Happy VDay – I Have A Concussion

Photo Credit Erin Nicole Metcalf

Happy Valentines Day!

Part of getting better has been deep cleaning our home, as depression robs the desire to do more than the basics for me, so I have a long list of those bullshit cleaning tasks like cleaning baseboards and the darkest corners of the kitchen. A huge one was cleaning and mopping the kitchen floor. Which I did! To celebrate that accomplishment, I moved too fast, my feet slid out from under me, and I went full speed into the wall. My skull met the beautiful wooden door frame, and I now have my first concussion.

Don’t tell anyone I’m posting. I’m supposed to be “resting my brain.”

I’m resting, I swear. Kinda.


Asking the goddamn impossible.

Though my brain is starting to feel like it’s on fire again, so this post is going to be short. Don’t want it to be short because holy fuck do I have words about what is happening in the world, but oh yeah, this hurts.

I’m pushing through my concussion kitty-ness to be sweet to my loves. Y’all know who you are and y’all know I love you today and every day. <3

No really, I got married dressed as a rainbow unicorn. LIKE A BOSS

To My Partner-In-Everything, XVO, I pick you. I choose this life. Each and every day. Life has been impossibly cruel; life has pushed every painful button, life has tested us in ways that are unimaginable to most others. We’re still here, though; we’ve made it through tests that I wouldn’t have made it through with anyone else.

I still look over and think you’re the sexiest human alive as you pick your nose. You’re just as enticing, fascinating, and breathtaking as you were all those years ago at the bridge. When you climbed my balcony and gave me That Grin.

No one else understands me as you do, and I couldn’t – wouldn’t – be able to be this unabashedly, shamelessly me, in any other life. I love you. So much.

To everyone who reads this post, I adore you. Even the folks who are reading this to mock. I adore each and every person who takes the time to read my words. Happy Valentines Day to all of you.

Now celebrate with some self-love, for Valentine’s Day needs masturbation as part of the celebrations.


An open letter to the Universe, from a Joyful Girl

An open letter to the Universe, From a Joyful Girl

I have battled for years now, battling hard. Fiercely with righteous anger. Been filled with anger, hatred and spite. I have bared teeth, stood ground. Fierce protection and a closing of ranks. Did anything and everything I could to protect. It consumed me.
It also brought me down. It brought me down in ways I didn’t know I could be taken down. Down I went. Anger, fear, loathing.
That’s not who I am though. That isn’t what I want to be. That is who I’ve stopped being. Stopped months ago. When I made the choice, not to forgive, but to stop the fighting. Stopped carrying around the weight that is righteous rage and all the rest. Life instantly was brighter.
Because why? It doesn’t fix anything. It doesn’t change the past. I did not and will not forgive he who abused me before my age had two numerals. I’ve let go the hatred because I didn’t do anything wrong, it was not my fault, and now he cannot hurt anyone ever again. Same with those who harmed and abused me as an adult. I probably will never forgive, but I can let go. I have let go.
The hurt doesn’t instantly go away, but life feels better. Brighter. There is a future for me, a bright one even. I have an incredibly diverse skill set and a natural way with people who opens doors. Doors I’ve walked through and am now doing so much good work.
#sfs16 is going to be Joyful

#sfs16 is going to be Joyful

Good work not just for me, but work that allows me to change the world one tiny bit at a time. Work where I get fan mail, letters from people who are kind enough to share how I’ve helped them. I write, I support, I speak, I give time and myself to causes larger than I. I’m doing the work of my dreams. My peers in this work of my dreams are idols turned friends, larger than life stars, brilliant revolutionaries all around me. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?

Why would I want to squander a moment of that joy – this is my year of Joyful – on petty battles. On underhanded moves to make a bad situation worse? I wouldn’t, I didn’t. We didn’t.

I have plans for the first time in too long. Joyous and terrifying. I’m going on stages to speak truth, to educate, amuse, connect via shared experience in person. Face fears large and small. I am Mighty.

My home life has been wonderful. As our kids have moved into being independent amazing people. They allow me some space to be creative again, they inspire my creativity. We play, we learn, we jointly clean up the messes and make our house a home. Of course, as our family is spread across many households, we don’t see them as often as we’d like, but there was a wonderful peaceful path towards a reasonable change. A path where we can start building trust and moving past the past. We all have different lives that work better for us. We’re in places we need to be. All I want is for that to continue. I want interaction across the biological lines. We may never be close friends, but I am on the path of peace. A path where all our children and our children’s extended siblings are benefitted. Where they get important lessons and experiences at different homes, because those experiences combined are going to make amazing adults who are ready for the complexities of the world. They need all of us, and of course we all need them.

My path is the one that leads me through doing beautiful, messy, and at times scary work. Where I leave my mark on the world, hopefully one that lasts. The path of peace between co-parents, where we all are on the same page that we all want what is best for them and are coming from a place of that desire. A path of flexibility and openness. Without secrets and shame.

I cannot make choices or force my will upon anyone else, but speaking for me – I am no one’s enemy. I have been in the past to many people. I choose to lay down arms so that I can open them to what is to come.
I do it for the joy it brings, because I am a joyful girl
because the world owes us nothing, and we owe each other the world
I do it because it’s the least I can do, I do it because I learned it from you
And I do it just because I want to
Because I want to

Quick ‘n Dirty: Wedding and Holiday Wishlist

Rainbow Wishlist for the Holidays!

Crista Eats Xmas

::Orenda Family Master Wishlist::

Kindhearted, generous friends & love have asked about Wedding/Holiday gifts, so I threw together an amazon wishlist to cover everything. Everyone knows it’s been a hard year for us, but we’re ending 2015 on a high note with our Rainbow SheVibe Wedding.

Obviously, gifts are not required and feel free to browse out of curiosity sake. This list is meant to make things easier for anyone who has the desire to send something. While gifts are wonderful, your continued support and kind words have made this the first Holiday Season in years that is Joyful for us.

Most of my adult life was spent working retail, which I enjoy to a shocking degree. That being said, after working so many holiday seasons, when I hear xmas songs I immediately put my guard up. A few years removed from that special ring of hell, this is the first year that I’m enjoying the holiday madness.

Finding myself singing holiday songs as I move about my day! This is strange and wonderful. I know I’ve been repeating myself here, but tap dancing dildo gods, it’s so wonderful to enjoy life again.


I do it for the joy it brings, for I am a Joyful Girl.

Since we got married, it’s like a spell has been lifted.
I feel Joy again.

That sounds corny as I type it, but it is so true. We’re laughing in joy again. There is more color in V’s face. We both feel like the world has been lifted from our shoulders. There are little life things that Monday morning would have caused panic that now are…nothing.

“Okay, let’s deal with this.” Verses “No. Just no. I can’t. Go away.”

We’re more animated. I haven’t seen either of us this happy alone or together in about a year. #OrgasmQuest went from a blog post to…world wide media coverage of my masturbation habits, which seriously – no one is ready for that. While that was happening there was the horrific train wreck of all our worst fears coming true through the custody battle, then the darkness that blanketed our world after things didn’t go our way.

Something important. Something Vital finally went our way. For you wonderful new folks who aren’t familiar with our story, my Partner and I were in the same goth/weirdo/manic pixie dream girl social circle as teenagers but never technically met. He did once spot me at the local goth club (because of course) and the first thing he thought upon seeing was “I’m going to marry that girl someday.

The second was “That’s ridiculous, you probably don’t even have the balls to talk to her.” As he finished that thought I walked over to my group of friends and one douche canoe I couldn’t stand. V didn’t talk to me that night because he assumed that if I talked to douche canoe, I wouldn’t like him.

After missing meeting each other two more times by the tiniest of margins, I found him on OkCupid a decade later. At first sight, I knew I needed to know him. He was like me, whatever it is that I am.

It’s never been easy for us. We’ve moved heaven and earth, gone through hell and back many times, simply because we need to be together. This is my Partner. Now, legally. That means more to me than I expected to. It may never be easy for us, but it’s all worth it. Everything has been worth it to be here.

Grinning up at V in joy, seconds before we were wed.

Grinning up at V in joy, seconds before we were wed.

With the spell broken, I’m coming back to life..

Starting to want to interact again. I feel myself coming back to life. With experience, with how open I’ve been over the last year with my struggles, with everything – I’m much more aware of this rebirth than I have of the others. Aware of how much I need to nurture it, aware that I’ll stumble and that darkness will hit again but that I’ll make it back up again.

I’ve had PTSD since I was a child, this cycle has been ever present. I know it will continue to be present.

Val just put in the paperwork. Jan 1 I have full health insurance. I can see a therapist. I can get meds. Get my fucking eyes checked and new glasses. We’re working on name change, I feel like a real person again.

That’s the key. I’m a person again. I feel real. There is a bit of security again. Taking things slowly, we’re about to be punched again, but I’m real. We’re real. I’m not the “second wife”, the mistress, the pitiful stray, without a voice or agency.

I’m fucking real.

Now, what do I want my reality look like?

I want my reality to continue to be joyful. “because the world owes us nothing, and we owe each other the world.” Continue doing what brings me joy. Writing here, seriously and not so, brings me joy. Working on projects with my peers, podcasting with those Swingset fuckers, presenting and facilitating conversations around sexuality and depression. Sexuality and motherhood. Busting stigmas brings me joy.

I want more joy in my personal life. To fully experience this joyous life, I’m letting go. Slowly I’ve password protected posts about abuse and pain. They aren’t deleted, I’m not doing this because I regret my path or speaking my truth. Forever I will stand by my right to share my truth as a survivor. It’s because I don’t want to give that time space in my joy.

A therapist friend who has given me guidance over the years asked me recently about forgiveness. Could I forgive? The answer is that I can when given an apology, shown a modicum of responsibility for their actions. Without that, I cannot as of yet.

What I can do is let go. Look at why abusers abuse, understand that they won’t change, and let go of their power. They have no power over me. I no longer fear them into the depths of my soul. Bless, reject and send back their anger, hatred and ill will.

My life is strange and beautiful. We have to fight daily to keep it, but I am exactly where I need to be.

I am Mighty

I am a Joyful Girl.


Microblogging: I love my Partnership

Usual Morning Conversation in my house…

“Baby? Was I masturbating in my sleep last night?”
“Maybe? You do that.”
“Oh, I know. I’ve been doing it since I was an infant. It’s the only reason I can think of why my hips and bits would be so sore today….”
“I had ear plugs in and I’ve stopped paying attention to your sleep jerking…”

How to fight with your significant other

How to fight with your significant other:

Some couples set ground rules for their fights. For Crista, 33, of Richmond, Va., her basic rules with her partner are: no name-calling, no door-slamming and no walking away in the middle of a fight. They’ve also imposed brief periods of unplugging, which is challenging for two self-professed “Internet fiends,” so that they can be sure the other person is listening. “When one of us is talking about something sensitive or important, even if it’s just for a minute or two, the other shuts their laptop or puts the tablet down or out of view.”

Read the rest at the Washington Post by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Yes, part of why I’m sharing is because I was interviewed for the piece but also because I love the information and ideas contained within. I’m quoted as Crista, so this is me being me. Being able to disagree and argue is an important part of any relationship, romantic or not. V and I rarely have big fights and I attribute the rarity to the fact that we are constantly working on positive communication. Without positive communication and making sure the other feels heard is how we’ve come through these amazingly hard times as strong as ever.

Crista Anne is Mighty

Truly coming into my own skin is a beautiful and painful process.

Accessing the buried power though, it’s priceless. Worth every aching moment.

Everything has changed over the last few weeks, months. Life flipped upside down. Rugs pulled out from under me. Previous truths exposed. Countless spotlights have been pointed my direction.

I rolled with it, I fought against some, resisting more. Very recently, I regained control across many spheres. Regaining control for a while had my laptop shut as I threw every bit of myself into altering my physical life, drastically altering to make proper spaces for all areas of my life. Most of my focus went to improving life for the kids, altering the house to fit their changing needs.

Then tackling the deep cleaning, the deep sorting that I’d pushed to the side. There were memories, ghosts, hidden in those ignored tasks. Tackling them headfirst, being mighty. Somehow I pushed myself far beyond my physical ability until they were finished. That finish line was exquisite.

Last night I collapsed into bed, the euphoria of being able to rest after the marathon is one of the best feelings in my life. We chatted with a friend on skype, I fell asleep relaxed and feeling a peace I haven’t known in a long while.

I’m ready for the next step. Ready for what comes next.

Now it’s my space that is left to reclaim. While we rearranged the house the sun room, my scared space, became the dumping ground for everything we needed out of the way. This morning I finished moving the lingering extra pieces into their proper places. Now, Now, Now I get to change this area into what I need it to be.

Self care comes in endless forms. Rearranging was self-care. It was the hard change that needed to happen for all of us to grow. I saved the last, this space, as the greatest self-care. Making room for me to find the quiet I need for the words in my head to leave my fingertips is going to be glorious. There is so much I have to say, letting it escape will be cathartic.

I am what I am. I am who I am. All of my roles now fit comfortably within the larger picture of myself. I am Mighty within my own skin.

Mighty and so very grateful. Gratitude for the countless loves who have helped me, us, along this impossibly hard road emanates from me. We’re nowhere near the finish line, but we are strong. We are supported. We are loved and love in return.

Life is beautiful.

Life Goal Completed – I Am a SheVibe Superhero

#OrgasmQuest has gone so far beyond my wildest dreams. Interviewed by Carol Queen. Front page of a number of my favorite sites and blogs. New wonderful friends. Now. Now I’m a Motherfucking SheVibe Superhero and I can cross another item off my list of Life Goals. BEHOLD! Continue reading

I feel *almost* Mighty

Mental Illness, It’s a Thing in my Life

Mental illness folks, it’s not all fun and viral internet attention!

Kinda fell off the edge of the word as far as the internet has been concerned, but I think I’m good again. This is what happened, since speaking openly about mental illness has become one of my specialties.

First, the kids brought me the gift of strep throat. So I started my mini-hiatus because I was utterly wrecked. XVO was also ill, so we were giving everything we had plus a lot more to being the best parents we could be through illness. Then, some shit went down. What happened is too complicated, touching too many people in my world to begin to get everyone’s consent to write about it here, so I’m not going to get into much detail. I’m an Ethical Professional Oversharer.

So shit hit the fan, which leads to more shit hitting the fan. Things are really hard, we’re incredibly overwhelmed. How I deal with being overwhelmed is to shut down and do my damnest to concentrate on what I can handle, what I can fix. That even worked for a while! I wasn’t present online, but I was keeping my shit together mentally – not falling apart as I am so very prone to doing.

Until I couldn’t anymore. Since Sunday I’ve been in a panic episode, with each day getting worse and worse until yesterday I wasn’t able to do much more than sit on the end of our bed rocking back and forth, dizzy, sweating, trying not to hyperventilate. I’d woken up two days in a row to instant panic attacks, with delightful flashbacks to triggering events in my life. It was bad.

Then XVO reminded me that I have a doctor who gives a fuck about me, I should call her. AND I DID! That’s a big deal, when I’m in those horrific places reaching out for help is nearly impossible, more so if I need to talk on the phone. I got an emergency script of meds to get me back to at least functional until I can go in to see her and we can work out a new mental health strategy.

There was some awesome in there, and I’m not talking the SheVibe Cover. While in the panic state, I did not experience suicidal ideation! Which is shocking and amazing. Suicidal ideation is my bag, until amitriptyline, I probably thought about suicide on a near daily basis. It was my brain’s instant answer for everything. Stubbed your toe? Kill yourself! After years of therapy I learned to cope with that, eventually turning it into my own little joke that I didn’t share with anyone. “haha brain, that’s fucking ridiculous. Calm yourself.” No, no suicidal thoughts. “Just” a horrible cycle of panic that I couldn’t break, that kept snowballing.

Orally disintegrating clonazepam, I love you.

Going through the panic episode without also pushing through depression was a new experience. It was more frustrating than anything else, part of me knew that I was fully capable of all these things I could make myself do. Like, you know, opening my email or looking at messages. Not even because I was worried about harassment, I just couldn’t deal with the world beyond the walls of my house. Even friendly, loving concern. Too much. Hell, dealing with toddler life was too much within these walls. Hence the spending most of a day rocking back and forth.

Anyway, the cycle I was in appears to have broken. The Huge Life Stress is still *very* present, but it’s not triggering now. Hopefully the universe will cut us some slack the next day or two so I can completely pull my head above the water and get my mighty back. Today I’m dressed, I have makeup on. I’ve opened my email, bullshitted with Cooper. Played ball with Rawr, read books, cooked. Have a dear friend visiting from DC.

I feel like Me Again.

Now, #OrgasmQuest. There has been no progress because between illness and panic, masturbation hasn’t been on my radar at all. One attempt was made with the Form 5, but quickly abandoned as I realized I was too panicked to relax enough to enjoy anything. It’s now bedtime for the Rawr Monster, so perhaps I’ll be able to post again later with great success. We’ll see.

Mental Illness, it’s a thing in my life. When it hits hard, I fall off the radar. If I’m not posting anywhere? Chances are high that I’m in a bad mental place, not simply busy. I have to get myself back together, there isn’t much that outside forces can do. All the love and sweetness sent my way has been deeply appreciated, even if I didn’t really respond.

Now, I am off to finish the Mothering part of my day. Let’s all hope that he decides that brushing his teeth isn’t torture. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope the last week or two has been better for you than it has been for me.

Thoughts on today’s adventure regarding Buzzfeed, #OrgasmQuest, & xoJane

I’m off the trending list on Buzzfeed, so I now can relax.

Introverted Crista is Introverted

I wave hello to you all.

Remember when I said that I was swearing off media for the week because I was burned out and needed to focus on parenting? Apparently my pants are on fire. When my buddy Andy at Good Vibes mentioned the possibility of doing an interview with Carol Fucking Queen, that went right out the fucking window, because Carol Queen. No disrespect to any of the amazing journalists that I have talked to or will in the future, but nothing can top being interviewed by your foremost idol. If you haven’t read that interview yet, please do, because it’s a physical realization of my Ultimate Dream come true.

Around this time I was contacted by  from Buzzfeed UK. She said she’d been following #OrgasmQuest, related to my story and wanted to cover it. We bounced emails back and forth, I felt really comfortable with her, and the no interviews this week rule flew out the window. When I do read buzzfeed, I tend to look over there because I find their stories less sensational and snarky. The interview was fantastic, Maggy is an excellent interviewer, and the final piece is something that I really enjoy. If it wasn’t about me, I’d have been sharing it everywhere.

I woke up this morning with the article already approaching 100k views, top of the trending list, and with more new twitter followers than I knew what to do with. You don’t even want to know what my email and IM’s looked like. At the same time I had to prepare a small child for a trip to the dentist, so it’s safe to say that chaos reigned.

Once I was able to engage with social media, I had the amazing experience of positive interactions with most of my heroes, idols, and revolutionaries. Going through my twitter mentions, it now seems that almost every really fucking awesome person there is now follows me. (Yes, I know, I only have 2200ish followers. My criteria for really fucking awesome is quite high.) Most of today was really, really fun.

Then it hit me that out of everyone I idolize, the only two people that I haven’t had a conversation with that involved mutual respect are Rachel Maddow and Ani Difranco. Heck, maybe I’ll change that tomorrow. Who knows!

I have not looked at the comments section on buzzfeed nor the FB page. I choose to only engage with the people who found me on twitter. Maybe I’ll do that later, Val tells me that it’s mostly positive with flashes of absurdity. I do need to go back to the comment section of my xoJane article, because it’s part of the agreement I signed as a freelancer. Hopefully that isn’t horrible.

Regarding xoJane, I’ve been in contact with their head of social media. Again – everyone within the xoJane staff has been a pleasure to collaborate with. It’s their comment section that are just horrific. I’ve expressed this to them so I’ll repeat it here. Warning their writers about how vitriolic or at best snarky the commenting community is before they publish would go a long way. When I wrote a Sex Diary for NYMag, one of the first things I was told was that people loved to rip the diaries to shreds. With that knowledge going in? I prepared myself for the worst, turned out to be fine.

I’m not “whining” about people being mean to me. Nor am I going to produce the threats to “prove” they existed. I’m not playing that game. Why? Cause there is no winning. So either believe me or not. Really don’t have any fucks to give there. I do loathe our internet culture of snark first, be reasonable later. That’s not an xoJane problem, it’s pervasive. It’s also far more intense when you are a femme presenting person. Still, not gonna shut me up. I’ve been writing for as long as some of these people have possibly been alive.

A lot of comments across all articles have been “oh look, a new person trying to be internet famous for nothing”. Nothing I say will change those people’s minds, but I can tell you that I do feel relief at not being trending anymore. I’m an introvert. Sure, I like attention, but I also like down time. Now that I’m not trending, I feel like there is down time. If you look at my archives for this site, you’ll notice a six month gap in posting. That is because pre-#OrgasmQuest, this site was entirely me writing for me.

This site is going to stay me writing for me.

I’ve invited a few other people to write as well, XVO/Val – My partner has posted and will post more in the future. He is my Partner-in-Everything, so I want his voice to be expressed here as well. Some people have asked to share their #OrgasmQuest stories, I’m thrilled to add them. #OrgasmQuest isn’t going to end when the media attention ends, it will continue for as long as it needs to. It may evolve. I’m open to whatever comes next.

So, now I am off to respond to comments at xoJane and then? Then I reward myself. Remember that big box of love from Tantus? Life has been so intense that I haven’t opened it fully yet. So that’s my reward after this long day, I’m going to gleefully discover what is inside and then spam twitter with my glee.

That’s my self care, and it will be delightful.



So someone (whom I just made up) once asked me, “How does it feel to be behind the scenes of the #OrgasmQuest, as the partner, as a parent, and as a person?” And if that person weren’t imaginary, I’d answer them thusly:

It feels great. My partner CristaAnne is getting recognition for some of her life’s work. She’s sparking conversations in more than just the (somewhat choirpreaching) activist and educator spheres. She’s taken the conversation about self-love, self-care, sex-positivity, and body-positivity to the main thoroughfares of the internet – places like BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Jezebel, Bustle, xoJane, Refinery29, DailyDot, and AMessageWithABottle – and we’re finally starting to have a dialogue as a culture about what seems to be a relatively ubiquitous problem – anorgasmia due to antidepressants – but (perhaps more importantly) prior to having that conversation, we’re forced to accept (or at least entertain) ideas about a woman having ownership of herself and her orgasms, about a woman being a mother but still a sexual being, and about a woman being open about such things in public, despite, I guess, being both a woman and a mother.

Though, one of the strangest things about this Quest, to me, is how little anyone seems to care about my place in it. Now, this isn’t me being narcissistic – I just assumed that, our world being so patriarchal, someone would eventually mention me, as a partner, or especially as a co-parent – the now infamous “So, do you ever think about your children?!” line awkwardly blurted out by Leeann Tweeden, being a prime example – I’m their parent too, you snarky fucking hypocrite! You think they’re just going feral while Mommy gets her rocks off? No! They’re playing video games with Daddy, or they’re asleep for the night after juice, brusha-brush, and bedtime stories. Are they going to be horribly scarred to learn that Mommy uses her bits for something other than peeing, or making and delivering babies? They haven’t yet, but since this is a sex-positive household, that information is going to be about as shocking as when they learn that they can make fart sounds with their armpits. Probably less so, for the boys.

People are being open with each other about psych meds, about side effects, about self-love, and these are all wonderful things. People (legends, perhaps?) whom Crista has idolized for as long as I’ve known her, have sent her loving letters of encouragement, and even interviewed her! (The one with Carol Queen over at the Good Vibes Blog is particularly good.)

I’m not threatened by my partner’s sexuality, or by her fame, and I will laugh in the face of anyone who tries to shame her for #OrgasmQuest – this one conversation is bringing sooooo much about our culture’s unexamined self to the surface, and I for one hope the ball keeps rolling.


My Love Speaks: The House That Silence Built

I’m not the only person in this house that is depressed, Val has also battled it most of his life. For a long time I’ve talked about how much writing in a blog has helped me. Writing allows me to realize what I’m really feeling, expressing vulnerability makes me feel stronger, and the empathy that is shown me after I hit post is so incredibly reassuring. He listened, but he wasn’t ready to take that step.

Val hit post finally. He’s stepped out of his comfort zone and written a beautifully raw post about his struggles. Of course I am biased, but it’s really good. I think a great deal of people can relate to his struggle.

I’ve been silent for years. For just about everything that matters. At least, when it comes to you, la gente del mundo, the general public. I used to write for the world. Back when I felt like my pain and joy still mattered to anyone but me, before I let Them whittle away my self-worth. Before I let Them break me. Though I’m not sure I could have stopped Them even if I’d known then how to try. I know now that it’s not quite possible to do it alone.

Read the rest over at Protospect – Remember the Future