The Body Image Project – “on the nose”

July 6.

So THESE are my siblings.  (That’s me in the purple hair.)  The other two lovelies are my brother and sister, both younger in age.

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We are half Japanese, and between the three of us we actually fill almost every Japanese stereotype.

Wicked smart. (Sean.)
Artistically creative.  (All three of us.)
Exotic looking.  (Kari.)
Wide feet.  (ALL OF US OMG.)
Cutthroat business acumen.  (Kari and me.)
Alabaster skin.  (Me.  No, I am not wearing white pantyhose.)
Thighs like a speed skater.  (Kari, Sean.)
Good with all things electronic.  (Sean.  Wrote computer code before age 10.)
Forehead like Mt. Fuji.  (All three of us, and that actually is a compliment.)


Tiny, dainty, button noses.



The Body Image Project – “thick skin”

July 5.

Deep down inside, I am a pimply fat girl.


Although this revelation makes many (The Mr. included) roll their eyes with a deep sigh and “…um, whatever,” the pimply part is not without warrant.  From the ages of 15 through 17, and then again from 18 to 20, my skin was terrible.

Terrible, awful, no good, very bad, horrible.

I think that someone else looking at my face back then could have said “disgusting.”  I wouldn’t blame them.  It was kind of disgusting, especially if they weren’t a fan of pus or scabs.

[Ew and oh no, as I write that I cringe and shake my head.  Truth is hard sometimes.]

As life would have it, other people looking at my face back then DID say “disgusting.”Read More


Stained Does Not Mean Unclean… Healing After Sexual Assault

I’ve been keeping an ugly secret since I was six years old.

I kept quiet for a lot of reasons, the biggest being shame.  MY shame.  I am ashamed of myself, ashamed of the circumstances I allowed myself to be in, ashamed of my stains.  It’s never a fun thing to admit that you’ve made a mistake, even if the mistake wasn’t completely your fault.  The secrets I keep have enveloped me in shame for all of my life.  In fact, shame has been a fundamental part of my emotional make up for so long that I don’t really even notice that it’s there anymore.  I ALWAYS feel shame.  Humiliating, shoulder drooping, brow beating shame is just a part of my everyday self.

I think the second reason I’ve kept my disgusting secrets is to protect people.  To protect myself, of course, from the shame I just talked about and from punishment for my actions, but also to protect the people I feel I’m supposed to protect.  Namely my family.  My parents.  My parents, and the people my parents care about.

If they ever find this blog post online….   Sorry Mom.  For being stained, and for being damaged.  And for failing to be everything I could have been.  And Dad, please don’t kill anyone.  I know you’ll want to, and that’s okay.  It just means you love me.
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The Lie of Moderation – Go Big or Go Home

When I was a kid one of the best and most exciting times of the year was my family’s annual, summer vacation trip to Grandma’s house.  These days by car the trip can be made in just over five hours, but back then the trip took more than seven.  Mom would pack our last-school-year’s lunch boxes full of snackie food surprises, we’d take books and paper and pens to stay busy, and I lost countless travel checker-chess-trouble-connect-four games to my younger brother.

The trip was made in my mom’s Toyota Camry.  It is a smaller car, particularly small for three nearly-adult size kids in the back seat.  Dad, true to his Viking roots, stands at 6’3″ tall and had to jam the driver’s seat as far back as it would go in order to wedge himself inside the vehicle.  My brother, sister, and I would argue about who had to sit behind him and which one of us got to sit behind Mom, who is purebred Japanese and not even five feet tall in shoes.  Usually the shortest person sat behind Dad and the tallest behind Mom, which for many years put me smack in the middle of the back seat.

Summers in Eastern Washington are HOT (it’s practically the effing desert).  My brother puts off heat like a space heater and tolerates ALL forms of discomfort insanely well.  My mom and my sister I’m convinced are both part desert lizard, and flourish in the heat.  My Dad was raised in a pretty drastic culture of poverty, so using the a/c in the car was tantamount to DEATH for wasting fuel efficiency, plus his internal thermostat has a comfort range of about 60* up or down (anything between 23* and THE SUN is tolerable to him).  
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How To Be A Girl – Learning to Accept My Gender Reality

I am my father’s first born son.

Not kidding.

Before you exit this post and look for a photo of me, I’ll confirm for you that YES, I am female.  That does not change what I said, though.  I am my father’s first born son.

Now don’t get me wrong.  When I say “I’m the first born son” I don’t mean in a lesbian-y, gender-identity-crisis, or “I have dangly man bits” kind of way.  I mean it in every other possible way.  I exist in a female body, but I am a masculine energy, raised by male methods, taught to think in a gender-neutral-but-mostly-masculine way.

And wow.  That has really been an obstacle to overcome.
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