Monthly Archives: May 2011

anxiety

I don’t think I need to state out loud that I’m a stress monkey right now.  That’s probably obvious.  I have better days and worse days.  I’m not doing great but I’m not hiding in the garage all day.  I’m getting productive stuff done.  I’m mostly doing ok with the kids.  Except when I’m not.

And I’m really not doing very well with Noah.  This is one of the things that it’s hardest to talk about.  I’m not being very nice to my husband.  I mean, I do things for him.  I mostly don’t take everything out on him.  Except that sometimes I do.  And he doesn’t like it.  I suppose it is probably reasonable and all that he gets sick of me being nasty.  The thing is, I’m not sure what to do about this situation right now.  We are both under a fair bit of stress (young children will do that to you anyway) and we both have an enormous amount of work we have to do that we don’t want to do.  And I’ve had Big Life Events again this month compounding my lifetime of them that I’m not doing very well at suppressing lately.

Because the thing is, in order to be with my kids I really do have to suppress memories.  It is a conscious act of will to do it.  And given how I feel right this minute about being silenced, you know… this really sucks.  It is very hard not to feel resentful of my children just because they deserve the right to grow up in complete ignorance of even the word incest.  But they do deserve it.  It’s my job to provide that world to them.

I wonder if that is (at least part of) why my mom refused to talk about it.  I wonder if she believed that children shouldn’t have those concepts so we’ll just sweep it under the rug and it will be all better.  Naw, I doubt she thought about it that much.  But I think about it all the time.  I think about the fact that I don’t want to be a bitter, harping shrew like my mother.  I think about my vicious ex-boyfriend who threw it in my face that it was inevitable that I would be a nasty, bitter alcoholic who dies alone.

When I have days like today, when my anxiety is running high and I’m not medicated, these are the days that make me afraid.  I don’t want to lose my life.  I don’t want to lose my husband.  I don’t want to lose my precious baby girls.  I don’t want to lose me.  I don’t know how to get a handle on my anxiety sometimes.  And I am so very mean. 🙁

I’m not mean to Noah and the kids all day.  But I go pick fights on the internet and rant and rave about them.  I try very hard to manufacture a place for me to pour all of my unhappy feelings and stir them up. I don’t really have any place in my life where I can do that.  My options right now are to bottle up my feelings or scream at my family.  It’s not appropriate for me to talk about my shit in front of my kids.  It’s not appropriate for me to ditch my kids all the time so that I can go somewhere else and talk about it.  And really, I already feel like no one gives a shit.  They are done listening.  I need to stop whining because I am such a pathetic baby.

All I can do is write on the internet.  And hope no asshole comes along and tells me what I should do to deal with my anxiety.  Which isn’t to say that everyone who wants to help me is an asshole.  But there are assholes out there, let me tell you.  The thing is, even when it’s nice people.  They want to help.  They want so badly to help.  And when I say, no that won’t work then they say, “Well how do you know unless you try!”  My internal dialogue to that is FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU  Until you live with the monsters in my head don’t fucking tell me what I should do.  Because when you tell me what I should do you are telling me to be different from who I am.

It’s hard to explain why I have a hard time with advice without offending people.  So I feel like I shouldn’t bother trying to explain.  No one actually gives a shit why I don’t want advice.  I’m supposed to sit and smile and nod and say thank you.  That’s what polite people do, right?

Being polite hasn’t historically gone well for me.  When I am polite I have muddy boundaries.  I don’t know how to do polite and firm at the same time.  I know how to have firm boundaries or muddy boundaries.  When I am trying to be nice–they’re muddy.  And that doesn’t go well.  Because I ignore small incursions into my space and then there are more and more and then I blow up.

“Just be present in the moment.”  I don’t have anxiety because I am worried about paying my mortgage.  I have anxiety because I have had a shitty life and some times that is shittier than others.  I’m cussing a lot because I’m frustrated.  But I’ve been cussing way too much and way too close to my kids.  So I feel like once again I’m a bad person.

If someone tells me to be present in the moment in my life I feel like they are telling me that what I have been doing so far isn’t being present.  It doesn’t count.  I am present in the moment, motherfucker.  I’m talking.  I’m interacting.  I’m working.  I’m getting shit done in the moment.  I just also have a horrid stomach ache because somewhere in the corner of my brain I’m saying, “My mother didn’t love me enough to try to prevent me being raped and she didn’t love me enough to let me talk about it once it happened.  My mother doesn’t love me.”

I don’t think I’m grieving Uncle Bob.  I’m grieving my mother.  I kind of wish she would die already so this could just be at an end.  Hell, I’ll even take another suicide with a nasty suicide note.  It would at least be peace from this constant feeling of wanting to go find her and beg for her forgiveness.  I want her to forgive me for speaking.  I want to promise I will never every speak of it again.  I’m sorry.  Yes, I lied.

I want my mommy.  But I don’t get to have a mommy.  Not really.  Not this lifetime.  It’s too late.  I lean heavily on some of the women in my life, but it isn’t the same.  They are peers.  They are friends.  I kind of feel like forever, for the rest of my life, I just don’t get to have anyone I love and respect in that kind of role.  And that’s hard.  I’m not ready to be the female head of household.  I’m too young.  I’m too fucked up.  I’m not good at being the stable one for everyone to depend on.  Today I feel like a complete failure at my life.  What I am supposed to be as the mom here is the one people lean on.  But I’m not.  Because if you lean on me, I fall down.  And my daughter already knows that.

And that right there, that is the thing that is making it hard to stay at 50% interest in surviving.  Because I have already failed at the most important thing in my life.

Disordered eating

I wouldn’t say that I have anorexia.  I would say that there are times when food tastes bad.  Right now I am trying to eat anything we have in our house because otherwise I won’t eat at all.  No matter what I put into my mouth it feels like going outside and picking up a handful of dirt would be better.  Things with lots and lots of sugar don’t make me feel like I want to vomit when they are in my mouth.  But then I get into roller coasters of sugar highs and lows.

When people ask me about emotional eating I say that it isn’t one of my problems.  Maybe the real answer is, “I should do emotional eating.  Instad I starve myself because I have been so thoroughly indoctrinated with the idea that white flour and sugar are poisons.”  But the thing is, I’m using those ideas to justify behavior I had anyway.

Noah tries to help.  But he’s fucking frustrated.  And it’s showing in his tone of voice.  So I cry a lot.  And I’m hungry.  And everything tastes so very very bad.  And my stomach hurts.  And I need to go paint.

Expanding on an Eventful Life

3- Parents divorce, first memories of sexual behavior with other children
AJ… I think that was his name.  It was behind a couch in the living room.  It had wood slats behind it.  He didn’t orgasm.  He wasn’t sure what I was trying to do exactly.  But it did feel nice.  I was supposed to make him feel nice.  Right?

4- Memories of father molesting me
The strangest things stay prominent in memory.  We went on an amusement park ride and all of the stuff fell out of his shirt pocket.  We sat and waited at a table near the ride.  His hand under my dress the whole time.  The boys thought I needed to rest because I was such a baby.  They mocked me for sitting.

5- 5 kindergardens, big acting out sexually behavior

I was the new kid again.  I wanted someone to like me.  I needed someone to see me.  He looked at me and tried to make friends.  That’s how you are nice to someone, right?


6- Moved to Oklahoma/Texas, Uncle Bob hurt Tommy
My uncle was actually trying to defend me.  Given how horrible Tommy was to me, it was a good instinct.  But that drove a permanent wedge through our family.  I don’t think Uncle Bob ever got over the guilt.  It felt like the whole world just went up in flames.  Hysteria.  Silenced.  Ripped away from everyone who might be able to track my story.



7- Tommy’s accident, Michael raped me
It’s kind of funny how trite pieces of it are.  Of course I started acting out.  But most people don’t start this kind of acting out until they are much older.  More proof that I was precocious?



8- Denny was born, come back to California, started cutting
These generational lines feel important and I don’t know why.  It’s like a ticking time bomb until something blows up.  I suspect that Tyra and Denny might opt out of having kids as a way of breaking the cycle.  Or maybe they will accidentally have kids because human beings are animals and we all want to pass on our genes.  And they will live in poverty, addiction, abuse… who knows.  I need to not notice any more.  The cutting is interesting.  There are different kinds of cutters.  I started out with serrated knives.  I don’t know how I avoided scarring.



9- Tommy moved in with us, my father raped me
Tommy chased Denny around the house with his wheelchair hurting the baby’s fingers.  That was Denny’s introduction to the world.  I was left alone, constantly in horribly unsafe conditions.  I found the strength of will to call my mother in the middle of my father raping me and she told me that I made my bed now I have to lie in it.  Oh man, but he didn’t put his penis in my vagina so it doesn’t count!  I should be more sensitive.



10- Jeremy raped me, Tommy tried to kill me
It’s rare that I get flashes of the sodomy.  There’s a fun word.  I think that has been the primary assault I have physically relived.  I get flashes of the stuff with my father, but for whatever reason the sodomy caused more damage.  Maybe because there was no mix of pleasure with the pain?  It was very difficult for me to learn to have anal sex, even with all the sex I’ve had.  I actually think that the way I have anal sex takes the place of cutting for me in terms of needed level of self-harm.

    
11- Tyra was born, tried drugs, escalating acting out behavior,
I toss in the “tried drugs” because I think it is kind of funny.  I took two hits of pot.  Once.  I had a coughing fit and puked into a cactus.  Some stupid kid near me talked me into snorting baby powder.  We thought white out was pretty awesome.  The “escalating acting out”.  I snuck out of the house pretty often.  The only time I went to an honest-to-goodness party I fell asleep on the couch about 30 minutes in.  I came home to my mother filing a police report and she acted like I had robbed a bank.



12- Moved to LG mostly permanently, asked a 25 year to fuck me, dated other 25 year old, grandfather died
This was when my mom made me the favored child for a little while.  She really was trying to save me.  She feels like she threw Tommy to the wolves, but she probably did save my life.  The sex was awful and painful and (combined with the boyfriend treating me like a hooker) it scared me straight.



13- tried to do the “normal person” thing
I tried to follow fashion.  I found out about trendy music and movies.  Of course this means I was a goth.  But whether people want to believe it or not, “counter culture” is mainstream culture too.  I was part of a social group. I got to enter into the flow of friendship formation.  It was weird.  I felt like I was coming home to Los Gatos, and everyone acted like they didn’t know me.  They were the only constant forces in my life but I was the only inconsistent part of their lives.



14- dated Airforce Michael
Picked him up at a gaming convention.  I helped him lose his virginity on his 21st birthday.  In Vasona Park in downtown Los Gatos.  Yup.  I’m that girl.  I have always loved dating geeks.  I’m a pretty girl and geek boys like that I am a pretty girl who wants to talk to them.  I’m also smart.  And not afraid of being smart.  So that’s double plus good.  



15- Patrick raped me, Justin tried to rape me, attempted suicide, psych hospital stay
This group was full of people who had serious entitlement issues.  A bunch of spoiled rich boys who really believed they were allowed to have and do anything they wanted.  It was bad.  And yet, that’s not the real story.  The real story is that I was very sexually aggressive and when guys responded it scared the shit out of me.  Not all guys are going to listen to “no” once they are lead on and they are easy to pick out of the crowd.  I didn’t tend to go home with the guys who wouldn’t have sex with me.  That’s a lot of the reason I have a lot of respect for the one guy I have kept from that crowd.  He had sex with me (even though he was 20 and knew he shouldn’t) but he followed the camp site rule.  So even in the midst of the trauma there were valuable life lessons.



16- dropped out of high school, Tommy killed himself, group home, 6 months in Bakersfield, speed experiment
I don’t even mention my father stalking me.  That is the prevailing feeling of the six months in Bakersfield.  No, that’s not true.  But that was true of the last couple of months.  I was terrified.  Then we came back to Los Gatos. I started working full time and my mom started stealing my paycheques.  I had to pay my share of the rent, you know.  My manager at Ross gave me speed.  He was probably fucking the other 16 year old employee I hung out with.  The company shut me up fast.



17- started West Valley, my father killed himself
I remember the night the night my brother Jimmy called me screaming about our father’s death.  I left the house and walked all over Redwood Estates.  I sobbed and screamed.  I ended up at Jenny’s house and she held me while I sobbed.  I didn’t know what it was like to grow up with a father.  But you never get over wanting your Daddy.



18- given date rape drug , found bdsm, started dating Tom,
Oh that whole date rape situation was awful.  I was acting out all over the place.  Lots of bad decisions.  And the response was across the line victim blaming.  It was all my fault.  Luckily when I found the creepy online guy who introduced me to bdsm I left before sleeping with him.  Thank god for some boundaries.  And I found Tom.



19- left W.V., lots of moving around and couch surfing, growing awareness of safe sex, trip to Australia
Really this period was characterized by my relationship with Tom.  I dated a lot of people for the first six months and I did a lot of things that were suboptimal, but I learned and improved rapidly.  Tom wasn’t real up for the kind of communication I needed, so we had problems.



20- pretty sure this is when I started blogging,
I’m upset about not having my g-blog archive anymore.  I wish I had started backing up my data years ago.  This was a happy, stable period of my life.  I think that is what bothered Tom so much.  He knew it was a calm before the storm.  We entered into a 24/7 M/s relationship.  



21- graduated college, started grad school, trip to London/Paris
It was becoming increasingly clear that Tom was not my forever partner.  We coped with this in ways that were mostly healthy and functional.  Better than anything I’d ever seen.  By this point we were moving more into the Daddy/daughter play than the Owner/slave.  Tom didn’t really want to hurt someone who was in as much pain as I was in all day every day.  Instead he took care of me.  It was interesting.



22- started dating Noah, broke up with Tom 
You aren’t supposed to talk about it, but Tom has a low libido.  It’s not a big deal.  I don’t.  So all of a sudden it was a big deal.  In the final year of our relationship we had sex 11 times.  Some people think that is fine but it isn’t for me.  Lots of sex with my partner keeps me from chasing self destructive sex.  I mention that I started dating Noah, but he isn’t actually the person I negotiated poly for.  Or the boy I developed a crush on.  He was unremarkable except that he was So.Fucking.Pushy.


23- broke up with Noah, did lots of drugs with James, started teaching, dated Puppy, trip to Ireland
Got sick of that pushy thing.  He wanted someone other than me.  He didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know how to let him find out.  Sort of.  Maybe.  Or maybe he wanted exactly me and I didn’t know how to be me and stand next to him.  So I dumped him and sobbed the whole way home.  Hanging out with the Burners was fun.  I feel like I happened along at a golden era of fun no-strings-attached-sex for a whole bunch of people.  It was responsible and very loving in a sleazy sort of way.  No really.  It was awesome.  The trip to Ireland was awkward but allowed me to start letting go of Tom.  Teaching was consuming most of my life.  Sprint! 

24- Puppy dumped me, married Noah (7 days before my birthday)
Puppy was probably telling me the truth when he said he never loved me.  He’s still an asshole.  Marrying Noah was the right call.  Eloping is still a mixed bag thing for me.  I feel like I didn’t have a wedding because I was afraid that people like me don’t get to have weddings.  People don’t come.  I don’t have a family to invite any way and weddings are for your family… right?  



25- rape scene with Noah
I’m glad we did this and it hurt like hell.  It lead to good therapy work and wonderful growth in my relationship with Noah.  It’s kind of comfortable being able to say with great confidence that I know exactly what kind of monster I married.

  
26- Had Shanna, failed out of grad school
Other women seem to enjoy pregnancy.  Not me.  It was horrible.  I lost almost 20 lbs in the first 5 months.  Then I had preterm labor and bedrest.  And with regards to the MA? I was told, “It’s obvious that you know the material… but you just didn’t quite write enough.”  I’m not even sure I’m bitter (today, right now) any more so much as I just feel sad.  What a horrible system.

27- Miscarriage, therapist overdosed, Francesca overdosed, trip to New Zealand
That first miscarriage was hard.  I found the fetus in my first postpartum cycle.  That’s not an experience I ever want again.  My beloved therapist overdosed on heroin.  She had been going down hill for a while.  It was really obvious.  Another close friend overdosed on heroin.  She was in a lot of pain and no one saw.  That’s hard to bear.  Traveling is so wonderful.  This trip was closer to what I like in travel.


28- Miscarriage, Had Calli
I started the miscarriage and got in my van to drive to Portland.  I was supposed to leave that day and didn’t see a point in stopping my plans for something like that.  If I stop my life for sad things I’ll never get up again.  I’m frankly surprised nothing bad happened given how I cried.  Then I had my Calli.  I had a nine day labor then I hemorrhaged after her birth and nearly died.  My response is to feel like it is ridiculous how I make everything sound so melodramatic.  That’s really not an exaggeration of what happened.  It’s pretty minimizing, really.  But I feel like I shouldn’t say it.



29- Uncle Bob died, outed my whole family, wrote ¼ of a book, remodeled my house
Uncle Bob was my savior and an abuser.  He was a bully and a flirt.  He was good people and he was a racist.  These things are complicated.  My family wants me to keep silent.  I want to take up space in the world.  I feel like if I don’t find a way to take up space in the world I am going to explode.




14 days till I leave and I’m not sure what I’m packing.  We are going to be gone for a month and I’m packing for four people and extensive travel through multiple climates.  I want to sit here and keep writing. But that is derailing my life.  So really, I need to turn the computer off.

Finding boundaries

Why am I awake? It’s 11pm. I should have been asleep hours ago. Instead I am awake beating my head against a metaphorical wall. Why does everything have to be black or white? I have started and stopped several posts where I want to provide this lurid description of what I did last night. The thing is, I want to write it in such a way that it sounds like a semi-reasonable step on a very unreasonable path. Does that make sense? Maybe?

If I assume that my family’s predictions for me are correct then I can interpret last night as a horrible predictor of things to come! I abandoned my children to party and be promiscuous! See, I am just as evil as my family. But that’s not the real story. I didn’t abandon my children. You do not have to sit at home 24/7 just because you have children. That’s not a reasonable expectation. I went out for a night so that I could see friends. We chose to get drunk. Given how popular of a pastime this is I assume that I do not need to explain the appeal. But dude. Yes, I even made out with a pretty girl. But I was watchful of my boundaries and when I realized I was dissociating from my body and no longer really engaged with the act… I was performing… I stopped doing it.

I drank more than I should have, but that is not a moral failing. I am thinking about myself as if I have committed some sin. That’s rather ludicrous, don’t you think? Oh wait. But that’s the dichotomy I know. Either you are abstinent from all substances so that you are good or you are a horrifyingly abusive addict. I have spent so many hours beating my head against the wall struggling with using medication for my anxiety. I don’t want to use it. I don’t want to need it. I don’t want to admit I need it.

My uncle died 17 days ago. Since then I found an ally in my brother who provided oodles of additional information about my childhood abuse, lost an ally in my brother when I said that my need to process should be more important than our father’s good memory. I outed my sister and my mother and loudly divorced my entire extended family. And I’m at least 1/4 of the way into a book describing my childhood. It’s ok that I’m having some intense emotions. Really.

Tonight I watched the movie Hounddog. Towards the end of the movie there is an intense scene where a young girl deals with trauma by finding a way to express herself. I’m not going to say more than that because I think that anyone who wants to understand me should watch the movie. It’s not a direct parallel by any means, but I think that is the closest picture I’ve ever seen of what it is like to be part of my family. And I feel such intense horror because what happened to me was a lot worse.

My father put a gun to my head when I was 9 years old and told me to suck his dick and my family thinks I shouldn’t say that out loud because it HURTS PEOPLES FEELINGS to hear it. I am bad if I hurt other people so I should just shut up. Maybe go talk to a therapist, but not really. If you do talk to a therapist you need to not reveal any of the parts that make you look bad. You are a perpetual victim. You learn how to carefully tell your story to different people so that you always elicit sympathy. And you can’t really tell the truth because CPS is bad and they want to hurt our family for no good reason so be sure to lie about everything. So maybe that therapist isn’t such a good plan after all. People in my family go to therapy for a couple of months, once a week. They are prescribed a mood stabilizer. They confess that they were abused in vague, general terms. “My father did things to me.” And people don’t make them say any more because abuse is a private thing.

Once they get to the point where they have been told that they are brave and awesome for Surviving! You Are So Cool! Then they stop going to therapy. And they feel like they have been “cured” and if you talk about things from the past you are Bringing Up Old Stuff. They are past all that now. Why can’t I move on.

Because my father raped me when I was 9 years old and no one did anything to stop it. Because when I go to my uncle’s hospital to say goodbye I am told not to bother coming because there is no point. I am told that my father’s death and my brother’s death don’t count in my lifetime tally of grief because they were evil. I am told that I make mountains out of molehills. I posted a timeline a few days ago with a list of big traumatic events in my life. That’s a lot of really bad shit. The number one trauma in most peoples life is the death of a spouse. Really? Holy fucking shit. No wonder I feel like such a complete freak of nature. I have spent most of my life harping on the fact that you can’t compare trauma, and people shouldn’t minimize their pain. But I do a lot of minimizing my trauma. I do a lot (in my head) of saying that other people were abused too and they are doing better than me. No really, I don’t know anyone who had a childhood like mine. I was so very isolated.

——————————————–

I don’t know how to break the chains of my childhood abuse alone. I need a few more decades of talk therapy and I may not be done then. Because when animals are under stress they revert to their earliest, most basic training. Mine was… yeah. I can never ever let down my guard and act like I am “cured”. That is a basic fallacy. That is the problem with the diagnosing of mental health issues. It’s not like I have the flu. I’m not going to “get better”. I don’t feel like it is ok for me to exist and tell my stories and take up space in the world. And that shit’s gotta stop.

I want to talk about what I did on Friday night because I feel proud of myself.  I feel like I made really good choices that are consistent with my professed values that I arrived at after extensive soul searching.  But lots of people think I am evil.  They are happy to tell me so.  Some of them won’t tell me so.  Instead they will talk to me about learning to control my anger.  They will tell me about this long list of things I can do to “be present” and “not let the past get in the way of the present”.

THAT’S WHAT MY FUCKING MOTHER WOULD SAY THE DAY AFTER I WAS RAPED YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES.  I feel this crushing weight of sorrow.  People want to help so much.  They don’t know how to help by and large because they are projecting their own view of the world onto my life.  It’s normal.  It’s natural.  It is so well meaning.  How do I manage it though?  Because it’s ok for all those other people to have their opinions too.  How do I hold on to my sense of self in the face of that?  Well, I toss my words like pebbles into the sea.  I pray to a God I’m not sure if I believe in and I ask for help.  I spend approximately .25 seconds doing that.  And then I turn on the computer.

I want help.  I want to learn how to be me and how to be happy and how to feel like it is ok that I take up space in the world.  It’s not like I want to take up that much space.  I live in a house that is less than 1,000 sq feet.  There will be three adults here blessedly soon.  Two gorgeous growing girls.  If I want to learn how to take up as much space as I can I need to be careful.  I need to watch very carefully for toes.  I need to see where I end and they begin.

And the only way to really know that is to develop intimacy.  It’s kind of an odd thing to admit.  I am not inviting Sarah to move in with me because I want another in house lover.  I am asking Sarah to become a deep and intimate part of my support network.  I am asking her to consent to being there for me as family in a way I haven’t had.  I need to learn boundaries.  And it’s not ok to put all of that on my kids.  I need adults in my daily life and I don’t know how else to have that.

Whenever people tell me to get over things I want to rage and beat the walls.  People get through horrible things by having it acknowledged and talked about and being validated.  In times of stress people revert to their childhood training.  I was traumatized constantly as a small child.  I was kept in isolation from other people.  No one really knew me.  I flitted into and out of different communities so I was always weird but no one took the trouble to find out why.  I have continued it more and more as an adult until I find that I look around the bay area and I can’t leave my house any more.

You see, I’ve left fragments of my personality in every social group and I don’t know which parts are true and which parts are me reacting to trauma from my childhood so I did things impetuously that weren’t awesome.  So a lot of people dislike me.  And I feel like it is all my fault.  If I were only a good person this wouldn’t have happened.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

But this is the really uncomfortable part.  Ok, fine.  I can see those things.  I can make resolutions to change my behavior.  I know exactly what the problems are.  But the thing is… life is stressful.  Mine much more so than most people.  That’s the problem with being a sprinter.  If I am not being traumatized I will go create a traumatic situation because I will sign on for so much stress that I revert back to broken childhood behavior patterns and I blow up my life.

Uhm, in my defense I’m doing this in more and more healthy ways.  And that’s the part I’m trying to get through.  And uhm… it’s not a “get better” thing.  Mental illness is not like the flu.  For someone who had a normal, sane, stable childhood… even if it wasn’t absolutely perfect, children are resilient.  People survive lots of things.  If you revert to your childhood training you will get through ok.  My childhood training was to act out sexually, use substances to manage my emotions, and inflict enormous self harm rather than speak out about my sexual assault because it made other people uncomfortable to hear about it.

Do you see why I might have anger issues?  Is it growing more obvious why I don’t want someone to tell me to go get my second chakra cleaned so I can be free of my torment?  (No Marisa, I don’t mean you.)  It’s not about my second chakra.  It’s about being raped repeatedly and conditioned to believe that not only was it ok, but I deserved it and I had better shut up.

Yes, I need to learn boundaries.  But I do not need to be invited into a group of adults and told that I need to be responsible for their reaction to me.  I’m currently writing about my anger at my last therapist, if anyone missed that bit.  I need long term talk therapy.  I need someone who can get to know me because my trauma story is a special god damn snowflake.  There isn’t another story exactly like mine.  I can have things in common with other stories without their resolution being mine.  Only I know my whole story because it is scattered to the winds.  That’s part of why I am writing more and more of it on the internet and I want to publish books.  I am so tired of feeling like I am invisible.

I’m not.  I am demonstrably not invisible.  This is not rational.  There is no part of this experience that is rational.  But it’s my early childhood training.  Watching Shanna is weird because I’m watching her learn how to navigate the world.  Her body is changing so fast that daily she has to reevaluate where she ends and where other things begin.  She doesn’t think about things like moving the chair if her neck is uncomfortable so she can see better.

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And that all feels like beside the point only it’s not.  There has to be a point.  But this blog post isn’t it.

Last night I went out and did something that may have been stupid. I got rip roaring drunk. I had three mixed drinks (rum and coke, whiskey and coke, whiskey sour) and two jello shots. Over ~4 hours. That is more alcohol than I have had in an evening since before I had kids. I am very sick today. I had somewhere around two hours of sleep. Oh man.

But you know what? I had fun. I’m not going to drink like that, maybe ever again. But I went out with the intention of finding trouble because I was feeling self destructive. I got blanket permission to do anything I wanted with anyone I wanted. So I made out with a fun, cute girl. And when I started to have bad tapes in my head I told her that I was ready to stop and I did. There were a number of other implied offers. I looked at each of them and decided that I didn’t want to be that kind of self destructive after all. It’s kind of weird that I am getting closer and closer to flat out monogamy now that I feel better and more secure about the idea of poly.

An eventful life.

I think it is a good idea for me to give new therapists a time line. When I did this one I was kind of startled. Do most people have this much happen in their lives?

3- Parents divorce, first memories of sexual behavior with other children
4- Memories of father molesting me
5- 5 kindergardens, big acting out sexually behavior
6- Moved to Oklahoma/Texas, Uncle Bob hurt Tommy
7- Tommy’s accident, Michael raped me
8- Denny was born, come back to California, started cutting
9- Tommy moved in with us, my father raped me
10- Jeremy raped me, Tommy tried to kill me
11- Tyra was born, tried drugs, escalating acting out behavior,
12- Moved to LG mostly permanently, asked a 25 year to fuck me, dated other 25 year old, grandfather died
13- tried to do the “normal person” thing
14- dated Airforce Michael
15- Patrick raped me, Justin tried to rape me, attempted suicide, psych hospital stay
16- dropped out of high school, Tommy killed himself, group home, 6 months in Bakersfield, speed experiment
17- started West Valley, my father killed himself
18- given date rape drug , found bdsm, started dating Tom,
19- left W.V., lots of moving around and couch surfing, growing awareness of safe sex, trip to Australia
20- pretty sure this is when I started blogging,
21- graduated college, started grad school, trip to London/Paris
22- started dating Noah, broke up with Tom,
23- broke up with Noah, did lots of drugs with James, started teaching, dated Puppy, trip to Ireland
24- Puppy dumped me, married Noah (7 days before my birthday)
25- rape scene with Noah
26- Had Shanna, failed out of grad school
27- Miscarriage, therapist overdosed, Francesca overdosed, trip to New Zealand
28- Miscarriage, Had Calli
29- Uncle Bob died, outed my whole family, wrote ¼ of a book, remodeled my house

This list doesn’t convey how often I moved (more than 50 times), that I went to 25 schools before dropping out. I then went on to attend five colleges in the pursuit of higher education. I have very few consistent friends. I also don’t mention the extremity of my promiscuity here. I don’t know how many people I have had sex with. I had an Excel spreadsheet up into the 70’s then I had a hardwear crash. I know I am in the triple digits but I have no idea where. It is not possible for me to recreate the list because I don’t remember most of the people or their names. This also makes me sound like a heavy drug user and I’m not. Previous to my recent usage of pot for anxiety in the last couple of years I did things occasionally at parties. I didn’t consistently use or use daily, ever.

And then the wind changes

I realized today that we leave for Europe in 17 days. Oh no! That’s very soon! I don’t have clothes that fit! I haven’t even started looking into what the climate will be like so that I know what to pack! And just like that, it’s time to go something else for a while. Something that requires that I have tons of energy and focus. I want to perfectly plan how to run out of food before we go. I want the house ready for Sarah to move in… and I haven’t even finished painting her room. Excellent!

Now we’re talking. I love planning.

Therapy introduction

I have two upcoming appointments with different therapists. No shit y’all, I’m serious about trying to find someone. I’m still asking for other recommendations for people you think I might get along well with. 🙂 But I need to have a starting place, so I’m going to ramble for a bit and see if I find it.

Dear New-to-me-therapist,

Hi! I’m Krissy. Depending on which stories I tell I’m a plucky, energetic feisty member of the local bdsm/poly communities. Mostly on hiatus for the breeding thing, but I’ll be back. I’m a former teacher, so I place a high value on formal education. I’m a hippy future-homeschooling parent. I’m an incest survivor. I was raped many times by many people before I hit puberty. I was taught that I am supposed to have sex with people when they want to have sex with me whether I really want to or not. I am a highly functioning person with a wide and intensely devoted friends network.

How I’m learning to marathon

It occurs to me that I am using this space intermittently to track my progress of how I’m becoming a marathoner in this life stuff (and the running sense too, ironically) but I’m not being explicit about why I’m doing that. Most of the time as I browse around the internet I see people documenting stuff in their life that is obviously the one and only corner of their life they are willing to let people see in that much detail… only I don’t put it together like that. What I see is, “Look at how together these people are, aren’t they better than me!” I’m really competitive. It’s why I hate playing games. I can’t handle seeing my constant life struggles made fun of. Losing feels traumatic. I feel like I just got punched in the face. I have thrown the board at people, decks of cards…

My mom. My mom and I played gin rummy for years and years. She gloated a lot when she won. Not in a severe way. It was subtle. I don’t have a clear memory to explain why it bothered me so much but it really did. I was the loser at absolutely everything in my family. I’m tired of always being the one to be the pathetic one. The one who fails. The one who loses. So when I see these blogs all over the internet from these Perfect Attachment Parents! Who are doing everything Right! I feel like shit. I feel like a failure as a parent. I feel like obviously I am this horrible abuser and my children will be damaged and fucked up and traumatized… only they aren’t. My children are wonderful. Everyone who speaks to them marvels about how they glow with life and vitality. “They just seem more…aware than most children!” I am truly not a bad parent, even though I yell sometimes. In fact, I am a good parent. And sometimes even a good parent says stupid things like, “If you do that again I am going to hit you. No I am not because hitting is wrong. But dangit Shanna I am going to scream until I feel like my eyes want to pop out of my head and then you will cry and I will fell bad just please stop doing that!!!!” And then she stops doing it and apologizes and I apologize for losing my temper and we hug.

Yeah, I do have anger issues. But in the process of becoming a marathoner I have to acknowledge them. I have to know that I am making progress on dealing with them. I have to know that I am actually proving, beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am a better mother than I had. Even if I can’t make 200 cookies for Christmas.

My mother was a sprinter. She went from huge project to huge project. Sprinting isn’t just about wanting to move, though that is a component. My mother, DOES CHRISTMAS. She makes pans and pans and pans of cinnamon rolls to give out as Christmas presents to every Tom, Dick and Jane she knows. Even people she frankly dislikes because she needs to be “fair”. When I was younger the time to make this many pans of stuff to give away dominated a lot of my life. My experience of Christmas was my mother working and having nothing to do with me.

Just like I’m doing with my kids and documenting on this stupid blog. I don’t think I am actually a Narcissist at all, but I think that if I have no formal documentation I don’t know how to keep myself accountable. I love my sprints and sometimes I can do them in ways that are healthy for everyone. And sometimes I can’t. And it is obvious in my writing when I can’t. If I am in here writing that means I am making no progress on my side projects because I am spending all of my other time with the kids and trying to keep the house at a hygienic level.

I don’t think I am addicted to substances, though I do use them to help me work (mostly sugar and caffeine). I am documenting my sprints here. Y’all don’t know that I didn’t start blogging about the gardening stuff until I had done massive amounts of work to get it to a level where I don’t feel too pathetic starting off. And the remodeling stuff… you’ll notice I haven’t posted pictures lately. That would be because I am not willing to put my pride on the alter and show you how messy it is. I want to show final product but I am running out of time. You aren’t seeing pictures because I am consciously choosing to spend my time in the house with my kids. I am lowering the stress in my life by resting after my sprint. I am hibernating with my babies.

We are playing and doing tons of arts and crafts. I’m taking pictures. We are learning and growing and talking and exploring. We are back to two movies a week: one on Monday, one on Friday. We have been getting out into the community in small quiet ways. We have been making a point of going to the local breakfast places more and settling in as regulars. We haven’t driven down to San Jose just for breakfast in a while. But I love that Donna, at the local Original Pancake House, lights up and yells “Shanna!” and runs over as quickly as she can. Donna’s grandsons live across the country and she doesn’t get to see them much. She adores Shanna. Randy at the building department went and found his card and told me to call and email with any house owning questions I ever have. He thinks his job as a civil servant is to help the community. I am getting to know my building inspector because I have the same guy every time.

I have small one on one interactions like that and I manage them. There has been a plumbing fiasco, but that will be fixed soon and I am dealing with resolving it bit by bit. I can’t handle it in big chunks or my stomach acid production goes through the roof and I am suddenly nasty and yelling. So I am learning that if I have to call the plumbing company I medicate first. Now that we have reached the point of impasse I am writing them a letter and I will mail it as a registered overnight letter so that I don’t have to speak to them on the phone again. I am going to schedule the work for the weekend so Noah is home and I am going to sit in my room. It’s not rational, but I have ridiculous fear right now. So even though it is irrational I will ask my husband to handle it and I won’t be macho because I would start a fight. I would escalate tensions. Noah will passively observe work being done.

That’s how you become a marathoner. Right now I have to walk very very slowly through life. I catch up on work and lightly jog a little through the day playing with the kids and doing dishes. Mostly I’m resting. The sprint with my incest stuff is too fresh and if I try to be macho right now I will injure myself metaphorically. It’s just not worth escalating my stress levels like that.

This being a grown up thing sucks. Which is to say Liz, yeah. I think you are right.

Real life carries on

While I have been processing loudly here I have also been continuing to slowly make progress on the house. It has been going at a turtle’s pace lately because I am just not up for frantic right now. Low stress is awesome. Yesterday we had a birthday party for Shanna. I asked her who she wanted to invite and she listed the people she wanted to come and I asked them over. It’s interesting because she did not invite everyone I would have invited. But I realized that I am trying to project my “family” bonds with people onto her. If I believe in Chosen Family, then Shanna gets to choose her own. She is not stuck with mine.

We nursed for the last time. I asked a friend who is an amazing photographer to come over and take pictures. Shanna and I have been talking for several months about how it was the last time. Previously I was committed to child led weaning, but now I am committed to not abusing my children. I will ensure I reach my goal by lowering my physical expectations of myself. I have body issues with too much contact. This “touched out” thing is painfully anxiety causing for me. And Shanna’s mouth has changed. Nursing hurts. So every time she wants to nurse I experience this rush of panic because it will be painful. Calli seems to have improved her latch a bit, but I think Shanna is kind of beyond fixing. Biology says she needs to stop. This is why other animals wean by kicking their children away from them. I’m not going to kick her, but I am going to pick the weaning date.

Shanna astounds me. Her verbal precocity is odd to live with. I obsessively do research about “age appropriate” topics because she asks me questions that lead to topics more appropriate for a 10 or 12 year old. I’m not sure if I am doing her a service or not in how I am raising her, but holy cow is she an awesome person so far. I really like my daughter. I love that when we are having a snippy day she can turn around and tell me, “Mom that tone of voice sounds mean. It hurts my feelings when you use that tone. Can you please ask more nicely?” And I say the same thing to her and when either of us say it the response is, “Oh! I didn’t mean it that way! Let me try again.” And we do. And there is a hug. And we move on with our day. She is excruciatingly aware that I am not ever trying to hurt her, sometimes I just sound harsh when I don’t mean it. Thank you God. Thank you for letting my daughter feel in her soul that I never want to hurt her.

Which isn’t to say we don’t have stormy days. I talk to her about hormones. I talk about the fact that you have these chemicals in your brain and some times in your life they are more active so you have big big strong emotions that are hard to learn to deal with. I told her that this kind of thing will happen again at puberty. It’s ok to have these strong emotions, you just have to learn how to handle them. Sometimes handling them means looking at a clock and realizing you are probably over tired or over hungry and that is why you are having them and dealing with those problems so you can go back and solve the original problem. She likes to ask for a handful of nuts right before going to sleep because then she wakes up a lot more cheerful and I think that is a fabulous work around. I’m glad she figured it out.

It’s amazing watching her grow. Right now she is in that phase where she is putting concepts together. Like she will all of a sudden observe that an object is brown plastic. Then she will wander around the room labeling the materials and color of all the other objects. She just noticed that “things” are made of other “things” and those other things have names! It’s neat. She knows so many words that daily she uses dozens of words that shock me.

Her play is very intensely imaginative. She uses characters from her favorite movies, primarily, but also themes from all the books we read to fuel these intense stories that can go on for days. She is just starting to construct play fort type things. This year will be rad. She loves going swimming in the hot tub. She is lack luster towards sand. Mostly she wanders around the yard from hiding place to hiding place telling her story games. I am deliberately trying to create ways to have wild “hidden” places in the yard. Unfortunately that will take a few years to come to perfect fruition, but somehow I doubt this urge will go away. 🙂

All of a sudden she has discovered intense fear. That is new. She has always, at least occasionally, had nightmares, but these are different. She told me yesterday that she needs her nightlight back because her room is terrifying in the dark. To be fair, I’m not sure she understands that terrifying is more intense than spooky. This of course lead to a conversation about how the nightlight left her room because she ripped it out of the wall and did drywall damage… so don’t do that again.

I live with this vague terror that I am a bad mother, but my daughter shows no signs of it. She really is a shining example of humanity. Her empathy and intuition and verbal abilities combine to make an uncanny kid, but in a way that makes you believe in past lives. She doesn’t feel like a three year old. She feels like an adult who just isn’t up to speed yet. But I guess that is how I talk to her. I am teaching her how to be an adult, not how to “be a kid”. I think that kid culture in America is brutal and nasty and I hope she misses it basically entirely. Because right now it is obvious that nothing bad has actually happened to this child. Even her stormy days are marked by her lack of trauma. When she is truly upset and sobbing about my treatment of her what she says is, “It hurts my feelings when you tell me to go play.”

I’m doing pretty well.

(Picture copyright: Denise Cicuto)

Just in case anyone wonders

I’m doing a lot better. I am stepping down my medication daily because I have to go to Europe for a month in 2.5 weeks. Woo! Luckily I get to walk away from most of my sources of stress. 🙂

I am sad, but I’m not lost in my head. I am participating fully in my life again. And that’s what life is about, right?

What does it mean to be an addict?

So I’ve been tossing and turning lately about the whole “addict” thing. It plays in with incest families because most of the coping mechanisms are similar. Everyone is fucked up in similar ways, just to greater and lesser extent. Pretty much everyone I know who was raised around addicts/abuse/fucked up shit all seem to have anxiety. Anxiety is horrible to live with. It can really ruin your day. All day. Every day. To greater and lesser extent influenced by a huge array of factors. But anxiety is useful. Anxiety is energy. If you get good at it, you can learn to channel that anxiety into enormous energy surges and you can accomplish great things.

I’ve done this a lot in my life. That’s why I wait until the last minute to do work. This is a common thing. Lots of people work better in sprints rather than marathons. But if you look around the world, many things have to be done by people who are running a marathon, not a sprint. I’m a mother. Raising children is one of the most grinding marathons in life. And I’m a sprinter. I love to sprint. I love to have big dramatic hard periods where I accomplish a lot of work and then I go hibernate. I really suck at work/life balance.

When I talk to people who are marathon runners they tell me to learn to meditate or “heal” so I can “find peace” not realizing that what they are telling me to do is to stop being me. They are telling me to remove the energy that has sustained my life. That is part of the problem. I’ve never thought about it quite like that before. I get very very fussy about advice. That’s a huge hot button for me. I am very particular about who I solicit advice from. And if I sit here and go down the list I can sort people into marathoners or sprinters and I can straight down the line predict how and where their advice is useful. I’m half tempted to make a list and explain the people and see if anyone can guess. But naptime isn’t that long.

There has to be some kind of balance. There has to be a way to help a race horse pull a plow. Mostly what we do (as far as I am aware, in America) is medicate them. We have so many drugs for this it isn’t funny. I cannot function right now in the day to day grind without some form of help. With help I am patient, kind and attentive. Without help I pace all day pissed off about the work I want to be doing that I can’t do because my children have needs. That really doesn’t make for a good day for anyone.

But the problem is, I really like being a sprinter. If I medicate so that I can be a marathoner when my kids are awake and I need to be more level, that doesn’t go away the rest of the time. It’s pretty difficult to find any kind of medication that you can fine tune enough by itself for that kind of anxiety suppressant. So if I want to feel like me and have that nervous energy I need to medicate again. And there’s this cycle. And I have really strong feelings about it. I feel very upset about doing this. I feel like I am a completely horrible person. I am a terrible mother.

Yeah. Guess what my fucking uppers are. Sugar and caffeine. Yeah. So I do medicate down (legally/medically and everything) because I feel that is the most important thing for me to be doing. But then I eat crap and eat a caffeinated mint and I get up and I start Working! But why am I really better than someone who uses speed responsibly? (Breastfeeding issues aside)

And then it comes back around to, but I don’t want to be an addict. I don’t want to be addicted to energy cycles in my body. But the thing is, if I don’t medicate at all… I’m a sprinter. Not a marathoner. That’s really not fair to my kids. I am not going to be putting them in daycare for a laundry list of reasons I should never have to enumerate! Why in the fuck do I feel like I have to defend the fact that I WANT to be home with my kids! Ugh. But I’m a sprinter, not a marathoner.

So is my mom. My mom pulled me hither and yon following her sprints. I actually plan to do a fair bit of that with my kids later. When they are older. When they can have a say in where we go and what we do and opt out if they really don’t want to. I want my children to have a safe community of people who see them. People who are tracking their growth and progress so that even if I do lose my shit and completely start abusing them (very unlikely) there will be people who notice. I want my next door neighbors to know that my daughter is this bright, passionate, exceptionally precocious child. If she stopped being willing to talk to them it would be really a big deal. Shanna adores them and goes over to visit whenever she can. I want there to be people in my daughter’s life who will be ask questions on her behalf. That won’t happen if I sprint.

I think it was enormously damaging to me in every single way that I have no idea what it feels like to have people in your life. In about a year I will have lived with Noah longer than I ever lived with my mother continuously. Wow. That’s really sad. I lived with my ex-boyfriend Tom longer than I had ever lived in one place before. That was just over three years. I have now lived in this house longer than I have ever lived anywhere else in my life. That’s quite daunting.

A comment said that someone doesn’t love me or hate me. She’s trying to get to know me. That actually freaked me the fuck out. I am absolutely the sort of person who bonds or doesn’t and just runs away. I keep friendships with the people I bond with. I have many many friendships that have lasted 10, 15, almost 20, and 30 years. Ok, only one (nearly) 30 year friendship. But oh man do I keep people. Thing is, I keep them in my head and my heart. Sometimes I keep in decent touch on im. But I don’t see people. I am alone and very lonely. I don’t know how to have community with people I am not living with. I’ve never ever had it. I don’t even know what it looks like.

But I’m trying to find out. Today is Sunday. At 4 Alex and Yani will come over for Family Dinner. I still don’t know what we are eating and first we have to make Shanna’s birthday cake. She wants vanilla this year. I think I scored big. There’s still so much to do and I want to do it. And that means settling in for a marathon. I want this life. I want it so much that I lose my breath with terror as I make my contingency plans for what to do in the various circumstances that could come with it ending.

I have to have those contingency plans. I’m a sprinter. If I fuck this up I have to run and I have to run hard. But I have the plans. And I know what to do. So now what I have to do is settle in and not fuck up. Because I really want my life. And so I medicate. I medicate and worry about health risks and the psychological risk to my children if I don’t. Maybe I am an addict and I just never knew it. But I don’t think that’s true. I’m not an addict. I’m a sprinter who isn’t allowed to run so I’m frustrated as all hell. I will get back to a stage in my life where that is appropriate and I will stop medicating and I will run like hell. It will be glorious and beautiful.

It’s hard living with the guilt of medicating though. I think I should be at ease with the decision but I really have the internalized message of shame. For me to need help of any kind in any way means I am a weak and worthless human being. But honestly all of the versions of “strong” I’ve ever seen don’t look very appealing. I don’t want to medicate because I do not want to feel like an addict but if I do not medicate I am making a choice that is bad for my kids because I am a nasty bitch. So don’t be a nasty bitch. But I’m a nasty bitch because I am a sprinter not a marathoner. So become a marathoner.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Ideas that I don’t have time to follow through on right now.

So people keep mentioning that I have great ideas for CSI or SVU. Thing is, I did prosecute my father. He was arrested and interrogated for something like 72 hours. He confessed to everything. The detectives said it was one of the most horrific things they had ever heard. But then he killed himself before the trial started. The very morning, in fact. So that confession isn’t really public record.

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Years ago I was on a public mailing list. I had a really big mouth and I spouted off about a lot of shit I didn’t understand. I came out of my family environment at 18 feeling like I had been a real and true adult for at least six years. I had opted in to sex six years previously. I started working when I was 15. That sort of stuff. So by the time I came and found the bdsm community… well that was interesting.

There were a couple of individual people from the community at that point in time who weren’t fond of me. If I am even vaguely self aggrandizing, I was the darling. Except when I wasn’t.

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Being fixed and conformity. I sent a non-hysterical closure type of email to the therapist I just fired and I really didn’t like her response even though she meant entirely well. I realized why after talking to Sarah. My old therapist saw “so much potential” and she wanted to help me “heal”. Uhm. What the fuck does that mean anyway? Oh, she wants me to go to a Reiki practitioner and she wants me to cleanse my chakras and go to meditation retreats and learn more about Wicca and…

uhm. Have you fucking met me? I am not going to be a nice gentle healed person. Ain’t. Fucking. Happening.

As I was lying in bed trying to put Calli to sleep I let my mind wander. For a while I thought about a friend and her relationship with her family. Automatically I started trying to find a way to put a dysfunctional relationship on my thoughts. Of course they are fucked up, right? But they really aren’t. I mean, there are a few family scandals but enh. Overall they are just good people doing good things as they lead good lives.

Pretty much my entire extended family would turn a blind eye to me being raped. They have. Repeatedly. I suspect they would do so again tomorrow. Well, to be fair… after the last two weeks I don’t blame them. But say I had been raped a month ago, before the uproar. If I had shown up for a visit at my aunt’s house and one of their neighbors had held a gun on me behind a closed door and forced me to have sex with him… I would automatically be the one lying. It would be a continuation of my insane stories.

Even though my father confessed.

Years ago I was on a public mailing list. I had a really big mouth and I spouted off about a lot of shit I didn’t understand. I came out of my family environment at 18 feeling like I had been a real and true adult for at least six years. I had opted in to sex six years previously. I started working when I was 15. That sort of stuff. So by the time I came and found the bdsm community… well that was interesting.

There were a couple of individual people from the community at that point in time who weren’t fond of me. If I am even vaguely self aggrandizing, I was the darling.

How you become brave

Last night Shanna had a nightmare. The rat from Lady in the Tramp, yo. She was really freaked out. So I explained to her that the pictures in your head that look like movies when you are sleeping are called dreams. I told her that in her dreams she gets to practice saying and doing brave things because when you are dreaming you can be as big and powerful as you want. I told her it was how you learned to defend yourself. Because when you are a kid you are small so you have to dream about being big and powerful. If you do lots of practicing in your dreams, when you grow up you will know how to be big and powerful.

But the most important part is knowing that if something upsets you, do something about it. Tell me to delete the movies. Talk about your feelings. Because that is how you fix the problem. And she told me she needed some water first. So I got her some water.

When I came back with the water I asked her what things make her smile. She started telling me about some of them. I told her that if she falls asleep thinking about the things that make her happy and strong she will have better dreams. She didn’t wake up again.

I had a day in the world

Today a friend came over and I stayed out all day. She watched the kids while I dealt with the plumbing permit situation at the city. I have to say, Randy at the Fremont Building Department is one hell of a nice guy. I think he is just a shining soul and I’m glad I met him today. He answered a lot of questions and he took a personal interest in me. He gave me his email address and told me to feel free to contact him any time I need to. He told me that he believes that as a civil servant it is his job to do anything in his power to help people. I think that’s magnificent.

And because we had fussy children we came home and made tea sandwiches and cookies and tea and Shanna had a scone. We played in the sand. We painted. I made a nice little dent of progress in the garage moving stuff around.

My friend and I talked about my stuff a little. But mostly we talked about other things. I was ok. Shanna is interested in pushing my buttons so of course I was frustrated a few times but it felt normal. When I act like I have been acting for the last few days I feel like I am in my mother’s body. I move more like her. I process this as experiencing the emotions she had when she did those movements but of course I don’t really know. I’m not sure if it is true or not, but I suspect that I feel so alone in the world because I am incest survivor. Because I was raised in a house that was broken so deeply and so completely that other people really can’t imagine my perceptions of events. I have a big issue with transference. I constantly try to work through my family relationships in other arenas in my life. That means that if people respond in ways that I perceive as the potential sign of abuse I run away from the whole group immediately. I don’t know how to be part of a group. I cannot figure out group dynamics. It really doesn’t help that one of my default methods of getting to know men is to be sexually aggressive. I’ll tell you, I’m popular. Well, with men. Women often dislike me intensely. Or they love me. Women don’t tend to have neutral reactions to me. I cannot count how many times people have told me long intricate stories about how much they hated me when they met me. I usually blink and wonder why they are telling me this. Eventually they get to the part where they tell me how much they respect me and I am so god damn honest and Holy Shit! It’s remarkable how consistent the story is from different people. Do you know what I get out of that exchange?

People hate me as soon as they meet me. Pretty much every time I get one of those stories I hightail it away from the group and never talk to the woman again. I’m awesome. Or something. It’s really weird that people grow to respect that I have strong opinions and I am intense… but I make people uncomfortable. They don’t really want to be around me. This is my story about this. I can come up with a long list of reasons why I think I am disliked by most everyone from every community I have ever been in. Sure, I make a few friends in each group and I hold on to those people tightly. Mostly though, I’m convinced people think I’m a piece of shit.

That’s what I was told over and over. If I was having a good day and I started singing along with the radio my brother Jimmy turned around and sneered, “What did you do with the money?”

“What money?”

“The money for singing lessons.”

Badump. If I complained I couldn’t take a joke and I was a whining baby. I was sent to my room. My family viciously disliked me. I have never been willing to be the person they want me to be. They have a few roles they would like to offer me and I can have my pick, but I have to pick one. To be fair, they do like to pass the roles around. I could do my time as the pathetic weakling coming back from my fall from grace (my sister in AA after she let her partner rape her son) then after a few years of being “clean” I could start slipping up again. I could start just letting things slide. Hey! I’m only human! We all mistakes, right. I’m just trying to live a little. Sober people are so boring. (Depends on which sober people. To be fair, the sober people in my family tend to be really fucking boring.) So then after a while you start going down hill again. You have some “bad luck” due to the fact that you haven’t held a job in years because you’ve been too busy at home doing drugs. (ouch. That’s close to home.) Normally the drug usage starts to escalate a lot at that point. Then everything else starts to escalate. Then you rape a little kid behind closed doors. Then… for some reason you end up in AA. For some reason. Like when you arrested and do time for being a drug dealer. And you are required to go to rehab as a condition of parole. So then you start your cycle as a pathetic weakling…

That’s my sister’s path. I could do that with her. Sort of. Not really. Because you see… I’m not the one who does that. If I disagree with what anyone else says then I’m crazy and mean. If I go along with stuff and I am passive and invisible and accept all of the abuse then I will be tolerated. I’m at the bottom of the heap. I’m the baby of the family and I just need to accept that I will get shit on for the rest of my life because I am just not competent. Even though I am the one who should go work and support everyone. Right. And I should never question their repeated “loans” which WILL BE PAID BACK!!! Only they won’t be. If you say, “Dude. Tell me this is a gift and I will give you the money and never say a word. If you tell me this is a loan you god damn better pay it back.” Then I am a terrible mean hateful person for bringing up the money later. After all, I’m rich and she’s poor and she deserves a little luxury.

Do you know I have serious issues around eating single serving foods? If I have yogurt in my fridge in individual servings it is a conscious act of talking myself into believing I am allowed to eat them. I cannot tell how much food I have thrown away because I wasn’t allowed to eat it. In my fridge. That I bought with my money. I was never allowed to eat those things as a kid because they were for my mom’s lunch. I’m quite certain that’s not how she remembers it. And there was other food. But I didn’t like the other food. So I didn’t eat. I went hungry as a kid fairly often. Sometimes it was because I refused the gross food I was offered (at this point I’m pretty sure I have sensory processing issues, I really have problems with food textures) and I wasn’t allowed to have anything else.

After I write that I feel kind of mixes. My story is that my mom was very tolerant of my limited list of foods. She was willing to let me eat only them at meals. But outside of Ramen she didn’t cook any of them much. Interesting. I don’t think I will come to the truth about that one. I don’t think I remember and I can’t ask her.

But I have some not so awesome food issues. Because it’s all about control. Incest is all about control. My father’s mind games continued running my family. My family claims they are out of those cycles. They have moved on. But my sister hasn’t worked in years and she sits at home doing drugs and babysitting the children of her children’s teenage-mom friends. My sister claims all of these children as her grandchildren. I wonder how many of them she will rape. That’s why I need to finish the book. That’s why I will eventually get the court records of my father’s testimony. I want to have them in my hands as a magic talisman as I go forth to do battle for the souls of children I will never know. My sister is a rapist and she should be in jail. At the very least her house of cards needs to come down before she rapes another child or allows another boyfriend to rape a child.

I think I just found my purpose in life. Well, one of them anyway. But that will motivate the book. The children she is raising are slightly older than my daughter. In my family abuse seriously escalates at about seven. I don’t have a lot of time.

Time to go back to the world.

Earlier today I had 16,000 words on my front page from the previous two days. My hands hurt. I’m still jagged but it’s settled. It’s time to go do something else again. It’s time to go back to figuring out how to do this day in-day out life thing. It’s time to start just doing the life thing. As much as I love my garage, I’m feeling trapped and unhappy about it. Next week my daughter turns three. I don’t want to be doing this on her birthday.

I think this is the biggest freak out I’ve had in a very long time. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, it’s too close. All this stuff is still muttering in my head. But my body is exhausted. I need to get off the internet for a few days and just be present with my kids and my house. I’m fixating and that’s not what I want for my life.

I want to live.