Friday, December 31, 2010

Stripping - Criteria 4 / Impulsive Behavior Part 8

One of the most dangerous situations I put myself in nightly was when I started stripping. I was unemployed so a couple of friends convinced me to do it. Now, I’m small and athletic so I have a good body, but I also have a very high sense of self worth, a poor sense of body image and a major problem with men touching me. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to be objectified, oggled,and groped, with my body so exposed . I thought I'd be self-concious and degraded.

Quite the opposite happened in fact.

My self-esteem elevated and I learned that I may not be what is attractive to some, but everyone has different tastes and 95% of the time I was made to feel like a goddess. A goddess seducing men out of their money, but still. It was all a role play for me. I partitioned my personality, placed my core in a sacred space to be protected, created a stage name and a faux ‘real’ persona and let my character take over. She was a seductress. A nerdy gothic seductress. My niche was killer when I was on stage, dancing, disrobing. Hot, heavy, metal music, grinding to the rhythm of my hips swinging around the pole, I was free. No thoughts of self consciousness, just me and the music. There was no end to my potential for clients. This seems like a good thing, until it’s not. I put a lot of faith in the bouncers. One night I was doing a private room dance and the guy tried pinning my wrists to get me to kiss him. I wouldn’t. The bouncers had to intervene three times before throwing him bodily from the club. Other nights I’d have men wait for me, follow me to my car, ask me for rides until the bouncers moved them away from my car. Every night men gave me their numbers, promised me money, clothes, flash and adventure if I’d come home to them after my shift. I never did, but I could have. I learned to use my body as my primary means of communication. Dealing with clients was the greater of my trouble but they always fell for my seductive lies leaving my garters filled from emptying their pockets. And they tried to push every inch of advantage they could get away with.

The money coupled with the post feminist feeling of self confidence and liberation, feeling comfortable and beautiful in my own skin was the greatest thing I took from this experience. Never in my life would I have ever considered stripping because my body image was so bad, despite everyone’s protests. When I made the decision I just did it. And didn’t look back. This is why I always try things, jump right in, because worrying about things is always worse than the actual doing of things.

Dangerous Situations - Criteria 4 / Impulsive Behavior Part 7

I find what suits me by jumping in, feet first. If there is a walk of life I don’t understand, an experience I haven’t tried, I just do it. Somewhere along the way I consider the consequences but I don’t feel I’m fully justified in making an assessment of something until I’ve tried it on. The one exception to this is I’ve never done drugs, I’ve been tempted but I value my brain too much. My body though, well, my body is tough, it can take the wear and tear.

When I was younger and thought I wasn’t into guys, I didn’t sit and ponder it, I just started dating girls. I met women on-line and never though twice about meeting them in person. Dating women isn’t exactly dangerous (except occasionally to my sanity), more so the meeting people on line, in real life, by myself. This is one of the best things I ever did though. Gradually I realized, not that I was a lesbian, but that guys weren’t my primary attraction, not my preference. I figured it out by doing, not just thinking.

When I found out a boyfriend of mine was a skinhead, I researched where his beliefs came from and submerged myself in the subculture. I would travel out of state, alone, being a small, white, unimposing female, travelling to huge rallies of skinheads and klan just to understand the mentality of this group that was so foreign to me. In general they were poorly educated racist fucks, but they were also very inclusive and ready to accept me with open arms. Once I put myself in that place, I could make my own judgements and not feel like a hypocrite saying it wasn’t right, because I’d tried it. I was lucky I wasn’t raped and molested considering I am pretty much the embodiment of everything they stand against (of course I didn’t let this be known).

When I’m out with friends, especially dancing, lining up the shots of alcohol and downing them fast enough for the music to drown out the racing thoughts in my mind, one after another letting the world spin into a comfortable blur. Everything seems softer.  Don't think, just drink, again and again.

Even, driving. Hell, I’m a New Yorker, you have to be aggressive on the road or you won’t get anywhere. And you won’t get anywhere fast. I’m less careful about drinking and driving than I should be considering I was arrested for a DUI last summer (charges got dropped). I love to drive, it’s freeing and my mind can roam out on the open road. I drive stick and I have control of my car. Control my car, control my life. It’s the same things really…..

My brain just doesn’t want to say Stop.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Balcony seating...

I haven't spoken to or seen my best friend in over a week. He's also one I've had as a lover. We've ended our physical relationship and he reassures me that our friendship will remain. I'm nervous to see him and his wife tomorrow. I'm friends with them both but having so little contact while I was away (visiting family for a week) I feel our bond diminishing. My hold, my connection to him slipping away. He's starting to feel like a stranger to me. Is this always how it will be?

Acquire. Hold. Release. Regret. Forget.

I try so hard not to be used, feel used, but I'm not sure anymore. When I think about all the kindnesses, the caring, the moments and time spent, it's like seeing someone else, watching a play of my life from the audience. 

I want to get up and leave before the second act.  


Poked and Prodded - Criteria 4 / Impulsive Behavior Part 6

Part of me thinks I should put this in Section 5 with Self-Harm, but I find it to be not quite in that category. Lesson I've learned is many of these bleed together and meld into each other categorically speaking though so maybe I’ll revisit it then as well since:

Criteria 4:  impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

Piercings and tattoos. 
While tattoos aren’t so impulsive for me, piercings are. Currently I have 20. Mostly in my ears, but nose, lip and bellybutton are on that list too. I have an Industrial, inner conch, 3 in my outer conch, both traguses and a multitude of lobe and cartilage piercings. Just a few more cartilage and a few more in my belly and possibly some micro-dermals are on my agenda.  I have one impulsive tattoo that I need to get NOW. And a VERY large piece to cover my entire right side that I’ve been designing for months now that I will get very shortly. I have approximately 7 more tattoos that I simply must get. 

It doesn’t help that I have a lot of friends that also love piercings and tattoos. Every time they get a new piece I spawn new ideas to love and need.  The impulse to go out and drop hundreds of dollars on ink is so appealing. Not too mention addicting. Piercings are easier. Someone wants a piercing, sure I’ve got room. One more here, two more there. The cost adds up but the look is fantastic. Fantastically unprofessional. This means I have a hell of a fun time taking out my visible piercings or styling my hair to cover them when I have interviews or start a new job. Maybe not the best decisions I could be making, but I refuse to let Corporate Anything dictate to me who I should be. That in itself is what the status quo might consider impulsive. I consider it just another part of me. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks of me or my body modifications be they piercings, tattoos or scarification. They are part of who I am and the roads that my life has lead me down.

Not necessarily an impulsive decision, and this may bleed into Criteria 5 self harm as well, but I don’t think of it that way…. Suspension. Full back hook suspension is an experience I am dearly looking forward to trying. The pain coupled with the adrenaline rush is a high too appealing to pass up. I’ve wanted to try this for years and never yet had the chance. I will though. Oh yes, I will.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smoking – Criteria 4 Impulsive Behavior / Part 5

 I’m a smoker.

Now.
I quit smoking almost 9 years ago. Cold turkey, just quit buying cigarettes. It’s a terrible habit, even worse for my health.
Why the re-start? When I started my new meds I had a craving for sugar and cigarettes. I’m a health freak. This couples with my eating disorders and knowing my families medical history I’m always very careful about my health. This is why starting to smoke again is an impulsive behavior for me.  Alone in my head too long and I start to ruminate, to over think, to worry and wander down destructive paths. Pervasive anxiety. Smoking is a stimulant but with the effect of droning out the noise in my mind to a brain numbing buzz. When I sit outside in the frigid winter air listening to my cigarette sizzle it burns my thoughts into submission with each inhale. Maybe it’s just the act of inhaling, a zen breathing technique coupled with the nicotine high.  Regardless it slows down my mind and manages the anxiety that has been creeping back. These new meds may be good for depression and obsession, but they do nothing for my anxiety.  Smoking works wonders for the turbulence. I can step back from the crowd, remove myself completely, enter a cool world and let myself calm. Maybe it’s the removal from the crowd that I feel so alone in. When you feel alone surrounded by people it’s disconcerting. When you feel alone but you’re actually sitting by yourself removed from the crowd at least the feeling makes sense. Either way, for now, I’m glad I started smoking again. One small point for my sanity. I can’t work on all my issues at once, but I can do what I can do to make them more manageable while I wait to tackle the whole.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Questions from across the Borderline....

A follower asked:

I'm guessing you've had close romantic relationships with people. I saw your page and said hey, this could help me. I've been in an off and on relationship with a girl who I am 99% sure has some sort of disorder such as is described here. Just wondering how those relationships turned out for you. Any advice? I've been trying for years. It's so hard.
My relationships tend to be turbulent and intense, but not permanent. Then again, nothing is ever permanent until it is. Currently I’m single, if that tells you anything (of course I’m taking time off to just work on me - I feel to unstable to inflict myself on someone else). For me the best thing that helps is honesty and reassurance. It can be a little daunting to constantly reassure someone that you’re not going to leave, but small things, random texts to say your thinking about them, little things you know make her smile… just being honest about how you feel about her and telling her. Telling her, is the main thing, don't assume she knows. Include her in the plans you want to do, use ‘us’ and ‘we’ statements instead of just ‘I’ or ‘me’. Also if you think it’s possible for her, cognitive behavior therapy has done wonders for me. If she’s open to the possibility of therapy it could be very beneficial but this is something that must be brought up very tactfully and with the message that you want her to be the happiest with herself that she can be; her happiness is what's important to you, that it will make your relationship stronger and you will be there beside her the whole time. With therapy it often helps to have an objective third person point of view, that isn't emotionally attached to you, to provide stable input. Hope this helps.
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