The morning after

My facebook feed is full of friends’ fears today. A white, gay friend of mine raged against this having been going on for 18 months already. Another friend of mine, this one a straight, black woman shared the hate speech she and her husband endured hearing in line to vote for their safety. Two girlfriends of mine, who are engaged to one another, are fearful about getting married now. A straight, white, cismale called me last night genuinely afraid of what was happening with the election. Relationships that seem solid are shaking at this political insanity. Women are voting against themselves and racists are gaining power they don’t need. To my personal horror, I am the only non-Trump supporter of those who vote in my family. That’s four aunts, a set of grandparents, my mom and a racist marry-in uncle. I love most of those people, but it does not mean I agree with their beliefs. If I was talking to Steph, I imagine we would not be discussing this election. She shocked me by announcing her Republican inclinations last time Obama won.

Of the women I know who voted for Trump, at least three of them have been raped/molested/violated by men with Trump’s values. It baffles me that survivors would vote a sexual assault advocate into office. Any office, anywhere.

The election is one more area that makes me wonder if I’m in reality. PTSD makes things space easily, and despite meds and grounding allies, I wander in and out of knowing where I am. Surely I can’t be in this world because it’s unreal. Surely I can’t trust my mind because I hear things no one else hears. I see shit that can’t be happening around me I am an unreliable narrator, and I’m aware.

During the bridal battle between my sister and I, she referenced my “fragile state of mind”. That plays in my head every time I forget how old I am, everytime I come to with tears and snot and loving faces near mine, looking concerned and telling me I’m in Colorado. My lack of ability to function within normal societal standards keeps me in a state of questioning my value. Being a person with emotions and feels, not to mention a lunar cycle that blinds me with blood at times, I dwell in illogical whims. I re-read the message telling me that if I don’t pay, I don’t love Steph. I re-read her confusion about letting Aubrey have the letter I wrote her. What does Aubrey think about me? Does she think I didn’t tell her that I’d broken my word to see her? Would my sister let that happen? And then, sharply, the blade of reason slices through my brain sending chills down my back with the realization that it maybe doesn’t matter. Maybe I don’t matter in their lives, if I could so easily be discarded and replaced due to money misspent.

My biological siblings visited me a few days ago. They flew into town for a literal 24 hours, just to see me. I’ve been living away from them since 2004, and while we’ve visited, the trip had never been focused exclusively on seeing me. I had all the good feels from their efforts. Having Steph bail/fire me has made me see the mom-given sister I have for more than I’d previously allowed. Allison has always been someone I both admire and fear. She has strengths I can never comprehend, and then misses obvious facts, like how amazing she is as a person. She was braver than me as a kid, sneaking out with Adriene to drive the car and smoking cigarettes with Steph in the backyard. Her ability to work a normal job, and be a fuckin baller at it, humbles me. She grew up in the same house as me, and I cannot make that shit work to save my life. Granted Allison coped/copes differently than I do, but still. She makes it work, and she looks good doing it. My brother is the same badass that I’ve known his whole life. There’s never enough time to just hang out and banter with that boy. My only regret with Allison and Alex is that the same demons haunt us all. Really, this shouldn’t surprise me. As children, we all had nightmares on the regular. We all slept with night lights, TVS, radios, and each other. We all climbed out of windows and stayed with friends rather than be home. Maybe it shouldn’t be a regret, but it can be an asset. My mom always said to be kind to my siblings because we’re the only ones who will have the same memories when we grow up. I don’t trust most of my memories enough to try and fact check any of that shit. Nonetheless, it’s good to hear Allison say something in passing about our childhoods, and know that my idea was correct. Or good, at least, to know I have company in my memories.

I’m dating four wonderful people, all of whom are poly and currently, ironically, not dating other folks. I am as judicious as possible with my spoons. I am still coming up short more often than I’d like. Beyond my partners, I have great more-than-friends who are struggling. Life is heavy and weighs on the hearts I love. My friends stand strong, fighting their battles with bravery and grace. I am surrounded by people who work hard, hold jobs, love others, and contribute to their communities. I feel less broken in my cave, watching the currents of life around me, knowing that my allies are weaving waves of goodness near me. When I’m able, I can come out and contribute. My friends will love me despite my need to nap frequently. I sit and repeat to myself that all my people are strong, independent folks who can take care of themselves. I remind myself that I am my own job. My physical well-being, my mental health, and my stability are my priorities.

That doesn’t mean I can’t play and work well with others. I have good friends who will talk, share, ask, and help me meet them where we can. I am able to hold relationships. I am able to be productive. I am able to be in ceremonies and not be rejected for my lack of financial standing. I am safe to be around children.

My brother said that Steph was a bad friend to me since high school. A partner of mine keeps calling her a bitch, which only reminds me of how Steph and Eric called Christina a bitch after she cut Steph off. I know that’s happening to me now. Name calling doesn’t help me feel better. Steph isn’t more or less of a bitch than I knew she was before, and neither am I. Allison was quick to defend Steph as having hurt feelings. It’s true, that if Steph and I had been present/able/willing to discuss our feelings, maybe we could’ve fixed it. Maybe we can in the future. Maybe she’ll reach out to me some time. Maybe I’ll reply. Or maybe I’ll just take a nap.

It always surprises me how much the whole Steph thing is in my head.

Snows are due soon, and then winter will lock me into place for a few months. I start painting Niki’s room tonight, and then the guest room. Hopefully, both done before her family visits for Xmas. The basement is almost done. I took a break from the dust due to allergies, which are awful. The deck isn’t done, and while Niki’s dad would place that as a number one, I’ve placed Niki’s room as the top priority. Still, getting the garage and deck done before moving would be ideal. I want to get Niki on an even playing field, not in a ditch.

I brush my hair and throw on a clean shirt that can be splattered with primer. I should eat soon. Yoga and then real movement. Despite the world, I turn and try again.

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