she wrote it down so I thought ok I will do this one more time

I put a comment on this one blog post that has somehow drawn almost everyone to it: “He Wrote It Down“. I am copying the comment or that is I have already copied the comment I left and plan on pasting it here at the end of this which is mainly just a pointer to where or why or how I decided to make this one comment on the internet.

Because it can happen that I think I have no words until it becomes clear that I do. And also that I don’t.

This is what I wrote over there:

I am not sure how I got here only that I looked at my browser over coffee and here was a tab open right here. From yesterday before I succumbed to what is called sleep.

I am not sure I should leave a comment at all other than to say yes these things happened to me too only not exactly the same things because it is different for everyone only the inability to abide with oneself seems quite similar across all of the way too many stories I have heard from others and the way too many stories I have to tell and have been telling and telling and sometimes I think I am going to

run out of breath and fall right back into the earth and that will be that.

I was a girl when my brother raped me, when my church taught me I was going to burn in the Lake of Fire, when my family let me believe they were going to disappear in the rapture and I would be left behind, when some young man I had never seen before and would never see again tackled me on the beach and led me off behind the dunes and told me to take my clothes off and I remember staring into the sun and then I have my clothes back on and am looking for my grandmother who had left me playing in the sand and she finds me and says there you are and I say here I am and then nothing else.

I tell people I fell silent at 15 and did not learn to talk again for 15 more years which is sort of true although talking even now often feels like not talking at all. There are no words for it or that is no words that will cover it all take care of it all clean it up put clothes on it and take it home somewhere safe except home was not that so somewhere else I have to guess but I have not found it yet.

I am not a girl now perhaps obviously but what gender I am I cannot say or that is I haven’t found a name for it but I look like a middle-aged, balding, bearded, somewhat shall we say bohemian man. I have no idea what it is like to be a male survivor of sexual abuse; what I hear does not resonate with me. For me gender was violently enforced until it wasn’t anymore and I could be who I was except that over the course of one’s lifetime the possibility to be any particular of the ones you thought you would be narrow until maybe you are just you because none of the recognized options fit. It was not clear to me until relatively recently that being a nonbinary-gendered survivor of sexual abuse would be akin to being not a unicorn but more like a..
well there is no word for that either it turns out.

no man’s land. no woman’s land.
land? do you see a place to land?
the map says land here. why do I not see any.

Everyone on my mom’s side of the family has experienced some form of abuse or another–the majority of it sexual. For at least five generations that I know of. Everyone knows but nobody has a clue what to do that won’t upset any of the adults which is apparently the greatest sin there is. The children will be ok. They have to be. We all are ok aren’t we. Didn’t we turn out alright.

Speaking up is a little like talking to earless creatures who stare at you there disrupting the peace so discourteously. It’s not like you are telling us anything new. Can’t we just put it all behind us. We are tired. We did our best. Let it go.

It won’t let me go. Everything you forget I have to remember. The panic you swallow swallows me.
Every drop of denial you squeeze out of your life explodes behind my eyes at the temples the headache almost older than I am now.

I am 53. I was not planning on living this long. My body is starting to need attention in the way bodies will when they spend half a century resisting gravity and friction and oxidation and all the other agents of entropy that will soon catch up with us. I wish I knew what to do. I mean I have a doctor but I am disabled by what is called by some Complex PTSD and the number of symptoms has become bewildering and more than I can even keep up with trying to make appointments for.

And the stories. I dream them, I sing them, I write them, I eat them and drink them for breakfast and lunch by dinner I cannot get any more down so I dream some more and start over.

I am just going to leave this here.

Kickstarter project: we have achieved liftoff!

One Last Ditch: the movie.s. has been launched at Kickstarter! I have 45 days to reach my funding goal so that I can start making non-pixelated videos–or at least, when I want them to be non-pixelated–in October or so. Please go visit and please consider funding more poetry videos, for whatever reason compels you to support poetic and visual art. I have my own reasons, but they may not be yours: I am trying to find my own voice in order to speak up for life experiences that are not necessarily considered “normal” in American culture in the twenty first century. I know that hearing and seeing others who were considered freaks in their own milieux helped me to find reasons to stay alive when I was young and terribly unhappy, and although I do not propose to go into this to save lives, I do know the power of images and language when used well. I only hope to use them well and for the forces of life and the forces of love.

And it’s fun, besides. :)

If you wish to bookmark the page (but pledge soon, because 45 days is not as long as it sounds!), use this url: http://www.tinyurl.com/onelastditch –it’s much easier to remember than the long Kickstarter url.

home is where. no seriously. where is it.

Like most urban dwellers in the US, I am from somewhere else. I have been from somewhere else for as long as I can remember; when I was two years old my family moved across the country from Tacoma Washington to a suburb of Atlanta Georgia. I grew up saying I was “from Seattle” because in the 60s and 70s in the Deep South it was slightly more likely that one’s interlocutor would have heard of Seattle than that they would know about any Tacoma. Both possibilities were vanishingly slim and I suspect that Seattle was mostly missing on any map drawn east of the Mississippi back then.

Until I was about high school age it was the family story that one day we would move back to Seattle. My parents never did and now claim that they hated the rain anyway and prefer tornados to earthquakes, but of all the things they indocrinated me with, the only one that took was that I had to get back to Seattle. After a childhood of flying back to visit relatives in this lost paradise where it never got hot and the grass stayed green all year I was so hell-bent on getting back to Seattle that when my partner and I decided that we had to leave Atlanta in 1987 because, well, it was the South, I immediately and relentlessly campaigned for us to move to Seattle.

I was successful, much to my immense pleasure. Now I live in San Francisco but that has turned out to be something of an accident and I still assume that one day I will head back up to the land of dark and rainy winters. I miss those actually: one could stay in bed all day in the winter and not feel slothful in the slightest.

But what I mean to write about is going home. Continue reading

back.

I may have been six years old the first time I flew back to Seattle. When I was six nobody knew where Seattle was.

I may have been five, or even four–I do know that I was two when we flew from Seattle to go live in Marietta Georgia and shortly after that we flew back, and thus I began flying back to Seattle when I was too young to be afraid to fly and I have continued to fly back to Seattle through a debilitating fear of flying until this day, if you leave out the few years when I would not fly but instead got into the habit of taking the train back to Seattle.
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on my own

I am not sure if this is the place to write this. I am not even sure where it is I am going to be saying that I am not sure if this is the place to write this. Of my approximately five options, one is a PTSD board for people with PTSD from whatever trauma, one is a board for ex-fundamentalists who have walked away from their churches to varying extents, one is a board I only just joined that seems mostly focused on sexual abuse and rape, and the last board is a board for people with invisible disabilities.

I don’t know the PTSD board very well at all and, to the extent that one can get a vibe from just a few visits to an internet board (and I can, actually, and I am usually right), I get a vibe from this one that gives me some pause as to whether queer non-religious folk are welcome there or would be treated with care. I have not been to the ex-fundamentalist board in about two years and although I did get something out of my time there I don’t remember it being a place where one talked about more general familial abuse or trauma beyond that which was directly related to fundamentalism. About half of what I have to write is directly related to fundamentalism.

The invisible disabilities board is more of a place to go when one is running out of spoons than for insight into abusive childhoods; most of the people on that board do not attribute their disabilities to abuse and most of the disabilities represented there are more physiological than psychological–although I do believe that most psychological disabilities correspond to series of discrete but complex physiological states, there are many discrete, complex physiological disabilities that correspond to no particular psychological state. In other words, my invisible disability is one that tends to get section off in its own little room, apart from those with disabling physical symptoms.
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Cultural assumptions and disability

This is from a comment I made on the ButYouDon’tLookSick’s message boards, and although I think that it is a bit of a sketch and could be expanded upon, I don’t know if I have the energy to do so now. I wanted to put it out to a, um, well, another audience, we’ll say–since “a larger audience” is probably not an accurate description of the relative numbers of readers here and there.

The thread in which I posted this was a short debate on whether disability can or should be seen as “merely” difference and whose interests it serves to look consider a condition that causes one difficulties in functioning in daily life, as it is commonly conceived, as a difference that should be celebrated or a disorder for which we should try to find cures or solutions or accommodations or any of those things with which one might address a disorder.

This is what I said, more or less, with some edits for clarity:
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