I love you, but…

I gotta talk about you. Not because I feel maliciously towards you–really the opposite. Because I feel so many things and I don’t know how to separate what I feel for Person A from what I feel about Person B without a lot of conscious work.

I’ve been home for not much more than 48 hours and I feel… so very happy. I have heard from the majority of people I was worried about keeping in my life. The people I was scared would wander off because they were bored, they are all reaching out. “We missed you. Yes, we want you.”

It feels so incredible. It isn’t that I’ve heard from everyone I know (that would be seriously overwhelming) it is that the local people I am super anxious about keeping… they contacted me.

It’s funny how relationships kind of have different levels of anxiety for me. I honestly don’t worry that much about losing the relationships where we get together for a few hours once or twice a year. I don’t wear those people out. I’m usually able to keep my “difficult” mostly under wraps for a short period of time for reestablishing more tenuous contact. I’ve learned that skill pretty darn well.

I worry about the people I see once a month or more. I wear people down. I keep thinking about how Brittney made it through 30 years then she was…. completely done. It wasn’t ok to have talked about her family. Even though they are part of the reason I am who I am.

I don’t have the right.

The once a year people don’t fall into the cracks in my heart in the same way. I don’t talk about them the same way. I don’t risk alienating them in the same way. It’s all so complicated.

We, apparently, have a housemate situation again. Long-time readers at home may go, “Oh no. Krissy hasn’t ever lived well with roommates….”

You know the fear in my heart so well.

The thing is, with Sarah I think I always knew in the back of my mind that she has quite a support network. When I completely and abjectly failed her… she had other options. The person who is  here now… doesn’t have that kind of network.

Not to mention that I learned a lot from living with Sarah. I learned a lot about how and where I fail. I ask for too much and then I get really mean when I feel let down. That’s me. That’s a problem I’ve been working on all my life and it’s two steps forward and three steps back. My expectations and entitlement are real problems.

I cannot begin to express how wonderful it was to have Sarah join us for the last four days of the trip. Not to mention because she brought along her little brother and he brought his housemate and the two fellas just about kidnapped my kids for three days. So I got to have alone time with Sarah. It was…

We travel so well together. I feel so ashamed that I couldn’t adapt to living together. That was my failure.

Side note: the kids and I are grieving the Godmamas really hard. It’s an ongoing really painful process. I offered help and was refused and then I was dumped for not helping. I don’t know what to do with these feelings. It was suggested to me that I might write the one in California a letter to explain that I tried to help and was refused. But the thing is, writing that letter would be trying to drive a wedge between my friend and her wife. It would be saying, “Pick me, not her.” I can’t do that. They are married. It is more important that I be a friend to their marriage even though I feel like I was treated unfairly and I was hurt. That is what I need to do to actually be this persons friend even though it hurts me.

You know what? I can take a lot of pain. I never feel good about passing it around just so my burden is less. I really can take more than a lot of other people. I should. It doesn’t actually wreck my life to carry these burdens. It does wreck some people.

I can grieve hard for Marcie and Brittney and my mom and turn that into loving compassion for the people who choose to show up for me still. I am not truly abandoned. Not completely. I am deeply loved. Just…. not by everyone. Just…. not everyone can be in a permanent relationship with me even if they love me.

Life is like that.

I want so badly to be the person I want to be deep in my belly. I feel like there is no amount of work that could be too much to get there. It doesn’t matter how hard it is, I have to do it. Because the option is ending up like my friend who is trapped in his house in Oakland. He doesn’t go anywhere. He backed out of all friendships. He is lonely and scared and angry and he just can’t reach out any more.

I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be my mother. I don’t want to retreat from the world into the bosom of my highly dysfunctional, abusive family because it feels like the only safety.

I want something different.

I want to work with children who have a hard time learning. I want to figure out how to help them learn. I am deeply and painfully aware of how hard it is to learn when you are emotionally dysregulated. More than I want to breathe I want to reduce the pain other people feel.

Why don’t I care more about myself than other people? Logotherapy. People can survive almost anything if they have something that motivates them to keep moving through hardship. I want to reduce the pain in the world. That motivates me. That pushes me in a way that I can’t explain. I feel a fire in my belly.

I don’t think *I* am capable of saving people. But I am very good at finding tools for my tool belt and lending them out to other people and explaining how they work. I can maybe talk to them about how to save themselves. Because I can’t do it. I don’t have that power. You have to want it.

What I can do is talk about the wondrous variety of ways I’ve fucked up and what I’ve learned from that. We are social animals. We often learn from the experiences of others.

I have about six books going through my head right now. I need to start files for all of them. I know what the first line is going to be for Part 2. I’m not telling you, oh internet. It’s a secret. But I know what it is.

I want to write a speculative fiction book about technology culture. I have a specific idea and I’m fleshing it out and I’m talking to folks who work in tech about specifics about how some of the elements will work.

I want to write a specific book about what I learned on the road trip. It was… very educational.

I want to write a whole series of childrens books. I want to share the scripts I use. Not because they are perfect and should be copied word for word, because perhaps they will inspire people to consider multiple points of view when handling situations. Maybe they will be just a bit more patient. Specifically I have some specific narratives around being a parent with severe mental illness and how to talk to your kids about it so they don’t take on responsibility for the adult’s problems. Near as I can tell my kids are intensely aware I have problems and that they aren’t their fault. They don’t try to “fix” me but they do learn how to have boundaries around my problems. They stand up for themselves.

There’s a specific book about white trash I want to write. There are specific points and elements I need to string together that I’ve never seen anyone else put together before.

I want to write a book for my mother. There are specific things I want to say. I want to do it before she dies. I’m not 100% sure I will ever send it to her or ask her to read it. But I need to write it. I may not be able to write Marcie a letter, but I need to write a whole book to my mother.

And I know I have some major structural reworking of Outrunning Suicide ahead of me. I’ve got some work cut out for me.

Did I mention that my garden missed me something fierce? It is going to need a fiendish amount of love and attention to come back. Don’t worry. I have approximately a metric shit ton of love to give.

Did I mention that it is time to take home schooling a bit more seriously? There’s some very specific work I need to do around that.

There is a conversation I need to have that I’m dreading so much it makes me want to puke. It doesn’t feel like it can wait until January. But I’m not god damn driving till then and I think the chance of this person coming to me for this chat are just about 0. So… feelings! God this conversation will be challenging. I have literally no idea how it will go and that is fucking awful. There are things I need to apologize for because they fall outside of what I expect from myself. Those are probably not the same things that someone else would like me to apologize for. That’s always fucking complicated. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck.

Before we left on the trip there was part of me that feared that I would be ripping my children from their friends and they wouldn’t have any when we got back. Snicker. Uhm, yeah. My paranoia on that front is assuaged. There’s been a circus here this weekend. We’re good. And I had to tell people they couldn’t come over yet cause we had a full house.

Holy shit. We are home.

A long time ago I didn’t think this house could ever be my home. I didn’t pick it and that is a canker in my breast. But the thing is, I did. I picked Noah. I picked someone who would want a house like this. He picked a blank empty uninteresting shell because he doesn’t care that much about shells. I care intensely. Your shell communicates so much to people who care to look. But you know what? In many ways he did something much more incredible for me. He gave me a space where I am unreservedly wanted and then he told me to do anything I wanted with the shell. It didn’t start out what I wanted. But it is bloody well getting there and that feels like magic.

This is my home.

It’s different than usual right now. There are more people than usual. Almost every bed has two people in it.

You know what? That’s how I grew up. It feels like a house full of love to me.

If I can manage to not fuck everything up. Again.

I’m having an interesting time resettling. My body is very used to taking a whole week of sleeping pills per night in order to sleep 7-8 hours. I want off the pills but I think this is going to take some titration in order for me to not go bananas and beat everyone.

I want to beat someone so badly my fingertips ache. It is a really incredible feeling. I feel like a champagne bottle about to blow. I want to make someone cry. I want that impulse to be ok. I want someone to want that from me. I want to hit someone until they are black and blue and sobbing and they collapse to the floor and I still fucking hit them.

I am so very frustrated. I don’t want to do that to my children or my husband. I want to do that to someone who really likes it. Because I have all this energy in my body and there are ways to do things with it that are intensely positive for just the right people. That is so very complicated.

My friends keep saying, “Just negotiate it!” I know. I love you all for suggesting it. Thank you. You are giving advice and I no longer turn and attack like a pit viper for that kind of thing. I’m improving.

It helps that y’all have gotten to know me. Your advice has gotten so much better. You take me into consideration before you give it. Thank you.

I feel so lucky. I feel like I have more than nine lives. I get to keep trying again to reinvent myself. I get to adapt and become something new. I was kind of talking about this last night. When it comes to community organization/revolution sorta stuff there are at least three kinds of people. Ideas people, Folks who can build a system, & Folks who can maintain a system.

I’m sorta a hybrid of ideas and system building. I feel very lucky to have this hybrid inside of me. But I feel really deep shame around the fact that I am not a sustainer. I can’t. I don’t have that to give. I have a lot of sustainers in my life and I deeply admire them. But I can’t be them. But you know what? I can rip apart a broken system and rebuild it and improve it better than they can. That is worth something too.

We all have our parts to play. We can all be main characters. We can all be the right kind of me.

You do you and I’ll do me and maybe we can improve this place a bit?

I’ve wrapped 45 presents so far. I’m maybe halfway through my list of names. I am such a very lucky woman. I have so many people to love. I’m going to be shipping packages all over the world. Because I am lucky enough to be loved like that.

I sent probably 450+ postcards on the trip. I sat down to write them in batches of 80. I wrote until my hands cramped and I couldn’t hold a pen. I didn’t do it as often as I hoped to be able to, but I had at least nine good rounds.

I have a lot of names in my address book and most people got multiple cards. Not everyone. Sorry. My hands really really hurt.

The children got the most.

I remember what it meant as a child to have adults choose a relationship with me. I choose these children and I will do the necessary work. Because not many people picked me as a kid and it was horrifyingly damaging. I really and truly want there to be less pain in the world. The only way I can do that is to look for patterns and try to change them. I can meet children and choose to stay in their lives. I can choose to put effort towards them and let them know through my actions that they are worthy of time and effort and attention.

Noah really kinda changed everything for me. I really and truly don’t believe I would be capable of being the person I am becoming without Noah. It’s not just that he grants me access to the ability to be a philanthropist. It is that Noah gives me attention with all the heat of the sun. Noah wants to work hard for me and work hard with me and stand back to admire my hard work. Then he’ll fuck me all night long so that I’m constantly flooded with oxytocin.

This is what I always wanted.

I used to be really not interested in oral sex. These days I actually like it quite a bit. It’s really nice. It feels so very loving and bonding and nice. I never wanted that before.

I feel like I am a very different person than I was at 18.

Part of that is because of me. The rest is because I have access to good therapy and I have the best fucking friends any person has ever had. I am supported and loved. I see the web shining and clear. I have learned so much this year. I may spend the rest of my life writing about it.

I want to understand myself and I want to understand other people. So I put a tremendous amount of time and energy into studying folks. I ask a lot of nosy questions. I am not what you might consider a shy and retiring flower. I don’t assume people want their privacy. I assume people are sad and lonely and they really want to bond. So I try. Sometimes I’m wrong about a specific persons motivations and it doesn’t work out. That’s ok. I can try again. Nothing is perfect the first time. Noah isn’t the first boy I promised to marry. But he is the only one I actually married. So I practiced for permanent relationships a lot before I figured out how to ask for what I needed.

“No one is perfect but love makes us so.”*  Being with Noah is better than not being with Noah. Full stop. Does that make him perfect? No. But he really is perfect for me. The complex mix of awful and awesome is exactly what I need.

Let me tell you. Sitting in my back yard in California is not the frigid chilly experience it usually is for me. The rest of the country is fucking cold. This feels so nice this year. Ha. It is normal California chilly, the plants are doing their things. But my experience of it is altered. I am altered. What I expect is altered.

Life is like that.

Permanent revolution. You know… I’ve never actually read Mao. Maybe I should.

I think the problem with all historical systems is there is no such thing as a pure system that can solve all problems. Socialism isn’t the answer. Communism isn’t the answer. Capitalism isn’t the answer. We need a hybrid. We need to figure out what works for which problem and implement solutions as necessary.

It isn’t ok that so many people are hungry. It isn’t ok that so many people live in horrifying poverty. It isn’t necessary.

I have seen that it isn’t necessary.

I can’t unsee that.

There can be less pain in this world. It isn’t mandatory for this many people to suffer this much. Will people always experience pain? Of course. There will always be death and separations and grief and pain. We will always fall and scrape our knees. We will try to climb to get at the Christmas presents and break our arms.

That’s ok.

Things don’t have to be the way they are. Things can change.

Why do I believe that? Because I have studied history. That is all we do: we change. I am a progressive person. I want to help knock down the current broken system so we can build something better. We are capable of such amazing things.

I’ve traveled a lot. Human beings are capable of incredible perseverance and scope.

Oh the things I’ve seen. We are not Mother Nature. We don’t make things like the Grand Canyon. But we really aren’t so shabby.

Go see the Crazy Horse memorial some day. It will inspire you. That family…. holy shit.

If you can’t find a way make a way. That’s what we do.

I’m both intensely impressed with my species and quite sad about the issues. Good golly.

Some of the most incredible people are also monsters. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I think about it a lot.

Am I a monster?

Cue Lady Gaga singing about there being a monster in my head.

That one line of hers goes round and round and round in my brain.

The hilarious thing is… I’m not entirely sure I have the words right. We take the meaning we need to have from the world. Communication is less about what the speaker intends and more about what the listener finds. People are so fucking weird.

Sometimes I have these moments where I think that my friends really aren’t as great as I make them out to be in my head. Then I think, “Ahhh… but people rise or fall to the expectations you set. I’ll keep building them up.” It’s complicated.

There is a huge heavy stone in my heart. There is something I’m working on. It’s a big super hard super big thing. It kinda feels like everything. And I can’t talk about it yet. I can’t even breathe about it out loud until I make a decision. That’s complicated for me. I don’t do very well with processing things on my own like that. I am in fact, really really really bad at coming to positive conclusions that way. Thus the genesis of my writing/verbal diarrhea flow of TMI about my internal process.

Hi, internet, I’ve missed you. But my hands are cramping. I should stop. I’ve got my work cut out for me today. I’m going to drop the van off for servicing and hug my lovely mechanic and thank him for all of his help and advice. He saved my ass. I’ll probably bring a bag of presents that need shipping and come home by way of the post office. It’s less than .3 of a mile extra. I really look forward to walking home. This is my running path. This is my turf. This is my home.

I haven’t ever felt like this before. I feel so comfortable and so welcome and so very wanted.

I need to stop off and chat with my neighbors and thank them for the help and advice that helped keep us safe. I am so very grateful.

I need to go touch the strings of my web. I need to congratulate it for being so strong and shiny and beautiful. Thank you for doing you so that I can do me. I need you so much. Thank you.

I love you.

 

 

*(Call the Midwife)

One thought on “I love you, but…

  1. Michelle

    I am so happy you are back!

    I keep misplacing your mailing address, can you text it or email it to me? I would love to see if I can take transit to your house and garden with you.

    “But my experience of it is altered. I am altered. What I expect is altered.”
    yes, yes, yes. I have been having so much trouble explaining this to people.

    Reply

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