Monthly Archives: October 2016

Sex and fucking up

I had a great chat yesterday. It made me think about a lot of how I’ve screwed up this year.

Sex is complicated. We have sex for so many reasons. For connection, intimacy, orgasms, bonding, feeling-not-alone-in-this-minute.

The thing is, that’s complicated. Why didn’t I pick Noah for every time I wanted sex this year? Because that’s complicated. Sometimes sex with a particular person is loaded with implications across your whole life you can’t handle and you want the ease of sex with someone else. Sometimes I wanted to feel like I still had the ability to connect with new people.

New people have been very instrumental to my survival. I get that it isn’t something that is a big deal to everyone. I know that lots of people have been safer in the known communities of their lives. I have survived by over and over again throwing myself backwards into the arms of strangers and just praying they would catch me. At this point it is no longer a survival mechanism but it is an ingrained habit. That’s complicated.

I don’t think I chased sex as self harm this round but I have certainly done so in the past. Sometimes the choice is, “Do I hurt myself in a known and predictable way because I don’t like myself very much or do I take the risk that this person will be nicer to me than I am able to be to myself or maybe they will hurt me more than I would hurt myself. Roll the dice.”

That’s a choice I’ve made many times in my life. If you haven’t had to deal with the cognitive load of poverty plus severe traumatization… you probably won’t understand. It will seem baffling to you that someone would make such a choice.

I’m glad you’ve never been there. That’s awesome for you.

I’ve been there a lot. I’m not there lately, but I have zero judgment for someone else finding themself in that position. It happens.

There have absolutely been nights when I’ve picked up a stranger and fucked them instead of hurting myself because I didn’t think I could stop until I put me in a hospital.

Was that a bad choice? I really don’t think so. I think I made the best choice I could given all the circumstances of my life in that moment.

It is hard to keep the larger picture in mind when you are judging one particular choice. Choices that were completely reasonable for me at different points in my life shouldn’t be judged the exact same way at this point in my life. I’m in different circumstances. I have different options.

To put it bluntly: I can have an emergency “weekend trip to relax” at this stage of my life. If I feel like I’m going to freak out and do something drastic… I can make it a very safe kind of drastic. Because I’m rich.

But that was literally not available to me before marriage.

Money. Money. Money.

If you have enough money, time, support, fill in the blank to have better options… who the fuck are you to judge someone doing the best they can!?

Get off your high horse.

But I’m really not in the same position as I once was.

How in the hell is any of my behavior this year justifiable? Hunh, hunh?

I’m not sure I can “justify” my behavior. I think I can explain it. I don’t think my explanations are “good enough” from many points of view and there’s not much I can do about that.

I learned things I needed to learn. I was able to find words for problems I wasn’t able to find words for until I processed all the way through some extreme emotions. I was able to change boundaries that were a big problem for me.

Could I have found a way to do it without freaking out and breaking a lot of rules?

Maybe. I tried. I failed.

I succeeded when I blew the boat up.

Things are going a lot better in a variety of ways. Was it worth the cost? Yes. To me. Was it to Noah? He’s still deciding. He’s still raw. That’s fair.

Sometimes we don’t do things to people and they hurt anyway. I didn’t go out and fuck people to hurt Noah. That’s not why it happened. We are all autonomous beings running our own stories and our behavior is not always about our partners. We have our own narrative running. It isn’t about you.

Even if we love you. Even if there could be negative consequences for you. We can’t make every single choice only about you. That’s not a way to be a person.

Would it be nice if our choices didn’t hurt you? Yes.


I played a very careful line this year. I didn’t actually do stuff that was that risky to my life. I mostly went out and spent extra time with my friends. People who have been good to me for a long time. I had a tremendous amount of fun. It will help keep me warm for years to come. Was it worth the price I paid?

Probably. Does that mean I can do it like that again? No. I really can’t. It would break Noah.

What does that mean? Our relationship functions based on a lot of trust and mutual worship. If I kill that then I’m kinda destroying both of our reason to live. Whether or not I’m doing something at Noah… I need to pay attention to the impact. My life is completely intwined with him.

If I rock the boat he feels every wave. There is not a lot of separation there.

I’m not sure we will ever get to the point of being “polyamorous” even if we are allowed to discuss it in ten years. But it is ok to have sex with our friends sometimes if we do it together. Is that my ideal? I don’t know. I don’t think my ideal is more fair so I guess it will have to be ok.

There is no fair.

I get why we are both so possessive. I see the holes in both of us that we use one another to fill.

Sex with friends is different than the anonymous sex I also like. They scratch different itches. Sex with friends is safer and more predictable (not in a bad way). Anonymous sex allows me to feel like I am touching the core of connection between strangers. It is both intimate and distant in a way that feels like a spiritual practice to me. The trust and risk are intense rushes.

But my life is wrapped around Noah. So whether or not I’m doing something at him… he will feel it.

Noah doesn’t feel so awesome about my having sex with other people. He wants me to keep my worship at home. When we are having sex with other people together, that’s ok. That’s not scary or hard. Well, sometimes it is logistically hard or a position is hard or… but it’s not threatening in the same way. We are having an adventure together. No one is left to sit with their imagination and fear.

Noah really doesn’t want me to go off alone any more than I want him to. Seems fair. Annoying, but closer to fair than most things ever get.

Why annoying? Because I am selfish selfish selfish selfish selfish. A lot of the reason I have sex is for the orgasm and changing partners increases that like a motherfucker. Sigh.

No life is perfect.

(For the record: Noah has been working hard on this and has had a pretty fucking outstanding success recently. There’s an A for effort and result.)

I know he’s trying. I can see it. I don’t think it would be possible to look at Noah and not see that he is trying as hard as he possibly can for me.

I’m so annoying and hard.

He works far harder than anyone can ask for; that kind of effort is a freely given gift. I know how lucky I am. My physical and mental health issues have not been easy. But Noah considers my companionship worth the cost.

How in the hell did I end up here?

I auditioned hundreds of people and Noah won the part.

I think we are much better and more interesting together than we ever were apart.

I’m looking forward to pregnancy. I get so exhausted that our pace of life will utterly collapse. Yeah, yeah, pregnancy isn’t a disability yeah yeah pregnant women should carry on as if nothing was happening…

I can’t. Gestating is fucking hard in my body. Remodeling and resettling the house has to be complete by January. Next year I’m going to work on academics with my big kids, sit around, sleep, exercise, eat and go grocery shopping.

I’m probably not going to get much else done, to be honest. And that’ll continue for at least 3-6 months after the baby is born.

I’m toast. Breeding is hard.

I’ve completed the cycle and come out the far side more than once so I’m very aware of what it looks like for me.

I’m really excited about the possibility of a pregnancy where I am in much better physical shape to start with (hello marathon and half marathons, you have halo effect I still feel) and I have my IBS mostly under control and I can breathe through my nose. This will be a different experience. I’m also older. This will also be a medicalized experience (hiya bleed out problems) which is kinda terrifying for me.

All the feelings. And my back is giving me trouble. I need to finish this damn remodel. But bending over really kinda sucks.

I’ll get through it. Put a corset on and get your work done, woman.

It’s kinda funny how we all adapt to the tasks life puts in front of us. This art shit weighs on my soul. I really am more calm in my home because of the art work. It is so easy to ground in my house. When you are here you are really in a particular, individual place. That’s a big deal for me. In other peoples homes, in most of the homes I’ve ever lived in… they all kinda blend together. Sure the knick knacks and furniture are sorta different… but the white walls meet the white ceilings and I want to crawl under a table and cry.

No, it’s not rational.

I do not want a fancy “nice” bathroom that looks like it could be in a hotel somewhere. And I’m willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the experience I want to have. Every doctor I have wants me to take baths as often as I can. I spend time in my bathroom. I recycle the water too. To deal with my hippy guilt. (The internet tells me that epsom salts, baking soda, vinegar, and sugar are all fine for plants on a small scale so my bath water is fine  for my plants. Woo hoo.)

We’ve had a broken toilet for a long time. We’ve been using the grey water to flush the toilet. I’m thrilled that with the increased bath capacity of water I will also be able to use the water for more plants. I’ve always used some of it sometimes… but never for plants if someone has used shampoo or soap.

Why am I so tolerant of my friends having quirks or needing accommodation for their mental health needs? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Uhm, err, just because I’m a nice person?


Because I fucking obsess over what to do with my bath water. I got no stones to throw on people needing to do their thing.

Oh man. I’m going to go through a pregnancy in a bathtub big enough to roll over in. Oh the glory.

Spoiled rotten motherfucker.

I really like my house.

Did I mention I’m having candle holders permanently installed on the walls of the bathroom? And there are skylights above it?

The walls are going to be glittering scenes of autumn and winter. I’m working on them.

My house is a very particular place. I like it so much.

I need to clean it. But that’s a problem for a different day. It won’t be really cleaned until the remodel is done. Too much dust and dirt is being generated every day. Not worth a deep clean. I’ll probably splurge on professionals in January at the start of the pregnancy.

Then I’ll spend a year basking in my family. In 2016 I was supposed to learn how to love myself. I don’t know that I managed, exactly. But I’ll spend 2017 hanging out and letting my family love me. That’s… almost the same thing?

Today will be a Zen sorta day. Noah has a dentist appointment. I’m watching a neighbor’s child in the morning and walking them to school. It’s kinda funny. Then I get to come home and get the kids onto chores and academics while I work. I will have to find a way to do work that is right next to them so we can talk while they do their stuff. They always have questions, which is very appropriate.

Tonight we are going to trick or treat with friends we haven’t seen much in the year since we’ve been back from the road trip. We’ve been really bad friends this year. I’ve dropped everyone and everything on the floor for this remodel. And I do it when I’m doing the breeding thing too.

Uhm, I’m sorry. I will crawl out of a hole again in the future. I hope you still like me then.

But yes. Touching base with old friends. Longevity is a big deal for me. A dear woman I know is deeply associated with a phrase: “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

I’m really curious which threads are deep enough in the weave that I will know them for most of my life. I am made up of the people who know me. The people who carry my story with them when they go. I am made up of the people who sometimes ruefully think, “What would Krissy do?”

I am a creation in your mind as much as I am anything at all. And the fact that you think about me. That fact is enough to mean that even when I fuck up, I am maybe not beyond forgiveness.


Periodically someone will tell me that I think I am a “Strong Black Woman”. No. No I really don’t. I don’t think I have lived under structural oppression. I don’t think I have lived as the victim of racist beliefs. I don’t think I have experienced federal housing discrimination.

I’m not Black.

But I learn a lot from Black women and that’s a tricky thing. There is a line where if you adopt mannerisms, words, behaviors, or anything else from a Black women you are said to be appropriating.

Instead we should all limit ourselves to learning from white people?


How can we change things if we continue to act like everything that Black people know is only for Black people and instead if you want to learn from someone, go pick a white person.


Some of the very best teachers, spiritual leaders, and therapists I’ve interacted with have been Black women. Why should I pretend I have not learned from these wise people? Because they are Black? Because if I use a word they have taught me I am doing something wrong?


I am not stealing their words and trying to make a profit from it. I am trying to learn to live with a traumatized body. I’m trying to learn to live with brain damage in a very sick and twisted world.

Who in the fuck has more experience surviving in traumatized bodies than Black women?! (Which is yet another stereotype. Many Black women haven’t been traumatized that much.)

I think that Black people, and especially women, need to be fairly compensated for their contributions to society and embraced and used as models.

Is that appropriation? Well I don’t think that white people should go to their classes, pick up a few tricks, then put out a shingle teaching a mangled version of the lessons they learned. That’s appropriation. That’s fucked up.

I may admire the clothes, jewelry, or makeup tricks that Black women use… but I don’t try to emulate them.

I feel quite sad about not being “supposed” to emulate many hairstyles because with 3b curly hair I could definitely use access to some Black hairstyles. But I understand that Black women are still fired from jobs for wearing the hairstyles I could get away with… so I don’t.

Where are the lines? What is fair? What is right and what is wrong?

I don’t think I am a strong Black woman. I think I am a white woman who is trying to see the world in it’s myriad existence. I am trying to learn from some of the wisest sources available to me.

Let me tell you, I don’t get a lot of good out of listening to most white guys. I just… don’t. Is it fair?

There is no fair.

There are many other groups I “could” listen to more than I do. I try to listen to Latina voices. I listen to First Nations writers. I listen to folks who follow a variety of faiths. I listen to a lot of sex workers.

Mostly I listen to women. A lot of them happen to be Black. So periodically someone will say to me, “You think you’re a Strong Black Woman.”

Uhm… no.

What is this misogynoir bullshit? If I learn from Black women I must think I’m one of them? Dude, I’m not publicly performing to Formation or anything stupid like that.

No one would ever say that I thought a was a white man if I quoted them more often.

I think that it is kind of bullshit how often people comment negatively on the fact that I like to learn from Black women. If you think it is worthy of mockery, that’s about you. And it says nothing good. I know who and what I am. I don’t think I am something other than what I am.

If you can’t figure out who or what I am… maybe that’s about your perception of the world and not me.

I feel so confused

Things are plugging along fast here at Wonderland. We no longer have a bed frame. We gave it to a buddy. Our mattress is back on the floor because now we have enough room to put a twin mattress next to us and a crib mattress at the foot of our mattress so we don’t have to fight so often about the kids wanting to be in our room.

I give up on trying to force independence for a few years. They’ll sleep without us someday. True this makes sex inconvenient. Which is why Noah put a lovely lock on the garage door. Once the tile is out of the way we will have a great bed in the garage for sex. It’ll be grand.

I understand why they want to be close to us while sleeping. It makes sense to me. I don’t feel like trying to sever that closeness. We all love to reach out a hand or a foot just to make contact.

Something like 13%(ish) of 8-12 year old kids sleep with a parent every night. I slept with my mother until I had boyfriends or girlfriends in my bed.

We are maintaining a separate bedroom for them. Everyone has their own sleeping space. But sometimes people sleep on the couch. Because they want to. Sometimes people sleep on the floor in the living room. Because they want to. Sometimes everyone wants to sleep in the grown up bedroom. Because they want to.

This isn’t anxiety related at all. It’s kind of fascinating. I have proven to myself that we can force sleeping alone. But it’s not that much fun for anyone so why am I forcing this? One of the top 10 best things about the road trip was getting to sleep with the kids basically every night. The only nights I didn’t were when Noah was there and we wanted some privacy.

Middle of the night sex isn’t what it once was for me. I don’t feel the need for the same level of privacy. If I want to elbow him and crawl out to go to the garage for a while… we can do that.

What am I confused about though? That’s why I started writing.

I’m confused because some of the most beautiful people I know are told frequently that they are ugly. I don’t get it.

I’m confused because I feel like I’ve been having sex for over three decades and I’m only starting to sorta get what sex might actually be.

I’m confused because I don’t understand what slutty means to my identity and how descriptive or prescriptive I need it to be. I don’t know why this is so much of me.

I’m confused because I don’t know what fucking color to paint my house. I can make a strong case in several directions.

I’m confused because now that I have this shiny ADD diagnosis… I can’t do much about it because I’m about to get pregnant. I can’t try any medications. Well, I could. But I choose not to.

I’m confused because I wonder which of the choices I’m making that are the-best-I-can-make are very wrong. That’s always true. It always happens. No one ever makes the Right Choices. Everyone makes the best-choice-they-can-make-that-minute. It’s based on so many factors and complications that… it’s huge. It just is. People do the best they can. Maybe not their ultimate best given specific training and feedback and effort on a thing but they do what they can given who they are and what they have and what support they have and what resources they have and the education they have and the family they have and…. It’s complicated. Some of these choices we make, that are the best we can do, are wrong.

My shrink told me that in her opinion… as long as I don’t blow up the boat in the same way again… maybe all the stepping out wasn’t so bad. Specifically because it made us talk about some sex stuff we have been avoiding for years but mostly because… that kinda helped push us into having more kids. And she thinks that given how much I wanted kids… it wasn’t too high a price to pay.

Learning experiences often hurt.

Now that the decision is made I feel confused and freaked out a little by having a baby. My head is spinning in circles of, “My house is not baby set up” and I’m feeling panic. But we’ll figure it out.

I’m thinking about how much I have enjoyed being touched less. I’m thinking about how much I enjoy not sharing my boobs. Oh god.

Hey, I’m just doing a bit more to help my lifetime diabetes and breast cancer rates go down…

Oh god.

What am I doing? My back god damn hurts. This is going to suck ass through a straw.

I’ll figure it out.

But I’m so excited I can barely wait till January to get started… but we need to for a variety of reasons.

Oh good golly I hate birth control.

Yes, condoms can be sexy. They are also extra friction, which I hate. Even with lube; I know. Don’t give me the commercial, ok? I’m spoiled.

Life calls.


Noah wrote me one of those epic blog posts he writes to me. Noah is of the belief that if we had public back and forth about our issues it would go badly. Given that I write publicly… he writes to me. I worry about this dynamic.

He’s bringing a lot of reality into this relationship. What the ever loving fuck. He accurately catalogues some of the problems we have had over the years and says that it is less about forgiving me for these ways in which I have fucked up and more about exalting that no matter how big the bump we always find a way past it.

That’s… that’s deep, yo.

I’ve fucked up a lot. I have done some pretty awful things. Some of the things are ongoing problems and some of them were problems for a while and then I stopped.

Just like some of the ways in which Noah has fucked up are ongoing and some of them are stopped. But I have not been giving him a lot of credit for change and growth. I have been acting like every problem, every fuck up is about an escalating pattern. Is it?

I come from a background of domestic violence. I literally spent my childhood moving every few months because my mother was running from a man who beat and raped her children.

Am I capable of looking at fuck ups and not wondering about the escalation potential?

Noah does not beat nor rape my children. I feel completely comfortable saying that. My children exhibit no stress signs of hidden trauma. I watch for it. My friends watch for it. My neighbors even watch for it because I’ve talked to many of them about my background and family history and I’ve flat asked to be monitored.

“I don’t know what healthy actually means. I’m trying to learn. I need feedback so I’d appreciate it if you commented when you see me doing something that might hurt my kids.”

People are always fairly stunned by this request, but they honor it. People call me on my shit.

I have all the potential in the world to be a monster.

So does Noah.

What does potential mean?

I don’t think I am a monster at this stage. Or maybe, I’m a monster kinda like the BFG is a monster. Are you a monster because you are in a category with other monsters based on demographic factors but you don’t enact monstrous behavior yourself?

Noah wants me to not forgive him but instead exalt him for getting past many of the ways he has hurt me. I get why he wants that. I get why it is important for the story arc. Given that we are fresh on the heels of several straight months of me being the problem and me hurting him far more than he hurt me… I get it.

2016 will go down as one of the years when I hurt Noah the most for our entire marriage. Was it worth it?

I don’t know.

If I had to do that in order to really force through the idea that I will never grit my teeth and take one for the team again? Yes.

Yes. A million times yes.

Noah may want me to not forgive and instead exalt that we got past our issues, then I need 2016 to be the last year I ever submit to sex that hurts me in a bad way. I’ve been having sex that caused me intense physical pain for more than 30 years. I’m done. If I had to blow the fuck up to convince the people around me that I’m done done done done done I can live with that.

Does that make it good or fair or right to blow up like that? Not really.

Sometimes there aren’t right choices.

I know that means I will have to change behaviors on my end as well as figuring out how to keep coaxing behavior from Noah that will work better. That will be really hard.

I’m off the team. I can’t ever take one for the team like that again. Whatever service of that kind I owed in this lifetime I have paid. I have paid and paid and paid and paid. I’m out of currency with which to pay.

My cunt is mine and I need it to not be treated like something that anyone has a right to use no matter how much pain they cause me.

I understand that a lot of this has happened because I “let” it happen. Because I was conditioned from toddlerhood that this was my lot in life so I encouraged and allowed this kind of behavior. Yeah yeah, it’s my fault. I know.

If we go seek out people to hurt us and they hurt us is it their fault or our fault? I don’t entirely know.

Exalting. I should exalt that Noah has gotten to the point when he can recognize that I am engaging in bdsm as self harm he stops participating.

Really if I want to talk about the things Noah has worked on to be better at being my partner… I won’t stop talking for a few weeks.

I know.

I know.

Racing thoughts

Well, it is official. I have ADD. I’m having some distinct mixed feelings about this. My therapist and psychiatrist both tried to uhhh “explain” why I didn’t get this diagnosis when I was younger in very CYA ways. “Well it is very hard to tell ADD and trauma apart.” “You didn’t show signs of distress.” Wait, whut?

She meant that I am very smart and I was able to pass grades in school so clearly I am totally fine.

But what the ever loving fuck?

I’m finding that I’m still having trouble shaking the strapping down during the second surgery. I keep feeling tightness in my body and when I check in with that part of me, I feel scared.

My shrink said, “It’s natural that you feel this way. Being strapped down like that is a major violation.” It wasn’t the second time. They were trying to keep me from falling off an operating table. That’s not a major violation. It was a major violation when they strapped me down just because they didn’t like my mood. I wish my body would forget. Not all strap-downs work the same way.

I’m having a lot of thoughts about intimacy, sex, love, wanting, keeping score, forgiveness… and I’m totally not ready to write about any of them. Oh the potential fall out.

My heart hurts.

I want my house back. It’s been so fucking long and I’m going stir crazy. I think I only have another week of major construction work before they start on tiling. Oh that would be lovely. I want my floor back in the garage. I want to have a play room so my kids can get their shit off the living room floor. Right now… the living room is the only place to play and we all think that sucks.

I haven’t been inviting people over. There isn’t space.

I am feeling weirdly kinda thrilled about Eldest Child and I both having an accurate diagnosis at this point. That means a lot of my weird rigidness around creating order is… a very functional adaptation to problems we actually have. I’m not just a fascist bitch. YAY! I’ve run across several mentions in the past few days that we all need separate work spaces and I think I’ve decided how I’m going to make that work space wise. Desks in every damn room. So, kid sized desks in the play room and in the sleeping room (which will have room once most of the furniture is taken out like we have scheduled to do…) and the coffee table in the living room and the red table in a corner of the garage where you can’t see Noah. Which will give me four work spaces for little people. Perfect when we have the Bonus Kids.

Cause I’m just a few weeks away from giving every one dedicated work time every day. Because I’ve almost got the bones in place for that.

The littlest two are too young for academics so they can work on art. Play Doh for hand eye acuity or drawing or painting. Sure, why not. I’ve got just about everything in the house. But the littles need their own work so they leave the biggest kids alone for a little bit. Eldest Child is kinda annoyed with me over having to do academics at the rate she is currently doing them. I said, “Hey I asked you if you wanted to start catching up in second grade and you said, ‘Naw wait till next year’ so that means you have a lot to do in one year. Take your medicine.”

I’m not entirely sure we are unschooling any more given that I’m trying to teach the habit of working every day so I mandate structure more than we used to. We are still studying the stuff she asked to study. She picked out the books she’s plowing through… not me. I’m just enforcing the creation of habits.

You are your habits.

I’ve always gotten my planning done in bursts. Noah has been working on developing the habit of checking in every Sunday with long lists of life-preparation-shit. I’m trying to join him and after a few weeks or months I’m going to push the kids to do it as well. Planning out your week just makes everything flow more smoothly. But I need to try and build the habit myself before asking the kids. Too much is changing for them. I need to change me before I can change them.

They both plan like I do at this point: in bursts at random times. It is wonderful for me to listen to them plan things out though. They think like me. It’s incredibly validating. They think about different scenarios and fall backs and logistics and… Oh my babies. You make my heart soar.

I’m a nerd.

I can’t figure out what to do with the bottom left corner of this mosaic. I hate what I have tried so far. Grouse, whine, fuss. Ok, maybe I don’t hate it… but it’s not right yet. I love how I’ve managed to create the idea of differing distances and scale and perspective. I’m a genius.

And so humble.

We’ve been slowly putting all our investment stuff on Mint. As more of our money becomes visible to me…

Holy Fucking Shit.

We have managed to save/pay down debt at the rate of over $100,000/year every year of our marriage. Given what else we’ve done… I’m both terribly impressed with how I’ve managed to stretch the money that far and ashamed I haven’t done better. Especially over the past few years as his salary has been so incredibly high.

I can only afford to do this because Noah happened to pick the most lucrative hobby of his generation as a seven year old kid, he was white, and he came from family money which allowed him to go to one of the best schools in the country.

Privilege is a mother fucker.

Next year, given that I won’t be traveling I hope I pay off/save a combined total of $150,000. (Specifically: investments go up by $50,000, debt will go down by $100,000. That will leave me with ~$60,000 left of debt. I’ll pay that off the next year.) That still, uhh, leaves us a lot to live on. More than I could earn in a year.

Either the year after that or maybe the year after that… we’ll probably hit a million dollars in investments.

Before I’m 40.

My shrink spent a while today trying to tell me that because I am so accomplished how could anyone have been able to tell that I had ADD? I’m so… capable.

I have found some fucktastically effective coping methods, it is true. What could I have done if I had better/more effective support? It’s either terrifying in a good way or maybe a let down. Noah tells me pretty frequently that he thinks I have not come close to my potential yet and he looks forward to seeing what that means.

Resilience. This word keeps coming up. What the fuck does resilience even mean? Don’t give me a text book definition. I can rattle that shit off. But what does it mean feeling like? Cause I’m resilient like fuck and I still feel like a loser.

I had structural power on my side, but that isn’t effective for everyone who has it. Most white people who start out poor like I did do not manage to leap frog to the other side of the socio economic spectrum. Try something. Fail. Get up and try something else. Fail. Repeat.

That’s resilience. It is being willing to try something else after failing. Holy shit I’ve failed so much.

I think I fucked things up with some friends. I think it is my fault. I’m not angry at anyone about the cock up. This is on me.

But I’ll try again. Maybe I won’t pester them, boundaries matter, but I’ll try again in life. It’s a long life. There are a lot of god damn people in the world.

I am propelled forward in life by this deep aching need. A need for love and connection and respect and to be treated well. These are not things I was handed easily or automatically. I’ve had to work.

Try. Fail. Try again.

Sometimes when I hear men complain about how unfair it is that they have to work hard to learn social skills I want to scream and break things. It has been so hard for me. I have fucked up over and over and over and it has been god damn painful.

No sympathy from this corner, buddy.

I have believed all of my life that my brain worked differently than other peoples and I’m getting increasing feedback that I was right. Yeah, things that might be easy for some people are genuinely harder for me.


But you know what, I got this far without outside help figuring out how to help me. That’s pretty good.

*pat self on back*

Good job, self. You aren’t a completely worthless shitpile. Well done.

I was sitting in the back yard recently and I thought, “Well done past self. You were so awesome to do all those hundreds of hours of work. It has really paid off.”

I need to find a balance between work and rest. My future health will depend on me pacing myself and I totally get into work-a-holic periods where I wreck my body. I can’t keep doing it. I need to get this cycle more predictable and workable and sustainable.

My body hurts so much. And there isn’t a lot of point in working hard to make it hurt less before the big work is done because I’ll just hurt myself again in a day.

I have about 14 hours of detail work left in the kitchen. I have to finish the mosaics. I have to paint the play room. I have to empty everything out of the shed so it can be moved then I need to reorganize it because damn my system collapsed. Then I need to sort most of the stuff in the entire house and put it away.

seriously hope we are done before Christmas.

I’m not sure we will be done with the arbitration which kinda sucks. Sigh.

I am so very weary. Why am I not sleepy?

Can’t sleep. Future will eat me.

Not to mention that this election cycle is awful. The internet is a sad place to be. I should probably stop reading Twitter until after November 8th.

I have filled out my ballot. I’m good.

There’s not a thing on this earth that could make me vote for Trump. Sweet sunny Christmas no.

I’m clearly going to have leftover tile. I’m going to talk to local art teachers. I’ve got enough stuff for several full classes to make reasonable sized mosaics if the tiles were broken up. I’m not sorry I didn’t end up using everything. I’m glad I had the variety. I am really excited about finishing winter. This is going to be so pretty. I have a lot of sparkly tiles. Let it snow; let it snow; let it snow.

I’m over you, autumn. That tree was a motherfucker.

But it’s so prettttttty.

I will be happy that I get to look at you. Making you was still evil.

I’m going to try again on sleep.

Alameda County voting

I don’t think you need to vote like me, but in case you are curious…


  • 51: no
  • 52: no
  • 53: no
  • 54: yes
  • 55: yes
  • 56: no
  • 57: yes
  • 58: yes
  • 59: no
  • 60: no
  • 61: no
  • 62: yes
  • 63: yes
  • 64: yes
  • 65: no
  • 66: no
  • 67: yes

A1: yes

RR: yes

I had a hard time with the choice between Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris. I agree and disagree with both women on issues. I ultimately picked Sanchez because that’s a woman with a plan. I admire that.

I voted for Hillary Clinton because there isn’t another viable choice I could tolerate as president. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

Other choices you are on your own.


Still bored

I have to sit very still because I probably popped the artery with an increase in blood pressure. The nose is sensitive and the blood vessels aren’t buried deep and increases in blood pressure puts strain on thin closures. Given that I lost a whole bunch of blood clots in the last bleed that were quite large, one the size of a golf ball… I’m not done healing from the original surgery most likely.

It was really stupid to dive into a pool. I take responsibility. I thought three weeks was long enough. He said 3-4 weeks for exercise. Then I looked online (after my first nose bleed) and saw that swimming is supposed to be held off for 6+ weeks. Whoops.

It’s my fault.

Yeah… I know.

So I have an appointment this Friday with my surgeon and I’m supposed to stay as still as I can manage until then. That’s 10 solid days of sitting.


I need to be cleared for driving a long way on Friday. The following Tuesday I have appointments in Oakland/Berkeley I want to keep. I will find out the results of the ADD testing and I’ll get a genetic test done to see part of why I am so wacky when it comes to my medication responses. I hear that these days they have better ways of trying to tell why a person is wacky. We’ll see.

I am scared that the genetic testing will be, “We don’t know why you are so reactive to medications” followed by “You must be making it up” when I have a consistent 20 year history of having abnormal physical reactions to medications. Well, not even abnormal physical reactions. All of my reactions to medications follow known potential side effects. I just get the unusual and extreme side effects. They are always listed on the package as possible but the doctor says, “My other patients don’t respond this way. It is weird that you do.” BUT THESE REACTIONS ARE LISTED ON THE PACKAGE. WHY DO YOU SAY IT IS WEIRD THAT I HAVE THESE REACTIONS WHEN THEY ARE LISTED ON THE GOD DAMN PACKAGE?!

I’m going to stop and say again: my recent ER visits went fantastically well. I am going to hold on, in my mind, to this image of doctors getting to do exactly what they are trained to do and doing it well. They weren’t threatened by my weird reactions so they didn’t shame me even a little. Shit happens and everyone did their job well.

Doctors are not always shitty.

But psych patients try the patience of doctors. Psych patients try the stamina of doctors and they don’t like it.

Whyyyyyyyyy am I so treatment resistant to many of the things doctors want to throw at me to solve my problems? I think it is because solutions are way more complicated than that. I think that if my body had settled down and tried to “behave” more when doctors gave me pills… I wouldn’t have fought so hard to change every aspect of my life. I think that on some subconscious level I knew that the solution to my problems had to come in relationships and life experiences and genuinely figuring out how to stop acquiring more ongoing trauma… Pills would have prevented me from having the fierce drive to change everything in my life. I would have been more apathetic. More accepting. That would have been bad.

Maybe I had every negative side effect because feeling more-ok with not-okness would have been devastating to the overall curve of my life.

I really don’t know. I know that I try things. I know that I follow directions for how to “get better” and deal with my issues and… only some of the things work.

Mostly what has worked has been getting away from ongoing traumatization. Mostly what has worked has been finding a partner who will help me and be with me and adapt to my needs. Mostly what has worked has been having children and proving to myself that I can be a good mother. I have some value. I have some ability to do good things.

Being a good friend has helped. Seeing that I have resources to share has helped. Not feeling like I am just a pathetic eternal sinkhole of need.

If medication had worked when I was 15 and I had learned how to conform better to what was happening…. would I have prosecuted my father? Would I have pushed so hard to get the fuck out of high school?

If medication had worked when I was 19 would I have worked so hard to find coping methods? Would I have finished college and left my Owner? Or would I have… reverted to a mean? I don’t know for sure. I know that having an intense amount of drive is a lot of what kept me pushing to find new things.

If medication worked better now would I try so hard to find more books to read, more strategies to employ, more reasons to make things work on my own?

I don’t choose to have the reactions to medication that I have. I just have them. I just document them. It would be easier if I could stop doing research and working and just… coast on some extra help from a pill. But it hasn’t worked for me.

I fucking wish it would.

I’m not saying that other people who can take medications are lazy or not trying hard to improve or aren’t doing work or…

I’m talking about my journey with my individual issues. I’m a deeply flawed person. I ain’t judging you. Glass houses and all that shit.

Noah has been extra schmoopy lately. Like, schmoop on turbo.

Noah gets up in the morning because of me. Noah works all day because of me. When Noah is resting for a few minutes, he comes to cuddle up to me before returning to working. Because I’m really the whole center of his world. Yeah yeah, kids, but no. I’m it.

My mama told me that whenever two people are in love one person is more in love than the other person and that person is at a disadvantage.

I feel like my relationship has gone back and forth and right now… Noah loves me more. And I have not been honoring the gift he is giving me. I have been hurting him with that. I have been allowing him to be at a disadvantage. God damnit if I’m not proving my mama right. Fuck and shit and craptastic.

Noah does love me like I’m his favorite Disney princess. (A reference to a thing that happened online and I’m not giving context.) Noah loves me like I’m his favorite person of all time.

I need to stop being such a fucking asshole and I need to work on appreciating what I have more. I need to figure out how to fall more in love. I need to honor the fact that I am treated way better than I deserve. I need to honor the fact that Noah has changed his whole god damn life for me.

Noah gives to me the way my female friends give to their male partners. With an open hand. Without demand that I earn his love in return.

God damn how did I get so lucky in this lifetime? Sometimes people tell me that of all people I deserve what I have now. No. That’s not how it works. It doesn’t matter how shitty my childhood was. No one could possibly deserve what I have now. I just have it. Because life isn’t remotely fair.

Given how much my head still hurts, it is easy to remember that sex is off the table for a while. I have been feeling a lot of urge to snuggle and kiss though.


I’m very excited about this breathing through my nose business.

Noah is earning a lot of adoration lately. He’s being so very nice. He’s doing so much stuff. I’m kinda compulsive about working. In order to persuade me to sit on my ass… Noah is doing most of my chores. Not all of them (and that’s ok) but enough that I really don’t have justification to get up and work. The stuff that I’m not doing right now is stuff that can wait. He’s doing everything that can’t wait.

I feel like a princess.

Why doesn’t everyone get to have a partner who will treat them the way that Noah treats me? Ok, minus the kinky sex. Not everyone is into that part. But the support, the love, the attention.

I wish everyone got to be loved the way I am loved. It feels like magic.

Do None Of The Things

I strongly dislike medically mandated rest. I get prescribed rest every few years. Usually by doctors who are greatly exasperated by my work load. To them I say: STOP JUDGING ME.

But when I get told to sit on my ass or else I try to listen. So I’m up to day four. I was told this time that I should sit for at least a week. The surgeon would prefer longer but I whined.

This means having a baby is put off by several months. It’s just not on the table yet. Feck. Like, don’t think about it till December or January. From October. That makes me very sad right now.

Other things I can’t consider doing right now: painting, gardening, cleaning out the shed for the remodel (the construction workers are going to to move it but it needs to be emptied first), cleaning my house (luckily Noah did this part yesterday so I feel less twitchy on this front), typing all that much (my arms are enflamed like a motherfucker), exercising, sex at all for a while, masturbating, driving, socializing…

I’m feeling very fussy right this minute.

But I’ve sat still through Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Where is my fucking medal.

I wasn’t still for a solid three days after the first surgery. This may be part of my problem. I’m trying to do better after this burst artery business. That was kinda scary.

I think I’m up to four near death experiences. Three medical one psychological. The first was the pit bull bite. I could have died from blood loss then if I hadn’t been near a good hospital. I’m a truly lucky bitch. The second was when my father held a gun to my head and asked me if I deserved to live. Psychologically… that fucks you up forever. That’s almost dying. Third was bleeding out during my second labor. That was really scary. And now the fourth was having an artery burst in my nose.

The doctor said: “No way can you go to Las Vegas this week. Imagine what would happen if you started bleeding in the middle of the desert.”

Oh yeah. I’d die. Because this isn’t a game. Oh.

I’m kinda like a cat, counting up my lives.

Only five to go. Time to stop fucking around with this mess. The near misses will be scarier later. And that’s not including the times I’ve done stupid things like letting someone hang me with a noose.

I haven’t traditionally had a lot of care with my life.

But I have these kids now. Things have changed. I really want to see what kind of grown ups they become. I’m endlessly fascinated with them. I get tired and need time off, sure, but I don’t get sick of knowing them. I didn’t think parenting would be this wonderful.

It’ll be more wonderful when my house isn’t being forking remodeled. But progress is being made! They are more than four weeks into the work now. In a supposedly 6-8 week project. Windows arrive in ten days. I’ve had no windows in the front of my house since February. It’s getting cold again. Which makes six weeks unlikely but eight weeks possible. I’m crossing my fingers.

Hey, that means I can’t consider getting pregnant till the remodel is over. Sigh.

One of my friends sent me this link to a private island for sale in Scotland. If I sold my house I could probably cover half of it. Holy fucking shit. That’s… kinda mind blowing.

Sex is so weird. I’m transactional with it and I’m getting to the point where that is a serious problem for me. So I’m teasing my friends about something and not writing about their situation because tact but it made me think about myself. If I wanted something and Noah told me I could have it if I blew him every day for a year… he would wake up with a mouth on his cock every morning for 365 days. If I wanted something and that was the price…

Price. Should things have sex as a price? Everything has a price. For years now I’ve paid the price of sex for Noah’s good humor. And just recently when I stopped having sex with Noah (mostly for medical reasons) he’s… had trouble in the ways we predict. So I feel like I’m being derelict in my duties to provide sex. And I’m feeling bitter that I must. So using sex to pay for things is complicated.

Will I do it? Sure. I’m a pragmatist. Will I be long term happy about it? Well that’s a different question. It kinda sounds like I’m joking about the pragmatism thing, but I’m not. I’ve had a crazy lot of sex for pragmatic reasons. A long time ago I overheard a sex worker saying, “Every woman is a sex worker, but only some of us are smart enough to get paid.” I’m not sure if she was quoting someone else. I…

I don’t understand how sex works for other people. For much of my life sex was currency. I’ve used it for lots of things. These days mostly to keep Noah happy. That’s mixed.

What did I find out during my slutting around this year? I discovered that I still have oceans-deep wells of desire inside of myself but they are not accessed when I am having sex for someone else.

That’s useful to know.

It isn’t that I don’t desire Noah. I want to spend my time with Noah. I like Noah very much. But we have a lot of sex for him when it doesn’t work for me. That’s… psychologically damaging. It means I partition off that the sex I have with him isn’t for me. I’m not saying it is his fault; I’m saying it happens.

Do you know what else I learned about slutting around this year? I can’t keep doing it. It’ll fuck Noah up in a way I’m not ok with being responsible for. It won’t kill him. It may not even cause a divorce. But it would kill his spirit and I’m not going to do that. I owe Noah better than that this lifetime. He’s been very good to me.

I don’t think I can be monogamous. But I can’t do what I was doing. This is going to be tricky to work out and take years.

I hurt him. I hurt him in a way that is going to take serious repair work. I did that. I fucked that up. I am as big of an asshole as I sound when I say: “I didn’t think it would hurt him that much.”

Well, it did.

I did. I hurt him that much.

And he’s still all in. Because we don’t really get a second chance with someone else. We’re done for. This is our shot in life. This is the one chance we get to do this right. So either we ride the waves and figure out how to improve shit… or we give up on this fairy tale. This belief that we, fucked up people that we are, can be loved and completely accepted in this lifetime.

We are both hard. We are not people who would find a second replacement life and just make it work. I know people who have great second marriages. I know people who rebuild life into third and fourth marriages.

I can’t do that. I could be something different, but I don’t think I could ever try again. And with the whole kids thing… this is our one chance to have an intact family. We have high stakes. We don’t have families that love us to fall back on. Noah is closer than I am, but not that much.

I know. I’ve seen the last twelve years of his life. I know he doesn’t really have anyone to fall back on other than me.

I know.

I have good friends, the most amazing friends… but I’d have to figure out how to stand alone too. I don’t have a family to fall back on. My friends give me what they have to give. They are my friends.

I’ve seen the difference in the lives of my friends. They have families. My chance at that is with Noah and my kids.

And I did a lot to fuck it up this year.

I also learned that Noah is right. I will never run out of sex or dating opportunities. I just won’t. Whether I look for them or at them is a different matter. It’s kind of an interesting thing to try and internalize. I am attractive enough. I am interesting enough. I am educated enough. I am snotty and entitled about how I am treated enough…

I will always have a high market value. That’s… not something I expected this lifetime.

I will never seriously deal with an ain’t-shit-man again.

It isn’t like they will never hit on me. But I won’t put up with that kind of crap. I have too high of standards and that is Noah’s fault. I think I won the husband lottery. He’s an absolute pain in the ass who wouldn’t work for most people very well… but he’s god damn perfect for me. He is willing to adapt and help and give in a way that… most men really won’t.

But I get how he would be hard for someone else. Totally true. I’m no picnic so I don’t complain about him being work.

Even when I’m just looking around the house at the murals… most people wouldn’t have let me do this. Steve would have said no. My Owner would have said no. Puppy would have said no. They would have said I was “destroying the value of the house.”

Noah tells me to have fun.

I also learned this year that Noah isn’t much better at telling me no than I am at telling him no. That’s good to understand. He will let me hurt him. If I’m going to avoid hurting him I need to just know where the boundaries are. He isn’t going to enforce them.

I also pushed my luck enough to find out that a few things are ok that I would have assumed weren’t. It wasn’t entirely bad. There were things that worked out ok.

There were things that weren’t ok. Absolutely every step of dealing with the Quiet One was mishandled and fucked up.

I’m feeling kinda glad in retrospect that since I fucked up so badly with someone I made sure it wasn’t someone who was deeply entrenched in my life. I kept good boundaries with my friends. Noah isn’t upset with any of our long term friends over this experiment. I get why he had the feelings he had about the Quiet One.

He doesn’t have to veto.

In this process we also got to the point of understanding what “veto” actually meant. And why it exists. Because this year we had to revisit what it means and why I’ve done it in the past and god damn if I wasn’t right.

I’m a fuck up. But that doesn’t make me wrong every time.

Life is really complicated like that.

Today I am still stuck in a chair. Eldest Child is off with the Bonus Family. The kids asked if they could visit separately this time. It sounded fine to the adults. I’ll play more games with Youngest Child. Noah will probably read to us.

Luckily this isn’t a day where I can fuck much up. I’ll just… sit in a chair. Or on the couch. Maybe both at different times. Woo.

Oh hey

I last wrote early in the morning on Tuesday. Later that day, around 10:30am I started bleeding from my nose. Gushing blood. I lost probably a cup or more of blood in a couple of hours. This estimate is approximate because for a while I was going through wads of paper towels before I ended up leaning over a large measuring cup and letting it drip because…. it wasn’t stopping with the pinching. I couldn’t lean my head back at all because I was drowning in the blood.

Luckily our wonderful babysitter was here. She went and got her mom, who is a practical, lovely woman. The mama took me to the hospital. I stayed there by myself. Want to know how you get priority treatment in an ER? Walk in with a large measuring cup full of blood with more blood rapidly falling into it. My ass didn’t hit a waiting room chair. I walked into triage and then into an exam room. No waiting. The lovely doctor tried a few things and ended up shoving something called “rhino rockets” up my nose. Basically balloons that put pressure on the inside of the nostril to stop bleeding. I was there until 3:30ish. I was barely not bleeding at that point, but I had an appointment with my surgeon at 4:15.

I went to the appointment with my surgeon. He took the rhino rockets out, looked around with a scope and declared he couldn’t see why it happened. He put a different kind of packing into one nostril (not both nostrils like at the hospital) and sent me home.

Around 8pm I started bleeding again. I lost 1/2 a cup of blood in the 15 minutes that Noah tried to call an advice nurse and I said, “Fuck it. We are going back to the hospital Right Now.”

Once again I got VIP treatment in the ER. They are sure nice about blood loss.

The new ER doctor said, “I’m calling a surgeon. Now.”

I think I went into surgery around 10:30? I was completely done and dusted and in a room by 12:30.

The surgeon cauterized an artery in my nose. He put a bunch of dissolvable packing in there too to help seal things up.

I was discharged the next morning. I was told I could go around 7:30. Of course that means it took till 10:30.

I’m home. I feel like warmed over shit. This surgery feels more awful than the original septoplasty in many ways. I’m exhausted. I hurt. I think the flu vaccine as I was leaving didn’t help.

I feel completely horrible.

But I now have a roof on the addition to the house. I’m not dead. I still have a future.

And things plug on.

Moms and art and adoption

I’m saving my hand spoons for other work; that’s why I’m not writing much lately. I’ve made progress on the kitchen painting. Last time I guesstimated I thought I had 20 hours of painting left. Then I did 6 hours. I think I have 14 hours to go. There have been a bunch of times over the years when I’ve sized up a project and thought “24 work hours” or whatever and I’ve been right to within an hour. I’m really good at guessing how much work something will take. *pat self on back*

I have finished the monkey. I think. Maybe. I’m not in love with the face. I still need to fix the banana tree as per the criticism from my submissive. He’s all, “Let me tell you about banana trees.” He used to work on a banana farm. Mine isn’t done yet apparently. Ok. I’ll fix it.

My pot consumption is way the hell down. I’m thrilled. My taper plus abstinent periods have had a major impact on my tolerance. Yay! At this point I’m using 1/4 as much in a whole day as I used to use in my first smoke of the day. That’s a massive decrease. I’m using at the rate of less than an 1/8/week. That’s a huge drop for me. That’s… that’s pregnancy sustainable.

Do I like the fact that I use drugs during my pregnancies? Well… I use less harsh drugs than other doctors would really prefer I be on. I get through my life with a lot of sheer force of will. Doctors would like me chemically regulated so that my emotions are not so extreme and every single medication these fucking doctors suggest is significantly worse than pot for a pregnancy. I don’t have a great option here. But I’m using at a rate that isn’t particularly problematic again. In my judgmental as fuck stoner opinion. Uhm, I’m not judging someone else’s tolerance. I’m saying for me.

I’m using at a rate I will feel comfortable with for myself. Other people are totally allowed to have their own acceptable rates based on their needs and preferences.

I keep coming back to “Well at least I’m not increasing my drug usage during each pregnancy like my mom did…”

My mom used to joke that with her first pregnancy, she didn’t even smoke cigarettes let alone another drug and no alcohol. During her second pregnancy she smoked cigarettes and had alcohol. During her third pregnancy she smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and smoked pot. By her fourth pregnancy (me) she did all that plus speed. She would follow this up with, “And you are the smartest kid I had! So see, drug usage isn’t all that bad.”

I’m not being like my mom…

I will admit I don’t 100% abstain from alcohol with my pregnancies. But I have like 5 glasses of wine per pregnancy (not within a week or anything). That’s well within acceptable tolerances based on research.

Fuck. I’m not good at this whole abstinent life thing.

Guess what else I forking do? I eat soft cheeses. Nyah nyah.

I’m seeing my nasal surgeon today. I got a massive nosebleed this weekend and I called his office to see if they thought I should come in. The nurse started off with “His notes say you probably don’t need to be checked.” “Let me describe how much blood came out of my nose on Saturday.” “You should come in tomorrow.”

Oh, thank you.

I suspect we shouldn’t try for pregnancy until I get my nose under control. There is a substantial change in blood volume in the body during pregnancy and right now… my nose isn’t doing so hot. I don’t think a surge in blood volume would be awesome.

Damnit. And Noah is no longer shooting blanks so we have to…. use condoms for a while. Wheeeee.

It’s like the good old days.

I’m hopeful we can get started trying in November. *cross fingers* Don’t worry. I’ll tell y’all more details than you want to hear. Maybe.

I will definitely keep updating the tally: 7 months of trying, 4 pregnancies so far.

I may have a lot of problems, fertility isn’t on the list.

I’d kinda like to be done with remodel stuff when I get pregnant. This work is hard on my back and body. I don’t want to do it while pregnant very much. Oh god. Especially because all of my body work will pretty much go away in the first trimester. It’s too risky. Massage can absolutely trigger miscarriage. Both of my miscarriages were right after massages (I doubt they were related) but that history means my massage therapists say they won’t work on me till I’m about 16 weeks. Sob.

I watched Poverty, Inc on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how foreign aid is keeping people in poverty internationally. It covers things like up to 80% of all children who are internationally adopted have living parents and they are in orphanages due to poverty.

Adoption is fucking complicated. I’m not saying it shouldn’t exist at all. I’m saying… it’s really complicated and fraught. I’m saying it’s not like buying a car where it is “yours” now. There are people who make wonderful families through adoption. There are people who are adopted who love their adopted parents and never feel any lack in life. There are lots of other less pleasant endings.

I get through life through sheer force of will. I don’t know that I could manage to extend that halo to a child who had serious problems. Serious attachment disorder problems in particular and when you adopt… it’s a roll of the dice. I am great at teaching children who have a wide variety of mental or physical health problems… as long as they attach. It’s something I’ve noticed about myself. The kids who don’t attach… I keep my distance and I’m not that much help for them. I saw it in school. I saw it with my students. The children who attach… I can help. The ones who don’t… I completely fail them.

There are people who work well with kids/adults who have attachment problems. I’ve been blessed to witness some of these exchanges. I fail.

Why do I feel so drawn to fostering then? Because it feels different. If I fail them… it’s… kinda more expected that some foster parents fail. You can try a different foster family if one isn’t a fit. If you adopt someone and they no longer have a fall back position… that’s fucking traumatizing. A failed foster family placement isn’t awesome but it isn’t quite as damaging as a failed adoption. I say as someone with many failed foster family placements.

I feel I could foster a kid and be present with them for how much they miss their mother and how unfair life is. It would break my heart to adopt a kid and never be enough to fill that hole.

I am selfish.

I miss my mother so much. No surrogate mother has ever done much to fill this terrible hole in my heart. I’ve god damn tried. But everyone… fades away. I’m too much. Too demanding. Too needy. I was too hard as a kid and I’m an adult now and I need to take care of myself.

I’m 35 years old and I’m still waking up at 4am to cry about missing my mother.

I want to be seen in a way that only my mother would have been able to see me if she had actually known me throughout my life. The way that the parents of my students see them. (We went to a party with former students and their entire extended families. Their families are so thrilled I’m still around. I’m even in tight with the grandparents.)

I want my mama to see my art and feel proud that I came out of her.

I want my mama to see my children and feel proud that we came from her.

I can’t give her that.

Yesterday Eldest Child asked about writing a letter to my mom. I would send it. I don’t think I am in a place where I can write to her yet… but I won’t prevent a letter from my kid.

I will actively prevent contact with my sister. She participated in the rapes of her children. She is not allowed near my children. Period. But my mother… sending her a letter isn’t a problem. Especially if I don’t write it.

There is a part of me that is sad that I passed up the opportunity to ask my sister if she’d like to step outside for that fist fight she wanted to start when I was pregnant. I am not a mature or adult person.

Instead when I saw her I looked at the floor and treated her like she wasn’t present. Like she was a non person.

Maybe I’m a little mature.

Brute force

Recently I’ve been thinking about the fact that I have come a long way in terms of my behavior with my kids. I am far better at reacting. I’ve had practice. I’ve developed much greater patience. I think I have managed to do it through simple brute force. I’m feeling kinda proud of myself because I think the person I was who taught in a high school ten years ago is not the person I am now. I had distinctly more limited patience at the time. I’m doing what I want to do.

I don’t know another way of learning. I’m not good at the subtle. I’m good at broad strokes and insistent demands: “No, not like that. Like this.”

I am shocked at the ways in which I have changed my behavior. Pleased, yes, but shocked. It’s only when I stop and think about how far I’ve come that it really hits home. When I think about myself in the present I feel impatient with all the ways I am still failing to meet the metrics I set for myself.

I honestly believe that having my children mirror back my behavior is the single most… motivating experience of my life. I want to do better because I want to give them better because I want them to be able to do/have/be better.

At Stanford they started asking Eldest Child about adult goals. What’s your plan A? Be president. What’s your plan B? …. crickets.

I talked to her yesterday about this. I said, “You know… being president is a lot of pressure and work. You could instead help elect presidents” and her eyes grew wide. Yessssssss. She’s very excited about this prospect.

I think maybe she absorbed a bit too much The West Wing as an early child. She’s kind of ridiculously interested in politics. She is very clear that she wants to be in government because she wants to help people and government is a way to help huge swathes of people at once. She’s given up on being a doctor. “You can only help one person at a time that way.”

I understand, kiddo.

She is both a lot like me and a lot more subtle than me. I hope that having a mother like me isn’t a deal breaker for a future political life. I won’t apologize for existing nor for writing about sex for decades.

Oh, in other news, speaking of family embarrassments: my in-laws are coming to town. Thankfully not to our house. They are coming to San Francisco. For one night on their way to a four month cruise. Because they enjoyed the last cruise they were on so much. The one that was like 2-3 weeks after ours. Ours that they said they couldn’t go on because they couldn’t be away from home.


Bon voyage motherfuckers. It’s ok with me if you don’t come back.

Would I have been happier with them on the cruise with us? Probably not. But I feel like I truly don’t ever need to put effort in again. I’ve done so in a variety of ways. I’m… getting what they feel like back which is mostly a middle finger. I’m done trying. It’s throwing good energy after bad.

I don’t think I’m going to get anything positive back from them this lifetime. They’ll send the shit they feel like sending whether it works for me or not. They will request attention when they want it and I don’t need to care. Hey, they will be on their cruise ship through their Christmas/anniversary/birthday rush this year. Maybe we don’t have to send presents.


In a side note, this lady makes kids music that works in the same way as a lot of my little songs I sing with the kids. Yay for not having to invent everything for yourself.

I’m feeling weary. This remodel won’t be done till Thanksgiving. I’m so tired. I want to be able to clean my house in a way that is low stress and easy. That requires getting more space. Somewhere to put all this bathroom and closet stuff. Erf and uggg. (The towels will be living in the bathroom.) The linens will probably have to be stored in the garage, which won’t suck for laundry simplicity. I love my garage. I feel like the garage amount of space is what makes this house usable. I think I would go bananas if I were actually limited to 960′ sq (approximately). Our house is just a bit under 1,000′ sq. I measured but I no longer remember the exact number. It’s very early in the morning. I am back to not sleeping that well. But with the garage, and the new bathroom addition we will be up to 1, 520′ sq. Practically a palace.

Hey I lived in a one car converted garage with my mom. My house feels… full of potential and space to me. It’s all about what you’re used to. Auntie’s houses were bigger… but there were so many more people. Sure they had a 3,000′ sq house… but twelve people lived there. It didn’t feel spacious. It felt dirty all the damn time.

Auntie isn’t the sort to make other people do things.

One of my friends has a saying: “Do you want a lazy mama or a crazy mama?” Whereas I don’t say it to my kids… I do think it on a regular basis. My kids work. I can’t be Auntie. I’m raising workers, not shirkers.

We have a fun Busytown: What Do People Do All Day book. It is… hilariously Marxist. “Everyone is a worker!” It includes how Mommy works and how a kid is supposed to work. There is so much indoctrination material available if you just cull stimuli properly. I feel downright Machiavellian sometimes when I think of how I’m constructing my library.

Kiddos “found” a “new” book yesterday in the house cause I’m getting some shelves freed up so I am spreading the books out so they are more useable again….. It’s a process.

But library tending: I’m serious about my library. I have all kinds of books designed to be valuable in a wide variety of settings for people of diverse personalities and ages. I pretty much have something for everyone. I back a lot of Kickstarters for interesting books. Things you can’t buy in stores (yet… hopefully someday they make it).

And I got to absorb Sarah’s library. That was a diverse thing of beauty. She’s been collecting fabulous books for longer than me. I understand why carrying it around is hard at this point. She can visit it anytime she wants. She can have anything she wants back, forever. But I get to read them in the meantime. I’m pretty thrilled.

I have the next few years cut out for me. That feels so lovely.

Guess what Eldest Child doing academics means? It means… I sit next to her, prodding… for the whole time… or…. there are some fantastic doodles and no work done when I get back.

It’s a good thing I have worked with a lot of kids who need similar support. It’s not that unusual. There was a boy I hometaught when he was suspended from school for behavior violations who needed to be forking spoon fed everything but then he could perform just fine. He was in a bunch of low level classes because he couldn’t pay attention to save his life… but he was bored. He could have been in harder math, English, science… but he had to have someone spoon feed him. It’s an attention problem.

When these kids are learning something because they want to learn it… they are flippin incredible. When an adult tries to say, “This is what you must learn now” then… it comes in painstaking inches.

I had the worst time trying to learn multiplication tables. I think that they started trying to teach them in grade four but I didn’t pick them up until… grade eight I think? Not until I started doing more interesting math and I started multiplying more often and I just picked them up.

I need exposure through use instead of sheer memorization. I need to develop the ability to picture a larger story in my head so I can replay it and watch my hand form the answer on the paper. I visualize my memories like that. I don’t remember hearing things all that well. If I just read something it is better than hearing it…. but I learn best when I remember doing something myself.

And sometimes… I need to be spoon fed or I just can’t learn something. Because I just can’t keep my attention on it.

I took an ADD test yesterday. I stared at a computer for twenty minutes pressing a space bar. I made a lot of mistakes. If the dude sitting behind me was taking notes he heard the progression through shoot to fudge to crap to shit to fuck. I started out trying to be good. And I was pretty much dancing in my chair. Because I do that when I’m just sitting and trying to focus like that. My body twitches and jerks and I hear music in my head and I wiggle accordingly. (In my head I was hearing: Try Everything from the Zootopia soundtrack. Shakira gives me life.)

Given that a lot of the test is about measuring movement…

I don’t get my results for weeks. Because an expert has to read the printouts and I don’t have an appointment for a while. Wheeeee.

I should schedule a follow up for the nose surgery. There’s something a little weird on one side… and I’m still producing blood every day. I’m so sick of medical appointments. And then I want to get pregnant?!?!?!

I’m… not thinking. Baby fever makes you stupid. Biology is a bitch. I’ll do it. I’ll go. I’ll do what I’m supposed to do.

Baby. Baby. Baby.

It’s truly not a sane urge.

Having kids with Noah is wonderful.

There’s so much I want to do and try. Time to get busy.

Can’t sleep; can I write?

I want to write about yesterday and I don’t. I’ve started and stopped a bunch of sentences. It was a pleasant, mellow day. But for some reason I’m having trouble writing more than that.

I tried so hard to not make the Stanford appointment about me. But they ask so many questions about family history it wouldn’t have been possible to avoid talking about my background entirely. Basically, “When I was 17 I decided I was going to have kids and I was going to homeschool them. I had horrible experiences in almost all of the 25 schools I attended before I dropped out at 16 and I was going to make sure my kids have different lives. So I spent ten years preparing and I worked at all levels of education so I could learn from the inside how I should act over the years with my children.”

This is what I wanted to do with my life. So at 35 I’m stable and have been for ten years. My life varies a lot, but it varies in developmentally appropriate ways for my kids. It’s not that I am a perfect parent (there is no such thing) but I adapt to the needs of my children as my job. So I’m doing really well for someone like me. I attribute a huge chunk of this to Noah’s money making abilities. It’s real easy to feel safe and to make a safe home when you have buckets of cash coming in.

Only it isn’t easy for everyone even under those circumstances. I’ve worked really hard for this. I’m a hard core behaviorist and I believe the most important person I have to work to change is myself. As a parent and a teacher you have power to shape the children/students under you influence but you don’t have ultimate control over them. The only person you have control over is yourself.

They believe that if my Eldest Child had different parents or if she were forced to go to school… she would have behavior and emotional problems. I agree. There’s nothing like explaining for an hour just how fucking hard your kid is to show you that… someone else would have had a harder time.

I came into this expecting difficult, emotionally disturbed children because I understand that trauma is passed down in DNA. I understand that my children are going to be sensory seeking, high energy, highly emotional little beings who need to be taught how to manage themselves.

I have cleaned up so many huge messes. I have been so damn patient with establishing routines within the chaos. We have highly changeable lives so there is a lot of chaos… but there’s a surprising amount of order too. We don’t have a life that would work for other people, but we are very happy. Someday, as my children’s needs change… our life will change. But for now we are doing very well.

Yes, I understand that I need to be more consistent this year that Eldest Child is doing serious academic time every week day. Do you realize I’m only going to insist on an hour a day with half an hour for each subject? That’s all I think she needs right now and how much you wanna bet she will be caught up by the end of the school year?

So far this year I’ve been kinda wishy washy. It’s October. It’s time to get serious about that hour. I’ve been enforcing it 3-4 days a week for a few months. It’s time to settle into an hour a day as just a matter of course. That’s totally easy to do. My kid rolls out of bed and into her chores because she understands that means she has more influence on what she does for the rest of the day and she likes that control.

I enforce it with a smile (most of the time), but we start the day with chores. We are workers, not shirkers. That was one of the phrases the doctors were struck by. They wrote it down to use as a reference later. I’m feeling kinda cocky about that.

Life is full of work. If you want a happy, productive life you must be a worker. Shirkers are people who refuse to do their fair share and they make life harder for everyone around them. Being a worker/shirker isn’t about money at all because I don’t earn money. Clearly I do work. 

I’ve just gotta say, I feel grateful that I know so many hard-working-women so that my kids don’t expect that all mothers have to be stay-at-home. Every family has to do what is right for them and that is decided among a lot of different factors. There are benefits and drawbacks to every option in life and what you pick needs to be based on what you as an individual need and want and have to offer.

There is no “right way” to be.

Some people need to send their kids to school so that the kids can be around trained professionals all day who can provide more consistency and stimulation than they can provide. Some people need to keep their kids home so that the kids can have more stimulation. Every family is coming from a different place.

I wish that these choices didn’t so often rest on privilege, but they do. Homeschooling isn’t cheap. There are people who do excellent jobs with far less money than I have at my disposal. I have watched some of it. I’ve been very impressed. There are ways to solve most problems if you have either time or money to throw at the problem. I have both.

Life isn’t fair. I mean, I could try and say that I have such an awesome life because it is payback for my childhood. But what does that mean for the vast majority of kids like me who don’t end up here? It’s not that I worked harder. I had different opportunities and help.

Life isn’t fair.

Sometimes folks express that they find it annoying that my children “remind” adults about what the rules are. This bothers people. I love it. I will be more consistent as the years go by because I am listened to all the time and people around me feel free to remind me of what I said I’d be living up to. I have created a system where growth is mandatory. There are too many external motivations. I believe seriously in working to extinguish behaviors. I have done so with many of my behaviors.

Goodness gracious I don’t even swear like I used to.

I still do in writing. Cause I can.

I’ve worked on lots of things. I had to. I could see the reflection of my behavior in my children and I knew that trying to alter their behavior had to start in modeling. Do you know how much pressure that is? Everything I want to teach… I have to model.

I’ve had people seriously ask me why I think my kids will be readers if I don’t enforce reading. I laughed and said my children will read out of self defense. And it turns out it is working. What I mean by self defense is: my children have a lot of time to fill. They live with someone who says consistently “Only boring people get bored. I can find work for you.” They don’t get bored. They are masters of directing their own time and attention. It’s what they do. They can’t watch a screen unless everything is cleaned up (which has a twofold benefit: they clean up after themselves and they are eager to go through their stuff and do frequent purges to keep the time they spend cleaning small) and they aren’t up for doing that every day.

I am not an entertainment device. If you need to direct your attention, look around you. I have seeded this house with things to do. Get busy.

A lot of what I have seeded this house with are books. Books on topic after topic after topic. Books both well chosen and random because who the hell knows what you will want to look at next.

My children will read. Even pre-reading they spend hours a day with books. I’m not too concerned. If there is a difficulty, we’ll figure out how to fix it. Because that’s just what we do.

Do you realize we pre-seed our kids with the idea that they will need to find and use a therapist at some point in their lives for some reason? We talk about occupational, physical and emotional therapies. “Something will come up. It does for basically everyone at some point. When you run into something you can’t fix for yourself… there are people who work in trying to help fix that. We’ll find the help you need.”

A successful/interesting life is usually the work of building habits. Your habits are what carry you through when you aren’t really thinking about other things. Many people who know me for extensive periods of time have no idea about my mood fluctuations. They think that they know that I’m a little moody. Then at some point they will read something I’ve written and kind of freak out. That’s happened a bunch. My mood fluctuations are extreme.

I have made a very conscious habit of being cheerful. I default to smiling (and I practiced in front of a mirror till my auto-smile affected my eye muscles so that it “appears real”) and being chatty and talkative even when I feel like shit and I’d like to be hiding behind my bed crying. There are times when my facade is thinner than usual… I know I can be brittle and sharp sometimes. But I have the habit of cheerfulness.

It is something I require of myself because there is no other facade I can maintain so blindly, without consideration of who I’m interacting with. Everything else I manifest is more complicated and requires more calibration for audience…

But I’m cheerful backed up with the strength of personality of a speeding train. Partially because I’m forcing that fucking cheerfulness over a mountain of fuss. It takes a lot of force.

So sometimes I jump the track and get kinda sideways. It happens.

Do you know why living in a torn apart house is a forking nightmare? Because I can’t have a “yes” house this way. My children have to ask before touching all kinds of things and they have to ask for help finding things and… I’m going insane.

Usually I have my house set up such that I can take them on a tour and then… they don’t need my assistance much at all any more. They know the conditions of using different items: must be on the table, must have all other games put away before you take it out, only an outside toy, etc

We periodically go to a craft store and the kids walk through the store with a budget and spend every penny on art supplies. We always have stuff to do. An endless variety of stuff. And when my house isn’t torn apart… it’s all neatly organized in a way that is easily accessible to them.

I’ve gone through a number of attempts at organizing before I’ve gotten to the point where I can manage my kids specific attention needs. It’s been a lot of work. I’ve figured out what they use with what. I’ve put things in places where they are easy to clean up. This has been my job. I worked retail and I grew up with a mother who worked retail. I’ve been having conversations about why things are organized the way they are since I was a little kid. Anything can be systematized. And no one can pack a moving truck more tightly than my mother. But I’m good.

It’s a spatial/visual awareness thing.

Noah and the kids are not… as able to organize for themselves. I have high hopes for Youngest Child. They have some natural talent in this direction and I think it is fabulous. But the kid is still in the stage where these kinds of potential talents must be nurtured with the softest of blowing and modeling and talking through why you do things… and no pressure for the kid to just get it right.

My kids won’t have god complexes.

They are going to be fucked up somehow. That’s inevitable. Just… not like me. Cause that’s kinda the best any of us can do.

I hate that I am happy about the validation from Stanford. I feel like an asshole for caring. I should be validated by the happiness of my children. They aren’t anxious. They are weird as fuck because they haven’t been shamed out of a variety of odd behaviors. I’m not going to say what any of them are because… that feels like crossing a line. But they do some odd shit and they’d take flack for it at school.

They fill their time in ways that don’t hurt nobody. I’m fine with them being weird about it.

I’m not sitting in a position where I ought to be judging someone else for being odd. Know what I mean?

I spend a lot of time sitting in my back yard on the swing. I have surrounded myself with green. It has taken years to build this in my little suburban box backyard. This little pretense of nature in a well manicured suburb. It’s time to trim the trees. Sigh. One. More. Thing. But it is so much fun. I’ve been sneaking back yard work in lately. It makes me happy. I have so many plans for this place. And most of them can happen slowly over many years. I don’t seem to be going anywhere.