safer spaces

it’s always amazing to watch adults discover how much changes when they don’t treat their perspective as the default human experience.

example: it’s been well-documented for a long time that urban spaces are more dangerous for kids than they are for adults. but common wisdom has generally held that that’s just the way things are because kids are inherently vulnerable. and because policymakers keep operating under the assumption that there’s nothing that can be done about kids being less safe in cities because that’s just how kids are, the danger they face in public spaces like streets and parks has been used as an excuse for marginalizing and regulating them out of those spaces.

(by the same people who then complain about kids being inside playing video games, I’d imagine.)

thing is, there’s no real evidence to suggest that kids are inescapably less safe in urban spaces. the causality goes the other way: urban spaces are safer for adults because they are designed for adults, by adults, with an adult perspective and experience in mind.

the city of Oslo, Norway recently started a campaign to take a new perspective on urban planning. quite literally a new perspective: they started looking at the city from 95 centimeters off the ground - the height of the average three-year-old. one of the first things they found was that, from that height, there were a lot of hedges blocking the view of roads from sidewalks. in other words, adults could see traffic, but kids couldn’t.

pop quiz: what does not being able to see a car coming do to the safety of pedestrians? the city of Oslo was literally designed to make it more dangerous for kids to cross the street. and no one realized it until they took the laughably small but simultaneously really significant step of…lowering their eye level by a couple of feet.

so Oslo started trimming all its decorative roadside vegetation down. and what was the first result they saw? kids in Oslo are walking to school more, because it’s safer to do it now. and that, as it turns out, reduces traffic around schools, making it even safer to walk to school.

so yeah. this is the kind of important real-life impact all that silly social justice nonsense of recognizing adultism as a massive structural problem can have. stop ignoring 1/3 of the population when you’re deciding what the world should look like and the world gets better a little bit at a time.

Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.
Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your well being a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful – you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.
—  Daniell Koepke
A man in our safe and inclusive scene
is outed as an abuser and everyone claims
to not have saw it coming
or believed him capable. 

In quiet huddles they insist 
they never heard about his hands before.
How to them, they were such comforting,
hard-working hands, capable only of building.
They are shocked by the tricks those hands tried to turn
when the bands had packed up
and the collective members gone home. 

Meanwhile my mouth foams 
with the times I said his name 
and everyone shrugged.

The stories I told
and she told
and she told
and she told
and they told
and they told
and he told
were not enough,
they lacked “proof,”
needed more punch.
The were just “drama”
or “personal matters”-
until the space closed
two years later.

Then suddenly it was “I never saw it coming.”
It was sympathy. It was, “I didn’t know he was like that.”

Ask me why I am not surprised. Why my mouth
does not hang open in shock.
But this was not news. 
It’s not like the warning signs weren’t there.
People just refused to look.
—  Your Safe Space is Not Immune, Lora Mathis 
Things We Know and Sometimes Forget

The last time I was helping the first grade class during math I couldn’t figure out how to do the worksheet and felt really anxious and overwhelmed that I, pushing 45 years old, didn’t understand 1st grade math. Yesterday during math one of the boys wouldn’t come out from under the table, where he was rolling around and kicking chairs, and wouldn’t do any work. After spending quite some time, and using a handful of different strategies, trying to convince him to come out from under the table I crawled under the table with him. I instantly felt more relaxed under there. I have always, especially as a child, felt safer in small spaces - in closets, under the bed, burrowed down under a shrub, in a tent or fort, in the bath with my ears under the water, or with a blanket over my head - than in open overwhelming spaces. It was like I had forgotten how little spaces like that calm me because I was too busy seeing his behavior as intentionally disruptive. I said “I see why you are under here. It’s nice under here.” He asked if he could always stay under there and I said it wasn’t up to me but maybe we could talk to the teacher and counselor about finding a solution if he could actually get some work done. We looked at the workbook together and figured out number bonds. He got 4 pages done and I understood it well enough, and felt focused enough, to check his work.

Under the table.

He was overstimulated and needed help calming down, not to be forced into the space that was causing him to feel overstimulated in the first place.

iKon Reaction to Their Wife Trying to Run Away with Their Unborn Child {Mafia AU}

anonymous  asked:

I’m the anon that requested the iKONxmafia au and I loved it!❤️ could I request another iKONxmafia au one where their wife tries to runway with their unborn child? Thaaank you~ you’re the only blog I have my notifications on for. 💕

Thanks sweetie ♥ Here you go :)

Warning: contains elements of violence or abuse

Kim Jinhwan (Jay)

Although you had planned your escape with your unborn baby well in advance and were most secretive about it, Jinhwan did not fail to notice the subtle changes in your behavior. The way your eyes darted around the room when you were talking to him, the way you bit your bottom lip more frequently, and the way you flinched almost unnoticeably whenever there was a loud noise gave away your tension. Not even your sweet smiles and the loving words you whispered into Jinhwan’s ears every night could hide your nervousness. He knew you too well, and he could read you like an open book. Although he knew that you were planning to run away, he kept quiet in hope you would change your mind. One night, when Jinhwan was out “to do business”, you decided that it was time to leave your old life behind and flee to a place where your child could grow up in peace and safety. When your husband came back late at night, he was not surprised to find your shared apartment empty. A soft sigh escaped his lips as he turned to his two bodyguards and gave them orders, annoyance prominent in his voice. “Go find her right now, she is headed to the airport. Her plane did not depart yet, but I advise you to hurry before it does.” Once the two men left, Jinhwan plopped down onto the couch and massaged his temples with his fingers. “Y/N, you would be dead meat if I did not love you so much. Did you really think you could fool me this easily? Just wait until you get home, and you will plead for my mercy.” But although his words would be harsh, he would not dare to physically hurt you since he would never want to hurt the tiny spark of life inside of your belly.

Song Yunhyeong (Song)

“What the fuck are you doing?” The icy and alarmingly calm voice of your husband made you swing around, panic clearly visible on your face. He was supposed to be out on a raid against of one of his rival groups, and since you had planned to run away from him to protect your unborn child weeks ago, you decided that tonight was your opportunity to put your plan into action. You were in the middle of stuffing clothes and other necessities into a black duffel bag when the person you expected least to appear in your apartment interrupted you and got wind of your secret. Sweat broke out on your forehead and your heart started to pound so fast that you were unable to utter anything that would explain what you were doing. You were terrified at the thought of what Yunhyeong could do to you and your baby, and your eyes were frantically scanning the room for something to defend yourself with. Yunhyeong’s angry snort broke the silence between you two, and before you were able to act, he came over and threw you onto the bed. In the blink of an eye, he had pinned you down on the mattress, holding both of your wrists with one of his hands while making you completely immobile by pressing down on you with the mere weight of his body. What scared you most was not the pain that shot through your arms and chest, but the wild look on your husband’s face. “Do you really think you can run away from me? I love you way too much to let that happen.” He would hold you down just a little longer to leave bruises on your wrists and demonstrate his physical strength, but he would make sure not to hurt the unborn child which he already locked in his heart. Yunhyeong would tell his bodyguards to watch over you even more closely, and make sure to prevent any other attempts of escape.

Kim Jiwon (Bobby)

A defiant look was on your face when your husband entered the room. Upon hearing that you had escaped your shared apartment, Jiwon had told his bodyguards to look for you and bring you back. Although you had tried your best to hide at a shabby cafe outside the city, your husband’s network of informers was more elaborate than you had expected. Now, you were tied on a chair in your own apartment, unable to move your arms and legs. On top of that, Jiwon’s bodyguards had dared to put a piece of cloth around your mouth so that you were completely unable to talk. When he saw the state you were in, he let out an irritated sigh. “Did I tell you to put that cloth around her mouth?” “She did not want to stop cursing and biting us,” his bodyguards quickly defended themselves. If Jiwon had not been upset about your attempt to run away from him, he would probably have been amused at your behavior. This time though, his expression was icy as he made his way over to you. “What the hell were you thinking?” He grabbed you by the hairline and forced you to look up at him, using just enough force to intimidate but not hurt you. “Don’t you dare imagine this child is yours only. I have a right to see it grow up. And don’t expect me to go easy on you from now on. You’ll have to make up for your audacity.” Although Jiwon’s words and actions would be harsh the next few days, he would soon show you that he loved you too much to be mad at you much longer. Instead, he would do his best to create a safer space for you and the unborn baby so that you would never attempt to run away from him again.

Kim Hanbin (B.I)

You had finally found the perfect day to run away from your husband. The tiny spark of life inside of you grew bigger and stronger every day, and it tore you apart to imagine your child growing up in such a tainted place as Hanbin’s gang. You loved your husband, but you also wanted to protect your child from a precarious and dangerous future. Hanbin was at the gang’s headquarters right now, planning his next raid, and you had a good feeling that your plan would go smoothly. You were just about to board the train that would take you away from your old life, when you felt strong fingers wrapping around your wrist. You turned around to check who was holding you back, and the look of annoyance on your face turned into one of fear in a matter of milliseconds. It was no other than Hanbin. The blank look in your husband’s eyes sent cold shivers up and down your spine. You were too shocked to struggle against him or call for help when he pulled you away from the train and to his car. You knew that it would be of no use anyway. You did not dare to ask him how he had found you and why he was not at the headquarters because you knew that it would only make him more upset. Neither of you spoke a word on the way home, and when you entered your shared apartment, you could hear the loud bang of the door which Hanbin had slammed shut angrily. But when he turned to you, you could detect not an irritated but hurt look on his face. “Why did you run away? If you are not happy here, you should have told me.” With a sad look at your growing belly, he would add, “I want the baby to grow up in safety too… You know, I cannot let you go this easily. But I can try my best to create a happier and safer space for the three of us. Just have faith in me, okay?”

Kim Donghyuk (DK)

When you did not answer his eleventh call, his worry slowly started to transform into panic. You had been missing for the last four hours, and although he had sent his bodyguards to look for you, none of them had reported that they had found you yet. He would never be able to forgive himself if something happened to you and the baby.  He had been looking forward to the day to finally become a father, and thinking about that he might lose both of you made his stomach turn.  But when, after another two nerve-wracking hours of waiting, his men finally dragged you into your shared apartment, his expression turned into one of anger and disappointment as soon as he was informed that you had tried to run away from him. He never expected you to dare something as reckless as this, but it seemed that you had learned quite a few things from living with him and his gang for such a long time. He slowly walked over to you and you could see him swallow hard. You kicked at the shin of the man who had been holding you, and he finally let go of you. When you looked up at your husband, a defiant look on your face, you suddenly got scared of what was going to happen next. Donghyuk had raised his right hand and you were sure he was going to slap your face. You already squinted your eyes and prepared yourself for the impact, only to be met with surprise when you never felt your husband’s hand on your cheek. You glanced up at him and realized that he had turned away from you, his hands shaking. “I am fucking mad at you right now. Just… never run away from me again. You know I love you too much to lose or even hurt you and the baby.”

Koo Junhoe (Ju-ne)

You had always been a little headstrong, but Junhoe didn’t mind. In fact, he liked that you were not as obedient as all the other women he knew, and he respected that you needed your own space every now and then. But when one of his informants told him that he had spotted you and one of your friends at a secluded restaurant, planning your escape with the unborn child, Junhoe thought that you had crossed the line and would not be treated with mercy this time. When you were dragged back to your apartment by two of your husband’s men, Junhoe was already waiting for you, sitting on a chair in the middle of the living room. His arms and legs crossed and his lips pursed, he looked at you with a cold expression on his face. The way he was staring at you reminded you of an interrogation of one of his victims, and you knew there was no way to make excuses for your attempt to run away from him. All you had wanted to do was to protect your baby from a cruel future,  but you had failed and would not get a second chance. However, instead of questioning you, Junhoe would simply say, “Do you know how fucking lucky you are? If you were not my wife and did not have my baby in your belly, you would be dead meat right now. And don’t you think I will forgive you that easily.” He would feel disappointed and hurt by your lack of trust in him to be a good father, and the next few days he would be very distant and cold to you. It would take you some time to regain his trust, and even then he would make sure that his men were always watching you.

Jung Chanwoo (Chan)

Chanwoo had already prepared for the case that you attempted to run away from him, and he was not the least concerned when he found your shared apartment empty one night. Your escape was more like a game to him, and he knew that it was only a matter of time until you would come crawling back to him, begging him to show mercy and take you in again. He had made sure to cut you off from any sources to get access to money or help from your friends, and he even manipulated your travel documents so that you would not be able to take any airplanes or trains in this country. His precautionary actions would work impeccably, and he was almost excited to see you return. Although it took a few days longer than he had expected, you had finally accepted that your attempt to run away from your husband had failed and that you had no choice but to come back to him. When he came home from one of his raids one night and found you taking a bath in the tub, he would enter the bathroom with a triumphant smirk on his face. Chanwoo would pretend as if nothing was wrong, strip out of his clothes and join you in the hot water. Both of you would avoid the topic of your unsuccessful escape while your husband would wash your hair and caress your growing belly. Right before ending his bath, he would lean to your ear and whisper, “Did you really think you could leave me that easily? This baby is mine as much as it is yours, and I hope you finally understand how much the two of you depend on me.”

3

It has been brought to my attention time and time again the sexualisation of minors in kpop, it’s fucking disgusting and UNJUSTIFIABLE. (even if you’re a minor also it doesn’t make it fucking oKAY), this blog as you can see has been posting vile things about some of the dream members and has went as far as to reblog inappropriate content and tag the dreamies’ names in the hashtag (even jisung, a fucking 02′ liner) so please do me a favour and block, report, do everything you can to get rid of accounts like these and make the kpop community a safer and more pleasant space for fans and young idols alike. 


blog is chenle-likes-eggs (be prepared to see some nasty shit if you go to report them 


with your help, we can take down accounts like these and make the kpop community a safer place and showing these vulgar blogs that this is fucking unacceptable and will not be tolerated. 


please help me to boost this post and of course by all means, in the reblogs expose more accounts that are doing the same thing


this has been a psa The nasty blog changed their user to @bussanct because they found out they were exposed!!

Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.
You don’t owe your family affection if they are being abusive and treating you poorly. I know that it’s so difficult not to feel guilty for holding back that love. I know that there are people who will tell you that you should just grin and bear it because they’re family. People who will shame you for the way you feel. People who will try to convince you that wanting to take care of yourself in this way is selfish and unjustified. But the truth is that it’s not your responsibility to be kind or loving to people who have consistently hurt and mistreated you – especially when these people continue to disregard your feelings, ignore your boundaries, and refuse to take responsibility for their behavior. Just because the person hurting you is family doesn’t make them an exception.

Choosing not to be affectionate with family who have abused or mistreated you doesn’t make you a bad person. It isn’t selfish or disrespectful. It’s a form of self-care. It’s about you honoring your feelings and holding people accountable for their abuse. It’s about you standing up for yourself and your needs. It’s about you making your mental health a priority. So if getting distance from certain family members is what you need right now, or permanently, then you have every right to withhold your love and leave. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself for the sake of maintaining a relationship. And you don’t ever have to apologize for creating a safer space for yourself.
—  Daniell Koepke

anonymous asked:

The more visibility trans women get the more we trans men are shoved off with cis men. I hate cis men. They're violent dangerous and generally awful. I'd rather side with TERFs than be pushed out of the lesbian community. Trans rights/acceptance shouldn't be predicated on putting AFAB men at risk for male violence and alienating us from lesbianism/feminism. Trans women should be trying to make male spaces safer for them instead of pushing us out of female spaces.

ooooooh this message really sucks and there’s a lot to pull apart. i’m answering this and not just blocking you because i feel like there’s something to be learned here.

i’m gonna be honest: if you choose to identify as a trans man in this day and age, hanging onto your identity as a lesbian isn’t really an option. i understand the pain and struggle and loss in giving up that community & facet of your identity, because i went through it myself, but like…. you gotta. if you identify as a man you can’t be a lesbian. that’s the long and short of it. lesbians are completely right for pushing you, a man, out of their community, because you are a man and therefore not a lesbian. if that makes you want to side with terfs then i don’t know what to tell you.

caveat: transmasculinity has historically intersected and continues to intersect with butch lesbianism, but as the trans community has organized more and pushed for more of a cohesive movement, the line between the two, while still at times blurred, has sharpened. i’m not saying butch lesbians can’t, if they feel it’s best for them, use he/him pronouns or bind their chests or whatever else. they just can’t be men. end of caveat.

trans women have no obligation to align themselves with, petition with, try to reason with, or in any way interact with “male spaces.” they have no obligation to us as men, regardless of whether we’re afab men or not. they are at an EXPONENTIALLY higher risk of violence than us, statistically. trans women aren’t the problem here.

Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.
—  Daniell Koepke

(forgot i drafted this about a week ago because i was on mobile and wanted to format)

since the asexuality and aromantic tags (all of them) are always flooded with discourse and aphobia, I was thinking about creating a new tag to use. I checked one of these and it came back with nothing so it seems like it’s a new format: 

  • #safeforace
  • #safeforaro

  • #safeforA (to combine the two and for aro/ace people). 

the idea is to keep these relatively discourse free and to use them as safer space tags for people in need of support, wanting to share stories or to find people like them. like a community tag! I haven’t seen anything of this format before so I thought it might work.

they’re open to any ace/aro individual and should thus not be used by homophobes, transphobes, ableists and racists - or any of their rhetoric.

The safe space is dead, long live the safe space

Many people have in the past pointed out that no safe space that depends on the exclusion of people with privilege is safe. Part of the criticism has focussed on the way building a woman-only space or POC-only space or queer-only space forces people to either identify with that label or reject it completely, forcing human diversity into a binary that doesn’t fit.

But the biggest critique has focussed on how a womens safe space is only ever safe for white abled cis etc women. Because a racist women-only space is not safe, an ableist POC-only space is not safe, an islamophobic queer-only space is not safe, etc. To build a safe space this way we would need to allow only poor queer disabled muslim trans intersex women of color and absolutely no one else. That’s not going to build much of a space, is it?

And that’s before you start considering that many of us internalize and reproduce oppression and a lot of us face violence from our own communities because of it. (For a good example: see truscum)

Many spaces have responded by changing their wording to ‘safer space’ while keeping the same rules. I believe that is a cop out, people change the name instead of the space. A racist space, an ableist space, a transphobic space etc is not ‘safer’. We need something much better than that.

If we really care about the safety of everyone, not just the white cis abled people in a space, we need to find more effective means of creating safety than excluding a kind of privileged identity. That strategy is just not working. Instead, we need strategies to create safe behavior, without overusing the option of exciling people (see: disposability in social justice spaces). We need to ask every group (not just the ones we’re focussing our organization on) specifically what they need to be safer. We need to take healing and transformative justice more seriously. We need to stop asking 'who can we exclude to make this space safer?’ And instead ask the question we should also ask in our families, workplaces, schools and streets: how do we actually make this place safer?

The safe space is dead, long live the safe space

“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful – you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.”

— Daniell Koepke

artwork by Chima Ezenwachi

A short guide for the inclusion of trans, intersex and gender non-conforming youth in the classroom

1. DON’T WAIT to have an openly trans, intersex or gender non-conforming student before adapting your teaching or behaviour!

Since school can be a very dangerous space for those minorities, they are often invisible in the classroom. Either you don’t know they are there or they haven’t come out yet/they don’t know it themselves. Those minorities being invisible, it is important to be aware of their needs.

2. Use inclusive language and ressources

If you are in a position of authority, chances are that everything you say has an impact on children. Words have the power to make things exist in the mind of people.

I’m sure you can think of something better than “boys and girls” to address a group of children! What if I’m neither? Or a mix of the two?

Try to avoid polarizing sexes (male or female), as it erases the existence of intersex people. Also, some boys have vulvas, and some girls have penises. Be careful when talking about what makes a girl or a boy!

3. Call-out anything that is wrongfully binary or cissexist.

As a teacher, I know too well how impossible it is to have a classroom free of gender essentialism and intersex erasure.

It is everywhere! In books, in manuals, in educational movies… The thing is to not let it go unnoticed. If you hear, see or read anything that you consider problematic, discuss it with your students.

While it is unlikely that gender- and sex-inclusive manuals will be available anytime soon, it is still possible to educate with materials that invisibilize trans, intersex and gender non-conforming youth by calling it out!

4. Make gender segregated spaces inclusive

Do you know how dangerous restrooms or changing rooms can be for trans or gender non-conforming youth?

Trans and gender non-conforming students need access to their preferred restroom or changing room. It is not a caprice! Violence and aggressions are more likely to happen there than anywhere else, and those students are often easy targets for bullies.

Make it clear in the school policies that trans and gender non-conforming are welcome in those spaces. Inclusiveness has to be made visible for students and parents or tutors.

Using the infirmary or staff restroom may be a temporary solution, but by no means a long term plan, since it stigmatizes and marginalizes trans and gender non-conforming students.

5. Protect gender identity and expression in your classroom and in the school policies

Your students need to know they have rights regarding their gender expression and identity. Include rules against discrimination based on these in your classroom’s charter.

Officially recognizing these rights and making them visible might also empower closeted or questioning youth, who’ll feel safer at school.

6. Have the staff trained

Not everybody is comfortable with discussing issues such as sex or gender. Make sure that the school’s staff is trained so that your school can be a safer space for trans, intersex and gender non-conforming students.

There are many trans organizations that provide staff training. If there are none where you live, parents of trans, intersex or gender non-conforming children can be a great source of knowledge too!


Please reblog with your favourite resources!

anonymous asked:

Just stumbled across your blog and it's lovely! Could you write an imagine about ftm trans dadsona feeling super disphoric and accidently comes out as trans to everyone and has Damien calm him down?

Imagine Damien giving comfort to you after you’ve been unwillingly outed.

You hadn’t meant to blow up, but you did, and now everyone knows. It’s just hard being under so much stress and having to hold it all in. But now you’re run down the street, you’re shaking, you don’t want to be near anybody. You doubt they will respect you now. 

Then you hear footsteps rushing behind you. You want to run further, but you can’t you’re out of breath. You turn around to see Damien, his long hair and cloak flowing behind him, rushing down to meet you. His arms spread and lock around you. You want to push away but you just end up crying into his chest. 

“I know it’s hard.” 

“No you don’t! How could you possibly know!?” You scream into his chest. 

He chuckles a bit and lifts your head. 

“Try finding binders that match your aesthetic.” 

Your jaw drops. Suddenly you feel comfortable around Damien, safe and secure. 

He reassures you that you’re valid, that the dysphoria will pass. He gives you tips on how to combat it and how you can feel safer in crowded spaces when it starts to come on. 

Damien and you go back to the party and he stays right by you the whole time. No one brings up your outburst and it’s as though it never happened. Things are going to be okay. 

Saturday

Time for my weekly update. And oh boy has it been a packed week.

Last Friday (9/22), I had a routine check-in with my GI doc. I told him that things were fine, but after a little prodding, I said a few things that resulted in us scheduling a sigmoidoscopy in October. I am drawing a complete blank on whether they’re going to anesthetize me. Ugh. Drugs should always be used when a scope is sent through your colon, regardless of how far up it goes.

Saturday, Sir and I attended a special potluck/social for our local polyamory group. The topic was creating a safer space and cis-men were asked to just listen during the first hour of the discussion so that those whose voices are not normally heard (e.g., women) could share with the group. I was largely quiet during the discussion, except to say that I have a hard time saying no if/when someone I don’t know, but who is a potential friend because they are in the group, asks for a hug upon meeting. I don’t like hugging strangers, but I don’t want to offend someone by rejecting their offer. Leaving the event, I had a lot of other thoughts and blurted most of them out to Sir while he listened and nodded in agreement. The community strives for this kumbaya, everyone is well-intentioned sort of vibe, but the reality is that we need some rules and agreements because people don’t currently feel safe.

Sunday morning, I was off to Chicago for my meeting. This isn’t my usual crowd, so I ended up spending all of my non-meeting time on my own. I had pizza and beer at Giordano’s, walked through the Magnificent Mile, went to the top of the Willis Tower and got a picture on the glass deck, and ate buttered popcorn from Garrett’s. My presentation was the morning of Day 2 and, despite some serious nerves, I did pretty well. Phew!

Professor and I have been messaging pretty regularly since date #2. We scheduled another date for this last week, then had a miscommunication and won’t actually end up having date #3 until next week. I’m planning to stop by his office on Tuesday after work, then we’re getting together Friday evening. I ended up texting the other guy (the one I’d been on 3 dates with and was feeling kinda weird about) and telling him that I felt like our energies were misaligned. He said he’d felt the same thing and took me up on my offer to focus his efforts elsewhere. All’s well that ends well, right?

Yesterday, I woke with severe back pain. I had to go to work, because we were scheduled to terminate one of my staff and I had to be there. That was not pleasant (first time I’ve ever fired someone), but it is for the best. I feel badly for her on a personal level, but we have to do what’s best for the office. My back started to feel better by noon, but I was drained from the emotion of the day and left early. At home, I took a nap, then Sir and I went to a local festival, then over to our friend Italia’s house for cocktails and hot tub.

I’m home alone this evening, as Sir is off celebrating Bones’ birthday. If it was just the two of them, I wouldn’t mind, but Sir invited Lasso (who I used to date and who barely knows Bones) among other friends. I feel very left out, like I have been intentionally excluded. We talked about my feelings and, while I don’t feel better about tonight, I am glad I said something.

It’s been 3 months since Sir’s birthday and I’ve had no interactions with Bones since then. About a month ago, you may recall that I told Sir that we should find a way to fix things since his relationship with Bones doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Well, nothing has happened and we talked about that, too. Sir doesn’t want to make a big deal out of us getting to know each other better (that’s the angle, because no one but me seems to feel any resentment or have hurt feelings). He’s of the opinion that Bones will shut down, so he suggested a gathering of several people, but I don’t want Bones to avoid me by talking to other people, which is what they did during Sir’s birthday. Sir says that Bones doesn’t engage with their other metamours, which I appreciated hearing because I was really feeling like it was me. And if that’s the case, I told Sir that it was fine if we don’t have any sort of relationship, but that I don’t want people I don’t feel comfortable with in my house when I’m not there (and that would include Bones).

My favorite cat seems to have IBD and has been pooping on the rug in the living room. I’m hoping we can get his tummy settled soon. Poor guy. (and poor rug).

I started Weight Watchers today. I’m up 15 pounds since last Fall and I feel bloated and uncomfortable in my own skin. I know I didn’t track absolutely everything I ate today, but I will be using my last 7 points on a couple vodka and diet tonics. I’m hoping that there’s something good on tv - maybe Season 9 of Inkmaster will be available. 

I hope you’re all having a good weekend!

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