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waiting for the whoosh - badgergirl's journal

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  • And since I'm doing photos... Crabcakes: this is me snogging a dinosaur last time we were on the Iggles.

    And this is why I'm homesick:
    Last edited by badgergirl; 03-15-2013, 04:40 PM.
    I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


    • Spinning yarn again

      It was an idyllic two weeks. Truly. Not particularly on the physical side of things*, oddly enough, but emotionally I was where I'd spent a year wishing to be. However, it was a temporary accommodation, not a permanent homecoming. Towards the end of the visit the three of us were entwined on the futon; we had the 'what does it all mean?' conversation. Mr best friend was adamant - it meant nothing more or less than what it was. He was right, but I at least didn't want to think of that.

      *I'm not going to bother recounting the ins and outs, because it hardly matters, but if we were Neapolitan ice cream, we were a tub with no chocolate or strawberry sections, we were vanilla to the core. For me, possibly the first and last time that applied.

      And then I came back to the UK. And my heart, it was in pieces.
      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


      • Spinning...

        I plan these posts out a little in my mind, trying to work through what happened and why. However, what followed was pain and I cannot now remember how that pain was transmuted into friendship. I wrote a lot of pain into poetry for writing class, I think. Also, the process had, to an extent, been cathartic. A boil had been lanced. The analogies are less than helpful, but I suppose one could compare it to driving a car - you start learning after you pass the test. The intimacy and pain forged an unbreakable bond, eventually; however, it took time and tears and a willingness to embrace a loss.

        The letters and the love went back and forth across the Atlantic and, slowly, with distance came proportion and an understanding of what can and cannot be. Since then there have been many, many visits - three or four each way. However, the bridge between friends and lovers has remained uncrossed; the desire is simply not there. Mr best friend does not write, so the threeway gradually became weighted towards best friend and me, but each visit renewed and strengthened the connection to him.

        I miss them. I miss the joy of proximity. But I don't mourn the loss of the what ifs: I can remember each person's touch, the sensation of being close. I carry their imprints on me. I have no need to repeat the experience. It took a long time, but I learned from them to look for a similar dynamic for myself. Best friend and I are not similar people and what we need from our partners is very different also. That being said, when I chose husband I did it with an understanding that he would be to me as Mr best friend was to best friend. They were a bulwark, an unshifting point of reference, a certainty.

        And then they broke up.
        Last edited by badgergirl; 03-17-2013, 06:44 PM.
        I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


        • Weaving

          I could go on unravelling, because there is a stack of other stories that could be teased out into threads, but honestly I think it's time to examine the ply. I'm not sure what the count is...let's break it down:
          1. Finds it easy to translate emotional intimacy for physical (though this vice doesn't necessarily versa)
          2. Has difficulty in associating sex with fidelity
          3. Associates writing with sex
          4. Associates friendship with profound emotional honesty
          5. Forms intense friendships based on intellectual attraction
          6. Is currently very lonely
          7. Is currently wondering about the value of marriage
          8. Suffered a two-year absence of best friend
          9. Is currently having 'issues' with intimacy with current partner
          10. Has difficulty with rejection/abandonment/attachment - this is a whole other basket of wool marked 'adoption'

          In walks bacon; out walks bacon - rinse repeat.
          Last edited by badgergirl; 03-18-2013, 05:19 PM.
          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


          • So. Bacon. He’s an enigma. He started out reading like best friend; or not really, but enough that my heart leapt. Can one life hold two friendships like me and best friend? Where life, love, literature, physical intimacy, food, wine and filthy jokes combine in a meeting of two minds? Evidently not.

            He made grand promises and my life is so barren – want to take me dancing? I’m there. Want to go to the theatre? Hell, yeah. Want to read books together? OF COURSE! Want to gripe about your spouse or mine? Well, we’re getting on swampy ground here, aren’t we? This is beginning to give off affair vibes. Want to talk about sex? Actually, yes, let’s do that because post-childbirth and four years of breastfeeding, my relationship with my own sexuality is somewhat tenuous. Oh, but wait, you want to make it personal and that definitely takes us into affair territory. All in words, but words are where I live. We met. He's great. It was fun, a bit date-y and the whole time I was trying to work out what I wanted to do next. We settled on a halfway proof-of-concept test. We passed the test. Back to email. And then we really pushed it – daydreaming to the end of the affair and what that would mean. Jumping the gun, but we were as bad as each other.

            He freaked and disappeared.

            So. Now I’m stuck with two feelings ropes – sexual and friendship. I care about that man. His life seems so erratic and I worry about him. I could never have him as a life partner – I value my stability way, way too much to be involved with someone that unreliable. But a friend? Yes, of course. That won’t help me with the sexual intensity though will it? Maybe that will fade. After a few months I weakened and emailed.

            A month passed and – out of the blue – he responded. Felt the same, wanted the same. Guilt. He was full of guilt. Me? Not so much.

            Well. Did I have words? Of course I did! I wrote reams. I examined FEELINGS, desires, practicalities. Told him how happy I was that he was back. Agreed to keep it on whatever terms he wanted. Honestly, I could do either at this point – but I didn’t think I could do in person without trying something on. Impulse control is not my strongest suit. And, if someone tells me very clearly and in great detail how exactly they would like to make me feel amazing, suffice to say I will want them to make good on those words. So, what did I propose? Let’s email. You’ll be far away. It’s safe. Guilt free.

            He freaked and disappeared.

            And I hate that I’m devoting neurons to this. I hate that I want him to come back (I do, I do). I haven’t been able to close the door on it, sigh with relief and devote my energies to something more constructive. I’ve emailed every few days. Just to keep my hand in. Just to wind myself up tighter. Just to torment myself with my own inabilities and desperation. Come back - let me show you how cool I can be. Ugh. Ain't nobody got time for that shit. I'm better than that and, honestly, he's no hero. Why can't I let it go?

            Another friend like best friend? I’d crawl on my belly across broken glass for that.
            Last edited by badgergirl; 03-18-2013, 11:50 PM. Reason: typo
            I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


            • *BANG*

              Door slams shut. Okay? Remind me of that next time it creaks open.

              Next up, I'll be navel gazing about husband. About time he made an appearance.
              I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


              • I have just returned from a funeral. My third in this country. A strange way to judge it, but I'm honoured that I have friends for whom I am dear enough that they want me at their family events. I find it very anxiety provoking because the rituals are not the same as the ones I am practised in, but it's a big deal to have been asked and I was pleased to be able to do it.

                So. I baked cakes and ate party pies. I feel bloated and miserable. The sausage roll says I love you.
                Last edited by badgergirl; 03-20-2013, 12:16 AM. Reason: forgot a funeral!
                I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                • Meet the grandparents

                  I'm not sure I'm ready to pigeonhole husband with words, no, not even songs (though I have at least two in mind).

                  But I can tell you a lovely adoption story...

                  ...You know those wonderful, heartwarming reunion narratives one reads in the newspaper about long-lost relatives finding each other and finding a homecoming they'd never known? Yeah, this isn't one of those.

                  I was living with Jam (first love, a boy, if you're wondering) and almost at uni. I'd had a letter on my 18th birthday from my maternal birth grandparents requesting contact. I called them and that went okay so Jam and I decided to visit them. In hindsight this added to the oddity, at least for them: in preparation for months away from home and poverty, I'd had my hair buzzcut to minimise fuss. A six-foot-tall buzzcut woman in cheap jeans and the plaid flannel shirts I favoured at the time. Ah, I also wore Docs. Jam and I basically shared a wardrobe. I have never needed to pretty up to prove my XX status; although these days I do a strange mix of ultra femme and not femme (I'm basically a drag-princess stuck in a woman's body).

                  I should have made my excuses and run the moment I walked into their living room. The banality of suburban-set horror films, you know the vibe? There were china-headed dolls in frilly dresses demurely sitting on a picture-rail-height shelf. All those silent, pretty girls lined up over us. Witnesses to what? Victorian maidens with rosy cheeks and rosebud painted mouths that could never speak.

                  I should have run away when she called her friend and asked her to pop round to see me.

                  'This is our granddaughter. The one we told you was dead.'

                  I should have said something when they called me pre-adoption-name all afternoon. Instead I smiled weakly and hoped it would soon be over.

                  I should have told them I was vegetarian before he sliced the Spam; the knife held expertly by a hand that had lost half its index finger. The stump seemed to speak of so much amputation. They were keen to stress they never spoke to 'her' - that would be birth mother, their daughter.

                  I don't think they realised how badly the visit was going. I swore I'd never see them again, but knew that now established I couldn't renege on contact altogether. It was a burden.
                  Last edited by badgergirl; 03-22-2013, 12:15 AM.
                  I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                  • And the adoption stories get worse, much worse. But they're easy. So easy. Because they're known narratives, acceptable narratives. But what does one do with the unacceptable narratives, the messy stories that don't really have villains, but certainly have victims. Or maybe have victims, but you're not quite sure who they are. Because, honestly, won't someone think of the children?

                    I was seven or eight or six or small. My brother was plus six years. But I'm always the older one in so many ways. The first to drink to get drunk. The first to get stoned. The first to lose my virginity. The first to kiss a girl, I expect. The first to move out. The first to marry. The first, the only, to breed.

                    And in my nuclear family that's how we're treated, by my mother at least, the precocious and the precious.

                    I was six or seven or eight and he was older. Double or thereabouts. And it was Christmas.

                    My brother and I fought, fight. We want not to, but we fight. He's chalk to my cheese; prose to my poetry; an engineer to my bloody writing. He told me off for swearing - 'it's not big, teen Badger; grown ups think you're stupid'. Fuck off, spotted Dick, I'd say. I ran rings around him over the years. He was pissed off when I snogged his mate - 'He thinks you're serious, Badger.'

                    In his cups he often wished he was more like me. Like that was working out for me particularly well.

                    I don't talk about this. I don't have the words. I have - what? Not shame. Not exactly. I feel like there are adult overlays here. But then I wonder if they are my adult overlays or the overlays of my mother who couldn't, wouldn't, believe. Then did because brother had the guilt(?), honesty(?) to say, well, yes.

                    He was 12, 13, 14? Is that old enough? It was old enough for me. At 12, 13, 14? I was planning how to get into my best friend (female)'s bed. I knew what I wanted. I knew it was...tricky to arrange. Maybe, yes, she was first love. Melanie, just like Jeanette Winterson's Melanie, blonde and, ultimately, bovine. From the North too, now I think of it.

                    But brother, he was backward in coming forward in so very many ways whereas I took great pleasure, pride in being out there.

                    And now? Who knows who was to blame for crossing lines that should never have been even looked at.

                    At Christmas, when we had family staying, brother slept in my top bunk. Show me yours and I'll show you mine? Yes. Sort of that. I cried when it hurt and he stopped. But I remember suggesting more up to that point.

                    I don't know what to do with these memories. There's no acceptable space to air them. Incest? Abuse? Yes? No? Sort of. Grey area. Take away my sense of agency - not good. Knock on effects? Who knows? Fuck knows.

                    It's easy to talk about all the other shit, and there's plenty. But this? Complicit in abuse. Yes, maybe. I knew I had something on him. I used it eventually. Not the response I expected.

                    And we never spoke of it again.

                    I think I have tried a few times. But, no, I'm open like a book, open like a country road, open like a tin of tuna...and this is what I hide.

                    What do I do with this story? I have no idea.

                    I wish I knew. Wish I could box it. Is this the abuse the fuckwit nurse spotted? Or was that something worse?

                    And did my mother ever tell my father?
                    Last edited by badgergirl; 03-22-2013, 02:54 AM.
                    I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                    • Let's move the grief down thread a little.

                      Best friend's house has sold, setting her at least partially free. I've scored Bring up the Bodies *and* A Place of Greater Safety with my gift voucher and I've just come home from a morning mooching in Melbourne and meeting a friend for brunch.
                      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                      • Badger baby - I think that I need to start at the beginning ...................
                        "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                        ...small steps....


                        • Originally posted by NZ primal Gwamma View Post
                          Badger baby - I think that I need to start at the beginning ...................
                          I'm afraid I've scattered the navel gazing throughout many pages and in a non-chronological fashion. Starting at the beginning might prove tricky. There's some stuff about hydrocephalus pages back, which is probably as close to a beginning point as I can fathom.

                          I also, as I was strolling the streets this morning, remembered another Grandparent bon mot. After I walked in she grabbed my chin, tilted my head and said, 'well, you're not his - we did wonder.' 'His' referred to a blondish gentleman whose photo was on the table - turns out birth mother had had a husband. First I'd heard of it.
                          Last edited by badgergirl; 03-23-2013, 01:09 AM.
                          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                          • Previous instalments

                            Foundation myths 1
                            and 2
                            My mother, the saint:
                            I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                            • and now for something completely different

                              The concept of Albion interests me. Of course it's a poetic conceit, but there's a spine buried in the chalk of Britain that forms the backbone of creativity for artists as disparate as William Blake and the Romantic poets to PJ Harvey and, arguably, Terry Pratchett. And, having, grown up on chalk and clay (known locally as blue slipper) with sea salt in the air, Albion is unquestionably my framework too. It is impossible to be anywhere in England without matching it with a song, poem or novel. The country is, to me, an overlapping endless patchwork of past events and creativity. We all map psycho-geographies in our minds, English and History majors or not - the personal landmarks intersect with the bricks and dressed stone. Iain Sinclair mapped madness by walking the M25 (London's orbital) and recording what had become of Victorian asylums. I met husband at the top of the escalators (the longest in London) at Angel station, wearing devil horns on my head.

                              Melbourne's a grid. I know the streets of the CBD quite well now, given that I am eternally directionally inept. I can dart down lanes and triangulate myself from familiar points on the skyline. But I'm lost, adrift. Despite reading the history and a primer on Australian literature, the streets are just tarmac on the ground.
                              Last edited by badgergirl; 03-24-2013, 12:03 AM. Reason: clarity
                              I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                              • Hey badger

                                Getting caught up with the journal here... Pirate Small Boy is very cute! The quilt turned out really well - I remember you cursing it. Second saw your photo, and the first thing she said was "Badger looks like a lot of fun!" First thing I thought was "Badger is a cutie-pie!" Iggly-dee-wiggle makes for some beautiful landscape/seascape photography - I can understand you missing it.

                                Your birth-grandparents... I hope you don't have much contact with them. It sounds like you won't get any kind of respect or love out of them, and you don't need any more dissing in your life for anything so absolutely beyond your control as circumstances of birth and parentage. Sheesh. They don't deserve you.

                                And IMHO, sexual "stuff" that abused kids do - absolve yourself of any guilt. I won't discuss it, but I have a similar story in my past. I finally decided that the final guilt lies with the original abuser, not me, because as a child, I was just doing the best I could and dealing the best I could and behavior that resulted from that kind of sick "grooming" of me is/was beyond any fault of mine. It clears space in my head for my own original thoughts, plans, dreams, desires.

                                Otherwise, I am looking up "Albion". If you haven't figured it out yet, I am not really a reader of much fiction. If a piece of fiction lit has a lot of tortured characters, I usually shut the book. A kind of emotional weariness overcomes me. I would much rather laugh.
                                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC