Its a good word.

21 11 2012

I prefer lover to boyfriend or girlfriend.

For so many reasons.

Mostly because I am not a girl and don’t want to fuck boys or girls.

But also because lover is sexy.

And seems scandalous.

And for whatever reason seems way less loaded than boyfriend/girlfriend.

So yea, also if I ever decide to regularly fuck a person who identifies as genderqueer, I can call them my lover, and not have to worry about them being horribly offended.

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Journey in Self Acceptance

21 11 2012

I know that other people find me attractive.  But I’m not entirely sure that I do. At least, not really until recently have I begun to truly look at myself, and say, “You know what, I think I might just be pretty.”

I mean I have for a great deal of my life found parts of me attractive, but never really the whole thing. But you know I watched this:

I recently also bleached my hair, started growing my unibrow back, and wearing my glasses more. And it was a shock, my hair I mean, but now I look at myself in the mirror, and I see, I remember myself. Like before all this crazy shit happened. When I was 10 fucking years old. And I had glasses, a unibrow, and was a toe head. I loved myself. I was weird, and I owned it. I was a tomboy, and didn’t care, I didn’t shower that often and while I smelled bad I was okay with it.

And then around the same time, I started going through puberty. And people took notice, to my hairy arm pits, the fact that I needed a bra but didn’t wear one, the way the hair on my lower legs changed, how I smelled. How big my glasses were. And they started making fun of me. Not my friends, not the people that mattered. But I thought that every one mattered. And that every one mattered more than me. And I started to loose myself.

Slowly at first, but surely, I started to play less with my beanie babies, and other animal toys, I started to stop pretending to be animals, real and ones that I had made up. I stopped having my barbies have sex, and other activities, but really I think they mostly had sex and arguments. It was very Melrose Place in my Barbie House, which I made out of other toys I had (mostly an old homemade wooden cabbage patch high chair). And I even stopped pretending, which this senario was only ever played by myself, that I was the female Indiana Jones I went by Indi, and my boyfriend was Batman, and I had a very tawdry affair with Robin. Like I never shared that game with anyone… and I stopped playing it even with myself.

I stopped doing a lot of things that I liked, that I enjoyed, because I got made fun of. I lost myself, to the desire of being accepted by everyone. But ended up a shell bitch with no friends for at least a year, probably a bit more, by the end of junior high.

All because I wanted to be normal, and not myself.

Well fuck that! No more!





Embodiment and leaving the house

20 11 2012

I finally figured out what it is I’m trying to talk about with my art. I’m trying to deal with the fact that I forever have to live in the setting, the vessel of which my most horrible memories took place.

As a rape survivor, I can’t leave this body. Unless I disassociate. But disassociating also is part of the reason I was raped in the second case. The defense mechanism, became the downfall. It happens all the time in nature. The creature freezes in order to not be seen, unaware that the predator is already engaged. Anyway, even if disassociating hadn’t betrayed me, its no way to go about living.

I’ve decided to undergo some other types of therapy, to see if I can perhaps recover the thing that first taught me to disassociate. So that I can finally deal with it, and really learn how to help that part of myself, best. EMDR and Hypnosis, or one or the other, or together, I dunno, but I’m going to find out about them, soon. I have my first appointment with this woman Tuesday. Its cool, she’s smart, she was one of the leaders of the group that I did last spring and summer.

She was also the first person to use the word abuse, when I described my father. Actually I guess she was the second. The first was the towering and broad shouldered co-worker of my father I was sent to talk to, instead of going to a real psychologist. She had this list, of red flags, signs that you were in an unhealthy relationship. A lot of those things on that list described things my dad did. I think all of them were verbal, certainly most.  But now that I think of it I don’t think she did use that word, abuse. Just “unhealthy relationship”

Maybe she can hypnotize me into thinking that leaving the house on my days off in order to do things like, attend a meeting with my psychiatrist, do laundry, or go grocery shopping isn’t so scary.

So with these two new therapies, I hope that I can better learn how to deal with being within my body, and present. I read some things in that masturbation was supposed to help survivors be more comfortable with their bodies. I don’t think that I have a problem being in my body and feeling the pleasure that comes with masturbation, or sex, I think I have a problem being in my body when it comes to feeling the emotions I am or am not having with sex.

Sex, emotions, and relationships are all very different things to me, that possibly have a kind of ven diagram thing happening, but emotion is barely in either of the two, especially when sex enters into the relationship. It seems that the more sexual I am with a person, the further I want to pull away from them emotionally. Until recently. There was one person who was able to break that cycle of mine, and now I realize the benefit of not being so detached.

Anyway I think I was going to mostly write about my art practice…

I think that my work fluctuates between the state of disassociating, victim, survivor, and aggressor. In some works, only one state is showcased or portratited if you will., in others they are battling, in this confused and violated rawness. The strange thing was when I was doing my work last semester, the phrase that has stuck out in my head the most, is “Your anger, is clear.” I thought the work had moved greatly beyond just anger. I don’t know if that’s true.  The gender reduction monsters are my way of talking about society’s way of making rape jokes, and pointing out how narrow definitions, or stereotypes, castrate, and dehumanize people. But they also point out the absurdity and ridiculous nature of this entire political conversation of redefining rape. The fact that, that is even an option, to qualify rape, as legitimate, or forceful, is unfathomable.  The only thing that is worse is if they were to demand the rapist marry the victim/survivor, that and actually stoning the victim.  By turning women and men into these monsters I hope I have created a kind of comedic relief in talking about something that’s horrible and doesn’t make any sense.

By using the skins, or carcass paintings, I hope that I understand my victimized state. By turning myself into a gender reduction monster I hope that I have a better understanding of what I see the male gaze as. Maybe the carcass paintings are the skins of the gender reduction monsters, maybe by merging myself with them, or falling into them, or embracing them, I am reaching out to the victim, the disassociating self, and trying to hold on to it and comfort it, expressing the fluid nature of victim/survivor identity. By tearing paper, and collaging with it, and then white washing it, to me it reminds me of what happened when I told my mother and father. That hazy memory, but more how they look at me so different now but never really talk about why.  How my father doesn’t really look me in the eye anymore.

But the general distress and labor that goes into each work, is as Merleau-Ponty puts it, a birth. And the result is a body, each work is its own body, and its own kind of expression of self, of myself.  Pointing back at me, looking at me, calling out wanting… to be healed, to be whole, to be human again. Embodiment or at least the struggle with it, is a human one. And rape is the ultimate dehumanization. For what is a human with out a body?  And how do I live in and love that body after what happened inside? That is the question that I am looking at, and since I’m a painter, that’s the kind of things I make.

I think I may have just stumbled upon about a half way done artist statement there. Awesome.

 





No More Apologies.

2 11 2012

You know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of looking to other people to tell me things about myself.

I’m tired of looking outward and hoping to find “the right way” to look in. And I’m sure as fuck tired of explaining and apologizing for being who I am.

Because you know what? I’m amazing. I am. If I look at my life and stop and think about what it is that I HAVE done, what it is that I’m working on, and where I’ve been, I’m glad I’m alive.  And I’m tired of being afraid of being myself.

I’m pushy, nosey, borderline know it all, who’s smart, and funny (mostly unintentionally), who can laugh at herself,  can discuss the beauty of language, art, music, and has ideas that don’t stop coming. And I’m a painter. Its taken me a while to really and truly admit and identify myself as a painter, but you know what? I’m a goddamned painter, and I need to get to it. Because the biggest obstacle has been myself, and fighting to be something that I’m not, because I was too boughed down with what I saw as a limiting thing.

When in reality what I painter does and is, is vast. Maybe I don’t always take brush to my paint, and then to canvas, maybe I do weld, and make paper, sculpture, video, and a photo here and there, but goddamnit, its all painting to me.

Maybe I have a fragile, and sometimes raw emotional state. Maybe I’m impulsive, and don’t always think things through, maybe some times all I want to do is hurt myself. Maybe I’m sloppy, and could have better hygiene  maybe I drink too much, and am a bad vegetarian and crave lamb and sausage and make myself sick sometimes, because I want a giant meat load in my mouth and I don’t care about the way my body will reject it in 20 minutes. Maybe I’m not very good with money. Maybe I’m claustrophobic, and people stress me out. Maybe I’m not very good at being a daughter or a sister.

Maybe I’m too sexual. Maybe I like sex too much. Maybe I’m not as wise as some people think. Maybe I have trouble recognizing myself in the mirror.

But I’m intuitive, brave, creative, and free.

And I will not apologize. ANY. MORE.

I do not have to defend, explain, and nor do I owe you anything. I am not an object, I am not yours to touch, follow, or have in any way.

I will never give you my heart and I won’t ask for yours, because I think my heart belongs to me and yours belongs to yours. I do not believe in a savior, outside of myself. It is me that will pull myself out of the mire, and I am done, done, DONE, I tell you with being fixed.

I’m. NOT. BROKEN. 

That being said, I do have a lot to process, because lets face the facts dear, which are:

In the last five years of my life I Have:

1. Married my high school sweetheart when I was going to be a junior in college, he a sophomore, we were virgins

2. relationship became abusive

3. Went from considering doing mission work, believing in spiritual warfare, to not believing in God at all and questioning whether or not it was ethical to even be studying theology.

4. Won some big award, for the small town I was in, for a painting.

5. First solo show

6. Went to Italy

7. Separation from emotionally abusive husband, sparked by being raped by said husband for three days(and blacked it all out forgetting/burying it and not dealing)

8. Divorced

9. Graduated two weeks later with a BA in theology

10. Stranger Raped, but didn’t understand (see number seven)

11. Beloved father like mentor dies suddenly, (barely deals with death)

12. Graduated with BFA in painting and drawing

13. Have a major PTSD episode “psychotic break” end up in hospital, after a month of suddenly remembering rapes. Given lots of psyche meds that make everything like tar.

14. Finally start coping with the shit that happened. Have to change phone number and delete beloved email account/blog because fear of being stalked by rapist ex husband

15. Live out of my car, essentially for six months

16. Crash said car

17. End up living with painting professor

18. MOVE TO BOSTON!

19. Got a bike

20. Find good counselors

21. Complete a rigorous nonsensical program

22. Got hit by a motorcycle, concussed

23. Got the brief shit kicked out of me by love

24. Kept biking, swimming, and being active, learning my body’s capabilities.

25. Finally learning to love myself. For Who I AM, not what other people say I am.

 

That my friends, is a lot to process. In fact, its kinda exhausting.  But “the worst things in the world” have happened, and I’ve come through. Not unscathed, no I have scars, but I’m here. I’m a survivor. And I’m learning how to live.  And learning that I am beautiful.

 

Special thanks to a few inspiring folks.

http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-worst-thing-in-world.html

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osiBvQ-RRg