Love Me, Mean It

Ever know one of those annoying people who won’t shut the fuck up their birthday? Well, now you do.

Cause I love me some me – especially when it’s my time to shine, celebrating the day I graced Earth with my presence. Candles, crowns and a crowd have always accompanied my birthday.

I think far too many folks don’t celebrate themselves to the fullest and that’s a goddamn shame. Shouldn’t we live every day like it’s our birthday? Show ourselves the same self love we celebrate on our day of birth because as my Gma Morris always said, “another birthday is better than the alternative.”

I’ve always loved my fucking birthday. Maybe it was because when I was growing up, parties felt epic because living in small Iowa town, all of the kids from class were invited.

Maybe it was because I share a birthday with my cousin B (LUCKY HIM) and we always got together to celebrate and that meant two parties for me – one with friends, one with fam. He’s the thrilled kid on the left of the pic below.

Either way, I lived to par-tay and last year, Rona really fucked that shit up.

But this year? Oh hell to THA NO. This year my birthday month was going to be honored and acknowledged by yours truly every.single.day of March. Of course, I had some help.

Why thank you, however did you know? Maybe me announcing it daily on IG stories?

The champs popped March 1, 2021.

Why wait for just one day to celebrate?

As a visual reminder, I wore a headpiece or birthday crown daily for all to see.

Cheers to meeeeeeee!

While talking about my second birthday in Rona non-stop, I preemptively took the day off of work in honor to appropriately concentrate on the very important task of celebrating me.

And in case I forgot, I got reminded. (My gawd I have fabulous friends).

When the actual day arrived, I made use of my made just for me booze holder that reads “Happy 2nd Covid Birthday” and filled that sucker up with a Skinny Pirate.

Then I hopped back in bed with Prissy and The Pussy Posse to do whatever the fuck I wanted. To start, I read every single text, social media posts about my birthday and direct messages. Please exit this post immediately if

A) You do not like me.

B) You do not like reading gushingly love filled messages to me that I am going to unabashedly share.

Consider yourself warned.

One woman we have to thank for my love of celebrating every.fucking.thing is Mama CBXB who chose the most appropriate photo to commence the day (and goes to show that I’ve been authentic since birth).

Cutest little faces with well wishes!

After feeling all of the love, I worked out with my fave trainer I found on Instagram last year during the pandemic. She runs the Body By Trainor Experience (@bodybytrainor) and posts workouts daily on her IG page for free. The heart pumping, along with the fact that we are long lost twins, accompanied by the virtual friendships culminated through this community has made me one motherfucking lucky gal.

I even had a workout named after me – HEYOH!

While I didn’t make the 6am live workout, I enjoyed doing it at my leisure along with Hot Mama and Bella in Chicago, and my fave Beast from Canada.

If you had told me a year ago that I would have an assortment of weights that I used almost daily, I would have laughed masklessly in your face. This year, I am clean pressing 20lbs! What? What?

These weights were gifted to me throughout the year by fellow group members. I was using wine bottles and cat litter prior to graduating to real weights.

One friend sent quite a fabulous workout outfit but in lieu of sweating in it, I decided to celebrate in it.

I’m not at a point where I’m ready to go midriff baring however, one’s birthday in isolation is a different story and after I put “It’s My Fucking Birthday” sash on, I threw caution to the wind.

One thing I did not count on was a delivery needing signature. I was back brushing my pearly whites when the knocking didn’t cease on the Mini Manse door.

Pretty sure no one was going to be able to look past my homegrown Rapegate boobs.

Oh hello Dizly delivery from my bestie M.Star. I put this to use the moment the ogling delivery dude left (I hated no moments of it).

Now an annual celebratory must.

Spoke to friends who I’ve only “met” virtually in Canada, North Caroline and Chicago!

Got to talk to my great aunt Marge who puts us all to shame in the game of celebrating. I remember my first time drinking with her, she brought a bottle of champs to Christmas and said soon after, “Did I drink all of that? Who can we prank call?”

Soon after, I enjoyed the rest of my evening on the phone chatting with friends and family while mauling Prissy and the Pussy Posse.

The following day was Friday and it was gonna be my first time back at the watering hole that holds half of my heart.

Birthday gift cards are the best!

Last year was the first birthday I didn’t spend at Dalts since moving to Nashville due to that cunt Rona. So while this year was still tame due to restrictions, I got to go to the bar, see my fave libations pourer, Marja and par-tay with my closest regulars I hadn’t seen in a year.

Skinny Pirate #1.

My lovely Strawberry Blonde met me and stayed sober while I accepted gifted drinks from other patrons at the bar.

A forced photoshoot is never a surprise when you’re with me, either.

1,765,812 more candid photos follow this one, naturally.

I mean, who doesn’t wear a full length pink and gold sequin cape casually?

As you can imagine, my quiet, quiet voice, my very subtle outfit and me shouting every time someone walked by “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” drew a teeny tiny bit of attention. Unbeknownst to Strawberry Blonde and myself, a fellow customer quietly paid my our tab. We didn’t know it until the end of our eight hour stay but she’d said “I love seeing women celebrating themselves.”

My Sugar Mama requested a photo before she left and prior to my knowledge of her picking up what wasn’t a cheap tab. It was so fucking nice. Like, beyond.

Strawberry Blonde awarded me with a trophy that said “Congrats on Adulting” and I tell you what, we all deserve goddamn prizes for trudging through the last fucking year however we saw fit. This will be the one and only time I throw my weight behind “participation” trophies for all.

The rest of my birthday weekend was spent in bed with The Pussy Posse, Prissy and pizza.

I can’t muster one complaint about celebrating my face off for 31 days. The accessories. The brazen daily announcements regarding me. me. me. all month long on Instagram. The outfit that dared me to bare my belly that’s not quite ready for bikini season yet. The reminder that I excel in the art of not giving a fuck.

So here’s to celebrating you, me and our ability to *almost* emerge shitshow after shitshow of 2020 to a newish norm. Just beware you may wake up looking like this the 32nd morning of your birthday shenanigans.

And it was worth every fucking second.

Cheers to us.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

BUY ME A DRINK!

International Day of the Badass

* TRIGGER/SEXUAL ASSAULT CONTENT WARNING *

Today marks the five year anniversary of being raped – my rapeversary if you will. Last year was the first time since January 29, 2016 that I felt even a sliver of my “old” self on this day. I declared the 29th day of this month the official International Day of the Badass, making all things related to rape and the aftermath of trauma my bitches. No apologies. Sorry not sorry.

Always and forfuckingever nasty.

I was feeling really fucking fabulous. Seeing the world through my pre-Rapegate rose colored glasses again and ready to celebrate any and everything but most specifically, honor all things ME. This motherfucking badass bitch was back.

And then, that cunt Rona showed her ugly face a little more than a month later and my entire world (along with the rest of the global population) went to shit a matter of days.

Who the fuck invited you here?

My trauma ticks (as I call them) that I worked so fucking hard to kick in four years of therapy cropped up whenever the fuck they felt it inconvenient. Stuttering, leg and foot bouncing, incessant itching at imaginary hot spots on my skin, stress induced cortisol dumping into my system, insomnia, the severity of my anxiety was back at its skyscraper height and my stomach hurt 24/7 with a deep side of sciatica (a new place my stress manifests itself in my bod).

Fun self inflicted times on my wrist, inner arm and ankle.

Feeling these regressions bubbling up sent me on a downward spiral so fucking fast, I was constantly treading water that was circling the drain. For me, it’s been the hardest part of Rona because I was JUST feeling foxy again, ready to strut my stilettos and resurfaced sassiness all over the pace. I hate the feeling of going backward (but who loves it unless we’re talking about aging?) and the grief attached to my trauma ticks, along with being isolated when I was ready to mingle with the world again about did me in.

Thank fuck for emotional support animals.

I had a four year out-of-body experience where I had to mourn the loss of my pre-rape life, the death of myself as I knew me –  as well as construct my resurrection. I’d trudged my way through an avalanche of the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But Rona took me straight back from a happier place of acceptance to the prior four stages any time she felt like fucking with me.

I think I chose my closet as my panic attack recovery space in 2016 because it’s small and sparkly for comfort.

Then, I was reminded that grief (and all of the shit that comes along with it) isn’t linear. 

Queen of the pivot turn.

I gave myself grace (or at least tried – still trying) and remembered Superhero Sheila’s sound advice. If you wouldn’t say it to one of the twins (that woman goes right for the dagger when she needs it), don’t say it to yourself.

It’s like Superhero Sheila is good at her job or something.

So I got my self talk back on some semblance of a cordial track and proceeded to make my way through the additional perils that 20fucking20 threw at every single citizen of the world in its own unique, shitty way.

I choose to wear sunglasses and fancy headpieces to cope.

But even as I try to forge ahead on this International Day of the Badass, my body and mind are constant companions leading up to this dreaded fucking day, kicking my PTSD into the highest of all gears. I wish there was a WD-40 for the bones because the worst is being in your body, not able to control it.

All because one thousand, eight hundred and twenty five days ago, I was raped by my best friend’s boyfriend while I slept on her couch, in her 600 square foot apartment after a wine and cryfest, grieving the sudden death of a young friend. I woke up to her boyfriend of five weeks on top of me, pajama pants at my knees, arms at my sides, his face in my neck. That was the moment the me as I knew her, died.

Later that day, I sat with my ass cheeks on thin paper, protecting me from any other prior ass cheeks that unfortunately found themselves sitting on the same exam table in the rape kit performance room. The overwhelming fumes of bleach almost resurrected me from the protective shock in which my body had retreated.

Emily Doe later revealed herself as Chanel Miller, the woman Brock Turner raped behind a Stanford dumpster.

“Do you want a rape advocate?” Detective Stupka (soon-to-be renamed Cuntka) questioned me after she recorded my statement of the illegal, intrusive sexual assault that took place several hours earlier. I couldn’t recall Shane the Rapist’s last name (that was listed in my phone, which was dead from being at the hospital waiting for eight hours on a rape kit), how was I able to know if I needed an advocate? What was an advocate? Did I need one? Detective Cuntka said she could not advise me and I somehow communicated that I did, in fact, want an advocate.

I still can’t wrap my brain around my bff not believing me nine hours after being raped, do I look like I can make a goddamned decision about anything?!

I believe rape victims should be assisted with an advocate, period. No questions asked. Just have one show up and let them do the talking because it was a good three years before my typically decisive as fuck ass could make any decision about ANYTHING.

I will just have one of everything on the menu because what do I want?

When Barbie the advocate tenderly walked into the room, careful not to touch me (when I just wanted her to sweep me up in her arms and tell me everything was gonna be OK – although that would have been a disservice on her part because nothing about being raped is ever OK, so, therefore, no hug took place). She spoke with the same amount of tenderness she used when she was inching toward me.

Where was one of my goddamn pussies when I needed them?!

Barbie resembled more of a Skipper than the actual Barbie doll with a petite frame, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag (that naturally, I admired and wondered if she had a phone charger tucked inside I could use) and was such a pleasant sight after the day kept spewing like uncontrollable bowels. After a few minutes of fill-in-what-horrible-thing happened to you, she looked at me straight in the eye and said, “Honey, there is going to be a before rape and an after rape moving forward in your life.”

It was one of those moments that you just know what’s being said is true, no matter how much you want it to be a lie.

My immediate thoughts of life after rape.

Barbie left the room to sit with Dada CBXB who was most likely wondering how in the fuck his Friday turned out so inexplicable. I sat waiting for the rape kit exam to commence after yet again being hazy on decision making when asked, “Do you want the Plan B pill? Did he wear a condom? Do you want to take the HIV preventative even though it will rob you of 30 days of your life since its effects are so brutal? Do you want to be tested for every STD in which science is aware? Have you eaten anything today? Here are crackers to take with the handful of pills we are giving you.”

I seriously can’t compute.

Upon completion of my rape kit and consumption of no less than 51 pills, I was handed a folder of information with numbers to national hotlines I could call, pamphlets of what to expect in the coming days, and instructions of when to take the next round of pills to rid my body of any other foreign substance left behind when Shane the Rapist raped me. It was like onboarding at a new job or getting every class syllabus on the first day of college. It was literature on what my life after rape was going entail.

I had no inkling of what the fuck I was up against.

Open ended ticket for one, please. @deepfriedfreckles

Nobody wants to be in this club. Nobody wants to be an expert on matters in which we never want to be associated. But rape happens. And there I was and here I am.

All too familiar when I wish I had no clue.

I miss my pre-rape life in the way your heart breaks when someone your world revolved around dies. The me I’d always known, died on January 29, 2016, and I had no idea how to bring myself back to life. Thing is, I was still breathing. I wasn’t dead. I just had no feeling left inside, which made me feel like a shell. Hollow, empty and alone.

You don’t have to cry for me because my eyes leaked enough fluid for nine lifetimes.

I found out who could withstand the shell of myself and who needed an exit. I immediately realized I was going to become a walking, talking rape victim stereotype (the victims that report, anyway) when interacting with Detective Cuntka when she told me 37 days after being raped over the phone that I was “one of 29 other cases she was working on. This was a he said/she said case so not much will come of it.” Oh sorry, this is my first time being raped and dealing with anything that accompanies. Please excuse my incessant questions about how this shit works. Chasing my case and any details became a second full time job.

Daily routines ceased existing and the depression bombarded its way in. Brushing teeth, washing my hair, applying make up (I was Ronafied ahead of the times), no polish on my claws because they became unbearable chores.

This is my version of silent screams for help.

No more hot yoga. No more running. No activities where I was alone with my own thoughts. I couldn’t get off of the couch and into my bed for six months to sleep, further exacerbating the endless cycle of depression, anxiety, nerves, self-loathing, shame, blame, fatigue and stress leaving me empty. Literally dead inside.

I gave zero shits.

Therapy has given me life-saving coping mechanisms. Medicines have made my daily life manageable. The kindness of human beings has been astounding and reinstated the belief that simple acts and words of love can do some serious healing. The outpouring of support once I was able to openly talk about my rape case after the grand jury found insufficient evidence to take Shane the Rapist to trial was astonishing.

After all of that recovery, after all of the therapy, after the shit show of 2020, now more than ever I understand that we all carry invisible wounds. And Rona brought all of my luggage back but this time around the baggage felt excruciatingly heavier.

Others can’t see the shame I carry. Others can’t see the guilt I hold (did I somehow ask for it?). Others can’t see the blame I assign myself every single second, minute, hour, day, month.

The year 2020 made it achingly obvious that people I love haven’t been listening to me and can’t – or worse yet – DON’T WANT to see mental anguish caused by society and the normalcy of rape culture.

Judgment is a fucking beast and after rape, it becomes an unwanted daily acquaintance at your breakfast, lunch, and supper table. I started eating at this fucking buffet again last year.

One thing I know to be true is that people who love you – really love you for you, don’t waiver. It’s been my family, my rock-solid friends, the folks who have come to my rescue via virtual friendships (silver lining of 2020!), the people who have re-entered my life to lift me up when I was sure I was going to drown…that all exists.

Here I stand five years later, my heart beating the last 1,825 days, feeling like a motherfucking badass once again. I now understand that grief is an emotion that exists even when life still is within. I died but I lived.

When I think about the people I love and the fur babies I’ve lost, I choose to celebrate them. Drink their favorite drinks, watch a favorite movie, look at photos, read old cards, love on my current Pussy Posse, share fucking funny stories with others that loved them, too. After forfuckingever five years, I am back to celebrating ALL THINGS ME again.

Sorry not sorry.

Join me in celebrating the International Day of the Badass.

This pussy grabs back.

“I won’t back down. I will stand my ground.” – Tom Petty

What are you celebrating on this International Day of the Badass? Because if you’re reading this, you’re one too.

Cheers to all of my best Badasses.

BELIEVE SURVIVORS.

CBXB

BUY ME A DRINK

Weekend Winks – Room With a View

Being that I’d been in slow recovery from my recent twirl down, resulting in a broken toe and concussion, it’d been a bit since I partook in any evening activities. This weekend called for a celebration of Bird Lady’s birthday and she chose to spend it at the fabulous Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

First Mate and yours truly arrived early to make sure the room approved our standards (I use the term “our” loosely as I used to be in a band and my standards are way lower than hers) – and did it ever. Except we didn’t find the refrigerator until just before checking out the next morning. It looked like it was a cupboard under the desk. How were we to know? So we ended up putting the ice maker to good use.

Blonde and Blonder.

We were also beyond excited about our balcony, overlooking the Garden Conservatory where we could judge people watch and sip our vino awaiting Bird’s arrival.

Room with a view.

Like, a gorgeous view.

Being that I’ve recovered from my recent concussion (which I confusingly refer to as my coma – so if you hear me say that, just roll with this blonde brained lady), it seemed like a fabulous idea to hang off the side of the balcony.

Not like I’m accident prone or anything.

Upon Bird Lady’s arrival, the celebration commenced.

Birthday Bird.

What’s a party without crowns?

Three times the fun.

Sushi was the choice of supper and for once, we asked someone else to take our photo. I mean, my arm does get tired when I have to take 1,978 selfies of us in order to get one approved by everybody.

Sushi, sake and smiles.

We then again asked for photo assistance while we played with horses and guitars.

If I had a bigger purse, the horse would have ended up at the mini manse.

Walking around the botanical garden-like wings of Opryland can be really pretty. Especially if you like fake flowers that are lit in your fave color, fuchsia – because that’s what was on display. And I not-so-quietly lost my fucking mind.

This definitely would be a lovely focal point in the mini manse.

Naturally, I had to get off the damn path and deflower the beautiful mesh sculpture for a photo-op.

Flower Power.

I was even able to coerce First Mate into joining in on the fun – although she is a classier woman than moi, so we posed in front of her favorite, rather than in the piece.

A whole lotta class with one gigantic ass.

After I threw a fit that this enormous hotel had no gluten free pizza, we headed back up to the room to polish off snacks.

Right before the party crash.

While I used to be the all-nighter, my sleepiness gets the best of me these days and I was the first to fall into bed.

Party pooped.

I spent a Sunday in my three of my favorite places…

The pool.

The bubbles.

The purrrrrrrrrrfect Pussy Posse.

I’m sure you are all keeping track just as closely as I am but as a reminder, my Iowa Hawkeyes start their football season in FOUR days.

In case you can’t count. Four.

See you on Saturday for touchdown shots!

CBXB