Not gentle

I’m not good at asking for what I need. I would go so far as to say I am a complete asshole. I bottle things up until I explode and then I’m mean.

Not good at asking for my needs. Not at all.

This is complicated. The reasons I am this way are many and beside the point. I can stand up for some needs in some ways. I’m way better at advocating for other people than I am for myself. But I can stand up for myself in some ways. In some specific ways it is harder than other areas of my life.

I am bad at telling someone I am deeply emotionally involved with about my sexual needs. Especially if I perceive my needs as being different from theirs and I am not supposed to make things difficult.

I’m really compulsive about responsibility for sexual gratification. Having a father who tells you over and over again that it is your responsibility to get people off makes that hard. I know that a great many folks have gotten the message in some way in some spaces but it’s different when it is your father and you are a toddler/young child.

Imprinting, yo.

I have tried very hard over the years to live up to my end of the bargain. I have tried to be always-available-at-your-pleasure-cum-dumpster. I was told by my mother that when you get married you agree to whore for that person forever, so pick wisely.

I have spent a lot of my marriage feeling like I married someone who wants sex every day and that means I get to do that. Because as my shrink says, Marriage is about meeting your partner’s sexual needs.

I’m hurting myself really badly in service of this belief.

I mean, I think I have slowed the damage. I think things are improving. Our sex life is getting less frequent and a lot better when it happens.

But no, I’m not good at asserting boundaries until I am attacking you because how the fuck dare you do that to me.

No it isn’t fair.

Do you know how hard it has been for me to learn the academic skills and organization stuff I do? All of a sudden I’m getting validation that yeah it is shittier for my brain to do these things and it feels like it comes way too late to do any good. I feel like I missed a lot of windows on being able to be functional or more adult than I am because I couldn’t fucking settle down and just do the thing.

I am as defensive and nasty as I am because my entire sense of self is built out of match sticks and playing cards. If you breathe on it too hard it might fall down. Then I have to build it again painstakingly. It is fucking annoying to do at this point.

I think that in life you pick your battles. You can’t have everything you want. You can’t win every fight. So be careful what you argue about.

I have not wanted to argue with Noah about the sex stuff harder than I have for a lot of very complicated reasons. And I hit a wall. A wall where I needed to see what is me and what is us.

I had a lot of time to think while he was in Cincinnati because I apparently just don’t need sleep if he isn’t here. I also didn’t eat much. It was swell. Anyway, I spent a lot of time thinking.

I have always assumed/acted like Noah not having much natural empathy means he doesn’t have the same feelings I have. Which has apparently been causing some problems and serious misunderstandings. Whoops.

It did take the second time of crying to feel like Holy shit this is really real and isn’t going to go away as a source of pain. Maybe that’s because I’m a self absorbed piece of shit. Noah sat here in this house and waited for me to go have an adventure on the road trip and then I came home and treated him like shit.

This has not been one of my best years.

I don’t understand why Noah thinks that being married to me is much better than not being married to me but as long as he’s staying, I am.

But we do need to find a way to build more separation into our relationship. We are merged to a point where it is causing problems. I don’t really have a me left and I need one.

Yeah yeah I went on the roadtrip… I worked in my mom role 24 hours a day 7 days a god damn week. It was me-not-me. There wasn’t room for just me. I had a handful of adult conversations that were not on the internet but not that many in 5.5 months.

I like my kids. I’m grateful I get to be with them as much as I do. Sometimes I feel like I am going to lose my god damn mind because I am with them too much.

More than one thing can be true.

Noah is making fun of me because he doesn’t think I will ever slow down my rate of working. Is the work enough to feel like “me”? Not really. What would be enough? I don’t know.

I tried going back to one of the most successful ways of solving problems in the past. It failed really big time this time. I really wasn’t trying to be more malicious than that. I was being selfish, I was being short sighted, I was callous. I was not consciously malicious. I wasn’t trying to get even. I was trying to find a different way of coping with a problem that is frankly bigger than me.

What is abuse and when should you flee from it and never look back?

Who gets to decide?

My mama had to run because her husband beat and raped her children. That seems pretty clear cut. Noah’s parents don’t split up despite periodic stretches of interpersonal violence directed at one another.

Who gets to decide what is abuse? Culturally these things vary.

Recently someone was trying to describe me unfavorably and they said that I give people money because I feel guilty.

That’s pretty damn accurate. I feel guilty in an existential sense. I have survivors guilt like a motherfucker. I was the beneficiary of a lot of help I didn’t deserve more than other people and they don’t get the help. I don’t know how to pay it back other than to pay it forward. There isn’t a rational system of “I help you because you deserve____” It isn’t that methodical. It is about giving what I can even knowing it is never enough. It is better than nothing. It isn’t enough. It really isn’t. I don’t think I’m solving a problem. I’m not a hero.

I’m just trying to not be a complete piece of shit given the options available to me in life.

I have put my money where my mouth is when it comes to supporting diverse businesses. I support communities I am not part of. I don’t think all help has to be for me or people like me. There are a lot of underserved populations out there.

It’s not all about race. There are other demographic factors involved. This isn’t that post.

But this money stuff is part of the sex stuff with Noah. I have incredibly mixed feelings about the fact that I am entirely dependent. Noah tells me frequently that I am entitled to half of his salary. He says I have earned half his salary.


I mean yes, I’ll take it. But it almost feels like blood money. Noah loves his job. I don’t want to denigrate that. But it’s a system I have resoundingly rejected being part of, only it is making me rich. I am complicit.

Noah is going to work in the industry he’s going to work in. It’s not about a particular company. I don’t want him to quit. He loves his work. It feeds a part of his soul and that’s super important. But it is super super super not my culture. Only I sorta married in. I have feelings about that.

What have I done with my life? I married a tech boy and had babies. Oooh. How original.

Ok so there are some fun details that I left out in that sentence. But I need to have more of an identity than wife and mother and I’m really not feeling it and I don’t know how to fucking feel it.

Slut has been comfortable for most of my life. That was a separate me. But it comes at too high a price.

The threat of him fucking people is good for our sex life. The reality of him fucking people often tanks our sex life and I go on a bender of suicidal ideation. If I could press a button and make this cycle go away I would.

If I could just be ok with him falling in love so fast and wanting to be there for someone else and…

I’m a bitter asshole about the fact that I’m with the kids more and getting the kids alone for a bunch of extra time so he can go be lovey dovey just fucking rains on my parade. Even if it is in trade for me getting time off to do the same thing. It isn’t the same kind of balance. He doesn’t spend as much time with his fucking kids. I mean, ok he spends a lot more now that he works in the house but still….

It’s different, yo.

When he says he wants to go see friends, that’s fine. He gets a kind of support from that interaction that he really can’t get from me.

I swear to fucking god I don’t feel suicidal because I want to manipulate him into doing what I want. I’m inconvenienced by this. It sucks. I am at a point where I am doing better than I have ever historically done and I still don’t like me an awful lot. I perceive him finding romantic happiness with someone else as a relief. Maybe I can be done here. He found someone better.

Pretty much anyone would be better.

Yeah yeah I don’t think that in reality it would be so simple. I’m not replaceable. It’s complicated. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Impulse problems. I’m trying to cope.

I have spent most of my life dealing with my self hatred by hurting myself in a myriad of ways that are basically completely off the table right now. If you eliminate all the small reactions then you get build ups and big reactions and those cause fucking problems.

It isn’t that Noah is hard to talk to. This is me. This is about my internalized inhibitions and prohibitions and safety and brokenness. But I think there is stuff he has had trouble communicating about too.

I’m being an asshole about “But we both suck” lately. I’m cool with taking responsibility as long as it is crystal fucking clear that I am not the only asshole in this relationship. I’m not sure it is a positive place to be.

I’m jumping up and down demanding credit for the parts I did do right. I canceled dates. I stopped doing things. I stopped seeing people. It was a collapse which is mixed… it isn’t sustainable either. But I stopped without being told to.

I didn’t make him veto people. I didn’t make him demand that I stop dating.

I just… stopped with the understanding that I’m not going to be monogamous and we’ll figure out what that means exactly later.

Noah wants to be the center of my world and he is. But what does that mean. How consuming does that need to be?

Too much to think about. But at least I started bleeding and I feel slightly less depressed.

One thought on “Not gentle

  1. Blacksheep

    “Marriage is about meeting your partner’s sexual needs.”

    I disagree with this. If that were true, it would be justifying marital rape. Marriages can persist in the face of sexual dysfunction. It makes as much sense to hang marriage on sexual needs as it does to claim it is for the purpose of producing children.

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