Why Kitty is Creepy and Can’t Date

I have gone out maybe twice in the last few years with someone other than my husband on something that could maybe be considered a date.  I count these events as dates anyway, though the other person clearly either didn’t, or did and never wanted to do it again.  I gave subtle signs of interest such as laughing at jokes, trying to make eye contact, and asking ze about themselves (zeselves??).   I didn’t make a physical move beyond a good night hug, because I don’t feel touching someone without their permission is ok.  I have some issues that make me unable to read certain social cues, so I can’t figure out when people are giving me permission with body language.  That means I always wait for ze to make a move, which seldom happens.

Both of these people were part of the large Atlanta polyamorus community.  They have known me for years, know that I am poly, and have been around me when I am flirty (read creepy) and when I am not.  Since they asked me out, I did not feel like I should be flirty, since they clearly know I like them or I would not have said yes.

I would like to date more, but there are some real problems with this.  I assume anyone who has known me for a while would ask me out if they wanted to, so I don’t pursue those people.  I have tried OkCupid, which sounds great on paper.  Here is a place where I can give all my stats and read other people. I can figure out if we have common interests and beliefs before meeting.  Yet I have only had one OkCupid date that went well, until the guy was a jerk over text a few days later.

So that leaves dating people I meet in real life, which I have realized is too complicated for me.

Are you available? 

I don’t know how to ask someone if they are poly or are interested in dating without expressing that I am interested in them or being creepy.

If people flirt with me in a subtle way, I am missing it totally. People also flirt who are not actually available, just because they like flirting, or like myself, they use it as conversation fuel.  I don’t want to make a move on someone who is not even on the field and end up having to explain myself to a pissed off mono-mate.  People should wear signs. There were some kink community events I used to go to where everyone wore colored beads expressing their sexual preferences.  I loved those beads so much; it stopped a lot of awkward situations and made me much more comfortable interacting with people.

There are places and events I go to where I know people I am interested in will be: local social gatherings, annual conventions, parties.  I have one coming up soon, where I think some of the people I am interested in are poly. I will only be around these people for a few days, so the logical thing to do would be to ask, “Are you poly and am I in-line with your sexual preferences?”

There are a few problems with this approach:

-When I say blunt honest things like that, people think I am crazy.

– If the person is not poly, then I come across as a scary freak or a sex fiend who wants to make ze have an affair.  I can have a perfectly lovely relationship with someone who is never going to be romantically inclined towards me, so I don’t want to alienate people who could be my friends.

-If ze is poly, and ze is interested, then I have ruined the beginning of the relationship/encounter.   My favorite thing about a new person is the tense time before the first kiss, the surprise.  If I come right out and say I want to date then the first kiss loses something; that lovely tension is gone.

I loved being a teenager for this reason. When I hung out with a boy alone there was an unspoken expectation that they might or might not kiss me, and I might or might not kiss them.  It was not very complex.  I kissed or was kissed by more than twice as many people in the years from 13-17 than in the 17 years since then. I am not happy about this. If we have met, you have good oral hygiene and are not mean to me, I probably want to kiss you.  This does not mean I want to date you or have sex with you.  I just really, really like first kisses.

Do you like me?

I can’t tell if someone might be interested in me sexual or romantically unless they make a physical move or tell me in explicit terms; for example “Hey, I think you are cute, would you like to date?”  But as we have already established, that is a social no-no.  I don’t think it should be weird, but it is.  it is weird and off-putting. I know this because I have tried it, and have been told I am creepy and too aggressive.  So sadly expecting straightforward verbal initiation from other people is unrealistic.

I sometimes feel like I should print up cards that say. “Do you like me?” with a yes and no box for ze to check.  But I am sure that would break some social etiquette rule.

How do I tell you I like you?

Let’s say I know ze is poly. I know ze is available. And I think ze might like me. What am I supposed to do with this information?

Let’s go back to one of those dates I have had with people I know are poly.  Check mark there.  I was pretty sure I meet ze’s general sexual preference criteria. Check.  But nothing came of it. Maybe because I could not figure out a good way to express interest.

When I actually like someone, I get shy and nervous. I get excited and tongue-tied.  I wanted to let the person know that I liked ze.  I tried subtlety, but when I try to flirt like that, people clearly miss it.

I have tried to make joking sexual advances towards people.  I am a short, chunky, cartoon-cute sort of woman.  I think people should think my sad come-ons are funny.  Sometime they do, and sometimes they don’t.  I have been accused of everything from being creepy and needy to sexual harassment.  I have pulled back on this behavior a lot, and interest in me has decreased from low to nothing.  If I come across as easy or desperate it sometimes works at least.  I got kissed by a guy I had a crush on for years by wearing him down. It was amazing; granted, I think he only did it because he was moving all the way across the country. And while that hurt my feeling a little, I am glad he kissed me.

However I don’t want to be a creepy jerk. I don’t want to make people feel icky. I don’t want to harass anyone.  I have been harassed plenty. Last week a man on the train asked if he could lick my freckles. I have been pushed into sexual situations I did not want.  I have been taken advantage of when I was too young to make sexual decision or when I was under the influence.  I am not going to get into these heavy sounding topics.   Don’t worry about it, please; I am not looking to talk about that right now, except to say that know how bad it feels to be pressured into things like that.  I don’t want anyone to ever feel like I pushed them or forced them into sexual situations.

That high pressure, aggressive behavior is what I first experienced, it is what I know. It is the only play in my playbook.

Peaked too soon?

I am poly because I own my body and I can do anything with it I want.  I am poly because I like new experiences and getting to know people on a physical and emotional level that is not appropriate in our culture for “friends”.   I am poly because I  want to play spin the bottle or go into a closet for seven minutes with someone I just met, but people in their 30s don’t seem interested in that.    I fear that my first kiss days are far behind me, fading away into fuzzy teenaged memories.

Exercising while Fat

Triceps I recently did a guest post over at Love Live Grow about the experience of being fat, loving exercise, and trying to ignore all the negative media telling me that fat people should only exercise for weight loss.

Go check it out: Exercise in Spite of Obstacles.  While you’re over there read other great posts on body acceptance, gardening and parenting.

Distant

The last few months I have had a case of the slow, or maybe the cuddles.   It is kind of like depression, but without as much sadness.  I haven’t felt motivated to write, garden, or go to social events.  Mostly I want to sleep, watch TV, and knit.

Sock

On the upside, I’ve finished several knitting projects.  On the downside, I am behind on editing my novel, the garden is a mess, and I haven’t been blogging.  That is going to change.  I have a goal to write 100,000 words before my birthday in July and to blog at least once a week.   That will be easier now that my blog looks so amazing thanks to the awesome Issa Waters of http://lovelivegrow.com/.  She is a great blogger who writes about homesteading, parenting, body/fat acceptance and social issues.

This might sound odd, but I think taking Zoloft has been partly to blame.  With my anxiety being lower, everything seems less important.  I don’t feel as stressed about anything, so I don’t have as much reason to push myself.  I got on the Zoloft in order to be able to do more social events and maybe get back into the world of business, but now that I am so much more Zen, I don’t actually care about making people like me or being “seen,” and I am not as worried about money.  There is a balance that must be found between loving the life I have and also wanting to make my life better.  I am a little too content recently.

The last few weeks my motivation has increased enough to write down some long and short term goals, get the house back in working order, and start this year’s gardening.   I also started work on a few writing projects.

In case you are wondering what I have been up to these last six months:

I went to Dragon Con for the first time in about eight years. It was a big deal for me to go to something with so many people and not freak out.  I don’t know exactly how many people there were, but it might have been the biggest crowd I have ever been in.  There were a few scary moments, like being stuck in human traffic jams on the sky bridge.  Overall I had fun and even bought tickets for next year.   Some of the highlights for me were playing dress up, looking at all the great costumes,  hearing several great bands, and seeing some of my favorite writers such as Jim Butcher and Cheri Priest live.  I like to imagine that someday I will be up in front of a crowd talking about my writing.gothNurse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my best friends moved in with us, which has been awesome.  We have been having lots of fun mini-adventures when she can tempt me away from the TV.  I used to think that having roommates would be horrible, but now after having several I find that I like it.  When she moves out, I might have to find another one.L and Ninja

She exercises everyday which has gotten me back into the habit.  I love exercise; feeling my heart pumping and my muscles burning.  I like how good exercise makes me feel, but I hate exercise videos because they talk about weight, fat, pounds, etc. all the time. The thin ladies in the videos often chastise the viewer for being lazy or tell us not to have jiggly arms.   Shaun T’s videos have the least fat bashing, so I do those most.  I am seriously thinking about putting together a body positive exercise video for people like me who want to exercise because they like it and don’t want to be shamed in the process.  I find that exercise makes me a little more aware of my body and not always in a good, emotionally healthy way. I don’t need people in the TV adding to my issues.

I took a trip to Baltimore in November to eat crab cakes and be emo.  I did some sightseeing and went to several museums.  I recommend the Ripley’s museum if you ever find yourself there, we danced, played, created, climbed through a tooth pick city, watched teenagers run head first in to mirrors and saw some weird shit.  It was interactive and informative on things I find interesting, like carnies and giant mummified whale penises. Speaking of mummies, the science museum had an awesome mummy exhibit, you should go see that too.

Rick

Whale

Tight rope

 

 

goth 2

 

 

fish

 

 

 

 

 

Attempted NaNoWriMo and failed.  I thought I would do great this time, since I finished last year and had fun doing it. I started out strong, going to the social events, outlining a bit of a plot, even wrote a few pages.  Then I hit a wall because I wanted to be culturally sensitive and I was working in a genre that I normally don’t write in.  I will do better next year.

I read the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson, which was pretty good.  Currently I’m reading “Ship of Theseus,” which is written in a strange and interesting way. It is two stories: one being told in the normal way, and the other being told in the margins, by two people passing the book back and forth. I finished the “novel” part of it, which was good, but not great, and seemed to be trying way too hard to be weird and mysterious.

Mookie

Other than that, I went to a few plays and movies, spent a little time with friends, watched a lot of Adventure Time, created art, learned a few pieces on the piano and annoyed my cats

 

Butterfly?

It’s easy to never leave. Anything I need can be delivered.
Nexflix to watch, Amazon to read, groceries dropped off for a small fee.

You say I must go out, be part of the world.

You say I have friends, should have friends, or will have friends depending on your argument for the day.

You tell me people interact, they build bonds, tribes, families. Come out you say, to a movie or a play. Let’s go visit this person or that and pretend they’re happy to see you.

Put on a nice dress and a smile. Nothing is prettier than a smile.

You list out my virtues, telling me all the reasons people like me: brains, humor, talent, imagination, compassion.

But your logic is weak. It’s based on people being reasonable and stable. It relies on them choosing simple over complex, and easy over exciting. You think other people are rational like you. You think they value substance over form.

I was thin and pretty when you met me. I was full of excitement and energy. I wasn’t afraid all the time, every moment of every day. I had big plans. Today I was supposed to be a CPA, a senior accountant on my way to CFO. I was going to wear nice suits and go to power lunches. I wanted to be a mother.

Instead I’m an unemployed cat lady in her pajamas peering out the window, checking all the locks.

You fell in love with my heart, which aside from the lack of courage has not changed. You fell in love with how much I love you, and love me for how much I love you still.

This me happened in slow motion and backwards.

Frame by frame, a butterfly goes back into the cocoon.
A beautiful garden becomes an empty lot.
A confident woman becomes a frightened child.

How is it that when you look at me you still see a butterfly?

butterfly

***

This was written for the trifecta prompt Weak -3: not factually grounded or logically presented

I am 5 days into taking SSRIs for the first time. It is not supposed to do anything yet, but I feel horrible. My anxiety is way higher than normal, I feel alienated and depressed. This poem or prose, or whatever it is, is not very good but it is what I felt like doing today.

Brain Meds

I’ve always said I wouldn’t take any sort of medicine to regulate emotions or brain chemicals. I’m of the opinion that this is my brain and I am the boss of it. I should just take control and make it do what I want. And most of the time this works. If I am feeling depressed I force myself, sometimes in tears, to do tasks. If I am feeling anxiety I try to hide it. If I am frightened I tell myself to deal with it.

However, over the last few years the anxiety has been getting worse and worse. I don’t have a job now, because I just can’t deal with being away from my home every day. I’m afraid to finish my novel. I’m afraid to send in the several short stories I have ready for submission, because I can’t deal with the rejection. I went from having a large social network to feeling alienated from almost everyone. I tried to join a new social group recently; people I should have fit in with perfectly, mostly geeks, gamers, hippies and music people, but had to give up after a few months when I realized it just wasn’t working.

It is so bad that my garden is suffering because I sometimes have too much anxiety to even go into the yard.

Several months ago a friend gave me a few Xanax and for the first time in years the anxiety stopped, if only for a few hours. It was pretty amazing. I used them from time to tim, for social events to make it easier, but then I ran out. At this point I decided to go to a psychiatrist, mostly just to get more Xanax.

I’m not sure why Xanax did not seem to break my rule. I guess there are a lot of reasons. First of all it was given to me by a friend, not forced on me by a doctor so it felt different, like how some people have a beer after work to unwind. Almost recreational, like my brain was taking a nice relaxing bubble bath. Also it was not every day, not even every week. It was only when I needed it so I didn’t feel chained to it. It made me feel better, but nothing bad happened if I didn’t have it.

Yesterday was my first appointment with the psychiatrist. We talked about the anxiety and what might be causing it, touching on childhood head injuries, abuse, and family history. She feels that I could get addicted to Xanax, and to be honest I agree. Almost everyone in my family has a chemical dependency problem; I’m amazed I have gotten this far without developing one. The doctor wants me to start taking Zoloft, she says it should help decrease my over all anxiety making everything easier. She also gave me some Xanax to take only for social situations.

Here is a neat catch 22. I told her the idea of taking the Zoloft freaked me out and she said of course it does – anyone with my type of anxiety would be freaked out by taking a new medication. This is something I have thought about before, how much of what I do is caused by my anxiety or other issues. How about my feelings about my issues? I have had to be rather strong and develop all sorts of tricks and skills to deal with being the person I am, useful skills that I am glad I have. But this is too much to get into now, maybe a later blog post about it.

Long story short, I took the first dose last night of Zoloft last night. I am feeling very conflicted and confused about this decision. By taking it does that mean I have given up control of myself? Have I decided that I am not good enough the way I am? Am I going to change, and in what way? Is this going to impact my writing and other creative pursuits negatively?

I know this medication takes weeks before it does anything, but for the sake of good record keeping I am going to try to keep track of my mood. Today my anxiety is higher than normal. I have low self-confidence but I seem to be highly motivated, having already completed several tasks. I am also a little more emotional in general. I kind of want to get back in bed and cry for a bit.

Writer’s Regimen

For a while, almost a year, I had formed a good routine. I was putting several hours a day into my career as a writer. That is not to say I wrote fiction every day. Some days were spent searching for markets, some days doing blog posts, interacting with other writers or possible readers, or working on my webpage. Mondays I wrote a short story from a prompt; most other days I did a mixture of editing and marketing. And then I stopped.
It was a few months ago. And now I can’t even remember why I stopped. I have some issues with mania and depression. Maybe I found something better to do, or maybe I thought writing was pointless. Whatever the reason, one day I decided not to write. The days turned to weeks, the weeks to months. The longer I went without working, the scarier it became to go back to it. I started to not feel like a writer at all anymore.

Last night I couldn’t get to sleep. I thought of all the work I had done, and how no one was ever going to read it if I could not make myself get back in the saddle and finish it. I put “Writing, 1 hour” on my task list. This is not the first time I have done it, but I guess it was the first time I meant it, because here I am, writing. Editing my novel might be the most important thing I could be doing, because I can’t have a career as a writer without a product for people to buy. However, that seemed much too hard to jump right back into. I don’t have any short story ideas and I don’t know if I am up to writing something fresh from a prompt right now.

A blog post about my life, thoughts and feelings is always pretty easy, as I love talking about myself. I know very few people will read this today, or maybe ever. But that is not the point. The point is that the clock is ticking down an hour and my fingers are clicking on the keys. It feels good, still a bit scary, but good.

Maybe I will finish this post in less than an hour. Then what? There are so many things I could do, so many paths I could choose to take back up Awesome Author Mountain. Maybe I could go read and comment on some of my favorite blogs (which I have also been neglecting). Maybe I could at least open my novel and read a bit. Maybe I could organize all my finished and ready to publish stories and start looking for people to buy them. Maybe I could start on another blog post or order business cards. Perhaps making a list is in order. Today it does not matter what I do, as long as I am doing something. Today is one day, but the days will turn into weeks, and the weeks will turn into months, and soon I will feel like a writer again.

I love reading about other writers’ routines; some of them are so strange, with weird superstitions, ticks and habits. Daily Routines is a great blog to check out if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Other than a timer, I don’t have anything that always happens. Some days I feel the need to write with paper and pen, some days I light a candle, burn incense, or turn on the salt lamp. A few days I got really drunk first, which worked out better than I want to admit, but I don’t plan to make a habit of it. I keep a keyboard (the musical type) beside my computer, and I have found that playing a song or two when I am frustrated with something I am failing to write correctly is helpful. If a certain food, action, time of day, or weird habit forms I will let you know here.

Please tell me about your writing routines in the comments.

Fuck Facebook

I have been back on facebook for a week now.

I feel horrible. Maybe it is not related, maybe it is. I slept until 11am today and yet I feel exhausted right now. I have a social event to go tonight and it feels huge and scary. I just want to go back to bed. It is pretty and sunny outside, I should be out there planting seeds, transplanting seedling and making my world beautiful. But I am in here beating myself up for how little I have gotten done this week.

As of last Thursday the house looked great, so clean. Now it is starting to be a bit of a mess. I have not edited my novel at all this week. I wrote a new story for Trifecta, but have not be able to motivate myself to read the other submission yet, which sucks because I know for a fact that I love some of these people writing. I would get enjoyment out of reading them, but the commenting seems so hard. I have not painted, but I have played the piano a little.

My task list started to take the place of facebook. I would come look at my tasks, pick one and do it. When checked it off I got a little dose of pleasure and pride. Now all my tasks look pointless or else overly difficult.

I found myself getting mad about people on social media again last night. People say stupid things, rude things, mean things and I get so mad. I want to punish strangers and I find myself hating people I have been “friends” with for years. Even people I am friends with in real life, who I actually like are so stupid on social media, so empty headed, judgmental and cruel. I know I am a bit of a troll. But I can’t seem to help it, when people’s words hurt me I find myself wanting to hurt them. In real life when people say things that upset me I normally just walk about, but on social media I can’t. Because unlike spoken words which break apart and float away as soon as they are said the status stay, and I can read the mean and stupid words over and over and over. And I do.

I have facebook closed right now, but I want to open it back up so badly. Has anyone commented? Are there any cute pictures? Can it fix me, can it take away the pain I feel right now?

Why does this have to be the way we communicate? Was a born in the wrong time? Will I always feel this disconnected and alone?

I am sure this post has lots of typos and mistakes. I don’t care. Editing it seems pointless, because odds are no one is going to read it anyway. I just write this shit for myself, because I can’t afford therapy. Which is for the best, because I find other people’s public displays of weakness appalling.