Gosh I’m struggling with my feelings. I slept a lot last night (for me) and I feel like I overdid the amount of work I did yesterday cleaning. I haven’t been difficult with anyone else. I’m just quietly swimming through my feelings.
Somehow I feel like the dry heaving this morning was strangely spiritual. There’s stuff I need to get up.
I don’t know how some people can be aware of what they are feeling without writing it down. I genuinely don’t know what is going on with me until I read the words my fingers are typing without much conscious thought. Typing is the only way my feelings know how to coherently manifest in a way I know how to understand.
People periodically tell me that I have incredibly high self esteem. I always wonder what they mean when they say that because I spend so much time thinking about what a worthless, mean piece of shit I am. But I think that I’m starting to understand.
I do not react well to people treating me in a way I don’t like. I make my needs and preferences VIVIDLY CLEAR and I expect you to respect my limits or I’m going to walk away. I’m not loyal to people who treat me badly. I will never tolerate abuse again.
And the thing is, it isn’t even just abuse. I’ll never fucking tolerate people treating me in a way I just don’t like again. There are too many fish in the sea and I don’t need to be loyal to someone who isn’t going to respect me the way I want to be respected.
And you know what? My social calendar doesn’t let up. Because lots of people respect me the way I need to be respected. People who have known me for many years and who have concrete reasons they respect me.
I’m good. If you want to demonstrate that you don’t want to be part of my life I can accommodate that.
The door’s that’a’way.
Because as much as I love you and I think you are great… I don’t need you.
If I needed anyone too much I’d be in a lot of trouble. People let you down. They don’t mean to. They do it anyway.
Are there severances that I will mourn every day for the rest of my life? Yes. Absolutely. I think I really should build a grief altar. I think about a lot of stories that ended. Life is made up of stories that bend and grow together and apart. There is no telling who I will know in 20 years.
I hope I will know my Jenny. I hope I will know my Sarah. I hope I will know my Pam. Those three women are a bedrock of my mental health and happiness in a way that… I would really struggle without them. They are my family, each in their own way.
I hope I will still know pretty much all the rest of you too. But y’all are comets. I love you for the brightness you add to the sky, but I cannot depend on you constantly. That’s not an insult. I treasure your presence in my life. I learn from you and I value you so much.
But I can’t need you.
I’d better fucking be married in 20 years because god damn if I haven’t poured everything I have into this relationship. Fuck.
I expect my kids will have some period in their early 20’s of not talking to me much. I hope that by 29 my daughter will be talking to me again and be thrilled to vacation with me every year. I don’t get to demand that. I hope I will earn it. My kid will be about 27. Hopefully they will want to come too. I would think that was really fun. Next kid… will be right in the middle of being done with me for a bit. That’ll be reasonable.
I wrote a letter to my niece. Now I need to get my sorry ass to the post office to buy stamps. Sigh. So many steps. I’m going to buy like 50 stamps to the UK this time. Last time I bought three. That was not smart of me.
If I have 50 stamps staring me in the face I’m waaaaaaay more likely to get better about sending letters frequently. Via Skype I’m seeing that my niece is in a great developmental window to be receptive to letters/stories. That way we can build a relationship despite the distance. I need to get my happy-butt in gear. That way next time we see her… we won’t scare the shit out of her and maybe we will even be so fun we earn hugs. Ahem. We are just so overwhelming compared to her household…
We are loud.
I’m having feelings about my marriage. I don’t want it to change. I want to learn to appreciate it more.
I really am doing what I want to do. I picked this. I asked for it. Noah has… delivered in ways I frankly wouldn’t have believed possible. He is the correct, perfect, exactly right husband for me. Other folks have different needs and that’s all cool.
Noah and I both have this vast chasm inside us where we neeeeeeeed to figure out how to have a happy family. Not to have pictures of a pretending family–fuck that shit. We need to figure out how to be happy, how to hold space for other people to be happy, and how to teach our children to search out their own joy.
We both have that as a fairly driving goal in our life. Our friends are wonderful and lovely and we love them and we want to hang out with them and do things and see them when it is convenient…
But we neeeeeeeeeeeed to find out what it is like to have people of our blood not treat us with contempt. We need to find out what it is like to just no longer deal with people who treat you disrespectfully.
I have a lot of urges to go do stupid/bad choices for all kinds of reasons. Just about every part of my body rejects the urge to settle down and be happy. That seems like a dangerous and toxic thing.
I think a lot of the reason I constantly search for new, new, new, new, new is to be constantly adding new threads to the story so that when basically every thread that is present now goes away I won’t be alone.
I don’t trust that any of you will be with me in 20 years. Not my Jenny nor my Sarah nor my Pam let alone anyone else. I think there is low probability that Noah will leave because he grew up watching a shitty bad marriage and would put his head down and take it if it happened to him.
I don’t want to be that monster, though. It’s an option, sure. Not one I would feel good about.
Future Middle Child and I keep talking about pausing before you speak. Think about what you are going to say. Are you going to be proud in the future that you said that? When you look back, are you going to think “Yes, I was acting the way I thought was right?”
No one else’s evaluation of your behavior matters. Because maybe they won’t be around in the future to care who you turn out to be. You will look at you every day in the mirror for your whole life. What are you going to do to make sure you like who you see?
Do I think I am better than other people? I have made monstrous decisions. I have hurt people. I’m not in a good position to judge. I think I can look at a specific decision sometimes and be kind of a pompous asshole thinking, “Well at least I wouldn’t do that.” Yeah. I’m that kind of fucker. But that doesn’t mean I’m smarter or better or… It means I have a different set of knowledge/experience/resources.
Mostly folks do the best they can with what they have.
But wisdom comes from making bad decisions. And I’ve made a fuck ton of bad decisions. So once in a while I get to feel like I have a little wisdom.
Is that the same thing as better?
It really isn’t.
Why am I so obsessed with this whole “I’m not better” thing. Well, it’s probably partially because my shrink gave me shit about being “obsessed with being unique” and that’s… true. But that doesn’t mean better. It just means I have a lot of unusual/odd reactions that don’t fit well with peoples expectations and I need to be able to dictate my variance really quickly to people or I have problems.
And being able to advocate for yourself like that makes people think you think you are better than them.
I’m not better. I’m just weird as fuck and I need what I need or I don’t do well.
I would really to do well. Hm. Maybe that is a piece. Other people want to do well too and most human beings, even if they advocated for themselves, would not get what they need by asking for it because they only have the same small pool of people to ask. I uhhh change pools of resources. My friends are disparate. I don’t wear out a social group. I don’t frustrate a circle of people. Hm.
I only do as well as I do at getting what I need because I’m willing to keep walking and ask just about a perfect stranger if everyone I know says no.
So I keep asking. Because it works. But it doesn’t work for other people because the circumstances are different… they don’t want to keep walking.
I think I’m understanding this?
I’m real good at telling my kids, “That is a topic you need to find a different person to support you in. I’m not the right person for this.” Asking and receiving a no is fine. You just need to go try and find other people to ask next.
But if you live in a small place and there aren’t very many options…
Yeah. I can’t even wrap my head around how to cope with that.
Hey K-I got your email. I’m thinking. I have feedback but I need to chew over it in my head first. Thanks for thinking of me. I definitely have opinions to share…