It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling since trump was elected. Not *just* because a man with no experience is in the Whitehouse, but because he and so many of his followers are hugely triggering for me. They say things that make feel like I’m six years old again, standing in front of a group of men waiting to purchase me for sexual services. Yes… this is how all of the sexist commentaries make me feel. Used. Small. Worthless… But I fight it because I know I’m not used (unless consensually by D of course!), I’m not small (actually quite kickass), and I’m certainly NOT worthless.
Lately, anyone that isn’t a heterosexual, white, able-bodied, middle-class male (or female in some cases) is on the hit list for harassment. I’ve read posts this last week that made me weep. I can’t believe people can be so cold and cruel. And yet… I can. Because I’ve experienced it first-hand time and time again. Pretty much everything about my husband and I fit into the targeted groups being harassed. As well as most of our friends and all those dear to us, young to old. Hatred is loud and those spouting it are in our faces right now, but something else is more powerful… and no, I’m not going to say love, even if love is a big part.
Action. Kindness. Compassion. Help. These are the things that combat this hatred being spewed.
How do I know? Let me share…
A few months ago I’d planned to start a small press. My intent was to publish erotic fiction and nonfiction. I’ve shared briefly on here about this, but this last month I completed the rest of what needed doing in order to open this business. Then I hit a major snag… Nowhere in anything that I’d done or researched did it say that the type of license I needed was going to require two applications and an addition $200. For me, this stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t have it.
While normally I’d just put the plans on hold, part of what has been keeping me afloat with all that’s transpiring in our nation is that I knew I’d be getting my company off the ground. I even had the first anthology ready and was super excited to announce it this week. But then the snag… I started to lose it. Depression began consuming me and I found myself feeling hopeless.
Another snag I’d hit was that getting back into school is taking longer than I’d anticipated. There’s lots of meeting with advisors, trying to find the right school, figuring out what will transfer, and then there’s the big ‘oh fuck’ of it all in that the last time I was in school I had to drop out. Part of why I had to drop out was that I’d confronted someone on the trafficking memories and the next thing I knew, I was finding another place to live. I had to get a full-time job asap. I hardly remember all that happened. But this dropped my GPA and I lost my grants. And because I was ‘in limbo’ with living arrangements, I didn’t even get the notice that I’d lost my grants and was in poor status until about six months after the letter was delivered. So it was too late to fight it.
Or so I thought…
Today I met with someone from the university I plan to attend and he was amazing. So helpful, so inspiring, but it was a struggle to even get into his office. I was shaking, sick to my stomach, and hearing, “You’re stupid, what are you thinking? You can’t do this. You are a failure…” all the way there. I checked out. Got triggered. I couldn’t even figure out how to back into a parking stall. But after some healthy humiliation from those staring at me (yes, embarrassment pulls me present) and then a quick phone call with D, I was grounded enough to head into the office and speak with the advisor.
This was a big deal on many levels, but part of what made it so hard wasn’t just hearing this person’s voice in my head and having to fight it, but also understanding that in order to make both the university and the previous college understand why I had a special circumstance, I had to share about what happened to me as a child. Under my legal name! That’s not something I do, though I have been trying more as of late.
I was stressed but also excited. And I’m sold. I love the campus. They’re willing to transfer almost all of my credits (which I had no idea they would), and while I won’t make it in winter quarter, I should by spring. And this is happy news!
For those of you who missed what I’m going to school for, I plan to be a sex therapist. I will do general counseling as well, but my focus will be on working with victims (in one location) and offenders (in another location to avoid run-ins with victims). I want to redirect clients struggling with their desires and urges. I’ve already done this, but I want to do it in an official capacity.
The schooling also relates to what I’m doing with the publishing company in that I plan to provide sex-positive, body-positive content that helps to shift rape culture. I want to publish healthy dynamics that represent all of us. Not just a select few.
Today, two wonderful things happened for me. Not only did I get great news from both schools (the one I plan to attend and the one I had to drop out of), but yesterday I was gifted the money I needed for my publishing company. So today, I finished that out and will take the next steps as soon as I hear back from the state.
The dear friends that gifted me the money for this did so because they are kind, compassionate, wanted to help and took action. An opportunity that I thought was out of reach is now back in grasp. More than that, it’s filed and will be ready to go soon. I was so surprised and felt such gratitude that I couldn’t stop crying when they told me.
Then today, both people I spoke with about schooling were the same way. They were kind, compassionate, wanted to help me, and then went above and beyond to do so. And one of the colleges isn’t making a dime off of me. The woman had no reason to go out of her way like she did unless it was just out of kindness.
These are the actions that combat hatred. These acts of kindness make a difference. This is how we can help one another. I will do all I can once I have my degree, and I will do all I can in the present by getting healthy content to readers around sexuality and healing. These acts are loving acts. Whether the people know/knew me or not, they treated me with kindness and compassion.
Today was hard, but because of kind people, my day turned around quickly. There is much hard work ahead of me for both schooling and the publishing company (as I still run a nonprofit and write too!), but it’s happening. I’m moving forward. And I’m full of love and gratitude for the wonderful people that helped turn these events around.
Here is a screen shot of my website. As soon as my license goes through, I’ll be announcing the anthology. It will be an open call, so as long as you can write–hehem–the required content, I encourage you to take part whether erotica is your usual or not. 🙂