NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Single & Ready to Mingle…with Feminists!

June14

Ever set your mind to do something even though you know it’s probably not the best thing to do but you do it anyway because it just feels necessary? It is one thing to push myself out of my comfort zone, it is another thing all together to do something that I know isn’t for me. I think that there are some things that just cannot be forced. I know that I don’t like any food that was originally derived from the sea. I know this. I have tried all the things and they were all terrible. I’m forty years old and I get to decide this for myself. Sometimes there are moments in my life where I say to myself, “This is just what adults do! You can do it, too!” regardless of my actual feelings about whatever that things is in the moment.

Remember that “ex” (that technically isn’t an ex at all since we never dated, but wev) from my Eat Your Heart Out post? Yeah. So…they were in town and I decided that it was perfectly okay to seduce them and sleep with them, even though I have zero feelings for them, because that is what grown ups can do if they want, right?! Ha-ha! UGH!  For the same reasons I kissed him when we met for tea after work several weeks ago, curiosity. Curiosity about if I would feel anything, if my memories were accurate (they were not!) and if I could sleep with someone I didn’t have feelings for. The answer to all of that is NOPE! I mean, I did the thing, and I don’t regret it, but it was not good for me.

Before

He just looked at me the way I should be looked at, and said the right things and was very respectful and never would have dreamed of making a move on me or sleeping with me again though he admits he’s in love with me now. I had remembered him being exceptional in bed and well that rose colored memory became crystal clear to be bullshit pretty damned quick! Perhaps my inexperience played a role, not that I’ve had several lovers since then (I wish!), but more likely it’s because of my own self work and exploration that has upped my game.

After

To have someone worship your body is an experience I would wish on everyone. I have been fortunate to have several lovers of this variety and it has always been…transcendent. So to have this time feel wrong just kind of sucked. I wanted it to happen. I made it happen! My “O” and my pleasure was centered entirely and it was still not good. It was much to do with not having feelings for them, but more so due to their ignorance of how the female anatomy works (I’m guessing). So, while I “got off” it definitely wasn’t bliss. And it just goes to show how much I need to feel emotionally connected to someone. The “ex” had a great time and insisted I stay the night and seemed shocked that I left not long after this interlude.

For me it is the mental seduction that is always more alluring. The banter that leads to seduction. Those will they or won’t they moments. Good conversation often plays a bigger role for me than the typical foreplay. That is what has kept me going back to my usual service provider for the last year and some months, though there’s nothing more between us. It’s still flirty and thrilling and hot, but we don’t have the typical feels for each other. I don’t really get why that works and sleeping with someone I was crazy about years ago didn’t. I do know that this episode has left me processing my shit heavily! Monday I felt nearly sick with confusion because of it. I never hesitate to go deep into my psyche and sort shit out, but this one did give me pause. Why did I want this? What was I trying to prove?

Honestly, walking out of the Westin Saint Francis Hotel in Union Square (SF) that night I felt like a total badass. Waking up the next morning made me feel something I hadn’t before and that was an eye opener. I have since given myself a lot of time to sort out those feelings and the whats and whys of the situation. I have no regrets. I have no need to see that person again. If anything it made me miss my service provider so much more than ever! I guess I just needed to test the waters of all of that. It felt safe with someone I already knew and had slept with before. And hey, they still think the sun shines out my ass so all is right in the world! Ha-ha!

I am happy being single. I’m in no hurry to “find someone” or settle down or whatever. I have no deep longing or yearning to be partnered up, but that is what I want, a partner. I want my equal. I don’t seek perfection, but I do want a whole human being and not someone looking to be completed or fulfilled by others emotional labors. I do think a factor in this latest (is it a tryst?) encounter was that he wasn’t a feminist (thinks he is but I can assure you he is not). My service provider may be a goofball and a knucklehead, but they’re a feminist through and through. I can’t even socialize with non-feminists. Why participate in my own oppression?! Fuck that!

So yeah, I’m on a lot of the typical dating apps and enjoy meeting people, but I’m beyond selective at this point. I start almost every conversation on those apps with, “Do you call yourself a feminist?” and their answers are always very telling. It’s either a hell yes or a hell no. If the first message from anyone refers to my ass (and its bountiful beauty), I will block them. If they refer to women as female or girls, I will block them. If they start off with vulgar descriptions of what they want to do to me, no matter how delightful that may sound, I will block them. I am not here for that and I have no time for games and bullshit. It’s not just cis men either. I date anyone, but I’m looking for that connection, ya know? C’est la vie!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Lizzo & Mod Cloth Love

June14

Lizzo, “I think representation is my legacy,” she says, “and I think that everyone deserves to stand out. I think that everyone is beautiful, and everyone deserves to find their beauty… you’re worthy and capable of self-love, and it’s okay to be discovering that for your whole life.”

Mod Cloth recently interviewed Lizzo and you should really read it (it’s brief) but also click here to see her in a gorgeous rainbow maxi dress!

My love for Mod Cloth has been dotted with much disappointment, confusion, and occasional rage. Why do I keep coming back? Well, because they have items that suit my style, are quirky or just to find perfect thing to go with another thing that I already have. Often I cannot afford their clothes, but I love a good sale and I do occasionally treat myself to something nice. I was a sucker for their “Stylish Surprise” offers where you’d select, say, dresses and only your size and pay a flat rate ($15) and the dress you’d get would be randomly picked by them. This was so fun and exciting until I got TWO the exact same dress at once. Like, seriously?! C’mon!!! Though others have been splendid and now cherished items. Hit or miss!

I know the history of Mod Cloth and how they have relied and used fat community (at least locally for me, SF Bay Area) to further their own profits only to dump us in a hot minute. I know folks who were directly involved in those happenings at the start and it was heartbreaking to hear the personal stories behind all of that. And yes, Mod Cloth was acquired by Walmart not long ago and that is off putting to say the least. I have seen no changes since that happened, though. I still see the same designers and fun items coming in and while I rarely buy things, it is always a delight to add things to my wishlist.

Lizzo is that hidden gem of an artist that makes me pinch myself every time I watch one of her videos on YouTube. She is everything I have wanted to see in the world of music and more. She is a stunning person and a gorgeous black woman! Her style in fashion and vocals is fabulous! I draw much inspiration from her and love how strongly she feels about representation. Lizzo is also a fat woman with no fucking qualms about her body size! Even if her music isn’t for you (though that is hard for me to believe), her message and her personality are what we really need to see more of in this world, dammit!

I hope more fat women share themselves confidently with the world. Representation is so fucking vital! I hope more retailers, clothing or not, expand their offerings to accommodate and attract fat customers. I want to see an end to fat shaming in my lifetime…and I think it’s possible!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Without A Mother; Mother’s Day

May9

I posted the following on my personal Facebook page yesterday:

  Sarah   May 8, 2018:
Sharing this memory as all the usual feels are beginning to swirl and the rising tide of “BUT YOUR MOM!!!!” messages for this made up holiday have reached a deafening level. There’s no card for this shit. SMDH.

  Sarah   May 8, 2016
Shout out to all the kids who had to grow up too early or sacrifice way too much of their childhoods because their parents weren’t equipped for the job, for whatever reason. We don’t get a “day” but we don’t need one because the things we had to do for others were never done for us anyway. Keep on keepin’ on! 

There are things we go through in this world that cannot be put into words. Emotions, experiences, and while some words do exist, what does it truly mean and feel like to be in “awe” or “miserable”? As I reread what I had written back in 2016, I paused. I took a slow, deep breath. This isn’t unusual these days as I have been practicing this for some time in order to actually consider things before responding to them (rare in modern society, imho). I realized in this pause that I had had some tension building up inside me. That I had been getting grouchier in recent days without knowing why or really even questioning it. For transparency sake I will admit that I simply expected the constant numbness inside me which often precedes full blown depression to be the culprit followed by PMS, but now I think it’s marketing for Mother’s Day. Ugh!

Image result for anti mother's day
First let me just say that I don’t have anything against mother’s and I fully support them in all that they do. Having said that, I have never had a mother figure in my life, save for the first 5 years of my life. My mother was physically present after this time, but rarely mentally so. I’ve written about this before, so let’s not get back into those specifics today. No, I want to talk about those of us who had to step in and up, without really understanding or knowing what we were undertaking at the time of course, because we had to. I hate that I have felt shame over this. I hate that I have felt hurt and scornful and full of wounded pride that doesn’t even belong to me over this. I hate that my biological parents will never admit to how things really were for us kids.
But I am not filled with hate. I am definitely not filled with anger (yuck). I am filled with a sense of loss and longing for something I have never had. I’ve witnessed countless families with fully or mostly functioning parental figures. Not to knock my dad, he had to work all of the time for us to just scrape by ( but my shit with him is heavier and darker and that is not what this post is about). I saw broken families with strong maternal bonds in my childhood neighborhood. My childhood best friend’s mom always kept me at a distance, but did her best to include me and my awkward ass from a poor family in things that mattered. I always felt like an outsider, no matter how long I knew a friend and their family, I never felt like I got a ticket to the having a mom in your life ride. That unconditional love shit? Where do I find this? *DigsForWallet*
I have friends who have incredible and beautiful relationships with their mothers. Single mothers and their eldest daughters being in the majority amongst my circle of friends. Even friends with parents who have married and remarried seem to actually love and like each other and that honestly just does my head in at this point. While all unique and none without issues, they are all what I have never had and there’s really no way to make peace with that. There’s no way to fill a hole you didn’t know you even had until later in adulthood. I’m not one for black tar heroin, so passe, but I also don’t seek fulfillment in that part of myself at all. (Okay, if I do I am completely unaware of it!)
The closest thing I’ve had to a true maternal figure in my life was my grandma, my dad’s mother. They had a great relationship, she was a wonderful human being in the truest sense. She was a registered nurse, met my grandpa in WWII, worked in elder care for a convalescent hospital for my entire life…but we weren’t very close until I was about 19 years old. I had escaped an abusive relationship that I’m not sure anyone in my family was even aware of (though much of it happened in our home), I’d been living twenty miles away until my roommates got us evicted (they were such sweet stoners until they brought meth into the equation). I had to move back home. My grandma had the best sense of humor and a way of seeing the world’s beauty and misery in a way I want to believe that I have carried on. There is so much I wish I could talk to her about now, but I wasn’t the person I am today, then. She passed away in 2003, just a few months before my first marriage. (I’m assuming another marriage though I have no plans, hopes, or desires. Ha-ha!)
Later I bonded with her (only slightly) younger sister who was such a spitfire! She saw the bullshit my dad’s wife was dishing and sought to gain my trust and confidence, and she succeeded. She taught my then husband and I to play her favorite dominoes game and to make a great (strong!) vodka-tonic. She saw me as an adult, something my dad just could. We lost touch due to said dad’s wife and her incessant lies that tore our family apart. At her funeral her children demanded to know who I was and I don’t know what hurt more that or losing her all together. It was the end of matriarchs in my family. It was also the end of my family, imo. It’s not about forgiveness or anything of the sort. It’s about just being human and doing the right thing, even if it’s too late.
Fleeting but strong bonds that have carried me through darker times than these, that continue to inspire and push me to keep on keepin’ on. Truly, though? I have come to distrust the motherly tone of anyone aiming their vocal chords in my direction. Years of Mom-agers in tech startups bullying or gaslighting me (for real!) have proven to be the worst of the worst in my book. I am a feminist! I don’t have anything against actual mothers, in fact I admire them. But a Mom-ager is something differently entirely. Other women I have known have really been great friends, lifelong friends even, and I hold friendships to a very high standard. It’s not the same though. Not having that person you can tell tough things to, to show you how to “be” a woman or do “womanly” things, I have never had. From my period at age 9 to my first pubic bush in all it’s lustrous glory, kissing and sex, relationships and my own identity struggles, you name it, I have relied on other weird kids I hung out with for information and tips and advice, even the library proved more fruitful than adults growing up.
The marketing and manipulation that Mother’s Day brings is so fucked up it creeps up on me every year and I always think I’m immune to it at first. I just roll my eyes and figure it simply doesn’t apply to me and try to live my damn life. But it’s EVERYWHERE!!! Just now I received an email from a company I like (Rainbeau Curves) with the subject line, “Celebrate Mom!” UGH! I still feel mostly numb inside, like I haven’t felt anything in awhile. It’s weird, but familiar. It’s better than being overly emotional in that at least my lack of emotion doesn’t offend anyone or leave me drained and wrecked. I go through spells where I long to feel something, but then those floodgates open up and I wish it would all go away again. Even all this motherly stuff hasn’t brought on any actual emotions, just tension and frustration in a physical sort of way. Meh, I’m weird.
Image result for anti mother's day
So shout out to the weird kids who are still just weird kids in grown up bodies struggling to break free of the bullshit that distorted their world views and robbed them of their childhoods. Shout out to the weird kids who had to hide to survive, who struggled their entire lives to fit in or even be seen…by anyone at all! We don’t get a holiday or greeting card companies profiting off our collective weirdness. But I see you, I celebrate you, and I embrace you and alllllll of your amazing weirdness! We hold together the very fabric of society and no one seems to realize that. Fuck ’em! We don’t need them, we’ve figured it all out by now and can support one another from here on out! So I hope you do something absolutely wonderful for yourself this Sunday, I’ll do my best to as well.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Eat Your Heart Out!

April18

Life is such a funny beast of a thing! When you think you know yourself, and I feel like I really know myself at this point, things happen or change and suddenly you’re meeting an ex downtown for tea. WHAT?! I know! SO not a Me thing to do. Shit happens, things change, you pivot or bail, whatever! Ha-ha! It’s good to surprise yourself, I guess. And, well, I guess I’m glad that I did it! So…what happened?

So, after I left my husband in 2012, I befriended a man I had met at a terrible BBW club. There was attraction, but it was more than that (always is for me).We didn’t ever actually date. We “hung out” and were “friends” but whenever things felt too serious for him, he’d bail and I wouldn’t hear from him for weeks. *Yawn* Long story short, after a year of chasing after the dumbass, I found some love elsewhere and left him in the dust. He moved away, I had moved one. End of story. Sort of. Really he has continued to text me every few months. Usually simple things like, “Thinking of you” or “I miss hanging out and having tea together.” nothing offensive. I have not responded to him with one exception in 2016 when he called my phone for the first time since he moved away. I was expecting a work call, I was at work, and picked up by mistake not recognizing the number. I was very curt with him, professional even, and ended the call quickly. It was also my birthday and I got drunk with some coworkers and on my train ride home I drunkenly text him demanding to know his intentions for calling and texting me before my phone died. Outside of that one day, I haven’t said a single thing to him.

Sometimes I would forget about him entirely. 6-9 months would go by and he would be the furthest thing from my mind. And then *TextNotificationSound* He’d pop up again. I would roll my eyes and archive the text, not wanting to block him which might inspire other means of communication. I saw in my blog’s stats that he regularly downloads pics of me from my posts, mostly old ones from right before I met him. He doesn’t even read what I write! Psshht! So he wasn’t even aware of my breakup last year or that I’d been with the same person for four years. So, not long ago he started to text me again. I thought nothing of it or him, to be honest. Mild flattery at best, mild annoyance at worst. Then he called my phone again and I didn’t pick up. Why should I? I’m not really into talking on the phone unless I have to for work things. A few days went by after that and I get a random text while in line at CVS one night, “You suck!” and it was all I could do to keep the tears at bay from my laughter!

Something about that “You suck!” text just tickled me! Talk about the long game! Ha-ha! I still didn’t reply, because why?! Fuck that. My life, my terms. Being single and living alone means I am beholden to no man (okay, my puggo and perhaps my landlord? Hahahahah!). Then a few days later a few of us were sitting together to get a project done by the end of the day and were supporting one another through the process. I get another text from him, this one full of regret and apologies, things he’s never said before. I was surprised, but firm in my non-respsonse. Until I read what he said to two of my coworkers. My bff/coworker “A” gave me the “Oh hell no, grrrrl!” look and went right back to work. Another coworker was all, “Maybe I watch too many movies, but you never know, what if he ends up being the love of your life!” and she looked so wistful and sweet that I actually fucking caved and text him back!

He was in town, but leaving in two days, and wanted to see me to apologize for how he treated me in person. I gave him hell, but agreed to meet quickly for tea near my work. I showed up hard as nails, ordered my tea and sat down. He walked in and I won’t ever lie to you here, he looked gorgeous! I kept my cool and insisted he say whatever he needed to and then I would leave. But you know that isn’t how it worked out, right? I’m not afraid of confrontation, and relished the opportunity to put this fool in his proper place, in the past! He gave non-apologies, I rejected each of them. I then called him out for being a homophobic racist and misogynist. He was shocked! He expected, I imagined, that I would be all starry eyed and sweet like I was back when. Ha-ha! Nope! While I had to explain some things to him, I pushed back and insisted he needed to get with the fucking times and read some books before claiming to not be the things I know him to be.

I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe that people can change. I have only ever given one person a second chance when it comes to romantic relationships. That didn’t go well. I don’t intend to make that mistake again. And this guy? Oh. Hell. No. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the moment or his company again, even if only for the short time at tea. Soon we were talking and catching each other up on life and family things and very naturally he asked if we could walk around the lovely little downtown area we were in. I was game, but I was on guard! We talked about all sorts of random things and then he said, “Sarah, I have been thinking a lot about moving back to the bay area to win you back.” I laughed loudly at this. “You said we were never together!” I nearly shouted before laughing a whole lot more. “Do I have a chance to win your heart back?” he inquired. “You never had it or wanted it until I moved on. You are not up to the challenge of even attempting to properly date me. You’d have to read so many books! Ha-ha! No, no, you couldn’t possibly! Ha-ha!”

We walked around and talked some more and he had asked for a hug at some point and I said no. He was confused but respected that boundary. Shortly after though, whilst laughing about something together, I grabbed him and kissed him. Curiosity got the best of me, what else can I say?! I immediately told him that it meant nothing and was not intended to imply anything at all and that I was just curious. He was in shock and happy af! Ha-ha! Then I gave him shit about his past behavior again. I did kiss him again before saying goodbye, but he understood finally that there was no chance for there to be an “us” now or ever. He’d asked if he could see me before he left town and I said no and explained that I already had plans.

The next day he text to invite me to lunch, but I’d woken up with a terrible headache and said no. He text me later to see if I was feeling better and I honestly was and my plans had been pushed back until later that evening so I text him, “Where are you buying me dinner tonight?” with a sunglasses emoji. He responded a bit later but with the perfect answer and to that I sent him a pic of me looking dramatic and glamorous (bottom-center pic below)! He replied, “Who is this model?!” *Barfs* Ugh! But I went and it was a fantastic meal, and honestly the conversation was enlightening in that I could feel/see the spell I had on him and it felt fantastic to finally not be the one pining away for someone. You’d think that would make me kinder to someone in that position, but no, I treated him as he deserved and he understood and admitted and agreed. He even took me out for gelato after dinner and we hit up this little boutique we used to venture into years ago and he bought me a pin of a pug I wanted. He walked me to my car, I wished him well and agreed that he could text the next time he was in town but that I would make no promises to respond or meet up again. At that we said goodbye and I kissed him one last time. He hasn’t text me since.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, my behavior or his. We do things that even we cannot understand why. In the end it felt amazing and powerful and exciting and ridiculous all at once. I’m glad I met up with someone I was once gaga for and confirmed that I have zero feelings for. While in line at the gelato place he said he understood that I had no feelings for him, but asked if I cared about him, even a little. “Well, I wouldn’t want you to get hit by a bus.” was my response and I saw in his eyes how disappointing that was for him to hear. I felt a little bad, but he refused to remember all of the pain he caused me and insisted that I should only remember the good times. He holds onto some fantasy version of a memory of me that never actually existed. He’s still stuck in a time that I was trying to escape from back then. He doesn’t see me as a whole, equal and completely amazing human being. He sees me as a beautiful woman, made for traditional trappings of which I have no interest in. He enjoys my sass, which is abundant, but he is not a worthy mate for me by any measure.

I had never done the running into an ex thing before. I don’t look to my past for lessons in life these days, I keep it behind me. I’m always suspicious of anyone from the past popping up with seemingly good intentions. It’s never what it was and is rarely worth the time or trouble to entertain. I don’t regret meeting up with this ex, I know now for certain that what once was can never be. I feel good about that, actually. I do not care for loose ends. There’s definitely no one else in my past that I would give the time of day to. So, this feels more like a closure that, while it wasn’t needed, it was kind of nice. And damn did I look great! His jaw dropped when I walked into the restaurant…my other “plans” jaw dropped later that night, too!

 

(the dress is from Eshakti.com and I’m in love with it! My glasses are from Coastal.com and the pearls are old but from ShaneCo.com)

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

The Shame of my Home Game

February27

This post talks about how anxiety and depression can impact our lives in unexpected and often not talked about ways. If you’d rather not know about the very personal impact of these things on me, or feel it may be triggering for you, please come back to the blog another day or feel free to explore the archives. Thank you and take care of you! <3

********************************

 

Today what is on my mind is my mind, literally. Weekend before last, I came across an article, “17 Honest Photos of the ‘Embarrassing’ Sides of Depression We Don’t Talk About“, and it kind of shook me to my core. It was like holding up a mirror to the life I’d been living for the last 2.5 years. I was not prepared for that. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for that. I really had no idea how common this was or what it looked or felt like for others. Isn’t that always the way, though? We think we’re so weird or wrong that we can’t imagine our experience being common/normal.

Basically, when I moved into my current place it was right after some serious trauma and everything just sort of stopped for me, mentally. Moving back to the town I grew up in and experienced the worst trauma of my life (physically and emotionally abusive relationship from ages 14-19), I was frozen in time in a sense. So I never truly unpacked except necessities. I left boxes out on the patio, at first under a canopy but later that got shredded by the elements, as did my boxes, and finally the neighborhood rodent society took refuge.

My small studio in-law unit remained as it was when I moved in, half unpacked, some things very much randomly plunked, and my life continued around these obstacles without acknowledging them. This was fine at first, I kept the place reasonably tidy, which was easier with everything in boxes. But soon those boxes became bigger obstacles, items spilled out, or the boxes deteriorated. At first I was holding out for my landlord to affix my large bookcase to the wall before I filled it, living in earthquake country, but that never happened.

It felt like one thing after another kept me from settling into my lil’ shack (no hate, I love it, honestly) and while my life continued on with new people and jobs and troubles and so forth, my ability to keep it tidy fell away completely. I started to tell my then boyfriend not to come over anymore, that I was too ashamed of the mess but unable to tackle/manage it on my own. He never understood, but at least had compassion for my situation. The thing is though, I never attributed this combination of feeling overwhelmed and yet unable to do anything with my mess of a house to my anxiety and depression. The mess also never was as bad as it is now, or has been the last year.

A year ago my long term boyfriend and I broke up. I was in the midst of rearranging and organizing some things I’d been putting off when it happened. He’d even bought me a new gorgeous set of dishes with butterflies on them. I said I didn’t want to take them out of the box until my house was tidy again. Those dishes are still in their original box. They are too beautiful to live in my space as it is now. I long for the day where I can have a friend over and cook for them using these lovely dishes on the table.

It is very difficult to explain the feelings involved in all of this, but I can tell you that everything in that article rang true for me. The worse my “mess” got, the more overwhelmed I felt, the more I felt unable to deal with it…on top of the usual injury/pain issues I have (spine, knee, one foot), depression is exhausting and it hurts, too. I felt trapped in a semi-catatonic state almost. I just felt helpless and stuck in a really terrible and shame filled way.

I thought I was coping and appeared fine, and I did. No one was the wiser until anyone mentioned coming over to my place and my stomach would knot instantly. I would fluff it off as being inaccessible (it sort of is), too small for company (not a lie), or whatever else was going on in my life at the time. I told my 3 closest friends, but one lives many states away, the other two live very much in a messy state as well, though are always willing to help out. But I can’t accept help, nor ask for it. The thought of someone having to sift through my mess makes me feel ill.

I grew up in this state of mess, sometimes worse, but the realization of this came a couple of months ago. I had lost my job and thought to myself that while I have the time to job hunt I could also make time for getting my place together. My sights were not set high, I am okay with my usual bit of clutter, but I had a moment where I looked around and I was surrounded by recycling and I realized that this combined with many clothes hampers full of clean clothes looked an awful lot like my childhood squalor-filled home. It sucked the wind from my sails entirely.

Then sometime in November I had a few days of what professionals might call mania but it just felt like finally having the energy and focus to tackle something (ANYTHING!) and actually got rid of a lot of stuff. Like 12 garbage bags full! It was recycling guilt that kept the cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes piling higher on my kitchen table. But then disposing of everything was difficult. My landlord’s home only has one very small trash bin and one regular sized recycle bin. So, I went into stealth mode! Ha-ha!

I felt a great sense of relief after this, but then soon found depression taking over entirely once again, just in time for the loneliest holiday season of my entire life. I truly felt like I was on a deserted island for about a week solid. It got rough. I was not my best self nor even a decent friend to myself. I reached out but no one seemed to be around or maybe didn’t know how to be supportive, who knows. Then after the new year I kicked my job hunt into into the highest gear ever and ended up in a whirlwind of non-stop interviews for nearly a month solid. I lost my voice several times.

I know this isn’t the best version of myself. I know I deserve to live in a space that I’m proud of and can look after on my own. I have lived in many other places with roommates and partners and have never had it get like this. I keep telling myself that I just need one big reset and then I can start fresh and keep it up. I even paid a woman last year to do just that, but after 3 hours and $300 she’d really only hung up most of my clothes and gathered things into bags (which honestly made a lot of things worse).

Shame is such a powerful and terrible thing to live with. People have told me that they always thought I was fancy or well-off, dates have called me intimidating, and all of this leaves me so confused. If they knew where and what I came from, if they knew the way I live now, they’d never think those things of me. Coping is a serious endeavor and for survivors of long-term abuse, to those who live with PTSD their entire lives, you cope without realizing. You present yourself in ways to appease and please others automatically. You keep secrets from everyone without trying, without even knowing sometimes. It takes a lot of fucking self work to acknowledge and process and work through and maintain. I have been on this path for over twenty years and was doing pretty fucking great, actually, until I moved back to my hometown.

After reading that article I didn’t leave the house for 3 days. I was in shock. I felt as though the curtains of my shame had been ripped away, exposed to the world. Then I went back to work at my new job and tried to be okay with everything until I couldn’t. Last week I reached out to a company that assists hoarders with removal and organization. This was so difficult for me to do. To open myself even mentally to the outside world like that, but I trusted that this was an org that specialized in this unique service and understood the needs for both me and my place. I know I’m not a hoarder, but thought the basics would align in what I needed in the end. Unfortunately no one ever got back to me and that’s probably fine. I am certain I couldn’t afford it anyway.

I will be reaching out to my healthcare provider once my coverage has begun. I have decided that I should explore the option of antidepressants. My previous thoughts and feelings on the subject have changed and while I am very much averse to ongoing unnecessary medication, this feels too important to not at least try. It is terrifying, I’ve never even had therapy for my various mental health concerns, but I also don’t believe I need the traditional talk therapy setting now. I have done the work and research in that realm for the last 20+ years and feel very capable and supported emotionally. But if there’s a chance that I could feel as I did those few days in November, where I had the energy and focus needed to get my house together, for longer than just a few days, I need to find out. If I can improve my quality of life at home I know it will allow me to excel in my career and personal life, too. I deserve the chance, at the very least.

Once I get a few paychecks, my first coming tomorrow, I can pay someone to haul away the damaged stuff on the patio at least. You’d be surprised how much such a thing costs, as I was when I first called 1800gotjunk to take the stuff away in November, only for them to take 1/3rd of it for $200 (they wanted $750 for all of it, but I was out of work and the $200 maxed my only credit card). It would be nice to use the outdoor table and chairs when the weather warms up again. I would love to have my bffs over for card games, or my dance partner for rehearsals and you know, just dinner.

I am trying to see my new job as a new leaf, a new start sort of, in the sense that I’ll be making a bit more than my last job and a helluva lot more than unemployment was providing, so I can pay for things I’ve put off (like puggo’s overdue vet exams and vaccinations) and hire help for my mess…hopefully. I don’t even know what would have happened if my unemployment had continued on as it did two years ago. I was already close to the brink, as it were, after only three months.

If you’re reading this and you relate, please say so. If you’re reading this and you know how I can get the support I need to get my place together, please say so. If you don’t have these issues or know what orgs can assist, but you have deep sympathy for this situation, please say so. So much of our lives is spent afraid of saying something. It feels so lonely not knowing that so many others in the world are in the same situation. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I will say that despite all of this, I do have a life full of love from great friends who are patient with me and kind, always. I have not spoken so openly about this before now, but that was the shame hanging over me. It’s still there, but beginning to feel just a little less heavy. I’m quite certain that the cause of the state of my childhood home being in such disarray is the same reason I’m living like this now. I know my bio-mom was always mentally ill. It’s one (of many) reasons why I didn’t think I wanted to reproduce. I never thought I would return to my hometown nor the state of the living conditions I grew up in. I hope I can move past this period of my life and onto brighter days and nights, cozy and warm, snuggled up with my puggo, in peace.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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