Ani DiFranco put out a new CD back in 2014, and I somehow missed it.

I am a terrible fangirl and should be ashamed to say that I’ve only just bought Ani’s newest album. Thankfully I will have it downloaded before the end of this post, and can listen in through the early spring rain outside.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. This last week Jared was in town, and I was running around, crazy busy. I’m way behind on calling Steph, not to mention all the other things I’ve been neglecting. Being home too much has made me hermity and pale. But the snow melts quickly outside, leaving me with hours of sunshine and no reason to stay indoors. That should be good for me.

Milano recently started making (or I started noticing) a raspberry chocolate flavor that makes me stupid amounts of happy. That I keep up with Milano flavors better than Ani album drops is sad. In the related headline of “Shit Brit Should Know” is the fact that Eddie Izzard comes to town in the end of May. I almost flew home early from Costa Rica to see him when he came to NOLA.

I’m poly. That’s a thing, I’m realizing. And that’s cool, I guess. Everyone seems to like me anyways. Some people like me more, lol.

Everyone seems to accept me, or steer out of my life. I’m liking that trend. I like this kind acceptance that I find myself swathed in. I think this is what safe feels like…I think of all the times Steve asked me to explain what “safe” meant, and all the ways my words fell short. I think this is it…I flashed last night, my apartment dark and the first thing I can find in reality is the smell of Niki’s conditioner. I hear my name is soft whispers, from people whom I trust. I’m scooped up and held closely, reassurances and comfort hemming me in. Behind and before.

For years I wanted a father to cradle me. Dan, Richard, Jack, etc. I didn’t know how to ask for it from my mother, who was my friend and my concern, not my parent. Then I found a church but the air gets thin on the mountaintop, and God could be a voice on the wind. I need more than that. I tried to make it a man’s job to love me and carry me through my life, as a good wife and a good woman should. That went about as well as you’d expect. When I finally started to do it myself, things got better. Well, things got worse-way the fuck worse. But then, after worse, things got better. I got better. Doing the shit work every day, sitting and crying and hating and hiding and all of it-it made me get better. Then I noticed I was getting help. I was being lifted and cradled. Support was everywhere.

I was asked recently from an unexpected source how I “got over” my past…I can’t stop thinking about it. How anyone could think that I’m over anything. How it must look compared to those still living in the daily crisis, how healthy I must look from the starting place. It looks like such a short distance, but it’s been about 10 years of process. Insane. I wonder where I’ll be in ten more years.

It gives me hope, and reminds me how much better off I am than just last year. I want to help those who are starting out, who haven’t had the luxury of a protected healing time. We need ways to carve that out for everyone, so that it’s not an anomaly that happens to a lucky few. There are so many of us-in the days of W.E.L.L., I used to meet about one woman a day who’d been sexually assaulted. The checkout lady at the Breaux Mart, the gal working the front desk where I got waxed, a burlesque performer at a fundraising meeting-it’s amazing the way people come out of the woodwork when it gets dropped with eye contact. The phrase, “I’m an incest and rape survivor” has gotten me more admissions of “twinsies” than anything else, and I grew up with sisters who like to dress in matching outfits. If it’s happened to all of us, how is it still happening?

Niki and I discuss this a lot. Like, sometimes we have to stop and put on cartoons because it’s heavy. And this is mood lifting. Having a brilliant friend to chat it all over with helps, but sometimes I just can’t stay in the land of incest any longer, and I don’t remember how to find the exit. I miss Tina and JJ and the other wise women guides I’ve known.

I think of all the ways I’ve tried to make my life less about sex, and how it always comes back around. Being fucked as a kid fucks you up. I know there is more, and I have more, but sex leaks back in here and there. In some ways I’m grateful, because it shows growth and a possible healthy future, and in other ways I’m just tired. Can’t we all just smoke a bowl and ignore everything?

No. We can’t. I can’t, anyways. Even if Archer Vice is now on Netflix and I have Smash, I have to go outside. I have to find people in the world. I have to talk to those who live outside of my head. I need to call Steph. And then do all that other shit. Now, if only it’s weren’t 2:08am.

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