The Red Tent

*I’m pagan but grew up submersed in Christianity so the Bible is something I am still curious about but I’m not promoting a belief in it

**Please don’t judge my Netflix choices

The other day I chose to watch a series called The Red Tent. I chose it because the description said it was based on a book loosely based on the story of Dinah from the Old Testament of the Bible.

As a rape victim who was raped each time by known perpetrators I was curious about the story of the rape of Dinah.

Dinah. Genesis 34. Sister to the twelve tribes of Jacob. Whose brothers defended her honour when they believed she was raped.

The Netflix version presented another option to my thought process. Same story from another angle. What if she actually loved the prince and was only going against her fathers faith/tradition? Her brothers thought she was defiled but….

I went back and checked my Bible. I checked KJV and JHV (Jail House Version). I had some kind of Bible study looking the story up and comparing it to the movie/TV story.

Even in the Bible her ‘rapist prince’ comes to the father and tries to amend things. He allows Jacob’s sons to circumcise not only him but all his men to prove his love for her.

While they are in recovery? Jacob’s sons go in and murder her husband and all his men in their sleep and kidnap their sister back. They claim retribution but Jacob says they’ve brought shame.

Why would he feel shame in their actions if there wasn’t more to the story?

I’m not sure why I am even writing about this. I believe the Bible to be literature. Some of it is fairy tales. Some of it poetry. Some of it contains general wisdom.

I guess watching this makes me think about women.

The premise of The Red Tent is about what women learn from each other. It’s about the teachings and sacred things that happened in the outskirts where women were told to call ‘unclean’.

*I find that funny because I call ‘unclean’ and joke about ‘going to a tent’ when I bleed….   is that biblically taught behaviour?

In that sacred place they practice a religion outside of ‘Jacob’s’ faith.  I identified with the idea of a woman who came from a religion forced on her and broke free.

I watched it to the end. Biblically based (loosely) but it gave me a different perspective. Maybe a woman’s perspective? I’m not sure. But if you have any Christian inclination? I recommend this!

 

 

 

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Feeling Large ‘N In Charge!

swimsuit

One of the changes I decided to make this year of my life is to take control of exercising more. I’ve been walking more and now it’s time to hit the exercise class at the aquatic centre.

I LOVE aquatic aerobics and they are the best exercise for someone who has my kind of joint/muscle pain.  However, I don’t own a swimsuit right now and the local aquatic centre is a bit pricey for someone with my income.

The thing is? My dad always told me ‘you only don’t have because you don’t ask’.  So I asked. Do you offer any kind of assistance to someone with disability income level who would benefit from using your facility? The very kind woman gave me a card to contact someone else and ask.

Sure enough I meet the requirements for help and it’s been set up. The discount? It’s almost 100% off.

It was with a heart full of excitement that I began to shop for my swimsuit. Everything I could find in town was over $100 (yikes) so I went on good ‘ole Amazon and found the one in the picture. Measured myself up and went to pick my size.

WTF? I am not a 4 XL. The biggest I ever wore was 3XL when I was 400 pounds. But I guess online sizing is meant to make you feel like you’re bigger than you are. Other women’s comments said they ordered according to the size chart even though they also feel like they are not a 4 XL. They were glad they did because it fit them perfect.

I ordered the suit in the size it said I should (the 4 XL). But apparently it’s good I am taking charge of getting more exercise because I’m larger than life. I hope that after the soul crushing size choice it at least fits when it gets here.

Manic Feels Amazing

Aahhhh. The manic set in today. And it feels so good.

Along with my physical disabilities? I battle manic depression, severe social anxiety and OCD.

The OCD isn’t obsessive cleaning or counting or anything over the top. It’s the least of my issues. It’s more about keeping everything in my environment controlled in such a way I can avoid the anxiety and/or depression. OCD doesn’t affect me at all, really.  But it affects anyone trying to live with me. My needing things to be a certain way for bizarre or unexplained reasons. Still, it’s minor.

The anxiety? Well, that’s tough. I set out to do things and retreat at the first sign of confrontation. When there is something I really need and things don’t go the way I hope? I become so overwhelmed I cry. If I face confrontation? I cry. Sometimes I cry from being misunderstood. Crying is MOSTLY how my anxiety comes out. I have also crumbled on the floor of the grocery store, unable to go on because it is too much. My anxiety is my second worse issue.

The manic depression though.

The depression inundates me. I submerge myself in it. Days. Weeks. Months? That has happened often enough. Depression overpowers me. I can talk all I want about making change but it doesn’t happen. I dream about taking care of my home properly. I dream about taking care of myself properly. I ache to get off my couch and be active.

Sooner or later? The manic happens. I wake up one day that starts good and only gets better. Next thing I know? I am in overdrive.

Today was so manic! It was a payday (those are often good days) so I paid all my bills with a bit extra on each. I went grocery shopping and FILLED my freezer. I bought a new heater to help with the chill in my RV. I ran several other miscellaneous errands.

I came home and completely cleaned my living room area. Vacuuming, tidying, etc. I did four loads of laundry, including all the couch cushions and blankets. I cleaned the bedroom area.

Now? I’m in the process of some self love. Dyeing my hair before I have a nice hot shower and make an epic meal. The menu? Steak, stuffed baked potatoes and salad.

I am feeling so much relief about feeling motivated. It feels so GREAT to accomplish so much in one day. I feel compelled to get other things done and I have a plan for doing them tomorrow.

Is manic supposed to feel good? Like accomplishment? I recognize I am manic. I’m tired. My racing thoughts haven’t changed. I just have this spontaneous motivation. I feel if I don’t do EVERYTHING in the next two days while I have my manic energy? They will fall by the wayside again.

And if I fail in accomplishing the other goals? I will get tired and chastise myself for not doing enough. I’ll feel anxiety about it being ‘fake happiness’ that never really amounts to getting things done long term. Then I’ll spiral down into freak out mode. I’ll lose control for a couple days and then I’ll be fine for a while but depressed because it happened again.

This is the first time I have been so clear on the pattern.

How do I break the pattern? How do I focus on those positive steps made in the manic moments? How do I carry the accomplished feeling forward? How do I let the manic accomplishments spur motivation and not anxiety?

Phone Sex

WARNING: 18+, SEXUAL CONTENT, #MeAt14,

How old was I when I started having phone sex? 14

I lied about my age to get a job in the head office for KFC (yes, the chicken people). I took calls and dispatched orders. While doing so I met Dale. He liked my voice, we flirted on the phone about legs VS breasts while I took his order, he told me to keep his number and I did.

I was so sexually curious by that age. I snuck out of my bed in the middle of the night and called him.

Dale was 42. I lied to him and told him I was older (I said 18) so he would talk to me. He knew I was younger and a bit inexperienced so he talked me through my first phone sex. I was already masturbating by that age but he encouraged me to try new ways. Sometimes he would ask about any objects around me. It’s the one and only time I ever put a flower vase inside myself. I’ve learned to respect the vagina since then.

I learned I LOVE phone sex. Probably because I love to masturbate with inspiration. Being told what to do and how to touch yourself? Your natural reactions (moan n groans) inspiring the one on the other end toward an explosive conclusion? I had phone sex with my ex while he was in jail. He couldn’t do anything but he could at least hear it. Phone sex is hot in it’s own way.

When I was in my mid-twenties I went pro. Fun Enterprises (a local escort service) was branching out to 900 lines and needed staff. Not only was my voice sultry? I came with office management experience. They hired me as the Office Manager. I had my own stable of phone bitches. I could choose my clients. Definitely a cash-cow, phone sex!

My boss was arrested for his other business interests (you can google that shit to verify… Fun Enterprises) and I left my phone job.

I cleaned my act up and went into a more acceptable form of office management again. But I don’t regret the experience of being a phone sex pro. Phone sex rocks. I might send the BF to bed and call him from the couch tonight.

Shaunda Reads Cards

I’ve read cards for close to 20 years. I started reading tarot cards in my early twenties. However, I came and went from card reading because of my own struggle with religion.

From the time I was a very young child I sent out my energy to the universe and things happened. Everyone around me attributed it to God answering my prayers. When I questioned the prayer perspective I was taught any other ideology was evil. If I read horoscopes or thought about those things? I was inviting demons into my soul.

It took a long time to overcome that. It was in adulthood I embraced my intuition.  I emancipated myself from religion. I acknowledged my own source of power.

I started reading cards for myself for fun. A dirty secret until discovered by my pal. He insisted I read for him. Then his boyfriend. Then others.

Soon I was reading for myself regularly and for friends almost daily.

“Hey, Shaunda? If I bring over some wine can you do a reading for me?” “Hey roomie, I know it’s your turn to do dishes but I’ll do them if you pull a card for me.” “Shaunda, we think it would be great to have cards read at the holiday party so people can focus on what is coming in the New Year. You can do that, right? We’ll pay you!”

I loved, still love, reading cards. But I gave up my decks when I left Winnipeg and didn’t read for almost 3 years.

Last year I was in a local store looking for a quartz candle holder when I was compelled toward the cards. One deck in particular. Earth Magic.

earth magic

Oracle cards, not tarot. I was so drawn to them.

I started by pulling single cards for myself. Daily meditation combined with learning my new cards. Then I pulled cards for people around me, randomly. I used my book to learn about the cards I pulled for them. They loved the experience. But very random.

 

Over the summer I read cards voluntarily at a 95th birthday party, a 50th anniversary and a family reunion. I casually met people who had things they thought it would be fun to have a card reader at and I obliged. I received tips and possibility to do readings at other parties.

Honestly? This is a fun thing I love to do. Doing it naturally has drawn the right people to me who have helped me because I added that to their life.

Now I am taking it to my community. I live on a limited income and if I can supplement it in any way (cash or trade) I should try. It’s the most fun and best possible way for me to try.

Shaunda Reads Cards Facebook Page

However, I can’t deny I am scared because I am putting myself out there. What if no one responds? What if this amounts to nothing helpful? What if my natural abilities continue to go untapped?

I don’t venture out this way. I don’t risk my personal emotions. I’m very frightened of failure even when failing wouldn’t matter. If card reading doesn’t continue for me as more than a hobby? I will still be okay.

So I am stepping outside the comfort zone. Wish me luck!

 

Everyone Has A Tequila Story

Mine started out innocent. I was having a bad day and a pal convinced me to go to Karaoke Night at Gio’s. (longest running gay bar in North America at the time) My best friend knew I needed a night out. I was reluctant but tagged along.

It started at his friend’s apartment. I was meeting strangers but they all seemed to LOVE me to death. They were drinking champagne and doing shots. Then we left for the club and they ordered pitchers of beer. Sure, I’d take some. Thanks. All of the above.

* side note * I went through a weird phase of being everyone’s favourite fat girl. I was around 300 pounds at the time. I could KINDA hold my alcohol. To a point.

Then we went to Karaoke night at Gio’s.

My gay bestie, Jake, was hosting (My blog about killing Jake) that night. He used all his free drinks to buy me shooters.

Overall? After champagne, shots and pitcher beer? I did nine shots of tequila each followed by a tequila paralyzer.

And that is when she walked in. She looked like a hot mom. Shoulder length blonde hair, so pretty. I looked at her and my friends told me that she was 100% out of my league. I slurred at them they were full of shit.

I walked up to her at the bar and asked if she was with anyone. She said she wasn’t. I said, “You are now.” And I took her back to my table.

Marnie and I talked for an hour or so. we danced for more. When she turned to me, told me my friends were leaving and asked if I had to go? I told her, “Of course not. You’re coming home with me.”

She drove (don’t judge, please, it was more than 20 yrs ago) the few blocks to my place. I learned she was a ‘soccer-mom’ type whose hubby was out of town and she wanted a woman. I was fresh out of Bible College and really wanted every womanly experience I could have.

She was amazing. SO gentle. She had me cumming over and over. I couldn’t wait to go to town on her. Kissing her and tasting my pussy on hers lips made me quiver with excitement.

Maybe quiver too much?

Oh yep. That tequila caught up with me. Just as I got my tongue inside her? I barfed all over her. Repeatedly.

Worse? I found a porno mag, scrawled my phone number in eye liner on some naked woman, tore it out and gave it to her before I passed out.

She never called and I don’t drink tequila anymore. ‘Nuff said.

 

November 3 and 43

November 3rd is my birthday. In 2017 I am 43 years old.

I don’t make a fanfare over my birthday. This year’s was nice though.

My BF cracked three jokes about me being old or my gray hair before I reminded him it was my birthday. We laughed. He bought me carrot cake and wine.

I spent some time meditating about the coming year. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions but on my birthday I often take time to reflect on the past and coming year. I have some goals set (long and short term both).

My birthday fell on the full moon. The Blood Moon. It was a two day full moon and I was able to send off a lot of the negative things I have been struggling with. I came away from it with such a sense of confidence this year will be very changing for me.

And as a side note?

I’ve been focused mentally on my looks lately. Feeling insecure. So my boyfriend had me dress up and then took pictures of me to remind me 43 looks awesome on me!

IMG_0549

Chat With An Ex

Nope. Not boyfriend. My meth dealer.

I’m four years clean. I walked away by leaving behind family, friends and everything I was comfortable with to pursue a healthier lifestyle across the country. I wanted desperately to be free from hard drugs but knew if I stayed in Winnipeg I would be plagued by them or dead. Or in jail. Whatever the options were? I wasn’t interested.

I left it behind.

I learned today that shortly after I left Winnipeg my primary meth dealer was arrested. He spent time in jail and cleaned up.

Mikey was a lifetime (since teenage) meth junkie. He was shooting meth with needles when I met him. Same age as I was but he hadn’t gone more than a couple months without his drug since 16. I was new to it. He taught me all kinds of things about smoking. Educated me on venues that sold meth pipes. Sold to me in bulk.

I sold weed, he sold meth. Sometimes we would trade. Other times he cut me a deal because I was roomies with a prostitute he sold to and it was easier to sell to me bulk and have me take care of her (and her gal pals) than deal with their calls however many times they earned a twenty.

He was really good to me as far as drug dealers go. Always gave me extra personal. Gave me deals, gave me customers he didn’t want to deal with which meant I smoked more for free. Excellent dealer.

When I walked away from that life I left behind knowing a lot of people.

But today I talked with Mikey. He’s been clean shortly less than I have. He has a good job and he is doing well. And we still cross a distance of miles but I am so happy we can be friends who talk to each other.

It’s years later but I really feel like I have someone I can talk to about that past. Someone who doesn’t judge. Someone who can tell me about their struggle. Someone who knew me at my absolute worst. And knows the struggle. And still loves me.

I am so glad I got to chat with him.

Regret Is Not Rape

I was raped (Raped). I have done things with men I would not normally do because it benefited me. I have also participated in sexual acts with men because I was afraid of what I would lose if I didn’t. People in positions of power (bosses, landlords, etc).

My own personal choices influence what I am about to write. There will be people who think I am so off base but I need to get this bullshit out of my head. I’ve been plagued by it since my friend told me I should have used the sex scandals in my opinion LOL (Rumination)

As I’ve been hearing or reading about the Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals (Weinstein, Spacey and now Louis CK) I haven’t paid too much attention.

When it started with Weinstein? My initial thought was, “I always thought Hollywood executives had their way with actresses. Isn’t that how those women get ahead? ” I know some have stood up against that and their career has suffered. That furthers the idea women need to perform to get ‘in’ in Hollywood. I mean, that is how it is portrayed in Hollywood movies and TV shows. Right?

Some women went to Hollywood with such a big dream. Hollywood taught them how to make it happen. So they showered with or fucked or let an ugly man go down on them because they thought they could get ahead.

I read some stuff about Kevin Spacey and, sadly, though I respect his acting, I think some of those accusations are really sad. He’s one I think took advantage of underage men.

However, one of his accusers has a story that is ancient history. He is 64 now and is talking about what he experienced when he was 27 and Spacey was younger than him (22). Really? You’re an out-of-the-closet man complaining about the sex a 22 year old Hollywood star had with you in the day gay sex was so taboo? Really? Stop complaining and start bragging. (sorry, just how I feel)

I haven’t begun to read the allegations against Jeremy Piven, Dustin Hoffman and Steven Seagal. I probably won’t. Most of the things I read make me angry.

I have done some research on Louis CK. He’s one of my favourite comics. I know he’s told some dirty things in his routine in the past. A lot of what he has been accused of has been a part of his act. Jerking of in front of women? He jokes about his shame. He spoke about it in 2011 (Self Deprecation About Masturbation)

I have a deep appreciation for his statement. Read it. He accepts responsibility. He always received consent but looking back can see how ‘being in a position he was’ made it difficult for women to say NO. (Louis CK Statement)

Now? My own thoughts on these accusations.

If you say NO it is rape. No question.

If you consent to any sexual act because you think it will further career, you’re afraid your career will suffer, you think he’s ugly but he’s famous, he offers to make you a star, takes you out for dinner/drinks, need your rent paid… whatever the fuck reason you say yes… you still said YES.

Take it from someone who has said yes and had regrets. You don’t get to cry rape or misconduct. The only misconduct is how many women are popping out of the woodwork since the first allegations to say, “Oh wait, I didn’t want those advances I said yes to either.”

Yes, if they were underage it was wrong. If they said no? It was rape. But the majority of allegations I read admit to giving consent. WTF?

The majority of accusations came from 2010ish. 2010 people. Not 1960.

Women have had a voice for decades. They could say no and report it. Except they wanted their career. And  felt it was threatened. So THEY chose to compromise themselves and say yes. In the height of feminism, acceptance of all sorts, some people chose to ‘sell’ themselves short. Use their body to get their way. That is prostitution, not rape.

What have we come to in society that we can go back ten years to blame others for our poor choices and regrets? So you said yes and didn’t get the part? Now you cry rape? Maybe you did get the part but now you feel like you compromised yourself to get it. Your regret to saying yes does not make it rape.

As a person who has said NO? I think those complaints marginalize rape victims. I’ve said yes with regret. I don’t call that rape. But I have been raped as well. Saying yes and crying rape after? Does an injustice to rape victims.

I know the difference between when I said no and when I said yes for a benefit I regretted after. Only one is rape.

I feel bad for some of the men being called out and shamed. They are having their lives, marriages and careers destroyed by women who didn’t have the balls to say no when they wanted to.

I mean what if every groupie who fucked a rock star comes out of the woodwork?

 

 

 

 

 

Rumination

I’m not sure what exactly I’m feeling or how to express it. But I’m gonna try.

I asked a question on social media.

 If people want to tear down statues or ban flags because they represent the harm brought on people in the past… when do we start tearing down the churches?

I was surprised at the comment I received. It was from someone who also feels the church has caused harm. Instead of seeing the comparison she chose to use this as an opportunity to call me out as being racist. She educated me about the history of white supremacy. She accused me of posting this in defense of confederate flags, etc.

Truthfully? She has known me a long time. She knew me when I was dating a Nazi. She has seen past things I have posted that may lead someone to believe I am of certain political persuasions. Or a racist.

But I really thought she knew me better. When I explained ‘my point was to get people to see church harm from a different perspective. A comparison. And if we are tearing down representations of years of abuse, we should be including churches’? She conceded on my point.

Here is what really got my goat though. She agreed with me and then proceeded to tell me?

“also, the debate over flags and statues hit its peak six months ago, a more timely/apt comparison may have been, “if they’re going after weinstein and spacey, how about the priests?..” just saying that would have been less confusing. but again, good discussion.”

Are you kidding me? Who is anyone to tell my HOW I should express my own thoughts or opinion? I was so angry. It took me over an hour to come up with this.

Sure, tip top discussion.

Except, I’m having some difficulty being grateful for your constructive criticism on how I should express my own opinion.

If I compared Weinstein and priests? It could be misconstrued to be about people. Or Hollywood and religious privilege combined. Or sex scandals.

My point wasn’t about any of those.

Your idea that I make my opinion relevant would have negated my point.

My point was about recognized representation of institutions that have always abused. I said ‘flag and statues’. YOU added the word confederate. There are other flags and statues that represent abuse. The jesus statue with open arms in a cemetery? Reminding you if you don’t accept him you’ll burn. How about the Christian flag I was forced to swear oath to as a child? Would it make you feel better if I’d clarified all the flags and statues?

I left it vague for a reason! It’s your own pre-disposed ideas about me that made you assume I meant something racist.

So, yes, my reference may feel ‘like, so six months ago’ but it made MY point. And it wasn’t intended to relate to pop media.

I feel like I completely defended myself. And? Without the details? We ended our discussion by agreeing that even though we have our own strong beliefs we still love each other like sisters. The friendship is there 🙂

So why am I dwelling on it right now? Why has it been ruminating through my head? Why have I read the whole diatribe to my BF twice just so I can hear it out loud?

THAT is the feeling I don’t get. That is where I am confused. I’m no longer angry. We don’t agree but I made my point and we still love each other.

So what the fuck is wrong with me that my brain won’t let me move on with some other thought pattern? Can’t I find a way to get through things and let go?

I hate this mental bullshit!