Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Drive to Pike's Peak

My incredible friend Jen of Skinned Knees is a finalist for the BlogHer Experts Among Us Voices of the Year award and needs some help getting her amazing self to New York! Help her out, if you can! She's all about body acceptance, representation for queer women of color, and cats! I mean, come on, how could anyone be more perfect?!



Help get her amazing self to New York!


♥♥♥♥♥♥

It was 95 in Denver on Sunday so we escaped by driving to the top of Pike’s Peak...where it was 52!  

But first, The North Pole!!!  We didn’t go inside the mini-amusement park (next time!) but it was an adorable place that I wish I could live in.







Behold the tree of ice cream and cupcakes!



RAWR!



Santa wants your sooooooul.





















Devil’s Playground









So many pictures!  I know, I know, but I go out so rarely that I get excited!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day

(warning: all kinds of abuse and suicide)

I’m not a jealous person, for the most part.  Instead of feeling jealous of others, I tend to feel ashamed of myself.  I would never take away someone’s happiness in order to have it for my own.  But there was always one thing I desperately envied: a good dad.  I envied Daddy’s Girls.  Girls whose fathers loved them and protected them and did anything possible to help them in life.  Girls whose fathers didn’t abuse and destroy them.  I wanted a daddy.  A daddy who told me he loved me, who I wasn’t afraid of, who I didn’t flinch away from every time he came near.  But that’s not the card I was dealt and, usually, I’m okay with that.  We all have our crosses to bear and my parents are part of mine.

My father was abusive in a way I struggle to understand.  It wasn’t the result of a drunken rage or a complete loss of control...it was calculating and cold.  He did it because he enjoyed it.  When I told my first therapist some of the things he did to me, she said, “Heidi, that wasn’t abuse...that was torture.”  And that idea is strange to me still.  I operate in the mindset of, “Everyone struggles, there are people who had it worse than you did, don’t co-opt their suffering by thinking yours was that big a deal.”  I’m good at minimizing, always have been.  He didn’t hurt me that badly.  He didn’t touch me that often.  The reality is, though, if someone else told me they experienced what I had, I would be horrified.  I’d be livid and want to kill their fathers because no one deserves that.  And, see, that’s the part I struggle to accept; that no one includesme.

I can look at what he did to me on paper and think, Jesus Christ, he was a monster and you were an innocent victim.

In pre-school he taught me to make myself throw up and told me to do it after I ate so I wouldn’t get fat like my mom.  No one would like me if I got fat.  (Hello bulimia and bye bye any chance I had at a normal and healthy relationship with food or my body!)

He would fill the tub with scalding hot water and hold me down in it as I screamed and fought.  The most disturbing part to me is he’d laugh the entire time.

Until I was 14 he molested me.  It stopped because I finally snapped.  I hit him as hard as I could and screamed that if he ever touched me again I’d slit his throat.

Plus way too much more.  And let’s not even bother getting into the emotional abuse because this post would never end!  Let’s just say that everything I’ve heard from “haters” and “trolls”?  How I’m fat and worthless, hideous, should kill myself…?  Bitch, please, I’ve been hearing that shit since I was in elementary school!  You aren’t telling me anything my dad hadn’t said to me or I said to myself on a regular basis.

But, see, when I think of him now, those aren’t the first things that come to mind.  It’s a worn out, beat down, suicidal, untreated and unmedicated severely mentally ill man, who was emotionally and even sometimes physically abused by my mom for as long as I can remember.  While I’m aware of and acknowledge what he did and the myriad ways it completely fucked me up, it’s not what I tend to think of.  I tend to remember how broken and ill he was.  And I know it doesn’t excuse what he did - I know that - but it’s given me a way to move on.  Maybe, on some level, it’s the only thing about him I can relate to.  Being empty and crazy and hopeless and obsessing over putting a gun in my mouth because I just couldn’t take the pain anymore.

I believe that, for better or worse, we always love our parents.  No matter what horrible things they put us through.  Even if we hate them and cut them out of our lives, we love them...no matter how hard we may try not to.  It would be so much easier if we didn’t.  And, god, we so desperately want them to love us.  To be proud of us.  We just can’t help it, no matter how hard we try, there’s a tiny part of us that desperately hopes our moms and dads will finally love us and give us the parents we deserved.  When he killed himself, I lost that hope.  That’s what I mourned, the loss of possibility of him ever being the dad I wanted and needed.

When I think of him, I think of the time I was 30 years old and he said, “I love you” for the first time in my life.  The first time.  We had said goodnight and I was standing in the hallway as he closed his bedroom door and I froze.  I stood there silent for at least 10 seconds before I whispered back, “I love you too.”  Because, in some way, I did.  In, some way, I always will.

I never really had a dad.  I never had a dad who loved me in a healthy way and respected me and took care of me.  And I never will.  But I don’t blame him, not anymore.  The hatred and bitterness I harbored for him is gone.  Not because I’m oh so enlightened because, hi, I’m totally not.  But when I heard that gunshot in the next room and I opened that door to the sight of blood and the smell of sulfur, everything changed.  His grip on me melted away.  I felt safe for the first time in my entire life.  I never understood the term, “like a weight was lifted off my shoulders” until then but, god, I could literally feel my shoulders relaxing for the first time in 30 years.  He could never hurt me again.  He could also never turn magically into the dad I wanted...so I no longer grasped desperately onto the impossible.  I could let that dream go.  I could mourn the loss of that but I could also mourn for a man who felt so dead inside that he finally pulled the trigger.  I could pity him and empathize with him and feel deep and intense sadness for the pain he must have been in.  Pain I understand all too well.  His death allowed me to show him tenderness without putting myself in danger.  I could make myself vulnerable and not risk his abuse and rejection in return.  I could stop seeing him as a monster I had to constantly be on guard around.  I could see him as human.

Whether you wanted it or not, I forgive you.  Whether you acknowledged to yourself what you did to me or not, I forgive you.  Whether you deserve it or not, I forgive you.  Whether you truly loved me or not, I forgive you.

No matter what, I forgive you.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Mountain Drive

Matt and I went to Rocky Mountains National Park so I could see the snow!











This is The Stanley, where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining.








When lunch takes forever.












Walls of snow.








Outtake.








It was a lot of fun.  I did have some intense paying-for-it pain the next few days but it was definitely worth it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!  I’m so behind!

zzzzzzzzz
Two of my doctors brought up my having a sleep study done so I did one at home.  Did you know they have in-home sleep studies?  Because they totally do.  You just strap a box to your chest, shove some tubes up your nose, put a pulse monitor on your finger and you’re ready to sleep!  So, yes, have the apnea.  I’m currently awaiting the delivery of a mask; my doctor says she thinks it’ll really help with my crippling fatigue issues so, yay for upcoming improvements!  I’ve warned Matt of my forthcoming CPAP machine sexiness because he, clearly, won’t be able to keep his hands off of me.



ouch
I’ve started a new pain medication, Nucynta, and it seems to be helping!  When I’m taking it consistently, there’s definitely an improvement.  It’s not an immediate BOOM pain relief and is more of a subtle build so I don’t even really notice it until I no longer have it, at which point I realize how much better it’s been.  But because it's non-generic and hella fucking expensive ($900+ out of pocket monthly ahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa) they're fighting it as unnecessary.  I've been without for two weeks and in fucking agony and just got a call from my pain doctor's office to apologize and admit they fucked up and dropped the ball and never responded to insurance when they got the denial 10 days ago.  I swear to god, she was more upset than I was.  “It’s okay, I totally understand, I know it wasn’t intentional, these things happen!”  “No, it’s not fair, it shouldn’t have happened, you shouldn’t be in so much pain....”  ITS GOING TO BE OKAY, DO YOU NEED A HUG!?  So, okay, in order to get a drug they don’t cover, you need to show that nothing else works.  So Medicare’s solution is to make me take Morphine instead.  Like, specifically Morphine.  I expect to go to my doctor in a month and say, “Okay, I’ve been unconscious for 30 days, NEXT!”

wheeeeee
I’ve had a few friend dates in the last month!  Two with a very sweet girl I get along super well with and we’re having a DVD marathon in a couple of days.  Might be some dirty stuff happening at some point as she’s expressed a very strong desire for it and I think it’d be way fun.   My other friend date was with a potential FWB who I really had fun having (a really delicious) dinner with. And then a delightful little makeout in the  car.  It was interesting to kiss someone who also has lip rings!  Look at me meeting new people and occasionally leaving the house!  Okay, very occasionally but still, it counts!

click
A photographer took dirrrty pictures of me for a book he’s compiling on women’s sexual empowerment.  It was a super fun shoot but it’s hard for me to look at most of the pictures without feeling a LOT of negative shit.  But I’m trying to desensitize myself to it by forcing myself to look and counteracting the mean stuff that automatically comes to mind.  But I do really like some of them!  I’d post but can’t.  I mean, I’m naked all over the goddamn internet so I, clearly, don’t care but I’d like to give Matt SOME privacy!

I’ve been struggling, finding it harder to love myself than it has been in awhile.  In the past, the way I’d overcome my self loathing - the way I made myself capable of looking in the mirror and liking what I saw - was by doing something that terrified me.  Whether it was as small an act as wearing a sleeveless dress to a party or as massive as posting a photo of myself naked online, doing something that scared me and surviving it made all the difference.  So when the opportunity to be photographed presented itself, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.  Before our appointment, while we discussed what my boyfriend and I might want to do, I brought up some of the kinks he and I have and the D/s aspect of our relationship.  Ricardo asked, “Are you in love?”  “Yes, very much so.  So much that it’s gross.”  He replied, “Don’t show me the fetish, show me the love.”   And we did.

twang
Matt’s friend is in a really great bluegrass group, Rock Bottom String Band, and they were touring a bit and performed in Colorado for Choice City Stomp (which I actually think I’d like to attend next year.)  I was in a lot of fucking pain so we were planning to only see them but when we arrived we found out they weren’t selling at the door any longer for that night. Son of a bitch.  But the lady at the door was super cool and let us sit on the front porch and watch through the window, which was the back of the stage.  Matt and I have already decided that they’re our wedding band.  Here, check some of their music out!


swoon
This is my everything right now.

Remember, a “no” is free. Ask for the world and pay no mind if you are initially turned down. A career in the arts is like a hitchhiking trip: All you need is one person to say “Get in” and off you go. And then the confidence begins.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Food and Fun in a Festive Atmosphere!

(I’m trying to get better about updating my Instagram!  No promises, though.)

Okay, I finally finally finally feel like a functional human being.  It took over a month but I think I’m finally acclimated to this god forsaken elevation.  I started taking high quantities of vitamins D and B in liquid form and chlorophyll pills so with that plus time,  I feel better than I have in many years!  Hurray!

Pink hair!


I had a friend-date last week with someone new!  We went to Voodoo Doughnuts and a lesbian coffee shop/bar and then drove around a nature preserve.  Froot Loops donuts!  We circled that damn preserve six times and saw no bison, sadly.  We did see about 4,000 adorable, fat little chipmunks, though!  My theory being that the chipmunks banded together and overthrew the bison.  Regardless, I had a really awesome time!  Look at me leaving the house!





This weekend was Matt and mine’s six-month anniversary (don’t do the math on that one) and it was so amazing!!  Saturday we went for a drive and then stuffed our faces with sushi and sake.





The card and gift I got him…



(Because that's, literally, how we met.)



(Commissioned from Marina Mare Lloba.)

But the main event was Sunday.

CASA FUCKING BONITA, MOTHERFUCKERS!!

I’ve wanted to go for yeeeeeeears!  Ever since that episode of South Park, I’ve wanted to go on a pilgrimage to it but now we live 20 minutes away!  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!  Muppet arm flail!!







My face the entire time we were there.



While standing in line I started chatting with the lady in front of us.  When I mentioned it was my first time, she told me to not expect much from the food.  And I said, “Well, I assumed the food would be mediocre…”  At which point everyone in line nodded in agreement.  The woman behind us even piped in to say, “You definitely don’t come here for the food!”  Everyone I’ve spoken to who has been there has commented on how atrocious the food is.  For instance, the phlebotomist I saw yesterday morning said, “We can only hope the food gets raised to the level of Taco Bell!”



And then...we entered Utopia.









I felt like a fucking princess!



He’s happy because the waiter removed his food.

The food was bad, you guys.  Matt took three bites and, literally, threw up in his mouth.  There wasn’t a single plate I saw that was more than ½ empty.  It was just...gross.  They don’t even have hot sauce in the restaurant!  THIS IS A MEXICAN RESTAURANT AND THE BEST HE COULD OFFER WAS TABASCO!  We decided they really just need to offer a $10 no-food admission ticket.  And that, next time, we’ll just pay and then refuse to take the food.  The chips and salsa were good, though.  So that’s something, I guess?  I reiterate, you do not go there for the food but it's absolutely worth the cost of a shitty meal to get inside!


“More sopapillas, please!”



















 I can't fucking wait to go back!

You have no idea how happy it makes me that I’m with someone who enjoyed this as much as Matthew did.  Like...no words.  He just embraced the madness and enjoyed every glorious moment of it.  This is why he’s my soul mate.  Don’t be surprised if we end up getting married at Casa Bonita.  Just sayin’.


Books Read in April
Slapstick or Lonesome No More! by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut
Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
Ring by Koji Suzuki
Spiral by Noji Suzuki
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
The Deep by Nick Cutter
Suffer the Children by Craid DiLouie
Depraved by Bryan Smith
The Teratologist by Edward Lee & Wrath James White
Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
Real World by Natsuo Kirino
In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami
Piercing by Ryu Murakami
Audition by Ryu Murakami