Early Girl

My husband and I planted a garden this year.

It’s been a bit of an experiment to see what all will actually grow in the space we have with the amount of sunlight we get (or, rather, don’t get). Some of our plants have certainly been more successful than others, and I’ve learned a lot from the process.

The biggest surprise for me is that my tomatoes, of all things, have consistently been the “happiest” out of all of them. Tomatoes don’t usually grow well where I live. It stays fairly cool and damp for most the year, and it can be difficult if not impossible to keep the blight away.


The very first tomato start my husband and I bought this year was an Early Girl…
which broke in the wind overnight after a couple of days – something I could have seen coming  (and kind of did), and certainly could have prevented by covering it. I had the tomato cages and the fabric; I just didn’t do it.

It wasn’t completely snapped-in-two-dead, just all split and bent over, so my husband staked it up with some bamboo skewers and twine, and it actually lived. It put out some new leaves, and some flowers – but was much slower to grow, and stayed a lot smaller than the other tomato starts we bought and planted around the same time.

Days and weeks passed, and I noticed it looked like the stem was trying to grow thicker than the skewers and twine would allow it, and it seemed pretty sturdy, so I carefully snipped away the twine and gently pulled the skewers out. It seemed fine.

Until the next day. The next day it looked very, very sad. And for the next couple of days, it just drooped and drooped.

I guess I must have learned to do this as a kid, even though I don’t necessarily remember it per se, but somehow I knew that what I ought to do was to pile the soil up around the stem, up past the break, and give it extra water.

earlygirl1

After a few days of that, the plant had perked up a little, but still looked pretty sad – but I had a hunch that I knew what was going on – so I grabbed another pot and some lighter soil to transplant, and started carefully digging and brushing away soil to lift out all of the root matter.

Sure enough, the stem came apart where the break had been. It had decayed right below the break line after being buried and watered, and the upper portion of the stem just popped completely free of the little clump of soil and tangled roots I was holding, and rolled into my other hand, all stem and leaves and flowers; not a lick of dirt on it.

But at the new “base” of the stem, there were roots! Not long roots, but THICK roots, radiating out in all directions. So I put it in the new pot, in the lighter soil, buried nice and deep and seated in most of its old root matter so that the new roots would have a little more to grab onto.


I had the sad realization over the course of nursing this poor little plant back to something vaguely resembling health, that this is basically the story of my life in the tiniest nutshell.

I don’t like to think of myself as having been “broken” in childhood, and I’ve denied it to myself for a very long time (because I have so many GOOD memories, and because who wants to think that about their childhood?), but I know better now.

But, much like this sad, stunted little tomato plant – I am also putting out new roots. It’s possible. It can be done. And you know, I always knew that – but this was a very pertinent and timely reminder.

I have this idea in my head that might sound a little bit crazy, partly because I can’t necessarily explain it very well, but it goes like this: everything is a microcosm and a macrocosm. Everything scales, principally, from the lowest to the highest. This popped into my head years ago, when I was about as far away from God as I’ve ever been, but I believe this idea to be the first glimmerings of my understanding of what tradition would call The Natural Order. God’s order.

I’m not the sort to write cutesy stories about God as a gardener, but I understand now why someone else might.

And check it out:

earlygirl2

Not only did this plant survive: in spite of never catching up to the other plants in size, it is sturdier AND has produced – indisputably – the BEST tomatoes. That may be owing a lot to the variety (our other plants were a “Celebrity” variety and a couple of Red Cherries), but we’ve been quite impressed regardless.

In fact, here we are well past mid-October, and I’m STILL harvesting tomatoes here and there. Tomatoes from the other plants have started to turn a little mealy and less flavorful since the weather has turned cooler and cloudier – but the Early Girl is still putting out fruit that is firm and sweet. I picked these just last night for burgers:

tomatoes

I’m no master gardener. It’s been so many years since I’ve worked the soil, I really stumbled (and Googled) my way through this experiment. Most of my garden is ready to be torn up now.

I did a lot of things wrong this year, in choosing locations to plant and in caring for the things I planted. A lot of things didn’t thrive. All of my kale has been completely devoured by critters long before I could harvest it. Absolute kale massacre. All of my squash and cucumbers got weird mold and died (my neighbors have said this happened to them, too, and was unusual – so maybe that’s not my fault).

It has been impossible, over the course of my little gardening endeavor, to NOT draw parallels between gardening and mothering; raising plants vs. raising humans. There are too many principle similarities.

Lots of people have the wacked-out notion that children benefit from early exposure to all of life’s elements.

Hey! I’ve been there. I got broken. Kinda like that tomato plant I neglected to properly shelter.

I have nevertheless healed and I have also borne good fruit.

But, you know, it would have been better to have not been broken in the first place.

Just like the Early Girl, I’ll never know how much taller I might have grown – figuratively speaking – or how much more fruit I might have borne.

Not that I’m going to try to stack quantity up against quality.

But I’m astounded at how many people understand the importance of sheltering and protecting the newest and most vulnerable of lives when it comes to plants and beasts – but not humans. I’ve known lots of women like this. Women who would have shed tears over my silly little broken tomato plant, and cheered with joy at its eventual victory… but would criticize me for “coddling” my children, for being protective, for keeping them as far as I can from all of life’s storms, until I am confident they can weather them like capable young men.

They point to the possibility of healing and call it a good reason to encourage the kind of carelessness that leads to brokenness in the first place.

Like pointing to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and calling it a very good reason to indulge in all manner of sin.

Those people can go get bent.

Thoughts on Marriage

The Preamble:

I grew up on the internet, in an era when there were “no girls on the internet.” I don’t have sisters. My own parents were never married, split up when I was 6, and my mother moved a couple states away when I was 9. Although I’ve always made a point of embracing my femininity, people have long accused me of being a tomboy, having a “male brain,” etc. Wearing pretty dresses doesn’t fool them.

I do not share the modern female perspective. I never have.

Whether that’s more because I grew up in a nearly all-male environment, or, as my father suggests, because high-testosterone runs in the family (TBH I see more and more evidence for this as I get older), or because my mother’s shining example (of what NOT to do) turned me into something of a young misogynist – or some combination thereof – it is entirely unsurprising to me that https://www.rooshvforum.com/ is basically my favorite place on the internet. No, I don’t post there – but I read every. single. day. I hardly get news from anywhere else at this point; I hardly have to.

One of the things I love so much about RVF is that the guys over there, collectively, have an iron-clad track record of giving voice to my own thoughts on just about everything. If I see a news story that compels me to wax poetic about MY perspective, against the popular narrative – literally all I have to do is wait a few days and someone on RVF will post exactly what I was thinking, and usually say it better than I could have. Every. single. time. I don’t have to worry my pretty little head over it.

The Gripe:

All the same, there remains an overarching anti-marriage narrative (on RVF and in the “manosphere” more broadly) that I just can’t get behind.

Now, I KNOW there are already at least a handful of men who have taken up “my side” of this argument “for me,” if you will – lots of good men out there defending marriage in the face of “Black Pill” ideology. So maybe I really don’t have to.

But there is this one particular thing that grates on me.

And since absolutely NO PART of this modern world has EVER honored my femininity in spite of all my efforts to cultivate that femininity for the benefit of my community and the world at large – I do feel, to an extent, that I have been simultaneously granted the right and saddled with the responsibility to speak up and say something about it. Not gonna keep my mouth shut on this one.

The thing that grates on me is that these “Black Pilled” men have a tendency to deride marriage as an institution and a sacrament – on the utterly myopic basis of their own failed relationships.

VERY OFTEN these men have themselves wasted the most prime years of their lives on fornication and adultery and other assorted debaucheries. Then they hit the “wall” (which doesn’t necessarily show on a man’s FACE and BODY – but absolutely shows in his attitude), and they scramble to lock down the “best they can get.”

These profoundly broken men go on to select women based on the same criteria they employed to secure fornication partners: they select women who appeal the most to their physical senses. They select women whom they perceive as being able to indefinitely extend the qualities of “hotness” and “excitement” over the course of a monogamous relationship. They choose a wife with their penis instead of with their brain.

That is IF they make a choice at all. Many of these men go on to marry whichever woman they accidentally impregnate, possessed of the apparent delusion that gluing together a few of the components of a “traditional marriage” with the adhesive of secular law, will give them as good a shot at a healthy marriage as anyone else.

When it all implodes on them, these men refuse to acknowledge the practical errors in their methodology, and instead choose to blame WOMEN.

If you listen to these guys, they’ll convince you that the world is absolutely BRIMMING with eligible, marriageable bachelors who want nothing more than to find a sweet, traditional, motherly woman to marry and raise a family with.

It’s WOMEN that are the problem, they insist.

“Women don’t…”
”Women can’t…”
”Women never…”
”Women always…”

These “Black Pilled” men hold marriage out as dangerous and too risky. It’s a “bad deal,” they say. No matter how objectively “good” a man is, and no matter how objectively “good” a women seems, these men INSIST that “all women are like that.”

All women are “hypergamous.” All women cheat. All women will demean, disrespect, and eventually divorce-rape their husbands, because they are women and that is all women are capable of.

Now, I despise women just as much as the next guy, with very few exceptions. I am not going to defend women as a demographic against much of anything, TBH. I acknowledge that most of these complaints have a very firm basis in reality.

Where these guys become disconnected from reality is by neglecting or refusing to take a look in the mirror – as individuals, and collectively.

Because lemme tell you something, gentlemen:

If YOU can use one or two spectacularly failed relationships/marriages to support the idea that marriage is always a bad deal for MEN, specifically…

I can do the same. damned. thing. on the other side of the fence.

The Backstory:

At 19, I was damn near EVERYTHING these “trad” manosphere guys say a woman ought to be. Homeschooled, sheltered, highly domestic, virgin (handful of very tame kisses when I was 17-18, but that was IT), good relationship with my father, teetotaler, feminine, demure, cared about my appearance but never bought into whorish beauty standards – and absolutely dead-set on traditional marriage and family life (including saving my virginity for my future husband – NOT something I was pressured into; MY choice. MY priorities.).

According to the guys in the manosphere, I should have had it easy. I should have had traditional, conservative, religious men flocking to try to court me – because most men are not degraded to the same level as most women in modern society. This market imbalance should have guaranteed a steady stream of appropriate suitors from which to choose.

So why didn’t it?

Oh, there were plenty of interested men, don’t get me wrong.

None of them wanted a traditional wife.

My lack of academic and career ambition, my refusal-on-principle to set myself up to be a long-term secondary wage earner in a dual-income household, while also raising children, was the nail in the coffin for the vast majority of my budding romantic interests.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “it doesn’t work that way anymore,” I probably actually wouldn’t need a man.

And this was AFTER I had gone running into the arms of the Mormon Church – where the vast majority of men claim that traditional marriage and family is exactly what they want. Turns out they want all of the perks of that – they want the submissive, feminine wife who keeps a beautiful home and changes all of the diapers – but, by and large, they’re not willing to shoulder more than exactly half of the financial and legal responsibility for the household.

THAT, my friends, is what we call a bad deal.

It turns out – if I am to extrapolate from personal experience in the same way so many of the guys on RVF like to do – that a man who actually and truly values family more than he values money and material success, and who is willing to work hard for those things himself is a very rare man indeed.

My own father happens to be such a man – and fiercely protective throughout my youth, to boot. So it was easy, when I was younger, to imagine that these sorts of men were as plentiful as the self-selected manosphere crowd seems to think they are.

They are, in fact, not.

Finally – out of dozens of potentials that had piqued my interest (and I was never exactly picky, I had soft spot for the nerdy boys) – I found one. Or so I thought.

And no, I didn’t fall for a “jerk” or a “bad boy.” I married my best friend’s big brother. I was just shy of twenty when we married, and we’d known each other since I was twelve. Ostensibly he wanted all of the same sorts of things I did. Shared values as far as I could see. This was easy to believe, because he grew up in exactly the kind of family I hoped to have: rural, religious, conservative, homeschooling, DIY mentality, frugal,  family-centric, etc. My father approved of him. The only reason my mother DISAPPROVED of him was because he was from conservative religious family and she’s a raging feminazi.

So we married (less than a year after he returned home from his two-year stint as a door-to-door Mormon missionary). We attended church faithfully together. We were sealed in the Mormon temple “for time and eternity.” I taught Sunday school for years.

I gave him heart, I gave him my virginity (a little prior to the wedding night, but fighting against the prevailing culture all my life, I thought holding out until engagement was a pretty solid victory at the time), I gave him my hand in marriage, I gave him my absolute uncontested loyalty/fidelity/devotion, I gave him two beautiful sons. I served him three home-cooked meals from scratch every day. I treated him like a king and kept a beautiful, comfortable home. All I asked was that he provide for us and wear the pants – and he needn’t scarcely lift a finger around the house.

I did all of this, and steadfastly supported and helped him in every way I could throughout the marriage – including working full-time until our first child was born, and thereafter maintaining a small but legitimately profitable home business, which paid the rent at least once when we were really hard-up.

Through every single bump in the road we faced together, I stood by him. Even when the bump was that he was unemployed for long stretches and not even looking for work, and really kind of just being a big gay baby about it. I STOOD BY MY HUSBAND.

I heard plenty enough murmurings to know that pretty much all of his friends/co-workers/male family members/etc. were envious. People would straight-up ask him, right in front of me, “where did you find one like THAT?” I’m not looking for a medal for that or anything – the point is, I DID MY JOB. I took pride in doing it well.

What did I get in return for my wifely submission and devotion?

Well, I found myself with a man who, frankly, worked harder at shirking responsibility and foisting it off on me – than he would have had to work if he’d just accepted it.

I found myself with a man who had grown increasingly emotionally volatile over the course of the marriage, in spite of my every attempt to facilitate calm and keep an even keel.

Sometimes it really seemed like he was doing EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER to make me leave him. It seemed like he had no interest in me or in our family – although at the time, I still could not fathom how that could be the case, given all the conversations we’d had and dreams we’d shared prior to and in the earlier days and years of our marriage.

He didn’t want me sexually, either – even though I was (supposedly) his “first” too, my novelty wore off pretty quickly. After two children, I was only up 10 or 15 pounds from what I weighed when we married (and most of that was boob, because I was nursing) – and I’d learned to take much better care of my appearance, and always made an effort to dress and “do myself up” in ways that he liked.  OTHER MEN leered at me. And he would just ignore me. Once I decided I was tired of trying to initiate sex and being brushed off, and that we would just only do it when he wanted to for a while. He didn’t so much as TOUCH me for six whole months.

When he started becoming increasingly aggressive and borderline violent with our older son (who was then just a toddler), I insisted that he speak to our “bishop” (local Mormon Church leader) and pursue some counseling, at least for himself and preferably for us as a couple.

And what came out of THAT? SO many revelations:

The Bombshells:

– He had never actually wanted to marry or have children. Why he did it anyway was halfway between being pressured into it by his family, and (delusionally) seeing me as some kind of meal ticket. His words: “if I hadn’t married you, I’d probably still be living with my parents.”

– He had a raging pornography addiction since long before we married, which he went to some lengths to keep hidden from me, considering that by HIS OWN ESTIMATION, he spent more time masturbating to pornography during the first 2-3 years of our marriage than he spent gainfully employed during ALL. SEVEN. YEARS. OF. IT.

– He felt like he had “missed out” on something by settling down young. HE WANTED AN OPEN MARRIAGE. He didn’t come out and say it like that all at once, no. It was baby steps into it, from suggesting first that we could watch porn together (it would improve our intimacy and spice things up, he said – carrot dangled), and on down into Hell from there.

– He then proceeded to take every single weakness I had ever laid before him, as his wife – imploring him for help, support, protection, etc. as my husband – and he used these things against me (including what I shared with him early on in our relationship of my vaguely-remembered childhood trauma).

Looking back on it, I find myself in the awkward position of not being able to say that he “made me DO” anything – but also being shocked and appalled and dumbfounded that I went along with what he wanted.

Men try to say that “only women use sex as a weapon” or “only women refuse sex in marriage so they can use it selectively to get what they want.”

Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my ex-husband. He was as manipulative and ill-intentioned as the WORST feminist harpy divorce-rapist. And I was the virgin bride with oneitis SO BAD – I wanted HIS approval and validation, and I wanted HIM to desire ME, so badly – that it never even seriously occurred to me to leave him when all this came out.

Even though it took me a whole YEAR to get comfortable with what he was asking of me. In my mind, it was better to stay with my husband. It was better to give him whatever he wanted to try to keep my family together. It was better to try to change myself to please him, then to have to try to start over from nothing as “used goods” with a divorce under my belt. By the end of that marriage, he had me actually believing that nobody else would want me.

I went into that relationship an idealistic virgin, and I came out the other side with a “notch count” of nearly 30 – no, NOT because I was “hypergamous,” NOT because I strayed – but because my “husband” bartered my body to other men for the “privilege” of screwing their fat, ugly wives and girlfriends. Because he wanted “sexual variety” and didn’t want to have to put in any of the work to get it on his own steam.

I finally left him when his “jokes” about literally prostituting me for money started turning into semi-serious requests that I take up whoring to replace his income so he wouldn’t have to suffer the “degradation” of being forced to work a regular 9-to-5.

The Aftermath:

I can’t even count all the times thereafter when *I* had to stand stone-faced, unshakeable, while this “man” – who had 6+ inches of height over me and about 70 lbs of mass to his physical advantage – got in my face and yelled and screamed and threatened me.

I took nothing when I left, aside from my own clothing and personal items. The children even stayed living with him, and I would watch them at his house while he worked, until we reached a point where we could work out a custody agreement between ourselves.

I spent THREE WHOLE YEARS oh-so-gently extricating myself from that entanglement, easing and coddling him through the separation and eventual divorce process entirely outside of the court system (aside from the state-mandated meeting with a clerk and online co-parenting course).

We’d been on food stamps nearly the entirety of our marriage – but I withdrew myself and the children from ALL welfare programs in advance of the divorce, so that the State would have no legal standing to pursue him in collecting all of the child support that I knew he wouldn’t pay.

I didn’t have a bunch of money or material assets sitting around for him to take half of – but that does NOT mean I didn’t lose everything I’d spent the previous 10+ year of my life building. Doesn’t mean I didn’t get the short end of that stick – and I’ll venture to say I took it standing like more of a man than a lot of the overgrown boys out there fearfully complaining about how dangerous marriage is for those poor men who might suffer a setback to their material enjoyment of life (oh, heaven forbid).

Loads of people have asked me WHY. Why didn’t I throw the book at him? Why didn’t I take him to the cleaners? Why didn’t I shoot him down and nail him to the wall with all the ammunition he gave me through his volatile and unhinged behaviors (and there were many)? HIS OWN FAMILY has asked me these questions, as they’ve come to realize what REALLY went down.

I guess HIS story (which he called around and told to EVERYBODY, even my own parents) was that *I* left him because *I* wanted to run around and party. HIS story was that ONE DAY I just woke up and decided that *I* wanted to sleep around.

The truth of the matter, that these accusations were actually outrageous projections, became pretty clear as time passed, and as I pulled a 180 from the degeneracy I’d followed him into, and poured all my spare time and energy into providing for our children without his contributions… and HE was the one going to sex parties, orgies, BDSM events, etc. And trying to convince his family they should accept him and applaud him for this “progressive” behavior.

CAN YOU BEGIN TO SEE why a gal might question all of the “hypergamy nightmare” stories that are shared on the internet?

CAN YOU BEGIN TO SEE that manipulating and using people for resources and behaving reprehensibly in marriage is NOT exclusive to the female sex?

CAN YOU BEGIN TO SEE that not all women are like that? And that perhaps, in fact, some men are like that?

The Gist:

So why DIDN’T I try to throw the book at him? Why DIDN’T I take him to the cleaners? WHY DIDN’T I “destroy” my ex-husband when I decided to divorce him? If he was so clearly in the wrong, and given every opportunity to do so? Given a system that would have made it EASY? A system that ENCOURAGED ME TO DO THIS? How is it that I did not do this – if this is all women are capable of? If this is the only tactic we have at our disposal, to employ for survival?

How is it that I have chosen, at every opportunity he has given me to punish him or extract resources from him in some way – to instead bite my tongue and stay my hand? To WORK HARDER instead of making demands – even though it was and is absolutely my legal right to do so?

Part of it stems from a deep-seated sense of honor and obligation – something women are apparently not supposed to have.

But it is also because I know something most people apparently don’t know.

What I know, what I understand absolutely, profoundly, and without question to be THE TRUTH, is that our culture is not steeped in a battle between men and women, masculine and feminine.

If you think that’s what this is, you have sidestepped or have been blinded to the truth entirely.

This is a battle wherein the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve stand together, united, against the demonic progeny of Samael and Lilith. Godly men and women united against the Satanic and Jezebel spirits. This is and has always been and always shall remain a battle of Good against Evil.

And I know that if a man is not my father or my husband – he is my brother.

The Conviction:

I cannot briefly summarize all of the thoughts and feelings and reasonings – and, I believe, divine revelations – that went into my youthful decision to pursue marriage and family above all else.

There do certainly exist righteous and godly alternatives to marriage and procreation. When I was a little girl, I seriously considered being a nun. Even though I was quite ignorant of what all that entailed, I always had the innate sense that this was the only suitable alternative to physical marriage, childbearing, child-rearing: spiritual marriage, spiritual motherhood, the fostering and uplifting of souls – in Christ.

What I can say is that I went into the endeavor with my eyes as open as they likely could have been. All of the arguments I see the “MGTOWs” throwing around are arguments I had considered at length, long prior to seeking or entering any kind of courtship. My own father warned me against marriage entirely, employing all of those arguments and then some.

What if he’s a liar? A cheater? A scoundrel? What if he abandons you? What if he abuses you? What if, what if, what if…? All of these arguments intended to convince me that the only viable way forward in life, the only path that could possibly lead to the all-desirable outcomes of “success” and “happiness” – was to turn my back utterly on the path of godly living; that the only safe thing to do would be to embrace the modern lifestyle of remaining legally single and self-sufficient, relying on nobody, because ultimately nobody can be trusted.

I recognized all of these possibilities going in. I jumped headlong into the labor of marriage and family not because I didn’t think these things could happen to me. Not because I had leveraged myself into some kind of materially advantageous position where I could be reassured that their potential happening was unlikely.

I went into the endeavor of finding a husband for the purpose of having children, for the purpose of raising a family. For the purpose of the bringing up of souls in the light of God’s Truth. I did this even though I understood quite well, having not been raised Christian at all, that I had (and still have) a long ways to go before I really and truly know what that means.

I undertook this labor with the FAITH that I did not HAVE to have everything perfectly figured out and lined up from the get-go. With the FAITH that, insofar as I do my best, it will not be beyond me to raise my children correctly – that, even if my husband were to DIE inexplicably and leave me with nothing and no man willing to step in – God would fill in where I fall short.

NOT NECESSARILY TO THE ENDS OF MATERIAL SUCCESS –

BUT OF SPIRITUAL SALVATION.

I undertook this labor with the understanding that it would be easy to fail in every material sense. With the understanding that the very culture I was steeped in from the moment of my birth would fight and rail against my efforts at every turn.

I undertook this labor with the understanding that it was more likely than not that I would necessarily be, at some point, for whatever reason, in whatever fashion, required to sacrifice a great deal of myself for the sake of my children. The thoughts and possibilities and speculative visions that crossed my mind were those of agony and death so horrific I don’t care to explicate.

I never truly thought that I could be a nun – though I’ve often wondered if those might not have been the devil’s whisperings. The most profound hallmark of the abuse I endured in early childhood was a tragically premature awakening of the passions – of those feelings of sexual desire and frustration. I was surprisingly good at keeping those desires in check while in my youth, but I never had the sense that I could ever overcome them completely – though I dearly wished I could.

And so there was never any question in my mind that I would accept every suffering and every hardship of worldly marriage and motherhood – a determination which I now recognize as an intuitive understanding and acquiescence to the will of God as made abundantly clear in Genesis, with regard to the consequences of Original Sin.

I understood in a way that I could not articulate at the time, that “figuring out how to do it all on easy mode” was a seductive lie. Easy Mode is the Devil’s Mode.

The TL;DR of it all is that I always knew mothers in fields with their children look a whole lot more like this:

800px-Lange-MigrantMother02

than this:

woman-retro-dress-with-her-daughter-5-years-old-walking-spring-field-with-roses_143465-1066

Full stop.

The Kneejerk:

And look at what happened! OH MY GOD, MY FATHER (who seemed to think I had a snowball’s chance in hell of finding an honest-to-goodness traditional man ANYWHERE) WAS EXACTLY RIGHT.

Clearly, all men are like this.

All men are liars.

All men are porn addicts.

All men are lazy slackers who want a woman to provide for them.

All men are secret degenerates and debauchers and whoremongers.

All men will strategically withhold sex in order to psychologically manipulate their women into engaging in whatever perversions are necessary to excite them in their sexually-numbed-and-jaded condition.

All men bully, intimidate, yell, and scream at their women.

All men care about money and material comfort more than they care about their family.

All men, given the requisite opportunity and influence, will prostitute their women – for money or personal gain, or likely both.

Basically all men are faggots.

The TRUTH:

Based on my personal experience, supported by countless stories I’ve heard which I find agonizingly relatable – as well as accounts from men who have bragged about exploiting the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of women – I could write many convincing arguments to the effect that marriage is a terrible deal for WOMEN – excepting the very privileged few. From a material standpoint, from the perspective of someone who cannot abide or tolerate material loss, austerity, suffering, etc. of any kind, this seems quite obvious.

Any wayward daughter of Eve, turned loose, unsupervised and unprotected from the nature of her own femininity, has a better chance than not of being exploited for it – and the devil is throughout all times and in all places and in all guises lying in wait for this opportunity. This is one of the oldest stories in the book.

But to decry the institution, the union, the sacrament of marriage itself – in light of the many corruptions and failures of the world – is to be so seduced by those corruptions, so firmly under their power, so enslaved to the cycle of sin and vice and fear, as to act unwittingly in the body, in all the things you do and don’t do, as a militating force against goodness and against godliness – against family.

Setting about to extract as much as I possibly can from the world in terms of material resources and pleasures would not be a godly or righteous purpose, no matter how you spin it. 

THAT is the alternative that is so popularly proposed to the “bad deal” of marriage and family, and I reject it utterly.

No matter how much pleasure the self-serving path might in truth afford.

No matter how much pain the righteous path might cost me.

Because the truth is that a person can do everything right – ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING – and yet receive no material reward for it. The only true example of “doing everything right,” Christ himself who lived and died without sin, was betrayed, tortured, and crucified. That was the material reward the world gave him, and God did not spare him from it on account of his sinlessness.

Conversely – a person may, in fact, do everything wrong and not suffer anything worse than a stubbed toe or bruised ego until they’re long dead and brought to reckoning.

Doing the right thing was never supposed to be easy.

If I had allowed the suffering and the hardships I faced as a result of becoming entangled with and influenced by a dishonest and ungodly man in the naivety and vulnerability of my youth to color my perception of all men, and of the institution of marriage as a whole – if I instead adopted the popular mindset that marriage is a bad deal and that I’m better off looking out for myself, well… we all know what that sounds like, don’t we?

Buncha pansy-ass milksop feminist codswallop, that’s what.

I know I’m not buying that.

The Question:

Why do you? ❤

Fatty Fat McFatty

I don’t mean to carry on about how fat I am all the time, really I don’t.

But it’s such a BROAD subject. (GET IT?!?!?) Always provides AMPLE opportunity for WELL-ROUNDED discourse.

No, seriously. It’s time for me to buckle down and get my diet in order.

Once upon a time, I lost a hundred pounds. I’ve gained about fifty of them back since I fell ill back in the Summer of 2017. I haven’t been able to exercise much, and my diet went to crap along with pretty much everything else. More than just gaining weight, I’ve lost quite a lot of muscle tone, and this is responsible for a lot of aches and pains that make me feel OLD.

I’ve learned a lot since receiving genetic confirmation of my EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) diagnosis that has helped me make sense of this.

The long and short of it is that NO, it’s NOT fair that I’ve suddenly found myself feeling like a creaky old grandma in my early thirties – next to my peers who are fatter and more sedentary and drink and do drugs and still prance around like little whippersnappers with tight skin and healthy joints. I mean, shucks, it’s not FAIR that I literally NEVER had a “tight” body in the first place – but that’s what I’ve got to work with. I tell myself it helps keep me humble.

I was worried for a long time that the neuroborreliosis might have done some irreparable neurological damage – and the truth is that there might be SOME – but I’ve recovered most of my functionality through physical therapy, so I’m fairly optimistic about getting pretty much back to where I was eventually, with enough discipline and focus.

I feel pretty hopeful, actually, that many of my little dysfunctions and discomforts that are attributable to the EDS can be managed fairly effectively with diet. Losing weight is the BIGGEST thing (hahahahaha lol), obviously.

When I lost weight and got in shape the first time around, everyone asked me how I did it. People were really impressed, because once I got started it was a very steady and constant progression. They all wanted to know what my “secret” was.

The secret is that there IS no secret. There is no “one easy trick.”

It IS very SIMPLE in principle, however: I narrow my diet down to a set rotation of foods that fulfill a particular macro- and micro-nutritional profile that works well for me and gradually work toward eating as little as I can get away with. I also drink lots of plain water, walk everywhere I possibly can, and I force myself to work up an uncomfortable sweat for at least a couple hours total out of each week. That’s all it really takes. Lost a hundred pounds in about two years, and kept it off until I got knocked on my butt by chronic illness.

But I’ve already done it before! Hypothetically, it should be easier this time around. I also have a few more tricks up my sleeve this round – like a better understanding of how my body actually moves (spoilers: it is highly atypical), and how to correct my form and properly support my joints. I also have a newly-discovered appreciation for nutritional supplementation. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of “supplements” – but have found a few that seem to make a noticeable difference for me – for the better.

In my next post, I’m going to put together an outline of what my diet actually looks like, and talk about the (select few) supplements I’ve decided to incorporate – and why.

One really important thing, for ME at any rate, is BABY STEPS. So just in case anyone out there is nutty enough to want to try my regimen for themselves… please understand that “my regimen” is something meant to be eased into – because it’s meant to be permanent. YMMV, but for me, a stepped approach offers the best shot at long-term success. In truth, the “secret” to my method, if it could be called that, is that it’s a system – not a set of rules and goals. Every component of that system is worth taking the time to establish firmly before moving on to the next. I don’t try to do it all at once.

Don’t ask me if my diet is “keto-friendly” or “gluten-free” or “paleo” or “low carb” or “whole food” or any other such nonsense. I don’t spend my time or money on stupid, trendy, mostly-meaningless words and labels — and neither should you.

I also do NOT believe in strictly and completely eliminating ANY ACTUAL FOOD from the diet, unless it is something that reliably causes distress to the body’s systems even in minimal quantities — such as in the case of allergies and digestive intolerances.

Obvious disclaimer is obvious: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. I can’t give anyone else nutritional advice and I won’t try or pretend to do anything of the sort. I can only tell you what works for ME.

Vaccines

… are dumb and bad.

ALL. OF. THEM.

It’s shitty mimicry of the body’s natural immune response, AT BEST.

If you watch carefully, I promise you’ll see the same thing happen this time around as has happened historically: the vaccine for COVID-19 will be introduced on the very tail end of a MASSIVE decline in morbidity and mortality – but will be given credit for “all but eradicating COVID-19.” This will be propped up by having padded and intensively hyped the number of “confirmed cases” (false positives, misleading/incorrectly interpreted “positives,” presumed cases, double-counting, viral/antibody tests, etc.) right up until the vaccine is ready and enough people are taking it.

At that point, ALL THEY HAVE TO DO is to begin counting cases accurately for the first time ever – whether by reducing testing, or changing the guidelines/criteria for what constitutes a “confirmed case” (or both), and it will APPEAR to the ignorant masses as though vaccination led to a dramatic reduction in disease spread.

And that’s actually the best-case scenario!

There’s also an entirely plausible worst-case scenario wherein a manufacturer or two simply fucks it up big time. And when I say this, people like to point out to me all of the rigorous testing and quality-control protocols vaccines have to go through in order to be deemed safe enough for mass-administration – to which I SAY:

– You mean all those protocols they’ve been EXEMPTED FROM FOLLOWING because “onos COVID-19 so scawwy”??? Yeah, that’s right – a lot of that stuff does not apply.

Perhaps THE most frightening thing to me about this “pandemic” has been witnessing just HOW MANY PEOPLE have a dogmatic sort of faith in the “Scientific Establishment.”

I beg my friends and family – and so I also must beg the tiny handful of people who will end up reading this:

Please do a little research on the historical decline of vaccinable illnesses and how they stack up relative to the decline of non-vaccinable illnesses.

Please compare the massive rates of decline in morbidity and mortality that is common of the period PRIOR TO widespread vaccination, for nearly all illnesses, to the relatively minuscule decline (seemingly representative of the continuation of a natural curve) that is seen in the period AFTER widespread vaccination is achieved.

Please do a little research on the historical incidence/prevalence of vaccine-strain illness.

Please learn about how vaccines have NOTABLY caused widespread injury, sterility, etc. to populations in certain countries.

Please educate yourself, at least fundamentally, on the matter of HOW vaccines are made. Learn which rigors and control processes they are ACTUALLY HELD TO – and distinguish and differentiate those from the ones you imagined they would be held to.

Educate yourself on just how little liability the manufacturers and administrators of these vaccines have in the event of injury or death resulting from adverse reactions to the vaccines or any of their components.

Please do not allow the Scientific Method itself to be sacrificed on the altar of some kinda Infallible-Science-Pope.

Folks might accuse me of being lazy for asking them to do this research themselves instead of providing a long list of citations and references. To THAT, I say:

Not only is “controversial” information on the internet redacted and censored too frequently to feel confident that any of my reference materials would remain available for the foreseeable future (and that’s IF I could even hunt them all down at this point; my stance on vaccination is the product of decades of independent research and study for which I NEVER held myself accountable for taking down notes or citations) – but I also believe that doing the research yourself is a critical part of the process of learning damn nearly anything.

The information is all out there.

This isn’t some “vaccines cause XYZ” theory to be debunked. This is an examination of historical data that is readily available, and it is alarming.

I’m not interested in debating anyone on this issue; that would be (and has always proven to be) a waste of my time and theirs. I merely EXHORT YOU, the reader, to consider these things for yourself.

 

 

 

But if you disagree with me you are probably also dumb and bad.

Mean Girls

(No, I’ve never watched that movie. My brother tells me I should, but ehhhhhhh.)

I almost feel like I’m ready to scrap this little experiment and start a different blog. One where I don’t even try to be anonymous – and thereby can delve into some things I might not otherwise.

The qualification I’m still missing, my “EXP to get to the next level,” if you will, is learning to not say mean things on the internet. To not go around mocking and laughing at people for being stupid (even if they really really are). I’ve gone rounds with myself on this before: no matter how much FUN IT IS, I probably shouldn’t be doing that. I really ought to be above that. I should not indulge myself in such things, especially not so heartily.

Gleefully stooping to someone else’s level of deficiency and beating them over the head with it is probably some kind of sin. Leastways I feel like it oughtta be.

But I have not broken this habit yet.

It might take a while.

Anomaly

I’ve always known I’m a weirdo, but I honestly never fully realized just HOW odd I am until recently.

One of the major themes in my life has always been “Why doesn’t anything fit???”

This applies to nearly EVERYTHING – from obvious things like clothes and shoes, to the more abstract things like ideologies and standards. I’ve often wondered if my anomalous thoughts and mental processes are somehow related to my anomalous physiology.

I don’t look obviously deformed or anything, but I recently found out/confirmed (well, months ago now, but who’s even counting these days?) that I AM INDEED a freak of nature. Kind of.

It turns out I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue. Genetic testing has revealed that I have a “variation of unknown significance” – meaning, more or less, that nobody really understands exactly how the disorder has affected me so far, or might affect me in the future. The disorder can manifest in a huge variety of ways, and there’s no specific data associated with my genetic variation. I have had my heart and brain checked out recently, and those appear to be functioning normally, so at least there’s that!

The big, obvious, glaring thing – the thing that led me to pursue a diagnosis in the first place – is joint hyper-mobility. I always knew I was “double-jointed” in my fingers and toes, and that I was generally “flexible.” I didn’t realize how widespread or how SEVERE the condition was until I started seeing specialists. The Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and the Podiatrist have all basically said “wow, I’ve never seen it that bad before.” Yikes.

I bend in ways and in places that most people don’t. Basically every. single. joint. in my entire body. And it apparently wasn’t enough for them to just bend too far – or even backwards; they also bend sideways (which I discovered in the OT’s office a couple weeks ago while trying out a splint to help stabilize my thumb).

I’ve got weird proportions. My hands and feet are huge compared to my height. My toes are wider and my heels are tinier (and shorter!) than any shoes were ever built to accommodate. My torso is long and my hips are wide, but my shoulders and my “rise” (crotch measurement) are absurdly short.

Practically nothing fits. Even so-called “low-rise” pants, on me, are either high-waist or drop-crotch. Shirts and dresses that fit well around my hips/waist/boobs will invariably have collars that want to settle somewhere in the vicinity of my ears. I also have a massive thigh-gap that eats 2-3″ off the usable inseam of any pair of shorts.

All of these fit issues are exacerbated by another manifestation of this delightful condition: excess and overly-stretchy skin pretty much everywhere I bend. I think my boobs got the worst of it, but my underarms, inner thighs, and pelvis are all a mess. If you want to get an idea of what I’m dealing with here, just look at a Shar Pei. I mean, it’s not THAT bad, but that’s pretty much what it feels like.

I spent a whole lot of years thinking that clothing and shoe designers were retarded. Turns out it’s just me. OOPS. Well, no, I take that back – most of them ARE retarded (modern fashion is a CRIME), but that’s actually not why they never make anything that fits me.  My proportions and body dynamics are too far outside the average range. I am an anomaly.

Back to my point about anomalous thought processes being related to anomalous physiology. It might seem silly, and I’m pretty sure it’s the sort of thing where I’ll never really “know” whether my hunch has any merit, but it’s still an interesting exercise to think about all the various ways in which my being so apparently “misfit,” if you will, compared to basically all of the rest of society, might have impacted my cognitive or psychological development.

SO MANY of the things in my life that have set me apart from everyone else, can be traced back to this condition:

Life-long problems with tooth decay in spite of good dental hygiene – apparently stemming from the intersection of weak enamel, and excess soft tissue folds in the mouth harboring bacteria.

Broad-spectrum resistance to any and all painkillers and anesthetics. I learned not to even take Tylenol as a kid, save on very rare occasion, because I need a double dose for it to be effective. The dentist always has to give me double-injections to get me numb.

Stretch marks EVERYWHERE. Since before puberty. Since before I was ever fat or pregnant. Most are very old and barely visible, but  they’re there, on most of my body. It’s like my skin never knew how to grow without stretch marks.

I started sprouting silver hairs when I was 16.

My body temperature has never been good at regulating. I can get too hot OR too cold just about instantaneously.

— And so much more!

So it’s not just “why doesn’t anything fit” – but also, more broadly, “WTF is wrong with me?”

How could that NOT affect how I relate to the world?

On the other hand, I’ve been told all my life that I’m special, remarkable, one-in-a-million, etc., because I’m smart and talented and perceptive and whatever. I guess I am. It would be false humility to claim otherwise.

But wouldn’t it be funny, wouldn’t it be cosmically apropos for all of the reasons I’ve ever had for maybe getting a bit of a big head, to have been somehow genetically determined by the same condition that has all but crippled me physically at the ripe old age of 33?

Like God gave me a trade-off: “Yeah, you get to be special… but you get to be special, too.”

I’ve wondered sometimes if He might have given me a choice: a really amazing brain and a defective body, or a really amazing body and a defective brain. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grumbled to myself that life would have been easier if I were prettier and stupider. But then, I’ve NEVER asked for an easier life in the whole time I’ve been here, so I don’t think I’d have ever chosen that beforehand anyway.

One very sobering thought I’ve had is that if I really was abused as a child in the manner I suspect I was (I still have the irrational desire to deny this), having very elastic tissue in general might have actually saved my life. It’s a horrifying thing to think about, but I would have been so small, and the amount of PAIN that I recall was staggering.

But the REALLY sobering thing has been the realization that the abuse I suffered, which made me feel in so many ways like nobody would ever understand me, might actually be one of the most statistically NORMAL things about me. The quirks I’ve developed and the struggles I’ve faced which have stemmed from my sexual initiation in early childhood, tragically, have given me more common ground with my contemporaries than I might have held otherwise.

I’m so strange that I had to be broken to relate to other people?

I don’t know. I’m just throwing thoughts around at this point. But I do have the unsettling, nagging feeling that God actually does want me to relate to people. More than I’d care to if left to my own devices, frankly.

Something about turning weaknesses into strengths, about hijacking evil and sublimating it to God’s will.

Maybe God really did make me different for a reason. Maybe God made me so frickin’ weird, that whenever Satan breaks me it just serves to further reveal my TRUE POWER LEVEL.

When God Gives You a Shady Garden

With enthusiastic endorsement and lots of much-needed help from my husband, I have my very own garden, for the very first time!

I grew up gardening and small-scale farming, so it’s not exactly “new,” but it’s been a long time (didn’t have much more than a windowsill for gardening for most of my adult life so far), and we have some challenges to overcome. We rent. Our yard is small. We don’t get as much sun as I would like. But we bought some big containers for tomatoes, dug up some patches strategically around the house where we wouldn’t have to disturb the actual lawn *too* much, and my husband built a few raised beds in areas where there was no grass anyway. He also built a small A-frame out of pallets, and we’re planting some things in fabric pots to hang on that.

We had three yards of soil delivered, and I’m pretty determined to use all of it.

Gardening in this fashion (containers and small, mixed beds) is a lot different from planting uniform row after row of the same crop, and I feel a tad out of my depth just jumping into it. We basically chose our seeds and starts based on what we want to EAT, and then I gave myself a quick crash-course in “companion planting,” charted it out, and we started shoving stuff in the dirt.

Here’s what we’ve planted so far:

Raised bed #1: broccoli raab, leeks, black carrots, parsley

Raised bed #2: rutabaga, “normal” carrots, sugar snap peas (bush), yellow chard

Raised bed #3: bell peppers, radishes, celery, basil

Around the house: strawberries, green beans (bush), zucchini, more sugar snap peas (trellised), english cucumbers, mixed leaf lettuce, nasturtiums.

In containers: tomatoes, bell peppers, peppermint, cilantro, basil, oregano, chives

On the A-frame so far we’ve used about a quarter of it to plant MORE strawberries (priorities!), and I reused all of the containers I bought starts in to start some more seeds, just waiting for them to get a little bigger and they’ll go in bags for hanging: 5-color chard, chives, thyme, basil, parsley, dill, leeks, snow peas, broccoli raab, and kale.

And I’ve got more seeds on the way or waiting to be started: dwarf sweet corn, borage, fennel, catnip, lavender, thai basil, marigolds, bibb lettuce, green onions, delicata (winter) squash, and parsnips. Extra cilantro (PRIORITIES). And a little container of pickling cucumber starts given to me by a very dear neighbor.

I also talked my husband into buying a few blueberry bushes and rhododendrons, because those will grow nicely in pots until we settle somewhere permanently.

I’ve been doing a lot of sitting and thinking in my little sprouting garden. All this business of trying to make stuff GROW really gets me thinking a lot about life, generally – and my own life in particular.

It’s easy to want to constantly do MORE – to fuss a lot, to plant more things, bigger variety, prettier gardenscaping. I have to remind myself that I have a very limited amount of time and energy these days, and that my garden doesn’t HAVE to be absolutely and perfectly maximized and optimized. It only has to be enough.

I’ve said before that when I was a young woman, I wanted to have lots of children. I imagined I’d have easy pregnancies and deliveries (like my own mother – and I did!) and envisioned having a dozen or so. I got a HUGE amount of social and cultural pushback on that idea from all sides, and so I gradually lowered my expectations over the years until I was comfortable with the idea of having “at least three.”

My first husband said he wanted “at least four.” I jumped on that. Found out a little too late that he was actually a narcissistic liar who wanted nothing of the sort. I’m STILL processing the events of that marriage (7 years before we split, 9 before the divorce was final) – but the effective end result of my decision to marry that man, and the cascade of decisions it precipitated, is that I have only two children. I will probably not have more – and I had them with a man who is NOT the best father, and IS a terrible influence.

There is a certain heaviness to accepting that I bear a lot of responsibility for this. I mean… I can say that I was lied to, that I was tricked, that I was misled – and all those things ARE true. But there are enough of my decisions in that mess, which I could have made differently and chose not to, that I don’t feel OK playing that card.

God gave me a shady garden. There is no doubt about that. Looking back at the circumstances I was born into and raised in, the idea that I would fall effortlessly into a quiet little traditional Christian marriage and go on to have lots and lots of babies in my own little slice of rural utopia is patently absurd. Practically the entire social/cultural/economic deck of cards was stacked against me.

But what my musings have me considering now is that when you really boil it down, it was my own PRIDE that eventually said “well, if you’re not going to make it easy, I’m not going to try.”

Kinda like I’ve sat on my thumbs for years refusing to grow anything in the dirt because I didn’t have enough of it, or because the landlord might not like it, or because there wasn’t enough sunlight.

And who knows – maybe I wouldn’t have had more children, even if I’d tried; even if I’d pushed my first husband, or left him and tried with someone else. I have no way of knowing. Maybe I was only “meant” to have two. I’ve done a fair job of making peace with only having two, at any rate. But I hope to teach my own children to make their decisions a little differently. I don’t want my children to EVER look at a shady garden, or a small garden – or any kinda imperfect garden – as a reason to sit on their thumbs and not try to grow anything at all.

Worlds of Pain: Immaterial

Just yesterday I realized that I am grieving.

The thing about immaterial pain is that it can lie in waiting for many years before it is ever felt. Events that transpired a lifetime ago can yield fresh wounds when we least expect them. I have perhaps suffered more immaterial wounds and pains than material ones. I could write about a lot of things – from my childhood, from my first marriage, from my experiences with people broadly over the course of my life.

I feel too tired to go into much detail about most of that. For now I would simply say, speaking from my desire to highlight the MOST IMPORTANT lesson I’ve learned, that I’ve found NO source of pain greater than the wounds I’ve inflicted on myself, through my own choices and actions.

That’s not to say, though, that the choices and actions of others have not hurt me; they have.

It’s a common trope that American girls all have “Daddy Issues.” Well – not me. I mean, I thought I did, for a long time – because my mother told me I did – and, furthermore, that i should.

But let’s get real: my father was and is far from perfect – but how many girls end up with “Daddy Issues” because their father was too involved in their upbringing? Because their father was too protective? Because their father held them to too high a standard? And whose fathers did all this, and more, by way of leading by example?

The wise among you will not be surprised by my declaration that NO – I do not have “Daddy Issues.” I have “MOMMY Issues” – and it SHOWS.

I could write so much about that, but I will cut to the chase:

I found out nearly three years ago, the last time I saw my mother, that she had an abortion when she got pregnant again shortly after I was born. She has rationalized this in two primary ways, by saying that:

  1. it was “too soon.”
  2. that her relationship with my father was not good, she was not happy, he was bad.

Yet history also tells us that:

  1. she had the easiest pregnancies and deliveries any woman could hope for.
  2. she stayed with my father for several more years and had another child with him anyway.

My mother killed one of my siblings, for no greater reason than personal benefit and convenience.

Suddenly, I understood so much more about my relationship with my mother, and my relationship with WOMEN (namely, that they are awful).

I understand my mother’s chronic guilt – and I understand why she comes to me, alternately to tell me all about what a bad person my father is – and to beg ME for absolution for all the sins she’s never confessed in any proper capacity.

I also understand better some of the “dreams” or “visions” I had as a young child. I understand why, when I told my mother out of the blue one day, that I “always felt like I was supposed to have a little sister,” she seemed to get almost angry with me, and dismissed the idea with an uncomfortable mixture of wistfulness and disdain.

And I have come to understand that I am grieving – for a loss long and anxiously anticipated, but which I never knew, before, had ALREADY HAPPENED.

I like to believe that if my mother had truly understood the PRICE of that choice, she would not have MADE that choice. But I cannot say that this is true, necessarily.

This is the absolute center of my immaterial pain – and it is not just the grief for the loss of a sister I never knew I had – or the loss of the daughter I somehow always knew I would never have –  it is the Principle Pain of the choice, the decision, to be infected with the Jezebel Spirit, to cast down the mantle of Eve and take up instead the mantle of Lilith.

The wages of sin are DEATH. In our lives we may at any time stand and proclaim – “I am alive and well; therefore I have not sinned!” – but what folly and what hubris, to think that the death sentence would be OURS – rather than the LIFE sentence – of thinking on and atoning for the deaths which we have sown.

This is the pain of realizing that I’ve made so many of the same wrong choices – in principle, if not detail – that my mother did; out of blindness, and ignorance, and PRIDE. It is not the most acute pain I have felt – but it is the deepest, the saddest, the most “full circle.” The most tied-or-intrinsic to every other invisible, immaterial pain I have suffered.

In so many ways, it is the very principle pain of the choice of Original Sin. In so many ways, it is the pain that brought me to the comprehension of the TRUTH OF Original Sin (the passing down of which, generationally, is a concept that was staunchly denied in my “religious education” as a child and young adult).

I must now choose differently than my mother chose for herself. I must choose differently than what she would choose for me. I must RENOUNCE the path that she would set before my feet, and the world she would build for my children.

And so I am also grieving the loss of my mother – although she still lives. Having a “peaceful” relationship with my mother has always required that I entertain and respect all of her ideas and never contradict or oppose them. This is no longer possible for me.

Jesus talked about how he came to sow division – and I begin to understand this better as well.

Choosing to walk this path which I have chosen may mean not having much of a relationship with my mother at all. It may mean giving up my attachments to many people I care for. I hope and I pray that this is not the case; but I will not, shall not, allow my fear (that it IS the case) to change my mind about doing what I believe is right.

Maybe that’s what all this pain is for.

Narcissists like to threaten to take themselves away from you if you don’t fall in line with their program. They threaten you with the pain of the loss of their (disordered) attachment. My ex-husband did this.

My mother does this.

I used to fear that pain.

Now I do not.

Worlds of Pain: Material

I have a high tolerance for pain.

I have learned this by experiencing a great deal of pain over the course of my life.

It’s hard to draw comparisons, having (obviously) never actually felt anyone’s pain aside from my own – but doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, and plenty of other folks have looked at me with alternating skepticism and astonishment:

“You’re obviously not in that much pain, or you’d be crying like a baby.”

or

“I know how much that hurts. I can’t believe you’re smiling and laughing right now.”

When I was a very young girl (toddler years), I experienced something I’ve never fully comprehended in any explicit sort of way. I remember it almost as though it were a dream. Thirty years later, I’m coming to grips with the fact that this could very well be the vague memory of a sexual assault – something I’ve always suspected happened to me, but have never really talked about. In fact, I spent nearly thirty years denying it to myself, coming up with all sorts of reasons why that would be “impossible” – reasons which have all fallen apart under the clarity and scrutiny of hindsight.

The thing I DO remember – clearly, starkly – is the futility of trying to fight “the monster” away, and then the PAIN. How it exploded into me, shooting through my entire body all at once, completely incongruous with the things I thought I was seeing and experiencing. It took my breath away, it paralyzed me, and my entire world dissolved, along with my frantic tears, into darkness – resolving eventually, slowly, into a haze of real and familiar surroundings.

It’s the only “dream” I’ve ever had where “the monster got me.” It’s the only “dream” I don’t remember falling asleep before slipping into. It’s the only “dream” I don’t recall waking up from. It’s the “dream” that precipitated countless other nightmares and night terrors. Nightmares wherein “monsters” would leap toward me as if to pounce on me and devour me – and in every such dream thereafter, I would wrench myself out of it at the last possible moment, sitting bolt upright in my bed – heart racing, shaking, unable and unwilling to return to sleep. Terrified of experiencing that all-consuming pain again.

I suffered from awful stomach aches for years as a young girl, on a regular basis – and I remember the thing that made me cry wasn’t so much the pain itself, but the fact that nobody believed me when I told them I was in pain – because I was too calm about it. I was accused of making it all up to get out of doing things.

I still cried, as a young girl, when I’d fall and skin my knees – or when I’d accidentally cut myself on something. Or when I took a significant and sudden impact while playing outside, or rough-housing with my brother. This was usually more because I was startled – or because seeing my own blood dripping out of my body was still novel in a scary way. The tears never lasted long – the pain was (relatively) so brief and so small.

When I was seven years old, I fell and fractured my wrist. It was a sharp, searing pain – but even that was “small” by comparison. I cried for a little while, but was quiet by the time we got to the emergency room. That was my first experience having a doctor tell me that I must be “fine” because I didn’t APPEAR to be in significant pain (even though I told him it hurt quite a bit). He seemed genuinely surprised when he saw the x-ray. I had to wear a cast for weeks.

I’ve had many a rolled/sprained ankle, pulled muscled, contusions, and all manner of lumps and bumps which hardly gave me pause.

My first taste of REAL pain since that horrible “dream” (I still think of it as a dream in spite of my suspicions to the contrary, simply because I have no actual proof that it was anything more than that – and I’m not sure I’d want such proof if it exists) was when I was 14 or 15 years old. I was bitten by a black widow spider – unknown to me at the time, but revealed later when the bite mark was discovered.

That pain was other-worldly. It began as a sensation almost as though someone was applying a vice to my shoulder, and over the course of a few hours it spread along my spine and through my entire body, intensifying until it crackled and burned like a fire being stoked, like a jolt of electricity, like a giant sheet of thick glass cracking in half inside me if I dared to move or breathe. I remember lying in bed for days, all but paralyzed by it. Eventually drifting into exhausted sleep – only to be jolted awake by the pain that exploded from my spine when I shifted.

But I didn’t cry.

As it turns out, I have some kind of genetic condition which seems to cause tooth enamel problems – which means I’ve had a lot of fillings and dental work since I was a kid. The same condition ALSO seems to impart a hefty tolerance for anesthetics and analgesics – and pretty much anything that’s commonly used to numb or dull pain.

As a child, I didn’t understand why dentists didn’t believe me when I said something hurt. They’d give me nitrous oxide through a little nose piece because they thought I was scared. Because I was calmly objecting instead of screaming in pain. (P.S. the nitrous did NOTHING for me.)

As an adult, I’ve had my wisdom teeth pulled one by one (three down, one left to go) as they’ve become abscessed and infected. That’s another special variety of all-consuming pain. The pain of having the teeth pulled while the anesthetic was already wearing off, and the pain of recovery both almost felt GOOD by comparison.

I’ve also had two root canals, and each time I’ve had to make them stop and give me more anesthetic – and both times the endodontist looked at me in disbelief and basically said “I can’t believe you can actually feel that and you aren’t screaming right now.”

Childbirth was another variety of all-encompassing pain, but perhaps the easiest to bear. It was productive and purposeful pain.

None of the doctors, nurses, or midwives involved in either of my two births believed me when I told them I was about to have a baby – based on the fact that I was smiling and laughing all the way through transition, only getting down to the “guttural roaring” business when I was actually in the process of pushing them out.

When my first son was born, the doctor tried to tell me there was no way I was dilated enough yet (“you wouldn’t be able to talk like this, you’d be in too much pain”) – until she actually checked me, and proclaimed that – wouldn’t you know it – yes I was. Then she gawked at me in disbelief as I quickly sprang up, unaided, assumed the all-fours birthing position, and squeezed out a baby in two pushes.

I seem to experience pain differently than most people. I definitely have learned to handle and process pain differently than most people. And, stubbornly, the more other people dismiss or deny my pain on the grounds that I don’t react to it strongly enough for it to be real – the more committed I become to suffering in stoic silence.

In the Summer of 2017, I was bitten by a tick, which I didn’t find for several days, and also didn’t remove properly. I fell ill almost immediately (actually, I started getting sick before I found the stupid little thing) with a whole host of bewildering symptoms. And, much more quickly than is normal, it seems, the infection made its way into my nervous system – and I found myself reliving the same kind of crackling, burning, searing pain that I experienced after my spider bite all those years ago; like a white-hot poker; like someone blowing on smoldering coals deep inside me, and feeling them pop and explode. Sometimes like an electrical shock. Sometimes like being latched onto by a small but merciless set of razor-sharp teeth.

This is pain that settles in and lasts for days or weeks at a time, slowly fading away only to pop up somewhere else along my spine, radiating into my hips, my legs, my arms, my neck.

It eases up a little over the course of the day as I force myself to move around – but I can only sleep for about five hours before I wake up to crackling pain again; too much pain to sleep. Too much pain to even keep lying in bed.

This is the only physical pain I’ve experienced, since that “dream” nearly my entire lifetime ago, that has left me sobbing helplessly because there was nothing I could do to escape from it. No position that alleviates it. No drug that dulls it (that I’m willing to take, anyway).

I was treated with antibiotics, and it went away – but came back. I’ve repeated that cycle four times now. Each time I’ve had a longer reprieve between episodes – but it always comes back, along with a handful of other symptoms.

It came back about a week ago.

I haven’t cried this time. A lot of people probably don’t even know I’m in pain. If I told them, they would be surprised. They might not believe me.

But it’s REAL. It’s so very real. It’s excruciating. It’s exhausting.

Today, my husband – who suffered a back injury once upon a time which left him with some very similar pain (which also comes back in episodes, albeit for different reasons – point is, he understands) – held my face in his hands after he kissed me good morning, and said: “It’s amazing that you’re smiling right now.”

I laughed.

And as I laughed, tendrils of white-hot lightning licked their way down my neck and spine and into my ribs.

I smiled again and went back to making coffee.

I don’t know WHY it is that I bear pain so well. It’s certainly not that I don’t feel it.

I also don’t wonder “why” very often.

What I wonder – as with so many things – is “WHAT FOR?”

What is all this pain FOR? What is the purpose of this suffering?

Or maybe: to what purpose can I direct it?

The older I get, the more comfortable I become with the sorts of ideas that would seem kooky – even fanatical – to my secular/atheist friends and family.

Such as: God is preparing me for something – and that something is going to hurt. I don’t know if it will hurt me materially, physically; or if it will be an immaterial/non-physical kind of pain. Both are very real. I’ve learned a lot about bearing immaterial pain over the years by experiencing and bearing material pain – and vice versa.

Or, perhaps, this pain is simply my penance.

Perhaps it’s a little of both.

Anonymity

Dear World,

Since I’m waiting for elastic to arrive, I’ve spent the last couple days cutting fabric. I realized I could use more of what I had and make it go a lot farther if I paired a knit fabric for one side with a woven fabric for the other side. The woven layer acts as a stabilizer, which makes it easier to sew AND ensures that the final product holds its shape.

I just did a tally, and I’ve managed to scrounge up enough blanks to make just over 300 masks. I’m sure I’ll run out of good elastic before that, but I think I figured out a way to use some other elastics that I already have in fairly large quantities (foldover and beading elastic).

It occurs to me, as I share these little details about my daily goings-on in “lockdown mode,” that talking about my life in any meaningful way is probably going to effectively “doxx” me to anybody who actually knows me who might stumble across this tiny little corner of the internet.

I decided I don’t really care.

But let me be clear: if you DO know me, and you happen to happen upon this ill-advised little blog of mine and think you’ve got me figured out… just don’t be a dick about it, okay? If I wanted to talk about this stuff with a real person who will talk back to me in real-time, I’d be doing that. If you ask me about my blog, I will never admit to you that it exists, or that I have any idea what you’re talking about.

Unless I do.

XOXO

Kitty