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.