Bronies in Space

Because I’m feeling sad tonight, I’m sharing Bronies in Space. I wrote this under my legal name but for my purposes here, will put my pen name with it.

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Bronies in Space!

by Sienna Saint-Cyr

“No.” Benny put up his hand. “I’m sure it was Spock.”

“You’re trippin. It was Captain Kirk. I would bet my custom painted Arisia Lang Twilight Sparkle pony on it.” Alice plopped down on the shaggy plaid sofa and rested her feet on the seventies-style wood table.

“No way… I’m right. I’ll prove it.” Benny pushed the black Buddy Holly glasses further up on his nose. His chunky brown hair fell into his line of sight as he thumbed through several rows of DVDs. “That pony is as good as mine.”

Thunder cracked outside his house, rattling the upstairs glass. Both Benny and Alice straightened.

“Benny?”

“Huh?”

“When are your roommates getting home?”

“Dunno.” He shrugged and went back to flipping the DVDs.

“Should we, maybe, go downstairs or something?”

“Nah, we’ll be fine.”

“That’s the second time this happened though. What if the storm gets worse?”

Benny abandoned proving his point, though in his mind it was only a temporary forfeit—that custom painted pony would be his—and he sat next to Alice on the sofa. She instantly snuggled under his arm. His cheeks reddened the closer she got.

“You’ll be okay, Alice. This isn’t Kansas.”

Alice didn’t respond verbally as she twirled her fuzzy mane in her fingertips. The freckles on her pale skin looked like celestial maps. Benny traced shapes on her arm, connecting one mole to the other. When the lights flickered and protested, the two snuggled even closer than before. Finally, the lights dimmed and everything went black.

“Don’t panic,” Benny felt around for his flashlight. “I’m prepared.” He flicked it on and held it toward the ceiling.

Lightning lit up the room, followed by a rolling crack. With the room illuminated, Benny could see the whites of Alice’s eyes. They were glazed over like a cow on its way to slaughter. Before he could make sense of her overreaction, another thud came, but this one shook the entire house.

Benny ran to the window to pull the shutters closed when he saw the source of the thud, and it wasn’t thunder. Something roughly thirty feet in diameter was resting peacefully on top of the wheat in the field, pressing each stalk awkwardly to the ground. There were no flames, no skid marks, and oddly, no object of any kind. Yet there was clearly something pressing the wheat down.

“Alice!” he ran back to her and pulled her from the couch. She instantly tucked her feet behind the table to protest his pulling.

“No!” She shook her head so vigorously that her frizzy hair resembled a troll doll.

“Seriously! Come here!” Benny looked at his Star Trek figurines, and exact replicas of the Enterprise C, then back to the empty space manipulating the broken wheat. “Please, there’s something out there.”

Alice drug her feet as she walked, twisting her hands over one another repeatedly. As she reached the window, parts of the pressed wheat became visible under the moonlight, illuminating brighter as another flash of lightning raced across the open sky. Her eyes widened and Benny’s pulse quickened.

“What is it?”

“I don’t know,” his eyes wandered back to the ships suspended from his ceiling, “but I think it might be an alien vessel.”

“Do you think?” her voice trembled.

“Maybe. Doesn’t that look like a crop circle?”

“I suppose so, but…” before Alice could finish her sentence, the sky went dark again, lit only by the half-moon.

“Come on! Let’s check it out!” Benny grabbed her hand again and pulled Alice toward the stairs.

“No!” she shook her head. “I can’t go out there!”

“You have to, what if there are aliens here and they’re in need? We have to see what it is.”

Benny watched as Alice’s eyebrows furrowed and he gently pulled her toward him. “I know you’re scared shitless right now, but if you come with me, I promise to surrender. I won’t take your pony.”

Her jaw dropped and a scoff escaped her mouth before any words. “You weren’t going to win, I was.”

Benny walked back to the DVDs and pulled out one of them, raising it high above his head, lit by the glow of the flashlight. “The Voyage Home, roughly ten minutes in. You wanna wait for the power to come back on and lose Twilight Sparkle? Or you wanna trust me and come outside? Either way, I’m going.”

Alice appeared to be lost in thought for a moment, her contemplations obvious to Benny as he watched her chew on the inner side of her cheek. “Fine. But I want to hold the flashlight.”

“Fair enough.” Benny took one last look at the Enterprise C hanging above him and headed for the stairs.

#

The frozen wheat crunched under his feet as he neared the mass occupying the field. Hair on the back of his neck rose the closer they got. Alice lingered several feet behind him.

“Well?” she asked as Benny leaned toward the empty space.

Benny didn’t answer, he merely reached out his hand, palm first, and waved through the air. His stomach lurched the moment his fingers met something colder than ice. It felt like tiny knives of freezing metal digging into his skin. The shock caused him to stumble backward, falling over Alice’s feet.

“Benny!”

“What the hell?” He hopped up and scooted back, pulling her with him. “There is something there!”

“Should we call the cops?”

“Are you insane? They’d just quarantine the area and we’d never meet our guests.” Benny, intent on meeting the out-of–towners, approached again. This time slower, prepared for the cold and sharp texture.

He ran his hand over about three feet of the object before hitting what felt to be a crack. Benny dug his finger inside and pulled sideways, just enough for a small hand to reach inside whatever the monstrosity was. “Help me,” said to Alice.

She came forward and dug her hand inside. “There’s a button in here.”

Benny froze. Then watched in horror as Alice reached for the button. “No! Don’t push i—” But it was too late.

His heart pounded like a drum in his chest. He waited for something to happen, for some terrifying alien to pop out, but nothing came.

“What?” Alice shrugged. “It’s just a button.”

“Says the girl who five minutes ago was freaking out!” Benny took a deep breath, then mimicked her with a hint of sarcasm. “It’s just a button, what could possibly go wrong?”

As if fate itself was answering him, a bright flash of light shot out of invisible something-or-other in front of them. Then right before them, there was an entrance. All black inside, but there nonetheless.

“It’s like The Voyage Home,” Alice squeaked, then grabbed Benny’s arm.

He felt her shivering and it only made his own nerves worse. He tried to hide it by taking several deep breaths.

“I’m going inside,” he said.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“I’m not sure pressing that button was a good idea, but you still did it.” Benny grimaced, but only because the light had faded and he knew Alice could no longer see him. “We’ve gotta see if there’s anyone inside. They could be hurt. You know I’m right.”

“Heh, right maybe, but it doesn’t need to be us that finds out.”

He knew she was right, but he wanted to be the one to find out. All the stories and conspiracy theories of humans capturing aliens flashed into his mind. Then the thing he believed, that life existed elsewhere and was probably much more like the television series he watched daily and swore by. They had to be like Spock.

Benny stepped forward and pulled from Alice’s grasp. “If you don’t want to go, stay here,” he said.

He only looked back briefly before entering the dark entrance. Then he sucked in a deep breath in case there was no oxygen inside.

The moment his foot hit a hard surface inside, everything lit up. Including a smallish, blue-skinned being no more than two feet tall. Its three fingered hands were in the air like an old western stickup. Its goose egg shaped eyes were shut tight.

“No, no! No probe!” It shouted.

Benny didn’t have time to panic. It all happened so fast. And the tiny being cowering just a few feet away looked so… harmless. Even though his heart still raced and his breath had caught in his chest, Benny didn’t run.

He swallowed hard instead.

“I… I… I…” he stuttered, “don’t have… a probe.”

To this, the smallish being lowered its hands and opened its eyes.

“No probe?”

Benny shook his head and squinted, then realized this little being was speaking English.

“How do you know what to say?”

Before it answered, Alice walked in behind him. He felt her presence and then heard her.

“Ahhhh!!!!” she screamed once, twice, and kept on screaming.

Then the being screamed.

Both screaming continuously until Benny finally screamed too, “Shut up!” Maybe he was more panicked than he thought because his voice seemed to echo more than the other two combined and he looked back and forth as both stared at him, eyes opened wide.

Benny took some deep breaths and passed out.

#

Benny woke on his back with Alice slapping his face repeatedly. He gasped when he saw not just her head leaned over him, but the smallish being’s as well. He almost passed out again, but managed to calm himself.

“You have custom Twilight Sparkle pony?” It asked. “Me no have custom Twilight Sparkle.”

In shock, Benny merely shook his head.

“The custom painted Arisia Lang Twilight Sparkle pony is mine,” Alice corrected.

“How do you know about that?” Benny finally asked when he regained enough composure.

“Me listen. You Bronies? Yes?”

Alice laughed. Benny stared into the ceiling of the ship. Finally, he nodded.

“Yes, I suppose you could call us that. And Trekkies. Geeks. Whatever.”

“Me love ponies! You take me Bronycon now.” The little being’s eyes lit up, complete with a sparkle. It reminded Benny of his My Little Pony™ collection. Their eyes had sparkles too.

“There’s no Bronycon this time of year.” Benny sat up, and to his surprise, the little being helped him. Its skin was soft as silk. He wanted to keep touching it, but got to his feet instead.

“You make Bronycon here!” It jumped up and down. “I call my friends. We use field and house!”

“No!” Benny shouted, and Alice jumped slightly. “You can’t do that. My roommates will be home soon. And what happens when the military arrives? Aren’t you afraid?”

“No, no,” it said. “Military no see me. They see crop circle. You have wood plank? We fakey them out.” Then it laughed in a symphony of notes.

“We have no power,” he said.

“We borrow from my ship.” The being smiled.

Benny looked at Alice who no longer appeared afraid. Her cheeks were rosy and she seemed slightly excited by the notion. But Benny couldn’t risk it.

“No, I’m sorry. We just can’t do that. You must not call your friends.”

Benny felt slightly crazy. He was speaking to a smallish blue being from space that wanted him to host a Brony convention? He was now questioning his earlier choice to eat his roommate’s brownies.

The being grabbed his lower lip as if he were contemplating something.

“But… me already call friends. They here if five, four, three, two, one, here!” It jumped and clapped its odd hands.

Just then more lightning struck. Several cracks at once from the look of it. Each crack’s flash filled the tiny ship. From how many hit, the lightning had a bit of strobe light effect.

“Shit, Alice! What are we going to do?”

Alice shrugged. “You’re the one who wanted to meet the out-of-towners.” She had a look of surrender and finally left the ship.

The smallish being was about to follow Alice, but then wobbled back and pressed some sort of button on the wall. A drawer popped out full of pony ears, tails, and rainbow tutus. The being slipped on a tutu, a tail, and some ears, then wobbled for the door.

“Wait,” Benny said, “If you’re my guest, I’d like to know your name?”

“Bah.” It said, then stuck out his three-fingered hand.

Benny shook it. “I’m Benny.”

The being smiled and made its way to the door.

Benny followed it outside and saw so many circles under the moonlight that he was sure there were even more beyond his dimly lit view. Even Alice had largely faded from view as she appeared to be greeting new arrivals. He had to rub his eyes, I’ve got to be dreaming, he thought.

The more he rubbed his eyes, the more he realized he was fully awake. Watching as at least fifty smallish beings in pony garb followed Alice into his house. He rushed after them.

By the time he reached his backdoor and the overhead light hit them, he saw that they weren’t all blue. They were all colors of the rainbow and some that he was sure looked far different than his human eyes could comprehend. And each tutu, pony ear, and tail pairings were unique.

The smallish beings filed inside and Benny waited. Watching as each passed by him before he finally followed them inside. There were too many to count. And Bah was smiling wide as it joined its brethren.

He followed them up the stairs and was just about to turn the corner when he heard Alice laugh and tell some of them she’s was putting on some music. Benny made his way around and saw her, his beautiful troll doll best friend, smiling wide as she looked down at the beings she’d been so afraid of just a bit ago. Now she appeared cool and excited as she pulled out his dance mix.

Benny felt his cheeks flush instantly. He didn’t like others knowing he listened to singers Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra, but then again, these beings weren’t human. The moment Respect blared over the speaker, Alice began flailing her arms in some sort of dance attempt and the little beings did too.

All he could do was laugh and join them.

At least ten songs played before Benny tired and headed to the kitchen for a drink. Before he made it, however, the front door opened and Ferguson—one of his two roommates—came through the door.

Benny froze.

“Heya!” Ferguson shouted in a slur. “Hans…” belch “is staying at Mandy’s tonight.” Ferguson grabbed his gut as he continued to burp.

“Uh, come this way.” Benny ushered him into the kitchen, unaware there were more smallish beings in his dining area.

“What the fuck?” Ferguson shouted as a little green one approached. Complete with pink ponytail and ears.

“I can explain,” Benny began, but was interrupted.

“You’re having a Brony party? Why didn’t you tell me?”

Benny eyed Ferguson. Then looked around to the dozen beings all cheering around him. They were obviously too small to be human. Children maybe, but did Ferguson think he’d have kids over to play pony?

“Ferg,” Benny said, “How much did you have to drink tonight?”

belch

“Sssouple a drinks,” he tried to speak, but spit instead.

“I see.” Benny smiled, realizing Ferguson had no idea there were even aliens around. “Well, we’re all upstairs dancing. Want to join us?”

“Shhuur,” Ferguson said, then headed upstairs.

Benny grabbed some water and hurried after Ferguson.

Once upstairs again, he watched his two close friends laughing and having a great time dancing with a species not his own. They danced for hours until Ferguson finally began sobering up and he rubbed his eyes several times as if trying to figure out what he was seeing. Benny quickly rushed Ferguson to his room.

“Time for bed,” he said.

Ferguson protested, but Benny didn’t want to explain to a recently sobered dude why there were aliens dressed at ponies dancing to Frank Sinatra in their house.

His sobering friend wandered off to his room and the moment the door closed, Benny announced it was time for everyone to leave.

Benny expected protest, but the sun would be up soon and the smallish beings seemed to understand that. They began gathering by the door and slowly filing out one by one. Benny quickly looked around for Bah.

“Alice? Have you seen where Bah went?”

She shook her head and leaned over to say goodbye to some of the beings she’d been dancing with.

Benny hurried through the house and didn’t find Bah. His heart felt heavy as he headed for the door. He hoped Bah hadn’t left yet.

The weight lifted from his heart as he saw Bah stepping out of its ship cradling something in its hands. It walked over to Benny and held up a tiny ship that looked like Bah’s ship.

“For your collection,” it said. Then smiled so wide Benny thought his grin would travel right off his face.

“Thank you. I… I don’t know what to say.”

“You take. Hang from ceiling. Remember me.”

“I will. Wait here.”

Benny ran back inside and pulled out his most prized pony. He’d been working on his own custom pony for over a year and had finally finished Rainbow Dash. He held it tight for a moment, then rushed back out to Bah.

When Benny reached Bah, most of the ships had gone. Evident by the smaller crack each made as they left. At least this time there wasn’t lightning lighting up the sky too.

Benny urged Bah closer to the ship so they could use the light inside to see. Then he uncovered Rainbow Dash.

“I want you to have this,” he said. Then handed it to Bah.

Bah’s lower lip trembled and he cupped his hands around the pony and held it to his chest.

“Thank you. You good friend, Benny.”

“Will I ever see you again?”

“Next year maybe for more Bronycon. Now we travel.” It smiled.

“That sounds great.” Benny hugged Bah, and Bah tried to hug him back. His tiny arms only fitting halfway around Benny. “You all are kinda like Bronies in space.”

“That is us!” Bah laughed and got on his ship. “Be seeing you soon.”

Benny backed up and felt Alice at his side, her arm slowly wrapping around his. They watched as Bah and the last of the smallish beings left.

“Shall we watch the movie now?” Alice asked.

“Nah,” Benny said. “I’m tired. This has been the strangest night. If I don’t get some sleep, I might think this all a paranoid delusion. Not to mention, Bah’s ship is gone. Which means we have no power again.”

“Good point. To bed it is.”

Both made their way inside and crashed on the first soft surface. Benny held the little ship close to him as he tried to fall asleep. He hoped he would get to see the out-of-towners again one day. Next time he’ll be more prepared with plenty of pony decorations.

 

The End

Posted in My Journey

Thirteen Reasons Why

suicide-1798247_1920These last few days I’ve been watching Thirteen Reasons Why. For those that haven’t seen it, let me warn you now, it’s about suicide. Normally I wouldn’t watch something like that as it’s triggering, but something about this show has been calling out to me and I waited patiently for it to become available on Netflix.

To summarize—and yes, this post will have spoilers, you’ve been warned—a teen girl commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes explaining why she did what she did.

On the surface, the show seems dark and full of hopelessness. I kept wondering why I was watching it. Why someone would protect these tapes and secrets left behind. Why these seemingly small things had amounted to someone’s death.

But I kept watching. I couldn’t look away either. I felt connected to the young woman that ended her life. I just didn’t know why.

As the story unfolds, the viewer follows one young man and his journey through listening to these tapes—in order—unfolding her choice to kill herself. There are many times when he wants to stop listening and I imagine that’s what it’s like for people left behind when someone chooses to take their own life. But he doesn’t stop. He takes breaks but keeps going.

Eventually, he learns that all the seemingly small things connect and soon the picture is much bigger and begins to make sense.

As I watched, I began to feel the suffocation of being surrounded by people that don’t see you. There are people everywhere, but how many look? How many take the time from their busy lives to stop and ask if someone is okay?

Not many. That’s for sure.

I remembered not being seen… that feeling of being swallowed up by the realization that no one cared.

Until the day someone did.

I’ll never forget the day.

I was in a call center. The lights low and annoyingly fluorescent. The hum of phones and people talking to their customers in the background… And then there was this man, my eventual husband, on the phone and watching me as I stared at him like an idiot.

He must have seen it in my eyes… The disconnect. The emptiness. Because he asked if I was okay, but it wasn’t a simple question. It wasn’t one of those that people ask just so they know they’ve done their duty. It was a real question that demanded a real answer.

Because he was real.

And I answered. “No, I’m not okay.”

This is a memory I’ve shared many times before, but this time I’m speaking about it, I’m understanding something I never have until now.

He saw my pain and asked for real because he’d lost someone he loved dearly. He wasn’t able to help her. And he, to this day, is still affected by this.

So when he saw me that day, that blank stare in my eyes, he knew I wasn’t okay and his question was genuine.

That day, I had hope for my future.

What he didn’t know and likely still doesn’t, is that at that time I would sit in the bathtub daily and talk myself out of slitting my wrists. Which just so happens to be the way the young woman kills herself in the show.

I didn’t do it, clearly, as I’m still here. Though each day was a struggle. Each day I had to talk myself out of following through and bleeding out in the tub.

As time moved forward and I kept not following through, I began to pull back from all the reasons why I felt I had no choice but suicide to begin with. I’d let go of people that hurt me, moved to a new place, and I was getting new friends and people in my life that made me feel better about being alive.

They made me feel better because they saw me.

Though not quite enough, as the feeling never fully went away. I just stopped listening to it.

Until tonight, I’ve never been able to see how all the little things led me down that road. Just like in the show, there were many little things that led to bigger things, or bigger things that led to me spiraling inward and questioning those close to me.

And for what?

To make this make sense to someone that’s never been in that place of feeling like there are no other options, let me say that when you’re in that mindset, options aren’t there.

Part of what the show unfolded was how this young woman would witness something and no one would believe her. People would defend those with money, power, popularity… despite there being at least some evidence.

The young girl not only witnessed stuff happening to others, but things happened to her as well. And because she doesn’t fight what’s happening in the moment, people don’t believe her.

What I saw in this fictional character was myself. There were times I didn’t fight. Mainly because I already felt dead inside. So when someone forced themselves on me, I didn’t always say no. And later, the same questions this fictional character was asked reminded me of myself being asked the same thing.

I hadn’t said yes but I hadn’t said no either.

This complicated things as I began to feel responsible. And in some ways, I was. But the fact that I didn’t say no didn’t mean that things that happened didn’t affect me negatively.

And as I look at all the things I witnessed, all the things I had to keep secret, all the things I tried to tell on or share about but wasn’t listened to, all the things that people still refuse to listen to and accept simply because their version of what happened isn’t mine, it’s all making it quite clear as to why I never thought I had an option besides suicide.

There is only so much someone can do to get people that are supposed to love them to listen, and if they still refuse to hear you, those people kill you a little inside. With each denial, each attack, each roll of the eye and disregard of what they’re being told, these people slowly kill you.

I loved these shows. Not only did it show how we so often choose to look away, but also how ugly suicide really is. And how and why people venture down that road. It helped me to see that when I was so suicidal, it’s because no one was paying attention. It’s because people didn’t want me to be in a bad place because then they’d have had to take action.

And isn’t that why people protect abusers and look away so often anyway?

So they don’t have to take action?

I think one of the biggest things that the series showed me was that there are always options. If the people in your life aren’t showing you this, then it’s time to find new people.

It also showed me how there were times when people did care and tried to get me on another path, but my distrust—due to others—made it almost impossible for me to believe them.

When I talk about all of this I speak mostly of the past. The people currently in my life have done a great job paying attention and checking in with me if they think I’m not doing well. And I’ll admit, it’s made a huge difference in my life.

But the series impacted me deeply because there was a time when I felt so hopeless. I couldn’t share about what I’d seen or experienced because the people I was sharing with didn’t believe me. They labeled me instead.

Tonight, I feel fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life. People that don’t need me to show pictures to prove something. People that take me seriously when I say I need them. They step up. They take action. As I do for them.

I couldn’t understand why I got so overwhelmed when I was younger. Why I felt like no one would ever believe me. Why I felt that suicide was my only option.

But now I do.

It’s the little things. It’s all the sighs of frustration when someone doesn’t want to listen. It’s the times they dismissed something because they’d have to acknowledge some part of the situation. It’s all those little things like, “You’re not suicidal, stop overreacting.”

It’s others’ lack of responsibility and willingness to be accountable that made me feel I had no other choice.

I made it through. Somehow, I made it through.

And now, as I see all of this and it makes perfect sense to me, I finally understand…

We may not be able to stop someone that is intent on suicide. But we can choose to see them. We can choose to listen and witness their pain.

Sometimes that pain may still be too much and our witnessing won’t be enough. But at least that person would feel seen. And heard.

The most toxic thing I’ve come across isn’t violence or rape, it’s apathy. It’s inaction. It’s looking away. It’s ignoring… Violence—in some ways—at least makes sense to me. Humans build anger and sometimes that anger turns to rage. Other times it is narcissism and the lack of ability to feel for others. But inaction is the worst.

At least for me.

Rape is awful, but not being seen? Far worse. If some of those people that looked away and to this day, still ignore, had just acknowledged what happened to me—what I saw and went through—rather than ignored, it would have made the violence more tolerable.

And that part wasn’t the responsibility of the main abuser. It’s the responsibility of those that are supposed to love you. The ones that aren’t abusing you directly but are still abusing because they refuse to see you.

I’m glad I watched this series even though it was fucking tough to do. Several times I didn’t think I’d get through it. But I did.

I got through these hard times in my own life too.

Going forward, I see how important it is to witness others’ pain. To listen, even when it feels inconvenient.

If people hadn’t witnessed my pain and shown me that I mattered, I’d still be on the path of suicide.

Thankfully, I’m not.

I don’t know if people that are suicidal should watch this series. While I fully appreciated it and learned a great deal from it, it certainly could trigger viewers. I watched it because I was ready to face whatever it brought into my awareness.

And I have.

What I’ve come to is that I’m only partially at fault for being so suicidal. And while I’d always felt it was the most violent abusers that led me there, I now see it wasn’t.

It was all those that looked away and dismissed my pain.

That awareness has changed everything.

Posted in My Journey, PTSD | Tagged , , , , ,

Emotional Growth Is Tough

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When we learn in school, there’s repetition to help us maintain knowledge. When we exercise and lift weights, there’s repetition in order to help our muscles get stronger. But during these moments of stretching, we rarely discuss why the rest portion is so vital after each session. There’s a reason why we don’t lift weights for eight hours straight or why we don’t learn the same subject all day long in school.

The fact of the matter is that if we lifted weights constantly, our muscles would only tear more and more and not get stronger. Part of the strengthening process comes from our muscles tearing and healing. The healing is what makes them stronger.

The same goes for our mental learning. If we learned new material and crammed for a test on that material the same night, sure we could have lots of repetition until the test, but we wouldn’t give the time needed to truly absorb and learn the material. It would be surface, memorizing, but not actually learning.

Understanding these things has helped me to also understand why the same thing happens to me when I have a big period of emotional growth. First I feel giddy and high and I’m so happy that I’ve come to new levels of awareness, but then it fades and I fall into a slump of sadness and depression.

All I hear in these moments is that little nasty voice in my head telling me it’s hopeless. That I’m a waste of space. That I’ll never reach my goals because it’s too hard and I’m not good enough.

This voice is a liar. I know this. But it still takes me down this darker path that I’m beginning to grasp is just a part of rewriting my narrative. I have to hear this belittling voice because it’s always been there. Then I have to tell it no. That it’s wrong. That I’m worthy and will achieve my goals.

This is my emotional muscle (for lack of a better term) tearing and healing to become stronger.

Because I see this, it’s vital during these times that I don’t give in to the dark voice and thoughts. Otherwise, it strengthens the darkness instead of strengthening the healthy changes that recently took place.

I don’t know why this seems so different than simply learning or exercising. Maybe this is why changing our emotional state is damn difficult.

When we’re learning something fresh, then we have an empty slate. When we’re strength training, we are usually starting from scratch. Unless we’re taught wrong to begin with and have to relearn material, then it’s harder. Or if we have huge biceps and they’re out of balance with the rest of our body and we must, therefore, compensate for this by building up surrounding muscles. These latter issues are certainly harder than starting from scratch. But emotional growth is different.

Once we have a memory, we don’t just store it in some file cabinet on our brains. No… We re-remember it with certain stimuli, but we also carry memory in our muscles. This means that when we are re-contextualizing memory, we must do it not just in our thoughts but our bodies too.

Change is hard. Seeing changes that need to take place are only the first step. If we give up during the time when the dark voices begin to shout at us, then we’ll never reach the other side and strengthen the positive memory muscle we really need to be happy and thrive.

Today I’m battling the dark voice. But I’m doing something different with it. Rather than let it drag me down, I’m allowing it to coexist with the new growth and changes I’ve experienced recently. This is what happens with practice. So the voice is there but it’s losing power.

I’m allowing this experiment to take place rather than call to get assurance from outside of me. Because the truth is, I know this voice is a liar. It’s the same voice that causes depression. And depression is a fucking liar too.

Right now, I don’t feel like I need to tell this voice in my head to fuck off. Instead, I feel that I need to redirect it. When I hear that I’m not worthy, I focus on how worthy I am. When I hear that no one cares and I’ll never be what I want to be, I focus on how many people show me they care daily and how I’m already becoming (and in some cases am) what I want to be.

This is a new way of looking at things for me.

I feel it’s important that when any of us make big changes and begin to accept that we need healing and growth, that we understand there will be these backslides. They have to happen because that’s how we build strength. Otherwise, we’re just ‘cramming for the test’.

For any of my friends, readers, or anyone stumbling across this blog, please know that these dark thoughts and voices really do fade over time if we keep focusing on the good. And when they aren’t fading, it’s okay to ask for help. Because giving in is never the answer.

It may be hard to rid these darker thoughts, but the more we focus on strengthening the positive thoughts, the more we strengthen that muscle memory. The more we deepen the positive thought grooves in our heads, the more likely our thoughts will slowly begin to connect with those grooves instead of the darker ones we’re used to jumping to. Because we’ve made these positive ones stronger and deeper with practice.

I’m worthy of all the goodness in life. I’m worthy of being heard. Worthy of love. Worthy of happiness and health. And so are you.

Posted in My Journey, PTSD | Tagged , , , , ,

Writing, Therapy, and Thriving

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Last night I got back to a writing project—okay, a novel—that I was hoping to finish by last December. I’ve never had so much trouble writing a novel before. Usually, I’m quite fast and can crank them out. First drafts, of course… But this particular one has been troubling me. I kept starting and stopping, hating what I wrote, and nothing felt right. I’ve been stuck in the first few chapters for a year.

Eventually, I figured out why and it’s because I was telling the wrong story. The story I was telling was only a small portion of the whole picture. An agent tried to tell me this and I knew she was onto something, but it’s taken until now for me to unfold what the story is. Because it’s my story. It’s still fiction, but I needed to get to a certain place before I understood what my main character was going through. Before I could see her path and understand her arc and where she’ll end up.

Now I know her arc. I know her journey and where she lands.

I’ve come to this conclusion after some recent growth and acceptance.

These past few weeks have been rough. Not just because of the loss of our dog, but also because I’ve been working through the tail end of some trauma dealings.

For years I’ve wanted to reach a place where my trauma wasn’t running the show. It’s hard for people to understand but when you have something like PTSD (or any condition like schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, even depression), that condition is often running the show. It’s writer, director, producer, special effects, sound, costuming, and critic. Even with therapy and treatment, mental illness and personality disorders are akin to living with a villain constantly in your head telling you that you’re worthless, that people are out to get you, that you’ll never be able to live the life you want to live because you’re just not good enough.

I haven’t wanted my PTSD to be in charge for a long time now, yet moving past it has involved so much work. It’s meant dropping my pride and allowing others to help me see my areas needing growth. Then it’s meant dealing with what stood in the way of that growth so that I could grow.

It’s not been an easy journey.

While my fictional character will not be me or take my exact path, since she is going through much of what I’ve been through, I needed to come out on the other side before I could do the story justice. Now that I have, I’m not only back to my novel but I’ve got a level of excitement that I haven’t had since I began writing nine years ago.

If this has taught me anything, it’s that there’s no need to give ourselves guilt trips over the things we haven’t accomplished yet. There’s no need for looking back. In fact, I’ve found the best way to deal with my trauma is not by revisiting it when it happened, but by pulling it into my ‘now’ and dealing with it here. This is the same with writing. I’m in the now, and I’m having fun getting back to this novel. I’ve pulled my struggles into the present moment, spun them around in my head until I got the full picture, then set the issues aside as they are no longer issues.

People always told me to write what I know and I couldn’t write this novel because I didn’t know the outcome yet. I didn’t know the possibilities. I didn’t even know that healing and overcoming the PTSD was possible.

But it is.

My journey has been painful but full of reward. With each tough thing I face, I’ve been certain that those around me will leave me. That they’ll finally see I’m too much work and be done.

They haven’t.

With each layer of vulnerability, my relationships with those I’m vulnerable with grow stronger. They are more powerful. I hope this is the same for my writing.

These things have been tied for me all along. Many years ago, I’d tried to heal through my writing and all I ended up doing was creating different aspects of my trauma. I’ve written characters that can’t feel emotions, that don’t respond how a normal person should. They’d have triggered responses and lack accountability of others. My characters made excuses and found things to love about abusers. There was always a change of heart on the part of the aggressor too. They always saw the error of their ways and changed.

While that is fine and a lovely fantasy, the reality is that this rarely happens in real life.

I’ve seen people grow and change, but they aren’t the kinds that did the worst abuse. The ones that change are the ones unaware that they’re hurting others because of their own trauma they haven’t addressed. It’s still abuse, but once they become aware, they take action and work to change it.

But this isn’t what my stories have been about. They’ve been about the evilest people turning out to be good. And everyone lives happily ever after.

This is a toxic expectation to have.

What I’ve learned over these last few years of healing is to accept that there is evil in this world and that these horrible things that happened weren’t done out of some twisted sense of love toward me. They were done because the people doing them were evil.

Love may hurt when we feel the pain our loved ones are going through, but that’s consensual. We choose to hurt for those we love when we are empathic. Love shouldn’t be about an expectation to endure pain. That’s not consensual. Love that comes with expectations for people to put up with abusive behavior isn’t love.

I’ve also learned that secrets destroy. They aren’t fun to have or keep. I do keep others’ secrets because it’s not my place to tell them. But my own, no. I don’t want them. They only cause me harm.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to blog them or tell even most people my secrets. But I have told. They are no longer secrets.

It was this telling just days ago that has finally freed me from the cloud raining on me all these years. The cloud has drifted away in the breeze and the sun is shining through, finally warming my skin and giving me a chance to see clearly.

I’ve always known that my writing was a huge part of my therapeutic process. The same goes for my D/s relationship. And my relationships with friends as we learn and grow together. Life used to be about trauma and now it’s about an opportunity to heal and thrive at every turn.

Being present is vital in all of this. Living in the moment changes everything. Finding that quiet place inside myself where I can listen is so important. Then being open. Allowing others in. But only those that have earned that privilege.

I’m full of excitement moving forward. Not just for my writing but for my life in general. I’ve let go of so much negative and embraced the positive. I’ve found joy in being completely vulnerable.

My novel can now incorporate this joy. It can include my vulnerability and embrace the positive while also accepting there is evil in this world too. It gets to include the beauty of life in all its aspects, dark and light. Pain and pleasure. I’m no longer writing to heal but instead, sharing my journey of healing.

This hasn’t been an easy journey. But it has been full of reward and pleasure, two things that continue to increase in intensity and frequency the healthier I’ve become.

Now, I get to move forward with my plans for the future (while also remaining in the present). Plans that have shifted drastically as of recently but the new plans are much better and far more full of joy than the one I’ve left behind. All possibilities are before me, whether that be success at writing, schooling, a career as a therapist and coach, my physical health… Even having deeper and more fulfilling relationships, thriving rather than existing, all is possible for me to succeed at and enjoy.

Writing was my therapy. Then actual therapy along with submission to D. Through these things combined, I’ve reached a place where my PTSD is no longer in charge.

I own my life and my experiences. I own my body. I own my choices.

I’m in charge.

Posted in Lifestyle, My Journey, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Interview with Dirty Lola via fuck.com

My interview with the fabulous Dirty Lola! She was such a joy to meet at the Mystery Box Show. 🙂

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We’ve got the dirt on Dirty Lola. To be honest, it wasn’t hard; she’s so open about everything! Dirty Lola is a naughty storyteller, sex encourager, sex toy peddler, and the creator and host of Sex Ed A Go-Go; a live sex-positive Q&A go-go show and podcast. Fuck.com asked Sienna Saint-Cyr to pick her brain on sex positivity, polyamory, and all things kinky.

Read more here: fuck.com

Posted in Fuck.com Articles | Tagged , , , , ,

Norwescon Schedule 2017

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Thursday

Enthusiastic Consent

6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 11

Sheye Anne Blaze (M), Sienna Saint-Cyr, Sonia Orin Lyris, Wednesday Phoenix

 

Friday

Writing LGBT Characters in the Post-Patriarchy

5:00pm – 6:00pm @ Cascade 11

Dean Wells (M), Evan J. Peterson, Sienna Saint-Cyr, John (J.A.) Pitts

 

Sexing Up/Down Your Sex Scenes – Writing Workshop (This is by signup only. If you’d like to take part, see the Norwescon Workshop page.)

8:00pm – 9:00pm @ Cascade 12

Sienna Saint-Cyr (M)

 

Consensual Non-Monogamy

10:00pm – 11:00pm @ Cascade 5&6

Sar Surmick (M), Sienna Saint-Cyr, Wednesday Phoenix, Sheye Anne Blaze, Jen K

 

 

Saturday

Writers’ Workshop

11:00am – 12:00pm @ Rainier

Harold Gross (M), Sienna Saint-Cyr, Alex C. Renwick, John Lovett

 

How to Be an Author on the Internet

6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 9

Sienna Saint-Cyr (M), Stephanie Weippert, Caroline M. Yoachim, Lisa Mantchev, Shannon Page

 

Reading: Sienna Saint-Cyr

8:00pm – 8:30pm @ Cascade 2

Sienna Saint-Cyr (M)

 

Advanced BDSM

10:00pm – 11:00pm @ Cascade 10

Sienna Saint-Cyr (M), Mickey Schulz, Ogre Whiteside, Sar Surmick

 

 

Sunday

Getting it Wrong – A Panel for Allies

12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Cascade 5&6

Jason Vanhee (M), Sienna Saint-Cyr, Brenna Clarke Gray, Evan J. Peterson

 

The Art of Critique

2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Cascade 11

Sienna Saint-Cyr (M), Jak Koke, Randy Henderson, Nisi Shawl

 

Invisible Disabilities

3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 5&6

Sar Surmick (M), Sheye Anne Blaze, Sienna Saint-Cyr, Wednesday Phoenix

 

Posted in Events and Classes, My Journey | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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

 

 

Posted in My Journey | Tagged , , , , , , ,