Today is our crystal anniversary (or watches if you are using the "modern" list). That's fifteen years if you aren't in the "marketing shit no one needs to people who like to be stuck up about it" market.

Fifteen years we've been married. Last year I remember asking my boss if I could use a 15 minute pass to go home early I was so excited to spend just a little bit more time with him event though things had been rough, we were doing okay.

This year, I keep crying. And not happy tears.

I feel starved for romance, intimacy, honesty, a gentle touch with no ulterior motive, a selfless act, trust.

I feel bitter and hard and mean because I can't tell if he is telling me the truth and I doubt everything. I am terrified all the time that the world will come crashing down around my ears and there is nothing I will be able to do to stop it.

I want to be able to model good relationships for my daughter, and I am miserable and tired and angry.

I want to not be a provoker (as Al-Anon describes it), but I don't know how to talk to him about his issues without sounding like a nagging bitch.

He tells me multiple times a day that he loves me. But it sounds so empty.

He says he's "trying so hard!" to make things work and our lives better, but doesn't actually make any moves to take care of very important issues until I am crazy with worry and stress. And then does the minimum to shut me up and puts it on the back burner again until I boil over with rage in the future.

This is not a good relationship.

I want it to be.

I don't hate him.

He's a good father. He loves our daughter, and our cats, and says he loves me. But I don't make any impression on him to change, or at least change enough to allay my fears.

Recently he was acting erratically and had been sleeping most of the afternoon. When I came into the living room with my snack to watch TV he almost exploded in rage claiming I was looking at him like I was furious. Laying there on the daybed stretched out and snapping at me for looking at him wrong.

I had glanced at him as I made my way to the chair to see if he was awake and I might have been frowning because I was stressed and concerned and didn't know if he was sober or not.

He has admitted to me in the last few months that he has been abusive. Not physically. He doesn't hit me. But since that admission he has done nothing to get the help he needs to be a complete and healthy person.

Oh he went to the doctor, and eventually got the blood work that was ordered, but he won't do counseling or AA. And I'm about 90% sure he's still smoking since he didn't finish his Chantix prescription and the car smelled like smoke yesterday. But he lies so easily.

I want to be happy for my 15th wedding anniversary. To feel loved and safe and like this is an accomplishment of which I can be proud. I want to be part of an equal and loving partnership that can survive the slings and arrows of the days.

I just keep working on myself and trying to be a good mother. Leading by example I guess. I truly don't know what else to do.

House to myself

So why wouldn't I be spending my "free time" boiling sex toys?

Everything needs a good deep cleaning sometimes.

My life is so freaking glamorous.

Finding my Flow

Hooping has obviously become and incredibly important and sustaining part of my life, but it isn't always easy. Especially when I'm sick or worn down (as I have been for the last several months) it is a struggle to find the energy to make the effort to hoop. And when I'm psychologically not doing great, I see the videos of performers like Tiana Zoumer, Gail O'Brien, and Deanne Love and think, "I will never be able to do that."

Part of my problem, when I can really sit back and think about what is holding me back, is shame and discomfort with my body.

Now that may seem like a ridiculous statement coming from someone who has spent a significant amount of time getting naked for other people (not just cam modeling, but I have also been an artists' model over the years and even posed for my own art teacher in college). But I am and have always been uncomfortable with my body.

I took some video of myself hooping last week and noticed that I have trouble picking my feet up and really dancing with the hoop, and I slouch even in the hoop. As though I don't want to take up too much space, when really, hoop dancing requires one to find your own space and own it. Hooping has changed my body significantly, but I need to love my body to find my flow and truly dance with the hoop.

Today I plan on making yet another new hoop (I have a ton of hoops) and trying out some moves I've been watching and just crank some music and play and see if I can stand a little straighter and release myself from the ground and just, flow.

In the mean time, here is some love and inspiration from Tiana Zoumer in celebration of World Hoop Day which was 10/5/13.

The danger of oversharing

In case you haven't noticed from previous posts, or this is your first time reading me, I'm a chronic overshare-er. Like, I'll meet you, and immediately share my deepest darkest, not-so secrets. So when I got to work last night and my manager came over and asked how I was doing, I replied chipperly "I've had mono!" And the branch manager overheard from his office.

I tried to explain that they don't know when I got it, that I'm not contagious, that I could let them listen to the nurse's voicemail on my phone, but it was over. I got sent home with orders to get a note from my doctor's office that would allow me to come back to the office.

I should say that the reason behind my blurting this out was basically my deep relief that I don't have Lupus or Lyme disease or adrenal disfunction, because those were all things for which I was tested. I've been getting more and more exhausted for months and it was getting fucking scary! So honestly, mono is like the best option. Also, I'm on the road to (a long) recovery. So that's Happy Happy Joy Joy news!

Anyway, I called my clinic before I even left the parking lot last night, left a message.

Called again when I dragged my pathetic butt out of bed at 10:30am, left another message.

By 1:00pm I was thinking "huh, guess I get another night 'off.'" and was thinking about what to cook for dinner. (Curried ginger carrot soup or lentil soup? Both are rather quick and easy and have healing ingredients, but the wildflower child didn't like how "spicy" the ginger in the carrot soup is so told me to make lentil.) Just as I started to relax into the idea that I wouldn't have to rush, my phone rang and it was the clinic telling me I can get my letter. CRAP! I had to run and get us both dressed-ish, drive over the to the clinic, get home, quick chop a fuck-ton of veggies and put the soup on, get my shower, get dressed, finish the soup, eat some soup, and go to work.

This was not relaxing. This is very hard in my current condition. This essentially sucked on a cosmic level. But I made it. I even got into work on time (for me, which is 15 minutes early) with my letter in hand. Where I received some advice from my manager to not discuss health issues in public, and if I feel like shit to lie and smile.

So here's to smiling through the pain and lying through my teeth, and hopefully, feeling more like myself very soon.

New Name, New Address, New Focus

I realized that one of the reasons I've been having trouble writing lately is that the blog title and focus just didn't fit my life anymore. I'm barely cam modeling (although I do hope to get back at it soon) and I don't like defining myself by my part-time job. I'm trying to get rid of the parts of my life I don't like, and build on the ones I do. So that's the new theme of this blog and the story behind the new name.

In the mean time, I've been profiled on the SuperHooper blog about how hooping has significantly improved some of my chronic health concerns. And yes, my real name is in that article. I was just diagnosed with low Vitamin D levels and mono. Yup. Mono. Which explains my chronic fatigue and will take a while to recover. Now hopefully increasing the Vitamin D will help my hair grow back, but who knows.

In the mean time, trying out this new title and address and I hope it helps me stay more focused and up to date.

A lot on my mind

I know I haven't posted in a while, I've been dealing with chronic exhaustion, personal stress, relationship stress, painting a little bit, trying some hoop flow choreographies, applying for a slightly elevated postion at work, you know, life...

But something has been bothering me so much the last several days, I just have to write it out.

I'm following a lot of "Mommy" pages on Facebook. A lot. Mostly related to breastfeeding, gentle parenting and humor. I just joined a new page about breastfeeding and mama talk, and one of the first posts I see is about piercing baby's ears.

If you've ever seen me, I'm obviously pierced. Also tattooed (11) and branded (yes, branded) and have had big huge hooks put through my skin from which I hung for hours. I'm a personal fan of modification. 

I am completely and totally against modifying infants. All of it. I'm an intactivist and would not have circumcised a son had I had one. I will not pierce my daughter's ears until she is old enough to ask for it and understand what it means. Hell, I don't even cut her hair and make sure she's happy with it long. If she wants it cut off, I'll do that for her. IT IS HER BODY! I have no right to change it. 

Parents say things like, "get it done early when they don't remember the pain." This is in relationship to both the relatively "mild" modification of piercing ears and the horrible dismemberment of circumcision. It isn't that they don't experience the pain, but they don't understand what it is, can't express their pain and fear and confusion and never talk about it later. That doesn't mean they don't internalize that at some point in their early, new, fresh, life, their own parents actually caused them pain. For the parents' own comfort or aesthetic. 

And this brings me to the thought that has been banging around in my head for days. Why is it that parents can do things to children, and not only get away with it, but be completely supported by medical staff or family or society, but if they did them to another adult they would be condemned, vilified, persecuted and probably imprisoned? 

Think about it. 

It is completely legal, and often "encouraged" to circumcise infant males. Over a hundred baby boys die every year (in the U.S. alone) from complications as a result of this "routine" (and completely unnecessary) procedure. 

If you were to tie down an adult intact male and forcefully remove his foreskin without anesthetic or post procedure pain medications, and most importantly, without his informed consent, you would be guilty of assault, sexual abuse, torture, and who knows what else. 

But it is completely acceptable to do this to your son. 

If you were to take your adult girlfriend to a Piercing Pagoda and force her to sit still while an untrained clerk shoves blunt "piercing studs" through her ears with an unsterilized piercing gun even though she never asked for her ears pierced, you would be arrested in the parking lot. 

But go ahead and do that to your daughter. Better yet, get your pediatrician, who has absolutely no experience with body piercing, to do it as part of a "routine infant check-up."

I really hope you got the sarcasm in my remarks. 

And on that note...

No, that's called "child abuse" and no one, NO ONE, has any right to lay a hand on my child, nor should any child be subjected to the confusion, agony, and psychological damage that spanking causes. 

Which means you are afraid of a world run by adults who were raised to know their feelings, learned respect by being modeled respect, and learned the value of being part of something without having to crush those around them to find worth? How sad. Move aside and let progress happen.

Because this is how you treat another human being and expect to be respected and loved? 

Trash like the above shows up on my Facebook feed daily. And people "LOL" and "AMEN!" and "if I ever said 'boo' to my parents they would whoop my ass!" And then wonder why the world is so mean, so cruel. Why there are so many children "going wrong." 

Trust me, they aren't going wrong by lack of spanking, by lack of "being told what to do" by lack of "parenting." 

In fact, spanking is more and more being proven dangerous, damaging and ineffectual as a parenting "tool" in recognized and respected research. And around the world 30 countries have banned physical punishment of children everywhere, even at home. 

Why is it, that the tenants of attachment or instinctual parenting are so reviled by this society that anything that doesn't condone violence against or control of or subjugation of our children is considered laughable, naive and ridiculous? 

When my daughter throws a temper tantrum, I hug her gently and soothe her, ask her what she is feeling, if she has the words, try to bring her back to Earth and give her the tools to understand I'm here, I love her, it is okay if she is angry and frustrated and tired and just cranky, I'll still love her. Always.

When other people want to touch her or demand kisses or hugs, I let her say "no." She shouldn't be forced to touch or be touched by anyone ever.

Today I introduced her to the lemon thyme we brought inside. Showed her how to rub the leaves and smell the lemony freshness. Told her that when she feels frustrated or angry, she can go to that corner and rub the leaves and calm down. And she glowed. And ran to get her favorite stuffed animal and show her the lemon thyme. 

A friend shared this poem and I try to live this way. Scoff if you must, but my daughter knows I love her. And her love heals the old wounds of my life. And that's what parenting is really about. 

Let me sit with my baby 
And play for a while, 
And forget all
my unfinished work
with a smile,
For every tomorrow 
holds work to be done, 
But lullaby moments 
and peek-a-boo fun
Are life's tender treasures
meant just for today,
For babies grow up. . . 
and the years
slip away.