Respectful Parenting Gains

I decided to make a change and go against traditional parenting recently and results are amazing. If you saw my instagram story earlier today, I faced a respectful parenting challenge: my adolescent child was being a total ass.

She was SO hurt that she was getting an iPad instead of a MacBook. My uncles wanted to treat her to a new piece of technology, and we discussed the pros and cons of each, and it was clear the iPad was a better and more responsible choice. She cried and got mopey as fuck. It was so frustrating for me.

I had the urge to punish her by saying we would decline the gift altogether. I had the urge to yell and belittle her sadness as selfishness and foolishness.

Instead I remembered that she is a child and emotions are complicated, even for adults. This is somewhere I can lend a hand, as her guide. I didn’t need to take her reaction personally. Her reactions and emotions are not here to serve me. Instead, I’m here to help her navigate them responsibly and in a way that shows care and concern for others, as well as being grateful for her privileges in life simply because that feels way better.

I told her I was sorry she was sad and gave her a little space. After about 20 minutes and she was still clearly fixated on this disappointment, I spoke frankly with her.

I told her that while her reaction isn’t as severe, it kind of makes me feel like the mom in a “My Super sweet 16” video clip she had told me about. In the video the girl is sad and angry because she got a blue Mustang instead of a red one. Or something. Anyway, my daughter had recognized how ungrateful the girl was behaving in that circumstance. I explained that some people her age have never even seen an iPad. I reminded her that it’s unfortunate to have such an awesome blessing and to instead totally be fixated on her disappointment.

I also explained our pros and cons list, and reiterated that as a person who can’t repair her own electronics, we have to consider the cost and impact that having an expensive and fragile piece of technology has on our entire family.

At first she was reluctant but took it all in and agreed. I left her be some longer, once more validated her feelings of sadness, and told her I hope she feels better soon.

Sure enough, about an hour later, she came to me with a big hug and apology. I trusted that my child is a caring, loving, considerate human. I expressed my feelings and thoughts to her in a respectful and appropriate way and she took them into consideration and chose a better path for both her mental health and our relationship.

She may not have done that, and that would have been ok too. Sometimes the results aren’t immediate, because after all, adolescents are usually pretty self-absorbed and short-sighted. Especially those that have experienced more “mainstream” forms of parenting and are still fighting for autonomy and respect.

I am backtracking and cultivating trust within my relationship with my daughter. I’m setting an example. I’m clearing a space that she can just BE in without being controlled or belittled. As a result, she is learning better how to be an accepting and caring young woman. As time goes on, she is learning to trust more, and she continues to make better choices more quickly and easily. So do I!

Children are a product of their environment, and I’m working toward making ours one full of love and respect.

*Forgive and editing errors – posted from mobile!

Lessons in Self-preservation

During my childhood, my needs were not nurtured. I never had someone to tell me that what I felt and needed were valid and important. In fact, the opposite was true. I was often responded to with ridicule and anger if I expressed much of anything. Or on the flip-side – simply used for others’ fucked up needs. I think nowadays thats why much of my healing comes from public outlets. I demand to be heard.

The other curse of my upbringing is a compulsive habit of helping others. It’s a coping mechanism. It keeps me from dealing with my own pain, which I’m sure is what my subconscious is hoping for. In any case, it’s super important to unpack all of this, because without having a firm grasp of the dysfunctional behaviors I have developed, theres no way of dismantling them.

It takes incredible self-awareness and dare I even say – cynicism – to take an honest look and truly heal. Anyone can buy themselves chakra stones, do yoga, burn sage, and think positively. Those things can be of serious help. But what you hear less about is the ugly failing and relapsing and bouts of confusion and even self-hatred. Without going through these necessary but awful challenges, one is just rubbing essential oil on a huge psychic tumor that really needs to be sliced open and removed completely.

I’ve had immeasurable self-doubt and self-hatred recently – even though I’m achieving my dreams. The pressure is so high, and my deep-seated fear is so intense, that the losses are so much louder than the victories right now. I feel everything so intensely, I’m raw.

I should feel good, theoretically. I know, in my logical mind, that I have done well, things will be ok, and I’ve made big steps toward preserving my self. This SELF that I have begun to acknowledge and nurture and put back together. My self that is riddled with confusion and pain.

My ex-husband/rapist/abuser’s current partner turned to me about his abusiveness toward her. I know how awful and manipulative he can be. My time with him was the most dark and damaging few years of my entire life. To this day, with all I’ve had to contend with, I can say he is the single most evil and terrifying person I’ve ever met. His energy is demonic, greedy, draining… It gives me the chills to think about sharing space with him, now, with all I know that I didn’t know then.

I offered my help readily. She waffled and brought me along the way. I allowed myself to get dragged back and forth. I offered a nonjudgmental support because I had wished for the same when I was with him. I failed to realize how inappropriate and harmful that was for me to take on. He was too close, and his toxic and contagious energy made impact on my life once again.

Ultimately, I was thankful for the trigger to remind me to heal. However, I was being re-victimized by the same man vicariously through her, and her own unpredictable behavior. I know how unstable a victim of an abusive relationship can be, I’ve been there, and it tugs on my heart strings. I don’t want anyone to feel that pain.

So I had to stop it, block it out, and set hard boundaries for myself. I had to say “this is your pain, mine is min.” I can only battle him for myself, no one else.

By protecting this sacred pain I bear, I have honored it, and I’ve honored myself. For the first time since first being abused by this person almost 10 years ago, I have fully acknowledged my pain and its validity and pure truth. Abuse has been such a common thing in my life, and it has my head spinning to be starting another spiritual battle. However, I’m leveling-up. I’m fully acknowledging my worth. This is the last chain that weighs me down.

I’m becoming fully aware of my SELF and therefore I am becoming fully aware of that which is and has been around me. Or that which has attempted to harm or control me.

In other words; I’m becoming un-fuck-with-able.

No abuser, no rapist, no man will ever have control of me again.

I made the call to exile this dark force from my life, and that meant placing myself before someone else, and I’m proud of the loyalty I’ve shown myself for a change.

No longer will he have a home in the shadows of my self-doubt. One day very, very soon the sun will reveal all.

The Full Moon Orgasmic Freebirth of Lumi Kelly

It took 11 years since becoming a mother, 2 less-than-perfect previous births, so much healing, and 9 months of actively dismantling everything I’ve been told about birth, womanhood, and my body — but I finally found motherhood and birth as it should be. I had my empowering free birth and Lumi shared it with me.

Last spring I came down with a brutal fever unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I was having seizures from the fever being so high, which I sometimes do with a history of high fevers — but this was different. The only thing that would soothe me is a burning hot shower. I was sobbing and shaking and in so much pain.

Immediately before the fever struck, I was experiencing my first bleed after about 7-8 months of breastfeeding my son. After the fever subsided and I was sitting in a bath and sat up to start to drain it when I saw something at the bottom of the tub. A little tiny start of a baby had come from my body. I had no idea I was pregnant, I guess now probably about 9 weeks along. I knew what it was instinctually.

I was hurt but it passed quickly. I saved her little embryo in the freezer and planned to bury it. I know that this embryo wasn’t my baby. My body wasn’t ready yet, but my baby was still coming. Oddly enough I repeatedly calculated the baby would be an Aries, although this was inaccurate. Lumi was, however, born an Aries!

The very next month I became pregnant again with Lumi, she was ready, and this time so was I.

Previously, we had a midwife from hell (I still am working on writing about this and about my last birth). I thought I was making a good choice by going the homebirth route, but it ended up being just as painful, shameful, and abusive as a hospital birth. My midwife was manipulative and abusive and I didn’t realize until after my birth, and the result was a tense, scared, and interrupted birth experience.

We were obviously scared to hire another person. After much deliberation, considering our options, even meeting with one midwife who was great, we decided just like everything else in our lives, the path most traveled was not for us. We needed to do this our way in order for it to feel safe.

So we embarked on our freebirth journey together. The birth of our son was traumatic and arguably placed a wedge between us that we needed to work through. We were determined to have the magical, romantic birth we needed. This process should bring us closer, not drive us apart with fear.

At first I tried reaching out to some online birth resources, groups of midwives and doulas and other “natural birth” folks. I asked questions about how to safely freebirth and explored options for backup resources such as a doula, or maybe a midwife who would help out in case anything DID go wrong, what to do with my placenta or option for stitching if needed, and other questions to find information on how to go about this. I got met with a bunch of phony support filling my head with doubt about my body, telling me no midwife would just be “on call”, responding with medical propaganda that was not even pertinent to my questions. One person went on to tell me how “unfair” it would be to ask that a doula attended my freebirth because of the “tremendous liability”. Another started listing things that could go wrong during my freebirth. Ugh… so much for “birth advocacy” huh? It was apparent even in the home birth midwife realm, I was going to be continually told what my body cant do. No matter the intention of these folks wanting to facilitate empowered birth, it was abundantly clear that personal liability was always going to be a priority to most of them over my wishes.

I wasn’t having it. I spent the next two weeks or so undoing the fear and doubt driven into my head from a single inquisitive post, and then moved on stronger. IT WAS NOT EASY!  I found some unassisted and freebirth support groups on Facebook and pushed through with the assistance of women in these groups.

In all my research and with each question I had, I kept finding the same answer: “Trust your body”. This honestly was hard for me to hear at times. Finding trust in my body was a huge hurdle, and I can say I was able to make some progress through pregnancy, but I never found full trust until I gave birth. The doubt was always there, but I didn’t let it get the best of me. It sometimes felt like blind faith.

I realized later that my body looked out for me all the way along even though my mind was scared. I was around 34/35 weeks when baby dropped into my pelvis and prodromal labor hit hard. I was uncertain of my due date, so assumed I must be further along than I originally thought. I prepared and started cancelling tours for work, and started to focus on my birth space. I did not feel ready yet – but I needed to be ready quickly. It felt like I could go into labor at any moment.

Well, each week went by with no baby. I went through various stages of coping and analyzing and predicting. For the beginning of each week I would have several nights of intense contractions thinking “this must be it, we are almost there” and by the end of the week it would fizzle out and I’d feel like labor was a distant possibility.

About 7 weeks of this went on I became more secluded and bored and frustrated. My analytical mind kept fighting me, trying to fabricate some predictability. So much wasted effort! It got harder as the weeks went on and my mind started to approach the foggy “labor land” and for a couple of weeks it was like I was IN labor. I was in a dream-like state. I couldn’t do much of anything productive. Work wasn’t tolerable. Sex was difficult because baby was so low. I mostly watched movies, bathed, stretched, and tried to quiet my mind for what seemed like ages.

As an anxious workaholic, it was not easy. But this process was protecting me. I NEEDED that time so desperately. This magical passage into another level of womanhood was helping me reset. I was burnt out on work, I was still scared as hell of repeating my last birth, and I needed to finish healing before I could bring this baby to the world.

After tears of frustration and weeks of worrying, I finally caved. I gave up. I accepted that this baby may never come and that I will be fine. It sounds kind of silly but I truly did accept that! The timing and waiting and charting was all pointless. I may have been almost 42 weeks pregnant like I thought, or I could even have been 39. I realized my biggest contender – time – was no longer existent. I need to just let this baby come. She was healthy, I was healthy, nothing was going wrong – I needed to accept that. I finally did and things became so much clearer.

It happened after months of trying to grasp the idea of surrender, and I finally realized there was nothing to grasp. I just needed to surrender, truly. Not just say the words or practice. Just let go and do it.

The next full moon, I woke up early in the morning to see a client after 7 weeks of not seeing any at all. He is a long-time regular whom I’d seen now through two pregnancies and probably the only person alive that I would have been willing to touch in a sensual way other than my partner at that point. My family went out for breakfast so I could see him at home and not make the trip to my incall.

During our time together, I had intense contractions,  but they were sporadic and short. They felt much more intense and deep than they had in the weeks before. I could feel them in my sacrum now which was a new development.

Seeing my client was a decision made after careful deliberation with Zachary. I did not really want to see anyone for weeks, because I needed to focus. Being an empath, other people’s energy could really affect me as I tried to center myself for labor. We decided that both the money, and “break” from focusing on birth would be very welcomed.

It proved to be a great decision. I believe the distraction was helpful to get me going. My client was totally understanding that we could not have a rigorous session, and we mostly talked and cuddled. He was a person who was truly honored to be in my presence during this unique time, and that was great energy for me to receive. When a wave would hit, I was surprised to see he instinctively knew to press his hand on my sacrum and just hold me gently until it was over. Eventually, our time was up, we said our goodbyes, and he wished me luck. I still wasn’t sure I was in labor just yet but I knew it was about time.

I welcomed my family home and told them the baby would be coming that day. I bathed and considered whether or not Zachary should cancel his photo shoot for that day. He had brought back breakfast for me, a Greek omelette, and I devoured it while sitting in the tub and it tasted SO good.

My contractions continued and I quickly discovered that rubbing my vagina and stimulating my clit was very soothing. Zachary sat by the tub speaking to me about my beauty and our baby coming, and gently massaged my vulva with his warm touch through a contraction or two before resuming getting ready for his shoot.

Finally right when it was time for him to leave, I had a big contraction. I felt the urge to call out for “daddy” like a little girl. Labor was making my vulnerable, and I needed him with me.

When he came to me I buried my face into his furry belly to soothe myself through another short but intense contraction while he softly stroked my back. We were both getting excited knowing our baby would soon arrive and then began preparing and giving each other celebratory hugs and kisses.

I did need him there. So desperately. That sense of vulnerability reminded me to checked in with myself and remembered that he is here, and I am safe, but I also had a profound recognition that I was the true traveler on this journey. I had to remind myself that he has nothing to save me from. I was going to bring our baby here, and my body would be loved and safe in his care while I did, but I needed to trust and stay with myself too.

It was around noon when I officially decided I was in labor. I began to question whether or not I was really ready. I hadn’t slept the full 9 hours or so I normally did during pregnancy, and was a little anxious about becoming too fatigued. It was important to me to feel present and coherent this time so I could remember, and most importantly – not feel traumatized. We applied some homeopathic remedies for pain relief and exhaustion.

The energy was high, although steady and calm. I had a lot of things I wanted and needed and I vocalized them readily – I real conscious and deliberate task on my part. We laid the floor with yoga mats and blankets, got towels and warm washcloths prepared in a crock pot, and hung a sheet over the window to block the light as I became sensitive to it.

We referenced the checklist I’d prepared for things to do when I went into labor and accomplished some of them but I had my own flow beginning to take over. I had a lot of ideas ready, which did help, but we found ourselves truly in the moment as my contractions increased in length and frequency.

I started to feel a bit too distracted and interrupted by my older children. I could sense some agitation in myself, so we sent them to the back bedroom with some snacks and a computer to watch movies on. My oldest was a great help with her baby brother. They came out to get stuff a couple times, but were so respectful and quiet for us.

I really wanted to sit and be loving and affectionate with Zachary, but my body wanted to move around a lot. I obliged and started to surrender –  fully accepting that labor was happening right now. I reminded myself frequently that all is happening as it should, I was in labor because now the time was right.

By the time everyone was situated and most of the pieces were in place, I was very much in labor. I was leaking a lot of bloody mucous and the contractions were strong enough that they began to take me down a little. I had back labor so I would walk around quite a bit, but have to squat a bit or sit to bear through them and relieve my back.

Zachary began rubbing my body through them. I quickly decided I hated that, it felt too stimulating. I just wanted to be held with still hands and he happily followed instruction. He held my head, we kissed when we could, he would kiss all over my neck and any skin he could reach while holding me close through each contraction. He’d quietly remind me that everything was going perfectly, and nothing bad was happening to my body, and I was going to birth our baby soon. These words were perfect for me, and we had discussed them previously as I was coping with the frustrations and pains of late pregnancy. Because of the sexual trauma I’ve experienced, it was very important to me to be in touch with my body and acknowledging that nothing BAD was happening TO me. I was, instead, accomplishing something great.

I practiced and verbalized a lot of mindfulness. I forced myself to speak readily about what I wanted and needed. I let go of my anxiety of being a burden or overwhelming Zachary. I spoke out loud about needing to surrender. When I found myself resisting, I vocalized it, which helped me comfortably let go. Zachary was amazing about switching directions along with my changing desires. Together, we welcomed my natural anxiety and indecisiveness. We didn’t let it scare us or disrupt us.

We experimented with some sexual touching, but the sensations were intense enough that I needed to take things into my own hands – so to speak. I found my vibrator and started using that to stimulate my clitoris during contractions. As the pain grew the increased sensations of vibrator over fingers was much welcomed. Zachary resumed simply embracing me as I took control and began getting in touch with my vagina. He would coach me gently, reminding me to let go.

It helped tremendously. I would respond by rhythmically repeating  “Okay… Okay… okay…” as I swayed and moved my hips, often thrusting them forward to press into my vibrator and ease the intensity. Sometimes the “Okays” would get louder, but it helped my from crying out in pain. I couldn’t say much anymore, but I could say “okay” reminding myself it was ok, I needed to surrender and that was okay.

This was the first birth that I touched my vagina at all, and it made all the difference. I felt around and softly touched myself in between waves to feel what was happening. I wish I’d known before how comforting this was. It helped me stay present, to know that my body was working for me and my baby, and I was safe here with my partner.

The sensations of using the vibrator weren’t exactly what you think of as pleasurable or sexual, but I found proof that my clitoral nerves were meant to help me birth. As soon as I would feel the slow squeezing of my uterus revving up for another contraction, I would grab the vibrator and apply it to my clit, and somehow my whole body would follow my womb and just let go of the urge to fight. The pressure on my vagina and pain from my cervix stretching would immediately release and I’d feel my muscles follow along and just relax and submit to the power of my womb squeezing my baby down.

I felt like I understood my body so well in this moment. I’d learned that in order to give birth, you really have to let go of the analytical human mind. I was afraid I couldn’t. But I did, because no one disrupted me. Zachary was the only one there, and he knew to just follow my instincts and my body as well. He never once told me what to do, and I don’t think he even asked much. He was a humble servant of this process and my body. He knew what to do when it was needed. It was amazing! The trust he felt in my body was so affirming. We were so connected on a primal level.

The energy never really died down. I was up and down and back and forth across the house, carrying my vibrator all along the way. I alternated between the toilet, the corner of my bed, a floor cushion I had on the ground, and a “shower chair” that had a cutout on the seat for access.

The shower seat became my favorite. It was the cheapest thing I could find that resembled a birthing chair. I would sit on it backward with a pillow wedged toward the back to cushion my thighs and support my vibrator. The cutout made me feel comfortable and open. But as soon as a contraction was fading away, I would be on the move again. I almost had no control of it! My body would just get up and need to move.

I knew when I was about to transition, because like my last birth, I vomited with the pain and adrenaline rush. I found myself on the floor, leaning over to puke in a bucket, while I was using my vibrator to soothe a contraction, and throwing a chux pad behind me because I was peeing and possibly going to poop, while Zachary caressed me as romantically as he could through this hilarious scenario. As soon as I stopped puking so violently I started laughing loudly and Zachary joined in. It was the most fucked up and funny combination.

I had a slight bout of anxiety wondering how much longer and intense the pain would be. My only doubt in myself at this point was that I had been managing SO well, that we must still have a long way to go. Luckily I was wrong!

I kept pushing forward, and worked through the pain. Zachary kept soothing and comforting me but the most help was my own body. The waves reminded me to surrender, let go of my thoughts. I was in it, for real, and I could do it!

After that bit of clarity and excitement, I went deeper into the process and my labor high. It was like a mushroom trip! I felt kind of queasy in the beginning and that was messing with my head a bit. I did not want to feel sick to my stomach, nor did I want to be pooping at all! I was getting flashes of sweatiness and euphoria or perhaps dissociation.  But then it hit hard! Just like when I’ve done mushrooms, the sweaty queasy phase went away with a puke and some pooping and finally surrendering to this crazy trip my body was on! It was amazing.

I finally had to totally give in, and from there it didn’t take long.

I continued walking around and swaying my body. I got into the bathtub briefly again, but I really needed to hunch over during contractions, which the small tub did not allow. I got out and Zachary dried me off and Then I felt a huge squeeze.

At this point I can’t even call them painful or “contractions”… it was just becoming a whole-body experience. It was intense, but with this one my whole body was syncing on its own. I somehow knew to sit, and give my vagina space. I sat on the edge of the tub with my butt hanging over the edge above the water and I let out a long groan and we could hear my water splash into the tub.

I was still speaking and narrating my experience some, but far less now. Zachary asked if that was my water and I said yes and indicated that I wanted to be back in the bedroom. We walked slowly back, and the pressure was intense. In hindsight I knew exactly what I was feeling although I couldn’t have identified it like you normally do through logical thought. It was pure instinct! Even the times my thinking mind popped in wondering how much more intense it may be, it quickly faded as my instincts forced my body to do what it needed to. It’s so hard to explain but you just KNOW, you don’t think it at all. You’re just doing it.

No more than 10-15 minutes passed and I may have had another contraction or two but don’t recall. I do remember feeling a big one coming and maybe even verbalizing that. I sat on my chair, quickly grabbed my vibrator and I don’t even know if I got to use it before standing back up over the chair and reaching down to feel my baby’s head crowning while saying “she’s coming”.

Zachary was surprised and maybe said something like “are you sure?” but no more words were spoken as I felt her head slowly come out of me. Logic did kick in for a moment as I wanted to protect myself from tears. I tried with all of my might to slow her down but her head just popped right out! I didn’t push at all, she just came. The pressure was intense but relieving. I don’t recall pain at all. I felt myself tear anyway, but it didn’t hurt.

It turns out it is a theme for me to become 100% silent during the last phase of labor, which also has had a record of being quick! I don’t moan, or scream, or say anything. Not even a little grunt! Which is funny because I’m definitely a moaner through labor.

I relaxed and breathed and felt her wet little head with my hands, caressing around the back of her head before feeling another contraction come quickly. I gripped the back of the chair while listening to Zachary tell me how beautiful she is. Her body started to slowly come out and I felt myself give into the urge to push while standing up straighter and let out a satisfied moan as her shoulders popped out and her body slid out right after completely seamlessly.

Zachary said something along the lines of “she’s here, our little girl is here” and I stepped over the cord and he placed her in my arms. I kept moaning in relief and enjoying the euphoric energy shooting through my body that can only be described as orgasmic! I didn’t feel necessarily sexual and know now that orgasmic does not necessarily relate to sex itself.

My older children came running down the hall and entered as soon as they heard the baby. I continued to let out orgasmic cries from the sensations of releasing my baby from my body. It was such a beautiful release.

We all smiled and cried and laughed in excitement while finally meeting Lumi while I stood holding her, directing my oldest to take pictures. We frantically set the bed up for us to get in and cuddle, my legs were getting weak at that point.

As I made my way into the bed, holding my tiny little baby with both hands, I paused because I felt my placenta coming. It plopped right out of me onto the bed without even trying. My oldest said “WOAH!” haha

After laying down, Zachary gave me some herbs to stop bleeding and for the pains. I also learned that placenta helps stop bleeding, so we cut off a small chunk and I placed it in my cheek. It was remarkably flavorless and much less gross than it seems! It also did seem to be quite effective.

I was so alert and stayed up for quite awhile with the baby, admiring her and of course eating a lot of food. There’s no hunger quite like it!

After about 3 hours or so we cut the cord and weighed her at 8lbs even. Zachary made me a placenta smoothie with frozen berries and almond milk, and it was fantastic! It did not taste like placenta, just a regular smoothie, but it was a beautiful bright vermillion color.

Immediately after my first home birth, which was attended by a midwife just a year and a half prior, I thought to myself “I don’t think I can do this again”. That was such a sad thought for me to have, because I knew I wanted many more children.

My freebirth was the most amazing, healing, and pure moment in my entire life. After so much trauma and a lifetime of confusion about my body, I really finally felt like my body was trustworthy, whole, and mine. Immediately after birth, and still almost two months later, I can not wait to do it again!

Road trip approaching

Our apartment is beautiful this morning. I slept in heavily and woke up to dark skies and heavy rain. I’m sitting with all of the windows open and the 2nd floor apartment feels arboreal surrounded by the big old tree tops and I can listen closely to the rain hitting their leaves. It’s amazing how the weather so strongly dictates the mood of the day.

I was planning on getting to work and running errands today. Instead I find myself feeling broody and nostalgic, but in a very satisfying way. I feel fear creep up knowing we are about to turn our lives upside down.

For a family who’s life has been involuntarily turned upside down over the last few years, it’s especially challenging to imagine breaking the stability we’ve recently developed and embark on yet another chaotic journey. This time it is our choice though. We want to start over and reset.

We plan to go on a massive road trip in just over a month. We have a guideline of a couple months to a full year, to just spend hopping around, shaking our past, bonding with our children, and then eventually hunt for our new home out west. We’ve been dreaming of this for a couple of years now. After battling divorces and exes and toxic family, and ridding ourselves of the consequence of past poor choices, we want to just start fresh.

The time is coming very soon. I feel a little scared and not ready, but will I ever be? It’s terrifying to pare down our belongings and let go of material attachments. It’s terrifying to think of this whole plan going horribly wrong and backfiring, leaving us without the comfort of years of familiarity. It’s terrifying to let go of the cycle of trauma, stagnation, and abuse that this city and life has fostered for us.

If my recent freebirth taught me anything, it was that fear is a fucking liar. Fear kept me from trusting my body in the past. Fear kept us each in awful abusive relationships. Fear has kept us in this city that just holds far too much trauma and danger for us to truly live in peace.

As carloads of residual memories make their way to the Salvation Army nearby, I analyze what items are truly of value to me and worth holding onto, both literally and within my mind. I feel this scary freedom approaching, and I am collecting all of my faith to tackle this anxiety and fear. I’m hesitant but ready, and I think this year is going to be the best yet. I think we will finally feel free.

I will never be your “perfect victim”…

I wanted to revisit this blog with something more positive but I need to get my thoughts out more formally, so now’s as good of time as ever…

I’m feeling a familiar feeling. I’m triggered. It’s not just a buzz word used by internet bullies, it’s something that survivors of trauma really experience, and it sucks. My face is hot, my underarms sweating. I feel angry and mortified. I want to act out in violence but hide in a hole. I’m remembering just how fucking unfair it is to not only experience trauma, but never have the safety of being a “perfect victim”.

Once I was called “the Lindsay Lohan of” and truer words could have never been spoken. I was once very involved with entertaining the local fetish community and they did not hesitate to rip me to shreds and abandon me once my turbulent life came to light, just as the mainstream has done to poor Lindsay. I read about this concept of the perfect victim when Lindsay was assaulted by her fiance publicly and no one cared and many blamed her.

I found myself facing rumors spread by my abusers this morning, once again.  I will never live down the fact that I chose the wrong partners. A man who, a couple of decades my senior, mentally tormented me for years, wedged himself between my daughter and I, raped me regularly after coercing me into taking heavy psychiatric meds that made me sleep, tried to convince me to have bestial sex, fetishized my childhood sexual abuse, showed anyone and everyone who would look my psychiatric evaluation that he stole from my files, and continues to harass me to this day. The list goes on, and yet I am still blamed.

I hid quietly in plain sight for years. And as I unraveled, attempting to escape again and again, I only became more topic of conversation – and not one was to see if I was ok.

After finally leaving, I fell immediately into the arms of another abuser. My life became a tabloid. As I became bloodied and bruised, this time the evidence was tangible. My drinking got heavier, I was confused and lost and alone in a sea of people who gave not a fuck about me living to see another day other than that I might not be there to entertain them any longer.

The reality of my situation became too clear, and I began to lose friends as my ex husband was able to slowly and methodically assassinate my character. As I tried to escape yet another hell, my frantic and flailing behavior only served to prove him right.

No one asked if I was ok, no one was there to stick with me. People told me to leave, get over it, stop being an idiot, and then thoroughly relished in sharing details about what was happening.

I did leave, and was punished more. The first ex and the second ex joined forces, they harassed me relentlessly as I tried to move on. They called DCFS on me, agitated my psychotic father and got him on my case, and spread rumors of me doing drugs and having orgies in front of my child. DCFS investigated us, I had several court cases going for me to make them go away, and I tried and failed at moving away only to be called back to finish fighting them.

I fought to keep myself alive through intense mental health relapses, bouts of suicidal depression, and heavy drinking. I could barely stay afloat in all of the attacks. I only had my current partner to help me, and all the while I had to keep a false confidence to maintain my suffering business.

I finally fought it all away as best I could. I testified, I divorced, got restraining orders, moved on, I tried to do what is right. I’ve tried to grow and be better. I can’t put into words how hard it was. These abusers were dead set on hurting me as often and as frequently as possible. The second ex held me captive and raped me, and the first was there to file new divorce proceedings as I recovered from my attack. They made an excellent team.

And all along, the public I tried so hard to entertain for years never once asked me, I had no one offer as a confidant or support, and they just exploited my life by whispering secrets that still live strong to haunt me.

But this is my burden to bear. No matter what I will never be your perfect victim. I still hear the lies and it hurts me. I have kept to myself, build my family, and focused on my work. I turned my agony into activism and work very day to help others while helping myself.

And yet it still haunts me. People don’t trust ME because of the abuse I endured.

Its way sexier to gawk at the woman falling apart than it is to listen and hold accountable the men who’ve abused her.

I hope those who’ve spread these rumors, who continue the abuse on behalf of my abusers, who’ve read my psychiatric records, who force me to relive my trauma, shame the fuck on you. It hurts. You never asked me, and it does really fucking hurt.

An Answer to Ridiculous Radical Feminist Questions: Why do men enjoy seeing women in pain?

After regretfully stumbling upon the sex-negative radical feminism movent of a group called “Untameable Shrews” I found this image posted on instagram:

I could go on for ages about how this school of feminism is, in fact, just as oppressive of women as misogyny, and I could pick apart this group’s sad excuse for “street art” but I’ll spare

you today to simply address the message depicted here.

While I do believe there is a threshold in which porn is harmful to all – I also beleive that the elimnation of porn is an absurd radical idea that only exists within frigid sex-negative “feminist” ideals where women have zero libidos and babies are grown in tubes. Yes there is are certain types of porn that are harmful for  a few basic reasons – they fail to illustrate consent or desire on the female part, they don’t allow room for emotional sexual needs, and they dont teach jhjow to have realistic sex.

Being a sex worker, I have seen firt-hand what happens when an everday guy tries to mimick his favorite porn scene. It’s pure buffoonery.

However, my focus is to answer this unnecessarily triggering question of; Why do men get off on images of women in pain?

Well, for the same reason women get off on seeing men in pain, or women get off on seeing women in pain. As a rather sexually dominant person who enjoys sex with all genders, I like seeing my partners in pain.

While I can also meet halfway on the BDSM front and agree that many of the constructs of BDSM are unhealthy and dangerous, this is not the norm nor is it a rule. Erasure of women’s enjoyment of hardcore sex only further oppresses us.

The visual representation of pain or discomfort triggers the same feelings as much of sex or other extreme pleasures do. Whether you’re receiving the most female-friendly gentle orgasm, eating a delicious cheeseburger that has you moaning in delight, enduring a spanking or intense painful fucking session, the result is the same. You’re indulging and letting go. This is often extremely enjoyable to witness as a caring partner.

Pain being introduced into sex is not male-serving. It’s sexuality-serving. Serving healthy and limitless female sexuality is essential to feminism.

There are exceptions. TO be honest, I find the much of the BDSM “lifestyle” or community to be riddled with abuse of women and harmful ideals for relationships – all put on display to impress other dysfunctional people. But this again, is not a rule. I also can’t see why any “Dom/me” would absolutely REQUIRE seeing a person in pain in order to get off – unless they are an abuse addict. Pain should be an emotional enhancement to sex – not a requirement to victimize someone in order to cum.

However, responsible and mindful BDSM  play, pain, sadomasochism, and fetish are all practices that can be freeing for both partners – especially for the person receiving it. It presents an opportunity to get in touch with our true primal nature that is so deeply buried under social construct – particularly the ones that demand women to be sexless creatures without perverted desires.

Pain does not equal rape or harm. Discouraging both men and women from partaking in either porn or BDSM is frankly fucking stupid and highly counter-productive to the feminist agenda. This radical idea  only drives women further away from feminism and empowerment into the arms of dangerous abusive situations. Instead of allowing them free agency over her sexual desires, this concept further isolates the sexual woman and makes her more vulnerable to abusers since she can not find comfort in feminism. If you say a woman can’t allow herself to be in sexual agony because SHE wants to, you’re oppressing women. If you tell her she doesn’t “know any better” and she’s a “brainwashed victim of misogyny” you are invalidating her very natural, understandable, personal needs.

Just because you do not have a sex drive, does not mean feminism should be based on sexless ideals. Women have a right to take back sex in it’s entirety by demanding their wishes be honored in porn, pleasure, pain, and more.

Denying a woman a right to express her sexuality and seek satisfaction only oppresses women. If your feminism limits women, you’re not a feminist. The sexual woman is the perfect warrior to smash patriarchal systems from the inside out. Don’t oppress her for the sake of your personal discomforts.

From Sex Object to Feminine Sexual Being

I’ve always been highly interested in sex. From a young age I was both physically pretty and curious about sexuality, and society has always treated me as such. I’ve been determined my whole life to find a way to avoid being told it was “wrong”. Whatever it is; hyper-sexualty, psychological issues, sexually acting out,  it is still me. I have needed to find the answer to peacefully being a woman who is both sexual and treated fairly in a world that treats sexual women as animals.

My active interest in sex collides with the way I was raised and almost all women are raised; that sex serves the purpose of male gratification.

When I was a young queer, I went through a rollercoaster of identity issues due to the only standpoint I knew. I learned from an abusive misogynist father and a self-hating absent mother. When I was very young, I thought maybe I was actually a boy. This eventually evolved as I began to embrace my feminine appearance, and even moreso embrace my interest in women sexually. I was always a little boy crazy, but my masculine side and dominant sexuality drove me to be more interested in girls as partners, and often question my gender as well. I found myself to be an awful partner to other girls because I could not combine intimacy and sex. For that reason, however, I was of the utmost desire to males.

As I grew more distant from my father, I became more interested in relationships with men that were inevitably dysfunctional. I knew how to relate to men easily – through sex. Whereas with women, I had to offer some level of emotional vulnerability which was excruciating to me. I was finally escaping my awful and isolated childhood, and felt I was “finding myself.” However, what was really happening was a growing slavery to misogyny. Because I was highly sexual, I was safest with men. I could relate to them. I was always down to fuck and they provided the approval I desperately needed at that point in time.

Essentially I was told what to be. Accommodate male sexuality = gain affection and praise. I took the bait and I lived it, walked in my mother’s footsteps, rejecting anything that was too feminine or emotional.

This was all so much easier than confronting the sexual dysfunction that had been weaved within my development and personality. From day one, I have been trained to think that my body and my sexuality exists for men to take advantage of. My mother was intensely shaming of any sexuality I expressed, or even any emotional needs, while consistently placing herself as an object of sexual attention in social situations. It was highly confusing.

The thought of having my own requirements and guidelines for sex seemed repulsive, frigid, and shameful based on what I had been told. Even as I became older and entered the sex industry as a Dominatrix, I was still operating under the guidelines of extremely demanding submissive men, even though I was gaining some false sense of being in control. It still drained me, left me isolated and used up, and I quit the industry for a bit feeling confused about what was causing my strife.

Of course at that time I had entered a committed relationship with a man whom I’d met as a client. He was there to “save” me. Show me a better life. Really, I had been fine until he showed up and “helped open my eyes” to how the sex industry was harming me. At the tender age of 20, already a struggling single mother, I did not have the wisdom to see the hypocrisy of his patronage of the industry. I left the work to become a housewife, with the sun on my face and newfound purpose.

However, as you may have guessed, it was not the industry that was harming me. It was my slavery to misogyny. My perspective and poor boundaries.

It’s no surprise that my new marriage eventually left me feeling the same. Drained, used, isolated. I left the demanding sex industry behind to fall into a marriage with a man 21 years my senior, who was far more demanding and entitled than the hundreds of men I’d professionally catered to combined. Now that I had left the industry FOR him, I enabled the ideation that I was his property. Regardless of being in an “open” and “swinger” relationship, I was more enslaved than ever. I was now expected to remain as sexually driven as the day he met me, but only for him.

After years of being caged and poked and prodded, some blatant fetishization of my sexual trauma, and serious consent issues, I finally left.

From this point, I decided that perhaps I was going about this all wrong. Maybe I was actually sexully submissive and just denying myself a healthy fetishization of male dominance and instead allowing it to control me passively. I entered back into the sex industry, as well as the local fetish community, and was feeling free and happy and like myself again.

The fetish community is crawling with men ready and waiting with the right words for lusty females who have lost their way. I fell in lust with a “dominant” man who was everything that my previous partner was not. Tall, large, hairy, with suave and charm that overcame his mediocre looks. I threw myself completely into my slavery, and compartmentalized it in a BDSM relationship with this man that I dared trust.

None of these choices I made were inherently wrong. I had the best intentions for myself in mind, except that my awareness had not been fully developed and I was missing a key piece. I intended to embrace my sexuality. However, I was only letting the men around me embrace it on my behalf.

I still would not be able to truly look inward and recognize myself as a woman, with complexities and layers of desire, emotion, and sex. I was told that was unfavorable. It was not what men wanted. Having always been both pretty and openly sexual, I constantly had aggressive masculine forces telling me what my body and sexuality should be. I became addicted to the approval in lieu of real love. I was an object for males, not a female being of my own.

My determination to not stifle my own sexuality almost worked against me. I made myself vulnerable to male sexuality but not my own emotions and desires. I knew none of this was right, I shouldn’t have to hide, but I also shouldn’t have been in such awful situations.

My knight in dommley armor inevitably became extremely abusive. The line between BDSM and abuse faded, and I was too deep in. Six months in and I had my first ever black eye at the hands of a man. I’d experienced abuse, but not quite this type of brute violence. I stayed. I lost all my friends because I stayed. He was the embodiment of my slavery to misogyny that required my complete sacrifice of self. He tapped into all that made me weak, and it was his to toy with. Oddly this is the most sexually driven I’d been with a single partner, I believe because he was so emotionless and rejected me both sexually and emotionally regularly. I was so desperate for the same approval, and so I tolerated being beaten in place of having sex.

I learned a lot about misogynist sexuality during this time. His libido dropped as he became more abusive. His sexuality was not about sex. It was about control. As he lost it, he also lost his erections. What a fucking metaphor for it all.

I hate to say it, but none of this was clear until well after we broke up, and then he raped me.

It all came to a head, and I was finally confronted with the toxicity of misogyny throughout my entire sexual identity. I was so fucking confused. My libido disappeared. My emotional needs couldn’t coexist with my desire for sex. I was confronted with a real problem – a total lack of sexual identity that was replaced with trauma.

When I started writing this I didn’t even intend to get into all of this, but it is so fucking relevant.

I had never before taken the time to acknowledge myself as a woman instead of a sex object, until now. Emotions had no place in sex for me. In fact, sex has successfully served as a tool to keep me from sharing my emotions with other humans when I could instead fuck them.

It is devastating that I am not unique. I am a product of an environment and culture that does not allow women to blossom as unique sexual beings. This is how we are raising our sexual girls. We are conditioning them to become victims of sexual violence instead of having their female sexuality exist and embraced outside of the existence of male desire. Fathers and male authority figures molest the young girls, misogynist society shames and isolates the sexual teenaged young woman, and narcissists seek out and marry the injured grown woman for his own sexual gratification.

What an uphill battle for us. I’m still not there yet, but I’m learning and sharing, because this is a battle we should never have to fight in the first place.

The idea of requiring a mood to be set, music, candles, foreplay had all seemed ridiculous and demanding to me. I am learning that being an empowered sexual woman is not just demanding your right to be sexual, it is demanding your right to be a woman and also be sexual.

It’s all been horrifically scary to pursue. I must, and we all must, focus on turning the sense of vulnerability into empowerment.

As a woman, I demand more. I can choose to engage in kinky, filthy, nasty sex as I tend to desire, but that can coexist with my need to be treated as an emotional and spiritual being. I can even choose to serve men sexually, if it is my desire to be a sex object during sex. But it must be honored and acknowledged as my right to choose and never taken for granted.

I am not required to maintain a status quo. I have a right to change my mind, explore, and experiment.

I am a woman with a right to my sexuality, sensuality, and emotions. I do not exist to be victimized by abusive male sexuality. Anyone else who enjoys these benefits of my sex is simply a guest and I will promise myself to abruptly remove them without an apology if they try to dictate my terms instead of basking in it with me.

I’m still learning every day how to do this for myself. I’m a lover who thoroughly enjoys pleasing my partner, and I’m learning that does not mean to subdue my own natural desires. After all, I have said in the past that the best sex happens when you truly enjoy your primal sensual self. I can be at peace with whatever I need as a feminine being to achieve that.

Tonight I go on a date with my partner. I think afterwards, I’ll make a point to feel sexy, light candles, set  a mood, bask in aromas and incense. I’ll put on some lingerie. He will enjoy it, but it will be intended for me.