Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Week With Seamus

Knowing I just had to get away to gain some much needed insight that I felt was just out of my reach, I made my way to the beach to spend a week with my love, Seamus Ryan Sheridan. A love that I had finally permitted myself to feel.

Nine years it had been, at that point, since I said goodbye to my babies. Those sweet, loving, protective and beautiful dogs. My heart never truly broke before that day. The pain was excruciating. I knew others who had suffered the loss of a significant love and I sought a few of them out to glean something from their stories. Some method, perhaps, that would help that brutalizing pain diminish faster. Nothing came of it. I decided the weight was worth carrying with me, manipulating myself into believing that in some desperate way, I would still be connected to my dogs.
I’ve had many opportunities over the years to adopt a dog. I just couldn’t open that deep, deep space in my heart. A space reserved for only a handful of humans as of this date. And letting them in took a lot of work, all the courage I could possibly access. Truly. The idea of going as far as to bring a dog into my life ripped that wound right the fuck open. There’s just no way I could take that kind of risk. No fucking way. I know my strength formidable. It’s got me out of some pretty crazy jams. But I just couldn’t open that last damn door.
Enter Seamus.
The day Mary Jo, a cherished friend, called me to tell me I now had a godson-dog, I froze in place. MJ knows my story better than most as we’ve been very close for twenty-five years. She’s aware of every last brutal detail. She knows that I’ve lacked, all my life, the ease necessary to form emotional bonds with people, although somehow I’ve been able to accomplish it in a few cases. MJ also knows that putting a dog like this one in my face might just bring me back to the Jen she once knew. A woman whose love for her dogs trumped all other loves. Mary Jo trusted my strength, she trusted my capacity for perseverance, and she took a leap of faith. She continued on by saying he was a four month old pup, a pure-bred Siberian Husky. A nice, big dog in the making. I have a deep fondness for larger dogs especially. MJ even went so far as to bait me by telling me his paws were the size of baseball gloves. Anyone who knows me is well aware that crazy-big paws are the first thing I’ve looked at when choosing the right pup for myself. Clever girl. This was placing me in a scary, confused and vulnerable state. Here I was at the proverbial Crossroads. I’ve been here before, yes, but those challenges proved surmountable. This challenge, on the other hand, I wouldn’t even let myself consider up until this moment. I was aware enough of my capabilities now, I knew it was time to let my knees buckle. To let myself feel what I came this far to feel. I was down the shore at Mary Jo’s home in two days. I lost my breath at the moment I ascended the steps to her front door. I refused to give up on beating those emotional wounds at their own, twisted game. I heard a puppy bark from just inside the door. My heart began to melt, but just a little. After all, my demons in this space had proven to be worthy opponents. I needed to hold on to some defiance. So throwing up temporary barriers made me feel like I still had some control. And then the door flew open. Out hopped this mind-blowingly beautiful ball of gorgeousness. I dropped to my knees and let his razor-puppy teeth chomp the hell out of my hands and face. All the while licking me as well. I was a goner. In that moment I chose to finally let go in the face of certain heartbreak, intense anxiety, and fucking love at first sight. The love won in a landslide. For the rest of that day I lost all track of time. My scared heart grew 100 sizes. And I really was strong enough to submit to the entire feeling. And that I did.
That was four years ago. Today, Seamus still holds the key to that deep set, locked up cavern in the very back of my Frankenstein heart that is only willing to open up for the very few. I see Seamus several times a year. I usually try to make it a mini-vacation so I can keep up my end of the bargain. The one I made with myself when I decided I was, once and for all, going to be #TheFuckingBoss. And any good boss knows, if you don’t access your own humanity from time to time, you’ll never be able to truly say, “#ImTheBoss of me”.
This past week, Seamus and I have walked all over this little island. For miles at a time. We enjoy heading downtown where all the people are walking about shopping, eating at the restaurants’ outdoor tables and enjoying the seasonable weather. I’ve run into some folks who I’ve known for quite some time as I lived in this town for eighteen years prior to moving home to the Philadelphia area a few years back. In the past I avoided all eye-contact when I would would come to hang with Mary Jo and we would be out and about. I felt comfortable maintaining a wide and therefore safe perimeter. Most folks here are well aware of the experience I had with my ex-husband when I lived here and they also witnessed my reemergence. I was too busy fighting my way back to reestablish acquaintances before I moved away. This time around, armed with my bigger, adequately functioning heart, thanks to Seamus of course, I was casually and enthusiastically greeting every one I recognized. Unaware in the moment, I just kept moving along with brief chats and sincere exchanges of “How have you been?”.
I blame Seamus for this. He busted right through my patchwork barrier, reminding me of one of the most significant parts of my self. The part that takes chances, the part that heals from every perceived wound, the part that doesn’t give a fuck about failing at anything. After all, failure and loss are rather relative considerations. In my experience, they have evolved into great insight and wisdom.
How far the revelations of this past week will allow me to go is anybody’s guess. I’m so unsure that even I, in all my obsession with self-analysis, won’t dare to speculate. In spite of that I’m going to grab my kischkas, brace myself, and walk right through that monster of a door.
Thank you, Seamus. Thank you, Mary Jo. And thank you, Jen.

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Filed under Atheism

It’s Over When I Say It’s Over

These last two weeks on twitter have been quite a mixed bag. Writing about the shitty parts brings me much needed relief. So I shall begin. Buckle the fuck up, bitches.

Up until last Friday when I was given the amazing opportunity to sit in on a podcast with Deborah, @stefanelli, @Becky_Garrison, @EllenBethWachs and @mattfacciani on the @GodDiscussion Freethought Fridays Show, I was feeling that I had finally succeeded in getting beyond the irritation I felt with RadFems, Atheism Plus and @The_Block_Bot. Hearing what these truly awesome free-thinkers had experienced, my desire to expose blatant horsehittery was reignited. I promoted the recording of that show and felt heartened by all the positive feedback that we received from the twitterverse. The individuals offering this feedback were people who I and many others consider to be intelligent, independent folks with a penchant for debate badassery, their supporters and beneficiaries. As long as there are people who promote exclusiveness there will be more folks who push the off-limits barricade right the fuck over. Creativity along with skill and precision, while resourcing all of their knowledge, comes rather easy for those that hunger for true equality. These people are a constant source of inspiration to me and countless others.

While on the show I learned of the relentless harassment my fellow panelists have endured online. At least three of us had been brutally attacked in real life and survived. And I mean truly triumphed over our attackers, living to tell the tale and hopefully being able to offer others a new perspective on what it means to reset your life to your own specifications, and move on. Not wearing the label of survivor every damn day mind you, but being content to use only our given names as our identifiers. These names hold within them many facets but no one facet tells our entire story. That’s integrity, that’s true empowerment. How any of these individuals could be accused of rape apology or misogyny leaves me not only astounded but also re-inspired to hold up my spotlight and shine it right on the hypocrisy that is RadFeminism.

Sure I was born with an amazing vagina and eventually developed an adorable little rack, I was also born straight. Who the fuck cares? I certainly don’t. I lack the need to know what you were born with or without as well. It simply doesn’t come into my realm of consideration when addressing whether or not you deserve equality. Your preferences, your persuasions, your genitals (new or used), your disorders, your abilities or disabilities, even your personal history doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in my perspective. It’s the mere fact that you’re human that offers you a seat at the table reserved for those I will fight for. So check your perceived privilege, my RadFem friends, before you decide to get up in my face or anyone else’s and tell me or them who is and who isn’t allowed to walk beside you and work for true equality.

Naturally, due to the fact that I’m alive for fuck’s sake, I’m aware that some groups of people have suffered the consequences of an extremely focused form of abuse more so than others. If it works for you to keep a particular group of mistreated individuals at the top of your docket then have at it. But to convince yourself that your inclination toward defending the rights of only that group and its subgroups means that you’re the only one fighting the good fight is not only absurd, it’s downright ignorant. There are many people suffering out there and each person is entitled to equal treatment by our global society. By all means, keep moving forward with your cause, just don’t lose sight of the reality that not only are many others in your corner, there are many other movements happening simultaneously. That’s a good thing. That’s how tipping points are reached and what brings about the shift in perspective needed to allow for a world where all are afforded the same opportunities. That’s the fucking goal. I in no way think I’ll live to see the day where we reach that utopia although I’ll continue to offer the most substantial contribution I possibly can. If while I’m busy making my contribution you feel it necessary to point out what I’m doing wrong in the way that I speak or the issues I choose to address, you’re going on blast. I rather enjoy that activity so you’re welcome to bring it. I’ll have tissues on hand for your tears and fresh underwear as well. You’ll need these items for when I’m done exposing your real agenda which is to appear as though you’re in the fight for equality but really you’re looking for a shitload of ‘atta boys’ and some vulnerable people to prey on. I look forward to seeing you in the ring.

While that’s going on, folks like @AtheistMel, @SecularBloke, @Atheist_Alabama, @JohnTheSecular, @KelsTheSecular, @fieryskulldiary, @SecuLawyer, @RegCarolMoore, @AtheistMummy, @francosoup, @SlagOffTwits, @Lenn_Len, @HalfEatenCrayon, @Liberty_2112, @cartridge_uk, @philositect, @Nostradamnisuck, @IRaiseUFacts, @danarel, @GRIMACHU, @danabrahmsen, @mcbroomifer, @sherriwright78, @TheAtheistSpark, @Moq72, @Martymad0001, @lillai23, the always awesome @SecularDad as well as @DenverAtheist and many, many others will be plowing through bullshit like they so often do. For the accounts who weren’t mentioned here but have no problem speaking truth, I left you out because 1) I know you would prefer it for a number of reasons or 2) you’re busy pushing for change on another important front or 3) I am not able to access my most recent memory of your awesome and worthy contribution to egalitarianism. If you want me to add you to or remove you from this list, please let me know.

In conclusion to what is likely to be my last post regarding #counterfeitfeminists, as there are many other topics I can hold in my head and speak about, I want you all to know I have long since arrived at a place where speaking out comes as easy to me as breathing. As long as there are instances of inequality developing before my eyes I will not hesitate to confront them. Including the instances that are caused by the disruptive machine that is group-think. It will serve you and I well if you would take a look at your behavior and decide if you are practicing exclusion. Should you find that indeed you are, know that you’re on the wrong side of your very own cause. Then for crying out loud, make the necessary changes so we can all get back to doing what we do best as cohabitants of this planet which is making our own lives and the lives of others the best they can possibly be.

For more on how #ActualHumans see the cause of feminism check my post titled Feminism:The Hard Way.

If you should have any questions or comments you are welcome to leave them here or tweet me @jen_august.

See you on the top side.

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Filed under Atheism, Egalitarianism, Feminism, RadFems

It’s Almost That Time

My atypical mind

Serves as your food

You binge freely

Sucking out every last morsel

Leaving nothing for me.

 

I cry before I hit empty

Please, please save some for me

You pay no mind

And push beyond my reservoir

There’s not one drop left.

 

While I hang

By a fragile cord

You watch me sway

And poke around for more

My wound releases its final tear.

 

You stand there perplexed

How can it be

I was always so nurturing

Now I’m useless

Now I’m a taker.

 

I drag my shell

To a place where it can sleep

You follow me there

And peek inside

Calling for more.

 

I beg you

To let me be

You cry rejection

I can only hear my own voice say

It’s almost that time

Again.

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Filed under Atheism, Personal Evolution