Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Secret Room.

Last year Joan of Dark gave me a copy of a book called Post Secret. It began by a man who started a community project, handing out postcards to strangers and leaving them places people would find them, asking people to write down a secret they had never told anyone, and mail it to him. The response was overwhelming. I always wanted to send him one that said "I have a secret but it won't fit on a post card"

I have a Secret Room in fact. It's filled with things that I've never told anyone. I know it's there, but even I don't go in there. Every so often friends have knocked on it, or noticed it, but last night one of my Derby Sisters didn't just notice it, she kicked the door down, came inside and effectively said "What the hell is all THIS shit???"

I won't tell you the entire conversation but it was about sex, and lovers and it ended by her asking me why I looked so ashamed. Well, it's because I've got this Secret Room that no one knows about.

There's no locking that door back up again.

Here's what's in there.

I started this morning with a lot of crying, which moved onto writing Joan, then finally talking it out with another Derby Sister, and I want to write about it. All of it. Which ain't going to be easy but maybe I can clean out this room and get on with things.

I've always felt different even really young, than the people around me. I could never imagine being with a man, when we talked about being married I always said I wanted to marry a women, and of course got told THAT can't happen, you'll marry a man, which even then made me feel really WRONG.

When I was 11, the nasty next door neighbor started abusing me sexually. He made me promise not to tell, all the sorts of things child abusers tell their victims, only, I will tell you, you don't FEEL like a victim, you feel totally and completely responsible. And like no matter how much you wash, you will always feel him. It ended when he asked me to send my sister away and I said to my Mom he wanted to see me alone, could she keep my sister inside and later asked me what he wanted. I told her.

They called the police, he denied it, there was a trial, he was convicted. And then my parents told me never to talk about this, never to tell, never ever tell anyone. I didn't. We moved away after that to a new state, a new school where all the other kids were REALLY different than the ones I grew up with, and of course, I felt really different than any of them.

I found Figure Skating. Spending hours on the ice before and after school made feeling so alone at school, and at home much easier. On the ice, I knew what I was doing, I was in control, I was beautiful and I could put every little thing into jumps, spins, and movement, and get praise, support and applause for doing it.

I didn't have to think about things. Didn't have to confront the fact that things were REALLY bad at home, I didn't know why then, but my mother was an alcoholic sinking deeper and deeper into that muck.

They divorced, she left my three sisters and I with my Dad. That ended skating. Music took it's place, I learned the Violin and listened to music in my room every night for hours, and wanted more than anything to do nothing but play music for a living.

I still saw my mother, but she really didn't seem like a mother and had pretty much decided I was her "friend" she could confide in, talk to come to for help. She'd take me with her to parties, bars, and her main goal seemed to be attracting male attention, and she would tell me how to dress, what men found sexy. I remember quite clearly her telling me one night when she had a date over "be nice to him, he's rich". He didn't spend the night looking at her.

Another night when she was too drunk to drive home, she sent me to stay with another man she liked who took me back to his place and raped me. Of my virginity. I will tell you, it doesn't have to be a stranger with a gun in a back alley for it to be rape. And it doesn't have to involve violence. And oh yeah, you feel like it's your fault, even tho you said no, over and over. And you're really ashamed and you never ever tell anyone.

By that time school REALLY didn't seem to have a point. Reading anything and everything I could did, but classes? The other kids? When you have this many things you can't talk about you can't pretend after a while. You lock it all up in a Secret Room and leave. I left high school after 10th grade, aced the GED and started going to University, but I had no idea what I was doing.


At 18, my Dad told me I didn't fit in with him and his new wife and family and I'd have to leave. He told me I would never make it as a musician and I was living in a fantasy world that was going to crash down around me.

I left. He was right, I didn't fit in. Spent some years working and hanging around the music scene in Minneapolis, but got out when my friends decided heroin was the new cool. I met some people at a bar one night who worked at the Renaissance Festival. I'd started listening to alt Irish music and fell in love with it.

I remember quite clearly walking down an alley with them that night, on the way to an afters party and stopping and saying "Hey I don't know any of you" and a big handsome man looked down at me and said "Don't worry, we're cool" and I believed him completely. And they were.

I gave him my heart and had a boyfriend for 5 years, and didn't think too much about the fact that I never seemed to want to have sex, or feel anything when we did. I didn't think about the Secret Room. I met my new best friend Betsy, who I met because she was ALSO dating my Boyfriend, the fact that it didn't bother me ought to have told me something.

I met my Boss shortly after that, and moved away to be his assistant, and learned about family, and love and work, and was finally for the first time, working with my brain and doing something I loved, with a writer who gave me more love and support and friendship than anyone ever had. I formed bands, got good at music, started gigging, and leaned that being on stage was the safest place in the world. And I didn't have to think about sex, or a lover or why I couldn't seem to have one.

I don't drink anymore, and I've written about that. Let's just say I did drink, a lot, and it was a really fine way of hiding from the Secret Room. For a while. Until it bites you in the ass.

I think it was during this time the light bulb finally went off in my head and I thought, "HELLS, was this the problem??? Girls? Really? ME?" Yup. I wasn't dead, I could have those feelings. But with another person? A lover? Noooo. Way to scary. Let another person see me, touch me, tell them what I wanted? HOW????? Where do people LEARN this stuff????

Last night one of the questions my Derby Sister asked was "have you ever even had sex with a women?" Had to say no, it was really hard, I mean, who wants to admit this? I felt ashamed, scared and kind of like a failure and loser, that this was something I couldn't do, something most people take for granted as a normal healthy part of life.

The Derby SIsters have been knocking around this door since I met them. Derby is not shy, refined or afraid of doing or saying anything. They tease me about my nearly complete lack of sexual knowledge, which is generally funny, but sometimes deep down I'd get the feeling that I really wanted to talk about some things and figure them out. Which I've been doing in bits and pieces, including looking at that Secret Room and wondering if I'd ever have enough courage to look inside.

In Derby not being touched is not an option, and now, for the first time ever in my life, I can let people touch me, both literally and mentally. I'm not afraid to say things out loud.

You can't know what it finally feels like to feel NORMAL. And right.

And to look at these things that happened and say: THEY failed. Not me.

I owe my Derby Family a LOT. Those women are the most amazing wonderful, supportive, loving, SAFEST women in the world. They'll knock you down on the track, yell at you, tell you in no uncertain terms exactly what they think of you, say anything they want out in the open…. and have your back forever.

I owe them most tho for being the ones who got into the Secret Room.

This is that room.

It's not so scary now.

And it's not Secret anymore.

Love, Quiche MeDeadly


At 16:30 Blogger Kelly McCullough said...

Standing witness and sending love.


At 16:37 Blogger tamilane said...

I love you, Quiche. -Frankie

At 16:39 Blogger Ali Trotta said...

I know that we don't know each other too terribly well, Lorraine, but I so proud of you -- and a bit in awe, honestly. You are a hell of a person.

The Secret Room -- damn, that resonated.

You are right, you know -- that THEY (the people early on in your life) failed you. Not you. You deserved so much better than what was dealt to you.

There's nothing wrong with liking women. It's the same as any other like; it's a preference. Follow your heart, and it's never wrong. No matter what's been told to you.

I am glad that you shared this, Quiche. For your own sake, because when you keep secrets -- they, eventually, start to keep you. And I say that as a person who's done it. But I'm also glad that you shared this for others. Because you just might've helped someone else tear down their walls.

Beautiful, honest, brave post. Thank you.

At 16:41 Anonymous Tom K said...

There are no words worthy of this. But I would like to say I admire the bravery, the eloquence, the depth of emotion and the unadulterated gumption in making these revelations to the world, sharing yourself without reservation. I'd say I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I don't think you need that from me, or anyone, and besides, everything in your past made you who you are, and that has always been, in my limited experience, a very cool, interesting and passionate-about-life person. I sympathize more than I can say for the road you took to get where you are, but you made it to a good place in spite of the world. Well done.

At 16:43 Blogger LauraJ said...

Oh, my dear. Rocking you gently and offering you a nice hot beverage.

At 16:46 Blogger LauraJ said...

And I thought you might have something going on with Joan of Dark. Which you do, just not that, at least at the moment. More hugs, or perhaps a healthy snack? some mittens (I mean that. I make excellent topless mittens.)?

At 16:46 Blogger LincolnBlog said...

So happy for you that you've opened up your secret room. It is a truly wonderful and brave thing to do.
Chris L

At 16:47 Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 16:48 Anonymous Alasdair said...

I'm in awe. Your courage at not only facing up to this but writing about it in public is extraordinary. I cannot articulate how desperately sorry I am for everything that happened to you. I can tell you that you're inspiring and courageous and I'm humbled to be in the presence of someone so strong. If there's ever anything I can do, let me know.

At 16:50 Blogger Kitty Cat said...

I know that this took you many years to write--
I love you, my sister.
Life gets easier from here on out.
-xox Kitty aka Pretty Vicious

At 16:54 Blogger Morgenstern said...

Wow. What a brave thing to put this story out there. You are braver than me. But it helped to write it down, I imagine. Wishing you all the best, stay strong!

At 16:55 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Oh Lorraine,, you continue to grow in to a more and more amazing woman.

This is huge. You are strong. I am so happy you've found derby and the power to open that room.

You have the power. Love you!!!

At 17:00 Blogger Beez said...

Beautiful one, you are so brave and you become more powerful in your SELF all the time.

And bless the Derby Women who are kick-ass at kicking down doors (and kicking asses).

You found your tribe.

At 17:02 Blogger Vinity said...

Oh hon! That is so brave. I'm in tears for you. I'm so glad you found your real family. Sometimes, honestly, a lot of times biological family is terrible. I'm so proud you to grow past what they dealt you. I wish I could hug you for real. You are an inspiration.

At 17:03 Blogger rayvyn2k said...

I've always thought you were cool. Now I realize that you are also very brave. Keep tearing down those walls around your heart. One day, the right person will find you.

At 17:05 Blogger vampi said...

you are wonderful.

you are beautiful.

you are brave.

you are loved for who you are, no matter what,

At 17:09 Blogger Jane said...

OMG I'm in tears. For what happened to you, yes, but mostly for how amazing you are, opening up and saying this. That takes so much courage and I think trust - that you can say it here, to us.

Your journey is just starting and you have an amazing support group ready to help you on your way.

Guess it was fate that led you to Derby, what do you think?

At 17:14 Blogger Fanny said...

Now, i dont know you at all, but that was beautifully courageous and just... right. Well done for sharing, and take care of yourself. And let others take care of you as well. X

At 17:14 Blogger Fanny said...

Now, i dont know you at all, but that was beautifully courageous and just... right. Well done for sharing, and take care of yourself. And let others take care of you as well. X

At 17:16 Blogger Crystal Wolf said...

Lorraine, you don't know me (I think you might have had some contact with my partner, Chris Canary), but I wanted you to know that I think you're absolutely awesome. Chris pointed me to this entry. What you have to say here is beautiful, heart-rending, and amazing.

And at the risk of being... risque? Inappropriate? ...I highly recommend sex with girls. It's lots of awesome. Just sayin'. ;)

Much love,
Crystal Wolf

At 17:19 Blogger Kat Howard said...

Not that I didn't know this before, but you really are fabulous, and brave, and completely amazing. Surviving is hard, and talking is harder, and I am so grateful to you for speaking and sharing. Love, and support - Kat.

At 17:20 Blogger Jess said...

You were there for me. Now I am here, and I will tell you what you told me:

I believe you.

They let you down.

You were not wrong.

You are strong.

At 17:40 Blogger Madeline Carol Matz said...

*hugs* There is a future now and it is so bright. Thank you for being brave and being so much you.

At 17:47 Blogger Dan Guy said...


At 17:47 Blogger Dan Guy said...


At 17:51 Blogger Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing your bravery! I hope this is the beginning of some very wonderful things for you--know that you are admired by someone who means what she says.

At 18:00 Blogger Ani said...

Love love love from a derby sister, Quiche.

You have found - are finding - your way through the forest. Damn thing is big and dark and scary, but there's girls on skates who have your back. There's girls NOT on skates who have your back. There's guys (on skates and off) who have your back, too.

And leopards are good. NOT on skates.

Coach Ani Up

At 18:02 Anonymous Stitches said...

You are a fantastic woman, and you have achieved so much.

I am really proud and happy that you feel comfortable with being honest with yourself.

it takes a long fucking time sometimes.

All the derby love,
Stitches, ARRG.

At 18:03 Anonymous Sihaya said...


At 18:17 Blogger jessicarosepins said...

*hug* hugs and promises of tea (either in LA near me, or wherever in MN near you) is about all i can do, but you are truly fabulous in every way!

At 18:31 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog about your secret room made me feel happy and brave, Maybe one day I will write about my secret room. Thank you for saying what so many of us have yet to say. You are my hero.

At 18:32 Anonymous Amysue said...

Oh. Welcome out of that place and thank you for the beauty and bravery fierce friendships that you embraced and led you to sharing this. I'm 50. Sometimes I imagine myself talking to my 9yr old self and telling her she will make it through the forest and she will find the most amazing, honest, accepting friends and she will finally be able to be herself and be safe and she was never to blame. I'm so glad you've swept that room clean- we don't know each other but , yeah, anyway, love and strength and joyous journeys.

At 18:33 Blogger TheWriter said...

I don't know you past reading your blog, but ::hug:: proud that you are poking around in that secret room and bringing in the light.

At 18:57 Blogger gabrielle said...

"I will tell you, it doesn't have to be a stranger with a gun in a back alley for it to be rape. And it doesn't have to involve violence. And oh yeah, you feel like it's your fault, even tho you said no, over and over."

oh, yes. i know. i remember :/

thank you for sharing. *hugs* if you want 'em.

At 19:50 Blogger Phiala said...

What you say is entirely true, and you are terribly brave for saying it.

At 19:58 Blogger Susan said...

You don't know me, but assume a hug whenever you need it.

Susan in Las Vegas

At 20:04 Blogger Claire said...

Hey Lorraine,
I'm usually lurking here, following your Derby and Bengal adventures, but I just had to say I'm so impressed by you. I think you're awesome and I'm so glad you have people like your Boss and your Derby sisters in your life. Bravery rocks.

At 20:31 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Fellow survivor salutes and supports you.

There is so much I want to say, but I can't find the right words, But at the heart of it is something about being a fellow child of inappropriate parenting due to mental illness. (and so much more)

Thank you for sharing with us, I feel privileged to be a Fiend.

At 20:39 Anonymous Lysandwr said...

Always loved you....always will.

In the desert, perhaps our Secret Rooms were even on the same train for a while.

So well said and done, Brave Girl.

At 20:42 Blogger inga said...

Lorraine: The subject matter is difficult. The eloquence is amazing. The strength resonates thruout the post. I'm thrilled you had someone knock the door off of the room. I'm so sorry you had reason for the room in the first place. I still think of you every time I have Rooibos tea. One very small thing that has everything to do with the quality of fantastic you are. I have no business speaking about/to anything in your life in a public setting, but I can, and do, say delightful things about the woman that introduced me to Rooibos. :) I hope each mug of tea that I think of you and smile can be a small bit of energy, love and good-old-fashioned-nice in your direction. And I pray that all these words (yours, mine and everybodys) add up to healing.

At 20:48 Blogger Linda said...

I have had that room. I did all I knew to disguise that door.

You are brave, amazing & fabulous.

I cannot say it better than Kelly did in the first post...

Standing witness. Sending love... And light.

At 21:00 Blogger ariandalen said...

Thank you for trusting us.

We are _your_ Fiends.

We put up with things from biological family that we would never tolerate from anyone else. As children, we don't know any better, and as adults we've already been condition to accept it. That doesn't make it right. It is very hard to undo that conditioning. All said to reiterate what others have said: It's. NOT. Your. Fault.


At 21:09 Blogger Pi R Squared said...


You are brave and beautiful and I am at a loss for words.

All my love.- Ames

At 21:47 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because you shared, I don't feel as alone or as broken as I did before."

At 22:18 Blogger Isis said...

Good for you! Kick that door in, rip it off the hinges and tear that room to pieces! I am so happy for you and thankful you have such amazing women to give you the strength to heal.

Remember, you are powerful and beautiful and deserve love.

At 22:36 Blogger fairbetty said...

Tears... hugs... love... and you are fabulous.

At 22:42 Blogger JustKristin said...

No, it is rarely a stranger in an alley. Sometimes it is a stepfather. I am glad you got your secret room cleared out, lady. You can move something nice and lovely in now. *hug*

At 22:44 Blogger JustKristin said...

My stranger in the alley was my stepfather. Lots of love and cheers to you, lady, for cleaning out your Secret Room. Storage is at a premium: better it be used for lovely things. :)

Cheering you on from San Diego!

At 22:52 Blogger Lilith said...

I'm so glad you opened the door of that room. I hope everything bad has now left it, and good things will inhabit it, and it won't be a "secret" room anymore

At 22:57 Blogger DataGoddess said...

Don't ever think you're alone, or are 'different' in a bad way - you are strong, and beautiful, and even with all the lousy ways you had people fail you and screw things up, you not only survived but you've thrived. You take care of so many beings, two- and four-legged, who love you just as you are.

And if anyone gives you grief about not having sex with a girl, well, it took me until I was 36 to figure out (and accept) that girls are pretty neat, and a while after that to actually do anything about it. I do strongly recommend it, with someone who you can laugh with, who thinks you're wonderful.

You are never alone. Family encompasses so many different people, not just blood but who we choose to hold close in our hearts. I just got home from a whirlwind 3 days to Boston and back, because a sister of my heart lost her mother earlier this week. So it was totally worth it for me to travel 18 hours each way to be there for her, because she's chosen family. And you have lots of people who choose to have you as part of their family, their tribe.

You are surrounded with people who love you, who do and will have your back, who won't flinch from what you had in the Secret Room. And it doesn't need to be secret anymore, and you have absolutely nothing to ever be ashamed of.

At 23:00 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I in my life deviate between wanting to tell the whole truth and making truthes comfortable for people, and you've just tipped my scales. Rah!

At 23:07 Blogger Colleen said...

I don't know you but wow, just WOW.

This is an amazing post. Thank you for your courage and for sharing and know that out here in the wide wide world are many people you do not know who are pulling for you.

I'm sending out a wish for you tonight: many happy days ahead.

At 23:40 Anonymous KDJames said...

I haven't experienced any of the things you have and I can't pretend to know how you feel. But I am a mother and that part of me is shrieking and shaking with fury at what you endured. When my kids were little and, like every mom, I worried they might become tattle-tales, I had a rule about when to "tell" and it was:

You will ALWAYS tell me when someone is getting hurt, when something is getting broken, or if an adult says "don't tell."

I'm sorry no one told you that when you needed to hear it. I'm sorry the people who were supposed to protect you, didn't. And I'm sorry there are ugly people in the world.

Monsters get their power from the silence of their victims. But the shame they inflict does not belong to you. Not in any way. Not ever. I don't know you, but I am so proud of you for breaking the chains silence had wrapped around you and for reclaiming your own power.

Wishing you peace and healing. Or crazy mayhem, if that works better. May you discover the beauty of love, in whatever form.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I'd consider it a grievous insult and the most devastating personal failure if anyone ever told me I was "normal" or just like everyone else. Fuck. That.

Be you. No one else can.

At 00:08 Anonymous Joypeg said...

I first came to your blog because of the bengal stories, and I stayed because of you. You are amazing. Sending love with the jet stream, just reach out...

At 00:22 Anonymous Jennifer Tanner said...

I was once in a similar situation, looking at life and sexuality and feeling so far from where I wanted to be, and like there was no way to get there from here.

There is always a way to get there from here.

Love to you for starting the process and take it easy as the current starts moving the sludge away.

At 00:25 Blogger spacedlaw said...

I love you. That was a terribly brave post to write.

At 01:49 Blogger Marjorie said...

I love you, you wonderful, brave, powerful, beautiful, strong woman.
And so very, very proud of you.

At 02:29 Blogger Lena the Red said...

Very brave - not just to post that, but to get where you are now from where bad people put you. One of the ways our world is broken is the shame felt by victims of sexual violence: we are taught that sex is "nasty", and so when someone with no scruples whose world revolves entirely around themself does something against our will we feel contaminated and nasty ourselves, rather than outraged. Very glad you have good people around you now, to help you grow into an even more strong and wonderful person. Knowing someone has your back is a wonder you don't appreciate if you've always had it.

At 02:40 Anonymous mollydot said...


At 05:33 Anonymous amanda palmer said...

you are incredible and brave and amazing.
thank you so much for writing this.....
thank you thank you.

got your back.

amanda f palmer

At 05:40 Blogger Ms T said...

I am in awe of your bravery and strength. And thank fods for the Derby Women and our found families. Arohanui.

At 05:53 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quiche you are a damn brave lady. And you are so right THEY failed! You survived and are moving through your life despite what others did. You should be very proud of yourself.

I'm posting anonymously, because I let my partner into my room...but to really admit it out loud like this I just can't do. Like you when I was very young someone in my family decided it was okay to abuse me sexually. It shaped who I became. I didn't allow my love into the secret room for 13 years. Despite it obviously being not normal for someone to start howling and weeping if you touched them a certain way. Or punching you to get you off them. I always expected him to leave. The night I told him I hid under a blanket and barely squeaked it out. He listened, hugged me, and told me that it was all the other persons fault. I was so worried it would ruin our relationship, but he reassured me that it didn't change the way he saw me or how he felt about me. He has remained my rock and slowly we've grown together and dealt with a lot of things.

I truly believe that there is power in opening the secret room and saying that the secrets can air out, so we can find power within ourselves. And some day when you are ready you will find the right lover who will learn with you, grow with you, and treat you with the respect that you deserve.

Thank you for writing this it made me feel better to know that I'm not the only woman in the world whose struggled to find a sense of peace about all of this stuff. <3

At 06:09 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't say what I want to say- all I can say is thank you for your honesty. Love grows out of it, if only more people trusted that.

At 06:20 Blogger Joan of Dark said...

I love you so much babe. You're too badass to have a secret room any longer.

At 06:41 Blogger Rach said...

Thank you for writing this. *hugs*

At 06:55 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. That took great strength. I'm so sorry for all the people that failed you so miserably, but it's heartwarming that your life has expanded and you have replaced those people with an even larger, more wonderful, more giving and supportive family. Sometimes families are of our own making.

At 08:14 Blogger Stephanie Zvan said...

I knew there were secrets of some sort. I didn't know you didn't think you could tell them. I'm so glad to see you've found people who are so very not-"Minnesotan" about letting people keep their secrets and who are strong enough to make a safe space to share them.

Keep growing and healing, lady. You're doing an amazing job.

At 08:43 Blogger Allie Gator said...

<3 you.

At 08:57 Anonymous Vnend said...

Vampi and Datagoddess have already said pretty much what I was thinking as I read your post. Them, and all the other folks saying:


And, always, lots of love.

(Tried to post this earlier, but OpenID is returning an error, so...)


At 09:33 Blogger dabbler said...

Dear Lorraine,

It took me holding this blog in my heart overnight to know what I wanted to say to you (other than echoing the witnessing and love others are sending.) It's this: Allowing people to love you after all the times those who were supposedly loving you did horrible things to you is both the hardest and most rewarding healing path I know. I celebrate your ability to do so and your ability to judge when it is safe to do so. Wisdom!

Love,and enormous respect,

At 10:17 Blogger Devani said...

There is terrible power in secrets, and even more in telling them. Good on you, Lorraine!

At 10:33 Blogger liz said...

well, crap. it just doesn't do to cry at work and yet, that's what's happening.

thank you for sharing your story. i've been a follower of yours via this blog, twitter and fb for a couple years now so i feel like i know you while you have no idea who i am. i want to say thank you for letting me in your life. i am a huge admirer.

At 10:43 Blogger Erin Underwood said...

Quiche, I totally love you! HUGS!! It's hard to imagine how many of us are out there who have had bad things happen to them. When it happens to you, you don't talk about it, and you feel absolutely alone. But you're not. You're not alone and your have tons of people who love you.

When I was a little girl, I was abused by our babysitters husband and her two teenage sons. When I was a teenager, I was raped of my virginity by my first real boyfriend and had to sit there listening to him bragging about it to his friends because we were so far from my house that I couldn't get home without waiting for him to drive me.

It took a long time to work through my anger and learn how to be happy and to love people after that. There is so much more that I could write, but it involves secrets that aren't mine to give away.

You are hugely brave for talking about this in public and sharing. This is the first time I've said it in an irrevocably public place. Thank you for being strong enough for us all to share in your strength and lend you our own.

I'm lucky and fortunate to know you. You are a shining star. Much love. - Erin

At 11:11 Blogger Katrina Galore said...

You are an incredible being--I couldn't imagine being as brave as you. Thank you for sharing.

At 11:34 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh sweet wonderful fantastically fabulous you (I will be so personal, even though we've never met. Had we met I would have gone further. Enough about me), how brave you are! Dearest sweetest most inspiring you, I am so happy that the door is down, the secret is out, you are so fantastic that there really is no reason to hide even the tiniest part of who you are.

At 11:39 Blogger Jenn said...

Ah, girl. Step out into the daylight.

Wishing you health wealth and most of all, happiness.

At 11:55 Blogger Cecily said...

I love you.

I could write a comment about my similar experience with abuse and my exact polar opposite reaction to said abuse...(I was quite the slut when I was younger)...but all I want to really say is, I love you.

At 12:08 Blogger gaypet said...

You are so brave! Facing so many fears over the past few years were steps toward this. You are beautiful and amazing!

At 12:17 Anonymous Amy Goldschlager said...

Well, I have met you twice, I think. If you come back to the Malibu Diner the next time you're in NYC on a Wednesday I will want to give you a hug--at least a psychic one, if the actual one makes you uncomfortable. You really are even more Fabulous than I ever knew.

At 12:17 Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hate you. on the other hand, I'm whacking itt. (t)....hmm

At 12:20 Blogger Keshalyi said...

More invisible love from anonymous face, through unseen wires, with genuine feeling. Deep breaths, and thank you for being someone that makes me feel like I could be brave, perhaps, just, maybe.

At 12:21 Blogger Lisa said...

If I had a silver cup for bravery, I would send it to you filled with chocolate kisses.

At 12:22 Blogger Keshalyi said...

Also ghostly sticks for smacking the anons that leave the occasional nasty comment. I apologize on behalf of the other cowards of the world - some of us react to courage badly. Pity and ignore.

At 12:29 Anonymous Jen said...

The Boss tweeted about your post. And as soon as I read "Secret Room", I got chills. A part of me knew. I don't know why. I don't even need to ask. I just did.

Then I read your post. Every single word. Crying through most of it. Remembering the hours I spent practicing facial expressions to mimic other people so I wouldn't scare them so much with my emotionless-ness. Acknowledging why I'd rather bust my ass trying every which way to work for myself instead of for someone else. That emotional abuse is still, goddammit, abuse. That being me means I can't be like everyone else, and somehow, someways, that has got to be alright.

And thank all the gods all these people believe in that your Derby Sister kicked that fucking door down. And said it's alright to stand, out in the open, as YOU are. Even WITH the shit those mongrels did to you. Being you has its own rights and privileges that you have all the power in the world to extend to others now. All those that tried to take it? With your secret room now open, have no right to any part of you. You are whole. You are perfect.

You are beautiful. And thanks for writing this.

At 12:30 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have a secret door. It's been full to bursting for years now. I finally have a therapist I feel like I can learn to trust. She keeps gently encouraging me to write my story. Reading this today..I still crying, but it makes me realize that maybe I can do that. Write it out and reach for the support of my chosen family. Thank you.

At 12:31 Blogger D Jordan Redhawk said...

Sharing this had to have been the scariest thing you've ever had to do, even scarier than living the circumstances that created the Secret Room to begin with.

I've never met you and know nothing about your life, your history, your work other than what I've read in this post. What I do know is that you're brave beyond words, a survivor. Lancing the boil of the Secret Room hurt, but the infection can now drain. With your friends and adopted family you can shovel out the crap and make it a better place.

You'll find diamonds there. I promise.

At 12:32 Blogger Unknown said...

i don't know you, but Neil Gaiman posted the link so i figured it must be worth reading. brava, to you! wishing you loads of love and happiness!

At 12:34 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suck at words, but would give you a great big hug if I could.

At 12:40 Anonymous Will Entrekin said...

Wow. Such an intense post. Just wanted to contribute to the good vibes here in the comments, and add a note that I really love your music, and think you're a terrific musician.

All good to you.

At 12:41 Blogger Na said...

i think you blew the doors off that room.

more power to you!

light and love,

At 12:55 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"fabulous" doesn't even come close!

At 13:06 Anonymous Beth said...

This post really resonated with me because I had (what really felt like) a whole Secret House. My lover was the one who kicked the door open quite bluntly and said the exact same thing "What the hell is all of this??"

Your courage in being open about it and healing and growing is an inspiration. I hope you continue to heal and mend and grow, with the help of all the amazing, supportive people around you.

At 13:25 Anonymous Anonymous said...

FL, it takes a lot of energy to maintain a Secret Room. Your life will be filled with so much energy and focus and yes, love, now that you don't have to do that anymore. And when the Secret Room lurks, it will have so little power because you give it no energy. You are on a new train now..enjoy the ride, the ride that YOU get to choose. XL

At 14:07 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn. I'm in awe, Lorraine. I was thinking this morning of how it seems like some of us spend decades of our lives finding a place somewhere in life that's safe enough for us to finally look at ourselves. And here you are, in a safe place, looking at your secrets, and boldly bravely dragging them out of the darkness -- there's huge value in that. Thank you. And, blessings on you.

At 14:10 Anonymous Annie said...

Hugs and tears, you brave, wonderful woman.

At 14:22 Blogger lalitterer said...

Bravo Lorraine!

You have been following your dreams and facing your fears for years. I have been admiring your strength and determination as you tackled horseback riding, fitness, making a home for Magic, and roller derby. Your post today shows how strong you have become that you can face your greatest fears in the harsh light of the internet. I can't wait to see what you will do now that you are free of those old chains.

- Lynn

At 14:26 Blogger wickedgoddess said...

Beautiful! I have a secret room too, although my secrets are different, some are the same.

Thank you for being so brave and letting us inside your room.

You deserve hugs and much love.

At 15:00 Blogger kyle cassidy said...

I love you Quiche!

At 15:14 Blogger Vanessa said...

I'm not the eloquentest (obviously, hehe), but I wanted to give you some more (virtual) hugs and support and admiration of your bravery. The more people speak out and are brave, it gives so much strength to those who are still scared and ashamed and feel alone.

Vanessa (@vananaberry)

At 15:36 Blogger Lee Moyer said...

I was going to write that I don't know you. But I do, a little, thanks to this wonderful and brave post.

This is a miraculous place to be and I wish you all the love and deep true intimacy that you richly deserve.

At 15:45 Blogger Becca said...

hugs and love my darlin'! The world is a better place in so many ways because you are here and being yourself. <3<3

At 15:51 Blogger Little Hen Knits said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 15:55 Anonymous tigerinvaseline said...

After the tweet I left in response to this entry there is something else that I wanted to say that wouldn't fit into 140 characters. I wanted to say I am so happy to know you have so many GOOD friends and loved ones at your back. Derby Sisters, peers, Super-bosses and of course the leopards. It is so incredibly hard to tear down the walls when you are not sure if you will have anyone waiting on the other side--but they are there for you Quiche, and so are all of us. Again *hugs*! From afar you inspire me in so many ways.
<3 Maura

At 16:30 Anonymous Misty Fowler said...

Thanks for sharing. We all have a Dark Room, and it's different for every one of us. And it helps to know you're not alone. It's difficult to know your own sexual identity when other people have turned it into something dirty. I'm glad you found a way to open up to yourself, and to talk about it with your adopted family.

At 16:39 Blogger p e t r u s said...

I wish you read this, but you will not, because no one will read this, because that's how world works…

I'm having the same situations you talked about, i mean, it's so insane…Changing the fact that i'm a boy, and that i like boys, it's exactly the same thing… People around me are so different, I just cannot find someone that can…Can be with me, around me, and I just cannot feel confortable with other guy, not to do something…I blush only looking at they…
And about girls, I don't even know how say girl(literally, i need speech therapy)… Don't get me wrong, I have friends, girls friends, I don't have problem with women, the opposite of this, I feel better with they, but, when they came to me, trying anything, I just feel so… So wrong…

Of course, don't tell my family only make it worse, and the only people to know, are this friends I talked before…

Sorry so much for write all this nonsense here, I just needed to talk this and more to someone, really, really sorry…

At 17:16 Blogger dabbler said...


Yes people will read this, and many of us. Thank you for your courage in speaking out. Lorraine's courage has helped many of us who read her blog to become more of who they are. Don't despair....and keep talking in safe places like this, and to friends. It doesn't have to be perfect talking, just letting those who care about you see who you are. No need for apology.

At 18:00 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Petrus, this is a really good place to be. I am glad you posted. We do care, the people who hang he all the time. Be welcome.

I read ALL the comments, and your love and support to me in the last 24 hours has meant SO FREAKING MUCH I cannot say. THANK YOU.

A special thank you to the people who have said they have secret rooms too, and can't talk about them.

Yes. You can. You are brave enough.

You can also email me at fabulouslorraine at gmail dot com.

I will listen to you.

At 18:40 Blogger Mer said...

Even though I dont know you, I'm proud of you for writing this-it took guts. I have to say, though, that people dont start taking heroin just because they 'think it's the new cool', any more than you drank because you thought it was the new cool. Perhaps your friends who did heroin had their own secret room they were hiding from, just like you. Alcohol is a drug just like heroin-one isn't any 'better' than the other.

At 19:17 Blogger Fluffy said...

Jesus, Lorraine. I'm crying here. You've been through so much. It just goes to show that no matter how cool, witty and talented someone is, they can have this kind of stuff hidden from everyone else.

I hope like hell you find someone special whom you love, who loves you back, and who deserves a person like you.

I'm sitting here in your cheering section with the other fiends. Does anyone have a damn tissue?

At 19:24 Blogger Cecily said...

*passes Fluffy a damn tissue*

At 19:35 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading that was like reading my own diary. I wish I could be that brave. I'm going to have to go ugly cry now...

At 19:43 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are my hero. Congratulations for breaking down the door to your secret room and remember, it's okay to be Takei! :-)
--Miss Method

At 21:06 Blogger Fluffy said...

Thanks, Cecily.

At 21:59 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I'm still having tears when I read the comments and think about what you've written Quiche, and not just because of any triggers, or because of what you've gone through or because so many people have come and shared their experiences - its all of those things. Do you remember me years ago thanking you for creating a safe, loving place for we Fiends? Goes both ways! Love you my friend.

And Petrus - hang around here and you'll get so much love and support. You're not alone.
Fluffy - do you still need tissues?

At 22:13 Blogger ariandalen said...

p e t r u s, there is nothing insane in what you wrote. Not a single word. Most of us read all the comments, so your words have been/are being read. You are not alone. There is nothing wrong with being homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, or asexual.
You are now, also, a Fiend. Welcome! :)

At 00:45 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good For YOU! You are brave and amazing and your life will change for the better for having aired out that secret room. You are surrounded by love and support. Know that there's a little extra admiration floating your way from the left coast.

At 03:03 Anonymous Anonymous said...

dearest Lorraine-

For being one of the many who have a secret room I thank you. It is tragic that we are numerous but also encouraging to know that one is not alone.

I admire your bravery and the fierce love shown by all your Derby friends.

I look forward to the day when I can feel safe enough to kick down the walls of my own secret room.

Blessings to you--B

At 09:08 Anonymous Kelly said...

I have a Secret Room, too. I have been standing in the doorway for a long time. Someday soon, I'm going in.

I won't be able to empty it, but maybe I'll be able to clean it, organize it, make sense of it. And maybe I'll be able to take the door off its hinges. It will always be a part of me, but it won't have to be a secret anymore.

Thanks to you, going into my room doesn't seem such an insurmountable task. Thank you for sharing your story. Know that you are brave and strong and so much more than what was done to you.

At 09:28 Blogger Roxanne said...

Dear Lorraine:

You've unlocked the door to the Secret Room. Now throw away the key. Knock down some walls. Repaint. Redecorate. Refresh. Spring cleaning!

You have been so brave just to open up your Secret Room. Then you go and share it with The World, helping not only youself but everyone else.

Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

You are very loved.

At 16:01 Blogger Laura B said...

I don't have anything special to say, but I just wanted you to know that I read every word and I was touched deeply by it all. You're an amazing person.

At 18:10 Blogger Malu Vargas said...

You are one hell of a brave woman, Lorraine. I truly admire your gripping to life despite the fact you weren't taught how to get a hold of it. They failed you, and yet you did not fail yourself. Sending much love for you.

At 19:51 Blogger Malu Vargas said...

I had to come back because of that boy, Petrus. Couldn't get him out of my mind.

Hey, Petrus, are you coming back to read responses people wrote you? I hope so. I hope you don't despair, and know there's nothing wrong with you.

You will grow up, and find your place in the world, and build a life you'll be proud of. And you WILL love and be loved in return, ok?

Hang in there.

At 20:09 Blogger Chantrelle said...

I've been thinking of Petrus too. You know that whole "It gets better" campaign? Well, they aren't lying. It really does. Especially when you finally find those people who help you find your strength like Derby has for Q. True friends are out there. Love is out there.

At 20:18 Anonymous Steerpike13 said...

I don't know you, just ended up here through a tweet from Neil Gaiman.
You are bloody brilliant. Your secret room may once have been dark but it shines like a beacon now. Just damn beautiful.

At 21:33 Blogger Stacy Hurt said...

You beautiful, courageous, strong woman. Maybe to some that might smack of lip service, but that's a bullshit phrase trying marginalize the larger truth. A lot of truth. You are all those qualities and more. Not that you need it, but I'm so very proud of you in all you have done and are doing. You just keep on, keepin on.

And oh, by the way, it's totally your fault that the last Bengal I rescued (Miss Jenga) is still here. I never would have found the room, or time given my own 4 cats (at that time) and I did it anyway cuz you said to 'do what you can'. That was four homeless Bengals ago. So to that I say, yes, it's totally your fault. But more importantly, Thank YOU!


At 10:20 Blogger hope said...

Lorraine, you are brave and beautiful and you make good things happen. I save a Fiver for Hope every paycheck and send it the Bengals' way every month. I am probably not the only one who does that, because you are so eloquent and passionate and caring. So much love to you from me and my little tribe. {{{{{{Lorraine}}}}}}

At 10:21 Blogger hope said...

And also, Petrus! Please come back! There's plenty room for boy-fiends here. :)

At 10:36 Blogger Jodyth said...

You are powerful, raw writer and human being. I am so glad you have so much more happiness coming your way.

At 11:49 Blogger Hellie said...

You are one incredible lady. I can only imagine how much courage it must have taken just to peek through the door, let alone stride in to face it, to write it down, and share it with us. I'm so glad you've reached a place you are safe and loved, you deserve every little bit of love and happiness.

Sending more love & hugs xx

At 20:37 Blogger Bridget said...

Another fiend, standing witness, with all the love I have to send.

At 20:57 Blogger Kate T said...

So hard to read. Impossible to stop reading. You inspire us all.

At 21:26 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you dear one. Every moment is a new world, one which you create yourself. White light and love to thee.

At 12:21 Anonymous Jo O said...

I have been reading your blog for a while (around the time you gave Magic his home) and this is my first post.

I think you are a very brave lady and I hope that opening your secret room brings you peace and the joy you deserve.

Hugs to you and a big kiss to your friends who kicked the door in!

At 18:04 Blogger Kat said...

Damn. Just damn. All my words fall short of anything resembling an appropriate response to what you have shared with the Fiends and the world.

I have admired your FIT progress, your leopard-care skills, your relationship with Mr. G, whose work I've followed for a couple decades now ... now, I admire your courage.

I can't imagine that the contents of the room won't continue to linger and rear their heads fiercely on occasion, but you've just shown that you are ready, with your Derby sisters, with Mr. G and the legions of Internet Fiends at your side and watching your back, to take that shit ON and whittle away at it until it's just a splinter.

And doing so will make room for your life to be even more amazing.

Love and light, -Kat

At 21:05 Blogger Siri said...

It's amazing how words can hurt and heal. Thank you for sharing your bravery with us who call you friend.

Among other things.....

At 05:46 Blogger MiniKat said...

You are brave and wonderful. The world is a better place for having you in it. Thank you for sharing your story.

At 07:26 Blogger CatherineMarie said...

*standing and clapping* This was the bravest, the best blog post I have ever read.

You are a strong, wonderful, powerful woman.

Brava, Brava.

At 13:27 Anonymous Winterdragon said...

Hello, Lorraine. I'm just an admirer who wants to say: wow. You are so brave on so many levels. Thank you for all the love and inspiration you spread through the sharing of your thoughts and experiences.


At 13:48 Blogger LihuaEmily said...

Sorry I haven't checked in in a few days. But I'm glad you can talk about all of that now, and I really am sorry it happened to you. We love you, Quiche Lorraine!


At 20:04 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Ben class is doing a skit on Japanese animals. He was assigned the bear and didn't want to be that. He could pick another native animal if he wanted. So we did a little research (i.e. Wikipedia) on native Japanese animals and guess what he picked?

LEOPARD CAT! He found some pictures that look an awful lot like Magic. :)

"Iriomote yama neko"

At 17:00 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lorraine!

Thanks so much for posting your story. Its important to tell our stories, its important to be heard.

But please please please post a trigger warning next time? Some of us survivors just need a heads-up.

At 14:11 Blogger AletaMay said...

Love you Quichie! Hugs and healing thoughts to you and all those who have shared their struggles in this thread.

I read this a few days ago and needed to sit with it awhile. You are so brave dear Lorraine and just as you often do with this blog you have touched my heart and provided inspiration.

Just after reading this I was listening to the LibreVox recording of A Tale of Two Cites Book 1 Chapter 3 where Mr. Dickens says this "A WONDERFUL FACT to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!" Gave me pause to hear those words right on the heels (or even heals) of this post. We are all so afraid of our own secrets, but we learn compassion, I think, by learning those of the people around us. People we love, but can't always completely know or understand.

Thank you for your honesty and bravery. I am so sorry for the bad events that built your secret room and so impressed with your opening that door. As I struggle to find the keys to my own rooms and closets and houses I look to your example.

At 23:06 Blogger dd-b said...

I knew you were pretty damned awesome (and Fabulous). I hadn't known you carried so much baggage for so long. Congratulations on sharing it. Lighter now, right?

Onwards and upwards!

Petrus, yes, in fact, people will read your comment. I think you may be in the "things get better" zone there. I hope they do!

At 00:16 Blogger David Pierce-Feith said...

If I wanted to send you a present because you've been so brave do you have a PO Box to where I could send it?

At 13:37 Blogger Stacey said...

Word. Congrats on speaking your truth.

At 01:43 Blogger Jaime said...

I have no real idea what to say... but I love you and your words and your power and your courage and your fear and your triumph. You are amazing. I am so glad you are finding the places you need to be and everyone is helping you become the woman you are meant to be.


At 19:21 Blogger Stacy said...

Very brave post. The "secret room" is such a great metaphor, for you had already taken steps to be happy before opening this door. You can only be happier now for dealing with this stuff. Best to you!

At 19:23 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Happy Birthday Quiche. Have the best of days, like you deserve.

At 01:14 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Wishing you the happiest freeest birthday, dearest Lorraine!

At 07:42 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

New Post is UP!!!!

At 07:59 Blogger virg_nelson said...

I have one of those rooms...

That you found the bravery to say, "I'm gonna clean this mess up..."

Yeah, inspiring. There are a lot of monsters in my room and I hope one day to have the bravery you've shown.

It isn't your fault. They failed you. And even though I logically know this, and even though you shower a thousand times, some shit doesn't seem to wash off. I've tried telling myself that who and what I am isn't dirty or bad because of stuff that has happened to me... stuff I couldn't change. So, basically, I just wanted to say, yeah. I get it.

Thanks for making me look at that dark place where the silent screaming is and think about fixing it.

Happy Birthday, Lorraine. You rock.

At 02:15 Blogger MGMart said...

Dear Lorraine,
I found your blog through one of my customer's tweet, and I was in tears when I read your story a few days ago. And I was thinking should I write to you, and share my here I am now.
You are a very nice person with a strong mind, you done it all alone, you have found yourself in the end.
The reason I am writing to you, because I would like if you could read my story, it's different than yours, but it's very similar feelings keep me going how you feel about things what happened to you.
I hope you don't mind if I put my blog link here, for other people to read it too, someone might learn from my mistakes.
I am posting the link from the middle of my story, I wrote a few post before and after that, what happened, how my story is unfold, as it's still not over yet, I am so uncertain about my future, what will happen next. I feel so vulnerable and sad I am still trying to find myself who I am.

Hugs and take care,

At 17:47 Anonymous Beth from ComicSutra said...

Wow, what an awe-inspiring act of bravery. You really do live up to your nickname.

You won't remember me. I'm one of tons of people who have interviewed Neil over the years & tweeted a bit with you. But damn, lady, you just made me cry and smile all at once for your courage to kick the damn door down AND then write about it.

We keep too many secrets -- and it usually starts because someone else is uncomfortable and makes us feel ashamed.

Some people know edges of my secret. They think they know it all. That's my bit of sleight of hand to distract them from the real secret room. They only know the outer chamber. I know there's liberation in releasing the secrets but the fear is pretty damn strong.

Know this -- you ARE an amazing, loving, brave, beautiful, smart, talented, incredible woman REGARDLESS of what you do. Sex, no sex, men, women -- who cares? That's just details. I know you love and you have a huge heart. The evidence of it is all over your blog and your life. Taking back your power and feeling whole -- that's the key.

Screw "normal." It's a setting on washing machine. Feel whole. Keep hanging with people who love you for being you in all its glory. Life isn't about conforming to other people's rules or ideas. It's about being the best version of you. You were pretty terrific to start with. This just puts you in another dimension of it.

BTW, have you connected the dots between the work you do with the Bengals and your own path to wholeness? I'm sure it's obvious but just in case, you give them a safe place to be themselves and learn to trust. That's what happened with you and your Derby sisters. Isn't symmetry cool?

I wish I was there to give you a long hug, a cup of tea and something yummy and chocolate. It'll have to be a virtual version instead. Just know that you are LOVED and you are PERFECT as you are. There's tremendous power in opening the secret room. The world better watch out. :-)

I could write loads more but I hope you're getting the idea.

Love & Quiches, Quiche.

At 14:59 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - I haven't been on the internet much in a while and missed this. But I send a sisterly and loving hug to you for your courage. I get it, the part about not being all that interested in sex with men, and how it is common but not all that common to come out in all parts of the US (or regions or lines of work). A lot of us are f'ed up by people and things outside of our childhood control, and taking back happiness and adulthood is HUGE. That's where we shine. You are shining. I hope you get all of the happiness and love that you deserve with a great gal.

BTW, I'd been following your Derby blog posts, thinking "hm, a lot of those ladies look kinda GLBT" in a "my people? I think they are my people!" way. Keep on skatin' sister.


At 21:24 Blogger Precision Grace said...

I am so happy for you. Soo soo happy. Big hugs. (the end bit, obviously, not the shitty stuff before. ahem. like it needed pointing out, but just to be on the safe side)

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