glitch in my code

It was real and good, I tell myself. Sweet boy was cautious with me. Sweet boy asked before he touched me. Sweet boy stopped when I said stop. Sweet boy sometimes stopped even before then, sensed a tension in my body and moved back and just held me until my heart slowed down again. Sweet boy reminded me, over and over again, that I had complete control. Sweet boy did nothing to intentionally hurt me and apologized over and over when something went wrong anyways.

This in itself, I figure, is a normal enough thought process. The problem is it’s about a series of events that happened three months ago, and I still have to run through my reminders at least once a day.

I wasn’t taught to say no.

Again, that’s probably another post I need to do. (I ought to start keeping a list.) But it’s relevant here.

I wasn’t taught to say no to anyone for any reason, and that makes the memory of my first physical encounter so much more complicated than it needs to be.

I know I wanted that boy. I know he would’ve understood if I had been in a different mood that night, and I know his respect for me wouldn’t have changed. I know he would’ve been content enough to just stand there and hold hands while staring up at the stars and talking about weird moments from our respective childhoods. I knew at the time, and still do, that no one else in this world has ever made me feel so safe.

I just wish trauma-brain would shut up and let me have that safe-place memory.

Instead, I sit here and run through the details and reassurances one more time, and it’s still not enough.

an open letter about agency

Dear people I’m gonna be dealing with over the next three days, most of whom I’ve known since I was a little bug,

Yes, I’m gonna be wearing some interesting dresses that you might think are inappropriate. Yes, my arm tattoos are gonna be very visible; no, I will not explain what those quotes are from. Yes, I will probably recommend questionable TV to somebody’s 17-year-old. Yes, I have no verbal filter and will probably say quite a few things that’ll ruffle feathers. This is my fourth year working your event, and I’m a pretty predictable little creature.

Thing is, you need to have those problems with me. Not my mother. Me.

There seems to be a misconception in homeschool culture that an unmarried young woman cannot be held responsible for her behavior. I’m calling out homeschool culture specifically because I haven’t had this issue anywhere else. In my normal, mundane life – at my almost-full-time retail job – I am taken seriously. Yes, I’m 23 and don’t have a shiny object on my finger. The relevant detail is I’m 23. I’m a legal adult. What I do is mine.

But not to you people. No, ’cause I’m single as hell and still live with my parents, any and all of your issues with me get flung at my mother instead.

Look, I’m not gonna try to defend my mother here, but she gave up on controlling my behavior a decade ago. I’m my own entity and have been for a lot longer than your kids. Accept and move on.

I remember a couple years ago – I wanna say the summer I turned twenty – I posted on Facebook about this book I’d read. Harmless YA-level retelling of some fairytale, I don’t remember which one but it was from the fairy godmother’s perspective and it was super freaking cute. About a day later, my mother received a lovely email from a concerned family friend who legit asked if I was “dabbling in the occult”. Like, that’s an exact quote, and I will remember that for the rest of my life because it was one of the most WTF things I’ve ever experienced.

This person made no effort to say anything to me, mind you. They just assumed that my mother could solve the situation.

For the record, y’all, my mom realized she couldn’t keep up with my reading the summer I turned 14. (And then promptly banned me from telling anybody in the homeschool group about anything I was reading because it’d make her look bad if I mentioned the wrong thing to the wrong person, but whatev. She tried.)

I’m an adult. I know I don’t seem like one most of the time, but I am. If I do something, there’s a 98% chance it’s because I want to. So if it bugs you, say something to me.

If you’ve got some issue with my gorgeous red dress, I am wearing that because I know I look hot in it.

The inevitable trashy TV rec… my mom doesn’t even know what I watch anymore. The last time we talked about TV in any form was like six months ago when I mentioned that maaaaaybe Daredevil is a little more violent than she’d be into. She knows next to nothing about the stuff that has helped shape who I am as a person, and I mean to keep it that way.

And whatever bitchy comment I will probably make at some point in the next twelve hours… ever wonder where I got that talent from?? Only difference is my timing’s not as good, but hey, I’ve got another thirty years to figure that out.

So please, please, don’t set your massive flock of canaries loose on somebody who doesn’t deserve to get chew-toyed like that. Play nice, y’all, and I’ll try to do the same.

xoxo.