Embarrassment and cycles

Something I have noticed in the past, when I’m trying to crawl out of a depressive slump I feel silly posting about how I’m trying to change my thinking. I don’t feel like I’m bordering on grandiosity at this stage, but I struggle with feeling like any improvement/more positive thought process is a sham.

I’m going to have to try hard to think of something Noah said as a mean thing he said in the moment when he was hurting and not a genuine indication that I should follow what he was saying. That’s really hard for me. If you indicate that you have a problem with me talking to your friends… that’s the kind of boundary/limitation/indication that I am a problem that fits in exactly with my narrative of the world. Ignoring that it was said because you don’t “really mean it” is uhhh not exactly in my normal tool kit of abilities. This is hard.

I read somewhere that the difference between a “real friend” and someone you just know is whether you can call them for help in an emergency. The thing is… if I had a real emergency I’d call up to 50 people to get the help I need and not run out of phone numbers. There are folks in my various communities who would step up but I can’t guess in advance who would have the bandwidth on any given day. I can’t predict who would help. It would be people who would surprise me. I have a weird amount of faith that it would work out and I would get help but I can’t use that set up to point at my “real friends”. I think that it’s more complicated than that. But I won’t ask for help short of an emergency because that uses up later abilities to ask for help in an emergency. So anything short of catastrophe is my problem.

I think I would be helped by folks who are not that invested in me but who instead noticed that they have something spare to hand out on a given day. That’s complicated.

The kids are so happy to see Noah again. The whole house smiled all through yesterday. I love the way we are clingy and enmeshed and very encouraging of each of us going off on individual adventures. Everyone in my house is encouraged to go do their own thing… and come back and share stories later. EC has saved enough chore points to guarantee a slot in sleep away camp in the summer. She is over the moon. I should go ahead and register her soon.

It is fascinating to me the ways my kids are slowly moving into wanting space. They want space from the family unit the way Noah and I take space–rarely and in big blocks. They are not interested in going to school and having 7 hours a day away–that’s too much. That sounds awful. But a full week away on an adventure sounds awesome. Going and visiting Aunt Sarah sounds wonderful. If Aunt Debbie called and invited them to visit for a week they would go and barely look behind them to wave as they got on the plane. But no school. It’s interesting to me. I don’t fully understand the nature of their attachment. I’m told by a variety of professionals (because I don’t really trust my evaluation of my kids) that my kids are incredibly securely attached and this is not anxious or avoidant attachment at all. My kids feel good about themselves and their lives and they know they aren’t interested in school.

I wonder how much it is that my kids are almost allergic to sitting for as many hours a day as school requires.

EC already talks about how college is going to be appropriate for her because she can set it up so she never has to sit for longer than 3 hours in a go in a day. This is a child who understands her limitations. She does not think she has it in her to sit for a 7 hour school day. Given that I’m thoroughly convinced that she would be in trouble every fucking day in school because of how antsy and talkative she is… I really am not pushing this. Even though 5th or 6th grade would be a great time to transition into school before high school…. She says absolutely not. She’s not even willing to do the charter school next year. It’s too much outside direction of her learning. She wants next year to be an intense delving into world religions and we can’t get the charter school to approve/pay for that so she’s done.

It’s kind of amazing watching a kid who knows so intensely what they want their life path to look like. It’s not that she can’t do focused work… it’s that it happens on her schedule and impetus.

FMC is completely over the charter school but they will want to continue some of the supportive services… which is funny to me. Sure kid.

I don’t think I am going to dig in and spend the next 5 years on trying to improve my health. I don’t think I’m going to get braces. I think I’m going to be willing to try a few things when I’m not pregnant in terms of messing with my thyroid or a couple of other things the pain doctor really wants to try and then I think it’s time to accept that my body is on the journey it is on. I am never going to be able to get off this track and onto the track of someone who cared for their body from childhood. That’s not available. I’m going to get what tricks and help I can and then I’m going to stop hemorrhaging money on my body. I’d rather spend the money in different ways.

I’d rather figure out more about dealing with our financial future. I’d rather go have adventures.

But I will probably continue acupuncture/chiropractic/massage care basically forever. That’s what helps the most to shore up my degrading body.

Luckily those are the “cheap” parts of my health care. The effective parts. The ineffective parts are super fucking expensive.

I am also really really really tired of throwing up if you didn’t know already. This sucks. Apparently my weekly vomits are going to continue right on through the 3rd trimester. I hear this is a good sign in terms of possible child loss. The sicker the baby makes you the more likely you are to carry full term and have a healthy child. I think that midwives tell you this just so you don’t spend time being angry at the baby for causing you to feel like shit for almost a year.

I keep saying the name we have chosen over and over like a mantra. I did this when FMC was born. The name we picked for FMC had been Noah’s first choice girl name during EC’s pregnancy. So I spent a lot of time saying the two first names in a sing-song chant. Now I’m doing all three names together. It’s kind of my version of stacking the deck so they think of themselves a set.

I’m becoming increasingly certain I’m done at three kids. I have no fucking interest in a fourth pregnancy. This is fucking horrible. I’m too old for this shit. Yes, I know I have friends who had kids older than me… they didn’t start out with a horribly degrading body.

If I want a fourth child in the house it’s time to grow the fuck up and figure out fostering. But not till Youngest Child (YC) is at least four. So we have about 4.5 years to get settled somewhere and figure out how to sign up for fostering.

I think I’ll be ready in my 40’s.

I have to grow up someday.

Noah pointed something out yesterday that was… interesting to think about and I hadn’t up to that point. FMC has a lot in common with Noah’s mother. I go talk to Noah’s aunts about his mother growing up because I’m a nosy fucker. The stories I bring back about how his mom reacted to everything as a kid…. yeah… that’s familiar. Nothing is ever enough and everyone is betraying you if you are not in control. Oh god that sounds familiar. It was kind of a sucker punch to the gut moment for me.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how my children are dealing with ancestral grief/inherited trauma from my side of the family. There’s a shit ton of it from Noah’s side too and I don’t pay enough attention to that because I am selfish and short sighted. But that’s real too.

Noah’s aunts tell me that Noah’s mom never adjusted to having a single working mother. She had no patience for her mother being out of patience at the end of the day. She needed more from her mom and her mom had nothing more to give. The other siblings understood and helped their mom and didn’t take it personally that she was doing her best but she was grumpy because her job was rough. Noah’s mother though… it was never fucking ok that she was getting the backlash from her mother working with a bunch of bratty kids.

Jesus that sounds like FMC.

FMC does not tolerate me being too distracted. Things get bad really fast. That kid can act out.

When FMC starts to complain loudly about how their sister is not obeying their whims I have started trying to redirect them to think about what they have actual control over. Their feelings, their body, their reactions. We are talking about this allllllllllllll day long. The power plays in this house are brutal lately.

Our job right now is working on emotional self regulation in a way FMC has never been forced to before. It’s not mean. It’s not punitive. I’m pretty cheerful and matter of fact about it. “Ah. This is where we are developmentally. We need to talk about this now. Ok. Let’s do that.”

EC is taking this super seriously. I tell her that she is never going to run out of people who irritate the shit out of her. She can’t make them stop being irritating–that will never be in her power. The only part she has power over is deciding what kind of person she wants to be in response. She’s thinking really hard about this and taking it seriously and I really respect the thought she is putting into it. I told her that in my opinion… she has to dig deep and find patience for FMC for about 5 more years. And then if FMC hasn’t stopped baiting her and aggressing… she will be allowed to tell me she’s basically done and we will find a way to separate the two that is respectful for both of them and she doesn’t have to seriously pursue keeping a relationship with her sibling. I won’t force a life long relationship. But FMC is working through a lot of developmental stuff right now and writing them off at this stage is premature and not fair. Let them develop and learn. If they refuse to accept these lessons… then you can protect yourself and I’ll support you.

Hell, I’ll support you if you protect yourself between now and then. But I won’t let you stop trying till then.

You both deserve that much effort. Your future together deserves that much effort. Not you bending over backwards forever…. that would be wrong…. but let FMC grow through being a shitty little kid. You got to be a shitty little kid. Have some patience.

You are right sweetie, being the biggest sibling sucks. It’s not fair being expected to have that much patience. You are really right. Life isn’t fair. But let’s talk about how many privileges you get that your sibling doesn’t get because you are older and you have more patience and more self control and…… that’s not fair either. But it’s life.

There is no fair.

I’m sending the kids to Texas with Noah in 2.5 weeks mostly because Noah’s grandmother is on a downhill slide. She’s been having strokes. She’s in her 90’s I think? Noah and the kids will visit her multiple times for short visits over a few days because that’s what she can cope with at this stage. She basically can’t leave the house and cooking is hard because she’s mostly blind. She’s tried so hard to be part of the kids’ lives even from far away. I want them to have memories of her and she’s almost gone. I feel like a jerk because I don’t care that much about the kids seeing Noah’s parents. His parents send boxes of stuff and don’t really bother to get to know the kids. Their great grandmother sends chatty letters with lots of questions. She wants to hear about their quirks. She takes a lot of pride in their academic accomplishments. She is the person I write about every new development with schooling or academic evaluation. She cares the most. I will miss Noah’s grandmother.

It’s funny that Noah’s mother doesn’t like her mother much even still.

I worry about my future with FMC. I don’t think they would forgive me for getting a job if I did. Not any year soon here. Not that I planned to get a job. But I can’t pick up a serious distraction of any kind or it would be a problem.

I get that FMC is super attached and needs a lot of contact. I sure wish that contact was less poking my fucking face as I’m trying to fall asleep. That pisses me off.

KIDS ARE IRRITATING.

But when I want space from FMC I want them to sleep on their own damn bunk bed instead of sleeping in the spot where YC will sleep because then they can’t reach my face to poke me as I’m falling asleep. I want like… a foot away and three feet up kind of space. Not like a whole bedroom away space.

It’s fascinating learning how to communicate boundaries with them. I feel like I’ve improved a lot over the years. Because none of us want “go away to another place” amounts of space. We want a foot over and three feet up on your bed in the same room amounts of space. We want “be far enough away that when you twitch you don’t kick me” space. But only with a few inches of clearance. You had better not leave the room or I’ll miss you.

And it goes in all directions. Noah is just as clingy and it’s adorable. I keep wondering when any of us will get “enough” attention and want to withdraw more and it just never fucking happens. I mean, all of us get to the point where we need a few hours of alone time occasionally but it never goes longer than a few hours. All of us complain about separations after a few hours. My kids bitch about missing Noah 2 hours after we drop him off at the airport. When one kid goes to a week long city camp the other kid is complaining about missing them before lunch of the first day. My kids were whining at me on Skype the whole time I was in Alaska.

Separation is good but it goes on too long!

Whatever sense of belonging I will get in this lifetime… it is going to come from this family.

I feel like I am feeling so sad about my friend telling me that it is irresponsible to have a third kid for carbon footprint reasons (Yeah I know that is technically true) because my friend has a place he is invited to go every Christmas and Thanksgiving and anytime he wants, really. He has to juggle between which of his bio-parents to visit. He has a spouse with an active family they are involved with. It’s not always perfectly healthy and they don’t always enjoy the visits…. but they are always invited.

I’m occasionally invited to orphan events but not really consecutive years in a row. If I don’t have children I will just have the rest of my life of no one really wanting me on holidays, except for Noah of course. So as long as you have people who want you on every holiday…. I don’t think you should be judging the fact that I need to create the people who might hopefully want to see me.

There is no fair.

Am I being selfish? Yup. Abso-fucking-lutely. The drive to create love is absolutely overwhelming. And I have failed at creating the kind of chosen family people tell me I should have created as a substitute. I couldn’t carry that. I have never managed to fit in. People try me out once or twice with an invitation and then…. I’m not invited back. I’m not blaming anyone or getting angry.

I just…. I just want there to be people in the world who actually want me. This is the way I can make that true. My kids want me so much it is overwhelming. My kids want me so much that a foot over and three feet up is waaaaaaaaay too far and they’d rather cram themselves into a space designed for a child under the age of two. Even if they are an extremely tall child who is more like the size of a nine year old. Priorities.

They say they will vacate the bed when Lightning comes.

Until then they are the baby. Period.

Given how much they are looking forward to being a big sibling and helping… ok. You can have this last hurrah my lovely baby. Just…. stop poking my damn face.

ugh.

This week was scheduled in an unfortunate manner. Today FMC and I will be out for a long day because they have therapy at 1 then they want to go to the Trans Day of Remembrance event. They have been telling me that they want more trans events in their life so I’m mentioning anything I see. They want to go learn about the members of their community who lost their lives. It’s interesting how much they are fully connected with “trans people who suffer are like me and I want to know about them and I want to help if I can”. They asked me if there was a special shrine or temple or place where trans people go to honor their community members and I said that I didn’t think so but that space is shared with other groups. They said they want to talk to the grown ups in the community about how to learn more about all the people who have come before them. I told them that old people love talking history so that should go well.

I feel a little weird about taking them to trans events because I feel weirdly like I am riding their coat tails… but this is their community and I want them to feel like they belong. If they are ready to start asserting themselves in their community at 7… rock the fuck on kid.

Tomorrow we have family therapy at 1 then I have a haircut at 7 which will mean two crappy drives to San Jose in one day.

Wednesday is a trip to San Pablo. I love my friends. I hate the drive.

Thursday we are going to an orphan Thanksgiving in San Jose. My kids are thrilled because there will be LAN Minecraft. My plan A is to spend a lot of time crying in the bathroom.

Friday is just local medical care (thank goodness).

Saturday we are going to Dickens Fair for our one visit per year. Wheeeee.

Next week I only have to drive on three days. And the furthest drive next week is 30 minutes. So that’ll be better.

Sarah invited me to come visit her when Noah and the kids go to Texas. I have medical appointments most days so I don’t think that’ll work out. So instead that week I’ll just enjoy the one day of leaving the city.

I’ve been sleeping pretty well lately. 7 hours is a short night. It’s been a week or two of this? I’m grateful. I’ve had 9 hour of sleep nights recently and goodness I needed that. Thanks, baby, for letting me sleeeeeeeeeep.

It’s been nice having folks from the bdsm community poke at me in various ways to commiserate over the death of a community member. I’m sad to hear that he OD’ed. So many of the people who were the pillars of the community when I arrived are now dead because of ODs. I love you all and I am glad you are no longer in pain. I wish your life had been less painful for you while you were here.

It makes me wonder how many people my death would touch.

Let’s not find out soon. Let’s grow the web instead.

I like that both of my children know that when anyone starts my funeral the first thing that someone needs to say is, “Krissy was a bad ass motherfucker.” I think they will sob while they say it… but I think they’ll be able to say it.

None of this “Krissy was a wife and mother” bullshit. That may be a lot of what defines me in this life… but it isn’t what you say when you introduce me. I’m bigger than that.

There’s my hubris showing.

I’m enjoying making future plans with Noah and the kids. We are going to go on a lot of adventures. Because we are very lucky.

 

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