mid-evening after eating Thai curry.

5. Narwhal Imperial Stout was the beer I was expecting to be my favourite, since I love stouts, and IIRC it was on nitro, which changes the mouthfeel to make it smoother and more creamy, and as established above, I love that. This was definitely very, very good, and it really balanced out the flight, but to my surprise I liked the Mirror Mirror a lot more.

So, yeah, beer. After the vegan place we went to a different pub and Bryn got her alarming Campfire Stout, which was pretty good, although by that point we were fairly drunk from the flight, since while it was only 15oz of beer total, some of them were pretty high alcohol by volume. I'd like to go back to both places sometime soon, try more beers, and maybe eat the duck fat french fries from the 2nd bar. Or the poutine, although I'm betting it doesn't compare to the place we went in Montreal.
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