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...and I might have text walled a bit in response to someone's question, and that's got me thinking a little bit. I've been trying to write more under my Medium and my twitter accounts, partly because I'm trying to expand my skill set and partly because I would like to actually eventually get paid for some of the work I do and the things I'm good at, and hell, if I'm writing for free anyway, might as well attach it to a name I get paid under so I can actually put it on my CV without flinching or tensing up at the thought of all my identities laid bare at any cursory google search.

Look. My legal name is pretty uncommon; I have to consider that sort of thing if I want to ever get hired again. But at the same time, I'm sick of closets and I've already posted one longform commentary on autism and word use under that byline, so we'll see where my writing winds up.

(Well. Assuming I am actually good enough that the shit I do for free that people praise me for sometimes is worth actually paying me for. Might be an arrogant assumption, but hey, I'm used to people complimenting me for my contributions and writing, so I might as well start integrating those identities some. It's not like I haven't, e.g., linked them both under things like my python-based Habitica/Todoist syncing project, which is hosted on a github I keep under my legal name... but which is primarily advertised under 'sciatrix', which is the username I use on habitica itself.)

I dunno, I have a lot of internalized stuff relating to actually revealing my full self to people, and it's just easier to do under sciatrix than it is under Erin. Partly this is because sciatrix is at least as googleable as my legal name if not more so--there's only two other Sci Lastnames on the Internet, but I'm the only sciatrix I've ever found--and partly it's just habit; I'm used to being my full self under sciatrix whereas honestly, anyone who knows me first by my legal name isn't going to get access to a whole whack of my personal identities and context unless I trust them enough to actually tell them that I go by sciatrix online. So it turns into a bit of a nasty feedback loop where Sci is my relaxed self and Erin is semi-guarded, and I just... want to compartmentalize less.

I've ranted about the fact that the closet, that passing, ain't a privilege before, because that kind of constant watching yourself and closing yourself off thing is a hell of an energy drain. More than that, it means that when you gamble wrong about which bits of yourself are tied to which appearance and something that developed under one identity transitions to being mentioned under the public one, you get a lot of weird looks. Here I'm thinking about what happened when I

I think that's a big part of why I'm pushing to integrate my two names a little more than I used to lately, trying to get in the habit of being willingly honest online without my pseudonym. Of course, the point that my boundaries and my carefulness are things I've developed in response to getting shitty responses when I am fully open about myself is probably worth keeping in mind, too--but hey, it's the Internet. It's not that I don't think Internet harassment isn't dangerous, but at the same time, the more open I am about the parts of myself I usually keep a little guarded, well... the less I worry about those secrets being revealed at times and places outside my choosing. The possibility of being doxxed or cyberstalked is always at the front of my mind, especially because like I said, I'm pretty Googleable. And my mother isn't beyond a little cyberstalking if she thinks it will pressure me into coming to heel, either. If people already know and it's boring, well hey! That takes a lot of that power out of the equation.

I don't have a lot of 'normal' privacy responses, honestly; my boundaries are always more about not wanting to deal with people's reactions than they are any actual shame I have about who I am and how I am known. (This is why I have a "most adorable question about my masturbatory habits ever!" story, and why I make a really good sexuality panelist generally--if I'm in a context where I know I won't have to deal with any relationship feedback from being out and open, I really have no qualms talking about anything going on in my life. So... we'll see how carefully getting used to being open about all my selves goes, I guess.

That's all more than a bit of a process, though, and if I'm going to be opening up I would like to have a place to put my writing that feels safely under my sciatrix handle. So I'm using here, as I have habitually done over the past few years; I might have tried Imzy, but alas, it's sunk under the waters without a trace. I trust Dreamwidth, and even better: no one is ever going to make or expect me to do a lot of fancy blog naming or wrangling here. So hey. It's maybe the most low pressure space I have, and I appreciate that.

I might crosspost things to here and to my Medium account; I might not. We'll see. I've already outed myself as autism spectrum on that blog, which is scary enough for now... but I don't think I see anything wrong with crossposting any Medium posts over here. That stuff is more likely to be science ramblings or general social justice, anyway.

Here's what I've been up to, if you haven't heard from me in a while--wait, no, that's a terrible fucking idea, my life is absurd. Okay, how about here's where I'm at now:

-two days ago, I had to euthanize my beloved and terrible kitten Janet because she contracted feline infectious peritonitis, and in the three months before we figured out what was wrong, it had eroded all her quality of life. Not that it mattered; the disease is apparently a result of one of those universally-contracted but asymptomatic viruses mutating into something that inflames and enrages the gut, and it's incurable once diagnosed. She was not yet two years old. I still see her out of the corners of my eye. She had more personality than any cat I've ever met, and she was her tough-as-nails, bossy, demanding, unexpectedly sweet self right up until the end.

I'll miss her.

-in January, my partner notatailor and I went to visit with my paternal grandmother during the Women's March and inauguration. She... aw, hell, let's say I used to be her favorite grandchild, things she said to me when I saw her at my sister's wedding last June made me think she maybe loved me enough to like and love me, the actual human being, despite her long record of conservative political involvement, history of playing favorites at all (up to and including actually scapegoating two of her own children and a few of her grandchildren) and the fact that both of us a) share very strong convictions about politics and American patriotism while also b) having diametrically opposed social politics...

Well, I probably shouldn't have accepted her invitation to stay with them after I asked if she wanted to meet with me for lunch while I was in town, but I was broke and I really wanted to believe that I was more important than politics. Should also probably note that my relationship with my grandmother was something that I really used to root my sense of identity, probably because I--family's important to me, my mother has been a pretty shit mother to me, and well, I was her favorite grandchild and my mother's Unfavorite, if you see what I mean.

The visit went abruptly from welcoming and friendly to a dinner that culminated in my grandparents reducing my partner to tears and abandoning both of us on a street corner in Alexandria. We were able to find lodging with friends on very, very short notice and even made it successfully to the March, and someday I'll write up my experience of those very emotionally laden days, but not today. For right now.... well, the important thing is that my whole sense of who I am is still shaken, because I built up a lot of my sense of who I was off of where I had come from, and I'm still reeling from realizing just how awful a lot of her opinions and values were. It's tainting a lot of things that are a part of me, and I'm working out how to deal with it.

Given that one of the big central parts of me is the sort of unyielding patriotism that expects my country to live up to its ideals, to be honest, to be what it likes to believe it is--well, that's not combining well with general political climate. I go back and forth on paying attention to the ongoing trauma of both the Trump administration and local Texan politics. Balancing resisting with the rest of my life is somewhat difficult.

-in February I finally broke contact with my mother, which was really something I ought to have done years ago, after over a decade of trying to set boundaries and figure out how to make a relationship work. I'm processing that, too, and still fending off attempts to make contact with me and suck up all my thought and energy. Not great. I got an email from an aunt I have to head off now, in fact. Aahahaha and I just responded by mistake more bluntly and honestly than I used to, so I'm just going to block her and be done with it and ignore any possibility of reprisal.

-I finally switched my research focus to a different drug, and I'm optimistic I might get somewhere useful this year with my PhD. If so, it'll be a blessing. My colleague Captain Mansplainer tried to mansplain my thesis to me last week. He literally asked the lab why we don't frame our work more in terms of life history theory, when the second slide of the talk introduction I have used in every talk I've given in the past year about the motivation behind my research is titled "Sexual selection in a life history context." I was less than thrilled with him.

-I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 recently and it fuckin' broke me. As with everything, it's not perfect, and I see why criticisms of it exist--but holy hell, it hit me on a "surviving abusive families" sort of level. I ache when I watch it, and I have been reading a lot of fic lately.

-I'm honestly about ready to look for where the universe keeps its kidneys and start looking for an appropriate shiv. I am really sick of weathering this shit.
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