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34 F weirdo with problems, seeking friends and stuff

 
pollinator
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Hi people, I'm not so much interested in starting a relationship right now as getting to know people who I might be able to form that kind of relationship with later, when I feel stable and healthy enough. But I finally feel ready to open up the conversation in a way that invites people to interact rather than just shut everyone out.
Please reply in-thread, I usually ignore Purple Moosages as they creeps me out.

I'm not an exemplary Permie, just one in the making. I'm most comfortable in broadleaf forests, so I'm interested in food forests and birds.

Various Facts and Conventions

34 years, female seeking male
Currently residing in Ohio, open to staying here or going to PNW or Japan
5/8 European, 1/4 Middle Eastern and 1/8 Native American
B.A. in Japanese, circa 2008
drawing, creative writing & crafting skillz
I can cook
I'm smart and stuff
I think hitchhiking is safer than hopping trains
I believe in Jesus

Hey look at this thing I cooked, it was on sale for $6! Mad savings!!11111
 
Sarah Koster
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Here is an awful picture, useful for chasing people off! So clever. Seriously, I'm recovering from trauma and surgery and illness and stuff. I won't allow myself to be in worse shape than I am now....



I like to mix up drab colors with offensively bright ones. If you're easily embarrassed in public, keep this in mind. ;)
 
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I lived in Japan for 4 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. If I could figure out how to live there forever, I would. Obviously not a male here but when Japan pops up, so do I. ;) All the best!
 
Sarah Koster
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elle sagenev wrote:I lived in Japan for 4 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. If I could figure out how to live there forever, I would. Obviously not a male here but when Japan pops up, so do I. ;) All the best!


Awesome! It's too bad it's so hard for gaikokujin to find any job other than teaching english, huh. I think it's theoretically possible if you can work remotely and just take the ferry to Korea every 3 months to renew your tourist visa, like if you're a writer or a photographer you could hack it. I've had this plan to save up some money and go wwoofing there, but it's kind of daunting being a lone woman. I thought about maybe teaching english in S. Korea for a year to save money, since the wage is basically the same but the cost of living is a fraction, but the idea of teaching english just.... muri desu
 
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I have a buddy who lived in Japan for maybe 10-15 years, was working in a child care center and living on a US base as the marriage to a Japanese citizen didn't work out. He had to move back to the US when Trump put a hiring freeze in place, and his positions contract couldn't be renewed. He's currently in Cincinnati (small world if you're still in SW Ohio eh?) and trying to save up to get back, as the hiring freeze was removed.
 
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So what all are you looking for in someone? And what kinds of hobbies and other things in life do you enjoy doing?
 
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I would like to get to know you . Your post seems open and honest,  things that I look for. My name is Richard.  
 
Sarah Koster
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Thanks everyone for your responses! Sorry I'm responding en masse.

Mark Tudor wrote:I have a buddy who lived in Japan for maybe 10-15 years, was working in a child care center and living on a US base as the marriage to a Japanese citizen didn't work out. He had to move back to the US when Trump put a hiring freeze in place, and his positions contract couldn't be renewed. He's currently in Cincinnati (small world if you're still in SW Ohio eh?) and trying to save up to get back, as the hiring freeze was removed.



To be honest, areas near military bases are the least enticing to me of all Japan; I'd rather be out in the sticks where nobody speaks a lick of English, than an area where the native inhabitants speak English to foreigners automatically. Ideologically I have a lot of problems with the military so... but hey, thanks for the heads up! If your friend wants to talk to me, that's cool. I am, in fact, still in the Cincinnati area.

Garret Wray wrote:So what all are you looking for in someone? And what kinds of hobbies and other things in life do you enjoy doing?



Looking for in someone... Well I'm a sucker for brown eyes. Gotta be christian, monogamous and outdoorsylike, but preferably not blabbering about the earth being flat ;) Not materialistic but takes care of his own basic needs, emotionally deep with genuine altruistic care for humans at large.

Hobbies and things... I like taking care of animals, building stuff, art projects. I've been watching a lot of Mandarin language shows and playing video games but it's part of avoiding reality/not healthy and I'd like to cut it out. I like taking super long walks in the woods but walking really slow, like 6 miles or more but I'm short and every dude has pressured me to walk faster than is healthy for me. Short people are cool. Pffft. I love cooking, and eating delicious food is super important to me. I have a hard time being healthy myself if I'm cooking for people who are picky/won't eat vegetables.

Richard Stromberg wrote:I would like to get to know you . Your post seems open and honest,  things that I look for. My name is Richard.  



Hi Richard! Yes I am more comfortable talking publically at first and progressively moving to more private means of communication. Basically if I enjoy talking to you in public, I'll eventually feel comfortable talking via PM, and if that goes well, then I'd consider contacting you via phone. I'd rather limit interactions to what you're willing to say publically at first, so like.... people don't be double dipping and making stuff up and whatnot. Please don't take that personal, I've had horrible experiences with dudes in my life so far. I want to see how open and honest people are in front of everybody, not in secret. Okay??? So if you're still interested you can tell me whatever about yourself seems most important to you.
 
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Sarah Koster wrote:
Hi Richard! Yes I am more comfortable talking publically at first and progressively moving to more private means of communication. Basically if I enjoy talking to you in public, I'll eventually feel comfortable talking via PM, and if that goes well, then I'd consider contacting you via phone. I'd rather limit interactions to what you're willing to say publically at first, so like.... people don't be double dipping and making stuff up and whatnot. Please don't take that personal, I've had horrible experiences with dudes in my life so far. I want to see how open and honest people are in front of everybody, not in secret. Okay??? So if you're still interested you can tell me whatever about yourself seems most important to you.



Sarah, I think this makes sense and would also be the appeal of messaging someone who was a regular poster vs. some person who made an account for the express purpose of posting in the singles forum.  Are you really interested in permaculture?  What do you think about the various topics not directly related to it like frugality, feminism, food choices, etc?  i.e. Do you want more than a hookup or a sugar mommy/daddy?
 
Sarah Koster
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Sonja Draven wrote:
Sarah, I think this makes sense and would also be the appeal of messaging someone who was a regular poster vs. some person who made an account for the express purpose of posting in the singles forum.  Are you really interested in permaculture?  What do you think about the various topics not directly related to it like frugality, feminism, food choices, etc?  i.e. Do you want more than a hookup or a sugar mommy/daddy?



Sonja, thanks for your useful question!
Yes, I am really interested in permaculture. This is an ongoing process for me, and I'm focusing on research and recovery for now as I heal from physical and emotional trauma. I had to move back into my parents house about 6-7 months ago after being badly injured, and let me tell you, they do not care whatsoever about doing things a more natural way/protecting the environment. So whereas a few years ago I grew some vegetables, built an incubator from a cooler I found on garbage night and hatched and raised quail for eggs and meat (which I processed and cooked myself) nowadays I'm reduced to picking the aluminum cans out of the garbage and putting them in the recycling, buying almost all my clothes secondhand (my norm since college) and plugging the holes in the walls to keep the house warmer/save oil. I have a couple shrimpy persimmon trees in the backyard, raspberries and red clover, but I never managed to put the pawpaw seeds I got this year outside so they could sprout in the spring.
Something I would really like to do but have felt uncomfortable attempting solo, is wwoofing in Japan. I wwoofed in Canada but due to people outside my control only got to work with one family, and spent more time caring for a disabled lady than tending the garden. I did learn a lot, as they were genuine, original old hippies. But I was a little disappointed that I didn't get a more immersive experience. Later that year I worked harvesting apples, and got some orchard knowhow along the way.

For me frugality is very important, there are things I'm willing to work and save for and things I'm not. I enjoy dumpster diving, thrift store shopping rather than retail, cooking food myself rather than buying prepared food. Wanting to be financially free without having do work that I hate and object to is a big motivating factor in my permaculture interests. Reduce (consumption of goods, energy and services) comes before Reuse (upcycle yay) and Recycle (the least effective, but only popular one.) The constant-growth dependent economic model is maladaptive and will inevitably fail.

Feminism is not something that I have a cohesive understanding of, it seems to mean something different to everyone I talk to. For what it is worth I feel that all humans have equal value, regardless of how society appraises them. As a christian I have realized that many of the ideas about gender roles promoted by the church itself are based on bad translations and misinterpretation of scripture, or out-and-out twisting of it to purposefully usurp the authority of women and wrongfully subjugate them. I think society generally undervalues skills that are deemed femenine, to a purpose. By shaming what is biologically femenine and the natural inclination of women, we can be tricked into feeling like we need to act manly to be equal to men. I think that women can assert themselves just fine and be perfectly respectable without resorting to detesting their own nature or trying to be macho. We need to change a lot of our attitudes to mend this kind of hurt.
That being said, I don't like... shave my legs. Or wear a bra most of the time, but none of them fit me anyway and honestly I don't really need one.

Food choices... I don't care what other people do. I'm not vegetarian or anything, but I used to be and I can cook balanced healthy veg. meals so being with a vegetarian wouldn't bother me. I don't think I could accomodate a vegan. I need my b12 and stuff.
As for my interests and goals... really I'd like to build my own tiny house, complete with RMH and an extensive food forest. I'd like to raise quail again and try out bantam chickens, and I'd like to try raising guinea pigs for meat. Having a smallish plot of land that's paid off (3-10 acres maybe?) and working seasonally to get cash money seems doable.

For what I'm looking for, I'd ideally forge a friendship that could lead to marriage. Not interested in sexual activity outside of that. People buying stuff for me makes me feel uncomfortable, I don't need that kind of sugar.
 
Sonja Draven
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I miscommunicated.  I was trying to give some examples of things someone (you) might want to know about a guy before making it more personal.

However, thanks for your thoughtful response.  Enjoyed reading it and am sure others will too. :)
 
Sarah Koster
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Sonja Draven wrote:I miscommunicated.  I was trying to give some examples of things someone (you) might want to know about a guy before making it more personal.

However, thanks for your thoughtful response.  Enjoyed reading it and am sure others will too. :)



I understood, I just used your examples as scaffolding to write some stuff. I knew I could just write about whatever seemed interesting to me but... like... I was being kinda lazy.
 
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Sarah Koster wrote:
Hi Richard! Yes I am more comfortable talking publically at first and progressively moving to more private means of communication. Basically if I enjoy talking to you in public, I'll eventually feel comfortable talking via PM, and if that goes well, then I'd consider contacting you via phone. I'd rather limit interactions to what you're willing to say publically at first, so like.... people don't be double dipping and making stuff up and whatnot. Please don't take that personal, I've had horrible experiences with dudes in my life so far. I want to see how open and honest people are in front of everybody, not in secret. Okay??? So if you're still interested you can tell me whatever about yourself seems most important to you.



Hi Sarah,
May I hijack your thread in order to better understand what you mean by the above statement? First of all, I am not a potential suitor, hence the hijacking, so if I'm out of place here I sincerely apologize. But if I was a suitor, and being a very personal sort, I might be hesitant to write anything to you at all if it meant that everyone else would read it as well. As I write to you I would have the understanding that a lot of other people would be reading my thoughts as well. I'm not sure that what I write would be what I actually want to portray.

For example, if you and I were to go out to a restaurant and sit in a booth, I would be comfortable talking to you in that crowd as I doubt anyone would be interested in our conversation as everyone is having their own conversation so ours would be relatively private. I would say what's on my mind without hesitation. But sharing my thoughts in a public forum is different. It would be like everyone in the restaurant gathered around us giving us their full attention, hearing every word. Again, I'm a very private person and I believe that my personal life is nobody's else's business. I don't want anybody else to know my personal stuff, only those whom I choose. And the information they get is a slow process, because the human race prey on other humans for personal gain. I don't mind sharing my beliefs with the world at large but when it comes to personal and private things, nobody gets that until I know I can trust them with that information; that they won't use it against me and for personal gain.

It's hard to know who we can trust and who we can't. Especially on a dating site or a singles forum. And if I may be so bold Ma'am, you have the disadvantage over everyone else because you are the one looking for someone. You may be susseptable to words that are written to you. And if someone is cunning enough, it doesn't matter if it's written in front of public view or in private. They are still going to achieve their end game, whatever that might be, for good or for bad. Again, I apologize if I'm out of line here, but if I'm not and you are not offended by my intrusion, since I shared my thoughts on the matter, will you please share yours with me?

Maybe it's as simple as- if they are willing to show the world they are interested in you, and spend that time with you in front of the whole world, that they are worthy of further discussion in private? Help me understand a woman's perspective.

Thank you,
William


 
Sarah Koster
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Hi William, I am not offended by your so called intrusion. If it makes any sense, in dealing with complete strangers I do not want to talk about anything personal or private. I do not want to sit at a booth in a restaurant with them. I do not want to deal with them outside the public view simply because I do feel so vulnerable.
There are enough things about any given person that are NOT private that weigh into whether or not I feel comfortable talking to them as potential suitors, that I'd rather make sure I'm okay with all their public stuff before I'm comfortable asking or volunteering anything private.
This is, in fact, not a restaurant where I'm sitting at a table with a real person, but a public forum with a great deal of anonymity to shield people from scrutiny. A potential suitor could convey publicly much less than I myself have already volunteered, and manage to catch my interest. The refusal to reveal such basic characteristics, in itself, to me evidences deceitful intent. I am not asking for any private information, and frankly, would feel uncomfortable if a complete stranger DID convey private information to me.

As far as beliefs, if someone is ashamed to admit them publicly, I don't think they really believe it. I am a forthright person, and I don't want to be with someone who is not willing to piss people off by being honest. (I don't go for pissing people off deliberately either, though.) I don't think anyone is embarrassed to admit they recycle, or that they are single, or that they believe the earth is round. I'm not asking for information that they could be personally identified by. I'm not asking them to be as candid and vulnerable as I have already been. But I don't want anyone to talk to me who doesn't have the balls to do it in front of other people... because I don't want someone who's married, or who thinks I'm gross but wants to talk to me anyway because they're just desperate or bored, or who has told different stories to other people on here already, to PM me.

So... my intent in this post is to be no-pressure, no assumption of attraction or whatever, just to talk to people who want to talk, or who may be interested, in a way that lets us find out whether there's potential for further friendship without hurting my or their feelings.
 
William LeMieux
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Thank you Sarah for your insight into my query. Although the people of Permies seem to be mature and have outgrown the need to interfere in others' affairs, i.e. criticize posts made by others' opinions or comments, I am still hesitant to comment publicly for that reason. Much less tell someone (or everyone) about my private life. There's always some smart-ass out there just waiting to dig his or her claws into you or me just because they can. It just blows the whole mood of the thread or post, at least for me.

Although I still don't share your view on the matter, I think I understand where you're coming from. Thank you again for sharing your personal thoughts with me.

William
 
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Back when I was single, I had rule I set for myself, "I wouldn't date someone unless I was already best friends with them." Looking back, the "best friends" bit was probably overkill, though it is a nice goal. But I definitely stand by not dating someone unless you're already friends with them. Which means doing a bunch of "hanging out" or group/church/volunteer activities, rather than private ones. In a forum like this, I think it means chatting about things that you wouldn't mind chatting with a group of people about. You're kind of "hanging out" on permies. And, I think it's wise to keep things kind of public initially, because there ARE people that come on permies that don't necessarily have the best of intentions (a really old example: single guy wanting only FEMALE volunteers/wwoofers at his secluded, homestead in a foreign country), and there are people who tell different stories to different people, or are flat out jerks. By keeping it public, there's less chance of someone being able to tell  Sarah one story and then tell an opposite story to someone else, just to get more intimate.

Sarah, I just want to say how awesome it is that you are setting boundaries and taking relationships slowly. That's very wise of you. Bravo!
 
Sarah Koster
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darkness fills the air like snowflakes
(ashes) clog the air the ground shakes
gasping on the

choking on the pain the shame
the bitterness towards love that won't return again
loving the life that won't live again.

how do you let it all go
the hopes that cannot grow
and the dreams that will not sleep
that never come to pass
shattered glass
the way the light refracts
and mesmerizes with the beauty of the broken
the cherished and the sacred that will never again be whole
the son who will never cry your name
the daughter who will never lean against you as she sleeps.

tell me how to let it go
while i struggle to remember
every moment of joy

tell me to let it all go
the past sleeps
the spring clouds weep
i push my feet with each new hill but still
keep dying the death that does not come
and press my will to endure
and so wearied, my soul is no longer sure.
tell me to let it all go
it pulls me in to the darkness below

darkness fills the air like daybreak
light that gives no sight
nor warmth but burns
and churns the depths
and i am weary
and i want the hand that guided me so long ago
to take hold of mine again
but unlike the child i used to be,
shame makes me fearful
of the embrace
unworthy of the grace
that nurtured me like mothers' milk
and i am ashamed of my anger
towards the one who provided such love
and who guided so perfectly
these feet that now stumble into thorns and thicket,
these calloused feet.

so tell me to let it all go
what might have been
what should have been
before my eyes become too dim to see
the beauty in the broken thing,
before i forget how to dream.
 
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You are about the age of my daughters, and not more messed up. As a Christian you already know the big thing: its not about you. I spent my career getting paid to give advice and am struggling somewhat giving it up. I think you should take up vloging, it is not nearly as hard to learn as Japanese, there are many free and paid courses on line to learn. Stop worrying about how you look seem or feel, get behind the camera. Few are doing much of a vlog on Permaculture, probably because editing video is way down the chore list, So learn to vlog, ghost some Permie group, When you have an income then go to Japan. We know there are Permaculturists in Japan but they are not on youtube, you have a subject, content, audience, and we know there are Americans in Japan making a living vlogging. You are already articulate, but you need a subject. There may even be someone out there in Permi-land who would house and feed you in exchange for doing their vlog, at least for a short term.
 
Sarah Koster
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G Moffatt wrote:You are about the age of my daughters, and not more messed up. As a Christian you already know the big thing: its not about you. I spent my career getting paid to give advice and am struggling somewhat giving it up. I think you should take up vloging, it is not nearly as hard to learn as Japanese, there are many free and paid courses on line to learn. Stop worrying about how you look seem or feel, get behind the camera. Few are doing much of a vlog on Permaculture, probably because editing video is way down the chore list, So learn to vlog, ghost some Permie group, When you have an income then go to Japan. We know there are Permaculturists in Japan but they are not on youtube, you have a subject, content, audience, and we know there are Americans in Japan making a living vlogging. You are already articulate, but you need a subject. There may even be someone out there in Permi-land who would house and feed you in exchange for doing their vlog, at least for a short term.


Thank you for taking the time to write such lengthy advice. I've never been interested in blogging or making videos so this really isn't my thing, I had a lot of exposure to the filmmaking process and I just don't have any interest in it or in watching other people's either. I think my biggest problem is indecisiveness rather than lack of workable options. It makes more sense to me to work warehouse for a few months (which I can tolerate) and save up, rather than try to force myself to do something I have no interest in and also can't stand doing. For example I'm doing temp work now so if I save up, I can do whatever I want to get the ball rolling in a good direction whether that is japan or just getting my own apartment in the states. I am thinking I should wait to go overseas until I have recovered from PTSD because no matter how fun it is, change is stressful. I don't actually need to learn Japanese so much as finish learning, by adding vocabulary and fluency. Thanks
 
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Congrats on the Japanese degree. My University only had Japanese available as a minor.
You'd probably not have as many difficulties with the language as I did.
I taught English for a couple years.

I'm a Zen monk and I lived in a big monastery for a couple years. I'm an adopted husband and I live at a family temple now though I'm back in the U.S for health and family reasons right now.

I wouldn't do the Korea thing. They set a hard limit of 180 days on that recently. It's better to get hired by people that will sponsor your visa. When you're in country you can look around at other stuff. They're having a population crash right now and there's a lot of things they have to import labor for.  I do know some people from the H.R. department of a company that hires English teachers and another H.R guy that independently recruits teachers for companies if that helps.  
 
 
Sarah Koster
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Bumping this in the hopes of getting some kind of response that isn't advice.

Over the past year I have made a lot of headway in recovering from trauma and learning how to be safe dealing with other people. I quit smoking weed entirely. I have also had a major crisis of faith. I've been working steadily since January trying to save up to go to Japan, but well, there's a plague so I can't go now. That's pretty frustrating. I built a bridge, people vandalized my bridge, and I fixed the bridge. My brother moved to Alaska. Maybe I should move to the west coast, so we can visit more easily. I hate winter so I'm definitely not going to move to Alaska.
 
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Shusako Endo. Best writer in my opinion, with all the fixins of Christianity and eastern religion.

If you can read Silence and still feel put upon, I have no advice. The servant ethos compared to the Will to power. I hope you find your way.
 
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Hey, Sarah!  Not a suitor here, lol.  And not full of advice.  But I do like connecting with people!   You said looking for friends and stuff, so I assume that includes other weirdos, platonically, too!

I get wanting to avoid PMs.   Though personally I'd rather deal in PMs than direct email, if I had to pick.  It's funny how much people don't want to say 'out loud'.  That they'd rather have the privacy of a secret message for fear of anyone reading their thoughts and words.  If you're not willing to be open and honest and forthright in public, then what are you willing to be?  Superficial?  I think a lot of us sculpt what we post online to bolster our super ego, and it's the things that counteract the image we've tried to maintain that we don't want others to see.  Moderating our words heavily on the public forum can be a form of hiding ourselves from others, of course when it's not just simply limited to complying with rules, relevance, and/or basic courtesy.  

Curious about your faith crisis?  When I read " As a christian I have realized that many of the ideas about gender roles promoted by the church itself are based on bad translations and misinterpretation of scripture, or out-and-out twisting of it to purposefully usurp the authority of women and wrongfully subjugate them." I was like AMEN! TELL IT!  And I thought, well gee, I got so excited about that, maybe it'd be a good conversation topic.  Then I read that you've had/are having a shift in spirituality, so actually it might not be.    Guess it depends on what's goin on.  And for the record, it does actually sound like you have a decent foundational understanding of the roots of feminism.  But that doesn't have to be a point of conversation if it's actually not that interesting...

"As for my interests and goals... really I'd like to build my own tiny house, complete with RMH and an extensive food forest. I'd like to raise quail again and try out bantam chickens, and I'd like to try raising guinea pigs for meat. Having a smallish plot of land that's paid off (3-10 acres maybe?) and working seasonally to get cash money seems doable. "

Yeee!  I just got into quail (again).  My first attempt flopped, something ate all my quailies.  But I've got more now and am hoping to propagate them!  Whenever they decide to start laying eggs, that it.  So far I love em, they're so tiny and peaceful and silly.  They're coturnix.  And they're so TAME!  Not at all like the first round of coturnix I got.  These little biddies never flush in fear and you can just bend over and scoop them up.  I keep them in a big open air aviary.  What was your experience with raising quail?  Setup?  Breeds?  Purpose?  And what ideas do you have about raising GPs?  I've read into it a whole bunch but haven't actually tried it yet (though admittedly I might be close, I was scouring craigslist for GPs the other day >_>).    What skills and experiences do you have with building structures?  If you already answered that, do forgive me, I'm guilty of skimming sometimes.  I'm not super versed in building, but I've built a few chicken coops.

Also, good to hear you've found some healing in your post-truama recovery.  Mental health is something our culture doesn't like to talk about, but desperately needs to.  The current narrative is horrible.  Trauma is a big deal, it affects every aspect of our lives, and it's harmful when you have to hide that from people, and like most other mental health concerns, you try to "just be normal".  Gr!  Are you pursuing trauma therapy or contending with the beast yourself?  Both are equally admirable, of course!

We're up in Montana.  We're actually exploring building community.  But if you 'hate winter', you might not love it here, lol!  We still have 2 feet of snow on the ground.  I love it, personally, and I don't see why more people don't love it.  But to each their own!  The best is when you're working your bum off and breaking a hard sweat, but it's impossible to overheat because you can always go roll in the snow and cool off!  And it's just plain beautiful up here when the conifers are frosted, low clouds pass through and hug the mountain top, the evergreens pop incredible detail against the white snow.  The best is the really calm snowfall, when big huge puffs are floating slowly down and the mountain is silent, it's so peaceful.  I love reading the snow every new day and seeing the tracks of everything that's passed through, secret wildlife leaving their marks everywhere they go.   And then summer comes and you're working day in and day out, at first it's refreshing and fun, then by autumn it's like "I'M SO READY FOR WINTER".  Then winter hits and hibernation kicks in, and the relaxation begins.  And by the time spring comes around you're chomping at the bit to get out and do more work!  It's a happy cycle

What's you're ideal climate?  And why?  
 
Sarah Koster
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Posts: 205
Location: SW Ohio
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Hi Jen! Sorry for the delayed response, my job is stupid and it turns my brain into idiot soup. I am also looking for platonic friends since the past decade has left me with... uhh... not very many friends after leaving my college town, being homeless repeatedly etc.

I don't really mind PMs from people who aren't random creeps who have never posted in the forums and aren't trying to exchange images of naughty bits. I'm not very likely to initiate dialogue via purple moosage unless it's something that I feel uncomfortable posting to a wide audience or think is sensitive to the person I'm writing to.
I like what you write about maintining an image, I think that people are often trying to protect the warped image they have of themselves even more than they are trying to control how others percieve them. A lot of people maintain a very different concept of self than their behavior would indicate as reality.

The crisis of faith emerged after I wrote the stuff, and a lot of it I still believe. However whether as a consequence of literal brain injury (got hit in the head a few times) or from emotional pain or cognitive dissonance, I've found myself in a kind of doldrums where as much as I want to believe, and still hold the same principles as holy in my heart, my brain's rational functions just aren't capable of sustaining belief. Not just talking about religion, but really anything that I can't verify by direct observation, and even then some. It's hard because in addition to trauma I have a hsitory of mental illness- severe chronic depression with the odd psychotic episode. Like recently I was convinced that this bracelet I made had 12 brown beads and in reality it had 9, but no matter how many times I counted it at the time, I reckoned it to be 12. The meaning that I wanted to see as having emerged from my unconcious (I thought that the bracelet was a calendar) was actually just manifesting as a delusion that impaired my basic math skills. Kinda lame.
The end result, having been (mortally) disillusioned, and having been able to see the mechanisms of how one might believe very strange things, and understanding the need to believe in some of them (that deep need for meaning, for love and for home) has left me in a state where I feel like Dorothy staring at the man behind the curtain.

I think that my understanding of feminism, at least from my own perspective, is that social constructs shouldn't be the basis of female identity. I don't know if that is what you are going for. But I don't think that being strong or not shaving my armpits makes me less femenine than other women. I don't think that our ideals about what it means (if it means anything) to be female should be based on what the general public thinks men think women ought to be like. I don't know how to put makeup on, I don't care much about clothes (except that I feel comfortable in them and not exposed or vulnerable) but damn do I know how to comfort a crying child and knead a blob of dough. I think the problem is that we have genderized a lot bizarre culturally specific behaviors and injected them into our folkways at schick's behest.

My last quails, I didn't have a poop tray under the floor of the cage and a raccoon nibbles their toes. I had to cull them all... it was real sad and stuff. One layer of quarter inch wire is not enough for quaily toes to be happy. I won't make that mistake again. I think a big apiary is a LOT less stressful for them than a cage, so that might be part of why your quail are so tame. They can break their necks jumping in a tall cage, so it really needs to be a short cage or a big open apiary like you have. I did hatch my own quail, that was super fun, and then I hatched their babies. I had a mixed group of different inbred lines of coturnix, and they weren't great, but they weren't awful either. I kinda just built the cage from stuff I had laying around, but like I said, it wasn't a good enough cage to protect them, so I would build it with an extra layer of hardware cloth a couple of inches beneath the floor, that would A) protect their toes from nibbling raccons and B) hold a tray for the poops. I can't really cut a straight line with a saw so it was a pretty funky cage, but it worked up until that point. I just ate the eggs and cooked whatever healthy birds I culled and made other people eat them because it kinda made me sad.

Personal recovery... wow, this is a big one. The one thing that has helped, and it has helped a LOT, is a support group I attend with other ladies who have gone through similar traumas. They actually understand what I've been through and don't try to correct or fix me out of ignorance, and together we make so many connections and have so many "ahah!" moments that I never could have come to on my own or even with professional help. I'm so much less afraid now than when I started, and I love myself a lot more than I ever have.
Trying to be normal--- it really does not work. It just builds up trauma and saves it for later. I had a long time where I had to just shut down and be totally nonfunctional. "Trying to be normal" was what I was doing while the trauma was ongoing, and was part of what facilitated the trauma to continue. Sometimes you gotta give yourself permission to come apart or to stop or to do whatever it is that you need to do to be okay, no questions asked. Gotta stop laying demands on yourself, and instead treat yourself and your wellbeing as the end rather than the means. Self was never meant to be sacrificed in a way that is self-destructive. Harming myself as "self-sacrifice" no longer fits my definition of love. This is healing.

Winter.... argh! It's not even the cold that bothers me, really, it's the short days and the weak daylight. I'm not that much different from a monkey though. I kinda just want to climb a tree and sleep in it. I go into withdrawal if I don't spend time in broadleaf forest. Idunno if I am just more in touch with my animal instinct than most people or what. I think I like mediterranean climates best, my favorite temp range is like 50-75 farenheit. Here in Ohio the humid summers bother me. Gets up to mid 90s sometimes with humidity in the 90s too... dang.
I did spend some time on the west coast and kinda loved it, I was in BC. Vancouver Island, then Oliver north in the Osoyoos (idk the right spelling) valley of BC and Washington state. Had a good time picking apples.
I think the winter thing is really amplified by how severe my depression is. Hibernation kicks me into death mode.
Snow is fun though. My dog Henry (the best dog ever) thought snow was magical play dust. He's all dead and stuff, but snow always reminds me of his idiot wolf glee.

Ummm anyway my brain is rotten from work (my job currently involves listening to recordings of children who may or may not be talking about poop) so that is the best I can do. Yay. Thanks for writing. And for not giving me advice, it's really refreshing.
 
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Have confidence love. Your style is on point. Flash that pretty smile,  even if you have to fake it. It's ok to not be okay, but you don't owe anyone anything and any explanation. Just be you in this moment and heal. One day at a time.
 
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