Spit, or: Swallow

(That’s what she said.)

A limerick Trigger warning: Domestic abuse Knowing just how to scream Hades’ name was Persephone’s most debasing shame. Though she attended his needs…

Spit, or: Swallow

Reflecting For The Week

TW: Brief mention of r***, incest, and abortions.

Today was both a good, and a bad day. I started off with tender breasts, PMS, and a fuzzy brain.

I was supposed to go to a lunch of a family friend, but epilepsy said, “Nah.” Luckily my amazing husband went to the store upon my request and picked up my Diet Coke, Twix, and Starbursts. Then he gave them to me and hid in his man cave. Wise man.

Later, Patrick and moved shit around in the apartment, to both change the energy flow, and to organize and store shit. We got a lot of work done today, and I can feel it. I finally smudged the apartment, after “thinking about it” for weeks. I feel so light, like a plastic bag, floating in the wind.

Lately, though, I’ve been really emotional, but not because of hormones. In Texas, they are trying to ban abortions after 6 weeks, regardless of r*** or incest, and make it possible for ANY ONE to sue someone they suspect who’s received an abortion, or someone they suspect performs abortions. The person doesn’t even have to be guilty of the “crime” to be sued, just suspected. The State of Missouri is now trying to ban IUD’s, because they’re considered aiding in abortion.

I feel so violated and angry. I have never been pregnant, and actively avoid pregnancy, as it often leads to children. But what if my birth control fails? What if the worst possible outcome occurred, but I’m forced to grow that person’s seed?

These situations occur EVERY DAY. A woman from my past became pregnant when the manufacturer of her birth control filled the whole month of her cycle with placebos, instead of the hormonal BC. I’m sure she was one of thousands who unknowingly became pregnant.

The woman showed no symptoms of being pregnant, and all the while she was receiving heavy treatment for Covid-19 symptoms. She was 18 weeks along when she found out; the fetus was severely underdeveloped, and had the pregnancy gone to term, the child would have come out with horrifying side effects of this treatment. This doesn’t begin to unpack the trauma, excruciating pain, and worsened sickness for this woman.

Women don’t have abortions to fill out a punch card; it is a last resort when everything else has failed.

This has been weighing on my mind as heavy as 25 cats. For the first time in my life, I am terrified for my future. I live in America – the land of the free, and home of the brave. This isn’t supposed to be happening in America; these things happen “over there”. Where is my freedom? Where is the freedom for other women?

My real fear is, what’s next after abortions and IUD’s? Will hormonal birth control be next? And then, will we be too busy being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen to have a job or be educated?

It’s not “just” banning abortions; it’s a slippery slope back to the 1950’s.

Pro-Choice ≠ Pro-Abortion

But. I’m at the point in my life where I know if I don’t speak up, and evangelize for us as women, that I’m apart of the problem, and I am done being apart of the silent majority.

I was not born to be normal; I was born and raised not run away from a fight, rather, grab my sword and beat it until it cries for its momma. I was born to lead, and I was raised to get shit done.

So that is exactly what I’m going to do.

My metaphorical pen will be my sword. I will share stories of women I’ve crossed paths with throughout my ridiculously traumatic and unstable life.

I hope you will join me by speaking your truth, or just sharing this piece; help start a larger conversation.

Let’s start a revolution. #SaveTheUterus

This Shit Is Hard (I, like, can’t EVEN)

So I have been actively avoiding my blog, and more importantly, writing lately.

I am not a person who can just put forth garbage just to have content. I take great pride in my work, and believe in living with integrity, even when it feels like I’m climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (cause everyone climbs fucking Everest). I am uncomfortable posting fluffy shit like all of the “Blog Babes” suggest; I give exactly 0 fucks about writing “10 Best Fashion Tips, and #7 is unbelievable!”

I’m a loudmouth, opinionated bitch. My life, up until this point, has not been fun and fuzzy. I grew up witnessing domestic abuse, and then I walked into an abusive relationship. I have epilepsy, and generalized anxiety disorder, and I’m recovering from a life-long eating disorder, and emotionally numbing in any way possible. At the age of 12, I called a teen hotline and told the person on the phone that I thought I had depression.

I had no bodily autonomy for most of my life; my body was the property of everyone else, and I had to keep it clean and pure for them.

During my first appointment with a psychiatrist, after I told her my whole story, she paused, took a breath, and stated, “It’s impressive that you’ve been suffering alone this whole time, and not in a good way.”

Translation: I am fucked up.

So. Hi again. Thanks for sticking with me thus far. I know, this started on a really depressing note, but it’s my blog and I can be a party pooper if I want. So there! 😤

But I digress.

Because I refuse to put out fluffy shit, I hardly post. Pulling that shit from within and putting the shit on paper is hard as fuck.

Looking back at that trauma is extremely difficult, not only emotionally, but the more I remember from my early teens, the more I piece together more experiences with my illness. I, too, have to open the door to the loneliness and despair that I felt then.

I look back at that little girl and it hurts to put myself back behind those melancholy eyes, and experience that trauma all over again. It’s devastating, and so unfair that this little girl, at the age of 12, knew she had depression, and yet, the adults in her life failed her.

But, I have to unpack it. If I keep shoving it into the back of the closet, with the memories of my platform Spice Girl’s shoes covered in puke (I’m still waiting for those to make a comeback), I’ll never get better, and I’ll never completely understand myself.

I’m too self-aware and anxious to let that shit fester. I need to dig it out, explore it, and de-clutter it. Like Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t bring you joy, thank the items for their work, and let it go.

So, Imma start letting that shit go.

But I warn you: this could be some Taylor Swift type shit going forward, but if I can also make millions using old diaries and hard feelings, then let the “Swifting” begin.

PS. I cuss A LOT. Like a lot, a lot. But it’s a scientific fact that people who swear a lot have a higher pain tolerance, so who’s laughing now, mom?!

What I Learned This Week

Sometimes, the truth is so much worse than you think, but despite the sheer amount of pain that it causes can be the key to setting you free. What they say is true: Freedom isn’t free.

Living in silence is not living; it’s oppression and fear.

Reaching out to find an answer is better than not ever knowing. Knowledge is power, and I am powerful.

When things are hard, go to your girlfriends and talk some mad smack, and then work through it. It’s the unwritten Burn Book, and it is magical.

Stop looking allowing people from your past take away from the now. You can’t take it back, and you didn’t know.

You are so much stronger than you think.

Finally, the sun will keep shining, time will keep moving, and as long as I take the time to breathe, I’m going to be okay.

I am in exactly the right place at every moment.

Moving On

Photo Credit: Iribel

It’s been almost two months since I’ve seen or physically spoke to either of my parents. To say that putting them on a “time out” for awhile was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made, is an understatement. The pain and trauma of having to realize that my parents are not on my side, and that at the core, only care about what other people think of me, has put a strain on my relationship with them that I don’t think will ever be forgotten. People keep telling me that I need to forgive them, that it will set me free, and while that may be true someday, I don’t think that pain will ever go away.

And when you think about forgiveness, it’s an odd beast: it’s a thing that you’re supposed to do, because that’s what society tells you to do, but it’s an incredibly painful and vulnerable process. Berkley defines forgiveness as a, “conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.” Get that: it is a conscious, deliberate decision, whether they deserve it or not.

And what if you don’t feel like they do? For example, it’s hard to imagine forgiving the cheating ex-boyfriend that left you for a chick that matched his “true ideals”; I feel like part of the heartache is always wondering if it was something to do with you, if you were to blame.

But the reality is, forgiveness is not about the other person, it’s giving yourself permission to move on; you can’t force it, it has to come with time and proper processing.

I know that as of right now, it isn’t time to forgive yet; I still have a lifetime of memories and lessons to process: my parents divorce and subsequent nasty custody war, my mom’s co-dependence, both of my parents’ low-key racism, antiquated beliefs on marriage and the woman’s role in it, is something that I’m trying to separate from, but after 30 years of hearing that your opinion is wrong, and theirs is right, it’s a slow process.

My parents tried to control every aspect of my life; my father blatantly, and my mother by planting little seeds of doubt. They both used their powers of guilt and shame against me for years. After all, I am the oldest child, and was raised to be an obedient people pleaser, so it was easy for them.

Good things are finally starting to happen though: my “fiancé” and I are finally planning our wedding, engagement photos, etc. and I could not be happier about planning it with him. I’ve also reconnected with some people that I’ve loved for many years but had disconnected with. We have a brand new (to us) beautiful apartment in which we finally feel like we’re home (even if it is on the third floor).

I love my parents, and I miss them, but for the first time in years, I feel like I have room to breathe, grow and excel without fear of disappointing them.

I also feel like I can finally be myself instead of having to pretend to be the daughter they wanted.

I am a Phoenix, a lotus flower, and a survivor.

Cruel Irony

It feels like cruel irony:

The person who loves you the most, makes you feel the most empty;
My heart aches because love is blind,
But my mind and soul know the truth:

Love is not love without boundaries.

The cold hands of abuse sink their nails into my throat,
And I look to their comforting embrace,
Once again.

Currently Learning to Work Through The Kinks

My name is Emily Autumn. As of writing this, I am 29 years old, and depending on who you ask in 10 years, I might still be 29. I am currently a human struggling to keep my head above water on bad days and scraping by on the good days. I say intentionally because I am working on getting through my mid-life crisis “spiritual awakening”. I’m hoping that if I say that phrase enough times that I’ll feel more inclined to believe it.

My life has been very complicated since I was born. I was born to a non-practicing Mormon mother with a big mouth and a non-practicing Muslim father, with an even bigger temper. They both experienced and witnessed a lot of abuse and other horrible events that brought them to each other and it was volatile from the start. And then I came along and we lived happily ever after. lol jk.

In a lot of ways, I had an ideal childhood: two parents that loved me and doted on me, we lived in an okay house in an okay neighborhood, I had really rad birthday parties and we took vacations to Disneyland (not World, there’s a difference) and Turkey. I went to an okay school where my mom was a room mother and my class always had the most elaborate parties for all of the holidays. I was even a girl scout and got to go camping and sell cookies and my mom was one of the den mothers. On the outside, we looked like a relatively normal, middle class family.

I lived a privileged life in a lot of ways, but the inner turmoil of my parents marriage, and subsequent divorce was a hefty price to pay for all of the glamorous things that I grew up with.

As it turns out, the old expression “All that glitters is not gold” was a very appropriate statement for my family. Behind the scenes, there was tension, anger, an eating disorder, verbal abuse and many attempts at physical abuse.

My father came from a very abusive family. My mother came was the product of an affair that my grandmother didn’t know she was having, and when my biological grandfather left her, she turned to alcohol. My mother grew up in a very unstable home and was sent to live with an angel for awhile, but we just called her Meme. My dad worked hard to make a living for my mom and I, and that’s what my mother needed: stability.

I grew up “the perfect child”; my mother made sure of it, no matter how she had to get me there. I had the perfectly styled hair, perfectly cute outfits with accessories to match, perfect play dates, perfect reading, perfect writing, and most importantly, I was to behave perfectly. It was all peachy and perfect (put lots of emphasis on those P’s).

So now, as an adult, I’ve realized that my early life how fucked up things really were in my house as an adult. I remember walking into the living room in the middle of the night to my parents fighting, and my mother threw a phone at my dad. I don’t remember this, but I allegedly walked in on my father raising his hand to my mom like he was going to slap her, and when he saw me, he pulled his hand away.

I also remember feeling like I had to walk on egg shells or else face the corner or face the hand to my bottom. I remember not emptying the trash can and my mother walking in and saying that she was disappointed in me and that she didn’t want to speak to me for awhile.

And I remember feeling unappreciated and unvalued by both of my parents sometimes.

So what’s the point of telling you all of this? You’re probably thinking, “Bitch, I thought this was a sex blog. Where’s the juicy shit?” Well unfortunately, before we can get to the good shit, we have to wade through the bad shit: the deep pit of shame of just being alive sometimes, or the struggle to just put one foot in front of the other to make it through the day. I promise that the good, juicy shit is coming soon (lol coming).

So let’s regroup after all the heavy shit at the beginning and kind of start over.

Hi, my name is Emily Autumn. That is not my legal name, it is my chosen name. All of the hard experiences in my life have given me the wisdom to know that you don’t have to settle for the things you’re given, you can build your own identity from scratch. I have struggled with an eating disorder, alcohol and boys. I used to feel a deep sense of shame from my experiences because I thought that it made me broken and unlovable, but I have come to the understanding that being broken just means that you have the opportunity to replace some of the old pieces dull pieces with beautiful ones and create a stained glass window.

I am currently studying psychology at the University of Houston. I want to pursue sex therapy, but I also want to study it. I want to study the relationship between sex and shame and change the conversation; I want to empower women with their sexuality, but also teach them to be kinder to themselves. I want to teach men that it’s okay to feel emotions and that it’s okay to cry and that it’s not shameful. And I want to teach men and women how to love themselves more so that they can be better partners, better parents, better listeners and better to themselves; because in my journey, thanks to some guidance from Brene Brown ( #noticemebrenebrown #shameless ) that you can’t give people something that you don’t have, and if you can’t be kind to yourself, you can’t be kind to others.

Just to be clear, this did not happen over night. My journey started roughly 4 years ago and it’s been mostly uphill. But in those 4 years, I have learned patience, kindness and thoughtfulness along the way, so I am eternally grateful for all of the terrible things that have happened in my life.

I am confident, that together, we can work through the kinks together and learn to face the world in a more confident and thoughtful way.

Until next time, make good choices and don’t have sex or you’ll get pregnant and die (just kidding, but seriously, have safe sex).