It’s A Borderline Thing

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So, yesterday’s post got me into some trouble with a friend. I wouldn’t have wanted to deliberately disturb or hurt my friend, of course.  But, hey, it does seem to be a borderline thing. We lose friends like leaves falling off trees.  It’s not easy being green and it isn’t easy being (and staying) a friend to a squishy brainer. People that don’t suffer with these conditions tend to misinterpret the actions of a borderline.  At first, it made me question whether I should be so open in this blog.  But, I appreciate knowing I’m not alone when I read other bloggers on here who also struggle with mental illness.  One blogger that I follow has shared things I haven’t dared share (they would make my friend run a mile – or several miles, in fact, and put up a giant wall and maybe get attack dogs), but I so appreciate that she has written of these things, because I can identify, and it’s a comfort to know I’m not alone in going through the situations she’s written so frankly about.

 

I’m happy to report that I didn’t lose this particular friend.  He’s decided to stick around for now, and hopefully long term.  But, I think I explained myself poorly last night when he came over and confronted me about what he felt to be ’emotional blackmail’.

 

All the borderlines are now nodding their heads.  This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  We get accused of being emotionally manipulative.  We are extremely emotional, our feelings are overwhelming. And, when we can either no longer keep the mask in place and hold them in, or we simply choose – like on this blog – to express how we feel and what we are going through, it makes “the normals” uncomfortable and many feel they must rationalise it by accusing us of being this way just to control them. But, while I can’t speak for my fellow borderlines, I can say that I never intend to manipulate another person, and I feel that if THEY feel manipulated, then that’s more THEIR hang-up than mine. I’m sharing how I feel, not to get something out of anyone else, but to rant and rage at life as it is.  Sure, it’s great if the regular non-squishy brain types find the blog informative, if it dispels some stigma, if it softens a few negative opinions about those of us who struggle with chronic pain and mental illness, but that’s not the main reason I blog. This is my place where the mask can come off. And, yes, sometimes, the gloves come off, as well.  This my place to be brutal.  But, it’s not a brutality aimed to hurt anyone – it isn’t malicious, even when I am furiously angry at life – well, it might be malicious toward life itself, yes.  But, it isn’t a maliciousness aimed against any person in order to try and get my way.  It’s just me having a place to talk, to really talk, to bring it out in the open instead of suffering with it in silence.

 

So, some points:

1. When I post here, the farthest thing from my mind is how what I’m saying may pressure you into doing something for me. Again, if you feel that way, it might be an issue of your perception.  What it is NOT is my manipulation!

2. When I post here, as uncomfortable (or, in some cases, impossible) as it may be for some to understand, this is where I am right now. It isn’t something I chose. I am going to repeat that: it isn’t something I chose. The question is, should I choose to openly share about it.  And, as I say, that’s what I’ve been asking myself today: should I continue to post my experiences and feelings and how chronic illness, and life itself, affects me?  Or, should I stop?  Should I bury it.  Never expound on it. Only refer to it in songs that people can either ignore or choose to interpret in another way? This sounds harsh, but is your comfort more important than mine? I’m honestly – and, without malice – asking the question.

3. No, I don’t want to feel the way I do all the time, but I don’t think that my mental illness necessarily makes me wrong all the time. I do see a lot of things very differently, yes.  But, I’m not convinced that just because my brain is squishy means everything I think is messed up.  I am a creative person, and expressing myself here is an outlet, an unleashing and releasing.  It helps me, and sometimes it helps others, too.

 

So, maybe it’s a situation of, take the good with (what you consider) bad.  And, realise, this blog isn’t some sort of agenda to get my way.  It isn’t an act to get attention.  Sometimes, yes, it IS a cry for help (I’ll give you that one), and – though it might really scare you – I’m not alone in how I think and feel; there are many of us here.  We are sorry if we make you uncomfortable or feel threatened, but try not to judge or blame us – if you want to blame anything, then, like us, blame life, and rage against it a while with us, because it really is a bastard.

 

In other news, (pardon this bit of shameless plugging) I updated my bandcamp page, doing some sound edits, improving some bits here and there, and it’s all there waiting for you to discover. Now, shall I emotionally blackmail you to check out my music? Ha ha, ’tis a joke.  I want people to like my music and download it because they like it, not because they feel like they’ve been railroaded into buying something they don’t really want.  If you like the music, YAY. I work hard on it, and it is the very deepest expression of my soul.  And, yes, like all independent musicians, I can use all the support I can get.  So, if you haven’t checked out my music yet, give it a go.  If you’ve checked it out before, why not take another listen to see if there’s anything new you might have missed.  Oh, yeah, and of course, I could really use the validation. :p  There I go again. 😀

 

Here’s just one of the songs you’ll find there… listen:

 

 

 

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Designed For Pleasure

Not wanting to leave it too long afer posting this post, and being accused of being a tease, I composed most of this subsequent post a day after my introductory post.  However, since then, I’ve revised it again and again in my mind.  Sex isn’t all there is to life, but it’s a big subject, and there’s so much I could say, so much I have already said, so much to consider.

First off, because sex and sexuality can be a means of miring one in complete body consciousness, this needs to be said: I am NOT a BODY.  You are NOT a BODY. The body is the vehicle of the soul, (or consciousness; whatever you are comfortable with calling the REAL you residing within the mortal “house”).  Having only body consciousness brings nothing but sorrow and, because of that, some believe that sexuality and spirituality don’t mix.  I’m not convinced on this point (if I was, I wouldn’t be writing this post); I think you CAN both be spiritual (soul-conscious) AND explore (the fullness of your) sexuality.  It’s a delicate (and worthwhile) balance. No, I am NOT a body, but I HAVE a body, and it was designed for pleasure.

Now that I have included this little (but important) preface, I think I’m ready to bring you the post I’ve been sitting on for these past few days:

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The human body is complex, but one thing is certain, it was designed for pleasure. We are taught from an early age to feel shame and guilt about this, to feel wrong and dirty.

**WARNING!! THERE WILL BE EXPLICIT LANGUAGE IN THIS POST. IF THAT’S NOT FOR YOU (OR, YOU ARE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE), MOVE ON.**

My fascination with sexual pleasure began at an embarrassingly early age, but just that embarrassment is a symptom of that shame we are taught to feel.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t design my body. Had I done so, I would’ve definitely made some adjustments. However, my sexual organs…they’re pretty awesome. And, their design shows a purpose that goes  beyond, and is separate from,  mere procreation.

For someone who loves sex as much as I do, it’s easy to get passionate not only about the act, but the subject. As I have gotten older, I appreciate balance more and more, and having a firm grip on soul-consciousness (I’m not just a body, but I have a spiritual identity). There have been times in my life when sex was my life; everything revolved around sex (there’s a fine line between passion and obsession), and not only was the act something I constantly craved, but when I wasn’t engrossed in doing it, I was often found on my soapbox about it.

I don’t want to do that now, the soapbox thing where I bash women who constantly withhold sex from their husbands (leaving their partner’s needs woefully unfulfilled). Neither am I here to bemoan society’s unreal and unreasonable expectations in the appearance department. If you buy into media, and are a shallow person, so be it. If you are a woman who doesn’t (for whatever reason) want to explore deep sexual satisfaction with your husband (or, for that matter, you are a man withholding sex from his wife), have fun doing whatever you do and I hope your relationship won’t suffer too greatly. I’m not going to judge; I have my opinion, and years of experience, which would lead me to believe it’s a dangerous game you play, but I play my own dangerous games and you have no right to judge me either.

What I do want to talk about is freedom. Freedom to explore, if you want to. I’m talking about coming out if you’re bi or bi-curious. I’m talking about allowing yourself (without shame) to pleasure yourself. I want to encourage you to do some research on whatever you’re curious about. I’m talking about being free with yourself and your partner, trying new things, and having honesty with yourself and each other, allowing yourself – if you’ve always wanted to – a bit of kink, or spice, or whatever you want to call it. If you aren’t vanilla, stop putting yourself on the vanilla shelf and mislabelling yourself. And, ditch the shame.

On the same score, I feel I should add this important note:  if you are asexual, please be upfront about this. This, too, is nothing to be ashamed of. The problem with this sexual (or non-sexual, as the case may be) preference is when asexual people insist on embarking on a committed romantic relationship with someone who has a sex drive and falsely believes the partner with the sex drive will just be ok without sex. It’s NOT going to happen!  I believe there are relationships for everyone…  but, for them to work, they need to be well-matched and there must be honesty (with yourself first, and then with anyone you consider a potential life partner).

I think it’s time for some non-vanilla pride! Break out the toys. Admit it if you find the same sex arousing. You don’t have to do anything about it (unless you want to), but at least have the courage to say it.

Our bodies were made for pleasure. Pleasure them.

Now, here is where I MUST reiterate what I said in my introduction post about consenting adults. Adults. Consenting. No kids and full, clear consent. I don’t see how I can make it any clearer than that. Moving on now…

I know I run the risk of TMI here (losing both friends and readers alike), so I’m not going to get overly detailed about my own personal life. After all, I’m a somewhat public (public-ish?) figure, but if Madonna (a uber-public figure) can publish a book “celebrating” her sex life, I think I’m safe in just extolling the virtues of freedom from shame in the bedroom (or on the  kitchen table, or by the train tracks…don’t ask) and I will freely admit that I am bi – something that, in this day and age, sometimes seems more taboo than coming out about being gay. I’ll also admit that, because of years of that shame thing, it took me decades to figure this out about myself. And, when you deny anything about yourself for so long, it causes nothing but confusion and frustration and general beating-yourself-up-ness.

Freedom. Honesty. Not shame, confusion and guilt.

I love orgasm! Orgasms are awesome. I love cumming hard and wet and strong. It’s therapeutic (to body as well and calming to the mind)! Marvin Gaye sung about “Sexual Healing” – well, there’s a lot (scientifically and medically) to that.  Yeah, maybe when it was written, it was just a sexy song to get into a girl’s pants – but still. I don’t know any form of physical exercise more pleasurable or with such an immediate reward for one’s effort!  (I just thought I’d add this bit, too…since I hadn’t delivered very much on the “explicit language” warning…)

I surely have more to share on this topic…but it’s all about knowing how to frame it; I think this may be more of a series of posts. When I wrote the introduction post yesterday (many days ago now), I wasn’t even quite sure what I wanted to say and where I wanted to go with this one. I feel I’ve just made a start. Thus, a “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby” series (or, “Let’s CONTINUE To Talk About Sex, Baby” series).  These post won’t all be consecutive (after all, as I say, there is more to life), but I’d like to think an open discussion will help encourage the freedom I’m writing about. Hopefully, you, my readers (and listeners… ahem, singer/songwriter first here…there’s that “more to life” thing), will stay with me. If not, it’s been fun having you and I wish you well.

 

Ok, enough revising… I’m just going to hit post now and…uh, enjoy the afterglow.

 

 

http://www.autumndawnleader.com

Embracing The Mess

It’s been a while (again) since I’ve blogged, posted, whatever. And, “whatever” about sums it up. Still in the grips of “cannae be bothered”, I have not experienced the return of my blogging mojo.

In the ongoing “Depression Chronicles”, the doctor has increased the dosage of my medication. I’m delighted to report that this hasn’t rendered my ability to (oh, I’m just going to be blunt, and people who don’t like it can go elsewhere!) reach orgasm to the realms of the lost and forgotten. One of these days someone will realise that if a depressed person enjoys something – anything – that’s a GOOD thing. If the meds take away that good thing, then the meds need to be rethought. Thankfully the stuff I’ve been put on this time have not presented me with the situation I mainly feared about being put on said medication.

Moving on (I’m sure some of you will be so glad…but, really, in the quest to bringing the issues of mental illness and wellness out into the open, the main (irksome) side effect of most of the meds should be talked about…whether it makes some people uncomfortable or not. This is what we are having to live with and those who seek to understand…well, you need to understand)!

As for the benefit side of the meds… I will be honest: I suppose I’m coping better-ish. Not great.  Not happy clappy slappy woo hoo ain’t it great to be alive (oh, please), but better-ish.

I’ve joined a few depression support groups on Facebook. It’s helpful just knowing I’m not alone in the struggle; there are others out there who “get it”.

I’m embracing the mess that is me. Today anyway. And that’s the thing, taking it day at a time, moment by moment if needs be.

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I’m celebrating every small victory, giving thanks for the decent days, and trying not to be so hard on myself on the bad days. Embracing the mess.

Behind The Mask

We all wear masks. Sometimes you run into people who are convinced they want to see the real you. I always suspect this is like the person who says, “I really do want to know how you are”, but always ends up regretting asking the “how are you?” question if you are indeed honest with them about how you are doing. The only ones that can handle the people we are behind the masks we wear are the individuals who genuinely love us.

Only in the safety of real love can we begin to take the off our masks and confidently be ourselves with someone else. And, when I say love, I mean real lovebeyond a superficial affection that can change with the wind: love is a real, unchangable force. You either always love a person, or you never loved them at all. Love is constant. You can fall in and out of infatuation, you can fall in and out of lust, you can fall in and out of friendship, but you cannot fall in and out of love. And, anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves and everyone else.

The truth is, while we do wear masks to protect ourselves, we wear them just as much to protect the other people around us. Most people simply cannot cope with who we really are.

What are some of the masks you wear?

Sometimes a mask becomes so much a part of us that we begin to even accept ourselves better with the masks on. Most people don’t like themselves, let alone love themselves, so it can become easier to be fake with yourself, as well. I know I do it. Vulnerability and authenticity – even with oneself – don’t always come easy. However, most of the time, I am rather brutally honest about my warts and all – to myself, anyway – and I’ve chosen to be painfully honest in this blog. As one blogger I admire puts it, “put away your rainbow and be real.” I think it’s nearly as annoying to be superficially positive all the time as it is to be genuinely negative 100% of the time.  I don’t sugarcoat much of anything. I can afford to be rather transparent. But, I assure, I have protected you from a lot that is me. I notice that when I do dare to share a bit more of who I am, it isn’t well-received. People just ignore it all together because…as I say, they can’t handle it.  If it doesn’t compute, if it makes your brain go tilt, if it isn’t really relatable to a wide audience, then it doesn’t make for the best blogging fodder, does it? Certainly, the number of likes I get on some posts, as opposed to the total lack thereof on others, confirms my theory. Then, I always end up coming back to the question, “Why do I blog?” To answer that question I must go back to the tagline I wrote when I started this blog.

While I’d love to touch a wider audience, this blogging experience is for me to express…MYSELF. Whether YOU can handle it or not, whether you like it or not.  I do this for the sake of the fragile, broken, wreck of a person behind the mask.

No One Else But Me (Behind The Mask)

Take it off

Put it down

All of these pretences

Curious?

Do you want to know

Who dwells behind the defences?

You should walk away

You should understand

The walls are there to protect you

Just as much as they are there to protect me

Behind the mask, behind the mask

There’s nothing you want to see

Behind the mask, behind the mask

There’s nothing you want to be

Behind the mask, there’s nothing left but me

Nothing else but me

Look at me

Feel the pain

And all that longs for freedom

Can you stand

To hold my gaze –

The anguished eyes of the broken

Please don’t walk away

You should understand

The walls come down only by love

Take that chance and you’ll find out

Oh, you’ll learn

You must learn

Behind the mask, behind the mask

There’s all that’s left of me

Behind the mask, behind the mask

Desperate to be free

Behind the mask, just scared to be

No one else but me

 – © Autumn Dawn Leader