Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nigel the Master Craftsman

Ninja & I had dinner 6 weeks ago, give or take. It was a nice dinner, restaurant was a little loud but I did introduce him to sushi. I guess what makes it a little surreal for me is the fact that he answers a craigslist ad I placed for Mr. Wonderful to find. And I always told Mr. Wonderful that would happen. That he would place an ad to tease me and some woman would answer & he would end up dating her or vice versa. Seems vice versa is what has come to pass. So 6 weeks ago, dinner, pleasant conversation, a hand shake, a hug and departure. It was a really nice evening and since then, Ninja (or Nigel as Mrs. Spanko called him by mistake the other night on the phone and it's caught on!) and I have emailed, chatted and spoken on the phone and it has all been extremely enjoyable. I think in the beginning, it seemed to be going in the direction of a relationship that would turn sexual very quickly. A lot of innuendo during communication, pictures exchanged, what have you. But at some point, for some reason, it changed. It slowed down. It became, in my mind, something that was progressing very much in the manner of a traditional relationship. Talking, laughing, none of it in person, but still, this gradual feeling of becoming more familiar. It felt nice. Now, would the rest of the world view it as traditional? Would a "traditional " person view a man making a woman her very own paddle as the "natural progression of a normal relationship?" Maybe not, but I view it as the actions of a man who is very sweet and trying to do something nice in an area that interests a woman he is interested in getting to know better. That in itself if very sweet. So we met last night. We started with a much longer, nicer hug than last time. He told me he had something and out it came. And it was beautiful. It was so ornate and not at all what I was expecting. I just started laughing and kissed him. 2 small kisses, standing in a parking lot at a Phillips 66 station. I hope I conveyed how much I liked it. So after I changed my clothes in the gas station bathroom, the three of us, Ninja, myself and the paddle were on our way. I drove us to a near by state park, as we had planned and we began walking. This park is always deserted and while there were 7-8 cars in the area and lots of people around, they were all attending a bar-b-que in the pavilion and the walking trails were completely deserted. So we walked and we kissed and we walked some more. The weather was really nice and since we were in the woods and we started walking around 630pm or so, the sun wasn't beating down on us and as time wore on, it got darker.

By the time we came out of the woods, it was completely dark. The park closed at 9pm we knew and it was right around 830. The pavillion was deserted so we ducked in there and kissed some more. Then he started swatting my rear end. Now he's read the blog, so it isn't exactly like this was a total surprise or like he thought I would be offended or call the police. But it was nice. I had my jeans on the entire time. In crazy Spanko world, is that the equivalent of playing hard to get? "Of course I want you to spank me, but I'm an old fashioned girl and this is only our second date, so I'm going to need to leave me jeans on!" :)
So as we walked back to the car, in the dark and stood there kissing a little more, I asked if he wanted to try out his invention. Let me tell you, it took some convincing! :) But I mean, the man made the paddle...for me...from scratch. He engraved it with my name on 1 side of the handle and his "handle" on the other side...he used the "Stinger" font (my favorite part I think is the name of that font...because leave it to this guy to find it!) and he even put a small leather "Cat of Four Tails" on the end for easy hanging capabilities. I mean, the detail he put into it was just so amazing. Not letting him test it out would have just seemed rude. :)
The hand spanking and the paddle were both the same. Over my jeans, while I was standing, facing him and kissing him. And it was really nice. Got some sting and some really nice heat going. The heat is what stood out for me. Without the jeans, that probably would have changed, as far as what stood out :) which he pointed out but I already figured. And right around 9pm, we got in the car and went off to have dinner. A very nice dinner. We have this bad habit of picking loud reastuarants. This was a mexican place. We enjoyed the singer (okay we enjoyed mocking him), the guacamole tasteed like nothing but lime juice, but it really was a very nice, proper date in my sick, twisted mind (and he really likes my sick twisted mind).
We drove the 25 miles or so back to his car and although I think we both wanted to stay, it was already approaching 11 and he had to drive a long way home and my trip wasn't around the corner either. So after one of those "Good bye's" that last about 15 minutes, we were on our way, seperately. All involved (including the paddle I'm going to call Stinger) agreed it was a really really nice date and all of us can't wait to get together again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Ultimate Multitasker


I'll admit it, I am constantly doing more than one thing at one time. Whenever I'm doing something, it always feels like I should be doing something else as well. Maybe part of it is having 2 jobs, a kid, a 12 step program, add into that, after a 5 year dry (no pun intended) spell, a social life. I can hardly be blamed if I am on the phone paying my car insurance bill while I drive to the grocery store...on my lunch hour...because in the end, there just aren't enough hours in the day! It's why the people at the last stop light before the highway occasionally get a thrill when I'm changing by blouse at a red light between job 1 & job 2. It's why I'm on the phone trying to get my insurance company to pay for my PAP Smear while stirring tuna helper and explaining multiplication tables to an 8 year old. I'm a modern woman and a modern mother. I am efficient, I am capable, I am exhausted. :)

Mr. Wonderful brought up the multitasking a few weeks ago, because I was going down on him in his car while talking to my lawyer about my divorce. There really wasn't much to do on my part, besides the occasional "Uh huh" or "No that's his, not mine". I could hear everything he was saying, my mind and focus were very much on the voice in the mouth was just doing something else...
The other day, I was on the phone talking to Ninja, from a bathroom stall where I was changing into my clothes for Job #2. (Yes ALL I did was change in there!!!)

I recently chatted with Mr. Spanko and Mrs. Spanko, but it was on different tabs and that's something I am pretty good at. I know they share both sides of the conversation with each other, but I sometimes like to fantasize that neither knows I'm talking to the other one. It's kind of cool. Thank God for the popping noise Yahoo makes when your chat buddy types in their reply!!
Before Job #1 cut off all internet access (BASTARDS!!!), I would chat with Mr. Wonderful starting around 615am at Job #1 and then Ninja would come on later and stay on when Mr. Wonderful had signed off, but there was an overlap, and so juggling two chats, while also greeting customers and selling them exercise classes...even I was a little amazed at that.

And once the Anti Christ moves out, it's only going to get worse. While truly evil in many respects, he never went anywhere, so I could leave the kid with him whenever for however long. That's going to change. I'm going to be a single mother. A single mother. Odd phrase. Feels weird.

Also, Ninja and I are going to dinner this Saturday, the first time we've seen each other in 6 weeks or so. So does that mean I'm juggling two relationships on top of everything else? I don't know. All I know is I'm closing my eyes and jumping in, daily planner clenched tightly in my hand!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

37 Hours in Heaven

So how did my mini vacation go? Well, often images can speak volumes! 37 hours of Wonderful. Our previous record was 16 I think. So we ate and we watched a movie and we discussed writing and we had sex. A lot of sex. OH MY GOD!!!!
Not to say we didn't hit a few bumps. He knows about my Labor Day Monogamy Embargo and at times he wanted to treat this as our "Last Hurrah" which it isn't. I mean, it may be but that will be up to him. I never said I was breaking up with him, just that I would be seeing other people as well, selectively. So, okay...there it is. But he would have moments of sadness, as would I. It's very hard when you love someone and there are all these limitations. But I think, for the most part, the entire time went off without a hitch. It was perfect. And, there was spanking. Now, to back track, I have posted a picture of my bruise in the past which was a result of Mr. Wonderful's belt during a fantasy session. I'm sorry, I just don't count that. Not 100% sure why, but I don't. And after that, it was pretty much a general slapping my ass during sex kind of thing and if it got more serious than that, well then it would divert into sex. For the one millionth time, not complaining because the deviation is so good, but I wanted something this time. I wanted him to spank me. Just spank me. So last night, after roughly 25 hours of every conceivable type of sex in every room of his house, he went to get the phone. I put pillows up on his headboard, and when he returned, I took his hand and had him sit there and I kissed him and asked him if he would spank me. He agreed, so I laid across his lap and hugged a pillow. My plan was this, if he wanted up, he was going to have to literally pick me up off him or roll me off or wrestle me off because I was not moving without a fight. This was not going to be prelude to sex. Not this time. And it worked. We talked, we laughed a little, he got some good color and some good sting going and I guess what he gave me must have fell into the same category as what Todd gave me the month before, I guess stress relief, because honestly, I just felt my whole body relax. It was really amazing together time. And while not a prelude to actual intercourse, it turns out there are things you can do TO a woman while she's across your lap...who knew!!?!?!??! :) But I guess what made it so special was it wasn't a fantasy. It wasn't role playing. It was him and it was me and it was just him spanking me. I love the fantasy and the role playing, but sometimes, you just want simple and you just want the guy you love to beat your ass and that's what I got! :)
I wanted to give Mr. Wonderful a shout out for giving me a really magical day and a half. Thank you for loving me, thank you for being kind and generous, thank you for being as amazing out of bed as you are in bed and congratulations on being the first person ever to help me achieve orgasm with their mouth AND the first person to simultaneously spank me and make me cum. While not a hard wired spanko, I knew you had it in you! Whatever happens, I love you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Waxing 101

Well, I did it. I kept the appointment, there was enough (apparently more than I thougth) that was 1/4 inch or more. Some things I learned today:
A bikini wax waxes just the bikini line (two fingers in as Jenny my friendly neighborhood sadist informed me in a very cheery tone)
An extreme bikini wax does the bikini line and what's on top.
Then there's the Brazilian which does it all, and I mean ALL. Yes, I was a little surprised when she told me exactly where she wanted to put hot wax (I mean she hadn't even bought me dinner) but the funny thing is, she said that getting the inside of your rear end waxed was actually the least painful. Um...okay.
She said that many people opted for the extreme bikini because they found the Brazilian to be too much to take their first time out. We agreed that she would being with the basic and we would see where we went. I work with a woman who, no how clearly you ask her a question, she always always stops you and says "Show me...I'm a visual person and I need to see it on the system..." and then she has the answer almost immediately.
I wonder sometimes if I am a verbal person. I seem okay with just about anything, if someone talks me through it and learning new things is really fascinating to me. And Jenny was very good about answering questions, explaining what was happening. There were times that the act of ripping the hair from my body hurt more than others (and she was right about the was the least painful), but all in all, it was not torture.
Jenny was very professional and very thorough. She does a number of things at the facility where I went and said that doing facials was her favorite. (I would say that that goes without saying, considering that she has seen more of me than my gynecologist ever has!). I learned that while they say that Brazilian includes "the back", the actual name for it is a sphynx wax. They use strips of cloth made from poplin to do the ripping. They suggest aloe rather than lotion or cream for aftercare of the injured area. :)
Mr. & Mrs. Spanko and I were debating last night (after some wonderful phone sex) what the waxers reaction would be if I asked her to take a picture after she was done of...her work. Would she shrug and take it because it's something that happens all the time? Or would she be shocked and think I was a freak. So I asked Jenny about it, as more of a hypothetical issue my friends & I had been discussing and assured her I didn't have a camera. She said she had never been asked that and while it would seem a little strange, she probably would not object. (I was able to manage the pictures on my own though). I was sent on my way with instructions for tepid showers and aloe.
So I went and bought myself some Aloe after and what I got was the cooling aloe with menthol. WOW!!! I have no other words to describe this sensation. It was like someone dumped a bucket of ice on my genitals and left it there. Not painful, not uncomfortable, just COLD!!!! And kind of....nice. I may keep putting it on after I shave myself!
Jenny kept telling me to come back in 3-4 weeks and each time it will get easier, although she pointed out that I hadn't seemed to have any problems. I don't know if I'm going back. I know I can't spend that kind of money on waxing on a continuous basis. She advised me, as Mrs. Spanko did, to get a better razor. So we'll see. But it's something I can cross off my list. Something I can say I've done. And I'll admit it looks kind of cool! Still a little sore here and there, but hey, as my mother always said, beauty knows no pain! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Single Life Conundrums

Someone recently asked me if I want to have any more kids. The question was a jarring one, because this is suddenly a relevant question to ask me once more. I’m going to be dating and “Do you want anymore kids?” is a pertinent question that is in no way out of line. I just didn’t think I would have to answer it again. “No, absolutely not,” was always the answer when I was married. We both liked having 1 child. End of story. Now, that story has actually ended and I have to come up with answers for the new questions in the new story.

Another thing I’m going to be navigating is the shaving issue. Apparently the general population wants a woman shaved and smooth. This has not been my experience in the past.. Prior to now, the people I encountered didn’t seem to care so I never took any steps to rectify this. Also, I can count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve worn a bathing suit in the past 10 years and when I did, I was 50 pounds heavier and the bottom part of the 1 piece were shorts, so no…maintenance of overgrowth has not been a priority.

Now, it appears it is going to be. Well I’m nothing if not accommodating. I tried to shave myself a few times. Then Mr. Wonderful attempted to help as well. We both had some limited success and looking back, I blame the razors which were suited just fine for legs and pits, but perhaps not other more challenging areas.

Earlier this week I was instructed by Mr. Spanko (of Mr. & Mrs. Spanko, my new friends I am currently having phone sex with) to shave before our next phone session. And so yesterday I tried. Again, doing the best I could. Last night, Mrs. Spanko gave me advice on the type of razor and shaving cream to use and I was again, instructed to try soon.

Monday night through Wednesday morning, I am going to be spending 38 hours IN A ROW, with Mr. Wonderful. This has never happened, so I thought, why not give him a thrill and get waxed.

I called a beauty salon place near my house and asked them about waxing. I have never been waxed so I got the low down on bikini versus extreme bikini versus Brazilian. Okay I make an appointment and the lady says “We’ll see you then…”

and I say “Do I need to bring anything? Do anything?”

“Just grow out…”

“Grow out?”
“Yeah, the hair needs to be ¼ inch thick…”

Um…okay. Here’s my challenge, I shaved last night and while I truly believe I did a piss poor job, the hair that’s left may well be less than ¼ inch. Do I get a ruler? A teeny, tiny ruler? (Those of you about to email me, offering to come measure…and you KNOW who you are, PUT DOWN THE MOUSE AND STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!!!!)

The lady did offer that if I just came in, the technician would “Give it a look and see what she could do…”

Okay…I guess we’ll see!

Recently I received my performance appraisal at work and 1 thing they talked to me about was my attitude towards learning new things. Apparently I am professional, I am well liked, I am respected and appreciated as a hard worker and valuable member of our team. But when it comes to learning new things, I suck and they said as much. I become snarly and uncooperative is the general consensus. I agreed to work on it because while “Someone should really talk to me about my attitude” is my perfect standard, flirty, smart-ass comeback to my friends and lovers in the spanko world, I resisted the urge to say it to my 61 year old female boss!

Lately I’m realizing that while I may resist those new things (I’m sorry they are super boring and do not relate to my job at all, but I have improved…fear of unemployment has seen to that!!)…there are so many things I’m discovering I have absolutely NO qualms about investigating. I am feeling very adventurous and inquisitive right now. Things I thought would never hold any appeal, I’m suddenly interested in knowing…whether I try them or not may be another issue…or maybe it won’t.

Many attribute this to the final home stretch of the divorce, which is slowly wrapping up and at the same time becoming more contentious and ugly. I know there are those, even aside from Mr. Wonderful, who worry I’m going to jump off the deep end and go nuts but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like I get to open my eyes, I get to see what’s out there, I get to make decisions on what I do and what I learn based on me and only me. That feels nice. Someone please remind me of this as I’m having the hair ripped from the follicles in my body on Sunday! If I’m lucky (and bushy) enough that is...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Random Musings

1) A silent duck. I'll admit I had never heard of a silent duck before. I had never heard of "the bellows" before. I had never heard of "My hand in your pocket". And honestly, someone mentioned fisting to me and I thought of 1 thing, a full on fist inserted...wherever it is that people insert fists. Wikipedia has helped me to see the light on some of this, stating that this is rarely the case. But there is this picture...of what it says is actually the sign for the letter T in American Sign Language...and what struck me is that the notation says the letter T position of fisting became popular in the 90's. How in the hell does someone corroborate that piece of information? So we've got flannel shirts, grunge rock, coffee houses, Seinfeld, Friends and...

"I'll take popular fads of the 90's for 500 Alex!"
"The sexual practice that involves using the American Sign Language sign for the letter T..."
"What is fisting, Alex!!!!"
2) Today is Vinyl Record Day and I was thinking that my generation may be the last generation to remember the sound of a needle on vinyl, that beautiful scratch...and tomorrow is International Left Handers Day. And VERY nice try to my friend who is trying to claim he's ambidextrous in order to score some action tomorrow...VERY nice try.
3) Today I heard "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield. I think I'm going to put that on my list of Great Songs to Have Sex To. I've heard the song like a thousand times, but never realized it until today. It joins the ranks of "Cry to Me" Solomon Burke and "Lovin', Touchin' Squeezin'" by Journey.
4) My daughter's third grade teacher looks 16! It was the most depressing thing EVER! When I am old enough to be my kids teacher's mother, then life has officially decided to bitch slap me. On the plus side, she's REALLY hot so parent-teacher conferences will be MUCH more interesting.
5) Ninja says he's making me a paddle. We've been debating wood and I found this great website
which lists A LOT of characteristics of A LOT of wood. It's actually very interesting to read about all this different wood. I was very excited at the prospect of having a paddle made out of "European Hornbeam" but he said that his fairly rural area of the Midwest does not have a great supply of Eurpoean Hornbeam! So now, it's down to Poplar or Red Oak. We'll see.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shifting Sands of Monogamy

You know like The Temple of Doom? :) Wait that sounds wrong...
So I made a commitment to physical monogamy until Labor Day. Why? Many reasons, I guess. But I guess I am thinking now about the idea that I'm giving up monogamy more than the fact that I vowed it.
I don't know that I've ever been a truly monogamous person. I began an affair with A., a woman I worked with, just after I got married to the AntiChrist. (Then he was merely in the early stages of evil). While I loved him and was committed to our life together, but felt this urge, this desire, I felt myself drawn to this other person and I acted on it. That was my last dalliance until things went way down hill years later and the marriage was essentially over. But even in the interim years, I always felt like the idea of an open marriage is not something I would have objected to. It just never came up.

I don't know now what I think about it. I know I always felt like I was happily monogamous to Mr. Wonderful for most of the past 6 months, but there have been different people who've come along. A man who was looking for someone to dominate him. We met once, we had coffee, we kissed three times and we parted. Honestly, I often searched for reasons why I met him, and at the time what I came up with was that meeting someone else made me remember what kind of a situation I was in. No matter how much I have fooled myself, Mr. Wonderful & I were not destined to be together long term. Sometimes it felt like meeting people became a way to see if I could break his "spell" on me.
And this is not to say that I am meeting people or moving beyond friendly correspondence indiscriminately. I am meeting with people (the few I have) because I feel a connection on some level, because they appeal to me and I appeal to them and we are interested in exploring that. But so far, aside from three brief kisses and very chaste, friendly hugs with others, I have not touched anyone.

This has been a big topic recently. Mainly because what I have told him is that given the chance, I will stay with him. I will stay and I will kill myself to be the answer to every desire he's ever had because if I work just a little harder and fuck him a little better, he'll choose to stay with me. Yes, you are witnessing a woman who thinks she can change a man! No, please don't clutch your chest in shock! :)
But it's what I did for 13 years in my marriage and it's what I would do here in an instant, if I close my eyes to my past for 1 second. I have to forever remember where I've been so I NEVER go back again. As previously stated in the aforementioned post (WOW! Who reads contracts all day for a living?!??!?) it's a sad situation.

And while he may not have been up on the theories and reasons behind my Labor Day plan before, Mr. Wonderful has been sensing that things have shifted. Things are different. They are still wonderful on a million different levels, just this ever so slight shift. Because now there is a future. My future...whatever I choose to make that. Mr. Wonderful and the AntiChrist could not be more different. Mr. Wonderful treats me like I am so special and so beautiful and so sexual and smart and I'm just not used to that! It's amazing and it makes me ache it's so beautiful. But at the same time, there's a common denominator between them and that is that something is missing from these relationships. Something endeavors to make sure I'm just this side of happy. I know that no one is happy all the time. I get it. But there are dead ends in both these situations. I pointed out to him that I will beat myself against the wall at the end of this dead end street until I am useless to anyone and have to leave in order to survive.

B. thinks if Mr. W showed up tomorrow, ready to be with me and only me, I would freak out or at the very least, be disappointed that I didn't get to experience being single. I can't say that is true or false. If I got that with Mr. W. would I be monogamous? Would I tell him, "Yes, you and only you?" I thought I would. Maybe I would. But it's a big world with a lot of fun people who can make me laugh. I've got a really cool guy discussing wood types with me so he can make me a paddle...I've got new phone sex partners...and while I feel a true connection to these new people, I've probably sought these out, at least initially, because I knew Mr. Wonderful, while a permanent fixture and I can't stop that and I don't want to stop that, while a person I love more than anyone I think I've loved before, is not going to be my exclusive, monogamous Mr. Wonderful forever.

And maybe the universe is okay with that. And once I push through the sadness, I'll be okay with it too. I can't tell anyone where I'll be in 10 minutes, much less a year or 5 years from now. And yes I will be sad after Labor Day, but it seems like that date is coming to me in an organic flow. Another shift. AC will have moved out and I can move forward with Mr. Wonderful by my side in some capacity and (SAFELY!!!) see what's out there.
I'm actually proud of myself for seeing the shift and going with it. Rather than spending more than a decade of angst filled resentment trying to change it and mold it into what I thought it needed to be.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I was looking over some posts today and it caught my eye that I mentioned that while Todd was spanking me but also holding me in a certain manner, that I felt very safe. And then I started thinking how many times I had written the word safe on this blog and how safety and security are things I feel like I'm constantly seeking. And one thing I love to do is look up the "official" definition of words when they are floating in my mind. Safe: Free from hurt, injury danger or risk. Safe: dependable or trustworthy. I guess most of this springs from Mr. Wonderful's extreme paranoia that I am not being safe. I scare him is his newest catch phrase. He thinks I'm taking too many risks when I agree to meet someone in person after I've met them on the internet.
When I try to defend my position, I think I probably appear like a petulant teenager who thinks nothing bad will ever happen and the grown ups are all overreacting and trying to ruin my fun and nothing could be further from the truth. I am a very responsible and cautious person. I am a parent and nothing is more important to me than that. When I meet someone in person that I have met on the internet, (and by the way, that's maybe 5 total people INCLUDING Mr. Wonderful), I have taken a lot of precautions including making sure that B. knows exactly where I am, phone numbers, locations, etc. Now, is all this a 100% guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen? Of course not. But no one can guarantee me that if I'm sitting in my house, it won't one day catch on fire and kill me. I point out that the BTK killer was an elder in his church and Scott & Lacy Peterson did not meet on the internet. Date rape and murder have been around A LOT longer than the internet and I could meet someone on the internet and end up married for the rest of my life or meet someone in a library or a church and end up in a dumpster. There are no guarantees in life and there is only so much we can do.
That being said, I sometimes wonder more about emotional safety, because the ironic thing is that the people I've met on the internet and then physically met have all been wonderful people. They have all been warm and kind and my life is enriched through knowing them. The people who gave birth to me, the person who vowed to honor and cherish me, various "friends", these are the people who hurt me. These are the people who damaged me. These are the people who criticize and insult and verbally and mentally abuse me. The safe people have done the most damage. So I find it ironic that no one has ever said to me "Be careful and take every precaution..." when dealing with family or spouses...loved ones. I wasn't safe growing up, I was lulled into believing I was safe when I fell in love and got married...I wasn't.
Maybe it's not safety I'm looking for. Maybe free from hurt, injury, danger and risk doesn't exist. Reliable and dependable may not exist either. So if they don't, then what am I looking for?
We went to a writing seminar over the weekend and were told to write down our favorite song, our favorite literary characters, etc. and I noticed every choice I made was sad. I'm drawn to the sad. Parts of me are always a little sad. I always credit Mr. Wonderful with healing me and on so many levels he did...he made me realize that I deserved to be treated decently and that there were people out there who would, that I had something to offer, that I was not a laundry list of faults and defects I had been labeled with for 30 years. That doesn't make our realtionship any less sad. Our situation is sad. It will end sadly. He makes me very happy and very sad and that is what I had to accept and knew all along but knowing only alleviates his guilt when it's over, because I've been promised nothing. He has said all along, there's a price to pay and I'm the one paying it. Yet it's the people on the internet I'm warned against...
At this same workshop, it asked what is the one thing you want. I wrote peace. Peace: A state of tranquility or serenity. That sounds closer to the truth. I try hard not to be overdramatic, but I feel truly that there will never be a time that there won't be a small part of me that is sad. Too much has happened over the last 40 years and there are just things that are what they are. But a state of tranquility and serenity. That feels like it might be attainable. That feels like something to work towards. Get rid of the negative energy. Get rid of the voices. I can't get rid of the memories but I can work towards sucking them dry of all the power they hold over me. I can make the effort to surround myself with people and experiences and situations that allow me to work towards becoming more tranquil and serene and happier. What could be safer than that?