April 7, 2017

Previously, I’ve been devastated because he’s gone. Tonight, I’m devastated because I’m moving on.

It was supposed to be this faery book romance. Instead, I’m moving on. 

Rupert and Absinthia took us both by surprise. We were friend zoned when we were teenagers because I was dating one of his housemates. Flash forward 20 some odd years and a drunken hook up after the Dead reunion tour – our first Show together since ’89. We fell in love. And then he died. 

Nine months later, I find myself grieving again. It’s been building over the last week or two, I can see that. And here it is. Emo music, tequila, tears, and all. This wave is different though. I’m not devastated because he’s gone, I’m devastated because I’m moving on. I’m moving on and I’m starting to see that clearly. Knowing that makes me ache. Its breaking my heart. 

I’ve had three lovers since he died. Beautiful people, inside and out. They have been one right after the other, short term but, strangely, serial monogamy. Brief and intense. Just days between each. Sudden, intense connections with limited face to face interactions. Two long distance, the other a bridge between. The ends of each have lingered with tangled emotions, with one deliciously continuing on from afar. It’s like I’ve lived years in the last nine months. I feel myself moving on after Rupert, and it feels right and wrong and I don’t want to be but I am and I need to. I have to! It’s important. Rupert is dead. He crashed his motorcycle. He’s not coming back. It hurts to be getting over him. It hurts more then any things ever hurt in my life. And yet, I’m doing it. Three lovers. That counts as moving on. 

I would like to find a way to take something positive from this. I don’t want to be hardened and unable to allow myself to make a connection with another man. This lifetime is teaching me male loss. Why is there so much male loss in my life? I don’t know how much more I can handle before I rid myself of the lot of them. Men. Fucking assholes. Too bad I really, really love men. Tall little boys, taught to be serious and to win, with their easily awakened silly sides, unsure of women and themselves and arrogant and entitled all at once. Not to mention their smell…mmm. Sorry, where was I? Right. 

Throughout my life, I’ve experienced father  abandonment repeatedly, divorce (my choice so that seems really different), the deaths of Alexius Stephen Rupert. My two gay husbands and my lover. Partner. Boyfriend. Late boyfriend. Men I never wanted to say goodbye to. Is it a wonder why it’s so much easier to say I love you and feel love with my female friends? Do I hold men at a distance because of this? Have I? Am I now? Will I, in the future?
That’s not who I want to be, walking away from this tragedy. I am moving on. I can choose how I will be. 

I choose connection. I choose love. I’m not going to be rash, but I’m not going to hold back. I do it in an invisible way, the holding back. You can’t see it but you can feel it. I’ll be open, and I’ll listen so much better than I talk. 

That’s where my work begins. 

February 7, 2017

Gah. I went to a couple of day parties today, and a friend asked if I had blogged in a while. I told him I hadn’t, that what I’d written had been used to hurt me, and I was hesitant to go back. This began a long and interesting conversation about money, family, aging, power, control, how family ancestry can create fear, and the narrow window of happiness money brings. He was very sympathetic and kind. 

Then I got in my car and cried. I miss Rupert so much. I haven’t cried in a while. Maybe that has to do with being off my antidepressants for a month. Maybe it’s because life feels like it has gone sideways. I feel strong and focused, but nothing is quite right yet. It’ll all take some time. 

I saw the Katherine Hepburn quote on Instagram earlier and it really resonated. Life is difficult. Dreadful things have happened. In a six month period, I lost my partner, my parents, and my money. The money enabled me to be available for my daughter who lives with me all but every other weekend, focus on my two start ups, attend grad school, and live a comfortable life. With that financial stability gone, I am moving on, and I am being tough with myself and I won’t let myself be defeated. I’m going to not only survive, but thrive. I know life will come back together. It has before and it will again. I have everything I need already. I don’t need to add to my life, I need to work with what is here and expand it. I have a wonderful, honest, loving relationship with both my kids. I have the most amazing group of friends. I have a sweet, supportive friend & lover. My business partner is the best. My relationship with my siblings is getting stronger. I’m working hard to stay in school and get good grades. I have financial aid coming through soon. I have contract work starting this week, and I’m planning to start driving for Lyft again. I have contacts helping me envision my businesses at the next level and to obtain financing to grow. I’m being careful with whom I let into my life and trust, and I feel like I am making excellent choices. 

I know that whatever happens to my heart, it can’t be as bad as Rupert’s death. I feel like I can handle anything that comes my way now; nothing will heart like that.  Wow, I meant to write hurt but I’m leaving the heart typo. Nothing will hurt like that. That life changing event took all the fucks in my bucket and washed them out to sea, never to be seen again. I’m focused on letting other people be themselves in their own world. I’m focused on Absinthia being Absinthia in Absinthia’s world. I listen to my committee, that is, my group of close friends I call on when making decisions. I only care what other people think if it will in some way hurt them. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I hold secrets – mine and others – close and secure. 

Sometimes it all hurts so much, and yet I am moving along, getting on with it, and being tough with myself and making a deadly effort to thrive. 

Thank you, today, for allowing me to cry and be sad. I release those feelings and will work towards my goal to thrive tomorrow. 

January 14, 2016

Dating a man who worked in forensics gave me a new perspective. Rupert’s day job gave back so much. He worked specifically on sexual assault and battery, and he helps get criminals off the street. While my two startups bring people joy, at the end of the day, I’m just helping people drink better cocktails. 

I want to do more. 

I booked tickets to D.C. for the inauguration. I nearly made it out to Standing Rock. I gave free hugs in San Francisco at the Ferry Building the morning after the election and in Oakland during the protest later that same day. Then 36 people died in the Ghostship warehouse fire just down the street from me. 

I live 2.8 miles from Ghostship. I thankfully didn’t lose anyone in the fire, but I have a friend who was first on scene and three others who almost attended that night. I knew I’d found my pro bono work. This was local. This was important. This was where I could make a difference. 

I attended a meeting at Omni Commons a few days after the fire. We broke out into groups, and I announced to the fundraising group, “I’d like to create a non profit that raises money for DIY warehouse spaces at risk of eviction or that are simply dangerous.” I quickly saw that I was in good company. 

Four short weeks later, we’ve created a fiscally sponsored non profit and have raised over $15,000. We have an attorney, a former fire fighter, the architect that wrote the Oakland fire code, several pro bono architects, artists living in at risk warehouses, and their advocates. I’m one of three leads in the finance group, and while every other team has one lead, the three of us operate as one. We’ve only just met and we just feed off each other in the most amazing way. 

I’m home from a fundraising event with nearly $500 cash on my desk. A few friends organized an event at a small bar in Alameda, invited some bands, and contacted us. Of all the funds related to Ghostship right now, Handsome Hawk told us, this was the one that had boots on the ground and was actually working in the DIY Spaces. He gave us a moment at the mic. I started us off by thanking Alameda’s Fireside Lounge and Handsome Hawk, the evenings promoter. I then asked the crowd for a moment of silence to honor the 36 lives lost in the fire. Quieting an entire loud bar was an amazing feeling. It was moving. I was inspired by the moment of silence the DJs asked for at the Flaming Lotus Girl’s fundraiser. The benefit it provided was that we had everyone’s attention. Isaac spoke about the community’s proximity to the tragedy. Everyone in that room was no more than one degree away from at least one of the 36. Ari wrapped it up with info about the fund and asked people to approach us with questions between bands. 

And the band played on. 

We have two more events benefitting our fund this month. We have a Facebook page and a website and an Instagram account. I am being put in touch with reporters and city officials. 

Most importantly, we are making a difference in our community. Community was there for me when the man who inspired me to make a difference died at age 45 in a motorcycle accident.The guilt that I felt when I saw myself beginning to move forward with my life without him has faded, and now I am honoring him and respecting his memory by remembering how high he raised the bar and not settling for anything less, be it giving back, career, love, familial relationships, and friendships. 
Safer DIY Spaces can be found here

December 24, 2016

Tonight, my parents told me they hated me as a person. I knew this. They told me they think I’m a loser, a slut, and a drug addict. They said my tattoos are disgusting. They told me that my wonderful children are that way because of who they are as people, the luck of the draw, and that I did nothing to contribute that. They disrespect me as a parent and as a person. 

I told them I don’t need their approval, that I think they are mean, judgmental, and terrible parents. They take no responsibility for their nasty and immature behavior. Somehow, they think they were ideal parents when I was a child, and that they are above reproach now. 

Their very behavior this evening proves that wrong. 

While what they said of course hurts, it actually feels good to have it out in the open. I know who I am, and I’m sorry they can’t see that. No one in my life treats me the way they do. I have a wonderful relationship with my children. I have an amazing community of close friends. My love life is complicated right now because my partner died recently, but I am not a slut. Even if I were, my sexuality is not a bad thing if it isn’t hurting anyone else. They just want to shame me. I’ve never done anything to hurt them, but I suppose different and having different values from them is enough. I value my uniqueness. I thrive when I march to the beat of my own drums. 

This happens often with them. They have done this before. I’m so fed up with it and I don’t want to do it anymore. I won’t do it anymore. I told them tonight I’m not coming back to their vacation home. They were surprised. Why would they be surprised? Would they really expect me to walk into their web again? At the end of the conversation, I told them I just needed two things from them. The first is to let me be my children’s parent and to not compete or act like they are. The other is to not talk about me behind my back, especially in front of my children. My kids have agreed to hold them to this. 

While my parents have walked around angry for two days, I’ve gone about my life like nothing has happened. I’ve smiled and enjoyed myself. Why should I let the poison they swallowed kill me? 

I spent the rest of the evening laughing and hugging my girls. We had a great night together. They told me they disagree with everything my parents say about me. I told them I’d love them unconditionally no matter what life choices they make. 

That’s what matters. 

November 16, 2016

I felt the strangest emotion this morning. 

It took a while, but eventually I recognized it. 

Things have been going well in both my personal and professional life. I’m dating – I’m in an open, long distance relationship with a wonderful man who likes the sound of my laugh. A couple things are possibly maybe budding here, too. My friendships are stronger than ever. I’ve learned how to be single again and do things like go away for the weekend alone. I’m motivated to act because of the election. I’m about to close a business deal I’ve been working on for a year. I’m close to entirely overcoming a two year long challenge in my life. I’ve hit my goal weight. I’ve started grad school and, while it’s really challenging, I’m enjoying it. It’s expanding my brain already. 

I spent July and August grieving. It was HARD. Then I went to Burning Man and made an important, conscious transition.  I couldn’t go on like I had been. I changed my diet, and I stopped drinking alcohol. I started exercising. I started antidepressants. I eventually got to a place where I didn’t have to work so hard to get dressed and leave the house. I started to think about work and dating. I focused on being a good mom. 

We’re now halfway through November, and today I felt real happiness. Of course, Rupert’s still in my heart and always will be. I wish he was here with me. My grief sisters’ words are now a part of me – Rupert is gone and never coming back. I’ve accepted this hardest truth in my head and my heart. I’ve worked really hard. 

Today, I am happy.