Getting back into handmade jewelry

Writing this post would be so much easier if I’d written it, two days ago.  At that time, though, I was still too busy working on my last project:  a beaded micro-macrame collar bridging off of two mother-of-pearl focals with bells and a central drop.  Apologies for not having pics yet — I didn’t have time to take them, today, and the lighting is pretty awful right now, especially where it comes to mirrors.  In addition, I haven’t even been sure that I’ve wanted to share my design online.

Right now this necklace is unique, and my design is protected by virtue of being unpublished.  I don’t grant much weight to the practicality of copyright, but I do know that no one can mimic me if I don’t show them what to mimic.  If I publish photos or drawings, I risk having my design ripped off (well, it probably will happen, let’s be honest; and it may not even be for-profit or out of any kind of wanting to make me feel bad:  it will probably be one-offs by micro-scale crafters).  Of course though, if it’s ripped off, that does allow me a degree of anonymity!

It’s not like this collar is the greatest thing ever, but a lot of thought and work went into my design and the creation of this, so it’s kind of special to me.  It also has a meaning to me that is hidden to most others outside my (gender-variant) circle.

That is to say:  in effect, this thing is custom-made for me, by me.  The color choices were partially intentional, partially subconscious, and include personal reference.  The knotting work was done over at least five to six hours, spread over three days (I was using a 10-cord variation of a sinnet based on the square knot that I don’t remember having ever used before).  I was amazed that I was able to get the bell charms to actually jingle, and…it’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful.

In any case, I’m not used to completing things — but I did as best I could with what I had, and with what I was willing to risk.  Next time I know what to change — what I was afraid to risk this time because of being concerned about having to undo a lot of work (i.e., a lot of small, tight knots:  and I can’t find my awl (though I remember seeing it).  I did have some success with large, sturdy, sharp needles — particularly what I think was a 3″ long doll needle — using the sharp end to pick out the knot and the blunt one to loosen it.  C-Lon (the cord I used) is relatively good with not shredding and not ripping all the way through, if it does shred from being picked at.

This is the first time in a long time that I sized a necklace to myself; and definitely the first time at this body weight (which has broadened my shoulders and likely, my neck).

The difficult point is that this is the first one I’ve made, and the first attempts are, generally speaking, where the kinks get worked out.

Unfortunately, though, I only have one each of the two mother-of-pearl focals I used for my pendant:  one, a ring; and one, a pierced disc.  These are arranged so that the disc floats inside the ring, held by cord and wire.  I obtained these years ago, at a bead store which is now fully online and which does not stock these parts anymore.  To rework the straps anchored on the ring means putting in another two to four hours, at least:  though I know what to do to speed the process along, this time (thread on 10-12 beads onto each set of anchor cords at a time, then work all the knots, repeat).

I also know how long the straps need to be, which is something I didn’t know and couldn’t envision the first time around.  The way this is designed is not as a straight, flat choker:  it’s V-shaped (right now the straps are coming off at about 60º to each other), so measuring the length wouldn’t tell me much, even if I could figure out what points to measure from…which seems as though it would require advanced math skills.  Worn, it’s a pear shape which…I’m not even sure how it distorts so it fits, but it does.

And, no, I don’t have a real-size bust to model this on, though continuing on in macrame work is a good argument towards getting, or making, one.  I can imagine a dress form being useful for this (especially where it comes to pinning the work down and fitting it), though all I really need is the neck and shoulders.  A fabric store near me has a workshop where it’s possible to make our own dress forms…it could be worth looking into.

So, you may be wondering where I’ve been.  Largely, I’ve been rediscovering my beads, cords, wires, metals, cabochons, tools…giving myself permission to invest time in creative work which did not have to have a “meaning” (though I’m sure you could see where it actually did turn out to have a meaning, particularly where it comes to a newer acknowledgment of a femme + male-identified space [yes, I am female, for reference]).  This piece was my celebration of that.

I had a long time off because of the MLK Jr. holiday, during which I dressed up as feminine (particularly, I wore a skirt and the standard-gauge jewelry I had made myself [which I had to remove my 14-gauge surgical steel rings to wear]), and I had a gender-euphoric moment when I realized I could do this.  Not only this, but because I make my own jewelry, I have complete control over what I wear in that department.  I can make my own statements with my jewelry, instead of having to purchase a ready-made statement.

I actually can be femme + male-identified + female-bodied.  And I don’t have to disclose this to every person I see, and I don’t have to act out or stigmatize myself visually to signal my internal difference.

I don’t have to be tortured by being physically female, or deny being physically female, for my non-woman identity to be legitimate…and I don’t have to avoid my own femininity and the feminine expression I’m permitted, just because my identity insistently differs from what is expected for someone who appears feminine.  Other people “not getting it” is not my fault or my problem.

In short, I retain full control over my identity and expression.

Only time will tell if this again shifts back to “gender-fluid” as my primary identity.

Today I had no time to work, but the three days prior, I’ve been working on this necklace, and a couple of other projects.  I’m actually kind of amazed at how well it turned out, though I think I could stand to loosen the tension on my macrame straps.  Next time.


Can’t sleep. Rethinking situation for webcomic series.

Alright.  I took a nap from 7:30 to 9:30 PM and also ate a huge piece of pizza and two bowls of lentil soup, tonight.  Accordingly, I now have indigestion and can’t fall asleep.

Which is kind of a shame, because I’m really tired.

I’m also still recovering from whatever sickness this was that I caught…but I’m guessing this isn’t really necessary information for this post.  🙂  Point is, I’ve been tired all day.

I’ve been cruising around some tags tonight, notably the “webcomics” one on WordPress.  One of the things that I’ve realized from doing so is that writing — particularly for comics — doesn’t have to be as deep and involved as I’m getting into with my own most recent story.  This is a pattern going back into my history, though.

While I was laying here hoping for melatonin (the kind that comes from my brain, not a pill) to do its work, I realized that one of the reasons I’ve been avoiding fiction writing is that it seems escapist, where it comes to my own motivation to write.  Then I realize it sounds escapist, and recall myself back to the real world:  you know, the one in which I am constantly mistaken for a girl (I don’t consider myself a “girl,” or woman, for that matter) — and get depressed.

There is an easy fix for this where it comes to my current story, though:  keep it closer to reality.  This will probably be far more gritty, but actually more realistic and maybe easier to write.  Plus, it will likely ring less of escapist fantasy.  Will this end up being the only story I have to write?  I don’t know.  I hope not.  It’s worth a shot, though.  One story is better than none…but if I’m going to write, I need to protect myself from myself…

…and also I’ve got to decide what I’ll do if writing this makes me want to start T.

I’m going to try and fall asleep now.  It’s been 30 minutes since I got up.  I’m still burping up acid, but…I’m tired.

gender stuff.

I am feeling a bit tired and worn right now:  just to let you know, before I get into any of this.  What is happening with me right now is…something which often happens around the holidays.  Without the focus of school, I have a tendency to slide a bit into depression.  This is both a function of fewer daylight hours (I keep waking up with about three of these left), and of my long-standing gender issues.

I seem to slip in and out of periods when I’ll consider myself either genderqueer, or both genderqueer and transgender.  Tonight I had the ability to give voice to some of my concerns about my future…and it was fairly tough.  Something about being a 30-something Millennial, not having yet built a new family around myself…being unable to father children myself, and not wanting to carry a baby…plus the difficulty of finding someone who can both love me and respect my own view of who I am at the same time (that is, not imposing “woman” or “wife” expectations on me because I happen to be female — INCLUDING “you must agree that I’m right about everything if you’re attracted to me”)…

I tend to be a loner, though.  It can be difficult to be around people when they don’t know who I am…which is most of the time.  Recently, my social circle has receded back to my nuclear family, both because school is out and because I haven’t made any special efforts to have a social life.  At present, though, what I’m experiencing seems like it may develop into agoraphobia if left unchecked.

Anyhow, I do have the opportunity to work on things that I couldn’t work on while school was in.  It’s very apparent that I need to avoid making any large life decisions while I’m depressed, so I’m thinking I may try and channel this energy into something other than my embodiment.  Right now I’m listening to music, which is helping, although it’s also disrupting my thought pattern and making it harder to put to words what I’m feeling.

It is apparent to me that I am female-identified, though not woman-identified.  I don’t feel that I am clearly man-identified, though, either…I exist in some kind of liminal space where on the inside I’m a very femme bisexual guy, while on the outside I appear as a slightly butch female.  (I’m sure that trying to write out some of these feelings in fictive format has not helped.)  The discrepancy falls in when trying to physically “harden up” in order to appear more masculine, and on the interior not being a gay butch woman (as I’m seen) but a femme (albeit tough femme) bi male.

I suppose that if I did want to work on my embodiment, I actually do have the time (and food money) to physically harden up a bit.  The difficulty (well, one of them) in having the body I do is that when I…am looking a way that I accept best, I kind of look like a cholo — which is not the greatest position to be in where it comes to my safety.  But when I have long hair, especially on top of big muscles…I can (easily) look like a young male gangster, and in fact that seems preferable to coming off as a girl.

At this point, I’m unsure as to whether I’ve let the weight and acne issues go as far as they have because I look more masculine to myself at a heavier weight and with more acne.  Apparently this doesn’t hold for my facial hair, though I really don’t know what I would do if I could actually grow a goatee, or hair on — whoa! both sides of my face! — right.  I’m sure it would be some kind of social statement if I grew half a beard, but…somehow, I don’t think the world is ready for that, yet.  😉

Especially as I haven’t had top surgery yet…and the only reason to do so would be to blend in as male, so I wouldn’t be harassed as trans* every time I left the house.  (It isn’t a good idea for me to bind my chest long-term…it has to do with the way I’m built, encouraging pain.  Though there is a fix I can think of, I should really talk to my OB/GYN about it first.)

Anyway…I’m tired…and should probably sign off for tonight, now that I see what time it is.  I mistakenly double-booked the day after tomorrow for two separate purposes…and I’m kind of upset about this, because that is the time in which I intended to make up tomorrow’s absence from work.  Either I’ll have to go in late, or not go in at all, which will be a further out-of-pocket expense, in addition to the holidays and getting sick…

Of course, I could work a couple of days in a row, but I was pretty exhausted last time I went in (remnants of whatever got me sick in the first place), and that was after only six hours.

Maybe…I should just give myself permission to take care of myself…

Just a small update wrt schoolwork, and a rather profound realization on gender.

I had started to feel myself getting sick last night — I had experienced about four days in a row running on 7 hours of rest, only.  Yesterday I lay down to rest at about 7:15 PM.  Unexpectedly, I found myself waking at around 4 AM, then going back to sleep and waking again some time around 7:30.  Then Dim Sum.  Then back home, and asleep again until late afternoon, even though I did drink a good amount of Jasmine tea.

Because my prof for Creative Process has said we cannot miss any of the next 3 classes without a doctor’s note — even if we are sick — I’ve been trying to preserve my health.  Granted that I have been in bed for the majority of today, but I still got to work on my presentation.  Notes are filed, but I have not practiced speaking at all, yet.  I’m sure I have enough to fill seven minutes.  The issue will be cutting down what I say.

What I found to be interesting is that I don’t have time to explain the entire backstory behind why I do what I do, and still have time to talk about all 10 pieces of work which I’m presenting, in seven minutes.  I’ll likely have around 30 seconds for each piece, along with a one-minute intro and a one-minute finale.  There is a lot I will have to leave out; I’m just not sure how much, yet.

And some time within the last 24 hours, I came to a realization within one or another dream:  what is going on with me as regards gender is simply my abandoning the rulebook, except where it comes to safety.  (This is connected to the above because I found myself needing to refer to aspects of my identity, without naming them.  I think I was first introduced to this mode of working when I needed to communicate my experience with illness without invoking untrue stereotypes.  It’s gotten more and more useful as I’ve aged.)

I had been calling myself gender-fluid; however, it’s gotten so loose even with the fluidity (I’m no longer trying to fit one or another image — probably spurred on by not dressing to look good for my Studio Art classes [why ruin good clothes]), that it’s just very clear that essentially what I’m doing is just abandoning the rules.  The older I get, the less it matters.

I suppose the clearest name for this is “gender non-conforming,” but even that isn’t really fully the case, because sometimes I am coincidentally dressing in a way which appears conforming.  I don’t make an effort to avoid conforming.  I won’t trap myself in silence, though, either.

But, none of this means I accept the status of “woman.”  People assume that I see myself as a woman, often, but their assumptions aren’t my fault.  Other peoples’ assumptions have nothing whatsoever to do with me, and it’s not my job or obligation to tell them they’re wrong.  This is especially so when sharing that information with a person only increases the level of danger I experience from them or others.

I was talking with a co-worker the other day and realized that there seems to be a big difference in my area between non-heterosexual (gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, demisexual) and/or non-cisgender (transgender, genderqueer, gender-fluid, gender non-conforming) people who go to efforts to make their difference visible, and those of us who are internally different but don’t care to conform to one or another stereotype in order to advertise it to the world.  I should not be expected to “look like” something I’m not in order to be seen as “who I am” (which is really just another person I’m not).

I did do the stereotype thing as a youth, but before I actually knew who I was — I didn’t really make much progress on figuring myself out, until my mid to late twenties.

But an early-twenties mind-space (when I was dressing to and being seen as a stereotype) is a lot different than the situation in one’s mid-thirties.  I’m actually glad that I’ve matured in this way…though I know that there is some kind of idea among youth that it’s good to be young, forever.  The only benefits I can see to being a young adult is that your family members are farther from the ends of their lives, and you haven’t narrowed down who you are yet:  so things seem full of (unexperienced and unfulfilled) possibility.  I don’t see any other actual benefit, even socially…but then, people regularly think I’m 14-18 years old.  Even kids.  It’s annoying.

I know that eventually I’ll get wrinkles, and that my stomach isn’t as tight as it used to be, but this doesn’t seem to be that big of a cost to avoid unwanted flirtations and people underestimating my intelligence and strength.  Of more concern is my vision deteriorating and the possibility of developing tremors and arthritis.

Anyhow, it is late.  I will see if I am actually able to get any sleep; if I can’t, it seems as though it would be a good time to get some homework done.


Now that I’ve actually published that last post, I’m feeling a bit better.  One of the things I can do when I get into a spot like that — not wanting to talk or write or draw or do anything but sleep — is exercise.

I was able to get in a good set of sit-ups before dinner.  Burned like crazy, but at least it’s something, and my belly stayed tucked for a little while.  If I can utilize my gender dysphoria to alter my body so that it is closer to what I need, at least it would be adaptive.

The only drawback to this is that I shouldn’t exercise right before bed.  If I do it in the morning or afternoon, though, it should help me stay awake when I need to, and sleep when I need to.

Gender fluidity. Kind of hard to deal with…

This post will not be about my art, so much as it is about why I’m not doing the art.  For better or worse, I’ve been asleep for the majority of the past two days.  Why?…I can imagine, but that is really what I think the rest of this post is about.

I did manage to work on the Morning Pages at about 6 AM today.  That much was good.  But I’ve been up and down all morning and afternoon, really.  While I was asleep…I’m thinking this was yesterday…I realized that one of the keys to my artistic block is that I’m afraid that if I work creatively and let my subconscious come into visibility, I’m going to see again that I want to be male.

That right there comes with a lot of baggage, because I’m gender-fluid, not stably trans* male.  This means that even if I did physically transition to male, my presentation and identity would not be male all of the time.  And that, then, puts me into a position where I’ll likely be seen at least part-time as a transgender woman of color, which is one of the most dangerous positions I could inhabit — even though I wasn’t assigned a male gender at birth.

That is, granted, that the feminine expression continues past the point at which my body starts to look passably male, and is not abandoned as simply a survival mechanism.  In my dream I was lamenting that I couldn’t have been offered hormone blockers earlier on to stop my chest from growing.  At this point, there’s no way to undo that damage except reconstructive surgery, which is something considered risky.

The alternative, which I keep thinking of and then not doing, is to be gender-fluid in a female body which is altered by exercise.  Logistically, this is a better position for me — I won’t be dependent on outside hormones for the rest of my life.  But it still leaves me with the easy slide back into “why can’t I be any form of woman,” because it’s easy for me to forget that I’m gender-fluid and at times want to be a woman…which I’m not.  Ever.  Even in my most feminine form, my gender is “femme (which could apply to males and females and intersex people),” not “woman.”  Going into the latter territory just messes with my head.


And it’s still hard to claim trans* male space, because of the machismo I’ve seen around that community.  That is, when I’m a man, I’m only temporarily so.  There is motion and flux involved between the poles of “male” and “female.”  I’m rarely ever stagnant…except when I’m not doing anything except sleeping.  Which, again, explains why I’ve been sleeping.  It’s an easy and temporary escape from having to deal with my body and life.

Maybe I should consider going back to one or more gender groups…just to remind myself that I am gender-variant on a masculine vector, and not entirely a woman…


So I am up late…again.  Many of you have probably noticed the span of the things I’m interested in…I’ve given thought to managing more than one blog, but at the same time, I’m not sure this is the greatest idea I’ve ever had.  Right now I’ve got art, writing, and food going on as themes…all branching from my love of creation.

As a youth, I did deal a lot with the segmentation of myself.  By this I mean that I belonged to a number of different groups which at least felt like they didn’t cross over with each other, except where it came to myself and others like me.  I’m sure I wasn’t as isolated as I felt I was, though; after all, I knew a number of non-straight people of color, who must have been going through their own experiences of being included or disincluded from groups, based on the inclusiveness — and empathy — of said groups.

This has been an ongoing thread in my life, though I’ve recently — say within the past five years; the years I’ve been working — begun to get to know people who appreciate my versatility and complexity, rather than only seeking that of myself which is similar to them.

Really what it feels like is that when I was younger, and even somewhat now, when I look at some of the gender-based groups I no longer attend…others have sought me out not all the time because they appreciated me, but they sought me out for how my experience could affirm their experience.  That is, I have been something of a tool or yardstick by which others could measure themselves and see themselves reflected — even when that “reflection” is more of their imagination than reality, and blinds them to who I actually am.

I’m not really intending to point out how this is or isn’t unhealthy (because I really don’t know; maybe it’s developmentally appropriate), but I’d say that I do appreciate being seen as a person and not just someone else’s self-affirmation.

Then again — five years ago, I was 28; and I’ve found more people to be more in the business of seeking affirmation of themselves in others, the younger I’ve been.  I see it in the young people I attend community college classes with, now, and in some of the younger teachers in the community college system.  It’s something that has made me actually think that I need to be out of there relatively soon, and finding what I really want to be doing.

(Hopefully, getting paid while doing it.)

I have the rest of my life to obtain a Master’s; but as things stand now, I don’t think I’m totally ready for it.  When I started my Master’s in Library and Information Science in 2012, I certainly wasn’t ready for it.  Working within the Public Library system and seeing what my co-workers endured, didn’t shine any more of a positive light on it.

Going to an e-school which had us visiting unknown sites all over the Web and still being dependent nearly totally on the functionality of our computer systems (including Flash, which before I upped my security and stopped watching certain videos, continually broke) in order to access and participate in classes (and having full functionality regularly go out); that put me under stress, too.  Not to mention all of the group work which had us dependent on each other for Master’s candidacy.  And we never saw each other.  Should we want to hold each other accountable, the most we could do was report to the prof.  Or, yell at each other over the Internet.  Though the latter never happened, I can’t imagine it would have helped at all.

Did I mention I don’t remember what any of my classmates looked like, if I even ever did see a profile picture?  (I honestly can’t remember if I ever posted an image of myself — facial recognition software, eh?  Trails of information all over the Web, eh?)

What I learned in my first semester was in fact the reason I dropped out.  (Well, were the reasons.)  There are a lot of reasons not to get a Library Science Master’s.  There has even been debate over whether a two-year program is necessary, when a one-year extension of a Bachelor’s will do.  It’s not even certain that public libraries will be around in 15 years.  If they are, they will certainly not look like they do now; and I might be better off going for a straight Information Science major than an MLIS, if I want to work in databases and cataloging/organization of information — which would have been my aim.

But in any case…that’s not what I started this post thinking about.  What I started this post thinking about was compartmentalization.  I use the latter term even though I’m fairly certain it’s charged, and I am fairly certain that I don’t know enough about the background of it to use it in a clinical sense.

Because I am innately a very creative person…I must have mentioned this before.  Did I?…

When my creativity has no external outlet — like writing or drawing or painting or cooking or beading or guitar; or blogging (!), all of which, I’ve tried — it turns back upon me and starts to remake me.  As much as I can see my own identity to be a continually evolving work of art, most of the populace, I suspect, doesn’t quite understand the concept.

If they did, there would probably be a lot less people being THAT GUY, out there.

Because we would understand that our own beauty and cohesion and direction can only be within our own control.  Whether we have the power to achieve the blossoming of our desires is something that may be out of our hands — I say as someone who has some understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and who has taken several University-level Sociology courses — as I understand that the playing field is not level.  It takes more effort for some to get to the same place as others, through no fault of their own.

It’s not always talent or intelligence or skill that solely determines success (which I’m defining as the ability to achieve one’s full potential), but outside of this, there exist racism, sexism, fear, prejudice, hate, class boundaries, misogyny, economic boundaries, stigma, mental illness, access to quality health care, violence, abuse, predisposition to addiction, disability.  The list goes on, and I’ve most likely left some out, but these latter factors play some role in determining how far any of us can manage to make it, because inevitably some of our energy is going to dealing with these.  Those of us who are untouched by one or more of these factors are relatively privileged where it comes to that factor, but this does not necessarily apply to other factors.

But we aren’t entirely helpless.  The person closest to you who can help you out most is yourself.  For this to work, you have to not give up.  Even given all of the above, you can’t start out defeated.

I have a number of stigmata going on.  Not all of them are visible from the outside.  Most of them I can’t control; some of them, I feel like I should have reined in, but my judgment wasn’t the best at the time.  In reality, when I was a youth, I never expected to make it past 30.  I wasn’t really thinking about a reputation or keeping face.  I was just trying to survive.  And live.  Because I wanted to experience life, actually, for those ten years which I could envision before me.

That led to some decisions I still regret, but I can’t beat myself up for them, for the rest of my life.  My reality is that I was blindsided by an illness I never knew to suspect, during the time when I was supposed to be setting a course for the rest of my life.  That illness majorly screwed up my cognition, my judgment, and my perception — even though it took several years into recovery (ten?) to realize this.

It isn’t fake.  It isn’t something to laugh about.  “Glad I’m not you!  Ha ha!”  It’s real.  It’s common.  And despite that, most people don’t know anything about it.

But this post isn’t about that.  Wasn’t intended to be about that, anyway.

Compartmentalization, right?

Reasons I ended up majoring in Creative Writing?

  1. I knew I could do it, and do it well;
  2. I’d had relationships with what I’d considered to be “spirits” since I was 11;
  3. Writing was the only constant in my life.

It’s taken me years to work out a system to explain the spiritual angle of this, though as things stand now, it’s explained well enough — to me — that I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it.  But maybe I should think about it more.  Especially, now that I’m relatively stabilized.

What is happening with me, now, is that I’m coming back around to the realization that whatever my “spirits” are — even if they are simply compartmentalized aspects of myself — they’re still with me.  It doesn’t do me a great favor to forget about that and pretend they aren’t there, because the underlying process of shifting between personae still goes on, even if I’m unaware of it.

At this point, I’m very certain that this is not linked to any mental illness that I legitimately have.  It’s not the same thing as schizophrenia.  The term “schizophrenia” (literally, “split brain”) refers to being split away from reality, not to being split away from oneself.  I considered for a while the explanation of a dissociative disorder, but unless it’s DD-NOS (which is basically a catch-all category only meant to be used by a psych professional), that’s not it.

When I was younger, I was involved with a group of people who felt they experienced multiple identities.  Let me make clear here that — so far as I know, DID notwithstanding — having an identity, or more than one identity, is not a mental illness, regardless of how other people feel about it.

I have not had particularly great relations with said community.  The ratio of troublemakers to those with legitimate concerns is way too high for me to want to deal with it, right now.  I haven’t even thought of myself as “plural” for at least six months, if not a year or longer.

I have thought of myself as a medium (I don’t do carnival tricks), but without external verification — from someone who is not out to make money off of me (or disingenuous, or obviously not stable) — whether my experience fits the actual experience of other “mediums”, I don’t know.

I know that the medication I’m on tempers the flow of information that otherwise kind of ricochets around my brain in what seems like a somewhat random manner (once the concept of well-worn neural pathways is taken into account; with a history of depression, this can be troublesome).  The thing with randomness, though, is that I’ve found random events to be easily manipulated by spirits.  I know there are too many examples for me to count here; I can think of one off the top of my head, but it’s a little involved and spooky (insofar as random coincidences can be spooky).

And yes, I did just think of seizures and how migraines are a form of seizure, and migraines run in my family…hmm.

After I began medication at 17, which quieted my thoughts (which is a reason I believe that “visions” are at least partially dependent on brain chemistry, predisposing some people to experience them, and not others)…I started looking at physically-existent coincidences as routes of communication.  The parapsychological term for this is “synchronicity,” or a subjectively significant coincidence; the important part of which is the subjective significance.

The thing about these paradigms…medium as versus plural…is that in the latter paradigm, it’s taken as a given that my “spirits” would be part of me and thus could have a greater claim to the body than if I were a medium.  If I’m a medium, I’m thinking that the goal would be to live my own life.

Then again, my nearest reference for mediumship is a local psychic school which was founded by an ex-cult member who was into removing “spirit attachments.”  I’m not using the more accurate term because I don’t want to raise the attention of said cult (it’s kind of like naming He Who Must Not Be Named).  I’ve read something parallel to my experience in a book by an energy worker, but he was friends with Fundamentalist Christians and had a negative spin on partnership with “discorporeals.”

But anyhow…I’m experiencing a shifting between different ego-states.  Today I realized that when I go to work, as versus the days when I don’t, my gender presentation changes.  That’s not really surprising if one takes into account the fact that I haven’t felt safe at work for a while, and have worn clothes which give me a full range of motion, as well as which deflect male sexual attention.

But there have been other little things happening as well — like my removing my 16-gauge earrings to let my piercings shrink back down again, after two months of stretching and being ready to go up to 14-gauge.  The term “flesh tunnel” is making more sense now (seriously, do I permanently want that?), but besides that, I took the earrings out because I wanted to wear more feminine ones, without forging new earwires.

But there is a specific identity in me that I know of who likes to do stuff like this (wear feminine things of the style I’m referencing), and it’s her modus operandi to change things as they were changed.  That is, without thought that at another time, someone else in me might want something different, and maybe it would be good to take others’ feelings into account as well, instead of just removing the earrings because she wanted to, in the moment.  In turn, maybe I should have thought more about how she would feel if I put these earrings in as placeholders, and never changed them.  (If I want to put in large-gauge jewelry, maybe I should get some sparkly femme earrings for her?  Like gold and CZ?)  🙂

Reiteration:  I do not have dissociative identities.  Though I’m speaking of differing parts of myself in the third person, this is more for convenience than anything.  It’s a given that everyone within my “system” (of subpersonalities, you could say) is me, but it’s also a given that my ground of being (or my ultimate identity/spirit) is the same as anyone else’s ground of being (Spirit).  The differentiation which exists between my differing expressions of self, seem to come from differing weights placed on different experiences, and differing attitudes of facing the world.  (I get the clue that with the differing genders, I’m also utilizing different sets of neural pathways, as well.)

For instance, someone new has spoken up recently in my thoughts, and has been encouraging me not to frighten myself by thinking about what could happen, or might happen, but isn’t happening.  I could be scared of seeing certain people come in to my workplace, but the fact is that they rarely do, and I frighten myself far more than they have the power to.  Being frightened is in essence handing over power to them (as in “you make me afraid” rather than “I am afraid”), which in turn disempowers me, which in turn makes me even more afraid of them because I feel like they have power over my emotional state:  when they don’t.  I do.

This is what I was trying to get around to talking about when I mentioned “compartmentalization.”  It’s still hard to talk about now, especially since some people I know and really like, whom I haven’t opened up to about this yet, read this blog.  In my case, I’m thinking that the compartmentalization is adaptive (and continues to adapt), but just with its own troubles of internal communication and cooperation.  It’s hard to achieve these when one is too scared of judgment to be able to even face the thought that one’s brain might be working in a way that other people could think is crazy.

But maybe they won’t.  I do work with people who work with books, after all, and it kind of requires a parallel thought process to be able to write, at least in fiction.  (If you’re wondering, facing this aspect of my reality is another reason why I stopped writing fiction.  But maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to deal with, as things go.)