The nice thing was that a lot of Asian woman thanked me for performing afterwards, which was nice. No one bought any books though. My dad’s review was pretty harsh, “it was, uummm, a reading of sorts, kinda rap, kinda poetry but if at your next performance of this “Ms Wong”, try to leave out holding the notes. You were nervous…With a four star rating scale, I’d give you 2 stars.” Oh well. All I can say is,”at least I have a father that I can show my sex work art (the pieces without overt sexuality) and performances” to and I am thankful for that. The poem is about a few real people at real moments that they may have interacted with me in our lives together, or perhaps they are things that I imagined or internalized or fantasized about…I am an artist AND I am sensitive. (The latter is the excuse that my sisters give me whenever I attempt to express any legitimate hurt). if you HURT me, you become part of my intellectual process to heal what you did and therefore will probably appear in my blog, my artwork, my songs…Be warned. I will change your name but you will know it’s you when you read it.
My real sister recently lent me $500 so that I would be able to stay housed. That was a huuuuuuuge gesture for her and it meant a lot to me. I am planning to write her a birthday card, which is coming up soon and try to have a conversation which attempts to convey this appreciation. And I might even throw in the word LOVE. perhaps at the end, with a comma at the end so it doesn’t seem so direct, like “I love you.” which might repel her. My fake sister was the one who actually hurt me and my real sister lent me money. My fake sister said all kinds of fucked up things to me on my Facebook and my real sister didn’t say anything. Real sister and I had a 20 minute conversation about my sex work transition and my relationship ending and THAT was a pinnancle moment for us. My family does NOT know how to communicate emotionally. We do not tell each other “I love you.” Even before my mom knew I smoked weed, she never called unless I called her first. It was not about the marijuana, the sex work, the rapes…it was just her. The way she knows how to love. My sisters and mom are similar. I grew up with all women, but it certainly wasn’t that same “femme love” feeling that you get when you are an adult in “women only spaces.” No wonder I loved it so much when I first came out as queer. For the first time, in my first Dyke march I was ENGULFED in a SEA of WOMYN who were loving each other’s feminity, survival and love of each other without shame…
There is a lot of history that my fake sister has no idea about but chose to comment on and that was one of things that was the most offensive. She said things that were MORE condescending and disdainful than my real sister who I grew up having issues with! She channelled this voice of who my real sister was before she was married with children. Real sister has improved a lot since then, and is not quite so quick to serve up biting remarks unless she is pushed to do so. Even though she gave me money to survive, she still has a lot of clear emotional and other boundaries with me and her kids. Her kids love and adore me, and her daughter tries, to her regret to imitate me. But her daughter does not learn her mannerisms from me, as I am not even around them that much to make that kind of influence. Some personality qualities are inherent and obvious when kids are kids, like me masturbating at 5. I think smoking pot is like a cerebral masturbation. My sisters try to shame me out of masturbating, and for a while that worked until I shamefully picked the habit back up at age 9. i did the same with pot smoking. Temporary abstinence and unsuccessful “relapse.” These days, my FAVORITE pasttime is masturbating while stoned. Marijuana increases the intensity of orgasms without a doubt. Self pleasure IS survival. Medicating with marijuana is about self pleasure and self healing. I’m sure people looked at Bob Marley and said,”dude you’re a loser because you smoke too much weed.” but those people are the minority. Considering the state of political affairs in Jamaica then, and now..it is no wonder why marijuana is the choice of those oppressed by governments. Blunts are part of hip hop and Tupac smoked because he was heavily involved in a risky life that no one except those around him could really understand. Unfortunately, smoking crack, sniffing gasoline straight from the pump, alcohol and tobacco are also the choice of the oppressed, so understandably it gets hard to choose your poison. If you understand and believe that the FBI and CIA have been responsible for the “suicide”, “homicide” or “death row sentencing” of people of color AND prostitution activists (RIP Deborah Jean Palfrey, Brandy Britton) , then you can understand why someone like Tupac, a second generation Black Panther who was most definitely followed and watched by the same forces that hold Mumia in death row and the same forces that are PRESENTLY PERSECUTING 8 former BPP men from San Francisco on bogus “confessions” that were attained with torture tactics WORSE than WATERBOARDING. He unapologetically smoked blunts to his head. But he was an artist and KNEW from watching his mom on crack as a kid that anything else that he chose to smoke would compromise his art.
Adult families do not usually go into counseling and attempt to heal things that happened when they were growing up together. Those issues show up in our relationships and ourselves and sometimes we go to our own counseling. My mother spent a year in a Born Again Christian psychosis but somehow snapped out of it after being committed to a hospital for a couple of days. She refused to go to therapy afterwards and to this day. She has rejoined a different church and become active with the Lord again. I prefer making art, writing and going to low cost sliding scale therapists who allow me graciously to build a tab when times are tough. Oh, and of course, I medicate daily with marijuana. She sees me as killing myself with smoking, and I see her as killing me with her rejection. It’s all a vicious cycle…
To some people, I may be “addicted” to both “drugs” and “prostitution.” But I did a paradigm shift with my own healing about PHEW, TEN years ago I started my healing from sexual assault and childhood trauma with my first rape crisis counselor. I remember going into therapy when it was “free” as an undergraduate at Berkeley and crying my eyes out til I had a pounding headache. I remember the issues then were having head to toe eczema that I felt that I could not control. I could collect a handful of scalp pieces that I collected from scratching my oozing head sometimes. Sounds really really gross, I know. It’s was equally as horrible to me and it was my body. I believe that my eczema flare ups were a distorted way for me to find love, as my mother paid the most attention to me when I was sick with allergies or eczema. It was one of the ways I could get her to come to my bedside…I stepped onto the stripclub stage and my eczema almost disappeared completely. It’s been under control without steroid medications or frequent doctor visits for over ten years.
I believe whole heartedly in the mind/body connection. I use marijuana and other drugs to explore this because it can help to open our chakra sensitivity. (especially ecstacy) I could perhaps do it sober, with yoga, a raw vegan diet and meditation but I prefer to smoke weeeed. why? cuz it’s fun. it makes being alone interesting. I make art, write, sing and blog instead of feel lonely or bored. I hardly EVER say the sentence,”I’m bored.” and if that is the case, then I just go to sleep. I guess I can escape to sleep when I am really depressed before I complain about being bored.
I spent A LOT of time alone as a kid. Playing with myself (literally! I started masturbating at 5) , riding my bike around town alone. And before my last relationship I was single for NINE YEARS. (think about that in terms of living in a culture which heavily emphasizes monogamous pair bonding). For me to cope with that reality, I was happy to have discovered mary jane. My real medicating started after a significant relationship ended when I was about 22. Sucking on my bong while crying like a baby like it was a mother’s nipple. It helps you stop being frantic and relaxes you..just like the nipple did. I bet my mom stopped breast feeding me at 6 months. I would be very surprised if I found out that she did it for longer.
the women i date are always unattainable, like the love, the comfort from my mother is…they are always not interested, more attached to boyfriends, more fucked up with issues than me…
the men and women that are attracted to me are co-dependents. Boys that need mommies. Ironically I play that role to them even though I never really had a nurturing relationship with my own mom. Women are always said that they look for their fathers through men. perhaps that is why I always date these “Fix er uppers” that never really change, but that I have to sever ties to before they destroy me.
I smoke about an 1/8th a week, which with a medical card in medical marijuana SATURATED Los Angeles is down to $35. $140/month if I paid cash for my medicine without hustling and trading which I don’t. The amount can but probably will not increase over time, which is why they don’t see it as an addiction. Smoking more marijuana only will make you fall asleep, not get more medicated. If sleep is the goal, then it’s perfect.
When I was 21, I felt like dying because the physical and emotional pain from my skin condition was so unbearable to me. I could not imagine a life without eczema. When I was 23, coming to terms with all the times I survived sexual violence already, I could not imagine a life free of rape trauma. I had anxiety attacks in overtly heterosexual environments (like “straight” bars, or cramped elevators with only 1 man). But I healed and now, I am not well but I am better. I am able to recognize PTSD related anxiety, the signs of disassociation that occurs and THEN I meditate myself out of survival mode, if indeed it is not a real emergency. But, as Erykah Badu said it best,” this world is soo traumatic.”
I am exploring this book called “Seeking Safety” which is for those with “drug addiction and PTSD” which in clincial talk is a “co-occuring disorder.” I want to read it as soon as I get enough extra money to buy it online and see if I can adapt the information to medical marijuana patients. I have fought against a lot of medical pathologizing and am skeptical about it since “homosexuality” was a DSM-IV listed pathology until the 70s and “gender identity disorder” is a necessary part of a transgenders transition therapy. “Prostitution” is seen as a risk behavior not work and “Survival Sex” is only relegated to those who are homeless, not those who eat dim sum. So I read and take in what I like and adapt it to my own healing. Healing and retraumatization are a constant process and hopefully you get better at expediting it. Considering all of the trauma that I have survived, i have become the master at expediting my own healing because of my own self awareness of it. I got mugged once as a sex worker two years ago and I allowed myself to lay in bed all week.
Facebook is a crazy new internet medium that I have found some comfort and obvious discomfort in. I can’t stop being me. I will die being me. What’s on my mind will offend A LOT of people. One of my cousins is surely getting a new exposure to all kinds of things about me by being my ‘friend.” But he, like my father, is also a father and is also pretty non judgemental and supportive of me as a person, interested in getting to know me and certainly not interested in making me feel bad because I smoked weed or do sex work.
If you read this and are interested in the real ride outside the blog, the daily updates that are far more personal than what I tweet then add me: Mariko Pasion
I had to spell it with one S to appease Facebook for some reason. I don’t know why. It is more intimate than myspace by far. Even more intimate and revealing than this blog. I need to feel some sort of safety with the people there. If you get on my wall trying to judge me or change me you won’t be successful. I’ll block and delete you because I do not like to be hurt, even by my “friends”, family or community. And if you are really impactful I’ll write a song about you…but hopefully you will be impactful in a positive way instead.