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familyless, not hopeless.


senza radici: "without roots" in italian. this one is for all the rootless, familyless hearts. it's not just about where we've been, it's about where we're going. if you think you belong here, then you do. WELCOME. and remember, love yourself always, for THAT is the revolution.
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[Sunday, July 8th 2007]

i had a good day today. i had a good day yesterday, and in spite of it all, i will likely have a good day tomorrow.

the nights, however, have been awful. 

yesterday was the two year anniversary of my grandfather's (ie, the only father i ever had) death. today, july 8, is the 8th anniversary of losing my mother (ie, the worst day of my life). the 25th will be 7 years since my stepfather killed himself with the bottle (alcoholism). 

i love the month of june. july can bite me. 

i'm trying to surround myself with people who love me. i'm trying to do good things for me and my little family. sometimes, like thursday, it all gets to be too much and i'm left crying on the bathroom floor. it's hard...it's so so hard. 

but i'm trying, and that has got to count for something. life's gotta get better eventually. 



on chosen families and hope for a better future. [Monday, June 18th 2007]

from a message to a friend:

"i went through a lot last weekend when j's nana died, because i was family in private, but a roommate in public, and it was hard to know how i fit in with them and what to do. of course there's also awkwardness over how it feels to consider fitting [with his family] at all.

I know alone. I know what it feels like and, whether or not I'm comfortable in it, I'm used to it."

yet, yesterday was the first time in a long time that i said "happy father's day" and got to mean it. i said it looking into the face of j's father, and i saw joy in his eyes and it made my heart swell and it makes me cry now. because this wasn't supposed to be the way my life went. i wasn't supposed to believe in the family unit anymore. i had mine once, it's gone, and my ride ends there. but it doesn't because all of a sudden there's family cookouts and dinner tables and family farms and i belong...

i never saw this coming. and i feel so lucky and so loved.

it's not perfect. they still have a ways to go in dealing with the fact that they ended up with a son, not a daughter. they're dysfunctional as shit. they're very very different from me, and what i have known...

and you know what? i kind of like it. j's mom is not a bullshitter. she's polite of course, but she doesn't so much say what she doesn't mean. and yesterday, she gave us [me] her gorgeous childhood jewelry box. she also presented me with her mother's paints and brushes and canvases because i would appreciate them and "do them justice." i cried, i was so touched and humbled.

j's family has been there for us in so many ways over the past few years, and i am blessed to have them in my corner. they have taken in the proverbial redheaded stepchild and made me feel accepted and one of them, and they will never know what that means for the girl who never got that from either father's family. i thought it was me. i thought i was unworthy, and no, it's just that i had to wait for it.

i was walking out by the pool yesterday in my sunglasses, heading toward the family father's day grilled steak dinner and i saw myself from above, and thought, girl, what are you doing here? do you know how lucky you are? you couldn't have gotten in with better people.

and it isn't about the money. it isn't about the pool (although that helps!) or the deluxe accomodations we have when we stay there. it's the way that j's dad makes sandwiches for me, takes me on tours of the land, goes to my appointments and never ever judges me. it's the way that j's mother talks honestly in front of me in a way she won't in front of most people, the way she cheers me on as i continue to take on The Man, the way she shows me all her sparkly bedazzled craftyness and looks actually excited when i respond like a girl, because her son never has, and in that moment, i think she gets a little of the joy inherent in this situation. it's the way j's grandfather (and especially the grandmother we just lost) know who i am and without saying a word, accept something that they may never understand.

it's about something i haven't seen in YEARS: keeping the family together in spite of our differences, because it is so important. i have a lot to learn, and i will suffer disappointments and sadnesses because, surprise, this isn't perfect. it's just that they are trying, which is more than i've seen in years.

it's about love.

wonder why i can't get this out of my head? [Tuesday, December 19th 2006]

[ mood | a little broken-hearted ]

"Hey, maybe I'll dye my hair
Maybe I'll move somewhere
Maybe I'll get a car
Maybe I'll drive so far
They'll all lose track
Me, I'll bounce right back

Maybe I'll sleep real late
Maybe I'll lose some weight
Maybe I'll clear my junk
Maybe I'll just get drunk on apple wine
Me, I'll be just

Fine and Dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down

Hey, maybe I'll learn to sew
Maybe I'll just lie low
Maybe I'll hit the bars
Maybe I'll count the stars until dawn
Me, I will go on

Maybe I'll settle down
Maybe I'll just leave town
Maybe I'll have some fun
Maybe I'll meet someone
And make him mine
Me, I'll be just

Fine and dandy
Lord it's like a hard candy christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won't let
Sorrow bring me way down..."
- dolly parton.

once again, thank GOD for my chosen family. the hits just keep coming this year.

i hope y'all all make it out okay, too. and if not, you've got a place to tell us all about it. here's to survival and to finding joy in the funniest places. happy holidays, kids.

love, c.


Binders - X-posted [Monday, November 6th 2006]


I have four previously worn binders for sale. All from Underworks and all medium size. Go under cut for more detailsCollapse )
Reply if you're interested, so we can talk business.


[Tuesday, August 29th 2006]

Right now I am feeling alone. I wonder if this happens to anyone else. So I come here to ask this question.

After losing your family did your friends also just leave you? Kind of like they were all there for you during those first few moments and now it's like you're in the background and you can see your friends all in a small group? They will ignore you, not invite you out, or just plain forget about you?
Is it all too much for them?
The thing is if it ever happens to them they will just come running to you because obviously you're the one who they know won't leave them. Sometimes I wonder if I would just drop them, like they did me.


[Monday, August 21st 2006]

letter to the therapist, aka, the fear of being alone:

"Thought I knew my mind
Like the back of my hand
The gold and the rainbow
But nothing panned out as I planned
And they say only milk and honey's
Gonna make your soul satisfied
Well I better learn how to swim
Cause the crossing is chilly and wide

Twisted guardrails on the highway
Broken glass on the cement
A ghost of someone's tragedy
How recklessly my time has been spent
They say that its never too late
But you don't get any younger
Well I better learn how to starve the emptiness
And feed the hunger

Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load
You'll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you're learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while

And there's always retrospect
(when you're looking back)
To light a clearer path
Every five years or so I look back on my life
And I have a good laugh
You start at the top
Go full circle round
Catch a breeze
Take a spill
But ending up where I started again
Makes me wanna stand still...."

so you're leaving. second therapist in six months. so much good work...i'm needing to believe that it will not be erased, that it won't leave with you. needing to believe that this will be like all the other times, all the other losses in that even though i can't see my way out of this, i will fly off into the darkness and find my way. tell me it's what i do...tell me it's ingrained in me...tell me it's in my blood. i need something manifest and tangible now, something that tells me i got this.

my old therapist said once that the real tragedy in my life was that i have been constantly reminded that i am, as we all are, essentially alone. this lesson doesn't usually hit us so early and so continually. i forgot that this time. i've been hanging onto you, to my friends, to j, in hope that this time it could be different. it can't, because it seems that i have to learn to dig deep and save myself.

i've spent this weekend feeling so much hurt, so much panic, so much anger, so many feelings of abandonment. i don't blame you, i blame the universe. i question the eternal wisdom of this seemingly arbitrary and wrong decision to cut me off and send me flying. i gave up on that road map, and i'm learning who i am, what this life means without the pressure of perfection. i'm just trying to hold on, and then i got knocked loose. it's too soon. i'm not ready.

but stopping this isn't an option. i have to keep going, i have to move on to the next thing. life on life's terms: the hardest lesson i will ever learn. i am not in control here, and all i can do is hold on to THAT, and pray that i have what it takes to make it one more time.

14 more job ads lay before me, unanswered. a dear new friend is back in town. money is on it's way to us. an unread alice walker book is beside my bed. i still have myself, and i am still tenacious and unbreakable....

i just pray that, once again, it will be enough.

see you on wednesday.


[Tuesday, July 11th 2006]

Realizing that a community like this was set up warms my heart. Too often things are cold and asture and it is frowned upon to be caring. If that is fashionable then I am glad to be unfashionable. I think life is too short to be cold and although sometimes it happens because you have been hurt so much, and let down, searching out those who care never seems to stop being a fantasy of mine.
I feel familyless. Technically my family are living so maybe it is wrong to say this, but I do. I know my story and life are nowhere nearly as bad or horrific as so many I have been witness to. In part I speak because I want others to know they have people out there who DO care. In part I speak because I too feel lonely. I wish sometimes I had this fantasy family - then I realize that is so naive and probably not very healthy. Most of all I just want to be loved - not worshipped or adored, just loved for who I am. Family often doesn't do that. I find this a terrible shame.
Anyway for anyone who is lonely, just know, you are not alone, and you are not weird or unwanted completely - there are people who care. Thank you to the moderator who set this community up. I wish there were more like you.


[Monday, July 10th 2006]

hey guys. just a quick note to say that i added all our new members to my personal friends list. if that's not wanted, just let me know....

and i created a new (and *i* think, way cooler) community icon. three, actually: two are regular static jpgs and the other is an animated gif. feel free to take and use, if anyone actually desires...

and no comment about why i'm up at 4 am making community icons. sigh...

love, bella.


[Friday, July 7th 2006]

[ mood | tired ]

vital stats:
1. what should we call you?

Daniel or DarkSouls

2. where in the world are you? where did you grow up?
I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

3. what do you do for work, or, what do you WANT to do?
Currently I'm on disability for severe PTSD and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). I WANT to be going back to school to get my BA in Psychology, eventually becoming a therapist (PhD, though I'll probably get an LCSW along the way) who specializes in trauma disorders.

4. who are the important people in your life? tell us about them.
Well, *sigh* my therapist is one of the most important people in my life, as sad as that may sound. She's Dr.D or Lynette. There's my friend Jeannie (whose house I am coincidentally at right now). She's a lot older then me (I'm twenty-six: she's 68) and is a survivor whose been dealing with things for a long time. She's also one of the few people I can ever count on to be somewhat consistently "there" for me (she does have limitations on how much I see her, because she lives in another city then me and she has mobility issues, though). There's Leilani, whose another friend, who I met in a psych ward- she's a good friend but sometimes it's really hard with her especially when she's having her own issues (when it was worse). I have some other people in my life- Marty, whose a long-distance friend whose a researcher on ritual/cult abuse, Thomas, but I'm not as close to him as I used to be...

Oh, and my cat, of course.

VERY important random-ass questions:
5. have you ever returned an item to a store for a refund after having used it?
I can't specifically think of a time I have but I may well have.

6. if you could bring one character to life from literature, who would it be?
Oh, I have to CHOSE? Ummm, probably Miles Vorkosigan, from the Barrayar books by Lois McMaster Bujold.

7. which color describes you most accurately?
Deep, deep indigo blue.

8. what one toiletry item could you never live without?
Toilet paper. No explaination needed.

9. what do you think Victoria’s secret is?
That she's probably a middle-aged plump woman who wears NONE of those clothes and secretly laughs at those who do.

and lastly:
10. what brings you here?

I stopped having any contact with both of my parents (and my siblings who live with my father) 9 years ago (him) and 8 (her) when I got into foster care and there was a criminal case against my father for sexual abuse (he did a lot more then that, but they weren't putting that in- the ritual abuse might've messed hte case up, not that it matttered, didn't make it to trial). I was seventeen. I've had some contact with my "Aunt" (father's ex-wife before my mother, if you follow) but that was both so heart-wrenching and- information kept- leaking from ehr to other, less trustworthy family members- that I haven't talked to her in a few years. I miss her desperately.

When people ask me, I say I was in foster care. Which is true, though it was only for nine months. But I think it says a lot that IN those nine months the court revoked parental rights and had me made a Ward of the Court. Even the judge commented on the fact that neither of my parents *bothered to show UP* for that.

I've tried making the "family of friends thing" (and my foster parents, and the guy I was engaged to, among others) work. Repeatedly. Every time it ends up hurting me, badly.

So, basically- I don't have family, or anything like it. I tend to get very depressed/suicidal around the holidays as I- never have anyone to spend them with. My *cat*, who I've had seven and a half years, has been in my life longer then anyone I currently know/am in contact with.

11. what do you hope to get from us as a community?
A place I can talk about what it's *like* to- be- well, basically an orphan (one of the best doctors I ever worked with told me that- he's really great-that the pain- will always be there- because I am rather literally an orphan. Even more then most survivors I know.) but not even having them *dead*... Where I cna hear other peole talking about similar things. Stuff like that.



Missing my Mom [Wednesday, July 5th 2006]

This is a section from an email I sent to my therpist. I am in missing my mom mode tonight. Sigh.

Finally found out what was making Em cranky and mean and unable to sleep. She had an ear infection. I didn't know that was what was changing her behavior so drastically. After the first dose of antibiotic she was running in circles and actually smiling. Two weeks of hell to learn another lesson of parenting. E and I just really didn't know that she was that ill. This morning she just wanted to sit on the couch and watch TV and I was upset thinking wow she has suddenly gotten lazy. I forced her to go to the library even though she cried to stay home which is unlike her.

This is the legacy of not having an experienced mother in my life. I miss my mother a lot. But I am surviving. As I said last time I won't ever say that living this way is okay. It's not okay to have needs and have to sweep them under the carpet. I need that mothering influence in my life and I can't always get it. That makes me angry and that anger won't end. Everytime I feel that anger I will speak it or write it and I imagine I will feel it on and off through Em early childhood. But it isn't a destructive anger it is simply the anger that comes from knowing that things don't have to be this way. Someday I might have the opportunity to help someone out in a similar situation or maybe write a book. Until then...well I am glad this mothering hurdle is over and next time I will recognize an ear infection because I will have had that experience.

More lessons learned the hard way...but at least they are learned. Tonight I sleep!


[Thursday, June 15th 2006]

after MUCH deliberation, i decided to send my dad a father's day card. i made it myself, and it's cute. i even enclosed a note.

here's what it actually says:

we haven't spoken in a while, but i didn't want to let this day to pass without letting you know that i love you. i've been going through a difficult time lately, but as always, i'm finding my way. i'm sorry that i cut contact with you like i did, but i didn't know how to keep talking without making a mess out of things. i just think i need more time, more work, so i - we - can do this differently. i hope you're doing well (& having a good race season!). i miss you and i love you. happy father's day.
here's what i WISH it said:Collapse )


[Tuesday, June 13th 2006]

sorry that was for physical, sexual, and children of alcoholics too.

[Tuesday, June 13th 2006]

i managed to see a "light" when i read this page. if u are a child of an alcoholic look here. u may be surprised:



[Friday, May 26th 2006]

i want to change my name. i've wanted this for a really long time. when i was 15, i used to read the phone book for good names. when i was 11, i was legally adopted by my stepfather. he and my mom changed my last name without telling me until it was too late. i hate his last name, and i'm an adult now, so...it's time.

for a while i thought about taking back my father's last name, the one i was born with. but he and i aren't doing so well, and my aunt and i aren't doing so well, and...i'm just not feeling it. i'm ready to reinvent.

i'm a firm believer in serendipity and intuition, and finding my way and myself accidentally. i created this username while i was in NYC, as just a new email address. i fell in love with it. my ex used to call me bella, and i loved it so much that i told her not to call me anything else. she would even address me as that on mail...

but what i'm wondering/struggling with is my family. i'm not close with any of them at the moment, but what if that changes? are they going to think i'm criminally insane if i show up with a completely different name than the last time they saw me? what about my sisters? my father? my grandmother?

i know that to do this, i have to not care what anyone else thinks. i have to get comfy with it because, after all, it is MY IDENTITY.

so i'm just going to ask...do you think that this girl

could be a Bella? i'm thinking of isabella francesca rivolta as my full name. i wanted something not so white girl sounding, something that flowed, something that would look hot on a dust jacket. bella rivolta means "beautiful rebellion" in italian, and francesca means "free." i personally love it, i just can't tell whether or not it's totally ridiculous...

comment and help a sister out, would ya?


[Monday, May 15th 2006]


Strength from the milk of human kindness.
A safe place for all the pieces that scatter.
Try to pretend it's more than love that matters.
 Indigo Girls -- Love will come to you


A little Buddhism always makes me feel better [Saturday, May 13th 2006]

[ mood | crappy ]

"Our modern society creates so many young people without roots. They are uprooted from their families and their society; they wander around, not quite human beings, because they do not have roots. Quite a number of them come from broken families and feel rejected by society. They live on the margins, looking for a home, for something to belong to. They are like trees without roots. For these people, it's very difficult to practice. A tree without roots cannot absorb anything; it cannot survive. Even if they practice intensively for ten years, it's very hard for them to be transformed if they remain an island, if they cannot establish a link with other people."


Regressing a little [Saturday, May 13th 2006]

[ mood | crappy ]

I am feeling my lack of roots today. There is no one here to come in and help me clean up my house and my life. No one to say "hey you were a beautiful baby." No baby pictures...no baby book. God I really need to be someones baby today.

Anyone want to hold me while I suck my thumb?


mental/emotional abuse [Saturday, May 13th 2006]

I found this somewhere around Lj, and thought I'd be a good idea to post here in case anyone might be curious about it. When I was going through the list, I was surprised how many of them were quite relevant. I think most people don't take mental/emotional abuse as seriously as physical abuse. Just because you can't literally see all of the affects, that doesn't mean it isn't real.

I'm not a pro, but if any of these apply to you, then it's probably time to either make some boundaries for yourself, think over your relationships, have a talk with the person bahaving this way, or figure out why you are acting this way (if you are). I hope this can help someone grow, become stronger, and healthier. :)

It's a bit of a long list, so I am going to put it in a Lj cut.

Lj cut for mental/emotional abuse listCollapse )


[Tuesday, May 9th 2006]

These two people in my class came up to me and asked me who my parents were. One of them told me that they though they knew them.
I looked at them and just said, "I don't have any parents". One of the ladies told me how sorry she was and rubbed my back a little. The other one asked what my mom's name was and then said that she didn't know her.

It was so odd to say that I don't have any parents, but I had no other way to phrase it.


Can you ever really let go? [Monday, May 8th 2006]

[ mood | frustrated ]

This is what I wrote to the last three biological family members that I have had contact with.

I just wanted to let you know that I have come out of my depression. This one was really a bad one. I had two separate times that I was suicidal. Guns in the house obviously are a bad situation for someone who is very depressed, but **** changed the combination on the lock so that is good. It is hard to explain how I could be suicidal with a small child. I imagine some people might judge that as selfish, however it is really not anything that I had too much control over. At a certain point the depression just takes over and you don't have much control over your impulses. This is an impulse control problem like any other. I lost a little bit of freedom there for a while, but I stayed safe and that is the important thing.

There is more to the email but you get the gist.

No response...and so typical. I need to stop trying, but for some reason I keep doing it. Keep thinking that someone with my same blood gives a damn. When in reality they don't. Just so you all know I am not depressed. I made it through and I am damn proud of myself. I have put in a lot of therapy hours trying to get through some serious crap in my life. But I was in a dark place...of course I waited until I was no longer depressed to send them an email and still they don't have the decency to respond with a glad you are alright or anything.


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