Good & Bad

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about something. Most things are neither good nor bad as part of their intrinsic “existence”. They are good or bad in the eyes of someone who is judging.

For example: my kids can’t sit still to save their fucking lives (literally) so they can’t move up to a booster seat from a car seat even though they are WAY big enough compared to the legal minimum. I could be really annoyed with them for being so immature. I could be frustrated that they won’t “grow up”. Or I could recognize that I live full time with ants in my pants and I can be glad that they are in an environment where they aren’t punished for the nature they have. I just keep them in car seats. (This goes through my head because I have to install four carseats in the van again. Sigh. I loathe installing carseats. I always break half my nails and have numb fingers for days. CAN’T WE MOVE INTO FUCKING BOOSTERS ALREADY?!?!?!!!!!!)

I sent a reference to a study to a friend. She was afraid I was trying to say something mean. It was a study that finds that how much time parents spend with their kids has little effect on outcome for life. Being a working parent is no worse than being a stay at home parent according to this study–specifically they found that socio-economic level is most of what decides how your kids will turn out. (Shocking, I know.) I sent this to a friend who works in a “See! You were right all along!” sort of way. She didn’t read it that way. I’m sorry it seemed hurtful. I meant it more like, “I’m totally wasting time obsessing over my kids. I should get a job.”

I more meant to poke fun at myself. But things are neither good nor bad in a vacuum. They are good or bad depending on how they are received.

I pick sensitive people to be friends with. That means there are times when we all feel thin skinned. I keep praying that I will get better at riding through these times.

Shanna asked me if she was stupid for loving the boy she’s had a crush on for years. I told her that if loving him brings both of them joy and happiness… it isn’t stupid even if you don’t love him forever. It is never stupid to enjoy the time you have with someone. Even if it isn’t forever.

I need to work on my perspective around the home school group. I fear that we are nearing our exit date. This feels so sad. I’m not going to be an asshole about doing anything dramatic before the trip. I just don’t know that I will try hard to rejoin the group when we come back. I really don’t know.

On one hand I’m having a hard time with this because I feel like a quitter and a bad person. My kids NEED FRIENDS. But… my kids have friends with or without this group. And really… they didn’t bond that much with anyone. Near as I can tell most of the group doesn’t like us very much. It is hard that we have put in the time to get established in the group. It’s been four years. If we have more problems than good times… why bother?

This is still going to be the school group I’ve been associated with the longest for my life. Maybe I’ve hit the limit of what I can handle. If my kids were going to preschool then regular school we wouldn’t get upset about graduating from one group of people to another. Why do I feel like such a quitter with this crowd?

I’m tired of driving 40+ minutes to sit at a freezing cold park. I’m the one with the problem so I’ll solve it by backing away.

Apparently I’m the one with most of the problems. I should promise to not be a problem any more.

Maybe I should just stay home.

Maybe I’m just the problem.

The group doesn’t care about having institutional memory as to which kids have done what. I need to not care either. I have no power, influence, or status. Shut the fuck up you stupid bitch.

I …

I feel sad.

So I’ll say that today I took the trailer to the CHP station to get the VIN verified. On Friday I get to visit the DMV for registration and licensing and what-not. I’m excited. I get to run away from home soon. So I can forget that I’m not very wanted.

Tonight my bonus kids will come to visit. They stay till Friday. I’ll drop them off on our way to PonyCon (Officially named BabsCon but who knows what the hell that means). I’m so excited about seeing them. I haven’t been feeling very successful with kids lately other than them. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong because I’m bad. Because I deserve to be kicked. Because I am bad. Because I’m angry that I was told to promise not to be a problem any more. I don’t know how to stop feeling angry about this.

I’ll stop eventually. I’m just not there yet.

Next week a different set of kids is spending the night. We have never kept this pair before. I have more apprehension than with my bonus kids just because I’ve never been alone with these kids for long. They have very different rules in their family. (Not evaluating them as better or worse.) It’s going to be an exercise in “setting expectations”. I love those. I do better with kids than I do with adults.

With kids I’m good at saying, “Oh! I didn’t explain this right. That was my mistake. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how to be successful.” With adults I’m all, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Why did you fuck up?” Which is… not so helpful. I’m such an asshole.

I feel very good at handing patience to people I perceive as younger than me and horrifyingly bad at doing it with people who are older. One trick to force me out of this pattern is to have someone older than me as my designated student. (I have taught writing classes to adults much older than me.) Then I know going in that I have the “power” in the exchange and I can be gracious.

Such an asshole.

We got our summer sandals yesterday so we can work on breaking them in before the trip.

The thing about not feeling wanted… I spend a fair bit of time feeling like Noah doesn’t want me around. If ever there was an irrational, unfounded feeling… this is it.

The problem lies in my ability to perceive. Part of the trouble is people are so spread out that everyone needs a lot of driving from me in order to facilitate relationships. That hurdle means I need to feel pulled like a magnet. If I don’t feel wanted like that… it gets harder and harder.

I called my friend on the phone every day for over a year. We had a hard communication issue. We are still friends. I love her so much. I don’t really call any more. I can’t. I’m not punishing her. I just… can’t. I start crying as soon as I pick up the phone because I don’t feel invited enough so I put it down without dialing. Which isn’t her fault and I don’t want her to do anything to try and change this. It just is. Instead we are emailing a bit more often and trying to arrange in person time. I can feel wanted enough for that. Once I get there her facial expression lets me know that she really wants me there. But a hurdle got put in front of the phone. And I don’t know how to get over it.

I do this with people and methods of communication. This is a constellation of problems I have over and over with a wide variety of people. This isn’t someone else’s fault. It just is.

Living with it is hard. Is my over sensitivity a good thing or a bad thing? It just is. Being this sensitive is part of what makes me me. It’s part of what makes me good at being empathetic in the ways I am. I wouldn’t give up that part of me for anything. It just means that I am hypersensitive to feeling like my presence is not making peoples lives better.

I want to make peoples lives better. I’m terribly afraid that mostly I make the world a worse place. I drain people of energy and resources and I’m really not worth it. I’m a needy motherfucker.

Someone I know was talking about how she has “no friends” but I know of her knowing a lot of people. Near as I can tell she meant, “I don’t have anyone I can call on a bad day for support”. Uhm, do you know what I do on my bad days? I talk to the internet. I don’t get a response the vast majority of the time. I don’t call anyone. I don’t have anyone in my life right now that I feel that comfortable with. I’ve had it at points for periods of time, but it comes and goes.

Mostly on bad days I isolate myself and cry and try to wait for it to end; I hope it ends fast.

Does that mean I have “no friends”? Well that seems mean to all of the people who give what they can.

My bad days are just too much. They are too bad. They are too frequent. It isn’t fair to burden people. My shrink tells me over and over that I just can’t expect to ever have that kind of support. Period.

So I stay home. And I cry. And I write. That’s how I get through bad days now.

Well, at least it is better than cutting myself as a reminder that everyone would be happier if I was dead. If I stopped being such a problem.

My feelings are all over the map. High and low at the same time. This is overwhelming and shitty.

Just run away. Just run away. Just run away.