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2016 summary: some of the best weeks and worst months of my life.


icon: "confused (photo of a purple diamond-shaped sign with a line leading to four arrows all curving and pointing in different directions)"

I started 2016 with a lot of hope. In January I connected a lot with Kylei, Sande, and Hannah; I had two graduation parties and started making more plans to spend time with people, and I started meditating weekly-ish with Elizabeth. But by the end of January I ended up in a dark crash over how little I felt connected to people. The beginning of February was a little better -- I got to go to Big Trees with some of my favorite people, and Topaz hosted Heather's birthday which was also nourishing and fun. But then I went to a party at Kylei's and had a terrible anxiety crash which ended up leaking into the next day and causing a horrifically painful miscommunication with Topaz. Later that month I went to the activist meet-and-greet for the first time after meaning to go for ages, and met three awesome new people. But just introducing myself made my heart beat painfully hard. At the end of February I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe me anxiety meds and start being medicated for that for the first time.

In March I did a lot of social -- met with four friends as well as with my ex-mother-in-law. I also began a four-week break with Topaz, in an effort to re-set our relationship which had become too central for both of us. In April I had two tinder fails (one flaked and the other I could hardly talk with), made a new friend, hosted a crafty party and a cuddly communion, spent time with Roger and Serenity, and went to Euphoria where I gave a talk on intimacy and made a game with it. (yeah I'd say that the anxiety meds were helping!) In May I spent a lot of time with Serenity and Evelyn, hosted a cuddly communion, spent time with Katie, Allison, Serra, and Indie, and wrote a lot of important posts. In June I spent lots of time with Serenity, presented at APW and SFQP, hung out with Arizona, Sande, Allison, Kylei, Evelyn, and Cass, and had a truth-or-truth videochat with LJ friends, as well as writing a lot of important posts.

In July stuff started getting very stressful -- Topaz went through something really traumatic, Kanika had a medical emergency and I had to take her to the vet, my little sister came in town unexpectedly, and I ran out of money and had to start begging from my bioparents. But also I spent lots of good time with Serenity and had several gathers -- two with my lil sis, also Katie, Allison, Hannah, Kylei, Elliott, Evelyn, Sande, Cass, and even Adi, so that part was positive. But August brought a lot of painful stuff for Topaz, was when I ran out of ADD meds with no access to a doctor, and was the last time I saw Evelyn for months. Roger and Allison were supportive and helpful, and I went to a SONG membership meeting which gave me hope like nothing else except for TBC ever has.

September I got a job at Starbux and finally started getting call backs and interviews for a few of the hundreds of applications I had sent. My awful bioparents also invaded my house and stayed for a month, harassing me about money, rearranging my stuff and throwing some of it away without my permission, invading my bedroom, and being transphobic. October was mostly filled up with my awful bioparents and working at Starbux but at the very end I began doing LJ Idol again. In November things got still worse -- Evelyn officially broke things off with me and Kylei blew up at me and told me we can't be friends. Then later that month Evelyn invited me to a party at their house which ended up being an emotional disaster. I quit Starbux for my new job.

December was a very mixed bag. I started my new job, which was amazing; I got a new psychiatrist and finally got medicated for ADD again; I got to spend time with Arizona, Felix, Felix's people Blaire and Shay, Allison, Jonathan, Heather, Brian, Jessica, and my little sister. But also, my grandmother died and I had to spend time with my awful biofamily, and I was so emotionally drained that I couldn't really enjoy Solstice. It was also a sad reminder of my estrangement from Kylei and Evelyn, because I wanted them at Solstice so much.

January
-- communicating w Hannah more often: multiple videochats
-- 1 - overview of goals for 2015: satisfied / goals for 2016: sorta more reasonable yet more intense
-- 2 - my best help with achieving goals: a sticker chart. With shiny reward stars.
-- 1-5 - Topaz goes to DC w their family.
-- 2-4 - Kylei comes to stay at my house for a weekend and we have a positive, relaxed time together, but they're exhausted and napping a lot.
-- 6-10 - Topaz gets really sick and I caretake them for a few days.
-- 13 - begin meditating with Elizabeth weekly-ish
-- 14 - met Sande for the first time after several failed plans.
-- 16 - Topaz' parents throw me a graduation party then Topaz hosts an afterparty
-- 18 - Begin daily praying hope, safety, and practical solutions for Hannah, and begin sending kylei love weekly
-- 29 - feeling undesirable/unimportant due to lack of friends (except odd squad) & lack of group connection
-- 30 - the purposes I want my LJ to serve and the efforts I take to make that happen
-- get sick, intense depressive crash about people not wanting to be my friend.

February
-- hung out w Sande a lot
-- meditating with Elizabeth weekly-ish
-- two plans w strangers, one gets rescheduled the other is a dead end.
-- 5 - how I cope with my ADD-PI (other than meds): supplements, caffeine, music, water, book, food, sleep
-- 6 - going to BTFP w Allison, Topaz, Sydney, Heather, and Kylei then playing truth-or-truth jenga with Topaz, Heather, Kylei, Sande, Jacqueline, and Hannah
-- did a lot of work on my book of magic.
-- 7 - characters in the story of my life: present and past
-- 9 - defense mechanisms of old: not showing gratitude, blocking emotion, not inviting myself, disclosing
-- 10 - birthday w Kylei Heather Topaz Sydney Allison Hannah Sande Jacqueline / BTFP & truth-or-truth jenga
-- 13 - Topaz hosts a party for Heather's birthday and we all watch their favorite movie Lagaan w Heather, Topaz, Ariana, Christopher, Sam, and Serah, then Topaz, Heather, Ariana, Christopher and I play truth-or-truth jenga
-- 14 - herpes outbreak #2, five years later...
-- 17 - an 'about me' that is exceedingly dense and comprehensive.
-- 19 - go to a party at Kylei's house, end up having a terrible anxiety crash which leaks into the next day and leads to a terrible argument with Topaz.
-- 19 - my most powerful spiritual experiences & how some have shifted in meaning
-- 20 - "The History of White People": vastly informative, profoundly important, and beautifully constructed
-- 21 - anxiety & people-fear / fretting about friends
-- 26 - met Katie, Imani, and Kathy at AROMA
-- 26 - Kylei is supposed to come home with me after we go to the AROMA meeting but they go home instead.
-- 28 - anxiety: starting mirtazapine, shifts in experiencing stress / adrenaline

March
-- speaking on student panel at school
-- met 2 strangers, one whose non-intersectional attitude was very off-putting and one who I liked very much
-- spent one-on-one or intimate time with Rocky and Alison
-- 3 - rant: I hate the idea of 'honeymoon phase' or NRE / start with reality rather than fantasy / IFE
-- 9 - an open letter to anyone who uses the words 'attractive' or 'ugly' like they have objective meaning
-- 10 - dealing with disappointment in a respectful, consensual way.
-- 11 - met up w Kathleen, talked about the past and about my job seeking plans and resume.
-- Allison was really sweet and supportive
-- 21 - begin break w Topaz
-- 26 - last day of praying hope, safety, and practical solutions for Hannah
-- 26 - Topaz & I started a 21-day relationship break / relative cost of meeting strangers / social ventures
-- 28 - dear friend: please reconsider your use of that slur

April
-- working on my portfolio site
-- got flaked on & unmatched by a tinder person, met another one who I had nothing to talk about with
-- 2 - fear of love being taken away if I'm not comforting & helpful / my worth / who I am vs what I do
-- 3 - intimacy practice - Bel, Heather, Felix
-- 4 - bioparent M thinks love is a desire for ownership / feeling worthlessness is a sign of bad patterns
-- 5 - the feigning ignorance consent violation tactic: if they care, they change their behavior. TW: rape
-- 6 - the fictional characters I feel most affinity with: Chrysoberyl, ?, Maleficent, Joan, Alice, Sylvari
-- 8 - yearning to be craved, desired, immersed, devoured.
-- 9 - I need my social and alone time well-mixed / productive, good job me
-- 10 - I usually prefer to process alone, in writing: Heather explains why this is odd
-- 12 - beginning romance as an erotic mirror/demisexual: after platonically in love I can fall romantically
-- 13 - break w Topaz is over, back to romantic / getting visuals from kissing / the kinds of kisses I like
-- 15 - lots of work preparing for SAS Day and they didn't register me properly or have a table for me, MEGA FAIL
-- 17 - cuddly communion number 2
-- 20 - relationship anarchy: we each only do what we want / my intentions & desires in all connections
-- 21 - hung out w Roger
-- 23 - met Serra at starbux, easy conversation despite awkwardness.
-- 24 - crafty party, only Hannah and Nick and Serra came (maybe one other person? can't remember)
-- 26 - Serenity moves in to Wishwood
-- 29 - went to Euphoria w Topaz

May
-- meditating with Elizabeth weekly-ish stops
-- lots of time and talks w Serenity
-- 5 - time w Katie
-- 6 - different all the time in multiple significant ways / categories: identities, experiences, & values
-- 7 - Euphoria 2016 / why I go to burns / new housemate feeds me, helps clean & tidy, & crafts with me!
-- 12 - time w Evelyn
-- 13 - evening w Evelyn: amazing conversation & cuddles
-- 15 - love letter to my soft, sweet, fat, cuddly belly
-- 16 - poem: inside
-- 16 - Allison helps me change my flat tire
-- 18 - get lost on my way to meet Serra at MOCA GA, we reschedule, meet on the 21st instead
-- 18 - I'm going to start trusting my intuition over others' claims for the first time in my life
-- 19 - why I am practicing polyamory (relationship anarchy) even when I am dating one person or no one
-- 19 - pick up Indie and we go to coffee
-- 20 - Don't put sex jokes in my mouth without my consent. Do not.
-- 21 - go to the Aid Atlanta exhibit at Zuckerman museum w topaz
-- 22 - date w Evelyn cancelled at the last minute, they say it's because they have a cold
-- 22 - what I am proud of about me: skills/knowledge about intimacy & consent
-- 23 - resolving conflict in 5 steps: ask myself what hurt, assume the best, ask them why, accept, resolve
-- 27 - why I call myself an erotic mirror: I do not have intrinsic desire for any role in sex
-- 27 - cuddly communion number 3

June
-- lots of time and talks w Serenity
-- present at APW, very anxious.
-- presented at SFQP, much better.
-- met a stranger to talk about the process of HRT while non-binary
-- time w Cass
-- time w Arizona (2x in-person)
-- 1 - Hi new friends! about me / slurs hurt me / if I hurt you, lemme know / sincere questions are welcome
-- 3 - need to write also need to sleep ugh / off my ADD-PI meds so my focus and memory are out the window
-- 4 - APW: volunteer idea, decidin to be more active w fat-positivity / date w Arizona / ritual w Serenity
-- 5 - what makes social interactions easier or harder for me in one-on-one and group settings
-- 7 - learning from dating Kylei, 5 years later: tools for managing my anxiety w terrible memory & ADD
-- 10 - hang out at the Land Trust w Serenity, Kylei, Sande
-- 14 - go with Topaz, Serenity, Allison, and Topaz' parents to vigil for the Orlando queer massacre victims
-- 15 - an access request (dyslexia related): spaces between paragraphs, more breaks
-- 17 - my experience at Atlanta's vigil for the slain at Pulse in Orlando: profound gratitude & joy & hope
-- 20 - plans for being a more inclusive speaker/leader at group events
-- 21 - time w Evelyn listening to Noe Venable
-- 27 - Truth-or-truth videochat w LJ friends
-- 27 - CN/TW: rape / rant on the 'unintentional' rape AKA the 'misunderstanding' victim-blame argument
-- 29 - what helps me most to relieve stress

July
-- lots of time and talks w Serenity
-- 1 - Topaz has a bonfire at their place w me, Heather, Sy, Jessica, Allison, Sande, and Cass
-- 2 - Kanika is in great distress, take her to the free vet who expresses her anal glands
-- 4 - acknowledging difficult truths: expected & actual feels / lack the resources for endless caretaking
-- 5 - anxiety very high for days / Kanika injured, vet visit, healing now / meds issue / all the stresses
-- 10 - Lil sis comes in town all of a sudden, go to lunch w lil sis, erika, lizzie
-- 11 - Mary's w lil sis & Katie & Molly & Cass & Topaz
-- 12 - Gather at Topaz' with lil sis, Serenity, Allison, Hannah, Kylei, Elliott
-- 12 - anxiety workaround: turning off my brain and doing the scary thing on autopilot
-- 16 - Sense8 Marathon day (eps 3-12) w Topaz, Evelyn, Sande, Serenity
-- 18 - relationship health check-up questions: abusive red flag questions & relative healthiness questions
-- 26 - date w Evelyn: meeting Demeter, intense emotional & philosophical discussions, many cuddles & kisses
-- 27 - bad actions =/= bad person. absence of effort to reduce harm one causes/benefits from = bad person
-- 28 - play intimacy: sillinesses with Topaz
-- 28 - Adi visits me!
-- 29 - Lemonade Viewing Party & Discussion at feministcenter

August
-- Topaz dealing with really heavy shit
-- 3 - 22 months writing image descriptions: 4 awesome side-effects / resources & explanation of the need
-- 05 - Topaz leaves for a family vacation
-- 06 - go to National Slam Poetry finals w Cass, lots of talking
-- 07 - visit Evelyn, hold and pet them
-- 11 - How Loss of Alone Time, Constant Caretaking, & Medication Stigma Almost Killed Me
-- 12 - I have HPV (as if I needed more stress)
-- 13 - Evelyn cancels on me
-- 14 - Cass and Kelsey came over and we had long talks
-- 15 - Topaz gets back and we have lovely time together
-- 16 - why the words 'stupid' & other slurs against people w cognitive disabilities are harmful / TW: slurs
-- 17 - tips for poor cat caretakers on how to choose a cat food (most of the cat food sold is bad for cats)
-- 21 - time w Allison
-- 22 - be careful w sexual consent: discuss meaning, risk, safeword, triggers, roles, acts, sobriety, needs
-- 25 - SONG General Membership Meeting, amazing
-- 25 - How to Help Belenen When They are Stressed: the Don'ts and Do's- 2
-- 26 - rant: mediocre bosses make drudges out of the best workers & protect & elevate mediocre workers
-- 31 - Roger comes over

September
-- 3 - I wanna build local community starting w monthly gathers around needs, food, play, intimacy, & touch
-- 4 - to connect, I must be vulnerable: to be vulnerable, I must allow my imperfections to be witnessed
-- 8 - - - Starbux interview
-- 11 - MASSIVE BOOK POLL. I laboriously compiled a list of my formative books. pls check what you've read!
-- 17 - recently: depressed, still job-hunting, home suddenly uncertain
finally start getting callbacks for job at the cookie factory and the gift card distributor
-- 20 - beginning of month-long invasion of my house by bioparents
-- 21 - first day at Starbux
-- 28 - interview for accessibility job
-- 30 - Topaz finally leaves the abusive job
-- 30 - parents invading my house, sister wants me out, mother reveals her transphobia / job hunt ugh puke

October
-- 6 - Serenity's hearing
-- 18 - BIoparents finally leave
-- 20 - horrible bioparents finally gone, maybe I can return to life
-- 24 - trying to meet person from tindr, they forgot. spent time w Allison.
-- 27 - interview for working w my old boss
-- 30 - constant caretaking without sufficient rest is damaging for caretaker, caretaken, & the relationship
-- 31 - started doing LJ Idol again

November
-- 1 - Topaz took me to see Sia! and Maddie!
-- 2 - Evelyn tells me they can't date me
-- 3 - interview w gift card distributor
-- 7 - LJI topic 0, intro: my function is explaining, my motivation is compassion, my hope is understanding - 5
-- 8 - Kylei explodes at me and tells me we aren't friends any more.
-- 16 - Evelyn invited me to a party at their house
-- 18 - interview for different position w accessibility company
-- 25 - Sonia Leigh w Topaz & fam
-- 26 - Went to Evelyn's party, they acted weird, I hid on the back porch and cried and a stranger came and comforted me.
-- 29 - last day at starbux
-- 30 - LJI topic 2, that one friend: when is it over? my 5 criteria for continued friendship investment

December
-- 1 - time w Felix at wishwood! starbux, walk at Blanket's Creek, stop at Kroger for juice mainly, talking and lots of cuddles! Felix met Serenity who made tasty stuffed acorn squash
-- 5 - first day at new job!
-- 6 - appointment with new psychiatrist, finally get ADD meds again. also, Felix visited me at Wishwood, met Blaire and Shay over gchat. Serenity made chili, which wasn't quite done but I had to go to sleep so they made me a bowl, couldn't eat much it was too much work. I stayed up too late, got fragile and sensitive, brushed against Topaz' anxiety, ugh.
-- 11 - Grandma dies
-- 13 - Evelyn told me that they were uncomfortable with me and I told them that I can't play this guessing game any more and to let me know when/if they have an active desire to connect. End of contact for months.
-- 15 - when being yourself is dangerous: microaggressions as brushback pitches -
-- 17 - drove Ace 2 hours south for Grandma's graveside service, then went to cracker barrel w all the biofam for dinner
-- 18 - Ace comes over, I make pancakes, me n Topaz n Blaire n Felix go on a walk out back, we all watch Maleficent while Felix pets me and I pet Topaz, we all play truth or truth jenga, order an uber for Ace, have vegetarian chili cheese dogs. Then me, Topaz, Felix, Shay, and Blaire did lightpainting experiments. Later I had a complete meltdown about people making indirect consent jokes. First I hid and tried to get over it, then I went down and talked about it, crying and shaking and scratching/rocking. Everyone took me seriously and responded kindly. For healing, we all lay in a circle w heads on each others' bellies, fake laughing leading to real laughing.
-- 20 - Solstice celebration with Topaz, Felix, Blaire, Shay, Allison, Jonathan, Heather, Brian, and Jessica
-- 22 - Arizona comes to Wishwood, I share my spicy brownies and then smoke hookah while we talk
-- 24 - Felix & Blaire & Shay visit me at Wishwood, then time w Felix, Blaire, Shay, & Topaz at Topaz' - dinner & watching Contact
-- 25 - xmas w Topaz' family
-- 26 - Down time w Topaz - hunt for rainbow drip lights on sale at big lots, walgreens, walmart -- find 2! Felix, Shay, Blaire, & me hang out at Topaz' with a fire in the backyard firepit. I try to leave space for Topaz n Felix to say goodbye but Topaz was too worried about me, thinking I'm upset because I went upstairs. After, I cried and we explained to each other and I felt very bad for doing the opposite of my intent, because I didn't communicate well. No emotional energy left.
-- 28 - went to see Trolls w Allison & Topaz. too exhausted emotionally to hang out beyond sitting together watching a screen.
-- 29 - saw Gillian Welch w Topaz, and a coyote crossed the road in front of us

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Comments
libraspirit2101 ══╣╠══
It appears as though last year was indeed a very up and down year for you. I hope this year has been better for you so far.
batmarg ══╣╠══
The year was definitely full of ups & downs for you. Starting a new job definitely sounds like a blessing though. :)
ragnarok_08 ══╣Original ★ detonate with contact╠══
2016 was definitely a year of ups and downs for a lot of people - I hope 2017 has been better for you.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.