Author Topic: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD  (Read 16893 times)

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Offline Ms. OBrien CVT

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2012, 07:51:15 am »
Damn, Maddie.  I am so sorry.  Call if you need to talk, Hon.

   
It does not take courage or bravery to change your gender.  It takes fear of living one more day in the wrong one.~me

Offline Catherine Sarah

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2012, 08:59:17 am »
Hi Madeline,

It's hard to know what to say. I could barrage you with a heap of cliches, but that would be meaningless. I do know you have the strength and tenacity to move through this and come out the other side a better woman for it.

I've just finished a 33 year relationship, but it didn't finish as emotional blackmail. I've known for about 18 months it would not survive my transition, so in a way I was at least prepared for it, as painful as it was.

It concluded with such grace and dignity that I thought couldn't exist. We both spoke of our dreams and desires under this new lifestyle and in the end, it was more than blatantly obvious they couldn't be out worked under the existing relationship.

As hard and as gut wrenching as it was, looking back on it now, the freedom and liberation gained from the grace and dignity has taken me to an all new level of femininity.

And I know that will be there for you.

All my thoughts and energies are with you now. (And if I believed in prayer, you'd have that too.)

It's time for you now Maddie. Time for you to take care of Madeline. You are now the most important part of this equation.

Love and special thoughts.

Catherine




If you're in Australia and are subject to Domestic Violence or Violence against Women, call 1800-RESPECT (1800-737-7328) for assistance.

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2012, 12:04:28 pm »
Thanks Janet and Catherine. I am kind of in a strange place emotionally because I have been pre-grieving this for months-- it just took a while to understand why my gut was grieving and to accept it. My feeling now is more of a "so this is how the story ends. I wouldn't have written this ending but one of the characters is demanding it." I will finish this chapter with grace and clarity, and see from there if its time to write a new book, and in what genre.

And Madeline cried. Tears washing away her denial, as she slowly embraced what had to be, she bent down and picked up the pieces, careful not to to cut herself on the sharp edges that seemed to be everywhere.

<Metaphor shift>

When you realize there is an industrial shelf with shoe boxes stacked 10 high that started to come away from the wall years ago, and your significant other is pulling on the shelf with all of her might, its time to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. As soon as my strength stops pushing back, they are all going to the floor. I guess I've known that for a while. I just didn't have the courage to step away.

Stepping away from the shelf. <DUCK>
Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2012, 12:13:54 pm »
P.S. Me and my stupid unique metaphor-based mind, I quite literally write into my environment the truths I cannot face so they are staring right at me.

Broken home = broken home.

Some people do this stuff in dreams, I do it in my living room. LOL. or COL. Not sure which.

<metaphor shift>
But as soon as the fever broke and the patient died, I suddenly was no more triggered by the mess.

<metaphor shift>
Circuit closed. Current flowing. Warning light no longer lit.

I have to go to work for the rest of the day, so don't worry about me if I don't post.

I'll be emoting for a while. Will switch my cell phone plan from pay as you go to unlimited today. I think I'm going to need it.

For some events you can prepare; for others, there are unlimited calling plans. -Maddie
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Brooke777

Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2012, 03:14:30 pm »
I am so sorry *hugs*

Feel free to email me if you just want to talk (type).

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2012, 12:18:18 am »
Hugs Madeline.

We are what we are and it is very difficult for people to understand, even if yoy think they do.

Hugs Sis
Cindy

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2012, 02:03:57 am »
Life happens. And then it keeps happening. I take comfort in that. And the row of overly emotional smileys that stare at me when I try to write. This one  :'( and this one :-\ and this one  :embarrassed: keep drawing my eye.  ???

I cleaned for two hours today, read, went to the office for five hours and met a couple of deadlines, took a nap on the train home, cleaned the kitchen, cooked a great dinner, shared it with my wife roommate/friend, talked. Maintained my boundaries.

I can do this. I'll sleep in a minute. Body still knows what to do, even if the rest of me feels a little lost.

It was nice being the only one at the office today, because I could burst into tears and convulse and not worry about who might see me or hear me groan. Then when I let it out I could get back to tasks that forced my focus. Rinse and repeat.

I wouldn't be able to handle this if I hadn't transitioned. And if I didn't have my friends.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2012, 11:54:36 pm »
Things are much more peaceful now at home. We've talked more deeply about more of the hard stuff in the last few days then in months of tiptoeing around each other. Sometimes people have to go through an irrational outburst to get to what's on the other side of the dam. I'm glad when it burst, I was to a point in my own progress that I could stay firm within my boundaries and fully engage with her, but not reflect back and inflame the rage that came pouring out, followed by the fear, followed by the sadness, followed by the resolution, followed by the balance she has found. I've been going through a parallel arc, and we are no longer at odds. This task feels like dividing and reorganizing a conventional ship in mid-voyage and creating two seaworthy vessels without making either one sink.

The bottom line for me is the same one I started with when I realized that who I have to be to be true to myself, is NOT the person she thought she married or loved all these years. Just because we both now know this is who I really am and have always been, it doesn't mean that the fundamental basis of our relationship hasn't changed because of it. It has.
 
Looking back, it was as irrational for me to hope that an extremely straight (and bi-phobic) woman like my wife would be able to have a romantic relationship with me as a woman, as it was for her to hope that an extremely female-brained woman like me would change her mind and decide to "stay" a man. We both knew in our guts it was far-fetched, but told ourselves that the other was coming around, while in actuality we compromised on a middle way that could be golden for some couples but doesn't work for us, it hurts too much - but we each didn't want to hurt the other either. It's just taken us both a year to learn the answers to questions we can only answer in our own hearts. It would have been incredibly wonderful if those wishes could have come true, so I can blame neither of us for holding on to it.

At the same time, I've been learning how to break my own habits of codependency, and that has fortunately and unfortunately broken many of the ties that were holding us together as husband and wife even though we are, it is looking more and more, both better off as friends.
 
Fortunately, because we both deserve to be whole independent women of integrity and strength and our dependency patterns needed to break so we both could grow. Unfortunately, because cutting ties always hurts, even if it is for the best, even if it is necessary in order to allow healthier ties to grow. And giving up dependency/codependency is scary because it became tangled up in our identities.

All that I just said is true, but the reality is we're just two scared people doing the best we can. We're working together now, and we each need the others hugs and encouragement and cooperation and are getting it. Hoping that lasts, and know how fortunate I am if it does, but as ready as I can be if it doesn't. Letting her make decisions for herself that I wouldn't make, and she's doing the same for me.
 
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Brooke777

Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2012, 09:05:57 am »
I am glad things have calmed down there. I hope you two are able to remain friends in the end.

Offline Catherine Sarah

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2012, 10:26:43 pm »
Hi Madeline,

Best news I've heard all year. I hope you are extremely proud of yourselves, you in particular for managing the confrontation with such wisdom and maturity.

I'm sure you already know where this will take you, both personally and relationship wise. There is certainly nothing you can't handle with such aplomb, either now or in the future. You're unstoppable woman.

What I find most amazing about the outcome from your experience, it that it is available to us all. We just need to engage our feelings in an open and honest manner and let wisdom and maturity prevail. The freedom and liberation that follows, is beyond explanation and understanding, yet so essential for ultimate growth, for both the individual and the parties concerned.

I believe this community is substantially indebted to you. Not only for your openness and brut honesty, under such traumatic stress, but for you clarity and conciseness in your ability to convey such very personal thoughts and feelings.

I believe so many people can now stand on your shoulders and learn from your experience, that will substantially improve their life beyond expectation; by comparison to the mediocrity, denial and regret that it may have otherwise been.

Thinking of you both. {{ }}

Love

Catherine




If you're in Australia and are subject to Domestic Violence or Violence against Women, call 1800-RESPECT (1800-737-7328) for assistance.

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2012, 11:16:47 pm »
Thank you sisters for your listening hearts. I truly appreciate it.

By the way, I learned something important tonight:
Don't stab a chub of raw turkey when you are wearing cream colored chiffon.

That's not a metaphor; I just started a late dinner and wasn't thinking straight when I tried to open the package of turkey. Bloody mess, as the British say.

Sigh.
Life goes on, which is one of the best things about it. If it was relying on me for maintenance right now I think all life would cease, or at least be wearing raw turkey parts all down its front.

One of my favorite songs goes, "when you're in the valley, you see the heights more clearly". I'm in the valley, but it's foggy and overcast and I can't see a thing.

I'm a little scrambled right now. As the kids say these days, "The feels..."

While I was spot cleaning the chiffon, I remembered the Latin poet's famous words, Omnia vincit amor. Used to be my motto. Really. And for the first time, I said, Virgil my friend, sorry, but you are wrong. I say,

Love DOESN'T conquer all. I say,
Love never conquered anything, anyone, or anywhere. I say,
Love teaches us that there are better things to do with our power than to go around conquering. I say,
Love teaches us to let people be themselves and to honor what is unique in each of us. I say,
Love teaches us to answer the door when the need for control knocks, and say, "Don't want any. Now go away." I say,
Love teaches us that there are no easy answers, but it is still worth it to keep asking the questions. I say,
Love teaches us that control is an illusion, pain happens to us all, and loss is part of life. I say,
Love melts boundaries that don't belong, and strengthens boundaries that do. I say,
Love hurts, but its the best I've got.


Anyone know the Latin for that?
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2012, 10:14:18 am »
Life goes on. I had a great session with my therapist yesterday. She wasn't surprised exactly since she was with me last Wednesday when I held a retirement ceremony from Madeline's Rescue Service, but was impressed that I held up as well as I did in unexplored terror-tory.

It's been less than a week since my wife was screaming for me to get out and listing all the reasons why she doesn't want to be with me. It's already on the other side of the distance-smother cycle where she is feeling needy and afraid that I'm going to leave her. By last night she was asking me, "so there is nothing I can say that will keep you from moving out?".

I asked her what she meant, and it came out that she's worried about who will do things for her when she feels too ill to do them herself, who will drive her places when she doesn't feel up to driving (still hasn't gone to get her license started), who will pay her bills and buy her things she needs. Not a question any where of how am I doing, are my needs getting met, of anything in it for me (to be crass) except to proudly wear the MRS badge of active duty again. She actually asked me to stay, and to stay married, through January to make it easy for me to pay for her dental work with my FSA. ( After all ( thoughts in my head at the time ) what could a trans woman nearing surgical transition possibly do with their self-paid medical expense account except spend it all on a spouse that stays with them FOR THE TEETH. LOL ).  "We married out of friendship and loneliness, but we stayed together for the dentures."

Oh, I almost forgot, it's inconvenient to divorce at Christmas time. Makes those family gatherings awkward. Christmas should be a happy happy time.

Better to stay together FOR THE ELVES. She said that (except for the elf part).

I could learn from this one, self-advocacy. Her one acknowledgement that Madeline might have needs of any kind was 'we still love each other, right?'. We do. Hence the need to re-establish our friendship on a healthier basis. If I was married to every person I love with whom I can get along and who would like to have a free full-time personal assistant who also pays the bills and doesn't ask for anything in return, I would be in trouble with the law. I would have a LOT of husbands and wives.

I don't know when I'm moving out, because I have to make arrangements, but it will be sooner than that. For my sake.

Oh, when I paid the rent yesterday it was the first time my landlord has seen Madeline. He was coming straight from church. It went just fine. I could see the look in his eye that I've learned means 'Wow this woman really used to be that guy I knew?'. I didn't go into any details because I won't be staying in his rental that long.

It will be interesting here at home, I have been right back in the 'can't clean can hardly move' mode at home, but this time the feeling is different; grief feels different from anxiety. Now when I'm cleaning it reminds me that I am cleaning in order to leave the place better than I found it, not to live in it myself.
 

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2012, 04:00:21 am »
I'm winding down from the caffeine driving from Seattle back to Portland in the blowing rain and getting ready for sleep. Today concludes some pretty amazing days for me.

Something happens when we stand gently but firmly in our truth and, feet firmly planted, lay both hands on the world. It moves.

My ankles have been a bit wobbly, but with my friends propping me up the result has been the same. I have been willing to let go the need to control, the need to judge, and the need to make things right at any cost.

Instead I've been working on loving myself, loving my friends, and loving whatever life brings.

Life happens. And it gets better. Without me making it happen. This is a new experience for me.

I had to get through anger, hurt, and resentment, and the rest of the grieving steps, to arrive here at a new acceptance.


History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2012, 10:20:46 pm »
Wow, Maddie...I know we talked a little bit when you were here, but our situation sounds so much alike!

My soon-to-be-ex also wants to stay married...so she can get her various procedures done before she's off my insurance. No mention of my needs, either. (No mention of hers, beyond the medical).

Glad you made it back safe and sound, really enjoyed our time together.

*hugs*
...I think for most of us it is a futile effort to try and put this genie back in the bottle once she has tasted freedom...

--read in a Tessa James post 1/16/2017

Offline Ms. OBrien CVT

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2012, 10:25:47 pm »
It was one fun ride home, even with Maddie's white knuckles.   Rain in sheets, and the van wanting to dance.

   
It does not take courage or bravery to change your gender.  It takes fear of living one more day in the wrong one.~me

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2012, 02:05:26 am »
Wow, Maddie...I know we talked a little bit when you were here, but our situation sounds so much alike!

My soon-to-be-ex also wants to stay married...so she can get her various procedures done before she's off my insurance. No mention of my needs, either. (No mention of hers, beyond the medical).

Glad you made it back safe and sound, really enjoyed our time together.

*hugs*
I had a great time, you helped take a load off of my heart. *hugs*

It was one fun ride home, even with Maddie's white knuckles.   Rain in sheets, and the van wanting to dance.

Good thing I had my own Storm sibling in the cab helping to light the way.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Brooke777

Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2012, 08:20:09 am »
I'm glad the two of you made it home safely. I had a really good time while you two were here. We totally need to get together again.

Maddie, I am glad your visit provided you some relief.

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2012, 09:20:44 am »
Thanks sisters. Tonight I'll be connecting with the queer community here in Portland for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Besides Pride, this will be my first outing close to home meeting LGBT folks I don't know from Susan's or work.

Transgender activist Janet Mock is speaking at Portland State University at 6:00 tonight. Operating on Maddie time, I think I'd be pushing it to try to attend both events (after all, they are 3 miles apart!), but I will be at the Mass of Healing at MCC at 7:30 p.m. A friend at work has got friends in the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and told me about the event.

To all of my friends: I need you more than I can say. If you are ever remotely considering suicide, talk to me. Nobody should be hurting alone. You aren't alone. Really.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline MadelineB

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2012, 11:53:43 pm »
I think today was/is the best Thanksgiving Day I have ever known. I spent most of it with 13 other adults who share history, love, or friendship with me and my family.

Underneath and throughout everything else today, was the knowledge, highlighted by memory's comparison to all the other gatherings all the other years, that this year, for the first time, I am fully me, fully confident and comfortable in my own skin, and fully known and loved by all of my friends and family.

Even my awareness that my wife/best friend wasn't there, and that this will be the last Thanksgiving I'll be wearing her ring, was without a bitter taste in my mouth or in my heart. It is right to part, so it will be all right.

My family loves the new, true me that used to be obscured by the odd-man-out mask I always wore. Last Thanksgiving was my first day out to my family beyond my wife; this Thanksgiving I have to squint to even see in my mind's eye how I used to be. I don't know how I survived so long but I am so glad I made it.

My bird just typed '69' with her beak, she is standing on my knuckles while I type and almost made off AZft

ok, that long pause when I was about to say "...with the number 9 key but I caught her just in time" was caused by Ellen DeGeneris snatching my Pg Up key with her beak and flying into the bedroom with it. "Come back you %$#@!%&!" I shouted and chased after her. Anette just helped me find it, plus a few missing items I had lost along the bird's flight path. See, bad things happen and then good comes out in the end. Story of my life. I wondered where that necklace went.

After dinner, all the other women gathered around me while I did a dramatic reading of 7 or 8 poems that I wrote this year (and posted here on Susan's in the writing forum). I got the best compliment from my nephew's fiance Hannah, who got a stunned look on her face and said, "Maddie! You WROTE these? I thought you were just reading famous poems from the internet. I LOVE THEM." Hee hee.

When I read 'between fire and ice' everyone got a little red in the face and steamy. And when I read 'Epiphany' everyone cried and we all hugged. The youngsters and I went out for drinks and conversation. It's so strange to remember once feeling so shy and out of place. I used to be a fish out of water. Now I am still a fish, but the whole world is my sea. It felt good to hear six or seven well read adults asking to read all of my work, and encouraging me to consider publishing.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow; I will be apartment hunting with my new roommate, a dear friend who was very happy this week when I said I was looking for a roommate situation. He said he had been looking to get a new place but didn't know anyone he wanted to live with; he and his hairless dog Dobey will be great company.
And on Saturday, Hannah invited me to go with her and my nieces when she is trying on wedding dresses (she and my nephew just got engaged).

Anette and her dad were going to have Thanksgiving together, but when they found out I would be at my sister's, decided to postpone it until tomorrow so that I could be there. I would shake my head in amazement at my new-found popularity, but Ellen is sitting in my hair preening my 'feathers' with her beak. As long as she stays away from the keyboard, the crazy thief!
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

Personal Blog: Madeline's B-Hive

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: MENTAL housekeeping - the diary of a working housewife with PTSD
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2012, 11:26:31 pm »
Maddie, what a wonderful blossoming! Sounds like you have a lot of acceptance and hope!

*hugs*

 :)
...I think for most of us it is a futile effort to try and put this genie back in the bottle once she has tasted freedom...

--read in a Tessa James post 1/16/2017