Just another morning navel gaze

I’m thinking constantly about distance and closeness; individuation vs attachment. The depth of Noah’s devotion to me blows my mind. He’s obsessed with me after a decade of marriage, but not really in a creepy stalker sort of way. In a way that means that he cares what I want and will religiously center me in his decisions. That is both terrifying and wonderful as his therapist suggested.

Noah centering me as much as he does means I kinda have to center him as much, which is complicated.

I have spent ten years doing an awful lot of work to try and make Noah happy. I really have. I’ve tried to create a safe and secure little home where he doesn’t have to do that much work to have a really nice experience. I’m a pretty damn rad home maker.

But it isn’t all that I am. A long time ago I heard a little truism-quote “Women marry men hoping they will change and men marry women hoping they never will.” Sometimes that feels kind of true. Noah has changed during our marriage and I celebrate those changes and I’m grateful. I’ve changed and it seems to be… more of a problem.

Noah adapts to me then it kinda sucks if I keep changing.

We are in a weird spot. I was starting to try and do the hard work of changing out of the young-kid stage because I believe that’s a fairly unique stage in life. I shut everything down for a baby. Other people know how to attach to an infant and still participate in the world and I am a stunted loser. If I’m going to get to know my baby I have to eliminate most distractions and just sit with the baby.

My attention is a fascinating topic.

Recently I’ve been thinking very hard about my ADHD diagnosis and what it means about many of the PTSD symptoms I’ve had all my life. I’ve been told and told and told that I’m trying to extinguish these PTSD symptoms. What if they are ADHD symptoms and permanent? How much effort have I put into trying to change parts of my behavior/personality that can’t really change?

Shit.

For all that I don’t try to conform to be “normal” much… I have put a tremendous amount of time and energy into changing and trying to be a better me. How much of that time and effort was completely wasted because psychiatrists wouldn’t bother to give me accurate diagnosis because surely all of my problems come from trauma.

This is far more upsetting to me than it might seem.

I feel like I have wasted literally decades of therapy trying to extinguish behaviors that are permanent parts of my anatomy and I need to learn to manage instead of just thinking I’m fucked up and I need to be fixed.

Maybe I’m less broken and more nonstandard than I’ve ever been allowed to think.

That actually hurts very very very much.

I’ve seen 21 therapists and probably another 9 psychiatrists. No one has ever seen this. That sucks.

When I needed accommodations there was always this cloak of “Because you are so Fucked Up” whereas my kids get to grow up with behavioral and emotional support and get told, “Meh every brain/body combination needs something different. This is what you need. Ok.”

The amount of shame I have always felt about my inability to focus the way other people wanted me to. It was always claimed to be about me being damaged.

Brain damage.

How much of it is brain damage and how much of it is innate?

How much of it is because of my father’s behavior and how much of it is because of both of my parents genetics?

I was thinking about something recently. My father’s suicide. You know what? In some way… him doing that was a really kind, generous thing. Know why? Because we got money. Lots of it. When he died my mom started getting his social security. That was the most stable money my mom had access to in my childhood. It was four or five times what he irregularly sent in childhood. His death was one of the fortuitous events that let me stabilize around 17/18.

If he had lived; if he had gone to prison… things would have been different. They would have been bad.

He died a month after I turned 17 and that money let me go to a stable school for a year and build bonds with people, many of whom I still know.

I honestly believe that part of the reasons rape victims are prevented from prosecuting is because the system knows that recognized victims get help and financial support and the government doesn’t want that many new sources of financial obligation.

We are an ungenerous nation.

I am an ungenerous person. I do generosity wrong. I do it to fill a hole in myself instead of focusing on filling what other people need. I do it from a place of insecurity, fear, and trying to earn the right to take up space and resources.

It’s not really generosity if I do it because I have to.

Shiny change of topic. I think I know what I want to talk to my psychiatrist about. I’m not going to be starting any new drug regimes staring down a pregnancy. But I want to have a seriously outlined, well thought out plan to handle my next end-of-early-childhood-stage emotional boredom explosion. Cause it’ll happen as sure as rain.

My impulses go towards sex. Always have. But not sex with Noah because frankly there’s not much novelty left there. Marriage is like that.

So what the fuck do I need to do?

I need a whole series of plans for how to manage this. I will want Plans A-J at least. I will need them in writing with directions on how to bail out of a plan into the next plan when things break down.

Because that’s how plans go.

That’s how I go.

I fail a lot. I fail at a lot of things. The only reason these failures do not end my progress is because I always have another plan. I live by my plans. I live for my goals and I rigorously follow some kinda path towards them. I don’t make it to completion on every plan. Sometimes I just fail. Like the around-the-world trip. I had $40,000 saved towards it. Now that’s been rolled into my bathroom. Because we aren’t going around the world. We are having babies.

It’s one or the other.

Being a mother is the best route to happiness I have found in this life. I am going to follow that trail to its end. I’m not done.

And I picked Noah as a breeding partner, quite frankly. He didn’t ask me to spend my life hanging out with him. He asked me if I wanted to be his slave and have children with him.

We are still talking about that first part. What does it mean in the overall light of our parenthood and my unwillingness to be submissive in front of my children? But hoo boy we were serious about the kids part.

We like our kids and they are sunbeams of happiness.Their needs are met. They are getting the support they need to thrive. Not much makes me fee more like I am doing my life right.

We all set our own standards of judging ourselves. I judge myself based on how I parent. I’m not perfect. I fuck up. I am not always kind or generous.

I was thinking recently about how most strong leaders are raised in adversity. I don’t think my kids will grow up to be genuine leaders despite both of them saying they want to be president. I just… I doubt it. They just haven’t yet figured out that there are lots of ways to help people other than being president.

I think that’s ok. I talk a lot about the path they will need to take if they are serious about any career. It’s kind of remarkable that both of them have buckled down to daily academics with nary a whimper. I have not been this… pushy with book work ever. Now they both sit at the table and just plug it out, cheerfully. “I want x. This is the process. Ok.”

I feel like a terrible terrible person for admitting this, but I’m going to anyway. I have the strong suspicion that Youngest Child is far more globally gifted than Eldest Child. Eldest Child is starting to catch up on academics and Youngest Child is standing nearby looking over her shoulder and telling her all the answers.

Reminds me of me and my older brothers.

This is going to be interesting to watch. Eldest Child is precociously verbal and has a ridiculously strong EQ but academics are more of a slog. She isn’t coordinated. She is strong and she has endurance… but she’s still not comfortable with her body.

Youngest Child (oh crud the kid will need a new nickname) is fast and has endurance and they are coordinated and they pick up academics at the rate of whoever is standing near them because they want to be able to follow along and be right. This kiddo is much more emotionally stormy. They don’t understand their own emotions or other peoples emotions as well. They try really hard though, but despite tons of modeling and support… this is just hard for them.

We all have what we struggle with.

It is fascinating to me to look at my kids and see the distribution of my genetics. I have some prodigious athletes in my family. I’ve started talking to Youngest Child about going to middle school for sports. If you want to be good in high school and get a college scholarship for sports… start playing in middle school. I mean, ideally try lots of sports to see what you like in grade school.. but seriously start in middle school. And the kid will probably have an easy adjustment to school style academics.

Eldest Child… would love the social aspect of school and would fail academically. I think she will do fine in college. I don’t think she has the attention span to switch topics on demand like earlier levels demand. She gets frazzled and can’t follow things. She needs a very controlled pace. She can’t have distractions (like other fascinating people nearby) because she can’t focus. I do suspect she has a learning disability but I’m not entirely sure which one or if I’m handling it right. I’m handling it ok enough that it is mostly masked but I feel confident it will become more obvious how I’m failing her with time.

It’s remarkable what watching them causes me to forgive in myself. “You’ve got to work with what you’ve got kid. No point in longing for what someone else has.”

We’ll see. We’ll see. They are both fascinating to me. I assume children are fascinating like this to most parents. I certainly get told similar breakdowns of traits from most of my friends.

I have subsumed a lot of my identity into trying to figure out how to meet the needs of my children because through this process I will learn to identify my own needs and figure out what I need to be doing to meet them. I sure wish I could do this faster. It’s a process.

How does that interlay with all the kinky sex I wish I was having? Sigh.

I don’t know yet. It’s complicated. One of the shrinks I say keeps saying “It’s not complicated it is complex” which is a distinction that… I really just don’t buy into. La la la la.

Saying complexity is good and complication is bad seems like a shitty way to treat a language.

Yeah, anyway. Good morning.

One thought on “Just another morning navel gaze

  1. Noah

    Youngest Child (oh crud the kid will need a new nickname) is fast and has endurance and they are coordinated and they pick up academics at the rate of whoever is standing near them because they want to be able to follow along and be right. This kiddo is much more emotionally stormy. They don’t understand their own emotions or other peoples emotions as well. They try really hard though, but despite tons of modeling and support… this is just hard for them.

    I wonder how much of that isn’t a coincidence, so much as a consequence.

    Youngest Child almost certainly pushes harder *because* they don’t understand people well enough to see why it’s unreasonable to succeed yet. Really amazing people get that way by having busted feedback mechanisms.

    Reply

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