I was responding to a comment the Quiet One left and it occurred to me that this is something I should put here to remind myself later. And then I expanded it like whoa.
I still know a lovely gal I met in kindergarten. I know most of the folks I was tight with in junior high and I’ve spoken to most of them within the last month. I rarely see pieces of my high school crowd but we stay in touch. I know a bunch of folks from junior college. I didn’t make friends during my bachelor’s degree outside of the bdsm scene but I still know many of those folks. I still know folks I met in graduate school. I have friends from the home schooling group we left. I even still know people irl that I met on forums years ago.
I keep people.
In communities spread far and wide. With personalities so diverse I’m sometimes shocked these folks have a crossover person at all.
I don’t have to think I am worthy. They do. I am not the one who has to decide if I am good enough for them. That’s not my choice.
I keep the people who treat me the way I want to be treated.
The gal I met in kindergarten? She was the only school friend in elementary school who ever sent me a letter after I moved away. I carefully hoarded that letter for years. It was a talisman. Which was a little weird when we had some less friendly interactions in sixth grade and I barely masked my desire to weep and rend my clothing and cover myself in ashes.
I’ve always been kind of melodramatic.
Later in high school there were two girls in Bakersfield who wrote to me when I left. They were harder to keep in touch with. Went off to missionary work.
People who write me or call me or reach out to me or ask for a date…
It feels like it pulls to a magnet buried deep in my belly. “Yes? You wanted me?”
I’m kind of over feeling numb to the Bonus Mama divorcing me. It hurts so much. I get why she did it. I don’t even think she was wrong to have the feelings she had. I had to speak up and advocate for the kids. I just had to. Yes it was over stepping. Yes I’m a pushy bitch.
But I had very serious clinical reasons for my recommendations.
It doesn’t matter. I wrecked the friendship pushing an issue I didn’t have the right to get in the middle of.
Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?
I need to know I advocated properly for the kids. On my dying day that is the part I will be held responsible for.
It doesn’t matter if I made someone angry. I had to speak for the children in front of me who couldn’t speak for themselves.
They were signaling distress. You just had to read the cues.
And that means I’m an asshole.
Parents don’t want to hear, “I love you and I know you have tried your best. Your child’s needs aren’t being met. They need the opposite of what you are doing.”
No one wants to be told that. Well, except for me I guess? I go pay money looking to be told that.
I need help seeing where I’m fucking up. I can’t help my kids if I don’t deal with the ways I’m fucking up. Everybody fucks up. Where you draw your boundaries around that varies based on your needs and tolerances.
I am not you and you are not me. We fuck up differently. Or maybe we fuck up the same and it lands differently because our kids aren’t the same. I don’t know.
I didn’t understand, when I was 17 and I decided I wanted to home school, that I was trying to commit myself to a rigorous system that was closer to individualized therapy than what most people consider “raising children”. At least… that is what the people who spend time around me and my kids tell me. “Your explanations sound exactly like the therapist who comes to our house.”
I provide a variety of different kinds of therapies. I do it seamlessly and in the flow of just living.
Because Stanford was pretty sure and I’m pretty sure that EC is dyslexic this year will involve a very different type of spelling practice. Pre-tests will use a pencil and paper then we won’t write again. We’ll use physical materials so EC gets the kinesthetic experience of building the sounds of language with something less symbolic than a line on a paper. I’m going to look for as many weird ways to practice as I can. Sticks on a walk through the park. Clay. Sticking together those weird puff beads. Making words on the perl bead boards. It’s going to be different from time to time to keep her interested. It is hard for her to visualize how letters work. That makes a lot of sense to me. I learned how to see words like constant text on a computer screen but EC isn’t there. That’s ok.
She needs something different.
I’m trying to believe that I’m not as bad as I feel I am. I really want to believe that there is some hope that I can be a good enough mother. I really want to believe that I will be able to raise people who will grow up to like themselves and have lives they enjoy.
I don’t need them to be so rich. I don’t need them to be so educated. I don’t need them to be high status.
I don’t care if my kids pick up garbage for a living. My cousin did that for years. His girlfriend worked at the waste disposal company until ill health forced retirement.
I would take pride in my child having a work ethic.
And yet I know I’m “supposed” to be priming my kids to believe they Are Not Successful unless they Go To College and Get A Good Job and Get Married and Have Children.
I tell my kids that I don’t care if they go to college. There is money sitting there waiting to help them if they want to go… but they don’t have to go to college. It’s not required. I tell them that if they want to have any kind of work life or home life that’s not my business. I want them to be happy with their life and I don’t care if it involves a romantic partner or a legal ceremony or children.
You owe yourself a life you want to live. You don’t owe your parents shit.
And if your parents yell at you about your choices when you are an adult? They are abusive assholes.
Am I an abusive asshole to my friends? To be fair I haven’t yelled at someone about a choice that didn’t impact me that I didn’t agree with in ten years. In recent years when I’ve had a concern I’ve had a speaking voice conversation. I think.
Christ. I’m probably forgetting something.
I’ve yelled at Noah about completely stupid shit. I do think our relationship has abusive elements. I think it isn’t that I’m the “victim”. I think that given where we both came from… we have learned a lot about healthy boundaries but we still aren’t where we need to get.
I. am not where I need to get.
Ok, I am not diagnosing myself with this at all but this was interesting to read. That was the second link that came up when I googled “autistic difficulty controlling voice volume”. It’s really interesting how having a new shrink say they think I am autistic makes me think of weird little tics that go back to childhood. I have a lot of weird vocal variation. I work on it. I try to control it. I vary in ability.
I seem so normal.
Do you know how fucking hard it is? Over time I’m starting to understand why it has been so hard for me. I feel less bad about not being better at it earlier.
It’s hard that I won’t take more medication to try and help lift my mood because I’m pregnant but it’s not actually great for the pregnancy to be crying all the time.
Bodies are shitty.