my new computer won’t power on and my old laptop is in the shop for repairs. I won’t post much for a few days.
My kids are approaching puberty. They are both SO EXCITED. Last night at bed time my daughter (9 years old) was really sad and she couldn’t figure out why. We spent a while talking and snuggling and being close because it’s ok to have any feeling you have.
This morning she woke up to brag to their sibling that she is so excited that mood swings are happening and now they are randomly sad sometimes… and it’s great because mom was there. Mom hugged her and helped her feel better and that was so nice.
I love you so much. I really want to help you learn that your feelings are ok. They are just waves that come and if you are patient with yourself… they won’t overwhelm you. Your feelings are ok. Even if you don’t know what they are and even if you don’t know why you are having them. That’s ok too.
Mood swings are part of life. I love you.
I have 16/17ish days left in my second trimester. I’ve gained 4 lbs. This is not how this should be going. I should be up approximately 15 lbs at this point. I’m barely hanging on to the 4 lbs extra because eating isn’t going so hot. I’m trying. I’m eating every fucking thing I can. I am MAXIMIZING calorie density and… just nope. No more fat for me.
I’m to the point where the baby is about 13″ long and around a 1.5 lbs. I hear it is almost the size of a head of cauliflower. (Which I’ve seen vary TREMENDOUSLY so I’m not sure what that means exactly.)
My primary symptoms of pregnancy discomfort are terrible acid reflux and nausea. Otherwise I’m not swollen. I keep getting these stabbing hot burning pains in my crotch that feel like Lightning trying to head butt their way through my cervix and I keep hissing, “NOT YET.” At this point Lightning could probably survive but they would be a million dollar NICU baby. That’s not ideal. Keep cooking, little bean.
Noah has invited me into masturbation three times recently and it went really well. It was fun and sweet. Last night we had a date at the Citadel and it went really well. We had a lovely two hour scene that was full of talking and emotional power exchange and a light spanking and a little bit of manual genital contact… It was a really fun scene.
It’s not that we can’t have successful play or sex.
I don’t feel I have done al the work and Noah hasn’t done work. I feel like both of us have worked on major areas of ourselves for our marriage. For one thing: Noah shows up and is consistent for me and the kids in a way that is frankly kind of miraculous given where he started out in the executive functioning department. When I met him he was not capable of getting all his bills paid on time. Things have changed.
Being regular for me is a huge cost for him. I do understand that. Showing up every single day and cheerfully providing multiple meals and doing a job that supports us all in a kind of luxury that is barely conceivable in the scope of human history…
Noah does a lot for us and I don’t want to make it sound like I think Noah doesn’t try. Noah tries very hard all the time.
But I think that Noah hasn’t put a lot of work into dealing independently with his sexual shame. I think being able to say that there is an area where he hasn’t done a lot of work is different than saying he hasn’t done a lot of work. One is overly broad and one is specifically pointing out that no one can get to fucking everything.
But we have to work on this one. Or rather… he has to work on it and I have to help make space for that work. I can’t do the work. I can’t fix it. But I can try to create an atmosphere where he feels safe addressing it.
We talked last night about how a fair characterization of our first 10 years of marriage is we have both spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to read one another’s body language and respond to the non-verbal cues as much or more than the verbal cues and they seriously don’t align.
Like… Noah has said many times over the years that masturbating with me might be an acceptable alternative to sex. While never initiating such contact and being surly when I bring it up.
So that’s complicated.
Just like he responds to me saying one thing with my body language and something else with my words. It’s a hard situation. We both do it. We both want to be doing what the other really wants and we both treat one another’s words like lies compared to the unspoken stuff.
That makes communication kind of suck. Because we both spend a lot of time feeling lied to and a lot of time being angry that the other person isn’t fucking believing what we say. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.
I do not believe that I’m the one trying and Noah just doesn’t care. I am instead frustrated that we can both try this hard and still not solve our problems.
I feel like maybe we are starting to get somewhere on talking about how and why my body reacts to a bunch of stuff. I feel like I’m starting to find language for stuff that I have struggled to articulate for years. It feels frustrating and demoralizing because I don’t want to keep trying. I want to quit. I want to declare this problem too hard. I can’t be fixed. Fuck it.
It is hard continuing to show up and try. But we are both doing it because we really don’t want a different future than the one we are making together. This is what we want. But is it good for us?
Noah thinks about our history in a more linear fashion than I do. I don’t remember things in chronological order and I never really have. I think in terms of associations. When I was writing No Secrets I had to categorize my memories based on a bunch of weird little associations then try to stitch them together in order. I’m still not certain I got it perfectly in order.
So when we talk he can list off how I mistreated him year by year. Ok. I can talk about “Ah, when this was happening this other thing happened and this other thing and that’s why that thing over there happened.” But I don’t remember which years of our marriage have been better or worse. That’s all very fuzzy to me. I mean… I could go read my archive but who the fuck has time for that?
I think I’ll remember “2016” until I die and shiver whenever I hear it though.
Noah and I have both done a lot for each other. We do things for one another all over the place. We have both learned an amount of affability and predictability that is shocking. Clearly he’s better at that than I am, but he started from a better place too. We have both done a lot of work in this department. I am still a bitchy person; I’m sharp and critical and demanding. Pieces of that I now see as me trying my best to manage my extensive list of weird ass requirements in life. I’m a delicate fucking snowflake and I need fairly particular amounts of exercise and people interaction time and rest and sleep and sex and foods and… My body is not easy going. My body can’t just take “whatever” and be ok.
I am struggling with my commitment to stay alive. Because the problem is the kinds and quantities of pain I carry around. Which isn’t fair and it sucks and it hurts Noah and I absolutely understand why there are people in this world that believe I am emotionally abusive because I am mentally ill and they don’t even need more evidence than that. “You hurt people by existing. You abuse people by talking about you existing.”
Noah and I have both worked on adult financial responsibility for one another. We both came into this marriage with gaping holes in our skills and we have both worked really hard to manage our combined resources way the fuck more responsibly than we ever managed our independent resources. Most of our money goes to medical care and food. Then travel. I have been very consistent about saving money for the future. I like to joke that Noah is providing for this stage of our life and I am providing for everything that happens after he stops working. Because that man was not on track to be so comfortable before I got my hands on his money. The best part, in my mind, is how rarely we argue or fight about money. We have more than we need to meet our needs. We have so much that we can afford to give wads of it away and that’s not a problem for our life. That’s an incredible privilege that I would not have if Noah were not so hard working.
And you know what? Even that is complicated. Cause I know a lot of people who work as hard and harder than Noah and they aren’t doing very well financially and that’s bullshit. Noah does this well because he has been set up to be in the right time at the right place since he was a child. He made good choices all the way through his college and career. He has rapidly acquired all the knowledge he can related to his entire field so that he can figure out which choices will get him in the right place to work how hard he wants to for a fantastic amount of money. That’s very lucky and cool for him.
Big problem in our marriage: my difficulty being nice to white men. This has manifested in a great variety of ways through our marriage and creates a noticeable strain for us.
When we started our marriage things were very different. I was a lot less capable of meeting a variety of Noah’s needs. I was not comfortable with how much time he wanted to spend touching me. It was very difficult for me to adapt to his expectations around physical contact but I have done so. In the beginning I couldn’t handle that much touch that wasn’t sexual. So we fucked all day and night long because that was the compromise we could manage together.
I worked on accepting touch. I had babies. I stopped having time or interest in sex all day every day and night. It became a problem that my sex drive had dropped. There were a lot of years where I didn’t really orgasm. I think there was like a 3-5ish year gap? Yay breeding hormones. But we never stopped having sex; it didn’t matter how it was going for me.
We both came into our marriage with, in my opinion, a fair bit of sexual dysfunction. We both have hypersexuality impulses. A lot of my hypersexuality impulses are both impulsive and compulsive and they revolve around self harming choices. (When I stepped out last year I may not have picked dangerous people but I did a tremendous amount of permanent harm to my life.) Noah needs to have sex in order to deal with his tremendous feelings of shame and basically nothing else helps. That puts me in the position of being like his drug dispensing machine and that’s not ok. (Yes, we both know that semen is an anti-depressant and we do have sex frequently because we notice that my mood varies tremendously based on when I’ve last had some deposited. BUT STILL.)
Sex is complicated for everyone. I hear that folks go into therapy to talk about: sex, kids, money, housework.
I have done the vast majority of housework throughout our marriage. Noah has had periods of doing a lot: pregnancy, during the remodel… but mostly I do the cleaning. Sometimes I go through these pseudo-modern-woman phases and I set up a chore chart and ask Noah to do more for a while. Somehow that never lasts very long. He does to the cooking and meal planning now though. Except when I do it. Which isn’t that uncommon either. Whether Noah is in a phase of actually doing a lot of housework or not he expects to be praised and petted as if he were doing it. Specifically: he tells me that he needs me to have sex to motivate him to do all the stuff he does for me no matter how much he is really doing for me.
He doesn’t view most of what I do as being for him even though I can link it directly with logical reasons why I do it the way I do out of respect for his preferences. I don’t view most of what he does as being about me even though he can link it directly with logical reasons why he does it the way he does out of respect for me.
It’s a real festive situation.
We are trying to find the words to communicate about his emotional state. It’s hard because we run into these situations where the words he is using have vastly different meanings in my head and it’s definitely like we are speaking a different language.
He told me that I go through periods of treating him like a roommate. I blink real hard at that and think of the many people I’ve lived with and sputter and go, “Whaaaat?” Cause…
I have never in my life put as much thought and energy into an adult as I’ve put into Noah.
I feel like we go through periods where I take him for granted and he gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my attention. At those times he often gets the brunt of my frustration and overwhelm regarding some other part of my life. It’s not random or targeted at him. Things in other parts of my life go up and down in intensity and that massively impacts what I have to give to Noah.
To the point where I feel like it is not a good idea for me to have very many out of the house obligations or overly consistent presence on social media or forums or anything like that because if my mood fluctuates and I pay less attention to Noah… that’s a problem.
Noah feels like he can’t have friends. Despite me spending a lot of time for many years begging him to go see a fucking friend. When he wants to travel and dump many hundreds of dollars to see his friends I cheer and shove him out the door. When he goes to see his friends I don’t interrupt unless I am literally in the fucking hospital and I cry and apologize for interrupting then.
Hosting people in the house is subject to my rampant social anxiety. Hi pervasive belief that everyone hates me and me inviting them is creating an onerous situation where they have to do something they don’t want to do, clearly because it’s not like they ask to come see me unless I pressure them and they feel guilty and…
I go through long periods of not reaching out. And it’s not really about you. I have a god damn mailing list of people who said, “Hey! IT’S OK TO PESTER ME WITH INVITATIONS” and I would rather cry than do the work involved in reaching out. I just don’t have anything to give.
I feel really sad and helpless and unable to carry the weight of trying to create a community because I don’t really fit into any other community anywhere.
BDSM has been hard for both of us through our marriage. I can partially understand why Noah was irritated with me playing with friends last year because when I’m doing heavy SM there are a few predictable consequences. One: I withdraw from physical contact… especially with the person who hit me. I mean… I can turn it on to touch them for a few hours but then I will be withdrawn for the rest of the day and night. I live with a lot of chronic pain and sometimes if I am dealing with having been hit a lot… you can’t really touch me without me wanting to lose my mind and start hysterically screaming and beating on you like you just committed the gravest assault. Because I’m no longer consenting to you giving me more pain and the only way I can keep you from hurting me more is to stay the fuck away from you.
Yeah. Ask me how well that kind of fucking cycle goes in my current life with Noah and my kids expecting to god damn paw me 24/7.
I feel like we have done most of our bdsm play in the psychological or D/s realms. I mean, I haven’t had a whole lot of orgasms without his permission in eleven fucking years. I feel like it is god damn appropriate to say that we have always had strong D/s elements in our sex life. But I’ll admit that we don’t do a lot of the SM part. And… he doesn’t ask for bondage and I’m really not up for asking for it so we don’t do it.
I go through long periods where I just can’t deal with feeling like if I ask for something he will do it halfheartedly to hurry and get to the part he wanted to start with. So we do a lot of fucking. And no bondage.
I go through long periods where I just can’t handle hearing “no” or being flexible about being moved around in someone’s life. It causes too many other negative effects in my life at those times. So I shut off from most people so I don’t have to hear it.
That has an impact on our marriage.
Because Noah and I are in a situation where neither of us feel like we have a lot left to give. We do a lot for each other and the well of “I want to give” is about run dry and neither of us know how to get much outside help with that when we get to this point.
The systems I try to build to help with this all fail for a variety of perfectly valid reasons. Life is about a lot of moving pieces and getting those to line up and stay lined up is a challenge. I’m not blaming anyone or feeling angry about any particular situation. Like, the babysitter’s family moving away has been a serious blow to the support structure for our family. We were so god damn enmeshed with them and that’s been really hard. The other divorces that happen with friendships are hard too.
But they are part of life.
My kids feel like they have a stable life with a lot of people in it. At least, that is what they tell me. Rebuilding this seems absolutely daunting… but I would build experience elsewhere too. I don’t really believe I would hermit forever. I’m a sunny soul. When I’m not depressed.
I make a fantastic number of choices all night and all day that are not focused on my needs. That’s really complicated. It’s both a good and a bad thing. It is part of why I am so rigid about how I do things. Because one of the biggest factors driving a lot of how I’m trying to shape my behavior is: I’m supposed to figure out how to be in less pain so that I can live longer for Noah and the kids. I created this fucking situation. I put myself in this position so I would have no choice but to grow the fuck up and change things in my life.
I mean… I know people who spawn and don’t grow up. Let’s not invalidate that as a life path. But I didn’t god damn do it. I have worked god damn hard at maturing. I’m not perfect and the cracks in my mask are biggest on the side that faces Noah.
And that’s complicated.
I spend a lot of time and energy trying to solve my feelings of inadequacy and failure and depression. I perceive that Noah does very little to work on his own similar feelings besides want to be more famous in his field and earn more money and say that only sex can make him feel better.
I feel like we go back and forth because it’s not really about how often we “have sex” it’s about a kind of attention that Noah only really feels when it involves sex and I don’t know what to do about that. I’ve tried a lot of things.
I’m not invited into his masturbatory life much. I’ve indicated for many years that if he wanted me to be around for masturbation that would be fun… but instead we both hide and masturbate alone. I mean, I have to ask for permission first. But it’s not a shared activity for us.
I don’t think Noah needs to be ashamed of what he wants. I just don’t think I can necessarily meet what he needs and that’s a different problem. He doesn’t have a lot of spontaneous desire to ask for the rope practice that would turn him into the rope top of my dreams either. *shrug*
He does ask me to dance in the house now. That’s a huge thing. Sometimes it is even really fun instead of awkward and uncomfortable. He is trying. I do see that he is trying.
And I am too.
And is that enough?
We are both clearly devoting our lives to one another. How is that working out for us? It’s mixed. The balance is off somehow.
I feel like daily snuggling and 2-3 meals a day together and talking all the time and having sex at a rate well above average for our god damn demographic means that clearly we are both putting a lot of god damn time into our relationship.
Time spent is not the problem.
The problem is that we are so tired we can’t give one another the kind of intensity that we both use like rocket fuel to plod through what is otherwise a very exhausting round of Being An Adult. Being An Adult is boring and shitty. We do the work of being semi-healthy animals but there is something we just aren’t finding. There’s a piece we have failed to figure out.
And I’m pretty fucking sure that me doing more talking isn’t going to help that much.
It’s kind of funny that after years of bitching loud and long about how white men need to shut the fuck up and listen more… I’m not pretty damn grumpy at this white man for not talking more.
It’s not that I need more time of him talking but I need to hear about his feelings instead of web comics and video games.
I’m such an asshole.
I’ve been the designated Problem for a long time now. But part of what gets kind of heaped in my direction is my inability to cure Noah of shame. If only I wanted more sex with him then everything would be perfect.
Yeah. But you married the wrong woman if the measurement stick was the sturdiness of the cunt.
I cannot do that.
That is something that my body cannot do and I need to stop trying because the emotional fall out is too great and it impacts too many people. I can’t keep dashing myself against that rock.
So what’s next?
There’s this thing that when people grow (and I think Noah and I both have) sometimes they don’t fit as well with people they picked at a different level of dysfunction. We need some shit to change and I don’t know what and I don’t know how.
Yesterday I had a visit with the pain management doctor. It was a brief check in. It did not quite go how I expected on a few levels. He’s very interested in the totality of my health so he asks a lot of questions about my mental health. I was blunt in saying that I’ve been very depressed. He got really intense and asked me what is going on?
I told him that my husband and I are in a rough spot in our sex life. That things have been rocky on and off in that department from the beginning because I am so fucked up.
I started crying.
The doctor did this thing where he swelled like a lizard trying to intimidate a predator. He started saying with great emphasis, “YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR ANY OF THIS. THAT’S NOT OK. BAD PEOPLE DID BAD THINGS TO YOU. YOU BEAR NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE RESULTS.”
He tried to present a metaphor to me about who is responsible for sexual health and that kind of failed when I rattled off loudly and emphatically that if you don’t ask someone’s STD status and you choose to not wear a condom… you kind of deserve what you get. He didn’t think I would feel like that at all.
He decided to switch gears and explain this a different way since I wouldn’t go along with his beliefs about sexual responsibility.
He said, “Ok fine. Imagine you are a bus. Your responsibility in this life is to drive the bus and stay on the road. Well guess what? Your bus happens to be going through a hurricane. The hurricane isn’t your fault. The hurricane is what other people have chosen to do to you and there is nothing you can do about it. You just have to stay on the road. That’s your task. You can’t control how hard the winds buffet you and you can’t control how much debris whacks the outside of the bus and you can’t control if pieces fly off the bus because of outside elements attacking your bus. Ok, you with me? Ok. Here’s my point: YOU KEPT THE BUS ON THE FUCKING ROAD NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.”
He then asked me if I had disclosed about my background before I married Noah, essentially… was I allowing him to have full consent when he married a crazy person. I said oh yes. I told him all about my fucked up history and mental illness and my issues. I mean, as best as I could.
He said, “Then it is your husband’s fucking fault he married you and he NEVER GETS TO BITCH ABOUT YOU HAVING PROBLEMS.”
I felt… completely stunned. I was sobbing at this point. I don’t think I have ever in my life had a doctor explode and swear at me so much. That was fairly shocking. Holy tomato. I mean, I swear… but doctors don’t usually swear back.
He told me that he has trauma in his background… not like mine but really severe trauma of a slightly different kind. He looked rather haunted when he referenced it. He did that brief almost hollowed out looking thing that people do when they think back to the ghosts that haunt them.
He told me that it isn’t ok for people to be angry with us for coping with what was done to us by bad people. If we react in a bad way at some time… it’s not our fault. We are doing our best to cope with what has been thrown at us and no one gets to judge us for this.
I told him that being married to a mentally ill person is very rough even if no one is to blame. He glowered and said that even if it is rough they don’t get to bitch. This is what they signed on for.
I just… kind of stopped arguing and kept crying. Because goodness. I don’t agree that mentally ill people are never to be held responsible for their behavior. That’s fucked up.
But Sarah’s probably right and I’m taking on a bullshit level of responsibility here.
I came home last night and told Noah that I’ve been having the thought process that… I didn’t cause the shame he feels about his sexuality. But I did fail to heal it and that was something he dearly wanted our marriage to accomplish. And I feel like there is some element where he is very upset with me for failing to fix that. But I can’t. That’s not in me to fix. That’s not about me, not really. That’s not even about how often I fuck him. That’s bigger than me. That’s bigger than me having physical problems.
If we could both get past feeling so bad about ourselves… it wouldn’t be a big deal if he wanted to masturbate with/near me when my cunt is not up for sex. I like mutual masturbation a lot. I think it’s a great game. And frankly… when I know I’m really not expected to take my pants off I have a lot of fun playing with a cock. They are neat. That’s not something I react negatively to. When I feel I really don’t have to take my pants off.
But that’s the rub. I self impose this feeling that I’m bad if I don’t escalate the sex as quickly as possible.
The pressure doesn’t come mostly from Noah. It is about what I feel is mandatory.
And given that we have records going back to day one of our marriage… I think we can count on our fingers how many months we have skipped sex in 11 years (including that 6 month road trip). There is no case whatsoever for sexual withholding. That is just literally not happening. We don’t have sex 2-3 times a day like Noah would prefer… but Jesus H Christ on toast.
Most bad months we still have sex 2-4 times.
Noah has genuinely never had to cope with a real drought. The longest periods of celibacy we have experienced are immediately post-partum and if you want to complain about that I get to beat you until you are black and blue because MY GOD DAMN CUNT WAS RIPPED APART AND YOU ARE A STUPID SELFISH PIECE OF SHIT IF YOU DON’T FUCKING CARE.
That’s the one time in my life that I will defend my pussy like a god damn honey badger. You don’t get to complain that my cunt isn’t performing well enough right after I give birth. Fuck you all the way to hell and back. NOT OK.
I know women who were not ok with having their cunt touched for a god damn year. I wait like 3 months.
No bitching about my post partum recovery time. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. (Not that Noah has ever complained. He was willing to try when the doctor gave us the go ahead with the first kid and I declared it a failed attempt and made him stop and he was patient until I was ready to try again. He did not ask to try so early the second time. Noah actually did just fine in this department. So my ranting is at the generic universe and isn’t about him.)
Yesterday when I was talking to my various medical people (acupuncture, pain doctor, and sleep people in one day) and they asked me about how my marriage is going… I was conscious of how much of a problem it was that my former shrink thought Noah could do no god damn wrong and I needed to always compromise in his favor. I said, “He’s a good husband but he’s a person so he screws up sometimes.” That got nods and acceptance. That’s a much more fucking realistic picture of him.
He is a good husband. But he’s a human being so he fucks up sometimes. That’s not the end of the world. I don’t reject people out of hand for fucking up sometimes. That’s life.
But sometimes I cope very poorly with the set of skills I have within me. I cope in ways that hurt me and people around me because I don’t have a better way of handling what is happening to me. Sometimes all the ways I have to cope seem to fail and I feel like I need the big guns and those are never fucking pleasant to be around.
I don’t always cope in nice ways that make other people feel comfy and happy. Sometimes I just keep the fucking bus on the road and that’s the god damn best I can do.
The doctor got really quiet and intense near the end of the appointment. He looked at me for a long minute or so. He said, “I hope you understand how impressive it is that you are still here. The problems you cause by being here are nothing to compare to the miracle of your presence. Most people would die if they went through the size of hurricane you went through. You may not always be convenient, but it’s not your fault and I’m really glad you are here.”
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a non-psych doctor make me cry like that. That was so intense.
I consider my massage therapist who is technically in the next town local because I can get there in under 15 minutes.
November has 5 planned drives outside of our city, not including therapy and school. Including the school and therapy (which I’m still doing a lot of but not all) there are 8 possible school/therapy drives. So 13 possible that I won’t do all of by myself. These will be split up between me and Noah depending on my level of exhaustion.
Ok, in December I will leave the city I live in 5 mandatory times if I dump Noah with the out of town therapy appointments for the kids. I will probably still do a bunch of the in town class driving for the kids because that’s fair. 13 possible drives again. I will try to help with the therapy/school stuff but I make no promises.
In January I already have 1 thing on my schedule that’s a bunch of driving out of town and I’m going to try to limit it to 1 or 2 more trips out of the city. Noah will have to do therapy. School stuff may discontinue for a bit. The out of city school classes are a pain in the ass in terms of scheduling.
I have 1 (possible) drive scheduled for February and that’s absolutely it. And I won’t go if my kid is born early because the scheduled drive is 4 days before my due date.
The kids still have a pretty busy schedule through this time period. Their in town classes are 4 days a week and they both have an out of town appointment every week and sometimes 2 or 3 more.
I’m feeling a lot of anxiety about forcing Noah to do all the out of town driving for nearly half a year. That’ll carve something like 6+ hours a week out of his work schedule and that’s going to suck. That time will have to come from somewhere. It’s going to be a big deal that I keep doing all the in town driving as long as I possibly can so he doesn’t have more interruptions. He’s down almost a full day of work per week on driving. That’s not sustainable. It’s going to negatively impact our life in other ways.
This is why I do the driving even though it hurts. I have time to burn and he doesn’t.
March and April will be completely bare. I’m not sure if I’ll go somewhere in May from sheer ennui or not.
To contrast, I left the city 16 times in October.
I woke up crying again.
I had a great conversation with FMC last night. They are trying really hard to get in touch with their feelings and figure out what being in their body means. It feels like such an honor to help them with this process. They are being very vulnerable and honest with me and that is a gift. They are feeling completely normal anxiety about being replaced by Lightning.
I asked them if they know why they are here on this earth. They looked down and mumbled a little bit, “Because you wanted me when I was a baby.” Then there was this very sad but heart warming intermission where they looked at me then looked away then looked at me then looked away and asked so softly I could barely hear them, “But do you still want me now that I’m so hard?”
Oh my sweet, beloved wonderful child. I want you so much. I adore you. I think you are wonderful and fascinating and you are a really great teacher and I’m so delighted that I get to have you in my life. I feel like I love you more than I love being alive. I stay alive because I want to see what happens to you. I want to see the adventure that is your life and I hope I will be good enough to you all of your life that you will want to talk to me about what it means to be you.
God I want you.
They asked me what they teach me. I said, “You know how EC is pretty calm and chill and you have to antagonize her a fair bit before she explodes at you?” “Yeah.” “You know how all someone has to do is look at you wrong and sometimes that makes you explode?” “……. Yeah.” “Well I’m more like you. Only when I was your age I was so much worse than you are now that you can’t even imagine it. From you I learn how to regulate my body. You have calms between your storms that I never had. When you were a tiny baby my body taught yours how to breathe and poop and eat. Now that you are big you teach my body how to calm down after being upset because even though you have BIG FEELINGS you also basically feel safe in life. I learn a lot from watching how that works for you.”
They glowed and hugged me and looked like they felt a lot better about themself.
Sometimes watching the innocent pleasure and joy my children feel in having a body… I feel really bad about myself. Because that hasn’t really been part of my story. I feel like my story was tainted before I was conscious of it being my story.
I’m 36 years old and I spend a fantastic amount of time just staring at my children because I’m trying to learn what it means to feel safe.
It feels really pathetic.
My body isn’t about me feeling pleasure. My body is about what services I can offer to other people. What work can I perform to cause you to put up with my horrible presence? I really wish I could learn how to like me at least a little.
It took me about 15 years of having sex to learn how to orgasm. Do you know that most orgasms aren’t really all that pleasurable for me? It’s a muscle contraction that I need to perform.
Sex is a performance. It’s not about what I feel. I have always been very confused by pillow princesses. I can’t lay back and be the focus because it doesn’t feel good and I will panic and fight and feel trapped and scared. I do people. I don’t really get done much.
Sex is how I buy my right to be allowed to stay.
It didn’t use to feel this sad to me. But now it does. Because I don’t want my children to ever ever ever ever ever ever ever feel this way.
Thinking that my children are doomed to feel like me forever makes me kind of want to lock all the doors and set the house on fire with us inside. Because no. I’m not going to do that, obviously, instead I am going to find a way to teach my vagina enhanced children that they deserve to feel good in their bodies. And they should absolutely fight off contact that doesn’t feel good. They don’t owe anyone shit. Nothing. Not a god damn thing. They exist for themselves and not for someone else’s pleasure.
It’s kind of amazing watching them internalize this when I can’t.
I’m a very good teacher. I can teach a lot of things I don’t understand or I can’t duplicate within my own brain or heart.
But it hurts. I feel so invalidated. I am still what my parents made me to be and it hurts.
It isn’t that I want to give up on sex and never have it again because it is so awful. I think that would actually be an easier place to be, mentally, than where I am.
I want sex. I just want it to not hurt. I don’t want to feel degraded at the end of it. I don’t want it to be something that I owe in trade for rent and food. I don’t want to be buying my right to stay alive with my cunt.
And I don’t feel like I’ve ever done anything but that. And it hurts a lot.
It isn’t that there are never flashes of feeling good, but I bury it so fast in this robotic performance. I know what is expected of me and I know how to deliver on it.
But I don’t feel like there is very much me in that performance. It’s about trying to live up to expectations and requirements. It’s about trying to make up for how horrible of a person I am. Maybe if I am good enough at sex I will be forgiven for what a disgusting monster I am.
I do not want my children to feel like me.
I can’t tell if my mother wanted me to feel like her or if she didn’t think that feeling another way was an option. I can’t ask.
When I talk about spending an obscene amount of time looking at my children… I get the impression that sometimes other parents hear that as a competitive thing. I don’t think this is because I’m a better parent. I think this is because I am trying to learn how to be an undamaged human being by staring at them. I don’t do this because I’m better. I do this because I am starting from such a point of disadvantage that this much makeup work is necessary to get to par.
It’s kind of like how some people can go through college doing 10-ish hours a week of homework and some people spend 50 hours a week on the same assignments because they can’t work as fast.
I may be a fast reader but I’m literally retarded in many areas of social development and trying to catch up is so very hard. I can do homework quickly but I can’t learn how to feel safe very quickly. It’s so god damn hard. I’ve been trying and failing for so many years. But I’ve made a lot more progress. My children seriously help.
I feel very ashamed of myself because I know that it isn’t cool to have children to “give them a job”. Children should not have to do anything for their parents That’s not how the flow works. But I need to have someone show me what it means to feel safe and I need to see it over and over and over and over for so many hours over so many days over so many weeks and months and years because my body is just not wanting to absorb this lesson.
It is hard that the stated goal for a while has been that we (kind of collectively Noah and I but sort of the kids too) are trying to find ways for my body to be in less pain so I can stick around longer. We have absolutely hemorrhaged money as a family trying to fix what is wrong with me. But then I bounce around between my various forms of self harm, including sex, and I feel like it is all my fault I’m in the state I’m in.
Doing the tile work was frankly stupid. My body isn’t recovered and I stopped doing that project in fucking March. But it’s so pretty!
The road trip did serious damage. I don’t know that I’m fully recovered physically from it. That was so physically demanding and exhausting. But I remember sleeping.
I remember night time wake ups in the tent. I’d have this moment of “I’m awake. I should pee. Wait. Climbing out of the middle of this fucking air mattress is a nightmare. I can wait.” Then I’d go back to sleep. It was great.
I can’t… otherwise do that much in life.
I have incontinence issues. I hear they are common among early childhood sexual assault folk.
I feel like something inside me broke on the road trip. Broke may not be exactly the right word. But I had a long time of barely having sex. What sex I did have I really wanted to have and it was very limited in when it could happen and it couldn’t be all that performative because of limitations of privacy and… Stuff. I came back from the road trip just… not able to resume the pattern I had been playing out.
I still don’t really understand what it even means. It’s been two years (almost) since we got home and over a year of that was the fucking remodel which was draining and hard as hell. Now we are trying to establish what our new normal is and…
I’m a twitchy weird ass bitch.
I feel like I don’t know what I want. I want sex to stop hurting me. I want sex not to be something that I’m supposed to show up for and then dissociate through because I’m not really an important factor in this performance.
It’s like when you are driving and you get somewhere and you can’t remember the drive? That’s what sex is like for me a lot of the time. It’s a thing I show up for and zone out and then it’s over.
And I don’t want to anymore. Sex is supposed to be about connecting, I keep being told. If my mind isn’t really present… what connection is occurring? Why does that even fucking feel like god damn connection to you? You might as well be trying to connect with someone who is on a heroin bender. Good fucking luck.
My current shrink says that in their opinion we are going to have to work on the dissociative sex stuff within the structure of our M/s relationship or it isn’t going to work.
Do you know how fucking weird it is to have a shrink god damn say that?! Even a supposedly kink positive therapist?!
I’ve seen probably close to a dozen “kink friendly” therapists. Guess what. Mostly bdsm was kind of weird to them and they didn’t want to talk about it much. But they didn’t openly pathologize me for it… which is a step up from the non kink friendly people.
I don’t think our sex problems are Noah’s fault. I don’t think these problems stem from him being inconsiderate or mean. I don’t even think he is coercive at this point. He’s sad. I think I came into this marriage with a set of coping skills that have become a big problem.
My whole life is kind of an exercise in “Figure out how to cope with something that isn’t ok then figure out how to stop coping like that because once the situation changes if you try to cope like that you are the fucking problem.”
I feel so weary. I feel so broken and like it doesn’t matter if all of it is my fault I have to carry it no matter what anyway.
Sometimes FMC seems to have this almost primal wounding. Because I am woo as shit, I view it as kiddo having quite a connection to ancestral grief.
I am so sad that I didn’t bring my children to the last ritual I got to attend with Sobonfu. I didn’t know they would be welcomed or I would have. I believe that both of them could have learned a lot, but FMC could have benefited the most. And now she is gone. That is how life goes.
FMC’s shrink was asking me about traumas that happened near FMC when they were small. I can point at a few things. Their birth was literally traumatic and there is interesting research about the impact that has on a person forever. When they were under a year old my uncle who raised me died and I went through an intense grief period where my friends came over and watched me all the hours Noah was at work because I could not be trusted to care for myself or my children. Then I divorced my family and wrote about my childhood and that was all… highly dysregulating for me.
That has an impact on my kids.
It is hard knowing that from here on into infinity… what happens to me impacts my children and that’s part of why I have to figure out how to reduce how much harm I’m causing to myself.
Because I owe them.
I know that there are a lot of people in this world who believe that if you are mentally ill you have no right to have children.
I know that there are lots of people in this world who believe that if you are mentally ill you should not be in a romantic relationship–you should go off alone and heal yourself before you inflict your broken on someone else.
But I wouldn’t have gone off and healed. I would have gone off and died. Because I am a waste person who does not need to exist.
Instead I got married and had children and became a person who is absolutely not expendable to the people in this house. And instead of killing myself I am trying to figure out how to live up to what they need. I am trying to become the person they need me to be. It’s very hard and I fuck up quite badly on the path, it’s true.
I know that my fuck ups are why I don’t deserve to be here.
But if I left at this point it would create as big or bigger problems than staying will. I made quite a pickle. My option is to fuck everyone over or work to change.
I’m working as hard and as fast as I can but the scope of what I have to change is so daunting.
For many years I stared at EC and I watched my internal video of what was happening in my life at her ages and I relived trauma after trauma as I watched her safe easy life happen at the same time and I tried to understand. I tried to wrap my head around what happened to me and why that impacted me the way it did.
At some point… EC has stopped being who I look at. I’m looking at FMC. FMC is a much more accurate reflection of comparison between how I would have been without trauma vs how I was with trauma. Watching EC frankly makes me feel bad about myself. I don’t have a personality like hers. I think she would have coped very differently from me and I can’t make the leap to understand her coping as well. Now FMC is like a lit ember hiding in the mast of a forest ready to explode into a raging forest fire. Kid has some fucking intensity. Yeah… I’m more like that.
If FMC were abused more… they would be a lot more like I was. There is no “this is the idealized child I could have been if I were safe” it is more like, “Yup, this is the child I’m supposed to have to make me look in the mirror at all the parts of my personality that are hard. Awesome.”
And I love them so much for giving me this opportunity. Because it’s a lot easier to see how to love them than how to love me. They aren’t a monster the way I am. They have been fairly effectively prevented from doing all the shit I did. They don’t have my list of regrets piling up.
Even at their age I already knew I was bad and that people shouldn’t be around me much. I remember at Lakeside when I stopped being invited to playdates or birthday parties because I was inappropriate. I bounced in and out of that school so it was the only place I faced the ongoing rejection. Everywhere else I was in and out so quickly people didn’t get to know me enough to object to me in the same way. I remember parents telling me not to talk to their children because my behavior was unacceptable.
K, you don’t know how I hold on in my memory to the fact that you talked to me. I always got the impression you weren’t sure if you liked me because you were sharp, but you talked to me. Even when I came back in 6th grade and everyone else was completely over me. You talked to me. Thank you.
I watch how my children fit into their life and their classes and their friendships and I marvel. Before I was 18 I lived in one place for three years (the house I was born in) and two places for 18 months (Apple Valley and Whittier) and otherwise… it was very brief stops everywhere. I didn’t fit anywhere. I didn’t belong. I was wrong for every place I laid my foot.
My children belong. My children are accepted. Their neighbors know them and can rattle off their life story. The local places they have been taking classes in act like they are just… part of the community. It’s so different.
And all of this is tied up in sex for me.
What is safety? What is connection? What is belonging? What is pleasure?
Today is going to be kind of brutal and I still feel kind of sick. A Skype chat with a friend first thing in the morning. Then I am going to go try out the local acupuncturist place that focuses on fertility/pregnancy/chronic pain. Then I come home and do school with the kids. Then I go see the pain doctor. Then I go to the CPAP fitting. Then I have dinner with a different friend. Since I’m driving out of town I might as well stack all the things so I don’t have more driving days.
I’m about to give up on driving and that sounds so awesome right now.
At some point in December or January I’m just going to stop leaving town. Because I don’t want to anymore.
Is that pleasure?
Part of it is that driving wipes me out in this complete physical and existential way. It’s really hard to do how much exercise I should be doing and drive frequently. I need to switch gears to exercising. My life may literally depend on how fit I am when I go into this labor.
So I’m going to spend the third trimester doing gentle but persistent exercise to the degree I can handle. Nothing with a heart rate over 130.
This isn’t really optional if I want to meet my obligations to my family.
In the next two months Noah will be gone for ten days. He has two work trips and he’s taking the kids to see his family in Texas for a weekend. I will get a whole weekend off in December. It overlaps with my father’s birthday so I don’t think I’m going to be all that cheerful and outgoing.
That means that I will have gotten 13 days of vacation from my kids this year. Holy shit. That’s a lot.
Yesterday was a good example of what I think Noah means when he says that he feels good about it when I do stuff I really don’t want to do but I’m doing it for him. I booked the trip to Texas. It took me about a fucking hour because between the flights and the hotel and the car I was just having a bitchy time getting things to load and figuring out what would work for them and… oh I was cranky. But I did it. Mostly because I pushed Noah to take the kids to Texas and I know how much dealing with his family stresses him out. He hasn’t seen them in two years (except for that dinner when his parents came through San Francisco in I think January?) and I get the impression that he doesn’t care to change it for himself. But the kids really want to know their relatives. So he’s taking them. And I booked the damn trip. Because even though neither Noah nor I particularly like his family… it’s different for the kids. It will always be different and it’s a good thing that we facilitate the kids having the level of relationship they have.
I felt so alone through my entire childhood. My children feel connected and loved. My kids think their Texas relatives adore them.
It must be lovely feeling so loved.
And my head comes back over and over and over again to, “But whores don’t deserve that.” And I was born to be a whore. So if I get abuse instead of love, that’s just. If I am hurt instead of appreciated… that’s appropriate. I’m not here so I can feel good. I am here because dicks need to go someplace.
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260513506052 (slightly summarized/interpreted here: http://www.medicaldaily.com/repetitive-sexual-assault-affects-psyche-more-we-ever-thought-284542)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777339/ from this one:
The latest amendment of the Indian Penal Code concerning rape laws in 2013 claims to be not only gender neutral, but also worded broadly. However, regarding the definition of force and consent, it continues to be ambiguous and fails to address many issues. An example is the exemption from marital rape which assumes marriage to be a generalized sort of consent for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman whenever he wants. Problems in interpretation of consent also exist in cases in which the defendant and complainant are non-married acquaintances.
The kids are doing their academics. I have a bit where they can’t see my screen. I’m doing that teacher trick of sitting facing the students.
So sex is a complicated thing in my life. I haven’t had the usual experience of having a body and growing up and deciding to have sex. I’m going to try to unravel this thread a little and see if that makes any sense.
Sex started for me before I can remember. I don’t remember much of the early sexual stuff with my father… my earliest memories are of pressuring neighbor children into sexual contact because I knew I was supposed to.
That was what I was for. I had sex with a lot of neighbors.
Very quickly that became “how I tried to make friends” and I learned the joys and pitfalls of that. I can fall in love with just about anyone. But it freaks a lot of people out and they don’t want to know you any more because you are gross. It’s complicated.
I had this spree of 25 year old men when I was 12. Then I stuck with younger ones again for a while. Then I went really old and fucked this 43 year old when I was 15. Then I had my one year of celibacy when I was 16. It was really weird.
I think 16 is the only age of my life where I haven’t had sex. That’s it. That was my one year off from sex this life.
Then a few basically age appropriate people who were highly consenting… I had learned how bad I felt about coercing people…
Then I had a four year long relationship with a dude 11.5 years older than me starting right before I turned 19. I think that a lot of problems in his life and in our relationship stem from him having an overly large dick. He was frankly just acclimated to it not being part of his sex life and that was complicated. I felt like I was supposed to be having sex. But it was during this relationship that I went to an ob/gyn who looked up my twat with a clear speculum and said, “Yeah of course sex hurts you all the time” and showed me a maze of scars.
The scars have faded at this point. I have looked more recently with another clear speculum.
I have quick healing flesh. I didn’t scar with all the cutting either and it’s not that I was a wuss about it. I used to use god damn serrated knives to saw at myself. I should be scarred as fuck. But my skin doesn’t scar much.
It makes me feel like I am lying. The tracks of my life should be walking up and down my arms and legs and on my face and on my chest and and and…
I heal. And feel like a liar.
I’m aging into a cared for white lady. Holy shit. That’s fucking weird.
I don’t look as haggard as I should. I blame Noah.
After I left my Owner I went nutty. I multiplied my bodycount by 4 in a period of about 2 years. I tried as hard as I could to fuck everyone.
As weird as it sounds… I was trying to learn. I was trying to have a meal sometimes. I was looking for the spark, someone who didn’t look at me as if I were disposable.
And I met Noah. And dated Noah. And dumped Noah. The sex was great. The prospect of being a co-primary was not even a little bit like what I wanted for my life.
I went and fucked a whole bunch of other people. I lived with someone for 9 months and it was awful. Ok, the sex was… mixed… but he was the most verbally abusive person I ever dated. When I told him I didn’t want to have an argument and I left the room he would follow me to keep screaming and beat on the locked door. It was not good. I’m way better off that he dumped me. Even if it was on Thanksgiving. I’m forever thankful he’s gone.
Then Noah came back. The last 11 years have been interesting.
I have used sex in a lot of ways. I have used sex for making friends. In exchange for a place to sleep or food. I have used sex to make people feel better about themselves because I liked them and thought they deserved a boost; I didn’t think I had much else to offer.
I’ve always felt I had to buy my right to be alive and I don’t have a lot of coin to spend. I do what I can with what I have. A lot of that has been sex.
I learned how to dissociate to deal with pain very early. I’ve never been very comfortable with sex that was particularly focused on my body. I’m there to perform, not to enjoy. Charitably I will say that I am “very service focused”. But that’s complicated when the service I’m providing literally hurts me.
I’m not saying it is Noah’s fault I hurt. It’s complicated.
I told Noah when we first got together that we were going to have problems because I don’t really say “no” when I should. I was telling the truth.
It is hard that I know that a lot of our sexual problems are my fault. If I could effectively communicate about what I wanted from sex without shame then this would be a much more workable situation. Instead I’ve created a situation where both of us feel really ashamed about talking about sex. Wheeeeeee go me.
In any case. I’ve gotten to the point where it’s not ok with me that I be compelled to have sex by some internal force that says it really doesn’t matter what I want. I was born for this.
I don’t know how to feel sexual autonomy and especially not when I’m staring at the expectations of someone who married someone hypersexual because they wanted to have sex constantly forever.
Bait and switch I guess.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know it would shut down so completely with child bearing and have a terrible time coming back. And here we are starting again.
Because we want to meet this person. It is worth a lot of time and money and literal pain to get to meet this person.
My babies are wanted.
They will never ever know what it feels like to know your mother probably should have aborted you because she really didn’t want you and she had nothing left to give to this product of rape.
Which is no intended shame to the women who carry that burden; rape is not fair. There is no fair to be had.
When your kids are in therapy their therapists ask you a lot of questions about adverse childhood experiences. They don’t use that language, but they are trying to suss out how your kids have been fucked up. Our kids have been god damn wrapped in bubble wrap while having tremendously high expectations dumped on their heads for manners and behavior and hearing constant swearing. So their life has been kind of unusual. Therapists ask what kind of education education kids have had about sex. They tend to beam happily when I rattle off the contents of our library and say “I’ve elaborated about some other technicalities (rattle off list of stuff I teach) and we are adamant that sex is fun when you are physically and emotionally ready“.
My kids have such a fascinating understanding of sex. They each have very different opinions about how much they are looking forward to it and they are concerned with different parts of it. It is so abstract and “someday” for them that I…
I feel like an alien. I never had that period of ignorance.
Watching it hurts. I’m so jealous. I never got to have a time when my body was about me peacefully living in it without pain.
Dissociating is harder now. I have to be with my children in mind and in spirit as well as in body. I have to be ready to respond to interruptions alllllllllllllllllllllllll day long with good humor and patience no matter what random shit they are on about now. I have to be ready to react to any of a hundred thousand things on a moment’s notice.
I have to be here.
Mary Poppins doesn’t get to be a zombie. That bitch is on.
This is my dream job.
It makes it hard to turn that on selectively.
We’ve spent the last several years paying ridiculous quantities of money trying to get me to be in less pain. While continuing to inflict pain on my cunt.
I wonder how much my inability to ever calm down or my sleep issues are related to pain and how much all of my inflammation is tied to my sex life.
It’s been part of my life all of my life so it’s not like there is a before to point to.
The ways I coped with that in the past are not available to me now.
I’m feeling very pissed off that I may get forced into something that resembles a healthy coping habit out of sheer desperation. Fuck everything.
I have worked on a lot of other things and I’ve made leaps and bounds of progress. I haven’t really made progress in this area in years. I put it on the back burner and walked away.
I don’t even know how to do this.
I can do research and find service providers like these folks: https://divinejourney.org or http://www.reviveacupuncture.com/ and maybe find some kind of help.
I am grateful every single day that I can afford to pay for help. My life is blessed beyond anything I ever thought I would experience.
Both kids woke up with diarrhea and I threw up and can’t get through a bowl of cream of wheat. I don’t think we are going anywhere today. I’m overly happy about that.
A nice person asked if my sleep people had asked about the cosleeping situation because lots of moms can’t sleep with all these darn kids around.
Reasonable question incredibly tactfully phrased. Well done.
We’ve tried having the kids in different rooms. It didn’t help me much. I feel like the best sleep I’ve gotten in years was when I was wedged between the kids on the road trip. I was physically exhausted every day and I felt really secure all night long. I thought that was lovely. I didn’t even have to get up and use the toilet 4 times a night during that period. For reasons passing my understanding my bladder understood how much of a pain it would be to try and get out of the middle of the air mattress in the tent and I just didn’t have much urgency. Which is freaky and unusual for me.
When I’m alone in a room I basically don’t sleep. I can sometimes but it is rare. When I lived by myself I arranged the people I was dating on a schedule so I could go from bed to bed because I don’t sleep well alone. Mondays I went up to SF to see M&L. Tuesdays and Thursdays I stayed with T (that nice boy you used to date, J–he was really nice to me) Wednesdays and either Friday or Saturday (sometimes both Friday and Saturday) I stayed with the boyfriend who became my Owner. Sundays I either found a random person or didn’t sleep.
Sometimes it is hard to explain what promiscuity has been in my life. Why do I do it? Because I need to sleep. Because that is what I was born to do and so I have to do it even when it hurts. Because this is who I am.
Being married and having to change my self perception is really weird.
My kids help me sleep, they don’t usually keep me up. Once in a while someone will do something kind of annoying all night long, but once I’m asleep I can sleep through major earthquakes. It is convincing my body that it is safe enough to really get to sleep that is the problem. My kids help me feel safe.
My husband bothers my sleep as much or more than they do because he is a very light sleeper and I’m a thrasher so I spend a lot of time barely asleep because I’m afraid of moving and waking him up. I try so hard to be still so I don’t keep him up that I don’t sleep very well. With my kids I don’t care. They sleep like the dead while kicking and thrashing all night long. I sleep like the dead while kicking and thrashing all night long. It works very well for us.
And my kids aren’t in my bed at this point and we haven’t done “family bed” in years. My husband can’t deal. Future Middle Child is on a crib mattress on the floor right next to my side of the bed so they can touch me while sleeping, but it’s a reach your hands above your head and hold hands sort of situation.
I love that when FMC is sleeping they will still reach up and find my hand and grip it like a climbing plant.
I’ve been thinking about FMCs obscene need for one on one time. It’s not obscene, but it is EXTREME and sometimes that’s… complicated.
I’m wondering if I can talk them into shorter daily dates. Like, if we had a ritualized 10-30 minutes a day where we truly go somewhere behind a closed door or out of the house and they get to feel like they are the only sun around which I orbit… I can’t do the weekly 4-5 hour dates they want. That’s hard scheduling wise. We do it once or twice a month but I can’t promise four times a month. I just can’t. But 10-30 minutes a day we could probably figure out.
I think we are going to figure out how to convert “my” room into some sort of meditation space. I’m not actually in this room very often. But I need a place where I’m allowed to go in and shut a door and be alone. Frankly… everyone in my family needs access to that. Every. Other. Fucking. Piece. Of. This. House. Is. Common. Space.
I’m struggling so I get why everyone else struggles too. We have this rule that you can’t tell people they have to get out of common space (I’ve got issues around that from childhood) but if we had a room where anyone was allowed to go in and say “I’m here for alone time” and folks have to leave them alone… that might be a really good thing for the dynamics in my house.
We’ll try it.
if I could stop throwing up. This second trimester sucks.
I took a swig of the “old Amish cure for acid reflux” because my body was burning really badly and I couldn’t sleep, Now I get to go clean out my trash can.
Fucking pregnancy is horrible.
Something occurred to me recently, as Noah and I are in round 45,203 of our Epic Conversation. This has been going on since we met. We… we like to talk. A lot. We are cutting into our sleep patterns in ways that might prove to be a problem because we censor ourselves in front of the kids and they WANT US ALL THE TIME.
Side note: I am feeling surprised by my interactions with the kids’ therapists. I keep expecting them to think I’m doing something horribly wrong and I keep thinking they will give me feedback that indicates I’m totally fucking up. Instead they say things like, “Things seem pretty developmentally appropriate but gosh your kid wants to spend more time with you.” We then had a civilized adult conversation about how there are not more hours in a day and I’m with my kids all the fucking time. So I guess that means it is time to talk about how feelings and wants are valid and real even if they can’t be acted upon. I can’t spend more time with you. That time doesn’t exist. But I get that you want more from me. That makes sense. I’m really glad that the big feedback from your therapist is, “Gosh your kid likes you and wants to be with you all the time.” I love you too.
Back to main topic for this babble. My marriage.
I realized something when we were talking. Noah was emphatically talking about a current set of priorities and I realized… I don’t have a good map in my head of who Noah really is at this point. That’s complicated. I still think about conversations from 13 and 11 and 8 and 3 years ago when Noah expressed different preferences and needs and… I get it all mixed up. That’s really not a great thing for facilitating good communication.
Noah was asking me how many times he had said a particular thing and I had to admit that I don’t know for sure. It may be once. It may have been an almost flippant thing one time 11 years ago but for some reason the phrasing stuck in my head like glue.
It’s making me feel really shitty and awful. I don’t know what set of “requests” and priorities I’m supposed to follow at this point. That’s… overwhelming and kind of scary.
When we first got married I felt very much like what I had to offer was constant sex. We did… a pretty terrifying amount of it in the first year. We went to work and we fucked. We didn’t see our friends much. I felt like it was very clear that I was expected to maintain that pace. I… can’t. It’s not physically possible.
Later in marriage I was told that at least 10 times a month would be… acceptable. So I hurt myself keeping to that schedule for many years through times when my body literally was not god damn interested in sex because I believed that I had to.
Then I kind of collapsed under the weight of that and Noah tried to pull back from his demands. But I could still see the tally system and that was enough for me to pressure myself and it just kept going badly.
So I decided that since what Noah cared about most was me being constantly up for sex I should find a way to make that happen. Sex with lots of people will make that work for me pretty much regardless of other stressors. I’m still getting hurt by the sex, but I go into this hypomanic state where I’m highly dissociated from my cunt and it isn’t the same problem in terms of my daily life. I’m hurting myself, but I’m numb to the damage.
That blew all the way up. Ok, that’s not the solution.
But now what. What is the most important thing? I don’t know.
This is complicated by the fact that Noah has spent a lot of time telling me that sex is how he motivates himself. He rattles off the stuff he does for me (much of it without me directly asking for him to do) and explains that doing ALL THAT makes him tired and he needs something to make up for it. So I respond by taking over as many of the chores as physically possible until I overstrain myself and collapse because I am just not great with the dynamic that I owe sex in exchange for him doing the dishes. I’ll do the fucking dishes.
Man those Cosmo articles that tell men to do housework to earn sex are complicated.
Because the thing is, if I’m falling down on my share of housework because I don’t feel good, the housework being done isn’t going to make me feel good and make me feel sexy and make me feel like I want sex. But if I have to feel up for sex in trade for housework then I’ll do the god damn housework if I have to drag my nearly corpse-like body around to do that shit.
But the thing is… me doing more and more and more of the housework so that he’s not worn out so that I don’t owe him more motivation… yeah that fails completely and totally. There is never a reflection (that I see) that I am taking strain off of him. Nothing I do removes strain. The only thing I can to do to make his life better is add sex. Everything else seems to be basically worthless.
This is hard because when we got married I was touch averse in a big way. I would have freaked out and physically attacked someone for trying to get me to snuggle as much as I do in an average day now. I could handle sexualized touch or a bdsm scene, sure. But I didn’t do casual just sit around and touch each other shit. It was a big concession for me to sit on the far side of the couch and let Noah touch my feet all the time because that was something I had to work through. That was overwhelming.
But I’ve worked on that. At this point I snuggle my kids and Noah so much that I feel like I spend almost 1/4 of my waking time with one or the other of them touching me. Some days it’s a much larger block of time.
And that doesn’t count as being something I’ve done to increase connection and that’s really god damn hard for me. Noah was touch starved and that wasn’t ok… I had to figure out how to touch him. But I don’t get credit for that being part of what I have done for him. That doesn’t count as connection when he wants sex.
(Disclaimer: We’ve had good sex this month. Lots of masturbation near one another without it having to escalate. We are trying.)
And when I say “It doesn’t count” I don’t necessarily mean that Noah has never acknowledged it or has never commented on it. I mean that in aggregate I feel like conversations about his needs always come down to one kind of need and all that I do to meet his other needs is kind of hand waved away. I *feel* like this happens. I’m not sure it is the only thing that happens but my emotions camp right there and throw a mean as fuck party.
I’ve worked on being kinder to Noah. For all that I worry that I am still abusing him terribly… I know I am better than I was early on. I’m not as negative. I don’t bitterly complain about him as much. I don’t swear at him as much. I don’t call him names like I did. I’m still not where either of us want me to be in terms of my treatment of him… but it’s come a long way and I still don’t think that is good enough.
I feel like no matter how hard I try to change it will never ever ever ever be enough. No matter what.
But a lot of the current problem is I’m still tied up in my head in trying to meet demands that were made a decade ago and he doesn’t really still feel like I should be doing that. But I don’t know what I should be doing.
I don’t know how I could be good.
Yesterday when we were riding in the car Eldest Child asked what the word bipolar meant (it was used in a comic book) and we gave a description that combined “in the general sense” and “in the mental health sense” because we are pedantic as fuck.
Then Future Middle Child piped up and asked, “Am I bipolar?”
I said that I don’t know but it is a possibility. I told them that children as young as them are not diagnosed because kids have trouble with their feelings and that’s not necessarily something that will carry through your whole life. But our family has a strong history of emotional imbalances and kiddo does have BIG FEELINGS that change at the slightest provocation so… we’ll see. I told them that if they do we will find doctors and medications to help them cope and it won’t be a big deal. It will be some work, but it won’t change how wonderful they are.
They seemed to accept this response pretty well. We talked about how I *don’t* have bipolar disorder and I know it because I’ve tried the medications and instead of helping me calm down they completely freaked me out and that means I don’t have that kind of chemical imbalance in my brain–I have other problems. If they get bigger and think it is a good idea to try medications to help with mood regulation they will quickly find out if it is helpful or harmful and we will go from there.
Since she was born I have wanted to believe that my daughter represents my idealized self–what I could have been if I were born into a family that wanted me. The more time passes by the more I realize that my sweet kid is much more like the self I would have been. I would never have had the emotional stability my daughter has. She didn’t get that from me. She’s kind of a miracle to me. Instead my kid… my kid is so familiar and like me that I weep for them. I’m sorry dude. It’s probably going to be a rough road even though it will be easier than the road I walked. Your brain is probably going to be kind of bitchy sometimes.
I learn so much from my children. All of my life I have tried to learn from people. I have tried to learn how to cope and behave and process my emotions like other people and mostly I have failed because I just don’t have the background or skills to pull off what other people do. My children teach me what it means to feel stable. My children teach me what it means to be safe.
I think I have learned almost as much from my children as I have from all of my therapists put together… but I wouldn’t have been in a position to learn from them if I hadn’t had all the therapy. The pump was primed and all that.
I learn by teaching them. My daughter is so emotionally self aware it blows my mind. She can talk about her ambiguous feelings and accept contradiction in herself without feeling upset about it. It doesn’t bother her in the slightest that I’m the worst mother ever and the best mother ever. That’s fine. It’s just… what is. (Sometimes when she is charitable she will say that ok fine maybe I’m not the worst mother ever but I’m certainly annoying as shit. So true, dear.)
I learn so much from teaching my emotionally dysregulated child. They don’t feel comfortable with ambiguity. People should be perfect or terrible. But baby… am I perfect or terrible? No. And that bugs the shit out of them.
I love you so much.
I learn from my daughter how to sit and feel calm and feel like everything is ok… because it is.
I learn from my kid how to sit and feel dysregulated and not break everything nearby even though life is frustrating as shit… because it is.
Thank you both for these lessons. I need them very badly.
Yesterday FMC got to have the experience of being A Big Kid and they fucking loved it. My kids were left alone in a room with a 3 year old and a 5 year old for hours and FMC stepped right up to be the Good Example and spent the whole time trying to boss and be helpful with the little kids. “I told them that they needed to follow this rule and that rule and in this house we have to do _____ and…” They said they felt very grown up and responsible and it was really nice.
I think that’s the feeling of competence and mastery that makes oldest children thrive so much. First children tend to do best… across the board. It’s an interesting phenomena. There is speculation that it is in part because oldest children constantly have to master and teach skills before they are truly ready so they just go through life with that approach.
I would like to point out that every successful revolution has been lead by a youngest or only child. Viva la revolucion. Pretend I have an accent mark but my keyboard is being bitchy.
I learn about paying attention to people and placing their needs above my wants and my needs above their wants from my kids.
Do you know that most of the time when my children and I walk into a one hole bathroom situation they both gesture at the toilet and me and say, “Smallest bladder goes first.” I have more trouble with incontinence than either of them. At some point around 3 or 4 years old my kids figure out that they have more capacity to wait than I do without an accident. On one hand it’s kind of embarrassing… on the other hand it’s really awesome because my kids act like my body is important and they’ve paid attention to me enough to know that I genuinely can’t hold my urine as long as they can. I go to the bathroom 2-4 times as often as they do and they know it and they kind of feel bad for me. Usually our rule is “whoever speaks up about needing the toilet first goes first” but if it’s just an “in case” trip they default to pushing me to go first.
The line started when FMC was tiny. When the three of us would walk into the bathroom when FMC was like 18 months old EC would try to race for taking her clothes off faster and I would resolutely say, “No. That’s not cool. Smallest bladder first.”
It’s kind of like how my kids say “Yes ma’am” because I’ve always said it to them and they have internalized that it is the appropriate response to people asking you to do things. It’s not a top-down authority thing… it’s a “we love and respect each other and display that respect over and over all day long” thing.
My kids do feel some amount of fear for me. I feel guilty about that. But I’m not sure that I am capable of never inspiring some level of fear in folks. I’m an intense motherfucker. Even if I don’t do anything. Even if I stand in one place and I just have feelings and mind my own god damn business. I scare the shit out of people because they imagine that I might do something terrible because clearly I have feelings and that’s scary.
I had too many giant football players cower and tell me that I was the most terrifying person they had ever interacted with to try and believe that I’m not scary. Ok fine. I’m scary. What am I supposed to do about that?
I have a lot of sympathy for Black men who “scare” people just by existing. That shit’s rough. It’s not god damn fair. Or hell, Black women get that too. Life sucks.
My kids are some of the most effective teachers I’ve ever had. Because I want to learn these lessons.
EC and I were talking about the way I stare at her. I notice everything. I told her that I know it is annoying sometimes and she nodded emphatically. “YES.”
I asked her if she wanted me to stop.
She melted and said, “no. It makes me feel so awesome.”
I love you. I’m glad it feels awesome to you.
The rare cross post. If you saw this on fetlife, you don’t need to reread it here.
I’ve worked pretty hard on changing my perception of myself over the years. I no longer believe I am worthless. I have substituted the belief that I am an incredibly effective tool. I know how to do a lot of different kinds of work and when I show up to do work… I get a lot done. I have developed quite a bit of pride in how effectively I can get work done over a broad swath of types of work. I’m not a one trick pony.
My family wanted me to perceive myself as stupid but all of the GATE testing when I was a kid and grown ups going “Holy crap this kid is SMART” means that their attempts to make me think I was stupid just kind of failed. I’m brilliant and I’m comfortable with acknowledging that. The rate at which I read complicated non-fiction books helps me not ever succumb to the belief that I might be stupid. But I have to keep working consciously on expanding what I know or I would start chanting this at myself. I view smart as something that has to be constantly worked on or it doesn’t count.
I could go through a long list of specifically triggering things I’ve worked on, but the problem that keeps coming up and I just can’t fucking deal with it in a rational way… is what I was born to be.
Let me explain. My father raped my mother when she knew she was fertile and she didn’t want to have more kids. He wanted to make another kid to rape. He was already raping the children they had. Like a true pedophile, gender wasn’t that important to my father.
So from when I was a tiny baby the story I was told about my existence is that I was made so that men would have more holes to use and how I felt about that really didn’t matter.
This is the problem I keep coming back to. This is the core belief I have not been able to shake or move or change in years of trying. This is what I am here for. It doesn’t really matter if it feels good to me or if I like it or if I want it. That’s why I am here. It is literally why I was made.
I don’t know how to alter these wires in my brain so that I stop giving a shit what my father’s intentions were and start feeling like I get to define what I am here for.
This piece is just sticky as hell and I have not figured out how to change it. This is what brings me to my knees over and over sobbing and feeling like I need to die to get away from the terrible burden of being responsible for taking more and more and more pain inside my body.
Even when my partners (my husband most of all) have tried to figure out how to fuck me without hurting me we always run up against this strong limitation that I can’t really talk in the moment about sex hurting my cunt. I dissociate away from that so fast I am literally physically incapable of talking when it happens. Even though I’ve done decades of work on trying to fix this.
I’ve fixed a lot of pieces of this. But this spot still persists and I have not yet figured out how to rewire this in my brain.
I can write about it when it’s not happening. I can barely speak out loud about this topic without melting down into tears or screaming swear words like FUCK YOU FOR HURTING ME. Which is not all that productive.
I continue to be impressed with my husband’s persistence in wanting to help me deal with my laundry list of problems.
I sabotage efforts to make sex not hurt me. Because I have this internal motivation that I have to be providing a lot of sex, even if it is damaging me and I have to initiate even when I’m in pain and….
I know I create a lot of this problem with my utter unwillingness to act like pain in my cunt is worthy of acknowledgment in the moment. There were a few times when I was very young when I mentioned that it hurt to partners and the response was a solid wall of “So?” and I just completely lost the ability.
The kinds of 25 year olds who like to fuck 12 year olds really don’t care.
This internal belief, that fucking is literally why I exist, is why I push so hard for sex with so many people. I have an internal programming that dictates that I must ask for sex. Because this is why I exist. To give this experience to people who want it.
This has gotten more complicated as my partner has gone through a shift from actively wanting polyamory when we met to very actively wanting mainly monogamy with very rare occasions of group sex.
Fitting into the expectations that are currently held for me takes a lot of work. I’ve adapted as best I can. It’s not always easy. But the good I get from being part of this family is so breathtaking. I get to belong somewhere. People care when I’m crying. People care about me in this house. I am important to them. It’s worth a lot of pain and suffering to try and deal with more layers of my mental illness to try and stay here for more of this.
Recently I went through a multiple month period where I genuinely didn’t want to die. That is the longest I can remember feeling like that in my entire life. I have always wanted to die. That has been the drumbeat chasing me through life for just about 30 years now. “I should die because this hurts too fucking much.” I want more of the not-wanting-to-die feeling. And I have to change this belief to get there.
This is tricky because I partially married my husband because he has the highest sex drive of anyone I ever seriously dated. He’s been the only one who wanted to keep up with what I wanted to initiate.
But a lot of what I initiate hurts me. And then there are waves of consequences.
This is so unfair.
It is desperately unfair to my husband and frankly it isn’t fucking fair to me either. It is fucking shitty being in my head and in my body. It isn’t anyone’s fault at this point that it sucks so much to be inside of me… but it’s a fact.
One of my buddies idly mused that I get a lot of self esteem from my interactions with my children.
Children are the only people I know how to interact with without feeling like I am failing in not offering sex. That’s the only time I feel like it is completely appropriate for me to not be offering sex. It’s safe in a way nothing and no adult ever is.
I don’t ask everyone for sex all the time for a variety of reasons (I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be asked, I’m pretty sure my husband would flip out, etc) but I have had to grow up and work on my boundaries to get to this point. It took a fair bit of maturing before I understood that my father was lying and not everyone wanted that from me.
Thanks to all the folks who have skillfully and tactfully turned me down over the years. I’m glad you didn’t follow that up with refusing to know me because I was so rude/tactless/gross/insert word of choice.
I’ve tried to grow up as fast as I have been able. I’m a lot closer to my goal of “grown upness” than I actually believed I would make it to… but I’m not there yet. I’m hoping I manage around the time my 9 year old makes it to adulthood.
What am I here for?
That’s this huge existential question, right? I’m super partial to the work of Viktor Frankl, a psychotherapist who went through the Holocaust. He wrote the book _Man’s Search For Meaning_. His general hypothesis is that folks can survive any horror in life if they have something they believe in and it doesn’t matter what it is. It could be “I want to see my wife/husband again”. That kind of belief is enough. If you believe that your love for someone else is your reason for continuing to be alive then you can make it enough to see you through anything.
I can’t control why I was made. I can’t control the intentions behind my makers.
But why do I stay alive?
Maybe that needs to be the focus of the next stage of work. I can’t change what I was made for or whether I did my best to live up to that for the first few decades of my life.
But why now?
I feel really guilty that a lot of why I’m staying alive at this point is a science experiment. Will I be a good enough mother that my children will want to know me when they are adults? Am I capable of treating them in a way that will cause them to want to know me?
I feel guilty about this because I feel like I “should” pick something that is more oriented towards my husband and… that’s different. It’s really complicated that I already feel like I have failed at being a good wife and I feel like there is no walking back from that. He’s not leaving because I’m better than nothing but I will never make it to good. I can’t hang my hat on that in this life.
Ok, so “I am bad” and “I am a monster” are strongly tied in with what is causing me these eternal problems.
It is hard because my husband is having a hard time with how much the shift into being a mother has derailed a lot of the hypersexuality and a lot of my strong need to be hit so much. I’m boring now.
I feel like I am bad for even trying to work towards a future where my cunt will hurt less because that will mean I am not meeting his expectations for how often he wants to get laid.
And the cycle continues.
I don’t feel like I’m about to rip off my skin suit. That’s a good sign in terms of me doing something drastic. That feeling is so awful. It feels like I am a bubbling, swirling cauldron waiting to overflow. I still have pockets of sadness but I don’t feel frantic. I don’t feel like I HAVE to DO something right now about how horrible I feel. It’s ok to just sit and look at the sadness again.
I am still sad.
I am also now prepared in terms of baby clothes. I took the whole family to Outrageous Outgrowns last night. It’s a consignment sale event in San Jose. We split up with the list and were there for 2.5 hours. We didn’t find leggings for the big kids (in the bigger sizes they wear out before they can be sold for cheap… seems legit) but we got almost everything else they need in the next size for the winter. We filled in the gaps I had in baby clothes up to size 9 months. My lovely friend who has given me a bunch of baby stuff just… skipped the 9 month size (a reasonable choice) so I filled in that gap and added in the 3 and 6 month stuff I didn’t have yet. I’m quite partial to sleeper sets. My kids live in them because I’m too lazy to put on complicated adult looking outfits on a tiny baby. I’m always afraid I’ll hurt the kid dressing them in stiff jeans.
We found a Johnny Jump Up even. That sucker was used all the time in our house. Our first two kids loved it. (The swing seat that hangs in a doorway. I don’t know what you call it. I call it what my mama called it.)
I don’t need any more clothes. I would say my need list at this point is for diapers, and an additional baby carrier. I really want a ring sling that is water compatible because that’s how I wash babies best. (Not in the first 2-3 months, obviously. Before neck control this wouldn’t go so hot…) And a travel sized wet bag for the diaper bag. I don’t have one and gosh that sucker will be crucial. It gets kind of irritating using Ziplock bags for this purpose. I’ve done it, but they break at inopportune moments and that’s just nasty.
My whole family was super nice and helpful last night. It was lovely not having to carry all the shit alone. We spent around $500 and bought 91 items. Given that it included a car seat in really good condition and maternity clothes and kid clothes for both big kids and all the baby gear including a Boppy and… I feel we made out like bandits. Only Noah didn’t get anything because they don’t really sell much in his size. Ha.
I feel justified in my desire to give each big kid a warm dress for Christmas. Both of them asked for dresses and couldn’t find a warm dress at the sale. I’m glad there are already Christmas presents in the closet. I think we are about 8 pairs of leggings away from set for the winter.
Which is good. I’m going to hibernate this winter and if you need something and don’t have it your ass can do without.
It continues to fascinate me that my little girl is getting increasingly butch and my delightful little Enby is outrageously femme. What does gender mean anyway? Do whatever makes you happy. I’ll smile when I look at you no matter what you wear.
I rarely participate on the Gender Spectrum forum because mostly as the parent of a gender non-conforming kid I think my role is support and not… being the center of something? So I watch threads and I comment once in a while. Yesterday a mom was having a hard time coping with how their kid dresses so I talked about how I handled it. I hope she feels less alone. I hope she feels like it’s ok for her to accept her kid doing whatever. Another young trans kid was expressing worry about whether they might detransition later in life and does that make their current feelings wrong or a lie?
I told them I have known trans people who have floated up and down the spectrum in terms of presentation throughout their lives for a variety of factors including physical and political safety or even just emotional safety. They are still who they are inside… they just have to adapt to changing environments. It’s ok to manifest yourself how you feel you are safe today and it’s ok for that to change in the future. That doesn’t make any of what you do wrong or a lie, you are totally telling the truth on any given day. You are just keeping yourself safe within your truth and anyone who will attack you and claim you aren’t being “real” isn’t respecting your right to be safe. Only you can decide what presentation is safe for you and that doesn’t change who you are inside.
I hope that I said the right thing to that kid. It’s the truth I have absorbed from talking to 50-70 something year old trans folk.
It’s kind of funny how dealing with Aunt Candy makes me feel really protective of little trans kids. Many of them don’t have a parent like me who will come back like a viper defending them. I wish everyone had the solid wall of support my kid has. That would make for a much better planet.
For all the shit I’m doing wrong in this life and if I started listing those things I’d never stop… I think I am supporting my wonderful Enby pretty well. Of all the things they doubt about themselves (and there is plenty) they don’t doubt that they are non-binary and that’s just ok. They have strategies in their pocket for arguing with people who tell them they don’t exist. They feel supported and seen. I’m not doing everything wrong. (They bought a few very butch pairs of pants for winter. I was kind of shocked. That’s not their normal style but I said not a word. Ok, I said “Are you sure you want to advertise for this sports team?” and that’s all I said.)
They were excited to support their local sports ball team. Uhhh swell. Sure, why not. Sweat pants are sweat pants.
I still feel like I’m walking uphill through a river of molasses. But my brain isn’t fizzing. If that’s the best I can get just now, ok.
I feel like taking three doses of pot a day is helping a little. I am staying more in the placid, “I don’t need to react with drastic measures” state. That’s helpful. I can see the unhappiness and not freak out about it.
Instead I have acid reflux like a motherfucker. Awesome.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week have been lower in appointment quantity than usual. I’m so grateful. Only the one trip to Outrageous Outgrowns in San Jose for out of town driving. I’m so exhausted.
I’m feeling really guilty and kind of ashamed of myself for asking for a schedule shift with Sarah. She’s drowning in work right now and she has to attend to that. It’s not any kind of personal rejection and I know that. I completely support her making this career jump and I think she’s doing stuff that is important to her life. But she needs to reschedule the Skype calls a fair bit and that’s feeling so hard for me. I’m in such a horrible place emotionally to be flexible and I’m afraid if I keep myself in the position where I need to be plucky and cheerful about shifting timing… I’m going to put myself in a position where I throw a tantrum at some point and that would be so awful. It’s not that I want to stop talking to her. I just… I need it to be more flexible in my head right now. I need it to be a “We will try and see when it works” instead of “I will be there unless something comes up” because that framing makes me feel like I’m always the least important thing. I don’t think it is true that I am one of the least important things in her life. I hope I handled this right. She’s really busy and I’m tweaking on hating myself. It’s a dangerous combo for me doing something rash. I hope this way I won’t blow up at her because of my inappropriate expectations.
Managing my expectations sometimes feels like a job.
I talked to Pam yesterday. I’m really glad. It’s been a couple of months because she’s busy. It’s hard that two out of my three Most Important People that I cling to like a fucking limpet are really busy with important life transition stuff. I support them doing it. I think both of them are doing stuff they really need to do right now. I’m trying as hard as I can not to bitch about the reduction in attention I’m experiencing. It’s not about me. It’s about them being who they want to be in life and that’s IMPORTANT. It’s hard being supportive of their separation and their running off to pursue their dreams when I’m this depressed. But find some god damn support or shut your stupid mouth. They have both supported me through so much. It’s important I get this right. This time in their lives is not forever. If I want to have the right to spend more glorious time with them when this is over… I have to be nice now.
And that includes not blowing up at people because I have asshole-entitled expectations.
They are my friends. Friends give you what they have to spare and you say thank you. If my friends have nothing to give to me then I’d better give to them and get through the gap in time where they have nothing to give. It’s ok. They have carried me in the past.
I’m feeling a lot of anxiety about every one and every thing… but I still feel gratitude for my friendships. The less deeply enmeshed layers of my friendship life are doing a really fabulous job of trying to carry me lately. Make new friends, but keep the old. You need them both.
But talking to Pam yesterday was one of those conversations that reminded me what the difference is for someone who has spent probably tens or hundreds of thousands of hours listening to me talk about myself. I can switch topics and people so fast and she follows every jump of my misbegotten brain. I feel so seen when she’s on her game and I can spew everything I think about every single person and situation in my life and just kind of go “Waaaaaaaaaaa” and she nods and points out some connection I hadn’t noticed or she points out a minor tweak that would make things better.
She’s on my side and she’s not afraid to tell me I’m fucking up and I need to change something. I love this woman so much I feel like I could explode.
And she shares her beautiful family with me. Her parents are great and I love her baby sister. I even get along with the extended family members I see more rarely. It sounds like she is going to need to start going back to Taiwan more often to see elderly relatives so that’ll be hella convenient if we can manage to meet up with her there when Lightning does their first trip abroad. I’m already saving up. When my kids are around 9 months old, they go on their first big trip. It does a lot to set the stage for how mellow my kids are about travel. I don’t know why I need them to be adaptable in these ways but I need it. I’m sure I could manage it with domestic travel, but we learn so much about life this way.
Pam has been telling me about how beautiful her country is for almost 20 years. I’ve seen pictures. It would be glorious to see in person.
And hey I can talk to her mom a bunch more. That always makes my day. I think her mom finds me a bit odd, but she’s super nice. I’ll take it. Pam’s parents are shockingly open minded given stereotypes about Asian parents. They’ve supported their kids through some meandering career choices. Pam worked in theatre for decades and her parents were totally cool with that. Most of my friends who are Asian have told me there is a trifecta: engineer/doctor/lawyer. Pick one or you will be expelled from the family. Pam’s family isn’t like that at all. They are really pretty chill and loving. I want to be at least a little bit like them. Probably with slightly less Buddhism because that feels appropriative to me.
I find parents to inspire me everywhere.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m feeling the need to post stuff on fetlife. I think because I’m trying to fuck with my boundaries and most of what I know about stating boundaries I learned through the bdsm community. They are my teachers. So as I stumble through trying to figure out what this is going to mean to me… I want to talk to my teachers. But I know that the answer is unlikely to come from a rich old white guy. I appreciated him telling me he wishes he had the answer any way… but yeah. I didn’t expect *you* to have the answer for me, sweetheart.
He’s still one of the only people who has sexually assaulted me who apologized. This is such a wacky world we live in. I remain in contact with a bizarre list of people… Sure he apologized ten years later when I sat him down to tell him my story in context and then he felt bad… but it felt really fucking validating. At least one person who assaulted me recognized how badly they fucked up and they saw how much they hurt me and they wanted to apologize. That was a really big deal to me.
He was a jerk and he crossed a stated boundary and that blows chunks. But he did apologize. With my history, can I ask for anything else?
It’s so complicated.
Future tripping keeps me moving. I think we want one more out-of-the-house Christmas event in December. Maybe lights in the park or city lights down in San Jose? That way we do one out of the house event per week up to Christmas. I’m not hosting a Christmas party. I mostly feel like no one cares any way so why should I put so much effort into it?
I’m feeling really pathetic and like no one gives a shit about me and I can’t deal with proving if it is true or not and it doesn’t matter and I just can’t. So I’m skipping a Christmas party. I always feel like I’m doing a mean thing by forcing busy people to acknowledge me and I can’t cope with that feeling this year.
I feel sad and disconnected. If it weren’t for worrying about my children I think this would be an ideal time to die. I feel so very done. But I can’t take my burden off and give it to my kids. That isn’t how this is supposed to work. I need to carry this burden until its journey is done and it doesn’t have to be passed on. The layers of generational trauma have to stop at me. It really doesn’t matter that much how much it hurts me. This is my job. This is my place in this dynamic.
This is justice.
This is how I feel about racial reparations too. It isn’t that important that my generation feel guilty about the shit sandwich that our ancestors made. It is important that we eat it instead of passing it down to the next generation because that is taking responsibility for it existing. I didn’t make it and it isn’t my fault it is here. But I can make sure you don’t have to eat it. Responsibility, not guilt. Guilt doesn’t help anyone.
It doesn’t help my kids for me to feel guilty about handing them a load of trauma. It helps my kids for me to put my big kid panties on and carry my trauma instead of passing it along to them to lighten my load. That’s just fucked up. I get why people do it…
I have to do something different.
I owe my kids in a way that other people might not owe their kids. My kids were very conscious creations even given the layers of generational trauma I know they will inherit and I know I will have to walk them through processing. My kids were born needing help existing in their bodies because our family is fucked up. I picked that reality for them. If I walk into that with full knowing and mindfulness… I don’t get the excuse of “Well I did my best.” I have to give them what they need… not my best. Fuck my best. Get it right.
Do you know how fucking hard it is to center their needs like this? I’m a selfish bitch and I’d really rather care more about my pain than theirs. But I made them. I made them out of nothing. Out of a sex act. They came from the cells of my body.
I need to do this. I need to put my mental illness and pain aside and be what they need. Even if it hurts and it is hard and it involves strain and pain and learning I never even imagined.
Even if it means I have to figure out how to shift my core beliefs about who and what I am and what I am here for.
I am not just here for people to hurt. Sure, I take pain rather than handing it to my kids but that is so different from being a hole for someone to come in.
I told my daughter recently that if my tone of voice sounds harsh or mean it isn’t because I’m upset with her. It’s because this topic is very important and I have to respond right. This response is part of what will decide in the long run if I am a good parent to her or not and I’m scared I’m going to mess up–so yes my voice sounds harsh. Because I’m worried and feeling harsh with myself because I Have To Do This Right. I have to support you. I have to meet this need and I’m afraid I will fail and that makes me sound harsh. I need to do this for you. You matter. You are important.
I have to get this right.
Even if no one ever got it right for me or thought they needed to do this for me. That’s old news. Live in the now.
All I can do today is take responsibility for where I’m standing and the shit sandwich on the table. I won’t make you eat it.
All my life I was told that shit rolls downhill so too bad for me I’m at the bottom of the heap. You know what? I’ll stay here at the bottom. I’m not going to roll my shit onto another person.
I don’t want to.
I love how you shine and I do not want to dull you. I want to polish you up and set you to glitter in the sun. You like doing that. You feel good that way. I’m just glad I get to look at you and stand near you. And sometimes you hug me.
That’s better than passing on the shit sandwich.
I spent a while on the phone with my cousin last night because she is freaking out about stuff in her life. She’s not freaking out about small stuff. Her life is complicated and hard in a way my life will never be again. She doesn’t have the support network I have in any way shape or form. She doesn’t have the kind friends or a partner to help her. That’s really sad. She was expressing some bitterness about my niece (my sister’s daughter) having a huge network of friends she leans on. I get why my niece built that network of friends–it’s not like she will have support from her bio family.
I heard some very sad news about my niece. She’s going through some extreme pain right now and I’m very sorry for her. I hope things get better for her. She made an incredibly hard choice and I respect her for that. Sometimes hard choices are the right choice. I don’t know if she made the right choice, but I respect that she did the absolute best thing she could see to do. I’m sorry she’s hurting. Even with Auntie and Uncle Bob trying to give her stability she had a bad early life.
All of us did.
And look how broken we are.
No more shit rolling down hill. No more.
Not in my house.
Nobody gets what they deserve–not for good nor for ill. Really there is no such thing as deserve. There’s just what you get and what you don’t get. There is no fair.
Life fucking sucks.
Cause I always have a project. Identify core beliefs and figure out how to change them. This is going to be super woo intensive because therapy hasn’t moved these bitches in 3 decades.
I anticipate this kind of sucking. But maybe the far side will suck less.
I have to figure out how to change this belief that I only exist to absorb pain. I am not a god damn anguisette.
I need to figure out how to frame my story in my head so it doesn’t matter what my father wanted me to be or what he thought I was. I need to stop thinking about what my mother said and believed.
I was not born to be a whore. I did not get married to be a whore.
Maybe Sobonfu was born to carry the stories of her tribe and to be a healer… but that doesn’t mean that the pronouncements made at the birth of every child work out. It worked out for her and that was a really tremendous thing.
I don’t have to care what I was told I was going to be.
And I don’t really know how to change this yet. This is going to be hard.