Monthly Archives: March 2011

Fake it till you make it?

Today I feel compelled to wear a belt because I am tired of yanking my jeans up all day long. I consider this a neutral to positive thing. I’m getting smaller slowly. I am not calorie counting in the slightest and I don’t want to. I’m mostly eating what I want. I’m trying to substitute a small amount of fat for large amount of sugar when I know I am comfort eating and that seems to make me feel ‘satisfied’ better. But when I wear a belt with these jeans I have a bulge above and below the belt. Because regardless of my overall size, I had a baby 7 months ago. My belly is very saggy right now. And I feel like I should try to hide that with some big tent-like shirt because I know those instinctive style rules. I know how to ‘slim’ my line. But I want to wear the bright purple shirt with ruffles. And it’s pretty fitted at my current size/shape.

Fuck ’em. I’m wearing the shirt.

Checking in

Thank you for the phone calls. I really appreciate my friends. I’m trying to keep a more firm line in how much I talk about my shit with Shanna standing nearby. The last couple of times I have really unloaded about what was in my head repeatedly in a day she woke up with night terrors. Today I had the one outburst at my mom on the phone outside in the yard. Then I had one ~15 crying thing immediately following. Then I was calm the whole rest of the day. And Shanna didn’t have a night terror. That, to me, means I erred on the correct side of freaking out. I did a lot in the midst of my mom actively treating me like shit, but I did it outside and away from the kids. I did a little bit in the house with the kids nearby. Then I stopped. I was probably slower than average for the rest of the day, but I kept it together.

Mostly I did this because my friend, K, was due to come over in the morning anyway because she was coming over to babysit my kids while I went to therapy. Handy. Mostly at Jenny’s suggestion (Ack! Two Jennys! My brain is overloading and I will figure out that situation later.) I asked K to drive me down to therapy and they hung out in the park right across from the office. By the way, I’ve realized I’m going to have to do some work on my feelings around unsolicited advice. If I’m going to really do the blogging thing then I’m going to have to just deal with it. Oh man. That will make me twitchy.

And I’m up in the middle of the night trying to figure out what to think and feel about this latest development. I’m trying to decide how many cycles in my brain it gets to have. It doesn’t get as many as it wants right now. I have already decided I need a break from processing this kind of stuff right now and my mother does not have the right to override my decision making process. She doesn’t get to ruin my life anymore. I am on a semi-manic upswing right now. I am trying like hell to get upward momentum started. I can’t stop to obsess about this. Today I need to just get into my head that my mother is doing this to me because she is acting out the story in her head. She is not interested in doing the hard shitty work to break the cycles she has established. That’s not my problem. I am interested in doing that hard work. I am doing that work. Part of doing that work is stopping and telling the quiet, scared little girl inside me that she can’t actually hurt me anymore. Never again will she be allowed to send us to a monster. Tyra’s childhood was ruined too, but Shanna and Calli are escaping. My brother’s kids are escaping. One of my siblings absolutely continued the cycle but I have hope for Tyra. The way forward can’t be me staying up all night obsessing and it can’t be me feeling distracted and apathetic all day with the kids. That’s not acceptable. My life is good, wonderful, and I have all the possibilities in the world. I am not yet 30 years old. My life isn’t over yet. I get to grow up and be anyone I want to be.

Ok. I think I’m going to follow a few random paths for a while as I try to figure out which direction I want to grow in. But that’s ok. I have time.

A fairly major interruption

This morning as I was plugging along on my merry way I received a phone call from my mother. One might think was a positive event if you didn’t know me. However this was pretty heinous. My mother called me to tell me that I was not sexually molested as a young child and she wants me to get my story straight. Right. That’s why I have been nearly continually in therapy throughout my lifetime. Excellent. Thanks for clearing that up. By the end of that phone call I was very nearly hysterical. Thank all the stars in the heaven that a friend was due to arrive very soon after. Today was therapy day. Excellent timing, Mom. My friend helped me get through the day. When my beloved eldest child woke up before I was ready for her nap to be over I was decidedly unthrilled. I really need the alone time to think right now. Luckily I have the most delightfully manipulative child. As we cuddled together in the rocking chair she perked up a bit and tilted her head to the side ever so charmingly. A lovely lilt moved into her voice as she said, “I know how to make your life better!”
“Oh, really? And what would that involve?”
“I think it would involve watching your very favorite movie, Ponyo. I think you would be soooooo happy that you would be able to remember all of the rules for a while.”

So much for a non-screen kid. So much for not watching the same movie on repeat. Today I fail at crunchy. But, I win at being a parent because every single person in my house is physically safe, emotionally safe, and doing what they want to be doing. At least the day might end well.

Oh my fucking god.

Tyra told my mom everything I said. My mom called me to tell me she wants to go see a mediator because I am lying about her and she wants to get the story straight. She swears up and down I was not molested when I was little.

I feel like I am losing my mind. I’m crying. I screamed at her on the phone that she has no fucking right to tell me I wasn’t sexually assaulted. This is my body. These are my memories. How fucking dare she lie to my face. I am shaking and so upset I can barely breathe. But I have to drive in 40 minutes to see my therapist so I can’t do anything to help me calm down.

I want her out of my head. I called Tyra and said that if she ever does anything again to cause my mother to call me and harass me that I am done and she will never hear from me again.

So my first living on less challenge for myself. We have Easter coming up and I would like to host a brunch for some friends. I think it sounds like fun. Because I am a huge dorkwad a lot of what I want to do is get my back yard to a place where it would be fun to be in. I need a short-term goal to reach. I want to spend no more than $50, to be taken out of our entertainment budget. How am I going to reach this goal? There are many things to figure out. How many people would I like to host? In particular, Shanna and I are both excited about the upcoming egg hunt. I’m not sure if our friends-with-small-kids will want to come over though. Well, you have to ask if you want things so I’ll figure that bit out. We’ll have to decide what kinds of foods to serve and decorating. On $50. It’s a good thing I have some time to plan.

Luckily I already have someone coming (hopefully today) to take the shed out of my back yard and I found a table/chair/umbrella set on freecycle a couple of weeks ago. That’s the first big step towards making the backyard more fun for a party. I also need to go find some free fill dirt for some of the fuss in the yard. That’s going to be exciting. But! This can be done!

I would like to have some decorations as well. I wonder what Shanna and I can make. 🙂

And the next phase begins.

This weekend didn’t quite go as expected. I didn’t know I was standing on the edge of a precipice about to fall in as fast as possible. I’m ready for my life to be different. I’m ready to go find some new dreams. I realized a while ago that I was feeling frustrated by the limited scope of my life, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. We are stuck, right? We have these little kids and we made agreements about how we wanted them raised so now I am stuck with those decisions (and this situation) forever. Or at least till the kids are older.

But isn’t life dynamic? This situation is untenable. Something–or, rather, a whole lot of things need to change. So we got to talking. We got to talking about what our lives could look like if we were luckier, or richer, or more determined. We talked about the extremes of what we would each like to have. We tried to figure out how our separate passions and interests can work together. The odd part has always been that we have tremendously different focii in life, yet we manage to be obsessed with one another and we get along far better than I’ve ever gotten along with anyone. Ok, if we are going to be very different people on very different paths, we need to find a way to hold hands at least from our separate paths. I can do it! I can reach out and hold on to the most important man I’ve ever had in my life.

Noah’s dreams are his to share, so I’ll let that rest for the time being. But as for myself, I need a change. I need to be more than a lactating, cleaning, cooking machine. No thanks. I want to have things that I do that are interesting to me. I want to *complete* projects. I want to grow and develop ambitions of my own. Some of the ways I want to grow do actually involve working–but not necessarily for someone else and not necessarily for money. I have to learn how to value me and my time appropriately. I’ve had good reason to think about that lately.

So I’ve been trying to determine what my dreams/goals can be. In what areas of my life do I want to stretch my wings and fly? The first and most important thing to me is realizing that it’s ok to be weird. That must sound odd to anyone who knows me. I experience a lot of anxiety around being odd. Especially in some particular ways. I’m totally ok with making financial choices and living with the results of those decisions. Unless the results make me look like my vision of poor white trash. There, I said it. I have class issues. I grew up being driven around in ugly, old trucks–often that had been “modified” with a blow torch (like my uncle’s truck that had been an RV and he used a blow torch somehow to take most of the RV shell off and leave a weird almost pick up truck from the RV shell). No thanks. I have to discover the difference between having shit because you can’t afford any better and having shit because you want to fly to Europe instead. Not that any part of my house actually qualifies as “shit” and I sold Noah’s ugly truck already.

I live in a small, not especially nice home. There isn’t much I can do about that other than change my attitude and possibly my decor so that I actually like my house. There are always going to be limitations to living here–it really is a small home and the layout is not the best–but I can work on changing things about this house so that I like it here. I am in this house at least 16/24 hours 7 days a week. Lately, much much more time than that. Why shouldn’t my house be someplace that makes me happy? So I am going to change things. I’m nervous about where I will find the money. I think that house projects need to become my big ‘entertainment’ budget and I should stop buying my children clothing to fund it. I’m kidding. Mostly. It is lucky that we are set for clothes for pretty much the rest of the year.

Right this exact minute we are nearly in a financial place that gives me hives. We are running out our buffer. We are doing so for quite a few good reasons and the money will be replaced this year–but I’m scared. I can feel the terror of being poor. It’s hard to convince my lizard brain that we are not on the verge of poverty. This would be because of vehicle maintenance and property taxes. Ugh. But it is temporary because the checks to fix it are on their way. I’m just over-sensitive. You see, I have panic attacks if we drop below three months of salary in savings. And Noah makes a lot of money. But! It’ll be ok. It’s probably a good thing for me to be cautious with money. Noah does want us to get rich.


It feels like everything is hitting speed bumps today. My plans for today were: drop van off at mechanic, go home and paint. I woke up at 5am. It seems like that’s not an outrageous list of things to do.

Well. The van has uhm a few more issues than anticipated and I have been on the phone with 3 mechanics, my cousin 3 times, and the guy at the Toyota dealership 5 times. It also involved extensive web searches because holymotherfuckingshit do I not want to pay that many thousands of dollars on repairs today. My cousin, who has been an active mechanic for better than 40 years, says I am getting a good deal and I really really need to do those repairs today or I will be sorry. He has yet to steer me wrong so I’m taking his advice. Even though I want to cry about how expensive this is. Did I mention that tomorrow we have to drop the Prius off for maintenance? 🙁

I ran out of paint after an hour of painting because I didn’t take into account that this is drywall with one coat of primer. It’s thirsty. Noah brought home more and I haven’t been able to touch it because I’ve been busy with other things. Working on the ceiling with Calli on my back made my head, neck, and back hurt so much I want to cry.

We let Shanna help. Of course in the first three minutes she stuck a finger full of blackboard paint (it’s grainy) into her eye necessitating lots and lots of eye flushing while forcibly holding her down as she kicked and screamed. Yeah, that makes my whole fucking day. 🙁 But it was really important. Then we cuddled for a bit to kind of recalibrate.

I have gotten over hungry more than once today and that does really bad things for my mood.

I figured out why our garage is flooding! I thought I had already fixed the problem, but today’s torrential downpour is showing me way more about the problem. Noah and I both worked in the rain trying to get it so that it stops actively flooding Right Now but I have many days of dirt moving ahead of me and I want to cry thinking about it. I will not be painting that wall or ordering the carpet until this problem is truly *fixed*. Ugh.

Calli is teething and whining. And clingy. So.Very.Clingy.

And I’m sober. Sober fucking sucks. My adrenaline is through the roof because of stupid little shit going wrong all day.

And this is with help. This would be why I haven’t started any of the things alone. 😛

Good parenting.

I asked on MDC what makes good parents and someone turned around and asked me if I would like to have me as a parent. Yes. I really would. I would so love a mom like me. I am empathetic, strong, dependable, mostly consistent with my behavior even though my moods are unpredictable, I am fun! I like to play. I like doing all kinds of neat things and I think, “Why not?” is a great answer to questions like, “Can I cover my entire body in finger paint?” I am fiercely protective. I fight through my touch issues to be incredibly snuggly with my girls. I think that everyone needs to scream sometimes–just not in the house. I think that everyone has bad days and they do not in any way reflect your value as a person. I am loyal. I am honest. I am kind. I am considerate. Loving! So! So! Loving. I pay so much attention to my kids. As people. I like to stare at them.

So it seems that I am a great supporting character. (Like I was a good secondary.) I’m not that great at being the main character. Maybe I should just like me more. Maybe then I would do better at being the important one in my life.

Also, really thrilled about the push to recognize Shanna’s behavior as Not About Me. We’ve had a really great day and a lot of it is when she starts pushing on something I am stopping to think how it relates to her and her needs instead of mine. *That’s* good parenting. 😛 Thanks for telling me to do it, blacksheep.

freecycle is awesome and awful.

Between Craigslist and freecycle I am trying to off-load approximately a large bedroom worth of stuff. (It’s only that big because one of the things is the shed from our yard.) Some of the things listed are: bag of kids clothes sized 6m-3t, mixed genders and seasons. I think it is fucking hilarious how many people send me emails asking for pictures of all the clothes, uhm dude if I went to that much trouble I’d put them on fucking ebay, and for me to sort out specific things in the exact sizes/styles/genders they want. No. That’s not how this works, folks. I say, “Hey! Bag of free shit!” You say, “Cool! I’ll be right over!” (Or, “Can I come after work”–we don’t discriminate against people with jobs in this house.)

And dude who aggressively said he wanted to come get the shed today for 20% less than I listed it for? No. And you may not have my address.

eta: I’m noticing my writing getting worse. Many more mistakes. I blame the child running into my leg.

Announcement and House projects

I have just decided that I am going to publicly announce that my Sarah (dangerpudding) is moving in with us towards the end of the summer. Right now August 1st is our target date. All co-housing situations have the potential for drama and stress. However we are going to choose to say, “We are ignoring the fact that often there is roommate drama! It’ll work out!” Basically I anticipate us getting some outside mediation at certain points to make sure my head is out of my ass. 🙂 There is so much potential for good here it isn’t funny. Sarah and I travel well together, spend excessive amounts of time together, and are both good at retreating to our rooms when we need a break. Cross your fingers for us and send us your blessings because this working out could be the solution to many of mine and Sarah’s problems. Good wishes are very very helpful.

That said! If Sarah is moving into my house there are many things that must be changed. Our house isn’t very big and we are currently using all of it. It’s going to mean a lot of adjusting our current house usage and getting rid of stuff. It also means that I have to get around to finishing the garage conversion. 🙂 Noah has the next four days off of work and I am going to take advantage of him being home to get through chores as fast as possible. Lots of painting. Lots of moving furniture. Other random sorting or minor chores that need to happen in the next few months.

As is my want, I periodically put on here that I would love house with house chores! Sometimes people show up and sometimes they don’t. Both are perfectly ok. But, if anyone out there has not much to do over the next four days this would be a better-than-average time to come over. Even if you don’t want to do house chores Shanna would love a play mate. 🙂 Or you could just chat with me. I’m open to many variations. 🙂

I think I needed that.

Today my therapist laughed at me. At some point we worked our way around to how to continue processing abuse stuff in a limited way in that little box over there in the corner so that there isn’t ‘leakage’ into the rest of my life. These are important things to consider when planning how to end the cycle of abuse or build a nuclear reactor plant. Just sayin’. I came around to the idea of a support group. Yes! That is what I need! A support group for mothers with mental illness or mothers who are survivors of abuse. Yes! Because then I can have people who are in the same place as me who can give me advice because I suck and I’m not figuring it all out. She almost fell out of her chair laughing. Apparently she thinks they don’t have much to teach me. We actually spent the rest of our time together talking about a workshop she has been dying to lead…and she has been trying to figure out how to talk to me about it. Because she thinks I have a lot to teach about doing this. She views my recent blip as as really… nothing to write home about when dealing with mothers who were victimized. No lines have been crossed. No one has been harmed. No actual damage has been perpetrated. Ok, my tone of voice sucks sometimes. Why am I crucifying myself? We spent a lot of time talking about victim/rescuer judge/(can’t think of the word but you catch my point). It was really neat. It was interesting having her point out on this little graph how I was moving around in my relationship with Shanna. We talked about specifics of how to step out of it and she said that really the only thing she would have suggested is what I started doing yesterday. It was very validating. She more or less gave me a check list of things to think about when considering parenting stuff and that was extremely useful. It was also nice to be reminded that as a parent it really and truly isn’t my job to ensure that my kids like me. Making them happy at all costs is really not the right road to a happy adulthood because they will be total assholes. But I digress. 🙂

I’m always going to be kind of messy (like emotionally and psychically) and weird. But that’s ok. So is everyone else if I look at them closely enough. I am not a bad person. I want to stop treating myself like I am. No matter how much I want to believe that I am a monster in the making, I’m really not. I’m not abusing my kids. I’m not hurting them. I’m loving on them and giving them lots of attention and affection and support. Why do I only see the 4 seconds I yell and decide that is the only important 4 seconds of the day? It’s really not. All the time I spend patiently showing Shanna every step of ‘how to do things right’ even when it is challenging to let her do it. For every time I say, “Man you’ve been working on that! You couldn’t do that a week ago. I wonder what you will be able to do next week.” I see her. I love her. I don’t need to buy her love. I make a vow today, I will stop acting like I have to buy my daughter’s love. That course of action will result in both of us losing.

Picking up my basket

I really like the movie “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”. It’s far from being a perfect analogy for my life but I see familiar things in it and ultimately it is a hopeful movie. Yeah, the mom fucked up pretty bad and she is hurt and ashamed by that for the rest of her life. And her daughter has issues, but she also has a pretty great life and a wonderful partner etc. It’s one of those, “Yes moms can be really imperfect and the kids still turn out somehow” sorts of things. Given how frequent a trope that is I’m pretty confident the worry exists in other minds as well, minds that don’t work like mine. Anyway. At one point the mother describes her own mental breakdown as “I dropped my basket.” Since I heard that line I think of it often when I’m having trouble carrying around all my shit. It’s like the basket got too heavy so I had to set it down for a while. For most of my life I have set it down as long as I needed to and slowly picked up one item at a time. But uhm, things are different now. I’m reading parenting books and near as I can tell every single one says, “Hey! You know how you behave when you are cheerful and doing ok? Yeah? Ok! That’s perfect! Do that for the rest of your life without let up and everything will work out!” Cause yeah, when I’m on the ball I do this parenting thing pretty well like I taught well. I genuinely enjoy interacting with kids like this. But it is hard. It is unrelentingly hard. And I dropped my basket. But Shanna has informed me that it is time to pick my basket up again. Her behavior is slipping. She’s acting out more. I honestly don’t know how it will work to just decide, “I am not going into denial or ‘stuffing’ my feelings I just need to set them in this box I look in once a week.” I don’t know if I have really tried this before. I can tell you right now that I am nervous. This is hard. Honestly this feels slightly like a step in the wrong direction in terms of worrying about multiples. 😛 But these thoughts are dominating my entire life and that just isn’t working. I can’t be that self-absorbed anymore. I had like a 7 week breakdown. That’s a fucking long time in the life of a child. It has to just end, now. *beat head against wall*

Maybe I should read parenting books more often

So I’m picking around Becoming The Parent You Want To Be. I’ve been kind of poking at it intermittently for years. It is interesting to have it reaffirmed that no really, it’s ok for my kid to be kind of weird and different from other people. If she’s happy, secure, and prepared for success in life there isn’t a thing wrong with being weird. Maybe I should stop listening to other peoples parenting advice.

How ironic that I want a parenting advice book to tell me to stop taking advice. Ha. I’m a moron.


I’m noticing that I’m not using good boundaries lately. That’s a problem in pretty much every part of my life. Maybe I need to try and shelve the old shit again for a while and try to switch focus to more immediate boundary issues. I wonder if this will work. :-\