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?


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.

One thought on “Seeking connection

  1. Pam

    > 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.

    I find it pretty fascinating, actually, that a couple of years ago I felt this was switched, and EC was the ungrateful whiny kid about fairness and hoarding everything, and YC was being generous, and I was seeing lots of bossy older sib / long-suffering younger sib dynamics. Maybe there *are* lots of stuff that tiny people grow through and then grow out of. (And it’s fun to watch from an aunt-distance.)

    As for the rest, I’m pretty sure it took until around 35 when I finally understood how lucky I was in my life and privilege, how the rest of the world operated. Maybe 32, which was when I maybe finally understood how unusual it was to have two large, close knit, mostly functional families. Until 32, I was pretty sure it was ‘normal’ to have a family that knew and liked and supported each other.

    So. Hopefully kidlet won’t take until their thirties to know this 🙂 But I’m making up for lost time.

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