Identity and consequences

This video about identity is worth the 20 minutes.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

If you know something is right you have to say it even if there might be consequences. Consequences are part of taking action. I would rather take action than put my head down and keep my mouth shut.

That means I’m going to have problems.

I’m super anxious about ninetyeleventybillion things right now. Many of them are not writing material.

Identity is a funny thing. Knowing that I am who and what I am is a funny thing. I don’t have pretentions about being a gentle or a kind person. But I can play one as a role sometimes. Lately I’ve been feeling haunted by the phrase “I’m not a violent person.”

I am a violent person who has learned a fuck ton of control. Is my control perfect? No. And that creates problems. I know. I’m trying to figure out how to make my slips less frequent and only in more controlled manners.

Because I believe that life requires violence sometimes. I don’t think it is wrong to be a violent person. But I don’t like casual threats of violence.

You only bring violence into things if you are totally fucking serious that you think it needs to escalate to physical violence. You don’t jump up and cross a room and punch your fist unless you are serious about hitting first. You just don’t. You don’t tell someone that if they ______ your wife that you are going to break their legs unless you are serious about breaking their legs.

Last year was a fascinating year for violent posturing. The funny part is, I’m the only one of the bunch who will think of themself as violent even though I wasn’t the biggest out burster of the year by a long shot.

I look angry and dangerous. I don’t directly threaten people anymore. I haven’t in a long time. And so I’m scary. Ok. Yup. That’s true.

I can be pretty fucking terrifying sometimes. I don’t have to do anything. Just stand there and glower and I can make a whole room full of people cower. Uh, it’s a skill. I try not to use it.

So having this as a skill means I think about how intimidation plays into violence. If someone feels I am trying to intimidate them, they will react with an escalation of violence because that seems fair. Whether I was trying to be intimidating or just moving through the world processing the feelings I was fucking having anyway or not.

Identity and perception are interestingly cowoven phenomenon.

Noah wants me to take a lot more of my identity and worth from being married to him. That’s complicated. I know I picked a winning horse. But… that’s… a different thing from having earned what I have.

For the legal definition of homeless we were homeless for most of my childhood. I didn’t live on the streets, we couch surfed for a few days or weeks or months at a time. Sometimes we had our own place when my dad was willing to pay child support but he mostly wasn’t. So we lived in our car. I was put in foster care over and over because my mom couldn’t find places that would take both of us. My sister got married at 17 because that was the most likely way she could find a stable place to live. It didn’t work.

That feels more like who I am.

Jenny wants me to see my story as starting from when I had agency.

Sometimes I wonder why I imprint on people the way I do. I might be a right pain in the ass, but I come back and come back and come back and come back and do work all the time I’m being obnoxious too.

Blacksheep came to visit so I thought about her. She payed attention to me in a polite, respectful, boundaries having way at a time in my life when I needed that so desperately I was a walking festering sore. She was like a salve. An abrasive, sometimes caustic salve. If she sees something that ain’t right… she’ll fucking tell you. I always wonder why Jenny has such a huge piece of my heart. Because she does. Because she was there on two of the most crucial nights of my young life. She was there for me after the suicides. When my mother or sister or aunt or uncle or cousins would not offer me comfort when my brother and father killed themselves because the whole damn house thought it was my fault Jenny could look at me with pity and tell me it wasn’t my fault.

I imprint like a fucking duckling. I’ll come back. It might be expensive… but I’ll show up over and over and over for as long as you’ll have me.

I could keep going but I don’t have a cord for this laptop out here. I don’t have that much longer to type.

I need this project to end.

I’m going nutty. My poor kids. I’m glad they will be out of the house for four days this week cause I’ve been a bitch lately. I’m losing it. I’m yelling about things that don’t need to be yelled about. Noah has intervened and told me to leave the room.

There are advantages to him working from home. I don’t like it or him when he’s doing it but I’m grateful for it in the long run. Let’s minimize how much I fuck up our kids. Cool, yeah.

Fuck.

I have no room to judge. But fuck if that stops me. Judgmental bastard.

I’m wrong about my judgments sometimes. I remind myself of that. I’m not G-d. I don’t know everything. I just don’t. I just have fucktastically strong opinions. Often backed up by extensive research.

As dear Michelle reminds me… I do know a lot about child development. Not enough. Never enough. I’m still studying. I don’t know if I will ever stop studying.

If identity and purpose are about things that are ongoing drives instead of about short term goals then I think I have to examine things a little differently.

I may be an artist and a sometimes painter but that isn’t my life. I put down my paint brushes for years at a time. Why do I so strongly resist thinking of myself as a dancer just because I have down years?

Because I wasn’t one of the rich kids who got to take lessons so I wasn’t a real dancer. When it came time to public social dancing I was told over and over how I wasn’t stage performance material.

Yeah. I know. Could ya shut the fuck up and let me have a few fucking minutes to enjoy being in my god damn body before you tell me I’m doing it wrong? No?

Fuck.

I was hostile and angry and defensive about being called an artist for decades because in kindergarden they yelled at me and told me I was doing art wrong and I decided that meant it wasn’t for me.

My kids are going to be much better than me. They practice about ten times as much as I do and they have never had it internalized that art is for other people who can follow these specific rules.

It is weird to me that they like math and we play verbal math games all the time. Written math is still coming along, but verbally they can do a lot. That’s interesting for me. We are exploring learning through whatever modality works best for them. We play a lot of counting and number games and that is how they learn math. We are doing more formal writing too, but that’s harder and slower. Eldest Child is about two months behind grade level at this point. Given that she started out the year two full grade levels behind, I’m going to say I’m pleased with progress and we’ll keep going how we are going until she decides she is ready to slow down a bit.

The purpose of the first seven years of life is to work on socializing and emotional self regulation. You need to be put into real life situations over and over and over and over and over until you are able to manage them.

Practice, practice, practice.

Sometime around 7-10ish kids will naturally mature into being able to learn to read and read to learn in a few months so that they can explode in knowledge acquisition. But it requires providing a scaffolding of survival/people skills so that the person can see themselves as autonomous and on their own path.

I would be fine if Eldest Child wanted to start going to school at any point here. But she’s not ready. So I have to provide curriculum of some kind now. Because that’s the deal for home schooling.

You teach them about being a good citizen and what it means to take care of business in life and then you help them educate themselves. Because all education really happens in the mind of the student. The teacher is just there as a companion to help you find resources.

At least, that is how it works in my dream world.

That is how it works in Wonderland.

That would be a fun kids book series. How Education Works in Wonderland.

I could be as liberal with my definition of Wonderland as I wanted. Carroll doesn’t really own it you know.

That’s the end of the battery. Until we meet again oh internet, I am semi-faithfully yours.

3 thoughts on “Identity and consequences

  1. Noah

    I like the idea of you writing utopian (small-u, because colloquial definition, not Thomas-More-definition) fiction, a la “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to describe your visions for things.

    Reply
      1. Noah

        If it helps, you’re very unlikely to emulate the story very much. It’s good, but it’s not a “you” sort of story, by and large.

        Reply

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