Oh man. Finished entering everything in Google Calendar. Darn that’s a nice program.
We are going to be extremely busy. Holy tomato. Lots to do and so little time. 2013 can start.
Oh man. Finished entering everything in Google Calendar. Darn that’s a nice program.
We are going to be extremely busy. Holy tomato. Lots to do and so little time. 2013 can start.
I don’t check fetlife.com much. It’s just not where I am right now. When I log in and see a discussion about “What is your favorite punishment” and the asshole I know responded with, “I like to punch them in the face until their eyes swell shut.”
I wish I thought he was kidding. I know he isn’t.The prevailing attitude in the community is that if he can get someone to say yes–it’s all good.
I don’t think it is all good. I unfriended him today so that I don’t have to see this shit any more. When I read things like that I can’t help but feel like I would be doing the world a favor if I shot him and then myself. Not because I hate him–I really don’t. He’s quite charming and fun to talk to. I’m just thinking about killing people a lot lately. I think it’s the news. See–I will never own a gun. It’s a good thing.
Of course I played with him. I played with all the assholes. I meticulously went after all of the heaviest players in the scene. I was rather invested in being one of the heaviest players. Like I do. I like setting the edge of the bell curve.
Four years in that community convinced me that I don’t want to be the most extreme in that community. I don’t want to be the most degraded. I don’t want to be hurt the most. I don’t want to give up more of myself into a subsumed identity. No no no no no. No thanks. I’m going to take a nice comfortable walk back towards Normal. I won’t get there–of course–but I will head in that direction. It’s All Good.
T asked me if I think I am a better parent than others. The easy answer is “Yes. Of course.” If I want to avoid the real question I can include “There are people who rape and beat their children. Of course I am better at parenting than them.” But that’s the asshole response because I bloody well know that is not what she meant. Alright-I’ll stop stalling.
Yes. Sometimes. I try not to but I do. I try very hard to keep that judgment in my head because I am not perfect and my opinion is not very helpful to people most of the time. But it informs my parenting. I see other people do things and think, “Ah. Don’t do that.” I look at children who are in their early teens and I ask the parents how they have handled things up to know. I judge which kids I would want to live with and which kids I wouldn’t.
How would I treat them differently? I think that all the time. How would I treat these kids if they were handed to me.
Of course I know people who are much better parents than me. I don’t think I’m that great. I just think that there are a lot of people in the world who were very badly parented and they have not done work to deal with that. It makes them not particularly successful. It’s sad but it’s something I can’t fix for people so I need to keep that judgment to myself.
And there is the fact that I am extremely conscious of the fact that my behavior and approach to life is non-standard and I don’t think that people should try to solve problems like me because you probably shouldn’t twist yourself around to having my issues. Just sayin’.
I am ridiculously conscious of the fact that I have the luxury to be exactly the kind of parent I want to be because I have a partner with a ridiculously high income. Noah went out and brought home a bit over $130,000 this year. By himself. That gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility to sit around and plan the best ways to handle every little problem that comes up for me because I know my instincts are shit.
Most people really don’t have the time or inclination to sit around thinking about the correct response to various kinds of backtalk or misbehavior from their children. I have spent hours rehearsing the correct tone of voice, facial expression, and body posture for responding to misbehavior. This isn’t to say that I nail what I am aiming for every time. I really don’t. But I practice. I take it seriously as part of my job and it is hard for me so I work at it constantly.
I started when I was pregnant with Shanna. I’ve been doing it for five years. I don’t do it every day but I do it multiple times a week–whenever I have space. I uhh started rehearsing how to do it for “Shanna and Calli” before I was even pregnant with her. I didn’t tell Noah. I didn’t even tell him that when we were selecting names when I was bleeding out during delivery.
The second name was supposed to be his choice. We had a few options. We put combinations together. I was so grateful he picked my first choice. It felt a lot more special. I may have had to push harder near the end if he had gone with something else. Ha.
So, yes. I think I am a better parent than a lot of people who respond instinctually to problems. I think their instincts weren’t programmed well and that isn’t their fault. What is their fault is not changing it. (Incidentally, I’m reading a book right now that focuses on this exact problem– it’s called Giving the Love that Heals and I recommend it. I don’t get paid for this ad. I’m not that kind of blogger. No one pays me anything. Ha.)
It’s always validating when I find a book written by real professionals that lays out what I am already doing on my own. I like validation. It’s like my favorite cookie.
But my kids are 2.5 and 4.5. Let’s not get all excited about how awesome I am as a parent yet. The baby stage is rough but there are some big hills coming up.
Like, actually homeschooling. That’s intimidating. An awful lot of people have felt free to let me know that they don’t think I will be up for the task. Disapproval is bracing like a chilly breeze. Alright. So I have to put on the heavy boots for this task, I see. There may be snow.
I’m very used to people thinking that everything about me is wrong and that I am disgusting and bad. Getting away from that feeling, and the corollary desire to feel like I respect myself more than I respect the people disparaging me, is what has pushed me through being successful. I have been successful. I did end up with a high school diploma. After twenty five schools that truly is an accomplishment. I have a Bachelors degree. I went through seven years of graduate school with high marks and earned respect from a lot of people in my potential academic field. I’m not fit for academia but we knew that. So I don’t have that degree. I taught high school.
Given how many of my former students maintain contact with me I feel like I was successful as a teacher. I wonder how this will work post facebook. One has already tracked me down enough to invite me to her wedding and ask that Shanna be the flower girl. I think they’ll find me. Several are in college working on teaching credentials because they want to be teachers like me. All of my students made substantial progress in my class. That was because if they didn’t make substantial progress on their own then I made them stay after school for 8th Period Social Club.
I would sit there after school for an hour and a half every single day with kids until they brought their grades up. While they were stuck in prison with me I would have lively discourse with them about their friends, social lives, parents, issues that were going on. I would recommend books. I had all the anarchists reading John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. I feel good about that.
I helped girls through pregnancies, miscarriages, and abortions. I helped one boy put off the decision to shoot someone and buy his official entry into his gang. I feel intensely good about my experiences teaching. I helped people think that they were worthwhile. For many of those kids I was the first person in their whole life who told them they were smart.
I did manage to get married and do the kids thing. And I’m nice to them way more than I’m mean to them and they like me so I feel successful at that.
But it all feels like duh duh duh…. SO FAR……MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
My inside voice is a bastard. I’m just waiting to fail. Just waiting to prove that I was never really as good at anything as I thought. Sure I was a good teacher. Only for three years. That wasn’t so hard.
This parenting gig is different. The super intense bit is for a minimum of ten years–more like fifteen. It continues on being hard for another five years.
Gulp. That’s scary. That’s a lot of hard. Well. I’m almost five years in. Only fifteen years to go. Oh god. That’s overwhelming. One day at a time, Krissy, one day at a time.
Enjoy two and four. Enjoy three and five. You will never see this again. Enjoy four and six. Enjoy five and seven. They will never be dependent and ridiculously affectionate as a biological mechanism for survival again. Enjoy it. I do love the cuddling. I try to let them hug the part of me that was starved for attention for so many years instead of the hardened adult shell that is used to being hostile to all touch.
I took a break for kids and breakfast. Whatever I was thinking is gone. I should just sign off.
It’s Monday. It’s time to start working. I should probably solidify my weekly schedule outline today. I have to clean the kitchen and the bathroom. I know that much. Hooo boy do I need to clean the kitchen floor.
I went to the police station this morning.
I dressed up. I wore a nice skirt and a button up blouse (with pinstripes!) and a blazer and nylons and heels. I looked like a proper grown up. I looked respectable.
When I got there I found out that no officers hang out in the police station. Whoops. I was asked if I wanted to go home and wait for the officer there and talk about it in a more comfortable setting. That was the closest I got to crying. I said that my children don’t need to know about this part of me.
I spoke with a lovely officer. It’s all information-only at this point, as it should be. But they know I exist. They know my family exists. They know that there is a long history of me being assaulted. Saying things like, “I prosecuted my father for rape in San Bernadino County when I was sixteen” made my story much more credible.
The officer told me that coming in was the right choice. He was glad I did. He was very sympathetic and supportive. I was expecting a more dismissive reaction so that felt ridiculously nice. I felt very grateful.
My breath got a little shaky but mostly I stayed very calm. I did not cry. I was not overly emotive.
The whole conversation was under fifteen minutes. We talked about my safety options. He told me again that he applauded my courage.
He seemed to be a little curious why I wrote the book if I am afraid of my family. I told him, “Being out is the only protection I have. They got away with my childhood because it was all hidden. I don’t let anything be hidden now.”
He nodded but didn’t say anything. I’m sure the psychology of trauma victims is something that police officers don’t like to think about more than required.
I did the right thing. I’m not being neurotically paranoid. When you can talk to two therapists, a social worker and a police officer and they all say, “You are not being paranoid” it’s validating.
I hate my dependence on validation.
When I was younger I was quite fond of the Davey Crockett movies Disney made. I always wondered how he knew he was right. I feel a lot of doubt. The funny thing is, being challenged takes a lot of that feeling away.
Why did I send my niece a mean, nasty letter? Because it was mean and nasty. I will slightly dispute the phrase abusive, but that’s about perception so I will only slightly dispute it and live with the fact that other people different opinions.
Do I get to defend me? That’s what it comes down to. Am I allowed to say, “No more.” Was it my niece’s fault? Of course not. She never did anything to me. I’m not holding her responsible for what happened to me. I’m not even holding her responsible for what happened to her. It isn’t her fault she was raped by a parent either.
But she wants to continue living with her abuser. She wants to continue normalizing the abuse and tolerating it. I don’t need to be mean to her to get away from her. It’s not a requirement. Maybe someone else could have figured out how to do it nicely.
I am a flawed and broken person. I am extremely violent. I am nasty and mean. I was taught to be that way. It was extensively modeled. Maybe someone better than me could have found a better way to handle it.
I am limited by being me.
Am I sure I was right in hurting my niece? I know I was not. Hurting her wasn’t the point and it didn’t make me happy.
Was I right in breaking contact with my family? Yes. Yes. Yes. Unless you believe large scale sexual abuse should be normalized there really isn’t an alternative view on this one.
I tried to stay with my family. Then I started finding out how many people my sister raped. And how they are all covering it up. Yeah, no. I can’t be part of that. No thanks. My kids deserve better.
I am absolutely certain that I am the best thing to come out of that family. Vain? Sure. Arrogant? Sure. I really am. I completely fucking am. And my kids are going to be distinctly better than I am. I am going to make sure my family can’t fuck them up.
My sister is a drug and alcohol dependent pedophile. My brother is drug and alcohol dependent and believes that if he ever had a daughter that would be bad because inevitably he would do things. My mother has not been able to have a stable relationship outside of our family (not even friendship) since I was a small child.
My aunt works like a dog into her 70’s. She supports her three grown, disabled children. One has Lupus. One is a paraplegic from a motorcycle accident. One is severely diabetic and learning disabled to the point where he hasn’t been very functional this lifetime. He has never truly lived independently. All of these kids are in their 50’s now. They still can’t function without their mommy.
Yeah, I don’t want my kids turning out like my family. I judge.
I judge the drinking and the drugs and the lying. I judge the refusal to do honest work. I judge the attitude of superiority that allows them to terrorize children. How broken do you have to be to feel like a big person by raping children?
I am absolutely sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was right in walking away from my family. But I still feel bad that they hurt more because of me. I never wanted to hurt them. I just wanted them to stop hurting me. I wanted to prevent them from ever hurting my kids.
I’m going to go to the Police station today. I spent yesterday talking with therapists and social workers and online support groups of people who have a lot of experience with domestic violence. It is an information only sort of report. I want to ensure that if something happens it is treated as an escalation not step one. That is all I want. Nothing should happen today except a paper trail. There is “nothing to report” only I want my local police to know I exist and that I have a long history of being terribly abused by my family and I’m not sure if they are capable of stopping.
It’s hard to judge these kinds of things until it is too late.
27 children die pretty much every week. They are killed by their parents for one reason or another. Family violence is endemic in this country. Given my story I have a much higher than usual chance of having things keep going. That’s just kind of how my life goes. It isn’t paranoia to explain my story in progress to people.
“I have not received any specific threats but they are absolutely smart enough that they wouldn’t. The last several times I have seen my sister there have been posturing maneuvers up to and including her threatening to beat me up while I was pregnant. She would do it too. I don’t want police to visit my family and “check up” or anything. I just want to know that if things start escalating I have a prayer of being believed and supported.”
Because I am going to walk into a police station in a few hours I don’t want to smoke. Which means I’m sitting with my anxiety this morning.
A while ago I read that anxiety is energy in the body that wants to be doing something but you are thwarted. I feel a lot better now that I’m in the count down to doing what I can do. I have a plan. It’s not a great one. It’s not an important one. I don’t expect anything to change because of my plan–not really. But I’ve still decided my course of action. Now I can just put my head down and keep moving. I have a plan.
My two little girls are next to me on the bed while I write. Since I’m not smoking I don’t need to freeze my ass off in the garage this morning. Instead I’m sitting in comfy warmth with cuddles.
My life isn’t what other people want. That’s ok. I don’t do things how other people do. That’s ok too. It is better than ok. It’s unavoidable. We aren’t going to all fall into Stepford line.
4.5 years into parenting I am a lot less sure about the right way to parent. I feel fairly certain that my specific doubts will increase instead of decreasing over time. I have to parent how it feels right to me. I know that I have very different needs and preferences than other people. Humans are weird like that.
I feel loved here in a way I have never been loved. Noah really doesn’t understand how nice he is to me. He underestimates it. Or maybe he just doesn’t really understand how nasty other people have been. He pays attention to me in ways that startle me.
Every single time I take my shirt off he comes to delighted attention. He is more alert than any teenage boy to the possibility of nudity. He is so happy and appreciative.
But it’s not just the sex. He makes me breakfast every day. He does dishes. He cleans. He plays with our kids and works hard to take a serious interest in them. He shows them how things work and reads to them and generally takes it seriously that if they are going to learn about things it has to come from us. So we interact with our kids like crazy and hope that a whole bunch sticks. I’ll be more methodical when they are older. For now I’m just showing them the world.
A friend came over recently and was relaying difficulty with her daughter in a store. It was kind of weird because I had this intense reaction about how I would treat the same situation. And I had this intense explosion in my chest when she was talking. Oh my god I would not handle it that way. But that’s not because I am better or right. It’s because I would freak out and start crying. It’s because I have a lot of time to kill I have luxuries that people who work don’t have. I can tell the kids at the door to the store, “Either you behave or we are turning around and going home.” My kids think the store is an outing. I can go back for many days in a row until they are willing to behave to my satisfaction. People with jobs just can’t do that. You have to buy food–right?
I don’t think I am right because I have the Right Answer. I think I am right for me because I have paid a lot of attention to how I handle things over the years. I know my limitations. I know what things will cause me to start completely losing my shit. I work around them. It has been a long defining process.
I have “so much self control” because I carefully choose what I expose myself to.
Yes, I was mean to my family. Yes, my niece is a lot younger than me so I suppose I have an obligation to be nicer to her than to the people who are older than me.
I have no choice but to live with it. I think I will do ok at that. I’m sure I was right. There were no good choices. I had no good options. I believe I inflicted as little damage as possible. Oh believe me I could have been nastier.
Even though I hurt people I tend to hurt them in calculated ways. I protect myself–sometimes in ways that do not place other people as more important than me. I have to live with that. I don’t think it will be that hard.
I am not in denial about hurting people. I try hard not to do it randomly. I try hard not to do it indiscriminately. I will defend myself though. If there is collateral damage–oh well. I can’t always save everyone else from the consequences of their actions.
I want to cut. I want to cut really a lot. I visualize it. It’s like I have a movie projector running in the background. It overlays everything I see. My thigh. Preferably my right. I think this would be a really long section of horizontal slashes. I like making them all the same length and then trying to make a straight row. Deviation from the uniform length is reason to gauge myself harder as I try to straighten the line.
Yes, I know I am bad. I should not have said a word to my niece. I should have shut my worthless whore mouth. I know. I fucking know. I am mean. I am selfish. How dare I share things with people that are not their problem. I’m bad. I know. It’s all my fault. I know.
Pot really isn’t cutting my anxiety today. Sometimes that happens. It isn’t that I am feeling paranoid–I’m fairly careful about my strains. I want to die. That is the only way to not be bad for not being part of my family. I want to bleed and bleed and bleed.
I know I am not good enough to defend or protect. My niece is. I know. I need to shut the fuck up because I don’t matter and I never have. I know. I know I fucking know.
I’m past my normal coping methods today. I sent an email to a friend who is a therapist. My therapist is on vacation. Merry Fucking Christmas.
I’m not worried about actually cutting. I’ve made that a lot harder to do. The tools are not as readily to hand. I don’t have privacy and I’m not going to fucking do it where my kids could see. I don’t have the body integrity to get away with hiding a large wound. Shanna is absolutely old enough to notice and question.
I’m not worried about going off and killing myself today. I don’t want to give them the satisfaction. Fuck them.
But I am going to have a hard time being calm all day. I am going to have a hard time not crying all day. I am going to have a hard time keeping to appropriate topics all day. I know it is because I am bad. Because I don’t know how to act right. I’m afraid of teaching my children to be bad like me.
I don’t know how to find enough silence to hide in without that magic button on my leg. The other random chronic pain stuff (holy shit my head hurts) is not the same. I have to block that out all the time in order to function. I just do it without thinking about it.
I don’t know how to distract myself today. I need to be able to emotionally connect with my children. But I hurt so much. I don’t know how to keep being good. I’m not. I’m bad. I’m disgusting. I know.
I should never have told anyone anything. I should have just killed myself and spared everyone the discomfort of knowing anything about my life. Why don’t I shut the fuck up.
Because I can’t.
It is my fault my dad and my brother are dead. It should have been me instead of them. All of the problems are my fault anyway. Everything was just fine until I showed up. Right? Isn’t that the story?
I should probably go run. But I’m worried about my balance. I’m very dizzy. Maybe I’ll stretch on the floor.
I don’t know how I am going to stop crying.
Hello anonymous comments shaming me for not playing the game right.
I didn’t walk away from my family exclusively because of my mom. I didn’t divorce my niece or nephew or aunt because of my mom.
My sister is a pedophile. My mother covers for her. That’s enough for me. If you think that I am wrong for keeping a pedophile out of my life, or someone who has actively covered for multiple fucking pedophiles, well then… we have no common ground.
I feel enormous guilt for kicking my niece out of my life. I know it’s a shitty thing to do. I left her to carry the whole abusive raft on her own. My nephew won’t work enough to keep a place to live. My sister hasn’t worked in years because she has enormous psychological issues (no shit). My mom hasn’t worked in years–I presume she is waiting for my father’s social security.
They wanted me for money. I’m not interested in being that for them. I don’t make any. I have no fucking money of my own. They would love to drain my husband dry. That’s family, right?
No. I was told from when I was a little girl that I would be responsible for taking care of my family when I grew up.
Now my not even 21 year old niece works at In-n-Out and sells Mary Kay cosmetics because that is the income in the house.
I didn’t walk away from her because she has a relationship with my mother. I walked away from her because as long as she buys into the idea that she has to carry the whole broken family she is going to fail. It is inevitable. I only hope she doesn’t have kids because her mom is a sick and scary person.
Yes, I’m a selfish fucking asshole. I divorced my whole family along with the problem people because the whole system creates a safe haven for abusers.
I just can’t be part of it. If that hurts my feelings or their feelings, oh well. We are all grown ups now. We are all making active choices. I’m allowed to dislike the choices that other people make and I am allowed to not have a relationship with them over their choices.
Don’t act like I am the bad guy here. Give me a god damn break. I’m not supposed to be allowed to break contact with my family after how badly I was abused? Oh go fuck yourself. With a chainsaw.
So far I have tried pretty hard to avoid using the full names of my family members. Occasionally a first name slips out. Very very rarely a last name (and we don’t all have the last name) so I feel like I’ve been polite and all that. I’ve been trying pretty hard to make my story about me and leave other people out of it. If I feel threatened the correct thing for me to do is to come out more, not less. I don’t think anyone in my family would like it if I used their legal name every time I talk about my family history of pedophilia and rape. That would make Google a very different entity in their lives.
Right now I believe I am one of the top ten hits for “my father raped me”. I have left my family out of that very consciously. I could change that. If I feel more threatened I absolutely will.
The main protection I have in this life is to not be silent. I can’t give it up.
Last night my brother sent me a text message. “Merry Christas. I heard you put out a book, can you send it to me.”
I want the book in paper. People have suggested a Kickstarter campaign to me. I’m thinking about it. It honestly isn’t quite good enough yet. There are a lot of stupid mistakes I PAID AN EDITOR TO FIX AND YET HERE THEY FUCKING ARE. Sigh. Oh well. I’m reread sections on my phone when I’m feeling freaked out by other people getting to read it. “Oh shit, what did I say?!”
Now my brother knows. He isn’t talking to the rest of the family (last I heard) so who knows how this will go.
But now he knows. That can’t be undone. If you haven’t bought the book or left a review go do so. Please. Somewhere between one and three people buy the book every week. I’m up to almost 1700 downloads. That’s pretty cool. But mostly people won’t know about it unless you tell them. I’ve told the people I know. Now it’s about other people telling the people they know.
And don’t freakin tell me “I don’t have a kindle“.Whatever. They have an app for that.
I finally had that crying jag. The one I predicted a couple of days ago. Noah took the kids to the park for a few hours and I spent the time wandering around in chores. In the middle of trying to fold the clothing I noticed that I was crying so hard I could barely see. I set the clothes on the bed then I noticed that I was thinking to my knees. I could feel myself starting to crawl towards the side of the bed but there is always this other part of my brain off on the side that says hey Krissy maybe you should use the bathroom and get a few napkins for your nose. So I did that first with tears streaming down my eyes then I went straight back to the side of the bed. The side of the bed next to the window is barely big enough to walk through when I’m scared it seems like a good place to hide. It isn’t a lot bigger than my body when I was younger I would have been under the bed.
I cried and cried and cried. I thought a lot about my mom; I miss her so much. It’s worse at Christmas. Really I thought a lot about everyone in my family. I feel like all of their stories are so sad. I think I found the “can’t commit suicide point” though. if I ever commit suicide my family will rush to tell their side of the story and they will try very hard to make me look like a liar. I am not a fucking liar. I have to outlive them, all of them. If I don’t they will try very hard to make sure I don’t exist; they will erase me. No.
I haven’t been sleeping well. Not nearly enough sleep. I’m tired and sleepy all day long. Because Noah is here I’m taking more naps than usual.
I feel like a ghost. I feel like a strong wind could push me away. I don’t want to die. But I want to stop fighting. I want to stop defending my right to live. I want to stop having to earn the right to be not hurt. I am tired of trying to beg and beg and beg for people to love me and not hurt me. I’m so tired. So very tired.
It’s hard for me to read more than a couple of pages of my book at a time. I don’t want to identify with that story. Mostly I kind of put it out of my head. I am not that broken, destructive little girl anymore.
Yesterday my daughters broke the light fixture in their room. Glass showered a huge pile of stuffed animals, bedding, Lego’s, Barbie clothes, etc. Double Plus Not Good. Noah helped me. Cleaning it up wasn’t that big of a deal. Having help changed the scope of the problem significantly.
When I was a child I would have been beaten and screamed at for hours. We shook our heads and told Shanna that this was “not good” then we sighed and cleaned it up. We talked about why it wasn’t a good idea. We said we hope she doesn’t do something like this again.
That’s it. Moving on.
Every day that I am in this life feels like a fraud. I am not nice. I am violent. I am angry. I am mean and hateful. But I just can’t be with my kids. That’s wrong.
Noah gave me a parenting book for Christmas. Giving the Love That Heals so far it seems reasonable. But then I got to the part where they explicitly say this is not a book for people who have been severely wounded by their childhood–that is a different journey. Should I just quit reading? I feel so bad. I spend a lot of time feeling like the universe wants me to quit. I am broken beyond redeeming.
Fuck you all. as
I want my brother to know what I said about him. I don’t mean to hide anything. I have no secrets, right? I have a lot of stories I haven’t told yet but that is different.
Sometimes people ask me if I am afraid, what with being so out and all. They ask me if I am afraid of being stalked. Not really. If someone comes to my house intending to scare me I might walk outside with a baseball bat and say, “Unless you start running really fast you won’t be walking away from here.”
I’m not very scared of random people any more. Unless they want to shoot me there isn’t a lot they can do to scare me. And I’ve been very suicidal for a long time. I’m not going to run away from someone threatening me. That’s a way to die without having the whole guilt of suicide. It wasn’t my fault–it was some crazy gunman. That will be much easier for my kids to live with.
What, you don’t think about this shit?
I am afraid of being ostracized. I am afraid of being alone. I am afraid of being unloved. I’m not afraid of dying. I think I will welcome that.
It makes for a very different set of behaviors.
I’m afraid of ending up like Puppy’s mom. She has a job she is ok with but doesn’t love. She sits at home and reads books and chain smokes and drinks coffee and eats cookies. She doesn’t do a lot else. She is bitter and angry. She has been treated quite badly in life though I don’t know or care about the whole story. (Puppy was the serious boyfriend right before Noah asked me to marry him. He dumped me on Thanksgiving. Good riddance.)
Wow. Puppy dumped me more than seven years ago. Time sure flies when you are having fun. Tom and I broke up more than eight years ago. A different lifetime. Ten years ago for Christmas I was given a new ball gag, a portable tens unit, and the Uncle Kracker album with the song Follow Me. This year I was given bath scrubs and parenting books and an egg beater. I begged for the egg beater. That is the thing I have missed the most this year since Sarah moved out.
Once Shanna turned on her chair and sighed deeply and said, “Getting stiff peaks with a fork is sure a bitch.” She said it on the exhale of a sigh. It was hilarious. I almost fell down I was laughing so hard. Luckily she hasn’t said it again.
Oh! I got the dress I’ve been wanting for more than five years! I found it on etsy right around when we were starting to try and get pregnant. I decided I couldn’t have it till I had some idea what size I would be long term. I like it as much as I thought I would and it looks as good as I thought it would. Win. Noah did not nearly score so well.
The kids… well, they have generous grandparents. They made out like bandits and don’t appreciate it particularly though I have seen most of the new dress up clothes cycled through. Shanna is in love with the bead set–I thought she would be. She’s making jewelry constantly. It is great hand eye coordination practice so I’m trying to be permissive.
Really all of the new stuff is appreciated but they don’t react particularly in the ways I (apparently) “expect” children to act and that’s weird for me. I’m trying hard to just accept them and not try to direct this. That’s not useful. They are having the experience they are having. Go with it. I am making more comments than I should. It is hard to be as silent as I know I should be. Noah is continually pointing out my inherent hypocrisy; living with him is a mixed blessing sometimes.
He keeps me honest. I don’t want my kids to be particularly attached to things. And they aren’t. They don’t think that getting “more things” means someone loves them more. They just aren’t swayed by it. I should push them into that mindset. Not one little bit. LA LA LA. Move on Krissy.
My mom was very much of that mindset. I was pushed towards that mindset. I kind of have it but mostly don’t. Mostly I am quite low in my attachment to things. Except that egg beater. I really missed having an egg beater. But I don’t care much about which one I have. I’m not particular about “things”. If someone told me I had to walk out of this house with the clothes on my back I would probably clutch my laptop and go. I can deal with the loss of everything else. I would probably want to get dressed very carefully–I would wear several layers… I’m just sayin’.
I look forward to living out of a suitcase. When we went to Scotland for a month we had one large rolling suitcase and I think three small-ish backpacks. For a family of four. It would have been far less if I hadn’t needed all the baby shit. And we were going for a wedding so we needed fancy schtuff.
Someday Noah and I will go on long trips with a couple of backpacks. Well, they might be rolling bags because I am old and my back hurts. Maybe. We’ll see. Backpacks are better.
Notice how this digression happens? I start off with an SMS from my brother and I end up talking about how badly I want to run away. Predictable. I suppose that when it comes to my family I will always want to run away. That is predictable.
I did something brave. I invited someone not already in my completely comfortable zone to go on a trip with me. I get to do a lot more in-advance negotiation than usual this time. (*wave to person*) I feel like most of my problems while traveling happen because I don’t negotiate my boundaries well enough. I also don’t anticipate a problem because this person is not someone who walks into my life and drops work on me. I’m trying to be more paranoid about that kind of thing. (No leaving two bowls to wash after making banana bread doesn’t count as dropping more work on me. It’s about scale.)
I’ve been listening to Mean by Taylor Swift on repeat for a few days. (Tay–I think you will like this a lot more than you like Lady Gaga. Ha.) I don’t want to be mean. I know a lot of mean people. What does it really mean that I get to pick who I know? Don’t you have to take the bad with the good if you want community? It’s all or nothing–right?
That’s why I like having parties.
Sobonfu told me to make my own community. She told me I would never fit anywhere and that’s fine–make my own. Bruce told me to start a religion. Noah gave me a book for Christmas about how people should be starting their own Tribes. I don’t think I want to start a religion. Sorry, Bruce.
Several times I have had people tell me that I inspire them. That they think of me when they are scared or weak and that helps them find the strength to go on. It is a staggering thing to be told. I don’t feel worthy. Heh. That’s kind of part of the whole thing–right?
Being told that is intoxicating. It is far more potent than any drug and I’ve tried a lot. Having in the back of my mind if I keep going maybe I will hear that again is heady. That’s an addiction too.
Part of the reason that I’m weird to Noah is when guys want the way I want it comes out very differently–it’s a very different search for status for a guy. They have to have money or position or esteem or something before they can have pretty much anything so their want gets directed toward things. (Of course this isn’t universally true: missionaries!)
When I try to think about what I want it is generally in the vague sense of relationships. I have caused quite a few people to not be interested in relationships with me because I like labels that are denotative rather than connotative. If you know what I mean. If you don’t, what I mean is: they say, “We are friends” and what that means is they will think about you when you are right in front of their face and at no other time.
I wish people were honest about that up front. If people referred to me as an acquaintance then I would have such an expectation. They know nothing about me and do not think of me but they have seen me and been introduced. I wish that word was brought back into wider usage.
I like having a large and charming social of social acquaintances. I don’t like having many friends. I am too demanding. I have too many little ticks and irregularities. People have to be willing to take notes and modify their behavior in order to become people I feel comfortable around. Folks who think that isn’t worth their time or attention aren’t actually my friends. If you know what I mean.
But that’s ok! There is this large miasma of people in the acquaintance category. I don’t expect them to give a shit about me. I don’t expect them to modify themselves for me in any way. I just privately (or not so privately) think of them as assholes. I’m civil. Barely. I just try to avoid them.
I have those specific coping methods from the sex communities. It is weird coming into the home schooling community. I have to change how I talk to people. When I take something badly I have to say, “I’m sure that I am not understanding you correctly but I thought I heard you say ____ and to me that sounded like ____ but I’m sure I am misunderstanding. May I ask you to explain?”
It’s fucking hard and embarrassing. But I have to do it otherwise I will start avoiding gatherings because people are there. I can’t do that to the kids.
I want to feel safe from sexual assault. I am going to be avoiding the sex communities for a while and I’ll see if it helps. (Not that I actually feel afraid of anyone in particular at those parties. I haven’t run into anyone who has assaulted me at a party since it happened.) But I’m obviously having conflicted feelings. I don’t need to feel pressure to be there. It’s an opt-in space. I’m doing something else.
It is giving up another piece of my identity. Am I not kinky any more? Am I no longer a pervert? Can I ever undo the things I have done. THAT’S WHY I LET HIM TAKE PICTURES. None of it can ever be completely forgotten. I have pictures. Hundreds. I have a lot of pictures of me fucking girls too. I had a really fun early twenties.
I’m not worried about blackmail because if someone released some of them publicly and it caught wind I would say, “Ooooh! It’s part of a set! Would you like to see the rest?!” Then I would send a lot more.
I used to sleep in a steel cage. I hear he finally made a more comfortable bottom for it. I had my ex-fiancé Steve make it–he was a welder by trade. With one inch steel tubes. It was a grid. It was 2′ x 2′ x 3′. It was a birthday present for Tom the year he turned thirty-two.
I need to not hear these things any more. I don’t really want to hear that Tom had a floor made for it because the current girl wants it more comfy. I want to pat her on the shoulder and say he is in the honeymoon phase. Be careful.
Edge play is something that is talked about a lot in the bdsm world. It is usually treated as what people should be trying to graduate towards. It is often used to mean heavy play. I wish it weren’t. In my opinion edge play is doing something that has a measurable risk of ending your life.
In the past few years a couple of close friends sat me down to lecture me on the escalating risk of me continuing to do breath play–you know, being choked out. It can be done in a variety of ways. I had to, in turn, go to Noah and talk about it. I have had to remind him a few times. It is hard. It is hard to have tears running down my face and have to say, “If you don’t want me to die while we are having sex then you should probably stop doing that.”
Yes, it turns you on. Yes, you want to do it to me. You can’t. Not if you want me to live. I am an animal. I have limits. I am skating near the edges of the amount of trauma a body can absorb. I wish that wasn’t true. But it is.
I have a lot of pictures of my life being risked so that someone could look at me and masturbate.
I have some interesting feelings about that. Ok, most of our play was extreme but not life-risking. We saved that for special occasions.
And I’m not saying it is his fault or that I was abused. My ex emphatically did not abuse me. I scripted most of our intense play. I’m not blaming him. I’m really not. I helped him build a lot of the equipment we used. I gave it to him as presents. I was not abused. I went to fucking Great America and had the bemused air brushing artist paint slave on my back. I wasn’t being abused. I was very proud of what I was doing.
Why did I want that so much?
When I look at the pictures (err, not that I do this often) I’m usually struck by how sad I look. Resigned. As a result he mostly liked to cover my face. He was into hoods. Made of leather, plastic and duct tape, rubber, vet wrap… whatever. As long as he didn’t have to look at me.
I like living with someone who likes looking at me. I like living with someone who likes listening to the sound of my voice. I get three of them. It’s like a god damn miracle. But in order for it to work I have to be just as interested in them.
How do you live like a main character in an ensemble cast? How do you balance all of the needs?
But that’s kind of a lie. Our needs are food, shelter, and water (even though Yakutat freaking Alaska thinks you just need food, shelter and booze). Noah would be supplying those needs if he slacked at work; I promise. But he does a lot more than that. And he comes home and works hard on having relationships with the kids even though he’s an introvert who would really like to be in a quiet dark room.
Because we need love too. And the only way for us to have it is to give it. And give it. And give it long past when we feel like we want to. Because the kids need it right now. They won’t always–eventually it will be cloying and stifling and inappropriate.
It feels really good that we get to be spending so much of our life on a love-in. I know that not everyone gets that.
I had this horrifying childhood but I always felt like there was a way out. How would life work if I didn’t think that?
Privilege. I have so much of it that it is coming out my ears. With great privilege comes great responsibility.
One of the movies I watched recently, I think Winter’s Bone had a scene that is sticking in my head. I couldn’t easily find it on youtube. The kids haven’t seen their father in weeks. Their mother is mentally ill. She hasn’t responded or moved in months. The oldest daughter is trying to figure things out. The three kids are standing near their house watching a neighbor butcher a venison he hunted. The son suggested that they should ask for some meat. They were starving. But the oldest sister said:
“Never ask for what ought to be offered.”
That has been rolling around in my head like a marble. Never ask for what ought to be offered.
But that assumes that everyone around you has the same culture and knows which things ought to be offered.
My culture is white trash. What is yours? Tay–if you say you are white trash I will smile, exclaim “brother!” and hug you to me. It’s an opt-in label. No I don’t get to define it for anyone else.
I just have to figure out who and what I am and what I need. Then I need to figure out how to meet my needs on my own. I understand that this should be obvious and all but it isn’t. I didn’t grow up like that. Now I have a great series of child development books and I get to find out how to forgive myself for being a child.
It is hard being endlessly nice as my kids do frustrating things. But childhood is full of such errors. If you make your kids feel bad for making mistakes then they will be afraid to try things. I don’t want my kids to be afraid to try. I want them to get better at risk evaluation. Different.
I want them to know lots of different kinds of people. That means I have to be able to figure out how to meet my needs no matter who is around. I don’t. Right now I hide behind needing to model for the kids.
I’m bad. What kind of model could I be? As long as all they see is love am I really bad? Do the things I have done define my worthiness to love now?
I hope to fucking hell that I will be good enough. I know I don’t have forever just because I want it. When I’m really maudlin I worry about the kids reading this whining some day.
The uncontrollable crying is because I hurt my mommy. I rejected her. Partially because of things that were outside her control. It’s not just that though. I rejected her because I don’t like being blamed for everyone else’s problems. It is not my fucking fault that my father raped my sister for three extra years.
But having kids who are 2.5 and 4.5 and thinking about my life then and what happened when I was a child…
I don’t need to forgive them. I need to forgive me. It was an accident. It isn’t your fault that they are so mad. They just aren’t allowed to be mad at anyone else.
I’m not allowed to be mad at my kids. And I’m not allowed to be mad at my husband. And I’m not allowed to be mad at my friends. And a parade of therapists, my husband, my friends, and my kids if they ever find out will all join the shouting that I must stop being mad at myself and I must stop hurting myself.
But I’m so fucking mad. I’m not even supposed to be mad at the people who hurt me? No. Being mad is poison. It does nothing to them and it hurts you.
It’s ok to remember and forgive myself for being a child. I don’t need to waste time thinking about whether or not I forgive my family. I don’t. They won’t accept responsibility and they won’t change. I won’t be at the bottom of the shit hill any more.
Good grief. Two hankies of crying. That’s probably enough for one day. I woke up earlier than usual. Wow. More than 4500 words. Don’t you wish you had that time back? Today friends will come over. I will ignore the fact that I wish I was hiding under the desk in the garage sobbing and beating my head on concrete. It will be fine. It will be a lovely day.
It really doesn’t matter how I feel. I want community. This is how you act if you want community. If you deviate you don’t have community. How badly do I want it? Enough to function? Well. Put on your game face. It will be fine. Really. Go in, Krissy. Everyone is awake now. (4635. Ha.)
Things I need to schedule:
language study–two or three hours every day (If I want to learn fluency in three more languages that is what it will take.)
crafty/fine motor coordination time
I think those are the big things.
2-3 hours laundry, cleaning (vacuum/mop/bathroom)
2-3 hours language
2 hours cook (often extra stuff for later in the week)
rest for whatever time is left.
4.5 hours therapy
2 hours language
4-5 hours at the park
1-2 hours crafty/fine motor coordination
2-3 hours language
2-3 hours gardening
1-2 hours cooking
2-3 hours language
1 hour swim lesson
1 hour run
1 hour cooking
1-3 hours running errands/grocery shopping
extra social time
1 hour practice handwriting (writing letters)
2-3 hours gardening
2-3 hours language
2 hours cooking
social–person for dinner?
Play with kids
1-3 hours Running (one Saturday a month meet friends at park for running date)
1-2 hours Language
3-5 hours of Noah time off.
1-2 hours farmers market
rest around the house.
For dates–we get one weekend off every month. That’s not a lot of dating but it’s nice. I feel like one other date in a month is a good thing. We’ll see. It’s hard to schedule.
I’m also trying to read 1-2 books every week. I should start logging that more seriously. I’m curious about how my thinking will change over time.
Right now my suspicion is that language stuff should be spread out over the day. Like, watching a Signing Time video after breakfast followed by French work after that before moving into the flow of the day. Spanish can come later and be more integrated. I am at a much higher level for Spanish–I need more vocabulary and to force my brain to practice conjugating verbs more, but I know a fair bit. I just need repetition and practice. That will be easier to do while I am doing lots of other things. I feel like studying Spanish can be pretty organic in my life right now. I am filling in gaps instead of building a bridge if that makes sense. French is intimidating. ASL is easy and fun. It will all work out. In a year French will be much less intimidating.
If we want to learn we need to be boring. We need to study and work hard. That is what this phase of life is about. We will go out and practice what we learn once we are ready.
Ok. That sounds like a fairly easy week all things considered.
Let’s see if the schedule lasts a week. Ha.
And this isn’t taking into account that I do about 30 minutes of picking up the house every afternoon and I read to the kids for about an hour a day.
No forking wonder I am tired.
Would uhm anyone be willing to come over and babysit my kids on Thursday January 17th starting at about 5pm and going till late? I get to go see Lady Gaga. There could absolutely be money in this arrangement.
I no longer have Facebook for these things. Ha.
So I have a spiffy new MacBook Air because my husband would like his laptop back and my laptop does not get internet access in our garage. And because my in-laws sent us money. I wouldn’t have let him get it otherwise.
Anyway. I’m trying to load Dragon onto the computer. One small problem. It doesn’t have a disk drive. I managed to sink the program proper using the merge systems program inside the operating system (I’m feeling really fucking technically savvy today letmetellyou) and I have otherwise made everything how I want it but there is a disk issue.
In order to get Dragon to work you have to load the English Data. I am not able to get the data off the disk and onto a memory stick and resynching the program just makes the Air ask for the disk again. But an Air doesn’t have a disk slot. And I don’t seem to have a cable that will connect this computer usefully to another computer with a disk slot.
Is such a cable in existence? What should I do? Any advice?
Yesterday we were scheduled to go to two parties. I wanted to go to two parties. We went to one party. The kids were normal, healthy, active kids. By which I mean it was invasion of the brats. As we were getting in the car to head to the second party Shanna collected a whole big pool of saliva in her mouth and spat it on her sister. Then started laughing. That is specifically why I don’t hit my kids. Because in my heart of hearts I believe that is not worthy of being hit for but in the moment I had to clasp my two hands together because I wanted to slap her face.
This was after a day full of Shanna beating on people and occasionally getting hit back. She has a huge scratch down her face and she spent almost twenty minutes crying after she was kicked in the stomach. Of course it is all his fault only the moms were standing around watching. She ran up to the kid and hit him five times before he finally reacted. I’m just not mad at him for defending himself.
I didn’t stop hitting people until Noah. I used to hit people a lot. Ask Jenny. For years she flinched around me constantly. I was extremely violent. Noah hits back. Not over and over but once, decisively. Much like the kid who was getting sick of Shanna yesterday. Ha. Shanna is so much like me.
There was a laundry list of other similar preschool drama. It was just a bratty day. She was sneaking a lot of sugar–all the kids were. There were a lot of kids we didn’t know well. All kinds of stuff. I’m sure I wasn’t being appropriate with the kids either. I certainly did a lot of snapping out orders and telling Shanna to either help or go to her room as we were getting ready. That never sets a day up to go well. That’s my fault.
So I decided it was better to go home and have a quiet night so that I didn’t start screaming at them or inappropriately punishing them. Even though we all wanted to go to the party. It wouldn’t have gone well. When Shanna gets into the hitting stride she starts hitting every kid she sees–basically to learn what happens. I understand it as a learning technique. But I lose my patience and one of these days she will pick the wrong kid and end up with a bloody nose. I will not be indignant on her behalf and I think that is going to piss her off. I will of course talk with the kid and parent about it–but not from an indignant point of view.
Kids do this stuff. Let’s talk about it and try to avoid it happening again because it’s not ok to hit people. I do not think it is wise, reasonable, or even possible to prevent it happening entirely.
Part of the problem is that they both need a lot of active supervision and I’m one person. I get mentally fried trying to track them both in a large crowded area. That uses a lot of circuits at once. After a while I start shaking and crying when it is bad.
Part of the reason I bailed on the second party is because my kids don’t know those folks. Not really. No one would have really been able to help.
The main reason I had fun at the first party is because we have been playing at the park with those families for almost a year now. There is a particular family with two older girls who come and take Calli away from me. They adore her and play with her for hours. She loves them. She walks around the house practicing their (hard, many syllables and consonants) names.
That is what community is for. That is how it is supposed to exist. Kids have lots of people they like to talk to. They don’t have to be on top of me 24/7.
At the second party there is that community for other people. It is a party for a close knit group. I peripherally know a few people. The host and I adore each other–that’s why I go. But I think I will email him and ask about a visit while he is on vacation next week. We can handle that. A big party full of the people he knows is harder.
I feel like that is because I am a failure. I know a lot of very social people. And they bring their kids. If I could handle going eventually those people would love to be the kind of community I have with the home schooling group. They feel like they have been that community to me in the past.
I have a weird bonding experience that seems to be partially based on exchanged work. If I feel emotionally connected to someone I want to work for them. I come over and clean peoples houses. I bring food. Now I offer to baby-sit. Taking care of kids is brutally hard work and I try to help my friends who are freaking out. And I have a few who have helped me.
It is weird how baby sitting works. It is pretty rare that I find someone I exchange kids with. Usually it primarily goes in one direction or another and I think that creates (in me) weird feelings of not knowing how to trust the situation. I can only ask for help when I am ok with the answer being no. If I actually require a yes then I have a much more difficult time with asking at all. That’s dangerous. If someone tells me no to meeting a need then I hate that person and I don’t want to talk to them any more. It’s not particularly rational or nice. If I manage to keep my mouth shut and not burn any bridges I generally get over it with time… but it seriously takes me a while.
So I have to keep my needs small. I have to only share ‘wants’ with people. It’s a trust thing. It isn’t because anyone is doing something wrong or bad by saying no. I think people need to say no when they need to say no. I really do.
I don’t understand how other people manage to believe that everything that happens to them isn’t personal and doesn’t matter. It is happening to me of course it is personal. I don’t think it is mean or vindictive or calculated or anything like that. But it is personal. It is happening. I have been told that I am over-sensitive by entire fucking life. People told me that after sexually assaulting me. Just get over it. Don’t be so sensitive. It’s not a big deal.
I don’t react to anything like it is a small deal any more. My life is happening to me and it has to be important to me whether it is important to anyone else or not. Or I spend a lot of time cutting to remind myself that I am not important. That is part of how I keep myself in that box. Remember Krissy, you don’t matter. You don’t matter. You don’t matter. When I would start to get uppity in conversations and defend myself and people would get mad I would reach down and push on the cuts. That was how I could keep my mouth shut and my mind distracted.
I know that feeling as much anger and hatred as I do when someone can’t meet my needs is inappropriate. I don’t voice it much any more. I have learned how to silence that. It’s a set of feelings. It passes. I can’t help the fact that I have a lot of years of issues around no one being able to meet my needs. I’m sorry that my life has hurt me so much that I have really thin skin.
I wish I took things less personally too. I wish I was less sensitive. My life would be less tumultuous.
I frequently come back to this white trash thing. I identify my culture of origin as white trash. If I’m in a “consciousness awareness group” sort of thing (I live in California, this shit just happens here) and there is an ice breaker so people can start to understand one another and people talk about ethnicity or culture I always say white trash.
You should see the expressions on peoples faces. It’s an experience. I think that mostly people just dismiss it in their minds and ignore me. Often people will say, “I grew up in a trailer/poor/rurally/whatever and I’m not white trash so you aren’t either.”
I love how that works for people. Good luck with that.
I am white trash because not hitting people is constant all day effort. I want to jump on people and beat them to bloody pulps on a very regular basis. I have to consciously think about not hitting pretty much all the time.
I will never own a gun because I do not believe I have enough self-control. There are people in this world I would like to see dead and I would really like to be dead. It kind of seems like a no-brainer that I should avoid guns. If something inside me ever snaps and I beat my sister to death with a baseball bat to prevent her from ever raping another child I will be surprised. That’s a lot of hate. I will be surprised if I can summon the will to do that. It’s extreme. Shoot her? Oh shit yeah. That can be done impulsively with very little actual effort… if you have a gun.
Wait… not everyone thinks about this? Oh.
I have spent a lot of time studying the psychology of pedophiles. It seemed important. My sister is unlikely to ever stop. She is, essentially, a rabid dog. And there is nothing I can do about it. That scares me. My brother threatened to leave his wife if she pushed him on the issue of adopting a little girl. He doesn’t think he should live with a little girl. Ever. He believes they had three sons together because God knows he can’t have a little girl.
I’m not trying to say that everyone who grows up poor or everyone who lives in a trailer or everyone who is homeless or or or or or or or is white trash. I am saying that I am. I am saying my family is. We have a violence in us–a twisted perversion. A lot of it comes from entitlement. I deserve to have therefore I will take.
I feel very weird about having the life I have had and then marrying Noah. He didn’t tell me he was a trust fund baby until we were engaged. It was after I moved in and like a month or so before we eloped. We were having a conversation about long-term safety–specifically financially. He asked me how much money it would take before I felt “safe” quitting my job and staying home to take care of kids. How long I worked was going to be directly determined by how fast I could pay down debt (I paid off $100,000 in debt in the first year of our marriage–we lived on my teaching salary) and when we had enough of a savings buffer. He told me to give him a number. How much did I need to have before it would be ok. I told him that I really want to have a minimum of $250,000 in some kind of investment account before I will feel ok quitting.
He said, “Hold that thought” and left the room. He came back holding a piece of paper and said, “this isn’t actually all of it–but this is one account” and he handed me an account statement. He had like $257,389. I think. I may be mixing up a couple of numbers in the tens or ones column. Fucking close enough.
I almost had a heart attack. I started hyperventilating. Are you for fucking real? You want to marry me and hand me everything I have ever specifically planned how to get all nice and neat wrapped up with a pretty little bow?
After we were married and he heard me reading (cause I read out loud and react to things) MDC in the single parent forum about all the things women had wished they had done before they headed towards divorce (this was while I was pregnant with Shanna. When I tell you I plan ahead I’m fucking serious.) he grew concerned. He figured out how paranoid I actually am. When Shanna was under a year old he dragged me to a lawyer. He put all of his inheritance and pre-marriage money into a family trust so there is no chance in hell I can ever walk away from him legally with less than half his assets. (I think he’s wrong. A judge would let me walk away. But I digress.)
Noah is very serious about wanting me to trust him. He works very hard at being dependable–something that is specifically challenging for him. I’m a kind of consistent he just isn’t naturally. But he does it for me. Because he loves me so much.
I feel so much guilt for needing so much help from him. I do need it. He is so patient with me. I don’t tell him about my needs until I am at the point of shaking and freaking out. He doesn’t take my behavior personally. I don’t really understand how he does that.
I feel a lot of guilt about asking him for more at any point in time. I know that when I complain bitterly about being a lot less interesting than _____ that in pretty much every case he places the needs of his physical body way below me. He hurts himself to do things for me. The things he places in his top priority spots are things that earn money.
He feels very driven by my insecurity. I feel like that is not a good thing. We are certainly long past the point where more money buys us more happiness. We have specific goals, yes. We are on track to meeting them. I think I’m the kind of crazy where I could die a billionaire but clutch a dollar bill to my chest and say, “Well at least they didn’t get all my money.” I don’t think Noah should feel like he has to work harder. Good fucking grief man.
More money won’t fill my needs. That’s not the point. What is the point then? I don’t know. The point is somewhere long out of focus. I will probably decide what the point was and construct the story around it in my seventies. Until then it’s a mystery.
I’m kind of ridiculously glad that it is pouring rain (and lightning! and thunder!) because now I don’t have to go to Fairyland. Yay.
I could decide that “God” wants me to stay home. See how this works? I don’t think I should start having an invisible sky friend to blame everything on. That could go badly. Sometimes things happen. It’s not about deserve. It’s not about what is right. They just happen. There isn’t a plan. I can’t believe there is a plan that involves raping little girls. I just can’t.
Yesterday I was told that someone would like to leave more comments but she feels weird asking questions about one sentence out of a six page piece of writing. If she can’t address the whole thing she thinks she shouldn’t comment.
I very nearly reenacted something I did often while teaching. I would collapse to the floor and start rolling around and beating my fists on the floor while moaning, “If you have questions and you don’t tell me I CAN’T ANSWER THEM. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”
It was a thing. I did it many times while teaching. It always shocked people and made them kind of jump back at first. But then they laughed and started asking more questions.
It is kind of awesome that home schooling gives me a permanent excuse to simply think of myself as a teacher. I stopped thinking or referring to myself as a dancer within months of stopping that activity. I don’t think I will ever stop teaching. I love teaching. If I say something you don’t understand, for the love of shiny green apples please ask me questions.
You don’t understand. I fucking live for this shit. I don’t want to be an enigma. I want to be able to explain things better than I currently do. I want to be a better teacher. If I am confusing people then I am not yet a good enough teacher. I need to know that. I would love to know where and how I am confusing so that I can be less so.
Please don’t feel silly asking me questions. I may not answer them instantly and (if I know you in person) I may be happier sitting you down to explain it in person rather than in writing because tone sucks so much in writing. BUT I LOVE ANSWERING QUESTIONS. Seriously.
Have you met me?
The cookie exchange went well! I was blurty a couple of times and people looked kind of taken aback but no one left angry with me. I’ll call that a win. I’ll be seeing them all again in a few hours today. That is the best I can hope for.
I’ve been thinking hard about empathy and bonding. Calli came in at 2am and said with ridiculously clear and deliberate enunciation, “I need you.”
I need you too, baby. I pulled her up and held her till I woke up for the day. I feel so blessed.
Getting to hold my loving, trusting baby is the best experience I have ever had. I feel happier about being alive in that moment than I have ever felt before. I understand that not everyone is a breeder and wants this situation. I understand that it isn’t euphoric in different life circumstances.
I am safe. I am ridiculously privileged. I am allowed to devote my life and energy to adoring my children and teaching them about the world.
I want more adventures with them. I want tapes and tapes and tapes in my head of their happy laughing. It blocks out the screaming.
They don’t think I am disgusting. Well, not beyond the normal “old people are disgusting” sorts of things. Strangely I feel pretty happy about that.
I have convinced Shanna that the belly flap apron is what you get what you level up. You are stuck with a boring flat body before then. She thinks that having stripes makes you way cooler. I like this age. I like that she believes me whole heartedly that I am beautiful and she is beautiful and we are each perfect for the stage of life we are in and we are all going to change in a million tiny ways. She doesn’t think she should be trying to be like anyone.
I like that my children and my husband say nice things to me. They tell me they love me every day.
I live with a constant overwhelming, pervasive fear about Noah dying. I try very hard to not send him out the door with angry words. He could die in a car crash today. I am not fucking ok with risking having the last words I say to him on this earth be petty or spiteful. I try very hard to always hug him and kiss him and tell him I will miss him. Even if I am angry those things are still true. I love him. Even when I’m mad. So we don’t do the brooding leaving of the house thing.
It is very hard to think of myself as not-disgusting.
Hm. Thing is… I arouse peoples strong indignation all the god damn time. According to the dictionary I am disgusting. And I do trigger revulsion. Not of me necessarily–but certainly for my subject matter. Nasty. Loathsome. Repulsive. Abominable. Revolting. Yup. That’s me.
But Noah and Calli and Shanna like me. They need me.
Where is the meet in the middle? Is there a happy medium? I haven’t had a really hard cry. It may wait for Christmas.
I miss my mother. I want to tell her to stop making her cinnamon rolls with Crisco and start using butter–they are way better.
Yesterday I was asked, “So you talk about being neglected but your mom made you a lot of costumes. That seems incongruous.”
My mom didn’t know how to budget. My mom had a lot of very bad things happen to her that were outside of her control. We had periods where we were stable and flush and my mom had a lot of skills that make her a very good stereotypical mother. Then there were the bad periods. The bad periods were a kind of bad kids shouldn’t have.
I didn’t say any more. Someone else said, “Some of us have basically had two mothers.” I nodded and said yeah.
That is all I can say to a group of people who don’t know me if I don’t want to repulse people. If I don’t want to be disgusting. That is what I say when I have enough control. When I am appropriate enough.
I was absofuckinglotely stupid. Err, it’s a long story but I noticed after deleting my facebook account that Noah never unfriended my niece. I caught up on her life. I didn’t need to know that. I saw that my mom now has an account. My sister has posted on her wall over and over how she is the best mommy in the world and my sister is so lucky to have her. My sister said, “You should have stopped with me because it doesn’t get any better than this!”
My sister is a pedophile. But if my mom hadn’t been married to my dad would that have happened? Probably not. My sister and my mother both probably would have had better lives without my father–even if they had been poor.
I feel like they should put my face on the poster for why abortion should be safe and legal. I was the product of rape. I was not wanted. Look what fucking happens.
All of that “doesn’t matter now” and “don’t think about it”. I’m here. It doesn’t matter that my family treated me very badly I am not treated badly any more.
I watched another movie about a mean family last night. Another Happy Day. Unless you want to look at mean family dynamics I don’t recommend it. But it is well acted. I hate them all. They are all fucking assholes. Good job.
It is kind of weird and amazing to me how nice the people in my house are. I feel a lot of pride in that. We take turns. We share. We are all generous. We don’t shout very much. We hug a lot. We laugh a lot. We talk a lot. Here people are allowed to talk.
I listen to my kids and actively respond until I feel like my ears are going to bleed and I have horrifying headaches. It is really hard. I don’t care. This is the most important thing I will ever do in my whole fucking life.
Nothing else matters to me compared to the relationship I have with my children. I have that luxury and that privilege because Noah supports us very well.
I won the poor girl lottery. I didn’t do it by being the prettiest. I’ve been reading The Moral Animal so I’m thinking about what got my genes into the gene pool. I was interesting to Noah specifically because of the overwhelming intensity that normally repulses people. He liked me because I am disgusting.
It’s kind of weird. It’s fucking ridiculously weird. I could not have married a “normal” person. Noah likes that I change. He encourages it. He wants me to learn new things and be different in five years–provided there is still a lot of sex.
If sex is something I need to provide at that kind of level forever then I need a lot of specific support around doing so. Sex is literally harder on my body than average. I have a lot of internal damage. I need to stop having sex that hurts. It has an overall negative impact on my life. That’s going to be weird to figure out. How do I reveal those details to someone? How do I learn how to insist that those details matter even though I’m not pretty?
What I got from the bdsm community is there are two kinds of women. The pretty ones you want to be seen with and the ones you want to hurt really really badly behind closed doors. Often the ones who are willing to put up with being hurt like that aren’t all that attractive. Only the most hard core of sadists don’t care at all about how pretty a woman is if she will take a lot of pain. I’m probably an extreme masochist compared to the “normal” population but I am not extreme in the little elite world I watched from the edges. I don’t want to be. I’ve been hurt enough. But I wasn’t really pretty enough to be the pretty kind of girlfriend. I was… just not quite good enough.
I don’t think it was good for me to spend that much time around fetish models and photographers and producers. I don’t like the frank appraisal of my worth. I don’t like hearing the speculation about what price looking at me could be sold for. How much humiliation would I be willing to tolerate? Could they put me on a diet first?
I think I ate so much while I lived with my Owner because I really really really didn’t want to be prettier. I didn’t want more of them interested in me. They were scary. These days I’m feeling scared of them again. I feel like maybe it is time to back away from that community entirely for a bit.
I don’t do abrupt switches in social dynamics very well. Having to completely change my boundaries is hard. I have trouble jumping tracks in my head so I freeze as I try to figure out what to do. Which is taken as consent.
I spend a lot of time wishing I lived in a tribal community so I could go outside and work with women during the day but I still had a home to hide in when I needed peace. I want my children to run off and play with their friends while I keep our home.
We’re figuring it out. We are trying to set up daily visits to the local pool with the home schooling kids in our town. It’s not living in a tribal community but it is something. I’m keeping my mouth shut enough. I am not repulsing people too much. It’s hard to always be afraid that people will discover how bad I am.
I am not ashamed of being an adult and sleeping with a lot of people. I’m not ashamed of doing drugs or even of mutilating myself. Those are things that I have done. Kind of like dancing. I tried them. I saw how they worked for me.
I had to find out a lot about my self hatred and where it comes from. If I don’t want to blindly teach what I know then I have to ensure that I know what I was taught and make specific active choices to be different.
A lot of people in my life tell me to just move on. Stop worrying about it and just do things that make me happy and it will work out. I uhhh don’t agree. I don’t see those people ending up in places in life I want to go. I don’t actually see anyone as particular inspiration for what I want. Uhm, sorry everyone.
I feel like I need to stop talking before I get in trouble. And Calli wants me to come in. That makes sense.
I’m in a very bad mood. And a lot of people are coming over today. People from the home schooling group. People I am getting to know, not because I am hunting for friends, but because I am trying like fuck to have my kids grow up in a community of people. I can’t be a problem person or people won’t come over.
It doesn’t fucking matter how I feel or what is going on in my head. No one here is to blame and I may not vent my spleen at little kids. Or the parents of little kids. I have to smile. I have to be polite. I have to look relaxed. If you checked my pulse you would get a different story.
It depends on how much pressure I feel to behave around a specific group of people. Sometimes I consciously decide I don’t give a fuck if these people like me I am under stress and I don’t have the extra spoons to hide it.
I can’t do that today. I am in a very bad mood. I think that after the people go home and Noah gets home from work I am going to spend a lot of time crying. This is going to be pretty bad.
I did EMDR on Tuesday (err, obviously with a trained professional). I still can’t figure out what that means or how that works. But I am having a lot of turmoil. I am very edgy and angry. I feel like I always misunderstand trauma. I always get upset by the wrong thing.
I don’t feel all that traumatized by the dog bite. I have gone on to have cautiously good relationships with other pit bulls. I’m not much of a dog person but that’s ok. The settlement for that injury made my entire adulthood possible. I just… yeah. I don’t actually feel traumatized by the dog bite. I feel pragmatically grateful for the lesson in the school of hard knocks.
I feel extremely traumatized by the fact that my mother set a mirror in front of me and told me to look at how disgusting I was. I had to stare at myself so I would learn a lesson. I would never put my face in another dogs face. Actually, I have. More than once. Even with pit bulls. Guess it didn’t work.
But I still think I am disgusting.
I am very careful what I say to my children. I have to be. The inside voices I hear are so fucking mean. I want to be so nasty all the time. That is what I hear. That is what I am already arguing with in my head.
I have to be good today. I have to be good today. I have to be good today. I have to be good today. I have to be good today. I’m not even hitting cut’n’paste. I have to be good today. If you want to learn something you have to use repetition. I have to be good today. I have to be good today. I have to be good today.
My problems are my problem. I have to be good today. I should probably stop writing and start working. I can’t let the tears start until tonight. I should probably have some caffeine. That will make the suppression easier. And it will make me feel more frantic about having the house ready for people to come over in less than seven hours.
I didn’t do anything yesterday after swimming. I sat on the couch. I let the kids have the iPad and I napped. They like sitting on me while they watch so I feel pretty confident that I’ll notice if they take off.
So the house isn’t as clean as usual. I haven’t gotten to cleaning at all this week. That’s part of the exhaustion.
My body is telling me to slow down. My body doesn’t understand that I don’t really care that it is tired. I want this in my life too much. I am not going to be the flakey asshole. I will motherfucking perform. Does it matter? No. Only if I start pulling away now just a little (flaking on hosting the cookie exchange would be pretty nasty–it’s not like I’m sick) then I will feel ashamed and not come back. This isn’t a big deal but it is my task of the day. I do need to do it. That is what being functional means.
I have to be good today. I will be good today. That’s probably better. I will be good today. I will be friendly and polite. I will seem upbeat and cheerful. I can say that my twitching is because of caffeine. They don’t need to know who is screaming at me in my head.
I’m starting to realize that a number of them are in the same boat. It kind of sucks but it is comforting. Maybe I will get friends after all. But they will be real friends online and I will be a good girl in public.
I will be. I need my kids to have a community. I can’t get us kicked out. I can’t pull away because I’m having feelings. That’s not fair. It’s just not.
My kids deserve better than that.
Put your big girl panties on. Have some tea. A lot of tea. I hear they built the British Empire on the shit. It’s got to have some merit.
Last night we did emdr for a lot of the session. I have slept through a lot of today. I feel so wasted.
Healing isn’t for sissies.
If one is going to have a quota for how much sex one has then one should occasionally examine how such a system is working. In my opinion.
The kids were gone for almost 48 hours so we spent more time than usual talking about sex. I feel really grateful that despite how hard I hunted in the bdsm community I ended up with someone basically outside that world. Don’t get me wrong–Noah likes kinky sex. He likes hitting someone who is ok with it. He likes being mean when he has permission. I have yet to know anyone within the community who is actually as good at reigning it in as Noah is. Noah is not driven by his desires. They are small and subtle accents on his overall sexuality. Hurting someone isn’t the point of sex for him.
It is weird when I think about my ex. My Owner. I wasn’t a real person to him. He didn’t know much about me and he actively shushed me because he didn’t want to know. He didn’t want to talk about his life much. He worked 60-80 hours a week. He wanted a slave to take care of details he didn’t like bothering about. He didn’t want to know me. He didn’t even particularly like having sex with me. We didn’t have much sex–he did it because I wanted to and mostly he wasn’t interested in meeting my needs. He liked tying me up and hurting me while fully dressed then he would masturbate. I was more or less live action porn.
Noah doesn’t treat me like that. Noah is quite clear that I am more interesting to him than any other human being has ever been. He likes talking to me. He likes knowing what I am thinking. He appreciates it when I tell him what is going on. He likes having sex with me. He would do it all day every day if we had time and no friction burns.
It’s different. Dealing with them is so different. Everything I learned for my Owner is irrelevant in the course of the rest of my life. I feel like I have gone through life trying on personalities. Who am I allowed to be around this person? What do they want to know about me? Mostly very little.
I started dating Noah for the first time when I was still living with Tom. They overlapped for months. Hell, Noah came over and slept with Tom and I. (I slept with Noah and his girlfriend too.)
I met Noah in February of 2004. I broke up with my Owner in August and moved out the first weekend in October. That first weekend I had my first date with my Daddy J.
Daddy J liked to bring people home with us. Between when I left Tom and when I married Noah in September of 2006 I slept with more than eighty people. Most of them were because Daddy J would bring people over to me and say, “She has an empty hole. You should fill it.”
I didn’t date him very long. I couldn’t handle it. That was so much worse than Tom not wanting to fuck me at all. I felt so very worthless as a person. All he wanted from me was access to my cunt and my ass and my mouth. He could avoid getting to know me by ensuring my mouth was never empty long enough to talk.
Noah feels so very nice to me. Noah was enthusiastic and ok about the idea of me sleeping with other people but he never pushed for it or watched or controlled it. He was ok with me doing that if I wanted to but it wasn’t about him.
I don’t want to any more. I feel so used up and abandoned. I feel like the vast majority of people who have fucked me have ended up not being very nice to me. They certainly don’t feel any kind of bond.
If I’m at all honest I think part of the reason I am going to be thrilled when Noah migrates away from his current company is he works with a lover. One who wasn’t just once. One who was almost a one night stand until I ran into him a few years later and all of a sudden he was so impressed with my sense of boundaries that he wanted to have an occasional thing on the side more often because I was good at not invading his life. I knew I was only supposed to show up for sex then leave and be silent. He wanted more of that.
I am so tired of people wanting access to my genitals while feeling like the right way to handle my mouth is to duct tape it shut.
I lived for four years with someone who thought it was great fun to put plastic bags over my head and then wrap my neck with duct tape. He liked watching me cry through the plastic. No, he didn’t want to know what I thought or felt. Eventually when I started freaking out he would poke his fingers through the plastic over my mouth. Usually followed immediately by kissing me so that I couldn’t actually breathe. It was hotter that way.
So now I’m married to this guy who seems practically angelically nice in comparison. He doesn’t pimp me. He doesn’t degrade me. He wants to know about me.
And I’ve got this quota. I kind of tried to explain it on MDC and failed. It isn’t at his initiation. Noah is a simple creature. I can look at his life and judge how much stress he is under. Sex has a specific trade value. It reduces his stress level by x%. If I want him to keep functioning then I have to help him with the stress balance in his life. I know how much sex makes him able to work how hard. I’ve been watching him for six years. Compared to everyone else I have tried to learn he is dead easy.
But that means I’m having sex because it is stress relief for Noah. Not because I want it per se. Post kids sex is just weird. I’m not getting off like I used to. It’s not that I can’t at all (this weekend was awesome we went to a sex party and had lame awkward sex [because I felt uncomfortable] and came home and had ridiculously hot sex and I got off multiple times. That doesn’t happen much anymore. Woo!) it’s that it works differently.
I’m not who I was. Not at all. I am struggling with how much change is permitted in a partner. If he married me because he thought it was hot to be with someone very promiscuous then we have problems. I can’t be that person forever. It is too hard on me.
I don’t think promiscuity is a problem per se I feel that I don’t have enough of a support system in my life for me to pour out my physical energy on something that does nothing for me. I don’t get energy back. It makes it harder to go do my life. I have too much to get done. I have nothing more to give in that department.
So sex doesn’t (usually) feel very sexy any more. It’s stress relief for Noah. That’s what I’m there for. It’s uhm, well… he is quite nice to me. I like that. I really appreciate that in order to feel like he has “the right” he spends a lot of time gently touching my body. I have never really experienced anything like this before. He is so nice to me. I feel like I don’t belong here. He should be giving this treatment to someone who deserves it. I’m the stupid whore. Why is he wasting time being nice to me? I don’t matter.
So things are muddy lately.
When you come out as a survivor of early childhood sexual assault (and ohman INCEST) and especially when you have major adult promiscuity people always want to talk to you about celibacy. Maybe you should try it. The prevalence of this response is annoying. I can’t possibly “work on my issues” unless I stop having compulsory sex.
Ah. I see. All this work I’ve done “doesn’t count” because I haven’t done it how you think I should do it. Right. Tell me again why I should care about your system? Oh, yes. You read an “Expert” so now I have to listen to you. You don’t even know for sure that your “Expert” would react to me how you are reacting so how about if I turn and walk away now.
The day-to-day life I lead now bears absolutely no resemblance to anything I have ever lived before. It is hard to believe that one life can encompass so much change. And I am going to change more. I am going to learn more. I will get better at a lot of things that I currently suck at.
I don’t think that celibacy is going to be part of it. I care too much about that stress relief function. I need to have Noah continue to feel invested in me. He bonds through sex. Oh baby does he bond through sex. And sex is much better when I tell him what I am thinking about. I’m not used to that. I’m used to people wanting to hear a narrative I make up. Usually what I’m “thinking about” is a story deliberately suited to that person–it has very little to do with me.
Noah is different.
It is weird to try to parse out the differences between my compulsive sexuality and my feelings of obligation and trying to earn someone liking me. Noah really likes me. To the point where when the kids are gone he follows me around with large fawn eyes because he is so happy that he can relax into adoring me without the risk of anyone screaming suddenly near our heads. The screaming totally harshes our mellow. Six years. He still follows me around because he wants to listen to what I’m babbling while I walk around doing random things.
I can’t express how overwhelming this is. Why does he care? It feels so good. Part of it is the sex. He wants me to feel loved and wanted all the time, not just when we are having sex, and we have a lot of sex so he feels pretty required to be demonstrative all the time. So I don’t feel bad about him only validating me during sex.
He brings me flowers. Yes, I’m going to keep a quota so this man stays happy. I think that taking sex away from him would be like kicking a puppy. It makes him so very happy. He’s not demanding. He phrases it as, “As always I would be entirely interested in sex. It is totally ok if you would like to just snuggle. I just wanted you to know.” When I say no, he still rubs my back. He still talks to me. He still strokes my hair and soothes me to sleep. There is no punishment. No revoking of love. No lessening of attention. He still likes me.
The only time Noah yells at me is when we are on opposite sides of the house and we just can’t stop talking to each other. We are a loud house. We like talking to one another and we like getting up and doing stuff. So we just raise our voices to carry on the conversation over greater distance. No big deal.
I feel so loved in this house. It is very hard that feeling loved is so alienating. I wish it wasn’t. I don’t always know how to engage.
I told Noah that the quota is a reminder to me that I have to hit the stress relief button a certain number of times every month if I want him at full capacity. I know that when stress is lower in our lives I can dip down a bit if I feel like it (and I do some months) and I know when I have to up the quota. I watch his life. Deliverables at work. The kids hitting a challenging milestone. His additional projects. I watch what he is eating. I adjust his diet as much as I can given that he eats at work.
He is able to be calm and happy and patient with me and the kids if I hit the stress relief button enough times. If I don’t then he gets tired and run down and kind of sad. He doesn’t get angry. He just moves slower. He looks wasted. He looks like he is literally running out of gas. Just add sex. It’s like a miracle drug. I’m going to keep doing that.
It is a pragmatic choice. I don’t feel exploited. I find it kind of happily fitting. I am unusually well suited by my life circumstances to benefit from having a partner who has this much of a connection between sex and well being. And it’s vanilla missionary sex and he’s gentle and nice and it’s really just not a big deal to do a lot of taking one for the team. Honestly it’s sweet. It doesn’t rock my world, but it makes me feel good about myself.
I feel like I have changed the deal on Noah to such a degree that consideration on my part is a good idea. Once upon a time in our marriage we had a set up where I could revoke all sex and that would be something he could live with–he was allowed to fuck other people if he needed to. He can’t do that any more.
It seems to me that marriage has to be good for both parties. I don’t feel used or exploited by Noah. If anything I feel overwhelmed by shame because he married down in pretty much every way. I don’t feel competent enough or smart enough or worthwhile enough for him. BUT I CAN HAVE SEX. I’m not going to strongly consider celibacy any decade soon here.
I feel bad about being this way. I feel like it would probably be a good idea for me to have some kind of idea of my body as a closed system I don’t owe anyone access to. But I don’t anticipate actually feeling that way until or unless Noah was out of the picture. I got married. That changes things. I’m no longer a closed system. I am part of a unit. I’m married.
Whether it is philosophically a good idea to feel like a closed unit or not it is specifically unuseful in my current life. It would be destructive. It would be harmful to my marriage to try hard to close off from him. I don’t want to. I like him. I don’t want to hurt him. I am not being harmed in any way and I like being part of this unit. This is the most positive experience of my life. I don’t see the benefit in trying to close off.
He isn’t harming me and he wants to know how I am doing and he adjusts his behavior based on my requests and he isn’t demanding and he isn’t pushy. I am not going to punish him just so I can have a philosophical conversion at this point in life. It wouldn’t make my life better.
I’m not worried about being forced. When I say, “not tonight” he backs off completely. I know that if I tell him that his needs aren’t important and I am not going to meet them he will put his head down and accept that as natural and right. I don’t need to be another big source of that in life for him. I married him because I wanted to be part of a family where we help one another be bigger and better than we can be while standing alone. I really want the mutual exchange of support. It allows me to do things I simply can’t do alone. I want to be part of a unit. That means consideration. A quota isn’t romantic or sweet but it reminds me that he has needs. He matters. Meeting his needs is a good idea if I want him to be able to continue to meet my needs.
That’s probably enough defensiveness for one day.
Recently a friend tactfully and gently pointed out that the way I write about family isn’t exactly standard. The kind of help I think I would get is fairly unusual. I couldn’t name a close friend who has the kind of relationship I write about wanting. No one has family who just shows up to take care of you–that isn’t how things work in America.
To this I reply: Ahh. You think that I have a mental model of a healthy family with boundaries. Hahahahaha. No. I come from a crazy enmeshed codependent family. What I talk about wanting is what I have seen. I get my longing for family from watching how people treated my sister having kids. Quite frankly folks worried about her being incompetent and immature. So they just showed up and helped. My mom did. My aunt did. My brother did. I did. Sometimes cousins helped too.
I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately trying to figure out what I mean when I say “white trash”. I’m trying to figure out how to explain it. Some day I want to have a concise definition that really explains what it means to me. I’m not there yet.
Movies I have streamed on Netflix recently: Winters Bone, The Poker House, The Burning Plain. All featuring the same actor (Jennifer Lawrence) and I feel kind of weird about her going on to be an action star. I probably won’t get around to watching the action movies any year soon. I care about the depictions of violence and family.
If you care about movie spoilers don’t read the rest of this post. That is your warning. That said, I think all three of those movies would be useful for people who want to understand me. Of course none of them is exactly right but there are interesting elements in each.
In Winters Bone she is trying to track down information about her father. She has to ask nosy questions. She lives in the Ozarks and she has to pester extended kin that don’t like to be pestered. She gets beaten by a group of women who do it so that her uncle can’t get mad at the men. There is this strong pressure through the whole movie that the police are the enemy. Drugs. Drugs. Drugs. My family used to do drugs like that. These days everyone has prescription meds.
In The Burning Plain you see seemingly disconnected stories that eventually make sense. It’s about mothers and daughters and feeling invisible and accidents and hating yourself and running away to deal with how much you hate yourself. Charlize Theron manages to look as empty as I feel. The way she self harms, the way she runs away because she is bad… yes. I understand that.
The Poker House is the most recent one. It is based on Lori Petty’s actual life. (The chick from Tank Girl.) Holy shit for shoe shine. My mother never prostituted herself and my mother never did drugs in front of me, so I had a very different set up than this movie. Nevertheless I had similar levels of neglect. Similar kinds of being abandoned in unsafe environments. I thought the rape was extremely well done and non-graphic but accurate. That is the truth. That is how fast and how easy it happens. I actively dislike the fact that Lori Petty’s take away message is “Don’t hold a grudge–forgive people for hurting you because they were hurt too”. To that I say: “Bullshit. I have children to protect.”
When I gave up on my family I gave up a lot. I gave up a support network that hasn’t worked in years and fucking loves hanging out with little kids. My family loves children under about eight. They are still cute and fun. Especially little girls. And my little girls are so angelic and wonderful that they would have done well.
But three people in my family have told me that my sister sexually abused them. I have fairly good reason to think that my kids would be good targets for her. The price of all the support is that you have to keep your mouth shut and understand that “people make mistakes” and ignore horrifying behavior year after year. If you need the support and you cannot survive without it this is the bargain that must be made.
I don’t fucking need the support that bad. I can sit home and cry from being overwhelmed instead. It’ll all work out. They are less overwhelming by the month. Shanna is much better at picking up after herself and my life is getting much easier on a day by day basis. Before too much longer they will actively make my life easier. They want to. They understand that doing so leaves me with more energy to do the things they want to do. Their mama didn’t raise no fools.
My sister hasn’t had a job since around when Shanna was born. She was laid off and lived off unemployment. I have the general impression that they are waiting for my mom’s social security to come in. She’s going to get my dad’s because they were married long enough. I think that is totally fair and it means that her retirement will be the most financial security she has had since divorcing him. I hope she finally settles down. I hope my sister isn’t molesting the kids she baby-sits. That’s what she does with her time. She stays home and takes care of little kids so their teen moms can go to school and/or work.
But I know she is a pedophile. I know how inappropriate she was with me. We didn’t have sex. But she did start telling me when I was four years old what I had to do to relax my anus so anal sex didn’t hurt so much. It was actually a thing for me for years. I didn’t manage to successfully have anal sex until Noah. (Violent sodomy as a small child doesn’t count. No, I didn’t relax enough to make it hurt less then either.) He was the first person who could work through that fear. A number of people tried before then. It always hurt too much and the hysterical crying freaked people out.
I felt specifically bad and like a failure because I was not able to have anal sex with the people who wanted to before Noah. I have had a lot of intense feelings of lack of worth because I was not able to do what people wanted. I was supposed to.
My sister is probably really who taught me this. I think she was the main consistent source of this. She talked about sex all the time and had sex in front of me and consciously and deliberately told me what I should go do.
I can’t play the game any more. She’s not ok. And my children do not deserve to be exposed to her.
But I’m losing out on cousins who fix my cars. And cousins who know how to help with plumbing. And all the free babysitting I want. And holidays full of people. And a niece and nephew who really need my help.
I can’t play the game any more. I’m not at the bottom of the shit hill any more and I won’t allow them to set the terms of reality. I just can’t. But it is hard.
You know how I moved around a lot as a kid? I was often staying with relatives. I didn’t know them well and I didn’t stay long so I never got to know them… but they took me in. Over and over. My family takes care of children. They would have been very happy to know my children.
But it’s a trap. It’s all or nothing. You have to play the game and keep the silence or you are out.
I just had a brilliant idea. I need to get my hands on more big boxes. Then the next time we get rained out of the park I can tell folks to come over with markers. I think that having an activity will be useful. The pack of wild children running and screaming can’t be a full time gig. We have this construction kit we were given for building with cardboard. I am totally sure I could come up with something awesome given who the biggest five kids are. Those girls are clever.
I started working on the childrens book while we were at Disneyland. We mailed all the Christmas cards to the home schoolers but I’m not done with my cards. I have emails I want to write but I really want to see Noah too. And we have a tea party today that I need to prepare for. Luckily Noah cleaned the house for me while we were gone. Now that is true love.
I feel like a terribly ungrateful person for having this sad track in my head but I don’t know how to turn it off. My life literally has all of the elements I ever said I wanted. Oh, except for a mother. Or a father. Or a sister. Or brothers. I wanted to have those relationships too. I wanted to have people who would actually learn about me and be able to help me. I wanted to have people who felt obligated to help me. I’ll say it. I don’t have anyone who feels obligated to help me. I have people who feel bad for me and help me when they can. It really is different. I’m fucking grateful for what I have.
I feel constantly sad that I was not good enough to deserve a family. Having children and a husband is different. I’m grateful for them. I want them. Please God let nothing take them from me. I need them so much. But it’s different. My children know a very small part of me. And that is how it needs to stay. That is really hard. I don’t feel like anyone knows me very well and it makes me so sad.
I feel so unimportant. It really feels like the death of who I was. My children will only know me Post-Rape. No one knew me before then.
It is very overwhelming feeling. Like I really have to kill who I was. Like it should become my shameful silent secret. Even though it still feels like it is happening in my body sometimes. I don’t know how to make it stop. I don’t know how to stop hearing them tell me over and over that I am worthless and stupid and bad.
So I look at my nice family, my good family. I feel like I am going to hurt them. I feel like I am going to poison them unless I find a way to wall off the toxic waste that is my body. Unless I can learn how to pretend that I never had a persona that was raped over and over and over then I have to try harder to be silent. Be silent. Be silent.
No one wants to hear that shit Kristine. Shut up. Shut up. No one fucking cares. Why are you so stupid?
Noah noticed that Calli had a ridiculous language jump during the trip. I think it was because I felt safer talking there. It’s ok to talk in Disneyland because I am describing physical objects the whole time and answering their questions. I’m on task and I can relax. I can’t spontaneously talk about what I am thinking almost ever in my life. I just can’t. I have to be extremely conscious about what I talk about. It is easier at Disneyland where I have a job in front of me. I am interpreting this world and giving them my view of it and explaining to them what I want them to get out of it. I don’t go to Disneyland with the same agenda as other families (sorry folks). Shanna likes to play. We find places to hang out and she recruits kids into games. I need her to be adaptive to a wide variety of people. I take her to a lot of different kinds of places.
We need to be able to negotiate crowds. Disneyland is a very low stakes place to practice this. We go when it is not busy and we rehearse how to act. We talk about how far apart to be. We specifically talk about how many steps you are allowed to have between you and Mommy. Count them off. How do you look around you and determine where is safe to run and where you must walk? I need them to be able to evaluate environments and figure out behavior.
Shanna knows my full and complete name and knows that if she gets lost she is to walk to a cast member and say “Excuse me but I seem to have lost my mother. Not to worry, I know her phone number.” She sings it. I taught it as a song. That makes it easier to remember.
I am not trying to raise compliant children. But I am trying to raise children who have habits I can stand. We can argue and bicker all day long–but you’ll keep a civil tongue in your head or I’m not talking to you. If I yell first I acknowledge that I started it and I apologize. I expect Shanna to do the same. We don’t need to yell at each other. We can just talk.
By the end of the trip Shanna said we should have brought the double stroller. Ha. I hated having a stroller. I really did. I felt boxed in and controlled. I was pissed off by having to remember it. I took to forcing one child at a time into it because that way I could follow the pace set by one kid at a time. I was not capable of following two kids with a damn stroller. I hated it. Oh man they used it. I hated it. Thank you D. I really appreciate the loan. I will get it back to you soon.
I have to go in. Thank goodness this is a Godmama weekend. I can use some time off. I’m feeling very overwhelmed.
I drove home from Disneyland today and I spent most of the drive thinking about rape. How the public “standard” is violent stranger rape it’s… so completely missing the point.
Rape is someone you know just pushing too hard. Rape is very rarely a stranger jumping out of the bushes. Ok, that does happen. But it’s incredibly rare. As a species the risk for engaging in that kind of behavior is too great. Most men have incredibly high impetus to not try that sort of funny business. When I talk about rape culture that isn’t what I’m talking about.
My dad was a rapist. He raped his wife, his daughters, his son, his sisters, the children of his girlfriends… I don’t know where the list went from there. My dad is dead. He killed himself because he couldn’t handle going to prison. He died the morning his trial was to begin. He had already fully confessed. He gave them a lot of details and corroborating evidence that I had not given told the detectives about. I wrote a book about my childhood and I poured every detail I could remember. It’s 160 pages. That’s both a lot of remembering and not so much.
I mean, I did gloss over details and all. But if my dad raped me way more than I remember… when in the hell did it happen? What don’t I remember? I kind of want to read his confession and I kind of don’t. I’m pretty sure I could get it but it would take work. The trial never technically happened but I don’t think they get rid of evidence anyway.
I love my dad. I love my mom. I love my sister. I love my brothers. But I can’t be near them. Well, my dad is dead, Tommy too. But I divorced my mom and sister and brother and extended family.
It doesn’t matter if I love them. They poison me. They tell me it is not ok for me to inconvenience them when I go through trauma that kills people. I’m kind of indignant on this score. I was not allowed to speak when I was a child–I was slapped into submission. Now it is “digging up the past” and “You’re remembering wrong”. Oh man.
It doesn’t matter how much I love them. They hurt me. They tell me to be a prostitute. They tell me actively and specifically that I am required to have sex with any man who wants to have sex with me especially my family members. I mean… eww.
It doesn’t matter how much I love them. My children can’t grow up knowing those people and that dynamic. I don’t forking think so.
In the first year we were married my husband and I agreed that some day he could ignore me saying “no” and push for sex. I imagined in my head some night of casually saying no and ending up playing a dead fish. I’ve certainly played that game before.
He picked the day I turned my sister in to CPS. I was a mandated reporter. When she laughed and told me about the 12 year old with alcohol poisoning in her house I had to call. I was completely hysterical. I was breaking every taboo of my family. We are white trash. You don’t fucking nark. The police are the enemy. They want to hurt us. It’s a thing.
We beat the shit out of each other. It was really brutal. He’s a mean bastard when he wants to be. I think he partially does that because it makes me appreciate him being nice to me the vast majority of the time.
I’ve told him bluntly that I will never be raped again. He has a lot of enlightened self interest. And he only raped me because I had given him explicit consent with a set of boundaries I didn’t properly think about. Whoops. Ok. I’ve played that game to the end. I’m done now.
It’s kind of weird. I was 25 then. So I had a period of about 23 or 24 years where I was raped every so often by a new person.
It’s really kind of weird to be thinking about my life now as “post-rape”. And it is difficult to trust my husband. I don’t very much. I mean… I do… but I have walls I didn’t used to have. I protect me actively more now. I keep more of me hidden from him and that feels hard. It means I have no one to share those things with.
I want a mother so bad. But my mother isn’t a mother. She’s a monster. And I love her. But I can’t let her destroy my kids.
My mom tried to tell me, “But I wouldn’t have the same kind of influence on them that I had on you.” You bet your skippy you won’t.
I am ridiculously attentive. I don’t hover, but I pay attention. My kids feel special and loved. They feel like they have a lot to give the world and many things they want to hurry up and get doing.
It’s so different from my childhood. It’s hard to watch sometimes. I feel like I am constantly having this pity party track in my brain as I see what I had to go through at their ages. As I realize just how much of a baby I was oh god. How could they have done that to me?
My father liked to penetrate my vagina while in amusement parks. That was his favorite way to spend the day together as a family. We went often. He always had me sit on his lap. His hand was always inside me. I had to not react. I had to sit very still and barely breathe.
When I watch my children exist in the world sometimes I feel like I am watching them through a sheet of glass. I am still holding my breath and trying to not exist. I wish I could feel the same joy they feel but I can’t. I feel dead.
I feel like I have to create a new person out of whole cloth. I don’t know what else to do now. I was told what I was supposed to do. But I’m not doing it. I’m being bad. Aren’t I?
I don’t know. It’s very confusing sometimes.