Stupid Girls

Monday, May 31, 2010

on cigarettes, sexuality and consciousness

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Well, I fell off the wagon when Nilly died, but I don't give up hope. Not going to force myself right now, though. I'm handling a lot of loss and stress.

I am not strong enough to bury Nilly properly. Dogs dragged her from her grave yesterday. Fortunately, these are eating, not playing, dogs and they cleaned her neck and head very well. But they pulled her whole body from the grave to do it. So, I dragged her back, covered her with some thin foam rubber I have and shoveled dirt over her again, just to reduce odor.

The problem is that the smell is attracting scavengers and predators, primarily stray and wild dogs. Some are pets; I can tell. Yesterday, I woke to find all my ducklings and goslings dead, not eaten. That indicates a house pet who is hungry, can kill, but doesn't know how to eat a kill.

Last night, there was a ruckus under the house. I saw a muzzle stick out a vent hole and threw firewood at it, which was stupid, as now, the dog was afraid to exit. So, I shifted into "nice dog" voice and a weird, little black and white thing with a long snout, like Patton's dog, came out. It has a body like a small pit bull. It's less than 2 feet long. It looked terrified, sad and remorseful. It had collar and leash, both old and faded.

As I was organizing her, another muzzle poked out. This is the same size, shorter, wooly with a face rather like an Irish setter. She's so old, her eyes are bleary. She, too, wore a faded collar and leash. They were chasing chickens under the house.

I wanted to hurt them, to kill them. But I saw the faces and knew, immediately what I had. The younger is a bitch in heat and the older is just an old bitch. It's obvious they had little care where they lived, judging by the condition of the shaggier one's coat. They aren't skinny, so I know they were dumped out here just a short time ago. Whoever had them just didn't want the inconvenience of them any more, put them in the car, drove up here and dumped them, leashes and all. They can't have been here more than 2 days. Nobody up here has seen them before.

I know they're the ones who killed the ducks and geese and probably my old rooster, too. I jerry rigged a tether to the front porch over night and got them food and water.

This morning, I made 2 tethers, running the width of my back yard. They have shelter under the back porch for now and a bucket of water. I'll put more kibble out, later.

They're close enough to goats and chickens to see them and get used to them, but can't hurt them. The younger is a pretty good barker, but only sounds off if there is actually something out there. They'll make good outdoor dogs. Weasel hates them; he's jealous and sticking to me like velcro.

Rachel has apologized for some of what she put me through. She can never have a normal relationship; I see that now. Her intersexed childhood, hiding her desire to be female, began her journey into secrets and hiding herself. I imagine the castration at 13 was far more of a trauma than she will ever acknowledge, and I expect her psychological development is partially stuck at that age. Many transsexuals go through long phases of self obsession. They are forced to become almost obsessively self-conscious about "passing," "living in stealth" and blending in. Rachel was never one of those people who became obsessed with makeup, hair, etc. to the point of looking like a drag queen. She is sensible about her appearance and wears functional clothing and shoes. But she was fat and has an eating disorder. She's in a recovery group now (at my persistent insistence) and weighs about half what she did when we met. She also had facial feminization surgery soon after we began living together; she'd been saving up for years.

The cumulative self-obsession and self-consciousness, combined with the role modeling of her dad's cruel mental illness, have left her with a bad case of narcissism. Everything outside Rachel's skin is only important if it benefits Rachel. Anything that interferes, even temporarily, with Rachel's agenda must be ignored, attacked and eliminated. This includes me.

She is an excellent mimic. She used to entertain school chums with her cartoon voices. She loved making her voice high. She is a sometimes stand-up comic. She works in radio. She can parrot others' philosophies, emotional perspectives and mannerisms very convincingly.

I fell in love with what she wanted me to believe about her. I'm not a chump; this happens to many who love narcissists. They are VERY good at manipulating people to care about them. But they cannot sustain it, of course, and that is what happened with us. The more I requested that we have an honest relationship, the more hostile she became until she became physically abusive.

The odds of a narcissist healing to some semblance of "normal" psychology are really bad. They have no interest and the process of facing oneself honestly is too threatening. They stay, forever stuck, in a world with themselves at the center, alone.

This grieves me, of course. Rachel is, basically, a very good person. She is funny, creative and even compassionate at times, when it will make her feel good about herself. She is very good at reading others, but, again, only to satisfy her own needs. She is living in the basement room she was in before we started dating: one window, dark, cramped, all alone. She likes it like that.

When an animal has been tortured its whole life, it is very difficult to gain its trust. It's nearly impossible to make it safe to be around. In Rachel's case, this last is especially true. She will always be dangerous, as long as she ignores what she needs to do to heal. Her damage is profound.

At the same time, I have a lot of respect for her. She has survived some very hideous experiences. She lives a relatively full and productive life. She finds little pleasure in anything, but seems somewhat content with the choices she has made.

I believe she senses the extent of her damage. For many years, she actually lived as though she were a cyborg; a human body with artificial intelligence and sensory apparatus. I believe she has retreated to that place again.

Being with me was too terrifying: I'm too out there, too expressive, and I attract too much attention. Rachel spends a lot of effort on being invisible, when not on stage.

So, I'm done being angry about Rachel. She cannot do what she cannot do. She cannot love me. She cannot see me as an equal or a partner. She cannot give without strings and hidden agendas. She cannot receive, for the same reasons.

We have 3 1/2 years' personal history together. We each know the other better than probably any other human on Earth, because we told each other stories we never told others. We know how each other operates in the world. I do not expect, given Rachel's path, however, that she will ever be able to understand or support me. To do so is a threat to her defenses and protections.

But, when I am in a crisis in some way to which Rachel can relate: the animals, the radio station, etc., I do contact her. She never does likewise, of course. She is a cyborg; she needs no one. She takes no risks, nor forms any attachments, which might cause her to feel anything that might hurt some day.

She lives in a world of film and radio. She is a geek with electronics and computers. She studies martial arts, not as a meditation, but as self defense. Rachel is all about self defense.

I love her as much as I can. She cannot love, but accepts me as much as she is able.

To expect any more of Rachel would be like demanding a quadriplegic go ballroom dancing or ice skating with me, being angry and accusing her of not loving me enough because she can't and won't bother to try.

Rachel is what she is. She survived her childhood. She is a woman now. By all outward appearances, she is a success. She fooled them all, even me.

Rachel is one of the most profound experiences of my life. But it's a lot like having to watch and smell Nilly as she rots. Who I loved is not there.

I have a lot more to say about bodies, consciousness, etc. but will save them for a further email. It even involves synesthesia (smelling words?), preverbal communication, the misconception that we can only think if we have words, senses as communication and experience, etc.

I don't know your opinion of this whole "born a woman" argument. I'd like to. I think Sonia Johnson and her partner were very ignorant and very wrong to refuse to accommodate Rachel as an intersexed eunuch who is now female.