Holy Shit This is Personal

I’ve been posting again, as you’ve probably noticed. Trying to get my words back, trying to get back into the particular personal mindset that used to be so natural to me as a Professional Oversharer. It’s hard. It’s so much harder than I thought. To be fully and painfully honest – I’ve been utterly unreliable with writing. For a bit, flat out cannot do it. My mind says “Of course you can write that – it’s a blog post you could do in your sleep.” Which is mostly true, my experience with writing simple blog posts is so vast I should and could do basics in my sleep.

The problem is that when I start to get into sex blogging – reviewing, writing out basic tips and tricks, talking about my sexuality – PTSD kicks my ass. As I type, my brain goes “Are these words going to end up in court again? Is this the review that is entered into evidence of you being unfit? How will this be used against me?” 

By the time my brain hits that last line, I’m sobbing at my computer until I close it and then put my head on it to cry more. (I didn’t use to be a crier, but the last two years have changed me so much.) It’s hard to face that one of the things you love most, that a skill and tool that used to be so healing and freeing now fills me with pain, dread, fear and panic.

My loves at Vibrant – a new company that I am so in love with and so euphoric to support alongside the other folks who are Doing It Right – have been beyond kind and patient with me. I’ve been writing a very simple product highlight for almost two weeks. Taking so long because I have to stop and cry. Stop and calm the panic down. Stop and remind myself where I am in my timeline. That it is okay, I can do this again, that period is over.

You can be you again. You can be opinionated and openly sexual. You can write and share and be vulnerable again.

The next tab over is the Product Highlight that’s done, editing it now, crying. Writing this stream of conscious post about how scared and panicked I am is somehow far less scary. Putting up this picture of me crying, because I want to be vulnerable and soft online again – is far less scary. The last two years hurt me, but I am going to push through and get this back. Because I need this. I need to be able to do and write posts, reviews, sexuality rants. That is all part of my core now.

Just gotta cry it out first.

Crying Crista, being vulnerable again

Getting better is really hard. Really, Really Hard.

Life in Less Limbo

Y’all, it has been a week.

I’ve updated here and there as things have progressed, but it’s nice to put it all together so I can link instead of re-telling the story. As I said in my Surviving Life in Limbo… post, I’ve had a lot of concerning health issues pop up suddenly. Upside, they are rearing their ugly heads just as I finally have comprehensive health insurance. Bless my glorious marriage. Finally, I have progress and an update:

NO CANCER!!!

YAY!! CT Scan showed that my bladder is really unhappy but no signs of cancer. That and other tests have ruled cancer out. Que thrilled excitement.

 

Got this glorious news, made a bad-fucking-ass pot roast, and finally relaxed for a few hours. Watched MSNBC to hear my fantasy girlfriend Rachel Maddow talk about how Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire, and at commercial break, made the mistake of trying to pee.

Que mindbending pain. Acute, astonishing, stabbing, horrific pain shooting through my pelvis. On the only pain scale I consider to be legitimate, I was in “I am actively being mauled by a bear” that was living in my bladder.

This is the only pain chart that I consider to be legit. Thank you Hyperbole and a Half

This is the only pain chart that I consider to be legit. Thank you Hyperbole and a Half

Laid face down on our bed, one eye watching The Donald give a victory speech, which was not helping my pain levels at all, for most of the rest of the evening while fearing emptying my bladder ever again. Rachel Maddow kept making me laugh, which would also cause a pain spike. My emergency painkiller wasn’t doing anything and by morning I was looking for childcare so we could get me to the ER. I was biting and yelling into a towel, fearing any liquid. Okay, great, no cancer, but I feel like I’m dying. Thankfully, my Doctor found space to see me, because I loathe the ER. Would rather remove body parts in my bathroom than go through that bullshit.

I do not cry in public. It’s a thing. Have trouble letting my guard down enough to cry most of the time. I cried the whole way through the visit. No infection, nothing glaring on my CT scan, the best educated guess is Interstitial cystitis. That needs to be verified by a urologist, who I’ll be seeing asap. Interestingly, one of the treatments for interstitial cystitis is amitriptyline. The cause of my anorgasmia, #OrgasmQuest and a medication I stopped talking six weeks ago in favor of other medications that were previously beyond my financial means.

So, I’m back on amitriptyline. Last year when Quest started, this was the wonder drug for my depression, but as The Madness overtook our life and I hit one of the worst depressive episodes of my life, it stopped helping. Wellbutrin has been a better match for my depressive symptoms, with the added bonus of the return of my sex drive. When I get out of the acute pain, it will be interesting to see how both of those medications affect my sexuality. #OrgasmQuest is certainly not over.

First, I have to get out of this acute pain. I’m on mostly bed rest with pain management medication for the next few days. Friends and family are helping out and V has been amazing. I’ve spent most of the last two weeks curled around him in either pain or worry. They’ve been perfection in soothing my fears and taking care of my needs. I’m more comfortable in the caretaker role, much less as the patient, but they are keeping me from doing too much.

Meh

Really sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Progress though. At least it isn’t cancer, “just” probably another chronic pain condition that has no cure or great treatment plan. Yaaaayyyyy. *eye roll* So, that’s where I am. My body says I need to lie back down and pay more attention to the Democratic debate.

Thank you for all the love and good wishes. They mean the world to me. <3

CristaAnne.com breaks into the Top Ten Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2015!!

So proud of my little blog that could…

#MedicatedandMighty selfie

#MedicatedandMighty 

When introducing myself in panels, workshops or in interviews I’ll often call myself “a professional oversharer who has blogged since long before the term “blog” even existed.” Starting with angelfire sites in the late 90’s and then LiveJournal, blogger and other platforms – writing online has been a natural comfort zone for my ambiverted self. As I moved through my journey of self discovery I tried out many urls and personas, looking for the perfect fit. Eventually it was obvious that I was most comfortable as myself, so I picked up this domain with the intention of it being a small personal blog and writing outlet.

About a year ago I began writing more about my battles with depression and PTSD which quickly turned into #OrgasmQuest. My little blog that could had worldwide media attention, my life changed permanently. When The Madness hit our life (the custody battle that consumed most of this year) I had to back off posting here for many reasons. For months this site was almost exclusively instagram posts and very sporadic brief updates while we made our way through our worst fears come to life.

While I was unable to speak about my life in a public way, you amazing folks stuck with me. Love and support flowed our way through and after the worst of the worst – I am forever grateful. Right as I began to return to the world, Kinkly launched their Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2015 contest. Shamelessly I courted votes without a ton of expectations, my life and thus my writing had not been very sexy. My goal was top fifty, my hope was top twenty-five.

When the results were released a few days ago, I almost dropped my pad.

The Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2015:

  1. The Black Pomegranate
  2. The Redhead Bedhead
  3. A Sexy Woman of a Certain Age
  4. Oh Joy, Sex Toy
  5. Girly Juice
  6. Crista Anne (!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  7. Hey Epiphora
  8. Girl Boner
  9. Slutty Girl Problems
  10. The Ins and Outs

The rest of the Top 100

Crista Anne bills herself as a “rainbow-colored pleasure revolutionary.” We love that slogan as much as her bold writing on sex, depression and everything in between.

Credit where credit is due, my moniker of “Rainbow-colored Pleasure Revolutionary” was bequeathed to me by Carol Queen in the Good Vibes #OrgasmQuest interview. It’s perfect. When my writing is praised as being bold and unique – my goals have been achieved.

It’s taken me a few days to find words of gratitude. 2015 has been the hardest, most painfully soul wrenching year of my life. The darkness that covered so much of this year got the best of me more often than I care to admit. While I count down the days to the end of ’15 so I can put this horrific year behind me, this recognition means a great deal.

Thank you.

Things I’ve Discovered About Myself Today…

This started out as a tweet, but I feel like expanding a little while I have a moment of quiet. Today I’ve learned a few things about myself. This new self that I exist in and as. The largest lesson is that it is incredibly easy to fall back into a pit of Panic Brain, and how very hard it is to shake myself loose once I’m there.

It started out simply. Last night my stream of emails stopped around 7pm. Not unusual. Most of the email exchanges I have are during normal-ish business hours, in the evening most people message me on social media instead. This morning I woke up, no email. Continues through my quiet time, which was nice as I was rather tired. Noon hits, which is the magical time that the youngest decides that he cannot bear to not constantly interact with me.

At the same time, twenty time sensitive emails also hit my inbox at once.

Cue panic. That moment of going from fine to OMG OVERWHELMED was like hitting a mental brick wall, then slowly sliding down. Ugh.

Drank water, stepped away from the cause of my overwhelmed for a few minutes, got some center back. Answered the emails, jumped into the mental health twitter chat by PBS, and kept kiddo happily entertained. Usually I’d feel like a Superhero for that, but no. The lingering panic remained.

After so many months of such unfathomable stress, feeling attacked from every angle, my brain just went into that mode and stayed there out of habit. I’m completely functional, you’d have to know me quite well to see the signs of distress,  but they linger.

Today I learned that I can fake it through bad mental times again. I can push panic to the side enough to get what needs to be done, done. That’s really impressive. That I when I feel like I have too much on my plate, I can step back and see how to handle things bit by bit. Again, really impressive.

Healing is going to take a very long time. Setbacks happen and will keep happening. There is still a very long way to go.

I’m getting there though. I’ll take it.

Shameless Self Promotion: @Kinkly Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2015

Kinkly Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2015 Voting Has Begun!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Sex bloggers are our superheroes. And we know we aren’t the only ones looking to them for advice. It’s why we do our best to feature their sites in our Sex Blogger Directory and our Sex Blogger of the Month feature, and why we link directly to their sex toy reviews in our Sex Toy Directory. It’s also why we published and promoted the very best sex bloggers we could find in 2013 and 2014. Now it’s that time of year again, and we’re on the hunt for the Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2015. We’re looking for the sparkliest, most well-loved, most sex-positive blogs out there – and we need your help to find them!

Have a favorite sex blogger you want to nominate? Here’s how it works:

  • Find your favorite blogger in our Sex Blogger Directory. (If you’d like to submit your own blog, you can do so here.)
  • Click on your favorite bloggers and click Vote For Me button on their page. You can vote for as many blogs as you’d like, but you’ll only be counted once for each blogger.
  • We’ll read through every blog with at least five votes and choose our top 100 favorites based on writing quality, posting frequency and sex-positive content.
  • Only blogs that receive at least five votes by October 7th, 2015, will be counted!

I have been honored & amazed that this little site of mine has stayed within Kinkly’s Top 100 Blogs in their blogger directory through the chaos, stress and pain that has been 2015 for us. The Madness (Our custody battle) forced a hiatus, stopping #OrgasmQuest and many other projects in their tracks. Since that point my work went from being on the front lines battling various stigmas to working behind the scenes with entities like Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, their Family Matters Project and mentoring other writers.

While I am still recovering from the months of crushing hell, each day I get a bit closer to where I want to be.  Too much continues to be in the air, but I’m not going anywhere. If you’ve enjoyed my work, please take a second to vote for this site. It’s easy-peasy: Click here for my Blogger Profile, then click the lovely pink button that says “click here to vote”! You can vote for as many sites as you like, so I urge you to go through the list and vote for your other favorite sites. (I just cramped a finger voting for all my personal faves!)

My impressive ego thanks you in advance <3

Mentally hugging each and every one of you.

Mentally hugging each and every one of you.

The End of The Madness – Not the Post I Want to Write

I think everyone knows that there are no winners when it comes to custody cases. Especially once it completely hits the court system, no one wins. There are only degrees of losses.

That being said, we lost in a profound way. Dramatic reduction in time with us.

Can’t really say more for a wide variety of reasons.

I’ve put the news out there with updates on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s taken me until now to be able to post it. The loss across the board is mostly unfathomable. Making words is hard. It’s just, I don’t have words. So, I take the easy way out and past in an FB status from yesterday.

I know that no one expects us to be okay right now, but I loathe how not okay I am. Functional, not rocking at the end of the bed, but holy shit – that’s where I want to be. That sounds great, getting into bed and not leaving for a few years.

Something I’m pretty positive I talked about in ‪#‎sfsmonster‬ was that with this anti-depressant that works for me, living without suicidal ideation is sometimes a hard and foreign. My brain has done a 180 on that, now adamant that I have to keep going, and it is jarring.

Right now I am stuck in a drive state but massively flaring anxiety keeps me on the edge of paralyzed. Thus, I’m fending off panic attacks left and right. I can take care of myself and the people who depend on me, I can get dressed and take care of the house. The dishes haven’t been left behind, the house isn’t a wreck (minus the playroom, that’s a disaster but fuckit), I got the trash out. All things that I’d be completely incapable of right now if not for medication.

I know I have to keep going, I know what to do to keep going, but anxiety right now keeps me semi paralysed. I even know that is okay, I’m actually doing a great job. We both are. This is the first huge body blow that I’ve taken without self harm impulses, which adds to how surreal life feels.

This should probably be a blog post, it probably will be. Now that I can write again, I feel obligated to share. Loading up wordpress makes me panic though. So I write here. Then get to the next step forward.

I loaded up wordpress and I’m hitting post. The Madness period of our life is far from over, but I don’t plan on talking about it much. It’s too raw for now.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s almost here. Just over two weeks and we have the custody trial. Whatever the outcome will be, this horrific chapter of life closes. What the next chapter entails? I am not foolish enough to guess. It’s out of my hands, all I can do is what I have done. What we have done. Trying our best. Giving our everything to keeping our world together and stable.

I’ve been quiet here. With the absurdity around me, there has not been time or the mental space to write. My time, precious spoons have been needed elsewhere. Also, I needed the media attention to go down. I do not do what I do to be “famous”, I do this work because it is what I was born to do. World wide media attention was a little too much for this inverted pleasure revolutionary, at least in this period of my life.

What has happened while I was away? We took the kids on vacation to our beloved Brushwood for part of their Sankofa festival. Celebrating the creative spirit. They made new wonderful friends, played in the woods and explored fairy gardens. Val, the kids and I arrived before most of our family there, so the intense setting up of camp – our home for the next two weeks – was mostly on us. He was amazing. Thanks to our glorious GP that we found through Planned Parenthood, the course of medications he’s been on has done wonders. I was hesitant to go on our yearly vacation because I feared that he wasn’t physically up to the task, but he was able to accomplish a wonderful set up for us with a small bit of help of our more able-bodied friends.

I’ve always stood with Planned Parenthood, in my twenties they were the only medical care I had financial access to. Now with the wonderful Doctor we both see there, amazing woman who found an anti-depressant that works for me and who finally took Val’s pain seriously. life is improving. He’s still on sticks or on bad days in a wheelchair, but we’re getting answers. He’s improving with his current treatment plan. Improving across the board, even with the tortuous stress we’ve been under with custody. When we don’t have this horrible weight on our shoulders anymore, I see him getting even better. Having a Doctor who cares is everything.

More recently, we’ve taken a shorter vacation to see the newlyweds – My Mom and her long time Partner just got married. We took the kids to their house to spend time with them, my Sister and her kids, as well as getting to spend time with my almost 93-year-old Grandmother. 7 kids, age 9 and under, was stressful – don’t get me wrong – but it was also wonderful. I cried a great deal over having most of my family together.

Now I prepare for Woodhull, which is another post entirely. Woodhull ends, three days later we have the custody trial and one outcome or another there will be some closure to these months of horrible uncertainty. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m able to breathe again.

Crista Anne is Mighty

Frustrated by lack of Posts? Trust me, I’m more frustrated.

MIghty as fuck

Ain’t got me yet

Trust me, I’m frustrated as well. There is either no time for me to write, there is time but I don’t even know where to begin, and the feeling of being constantly monitored that gets to a person. Sure, I’ve plenty of people who hateread me, or are here for trolling/threats. I’ve been outspoken online since internet culture began. Other douchecanoes being douchecanoes is something I am desensitized from.

The eyes on me are different, partially I’m being judged by the state if I deserve to be a parent while being…Me. I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone, even the person who started this mess. Knowing these eyes are there makes me doubt myself. “Taken out of context I must seem so strange” I’ve already experienced having the moments of raw honestly I choose to share out of a desire for connection via shared life experience used to paint me in a horrible light.

I miss you. I miss this space. Miss my friends, readers, colleagues, co-conspirators and other revolutionaries. Oh, oh how I miss engaging with you all.

Writing, like a real job with work and skills and everything

Microblogging: Changes to How & Where I Update.

As I move forward with my digital life while living through the madness, I’ve decided that my intensely personal words will be posted on Patreon for my supporters until this ends. (There will also be absurd selfies posted there for when I need to lighten my own mood.) I figure this way if someone is going to take my words and twist them through this, they’ll at least have to pay me for that.

I’ve re-committed to keeping this site updated on my usual topics. #OrgasmQuest posts will return. I’ll be proudly signal boosting the amazing projects my friends are working on. I’ve become involved more and more with this year’s Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, which is thrilling. I’m sure there will also be times where I mostly update via instagram photos, I’m still figuring out my work/parenting balance.

If you’re a paypal supporter and want the intensely personal updates, please let me know and I’ll get them to you in whatever way is most convenient for you. I believe most of you lovely folks are already seeing these on facebook.

Thank you for your understanding of all the changes as we move through The Madness.

Always be a Unicorn

Always be a Unicorn

**The featured image on this post was made by JoEllen Notte, who is an epic badass.