Showing posts with label vodka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vodka. 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.




Monday, September 17, 2012

The Things We Do for Love

Sometimes, when I'm hanging out with my mom friends, the subject of husbands comes up. Okay, the subject always comes up, just in different ways. Once in a while it's about a fight that just happened or what dairy or gluten does to their bellies. Sometimes it's about their relationships with their kids and sometimes it's about the things they do that show us they love us.

This post is about how my husband loves me.

Oh, sure, he's done the normal "I love my partner" stuff. He's held my hair back as I've vomited, he's rubbed my feet even though he has a distinct aversion to feet, he does 90% of the laundry because he knows that's the one chore I hate above all others.  He's thrown me a surprise birthday party, and has kindly refrained from drinking so he could drive my drunk ass home. You know, all that stuff a good and loving life partner should do.

But when I'm old and bed ridden and reviewing my life there will be one story that I will tell to everyone who will listen.  Okay, maybe not grand-kids, but everyone else:

Once upon a time, I decided that I wanted to write erotica. My reasons were varied. Part of me wanted a chance to explore my sexuality, part of me wanted a chance to be a bad girl and write all the stuff that I'd always imagined, part of me hoped to make enough money to support my coffee and vodka habits (though never coffee and vodka at the same time! That would just be a waste.), and part of me wanted to use it as an opportunity to get back into writing and to prove to myself that I could do it.

When I told my husband of my insane plan to start writing smut, he didn't laugh. He didn't judge. He hugged me and encouraged me. Then he cleaned out the spare bedroom and set it up as an office for me, so I could have a private place to think my depraved and explicit thoughts in private.

One day I mentioned to him that I wanted an anthology style book of erotica. Reading free erotica online is fun and all, but a lot of it was so poorly written. Wading through the mud to get to the gold was exhausting. 

And what did my honey do? He asked me to drop him off at a major bookstore while I took our son on a play date. Cool. I'll drop him off, he can work a bit, he can browse, have a coffee, take a couple of hours to himself.

I dropped him off, but what happened while I was at the play date is the stuff of legend.

He took himself straight to the Romance section and scoured, even down on his hands and knees, the shelves for some sort of erotica anthology. Coming up empty handed, he approached a twenty-something manager, adjusted the zombie messenger bag he was carrying, and asked her if she could help him find erotica anthologies.

Apparently she was a decent manager because she didn't bat an eye at the 6'2", scruffy bearded, army green shirt wearing, zombie bag toting, wedding ring-less, gorgeous man asking for written porn. She led him up the escalator and right to the Sensuality sextion section.They were both scouring the shelves, on hands and knees, looking for a book, just for me! After coming up empty handed again, she led him to the gay and lesbian section. That area came up dry, too, so he thanked her and she left.

Before we dropped him off, we had lunch. Indian. Lots of Indian. And it started to hit him after the manager lady took her leave. The poor guy tried to ignore it, but there it was. He had to use the bathroom. Although nobody likes going poo in a public restroom, he was stuck there until I decided to come and get him. So he headed back down the escalator and was about to turn down the hallway to the bathrooms when he saw the manager lady. She was looking at him and he was just too damned embarrassed to go to the bathroom.

How would it look? What would she think? Oh god! She'd think he was in there jacking off after looking for erotica! Looking for it, asking for it, searching on his hands and knees for it didn't phase him in the least. But the idea that someone would think he was getting off in public was just too much for him.

Fortunately, I showed up just a few minutes later, so he didn't have to hold it long and he didn't have to suck it up and use the public bathroom.

Some men will go and buy tampons for their wife, some men will make sure the car always has gas, but my man will go to great lengths just to buy me Erotica. That is love.

Incidentally, I did finally get an anthology. After dropping our son off with a friend, we spent a whole afternoon going to bookstores and porn shops. We found lots on interesting stuff but not what I was looking for. Until one amazing, women owned, women operated oasis was able to quench my thirst.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Write The Stories That Turn You On. What's Your Superpower?

I think it's pretty clearly established that I write smut for a living. Okay, maybe not for a whole living, maybe just for cheap vodka money, but still. I write the stuff that, if done properly, will make the reader need some alone time to take care of urges. That is what I do and it's a helluva lot of fun.

But it's not entirely who I am. I am a wife, a mother, a homeschooling parent, and a leader in my community. I am a blogger, and a from-scratch cook. I am a friend, I am someone that people call when they are confused or have problems. I am someone that is always available to watch a friend's kids at the last minute.

But that's not it, either. I'm a liberal. I'm staunchly pro gay-rights, I'm an atheist, and I'm feminist. I'm strong, I'm a survivor, and I'm intelligent.

But that's not all there is to me. I was an English major with a focus on creative writing in college. I read to escape and I write to process. My husband knows whether I'm depressed, overwhelmed, or just chilling based on the author I'm reading. I have great conversations about Kafka and Bronte and Hardy with my fellow lit-geek girlfriends.

I have worked hard to develop a network of amazing and beautiful people, and to be brutally honest, I'm afraid of the raised eyebrows if it ever got out that I write erotica. I'm afraid that some of those great mom friends would stop letting their kids come over and play with my kid. I'm afraid that my liberal, feminist friends would be aghast that I write stories (and get turned on by them!) of being fucked by strangers or being tied up and made to submit to a man. I'm afraid that my lit-geek girlfriends will look down their noses at me for starting sentences with the word "But" and for writing things with no higher purpose than to make someone all wet between the legs.

Having a pen name allows me to let go of all those fears and all that pressure. Alyssa Steel is able to write the stuff she wants to write without fear of being ostracized or judged, and that is so god damned freeing! As Alyssa, I can say or do anything in my stories and I don't have to worry what my grandmother will think if she stumbled upon my them. I don't have to worry that my kiddo's friends' moms are disgusted by the bondage in my stories. I don't have to worry that all they're thinking about when they're looking at me is whether or not I really enjoy it up the ass. I'd imagine that kind of worry wouldn't make for a very fun moms night out.

When I go into my office to write, I set aside my real name and my real issues. I put on my headphones, turn on Alyssa Steel's Pandora account, put on my pouty lips, and become whoever the hell I want to be. Without my secret identity, I could never reveal this super awesome part of myself.

I write the stories that turn you on. What's  your superpower?