Monthly Archives: December 2016

I’ll fess up now.

It’s bad. So bad. This year… everything blew up financially. So much money was blown. So much. Oh I’m not happy with myself. Here we go. I have to honestly account for it. Fuck.

First, I want to say that if you screw something up one month in Mint (like, by expecting way more income than you get in a month) it’s hard to fix that in later months.

This is reversed from how I want it to look. Sigh.

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That’s what I call “not good”. $27,900.60 in cash and a whopping $130,239.78 in debt between credit cards and the HELOC. That’s not good. This is why we are going to arbitration. Hopefully we will get a chunk of change back and all of that credit card debt will evaporate and a big chunk of the mortgage. With luck. Let’s see if that dude who read my astrological chart was right. He said I will always win when it comes to money in court. Let him be right.

I think he mostly wanted to get laid.

Anyway.

I’m digressing because would you want to delve into how things got like this? Probably not. Well I don’t want to either. Here’s a trend view for you.

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The bestest thing I can say about that pie chart is that I spent more than 50% of my spending on home spending. That was kind of a goal. Given that it was competing with the vow renewal and a couple of surgeries… Excellent. I did keep pace with that priority.

Then a whole bunch of that might come back and it will look like I spent more like 43% of the year on home spending. Don’t judge.

So I can succeed and fail at the same time.

Here is what that looks like broken down:

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Holy crap for crisco. This is my life. We spent… an obscene amount of money. Holy tomato. And we aren’t done. Out of that $213,620.84 spent on “home” $127,802 went towards the bathroom remodel. We are hoping to get $70,000 (approximately) back from the arbitration. The lawyer has been over $9k so maybe we can deduct $60,000 from what was spent on the bathroom remodel bringing it down to a more reasonable $67,802 for the remodel? Maybe? Ok, that’s just a pipe dream at this point… but if we win on the arbitration then the bathroom will cost more like what I wanted to spend. $60k-$80k.

We’ll see. No news on how the rescheduling is going if it is going to be rescheduled. Wheeee. (Long story. Opposing party hired new council at the last minute and is attempting shenanigans.)

So we spent $72,508 on mortgage this year. That’s progress towards a goal. Awesome. I’m thrilled.

That leaves another $13,000 spent on home stuff. Oh goodness. Yeah… that’s a lot of home maintenance stuff. Freakin everything broke this year. I made progress on fixing a bunch of stuff. I spend money on amending dirt every year. Living in a swamp kinda sucks.

The vow renewal was awful. screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-11-14-37-am

Given that I initially asked Dark Garden if I could have an outfit for $8-$10,000 and I walked out of there spending closer to $30,000 it makes a lot of sense that the vow renewal was twice as expensive as I wanted it to be. My initial budged had been $20,000. And then the clothes. We didn’t really earn money back for the cross country trip, but my credit card lets me cancel out travel expenses at a higher rate of return per point spent and it has to be recorded somehow.

This next section is a break down of health.

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My experience of paying for child birth is I should expect about $10,000. That means $38,642.23 is probably not that far out of line for what to expect for next year. I should plan about $3,000/month. Oh wow.

I’m so lazy I can’t be bothered to track down that one lonely coffee shop purchase to make things align with my normal categories.

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When my house is exploding with chaos we eat out a lot. Having to stop work to make work to clean up work before I can return to work… wears me out. That’s what making food feels like. So we eat out a lot. And just generally… wow that’s a lot of money on groceries. We eat well.

Kids. I might write more but I have a kid chattering my ear off and I can barely think.

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Part of the reason that their activity section is so high is because we paid two years of an activity mid-year. Our babysitter got a good sized Christmas bonus, she didn’t quite work hard enough to earn all that. But if everything were fair she earned twice that so whatever.

Shopping is the next chunk of the pie.

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I don’t feel good about having that much uncategorized money. I also haven’t had the time or mental bandwidth to be more careful this year. Being rich is so god damn awesome. I feel guilty taking advantage of my buffer but this year I have to the limit.

Gifts and charity:

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That’s not what I want it to be going forward but we’ll figure it out.

When I feel like I’m completely failing at meeting my financial goals and I need to stop being such a god damn slacker I remind myself… this is my net worth.

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It’s ok to fuck up sometimes. I’m doing ok. Am I doing perfectly? There is no such thing. I’m doing ok.

I could be more detailed but I also could be painting. Bye 2016.

And miles to go before I sleep.

I’d say that my friends added about 7 hours of painting to the walls. (Thanks, y’all. I appreciate it.) I’ve done about 20 hours of painting so far.

I think it’s going to be 100-250ish hours of painting on the whole damn project. Do you know how much that sucks to think right this minute?

Because I also need to clean the mold and repaint my bedroom. Cause mold treatment. Hi, breathing problems.

And the hallway is jacked up and needs to be fixed. And they damaged the walls in the garage and I want to fix that.

No rest for the driven. Whyyyyyyyyyy do I care so much? I don’t know. But I’m going to get dressed in painting clothes right now and get started because I’ve got shit to do.

Today I’m going to finish the ceiling in the playroom, then move back to the bathroom. Oh the bathroom needs to be finished before I finish all the rest of the house. Maybe I’ll carefully lay out some drop cloth and work on the willow tree. That would be lovely.

The floor will either be finished today or tomorrow, as I predicted. The boss wanted it done by Wednesday. Ha. Not even. Actually… if I go look at the floor… definitely not finishing today. He might finish laying the tiles today but then he has to grout and do additional steps. He’ll finish the floor and do permanent toilet installations tomorrow, I hope.

I hope. I hope. I hope.

With luck on Tuesday he will start the wall tiles and that’ll be all that there is left to do. The death march of tile laying. Dum dum de dum dum de dum de dum de dum.

It’s going to be brutal. And boring. And take fucking forever.

Yesterday I think we offended him. I was talking to him about child rearing. He doesn’t believe  young children should have to do anything for themselves. He thinks that little kids should be cosseted like the precious jewels that they are and helped at all times because soon enough they will have to make their own money and support themselves.

I can’t disagree with him. But I asked him how many adults are around to provide that kind of care. Quite a few. They live with family. There is always an adult free to help kids.

We… we don’t have that available in our life. We just don’t. Our kids have to be independent in a way that other children may not have to be. My kids have two parents who work a lot and… not really other people around. My kids have to be able to do for themselves. I get why that might bother someone on an emotional level because it feels overly harsh and unfair…

I do get it.

But I don’t know how to explain that my kids have significantly more support than I ever had and I’m not physically capable of providing more support. It doesn’t matter if I can explain that. If your culture says it is monstrous to not dote on children and I don’t dote on my children… There is no justifying that.

I come from the kind of culture where if you can’t do something for yourself you aren’t going to get to do it. Sorrynotsorry.

I suppose that makes us really mean. Just add it to the list of reasons that I’m a monster. I am not willing to spend my whole day assisting a child in playing. If you want to color, there are crayons available. I’m not going to sit next to you uncapping each marker as you want to use it. Errr, no. That’s not my job.

Which means we are mean. Ok.

If I do that work who is going to do the painting and the dishes and the picking up and the laundry and and and and and and.

If I do that for one child, I am not really available to serve the other three children in the same capacity. How is that really more fair?

Nope. I’m not a mobile entertainment device. You will have to figure it out. If that frustrates you… welcome to life, kid. It is frustrating as shit.

I say I think I offended him because after this conversation he put on very loud Christian music. It seemed like a message. I… I listened to the music and felt irritated. I did not feel a lot of patience in my soul for the message of Christianity yesterday. Even though I in general support religion for folks.

I was thinking about it. I wonder if Christianity/Islam/Judaism make sense to me because they seem to me to be forms of group magic. We believe in a thing so we will work to make it so because that’s how you make a thing.

I get magic. That’s just… that’s just how the world is altered over and over and over again. I believe in magic and most religions just seem to me to be a way to try and use magic in the world.

But yesterday I was feeling pissy about the message of submission. It’s ok to suffer because God wants you to.

Oh the feelings.

So tired.

I should have gotten up and started painting. I didn’t.

I should have gotten up and did a bunch of work on the end-of-year-financial-post. I didn’t.

I should have gotten up and folded laundry. I didn’t.

I should have gotten up and cleaned the living room. I didn’t.

Instead I read about peoples lives on the internet.

My body hurts so much. I’m at the point where I’m probably damaging myself again. I’m working long past “acceptable load” for my body.

I want this remodel over with and the only way to get to that point is to do a fantastic amount of work. But I hurt. I’m taking Ibuprofen at a fantastic rate. Usually I suffer through not taking it. I can’t right now.

But the remodel work is on top of home schooling. And washing god damn dishes all fucking night and day. And my Bonus Kids are here for a few days. Lemmetellya having kids around… is work. Even if you get nothing done. Mediating arguments and fights. Helping them divvy up spoils of war. It’s work.

Teaching children how to be civilized human beings instead of feral animals is work.

I’m tired. I feel like no amount of work is enough and I’m drowning. And I’m too fucking cold to take my pajamas off to put fucking painting clothes on. My bones hurt. So I sit here and cry because I feel lazy and pathetic because I’m whining about why I’m not working instead of just getting some god damn work done when the kids are asleep and distracted.

I want my pain levels under a 3. Right now things are banging between 5 & 7 and it’s going to get worse before this project ends.

I’m having a hard morning and no one else is awake yet. That’s not a great sign. I should medicate. Now. Then…. I don’t know. Probably more crying.

 

Ok, I did almost two hours of work on the end of year review. I’m not a complete waste of oxygen. Now to deal with children who are whining because they don’t get to be first every time.

Looking forward

Goodness. I feel kind of like a bastard because 2016 has had some serious high points for me. It’s been a dumpster fire of a year, don’t get me wrong… but I had more good than many. I feel pretty good about where 2016 is ending on a variety of levels.

I would say that my marriage needed the strain it experienced this year. I think we both learned a number of things we weren’t really on our way to learning. We decided to have more kids. We decided to stop waiting on M/s stuff. (That’s going. And going pretty well so far… we are going slow.)

Things with the kids are…. well… I’d say that I couldn’t expect better. In pretty much every way I feel like things are going better as a parent than I expected they would. I thought we would have way more problems. Our relationships are pretty good and improving. We are getting better with every year at talking to one another about what we need. They are really excited about the prospect of more kids.

The house remodel… is absolutely driving me bonkers. But every person who walks into my bathroom gasps. It is worth it. Just keep plugging along. Art. Moar Art. I guess at this moment that I have somewhere between 100 and 200 hours of painting ahead of me between now and the finish line. Fuck.

I’m a painter. It’s a thing I do. I do a lot of it. I’m an artist. How will this play into my future?

No clue yet.

We watched Rogue One today. It… it’s a heavy movie. I feel kinda stunned. I think this is the only Star Wars movie I’ve ever really liked. Of course I like the hit-you-in-the-head one.

I’ve said for a long time that I suspect I will live to see some kind of revolution. Then we elected Trump. You know what?

The next four years need to be full of active resistance. The next four years need to involve making concrete actions in the direction of living in the kind of world I want to live in.

It’s kind of funny that I started out vehemently hating the idea of the American Dream. When I studied it in college and grad school I felt so much anger. I did not think it was attainable for me or anyone like me.

Then I arrived.

Holy shit. How do I share this shit.

How can more people have this kind of safety and security? What can I do to help other people have more access to education and choices and medical care?

Revolutions are made by the people who show up. What does showing up mean? It means different things to every person because you can’t make a revolution out of people who are exactly the same. That’s how you create an empire. By wanting people to be all the same so you can use them interchangeably as spokes on a wheel.

I don’t want a well mechanized empire.

I know what that means.

Even if I would be considered one of the “winners”… no. No. No. No. No.

Fuck that. No. But when and where are different levels of aggression worth countering with other levels of aggression?

How do you have a revolution without having a war? How many people have to die to call it a war?

How do we even know what a war means anymore?

There were 10,000 casualties of the war with Kuwait. In the last one hundred years, how many black people has the US government killed when they weren’t doing a damn thing wrong?

What is a war?

I spent my childhood reading books about the Resistance in WWII.

I need to spend a lot more time thinking about what I’m going to do with my life. I know what i want to do with my life in the very long-term. But what am I going to do while I’m growing up? What will I do to shape the person I need to be someday?

Fuck. This will be a lot of work.

Lots of people do lots of things to shape history. Where do I want to stand?

Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas to those of you who recognize such a holiday. If you don’t celebrate this holiday, I hope you have an easy time avoiding us annoying assholes who do. I’m sure it gets annoying year after year.

Today is going to be a day for thinking. I’m thinking about that article about dating losers that I posted yesterday. I’m thinking about it because… way too many of those points describe me. More than a couple feel kinda like Noah. We have some issues. But the big difference between us and that article is that we both feel that we fuck up. We talk about how we are behaving badly. We try to change. We have both changed a great deal in ten years. Some of those behaviors were a big problem early in our relationship and have mellowed a lot.

But I don’t have the spoons to get into it point by point. Which is feeling anxious-making. We really need to work on our relationship going forward. Which feels hard this minute.

I put primer on the wall in the play room yesterday. Today I will do the background/sky/earth colors in there so that tomorrow when folks show up to paint Minecraft… they can just go. It’ll be fun.

I finished the ceiling in autumn/winter. It’s gorgeous; it looks like storms chasing across the sky. I’m so in love.

I spent a lot of time talking to the construction worker yesterday. I’m down to just one now. Which means he may be here till February. I talked to the main boss guy yesterday. He’s not happy with my prediction for how long this will take. He says it has to go faster. The worker and I raise an eyebrow and shrug. No. It doesn’t have to go faster. It has to be done right. It might not be finished till February and that’s ok. The boss guy says I am the most patient client he has ever worked with to the point where it’s a little weird. He said, “We have already more than doubled the time I thought it would take and you are ok with tripling it. That’s never happened to me before.”

Well, the work that is being done is gorgeous and I’m not going to fuck with a good thing. I’ve been waiting two years. I’m not going to rush once we get to the beautiful tile I will have to look at every day. If the pace slows down to a crawl because hand setting each individual tile sucks… I will roll with that. I just want the playroom back. And vanities in the bathroom (which won’t get in the way of tile) so I can get all the shit out of the living room.

I can handle moving slowly with tile. I want it done right.

This is not a normal tiling job where you put on sheets of tile and rarely have to cut anything. This is a bitch.

He may get an assistant who is also mainly a tile guy. We’ll see.

Also: I got my wish to be humanized with the dude. We talked for hours and we have many more hours of talking in front of us. We talked about where he is from, his life path, his family, his children, his faith and his struggles with it, and lots of random little details about his life. I said, “I know y’all talked back and forth a lot about _____ and _____. Would you be interested in hearing why?”

He said yeah. When I was done telling him stories about myself and why I’m doing this art and no for pity’s sake my daddy is not paying for this… he said, “This is why I kept telling the other guy not to judge. You don’t know someone else’s story till they tell you. It makes sense that you are doing what you are doing after I hear all that.”

Holy crudmonkeys that is an intoxicating kind of validation.

Then I absolutely hate myself because I should not care what he thinks of me. It should be entirely irrelevant to my life. I’m so stupid.

It’s a big deal to me that I move through the world explaining why someone might be crazy. It makes sense. It is all internally consistent. I do it in large part because I cannot count the number of people who tell me they are more patient and understanding with lots of people in their lives because they understand what they may not know about them now that they understand me and my story better.

When I say I write about myself because I want to be a character in peoples heads… that’s a lot of what I mean. I mean, don’t mistake me for wanting to be holy but… a friend said she thinks, “What Would Krissy Do” sometimes and my heart exploded with a firebomb of joy.

Holy shit. People think of me.

That’s important. That matters. That’s a real thing.

Even if I can’t touch it, see it, or smell it. That’s a gift that people are giving me. They allow me to take up space in their brains. Oh thank you so much. I feel so very loved. You think of me the way I think of you. I try as hard as I can to create models of y’all in my head in the same way. I sit and go through different people in my head and try to figure out how they would react based on what I know about them.

Sometimes I even guess right. Often I don’t. But I’m trying.

I’m difficult and you still try to understand me. That is a gift. You know what? Even the folks who hate follow me… you are here to see a train wreck and you go off and mock me in other places. Ok. But guess what? I’m still a story in your head. I take up space in your brain. You still think about me because I am compelling.

Nyah nyah nyah nyah.

The maturity, I have all of it.

Recently I noticed that the main place I knew about where people sat around and talked shit about me evaporated. *phew* Bye fuckers. Apparently the forum went away because folks were so nasty to one another that it just couldn’t be sustained. Well done, y’all.

Traumatized means: subject to lasting shock as a result of an emotionally disturbing experience or physical injury.

It is fair to say that I have traumatized people. I leave a lasting impression on people. It is fair to say that people have traumatized me. I will think about them forever.

How much of traumatizing other people do we need to process, forgive, acknowledge, work on… I’m not sure. I leave a lasting god damn impression on people. Sometimes in a bad way. I don’t really know that I have it in me to become a smaller person so that I leave less of an impression. That’s what it would take. It would take me trying to squash big parts of my personality.

What do I owe other people? If your culture says that people like me are a serious problem… maybe avoid me? I’m unlikely to adapt myself so that I fit in with a culture I don’t live in/with/around. That’s kinda like suicide. For better or worse I live in the cultural context in which I live. I mean…

I try to change the cultural context in which I live. I exert active pressure on it in a variety of ways. But I see a lot of factors outside of my control.

I have to deal with the sexist, racist white assholes in the world. Sometimes I kinda need to have all the force of personality of a bazooka in order to absolutely assert with great force I WILL NOT HAVE THAT SHIT HERE. NOT IN MY PRESENCE.

If you can turn that kind of thing all the way off entirely and pull it out when you need it then I’d love to hear how you pull off that trick. I turn it down to like 1 or 2. That’s as far down as I know how to turn down that force of personality. It is always measurably there… but barely….

I don’t know why I have this kind of force of personality to enforce a reality distortion bubble. It’s not really about the factors that currently exist in my life. I did this shit when I was a small, helpless, destitute, homeless child. I’d still turn to someone and go off like a bottle rocket if they did shit that I thought wasn’t ok.

This has gotten me in trouble all my life. I got beat so much for sassing teachers in Texas and Oklahoma partially because I called them on being assholes to me and the other students. I have memories of pointing out that they were picking on people so they turned to me instead. I’ve always kind of liked being a lightning rod. I think my attitude is that I am tough and I can take it.

I’ve jumped into fist fights and gotten them to stop hitting each other.

I’m not shy about asserting my presence in the world. No. This will not happen on my watch. Whatever that means.

Noah thinks it is funny that in junior high I was pulled out of class to go through training on how to be a conflict mediator. The school saw me interfering in everyone else’s business and wanted to harness that. I was pulled out of class constantly because I did really well at being fair. I wasn’t biased. I hate everyone the same and I was not big on favoritism.

If you are my best friend and you fuck up… I’m kinda throwing you under the bus.

You do the crime, you do the time buddy. In this case it normally meant apology letters, but whatever. I’m big on the idea that everyone should have to apologize for fucking up and I always have been.

I didn’t mean to traumatize you but I also can’t let someone sit at my table and tell me they will threaten me whenever they want. Nope, nope, nope. All the nope in the entire nope-universe. If it traumatizes you to find out that I won’t accept that…

I will just have to live with that.

I’m a bully. Because when someone says flat out that they will threaten me whenever they want I respond and respond and respond and respond and respond until they leave, saying I am traumatizing.

Ok.

And I have even less control over how strong I come on when I’m tired.

Goodness I need to figure out sleep in this lifetime. And when I pull all nighters I need to not talk to people for two or three days later. I’m such a bitch. I have no volume regulation and my tone of voice goes straight to shit.

Hey, it’s like I have less control over my body when I’m exhausted. Weird.

Or entirely predictable. Take your pick.

And I’m having another baby. I will cuddle my exhaustion to me like a warm blanket.

I’m freezing. I’m going to move to the heater and I can’t bring my computer with me because it is a brick when unplugged. Whine fuss moan. And the dishwasher is still broken and now the repair guy is dodging calls.

Cheers.

Perspective is interesting.

I was reading through this article (go read it) and it talks about how things are improving on a variety of axis throughout the world. We see so much negativity. Read this. Think about how far we have come as a species. Feel a moment of pride. We aren’t completely a shit show.

Then read this about history repeating itself.

Having human beings be my religion means that whereas Christians can say “Sometimes God works in mysterious ways” I can say “Sometimes we need to fuck up real bad before we can learn enough to stop doing a particular fuck up.”

It’s basically the same thing.

Tribalism has been the driving force behind so much violence and anger. “My culture says that if you look at me I should hit you for disrespecting me.” Oh. But you think that the hitting is “teaching” not violence. Just the looking was violent. Why? I don’t understand that dynamic. That is… bizarre to me.

Because my associations with violence are based on my personal experiences. In my experience, looking at someone can be provoking but it isn’t violence.

How do we come to peace on issues like this as larger cultures?

I read a lot about “violent speech” which I put in quotations marks not because I think it doesn’t exist but because that’s the search term I use a lot.I use it in combination with lots of other words to try and see when it comes up in relationship to other topics. I usually put those in quotes too. Not to denigrate them.

Man, scare quotes ruin everything.

I read a lot of points of view because I don’t know for sure what I think yet. I’m still taking in information and I don’t know. It’s big. It’s complicated. For some people violent speech is when someone screams streams of profanity, usually including specific insults. For some people violent speech is about threatening physical harm. For some violent speech is about a man having a strong opinion in front of a woman. I am not trying to be a minimizing asshole. I’ve read a rather lot of people that believe that men have no right to be forceful in front of women. To be fair, such women usually opine that I’m not allowed to speak forcefully to them though. It’s not straight up misandry. Also: these folks usually tell me this quite forcefully which leads me to believe that they can’t hear themselves or that they think that only their authority is allowed to be forceful and no one else.

Thing is, I didn’t sign on to an agreement where I had to abide by such behavior. I can totally see how it comes up for you based on your experiences though.

But what about consent for behavior between people? How do we negotiate it? That’s a problem. I’m an ask-not-guess person. I mean, I’m not always good at advocating for what I really want but mostly I’m good at asking for needs for other people and asserting how I want to behave. Even if I don’t advocate for all of my needs, I do assert how I will behave and what I will do.

It is fascinating to me that folks will hear me, disbelieve, tell me that my behavior is totally cool and acceptable and they are looking forward to it…. and then blow up because I did as I said I would.

Yo, truth in advertising, babe.

For reals. What do you expect from me? You expect that I will all of a sudden stop behaving how I said I would and instead start behaving submissively towards you and your culture?

Bwahahahahahaha

No.

I know I’m an asshole. I wouldn’t be alive if I weren’t. I know I can bully people. But I generally announce up front, “I have very strong feelings on this topic and I can be kind of a bully. If I start making you uncomfortable tell me and I will shut all the way up. I’m not good at being moderate on this topic.”

But there are an awful lot of bullies on this planet. Often the only way to get them to leave you alone is to show that you will bully right fucking back.

The first example that comes to my mind is on the road trip when someone wanted to spend time denigrating home schooling, tell me opting out of the public school system is just about evil, and women who stay in domestic violence are poisoned by their estrogen.

Guess what? I argued until I got folks to look at the floor in dead silence. Then I left.

All the nope in the whole wide world.

Yup, I can seriously be a bully. Yup.

I’m not only ok with that but sometimes it brings me great joy.

I never cowed.

I did not give an inch.

Did it matter? No. Not really. I don’t hate the people I was talking to and in other circumstances and other environments I can have conversations without an ounce of bullying. But pick up some of the topics that touch my life and I’m not going to let you win one god damn inch of conversational space.

Nope.

It’s part of the reality distortion bubble I live in.

I’m going to paint today. I’m going to try and work on spring and see how far I get with it. I would really love to finish the cherry tree today. Maybe add some sparkly butterflies to the room. I feel like maybe somewhere in the grass there should be a nest of animals. A mama and a daddy and a nest of babies. I haven’t picked what species yet.

I should ask my family.

I think the current construction company has decided that the best way to handle dudes shit talking me is to not send them to my house any more. So now this one dude toils alone. Progress has of course slowed down like whoa. He only got through 20%ish of the floor yesterday. He didn’t even finish summer, let alone do the autumn/winter room, shower floor, or spring.

So ok, the floor… will probably not be done till next week. That’s fine. Maybe I will have time to completely finish spring before the beautiful tiles are on the floor and I risk wrecking them. *phew*

I’m nervous about painting on top of the tiles. I’m going to have to in order to finish the willow tree, I’ll be careful. But it’s going to go sooooo sloooooow to be careful like that. Oh well. Oh, I should start with the ceiling in autumn/winter first today. He’ll get to that pretty quickly and the greenish stuff up there… can’t be the only color. I’m not going to cover it completely. I’m going to blend an icy blue, and a good cloudy white, and a nice grey together over it and let it shine through in places.

It’s going to be the start of a beautiful morning on the crux of autumn falling into winter.

Just wait and see. Invigorating and bracing.

With a heated floor. Ahhhhhh.

And it is electric so comes out of my solar panels instead of using gas. Hippie win.

I have room on my roof for 8 more panels to be just plugged in. All the wiring and bracing is in place. I feel like I should investigate battery options someday and see how I could possibly store more of what I make. Or I could just put way more back onto the grid to share with my neighbors like I do now.

We’ll see. I’m not doing that research this year or next year.

Oh goodness. Speaking of what I need to do this year… dunh dunh dunh… financial review. Ew. It’s going to take three days to get through all of the nuts and bolts of it. Fucktastic. Not today, Satan.

But… probably next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Shit. (I need a break in the middle so I don’t overload my brain and get to the point of being ANGRY FULL TIME. I find money to be very stressful. This year was… expensive. I’m going to have big feelings. Plan for them.)

2017 is going be so much cheaper. It’s going to be a better year for me for just that reason.

Even with having a damn baby. (We hope.) That says too much about 2016.

Good grief. I started out thinking, “Maybe I don’t want to bother with cloth diapers this time. The drought. The time. The constant energy to deal with it. Maybe… I’ll use a different option.” Then I looked at how much it costs to use any other diaper option. Uhm, spend that much money on stuff that is peed or pooped on once then thrown away (or washed by a service or composted by a service or whatever other hippy-dippy option)….

I’m not sure I can do it.

Oh god.

You pay more money over the long run to evade labor. I can’t handle that trade. Not with diapers. In the scheme of my life this is stupid. My time… could be more productively used. By far. I know.

It’s an existential thing. I just can’t fucking spend that much money on diapers.

It freaks me out.

I just went and looked at a cost estimator for how much I will spend on the first year of having a baby. It didn’t include “pay for hospital” so uhm, that’s low. But it says around $6,000. It’s not including the diapers (many of which I resell, to become nearly cost neutral) or the hospital. So, closer to $15,000-$20,000depending on how the birth goes. Cheers. That little detail needs to be accounted for in next year’s budget.

Because it’s a hospital for me this time. It’s a little weird living in this little drama where all three of them periodically say spontaneously, “I’m glad you are going to a hospital this time. It’s important that you be here after this baby is born.”

It’s fucking weird. Because everyone in the house says it to me. Youngest Child said it yesterday as we were just doing random chores. It was… interesting.

It is going to be interesting to try and develop a relationship with a doctor. I am nervous but I feel up to the challenging. This is going to take a liberal application of all the charm I can come up with combined with a specifically and carefully chosen list of specific traumas that have happened and why they will complicate our relationship.

I come into this with a lot of wounding and difficulty trusting medical providers. Let me talk to you about why and tell you what I need from you in order to build a relationship of trust. Because you haven’t earned any yet.

Hi. I’m Difficult Patient. Nice to meet you.

But I’ll make it up to you by expressing extreme gratitude that you are getting to know me as a person.

I know I’m a pain in the ass. Thank you for putting up with me.

I’m thinking about folks from the past. Folks who were absolutely integral for my healing but whom I cannot know any more.

The layers of building a person are so complicated and layered. Do we take in parasitic ways? Do we give back enough?

Not many of my relationships are strongly mutually supportive. Most have a flow of energy. Some change over time, but in most there is more of a receptive or a giving feeling on my end.

I can’t say for sure how it feels to the others involved.

I acknowledge that I’m an energy-sucking vampire for lots of people in my life. Hopefully I’m only taking in a way that benefits you though. Like symbiosis. I’m good at encouraging people to talk about themselves. I ask good questions. I make connections and listen hard. But I get so much out of it that… yeah… I’m receptive here. I know it.

People have to pour energy into me in order for that to happen. It is like blood sucking. But hopefully more like a barnacle on a whale than a mosquito. Or maybe more like an orchid, which grows on a tree but doesn’t hurt the tree…

The circle of life is complex. Where we all fit on it… is hard to see. That in particular is what I’m good at giving back to people. Perspective. I see you in ways you can’t see yourself. You exist in this shining schema in my head. That’s kinda an awkward turn of phrase but I’m an awkward sort of woman.

Last night two of my wonderful people came over. It was great to talk to them about what it means to be alive right now in this time and in this place.

There are a lot of levels to think about. Which ones do we focus on, why, for how long, with what intensity?

Speaking of which, more fuckery on the arbitration front. Now there’s another two week delay. Because stuff. Oh the post I shall write when this story is over. Search Engine Optimization for the win.

Any minute now I should get off my ass and go work in the bathroom. Because dude is arriving in another hour and I should finish the part that will be near his head first and then I can work farther form him when he’s here. Be polite about the small space and all that. Preplan.

Time to press go. Motherfucker. My body hurts. I’d like to just… kinda lie around and rest. I’m still tired. But there are miles to go before I sleep. And art work to create before I rest.

When I hit the end of this run, I plan to be very very lazy for a long time. I’m even going to suck it up and pay someone to clean my house. Because I need a break.

I will not stop until my house is back to being a yes environment. That’s the end goal. I can’t keep doing the art in drips and drabs. It has to be done and put away. It creates too many ‘no’ zones. I can’t handle that for the next few years. I can’t handle the mental strain of coping with it.

I need a yes house.

I’m working on it about as fast as I can. There are pieces that are out of my damn control.

Today will be a work day. Today I will produce a lot of permanent change with my hands. I’m going to take that kind of seriously. The kids will work on academics sitting on the floor near me so we can talk as they work. Then the glorious baby sitter will come over and play with them for hours while I work. I will probably barely break till bed time. Then I will sleep. Then I will wake up and paint all day.

Christmas is going to be interesting. I am going to participate… and I’m going to paint. But it will be all Minecraft all the time for the afternoon. Eldest Child wants some group Minecraft play (I have to sit with them and give opinions and directions for a while) and then the playroom will get painted.

I will have a playroom by Monday. This is my happy face. The furniture will be out of the living room by Monday. Oh I am so happy. You cannot possibly understand.

My shoulders are dropping. The end is in sight. Soon I will be done working on painting the house for a few years.

It’s not that I’m done painting the house. Goodness no. But I need to take a few years off. I need to save money for the next round of fixing stuff. Which will include insulating the remainder of the house and updating the flooring.

Not in this round of work. Can’t. I’m losing my mind.

I hate remodeling. But it is inevitable if you own a house. Sob.

I hate it and I love the results. Kinda like how I feel about painting. Painting sucks. I hate painting. But I have these things I see in my head and I need them to be real and painting is one way to do that.

It is a way to share what I see of the world.

Sometimes I feel like typing is my true native language. Painting is becoming a secondary one. Then there are those pesky words out loud.

That’s so much harder.

Go. The sun is up. There is work to do. Move.

So sleepy

Nine hours of sleep after skipping a night helps… but I’m in that dream place. Sometimes this is a hard, sad, scary place to be. Not today.

Today I feel open to love. Today I feel loved. Today I am thinking about the comets who touch my orbit. I’m thinking about how very blessed I have been in this life to be loved by so many truly fantastic people.

I am blessed beyond any expectation or presumption of deserving. I could not have expected the treasures that have poured into my lap.

Thank you. I love you so very much. Thank you for being in the world so that I can see you and learn from you and love you. You don’t have to do anything for me. Just be. I love just the way you are doing your thing.

Don’t change for me.

Or maybe, if you change for me, change because you see you better having seen a reflection from me. Don’t change because you want to be more what I like. I like you as you are.

Lovin Is Easy. I do it all day. You make it so easy. It’s the way that you play. I want you to be free. I want you to soar. I want you to chase adventure and so much more.

I love you.

Bounce

I will sleep soon. I sure hope. I had my last bit of soda around 4am. It’s 9:13. I’ve been awake for about 42 hours. I’m tired, but not sleepy yet. I will lay down soon. Right now, I’m medicating.

We went to a party tonight. It was one of the most comfortable parties I’ve been to in a long time. I didn’t feel anxious at all. I felt included and appreciated by folks I’ve know for many years. It was a sit around and chat sort of party. Maybe there was one heterosexual in the room but I wouldn’t put money on that person being so? It was the kind of party where you can talk about religion, magic, computers, running, obsessive video games, gender, sexual orientation, pets, children, house remodeling, and then there was when I got to drop the line, “Oh I like being the fourth person someone fucks in a day” and everyone in the room was delighted.

Yeah, I’ve done that. It was dreamy and soft and very gentle and loving. All of their urgency was long spent. It was the soft worship left to wallow in. Sex is awesome.

I’ve been reading a lot about couples privilege. I have a lot to think about with regards to my friendships and my lovers. I don’t really want to go through life using people. Well, unless they negotiate that they really want to be used. Then we will respectfully negotiate a mutually agreeable time (my schedule is not the only important one and all) and then we’ll see.

What does it mean to be one flesh? Noah really wants a deeply enmeshed marriage. I have mixed feelings. I want it and it is hard. There are a lot of things and actions I enjoy that got… taken off the burner and put in a box in the shed. It wasn’t left to simmer.

But things are improving.

It is hard to talk about a situation without just sounding like I’m complaining. I’m trying to figure out what I think.

I’ve spent my entire adult life around non monogamous people. I thought of Noah as someone who deeply wanted polyamory but couldn’t always have it because life is complicated. Oh. Shit. One of these years I’d like to get to the point of being wrong less fucking often.

We spend a lot of time around each other. He’s been working from home for six months now. ONCE THIS FUCKING REMODEL IS OVER it will be glorious. It is good even with the fuss.

We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together–all four of us– just about every day. We talk to each other all day long. We are all talkers like whoa. You know how much I write? I talk more than that and I’m one of the less talkative ones in the house.

Holy tomato. The sheer flood of words in our house.

It is validating and lovely and loving. It is chaos and light. It is entropy and order. I feel like I’m going to be totally good at compersion… with my kids.

I’m pretty sure I will be the sort of person who can barely handle specifics of my kids sex life. I’m open to questions, even fairly technically specific ones. I just… need them to be theoretical to some degree. I think I’m going to need to not know for sure exactly what you do. I will provide access to books for self study on a variety of topics. I will introduce my kids to some of my brilliant sex educator friends. My buddies won’t let my kids down.

I really want to know if you a) feel safe b) have fun c) play safe d) have an exit strategy for if things go south.

Past that… I’m cool. You do you. Off-stage from me. Holy shit. I don’t want to know too much.

Do you know how much pornography I consume? A lot. I read stories. I like pictures. Videos are fun.

I DON’T WANT TO KNOW SPECIFICS OF MY CHILDRENS SEX LIVES.

Because even freaky weird perverts have limits, yo.

I’m glad my kids didn’t come to the party with us tonight. I’m glad I got to enjoy the company of wonderful perverts.

And I got schooled on assuming everyone likes rough sex. There I go projecting again. I’m sorry. I was rude.

I feel like I am just getting to the point where I understand what it means to understand the different kinds of interests in the leather communities (no I don’t capitalize leather). I think I’ve always assumed folks were… more like me. That’s partially a function of the perfect, delightful little group I fell into.

I’ll be grateful for all of you for all of my life.

It may be the drugs talking, but right this minute I like being me.

Also, this song is wonderful and I’m glad they made it. Yay.

Feeling wired.

Ok, I’ve been working for almost 10 hours now. I’m on my second break. (At 4:45am) Time to scarf some protein. I have the base tree in summer done. I need to get some leaves on it quick. Today they are installing the vanities and I need to finish the painting that wants to be behind them. Ack. HURRY. Dudes arrive in only 3 hours! Do work!

Nutty. Working like this on no sleep is nutty.

Oh hey, I think I just celebrated Solstice by staying up all night. That’s a little bit cool.

I’m vibrating.

I took caffeine. Lots of it. I’ve been working for 5 hours so far. This is my first break. It seems wise to take a break because whoa paint fumes. But things are coming along! I did the magnetic primer on the one small part of the wall in the hallway. I did a bunch of wall prep for painting in the play room. And I’m working on a tree in spring! It’s going to be a cherry tree so I can make beautiful pink blooms once I’m ready to stand up again.

Progress! Like, serious progress! Tomorrow they install the floor tiles! I figured out how to use the green tile without injuring anyone! I’m proud of myself!

DID I MENTION THAT I HAD A FUCK TON OF CAFFEINE? HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

The vanities will be in place tomorrow. Once the vanities and the flooring are in place and the lights are installed (they are here and everything) then the playroom is empty of all but the tools the construction workers are actively using! It’ll be time to paint!

So the week between Christmas and New Years will be a Minecraft painting extravaganza. Hellz yeah.

DID I MENTION THAT IT WAS A LOT OF CAFFEINE? OH MY GOD.

One Vivarin. One pot of tea. 32 oz of soda. THAT’S A REALLY LOT COMPARED TO THE FACT THAT NORMALLY I HAVE MAYBE TWO CUPS OF TEA IN THE MORNING. HOLY SHIT.

Ok. That was a 15 minute break. I should go work again.

GET SHIT DONE. WITH NO CHILDREN NAGGING ME. MUAHAHAHAHAHA

I will pay for this later.

So frustrated. Whine. Moan. Fuss.

I love my cat, but senility is rough. She wanders around crying a lot. She won’t allow me to give her attention, she just cries like the most unloved thing ever. This noise is contributing to why I am losing my mind. (Yes, she is now medicated for pain.)

The bathroom tiles that I carefully tried to reorder came in wrong. So… now we don’t have a consistent kind of tile for the flooring. And the place I bought the tile from posts EVERYWHERE that any mistakes are not their fault and they do not do exchanges or refunds. So now I’m kind of pissed. The bathroom floor was not meant to be a hodge podge. Oh fucking well I guess.

Everything about this remodel is frustrating and making me crazy. I’m so exhausted.

I’m back to the point of passing out unconscious before 8pm and I’m waking up between 2 and 4am. This is not good. I feel like I desperately need naps in the middle of the day and I just don’t let myself rest when there are workers in the house. So I’m feeling shittier by the day.

Sometimes I feel very cranky about waking up in the middle of the night and going to the bathroom and seeing emails about how I’m not living up to what people want from me.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2017. Because I’m neurotic like that. I think that it doesn’t matter how much I would like to branch out socially… I’m going to need to cut my expectations.

I’m so tired and cranky and the kids need to be less of an after thought.

Shit.

I’m not good at boredom. That may be an understatement of magnificent proportions. I’m not good at sitting around and waiting on, well, anything.

But in the long run of my life I need a down year. I need to not travel (even though my family keeps saying they want to go somewhere next year–I don’t. Go without me) and I need to rest. Or I’m going to get much worse physically and then old age is… not going to be so much of a possibility.

I’m feeling very resentful about the changing metrics in my head. For most of my life I have focused on what work I could do and what connections I could make. Self care hasn’t ever hit my priority list. Sleeping, eating, resting… those are all things that other people do. But if you skip those steps you don’t live very long. For most of my life speeding up how soon I will die has been a goal. These days… I’d like to see what my kids do with their futures. That requires staying alive. Oh shit. NOT FAIR, MOTHERFUCKERS.

I’m awake and hurting really bad and I have to drive to fucking Berkeley today. I drove to Alameda over the weekend and that took a toll. I’m so grateful I got to bail on a trip to Oakland this week. So only three times of driving north in two weeks instead of four. I feel like such a baby. It hurts so much. My low back, my neck, and my arms are all in revolt.

Was the driving worth it? I wish I hadn’t bothered trying the Kickstarter launch party. I felt so stupid and awkward and inappropriate that I didn’t actually talk to anyone and it was a lot of driving just to feel more of how stupid I feel in the bay area. I’ve lived around tech culture since middle school. Put me in a hacker space and I feel the “Oh, you’re one of the dumb kids” aura permeate. I’m an idiot who has completely internalized that computer people are smarter than me and I kind of hate them for it.

I don’t actually think they are smarter than me. But I have decades of hostility built up from so many of them treating me like I am stupid. “Oh, you can’t talk the specifics of a motherboard. You must be stupid.”

I shouldn’t have bothered to try that party. It was a waste of spoons. I’m really frustrated with myself.

I thought I might feel brave. I was so wrong. I didn’t understand that the cafe was in a hackerspace.

I’m tired and sad. Christmas is this coming weekend and I just want to cry. I’m getting the tasks I’m supposed to do done. Mostly. Sorta. It’s a shitty, truncated year. I am skipping a bunch of steps and trying to feel ok about it and mostly failing. I’m not feeling a lot of Christmas magic. I’m feeling frustrated and angry that my house is still ripped apart.

I am so god damn tired of not being able to walk through my house without hurting myself because there is no god damn space to get the kids stuff out of the way. They dump everything in the walkway every day because that is the only clear space to play. I am losing my fucking mind. I feel angry all the time.

They have internalized that toys aren’t really supposed to be spread out in their sleeping room. God help me. I WANT THE FUCKING PLAY ROOM BACK.

I want the playroom back. I want the playroom back. I want the playroom back. Toys stay in the play room. Mostly. Like 85% and THAT’S PRETTY FUCKING AWESOME COMPARED TO HOW THINGS ARE GOING RIGHT NOW.

My laptop is a brick. If the cord unplugs it shuts off.

I’m feeling distinctly whiny right about now.

My dishwasher is still god damn broken. It’s been broken since before Thanksgiving. Merry Fucking Christmas. Wash dishes till your hands bleed from dryness, motherfucker.

My hands hurt so much.

I understand my mother so much more now.

Doesn’t help that I gauged my pinkie cuticle on the blade of a blender so moving my pinkie at all sucks. Whine. Whine. Whine.

I’m feeling really sad and overwhelmed and angry. I’m so tired. Nothing I do is good enough.

I want to stop showing up for anyone and anything. I feel so frustrated and angry and incompetent and unworthy and stupid and worthless.

I can’t do anything right so why do I keep fucking trying so hard. What is the point? I just want to put my head down and cry for a few weeks.

My kids are getting to the point where they aren’t coping well anymore. I’m not handling having my kid cry and scream at me for extended periods. First it was that they wanted to buy more candy. (No. We’ve had an obscene amount of sugar this week. No. We don’t need to buy yet more damn candy.) Then it was a huge tantrum over the car seat. Because apparently it is now a baby seat. Motherfucker your sibling sat in that fucking seat till she was 8. It isn’t a baby seat. (I didn’t actually call my kid motherfucker in person. BUT IT IS MY BLOG AND I GET TO VENT MY FUCKING SPLEEN SOMEWHERE.) Then it was that I was a horrible person because I was repeating something over and over so I didn’t forget it. I was invading their air space. (Their favorite god damn hobby is repeating an obnoxious word hundreds of times in a row. But if I repeat something so I don’t forget it in the next three minutes, I’m evil.) Then it was that I am cruel and terrible because I turned the radio on because I was TIRED OF BEING BITCHED AT NON STOP.

Kiddo spent a lot of time fussing and crying yesterday. So by bedtime when the kid was a melty puddle of fuss and they asked to please sleep in my room… I said yes. This is a kid who is struggling like fuck right now. They are trying to reach out for connection.

When we got back from the car trip that involved me screaming, “FINE. EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE AND YOUR LIFE SUCKS. I KNOW. CAN YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE” kiddo really wanted to go hide in their room and reject me because I told them to shut up so I am the devil. I sat in kiddo’s doorway and asked if they were ready for a hug. They said, “Why should I hug someone who tells me to shut up?” I said, “You don’t have to hug me. That’s never required. But I’m the only mama you are going to have. I know I suck sometimes. But do you feel better when I hug you?” Kiddo skittered across the room and launched into my arms.

I wasn’t going to tell kiddo to get out of my room last night. They needed the closeness, even if I wanted space.

That’s a lot of the dance in my life. I either need more or less space than other people so I just… never really feel comfortable. I spend a lot of time consciously ignoring what I need in favor of what other people need because they are more important.

And thus my back hurts like a mother fucker.

I can’t have pot because I’m driving to Berkeley. I’m bringing my Bonus Kids home. Because I’m loaded with patience, right?

I have our lovely baby sitter scheduled this afternoon. I’m honest with myself that I need some god damn help right now. Thank you, oh kind baby sitter. You are my only hope of being a nice mother.

I’m tired of feeling like an incompetent, stupid, loser all day long. I feel like I’m not getting anything right. I feel like I fuck everything up because I’m impatient and stupid stupid stupid.

Why is stupid such a thing right now? I’m not sure. But it’s hitting me over the head hard. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I keep making mistakes in the remodel processing stuff. I’m told to go to the store and get “all the stuff” for a given part of a project. I go to the store and ask for help. They always neglect to tell me about some stuff I need. Then the contractors act pissy and inconvenienced because I have most but not all of a thing. Or I have the wrong number or I have something that the previous company told me to buy but this company says is wrong and can’t be used so I bought a bunch of shit I can’t use and now what the fuck do I do with it.

I’m so frustrated and tired. I have asked for a shopping list of parts over and over and over and over and over. Instead I’m constantly told, “Hey we need ____ part tomorrow.” Then I go to the store and it’s a 3 day window before it can arrive. Then I’m the fuck up.

I’m so frustrated and upset.

We have an upcoming visit with Noah’s parents. I feel like I’d rather shove my head through a window than drive to fucking San Francisco (which hurts) for these assholes who will only come through town on their way to a three month cruise. After they couldn’t be bothered going on a one week cruise with us because they couldn’t be “away from the farm”. Only they went on a two week cruise later in the same month we went.

I’m a petty bitch. I know it. But I’m vindictive and petty and god damnit sometimes I just fucking am. Fuck these people.

I’m utterly exhausted. I’m not seeing people I like because I’m too fucking tired. Why spend spoons on people who make me hate being alive? Oh yeah. Because they are family.

The entire concept of family needs to be set on fire.

Because my kids deserve to be supported in having a relationship with 2/3 of their living grandparents if that is in any way feasible. It really doesn’t matter how I feel about them. My feelings are really not the most important set here.

I’ll do my crying about it off stage. Then put my big girl panties on and get through it. Because my kids need it.

Something that bugs me is: I encourage other people to not do things that hurt or bug them. I tell them that their feelings matter. But I act very much like my feelings don’t matter. So many things hurt me that it isn’t fair to the people around me to avoid all of them. I have to suck it up so I’m not mean and selfish.

I’m pissy that I had to miss Winter Bash because my kids didn’t feel good. I don’t get to see those people much at all. I was looking forward to it for months.

Oh well.

I feel sad and ungrateful that the visits I have had this month aren’t enough to buoy me up into cheerfulness. I feel like I’m letting my friends down.

I’m so tired. I feel like such a complete failure. Everything is feeling like a horrible burden. I don’t even like or enjoy eating. It’s another fucking chore I have to do or I will have big problems. I feel resentful of everything right now.

I feel resentful of the god damn traffic I have to sit in today. Fuck you, Berkeley. Arriving at 8:30 really sucks. I get all the school and work traffic. Shit. Shit. shit.

I’m driving up there solely because it is the only way I can find out the results of the genetic testing that should help me figure out why I metabolize medications so weird. Cheers. Then I get to wait hours and hours before having lunch with a friend. I’m grateful to see the friend. I don’t want to bring my shitty attitude. But I’m feeling super stressed about the day.

I feel like a raging asshole because my wonderful friend asked to meet at a vegan restaurant. I feel really guilty that I am going to need to pre-eat meat right before arriving and just kind of pretend to eat with them. I’m not having a day where I can eat fucking vegan food and be ok. I’ll fucking kill someone.

Meat. Meat. Meat.

It has been interesting to learn things like that about my behavior. No really, being vegan is not an option if I want to keep the violence in my life to a minimum. I spend so much time feeling ravenously, painfully hungry that I’m just god damn evil. I can’t do it.

But many of my friends are vegan. So I try to shut the fuck up and not complain. I’ll tell you the truth though, internet. I fee like shit when I try to eat vegan meals. I can have some meat free meals sometimes (I seriously eat meat every fucking day and usually multiple times a day in order to feel ok) but I balance them by eating almost entirely meat other meals that day.

Meat is kinda a multivitamin if you have deficiency issues. It makes sense that my shitty body doesn’t do well without it.

Why do I feel so guilty, why do I feel like it makes me a raging asshole that I am not constitutionally suited to eating a vegan diet? Why do I treat this like a moral failing? Why do I treat this as an affront to my friends?

Because I do have more of an impulse towards conformity than I want to admit. God fucking damn it all to hell.

I feel I should be more flexible and it is a major personality failing that I am so god damn rigid in my needs. Geez, why don’t I just work harder at adapting. Because I’m a raging bitch in constant pain when I don’t eat meat.

I don’t take the validation of doctors who have been life long vegetarians telling me that I genuinely need meat as sufficient. Nope. I’m a failure. “Some people adapt well to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not all people. You need meat.” No, I’m a moral failure because I can’t figure out how to be ok on just plants. Come on dude, don’t try to justify my tasty tasty murder.

I keep thinking about this video and getting pissy because I am not noticing an uptick in energy in this post-period few days. Fuck everything. I’m on day god damn 8. Where is my fucking rebound.

There’s something that Noah asked me to do. I’m supposed to do it daily. I’ve missed two days this week and I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so pissy about it. I’m feeling super angry. I get to stuff that in a box.

I’m feeling angry and tired of taking care of things or people. I have to constantly be worrying about what the people around me want and need. I want to punch holes in every wall and break every window in the house.

But I won’t. Because that would be scary for other people and one musn’t cause other people to feel fear or you are evil and should die.

I’m not enjoying being in my head very much right now.

In this minute I cannot comprehend that I have ever felt calm or ok. I feel flooded with bad feelings. Today would have been a therapy day if my darn therapist didn’t think she gets to have a personal life and friends of her own. Geez. what the fuck. Obviously I’m kidding. I wished her well and sent her a Christmas card and I’ll see her when she gets back.

I don’t know how to deal with the fact that mostly in life I’m trying to sit on what I think. A friend came over recently and I had way more “Oh god here are the things I’m fussing about but I can’t write about” shit stored up than was really polite. Thanks, P. You were super patient. I assume it was boring and obnoxious.

I feel frustrated, sad, and stupid.

So very stupid.

Oh come on.

I had a good conversation with the construction worker who speaks the best English. He spent a lot of time apologizing for the swearing. It was a constructive (ha) conversation.

Then I noticed that the walls in my bedroom are covered in mold. Oh shit.

And… my laptop is 100% a brick when it isn’t plugged in.

Cheers.

Socializing is hard.

I’m dipping my toes into the water of seeing people again. Know what I’m remembering? I constantly feel like I’m forcing my presence on people and they don’t actually like me. They just don’t want to feel mean for telling me to go away.

For most of my life, I didn’t really have anywhere to invite people over. My house was… not ok. That was true for most of my first 25 years. I would try. I love inviting people over but nothing could ever be consistent or predictable. My life wasn’t consistent or predictable. That has changed a lot since I’ve been living here. Except the last two years have been really rough. For going on two years now I haven’t felt good about inviting anyone over here.

I bless the hearts of people who invite themselves over. You have no idea how loved I feel when you make that effort. It’s such a big deal. When I’m in a dark place and my head wants me to believe that no one could actually like me, I trot out lists. “But ____ just invited themselves over. SEE! I’M NOT A COMPLETELY WORTHLESS SHIT PILE.”

I do that. Literally. Thank you for seeing me and coming over. It’s a much bigger deal than just the visit. I console myself with the knowledge of you in between visits.

I used to invite myself over to other peoples houses. I did tons of that with Jenny. I never knew for sure if she wanted me there or if she didn’t want to deal with the conflict of telling me to go away.

I still feel that way about people in my life. If I invite myself over, does that mean they want me there or that they are afraid of the conflict of telling me to go away.

It doesn’t actually take much conflict. A short simple email, “I think I’m done seeing you.” I will never make eye contact with you in public again.

I’m easy to get rid of.

I think I’m going to need to retreat back into inviting people to my house. They will come if they want to and I don’t have to feel like I’m a bad person for inviting myself into their space.

This is probably part of why I haven’t tried harder to maintain hobbies. I never feel comfortable being in other peoples spaces. I always feel like an intruder, an unwanted intruder. I am the problem.

I don’t invite myself over because I want to torment you. I invite myself over because I love you and I think you are wonderful.

I am sorry to impose.

I am sorry. I am so very sorry.

So if you ever wonder why I don’t invite myself over, this is a lot of why. It is hard.

Do you know what I think is kind of funny? I spend a lot of time feeling paranoid because I talk a lot about my social anxiety and how hard interacting with people is for me. But then I come across men who tell me that they just can’t do social interactions because they are so much harder for them than they are for me. HAVE YOU READ MY BLOG?! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TIME AND ENERGY I SPEND PROCESSING EVERY GOD DAMN SOCIAL INTERACTION? I PREPLAN SCRIPTS. I AGONIZE OVER PRESENTATION AND TONE AND DEMEANOR. I RIP MYSELF APART AFTER EVERY CONVERSATION CONVINCED THAT I RUINED EVERYTHING BY BEING A WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT. AGAIN.

Tell me again how hard socializing is for you.

I COME HOME FROM VISITING FRIENDS AND SPEND DAYS CRYING BECAUSE I’M CONVINCED I SAID THE WRONG THING.

Tell me again how hard socializing is for you.

I maintain relationships as my religion and I put as much effort into it as most people put into their education and career. I’m an incredibly lucky person that I am able to put this much time into this part of my life.

That doesn’t mean it is easy.

The people I love are very different from me. Sure, we’ll have one or two things in common about which we bond… but mostly… I’m different. I’m just something different. I don’t have a lot in common with anyone. And yet I do. It’s weird. I have things in common with almost literally anyone. I’m good and I’m bad and I’m intense and I’m experienced in a wide variety of areas.

I can bond with almost anyone if I guess the right angle first. If I fuck it up and attempt to bond on a non-connecting point I often alienate the shit out of someone and there isn’t recovery from that.

Believe me, I know.

But I guess right a lot. I do well.

That doesn’t change the fact that it is hard. I just don’t let it being hard slow me down. I cry because it is hard, but I don’t stop. Ok, maybe I do let it being hard slow me down. I don’t always have enough energy to pour into trying to create connections. It’s been a slow year. It’s been a year when the energy of pouring into relationships exceeds what I get back so every touching of base is hard and I know I need to do it anyway.

I don’t maintain relationships because they are perfectly fulfilling in every exact moment. I maintain relationships because I think you are wonderful and I want to see what you do with your life. I am curious about you. I want to know if there is anything I can do (pathetic as I am) to help you have an even more wonderful life. Because I want to see you have a wonderful life–even if there isn’t a darn thing I can do to influence that.

Why not? There is no deserve. There is no should. There is no “right” to have any kind of life. Why not help you have a wonderful life? No one deserves one. Not to have one and not to not have one. Why not work towards it if possible?

What makes a life wonderful? Oh that varies. What people value varies so much that there is no one twue way.

My daughter asked me yesterday if I expect her to have children. I told her that I don’t. I want her to have the life she wants to have and I have no desire to tell her what that will include. I don’t know what job she should do. I don’t know if she should parent. I don’t know if she should end up monogamous or polyamorous. I don’t know where she should live or if she should stay near me.

Those decisions are not up to me and I need to be supportive of whatever she decides. I don’t own her. I just get to enjoy her company for a little while before she decides who she wants to be in this world.

I’m getting to lead the life I wanted to lead in a more profound way than almost any creature ever experiences. I picked this life when I was 17. Now, going on 20 years later… I’m doing what I said I would. It is more fun and joy than I expected it to be. I thought it would be much harder.

I plan for the worst.

Having more children is terrifying. I have two children who knock my socks off. They each have areas where they do super well and areas where they are utter crap and we have built systems around supporting them in these differing developmental areas.

What am I going to do if next kid is a completely different set of needs. It’s like the problem of adopting, where it is just a roll of the dice. Only with adoption you start out with separation trauma.

My own separation trauma is so huge. I am still barely learning what it means to be a mother. I’m still learning what it means to be a person and a friend. Recently I’ve been reading through studies about what it does to the brain of an infant to have their mother not want them, to hate them in utero, to not stay with them.

It explains a lot of my sensory seeking, impulsive, self destructive behavior in life.

I mean, not really. There is no “x causes y” like that in life and behavior. Not really. But there are connections and impacts that radiate out like a wave.

Being the product of rape hurts you. I wasn’t in foster care until I was three, but then I was in foster care on and off until I was, what 16? And the three years I lived with both biological parents were full of violence, screaming, drugs, rage problems, and sexual assault.

I’m having a really really really hard time dealing with having men in my house who call me a whore.

This is getting really hard. I’m feeling so sad.

And now we are getting to the tile. Where I’ll have to be in with them all day. I’m trying to figure out how to handle this.

Talking to their boss only helped a little. I sorta wonder if I should sit down with my damn grammar workbook and dictionary (no I do not want to just use google translate) and try to write up some things I want to say in Spanish. I am not confident in verb tenses and that is a lot of what prevents me from being able to speak at speed.

I need to deal with this.

It’s kinda funny to me. I like having Noah call me a whore. Sometimes. In some circumstances, which are very highly constrained. That shit can’t just be used all the time.

It’s funny to me. I think sex work is a highly respectable and respect worthy line of work. I’m not fussed about someone thinking I might do sex work.

But don’t stand in my house and call me a whore. Ok, they said puta. WHAT-FUCKING-EVER.

But I understand that shit talk is a lot of how these men of color deal with living in an unfair system. I’m not a victim here.

I really want to stuff all of this and sit on it and grit my teeth and just get through the project.

I want to figure out how to sit there and tell stories. I want to tell them why I am making the art I’m making. I want to say that no, my daddy is not paying for this. My daddy was a violent pedophile who killed himself instead of going to prison for raping me.

No. My daddy’s money is not paying for this.

Fuck you.

But without the fuck you.

The best case scenario here is that we are all humanized more. I don’t want to attack them to defend myself. I want to see if I can be seen as a person instead of as a symbol of a system that does deserve to be attacked.

If you really see me as a person and you still think I deserve to be attacked, fine. But I’m having a hard time dealing with all the shit talk.

To be fair, things have cooled off a little after I emailed their boss. But it slowed down it didn’t stop.

I’m struggling with how to deal with my feelings. And it is a cloud hanging over my head. I don’t see my therapist till January. Fun. She’s having a great international vacation. Good for her.

Know why she keeps not getting fired? Because when we have a conflict she models fantastic conflict skills. That’s a woman who could walk through fire. If I start shouting in a way that normally triggers the fuck out of people–I make people want to fight she will say, “Oh, you have a point.” Then… the anger just kind of deflates. I drop from this huge anger posturing and bullshit upset to… oh. Yeah. I do.

All of a sudden I can feel the anger but I don’t have to act it out.

It’s kinda weird to explain.

It was good to articulate how I set therapists up as Authority Figures and it is very challenging when they fuck something up. That Fucks With My World View. I’m a strangely rigid person in many ways. I need my Authority Figures to  be kinda… invisible in how they are human.. It’s not fair. It’s why I try not to let my Authority Figures be people who are seriously in my life. That’s not a fair role.

We all fuck up.

She asked if there was a way to repair trust. I said that telling me that I have a right to be angry with her because she fucked up and she is sorry… goes a long way.

Sometimes it feels so complicated that every person who acknowledges a wrong doing is part of this huge thing in my life where I’m trying to repair the damage caused by very important people not being able to apologize for what they did.

My father can’t exactly apologize, now can he? Fucker.

But i can apologize to people when I fuck up. I can try to do better.

I can figure out how to not run from every problem but instead figure out how to repair and move on. If other people meet me part way. It is looking for that part way that is important. What does that mean? It means something different in every relationship. In every time I talk to anyone.

I  need to get better at figuring out what someone going a certain distance means. It’s so much work.

I love you. I’ll probably keep trying. Hard isn’t really that much of a deterrent.

I don’t know how much my mother loved me, but I believe she did love me a little. In many ways I was the joy that came out of a lot of sorrow for her. But she also didn’t want me. These things are complicated.

There’s a line in a Reba McEntire song that I never really got until recently. “I don’t need any more accidents in my life.”

Man. That song. The class issues. The gender issues. Respect. What does it mean to be worthy of what. What is survival.

And my breakfast is ready. The day is starting. No more time for navel gazing.

Yay! Run faster.

I found my phone. I guess it fell out of my purse in the van. *phew* That’s way better than it could be.

I’m going to type slow and funny because yesterday I took a piece out of my finger with the blade for the blender. Whoops. And other finger tips hurt a lot too.

Today involves martial arts for the kids, acupuncture from me (all my health care providers are happy to see me again after taking a few months off because I was freaking out about money with this stupid remodel), a trip to Home Desperate to deal with some broken fixtures (damnit), pick up a little bit of paint in colors I used to have for fixing the drywall all over the house, and go to Winter Bash. I really like touching base with the crowd I met through Renaissance Faires. The only trouble with the party is it is so far away. But once a year I can suck it. Driving and the party will fill most of the day.

I stopped typing there to snuggle and pay attention to people. I appreciate getting the body contact plus conversation plus rest. Kinda awesome if you ask me.

I am at a weird point with social contact and work. I scheduled a really intense 16 days and then I got sick and had to reschedule people and then others got sick and got overwhelmed with life and… that just didn’t happen. Out of the 13 scheduled dates with friends only 5 or 6 (depending on how you count) wound up happening. Oh. Well that’s ok.

Some folks are rescheduled. Some folks… I guess I’ll just miss seeing them this year.

I’m getting to the tile and paint section of this remodel. The part I need to be around for. When I am completely burned out on being in the house around noise, judgment, and hostility. I’m weary.

Yesterday I listened to the dudes be rude for a while then it occurred to me to turn on an audio recorder, and they mostly changed the subject. Damnit.

I certainly am aware that they shit talk a lot of people, not just me. I don’t think I am the only thing they talk about. But I’m tired of being a topic.

I find it interesting that they think I am so awful for making my kids work. My kids do some chores (unload the dish drainer/dish washer/ fold and put away your laundry/ pick up your toys/ help with cat maintenance) and they do 30 minutes to 2 hours of academics a day. (Eldest Child isn’t 100% caught up, but she is probably only about two months behind so I’m slowing down our pace dramatically. I have been pushing hard and she’ll enjoy learning more long-term if I don’t always act like we should be accelerating. I don’t have to treat her like she should do four grades in a year to get to the point of being advanced. At this point we are going to need to change our approach soon. She’s done some drill and kill and she can regurgitate a lot of data she didn’t have at the beginning of the year… but it’s time to figure out a more holistic data drop method. Change faster, Krissy.)

And I’m a mean terrible person for insisting on this work? Really? Wha?

STOP TALKING ABOUT ME IN MY HOUSE. YES, I KNOW YOU THINK IT IS WEIRD THAT WE HAVE SO MANY BOOKS. I DON’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK. LEAVE ME ALONE.

Having these dudes here is really fucking up my paranoia. I know they aren’t talking about me all the time, I understand enough to hear a wide diversity of topics… but they think I can’t understand them so they are free to be really disrespectful of freaking everyone and everything. It’s making me crazy.

I just want my home to be peaceful again.

I’m feeling weird about how much I want my house to be peaceful. I have to consciously and deliberately shut out influences and people if I want peace. There is no way to be all inclusive and have peace. Inclusivity means conflict and discussion and negotiation and compromise.

I have never really felt like my moral compass, values, ethics, and behavior were “ok” in almost any environment. Guess what? My house. My rules. I’m starting to understand what this feels like and I understand why other people have always been so angry about me not understanding what they expected in their space.

I really couldn’t understand that before.

It isn’t that I expect everyone to agree with me in my space. But I feel like I do a lot of deciding which topics are and are not ok. We do a lot of constructive criticism in this house. Kind of an obscene amount. But I’m just not ok with the shit talk for the sake of shit talk. We don’t… do that.

I’m not made bigger by making you feel smaller. I’m not saying I’m perfect about judging… I’m a judgey mother fucker. I’m very honest about that. I have a lot of fucking opinions. But I’m not going to walk into your house and tell you how fucked up your life is.

If I love you I might say, “Ok, this one thing… doesn’t seem like it is working” which is over stepping and a rude as fuck thing to do. I need to stop that too. Unless someone asks for my feedback, just shut up.

I’m going to stay home and shut up for a while. I’m not hanging out on Twitter. I’m having a hard time with what I am internalizing. I’m getting a little too much validation for the idea that there is nothing I can do in my whole life to make up for what a despicable waste of resources I am. It might be true. But I still have to try. I may fail. I may never do anything that makes me worth the air I breathe. But I have to try instead of giving up and curling into a ball and crying until I die.

Which means I’m doing too much spying on facebook through Noah’s account. I feel like I can’t leave comments that way so it saves my blood pressure. But it increases how lonely I feel.

I got my niece’s Christmas presents in the mail. *phew* By “I got” I mean that I packaged it and Noah took it to the actual mailing location because he had something to drop off too. Team work.

Noah bought the Christmas presents for his family this year and I didn’t. I feel proud of us. Good job on this one. I’ve done it for years and felt very resentful. So I didn’t do it this year and I don’t feel resentful and he did send presents to the people who are loving and supportive in our direction. I call that a mother fucking win.

I feel weird about how much my relationship with my in-laws is about letters and gifts. We don’t have an IRL relationship. Don’t fucking tell me that my internet friends aren’t real. They are as real as my in-laws.

Christmas this year is… surprisingly wonderful. Decorating has been slow and chill. I haven’t felt any anxiety at all. Noah hasn’t had time to make cookies… which is maybe not the end of the world. We have a lot of sugar around. We’ve had a very mellow December all things considered. Not frighteningly social. We aren’t hosting much at all. I’m not trying to decorate much because so much of the house is not accessible. So Christmas threw up on my living room. The kids had a blast.

They did their gingerbread house building with the baby sitter. We’ve done walks to look at Christmas lights. We went to Dickens Fair. That’s the Christmas season. We’re good.

I haven’t gardened this week. I don’t know if I will again till January. Fuss.

Today is Winter Bash. Tomorrow the kids get to go visit some friends. So I get to see my friends too. We had lunch with some of Noah’s friends last weekends. We’ve seen some of his other friends a couple of times recently. Our friend came over for a visit.

I try really hard to make sure there is a balance. We are all supported in different ways by different people. We get different kinds of recognition and understanding from very different people. It is as much about them as it is about us. We all have different things to give. I feel so very blessed to know the variety of people I know.

What would it be like to have to make due with only knowing a dozen or so people and having to just not acknowledge needs that my group couldn’t meet.

Wow. That’s not an experience I can easily understand.

I bet that is much more common than my experience. I bet most people normalize off of maybe two or three dozen people and just… don’t… expand their network much to really understand why people are different.

See, here I am judging again. What an asshole.

But it’s the whole monkey sphere phenomenon. I mean, I’m assuming a fairly low number of people. I think folks know lots more folks than that, but I think most people don’t assume they can take needs to most of the people I know. I’m a transactional motherfucker. I’ll ask folks for a trade of needs. “I have this range of skills to offer as a person; I have this range of needs. Do you see any overlap for trades?” Sometimes this is just the ability to have a conversation with someone who can talk about some weird ass topic that not everyone in the world is very nice about. Sometimes it is providing emotional support in trade for physical labor.

I think that it’s all reasonable to trade for. We all have needs.

This is part of why I completely understand sex work as a job and think it is as honorable as anything else.

We all have needs. Some are complicated and some are simple. That’s ok.

For example: we all need to eat food. But my body in particular needs a fairly high quantity of meat with a lot of vegetables. I need starches, but I do better when wheat is a less than about a quarter of my starch consumption.

So sometimes the need is simple: need food. Sometimes the need is complicated: in order to achieve maximal health I need this kind of food in this kind of way.

I think everything can be looked at like this.

I think a lot about abuse and intimidation and bullying. What is abuse?

How can someone say with a straight face that hitting their children is not violence but a man looking at a woman is violence. Violence that deserves starting a fist fight over.

I believe that some of my behavior is abusive. How much of that is really abusive and how much of it is outside the culturally mandated perception of how a woman should behave? I’m genuinely not sure. I default to the point of view that I’m a fucking monster and if someone says I’m hurting them I need to assume they are correct and do whatever I can to mitigate hurting that person. Whether that means breaking off contact because I am the problem or changing my behavior or changing what circumstances in which I interact with someone or… the possibilities are pretty wide ranging.

I do not know how to both assert myself as an individual and never risk hurting someone.

I’m sure someone has managed this but I don’t know how.

It’s different writing now. I used to do a lot more hiding and crying. These days it is pretty common for me to sit in the room with the kids and just make sure that they can’t see my screen. Damn those literate children.

Our lives feel both more and less integrated. It’s fascinating. There is more room for me to be me sitting on the couch because I’m not nursing or watching them or absorbed in trying to help them. I can be in the room with them and ignore them. It’s glorious. I don’t ignore them all the time or anything, but there are more healthy boundaries. I have moved far from helicopter parenting and it is healthy. I’m still around, available, and often interrupted. But I’m allowed to have a mind that thinks about something other than my children.

Oh fuck. I’m going to have another baby. I kind of want to weep. I’m going to lose myself again. For years. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I have enjoyed coming out of the early childhood period. It is brutal.

If only I didn’t feel so completely not done. I want to meet the rest of the children I’m supposed to make.

I really really do.

Seeking connection

I was reminded that Twitter allows me to feel like I’m reaching out without getting the benefit of feeling like people reach back much. My friends have been reaching back in real life and I’m reminded that the internet can be a sink hole where I throw my desperate desire for connection and get… nothing back.

Not nothing. But not enough to feel like I am supported and sustained.

I spend too much time worrying about what people think of me. I am desperately afraid someone might perceive me as lazy. So I work to the point of damaging myself. Better to end up permanently disabled so I can say that I literally can’t work any more than to say, “I need to rest so I’m going to stop working voluntarily.”

I’m taking my cat to the vet today for pain killers. Hopefully her life will be less shitty soon. She’s almost 19. It’s ok if she is drug dependent for the rest of her life. I don’t mind at all.

Why are we as a species so opposed to humans ending their lives in a blissed out haze? I’m telling you, if I get to 80 I’m going to try heroin. Why the fuck not.

We’ll see.

I’m tired and I wish I was sleeping but my body hurts. I’m so anxious. I need these people out of my house. I’m tired of feeling on edge for 8-9 hours a day. This body load is seriously hurting me. I don’t relax at all. I’m tired of listening to them harp on how lazy I am. I’m tired of listening to judgment about how I live. I just want to be allowed to be weird in my god damn house without comment. YES WE READ A LOT OF BOOKS. SHOVE YOUR OPINION THAT READING IS STUPID WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE.

I’m going to be a real fucker for a minute here and say that shunning books may not be in the long term best interest of your entire family. I’m just saying.

I am getting farther and farther into the space where all the reading of books that I have done makes a serious positive impact on my life, relationships, and work potential. I’m not going to stop reading because ignorant people can’t see the value in reading. Your lack of insight on this topic doesn’t need to slow me down.

I need to slow down because I’m exhausted though. That’s a problem.

It’s winter. We have the heaters on. Thus, I am coughing up huge wads of green crud. This year I may actually go see yet another doctor about my chronic bronchitis. I have the lungs of someone who was a two pack a day smoker and I’ve never really smoked cigarettes. Thanks, mom. Yes, I do smoke pot… but I had this problem before I started on pot. So yeah. This is an annual nightmare for me and has been for years. That said, I’m going to pack up the pipe today. Time to take the rest of the winter off from smoking. Edibles may be less awesome but there is less damage involved.

Harm reduction, yo.

I woke up and had a piece of (medicated) chocolate this morning cause I hurt. See, I’m totally responsible.

At this point the construction dudes are finishing up the stone facade out front. After that… I think it has to be tile. There isn’t much else to do before that, from what I can tell. The tile, under floor heating, vanities, light fixtures… Is that all? I think so? CAN YOU HURRY UP ALREADY?!

Ok that’s not fair. But I’m really frustrated. They are on week 13. This company has been here for 13 weeks. They estimated 6-8 weeks total. This project started almost two years ago. I’m losing my mind here.

Hurry up and do this prep work for us because we are going to start it tomorrow! Just kidding, we won’t start that piece that you stayed up all night working on for four weeks. But you should panic and do this other work now!

I’m not dealing well with the constant panic and reassignment of work and changing of priorities and timing. I’m feeling overwhelmed and cranky.

I will say that the house is sorting itself out better underneath the chaos. It is lovely to see happening. I’m not done yet but things are improving dramatically.

Next Thursday and Friday before Christmas Eve I will probably try to go through and do a bunch of the touch up/repair painting throughout the house. That’s going to be fun. There are little bits of drywall damage throughout the house that need to be painted over. They fucked up the hobbit door in the entryway. I have a sad. Luckily I’m a competent motherfucker and I can fix a lot of shit. But I’m not thrilled about this process. I’m tired.

The house is definitely not getting finished in December. Sigh. I’m praying that I’m not dealing with it clean through till February.

Oh god.

We haven’t even made any Christmas cookies because this month has been so overwhelming. If you know us… that’s practically the sign of an impending apocalypse. WTF?

I’m back to doing the “pass out when the sun goes down and wake up in the middle of the night” thing.

Oh, and I started bleeding yesterday. We went off birth control officially late in December. My period tracker app says that the day we “started trying” was probably 2-3 days after I ovulated. So I guess we kinda sorta can say that we are now 4 for 8 tries but only kinda. Of all the problems I have with my body, fertility isn’t on the list. I have consciously tried to get pregnant for 7 months (ok, now 8) of my life and I’ve fallen pregnant 4 times. I only risked pregnancy three or four other times in my whole life (does sex with no ejaculation count as much of a risk? Yes… I guess…) with my myriad of other partners and luckily didn’t get caught then.

I’m having some hope for the next fertile window though. Technically, because of how things fall, my next fertile window hits at the end of December. We haven’t even completely missed the month yet.

Part of me hopes that we’ll have at least two or three months of trying this time. Trying-to-get-pregnant sex is basically my very favorite ever. I don’t think much in this life is as hot as trying to impregnate me. Biology is totally weird.

In movies there is always a “it’s ovulation day so we need to have sex” scene. For us it is: “well we’d like to get pregnant this month. How about if we have sex every 12-16 hours so we make sure there is no way to miss the window.”

But I’m bleeding now. Whereas we do have sex sometimes during my period, we aren’t squicked by blood or anything, I often take it as a sign that it’s ok for me to rest. Sex is work. It isn’t work I get paid to do (just like almost all the work in my life) but it is work nonetheless.

I often think of the hitch hiker I picked up in New Mexico and drove through Arizona. I asked her what work she did and she put her head down and said she didn’t have a job. I burst out laughing and said, “You may not get paid. But I’ll bet you work.”

The look she gave me was incredible. I remember that.

Yes. You do work. It doesn’t matter if you get paid or not. Dude, you said you just spent more than a month with your sister and her children? You worked. You worked and worked and worked.

Don’t devalue that work.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I do it to me.

Noah recently said (in context that made sense in the conversation but I’m not rehashing it all here) that things won’t be balanced for folks until women feel the same gnawing emptiness from lack of material success that men feel. The trouble is, I feel that already and it doesn’t god damn help my issues in dealing with men. I feel like a loser because I don’t have “a job”. I feel like a burden on society because I don’t get paid for doing anything. Sure, Noah likes to say that half of what he earns is mine. Legally a court system would say that half of what Noah has is mine. He filed paperwork to make sure even his pre-marriage assets would be split evenly.

I know, honey. The trouble isn’t with your desire or ability to provide. The problem is that existentially I feel like I take more than I give.

Because we measure these things in money. Because we are broken.

If we get anything like the settlement that our lawyer is asking for (I have the best damn lawyer. That woman is worth her weight in gold.) then I am going to immediately pay off our mortgage. It means that the HELOC will stay higher than I’m thrilled about, but the HELOC is a lower interest rate than our mortgage. I pay a penalty fee (only $500, so not a huge deal) if I pay it off before three years are up. With how I structure paying off debt I’m pretty certain I will calculate such that I’m paying off just a few drips and drabs in the last six months. I’m absolutely on track to be out of debt by 2020.

Oh the women I will pay when that happens. I’m not going to roll 100% of what I have paid for housing into supporting women, but I will probably send 50% or more of it. Some of it needs to go into long-term savings and investments for Noah’s long term life security. I owe that man a safe and comfortable old age. I need to make sure I can provide it. It’s kind of funny that I think about retirement as when I need to figure out how to make sure enough money appears. At some point Noah will be done being the primary wage earner and my ingenuity will be what covers things then. I’m working on it.

I’m god damn serious that life has been unfairly generous to me. I need to pay it forward. I need to help people. I have a lengthy and growing list of people I send money to. I look for opportunities to help in a lot of ways. I know that some of the ways I send money off into the world are judged as “inefficient” but not all of support in life has to be about maximizing efficiency. Human connection is complicated.

Do you know how many months of my childhood my mother had a whopping $200 for the whole month for feeding us, sheltering us, and providing for all other needs? I remember. I remember the crying. The fear. The constant awareness that we did not deserve to be safe or comfortable the way other people do.

I have reached a point where I can toss money at a bathroom in a way that kind of horrifies me. I’m spending more money on my bathroom than people all over the country spend on their whole house.

I’m growing more certain that even if we move… I can’t sell this house. Rent it, maybe. I need to be able to come back here when I am old.

I need to know that at the end of whatever hard work I have ahead of me… I can come back to Wonderland.

This house really is becoming my reward in life. See, look at what I can build with enough hard work, time, money, and effort. I did hate this house when I moved in. Just wait till you see my bathroom. It is a thing of beauty, joy, and love.

Even if I don’t much like the folks helping me build it. Whatever.

I’m allowed to not like people who will stand in my house and call me a puta. It’s in my personal contract in life. On page 39.

Don’t you wish you got to know what is on page 36. Whoo.

I haven’t been working on the book for my mom. I regret that. But I also think this book is going to be something I work on for ten years before I really finish it. I have a place where I’m sticking things I want to add to it. It’s going to be completely hand written. It’s going to take me a while.

I want to write a book that will show my mom how much I love her and how sorry I am that things have gone the way they have. I don’t think that our problems were all her fault. It really fucking sucks that things are how they are.

I can’t fix her pain in this life. I really can’t. But I want to let her know that I see her pain and it is important and I’m very sorry for it. That may be the best thing I can do for her in this life. I want her to know that my children do not see her as evil. They see her as a sad victim.

I just try to not talk about my sister. I say that there are very good reasons I will not acknowledge her if she is in a room and I tell my Eldest Child that if she wants to grow up to be friends with her siblings, then she needs to think very carefully about her behavior because it’s totally possible to fuck things up forever.

She feels very proud that I see her as the big sister I wanted to have. I deeply admire the way that she is giving, generous, and helpful. Youngest Child is kind of an ungrateful prat about a lot of it. They seriously don’t understand or appreciate what they have. I get it, you can’t imagine what you’ve never experienced… but it’s hard to watch sometimes. EC will be generous and kind and YC will complain bitterly about not getting ALL of something. I feel deep frustration about this dynamic sometimes and I don’t know how to interact with it in a more healthy way. I’ll keep researching. I’ll find a way. I just don’t know what it is yet.

Your sister is not going to laugh at you and hang up on you when you call in the middle of the night scared to death and needing a ride home. Baby, how can I teach you to value the fact that you have someone who loves you enough to give up things they want because you need something? It happens over and over in big ways and small. I watch it. Baby, how do I show you just how loved and supported you are?

Sometimes I think a semester of school would help YC appreciate their life a whole lot more.

Kid. You spend so much time complaining that how dare people want to wake you up an hour or more after we wake up. How would you cope with genuinely being expected to adapt to other people!?

YC is the least morning-person in the house. They tend to sleep until breakfast is on the table then complain that we woke them up too early. But they complain bitterly if we eat without them and let them sleep. There is no winning this game.

We don’t eat breakfast later because most of us wake up ravenously hungry and we get super bitchy if we don’t eat. Breakfast must not be delayed.

I mean, I can wait. But I get increasingly pushy about wanting to control every fucking thing in the universe and bossing shit I have no right to boss. It’s super fun for everyone. Let me tell you.

So even though I love you bigger than the sky, kiddo, I’m not going to delay eating until you feel like waking up. It won’t improve your day.

Someone I like a lot has a habit of posting things about fucked up relationships. I always read them and wince. Specifically recently was a link to this post about sick systems.

Are we too busy to think? I don’t know. We do a lot of very conscious planning and reflecting on how well we are doing on goals we set ourselves. We are too busy. That’s true. But the busyness is not imposed by other people. It’s self-imposed for both of us as we stand next to each other. I’m a seriously unhealthy example for Noah, but I don’t actually push him as hard as he pushes himself.

We are both tired as a lifestyle choice, it is true. Is that something we created for ourselves?

We definitely feel like our success is tied to one another. Holy shit yes. We both feel like we have a massively symbiotic relationship. Synergistic and everything. Is that actually a sick thing to enact?

Our sex life is our reward system. Yes, it is intermittent. My cunt gets worn out and needs breaks. I just can’t be more damn consistent, ok?

My life has absolutely been a series of crises for as long as I’ve been alive. The funny thing is, mostly they get smaller year by year. I have more ability to plan and prevent them. Things have improved so much that sometimes I’m shocked by how mellow my life is. That doesn’t stop there from being a steady stream of crises. They are just smaller and more manageable these days.

Things are better now. My life is at the best place it has basically ever been. I’m more patient. I have better control over my behavior. I’m happier. I have lots of constraints, sure. I’m exhausted, sure. But my life is in a really great place for me. Everything is relative.

My real rewards in this life are happening now. I get to be with my children and teach them. I get to travel. I am reaching a point of financial security almost no one in my generation will see. I’m here. This is my life. As I look around I wonder, are the systems in my life sick? Yes. But maybe they still produced something that doesn’t suck? Despite the complaints I can come up with (I’m talented like that) my life is pretty fucking fantastic?

Do Noah and I have problems sometimes? Yes. Do we fight? Yes. Has he done things that scared the shit out of me? Yes.

Are we monsters? Yes. Does that mean we are incapable of producing something that is positive for us?

Fuck if I know.

You know what I’m careful about? The most involvement my family has in my medication routine is to occasionally say at meals, “Have you taken your pills?” because sometimes I forget and then I end up taking huge hand fulls of pills to catch up on the damn vitamins and ugh erf no thanks. I’m not taking anything timing dependent. I just don’t enjoy taking very many fish oil pills at once.

But they remember to say it once a week or less and I just take my pills every day. I don’t make other people responsible for my medicating. That’s broken.

Chop up their time. Oh god that’s my life.

Noah and I have been talking more bluntly about the degree of enmeshment we want in our marriage. We have a lot of enmeshment. But where is the line where it is damaging? If you go talk to poor, rural, long-time married folks… lots of them are incredibly enmeshed. (I mention that demographic because it is where I personally have had most of my long-winded chats about marriage and what it means. I have less experience with other demographics who are long-term married.) When I moved into the house I live in, this city was a suburb. It was pretty quiet. It is exploding in population and growth and it feels more like a city and less like a suburb. I am finding myself longing for rural life more and more.

I’ve lived rurally for a lot of my life. I’m familiar with, “Get dressed up and go to town” because it takes a good half an hour to get to where people are so you might as well dress up for the experience. Living near folks means you need to get up and get dressed like you might have company every god damn day. Ugh.

I love my neighbors, don’t get me wrong. But pants?! That’s a lot to ask of a body.

The kids have begged to have a specific brand of chocolate for Christmas. Both Noah and I said we haven’t bought any. Then Noah said, “You’d better hope Santa brings some because otherwise you aren’t getting any.” Which means I get to go to Cost Plus now. Damnit.

It’ll be ok. I haven’t gone anything like over board this year. Oh crap. You know what I haven’t bought? Sporting equipment. I didn’t know where the fork to hide it in the house. Dagnabit. Ok. I’ll go shopping. It is 11 days away. That’s what YC wants from Santa. Sporting equipment. What the ever loving fuck?

HOW ARE YOU MY KID?!

Ahem. I mean I’ll support you in whatever interest you have, my love.

There will be sporting equipment under the tree. You asked Santa. Totally cool.

But but… sigh

I got a doll every year from Santa. Until I was 17. I don’t buy my kids dolls much at all. There are eight god damn dolls on the living room floor right now. Six came from grandma. I don’t need to buy them dolls much. (I bought one of the dolls. EC spent almost all her allowance buying YC a doll for their birthday and I got EC the matching one so they could do the games they want with those sister dolls.) And I got them each a curvy Barbie. The first Barbies I’ve ever bought them. Otherwise… the dolls don’t come from me.

Mostly I buy books. And games. We play a shocking number and variety of games. I was so shitty at playing games as a kid that this constantly surprises me. I’ve played more Monopoly with my kids than in the rest of my life I think, or very close. Soon I’ll pass the mark if I haven’t already. It’s fun. We all work on being supportive of one another winning. I really appreciate that this is a group of people who want the others to do well. So we are working on losing well too.

Yesterday Noah was on his computer doing work and the kids were doing academics and I was washing dishes. It felt really lovely. I love that we can all hang out together doing the separate work that we each need to do but we don’t have to be apart. It’s ok to work and be near each other.

I feel very lucky.

Noah leaves today and is going to be gone till Friday. He’s going to southern California to visit his actual job site for the holiday party. I was completely not up for the trip. We will miss him. It’s going to be interesting adjusting to how this job means we see more of him day-to-day and we lose him for more trips. The switch in balance is going to be kind of challenging.

Youngest Child is campaigning that once we are done with the remodel we should stay home for a month other than grocery shopping and martial arts classes. Those exceptions should be the only time we get dressed for weeks. I’ve gotta say, it sounds very pleasant right now.

My stomach hurts. Pretty much every joint hurts. Whine. Fuss.

Ok, I’ve been awake for three hours. I think I can fall asleep again. Two more hours would be lovely.