No videos

I have to address the lack of videos. Because they really were the essence here.

What if you can read Rain Robert but you can’t see her anymore, is she still Rain Robert?

Why is there no more videos? That’s the important, more subtle question. To which there is no straightforward answer. Making mistakes, not getting what I wanted, failing… Is that what propelled my future back into my past? Am I even in charge of my itinerary?

When I first started this blog to justify my actions, I spoke of a cloudier time I had overcome with said actions. Now I am again that cloudy version of myself which I had so proudly declared having moved on from. I have become but a newer version of an old me.

My body is my territory. Right now it is divulging the tug of war I’ve been playing with life and death, with surviving and self destructing. I wish I could create images that reclaim my body in this state, like others have known how to do, but I personally am not able to. My videos were not conceived in a place of unconditional self acceptance. They were a celebration of the brand new feeling of feeling new. They went away when my body stopped reflecting that back to me.

It’s really embarrassing to confess but I cannot save face and pretend my appearance isn’t the problem. Or at least, that the issue isn’t how I feel in how I look. How the heaviness and stretch lines and immobilization have converged to make me feel like I am old again.

The last six months, the last year and half, the last US election… It’s hard to tell when the falling apart began.

I lost it. I don’t even know what it was that I had. I just know I don’t have it anymore.

Love? Health? Safety?

It was the feeling of living inside my body. The enjoyment of my body not being overweight anymore. The joy of being turned on and alive in my body. Without that body, without me in that body, I don’t have the ability to make videos. It is that simple. It is that trite.

How did it happen? Shit. The ping ponging of mirrors facing one another. Situations triggering triggers, triggers triggering situations. My body protecting itself against getting re traumatized. Feeling re traumatized by my protecting body. Dissociating, shutting down, seeping further and further away.

I have spent so much time hating my body with a vengeance, the vengeance expressed as actively harming myself. My childhood and teenage hood felt like wasted years. It’s bad enough to not be fit. Feeling old when you are young is even worse. Like watching the sands of time run through your grasping fingers.

The drive I have felt to make my videos only makes sense when one realizes how much it meant to me to feel young. It was a revelation to experience my body this way. Pristine. Fresh. Full of possibilities. Experiencing what I used to look at from the outside. It’s not just creepy old men who drool at the sight of cheerleaders. I did too, back when I could have been one if life hadn’t turned my body into a battlefield of survival. And I guess I am again, as I try to remember how I managed to feel like one in that fleeting instant. If I hadn’t captured it on camera, I might have trouble believing it even happened for real.

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If the sound of your reality does not reverberate on anything, how do you know for sure that your reality is real?

My official coming out about my project has yielded the grand total of zero conversations. I didn’t know what would come of it but I guess I wasn’t expecting nothing at all. I realized I was being naive when I thought I could upload my videos to the internet without being noticed. I guess I have to realize I was being even more naive to think I could tell everyone about it and that we would discuss it openly.

I can’t blame the people in my life for not being able to talk to me about my project. I wonder why I even needed to share it with them in the first place. Was it really an experiment to see what would happen? Did I just want to know what it meant in real life to compare it to what it had meant online? Was it to protect or to expose myself, to challenge or to impress others? I can’t even tell what my intentions were anymore.

I can’t help but notice the parallel with how my mental health challenges also exist in a vacuum. I have managed to create yet another experience to reinforce how I feel hidden and lonely. To confirm that when I try to reach out or open up, I do it in ways that increase my isolation. I have beautiful people as friends but how can they support me if I don’t know how to support myself, if I’m not even sure I should be supported at all?

Maybe it’s because I don’t spend enough time talking about what’s really going on. Maybe it’s because I don’t find the right words to explain that it matters to me.

I don’t think I can even tell what success is from failure. My perspective keeps shifting so fast, there’s no way I can hold on to any one way of looking at things.

It’s really hard to celebrate that I have made sexually explicit videos if I don’t acknowledge that the world I live in is repressive of sexuality. For that I would need to recognize that my world is not as open as it says it is.

It’s really hard to celebrate that I have kept myself alive this long if I don’t acknowledge that it was not a granted thing. For that I would need to recognize how much self destruction I’ve had to protect myself from.

Sexuality and mental health are probably the two most taboos subjects in our society still. They are also the only two things that interest me. Is that why it feels like I walk around in a glass bubble, tinking my hands on the shell when I try to talk? Inhaling the ways I keep myself apart before I can be rejected? Exhaling the pain of being right there without being able to touch it?

What if there was a way to discuss everything openly? What if it was our job to figure out how to discuss everything openly?

I have had the experience of people telling me what they appreciated about my project. I am forever grateful to those who have. It would be a dream now to have someone tell me to my face what is so wrong with my project that they can’t talk about it. Anything would be better than engulfing silence. What exactly are the lines I’ve crossed? What exactly is it that bothers, bores, angers, disgusts, indifferences you? I really wish someone knew how to articulate it for me. I really wish someone had the guts to tell me.

What does Rain Robert mean to me?

Creating Rain Robert was one of the most exhilarating thing I have ever done. My videos were truly not made as objects to be consumed. They were captured moments of my soul in flight, spilling out of myself, transcending the envelop that usually contains it.

Channeling this energy was such a ride. I long for it still even though I don’t know how to let it inhabit me anymore. It was a time beyond the pale, when living in the forest by myself didn’t crush me but emboldened me instead. But how could I sustain that as the forces of my cultural script shook me up, as my need to fit in reawakened? Self-reliance confronted by the desire to belong. Can one really have both?

Of course part of the problem is that the “success” I encountered online changed making videos for their own sake into a means of pursuing this success. And then that mutated into a means of becoming a more acceptable person, since successful people are automatically more acceptable. But how crazy is that. No one in their right mind would ever argue that uploading orgasm videos to Pornhub is a sound way to pursue social acceptance.

How quickly contrary intentions and effects get convoluted into a bind. Something that makes perfect sense can easily lose all its meaning with one little shift in point of view. Just like that, you’re still looking at the exact same thing but you’re seeing something completely different.

Drought

Oh Rain Robert, where have you been? Post videos, post coming out, post posts, into a sense of rejection, of danger, of failure, past feeling my body, past being able to function, past knowing how to help myself…

I think Rain Robert is the name of my soul. That’s why I can’t drop it, even when I’m not doing it. Because it’s not a doing thing, it’s a being thing. That’s why I miss her. Because I miss me.

I see now how I have usurped my own identity to create hers, taking away my real name to make room for my real self.

There was a version of me that had not been allowed out before. She is how I freed her. Pleasure and pain are the language she speaks. But giving her a voice is not without consequences. Her existence into the world is confusing and threatening. Instead of celebrating the victory of her release, I got caught up in how she was being received. And just like that it took me back to not knowing how to be what I should be. And just like that that took me back to wondering if maybe I cannot be at all.

I keep searching for a viable pathway to let her be. Let me be. Because I hear the voice fading out. Please. Let me out. I am suffocating if I can’t come out. You are being strangled if you keep me in. A prisoner in my own self. I am a prisoner of my self. Both tyrant and martyr, executioner and victim. The question is, is this a tragedy or a drama, have the fates been appointed or are we in between acts?

The gates of hell

Dear friends, past, present and future,

Dear self, past, present and future,

Almost everyday for the past many months, I have tried to write a post that would reconnect the line. Or even just finish a sentence, get a hold on a completed, stable thought. But my mind is bruised and it feels like squinting into too bright sunshine.

I long to explain what happened. Explain it to you. Explain it to me. Where I went, how I felt, why I lost the thread. But I am forced to admit that no such thing is possible at the moment. I just don’t know how.

This story is all I got.

Walking through a clearing I came across a flock of birds.
Watching them I saw that they were my hopes and dreams.
I reached for them but they took flight.
I tried to jump to the sky but was stuck to the ground.
Then something strange happened.
The world flipped around and up became down.
The turning of a key in a lock.
So in trying to fly to heaven I fell into hell.
The birds flew straight through the bars but I had to open the gate to get in.
Burning metal, enter at your own risk.
I wanted it so badly, I didn’t heed the warning.
It got terribly hot but I didn’t notice in the trail of the birds’ flapping wings.
They disappeared one by one until I realized I was surrounded by old parts of me encased in fire.
Parts I had owned before, parts that were cast away for safe keeping.
I was almost suffocating but I couldn’t leave them behind.
I scorched my hands prying them out of the flames.
I didn’t stop until they were all free.
Then I thought that’s it, I did it.
But I was feeling awful, so awful it didn’t make sense.
I took whatever I could find to try to make me feel better but I kept getting worse.
That’s when I noticed I was still lying on the ground of hell.
It finally caught up to me that I needed to get out of there.
I don’t remember how I did it, just that it took all my strength to close the gate behind me.
I’ve been catching my breath and mending my burns ever since.
Looking around, inside, above and under me to try to figure out what happens next.

Moving on

Ok, so, now what do I do with all this aggregated material? This congestion of words that’s messing up my actual digestion?

A few dozen drafts, a hundred beginnings, half as many turn of phrases. Notice how I use the quantity of my mess as a shield to palliate my fear that its quality is insufficient? I don’t think you’re supposed to call yourself out for the trick to work. But what if my trick is calling myself out?

I’m evading the question again. Should I publish what I have and clear the deck or should I stager and stage it to some sort of effect? Answering that would require I know what effect I am looking for.

Sympathy. Ouch. Automatic writing sometimes you fucking suck. But yeah, sympathy is what I seek. Sympathy as the remedy for my deflated self esteem. Sympathy like flares shot out in the night of my isolation. Sympathy to brace me since I have forgotten how to embrace me.

Blah. Isn’t all this so blah. I guess I’m disappointed. I was supposed to turn into a super hero. I was supposed to be a champion. And here I am, wondering if I can barter words for sympathy. Where is my infinite source of strength, how do I unlock all my potential? Is there another book or maybe a seminar I could consume that would reignite my fire? How about the blood of a hundred virgins? What can we sacrifice on the altars of nowadays when we don’t even know which gods to pray to?

If only I believed eating the heart of a creature could cure me of my lack of courage. If only I believed in the future as a wishing well of possibilities. Jesus. Is there anything I do believe in? I’m not sure anymore. I’m not sure if maybe I fooled myself into being the believing kind to begin with.

Serpentine, serpentine, snaking my way through my mind like a game of pac-man, eating eating all the words, diffuse diffuse all the mines, gobble gobble all the feels, unclog unclog all the synapses. Just watch out for the ghosts, the brain freezes, the gusts of disassociates, the paralyzing listlessness. And again, still, always, ask yourself. Are you winning?

Letting it rain

I tried to exist without being Rain Robert. It doesn’t work. Something’s missing. I’m missing.

I need this space like I need water.

Documenting pain, documenting pleasure.

Words. Images. Mirages.
Recording. Revealing. Releasing.
The opposite of deny and hide and suppress.

Like throwing rocks in the ocean.
I’m throwing rocks at my screen.
Imagining the cracked lace.
Imagining the leaking.

Like picking flowers in summer.
I’m picking flowers with my camera.
Imagining the scent trails.
Imagining the scintillation.

It’s been so long, I haven’t known how to come back. Oscillating like a fan between feeling free and feeling bad for having disappeared.

I couldn’t bring anyone with me to where I’ve been going. It’s a lonely road for the dark night of the soul club band.

Is there a place for me as I am in the world as it is?
This is my task, this is what I need to resolve.
That’s why I am choosing to post again.
Because this is a place where I do exist, where I do belong.
It’s a way to create a bit of ground under my feet, even if just enough to stand.
From there maybe I will see further, see somewhere I can walk to.

Going through the hundreds of notes I’ve left behind this year has been feeling like a reversed Hansel and Gretel. I’ve already been cooked and killed and saved – I might as well be every character. Now I’m retracing my steps through the forest, collecting the pebbles I sowed to find my way back. Or was it to show me the way there? Can you tell the end from the beginning? Morning having the night for breakfast. Night having the morning as night cap.

The process of sifting through my words is intense. I can hear my brain struggle, my soul sob. It hurts in both past and present tense. All my subjects whining and intertwining, the same preoccupations hopping around like a stream of (not so) conscientious crickets.

So many thoughts and feelings. Staked into the ground they could be made into a shelter. Just put a tarp on top. Now I can let it rain.

On gifts

Perspective is the gift that patience grants.

Climbing up I see nothing but my nose against the rock. It’s when I reach a plateau and turn around that I’m astonished by the view. The landscape that was surrounding me all along is now mine to take in. I am not alone and alienated anymore. I am a part of it.

That’s when pride comes. The kind of pride that’s like blushing, starting deep within and rising all the way to my cheeks. Not something that can be willed into existence. It just comes as a gift. From myself and from truth.

So here I am. Seated high up on the mountainside. Sweaty but beaming. Nowhere near a sense of having arrived and yet completely immersed in being somewhere I have never been before.

Looking back on the handful of posts I wrote this year, I can hear the cost of the journey. The oozing of pain. The silence of withdrawal. The blankness of the labor. I see myself getting there, even if at the time it felt like sinking into quicksand.

I can now see what I’ve done because I can see where it took me. Sticking with something is a powerful way to travel. I held on to my job. I braved my past. I weathered the triggers. I stuck with it. I did it because I could. I had to because I could.

That’s how I know I am meant to do something. Because I can. It’s shitty logic or it’s pure logic. Either way, it’s how I collapse the paradox of destiny and will. Which is another gift if you ask me.

I’ve been having this magical experience lately. I will be in the middle of whatever when this thing occurs to me. I like the person I have become. Through everything that’s ever happened to me. In all the ways I have failed and succeeded. Breakthroughs and breakdowns. From feeling like I don’t exist to trying to destroy myself to looking in the mirror and embracing what I see. It’s a process alright. But here I am. I can say it without cringing. Without faking it. I like myself. It’s in my bones and in my blood now. It’s a tool of freedom. A quiet power. And it’s definitely the greatest gift ever.

On diving deeper

So what am I angry about? I wonder if I can try finding the words for it.

I’m angry that I feel uncared for. I’m angry that I know how to take care of others more than I know how to take care of myself. I’m angry that I feel like I am owed something. I’m angry that I keep trying to find care in all the wrong places.

Ouch. Ok so I guess this anger is about care. I didn’t realize until I wrote this. I thought I was writing about being angry but I guess I’m writing about that instead.

That instead. I don’t even know how to call it. This lack of care thing. This neglect feeling thing. This what I feel doesn’t matter thing. This I don’t feel that I matter thing. This trying to forget that I feel that thing. This trying to care for myself with drugs or control thing. This difficulty to do what’s good for me thing. This resistance, inability, fear of taking care of myself thing.

I don’t even know what care means. Dictionary oh dictionary, show me what you see… Solicitude. Attention. An object of worry. To look out for. To have an inclination, fondness, affection. To feel concerned about. To watch over.

Holy fucking shit now I’m crying. So yeah I guess this is about that.

I had a rough childhood. It’s still so hard for me to say. And right away I feel like I have to say that it just happened that way, as it usually just does. But I guess that is why I’m a shitty caretaker of myself now. Because my learning of that got compromised. Twisted and repurposed. Disregarded and overlooked.

And I’m angry about it. I wish I could say that I‘m not but that would be a lie. I’m also terribly terribly sad about it. But I guess it makes sense. I look around and I see a hell of a lot of people with the same problem. And I can’t help any of them. Cause I can’t even help myself.

And I can’t blame my parents either. I know they did the best they could. I can’t blame circumstances because they couldn’t help themselves either. So I just have to figure out a way to be angry and sad without anything to blame it on. Just hold space for how bad I feel without being able to transfer the brunt of it on a reason or a target. Ha. Wouldn’t that be great, to have a villain to hunt down and kill which would forever free and heal me. Yeah, it would be great. If only I believed in such a thing.

It’s much harder to be heartbroken without anyone to blame. Not even yourself. Because then there’s nothing to distract you from the pain. Like this I have to brace myself and let it take over, let it ravage me with nothing other than the hope that I will remember who I am on the other side.

I’m so angry at what happened to me. I’m so angry at what happened to my parents. I’m so angry at what happened to my sister. I’m so angry at what happened to the world. It makes me feel like a tiny human brandishing my fist at god in the middle of a hurricane. Totally pointless. But even worse would be to sit there pretending nothing is happening.

I don’t know if what I’m writing makes any sense but tears are still rolling down my face. Like a tiny hurricane to match how small I feel. The only good thing is that now I can go to sleep. Because I’ve cried, because I’ve actually touched how I feel, I know that I will feel better. Not yet, but soon.

On what’s on the inside

Trauma is like stuffing stockings down your throat and actually swallowing, getting it stuck in your lungs and your bowels and your limbs until you’re packed so full of compressed stress that you can’t move or breathe or think anymore.

Trying to free yourself of trauma is like uncoiling a giant python that’s slowly but steadily been eating at you from the inside out, pulling yourself from its mouth as you spit it out of yours.

Anger is my Achilles heel. I have yet to learn to let it circulate through me. I got a lifelong habit of swallowing it back instead. This year I finally got around to screaming in a pillow. I find it bruises my vocal chords but hitting and biting myself hurts way worse. The other day I even screamed out loud, like really loud. I kind of surprised myself there. I honestly didn’t know I could do that.

If a ball of fire was rushing towards you, it’d be best not to get in its way. Better let it get the fuck away from you. That’s what anger feels like to me. Repressing it is like trying to get a pissed off dragon to act like a pretty pet. It’s just that when the gates are closed you really don’t have a choice but to wrangle with the beast. And while that allows you to look cool on the outside, it gets you burned to a crisp on the inside.

I guess I’m using the word anger and trauma interchangeably today. Maybe I’m angry about being traumatized. Or maybe repressing anger is traumatic. Yeah. Both sound about right.

Years and years of anger and trauma, laced together into a lethal injection. That shit really will kill if you can’t let it leak out of you. How is the question though. Because those feelings and reactions got frozen in time not for nothing. They might as well be a dragon spitting fire. Even when you know that getting in touch with them is the way to free yourself, you’d better have a functioning fire extinguisher close by when you do.

Right now I feel overwhelmingly angry. Just not about anything that’s happening right now. Which is why it’s so fucking hard to know what to do. I have no idea how to process this weight of disillusion washing over me, this massive wave of animosity with nowhere to go.

That’s the worse part about it. My entire energy field is paralyzed and the fever has nothing to burn through so I just stay hot, too hot to calm down and too hot to move on. It’s utterly frustrating to feel like you can’t help yourself and there isn’t even anything wrong. I mean I guess that plenty of wrong did happen but it isn’t happening anymore so what can I do about that?

I wish I could release it all. All the hurt and the rage and the violence. I want it picked up and shipped off. But it’s terrifying. I’m afraid it’ll overpower me. I’m afraid I’m not strong enough to feel everything I’ve stuffed in there. So I lie here on my couch in the dark writing about it instead. Maybe it’s the closest thing to screaming I can handle for tonight.