Once I was embarrassed about how freely I cried.
I said it was allergies, or dust in my eyes,
never that emotions bubbled to the surface
in damp beads.
Now I look back and wish I could remember,
bend double and retch up my rotting fear.
But it is only allergies, or dust in my eyes,
that can bring tears.
I’m coming out of a fairly awful episode. Triggered by a fucking anime I was watching. An animated penknife. This isn’t really a poem, but there we go.
I was hurrying down the street at dusk today, head down, quickly navigating around the milling people. When the small figure with the huge black mastiff walked by, all that was in my mind was to avoid the snarling dog.
“Hey! Kiran!” I turn, and he’s grinning lopsidedly at me. “S’me, remember?”
I do. Went to high school with him. Two non-conforming kids trapped in a super-conservative Christian school. He threw desks at teachers; I pandered to them. The girls were all terrified of him; his slight frame curled into a permanent slouch, that hostile snarl etched into his face, he terrorized them. I viewed him as a kindred spirit.
You’d think that he’d have hated little do-gooder me. He spat in disdain when the other girls fretted over their grades, but applauded when I went up for the eighth time in one ceremony to accept an award. Perhaps he saw that I, too, was longing for escape.
One time he stood, smirking, in my way. Grabbed me by the shoulder, something that always makes my skin crawl. Before I realized what I’d done, I’d thrown him against the wall and he crumpled onto the floor, gaping in astonishment.
From then on he accorded me a distant respect. I was the only person he let sit next to him, or make small talk; I caught glimpses of a nice guy, playing tough because to do otherwise was to let the establishment think they had won. He never really let that guard down. Made too many bad friends. But I think he was comfortable being the bad guy in a good school: there’s no pressure to be truly awful in order to gain a reputation. Once, after making a sweet young thing cry by mocking the death of a cherished six-year-old she’d ‘mothered’ at school, he paced the locker room for an hour before apologizing and handing her a crumpled ten-dollar note.
He’s shorter than I remember. I’m surprised he still knows me. I was masculine then, but more so now than ever: the waist-length ringlets are long since gone, and we are dressed nearly identically in oversized flannel shirts and worn-out jeans, his newly long hair hanging limply from under a beanie, stubble casting his chin into shadow; my own hair hacked down to within an inch of my head.
“Remember the time I told you I was gonna become a flaming inferno and those fuckers couldn’t stop me?” I smile. “Yep.” “I did, and now I’m prolly going to jail.” He laughs, as heartily as I’ve ever heard him laugh. “And now I’m looking after this girl.” Motions to the dog. I’m not sure how to interpret this. “How’d you get her?” The dog lunges at a nearby preschooler, and he yanks hard at her leash, shouting at her to stay down. She does. “Oh, a friend had puppies. Couldn’t keep ‘em all. And now Sheba’s my best mate, aren’t you girl?” Bends to pat the dog, with gruff but undisguised affection.
Some children come up cautiously to admire the beautiful animal, and he proudly answers their questions. “You should have seen her brother! He’s way bigger!” I watch quietly. He turns back for a second. “Hey, Kiran? Have a good one.” I meet his gaze, and raise my hand in that salutary acknowledgement of old. “You too.” And then, slipping over my tongue almost too easily, “Catch you later.”
The moment’s over. I turn to continue home, suddenly all too aware of the heft of the battered laptop in my backpack, the clatter of the shiny new shoes I’ve scrimped to afford against the crumbling concrete of the sidewalk. I’ve seen him only twice since we left high school - both times roaming the streets of our run-down suburb - and somehow I feel like I won’t catch him later, whatever that means.
Coming out as multiple (for the uninitiated, having multiple personalities) is hard. Not least because, while everyone’s pretty much agreed that gay people are people (well… I’m ignoring the utter crackpots here), a very small minority are equally immediate to acknowledge that individual members of a system in one body are also people. After all, there’s one physical body; surely that’s one person? Needless to say, our legal system does not in any way shape or form take multiples into account. (And that is perfectly reasonable, given the huge complications that arise if one does.)
That being said, I’ve just had a conversation with my super-duper conservative mother about my being a median (that is, I have bits which have their own personality of sorts, but aren’t full people able to function on their own), and of all the other things I need to come out as at some point, queer, polyamorous, and all the rest, I felt I was most able to explain this. So maybe how I did it will help someone else.
It kinda led in from an equally uncomfortable conversation about my hallucinations. (C-PTSD comes with lots of fun stuff, y’all.) Like most people, Mom clearly doesn’t see people with mental illnesses as different-but-equal; however, having recently had to learn about how to deal with Asperger syndrome, she’s perhaps been primed a bit better than most. I talked a bit about various forms of dissociation and how they’re often, though not always, linked to childhood trauma; how some people feel like they don’t belong in their body, or like they’re actually somewhere else, or that there are multiple realities for them; then I mentioned that some people have several separate personalities. Being a median, I then clarified that one of the ways in which I’ve dissociated is that “the bits of my head - you know, the subconscious and the bit that handles emotions and the long-term memory, bits like that - have their own will and sometimes don’t cooperate”. Which is fortunate for me, that I had little else to explain. I don’t feel like introducing her to Lyra or any of the others any time soon.
However, she did bring up one of the objections I’m sure many multiples meet - demon possession. I’m lucky enough to have a friend she thinks highly of who is also a multiple, and I talked about her for a bit. Talked about how another friend had faced psychiatrists who had wanted to “merge” the members of her system, and had always felt it was murder, killing off a real person. Talked about, although some of the language I used made me cringe inside, how “you know, people are broken in so many ways due to original sin. We have lots of people who have different illnesses and are otherwise born with issues, and while we can’t fix them, we shouldn’t judge them because of it - it’s not their fault - and we should just love and support them. Back in the day people like my brother (Asperger syndrome) or Kris (cerebral palsy) or even you, when you were severely depressed, would have been locked away or subject to exorcisms. We don’t do that any more, mom. We shouldn’t. They’re just people.” Finished with examples of anti-bigotry action in this city, people standing up for and supporting the blind and wheelchair-bound et al, and how they encouraged me; mentioning that these people would be locked away in the past, or even, some of them, in our homeland today, but we’re better than that.
She nodded, looked at me with some concern. “Just as long as you’re handling it all well, okay?” And that was that.
This is a somewhat controversial stance, but to me queer means something completely different than “gay” or “lesbian” or “bisexual.” A queer person is usually someone who has come to a non-binary view of gender, who recognizes the validity of all trans identities, and who, given this understanding of infinite gender possibilities, finds it hard to define their sexuality any longer in a gender-based way. Queer people understand and support non-monogamy even if they do not engage in it themselves. They can grok being asexual or aromantic. (What does sex have to do with love, or love with sex, necessarily?) A queer can view promiscuous (protected) public bathhouse sex with strangers and complete abstinence as equally healthy.
Queers understand that people have different relationships to their bodies. We get what it means to be stone. We know what body dysphoria is about. We understand that not everyone likes to get touched the same way or to get touched at all. We realize that people with disabilities may have different sexual needs, and that people with survivor histories often have sexual triggers. We can negotiate safe and creative ways to be intimate with people with HIV/AIDs and other STIs.
Queers understand the range of power and sensation and the diversity of sexual dynamics. We are tops and bottoms, doms and subs, sadists and masochists and sadomasochists, versatiles and switches. We know what we like and don’t like in bed.
We embrace a wide range of relationship types. We can be partners, lovers, friends with benefits, platonic sweethearts, chosen family. We can have very different dynamics with different people, often all at once. We don’t expect one person to be able to fulfill all our diverse needs, fantasies and ideals indefinitely.
Because our views on relationships, sex, gender, love, bodies, and family are so unconventional, we are of necessity anti-assimilationist. Because under the kyriarchy we suffer, and watch the people we love suffering, we are political. Because we want to survive, we fight. We only want the freedom to be ourselves, love ourselves, love each other, and live together. Because we are routinely denied that, we are pissed.
Queer doesn’t mean “don’t label me,” it means “I am naming myself.” It means “ask me more questions if you curious” and in the same breath means “fuck off.” —
All of this.
I’m a wee bit obsessive, and I wanted to keep the reblogging-random-pictures and all that away from the SRS BZNS, so, misc.klutz.geek.nz is the new tumblr for everything other than aforementioned seriousness :) Just means I can doodle and be all strange in one place and write monumental posts or whatever in another place.
If, of course, this is a bad idea, do let me know! And, follow follow follow.
unfortunately being gay in real life is not as fun as it is on the internet
Likewise all those people who are all “oh you’re bisexual/pansexual/polyamorous/genderqueer? Just doing it cause it’s trendy.” Not very trendy irl.
(Just a note: I’m an aspie. I’m can’t say the particular phenomenon I’m describing is unique to those with AS, but I’ve observed it in the people in my family who also have AS.)
I’ve always been the classic introvert. You know the definition of introversion? Having energy sapped away from you by being around others, and needing to be by yourself to recharge. In explaining to my partner why I felt like a heartless bitch for not really wanting to “hang out” with anyone, I’ve only just realized how true this is for me.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been a bit of a loner. More significantly, I’ve only ever had one or two friends that I can actually name and remember at any given time. Some others I vaguely recall being acquaintances when given photos and old letters, but really, there is usually only ever one important person for me at any given time. Right now that’s the partner in question.
This seems a little dangerous or codependent, and it would be if I was an extrovert. But I’m not leaning on that person for support. There have been plenty of periods when I’ve been alone (libraries are always my friend!) and perfectly happy as people move in and out of my life. The persons who become my Important People generally seek me out (for some unknown reason) rather than the other way around. It’s less of “all my social needs are piled on one person” and more “my social processor only accommodates one person”.
As a result, while I’m easy to get along with and make an acquaintance of, being (like many people with similarly mild AS) very easygoing and tolerant by nature, it’s a totally different story when it comes to being someone I consider a real friend. Quite often, being too nice/weak/pushover/considerate to not also expend energy on interacting with everyone else, including those who see me as a friend or best friend or potential wife (this happens to me more often than it should), I burn out socially. I’m getting drained by having what to the other person is a perfectly nice conversation, and I find people weird or boring or just plain annoying after a while in general (or alternatively, I hold them in such high esteem that I have panic attacks just trying to talk to them). And so I space out. Don’t deal with social situations. Go back to drawing nudes in the margins of my lecture manual or sitting awkwardly or otherwise, just out of lack of available processing memory, ignoring the situation or approaches of the other person altogether. (Much easier to do online.)
If I know you well, especially over the internet, you are my friend. I care about you, and probably respect you to the point where it sometimes stresses me out talking to you because I don’t know what’s socially appropriate and I want to respond appropriately. (Never mind how I’d respond being myself; I honestly don’t know half the time. I’ve developed this general willingness to comply with anything over time to compensate for my lack of social skills.) You’re probably just not in what most people would call an inner circle but for me is an inner point or two. My outer circle of friends is very small; beyond that, people drift easily back into “acquaintance” once contact is broken or paths separate.
But you are probably not, and probably have not been, one of my Important People. While they fill that role, I’m inherently loyal, inherently supporting, inherently always-there-for-you: but that doesn’t mean I’m not that for everyone else as well. I care about everyone, but have to be very very selective about what energy I invest in people. If you and I have nothing in common, you make me uncomfortable, or I find that I’m ending up being your mother rather than a friend, I might one day find the guts to be honest and get back to functioning normally by no longer feeling obliged to talk to you. Don’t feel like you’re terrible; it’s generally genuinely not you, it’s me.
Whew, explanationpost-to-link-people-to done. Apologies for spamming your feed, those who follow me :)
I won’t become a doctor.
One day you will be sick.” —
Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl
This poem was recorded in a NYT magazine article about female underground poetry groups in Afghanistan. An amazing article about the ways in which women are using a traditional two line poetry form to express their resistance to male oppression, their feelings about love (considered blasphemous), and their doubts about religion.
oh my gosh
this is beautiful.