Family

Me to my dad as he continued to talk over me: “YOU DON’T GET A VOICE. YOU DON’T GET A VOICE.”

Him: “I always like your natural hair better. Why did you have to dye it so reddish?”

*It’s not red, but with box dye (after a bad professional job that turned the back of my hair orange), it’s the closest I could come to my natural reddish brown color*

Him: “It looks like you have a worm in your ear.”

*Daith piercing, which I was extremely open and upfront about the purpose of getting it to help with my anxiety/panic disorder* He still doesn’t believe I have either disorder.

Him: “You know, I’ll always be willing to pay to have those tattoos removed.”

I got them so I could fucking cope with my world. My world of bipolar and ptsd and queerness and independence and anxiety.

I got them to fucking cope and none of these things are a joke to me. 


Everything he criticizes me about are all the things I’ve done to help myself, but I’ve tried to be as respectful as I can about them. My tattoos are mostly hidden, I don’t talk about my mental health openly anymore, my hair is always dyed a natural hair color (also for work), and I am fucking stable, always.

I just want, deep down, I just want my dad and mom to be proud of me. I want them to be proud of all of me, not just the things I’ve done and the independence/space I’ve created. I won’t get them to love the tattoos or hair dye or girlfriends I bring home or even accept that I’m gay. I really wish they would, but at the very least, I wish they wouldn’t openly tell me how disappointed they are. I wish they’d keep those comments, those thoughts, to themselves.

I dread hearing how much of me they don’t like.

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Moonflower tattoo

November 23, 2017

The meds gave me the ptsd flashbacks again, that’s why there’s so much fear and opposition to going back on them. I connected those two thoughts a few days ago, so my mind and my fear felt like it made sense to me again for a little bit.

I think I’ll get a tattoo soon to represent the abuse. My tattoos seem to get the thoughts from circling inside my brain, almost like I see it on my body and I can finally stop obsessing over it. Or, by the time I’ve put it permanently on my body I know most of me has healed from it.

A little, glass blue bird on my sternum transforming down to a hawk wrapped around my ribs. Originally, I thought about the hawk carrying a moonflower in it’s talons to represent my grandmother and the night the abuse stopped, but a huge part of me is so angry at her for not catching the abuse, or letting the bulk of it start and continue to happen in her house…she’s been gone and it’s been over for 16 years now and I’m still a little angry at her. Too bitter to give her a space on my body.

I’ll pursue a counselor (a new one) soon, two tattoos, the consistent workout classes, and a second piercing. I’m still in a good place.

Waves of the sea

November 7, 2017

Next tattoo. Back of right arm.

Hair is going darker as well.

I haven’t left her yet. Or told her I want to leave.

The cup isn’t half empty or half full, its just a cup, and its up to me to fill it up.

I can’t wake up every morning, or stop after every purchase, or rethink every extra nap as depression or mania. I can’t keep evaluating my days and categorizing my moods, it will drive me insane-er.

The waves of the sea will bring me back to me.

IMPORTANT

July 30, 2017

Nicole and I have a date planned for the day after I get back. Liz has officially moved there as well. About 75% of me is already planning out the next year of my life with Nicole, including eventually moving down and in with her next year. I wish I was joking, or not taking this as seriously as I want it to turn out to be.

Taking this year from sex and moving to a different state (even if it was only for a few months) feels more than necessary. At first, I took a break from sex and relationships because I wasn’t interested in anyone, and hugely depressed. Then, when the depression transformed into a bipolar diagnosis, my focus warped around that news and how to live and deal with it. As the months have stretched on, I tried a few dates with guys and a girl and still nothing stuck. So I read more, and got on a normal sleeping schedule, and cooked more, and moved across the country for the summer. And things didn’t change much at first. I still had to work out here, I still drank and made instant friends with the rebel from work, as always. But slowly, things did start to change, inside. I started going places alone, forcing myself at first, but still going. Going to restaurants, bars, going dancing, exploring different cities (Taos, Santa Fe) , taking local transit, even traveling 8 hours to spend the night, Airbnb style, in Santa Fe, alone. I stopped worrying who was judging me for eating or traveling alone to the point where I don’t even think about it anymore.

I’m to the point where I deeply enjoy being alone, not because I don’t want anyone else, but because I’ve come to love myself that much. What started as depression and pulling away from relationships has become the best (and longest) relationship I’ve ever held, and it’s been with myself. 

Since I was young, I’ve always had a vice. Porn, alcohol, drugs. When I lost my virginity at 18, I really lost it. At first, I slept with a few men out of heartbreak. Then dated a few, badly. I was terrible at relationships. Then cheated on one with another guy. Then really spiraled. I’ve slept with nearly 30 people, and I eventually expect that number to grow. There was no break in the sex either. Maybe a few months, that being the longest break in time since 18. Until last December, thats when I officially stopped. I’ve still drank and smoked a few scattered times while being out here this summer, but nothing sexual.

This is the most important thing I’ve done for myself. I know myself now. I know my beauty, my worth, my strengths, the things that have made me brave, that I’m more than my fear or my diagnosis, that it’s still possible for me to grow.


I found out the little silly things that take away from who you define yourself as. How I don’t only have to like beer because it makes me seem cooler to guys. Hell, I’m allowed to take myself to a fancy, candlelight farm-to-table restaurant alone, only to figure out that their homemade Strawberry Kombucha and Bourbon cocktail is a $12 drink to be proud of.

 

How I don’t have to propose my coming out as bisexual as a question if the other person is okay with it or not. I’m fucking queer and I’m not afraid of your reaction. I intend to date this girl because I really fucking like her and I just need you to know this about me now so you don’t have to figure out on Facebook, because I do value you.

How important it is to keep writing and drawing, not just saying it’s something you like to do. How cool it really is to love poetry so much that when someone asks what your favorite artist is, your automatic response is to list off a spoken word poet because you know that counts as music.

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How important it is to know and love your body. To know how strong your bones are, and how many bruises they can birth. How much fun it is to finally get a visible tattoo, one that you see daily that simply reminds you how badass you are.

To enjoy your own touch. 

I love myself. It was important to take this time in order to fall in love with myself. Whoever I come to date, to sleep with, to marry in the future will only be a compliment to the love that’s already inside me. 

Tadpoles

December 17, 2016

I think I might delete this blog, start fresh. There’s a lot of suffering documented here, and a lot of feelings and memories I don’t want to be reminded of. At the time of making this (however many years ago) I was terrified of losing all the memories I’d built and getting to a point where all the details were lost. I don’t have a good memory, especially when I’m depressed, and I lose a lot of things.

Last Monday, December 12, 2016, I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar II and Panic Disorder. I’d been initially diagnosed the week prior by a psychologist I had gone to for counseling. She recommended I immediately see a psychiatrist and seek medication for what she thought might be Bipolar I with anxiety distress. I’m on medication now (anti-psychotics) for the bipolar but was told it might also help even out the anxiety attacks as well. My follow-up meeting with the psychiatrist is this following Monday to review the medication effects and if the dosage is correct. The medication is supposed to level out my moods to where I feel when I would normally be in a manic state or a depressed state, but won’t fully transition into those episodes. Instead, I’ll remain in a normal state with some side effects. It’ll take a little while to process the diagnosis and consequences the disorder has had on my life so far. A lot of the events chronicled in this blog could be defined between depressive episodes and manic episodes.

I think since I’ve written this blog I’ve never gone back through each post to read each entry, so I feel it’s almost necessary to delete the old posts and start from here, maybe even change the name of the blog.

I’ll give it a paragraph, or a list, then I can move on. Jared and the virginity during freshman year (depressive), sexual promiscuity (manic), nude modeling (manic), risk taking alone done throughout college (manic/depressive), severe weight loss during sophomore year (depressive), and Wesley (probably some manic paranoia). There were a lot more of the depressive moments than manic moments, when I think back, but that’s Bipolar II, Bipolar Depression. I’m not alone anymore. I feel like I can start adequately taking care of myself and will.

Technically, I have three tattoos now, but the second is covered by the third. Sometimes I feel the tattoos were probably more my manic side coming through, but I don’t regret them. I want to get one more on my hip of a two headed tadpole with a lightening bolt on its back. I may go to Adam again because he did such a good job with the cornfield and wind turbines on my ribs. The tadpole would represent the bipolar and the power it gave me to seek help and be diagnosed with such a sneaky disorder. Bipolar has taken a lot of years and warped them for me.Just now that I’m finally diagnosed and receiving medication (and eventually counseling again), I feel I can move on past the mental illness. So, I want to remind myself of that inner power each day. I love Andrea Gibson, and hope to see her live someday in my lifetime. Her poem, “Tadpoles,”A tadpole doesn’t know it’s gonna grow bigger. It just swims, and figures limbs are for frogs. People don’t know the power they hold. They just sing hymns, and figure saving is for God.

I feel new and older and wiser and less afraid by my life. I feel like I have more control than I’ve ever had before, and I feel so proud of myself. I want to remind myself of this feeling, because I feel like I’m at the beginning of living. Manic aside, I feel so good in my normal state. This will be the first post of this new blog. Here’s to inner power.