Monthly Archives: June 2013

More books

29: You Better Not Cry by Augusten Buroughs

30: By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

31: Private Parts by Howard Stern –this is one of the funniest books I have ever read in my life.

32: The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

33: The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Only 19 to go in 6 months. Excellent.


That was a first.

Shanna decided this morning that I have to teach her how to read. After about ten minutes of slowly going through sounding out phonics and helping her with simple books she got up and walked away. She’s not annoyed she just wants to look at the pictures in other books.

This is why I don’t want to put them in school. I think that is fine.

And the storm passes.

Yesterday I felt sad and drained by the suicidal ideation slowed down. In the afternoon I talked to one of my favorite men in the world. He helps me gain perspective on life. We talked about shame and pain and being a problem vs. having a problem. We talked about what it means to be trying to change. We talked about how very hard it is to change.

This friend has dealt with a lot of suicide. Three people in the last two years. Now his dad is talking suicide in the “threatening” sort of way. My friend called the police. He told his father that either his father start a) going to therapy, b) seeing a psychiatrist to discuss medication, and c) find some sort of peer support group that my friend will have his father declared incompetent and he will sue for guardianship. That’s kind of intense to hear from my friend.

I asked him how he feels about me talking about my suicidal ideation. He said, “Do you see a therapist?” Yes. “Do you see a doctor for medication?” Yes. “Do you have peer support?” Well… the support group didn’t work out but I have very close friends some of whom I speak to daily and I can call them in any crisis. “Then you ARE DOING what you are supposed to be doing. You are allowed to talk about how it is going.”

He pointed out that I’m not threatening to do it. I’m saying that I want to but know I can’t. I absolutely never fucking ever say, “If you (whoever) do/do not do ___________ then I will kill myself.”

That’s not the point. I don’t think that any one else needs to change what they are doing. I feel like a chicken shit for whining about being in pain. Isn’t every one in pain? Well, why do we act like everyone must suffer all the time? Why?

I don’t suffer all the time. I am in some kind of pain basically every minute of every day but I don’t think about it. I try to ignore it. That isn’t the focus of my life. I’m also breathing air and pumping blood and blinking my eyes and producing saliva. So what?

I don’t always have the standing-in-the-center-of-a-bunch-of-movie-screens feeling in my head. That just isn’t here today. Today it is pretty quiet upstairs. I wouldn’t say I feel “relaxed” but I have more or less decided that given how much I was screamed at today I’m not jumping through hoops to entertain my kids so I don’t have a lot to worry about.

I don’t have a big terrible anniversary looming. Not till October. I have Calli’s birthday and my birthday to get through before then.

Last night my therapist and I talked about my compulsive sexuality. She hasn’t had a lot of details outside of what is in the book. I’ve only been seeing her since October 2012. She has only known me as monogamously married. Hell, she thought we started monogamy at the beginning of the marriage. Snort.

No, actually not following the guy home from the grocery store is brand spanking new. For basically the first twenty-five years of my life I would have. I said yes all the time because saying no frequently resulted in my being raped and that process is pretty terrible so if a guy hints that he wants to have sex it is just a better idea in every way to say yes. Saying no is just flat dangerous.

I only want to be beaten when I ask nicely and say please. In any and all other circumstances I’m not ok with it.

My big girl came in to put her head on my chest while I type. Not a great angle for my arm. But gosh this is good for my heart.

I want to see what they are like as adults. I want to find out if they are going to be slutty or very monogamous. I don’t want to tell them to do either. I want to find out what they want for themselves.

My therapist asked me why I stopped being promiscuous. I told her I didn’t want to model it for my children. I don’t want to teach my kids that they should spend their entire lives hunting for sex. They can learn that lesson from someone else, not me. That’s not my role.

It is really fascinating listening to other people talk about their marriages and sex lives. I feel so grateful that I found someone who is extremely sexually compatible with me. I feel like that alignment isn’t actually common. This is why I test-drove so many people. Ha.

I should get dressed and water the yards and finish sanding the fence. Then I can bring some pencils over and start sketching. I bet I could get a lot of the layout done today and tomorrow if I tried hard. Then I would have next week while Shanna is in day camp to paint. I’ll have to think about how to entertain Calli. I’m not thrilled with the idea of just bringing the iPad but I might. She will have a hard time keeping herself busy without Shanna for three days. Stuff to ponder.

I was lying in bed the other night, crying–of course. I was thinking about how my entire life has involved crying myself to sleep while rehearsing all of the memories other people tell me to forget. Other people want me to pretend that my life never happened. They want me to swallow all of the poison down deep inside of me so that it is buried in the darkness of my belly. There they are safe from the poison. It only hurts me and that is not their problem.

I wonder if that is why my abdomen hurts. It is all the secrets I am not allowed to tell because they are too shameful. I eat them. I swallow the poison as fast as I can but it isn’t fast enough. I don’t do it completely enough. I am not able to do it while smiling and making other people feel good about themselves.

I am a failure.

I am supposed to take all of the suffering away from other people. It is not their responsibility to hurt. I should hurt.

But then I stop and think, “What a self absorbed stupid bitch.”

I haven’t spent more time crying about my friends miscarriages than they have. Who in the hell am I to think I am taking pain away from any one else? I don’t take anyones pain away. I wallow in my own.

I sit and wallow in shit and misery. Because I am too stupid to understand that I am in the pig pen. All I have to do is get up and climb over the fence and take a shower–right?

But this is the only home I’ve ever known.

My friend told me (and my therapist said she was so happy he told me this) I am changing my brain when I parent the way I do. I am creating the possibility of a different future for myself and my children. I am changing the pattern of my family.

My parents both had really bad childhoods. My mother cleaned up after her mother’s suicide attempts after school. My father had a violent, abusive alcoholic in the house. My mother was the youngest child and her older siblings were contemptuous and vicious to her. My father raped his sister.

What the hell happened to my grandparents that they would produce children who would act in such a way? One grandmother was the illegitimate daughter of a prostitute. One was the descendent of Mayflower Pilgrims. (My sister claims she saw records as a kid before my parents divorced.) One grandfather was a second generation immigrant born on a Mennonite colony. One grandfather was a Catholic printer from LA. His family had been in the printing business and in the military as long as anyone could remember.

For my children three our of four of their grandparents are mentally ill though I doubt my mother in law would like me saying so. My children have a great grandparent, grandparent, and uncle who have all committed suicide. They don’t need a parent too.

If I manage to have a happy sixtieth birthday that will be absolutely miraculous by the standards of my family.

And Noah would be really nice to me for all of the years in between. It’s nice to think about.

Count your blessings while you can

Today I get to sit around with my kids watching language videos and talking to one another. We like comparing the counting systems. My kids can count to ten in English, Spanish, French, Hindi, and ASL. We are working on getting to twenty. We can do it English and Hindi so far.

I like how the colors are remarkably similar from language to language. That is feeling neat in my brain.

I have a husband who doesn’t get upset with me for crying and crying and crying. He asks me if I want to talk. If I say no he just strokes my hair. I feel very blessed. Lots of people get mad at me for crying. I feel grateful that I am no longer punished for crying.

I haven’t had a suicidal movie playing in my head today.

I screwed up therapy last night. I didn’t have an appointment. I’m supposed to be there tonight instead. I may call. I don’t know. I’m glad I didn’t drive last night. I sobbed as I walked from the therapy office to bart. Then I distracted myself on the train with reading Howard Stern’s autobiography.

I think that Howard Stern is a racist piece of shit but he is one of the fucking funniest writers I have ever read in my life. I was practically rolling up and down the aisle of the train it was so funny. Which was a great break after all the crying I’ll tell you.

Today we go to the county fair after a while. We’ll be there later in the afternoon. It is $1 ride day and you can get in free if you bring food to donate to the food drive. It’s the day to go.

Last night I was thinking about how one of the things that probably is common amongst people who are highly resilient (which is distinct from being a survivor) is the ability to decide that what is happening to you personally is unimportant in the scheme of your priorities so you just ignore your own experience.

It takes blind faith in the flow of the universe to decide that my momentary experience is  less important than the future self I am working towards.

I have to believe that things will get better. I have to believe that this moment is not forever. I have to believe that what I feel right now is just what I am feeling right now and it means very little to what I will feel in twenty years.

I’m thirty-one years old. Twenty years ago I was eleven. When I was eleven I was a complete and total basket case. I cut constantly. I loathed myself. I spent my time alone and didn’t have friends. That was in the transition from Apple Valley to Los Gatos again. That was during the period of time when my mom couldn’t have a job because she had to be available to drive me back and forth to school because large groups of kids waited to beat the shit out of me if I stepped out of my house or class room unescorted.

My life is different. No one is waiting outside my house to hurt me any more. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize that my life is real. I spend nearly twenty-four hours with people who like me so much that for me to stop touching them is a rude brush off. They sometimes say, “Hey! Come back here!” Some day we will individuate. Probably not before puberty. Right around puberty? During the tween years?

Sure as hell ain’t happening during the “preschool” years. We are enmeshed and not terribly individuated. Only we talk a lot about how everyone has different preferences. Everyone gets their own kind of fork and drink and proportion of kinds of food because everyone has different needs.

My kids believe that their body is important and must be taken care of and mommy doesn’t always know the right answer–I need input. They tell me, “I feel like I need carbs right now. I feel like I need protein–I’ve definitely had enough sugar for today.” They don’t have to like anything just because I like it.

So in some ways we are already very much individuated. In some ways my children are freakishly individuated for their ages.

I tell them, “I want to take good care of you but I cannot read your mind. Will you please tell me what you need so that I can give you what you need? I really want to make sure your needs are met.”

I also say, “That’s not a need; that’s a want.” You can’t have everything you want. No one can. That’s a losing battle. It wouldn’t be good for you if you tried.

I have the unimaginable privilege of being allowed to sit around with my wonderful kids all day and learn languages and garden and talk to them about biology and history and math without ever needing to get out some stupid worksheet.

I hate worksheets so much. (It’s ok that other people like them. I just don’t.)

I have plenty of food and then some. I have a wonderful garden. I have security and freedom. I have the right to divorce my husband and get a wife. That’s a blessing I didn’t have yesterday. (Err, not that I plan to do so Noah. I like you lots.) It’s nice to feel like my government says that more parts of me are ok today that weren’t yesterday.

I’m not dead yet. Tommy and my father are. That has to be blessing enough for the day.

Fifteen years.

Tommy has been dead for fifteen years today. I don’t blame myself for his suicide any more. I used to. It took a long time for me to stop feeling like it was all my fault. I didn’t even think about it until I called a girlfriend yesterday and said, “I am completely freaking out and I’m not sure what is triggering it.”

She said, “Don’t you have a big anniversary at the end of June?” Oh. I had managed to not remember until she said that. Yup. This is a big one.

I called her because I’m told often that calling people is the right thing to do when you can’t think of what else to do other than hurt yourself. Distraction is your friend and all.

I haven’t cut in quite a while. The last time was one night when Alex was here and I could not get my body under control to even talk to him. That was a few years ago. I haven’t beaten my head on the floor since my 30th birthday. That is going on two years.

I have been appropriate for a couple of years in a row. I don’t scream much. When I do I immediately apologize and I have to take a time out to model dealing with inappropriate behavior. I haven’t hit anyone in a very long time.

I maintain “good” behavior by removing stimulus so my life is nice and boring.

Right now my stomach hurts so much that I feel like I could vomit on my bed. I haven’t medicated yet today. I have been playing games with not medicating. Because I go through these shame spirals about only disgusting bad people are addicts. I need pot. Therefore I am a disgusting, bad addict. Aren’t addicts supposed to be punished? Isn’t that what we do here?

I think that thinking about Tommy is part of the emphasis on the burning-alive screen in my head. Normally that show isn’t so prominent. But when I think about Tommy pretty much what I see in my head is a flip-flop between images of him burning (which I didn’t actually see) and the physical feelings of him trying to rape me. I wish I could forget what that felt like.

Next year he will have been dead for half of my life. Due to funny math it takes a bit longer until my father has been dead for half of my life. I had a birthday in between their suicides even though they were only four months apart.

Just breathe. Therapy tonight. Not going to the park today. Thank goodness for rain. Please start raining, sky. I want to have a good reason for not going instead of just being a whiny bitch.

Sometimes I can not-hate me for the things that have happened to me. Then there are all the other days when I look around and notice that other people didn’t have lives like me. I must have deserved it. I must have been supposed to be treated like that.

The one thing I have no fear of as a parent is whether or not I have snuggled my children enough. It would not be physically possible for me to spend much more time snuggling my kids. We spend hours every day hugging and cuddling. My children will not have brains and bodies full of the feeling of being hit and held down as someone tries to remove your clothing.

My children have never been told that they are whores who are required to open their legs whenever they are told. No one has ever hit them and told them to be still and silent while they are being hurt. No one has ever humiliated them and then told them to stop crying or they will be given a reason to cry. No one has ever told them, with fingers in their vaginas, that this is the only part of their body worth keeping them alive for.

Sometimes when I think of all the evil poison I have inside me I feel like the only way to run away from the toxic sludge is to be dead. Otherwise I don’t know how to stop remembering these words, these feelings.

Just get up and do something else. Even if the first attempt to distract myself fails I have to try again. And again. And again. I have to get through today so that I can have a tomorrow that hurts less. It will hurt less. I believe that in the pit of my stomach in a way that I believe very few things. Not every day hurts like this. I know this.

I suppose that is actually major progress. I don’t think I had that belief in the past. When I was young I remember feeling trapped in the fear and pain. I did not believe I could ever not be in pain. Then I had my children. They bring me more joy than anything in the whole world. A lot of the time I am able to immerse myself in the joy of being near them and forget everything that came before them.

Sometimes I feel like I was born with them. I am trying to write a new story. It started on May 24th, 2008. That was the day that me being in pain wasn’t really something that bothered me. It was pain with a purpose. I needed to help my daughter be born. I wanted it. I wanted it more than I have ever wanted anything.

And the person I got is even more incredible than I imagined. She is more loving than I thought she would be. I think I believed that my children would always have thinly veiled contempt for me like I was told to have contempt for my mother.

My father, sister, and brothers all told me to have contempt for my mother. She was weak, powerless, stupid, ineffectual, unable to handle real life. We were supposed to lie to her always because she couldn’t handle anything.

So far my children seem to believe that in any average room I am going to be the most competent person there. If something needs to be done they assume I can do it. Even if I have never done something before I say, “Well let’s check the internet!” Then I just do it. I don’t care if it is “hard” or not. If it needs to get done and a person can do it then I believe I am capable of doing it. (Ok, barring some limitations of sheer strength or size. But there are tools that help you over-come such short comings!)

Fifteen years ago when I was told that my brother was dead, no wait–let me be clear: when I was screamed at that I was a stupid bitch who killed our brother I went off by myself. Eventually I went to Jenny because I had nowhere else to go and I knew I wasn’t really welcome in our house. It was all my fault after all. Everyone was so mad at me.

If I hadn’t prosecuted my dad none of this would have happened.

Fifteen years since I called 911 and said, “I need to talk to someone about my dad molesting me.” I cried and could barely give the operator my address. Hell, I barely knew my address. I think I had to find a piece of mail and read it off. I hadn’t lived there very long.

That was when I started really fighting back. I wish that I knew some way of fighting back other than disappearing. That is what I have done. I left. I left everyone who was previously in my life. I treated them like there was an ultimatum and they lost.

Pick my abusers or pick me. Given that you never knew about any of the abuse and you don’t believe me that it happened I will take that as you picking them and I will leave.

I don’t need you.

I don’t need my mother or sister or brother or aunts or uncles or cousins if they aren’t going to believe me about what happened to me.

I live in hell because of the things that were done to me. And I’m supposed to make nice-nice with the people who hurt me. I’m supposed to forgive and forget and support them and love them because they are family.

I think that if a dog was treated the way I was treated my family would go to jail over it. Animal rights activists are fucking fierce.

I learn every day how bad it was because I make conscious choices about how to talk to my children. I weigh my words very carefully. I have to think about every.fucking.thing.I.say. Or I might slip and be inappropriate. I know how very inappropriate I could be. Oh holy fucking shit I could be wildly inappropriate.

Someone tried to tell me that I don’t understand how upsetting rape pornography is. I said, well very few people have pictures of themselves being hanged by the neck but I do. Do I understand how upsetting it is that generic men might want to do that to generic women? Uhm, how about having to live with the fact that someone I loved very much wanted to do that to me. He thought that was the appropriate way to treat me. He masturbated while watching me choke.

I am very careful what I say to my children all day every day. I have had an entire life of Not Safe For Children. Like 99% of what is in my brain is not appropriate to share with children. So I have to think very hard and very carefully all day every day to ensure that I am appropriate. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have to think about my words, my tone of voice, and my facial expression. I have to do this full speed ahead while interacting with two very challenging individuals all god damn day every god damn day.

I actually feel proud of myself when I think about it. I am not perfect. I am snippy and I say things that are too harsh sometimes. Hopefully not in a long-term damaging way? Who knows. I’m saving money towards their future therapy if needed. Seriously. Growing up with me is an Adventure!

They sure don’t act like children who have had all the joy taken from the world. (I’m sitting in the play room watching them interact. We’ve been in here a while.) Ok, actually they aren’t both in here any more. I guess stuff changes.

I should probably start chores. It is a day and all.

Sometimes it is inconvenient that I think it is so important to model this shit every day. It is inconvenient that I prioritize their having these memories over what my body wants to do. It is just more important to care about their future selves having this stable scaffolding to build on. It doesn’t matter how I feel. I want to sit in bed and watch The West Wing season two for the sixth time.

But that wouldn’t be functional, now would it? I’m pretty sure I am getting sick. My nose is running and my throat is getting sore. We still need to go on a walk and get work done. The world does not stop just because you aren’t feeling perfect. We won’t run but we do need to move our bodies. We need to be active. We need to be out in our community seeing people and continuing to exist. We won’t stop and chat as long and we won’t stand as near them.

This feels very important. Just keep moving. It doesn’t matter if you want to be alive you are still alive. Keep moving. Act like you will be alive for a long time. You can either do it miserably or you can do it in reasonable health.

If you want to actively die get it over with. Stop the bullshit. Don’t kill yourself with a thousand paper cuts. That is chicken shit. If you are doing that, stop it.

There has to be a different way. What is it? Time to go start the day.

Not a good day.

I have vague suicidal ideation pretty frequently. I’m basically always aware of at least three ways to commit suicide within the next hour. Usually I consciously try to physically stay a bit away from the methods I am considering.

Today is really bad. I am having a terrible time distracting myself. I can’t get off that track. I feel scared. My body physically hurts. I feel useless and bad. I feel like I must die. I don’t know how to explain this very well. It feels like dying today is the will of the universe and if I ignore what I am supposed to be doing there will be serious consequences.

I called a friend and talked to her until she had to pick her kid up from school. I watched a movie (sorta). I saw maybe thirty minutes total out of the pilot for Little House on the Prairie. (I feel annoyed that the presented Pa without a beard.) I tried to wash dishes. I’m having trouble getting through a task. In the middle my knees turn to water and I start crying.

I want to die. I want to die far more than I want to breathe. Breathing hurts. I want to stop.

I can’t. It doesn’t really matter if I hurt. I have these kids to take care of. I grow increasingly certain by the year that I would be dead if I had not managed to procreate. I feel grateful for them and very angry that they won’t just let me die.

Ok DSH–really my kids are more important than my marriage in terms of being able to have a permanent relationship. Can I be kind enough to them? Can I take care of them well enough? What is “enough”?

I tried to read. I can’t get through two pages. And I’m still reading the Little House series so that means my brain is toast. Yesterday I read the first book in the series in two hours. It isn’t that the books are hard. I just can’t think of anything other than killing myself.

It is like I live in a movie multi-plex. You can see all the screens from the center of the space. Like at the drive-in movies. On every screen I see a different way of dying. The speed and tempo of what I am seeing speeds up and slows down. Sometimes I focus in on one screen at a time and I watch the razor blade move with infinite slowness and deftness as it severs the artery. The bus hitting me goes really fast. I see that one happen over and over really quickly. I can hit by a bus 100 times in a minute. I can’t see anything else inside my brain.

I’m trying really hard to see something else. My kids are really clingy today, as you would expect.

What is it going to mean for them growing up with someone like me? I am keeping them fed. I think they have even felt the semblance of play today. I certainly haven’t said the word suicide nor the word cut nor die nor nor nor nor.

I say nothing. I just sit here and shake. Sometimes I go hide in my room. I sit between the bed and the wall under the window where the kids can’t see me because then they don’t jump on me immediately. I can cry and shake and try to rock myself.

Shouldn’t I put them in school and get them away from me? What in the fuck makes me think that I am an adequate human being to parent at all let alone home school? Shouldn’t my children be around healthy, functional people?

Do they know that I am not functional? Do they see me as broken? Do they see me as inadequate? Do they care that I cry while I walk around the house puttering through my chores?

Maybe I’m freaking out because Noah did most of the cleaning yesterday so I haven’t gotten into the flow of cleaning the house? Maybe I’m freaking out because tomorrow marks fifteen years since my brother lit himself on gasoline and burned 85% of his body.

Let me tell you, that screen in my head is festive. I’ve done a lot of research into what happens to the body as it burns. You never get those images out of your brain.

You can never unknow what you know. You can never unsee what you have seen.

My children do not know what is inside of me. All they know is even on my bad days they can say, “I need hugs” and I will immediately hug them. Ok sometimes I have to put something down first. My kids know that the rules for how the house works are consistent. Even on my bad days food has to stay in the kitchen or we get bugs. Even on my bad days you have to pick up after yourself before you get the iPad. Even on my bad days there will be food put in front of you at appropriate intervals.

Even if mom doesn’t eat because giving her food would clearly be an inappropriate use of resources.

Even on mom’s bad days big sister is still not the boss, sorry kid. Even on bad days mom will still smile and say that she loves you. Even if she is crying at the same time.

When they ask me why I’m crying I lie sometimes. Or I tell part of the truth. I tell them I am crying because I am so happy I get to be near them. I don’t say that I am so happy to be away from the people who used to hurt me. That’s a part of the story I can gloss over just now.

I want to die. Today I do not have more than 50% on the want to live side. It is just not there. I want to stop hurting. I want to be selfish. I want to only care about me.

But I won’t. I have these two kids to take care of. More than I want to die I want them to reach eighteen with a whole heart. I do not want to be what breaks them. Life will be hard enough without me destroying them. I will not kill myself today. It doesn’t matter that I want to.

In some way that is a kind of comfort. I feel terrible guilt because I know that Noah would not be enough today. If I did not have children today I would be done. I’m that sure. I want out of my head that bad.

But I can’t. It is kind of a weird feeling. I can’t. I made two people out of pure selfishness. I made Shanna because I have dreamed of meeting my daughter Shanna since I was twelve. Ok, she’s slightly more blonde than I pictured but otherwise I feel like I got exactly what I wanted. I designed this kid in my head and I got her. She is as outgoing and friendly and charming and considerate as I hoped. Those were the parts of me that I really wanted to see in an undamaged person. I knew that before she was born. I fucking prayed for a friendly child. I wanted someone who has never met a stranger, someone like me.

I feel like if I went through and listed off my favorite things about myself: how good I am at meeting people, how good I am at taking charge, how good I am at making sure something is followed up on, how tenacious I am, how stubborn, how sure I am right I am. That describes my daughter. Maybe I’m lying to myself but I see her trying to be those things. (Maybe I am inappropriate in how I direct her, maybe in the long run none of these things will describe her.)

I can’t leave her without someone who understands her. Noah has a very hard time understanding her behavior. He gets so furious sometimes when she does stuff. Then I sit down and explain to him how the situation looks from her perspective. Then he figure out how to handle her. How would they get along without me?

They would get by. I know. I can come up with a lot of reasons why it is ok for me to just be done.

But then I look at Calli. No, she would never be ok. That one would be broken by this. Shanna would try to fill the void by loving other people. I think she would be ok. Calli is different. Calli is different parts of me. I think that if Calli is betrayed by the person she loves most in the whole wide world she will never get over that. It will destroy her sense of self-worth. I can see that so clearly.

I can’t do that. I see the power I have here. Just living is good enough some days. Just continuing to hug them when they ask is enough some days.

Some days I don’t really make forward progress. Sometimes I, to quote my therapist, am immobilized by reliving trauma and I have to coast on how good my kids are at entertaining themselves and being responsible.

This was how I did it as a teacher too. I had such a strongly ingrained routine that I didn’t actually have to do much of anything. The children taught themselves. I showed them the process then they went through it over and over because I was consistent in the beginning. It was ok for me to mentally check out some days. I could say, “Hey you! I have decided that you are teaching this lesson. All of the material is right next to the overhead projector. Get to.”

They did it. They did as well as I would have. Sometimes watching them learn the material out loud was really instructive to me. I learned things I hadn’t really understood even as I prepared my materials.

I didn’t teach from what was in my head. I wrote everything down. I knew to the minute what to do every day. I knew what questions to ask and what things to say. I didn’t follow pre-prepared curriculums. That’s why I worked seventy to eighty hour weeks.

My children have similar sorts of patterns. Even when I fall of the flow they still follow it.

The job of children is to play and learn. You get two hours a day of iPad usage. Other than that it is your responsibility to figure out how to entertain yourself. No one else can crawl into your brain and know what you want to be doing. Figure it out. And they do. Ok, so I do interact with them. And they follow me around and interact with me a lot.

Today I am writing because this manages to pull a track of my brain away from thinking about suicide. When I type it is like abruptly switching screens with keyboard shortcuts. It is abrupt and sudden and there is only text. The movies switch off. Very little else can interrupt the flow of images. That is interesting to think about.

I can’t flip between the screens at will like this for anything else. Typing pulls up a part of my awareness that other things don’t. It is kind of interesting to wonder how typing will play into the personhood of humans in the future. How does the activation of our brain work differently for typing as opposed to other methods of communication or living?

I don’t know if it works this way for other people. But man is typing awesome as a focus device. I think that is why I like it so much. I write terribly slowly. I hate my hand writing. It feels like torture. Which is why I am thinking of hand-writing my next book. I’m just not getting the feel of it in typing.

Today is a funny day to think about the next book. It does need to be Outrunning Suicide and it’s kind of funny to want to write about this process this way. It will be ironic if I write a book about not doing it and then I do it. Ha. Fitting?

Maybe I want to write a book about not doing it because I am trying to convince myself. Do I really believe in any of the things I want to write down? Why do I want to record them? Why do I want to share them? Who do I want to share the ideas with? For what purpose do I want to write this book?

I’m not dead. I have wanted to die this much before and I am not dead. I have done incredibly risky things one right after another and I am not dead. I want to really examine for myself what I have done.

I think I want to hand-write it because I want to write stories that young people can read. When I type I get kind of out of hand. *cough*

I think that the most important thing to remember when I am suicidal is that this is a feeling–well, a whole set of feelings, really.

One of the most profound experiences of being a parent is knowing that if I believe that on some basic level my children require me to live then I have to change my behaviors in a variety of ways.

I have to really think about what it means to live even though I am suicidal. I need to actively work towards not dying. I need to stop taking stupid chances. I have to actively stop and consider the results of a wide variety of actions and I have to act as if the results matter.

I have to think about taking care of my body. I have to think about what it means to keep a human animal alive. I have to act like I am important. Or, statistically speaking, I won’t live very long. Some of the people in my family get old. Some of them kill themselves early. Some are alcoholics and destroy their bodies that way. My sour stomach keeps me from drinking. Even though I think about having alcohol almost every day. “Wouldn’t that taste nice?” No. That stomach ache isn’t bloody worth it.

Calli picked Alice in Wonderland as the movie. It is funny hearing it. She knows she is growing up in Wonderland. She actively refers to our house that way. Shanna doesn’t usually and kind of resists the label.

I think it is kind of magical that Calli can point at the kitchen floor and say, “I was born right there.” I can’t leave her. I don’t want that to be her story. I think that knowing that I am the one who decides what kind of childhood they have is going to be the thing. That’s the trick for me. Everyone has their own trick.

I don’t get to be the author of the story of how life goes for very many people. There will be only two people who get to experience the world entirely shaped by me. My children  believe that most people are good and that meeting people is a great experience. They know that some times people do bad things. They know that sometimes people are evil. It isn’t common but you have to prepare yourself for life any way. You need to take care of your body. You need to be strong. You need to be able to do a lot of things. You need to be able to teach yourself how to do things. If you sit around and wait for someone else to teach you how to do what you want to do you are going to sit for the rest of your life. Get to.

Sometimes I’m pretty impressed when I think about it. My oldest is five. I’ve gone that long. I have not been perfect. There have been outbursts of anger. There have been consequences. I have to fix the holes I kick in the walls. I had to fix the cupboard door I kicked off the wall. I had to feel ashamed of myself. I had to do it in front of my kids. I had to talk about why my actions were wrong. I had to talk about what I should have done instead. I had to apologize. Three violent outbursts so far? Oof. That’s not a good ratio.

I’m sorry is a chicken shit thing to say. Don’t fucking do that shit if you are fucking sorry.

I am pretty sure it has been more than a year since I have done anything. It isn’t like I am not being tested. Hoo boy.

I hope that these will be things that happened before Shanna’s memory started. I hope they never witness me losing control.

Suicide is, I think, a way to get out of being more of a failure. I won’t fail them in a million small ways and watch them decide they don’t want me any more after I have been uhh overly enmeshed for years. Yes, oh internet, I know I am enmeshed. Sort of. I know that I have very little permanent influence over them. I know I’m on a timer.

It is very hard for me to believe that my children will grow up to like me. Even though Shanna loves fucking everyone and Calli isn’t sure she loves anyone like she likes me. I know that sort of thing does change. I would have to fuck up pretty big. I have done well by her so far.

Noah says I was much harder on Shanna than I am on Calli at the same age. My response is: well when Shanna was at this age I had a kid this age and  a newborn and I just bloody couldn’t cope. I was very liberal with time outs. I am softer on Calli. I have felt a lot of guilt for weaning her when I did. She clearly wants to still be nursing. I forced her to not be a baby a whole year earlier than I cut off Shanna. I pushed her to potty train early. She just hasn’t had as much of a babyhood. So, yeah. I tolerate more whining from her. I haven’t let her be much of a baby. I will never have another baby.

I find it weird that every month and a bit I sit down and cry for a child I will never meet. I didn’t do that before I had kids. I actually think the miscarriages effected me far more than having children did. Those were children that I almost met and didn’t. I miss them every month. I don’t wish Calli away though and I definitely wouldn’t have met her if I had either of the other children. It’s a weird thing.

It doesn’t matter much if I feel distracted-enough by typing. I need to go eat something.  I need to get the kids ready for ballet and swimming. (All driving within three miles of my house at 24 mph.) I need to get the rest of dinner started.

I am probably clinically “depressed” because I feel like I am swimming up a river of molasses. It really doesn’t matter that it feels harder. I believe that my future self requires me to get off my ass and get work done today in order to be happy. I know this. What I am feeling right now cannot be what is important.

It is hard really believing and forcing myself to act as if it is true that I am required to provide a good childhood for my kids. I signed on to a specific job. I am doing it. I have bad days.

They often coincide with bad weather. And my period. And the anniversaries of suicides.

Oh man Tommy. I have therapy tomorrow night. That’s useful. Fifteen years. I am ten years older than he was when he died. He always was my big-little brother. I actually think that him committing suicide is ok. He had a severe traumatic brain injury. He was a very fucked up person before the car accident. He was going to be a truly scary sociopath. Then he was just a freak. I get why he didn’t want the future he had available.

I actually like the future I see for me if I just keep on keeping on.

Just don’t die today. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

But that isn’t good enough once you are a mother. You can’t just not die. You have to get off your ass and provide care. Like right now. Go. Ack.

Lack of consistency

One of the things that I prioritize with the kids is being consistent. Even if it makes me kind of a dick. I think that children need predictable responses from adults. But I make exceptions.

Last night Calli had a hard time going to bed. She had a hard day in general. Big Sister got to go on a play date alone for the first time. Calli was very jealous and upset. We had a pretty good date by ourselves (yay library) but there were a lot of feelings throughout the day. Then she slept from 3-5:30. So she wasn’t sleepy at bed time.

Noah was kind of done after a bit. His voice started escalating a bit. I decided that I needed to handle everything from her.

I walked her back to bed or spoke gently with her each time. When she came back after a decisive “No really I’m done” Noah got upset and I laughed. Persistent little thing.

I keep thinking that Shanna was still nursing constantly and sleeping with us full time at this age. Why do we expect things of Calli that we in no way expected from Shanna? I can comfort my two year old to sleep without being an impatient bitch. I have that still in me. (I’m thoroughly convinced it is best for all concerned that we are not having a third child. I don’t have anything left. But I can bloody well be nice to Calli.)

I couldn’t be mean to her. She would come to the door and say, “Please snuggle me.” I wasn’t a lot older than her when my parents divorced. My memories of rocking myself to sleep while crying for my mother are so intense and vivid that they haunt me waking and sleeping. I can’t be cruel to my children and deny them the comfort of my presence when they are little and scared and need me. Is it annoying sometimes? Oh golly gee yes. But this phase will be short in the over all scheme of things. I can comfort my two year old.

I have been told that I am an angry person since I was a little kid. That is one of the things people feel free to comment on the most–how angry I seem. I want my kids to remember me as someone who was always always always there when they needed me. I want them to remember me as loving and compassionate. That means I must behave in such a way over and over even when I’m not in the mood.

More than anything in the world I want my children to remember their childhoods well. I want them to remember that it was ok for them to be. If you are scared that is ok; we can handle that. If you are hungry that is ok; we can handle that. If you are hurt that is ok; we can handle that.

My children believe in the marrow of their bones that most things that go wrong in life can be handled by saying, “Well that didn’t go as planned. That’s ok, it’s easy to fix.” They both say it immediately when something starts going off the rails. They believe that problems and mistakes are just learning opportunities.

I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking lately about how adamantly I used to deny that I was beaten as a child. Up until about twenty-four I would hotly deny that I was beaten as a child. That was because throughout my entire childhood people would hit me and then sneer that I didn’t know what a beating was and I needed to shut up and stop crying or they would give me a real reason to cry.

Now that I have children and I have to have the self-control to not hit them I believe I was beaten all the god damn time. I believe that the adults in my life had no self-control and they used me as a relief valve for their general life frustrations. I had to become a parent before I could see that.

My children will not have memories like mine. My children will remember that when they needed their mom she was there. My children will remember being safe and happy and secure. My children will remember being loved and protected no matter what.

Even when they are annoying in the middle of the night. Even when they push all of my buttons. Even when I am so sick of them I could just fucking scream. I still can’t take that out on them. Period.

Sometimes I wonder about consistency. With children you need to consciously be aware that you have a limited amount of power and control over them. You have eighteen years to be their boss and then you need to shut the fuck up and let them do their thing. Really it is a lot less than eighteen years. You only get to really be the boss for like ten years. Then you need to pray you taught them well and just keep moving.

I am not consistent in pushing them away from me. When opportunities come up where I could hold a boundary and keep them away from me… I suck at that. If they tell me they need me I weigh my opposing needs and more than 80% of the time I decide their needs are more important right now. (My bladder waits for no one.) But even that has been a process. I learned how to hold my bladder after having kids. I do it better now than I ever have.

The most important consistency in my life is being loving towards my children. I am ok with bailing on absolutely every other requirement. I can’t keep too many things in my brain.

When people are under stress they revert to their earliest training. Over coming that is ridiculously hard and takes a lot of very conscious effort. I am not intellectually or physically capable at this moment in time in just writing a whole new pattern of reactions. That would be very hard. I can’t make me into a different person. But I can choose a behavior to move towards. I can’t pick too many at once or I will be overwhelmed and fail.

I can choose to prioritize being loving over any other form of consistency. That is something I can find a way to do. I mean, I told Calli last night, “You understand that my patience tonight will have a cost tomorrow–right? If you don’t let me go to sleep soon I will be kind of cranky and tired tomorrow.” She said she didn’t want me to be grumpy but she really needed cuddles. I believe her. I believe that she needed them right then.

My children are certain of their own worth. They are sure that they are worth extra effort. They understand that taking care of them is work and that I am very happy to do it because I am so glad to know them. But it is work and you have to be patient with me while I do it.

When I feel really bad about myself one of the things I focus on is how easily I make everyone around me feel bad about themselves. I am critical and sharp and mean. I take things apart that needn’t have the scrutiny.

I’m busy enough lately that I don’t need to look at the fact that I have stopped inviting people to do things. I’ve gotten enough “no’s” lately that I just don’t have it in me to invite anyone for a while. I’m going to coast on ballet recital rehearsal and painting probably until the end of the month. We aren’t doing much socializing outside the home school group. It is wonderfully convenient to be able to just sit down and look at their calendar and decide yes/no without having to weigh any emotional friendship factors. Do I want to drive to that event and do we have time/money? It’s very low-stress. I’m very grateful for all the work our Meet-up group organizer does. She makes my life better. She lets me kind of hide from a lot of life. I’m not sure she is aware she is doing that but I appreciate it any way.

I’m not consistent with adults. I don’t feel like I am kind enough to deserve consistency from any other adults so I’ve been avoiding them for a while. I’m not good enough at giving it so I don’t expect to receive it.

When I read stuff about introverts it almost justifies my existence. Being alone is so much easier–but I’m not really alone. I have these two excellent people keeping me company all the damn time. I do appreciate quiet in a way I didn’t used to.

I feel like Noah and I are having trouble connecting lately and I’m not sure how much of it is all a manufacturing of my fucked up brain. He’s tired and being less overly-sensitive of my ridiculous over-sensitivity. Of course that means I feel like he is picking on me. Because that’s how I roll. I don’t really think he is picking on me. But I do feel like he is saying small things that are kind of dismissive and that remind me that I’m just generally not very nice or very worth liking. I don’t really want to argue with the things because I mostly agree with him. I’m not very nice and I’m not really worth liking.

I’m not sure that I’m not just creating this whole cycle basically on my own. I doubt his feelings for me have shifted. He’s just too tired to be neurotically careful about his speech. He’s not being mean.

He used to tell me that I looked nice. Now he says I obviously dress for comfort and not to look good. Unfortunately he said that on a day when I had consciously tried to look good. I had picked out an outfit and had fun with it and everything. (Let’s be honest–I usually don’t try.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the validation I got in the relationship with my Owner. I’m trying to figure out how to write about it–what to say.

Both Noah and my former Owner strike me frequently as very young in affect. They are both feel to me like enthusiastic teenage boys who are getting what they want when a girl pays attention to them. I know that men continue to be enthusiastic about women throughout life and all, but there is a difference in exuberance. You know the kind of excitement that is way more piqued for toys in young people than in older people? Like that.

I can still tell that Noah likes me and all. I’m not quite that blind. I feel less shiny. I feel like one of the responsibilities of girls is to be comely and I’m not so much any more. I feel like Noah has gotten a remarkably raw deal in terms of actual attention. I don’t pay much attention to him. Well, it depends on how you mean. Over the past seven years I have developed the ability to talk about computer shit on a level I previously resisted with extreme hostility. I pay attention to Noah. I have learned so much stuff from him that frequently I feel like my head will explode. But I don’t look at him and act like I want to jump him.

How much does being attractive matter? How much does feeling exciting matter? I feel faint worry that if I ignore this problem it will bite me in the ass at a later point.

With my Owner cleaning the house was directly paying attention to him. For the first long while I didn’t live there, I just came over to clean. Even once I lived there I lived there the way a cat lives there. Nothing was mine. I was very clearly being permitted to be a live-in servant. That’s not a life sharing partnership sort of thing.

I clean my house now mostly for me. I’m not doing it as service to Noah. He’s not here much and he isn’t all that impacted by how much I clean. Some of it effects him. He certainly appreciates it when I am on top of my chores because then he doesn’t have to pitch in.

With Noah the work is mine because I choose to do it. He would share in it if I demanded that he do so. I do it because I have more time and energy going spare. It doesn’t feel as much like something I am doing for him. I feel kind of weird about that. It often feels like I don’t do much of anything for Noah even though I do far more for him than I have consistently done for any other partner. In the past I felt like I was doing it because someone else wanted me to. Now I’m doing it for me and it doesn’t feel like a magnanimous act. Now it is just life. I’m not doing it to be nice to Noah. I’m doing it so I don’t lose my shit and beat my children bloody. (kidding. kinda. I know that cleaning helps me stay calm.)

Now cleaning is a way of having CONTROL over a small part of my life and that makes me feel more secure. Once upon a time I cleaned what I was told to clean how I was told to clean it. It wasn’t about me except that I felt secure because I was meeting his needs. He had a direct reason to keep me around.

Sometimes it blows my tiny little brain that Noah hangs out with me just because he wants to. He could be a much bigger asshole to his family. He could pull away more. He could isolate more. He could want more space. He could take off to hang out with buddies. He could go in the bedroom a lot and lock the door. He could be like most of the people I have ever known.

Instead he chooses to be near us even though it is obvious that he doesn’t always feel comfortable. I’m hard for him sometimes. He still comes home. He plays with the kids. He does a lot of work in the house and outside of it. I don’t feel terribly justified in complaining about Noah.

Can I feel sad and have trouble feeling connected without him having to do anything wrong? I feel sad and I miss my mother. When I really feel in the feelings of missing my mother I tend to feel like I miss everyone. Like no one is really there. No one really loves me. I know that global thinking isn’t very accurate and all but it’s there any way.

I feel scared and unworthy. Noah is going to leave as soon as he understands what a loser I am–right? I’m not sure how I have kept it a secret for so long. I’m not sure why my kids still like me.

Only I do know why my kids like me. It is a biological defense mechanism. Their tiny little brains are trying to ensure that they will be properly cared for as they grow up. I’m their shot at that.

Noah and I periodically remind one another that we are both very serious about this family business. We get one shot at forever. I am increasingly sure as the years go by that I will never bear another child. I get one baby-daddy. He is already fixed. He gets one baby-mama. I am pretty fucking sure I would never marry again no matter what. I wouldn’t fuck with my kids’ inheritance. Marriage is about property rights and all of my property comes from Noah and goes to our kids. I don’t really want to get that muddy.

What does it mean to pick someone for better or worse? I know a lot of people who were very ok getting married even though they knew before the wedding that it probably wasn’t permanent. That blows my mind. Why get married then? What is the benefit?

If I can make this work then I have a permanent relationship. If I can’t make this work, well then I can’t make relationships work. I couldn’t figure out how to have a sister or brothers or parents. I can’t figure out how to have aunts or uncles or cousins. If I can’t figure out being a mom or a wife then I am pretty screwed. This is my shot. No pressure.

Yesterday after Hindi class I got to be an object lesson in What Not To Do. I was talking to the other teachers (one of whom was a mom of a tween-aged boy we were talking about) about how important practice in when learning new skills. The other teachers were complaining about how smart this boy is and how he manages to coast without studying. He smirked. I told him about failing out of the Masters program after seven years of work because I couldn’t hand write fast enough to get the degree. I was told, “It is obvious that you know the material you just didn’t quite… write enough“. The kid looked god damn terrified. He has never met anyone who had serious consequences for not studying enough. Ha.

Now Calli is starting to talk about going to school when she is a big girl. I’m not sure how this is all going to be handled. So far neither of my kids are enthusiastic about home schooling. Everyone I know who home school says, “Ha! Stick them in school for a while. They will change their minds.” That seems like a lot of hubris. I don’t think I will be able to convince my kids of something in a short period of time just because. They may well love school–many people do.

I am very aware that I want to home school for selfish reasons. Am I allowed to be that selfish with my kids? I will over ride their preferences and keep them home for kindergarten. Will I argue with Shanna over first grade if she decides to really get fierce? I don’t know. I will have to cross that bridge when I get there.

I don’t actually think my kids would have a hard time adjusting to the timing of school. I think they would hate being told to sit still. Other than that they would have fun.

Why do I care so much about a school wasting their time when I certainly waste their time every day?

It’s all a conundrum. Luckily it is one I don’t have to solve today.

passing conversation

This morning one of the little boys in Hindi class was having trouble with a word. I said, “It’s all good. I make mistakes all the time.”

He said, “Well but that’s because you’re Chinese.”

I laughed and said I wasn’t Chinese. He said, “Oh, then where are you from?”

“I said, my ancestors were from Europe. We are what are known as white people.”

“Oh. That’s what a white person looks like.”



I’m pretty sure I’ll hit my reading goal this year.

Book #26: Little House on the PrairieI by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Nope, I’ve never read it before.)

Book #27: The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Book #28: 1984 by George Orwell. (I’m cheating. I haven’t finished yet. I’ll finish tonight so as to not be that dishonest.)

It feels pretty good to be nearly 3/5 of the way through my reading for the year when I’m just past 1/2 of the way through the year. Whoo hoo for buying myself wiggle room near the end. Twenty-four books to go. That really isn’t that many for me. Then I can start rereading again and give up on this new book business. It’s very tiring and psychologically exhausting. It’s like promiscuously picking up new intimacy partners. I don’t have this kind of bandwidth for new characters.

I want to go back to my real friends. The ones who have always been there. 🙂

Weighing options

Today is the first day of my cycle. I was originally going to spend today gardening/sanding/painting. But I’m sore. And achey. I would kind of like to spend today curled up. I don’t think that any of the stuff I’m doing in the next few weeks will be harmed if I take a day off.

God I love this home schooling business.

Stand still. Get moving.

Today I get to sand the fence as long as I can stand. At 2pm the exterminator is coming to make a dent into the waves of ants hitting our house (we are losing the battle). At 3:30 Shanna has her penultimate dance lesson. At 4:35 (like that timing there?) We go to her swim class. We are bringing a kid and a mom home from swim class for dinner. So I should make something in the crock pot. At 6:20 Calli has swim with Noah.

Long and busy day. But I go no farther than three miles from my house. That will be good. I think all but two days out of the next month have at least one and often three or four things scheduled on a day. Some of them are many hours in the day. Oh boy.

Don’t think. Work.

Feeling insecure. The way I live is weird. I feel it acutely sometimes.



I got back fifty-two drawings from kids at the school. I’m excited about the mural. There were some duplicate drawings of the same place (most of the duplicates are of Mission Peak which I find kind of funny. Maybe they all just thought a mountain would be easy to draw?) but a lot of them are just little kids generically drawing a flower and writing, “Me gusta las flores.” I can totally work with that.

I think what I will do is map out how far apart I want to make the big monuments (I need to think of scale) then I will add in all the more abstract art and commentary as a sort of border. I have some interesting ideas I’m not sure if I am physically capable of following through on. No way to figure it out except to try!

When that is done I’m supposed to put together sample pieces for the local swim center. That space would like a mural too.

And the Hindu Temple on the corner has asked me to teach English classes this summer. The woman who runs their education stuff is fierce and dedicated in terms of getting her kids knowledge. As soon as she figured out that I used to teach her face lit up. “Oh I haven’t been able to find anyone to teach high school English! You will do it.” Oh. Well. That was kind of like “asking” I guess. Ha. She did ask me to narrow down when I was available so she could “let people know the time”. Ha.

I think I am nearly moved to tears. It is so usurping and kind of high handed but she has seen me take over and lead the Hindi level 1 class even though I don’t speak the language. I still know how to teach. (Our teacher went to India for a month. Good for her! Less good for us who still can barely count to ten without help. Ha. We are muddling through.)

It felt like being recognized as having a super power. “Oh man. You can DO THINGS!” Besides the whole English class thing will be twenty hours of teaching over the next two and a half months. It isn’t a lot of time. *phew* And they are thrilled to have my kids run around while I am teaching. Pretty much every one there has been gracious, welcoming, and kind to my children. I feel very grateful that we have such a kind Temple on the corner to become involved with.

Someone asked me today why we don’t join a church. I said we don’t fit in. She gave me a weird look then kind of said, “Ok.” I smiled. Big. Big big cheesy grin. I didn’t explain.

A good friend called yesterday. A good friend who was a forced child prostitute. We have very enlightening conversations about triggers. I told him that I am really struggling with being hit on because I am thinner now. I don’t know how to deal with it very well. All of my training on this topic is uhhh currently not-useful. He gave me some very good advice. I haven’t met very many people in my entire life who can talk frankly about their own compulsive sexual behavior due to childhood assault. He and I can sit around trade stories back and forth about why we are into things.

The hardest part of monogamy is that I can’t do what I have done my entire life. If you pay attention to me you’ll see that the sex is only the leading edge of my attention span. It isn’t a very big part of my overall attention span. I use sex as a way of sniffing people out and occasionally building social bonds. I rarely continue having sex with people. Only with people who have something I feel I want access to and I can’t get it any other way.

This good friend is one that I have done a fair bit of sleeping with because I want access to him. He has things to say that I really want to hear. It is hard getting him to talk in the same ways as “just a friend”. And I find it ridiculously flattering that he can travel around the world and be celibate because he didn’t find anyone he wanted to sleep with but he reminds me frequently that any time I’m sick of my husband he’s waiting.

I don’t want to cheat on my husband and I consider such comments to be really far in the “not a friend of my marriage” direction. Yet he can talk to me about things that other people literally can’t. So I mostly talk to him on the phone and remind him not to touch when we are in person. He does actually respectfully follow boundaries with his hands. Just not with his mouth.

Then again his patterns in life involve being absolutely unable to be long-term monogamous and every relationship blows up over cheating after a while. I don’t really want his pattern, thankyouverymuch.

Because it isn’t about the sex. It’s the attention. When I take sex outside my relationship I take my attention out of the relationship too. If I think back to my relationship with my owner I was pretty clearly side stepping out from the minute I started sleeping with other people. There was no chance of that lasting. “Oh wait, you don’t want to meet my needs but any of a variety of other people will? Why am I here again?”

I can’t go through that process with Noah. This is different. This is different from anything I have ever done. The majority of people I know who have been married have been divorced. I don’t want to divorce. I want to be married to Noah. I want the life we are dreaming up together. I like the way he makes me feel as a person. I like the way he makes me feel as a mother. I like the way he makes me feel as a wife. I do not want to replace him. Anyone else would be a major step down. I am used to how Noah treats me. Sometimes that is even a high bar for Noah.

Pulling in emotionally is hard but I have to do it. I’m running out of time for my crazy. I don’t have the support I need. Yay suppression. Yay denial. Handy-dandy tools in my tool box.

Reading the letter from my therapist hit me really hard. Yes, I abreact nearly every day. Sometimes to the point where I am immobilized. Yup. That’s my life. How do I shove that reaction into a smaller and small box? I was told to put it in a briefcase and carry it around with me so I can check that it is still there but it is contained. A little distance is good.

It does matter if my body physiologically feels like I am dying or like catastrophic things are happening. I don’t get to express that. It bothers people.

I have to be more calm. Stop reacting. Stop being such a fucking dick. Good luck. I’m trying to go in for lip suturing but so far Kaiser is cock-blocking me. Maybe I should go ask some of my friends. I do know people who specialize in that. That would ensure that my problems were my problems and no one else’s.

Sometimes it feels like I am in a huge hole drowning in water. People seem to think that the best way to help me is to throw dirt on my head. Surely the hole will fill in eventually and I can crawl out–right? Only if I’m not buried alive first.

Well… time to do something else. I need to start a book. Ha. With all that copious spare time.

I have been internally resisting something hard. Noah and I had an agreement that I was basically off-leash until September. I was supposed to have a lot of time off and be able to go Get Things Done. Unfortunately he burned out a while ago. He doesn’t talk about it and he won’t. But if I tried to delude myself into thinking I was still off-leash things would dramatically go down hill.

My time is over. *shrug* I get to try to not be bitter about this. He gave me more than a year. He’s tired. He’s worn out. I get it. Work loads never truly balance.

I only get to do things if I can do it with the kids. If I can’t do it with the kids while I am responsible for them then I don’t need to do it in the next fifteen years. I feel kind of sad about that. I mean, I still have a friend who is happy to babysit while I see my therapist and Noah works from home on Tuesdays so I am allowed to have doctors appointments. But that’s going to be the limit.

I feel a lot of feelings. He isn’t enjoying his life. He doesn’t get to do anything he wants. (I’m not sure how that many hours/week of video gaming counts as not getting to do anything but I am not the one with a math degree. We can feel free to minimize my opinion.)

Sometimes it feels really uncomfortable in the pit of my stomach because I agree with Noah that he should take a long view of his life. He needs to ensure he doesn’t burn out too badly. He’s likely to live for a very long time. I agreed to fifteen more years. What does it matter if my body burns out?

I have begged Noah to never let another woman live in this house as part of *this* family. If he wants to replace me he has to sell this house and do it somewhere else. Those of you who read this will be the only ones who can hold him to that.

I feel tired and anxious. I feel pointless and weary. I feel stupid and incompetent. Why does it feel like the world would be so much happier without me to drag everything down? I feel like downer girl on delivery. I can make any good thing bad.

A friend asked me why I tell doctors I have PTSD when their reaction is so bad. I tell because I cry through most doctor visits. Depending on how they react and physically present sometimes I cry a lot. They want to know why. It is very disconcerting for them to have a sobbing woman on the table. They figure they can’t talk to me until I am emotionally under control–so go to psychiatry.

When I was a child the worst thing a doctor could say was, “I can’t find anything wrong” because then I was punished and punished and punished. Obviously I was a lying hypochondriac. Err, stress is hard on a body. But I wasn’t allowed to manifest that in any way. I was supposed to pretend I wasn’t under stress. Everything was Great! After a couple of decades of pressure and bad experiences in my early twenties… I cry in doctors offices. Which is apparently a golden ticket to never be taken seriously.

I am sorry I am so broken. I keep thinking that I shouldn’t have had kids. If I were childless I think there is very little chance I would still be breathing.

It’s Fathers Day. Fuck you father. I hope you are rotting in hell.

I suppose it is a good thing Noah doesn’t care about the holiday. The kids and I will be going out. He doesn’t want to go with us. Shocking.

I need to stop asking him at all. I know what the answer will be and it is a rather dick move on my part to keep asking so that I get mad at him.

The last couple of weeks have been a reminder to me. Only ask for things if you are ok with the answer being no. If someone saying no will be a problem, don’t ask. Figure it the fuck out. It isn’t worth asking. I just get told no over and over and then I feel angry and hateful and I’m not supposed to. It is supposed to be ok for everyone to tell me no. That’s fine. They can have their boundaries.

I need to stop asking. It hurts too much. I can’t pretend I’m fine and pretend I am part of a community that will support me. I can do one or the other. For a few years now I have been leaning on people. I’m getting told no more and more. That makes sense. The needy period of my life has to end. People are out of the energy they will give to strangers.

If you can’t do it for yourself then you don’t deserve to have it. Isn’t that the American Way? Boot strap yourself up or fuck you. That’s how we do it here. Ok.

Not good at being quiet.

I feel like I am back to one of those phases where the only appropriate behavior from me is to suture my mouth closed. My emotions are my problem. They aren’t real. They should not effect anyone but me. Just shut up you stupid bitch.

It is so hard to be quiet without cutting.

I’m thinking about it a lot. It is becoming one of my more pervasive thought processes. I could shut myself up. I could stop this diarrhea of the mouth. I could be less pathetic and needy seeming. I will keep my fucking needs to myself. It is not anyone else’s problem that I feel this way.

Just shut up shut up shut up shut up.

Just a whiny night I guess.

Having a lot of trouble sleeping tonight. I feel like my head will explode. I feel like I’m sitting in the middle of a room and on every wall there is a different movie playing. I feel like I’ve been failing Noah a lot lately. As a result, of course, I cleaned the kitchen last night. Sometimes it feels like that’s the only thing I really have to give. I can clean up.

I feel really upset about the letter from my therapist. She wrote it so that I can bring it to the prescribing medical marijuana doctor. It is a clinical and accurate description of me. My life is shitty. Not all of it. I like the three people I live with now.

They have them thinking a lot about the various people I have lived with. Family members and non-. It is a lot easier for me to see what I have done wrong than what other people have done. It is a lot easier to blame myself.

A while back I had a conversation with my former owner I asked him if he ever thought about the past. He said there is no point in thinking about the past. To that I say “those who will not study the past are doomed to repeat it.” I would like to believe that even though I continue to make a ridiculous number of mistakes I am making different mistakes over time. Not sure if I’m lying to myself or not.

I have a lot of control issues and I do not deal with mess well. I grew up with the idea that promiscuity was linked to bad housekeeping and low status. The idea of this the slattern. You have a messy house because you keep yourself too busy with chasing sex to bother with such mundane burdens.

Let me tell you now that I keep a house clean I understand why there is a link between being very slutty and having a messy house. I have trouble having sex when I do this much work.

When I was 12 I lived in a place where they did year-round schooling. During my school vacations I stayed home by myself. I broke my arm one day and had to call my mom at work. She didn’t believe me and she was very angry with me. She did drive home and take me to the hospital but the entire drive she berated me and screamed and told me that if I was making it up she would make me sorry I was ever born.

I think that going to the doctors and having the doctor say “Oh I guess there’s nothing wrong with you” is a bone chilling experience. It means that I’m hypochondriac. It means I deserve to be beaten. It means I wasted resources. It means that I’m very bad. I am very afraid of talking to doctors.

I feel like there is nothing good that can come from seeing a doctor. Either you find out something terrible is wrong with you and you will probably die anyway or you will be told there is nothing wrong with you and then you are terrible person for having gone to the doctor at all. I don’t have a way to win.

I think a lot about the idea of setting people up to win or setting them up to fail. I think about this a lot because of my kids but also because of other relationships. Like I can’t expect things from people that they can’t deliver on. You have to understand people’s limitations. It’s just part of the process of life. If you look carefully at the people around you they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Basically everyone has some kind of value it just may not be value that does what you need.

I feel deeply ashamed of needing so many resources. Pretty much the only way that I kind of justify it to myself is to play all the movie reels of all the days of my life and recognize just how much of that could fill endless years of therapy and I was never allowed to talk about it. I wasn’t allowed to talk as a child. I kind of tried to talk to my former fiancé. My owner explicitly didn’t want to hear it. Not till Noah.

I have gone a long way towards wearing Noah out. And I still have this endless cavern of need. I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping. I feel very overwhelmed. It isn’t that I believe that no one loves me. I am not really that idiotic.

I keep thinking about my mom. On my next birthday I will turn the age she was when I was born. In some weird way it feels like I’m merging streams. I am now how old she was when I joined her life, well almost. It feels weird. I am now getting to the part of adulthood I have seen modeled. Before now I was making it up as I went. Now am I acting like my mother?

I feel like my constant need to process, because it is a need, is going to be the death of me. Sometimes I wonder if it has all of the unspoken words I feel choked down inside of me that cause me pain. Which is funny, because I talk so much. I talk and talk and talk but I never say the things I’m supposed to say the things that actually need to be said because as much as I need to say them no one else needs to hear them.

Saw nothing.

I went in for a CT scan yesterday of my abdominal pain. Apparently it shows nothing out of the ordinary. Ok, I don’t have hernias. Excellent. So it just hurts. This means I can stop visiting doctors because all they will tell me to do is go see a psychiatrist so I can be put on more pills that will make my life hell.

I *have* tried psych meds. They make my life a living hell. I don’t sleep for weeks. I am so afraid that I cannot come out of my closet. I am so tired that I cannot follow conversations let alone learn anything or work. I … I went through med rounds already. More than once. Really I think I’ve gone through rounds of trying medications three or four times by now. It’s not like my problems are new.

I feel incredibly sad. Ok, it just hurts. I guess it is not cancer and it isn’t a hernia. Oh well. That’s just how life goes sometimes.

Must be said.

I vent my feelings here because, in general, I can’t talk about my feelings out loud. Small pitchers have big ears and all that. I’m not trying to needle people or cause anyone to feel guilty.

When people need a break from me I am genuinely ok with that. Do I feel sad, yes. But I have a lot of respect for people learning how to say, “I can’t handle this right now.” I hope people come back after their breaks. I don’t chase people down and beg them to be my friend because I consider that a frightful waste of energy and I have enough shit to do.

But if someone decides they were mad enough to need a break but not mad enough to not want to know me… that’s really nice. That feels like maybe I have redeeming value. It feels like maybe I don’t deserve All The Awful.

Sometimes friends come back. I try hard not to uhm emote in a way that will additionally drive people away. I may have done ok this time. That’s good.

Cryptic shit is cryptic. Some people decided they weren’t mad enough to stop speaking to me permanently. That feels good. Good timing too. I have to be kind of a tornado of productivity starting in 4, 3, 2, 1…..

No right answer.

I don’t know the right thing to do right now. It’s 8:40 in the morning. It is nearly late enough that it is civilized enough to go knock on doors. Back up. You don’t know what is going on.

Last week the kids played “driver”. They drained the battery in the van. Again. I have had a vague awareness of it but no need to go anywhere so I didn’t get around to dealing with it. Today we have a birthday party at 11 for one of the kids in the homeschool group. But it is, of course, a long drive from our house. So. All of a sudden it matters that I have a non-functional vehicle.

The kids arrived back from the Godmamas at 7:30. The screaming began almost instantly.

Noah and I tried to jump the van using the Prius. It didn’t work. We spent a lot of energy trying because we both got frustrated and were irritated and keeping the kids from sparking themselves took work and ugh.

All through this my youngest has been intermittently screaming at me I WANT TO GO TO THE BIRTHDAY PARTY. Yes, well you bloody well drained the battery. It isn’t my bloody fault. Only you can’t say that.

At one point I sent Calli to her room for screaming at me then I went in my room and shut the door and just slid to the floor and cried.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been crying since 5am.

I am not having a great self esteem day. At this point getting the car in functional order will require some jumping through of hoops. No, I don’t have AAA. I could knock on doors until I find someone who is home who will come jump start me. (Not as bad of an option as it sounds–I like my neighbors and a lot of them are home during the day.) I could take the wagon to the auto parts store and get my own damn charger. I could just punt on deciding and figure that I will see my next door neighbor some time soon and then I will grab him. Until then my kids just have to suck it the fuck up that they broke the car. (This isn’t the first time and I keep asking them to leave that switch alone.)

Is this where natural consequences come in? Am I punishing them overly by not wanting to jump through a bunch of hoops to fix a problem they created?

I feel very tired and sad. Today is my brother’s birthday. The one who is still alive. He is turning 39, I believe. I hope he has a good day. I hope that he has found some joy in life.

I feel thin and weak and lethargic. I feel ghostly and ghastly. I feel stupid and irrational.

So. Fucking. Irrational.

Stop feeling you stupid bitch. Just get up and work. There are things to do. You should be arranging for other people to get what they want.

I want to hide in my room between the bed and the wall and cry. I don’t want to move very much. I just want to hide. I want to cut. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. My angry mouth is hard to live with. Noah is finally showing some wear on dealing with my ambient anger. I really need to be more quiet.

The best way I know to be quiet is to cut. Because then all day when I feel tempted to speak I just put my thumb on the wound and push. Then my brain is flooded with chemicals and I don’t want to talk any more. Cutting allows me to feel cocooned in a world of my own little chemicals. The idea of connecting with another person is so foreign and alien and distant. Why would I do that? I need to stay over here. See, I have blood. Don’t touch me. Blood is a contaminent. No one should touch me.

It is weird thinking that being a cutter is a perfectly reasonable choice. I just don’t want to be the one who models it for my kids. Maybe if I knew how to have more body privacy I would just start again, but I’m naked in front of my kids too much. We aren’t really a modest house.

I feel obligated to show up at the party. People would like us there. My kids would like to be there. But my kids keep doing things to make my life much harder. Sometimes the energy of making it over an extra hump just isn’t worth it. Could I fix this problem? Oh sure. But it takes work. And right now I don’t feel like I want to do that work.

I need to make ricotta cheese and lasagna and cheese enchiladas. I *have* a bunch of work to do today. If going to the birthday party just took the number of hours it takes for the birthday party (roughly four hours with driving) it would already be a lot of work for one day. I have already put an hour of the day into trying to jump start the car. If I spend another one to two hours on that and then spend four hours at the party and then have to take Shanna to ballet and then have to make dinner (I suppose I could put off the ricotta and lasagna making but the milk will go bad if I don’t use it and we are scheduled to be out of the house for the next several days in a row and…)

Are my needs important or not? Does it matter or not that this could become a 6-8 hour affair in order to go to this party? I’m not up for that right now. I feel bad. I feel like I “Just don’t care” about people but that isn’t it. I have actual work to do. The alternative is paying money to other people so they can do my work for me. So that I can go to a party. At some point that circular privilege logic has to have an end.

I’m staying home. We’ll miss people but at this point in time I wouldn’t have fun at the party. I would be angry with my children and I’d be nasty the whole time. I’m already tired and sad.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my feelings about groups. If a group existed before me and will exist after me with no change whether or not I am there… I don’t want to be part of the group. There is no space for me. I am not needed. Noah says it is a very non-Chinese thought. I don’t want to be just the second daughter. I don’t want to be just the person who is currently doing some thing but it doesn’t matter because someone else will be there soon.

Apparently I would rather stay home and cry. Ok, that isn’t what I will actually do all day. It’s just what I did all morning. I will work. I will get things done.

I like house work. It is real work and it is in my home and only I care or don’t care if it is done so I am not really trying for anyone else’s approval. I want to make fucking cheese. Yes, I could buy it in a store. In fact, yesterday in the store Noah asked me if I wanted to buy it. I said no. I want to fucking make it. I’ve never made cheese before. I want to make it. I want to understand how. I want to have done it. If I don’t do it today, then when? Why do I have to wait? Because you would rather be idly amused by my presence?

But I’m not very amusing. I’m sad and withdrawn. I feel like anything I might say will be wrong.

Noah does a lot of playing devil’s advocate. I understand why he does it. Some times I even concede that he is right. (The new New York law that raises annoying police officers to a felony includes that someone must *know* that the person is a police officer and *touch* the officer. Ok, that’s more reasonable than my original hysteria indicated. He made me read the text instead of the spin.) Sometimes it hits wrong. Sometimes it feels like the only thing he ever does is pick every side but mine. Because I have to always be wrong. Because I am stupid and irrational. I don’t think Noah believes I am stupid. I do think he believes I am irrational and he is sometimes not very nice about expressing it.

I think I have spent my entire life praying for someone who would be on my side. Noah seems to think that it means mindlessly agreeing with me no matter what I say. I don’t think that is true. I wouldn’t pick the friends I pick if I just wanted people to yes ma’am me. Noah rarely feels on my side. Most of the time he feels like an apathetic observer who isn’t interested in being on a side but he is sure going to tell me how stupid my side is even though the other side isn’t better.

I miss cutting. I was much better at keeping my stupid mouth shut when I was cutting. Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. I was told that a lot as a kid.

I’ve been thinking about how often through my life I have been told to be quiet. When I was little my cousins had friends who would trade off who had to pay me to be quiet. They couldn’t stand me talking and couldn’t find another way of shutting me up. There has always been the canonical “Go to your room.” When we had twelve people sharing a five bedroom house I had my own room because no one was interested in hearing me speak.

My Owner went to work to avoid me. Puppy screamed at me to shut up because I sound just like his bitch mother. My ex-fiance would just mutter under his breath.

Sometimes I feel so uncomfortable I want to use a potato peeler to take my skin off. Surely things would be better without this shell. It doesn’t fit.

I try hard to not talk around the kids about “inappropriate” things. Basically anything I care about or that causes me strong emotion. Like prostitutes being shot in Texas. That’s ok there. I don’t talk to my children about that. I shouldn’t talk to Noah either. He doesn’t really want to hear about it.

There is a lot of bad in the world. People filter out however much of it they have to in order to keep moving. The only way I know to filter it out is to get off the internet and be away from pretty much any grown ups.

I don’t filter out the same things as Noah. He feels untouched by a lot of bad that feels very personal to me. He wants it filtered out. He’s not interested. It isn’t his problem. This is why I feel like I could have wandered off to do the lesbian separatist thing. I know there are women who are unwilling to discuss womens issues. They don’t go off and join lesbian separatist groups. He feels like not-my-culture, not-my-tribe in ways that are very hard and scary sometimes. I feel so very alone. I am not his tribe. I’m not a geek. Not really. I don’t ascribe to their values.

I think he has the right to live in an environment that does not include ambient anger that makes him uncomfortable. I just don’t know how to deal with the fact that it seems like the answer is either making sure I am not in the environment or I am not speaking.

I haven’t cried in the last twenty minutes. Maybe I can handle going into the kitchen and getting started on work. The day is a wasting. I can’t tell if I should water the yard or not. We had just a smattering of rain.

I forking love this time share.

I feel very lucky and very privileged at this point in life. I appreciate the fact that I get to share my privilege with other people.

I just booked a week at Disneyland for an online friend from New Zealand. I have known her since MDC. I have watched her pine for years. Now she gets to go. And stay in the fancy hotel. She is very exciting.

A different friend will get a week in Hawaii next year for her tenth anniversary.

Being able to give these gifts makes me feel rich in a way I can’t explain. I have so much goodness and fun in my life I can give it away. How cool is that?