Crumbling and Rising

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Today, I posted something on Facebook about wanting to crumble to the ground and be done. While I’m still feeling some ‘meh’ energy, I’m also doing better after working through a lot of emotions this afternoon. I cried a lot, but it was good.

When I started school, I knew it would be a huge adjustment and that I’d have to cut back on work hours. And when it comes to that balance (while I still think I can do better), I’m slowly finding it. It’s just taken a little bit to get a feel for each class and exactly how much time I need to put toward them. My personal life is suffering a bit, but that too will settle soon when I’ve gotten some books and writing tasks off my plate. But all of this I knew was coming. I knew I’d need time to figure out my new norm…

What I didn’t anticipate, however, was covering so many triggering topics right up front. In one class, I’m learning about behavior and responses and topics that make me see where I’ve lacked personal growth and where others have failed me. Then in another class, I’m already writing a paper on the crisis in Yemen. More specifically, on the damage that’s being done and horrid treatment of the women and children. And our country is taking part in this. Then, in my third class, I’ve been having to take part in a constant discussion about a man who kidnapped and raped a woman and whether or not I feel the cultural defense was a good one. This man got almost no time due to the culture defense and seeing my classmates say his meager sentence was fair is fucking hard. Even if I understand the background to it, it’s still hard to see a rapist as a confused man that doesn’t know our customs. I feel like I’ve been bouncing between interested in the material to teetering on triggered since the first week of school. These topics are heavy. And while they are making me grow, they are also making it very hard as I’m fighting these triggers constantly.

D has been a huge help. I asked for something new from him and he’s giving me what I need. Which is both incredibly hot and… sweet. I know this need that’s now being filled is going to help me through some of these hard topics in class. It’s already helped me with personal growth in just two days. I really don’t know where I’d be without the feeling of safety that comes from submitting to him.

Right now, I have a lot of mixed feelings about my life. I see more growth ahead. But this growth isn’t overcoming trauma per se. It’s me overcoming my own boundaries and walls I’ve put up to stay in control and stay safe. I know these boundaries didn’t actually make me in control or make me safe, but I’ve tricked myself into believing they did.

Now, those walls are coming down. It’s making me feel weak and afraid. Even a little dumb for putting them up in the first place. Maybe bitter that I now have to pull them down. Lots of mixed emotions are circling my head. But one thing I know for sure, I want to let these walls come down. I want to grow in these areas that I’ve been unable to. I want to let go of the false beliefs I’ve had about what it means to be nurtured. I need to let go of the trauma I’ve caused myself by stubbornly clinging to these things that once made me feel safe.

So while I’m angry that so many triggering topics smashed me upside the head the first couple of weeks, I’m also thankful. The things I’m learning have forced me to see things about myself that I’ve not wanted to see. And now, I have the chance to work on them and become an even happier, more joyous person after.

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Shifting My Thoughts

statue-388896_1920I started this out really wanting to bitch about how overwhelmed I am now that school has started, is overlapping with this intense state training I’ve been in, and my writing deadlines are adding up, but no matter how much I write, I have to delete it. Because while I’m busy and wishing I could just veg on the couch and watch movies all day tomorrow (partly because I’m catching the plague that’s been going around my house), I’m still excited about school. This is one step closer to me living my passion, and that feels amazing.

There is a part of me that is still focused on self-sabotage. So I have all of this self-doubt and bullshit reasoning to walk away and not attend school. But I’m not going to do that. I know I’d regret it. All I need is a little time to adjust and to get out of this state training so I can focus on school and my normal work.

One of my first assignments was to share my bio. The other students are in disbelief because I already seem successful. To have a career. And they’re right. Just not the whole career I want. I need a Masters degree to do what I really want to do.

I’m here by choice, not by force or mere chance.

In fact, I’m already working toward finding balance and reaching out for assistance where I need it. So this will all be great, even if I’m tired now. I have no doubt that if my training hadn’t come right before school starting, I’d not be so overwhelmed.

I’m very lucky. No, not lucky. I’ve earned the good things in my life by working hard. By not giving up. By not giving into my triggers and taking steps to overcome the things causing me trauma and pain.

Recently, I’ve worked through many things I didn’t really want to admit happened. They were humiliating in a manner that I was sure I’d never get over. But, I am. It just took me being vulnerable and honest about these humiliating things, then D’s smart planning to recontextualize what happened, but I’m moving past it.

And for my birthday, I got the most wonderful gift. Several, really. But some were far dearer to my heart because I was able to take part in super hot sexual activities that would have triggered me prior. Not only did I get to take part, but I did so with enthusiastic consent. I never felt anxiety or fear. Just raw and primal desire.

That was a first.

This is all good. It all means I’m so much further along my path of healing and being where I want to be. Of being free to express myself fully with nothing but joy.

The harder my steps get, the more rewarding they are.

So while I’m a little (maybe a lot) overwhelmed and nervous, I know I’ll find balance. Just like I have with everything else. I’ll find my firm footing and take the next steps. And when I’m feeling it too much, I’m going to remember my birthday fun. Just thinking about it makes me giggle and happy.

All my steps, all my hard work, my pushing myself to grow, it’s all showing results. Far more than I ever thought possible and I’m not even done yet.

So tonight, I’m going to be full of gratitude. For those that support me and give me the courage to keep pushing forward even when I want to run and hide. And I’m grateful for myself. For my ability to feel things that hurt in order to heal. Grateful for my bravery. Grateful for my willingness to love the woman I am and am still becoming.

I’m proud of myself. I know I can do this.

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Abusers and Projection

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Why do we protect abusive people? I have to ask myself this even when I know the answer. Why? Because abused people are bullied, brainwashed, and gaslit into believing they are at fault for their abuse. But this can be hard to spot because abusers are super manipulative. They use words that seem innocent when they are actually quite damaging. Abused people get stuck in this cycle of constantly asking themselves what they did wrong. Abusers want their victims to blame themselves for the abuse.

These last two weeks have led to a crescendo of understanding. It’s been hard to get here, but I’m seeing things so much clearer now. A lot of events have compiled into my sudden ‘ah ha’ moment. But most has come from witnessing online abuse recently and making a different decision in how I deal with it. The other big understanding came from the state training I’ve been in, where we’ve learned a lot about spotting signs of abuse, recognizing the types, and therefore, what to do about it. As a state employee, I am now a mandated reporter.

What does that mean? Let me share…

“In many parts of the western world, mandated reporters are people who have regular contact with vulnerable people and are therefore legally required to ensure a report is made when abuse is observed or suspected.”

Even ‘suspected’ abuse I have to report. And it is with anyone. Not just people in my care. But anyone abusing someone else, I must report. What this means for me is that I have to have a deep understanding of abuse and its effects. I have to be able to determine who is the actual abuser, who is gaslighting to make the other person feel it’s their fault.

Oddly, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. It’s all in the person’s wording. That wording has just been hard for me to really hear until now. There was confusion because I too am someone that always feels like I should have worded something better, that maybe I did something to deserve what’s happening. I was predisposed to abuse and the specific wording that leads to self-blame.

Abusers rarely question their behavior. Because it’s all about projection and blame for them. These types don’t stop and say, “Yeah, I didn’t handle that well. I hurt you. I apologize.” Nope…

Some of this I did understand, but because abusers are so manipulative, it’s often hard to hear the nuance in their statements. Something as subtle as a shift in one word can make the difference between someone upset and wording something poorly and a person abusing and gaslighting. Literally, one word or even the person’s tone while the exact same words are spoken can make a difference.

People that abuse make statements that deflect blame and responsibility. I used to think it was just pride in folks, but it’s not. It’s intent. It’s abuse. It’s gaslighting. When they get caught, they will flat out ignore direct questions that will implicate them with any sort of fault. They will talk around those questions and refuse to answer. It’s ridiculous. As if we’d just forget that they are refusing to answer this one question that implicates fault on them.

Another thing they’ll say when they can’t get out of ignoring or denying is, “Mistakes were made.” But that statement is ONLY ever said in regards to the abuser. The abuser would never say that about the other person because that would imply the other person simply made a mistake. And for abusers, they can’t handle the notion that someone else might have made a mistake. That is only reserved for them. This is a huge difference in people that don’t mean to say something harmful and those that absolutely mean to harm with their words.

Let me give an example: Let’s say you’re listening to a podcast that has women’s only shows. If a man said, “Hey, I see you’re all about giving women a voice. That’s great. One big concern I have is toxic masculinity and how it affects men, those identifying as men, and therefore, everyone in a man’s life. Would you be interested in hearing how this affects us?” This is an approach to find understanding and gain representation for all. But if the person said something like, “Oh, I see. You have women’s only podcasts. Where’s the men’s only podcast?” 

The ‘seemingly simple’ observation and question isn’t about finding representation at all. It’s about manipulation. It’s about shaming the women hosting and coming on the women’s only show. It’s about saying ‘that’s not fair!’ and is no different than ‘all lives matter!’. The speaker wouldn’t be looking for representation, but instead, a means to start a battle. An online war where he could then attack these women, call them ‘mean girls’, bully, harass, and do it all under the guise of ‘but I’m just looking for equality’.

In the past, I might have seen his approach as being fair and fighting for equality. Now I see it as manipulation. A reason to bully women he deems as being ‘unfair to men like him’. People that want equality don’t use manipulation in their words.

The hardest part with abusers is that when you stand up to them for the first few times, when you begin setting boundaries, they lash out. Aggressively too. This was all in the training I’ve been in too, so it’s official state guidelines I’m going by.

I can’t even say how many times I’ve had someone start off talking sweetly, sharing, then I start to hear the manipulation creep in. The shift from a person asking how I feel as opposed to telling me how they feel and then saying, “Don’t you agree?”

Asking someone how they feel isn’t manipulative. Asking, listening, and seeking to understand is healthy. But stating your opinion heavily and then turning to someone and expecting them to agree, that’s manipulative. It’s pressuring behavior. Then when the person doesn’t agree, turning to hostile behavior, pointing your finger at them, standing over them, raising your voice or flat out yelling, all of these tactics used to bully someone into agreeing, illustrate abuse.

Even looking at bullying online is tough. Tonight I read something saying ‘just don’t feed the trolls’, but that doesn’t work when someone is flat out harassing you. Tagging you in social media, blogging about you, posting about you, tweeting about you constantly… That’s abuse and knowing you could run into your abuser at a convention is scary and intimidating. Especially if that person is a bit on the unstable side.

I’m seeing abuse clearly. The training has helped a great deal. But also recognizing this person’s abuse online and seeing so many others step up and call him out for his harassment and abuse is so helpful for people that have been abused.

One thing I love about what I saw unfold this week is that when victims were questioned as to how they’re being harassed by this bully, not one of these people said, “You’re a victim blamer!” Instead, they offered their proof. I’m coming to see more and more that abusers, like the one harassing people right now, like to claim that others are victim blaming while supplying NO evidence to their claims. While actual victims have no problem bringing forth their documentation. These are the little things that make me see these abusive types so clearly.

Evidence is evidence, and asking for some shouldn’t cause someone to jump to ‘You’re victim blaming!’ unless, of course, the one making that claim is the abuser. In that case, projection is all they have. Asking for evidence and having discussion should be welcome in order for the truth to be known. But abusers fear this. So they spout victim blaming.

An example of victim blaming is telling a woman she got raped because she had on a miniskirt. Victim blaming isn’t about asking for evidence of the rape. If a rape victim goes to the hospital, there is a reason a rape kit is used. This isn’t calling the women a liar, it’s to gather evidence.

Why would someone fear evidence? There are only two reasons I can think of… One, because the evidence doesn’t align with their claim and instead, implicates them, or two, there is no evidence at all because the scenario in question is flat out fabricated.

I didn’t learn until yesterday that I am a state-mandated reporter. So now, not only do I get to call abusers out, but it’s my job to report their abuse and harassment via proper channels to be investigated.

I’m so thankful for screenshots, email backups, and detailed records!

Seeing abusive behavior clearly is going to change my life once again for the better. To see the manipulation, to see the projection and deflection, to see the blame and bullying statements, this is going to help me, and others, in the future.

Not only do I have the tools to understand abuse now, but I have a responsibility to track evidence and report it. So, as a reminder, when someone blocks you, they’re setting a boundary. If they tell you not to contact them, they’re setting a boundary. If you tag them, blog about them, and continue to contact them even if only by email, you are harassing that person. You are crossing their boundary which means you are the abuser…

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Getting It Release Announcement

Today is a special day. For a while, I’d wanted to own a publishing company and put out content that I felt good about. Sex with enthusiastic consent, BDSM with enthusiastic consent, healthy relationships where women had equal power and men were able to feel a full range of emotions without being shamed… And today, my company has announced our first official release. This is exciting and surreal. Thank you to all of you that have helped me get here. There are many that have taken part in making this dream a reality and all of you are helping to shift rape culture. ❤

Below is the official announcement.

The day has come! Getting It – A Femdom Anthology has released! Wow… this post sounds so dirty. And it should because this sexy little anthology is full of fire!

Join us during our Facebook event today, 2pm-6pm PST. Ask questions, chat with the authors, give your thoughts on consent, female dominance, sex or BDSM, and have fun!

Facebook Event Link: http://bit.ly/2wWBWGW

GettingIt

FEMALE DOMINANCE, A WOMAN’S ESTATE, AND SEXUAL AGENCY.

Getting It – A Femdom Anthology is comprised of thirteen sexy stories ranging from the sweet, new Domme finding her footing to the young man discovering that pain doesn’t have to be self-inflicted.

Whether French cuisine tickles your tongue, pain twists into pleasure, or rape fantasies occupy your dreams, this delicious collection is for you. Mild dominance and hardcore BDSM entwine in Getting It, pushing characters and readers to embrace their innermost sensational desires in healthy, consensual ways.

Authors: Jordan Monroe, T.C. Mill, Nanisi Barrett D’Arnuk, Ralph Greco, Jr., Kiki DeLovely, Harley Easton, VK Foxe, Megan Jennifer, Arden de Winter, Jean Roberta, Betina Cipher, and Sienna Saint-Cyr.

Edited by S.B. Roark and Sienna Saint-Cyr. Copy edits by Rhiannon Rhys-Jones.

“Shifting rape culture one sexy story at a time.”

Posted in My Journey, SinCyr Publishing, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Presale link for Haunt is live!

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A shadow at the window…A creak in the floorboards…

The air is getting colder and the leaves are beginning to change. Halloween is just around the corner. This October, let R. Diamond, Harley Easton, Gregory L. Norris, Randi Perrin, CM Peters, Marie Piper, S.B. Roark, Sienna Saint-Cyr, and Katey Tattrie give you the shivers with HAUNT, a collection of nine brand-new and wide-ranging tales of haunted dwellings.

Roommates by Katey Tattrie
Redemption Hill by Randi Perrin
By Tethers Bound by S.B. Roark
The B Room by CM Peters
Error by R. Diamond
The Shut-In by Gregory L. Norris
Jessie by Marie Piper
Possessed by Sienna Saint-Cyr
People who live in Glass Sanitoriums by Harley Easton

*All proceeds from HAUNT will go to Chicago-area charities that provide services for the homeless population.*

Available October 17th, 2017 via Amazon. Presale link here… Haunt

For more information, visit mariepiper.com/haunt

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You Have Been Weighed, Measured, and Found Wanting

What we do matters. Period. We are also human and will make mistakes. Period. I’m not judgmental when it comes to things that don’t harm others. Or when it comes to mistakes that someone takes responsibility for. But not owning your mistakes? I’ll judge. Blaming others, projecting your hatred, bigotry, and so forth, and I’ll judge. Because that’s what judgment is for. It’s for looking some abusive bully in the face and passing judgment.

I’ve been protecting abusive people my whole life. And most of the time, it was expected. “So and so is family…” “He just has anger issues.” “If you’d told me what I said was offensive before I said it, I’d not have said it.” “I’m not sexist. I just don’t think women should make as much money.” “I’m not racist, but people from China don’t have a soul.” Yeah… I’ve heard it all… And I’ve been expected to ‘put up’ with it because it’s a co-worker, or a relative, or someone in the industry, or some complete stranger at the grocery store that I am still expected to respect because that’s good etiquette.

FUCK THAT.

Even now, I sit here pissed as fuck at dumbshits that are so fucking stupid that they think a women’s only podcast is somehow women hating men. This person has chosen to label any woman that wants nothing to do with him a ‘mean girl’. And tonight, I’m dealing with someone telling me I should buy a book with a known bigot in it because there are non-bigots in it too. And I shouldn’t blame the editor for publishing a bigot.

NO.

I will not take part in anything that makes me compromise my morals or my integrity. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for that. I don’t owe anyone my money.

I don’t owe racist, misogynistic, women hating, man hating, trans hating, gender hating, gay hating, bi hating, religion hating, disable bodied hating, class hating, mental disability shaming, abusive bullies an explanation for why I pass judgment on them. I don’t owe them my time or my energy. It is not my responsibility to teach you assholes why you’re fucking up. That’s your job to figure out.

Accountability. Responsibility. Have some.

Part of abuse is that abusers will convince the abused that what happened is somehow their fault. They build this expectation of ‘you should have done this instead’ or ‘said this instead of that’ or ‘if you loved me you’d know that I meant it this way’. I could go on for hours here. It’s all deflection. It’s all blaming others for their poor behavior.

We are responsible for our actions. We are responsible for what we say and do. Even when we aren’t abusive per se, but just fucked up–made a mistake–we’re still responsible.

D has often told me that I can be prideful as fuck. And ohhhh so stubborn. But when I’m wrong, I own it. I apologize. I try hard to make it right. This doesn’t have to be an intentional thing. Sometimes I don’t know something and when I learn that what I’ve said is offensive, I work hard to shift my narrative and get the hurtful speech out.

Even recently, with all my hard work to understand privilege and intersectionality, I say things that are racist or misogynistic. I don’t mean to, but it’s been all around me. So sometimes things slip out and I catch it and apologize. I acknowledge that what I said was wrong and why, then I shift my speech. It’s not hard. In fact, every time this has happened, no one even shamed me for it. The difference between this kind of thing and what the abusive types do has everything to do with accountability.

If I can own my mistakes, so can others.

But that means they’d have to let go of their pride and accept that they fucked up. That they were ‘gasp’ wrong. It means admitting that they didn’t have knowledge of a thing and therefore, said something stupid.

And this is how I can tell someone who is trying from someone that is abusive.

Abusive people want you to take the blame for not educating them enough. Abusive people never admit they’re wrong unless by admitting it, it’s serving some other agenda that is currently more important to them. Abusive people lie about and deny their part. Abusive people twist words to deflect responsibility.

I used to think that if I just explained it right, the asshole telling me that I am a man-hating feminazi would realize I don’t hate men. That I just want equality. That I care just as much and fight daily for men’s rights to be stay at home dads. For men’s right to feel emotions and show them without being shamed. For dad’s rights to get half custody of their kids, or full custody if that’s best. I’m a feminist because I fight for equality. And that’s not just for the gender conforming. It’s for all of us.

It was so ingrained into my head by people and even society, that I still try to take responsibility for not educating assholes enough. But I don’t owe abusive people anything but my judgment and loathing.

If you abusive types want to be better people, then fucking google these social issues. Volunteer to feed hungry kids. Or tutor them. Take a job one day a week caring for a disabled person. Study other cultures. Make friends with folks of other faiths, but not to ‘prove’ you can, do it because they are amazing people that will bring joy to you and you to them.

There are some people I don’t mind educating. There are also folks that haven’t minded educating me. But put the research in first. Get a lot of knowledge, then ask if you need more. Do your homework first so you aren’t expecting others to give a free education. I can’t tell you how fucking tired I get of people asking me to explain sex-trafficking and how that’s different from child prostitution. That’s traumatic enough without having to educate others about it. I do when I choose to, but so many ask me and it’s not because they really want to know. It’s because they want to shove it back on me and make me explain why it’s so traumatic.

I’ve never been one for violence and part of this post was spawned because of all the comments I see about punching Nazis. I know that much of this abusive behavior comes from fear, but it doesn’t matter. Abuse is abuse. Nazis are Nazis. Hate is hate. I’m finally reaching a point where I understand what punching a Nazi in the face means.

It’s not about me physically doing it—unless I really want to go there or am defending myself or others—it’s about me punching them in the gut however I can. For me, that’s with words. Other times with actions. It’s me refusing to buy a book with a known bigot in it. It’s me refusing to sit idly by while someone spouts racist jokes. It’s me telling someone to fuck off when they are bullying someone else and it’s me being able to call them out on it. It’s me telling a woman-hating dipshit that they’re sexist.

I know most people aren’t like these abusive types I’m talking about. So many folks amaze me daily.

Last November, I began my publishing company with a focus on shifting rape culture. This includes equality. No matter someone’s sex, gender, orientation, race, religion, body type or ability, or mental health. Because rape culture is fed by inequality. It’s fed by oppressing and shaming. And this affects ALL of us.

So I opened the company, put out my first call, and what I got back still makes me cry. Even the stories that didn’t work for whatever reason, still illustrated that people get it. All sexes get it. All genders get it. All orientations get it. All body types get it. All races get it. I’ve even read some of the hottest pieces from some very religious folks.

The bottom line? We all want to be seen and heard. And while there are some hugely abusive asshats in the limelight right now, I get to read and publish these beautiful people that do get it. People that want equality and are willing to work at it and learn if they aren’t getting something.

Abusive people get a lot of attention because their hatred is so loud and appalling. But we can punch those bullies in the face. No matter what that means to us. We can shut them up by not giving their hatred a voice. We don’t owe hateful people anything but our healthy judgment of their horrid behavior.

I don’t owe abusive people anything and I never have. I only wish I’d realized this sooner. Better late than never I suppose!

So abusive assholes, this is what I think of you:

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Fuck, Fetish, and Happiness Articles Up!

I have a bunch of articles up on various websites. Enjoy!

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Beginners Guide to Group Sex

Group sex is something that many folks fantasize about. But is having a cock in every hole all it’s cracked up to be? Fuck.com asked author Sienna Saint-Cyr to share some first orgy experiences. Read more…

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Top Online Sex Shops

When it comes to online sex shops, finding one that has a wide selection, quality products, good reviews and great pricing isn’t easy. Fuck.com put author Sienna Saint-Cyr to the task of finding the top five online sex stores. Read more…

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Take My Breath Away – A Breathplay Guide

Breathplay can literally take your breath away, but what is it? What are some important safety matters to consider? Author Sienna Saint-Cyr shares her thoughts with Fetish.com on this popular edge play topic. Read more…

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Yoga For Happiness 3 of 3 – Yoga for Mood Swings

As I ventured into Part Three of this yoga series, I began to see something pop up again and again… The mood is vital to our living a happy life. Psych CentralThe Journal of Depression and AnxietyPsychologist World and many more agree that happy people live healthier lives and make better decisions. Read more…

Posted in Fetish.com Articles, Fuck.com Articles, Happiness.org Articles, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,