Here they take their sweet repast, while house and grounds dissolve

Already the guests begin to arrive.  All boys — that’s all the company she keeps — slowly trickling in, one and then three and soon to be followed by many more, if history and routine have any bearing on the matter.

The rich, spoiled bitch-child celebrates 20 years on this earth today, a day often used to celebrate fools, to mock and laugh at the gullible and to take glee in the guile by which we can trick those we deem more dim-witted than ourselves.

What better day for her to party?  Let the fool celebrate. The booze will flow, the weed will burn, likely other substances will wend their ways through bodies and brains.  As I left the bath moments ago, the sweet perfume of pot smoke hung thick in the air — good shit, it seemed, from the moment of scent I sampled.  Deep voices conversing, the basses and baritones carrying their banter and chilling my bones.

It does seem quite the shame, though — she may be a year older, but she’s not one second closer to growing up.  Her verbally and emotionally abusive relationship with her boyfriend frightens me, to regularly hear how she screams at him, telling him how stupid and worthless he is, almost as often as she lavishes praise on him — the “best boyfriend ever” just hours before he’s verbally lashed — “how could you do that? I told you, and you fucked up again! I’M NOT YELLING AT YOU! I’M NOT YELLING AT ALL, DAMN IT!”  It sickens me to understand completely and intuitively why he stays, too; great sex as often as he wants it?  Score.  A place to live away from his folks? Hot damn! Cost-free room and board — and no “crust of bread, cup of water,” either, but the finest gourmet that money can buy? You might hang around, too!

If it means having her laugh to all her assembled guests that “yeah, he breaks all the glasses, and doesn’t clean them up.  We clean them up, at least, because we’re not like that.” — well, what’s a little public humiliation in exchange?  If she insists that he sacrifice his health for her codependency — telling him to skip his psych meds because he is making them late for the rock concert by trying to go back and fetch them, spending half an hour telling him how dumb he is for forgetting them and refusing to move an inch until he capitulates to her every demand so that she doesn’t have to spend a single moment functioning on her own… well, again, why is that a problem?  Plenty of awesome shit to balance things out!  Besides, she’s always right… he must just need to work on understanding that, right?

Still more boys coming in, even as I write this.  Tonight will be loud and potentially very difficult — but I begin this night with wonderful preparation, with a day full of beauty and joy and fantastic good things coming to me throughout.  I’m in a good mood, and a good space.

I also have a secret weapon… acquired later than initially intended, as I had planned for it to be my birthday gift to myself in mid-February, but I now have my own Tango III vibrator — and tonight will be a good, relaxing, fun night no matter what else surrounds me.  Perfect peace amid the tempest, filling me completely… even if my toy doesn’t!

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I hear the doorbell ring and suddenly the panic takes me

I need to write.
I want to write.

But I’m balancing that need
That desire
Against my physical exhaustion
Against my minimal food intake today
Against the enormous effort that it takes
To remain outwardly calm
While the sounds from the next room
Fill me with
Irrational
Insistent
Immense

PANIC.

No, it’s not a “logical” connection.
No, I can’t explain why those sounds affect me as they do.
No, it’s not just me finding something to complain about.

I have worked over many years
Learned very carefully
Through practice
Mistakes
Refinement of technique
To appear relaxed
And pleasant
And friendly

Instead of screaming as loudly as my lungs allow
Smashing any solid object within reach
Against any other object in my swing
Stomping and smashing
Making noise and breaking things
All in a feeble and ever-failed attempt
To demonstrate to others —
But no, not a demonstration —
It’s an attempt to harm others
In a fashion that they can comprehend
To a degree equivalent
To the harm they inflict on me.

I have learned to be mute
I have learned to accept harm
I have learned to do nothing in retaliation
I have learned to turn inward and die

And I am praised for my “success” far too often
Told that I am “strong”
That I am “brave”
That I have “accomplished so much”

How is it
That so many seem to envy
This so-called “skill”
Of saying nothing
Doing nothing
Lying on the ground after being driven there again
And most of all for my friendly smile
And calm, even voice
As I am kicked again and again and again?

You value self-restraint
You value compliance
You value non-violence and avoiding confrontation
And I have learned these things you so value

But you never taught me when to stop holding back
You never taught me how to say, “Fuck no, and fuck you!”
You never taught me how to knock a motherfucker out when they come at me wrong
Or to do anything but whimper, turn, and run or better yet, stay and take it with a smile

So I have learned nothing of value at all

Am I right? Am I wrong? Or am I just dreaming?

Maybe I’m the only one who feels like this.  Maybe I’m the one single human in the world who would react this way.  Maybe I’m a freak exception to the rule, decidedly outside of average… but I don’t think so.  I think, actually, that my reaction is pretty damn normal (and yes, I know there’s no such thing) — that my feelings are rather expected, that other reasonable people would respond in much the same way.

Her boy-toy mumbles, or talks, or sometimes even yells, while he walks around the house, or in and out of the house (slamming the door half of the time.)  When I’m sitting in my room, and I have my curtains and window open to let some much-needed cooler air through, and I’ve turned on some music to let my mind focus, started singing so I can let out just a tiny part of this storm of emotion I keep bottling up inside… well, I find it really unsettling, put mildly, to suddenly see a face right outside my window, and then before my body can fully react to the “Oh fuck! What is this? Do I need to defend myself, or run away, or WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON???” feeling, the face is gone again — and there’s a voice unseen, arguing with itself.

Am I the only one who doesn’t think that’s cute, or endearing, or refreshing, or delightful and charming? Am I bizarre to feel threatened by that behavior?  Am I wrong to call it “creepy” or compare one person walking around and  talking out loud in angry tones to nobody, to others displaying the same observable actions — namely, the often homeless “crazy people,” the ones outcast and avoided because those behaviors are not socially acceptable, and make most others uneasy?

I had hoped to let myself breathe today, to relax and let free some of the emotional weight and tension inside.  The moment I began to do so, I was startled and interrupted by the sudden flash of a face in the window, and moments later a momentary glimpse of someone there and gone again in the hall.  I’m more tense than when I awoke, I’m angry and frustrated and feeling trapped… and I have to either psych myself up for preparing to go out now, moving through the house and past the boy-toy and trying to keep the disquiet inside to a low roar instead of a banshee howl on a stormy night — or take the route I do more often: stay locked inside my room, stay in this self-imposed prison until the threat abates, until he’s gone, and I feel as safe outside as I do here (and neither of them feels particularly safe.)

This is no way to live.  When the emotional hazards from the people in my own home and the guests they invite are so great that I cannot face them directly, and my only other option is to remain self-exiled and intentionally isolate myself, knowing that what I need most is emotional and physical closeness… I’m trapped in an incredibly unhealthy place.  If my choice is between emotionally and psychologically harming myself or putting myself in situations where I’ll be emotionally or psychologically harmed by others — intentionally or not — then it doesn’t ever feel like much of a choice.  I usually choose self-harm because in that one small measure I retain my own agency, I feel the victory of keeping my autonomy and control of self… but each one feels, as King Phyrrus would understand, that another such victory would utterly undo me.

I have to stop writing now, get myself dressed, prepared, and out the fucking door. Now.  It’s just too overwhelming here…

If there is a hell…

I’m sure that’s where I’m going to go.  I know that all the lines I was fed growing up about god and heaven and hell are total bullshit, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling like I do.

I know what I did tonight was wrong, and not on a small level.  I’m not sure how else this could have ended, though, because when I can’t speak, don’t speak, won’t speak about shit that’s going on, it will eventually explode, like tonight.  Screaming, in-your-face and if she hadn’t stepped between us I’m afraid I would have harmed another person.  That’s not okay.  That’s never okay, and I don’t want to ever be in an emotional space where I feel the desire or capability to harm someone.

In yet another of life’s great damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t jokes, I’d love to stay here, to make a home and finally put down some fucking roots instead of moving and running away again… but even if I decide to go anywhere else, there’s absolutely nothing that I can afford in northern california, and I’ve got occasional assistance with food and money and other things where I am — I’d have none of that if I tried to leave.

She’s a little child.  I have to remember that, keep it in mind when the wealthy, pampered brat shines through the mask she works so hard to keep up, the mask of a mature and responsible adult.  She’s not — she’s often pretty damn clueless, blind to the most glaring things around her, and I wonder sometimes how much of that is willful ignorance, otherwise known as “stupid on purpose.”  I’ve been repeating to myself lately that “you can lead a fool to knowledge, but you can’t make them think” and when she remains so oblivious so often, I have to remind myself to be patient, to be the mature woman I can be instead of turning loose a toddler’s tantrum like I did tonight.

I tried calling my mom’s cellphone just after everything exploded, but she was already asleep, and I know how she sleeps — with earplugs, a pillow on top, and a fan to make white noise by her bedside.  She’ll probably see the dozen or more calls and hear my one barely-coherent message sometime tomorrow morning, long after there’s any chance for her to help me.  I also tried sending a text message to someone else I trust, but he’s either asleep or not near his phone, and I’ll probably get a call tomorrow from him too… again, far too late to be any real help.

I don’t have anyone that I can reach out to, anyone I trust or feel at all comfortable with, anyone I can call in an emergency like this and get any sort of help.  I’ve learned from repeatedly bashing my head against the idiocy of the public mental health system that I cannot get help from them, that in fact I am more likely to suffer more trauma from attempting that kind of call for help than what I am already handling on my own… but it really pisses me off that I don’t have any emergency support system.

I can’t do a “crisis line,” because even if I have their number handy, even if I get someone whose voice doesn’t make me want to scream, I won’t have anyone who can do more than be a disembodied voice in my ear with a script to follow.  I can’t call a psych hospital… last time was the worst night I’ve had in years, being assaulted by a large black man while staff paid no attention, being told that I was suicidal and forced to take drugs because “how else can we calm you down?” and spending an unknown amount of time barely conscious, in a panicked and drugged haze.  I can’t go to any sort of walk-in facility — I’m transgender.  If that’s not “enough said,” then I can’t explain for you.  Ask someone to pass you the clue-stick.

I’ve gone far too long without any sleep, and as much as I hate to do it, I’m going to have to turn back on some noise to block out the rest of the shit here… and maybe I’ll be lucky this time.  Maybe I’ll get enough sleep to be functional tomorrow.

See you all in hell…

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