Monday, October 29, 2012

The Seductive Voice of Depression

"Do it." The slippery voice urges me with assurance.

Tears stream down my face and I shake my head. I can't. I won't.

"You know," it says, "there really is no point in playacting at this anymore. Just do it."

 A long buried memory plays out behind my blurry and red eyes.
I'm a skinny little girl with lice infested hair and bruises on my arms and legs. I'm trying to do my math homework but I'm confused and I don't have anyone to ask for help. I hear my mother throwing things and I want to vanish before she makes her way to my room.The pencil is in my right hand and before I know what I'm doing, I start to rub the eraser against my my left arm. I rub harder and the heat of the friction hurts but it's nothing compared to some of the other things I have felt. Her voice gets closer to my room but then it turns in another direction. She yells at someone to shut the fucking dog up. I want to disappear. I want to vanish. I rub the eraser harder, my arm is stinging, and somehow that stinging, burning pain of not being able to erase myself is comforting. I know now that it's because I was in control of it. I could make it stop anytime I wanted. But the little girl just knew that the pain felt safe.
 I know the memory is brought to me as a gift from that damned, slippery voice. He wants me to remember that he was there with me, giving me control of my body even as I was being kicked in the ribs. That voice wants me to remember that he's never left me. Not when I was a little girl trying to literally erase myself. Not when I was a frightened college student trying to make myself vanish into nothingness with anorexia. Not when I gave birth to my son and I feared I'd be unable to break the cycle of violence and abuse, and not now. The voice has always been there, urging me, with words as soft as a favorite blanket, to step off the edge, to drag the blade, to erase myself.

And sometimes that voice makes so goddamn fucking much sense. Sometimes that voice is the only sane thing I can hear and I can see how everything would be better if...

"You're not the mother your son deserves, you know. You're only going to fuck him up if you don't do it now."

"You're not the wife he deserves, you know. You're much too selfish and fat and ugly to deserve him. Let him go. You are keeping him from happiness."

"Of course you realize that you don't matter. Of course you realize that you bring more shit into this world. You do know, don't you, that you have less value and worth than a pair of holey socks? Why do yo do this to yourself and to everyone around you? You could just vanish. If you rub hard enough, you'll get past the burning and stinging and you'll start to disappear. Just do it."

I try to ignore his seductive voice. I look into the eyes of my son. I smell the head of my dog. I contemplate a stiff drink at 11am.

I hide from the voice in the shower, but his words echo off the tile. I try to bury the voice under the simple acts of self care. I brush my teeth. I comb my hair. I try to look and act like I'm worth more than I feel. I try to fake it until I make it.

I stick my fingers in my ears and shout "lalalalalala" at the voice, hoping he'll go away.

I tell the voice he's a stupid piece of shit, that I have value. I have worth. I deserve the love of my family and friends. My mother's hatred of me is not a reflection of my true worth. My actions count. My love counts. I am a force for good, not a shit storm.

But it all feels a lie. I want to vanish. I want to be erased. I want to stop feeling the hurt of self-loathing.

And I'm so fucking scared. I'm afraid that if I listen to the voice, my son will grow up feeling that I didn't love him and then the voice will get him. But if I don't, what chance does he have? Eventually the voice will feed on him, too.

"Yes. If you don't come with me, you bet your sweet bippy I'll feed on your boy. But if you take my hand, I'll leave him alone. Trust me. Trust. Trust. Come."

The soft, soothing, slippery, sleepy voice wants me. He's always wanted me and he'll never leave me alone. Sometimes I feel too tired to keep fighting him.

And because I know that's exactly what he wants, I keep fighting. I keep writing, even when I don't think I can. Writing muffles his voice, writing shuts him up. Writing is his weakness and so it's the most important thing I can do for myself and my family. If I work hard enough, if I write well enough, maybe I'll kill the voice.

Then I'll finally be free.




Friday, October 19, 2012

Balancing Act

Working mothers.

I hate that term. All mothers work extremely hard, whether or not they get paid an actual income to do so. We all work hard to make the most out of current circumstances, we all work hard to ensure that our children have a better life than we had, and we all work hard to be the best damn moms we can possibly be, even when we're fumbling and making crap up as we go.

My kid is in fifth grade and I've homeschooled him his whole childhood. Well up until now. He's still homeschooling, but my dear, sweet, handsome  husband had taken a much more hands-on approach with his education and is now the primary homeschooling parent.  He works from home so he's able to break away and teach our son important things like how to convert a mixed number into a decimal. He's being super supportive of my writing and makes a point to send me to my room...er, office...every morning with the assurance that "I've got this. Really. You just go write."

My son is super duper supportive and he sends me off to the spare room with shouts of "Go write mom! We've got this under control!"

Such amazing, sweet, supportive, awesome dudes. I love them both so much it seems like it ought to make my heart burst.

But as the primary homeschooling parent, the primary stay-at-home parent for nearly eleven years, letting go and following my passions is hard. When I hear commotion or my son's raised voice because he's pissed off and confused, I have to turn up the music and fight the urge to run in and fix things. I have to remember that my husband is smart...he's got this. That doesn't stop the guilt, though. I worry that I'm becoming a distant mother, that I'm making all the wrong decisions, and that every hour I spend writing a sex story is an hour I'm not on the couch reading to my kid.

Truth? I miss it. I miss being the on-point parent.

More truth? Working from home is fucking hard. I do have to tune out the noise of life, but all of the stuff that needs to be done still needs doing. I'm not talking just about the schooling. There are still pets to feed and breakfast to tend to. There is lunch to prepare, dishes to clean, laundry to fold, toilets to scrub, dogs to walk, dinner to cook, more dishes to do, cat puke to scrub out of carpets...dear god, the list of shit that still needs doing looms over me and judges me for ignoring it or putting it all on my honey.

I know I've said that my guy is awesome. But have I said he's amazing? He takes on all this extra stuff without complaining. I still do the majority of cooking and meal preparation, but he does almost all of the cleaning. Oh, trust me, Loves, it is not lost on me that I'm one lucky little bitch to have a hot guy who is not only willing to go buy me porn, but will be the primary homeschooling parent AND the primary house-cleaner. Just so that I can spend my time writing. The man isn't just encouraging me to reach for my dreams, he's freaking letting me stand on his shoulders.

And to assuage the guilt I often feel for neglecting my family for the sake of writing smut, I've decided that I'm going to be an example for my son. I'm writing a novel for him. It's something I'm doing under my real name, it's something I can do with the office door open, it's something I can talk to him about. Writing smut with a pre-teen in the house is pretty tricky, but writing a middle grade novel with a pre-teen in the house is pretty awesome. He can see the big outline on my wall, he can help me come up with names and he gets to be involved in the process, even if it's just to a small degree.

Writing two very different genres is somewhat difficult, but it's also completely fun. And if my family is going to be supportive of my writing career, well, then I owe it to them to explore all of the stories I have inside of me. Now I just have to find a way to spread my time between my pouty-lipped sex goddess persona and my wild haired, whooping, tree-climbing adolescent persona with the mother and wife I am.

Life. It is one helluva balancing act.



Friday, October 12, 2012

The Concert, an Erotica eBook by Alyssa Steel

After two years of a hot and heavy office flirtation, Mike and Lori are finally going out on a date. When Lori runs into a friend during dinner, she gets some advice that is sure to knock Mike off his feet. Although nervous about making herself vulnerable, she follows her friend’s advice and ends up experiencing the most amazing night of her life

Buy it now for your Kindle, Nook, or on Google Play.