Archive | March 2015

Sorry

I just got tired of fighting.

And there is the End

Hey,

I’m sorry last night was hard for you. I’m sorry if this week has been hard on you. I thought you were doing well recently, but you seemed really agitated last night, and it made me scared of you and for you.
I’m going to tell you my thoughts. If you’re looking for one particular answer, this might upset you. But if you care about me, and not just the idea of me or the idea of being in love with me, please listen.
We have feelings for each other. A lot of feelings. Our relationship was long (my longest relationship ever) and intense, because we are both people who share a lot of feelings and try to be authentic around each other. And we have been in love, very deeply in love.
At a certain point in our relationship, stuff started to feel kind of rocky, but we worked through it. We had some fights in the summer. Being apart was hard, we were both lonely, and you were often depressed. We both struggled to find outlets for our loneliness and sadness. You kissed someone else and regretted it immediately. I picked fights with you and misunderstood the things you said. It was rough.
I was secretly worried about our relationship at that point, but when we saw each other again, it felt so good to be with you that it didn’t seem to matter for a while. But then stuff started to feel…itchy. I don’t know any better way to describe it. We had been in our relationship for a while. We were at the point where we were able to feel attraction for other people, and we both admitted to having some small crushes. This all freaked me out, and so I dealt with it by trying to ramp things up. I talked about children, future plans, commitments. These things scared you, and so you pulled back, wanted ambiguity about the future and to feel more relaxed about commitments. This sparked our first break-up, which I regretted with my entire heart and brain immediately. I spent the week and then tried to get back together with you. And you said yes.
But stuff felt rough that week, and after a few days, you suggested we break up again. Stuff was rough between us, do you remember? At any chance I got, I’d misunderstand something you said, criticize you. I was so angry at you constantly. We couldn’t be together without getting upset. Your way of dealing with this was to try to normalize things. You tried to keep things light and make conversation about daily affairs. I was so angry at you that I’d misunderstand everything you said as being a way to hurt me, another way we didn’t connect. I felt like you could never possibly understand me as a person and thought that maybe I’d never really enjoyed hanging out with you or talking with you. Although we still loved each other, even in this moment, you had the feeling that this was too hard to get through. On the night we broke up for the second time, you said, “I’m not sure you’d ever be happy with me.” I wasn’t sure either.
So we ended it again and tried to move on. After a few weeks, I started to feel happier: I had been spending all (I mean ALL) of my time and thoughts on you. I hadn’t been hanging out with Jessica or any other close friend much, I had been neglecting my school work, I had stopped pursuing hobbies that I liked, I wasn’t working on any school projects, and I had a spiritual vacuum in my life. Partly this was because of my mental illness. Before I started IOP, I had almost nothing in my life because of my depression. There was a lot of empty space! Two important things came to fill that space: IOP and you. Those were the two most important things in my life. But those aren’t adequate things to sustain a person. I became a bit codependent on you, unfortunately. If you were depressed or had a low mood swing, I felt achingly sad and worried, would cry, and would become obsessed with the thought that you were going to hurt yourself or die. This made it really hard for me to deal with your low mood swings, which are just a natural part of your life and your illness. I began to rely on you a little for my own happiness. If I was sad, I’d look to our relationship to make me feel better, and if it didn’t, I’d think something was wrong with it. This wasn’t an effective way of having a relationship!
Stuff went up and down for both of us over the next few months. We had sporadic meet-ups, some of which went well, and some went poorly. In some ways, our communication improved: I felt able to finally express my anger at you, something I had had a lot of trouble doing. We had sex and thought about getting back together. I wanted to, but didn’t tell you when I saw you again at the beginning of winter quarter. You said once again you’d rather stay just friends. I was sad. And we both continued to work on moving on. You (understandably) had a rough February and faced a bunch of romantic rejection. You wrote that note on your blog, I read it despite what you said, and despite the initial fight, the door got opened again. We hung out a few times because we both still have feelings for each other, as I’ve said, and we both wanted something to happen, although I was felt very conflicted and confused about it at the same time.
And now we come to last night and today. You’ve been feeling agitated all week, hating the silence, wanting an answer. I’ve been confused and sad and putting off thinking about it. It obviously came to a head last night, and then you had to talk. I get why that happened. At the same time, it did feel invasive for me. I also felt like you were placing the responsibility of your thoughts onto me. When you said you were having trouble finishing your paper because you were thinking about this so much, I felt like you were saying, “it’s up to you, you have to answer me and settle this and it’s your responsibility I am thinking about this stuff so much and that my feelings are so intense right now.” I am the proximate cause of your feelings, but I am not ultimately responsible for them. You are.
Look. I know how much you feel about me and you know how much I feel about you. I’m sorry the door keeps getting opened and closed and opened and closed again. I’m sorry I read your blog and I’m sorry to write this now. But I don’t think we should be together.
Stuff about you:
I think you have forgotten some of what really didn’t work in the middle of our relationship and it’s making you see and remember me in an idealized way.
I think if we got back together now, it would be harder and more prone to hurt than it was before, and I think you need to keep working on yourself and trying to find your own path and your own ways to grow before you tackle such a difficult relationship.
Stuff about me:
I am not sure I can be with you without becoming codependent again. I don’t know how to be with you without tying my mental health to yours, and that makes being with you painful.
Finally: I don’t know how to just be comfortable with you. I like you. I have intense feelings for you. I find you attractive. But in the moments between, the moments of just hanging out? They never felt right to me. I know that must be really hard to hear. I think that’s part of why our relationship got so hard as it got older. We needed to get to a place of just enjoying each other’s company, and while I know you felt like that with me, I didn’t feel like that with you. I don’t know why that is exactly or if I expected to much of you or if I could have learned to feel right around you. But I didn’t, and I don’t think getting back together now would be the best way to work on that.
I’m sorry. I can imagine how painful this is, as I wanted to get back together with you and you told me no. It hurts.
I hope it is helpful, though hurtful, to see this communication. I remember early in our relationship, you said the thing that was hardest about Emma was not getting to hear from her why you broke up. I promised not to do that, and I keep my promise. I was not trying to do that to you this week, either–I just meant I needed to not be deluged by a flood of communication. But if you need to email or message me, Andrew, I’m never going to close the door completely to you. It’s ok and you can do that.
I hope you are all right.
I’ll be fine. Sometimes things happen in my life that I don’t like or don’t want or don’t want to think about. But in the end, if I want to experience the good things that this life has to offer, I need to suck it up during the bad and celebrate for the good. In the end, I choose life. I choose the love and the despair and the beautiful and the ugly. And it will always come to that outcome. Even if in the thick of things, I start to question that conclusion, I will always come to my senses eventually.

I’m not sure what happened last night. It was like the last two years had never happened and I was stuck in the same place. I was frozen with fear and hopelessness and helplessness. I sat in the shower and stared at the wall. I screamed. I panicked and panicked because I was panicking and the SI was so strong in my head that I could barely think. But that’s all me. That’s part of my life. And in the end, I put aside the SI, turned my phone off, and slept. And while I was falling asleep, I just repeated, I choose life. I choose life.
I will be alright. I can promise you that.
You’re right about so many things. You’ve always been good with analysis and introspection. I, on the other hand, seem to recognize these things happening in my life, but I’m so impulsive that I can’t stop myself from falling into the same patterns and making the same mistakes. I have been idealizing you and our relationship. I’ve been focusing on just some rose tinted idea of how happy you made me. And I’ve been ignoring the parts where things were awful. I’ve been telling myself the lie that if I just open up enough, say the right thing, that everything will work out magically. And life just doesn’t work that way.
And you’re right, last night I projected all of my own anguish and pain onto you. I tried to make you responsible for how unhappy I was. And for that I’m sorry. If nothing else sticks from this email, please let I’m Sorry sink in. I am so sorry for the mood swings, and the emotional deluge. I’m sorry for fighting for the past, when the present was clearly different. I’m sorry for bringing up all of my problems and making them your problems too. I’m sorry.
Thank you for taking my calls. For sending me thing email. Thank you for dealing with me when I was the most abhorent. Thank you for all you’ve done and all the patience you’ve shown. Thank you.
I wish I knew why I was unhappy. I wish I could be normal. I wish I didn’t feel things so intensely. I experience the impulsiveness as a drug, I’m addicted to the highs and the lows and the rush of moving between the two. And I need to work on that.
I’m sorry for hurting you. Thank you for letting me in. I promise that I’ll be working on this for a long time.

Day 6

Talking. Talking is good. But I really just want to tell you over and over again how much I love you. May I be the Wesley to your Buttercup and just say, as you wish? I hope you decide soon, because I think I might just be going crazy.

Day 5

The struggle is real. My heart feels like it’s hung on a string that keeps tugging through my rib cage. I don’t want to be too forward and lose her forever. And I don’t want to be too distant and lose her just the same. Ugh, 5 days. I wonder how long she’s think about it?

Eden: A Utopian Imagining

Lilith opened her eyes. Nothing. By reflex she blinked. Still nothing, but blackness. Distantly she could feel a rising panic from her sternum. Her heart beat began to quicken in her chest. Her lungs expanded as a quiet scream built. But her mind was calm. Her body’s alarm felt muted, as if a closed door separated body from mind. A deep breath quelled the scream.

Tentatively, she lifted one arm. Sluggish and heavy from disuse, it rose shakily. With a thud it hit something over her. The pull of gravity told her that she was lying on her back. She wriggled, hitting walls within inches of her waist on either side. She lifted the other arm, her hands scrabbling across the surface overheard. Metal. Metal all around. She was in a metal coffin. The panic started climbing up again. Gulping down air, she pressed both hands against the metal and pushed.

Light spilled into the coffin. Not coffin, box of some kind. The lid lifted easily up and out. Lilith narrowed her eyes against the light, but it was soft and low. Deep breaths filled her chest, already the effort and panic had made her light headed. She grabbed onto the sides of the box, unsteady and weak, and tried to pull herself up. The strain made her head spin, but before she could drop back, dozens of hands reached in, holding her arms and head and lifted her out.

In a blur of motion, Lilith was on her feet, surrounded by people. In a fluid movement, wrapped a skirt around her waist. She must have been naked, but couldn’t quite be sure. Her head, her head just felt so foggy. By the time she passed out, they had already caught her. Hands soft and rough, large and small, brown and tan. The last thing she saw was their smiling faces. Then more darkness.

“Lilith? Are you Awake?”

Lilith opened her eyes. Swiveling her head, she caught the speaker as he bent down by her bed. A long white beard hung from his brown wrinkled face. He smiled at her.

“It’s ok Lilith, you made it. Welcome to Eden”

And Lilith started to laugh. It shook out of her bones and slid from her eyes.

“You have breasts!”

The old man stared down at her, then down at his- her breasts, the beard settling over them. Then she- he started to laugh too, causing them to shake and wiggle over her belly. The laughter ricocheted between them, unlocking Lilith’s cryo-frozen joints in spasms of giggles. Lilith rolled on the cot, still laughing.

The walls seemed to be made of a brown mud and the light from the candles flickered across them, making them seem soft and pliable. Turned back to the old woman, Lilith took her in, blinking tears out of her eyes.

The old woman wore a woven cap on top of wiry white hair. Her beard hung down between two sagging, but obviously present breasts. A round pot bell popped out from over her skirt, identical to the one that Lilith herself was wearing.

“What year is it?” Lilith stared at the old woman. Had it been years- decades since she had opted to escape the plague in the Ark cryosystem? “How did you survive the plague?”

“Lilith,” the old woman wiped the tears from her own eyes, “we’re glad you’ve woken up so well. And all your questions will be answered. But first we need to know some things from you. Will that be alright with you? To answer some questions?”

Lilith nodded her head, hungry to find out whatever she could from the old woman.

“Do you remember your full name? Where you’re from?”

“My name is Lilith Steinem. I’m from Chicago, well, north of the city, Evanston Illinois.”

“Is that central North Country in the Lakes Region? I’m sure if one of our anthrohistorians were here they’d know where that was. I’m sure you’ll want to speak with them.”

“Wait, we are still in the United States right?”

The old woman looked down sadly at her lap. “I’m afraid,” she said softly, “that many of the civil institutions that you once knew fell after the Great Death and the Great Rebirth. You are now in Edenland, far south of where you must have lived. We received your container after it was discovered. Every village that could has volunteered to accept one or two of your time people and to reintegrate them for modern life.”

Lilith sat still of a moment. The United States was gone. Chicago had been forgotten. What else had changed? The great death must have been The Plague.

“Would you like to continue? I understand that this must been a heavy burden for you.”

Again, Lilith nodded, but slowly this time.

“Do you remember if you had chosen un Sexo and what was the last Transformación you made? The other Elders are unsure when you were lost.”

“What do you mean chosen a sex? Isn’t it obvious?” Lilith touched her own breasts, suddenly shy about their nakedness. “I’m a woman, the same as you.”

The old woman looked perplexed, then embarrassed. She replied with a slight air of pity. “Lilith, child, I have breasts because I have young ones to feed. But I choose to be a Pers because that is what I feel and that it what I want other people to see.”

“A Pers? Choose to be? Are you male or female? You have breasts. You have a beard. What do you mean?” Lilith covered her nakedness with the blanket from her cot. She had been fine being naked with a woman, but this was someone- something different.”

The old woman or man, Lilith could not quite make herself say Pers, sighed. Per clearly had not expected this part of the questions to be difficult.

“You must be from the early days of the cryo-experiments, probably in the early days of the Great Death. I have much to explain to you, but I’m unsure how to make it clear in ways that you’ll understand. I will try to explain our ideas to you, but you must promise to stop me if you have any questions. First you must understand the nature of the Great Death. It was not one disease, but a whole host working in tandem. One would diffuse the immune system, another would stop the body ways of making children, and another would destroy the mind. And once the person was docile, the diseases would simply eat per away. It killed so many people and scared many more into embracing death or near death cryo-sleep. Many simply gave up, but a few continued to fight. The diseases changed so quickly, it was impossible to fight on their terms, so my ancestors changed the fight. Our children are not born of the body anymore, too dangerous. Our change was radical.

“You don’t have children? What future is there then?”

“We have children, yes. I have had many children in my time, but they are not of our body. Certainly there are those that still practice the body ways of making children, but they are rare and religiously fanatical. Mostly they have disappeared into the Great Jungle. But the ancestors to Eden, the last of the Nations, Mezomerica, learned a new way. So many of us suffered from the disease of child making, there was no complaint when the Genomancers offered us their solution. They offered to combine the genetic information of three people to birth a new baby child.”

“Genomancers? Sounds like science fiction”

“Genomancers are those who study the ways of creating and changing the body. They are the ones who saw the cure to the Great Death. The genetic material of three people is combined into a baby child and that child is raised until the age of 10 by those three people. This is called the family trinity. But the family trinity do not raise their child alone, because they are a part of the family senary, the group of six triads that all raise their children at the same time. “

“But what about having a mother and a father. I’m sorry, this is ridiculous. This is all some kind of joke.” Lilith threw the blanket over her head. She sat there in silence. She wished that she could go home, back where she knew who she was and knew the people around her. Knowing people. She knew no one in this time. Everyone she had ever known was dead. She sat under the covers and cried the bitter tears of loss.

There was a soft pressure next to her on the cot. The old person sat down on the cot and gently caressed her head through the blanket.

“Oh my child, I’m so sorry for your loss. Maybe this was not the right way to Awake you. But I promise, if you follow me, I will show you a world so much more vibrant than the one you lost.”

Lilith gingerly pulled the blanket off her head. Acting like a child. Idiot. The only way to survive is to adapt. She fumbled with the blanket until she was free and held her hands out to the Person.

“My name is Lilith. I’m scared and confused. Could you please show me the way?”

“Hello Lilith”, per smiled. “My name is Eve.

Lilith opened her eyes and smiled. She had been Awake for over a year now and while the Eden life still seemed strange to her, it was starting to develop a comfortable rhythm. She sat up and reached for the wrap that everyone in Eden seemed to wear as their sole article of clothing. Pulling it around her nakedness, she ran through the list of chores that had to be done before she was summoned for her shift at the Nursery. There were logs to be split, water to be hauled from the river, and eggs that needed gathering. At first she had baulked at the physical labor. Why couldn’t the men do the heavy lifting? They were stronger. Why should anyone be forced to carry anything at all? The Edenlanders had the technology to erase manual labor. But Eve and Raphael had only laughed.

“Why give machines the pleasure of work?” they had said.

It had taken Lilith even longer to accept that gender made very little difference to people who could change their names, pronouns, and bodies as easily as she had changed clothing in the time before. But in the end she had accepted the change as part of the new world. Lilith hurried out of her room and out into the bright sunlight of the new day.

“Good morning Lilith, are you free next Sabbathseve? My senary kin are celebrating our births occasion and the wine will flow like honey from our hives,” Alma called out. Lilith blushed a deep rose which only made Alma laugh. She had told Lilith that her embarrassment about sex was adorable and fumbling as a young child. Lilith had smacked her bare thighs at the time and then kissed them. Sex for the Edenlanders was as common as eating and Lilith was strange in her shyness.

Lilith had pulled Eve aside the first time someone had asked her to lie with them and tried to tell per in a soft tone. But Eve had laughed loudly and called per trinity fellows over. Raphael and Sara had also laughed as Eve made Lilith explain what had happened. Sara was younger than Lilith, but had the same amused expression as Raphael and Eve.

“Are you planning on entering a trinity partnership with Ben?” Sara has asked, mustering some semblance of seriousness from her laughter.

“Of course not! I can barely get myself around this place, let alone try and raise a child!”

“Well then it is not a problem.” Raphael patted the top of Lilith’s head. Per was always a little condescending whenever Lilith’s ignorance came up. She would have disliked per, but Raphael was so gentle with the trinity family’s little Aliyah that she could never hold her anger.

Lilith sang old songs from her time as she finished her chores. The ballads of Regina Spektor seemed oddly fitting in the Hatchery. From over the hill, she heard the ringing of the Nursery’s bells, calling the next shift. Lilith finished the row of eggs and hurried to the Nursery as fast as she could with her bare feet on the gravel path. Eve had recommended that Lilith work in the Nursery with per until she found her own calling, but Lilith already considered the Nursery to be her second home. She had loved children in the time before, when she had been a librarian.

It was in the Nursery that every child learned how to live in Eden. Of course each child had learned the basics from their family trinity and family senary, but the Nursery took them from their tenth year for three years and opened their eyes to the greater world around them. Natural sciences, genomancy, art, agriculture and everything else that could be offered the children was taught as the children themselves started to find their own callings. And after the three years, the new adults were sent off into the world to follow that calling wherever it led them, either in Edenland or farther out into the world.

Lilith herself was preparing to leave the Nursery, following her calling to find the remnants of books that were left scattered across the world. She chuckled a little as she entered the larger mud and brick structure. She had always loved books, and now that they were rare, she was in the position of authority of books from her time. Already she was building libraries in her mind, helped by apprentices and anthrohistorians.

“Good morning Lilith,” sang a chorus of young ones as she entered the hall. Eve smiled at her, and continued per lesson. Lilith would miss them, but it was a new world, and she had to see it all.

Appendix 1

Captain’s Log 2615

As I write this, Terrans continues to thrive and adapt to new situations. It has been quite gottlewarming to watch the reintegration process for those who had undergone cryo-genetic stasis among the various civilizations that have emerged after the eco-cultural devastation of the 2010 plague years. Since I was dispatched to this lunar outpost in 2000, I have seen quite remarkable changes down on the terran surface. Special consideration much be paid to the sentient Terrans who have displayed remarkable resilience and adaptability to new paradigms. In order to understand this new Terran epoch, I have been forced to turn to a host of Terran scholars from the late second millennium. For the purpose of this report, I will be considering the Terran Shulamith Firestone and her work on utopian restructuring. Of course, Firestone could not have known that her work would be used by the Mezzomerican Empire in 2154 as the basis of a new family structure, nor could she have imagined how it would deviate from the structure she imagined. First, it must be stated that the eschatological nature of Mezzomerican radicalism drew on Firestone’s evocation of certain Terran mystery cults, such a Hebreism. Firestone used the imagery of Eden and Original Sin as the basis for her critique of the terran familial structure of her time. She wrote, in a text entitled The Dialectic of Sex, “The revolt against the biological family could bring the first successful revolution or what was thought of by the ancients as the Messianic Age.” (Firestone 242). Firestone saw the main cause of systematic oppression by half of the species on the other as based in the biological family. Now Terrans naturally reproduce through a mingling of sex organs and the insertion of one set of genetic material by “Male” into the body of the “Female” where the new organism is grown and supplied by the body of the “Female” for the first nine months of existence until which time it, the offspring, is capable of existing outside of the body. At this point, the nearly helpless offspring must be cared for either by its biological parents or by other Terran adults or else it will die. When the Mezzomerican scientists, those known at the Genomancers, discovered that they could mix the genetic material of three Terrans and grow the child for the nine month gestation period ex utero, it brought forth the Firestone idea of liberation for the “Female” aspect of the species from “the tyranny of their biology” (Firestone 238). This freedom from child bearing and rearing was matched with the Mezzomerican policy of contractual triads, colloquially known as the Family Trinity. Three Terrans would apply together as a non-sexually, non-genetically related triad to the Genomancers with their genetic material and receive their offspring together with 5 other triads in a larger familiar structure that carried the colloquial nomenclature of the Family Senary. Several of these Family Senaries could exist at any point within a Village. Thus, I have seen a realization of the Firestone idea of “limited contract” (Firestone 231) What is interesting to note, however, is the only partial relation that the late Mezzomerican society known as Eden has with the fundamental texts of Firestone, especially in relation to the rearing of the young. In Mezzomerican Eden, which cannot be confused with the Skandish Eden, children are raised by the Family Trinity and Senary until age 10, at which point they are relinquished to the care of a community center known as the Nursery. Firestone writes in her text that Terran offspring are inherently oppressed (Firestone 216). Eden families continue the practices of earlier Terran societies of nurturing of the young in a lopsided power dynamic. However, in my observation of the Terran developmental processes, this period is necessary for the education of the young at an early age. However, the Nursery system is operated much like the teaching of John Holt and Grace Llewellyn, in that the children are incorporated in their own education as quickly as possible and set out into the world to follow their own path at a much early age that during Firestone’s time. This is actually directly in line with the Firestone idea of young people, referenced from page 236, which is that they be made contributors in society as quickly as possible within their own developmental process. Indeed, the Mezzomerican Eden is much like that of Hebreistic lore in that many of the societal power dynamics have been equalized.  This is will be an exciting development to follow.

Tw’lilll Aklillak

Terran Lunar Base 2615