Bullies and being mean

At some point in the last year or so I got tired of the word bully. I don’t think it means what people think it means. It is used in all kinds of histrionic ways that I don’t think are appropriate.

To me bullying is an extended type of interaction between people who have no ability to get away from one another. In schools, children don’t have the option of avoiding their peers. So if one kid constantly targets another kid, that’s bullying.

People I don’t know showing up out of the blue to be assholes… that’s not bullying. They are being mean. They are assholes. But they aren’t bullying me. Bullying is about specifically trying to coach a set of conditioned behavior out of someone you perceive as being less than you.

I mean, it’s pretty obvious these women think they are better than me. But I don’t have to interact with them. So it isn’t bullying.

I can choose to not go to their sandbox. I have the right to stay in my sandbox, where I am adored.

I tell you, my ten year old self wouldn’t have believed that this many people would ever like me.

I will never be universally liked. That’s ok. If I were it would mean I had no true principles.

Pam told me last night that I previously said something like “Even fucking Santa Clause isn’t universally liked. There is no chance for me.” I stick by that.

I will continue to write people letters and postcards and attempt to insert myself into their lives. Even in cunts in Missouri think I’m a gross weirdo for doing so. You know what? The vast majority of people think it’s awesome.

I’m trying to be friendly. I don’t want to take anything from you. I don’t need you to do anything for me. I want to sit down and chat for a few hours so I can learn more about the wonderful variety of people in the world. But if your response is to ignore me and go bitch on the internet, you are a cunt.

You could have returned one of the letters “return to sender” and I would have gotten the hint without you having to bring dozens of people to my sandbox to point and laugh at the freak. How in the world do you live with being yourself?

Well, you need to spend your time wandering around the internet looking for people to put down.

You know what? I’m so glad my kids didn’t meet you. You did me a huge favor. Thanks!

You know what? I am an asshole. I’m ok with that. Are you ok with the fact that you are an asshole too or are you delusional enough to think you are nice?

So of course I’m thinking of the damn Taylor Swift song.

You’re pointing out my flaws as if I don’t already see them. As if I’ve not spent years carefully cataloging them so that I can punish myself with the utmost severity for every time I screw up.

It’s kind of funny.

I think the world wants me to hate myself. I think that is the reflection the world wants to see when it looks at me. That is what I have been told to think all my life. Since long before I actually was the monster they accused me of being.

The thing is, the more I hate myself the worse I treat everyone around me.

My children deserve better than that.

My shining, joyous children. My children who teach me about everything good in the world. The children I strive to deserve every day.

I do not assume I will have a relationship with my adult children. I know that I have to earn it through decades of consistent good behavior. Or my children will leave me how I left my mother. I know how these things go.

So it doesn’t matter if people on the internet think I am abusive. It matters if my children think I am abusing them.

I check in with my kids a lot. Pretty much every day. “Am I asking too much of you? I want to push you but not break you. If I’m pushing too hard tell me to stop. I don’t know what you are capable of. Only you know.”

I have done this since I was teaching them to walk. Since I started trying to teach table manners. Everything.

I want to help you learn as much as I am capable of helping you learn so that you can go have the most wonderful life you can possibly have. I don’t want to hurt you. But I’m a rough and aggressive person and I totally could if I’m not careful. I’ll check in a lot.

We actually spend a lot of time around different people. My children interact with a lot of different personality types. They get buffers. They get all kinds of treatment from kid glove to kind of rough.

They have god damn opinions about all of it and they will tell you so in about 97 parts.

I know that my behavior is not always correct. They tell me when they have a problem with me. I know it is popular to believe that children should not ever have to tell their parents to stop. But the thing is, I’ve never met an adult who is a mind reader. Ever adult oversteps with children sometimes.

The difference is in my house the kids are allowed to say stop.

“Mom your voice is harsher than you intend. Don’t do that.”

I do not believe that I am allowed to assure myself that I am not abusing my children. I do not have that right. Not ever.

Not until they are adults and they tell me so. I am absolutely on the hook for policing my behavior every minute of every day until they are not under my control and they tell me that I did it right.

I don’t really give a shit about any one else in the worlds opinion.

And for once, I also have the self control to not go check. Just to verify that people think I am as evil as the most severe of my fears.

You know what? Those are not the tapes I want in my head any more.

There are literally already hundreds of tapes of people telling me that I am bad and worthless and I can’t do anything right.

I genuinely don’t need more in order to have a balanced picture of myself. But thank you for caring so very much about ensuring I am able to provide the highest quality care for my children that I possibly can. I know that your actions are motivated by years of training, education, and love.

Clearly.

What is “neglect”?

It is when children have explicit, clear needs and they aren’t met. That can mean so many many many many things.

I’m not going to try to get into a list.

There is the possibility, maybe even the probability that my children have needs I am not meeting. It is highly likely that there are aspects of their personhood I am 100% blind to and I am not doing what they need to help them towards their future life because it is entirely outside my scope of imagination.

Yes, I know. I tell them that. I deliberately and consciously bring them around lots and lots of kinds of people. Many kinds of learning environments. Many kinds of teachers. So they can have exposure to skills and talents I lack. So they can learn, “Hey mom. What so and so did really felt like it was scratching an itch I didn’t know I had. I need more of that.”

Ok. Let me figure out how to arrange that. I’ve never considered it before. Please give me a few days to do research and I’ll come back with a whole list of possible plans and you can tell me what will work best for you.

No, I’m not perfect. I’m a mean asshole.

I know.

I try hard not to take it out on the people around me. It isn’t their fault. I try hard to be very aware that I am angry about things that are over. It isn’t fair to bring them into today.

I shouldn’t be scared and reacting with anger because of that fear. I know.

I know.

I’m trying.

I noticed recently that my suicidality actually was far less present than average on the trip. My usual PMDD nightmare days just weren’t as big of a problem as usual. I had some bad moments. I didn’t have whole days of lying prone and crying. (I pay for babysitting so my children don’t have to deal with this. No, they do not put their life on hold for my feelings. Near as I can tell my feelings are off stage for my kids most of the time.)

My sweet Eldest Child just came and knocked on the window and waved wildly and smiled super big. Then she signed that she wants me to come inside and snuggle her.

Well god damn. That’s better than whining on the internet.