A Well Overdue Update

Life has been crazy leading to this long overdue update. I’ve had lots of amazing sex, I’ve forceably removed someone from my life, I’ve started taking medication for my mental health, I’ve met a bunch of good people, and I’ve really grown as a person.

Per-usual let’s start at the beginning: My relationship with Half Elegant. She was an frustrating person as I’m sure you’ve come to understand. She was really attracted to me and really boosted my self image. We also had amazing sex, consistently amazing and the first time I’ve had sex since coming to realize I was molested (a huge step). She also constantly harassed me for being honest about my feelings towards her, was quite controlling and very jealous.

We screamed, we yelled, we fought our fights happened over and over again without ever reaching resolution. She would always change the topic, always turn it on me when I tried to talk to her about anything she did. After we broke up the final time she wouldn’t stop harassing me and making me feel bad. I told her I needed space, mainly because I could tell she clearly wasn’t over me. The problem was she didn’t want to get over me. Instead she wanted me back and sent me harassing texts for days. I tried to explain myself but in the end I just had to tell her we would never even be friends. I had to go to the point of blocking her on both facebook messenger and texting.

One of the things that gave me strength in this time was I started being uplifted by medication I was taking. When I started medication I had a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings and started having a hard time going to work at all. I started leaning hard on Half Elegant trying to escape these horrible things. I would have panic attacks in the middle of the day and my only recourse was to hide and curl up on the ground.

My psychiatrist diagnosed me as having mild depression, PTSD, social anxiety, agoraphobia and panic attacks. I started taking sertraline (zoloft) for depression and gabapentin for anxiety. I have slowly increased these doses and and now taking 50mg of sertraline once daily and 300mg of gabapentin 3 times daily. They have helped a huge amount. I feel like a new person, I feel like myself. It’s an astounding feeling when I can just chat with strangers if I want, and get out of bed effortlessly almost every morning. The feeling is strange and freeing. I feel like one of the best versions of myself.

Having medication has really helped me grow a lot and enabled me to really tackle things in therapy instead of day to day stressors. I’ve become way better at staying grounded and present in the moment and now can ground myself in only minutes. I’ve also become able to sit with my anger instead of being scared with it and feel myself making huge steps at coming to terms with things in my life.

I’ve also moved forward in my personal life by making new friends and just being and feeling friendlier than normal. I’m growing a confidence and self respect I’ve never had, I am learning to stand up for myself and to realize how truly powerful I am. I don’t have to play along I can take charge I can run this show. I’m excited to see where the coming months will take me.

Finally I need to touch upon my new friend Clarity. I met her at work and bonded with her instantly. She opened my door at work and asked me where a coworker was. I explained to her where his office was and then she turned to me and asked if there was anything around she could eat. I held out my peanut butter jar she looked at it with anticipation and looked at me and then I laughed and said, “I was just eating out of it with my finger.” I became her ally at work helping her navigate things and have since become her friend and nanny. Talking to her is a breath of fresh air cause she just gets it she is super easy open up to and be real with. She’s also my role model for strong dyke knower who cuts through the bullshit and sees what is real. I can’t wait to learn more about how she navigates the world, and how to slay.

So all in all life is pretty amazing.

Summer Love Playlist 2016.8

Here is my most recent playlist. While most of them focus upon a time in my life this one more seems to focus around a person in my life, Half Elegant (previously known as R). We were involved for 3 months, most of this time I wasn’t really into it. I was trying to find a balance between friends and lovers, we clearly weren’t friends and I didn’t feel like she was a lover. The balance was never reached. This is why the cd is being release now, it’s the end of an time period, the time period I call “Summer Love.” I can’t say this title isn’t ironically named, but I will confirm that “love” is a complicated thing with our without quotes around it.

1. Totally Confused – Beck

This is what I listened to at the end of Half Elegant and my relationship. Melancholy, raw, disorienting (other songs on the album highlight this). This is how I felt.

2. Skinny Love – Bon Iver

I first heard this in the Wire Tap episode Never Say I Love You. The episode has a segment about people in love, without their lover anymore. People holding on, struggling, feeling sad, and still feeling love. It is followed up by this song. I started to cry when I was biking home, I started to feel. Half Elegant made it hard for me to feel she just wanted too much. Now that we are apart I am able to feel what I wanted without holding back, finally. And I biked home listening to this on repeat while getting teary eyed and feeling love.

3. Betty’s Bomb Shell – Group Love

Earlier in the day (months ago) I felt awful, I tried to cut myself with my work keys, they weren’t sharp enough. I went back to work and when I finally left work I felt the same way. I looked incessantly at the ground looking for a piece of broken glass. When I finally found one I found out just how dull glass from the side of the road is, so I kept biking. I stopped in Arsenal Park and sat on the ground. I thought about what I should cut myself with while listening to this song. I played it over and over again and finally I found a pepsi can. First using the tab, then using a small piece of the side of the can I repeatedly cut small cuts horizontally on my arm. This is the biggest cut on my arm and it happened whilst listening to this song.

4. Signs of Love – Moby

I can’t remember when I listened to this song, but it is one of my favorites. It reminds me of staring at the sky and smiling while listening to another Moby song, it reminds me of biking along the river in Philly and crying to Moby. It’s happy, it’s sad, it’s melancholy, it’s real.

“I fly so high,Then fall so low”

5. It’s Only (feat. Zyra) – Odesza

I am long boarding on Ellsworth near Oakland. I am singing this song so loud. I’m singing this song to Trish, to Kelly. I’m singing this song loud and proud and I feel good, I feel sad.

I’m again on my longboard, it’s 2am and I’m back at it again, I’m in Oakland singing and carving.

6. Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) – Crystal Castles

Half Elegant gave me this song. She listened to it after we broke up the first time after “dating” for a few days. We listened to it under 40th st Bridge and Half Elegant banged her head all around. She jammed to it when she was drunk and I came over. We were in the hallway of her house where there is a built in shelf that holds records and the music player. The lights were mostly out and she danced like a maniac. This is our song.

7. Sorry – Beyoncé

There are countless memories around singing this song. The one that is most recently and strong in my memory is with Half Elegant. It was the day we hung out with Jesse and tried to go to the pool. She was an ass. We were driving her home to drop her off and this song. I felt this song. I felt pissed at Half Elegant. As I drove my arms were out stretched leaning on the steering wheel with my middle fingers up.

“Middle fingers up, put them hands high, Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye”

8. No Role Modelz – J. Cole

“Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.”

This is the lyric I heard when I felt Half Elegant trying to save me. This is why I started listening to this song. That isn’t exactly what Half Elegant was trying to say, but I’m still singing I don’t wanna be saved.

9. For Free (feat. Drake) -DJ Khaled

The beat caught me on this song, while driving around Fight for Fifteen workers to go to their conference. The song also constantly reminds me of Half Elegant. I must admit sex with her was the best sex I’ve ever had by a long shot. So good I thought I should pay her, especially cause she had no income for a while.

10. Panda – Desiigner

The beats of this song are great, the fact that he keeps saying Panda is hilarious. I first listened to this song because a Pittsburgh activist and USASer posted this on a Penn State USASer’s wall with the description, “I broke my bed while listening to this song.” That’s what I think of every time.

11. FUCKMYLIFE666 – Against Me!

I was getting gas on the Northside and I looked hot. Grey tank top, maroon tube skirt, brown knee high boots with grey leg warmers sticking out. This guy walked about 20 feet from me looked over at me and turned around. It puzzled me, but it made sense when he and his friends walked by and yelled, “that’s a dude.” I was mortified and eventually just put on my middle finger and stewed over it. The person next to me muttered, “She doesn’t have a choice.” which felt nice to hear.

I got in the car pissed and I put on Against Me! and started screaming along to them. As I was about to turn them off and then this song came on from their live album. The beginning of the song just caught me and I couldn’t stop listening.

The song also reminded me of an important fact, I had been trying my damnedest to “pass” as a woman for about 2 years. I’ve been slowly realizing I am a woman. But Against Me! reminds that I am a gender warrior. I am a woman and a man. I am here to fuck with your concept of gender. I am a trans-tomboy. As the shirt that Laura Jane Grace wears states, “Gender is over (if you want it)”

12. The Writings On The Wall – OK Go

Half Elegant gave me this song. I feel this song, this song often feels like our relationship.

“It seems like forever since we’ve had a good day, the writings on the wall
But I just wanna get you high tonight, I just wanna see some see some pleasure in your eyes”

I would listen to it most when I was sad. Because OK Go was staying to me, that it’s horrible, yes it is, but “I just wanna get you high tonight.”

My most recent memory and the one besides watching drunk Half Elegant dancing to this song is as follows. Half Elegant biked off in an agitated hurry to go no where and I stopped. I couldn’t handle the frustration she was expressing towards me so I stopped biking. Instead I listened to this song. I felt sad I was having a hard day and I just wanted to get high tonight, to feel some pleasure. Half Elegant came back and said in a accusatory tone, “Why are you listening to that song? Are you trying to say something? You know that’s a break up song.” The next day we broke up for the second time.

13. I Hate Hate – Reagan Youth

This song is amazing to sing along to. I song along to this endlessly along the bike path. I remember biking up past Millvale on the bike path, I remember biking down to the northside on the bike path, all the while I would sing this song for the haters. Because I hate HAAAAATE!

“I as in M, E, Fucking Me, Hate as in H, A, T, E, Hate… HAAAAAATE!

Thoughts of a Suicidal Person Who is Loved by the World

H: Jennyyyy.
J: Hearrrrt.
H: It’s so good to hear your voice.
J: I know doesn’t just about everyone want to hear my voice at the other end of a phone?
H: [Contemplative pause] I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love to hear it.

I’m loved by my friends, I’m loved by acquaintances, I’m loved by total strangers. Not everyone but those people are exceptions. I have fed off this love for so long, I still feed off of this love. I have pointed to it for why not to kill myself countless times. I’ve changed so many people’s lives for the better. Yet this knowledge sometimes leaves me feeling hollow? Why does making someone else feel amazing leave me feeling empty.

When people try to kill themselves there are a few common argument against it. By thinking about how much you have bettered peoples lives. How good of a person you are in the world and how much you are loved and needed by others. And I know I am very loved and feel needed and wanted by lots of folks in my life I’ve changed countless people lives for the better. This knowledge and these feelings has never brought me down from the edge.

The thing that kept me most from the edge is something much different from this. My first time feeling suicidal to the degree of jumping off a building was 2008 and it scared me. After some googling I came to understand that suicidal thoughts are the logical step when you run out of coping mechanisms. Your dog dies, you’re sad but you can handle it. One of your friends stops talking to you, you’re sad but you can handle it. You start feeling isolated from the world, it hurts but you you can handle it. But compound these things and your sad, you’re filled with sadness and you hurt, you can’t handle it, it’s too much. What do you do?

If it’s too much to handle by definition you can’t handle it yourself. You have run out of coping mechanisms you have run out of ways to deal with it. This is when I stand atop a tall building. This is when I look over the edge. I can’t handle the stresses of life, I don’t feel like I belong I don’t feel like it’s going to get better, I don’t think I’m ever going to deal with it, It feels like it’s never going to end and I’m going to feel this forever. That’s why I look over the edge. That’s why I peer down and prepare to jump. I prepare to jump to make it go away. I don’t want to jump now, I didn’t want to jump 7 years ago when I got the closest I’ve ever been. I just wanted to know it was going to all work out, I just wanted all the hurt to go away because I couldn’t deal with it. I just wanted to know if I really needed to I could escape from all of my problems.

If you tell me I’m needed, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me I’m loved, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me you love me, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me the world will miss me, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me I’m strong, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me to follow my passion, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me I was an inspiration, I’d still want to jump. If you tell me it’s all going to be okay, I’d still want to jump. I’m not at the top of a building because I want listen, I’m at the top of a building because I can’t handle what’s going on because it’s too much.

I’m not standing at the edge because my day went well, I’m not standing on the edge because my week went well, I’m not standing on the edge because my life is going well. I’m standing on the edge because I’ve been slowly descending here. Because I’m slowly losing hope, slowly unable to handle my daily stresses. I will look at your messages and they will make me feel better, it’s nice to be needed, loved, and an inspiration, but it doesn’t fix my problems. I feel bad saying this because I know you’re only trying to help, I’m just trying to let you know it’s not going to help, not now, maybe earlier. But don’t worry it’s not your responsibility it’s mine. I feel alone and detached from the world. I’m having a hard time and I’m sure you are having a hard time in your life as well. I wish I could cope with it I wish I had asked for help earlier. It’s too late. I can’t. I need to stand atop a building and look down to make my problems small, smaller than the 8 stories I’m looking down. Small enough so I can step back off this ledge.

This is a story by Jenny where she is speaking more about her feelings historically than about her suicidal feelings currently. When she stood on that ledge and readied herself to jump her problems did get smaller, they did get small enough that she could step back off that ledge. She has since learned how to ask for help a little more and started to learn how to accept help. She is happily seeing a therapist and psychiatrist who are both monitoring her mental health closely.

Also check out this previous post where she talks more about her artwork that addresses this topic.

MarShawn and the Activist that Burnout

On the night of Monday, February 8th Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel blew his brains out on the Ohio State House steps. He organized actions around Michael Brown’s killing in 2014 in Ohio, founded a youth mentorship program Pursuing Our Dreams for Ohio’s homeless and was honored for his commitment to activism by the NAACP and Radio One’s “Hometown Champions Award”. But I’m not writing an obituary for this great activist I’m writing to lamenting the trend for activist to burnout and suffer from mental health problems they are not addressing. I’m writing this to lament activist who waste so much time not loving themselves.

"We waste so much time not loving eachother." a quote form MarShawn written hundreds of time in black. In red, where the bullet sits in the gun the quote is altered, "We wast so much time not loving OURSELVES"

“We waste so much time not loving eachother.” a quote form MarShawn written hundreds of time in black.
In red, where the bullet sits in the gun the quote is altered, “We wast so much time not loving OURSELVES”

The suicide of MarShawn touches close to home, too close. Activism was my life for 4 years in college. I worked tirelessly as a student activist and readied myself for the world of “professional” activism when I graduated. I haven’t really gotten there, instead I burned out. I considered killing myself, suffered depression, and took over 3 years almost completely off from activism. It wasn’t until spring of 2015 that I reentered the world of activism and have been hesitant about my commitment to it in fear of burning out again. I want to do more than data entry for a union, but I’m not sure if I’m ready. I look around and am worried for myself as I see non-profits burn through and burn out activist by overworking them and underpaying them. That’s because activist don’t work a job for the pay or the hours, they work it because of there passion to better the world and non-profits exploit that.

Non-profits intentions aren’t necessarily malicious but the results are the same, burnout. Some organizations are especially bad like Clean Water Action and Grass Roots Campaigns, which both find well intentioned young people who want to change the world and with little training have them knocking doors fundraising, a truly exhausting job with long hours and with quotas for them to meet. This minimal direction and high expectations leads many youth to believe they aren’t cut out for activism. Some organizations act like the fact that people are driven to their work because of passion they should be exempt from paying their worker a minimum wage. Non-profit advocacy group, U.S. PIRG recently came out against a law that will have salaried employees paid overtime for the work they do over 40 hour a week, READ: workers will get paid for all the hours they work even if they are salaried. When arguing against it they even to the extent of arguing they should be exempt because they are “mission-driven” work.

The problem is activists by their very nature are often selfless people driven by the work and are willing to overextend themselves for the work (passion). They are committed to their cause (work) and tend to forget about themselves. Organizations only encourage such habits and encourage working long hours, meaning no one is concerned about activists’ mental health.

It truly hurts me to see activist being so selfless and having so much of themselves taken by their work. We are such devoted people but we aren’t devoted to what matters: sustainability.

I have had conversations and arguments with friends about sustainability in the paid-activist world, it has led us to be hesitant to getting involved. You can’t have a life and work for most organizations committed to change. It seems like you have two choices: make real change and being apart of something that matters or try to live a life that’s sustainable and healthy.

Of my friends that work in activism most have or do struggle with depression, and for some this wasn’t something they had before being a paid-activist. One coworker confided in me that she used to cut herself, another talked about her time at a Intensive Out-Patient facility, and another eluded that her isolation and overwork has caused her and countless fellow coworkers to become depressed. I know for a fact that a majority of my coworkers have suffered from depression (the rest I haven’t heard either-way from them)

These are the people who are working to change the world for the better! How? How can you expect people to change the world they are in when they can’t even be happy and healthy themselves? As an activist and an anarchist I believe that you have to live the revolution everyday. What sort of revolution is it when you don’t have time to enjoy yourself? to love yourself? to take care of your own mental health? That’s no revolution I want to be a part of, to paraphrase Emma Goldman, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution”

6/16: A Day Filled With Despair and a Bicycle Crash as experienced by Jenny

I wake up early at R’s she’s still sleeping. I think about how I’ve hardly gone to work this week. It’s Thursday I should to go today, for the money, and to finish the two projects I’ve been working on. As I lay in bed thinking about this I slowly begin to fully awaken. Eventually I’m awake and energized enough to leave.

I’m at my house before 7am, I shower and shave, dry off and meditate. I’m already half way through my morning routine. I’m relieved because it’s been hard to complete this routine in it’s entirety and I think I’m going to complete it and get to work before 9. I’m on fire! Except when I’m done meditating I don’t have the energy to get up for my meditation cushion… I don’t have the energy to leave my room.

I sigh, frustrated and disappointed I know what’s going to happen now and not much can stop it. I lay in bed half dressed and sleep for 2 more hours. I can’t sleep anymore I can’t really do anything so I just lay in bed. I text R, she doesn’t respond, looks like just me and the bed today! At 11:30 my mom calls to finalize her plans for her visit this weekend. This distracts me enough to get me out of bed. I make breakfast while talking to her on the phone. Egg sandwich and a fruit smoothie. My morning routine is complete as I finish eating my breakfast in bed.

I text R again, she hasn’t responded I hope it’s because she’s actually doing something. I get a response this time, she is also home, she’s also not doing anything. she wishes she could apply for jobs but her computer doesn’t work. Mine wasn’t working last night either but I fixed it this morning. I’m glad that I did because as I text her, “Now it’s easier to kill time.” “I want to kill time dead right now.”

R suggests distracting myself by reading or yoga. I realize I don’t know where my library book is so I decide to listen to a podcast. She’s right it distracts me enough that I find my way out of bed, not yet out of my room but I’m half way there.Then R asks me if I want to donate plasma today. It used to be a ritual of ours every Tuesday and Thursday. but I’ve been deferred recently and didn’t have time last week to donate because of work. I don’t want to donate but I do want to leave the house and accomplish something today.

spots at 4

A half an hour later we meet in the park just as the rain begins. We wait for it to slow in a gazebo. Our appointment is at 4, we have to get there by 4:30 or we aren’t going to be able to donate until at least 5pm. It starts to rain again, R doesn’t have a fender and her ass is getting covered in mud.

When we get off the bike path we keep getting split up taking slightly different routes and them finding each other again before splitting up once more. We’re almost there and it begins to rain harder. The rain is coming down and the wind is blowing. I turn around to see R take a side street, she’s going the back way. I’m jealous and wish I was taking back alleys. I’m on the sidewalk on Western ave. It’s a nice wide sidewalk with no pedestrians and better than my other option to the right, a long line of traffic going the same direction as me. Well at least that’s what they’re trying to do. They are facing that direction but I wouldn’t say they are really moving.

I look ahead and see a silver car’s front bumper emerging from behind a building onto the sidewalk, right in front of my path. I press down on my brakes, but I’m only feet away at the car at this point and combination of the rain and my poorly adjusted brakes only slow me down and I keep getting closer to the car. I stare at the front bumper and decide where to aim. I’m going to aim for the front bumper just to the left of the lights. I’m going to hit it with a slight right angle so I’ll bounce slightly to the right enough that i won’t go in the road but I also won’t slam into the car at a 90 degree angle.

I’m on the ground
I’m standing up with my bike between my legs.
I see the driver get out and run around the back of her car. I hear people asking if I’m okay and don’t know where there voices are coming from. I look to my right and some people in the long line of cars have their windows rolled down.

The driver of the car I hit runs around the side of her car. She’s in her 40s, glasses, black hair in a pony tail, baggy white t-shirt on. She looks like she didn’t really get dressed today. She’s manic right now.

She asks me if I’m okay and if I’m hurt what feels like a dozen times. I stare at her blankly and say, “I’m fine.” one time.
“Are you sure?”
I feel my body moving my arms and legs and briefly looking down at my legs. I have a two cuts on my right knee and a scrape on my left ankle. My arms feel fine, my legs don’t hurt at all. “I feel fine.” I just want to leave, I’m a block away from the plasma place and I just want to go meet R there. I don’t want her waiting in the rain wondering if I got hit by a car.
Someone walks across the street from the bus stop and asks me if I’m alright, I can’t see their face but still respond, “I’m alright.”
The woman asks again, “Can I give you a ride somewhere? I’d really like to give you a ride somewhere, where do you need to go?”
“I’m just going right there,” and point two blocks away to the plasma place, “I’m fine.”
“Are you sure, I’d really like to give you a ride.”
“I’m fine”.
“Is your bike alright?”
I glance down at my bike and try to remember what to check, I can’t remember but I tell myself I checked the handlebars to see if they were twisted I tell myself they weren’t, and then I pick up the front of the bike and kick the front wheel to see if it spins alright. It’s got a slight wobble, the kind of wobble you get if you hit a curb hard or get in minor car crash, fine but needs tuned soon. “Yeah it’s fine.” I reply dismissively.

I just want to leave. I don’t want to be here anymore I’m surrounded by people who are all staring at me I just want to go see R. I don’t like it here. “Are you sure you don’t want a ride? I’d like to give you a ride.”
“I’m fine, I’m almost to where I am going.” I begin to back up to leave. She walks back around the back of her car and before she opens the door I say. “Thanks for stopping to check if I’m okay.” I had to be polite and tell her that, too many drivers hit cyclists and drive away. I appreciate that she didn’t make me a hit and run.

I get to the plasma place and R isn’t there yet. It starts pouring down rain and this wind starts blowing so I wait around the corner of the building occasionally checking the bike rack for R. I’m soaked, and a drop of blood is trickling down my right leg. Finally R arrives and we lock up our bikes.


The Last Couple of Months

The last couple of months have been something else. I gained friends, lost friends and had many realizations and amazing experiences. I got over some horrible things and I experienced some horrible things.

The first things that happened was a fight between Spaced and I. She took time from me and I began to realize that she is a manipulative narcissist. Since then I have not really talked to her for about two months and because of her closeness to Chem I’ve also hardly seen her. I don’t trust them, I shouldn’t have trusted them so much. I didn’t know what to do about this situation at first, so I just avoided them. I let time lessen the intensity of this conflict. I let awkward encounters happen without explanation, I left text messages unanswered. Today I finally sent an email to Spaced explaining my feelings. I don’t expect to be friends with her anymore, I don’t expect to care the burden of how she treated me anymore.

Instead I’ve found good people to replace them. I have become close with a coworker, Heart who is so dear to me. I wish she had more free time because I love spending free time with her. She has experienced and experiences things similarly to me so we relate on so much. Talking to her is like talking to a good friend that I’ve had for so many years, a friend that just understands. Also her name is heart on this blog because of her openness, a openness and compassion that has freed me to cry and admit how hard it is when she walks in a room. She’s just a good friend. In addition to her I’ve got a couple other folks that I’ve been spending time with that are new and I’ve been spending time with friends I’ve had for a while, like Preciosas (Von).

During this time I was also struggling severely with being molested. I made a drawing that expressed my feelings.

This says "I still don't feel safe." well over a thousand times.

This says “I still don’t feel safe.” well over a thousand times.

It says “I still don’t feel safe” well over a thousand times. And the song that goes to it is Orgy Drills by Tobacco

I ended up posting this drawing on facebook. That was an emotionally draining day, I was super triggered all day. I got lots of messages of support both private and public and it felt amazing about coming out about this. After the hard day I had an even harder evening as I went to meditation and felt like I was going to be attacked from behind. I was so on edge that I couldn’t even attempt to meditate until I changed seats to have Preciosas and another friend both behind me to protect me. That night I decided to stay over at Hearts house because I just didn’t feel safe alone.

Then a huge victory happened. I suddenly was mostly over being molested. It was amazing and empowering, I felt relieved and victorious, I finally felt like a survivor. A few days later I had a anxiety attack. My next demon had emerged and it felt like self loathing. The day following my anxiety attack I cut myself. First with a key which was dull as fuck, then with a piece of glass I found on the side of the road which was also dull and finally I ripped apart a soda can and actually cut myself. I wasn’t in panicked state, I was calm and angry. Angry at myself for who I was and I later realized for not expressing my feelings.

I heard a transman, Bex, on a podcast describing my experience perfectly. He had just made a bunch of big changes in his life, getting top surgery and no longer drinking Despite those changes he felt miserable and wanted to kill himself and even tried to. He said, “Turns out, that when you transition, beforehand you hate yourself and you’re in somebody else’s body and then afterwards, you hate yourself, but you hate yourself in your own body.”

I feel that a lot and I am only starting to unravel some of the problems that have haunted me. I will soon be free to be me. The problem is the road is a hard road to travel as I think I’ve made it clear. I’ve cut myself numerous times recently, I cut myself to end the feelings I felt, I cut myself because I couldn’t feel or find out how to express my feelings. I reflected upon cutting a lot and I had some helpful words from my Mom. I told her I cut and she responded saying, I know from my work that people do that because you are are overwhelmed are having trouble expressing yourself and I understand you’re going through a hard time. Validating and explanatory. After talking to my therapist more I realized what I was doing, and it feels obvious but it wasn’t at the time. I was cutting myself and showing it off in such an open way because I was trying to scream, “I hurt!” I wanted people to know I wanted people to know how hard it was, but I didn’t understand that I wasn’t explaining myself I wasn’t dealing with the real problem, expressing my feelings. I’ve started doing that more, it feels relieving. And understanding why I cut and why I want to cut makes me now how to stop it and not want to do it.

It’s been a roller coaster of a few months and I will always live in despite of these feelings, in despite of not being able to get out of bed I will have fun. The past months have been filled with canoeing and enjoying time with friends, bike rides and adventures. I’ve worked a lot, gone to a bunch of exciting actions for work and taking breaks and worked little. I’ve also found a new friend that was something more at first. I’m not sure where we are going anymore. But it was nice to be touched and loved for the brief time we did. She’s an adventure queen and is always down for any of my half baked ideas. Friend or lover, I enjoy her. Not ready to give her a nickname yet though, soon.

There ya go casbalog readers. The long overdue update. the negative, the positive and I can see the clouds moving away in the breeze, more are coming but there are less than before. I feel better than I have, worse than I have and things are going a good as I could ever have hoped. I’m enjoying my life.

Finding Reality 2016.4

It’s that season, the season where I release my new playlist. This it the third playlist in a series that happened (probably not entirely out or chance) to match perfectly a series of classes being offered at the Shambhala meditation center. I took the first two classes: “Who Am I?” and “How Can I Help” (with correspoinding playlists called “I am Who I am” and “What About the World”). The last class is called “What is Real”, I didn’t take this class but I ended up making a playlist in the theme of it anyway. This playlist for me catalogs a time of a lot of tension and disorientation, a time when the friends I trusted weren’t trustworthy and the reality I was experiencing wasn’t really reality. I’m talking mostly about Spaced here. I haven’t talked to her in about two months. With her I have also lost Chem and other friends. But in return I have gained my reality, it’s not as nice as Spaced’s reality is at times but it’s mine and it’s with me all the time, not intermittently. With that reality came a lot I have regained my trauma’s and problems and have now been able to work through them more readily. And finally I have started to realize I deserve better. I deserve friends who understand me, I deserve friends who I appreciate, I deserve to be treated well all the time.

Sadly there is one song that isn’t on youtube but it is available right here it’s song number 4

1. Harvest Moon – Poolside

This is what Jamie listens to. They have a pretty decent taste in music, especially chillin’ music. This song feels like hanging out in the kitchen on those long mornings when we would chat about our lives and views on the world. This feels like chillin’.

2. Crave You – Flight Facilities

Another from Jamie’s pandora station. A more sensual song, but with a similar feel, just chillin’. I can kinda see Jamie dancing to this song, or at least saying, “yeah dripping in gold.” Honestly these first two songs remind me so much of another memory.

I am in the bike shop on Sunday in the winter over two years ago. It’s snowing, it’s cold, the manager has gone home, no customers are coming in. K puts on some music, Surf music. We listen to this beachy, poolside music while staying warm inside and watching the snow fall. Feels perfect.

3. Seattle Party – Chastity Belt

I got this song from Fia, Cha’s roomie in Asheville. They are super cool and have an awesome taste in music, honestly that is where almost all of the music on this playlist is from, so props to Fia for having awesome taste in music.

This song also reminds me of driving on the interstates near downtown Pittsburgh. I’m not doing too hot, I’m feeling overwhelmed like I want to change everything in my life. Chastity Belt is calming me down, and letting me know it’s gonna be alright.

4. Dear Liberals – Lee Reed


This song was passed onto me by one of the BLM activist in the area via fbook. Every once and a while I need a reminder where I am and where I belong. All of the lyrics of this song are amazing and spot on.

“Putting green products in their shopping carts like their spending habits could ever offset the suffering”

“Fuck a liberal”

5. Formation – Beyonce

I don’t really know what to add to this song, but apparently Hillary Clinton Keeps hot sauce in her bag *throws up in mouth.*

6. U – Kendrick Lamar

I am in my room about to go to sleep but I have just come to understand this song. I’ve skipped over it for months but now I feel it. I don’t know who he is talking about but it hurts. His hatred and this person, his love of this person, who is it. I get on rap genius and it hurts so much more.

He is singing about himself. *cue tears*

I listen to this song on repeat and cry myself to sleep. The following day it continues to haunt me and I listen to it driving home from work. I hate myself, I hate myself more than you ever could. I hate myself so you can’t hate me more than I do. I hate me so that you hating me means nothing.

7. Blackstar – David Bowie

This song makes me feel so much. I am a black star, I want to always be a black star.

This is the album that David Bowie released before he died to complete his performance. This is also when I found out very underreported facts about how he statutorily-raped 13 year old groupies, while at the same time we all were getting to know about Cosby’s wrong doing (while much worse he notably isn’t white).

David Bowie was such an amazing, free, fantastical figure to have. I loved his music and his style. He flies his black star flag proudly and reminds all the queers and freaks to be themselves and be proud. Thank you Bowie. I am a black star I will do my best to pick up where you left off.

8. Dirt (with Aesop Rock) – Tobacco

This song reminds me of a hilarious memory. I am half way through my art piece, “Molestation.” then I hear Aesop says, “It’s my duty to inform you,” and I slow my work and begin to focus on the music to hear what he is going to say next, “Honey bunches of oats is the greatest cereal every created by man.” And I burst out loud laughing, I just experienced some horrible thoughts writing “I still don’t feel safe.” hundreds of times and this is just hilarious. At the same moment Heart calls me because I texted her something somewhat disconcerting, and I can’t help but answer the phone laughing.

9. 2 Thick Scoops (feat. Serengeti) – Tobacco

Before I figured out how to download them I listened to them a lot on youtube. I would continually replay this song at work. I remember being in the awkward cubby hole I was shoved in using one of the computers at work. My view of a wall that almost entirely surrounds me and I’m there just replaying this song hidden from almost everyone.

“And dream of changing my name to Zack”

10. Forever Heavy – Black Moth Super Rainbow

This song feels like biking to work, biking home and trying to silence some overwhelming thoughts. Thoughts about Spaced mainly but in large part I just needed a break from all the fucking drama in my life. I couldn’t handle it and Black Moth Super Rainbow would shut it out just right.

11. Still Life – Slow Magic

Much the same this song quelled my crazed and paranoid thoughts, it calmed and soothed. I danced to this song on my bike. Dancing my arms around to the music in the breeze. This song freed me of these problems and let me float.

12. High You Are – Why So Not

This is some more surf, poolside music that is so perfect for the winter time, again via Jamie. This is one song where you have to sway, if not full out dance along.

13. Youth Group – Slow Magic

Slow magic is another band that Fia gave to me.

14. Melt Me – Black Moth Super Rainbow

I spent a lot of time listening to Tobacco, because they rock, and because I had the pleasure of seeing them live at Spirit with Jamie and more friends.

I had to put a lot of Tobacco and Black Moth Super Rainbow on this mix. I’ve been listening to it pretty much constantly since I found them in Asheville.

15. Grease Wizard – Tobacco

This song gets me going every time and I am reminded of the first time it caught my ears at Green Gears. I played it a bunch of times that day and jammed out every time.

16. Orgy Drills – Tobacco

This song is wicked. This one caught my ear when I was doing the planning for my Molestation art piece. When I was listening to it church bells were going off in the background and it created a really cool effect. I knew there were church bells going off but wasn’t sure and couldn’t tell which sounds were them and which were from this song.

This is dark, this is perfect for Molestation that I drew about a month ago.

This says "I still don't feel safe." well over a thousand times.

This says “I still don’t feel safe.” well over a thousand times.

17. Mortal Man – Kendrick Lamar

This song really affected me, especially because he asks a question that I can’t completely answer it, or at least not how Kendrick wants me to, “When shit hit the fan is you still a fan?” I think of how I feel about Bowie when I found out what he did. It hurt, I couldn’t just forgive him for it, I still acknowledge what he did but I’m also still a fan, a huge fan but it hurts me.

“I freed you from being a slave in your mind, you’re very welcome
You tell me my song is more than a song, it’s surely a blessing”

This question really hurts me. These songs will still have the impact they do if Bowie did or didn’t do what he did, if Kendrick does or doesn’t get “framed” for something. But it tarnishes their credibility. I understand why Dominique Francon in the Fountainhead buys gorgeous art and destroys it, why she tries to destroy these wonderful creators. Because this things they create are better, more pure than any human could ever be. People will only tarnish their pure and amazing creations. They create an archetype that is unachievable.