Monthly Archives: September 2013

It would be nice if I thought people liked me.

I think it went well. I think being there for just shy of 24 hours was the right amount of time. I saw a lot of people I used to know. Some of them expressed intense desire to see me sooner than five or six years from now when I deign to camp with them again. Why do I still walk around feeling like everyone hates me? This irritates the shit out of me.

I ran into five people I have had sex with. Only three remembered my name. I left the party in the evening when a drunk semi-dressed guy came up and said, “I don’t remember your name but I remember you from RWB….” He was standing very close to me. At RWB I used to do a lot of ecstasy and have sex with anyone who asked. So I said, “Oh! Well, hi. I’m Krissy. What’s your name? Oh. Ok. Have a nice night!” Then I fairly abruptly turned and walked back to my camp ground to bed.

It seemed prudent. Do I have any idea if he wanted to have sex with me? No clue. I just know that I am spectacularly bad at managing other peoples expectations.

I have a lunch date with a female friend for a nice long walk though. That will be nice.

Embrace the discomfort

What does it mean to be broken? To be bent beyond repair? Is that item useless or does it just need to be reshaped and repurposed.

Are you talking to an American or someone living in Africa? I think you would get different answers. I want to find out.

No one lives because they are just so awesome. People live because they were born on accident because two people had sex. That means that none of us are all that special. We all come from exactly the same roots.

At least one person wanted to have sex.

That’s it. Nothing bigger. Nothing more important.

But once you are here what do you do? Do you consume things that other people make or do you make things? Do you pass on the hurt you have experienced or do you stop hurting people?

How do you stop hurting people? How do you change?

I read that the personality is mostly set by age five or six. I also read that there is no such thing as a personality trait you are stuck with–you can change anything if you want to badly enough.

That is one of the amazing things about human beings. More so than any other species I know of we can just decide to be something different and… do it.

I mean, we can’t just decide to be tall or short or fat or skinny or black or white or brown or yellow or red. You can’t change those things so much.

But you can decide if you want to be aggressive, assertive, or passive. You can just decide to change what you started out as. You can pick something. You can design something in your life and move towards it.

We are unique in this ability. Some individual people possess more natural talent in this arena than others.

Resiliency is about deciding that even though bad things have happened you aren’t dead yet so what the fuck are you going to do now? Resiliency means always looking for a new path. A new reason to keep walking.

Delayed gratification. I have a lot of delayed gratification fetish in my life. I am banking everything on future happiness. I have been doing so for as long as I can remember and I can remember almost thirty years now. By and large this has been a good proposition. My life when I was 18 was better than 17 was better than 16 was better than 15 was better than…

There hasn’t been a clear linear progression. There were up and down periods in each year, of course. And post-18 is becoming more and more of my life. I’ve been out for more than 14 years now.

My life is not always improving. Sometimes I get hit hard by something. If you continue to stay alive bad things will continue to happen to you. If you love other people then you will continue to have trauma. That’s just the price. Either pay it or shut the fuck up.

I know I will be hurt again. I know I will love people with great intensity and lose them. People will die on purpose and on accident. People will be hurt. My body is frail and I am clumsy. I will be hurt.

That is just life. Trying to avoid pain is trying to avoid life.

Lean into it. Yes. It hurts. Yes, sometimes you feel like you are insanely trying to climb the walls like a rat trying to escape an electric floor. There is nowhere to go to get away from the pain. It is every where.

So get used to it. Breathe it in. Take it deep within you and decide that this isn’t going to kill you.

Not today. You aren’t dying today. Even if it hurts.

Then all of a sudden it doesn’t hurt quite as much. You still know that injury is there, there is nothing you can do to make it go away.

But you aren’t dead yet. That’s enough. That is all there is, really.

Just keep walking. Keep wanting. Keep hoping. Even though it hurts. Even though it makes you cry.

That crying is part of life too. If you try to keep yourself from crying you are trying to keep yourself from feeling.

That feeling is life too. If you want to be alive, if you want to truly live then you have to feel. All the bad. You can’t have the good without the bad.

Just give me a reason. A little ones enough.

Put on the mask. Today you are going to a big party. Today you show that you are part of a community. Even though you don’t feel like it. Even though you feel like a visiting monster you aren’t.

Go find an outlandish costume. Dress up. You are a time traveler. Who do you want to be today? You can be anyone. You don’t have to be you. I promise.

Why does your three year old bite? Because she knows that she is allowed to get mad and she isn’t sure yet how to deal with it. That is part of the process. She isn’t bad. She’s young. She will learn. It is very hard to deal with the learning process sometimes.

Why is your five year old so bossy? Because children learn through modeling and she has one of the bossiest mothers in five counties. No shit she is bossy. Especially at five children latch on to being like their moms. Apparently this is the most bonded-attached-obsessed age. I’m going to be sad when she grows out of it.

I love that my children give me a chance to love myself. We are always solving yesterday’s problems. I can read child development books that go through the normal physical, emotional, and inter-relational development of children and see that my children are entirely within the normal curve and they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. They are right on schedule. It is what they are supposed to do.

I did what I was supposed to do. I wasn’t a predator. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. I did what I was taught to do exactly on schedule. I have books. I could point out the paragraphs that explain that I was a very good girl. I did exactly as I was told.

How do you decide what to tell your kids? Do you tell them what your parents told you?

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

Just give me a reason. I will be a good-enough mother. My children will have an age appropriate experience. My children will make it to 18 knowing that their body belongs to them and no one else. If I have any luck at all they will not be sexually assaulted as children. I can’t promise them a whole life of safety–I have no such hubris. I don’t know that I can teach someone how to have that without locking them in a cage.

I don’t want my children to live in a cage. I want my children to feel calm and safe and sure that they can handle themselves. I also want them to have the ability to break several bones if someone attacks them. I want them to understand that this is a world where sometimes you have to seriously hurt someone else in order to love yourself and that is ok.

But don’t bite your sister. She’s not that kind of attacker. Unless she is. Then bite her until she god damn stops.

So my kids are going to have a problem with mixed messages.

“Treat your sister the way you want her to treat you. Do you want her to hit you? No? Then don’t hit her.”

I can’t teach “Don’t hurt anyone”. I can’t. I think that is tantamount to putting a bulls-eye on their foreheads and I can’t do that. Fuck that stupid notion. Sometimes you need to hurt people.

But might doesn’t make right. How do you decide when to hurt people?

You have to be very mercenary about evaluating whether or not someone is hurting you. Whether or not they are doing it on purpose doesn’t matter. That is irrelevant. How much hurt are they causing you? You have to decide. It doesn’t fucking matter if someone else thinks that is a perfectly acceptable amount of hurt. They won’t be the walking wounded.

How much hurt can you bear? How much hurt do you want to bear? Do you want to allow this person to hurt you in this way? Sometimes it is worth putting up with your mom hurting you just a little in an annoying way (like bugging you to go make grand kids) because the over all picture is so good and the hurt is so small. Sometimes the trade just isn’t worth it.

Every relationship involves trade. Every loving relationship between two people involves one person feeling more love than the other. The person who feels more love has less power. They will accept more hurt in trade for the love they feel.

It isn’t nice but it is true. Thinking about this balance in a mercenary fashion allows you to see that you hurt people all the time. You do it casually without paying any attention. You do it with your choice of words, your tone of voice, and how much time you choose to spend with someone. People never take your impact on them impersonally.

I mean, there are people who don’t feel much emotional connection so they don’t take it personally or care. But if they love you a whole lot then they feel more rejection than you notice. That’s just how it works.

I stay home because I don’t want to hurt people with my words and my tone of voice. People take my avoidance as rejection of them and a sign that I do not think they are worthy of my time or attention.

It’s a really nasty double bind.

I carefully manage my third tier. I know that I am only good at managing how I put out my neediness into the world if I manage how I spend my time. I know that most people can handle very little of my neediness. They can handle knowing that it exists and that I need to have people who kind of stand nearby pack-like and lend a supportive presence. They provide interactions for my children. They give me vague hand-wavey reassurance that makes both of us feel a little better. Not a lot better, a little better. But if you get a whole lot of a little better it does add up. It does matter. It is part of the process.

I manage the second tier carefully too. Most everyone on the second tier I only talk to a few times a year. I can say more painful and difficult things to them but I have to carefully limit their exposure to that intensity. No one lasts long if I overload them.

The first tier I just look at with terror because I know that this won’t last forever. I will lose this someday. I don’t know how or when. I know I will fuck up and lose that. I just never keep it very long. I hurt people too much. Brittney, Anna, Alex, Sarah, Grant, Elan. I think those are the ones I hurt the most. Those are all the people who have been first tier who don’t talk to me any more. I don’t know what is happening with Sarah. Life is very confusing.

Most of the first tier people probably fell out because I entirely walked away from those communities after they told me they didn’t want to ever see me again. I will see Sarah.

I very carefully make it so that people never have to think of me as one of those detestable people who are part of a community just because they can’t make me go away. If you hardly ever show up then people never develop that degree of dislike. I’ve watched this cycle a lot. Manipulating it is hard but can be done.

Bouncing between lots of different communities is hard. Pre-kids it was easier because I could maintain my behavior patterns between different communities was easier. I had fewer modes and they were less intense feeling.

Being around my kids takes so much of my attention that I have a very hard time acclimating up and down to other peoples comfort level. My finesse is all used up on people who cannot yet look at my boobs with a straight neck.

I feel like having children is teaching me a lot about rape culture. My kids think they have every right in the world to grab my boobs. Oh my fucking god. I have to teach them differently. It has to be a conscious decision if I am going to teach them that everyone gets to have their own body.

And I have to do it without blowing up or freaking out because then they miss the point of the message. Normal children can’t tune out random explosions of anger in order to learn a point of culture. They learn anger. Anger isn’t something that is learned in a highly specific and focused sort of way.

If I freak out and yell at my kids when they grab my boobs I am not teaching them that breasts are personal and you should ask permission before you touch them. I am teaching that sometimes mom is mean and scary and they really won’t understand what was so bad because they didn’t even do it on purpose.

It is really weird looking at them and knowing what I know about their stage of brain development.

I was punished so often for being “malicious”. I was told specifically that I was malicious all the fucking time. People were always telling me that I did things on purpose when I had no idea what they were talking about.

You don’t have to do something on purpose to do it. No one likes feeling blame though so people want to say, “But I didn’t do anything” whether they did anything or not. Then you can argue about lying. And nothing is solved.

Teach people how to treat you.

Why am I so loud about my boundaries? Because they are big and strong and have barbed wire all the way around them. I had to do that. I understand that you have not had to do so but we have had different life experiences and maybe you could think that I am like me because of my life rather than because of you?

Someone on the PTSD forum asked what people say when they are asked why they have PTSD. Most everyone responded that they are very defensive and private and they tell people that it is none of their business. My response? “As usual I go against the crowd opinion. I’m out. If someone asks me why I have PTSD I tell them that a lot of very bad things happened to me. Then I ask if they want details and 9/10 people back away slowly.”

I learned to be aggressive. I didn’t start out this way. I’m very curious about this whole “personality is set by five” thing. Do I feel such constant anxiety partially because I know that I am not “naturally” as aggressive as I act all the time? I want to hide under my bed. I come out harshly because that is what happens when you have to push so hard to say anything at all.

When people say, “Oh I couldn’t just walk up and talk to someone” I think “Well you could. You choose not to.” But I can’t say that. They think, “But I would be too scared.” I think that I go through a lot of my life shaking with fear. So what. It doesn’t matter that you feel scared. You still have the ability to force your body to move.

Bravery doesn’t mean you don’t feel fear. Bravery means you keep performing to spec even though you are terrified.

You learn how to keep performing to spec by practicing in low-pressure situations over and over and over and over until you have the muscle memory to carry you forward. But you can’t get stuck in feeling like you should hide and practice.

The best practice is to fail. In public. You will learn more. You will learn so much faster if the stakes are higher. Fail in front of people who don’t matter. Go try in public somewhere that you never have to see these people again. Travel. Talk to people you will never have to be responsible for knowing.

Make shit up.

Just try something different. Pretend to be someone you are not. If you were someone who could do ________ how would you act? If you send random emails to people who share your hobbies and interests there is a remarkably high response rate. Well, I’d say somewhere between a 3-7% response rate. Which is remarkably higher than 0! So send a few hundred emails. Personalize them. No form letters. Form letters = doom.

If you want to learn things and know things and grow you need help. You need to see the path. But the problem is you are making up the path as you go along. No one else knows what you need to do. You probably don’t even know until five minutes before you need to do it.

And yet. You have some ideas. The more plans you make, the more habits you work on the better off you will be in the future. Maybe you today will not benefit but tough shit. There is no use crying over spilt milk.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Who do you want to be?

It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. Wait… no… that’s a lie. It does matter how many times you fail. You have to go fail thousands of times or you will never get anywhere. That is one of those things they don’t tell you very often.

Do it wrong. Just do it. Do it. Just… don’t sit in your house crying. Anything is better.

But you have to stop yelling. It isn’t nice. You have to treat people how you want to be treated.

I don’t want people to yell at me any more. Just like I don’t want people to hit me any more. (Husband excluded by pre-arrangement with specific sets of permission.)

I used to hit people a lot. Frequently. Almost every time I felt irritated. I don’t do that any more. I got tired of people flinching reflexively when they saw me. It made me feel bad about myself. I was acting like a bully. When you scream at people you are still acting like a bully.

And you can’t avoid being a bully just by finding a group of yes-men and staying there. That’s not a good answer either.

How do you consciously, always, de-escalate conflict? How do you do that while absolutely being prepared to break the face of someone who attacks you?

I want to live in that place.

And man I don’t think that is ok.

I don’t think it is ok because I am afraid that I am not good enough at knowing which attackers are a problem and which aren’t because my brain is pretty broken. My kids pretty frequently feel like attackers when they jump on me at the wrong moment and they are getting heavier and more triggering by the year.

I have to teach them how to treat me. I have to use my words. I have to do it while being nice and polite and calm or it won’t work.

When I know I have a problem to work on with my behavior I want to hide and practice. I want to stay home.

I can’t stay home. We are going fucking camping. Oh man. I freak the fuck out when I’m in unfamiliar environments where I have very little control. I can admit this. And I’m going to go hang out with Burners. I’m less confident in them being kid-appropriate than some people.

But I’ll stand next to my kids and I’ll smile. I’ll model appropriate group interactions. I won’t let anyone touch me too familiarly. More than likely I will run into someone who will. I have to be prepared with what I am going to say if I don’t want to freak out.

I was talking to Noah about the over-thinking every social interaction thing. I told him I’m not sure where I started that. He said, “You learned it because you were always fighting older and more experienced people. If you follow the default path you will get caught because they know how to manipulate the default path. You have to be able to out-think them and surprise them.”

Yeah, that.

I live in a world and in a place where if you want to be allowed to have body autonomy you need to be able to verbally and sometimes physically defend yourself. I didn’t make the system I just know what I experience over and over.

And it isn’t because I am that hot. Give me a break.

But now that I have kids I feel a lot more like the whole world is just full of people who haven’t been taught yet. And if I want them to know how to treat me I need to teach them. People learn best when you use a calm and civil tone of voice. I understand that

defensive

I need to climb out of this cycle. I’m having a hard time. Generally the more I focus on a cycle, the more I feel the desperate need to control my emotions the harder it is. I can only walk out of the main room into a different room to get control over my face and tone of voice so many times before I’m not actually in the main room I’m just hiding in my bedroom so I can cry.

We had a milestone this week. Someone described Shanna as a bitch. It was inevitable and all. She is female and she has strong opinions. I still feel sad. It wasn’t said in an attacking way. Calli keeps biting Shanna. The proposed reason is that it is because Shanna is a bitch to Calli. I…

I compare Shanna to my big sister and I have a hard time with using the word for her. Shanna *is* pushy. She *is* bossy. But when Calli turns around and yells, “You are not the boss of me” Shanna backs off and says, “Oh, you’re right.” Given the interactions I had with my sister I can’t think of Shanna as a bitch. She will have to get a lot more malicious before I will think that fits.

That is like 3% of my fuss today. Maybe only 2%. But it’s there. And it’s a milestone. I like to write those down.

Mostly my fuss isn’t about anything happening. That’s the point. I haven’t had anything really bad happen in a while. Which means that every part of my body is starting to vibrate with anxiety because surely something terrible is going to happen any fucking second.

Who is going to decide that I am too much trouble?

I am looking at the calendar and thinking that I should hibernate through most of November and December. Maybe if I hibernate then people will forget how unpleasant I am and when I come back in the spring people will be bored and lonely and less likely to reject me just because they are tired of my shit.

Sometimes it is very hard knowing that I have to consciously parcel out really small doses of me or people don’t set their own boundaries well until they tell me they don’t want to know me any more.

I tried to explain this to some of the homeschooling moms and I think I upset them. Shit.

I have to keep people on the third tier at a distance or they decide they don’t like me any more. If I try to get too close to people then they don’t want to know me anymore. I have to monitor how annoying or difficult or over-sharing I am being. I have to make sure I don’t overwhelm people because it is all my fault don’t you know. If only I would shut my stupid mouth people wouldn’t have to be so mad at me.

I’m sorry that I’m bad. I’m sorry I hurt people just by talking.

I am really fucking antagonistic when I feel this way. I was at someones house and she said that the kids couldn’t go outside because they were sick. I uhhh challenged that.

I didn’t challenge it because I think she isn’t allowed to set those boundaries. I asked because I have been working really hard on telling my kids the difference between, “I don’t want you to do this for health reasons” and “I don’t want you to do this for various grown up reasons that you don’t care about and I do.” Which is to say that I’m trying to not lie.

I have read a lot that the sick/cold connection is a myth. She clarified that once you are already sick being cold lowers your immune system and makes it harder to get well. Oh. Ok. I don’t think I have read about that part but it seems more or less logical.

People don’t like it when you question what they are saying to their kids like that. But I don’t like feeling lied to. I didn’t like it as a kid and I hate it with the fury of a thousand suns now that I am an adult and I am not subject to the random fucking whims of an adult.

Which isn’t to say that I thought this other mom was lying. But what she said contradicted what I had in my head. I know I am not always right so I asked. My tone of voice was shitty though. I think there must be a nicer way of asking for more information.

I don’t think it helps when I say, “I’m totally ok with telling my kids that I have made an arbitrary decision that them doing ________ would be a lot of work for me so no you are not allowed to do it right now.” Because then it sounds like I think that what other people are saying isn’t acceptable or correct and that isn’t what I mean at all.

Other people are allowed to parent however they see fit. Lots of parents lie to their kids all the fucking time. Sometimes they are just passing on their own inaccurate beliefs so the parent doesn’t feel like they are “lying”. Sometimes the parent knows and doesn’t give a shit.

I don’t think I will ever be good at just shutting up and letting other adults say things without asking questions. I am just that fucking annoying.

So I should stay home, right? I think other people are allowed to do whatever it is that they do. But I ask questions. And I have a really annoying tone of voice. It is way sharper and more confrontational that usual lately. All the self-hatred and denigration I hear in my head all day wears off the closest I have to soft edges. I should be able to ask my questions in polite and neutral ways. I often can’t. I can either sit there silently or I will sound like a fucking bitch.

I’m sorry. It isn’t your fault. It isn’t because I actually think you are a liar. If I were having a more socially suave day I could ask and not piss anyone off. But I’m not socially suave right now. Right now I feel like a mean and hateful monster.

Today we go to a camping wedding. Oh god.

Clearly a lot of people like me. In order to hibernate I have to turn down invitations. I turn down invitations nearly every week because I am fully booked. I can’t go to ____ because someone is coming over in the mid-morning and someone else is coming over in the evening.

But I don’t like me. That kind of trumps everything. I don’t like me much at all. I don’t think I am kind enough. I think I am a hateful, nasty person. I think that even when I haven’t said anything other than “Good morning” and “Good to see you.” I think that someone as unpleasant as me should not be allowed to freely inflict such fucking misery on every one in the world. I should die and make the world a better place.

But clearly other people do not agree with my assessment. Thus the invitations to weddings and birthday parties and other such festivities.

At some point this cycle will shift. I will stop hating myself with such vigor. I will stop hearing a cacophony of screaming voices telling me that I am a stupid bitch and no one likes me and why don’t I just go play with the cars on the freeway already because no one wants me to stay. I hear my mom and my sister and my brothers and my uncle and I don’t know how to make the voices stop.

I don’t have multiple personalities. I have overly strong memory abilities. I am too smart for my own good. I don’t forget things. I remember things so strongly and so clearly that other people are shocked. I can sit down and concentrate hard and tell you about the sequence of events on days that happened when I was two, three, four… I can’t remember every single day of my life with perfect recall but I can remember most of it. Almost all of it. It is all stored somewhere in my database and if I rattle it back and forth I can find what I need.

The problem is when I don’t get to control what is actively replaying. I have all those screens in my head. Luckily when I get into the place of hearing all the screaming this is sans-video. This is just an audio track. Thank goodness for small mercies.

I go back and forth between ringing my hands with “I don’t know what triggers these cycles” and “I’m just like this”. When I feel this way it is hard to understand or believe that I ever feel differently. I have lots of good days though–I objectively know it is true that I go through many days of my life without all the noise and hatred. I know it happens because I can pull out a reel of tape of some other day and replay it and know that the day was fine.

But I can’t find the mute button. I can’t find a volume control. I can’t just decide I want this to stop today. It has to stop on its own.

I used to ask my Owner to beat me when I felt like this. Noah and I have a different relationship. He does give me the occasional spanking (only when I ask very nicely and then wiggle my ass just right) but it isn’t extreme. I think that at this phase of my life I have completely moved the “edge” that I am willing to play at. I no longer need to be the most psychotic bottom in the room. I’m good. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

I feel this way because of chemicals in my brain. I could take more drugs. Ha. I could do other things to disrupt the chemical levels in my brain. I have found few things in life that are more system-wide influential on my hormones than pain.

I believe I am supposed to be in pain. I believe it is the natural result of existing when you are such a piece of shit.

For the record, not all masochists feel like me. Most don’t. I have only met a couple of other people who talk about using bdsm the same way I do to deal with a pervasive sense of low self-esteem. People are masochists for a lot of reasons usually totally unrelated to being abused. The mean voices in your head thing is very non-standard.

Cutting would quiet the voices in my head. It would start other rounds of self-shaming but it would get rid of these voices. These voices want me to be punished. They don’t really care how. They just know that I am bad and should be hurting.

There is a very large part of me that wants to violently fight back. Fuck you. No more hurting me.

I think that is part of the reason that this is so hard to ignore. It makes me so angry that I feel this way about myself all the time. I feel so mad that the people who were supposed to love me and teach me to love myself were instead nasty, hateful people who taught me that I deserve suffering and death.

I don’t feel capable of being a nice person. I feel like that is a ship that has sailed. I am just a mean, nasty bitch. That is just how it works. But I want to be a nice person. I want to be someone who deserves relationships. But I don’t know how to earn them. I don’t know how to be good enough.

I need to just understand that if I am stupid enough to spend a lot of time with someone that there will be problems and eventually the person will want to go away and never talk to me again because I am terrible and mean and bad and annoying. It is appropriate for people to have these boundaries with me. It wouldn’t keep happening if I didn’t deserve it.

I have to keep people at a distance because people have relationships with me to meet needs of their own. I need to not think that relationships are about meeting my needs. My needs are cavernous and beyond the scope of anyone. I need to shut up. Shut up. Shut up you stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid bitch.

I’m not very good at that part.

I really liked that my Owner liked to keep me in a muzzle and hit me a lot. That just seemed appropriate. It was pretty hard for me to be bad in that circumstance. Near as I can tell that was the only period of my life where I didn’t feel like I was on the verge of being punished for being bad.

I was good. I was doing the right things. I was silent when and how he wanted me to be silent. He kept gags in my mouth a lot of the time. He thought it was “hot”. I still have jaw pain. I can’t do it any more. I feel like a failure.

I liked feeling like even if the inner core of my personhood was rotten and disgusting my outer shell could still please someone. Even though I deserve to die I was still amusing and worth keeping around for a bit longer.

No wonder my Owner didn’t want to talk to me about my mental health at all. That was Not His Problem.

Really my mental health isn’t any ones problem but mine. Shut the fuck up already you self-absorbed twat.

I’m afraid that if I stop paying attention and I stop arguing with the voices and I stop trying to figure out how this works that everything will get worse. I’m afraid that if I stop trying to track this that I will lose the ability to tell what is real and what isn’t. I’m afraid that if I stop trying to keep track of the fact that these are irrational voices–unrelated memories just jumping out–that I will believe that this is all that is true in the world. I’m not sure how long I will live if I give in and allow these thoughts to just be “true”.

That antagonistic, “Why did you say that?” That’s why I’m still alive. I know my tone of voice is shitty. I know I “should be” more gentle in my tone. I know. There is no excuse for me treating people badly just because I have mean things in my head. I know. I know. I know.

Do you tell someone with diabetes that everyone else wants donuts for breakfast and if they can’t eat it that is their own fucking problem?

My tone of voice is antagonistic because I am always speaking over hateful voices in my head. I sound so difficult not because I think you are doing something wrong but because I think I am bad. I am so very sorry that there is collateral damage.

Just hide. Don’t talk to any one. But I can’t. There is a wedding to go to. Life just keeps happening whether I am ready or not. And people tell me they want me there. I want to believe them. I want to believe them so much I shake with longing.

I want to not be hated. I want to believe that I am worthy of something other than being hated. But I’m such a bitch. Bitches deserve hatred, right?

Book lists

Ok Pam here is one list:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkbU6vaLw4dWdHpoU245Y3I5WHROaXRxSWJIMGJKVUE&usp=sharing

The Young Adult books now have a spreadsheet. I’ll get to everything else. This will take a bit. And it’s not like I have any other work to do or anything.

Thank you for bringing books to my house and thank you for wanting a list so you don’t bring me duplicates.

Post-therapy

Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. I’m hearing that in my head a lot. It makes my tone of voice sharper and nastier.

In therapy we talked about me yelling at the kids. She pointed out that there have been two incidences in the past month. That means I have to start putting stop-measures in place earlier. That is not an acceptable pattern. I’m probably still not in the “abuse” range but I’m sure not being a nice person. I’m not being a good parent. I’m not modeling the behavior I want to teach. I am teaching my kids to be assholes like me.

I have a lot of internal conflict around “walking away” during a fight. I had a lot of severe neglect issues so being screamed at was 300% better than being ignored. My kids are not me. My kids do not need what I needed.

My therapist wants me to start getting up and walking away as soon as my kids start yelling at me. Put the lid on the paint can and go in my room for a while. She said it probably isn’t a good thing to even try to talk about it right now. *I* am too emotionally volatile.

I’ve been riding the “Krissy is evil and should die” train for a while and that makes it a lot harder to be patient. It makes it a lot harder to be nice. It makes it a lot harder to respond in a loving way when someone screams at me.

But kids scream. Kids don’t have self control. Adults have self control for them.

I was asked how I know that I am mentally ill. Well, a wide variety of sources tell me that it isn’t normal to spend a large portion of the day fighting off tears because you know you are bad and you should be punished. Half the time I have no idea what I could have done wrong recently but I still feel like I should be in trouble right now.

It’s irrational and not anyone else’s problem. Only it is my childrens’ problem because they have to live with me. I’m so sorry.

I have to stop raising my voice at all. I have to start walking away. I think that my terror about walking away (it’s not a very rational sort of reaction–I am completely freaked out about just walking away from them when they are having feelings) makes it so that I am not capable of reacting appropriately.

When they start yelling at me that I am mean I feel like it is right. I feel like I am mean. It’s all true. I am terrible. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.

But that’s not any more useful. And I know I don’t want to teach that either. So in my head I start going through these panicked defenses, “No I’m not mean. I did _____ and ____ and ______. That means I’m not mean.”

But those things actually have nothing to do with being mean. They are tangential at best.

I don’t think I am actually “mean” to my kids in the scheme of things. But I don’t want to compare my parenting to my mother’s parenting and declare anything I do a win. That’s not high enough standards.

I did EMDR this week. Focusing on the panic and the screaming. When I start screaming at my kids it is usually because I feel scared and trapped and like I am being unfairly punished again only I know I deserve to be punished for other things so I have a huge guilt complex and I think the punishment is right and then I just want to crumble. When I feel that way I get really really mean.

This is all a bad cycle.

EMDR, for me, involves a lot of free association. When I did the EMDR this and I was focusing on the somatic (physical) experience of being scared right before I started screaming and then what it felt like to scream at the kids.

The thing that kept surfacing in my head was, “If you do this you will lose Calli.” I think that Shanna would be able to jump right on the destructive merry-go-round with me. I think she would learn to tolerate a honeymoon cycle-scream-forgiveness cycle. I don’t think Calli would. Calli is different. She has a sense of self and a sense of self-worth where that kind of shit just won’t fly. If you yell at her when she doesn’t deserve to be yelled at she will yell right back. Right fucking on.

But it means that yelling at her is the opposite of an effective punishment/behavioral correction device. I have to find a different way of dealing with her.  She won’t be cowed. That’s good. It means I have less leeway to be a bully.

Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in guilt because I do not feel bonded with Calli the way I do with Shanna. I love her. I like her. But it’s different. I dreamed about the Shanna who would more or less be my reason for living from when I was twelve. I dreamed about my son for many years. Calli is a wonderful surprise in every way. She wasn’t part of my original picture of my life but man I like her.

I feel like Calli is going to make me actually earn a relationship. Shanna likes me enough to put up with inappropriate shit. Calli doesn’t. Calli thinks I had better fucking be nice to her. She has really strong boundaries around how she wants to be treated and she doesn’t hesitate to hurt people who are bothering her. (She’s three. It’s not awesome that she is this aggressive but it is age appropriate.)

I will not be held responsible for how I feel. I will be held responsible for how I act. I can’t yell at the kids any more. I just can’t. I am not doing it in a reasonable or appropriate way. I’m being a nasty bitch. They don’t know or care about the cacophony of noise in my head. It isn’t their problem.

It is their problem when I start screaming. I have to stop. It doesn’t matter that I’m feeling thin. That is not the point. That is irrelevant. That is not important. How I feel really doesn’t fucking matter.

How I act matters a lot. Ok, irrational fear of rejecting children must be over ruled in face of less irrational fear of irreparably damaging children with anger.

Well, it’s the only plan I’ve got. Probably time to start working on it.

Discrimination sucks.

This isn’t about me. As I get older I experience less and less discrimination. But every day I read on the internet someone or other saying that _______ is the last acceptable form of prejudice. “It’s ok to hate fat people.” “It’s ok to discriminate against the mentally ill.” “THE LAST FORM OF TOLERATED BIGOTRY IS AGAINST TRANS* PEOPLE!!!”

Err. The fact that I have read three posts like that in the last hour means there probably isn’t “one remaining form of prejudice.”

The older I get the more privilege I have. I don’t think it works this way for everyone but it does for me.

When I read about how every year a person should expect to not have more money than last year because of the terrible financial position the country is in I think… but my finances have steadily improved every year since I was eighteen. Not always because of my own hard work–let’s be clear.

I no longer think of myself as a boot strapper in the slightest. I’m not and for me to claim such status is disrespectful.

I had a settlement. That provided all of my early financial security (my income went up every year after eighteen because I did part-time work in college and then went into teaching which was much more money than my mother had ever made–I felt filthy rich). Now I have Noah. His ability to earn money blows my mind. He’s just doing it.

I’m trying to figure out how to write to twelve year olds about the fact that every twelve year old has it shitty without sounding like I am propping up the system. Some twelve year olds have it worse than others but almost no twelve year old is capable of understanding that or evaluating what it means or how it works.

All discrimination sucks. There is not “one last” form of discrimination. There are as many kinds of discrimination as there are people with a stick up their ass. You couldn’t possibly list all of the things people are discriminated over.

But I feel kind of cranky about fat white women being very sure that they have it worse than anyone because prejudice against fat is the LAST REMAINING THING IT IS OK TO PICK ON PEOPLE FOR.

Err, haven’t you noticed that there are more black men in prison now than were ever slaves in this country? Maybe you aren’t at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to discrimination. Maybe.

I get that it sucks to be picked on. I really do. I don’t understand why people need to justify that their experience is shitty by saying that it is the shittiest thing ever.

I don’t think my life was the shittiest thing ever. I really don’t. I meet people all the time who are much worse off after their respective lives. I had a lot of bad things happen to me. I also had a lot of good.

I have a lot of privilege. I always have. The older I get, the more cemented it gets the more I can see the tendrils of it stretching back into the beginnings of my life.

I was *always* tolerated for interrupting class when I was a child. I was massively disruptive in almost every single one of the twenty-five schools I went to. It was tolerated. I wasn’t sent to special ed for bad kids the way the black or hispanic boys were. They were *not* more disruptive than me. The biggest difference between me and a lot of the boys I knew over time was that I knew the right answer in class.

I’m brilliant. Now that I’m an adult and I’m not worried about people beating me up if I say it out loud I can accept it. I’m brilliant. I just understand things faster and more easily than other people. It’s a gift. I’m not a better person, but school was a fuck-ton easier for me than it is for people who need slow and careful explanations. I got punished less because I was smart.

I don’t believe there is any “one last” discrimination left. As long as there are billions of people alive there will be way more things to discriminate about than that.

I feel really sad when I see people who are like me (I have been a fat white woman for most of my adult life–I’m not fat at this point but I expect I will eventually be so again) thinking that they have it the worst of the worst. First that makes me sad because the individual person feels that bad about themselves and their life. Second it makes me sad because that person has such a limited view of the world.

Have you read anything about children in Afghanistan lately? No one in America gets to talk about the “last acceptable discrimination”. We just don’t. We can talk about being unhappy about how we are treated–totally reasonable.  That’s ALWAYS OK.

But the hyperbole bothers me. It erases so many people.

The older I get, the longer I stay alive the more I recognize how very lucky and blessed I am. Sure, I’ve had bad things happen to me but most people do. Life is just like that. Bad things happen. It isn’t about deserving. It just happens.

But every morning I wake up in a house that is warm or cool as I see fit to make it. I have a husband who wakes up and makes me breakfast just because he loves me. I have little girls who wake up and the first thing out of their mouth is, “I’m so glad to see you again!” because that is the first thing they have heard every day of their lives (Godmama weekends excepted).

I am lucky. I am safe. I was reading about food insecurity yesterday. I really need to figure out what the hell I want to do with my life. I’m bothered by how many people in my neighborhood are statistically hungry right this minute. I think ignoring those problems is not ok. It makes me feel bad about myself as a person.

I know what it means to not have food. I know what severe malnutrition feels like. I live with a lot of the long term effects and they suck. But I have medical insurance so I can go to the doctor when I have problems now because of what happened to me a long time ago.

I am so very lucky.

(I don’t leave comments on other peoples blogs because they don’t need to know that I am irritated with them. My sandbox, my rules.)

Talking over

Yesterday Noah was kind of annoyed because he was trying to talk to me and both kids were trying to talk to him at the same time. He expressed some frustration.

I said, “Do you understand why I don’t try to force them to wait their turn?”

He said, “No, I don’t. Why?”

“Have you ever noticed how the people at work who “wait for their turn” just never speak? I want our children to grow up into the kind of adults who are pushy and bossy and who think their ideas are worth pursuing. You can’t get that way after a lifetime of being told to shut up and wait your turn.”

“Oh. That’s a good reason.”

“I think so.”

find gratitude

1. I’m grateful for the visitor we had yesterday. It was lovely to hear about another planner on the journey to parenting.

2. I’m grateful that my joints do not hurt any more. Apparently my new early warning sign for my period is that all of the joints in my body explode with pain–the pain started the day before the bleeding. By day four of my period the pain goes away.

3. I’m grateful that my house is clean. It makes it a lot easier to be patient. And I hadn’t vacuumed the garage in months. Go me.

4. I am grateful that I have not one but two upcoming camping trips because I simply know too many neat people.

5. I am grateful that despite the evil voices in my head telling me that everyone in the world hates me and I am bad and I should die… clearly people keep coming over. I can’t be the Anti-Christ because I’m not quite that popular. I’m a nice healthy in the middle kind of popular. I have a few friends. That’s a good level.

6. I am grateful for how hard my husband works. I have a lot of self-involved very expensive dreams for the future. Most people in the world will never have enough money to do the things I want to do. I will because of someone else’s labor. That is humbling and kind of awkward. I don’t deserve any of the money I will have access to. It will just be there. Privilege is weird.

7. I am grateful for having two children. They astound and delight me in different ways. I’m glad I get to see more than one way of being a child. I totally understand the impulse towards having lots of children. I rather wish I could see more little pieces-of-me.

8. I am grateful that my husband stated his boundaries quite clearly and went straight on to the vasectomy when he was sure he was done having kids. Or I’d be begging. Pleeeeeeeeease one more baby. I don’t have a son…. Sometimes that is life, lady.

9. I am grateful for the rain. Rain means life.

10. I am grateful for the variety of people in my life. I know good Christians and I know sex workers. I know good Muslims and I know Adult Babies. I know from personal experience that the kind and variety of people in the world is dizzying and intoxicating and wonderful. I am very lucky.

Not proud.

In my continual efforts to not have secrets about which I feel shame, yesterday we had kind of an incident.

I had to dismantle the slide. An adult friend who was far above the weight limit decided to take a ride. It broke. No fucking shit. It ripped some of the bolts through the plastic and fucked up the wooden support under the slide. So it had to be taken apart. I could fix it with much larger washers, but it was a pain in my ass.

The entire time I was working on the slide, ok that isn’t fair–the first half of the time, the kids were not very happy with me. I tried to patiently explain what I was doing and why. I explained every tool and piece of equipment I was using. I showed them the damage and told them why I had to dismantle it in order to fix it.

The kids stood there and YELLED at me that I was mean for breaking their slide as I took it apart. Even though I had explained why and showed them how I would put it back together.

I fucking lost it. They have been yelling at me that I am mean a lot lately. Basically every time I do not instantly comply with their demands.

I turned around and started screaming at them that if I am so fucking mean go in the fucking house and leave me the fuck alone while I do this fucking work for your fucking play structure.

I don’t feel proud of myself.

I am not sure what the right thing to do there would be but I wasn’t capable of turning around and being nice. I just couldn’t. I am so fucking tired of being yelled at that I am mean while I am in the middle of doing demanding physical labor for someone else’s benefit. I just can’t sit there and tolerate that. I fucking can’t.

But I should figure out how to handle it without yelling “fuck” at children. On one hand I feel bad. On the other hand, wow have I never yelled fuck at my kids like that before. That was special. I’ve been remarkably good for me about swearing over the past few years.

I called K to calm me down. These days it feels like she is the only stress relief I have. The Godmamas are overwhelmed by familial need (that happens) and Noah is working a lot. A lot. A really really lot. He works his primary job, comes home for an hour or so then goes in the garage to do different work. This weekend he’s at a conference.

I used to get 3-5 hours of not-parenting every day. These days I’m under two hours. I do all of my work while managing the kids. Which isn’t something I deserve pity for. I wanted this and all. But it is hard to have enough patience for everything.

We did another hour or so of painting on the play structure. Calli has painted most of the stairs by herself. I was very impressed. I “helped” by doing a last few smoothing strokes on each board but she put the paint down and mostly spread it around by herself. Her paint clothes are now solidly covered in paint because she sat in it while she was painting. It was totally adorable.

Shanna painted the kid-side hand rail mostly on her own. I came along and did a little edging of the parts she had trouble seeing. That’s ok. There were a lot of little corners. Those are easy to miss.

I’m working on the rainbow. It’s a pain in my ass. But it’s coming along. I have used three fucking ladders in order to reach everything. I could have gotten away with two ladders if the thing was about three inches shorter. But it isn’t. So I needed a third ladder. C’est la vie.

I’m starting to have trouble sleeping again. Once I get six or so hours of sleep I feel like my sleep gets lighter–I come up to a lighter sleep cycle and then I just can’t really rest more. I get up to use the bathroom and then I fret. And fret. And fret.

Do you know what makes me feel worst about yelling at Shanna like I did? She came back to me and apologized for yelling at me about an hour after I yelled at them. I apologized to her too. I told her that I was sorry for yelling “fuck” at her because that isn’t very nice or respectful or loving. She said, “Well, we weren’t being very nice to you.”

I said, “No you weren’t. But you are kids. Kids push grown ups. It is my job to be the grown up and hold boundaries. It isn’t very cool of me to scream at you for being a kid.”

She told me she forgives me.

I don’t know how to be a better mother than I am. But I feel she deserves better. She is such a wonderful kid. It is kind of funny that I feel like I am mean to them. But never for the things they yell at me about. Those things are never the mean things. They yell at me that I am mean when I am doing nice things. If they yelled at me while I was actually being mean I think I would just nod and agree.

I think that when they start yelling at me I need to immediately separate us whenever possible. Not because they are “getting in trouble”. If you have feelings like that go express them somewhere else. You are allowed to have them. You aren’t allowed to yell at me like that. Hell, I barely yell at them the way they feel free to yell at me.

My kids are so fucking not abused. The cocky little… oh man. Clearly not abused. Abused children aren’t this god damned demanding.

I haven’t made progress on the book this week. I am thinking about it a lot. I know what I want to say. I just haven’t sat down to write. The minute I sit down the kids jump on top of me and demand that I do _________. (The list is long.)

I feel like we have phases where I can do independent work (like the mural on the fence) and then I just can’t for a while because they feel clingy and upset about being ignored and they won’t allow me to focus on anything. Right now I can’t do the dishes without them bugging the shit out of me to entertain them in some way.

I spend a lot of time saying, “It is not my job to entertain you. Go entertain yourself.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. That’s the process.

This is hard. I absolutely understand the impulse to just “put them in school”. I feel like there is stuff here to learn. There are lessons in this learning-to-put-up-with-people that I have to learn. I need it. NEED.

When I am an old woman I hope I will be proud of myself for doing the things that I knew were things *I* needed to do. I don’t in any way think that other people should mirror my path. I need to figure out how to be with kids.

When I lose it, which doesn’t happen very often–I do record pretty much all of them–I feel like I am proving that my children deserve to be removed from my care and given to someone who could treat them better. Only when I talk to so-called-“normal” (not diagnosed as crazy from a young age) mothers most of them spend a lot more time screaming at and/or punishing their kids. There is no way in hell I could treat my kids the way I hear/see other mothers doing it. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror.

But I don’t think they are abusive. I don’t think their kids are damaged or fucked up in any way. So why do I feel so strongly that if *I* behaved that way I would be an abusive monster?

Is it the slippery slope argument? I can’t scream at my kids frequently because screaming just makes me more and more angry (being the one to scream means I am the one to escalate) and I have a really hard time controlling my urge to hit when I get too angry. And when I start screaming I am more or less incapable of screaming without cursing every other word. That is just part of the whole dynamic for me. I see other mothers who are able to scream or discipline and they don’t have to chant fuck fuck fuck over and over.

Right now my kids are sleeping in the cutest way possible. Shanna is “normal” direction but curled up in child’s pose. (Now I get why that is named that way.) Her nightgown is rucked up around her waist and she didn’t wear panties to bed. So she’s mooning the hallway. Calli is also in child’s pose but her head is firmly up against Shanna’s side so they are at a 90 degree angle to one another. They make a T.

I love how connected they are. They fight more now. But holy tomato they are attached to one another. They want to be near one another. Even when they are mad they don’t like separating. They do play in different rooms sometimes (Calli is very willing to run her own games when Shanna is being too bossy) but mostly they don’t like being away from one another.

Shanna keeps telling me that when she is a grown up she is going to go find my big sister and teach her how a big sister should act.

I tell my kids a lot, “How you treat your sister teaches her how to treat you. If you hit, pinch, kick, or shove you are saying that it is ok to do to you. I will not intervene until you get to the point of serious injury. You need to learn how to be nice.”

It is really interesting how Shanna is starting to take responsibility for “I am older and have more self control so I have to teach my sister how to act.” She frequently tells Calli, “Oh Calli! Please stop pinching me. It is hard to not pinch you back when you do that.” Once in a while she does pinch back. Then Calli wants to cry foul. I play at being deaf.

Today is a weeding day. The front yard is really bothering me. I haven’t weeded all summer. My pansies are getting choked out and fuck that noise.

The asparagus are growing like mad. I had no idea they looked like that. They kind of look like fennel as they grow up. It’s really neat. No one believes me that they are asparagus.

Tomato season is (thank goodness) nearly over. I will probably get another 5-10 lbs this year. One more batch of sauce. I’m ready to stop processing.

I am learning a lot about how I feel about food preservation and eating from my yard. I don’t know where I am going to put more raised beds in the future (maybe my roof?) but I think that long-term I will mostly want to figure out how to eat what is in season and do staggered planting. Like putting lettuce out to start every three weeks. Eat it as it comes ripe. We tend to not preserve a whole lot of fruit from the yard so far. Partially this is just current production size but partially it is that we gorge when things are in season. It feels nice. Then we have a break and that feels nice too. Preserving and eating the same things all the time causes me to get really bored and not want to eat at home.

I am sorta keeping to the schedule I drew up. That makes me feel good. I haven’t worked on Outrunning this week but that is the most serious deviation.

I’m having a hard time writing. I think that I’m actually feeling writers block about the book. I’m scared. I’m scared of really and truly committing to what I think a 12 year old should know. That feels like a heavy responsibility. I don’t want to do it wrong. I don’t want to give too much information and push kids towards making bad decisions.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is that no one wants to seriously think about how much power they have. People don’t like acknowledging to themselves who and what they really are in the scope of things. People either under or over rate themselves. It’s hard to be accurate.

I don’t know how much influence I might potentially have and that is really scary. If Torque (the guy who publicly apologized to me and who gave me specific permission to use his handle whenever I talk about him) had understood how much it meant that he publicly say, “I screwed up and I am sorry” he would have done it ten years ago. If he had been willing to actually deal with me, what difference might that have made in my life?

Sure, he was a softball sized trauma. He violated my consent in a painful way. But he didn’t have sex with me. He didn’t rape me. He did beat me… but I had asked him to so it is a really weird thing to figure out how upset I am allowed to get about the whole situation.

I asked him to do a scene. Scenes are potentially fraught. Everyone has to be responsible for themselves or they SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN BDSM. If you need to be taken care of then you are not someone who should engage in bdsm. Period.

But he did stuff I told him not to do. And when I screamed “no” and “stop” he ignored me until I said “red” even though I had negotiated not using safewords. But I did have a safeword. I did make it stop.

Recently I was thinking about the last rape. What I really really really hope will be the last rape.

I gave permission in advance for a rape scene. I didn’t understand the difference between compliant rape and a rape I would actually fight against. I never fought before that. I was trained to not fight from when I was a toddler. I was literally physically taught to not fight against being raped from when I was a toddler. When I was twenty-five I finally fought back.

I still lost.

I still got raped. Even though that time I didn’t want it and I was upset enough to fight and I fought as fucking hard as I was physically capable of fighting.

I haven’t ever done that before. I always give. I always know that it is right that I lose. I know I deserve to be raped. I know I deserve to service the needs of people around me because I am a whore and that is what whores are for.

But that last rape was different from all the others. That is the only time I can look at and really believe in my heart, “I was not able to stop that.”

Every other time I acted like it was like the scene with Torque. If I knew the safeword I could stop it but I don’t play with safewords so mostly I will eventually go limp and try to not die.

I don’t say “no” to sex. Well, I do now. Rarely. Barely. I started in pregnancy. I made Noah promise in advance that if I decided to not have sex from the date of conception to three months after delivery that he wouldn’t divorce me. I knew there was the non-zero possibility. I know that happens for some people. I was really scared. I made him promise because clearly he picked me because I am sexually compulsive and at that point we were still non-monogamous and I was pretty scared that he would wander off and not come back if I cut him off.

He didn’t.

I went and did a lot of bdsm because I wanted to find out what it felt like to believe you were allowed to say “stop” and have it work. When that mechanism failed me…

I don’t say “no” much. I learned how to say “stop”. Barely. It took a lot of effort and work. It took really consciously trying to do it. My Owner worked with me. He did a lot of very dangerous things where I HAD to say stop or he might end up in jail for manslaughter and we don’t want that now, do we?

It is kind of funny because outside of sex I say “no” more easily than almost anyone I’ve ever met. I’m pretty happy to add a “and go fuck yourself while you are at it!” But that sex button thing is old.

Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and saying repeatedly, “You will not be held accountable for your feelings; you will only be held accountable for your actions.”

I have big feelings. I have mean feelings. I have sad feelings. I have hateful feelings. I have painful feelings.

I’m not hurting anyone else by having these things inside of me. If I control my temper and manage to not lash out (screaming that I am not fucking mean for fixing the fucking slide aside) then I am not hurting people. If I am not hitting anyone I am not hurting anyone. If I control my tone of voice such that I do not sound mean or hateful then I am doing fine. It’s ok that I am playing a game.

That’s the point. It is all a game.

No one is against you. They are for themselves. Don’t take it personally.

You will only be held accountable for how you act. I don’t know how you feel. I can’t know. That is forever a shut door. I just know how you act. I care about how you act.

That is comforting and very disturbing.

Find gratitude

Noah left the house right around 6am. He got home at 7:50pm. Right when he walked in the kids begged for reading and he immediately sat down to do it.

I don’t think I would be able to do that after a long day. I’m really grateful that he is so nice to us.

don’t lie

Today is going to be all jagged. I didn’t sleep enough. We were out late at the ER. Calli shoved an almond up her nose. Whoops. Most of what was done to get it out was I blew into her mouth hard enough to pop her eyes. Then the ER doctor could reach it to fish it out. It was rather gross. She was a trouper. She didn’t cry. She had trouble holding still at first, but she’s three and they were shoving a big plastic stick up her nose. That seems reasonable.

I am shaking with anxiety. My body hurts. I feel so disgusting and bad.

In other news, I got my first one star review for my book. Apparently I don’t take enough responsibility for my childhood. Ok.

I had a lot of social time yesterday (and four hours of driving–traffic was horrifying all gosh darn day) and I think that not socializing for five or six days is a good idea. Everyone was nice to me. Everyone was wonderful. I still feel like I was put across a cheese grater. It isn’t any one else’s fault I feel this way. I just do.

It’s kind of funny because people keep spontaneously volunteering lately that I look so relaxed and happy. I feel strung as tight as a bow string.

I’m just a really good liar.

Identity crisis

I went to a wake on Sunday. I would say the day was euphoric. I went up to San Francisco dressed in full leathers. I wore a black leather strapless ballgown that reaches the floor. Over it I wore a white and black leather corset. Apparently I looked good enough to stop traffic because I did.

I went to a munch first (because it was happening when I happened to walk into the coffee shop). The erotic hypnosis munch–the particular topic was on edge play. How do you hypnotize someone so that you can make them think you are doing something more dangerous than you are doing. Like if you hypnotize someone then fuck them with a butter knife but the bottom believes you are using a sharp knife.

I made everyone in the room startle when I said, “Err, why don’t you just use a sharp knife?” “But that would be dangerous!” “Errr, I’ve done it. Well…. more accurately I’ve had it done to me and my pussy isn’t cut in half.”

It kept going from there. When I went to the wake I saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in almost ten years. I was flat shocked by how fondly I am remembered. But apparently I am remembered as a big scary edge player.

“Don’t dare Lenora to do something. She will do it. And you will be sorry.”

“If there is work to be done Lenora will not stand around waiting.”

“Uhhh I wouldn’t keep pushing with her. She’ll win.”

That was just a few of the comments that kind of stand out in my head. Wait… what? Oh. Ok. At least one of those was said by a big scary man who has used his big scary boots to stomp my skull into concrete. More than once. And *I’m* the one who will make people sorry?!

People who knew me introduced me to new people and told them in detail why the new people should listen to me because I know what I am talking about. I repeatedly said, “(S)He’s lying. I don’t do anything interesting any more. I just stay home. I know nothing.” I got some looks for that.

Of course I ran into play partners and former lovers. I was uhm remembered fondly. “Do you remember that weekend before Pride? Ohmyfuckinggod that was the hottest thing ever.” Err, yes. Yes I am that hot.

I left feeling built up. I worked very hard for my standing in that community. I submitted to brutality that literally shocks people because I wanted that standing in that community. I wanted to be one of the most intense people in any room. Now I find out that most of the people I was sort of “competing with” in my head think I am past them. That’s… oh. Really?

It was kind of weird to be at the wake. I know there was way over 100 people there, probably more than 200 people. There were representations of EVERY leather organization within reasonable driving distance. Every gay male only, every lesbian only every every every leather group was there. Because Iain touched all of them and made their lives better.

I was one of the few people to speak (Angela asked for people to talk and share memories) who did not enter the scene through Iain and Angela’s classes. Only a few of us knew them “before”. It was wonderful seeing how many lives they have made better.

I really felt like part of a community. The man who wrote the apology for putting a cattle prod on my cunt was there. I cried with him for almost ten minutes. He apologized a few more times and told me that if he had understood what this meant to me he would have done it ten years ago. That was intense.

People who knew me exclusively as a masochist had a lot of questions about my being a parent. They were shocked that I like it so much. Why do I want to home school? Oh wow. You care so much? Yes. Yes I do care so much.

Then by mid-way through Monday I kind of recognized that all of these things that are part of my “standing” in that community are things that if people find out about them I could end up with a lot of punishment.

The park on Tuesday with the home schoolers was really hard. I sobbed the whole way there and had trouble not bursting into tears the whole time I was there. I know I am dirty and disgusting and not the kind person that people want around their kids. Shut up you stupid nasty bitch. Don’t talk about what you’ve done. Shut up shut up shut up.

I am very afraid of my children being ostracized because of who their mother is. I’m not very good at being in the closet. I’m not very good at keeping my mouth shut. I’m not very good at being appropriate. I’m not very good at keeping only to topics that other people like.

This morning one of my closest friends was trying to be loving and supportive. In the context of a larger conversation she said, “You get back what you give to the world.” I said, “Fuck you. Who did I rape first?”

She wants me to think about how to be happy. She wants my life to improve. She wants me to think I have the power to change how my life goes. She wants to believe that I can adopt privilege from people who love me and no longer be a person at the bottom of the ladder.

I say that the kids who were born the sixth child of alcoholic and drug addicted parents in a trailer park are probably not getting from the world what they have given. And it is not a very nice thing to imply that they are.

Some people have good lives. Lucky them. It isn’t about getting what you deserve. There is no deserve. Fuck you to anyone who says there is.

I feel scared as I write Outrunning. I know that a lot of people are going to be extremely angry with me for consciously trying to talk to 11/12 year old kids the way I am. They will think it is all my fault if their kids go out and do drugs and have sex. No, it isn’t my fault. It really isn’t. But hopefully I can help your kids understand the risks they are taking so they can make conscious choices. It isn’t my fault your kids want to do what they want to do. I swear to god I am not responsible for people being interested in drugs and sex.

I made everyone at the park bug their eyes out. One mom is interested in me doing sex ed with her kids. I said, “Do you understand that I will tell your kids that masturbation is awesome and phone sex and cyber sex are the safest kinds of sex in the world?” “But what about older men?!” “That’s a different part of the conversation.”

I feel scared. I feel bad. I know I believe things that are “wrong”. I know that lots of other people seem to think that sex should be some special magic potion you only get once you are married. I think it is my birthright. I get to have sex. As much of it as I want. Just because I bloody well can. I don’t think that anyones mother (not even my own) gets to decide where and when and what kind of sex is right for me. I have to decide for myself.

Just like all these other people need to decide for themselves. I believe my kids will have sex some day. I think they will more than likely start as teenagers given where and when they live. (I’m praying for the far side of 16 with a partner who is within two years of their age.)

Until you are READY for sex… masturbation is AWESOME. Do it by yourself. Do it with a “friend” in the room. Don’t let them touch you. This is about watching and handling yourself and learning what you like.

And boy howdy will I talk about birth control. Much easier to prevent a child than raise one.

I feel scared that my existing and having the opinions I have is going to go very badly for my children. I feel so scared.

I was asked why I care so much about what other people think of me. Uhm because I have had to deal with people throwing a lot of literal rocks at me because disgusting people like me deserve to be stoned. I’m afraid for my children. If I don’t think about what people think of me my children my pay the price.

quiet

I keep writing partial posts and not putting them up. I feel out of context. I feel like explaining things is too hard. I feel like saying what is in my head is bad and dangerous.

Even though I have a lot of good things happening. I’ve had some very validating experiences.

I feel like I should be hiding. I’m not responding to many emails. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m so scared. I know I’m burnt out on my kids needs right now. We didn’t get a Godmama weekend this month (for good reasons) and I’m more irritated with my kids as a result. It isn’t their fault.

But Noah is working more. He is unavailable for a solid 55 hours a week. I know that other people have spouses who work more than that. I just…

Just hide.

Just another whinging Friday

It isn’t that I think my kids are bad or anything. They are just excellent boundary pushers. I want them to push boundaries. I flat encourage them in that direction. I want children who are tenacious, stubborn, and sure that their idea is A Good One. But. But sometimes I wish I could say, “I know I’m willing to argue/negotiate with you all day every day but can I please have a friggin break on my birthday.” They just aren’t old enough to understand.

We did have good moments. I feel really bad that it seems like all I do is complain. Doesn’t anything make me happy? Am I ever satisfied? Is there any point in reaching for satisfied or is that just not something I can feel? I feel really guilty for not being able to turn this into a fun trip. It should have been a fun trip. I hate that I am such a downer all the fucking time.

But it felt really bad getting yelled at for what I wanted to order for lunch. I fucking told them four days in advance, “On my birthday I want us to have gumbo and papas fritas and beignets for lunch. That’s what I want.” They were enthusiastic and supportive until we got to the park. Then I was a mean and terrible person for not letting them have popcorn for lunch. Or ice cream. Or a Dole Whip. Or…

My kids rarely have extreme cases of the gimme’s. I don’t buy them things all that often on our outings and I’m kind of nasty about being pestered to buy stuff. Holy.Fucking.Shit. This trip was the most gimme-gimme-gimme I think Shanna has ever been. She actually sat on her ass in the middle of the store and started yelling at me because I wouldn’t buy her a FUCKING SECOND MUSIC BOX. SHE HAS ONE AT HOME THAT SHE BOUGHT WITH HER ALLOWANCE ON OUR LAST TRIP.

I almost lost my shit. If we had been within an hour of home I would have left the park fifteen minutes into the day.

The really funny thing is the DMV portion of the trip was the best natured and happiest all three of us were on the whole trip. We played games and met people and it was a really enjoyable 3.5 hours. Hell, I’m talking to a lady via email after that. She’s nice.

I think it is that whole kicked puppy thing. I was acting like a kicked puppy. I was begging them to please let me have a turn. When you act like a low status person you get kicked like a low status person. So my kids kicked me (only literally a few times figuratively much more often) all day.

It all feels like my fault. If things go badly it is because I planned wrong or anticipated wrong or… something.

Having them both scream at the top of their lungs that I was mean and nasty multiple times before 10am felt really hard. I know this is a current tick. I know that the best way to handle it is to not engage. At this point in time I am having trouble not bursting into hysterical tears or hitting them. I have strong impulses to do both. I’m not doing either but I want to.

Just breathe. This moment will pass.

I have spent ~15 hours over the past week and some working on scheduling. I’m getting close to knowing the shape of my days all the way through the end of the year. If I stick with my schedule. Ha.

In order to make it so that I can potentially accomplish what I want to accomplish I need a schedule with a lot of rest time scheduled. I need to not be booked all day every day. I have to have multiple days in a week where what I do is hang around the house and putter. I need to have scheduled “sit on the couch and read books and snuggle” time with the kids just about every day.

I have to run more. I just have to. Not running is feeling a lot worse than running. Which is hella funny. We have gone out all four of us a couple of mornings in a row. We hope to get the kids used to going for a morning jog. Noah and I take turns doing sprints up the block and back to the family because the kids are a lot slower.

Outrunning Suicide is starting to take shape. I have mostly written several chapters. I have a skeleton. This one is very different than No Secrets. The entire writing process feels different. This will feel more like a collection of essays than a story, but there needs to be some sense of story in it as well. I am trying as hard as I can to be conscious of the fact that I want this book to be appropriate for twelve year olds. Even though the mothers of twelve year olds will say that it is too mature. The mothers are wrong.

I need to start working on painting in the back yard. All of the stuff that was built this year needs to be painted so it doesn’t rot quickly. Oh man.

I don’t want to go out very much over the next few months. I want to get work done. I want to home school my kids. I need to stop looking outward for a while. We will go to park days. I will continue to try to make time for Noah’s friends who have all had kids and the few people I have hanging on who had kids.

I need to stop looking for new people. I don’t have the bandwidth. My monkey spheres are full.

I like having a lot of… I’ll call them third tier friendships. People generally don’t want to think of themselves as third tier, but oh well. At this point the only person I have near daily contact with who I don’t live with is K. Thank goodness for her. That is the first tier. Second tier are all of the people who have kept contact with me for long-stretches of time and they know real things about me and I know real things about them. These are people who very consciously schedule with me and make sure that I know that they think about me. The third tier are the people I don’t see a lot of and they know very little that is real about me but I want to feel acceptance and love so I try very hard to maintain Appropriate Behavior around them and I know there are consequences if I slip up.

The third tier is where you get into the idea of Community. These are people I want to know. They add value to the world and to my life in particular but I don’t think they actually like very much about me so I have to carefully construct what they see or I will be shunned again.

I can’t overload my second tier. When I overload my second tier then I see the ending of nearly-decade-long relationships and the backlash hurts me for years.

The third tier is where I spend most of my time. I carefully dole out just small bits of my personality to people. It all tends to feel very artificial. I know I need to be careful not to be too real. I need to not saying things that will upset people. Good fucking luck guessing who is sensitive to what.

Why is the third tier so important? Because I have absolutely stressed the first and second tiers to the limits of their ability to support me and if I have free-floating miasma of need and I get it met in bursts of random kindness from the universe. I depend on a lot of Pay It Forward. Mostly this has worked out fairly well. Humans in general are loving, kind, and they want connection.

But then we get to this punishment thing. I think that most people have trouble understanding that they are punishing people. I know that I struggle with understanding how and where I punish people. I do it but it is hard for me to understand the mechanism of it. It is hard for me to understand that I have the power to punish people. I don’t feel like I have such power. I feel weak and powerless.

My second tier has worked very hard to step up since I had kids. As much as I am still in a place of great hostility towards the idea of “chosen family” (given that most of the people who have emphatically told me that I am their family no matter what no longer speak to me I think I get to be hostile to this concept) I… feel conflicted. Clearly I have friends who have moved into family roles.

I feel like I am understanding how other peoples limitations work better as the years go on. Like, I’m not inviting people on trips. It isn’t that anyone wants to hurt me (I don’t think that the desire to hurt me played any part in people not being able to go on the trip–major health concerns came up for everyone) but I am still here hurting. How do I move towards hurting less?

I have been asking for help with things where I can’t handle the answer “no”. That is always where I get into trouble. This is consistent for me. I wait until the lack of support will be crippling then I ask for support then I get told no because other people don’t have the bandwidth and I crumble.

I need my life to require fewer spoons. I need to not need help.

Having children has been humbling and humiliating. The amount of help I have needed has been really hard. Things like going to the doctor for an ultrasound of my abdomen. That turned into a huge long lecture at Kaiser about how I need child care or I can’t get health care. I understand why my dentist pushed me to get the dental implant I needed while I was pregnant even though the pain meds aren’t optimal because “Mothers don’t take care of their teeth when they have children under ten.”

It is kind of weird and hard to talk about but since having children I am more house bound than I was before simply because of how my bathroom habits changed. I have always had a small and urgent bladder (common problem with early childhood sexual abuse) but after the kids my life-long diarrhea problem became urgent and explosive too. And then there is how my periods have changed. Having a body sucks.

Having kids is hard but I did not anticipate the specific ways this would be so hard. I anticipated getting sick of laundry and wiping up poop and being screamed at. I didn’t understand that after having children it would be a rare thing for me to be able to handle three hours between bathroom trips–I get a few freak days once in a while. I normally go to the bathroom every half hour or so. I don’t think I would physically be able to teach right now. I used to have 110 minute class periods. I can’t hold my bladder that long any more. And it is illegal to leave in the middle of a class to use the restroom. I did it anyway but you aren’t supposed to and there are severe potential punishments.

You want to know why I have so much anxiety about neglecting my children when they are playing in another room and I can’t see them but I can hear them? Because I went through teacher training and discovered just how much trouble I can get in if I don’t “properly supervise” other peoples kids. Apparently properly supervise means sit on top of the child and physically prevent them from ever breaking the rules. Good luck.

I swear this all ties together in my head.

I have historically depended heavily on the third tier. Why do I consider them third tier? What I can ask of them is much smaller and more limited and I have to be careful of watching how often I ask. The tiering is how much of my need they have demonstrated an ability to handle. It isn’t about me judging them negatively or thinking they are bad people. I’m intense. I hurt people without trying. I need to be careful to notice when I am hitting stress points for people and withdraw so there can be a next time. If I push third tier people too hard they eject me from their lives.

With children this is different and difficult. At this point I feel like a user if I ask people for anything. I try hard to bully K to let me come do work at her house because I feel like such a user all of the time given how much support she gives me. It isn’t actually a better dynamic.

I have a hard time knowing that at this point in my life I need more support than I give. It has been true for years. Maybe for all of my life. This totally plays into being financially dependent. I feel ashamed of myself. I look at the women in my life who are not dependent and I feel pathetic. This is part of that defining myself by being not-like other people. It isn’t good for me or anyone else.

I don’t feel like the things I do are good or worthy. And yet I really really really want to do the things I am doing. With fervor and intensity I want these things in the world and I don’t think anyone but me will do them. I take that as a sign they probably aren’t worth doing and I am just a waste of resources.

Part of the problem with an extensive third tier is someone always needs help. People are always struggling and I wish I could help more. I wish I had more to offer. I wish I had more energy. I wish I had more time to give them.

But instead I will stay home and weed my garden and write a book and paint. I am selfish and small. My life is limited and unimportant. I totally struggle with that Gen Y thing of, “But I am SPECIAL”. No. I’m really not. I don’t have anything unique and special to offer the world.

But sometimes I feel like I do. Sometimes I feel like I am good at helping people see their own value. Because I think so little of myself I view basically everyone in the world as higher status as me. When I explain to people all that I see about them that is good and wonderful they tend to be surprised. They are not able to see themselves that way. Isn’t that ability good and useful? Is that enough? What is enough? Enough of what? Enough for what?

I don’t know.

But I need to pull back into my little shell. I need to count my spoons and carefully lay them next to tasks. I want to read more books this year. I want to look out my back window on New Years Eve and see a rainbow castle. I want to finish writing the book that I really needed to read when I was twelve. I want to teach my children the daily habits of picking up after themselves. Even though it is hard. Even though you would rather do it later. If you do it now then you are free to go do anything you want on a whim. It takes practice to learn these habits.

I want my children to think that physical activity is just part of life. So I have to model it every day.

I want to not be fucking screamed at. I have already made a lot of progress on my own screaming. I will figure this out. It is going to be hard and it will take patience. We will figure this out. Without anyone getting beaten. There may be a fair bit of time out in our future.

I don’t think that anyone did anything wrong per se on my birthday. But I think that at this point my birthday is such a thing that I’m not sure anyone can do right. I don’t think it is anyone else’s fault at this point.

Rope bridges last a long time but eventually decay. You aren’t doing anything wrong by jumping up and down as you go across a rope bridge. Sometimes a log may break and you could plummet to your death. No one actually did anything “wrong” but there are still end results that suck.

I don’t know how to feel special. I want that feeling so bad. I want to feel loved and appreciated and like people are really really glad I am alive. I don’t feel that way. I feel like people tolerate me so long as I can fill their needs and not be too annoying. I know that people don’t actually feel that way about me. I don’t think I offer enough trade to actually justify that belief.

It isn’t that I believe that Noah and Shanna and Calli secretly hate me. It is clear that they all love me with great intensity. But something inside me is broken. It is like pouring boiling water into a tank of liquid nitrogen so that you can warm it up. That just isn’t going to work how you hope.

I feel raw. I know I am “over sensitive”. I know I “shouldn’t take things so personally”. But I am. I just am. Maybe I shouldn’t be. Maybe I shouldn’t exist. But I do. And this is how I feel. And I can’t make it go away just because it is inconvenient for me or for other people. The only thing I can do is try to stop being in a room with anyone else on my birthday so that it is very very clear that this problem is in me and not because of anyone else.

My birthday is really hard for me. I’m afraid it always will be. I desperately desperately want a kind of feeling loved and cared for and appreciated that I’m not getting. I don’t know what it is or how to get it. Everything I have tried so far has failed miserably. I really and truly have tried to change this pattern.

I wish I could stop feeling like it would be better if I was dead. Then I wouldn’t be so fucking inconvenient.

I know it isn’t “true”. I had kids so that I would know beyond the shadow of a doubt that my labor is necessary for a few decades. Nothing would be better right now if I was dead.

But I don’t know how to feel loved. I feel despised. I feel unappreciated.

Which is ridiculous. Noah couldn’t work harder than he does. And he clearly is doing it for me–he didn’t work like this before me. My Owner was a workaholic. Noah was kinda lazy when I met him. He was certainly unfocused–that is probably a better word than lazy. He works like a dog, largely because he is doing it for me. He wants to make all of my dreams come true.

And I reward him by crying and crying and crying and feeling like a worthless piece of shit. He is very confused. If I knew what to ask him to do he would do it. I don’t know. I don’t know how to stop feeling this way.

I mean, in the abstract I know how to deal with this feeling. Feel it. Cry while you have it. Wait. It will end.

That’s the awesome thing about feelings. They change.

Sometimes I do feel that Noah loves me. Sometimes I do feel that my kids love me. But somehow when it comes to my birthday that is broken. There is this big brick wall. I don’t feel attached. I don’t feel love or loved. I feel worthless and stupid and pathetic and bad and mean and unwanted and like I should just die.

And god I miss my mother. I miss my mother so much I want to curl up into a ball and never eat again. I am not worthy. I dishonor the woman who bore me. I am a piece of shit. I am not protecting her and taking care of her. I know she needs it. She has always needed it. She has always needed to be taken care of more than I need it.

And I think my kids need more taking care of than I need. Except for one day a year. Where I think I am going to need to have different boundaries.

I have started grieving really hard for the apology I was told I would get and I didn’t get. That guy in the scene I went and talked to who said he would write an apology. I’m sorry I made myself vulnerable to that.

I’m even more grateful for talking to the guy who made me uncomfortable at the wedding.

I know that I have to keep trying with people. Every relationship is unique. Every dynamic changes over time. I need people to jump over hoops for me. I need it. I’m pretty clear and direct about how and where I need it. I try not to be too demanding of any one person. But I do ask people to jump through hoops for me.

I want people to show me with their actions that I am actually as important as they verbally claim I am. I want my body to matter. This is a really dangerous kind of validation to want. Because I am not going to get it. People will say they will do ______ and not do it.

Do you know what makes people happy? Giving help to other people. Do you know what makes people feel shitty? Needing help. I hate my neediness as much as other people resent me inflicting it on them.

The kids are slightly sick. Runny nose on elder child, both are coughing. Younger child keeps telling us she needs a bucket but she isn’t vomiting. I’ve been crying so much I don’t know if I am sick or not. I scheduled a potentially light weekend because I am S-M-R-T.

I am looking forward to fall and winter. It will feel really nice after the frantic work pace of spring and summer. It is a puttering kind of day. I will go grocery shopping. I should wash the windows. Then they can color on them again. Ha. Right now they are too full to be fun.

I should stop typing. Annnnnnnny minute here……

Well, I’m older.

I learned a few things on this trip. I will never again plan a trip around someone coming with me. I need to assume that I will be alone and I need to make my spoons cover the whole time I will be there. If I plan around not being the only adult and then I am stuck being the only adult things don’t go very well.

We were gone for 60 hours. I drove for 14 hours (traffic was heinous). Slept for 16 hours. ~6 hours of the kids yelling at me at the top of their @#$#%@#% lungs that they want to go into Disneyland NOW when they wake up 3 hours before the park opens (times two days–see how that works?)

3.5 hours in the DMV. That was entirely my fault for not doing better planning.

So that leaves ~20 hours to be in our hotel or in the parks. We made dinner in the room each day. The kids were very angry with me that I would not take them swimming at the exact same time as I was cooking dinner. It turned into two hours of Shanna yelling at me about how it wasn’t ok to bring bathing suits and not use them.

I think this is the worst set of behaviors I have ever dealt with during a short period of time from my kids. By the end of the trip I felt no love at all. I cried for five hours on the last day including about three hours of the drive home.

My kids were not nice to me. They both screamed a lot. I got hit multiple times when I said no to buying things. I don’t know what the mother fuck happened.

Well, I asked them to please let me pick what we did for one day. Please, just one day. Apparently that wasn’t reasonable to ask for. (The developmental books talk about all of their shit being right on target. Calli is right in the middle of the stage where my FAVORITE AUTHOR EVER says, “Put them in daycare and get a lot of babysitting because no one likes their kid at this age.” It is a rough stage. I remember it with Shanna. She outgrew it. She is currently in a different annoying phase but it is very very different. Give them credit and all.

But it was a rather shitty trip. A long ass time ago when I thought I was going alone I planned for five days in a studio. (Not a lot of points and I would get three days in the park without driving.) Because I asked people to go with me I ended up booking a one bedroom for three days because other people have obligations. Then I got cancelled on. Then I hunted hard for another person and got cancelled on. Then I asked dozens of people and was told, “How about the week after?”

I don’t think I will schedule with other people any more. I keep hoping that I will have the kinds of friendships where I can do that kind of thing. I don’t have them. Wanting them is hurting me very badly and I need to stop wanting that. I need to stop thinking I will ever be someone who is part of a group.

I feel pathetic for how jealous I feel of the big families at Disneyland. I’m not that jealous. I understand that a family that size comes with a dogmatic religion I don’t want to follow. But it looks so nice to have a bunch of people who love you and want to do things with you.

I need to assume my travel is alone and just for myself. This is a tree I have to stop beating my head against because I just flat don’t handle it well when people back out. Then I’m stuck with a reservation that I can’t handle very well. I didn’t plan around my spoons. I planned around someone else’s spoons. I shouldn’t have. That was stupid.

Most of the drive home pretty much all I heard in my head was how stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid I was for thinking that the trip would work out and be fun. Instead I spent the whole time being yelled at and feeling like I was about to burst into tears because no matter how much I do for my kids they yell at me and scream at me and tell me I am mean and nasty for not doing EVERYTHING they want RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. I know it is developmental and all. I think I deal with it ok most of the time.

It sucked golf balls through a tennis ball to have that happen on my birthday at Disneyland. At one point in the day when Shanna was being really snotty I started crying. Then she backed off. She said, “Oh, is this a big deal? I guess I don’t need it.”

I didn’t do very well with having to be the heavy mean person. I just wanted to be allowed to decide what we did on one day. My kids steer the vast majority of our days.

Next year I have every intention of waking up alone on my birthday and spending the entire day alone. Preferably hundreds of miles away from anyone I know so that I have no expectation of anyone being nice to me so that I won’t be disappointed.

Every year after my birthday I feel sad. It always feels like this sadness is all my fault. If I just chose to be happy everything would be fine. It is all my fault I am sad. Shut the fuck up you self-involved, pretentious, selfish bitch.

It really doesn’t help that driving down I-5 is a trip through my hellish past. “I was raped in that town. I was sexually assaulted but not raped in that town. I was beaten up every day by a group of six kids in that town. I was raped in that town. That is the town where my father held a gun to my head after raping me. That is where I was born and where my father started raping me.”

I don’t especially enjoy driving that freeway. It is very innately stressful for me. I have so much bad history there. And it all feels like my fault. If I hadn’t been so stupid…

I really don’t have a lot of respect for my intelligence right now. Right now it feels like there are lots of nice people in the world who like me and things don’t work out better for relationships because I am stupid and I want inappropriate things and I don’t know how to be nice enough so I just flat don’t deserve to have better relationships with all those nice people.

I want to cut so much. Still haven’t. Still not modeling it as a coping method.

People said happy birthday to me and I appreciated it. Thank you. I don’t actually think that “no one likes me”. I think my friends share what they have to give. Unfortunately sometimes I try to cobble what they have to give into what I need and it falls short. It isn’t my friends fault. I’m a black hole. I’m not sure there is “enough” anywhere in the world. So I have no right to complain about any of my friends.

But I’m still a black hole. And it hurts. It hurts.

I don’t know how to stop feeling like I should die because then the world would be better for everyone else. They wouldn’t have to hear about me and my stupid whining. I would finally shut the fuck up.

Assuming I will ever be anything but alone is stupidity. It is hubris. Stop being stupid, Kristine.

I’m not alone. I have Noah and the kids. But you know what… for the life of me they don’t seem to have much collective interest in being nice to me on my birthday.

I think that next year being literally alone is the right call. Less disappointment. Less being reminded that no, I’m not remotely special and people have absolutely no need to be nice to me on my birthday. It’s just another fucking day.