I don’t even know what rhymes with “ukulele”.

Here we are, once again, in the midst of The Week of Awesome Decisions. Deciding things isn’t really my specialty, this is pretty known in my circle of friends. But once I decided to get married. That was May 22nd. That didn’t work out. Years later, I got proposed to, and I decided to say “yes”. That was on May 24th. The wedding was on May 26th. And look at me now, not married. See? Not my thing. (Also, to be clear, I’m not mad about the no longer married part. I’m just saying I have a shitty track record.)

I originally chose to try to celebrate this week by focusing on the good decisions I make. Or making small ones and taking a moment to bask in that glow (don’t judge me, you people that always know where you want to eat. Some of us need these tiny victories).

A while ago, I decided to actually deal with things, rather than continuing to cram them into a smaller-than-comfy space, and pretend they didn’t exist. While this sounds like a hoot, it means that while I do (and it takes a fucking long time) this shit is right on the surface. So there I am, minding my own business, when someone says something that sounds like “ukulele” and OH MY GOD THAT REMINDS ME OF THAT DOUCHEBAG I MARRIED. HE HAD ONE OF THOSE. I BOUGHT IT FOR HIM. HE WROTE ME A SONG WITH IT AND PLAYED IT WHILE HE PROPOSED. THAT WAS 4 YEARS AGO TODAY. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT WHY AM I ON THE FLOOR IN A BALL NOW? Except I’m really not in a ball on the floor (what a twist!) I’m sitting on the couch next to my adorable boyfriend, who has already suffered through too many “hey I was married to a psychopath once” stories. I want to pretend it doesn’t bother me, but that’s not who I am, and I don’t think that’s who we are, so I’m confused, and I just stare at him. Saying nothing.

It’s too much. I don’t know where to begin. Mostly because I don’t want to begin this fucking story again. It’s over. I want it to be done. But this week, man. This fucking week. How do I look at it and not feel like I’m unlovable? How do I not see that I am the common denominator in all of these failures? How do I not tell this sweet, loving, hilarious man on the couch to run far, far away?

I decide to just breathe. To give myself space to be hurt in. To remember that there was abuse, and that doesn’t just go away magically. That my story is mine, and if others are tired of hearing it, that’s fine, but I’m not going to be shamed into silence with myself, again.

I wanted to make this fun and upbeat. I wanted to stand tall and declare myself victorious over those decisions that previously haunted me. Maybe tomorrow. For now, I’m just going to sit on this couch, now by myself, wrapped in a scarf the adorable man left for me, and watch a sappy movie. And remember that I’m not just lovable, I’m already quite loved.

 

 

Rehashagram

I joined Instagram. I had held off for a long time, because I don’t want pictures of my food to be the sum of who I am. But my bestie recommended it (that’s a nice way of putting being told I had to get it right that second. But she’s my boo. That’s how we roll.) as a way to balance out all the terribleness happening in the world. Follow a bunch of adorable cat pages, and when the world seems hopeless, just hop over and gaze at their ridiculous floof until you can breathe again.

I’m happy to say that it works! I added a few hilarious meme generators to my followed list, and I find it’s a great mood changer! Kittens and sarcasm. Perfect.

I also follow a page dedicated to narcissistic sociopath awareness. I came across something they posted, was comforted by the relate-ability, and decided to add them to my feed. It’s not so much a comforting distraction, but it does help in a weird and uncomfortable way. Sometimes, I scroll past their posts without reading, because I just don’t feel like it, or they don’t particularly apply. But the last few days, every single one has been spot fucking on.

My take away from this is that the Anal-Dwelling Butt Ferret isn’t special. I mean, I knew this, but one of the things he prides himself most on is how unique he is. He’s eclectic and unexpected. Something to be in awe of. Except… nope. He’s just like every other douchecanoe on the the Bullshit River. Like they all graduated from the same course in Asshattery. It’s eerie.

The first one that really got me was this:

flirting

This happened constantly. If I wasn’t hearing stories about women from the past that had hit on him because they just couldn’t help themselves, I was hearing about the women he worked with, or my friends, or coworkers… they all wanted him. At least that’s the way he tells it. If I did think on my own that someone was flirting with him, he’d confirm it. He’d tell me how lewd they were being, how disrespectful to me, how angry I should get. Then, when I did, he’d tell me I was being insecure and dramatic. Also, no one was ever flirting with me. Because they could tell I belonged to him, and I was dressed frumpily.

Then, there was this one:

Hearts

Well really, it makes total sense. If all these dickwads are the same, it would reason that they all go for the same type of person. But again. He’s just so unoriginal!

Today, there was this:

3 years

We split up a month before our 3rd anniversary. And in the comments, there were a good amount of people who spent 3 years with the person of their nightmares. I’m sure there is some sort of formula at work that hasn’t been discovered yet, but it’s just weird.

It helps, though. There is comfort in knowing that I’m not alone, sure. But there’s really quite a bit in knowing he’s not, either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting a larger assclown population in the world, or in any way saying their abusive ways are helpful. I’m saying that knowing he’s so very unoriginal is… nice. He isn’t clever. He isn’t special. He’s a cookie-cutter, bitch ass little ferret.

As you can see, following this page also means I deal with thinking about him often, as well. But really, I already was. Stuff comes up all the time. It’s much easier to brush off nowadays. It doesn’t knock me down nearly as often. But sometimes it will. And that’s alright. Because there was also this one:

Not a victim

 

 

Also, in case you were wondering, I’ve posted zero pictures of my food. It’s all nerdy t-shirts and fancy socks.

Slutiversary

The Thought Slut was born 2 years ago today. So let’s take a look back, shall we? If this were a sitcom, this would be the Clip Show Episode.

The idea came from venting that being single meant I had no one to share all the useless trivia that was cluttering my brain. Really, even “trivia” seemed too fancy for what was going on. I was finding it hard to focus on work, personal conversations, taking care of my house, because OH MY GOD I HAD THE BEST TURKEY SANDWICH, and there was nobody to tell.

So, I came here. I took 30 whole seconds to pick some colors and a terribly unfocused picture for the header, and that was that. It was one of those things I said I was going to go back and redo later, but as you can see… I didn’t. I’ve changed a lot over the last 2 years, but not that much. Procrastinating is still my main skill. Right before self-depreciation.

But really, a lot has happened in my little Slut Bubble since 2015. (That one just popped into my head. Get it? Popped? Bubble?! I’m ON FIRE!) I’ve grown a lot. Though I still have more to do, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. It would be easier to see if I wrote more regularly, but trust me, it’s leaps and bounds.

Today, I’m still single (though I have made some jumps into not-singlehood here and there) and much more comfortable with it. I’m still figuring out what I want, and how to identify it. I am getting much better at knowing when something isn’t what I want, and walking away (I once dated a guy I couldn’t stand for over a year because he didn’t do anything terribly wrong. I haaaaated him, but he wasn’t abusive or unfaithful, so I stuck it out. FOR OVER A YEAR. Again. Leaps and bounds.) Sometimes, it makes for entertaining stories.

This brings us to the New Story Line segment of our Clip Show Episode, where I get to introduce you to a new character. Let’s call him Douchey McToolface. Because I’m a grownup.

So… Douchey and I met online (don’t roll your eyes at me!) He sent me a message that was a list of reasons he thought we’d get along. I’m a sucker for lists, and it beat the guy whose opener was “Damn sexy! Come sit on my face and I’ll eat my way to your heart? ;)” (alright, you can roll your eyes now.) I responded, it lead to actual conversation, he spelled things correctly and used multi-syllabic words, and I was cautiously hopeful. We arranged a meet up about a week out. He specifically told me this was not a date, this was simply a meeting to see if we had chemistry and should pursue dating from there. Great! I liked this idea, as well as all the talks we had about establishing a good friendship first, and not rushing into things. Cue the happy strut.

Meeting happens, things go well, but ultimately he is not actually down for taking it slow as originally stated, and tries to tell me after 1.5 dates (we hung out twice in the same day. I don’t know what that means, or what is and isn’t a date, apparently, so let’s just go with that.) that I need to “stop holding back” and just give in to whatever urges he has imagined I have. Because he can read me so well. Yeah. I say no. I’m REALLY FUCKING PROUD of myself for this. Baby Slut would’ve assumed he knew more than me, and gone along with it anyway.¬† But not anymore! I firmly told him I was taking things slow… and he told me I was wrong. Yep. Wrong. It completely dumbfounded me. So, I ended things. Amicably. Perhaps too much so, as he text me a day later asking if we could still be friends. Well sure, who doesn’t need more friends?

My new bff then began texting me passive-aggressive complaints about how hard being single was, and how he wished he could just find someone that could “make a decision and stick with it”. (Now I’m rolling my eyes right along with you) Then… he sent me an excerpt from an erotic novel he is writing (which he apparently started after we went out, as he told me then he no longer writes… ) The context was that the protagonist, based on him, was facing the woman that had transformed him from wanting meaningless sex to looking for an actual connection. Booky McToolface says this, “I want to taste every inch of you… and not just your skin. When I say that I want you, it is not some purely physical concept. Your eroticism to me stems from the very core of who you are. While your shell is appealing, it is what lies beneath that has me yearning to taste you.”. My response? “Uh, nobody says ‘eroticism’ to another person in real life.” The part I didn’t text him involved a lot of near-vomiting.

I was hoping my disinterest would be enough to make him wander away, but receiving a text message poem at 5:30am three days later told me I was wrong. And, because you’re already on this ride, here’s that, too:

I don’t know you,
I know your face because I see it when I close my eyes.
I know the small curve of your lips when you smile.
I know the gleam in the corner of your left eye
Only the left one
That pops up when something brings you joy.
See I don’t know you
But I know the value you place in words
The way you long to have someone value you
Someone who sees the pretty face, yes, but sees the beauty BEHIND it too.
I don’t know you,
But I know that there is something missing
A piece of you
A real piece of you not fulfilled.
I don’t know you
But I do know that I want you
I want to be that piece to make you whole
I want to be your beacon as the night encroaches in
I want to hold you safe as the winds bear down
I want to protect you…
See I don’t know you
But I want to.

Pretty much all this did for me is cause me to question what the hell is wrong with my left eye?? I’m hoping it was just that I was constantly giving him the “What the fuck crazy ass shit did you just let loose out of your mouth?!?” look and he mistook that for the face of the newly joyful. I have no fucking idea.

I’d like to say that after this I told His Mighty Doucheness to leave me alone. But nope. Took me another two days, and multiple texts about how dating was the worst. Then, I finally hit my limit. I did not avoid confrontation, was not passive, I was full on aggressive. He, of course, countered that the fault was mine, and I was simply taking it all wrong.

But a little over two years ago, I dealt with another douchebag extraordinaire. One with a lot more experience. I learned a thing or two, including that I am, in fact, whole. I am not missing any pieces, I am not in need of protection, and I can damn sure save my self. So his gaslighting and blame shifting were no match for this slut right here. Our heroine emerged victorious once again.

Who knows where I’ll be in another two years. But whatever my appealing shell and I are doing, I’ll be doing it my way. And maybe if I remember, I’ll even write about it.

 

 

Sissaface

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. For most of us, that’s a time to reflect upon the tragedy that threw us into World War II seventy-five years ago, and take a moment to honor those who gave their lives for ours.

For my sister and I, it has an additional meaning. It’s the day we say, “I love you” to each other.

We are a little different, my sister and I. From most of the rest of the world, and from each other. I am definitely the outwardly emotional, sensitive, somewhat flighty one. She is the sensible, no-nonsense, organized one. I’ve been divorced twice, had a kid before either of those marriages, and pepper most sentences with the fuck word. She is still married to the only guy she’s ever dated, they had a baby 11 years in, and I think I’ve heard her say “twat” once. Though I might have imagined that.

Growing up, we hated each other. We shared a room, and since I’m also quite messy and, predictably, she is not, that didn’t go well. I was the annoying little sister who played Barbies and dress-up. She was the know-it-all big sister, who read Anne of Green Gables and organized mini-golf tournaments.

It became a little better once we got our own space to be our own people. Even more so when she left home for college. I thought I would feel free when that happened. And maybe for a while I did. Then… I just missed her.

Somewhere in there, she had become my conscience. My snarky little Jiminy Cricket. I trusted her opinion more than most people’s (whether I actually followed her advice is another story, but I did at least ask for it), and more than that, I just liked hanging out with her.

Holidays were always a big time for my family. We had big dinners, and we visited most everyone we were related to. As kids, my sister, brother and I would spend the drive to these various events singing Christmas carols. Seriously, we were the cheesiest kids ever. But it was fun. So was game night after the dinners, and watching Christmas movies together. Which suddenly was done, with my older siblings away furthering their education. So one year, mid-holiday season, I text both of them to tell them I loved and missed them. My brother, being the giant teddy bear he is, text back that he loved and missed me, too. My sister replied, “What, Pearl Harbor Day got you all choked up?” And that was the beginning of our holiday.

It took a couple years to catch on. At first, I would text her, “It’s Pearl Harbor Day! I love you!” and she would respond with “You’re a freak.”

But I persisted. Because not only do I truly love her just the way she is, I know her. I know there’s not actually a mean bone in her body. I know that though she finds it easier to say things like, “You look like a hooker in that shirt” than “You’re pretty”, she is also one of the sweetest, most genuine people I have ever met. She doesn’t rely on words though, she takes action. She shows up. Always.

We have a lot in common, too. We’re both sarcastic and snarky. We hate Barry Manilow (though we sing along to quite a few of his songs), love Harry Potter, and enjoy rearranging our mom’s Christmas decorations to say sacrilegious things. Though our faces don’t look much alike, we make the same “are you freaking kidding me, moron?” expression that gives us away every time. We both have loud, infectious laughs (though she doesn’t snort or car-alarm…) and amazing smiles. Our kids are the forces that keep us striving to be better, we’re wonderful moms and hilarious aunts.

We were also both abused by someone we should have been able to trust. We dealt with it differently, and we came together to fight it. We learned that we could rely on each other, and when the people that were supposed to protect us didn’t, we stepped up. We became for each other a version of the thing we were robbed of. Sometimes I need someone I feel safe with to tell me what I need to hear, and sometimes she needs someone to tell her they care about her, and are proud of her.

Though it was an accident, born of weird timing and snark, it remains our little holiday on purpose. The two of us have been through a war together, and we came out victorious.

We even celebrate twice a year now. Today, and Flag Day (and yeah, we made tiny flags for each other this year. Because we’re super cool. Don’t be jealous.).

So while you’re thanking a Vet for their service and remembering the lives that were ended in such a devastating way, I invite you to take part in our day, too. Think of someone you have trouble opening up to, who you don’t share with often, who means a lot to you, and tell them. Even if it’s awkward, painful, and ends in, “… so yeah, ya freak, I love you and stuff.” Try it out. It’s worth it.

 

 

To my sissa, my Jiminy, my safe person… I love you more than even my endless, rambling words could ever really say.

I’m only brave when I have to be.

The first time someone told me they admired my strength, I was 15. It was after the communion service at church camp, which was always a moving ceremony. This year, the planning team had us stand silently on a hill, with our arms spread wide, eyes closed, as they wandered around “spitting” on us (they really just flicked water on our foreheads and made the noise simultaneously) and calling us names. The point was to get a new perspective on the crucifixion, and it had quite the impact on me. One of the planning crew, an upperclassman, came up to me afterwards and told me that she was moved by how I stood there, perfectly still, tears running down my face. “You weren’t ashamed,” she said. “You didn’t try to hide that you were crying, and you never made a sound. You just stood there, head held high. You’re so strong.” I was still trying to overcome my shock that she knew my name, finally managed to smile and thank her quickly before scurrying away.

When other people told me as I got older, I usually assumed they were talking about someone else. I didn’t correct them, I just smiled appreciatively while trying to remember who I was next to in whatever situation they were citing that they might have me confused with. I’m not strong. I don’t save the day, I’m not a hero, I’ve never pulled a car off someone or saved them from an oncoming train. I don’t stand up for myself often, I don’t have unwavering morals that I will die defending, I can’t even tell you where I want to fucking eat most of the time. I’m just… me.

Then, a line in a song* broke through my stubborn wall of self-depreciating thoughts. “Tell me how do broken hearts get strong?” The first time I heard it, I immediately thought, “You just go on.” Wait… I know an answer to this? But… so that means… I am… strong?

Holy fuckballs.

Maybe being strong isn’t about how much you can carry, or being the bravest. Maybe it’s about continuing, when you really don’t want to. Or recognizing when it’s better to scrap it and try a new path, even when that thought is more terrifying than staying. It’s just… going. Slowly, sometimes, and usually with a bit of fear. But still. Going. Doing. Carrying on.

It doesn’t mean suffering in silence, either. Though that image is what started this whole bit of self-discovery, I’ve since learned that it’s even tougher to ask for help than it is to silently bear my crosses. In this lesson, tougher usually seems to equate to more worthwhile. Though it’s true that I’m hardly ever silent, I’m not always saying things that have a lot of meaning. That opens a person up to being vulnerable. As it turns out though, I already was. When I stand up and say what I mean, no matter the consequences, I have more control over just how vulnerable.

My son was having an issue with school a couple weeks ago. When we began talking about what he needed to do to fix it, he started shutting down and I could see him telling himself he couldn’t do this, that he wasn’t capable.

“Hey,” I told him, “this is going to suck, probably, but you can do it. Know how I know? Because you’re strong. Even when you don’t want to, you keep going. You do what has to be done, and you always come through the other side. Know why I can see it? Because I’m strong, too. This is who we are.”

I might not rush into a burning building anytime soon. I can’t lift things over 9 pounds over my head. I’m not heading up any committees to actively change the world, and I probably won’t be giving any noteworthy speeches in a town square in the near future. But I will keep going. I know I’ll make it. Because this once broken heart has made it through every single thing life has thrown so far, and there’s no way we’re stopping now.

 

 

 

 

 

*For anyone wondering, the song is “Drink You Gone” off Ingrid Michaelson’s newest album, It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense. It’s a lovely song… other than the line “… just like you ate my heart out.” which makes me slightly uncomfortable. But that’s a me thing. Contextually, the line makes perfect sense.

Red My Lips, take two.

Tomorrow is the first day of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I know you just inwardly groaned, it’s ok. This is uncomfortable. But that’s why it’s a thing, it has to be talked about. Has to.

I participated in the Red My Lips campaign for the last week of the month last year, and I’m excited to do so for the entire month this year. Here’s how it works: you wear red lipstick every day for the whole month. That’s it. Well, almost, anyway. Then, when someone mentions it, you use that moment to tell them you’re wearing it both as a show of solidarity to those who have been victims of abuse, and to get the word out that we have to change the way we look at these things in general.

When I did this last year, a woman I work with commented on it. I told her I was raising awareness, and after a bit of talking, she told me to make sure “not to wear a short skirt with it or anything like that”. This is the EXACT thing that needs to change. This woman isn’t a violent monster, nor is she completely uneducated. But she is part of this society that would rather not talk about this issue at all, and uncomfortably shift blame onto those already suffering when they do. It’s become the norm to question a victim’s story, to make them justify every action they took, and to then tell them how they somehow brought this on themselves.

That. It has to end.

There is nothing a person wears¬† (or doesn’t wear) that makes it alright for anyone else to touch them without their consent. There is not an hour after which all women walking alone are up for grabs. There is not a number of drinks past which the person drinking them cannot blame anyone else for taking advantage of them in their inebriated state. Victims of sexual assault are never asking for it. Ever.

Last year, excited as I was to stand up and fight for something I believe in so much, I hated almost every minute of it. I didn’t wear lipstick ever, then. Especially not red. It’s seen as sexual, racy, flamboyant… all those things I try to minimize in my own self (which is the exact reason it’s the symbol of this campaign). Though I’m not trying to be invisible by any means, being seen in that particular light is not something I’m comfortable with. I’m good with being the funny one. The awkward one. I’m not the sexy one. It’s probably not a huge mystery as to why; I once believed being assaulted was my fault, too. Even once I accepted that there is no “asking for it” (unless you’re literally saying the fucking words) I still thought if I kept from prettying myself up too much, I would be safer. I knew in the logical part of my brain that was complete crap, but that part isn’t always in use. The first day I wore it last year, I spent most of it looking over my shoulder, jumping at loud noises, and on the verge of tears. Because of lipstick.

I refuse to live my life that way. I refuse to let anyone else, if there’s a way I can help it. So I’ll bring up the uncomfortable, I’ll believe you when you tell me your story, and I’ll do everything I can to change the stigma that rape and assault are just things that happen to sluts who aren’t careful. Also, I talk to my son frequently, about boundaries, consent and choices. That might be the most uncomfortable part of all, but it’s also the most important. As men are most often the abusers, I’ll be fucking damned if my child is going to grow up thinking another person’s body is something he’s entitled to.

If you’d like to read more on this, by someone who explains it much better, you definitely should.

Spread the word, and get that lipstick ready.

 

 

 

 

I’m like, the most scared person whose alive.

Every Monday night, I go to a friend’s house for dinner, we chat, we laugh, she makes amazing food, and then we watch a horrible show together. Currently, we’re watching Girls. At first, I kinda hated it. It’s only redeeming quality seemed to be that it made me feel a little better about my own overwhelming awkwardness. I may have fallen off a curb for no reason at all last week, but at least I’ve never been stuck in a closet while my cousin has sex with a random a few feet away. Pat on the back to me.

The show is growing on me, though. I have become fond of a few of the characters, and even root for a couple of them now and then. As much as I want to hate the main character and her whiny hipster ways, I just want her to be loved by the weird guy who never wears a fucking shirt. In one of the episodes we watched tonight, there was something he said to her that stuck with me.

https://i0.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5tbjzgmVT1qf34gmo1_250.gif

In response to his yelling this at her, she says that she does not love herself at all, and she’s scared of everything. My inner self raised a fist in solidarity and shouted “fuck yeah, I got your back.” Then I got to thinking. (And yes, I realize that he’s wearing a shirt here. Maybe “never” was a bit strong.)

I’m always working on loving myself. But I’m too scared to actually do it. It’s like the beginning of most relationships, it starts with the flirty fun part. I’m weirdly obsessed with myself. I stare at my face in the mirror, I find mundane things I do fascinating, I feel the urge to share each thought that enters my head as if it’s some sort of genius idea that needs to be recorded for future generations to marvel at. But once I finally settle down enough to love myself for who I really am (spoiler alert: not a fascinating genius.) I get bored and wander off. Later, I’ll be caught off guard by some funny or sweet thing I do, resume the chase once more, and the cycle continues.

Well, me, it’s time to grow the fuck up. Love isn’t exciting. It’s not shiny and pretty and noteworthy. It’s boring and takes work. Even when it’s just you… and you. Loving yourself means knowing you’re enough. It’s not putting on a good show of it, in hopes that someone else will notice and fall in love with you too. It means not giving two craps who sees all the quirky and adorable things you do, because you enjoy just doing them.

It’s getting past that fun and fancy free beginning, and still wanting to put in effort. It’s caring enough about yourself to make sure that when you do work to catch someone’s eye, it’s for the right reasons. These hardly ever include “needing attention” or “not wanting to be alone”. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea how to find the “right” person, what it feels like, or if it’s even a thing. (If it is, I’m pretty sure it’s not limited to one per person per lifetime.) The more I think about it, the less I care. Nobody can love me like I would, if I’d just give myself the chance.