When you’ve woken up 6/7 times by 1:30 in the morning… It’s not a good night. (I’m losing track of how often in my sleepless haze.) I’m in a lot of pain. Hips/back. I miiiiiiiiiiiiss massage but neither of my massage therapists will work on me during the first trimester because I’ve had two miscarriages within two weeks of massages. I’VE ALREADY BEEN PREGNANT THIS TIME LONGER THAN BOTH OF THOSE TIMES, ISN’T IT OK YET?!?!?!
Being a host for a parasite is a shitty job.
Noah and I had a really great conversation yesterday afternoon. We’ve been having a lot of good conversations lately. I feel like that’s on a noticeably good uptick after a long time of being too busy/tired to really talk. But yesterday we talked about group identity/membership. He pointed out that we’ve talked about this before. I have this longing for a group.
But I’ve walked away from every group. That was me. I haven’t been rejected from a group… not really… in longer than I can remember.
Do you know why I’ve walked away from almost every group? Rapists.
Merrie Pryanksters, Dickens Fair, Burning Man (which is a much bigger community and I probably could have found a sub-group without any rapists in it but then I’d have to avoid them all on the playa), the Leather Community, the casual sex communities I’ve been part of….
I could name 1-5 rapists who were active in each community. I just… can’t.
Which seems kind of hypocritical, don’t you think? Given that I’m a rapist married to someone who has committed rape?
Both Noah and I have talked to the people we have hurt. We admitted culpability. We asked if there was any kind of taking responsibility the people involved wanted. Ok, Noah did this partially because I told him it was not optional because the girl in question came to me. I was going to have her back no matter what.
There are ways in which I do not believe in “The Sisterhood” and there are ways I do. If a human being (man/woman/nonbinary person) comes to me and tells me that they were raped and they need my support I’m going to fucking give it. Because I wish to hell it had happened to me and I can’t change my past all I can do is make sure I behave the way I believe is honorable.
So when I feel bad about not being part of a group because each of the groups I’ve tested had more tolerance than me for people who are actively harming folks without accepting consequences….
Most of the rapists I can name are serial rapists. For most of them I know 2-5 victims. For a couple of the rapists I know just one victim and I’m willing to bet if they sat down with a mediator to talk the rapist would be genuinely horrified to hear what they were really doing. But for a lot of them… naw. They fucking know and communities protect them because “They are such fun people.”
You know what? I don’t need to be part of a group.
I can vacation alone and not have to worry about defending my boundaries from someone who habitually disrespects boundaries.
I’m honestly not that good at keeping rapists from raping me. I have a really bad track record. I keep myself safe by keeping a lot of distance.
It’s why I have kid-centric parties these days. The boundaries are so much more clear and easy to enforce. If you are sexual in any way, get the fuck out.
It’s not that I object to sex or sexuality. It’s that policing my boundaries is haaaaaaaaaard and I suck at it. I suck in a variety of ways on a whole bunch of levels.
It isn’t just that I have a hard time getting people to hear “no”. It is that I have a hard time saying it. I don’t have a strong self protection mechanism. Not in the moment. Not when I feel pressured to “behave” and “be polite”.
This is why I surround myself with people who are ok with me kind of losing my shit. People who need me to be civilized and polite don’t want me to protect myself and I need to stay the fuck away from them. I’m not good at protecting myself in a civilized and polite way.
I can go fucking insane or I close my eyes and wait for it to be over.
I am so grateful that Noah is fairly supportive of the fact that there are boundaries I have to express in really over the top ways. He doesn’t take it personally that I have to get almost out of my mind with anger before I can say some limits. He just steps back and protects himself from the blast radius and tries to listen to the truth behind the fury. He doesn’t engage exactly when I’m angry (it isn’t that wise) but he listens. When I’m crying and empty of anger he tries to phrase back what nuggets of truth he got out of the ranting.
I know I don’t deserve a partner who is this kind and generous with me about getting to the core of what is wrong with me in any given situation.
It isn’t that he lets me rage at him all the time… we have explicit rules in our relationship about me not being allowed to do that. But there are boundaries I can’t express until I melt down and he deals with that. I can’t tell if I’m abusing him by sucking so much in this way.
I feel really pathetic knowing I’m a lot better than I used to be. That just seems… sad and kind of horrible. I honestly don’t know how I’ve managed to have any friends or relationships at all. It isn’t because I deserve them.
Does anyone get anything “because they deserve it”?
One of my lovely friends brought me piles of baby clothes. I am probably 50% or more of the way towards what I need for the first year. This is exciting. Without spending a dime. Even better.
This kid is going to be wearing a lot of dresses regardless of perceived gender. Ha. I find this funny because I only got butch/boy clothes for Eldest Child and she’s a femme little thing. All of her early dresses were either: hand-me-downs from me when I was an infant or from a grandmother.
I don’t think Noah’s mom is going to be so prolific this time. I think I’ve gotten what I’m going to get on that front. That relationship is so layered and complicated. I’ve dropped Noah’s family since the road trip. I feel like I tried for years and got such a mixed bag back and through the remodel I stopped contact most people. I’m having trouble restarting even though I feel I owe Great Grandma a letter the most. She doesn’t even know we are expecting. And I really like her.
We were going to have a lovely weekend of seeing friends. Instead we stayed home and cleaned. As in: my house is just about put back from the remodel now. Yippeeee! The next time a group of kids come over no one will have to sneer, “Your house sure is messy.”
Because after all, not being judged by ten year olds is totally what my life is about.
Future Middle Child has been trying out language to explain their experience of being in their body lately. “I was a girl then I was a boy then I realized I was neither.” I asked them if they ever actually felt like a girl or rather if they were assigned female while not having a choice about how people refer to them. They are thinking about that one. It’s really fascinating watching them internalize these questions and try to figure out what is true for them.
Both of my kids constantly hear me say, “I need to ask you a lot of questions because I’m not inside you and I don’t know who you are or what you need. Sorry if it gets annoying but this is how I can treat you appropriately.”
I have this belief that there are people in the world who can intuit these things and get it right without constant obnoxious questioning but I can’t. I don’t understand people well enough. I don’t understand my people as individuals enough to just assume. I need to ask and ask and ask and ask.
The older I get. The more I understand how little I understand people. It’s almost a charming experience.
It isn’t that I need the people in my life to be perfect or to never fuck up. Not even when it comes to rape. It is that I need to see people honestly acknowledging their fuck ups and trying to fix their fuck ups. I need to see people consciously trying to grow.
Or I’m better off hanging out by myself.
And that is why I have come so far in this life. Loneliness can hurt sometimes. But it is also a spur to keep trying to grow and improve myself. If I’m going to spend a lot of time in my company it would be nice to hate myself less.
I’ve never understood the way other people just seem to “forget” or not pay attention to their flaws. I feel choked by my flaws. I have to fix them. Or at least as much as I can.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll wind up being someone you’ll like. It’s complicated.
Oh man. I just watched To The Bone on Netflix. Keanu Reeves acts. It’s an intense movie about eating disorders. But it’s really about life and pain and finding a reason to keep trying.
Maybe I can sleep again.