Fundraiser for Kaya and her family

Friends,

Many of you who read here, also read over at Kaya’s blog at underhishand.com.

She recently shared of her son’s tragic murder, on June 24.  Her family has faced unbearable grief and should be focused on leaning into each other.  We can help by sending money and sharing on facebook and on blogs.

Like most of you, I know Kaya only through her blog and through writings back and forth a bit via email over the years.  I noticed how many of us felt that we knew her family through her eyes, and how much we wanted to do something to offer support and comfort.

i have already donated, and can say that it only took a moment, and the fundraiser has an option to withhold both your name and the amount you donated.  i can verify that those features worked just fine, for those of you who may be concerned about your private information.

Please consider donating, sharing, or both.

Blogging is a difficult thing to do at times, but the reward for being authentic should be the compassion of people who have shared in your journey.

The fundraiser is https://www.youcaring.com/brandon-la-favre-592025 and it automatically gives you a choice to share on facebook when you donate.

 

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A Mothers Love

Over lunch, a friend asks if Sir Raven and i are having children.  When i tell her no, she wants to know why not.

i answer honestly, simply (i think)-

“i’m not healthy enough to have children, but if i were, we’d have a house full.”

Sir Raven remarks that i’d be living with the children away from her then.

And it hurts.  Cuts. Rips me open.

Hands down, the biggest grief i have is losing my nephews.  i gave them everything i had, prayed unceasingly, and was an absolutely wonderful Mommy for them.  This i know.

Once or twice at Spiritual gatherings, Priests have asked me about my son.  i thought they meant Gabe or Jacob, but i grew to understand that a part of the soul of the baby boy i lost was in them.  And that is why i feel a mother’s grief to have lost them.  Jacob nearly drowned in the pool twice while the person who birthed him was too high to know or care.  i was hysterical for months-sobbing and making wounded animal sounds, something broken inside-and then i’d start making the calls all over again.  An attorney, the grandparents who would pick them up from my house and knew they lived with me full time, DHS, my mother (for money to hire a lawyer and private investigator).  It went this way for months.  The judge wouldn’t even let me speak-ordered me to sit down without even finding out why i was making a plea to the court.

It was the sheerest form of hell.

So, i’m sitting there at lunch, trying to sound casual about a topic wrought with unending grief-

and i go to touch her, needing her support, and she moves away a few inches before making that stinging remark.

Given the fact that we are not actually having children together in the lifetime, i’d think it would be fairly easy to promise babies in the next.  Give me some kind of relief from the pain of my loss.  Just a chance that i will get to be a mommy, without the constant fear of my children being taken away by the people who did little more than an animal act.  Yes, i said it.  Any animal can fuck and reproduce-that doesn’t make you a Mommy or Daddy.

i try to calmly explain to her that it would be nice if she would touch me, or assure me that she knows i’m a good Mommy.  She is, after all, the recipient of my Mommy love for her little boy inside.

i am surprised that i have to explain, again, why this entire thing is so incredibly hurtful.  i’m saddened that when my grief rises up, i am alone with it.

i am bereft that we don’t use our collective pasts of grief to hold each other tighter, reassure each other more.  That is the only thing that makes sense to me-to never let an opportunity for showing love, showing empathy, deeply connecting, creating memories-go by without a backward glance.

Yes, i am more emotional because i’m in pain.  Pain does that to people.  My body doesn’t know the difference between this stabbing back labor from extensive disc damages and what it feels like to have a miscarriage and hemorrhage.

But i’m also in pain about the here-and-now.

That is all any of us have any control over-do we affirm or tear down?  do we reach out or go inside ourselves?  do we give what is needed or escape?  do we stand up for each other? do we tell the truth? do we reach out?

i feel like i’m very alone, in a choppy sea, and i need comfort, connection, and to feel loved.  Feeling loved and being loved are not the same thing.  i know she loves me in my head-but right now i’m not feeling so lovable-and i need her to reach my heart.

Fighting for you

i’m not fighting with you, i’m fighting for you.

It is hard enough for me to say, “This behavior you are doing hurts me, and hurts us.”

i can’t sit down and shut up anymore.  i’ve done that for too long, too many avenues have to communication have been closed down permanently.  i can’t say what i need and expect to receive it, and that is hard enough.

So when i say, “when you say you do not need me, it hurts,” and it is immediately challenged with-“I never say that,” it leaves us no where to go that is good.

i point out how often i’ve heard that my touch does not matter, my daily words of affirmation and love don’t matter, my good night kiss doesn’t matter, my cunt doesn’t matter, my ideas do not matter-

the service though-

that was the one area that you always told me i mattered.

So many times i have had to hear:

I don’t need that, I don’t care, It doesn’t matter to me.

And i say, You won’t ever have to find out if my speaking each love language matters because i won’t take those things away from you.

But Goddamn the way you act-like you need me for nothing-makes me want to take everything away, stop everything i give so freely.  Every day, i thank you, i show gratitude, i tell you i love you, i stop and pay attention to you, i wait on you, i hold you, i listen to you, i tell you that you are beautiful and sexy and adored.  Every day.  Don’t tell me how i love you doesn’t matter.  Don’t say My love does not matter to you.  I know because you stand up straighter, smile more, laugh more, are able to receive love easier from friends, are able to listen to coworkers points of view.  My love helps you be a better man.

Don’t say my heart doesn’t matter.  That is the message i get every time you say that you don’t care about what i give.

i feel the ice building up inside, wanting to shut it down.

i’m not passive because i don’t know how to be aggressive.  i do.  And i’m feeling like i have to come out of the corner i’ve been shoved into swinging.  i shouldn’t be made to feel like that.  It takes a huge amount for me to get into that place emotionally.

The words I’m sorry don’t mean shit without change behind them.  Without an emotional connection to the part you played.  I get that maybe what you meant is more along the lines of what you said today, like, “I don’t mean to say that.  What I really mean is that I don’t need to be told daily that I’m loved because I always know.”  That message is a far cry from a lot of other things that have been said repeatedly.  

i am not about to take the chance that anyone i love doesn’t know it all of the time.  Life is incredibly fragile and delicate.  We are guaranteed nothing.

i feel like we are in a marathon race where you are near the finish line because your needs and wants are met and i’m just now crossing the starting line because you have just recently decided to change some behaviors so that i get some of my needs met, some of the time.  i’m not knocking it, but understand that all along you have had my affirmations, love, support, respect, adoration, encouragement-and i’ve been bone dry, without my needs met, without respect for my personhood.  We can’t pretend now that i have the resources to handle more unkind language or behaviors.  i don’t.

i blame myself for not standing up for myself earlier-

But i’m here and i’m standing-

and i hope you will stand up for us too.

Ups and Downs

There have been a huge bunch of Ups lately.

i did meet with my pain management doctor, everything went very smooth and easily-expect i nearly got trapped trying to get off of the 4 train to Hunter College.  So many rude passengers coming jamming in, without letting us out.  In fairness, many (most?) New Yorkers are considerate (and smart) enough to realize that it is much easier to let a fully packed train  with many people departing the scant space out of the damn train before trying to smash your way into two inches of space (literally, at times).

But-the important this is i made it.  Every time i do this i feel a sense of victory  i think that even blind i can make it by myself to Park Avenue.  To everyone who told me i would “never make it” in New York, i smile-and i think-“i got out and made it.  Fuck you!”  i feel a little thrill inside.  A little spark left, waiting to burst into flames somehow.

i feel a bit awash in relief that Sir Raven doesn’t have to go to any medical appointments with me anymore, which caused her huge amounts of anxiety and stress.  i can now actually handle everything that has to be done alone.  Groceries, meds, post office, trains, buses, some routes memorized, and can haul everything home.  i love that Sir Raven has to work as her only obligation.  She works hard, for sure, but i do everything else.

When she gets around any of our friends, she feels this need to point out that she was happy alone, able to do everything for herself, and would be fine without me….

and i fight myself to not point out that i do everything but wipe her ass at 24/7….but instead i do point out that she has to do exactly not a thing and forgets how damn good she has it and that she isn’t fooling one damn person-including me.

i feel a different sense of-fuck you, because it reads to me like saying: i don’t need you, i don’t even put loving you on the list, it doesn’t matter what you do for me because in the end i am just fine and happy alone.

Frankly, i do think that no one believes this stuff she says.

Last night, i pointed it out.  That, frankly, few things in life are more Macho than truly being able to say, i’ve got my shit taken care of at home, i have a slave who waits on me hand and foot, a servant at all hours, all conditions of illness, with love.  

It isn’t terribly attractive to me to feel like i need to point it out, but i actually think it makes her look not good, because it is not a insightful or truthful statement that i find no reason to say.  i could also say that i didn’t need to say that i do everything, but the fact is i do.

In fact, the last many days have been a huge damn challenge on me.  Basically, i ran out of two meds, and feel very -very -very sick.  My hair hurts, my skin hurts, my body aches/stings/burns, feels like VERY large needles are being jammed in, and like my hip could literally snap.

So, my ability to do much has been extremely compromised.

Sir Raven has more than stepped up to the plate.  She has washed dishes, made the bed, encouraged me to rest, made tempura veggies and shrimp, helped carry the garbage and recycling down, helped me get a floor pillow under my legs to help, and had to sit there-helpless-while i cried and rocked and said how sorry i was that she had to see me like this.

i’ve made food, sometimes got the chores done, sometimes not, the last few days.  i’ve also gotten out a lot and am thankful for that.

Wednesday, after pain management, Karida and i had a tea party with our sister stuffies.  I didn’t realize how i have really been needing some time to just relax and be a girl.  There were a lot of giggles, silly stories, taking pictures of our sister stuffies, treats, and smiles.  There is a history there, and a bond.  Alice’s Tea House is the Best!

And she brought me birthday gifts.  i got a princess crown barrette, which prompted people to ask me the whole way home if today was my birthday. 🙂  There was also COACH and i started to cry, recognizing it immediately.  i couldn’t believe that someone thought i was special enough for Coach.  That is like Tiffanys to me, in terms of specialness.

i grew up in public housing, shopped at K-mart and payless, felt guilty about costing anyone money.  Karida had just spent a lot of money treating me to breakfasts and treats and extras.  So i really wasn’t expecting anything more.  In fact, the minute i get a student loan refund, i’m sending her some money because it all adds up.  It is still a gift in life to have people who will treat you, and let you give them money back when you can.  Seriously.

The whole day was really great.

The next day, my flare took over and i ran out of meds.  Cheers.  Go me.

Sir Raven and i were going to go out Saturday, to meet Sir Josh and the HOR for sushi.  She decided two outings in one weekend was too much (mainly for me).  So we had to cancel that and go out for a little day trip to City Island with friends.  We had a heavenly lunch on the water, and it was a total delight. i wish i had taken pictures of the food!  It was heaven. We also got to go to the mall, a rare and lovely treat, living in New York, and Sir Raven bought me three of the little lotions and body spray.  We call “love and sunshine” the pleasant demeanor smell.:D

In the midst of the happiness, though, i thought of a fellow blogger who had a recent personal tragedy.  i really want to help her in some way, and though we have emailed each other personally several times before i’m not a close friend-just an acquaintance, that i’ve grown to care for over years of reading her story as a slave.

There are other bloggers  that i feel closer to, in  the sense that i actively will i must meet them one day and that hugging would be the natural instinct there.  There are not so many of us-slaves or Masters-who will disclose deep details of their lives.  Those that do are blazing a trail for a new kind of diarist.  Those are the people i continue to read because i care deeply about them as people.  My first reaction was actually to read of the tragedy and go vomit before coming back to write and i point out that many of us feel the same way, want to reach out, would love to send what we can.  Even if half of the people pouring out sadness and compassion gave twenty dollars, that would be 1,000, which will pay a bill.  The last thing a family should have to worry about in times of grief is money.  It is always and expensive rite of passage, along with the additional expenses of hosting family and friends, travel.

Life is so fragile.  Knowing that, i hold on tight to love, in the sense that i use every love language i know on a daily basis.  It is the only way that grief doesn’t ingulf me about losing my nephews again.  i keep thinking of the blogger and family, the physical pain in my heart, knowing the depth and shock of this kind of a loss.

i’m sure many of us are wanting to help, and don’t know how.  i send them love, peace, care, compassion for each other in a highly painful and stressful time.  Compassion for themselves because you always find a way to blame yourself when you are the mommy.  Or, i do.

It reminds me why i want to specialize in Trauma work as a therapist.  That is what i’m interested in, helping on that journey.  Of course, even if i was licensed, i would never be able to work with this particular family since i’m privy to too much outside of a session.  But it did renew my faith in myself to want to reach out, teach skills, be there.

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How I think…

So, i have no idea why it never occurred to me before to ask Sir Raven to look at an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) for her to see how I think.

When I talk about behaviors, i have automatically tracked what is actually happening, how often, what repercussions, and a host of other factors.  i may not be able to know-yet-how to help the situation, but i have observed, tracked, tested, paid attention to antecedents, and quantified most of it.  If you can’t measure something, how in the world can you measure success?

i learned how to write IEPs when i was 16 years old, and started writing my own and was responsible for knowing laws at 18.  i’ve written hundreds, signed off on thousands, done the actual verbal and behavioral testing by myself, recorded it, set standards that were measurable and meaningful.

So when i talk about behavior-yours or my own-i know a few things about what i’m talking about.

It is less black and white than one might imagine, because if a goal can be tied into a desired final outcome that enhances the academic, social, or health of a child (or adult), you can list it.  i have personally had to figure out how to go about addressing farting noises, “dinosaur” voices, self-injurious behavior, personal hygiene, developing friendships, recognizing prosocial behaviors, and a lot of other random categories.

 

Once that IEP was approved, it literally became law.

You followed the law by addressing the IEP, as written, until another meeting was held to change a goal.  You defined important guidelines, such as who was going to provide support, how to measure success, what consequences would happen, when another meeting was required to happen.  The job is just not the “target,” but an integrative approach that carefully defines who does what to provide support.  You have to also find out what motivates that person, because your support could be touch, token economy, spankings (yes, it still happens in every black school i’ve been in), words of affirmation, stickers, positive notes home, etc.  Those supports that are listed are not suggestions, it is mandatory that you must provide.

i suppose i think of all behavior modification this way.  i like that it is analytical, but also objective, clearly defined, the same structure each time, and contains support for every goal.

I’ve never signed or had an M/s contract before, but if i did, i would want to use this structure.  If Sir Raven ended our relationship tomorrow, which i doubt-because i’m making sauce today-i’d want a contract.  i would want to see what supports they were committing to, and i’d want to know what would happen if  they quit doing their part(s).  i feel safer when i know what to expect, and-frankly-i never feel fully safe with anyone until after they punish me.  For one thing, i can exhale that they have the stomach for it.  It tells me they are actually serious.  It makes me feel that i won’t fail, and removes anxiety.  It hits my mental and emotional “reset” button.  But-those things only happen if i know what to expect, it is totally consistently applied.  i don’t mean, like, i need to know 10 strokes or something.  In general way, though, i need to know.

 

i’ve actually tried for many years to not be this way, to rewrite that program, and it’s just too deep.  It doesn’t cause me any issues that this program is there but it does create a need for the Owner to put forth effort and energy, which isn’t always welcomed or wanted.  Sometimes, people have tried to shame me for being this way.  Often, an Owner that either enjoys punishment itself or enjoys the afterglow of it has been shamed as well.

Shame really doesn’t have a healthy place in TTWD, i think.  We are already vulnerable enough in some ways.  There is going to be some deep wiring going on in all of us.

Here is a decent guide on writing IEP goals, if you are so inclined: here

 

Meta cognition

i’m sitting here, looking at the three piles of sorted and treated laundry on the floor.  i’m still in pajamas at nearly one in the afternoon.  i need a shower before i can do anywhere.

i’m frustrated.

i’ve thrown everything i have at it, to get myself up and out-pain pills, tylenol, coffee.  Everything but the muscle relaxer, because that makes me super sleepy.

i have had to do chores in slow pace, and i’m frustrated, feeling caged inside my body.  The spirit is willing, wanting-

the body is screaming, shutting down.

i sigh and wonder if i’d be up, dusting and changing the sheets, checking things off on wunderlist, not shoving food at myself-

if she was the kind of Master that would come home and beat me for not getting it done.

i have to be honest with myself.  Yeah.  i would.  But only if i was sure that was going to happen.  There is this totally fucked up part of me that thinks if you are not willing to back it up, with force, then you aren’t really serious about what you are saying you want.

i think that someone who was good would just get it done.  Every time.  That is why i try to be consistent, regardless.  Why i force myself to get it done-i want to be as totally consistent as possible.  i want to please her.  Make her life easier, calmer, better.

But there is still this little part of me that grabs the cage and shakes the bars-

like refusing to check of wunderlist randomly, forgetting to text until i’m at the laundry mat and have loaded the wash, eating nothing, eating everything-

i am stimming a lot, rocking, staring, disjointed.  The eating, too, is obsessive and rigid in thinking.  Right now, i’m starting a fast, because i figured out how to keep the calories at the perfect number and after five weeks, euphoria sets in.  And i could use some euphoria.  The obsessive thoughts are always on a very few items-food. smoking. coffee.  sex.

The only thing that breaks through to them is force.  To me, great sex is about feeling forced, too.  But in this context, it boils down sometimes to-am i likely to get the strap for this?  Nope.  Great.  Netflix it is.

After a few runs at the fence, when i know for sure that punishment will happen if i try it, it just becomes another “this is how we do it,” thing.

That being said, there is absolutely shit i get away with.  There are absolutely times she lets me chatter, or beg for things, or just not check off wunderlist, or eat a pie.  Sometimes, i’m thankful.  Sometimes, i’m resentful.  i have to feel, overall, that there are lines i dare not cross.  Or even think about it.

i had a situation, once, where i had to confess even my thoughts.  The wanderlust thoughts always got beaten out, resulting in increased anxiety needing release.  Not an intentional consequence of the training, per se, but very much there.

If Dial-a-Master was a thing, i’d have called an hour ago.  Hell, i might even just have them come by every night, beat me with a belt and tuck me in.  i would hate that, but it would work.  The anxiety would stop, i’d be centered, it would be easy to sit quietly again.  i have seriously thought about asking her to do a 30 Day Challenge with me.  But there has got to be some crazy steep consequences if she Taps out.  We are both competitive people, though, and unlikely to ring the bell.

i’d hate it, though.  Can i say how much it sucks to be in my head today?  Sucks.  😛 i’m taking Jubilee with me to do laundry, if i can ever get it together.

Rough

Yesterday was really physically rough on me.  i woke up with my skin hurting, my body aches and soreness really strong.  i stayed in, thanked Sir Raven for the air conditioner, and worked on my chores.  i managed to get cleaned up, finally, just putting on clean pjs.  i pulled my hair up in a bun, put on chapstick and blush.

i got the main chores done, everything tidied, but not the time consuming dusting because i couldn’t really bend well.  i made tacos for dinner, which were really yummy.  Sir Raven noted that i wasn’t checking anything off of wunderlist, and i acknowledged that sometimes i’m just a little bitch.  i have no idea what gets into me.  i just can’t be bothered to check things off.

Last night, i was so thankful when she got up to pee because i was stranded on my playpen and needed her help to get me up so i could join her in bed.  That turned out to be a hot mess-the sleeping part, that is..  It was like trying to sleep with a toddler.  She kept bouncing around in the bed, throwing blankets and sheets off of both of us, flinging her arms out over and over and hitting me in the head and face.  i was all of the way up against the wall on my side to stop getting hit in the face, fell asleep that way, and apparently never moved.  Not good.  So stiff. So sore.

i need to get the laundry done today.  Tomorrow is the farmers market and pain management doctor, so i won’t have time to work on it then.  Ugh.

Speaking of the farmers market, Sir Raven said that when we were in the gift shop, and i was asking, “Is it time to go, Daddy?” a woman turned around, apparently to investigate if she has breasts.  Curiously, when i call her Sir Raven or Master, no boob check is going on. i wonder what that is about.  i asked if she was uncomfortable, but she assures me she is not.  We are safer in the gardens than pretty much any other place, and i pay attention to any feelings that someone is paying too much attention to us that could result in danger everywhere we go.

Sir Raven doesn’t like for me to call her sweet names (honey, baby, sugar) all of the time.  The only other things i call her besides names of affection are Daddy, Sir Raven, and Master.  You’d think me calling a female bodied person Sir would result in a boob check.  Nope.  Weird.

i notice pity stares, hate stares (often from teen girls, who are clearly put out that i’m comfortable in my own skin and don’t deserve to feel pretty), and anything that gives me the sense that danger is around.  Frankly, i am exhausted from always having to think about these things whilst heterosexual folks can just live and hug and kiss without ever having to think.  People who get to walk through life without visible disabilities are not treated to pity or questions or queries about how i am happy or why i work hard.

In general, Sir Raven and i don’t believe in drawing attention to ourselves or our dynamic.  There have been a few times she grabbed me in public.  If she has something to say, she says it.  We don’t think its cool to force your scene or kink onto others.  There has to be some leeway, though, to just live.  Frankly, none of her coworkers that knew me would be too surprised about our dynamic because we are who we are, regardless.  i’m not sitting at her feet in public, but that doesn’t mean that the main idea that i’m submissive and passive and want to please her is invisible.  We are comfortable, and that allows other people to be comfortable and accepting of the parts they organically understand.

Her former boss might be a little put out to discover that the necklace she so admired was actually a collar, but wouldn’t be too surprised otherwise.

On the tram at the Botanical Gardens, Sir Raven and i both noticed another Good Girl, because she was just full of that kind of energy while the woman next to her was griping non stop.  We noticed that she was an adult in a romper outfit, and it was the first time we saw it that the outfit didn’t seem contrived.  We agreed the same thing about my pigtails and my mary janes.  There is something authentic about me being in touch with my little girl, my Daddy’s good girl, kind of energy.  We both dislike when the energy is contrived, and comes off like an adult trying to mimic baby talk or something.  i can’t quite understand that really, in the sense that it is jarring to me.

i wish she was home right now, because i feel small and sick.  i really, really want to get the chores done and am hoping that taking another pill will help.  Right now, just sitting up hurts.  My tailbone is shooting pain and i’m miserable.  i need to get it together, though, because she will be home early today.  Yay.

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