Monthly Archives: June 2012


I’m thinking quite hard about about the different kinds of bdsm play I have engaged in. It seems somehow important. Who did I play with and how? Was heavier play a sign of greater trust or greater stupidity? I’m not sure.

It feels weird to talk about being a masochist. Mostly it hasn’t been part of my life since having kids so I haven’t thought about it much in years. Except that I’m starting to feel that itch. Part of why I picked Noah as a partner is the way he reacts to that itch. I like the way his reactions make me feel. When I want him to hurt me he gets excited. Visibly excited. Nearly trembling with excitement. I like that I can make him feel that way just by saying yes. Ok, I usually say a lot more than that. I’m kind of a talker.

I don’t think I would be able to come up with an accurate list of “everyone I have played with”. I think of different event spaces as my way of trying to come up with memories and it isn’t a fool-proof system. It’s easy for me to forget. I remember some more than others.

The night before Dore Alley in 2000. I hadn’t “met” anyone from the scene yet. I hadn’t been to a munch yet. An old guy from sent me to the Power Exchange. He gave me an address and told me to go. He didn’t explain what I would find. Technically he sent me two weeks before Dore Alley. I was a towel girl with my sister. I was afraid to go alone. She was freaked out. I came back the next week by myself. A gorgeous trans woman picked me out of the crowd and beat me. It was my first flogging. I don’t really like being flogged. But it was intense. It was my first experience. I’m grateful. I had to top it off by finding one of the PE employees and expressing my interest bluntly. He pulled me into the laundry room and fucked me there. He wasn’t supposed to have sex during his shift. Oh well.

It wasn’t my favorite scene ever, but it was my first. It broke the ice. It taught me that there were indeed people who wanted to hit me. It wasn’t my imagination. If I found one person I could find more. The next day I went to Dore Alley and spent time with two lovely queer men I knew through campaigning for Californians for Same Sex Marriage. They took delighted half naked pictures of me at the street fair. I had just pierced my nipples. They wanted to see. Sure, why not?

It isn’t enough for me that I have done these things. That in the privacy of my own mind I can think back on these events. I like talking about them. I don’t like being the only one who knows. When I feel like these stories are only in my head I feel like I should be actively trying to hide them. If people know this about me they won’t respect me any more. They won’t like me.

When I was eighteen I ran to the sex communities as fast as I could. I had sex with just about everyone who was willing to say “yes”. It was awesome. There is power in being a young woman who is willing to say yes. It’s a power I have watched slowly slip through my fingers as the years go by. I appeal to different people now. I don’t know how to approach them. And now it doesn’t matter. I will never go hunting again.

I learned hunting as a skill. I learned how to smell for people who would be interested in me. It’s not just that I break the Embargo left and right it is that the kind of sex I want is not standard issue. And for the love of shiny green apples I wish we could dispel this myth that men want to have a lot of sex and women don’t. It’s horse shit. Some men want a lot of sex. Some women want a lot of sex. And vice versa. Move on. I have ended up with a shockingly high number of partners who were completely uninterested in trying to keep up with my libido. I’m really tired of this myth that men want tons of sex and women turn it down.

When I am thinking about my compulsions fairly clearly I can direct them. I know how to ask for kinds of pain (spankings, canings) that really aren’t going to damage me long term–they don’t carry the inherent risk that cutting has. Cutting myself with a scalpel is far more potentially dangerous. People do slip and cause too much bleeding. Hit the wrong blood line and you are in trouble. I’ve looked into that a bit and I avoid those areas but that isn’t the point.

Somehow using spanking as a means of controlling my paralyzing anxiety seems nearly benign. I asked Noah for a spanking this morning. I don’t feel the strong urge to start the day by smoking pot. My stomach isn’t churning. It relieves a lot of that ache. Forcing myself to go through and experience negative/painful feelings causes a relief from the miasma of crazy that rules my life. I can feel a lot more control over how much I hurt when I decide the causes of pain. When my pain comes from the fact that I’m just plain crazy–it’s been a rough life–I can’t do a lot about that. I feel helpless and scared and trapped. When I am being hurt by a partner as a conscious decision it takes up the same space as my normal crazy and my normal crazy kind of has to back off into a corner and take up less space.

It’s going to be interesting to describe my relationship with Tom. I used him. He didn’t want to understand what I was doing but I had a pretty clear picture of what I was doing. He didn’t want details. I filled my life with externally supplied pain because that allowed me to be much closer to functioning. It couldn’t do all the work. I’m still me.

I would like to move through the world without fear. That sounds trite. I would like to move through the world without feeling heart-pounding-terror that people will hate me. Soon more people will come who hate me. They will hurt me. I am different. I am bad. People like me end up in jail. When will I go there? What will I have done? I don’t know. I feel like I haven’t done anything that bad. That doesn’t always seem to matter.

If I lived in the wrong time and place I would absolutely be locked up for being a sexual deviant. That’s scary. It is weird knowing that I exist at this intersection of privilege and experience. I don’t know what the future will bring. I don’t know what experiences I have yet to come.

I’ll tell you though, I look at Noah and I’m a lot less scared. He is my bulwark. I feel guilty when I think about my history of partnership because I was desperately searching for someone who was not close to their family. I can’t be all that close to someone who has a close relationship with their parents. Steve’s parents hated me and openly attacked me at Christmas dinner. Tom’s parents didn’t like me but weren’t loud or rude about it. Puppy’s parents and siblings openly ridiculed me and laughed.

Noah’s mom hated me when I met her. The first time I met his parents his mom sneered at me that she wanted to have a private conversation with her son and pulled Noah off for a three hour tirade about how awful I was. Noah’s response to this was to stop coming home for holidays. He has only gone back to Texas for his brother’s wedding. He only did that because I pushed him to do it.

I don’t understand why people hate me so much. I know it must be my fault if it happens so often. If the only consistent force in your relationships is you then you must bring the problems, right? Why do so many people feel the urge to berate and belittle me? Why do so many parents feel like they have to tell me how disgusting and bad I am? Steve’s parents told me I was going to ruin his life. That was part of why I ran. I couldn’t live with that. I couldn’t take on the position of whipping girl in a new family. I couldn’t once again be the person whose fault every bad thing was. I just couldn’t.

Noah picked me. Noah didn’t like his family much to start with and he was quite ok with the idea that his path would diverge from theirs. He says their dislike of me isn’t my fault or my problem and I don’t have to deal with it. I feel so guilty about being the reason he doesn’t see his family. To be fair he saw them aout as little as he could get away with before we were together. But now that tolerance has dropped to once every five years. His family has met Shanna once. They haven’t met Calli.

I can’t be in the closet. I can’t keep my mouth shut about who and what I am, about the things I have done. I just can’t. I can’t act like I am ashamed. Silence is consent to the larger social order. I don’t agree with it. I break the rules. I do it loudly and consciously.

For years I have known someone who refers to herself as a sexual outlaw. She did a lot of actual sex work: stripping, phone sex, escorting, being a prodom. I don’t do things for money. I do them because I want to. It’s confusing. I don’t do these things because I need to earn money and I don’t mind doing them. I do them because I can’t not do them. I need them. I want them.

I like stripping. I’ve done it in clubs a few times. I always let the people who are on shift have the money. I like having sex with lots of people. I like cybersex and phone sex. I’ve done them with a myriad of people over the years most of whom I can’t really remember.

What does it mean to be a sexual outlaw? I think I have avoided money partially because I don’t want to deal with the potential legal ramifications. It’s one more thin line I don’t have to skate. My income has been small and traceable my entire life. Well, until marrying Noah. Now “my” income isn’t small. It’s still highly traceable.

I have slept with a number of very inexperienced boys/men. I have done the whole, “I’ll teach you how to do this” thing. It’s quite fun to take very well endowed boys condom shopping. When they discover that there is a variety of sizes and brands to try so that maybe condoms won’t hurt anymore… they light up like a roman candle. You just gave them a present beyond measure.

Sex is a skill like any other. I found out a lot about the variation possible. It was fun. How can I talk about it without sounding like I am still hunting for it?

I’ve been thinking about my Top Five. Why they are there. How I feel about them. How I feel about the fact that there are four men walking around in the world I will have a difficult but not impossible time saying no to. They are the ones who have earned privileges over many years. They are the ones who understand the compulsive hypersexual part of me. They are all compulsively hypersexual as well. That is a lot of why I bonded with them so fiercely. Not very many men understand the degree to which sex has shaped my life. Very few men have enough sex to understand it. Very few men run across women who are willing to have the kind and quantity of sex I have had.

The internet is not providing me the data I want. Stupid internet. All I can find is that most extremely promiscuous women max out around twenty lifetime partners. That makes me giggle. I love how websites say: “Then you find out your 23 year old girlfriend has slept with 17 men and you feel kind of repulsed.” Ha. By 23 I hit triple digits. I’m repulsive. Awesome.

Why does this make me repulsive? I don’t understand. It’s a taboo. I rigorously get STD testing. When I was being rampantly slutty I got tested every three months and I used condoms religiously and I even used dental dams a few times. I never got good at them, but during the really risk-taking stage I tried to figure it out.

I feel defensive and sad. No one is actively judging me this minute (I can believe this because it is early in the morning and normal people are sleeping) so I don’t need to feel these feelings. Sometimes life just works that way.


I’m obsessively staring at my training schedule. I’m scared. This week I run twenty miles for the first time this round. Woof. The peak of training gives me forty miles in a week. I am lovingly and loathingly (yes I know that isn’t a word) noticing that hell week is my birthday week. I turn thirty-one and then immediately have to run forty miles in the five days following. I don’t fuck around.

I’m scared and elated. I’m going to do this. It can be done by a human being therefore it is god damn going to be done by me. I will. I won’t fuck this up. Perseverance is one of my more admirable attributes. Tenacious as a honey badger. I tell myself while running in my “Badass as a Honey Badger” tshirt. I’m the exact opposite of sexy.

I don’t know how to be this person in the world. I don’t know how to be open to people and yet not available. I have committed my life and all that I am elsewhere. How do I have time for other people? You just do. You have to. You have to be part of something bigger. At least I do. I need to have friendships. I’m having trouble keeping my panties on. I have a hard time not sitting on peoples laps. That is how I break the ice. But that’s ice I don’t need to be breaking ever again. Awkward.

There is this reserve developing. Now there are parts of me I will defend with a machete. Off limits. It is scary for me to think about having to say no at some point. I am nervous because I like to stand in places where asking is significantly more friendly than not asking. Most folks go out to hunt. I don’t even know what I’m hunting for.

I want people who want to know my kids. Who want to part of my familial dynamic. Who want to have a real space in my life. Most people fill these roles with family. Most people think of friendships as low stakes. I will always be a low stakes relationship. I will always be who they see when people are “avoiding their family”.

Part of what I have been thinking about while running lately is how it isn’t my fault I don’t have a family. It’s not like I am less deserving than other people. But you roll the dice and you take what you get. There is no deserving in life. I am not physically capable of keeping the silence my family of origin required of me. That just can’t be asked of me. Too late. I’m an evil liar, blah blah, whatever. It doesn’t matter what I deserve. It matters what I can create with my hands and my mind. It matters what effect I have on the world.

When I ask former students what I taught them they say that I taught them to like themselves. That’s a fuck load more than my family did for me. My family taught me that when the men and boys in my family couldn’t find a willing pussy it was my job to lie down and provide.

What can I create? What can I be? What matters? If you can’t be a good example be a horrible warning?

I don’t know. I’m afraid to take pride in anything. I don’t want to develop a weak spot where I can be attacked. I don’t want to feel insecure about someone letting me know that I actually really suck at that thing I think I am good at. I am terrified to build myself up.

I’m well into training for a marathon. I don’t talk about it much in person. I don’t think anyone gives a shit. I think they listen with glazed eyes so I should just shut up and let them tell me what they are doing. That’s all they care about anyway. Why don’t I brag about this? I’m fucking doing it. I’m out running four days a week and stretching and doing strength training. I’m doing it. I’m not going to win speed records and that’s ok! Doing this is a fairly big deal. Why do I minimize this to myself? Why do I act like I’m not doing this good enough? Why do I feel like if I am doing it then it must not be that hard. I’m nothing special. If I can do it then it must not be a big deal. Talking about it is rather fraught, so I don’t.

It’s kind of weird, this being a writer. I have been blogging fairly consistently for nearly nine years. A number of people have read basically all of it. That’s a large body of knowledge about my life. But it was acquired in a room without me in it. There was no shared intimacy. This is very similar to the sexual exhibitionism. I feel like a freak because I can’t talk about a period of my life without talking about how and why my sexuality went through a massive change. And for me that has meant a lot of different partners and different approaches to sex. I understand why my former therapist asked me pointed questions about multiple personalities.

If I make sure people only see me in a certain set of circumstances with a certain environment I can tailor my behavior. I can be appropriate with great effort. If I keep people out at arms length. That’s kind of awkward with this whole out thing. Now I don’t really know what people are thinking about when they look at me. Oh holy fucking shit. For most of my writing life I’ve known the dozen or so people who seriously followed my writing. We had dinner so that I could fill in the bits on the stories I won’t tell in public. I tailor what I share with the world. I feel odd wondering what that actually looks like. How close is it to me?

What is more real, after all? The image that I carefully construct in writing (or rather the image that free form spews out of my brain never to be looked at or thought about again–I couldn’t reread the volume I produce; there isn’t enough time in the day) or how I behave? I’m never really sure. If you are judging me by how I behave then which group of friends will you judge by? I’m very different in different settings.

Compulsive hypersexuality is kind of a funny thing. If I think back I can see parallel lines between when I started smoking pot and when I stopped sleeping around. I guess I traded addictions. I am a very compulsive person. Right now I’m having a hard time with food. I’m having trouble respecting my body’s “full” signal. I’m making myself hurt. And I’m gaining weight… while training for a marathon. I’m eating a lot.

I’m scared because I think I’m getting closer to one of those periods where I feel the need to experience pain. That was how it worked with Tom. That was what our relationship did for me. I stayed with Tom instead of cutting. He was a reliable source of discomfort. He provided the hogties that fueled his masturbatory life and he was willing to play a lot harder to meet my needs. I think I came up with most of our heaviest play. In no way shape or form was I a victim. But I’m very compulsive. And I have a strong disinterest in my continued physical safety. Or had, anyway.

It is weird looking over at Noah. He’s biting his finger nail. He’s the only person I will ever have sex with again. Well, barring early death. If he kicks the bucket I’m not staying celibate for his memory. I’m not that devoted. He wouldn’t either and fair is fair. It’s weird looking at him. I get to sit here and have this intense feeling of power and ownership. He is mine. I don’t have to check his google calendar so I can schedule a date with my husband. I don’t have to know when he is out dating and fill that time carefully in a way I can handle without crying or freaking out. He does go out and do things occasionally, but it is rare. What he is doing with his time is hanging out with his kids and his wife. I feel really special. This really amazing person wants me. He does have kind of a funny hunch back. I guess we truly are perfect for each other. I’m not quite Beauty and he’s not quite the Beast. He’s not all the way to Quasimodo either so he still works for me. Definitely cute enough to be the hero.

While I’m running I’m playing over the years in my head. What am I going to write about? Which relationships are the most important? How can I show the pivotal times and places and people? How am I going to set the different tones of the different parts of my life? How am I going to make it obvious in text that my behavior radically changes based on where I am standing? How do I make an image of me that is real and true?

The first book was what happened to me. A lot of it I couldn’t change. I could have made different decisions, maybe. Whatever. It’s over. What happened when I was an adult is different. I had agency. I made choices. I acted. I wanted. I was compulsive. I learned to manage my compulsions in a variety of ways. What did that trial and error process look like? What bridges did I burn and when and how and why in the process? I’m trying to get my head around the whole story arc and it feels so large. So complex. I feel like a freak as I carefully compare the continuing evolution of my behavior in separate, non-adjacent parts of my life. What did I learn? How did I learn it?

I don’t know. I can’t find an object lesson in my life. I survived. I just did. That was all I did. I can’t make a lesson out of it. Maybe it is closer to a horrible warning. I feel bad about that though. I’m not. I have had a fairly decent adulthood. I want to explain why rape is just such a casual part of my life. I want to really work through all the connections between different parts of myself growing up.

Tom gave me a safe space to grow up. He hurt me when I asked nicely so that I could deal with my urge to self mutilate. After Tom I went on to drugs and a rather indecent amount of casual sex. And graduate school. And teaching. And dancing. More travel.

I’ve done a lot of things. Not all of it has been sex. Yet when I think of myself I see nothing of potential interest outside of sex. That says a lot about my priorities.

I am trying to figure out how to be proud of myself without sounding like I am bragging. I’m not bragging. I’m telling the truth. Sometimes the truth sounds cool and sometimes it sounds fucking embarrassing. Bah humbug. It’s time to go to sleep.


I think I know eight pregnant women right now. And a close friend has a one month old. And there are lots of slightly older kids. It’s weird thinking about getting rid of things, now. There are a few ways I can go about maintaining sanity in my house. I can ensure that we have a small enough number of items that cleaning it takes very little time or I can allow items to creep in and spend more and more and more time cleaning. It’s time to purge.

This is more complicated now that the stuff is “Shanna and Calli’s”. I really shouldn’t just raid their stuff all the time getting rid of things. That’s rude. Sorta. Letting them make my life shitty is far more rude let me tell you. I have no fear that the river of stuff will run out. More will come, inevitably. They age out of things anyway. How do I allow them to form sentimental attachments and yet bow to the inevitability of life that stuff comes and must go? I think we are going to go through stuff today and make piles. Shanna loves giving gifts. How can we be generous with our bounty?

This leads to all kinds of maybe-not-polite-but-necessary corollary conversations. One pregnant friend has few friends and no family. Others have many friends and large, wealthy families. We have people in our lives who have very different levels of need. That makes a very large difference in how I behave with people. I offer to treat friends who are barely surviving. I let friends who have more money than me pay for me. I smile and say thank you. I don’t offer to return the favor. For me I am very ok with accepting favors from people who have a lot to give. Sure, no problem. I struggle with allowing friends who have more need than me do things for me. It’s complicated.

I feel like it is important for me to be very clear what my values are and why. I’m teaching how to be a part of society. What part do I play? To have great privilege is to have great responsibility. What does that mean? What does that mean in terms of our life? What does it mean that the people around us have equal and sometimes greater privilege? How do I think responsibility trickles around us?

Part of what I am teaching is responsibility to the household. It is not fair that I have to spend so many hours cleaning up messes I am not making. If she can’t clean up after herself we need to start scaling back so that she can. She needs to learn how to take care of the amount of space she can handle. I need to give her a smaller scale so that she can succeed. Right now I am failing her by giving her a task that is far too large for her. I am not properly scaffolding her learning experience. That’s fine. We have pregnant friends.

Today is going to be one of those structured learning days, as I am starting to think of them. I have a specific lesson I am working towards. We are all responsible for maintaining our stuff. How much stuff do you actually think you can handle? I am going to do a preliminary pull of stuff that will be good to give away. We’ll negotiate from there.

It’s going to be a long day. It will be a good day. As long I remain patient today will be fantastic. Shanna is really happy to work with me towards goals like this, at least for now. She likes making decisions. She likes being generous. It makes her feel good to think about other people being happy to “get” her stuff. I talk about how neat it is that objects can take on a history and a story. “Oh this used to belong to ____ and then it went to _____ and now it is _______’s.” We have things like that. We tell those stories often. I constantly talk about the origins of objects. Shanna thinks her grandparents in Texas are the most generous people in the world because most of her favorite clothes and toys arrive magically from them. She thinks about it a lot. I have feelings about that but I keep my mouth shut about all of them. What I say to the kids is, “Your grandparents love you.” That’s it.

Shanna and I will have fun going through the clothes pile and deciding which pregnant woman needs that item more. She gives good “why’s”. Not all needs are financial or material. With most people I expect the story of items to be lost. When the story of an item is important I have to be careful who I give it to. We have a lot of clothing from Noah’s family. We may be the second or third in hand made clothes. That story matters to me. It’s not particularly rational. This is the story my children are being born into. This is what they have of their family on that side. I want them to know where it goes once it leaves them. I just do. That means I need to be careful where I send it.

I want to send the clothes to people who will take pictures of their children wearing it and give them to me. I want to be able to send them to Noah’s mom and show that things she made are still being used and loved. That is all the family relationship I will ever have. That depresses the fucking shit out of me. I feel like I come from nothing and I will become nothing and there will be no trace of me. I have no connection to anything that will outlast me. I want other people who touch me to understand that the touch carries on. They are still actively doing good in the world by having done this thing years ago. Thank you for doing that. It’s a thing. Maybe it isn’t a rational thing. But this is what I have right now. It’s the best I can do.

So when I think about pressuring my daughter into going through her belongings so we can give them away it’s kind of a loaded thing. This is going to be a long and emotional day. Which things can I give to people and have no expectation of the story carrying on? Which things do I have an attachment to the story moving on? How will I deal with it?

This is why I normally give stuff to a thrift store and come home and cry. Letting go is hard. I do understand attachment. I just can’t function and be a nice person when I have to clean all the f’in time. No. It’s just not necessary. We have to figure this out. Ok. I think I have girded my loins and set my purpose and all that shit. Time to go mommy. Oy.

I’m a big dork.

If you don't read Soggy in Milk I don't blame you but I wrote about sex tonight. I feel silly because I'm blushing. I haven't written about my sex life like that in a while. There hasn't been much to write about. I used to have very different sex. And I am showing great self restraint by not babbling this on facebook. My former coworkers don't want to know. gak.

{tmi} pick up play

Fairly explicit sex stuff. Read at your own risk.

Noah would like it if I could get it up tonight. Which means I’m trying to get in the mood. Right now my favorite song is Stuck on f*cken you. It makes me happy. I’ve been thinking about what stories I want to tell in the book. On one hand this is my version of exhibitionism; on the other hand I’m not just doing a gratuitous listing of the sex I’ve had.

I have been thinking about a woman I dated for a while when I first got into the scene. Technically I dated her and her master. I was already seeing Tom but we hadn’t decided to be monogamous yet. I was out having experiences that he didn’t really want to know about. I had an interesting time hearing them talk about doing drugs and playing. That was something forbidden in Tom’s corner of the scene.

I met all of these people through an IRC channel. There was a local room. I spent a lot of time there. When I was bored late at night I would periodically ask people what they were doing. Then I would meet up with them wherever they were. This couple in particular lived in San Francisco. She was a database administrator for , a large internet company with ties to many nations. He worked at the same company in a much less prestigious position. I suspect it was partly because she was technically his superior at work that it was so fucking hot to own her and have the right to degrade her whenever he felt like it. 

I remember visiting them in the office. She was babysitting something and couldn’t leave. I drove up from San Jose. She mostly worked but occasionally walked out for a fondle or a grope. The guy and I had a highly suggestive conversation. Of course we would be going to their place once she finished up for the night. While we were killing time the guy told me to walk over to the large windows at the front of the building. It was after ten at night in the financial distract–at least there weren’t many people around. When I was there he talked me through masturbating in front of the window. He was quite explicit in how he wanted to see it happen. Pull my skirt up. Move my panties to the side; don’t take them off. It’s nice seeing the cloth bunch up in the crease between my thighs. It’s dirtier. He had me fuck myself with my fingers for a while. Then I sucked them clean. I smiled when he asked me if I was a dirty whore. Only on my best days.

When we went back to their place it was interesting. The woman and I pretty much had to wrestle one another to decide who got to be in the middle. Who is more aggressive? It was clear that the boy was going to be giving most of the directions. Who had to be on the bottom of the pecking order?

Wasn’t me.

I hurt her. I hurt her a lot. I spanked her. I used a cane on her thighs. I beat her with her clothes on. He smiled and watched. They both knew I was new and he gave me occasional pointers. She was generous and accommodating with her smart ass comments designed to provoke me into hitting her harder. Eventually I got tired of pushing her around the living room and I grabbed her by the hair. I asked him where their bedroom was and he pointed. I half dragged half pushed her in an awkward position somewhere between being down on all fours and up on her knees down the hallway. I didn’t want her to get there in any kind of comfort or dignity.

We had our safety chat with her on her knees in front of me. STD prevention is important.

I lay back on the bed and pulled my skirt up and my panties off and she decided I was a low enough risk that she was happy to start licking my cunt without a dental dam. I have never managed to figure out dental dams. I feel like this is a failure in my sex life. Anyway.

After a few minutes of squirming I sat bolt upright and said, “Right!” Then I grabbed her by the hair and dragged her on to the bed on her back. I stopped and breathed a big deep breath and smiled slowly and deliberately. I knew this would be different. When I got her pants and panties off I smiled again.

“Nice clit, girl.”

She beamed at me. She glowed. She looked like it was her birthday and Christmas all rolled up in one. She bit her lower lip as she squirmed. I think she liked how I looked at her.

“How do you want me to touch you?”

She showed me.

I was fascinated. The point was not to get the biologically-still-a-penis hard and sit on it. What the hell do I do now? It was different. It was lovely. The point was making her squirm and moan. The point was alternating biting her thighs with gentle strokes on her clit. That made her fists clench and her toes curl and she had the best throaty growl/giggle.

After a while I started getting bored again but I wasn’t sure how to transition. Luckily she was a perceptive girl. “You want a dick, don’t do?”

I conceded that this might in fact be the case. She sighed deeply and reached over her head towards a drawer. I looked because I am nosy as hell. Out came a strap on harness and dildo. Oh my.

She was really good at fucking. This was back in my oh my god it all feels so good I think I’ll orgasm again, thanks stage. I miss that stage. We went through a variety of positions and eventually my head was buried in a pillow as she fucked me from behind. She alternated slamming her cock into me with slapping me on the ass to make me scream.

Her partner got tired of watching. I found this out when he grabbed her by the hair and yanked her off of me. I only knew that was happening because she cried out when it hurt. Then I felt him behind me. I reached back with my hand, felt a condom, and started saying, “Yes” over and over. He fucked really well too.

I like fucking people who expect to get a show. They both wanted big reactions out of me and they were quite happy to taunt me, ridicule me, hurt me, or be sweet and loving if they had to. But not for long before they want back to hurting me and fucking me. I liked them liking me. I felt really hot.

Sometimes with slutty people I think, “Ah! You have low standards” and sometimes I think, “Ah! You are highly sought out” and it’s more fun to fuck the second kind. With the first kind it feels kind of extra dirty in the less fun way. I still do it because I have low standards. See, this is why I don’t want to do that any more. I digress.

There is a particular kind of fame that comes from being able to do the fun-to-watch performative sex well. It’s very limited in scope unless you get into porn and then it defines your life in a different way. I have never been paid as a pornographic model though I have done it for free. It’s all about fuzzy lines. I’ve never been a sex worker.

The after cuddling was almost as fierce as the sex. There is an intense bonding from violent sex. You are orchestrating an experience together that is about skirting the line of how much pain can be doled out. It’s a complicated balance. In my experience I feel a lot of bonding emotion short term and I always maintain a little bit of a connection. Sex is intimate. With them there was a lot of relief all around at finding another person who gets us. Wanting to be hurt the way we all hurt one another isn’t common in the vanilla world and we were all young and fairly new to the scene. We still had the thrill of recognition of tribe.

She is the one who told me that I shouldn’t call myself bisexual. I asked her why not. She asked me if I wanted her to pick a gender and stay there or is she allowed to play somewhere in the middle. I told her that she can do whatever she wants. She told me then there isn’t a binary gender and I’m not “bi”. I asked her what I was and she told me queer.

I remember how she raked her nails down my neck. It hurt. It burned. It felt really good. It made me gasp. I like it when my breath comes short like that–with a little squeak. I like being surprised.

I watched them have sex next. I asked them to tell me why they like each other so much. It was quite sweet hearing what they each like about the other. The beauty they find in one another. I was just a visitor–what bound them together?

I had private reservations about some of the things they said but I decided that it wasn’t my life and I could be just supportive. I focused on the good sex. How can I help you two?

Eventually I passed out on the bed. I think I ended up in the middle. I love being in the middle of multiple bodies after sex. It feels comforting and assuring. Here are these people who like me and will be here to guard my dreams. If you have the intimacy of shared sleep after group sex it is a different experience, in my experience at least.

Your early experiences form who you are.

I run into her every so often. Him too. They aren’t together and haven’t been in a long while. Life has taken them very different places. When I saw her last I told her I didn’t feel like I was queer any more and she laughed at me. She stroked my face and told me that leopards don’t change their spots. Then she kissed me. I lurched towards her to kiss her back. I would have done pretty much whatever else she wanted too.

Now I’ll never kiss her again. I don’t feel very queer any more. It feels like my orientation is “not hunting”.

But when I masturbate sometimes I think of her. I think of touching her. I think of her smile and the way she sighed. I think of the taste of her. I think of how surprising it was to have her suddenly start fucking me. I think of how nice it was when it wasn’t a surprise any more and we had been fucking for weeks and we knew the rhythm and the height and the speed. She was really good at fucking. She taught me how to use a strap on. She bought me my first vibrator and taught me how to make myself come.

Eventually the guy kind of scared me and I stopped coming around. I didn’t like finding out he was on ecstasy while single tailing me after I had been made to bleed repeatedly. I would have made a different choice.

Once you say yes once your only way to say no is to walk. That’s my life experience. It makes it hard to have ongoing relationships. I have to be very careful what I say yes to.

Time to go think about this Noah person.

Working is fun.

I don’t know what I was thinking. How did I think I would get through over-night without Noah and the kids yesterday? Ha. I came home for bed-time. I called and told Noah to let the kids stay up a bit late and wait for me. When I got home I felt better.

I crawled into the lower bunk between Shanna and Calli. I cuddled both of them. Shanna rapid-fire told me all about her day. I wanted to know. I wanted to know about every second I missed. I was sorry that I missed them. I was sorry she got hurt yesterday and I wasn’t there to kiss it. She survived, of course. Kids get hurt. It’s ok. It sounds like she figured out most of the “class” parts of ballet. No more telling the teacher no one else was present. Ha.

I spent the day working in a coffee shop. That’s tiring work. I worked from the minute I arrived until I left. I took one ten minute break. I was in the shop for seven hours. Then I left to find food because I was starting to feel mean. I can understand why people in the community tell me that they don’t come in because they don’t like the food selection. We don’t have filling food. We have snack food. Hm. And I don’t want to take food from the shop because we need to make money and I’m too stubborn to pay for my food there after working that hard all day. Complicated. Luckily my share of the tip money (which I didn’t expect to get–that was kind) covered dinner. Woo.

At the shop I am working with Noah’s former partner. The one he was dating when he and I originally met. It was quite smooth. She has a very cheerful professional “face”. If she has a problem with me it was totally absent from her training me for the job. I wouldn’t say I felt comfortable but there is no way that I can say that any discomfort I felt was her fault. I was really impressed with watching her as an employee. That woman works like a demon. She takes pride in where she works. (Not this whole Gay Pride weekend stuff.) If something needs to be done she up and does it. She doesn’t wait for anyone else. She certainly doesn’t wait to be told what to do. I’m quite glad the coffee shop has her. I doubt we would have made it this far this year without people who just up and do things like she does.

It was kind of funny. When I got there an employee I don’t know was the only one working. I introduced myself as one of the owners and asked what work needed to be done. She gave me tasks and it worked out. She kind of fished around for how I got involved. I told her I met R many years ago at Shibaricon and then I ran TNG4 with him. D and I knew one another in junior college–we met when I was sixteen. She expressed surprise. Oh! Then you do know these people. Because she has never seen me around it is hard to understand that I existed all that time. Ha.

I like talismans. I like fetishes (in the traditional sense not in the modern “kinky” version). “An inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit” Like that. Noah and I do not have a formal all-the-time d/s or m/s relationship. We play with power exchange occasionally but it isn’t a formal all the time part of our life. This means that I have strong feelings about collars. 

In the bdsm world that I grew up in there are signals. Signs that help people understand how to relate to one another. Different collars are used in different ways. The thing is, this varies by person. I have seen patterns emerge but there are always people who break the pattern. Nevertheless I observe trends. I have given away most of the collars I shared with Tom. He wished that I gave them back so he could reuse them. I said hell would freeze over first. You are a rich guy. Fucking replace it if you care so much. No you may not use my god damn collars on your long-line of women. Just no. Anonymous people with little-to-no-connection can have them with pleasure. Enjoy them. I still have some collars we shared. I don’t think I will ever have them around my neck again.

When I am going out to a bdsm event and I do not want to be hit on I have to think about signaling. I have a Big Shiny Wedding Ring quite on purpose but in the poly world it doesn’t matter much. In the bdsm world many people are at least open to playing with many people even if they won’t have sex with them. If you represent yourself as property then you aren’t approached as much. People have to feel really fucking confident that it’s ok before they ask to play. And they don’t do things that are pushing my boundaries because they want to respect my partner. It’s hilarious. People don’t seem to care if they offend me but if I look like property they want to not offend my owner. Fuck all y’all.

So I wore a shiny padlock on my sternum. It’s a very simple, old fashioned sort of collar. Dog choke chains make a statement. It’s been a long time since I have gone out in public making this sort of statement. I notice that I have a different kind of wariness now. I assume I am invisible now. I feel like I have learned better camouflage as prey. I no longer feel hunted a large percentage of the time. The space I take up in the world has changed.

I have spent a lot of my life moving from place to place. I always meet people easily. Looking friendly and approachable was part of how I had friends at all. People see me from across the room and come over to say, “You look like a good person to talk to.” I can generally talk to just about anyone. I am quick with words. Part of this was because I was in the habit of scoping every room I was in for people to have sex with. It makes you look friendly. Seriously. You smile a lot. I don’t do it any more. I can feel my facial expression. I always look harried an frustrated. Ha. Harried and frustrated looks like it might bite your head off, not give you a pleasant chat.

I spend my life in a very small and secluded sphere. I live in my role of “mom” for the vast majority of my time. Even given how much time I spend on that role I give it a disproportionate amount of energy compared to any and every other thing I have done. I am no longer hunting. It’s quite simple, really. I am not looking for lovers but I’m also not looking for friends. I have a full roster right now and I don’t even feel the need to particularly seek out new acquaintances. People will wander into and out of places I am standing. I don’t feel the need to chase them any more. I don’t need to fill up idle hours of my life. I’d give anything to have more idle hours. Oy.

I have no interest in modeling m/s or d/s while my kids are little. I want them to see a partnership. I want them to think that women are bad ass, not obedient. I want my kids to see an actual long term partnership. Staying together is important to me. People get distracted and unhappy with one another and they turn to other relationships to keep things interesting. I want my kids to think that their parents find one another interesting. I want to spend a lot of time with Noah. I like him. Being near him and talking to him makes me feel far better than I have felt at any point in my life. There is no other person on this planet who is as willing to put a mountain of time and energy into me. I am special to him. If he took that energy and gave it to someone else I would know. It would be an active withdrawal. There is a limited amount of time and energy in this life. I have something really special. I want to nurture it, not ignore it.

I have learned a lot about being gentle from being with Noah. He is the only big-tough-guy I have ever dealt with who will actively tell me I am hurting him. He’s both extremely picky and not picky at all–meaning that he chooses when to talk about when he is feeling. He can endure things stoically like the next big-tough-guy. He just doesn’t do that with me. He thinks I shouldn’t hurt him. He doesn’t want to be hurt by me. So he tells me when and how I hurt him so that I can lean to do better. Mostly we don’t hurt each other any more. It’s rare to have a slip. I don’t even lick his nose.

I feel really glad that I get to model the relationship I have with Noah. Some day we will do more with other power structures because we want to. I really like that it will happen after many years of earning careful trust. In the modern USA “slavery” is kind of an ephemeral concept. It’s not real. It’s not binding. It’s a choice to have a conscious power structure with someone else. It’s just a consciously and specifically chosen relationship style. There are a lot of Father Is In Charge mentality left in this country, I’m not sure why people are surprised that people want to formalize this. The language is charged, yes. 

Right now I am using all of the caring-for-other-people energy I have for my children. They will not always need it and some day it will be unhealthy for me to pour this much energy into them all the time. I will still have this energy. I had this before I had kids. Noah spends a lot of time massaging me. He went to massage school as part of his learn-to-pick-up-chicks training. He really did go to school for how to be a better partner for me. I win. He also did hypnotherapy training. I’m totally going to be able to make him sound like a freakishly good fit when I write about him. I’m thinking about dialogue. I think I am hilarious. This will be a very different book to write.

I’m thinking very hard about what slavery meant to me. What did I do with Tom? How did that relationship fill my needs? I was under contract for two years. He ended that part of our relationship in a couples therapy session wherein the counselor told me that our problems were all my fault because I was asking too much of him by saying that he should follow the relationship rules of the contract we both signed. Needless to say, I felt quite good about myself at that point, right? That was when I started hounding him about kids. I was nearing the end of college. I had told him that I had no interest in getting married before I graduated from college. There was the strong implication that I wanted to get married after. He prevaricated for a while and pushed me to consider grad school. 

I decided I had two paths for teaching. If I was going to do the get married and have kids thing I should teach K-12 something. If I am going to “be a grown up” forever and build my life around the bdsm scene I should teach college so that I can be out. I decided to start the masters program first. Either way I didn’t feel qualified to teach much yet. I felt like there was some magical level of smart I would feel at some point and then I would be qualified to teach. I would know enough about a topic that I felt comfortable saying, “Yes! I know this!” It’s ironic that I failed the final test after years of getting good grades and being told I was good at this–writing, that is. Oh well.

I asked Tom if we could open our relationship in December of 2003. I didn’t technically have sex with anyone till January. I think I knew from the first person that I was hunting. I started the masters program first but I started the teaching credential the next term. I moved out of living with Tom in October about six weeks after I broke up with him. I started the credential and broke up with him at the same time. He would never answer the marriage and kids thing. So I disengaged. I threw that energy out into the world. I went hunting. I started dating Noah in February.

It’s going to be really fun to write about Noah. Knowing how this story goes it means that I am having an interesting time figuring out how to approach tone. This is going to be so different to write. How do I represent my time as a slave? What did I tell Tom? What kind of relationship was that?

I want to wear a lock on my sternum while I am working at Wicked Grounds because I want to announce that I am protected. I am wanted. Someone has already found me. When I was part of those communities I was always hunting. Always willing to say yes. It changed how I talked to people. In the past I have had issues with men taking liberties. I want to discourage it. Signaling is complicated.

I have been raped at a public sex party. I’m aware that it happens. A coffee shop isn’t a sex party. But I have had people casually touch my breasts. I have had people grab my ass. These actions aren’t “rape” but I’m kind of a ticking time bomb. One of these times I am going to break something on someones body as a result of them grabbing me. And it will probably escalate from there and be “all my fault”, right? I’m scared. I don’t like that I am scared. It is very hard for me to be in places I think of as hunting territory when I am not hunting. I feel physically sick. I feel scared. I am going to bring any fetish of protection I have.

Slavery is a way of acknowledging that someone is that interested in me. Different people do slavery differently. I’ll write more about that later. It’s time to start getting ready. Today will be a long day. I need to bring a water bottle and specifically drain it every so often. I think I was dehydrated yesterday. I know I was hungry. I ran five miles yesterday morning before working on my feet for seven hours making food and washing dishes. I ate a bowl of oatmeal, a thin slice of quiche… and that wall before dinner. By which time I was starving and had a raging headache. I think I should take better care of my body today. Today is supposed to be a “cross training” day. I hope this counts. I hope it will be fun. I had fun yesterday. It was fucking awesome to get to talk to people with a counter between us so they couldn’t touch me. I have serious issues. Whatever. It worked. I felt safe. I felt like I was doing something and I had a place and a purpose. I was using some of my caring-for-other-people energy on that community. Twelve years is a long time. I’m not gone. I’m on sabbatical. I’m training for my next relationship. It will be very different to use more of that energy on Noah. I feel specifically spooked. 

And I should go take a shower. 

I've had a few people ask me for a running update. Sure. I love requests. My attitude has been better while running. I am past the hump of it feeling "too hard" to do what I am doing. This week I am running sixteen miles. Next week is twenty. I'm not up to ten miles on Saturdays yet. Next month. Most days and most runs I've been maintaining 5.10-5.30 mph. Occasionally I crawl for a bit and come in just under 5mph but that is rare lately.

One of the things that I am disliking the most is my changing perception of my body.I've mostly been on the chubby side but I've never been all that big. My lifetime maximum weight was 212 while pregnant. Not-pregnant it was 208. I spend a lot of time hanging out in the 180's with occasional dips down into the 160's when my activity level goes up. That seems to be my "active" weight range. Occasionally in times of great mental/emotional distress I drop down into the 150's. I have usually had a lot of mixed feelings about these periods. On one hand they are by far the most psychologically unhealthy periods of my life on the other hand random people in public no longer stop me to tell me I should lose weight.

Lately I feel like I am bordering on body dysmorphia. I have always had an hour glass figure. That's just how my body looks. I have hundreds of pictures to prove it. I don't any more. Right now I'm doing the apple thing. I don't tend to feel hostility about other people having that basic body shape but right now I feel intensely bad about being shaped that way. I think about it a lot. I'm having to deal with the fact that my clothes don't fit at all the way I am used to them fitting and I feel angry and ashamed and bad because my body isn't looking like me. It's weird. I'm used to my waist being a size smaller than my thighs. Now my waist is at least a size bigger. I feel fat in a way I haven't ever felt before. I feel repulsed by the way I look. I think about it a lot. A really lot. 

I watched the Harry Potter movies recently. At the very end there is this long panoramic pull back shot of Harry, Hermione and Ron. I was fixated on the fact that it looked like I could put my hand between her thighs and be able to hold my hand horizontally and barely touch skin on either side. Holy moly she has skinny thighs. It felt really dramatic. It looked very childlike to me. I'm used to women having thighs that touch. This isn't to say that all women have heavy thighs. There are lots of grown up women with thing legs. I know this–I still had this visceral reaction to Hermione in that shot. For the past few days I keep standing in front of mirrors and feeling very perplexed because if I stand with my feet directly below my shoulders and look in a mirror my thighs barely touch. Mine have touched full on down to the knees for most of my adult life. Now the top inch touches. I don't think my thighs will rub by the time I get to the marathon.

I feel weird in my body. I feel like I am borrowing a body. I am pretending to be an athletic person. I feel disconnected from my legs–like they represent someone else. They just don't fit the rest of me. I feel weird and bad about the baby belly. Like all of a sudden it is magically a problem. My body has always been proportional! I liked being proportional! Fuck you belly! Everything else is getting smaller what is your fucking problem? But I this attachment in my mind to not trying to lose weight. So I eat a lot trying to keep weight on. My belly is not getting smaller. Ahem.

Especially with my hair this short. Especially with how dark of a tan I have now. I no longer look pale and goth-like. I savored that pallor for many years. Now I garden and run and spend the whole f'in day in the park. I don't wear sunscreen. I don't burn so I don't see the point in putting cancer causing agents on my skin. Noah needs to wear sunblock. Oh man.

I feel very uncomfortable about my body. I don't recognize it. I don't know it. I have a lot of time understanding its pleasure sensors and food needs. I feel very disconnected. I'm not sure if I have always been this disconnected or if it is a recent change. But all of a sudden I feel loathing for my body I am not used to. I was fairly cheerful about being fat. I knew how to dress to look good. I was "friendly fat" so to speak. I had some size 18 clothing, but not much. Mostly I was in the no-womans-land between Misses 14 and Womens 14. I certainly was encouraged by society to feel bad about my size. I was told by the media that I was disgusting. I didn't feel disgusting. I liked my body. I thought I looked quite good naked and that was what I cared about.

I don't like how I look naked right now. I feel lumpy and floppy and disproportionate. I feel like my breasts and my hips look sad and deflated next to my belly. I don't like looking at my belly and yet I do it compulsively. I think this is just my lizard-brain looking for another way to self-harm. If I decide that my belly is my enemy and disgusting and I should do something about it while I am simultaneously training for a marathon I am going to hurt myself quite badly. 

I'm afraid of a lot of the process of training for running. If I want to meet my goals I have to treat my body gently. I have to meet its needs. I'm not sure I even know what its needs are. I'm struggling with finding balance between needing to "work on my diet," because I do need to work towards more nutritious food, and not wanting to obsess and punish myself for being bad. It's hard when I realize that my approach to myself in my head is entirely punitive. If I breathe too loudly I should be punished. I'm taking up space in this world that wasn't meant for me. I am struggling with the size of the box in my head I am allowed to fill. 

Right now my weight is hanging out in the upper 150's/lower 160's. My legs are thinner than they have ever been in my life. My arms thinned out in pregnancy. My face thinned out in pregnancy. My upper back thinned out in pregnancy. Now my upper body really wants to hang out in a size 8. My hips would probably be happiest in a size 10 or 12. My waist is quite firmly still in size 14. With muffin top. I feel like my body is taking up the wrong space. I am wrong. I am out of place. I am out of order. I tell the kids my belly is awesome. Shanna is very affectionate with my belly and I encourage and support that. But I feel distant from this body. I want her to have only positive associations with her mothers body. I talk to her about fat redistributing on your body at different stages and sometimes you have more and sometimes you have less. I keep it very value neutral. I am extremely verbally positive about heavy people being attractive.

And I look in the mirror and I see not my body. I feel gross. I feel like I am not right. I am bad. I am too big and I am too small. I am not me. I'm trying not to show any actual panic. I really am a good actor.

It's interesting and useful for me to think about this current set of obsessive thoughts just as this week's version of self-harm. I'm really enjoying Over the Influence. It's the book on Harm Reduction Therapy. If the goal is just to be always moving towards less harm then I can give myself a little bit of a break. I know how much less harmful this thought process is than most of what I've done. I can see that I'm trying to justify feeling bad. I know that really I just feel bad and I don't need a why. If I can talk to my Lizard brain about it a bit I can see where the need to feel bad lives. 

I've been spending a fair bit of time in front of mirrors. I try to close the door so folks can't hear me. I look at myself. I say all of the things I wish that other people would say. I need to stop looking outside myself for validation. I can't have it. So I'm trying to give it to myself. I feel silly. I cry. But I say it. 

You are good. You are kind. You are patient. You are generous. You are honest. You are trustworthy. You work very hard. You have come a long way. Your body is perfect. Your body made two of the most delightful creatures in the world. What could possibly be wrong with it? You are strong. You will get stronger. Keep working. You will be able to do all of the things you say you will. You keep your fucking word. You are gentle. You are smart. You are resourceful. If you do not find a way you will make a way. Keep going. There is a lot left to do and not a whole lot of time.

 I am no longer defined by my sex appeal. I no longer need to worry about attracting attention the way I once did. I no longer particularly need to worry if my hip to waist ratio is appealing. It feels like I am getting a divorce from my body. I no longer live in it. I'm doing other things. I want to come back but I don't know this person. This person is invisible in different ways and visible for different reasons. I don't know how to handle it. I feel scared of this person. Not because this person will hurt me but because this person is vulnerable in ways I don't fully understand. I can't see the scope of it properly. I don't have much experience being this person out in the world. I have only been this person a short time. I'm still adjusting. I hear it takes four years to be properly past the postpartum period. My organs don't even know where they are going to live forever yet. What kind of home do I want them to live in? How much control do I have?

It's all quite terrifying, really.


A ridiculously high portion of my arguing with Noah happens because he is angry about the ways I am self-denigrating. I went to a friend’s house for a birthday party this weekend. They have a pool! And a diving board! I like diving. I love the feeling of impact on the water. I always have. Someone I have known for over a decade asked me if I used to competitively dive. I snorted and said no. I never lived in one place long enough to do anything competitively. When I brought this story home to Noah his comment was, “Naw my ex-girlfriends little brother competitively dove and you don’t do anything like that.” Roughly paraphrased. I lay in bed for a while and cried. When other people were doing things like competitive diving I was trying to find people to have sex with me. That was what I did with my time.
Noah has a big chip on his shoulder that all that time I spent in school learning about English literature has worth. I think he is quite ridiculous. I failed at the degree. If I go off into the world no one thinks that my skills have merit because when it mattered for my field I failed. I won’t ever be hired for a job where someone is supposed to have that skill set because I failed. Obviously I don’t have them. I could go back to teaching, if I was willing to go back to school and earn anothercredential. I’d kind of rather slit my wrists. I’m really tired of jumping through hoops to prove I am worthy only to be told I am not. I would be able to earn a credential again because no one ever actually measures you in the process. The credential is pathetic and a joke. Thus why I don’t want my kids going through an educational process spearheaded by a training program that doesn’t train people.
I’m at this weird point. I’m thirty. My youth is over. I’m not old yet, but I am a full on adult now. I will never be young again. I don’t feel like I am a person who has done much that is worthy of being proud of. I feel ashamed of myself. I don’t know how to be much of anything other than a dirty street kid. I feel like the world doesn’t have a lot of use for me so why should I bother to try? I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough to do anything worthy of doing.
It was interesting going to the birthday party. When I met this group most folks were in their thirties. Now they are in their fifties and I am in my thirties. I am the grown up I perceived them as being. It was interesting seeing how people change. Or don’t change. What is life anyway? What are people doing here? Everyone gets to decide for themselves. There isn’t an arbitrary yard-stick of important. It doesn’t matter if there is an arbitrary line or not I feel pretty worthless. I have worth in the sense that some human being has to be present with my very young children basically constantly in order to meet their needs because that is the deal for our species.
I feel proud of myself for having been a teacher. I felt really good about the number of people who told me they went their entire educational career (I had them for junior or senior year) feeling like a worthless piece of shit and I was the first teacher who ever made them feel good about themselves. I taught them to like themselves. Why can’t I like me? I feel dirty because of the sex I had. I feel like some how that tainted me. I feel like being as compulsive as I was makes me a disgusting person. This is certainly a common enough trope in our society.
Seriously think about how we judge loose, easy, slutty girls and women. Every bad thing you have ever heard or thought about a woman or girl for having too much sex or sex with too many people—I’ve probably had a lot more sex than the other person you were judging. When I hear people being nasty about slutty girls, the kind who have slept with five people in high school, about how disgusting they are… that’s me. I don’t personally know very many people who have had sex with more people than me. It’s a very short list of people. I have been somewhat horrified to find out that the “biggest sluts” in a few communities had body counts less than half of mine. What does that mean about me?
I don’t know how to talk to people in the sex communities about the fact that part of the reason I don’t want to be a big slut for the rest of my life is I’m kind of tired of the reaction. I’m tired of having to brace myself for the disdain and the sneering. I don’t even know where it all comes from.
It’s not that I feel bad about myself for not being a competitive diver. It’s not that I think that I know nothing about English literature. It’s that the only thing I have done in a way that no one can take away from me or say it “doesn’t count” is fuck people. The only thing that is really and truly mine is my body count. No one can uncount it. They can refuse to give me jobs based on my lack of a formal degree proving that I know things about English literature. No one can say I don’t know much about sex. Ha.
If I continued to sleep around I would eventually decide I wanted to hit four digits. I don’t really want to do that. I know I would. I know that in the marrow of my bones. If the only thing in this life I have to compete with is the number of people I have fucked god damn I have Wilt Chamberlain to catch up with I had better hurry.
I am a deeply competitive person. That’s why I don’t play games. That’s why I don’t like doing anything competitive. Because I can’t deal with losing and I will think very unhealthy things in the process. Because I have missed the boat in this lifetime to compete in things that might actually be healthy. All I can do is compete in a race to the bottom.
I feel vaguely ashamed of myself that I am going to go run a marathon and probably one of the last 100 people over the finish line. I’m going to barely survive this. I can tell. I can run far but I can’t run fast. If I’m lucky I will finish in less than seven hours. I’m praying I don’t have to keep walking the full seven and a half hours they leave the finish line open. I’m really really praying I don’t fail and have to continue the route on the side walk afterwards even though I don’t qualify as a race finisher. I will get through the miles. I feel pathetic in my stubborn determination. I know I won’t be good. I’m not even bothering to try. I’m good enough to be in last place. Damnit.
I feel pathetic because I am so sad that I will never be good at anything. Most people aren’t, right? I’m good at not dying. Aren’t people like me supposed to die? When I think about who and what I am I feel ashamed. First and foremost in my self-assessment needs to be survivor. I am vain enough to believe that I get that word. My father held a gun to my head and asked me if I deserved to live and I am here writing about it more than twenty years later and he is dead. I survived.
At the birthday party I sat down and talked with an old friend about being raped at a party he DJ’ed. I explained why I ran away from that community. I talked to him about why I didn’t bother saying anything at the time. No one believes worthless pieces of shit like me. I had deliberately ingested GHB and gone to a sex party. My right to say no evaporated at the door, right? Either play the game or get the fuck out. I got out.
Recently I heard someone talking about their ex as “a waste of skin”.  The phrase sent shivers through me. Am I a waste of skin? Am I just a hole? Well, kind of. Depends on how you think about it. At this time I am a mom. That’s about that hole.
I like telling people that Calli’s labor took nine days and I almost bled to death in my house. It makes me feel like that hole has finally earned the respect it deserves. Yeah. My cunt is epic. Ok, so labor is only really about the vagina for the last couple of minutes, but it’s an important couple of minutes. And the uterus is so connected you can esteem the whole system at once.
One of my lovers went through gender reassignment surgery after we stopped dating. I sat down and talked with her about the experience years later. She bled out while she was alone in her apartment and almost died. She said that when women-born-women try to pull the, “But you don’t have to deal with your period so you don’t reallyknow what it is like” she likes to say that she bled enough in that one night to make up for a whole lifetime. Because if you bleed enough you count, right?
Did I bleed enough during my labor? Did my transformation into a mother do enough to make up for being a dirty whore for so long? I don’t know. I know that I live in a world that actively tells me I am bad. I know that I live in a world that tells me on one hand I have worth and on the other hand pays me less, values all of my contributions less, and says I should keep my mouth shut about being raped. What else do I expect? I expect that it doesn’t matter if I am a 24 year old woman at a sex party getting raped or an 11 year old girl who has the 60-something year old neighbor push me for sex or a 15 year old girl fucking a 42 year old guy. It’s all my fault. It’s all just what I deserve. From what I can tell it isn’t what every single woman deserves, but it is for me. You get what you deserve in life, right?
Noah thinks that he can convince me that there is some merit somewhere in the world for the act of criticizing writing and I have earned it. I have gone out and learned how to do that skill and I should be proud of it. He thinks I should feel like I have actually done something. I just can’t be that self-delusional. Whatever merit there is in the world for that skill I failed to attain it. Time to move on. I’m really glad that I know I was a good teacher. It lets me believe I am not completely required to fail at educating my children. I have successfully educated people in the past. I even mostly avoided the topic of sex. When I talked about sex I told them to masturbate because people their age suck at sex.
If you can’t be a good example be a horrible warning. I’m fairly certain there is no hope this lifetime of me being “good”. Some days that is harder to live with than others.
Today I will bake and clean the bathroom. I will spend time with a friend. I will try to believe in the pit of my stomach that it doesn’t matter if I am “good” or if I “deserve” the life I have. I have it. I get to decide what to do with it. I think the girls and I should plant some seeds. 


I've been waking up at 3am and I can't get back to sleep. This would be worse if I didn't pass out at 8pm. As it is I'm getting some sleep. But my day feels off balance. I'm tired mid-day. I'm ready to be winding down for sleep around dinner. Tired. We are going to go learn about animals today. I feel tired before we leave the house. Needs to happen. Get up. Make food. Ugh.

The more I hear the message "just don't think about _____" the more I want to say, "Why? What are you hiding there?"

It's going to be a festive Thursday. Cheers.

Oh yeah. This is why Tom didn’t know I cried so much. He slept through it. I like to go to bed at eight and wake up between three and four and cry. I have hours available to me before anyone interrupts, not as many hours as I used to and that is probably for the best.

Today I was crying thinking about Noah. I get mad at him for his group associations. He represents a lot of problematic interactions for me. He doesn’t embody them. Noah is the only person I’ve ever met who has been not only tolerant but enthusiastic about me. He really likes me. He was the first sexual partner I had who was thrilled about me having slept with a lot of people. He likes the things I have done. He likes the person I am.

Noah is the only person who is willing to beat me about the head with the fact that he likes me. He will let me wake him up over and over every night because I don’t sleep well and I wake up and I want to be near him. He doesn’t get mad even though the kids wake him up over and over. Noah doesn’t get mad at me because I wander off from most parties and cry for a while. He comes and holds me while I sob.


I feel like I have been blessed at this point in my life. I have a wide variety of friends who tolerate my moods and writing about all kinds of hostile things. In person I generally behave myself. I have a hazy understanding of the fact that most people are guided by rules of behavior. I just don’t understand what they are, mostly, and when I do I actively want to do the opposite. Just because.

I’m told that I shouldn’t care what people think of me. I’m told that because Noah grew up one of those Gibbs’ in his town. The rich ones. He doesn’t have to care what people think. He has a fairly codified set of permissive behaviors that are tolerated from the rich geek. He knows how to behave. He knows when and how he has to care.

There is this unspoken set of behaviors that people follow. Mostly they have no idea what it means about them. If I follow the behaviors I was taught then it is patently obvious that I am still white trash. I curse regardless of who is around. Sometimes I dress in absolutely trashy clothes–to be fair I’m mostly eccentric and not “trashy” in my clothing style. I’m weirdly conservative. I have spent my entire life dodging the “you must have asked for it” line about being raped. I make sure no one can tell me it is my fault because of what I am wearing.

I have a carefully constrained life. The most important piece of my life right now is that I learn how to pass. I need to learn how to pass as a normal, stable member of the middle class. I need to learn how to not offend people. It’s harder than it seems. It’s easy for other people because they were taught to be unoffensive from when they were quite young. I was taught quite the opposite.

This weekend I spent time with a friend I have known for more than ten years. We met in a bdsm relationship class on protocols. It was a six week course on Dominant/submissive and Master/slave variations. It was more interesting than it sounds. What is protocol?  I’m not going to steal the Lady Victoria’s class and tell you much about it. If you like such things, I recommend the extended classes. People find interesting things to say.

Anyway, I was hanging out with this friend. I met her early in the M/s portion of my relationship with Tom. I asked her if she was aware that I was depressed and cutting through my relationship with Tom. She said she had no idea. She is pretty sure no one knew.

I pass pretty well when I want to. But I don’t always pass as what I want to pass as.

I know how to be not-me. I’m not great at the fine tuning of what people really see. I have a nervous energy I get at parties. I giggle a lot. I’m scared shitless. I usually feel like I want to vomit on the floor. Being around more than two or three human beings triggers my hypervigilance and in my head I am rehearsing polite ways to deflect attention I don’t want and I’m praying for attention I do want. Long before I can try to get attention I have to decide the appropriate way to deflect unwanted interest. Or I get in trouble. My natural reflexes are not PC. When I am given truly unwanted attention my impulse is to be violent. I don’t hesitate. I have to defend myself and no one else will. Ever. Period. I live in a “polite” society, though. I am not allowed to be violent in defense of myself. I try hard to think of ways to “use my words”that won’t get me booted out. If there is a problem it will always be my fault. I’m sure that this guy who has raped other women (I hear the stories) could not possibly have done anything rude to me I am just over reacting. I’m the problem.

I know how to be not-me. I know how to pretend a certain level of passivity so that I can be tolerated on the fringe of society. I don’t know how to feel safe. I don’t know how to feel like I belong. I don’t know how to make friends with multiple people in a demographic. I tend to hold on to a few people from each community. I don’t know how to interact with large groups of people because I’m used to tailoring the things I say to one individual person. I can skirt the line of offensive more easily that way. When I’m around a group I feel petrified with fear because someone in the group is going to be an outlier in a different direction and someone will be snotty or aggressive or … something. Someone will behave in a way that I read as picking a fight. And I will have to walk away or bear the consequences. I can’t engage. I can’t respond at all. I will be the problem.

I don’t mean that I spend my life wanting to hit people. I mean that I don’t verbally spar with people. I shut up.

I have friends I can argue with. I have people I have known intimately I can argue with. Unless someone has been close to me at one time I am unlikely to take the chance of arguing with them. I don’t go looking for random arguments on the internet. If I bother to argue with you it is probably because I have years of pent up frustration I need to vent in your direction. You have been pissing me off for a very long time. Mostly I felt that I had to keep my mouth shut. At some point I will feel comfortable enough in the turf and I will fucking tell you how you have pissed me off. I can only do that with people who have shown a previous tolerance for me. It’s terrifying. I have to trust there will not be repercussions. I’m wrong, still. I go off on people and lose friendships.

I’m supposed to pass as a not-angry person. That is a mask if ever there was one. The same people who tell me to “be myself” are the people who tell me to not be angry. It’s a lie from the first breath. And I can’t point that out. And I can’t be angry about being lied to over and over.

There are a lot of things I have to pass as. I’m in the first truly stable period of my life. I have lived in this house longer than anywhere. I have to pretend I know what this feels like and I am comfortable here. I am so uncomfortable I am ready to crawl out of my skin. I want to move. I want to not have to feel scared when I leave the house. I don’t feel scared when I feel invisible. I feel so scared here because people have been seeing me around for a long time and they have expectations of me. I feel like I am going to let people down at any moment. Soon they will learn how very angry I am.

I feel very weird about the other ways I pass. I pass as straight. I am now in a monogamous relationship. We don’t have the time to be non-vanilla if we wanted it. Not really. I have to walk away from being the kind of freak I was.

Not everyone does. I can’t be part of an experiment to raise children in an “open” household. I can’t. I need more boundaries than that. I want my children to have a theoretical knowledge of my sex life. I don’t want them to see my sex life parading through the house. It’s different with their dad. We don’t flaunt our sex life. It isn’t obvious that I’m keeping him around for that. I do though. He’s great at sex.

I feel weird about the fact that I shouldn’t talk much about being queer. I certainly don’t tell the lesbian moms in the home schooling group that I’m queer. I don’t want to see rolled eyes. I have two options: I can shut the fuck up, or I can roll out my CV to prove I am the person I say I am.

It’s easier to pass.

It seems to me that queer is complicated. I can never take back the fact that I have had sex with a good thirty or forty women. I don’t know the number any more. Hard drive crash. But people don’t know that when they look at me. How could they? I have a much larger body count than most heterosexual men. How in the hell can I ever be not queer? But I don’t partner with women. I have too many issues with them. I have a hard time working things out with women. With a man I assume he won’t be able to figure anything emotional out so I’m ok with spelling things out in small, easy to digest words. With a woman I get incandescently angry that they are so stupid about figuring out my emotions and I just refuse to keep talking.

Women are scary in a way that men aren’t. My experience of the men I choose to get close to is that they are not passive aggressive. They are aggressive. They do it or they don’t do it. My experience of the women I get close to is that they are going to serve #1 first but they will actively lie to you and say that you are first, no really. When women speak I have this filter in my brain, “Are they lying to me” that I just don’t have in the same way with men. Men lie too, but generally about different things and in different ways. Men are easier to predict. Men feel less complicated. Women can smile at you and poison your drink. Women are like me. Women are terrifying. But hot. So there you go.

I loved Julia. I lived with her. I thought we could find a way to figure things out. She showed up one day out of the blue and said she was moving to Boston next week, uhhh bye.

I grew up in a house of women. Women aren’t going to do the bad things to you. They are just going to leave you. They are going to let you down when things are hard because they have been overstressed for a long time and they never told you and now they have to focus on themselves and you just aren’t important. My mom did that. My sister did that.

And I can’t be angry. Not if I want a shred of relationship left. Not if I don’t want to be alone. I’m telling you, though: I’m angry. I’m fucking angry. I have to pass as not angry. It will be a carefully constructed lie because I am no better than anyone else. Because I know that continuing to behave in my normal fashion won’t teach my kids how to have healthy relationships. I have to pass as someone who is capable of having normal, healthy relationships.

It’s hard. It’s a game I play every day. How to pass as a “normal” person. I’m not. Normal people didn’t go out and get a PhD in sex. I haven’t heard of very many things I haven’t tried. That was my hobby for the first twenty-five years of my life. It has been one of the largest parts of my identity. It decided my behavior. That is how I use identity. I decide what identity I want/need to have and then I align my behavior with it. I am not just Krissy. It’s all a game. Who and what I am varies dramatically in different situations.

I didn’t tell my dentist he was a fucking asshole when he told me that he wouldn’t recommend my book to people because it is too hard and people shouldn’t have to know about such things. Instead I just told him, “That attitude is why it happened. Because no one can bear to know I exist.” I hope he felt bad.

I have to pass. If I don’t then people don’t want to acknowledge that I exist. I have to have a presentable, tasty candy coated shell. I have to pretend to be good enough. I have to pretend to be of the class of the people I am talking to.

I’m god damn tired of being scolded because my manners are terrible. You have no idea. Go to hell.

Everything about the life I am choosing right now is a carefully constructed lie. See, I’m a good mom. I can play this role. I can be patient and kind. I can be tolerant and mellow. I can be careful what behavior I model. My children are not going to learn how to be a whore by watching me work. When I am in the mood to I can go pick up sex basically anywhere. There is usually someone willing if you know how to look. I’m trying to learn how to ignore those signals. I’m modeling the behavior that I believe a “good” woman would have. I’m a fucking fraud.

I don’t even make people buy me dinner before I fuck them and leave. I want to have physical contact, not intimacy. I don’t want my children to learn that. Not from me.

I think that my relationships with my children will be pretty much the most intense ones of my life. The most intimate. My mother treated me like an obnoxious burden. I don’t do that to my kids. My mom dumped me on people I didn’t know. My kids are getting to know a short list of people very well.

I will spend significantly more time with my children than anyone else. Far more time than Noah. Noah will take decades to catch up on time spent because he likes his alone time. I will have a good solid ten years of being with my kids before they start really trying hard to get away from me. I have to pass as a good mother.

What makes someone good or bad? I’m not sure. I’m told that you are bad if you do bad things. I’ve done a lot of very bad things. I guess that’s that.

After my experience with my girl friends a couple of weeks ago I remain convinced that I am not a dancer. If I am to be defined by my behavior I am not a dancer. I occasionally dance. I enjoy dancing. I’m not a dancer.

I am a mother. That will never be taken away from me. Nothing can change that. I think it is the most permanent part of my identity. Will I ever want to pass as not a mother? In order to act like a slut I would have to. I don’t want to. I want to have this permanent change in who and what I am. If it is possible to simply be another person I want to be. I want to figure out how to stop being bad.  It’s not that I think that all people who have multiple partners are bad. The sex I like is the most high risk kinds there are. I just can’t model that to my kids. I can’t. I have to pass. I have to.

What does being queer mean then? How is that going to work in my life? Am I giving that up to? I was talking to a friend about passing this weekend. The Godmama. She said she doesn’t really think about being queer any more. It’s there but it’s not a conscious part of her life. I said, “You are trans and married to a woman. You don’t have to think about it to wear it on your face.” I am who those disgusting ministers point at when they say that you can get over being queer. I pass.

I tell my children that they grow up to love men or women or men and women. I tell them that the most important part of relationships is that you respect your partner and can trust them. Some day my kids will figure out that I know some really weird people. It’s probably going to take them a while. To them this will be normal.

Why do I want to consciously construct a heterosexual monogamous life and model that? It’s not the norm. Not really. Look at history. I want to model picking a life and really doing it. I want to not be distracted by all the could-be’s in life. I want to be creating something with a person. Noah and I have a lot of joint goals. We are building something together. It happens that he is a guy. It was a lot more convenient for that “having kids” thing I wanted. No woman ever wanted me the way Noah wanted me. That’s why I picked Noah. Not because I don’t like women. Not because I’m not attracted to them. No one ever wanted to take on the project that is my mental health. I don’t blame them.

My teenagers will understand that non-monogamy is a common, perfectly reasonable path that I do not choose. They will hear which people we know are doing it well (Grandpa J) and which people are not doing it well (name redacted). We will talk a lot about ethics. Heck, we already do.

Am I trying to pass as not depressed? Yes. I don’t want them to learn the physical behaviors of depression. I don’t want them modeled. I want my kids to grow up around productive people. It’s ridiculously important to me. It doesn’t matter how I feel. I have a place in my head that allows me to go through the rote motions of life. I may not be cheerful but I consciously work on maintaining a neutral facial expression and I god damn do everything I am supposed to do. I make food. I do chores. We go to the park on park day. I have a role to fill. It doesn’t matter how I feel. I can pass. I can do this.

Sometimes when I sit and think about what hard things I have done I feel confused. Like those must be the acts of a different person. Doing those things would make someone strong. I feel so weak. I’m trying to get stronger every day. I have to. Even if I have no interest. I have amazing willpower. My willpower seems to be inhuman. I have tremendously more control than I let on. That’s part of the game. That’s part of passing. You have to fake it until you can make it.

I have a picture of Jenny and her mom in my garage. I think about them and their relationship a lot. I try to puzzle out the has been from the should have been. I haven’t been able to stand near very many mother-daughter relationships. I don’t understand them very well. Jenny doesn’t have overly close relationship with her mother for a variety of reasons. I think about the lessons to be learned from the choices her mother made. Jenny’s mom was nicer to me than any other mother of a friend when I was a kid. It’s complicated in my head to set that aside and think of her from other perspectives.

When I’m trying to create this person in my head, the person I am supposed to “pass” as I think hard about my role models. I try hard to think through the long-term consequences of their behavior. I don’t want to adopt other broken models. That’s not useful. I feel scared. When I look around my life I see that most of the people who want to know me are people who also come from problematic back grounds. People would rush to say, “Not like yours!” but whatever. No, incest is not rampant among my friends group. But people who tolerate me probably had an emotionally unstable parent or close relative so they have coping skills. That’s kind of not great.

I feel afraid because I feel like I am trying to create a person who genuinely could not exist even under the best of circumstances. I know a handful of people who came from stable, happy, affectionate, appropriate families. They are oddballs. They know it. They are nearly mythical. At least in my head. I’m not trying to be Mary Poppins.

We live in a strange time. Through most of history people basically grew up to do what their parents did. Sure there were transition times when people left farms and came to cities, but then the family found a trade in the city. Mostly people did what their parents did. What kind of person do I want my children to grow up with?

On the subject of body wind: Noah tells me that farting is one of those things that tells you which class someone really is. Rich people ignore bodily functions. Middle class people apologize for them. Poor people laugh. I go back and forth between ignoring them and giggling. I feel anger over the idea of apologizing for them.

I am expected to follow all these stupid made up rules. They have no basis. They are regional. They don’t matter. That’s what you are supposed to do in “polite” society. How in the fuck am I supposed to teach this shit to my kids? My goal is to take them out of the country at formative ages so they understand exactly how irrational and arbitrary these rules are. But I don’t want them to feel the same anger I feel.

I don’t want my children growing up with the idea that getting angry all the time is normal and natural. That’s really hard on your body. It causes long term stress for the rest of your life. So I have to model not being angry. This is not a good cycle for me.

It’s ironic that I had two girls. It means I have to work on my emotional intimacy issues with females. Festive. When Shanna gives me a nasty look I respond with surprise. I say, “Oh gosh! Am I looking at you like that?” Then I rub my forehead to get rid of the deep lines of scowl and I repeat whatever I had said to her previously. I explain that I wasn’t feeling angry but I was thinking hard. She generally smiles and repeats whatever it is she is on about in a more friendly way.

I’m going to have a hard time with the homeschooling group. I don’t really like how often the topic is, “Obviously we love our kids more than working mothers.” I’m not yet in a position where I can sit and argue with people. I keep my mouth shut and my eyes on the ground. It’s horse shit. It’s self-serving dogma. You can’t measure love. You don’t take care of your kids a certain number of hours per day and compare it to a chart to see how much you love your kids. Not all mothers want to subsume their complete identity into parenting. Some people might call that healthy.

Not all homeschooling mothers subsume their entire identity into their children either. But they give up a much larger chunk. Either that or they drag their kids along into their identity. Is there or is there not a barrier between your children being full members of your life? For me there just isn’t a lot left they can’t be part of. I go to adult-only events sometimes but it’s rare. I have a lock on my bedroom door so that I can have a sex life. I write behind a closed door. I don’t smoke near them. That is all I do away from them. They are part of the whole rest of my life. I really enjoy the company. I really enjoy feeling seen all the time. I enjoy the fact that what I do with every minute of my day matters because I am going to be accountable to this person for the rest of my life for my behavior. This relationship is the opposite of temporary. This is the the most intensity I will ever have in my life. I want to really experience that. I want to drown in it. I want to find out what it is like to really and truly be responsible for another human being at all times. Yes, working parents are still responsible for their kids, but they delegate a lot of the day-to-day supervision. The ultimate responsibility is still there. Just wait till your kid steals a car. Ha. I did that.

I am integrating my children into my life. I am creating a life that is fully appropriate for them. Who do I want to be? What kind of person are my children likely to respect and trust as they grow up? What do I have to do to pass as respect-worthy and trust-worthy?

This is so hard. I was not taught to be this person. I am a judgmental bitch and I will say that I did not grow up around people with a strong work ethic. Most of my family survives on welfare of some kind. There is no impetus for working to better your life. You just have to learn how to hussel to fill in the cracks. Declare bankruptcy every so often. Let other people support you. Don’t pay your rent and get angry when your (relative) landlord tells you that you have to move because they need to make enough money to pay the mortgage. You are owed a living, aren’t you?

I grew up angry poor. The kind of poor that is surrounded by beauty and wealth which only emphasizes how terrible it is. My Uncle Bob and Auntie live down in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s beautiful. When you spend most of your childhood surrounded by the California Redwoods you travel and think, “I can see that they have nice bushes but where are the trees?” It’s a very wealthy area. Our neighborhood slowly gentrified during my lifetime. When my relatives bought in it was the cheap and cruddy area. The poor people lived there because it was what they could afford. The original mortgage more than forty years ago was $40,000. Last I heard the mortgage was several thousand a month and Auntie had to work full time to pay it. She was in her seventies.

Our house was the unsightly dump at the end of the road. Lots of cars on blocks. You know those big metal storage PODS people use? There were a few there as permanent instillations. Several big ramshackle barns on the property. It was a serious health hazard. Uncle Bob was a serious hoarder. He spent money like it grew on trees and never got rid of anything. So he could never find anything in he mess and would go buy new over and over. He was so bitter about not having… something. I never knew what.

I went to Los Gatos High School and I was on the free lunch program. There weren’t many of us. When I went to Lakeside, up in the mountains, it was different. There were always a few other poor, problem kids. A lot of fucked up people go hide in the mountains. Which isn’t to say that everyone in the mountains is fucked up. Anyway.

I wasn’t allowed into the nice homes. I was only invited to play with the other kids who had alcoholic parents. The other girls who watched their parents have sex. I had Brittney. That was it for a stable friendship in my life. Every family has issues, even Brittney’s family. I learned some bad things there as well. Mostly lying.

What do I want to teach my kids? How do I need to pass out there in the scary world? I would be less scared if the consequences mattered less. How do I not fail my children? How do I not teach them to grow up and act like they have an alcoholic parent? This is hard.

I feel like they shouldn’t have to deal with the fact that I am an angry person. Full stop. I’m not angry at them or about them so it isn’t their problem. I don’t give other people the same leeway. I’m not sure why.

Shanna and Calli are unabashed in their need. They still truly need me in order to grow up whole and healthy. I have to be a positive force in their life. Someone who makes them feel good about being themselves. That’s my job. It’s a lot of pressure, meeting their needs all the time. It’s a lot of work. In many ways it is unsatisfying work because they feel like bottomless pits of need and I never make a dent. But that’s not true. They are very happy people. Life is going well for them. They don’t have unmet needs. Even though I feel like I can’t I can’t I can’t I am.

I think about how their needs are going to change. How I have to be the bad guy sometimes. I have to be the mean mom. That’s part of the deal. I have to set limits. If I don’t then you won’t learn how to deal with them in the world. Everyone has limits. People who tell you that you don’t have to worry about what other people think are mostly lying. I want my kids to make the conscious choice of which opinions to care about. I hope they will respect me enough to care about mine. I don’t take it as writ.

How do I need to act in order to be someone they can respect? That feels like a lot of pressure. How do I need to change? How do I need to pass?

More on anger.

Right now I’m having internet connectivity issues. I read comments on my phone but the interface on blogger and lj mobile suck. I’m not going to type responses with my thumbs. Especially because my thumb bloody hurts. In the past week I have cut it more than once and I have a nasty thorn or splinter or something I can’t get out. I’m not going to write elaborately on my phone. On the computer I am composing in Word and then when I get five minutes of being connected I hit post. Which is a long winded way of saying this post will hopefully include the things I would say to people individually and I like comments.
I think that class things play in as well as gender things, yes. Men and women talk down to me differently. Men treat me like I am stupid. Women treat me like I am not important. Men know that I have some use at least.
I grew up in a very female dominated environment. Men came and went and weren’t big influences. I lived with my mom and my sister and Auntie and my cousin and her daughter. The boys were Uncle Bob, my nephew Denny (who is eight years younger than me), and my male cousins would rarely show up for dinner. The avoided the hen house. Uncle Bob thrived in an environment where he was the only cock. It allowed him to strut and act like he did the important male jobs and we were all weak and stupid. The important jobs like sitting in his chair and waiting to be served. Awesome.
Over and over my experience of men is that they talk down to me and expect me to be grateful that they are imparting wisdom. It’s not just an engineer thing. I get the same kind of condescension from the maintenance guys at the local elementary school (That’s what Uncle Bob did for the last ten or fifteen years he worked).  I am more surrounded by engineers these days than I used to be and the feeling has intensified. I feel like being an engineer takes male bravado from seven to eight. They are just slightly more full of themselves. Either way I’d like to walk around with a baseball bat taking out kneecaps. Maybe they would stop fucking looking down on me.
Not really. I’m kidding. Mostly. The thing is, I like men. I find them comfortable to be around. Men think I’m not as smart as them so they don’t expect much from me. When I do things they are surprised and complimentary. Wow! You can do that? Why always the tone of surprise? Oh yes. Because it is a shock that I’m not sitting at home waiting for a man to deliver. Right.
I used to work technical theatre. I had two bosses. The technical director is a sweetheart and I adore him still. He is equally insulting to everyone who walks through his door. He does not treat women as less competent. I thought it was beautiful to watch him interrogate boys the way I normally only see women be questioned. “Have you ever used a drill?” He assumes everyone who walks through the door is completely unskilled because otherwise his liability lawsuits would be enormous. I can respect that. He works with large saws all day long. The other boss was in charge of more hand-wavey shit like lighting design and painting and directing. He is a piece of shit misogynist. He openly made nasty comments about women and he and the “boys” would sit around laughing. He was constantly rude to me because I was doing a “man’s” job.
I was one of two people trained to work the rail. The rail is the system used to hang the large backdrop pieces. It is a very carefully balanced pulley system that involves a lot of loading 10-50 lb bricks onto the device from a platform 50’ in the air. It’s not for sissies. The boss I liked thought I was one of the most attentive people there and it was safest for me to be in the air. The other boss would do things to make it harder for me. Like stop in the middle of the ladder right in front of me in order to have a conversation with someone. I just had to hang out on the ladder indefinitely. He would hear I was up at the rail and make loud comments about how we should evacuate the building before I kill someone. To be fair, before I figured out a way to attach the wrench to my belt loop I dropped it once. That was a dangerous mistake. He didn’t attack any of the men the same way. Even if it was their first time walking into the building and they didn’t know an Allen wrench from a Philips head screwdriver.
It’s not just about sex. It’s about the meeting point of class and gender. That’s where I feel stuck and angry today. Men and women manifest the ways they look down on people differently. I have different kinds of anger at them. Women are more subtle and horrible. Men talk to you like you are a piece of shit. Women will smile prettily and spew poison behind your back. Women are afraid of direct confrontation so you have no idea what to expect from them, ever. Women will lie and use relationships to manipulate people. Women get people to “take sides”.  I do it too. I’m not going to lie.
My experience of the difference is that men charge through life just asserting that they are better whether it has any reflection on what they have actually done or not. Women go through making sure other people can’t buck the system. They impose order. Once you are at the bottom of the barrel women don’t tolerate social climbing. You are bad and they won’t let you forget it.
I say these things and wonder how defensive my friends feel. Obviously I don’t want to set the whole world on fire with a torch or I probably would have. I’m expeditious. There are people of both genders who are not terrible people. Most people are not terrible people. Most people are self-obsessed and just don’t bother to notice how they are treating other people. I think that is part of what makes me so god damn mad. They aren’t trying to be mean. They just don’t bother to think about how they are acting. People really don’t put any thought into their tone of voice by and large. And the ones who say they do? They are often the worst. God save me from men who consider themselves feminists. It can go strongly one way or another. Either they are genuinely willing to consider me an equal human being (rare) or they like to tell me how evolved they are and that means that sex with them will be better. To this I say: Bitch, please. The sex is better with raging misogynists and I know it. Why are we lying here?
I think that is a lot of the problem. I do think the sex is better with misogynists. That is a lot of why I have kept my mouth shut in the ways I have. Men who carefully treat me like I am breakable don’t hit my radar. There is an assumption of basic competence when someone drags you through an experience because that is what they want to do right now. There isn’t a lot of room for, “But I have this weird little quirk”—they don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear about how easily my vaginal tissue tears. They don’t want to hear about the various health issues I have as a result of violent sex. They just want to get off. There is this assumption that my body is going to handle whatever they feel like doing whether I enjoy it or not.
What? Not everyone has their father train them that all sexual contact is supposed to hurt and you are supposed to learn how to keep a straight face the whole time? That’s not what toddlerhood is like for most people?
I’m broken. I’m broken because I like people who want to hurt me. In a deep animal way I can respect them. In an animal way I don’t have a lot of respect for the people who use kid gloves even though I desperately need the kid gloves at this point in my life. I am so terribly wounded. I don’t think I can continue to just get up and moving on while people hurt me. At some point you lose the will to live. I need to stop accepting what I am used to accepting.
I feel deeply confused by how other people manage these things. For the life of me I don’t understand why I have the friends I have. I have quite a few really intense relationships. They enjoy my company for no reason I can fathom. I’m trying to just show up. I’m trying to trust them.
I hate how much dissociation I still have from my body. I am not interested in soft gentle bunny sex because I can’t feel it. My body doesn’t pay attention, mostly, until pain is applied. I feel very broken.
I have trouble with women, I perceive, in large part because of the Embargo. I’m hoping that fades as I am no longer competition. I can’t count how many women have told me, “I hated you when I first met you but then I started to kind of respect you.” Oh thanks. I’ll try not to let my head expand from that praise. People really don’t give a shit what they say to you. I’m so glad I have earned some grudging respect. That makes me feel better. I earn respect, near as I can tell, from trying to very seriously to do what I say. It’s unusual. I don’t stop doing things because they become annoying or difficult or unpleasant. That is when I feel a rush of adrenaline. I fucking said I would do this and I am not going to god damn fail. I don’t very often. It’s why I don’t casually say I will do things.
Men and women are different kinds of liars. There is overlap, of course. Men are more likely to trash talk you while giving you a chance to do it anyway. Women will gently put their hands over yours to prevent you trying because you don’t want to be humiliated when you fail, right? They are just trying to be kind and save you from your own failure.
The flavor of the condescension changes a lot as social status changes. Low class men talk down to women differently than very educated men. It’s easy to argue with low class men. I suppose I should say that it isn’t hard for me to convince a low status man that I am higher status than him. I can get them to back the fuck off. I am smart and extremely well educated on an unusual arrangement of topics. Low status men can be convinced that I am useful. Once they see that I have skills they specifically respect (no shit, I can build things) then they mellow in tone.
This is where my anger and rage at the engineers come in. They have no respect for all those low status skills I have. They really don’t care that I can do a wide variety of low status low paid jobs. It’s just more proof that I am not as good as them. If I can’t sit there and pretentiously spend my life talking about some minute thing they learned in college I am not as good as them.
And as much as I like all the people in my life who went to CMU or Stanford or whatever Ivy League school I’m really pretty tired of them spending parties talking on and on and on about their teachers. Isn’t college over? Can you move on? Yes, we are all aware that you went to this bad ass school. That’s nice dear. Have you done anything since? Get over college. Seriously. If it was more than ten years ago it is probably a good thing to talk about something more recent. Those of us who are not in the clique are heartily sick of it. We talk about you behind your backs. We are sick of hearing about your college experiences.
Why? Because my college experience was kind of shitty. I went to CSU Hayward before it gave up its place identity. I knew the names of three fellow students when I graduated because those were the ones who talked to me during classes. I lived with Tom. I was a 24/7 slave during college. I went to class, sure. But I went because there were hoops I had to jump through on my way to having the life I wanted. Not because college was so awesome. I went there after junior college. I certainly have stories about the college period of my life but the fact that I was in college wasn’t really the point.
When I deal with people who had transformative college experiences I have trouble being patient. They tend to overinflate the importance of that experience. Like you can’t truly grow up unless you go through an experience like that. But I didn’t have an even remotely similar experience. I read my books and wrote my papers and argued more in class than the teachers liked but it wasn’t my life. It was background noise to my life. It feels like one more way there is something wrong with me.
I didn’t have the same kind of experience other people had. I can’t talk about that period in the same way. It feels alienating. It feels like once again I did it wrong. I’m kind of tired of having to hear people over and over and over describe how awesome college was! Really? Uhm, whatever.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that people have good experiences. I’m glad that other people have transformative experiences. I’m just tired of having to listen to the same ones over and over while knowing that my transformative life experiences are ones that I should keep my fucking mouth shut about otherwise people will be appalled and horrified. My life experiences are disgusting and inferior. Can’t I shut up about them already? I would harp on that less if I was told to shut up less. I am told to shut up and give everyone equal time to talk. So I can listen to forty people tell me the stories of their college experience and they can all tell me the same stories about the same professors and the same papers they had to write. But sweet Jesus no one wants to hear about my shit. It’s just too hard.
In graduate school I wrote about some of my early life experiences. I was told it wasn’t realistic and I should try to write about things people will believe. I really can’t get over that. I can’t get over being told that I should make up a life story that won’t offend people so that I can participate in the vapid cocktail chat. Fuck no.
Men and women talk down to me differently and I hate them differently for it. I suppose that part of the problem is a big part of me accepts that men will always look down on me. When women do the same thing I can’t contain my rage and violence. It feels more visceral, more offensive, more shocking. When I say, “Can’t contain” what I mean is I say very mean things in my head, silently.
When a man talks down to me I can roll my eyes and shrug it off. When a woman talks down to me I want to punch her in the face because doesn’t she fucking know better than to act like that? What is her fucking problem!? I think there is a part of me that is just as big of a misogynist as anyone else. I hold men and women to different standards. I expect women to have a better idea of how to talk to me and they really don’t. It’s not fair or appropriate.
I suppose I expect women to give me the same tolerance I give men. Ignore my attitude and tone of voice and we will do fine. But I don’t give them the same tolerance. I think it is because they do it differently. If a woman is the same kind of angry-tetchy I am we can normally figure out how to get alone. There is a lot of bluntness available and we can muddle through how to relate. It’s the ones who have a high idea of protocol in their head that I will never measure up to that I have trouble with.
I deal well with other wild animals. I can respect that. It seems to be a harshness of spirit that I can recognize from a ways away. Very wounded people all seem to move or smell the same. It transcends gender in a variety of ways. There are two kinds of wounded people, in my experience. There are victims and there are wild animals. Victims think that they are wounded because they were terribly treated. Wild animals think that life is hard and sometimes you don’t get out of the way fast enough. There is a basic acceptance of brutality that I can work with. I don’t have a lot of patience for victims. Victims seem to think that the world is basically a just place so why were they treated badly—it’s not fair!
 I have never had someone who was black hear about my life and tell me, “You should be dead.” That has only come from white people. Only white people seem to think that the indignity of what I experienced is such that I simply should not keep going. People of other races nod and say that shit happens. Now what am I going to do?
It’s a very complicated intersection of race and gender and social class that drives my anger. I’m tired of being treated like a delicate wilting flower. I’m tired of being told that I should not survive what happened to me. I should lay down and die. I should shut up. I shouldn’t offend people. I should accept my place in the pecking order and stop being angry about it. There isn’t a point. Actually there is a lot of point. I’m glad I have enough anger to walk away from tense interactions more determined that these fuckwads are not going to kill me. They don’t get to win.
Sometimes I’m angry with people I don’t need to be angry with. That is unfortunate. But it’s life. Sorry. I apologize a lot. I think I’m quite the sorry individual. And that is why I am so angry. I believe I am low status. Despite all kinds of markers in my life that might indicate otherwise. I am completely convinced that there isn’t a lot of point in me continuing to waste oxygen. Ok, at this point someone has to raise my children but wouldn’t they be better off with someone who was less disgusting? Someone who was more appropriate?
I think a lot of this anger is all self-directed. Why can’t I be what I see in my head? Why can’t I be just a good upstanding citizen? Why do I have to fight all the damn time? Why do I have to argue? Why do I have to deal with men telling me that I am willfully blind if I do not see the world exactly as they do? I don’t think I am the blind one. But I seem to have bought into the idea that I am less than them. And I hate them for it.


Yesterday I was angry all day. It is fairly rare for Noah and I to fight. And when we do we don’t raise voices much any more. We have quiet, intense conversations about things that are normally more emotionally intense for me than Noah. I assume. Based on the fact that I’m the only one crying.

It wasn’t that many years ago, I was an adult, when my sister snickered at me and said, “Still cry when you are frustrated, huh?” Yeah. I do. When I am frustrated tears flow down my face. I don’t sob, but tears come. It’s not real fun. I can halt the process but I have to find a place of coldness in my heart. I try not to live there.

Most of what Noah and I struggle with is the fact that I have a major chip on my shoulder towards many things he represents. It is hard to not take my anger out on him as a representative member of groups. I am really angry in a visceral way that most of the world (or at least my country) considers what I do with my time worthless or a waste of time but oh man… Noah is smart and high status. Because he helps make it possible for people to watch ESPN videos online over and over. Yeah. The world fucking needs that. It is sooooo important. I don’t object to him doing it. It pays the bills. But I resent like fuck the fact that I am shit when standing next to him. I am angry that I am discounted and unimportant compared to an engineer.

I have lost my feeling of impressed with engineers over the years. I see the ways in which they don’t function all that well. They just don’t seem as super human to me. I know what kind of slack-jawed morons sometimes graduate with engineering degrees. Mostly even the fucking morons treat me like they are much smarter than I am. They have a degree in something “real” not something lame like English. A language they are dubiously acquainted with even if it is their native language.

I deal with a lot of men who seem to think “engineer” means “always right”. Yeah, it doesn’t. If I want to get an opinion in your narrow little specialty, sure I’ll ask you. Otherwise I’m going to feel angry when you pull out that condescending “I know everything” tone. You aren’t my father, stop fucking lecturing me. For the record, Noah doesn’t lecture me like this any more. We have worked on that. But he is a representative member of a group I have a problem with. This gets complicated.

Noah has done very little maintenance on this house since he bought it. He did a few things right when he moved in and then just let things be. Things are degrading. Things are going to need to be fixed and/or replaced. Noah feels that such work is not something he has to do. Someone else should be paid to do it. But we don’t have the money for that. We won’t for ten years. With each passing year I watch the spread of the black mold in the bathroom and watch the chinks in the grout grow. I’m sure we are doing damage to the wall. I’m terrified of what I will see when I open the wall. This is going to be hard to fix. I’m scared. Luckily I have a great relationship with the local building department (they know me!) and they are happy to sit down and explain things to me for very long periods. I will find out what all the city codes are and I will do the job right. I will cry a lot in the process. That will be ok too.

I feel like part of my anger is anger that I mostly get the 1950’s ideal situation where I am the “little woman at home” only my husband doesn’t do yard work. Or fix things. That’s on me. I can do it. I’m god damn competent. But sometimes it feels like I’m getting the worst end of 1950’s living and modern relationships. I get all the low status and lack of respect but I am expected to way the fuck more. I am expected to be a massively competent individual while being treated like an incompetent child. No Noah, not you.

Noah doesn’t understand what it is like to move through the world with a different status. I run into men who talk down to me fucking constantly. I’m a mommy. I must be brain dead. He thinks I should just ignore it. It’s not important what those idiots think of me. It’s a broken and crazy system. That’s a really fucking convenient thing for him to say when he doesn’t regularly run into the problem of having to play the game or not be able to get shit done. I can’t always say, “Wow. You are a condescending jack ass. Can I work with your manager, please?” If I am curt in response to someone being demeaning I generally get a fat load of hostility and they don’t actually help me. I have to suck up to those assholes. How in the fuck can I just ignore them?

Noah doesn’t understand because if I send him then their tone of voice changes. He can’t see the problem. I must be imagining things. “If I can’t see it then I can’t judge it.” He thinks I am over sensitive. I think most people aren’t sensitive enough.

And then the Godmamas came over. Marcie asked me if I drill Shanna in numbers and I could feel the spout on the top of my head go off. I wanted to break something. She didn’t mean it like that. We had a tense few minutes as I explained that I had already been angry before they arrived and I was having a hard time listening after that word because I felt really angry. She clarified that she hadn’t really meant “drill” and she explained in detail what she did and how. We had a long conversation about educational stuff I do with Shanna. It was just tense. And I hate that I do that. I hate that I am so angry all the time.

I hate that I feel like I have no worth other than what I produce by “earning money”. To be fair most women in my position go off and find social status in other ways. They become the organizers or the ones who do the grunt work.

I’m in a bad spot. For the next fifteen years of my life I’m going to have to deal with the parent community. The parent community is kind of a nightmare for me. When the other parents start spouting off shit like, “Marriage is between one man and one woman” I can’t really say much. Because if I make those parents uncomfortable then they won’t let their kid play with mine. I can’t do that to Shanna. So I have to shut up and sit there.

When people tell me to find a different parenting group I laugh. It’s been nightmarish finding one as local as this. And it isn’t local. I don’t really relish spending many hours in the van with Calli screaming at the top of her lungs so I can find a more on-the-surface liberal parenting group somewhere more expensive to live. Every option carries advantages and disadvantages. I can consistently get myself and the kids to these events because they are close enough. That means I have to not talk.

I’m angry. I’m kind of tired of being shamed into silence by society at large. Most of my life experience revolves around sex in some way. I had a lot of sex. I can’t talk about most of my relationships or relationship structures. When I say that I am friends with my husband’s ex-girlfriends people look at me like I grew another head. What? Occasionally I am asked how I can be friends with someone my husband has had sex with. I am truly bewildered by that question. Uhhh if I thought people who were former lovers had to be shunned I would have to leave the state. And be careful which state I picked to move to. I never have been to Ohio.

Noah tells me to ignore what people think about me. But what people think about me will determine a lot of how they treat my children. No, I can’t ignore it. I truly can’t. For me to not care and do whatever I want whenever I want would be for me to teach my children a not particularly functional way to live. There are certainly people in the world who like me plenty. I’m god damn careful how I act around them. Very few people find out my unfiltered thinking. It’s not worth the hassle.

Everyone is socialized. I am a lot closer to being a wild animal than most adults. I wasn’t properly domesticated as a child. When Noah says that I shouldn’t think about what other people think it feels like lying. It feels like a manifestation of his god awful heap of privilege that he thinks I can get away with that. I can’t. I can be “out” in some ways at some times in some places. I have to mostly keep my mouth shut.

I can’t tell the women at the mommy group, “Gosh it seems kind of silly to worry about the people he has slept with when I have way more friends that I have slept with.” I care about who he sleeps with going forward quite a bit. The past? I have to let that go. That’s not about me. I’d like to lecture them about how ridiculous they are being.

The thing is, if I get in with the group and I keep my fucking mouth shut for five or ten years and they get to know me then I can “come out”. Then it will be fine. People will have learned how to tolerate me already. But I can’t fuck this up for my kids. I have to be quiet for a long time. I have to care what they think for a while.

I have to very carefully figure out what things I’m allowed to say. This is a homeschooling group. It’s diverse.

I think I am partially so angry right now because I have kind of gotten used to being talked down to by men. When I show up in a group of women and get the same shit I want to break things. I think I hate women (in large groups) more than I hate men. I’m fucking tired of being shoved down the pecking order.

That is not really it though. I’m mad at Noah and I can’t even figure out all of why. I think I am mad at him for not being able to rescue me from every hard thing. And honestly his advice on how to deal with them kind of sucks. I should probably take the other Godmama up on her offer to put me in touch with her mother. The godmama grew up with three parents in the house. That’s complicated.

Noah does things. Noah works hard. I seem to have this giant chip on my shoulder because he doesn’t do something that I have the expectation that he do. Unspoken expectations are bad news.

Noah appreciates me. He is nice to me. He is kind. He helps with a lot of chores. He tells me that he does the low status ones, like dishes. To that I think, “Scrubbing the toilet is much lower status.”

I’m feeling scared. If I have no worth other than what I do as my “work” then all I am is a mom. That’s not really a fair burden for my children. They should not be my entire prop of self-esteem. That’s not functional. That’s not healthy. I sure as shit am not going to keep having kids so that I can keep that role in my life forever. (Five kids! And counting! I’m keeping my mouth shut.)

When I was eighteen I bought a Hyundai Accent. I really liked that car. It gave me freedom and independence. I paid it off quickly so it wasn’t even that much of an on-going expense. I covered the back of it with bumper stickers. Things like “I’m the one your parents warned you about.”

I don’t know how to deal with being the kid that everyone was told to stay away from because I was dirty and bad now that I am the parent. I still have those behaviors that got me ostracized over and over starting at three or four. I don’t know how to do this. Joining groups is hell on earth. I have to care what these people think because I don’t want my kids to have the same life I had. I want them to have stability. I feel broken. I feel bad. I want to sit there saying “fuck fuck fuck fuck” at the park. Seriously. That’s what I want to do. I want to give everyone the heebie jeebies so they stay away from me and I don’t have to smile and nod when they go off on their bigoted bullshit.

I’m mad at Noah because even he is a liar. Even he is wrong. He’s not supposed to be. I’m supposed to be able to believe him. He is doing the best he can given his life experience. It is hard nearly every day. I have to stop and think really hard, “If I was a functional person what would I be doing?” Every day is a conscious choice to do a certain set of behaviors. I pick them as a compromise between what I want, what is best for the kids, and then I have to compromise between what I want and what other people will think.

I don’t wear my “badass as a honey badger” shirt when I am out with my kids. People would treat my kids differently. I don’t want that for them. It’s stupid shit. But it’s there. Always. I am rebellious and inappropriate. You have no idea what my unfiltered thoughts are. I am a very angry person.

Noah doesn’t understand because he has his “work persona” which is different from the rest of his life. But he doesn’t filter as much for random people. He doesn’t understand that my “the rest of my life” is my job. And I don’t know what the tolerances are on my behavior yet. I don’t have a good way to figure out the group.

Other than teaching I haven’t had a phase of my life that wasn’t centered around someone I was fucking in a social group. Not so much an option in the mom-group. Just sayin’. But that tension is there. It’s hard.

I went in and renewed my medical marijuana card. When I was talking to the doctor (who is starting to recognize me after so many times of seeing him) he asked me how I handled dealing with talking about pot with my kids. “There are only so many times you can tell them a skunk was in the back yard.” I told him that I don’t lie to my children. I tell them I use a medication because chemicals in my brain are kind of wonky. That happens sometimes. If you do not need a medication it can make you very sick so never take a medication unless you know for sure that you need it. That is what I tell my kids about pot. He said it was just like being age appropriate when talking about sex. I started crying.

I have to look up in books how to be age appropriate about sex. When I was Shanna’s age I was offering up blow jobs to the neighbor kids. I don’t know what “age appropriate” is. I truly don’t. In the pit of my stomach I know that what I know is bad. That’s all I know. It’s hard. It’s scary.

Shanna knows that her nipples, vulva and butt are off limits to other people. They are just for her. If anyone touches them she needs to let me know because it is my job to help her stay safe. Mostly she just doesn’t spend unsupervised time around people. Shanna knows that sex is for grown ups because kids have delicate bodies and they aren’t ready yet.

I feel scared because I am bringing up children in a country that is moving backwards. I’m watching my rights recede as ignorant men vote them away. I’m scared. I’m scared to travel because I have to submit to intimate touching that feels degrading. I’m scared that something will happen and I will have depended on Noah and then I will get screwed. Because I was stupid enough to think that his status transfered to me. I’m a low status person. I really don’t think I will ever cease to be white trash. That’s just going to be life for me.

How do I keep the filth off of my kids? How do I let Noah make them more like him than like me without feeling invisible and unimportant and stupid and wrong and bad. I don’t know.

Men and women and mirrors

Today begins a Godmamas weekend for Shanna. I feel bad admitting I’m looking forward to the quiet and the one on one time with Calli. It makes me feel ungrateful towards Shanna. I’m so glad she is in my life that it doesn’t feel nice that I want breaks so much. I figure that I spend significantly more time with my kids than the average American so I’m probably not evil for wanting a break. Not because other people care less about their kids—nothing of the sort. I’m just in the house with my kids 24/7. My “off time” is in the garage still listening to them scream. That’s why I wake up at 4:30 in the morning so I can find out what this mythical “quiet” sounds like.
It’s weird going back and forth between feeling trapped and feeling like I have more flexibility and freedom than almost anyone I know. I am in the wealthiest 1% of people throughout all of history. I’m not part of the “1%” in America. I’m not super-rich. Noah isn’t approaching $250k/year. Like half that. It feels obscene.
I spend a lot of time looking at our budget lately. is the best website ever. I’m glad I was told it existed. I check it just about every day. I register every freakin dollar spent. I want to reach financial goals. It would be so easy to not pay attention and slip. Between things like property taxes, home owners insurance, health insurance, mortgage, etc. we spend more than a full pay check every month on fixed expenses. We have just over half of a pay check for all of our other expenses. The amount we have flexibility with is more than I used to live on every month—but I wasn’t supporting four people. It isn’t four times what I lived on. It’s about twice what I lived on.
So far Shanna only seems interested in spending her allowance on flowers. Once a week she buys some from the farmers market. It’s really sweet. That is what she thinks will make her life better and happier. She has plenty of toys—that is what she told me. But she doesn’t have enough flowers. We are trying to grow more but that takes patience and time. She’s four. She wants her flowers today. I think at some point she will finally recognize that she can buy ice creamwith her money and then things will change. I can’t wait to see how her priorities change over the years. She fascinates me endlessly.
Yesterday was long and hard. Shanna had a screaming fit in a grocery store for maybe the second time in her life. It was embarrassing until all the adults started laughing with me and rolling their eyes and loudly agreeing with what a mean mom I was. Then it felt more like a right of passage and ok. I’m glad that is how the employees reacted. It felt really nice. She was angry because I wouldn’t buy her candy after she refused to follow anyof our in-store rules. What I told her was, “I need you to believe what I say. If I tell you I am putting the candy back if you continue to be rude and you continue to be rude then I have to put the candy back. Next time you will remember that I am serious.” By last night she was telling an elaborate story about how she won’t ever be rude again because she wants her damn candy. Great. Works for me.
I feel deeply conflicted about the fact that I truly have to enforce boundaries with my kids. If I don’t they will never learn them. I have no one else to blame. It’s quite comforting, really. I don’t get to give excuses about how they will learn a lesson later. No. They will learn it right now. No time like the present! I feel guilty for how hostile my tone of voice was yesterday. We talked about it. I told both kids that I shouldn’t have sounded so nasty. I wonder how many more times I can ask them to forgive me for that.
I’ve had a lot of anxiety for the past couple of days. My stomach is hurting terribly and I’m not sure why. I feel triggered but I don’t know why or by what. I hate this. I hate how little control I have over this. This is not factory standard. This is broken. I’m trying to just ride it out and bite my tongue. I’m glad that Shanna gets to go hang out with folks who have more patience for a few days. I don’t actually feel like I am being nasty over all, but it is nice for her to find out what it is like to be around people who aren’t as simmeringly hostile as I am.
Yesterday’s run was funny. I did the first mile and a half easy enough. Then I discovered that wolfing a cupcake right before you run is a bad idea. I won’t do that again no matter how tasty the cupcake is. Ugh. I had to do a lot of walking. I was thinking about how I feel more at ease with thinking about myself as a runner fairly suddenly. I went and did a race with people. People honest-to-dawg saw that I am a runner. I ran three fucking miles without pausing at all. That’s fucking cool. I did it with my friends. Women who were able to remind me that actually we started running together eight years ago. They know how long I have been talking about running a marathon. They were there. They listened. They remembered.
Ever since I have been trying to turn off the “looking for sex” part of my brain I have been latching on to my feelings of attachment towards women a lot harder again. It’s interesting how the switch goes for me. When I am looking for NSA sex I look for men. I just don’t scope women for that. Women are all complicated and emotional and shit. The only good way I’ve found for having one night stands with women is bicurious chicks on craigslist. They generally feel kind of ashamed and never call again and then I’m free. Woo.
I have different categories of attachment in my head. It’s dangerous and completely normal. I’m struggling with what the different layers mean to me at this point in my life. The reason I think about this is because I need to manage my expectations. When I was out running and I realized just how big a part of my life these women have been even though I don’t spend much time with them I started crying so hard I almost tripped and I had to stand still until the first wave past.
I can’t think about them being important. If I think about them being important then I want more contact. I want to feel more important to them. They have so many people in their lives who are more important and get their time and energy. I feel scared that my needs don’t matter. That I won’t get the support I need because the people I am emotionally closest to and with whom I have the most history with are not the people whom I feel I can ask anything of. 
When I find out how much someone has absorbed of me, when I see myself in their mirror I feel better about myself. I start to be able to understand why they want to know me. It is a wonderful feeling. It is so hard for me to feel like a worthwhile human being. I desperately want to stand close to mirrors that show me good things as much as I can. I start wanting and expecting and then I feel disappointed. It’s hard to hold this need in check.
When I stop chasing truly casual sex I look around and suddenly feel a massive upsurge in interest in being close to women. Women are far safer when sex isn’t on the table.  I haven’t felt safe having a really intimate sexual relationship with a woman since J. It wasn’t her fault.
Men never see as much of me. Men, in general, are kept out at arms-length. A big part of this is because I am attracted to men who are confident and certain and cocky. That means they are usually assholes. I get tired of dealing with assholes.  I just don’t bother to talk to them as much. If I am prepared for a hostile argument in my head I won’t bother to open my mouth a large chunk of the time. I am not always willing to outshout a man. They will all emphatically tell me that such a thing is neither necessary nor required, I should have a civilized conversation. It’s lying bullshit. If I don’t want to be stomped on verbally I have to shout them the fuck down. Often I just don’t open my mouth. I half-heartedly smile and nod and pretend to listen.
I can’t do that with women. Women are different. Women are more perceptive. My experience while going through life is that men who were severely abused are as perceptive as the slightly more perceptive than average woman. But lots of women are head and shoulders more perceptive than that. I just can’t hide things from women in the same way. I don’t have the same nooks and crannies of my brain to hide in. Women are hard. So if I’m not looking for easy sex I don’t look for men. I desperately want to be with people. Gulp
It’s weird because I have very intense male friendships. It’s different. I have to explain more. Maybe I just expect women to get things I shouldn’t expect them to get? I give them the chance to understand things I won’t bother to explain to men. I’m fucking sick of men trying to control what I say and how I say it. I have a hard time with how much I hate men as a group sometimes. It doesn’t feel productive. I do have men I cull from the herd and exclude from my loathing, but they are in the minority. That doesn’t feel healthy. I figure I have as much use for them as they have for me. And as much contempt.
That is part of my problem. I assume that men have contempt for me. They talk down to me. They treat me like I am barely smarter than a dog. If I don’t have their god damn technical specialty memorized then obviously I’m on the low end of the IQ scale and I have to have basic every day things explained to me in insulting ways.  Telling them, “I’ve got it” doesn’t slow down the lecture. They have to show off how smart they are, don’t you know.
I don’t feel like many men talk to me as if I have worth. (Taylor for the love of Christ I don’t mean you. You are fine.) I think that is what makes it so intense when they dotalk to me as if they think I am an intelligent, reasonable human being. I am on the intensely emotional end even for a woman. It’s easy for men to be dismissive. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they stop and actually look at me. It feels like a gift. It feels like an honor. It happens so rarely. I am so grateful.
That is a lot of the difference between men and women for me. I expect that women won’t bother having anything to do with me unless they are honest-to-dawg getting something from the experience. I know what men want to get. Either I’m willing to offer it or I don’t have much to say to them. With women I don’t understand their motivation. What could they possibly be getting from the experience? When I’m willing to offer sex I treat like the only thing I have to give. When I’m not I have to retrench and deal with how bad I feel about myself because I don’t feel like I have anything else of value to give.
Who would want me? Noah. I know what he wants from me, kind of. Sex is high on the list but it really isn’t why he married me. I see him and I invite him to look at me in a way that makes other people uncomfortable. He wants this intensity too. He wants to be my mirror. Noah wants to feel as important as I make him feel. It’s really nice. I have the hero worship thing down. Usually you only get the kind of hero worship I offer from people who are fairly dumb. Smart people generally don’t want to humble themselves before someone else in quite this way. I act like a low status person who gets to be with a high status person. I’m grateful. I do a lot for Noah. Things he doesn’t even have to acknowledge exist. It’s a good life. That’s still not why he wanted me so much.
I told my girlfriends on facebook that in two years we should run a half marathon together in Portland, where one of them lives. I’m not going to start beating the drum yet. But I think that is going to hit my personal checklist of things to do. After ten years of running together we will accomplish something big. It means my friend who lives here will have to up her training a lot. Maybe I can help with that.
I’m glad my friends go about their lives not worrying about whether I approve of every decision. I’m aware that I don’t have to live any one else’s life and they don’t have to live mine. You do what you can live with. I’m glad they don’t avoid me because I have instantly strong reactions to things. My reactions are about what Ican live with. Feel free to live with whatever you can live with. I’m trying to figure out where is the line between being able to talk about things without shouting vs. just keeping my mouth shut. It’s different with women. It’s harder. It’s harder because I am willing to try at all. Unless a man goes very far out of his way to prove otherwise I am going to assume he isn’t worth the effort. That sucks.
Once in a while I reflect on the fact that this attitude mostly only extends to white men. If I find out a white man has advanced degrees I’m generally ready to turn and walk away without even saying hello. He’s probably an asshole and full of himself. That’s not a good approach to life. I haven’t ever had a black man pursue a friendship with me. Or a Hispanic man. I don’t live my life standing near very many men of other races. My casual public interactions with men of other races are significantly more civil and polite than my casual public interactions with men of my race. Sometimes I feel weird about that. Are men of other races being more polite to me as a reflection of my perceived status because of my skin color? I can’t know. Men of my race feel free to let me know they think I am low status. It’s all relative.
I think about this because I feel like I shouldn’t just pass on my biases to my kids. It’s probably not a good idea to pass on the idea that 95%+ of white men are pieces of shit and you shouldn’t waste your time talking to them. After a lifetime of being discounted and dismissed and lectured and condescended to… I’m pretty hostile. You learn to hate people who look like your oppressors. Thing is, anyone who is under about 35 has not had a chance to oppress me. They should be value neutral in my mind. They aren’t. They are a potential threat.
I feel like I go through my life waiting for pitchforks. If I am willing to fuck lots of random men I feel safe because guys will protect their source of sex. True fact. If I am not willing to have sex I have to depend on the safety of blending into the herd of women. That is so scary. I don’t blend well. I have to depend on them accepting me and tolerating me. That is so scary. I get ousted pretty regularly. And I have to nod and accept it and move on. I need to have no expectations that people will actually consistently continue to be my friends as the years pass by. I need to be glad of it if it happens and not look for it. If I look for it too hard I will be crushed if it doesn’t happen. I’m the only one worrying about my feelings on this topic. I’m the only one who can. Every one else is busy worrying about their own priorities. I can’t expect to be a priority to anyone, ever. The days of that being a possibility are over. I will always be a peripheral friend from here on out. That has to be enough. There isn’t any more. I still drown in this need. It doesn’t go away. I don’t know how to fill it.
I feel like I move through my life looking for mirrors. I want to know people who can look at me without flinching. Who know who and what I am and don’t despise me. I don’t trust men at all. Either they flinch or they judge or they lecture me on what I should have done. If you have not walked a mile in my shoes you do not know what I should have done.
For the past few days for no explicable reason I keep chanting in my head, “I prosecuted.” Despite all the times I didn’t have the courage to prosecute (fuck you Dan, and you too Paul) as an adult I had the courage when I was a teenager. I had the courage to pull the whole house of cards down. To effectively end my family. That was harder than anything else I will ever do in my life. Even divorcing my family last year wasn’t really as hard. I can bear it.
I’m glad I didn’t have a son in some way. I’m glad I don’t have to work through my loathing of white men while living with a little white boy. It’s a roll of the dice and I think I got lucky. It’s funny because my brother told me flat out he can’t live with a little girl and that is why God only gave him boys. But what do I want to teach my girls?
I suppose one of the main lessons will be, “Sometimes Mommy gets ranty. Mostly you can ignore that. It’s not about you.” Hopefully I will back this up with being fully supportive of her doing what she needs to do and not making everything about me. It’s not. I know that. I know that other people have different life experiences and they can bear different things.
I was talking to a mom at the home school group on Tuesday. I mentioned that I was kind of counting down the years until my kids are adults. I have just about fifteen years left. She said she couldn’t imagine thinking about it that way. That’s how much longer I have until I can really take a deep breath. That is when I will know if I have broken the cycle or not. That is when I will turn my kids loose on the world and how they do is up to them. What I have taught them will be more or less settled. I don’t believe I have a guarantee of any control or even a relationship once they hit that age. I have to earn it. I have fifteen years to earn it. Now that fifteen years is half of my lifetime it doesn’t feel very long. I can certainly tread water that long and longer. I waited longer than that to prosecute. I prosecuted fourteen years ago.
Another mother was talking about how there is a Vietnamese custom of celebrating death anniversaries. You get together to talk about the people who have gone. They still matter. In seventeen days Tommy will have been dead for fourteen years. I don’t have anyone to talk to who knew him. I know that his suicide wasn’t really my fault. I still feel guilty. I don’t know if it will ever go away. Jimmy’s birthday is in two days. He will turn 38.
I’m glad that Shanna is going to go spend the weekend with people who love and adore her and want to shower attention on her. I’m going to spend the next day or so licking my wounds. Right now they feel like they are festering. Maybe if I lick them for a while they will feel better.

The mixer is a metaphor

One of my dear friends was talking to me this weekend about the whole mixer situation. She assured me that it really must be better to have one. I thought about this on my run today. The purpose in using a machine to do labor for you is so that you save time and energy. Or to do things you literally cannot do for yourself–like travel 600 miles in a day. You need a machine for that.

I made cupcakes on Monday. They are fabulous. It took me hours to make them because I was silly and I didn’t let the ingredients get to room temperature before I started mixing. It was basically impossible early on because I am simply not strong enough. Once I let things get to room temperature it was still noticeable work–my arms felt sore. It was hard but I could do it. I talked to Shanna about it as I worked. I talked about how this is quite hard for me now because I’m not used to doing it. If I practice it won’t be hard any more.

What lesson am I teaching if I say that stirring butter is too hard so we can’t have cupcakes? What a wimpy thing to say. I don’t want her to give up on things like that. I want her to say, “Gosh. This is hard now. I had better practice more so it gets easier.” Do you know how I teach her to say that? I say it. I say it a lot.

The other big argument is time savings. Uhm. You don’t know much about my life if you think what I need is more time. I need ways of filling hours. That sounds weird and bad. I feel like it is a ridiculous privilege. Noah would cheerfully support me sitting here and doing the minimum of work forever. I’m not sure why he is ok with that, but he is. If I didn’t do house maintenance until we had problems he would deal with that. If I did less cooking and baking he would live with that. He would probably buy Nutty Bars and call it a day.

I don’t want my family eating that way. What I have to give in this life is the labor of my body. I put a lot of effort into feeding my family food I feel good about. I buy very fresh ingredients and I start from scratch. It takes an enormous amount of time and energy. We would not be able to buy food of the quality I make. We couldn’t afford it. I would have to buy cheap shit.

In the process I am teaching my children about food. We talk about why we use the ingredients we do. We talk about flavor and vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates versus protein and and and. We talk about it all day long.

When it takes me many hours to make cupcakes we have in depth conversations about why it is harder to mix cold butter than warm. Shanna plays with it and learns. We make up games to amuse ourselves as we pass the time. We play with the ingredients and learn a lot more about how to handle them. How to clean up messes. We learn that when it takes so long to bake you can do most of the clean up during the waiting times and then it feels like a real pleasure when you sit down with your long anticipated dessert.

I don’t know how other people teach the lessons I am teaching or really if they are taught at all. I had to learn these things as an adult. I was not taught. Learning to eat a wider variety of food other than ramen, scrambled eggs, potatoes, corn, chicken, and beef has been hard for me. I was not taught to eat anything else. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition until I became an adult.

I have spent a lot of my life cultivating idleness. Trying to find ways to do less work. It hasn’t by and large served me well. I want my children to understand that food starts out as plants and animals and it takes a whole butt-load of work to turn it into tasty meals. I want them to have a bone deep understanding that this is the process. I don’t have it. I feel fear. I am actually afraid of doing things wrong when I cook. Sometimes I cry. I feel so afraid of doing it wrong and being bad.

When I was a kid Auntie would occasionally try to introduce some exotic thing to the table like sweet potatoes. Some people ate it. The people who didn’t kept up a steady stream of invective as they protested the indignity of having it at the table. I’m afraid to make food that people might not like.

I was noticing the other day that foot fetishists would probably no longer be interested in my feet. Tom would recoil. My hands are rough. I have callouses. I have the darkest tan I have ever had in my life. I run in the sun for many hours every week. I work outside in the garden.

My life is not served by me doing things that encourage weakness. Pretty much all I have in front of me is more work. The stronger I am the easier it will be. The easier it will be to carry the load I have chosen for this life.

It’s kind of weird sometimes. I feel weird because I want to do so much manual labor. It feels effected or mocking or co-opting or something. I stay home and I do my work in privacy. It is one of the most important parts of my life, to me, and I don’t share it with people much. All of my work requires an ever increasing amount of strength and patience from me.

Mixing by hand takes strength and patience. Taking away practice time that is extremely low stakes seems silly. God helps those who help themselves. In order to help myself I need to be stronger. Next week, Noah wants a seed cake.


I finally found one of the threads in my brain I’ve been trying to turn into a full tapestry. Let’s see how this goes.

How much do other people think about status? I think about it a lot. I think about who has it and why. Status is far more important than people want to admit in pretty much every area of life. Dancers try to tell me they aren’t status whores but they have spent many thousands of dollars on costumes to be impressive. Really?

I’m status obsessed. I can say it out loud as well as in writing. I think about the potential status repercussions for my actions. I like to toil in isolation and show up with something cool. I don’t like being seen sucking. If I can’t do that, well, I guess I don’t need to come out of isolation.

I’m a weird place socially. I am not present in any community enough to be an Alpha. I know it. I accept it. I don’t really want to be a leader. It’s a lot of pressure. But I’m not really a group member. I suck at that. My experience of being part of the hierarchy is that I have to be on the bottom and shut my fucking mouth about it.

I re-watched the movie Whale Rider recently. The little girl was explicitly told she had to sit in the back and not participate while the boys were trained. Obviously she wasn’t as good as them. They had dicks. They are better.

That was really and truly how my childhood was oriented. If someone had a penis and he wanted to be “right” you had to let him. I certainly went off and lived that experience again with Tom. I don’t do that any more. I argue with Noah. I am kind of an asshole when I am right. I have a lot of years of bitterness around being told I am wrong. It’s not fair to Noah. He thinks it is a small sin in the scheme of things. I have gotten much more polite over the years.

Noah and I have long, complicated conversations about status. In terms of income we are in the top 10% of the country. In the bay area we are fairly median. We consciously choose to live in a smaller, cheaper house than most of our friends want to live in. Noah deals with a long commute so that he doesn’t have to spend way more money on a mortgage. This was what he could afford to buy ten years ago. I’m told we should upgrade now. My thought is, “Nah, I can remodel when the mortgage is paid off.” I won’t be able to buy a house that feels perfect. I’ll have to change it too. Why not just put all the effort into this house? Why leave my garden? I’ve done a lot of work here. This is my piece of dirt. I have changed it.

Because where I live is rather low status.

People snicker occasionally. You live in Fremont? I don’t really understand the sneering. Mother fucker my family is from Bakersfield. This is a step up. I promise. It helps that even my neighbors think we are on the low end of things. We don’t spend money in flashy ways. I think a month-long trip to Europe is a high status thing to do. I’d rather do that than spend more money on rent.

Noah was talking to me about how people want to be able to identify very high status people and very low status people and they don’t really want to think about the bits in the middle. That’s sticky. I’m in the middle these days. I have been on the bottom. I know very well what it feels like to be looked at and judged to be less of a worthy person just because of the things you don’t have. The rest of my family has standard poor-person-values in terms of wanting status symbols. You may live in a roach infested dump but damnit you have expensive shoes. Or a big car. Or something. I don’t want to have. I want to do.

Most of the people who inhabit my world are fairly bright. I know a lot of ivy-league-educated people. I live in that kind of place. I always know I am not one of them. I know that I am a social climber. I know that I really belong on the lower end of societies scale on most things. I spend my time around people who are demonstrably higher status than me wondering when they will look down on me. I didn’t go to CMU or Stanford or MIT or… They still talk about it all the time. Clearly it is a big part of their self-perceived status. If it is such a demonstrably large part of their perceived status it isn’t much of a jump to think that they therefore judge other people on the same criterion. All I have to say is that my university was named for a city when I went there. Now it’s just “East Bay”. Woo. That’s pride to have. Even the school isn’t proud of being in Hayward. Let’s try to pretend we have some relevance compared to places like Berkeley. We’re part of the bay area too! Ugh.

I forget that the ivy league educated people aren’t any smarter than I am. I feel intimidated by them. I never even took trigonometry. Obviously I am as stupid as a rock. At least that is the attitude the geeks have. In their little status hierarchy I am extremely low status.

I think I married Noah because, near as I can tell, he has a higher opinion of my status than anyone else. Even before marrying me. He thought my experiences and strengths add up to a person of considerable value. I think he married me because I look at him and see very high status. I can’t believe someone like him would want someone like me.

I crawled out of the gutter. I come from uneducated people with no work ethic to speak of. I come from drug abuse, alcoholism, and heinous abuse of various flavors. It feels like I am an untouchable. How could a trust fund baby from an ivy league see anything worth having? Status is a complicated thing. If you are sufficiently mobile you can trick people into only seeing your current life situation. If you do that then you can have some degree of social mobility in the middle. You will never be high status that way. Such assignments carry longer term consequences. They are for people who are fairly consistent in their life. You can carry low status with you. I feel like I am trying to outrun mine.

How much do I have to do? How much do I have to accomplish? What do I have to learn? What do I have to do to throw of the stink of being low status? I don’t know. These days it seems like the stench is only in my own mind. I have managed to learn how to pass. People don’t question me about my status unless I tell them I am white trash. Maybe that is why I do. I’m fucking tired of how these middle status people don’t want to honestly talk about what that means.

I’m in the middle. Probably lower than you. And sometimes I can’t help myself but I hate you for it.

A Tuesday morning ramble.

I’ve had several nearly-fully-formed posts running around in my head for days. Now that I am at the computer? Nada. Typical.

I have been increasing the amount I socialize lately. That is a mixed bag. It means more dealing with people. That’s hard. Being around large crowds of people who are questionably friendly to me is exhausting. The funny part is, one of my default “I’m hiding how I feel” mannerisms is to smile and nervously giggle a great deal. It seems like other people can’t tell the giggling is nervous. So they think I am having a fabulous time. It’s a great cover and I have been working on it for a long time.

I went out dancing on Saturday night. I explicitly told the two friends I was meeting there, “I am here because you two will keep me from hiding in the bathroom and crying.” They were shocked to find out that was a possibility. I don’t have the heart to really explain that without them doing that it isn’t a possibility it is an inevitability. Getting to the dance event is hard. Once I’m there it’s not like I’m out of danger.

I asked two men who were strangers-to-me to dance. Both of them looked at me, kind of twitched, then said they were sitting this dance out and walked away from me quickly. After the second one I didn’t ask again. I danced with my two girl-friends, and three male friends who remember me and generally try to get in a dance with me when they see me. I was grateful for dancing at all. When I come alone, I don’t always get in 1/2 of the dances I did on Saturday.

Sometimes I picture that seem from The Cutting Edge (a cheesy partner ice skating movie) where the coach says about the bitch woman, “We should have been making her a singles skater.” I wish I liked more solo dancing styles. I kind of hate that I like partner dancing and thus I have to deal with other people. It doesn’t help that I will probably never get Noah past his innate feeling that dancing is horrible. A long time ago he tried the dance community and discovered that they are all liars. I’m not going to argue with him, not really. Dancers say that they are happy to see new people and dance with them. In practice this is not so much. They want to dance with the good dancers–the ones they see all the time. Their friends. It’s ok. I just wish they wouldn’t lie about it.

I’ve become cautious over the years. I no longer can act like my actions will have no long-term effects. I want to raise my children in this area. I really can’t continue to just act however I please. It has consequences. I’m left in this place where I don’t know how to behave. I’m afraid. I don’t know what I am or am not allowed to be without the consequences for my children being terrible.

Those same two girl-friends ran a 5k with me on Sunday morning. All three of us kept up a nice steady 5 mph pace the entire way without walking at all. I’ve never run that far without walking. It felt really good. Maybe I should pay more attention to pacing, eh? It seems to work fairly well. Normally I mix in sprints randomly and I have to walk after them to get my breath back. This felt really good. I felt like I could run forever.

And there was a handfasting this week. I got to see all the people who chat with me during the day (*wave*) as well as a lot of People I Kind Of Know. Which is to say, people I have seen around in communities for about a decade but I don’t really know them. I’m fairly certain people think I’m snotty but most of the time I don’t talk to people because I’m not interested in being criticized or told I am wrong. I’d really rather stare at the wallpaper, thanks. It feels like I already, long ago, figured out who would tolerate me and I just don’t talk to new people much.

I have to say that Sarah moving in renewed a bunch of tentative distant connections and they have greatly increased in intensity. I finally had a reason to get over the hump with a few people. That’s good. I’m trying.

It’s kind of weird how much time I spend around former lovers when I go out in public. That’s what happens when you fuck your way through every community. It’s harder to deal with them now. Monogamy is… different. I was “monogamous” with Tom. But girls didn’t “count” and he didn’t care about anything shy of a penis in my vagina. That’s not what Noah and I are doing. I’m no longer really supposed to sit on laps and wiggle. Kissing is out. It’s different. It’s a whole different way of thinking about relationships. I feel terribly uncomfortable. For the love of Christ what else do I really have to offer?

That’s the crux. I offer sex because I believe I have nothing else. That I am nothing else. The reality is I don’t have the time or space in my life to be that any more. I consciously chose to stop offering that. To stop being that. I’m left with not knowing what to do. I have been having sex by choice (rather promiscuously) for my entire life. I go out and find it. When I am not looking for sex and I try to deflect it I usually get raped. So I stopped deflecting. Going out in public is terrifying. I don’t know what to do now. It’s hard and scary telling men to desist in doing things that I used to tolerate. They protest–I like it don’t I? That means they should do it. Even though I said “no”. They know more about what I want than I do, right?

Poly gatherings feel like a meat market even when one isn’t at a sex party. There is a lot of frank appraisal in the gaze. People are hunting. They act available. It’s an undercurrent. When people are interested in sex I can tell. I used to feel like those people were looking for someone like me. Now I don’t. I don’t know how to relate to them any more other than to avoid them. There is no good to come of having to point out that they don’t want me. How could that help anything? Just don’t talk to them.

It doesn’t help that I like talking about sex. It’s one of my favorite topics. I know a lot about it and I like broadening what I already know. It makes life awkward. I have consciously sought out knowledge and experiences my whole life. I fell like sex is one of the strongest biological impulses I have and I like thinking about it and talking about it. I like talking about food, too. Why is one shameful and the other isn’t?

I feel like I am badly adjusting to the concept of having a private sex life. That must sound odd to people. Isn’t sex usually private? Well, not for me. Not really. I don’t want anything I do to be a secret. I used to write scene reports and send them in to mailing lists. (I should probably ask Marcie if I can access those archives and find the scene reports. I lost them many hard drives ago.)

I do not yet have a mental picture on what kind of person I will be in ten years. It’s kind of scary. I know that I will still be a lot like me. I hope I will be better. I hope I will have made progress I can feel proud of. Ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong. I want to feel pride in myself. I don’t want to be an asshole. I don’t want to brag. But I want to know that I can look around my life and see frequent signs that I am a competent human being.

Change topics. Food. I didn’t grow up around people who cooked. In my house dinner was taken out of the freezer and unwrapped before it was microwaved. That’s food. Or you just open a bag and eat. Sometimes you have to boil water first and then let the noodles “cook” for three minutes. No shit dude, top ramen was cooking compared to everything else I ate.

When my mom occasionally felt like she should do more it generally involved one step meat in the oven and opening a few cans of vegetables and microwaving them in bowls. No really, we didn’t cook. I don’t understand what that even means until I try to cook for my family. Yesterday was a great day. In the morning I put another trellis in the ground and yanked the blackberry shoots over so that they can start growing how I want. I spent a while trimming the rose bush. I’m not done because that sucker is huge. (Thanks, former housemates!) It’s an ongoing project. Then it started raining and I came in.

I took the bones out of the fridge and made stock. I put a whole bunch of spices and other vegetable remnants in the pot. I had to think really hard about what I was doing. I had to recreate in my head what I have seen other people do. I let that cook for hours. I started making cupcakes. It took me about two hours because the butter was cold and creaming cold butter by hand is kind of a nightmare. I kept covering the bowl and scooting it closer and closer to the simmering stock pot. Melt! Damn you! Eventually it worked out well. The cupcakes are awesome. I know because I ate four last night. I just couldn’t stop. Holy cow those are good. I don’t make cupcakes very often because four in one day seems a bit excessive. But on the first day, oh man. Have to.

Then I had to do a whole bunch of dishes. Then I immediately started the next few steps on making soup. I was in the kitchen processing food and dishes for at least six hours yesterday. To make cupcakes, stock, and soup. I did sit down in the middle and eat lunch. But that’s a full freakin job right there. No fucking wonder my family didn’t cook. They didn’t have that kind of time and energy to spare.

Cooking is so weird. It feels like an act that is either done from desperation because one is poor and can’t do anything else or it is an act of privilege. Only people have had to cook for a very long time. I don’t know why it feels this way. Why does it feel optional? Why does it feel non-mandatory if you can find a way out? I used to eat out a lot. Other people did my cooking. Cooking is low status unless you do ridiculous over the top stuff.

I feel so weird about food. It feels strongly related to class. It doesn’t help that I visit the kinds of playgrounds where people have to agonize for an hour over what they brought. “I know this isn’t good enough for ________ reasons but this other thing I brought is far superior to what that other woman brought. Can you believe she is letting her kids eat __________?” I don’t talk to other moms much. I read my phone or play with the kids. It seems for the best. They don’t want to god damn hear me tell them what I think.

It’s not that I never have those thoughts. I frequently have the thought, “Holy shit, that woman is letting her kid eat what?!” I’m ok with that. I don’t say it out loud where someone can hear me and feel scorned. I suppose that saying it on the internet isn’t really better. Doesn’t that make me two faced as well?

Women talk about that shit at the park so they can shame other women into getting into line. I talk about it because I want to decide what I want to do. Sometimes I think, “Holy shit, that woman is letting her kid eat what?!” and I decide that maybe I’ve been hyperventilating over something I can relax about. I don’t need to shame people into sharing my values. They might have perfectly fucking good reasons for what they are doing. My values tend to be so at odds with everyone around me that I don’t really want to talk about non-involved people. I can’t judge someone I’m not even in a conversation with. I will talk about my opinions with people, sure. I will share what I do and why. But I’m not going to evaluate a stranger and give them some kind of “score” to a third party. I see no benefit.

Today is park day. I’m feeling nervous. It will be fine. I doubt anyone will even know that I told that woman to take a hike. Lots of people show up once and never come back. I don’t think I am going to get into trouble. We’ll see.

Hm. I just had a thought that should be it’s own separate post. I’ll do that.

Repeat meme

I found this from 2006. Don't ask why I was reading it.

If you had me alone…locked up in your house for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to, what would you do with me? All posts will be permanently screened because it's a secret. Then repost this in your LJ- or don't. You might be surprised with the responses you get.

Ok, comments are screened. 

Tall Paul

My dad was really tall. He was 6’7″. He was the tallest in a fairly tall family. The one time I was in a room with a bunch of Archer women (they all have different last names now because they married out of the family so I don’t feel too bad about outing their name) I was reminded that I was tainted by lesser blood. “Your father did marry a short woman. I guess we should have expected a midget.” I’m 5’5″. The next shortest woman in the room was 5’8″. They Archers have a nose built for looking down on people. My sister told me when I was a kid, “It’s a good thing you have the Archer nose so that you can look down on people who are taller than you.”

My brothers were really nasty to me about my size when I was growing up. They were four and a half and eight years, respectively, older than me. Of course I was smaller than them. But they were mean about it. Jimmy called me, “Midget” and he didn’t have a smile on his face. He would “accidentally” smack me in the face with his elbows and then say he can’t be held responsible for not seeing a midget.

It’s kind of funny because on my mom’s side of the family I am the tallest woman in a few generations. I grew up around women who are all much smaller than me so they always talked about how unusually large I was. I really don’t have much perspective on myself. I don’t know if I am a big person or not.

Recently I was lucky enough to have two friends come over to see me on the same day. That was kind of an accident but it was nice. They both happen to be quite tall. Of course they got around to telling me that I am a midget.

I blinked. I don’t think my facial expression changed much. I was trying hard to control the urge to do something violent. I felt such a massive over reaction that I knew there was no way I could react at all. I could feel paralysis set in. Just blink. I’m pretty sure I bit my lip. I tried to control the tears.

I have always cried when I am frustrated. Tears just spring into action. I feel so much anger, so much intensity that I want to hurt someone or something. I know there is nothing I can do. I can’t make the feeling go away. I can’t change how anyone is going to treat me. I can’t do anything about anything. So my eyes well up with tears. These days I don’t feel exactly the same way. I can do things. But not when I am flooded. Not when I hear Jimmy in my head sneering “Midget”.

My therapist told me on Thursday that she needs to stop doing private practice because she has ten months left to complete things for her license and she needs to concentrate on that. I enthusiastically told her I support her doing that. I could immediately feel walls come up. I no longer felt like I had things I wanted to tell her. She was no longer going to be a carrier of my story. I feel like I have to pull back all of the energy I store up to give her and conserve it very carefully.

I’m not up for running out and finding a new therapist this month. Therapy is a relationship. I need space between them so I can regroup and really understand what my current need is in a therapist because things change. Sharon was great when I wanted EMDR to help me deal with the miscarriages and two people who were close to me overdosing on heroin in a short period of time. She was not a good long term therapist for me. My needs changed.

I will need to figure out what I should be looking for right now. There is a big part of me that wants to tell my current therapist that I will wait out the year and hope she comes back to private practice. The two former therapists I really bonded with are both dead. I don’t have very many people in the whole world who have listened to me actually tell my stories out loud. Many people have read them. Not many people have been interested in knowing this part of me. Finding a new therapist is hard.

In February I was told, “There are no personal problems they are all problems of the community.” I’m not sure I know what I need right now. I am going to take advantage of the unexpected budget win-fall and go see my acupuncturist. (See, I only used two c’s in the word instead of three. I can be taught. Eventually.) That will be good. I can get new glasses. Woo. These are more than two years old and I have a constant low level headache because they are out of date. No bueno.

It’s hard how much my current life is influenced by people who hated me. It’s decidedly inconvenient at times. I really wish I could get them out of my head.