Last night’s phone call with Noah was awesome. He talked and talked and talked to me about the patterns I’m trying to see in my interactions. What should I be doing earlier to deal with ____?
I love Noah. He will talk as long as I want to about things that are hard for me. I love you. I am coming home. But not yet.
Periodically I read that the only way to heal from complex PTSD is to find an intense therapeutic relationship and build all the skills you need. Instead I have Noah. We are codependent as fuck and I like it that way. We have boundaries but we also have a big willingness to share the clock-work-like inner workings of our brains and say, “Do you have a tool this shaped?”
The kids and I are having a lot of positive interactions mixed in with me yelling, “Can you PLEASE STOP SCREAMING IN THE CAR.” By the time I get home the ringing in my ears will probably be permanent.
Well, we get to NYC today. It’ll be rad. We aren’t camping. I fucked up the reservation dates. Whoops.
Thank all the stars in the heaven I am a rich bitch who can make another path. Or just thank Noah. Well done, honey!
Today I want to take the kids to central park. Squee. Maybe FAO Schwarz. We’ll have to eat.. Oh New York. I really enjoyed visiting you last time. I’m glad I don’t have to be alone this time. It will be a lot more fun to be with the kids.
We had a blast at the aquarium yesterday in Mystic Connecticut. I was not an aquarium person on my own before kids. As I paid our admission yesterday I figured out why. Looking at fish is a rich person hobby. Holy crap.
I went on another book buying binge in a fabulous toy store. I complimented the woman on the range of selection and she said, “I really always wanted to run a book store but here I am.”
I spent over $400 on books yesterday.
I need to have a “come check out my library” party when I come back.
I also intend to go through the list and figure out which ones I should get copies of for which kids in my life. There are a bunch I plan to have sent to the UK but I figure that is easiest done online. There are a bunch I want to send to my nephew in Mt. View and tons more for my Bonus Kids. I have stuff kind of mentally bookmarked for all the home schoolers we know.
I think it is funny that I am going to spend thousands of dollars on books on the trip then I will go home and rebuy the same damn books so I can give them away. Being rich is the best damn thing ever.
I’m a reader. The best gift I can share with anyone are words that have moved me. I read a book yesterday about the lady who started the Red Cross. I bawled. Well done, touching story.
I made Noah talk to me about patterns with the men last week. I’ll call them A, B, and C in the order they happened. He said that near as he can tell they were all cases with boundary violations where the person had strong reason to believe they could not be challenged.
Yeah that sounds right. The first one was arriving on his property and he immediately insulted me. Then I brought it up with his wife and she denied that it could have happened. I left ASAP.
Second was being told how scary I was repeatedly while I tried to softly express boundaries and they were walked on. There were multiple meals I didn’t want to go out to eat and he insisted. After telling me repeatedly that I’m terrifying so I felt like I was in a real bind as to appropriate responses. I can’t respond with any intensity or I’m “scary” but I don’t do well at lukewarm saying, “This is a boundary and stop pushing me.” I either say it a few times then drop it and go along (which is what I did this time and I’m kind of mad at myself) or I say them’s fighting words. I don’t have much of a happy medium. This is becoming more and more of a thing I need to fix.
I went along. I didn’t make big waves. I’m not sure I made him comfortable because it was probably obvious I wasn’t happy. But you know what? When I tell you repeatedly I don’t want to do something and you insist… I’m not going to pretend to be fucking happy for you. You didn’t look for agreement on what we should do. You decided. You decided on something I didn’t want and then made sure I knew you didn’t want to back down and I can’t come on strong because I’ll scaaaaare you.
The third was kinda complicated. The boundary violation was less clear. It was just a whole series of interactions designed to create an in-group and I’m not in the in-group. Starting out by telling me how selfish I am for home schooling and how you don’t approve… well I don’t give a fuck if you approve. I may even have said that verbatim. Then it moved on to expounding that women who experience domestic violence are kinda (something insulting but I can’t remember exactly what and I don’t want to incorrectly paraphrase) something and they should just leave. Just leave. Just leave.
He finally stopped talking when I said my sister lived with her abuser for 17 years and only had one main abuser. My parents split up when I was 3 and my mother ran and I was abused by dozens of people and spent my childhood homeless and stealing food. You really want to tell me that is better?!
They looked at the ground and wouldn’t look at me. That was the end of that conversation.
Then we didn’t really interact again until my kid asked if it was possible to make some eggs without onions. I hadn’t been complaining about the onions in every meal but my bowels were getting angry with me. Onions give me gas. The kind of gas where I have to sit on the toilet for really long periods cause I can’t tell if I’m going to shit or fart. So I try to limit onions. A little bit I can basically tolerate because I don’t care about being flatulent. But in multiple meals for multiple days I need to cry uncle. My body hits a limit. And I’m trying to drive all day long so both heavy flatulence and needing to stop six times for bathroom breaks is kinda annoying.
His response: “I’m not a short order cook.” I wouldn’t have cared only he established in the first 15 minutes (before the home schooling rant) that there isn’t enough room for multiple people to be in the kitchen cooking separate things so we are just going to have to eat together or we would have to eat on some wacky schedule after they clear out.
I said, “That’s fine. We can leave.”
But I feel anxious and guilty and like I did something wrong. I didn’t scream at all this time. These sets of times. I feel like this was a fairly healthy way of handling these problems. I got along with B well enough to get through the visit and hopefully by the next time I see him I will be better at saying, “Stop pushing. This is a boundary” without screaming and I’ll be able to handle him better. I’m not good with passive aggressive people. They have a whole tool box I don’t have and I’m not good at managing that tool box. It is the opposite
I didn’t grow up with parents who were withdrawn and emotionally absent who frowned upon anger. That is not my story and I’m never going to be able to embody that story for other peoples comfort.
I grew up with anger being a vitally important piece of my survival and I don’t plan to stop being an angry person. I want to direct it more than I currently can.
Noah called it having intense personal energy (Did I quote you right?). When he or I decide we are going to do something (it can be something relatively trivial and small and stupid) we will just put our heads down and get it done no matter who we have to bulldoze or what we have to do to get it. Lots of intensity involved.
Yes, I am a high intensity person. I like that about myself. What I don’t like is how many people want me to feel ashamed. I’m a dumb fucking moron about going along with that self-defeating bullshit.
I’m pretty good at not being mean, these days, but I’m not good at ignoring people who imply I should be ashamed of myself. “You’re so scary. You terrify me.” Ok. Go talk to your mama about it.
Ok, Eldest Child says I must get busy on the day.