That Numb Relief

When feelings take form inside my belly
(conceived by malevolent rape of fear)…

they float inside, tentacles trailing
and dripping venom, stings
and lashes left as their brand
and claim they own my heart.

Ugly jellyfish,
fat glutenous bodies
pulsing in anti-rhythm
that shatters my harmony.

And I know
I am ugly and coarse,
I know I repulse, repel
and am become castaway

Robinson Crusoe marooned with his man Ugly

When feelings gain control
and surge and pound,
tides unleashed from
the Moon’s tender tether

I know I am unlovely
and unlovable, and giant.
Denied position, denied a place, a table
and the seas choke relentlessly

and hope drowns.

When feelings reign supreme, alas!
I am lost, lonely, and never-loved.

Never attractive,
never desired or wanted
of no value, garbage
worthy only of slaughter
and funereal raging flames
of hate to eat the remains.

When feelings are it,
consuming and drowning me
Mama has Her work cut out for Her,

over awful repulsive me,
repugnant and shameful,
head low and eyes
digging dirt for stones

to crawl back under,
to disappear in.

When feelings take control,
I finally find the numb relief
of endurance, and another day
rolls on.

When feelings take control


Born On The Edge

These days are tricky,
staying in that sweet spot
between futures and pasts.
They want to align
in tricky mutant ways
like my DNA did, matching up
that past with this future,
and presents…well God only knows
how that is determined!

I used to be, in that past,
not present and thus not known or seen.
Love was something
I gave to others, but never was
my picnic basket of many-splendored wonders
and that past shoots me,
injects me into a future that
threatens, withholds and starves
my soul with “tolerance”.

I also was, in this other past,
staunchly, substantially present
and accounted for…doing,
saying this thing and that,
and knighted with unconscious
privilege and place.
That history?  Well it veers off
to insistence, self-serving demands
for attention and affirmation.

No…as a “there but not there” prisoner,
I have to struggle to keep
the strands straight, to not cross the streams,
and let my me
cry for love
and for acceptance,
and companionship
and intimacy
and affirmation

and for that label:   Beautiful
while my myself
walks firmly in
lands beyond sight,
unseen but lonely
and finding solace
in Her touch
and Her words
and Her cloak.

It is a knife edge,
and my options are few,
and costly:
selfishness, or abnegation,
and the fruits of those indulgent follies
or standing firm,
with sliced up soles
and a branded soul…

From the beginning, I have been born on the edge.


If I Could Explain The Love Of God

The Love of God is literally the one thing that transforms all things.  There is nothing that is greater.  Nothing can stand in its way or resist its power…

…well, except for one other thing:  the human will.

The human will can say no to this love…and yet, even human will, no, especially human will, is but the ultimate extension of the Love of God.  Because God would rather have children who are free instead of children who are slaves.  That liberty is so important that They even found a way to show the Ultimate Love by laying down His life for us all.

It is the one and only thing that has kept me alive all these years, that kept my finger off the trigger and the barrel away from my brain, that kept me getting up everyday and walking thru that gender prison camp I was locked in for so long…the Love of God has been underneath my wings when I can no longer flap them, it has been miles of pillows and cushions when I have cast myself from the precipices of despair and resolved to never ever smile again or ever look someone in the eye.

The times on my bike, when Mama drew near me in the high mountains and loved on me and in me as I slogged mile after mile up 10% slopes, and then came careening down at 55 miles an hour, nothing between me and the pavement but thin tires and bike shorts and the Love of God.

The times I was in my kitchen, hidden inside a big, awkward, hairy temple that was so defeating and monstrously final…and She would touch my heart and light up ingredients and show me how to put together food preparations…and speak to my heart as I did about what is true food and drink.

The vineyards, and the life surging there and the insights She gave me.

When my precious precious doggie was lost, miles from home, and I cried all night at 10 years old and begged Them bring her home…and I said that if You are really there and You really love me You will hear me and have mercy…that same prayer that millions have prayed in one form or another, but never got anything but blunt silence…and in the morning, she was there, my Millie…and I cried so hard, and words cannot express that strange mixture of relief, wonder, and yes a bit of shame for my naked doubt…and literal overwhelming wonder and confusion that They chose to answer my brokenhearted plea.

The night at the end of 8th grade that I cried all night, wanting to die, and finally resigning from being a follower…I told Them “no offense, this is not Your fault, but mine…I literally am not good enough and I am not strong enough.  I am not going to live a lie, so I am checking out and will become like everyone else and bury my sorrow in drugs and alcohol and sex”…and wept some more…until She whispered soft but completely clear, asking me what would it take as a sign to me that They would be my life, and my strength, and my hope…

…and I said the wildest thing I could think of:  “If Dad gets up this morning (for it was after midnight) and tells us we are moving to a completely different town, where no one knows me, and I have a brand new start, then I will still try and follow you.  I will be Your child and always stay near Your side…but what a joke!  Who does that, just up and moves to a different city?”  And I cried more, until sometime just before dawn I drifted off to a troubled and thready sleep, wishing I could die…

…and when Mom got us up to get ready for school, Dad came in to the table where we ate our cold cereal, and said “Kids…I have some big news for you.  Mom and I decided yesterday that we are moving to Gold Hill.  It is closer to the house I want to build, and closer to Mom’s school”…and I burst into tears again and they all thought I was distraught from the move, when really I was shattered by the overwhelming, generous, graceful Love of God given to me, ton after ton after ton.

The night, when I finally cracked and admitted what I am, who I am, and Mama sang over me as I cried so hard that the sheets were literally wringing wet…She sang “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  Our mercies never come to an end.  They are new every morning, new every morning! Great is Our Faithfulness!”

My dearest darling…the amazing manifestation in human form of Their love…

…but mostly, the tears that pour down my cheeks whenever I, the whore at the feet of Jesus, washing His feet with my tears and drying them with my hair, think about Their love…higher than the highest hills, deeper than the sea, broader than the skies above…and those words, vibrating at the core of all things: It Is Finished .

Love, Charissa Grace
the girl loved without measure
for reasons ever mysterious


Transmisogyny a special flavor of hate from hell

This was written on a blog that I read that is about the specialized form of misogyny that transgender women face…transmisogyny.  I post it here to hopefully give you pause for thought.  While I am not in the dating market (thank God!), I still face the same kind of reaction from random people if I am not extremely careful.  This will continue until all of us women, cis and trans, stand together and say enough!  It is not acceptable that the baseline is we feel lucky if we aren’t assaulted and/or killed.

“When I mentioned that there were ways in which transmisogyny causes trans women to be more oppressed than cis women in certain areas, a lot of people got defensive. I’m against defining any kind of universal experience of womanhood, whether specific to trans or cis experiences. It will not be universally true, but transmisogyny can cause a higher degree of discrimination, hostility, and violence to come upon a trans woman.

Of course, many of the people who had defensive comments probably came from TERF sites or are otherwise hecklers, but I thought I’d make one point, regardless:

If you don’t think being perceived as a “fake sex object” (read: fake woman from a patriarchal lens) could be worse than being perceived as a “genuine sex object,” I would propose a little experiment. I do not recommend actually trying this experiment, but rather keeping it as a thought experiment due to the potential for physical danger:

If you don’t think you can come into a higher level of physical danger or otherwise be more oppressed by being perceived as a trans woman, cis women can try going to a bar (one that caters to a hetero crowd, at least) and wait for a man to approach them showing interest. Don’t tell them right away so as to scare them off, but after a few minutes of talking to a man who’s interested in you, just try telling them you’re trans. You never know when they’ll scream at you and call you an ugly freak (in spite of being really attracted to you ten seconds ago), or maybe they’ll follow you to your car and attack you. Maybe they’ll start to value your agency even less and assume you must be “easier” because you would have a “male sexuality.” Or just assume you’re a “freak” so you must “like to get freaky.”

You don’t know how they’ll react, do you? Neither do we. But one thing that can be considered a reliable conclusion is that they will not treat you with as much respect after disclosing trans status. And because there’s literally no universal difference between trans women and cis women, a cis woman could tell a man she’s trans and be treated the same way.

AGAIN: I DO NOT RECOMMEND TRYING THIS AT HOME – This is a thought experiment for cis women. If you try this, you WILL be in serious danger! However, that serious danger is what we’re EXPECTED to subject ourselves to every single time we interact with someone we’re interested in.

This is one reason why I wrote the statement, “Wait until you’re seen as…” because the way transmisogyny manifests in society is through perception, just like misogyny. Cis women CAN experience the same kinds of transmisogyny, all people need to think is that you were born trans, and that doesn’t require you to look, act, feel, think, etc…. any differently. You as a person won’t change in any way, but you will be seen a LOT differently, and that is definitively sexist.”