Sunday, November 2, 2014

Story Behind "Selkie"

Selkies are a type of faery.  They are beautiful women who wear seal skins to swim in the ocean.  If a man can steal the skin, he can marry the selkie.  But if the selkie ever finds the skin, she will always go back to the ocean, deserting him no matter how much she may love him, even deserting her children, because the love of the sea is stronger.

The song "Selkie" on Unrepentant Geraldines is about a selkie who willingly gives up her seal skin for the man she loves.  Because her love for him is stronger than even her love of the sea.

Someday I hope to find someone I love that much.  Just a bit of trivia for you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And I Sang Holy Holy

I have been postponing the discussion on Me and a Gun.  This is a hard one for me to speak with authority on.  I was the victim of an attempted assault, but never of a completed one.  I am very lucky in that regard.  The man who tried to assault me stopped when I yelled at him several times.  I spoke with authority and he backed off.  I do know Tae Kwon Do, but am reluctant to hurt anyone.

Here are the statistics:
  • Every 2 minutes, another American is sexually assaulted
  • There is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year
  • 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police
  • 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail
  • Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim
  • 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance
These are taken from the RAINN website.

In my case it was a date rape attempt. I never reported it, and I have seen him since trying to pick up other girls. I feel terrible for not reporting, but honestly thought it was a cultural misunderstanding. Now I'm not so sure.  It happened about three years ago, and so it's too late now.  I would urge anyone in the same situation to report.  I was really afraid the police wouldn't listen, would blame me for the attack as I went alone to his home.  BIG mistake, that.  I won't be so trusting again.  From now on, they take me to a restaurant for dinner.  I meet them there.  I won't get into a car with any man I don't know very well.  Not after that.

 1.800.656.HOPE(4673) is the number for RAINN.  Remember, they are there 24/7. If you need someone to talk to call them!  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I Always Wanted You to be Proud of Me

Winter is one of those songs that gets me every time.  Let me explain a bit.  My dad was schizophrenic from before I was even born.  I never realized there was anything wrong with him, until I was a teen and my mom told me what he had.  I always just thought it was just dad.  When I was a teen I quit school.  See we had moved around a lot, and the school had lost my records.  I was a junior, but they wanted me to go back to freshman and take it all over again.  I was not about to do that!  So I petitioned the state to let me take my GED test early, and they agreed.  I passed with a very high score and started college.  Then my dad had a major panic attack and decided he couldn't be left alone.  I quit school to take care of him.  We had always had a close relationship.  I was his little princess.  There was no way I would have not been there for him.  Some time later, he was diagnosed with emphysema.  He really needed care after that.  So I put school on permanent hold.

In January of 1989, he had a major heart attack.  He hung on for a week and seemed to be recovering. My brother and I left to go back to my home on the coast.  We had barely gotten there when my mom showed up at the door and told me he had died.  I was devastated.  I held it together though, we had to get back to where he lived, I was supposed to execute his will.  There was work to do.  I cried at night, when everyone else was sleeping, and managed to hold it together during the day.  That is until I talked to his psychiatrist.  She told me that he always talked about me, and how proud he was of me. At that point in my life, I hadn't done a damn thing for him to be proud of.

I now have my first college degree, first one in my family to obtain one, and am working on my second.  In psychology.  Yes, it's partly because of my dad.  I can't help but think how proud he would be of me now.

So Winter has a special place in my heart.  It makes me cry, and it makes me remember the good times, working with my dad in his shop when I was a kid, him teaching me to drive...

It also perfectly describes my life, "years go by and I'm here still waiting, withering where some snowman was", and "hair is grey and the fires are burning, so many dreams on the shelf.  You say I wanted you to be proud of me, I always wanted that myself".  But mostly it reminds me of dad.  On the ten year anniversary of his passing, I listened to it and I cried and cried.  My mom thought I was nuts.  On the twenty year anniversary, I couldn't listen.  Now, it's hard to believe, it's coming up on the thirtieth anniversary.  Yes, I'm that old.  I plan to listen to it and let myself cry as much as I feel the need to.  There is no time limit on grieving.  Never let anyone tell you there is.

So I dedicate this to my father, a wonderful man, who was just misunderstood.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Now She Seems to be Sand Under His Shoes"

I'm not entirely certain what "Bells For Her" is actually about, but that line always reminds me of emotional abuse.  Having been a victim of said abuse in a few cases in my lifetime, I wanted to try and tackle the subject.

Emotional abuse is, according to Wikipedia: a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.

I recently wrote a paper on research into childhood abuse resulting in adult mental disorders.  It made me think a lot, as an emotionally abused child who, now, as an adult, has mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.  I wonder how much of it was hereditary and how much was brought on by the psychological trauma?  I also wonder if that could be why I always seem to pick emotionally abusive relationships as an adult?

Emotional abuse IS abuse.  The scars aren't visible, but they are there, nonetheless.  Not that I don't recognize other forms of abuse.  Physical and sexual abuse are purported to cause larger traumas in the research I looked at.  I have also been a victim of sexual abuse in more than one relationship.  No, I haven't called RAINN yet, but I am thinking about it.  It has made me very reluctant to get involved with any other men.  It has left scars, even though they are emotional.

Having been there, I can honestly say, the abuser will not change, no matter how often he (or she) promises to. If you are the victim of ANY form of abuse, you need to leave.  If you are feeling unsafe you need to get to a shelter for abused women.  Google it, you will find a number in your area.  Remember, the number for RAINN is 1-800-656-HOPE. (4673).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is Thumbelina Size 10 on a Wednesday?

I have lost 15 pounds.  Yes, that sounds great till you realize I have 60 left to go!  I went from a size 5 to a size 18 in less than a year on my medication routine.

I always said I'd rather die than be fat.  Thing is, I don't feel that way anymore.  I hate being this weight, but I am working on it.  I don't want to die anymore at all, the meds worked.

Society is so judgmental about weight.  Even a size 10 is considered a "plus size" in our society with it's current values.  Yet, Marilyn Monroe, the most beautiful woman in the world, was a size 12. Today, she wouldn't even have been considered for modeling or a movie role.

Personally, I used to be a model, when I was a size 5.  Now young men call me "cow" and "pig". They have no idea the struggle I've gone through to get my depression under control, or that it's the meds that did it.  Even my 82 year old neighbor says I need to sew my lips shut.  That hurts.  Fact is, like Tori said, "you're only popular with anorexia".  I have gone back to being anorexic.  That's how I've lost 15 pounds so fast.  It's not a diet plan I recommend.

That fact is, you need to think before you speak.  You don't always know the circumstances. Bullying is unacceptable under ANY circumstances anyway.  Thumbelina may be a size 10, that doesn't make her fat.  All women are Goddess shaped.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shawn's Story

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kenny's Story - In His Own Words

I discovered Tori's music in high school. I was an avid poster on the Bjork messaged board (the 4um) and many people had been posting about Tori. This was around 2006 so Beekeeper was the talk of the town (with generally negative things said). Late in 2006 when my aunt who got me into a lot of the music I listen to today (and who is also gay) was living in a tent in our living room (seriously), I dug through her book of CDs and saw Tales of a Librarian. I gave it a listen and was captivated from the beginning notes of Precious Things. I went out and bought Choirgirl next because that was on sale at the local Virgin Records store. Listened to that album until it was unlistenable and bought another copy eventually. I still remember when American Doll Posse tracks started coming out (Big Wheel and BoC) and how I had never been that excited for an album release ever before. All during this time I was discovering who I was and my sexuality. Fast forward to the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008: I fell in love with a boy, eventually lost my virginity to him, yaddy yadda. A week after we had sex, he kicked me to the curb (my birthday, actually, 18th) and I found out I was just a number to him, 13 to be exact. A Sorta Fairytale helped me realize how stupid it was to love him from the get go and helped me realize that I knew all the warning signs were there from the beginning but chose to ignore them. 1000 Oceans also helped me let go of him. When my grandpa died, Your Cloud made consoled me. I wrote a poem about him inspired by Your Cloud. Fast forward to the beginning of 2012: I've been with my current boyfriend for almost 2 years at this point but he breaks up with me shortly after the new year. I had never been so heartbroken and sad in my entire life. I couldn't eat or sleep for days, and could sometimes hold down Jamba Juice (but nothing else). I went to counseling to get over the sadness and to address the issues he had with me that led to the breakup (I was incredibly clingy and insecure). Holly, Ivy, and Rose got me through that terrible period, especially the line "He waits for her to find the heart he left behind; he prays she'll find her way to be his bride someday" because I just sat and hoped he would come around and want to try again. We've now been together for 4 and a half years and our love is so strange and awesome. He is the love of my life. Since then, Tori's music has served to make me feel better about myself, empowered, and to enjoy life more. Bliss has always haunted me since first listening to Tales of a Librarian and has been a support system from day 1, especially through the breakup with my current boyfriend in 2012 ("maybe we're a bliss of another kind"). Drive All Night also haunted me since I first heard it; I request it in Oakland this tour and finally got to hear it in Miami! Even though I requested the song a while back, I was so grateful and felt like she was answering my request. I'm so lucky to have discovered Tori's music and to have been lucky enough to meet her and tell her about how her music helped me and how I played her music on my radio show (which I did for my MA thesis in linguistics in grad school, about Native American language revitalization). We chatted about languages and Native Americans and she was genuinely engaged, said she would love to learn Cherokee but that it would take so much effort. I told her not to give up!