Journal notes from offline time. (long)

Started in Utah. Continued on all the way till South Dakota. Dumping now.

I don’t believe in fate. I think life is what you make of it. I don’t believe in God and that’s part of it.

At the Temple in Salt Lake City, of course I ended up talking to some of the lovely missionary ladies. It is kind of creepy to me just how much they all dress up for the work. Anyway. I had a lovely chat with one. She wanted to suss out what I knew about the church and God and Jesus and what have you. When I said, “Well I was a door-to-door missionary for the 7th Day Adventist Church so I’m pretty familiar with God and Jesus. I’ve also read the Book of Mormon. I think they are nice stories written by men. I don’t believe in God.”

She was sad, like a missionary is sad when you tell them that. I said, “The experiences in my life are such that I need to believe I’m on my own. Or I just feel hatred towards God. Don’t tell me, “God works in mysterious ways.” Only a monster would watch children suffer like that and do nothing. I don’t want to believe.”

She told me that she wishes me healing and she knows God has a plan for me and she hopes things get better.

Things are better. Things improved dramatically when I stopped looking to God to improve my life and instead I have worked hard to improve my life on my own. I’m anything but perfect, but I’m where I want to be right now.

I talked to my shrink today. That was a good thing. I haven’t spoken with her in 5 or 6 weeks. I wanted a solid month off of therapy to see how the trip went before I talked to her again. I’m glad I waited. I’m glad I talked to her again.

One of the many things we talked about is why I blog vs. journaling.

I like being public. Then I’m accountable for what I said and did. I record my actions and other peoples actions. You don’t want people to be able to know what you are doing? Guess what? Not my problem. If you want your actions to be secret then make sure you don’t involve writers.

She asked me what I get out of blogging over journaling. I said that I have tried to journal hundreds of times… I never manage to get more than two or three entries in a row then I just… never come back to that journal. Journaling isn’t cathartic in the same way.

Blogging is useful because I purge myself and I do it in a public way. Then I move on. The awareness of an audience changes how I am allowed to handle things. If I were only writing in a journal there is the very real possibility I would still write about my rapes over and over and over and over. Every detail rehashed in infinite detail. I don’t blog like that. If I blogged like that I would bore the shit out of my friends and probably be bored myself. So I don’t. I move on. I have New Exciting Problems! Yay.

I have lengthy relationships. Many of them involve lots of compromise and me having to modify my behavior. I have had friends tell me that I am intimidating them and I need to stop. I did. I respected their request because they treat me respectfully.

What I won’t do is agree that I don’t have the right to get absolutely furious when I’m physically assaulted.

My shrink asked me if I was partially upset about this incident with the home school group because there are echoes of the past. I said “No! That’s what sucks so much! I tried something different!”

Usually I just leave after the assault. No one ever hears from me again. Or they run into me years later and I will *maybe* tell them why I disappeared but mostly I don’t. I write about my life. I don’t talk about it much. I don’t know how. I try. I really try. I did try to work this out. I talked to the mom. I talked to other folks. When I noticed that the result was as shitty as shitty gets… I stopped talking to folks.

But I’m done with the group. I know that I made one actual friend there. Not sure if I made more than that. I’ll find out in a year or two when I see who is still in my life. Mostly I notice that the folks there are disappearing from the group…. I doubt I’m the only problem.

My shrink said, “You’ve been talking about having problems with this group for a very long time. This feels like the final nail in the coffin… not like it is actually a huge deal. They aren’t a healthy group for you.” I think she is right and I’m glad she is an objective observer to give me feedback on how I feel over time. She was mostly of the opinion I should leave the group months ago. I said I wasn’t ready.

I’m not nearly as sad as I would expect. I’m *angry* but I’m not sad. I don’t think I have it in me to be sad about losing relationships where I’m treated this way. I feel relief.

For quite some time now I’ve had a growing paranoia that… no really they don’t give a shit. Now I don’t feel paranoid. I feel correct. And that’s freeing. Now I don’t need to feel pressured to drive an hour each way to sit in the park with people who aren’t my friends and who make me feel like I’m an insect.

I am very happy that I will no longer have to go along with doing stuff I hate so that I can be part of a group. That’ll be really nice. My shrink commented that I will probably never feel like part of any group. Every group prizes group loyalty over individual safety. That is always true. That’s not a specific negative thing about this group… that’s people.

I wish I had left a year ago when I had the niggling feeling of, “This is not right for me.” I should listen to my gut more. I didn’t leave my Owner until I *knew* it was over either. I don’t leave until I’m done.

Now I wish I had peed on the dishes before I gave them to that bitch.

Yup, I’m going to call her a bitch. Probably forever. If your kid kicks me in the throat and your response is that it is my fault… I get to think of you as a bitch forever.

No I have no desire to rethink my behavior. I have the right to not like people who cover up assaults of my body. If you think I don’t have that right… I don’t want to know you.

My shrink pointed out that anyone is free to write about any experience they have. If you don’t want to be written about poorly… don’t act like an asshole.

A few days back I woke up in the home of one of my oldest friends. I’ve known him for more than 20 years. On this journey I have woken up in the home of friends of 10-15 years duration. Clearly I am not just a failure at all relationships. I have incredibly loyal friends.

I don’t really need people in my life who want to treat me how that group treats me. I do have better.  This morning I woke up and wrote long chatty letters to many of my friends. Folks who have been in my life for a decade or more. I am not desperate for people in my life. There is no reason for me to put up with people who do not prioritize my physical safety. No reason at all.

The group organizer kicked someone out of the group for calling her a bitch and arguing with her. But I’m not allowed to get upset about someone kicking me in the throat. What.Fucking.Ever.

Maybe the problem is that I talked about it publicly. Yeah… I’m not playing that game. I don’t keep dirty secrets.

My shrink and I talked about how my self control is going and time off and resting and such. At the end of the conversation she said, “Yes you have had bad moments but if you have had bad moments in 26 days of travel you are doing *very well*”

I lost it yesterday. I am horribly ashamed of myself. And by extension I feel so much pride in my children that I can feel my chest swell enough to burst my buttons. I asked youngest to dry the dishes off. I walked away to do something. When I came back kid had stuffed the drying cloth into his mouth and was laughing. I had spent days watching every adult in sight smack every kid in sight. I thwapped her arm. Not hard enough to sting, let along bruise. But I gasped in horror as soon as I realized what I had done.

Before I could say anything my little kid ripped the cloth out of his mouth and said, “That’s over the line! You don’t hit me! That’s NEVER OK!!!”

On one hand I feel ashamed of myself. On the other hand I am bursting with pride. THAT’S RIGHT, BABY!!!!

I am told I have a daughter and a son. Ok. I like you no matter what. You are not better nor worse to me based on the gender you tell me you are. I mean, I have all these issues with white men… but we’ll raise you to not be the sort of boy who thinks you have the right to kick someone in the throat without consequences. You’ll be awesome.

My shrink recommended not jumping on the full trans* wagon at this point because kiddo is so young. She recommended talking about having “parts of yourself” and it is ok that some are more masculine and some are more feminine. I don’t feel snotty about her suggestion, but I feel like that isn’t going to be my approach. I’m going to roll with it.

We did have to have an awkward conversation about the Michigan Womyns Music Festival. He agreed that we just won’t bring gender up and we’ll let them make their wrong assumptions. Apparently they don’t know that some boys have vulvas. Their ignorance is not our problem.

I have mixed feelings about sneaking a trans* kid in under the radar. But he’s a trans* kid who still prefers dresses to shirts. I think everyone will live. It’s the last  event of this kind ever. They will deal with a 4 year old who is gender ambiguous.

I did tell my shrink about smacking youngests’ arm. She said, “It’s not illegal. It’s not even that mean. But that’s not the relationship you want to have and you need to never do it again.”

Ok, I didn’t cross the line on legality. That’s comforting. I still feel like a dirt ball piece of shit. It’s not ok that I lose control like that. It’s just not ok.

Eldest also felt the need to talk to me about my behavior. She said, “You keep talking about wanting to hit me. You need to stop. I know you won’t do it, but when you say something over and over you teach yourself to think that more. Stop talking about hitting us.”

Ok. Yes ma’am. For you I will do anything.

We are in South Dakota right now. Crossing the border from Wyoming to South Dakota was like magic. All of a sudden I saw *trees*. I had no idea how much I have missed trees. As soon as I saw them I started smiling and I felt my spirits lighten.

I’m still sick, but I felt really happy.

Oh, I have a fever. I feel like I’m going to vomit. Thank goodness I didn’t do so during the drive. And it’s going to fucking rain. Whee.

I got to take down and set up a camp site in the fucking rain while I have a fever. Life is awesome.

But it is *beautiful* here. I fucking love South Dakota. And I’ve had multiple pick up conversations already! I like this state so much more than Wyoming.

This KOA is forking awesome. This is the second biggest in the country. The only bigger one is near Disney World. There is *so much to do*. In fact, I should stop typing and go sign us up for activities.

We were too late. But we had an overly festive dinner at the restaurant. By overly festive I mean the kids were acting like they were outside at a campground instead of in a restaurant. I was… annoyed.

We may be eating in our campsite for the next few days. Even though there is a nice restaurant.

Internet doesn’t work here and we have no phone reception. Somehow I suspect this will be good for me. I might get more sleep.

I worry that I create my own problems. When I think about how my behavior overlaps with other people I’m scared the difficulties are all because of me. Then I think, “People want me to go along with saying that a throat kick is no big deal and I need to promise to not be scary any more.” Then I think… “Nahhh, I’m not the problem.”

But the problem is partially that I *speak* about my experiences in ways that people can’t ignore. The group organizer would have just pretended nothing happened if I hadn’t written about it. There is only a “problem” because of my writing. If it was just the kick, no one gives a shit. See, I’m the problem.

I get into this position a lot. I’m the only one talking about the problem so I must be the only one with a problem.

I appreciated that my shrink said, “No I remember this injury. It was serious. You weren’t making anything up.”

I feel like people often want to tell me that the reality I’m experiencing isn’t the reality they choose to acknowledge so just shut up already. As a result I feel like I create my own social problems. If I’d just shut up there would be no problem.

Then I think of all the people who have ridden with me through the decades of writing. The people who are willing to listen, to accept that other perspectives might be valid, who think that everyone makes mistakes and we have to face up to them and grow instead of denying that there is a problem… they stay.

Maybe I create the problems I need to have?

I haven’t thought the home school group was healthy for a while. It’s kind of a cult of personality around someone who doesn’t have much of a personality. That’s hard to make work. There are only a few “core” families who have stuck it out and… they have priorities I don’t have. I don’t know that they have the “wrong” priorities (besides covering it up when your kid assaults someone–that’s the wrong priority) but they aren’t what I share.

I have no interest in driving two hours so my kids can spend three hours dancing in water fountains at a university. That’s…. a serious waste of time, energy, and gas quite frankly. Let’s pollute the planet a whole bunch so we can… do what we do in the back yard. No.

I don’t share the belief that unschooled children should be entertained or stimulated all the time. Doesn’t mean other folks are wrong.

I like the fact that my kid got so bored she taught herself how to sew and made a pillow. I like that they can cook better than I could cook at 18, because we are around the house and they like helping.

I’m not interested in training children to expect entertainment and that’s a lot of what was on the schedule for the group. Plus much driving. That’s not my thing. That’s not healthy for me. Driving a lot hurts my back (I am in so much pain on this roadtrip–I’m mainlining Vitamin I.) and is a waste of resources.

It’s ok that other people want to be drivers… I don’t.

For a variety of reasons I seem to have alienated all the local people though. I can tell why with three families. Not sure about the rest. One of the local people is the one who kicked off this shit storm in the home school group. I guess we won’t be life long best buddies then. Oh well.

It’s a good thing I have Jenny and Grant, who have been my friends for 21 years and counting. I don’t really have a hole in my life for people who are going to be … not so nice.

Part of “getting over” things is finding a way to change my perspective so something doesn’t feel like a loss any more. That’s hard because losing people is tough for me. I miss my Owner something fierce. I have no desire to pursue a relationship with him for a million reasons… but I miss him. He was my first non-blood Daddy and he was good at it.

Frankly I think Guy in Washington is doing a more sustainable job and my Owner would be a shitty grandparent.

My shrink is worried about my habit of codependency with Dad. I told her I was going back north to help him in January or February and she started “Ohhh… hmmmmmm.” I don’t plan to make a big habit out of helping him. I want to help him clean out the storage units because I have known him since before he had them and I understand why he hasn’t been able to emotionally do it. This is going to feel like closing the door on him ever having a better life.

Dad isn’t like me. He doesn’t spend his time preparing for the worst. He has a hard time facing it when bad has happened. He doesn’t want to admit to himself how far his fortunes have fallen. I get that. I just… don’t have to indulge it. Yes, your fortunes have fallen. Let’s help you regroup so you can make the best of where you are now and where you will be in the future.

I don’t plan to make trips north a more regular thing than they are already. I go about once a year. Ok, so this time the trips will be 6-7 months apart. That’s ok. I won’t go again in 2016.

I think she is worried because I told Dad that if he is in *trouble* with money he should ask for help.

When I met Noah I had a very hard time with his attitude towards money. His attitude was, “If I’m out to dinner with a student, an artist, or an otherwise poor person… I pay. I make plenty and then some.” He was someone who was quick to share his resources and I was not all that nice about it.

Instead of changing his attitude I have worked to change mine. We *are* in a position where we can help people without it being a problem. Over the past few months I’ve picked up Patreon accounts for a bunch of Women of Color who write things I admire. White men can get jobs as professional culture commentators and it is hard for Women of Color to do so. I want to hear their opinion so I will help make it easier for them to keep speaking.

It is only this easy for me to speak because of Noah. I’m safe because of the security he provided me.

I can share that.

I don’t feel worried about sharing because I share 1%-5% of our monthly income and almost 50% goes into long term savings. No, I’m not shooting us in the foot. It’s ok to help people. Long term our giving will get to be 10%-20%. I’m paying off the house first.

It is fascinating talking to Mormons because we have a lot of similar ideas about “how things should work”. Communities should take care of one another. People should pool resources for the good of everyone. If an elderly person in your neighborhood needs help, you fucking help them. We will all get there. We all want dignity.

I am a harsh and sometimes uncompromising person. I believe in apologies and making amends. I think that without apologizing and making amends there is no route forward after problems.

I feel horribly offended that neither the kid who assaulted me, the party host, nor the group organizer feel I deserve an apology for being assaulted. To me, 85% of my problem would evaporate if the kid apologized and the adults stopped fucking defending him. The adults defending him is the other 15%. The fact that the adults want to cover up instead of grow from a mistake.

We all make mistakes. If I listed all of mine I could start typing now and not be done till Christmas. Of course I have to take bathroom breaks. Without bathroom breaks maybe I’d finish by Thanksgiving. But then it would be really gross.

My problem isn’t the mistake. It is the result of the mistake. The institutionalized belief that the way to solve problems is to silence the injured party.

Not good people.

I understand this is standard group dynamics. Know why I’m not part of groups? Right here. This’ll show you why. I may never try again.

I don’t like groups. They prioritize the “group” (whatever that means) over people.

Any school, business, or social group is like this. I don’t really get it. Without the individual people… you don’t have a group. But we like to believe that humans are like ants and they are interchangeable. If one person is a problem kick them out. Someone else will take their place and everything will be fine.

I’m sure it will. Y’all will continue to have great fun without me.

And I will go have the kind of fun I want to have. I hate driving around the bay area, but I will drive across the country. I have no need to walk a well trodden path hundreds of times. I’ve been to Stanford, thanks.

Me and Robert Frost are the same kind of pretentious asshole.

I have every intention of going home and basically giving up driving for months. It’ll be handy that I’m not part of a group any way. I will drive to individual houses for the kinds of relationships I want and otherwise stay home and avoid toxic people who make me have a lot of stomach pain from anxiety. Sounds delightful. I will be grateful to get away from the creeping “These people don’t like me” feeling.

It’s not like there are no people who like me. What is the point of spending time around the people who dislike me?

I can be popular enough for me.

My shrink asked me which friends were coming up soon in the road trip. I said that the next person is my Internet Girlfriend and I am so happy I get to see her. I am sad I don’t get to fuck her, but life is hard all over. Can’t have everything you want.

After that the next person we know is Noah. He’s flying out to see us three times in August. The first visit is the first for the trip and we need it because we are going bananas. We miss him so much. The second is because he’s overlapping with an event for one of his friends in the city we will happen to be in. The last is for youngest’s 5th birthday. We will see him in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.

See how he gets out of the work of camping? I see how it is… (Kidding.)

I fucking love South Dakota and this KOA will keep us very busy. I think this week will be fun. We have pools and giant inflatable jumping mats and gold panning and tie dye and horses to ride… We will run out of time before we run out of activities. I told the kids we *are* going on a bike ride on the bike trail. Youngest said he will ride if I walk so I can help. Ok, that’s reasonable.

I no longer worry that I will wuss out and come home early. If I’m womaning up to work through being sick like this, I can make just about any hurdle. I do worry that towards the end I will be less willing to do drive/camp and I will instead have drive days + hotels then longer camp stays in between. I can cover a lot more distance if I don’t have to set up camp at the end. It is hard doing 4 hours of driving then 2 hours of camp set up plus food prep. Then dishes. Then… I wear out. Then I get shouty.

I want the shouting to be less. That means I need to decrease how much pressure I have on myself. It is *ok* for us to stay in hotels sometimes. I have almost $40,000 in the bank in the main checking account. I’m not going to screw us over if we stay in hotels sometimes. It’ll be ok.

But I feel like I should be doing this as close to free as possible. Lots of free camp sites on the way. But is saving the money worth screaming at my kids? No. No it isn’t.

If our life circumstances were different I would have no choice but to make different choices. I have options.

Yesterday when I was feverish and getting really dizzy I taught eldest child how to put together most of the tent. She is so awesome. There were bits I had to do, but she did almost 75% of the work with verbal guidance.

Then by dinner at 7:30pm she had *no* self control.

Makes sense.

I need to not be a grumpy asshole about them running through all of their control early in the day. I do that too.

Today is our 28th day of travel. Only 137 days to go. Oh that’s sounding brutal right now. Take it one day at a time. I’m having a lot of interesting time dilation. I feel like I’ve been traveling like this for half my life. Which is a gross exaggeration even if you consider the early moving. I didn’t travel like *this* then.

We are all looking forward to Orlando in September. I think mostly because we want to have multiple weeks of not having to deal with camping. I’m tired and it is only going to get worse as time goes on.

I haven’t taken sleeping pills in a couple of night because I don’t want to get in the habit of daily dosing myself just as a matter of course. Understandably that means I don’t sleep as well. I’m tired. I’m sick. Come on body, get it together.

I’m tired of diarrhea. This is the fierce kind. I’m going 5-9 times a day. I feel like someone took a cheese grater to my crotch. I hate toilet paper. Sad face.

Last night I got to be an interpreter. Someone wanted to ask one of the cleaning staff about some missing items. The cleaning lady didn’t speak English, but she spoke Spanish. I certainly know enough to talk about the topic of a little kid losing clothes. It was kind of weird. When we left she kind of smiled and said “Goodbye.” I said “Adios” and her face lightened. I bet she doesn’t hear that much Spanish in South Dakota. I feel ashamed that I can’t have a full conversation with her. I can just ask about her ability to meet other peoples needs. That feels really bad to me. I need to change that.

I do feel a little thrill of pride that I can get all the basics in another language. I am not truly mono-lingual anymore! That’s something I never thought would change.

For most of my life I believed that I was too stupid to learn another language. Learning another language involves a lot of repetition and that is one of the biggest things missing from my life. I don’t do the same things over and over and over. I do different things. That makes learning languages hard.

I’m fucking myself up doing Hindi, French, and Spanish lessons in the car. I can’t keep the languages straight. But I’m having fun and my conversations with people are sometimes funny. I start out in one language and wander and then have to say, “Oh wait! Wrong language!” People laugh at me, but in a friendly way that doesn’t feel bad at all.

Oh, we had one negative-ish situation happen in Wyoming. The kids were playing at the playground and apparently youngest told the kids that he is a boy. This lead to all the other kids laughing and saying no you aren’t a boy. Youngest came to camp crying because people said he isn’t a boy.

I said, “Well honey you can let ignorant strangers make you cry or you can ignore the idiots. I know it hurts when people tell you that you aren’t something that you know you are. But you can cry or you can ignore them. It’s up to you.”

Hilarious because I can’t ignore that kind of thing to save my life.

My kids tell me on a regular basis that I give very good advice and I should listen to it more. I think that’s funny.

I haven’t given up on cosleeping with the kids. Even though they kick me in the face and I’m very done with that. It’s going a little better in sleeping bags. I haven’t been kicked *once* with folks in sleeping bags. That’s awesome. Last night it was bitterly cold so we all slept in one doubled up grown up set of sleeping bags. In our warm jammies. With an extra wool blanket on top. Because it was damn cold. Eldest didn’t flip so that her feet were at face level till 7 am. That’s impressive. Ha.

It is fascinating traveling and seeing the range of weather folks experience as “summer”. Freezing to burning. I’m sure the temperature change is part of why I’m so sick. I never handle that well.

I had intended to make breakfast. Right now that sounds like a dizzy hell. I don’t wanna.

One of the things I love so much about my marriage is: we both agreed we are responsible for carrying the marriage. If something happened to Noah and he couldn’t work I wouldn’t hesitate to start beating the pavement for work. Even though he wanted a dependent wife… I can fulfill any role I need to fill. He can too. We both cook, clean, and help with the kids. We have things we each tend to do more of based on natural preference, but we agreed specifically to be adaptable. I’m more interested in tons of time home schooling the kids. He is more interested in computer programming and people are willing to give him gobs of money for it. When I can’t do stuff at home I feel bad… but Noah picks up the slack. When I’m traveling like this with the kids the only person who can pick up the slack is eldest child and her carrying load is WAY smaller than mine so she can only pick up slack if I give her very few duties to start with.

I am seriously appreciating my husband. In every way. The best thing about this trip is how much it is causing me to appreciate Noah. He is so gosh darned awesome. He cooks for me. He talks to me for hours and hours and hours about intense and difficult topics. He fucks me exactly how I want to be fucked.

I’m noticing the abstinence. Oh man.

Took a break. I should break up these entries somehow. Right now this is getting long.

We went and rode in an ATV! I drove VERY FAST! It was exciting. We came out filthy and soaked in water. Of course, in the first 20 minutes I got stuck in the mud pit I *had* been warned about. I didn’t see the cut off to avoid it. Whoops. I managed better ever other time through that corner.

The lady who runs the ATV company had to come and pull me out. That was exciting, actually. When I got stuck the kids got *hysterical*. They were freaked out by the ATV for the first 2 hours we were in it. Then they relaxed and asked me to go faster and go through puddles again. When we were stuck in the mud the kids cried and said, “We will *never* get out. We will *die* here.”

I laughed.

No honey, we are some bad ass babes who got stuck in the mud. No big deal. Another bad ass babe with a truck will come along and help tow us out and we’ll be just fine. You wait and see.

It was pretty easy to do the lacing of the tow strap. It was… more challenging to try and figure out how to rock and gun the engine to help us get out of the mud. It took a few tries. It was exciting! I was laughing so hard the whole time.

It was wonderful.

That’s one of the most redneck things I’ve done in a long time. It was awesome.

I’m not interested in riding an ATV as a regular hobby. For the love of toast I will never own one. I won’t feel the need to rent one again for years if ever. But it was super fun and I’m glad I did it with the kids. We went around and around and around on the trails until they weren’t scared any more.

That moment when eldest child stopped saying, “Slow down!” and instead yelled, “Faster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

That made my heart soar.

Youngest child is having a bit of a hard day. Lots of screaming and temper tantrums over things like sibling touching the thing that is the color that younger child likes. Oh good grief. We walked away from a BINGO game because youngest wouldn’t stop screaming about the fucking blue chips.

Nope, we aren’t staying so you can make everyone here miserable.

Back to the tent for a *nap*.

And I’ll sit outside and charge my phone and type and read a book and *not be in charge of watching you* for a little while. My shrink says I have to start doing this. Daily is best. I pay professionals to help me learn how to take care of myself because I’m not very good at figuring out what I should be doing some days. I follow the advice that seems tailored to *me* and *my* situation. I ignore the rest.

People are so different. What works well for one person will be toxic or harmful to another person. Not because either is doing something wrong, because that’s how things go.

I can understand why groups need to function in the self-protective way they do. Groups that don’t work to eliminate friction cease to exist. But the thing is, groups that continue to exist at the cost of eliminating friction… that’s a real cost. There are a lot of people who will leave because of that. I will leave with fireworks. Other people will just leave.

I think of that group as being a cult of personality but the leader doesn’t have all that distinct of a personality. She’s very… almost withdrawn. I’ve known her for more than four years and I don’t know that much about her. I think I would know her for ten years and feel the same way. I’m not saying anything *bad* about her personality. Except for this whole “don’t be intimidating” and “don’t write about people in public” thing I don’t have much bad to say about her. She is a very nice person who is just… nice. I’m sure there is a there there, there are clear indications. But whatever her personality is… it’s not for the group. Or at least it wasn’t for me. Maybe I was just not … her friend. That’s very probable.

How many bridges do I want to burn? Not sure.

You have to go to the group because you want to hang out with the group organizer and her kids. That’s why I think of it as a cult of personality. You aren’t supposed to invite your own friends, everything must be curated through her. Which is fine.

But it’s not a group for me.

I’m sure people would be happier if I worked out my feelings without writing publicly about them. You know what? Lots of people like her and her kids so it is totally cool for the group to work the way it does. And she doesn’t want a lot of drama. That’s fine. The people who can abide by that will stay and be happy.

I don’t want to be mean about the group. Beyond this group of three women I’m having feelings about… the people have been awesome. I’m having feelings because of the resolution of one specific big problem. I am not aware of many other specific problems.

I have enjoyed a lot of the time I’ve spent there. I’ve had a lot of anxiety and I’ve felt unwelcome a lot of the time too. I’ve spent a lot of time acknowledging to myself that me feeling unwelcome does not mean anything about the behavior or intentions of the people around me. But it’s a thing. If I don’t feel welcome then I don’t feel welcome and it’s been building for a long time. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about it so that I would have the external validation that this has been a growing issue for me.

I don’t think it is their fault. Not *Really*. Even though I’m pissed about how the assault was handled. I understand that this separation just needs to happen because it isn’t the place for me.

Maybe I should have just walked away from the group the day of the assault. At least that way I could have still vaguely nodded at people when I ran into them in public. Now it will be excruciatingly uncomfortable. I barely went to kid places for a year after the Dear Jane letter. I was so afraid of running into that woman.

Now I’m going to be afraid of three different families in one go. Shit. That sucks because my kids love all of their kids. Shit. Shit. Shit.

If you make your bed you get to lie in it.

Want to know something really weird? The fucking pine trees helped. As soon as I crossed into the Black Hills and saw the beautiful forest I started feeling… more ok. More like things will be ok.

I was ok before I found the group. I’m ok now. I will be ok in the future.

Riding the ATV was kind of part of that. It’s weird. We went really fast and it was exillarating. (Can’t spell and don’t have internet.) It’s not a big deal. Driving an ATV is not exactly an epiphany ridden experience. But it reminded me that I can go do things that are entirely outside my life and do just fine. I can adapt.

While we were driving I talked to the kids a lot about the mechanics of driving the buggy. I talked about what is easy about it and what is hard about it. How is it different from a car and van and a sports car and a forklift? I can describe all of those differences. “This is what you look at. On other vehicles you look here____.” “This is what you look for before you corner. Watch the angle. How does it feel? Let’s do a corner slower and I’ll bank wrong. Yup that was scary. Feel how we almost went in the wrong direction? Yup.”

We’re gonna be ok. With or without any group in particular.

I am so glad I came on this trip so that I could do this instead of sitting in my garage and crying because people don’t love me. What.Fucking.Ever.

Life moves on. I have ATVs to ride in South Dakota, motherfuckers.

I’m going to Disney World. *In September when I fucking wanted to go anyway.* It’s going to be wonderful. We’ve had tough moments in every day of this trip. But we’ve had wonderful moments in every day too. We’ve had way more wonderful moments than hard moments. Probably at a 20:1 ratio. I feel very happy with how this is going. The kids are doing really well.

I fucking love the Mount Rushmore KOA. This is the most ethnically diverse place we have been since we left the bay area. The trees look like *trees* to me. I like conifer trees. <3<3<3 They look like real trees to me. I just don’t like deciduous trees. Even when they are massive they still… don’t look right. They still look like an overgrown bush and where are your fucking trees?

These aren’t redwoods. The very tallest look to be 50′-70′. I’m really not sure that any are as big as 70′. It’s hard to judge. But they still look right. They look like baby trees, but they look like they are trying hard! Grow little baby trees, GROW!

They make my heart happy. I love the way they do their burn piles in the forest here. We got to look at them up close and personally because of the ATV ride. It was really fun to ride through where the cows were pastured and talk to the kids about animal husbandry practice and fertilized soil and bio-diversity and what we are learning as a species. This really is a wonderful and exciting time to be alive.

We have never before as an animal had the access to so much *knowledge*. It’s like magic.

I feel like the modern public education is designed for the Industrial Era and the Technology Era has begun and we need a much more diverse way of educating kids.

Basically I’m doing my best to be an Illustrated Young Ladies Primer.

It is exhausting. Because I have to go learn all this shit to talk about it. And then I have to talk and talk and talk and talk.

This trip is teaching me interesting things about my extrovert/introvert stuff. No really, I wither like a fucking plant without casual conversations with people. I’m an extrovert. It’s not even that I need in depth conversations with people I love and trust. I need that *being seen by random people* feeling. Or my body shuts down.

I have had an insanely active day. We started out on the trampoline. My fever is gone. I haven’t eaten nearly enough calories but I feel so energetic I could go run 5 miles. Yeah, this is a nearly manic bounce.

But I’m going to control it and husband my strength carefully and appropriately. Tomorrow we are going on a horse back ride in the morning. It’ll be super rad.

This place gets my adrenaline up. The folks at the camp site next to ours… are new home schoolers. They’ve been doing it for a year and the oldest is 12-14ish. I didn’t ask. There are three younger kids including one much too young for school. Maybe only two had been in school previously? We had a great conversation about how that transition is going for her family. She had a lot of insecurities. I said, “It sounds like y’all did some excellent deschooling. Good for you.” She laughed.

I come alive when there are people to look at me. The kids aren’t enough and I hate that about myself. Noah and the kids will never be enough. The home school group could never be enough. The bdsm community was never enough. The theatre community was never enough. The various reenactment and dance communities were never enough.

I think this hole is in me. I’m not sure it is a problem with the communities.

I have to move on.

I don’t mean in this moment from this community. I mean that is my mode of operating in life and I feel like that no matter what happens. I haven’t been assaulted in all of these communities. I didn’t flee from problems most of the time. I just… developed aversions to going. I just felt like I wasn’t welcome. I just felt like there wasn’t a place for me.

So I left.

I carried with me the 2-5 people from each community who made the effort to really get to know me. I don’t miss the other people.

I miss feeling like I am part of a Golden Period for a community. I’ve managed to show up for the best parts of being in a group several times. It’s really awesome. Euphoric. I really like building communities.

Then I move on.

I usually try to leave before I’m asked to leave. I like feeling like I can visit once in a while. I’m sad that I blew it with this group.

I don’t think there was a way to stay in the group. Probably not in any case, but definitely not after I was kicked. Sometimes the truth hurts.

You know what? Most kids spend 2-5 years with a group of kids then move on. It’s not traumatic… it’s normal.

That’s just how our society does it.

There will be continuity, but the main part of the group changes. The district lines for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools often overlap in weird ways.

People move. People develop aversions. Mostly they aren’t expressed in long-form on blogs but hey… what can you do?

My therapist asked me what I get out of blogging that I don’t get out of journaling. I said, “Knowing that I will be publicly accountable, that people who love me have been reading my blogs for *over a decade* means that when I record my racing thoughts I have to get to the end of them. I have to move on. I know about a specific core group of readers and I write for them.”

She said, “That’s pretty powerful. That’s a lot of witnessing. You are very lucky.”

Yes. I am.

I have more people who regularly read my blog than many people have friends. That makes me very sad. I want to see you. I mean, I don’t define my friendships by who reads my blog. Many people in my inner circle don’t read. They frankly tell me it is overwhelming and they can’t deal.

You know what, that’s ok. There are people who can handle me. They opt in. They show up when they can, how they can. That’s all I need from anyone.

I mean… I want other things. But I’m capable of putting on my big girl panties.

The audience helps. I feel sad that Sarah stopped blogging when we broke up because it didn’t feel safe. I can understand that it did. I support the decision. But I feel sad that my ridiculous rage caused her to feel like she was not safe enough to be seen like that.

I have to be accountable for that. My writing does have power. The folks in the home school group felt intimidated and I really couldn’t give a fuck. But Sarah felt, maybe still feels intimidated. That’s a real problem and something I will have to spend many many years repairing and maybe I never will.

Some things get broke and can’t be fixed.

But I will try. And I will try. I will try new things and I will explore new ways of being.

I won’t stop writing about people who fuck with me. I shit you not.

And don’t rag on me about not being anonymous enough or I’ll use the fucking names.

I’m not trying that hard. I’m trying to give the basic kindness of a non-Google link. I’m trying to announce a missing stair. If you don’t want me to that is not my problem.

That’s why people like me exist. So the missing stairs can be spoken about. Someone has to.

Most of the men I have named as my rapist I’ve had other women come to me and say, “Me too” because of my writing. I don’t fucking feel bad. If I *ever* hear another story about this kid I will start using names.

Watch me.

And I won’t feel bad.

All I am doing is recording my experiences in life. It isn’t my problem that you want to believe that the stuff that happens to me isn’t real.

I know why so many bad things happen to me. I put myself out there. I interact with people. I am a physical person. I wrestle with kids. But you know what? I’ve wrestled with at least a hundred children. *One* kicked me. I don’t feel like that is a statement about me. I’ve been raped a lot but I’ve also fucked an astronomically high number of people. I’ve been in a lot of sexually stimulating situations. There are a lot of people in the room who suck at boundaries. If you put yourself out there enough… law of averages says…

But there are people who have similar histories who don’t have my problems. They have an instinct I lack. I’ve gotten to hear a lot about it from a few friends who are sex workers. Sex workers are the only people who can talk to me about issues surrounding the basic fact of a high number of partners. It’s very educational. The ones who are successful have learned something I just… don’t seem to be able to grasp.

I think it is that I wait for the kick. I don’t go all Gavin DeBecker “Gift of Fear” this is starting to feel icky I should leave. I wait for the fucking kick. Because I know that I’m always scared and I have to face that down. That’s just the way life works for me. My understanding is that is how it works with PTSD. But there is something there that I need to take apart. There is a “this isn’t right for me” that I ignore for… reasons.

I don’t *want* to give up on a home school group. I’m hurting my kids. No. I’m not. I’m being a twat. What will hurt them is if I turn this into a thing. It’s time to move on. The driving was worth it for a while and now it isn’t. It’s time to explore southward. No biggie. There are *hundreds* of home schooling families in the bay area.

I’m not going to stop looking for new people. That’s the good part.

I mean… that’s not fair. I’m really devoted to the people who stay on after I move on from a group. I’m not discounting the people who *show up* and are my friends.

If you haven’t gotten a postcard it is probably because you aren’t in my address book. Or because I’m feeling afraid that you don’t like me for some reason. I’m pretty stupid that way.

It’s fucking hard to convince me that you like me.

But I get so much evidence that people *don’t* even when they lie and say they *do*.

It’s complicated!

Life is complicated.

I need to wrap this up. About time to round up the kids and feed them. They are playing with the family in the next campsite. I am ignoring everything. It’s been an *awesome* hour. We need to eat and get over to the depot. We are on the 6:45 shuttle to see Mount Rushmore. This way I don’t have to even unhook the forking van from the trailer at this stop. That makes my life *so* much easier. Hooking the van to the trailer is always harder than it fucking needs to be.

Tomorrow we go on a trail ride. In the evening we’ll ride a chuck wagon to a dinner out in the woods where we will be entertained by a local guy. He’s supposed to be funny. I’ll let you know what I think.

There are cabins here. And awesome RV hookups. Frankly I like the RV idea better because then you don’t have to walk to the bathroom. Ha! They have a septic drain at every spot!

Yeah. That sounds better than a cabin where you have to walk outside to use the toilet or shower.

I want to come back here. I mean, *maybe* not to this KOA and just to the area but I’m willing to bet I want to come back here. Noah it’s so pretty it takes my breath away.

I talked to a lady at the front counter for a while. She was born and raised within 50 miles of here. Now that’s retired she and her husband go live in Arizona every winter but as soon as spring starts coming she has to come back to the green and the mountains.

She isn’t really retired. She works at the KOA in the summer and that supports them through the winter. *Awesome*. Fucking go you.

That’s budgeting I can respect.

Ok. I have to go.

I DON’T WANNA.

Ok, the monument was cool.. I mean, I didn’t enjoy it like eldest child did. She bounced and screeched and hollered the whole way. LOOK AT THAT MOUNTAIN!!!

Pretty much she says that her face is next. Ha.  We’ll see about that.

There was only a little bit of rain last night, not enough to make a problem. Phew.

Once again, I raided the book shop. I’ve spent almost $1,000 on books I’ve never heard of before. Most of them about women in history, the largest chunk about non-white women.

Gosh I didn’t expect these gift shops to have such excellent book stores. This is home schooling money. This isn’t cross country trip money. I’m quite thrilled about the feminist library we are acquiring. It’s going to be impressively filled out.

On the bus coming back last night a nice grandmother sat next to eldest child. Hoo boy can that kid talk. When we got off the bus the grandmother said, “You have a very interesting girl.” I said, “Yup. She’s got opinions.” The grandmother nodded and said, “Strong ones.”

That’s my girl.

I could hear Shanna talk about black/white crime issues and why she wants to be president, she rattled on about drawing and why she likes horses so much, she talked about the trip we were on–both duration and where we were going and what she was enjoying, and she bragged about how she did on her one time at a martial arts class and and and.

When we were back in the tent I was probably less than tactful. I told eldest that of all the stuff she said on the bus, the martial arts part was the only bit that was questionable. “If you tell everyone that you were a black belt expert after one class in martial arts…. you sound like a liar. It sounds like everything else you say is also an exaggeration and there is no point in listening to what you say about your other skills…. which is a bummer. You are a genuinely talented, genuinely accomplished person. Stick to listing the things you *really are that good at* instead of trying to say you are an expert on things you tried one time. That blows your credibility. You really are that talented at drawing because you’ve been working for *years*. You are not an expert at martial arts.”

She was a bit subdued. But it was almost 10:30 because the shuttle was a late night thing.

I’m not sure how useful that feedback was for her. I’m not sure if I was an asshole or what. But man it took me years to figure out how to tell stories about myself without lying. I was at least 13/14 before I realized I should stop telling people I had skills I couldn’t back up.

For me… it was languages. I moved around and I would talk gibberish and tell people it was some random language. I felt very isolated and alone and excluded from every group and community. Pretending I had a language that was what I shared with some other not-here-group made me feel better.

It makes eldest child feel better to think that she is an expert at defending herself. When we get back we will start actual lessons. So she can be the expert she wants to be.

I said, “If you want to say that you took one lesson and you feel you were a natural and you look forward to learning more because you really want to be an expert… people will believe you and nod and think that’s reasonable. That’s presenting where you really are. No one is an expert in one day. Being an expert means years of practice. That’s pretty much what it means.”

Her response to most of that was, “Thanks for saying I’m really talented.”

I said, “Well you know I don’t say things unless they are deserved.”

“Yeah, I know. That’s why it’s really nice that you think that about me.”

Honey, how could I not? You blow my socks off.

Kid I think you are not good at things you haven’t had much practice with. I think you excel at pretty much everything you *decide* to focus on. I have faith in you.

Watching my kids feels magical sometimes.

I was surprised in the ATV because eldest was scared for a full two loops and was fussing and whining and asking to stop because she was too scared. Youngest had fun pretty much the whole time. He said it was exciting.

I wasn’t expecting that. I mostly find that eldest is the braver, more outgoing child. Not this time. I’ve been surprised before by eldest being timid and youngest being bold. I don’t think I have them figured out yet.

Four hours till horse back riding. I hope the kids sleep through most of that time. They went to bed at least 90 minutes past when I want them to be in bed.

I can’t believe the stamina they have. Yesterday was *busy*. I bailed on BINGO but then they came back to the camp site, rested for an hour, and played with the home schoolers next door.

These kids have been *going* for 12+ hours a day. I’m shocked at how well they can hold it together. They have limits, like youngest screaming at the top of her lungs about the fucking blue chips for the game, but… that was the hardest moment out of yesterday.

Whoa.

Youngest is stretching absolutely to the limits of his control. I’m impressed.

I had no idea he was as capable as he is. He’s still a baby to me. He’s going to be a phenomenally competent person in a few years.

It is wonderful to me how my indoctrination of “Some people don’t like to work. We like to work. We are workers. If you work hard you get to play hard” has worked! Both children spout this shit without prompting now! They walk into spaces and say, “Ok what work has to be done?”

My heart *melts*. They are the people I’ve always wanted to know.

I made them. Holy fucking shit this is so awesome.

Right now I’m feeling a bit annoyed that I don’t have a single map of this part of the country and data isn’t working on my phone so I can’t use any mapping program. I sorta wish Google Maps had an offline “Just look at the damn map” feature, but no. Darn you.

The next few hops are going to feel a bit brutal. I’m thinking about driving extra long and staying at a hotel when we leave here. I’m not up for six days of driving where I have to set up camp five times. That is sounding brutally hard right now. My joints hurt.

I haven’t started bleeding yet. This is that pre-period joint pain flare. It’s so fun.

I think I’ll call M in Duluth and ask if we can show up a few days early. Then we will be there for a full weekend. Then we can camp in her driveway for 7 or 8 days. That’s sounding really nice right about now. I’m enjoying the longer stays. I get so tired with set up and striking camp. I wish it didn’t take so much out of me.

Yeah, I want an RV.

It isn’t that setting up camp is so hard. It’s that it is about 2-3 hours of spoons. If you add that on top of driving, which is *really* hard on my back…

I’m doing 6-8 hours a day of labor that hurts my body when I strike, drive, and set-up camp. I can do it. But I can’t have much other fun. The kids really need me to be fun sometimes.

I’m having a hard time with how much eldest is telling me that I’m not her favorite parent because she has to see me all the time and she gets really sick of me. Thanks kid. I love you too.

We all miss Noah. But I’m starting to feel a little pissy about how often I’m told that he is better than me because he is more fun. I said it is a lot easier to be fun when you have a non-physically demanding job and only limited exposure to kids.

It gets fucking exhausting 24/7. I can’t be fun all the fucking time.

Eldest told me she would probably like me more if I got a job and didn’t bug her all the time.

I almost cried.

I said, “Yeah but your dad has no interest in spending this much time with you. You’d be in school and after-school care and you would see both of us as much as you see dad now. And then he and I would have to split all the housework during the time we were both home so we would both be less fun. He’s so fun because I do all the god damn housework when he isn’t there to even see it.”

“Oh. That doesn’t sound very fun.”

I’m running into that little problem where children don’t understand the perspective on what they have so they are… kind of annoying sometimes.

Youngest is telling people that he was a home schooler but after the road trip he wants to start school. I have no idea how this will play out. Eldest is convinced that she wants to home school until college.

Eldest just woke up. As soon as her eyes were open she said, “You should probably get breakfast going because it sounds like the neighbors are up and we want to have an artist party.”

Well bite me.

I’m not doing very well at being the grown up right now. I’m frustrated.

But, I’ll live. Life is like that sometimes.

Apparently my lazy ass has been deputized to cook now. Fuck. I’m thinking cheesy toast and eggs because we have bread, cheese, eggs, and ghee. Gotta eat it up.

Time for a break from writing.

H’okay. I’m back. Today was a mixed bag. I am not sure I had a manic burst. I think I was just in a good mood. Yesterday I didn’t feel sick. Today I feel like shit on a Triscuit. I definitely have a fever. I am taking Kaopectate and I still have diarrhea. Probably need way more doses than I’m doing. My throat hurts and I’m starting to lose my voice.

I think I’m going to book it to Duluth, stay in hotels on the way, and collapse at my friend’s house for longer than intended. I think I need a serious rest. Resting at my friend’s house in Utah was mixed because his mother in law was in the house all day and she is ultra conservative and non-approving of… basically everything I believe in and do. So it wasn’t as restful as it could be. Resting in Wyoming was hard because of weather problems and a few logistical issues.

I haven’t felt well rested since Washington. I miss Dad. I miss Noah.

I took sleeping pills last night because I was worried I would end up hurting the kids out of frustration because of lack of spoons. That’s not ok. I *have* to take care of myself well enough to keep the kids safe.

We went on a one hour trail ride and to a chuck wagon dinner show. We had a lot of fun at both. I feel… like I was hit by a truck.

I’m emotionally crashing. The ‘ok’ I had yesterday is not here today. I’ve cried a lot. To the point where it is kind of ridiculous and publicly embarrassing. I’ve spent a lot of today feeling embarrassed that I exist and I’m so disgusting and repulsive.

The grandmother who sat next to eldest child last night was at the show with her husband and grand kids. They stayed *really far* away from us. To the point where it felt conspicuous and kind of weird. But I’m in a bad mood and I’m going to look for reasons to feel bad. As we walked towards the boarding area for the chuck wagons my kids ran through a huge mud area. The grandfather tried to warn me and tell me to keep them out of it. I said, “We make being dirty and wet kind of a lifestyle choice.” He looked at me with great scorn and said, “I can see that.”

I took a fucking shower 5 hours ago.

I just washed every item of clothing we own. What the fuck are you glaring at? That they got some mud on their shoes? Why in the hell do you care?

The girls asked if they could sit up with the driver and his son when we came back from dinner. They were allowed and spent that 15 minute trip talking at about 300 words a minute. Everyone sitting near them in the truck said they were hilarious.

I felt embarrassed and I hated myself for that. They were fine. Why am I being like this?

Because I’m sick and I want to crawl into a hole and let *nobody* look at me. Even someone looking at me with approval and delight feels like a slap to the face.

This isn’t about other people. I hate my body.

I still haven’t started bleeding. I’m in the “Hate yourself and want to die” window. I hate this. I hate that I do this so much. YESTERDAY WAS AWESOME!

Today involved spending 3.5 hours yelling at Shanna to just finish the dishes already. There weren’t very many dishes. There are three people. Three plates, three forks, one pan.

Oh. My. God.

I didn’t start yelling until the end of the second hour.

At that point I felt like the top of my head was going to come off. YOU CAN DO THIS IN 15 MINUTES. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?!?!?!?!?!?

I don’t have the spoons right now to be patient.

It wouldn’t be such a big deal if both kids weren’t scream/whining at me that they wanted to go plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

THEN DO YOUR CHORES AND SHUT UP.

You know how I had to cook the food when I feel like living death? WASH THE 7 FORKING ITEMS. OH MY GOD!!!!

And then when she washed everything she didn’t rinse anything. That was three hours in. She put the still visibly soapy dishes away.

I was *so pissed*.

I know it doesn’t matter. If I didn’t feel like shit I would be as upset. I feel like I’ve jumped through a lot of hoops for the kids in the last few days. They asked for a lot of big ticket entertainment items. And then they refuse to help without it turning into a half day nightmare.

Know what made her finally do the dishes? I said, “Fine. Then I’m walking to the office and telling them that we won’t be at the dinner.”

The dishes were done ten fucking minutes later. I was so pissed.

I don’t think I’m booking anything big and fun for them for a while. I’m feeling too resentful.

The last few days have been intense and fun but I’m done.

I’m going to bed now.

Next morning. Today we roll out of Mount Rushmore. It’s 6:30 in the morning. The campsite is *mostly* packed up already except for the stuff the kids are using to sleep and the stuff that lives on the trailer. I’ve been working for over an hour. I woke up and just felt like I *had* to start. I’ve been puttering for almost an hour and a half. I do a few things then sit down.

Last night I stayed up till 10 finishing Dragonfly In Amber, the second book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. A friend asked me what I find so appealing about the books because they borrowed the first from me and just can’t get into it.

I spend… probably a majority of my time trying to manage thoughts and feelings. I am absolutely spellbound by the options to really see into other peoples thoughts and feelings… even if it is fiction. Non-fiction rarely involves actual feelings and the most horrible thoughts someone has. People aren’t usually that honest. (Then there’s me.)

These books aren’t about the plot. This is not an adventure story. This is about a woman and the journey of her life through a lot of intense, unusual, often traumatic events and the author is good at showing what Claire thinks and feels and why she has those impulses.

And, I like layered political drama. But I don’t like the male version of layered political drama in books. It always seems to involve an obsessive, masturbatory amount of time describing the large guns and you know what? The blowing people up part isn’t what is interesting to me about politics. Yeah, Diana Gabaldon has her characters move through several major wars and she’s very accurate in her details about the battles… but we don’t ever see three pages of description of artillery. Yes, I’ve read fucking books by men that involve three pages of description of artillery. Even though it wasn’t really the focus of the story. It’s a masturbatory thing, I swear.

I want to hear about what people felt more than I want to see three pages of descriptions of the fucking trees.

These books are *all* the moment by moment thoughts and feelings of the characters. *Swoon*

And because the series covers like an almost 40 year span (so far!) and each book is a HUGE book… that’s a lot of squishy feelings to roll around in.

Last night I finished this book mostly so I could have a nice cathartic cry. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed so hard the kids were a little freaked out. But I put ear plugs in and told them I wouldn’t be helping them manage the fact that I’m reading a sad book. Ignore me.

The end has some fantastically sad parts. And I LEFT THE THIRD BOOK AT HOME! Oh man.

Good thing I’ve read the series more than a dozen times and I’m not really on a cliff hanger. *phew* Instead I can plow through some of the new books about actual women. I won’t get many thoughts or feelings. I will get other people describing the mechanics of their lives. Because that’s how most books go. Sigh.

I mean, the mechanics are interesting. But I want squishy feelings.

I feel purged this morning. That cringing, embarrassed feeling is gone. I hate it when I’m like that. Everything I do feels magnified by 1000 and is extra embarrassing.

I ran towards horses yesterday because we were late getting out of the bathroom and I felt embarrassed that we were late because of my inability to control my bowels. Everyone there was uhhh appropriately stern with me to get me to stop and walk around safely.

I felt so stupid.

On the worst day or two of the month little things like that make me want to go to the bathroom and carve.

But this is a new day. I haven’t made any mistakes yet. I’m well on my way towards being on the road.

Once I get to decent cell reception I’m calling my friend in Duluth and asking if we can show up early. I’m so tried. I feel like the fever broke. I hope.

Kids are up.

10 thoughts on “Journal notes from offline time. (long)

  1. Alison

    It was good to catch up on your trip. I am glad it is overall going well. I hope you get the rest you need. 🙂
    Alison

      1. DSH

        Thanks for the post card from the Black Hills. It would be fun to visit there with you. I was there once for a few days, and I need different memories. 🙂

  2. Michelle

    There is so much i wanted to say but I think I should have taken notes. I’m really feeling everything you said about group dynamics.

    Baby trees! So apt! I’m curious to see how you handle the summer down south, all the humidity and the bugs. I’ve always wanted to try the north route but never had he chance, so I don’t have that to compare it to.

    With Guy’s storage unit…you really put to words my feelings about selling my things and the inertia of cleaning right now.

    Mud fearing grandpa can shove it.

  3. Pam

    Hey, scanned and I think I retained about 75% because I’m going out for brunch and haven’t done laundry yet. I’ve fallen out of the habit of checking feedly every day since you’re not here, i’m checking you on twitter instead.

    but two super quickies:

    > after the road trip he wants to start school. I have no idea how this will play out.
    IIRC, Eldest also wanted to start school a couple of years ago. Maybe the feeling comes and goes.

    > I LEFT THE THIRD BOOK AT HOME!
    Ebooks? Borrow the book from the Overdrive library? That’s what I’d do.

    <3 you much

  4. Pam

    Uh. I started a re-read. Then I got distracted. Then days passed.

    So I expect that I will get back here. But until then I thought I’d better share the notes while they are still minimally relevant:

    See? I’m taking notes this time on the re-read, _during_ my reading! 😀

    > Blogging is useful because I purge myself and I do it in a public way. Then I move on.

    Hey, you know what? I wonder if you blog for a similar reason that I journal; something like, I have stuff written down so I can forget about it. I know that it’s on paper somewhere and I can stop thinking about it, safe in the knowledge that when I need to go back to refer to it, I can. Similar though different ~ you blog for an audience, and then you can move on and forget things, safe in the knowledge that your community will help remember things for you, that you’re not alone in the remembering.

    > Eldest also felt the need to talk to me about my behavior. She said, “You keep talking about wanting to hit me. You need to stop. I know you won’t do it, but when you say something over and over you teach yourself to think that more. Stop talking about hitting us.”

    This is a past conversation, right? She’s not bringing it up now, is she? Because you had this conversation a couple of months ago already. Right?

    sidenote:
    if you are worried about posts being too long, what I do sometimes is to date them. New day, new notepad file. And post one day’s in one post, and break the second one into the second post. (I mean, or you could do what J does (and I do sometimes) and set them to post date themselves a day at a time.) If you have trouble coming up with titles for the post, just let the day that you originally wrote it be the title.

    On a side note, after months (years?) of intermittent practicing, I finally got the hang of loud whistles using my fingers this month. I have NO idea what it was. But all of a sudden I was doing it in my car, and I can now consistently whistle loudly with my pinkies. Next step: finding a unique sound.

    > Patreon

    had to go look this up. sounds pretty awesome.
    edit: they need a better way to search for things though. I couldn’t find stuff like you said for women of color who create content.

    Speaking of which, when you have time to read again, here are two Asian bloggers:
    AngryAsianMan – the clearinghouse
    reAppropriate – an Asian woman that I follow occassionally but usually her articles show up when big things happen.

    I did find a good one though, with lots of good sources:

    http://www.afutureworththinkingabout.com/?p=4838

    On The Invisible Architecture of Bias (Audio & Text)

    > Of course I have to take bathroom breaks. Without bathroom breaks maybe I’d finish by Thanksgiving. But then it would be really gross.

    LOL. I missed this the first time around.

    > I have every intention of going home and basically giving up driving for months.

    I’ve really liked your ‘open house’ parties. At one point you contemplated doing that every month or so. Not sure if you’re still up for doing that amount of work, but it’s pretty fun.

    > I no longer worry that I will wuss out and come home early.

    Yay for no longer worrying about this! And if you have to stay in a few more hotels so that you can do your trip, so be it. No worries.

    > we both agreed we are responsible for carrying the marriage.

    Something that I love about this philosophy is that it’s *never* 50/50. Most people think that they are doing more than 50% of the work, and the partner probably also believes that. So you’ve got two people thinking that they’re doing 60-80% of the work, and that their partner isn’t pulling their weight. I like that you both agree to do 100%, and are grateful for any help that puts you under 100%, rather than resenting everything over 50% that you have to do.

    ~

    May be more later. <3

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      Oh the conversation with S happened on the trip. I’m doing a lot of muttering about how I’d like to beat them. I haven’t done that since S had a chat with me. But I was muttering about it.

      I think you are right about “now I can forget” with rehearsing thoughts. I had a huge improvement in intrusive memories/racing thoughts after I wrote my first book. I no longer had to remind myself of how shitty my childhood was. That was massively cathartic.

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