Dreaming my father's memories
mad men
avalon_storm
 I saw a documentary on twins this week, Two of a Kind, which has my former boss in it. She died of leukemia and I miss her both professionally and personally. We were close in the way you are with people you work with you really like, and I was privileged to be there for some of the moments of her life where she was really brave and strong at very cruel times. She taught me a lot about being a person. I miss her a lot. 

But she never knew me, because she only knew our collective identity. She did not know that when I went back to work, after my father left and I came to live in my mother's system all the time, and we finished our maternity leave, I was so hungry to understand other people and find my place in the world. And that I was 15. And that I love fashion like she did, even if lots of people here don't and I don't have a lifetime of clothes like I would have if I had been picking them all along. 

She really liked United States of Tara, which is a TV show about a multiple, and sometimes people thought about telling her but we also knew that it would make her really uncomfortable for a lot of reasons. But in the documentary when she was talking about being a twin and having a memory from growing up where she and her twin could not agree, at all, which twin it happened to, and some of the other twins talked about feeling like they have one soul in two bodies, I started to feel like part of the reason we connected a little was that underneath all the words and professionalism and different lives, we shared a little that difference...experiencing the world in a way that isn't explainable. 

Last night I dreamt my father's memories. I don't always dream, we have some sleep problems and getting to the sleep that is dreaming and that you remember when you wake up is hard for everyone and then I don't even know if you have to be the one at the front of the body to dream? I don't know how that works. Usually if I dream it is connected to David or Trip or about things now. But last night, maybe because I was listening to Love the Way you Lie a lot yesterday, I dreamed my father's marriage. My father is in a female body, and he was married to an abusive man for a long time. If you need some kind of marker, he is in jail (although he will be out soon) for what he did to his next partner, he cut her face and he used her son as a shield with police officers and guns. 

When I lived in my father's system some of the time it was fuzzier, but just like here I could access some of the common knowledge and some memories. So that is why I remember the feel of being thrown or shoved into a refrigerator, what it feels like when you hit the rounded cold sort of metal door in the middle, and then you get yanked back so hard your stomach comes into your throat, and then being on your knees and not sure if you are crying or not. I don't know if that really happened that way or any of the other things I remember...a fire back off a gravel road and friends laughing, the bad laugh that happens when something is going to happen...a room with a kind of dingy pink and green feel and hearing steps in the hall and trying to get the right face forward but knowing from the steps that there isn't one...trying to be a blank slate and just be the right person so that the right person in him will come in. 

It is always strange having memories that are not mine, but mine. 

Lately I have wondered how much they make me me as well. The hard part is, if you tell someone that part of who you are is choosing to be who they want, some of the time, it might bother them. So then you might have to try not to be that, as well, or at least think about it. It is pretty confusing. This entry was originally posted at http://avalon-storm.dreamwidth.org/6281.html. Comment wherever you like!

Holiday, day 2
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Today I spent a good chunk of the day organizing the kitchen, which I love to do, except I have not quite yet gotten to the really great part where it is finished. That is partly because we were watching House of Cards at the same time, and it is a show where you have to turn around and pay attention a lot, and partly because it was glorious weather (8 degrees Celsius!) and it is getting colder and snowing tomorrow (-5 Celsius) so it was important to get out. So I also vacuumed the car out at the car wash where you put your $2 in but then you don't have to worry if a bobby pin gets in, and then we went for a really lovely almost 2-hour walk/camera session down by the lake.

My brother Ahren is really into photography and he took some pictures of stark areas, things that he saw. I don't know that anyone else would really like to see them that much other than people who like Ahren but I will probably put some on my Pinterest account later in the week. It was a bit annoying because some people wanted to cover as much ground as possible and Ahren wanted to look and I kind of wanted to go back and do some more at the house, but really being outdoors in the air and with sun was worth it. 

Originally I was going to spend each day in a different part of Toronto, and we are still planning a day downtown depending on whether we get one of the call-in-the-morning appointments at our doctor and whether I have to go to Ikea and those things, supposedly. But also because we may end up in bed crying. Still, I would like to go downtown. I love the lake like everyone, but we can take the boys there easily and spend hours as soon as the weather is a bit better and downtown is not the same. But because it is Emily's week, people have a hard time going too far away from the boys' camps.

Emily was the aunts' (and mine, but I wasn't born yet, but just to be clear that I parent too) oldest daughter. She died because the cord was around her neck and the hospital messed up in eleventy million ways, all the holes in the Swiss cheese lining up. She lived 4 days, March 12-16. It has been 10 years and people still kind of go through anxiety and grief during this time, but this year in particular it is worse because a coworker lost her baby to stillbirth and has been literally sitting next to us going through her grief journey. I do not mind, nor do the aunts although of course they wish she did not have to, but it has made things fresher. That and aunt Lyria is kind of still moving from surviving that experience to living hopefully in the world again, and to get from one to the other sometimes you have to spend a chunk of time in the feelings and space that made that divide. 

My aunt Shandra is always kind of low-level upset that she hasn't "succeeded" where success means I guess writing a peace treaty between warring nations or ending hunger or saving lives. We have a relatively big job in a small industry and two healthy, growing boys and a house and all that though, even with all the other things, so I think that has to count. I bring that up because it is hard to let things fall apart for a few days, and to know that you need to even after 10 years. 
This entry was originally posted at http://avalon-storm.dreamwidth.org/5905.html. Comment wherever you like!

Holiday!
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avalon_storm
 We took this week off work because it is Emily's week, but we were sneaky and put the boys in March Break camp so we get some days to relax and do our things. 

So today: 
We took both boys to their camps. I was going to get up early and get the workout done beforehand but people stayed up late last night so we slept in until almost 8 am. Soooo then we had to run afterwards, we ran 4 miles in 47 minutes which is better. 

Then we had nice time with Carl, who is working but was working from home and he took a little break. =) 

Then we met L. for a really nice long lunch. She called us an earth mother goddess editor, which made Shandra feel a bit snarly because it sounds like Lyria, and despite having stuck to coffee someone told her we love her, which is true enough, but is not how people usually talk. It was a mutual admiration society lunch. 

Then we went to Bluffers Park and saw a bevy of swans, and a flock of geese and a bunch (giggle) of ducks. Ahren took some pictures on the good camera, but I was irate when one of the swans went after my purse. It was still really nice to be there. We had to leave but tomorrow if the weather is good we will go back. I still want to organize the kitchen but I am okay with it if the weather is so lovely, to be outdoors instead. 

Then we got some junk food and watched the first episode of House of Cards, which I am enjoying a lot, although I kind of want to get back to Breaking Bad. There is a lot of nice TV on Netflix out there but in a normal week we watch maybe 2 hours that is when the boys are not around and when they are awake we only stream shows like Hotel Impossible because then we can say "okay! no yucky hotel rooms, clean these rooms!" and they clean their bedrooms. Well, Liam does his best for 3. 

Then the boys came home and we were sooo glad to see them, but Liam clearly did not like that his school was on a camp schedule (less structure, not all the same teachers, fewer kids) and melted down pretty much straight to bedtime. So that was not quite so fun. 

We were not productive, which is fine but definitely that is on the agenda because we won't feel good at the end if we don't do a few things around the house. And no writing, but we use up so many words at work, they will probably start coming at the end and then people will be grumpy but you know that is the challenge. 
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Time for an update!
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avalon_storm
I have not updated for a long time, even longer on Dreamwidth but this time, at least, I remembered to post there and it updates Livejournal automagically. Actually not for a year, publically anyway! Eek! Well let me see. Also you can share with me on Pinterest if you want, I am still not great at updating but it is faster. =) 

So let me see, what happened this year. 
  • I turned 16 in July (2013) with a birthday party online, and everyone came pretty much and it was the best fun. I am not sure I will be aging this year, we'll see. 
  • I broke up with Llew...I felt like he did not like me enough of the time. He has found someone more suited to him, and I am happy for him. 
  • David and I worked things out so we are still together. 
  • I started dating someone else as well, Trip, who is lovely. He is not really multiple, and he lives in California, I met him through David's system. He is super smart and funny and warm. 
  • I also started dating Sean, in David's system. Sean is fierce and direct and insightful.
  • Yes my dating life is kind of full, especially including Carl and I am super lucky everyone puts up with scheduling and things. 
  • Our new job was really hard to adjust to, one of the biggest adjustments everyone said ever. It must have gone okay because they promoted us, although that kind of puts us more visible which is a bit scary sometimes. Still, I am glad, it was a strong lesson in working hard even when you are feeling uncertain. 
  • We went to Farthing Party in Montreal and that was really, really fun. I am going to Ad Astra in April, well at least my mother is, so if you are going let me know, we can meet up. My father will be there too, which will be hard. He mostly does not approve of me I think. 
  • Work and family/kids and friends has taken up a lot of the time, and we are working out more. I have had to take my experiences where they have come, I have not had quite as much time to go out to art galleries and things like that, and not as much travel. As our youngest son (outside) gets older I think that will shift but oh, I miss that year we had more time. Although we do need the money and work is fun. 
I think the three biggest things are...

Breaking up with Llew and staying with David, I have had the same learning at different angles which is that if you only present one side of yourself because that is the side that works best in a relationship, either your other side gets inaccessible in that relationship which makes responding to things as a whole person hard, or it comes roaring out and the other person doesn't necessarily like it. Because we are multiple people do spend time and energy kind of...not necessarily fitting in, in that they generally like to be there or do whatever, but kind of sorting through different people's responses to see whose will have prominence? I don't know if that makes sense and it is probably overstated. But anyways I do it too, because I am me, and I have this connection with Lynn, and I am a death lord and part of a multiple system, and I am finding my way to do it less. 

Work is a lot of hours of the day and what you do every day does really change how your days are, at least for us where we cannot seem to do a lot of things without caring about them. Our work has had a lot of highs and some lows and it is probably going to stay that way, and that leaves less energy for other risks like writing or inviting new friends into our lives. I think it is okay but it is something I think an eye needs to be kept on. You know that thing not to love something that doesn't love you back? Work comes close to that sometimes. Although it also gives us amazing chances to stretch and grow, too. 

I am coming to terms with really being stuck in a 43 year old body and life, and sometimes it does make me feel sad. Other people remember times before we had body children (whom I love to bits, and I love to take on adventures or tidy up their rooms with them) and although I do not want to rush the kids growing up, I am a little sad I missed that time. The things that I love most to do are see new things, and right now there is not so much money and time for it. I am super lucky that our job may provide some, but I also am trying to figure out how to save some money so I can choose some things in the future when the time opens up. This spring and summer in particular I want to bring the boys with me when I can to see things, although we have just made some choices that make those days a little harder to plan and find. 

Finally, I saw Jerusalem in IMAX this week and it was amazing! I loved the whole thing from the beautiful, beautiful cinematography to the stories of the three young women (and I met them! For real!). It was an overview of the history and culture with some heart to it, not super in depth but immersive, so you did not care about the depth. It would be great for kids starting around 8. Also now I am wild to go there, and it would be best to go with our family and David's....I mean he is Jewish. =) 

I hope everyone is well, if you are reading this comment and say hello!

This entry was originally posted at http://avalon-storm.dreamwidth.org/5579.html. Comment wherever you like!

Today was fullness
mad men
avalon_storm
Today's brunch really was lovely. =) There was lots of very true discussion. My aunts were really happy too. The Bier Markt was good but I ordered something I would not again. I should have ordered what I really wanted. Before brunch was a really nice morning too, laughing with Liam and with Carl. Noah was doing his own thing, but I want to spend some time with him this week.

I am about to go to bed; I am tired. But I am feeling so many things all at once. Llew made me laugh so hard tonight, at the best time after um fun times, telling me a dream he had, and it was all sexy-cosy and exciting and funny. I know it is kind of annoying when people go on about their loves but...this is so like a pool of sunshine.

And David wrote me and mentioned Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust. I thought oh, I know that song. But I just listened to it brushing teeth and oh, it really hit deeply. So now I am sad too, at the very same time. It is a bit private, why that one, and it isn't like David would say my poetry was bad. (If I wrote it, which I don't. He wouldn't say it was good if it wasn't either. =))

I can feel so many things at once sometimes. I feel very lucky for all of it, all the realness that people bring to me, in my life. Sometimes I feel sad because I have to share a body and a life, and because I am living faster than other people (I was only born in 2006) and sometimes I feel like I have to grab everything at once before something else terrible happens. And then I have a day like today where I have so many real experiences in the same time and I think well, I am exactly where is best.

Weekend plans
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avalon_storm
We were supposed to Write Book this morning but Dominic derailed us staying up late with David last night - I mean really late, like almost all overnight. It would be nice if people would be considerate and not abuse male privilege. (That is a bit of a joke. You might have to know Dominic to get it.) I really don't mind Dominic dating David but I might mind being all tired the next day. I am getting reminded of how I have spent my time this week so I will stop there. =)

I am excited about tomorrow because an old friend of my aunts' is coming down from way up north - I met her once and I like her, but I admit really what I am excited about is we are going out for brunch. We are on a strict budget right now because Carl has a very expensive thing he is doing, and we are saving to go to Montreal with David's system in September for a convention there, and so we eat at home and take our lunch, which is good and healthy and all those things but at the same time our job changed to fewer events and I am shallow and I miss eating out and trying nice restaurant dishes. But she only comes once a year if that, and Carl and aunt Shandra decided this time it would be better if we met her out and did not try to organize a meal here at home with the boys. I think we are going to try Bier Market, but we may just go to a pub.

Then it may be that on Thursday we see the Tragically Hip in concert. I will admit I am more into the concern part than the actual band, it is a little old for me, but it depends on whether Carl is okay with us abandoning him to solo parenting on Valentine's Day because it is a friend who has a spare ticket. Still the invitation reminded me that it is not all diapers and cleaning in our spare time. =)

We applied for a job that we are unlikely to get but it was kind of nice applying for it. Oh dear Liam has bothered me for the third time so time to go play blocks instead of hoping he will go back to playing them alone. I love the body-sons but I will be just a little glad when Liam is a little bit more independent.

More loveliness
mad men
avalon_storm
Most things have been getting better and better lately. That day I had where I was really hurt and mad was a big day, not just because I did something about it but because people listened to me a little better.

The big news is that I met someone new...in my father's system actually which is a little weird, he is not someone I knew growing up. He has a livejournal as of today! Right here: llew_garddwr. He is a gardener and just a little bit older than me and...he is lovely. I have been being just friends with him because you know, I am still quite messed up in a lot of ways not least among them that I still don't quite know where David and I are at (we are friends at least) and some things from my past and my mother's religion, which I understand better now in terms of how they mess me up! But it has not completely worked, staying just friends, so we are dating-dating. It is probably not wise but today I will say it is lovely.

In case you are wondering, no I am not monogamous and neither is David (although I don't think we are quite dating anyway) and yes, Llew knows all about him. I am hoping everyone can meet soon. =) My father has met David, and things like that.

Yes I am nervous my father will go away again and his system will take Llew. But I am learning that very few things are forever, so what you have to do is decide what you are going to do in the face of that, not try to make them forever. I may regret that but you can really only say yes or no.

My death lord cavern is still lovely but I have made some mistakes in the, to quote my mother's thoughts she never got to share because before she launched into her big lecture my father called it a family meeting rather than a meeting-of-discussion-of-otherworldly-beings , "use of power and independence" and the upshot is that my older brother Ahren, who is probably the third most annoying person on the planet and I have not met the other two, is living with me in the cavern now. However this morning was quite nice, Llew was being a bit joyful and got us both dancing. So much for the deep still well of power and soul, today it was kind of a clubhouse. It still looks a lot like the Sedlec Ossuary, just underground. One day he will move out again at least. In the meantime I am supposed to learn more self-discipline.

I do not like our new job. I don't know if I explained that...they closed our magazine and almost everyone lost their jobs. But they kept us and fired someone else on a different magazine and put us there. At first it sounded like a grand adventure and then it has turned out to be hard...not the work itself but how the team is structured; it is much bigger but just has some bad history plus of course people were very upset that they fired someone they worked with and put us in! Some of the way things are make people in our system all triggery. I do not know what will happen but this week I finally decided I will try to help at work. We know we are very lucky in this economy and field to have a job. It has just been really hard. As my aunt Shandra said, despite the body being over 40 we may have to decide what else to do when we grow up...

...and I know I want to become a funeral director. I am sure that sounds odd and it is odd. It is two years of school and I think I would have to brush up on chemistry and probably biology as well first. I know a lot of it is kind of sales, plus embalming and things, and we would have to start at the bottom which may not be practical, any of it. (You can't do school part time, probably because of the embalming bits!) Still, if there is a choice and a retraining period that would be mine. I went to a wake recently and the funeral parlour just felt right, and I know I could talk to families and things, and look to all the details and make sure things were just so. That is part of what I am good at. Which goes to show self-discipline in the little things does not always mean it in the big ones! =)

Well
mad men
avalon_storm
I don't know after that big argument now David and I are talking more as friends. Maybe I needed to get mad like that, I don't know.

It is funny, I always thought I would be a bit more sensible. Although I am not sure why I thought that. =)

Today I got some clothes for work that are pretty me right now (and some for home): My clothes

From right to left: A skull print blouse (I have the reverse actually and have worn it to work, a black shirt with white skulls), a raven blouse, a skull pyjama top and a lightening shirt.

I think I should have a fit more often. =) Not really though, that was awful.

Oh here is me in the changeroom in the black blouse, I got it before Xmas:
photo (23)

A lot has happened!
mad men
avalon_storm
Well since I wrote a lot has happened. I have found breaking up with someone you thought you knew and who you thought knew you is a really hard process of seeing how maybe you didn't know each other at all. But I am learning how strong I really am. In the process I have seen hard things. My mother sacrificed me because she was not ready to give up her religion. My father left (although he came back). My boyfriend could not hear me because I could not tell him.

I had a teacher briefly who said you let people chose their paths as long as there is integrity in the system. But I have learned sometimes a system is more interested in holding patterns than in having integrity - that sometimes integrity means you take things apart to make something new. That is what I am about to do here.

When you have been abused and abandoned the hardest thing to say can be, I deserve better.

Lost and found
mad men
avalon_storm
It has been a long time since I posted here! I think I have been a bit of a fair-weather friend to this space. But a lot has happened.

I started writing here because I lost my father. Well he came back again and he has stayed so far. He and my mother are trying to work it out although she is still with her new love too. So that is nice, mostly.

In the meantime I lost a lot of other things. My boss at work, who is also a mentor to me, is very sick with leukemia. She finds out this week if her last possible round of treatment worked well enough. Nothing compares to that.

Our job changed about six weeks after she left. It is a good change professionally but for me personally I lost a lot of the parts that I loved. I also changed teams and floors, and I miss the people I was working with, a lot. Some were more my age, not the body's age, and so I miss the little talks about music and what people did on the weekend. My new team is older and different.

My boyfriend David and I got closer than I thought two people could ever be. I visited him at his home in the San Francisco bay area (don't worry, we followed all the rules!) His home is lovely, and his family. And that part of California is amazing! We made orange juice fresh from the tree in his front yard!! And San Francisco (we were there for a workshop) is beautiful. And so is David. After that we got even closer in our shared space. =)

Maybe too close because then we had some problems. There are things about me that have been changing as I have been getting older. You know how sometimes you move away from your family, and you think you have become totally different from them? But then you find yourself following some of their ways anyway? I have been doing that, and I found it is really hard to change. I found lots I want to, and a few things I really don't. Unfortunately one of those things is something David really finds impossible. Not in a mean way, it just is. So we went back and forth quite a lot, trying to find a way around it. It took a lot of love and care! But we could not find it...it is a little more complicated, of course because why it is impossible is complicated too. But in any case we had to come apart.*

When I lost my home and my land, that was like falling. When I lost my friends and my job, that was like landing on stone and I work in a colder place now and I have to learn to find my own warmth. When I was trying to cope with some things from my mother's past that was like drowning. This last loss is like fire searing in a lot of the places we were joined. Sometimes, even though I have my siblings and my aunts and my friend J. and my family and all, I feel stripped.

But in all that I am beginning to find Avalon. Unfortunately that is where I lose the words. Right now all I want is the darkness, the still water, and the dead. I am very alive though, I have learned to add that at the end.


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* There was more too but I am saying why the leaving, not saying what we could have worked on together.

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