Collected annotations on books i've read, am reading, have abandoned

For my own sanity i refuse to mark if these books are in-progress reads or not.

The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst, 1988. Vintage International edition. Used copy.

"I was riding high on sex and self-esteem- it was my time, my belle epoque- but all the while with a faint flicker of calamity, like flames around a photograph, something unseen out of the corner of the eye."

"Today was one of those April days, still and overcast, that felt pregnant with some immense idea, and suggested, as I roamed across from one perspective to another, that this was merely a doldrums [period/state of inactivity, stagnation, depression], and would last only until something else was ready to happen."
"I felt too the threat of some realisation about life, something obscurely disagreeable and perhaps deserved."

"Though I didn't [?] believe in such things, I was a perfect Gemini, a child of the ambiguous early summer, tugged between two versions of myself, one of them the hedonist and the other- a little in the background these days- an almost scholarly figure with a faintly puritanical set to the mouth. And there deeper dichotomies, differing stories- one the 'account of myself,' the sex-sharp little circuits of discos and pubs and cottages, the sheer crammed, single-minded repetition of my empty months; the other the 'romance of myself', which transformed all these mundanities with a protective glow, as if from my earliest days my destiny had indeed been charmed..."
Noted, top of page: not a fan of how i relate to you.
"At times James became my other self, and told me off and tried to persuade me that I was not doing all I might... when he insisted that I should find a job, or even a man to settle down with, it was in so intimate and knowledgeable a way that I felt as if one half of me were accusing the other... he gave a horrid little diagnosis: 'Will is becoming more and more brutal, more and more sentimental.'"

Leathersex by Joseph Bean, 1994 (2003). Daedalus Publishing. New.

"Work at your network as though your life depended on it. It may."

"Still, you don't want to negotiate yourself into making promises you won't keep, or accepting assurances you don't believe."
"The idea of negotiating sex sounds awful. It sounds so calculating, so unspontaneous. Well, frankly, it is calculating and it is entirely unspontaneous."
"Another aspect of negotiating the sexual menu with your partner is that it gives you time to size him up in every possible way. You can take a good look into his eyes, get a real get-reaction about trusting him."

"Many seasoned plays choose to have two or even three levels of safe words. And, in some cases, another word is agreed upon which is meant to be a go-ahead spoken by the bottom to the Top when the Top questions whether all is well. This latter, extra word is usually superfluous, and often destructive of the mental part of the scene, but it might be useful for bottoms doubtful about their own tastes, interests, limits... [the first safe-word level] should be used clearly enough in any problem situation to leave it up to the Top to respond appropriately or decide not to respond. Frequently, a good Top will answer the first-level safe word by working the response into the scene in such a way that there is no obvious reaction, but the problem is resolved anyway. The second-level safe word means something must be fixed or changed if we are to go on."

"Realize that you are playing a role and wearing a costume. Role-playing among leathermen is neither superficial or changeless. When chasing sex, you and all other people play roles."

"In the old days, which were not so long ago, newcomers were expected to earn their leathers. This usually involved a ritualized recognition of your 'baptism' in the scene, according to the ways of the particular crowd you were moving into. For better or worse, that idea is pretty much gone, but it is still a good idea to apply to yourself. As you discover what you are into, let this rule apply: Perform now, reward yourself with the appropriate leather clothing or toy later, unless you hook up with a Daddy or Master in the meantime who wants to take charge of that for you."
Noted: The Disappearance of Rituals. i really miss rituals.
"Wearing almost anything around your neck is a sign, one way or another, that you are taken or owned, meaning that you will very likely not be the one to buy or install any neck gear on yourself, anyway. The act of putting a collar, especially a dog collar, on a boy used to be very important. Tops did it (apart from temporary collaring in a private scene) specifically to mark and announce their acceptance of responsibility for the collared boy. In recent years, a lot of guys have been putting collars around their own necks, going off to the bar thinking that their neck gear with assure interested Tops that they are avaliable for fairly heavy scenes of dominantion and abuse. The Tops, not infrequently older and experienced in earlier ways for which they still have a great deal of respect, see the collars and steer clear. The message they get is that the boy is someone else's, at least for the night."
"It is very easy for a boy who wants to say that he is avaliable for heavy use to do so with a collar, without putting off the careful signal readers. The way to do this is to put the collar on the (right for bottom) shoulder. If you wear a leather jacket and it has epaulets, the collar can be threaded under the epaulet, under the arm, and closed. It stays in place, looks cool, and clearly says 'use this' or 'use me as you would a boy who wears your collar.'"

"...but it is wise when choosing to go against the grain to expect a few splinters."

"As with everything else in the leathersex scene, lead with your head. Think. Examine yourself. Learn what is going on before you lay down your cash, or put your ego on the line by wearing your new leathers into a bar."

"The rule seems to be that in smaller or newer leather communities, where the larger percentage of guys in leather are just into the leather itself, sexual messages have to be bolder. So, learn from your own community."

"Pitfall number two: mistaking interests for requirements."

The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk, 2014. Penguin Books. New? Unsure

"They also help us to understand why traumatized people so often keep repeating the same problems and have such trouble learning from experience. We now know that their behaviors are not the result of moral failings or signs of lack of willpower or bad character- they are caused by actual changes in the brain."
Noted: Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

"It takes enormous trust and courage to allow yourself to remember."
"They despise themselves for how terrified, dependent, excited, or enraged they felt." "The result can be confusion about whether one was a victim or a willing participant, which in turn leads to bewilderment about the difference between love and terror; pain and pleasure."

"Because humans are meaning-making creatures,"

"Somehow the very event that caused them so much pain had also become their sole source of meaning. They felt fully alive only when they were revisiting their traumatic past."

"Many traumatized people seem to seek out experiences that would repel most of us, and patients often complain about a vague sense of emptiness and boredom when they are not angry, under duress, or involved in some dangerous activity."

"Freud had a term for such traumatic reenactments: 'the compulsion to repeat.' He and many of his followers believed that reenactments were an unconscious attempt to get control over a painful situation and that they eventually could lead to mastery and resolution. There is no evidence for that theory- repetition leads only to further pain and self-hatred."
"In the long run people become more preoccupied with the pain of withdrawal than the activity itself."

"We concluded that Beecher's speculation that 'strong emotions can block pain' was the result of the release of morphinelike subtances manufactured in the brain. This suggested that for many traumatized people, reexposure to stress might provide a similiar relief from anxiety."

"The stress hormones of trauamtized people, in contrast, take much longer to return to baseline and spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli."
"We now know that there is another possible response to threat, which our scans aren't yet capable of measuring. Some people simply go into denial: Their bodies register the threat, but their conscious minds go on as if nothing has happened. However, even though the mind may learn to ignore the messages from the emotional brain, the alarm signals don't stop... Medications, drugs, and alcohol can also temporarily dull or obliterature unbearable sensations and feelings. But the body continues to keep the score."

"However, as we've seen, the experience of trauma itself gets in the way of being able to do that [that: realize and remember that was then and this is now]. No matter how much insight and understanding we develop, the rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality. I am continually impressed by how difficult it is for people who have gone through the unspeakable to convey the essence of their experience. It is so much easier for them to talk about what has been done to them than to notice, feel, and put into words the reality of their internal experience."
"Our scans had revealed how their dread persisted and could be triggered by multiple aspects of daily experience. They had not integrated their experience into the ongoing stream of their life. The continued to be 'there' and did not know how to be 'here'= fully alive in the present."

"Being traumatized means continuing to organize your life as if the trauma were still going on- unchanged and immutable- as every new encounter or event is contaminated by the past."

"Since at least 1889, when French psychologist Pierre Janet published the first scientific account of trauamtic stress, it had been recognized that trauma survivors are prone to 'continue the action, or rather the (futile) attempt at action, which began when the thing happened." Being able to move and do something to protect oneself is a critical factor in determining whether or not a horrible experience will leave long-lasting scars."
Noted: in the case of c-ptsd... i imagine this is a repetition of lows, depression, stress, fear, self-destruction, ideation