Too many opinions in my head.

It has really bothered me how much my recently-fired-psychiatrist was convinced that I was using a horrifically high dosage of pot and she was freaked out about what an addict I was. I hear that and think, “But I’m currently using somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of what I’ve been using for years…. Oh.”

You would have really judged me then. Oh.

The pain doctor waves his hand and says he doesn’t care how much I use. I need it. Use it. Yes, even while pregnant. Being in a lot of pain and in severe emotional distress is worse for my baby than pot in his well educated opinion. I appreciate that before he got his DO degree he was a pharmacist for years. He has strong opinions about medications. He thinks pot is the single safest option available to me.

I met with a genetic counselor. I really wish this dude was somehow a bigger part of my medical team. I thought he was so fucking nice. He asked a ton of questions and I went along with it. He started to give me the “We don’t recommend marijuana usage” spiel and I cut him off. “Let me explain why I use marijuana. Let me explain the ways I’ve tried to find a different route and let’s talk about the result of those tries.” When I was done he asked how much I take. I told him I’ve been consistent around 100mg/day for a while (although I have used more yesterday and today because my pain levels are up to 6/7 and I’m trying to not freak the fuck out about how my body feels). He scoffed and said, “Oh that’s a low dose. That’s nothing. No one should say anything to you about that.” He asked me if I used “any other recreational drugs” and I said–“I don’t use any recreational drugs while I’m pregnant” and I smiled. He visibly flinched and said, “You are right. I said that wrong.”

The differences in opinion are just…

Perspective.

I have been honest more than once and said that I’ve used recreational drugs when not pregnant but I plan my pregnancies carefully and I don’t use drugs when I’m trying to get pregnant. Err, which is accurate.

I wonder if part of why I feel like I “need” children is because these clean and sober periods are healthy for me and I don’t completely maintain them other than breeding/breast feeding. When my body is for me I treat it differently. When my body is a host… I’m a lot more careful. I care very much about making this a friendly place for my little parasites. I fucking adore my parasites. I live and breathe for them. Sometimes literally.

I don’t like me very much. But I like them a whole lot. And I like the way they look at me a whole lot. I can put up with not liking me in order to have that experience.

And I will show them a face that has been carefully schooled to show the emotion I want them to reflect instead of a face that reveals what I’m feeling. Because that is the deal. Children learn what you fucking model. If you want to see it back from your kids you have to do it and do it and do it and do it and do it even when you don’t want to.

When I was younger and a lot more ok with being a blatant bully I actively wanted my children to be afraid of me.

My kids are a little afraid of me. Not a lot. But they do see me as a person who… could lose control and they need to be prepared to back way off. I don’t feel proud of this. I feel like with helping Jenny to stop flinching around me… I have to earn that trust. I am not yet as controlled as I want to be. I’m getting way better but it’s still a work in progress.

I ask my kids if they think I will hit them when I’m angry. Their response has been some variation of, “I don’t think you will but I feel like you could.”

And that’s… you know… consistent with reality. I could. I’m bigger. I’m stronger. I’m a mean mother fucker. I was brought up in a world where shit rolls down hill. I was brought up to believe that children should be seen and not heard. I was brought up with the belief that if you cried from emotional pain you deserved to have people hit you until you were crying from real pain.

I could.

But I won’t.

Yeah. I have a raging volcano of anger and violence inside of me.

I don’t take it out on my kids.

I walk away. I take breaks. I segregate myself until I’ve got my shit together. I mean, I say some louder-than-necessary hostile sentences sometimes. Then I slap my hands over my mouth and walk away.

I don’t rant for long periods. I don’t denigrate my children. But yeah. There are times when I start absolutely screaming, “WHAT DID YOU DO? OH MY GOD!!! WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS OK??!?!?! I AM SO ANGRY WITH YOU.” That’s usually around when I slap my hands over my mouth and walk away.

It’s not perfect. But I’ve come a long way.

I’m not perfect. I am not the best mother. I’m not sure if I’m a good mother in the abstract. I think I am overall a good mother to my children.

I defend their 4th trimester with a bloody sword. My children need to learn how to regulate their bodies in an environment with practically no stress. My children need to have their needs met as close to instantly as possible in the first few months. I will wear my back all the fucking way out wearing my babies.

We don’t come from a family of people who have healthy bodies or healthy minds. We have to put effort into building habits from birth to overcome the damage done to their genetic line through trauma and abuse.

My methods are not what everyone needs to follow. I sure as shit don’t think my methods are “general parenting”. I’m doing long-term therapy. Intergenerational trauma is a real god damn thing. It leaves serious marks on people. I believe that our government should be willing to just give big fat stipends to every parent who wants to spend a year bonding with their child. That should be a financially healthy choice for every parent. Because the fate of the nation would improve. Mental health, school performance…. all of these things are impacted by attachment.

I’m not saying that kids who go to daycare at 6 weeks cannot attach or have a healthy life. That’s not my point.

Ugh.

I’m saying that there are children who do well with a village approach. There are children who do better with having a very protective primary caregiver. I’m saying that some children need a lot of scaffolding to figure out how they fit into the wider world.

Every kid is different and every kid needs different things from their parents.

I have been offering my children school for years. “Do you want to go make more friends?” They have said every time, “No. I want to be with you.”

I have to just pray I’m not wrecking their lives, right?

Because how do you know? How do you “know” that your methods will work? How do you evaluate if your traditions/culture mesh with what will be expected of your children?

I think we all just kind of pray in our own way. Or we try not to think about it at all.

My daughter keeps saying that she “knows something is true if mom tells her”. I twitch and cringe. “Oh child. My facts get out of date. I sometimes misunderstand things I hear and then tell you the wrong thing. You need to double check the stuff I say. I’m not a perfectly reliable source.”

She… can’t deal with this yet. But I’m trying to plant the seeds.

I’m trying to get better about “here’s why I think this is true.”

I can certainly cite my sources and shit. I keep thinking that I should do a master list of the educational theorists I have relied on the most and talk about what I’ve gotten from different theories. To consolidate my thinking. What the fuck is my approach?

Oh a little of this and a little of that… err, I have to get my notes to remember which name goes with which theory. I am hilariously bad with names. But I could start writing paragraphs about the theories right now. But not tonight.

Hands hurt. Too many thoughts for organized scholarship. But clearly I miss academic study. I wonder how I should focus that with the writing that I do. I read and have read a gnarly cross section of books. I could try to put together a more formal paper. Just for myself. Because I am having a hard time with how little my brain is engaged in my life lately. I mean, I’m engaging my brain. That sounds worse than I mean it. But listening to my kids tell me allllllll about their (whatever) of the moment doesn’t use that big of a chunk of my processing.

And my house spends a lot of time talking about food. That doesn’t take much thought either.

I need to have a part of my brain that is working at a much faster rate so I don’t feel cranky and impatient. I’ve been really struggling to fill this gap lately. I’m so fucking tired. I hurt so much.

I’ve used sexual/romantic relationships to fill that sort of gap in the past. It certainly makes me feel more energetic. That’s not on the table. Ok. Masturbatory writing out of shit I’ve studied. Sure. Why not. What can it hurt (beyond my arms).

I think I’m trying to convince myself that I’m allowed to be my own authority.

I consult outside myself when I need active feedback on something I can’t see from my perspective… but I’m really fucking competent at deciding what is good or bad for me. It takes me a while. *cough*

But yet I reach for these opinions in my head. I had ended my relationship with former-psychiatrist thinking, “Maybe I’ll try again some day but for fuck’s sake not while breeding.”

Noah told me he doesn’t want me to try more psych drugs. He has to clean up the mess. He’s not up for more trials. He thinks I’m going to kill myself on a med trial.

Voices in my head.

I’ve had more than one medical provider say in a smirking way, “Wow. You really know how to advocate for yourself, don’t you?” I didn’t go back to see either of them.

You think you’re cute, don’t you?

Bye.

I’m afraid of moving away from the first doctor who has been willing to talk to me. I’m scared of how expensive this shit is going to be. Oh god.

But the tests are finding a lot of low numbers that concern him. In areas that are normally elevated for pregnancy.

That’s interesting.

It’s kind of funny watching the doctor turn his head to the side and say, “You are in really great shape for someone who is… really not in good shape.” It’s such an amusing thing to try and parse in different ways. Oh the field trips my imagination goes on. La di da.

He doesn’t want to talk about exercise recommendations until after the testing is done. Because otherwise he’s pulling it out of his ass. It is… weirdly cool that a doctor can admit the polite version of “Shit I don’t know. But I’ll know after a whole bunch of work.”

Why am I awake tonight? I know why.

I am not G-d. I am not G-d. I am not G-d.

I can not save anyone. I can not help anyone other than my children, not really. And even my children I can only help to a point and then I’ll be hurting them. I’m on a timer. I can’t guarantee my children a good life. I can just promise that I will try and teach you physical skills and mannerisms that will help you to figure out being an adult. Even if being a kid is harder.

But good golly I have a hard time viewing my kids as having a harder life than average. Life isn’t an easy experience. If I tried to give them an easier experience than they are getting I’d probably be harming them in the long term.

Which isn’t to excuse bullying or anything like that. I just mean…

Oh a thing happened and that child is getting old enough to not want to be talked about in the same way and that means that when I have feelings about things I need to be vague and annoying. Hi. A child didn’t get what they wanted in a situation. Repeatedly.

Ok. Yeah. Welcome to life.

Child expected coddling. I uhhhh failed to deliver. I said, “Yup. That happens. Welcome to dealing with schools/camps/institutions. They will say what they need to say to move the herd along but they aren’t serious and they don’t care about you as an individual.”

I feel like an asshole. But that is what my experience has been as a professional educator, as a patient, as a student.

If I have 30 students in a class, I can’t hand hold through a lesson. Catch the fuck up.

It’s mean but true.You are always failing someone. Maybe you’d even be willing to handhold but the person can’t say they need it. Or can’t say how they need it and what you offer is useless.

That’s such a fantastically shitty feeling. Knowing that what you offer is… useless.

But here I go. Centering myself again. Well, this is my whine space.

I get to have my feelings here. They are ok.

I’m having a hard time with a thing I’m instinctively doing. I’m a gendering piece of shit. So in my head I keep thinking, “If I have an AMAB child… will I put him in a dress?” Because allll the baby clothes I’m getting are from little girls. I put my daughter in boy clothes when that was all the hand me downs I got for years.

I’m an asshole.

I don’t practice what I preach.

Dresses are convenient on diaper wearing babies. Why the hell not?!

You know, Franklin Roosevelt even grew up wearing dresses. I’m not declaring shit about anything about my child’s gender if they wear a dress. They are just following precedent. Or I’m weak sauce. I’m already weak sauce. This is internalized misogyny. Boy stuff is “good enough” for a girl but boys can’t have “girl” stuff? Which is also enforcing a binary opinion and haven’t I learned my fucking lesson yet?

No matter what I do I’m pushing an agenda.

Ready to flop.

4 thoughts on “Too many opinions in my head.

  1. Michelle

    My grandpa grew up wearing dresses.

    My brother liked to wear dresses out of the dressup box in preschool. As far as I know he doesnt ID as genderqueer or anything like I do.

    I feel like there must be a way to teach social gender norms with kindness? With an awareness that they are norms and not facts about a person’s being? I don’t think the only way to do this is a genderless childhood. Its all complicated and i havent made my mind up about any of it.

    Reply
  2. Quiet One

    Wendy and I always figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to put Sam in dresses. However when the reality came about it just didn’t feel right to us. I guess getting over our own programming was harder than we anticipated.

    Reply
    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      As it stands, the kid will be wearing dresses because that’s what I *have*. I hope I don’t wiggle into buying a bunch of ‘boy’ clothes because I’m a jerk.

      Which isn’t to say that I think other people are being jerks. I don’t think I should defend gendered clothing. It’s a me judgment.

      Reply

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