Category Archives: letter to me

writing prompt

From “Resurrection After Rape”–you are supposed to be writing a letter to yourself the day before the rape.

Dear Krissy,

Tomorrow something will happen to you that will change your life. What I want you to know about it is…

It won’t be one tomorrow. It will be many tomorrows. You won’t be raped once. You will be raped a lot. You will have a hard time learning how to stop being raped. I want you to know that you were taught. At some point it becomes your fault if something happens to you–at some point you must recognize your role in it. You did finally learn how to make it stop.

I want you to know that none of the men who raped you were actually very powerful in the scope of the world. It really sucks that they had enough power to do that to you.

I want you to know that maybe with some of them fighting would have helped but it wouldn’t have with all of them. With some of them if you had fought you would have been hurt badly. You had no way of guessing who was whom at the time. You made the right choice. You are still alive.

I need you to understand that being alone is often the safest way to be. It is hard, I know. I know how much you hate being alone. You really need to learn how to embrace it. The only safe way of not making someone angry with you is to be alone. It’s ok to be alone a lot.

I want you to know that you will always feel weird. When people say “trigger” they probably don’t understand what that means for you. Be patient with them. They mean “feel uncomfortable” you mean “full body flashback of being raped”. It’s ok to be self absorbed. You have to deal with your physical experience of being in the world even if you are irritating to other people. Even if they wish you would just shut the fuck up already.

See, that’s why the alone thing is so nice. You can care for your needs without being bad for having them.

Within every person there is an ageless essence. It is there on your first day and is the same on your last. There is part of your personality and core self that stays the same. That part of you can not be touched by anything that any one says or does to you. It is yours. You may spend your whole life crying because you don’t believe you can make up for being bad but that part of you isn’t bad. That part is ok. That part that makes you you isn’t bad. Really.

Even good days will often involve crying. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel ashamed of yourself. It just is. You didn’t pick this body you were put into–it’s just walking meat. It cries. So what? It has been through a lot.

Run earlier. It is, apparently, good for you. Try harder to drink water. It is also, apparently, good for you.

Keep reading. People will compliment you on your prodigious vocabulary for the rest of your life.

Love, me.

I think I can; I think I can.

I get told pretty often that my kids are challenging. People tell me they are tired when they leave here. But my kids are difficult because they are used to a non-stop stream of energy and input from me. I talk all day. I answer questions. I interact. But my kids and I have an understanding. When I tell them I am at the wall and I need to rest they go play. We are learning boundaries slowly. I feel like it is mostly working because they are getting older and have fewer this minute needs. I tell myself it helps a lot that my kids have never known the feeling of having unmet needs. Not for more than a few minutes. We are working on differentiating between wants and needs. 

I’m having to work very hard on being patient and loving with the boy I am babysitting. I’m bloody well doing it because that’s the deal–but it’s so hard. I have to be patient even though his crying is very loud and I have a terrible headache. He’s sad and scared. He doesn’t understand why he was taken away from his parents. He has never been away from them for this long before. This is terrifying for him. And my kids scare the shit out of him. Their volume is jarring.

We are a loud house. I feel embarrassed about that. I consciously try not to speak when I am around people because I believe that my voice is irritatingly loud. I learned how to project when I was a stage manager. Then I was a teacher. I feel that I sound bombastic and didactic pretty much all the time. I feel like I don’t know how to have a conversation. I feel bad about it.

I don’t know very many men who waste time feeling bad that people can hear them clearly. I’m not screaming. I just have a voice that carries well. I did that on purpose. But when I see a little boy flinch when I speak I feel ashamed of myself. I try so hard to make my voice soft and gentle.

Right now I can’t let that feeling of shame be part of me. I have to not think about it at all. If I let that tape run my behavior will change and I won’t be able to notice. I’m not doing a thing wrong. I am a nice person. I am gentle with these kids. They do know they are loved.

He’s just also scared and confused and he can’t really communicate. Everything he is doing is the natural reaction to his biological state. He is not an inconvenience. If I have to wear ear plugs, that’s ok. I’m not being mean. I am dealing with my physical needs in a non-obtrusive way.

I can be patient. I can. I will be nice all god damn day. I will find games to play and we will be excited and happy. Today is Shanna’s birthday party. She is so excited she is bouncing all over. We have cooking to do. How can I get them involved.

This is my life. This is what I want to do. I am god damn lucky to be where I am and doing what I am doing. I have a lot of luxury and a lot of privilege. I don’t need to be a whiny bitch while I’m doing the things that are involved in life. I will be a good example to the kids. I will help them learn things that are hard. And I will smile while I do it.

God damn it.

Is it that time again?

Is it just me or are these coming faster and faster?  It seems like just yesterday that I was twenty-nine.  Tomorrow I am going to be fifty.  Fifty.  It sounds kind of old doesn’t it?  Gah.  I felt that way about thirty too.  I think this will be ok.  It’s probably about time for me to set some new life goals.  I have this bad habit of only planning for a fairly finite amount of time and then getting stuck.  I did pretty much everything I wanted to do by the time I was thirty like I wanted.  Fifty is pretty much the same.  I think that is a life well lived.  Oh man.

I decided long ago that the thing I wanted most was to produce children who were happy and healthy and free from the cycles I grew up in.  Well… that’s an interesting thing to judge.  Shanna is 23 and Calli is 21.  They don’t look anything like the other members of my my biological family in behavior.  Does that mean I broke the cycles?  It’s hard to judge that sort of thing.  They feel free to do things I dislike.  I try hard to make my disliking the thing an impediment to a relationship.  That’s one of my cycles I’ve had to work on.  I wasn’t trying to raise people who would be compliant.  Which means we have complicated relationships. It’s been humbling to have to listen to my children give me valid criticism.  I have had to learn to tell the valid criticism from the hyperbole and grow in productive, useful ways.  That means there have been up periods and down periods and right now we are in an up period and I hope it lasts a long time.  I think that being ok with the strife and knowing we will eventually find a way through has been tremendously healing for me.  I have been able to love my children in a way I was not able to love my family of origin and that proved to me that I was not simply a broken person.  I am capable of having healthy relationships.  That’s been maybe the biggest success story of my life.  It may have been a humble goal but my husband likes to tell me that happiness comes from low expectations.

I tend to think of people as being in my life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  I’ve been continually surprised by who falls into each camp.  I think that I have been more socially nomadic than most people.  Either that or I’m just searching for a lame reason to category my life into phases.  Take bdsm for example.  I was very involved when I dated Tom but then I left that community.  I did sporadic play but rarely what I would term a “scene” by the standards I was raised in for many years after that relationship ended.  It was in examining my own weird feelings about my relationship with Tom and my feelings about bdsm that I grew to understand more about the concept of the Old Guard.  In the first four years of my experience in the bdsm community, I wasn’t learning what I wanted.  I was learning what Tom wanted.  It was hard for me to grow to accept that.  I didn’t know what I wanted.  It wasn’t until I got into a deeper cycle of work on incest stuff that I had to look at the ways in which we goaded one another into places that were hard on me sometimes.  He always had my consent.  But my consent is a pretty messy thing.  It exists some days and then I revoke it and feel angry about the incursion.  That set a pretty intense pattern to how we played.  He did not handle the backlash well at all for understandable reasons.  He thought the amount of after care was more than the play was worth.  That’s a gross simplification and not really what happened, but it is how it felt.  It is how I processed what was going on.

In the next portion of my life I firmly set aside a lot of those feelings and went off and explored other parts of life.  I treated the bdsm community like a phase to be gotten over.  I did still play occasionally, but I treated it like somewhere I was a tourist.  I had to go away and learn a lot about myself before I could come back and find out what I actually wanted.  I learned how to have a shape in my life that fit into the sex communities.  It took longer than I was happy about, but that’s ok.  I gave myself a big window on purpose.

Teaching was this brief intense, idyllic world for me.  I did not know how to have life balance with it.  Some people can, but I couldn’t.  The funny thing is, for that I homeschooled my kids I have the utmost respect for good teachers.  As the girls grew up I found my calling.  I always knew that I needed to take up more space in the world than most people.  I didn’t imagine when I was young what that meant.  The thing I value the most about the people who have been in my life the longest is they provide the most consistent mirrors.  They give me feedback on how I have changed that surprise me.  I wouldn’t be anything without my friends, right?

But mostly I think I’m well on my way to my last life goal.  My funeral is going to be epic.  When I die it will matter.