I have not yet managed to talk myself into no longer looking at stats. But even though I still have an unusually high number of hits, they aren’t all coming directly from the troll site any more. And you’ve figured out “donotlink” too and you aren’t doing that either.
So, thanks. I can see that you are clearly trying to respect some of my boundaries if not all of them. It seems as though y’all are actually trying to not cause me to have panic attacks seeing where you’re coming from. Thanks.
That’s… a very kind sort of manipulation. I actually appreciate it quite a bit. No sarcasm.
The number of hits is still scary, I’m not used to that. But I don’t feel like I’m being loomed over by a disapproving crowd who is just waiting for me to slip up enough so they can call the police on me.
It really isn’t a lot of fun being in my head.
I spend a lot of time worrying about my behavior and trying to do better. I know that I fail pretty spectacularly sometimes and I’ve never been sure what that means. We live in a time and a place that would much prefer to punish people who fuck up rather than retrain them. I’m rather lucky I’ve slipped through the cracks as much as I have and I’ve avoided a lot of punishment I maybe should have gotten.
If I weren’t white I would have had a much harder road. I was incredibly disruptive for my entire childhood. That is barely sorta tolerated in white kids and treated as if it is a capital offense from black children.
I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. It is fucked up, wrong, and it happens every day.
I spend a lot of time wondering what could change things. What could make society safer?
I actually think that if we … uhm… don’t kill me for this, ok? I actually think that if we significantly lowered the penalty for rape we would be able to effectively prosecute it more and provide more healing and closure for victims. At this point the penalties are so high that there is a whole Good Ol’ Boys Network in place to prevent women from ruining the lives of those nice boys.
What if it didn’t ruin their whole lives? What if it was just… one more thing that lived on your permanent record that could be looked up about you. So that patterns could be detected and only serial predators faced serious serious charges?
I don’t know.
I think there should be a whole different system of redress but I don’t know what it should be.
What if all people who have been named as rapists are required to donate x% of their salary forever to a therapy fund for any rape victim who needs help paying for therapy?
That would change the dynamic quite a bit, don’t you think?
I increasingly believe that prison isn’t a solution. It is an expensive stop gap that is ruining more lives than it helps. We have found that out pretty decisively.
A lot of the problem in our country is that we are a blending of so many kinds of cultures from severe authoritarian to permissive that is really hard to find a cohesive law system that can work with such a broad range of “acceptable” variance.
As a nation we don’t have one set of principles about what is wrong and what is right and we are so very large. But we will never be able to solve problems the way China does. China gets away with being uniform because China has been a “do what you’re told” country for a very long time. The entire group of people is enculturated to respect power.
We… don’t have that set up and we never will.
What does that mean?
In my head I keep coming back and back and back and back to this idea of a universal income. We need it so badly. At this point in my life I am absolutely convinced that a high percentage of the problems we have could be mitigated that way. Not solved, but made less severe.
Of course I think of all the disabled people who are much more expensive to keep alive than people who aren’t disabled. How are they going to make enough more money to meet their needs? I think about these people because I love many of them and I want them kept alive. I watch how much they have to struggle to even get to “average”. I’m scared of making things harder for them.
I can’t say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there aren’t people who would be severely harmed by a minimum basic income. There are probably some people currently living on a mix of food stamps, disability, social security, and something else I’m unaware of who will see a quality of life drop.
This would have to be looked at by people far smarter than me. How many of them do you know? Maybe we are fucked.
Maybe there would still have to be a supplemental disability fund? No more unemployment or social security, but we still have a supplement for folks who are disabled specifically to pay for gear and assistance they must have to stay alive?
I know people who have to have live in helpers to keep their body alive. You know what? If they didn’t have the funds to pay for it I’d be happy to supplement. I want them alive. They do add to the world.
Sometimes I think the most disabled people exist partially because without them we would not understand the full complexity of what it means to be human. People are born in all kinds of bodies with all kinds of ranges of possibility.
Every single aspect of it has value.
I mean, the real reason disabled people exist is because there is variance in nature. It’s as simple as that. There is no “meaning” to any of it, not really. People just are. I don’t believe God puts people here as a lesson to be grateful that you are not like them. That would be a seriously asshole God if you ask me.
People just exist. And they have value as they are. What is that value? Shit that’s complicated and we have to go through it case by case by case.
I have spent an unusual amount of time in hospitals. I spent a while in my childhood having a best friend who was a quadriplegic from polio. We played a lot. I learned a lot about how to include people in games, even if they cannot move their hands and feet and all play is verbal. She was a really good friend. I’m sorry I didn’t keep in touch with her when my brother transferred to a different hospital. But to be fair, my life was so chaotic and I was eight and I had literally no money so it’s not like I could buy a stamp to write a fucking letter.
So I can’t feel too guilty. But I can remember her and be grateful that she was my friend for a little while.
I learned a lot about verbal descriptions from her. She had one of the most beautiful minds I have ever encountered. In her head, whole worlds existed.
Everyone has value. Everyone has something to teach you. Even the people you hate. Even the people you have to protect yourself from.
I’ve been too chicken shit to go talk to my old man neighbor yet. I’m not going to enjoy having this out but I have to.
Just like I’m still worried about another conversation I have to initiate. I think I have finally recognized that it just has to wait till January. I literally can’t before then.
I hurt. I’m so tired.
Yesterday was a quiet productive day and it was lovely. The kids have pediatrician appointments and classes lined up and a dentist appointment. I did a whole bunch of shuffling online stuff I have to deal with. Made yet more appointments with doctors.
I am serious about this hunt for a local shrink to help me with parenting stuff. At this point I have seven names. (I had eight yesterday. I changed my mind about the dude after looking at more of his website.)
They are all women who work within ten miles of my house. They are all people who specifically talk about parenting, PTSD, and long-term help. I had to narrow it down from a much bigger list of people than I expected. That’s really wonderful to see. It didn’t used to be like this.
One woman is black. Two are Chinese (as in mention being immigrants who speak Mandarin). Four who look white and there is no cultural identifying information about them. In my experience in the past… I deal best with black women. But I think I should talk to all seven.
I do not believe that it is appropriate for me to say that I have endured a level of trauma that is indicative of people who are black, that’s bullshit. I will say that when it comes to getting advice, the delivery style of the average African American woman works better for me than the delivery style of the average white woman.
It is important to recognize things about yourself.
Why is this true? Partially because black women don’t get to be wishy washy or passive aggressive the way white women do. If you must get things done then you act as if you are going to get it done. Period. That’s more my experience of getting advice from black women.
White women let you have more wiggle room and whining and but I don’t wanna.
In my experience of seeing black therapists versus white therapists…
One memorable line comes to mind, “Well that plus a quarter would have bought you a phone call a few years ago. You’re going to need more than that now.”
I know who my first phone call will be to. But I’ll call them all.
I have a hard time perceiving the hair pulling thing to be as far out in left field as other people do. But maybe that means I need to have it explained to me by someone who really understands why it is a problem so that I can change.
I really and truly want to do the absolute best I am capable of doing for my children. Along the way we are going to discover a lot of things that don’t work or that are fucked up. Because that’s what happens when you try a lot of things because you don’t know what will work.
I know some big land mines to avoid. I am far from omnipotent though.
Ok, someone on the troll site did say that they thought I was doing very well given where I started. I’ll acknowledge that with a “Thanks”.
It isn’t good enough for me though. It isn’t good enough for my kids.
But how do you change if you can’t see who or what you are well enough to figure out what you have let alone what you want to change to?
I have a hard time believing I am that bad of a parent. My children are too joyful and healthy. But I believe I could be better. It matters to me that I hit my potential and I don’t stop at “not that bad”.
Part of the problem with being better: do you know how people get good at things? They fuck it up a lot and pay attention to how they fucked up and then they improve on what they had been doing. You need experience to get good. You need to be wrong to get good. That’s terrifying to me. I don’t want to fuck up like that with my kids.
One of the most wonderful things about the kind of brain we have as human beings is we are capable of learning from other people. We don’t have to actually do everything ourselves.
Why in the hell do you think I read so many books?!
Speaking of the books… I’m getting closer and closer to being willing to talk into a tape recorder and pay someone to do transcription. I could save so much damage to my body that way. I know that Noah is 100% on board with paying for anything that reduces the damage I do to myself.
The weird thing is it won’t be that expensive.
Not if I can get to the point where I have more books for sale and people buy them once in a while. I’m going to get there. I’m just being a chicken shit right now.
No. I’ve been busy with other things. The writing career thing was not actually on my original agenda and it is being shoehorned in on top of a lot of other things.
It’s kind of funny. But I really do feel like I have whole books just sitting in weird boxes in my head kind of tapping their fingers waiting to get out.
There are many, very specific, messages I want to share with the world. I don’t know how much I will actually change people. But I sure as hell want to find out.
I don’t think of my blog like that. This is documentation. I’m not trying to talk you into anything.
This is not my art.
This is my salvation.
But! This is practice that will make me better at my art. Yay!
I’m trying to talk me into being the person I want to be. The person I can believe in. I want to prove that someone can really and truly be the way I want to be.
It would be a lot easier if I just decided I was a fuck up and went on with my life. Sigh.
Do you know what is going to break my heart? In the end, when it finally feels like it will be my turn to get to speak and speak and speak and speak? That’s when it will be most important for me to smile, nod, and hand the mic to someone who does not look like me.
Because they need to speak more than I do.
I’m very selfish and petty though. That’s going to hurt. I’ll do it. But it’ll hurt.
I’ll probably confess to you my mixed feelings, oh internet. But only if I can do it without undermining the message I’m trying to get out.
My experiences have been highly unusual for a long list of reasons. We need to hear from the people who have absolutely typical experiences because those are the patterns that can be broken.
Who in the hell is going to be able to catch the falling stars like me? We are so battered in so many places from coming down so fast.
I had help. That help is not available to most people who don’t look like me. How do we change that?
Everyone should be able to get the help I had. Why? Because I got a very little bit of help from a whole fucking lot of people.
Many people expressed shock and near horror that I let a friend live here while their house was being renovated. Uhm, the kids need a safe place to be. Why in the hell would I say no? Because it is inconvenient?
You people are fucked up.
Life is inconvenient.
Side note: I find it funny that people who think it is totally appropriate to have a kid have to sit all day in school doing boring shit that wastes their time (there are studies showing that less than an hour a day of school involves serious learning time) think I am awful for making my kids learn how to put their own laundry away and empty the dishwasher.
I am a defensive asshole, yes I am.
Our baby sitter really is a big sister. It’s wonderful. When the kids are whining about doing chores she talks to them and helps them. It is really sweet. I’m so lucky this kid is in our neighborhood and she has this kind of time free. It is funny to me that she is terrified of asking for accommodation. Every time she has to say, “I can’t work ____day.” She always apologizes and kind of cringes. Dude! If this job doesn’t work for you it will be the first thing that goes from your life. It’s totally ok if you can’t work on a given day. I’ll manage. It’s all good. Thank you for your help. Thank you for what you do. Thank you. It’s ok. Do what you can.
I have learned a lot about what I can and can’t do by myself. I’ve learned a lot about how nice I am capable of being when I am doing everything by myself.
I’ll work around your limitations, honey. You let me do me in a much nicer way. Thank you. I appreciate any and all help.
I was literally not capable of feeling that way twenty years ago. Someone asking for one day of being absent meant that they were abandoning me for all time and I would walk away furious. Possibly forever.
Ten years ago… slightly less explosion. Slightly.
I’m really proud of where I am now.
I feel kind of ashamed that there wasn’t a person on this earth who was worth me changing this much until my children were born.
Even though I love you all… I don’t love you like I love them. I owe them everything. I owe them everything I can ever give them. That is just the deal. What I get back is what they freely choose to give and I am not allowed to have expectations about that.
I do believe it is ok for me to tell them how I feel. But I don’t get to tell them what they have to do with that knowledge. Sometimes my kids choose to do stuff that I hate. That’s ok. We all know it and we are all ok with that.
There is a difference between the things I keep you from because it is my job to keep you safe as a child and the things where it is not my place to control who you are.
I think that is a lot of why I enjoy my relationship with my children as much as I do. They are incredibly loving and affectionate. I don’t force it. They are just that way.
I honor my promises. I say I love you every day. When I fuck up I state exactly what I did wrong, why it was wrong, and what I should have done. I rarely repeat mistakes (other than raising my voice–this is a continual battle).
Do you know that my kids are equally at home in the swankiest of expensive hotels/restaurants as they are in the most run down of mobile home trailers? They don’t blink. It is all perfectly normal and just how people are. They have a compliment to offer in any location. “Oh I love how you did _______.”
Sometimes they blow my fucking mind.
I have worked so hard for this. This is what I wanted. Children who feel comfortable in the world. Children who know lots of kinds of people and who see them all as wonderful. My children are not so sheltered that they think that only good people exist or only good experiences exist.
But they believe that if you are good to people it comes back to you. They believe that they were born lucky, with enough to spare and they really owe it to the world to give back. They consciously spend a lot of time talking through things they could do to make the world a better place.
We do little things and big things. We can’t do everything but we do what we can.
This is what privilege means. Having the time, the freedom, the ability, the money to do this.
We can make things better.
Wow. It is such an intoxicating feeling.
Will there be regressions? Yes. Are there still problems? Oh goodness yes. So many problems. That just means we have our work cut out for us, don’t it?
Dolly says that we’d better get to livin’, givin’ and throw in a little more givin’ and love along the way.
It occurs to me that it is a lot easier to stay positive when you have as much money as Dolly Parton. Or me.