Venti Christmas Blend

I’m at a SBX waiting for a glasses shop to open. I love my black and white-checkered frames, but I also really like my blue wire-rims and I think when I fixed them with my own screwdriver, I pushed one of the prisms to a different angle. There’s no appreciable difference in my vision, but of course as a Virgo the lack of symetry is intolerable. It will be my Christmas present to myself, and it may not even cost a thing. I will probably want more frames in the future, because my earrings are semi-permanent and, well, fashion.

Since I have both blue and black glasses, I need a brown pair. The ones I have now are keyhole bridge tortoise shell and way too big for my face. Working Girl is just not what we’re doing now. When I ordered them, I thought they were tiny and cute. When they got here, I thought, “the eighties called. They want your glasses back.” In the right fit, keyhole bridge is timeless… an axiom for fashion. There will never be a time in which sport coats, crispy button-downs, and Converse All Stars™; for whimsy and comfort will suddenly be Right. Out.

I need to take my brown Converse to the shoe hospital because they need to be re-soled and stitched in a few places. The reason I’d rather pay for that instead of just getting new ones is that they’re leather and keep out rain, even when I step in shallow puddles.

It’s funny how I got them. I was shopping at Ross and there was only one pair in boys’ five and a half. This woman was saying out loud that she didn’t think they’d fit her nephew and I said (a little too loudly), “can I have them?” I said it so fast that she started laughing and said, “you clearly need these more than me.” Yes. Yes, I do.

Because I liked the brown ones, I bought the black ones with black rubber as well. Converse for every outfit, although I’m wearing my hiking boots more than ever because they accomodate huge wool socks. I look a bit funny considering that with their classic fit, my hiking boots make my feet look huge…. and there is no euphemism for that. #lesbianproblems

We’re supposed to get cold rain for the next two days, thus Bigfoot. Ugh. When it gets a little warmer, my leather Chucks will be ok again. If I lace them tightly, I even get feeling in my feet.

Again, too cold with no payoff…. no pictures of beautiful trees, no snow angels, no nailing the kid on my street with a snowball for having a Doctor Who backpack out of jealousy.

Last night, I was playing around on Facebook™ and found this quote on my wallpaper changer. Posted it with #INFJ….. Also me: Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up and slam them on the ground for maximum damage. -Abhishek Shukla

The duality that has lived in me for so many years is finally ready to laugh at. When I walked in darkness, I wanted to. It was an unexplored version of myself that I didn’t know existed. And then I got tired of that duality and show mode melted more than it ever had before. Integrating my compensity for both lightness and dark, it has been an interesting process of rejecting the past and rewiring a ton of neurons that were just dead before. New pathways are growing and I listen to music for it the most, because if you set words to melody, it makes recall mostly instant.

I had that moment with Nine Inch Nails, listening to Closer and ruminating on everything that had happened to me from 14 on. What jumped out at me is how much the song changes when you think of it as the dance between an abuser and a target. It started with you let me violate you, and all of the sudden I pictured every abused child I’d ever known…. My skin crawled as I realized that you let me violate you are the words that create back-door access to someone trying to gain control of you. Because if I let you, it’s all my fault, and that abuser will pull those strings until he/she can’t because you’ve created your own scab over the wound, because no abuse victim gets closure. They just get stronger.

The death of innocence is every big a grief as losing someone close to you, with one giant exception. Your body betrays you. You know it’s wrong, you know you should run, and you are frozen in place with loving the idea of having secrets. Your brain turned off to save you from fear, betrayal is getting wet or hard. Part of the guilt and shame that lasts your whole life is that you knew it was wrong and you loved it, anyway…. because inappropriate or not, nerves go off autonomically and your brain associates this terribly wrong thing with something incredibly desirable. The majority of abuse is done by someone you love, someone you trust, someone you can’t even imagine doesn’t love you in the same way or is even capable of it…. which makes it harder to break away because there are genuine moments in a twisted reality. How do you think they keep us hooked? They twist us into believing they own us…. “pet people.”

As you realize the extent of the abuse, you resent the genuine moments because you learn just how much they weren’t. You let a hacker in the back door because there are no security updates for threats of an emotional nature. As Brene Brown says, and I’m paraphrasing, shame is the one thing every therapist in the world is trying to uncover. You can be absent from your abuser for years, and reestablishing contact opens all those doors you thought were closed. One sentence becomes a rootkit in a matter of hours, and there you are, under control once again. If you are an adult when this happens, you’ll be surprised at how fast you regress.

What adult could not be undone by seeing the person that abused them?

So many people went through much worse than I ever did. The dopamine and sexual rush was all in my head… but not of my own hand. As I have said before, it was a plant that outgrew its pot quickly. I remember with clarity a letter Diane sent me that said, “I shudder to think the depth of emotion you’ve had for me.” Meanwhile, all the time reinforcing our verbally abusive relationship so that I was the one who was always trying to make things right in a relationship that never should have happened in the first place. What child wouldn’t give you more emotion than you could handle when I think I am as close to you as my own parents?

I never thought of her as anything else until she planted a seed in my imagination and my body betrayed me. There are plenty of people out there who absolutely cannot believe this is what happened, but they weren’t there and we were. Who’s we? My parents, my sister, and all of the choir members who saw it happening and didn’t say anything then, but have come forward now that the statute of limitations has run out to say that yeah, they knew something was off, but they couldn’t quite put their fingers on it so it wasn’t worth pursuing, because they loved Diane just as much as me. Surely this person who charmed everyone couldn’t be the same person that was traumatizing me?

My mother was the first to say she wanted to press charges, but for what? She could have gotten a TRO, but it wouldn’t have worked. We found ways to sneak around. There’s nothing that would have broken us apart until I realized what was happening and stopped it. No contact has been the right choice for me, because I don’t spend my time processing what she’s doing and being afraid I’m not there to protect her…. so much love and care dumped into a hole when I was too young to understand why.

I will protect all of my friends to the death, because I know for sure they’d step in front of a bus for me, too…. they know I’ve got their backs. That’s been the biggest revelation in this whole thing…. noticing when I am pouring love and protection into people who wouldn’t do the same thing for me. If there is no reciprocity, there is no relationship anymore.

It’s called (really) the INFJ door slam. We require equillibrium, and we’ll do anything to get it. If the relationship is off to an enormous degree, we will love your ghost eternally while not interacting with you. It’s not that we don’t love you, don’t care about you, don’t wish you well. We’re just done.

There are so few people that fit this mold for me, but the relationships I’ve severed have felt right for me over time, because I realized how much they were draining my ability to practice self-care. I was always pouring from an empty cup. My closest friends know to bring water.

With me, there are so many types of social interactions that leave me drained, and others I could maintain for days. Some people are just exhausting, and some give away their life energy in sync with as much as you’re giving them. It’s this mutual admiration society that keeps me going in the face of enormous obstacles.

My job this year has been to learn to reach out and listen more, talking less. It’s just one more step into being able to welcome someone else in my life, because I am trying to create relationships that have an easy give-and-take like I do with my friends. Being more compassionate all the time won’t hurt, but especially in romantic relationships, I’d rather be ready for one than try to jump in unprepared. Some people believe that jumping into a relationship helps fix those things… I don’t think it does. I think you create the same pattern with the new person that you had with the old, fighting about new things in the old dance of intimacy. Last time around it was the brand of toothpaste. This time it’s the dishes by the sink…. the small issues that are covering up deep wounds.

Let’s start with the deep wounds instead, so that the dance is new- with music in a different key.

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