Friday, December 2, 2011

Undoing Betty Crocker

Almost finished with week one of the end of school insanity shuffle. Tomorrow i do my friend’s fashion show. Sunday I have my audition in SF. and today I did my teaching demo for my Creativity and Spirituality workshop.

It went really well – my professor almost cried as another girl was sharing – and this all about a 20 minute collage. I felt really grateful to be able to share that work with these women. It was good – I did a collage too – and this one also had someone at a microphone. (In the spring when I co-facilitated this workshop, I pasted a rockband mick jagger cartoon yell/singing into a microphone).

But, to get heavy for a minute, that’s not really what’s on my mind at all. If you’re not in the mood for heavy, read yesterday's or check back tomorrow – I’m sure I’ll regale you with something fun about the fashion soiree.

But, for now. This Calling in the One thing. An exercise of a few days ago was about making peace with our bodies, the next was about peace with our sexuality.

I’ve used the terms before “Betty Crocker” and “Vixen” – I vacillate between one and the other. Most of my Vixen happened when I was drinking. It was like the side of fries. The cigarette with a drink. It was just known that if I drank, I was going to sleep with someone – or at least make out – and likely in public, to everyone else’s discomfort.

It was a continuation of “just fucking make me feel better.” The more anonymous, the better, because then I never had to face the shame I actually felt, or the reason I was running with scissors in the first place.

When I stopped drinking, it was like – well, not to be crude, but if you put a plug in the jug, I sort of put a plug in me otherwise. I had a friend around that time who used to be a male prostitute and he told me that he didn’t have sex for a year after he got sober because it was just associated with all kinds of other things. So, I became Betty Crocker again.

Here’s the heavy – add in to this damage and abuse I’m already doing to myself the fact that like one out of six American women I’ve been raped and sexually assaulted, you can imagine the chiasma of all this creates a rather dark misshapen understanding of what sexuality is, or what sexuality can be.

In CITO, she does say that for people who have particular trauma to seek help around this as we move forward, and I’ve been back with my SF therapist for about two months now, since I started keeping track of my money and knew I needed it, and could now afford it.

So, yesterday, I’m in her office, and loathe as I may be to bring this up, I start talking about my feelings of ambivalence around sex – how I dissociate, or how my sexuality, locked in a box, comes striking out in a ravenous bolt of acting out, and then quickly retreats before I can … stop it? question why it…I…need to treat my sexuality like a, well, sin, i suppose. Something you indulge in secretly, silently, shamefully.

We’d been talking about other things, my audition, my new headshots, and then as soon as we begin on this, my body tenses, I stop breathing (or breathe so shallowly, it’s like I’m not), and she says, well, Molly, you have sexual trauma.  --- My brain goes SO WHAT. So do most people walking around. So What?? They don’t all suddenly go all fight or flight.

Therefore, today, when thinking about singing this song I haven’t rehearsed for class – to prepare to perform in one of the most vulnerable ways there is – to sing – there’s no hiding in that. It’s just your voice, your breath, what you are able to pull out from your soul, and sorry lady, my soul is just a little too rattled for that today.

I asked her if I could sing next week – and lovely woman, she said yes. (She asked if I were well, and I said, “Physically” – she understood immediately.) I’ve been a mess all day, the dragon at the head of the cave having been poked wide awake and sensing impending approach. So, yes, I rented a zipcar to get to class (and to get, finally, to the grocery store and get much yummy food) – but I needed the cocoon. I needed to not feel more jostled by the world today. 

So, why tell you? Why “reveal” all this? All this hard, and yucky, and “nobody wants to hear about this stuff” – Because that voice is the voice of my pain and fear, and it has kept me a wounded antelope for years. Repression, denial, they’re our natural responses, but this has outlived its usefulness. So I’m seeking help; I’m giving voice.

I don’t want to be Betty Crocker, nun of the knitted socks and rom-coms. I don’t want to be the Vixen, fly-by-night assassin of self-esteem.

I want to be Molly – human – with scar-tissue – but preeminently, whole. And available for the wonderful thing sex can be.

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