Monthly Archives: November 2013


I think that one of the things I enjoy most about being a parent is that I get to explain the rules to people all day long. It’s not a control thing. When I was a child I was bounced between a lot of different kinds of environments. I was never told “The house rules are ____” I was just randomly and arbitrarily punished for breaking rules I had never been told were rules. I spend a lot of time (still) feeling bewildered and terrified and like I’m about to be slapped for being rude any second. I don’t know the rules.

My kids don’t have that experience of life. I feel so grateful that I get to find out what it is like for people who are supported.

We visit a fair number of people–especially when we travel to visit. Like, duh and such. We have already been inside three different houses, Grandpa, blacksheep, and Aunt Cookie. Holy hell the rules are different in each house. Completely and totally different in every way. (I’m not upset or complaining. Just stating.)

I appreciate that I get to talk to my kids about this. I appreciate that they get to hear my opinion about how to treat the rules at different houses and then they get to hear other adults argue with me about the rules. My kids understand that *I* don’t always know the rules and we are doing our best guess at all times. My kids don’t feel my terror when asking for clarification. But then again my children have never been slapped for being uppity when they ask for clarification.

Sometimes I look at my children and I’m not sure I can see them because I see this phantom self of me at the same age. I understand how very different we are. I feel a lot of pity for myself. By five my life was hell on earth. Shanna has no perspective for understanding me. I want to keep it that way for a long time.

Different people have completely different expectations for their houses. Some people are ok with little kids coming over and picking everything up and touching it and potentially breaking things. They will just smile and think it is cute that a kid is exploring. (Yay for the Aunt Cookies of the world.)

Some people think it is ok for kids to touch some things but not all things and the kids should know which are which. This is a lot harder. I sure as fuck don’t guess right under those circumstances.

Most people haven’t thought carefully about which things in their house they are ok with “sharing” and they will have different rules suddenly over and over through the day as the kid discovers new things. Sometimes the rule is “Oh it’s just stuff. It’s ok if stuff breaks.” and then all of a sudden, “BUT THAT IS IMPORTANT DON’T TOUCH THAT.”

Grandpa’s house is a lot harder to manage than dear Aunt Cookie. But we have also been here for days already and we were only with Aunt Cookie for two hours.

I spend a lot of time with my kids walking around new houses pointing out all the doo dads at eye level and talking about a)what material it is made out of (some things are more inherently breakable than others) b)which things look super personal and irreplaceable and c)which things they really should specifically ask about before touching.

I feel so much gratitude for being able to do this for someone that sometimes I just sit and cry. I get to make it so someone else isn’t screamed at and beaten. Thank you whoever is letting me do this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

My children are not bad. My children are not demons. My children are not monsters. They try hard to be considerate. Sure they fail sometimes but they are three and five. Most fifty year olds aren’t perfect.

But for every adult you deal with you have to figure out what their base assumptions are about children and you have to figure out how to manage them without too much backlash.

Last night at Thanksgiving Round Two I rediscovered that I live in a bubble. I didn’t understand the vast majority of the conversations. It helped that more than half of the talking through the whole night was about alcohol. I don’t have a problem with alcohol (or rather… I do… an intestinal problem) so it wasn’t that I felt offended. I just… had nothing to offer.

I nodded and smiled a lot. That’s what I could add. Yup. Y’all drink a lot. And you spend a lot of time thinking about your last drink and planning for your next drink. Ok. I feel that way about ice cream so I’m not throwing stones. If I tried to drink like that I would never leave the bathroom and my poor behind would burn so bad I would spend even more time crying. Totally not worth it.

Culture is interesting. People do the things they do for such a wide variety of reasons. We were looked at funny for bringing a bottle of home made mead to the home school camping trip. Some of the parents openly commented about it being questionably appropriate. I brought a small bottle to share. It was the size of a beer bottle. To share. And people thought that was… sketchy.

So going to dinner last night was a culture shock. Not in a bad way. I didn’t feel disapproving (or disapproved of). I just… didn’t know what to say. I can’t participate in the conversation. I tried. I think I did fine. It was a large group of people I mostly don’t know–of course I don’t really have much to talk about with them. That’s standard in groups of strangers.

I was reading a friend’s blog recently. She posts about her cooking adventures. She would have fit in better at last nights party. I’m not very good at the alcohol infused mad-cap-gaiety thing.

I’ll go sit in a corner and tell depressing stories. I’m frickin Eeyore.


My kids asked me why people were drinking so much alcohol. I’m pretty sure that the only time they have seen groups of people drink before has been at weddings. We just don’t do that much. My kids hear my angsty relationship with alcohol. “Alcohol tastes good in your mouth but it is a poison for your liver. So like a lot of things it is not a problem if you have some once your liver is fully grown but having too much can cause problems. Kind of like eating too much sugar. Some is fine for you. Too much causes problems. How much “too much” is depends on your individual body.”

It is completely ok for people to be different from me. But man do I feel like I am terrible and bad and lame and boring for not conforming to whatever culture I am standing near. Sometimes I wonder if I stopped going to the Burning Man events because I don’t drink much (if I have three glasses of wine it is a *heavy* drinking night–normally I have one. We go through a bottle of wine a month.) and I wanted to stop doing so many drugs. The way I know to do that is to stay home.

I know there are people who can go and be sober and social. I feel awkward. I feel awkward all the time whether I am sober or not. Being not-sober doesn’t make me feel better but it makes me feel more like I am required to stay until I sober up so at least I relax on feeling like I should LEAVE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE SOON EVERYONE WILL HATE ME.

I’d like to apply for a brain transplant, k – thanks?

Do I really believe that everyone will hate me? No.

Noah thinks it is pretty irrational that I worry about the small percentage of people who dislike me. I think I worry about the small percentage of people who have historically hit me and told me that I am not longer welcome wherever I am standing. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be a big group. All you need is one son of a bitch who beats the shit out of you.

Am I really worried about being hit any more? I can’t tell if that is the underlying anxiety or not. I can’t tell if I am just worried about social opprobrium or if I am genuinely afraid of being attacked. It is really hard to tease apart.

Sometimes I think it is less that I am afraid of the bad things that might happen to me. My anxiety has changed a lot since having kids. I am more afraid of rejection now than I was eight years ago. Eight years ago the idea that someone might reject me was really just not a big deal. I was ready and prepared to walk away from anyone and everyone in my life.

I grow more scared by the year. Now if I get in trouble for being bad my children will pay the price. I am so sorry I am your mother.

A while back I watched a movie The Stoning of Soraya M. In it a Muslim woman is married to a bad guy. He wants to be not married and not responsible for supporting his wife. So he gets someone else in the village to imply adultery. The wife gets stoned.

It is a true story. It didn’t even happen that long ago. Sure, it didn’t happen in my country. Would you like me to start pulling up references for what happens to women in my country? It’s not good. I wouldn’t say it is better. Being afraid of random violence is not irrational given the world we live in.

I’ve had a good couple of days. I’m actually at a low anxiety point. I feel cheerful. I feel like things are going fine and I had fun last night and I didn’t offend anyone and things are fine.

But I still have this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m not even sure any more if it anxiety or pain from eating things I shouldn’t. How the fuck do you tell the difference?

Today is lunch with one set of friends. A former lover and his wife are expecting their first child. I can’t wait to see them and express my joy and support. I’m sure they will do well. Tonight we are going to a sleazy party. It will be awesome. Sex will be happening. I’m sure someone will be crying but I’m not sure if it will be me or not. (Err, Noah’s not a bottom.) I haven’t been to a bdsm party in a while. (The hosts may not appreciate me using the adjective sleazy but it makes me very happy.)

Tomorrow the Childrens Museum with good friends.

I get to cook over the next day or so. Cottage pie, turkey soup. That kind of thing. Dad is the sort to just stick his Thanksgiving leftovers on endless pieces of white bread until they are gone. Psh. Not so much.

I feel like I am welcome to be here. Even though this is clearly not my culture. I feel like people are as nice or nicer to me than I deserve. I don’t think I am kind enough in return. I feel like I don’t even know what to do to be more kind. I would like to be more kind but I don’t know what to do.

It will all work out in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.


I think yesterday is going to be a shining memory for me. That was one of the least stressful and least anxious holidays I’ve ever had. My kids got to watch cartoons on grandpa’s giant tv screen which seemed like a ridiculous luxury to them. My lovely men cooked me dinner. (I did a little prep work but they did all the cooking.) I cleaned up because it seems all nice and such.

Dad and I are still working out our little I-have-anxiety-so-I’m-a-control-freak issues. It is a more relaxed process than it sounds like. “Oh. You have strong opinions about how this soup gets microwaved. Ok. Show me how you want it done then. No, I’m not cranky–I just don’t know what you want and you have a specific process in mind because you complain when I deviate. Just show me the process.”

We don’t actually know one another that well. If you add up all the hours we’ve spent together in all the years it is a lot less than a month of time. Getting to know someone is effort.

I went on a run. This place is fucking cold and I hate the hills. I love Fremont more with every passing year. Lovely perfectly flat Fremont. Ahhhhh. But I could feel my ass muscles going, “Oh YES! THIS IS WHAT WE NEED” so it was kind of weird.

Dad is trying so hard to make me feel comfortable. He flat asked why I was reacting so anxiously. I think I managed to explain sufficiently that he understands that I vibrate with anxiety when I’m alone in a room. He doesn’t have to do anything for me to react anxiously. When I’m kind of freaking about my kids playing with the random glass “art” shit you have sitting around? That’s not because you have been a stress monkey. I just do that.

It was a really peaceful, nice day. The three grown ups were mellow. The kids played and seemed pretty happy all day. We had extremely tasty food. Most of it made by Dad.

I somehow managed to escape feeling like I did everything wrong. I’m nervous about our plans for today. I am afraid of a misstep around this family. I like them so much. I don’t want to become uninvited because I screw up around a member of the extended family.

I can usually manage to not horrify people who like me. I’m not so suave at meeting the extended families of my friends. I often manage to say something horrifically inappropriate and then I’m not invited back again. Woo anxiety.

The stakes seem so much higher now. I don’t want to uninvite my kids. Every person I offend and run off from here on out is an injury I am doing to my children.

Dad and I were talking about how perception of risk changes over time. He made a comment about how I’m feeling my mortality. Oh, we were talking about seeing a doctor and doing the elimination diet stuff. He said that of course I care more about my body now because I recognize that I’m mortal.

I said, that’s not it. Before now I wanted to die so much that being in pain was just part of the process. I didn’t care about maintaining my body because I hoped I would die. It isn’t that I thought I was immortal. It is that I wanted to die. Right now. Today. So why fix things?

Now I want to see my kids grow up. Now I know that I have to stop feeling this much pain in my body so that I can be a nice person with them. I don’t have enough reserves of patience to deal with chronic pain and be nice. Some people can. I can’t. You have to know your limits. I need to feel less pain.

In general I feel that 2013 has been one of the kindest years I have lived through. Fewer big blow ups than usual. Less drama. More effective planning and work. I don’t think I have done anything to earn additional opprobrium this year. It hasn’t been my highest sex-having-year ever but it would be hard to top the first year of my marriage. Really hard. We would have to consciously work for a whole year in order to beat that year. It was a really good year. That will probably be a project one year. Just for fun. When the kids are older.

Life is always about moving towards new things, right? You can’t spend your life focusing on what is behind you.

But what is behind you shaped who you are. If you never figure out why you behave the way you do then it is harder to adapt to your current circumstances.

I’m trying. I’m trying as hard as I can.

Next year I need to figure out how to manage my shit without pot. The money I save on pot can be spent on a big fancy Disney cruise for my 10th anniversary.

I have things to look forward to. I want to figure out how to hurt less. I don’t want to need a crutch.

My life is really good. I need to walk unassisted now. Even though it is scary.

When I am feeling kind towards myself I acknowledge that for me to want the degree of control over my anxiety that I want will be not that different from people who are severely disabled working towards the Paralympics. My brain was severely damaged by my childhood. What I want it to turn around and do is hard for people like me.

I’m going to do it anyway.

Be thankful

Yesterday one of my favorite people asked me what I am thankful for. (Other than her of course. Even if she does split my personality.)

I’m thankful for so much. I’m thankful for my husband and my kids and my house and my yard and my life.

I’m thankful that I have a Dad now who wants me to come see him for holidays. I didn’t spend holidays with a Dad for more than 25 years.

I’m thankful that I can break contact with my biological family and not end up alone for the rest of my life. That was what I expected. That is why most people don’t maintain no contact. The being alone is too hard.

I’m thankful for all the beautiful flowers I have been able to plant in my yard. I am looking forward to next spring. I feel antsy and joyous about seeing all the bulbs come up. Next spring when the tulips and narcissus and wildflowers (a “variety” bag of seeds) and marigolds and hydrangeas and lilies and roses and blue potato vines all bloom I will get to sit outside and know that I’m allowed to pick those flowers if I want to. I’m allowed to look at them as long as I want to without creeping anyone out. I’m allowed to be here.

I’m thankful for that. I didn’t expect to ever have this feeling. This is my home.

Shanna told me yesterday that she was nervous about going to Portland because she doesn’t want to leave Wonderland. “But this is my home. It won’t be the same to sleep somewhere else. I will feel like I’m not as safe.”

I asked her what about Wonderland makes her safe. She said, “Wonderland is magic because it is so full of love. No where else has as much love.”

I just about burst into tears. I did that. I made that come true for someone else. I’m thankful for that.

She eventually decided that since I was going with her the love would come with her and she can consent to the trip. Oh good.

This morning before we go I will churn the custard into ice cream and put it in the freezer (we had a bunch of milk and cream and eggnog–my life is made of awesome). I have more bags to throw in the back of the van. We have food to eat before we leave. But mostly we are ready to go.

I packed yesterday. The older I get the harder time I have doing my packing in advance. It doesn’t help that my kids and I each have less than a week of warm-ish clothes. So I had to wash and pack absolutely at the last minute because… that’s all the clothes I have.

Ok, I have more warm weather clothes. I could go at least two weeks without doing laundry in the summer. In the winter I have about six days of clothes. It’s all coming to Portland.

I’m thankful that I once again have a washer and dryer in my garage. Witness my happy dance of joy.

I’m thankful for every person who works at Apple creating the products that make my life better.

I’m thankful that I can decide to go on a four mile run uhhh jog energetic walk and my body is able to carry me through. I am so glad I have the strength to get through the distance even though I am not fast. It is a step in the process. Not everyone is able to do what I can do. I’m thankful for the strength in my body.

For a large portion of my “runs” I act like a whack job extra who got off the set of Swing Kids. I like dancing down the side walk. It’s a lot of fun.

I think it is funny that I so strongly reject the label of “dancer” because I dance all the fucking time. I love to dance. I just can’t be part of the dance community any more. I know too many rapists there. Not my own–thankfully. That community was easy on me. But I take sides. I have had too many women come to me with the stories of what is happening to them. I can’t pretend it isn’t true or real.

I can’t let the rapists touch me. I can’t be nice to them. I can’t pretend we are friends. I also don’t have the right to confront them. It isn’t my story.

I’m thankful that I can flee from communities and still have friends.

At this stage of my life I don’t get to complain much about what is happening to me. I am safe. I am loved. I am thankful for that.

I’ll finish Outrunning in another day or two. I feel scared and like it is the right thing to do.

One of the ladies on one of my sex abuse support forums (I have such a cheerful life) was relaying a case in her community. An 11 year old girl pregnant by a 15 year old boy. Neither of the kids knew you could get pregnant the first time. Now the boy is in jail for rape even though it was consensual sex.

Do I believe that an 11 year old can consent?

Does it matter if it was consensual? How would their lives be different if they had read a nice book by a weird lady telling them to use two forms of birth control even for the first time you have sex? Would that have helped?

Well, whether or not an 11 year old is ready for sex is debatable. It is not debatable that she is not ready to be a mother. No one is at 11. Your brain isn’t ready to treat someone else as more important than you.

I will try to publish. Even though it is scary. I believe it is the right thing to do. I don’t want to micromanage how people run their lives. I want them to have more information before they make decisions. I want them to understand the choice they are making before they make it. I’m not sure if I can fully help them with that but I can give them some of the first inklings. I can give them some of the outlines of what they need to know.

I’m thankful for all of the people who have written books that I have been fortunate enough to read. I’m so glad I know the things I know. I like my brain.

As I get older I’m not even as angry about being raped. I learned so many things about myself and about human nature. I don’t think I would have been able to learn those lessons from a book.

I feel really bad for the people who raped me. They are all people who are so full of hurt they are incapable of seeing how they hurt other people. I am thankful I am not like them. I am thankful that I can see the hurt I cause. I am grateful that it is not invisible to me. It seems like that would be a terrible burden. I don’t want to be unaware.

How can you be considerate if you are unable to tell how your actions effect people?

I am thankful that despite lots of good reasons to be dead inside I am not. I can feel. I can be sad and angry and happy and joyous and miserable. Not everyone gets to have the full range. (Sometimes I wish my range was spread out a bit more over time but you can’t have everything.)

I like my body. I am learning to be grateful for my brain. I have a great brain. It has allowed me to do a wide variety of neat things.

Go forward. Do your best. It’s all you can do.

(I’m really not mad, Pam. I get why you say what you do to your mom. I love you to the moon and back.)


I think my neighbor has forgiven me for shouting at him about the racist stuff. First he went to Walmart and bought a patch for my jeans because I was too lazy to do it for myself. Then he just up and bought me a new pair of jeans.

I feel overwhelmed on a variety of levels. How kind. How thoughtful. How loving. I’m aware he is on a very fixed income (he can rattle off what he spends down to the penny every month) so this feels like a huge deal.

People surprise me all the time. I really appreciate that he did this. The jeans don’t fit me well but they will work fine over leggings with a belt. That’s how I go through the winter when I’m too cheap to go buy more flannel lined jeans. (I haven’t had any since pre-pregnancy.)

I would die in real weather.

It is weird to me how some people drift into your life and just kind of stay. And they become important. I see every sign that this gentleman may live another ten years in his current state. He’s in good health and he’s pretty vigorous. I may get to know him for more than fifteen years. That’s a long spell. We talk a lot.

I’m glad I started talking to him years ago. I’m blurty, like I am, so he knows I have issues but I haven’t been specific about what. My kids are always standing there. But he knows I struggle with feeling like I have worth.

This feels like a big deal. He’s trying to say it is nothing. But it isn’t nothing.

I feel weird about my neighbors all thinking I’m poor. I don’t mention that I have spent $19,000 this month and it isn’t a big deal. I can afford it. (That includes the IRA and college fund and other stuff like that where I’m transferring money more than I’m “spending” money but my heart palpitations only see my main checking account going down.)

Sometimes it is hard to fully see that I am becoming who I want to be. I am creating a place in a community. People have known me for quite a while now. I have lived in one house for 7.5 years. That is the longest stretch of my whole life. Twice as long as the runner up.

I see neighbors coming and going. I give Christmas presents. I help people with things they are doing. They help me.

Now if I could get my emotions to reflect my reality more then maybe I would stop having panic attacks. I wish I didn’t feel so scared all the time. I wish I wasn’t always looking for who is going to do what terrible thing next.

I don’t trust people. Not individuals and not collectively. But I do. I am an incredibly trusting person.

I’m just conflicted. I’m told that is one of the reasons I am a survivor. Living in that place of tension with opposite beliefs is part of what makes me able to adapt so quickly to new situations and new people.

I can always go find a new place. I’m like a cat with millions of lives. But I can’t go back to places I’ve tried before. There is always too much baggage.

I’m starting to worry about Dickens. I always see one of my rapists. It is very hard to behave “appropriately” with my kids. I try to mostly stay away from that side of the Fair. I know it is my problem. But it hurts. It hurts knowing that he is a vital and integral person for a lot of people and I’m just not so I can go away if I have a problem.

I have a hard time fully trusting people. I don’t trust my neighbor more (uhm partially because he is severely racist) and partially because I think that he would take the side of a random man over me in a dispute. That’s my basic assumption. I think I will always be the only person on my side.

What about Noah? Would he be on my side? Maybe. Mostly. If he’s not busy. I fight my own battles. He has no interest in going places with me. If I have difficulty it is my own to handle. Either I can manage it or I can’t and that is that.

Wow. I don’t have to have multiple identities. People split me for me. (That needs context.) A friend just told me that when she talks about me to her mother she has split the conversations into being about two people. One real me and she has made up a friend named Alice (like in Wonderland) who has a tragic background.

I feel….


Yeah. That’s just how it is when you are me. My life is so unbelievable that people make up a person to ascribe it to.

Yeah. Ok. Time to go write 5500 more words on Outrunning so I can be done with the rough draft.

Feelings. Feelings. Feelings.

Find some gratitude

I’ve been exchanging emails with Dad about the upcoming trip this week. He’s very excited to see us. I asked if any of his other kids will be there (he has other scene daughters and two biological children) and he said it is just us this year.

That makes me think he is probably pretty glad to have us coming. Sure, he can always find somewhere to go. He has lots of friends. But I’m willing to bet that by his stage of life it feels pretty good that your “kids” and grandkids want to come see you just because they love you.

I’ve been thinking about my biological father. I kind of wish he was rotting in prison so I could ask him why? What happened to you?

Instead I will go see someone who adopted me when I was an adult after my father was dead.

I met my Dad when I was 18. I was at the Power Exchange in San Francisco for the second time. This time I had shiny pvc clothes from Hot Topic and I was ready to go. Dad was one of the first people to talk to me from behind “the fence” where the players hung out. He saw me watching him and the other dirty old men and he hollered, “Hey you! Come here. We need bottoms.” Then he laughed. I did not go inside the gate with them. I sneered instead.

I met him again at a private party a few weeks later. He apologized. We still didn’t really talk because I thought he was old, slimy, and gross.

I ran into him at munch after munch after munch after that. Back then the leather community was a lot smaller. It was harder to avoid people who were geographically close to you.

After a while he started giving me bossy advice I mostly didn’t listen to. I started sarcastically calling him “Dad” as a way of saying, “Alright Dad I’ll jump right on doing what you tell me to. Not.” I had a few issues with authority. Maybe one or two.

But one day I was sitting in my Owners house alone and I was talking to people on IRC and Dad was one of them. I was talking about how sick I was. People were trying to talk me into visiting a hospital because I didn’t sound so good. I said that I didn’t want to drive. I was sure I wouldn’t die.

Dad volunteered to take me to the hospital. He stayed with me while I got IV fluids (turns out I had a nasty bacterial infection and I was severely dehydrated and I probably was on the road to serious issues if I hadn’t gone in) and medication. He held my hand and made jokes with me.

It was the first time in my life that someone was nice to me when I was sick. Usually I was screamed at for lying or for being inconvenient.

After that Dad and I played a few times. He is very good with a single tail and that’s not a skill everyone has. I enjoy a good single tail. If you do it right you can make me orgasm. So Dad and I had fun playing. Eventually we even had sex. That didn’t go so good. I’m not a big fan of penis piercings. They hurt.

And more than thirteen years later we don’t play or have sex but I still love him and he loves me. He wants to see me. He wants to get to know my children. I believe he will be appropriate with my children because I know Dad’s biological children. He was a very good father to them. He was very appropriate. They think it is kind of weird and surprising that he has this whole community of freaks because they didn’t know that part of him. But they are nice to his friends anyway.

They think it is a little weird that I call him Dad but not as weird as the live-on girlfriend who screamed “Oh Daddy” during sex. They understand that he and I are not boyfriend girlfriend and never have been. They have been ridiculously nice to me every time I have ever been in the room with them.

I’m nearing the end of Outrunning. How do you forgive yourself for making bad decisions? How do you learn how to stop hurting yourself? How do you figure out what is good and what is bad for you?

Everyone is different. Everyone has different needs. Not everyone needs an adopted Dad who is a flaming pervert. I do. I need him very badly. I need to feel like he wants me and loves me and accepts me. I need him to welcome me into his home and ask me what kind of cereal to get for my kids.

I need to feel like *I* am wanted. Mostly I don’t. Mostly outside of Noah and my kids I feel like it would be better for the whole world if I was lit on fire. That’s not even hyperbole from me. When your brother lights himself on fire you can’t ever use the phrase just for effect. You have to be dead serious or not say it at all.

I’m really grateful that I have a Dad now.

getting there.

I finished reading. I’m just shy of 43,000 words. I think I will finish Outrunning before I go to Portland. Soon I will be begging people for input. Right now it isn’t organized at all. Right now I just have a bunch of separate chapters some which will need to be combined and reworked some will just be deleted whole because they are more standard blog material than book material. That’s ok. When I am done writing I will need to delete almost 40% of the words. That makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

Editing is hard.

I’m looking at this doctor contact information tab. I won’t close it till I call him. I should call before going to Portland. Oh man.

Trying to change what you do means you have to look at why you do it. You have to come up with other options. This will be hard.

The bulbs are in the ground. I’m not sure I want to spread any more mulch until the hot tub is gone. I want to put up Christmas lights and I need to rehang the swings. Then the yard is as good as it will get until the next time I harvest and plant the beds.

I’m feeling accomplished and like now I get to flop down and be very still for a long time. Only I should probably go for a run. Exercise would help. I haven’t been exercising much. Ugh.

Life plugs along.

Now that the bleeding is over I’m wondering if my freaking out over the past week is just my cycle.

If I can learn to time my emotional meltdowns based on my period then I can plan my life around that and not have times when I inappropriately start going off on people. I can control the swearing better. I can consciously plan how to keep the kids occupied during times when I’m not able to be emotionally present how they need. I need to think about this more. I have ~35 day cycles. I could figure out how to plan five of those as conscious rest days where I stay off the fucking internet so I don’t yell at anyone or act like a cunt.

Maybe figuring out that cycle and what adaptations I should be doing when should be next years project. “How to live in the world and not be an asshole”. Whether I have good reasons for being an asshole or not, I don’t need to actually hurt people.

If I want affiliation I need to stop driving people away and screaming at them for reaching out to me. It’s part of a whole system.

I hit 40,574 words today. I’m pretty excited. I keep reminding myself “50,000 words for NaNoWriMo; 30,000-40,000 for the real book. Kill your babies.”

Or rather hope I can find people to help me take out all my random stupid off-topic rants that I just slip in without noticing.

It’s not all about me. Really. But sometimes I don’t notice where I’ve slipped in something about me. *blush*

I’m a blogger at heart. I have been for a very long time. I like stream of conscious. I like not having to feel married to what I write being True All The Time. I write about my feelings. My feelings change very quickly. I can hate someone and love them in a flip flop experience every thirty seconds. What I feel this moment is not for always.

But books are different. Books, for me, are about recording true things. Real things. The things that remain true no matter how your fucked up sense of self is doing that day. I need the books. I need to have the verification of this standard of truth.

Does that mean I am right in every opinion I have? Oh goodness no. I’m careful to differentiate between facts and opinions and state that my opinion isn’t the only one and no one has to agree with me. I have mine for a complex list of reasons that are maybe only true for me. But here are a whole list of facts. You need to know them. Then you can form your own opinion. Please be aware of how your opinion impacts people around you and try to be polite.

But you can think anything you want. You really can. It’s ok. You don’t have to be like me.

Uhm, it’s probably better for the world if there aren’t many people like me, youknowwhatI’msayin? Be like you. The world needs more people like you.

A friend popped up with a “Here is the member of my extended clan you should be talking to.” Ok. I have step one on dealing with the pain. I don’t even get to procrastinate on calling. I should probably call on Monday and make an appointment for January. That way it will be just done.

I’m excited about the Portland trip. I am nailing down specifics of who and when and where and that’s exciting. We will see all of the people who make an effort to know me. We will mostly be hanging out at Dad’s house so the kids can get used to him.

I get to kidnap a blacksheep for nearly a week for adventure. I had not anticipated such a treasure falling into my lap this year. Maybe this is my Christmas present from Santa. All Platonic All The Time. Life is different when Santa hands me presents now. Back in the old days… very different. But I wonder if I will enjoy this more because I don’t have the mental tape of “well she’s only here because she wanted ______.” She’s only here because she wants the pleasure of my company. Merry Christmas.

I talked to my therapist about the way I am pulling back from friendships I had pre-kids. If people don’t want to know anything about my kids then they aren’t my friends. My children and my interactions with them are the biggest part of me that I have ever been proud of in my life. This is the only part of me that does not radiate pain in every corner. I have had five years of not feeling like a worthless piece of shit whore.

If you don’t want to know my kids then I think you must not like anything good about me. I think that maybe I shouldn’t want to know you.

But it isn’t exactly like that with people who live far away. I’m not sure why. If someone lives permanently across the country they get a pass. I think we can be friends for the hour a year I’m in town and I don’t care if you know my kids.

Why do I hold the people within a fifty mile radius to such an impossible standard? I don’t know but I do.

Yesterday I was informed that I would be taking a rest day. Shanna told me so. We played games instead of gardening. I guess that means I should get to work today. We had a great day. I napped.

I am cautious about feeling happy or upbeat today because I dislike the way I bounce. I feel self conscious and silly and irrational. But I think it is accurate.

I worry about trying to flatline my expression of the experience because I feel so pathetic for the extremes of the emotion bumps. It just happens. Don’t judge. It’s not something I can control all that well. I’m trying to learn how to control it better.

I’m sorry I fail so much. I’m really sorry. This is the process though. You don’t learn how to do things right without making thousands of mistakes.

All 52 books.

#1: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
#2: The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larson
#3: The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larson
#4: Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. by John Taylor Gatto
#5: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
#6: Giving the Love that Heals by Harville Hendrix
#7: The Myth of Ability by John Mighton
#8: Animal Farm by George Orwell
#9: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
#10: Alanna The First Adventure: Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce
#11: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
#12: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
#13: Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
#14: Your 5-Year-Old Sunny and Serene by Louise Bates Ames
#15: Mother’s House Payment by Ronnie Schiller
#16: The Survivor Personality by Al Sieber
#17: Betrayal of Innocence: Incest and it’s Devastation by Susan Forward
#18: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
#19: Mindstorms by Seymour Papert
#20: The Resiliency Advantage by Al Siebert, PhD
#21: A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#22: Escape from Childhood by John Holt
#23: Dry by Augusten Burroughs
#24: Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
#25: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
#26: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#27: The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#28: 1984 by George Orwell.
#29: You Better Not Cry by Augusten Buroughs
#30: By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#31: Private Parts by Howard Stern
#32: The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#33: The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#34: Girlfag: A life told in Sex and Musicals by Janet Hardy
#35: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
#36: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
#37: Kids of Kabul by Deborah Ellis
#38: The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#39: Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan
#40: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
#41: Hello, Cruel World by Kate Bornstein
#42: Disney Scary StoryBook Collection by assorted.
#43: The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley/Danko
#44: Tao Te Ching translation by Ron Hogan
#45: Blessed Among All Women by Robert Ellsberg
#46: A Series of Unfortunate Events-A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
#47: A Series of Unfortunate Events- The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
#48: The Suicidal Mind by Edwin S Schneidman
#49: How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying To Kill Me by Susan Rose Blauner
#50: When Darkness Comes: Saying ‘No’ to Suicide by Angerona Love
#51: Murders, Mysteries and History of Crawford County, Pennsylvania 1800-1956 by Don Hilton
#52: A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
(Technically I have a few pages left in the last one but I will finish today.)

Didn’t wake up crying.

I’m up to 38, 471 words. It is getting harder to think of topics I should cover. Almost through the process. Thank goodness.

Therapy was good yesterday. I got to have some time off afterwards because K told me not to come home until two. Yes, ma’am. I sat and ate and wrote. Good thing because I was falling behind in word count.

I have a blank white wall in my garage. Noah suggests islands. My garage is much warmer now. The wall is tilted because it was built around the garage door in such a way that I could believably tell the city inspector that I can dismantle it myself in an hour so SURELY this isn’t a permanent room and thus breaking city code. But it is much warmer now!

Today I need to put plant bulbs in the ground. Daffodils and tulips of joy oh my. So “need” is probably a strong word. They are in the fridge and according to planting guides they want to go in the ground sometime in the next five days. Today is the best day. The lovely rain softened up the ground for me. How convenient.

My therapist and I talked about the whole unmet needs thing. I told her that I’m struggling with the fact that I have actual needs at this point in my life but they are going unmet and they will continue to go unmet and at some point my kids will grow up and I won’t have these needs anymore and hopefully it will be easier then.

I’m kind of used to having needs that aren’t met.

But sometimes even when you have actual needs they will never be met and it won’t kill you. And you have to just get up and keep moving anyway. Even though your needs aren’t being met.

I keep checking the internet. My mother told me that if I took my children away from her she would kill herself. She isn’t dead yet. I guess the need for my children wasn’t as strong as she thought. I think I’m glad. I’m not sure.

I have a lot of good reasons for being an angry person. That doesn’t make it easier for anyone to put up with. That doesn’t mean that people should put up with me lashing out at them.

I asked Noah if I am still harsh with him. He said not anymore but I used to be. I used to be that harsh when I didn’t believe that he would respond well to boundaries or support me or believe me. But I’m not harsh any more. I stopped a while ago.

I blog the way I do, in this stream of conscious sometimes I regret volunteering all of my inner drama to the world sort of way because people like me usually never find a voice.

Being inside my head is not pretty. I really and truly want to accurately reflect it. Being a real person means that you are not always what other people want you to be. That means the difficulties and the good things too.

When I die it will be possible for people to still know a lot about me. The good, the bad, the ugly. It is really important to me for reasons I couldn’t possibly explain. It just is. I hope I am this obnoxious for the rest of my life. Not because everyone deserves to be trashed–that’s not the point. I’m not trashing people.

When I complain about issues I tend to complain about larger patterns and not particular people. I have had a large number of people over the years tell me that they have thought about helping me and they decided not to. That pretty much exact exchange has happened numerous times. I don’t think I have ever blogged about it before (can’t recall off the top of my head) so it is this invisible pattern in my life. It’s a pattern that is causing me problems.

I haven’t talked about it because I know the people involved “mean well”. I don’t actually want to hurt people. I have way more tact than anyone would believe.

But sometimes I am not able to put my head down and shut my mouth and just smile and say thank you. Sometimes I can’t. I regret my lack of control but I’m not sure mastery of this subject is within my grasp in this decade. Maybe later.

If you need to exist out in public that means you will be judged and that means that sometimes you will fuck up in public. Sometimes people will not like how you are acting. That has to be part of the process.

I don’t promise to talk nice in my blog. I promise I will do my best to always treat you exactly how you deserve in person. I’m very sorry that knowing about the difference between what I think and how I act is hard. I am trying to learn how to not be offensive. I don’t know how to turn my brain off though.

I am looking forward to planting and spreading some mulch today. I’ll move slowly.

I’m not going to paint the garage wall this winter. Can’t do it. That means the garage is put back together for a few months. Today I will attach the bookshelves to the wall. That’s the non-self-hating thing to do. I hear.

I’m very glad I get to pick what I do in a day.

I’m very glad I get to spend today with my girls.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that when I was Calli’s age my parents divorced. My mom moved a boyfriend in to support her and I was “mean to him” and he left resulting in my mom and sister hating me. We became homeless. I was sent off to live with the first in a long string of homes. That was when I started rocking and crying myself to sleep.

I’m glad I get to be with my kids all day. I want this life so bad.

The house is clean so the kids can help with cooking stuff. There is room and space and I won’t freak out as I trip over things. I can be patient enough to let them make another mess.

I’m not teaching them to be kids. I’m teaching them how to be an adult. Adults have to go do a lot of different things. You have to have skills. We’ll get to academics. Later.

Today will probably be good. I’m almost done with my reading list. I’m almost done with my gardening projects for the whole year. I’m done with house stuff for the year.

I want to put up the outside Christmas lights. We haven’t gotten a tree yet but we’ve done the rest of the decorating. (I had to move the cabinet the decorations were in–I might as well put them up at the time. Also we will be out of town for 10 days of Christmas. I’d rather not have to do the decorating during the shortened time period. I instead get to come home to Christmas. Yay!)

Noah is making cookies already. I should freeze some. He’s made three kinds so far. Sugar is love. Ha.

My house is already clean enough and set up enough for the party in a month. I will only have to do flight of the bumble bee.

We are in the process of eating all the carbs in the house (almost done with the backlog in the freezer) because come January I will have to do an elimination diet. Yes I will work with medical professionals. I need to need less pot to deal with the pain in my body. I need to stop paying for the ability to eat. This isn’t working. It is too expensive. I need to do something else.

I would like to be fully off of pot before I go on the cross country road trip with the kids in 2015. I don’t think I should be driving during the days and getting stoned every night while I camp alone with my kids. That strikes me as wildly inappropriate and unsafe. So I have to be functional in my body alone before then. I have a year to make it work. Ok. That’s what next year will have to be about. Shit.

Some people need a crutch for their whole life and there is no shame in it. Sometimes you need a crutch for a temporary period. I went about 25 years unmedicated (there were some stupid periods mid-way where I tried meds–I was so sick the whole time) so I will have to get back to that. Stress management has always been how I have done it.

Sex, exercise, better food choices for my body (which I don’t have a fucking clue about right this minute), and I don’t even know what else.

I feel good about the fact that my life is so clearly plugging along. I may be whiny but I get shit done. Things are changing.

I will have tulips in the spring and for every spring afterwards.

I don’t know how much gardening this year will bring. I may be growing very different foods next year if I can’t have nightshades any more. We’ll see.

I am trying to organize some local families into a fruit gleaning group. I have buy-in and initiative. I just need to figure out the details and do the back end work. That will probably be part of next year.

Next year I am going to have to find the courage to go get rejected by a bunch of publishing houses. Woo. bleh.

Good thing next year is next year and this year is this year and I am almost DONE WITH MY CHORE LIST!! Ahem. I uhh probably take too much self-identity from this.

I have completed 50 new-to-me books so far and I am more than halfway through two more.

I really changed the yard this year. Man I’m grateful for the help I got. I sing hallelujahs and praise the names. Paying for help does not invalidate that it is help.

I’m happy with the house progress. I’m overjoyed that my garage will no longer flood. I like the pantry set up a lot more than I did. This is better. Once I have the boxes outside for the tools I think the pantry will be perfect for at least five minutes. Then I’ll find a reason to whine. I’m talented.

No, I’m kidding. I think I may have found a configuration that can just last for years. I feel… way more feelings than I should about this. I’m happy with the idea that my house is settling into a shape where I might stop ripping it apart constantly.

I get to be here. I get to stay here. I’m allowed to make this into what I really want. Nope, it isn’t polished and perfect and an expensive looking house. I’m kind of a cheap date. I’m happy with cotton batting over the pipes as a line of clouds instead of a wooden enclosure. I think it is pretty fun.

I don’t need perfect. I’m not perfect. I’m having fun.

You say you want people to visit you yet you have no time; what gives?

Great question. How can I whine fucking constantly about being overscheduled and lonely at the same time. Totally reasonable to wonder about.

Ah! You assume me being “scheduled” implies social time! Well, some of it is social time. But an awful lot of the stuff that is on my “schedule” is work.

If I don’t schedule when I will do gardening work… it doesn’t get done. I have a crisper drawer full of daffodils and tulips. Those need to get in the ground in the next ten-ish days or I won’t have a spring crop. They had to sit in the crisper for approximately six weeks. I have to put “gardening day” on my calendar or I will have wasted a shit-ton of money on bulbs. I can’t just have stuff in the house and hope I will get around to it; I don’t.

I put “decorate for _____” as a scheduled activity.

Some days my scheduled activity is “go to therapy” because after therapy I’m kind of a wreck. I often spend hours crying and I can’t really change gears to “go do” something else because I can’t sustain the attention. Is it pathetic? Well, whatever. That’s beside the point. It is what happens. After therapy I need to cry and cry. Will I ever stop feeling crazy? Will I ever feel in control of my body? I don’t know. So I cry.

Some days we have home school events scheduled. I take it pretty seriously that I have to provide social interaction for my kids. They must get to know children. So I can’t be a hermit-crab. So we have home school park days and occasional outings and one day I invited people over to make gingerbread houses (which will involve two scheduled days of preparation in advance to *make* all the fucking gingerbread so I have to be home and working those days).

So when I say I am “scheduled” I don’t always mean “with people” or “with friends”. (I am maybe moving in the direction of friendship with some of the home school moms but mostly I try to not be offensive because I need my kids to have access to their kids. I may *like* a lot of the home school moms tremendously but being around them is an anxiety train wreck because I am so afraid that they are going to start hating me and then they won’t let my kids play with their kids and it will be all my fault. It is nothing resembling rest to hang out with them.)

I have a day set aside to pack for the Portland trip.

I have two days devoted to gentlemen doing work on the house. Plumbing and building an insulated wall behind my garage door because holy crap do I need my garage to be useable this winter instead of being a fucking refrigerator.

I have a trip to Portland that will take ten days and a trip to Texas that technically only takes three days but with packing and a rest day afterwards (our flights are late at night–the kids will be crispy fried) that is more like five days of commitment.

If you want to know about “social time” I have two friends who are coming over for tea in December. (One will be gluten free–which takes extra thought preparation for me.–TOTALLY worth the effort.) I have a friend who comes to dinner on Wednesday nights. Someone else is coming this weekend. I scheduled an open house in December. (I think that at least ten people will show up. I’m excited.) That’s my me-social-time till the end of the year.

I talk to K every day on the phone or I go absolutely crazy. That is one of the biggest supports in my life.

I even schedule days where the kids get to decide what I have to do all day because otherwise they feel ignored all the damn time. (They aren’t ignored… I talk to them all day while I’m doing other stuff but they really wish they were the center of the universe AT ALL TIMES.) I have to schedule playing with them because I am so tired all the time. If I don’t schedule it I don’t do it. That’s how spoon management works.

So that is how I can be overscheduled and lonely at the same time. I don’t see much of my “friends”. But I get a lot of work done.

Not helpful

I often worry about writing about people. It alienates people when I write about my experience of their behavior. I often have to weigh “How many hours of crying should I be silent about” in favor of keeping the illusion of a friendship going.

Yesterday wasn’t a great day. It was fine after the one short scream. That’s kind of how it goes. I put up a lot more boundaries and then all of a sudden we stop fighting.

When I’m having a shitty day it isn’t very helpful for me to have people write to me and tell me that they thought about helping me but they decided not to because they have other things to do.

You know, I make that assumption. All day every day. People don’t help me because they have better things to do.

I don’t really need to be reminded. I don’t need a specific and conscious reminder. I don’t understand why people feel the need to write to me and say that they thought about helping me but decided not to.

What in the fuck is that supposed to do for me? Why did you tell me that? It isn’t just one person doing this.

If fairly particular people set up a time to help and then back out again I’m not sure I can handle scheduling with them in the future. How many times of being cancelled on in a row should I allow? I mean… how stupid am I?

Yeah, I know that people aren’t going to help me. That’s my basic assumption every fucking morning of my life. That has been true pretty consistently no matter what has fucking happened to me for my whole life.

You can stop telling me that you aren’t going to help me. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know. I know.

You don’t need to send me emails “I’m so busy. Sorry.” 

What am I supposed to get from that?

Did I god damn ask you for help? No. I mother fucking didn’t. Well, some of you I asked you for help a long time ago. You agreed or you didn’t. I haven’t asked since.

I wait and see what you do. Yeah, I can see what you do. I really don’t need to hear about your thought process as you decide to not help me. That just makes me cry for days. I know I’m not that important. Thanks for fucking writing in to remind me.

I spend a lot of time feeling like a piece of shit because I need as much help as I do. I need help. I’m not getting it. But I need it. Oh well. You don’t always get what you need in life if it is dependent on other people. Sometimes if what you need is other people then you just have to accept that you aren’t going to get what you need.

Noah gives me all the support he can. K lets me go to therapy. If I need more support than that I can go fuck myself.

not good.

I screamed. Specifically what I screamed was, “STOP SCREAMING AT ME” because both kids have been in my face and screaming at the top of their lungs all day.

I want to hide in a closet. I feel so ashamed of myself.

I stopped almost instantly and apologized. Then I started crying and left the room.

What the fuck am I doing.

Judgmental asshole.

(I’m talking about me in the title.)

This morning I woke up to Pinterest, like I do. I was looking through homeschooling links, like I do.

I am a judgmental asshole. I really am. What am I being judgmental about this morning? Well, we have bought into school culture in some really pretty funny ways.

Uhm, you don’t have to go buy a bunch of expensive Montessori approved supplies in order for your child to learn to read. It’s not required. Seriously. I wish that people did not talk about learning to read as if it was this crazy esoteric skill that requires tons of props. Uhm, it requires books. Paper is helpful for scribbling, yes. But you don’t have to go out and buy fifteen different kind of letter shape things for your kid to practice tracing with their fingers in order to learn to read.

Oh man.

I get that these moms mean well. I’m certainly not saying anything to them about it. I just closed the tab.

I understand why these mothers feel insecure but I think it is a trap. I think that believing that we must create a “school” type environment at home is part of the way that we limit real learning.

Real learning is not about sitting down with Montessori Brand Toys.

My kids learn to read from street signs and posters up on the wall out in public. We talk about the letters and the sounds all the time. We don’t need to buy special stuff.

I worry about creating a structure where learning has to be done sequentially in an order someone else approves of. That is not how I learned.

I was thinking about it this morning. Why am I so completely hateful of school and the whole school system? (I’m not attacking my many friends who use the school system. I swear I am not. There are lots of good reasons for participating in school systems. I recognize all of them as valid and good and worthy. I don’t think anyone I know is to blame for the school system. I really and truly don’t.)

I went to 25 schools, including 5 high schools. If you figure I met at least 200 people at each high school and more than a hundred people at each elementary school (I’m really good at meeting people) that means I met many thousands of people.

I went from teacher to teacher and I saw that there were these boring steps that everyone had to plod through even though most people in the room caught on in less time than was spent. There was always one or two people struggling so the whole class had to wait. And wait. And wait.

Learning is an organic process that happens at wildly different speeds for different people. Some people like to trace a lot of letters. Sometimes my kids go in the back yard and practice tracing letters using sticks on dirt. It’s something I have seen them spontaneously do.

I don’t force my kids to sit down and do tracing work. I think it is beside the point of learning. And I think there is overwhelming evidence on the side that pushing kids hard towards academics before they are seven is overall somewhat harmful in their full life of learning. A lot of people who are forced to do stuff early burn out. They weren’t ready and it wasn’t fun so they learn to hate “school”.

I feel that bopping in and out of schools so fast is part of why I like learning. I had to do it independently. I learned to read because I was hungry for the knowledge and companionship of books. I went from not reading to reading adult books in less than two years.

I am also very raw today because I read 2.5 books about suicide yesterday. Lots of feelings swirling around in my body.

Affiliations. Succorance. Those are the needs in me that create the gaping, yawning maw that threatens to eat me alive. Those are the human needs that have been my problem my whole life.

So I went to these schools and I met many thousands of people. Mostly what I learned from the school experience is that I am bad because I do not fall into line and do exactly what other people do. But I was never trained in one school for many years so that I could learn a culture. I was always wrong. Let me tell you, teachers at Lakeside in Los Gatos had different expectations than they did in Dennison Texas. (I can’t even remember the name of the school. I could look it up. I don’t care that much.)

I learned over and over that I don’t know how to make real friends who will be part of my life. I will always be a freak. And I will always Do Everything Wrong. I never make a picture that looks exactly like every other picture in the room. Mine is always different and thus it is wrong.

I can’t buy my kids a bunch of Branded School Supplies and tell them that there is the One True Way To Learn.

I can’t do it.

I don’t trust systems. Systems have hurt me so very badly. Systems have shown me how little *I* matter.

So when I read things written by very well intentioned, loving people… I have strong feelings of oh my god no.

I don’t think other people are bad for following a system that more or less worked for them. I really don’t.

I am an auto-didact. I teach myself. Thus I also teach my children to be. There are a lot of things in this world that are worthy of learning about. I don’t know what will interest you. But I will talk to you extensively about how to go about acquiring information you want to have. I won’t dictate what information you need or how you get it.

I won’t put a bunch of tracing things in front of you and say now it is time for you to trace. I can’t do that.

I’m not even sure if it is really because I am a judgmental asshole (but I am) or if it is just my horror of forcing my children into rote learning.

I don’t decide it is time for them to learn how to trace. That’s not my job. Sometimes at stores Shanna will browse through books and ask for workbooks. I’ve bought her a couple. She has chosen to sit down with them a few times and trace. I’ve never handed it to her or initiated her working with it and I don’t think I ever will.

I don’t do that. That is not my role here.

I don’t think other people are bad. But I think they waste a lot of their own time trying to do things “right” when there is no such thing as right.

I feel sad that I still feel like I am doing everything wrong. Clearly my kids are on the road to reading. But I can’t force them through an Approved Process Of Learning.

I just can’t.

I won’t.

What I learned from the school system is that the system itself is much more important than any individual child within it. No one cares about all the little individual people who may need help or attention or support. That’s not what the system does. The system says, “I’m a system and I run. If you have a problem it is your problem.”

I’m glad that my friends who put their kids in traditional school are the kind of people who pay attention to their kids and their kids won’t fall through the cracks. My friends’ children are not the kids who are going to suffer the most. My friends’ kids are already pretty privileged and supported.

If you have good parents who love you it really doesn’t matter where you spend your days. You’ll learn and you’ll get the support you need. I didn’t have good parents.

It isn’t fair to blame the system because of its failure to save children like me. But I do think it is fair because one of the reasons the school system exists is supposedly to help kids like me. Oh well.

I think that any system designed to apply to multiple millions of people at the same time is going to fail more than half of the people involved at any given moment.

Half of all people are below average. Half of all people are above average. How in the fuck are you going to design one system that will serve both sides of that equation? Especially since we are all anti-tracking now. Everyone gets the SAME THING BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL ALIKE, RIGHT?!

Do you know why my kids will learn to read and write? Because they see their parents obsessively doing both. They know that the way to access pretty much the whole world and all of the things they want to do involves reading and writing.

I don’t think I will have to coax them or go through an elaborate many year process of forcing them to trace letters long before their brains are ready to read. Give me a break.

I like having a blog.

After a while I start feeling guilty if I post too much on social media. I’m allowed to post random drips and drabs (or novellas) in my blog whenever I want to. I’m on my third suicide book of the day. This morning’s chapter in Outrunning was about trying to find a therapist. All cheer all the time here in Wonderland.

I’m struggling with the tunnel thinking. I am glad I started out the day with a good clinical book and went on to a bad lay book and I’m on a decent lay book now.

This second lay book covers most of the same material as the first lay book but instead of long chapters with annoying and patronizing step by step instructions about what you HAVE TO DO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DIE she is writing short little stories. It tells the same message without being annoying and obnoxious.

I really like the second book (third of the day). She has a website so I sent her an email. I’m glad she is out there in the world writing.

Sometimes being alive hurts so much.

I have a lot of empathy for how this woman talks extensively about not having much of a support network and how much she struggles with asking for help. She knows that she is always on the verge of overwhelming her tenuous support network so she has to very carefully only ask for help at the most important times.

I know that balance very well. If you ask for too much then people stop wanting to know you. It’s hard.

I am glad that I didn’t die when I was fifteen. If what happened to me up until I was fifteen was my entire life story that would be very sad indeed. The seventeen years since I overdosed have certainly been better than the first fifteen years.

It is hard knowing that my perceptions are broken and I need to ignore how my brain perceives the world. I’m stuck on hurting. I don’t actually hurt much any more. I mean, I do. But I don’t have ongoing wounds. I am not being retraumatized over and over anymore.

I still have relationship issues and blow ups and such. But next month I will be seven years post-rape. That’s a long time. Sure, I have managed this shift mostly by hiding in my house but it still counts.

It still counts.

Only two to go…

#47: A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

#48: The Suicidal Mind by Edwin S. Shneidman – this is one of the best books on the topic of suicide I have ever read.

ETA #49: How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying To Kill Me by Susan Rose Blauner – ok, truthfully I didn’t read every page of this book. It is full of a lot of annoying lists and charts. By 2/3 of the way through the book I kind of hated her guts. I feel guilty for having such a strong reaction.

I think my strong negative reaction is in large part a class reaction. This is an upper middle class girl who had a terrible thing happen (her mother died when she was young) and she otherwise had a supportive loving life. She’s just very suicidal. I feel patronized, condescended to, and angry. I don’t think it is her fault I feel this way. I think her book is probably a good one as a first introduction to suicide by other people who have had lives similar to her.

If you are poor or have been poor for most of your life don’t read this book.

#50: When Darkness Comes: Saying “No” to Suicide by Angerona S. Love – this one is fabulous. I really like this writer. Everything about this book was well done.

Yeah, sick.

You know how I thought I was getting sick? Yes. Lots of puking. Other uhm things came out of me. When other uhm things come out of me at such a rate and speed that it kind of freaks me out that’s not so healthy. And I started bleeding this morning. fuck my life.

But the better news is that after crying all night last night I spent the morning reading a book about the suicidal mind, saw some things that were seriously educational about my specific issues, then I went on to have a good day.

My family is very nice to me. I am so grateful that I am treated well at this point in my life. I struggle to be worthy of it.

Yesterday evening I was still feeling kind of sad. I turned on music. My whole family danced and laughed and was silly together. It was so much fun.

I get to belong here. I’m allowed to be here. Forever. I didn’t think I would ever have that. I thought that belonging was something other people got to have.

start of a bad cycle?

I have so much anxiety right now that I am shaking and not sleeping. I got less than five hours tonight and I am so full of adrenaline there is no chance I will sleep again.

I deleted everything off my fetlife profile. Most of my experience there involves me having an unusual opinion and then a bunch of people jump on me and talk about how icki I am. I participate in casual sex conversations. Apparently women like me, who will have sex with strangers (err, at least I used to) are disgusting, stupid, and we are obviously not worth keeping around. We have no self-esteem and we denigrate the women around us just by existing.

I get less shit for my promiscuity from Christians than I do from “perverts”. At least the Christians act like, “Well duh you like sex.” The perverts talk about how there is something wrong with me for not wanting a deep emotional connection with everyone I fuck.

Does anyone else see this as odd?

I don’t think that is why I am up though. I feel horrible guilt for canceling on the mural. I’m really not functional enough. I have a job. I’m supposed to be homeschooling my kids. I haven’t paid much attention to them recently. I mean, I pay attention to them… but not to the degree I *should* as a home schooling parent. Right now I expect them to just entertain themselves all day while I do work. I’ve been doing this for months. This isn’t a long-term solution.

I feel like I am trying to do so many things that I’m not getting anything done.

And I feel left out because I don’t have the spoons to go do the fun social things my friends do. I really can’t handle it on a lot of levels. I will probably never work Dickens Fair again because I don’t want to run into my rapists.

I’m not sure why I feel so isolated, unimportant, and worthless right now. I have wanted to cut for a few days. It has been really hard to not do it. I haven’t which is supposed to be all that counts. But I want to. I trace designs on my flesh with a non-threatening finger.

I miss people but I am so tired and worn out that I really can’t handle being around anyone. I feel brittle, tired, and snappish. I’m not saying it is anyone else’s fault. It just is.

I hate when I do this. I want to be around people so much it physically hurts. But I know I can’t behave well enough to pull it off. If I spend time around people when I feel like this then I do stuff I know I shouldn’t do and I lose relationships.

Better to hide until I am less of a cunt.

I hate when I get into this place of feeling desperately lonely while seeing people. I am overscheduled with people I have to “behave” very carefully around.

I feel guilty because the easiest things to cancel on are things for the kids. I can skip their friends more easily than I can skip my long list of chores.

I feel lonely and mean at the same time. This isn’t a good combination. I feel angry in a way that is hard to pretend isn’t there. I’m not even sure what I’m angry about. I just feel really angry. So angry that I could probably punch dozens of holes in a wall without noticing the knuckle damage.

I’m sitting very still and not doing anything terrible.

I wonder how long this will go on this time. I hate this feeling. Tonight I could beat my head on concrete for a long time.

I think a lot about impulses. I think a lot about compulsive behavior. I think a lot about choices and emotions.

I don’t seem to be able to control my emotions. I am controlling my behavior by being quiet and still. But that is of limited duration. I’m sure I will come up with more work to do.

Noah is writing another book. And going back and forth on what he wants to do after some work issues. I have feelings about both set of circumstances but it is what it is. I don’t think that is why I’m freaking out. I may be feeling some increased anxiety because job stuff is kind of uncertain but he always lands on his feet. And I have almost five months of income in cash in the bank. We will be ok. (Which blows my mind considering how much money he makes.)

I know I’m worried about money in the “I feel existential angst for being a terrible person and spending money on anything other than rent, rice and beans” sort of way. I’m not actually worried.

I opened an IRA in my name and fully funded it for the year. (The limit is only $5500.00… so not that extreme.) I’m going to start having this as an auto-deposit thing.

No one will help when I am old. I will have what Noah and I have managed to save. I should take that more seriously and pay myself first. Making sure I don’t end up homeless when I’m old should be a serious priority. I’ve already been homeless. I don’t really want to be ever again.

I feel scared and dirty and bad.

I feel like I can’t do anything right. I can’t do anything worth doing. I can’t…

I don’t even know. I have been feeling a weird balance between feeling happy and feeling scared that it is all going away soon.

I am really upset with myself for saying yes to the mural and then saying no. That feels like a really horrible thing to do. I am bad. I should have said no from the beginning or I am stuck with having said yes.

It’s kind of like how I never thought I had the right to say ‘no’ to sex once I had a meal with someone.

Buy me a grilled cheese sandwich and a milkshake and that gets you a blowjob. I don’t even have the self-esteem to be high priced.

Which makes things complicated with Noah. A friend told me I should consider paying myself as a housewife.

I don’t deserve to be paid. These days I’m not even a good whore. I haven’t had sex ten times in the past two months and some put together let alone hitting quota each month.

I feel tired and sad and I hurt. I keep moving in and out of feeling sick. I’ve had terrible nausea for days. My throat hurts, well not my throat. My neck. The corded muscles that are kind of on the sides of the front.

Just over 2,000 words and I will hit 30,000 words on the book. I’m honestly running out of things I would want to say to twelve year olds. I’m also feeling like, “No one will let their kids read this thing anyway. Why am I wasting my time?”

I feel so bad that I needed this book terribly when I was twelve years old and I’m not sure it will be of any worth to anyone else. I don’t think other people need the same lessons I need. Not everyone is a worthless whore.

I feel so broken and disgusting. People like me shouldn’t be allowed to spread their disgusting point of view.

I’m not quite to suicidal but if this continues I will get there. That is where this is heading. I can more or less see the pattern.

Being suicidal is just a thought process. It is how a brain deals with feeling over loaded and unable to function through pain. Suicidal isn’t a “feeling”. I’m feeling sad and lonely and unimportant and expendable. Those are feelings. Suicidal isn’t a feeling. It’s a thought process. It is how my brain has learned to handle feeling all these feelings.

I don’t want to kill myself. I have these kids to raise. I really like them. I’m not at a dangerous spot.

I’m just struggling with how my brain works.

I need to not schedule anything until after the end of the year. Hell, it’s the holiday season. Maybe I’m just going bananas in that typical end of year SAD hell that so many people live with. Maybe I’m just missing my mom. I really miss my mom. Every year that goes by hurts more.

Why didn’t my mommy love me?

I can see my kids through my pain. I can make their needs more important than mine. My mother couldn’t do the same thing. She couldn’t do anything more than survive. She had no spoons left to give to helping me.

I have no spoons left to help other people right now. Do I have any right to throw stones?

I watched some really heavy TED talks today yesterday. Specifically Indian women talking about rape. Stories about three year old children raped until their intestine fall out of their bodies.

Ok, I don’t win the oppression olympics.

The woman who told that story was gang raped by eight men and used that as a reason to devote her entire life to helping victims of trafficking.

I am not that cool. I haven’t used my personal tragedies to help other people in a large and measurable way. I am small, selfish, and not very useful.

I wanted children too much. I think that engaging in that kind of work means you give up on a family of your own. You can’t take care of your own kids and devote your life to helping people. In the process you neglect your own kids.

I don’t want to neglect my kids.

I know a number of people who have devoted their lives to helping professions. I know therapists and emergency responders and… lots of professions. Lots of people. I know a lot of people.

I don’t feel like I deserve to know the good people I know. I am not as good as them. Sure, I taught high school for three years. It wasn’t even three years. It was 2.5 years because of my copious vomiting all day long. Because I was too incompetent to do anything while I gestated.

I hope that this round of self-pity doesn’t last long. I’m really tired of this shit.

After canceling on painting I have a couple of days where I can stay home. I am just about to the point where I don’t have house chores left. I need to clean off the tops of the bookshelves in the living room and shift things so the plumbing can be fixed on Thursday. I am thinking about asking Noah and Uncle C to help me Wednesday night.

My back hurts all the time. I have periodic spasms where I lie on the floor and breathe until I can move around again.

I’m just not being nice to my body. I’m acting like working a manual labor job is necessary for basic survival and that’s just not true at this stage of my life. It is self-hating.

I don’t know how to feel less pain. I add stress until I crack. I’m not good at doing anything else. This isn’t a healthy balance.

No painting this month or next. The paint will get put away. Maybe in the spring. Maybe in the summer.

Maybe more West Wing. Hiding from life sounds great.

second thoughts.

I’m already freaking out about the painting project I am in the process of beginning. I’m not sure I want to do it.

I was originally asked to do a painting on a gate. Ok. Now she wants me to do both sides of the gate and a second gate that has yet to be built. And she wants me to do it all for $300.

Uhm. If I’m doing four murals (even if it is only a total of 12′ wide) that are all supposed to be separate seasons in different forests… that’s complicated art. Not to mention that I emailed and asked her to pick a season because that decides what colors of paint I should buy. She responded that I should paint all four seasons.

But the $300 she is paying me is also supposed to cover paint.

I’m starting to feel like this is not a reasonable project.

I can’t buy paint (I’m running low on vibrant exterior paint… for some reason…) and do four murals on $300. Well… I could. If I was doing it for my house and it was a labor of love.

I feel like I am being asked to put my heart into a gate someone is putting up in the apartment complex they will probably only live in for a few years.

I’m not sure I have the spoons to spare for this. I am already so frazzled in general that I am alternating between crying, shaking, and sitting like a zombie on the couch. (I cry or shake while I work.)

I outsourced painting my god damn arbor because I am so dizzy all the time I was afraid I would fall off the ladder.

I think this is a stupid plan right now. I am drowning. I am not managing my body.

I emailed her and cancelled. I can’t spend 25+ hours at her house this week painting. I will be angry and hateful and nasty and by the end of this affair I will hate her guts. That seems pretty stupid to do on purpose.

I hate my incompetence. I hate my weakness. But I don’t see how it will improve my life to force myself to go do this work when I will spend the time gritting my teeth and cursing about how much I hate her guts for asking me to do it in the first place.

She didn’t do anything wrong by asking. I just can’t say yes.