Anonymous: What’s Wrong With the World Today

(No, I am not talking about the group “Anonymous.” I figure it’s worth clarifying to keep a hit off my blog.)

The internet was intended to help us to reach out to each other, to be able to access information quickly and effectively, to connect the dots between all corners of the globe. Sounds peachy, right? Seems like humanity would leap at the opportunity to hear and love one another no matter where they are, right?

Wrong.

I won’t say that no one uses it for the aforementioned reasons; in fact, many of us do. However, there is a certain amount of anonymity that allows us to be, for lack of better phrasing, complete and utter shitheads to each other with little to no recourse. For whatever reason, people seem to think that if they cannot be identified, they can say what they want, and the worst that happens is they ruin someone’s day—or self esteem, hope, faith, love, perspective, etc, etc, etc. That’s what pains me. We have enough religious, political, anti-religious, sexist, and racist propaganda running rampant in the world today without people using their right to remain anonymous as a weapon. Centuries ago, anonymous writers, and those who assumed a covert pen name, did so to protect their opinion and identity. Women used men’s names to conceal their identities to avoid being judged for their sex and give their writing a fair shot in a market deemed inappropriate for them. People have submitted anonymous texts from essays to stories and poetry to put their views out for the general public without having to worry about who may find out they have this specific belief or thought.

These people were not “trolling” each other.

With everything going mad in society today, that’s the last thing we should be doing to each other. Knowing that your IP address is being logged no matter where you are, that you can be tracked down by any decent hacker or person with a Computer Science degree, shouldn’t you be using your power as an anonymous writer to do more than tear someone else down? Knowing that there are much bigger problems in the world, why on earth would you use that power for anything less than the greater good?

We don’t think about these things because we’re a one-track-minded society. “I’m going to get mine,” we say. “I’m going to get my propaganda out there, sell out to a bigger machine, and hide behind its stature because I have to look out for me, and I don’t care who I take down in the process.” This isn’t even human. It’s primal, it’s instinctive, yes…but whose purpose are you serving when you bash someone for having an opinion or a feeling that you may or may not care about? No one’s. You are serving no purpose and no person by acting in this manner. You are a detriment to society, a detriment to brotherhood, and you are hindering the spread of love and positive energy.

I’m not sure where this generation went to hell in a hand basket, but the fix has a fairly simple start: “If you don’t have anything nice to say; don’t say anything at all.” I’m fairly certain your mother told you that a few times when you were growing up; I know mine did. There’s a big lack of love and respect among people as a whole. It’s unfair, and it’s our fault. The only people who can fix it aren’t sitting in political office; they’re people like me, like you, your best friend, mother, neighbor, etc. We have got to take it back before the naysayers and “trolls” take it from us. They’ve already got a head start; how long will we wait? How much bullying will it take?


Kortney Marie

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Ch-Ch-Changes

I feel like I’ve neglected this sucker a LOT lately.  (Okay, I totally have.)

I’ve been in the midst of more change.  With school getting put off until next semester, a recent change in diet (which we’ll touch on later), and settling into a new job while still looking for one I truly want, it’s safe to say I’ve just been tapped out.  I’ve also been squeezing in that whole end of summer bit where you spend as much time with friends at possible since autumn, with her array of colors, always brings an especially busy bout of changes for everyone.  This is not to say that I haven’t been writing or creating.  On the contrary, I have written much to cope with various events, but none of it is anything I would post here.  It feels too personal.  Some would say that means it should be posted, but I disagree.  These more personal thoughts and projects aren’t for a blog right now; maybe a song, later, or a blog in the future…but not here and not right now.  There’s a lot of positive, happy stuff going on, and there’s a lot I want to share.

Knitting has become my favorite creative outlet lately.  I get to play with colors using a repetitive needle pattern that resembles painting but isn’t (which is good because I can neither paint nor draw to save my life).  I’ve made multiple dice bags, a couple of larger bags, and a baby blanket over the summer.  The baby blanket is a particular source of pride as it was designed to be old-school Princess Peach.  The best thing about knitting is that I don’t have to have words or a melody ready to create something, and as much as I love to write and sing, it’s nice to have a hobby that doesn’t require me to switch on the verbal creation immediately and fully.  I’m really excited to special order yarn for my next two baby blankets which will be R2D2 and Link from Legend of Zelda.  Two very special ladies in my life are expecting, and I cannot wait to meet the newest additions to their families.  ❤

Cooking has become more than a hobby; it is a necessity.
I was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in late 2006.  This means that my body produces excess levels of androgenic hormones, resulting in irregular periods derived from a lack of ovulation and, in my case but not all, multiple cysts on my ovaries.  (I have been very open about this, so for those of you who do know, I apologize for repeating myself.  I feel like it’s something I need to be more pro-active about because I know that this particular dilemma affects many women other than myself.)  Yes, that’s a lot of information to share so openly, but it’s something that I have struggled with for all of my adolescent and adult life.  Even after being diagnosed, it’s taken me many years to figure out how to handle it because there is no research that shows the exact cause of the disorder, though it’s fairly certain that it is genetic.  It is painful, and the side-effects range from acne and hirsutism to insulin resistance to blood-pressure and heart problems.  The symptoms vary from person to person, but it’s hard to live with regardless.  The most difficult for many is infertility.  It’s not impossible, but I’ve recently learned that I come from a long line of great-aunts and great-great-aunts and so on who were unable to bear children despite their efforts.  Luckily, I am one of those people who is absolutely fine with never having children of my own, determined to be “Cool Aunt Koko” forever to my blood and adopted nieces and nephews.  But for some, it’s heartbreaking.  And then there are the adolescent girls, like I was, who don’t know who to turn to or how to communicate that something is very wrong with their bodies, which further exacerbates the problems.  Regardless of age, I feel for these women…and I feel like it’s my responsibility to share my experiments, successes and failures more openly so that ladies of all ages have access to it.  We’re supposed to support and love one another, right?  And if there’s a possibility that my suffering and sharing will reach and help even one other person, maybe save them time and frustration, then it’s worth it.

I know, I know:  What does this have to do with cooking being a necessity and not a hobby?
I’ve read some research recently that cites PCOS as a possible symptom of gluten sensitivity or intolerance.  Everyone keeps going on and on about “going Paleo” and how the Paleolithic diet has done wonders for them.  One lady in particular explained to my boyfriend that her “almost Paleo” diet paired with exercise and the correct birth control pill made her PCOS more than tolerable; it actually leveled her out almost completely.  My weight has been a concern, and I know that diet is just as crucial as exercise to overcoming it and keeping it off.  I also know that women with PCOS face greater difficulties losing weight but find it very easy to gain.  So I did my homework, read up on the theory and supporting evidence that following a diet closer to what our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic era can encourage the body to burn fat stores and get us back in touch with our roots, etc etc etc.  At the end of the day, I am not willing to give up dairy, sugar, potatoes, salt, or legumes (among other things).  I believe that in proper moderation, none of those things are actually bad for you.  I read on, and I read…and I read some more before I happened on a few articles that site many of my troubles, from the acne to the mood swings to anovulation and even PCOS as a result of a gluten allergy.  I would like to state now that I am not a doctor, and I have not been to a doctor for a specific diagnosis of gluten sensitivity…but in the few weeks that I have been eating gluten-free, I have felt better than I have in a very, very long time.  (And when I eat something as simple as a cookie, I become violently ill.  The more time I put between ingesting gluten, the more noticeable it is when I do.)  From being more energized to fewer mood swings, everything from waking up to my sleep cycle has improved, and while it means a lot more time in my kitchen because it restricts what I can eat, it is worth every second and cent I put into it.

I have a few posts coming up that will be full of gluten-free recipes that are also simply delicious.  I refuse to believe I can’t have pie, cake, or cookies again.  Just like I refuse to believe I won’t indulge in fried chicken or breakfast cereal again.  It just takes a different approach and means making things from scratch.  So far, I have made raspberry-peach cheesecake with an almond crust, remixed broccoli rice casserole, fried chicken, apple crumble, homemade granola (a total accident), burgers so juicy and flavorful that you don’t miss the bun, and many, many other things.  What my boyfriend and I are finding as we embark on this journey together is that all this cooking ends up tasting better than eating out anyway, with the exception of things like sushi.  We save money, eat healthier, and have a lot more fun…and I would like to start passing that fun on to you, whether you need to scrap the gluten or not.

Moving forward, here is what you can expect here:
Gluten-free recipes that rock your face off.
Some personal anecdotes about my transition to eating completely gluten-free.
The usual poetry and prose.
A short story I have in the works.
And we’ll get back to music reviews…because I miss those a lot.
Pictures and progress updates on various knitting and jewelry projects.

Basically, this blog will be a catch-all for all of my interests rather than just for this or that, and I am very excited.


kortney.marie

Polyamory: Like anything, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.

Oh, polyamory. 

Sure, it is a lovely notion, that romantic love could be spread between multiple people equally and without compromising what you’ve expressed or given to anyone at any prior point.  Being the open-minded and free-spirited type of person that I am, polyamory appealed to me.  I had believed in it much like Christians believe in and cling to their notions of God…but like my own endeavors with religion, it was an attempt at shoe-horning myself into a spot I didn’t belong in.  I didn’t belong in it for the sake of anyone else; I really just didn’t know how to evenly spread my love like jam on toast.  I didn’t know how to silence my jealousy.  I didn’t know how to share without pouting in a corner, and I didn’t know how to spend intimate time with someone other than the one person I’d invested x amount of time into without a barrage of guilt and shame clamoring in the back of my mind.  My whole life I had searched for just one person I could share my heart and soul with, not a few or several, and certainly not any that I had to compete with.  I am not one of those monogamous types who will say that it’s unnatural or dishonest.  On the contrary, I believe that a polyamorous lifestyle can be beautiful, fulfilling, and very successful…for the right people under the right circumstances.  I have often defended the people I know who have found the peace and joy they deserve under such arrangements, and I have read many books and personal accounts of why it all works the way that it does.  For any of us to say that one way or the other is the “one true way,” the only way to love, is wrong.  You’re not me, and I’m not you.  Naturally, we are going to have different needs, perspectives, and opinions if for no other reason than we have different DNA defining us.  What is to follow is my personal experience, nothing more and nothing less.  It is not meant to invalidate, degrade, or otherwise insult the life choices of others; it’s just how I know polyamory is not meant for someone like me and how finding the right person to invest my time and energy into made all the difference in the world. 

“You were my best friend.  We’ve been through much together.” 

I had these friends, this lovely couple I admired for their perseverance, quirks, and devotion to each other.  I met them when I moved to New Orleans in 2006, and they were a centrifugal part of my late teen years all the way up to my mid-twenties.  For the sake of identity, we’ll use the names John and Jane.  Jane and I were instant rivals—both writers, both musicians, both take-life-by-the-balls-and-bend-it-to-my-will type ladies.  We had a lot in common, but the spirit of competition was enough to keep us from being close friends, though we both tried for John’s sake.  Our astrological signs clashed as well; she was the proud and brave lion, and I am the dreamy and intuitive fish.  Fire and water don’t mix very well.  To this day, I admire her very much, and a large part of why this story ends the way it does is out of respect for her. 

John and I probably shouldn’t have ever met.  There was an instantaneous attraction neither of us could fully comprehend, and over the years, we would make a right mess of all things related to love—platonic and romantic.  He quickly became my best friend in a blurred montage of drunken gatherings, weekly “dates” in which we ran around the city or cuddled at home while listening to music, and a mess of text conversations.  That Jane’s jealousy was roused to a point that she felt a need to call me out seemed off-base at the time, but looking back, it was properly placed even if it was approached the wrong way.  John and I had everything in common—rough childhoods, previous difficulties with cutting and suicidal thoughts, nightmares that robbed us of sleep, taste in music, creative minds, and oh-so-much love.  I left New Orleans in November 2007, and it would take months for us to actually talk again.  I would later find out that he was furious I hadn’t taken him up on his offer to stay in their spare room, but even then, I knew it could be a disaster.  Not wanting to wreck a home, I returned to Dallas with a heavy heart. 

The years came and went in a haze of lesser men, dumber women, clubs, alcohol, escapism, filthy pictures, and even an adventure to California.  Day in and day out, the texts and emails kept coming.  Every move I made, every thought he thought, every wish either of us had.  Looking back, obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover our fixation on each other.  Any guy or gal I might connect with was instantly aware of my “best friend,” and most of them would be put off by the obvious fact that I was in love with him.  I never meant for it to be that way.  My original intentions were to keep it platonic, simple…but the heart wants what the heart wants, and anyone who has been there knows that there’s no stopping that avalanche even if you try.  Over time, difficulties would crop up in their relationship, and I was the friend who heard his side of each story then became “the other woman” over a distance.  If I was going out, he’d request pictures.  I’d gladly oblige, and eventually, I’d come home alone just to call him up, and the phone sex we’d have was hotter than anything I had experienced at that point in my life.  This would continue.  He made me feel beautiful and worthy, and I was, in fact, a lonely, sad girl with very little self-esteem.  For a time, it seemed as though he was just waiting for the appropriate time to leave Jane so that we could, at last, be together.  Just us.  This, of course, never happened.  John and Jane even came to visit on my birthday one year.  We were having a lovely night until it turned into a couple-swap with my now ex-boyfriend.  Guilt, shame, blame…That’s all we had for each other for the longest time.  I tried to spell out what everyone else was too scared to say and found myself shunned, omitted from all communications for a year or so.   

When we resumed communication, it was revealed that John was in love with me.  But it wasn’t that he was ready to leave Jane, who he’d been with for nearly a decade.  It wasn’t that he was willing to cut me loose, either.  The way he saw it, the three of us could make a pretty phenomenal triad.  I was inclined to agree, especially since I had been on my own hunt for answers about polyamorous relationships.  I had met a mentor who would make polyamory seem tangible and set me off on a journey to make my own decisions.  I admired the level of trust and respect such an arrangement required, similar to the trust and respect needed to make any D/s relationship successful.  At its core, it was something I could agree with.  By the time John and I were addressing this, I had read Sex at Dawn and the Ethical Slut, spoken with many people on the idea of polyamory, spoken with many more about monogamy.  I was (and remain) decidedly bisexual.  A scenario in which I have a lover of each gender was too delightful to pass up.  I was going to have my cake and eat it too.  I was so happy I couldn’t see straight…but I had to mend the damage done to my relationship with Jane, damage only made worse by the fact that we hadn’t talked at all after that one night.  What I didn’t know was that the damage I was trying to mend wasn’t actually damage I’d done.  I went to visit last October, endured her poor hospitality and bad moods, personal attacks and defense mechanisms to “prove” to both of them that I was worthy of their circle, deserving of their love, a valid and good part of their family. 

The problem with that is that I set out to “prove” myself to people who supposedly loved me.  The bigger problem was that when John drove up to Dallas and spent the night with me before the drive back to New Orleans, we gave in to years of sexual tension.  I wouldn’t trade that night for anything because it was so very beautiful, but for something that was supposed to be alright, Jane was certainly not stepping down on her text and phone call check-ins.  If I had known what they had actually discussed instead of what John told me to put my mind at ease, I could have unraveled the whirlwind of emotions bubbling under the surface a lot faster.  They agreed that polyamory was possible, that you could love more than one person.  It’s even possible that he’d been honest about his intentions with me, but Jane had set her guard against me a very long time ago because he spent so much time communicating with me and romanticizing the possibilities.  Simple fact is, he wasn’t given clearance to make love to me under my roof or his own.  We acted on it, and he told me it wasn’t the right time to tell Jane, that we would in time, but she was having enough trouble trusting either of us without knowledge of our carnal acts.  My understanding of polyamory at the time was that any endeavor, sexual or not, was not to be undertaken with another person without addressing it with one’s primary partner(s) first.  Rule number one had been broken, and that is the point of no return. 

I don’t know if the truth ever got back to Jane, but after a couple of months of realizing how lonely it can be when you’re trying to sustain romance over a distance (with the knowledge that I was alone while they had each other), I sent a rather forcefully worded email to end the whole affair.  He was angry with me for a post I had made on Facebook, of all things, and I’d had enough of hiding in the shadows.  If the love we made and shared was never to be spoken of, what was the point of harboring that love between us?  If he truly felt we were meant to be, why would he continue to stand by someone who just wanted me gone?  Over six years had been invested, unconditionally listening, supporting, and accepting…and for all my time and effort, I was shoved into a box and locked away anytime someone else might have overheard or seen us. 

“Am I not enough?  Am I so dull that the affections I deserve must be shared with others?”  

These are the words I found myself saying in that first meeting; some of you might call it a date.  The stage had been set, and all we had to do was step into those blinding lights together.  Time would take care of the rest.  But that first night?  I was nervous, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We got on well enough digitally, but I had reason to doubt it would carry over in person.  The chemistry and common ground were too good to be true.  Since ninety percent of my relationship with John had been digital, I had ample reason to fear that this was a facade or that some ugly secret was hiding behind all of that awesome.  The first hug would silence my doubt; the first kiss would still my breath; and that first admission of inadequacy, or fear of such, would bond us despite my initial resistance. 

At the time, I was still wrapped up in the notion that polyamory was the way to go, ultimately confused as to how one person could meet me on all my levels or how I could provide the same.  Moreover, the desire for more kink and specifically a D/s understanding could have put a wedge between us.  I was ending a lengthy boycott of all things BDSM, and he was on the verge of beginning the same sort of hiatus.  Our decision to be an official, exclusive couple came quickly to the outward eye but was not made without detailed discussions about what we felt was important, as individuals as well as a couple.  We decided to be monogamous when the time came, accepting the possibility of purely sexual encounters in a very distant future, if ever.  We were more than enough for each other, and we’d seen our share of pain prior to happening on each other. 

This is the first time I have ever felt safe and free, loved and appreciated just for being who I am.  The bond we have, the love we share, the support and inspiration that come in return…it’s all unlike anything I have ever felt or known before, above and beyond anything I may have dreamed up.  When he’s near, I am invincible, and every day I am closer to the best version of myself that I can be.  The irony here is that my jealousy and insecurity are non-issues now.  That is how I know I just wasn’t invested in the right people for my situation, character, or needs. 

“You should never have to try to prove yourself to someone who loves you.” 

These are the words my lover/Dom/muse gave me to put it all in perspective.  At the time, he was speaking as a friend more than anything, but it rang true.  The whole crux of the situation with John and Jane was that they felt they had nothing to prove but held me accountable for issues wholly unrelated to me.  Too often, troubled couples will run to polyamory or an open relationship to try to “save” their commitment to each other.  In these scenarios, hostility and blame are projected onto outside parties.  Or the interactions run rampant with dishonesty, leaving the third parties on uneven playing ground, crippled by another’s inability to communicate.  They feel they now have something to prove because of the guilt they’re carrying…and all of that goes right back to the core couple who can’t accept and forgive each other. 

Newsflash:  If you can’t accept, forgive, and talk to the FIRST person on your docket of lovers, you cannot do it for the second or eighth or twentieth.  All you’re doing is spreading your hurt around, and no one actually deserves that.   

Love who you choose and as you choose.  Don’t use it as a weapon. 

-Kortney Marie

This Time, It’s Different (2013)

The Liar
The Cheater
The Manipulator
The Narcissist
The Inconsiderate Prick
The Abusive Misogynist
I’ve had them all.

Each left me wanton, craving something genuine or at least reciprocal.  With each heartbreak, that special someone became more a mystical being found only in dreams.  (It’s no wonder I’ve spent so much time asleep.)  I set up camp in the ethereal recesses of my mind, wishing and hoping for a dream to manifest and damn itself into reality.  I learned what it means to be lonely, what it means to be independent, what it means to be free.  I’m well versed in the use of substance as a cure-all, and I’m acutely aware that no substance will quell the empty ache associated with the want for love, the desire to give yourself over to another as an act of trust and respect.  

I waited.  I dreamed.  I hoped.  I persevered.

Eventually, I would find a love beyond my wildest dreams.

Now, my nervousness is merely a knee-jerk reaction brought on by a sordid past, and each day, it’s a habit I find a little easier to break.  I don’t second-guess his intentions or my own.  I don’t have to compete with a myriad of outer distractions for the affection I’ve craved for so long, and I am not chastised for displaying and returning the same affection in the manners that I choose to.  Giddy school-girl excitement replaces the loathing and frustration I felt in my existence.  I’m no longer hollow, not teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown.  It’s an understanding that could remain unspoken as it’s written in our eyes and as simple as a finger tracing over a palm.  It’s soft kisses on my shoulder, a laugh shared by sunrise, dreams big enough to challenge and change fate.  It’s love made in ways I never thought possible, butterflies I can finally force into formation, time to miss each other, and the knowledge that we have so very much to live together.

This time, it’s love as it was meant to be.

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