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.