This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Say Valley Maker, One Year Later

May 15th was the year anniversary of my bicycle crash. It turned out that the crash was a mere prelude. It was lightly involved in what was to come because it contributed to my over taxed immune system. When I look back now and recall what a shit year 2008 felt to be, the bike crash is the start of it all, but not the star of the show; much like Baby June was to Gypsy Rose Lee. Yes, I just compared a historical burlesque performer to my std. Which really shows how far I've come.

For example, I spent all of last summer mourning the loss of who "I was" due to the strong ties between my current identity and my sexuality. My sexuality happens to be a very large part of how I relate myself to the world politically and personally. I'm not sure if it was always that way or not. When I was young, I did place my self-worth and importance on my perceived ability (or not) to attract the opposite sex. I became valuable to myself only when I could see the external appreciation for what I could give. That is to say, head.

Ok yeah, obviously I'm being tongue-in-cheek about this now, but it's a very important thing for me to understand. I really, really hated the parts of myself the external world taught me to value: i.e. my height, weight, hair color, clothes, boob size and friends. The parts of me that felt valuable were hidden and I mourned daily that no one could see what I knew to be my best attributes. That common feeling of self loathing is one thing that I work to prevent in any female I meet who is not giving herself the love and credit she is due. Women are at a disadvantage in almost every way in society because they don't value themselves, their opinions, their validity, and what they have to offer. Men struggle with the opposite problems I'm sure, but I'm not a man; I have not lived my life as one, and won't speak to it now. That mission is being saved for another life time (the mission, yes, of helping males to value themselves more and to be kinder to their own inner beings).

I didn't set out to write this post to catalog the ways in which I reclaimed my sexuality and turned it to work for me, but to look back and compare this time last year to now.

i. brevity of bike crash a year later

ii. cycle of diagnosis a year later
I was angrier than I've ever been after it all happened. I threw away beautiful apology bouquets, trashed mementos, and yanked roots from the ground (literally, yarrow). I've never been one that can sustain vitriol at people, especially if I've loved them. I find the energy it takes to have that rage more useful in creative arenas.

Then, there's how Sandra Cisneros put it in her poem "Bay Poem from Berkeley"

Mornings I still
reach for you before
opening my eyes.

An antique habit from
last summer when we pulled
each other into the heat of groin
and belly, slept with an arm
around the other.
But when I open my eyes
to the flannel and down,
mist at the window and blue
light from the bay, I remember
where I am.
which another ex posted last week. Cisneros's words have a way of sinking into me like needles will and leave me in the sweet subconscious where pain and pleasure are indistinguishable; where the importance is not in the two emotions' difference, but in their sameness.

But that's just one part of it all, the messy ever changing feelscape of emotions. The more tangible outcome was physical and terrifying for me. I felt so broken that I didn't touch myself for most of summer and fall. I became celibate and obsessive over the state of my pudendum. People assured me it'd get better, but I couldn't even read the information available to me. It was all too painful. I managed to take daily medication, but the medication was no match for my stress, the number one causer of outbreaks.

iii. where i am now
It took about six months of despondency for me to begin coming around. I began seeing people casually, some of which was documented here. Before that, sometime around September, I began covertly talking to Devyn again. The anger was waning and the feeling of missing him was increasing, as my energy to remain vigilantly enraged decreased. A conversation with a close friend opened my eyes to see his side of things; the shame and fear that kept him from sharing, the denial that grew out of wanting things to be one way and not another. I could see how he would have done it, being so scared myself, to reveal my diagnosis with nearly perfect strangers on a semi-regular basis. She pointed me toward the unquestionable high road, when I had wanted to slink along a mildly less moral path. I was able to forgive him because of this. No one but he and I liked that I did so.

Because my friends and family (and casual blog followers) didn't understand why I could forgive such heinousness, Devyn became a default refuge. He felt like the one person who understood what I was going through with the diagnosis, the one person who felt "safe" sexually (ironically, of course), and he remained the same person I loved before, though profoundly more sorry and intent on my happiness. He'd also taken up a crusade in his sex blog to talk about what he'd done, how he would mend his ways, and how he was still having a vibrant sensuality while maintaining a positive diagnosis.

While I secretly nursed our tattered relationship, my life in Chicago seemed to lighten up measurably. In October I went to my first energy reading and was helped to begin releasing years of baggage, anger, and fear in very obvious ways. I felt positively springy after that meeting and became more aware of my destructive thought patterns. I was thus able to release myself from them. Eventually I saw Devyn again, and brought down some terrible anger on his head in person (unexpectedly at first), thus releasing me further from the past diagnosis, trust loss, and fear. I moved into December solidly, planted on the most beautiful feet I'd ever seen: my own.

iv. what i did this weekend
I had no outbreaks in the brief, but intense, love that began with the new year and felt I was finally comfortable back in my sex again. I began to relax and make love and have orgasms. With the melting snow my favorite spring fever attribute, the horny honey-bee syndrome, returned and I smiled wide at the good old salacious way I love. Being dumped brought stress of course, and my old way of being challenged at letting go of relationships reared up. The first outbreak all year occurred two weeks ago, not long after a nasty bout of self-pity applied with anger. I blamed myself for this unhappy recurrence, all the chocolate, all the beers, etc. etc. I told Devyn about it. After he finished feeling terribly sorry he did what he does best for me. He asked me why on earth I would supplement physical discomfort with malicious psychic punishing. I told him about my diet taboo indulgences and he tsked me, reminded me to get more sleep and to "goddammit, be nice" to myself. His was a good reminder again, of how I treat myself when I'm being unconscious. I re-worked my energy and focused on positive outcomes instead.

Two weeks or so ago, as well, I said, aloud that I was tired of dating. Tired of getting my heart broken and tired of expending all that energy when there's other things I could be doing, things that will last as long as I want them to. Not a day later the universe laughed at me and sent couples and singles of strangers my way to ask if I could come out to play. I laughed and met them with all the Virgo intentedness to "get what I could" that I could muster.

I went on my second date with a lovely couple (we'll call 'em H.A.) on Friday. When the lady of the bi/het couple asked why I wanted to date couples I found poetic and honest words spilling from my mouth. It seems like all the rewards and none of the commitment and compromise. It seems like a privilege to me, to get to witness something united in motion. It sounds fucking hot. It's the best of both worlds for a bisexual hedonist. And so on. At the end of our second date we took it to their place where I was given a lovely pair of soft pajamas to put on. She wore lavender silk pajamas too. I had been admiring her almost unreal full lips and round ass since our first date, while his style, forthrightness and also firmly round ass brought a sparkle to my other eye.

I had to make a conscious choice early in our making out: remain apart so as to be able to write about this in detail later or get deep into the sensual motions and come out unable to recall anything but electric fuzz later.

I chose the latter, unsurprisingly. I am happy to say that I actually could write about it in scorching detail here, but I won't tonight. Tonight is all about me. After 7 days in a row with no solitude I have a softly lit apartment full of warm early summer breeze, a head full of creative adventures apart from my keyboard, and again, my lovely solid feet. Perhaps ten toes that could use a fresh summer coat.

It is hard to tell people that I'm tired of being heartbroken. I had wanted the commitment and compromise that coupledom brings. Sometimes, when I'm being pitiful I lament and wonder if anyone will ever be fit to stay with me on my adventures. But others remind me that my desire to give love over and over is a lovelier part of my nature.

I was asked this weekend if I am a conduit for other people's energy. I don't know that I can channel it yet, which is what "conduit" implies to me, but I definitely take it all in. I feel what people feel without trying. The trying comes in actually stopping myself from feeling it. In the heat of an argument I was not a part of I slipped and spoke the words my best friend had been trying to speak to her opponent (it was a friendly argument, but heated nevertheless, between two hard headed people). As soon as her reasons finished pouring from my mouth I clapped my hand over it, wide eyed. "I'm sorry!" I said urgently, "I shouldn't do that!" The defendant loved it and she pushed that I should do it, having helped her so. The other player left the argument in his Gemini way and asked me why I said I shouldn't do that. He then asked, in complete seriousness about my ability to suck up and spit out others' energy. When I matter-of-factly didn't answer him fully, so he knew he was right but it was hard for me to say so, he said, "That's why you can fall in love so much. It's kind of a gift."

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