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!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heidi's Story

To follow is the story that Heidi told me, in her own words:

Okay so I'll start... I was raised by my step dad. Who was my child molester for 10+ years.. When I was a teen, he decided to steal a CD case from someone's unlocked car and gave me LE and UTP out of it... SATY was my, and still is my safety zone... My sanity... Tori has helped me maintain my head and the thoughts within it for 20 years.... I don't share this with you because I think it's a memorable story, but because I have the same story as a million others out there who Tori has helped escape and cope with their reality... Silent all those years... It wasn't easy... But fuck! It's hard to hear your own voice a lot of the time! Thankfully Tori hears us when we hear her and for that I am forever indebted to her..

Friday, September 5, 2014

He Said "You're Really an Ugly Girl"

How many of us are guilty of it?  Trying desperately to impress someone else?  We have the best of intentions.  We try and look and BE our best.  But does our self-esteem hinge on what someone else thinks? As social creatures, a lot of the time it does.  How many of us put on makeup and fix our hair for ourselves? We do it so we look good to others.  (Personally, I have been know to do it just to stay home on occasion. So I won't say no one does.)  When that backfires, it's a huge blow to our self-esteem.  Can you imagine being told straight out that you're really an ugly girl?

As I mentioned in my Silent All These Years post, I have put on over one hundred pounds because of the medication I have to take to keep my sanity.  I am a (cringe) size eighteen.  I eat healthy and I walk everywhere I go, so I get plenty of exercise.  I know I'm doing all I can to get the weight back off and that it happens to be the meds.  Abilify is documented to cause excessive weight gain in some.  Still, it hurts like hell to be called a cow or a pig, which I have been by some insensitive pricks.  My self-esteem takes a major hit when that happens, even though I have a good sense of self-esteem.

So what can one do to get away from our sense of self-worth hinging on what others think?  If I ever figure that out, I will tell you.  I do know some ways to improve self-esteem.  This one is a challenge, and I'd like everyone to try it: make a list of twenty good things about yourself.  I made it to twelve and that was with the help of my friends.  As I mentioned, I have a good sense of self-esteem, but this is a difficult one to do.  I'll even start you out, you are unique.  There's only one you in the world.  Even if you happen to be an identical twin, there's no one who thinks exactly the way you do, no one who shares your unique fingerprint.  (and it's true that while twins share DNA, they have different fingerprints.)

So how many did you get?  I hope you were able to come up with twenty.  Now, keep that list, and whenever you get a blow, refer back to it.  You are not really an ugly girl (or guy), you are beautiful because you are you!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Silent All These Years - My Story

When I first heard the lyrics, "Sometimes I hear my voice and it's been here, silent all these years", it really sparked something in me.  Yes, I DO have a voice, and yes, it has been silent far too long.

Let me explain.  I grew up the daughter of a schizophrenic father and a mother who made it very clear to me that I was never wanted and should be seen and not heard.  When I was about nine, my family was in a restaurant having dinner when my ears started buzzing, I couldn't breathe, and my chest hurt.  I was having my first panic attack.  I was never a happy child, except when I was in the woods around our house.  As I grew, the panic attacks became more frequent and severe, the depression deepened.

My father recognized the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but I always said no.  I wasn't crazy, I didn't have anything wrong with me.  I wasn't my father.  I refused treatment.  I struggled through life never being able to really accomplish anything.  I finally came to the place where I was housebound and suicidal.  My life was an utter misery, and I wanted out.

That's when I picked up a copy of Spin Magazine and read an interview with Tori.  She was discussing Boys For Pele, and her love of faeries.  I have always been more than a little obsessed with the faery folk, and I thought I really needed to give this girl a listen.  Somehow I picked up a copy of Little Earthquakes.  That's when I heard those lyrics.  I also heard "Me and a Gun" and looked Tori up online, found that she had, in fact, been the victim of a sexual assault that she had not only survived, but had the courage to write about and put it out there for the whole world.

I looked back over some of the pieces I had written myself and knew I would never have the courage to share with anyone, pieces about the utter despair I lived in every day.  I did indeed have a voice, it had been sneaking out in all those musings.  I knew, despite my earlier protests that there was something very wrong here.  I thought that if Tori had the courage to go public, so could I.  I got diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder and started medication for them.

It was a long road.  It took ten years or more to find a combination of medications that worked.  The ones that did put over one hundred pounds of extra weight on me.  But for the first time in my life, I didn't want to die.  The extra hundred pounds is not a fair trade off, but you can't imagine what it's like to be symptom free after forty years.

I am now in college, something I was unable to do right out of high school, and have a 3.64 GPA.  I was accepted to every university I applied to.  What am I studying?  Psychology.  My goal is to help children like myself, who have problems and don't know what the fuck is wrong with them or where to turn.

I hope that sharing my story, as deeply personal as it is, will inspire some to share their own stories, or maybe just realize that we all have problems, and maybe, if we try, we can solve them.


If you are on this page, you are probably looking for the Tori-related blog that used to be here.  I am not that girl, but I would like to do something similar.  I have a Tori story, I think many of us do.  Anyone interested in sharing theirs, please contact me at  You may remain anonymous.  I would just like to gather up all the Tori stories out there and put them together as part of my sociology thesis on Tori's music and its imapct upon her EWFs.