Trying to get out of being stone
Stones are interesting things. People ignore them all the time, or kick them around, or use them to hurt people. They don’t think about how old a stone is, or that it’s alive and has it’s own soul. Once in a while I meet a stone that wants to go traveling with me. I like it when that happens, they’re good company. You just carry them around until they let you know they’re ready to sit someplace for a while, maybe back where you found them, maybe somewhere new. Stones deserve to be respected, they have feelings like anything else.
Same with people who turn stone. I suppose it’s a term for post traumatic stress disorder that is specific to the lesbian community. I know femmes can be stone too, but mostly I only know the subjective experience of being a stone butch. I think a lot of butches can wind up being stone. It’s a process, I started going stone early, and then shit just accumulated until I am where I am today.
Stone butches are probably the ones you most hate, if you’re butch phobic. We’re the ones that seem hard and cold and suspicious. It’s not that we’re really like that, it’s just that we learn after enough pain that in order to survive you have to keep from showing emotions. Even if someone is hurting you all over again, you just go away and try to maintain this impervious exterior. Getting diagnosed with a mood disorder put the final nail in the coffin of expressing emotions. I mean, when your emotions are considered pathological and grounds to be incarcerated in an abusive prison, you don’t often express them unless you know for a fact the person you’re with isn’t going to toss you into the psychiatric hoosegow.
I don’t like being stone. I doubt anyone does. There are a lot of different ways to be stone. The commonality between all types is a fear/avoidance thing about being touched, specifically due to triggers. Touch is supposed to be the most important thing for the mental well being of a person, but being stone shuts a lot of that out. Some people can touch me though, without me cringing or shrugging them off or slapping the shit out of them. Not many, and I really have to trust them, and you’d be surprised who I don’t trust in my life.
Coming out of the hospital I could feel myself going into the most intense type of stone anyone could be in. I sometimes wonder if a touch or a hug or just someone acknowledging I went through extreme emotional torture would have stopped the process. It’s really curious. Unfortunately the majority of my friends roundly rejected me after I got released, so I guess we will never know.
It’s sad, I guess I feel like parts of me have died every time I’ve gone more and more stone. Maybe they have, they’ve changed me anyway. Or maybe those parts just went somewhere deep inside until it’s safe to come out. I dissociate a lot. I don’t know if I have DID, but I know it happens. When it does it feels like going to a dark quiet spot in the back of me, kind of like hiding under a bed. And then auto pilot takes over. I don’t know if people can see it from the outside, who ever auto pilot is she knows me really well and can pull off pretending to be me. I can watch her talking or experiencing something but I’m completely disconnected from her. When she’s having a conversation it feels like listening from underwater, and I have terrible recall of what was said. And then sometimes I dissociate and it takes auto pilot a while to kick in, which I would think would look like an obvious glitch but I don’t think people are perceptive enough to recognize it.
I’m lucky in that I’m not completely stone, there are some people I trust, and there is at least one person right now I feel safe being close to. It’s kind of a relief to know I can express and receive physical affection. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve been touched lovingly since I left the psych ward. It feels like coming home to myself. I think people who aren’t stone can’t understand the feelings involved. I guess it’s just that after all of that stuff happened, it’s amazing to be recognized as a sexual desirable person who needs to be held and kissed and coyly flirted with. It’s not something just anybody can do with me, for sure. I wasn’t sure anybody would do it with me actually, which is really scary. I hate to say I need a woman to be saved, but it’s true that getting out of being stone means finding someone who’s touch is actually desired, and usually that’s a lover. I don’t know that this person will ever be my lover, but she can touch me and I don’t cringe or feel weird or anything, I just feel like I did before shit happened to me.
I don’t know how else to explain being stone. But there’s a song by Evanescence that describes it perfectly.