Monthly Archives: May 2014


I would like to finish the book today. Cross your fingers. I have ~ four hours of babysitting time. Because I am shamefully using Pam before my other babysitting.

Finish. Get this step over with so you can move on.

Ok, by “finish” I mean everything but the bibliography. I have more or less given myself permission to do it next week when my editor is on a trip any way.



Finished the book. 15 chapters. 46,680 words. So uhhh I deleted a few thousand words…. but not nearly what I was hoping to delete. Oh well. Time to pick up kids.


I think I should get off the internet for a bit. I should probably also stop talking to anyone with a penis about issues of violence. I find that after most of these conversations I believe that the only thing I can do is kill myself.

And I don’t even think any of them would care that much. Ok, Noah would care. But I’m feeling really bitter and pissy and nasty today about why he would care. So I should stop typing.

I can’t protect anyone. Not even myself. Sometimes I understand the mothers who kill their kids and then themselves. (Not that I want to kill my kids.)

But I feel very sorry that I brought them into this world. I’m sorry babies. I can’t make it better. I can’t keep you safe.

I’m so sorry.

post-therapy drabs

My shrink thinks it is probably a good thing that I am creating space to stay home and be quiet and restful given how much my emotions are bouncing. I haven’t screamed or freaked out… I’m just acting more depressed. That’s good! The problem with parents like me, the mentally ill kind, is the changes and the fluctuations are a lot of the hard. Even just depression is easier to live with.

Better to be quiet and slow than anxious and screaming. If I am anxious enough that I am shaking, my teeth rattle, I alternate flushing with chills, and my stomach hurts like crazy… all before I go a little nutty and start shrieking about shit that don’t fucking matter.

Slow the fuck down. Clearly I am in over my head. Maybe it would be nice if I could do ALL THE THINGS but clearly I can’t. We all have limitations.

Most of my session today consisted of me going down lists of people in my life and telling her how things are going in that relationship. “Who is _____ again?” “How do you know _____?” “Wait, is this another new name? I’ve heard about this person before? I have? Oh man. Refresh my memory…. OH! I don’t remember the cruise ship but I remember that you like to share your boyfriends with her.”

Love you so much.

I am pulling standing invitation stuff from my calendar. I am having terrible mixed feelings about that but I cannot keep the schedule I have.

Some of the mixed feelings are stupid. I shouldn’t feel mixed. This isn’t a hard decision… only it is. Sometimes making decisions to see people less is terribly hard. I feel like a bitch. I feel like a big meanie. I feel like I am so hateful.

It’s not giving me what I need. And it uses a lot of energy even in proportion to the amount of time it takes. I spend days and days processing this.

I need a break.

I’m sorry. It isn’t your fault. I don’t need a break because you are bad. I just need a break. You take effort. You are worth it. I love you.

Sometimes that happens. I know you are worth the effort you require. I just don’t have it to give. I’m really sorry.

It is hard that relationships give or take very different amounts of energy. You can’t say “Mommy friends will give +2 support and take -3 patience and +2 validation.” It don’t work that way.

I don’t know if I am an introvert or an extrovert but I certainly require a lot of different kinds of relationships and a lot of alone time.

So my shrink and I did a lot of evaluating the relationships in my life. Yup, I talk about you mother fuckers. +2, -4/ + 6 -1/ +3 -2

I’m kidding. I don’t assign numbers in session. I’m just fucking with you right now. But we did go through evaluations of what I get from people. I try hard to see the specific value people offer. I think about it really hard. Frequently I stop and think really hard about what I appreciate about the people in my life.

I’m a big whiner so I’m grateful that people put up with me. I specifically talk about that gratitude. Yeah, I alternate it with bitching. She helps me figure out tactful wordings for situations where I am experiencing what feels like a clash of cultures.

It’s why I pay someone. “Please help me be less of an asshole. THANKS!”

I want to stop typing. ttfn oh internet

Editing continues

I have finished section one. It is 13,908 words. It is exactly 1/3 of the chapters I wrote for the book. (The middle section has more chapters than either other section.)

Roughly the sections are: Introduction/history/definitions, General life skills/sex/friends/social media/etc, Scary Shit.

Now that I’ve finished the easy section I’m feeling nervous.

If you are an early reader be aware that the Google Doc folder now has updated chapters that are titled as chapters and everything. All fancy and official like.

I’m still open to all feedback. (Pam, I haven’t integrated the feedback you gave me on the Google Doc folder, but I have it in physical writing. It will be up in the next day or two.)

My editor is out of town a fair bit in early June. I may fudge a bit and do the bibliography then and not stress about doing it before June.

Coming along.

I did something brave about a boundary. But I feel like I did it in the most chicken shit way possible. I’m trying to decide if tomorrow I want to go deal with another hard thing that is hanging over my head. Just get it the fuck over with. I don’t like limbo.

I think that the other hard situations are things that can only be solved with time. I don’t think there is another resolution available.

In other news, I was told this weekend that I may not get a chance to go to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival next year. This year, the 40th, may be the last given the push-back the organization is getting on their transphobic policies.

I… I have mixed feelings. I would really love to be in an all woman environment for a week with the kids. But I don’t need them to be women-born-women. I just need them to be people who identify with the more female end of the spectrum. I’m even cool with the event involving people who are androgynous/non-gendered.

I’m sorry I want so badly to get away from men. But I really do. Not forever. I like you all an awful lot and I’m not actually ready for my radical lesbian separatist commune.

Other than my mother, my aunt, my sister, and my niece I haven’t ever spent a lot of time in an all-female environment. My uncle was often blessedly absent. He did show up every day though.

I never did summer camp. I didn’t go to a private school. Hell, when I do go to events I usually ensure I’m plastered to someone with a dick because it’s safer.

“I have a boyfriend” is the only line that has ever kept me safe. Fuck everyone. I have never been raped while in a serious relationship.

So I feel a little weird about wanting to go to a transphobic event. I don’t feel good about that aspect of my desire to participate in the event.

I don’t feel threatened by the transwomen in my life. They are some of the most supportive people.

Yeah, I do feel threatened by the men. More than I “should” feel threatened. Whatever.

Deep breaths. No one is attacking me. None of this is personal. People aren’t reacting to me, they are reacting to things in their own lives. They aren’t talking to me. I’m observing things. I’m… over reacting. I’m sure.

I’m making progress on the book. I feel proud of that. My entire body hurts. I’m not sure why. I’m not sleeping well. Too much anxiety.

Deep breaths.

Anxiety is energy you want to spend that doesn’t have anywhere to go.

Nothing to do but sit and wait for time to pass. I fucking hate this. Things to do, but at a later time, simmer in my brain. I can’t stop thinking about them. They use up so many cycles.

I think I am going to go to sleep early. I’ll wake up and finish the second section before therapy.

Boy do I have a lot to talk to my shrink about. Shit I’m not telling the internet. Yeah, I do have some gosh-darned tact.


And this weekend I demonstrated that tact when I discovered that the help my friend wanted from me was different than the help I envisioned in my head. I didn’t ever offer up advice. I was good. Be supportive how people want you to be supportive, damnit.

Otherwise you aren’t helping you are being a jack ass.

It’s probably actually a good thing it went the way it did. It was rather restful in terms of helping-friends-clean days go. That was awesome given that I feel like ass.

Deep breaths. Whatever will be will be. The future is not ours to see.

No, I’m not a monster. Not everyone hates me. I don’t need to go eat worms. I am not hurting anyone by writing the book I’m writing. It isn’t terrible. I’m not bad. I’m just saying the things I wish I had known.

I’m not telling them what to do. I’m giving them information and I’m tying it in with morality and ethics and long-term planning. I’m talking about diversity and privilege money and shame.

I’m not doing something bad.

I wish it didn’t hurt my heart to write these things down.

I’m sorry boys–no one likes young men. It’s true. I talk about why. I talk about how unfair it is.

I don’t think that men have it all good and women have it all bad.

It’s not that kind of book.

I talk about how to find adult allies in different living environments. How do you figure out who is a predator? How do you learn to ask the right questions to get the help you need?

I’m talking about food, bodies, exercise, and dealing with people who have mental illness.

I don’t think I’m being scary. These are things that exist in the world. Here is some matter-of-fact information about how to interact with increased safety. But I feel a lot of anxiety. I’m going to have to be brave to get the book published. This will be hard.

Criticism sucks. Have I mentioned that my editor is apparently notorious for fairly harsh criticism. I look forward to bathing in the stormy glow.

It’ll be rad. Yeah. Sure. Oh man.

I’m scared. But move forward or shut the fuck up, right?

I’m trying. Shrink down. Maybe that’s easier. Maybe I can carry that. Drop some balls. Move on. Just keep swimmin’.



I know a lot of gun people. In general the way I deal with this is to kind of pretend they aren’t gun people and I go on my way. I’m not a big fan of guns.

This shooting down in Santa Barbara is bothering me. Yes, I know he stabbed three of the victims. Yes, I know he killed more men than women. But he went to a sorority intending to punish those people for existing sexually in a way that excluded him. He wanted to punish the women and the men.

He felt bullied. People not wanting to be his friend felt like bullying.

What is the line for bullying? Is exclusion bullying? I am hearing more and more that cutting people out of your life is bullying and mean. It has been called violent.

But I know some big scary men who own guns. And they feel like it is totally ok to say, “Well if you bully someone long enough they get to defend themselves.”

When the bullying is mostly that women don’t want to have sex with you…

The only way to “not bully” is for women to open their legs for you no matter how the woman feels about it. That’s not a problem?

I am having one of those Gavin DeBecker Gift of Fear sort of conversations with myself. I know that I have consciously gone after friendships with scary men to desensitize myself. I know that I pick “friendships” with people who are dangerous in a variety of ways because that’s who I think I deserve.

I’m kind of starting to think that my kids deserve better. I’m not sure my kids need to grow up with men who think they have the right to shoot people who are mean to them.

I’m starting to think there might be a problem to *me* choosing friendships with people who think they have the right to “defend themselves” with a gun against people who are verbally bullying them.

I’m not arguing that you are bullied. I’m saying that if you think using a gun is an acceptable response then you aren’t safe to stand near.

Notice how I don’t own guns? They are not an acceptable response to people being mean to you and I have poor impulse control. That’s how you god damn manage it when you have rage issues. You don’t go buy guns.

I feel like my politics have radically shifted.

I’m tired of the rights of gun owners being far more important than victims of violence. I’m tired of it being true that 10,000 rapists will walk free before we imprison one innocent man.

Who gives a shit about them.

It’s not just women being shot or raped. Why are only women saying that it needs to stop?

I think I’m going to have to draw a line in the sand. I don’t think I can continue a relationship with someone who will defend the actions of someone who commits a mass murder.

I think that’s a limit.

Relationship fluctuations

Right now I’m having big feelings and they are tricky to write about. They involve a lot of people and a lot of situations. Many different parts of my life. Vague-blogging is awesome blogging!

No one needs to meet my needs. They are my problems. I live in a time and a place where my problems are my personal problems.

I think that part of my issue is I don’t feel very respected. In order to be respected you have to be seen. You have to be appreciated. You have to be specifically valued and important.

I don’t matter much. There are no talents or skills or worth I possess that mean enough so that people think it is worthwhile to get to know me in exquisite detail so it is even possible to give me what I want.

I want the kind of awareness that only comes from being with people for hours and days and weeks and months and years. I’ll never get it.

Instead I have to recognize that I am not capable of giving other people what I want from them. So I have no justification for bitching.

Fucking lame.

I don’t see other people in the context of their experiences and their pain. I am not sensitive to their quirks or preferences or needs. I’m not better than any one else.

If I’m not dishing out that kind of respect, how dare I expect it?

I don’t expect it. But I still feel sad. I feel sad that I live in a world where other people will never be known to me such that I can respect them how they deserve.

They will always feel like alien creatures. I will always stand near them and feel afraid that I am doing everything wrong. I will always feel like clearly I am wrong. I am doing it all wrong.

I’m sorry. I don’t know how else to be.

Marking time

Yesterday as we were driving a song came on the stereo. Travis Tritt singing Great Day to be Alive. I have so many layers of association with that song. When I was twelve and I dated the twenty-five year old DJ from KRTY Travis Tritt was his favorite singer. “The only fan club he will ever join.”

One of the lines is “It’s been fifteen years since I left home.” Holy crap. In October it will be fifteen years since I left home. In October it will be ten years since I left my Owner. My brother Tommy has been dead for sixteen years next month–officially half of my life. October is sixteen years since my father killed himself. Not quite half my life yet because of that annoying birthday in September.

Wow things change. It was hard leaving home. It was hard leaving my Owner. Both times I was afraid that I was leaving looking for something better and I didn’t know that I would find it.

I’ve always been fond of the devil I don’t know.

It has seemed to me throughout most of my life that I have no recourse for moving backwards. The resiliency books told me that people who succeed are people who have no real back up plans. They must succeed.

Fifteen years ago I knew that I would have to get out of my family’s home and stay out. There was no going back for me. I knew I would not be able to take support from my family as an adult. That support is a poisoned pill.

My Owner said he wanted to remain friends. By which he meant that if I showed up at the events he liked to go to he would be happy to continue to objectify me and talk about me like I was slightly stupid furniture forever more. (I spent a lot of that relationship tied up being used as actual furniture. I didn’t think he would suddenly start respecting my brain post-dumping.)

I can’t go back. Every step in my life has been a step towards being less abused. Less objectified. Less taken for granted.

Why does my stomach hurt so much? Why am I so afraid? At this stage I’ve pretty much done it. No one is hurting me any more. Sure, sometimes I deal with assholes, but it’s never ongoing persecution any more.

I haven’t been hit nonconsensually in a long long time. Part of it is that I’m getting older so I just look less like a target (being a kid is so shitty) and part of it is the confidence that financial security brings. I’m not a good target any more. Not only am I happy to viciously physically attack someone who is physically aggressive but I have the money sitting around to pay a lawyer–which is a privilege. That’s a big fucking deal.

I will probably never be helpless again. Sure, I will always have to deal with assholes once in a while. That’s just part of life. I’m an asshole so I can’t really act like I deserve better or anything.

My stomach hurts because I’m in one of those phases where the chemicals in my brain tell me that the people who tell me they love me are lying. It doesn’t count. It isn’t real. It… it will change. They won’t love me for very long. I’m not good enough. Everything changes for me. Over and over again. I have not had a life with consistency.

The great part about being the age I am now is that I have enough experience to know it is a lie. Not everyone who tells me they love me is lying. Noah is not lying. Jenny isn’t lying. Hell, Sarah isn’t lying. Several people have emailed me lately to let me know they are thinking about me–even people who don’t read my blog so they aren’t on the roller coaster of whine with me.

I am *not* trying to say that I want people to jump through hoops to prove anything to me. If I can’t see something that is already there… other people can’t help me much.

I don’t actually think those people would bother to lie to me. Lying to me about loving me would take will and effort. They have to go out of their way to talk to me. I don’t suspect anyone of having a lot of energy for willfully deceiving me. Come on, I’m not that important.

But I’m scared. I’m so scared.

Deep breaths.

Reality and illusion are harder to separate than you might think.

It is hard to go through the motions of acting like I believe people when I don’t. That takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of conscious act of willpower. I’m kind of afraid I’m in a chemical depression right now. Every single fucking thing I’m doing right now feels so physically hard. My entire body hurts a lot of the time. Maybe I’m sick. But I don’t know. This has been going on for a bit and I don’t have a lot of concrete symptoms beyond “feeling like shit”.

Moving feels like walking uphill through a river of molasses. It is a huge act of will to move my legs at all, then I can barely make progress.

(Yes, I know I went running last night and maintained a decent pace. It hurt. I have learned that something hurting me is irrelevant to whether or not I do it. Lots of years of training behind that bit of logic.)

My chest hurts. My throat hurts. My back hurts (upper and lower). My sides hurt. My hips hurt. My arms hurt. My shoulders hurt. My knees are feeling kind of whiny. I may be ready to switch to shoes with more support.

Today is a field trip to the beach. Weeeee. A field trip where I had to set the boundaries and tell several people, “Actually if there is a waiting list and people are being denied access to the event it’s not cool that you just “bring along a friend”–sorry.”

I’m struggling with that aspect of the home school community. Frequently the group events have a limit of number of bodies, for a wide variety of reasons, and people regularly think those rules shouldn’t apply to them. Then they want to come ask me for an exception. This has happened with a bunch of different events. I’m kind of bitch-tastic. “Uhm, no. I told other people they weren’t allowed to come because we were full so you don’t get to queue jump because you are fucking special.”

We are home schoolers! We are all special snowflakes!

Yeah, that’s nice. Sometimes there are still limits to the number of bodies we can accommodate for a lot of reasons. Today the limit has nothing to do with me or my preferences–someone else set the limit but I’m going to bleepin’ enforce it.

I am so weird about rules. On one hand I am a contrary bastard and if you tell me a rule I will probably immediately break it unless you can convince me not to. (The kids and I had a long, earnest conversation in the car yesterday about why I am fanatical about following the correct rules for driving [Helloooooo…. people die if you fuck that up. It’s not a god damn game.] but other rules are almost always negotiable or flexible.)

So I’m not saying that the people who ask for exceptions are terrible people. Just that they are breaking a rule I don’t want broken. Which is random and arbitrary and I’m a major rule breaker most of the time. I don’t understand my priorities sometimes.

I suspect that part of it is, as a teacher: I know my limits. There are times when I can only handle teaching x bodies. If someone wants me to do x + 1 it will make the whole thing unravel and I will be unable to do what I wanted to do. Which fucking pisses me off. Is it lame that sometimes I just can’t absorb another body? Maybe. Oh well. It’s where I am.

People are allowed to ask for special exceptions. I’m allowed to think they are kind of assholes in that moment. Just like I’m an asshole every time I ask for special exceptions. Which I do all the time. Because I’m a self-involved asshole. Just like every one else.

So when you say there is no harm in asking… well… sometimes it harms peoples opinion of you. I understand how that can suck. I deal with similar backlash for my own asshole behavior.

Hey, I’m not saying I dislike assholes or that I don’t want to know them or anything like that. I’m just saying that I’m capable of seeing more than one side of a person. We all have a potential asshole inside us. Not just cause we sit on one. Sometimes advocating for yourself can’t be done without being an asshole.

Go ahead and advocate for yourself. I’m serious. Be ok with being an asshole sometimes.

If people can’t handle you being an asshole sometimes they probably are too high maintenance to be worth a relationship anyway. Man I can’t take that kind of pressure.

I like complex people. I like having years and years to study people and figure out why they do what they do. People are mostly internally consistent. They have justifications and reasons for what they do if you sit down and listen. I find the stories endlessly fascinating.

So when I say I’m struggling with boundaries around these things it isn’t that I think other people suck and should die in a fire for making me enforce boundaries. That is very much not what I mean.

I just mean that sometimes enforcing boundaries makes my stomach hurt. Which makes me glare in grumpy fashion at the person who needs a boundary enforced. I don’t begrudge them. I try not to complain in the moment. But I get to bitch in my journal. This would be why it exists.

I really hate these periods of irrational thinking. Where everything feels weighed down with “No one could possibly actually like me.”

All of those small boundary incursions feel like massive disrespect and dislike. They feel like people are assholes because I am a piece of shit who deserves to be walked all over. I understand that it isn’t personal. They aren’t asking for an exception because they want to be annoying for me they are asking for an exception because they want to be part of a group event and not feel left out.

That’s kind of the opposite of hating me if the event is at my house. Yet these feelings persist.

Sometimes it feels like I am looking at my friends through a glass wall. I can feel the affection I have for them. I can’t feel any affection from them. It feels like all I can see is a masquerade of affection. I know I am the problem and not them–but I don’t know how to change it when I am in it.

Mostly I try to not blow up my relationships and keep my mouth shut till this phase passes. It always has before.

Fifteen years since I’ve been gone. I never would have imagined that I could accomplish all I have done. When I was eighteen it was not a goal to be a writer. Isn’t that kind of funny? I knew I wanted to train as a teacher as a back up career but what I wanted was to home school my kids. That was what I wanted to do with my life.

It isn’t enough now.

I will start getting editorial feedback on my second book in a few weeks. Then I get to start hunting for a publisher. I have to be brave. Even though it is scary.

Too many scary things lately. Maybe that’s why my stomach hurts and I feel so paranoid. Or I’m just in a cycle, like I do. Noah says these cycles are not very predictable in terms of timing. Bummer.

I’m aware it will be a good day. I will forking force it to be a good day.

Yesterday had peaks and valleys but mostly it was a good day. We went to the mall after the park and looked for a present for Shanna. We stayed in Claire’s. She was very clear what she wanted. Good grief.

I feel weird about raising little girls who are coding girl so hard. How did I get ultra femmes? Then again I obsessively played with makeup when I was little. I don’t care about it now. Most of the people I know who are obsessed as adults weren’t allowed to play with it as very small children. Maybe there is a motive to my madness in supplying them with makeup.

Things that are taboo hold a lot of allure. Things that are matter of fact parts of your life are less obsessive. I just don’t see the need to fight my kids on things that don’t matter.

Well, why do the limits matter so much on home school events? Depends why that event has a limit. For home schooling events we are often depending on moms to supply lots of other children with education/entertainment. Everyone has the limit of size of crowd they can effectively reach. That varies from person to person and event to event.

I can only run a sit-down event for about 20 people. That’s the limit of my space. I can handle open-ended parties of 150 people. I feel very comfortable directing large groups through actions when I am out in public. Like, I have no problem trying to corral 30 or 50 kids in a park or museum or something like that. I can do that kind of crowd management.

Not everyone shares my limits. Some people can handle talking to a maximum of a dozen people before they start kind of freaking out. Some people can handle crowds of thousands before they feel panic. Everyone is different.

When you are going to an event… you need to be nice to the person who is kindly providing you an experience. Don’t demand something they can’t provide. That’s all I’m saying.

Ok, I stop typing now.

Not “great” but better

Yesterday I allowed myself to be sad. Mostly when I feel like that I try to mask it in some way. I pretend I am happier than I am. I’m pretty successful as a liar. To the point where many people who know me will argue with me and tell me it isn’t possible I have GAD or Depression or PTSD because they think they can judge my moods based on my behavior. Not so much.

I was sad. I cried. I moved slowly. I didn’t present a false positive affect. I told the kids I was really sad about my mom, not them and I’m sorry I’m crying. Sometimes when I wake up thinking about my mom it hurts a lot. I wish things could have been different.

My kids were very sweet to me. I didn’t scream once. Shanna made me a trophy out of Lego’s–because I’m the best mom. The not screaming on a dysregulated day thing is pretty awesome.

I’ve told Shanna that I’m scared I will be a bad mom too, because I haven’t seen very many good moms up close. I’m not really sure about a lot of my decisions. She said, “You are nice to us way more than you are mean to us. You are only mean to us when we refuse to cooperate. It’s not my favorite, but mostly you aren’t so bad. I like you a lot.” Then she hugged me. I don’t feel I deserve my children and I worry about the long-term effects of my insecurity. Nothing I can do about it though.

Sometimes when I hear my kids repeat phrases back to me, “It’s not my favorite thing you do but you do it” I feel… kind of mixed. I wonder what I am really teaching them about the world. I am scared that I am teaching them to submit to insanity. Then I listen to what mouthy assholes they can be and I don’t worry about them being overly submissive. It’s a funny balance.

The other day Calli had to go to the bathroom really badly. Shanna tried to block the door and demand a password. Calli didn’t hesitate. She didn’t negotiate. She just leaned forward and bit Shanna’s leg. Shanna moved (while screaming) and Calli darted to the toilet.

I’m not too worried about Calli being overly submissive to authority.

It is pointed out to me that I used to think Shanna would be the homebody and Calli wouldn’t be able to get away from me fast enough and I have switched. More proof that I don’t predict the future well.

Shanna has such an extraordinary need to connect with a lot of people. She arrives at any building, event, park, whatever ready to meet as many people as possible. Calli shows no sign of desperately needing lots of people. She has a few friends and she likes them, but mostly she is hanging out with me. I am starting to wonder if I am confusing developmental stages with personality.

Maybe. Calli has never needed the amount of attention Shanna has needed. Not from the day she was born. Calli would lay on a blanket alone for hours without fuss as an infant. Shanna never fucking did that. Shanna almost made me lose my mind. She had to be in physical contact with me just about 24/7. Noah was a crappy inadequate occasional substitute for a long time. Calli liked him more from when she was tiny. Shanna just has NEEDS. Calli is more self-contained. But I seem to be growing in importance to her.

Yesterday Calli spent a lot of time trying to negotiate her sister being farmed out to another family so that Calli can have her own room and not have to share her parents any more. I told her that she could have her own room without getting rid of her sister but that hasn’t gone well so far. They like sleeping together–do you REALLY think you would like being alone all the time? YES! *snicker* I doubt it.

I finished my second round of editing. Now I need to take the paper copies and edit the computer versions, again. I deleted a lot of fluff. I reorganized. I think I have more of a handle on the shape of the book. Still a lot of work to go. I haven’t done the bibliography yet. (yuck.) I haven’t done the pull out definitions section yet. But it’s plugging along. I have another twelve days. No I don’t. I have ten days. We are going on a camping trip.

I feel spread out, exhausted, and like I’m letting just about everyone and everything down.

I don’t really want to go to the park today. But a family we like tremendously is moving soon and this is one of our last chances to visit. I should suck it up and get off my ass. Even if I have to spend time walking by myself so no one notices the crying.

Tomorrow is an all day trip to Santa Cruz. I originally proposed San Mateo because that’s a shit-ton closer. I was over ruled. Sigh. It is 47 miles from my house to where we are going. That will be an hour drive with traffic. An hour each way. I feel whiny and tired already. This is why I don’t go to SF as much any more. San Mateo would have been only 30 miles. Looking at it today the difference in almost an extra hour of driving round trip feels kind of sad. I can suck it up. I wish driving was less annoying.

I really dread the driving aspect of the cross country trip. That is going to be rough. I don’t know how I will baby myself through that.

I’m officially off smoking till July. I finished everything I had over a week ago and I’m not buying more until my wonderful friend and niece have visited and left. It would be nice for my garage to not smell when they are visiting. Pills, tincture, and edibles it is. I feel continually grateful for California legalizing to the degree it did in time for my adult life. Thank goodness for dispensaries. I feel so much love for the entire dispensary industry these days.

Given how heavily booked we are this week and next week (today is up in the air. There is one other day with nothing scheduled.) I wonder if I should hide in my closet all day. Rest is important too. But tonight I run. Yay running.

I’ll probably go to the park. But not for four hours. Can’t be nice through that today then the beach tomorrow.

I feel sad that the spiffy bathing suit I ordered will be arriving on Thursday. The day after the beach trip. Fuck you too, UPS. It’s sitting in Oakland. Wait, they updated tracking. It is in Sunnyvale now. It will be delivered on Wednesday. Not before I leave for the beach. I’m still whiny. Isn’t the modern era hilarious? THIS THING I ORDERED FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY ISN’T IN MY LAP THE NEXT DAY! WTF!

I’m kidding. Mostly. I got a swim suit that is almost suitable for a nice Amish or Islamic girl. Not that I am one of either religion. Leg covering down to nearly the ankle. An attached modesty skirt. A high neckline shirt with long sleeves. Yay! No more sun screen for meeeeeeee!

I hate sunscreen. I’m also whitey mcwhitey pants. Life is about balance.

It’s ok. I will wear it all summer long at the water park. I can wear my older, less modest Target special bathing suit on Wednesday. I won’t die or nothing.

I told Noah yesterday that I think it is strange that I spend so much time with people but I feel lonely. I spend most of my time having to be very careful what I say and how I say it. I don’t feel comfortable or like *I* am actually wanted. Only a facsimile of me with better manners.

I know that everyone has to “behave”. It’s not like I’m different or special or anything like that. I’m just feeling alienated. Whatever.

Today will be a low screen use day. My arms need some rest. Although I have a lot of work to do. We’ll see how it goes. Mostly I can just do well by staying off the few social network stuff I do. I have limited my streams such that I only get 15 minutes to two hours of new stuff every day. My friends don’t post that much. And I’ve already caught up for the day. I don’t have a good excuse to hope that someone will post something. No hitting reload.

I should hang out with the kids. We’ll swing. Cuddle. It’ll work out.

“Trigger” shit

Oh man. Some TOTALLY MEAN PERSON put a cutesy pictoral thing about Harry Potter on Pinterest. It involved saying “what you got” from a variety of characters. I say a TOTALLY MEAN PERSON because I don’t like the bit about how a mothers love is the greatest force on earth.

Fuck you. Now I’m going to cry for hours because my mommy didn’t and doesn’t love me.

I sit here and cry and remember that the only time during my childhood that someone protected me was when I called 911 and said, “I don’t know how to report my dad for molesting me. I need help.” Thank you San Bernardino Sheriffs for not being as shitty as the Santa Clara County Sheriffs.

I feel guilty for still being upset. No, I feel ashamed. I haven’t actually broken any rules so it isn’t guilt. I feel like I inconvenience people by having these feelings.

When I don’t sleep because I am up crying my day suffers. Poor kids. But today is unusual. Today the kids get lots of babysitter time so I can work on the book. Maybe that won’t be so bad.

I think I had sex with so many people because I was trying to find out if I could make anyone love me that way. It didn’t work very well.

Yesterday I was thinking a lot about my Owner. I was thinking about how we said we “would be friends” but that mostly consists of me needing to be a “good girl” and not care that he plays the same script in every relationship. His relationships are about his needs and his needs haven’t changed since he was fifteen. He’s got pictures of a whole series of women in exactly the same equipment with the same facial expressions.

It took a long time for me to be able to look at the picture archive without crying because I wasn’t special at all. I worked on that for years. I tried to convince myself that I *was* special to him.


I was just stupid enough to be the Slut Of The Day for four years.

Right now I want to find a way to invalidate any real feelings any one has ever actually had for me. I want to find a way to “prove” to myself how worthless I am.

What I want to do is open my arm from elbow to wrist. I love you too, mommy.

I don’t know how to get past my mom. It’s not about my Owner. Even though he was the best Daddy I ever had and he dropped me when I no longer wanted him to hurt me.

Given the limitations I put on what Noah can do to me… it’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that he will stay for what I offer. No one else has really wanted me.

Yes, I know my kids want me. It’s different. I appreciate them. I love them. I want them. I don’t plan to kill myself and abandon them. Sometimes it is really hard to turn around and hand them a bunch of love I’ve never received. I feel petty and small and like I’m tired of having to learn how to love my children from books because I have no personal experience of being a loved child. I don’t even know what that would mean.

It is hard to make something you’ve never seen. What is a “happy family”?

I’m in one now. Mostly. I’m the most sad person in my family these days. Everyone else seems to be doing ok.

I feel like I’m pretending the happiness I feel. Even though I felt happy yesterday and it didn’t feel like pretending then. In this moment it feels like I’m just lying to myself about there ever being better moments.

Deep breaths. This moment will pass.

The stakes seem so very high with my kids. If I fuck up the only person who will love me is Noah. (Yes, I have friends. It’s different. If you have a family you cannot understand what it means to *not have a family*.) It doesn’t feel like I have whatever “thing” makes other people intrinsically lovable. I’m just missing that bit. I have to earn relationships in a way other people don’t.

There are lots of kinds of privilege.

My family sided with child rapists over me. Some year I will stop feeling like that is a reflection of my worth. Apparently that year isn’t 2014.

As distraction, surfing youtube for half an hour… are there any people on tv who aren’t white and so thin I worry? Yes, some people are naturally that thin and it is normal and totally healthy for their bodies. It’s a very small segment of the population. I’m glad I miss most tv. Even if I do occasionally watch clips on youtube out of curiosity. Three minutes is all I want to see of any of these shows. And holy shit do I not have the warm fuzzy glow of memory for high school that other people apparently have. Wow.

I’m starting to feel the medication I took when I woke up. Thank goodness for medication. It was nice to calmly explain to my therapist why I started flipping out when she said “need to go on meds”. I’m on a medication. I cannot express the difference that cannabis makes in my life. The ability to be distracted from my grief is a gift. It is a chemical shift in my brain. Saying that it “doesn’t count” is very invalidating to my experience of life.

It is very hard that it doesn’t really matter how many other people in the world tell me I have worth, as long as my mommy doesn’t love me…

Some days I wonder if I am capable of feeling like I am loved or lovable. I stay. I go through the motions of acting like a mom who is worthy of being loved. But I don’t feel like I am.

Fake it till you make it. My kids won’t be crying for hours in thirty years because they wish that I loved them. They have already made it through milestones. Calli has lived in the house she was born in for longer than I have lived anywhere other than here.

This is the only home I’ve ever had. And my daughter was born in the kitchen. The daughter that I conceived on purpose because I wanted someone to pour love into. I know there is balance.

I know that I have it better than a lot of people. I know that many people go through their adult lives and are never loved as much as Noah loves me. Lots of people who want to be able to raise children the way I am raising my kids can’t.

Privilege is a funny thing.

It is always easy to undervalue what you have and focus on what you don’t have. I want a mommy who loves me. I’ve never had one. My mommy didn’t want me from the day I was conceived. My mommy never knew how to take care of me.

If my mom had tried to have an unassisted childbirth with me, her problems would have been solved. I was born with the cord around my neck. It was the intervention of bossy doctors screaming at my mother that prevented her from choking me to death as she tried to go through her standard ridiculously fast labor. I was the last kid. Just get it over with already. My mom was a lot better at having babies than me. I wonder if it was the childhood of sitting on horses.

Deep breaths. Youtube started annoying me. I should probably start rereading the Diana Gabaldon series. I get the latest book in a couple of weeks when I get to go to a reading by the author. I’m pretty excited.

I have a lot of good things in my life. I have a lot to look forward to. I appreciate what I have. I really do. I don’t think I’m oblivious to how lucky I am. But I have a nasty headache from crying. (I’ll drink more water.) I’m tired. I feel like shit.

Luckily I have five hours today to work on the book I wish I had been able to read when I was twelve. I’ll hopefully make it so someone else doesn’t have to make quite as many mistakes as I made. They can go make better mistakes. More useful ones.

Just blathering.

Yesterday at the water park Calli told me, “I am staying with ONLY YOU the WHOLE time. And when we are in the water you have to hold my hand. You can never let go.”

We were there with another family. She wasn’t interested in switching off which grown up she was with. Shanna didn’t care. She was like, “Bye mom. See you later.” But that is how she always is. I don’t actually think Shanna will want to grow up and live with me. She’s too happy to leave me behind.

Obviously I acquiesced to Calli’s requirements. Like you do.

To abruptly change the topic, whereas I have never watched this video before this moment (oh my goodness she’s crazy) this song has been on repeat in my head for a while now. If Ke$ha had been making music when I was hunting I would have been way more obsessed with her music. Uhm, I don’t listen to it when my kids are around. Ha.

After watching that video I feel a little bit extra confused by the long nails. I don’t get why women wear them. But I spend a lot of my life gardening. You don’t have ridiculously long nails with a life like mine. Maybe I just can’t understand being non-handy. No, I have hang ups about the nails. But those go back to childhood and That’s Not The Point Of This Post.

I have never been “drawn” to people who refuse to work with their hands. If sitting around and looking pretty is what you are good for then I don’t have a lot of use for you. I’m a worker bee and I like other worker bees. I mean, it’s not like I *hate* people who don’t work with their hands. But it baffles me and I often don’t know how to talk to them.

Despite Noah not being handy. Life is hilarious. It’s a good thing he’s got me around. That’s all I’ve got to say. Speaking of handy: I need to grease the hinges to the garage door. I’m tired of the squeak when I wake up in the morning.

In general I’ve been thinking about how much I like Noah despite there being some on paper reasons for me to be an asshole. He hasn’t earned such behavior from me. But I’m well aware that most treatment people receive has nothing to do with them earning it or not.

I have a lot of deep prejudices. Sometimes I feel pretty ashamed of myself.

I feel like I’m getting closer to being able to handle the mom in the home school group. I’m less likely to explode. I’m more clear on what I want to get out of it. More of the stakes have been made clear to me. I kind of hate social dynamics.

My arms hurt. But I want to unwind. I already went on a three mile walk (half of it with Calli on my back because she wanted to snuggle) but I feel like maybe I will run.

I didn’t do a long run yesterday. I am not training consistently. I have too many priorities. I’m looking forward to the end of the month and sending off my book. Then I get to have a few weeks off.

I haven’t set down a running schedule yet. October feels so far away. And I think I’m relying too heavily on the fact that I have a slight fitness edge over the friend I am running with. She is just starting to run. I practically seem speedy.

But she’s doing a whole bunch of full body exercise stuff I don’t do. I need more exercise than I’m getting. I haven’t been feeling very strong lately. I’ve been slacking and resting and I’m getting softer and slower.

I keep thinking there will be some vitally important reason I will need to learn to run very fast at some point in the future. It isn’t a good idea for me to continue the sedentary lifestyle I’ve had for most of my life.

Ok. I’ll go run. And I will get to listen to very loud slutty music. And I’ll jump Noah again tonight. I must be ovulating. Holy moly.

I’m really glad I married someone who says “yes” to sex 99.3% of the time. (We’ve had a lot of sex, but he has turned me down a few times…) This works for my self esteem. Thank you, honey.

The lucky one

I woke up feeling positive affect. (That means I’m in a good mood.) Since I spend so much time feeling shitty (and writing about it) sometimes I like to make sure I show some balance. I feel some balance. My feelings aren’t *balanced* but there are representative samples from many points on the spectrum.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway, really it started yesterday. Yesterday was a fairly mellow day. I did gardening and some house cleaning and the kids and I read and played. Nice day.

At one point I was getting angry with the kids for outright refusing to clean up so we could go do something I wanted to do I started getting loud. At one point I started shrieking, “Am I going to have to scream? Is that the..” I cut myself off. I stood very still and took several deep breaths.

“No one ever has to scream. That is a false choice. No, I can ask this without screaming. That would be a failure on my part. Baby, please just pick stuff up.”

Shanna smiled huge, gave me a big thumbs up, winked and said, “Good job mom! You totally calmed yourself down there and I’m really proud of you for recognizing that you never need to scream.”

We only got like 70% of the picking up done. I let it go. I felt a little embarrassed by Shanna’s commentary. And happy at the same time.

I like and appreciate and value people watching me enough to make positive comments on my behavior progress. It’s a little weird having my kids give me those sorts of compliments. But I take positive opinions where I can get them.

At bed time Shanna asked me something about the time before kids. I said, “Know how I get grumpy sometimes” “Yeah” “Well… I was way more grumpy and mean and I used to hit people pretty frequently when I was mad.”

She looked at me with as much shock and horror as if I said I like to sit around dumping salt on snails all day long.

Then I said, “You know how I am sad sometimes and I cry pretty often?” “Yeah” “Well before you were born I cried a lot more. I was very sad about most of the things in my life.”

She looked kind of troubled.

Then I said, “Know how I am mostly happy and cheerful these days?” “Yeah!” “That’s because of you. That started when you were born. Your dad helps a lot because he is the nicest person to me I’ve ever met. Your sister helps. All three of you give me so much love that it feels like maybe some day I will be able to stop crying.”

She hugged me fiercely.

I am deeply aware that people who are as broken as me usually don’t get to “pass” into happy families. That’s not usually a life path that opens up in front of us. Some days I understand in the depths of my soul that I am one of the lucky ones.

For every bad thing that has happened to me I have had some other corollary thing that was positive. I have had an unusual amount of privilege. Not just white privilege, not just female privilege (which exists in my entirely judgmental opinion) … it’s more than that.

Sometimes I feel like a cuckoo. I can be dropped in any nest and I will manage to survive. I have had access to some ridiculously prestigious spaces. I was trailer trash for a long time. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been in a wide variety of $5million + homes. I’ve been in $20 million homes. That is a kind of access that isn’t available to everyone.

I’ve seen enough things to continually inspire me. I can walk into any situation and find the perks and downsides. There are always perks. There are always downsides.

They say that people who deal with depression perceive the world far more accurately than average. In reality, the world sucks.

I go back and forth between feeling flattened by the limits I perceive and knowing that if I can’t find a way I will make a way. All of the limits you perceive are just obstacles. No matter how big or frustrating.

We sent someone to the moon. What the fuck else can our species do?!

I have thirteen chapters left to edit for the book. Many of them are only two or three pages long so that’s not so bad.

Then I need to do the pull out sections. Definition pages. Resources lists. Bibliography. Ew. Ew. Ew. Writing sucks.

But! I’m thinking about doing one of those fancy-ass annotated bibliographies. Where I not only give them a list of resources (internet, book, phone) but give short descriptions of how and when they are useful and where they fail. That saves other people a lot of time trying things out that won’t be a good fit.

It is hard to talk about this book. If I get a few more readers who tell me that they like it and think it is full of useful information I hope it will be less hard to talk about. Yesterday I tried to explain it to our teenage babysitter. She’s a religiously home schooled sixteen year old. Ok fine, my kids aren’t sheltered in the scheme of things.

But she asked me what the book is about. I said it is a book about harm reduction aimed at middle school kids. I asked her if she is sort of familiar with the Alcoholics Anonymous method where you must be 100% abstinent forever and convince yourself that you are powerless. She said yes. I said, “Well… not many people do well with AA. It doesn’t have the highest success rate. Most people do negative things: drugs, alcohol, cutting themselves, other bad coping methods because they have things going in their lives that are genuinely causing them pain. Telling them to stop the coping method without solving the pain is really stupid. It’s not that you need to just learn to bear this pain forever all day with the grace of god. It’s that you need to lessen how much pain you are in so you don’t need to be doing the bad things.”

She said, “That sounds like a really good book. I hope I get to read it soon.”

If I can help other people feel less pain, that’s a mitzvah. That’s a life’s work. That is worthy.

Even if there isn’t a lot of money in it. I have Noah. I have the privilege to not care.

I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel because I get to live my life any fucking way I want. The limits I run into are more self-imposed then exterior.

could go buy a fancy RV. But I’d rather put that extra $20k into my mortgage so I can stop paying fucking interest. Maybe after the house is paid off and my kids are teenagers the four of us will have an interest in a bigger RV as a way of longer term traveling. If I want to waste money on it then it will be ok. It will be after the WWOOF year. So if I am on track for college savings and retirement savings… why not?

After I remodel my house. I don’t want to spend $25,000 on a vehicle before I spend $25,000 upgrading my bathroom.

If these are the limits of my life… I really have no room to bitch. First World Problems as they like to say.

I look at all the books in my house and I feel lucky. I get to read… almost as much as I want. The kids complain if I read too much.

Today, if the kids are willing to clean up, we are going to the water park. (Last night I only asked for the living room to be cleaned up so that their poor gimp-tastic father could walk around without injury. If you want me to take you to a kids play place… pick up ALL of your stuff. Or no.)

Then this afternoon our beloved Taylor is coming. My back is looking forward to this. I should probably get dressed and go run right now before breakfast. Then it will be done for the day.

I am so grateful that I’ve found a sometimes-running buddy. I’m looking forward to a half marathon with her in October. I am looking forward to training again. My body feels a lot better under those conditions.

Ok, go run.

Can’t argue with a spreadsheet.

I have been taking a good long look at my budget for the upcoming roadtrip. That’s way more fun than thinking about how to manage conflict.

An RV would be $15,000-$25,000 depending on what I was able to find. There are occasional “steals” at $15k. Plus a massive amount of ongoing maintenance I can’t predict now. Plus twice as much gas as I originally planned. Plus learning to manage a longer, taller vehicle that will be hellishly difficult to park.

A pop up tent would be $6,000-$11,000. Plus ongoing expenses I can’t predict. Plus learning to drive a 30′-40′ vehicle. Plus much more gas than originally hoped for.

Did I mention that my original budget for this trip is $12,000?


Whereas I can get a roof storage container, portable toilet, tent that kind of telescopes onto the back of the van for privacy and space to stand up, nice camp kitchen set up, and the odds and ends I want for over $2k. I could probably get much cheaper if I was willing to troll Craigslist patiently.


It’s going to be much much physically harder. I’m not “looking forward” to how physically hard this will be. All of my other plans will have to scope down until I can handle things.

On the upside I can’t find any advice on tent traveling with kids for extended periods more recent than say… settling the US. People don’t do it. I bet I will find some interesting writing material off of this trip. Ha.

The kids have some super rad tumbling mats from Ikea ($10 a pop) that fit sideways in the van if you leave some of the sections folded. If I take out the middle row seats and have the car seats come in and out (The Britax Frontier is not that hard to install–it’s just getting a tight seatbelt connection instead of those FROM HELL clips on the True Fit I have.) from the back row… we could sleep in the van and use the exterior space more optionally for other purposes.

We don’t *have* to set the tent up every night. I am going to have a fabulous roof container to store shit so I can have a versatile potential set up.

Ok, part of me thinks it is kind of hilarious that I am going to attach a tent to my van that has a main room and a vestibule so the vestibule can be my bathroom.

As this morning demonstrates to me once again… I can’t be without toilet access in the middle of the night. Just can’t. Must have access. Luckily these days there are some darn nifty little numbers that will be easy to bring with us. And from the pictures it looks an awful lot like you can unscrew the storage tank and walk to a public toilet and slowly dump it in with two or three flushes and you are good to go.

That seems like a level of septic management I can handle. I was frankly a little terrified of the whole RV hook up thing.

I’m scared. This seems like… a fuck ton of work. It’s going to be hard. But I want this experience and I really don’t want to spend my entire budget before I hit the road, know what I mean?

I was asked, “But couldn’t you resell the RV or trailer when you get home?” The answer being, “I hope but such things are hard to predict and I would have to just be prepared to eat the money. Plus lots of other money in the future if I want the vehicle to be in good enough shape to sell.”

I want to pay off my mortgage. Buying an RV would seriously derail me. It would derail the international trip.

Ok fine. I can suck it. Yes, it will be hard. We will also be staying at friends’ houses pretty frequently. It will work out.

I’m more worried about Noah joining us than just the three of us. It will make sleeping harder. I’m not sure if the four of us can sleep in the van together. We may need to have options for sleeping on the ground those nights anyway. In general my plan is to sleep in the van. I really prefer the idea of sleeping behind metal and glass and locks. Is the van totally secure? Of course not. But I like my illusions.

I have woken up from sleeping in a tent to find a grizzly bear foot print less than three feet from where my head was. That scared the crap out of me. Of course I took a picture. (And DA remembers–see, that proves it.)

Do you know what part of it is? If I let the budget for this trip explode… Noah will sigh, put his head down, and “try to earn more money”. Naw, the original budget will be more than adequate. I am already fleecing him in ways that give me the vapors. I feel like I am taking advantage of him. But he is agreeing and such. He wants his kids educated by me. In whatever way I see fit. He sees it as an investment the same as a private school.

Life is complicated.

There is exactly one bike rack on the market that will allow us to take three independent bikes plus the recumbent trailer we are endeavoring to learn how to use. We haven’t fallen yet! I’m proud of us. *phew*

Shanna says she is looking forward to this trip. I told her that our screen time will be severely limited. I won’t be able to be online either. She clapped her hands and said, “So you will be forced to play with us ALL DAY EVERY DAY. That sounds wonderful.”

Oh man.

I told her that every single day I would need to take private time and the way that is going to work is I will sit in a chair outside where I can see them and I will put head phones on. I don’t want to talk the whole time I have the head phones on. I need time to be private inside my brain. She said she can agree to that because they will be able to see me so it’s all good.

She jumped up and down and squeed. She is so fucking excited that I won’t be able to hide in the garage. Sigh.

Sometimes it is hard for me to understand how much my kids like me. I’m not sure I have ever in my life had as unmixed of emotions as my kids have. They love me and adore me and nearly worship me. There isn’t a lot of hesitation.

I have never seriously hurt them and the minor injuries I cause tend to involve lots of apologies and noticeable change in my behavior so I don’t duplicate the fuck up.

Some days, some moments I am able to see that I am doing what I want to do as a mother. Even though it is hard and I am very scared. I am doing it.

The only thing Calli understands about the trip at this point is, “I get to go to Disney World, right?”

Since everyone decided they didn’t want my points for Hawaii, you can be at Disney World for a really long time, kiddo. I’m sorry that my friends had life events come up that caused them to not go on their trips. I’m ok with getting more time to luxuriate around a pool at Disney World. I won’t have to set up a tent for a month. Sounds fucking awesome.

Although if I wanted to conserve points… Disney World has a camp grounds. Ha.

I don’t want to stay longer than four weeks so the point conservation is less mandatory than it could be. There are too many things to do in the country to spend all of our time at fucking Disney World. But I think a month in the middle of this trip will be decadent.

I want to save budget money for going to the fancy princess tea party at Disney World, no I don’t want a fancy RV or pop up trailer that bad. I’d rather get to do all the things I want to do than have a posh sleeping place.

Because now my budget is down to being about $10,000 because I’ve spent the first $2,000.

(I had to decide. I had to just do it. We have a camping trip in two weeks and… I don’t have a plan as to how to provide for it. Erf. I told Noah that I want to put the tent up and down four times during the weekend while I have a grown up there to help me. The last time or two I want to put it up alone. Shanna says that I will never put it up alone. She will always help. We’ll see.)

The funny thing is, I bet Shanna will be able to be all the help I need. By the time we leave on this trip she will be seven. I have felt shocked her entire fifth year by how competent and capable she has become. I expect seven to knock my socks off.

She says she is looking forward to “all that nice lazy time for me to practice my cooking–we won’t have anything else to do.” She says that by the end of the trip she intends to be an expert at preparing camping meals.

And Calli says she is looking forward to me having to read to them for hours every day. She says that will be her favorite part. I have been a slacker asshole on reading for a while. I have been overwhelmed by life and my emotions.

We won’t drive every day. On driving days we will go three or four hours then set up camp. Camp set up needs to be perfected in under an hour. Take down needs to be perfected in half an hour. I will have to practice until I can get it. If I include food prep that will put me up to about six hours a day of “work”.

I won’t be able to garden or socialize much. I won’t have to clean the house. I won’t have my whole library with me so I can read a book or two a day. I won’t be reading on the screen because that’s just fucking rude after a while. Plus, I don’t want to spend the whole time obsessing over charging my fucking phone.

With sleep that will account for 14-16 hours of the day/night. That leaves me with a solid 8-10 hours every day of leisure time. I should probably schedule an hour in the morning of writing time and an hour after dinner of “mommy-quiet” time. That gives me 6-8 hours a day of paying attention to them.

I’m looking forward to sleeping with them more. If it didn’t seem so mean to Noah I would probably do it all the time. I love waking up to see them. I can’t believe I made you.

I feel so lucky. Even when we fight or have disagreements, I still feel so passionately in love with my kids. Not sexual passion. It’s not like that at all. I feel pretty grateful that I missed the pedophile gene in my family. I experience no arousal at the sight of a child.

But I have intense surges of emotion. Sometimes they feel so strong I almost can’t keep standing.

This is the best thing I have ever done. This is the best me I have ever shared with anyone.

A few months ago in February it marked ten years since I met Noah. In August (actually on my nephew’s birthday) it will be ten years since I broke up with my Owner-turned boyfriend. He wasn’t my Owner by the time I left. That had been over for a year because it was “too much work”. In September it will be eight years of marriage. Next month marks eight years of living in this house.

Time keeps passing. It isn’t like it used to be. I used to mark the seasons of my life by which trauma occurred and where I was living. “Well I was raped when I was going to x school so I must have been y age because that is the correlation to the grade I know I was in at that school. So-and so died or had a violent accident while I was at that other school.”

The most terrible break ups of the past ten years have involved Puppy (not that horrible and I’m happy to be rid of him) and my family (terrible, but necessary and contained in scope of harm) and Sarah. And she’s not completely gone. That we may be able to grow past some day. We ain’t dead yet.

Uncle Bob’s death and divorcing my family is probably the biggest trauma in the past eight years. Ok, that last rape is hanging on to the curve. Kind of sucky that it will always overlap the marriage timing.

But we had lots of therapy over that shit.

Now I’m marking the years by “the year I hired an awesome guy to build up my backyard” or “the year I added trees” or “when we went on that trip”.

Is this what “normal” life is like?

I’m trying to psyche myself up for the conversation I will need to have soon. I’m leaning towards:

“Hi. May I talk to you kind of privately? We don’t know very much about one another. Sometimes when you don’t know someone very well, humor is especially tricky. Humor either creates a feeling of shared experience or alienation and it’s a difficult line to walk. At this moment in time I am giving you all the benefit of the doubt in the world. I believe you are trying hard to create camaraderie within the group. Unfortunately I’m not really someone who has a “typical” sense of humor.

Which is a long-handed way of saying that sometimes your “jokes” are kind of personal and they feel denigrating to me. I don’t like feeling denigrated. I need to avoid people who evoke those feelings in me and I’m hoping I don’t have to start avoiding you. Outside of a few specific jokes we have otherwise had positive interactions and I would really prefer to continue down the positive path.

My kid is kind of in love with your kid. It would be super rad if we could all get along. I’m really struggling with your humor. I need you to lighten up on me. I’m on the sensitive side and that has to be ok.”

I have been thinking about it a lot. It is a lot less aggressive. A lot more from the point of view of getting along. Less threatening sounding. Less attacking sounding… but I make it clear I will avoid her if I have to.

It is ok for her to have the sense of humor that she has and it is ok that I am a sensitive fucking snowflake. Surely we can find a way to get along. Not that my issues are online. But that Wired article is pretty cool.

And hey Lisa–it’s funny that you tell me that it’s not an option for me to leave the group but you are ALWAYS talking about how much you want to move. If I did smileys on my blog I would stick my tongue out at you. But I have more dignity than that. So neiner.

Today I feel less like every one hates me and I should go eat worms. That is nice.

Identity stuff

I had the night off. So I went for a run (about 3.5 miles), took a shower, then headed off to see one of my Daddy’s. We went to a gay bar for kinky queers night. I spent a lot of the night reminiscing about the good old days.

On the drive down I rolled all the windows down in the car and I played my sluttiest collection of songs and I took a trip down memory lane.

Sometimes, when I stop to go through the mental rolodex, I feel very grateful for the life I have lived. I have touched (metaphorically and literally) an awfully high number of really interesting people. First love songs are kind of funny because I get to pick and choose between which early partner I kind of miss.

My life is so different than it was. That was a lot of the theme of conversation. “Wow. Things are different now.”

In August of this year it will be ten years since I left my Owner. Lots of changes. Basically every single individual piece of my life is different.

I think hard about why I’m making the choices I’m making in contrast with the other choices available. I am doing with my life exactly what I set out to do. But I didn’t know it would work out the way it has. I didn’t go into parenting expecting mostly vanilla monogamy. But it is what is working for us right now.

I have feels about that. About how I have changed. I don’t know if it good or not so good. It just is. This is just another thing I’m doing for a while. I don’t know how long it will last.

Slutty songs in my world are always interspersed with sad songs because I listen to a lot of sad music. That means I alternate thinking about those who are no longer in my life with Those Who Are No Longer With Us. I usually spend a while in such moments crying about the fact that Noah will die some day. I ponder how I would handle it.

It’s funny how my mood changes. On some days I ponder celibacy as a widow because man, no one can measure up to Noah. On other days I think about a fuck-buddy relationship with the dear friend who is kinda in the #2 slot as far as the Top 5 go. Then I think, “Nahh. I’d go to a queer leather con and find 5-10 women. Oh hell yes.” I miss girls in a way I just don’t miss boys given that I fuck one quite regularly.

It was very nice last night to be in a space at an event where ogling the hot women was not only ok it would have been a little rude to completely not observe how much effort they put into their hotness.

Oh man. The nice girl in the legging pants with the flirty ruffled short tunic that completely didn’t cover her loverly ass? She had nice shoes and nice legs and an ass that can make a grown woman cry for joy. It was so nice of her to stand so near my line of sight for extended periods of time.

I kinda miss fucking women. It’s just different. I am different when it happens.

I’m feeling stress, so I took a trip down memory lane. Dylan Thomas says you can never go home. I feel like I can visit home, but I can’t live there any more. And that’s ok too.

Mostly it was just lovely having a night where I could bounce from topic to topic to topic and I didn’t have to worry about offending or scaring anyone. These are some of my wonderful old friends and play partners. They’ve known me for more than 1/3 of my life. (They are older than me so the percentage is lower in the other direction.) They are blog readers (at least occasionally) and have been for most of a decade or longer.

It is so nice to sometimes be able to jump around talking about widely disparate parts of my life and identity. I could talk about the stuff that I’m feeling weird about and why I’m choosing it even though it feels weird. They could listen and understand why I would make the choices I’m making. Oh how I live for validation.

Sometimes you can’t go to the home school mommys and ask for validation. They don’t have any idea (not really) of what I gave up to become a parent. They have no idea what the contrast is like between me now and what I was like before. Their evaluation of me is… kinda limited. They can judge what they see today, not progress.

I feel so lucky for my old friends. I feel so lucky that these hot, fascinating people say “You ever decide to break the Big M give me a call.”


Not that I’m breaking my monogamy. I was a good girl and all. But I got to talk about why I am doing this.

Of course it would be lovely fun to have you beat the shit out of my while I scream “Monkey Fucker” again. That was a really good time.

When I’m talking to people who had reasonably good childhoods who went into Leather later in life… it’s weird talking about how I am doing this partially so I can step back and understand why other people react to me the way they do. This is as close as I can get to experiencing “childhood” as other people know it.

Sometimes I sort of think of my approach to parenting as being similar to people who go into monasteries and take vows of silence to really test themselves. My life is hard. It requires a tremendous amount of focus, concentration, and effort to do what I am trying to do. Because my standards are so high with regards to my behavior… it’s a fully time job just managing my emotions. This is my boot camp. These are the only judges I will ever fucking care about and the way I judge is to watch our interactions. A high percentage of our negative interactions are clearly my fault and I work on minimizing the damage I do in presenting negative behaviors.

I never punish my kids for doing something I model. No punishments for swearing. You learned those words from my mouth. Why would I hurt you for listening to me?

The hitting is a thing though. “I’ve never hit you?! Where in the world do you come up with the idea that it is acceptable to solve your problems with your fists? I never taught you that!” That sort of indignation. Sometimes, if they are in the back yard alone… I let them fight it out. I feel guilty but I know that kids who go to school have so many more fights than my kids that I’m maybe doing them a disservice if I never let them practice and learn… I feel deeply conflicted.

And last night I could talk about it and not feel scared that I was going to offend the shit out of people till they will no longer talk to me. I feel scared in the home school group. Best behavior, Krissy!

Relaxing is so nice. It’s nice knowing that I have already changed dramatically on every access and these people still like me and respect me and are glad they know me.

I can’t be doing everything wrong.

Oh, and because I was too chicken shit to say anything about this last night with a stranger: yes, some white people do occasionally get confused for one another. True, that happens. But when that happens it is usually two white people who have some major overall similarities.

When two Asian women who look nothing alike and who are widely diverse in age are treated as interchangeable in a community because all of the six Asian people in the bdsm community are treated like they are interchangeable… maybe white people don’t need to talk about how it’s no big deal. It is alienating and othering. Sorry, white people don’t get put into a little pod and treated like they are all interchangeable. The #knowyournegro and #knowyourasian campaigns were started by small very specific groups of people who are widely treated like they are more or less the same person by a HUGE NUMBER of clueless white people. It’s just kind of different.

If people who are not white are complaining about the fact that they are not recognized as an individual person with their own personality… if you are white… just shut up. Seriously. Don’t try to one up this. It makes you look like an asshat.


We started out this session talking about the last session. Wrapping up the things I was freaking out about such that I could not actually speak about them. It is hard to be able to talk about the freaking out while I am freaking out. Figuring out how to describe things is hard. If I say, “I’ve always done this” it sounds like I mean that I do it all the time and that’s not accurate. “I have had periods where I do this throughout my life” is a different thing. I freak out sometimes. Not all the time. We clarified things like why I over reacted when she said that I would need to go on medication (she doesn’t think of pot as being on medication–I disagree; strenuously) and money stuff. It was a lot easier to be clear about the dividing lines amongst things I was talking about last time. I was more coherent today.

Then we spent a fair bit of time talking about the micro-aggression stuff in the home school group. We came up with some language that would work for me. Then I went to the park and asked the organizer of the group about my language and she… well. She isn’t as pro-confrontation as I am. She likes people to get along. She told me I could say what I wanted but she looked… distressed.

I don’t really want to distress this person. I like her.

My options, as I perceive them:

  • say nothing and tolerate someone taking pot shots at me.
  • say nothing and leave the group.
  • say something and potentially have it blow up in my face.
  • say something and have it go well.

So once you get past the idea of say nothing or say something you have to deal with what to say. There are more and less confrontational things to say. I am the kind of person who would say, “I don’t really like being the butt of the joke. If this continues to happen I will have to make sure you no longer come to my house and I will stay away from you in public.”

I want to say that. But it’s all confrontational.

Well, I could just leave the group. That’s a nice and tidy way to ensure I am not confrontational. Because I’m not going to fucking keep my mouth shut any more. At this stage of my life… no. Fuck no. Fucking fucker no.

This is the “school” group I have been involved with the longest. I’m not sure how long it will last. That makes me sad.

I feel like I frequently end up in this boat. If I stand up for myself I will make people sad. If I don’t stand up for myself… I’m going to just leave.

At least I already know I wouldn’t be missed anyway.

Money, money, money by the pound.

I’m scared and insecure. Let’s talk about money. I won’t feel as bad about myself. That can’t be healthy, can it? I feel insecure about some parts of my life. Let me wander over and assure myself that my social problems are not going to derail me getting to do whatever the fuck I want to do. Maybe that isn’t unhealthy.

I have decided that I can’t buy an RV for the road trip until I have maxed out on saving for the road trip and I have maxed our emergency fund. That seems S-M-R-T.

This month’s salary + bonus (the bonus Noah is whiny enough to say isn’t high enough) will almost entirely go off for credit cards, mortgage, etc. Luckily I can now say that the second business I helped fund has been so successful I have been bought out. The check is on its way to me. I’m a god damn entrepreneur. Go me.

With that bump I will have $21,000 (rounded, obviously) out of the $25,000 I want in the checking account before I travel and $25,000 out of $40,000 in an emergency fund. That means I want to save an additional $19,000 before I buy an RV. And it means that I will be blowing a huge hole in my emergency fund that I will have to recoup. So uhm. Erf. But I think I can do that in the next few years.  Seriously, he makes obscene amounts of money. If I can’t do that then I’m a fucking loser. Technically I have been saving at a rate to make the goal on the emergency fund in four years and some. I want that as back up before we go over seas.

Yeah yeah yeah I have an IRA, 401k, two 529s, and additional investment stuff going on. Don’t tell me, “Oh gosh if you have that much cash you should invest!”

I like having a cushion. I invest, but I like my cushion. Shit happens. I like having many options. I like knowing that I will be able to do what I want to do.

Noah has already earned $15,000 out of the $60,000 I think we will need for the around the world trip. His ability to earn money continues to blow my mind. That is kept in a third account.

My real “back up” in case Noah loses his job is the fact that we have $60,000 in cash distributed between accounts nominally in the name of other more shallow goals. Of course all such frippery could be tossed to the side in case of a catastrophe. I’ve got back up plans for my back up plans.

I… don’t earn money. But I manage it very well. He wouldn’t have this much if he had to manage it himself. That isn’t his strength. That’s my strength. I’m not so good at earning.

A friend was mentioning how her partner needs to hire a professional organizer and I said, “I’m close to putting out my shingle. I’d charge $30/hour.” She yelled at me for a while. She thinks my starting rate should be $50/hour with the possibility of a sliding scale if I’m feeling fucking generous.

I am going to potentially have four whole hours tomorrow to edit the book. Maybe someday it will earn money. Probably when I’m dead. That’s usually how it works for writers. Luckily I have children who will get the income. It won’t just go to a publishing house. Ha.

I feel pretty weird about having this much money. But looking at it does help calm me down.

My mom spent my whole childhood crying over money. All the time. Almost every day. My mom has experienced poverty in a way I will never really understand. Children don’t get it. Kids don’t understand being poor vs. rich. It is too complex. Now I feel like all I can do is try to imagine my mother’s experience.

I’m so grateful I don’t have to endure what she went through. She has no money sense. Even when she has enough in her pocket to cover all her expenses this month she can’t do it. I don’t know what broke her or when.

Even if things in my life were to go badly they can never ever ever go as badly as they have gone for my mom. I have a college education and a history of helping to start businesses. I have a rich and varied work history and a lot of people who would vouch for me. I could find work at a reasonable salary. My mom never could.

The head of my union told me that if I ever want to go back into teaching it doesn’t matter if they are hiring or not they will hire me. I can teach gang kids. I can form personal relationships and help them understand the benefits to them of literacy.

That’s a god damn marketable skill.

I feel really bad for my mom. She is becoming a Dickensian character in my mind. She never had my options. She never had the same privileges I had.

I went to Los Gatos High School. Maybe only for my sophomore year but I got to learn about the standards of college and a rigorous set of expectations as a teenager. My mom graduated from Bakersfield High School pregnant with absolutely no expectation that she would need to learn anything more complicated than cooking, baking, and sewing.

For the record, she’s great at all three. Better than me.

It is harder and harder for me to be angry with her as the years pass. I feel really sorry for her. But I can’t let her hurt my kids.

My children have absolutely no exposure to toxic, bitter people. None. The last few years have been the nicest of my life. I have felt suicidal less often then ever before. Pretty frequently I find myself consciously making choices that work to extend my life because I’m not ready to die yet.

I never felt this good about myself when I knew my mother. Having pity for her is fine. I can pity rabid animals too. I shouldn’t pick them up.

It’s all mixed up. My mom. Money. Feeling scared. Feeling attacked. That asshole “funny” unschooling dad. The mom who keeps making cracks about me. Scheduling difficulties and feeling unimportant. Other people have their own shit and aren’t just my support units. It all feels the same. The same unworthy, stupid, bad. Talking about it feels manipulative, but I don’t want anyone to change what they are doing.

I feel this way right now. I don’t always feel this way. I write it down partially so I can prove to myself, “See–it changes. It goes up. It goes down. You have weak boundaries right now. That isn’t anyone else’s fault. It’s ok. They will come back up again soon.”

Soon I won’t feel like everyone hates me and I should go eat worms.

I wonder how much it is tied to Shanna’s current defiance. She’s getting very close to being the age I was when I caused the fight with Tommy that involved Uncle Bob burning Tommy with the hot coffee.

The punishment for that was moving to Texas and my brother got hit by a car. I will have a hard time handling this defiance streak. “Abreact.” That’s my therapists favorite word. Reliving trauma. Supposed to be in a therapeutic session but welcome to my life. Flashbacks?

I’m not having flashbacks. But I am reliving some of the terror I felt when I was disobedient. When she turns around and flips out at me I feel like it is all my fault and I am about to be punished and then I over react.

It’s going to be a rocky few months. Holy shit on Crisco. But we will get through it and we will develop new coping methods for handling triggering situations without abuse. Like you do. If you want to know your kids in thirty years.

I tell my kids that I’m sorry for my mistakes a lot. I hurt Calli yesterday. We were playing and dancing and I twisted her arm a little wrong. I’ve done exactly that dance move with her hundreds of times. But she gained weight recently and it pushed her past a threshold. Oops. I’m really sorry. We spent a while cuddling with an ice pack. She’s fine now. But she was really freaked out and she kept yelling that I hurt her.

Yes. I did. I’m really sorry. It didn’t hurt the last time I did it. I won’t do it any more. You are too big now and I didn’t notice because I wish you were going to be my tiny baby forever. As you grow up I will sometimes hurt you because I misunderstand how your boundaries are shifting. I’m so sorry. I can’t be perfect. There is no such thing. I will make many more mistakes. I’m so sorry.

By the end we were petting the cat and each others faces and she told me she forgives me and we went on with the day.

It doesn’t really matter if some woman who will never be my friend makes jokes about my lack of value. But I miss my mama. And I wish that my mama had thought I was valuable. My mama didn’t miss me when I was gone for a month either. No one really misses me if I’m gone. I know.

Some days it hurts more than others.

I’m not “funny”. Instead people “can’t tell the difference between my whining and my talking”.

I am a whiny baby and I don’t like being picked on.

It’s really not fair that I have to continue having involvement with this group for the sake of my children when I would rather just not go back. That’s how I handle these things. I can’t have a fight. I can’t make drama. If I don’t like how I’m treated, I leave. But I can’t leave.

I can make sure I stop talking to this woman. She thinks she is “funny”. I think it’s not funny to tell someone who has been suicidal for most of their life that no one would miss them.

Happy fucking Mothers Day

I’m almost done with the third quartet from Tamora Pierce. I’ll go back to reading about people who are allowed to start fist fights with bullies. Sometimes I wish my life were that simple still. I am going to read every book she has ever written. I even have the add-odd short story collections. I’m really glad she is out there writing.

Rape, rape culture, and home school dynamics. (What a fun title.)

If I sat down and delineated all of the relationships that are bumpy right now… I wouldn’t have many people willing to talk to me next week. I feel like if I am having this many problems all at once it must be me. I’m doing something. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing wrong.

Is it oversharing? I haven’t even done that much of it lately. Not for me. Not in the scope of my level of over sharing.

I don’t know.

Passive aggression today. (Err, obviously not with the person who might read this.) There is one mom in particular who likes to make cracks about me. In the past it was a comment about how it isn’t possible to tell the difference between when I whine and when I talk. Today it was how no one will miss me if I disappear for a month. “Oh I’m kidding.”

I would cheerfully like to lock my front door, set up grocery delivery service, and maybe come out next year.

At least someone else, who I consider more friendly to me, looked kind of shocked when she said no one would miss me. I don’t think I was the only one who thought the “joke” wasn’t funny.

I’m sorry I’m not the quality of person you wish you got to associate with. What would you like me to do about that?

I’m feeling really really sad about some scheduling things. I don’t think anyone did anything wrong. Sometimes scheduling is hard and makes me sad.

I am happy that I got to speak with someone else on the unschooling list who felt very upset about the whole exchange. She felt that his “I’m not defending what he did to Krissy… but this show is great! He won an award!” was pretty disgusting. I’m so grateful to hear that I’m not the only one. I’ve been feeling really bad about the fact that I live in a world that prioritizes the funny rapists. I don’t feel like I want to live in a world like that. She said she wouldn’t care if I was the only victim this guy had–the fact that he has many such stories from many women isn’t more problematic. The fact that people will cover for him even for one rape is seriously a disgusting thing. She said she doesn’t want her kids in a room with someone like that and she’s grateful I spoke up.

Mostly I get crickets back. So I never know how much of what I say harms people or helps them. The people who do speak up are usually men telling me to shut up because I might hurt one of the poor men folk. I have less sympathy for this point of view than many might hope.

I don’t go out of my way to hurt any individual men. Well, or at least it has been a great many years since I have. (And all of those guys had to ask VERY NICELY.)

If I hurt my rapists by talking about them… sorry dudes. You made this bed, not me. I didn’t tell you to do what you did. So I get to talk about it. You get no privacy from me.

The vast majority of men in the whole wide world haven’t done a negative thing to me. So mostly I think guys are ok. I wish they would yell at one another for inappropriate sexist behavior more often but no one is perfect. I’m a yeller. I understand it isn’t everyones thing.

I feel scared. Unimportant. Stupid. I feel like if I got raped so many times it must be all my fucking fault and there is nothing I can do to take away me deserving it. I feel like maybe I wasn’t clear enough with Paul. Or with Dan. I told them so many times that I didn’t do bareback sex. Over and over I said, “This is a cover required portal. Thanks.” I thought I was funny. I said that I only have sex when two forms of birth control are used. (I sure as shit knew I didn’t want to coparent with either loser. Having protected sex is one thing. Having a baby with a loser is different.)

Am I allowed such fine tuned boundaries? Or is that breaking some rule such that it’s ok when guys want to stick it in any way?

“He won an award! He’s so funny!”

I hate you. I’m glad I don’t even know who you are, funny unschooling asshole dad, but you can jump right off a cliff.

Wait. Isn’t that me wishing harm on an individual man? Didn’t I just try to claim I don’t do this?!?!?!

Well, ok I’m a fucking liar. It’s unusual for me to wish harm on someone. And I don’t wish to go harm him. And I don’t wish to have someone else go harm him for me. But I’d be cool with him jumping off a cliff. Ok, no I wouldn’t. He’s a parent. That would be horrible and I would be a horrible person for being cool with him committing suicide.

Ok… uhm… don’t jump off a cliff. But shut the fuck up, okay? Stop endorsing rapists. It makes you look like a Very Bad Person with Questionable Judgement. Now that I know that you will send your kids to Paul I think I need to make sure my kids are never alone in a room with you.

And yet I live with someone who has committed rape. What kind of fucking hypocrite piece of shit am I? I really wonder sometimes.

Why can I forgive one rapist and not another? Well. I don’t have a good answer to that question but it fucking keeps me up at night.

Noah is not the only rapist I have forgiven. Life is very complicated. Why in the hell do I carry around a grudge bigger than Alaska for some of the dudes who raped me? Why do I pick and choose?

I want to believe that part of it is, I don’t forgive the ones who have a long list of victims. I don’t forgive the real predators.

So Noah isn’t a real predator? Enh, not really. Noah learned boundaries slow and hard but he has shown continual progress across the board in his life. He hasn’t sat in one place doing the same thing with chick after chick after chick. I have seen no sign of my kids having anything like inappropriate sexual knowledge and I bloody well look for signs. I believe that he has been as honorable within our family as one can be.

This unschooling dad who is defending Paul probably has many years of positive experiences. Lots of trust. Why shouldn’t he defend his friend?

Do I really believe that rapists deserve to be shunned for all time and banned from all gatherings?

I can’t say yes with a straight face, now can I?

I think this is where I sit in the hamster wheel. I can’t say that all rapists should be banned. This is what is keeping me up at night. Then what do I think should happen?

I’m not shy about outing Noah. Which means that I am inviting other people to shun him if I say that rapists should be shunned. Is that what I want? Do I believe that secretly it would be better for them if they just got the fuck away from Noah? Err, no. I think he’s a really interesting person with a lot to offer.

Why don’t I want to see Paul in such a light? Why do I want him to be cast in the role of villain so I can rant and rail and hate him so much? Is this misdirected shit at my dad?

I think that part of it is–I can forgive someone for raping me. I know that my behavior “invited” such response. When there is a whole string of other women… you know… no. You are hurting people. I know of three other specific women who have been extremely fucked up by you. You are a bad person. You are a liar and a cheat and a fraud as your profession. You say hateful nasty things that you really believe with a smile on your face and people laugh because they think you are “joking.”

If you make a big chunk of your living from being a jerk… I don’t think that is funny. Clearly lots of other people do because you have made a career out of this. People are fucking weird.

But given the things I like to do… I can’t say that much.

Only clearly I can say a lot.

I sat a friend’s sister down before Burning Man last year and gave her an intense conversation about always having a sober trip sitter if you do drugs so you can be safe.

You never know when there will be someone around who just wants to “stick it in a few times. It’s no big deal.”

Because too many people, me included, don’t think all rapists should be banned from all spaces. So they are everywhere.

I know there is a large demographic who believes that it is my fault or the woman Paul raped before me’s fault or the woman before that’s fault. We didn’t report. We haven’t put Paul in jail. It is our collective fault that he is out there raping a whole string of women.

Cause uhm, yeah. That makes sense. It is his dick and it is our fault we have cunts he can put it in. Like, duh.

Something like that.

My heart hurts. I feel so sad. But at least when I can write about it Noah knows why I’m so tetchy. It’s easier to accommodate my anxiety du jour if he knows what it is shaped like.

Sometimes I feel very sad and very scared that at the end of the day I belong with the rapist camp. I know so many rapists because, well duh. I just would. That’s just the shape in the world I belong in.

Why do I only forgive some of them? Noah’s not the only one. But the others in my life have more right to privacy. Noah’s a sucker for marrying me. Marrying was like the opposite of an NDA. “I agree to having my life discussed in detail on the internet. Even the embarrassing shit. Ok, maybe mostly only those bits.”

Is it just because I like Noah’s jokes more? He doesn’t make jokes that make other people look small or pathetic. His jokes are about bicycles. And smart ass parrots. He doesn’t want to denigrate people.

Is that enough of a difference? Does that justify my attitude?

“Get over it.”

I’m trying. It’s complicated.

Paul and I had sex several times. It wasn’t a stranger rape. He was a sometimes-partner at sex parties. He is less than 1% of my sexual partners. Why do I care so much that one time he did something that was against my boundaries? Why is it such a big deal that I want to keep my children and the children of my friends away from him?

Because he bloody well groomed me into inappropriate displays of trust followed by an action that could have resulted in an STD or a baby. He’s a big whore. He has no right having bareback sex.

Paul feels like a legitimate threat. Not to me–never again. I’m no longer in a vulnerable demographic as far as he is concerned. But there are a lot of nice young girls out there. Waiting to be groomed.

That scares me silly.

I feel attacked even though I am not the one at risk. Even though no one is attacking me. Even though instead of attacking my character or criticism instead only support was voiced. I en’t saying my feelings are logical so don’t nitpick.

How do I get over feeling attacked? Anxiety is energy stored in the body that needs to be used somehow. Well, I have a 10k race tomorrow. That should help.

It is hard to stop feeling attacked when I continually run into people who make little “jokes” about me. Oh I’m sure she doesn’t mean it. (See–it’s totally not just men I have trouble with. I have troubles with all possible gender configurations. I’m flexible like that.)

Deep breath. In. Out. Not here to make friends. Here to provide children with opportunity to make friends. I don’t have to be friends with the parents. It is not a requirement.

Would it really be that tacky if I started bringing a book and sitting off to the side? I feel like speaking in the group is resulting in people disliking me and I would prefer to just opt out.

I’m tired of feeling scared of every word out of my mouth. I’m tired of feeling like I’m doing something wrong.

This is why I loudly say I’m poor white trash. Or I used to. I’m not any more. Now I don’t get to say that and my lack of cultural mesh is just my fault. I’m just… wrong.

I’d rather be wrong because I said I’m poor white trash than because you’ve just decided to despise me despite my best efforts at being sociable. I’m not as good at the social slams and I don’t really like being around it.

I need to make some different choices. What the fuck.

I feel sad. I feel bad. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. Define “everything”. I can’t.

I could come up with complaints about my parenting, but they are all fairly minor complaints. In the scheme of things I’m doing ok.

I don’t think I’m doing everything wrong with Noah. He keeps telling me he likes me. When I crawl back into bed after one of my many trips to the bathroom he snuggles me like a teddy bear. Clearly this is a man who has jumped over hoop after hoop after hoop to demonstrate his love for me. Clearly.

Do I think everyone should put as much effort into me as Noah does? Nah. That would be hella annoying. I don’t have anything to exchange on that level and the exchange is most of why it is important.

I want my belly to stop hurting. It’s not food. It’s anxiety. I want my teeth to stop chattering like I am on the verge of crying. I want to stop crying. I want to be less testy.

Where’s my god damn zen state?

Up your butt and around the corner. That’s where it fucking went.

I am so mature.

In other evasive news, I have started making more editing progress. I’m not making it shorter. That will be why I pay a real editor. But I am doing a lot of editing and clarifying points. And this coming week I have three separate days where I have babysitting so I will have more space from the kids. One of those days is just an hour for therapy. Two of the days I will use the time for editing. I have a local teenage baby-sitter and I found a local stay at home mom who wants to do trades. Awesome. She has work she needs to get done too.

I’m not actually doing everything wrong. I just feel like it. I just feel like I’m walking with a black cloud over my head.

I’m not doing everything wrong. When I am less able to be stimulating to my kids, I make sure they have lots of contact with other adults and children. They aren’t being isolated. Yeah, some weeks they get more screen time than they “should”. But they are still well under national average so whatever.

My kid is going to go run a 1.5 mile race tomorrow because she really wants to. I know she can do this distance because I have run much farther with her. I’m not worried about them getting some screen time. Balance, grasshopper.

I’m not eating a balanced diet. I haven’t done meal planning in a while. I’m not sleeping adequately or evenly. I’m not exercising consistently enough. Basically I’m not doing anything to keep my body on an even keel.

See, we all fall down sometimes. It’s not about how many times you fall down. It’s about how many times you get up.

Why do I think Paul should be shunned and not Noah? That question keeps me up at night. How can I justify my own nitpicky hypocrisy? Why are some people beyond redemption and other people aren’t? I don’t know. Why the fuck are they?

“I’ll just stick it in a little.”

Because I still want to beat my head when I think about how stupid stupid stupid stupid I was for being near a piece of shit like you in the first place. Wanting to be near a dirt bag like you sure seems to be indication enough that I deserve whatever I get.

Now I’m picturing Agatha Heterodyne chasing my brain hamsters screaming, “DIE!!!!” (Noah will probably provide a link to an appropriate web page tomorrow. He’s cute like that.)

Why does my cunt matter so much? Because I god damn say it does. Because it does. Because it is part of me. Because I get to decide what is and isn’t important as it goes in and out of there. No one else.

If you don’t understand that basic ownership violation I just… maybe I’m finally out of words.

Confluence of events

The thing about PTSD is cumulative stress is a greater than normal problem. A bunch of “little stressors” combine to make big ones. If I have one piece of support fall down the whole structure is going down. Which is to say, I’ve had a bad week and some. It’s my problem. I’m carefully staying away from the idea of asking for help. When I am already in this state and I start asking for help I don’t react rationally when people appropriately tell me “no”. So I can’t ask at all.

I’m not dealing well with people emailing me to tell me how awesome my rapist is. I find myself crying at random points in the day because all I can hear in my head is what a worthless whore I am. At least he is funny. He even won an award for being so funny.

Uhm. Bully for him?

I am struggling with the fact that the homeschool group is not full of my friends. They are the parents of the kids my kids play with. Leaning on them for emotional support is inappropriate and potentially a hostile environment. They sure as fuck aren’t going to take my side. They want to remain neutral and hear all the points of view. In their world it is totally ok to go to the rapists’ show. He hasn’t done anything to them, after all.

I feel attacked. I don’t think anyone is actually attacking me. I’m pretty sure no one gives enough shits about me to attack me right now. But I feel fully activated for a big fight. I feel scared. I feel unsafe.

I feel like no one is going to like me any way so I might as well be as aggressive as humanly possible just to make sure I don’t end up with the short stick as usual. Which is a privileged, asshole way to respond to problems.

I don’t see much in me worthy of liking lately.

It is hard trying to be “rational” about other people handling their own needs and priorities. I feel abandoned and unimportant.

I am not responding to emails because I have nothing positive to say and I want to unload a big fat self absorbed whine on everyone so I’m just… saying nothing.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all. Which is a lot of why I haven’t been blogging.

I feel like shit. Physically and emotionally I feel awful. I feel sad. I feel unwanted and stupid and like I should stop bothering people. I should go the fuck away already.

I suppose the upside is I don’t especially feel suicidal or like I want to cut. I just want to hide and avoid everyone.

Who the fuck could like a stupid bitch like me? I’m not funny. I’m not especially worthy of anything.

Just a waste of fucking resources.

What a nice day.

Woke up late. Breakfast was leftover tea sandwiches from yesterday, so no work. Ran a nice six miles up a hill (and back down of course). Lunch was more leftovers.

We spent the day sleeping. Me and Noah at least. The kids played. Calli napped all afternoon.

Shanna played. We have a very festively decorated sleeping room.

Now the three of them are off on a sushi adventure. I don’t like fish. Better for them to try things without my gagging sounds in the background.

I’m going to go read more now.

Please sir, may I have some more?

After the Easter party I sat my little Shanna down and told her that there is no chance I can do three parties in a month if they all involve her being difficult, contrary, and defiant. I don’t have it in me to give. And given that her birthday was the third of the three… Watch it kid.

Then today we had a tea party. Shanna was angelic in the lead up to the party. She vacuumed. She swept. She picked her toys up with the slightest hint of a request. She made tons of food. She did a lot of the decorating. In short: she made sure I was happy and feeling energetic by the time the party arrived instead of being worn out and cranky. The day before the party both kids insisted that I spent hours resting so I would have lots of energy. They snuggled me while I read.

If every party went like that I could do it weekly. They made the whole process so very wonderful and painless. I was quite effusive in my thanks for their help.

The party was a smashing success–I would say one of the best kids parties I’ve put together so far. We had a range of kids from barely walking to eleven. Girls and boys all participating in every stage equally. The boys dressed up for the party. I thought the outfits were incredibly spiffy. One handsome lad came in a rather posh suit. We had a Hawaiian prince. Not to mention the rainbow gowned beautiful ladies. So much for just pink. All good. They had a wonderful time and dressed *to the hilt*.

They went through far more sugar than necessary. It was hilarious cleaning out the cups at the end. I think kids learned a lot about the solubility of sugar today. Science.

The gluten free cake was surprisingly good. I will get that mix again when I have similar dietary requirements in the future. When everyone else was satisfied after a small piece… I kept eating. I ate ~ 2.5 normal sized pieces. But with how the cake was cut up it looked more like 14 pieces. Ha. Yeah… I’ll buy that again. Mmmm.

When everyone finally trundled out after four hours of delightful fun I went into my room and fell into bed. My nap lasted three hours. When I woke up Noah was home and had done most of the rest of the cleaning up.

I feel so supported by the people in my house. This was a wonderful experience from top to bottom and a lot of it was the help I got from Noah and Shanna. (Calli was more iffi… but she’s three. She made a couple sandwiches and helped pick up toys with a lot more reminders. That’s cool. I am thrilled with her too. I thanked her for all her bits of help.) I think it is funny how strongly my “love language” seems to be “if you show up and do work with me then I will believe that you care about me”.

And it helps that at the end of four hours the mothers had to physically drag their children out because no one wanted to leave.

I’m really grateful that I get to homeschool and I get to build a community of people. My kids are growing up with a pack of children. They are not alone. They are not spending their days being quiet while they listen to boring people drone. They get to decide the flow of their days. I love seeing what they want to do with their time.

I look forward to the future with them so much.



Up then down.

Yesterday was rad. The kids and I got along all day. No one had even the slightest hint of conflict. We were all mellow. We went to a super fun birthday party at a trampoline place. I jumped for well over an hour. I am physically exhausted.

So it was awesome sauce that we had a great day. I’m grateful. We needed one.

Then this morning I woke up to an email on my unschooling mailing list inviting me to a show performed by one of my rapists. Now it is 2:30 in the morning and I am completely awake because I have no idea what to do. Should I just ignore it? Should I say something? That will be opening myself up to abuse. Big time.

I think if lots of people got mad at me for “being a liar” right now I don’t have the spoons to manage that. I don’t think I could cope without self harm. That would be too much for me right now. I don’t have a lot of reserve self esteem this minute.

I’m very tempted to not say anything. But that seems kind of evil.

Sometimes it is hard to remind myself that other people really don’t care what has happened to me. They care if they are a potential target and as long as they aren’t then my experiences are irrelevant. Paul wouldn’t hurt them therefore Paul is fine.

I just…

If it was the home school group where I am a well known figure I would speak up in the first instant. I’m not well known on this other list. I only know a handful of people and I don’t know any of the really active list participants. I don’t feel safe enough to say anything.

I’m sorta tempted to move the discussion to the home school list where I *am* known and give the warning that people really shouldn’t bring their kids near him. He’s not a good person.

Not just because of what he did with me. Because I’m not the only story. Because there are a lot of stories from a lot of girls that indicate that his strong personal preference is to be violating the limits of the people around him. He’s not a good person.

But man I’m not up for being attacked as a liar today.