My 23-year-old independent, talented and beautiful daughter was the goddess to me. From the moment she was born with the female bits instead of the other ones, every movement, every breath, every bellow of frustration seems to come from the center of perfect femininity. My darling Faerin.

Faerin in Kentucky, age 4
Faerin in Kentucky, age 4

For me, someone whose own sense of being female had been tainted and defiled from the age of 3, this pure and perfect little girl was more than a daughter. She was a second chance at my own life. A chance to get it right, for her sake. But then something odd happened. I didn’t give her a sister.

I have a sister, my mother had a sister, my sister’s daughters have sisters, my cousins have sisters and their daughters have sisters. It’s a thing we do in my family, we grow up with a sister. But not Faerin. She got two little brothers, and all of my female energy went into my only little girl.

When I say all, I mean all. I made a rookie mistake and it cost me dearly.

My first marriage was happy enough. We shared the same interests and wanted the same things out of life, including remaining childless. Unfortunately for my husband, that didn’t work out so well. As an untreated survivor of prolonged childhood sexual abuse, I never established personal boundaries about sex. The “Do I want to be doing this or not?” tape that starts in a normal person’s brain when things begin to get heated never switches on for me. Instead, I (and many, many others like me) switch to the “How do I survive this?” tape and deal with it that way. It’s not helpful and allows sexual predators to rape you in your own bed and then tells you to apologize to them afterward. Anyway, I ended up in an unhappy, abusive marriage with Faerin’s biological father and my sense of my own femininity began to dissolve. I became the Madonna and did my very best to shut off any trace of the Whore in my psyche. What had she done for me anyway?

After the divorce, it accelerated. I loved being single and powerful and free but I knew that my sexuality was never to be trusted, so I eliminated it from my life. Being asexual was safer, cleaner, easier to manage than a messy relationship.

But with my sexuality, I abandoned my love for myself. Instead, I focused all of it on Fae. And she was everything I could have wanted in a goddess and more. She was powerful, she was desirable, she navigated sexual contracts and came out of them feeling loved and appreciated.

Sexy selfie

When Faerin died, I was dying. I was sick that weekend, in bed, miserable. I couldn’t go out with her on Monday and I was still sick when the police arrived Tuesday night. I was in bed, binge-watching some random, useless garbage and allowing life to wait for another day. Once the boys were settled maybe. When it finally felt safe, maybe. Who knows? Probably never. I was without passion, without attraction, without the energy to fight for something as terrifying as love.

So she was my goddess. She shone brightly for me. She and I were teasing each other one night and she asked if I wanted to hear all about her sexual awakening. I clapped my hands over my ears and began to sing loudly and badly, to drown her out, but I wish I hadn’t. I wish I knew the tale of how a goddess awakens. I feel like I deserve to know but I was too stupid to accept the gift when it was offered to me.

And then, in an afternoon, she was gone.

No more stories, no more dancing, no more long conversations about sexual ethics and changing morality. All gone.

The number of amazing women in my house went from 2 to 0. I’m trying to bring it back up to one.

I need to be my own goddess now. I need to awaken my power and touch passions that haven’t been aroused in 20 years, if ever.

It’s hard.

I’m so used to being invisible, genderless, asexual, oblivious. Becoming aware is painful on at least two levels – the “what the hell am I doing” level, obviously, but also the “what the hell was I thinking when I gave this all up” level is often even harder to face. I lived a half-life full of service, sacrifice, and resentment. For what? To create a home where no one had a passion for anything real? A home Faerin began to hate because the energy was so… dead. I was dead. Inside.

But if she’s not here to be the goddess for me, then I simply have to do this myself. I’ll be goddess enough for both of us. I’ll fight my way back to life and find my passions, wherever I left them. I’ll dance, I’ll play, I’ll navigate my way through a world that makes no sense to me. For her.

For me.

For goddesses everywhere.