Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

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.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Becoming an Erotic Writer Improved My Marriage

Hi, I'm Alyssa and I write erotica.

Actually, I've just started putting my smut out there for the world at large, but I've had an active fantasy life since my teen years. In the early years of my marriage, I would write sexy stories for my husband, mostly because it turned me on to write them. The way hot sex that followed each reading wasn't such a bad thing, either. What I didn't realize at the time, so young and naive was I, that while my husband liked that I was turned on by my stories, he didn't really care that I wrote them. That makes him sound like some sort of selfish bastard, but that wasn't the case. All he really cared about was that I was turned on and feeling good about myself. That was the turn-on for him, not some imaginary characters in some imaginary situation.

The sexy part of our marriage came to a screeching halt pretty much as soon as it started. Days after our wedding, I found out I was pregnant. The hormones sometimes made for some lovely sex, but mostly I just felt too fat, ugly and achy to do much lovin'. For my honey's part, he had those normal new dad worries of hurting the baby or whatever.

After about forty-six years of pregnancy, our son was born and we were thrust into the world of parenting, and the style that most fit us was the Attachment variety. Our son co-slept with us, he nursed on demand for a really long time, and we didn't even leave him with a grandparent until he was a year and a half.  I still hadn't lost my baby weight, which made me sensitive. I used to have an eating disorder, so much of my self esteem was wrapped up in what the numbers on the scale said. The higher the number, the less I was obviously worth. So, even on the times that my honey made sexual overtures to me, I felt too worthless, ugly, fat and exhausted to do much lovin'.

And life, it continued.

Our kid got older, slept in his own room, and we had more time to be alone together. But I could never lose that baby weight. Almost twelve years later, I'm still fifty pounds heavier than I was on my wedding day, which was ten pounds too big for my anorexia-addled mind at the time. In actuality, I could stand to lose twenty pounds now. Those numbers ran in my head and did bad shit to my self-esteem. I felt too much like a beached whale to do much lovin'

And life, it still continued.

Jobs were lost, parents died, money got tight, and my husband was diagnosed with something called Peyronie's Disease. Neither of us had ever heard of this, but it's more common than we thought. The nuts and bolts of this piece of shit of a disease is that it effects the penis shaft, curving it and making erections painful. After running its course naturally, which often takes upwards of two years, the penis is different. It's smaller, less sensitive to stimuli, and can pop or bend in unnatural and painful ways. There are surgeries one can  have, but they don't always fix the issue at hand. There are remedies men can use to help the discomfort and bending, but there's nothing that can be done about the new size short of a penis pump or surgery.

So obviously this did a number on my husband's self esteem. Even though I find sex much more pleasurable now that he's shaped differently, even though I cum much more frequently than I ever did before Peyronie's, he just felt like too little of a man to do much lovin'.

And life, it kept its damn continuing.

Siblings died, moves happened, and I had a round of surgeries myself, which...yep. Made me too achy and doped up on Vicodin to do much lovin'.

It's been a hell of a ride. We're both as recovered as we'll ever be from our various issues, but the sex thing--well, that just never got back to that pre-pregnancy, early-marriage, hotness.

Until Erotica.

I still have that skinny little girl in my head, telling me that I'm ugly and fat, but I'm older than she is now, and I know she was just hurt and damaged when she was younger. My husband has always made it perfectly clear that my body is beautiful to him, but it's been so hard for me to believe and accept that as truth. Just like it's been hard for him to believe that I'm totally satisfied-- more satisfied than ever--by his penis, even though it's different from the one I married.

Over the last few years we've fumbled our way back into intimacy and we've both had plenty of fears and doubts along the way.

One day, not too long ago, I decided that I wanted to get back into writing sexy stories. But this time I wanted to do it for me, not for my husband. I felt embarrassed to tell him that I wanted to write these stories and that *gasp* I wanted to sell them. I kept it to myself for a while and refused to write a single thought down because I was afraid he'd laugh at me, that he'd tell me it was dumb, or that he'd think I was nothing more than a stripper or prostitute. As  it turned out, those thoughts never crossed his mind. He was thrilled when I told him because he'd always told me I was a good writer and I should put myself out there. So, not only was he beautifully supportive, but, he's gone out of his way to give me space to write as much as I want.

And life, it continues.

But this is a new chapter. For the first time in my life, I'm giving myself permission to tap into that sexy young thing inside me without giving her permission to harm my emotions or my body now. In writing my stories, which my husband often doesn't want to read, I'm liberating myself from the bonds I've placed on myself since I was sixteen.

www.alyssasteel.com
And liberation--It is sexy as hell. I feel sexy, I feel confident, I feel powerful. Nothing has changed in my or my husband's bodies, but suddenly I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a very sexual person and that admittance has made me confident, which has made me absolutely irresistible to him. Feeling strong and sexy has put my husband at my mercy. And guess what? That makes me feel stronger and sexier, which gives me more confidence to write which makes me feel stronger and sexier...Oh, this is a delicious, sensual, nipple nibbling, erotic circle that is so much more than just sex.

Even when we're not in bed, we're kinder to one another. We hold hands, we kiss, we hug each other in the middle of Target just because we love each other. And guess what? That extra intimacy during the day is just prolonged foreplay for both of us and we can't wait until we can devour each other again.

Becoming an Erotica Writer has not only saved our sex life, but our marriage too.

And so, when you see that couple hugging and gently smooching each other in the store, smile for them...and then go home and get in touch with your inner sex-pot. You'll wonder what took you so long.