Losing a Friend

Things were rough this last week. For one, I got sick. When I’m sick I get cranky and have a harder time seeing clearly. I also dealt with some trauma. Okay, some BIG trauma… So the last couple weeks have been a positive and negative roller coaster. The worst part was that we also lost the best dog we’ve ever had.

The loss of our dear Buster is still tugging at my heart. That is the hardest part of this bit of time. I still think he’s going to jump onto the bed and squeeze between the hubby and I. Or that he’s going to start barking at the door because I took 20 seconds longer than I should have to let him inside.

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Buster taught me so much. He taught my family so much. So many people feared him because he was a pit bull. And while his last hours were certainly questionable as to what actually killed him, I’d like to focus more on his amazing time with us.

I couldn’t write this when it happened. I didn’t want the comparisons of, “well when I lost my dog…” or something similar, so I kept quiet. But I’m ready to share now. Because Buster wasn’t just a dog to me. He was a dear friend. Family.

Buster was abandoned by his previous owner. So he literally found us. We’d called the humane society, we checked him for a chip, we put ads on Craig’s list and other online sources, but no one came for him. The humane society would have put him down after three days of not being claimed, so we made an agreement to foster him until he was free for adoption. By the end of the 30 days, we knew he was staying right here with us.

From the beginning, he was the sweetest, most well-behaved dog we’d ever had. And he was gentle. Despite being huge and strong, he was so gentle…

I used to play with all our dogs with my hand and Buster wouldn’t do it. He refused to put his mouth—teeth—on me. He also wouldn’t play rough with me. He would with the hubby and my oldest son, but not me or our youngest. He knew instinctively that we would get hurt and so he didn’t do it.

Every day, Buster went to get the kids with me. He sat in the front seat and watched until the kids were safely in the car or safely in school during drop-off. And if I was running late, he always knew! He’d put his head under my hand and flip my hand into the air to get my attention. Sometimes he’d whine at me. Grumble almost.

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He also tucked the kids in every night. And woke them in the morning. He waited at the window for my oldest to get off the bus.

He never snapped at the kids. Any of them. No matter how loud visiting children were. Or how hard they pulled his tail.

Buster was the gentle giant. No doubt.

Which is why it’s so hard to think about those people that refused to give him the time of day because of his breed. I even had a family member scream at me that my dog was going to eat my kids. And he said this in front of the kids!

When we’d take him to the park, people with dogs would walk far out of the way to avoid us. Even though it was our yappy little dogs that would have been the only issue.

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People feared him because of his breed and he didn’t deserve that.

Sometimes he’d give me the saddest look. It was like he got it. When we first began fostering pits, we were told they feed off of people’s emotions. So it makes sense that he would pick up on people’s fear.

I can’t even blame people really. Pits have a bad reputation and for no reason. They are not anywhere near the breed with the highest amount of dog bites. The issues come in when people don’t treat them well and train them to attack. Because they’re strong, they can do more damage. But I know far more kids that have lost eyesight due to a bite from a lab—the most popular family dog…

Buster taught me so much. He taught me never to judge based on appearance. To always look at behavior. Which seems like something I should have learned from people, but humans are so deceptive. They’re so passive aggressive. So judgmental…

Most importantly, so many humans lack the ability to be present.

Dogs are always present. They don’t care what happened yesterday. They only know the moment and whether you’re loving them or paying too much attention to the television.

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Buster taught me to pay attention to actions and behavior. He taught me to be open.

He taught me not to be afraid, no matter what propaganda I’ve been bombarded with.

These lessons are irreplaceable.

His love is irreplaceable.

It’s been hard to say goodbye to Buster. Especially because it happened so fast. The only plus was that both the hubby and I got to be present and love him as he passed.

I feel for people that are too afraid to know the love of a pit bull. When I look at it, it’s indicative of people that are afraid to live. Some that have been bitten by a dog or a pit are different, as they have trauma. But for people that just react out of fear based on propaganda, it’s no different than all the other stuff we buy into that’s complete and utter shit. We fear those different from us. We fear that which we don’t know or understand. We are a nation built on fear and fed fear constantly.

It’s sad that so many people will never wake from that nightmare.

Buster taught me to see what’s there and not place judgment without observing for myself. He taught me compassion through his gentleness. He taught me patience through his big eyes and giant pitty hugs. He taught me that friends aren’t just those that walk on two legs. I’d trade a great deal to have our friend back. I’ll never forget him.

~ You forever remain in my heart, Buster. I will love you always. ~

I’m so thankful that Patrick Stewart is being so public about his fostering of a pit. Not only is he public, but he’s fostering a pit that was used for dog fighting. She too is a gentle giant. His love for her already shows. I hope his public sharing will help bring awareness and shift people’s views on this amazing breed.

Please see Patrick and his amazing foster pit here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hilarywardle/look-at-her-little-face?utm_term=.jkRr0MK6M#.dx7DVjq4j

 

 

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Girl Boner – Beauty in Sexuality #BOAW2017

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Last night, I watched a woman embrace her innermost desires and take ownership of her sexuality. I’m fortunate to have seen such a thing and experienced it myself. Most people never get to witness a sexual awakening and some never even experience one for themselves. It’s sad. No, tragic.

It’s impossible to be present and joyful when we are in denial of who we are.

When I was told that my own awakenings–because I’ve had more than one–were beautiful, I didn’t really know what people meant. They told me my appearance even changed. That I sat up straighter and looked softer, radiant.

The awakening I witnessed last night was the same. At first, she was stiff. Hard almost. Slowly, she opened herself up. Admitted things about herself and her sexuality that she’d been in denial about. And the more she came clean and accepted herself, the softer she became. The more she glowed.

It was beautiful.

It’s no secret why more people don’t own who they are. We are so insistent on shaming one another that too many of us never accept and embrace ourselves. Instead, we hide away and feel shame even over our most delicious fantasies.

We can blame religion. We can blame culture. We can blame sexism and misogyny. We can blame our own insecurities. But at the end of the day, there’s no denying that owning and embracing our sexuality holds a massive amount of power.

As a society, we don’t understand power.

Power scares us. Though mostly when it comes to our own. And in a male-dominated society, powerful women are terrifying. But we must own who we are. We can’t let society tell us we are shameful for embracing our most beautiful and genuine part of us.

Our sexuality is divine. It’s our source of raw, powerful, creation. It’s beautiful because it’s pure. Primal. 

Opening myself fully feels like igniting a fire in me. A fire that burns so hot, darkness cannot penetrate it. 

For the week of #BOAW2017, I plan to focus my writing on the beauty of owning our sexuality. On seeing the beauty in others when they own theirs. And on encouraging others to work toward being honest, owning who they are, and shining their gorgeous light into the world.

Owning our sexuality means we get to walk around full of joy. We get to be the match lighting up the darkest of rooms. We get to be powerful by being vulnerable.

This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 11th.

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Open Call – Owning It

Open call for Owning It! – Embracing Our Bodies, Sexuality, and Power Edited by S.B. Roark and Sienna Saint-Cyr What are we looking for in this anthology? Stories that include loving our bodies, embracing our sexuality, and owning our power. We’re tired of men being shamed for the size of their penis or ability to […]

via Open Call for: Owning It! — SinCyr Publishing

Posted in My Journey

Sweatpants & Relationships | Joyous Sexuality via sweatpantsandcoffee.com

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-1-26-22-pmRight now, I feel it’s more important than ever to own who I am sexually. Things have shifted with our new administration and many people I know are pulling inward out of fear of being judged or harassed. But denial of who we are in our most sacred of spaces leads to unhappiness. It leads to anxiety and stress. It leads to killing our soul slowly as we allow the world to close us off from the beauty of who we are.

Read more here… www.sweatpantsandcoffee.com

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Fire Play Class with Geoffrey Quick

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Playing With Fire 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Fire Play and Massage
Pleasure Bound Studios Private Event Center
Olympia, WA – Mar 25, 2017 3-6 pm

Fire play seems intimidating at first glance. You need to get the right kind of equipment; you need all sorts of prep time, and a very particular environment for you to indulge in this kind of play, right? It’s why so many are cautious getting into this fun and dynamic style of sensory play that toys with many of our primal fears and apprehensions.

This class is an introductory class for those looking to look past the flash and flare so they can find the practical skills to get into fire massage, play and fire cupping. A little bit of education, practice, and training can turn this intimidating type of play into some of the safest, sexiest, and most sensual play you can experience. We also will look at the other side of the coin as we explore how to build on the intimidation value and work on edging the fire from pleasure to pain while keeping the experience safe for everyone involved.

This workshop is a great beginner class, as we will take you from building your kit to a variety of techniques to use with your fire play, including the fire cupping techniques that are useful as a massage technique, a way to inflict intense pain, and enhance more sensual scenes.

This Class will Cover:

* How to construct your wands, both disposable types and reusable types.

* Health issues and safety when conducting fire play.

* Terminology and negotiation techniques before you start playing with fire with a partner.

* Fire massage, fire cupping, air-enhanced and spray-enhanced fire techniques.

* Tips and tricks for changing a scene from sensual to punishing and back again, ways to prolong your scene as long as you’d like.

Self play with fire is possible, but we highly recommend you bring a partner or make friends with someone in the class! If you are someone with significant body hair you may wish to shave or otherwise shorten that body hair before you practice, unless you like the scent of burnt hair!

When you purchase your tickets you will receive a list of items you may wish to bring to build your own fire-play kit, but the class will also have fire wands you can purchase on site.

There will be opportunities to practice techniques as we learn them during the class, and there will also be a short period after the class for additional classes and practice time.

The class’s instructor, Geoffrey Quick has been an active participant in the Kink Community and has been practicing rope for over eight years. He has taught several workshops on fire play in private and public settings over the years as he brings a pragmatic approach to the risks and methods for fire play.

Notice –

Purchase of this ticket is acknowledgment of the following:

* You consent to attend an adults-oriented education session, all participants are required to be 18 or older and present ID at time of attendance.

* You consent to being present during adult activities and situations that may include partial or full nudity.

* There is no alcohol or other recreational drugs allowed on the venue premises. If you appear intoxicated, you will be asked to leave.

* RACK Leather and instructor Geoffrey Quick are providing this education session for the purposes of entertainment among consenting adults only. Neither RACK Leather nor Geoffrey Quick is liable for any injuries due to the application of the skills presented in this class demonstration.

* You agree to binding legal arbitration in the case that you choose to bring legal action against RACK Leather, Geoffrey Quick or the presentation venue.

* Photography MAY be allowed at the venue, with the consent of all involved.

TICKETS: (pricing available at brownpapertickets)

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2888494

Location

Pleasure Bound Studios Private Event Center
Address Given on Ticket Purchase
Olympia, WA 98512
United States

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Portrait of Jill Satterfield: a Mindful Approach to Yoga

Jill Satterfield has transformed yoga, again. Vajra yoga is different from other styles because it has a unique focus on inner reflection and compassion.

Source: Portrait of Jill Satterfield: a Mindful Approach to Yoga

~ This is the first of a series of yoga article to be released on Happiness.org. The site has all sorts of ways to increase happiness and live with joy and gratitude. I suggest checking them out!

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Pop Tarts and Mountain Dew

teddy-bear-440498_1920This is a topic that is far more difficult to discuss than some of my sexual abuse. Not because it’s worse than the abuse, but because it’s embarrassing to discuss and admit. It also ties to the abuse, as it was the catalyst for me finally accepting that my memories of sexual abuse weren’t just my imagination. The issue is that I have horrible tooth decay and I’m in pain pretty much all the time.

I’ll back up just a bit here, since this is a long and complex issue.

When I was young, I didn’t really get cavities. Every appointment I came out with a cavity-free checkup. I loved the dentist back then. Loved getting my teeth cleaned… But that all changed when I reached the age of nine or ten. I don’t remember the exact age, but it was after I’d already gotten some permanent teeth in and I began getting cavities. Though that wasn’t even the real reason I began hating the dentist. While I didn’t like cavities, I wasn’t afraid of the shots or treatment for them. The issue was that the cleaning portion went from pleasant to painful. In fact, even brushing my teeth became painful at that young age.

The older I got, the more painful my teeth became. I’ve never been able to chew ice. Nuts have been impossible unless they are the very soft variety, because they’d break my teeth. Ice cubes also broke my teeth. And this began in middle school. By the time I reached my freshman year of high school, I’d have six to eight cavities per year. And the cavities were getting worse as I made my way through school.

By the time I graduated, the dentist was already telling me I needed crowns and would eventually need root canals on all my molars. He’d done crown preps and likely told me he did, but PTSD is a nasty thing when it comes to triggering topics. Which means that I blocked much of what he’d said to me and that meant I didn’t get proper care.

By the time I was twenty-one, my wisdom teeth began growing in and pushed two of my molars upward (as the wisdom tooth was underneath) and I eventually lost those two molars. I remember asking the surgeon if he could leave my wisdom teeth and remove some of the molars that were full of tooth decay so I could have fresh teeth.

He said no.

My wisdom teeth were removed on my twenty-first birthday.

This pattern of pain in my teeth continued throughout my years. And the cost for my treatments went up significantly so that rather than get several things done a year, I was only able to do one or two things. Leaving my other teeth to get worse.

This is something that happens to a lot of people, though. Not the majority, but a lot still. So I never thought much of it. For one, tooth decay ran in my family. I also have porous teeth. So I tend to get more cavities than people without porous teeth. I never thought there might be more to my suffering beyond genetics.

But I was wrong.

As I got older and began having kids, my tooth decay got worse overnight. But I was taking all of my vitamins and doing what needed doing. Nothing worked. Nothing helped.

I remember going to a dentist at the time and the assistant was so mean. She kept yelling that I just had poor hygiene. I kept telling her that I brushed twice a day, sometimes three times. I flossed and had been regularly since my teens. But she was mean. She didn’t care and she humiliated me as I sat there in tears, all those people around hearing her yell at me for not taking care of my teeth.

I pretty much gave up at that point. I stopped trying to figure out what was wrong. I became horribly ashamed of my tooth issues even though prior they hadn’t really bothered me (aside from the pain).

Now, I’m going to shift topics here for a bit and get into some of the sexual abuse. Since—as I mentioned above—these things relate.

I’d had the memories of what happened when I was younger but I’d done a great job of suppressing them. Mostly I remembered being in an attic and performing oral on people. But again, I dismissed these memories by believing they weren’t mine.

Later, when I met others with the same memories, I thought, “Ah ha! I must have heard them talk about these things.” I held onto that for a long time.

Then I met someone at a writing event that had the same memories too and she’d asked if I was in therapy. I’d been telling her about my memories and without consciously acknowledging it, kept calling them ‘my memories’. So when she asked if I was in therapy and I said no, that they weren’t my memories, it all sort of smacked me upside the head. Everyone there saw it too, I’m sure, as my realizations of what I was saying were slowly sinking in…

I finally accepted that these were my memories.

But I still did nothing with them. It was easier to believe that they were false memories than real. Despite knowing so many people with the same memories, I didn’t want to accept it.

Jumping forward, I was sitting in my new dentist’s chair and she was coming in to discuss my tooth decay with me. For the first time, a dentist took what I was saying to heart and did some research.

What had happened was that she’d tried to work on a tooth of mine and the moment she took the drill to it, it shattered. More crumbled… She was unable to put the crown on and had to remove it instead because it literally crumbled. She’d never seen anything like it.

I’d warned her that would happen. It often did. But seeing is believing.

So she asked me many questions. I told her, as I often shared with dentists, my history. That I’d been dealing with this since my youth. That things never made sense. That I’d been accused of bulimia, being a meth addict, not brushing or flossing… I told her how I’d likely been at fault because for a month in college I had a diet of pop tarts and mountain dew… How I’d skipped brushing when I’d had the flu and had likely caused issues. How I’d been allergic to milk since I was very young but didn’t stop drinking milk until I was my early thirties…

While she definitely felt that being on milk when I was allergic during my youth contributed in a big way to my tooth decay (because I wasn’t absorbing calcium, which means now my bones might have issues as well), that wasn’t the biggest issue. She also felt with my level of anxiety that I might also have GERD, which can cause tooth decay, but she felt there was something more.

She’d done a great deal of research between my visits and as I sat in the dentist chair, waiting for her analysis, my heart began to pound. I wasn’t sure why. She’d done something no other dentist had taken the time to do. And she wasn’t getting paid to do it, so I didn’t know why I felt so nervous. I already knew I was losing my teeth. What could she possibly say that would make me so nervous?

But there I was, panicked… Waiting for her.

She came into the small room and sat quietly. She looked nervous. Confident in her findings, but still nervous. She was more pale than usual.

When she finally spoke, she began explaining that sugar isn’t what causes tooth decay. That it is related, but not the ‘cause’. Then she went on to explain the many types of bacteria we have in our mouths and how two of them, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, are the worst at the level of tooth decay they cause. She also explained that I had high levels of both in my mouth.

One, Streptococcus mutans, was passed from parents or family members kissing or sharing drinks and utensils. That pretty much everyone has these bacteria early on in life and if they don’t early on, they will when they begin kissing as it passes from mouth to mouth.

Then she explained the second one, Lactobacillus. She hesitated. Moved uncomfortably in her chair as she tried to make eye contact.

My heart began to sink though I didn’t know why.

I felt my blood draining from my face. I started checking out, though I hadn’t understood that’s what was happening at the time.

When she finally spoke, she said that this bacteria is often associated with… she stopped talking and pointed to her nether region. Again, I felt dizzy. Tears were building in my eyes.

I was still confused, though.

She began to explain further that eventually, most people will get this type of bacteria in their mouths as well. But only after they’ve taken part in… more silence… then she very quietly says, “oral sex”.

Now my head was hammering. But I’d had oral sex. I knew I had. So still wasn’t getting why she’d brought it up.

But then she explained how I had a lot. Way too much of this bacteria for someone my age. She said that most people get that bacteria in small amounts in their late teens or early twenties. That it’s small enough amounts that by the time they are in their late fifties or sixties, they begin to really feel the effects of these bacteria. But I had it in my early thirties. Which in her professional opinion meant two things…

  • I’d been exposed to oral bacteria at a very young age and that I’d likely had the bacteria in my mouth around the time I began getting my permanent teeth.
  • I’d been exposed to more than one person’s bacteria.

I could hardly think. I was lost in a sea of horror as I soaked this in. Because in that moment, I knew that my memories were my memories. Because now I had the evidence to prove it.

Shortly after that, I began sharing with my husband and friends, trying to sort out the abuse and how it might have happened. Within about four months, I started therapy. And once in therapy, had help tracking timelines and people and finding the proof that I needed to accept my past and begin healing.

And it all started with this dentist. She—in taking the time to go above and beyond fixing cavities—gave me the answers I’d needed.

I’ll never forget this woman and wish she hadn’t taken her practice out of state.

But that leads me to today. I’m in pain all the time. What I really need is a whole new set of teeth and none of these horrid bacteria in my mouth. But teeth aren’t cheap to get fixed. So I’m stuck in this ever slow process of waiting for coverage or saving up to get one little thing done, and now that my teeth crumble when they’re worked on, it makes it very hard to get anything done.

Even writing this, I feel my body trying to check out. I don’t want to face that not only did the sexual abuse cause me trauma, but it’s also caused my constant tooth pain. My fingers are numb as I type this and it’s making me have a great deal of typos…

Thank goodness for spellcheck.

And this comes at a time when I’m mostly present and doing well. Which tells me how much this has haunted me.

I’ve known about this for many years now. At least five. But I haven’t been able to talk about it until now.

I’m sharing now because people need to know. They need to understand that had anyone early on done what this one dentist had, I’d have begun my healing much sooner. People also need to know that this can happen and is something to watch for.

I blamed myself for so long, despite having people around me that rarely brushed their teeth, that drank a two-liter of pop per day, that ate constant candy or were bulimic… And they didn’t have the tooth decay I did and have had. I blamed myself because dentists blamed me. They accused and shamed rather than research.

I’m tired of being ashamed of this. And it’s all fresh for me because I have a dying tooth that really needs fixing and I don’t have insurance right now. There’s no need to be ashamed of something that I can’t help. Yet I have been.

So here it is, all out there, for everyone to read… Oral sex puts bacteria in your mouth. The more you have, the more bacteria you’ll have. The more partners you have, the more bacteria you’ll have. The younger you are… the more the bacteria will affect you early on in life.

I hate feeling ashamed of something I can’t control. I hate the vulnerability it’s taking to write this and publish it, despite knowing it’s what needs to happen so I can let go of it and move on. I love being vulnerable but hate it in this sense.

Now that I’ve shared, it’s time for some self-care. So I’m going quiet while I feel the depth of how much this has affected me. Whether that be the physical pain, the humiliation, or my own self-destructive responses of denial and pride. I’ve kept myself in pain because I didn’t want to lose teeth. Because I didn’t want to talk about this and do what needed doing. And my goals are different now.

In order to stay present and in my power and joy, I can’t deny these things. To myself or others. They need facing.

So off to yoga, and self-care, and hopefully by later today, I’ll feel better.

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