twelve steps

Progress, not perfection.
—  Twelve-Step saying
You're asexual? But...

“but sex is what makes us human!”

 

in 1916 a French officer in his twenties writes his

doctoral dissertation under

heavy mortar fire.

he sends it by mail, a page

at a time, to his wife.

a week before he’s to step up to the podium and

defend his work rather than hiscountry

he is killed in action.

even as the bullets rip

through him he still wishes he could have become a professor

in French literature and

the university awards him a posthumous Ph.D.

sex is

 

a woman breaks down in tears on the phone because

a week is not enough time to

get over a breakup.

her sister drives an hour across town,

comes up the front steps with

a gallon of ice cream and somebeer

and together they eat moose tracks and marathon

every

single

Godzilla movie

ever made.

 

sex is

she’s late for work but her car isn’t

starting and even through her coat and hat she’s cold.

she knows she can’t be late again because she’s missed

one time too many already because her

father’s nurse was sick with the flu and someone

needed to help him bathe.

the clock ticks past fifteen after and she hits

the wheel like it’s a heavy bag as though that will help

steps on the gas like the car will go

and wonders how she will pay rent

and how she will feed her father.

sex is

 

it takes three people to hold the predator down because

even with the cover over his head

a bleeding eye and shattered wing

he is trying to hurt them.

none of them have seen this bird before in their lives but

they bandage his wing and head and give him a painkiller and

put him in a warm place to sleep and heal because

it is right.

at first he is paralyzed and cannot

fly but soon he is taking steps

and then fluttering, and then soaring, and

six months later he is whole and healed and hunting.

once he is gone they never see him again

which means they’ve done their jobs right.

sex is

 

in 1969 a girl watches grey-and-white footage on her parents’ tiny television and

can’t quite believe that what she is seeing is not a movie set but

another planet.

the men on the screen look a little like

aliens with bulbous heads and no faces and fat

marshmallow arms

but they are still men.

her mother puffs on a cigarette behind her and declares that

this is progress

even if it was just a small step.

the girl grows up to be not an astronaut but a secretary

and her boss calls her ‘sweetheart’.

but sex is

 

a boy is taught that real men don’t cry so

he doesn’t.

when his best friend dies from a self-inflicted

gunshot wound, he locks himself

in the shower every day and sobs under scalding

water until it runs cold

so nobody will see him grieving

so nobody will see that tears are just love that

has no place left to go.

he learns to dull love rather than suppress its expression and

soon the owner of the liquor store knows him by name.

three DUIs, two evictions, and twelve steps later,

he is feeding people at a homeless shelter,

and telling them it’s all right to cry.

Sex is

 

the broken man tells the comedian

that he didn’t mean to step in front of the car but the rain

made it hard to see.

he seems okay but his leg

does not.

the comedian clutches a grubby receipt with the driver’s

plate number scrawled on the back

in pink pen, stands out in the rain so the broken man

can have his umbrella,

and gives him the comedy routine that ruined his career

so the man doesn’t think about the pain in his leg.

once he’s out of the hospital, the fixed man sends him a thank-you card

with kittens on it.

what makes us human

 

yawning is contagious,

and there is a species of bird whose young we call “pufflings”.

melodic collections of sound, spaced by silence,

can move us to tears.

the tallest building in the world is

two-thousand seven-hundred and seventeen feet tall.

in less than eighty years we went from our first powered flight

to touching the moon,

and in one-hundred from the first phone call

to instantaneous connection between thinking machines of our own creation.

we make pies out of tree organs

and let cow’s milk ferment until it hardens and then

we put them together, because apple pie with cheddar cheese is delicious.

what makes us human is

the earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans are

two-hundred thousand years old .

we have had pet dogs

for sixteen-thousand of those years, longer

than corn

or the wheel.

the steps we take are part of

one of the most energy-efficient gaits the

animal kingdom has ever seen.

we invented the concepts of love

and hate

and justice, and mercy

and we invented the language to convey them.

we sharpened rocks, then metal, to convince other people

who don’t hold the same idea of those things as we do

because we think

it’s right.

we are two hundred millennia of love and disappointment and

sorrow and innovation and

mercy and kindness and dreams

and failure

and recovery.

but sex is what makes us human.

do you need help with the effects of abuse?

we talk a lot on tumblr about tagging triggers, and being triggered, but we don’t talk a lot about how to be free of our triggers. 

we talk a lot about feeling suicidal, and joke a lot about wanting to die, but we don’t talk a lot about how to feel safe being alive, worthy of being alive. happy, joyous, free. 

we talk a lot about having zero self-worth, and depending on other people for any self-esteem or validation, and thinking we are a burden on others, and repelling them and avoiding intimacy and avoiding confrontation and all of the other ways we try to control all the things that make us feel threatened. and i can say that cause I have totally one million percent been there. all of this. 

but. for most of us, the adults in our lives were supposed to teach us how to cope in a healthy way, and instead they, maybe unintentionally, fucked up our ability to cope with even seemingly minor things? 

so we have to help each other. so this is what we’re gonna do. 

the reason mod R and I started this group is because the twelve steps have helped us so incredibly much with all of the above. with, basically, cleaning up all of the damage that has been done to us, (and the damage we’ve done to ourselves in the aftermath), so that our trauma is no longer driving everything.

trauma is like driving a car that has really messed-up alignment and suspension. the car looks fine, but it pulls and swerves in horrible ways and jolts you really hard when you even go over a little crack in the road. 

so we’re gonna do a step workshop! right here on this tumblr. and that will take you through the 12 things that you can do, that will fix that alignment and suspension. 

basically: we will post information and instructions for each step. you don’t HAVE to do anything, we’re just showing you what has helped us. if you want to work the steps, message us and we’ll help, because there are a couple of parts that you do with another person. 

you can totally create a new account or a sideblog so that anything you ask here isn’t connected with your main. you are also of course welcome to just read and ask questions. 

answers to questions like what is asa, is it religious (no), who can be in asa, what kind of abuse “counts” (anything), and how does this group work can be found at these links.

please signal boost!  

- mod D

When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy – if you are aware of all of that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.
—  Krishnamurti

One day, I hope I’ll be able to write exposition half as good as this…

Catastrophe is the essence of the spiritual path, a series of breakdowns allowing us to discover the threads that weave all of life into a whole cloth.
—  Roshi Joan Halifax
Another reason why I am glad I am sober.

I’m more fun when I’m sober. That might be hard to believe but it took a while for me to see it too. A lot of my college social life revolved around drinking. I used to think that made me more fun. Until alcohol turned on me and made me not so much fun to be around. Only now do I realize how obnoxious and selfish I would be. Nowadays, I can be up til two in the morning, laughing and having a great time with my friends over board games and Netflix binges. I go to the zoo and museums and have a grand old time. And I wouldn’t be able to appreciate those things if I weren’t sober. I wouldn’t know how to just enjoy the little things in my life.

syrensongbird  asked:

Who's worse about spoiling the kids between Kara and Lena?

  • ok its like an even split MOSTLY like they’re both huge suckers for their kids but like…….lena is definitely worse.  like she absolutely can’t resist her kids when they rlly want something, like they get the whole pout going and it’s a lost cause she’s like ok what is it what do you need me to get for you 
    • and part of it is that they’ve all got kara’s pout/puppy eyes combo down to a science and they learn v early on that lena is helpless when it comes to that look and that in of itself is just Rude of them to exploit like rlly how is lena supposed to ever survive when she says no we’re not going to the waterpark today and then is faced with like four identical pouts how the fuck is she supposed to say no to that
      • she’s also rlly bad abt just buying every fucking toy she sees and vaguely thinks that one of the kids will like—like it kind of gets better with maia and stella (??  only a little tho and that’s mostly bc she bought a fuck ton of stuff for finn) but when finn is v little she just…..continually brings home new toys for him.  karas like hey honey sweetheart love of my life do you think that we maybe have…..enough toys for an 18 month old i stepped on twelve toys in hall alone
        • but kara this one makes animal noises
    • HERES THE EMOTIONAL PART
      • like lena can bluster abt pouting and educational toys all she wants but here’s the real reason she will never say no to her kids: she’s still super fucked up from her childhood??  and always will be and every interaction she has with her children is colored by her memories from growing up around lillian and she cant remember ever just receiving things, ever just being given toys bc she was a kid and her parents loved her, gifts always came with a price tag, a negotiation, something to be exchanged for lena’s obedience.  sometimes they were used to soothe whatever scar lillian left with her callous words, sometimes they were used to ease the hollow feeling of lionel bailing on career day at her prep school.  the reasons changed, but the fact that nothing was ever freely given didn’t
        • so yeah, she spoils the fuck out of her kids.  she showers them with presents and toys and new clothes and trips to the zoo and planetarium and amusement park bc she can, bc she wants to, bc she loves them and that’s what she tells them when they get a little older and start asking oh!  what’s this for? when she tucks a new book onto their bookcase or drops a new video game onto their bed
        • she just—she needs them to know??  she wants them to have tangible evidence, good memories tied to objects they can hold in their hands.  its silly, she knows, bc she’s so careful in the way she interacts with them and speaks to them (not like stilted??  just v thought out.  she never wants to accidentally say something that might hurt them, never wants them to think she’s anything but supportive of whatever they’re doing) but in the back of her mind she’s still thinking about never feeling like she could trust any gift her parents gave her and she loves the fact that her kids can, that her kids do, that they know that she loves them regardless of the presents, the she loves them even if she misses a soccer practice or has grounded them, that they’re so secure in her love for them that they snap at her and argue with her, that there’s like??  no fear that she’s ever going to reject them, that they know they can do anything and she will always always always still love them, that if they kill someone she will hide the body and take the blame, no hesitation
          • go big or go home lmao
  • ANYWAYS IM CRYING
It’s painful to face how we harm others, and it takes a while. It’s a journey that happens because of our commitment to gentleness and honesty, our commitment to staying awake, to being mindful.
—  Pema Chodron
  • ❝  That barely covered vagina of yours deserves better than that. ❞
  • ❝  I appreciate your anger. ❞
  • ❝  Your chief complaint is not that I screwed someone; it is who I screwed. That’s what it’s about, right? ❞
  • ❝  Your issue with us is purely driven by a societal insecurity, not to mention a culturally infused female competition. My heart goes out to you ladies. ❞
  • ❝  My therapist suggested I attend a twelve step program, for recovery from a love addiction and romantic obsession… ❞
  • ❝  I cheated on you. ❞
  • ❝  You’re not an addict. You’re just a whore. ❞
  • ❝  I did let someone put a protein bar up my ass once. ❞
  • ❝  I will straight up murder you if you do not sign this immediately. ❞
  • ❝  I love kids. Kids love me. I basically am a kid. ❞
  • ❝  But I would still choose you. Possibly because you’re uninterested. Most likely because you’re stunning and successful. ❞
  • ❝  Sexual anorexia. It’s like depriving yourself of sex because of low self-esteem, or abuse or other gnarly shit. ❞
  • ❝  I’m telling you, someone’s gonna murder us if you keep screaming. ❞
  • ❝  Was this supposed to be a date? Oh shit, it was… Oh hell. I’m an idiot. I’m sorry, I’m a dick. ❞
  • ❝  You’re a catch! It’s true. You know, I’m serious. You’ve got a strong vocabulary. You look dynamite in a tank top. ❞
  • ❝  You know, little girls are told someday they’ll find The One. What they don’t tell you guys is that The One might be a complete fucking dickhead with a boring heroin penis that turns you all into a sex addict. ❞
  • ❝  Some have suggested that I have a little bit of a problem staying faithful… for long periods of time… or possibly at all. ❞
  • ❝  Look, once I come to the realization that I’m with- the wrong girl, I don’t know how to end it. ❞
  • ❝  So you sabotage it by sleeping with other people. ❞
  • ❝  Then comes the big old rigmarole of like ‘you’re afraid to commit’ and it’s like 'no, I just don’t want to commit to you.’ But I can’t say that, because that’s like mean on top of mean… So instead I’d rather just say something like: 'I fucked your sister.' ❞
  • ❝  Whoa, since when are you a porn star with killer grammar? ❞
  • ❝  Look, she’s my best friend and I would say by circumstance and certainly duration, you would be my next best friend. ❞
  • ❝  It is a cascading shit storm that is your creation. ❞
  • ❝  A tremendous amount of Malcolm Gladwellian logic jumps. ❞ 
  • ❝  We’ll you’ve spent ten thousand hours fucking my life up. ❞
  • ❝  Dude get the fuck out of here, I got it. ❞
  • ❝  I appreciate your concern, Superman! Fly away. ❞
  • ❝  Baby. Just breathe will you. Okay? Will you? Here, come on, sit down. You’re gonna be okay. It’s alright, you just got to breathe. Please. Okay? Yeah. There you go. ___ , this is just fear. ❞
  • ❝  You take this risk when you start sleeping with people. You know, you risk losing them. So for me, I’ve never slept with someone I wasn’t willing to lose. Except one time. ❞
  • ❝  And it kills me that you’re probably gonna go to ___. And it kills me that I can’t ask you to stay, because I have no right to, you know. ❞
  • ❝  Welcome to the hell scape that is my son’s birthday party. ❞
  • ❝  Dude… are you really using your kid to hit on my friend? ❞
  • ❝  First part false. Second part true. ❞
  • ❝  Do not gaslight me with SAT words and sliding scale morality. ❞
  • ❝  You want to tell me about it? ❞
  • ❝  You never told him to make a choice, you know. ❞
  • ❝  Are we in love with each other? ❞
  • ❝  I love you for free. ❞
  • ❝  Unfortunately I don’t sleep with men in relationships anymore. ❞
  • ❝  I stopped cheating anyway. ❞
  • ❝  We’re getting a chance to start over. ❞
  • ❝  Goodbye forever. ❞
  • ❝  Hey, did you know they don’t have a separate jail for cool people who fucked up? There’s just one big old jail for everyone. ❞
  • ❝  I sort of beat he shit out of him. Fucked up his life a little bit. ❞
  • ❝  I just really miss you. ❞
  • ❝  Yeah, I think about you like, all the time. Even the word “think” is wrong, because I don’t actively do anything. You’re just here. ❞
  • ❝  I’d rather fail with you, than win with anyone else. ❞
  • ❝  I love hearing you say my name. ❞
  • ❝  Okay honey, you’re on speaker phone in a police station. Be very careful what you say. ❞
Remember the time Clara talked about falling in love with the Doctor?

One thing that drives Clara haters mad - and Doctor-Clara deniers insane - is the fact that we have on-screen evidence that the romance between them was real. It wasn’t something invented in retrospect. Nor was it (as some suggested) shoehorned in to make the finale of Series 9 more interesting. No, it was there from the start.

Of course those of us “in the know” realize this already. It was pretty clear that Clara (Prime) fell for the Doctor when she saw him in her driveway guarding her in “The Bells of Saint John”. Eleven of course fell in love with Clara Oswin Oswald in “The Snowmen” (and was strangely drawn to unlucky Oswin Oswald before that) and luckily for him the original Clara - though perhaps a bit more world-weary than her counterparts - turned out to be just as amazing.

And then came “She Said, He Said: A Prequel”, the surreal minisode released ahead of the Series 7 finale, “The Name of the Doctor” in which first Clara, then Eleven, deliver similar monologues in a room full of props from Season 7B. Is it canon? From a purely narrative “this happened” perspective, of course not. The room is full of stuff the Doctor couldn’t possibly possess, and both monologues break the fourth wall. From a character perspective, however, this is Steven Moffat giving us an insight into the minds of these two characters that he created (semantics: Moffat didn’t create the Doctor, obviously. But he created this incarnation of him). This is the point of view he followed as a writer, and as a showrunner he guided the other writers to keep in mind. And even though he threw a spanner into the works by having Clara and Twelve step back from one another in Series 8 (to the point where Clara turned to Danny for the companionship the Doctor now denied her) - obviously Clara’s feelings for the Doctor would not have disappeared simply because he looked older and had a different personality. Yeah, she had a wobble in “Deep Breath”, but she would have been an incredibly shallow person - frankly unworthy of being a companion, never mind “the Doctor’s girlfriend” (to paraphrase Matt Smith at NYCC 2016) - if she really threw out her feelings for him simply because he changed. Do people who are truly in love dump one another because of a few grey hairs or one puts on some weight, etc?

So these are her words as the minisode begins:

“One day you meet the Doctor. And of course, it’s the best day ever. It’s just the best day of your life. Because, because he’s brilliant, and he’s funny, and mad, and best of all, he really needs you. The trick is, don’t fall in love. I do that trick quite a lot, sometimes twice a day.”

And these are Eleven’s. Again, just because he changed does not mean these opinions changed. The Doctor is always the same man just with a different wrapping.

“We’re running together, and she’s perfect. Perfect in every way for me … Clara. My Clara. Always brave, always funny, always exactly what I need. Perfect. Too perfect.”

Of course the Doctor had to inject a bit of menace at the end. That’s for drama, plus there was a “too good to be true” mystery aspect at the time. But still, this is the Doctor laying it on the line. He says right out that Clara is perfect in every way for him. He’s not even couching it in language like “she’s the best companion.” He’s got a far more personal point of view here.

Although it’s on DVD, “She Said, He Said” has fallen into a bit of obscurity since it wasn’t a full-length episode. But it puts things out there plain as day. Doctor x Clara was real, it was intentional, it was sustained for three full seasons (if you count from “Asylum of the Daleks”). And, as those two brief moments in “The Pilot” and the first episode of Class proved - the embers of Doctor x Clara haven’t died out yet.

If you can’t do anything, don’t do anything.
—  Unknown

Learn Iyawo ~ The Twelve Steps Process is important for you!

No, we are not talking here about an AA (Alcoholic Anomymous) like program. What I call the Twelve Steps Process is more like a spiritual tune up every iyawó should have throughout their year in white. The process consists of twelve obo orí eledás or Head Feedings also known as Prayers over the Head. Although simple, the ritual is of great importance as it provides not only an opportunity to balance the head of the iyawó with the growing energies of the orisha that has just been seated, cool and cleansed the iyawó from any negativities attracted, but also, it provides for a time for communication and learning between the initiate and initiators.

About the Head Feeding:

Ideally the ceremony should be done every month on the same date that the Kariosha happened, thus if someone got initiated on the 12th of the month, every month thereafter the iyawó should meet with the godparent on the same day or within 7 days following that date. The duty of performing the ceremony every month falls upon the oyugbonakán or the main godparent, depending on how the godparent wants to do this. For this ritual the iyawó needs to bring the following items:

  1. Two candles (itana melli)
  2. Two coconuts (obi melli)
  3. A $21 fee
  4. Cotton (ou)
  5. Cascarilla (efún)
  6. Cocoa butter (orí)
  7. Honey (oyín o oñí)
  8. Smoked fish and Jutía (ecú eyá)–optional in some houses
  9. A white large handkerchief (ashó fun fun)
  10. Two white plates

This is how the process goes, the iyawó presents these materials to the godparent and the godparent will take care of preparing the coconuts which will broken down on two sets of Obí for divination and the rest will be peeled (no black rind) and grated. The godparent will then prepare the mixture and set the altar space for the iyawó.

The process in itself is a great opportunity for the iyawó to learn the mechanics of one of the most basic ceremonies that any olosha should know by heart. Thus, a wise godparent will take care to explain the steps and show the iyawó how things are organized. The process will be learned by repetition as there are 12 opportunities for the iyawó to observe, ask questions and memorize.

I have seen many iyaloshas and babaloshas ask of their iyawós to bring the coconuts already segmented into two sets of obí and already grated. Shame on you for being so lazy! Part of the ashé of the godparent is to do this process with their very own hands (they are also charging a fee, then it is not right to ask others to do the work). It shows sincere care and allows for the transference of energies from the hands of the godparent to the head of the godchild. Besides it is a waste of a great teaching opportunity face-to-face.

I remember many interesting conversations about the importance of this ritual, and the impact of the ritual on me as months rolled by, all of these shared with my elders while they prepared the materials. Granted, some people do not like to talk during the preparation for a ritual, but this is an exception they could make to create a learning environment for the iyawó.

After the Head Feeding:

Iyawós, your relationship with your godparents will be developed not only by what they dictate onto you, but also based on the actions you take. Thus, if you ask your godparents to spend at least half an hour talking with you after the Head Feeding is done, you will develop a healthy routine of communications and a time and space where you can share your developments, concerns and questions with your elders.

There are some houses where the iyawó learns nothing during their first year. I see no reason to keep a godchild from learning for a year. The time shared during this ritual is indeed an opportunity to instruct the iyawó on basic materials to memorize. The iyawó should also be tested during subsequent conversations to ensure that the initiate is indeed taking time to reinforce lessons learned on the prior month.

What to teach the iyawó during their first year? That is a question that each babá and iyá should pose themselves before they do kariosha to an individual and not one I will address in this short essay as it is more geared to the iyawó. Needless to say those godparents must to be ready not only for the spiritual birth, but also, to rear their children and to use the time of the year in white wisely and efficiently.

Learn iyawó, keep up the steps prescribed for your year in white, use opportunities to learn wisely and always keep communications going with your godparents. Oh, and every time you meet with them, have a notebook and pen in hand so you can take notes and review them later.

Love and First Sight: Chapter One

Vice Principal Larry Johnston extends his hand.

To clarify: I don’t see this. I hear the swish of his shirtsleeve.

“Nice to meet you, William.”

The fabric sound plays again&emdash;the hand retracting.

“I’m sorry, I guess you can’t do that now, can you? You probably want to feel my face?”

He grabs my arm and smacks my palm against his cheek, knocking me off balance so I have to step into the musk of his aftershave.

“Where do you normally start? Eyes? Nose? Mouth?”

He shifts my fingers across the front of his face with each suggestion. His skin is rough and pockmarked, like the outside of an orange.

“No, actually, I don’t do that,” I say, pulling my hand away. “I identify people based on their voices.”

“And…also…” I add. I can’t resist. “Yes?” he asks, all eager to please.

“Well, I don’t usually touch faces, but I am gifted with a heightened sense of smell that allows me to recognize a person’s pheromones, which are concentrated just below the ear, so if you wouldn’t mind … ?”

I touch my pointer finger to my nose.

His excitement drops. “Oh…you want to…smell… my ear?”

Keep reading

When you blame others, you give up your power to change.
—  Robert Anthony