Under the skin…


A few weeks ago I made a fairly large transition. Cutting people from your experience, even when they are miles away, hurts like stepping on glass with a tender foot, a pain that does not go away readily and refreshes itself with the slightest touch against it, even when it is unrelated to what happened.

It burns like withdrawal. Even when they were bad for you, you want to go back, even when it was your idea to get out of there. You think, “maybe there’s another shot,” and you justify maybe possibly going back for “one more hit.” In times like that, one is happier than ever to have a group who will grab you by the shirt collar with a shout of “HO, DON’T DO IT” and a litany of reasons why you should *definitely* not do it.

And for a long time, it doesn’t get easier.

It’s like getting clean. Especially when they were bad for you in the first place. You can’t see it, so you don’t know what it’s doing to you. And you wonder again…should I go back?

And you bleed. And you grieve. And you struggle. There’s an empty spot where you know what was going on before—even if it was horrible, even if it hurt you every time, but at least you *knew* — and you don’t know what to do.

Then you suddenly can see everything from the outside, looking in. And you rage. Because you *know* that this was not what you deserved. And you *know* that you should never have had to go through this much to see that this wasn’t what you deserved. Yes, in life we must make mistakes, but sometimes, when you make mistakes, the mistakes also make you, and they leave scars that mark you for a long, long time. And the only way to take those scars away is to shed the skin you wore for so long — becoming a raw version of yourself, because it’s the only way to heal now. The insides, exposed, with everyone able to see what you really are until you can defend yourself again…

It’s frightening, but sometimes it’s best not to wall all the way back up. Some do not understand this, and they play a role perpetually. And you cannot trust them. Yet I tried to, so many times, and was hurt over and over.

No more.

So what if people think I’m ‘too intense,’ or anything else. I cannot be anything but who I am. And I will not play a role for anyone to accept me.

And I do not ask anyone else to play a role, in turn. You be yourself around me…

Or don’t be around me.



Wishful thinking on an overcast day

I’m not awake yet.

I have a “Morning Rituals” playlist on in Spotify. It’s surprisingly easy listening but with deep enough lyrics to keep me from dozing off.

I’ve severed a few ties since my last little photo diary thing. I’ve also had to deal with the abrupt increase in a medication. I’ve been so tired and rather panicky, I’ll admit, that simple reading commitments have gotten shoved onto the back burner.

It’s like… even when it’s someone you don’t need, someone who has repeatedly hurt you, you can form a bit of an addiction… and that takes time to recover from. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t look at the date that I broke it off—and he went immediately into denial—with a hit of sickness in my stomach.

…granted, I could still punch him.

Today’s the day I start reclaiming the little things. I raided the petty cash by an amount enough to get my hair professionally done as soon as I get a chance… I’ve seen a folding table that would perfectly replace a piece of the apartment I’ve been forced to live without… and I’ve been trying to get my sleep back on track.

The last couple years were a strange, dreamlike haze, the kind that you doubt the reality of but for a very long time have no solid reason to try to break apart—at least, until the one thing that is completely wrong happens and you have no choice, watching the pieces flutter downward.

… it’s probably better that I’m awake now.

When you have to frame it “queer vs n-word” you probably already know the answer.


An open question was posed in a group I’m in that (I hope) was honestly confused with why one can now use the word queer, but not nigger. I feel this is important enough to restate here.

Apologies for the Language there. All examples after this will be em-dashed.

Reproduction of my response:

As a black queer person, I am in the camp that you cannot compare the two.

Queer was never used in the old trade as a way to designate an inventory. It never denoted — legally for years — mere fractions of a person. Being queer was never an exclusive reason to stamp out an entire people (as opposed to parts), but as soon as you were labeled n—, it was open season, sometimes literally, as people were once hunted, beaten, lynched. Special laws kept us from advancement. There are literally studies out there that confirm both a subhuman and superhuman bias—we’re thought of as both more dangerous and savage but we’re thought of as literally “magic Negroes” and it even affects the medical treatment we get—I didn’t know that I had a superhuman tolerance for pain, thanks!

N— was used for hundreds of years to call us livestock. We internally reclaimed it as a “screw you” to the past. It was a tool of often fatal oppression. This is why the two words cannot be compared… and also why there’s so much vitriol when one who is not Black uses it. It is not your word.

Minutes later I discovered how deep down the group’s unknowing of the situation ran, as part of the entirely white questioning group asked me “but, what about when it’s used as a term of endearment?”


“Used as a term of comraderie and endearment, it is a terminal -a, not an -er… and if you are not Black, you shouldn’t be using it. Don’t be Chet Hanks.”



I am at a point in time where there are things I am thinking about, hard.

There are things I miss, things that I cannot give voice for the fear of dismissal from the one who it would actually (…?) matter to. The constant thought of it just makes me feel like I should just be done with the whole thing.

I miss feeling that deep, spiritual connection with things. People ridicule this feeling, but it has always, always been a part of my life. Even when I didn’t feel a connection to any specific tradition or denomination, I felt the need to feel connected to something.

And it is hard to shake off the feeling that something is wrong with everything when the person who I’m spending so much of my time on it… well, doesn’t.

Confession time—for a long time in my life, I wanted to be a priest.

(No comments from the peanut gallery on how that might be influencing my writing.)

I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking, “this is it,” until I found out that only men could. Turns out that you lose your religion fast when you find out you aren’t welcome where you want to be.

I’ve since found ways to get that deep connection, but… what does one do when your other thinks it’s bunk? Not necessarily the practice, but the entire concept?

I miss being able to share that part of my life. And the more I think about how I’ve had to keep it quiet from, well everyone, the more isolated it feels.

It influences everything. It contributes to how I enjoy the things that I do. To be met with a roll of the eyes—or, in the case of family, “you’re going to Hell”—to call this deflating would be putting it lightly, but I don’t have a word for what it does.

I have things to think about, and I don’t know where they’re going.

The power was out and I don’t trust it right now. Tea though…


Picture is unrelated. I’m just really proud of this shot. It’s marshmallow macaron tea.

Want to go out. Not sure how to present. I’ve been LITERALLY middle of it for so long that “What in the everloving HELL am I gonna wear” is an UNlimited question.

While I wait for the power in the building to stabilize, I’ll check the weather. Yesterday was stressor city (the damned “People Coming At Me With Their Hands Raised” trigger got popped) and I’m considering just making a Bento and hitting up places for photography.

Luckily it’s a gas stove.