It’s getting easier

The last couple of days have been interesting in my brain. I feel like I am closing a loop of understanding around codependency stuff. It’s helping with pieces of my depression. It all started with an off-hand comment I made to a gal from the forums. I said we are all there because we are codependent and we want to “fix” someone. She hadn’t thought about it that way. That has made me have a lot of thoughts about my sex life.

I haven’t been writing much mostly because I would not have been able to do so without saying things I would regret in the future. As much as I am ok with most of my lame-ass and/or bitchy thoughts being recorded for posterity… there’s a level of respect I owe my marriage and that’s a fascinating thing to discover as the years go by.

It’s not that I won’t say bad things about Noah. I totally will. But they have to be true and said for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is that I need to write it so I can see it and prove to my brain that something is real. But for the past few weeks… I’ve been bitchy as fuck and most of the things I wanted to say are true and not true and the only purpose of saying them would have been because I was feeling bitchy as fuck.

So I shut up.

When I am in a better mindset it is very easy to see that Noah fails upward. He tends to only make the same mistake once or twice. He has worked unfathomably hard for our family. He has changed in ways that I am not always sure are healthy but he god damn did it. He still fucks up. We still have issues.

But a lot of our fuck ups are about me. Our sex problems are mostly my sex problems. He has tried. And I am just about fully unable to communicate at the level necessary for really solving these problems. This also happens to be a not so hot month of my life for dealing with sexual dysfunction issues. For one thing, semen ripens the cervix and makes labor go faster. I want this over with so all the penis in vagina needs to be happening. Luckily I’m so god damn wet all the time that tearing isn’t happening.

I have to admit that physically this has been by far my easiest pregnancy. I am depressed as shit and I don’t feel good but I’m doing way better than any previous time.

I think all that stupid exercise helped. And the nutrition work. My body is in a much happier place than it was when I started this experience.

But what about my mind. A buddy sent me a neat article on microchimeras, which is a fancy name for the cells from babies that live in mothers forever. Even not full term babies seem to leave some hint of their presence forever. They were testing women in their 90’s and they had clear signs of their children’s cells. The cells are sometimes antagonists that cause health problems and sometimes are like little stem cells that protect the mother from issues.

It’s been interesting to think of that in terms of my increasing depression with later pregnancies. How much is that related to the cells of my previous children yelling at me bitch you have nothing more to give. Shut this god damn factory down.

Yeah yeah. This is the last. I promise myself. I wanted this one so very much. I don’t know why yet. Whatever challenge this child is going to bring to my life I need it so badly that I’ll fuck up big chunks of my life plan. We won’t do a lot of the travel I dreamed about. It will be hard to save up yet more money to put another kid through college. It will delay Noah’s retirement quite a bit. But I hunger for this child deep in my soul. I need to know them even if it will make my life harder.

I didn’t have children because I was looking for a convenient life. I had children because I wanted to feel what it was like to have a happy family and I knew that the parents have to create the frame for that. I have lost my shot in this life at experiencing that as a child. The best I can do is figure out what it means and go do it for my children.

That means listening to them and getting to know them as individuals. It means setting them up for success and letting them totally fuck up sometimes without rescuing them. It means learning what boundaries feel like because I have lots of developmental books telling me what should and shouldn’t happen at various developmental stages.

I look for broad agreement. I don’t like following any single philosophy. I’m not a good follower of any “ideal”. I think that there are a million ways to be right, you have to judge your own circumstance.

And temperament matters. I am so grateful that my children and I have incredibly complimentary personality types. We don’t fight much and it’s not because my children are cowed. They are sassy little things who absolutely voice every discontent. They just… don’t have many. I mean, there are probably complaints that they keep behind their teeth because they are afraid to tell me. Assume “afraid” in that sentence is really a stand in for a lot of complex emotions that can’t be simplified to fear. My kids want me to be happy and I’m sure that sometimes they would rather not upset me than voice an issue. I try to do my best all the time to accept “no” well and to give them space for their own opinions and boundaries. They do voice complaints sometimes about me and I try to address them with speed and good humor.

I mean, I asked them if they wanted to see therapists so that they could have a safe adult to talk to about problems with me. I’m trying to create space for them.

So I feel like this is a you can lead a horse to water situation.

I have put a lot of responsibility on Noah for a lot of years to fix my problems with sex. That’s really not gone very well and maybe I need to try something different. He can’t fix this. This is big. There’s a lot going on here that I literally can’t clearly articulate at this point and I’m not really heading into a time of my life where I have traditionally had a lot of access to thoughts about sex. Maybe we are waiting another five years. Oh god I hope not.

I feel really done with sex being something I owe. And that’s incredibly complicated for a laundry list of reasons.

It’s been interesting talking to Noah about the ways I have done sex. I didn’t fuck all those people by looking for intimacy. What does “feeling good” mean to someone who dissociates at the drop of a hair.

Part of the problem is that Noah worked really hard on helping me stop dissociating. And then I figured out that sex hurts and I can’t do that any more. I can do things that help me dissociate more and that therefore help me process a lot of sex. But those things all have a very high cost to my relationship and are probably off the table for the rest of my life.

So… then we need to change sex and I don’t even know what that means.

And I’m not going to be in the best physical or mental place to work on it for a long time.

Complete topic shift.

I have been having petty, stupid, bitchy thoughts about a situation. I am angry with myself for not responding more. I am giving away too much energy to someone who doesn’t matter. I know I’m being a dumbass. MAKE LIKE FUCKING ELSA ALREADY.

Why an I letting it take up space in my brain? Someone can only make you feel small if you let them. It’s ok to have different life priorities. But yeah. I like staying home for many good reasons.

I didn’t say something snottier because… even though I have bitchy ass thoughts… I don’t actually want to model that behavior for my children. I will directly address things but it’s… different?

I don’t get bitchy with people. I get forceful.

But I still wish I got to be bitchy. It would be satisfying sometimes. At least it is in my snide comments to Noah. But I won’t even write them down here. Because it’s really stupid and even I’m not that immature.

But I’ll acknowledge that the struggle is real. Being nice is shit.

This is all superego. My id is ready to be mean to someone for sport. Because I’m petty. sigh

But I didn’t and I won’t.

Because I really am staying alive for this “good role model” experience. And soon there will be three. And the third will be such a different experience.

Why do I start most of my sentences with fucking prepositions?! It’s a god damn nervous tic.

Everything is related to something else. I guess it feels more appropriate to start every sentence as if it were a continuation of a previous thought. It’s all building from somewhere. But where is it going?

To bed.

Procrastination, future tripping, refusals, and gifts

I need to take attendance and create the PE log for this grading period. It’s due today. I am… clearly not doing it yet. I have been too busy pressuring my kids to get their stuff done in the past few days to get my share done. Instead I figured out how to spend almost $2,000 worth of school funding money. I probably wouldn’t be done with that project if Sarah hadn’t had an unexpected few hours to browse at the same time as me. Thank you, Sarah. That was such a huge help. It took at least 8 hours of my time to do that project… and Sarah probably put 2-3 hours in as well. Yes, home schooling is work for the parent. I’m shocked by every person who asks me if home schooling is easier. Uhhh… in what way? I don’t have to enforce being dressed and out the door at a reasonable hour…

My wonderful Jenny gave me a great gift today. She told me that they will not be able to vacation with us this year. She didn’t belabor it. She didn’t make it a long drawn out guilt trippy sort of no. She didn’t tell me about how other people are more important so she will spend her time/money on them. She just said they can’t this year.

I am so happy with her I could cry. A good solid respectful “no” is a treasure. I totally understand that vacations are costly and difficult to arrange. I have no expectation or feeling of entitlement that I should receive that kind of money/time expenditure. But I’m told that I should ask for things I want. A messy no is really hard. This was lovely. I’m so happy.

And that means I can talk to my family about what we want to do and not think about anyone else’s preferences. My kids are asking for snow and the beach. I don’t think they understand how contradictory these requests are. It shows their limited California weather life.

So maybe we will have a split trip. Or who knows. Maybe we will have to pick one after I look at the price of air travel. I just know that now I get to future trip and hang out in my happy place where I think of what I could do instead of what I am doing.

Pregnancy is so miserable.

P&A have been inviting me to the Bahamas for years. Maybe…

It’s a big world. Our bank account is recovering from the remodel hell. Maybe… we’ll see….

Maybe we should wait until after the house is sold? I don’t know. We’ve got some serious logistics to look at for the next 12-18 months….


Everyone in my house has a cough. I went and bought cough medication/treatment for suppressing it. They don’t want to take it. Instead they want to not cover their mouths and cough on me all day long.

I am going to be a raging bitch if I have a terrible wracking cough when I am in labor. That is Not Fucking Fair.

Oh yeah, that’s why.

Every so often I go off my meds for stupid reasons. Forgetfulness, or self-punishment, or feeling ashamed of myself for being a drug addict.

I forgot a full day of meds in the past few days. Whoops. That’s why I’m feeling so god damn bad. That’s a lot of medication missing from my system.

The medication that lets me: eat, sleep, feel less pain, have more of a pause in my brain so I don’t panic, feel less suicidal, reduces overall anxiety, reduces stomach pain…

Sure. I’ll just stop. And see what happens. Because “If I really cared about my baby I wouldn’t give them drugs.” So it is better for me to be unable to eat solid food. It is better for me to violently vomit up my attempts at solid food rather than use this medication. Better that I wake up every 20 minutes all night long crying from pain. Better that I feel like I should die and I am so consumed with managing that obsessive thought that I pretty much cease all other meaningful work. Better that I be in so much burning stomach pain that anything I eat or drink makes me cry. Better that I have nothing but burning diarrhea because my body cannot handle the amount of stress it is feeling and it flushes everything as fast as possible.

Because if I cared about my baby I wouldn’t use drugs.

If I stopped using drugs I’m not sure I would live to see the delivery. Would it be ideal if I didn’t need drugs? Of course. I wish I could do ok without these fucking meds. They are expensive and taste like shit. But my life isn’t usually full of me getting to choose just what I would like to do. My life is full of a lot of “What do you have to do?

I have to be able to function. I have not been able to think much this week. I’m dropping balls all over the place. I’m not responding to emails. I’m missing appointments. I’m not doing mandatory online work that is supposed to happen.

I’m just sitting around feeling like a pile of dog shit. Because I was stupid about taking my meds. Missing pills has consequences. But it’s hard to take them all and not feel ashamed of myself. It’s a totally fucked up system.

But after almost a full 24 hours of being fully medicated as I should be… I’m hungry again. After days of not eating. Do I want to need this medication? No. But nothing else has ever worked.

I need to stop opening the fucking cannabis threads.

Very little sleep

My whole god damn body is an explosion of pain. I feel like I am minutes away from vomiting and I’ve felt like this for hours. I try to sleep and my shoulders hurt so bad I wake myself up every 20 or so minutes.

My massage therapist won’t work on me if there is ANY illness in my house because her mother is very elderly and sick and at risk. It’s totally reasonable for her to have this boundary but it sucks to be me. So I didn’t get work last week and I won’t this week. I may need to look for another massage therapist and that’s not a pleasant thought right now.

I think I’m spiking a fever based on the fact that I’m so hot I feel like I’m about to burst into flames. I am so hot I am sitting in my currently unheated house naked. This Does Not Happen. My breasts feel like little fire balls.

I’ve had terrible diarrhea all night.

I’m really over being pregnant. And this whole damn sick season. This fall/winter has been so brutal. My kids haven’t had more than a week or two of consecutive health since October.

But once I turned the humidifier and air purifier on in the bedroom FMC stopped coughing. So there’s one tiny victory… Haven’t heard a cough in hours.

Stripping my clothes off did help me feel slightly less on the verge of immediate vomiting. Ugh.

Didn’t puke till 8:20. wooooo

35 weeks

I’m measuring a week ahead, which is pretty incredible given that I’ve gained 11 lbs. I also look visually small… which is kind of funny.

Doctor said I have one fingertip of dilation and no effacement. I’m pretty likely to make it to 40 weeks.

We talked about my anxiety and depression and came to the conclusion that I’m doing what I can do for it. She’s super awesome about my pot usage. She’s very blunt about the fact that she doesn’t know what impacts it could have on my kid. There are no statistics. That makes me want to kiss her hand. Thank you for admitting that we are flying blind here. I adore you for that.

We talked about measures in the hospital and why this birth is just not going to be able to go how the last one did.

I feel comfortable with her. I just wish I knew I would be able to actually see her in the hospital…

Baby is head down and fairly engaged in my pelvis. Now to wait five weeks. Sigh. I know it is best for the baby to cook full term. I’m really getting over being pregnant.

Just came to say, goodbye love

Michael Shannon died. I talked to him three weeks ago. The last thing he ever said to me is that he is touched by how fiercely and unequivocally I am on my children’s side. He was always good at the kind observations.

I am so sad he won’t get to finish growing up and have kids. He was going to be such a good dad.

Rest in peace, Michael. You will be missed.


Head is down. The kid is positioned so that their feet are in exactly the same damn spot they were when side ways. Well, this is good… I guess.

Right kidney is barely enlarged. Like, sitting right at the “max” reading and there is slight swelling of the ureter but baaaaaarely. So we need to notify the pediatrician and do a check at about seven days old. It’s not a super emergency.

That’s probably all good news.

Really angry

I want to cuss everyone in the world out right now. Not necessarily because they deserve it. Because I’m angry. Because I’m fucking sick of everything about me being wrong.

I was fucking born wrong. Needing the kinds of help I have needed in this life has been wrong. My responses to things are wrong.

How dare I talk about feeling suicidal. Other people don’t want to read that shit. Why can’t I be more entertaining.

Why don’t I lay down flatter and take more shit.

Why don’t I conform more.

Why don’t I comply with a smile as if what other people want is just so awesome.

Because fuck you. That’s why.

cheating dirty whore

So today’s can’t sleep for crying moment is brought to you by getting spanked by forum moderators. Obviously I am deeply unhealthy and should seek therapy.

Oh fuck everyone on this planet who tells me I should pursue therapy.


I spent years telling Noah I needed things to change. Way post cheating he admitted out loud that he was never actually open to that. So I was trying. I was verbally negotiating. I was trying to talk about what was going on for me and it failed. And I had my god damn therapist telling me constantly how Noah is the best husband ever and marriage is about compromise and you really need to meet his sexual needs since he does so much for you.

I owe him bleeding and pain until I die, apparently.

So in my fucked upedness I communicated how much I was flailing. By cheating. I went and spanked someone. I went and did something that there is no room for in my marriage. I went and did something that was a desire of mine that I’m supposed to just ignore for the rest of my life.

Then I came home and said I couldn’t follow any rules and I started stepping out. Which is like cheating only I told him I was unilaterally changing the rules and just doing.

Is it an ok way to handle conflict?

I could have left. I could have left my best friend and the only home I’ve ever had. That would have been my other option.

I could have declared that I can’t be a permanent whore who does not need considered by choosing to follow my mother’s path into destitution and homelessness and starvation. If I were a stronger person maybe I would have.

And now for the rest of my life I am worthless because instead I did something despicable. Leaving would have been “honorable”. Staying and hurting him back was wrong.

Because Noah was selfish about sex. I should have tossed everything overboard.

I guess.

But the problem is that even if Noah was an asshole about sex (and he was… for years…) I don’t know how to get past the fact that he is still the shining star in my life who has been kinder and more generous to me than anyone else alive.

He wasn’t raping me. He just… was selfish.

And I should have just left.

But if I had left I wouldn’t have come back. And I don’t know what would have happened to my kids because I would never have been ok or trusted anyone again in my life.

I could have done that instead.

I’m not saying that what I did was justifiable or right. I am saying I didn’t really have a better choice. I only had bad choices.

And that means I am bad. Forever.

34 weeks. Are we there yet?

So I’ve been taking the proton pump inhibitors to help with acid reflux. As I predicted, within a week their efficacy had dropped dramatically. At almost two weeks of use the ’12 hour formula’ lasts about 4 hours before I’m right back to burning acid. When I run out of this box of pills I’m just going to quit. Ice cream is just as fucking effective and will have fewer long-term consequences.

I’m exhausted and weary and I have nothing to give. My cousin is texting me about her dog dying and she thinks she had a miscarriage last week and she wants love and support. I told her I am too tired to have feelings. I am literally not capable of emoting for you.

I walked almost 4 miles yesterday and today I feel like death.

I’m getting to the point where I’m gasping for breath a lot of the day.

Sleeping is getting hard again. I had like a week or three that were great and now it’s sucking again.

I’m not responding to emails. I’m not caught up on mint and I don’t know when I will get caught up. I’m failing at a lot of chores. I feel so bad. I didn’t manage to get the stupid Christmas tree out for recycling on the day we could put it out whole. Now I’ll have to cut the bitch apart. That doesn’t sound like fun.

I am feeling pathetic and insecure about the curve of my life and the mistakes that I make.

I’m still scared of giving birth. A c-section that would be over in an hour is sounding…. so much less traumatic.

I told my cousin that for a while I’m going to need to be selfish and not focus on her at all because I’m 5-6 weeks away from repeating an experience that almost killed me last time. If I focus on her and use up the store of energy I have… that might mean I’m not here next year and I just can’t make that choice right now.

I’m feeling really scared.

For a while I felt like the baby shifted and was in a better position. Now the baby is digging into that same spot on my ribs again and I’m not sure. I go in for an ultrasound tomorrow and I’ll find out.

“Reach out and ask for help” uhhh… no. I’d rather slice myself to ribbons in the bathroom.

I want to hide in the closet until Valentine’s.

I feel like I’m scared and lonely and I want to talk to people and I absolutely do not want to talk to anyone because I’m self involved and terrible and I have nothing to give and if I have nothing to give then I’m a disgusting user and I should die.

I don’t know how this got so bad so quickly already again.

Judgment and internal compass

I feel like a flaming asshole for comparing the two dudes I saw at the party. I’m doing it less to make any kind of point about them and more to see for myself where my earliest judgments about people are proven true later.

My family is talking about moving constantly. It’s a huge focus of conversation and thought in our house. What is it going to mean to us? How is it going to work? No one thinks this house is long-term appropriate so moving is in the cards…

I am going to move somewhere and not have an entire back story with people. I will go to parties and not have a minimum of two former lovers in each room. It’s going to be… different. I depend a lot on the experiences I’ve had to decide if a person is safe or not. I’m going to throw out all of my hard earned experience and go start over.

Only I’m not really throwing it all away.

I’m thinking about the differences between the two men because I’m thinking about how to look for signals of appropriateness and compatibility in the future. Not for sex necessarily, but for friendship.

I like how God talks to me. Even though I was a very fucked up teenager who totally wanted to go there again after he realized that he didn’t want that kind of relationship with me he proceeded to enact healthy boundaries and stay my friend. He has never spoken to me disrespectfully in over 20 years of knowing one another. He’s not a braggart. He’s humble and giving and compassionate. His wife is a nice lady who has never boundary stomped with me and instead she is excruciatingly polite to me.

How do I look for people more like that in the future?

Well… for one thing when someone wants to sit me down to tell me how life is going and mostly I hear brags about how important they are at work… probably not going to be my kind of person.

It’s not that people are wrong for taking pride in their work. That’s totally ok. But if I’ve known you for a decade and we haven’t really talked in 3+ years and most of what I hear is that you are the only competent person at your job…

Mostly I’m going to hear that you don’t have a lot of respect for the people around you. Because in my experience most people who brag that they are the head of a department because no one else is competent… uhm… Hey… Dunning-Kruger…

I mean. I’m not saying that other dude is actually crappy at his job. I am not evaluating that in any way shape or form. But a complete lack of humility is a sign I probably won’t like someone.

And the fact that other dudes wife walked into the room and yelled, “AGAIN?! Don’t you know what causes that?!!”

Yeah. I know we had to go to the nice doctor who did the original vasectomy and get a reversal and then there was a whole process after that. Yup. I’m totally fucking aware of what causes my current condition.

And go fuck yourself.

Yes yes, you morally superior one and done people. I don’t give a flying fuck.

(I think it is fine for people to have one child. I think that it is obnoxious as fuck for someone to act like their choice is THE moral choice.)

When I had an issue with God’s parents… he stood up for me and did not allow them to verbally be rude to me. When I have issues with other dude’s family/wife… he just kind of looks down. Because he knows better than to sass the Head Bitch In Charge of his family… even as he snarks her and low level disrespects her constantly.

I want more people in my life who are consistent, respectful, and compassionate.

I don’t always pick poorly. Sometimes I manage to stumble across people who give me hope for my species.

It’s like my friend Y. A gal I’ve known since middle school. I visited her in Tennessee and I bought her the car. She’s generous, compassionate, and kind. Absolutely consistently across the board even when it isn’t easy for her.

do have a good picker. Even though I doubt almost everything about myself and my ability to evaluate if people are good or not.

But then we get into serious asshole territory. I’m not actually evaluating if people are GOOD or BAD. I’m evaluating if they are compatible with me. I’m evaluating if they model the kinds of behavior patterns I want my children watching and emulating. I’m evaluating if they are people who will help me feel like there are people who want me alive and who care about me.

Not that my life should depend on the evaluation of anyone else. I know that’s fucked up.

But can I go find people who will treat me in a way I want to be treated? I’m a picky and demanding bitch. I’m also generous and compassionate and I’m quick to step up if someone needs help.

I like people who want to be the helpers instead of people who want to be told how cool they are.

And that doesn’t really make someone good or bad. But it does decide a lot about how compatible I will be with a given person.

There is a big piece of me that is fairly terrified of trying to build a new community. That sounds hard. But I think back to the people who joined the various communities after me. The people who bravely asserted themselves and created spaces that were uniquely *them* shaped.

I can do that. And if I can do it without feeling constantly haunted by all the rapists from my past… maybe it will even go better. It’s not that I will find a community free of rapists… such a place doesn’t exist… but maybe my avoidance won’t kick in for a while.

I don’t know.

I want to believe that I can go find new good people. I want to believe that I am capable of attracting people who will be good to and for me. Not attracting in the sex sense. Just in the friendship sense. Because in the long run, my friendship with God is what has made him so wonderful in my life. The hour we had sex…. well, it was fun… but that’s not what defines our relationship.

I am so grateful for the lessons I have been able to learn with the people I have been privileged to know.

But maybe it is time for some new lessons.

More on community

I seriously love the new receptionist at my chiropractor’s office. She’s been here a few months and she is a delight to talk to. Her kids are 18, 12, and 6. So we talk about the insanity of having a third child and the masochism of age gaps. She laughs at me a lot (in a “I did it to myself and now you are doing it to yourself so ha ha ha” sort of way) and she helps me strategize how to cope with some issues.

I had an interesting text conversation with our former neighbor yesterday. The babysitter’s mom who moved out of state. She is just noticing that FMC is nonbinary and she is pushing back on my attempts to inculcate the pronoun usage. She asked if I was upset with her for asking questions. No… that’s not it.

I’m really upset with myself that my child has been adamantly insisting on an identity label for over three years and so many people in our life have… not noticed. That means I’ve failed pretty hard and I’m really glad I sent out the Christmas card.

Oh hey. I just noticed that I did not receive cards back from a few long-term friends who are hard core Christian. I’ve been on their Christmas card list for almost two decades. Hmm.

I’m not happy that I have been such piss poor support that people who spend a lot of time with us have… missed this detail about my child. That’s a huge failure on my part. I fucked up. And I need to do better. I need to jump on every single instance of “How are the girls” and correct people. I need to interrupt every single person who misgenders them.

Or I’m not really doing my job and that’s not cool.

I think this has been muddy for me because I have come into this situation from the POV of having adult friends who transition and they don’t always/usually want me to speak for them. They don’t necessarily want to be outed or put on the spot when people misgender them. Staying out of the business of an adult friend is… a more common or more appropriate tactic.

But this is my damn kid and I have not been doing my job. It’s different. I think I’ve been trying to let FMC set the terms of these interactions and that’s… mixed? I’m good about checking in with them when we go to a new place to meet new people (like getting dropped off at camp: I ask if they want to do introductions or if they want me to handle it. Their opinion varies over time) but I think I have been expecting them to carry the burden of setting reality with the grown ups we see a lot and that’s not fair.

It’s like getting upset when a child doesn’t prevent an adult from abusing them.

“Why didn’t you stop it. I assumed you were ok with it because you didn’t stop it.”

know my child needs my support on this issue. Abdicating responsibility is a chicken shit action. My kid deserves better.

And that has to entirely come from me.

Bitchy bitchy bitchy observation.

Today at the party there were two men I’ve had *cough* relations with. One of them was super attentive to his child and helping with food and just generally being an awesome community member and upstanding person. I have nothing but positive memories of our brief interlude.

The other dad kept telling his kid to go ask her mother for help. He sat around and didn’t help. I remember things not being much fun when we tried to get it on.

This is amusing to me.

God, you are still one of the nicest people I ever slept with. I’m so glad there are men like you in the world. You give me hope.

Yay! A grown up party!

The folks who used to live with Noah when I met him had a party today. It was kind of like old home week. I saw lots of folks I haven’t talked to much in the past ten years but I saw them a lot before then.

It was nice. It was lovely having history and understanding. A woman and I were talking about who our respective spouses dated before us. In her case she was stating that her husband can handle her crazy because the person who came before her set the bar sooooooooo low. In contrast, I don’t have such an excuse because the gal Noah was dating when he asked me to marry him was so fucking sane. Everyone in the room nodded with understanding. Noah needed someone crazier than her. So he came back to me.

It was… weird and validating? These are people who knew Noah and I before we knew each other. I’ve known one of these people since I was in high school. Noah went to college with a bunch of the crowd.

And they still want to know us. They were happy to see us.

I got the impression there were one or two people at the party who would have been just as happy/more happy with us not being there… but that was it. And I just got the impression. Meh.

That was a great event. I’m glad we went.


I tried to talk about sex stuff yesterday with Noah. These conversations are harder for me than you might assume based on my willingness to write about sex. I talked about how I have a hard time with the fact that my masturbation must be discussed (I have to get permission to orgasm… at all…) but his is off-screen.

It’s not that I want to control his masturbation. It’s that his desire is off screen.

We’ve had this thing for years where he tries to balance my fucked up “won’t say no” crap with… not initiating sex much. It’s a good way for him to ensure he’s not pushing me into something I don’t want. I respect that. It’s a reasonable plan.

Only it means that 100% of the push for sex in our marriage is supposed to come from me. And that’s not as sexy as it sounds. It winds up with me feeling like I’m supposed to turn myself on and be excited about sex and just show up ready. That’s…. not my favorite. It stopped particularly working a long time ago.

So how do we navigate between the landmines of I’d kind of like to feel like my partner actually wants sex with me enough to bring it up and I’m a fucked up person who doesn’t set healthy boundaries in the moment because I have all kinds of messed up stuff around owing Noah and me not in general having a right to say no to sex and….

So I get that this is shitty for him. It’s not fair. It’s complicated. But it’s also not exactly a walk in the park for me. If I’m expected to just show up turned on… yeah that’s not always going to happen. So if the frequency for sex has to come spontaneously from me without outside influence or turn on… then uhm… don’t be upset if it takes me a while between that being true. And he does get upset. Not like mean to me upset, but it feels bad to him.

So he wants me to spontaneously initiate sex all the damn time because I desire him so much.

But then we run into another issue. I’ve had it programmed into me since I was literally a child that I’m kind of a monster if I push for sex.

“I won’t say no” (on Noah’s end) isn’t the same thing as a partner who feels like they are enthusiastically there for the same thing who also initiates and indicates interest and asks for things.

Let’s talk about bdsm stuff. Noah has long said he’d like to practice rope stuff. This only comes up if I mention it. Which means I end up feeling like this is one more thing I’m pushing and I shut down. Which prompts Noah to feel like I don’t want to do bdsm with him.

And round and round we go.

How to get things started is hard.

We both have different “I won’t say no” responses. For him it means that if sex is brought up he will always say yes because he always wants more than he is getting. He always feels like sexual contact is a good thing. For me, sex has been currency as long as I have been alive. So I feel like saying no to it is doing a bad/wrong thing.

Which is complicated. I am hyper aware that Noah is a better husband than I deserve. It wouldn’t have been possible to observe my sessions with the last therapist I fired and not notice that clearly the perception is that Noah is better than I deserve. She spent a lot of time talking about what I owed Noah for being so nice to me.

That’s the thing. If you are nice to me, I owe you for it because there is no chance I just deserve it. Because I’m hard and not really worth it.

And so if I need more from foreplay I should shut up and suck up that need because I am really not worth more effort than I get. Which makes saying “slow down” or “not yet” almost impossible because I know that doing so is inappropriate because I already ask for too much in a global sense.

So during this pregnancy when Noah has invited me to hang out with him while he was masturbating… that’s probably been some of the most creative sex of our marriage. It doesn’t always result in PiV but occasionally it does. It’s more about being around each other. If I need to just lay there and watch it’s ok. Because he didn’t ask me for sex. I didn’t agree to sex. So I don’t have to feel like I must follow through no matter how I feel. It’s been really nice for me. It’s been a window into his sexuality without me being on the hook for following through on an activity that might literally hurt me.

I’m really sorry that my vagina is broken.

This stuff is really hard to talk about. I feel so much shame for being so broken. It isn’t my fault. I can’t do anything about it. But I inflict it on other people by existing.

So yeah. It’s hard to talk about sex and ask for anything.

That was really sweet.

EC and I had an hour long chat this morning. We reordered the chore list so that it is easier to understand/follow/check. We updated the point distribution a bit. We listed next to each chore whether it is daily, weekly, or optional for bonus points. She’s pretty happy with this update and she thinks it will help her be more consistent. There are even zero point chores on the list because they have to be done anyway (like getting dressed and brushing your teeth).

We talked about her perception that it is terribly unfair. I said, “Let me talk to you about the things in my life where I have missed out on a big thing by having one tiny thing not be perfect. Let’s start with the masters degree I spent 7 years and $35,000 on. That I don’t have. Because I didn’t cross my t’s and dot my i’s properly.”

(Yes I know that isn’t appropriate apostrophe usage but doing it another way looks even stupider.)

I went down a long list of things that I have tried to get/accomplish and I’ve missed by the skin of my teeth. At the end… she was way less upset about losing out on a couple of hours of screen time.

I’m always impressed that she listens to me for these conversations. We talked about why I’m being a hard ass and why I think it is important given that the rest of the world is going to be way colder and less understanding than me. If I don’t help you transition to what the world expects… I’m hurting you. I’m being a bad mother if I give you what you want every time. Life isn’t like that.

It is my job to tell you no, you haven’t done what you agreed to do so you don’t get the reward.

Even though you were soooooo close.

Sorry my love.

My kids talk about the concept of punishment a lot, which is interesting to me. I don’t actually punish very often beyond a time out. They’ve both been grounded 2 or 3 times in their whole lives and the groundings very tremendously based on what happened. Sometimes it’s a minor “You don’t get x & y privilege for a week” and sometimes it is “Your life is going to suck for a week. You get nothing good.” Which is… much harsher… but uhhh… still feels namby pamby to me? When I was a kid harsh punishments involved beatings and being locked in a room that was stripped of everything. I wasn’t allowed to read or have toys or anything.

I’ve never taken books or toys away. I’ve just said, “I’m not taking you to the park/to playdates/out to dinner/you don’t get dessert”.

I really struggle with perspective on this issue.

So she’s not mad at me anymore.

I told her it’s ok for her to still be mad at me. She’s allowed to get as frustrated or upset or irritated or angry as she needs to be at me. I suck sometimes. I am the enforcer of limits and rules and punishments. It’s totes legit to get pissed at me.

And then we need to talk about it. Because I’m your mom and you are stuck with me for another 8.5 years and we need to find a way to live together.

It’s hard that sometimes I’m an asshole because I am trying to help you in the long-run. That doesn’t feel good. That doesn’t feel validating or true. It feels like a lie. Until I tell you a lot more about my thinking process and the things that have happened to me to help me feel like this is the right choice in this moment. Then… oh. It kind of makes sense. But I’m still an asshole. AND THAT’S OK. I know I’m an asshole. Yup. Totally true.

It’s fascinating to me how my kids make such small mistakes. I fucked up big over and over as a child. (This was partially due to poor supervision.) But my kids are just not drawn to the huge fuck ups I did. This is fascinating to stand adjacent to. I would never punish my kids the way I was punished, even if their fuck ups were bigger… but I really struggle with understanding how to cope with this stuff. It’s so…. opposite my experiences. My kids are so good. I was the canonical bad kid. I tested every boundary until it broke and then I just kept going. My kids don’t.

I can’t tell if I’m too hard on them or if I’m hard enough that they are having a really good childhood that will prepare them for the fact that life is hard. I really can’t tell and that’s scary.

I feel like we are rounding the bend coming out of a big disequilibrium period. We still have bumps but there is less frantic fighting. Less fury. Fewer explosions.

I can’t tell how much of this is just me and my emotional cycles. But I think the kids are feeling less distress too. EC was terribly distressed for less than 24 hours. And now she’s back to giggling and being wonderful. She isn’t angry we withheld the screen yesterday. She’s just super motivated to get her time today. (She did half of her chores before she walked in to talk to me at 6am.)

She’s excited that I am going to sit down and help her plan out the game she wants to release for her birthday. I think that’s our afternoon activity. I am going to sneak school planning into the system. Because I am deeeeeeeeeevious.

We have these amazing science books that the charter school paid for and we will have to give back at the end of the year. So I’m trying to push hard and get us through all of them in the second semester because I’m not going to buy separate copies for us to keep going next year. We have the k-4 curriculum right now and I’d rather get the 5th grade+ curriculum next if we are going to buy more from this author/publisher. Which means we need to get our butts in gear and get these science experiments done. We have physics, biology and chemistry. We are mostly done with chemistry (EC’s favorite of the science subjects), we have a solid start on physics, and we need to get our butts in gear on biology.

Amusing side note: I’m pretty sure EC is in the middle of a growth spurt. She has hurt herself running into things approximately 20 times in the past three days. It’s getting kind of funny in a not funny and she’s mad at me for laughing sort of way. It’s just so… hyperklutzy that it’s funny. This is about her body changing, not about her paying attention. She’s also getting noticeably less chubby.

I hope my kids are not scarred by the way we talk about their bodies. We embrace chub. We are gleeful and happy about pudging out because it means a growth spurt is coming soon. EC has been decidedly chubby lately. We go, “Oh look! You have a double chin again! I wonder when you will shoot up…” Because there is such a strong cause and effect with both of my children. They don’t have extra pudge unless they are about to grow. So they get excited and brag, “Heyyyy look at my belly. Chubchubchubchubchub.” Then we giggle and think it is awesome.

But Noah and I are both incredibly gleeful and delighted with our bellies as well. So far my kids seem to think their bodies are awesome.

It’s been a good morning of talking to my family.

Meanest mom ever

I made my daughter cry. Well, we made an agreement a bit ago and I’m sticking to it and that seems TOTALLY UNFAIR to my daughter and she’s crying because I’m being consistent. Specifically: chores. We had a long time where the kids were allowed to have screen time as soon as they were done with chores.

This drifted because I’m pregnant and apathetic and spaced out as shit. So eventually EC was just sneaking on to the computer early in the morning and then spending a bunch of time whiiiiiiiining about how it wasn’t fair she had to get off the computer to do her chores.

I was asking about the same (not that long) chore list upwards of 15 times a day. When I’m using hyperbole I like to say I was asking 90 times a day. I doubt it was ever actually that high… but I’m certain there were days when I got up to 30 asks because I had to ask about each individual chore several times. “Are you sure you’ve brushed your teeth? Come here and let me look” kind of bullshit.

So I told her that I’m tired of playing this game where I am spending the entire day begging/demanding that she do her chores. If she asks for screen time and she hasn’t done her chores then she doesn’t get screen time today. Because I’m sick of you irritating me and wasting my time and acting like it should be my job to hound you all fucking day to do your chores. This isn’t ok.

So yesterday she did all but one chore. And then got REALLY MAD at me for pointing out that she hadn’t done her chores and so the answer for the day is no.


Actually, when we sit down at the table and discuss how we want to handle this ongoing problem and we agree to a solution in the cold light of day… and then I enforce the agreement…

That’s kind of the definition of fair, kiddo. We discussed this and agreed that you are having trouble building consistency/responsibility and it should be on your head not mine to get your stuff done.

But me remembering and actually enforcing these limits is terrible.

Well. Stop fucking trying to get out of doing your stuff. You know what your stuff is. We’ve talked about this chore list a lot. We negotiate about everything on it. Fair doesn’t mean you always get what you want.

We also tried for a while that she could earn chore points by building things/using programming languages to create her own games… but that morphed into her playing other peoples games and bitching loudly about how she should get points for that.

Right. No more points for building games because you are exploiting the system.


Oh well.

I realized this moment that by the time future youngest child is ready for academics… EC will be 17. Oh god. That’s a lot of fucking years of home schooling.

Can’t think about that yet.

I got to see Pam yesterday. She had a layover in the bay area and she drove around spending a few hours with her Important Peeps. I’m really glad I made the list. It was so nice to talk to her and hug her. She’s one of the more touchy/huggy of my friends and that felt absolutely lovely. It’s hard having her on the wrong coast. But, she’s doing something that is important to her and the only reasonable response is, “I support you and good luck.”

I am afraid of showing favoritism between my kids. I have this horror of it. My mom played her kids off of one another. I have different things I like about my kids and they have different traits that irritate me. I try to give them different experiences and I end up wondering how they will perceive this in the long run. Like: FMC has had way more traveling/exotic/interesting birthdays… and fewer in town birthday parties. I think they’ve only had two birthday parties with friends. EC hasn’t had the traveling birthdays but she’s had more parties.

They get different toys at different times and I’m never sure what “fair” even means. I feel really guilty that I gave EC a doll for Christmas and FMC didn’t get a similar kind of present. Even though FMC has a huge stack of dolls they are being petulant about. And FMC got another damn doll from grandma for Christmas. EC just got the one from me. (For the record: FMC was freaked out by EC getting a doll for Christmas and has decided to “share” their dolls now because they are afraid that EC won’t share her one special doll. It’s… uhhh… interesting.)

I’m watching FMC go from being fully in their Id to having a little bit of an Ego and the barest hints of a Superego. I feel like EC went through this transition much younger. But I can’t tell because with the two year age gap I get hella fuzzy.

EC was good at sharing her stuff from absurdly early. She’s generous by nature. She’s not a grasper. She’s not one to hoard her shit. FMC on the other hand…. is all about MINE!!! FMC will only consent to share if they can see a clear benefit to themself coming any minute now. I think I judge this more than I should. I’m a sharer. I think I have a hard time with the hoarding. Because to me, in order for the hoarding thing to work out you either have to have WAY less personal stuff or you have to be ok with storing multiple copies of everything to be “fair” and neither sounds great to me.

I forced sharing for years because that way we got to have a reasonable variety of types of toys in a small space. Now they are getting too big for that. So they are each culling like mad down to having just a few things they want to hoard and be selfish with and… I’m not sure how this is going to go.

I can hear a child up and wandering around… but no one has come in to see me yet.

Oh hey. I typed too soon. And she walked in and stepped on my ankle. Awesome.

fatalistic attitude

I’m in a weird mood. People are who they are going to be. Better/worse are such weird qualifiers to use to judge people.

I am not better than someone else because I have more money. I am not worse than someone else because I have less impulse control. I am not better if I am more of a planner. I am not less if someone else is more physically fit.

My cousin is where she is in life partially because of shit that was beyond her control and partially because of her choices. Like all the rest of us.

All children go through whinnnnnnnnnny phases and I just signed up to hear that with a third damn kid. My stupidity knows no bounds. I’m a full-fledged masochist. I understand it is developmentally appropriate and a kid isn’t really doing something wrong when they go through that phase. But my big kids are past that phase. And now I’m starting over. I will have more years of loud whining/shrieking in my house because little kids don’t have volume or tone control. It’s 100% normal, predictable, and appropriate. But it’s kind of rough on the ear drums at times.

I’m in a mood where if you have to laugh or cry about life… I can laugh. It’s all so ridiculous.

I’m really enjoying all the conversations with folks about where to move in the country. The folks I’m talking to are mostly coming out on the side that my family should stay on the left coast or we are not going to have an easy go of life. Given the diversity of experiences/perspectives I’m hearing this from… I suspect it has some merit. I’m truly hearing this from an extensive list of people. Even my damn chiropractor, after knowing me and my kids for a few years, has said that he suspects we will not be happy unless we stay in a left coast state.

It’s neat in part because I’m hearing more about what people think of me and they are trying to phrase it in excruciatingly polite ways. “You are very progressive and I don’t think a more regressive state would be comfortable for you.”


More and more people are spontaneously using the word progressive to describe me, which I find fascinating. Folks don’t describe me to my face as a liberal. They just skip that word.

I feel so physically weary and exhausted that I can barely move around. Yesterday I barely hit 1,000 steps by bed time. I think I’m sick again. I’m super dizzy. But no cholestasis! (That was the possible liver problem that would have resulted in early delivery.) I’ve just got itchy as shit winter skin. That’s a great problem to have. Ahhhhh. If lotion is the best cure for a problem life is fucking awesome.

I am enjoying less social media in my life. I feel like I am feeling less cranky about the fact that I’m never going to be a big part of anyone I know’s life. I am on the outskirts of a lot of communities. Not because I am shunned or excluded, because that is as close in to the center as *I* feel comfortable.

No one can make me feel comfortable. I’m not sure if it is emotionally/physiologically possible for me. I have rare moments when I’m with my nuclear family where I feel totally relaxed and comfortable but if I add more people into the room my anxiety levels creep up. Even with the people I love the most like Sarah and Pam and Jenny. Because I’m afraid I will say the wrong thing and be offensive. I am afraid I will cross a boundary I don’t understand and justifiably earn a punishment. I am afraid I will lose these people who are so important to how I define myself and that is abjectly terrifying.

The fact that Jenny has consented to being a witness to my life for 24 years is something I use to console myself when I feel worthless and like I am ruining everyone around me by existing. Jenny’s had a pretty ok life. It hasn’t been full of ostentatious displays, but her life has been alright. Me standing near her didn’t make it so she was unable to be a successful person. I didn’t wreck her by existing near her. You don’t know how much I have been afraid I was such poison I would hurt her like that.

So I hold on to the fact that she still wants to know me even though I’m difficult. And the knowledge that I could totally fuck that up because I’ve got mad skillz means that when we are in person I’m awkward and stiff and I say stupid shit because I’m nervous.

So I don’t spend a lot of time feeling comfortable. Even around the people I love the most. Which isn’t their fault. It’s about me knowing that I am not always appropriate and I deserve the consequences I earn whether my fuck up was deliberate or not. Intention doesn’t matter.

As the years go by I am terrified that I will retreat more and more into silence around people because I don’t know how to judge if the words I want to say are ok or not. There are some subjects I can engage in where I don’t think people will get mad at me (gardening, and art are the two safest topics I know) but mostly… people are unpredictable to me. It’s hard to guess where they will blow up and why they will hate me.

I am never going to be the most popular person in a room. I will always be difficult.

And even if everyone is there for my fucking birthday and interested in a sex party with me at the center I will still sit in the corner and sob because of course people actually hate me and I’m a terrible person for asking these people to come to my house and not do what they would rather be doing.

I’m speshul.

I asked Noah for the key to the medicine cabinet. I don’t think I’m a risk to myself at this point. I carefully counted out and divvied up my medication. I now have seven bags in the freezer that demarcate how much medication I will use over the next seven months. I’m reducing my dosing for the next couple of months even though that is not great for my mental health because it will reduce how much pot is in the meconium if the hospital decides to test me. The hospital told me they wouldn’t be testing my baby if I come in through an established OB practice, but I’m nervous. We don’t have a healthy federal administration and more marijuana using mothers are facing problems.

I also very specifically counted it out so that I’m slashing my night medications down to the barest possibly helpful dose after my due date because I can’t be sleeping that heavily with a newborn. I won’t sleep well for 2-3 months and that’s the deal. Right now I’m taking 50mg at bedtime. I’m cutting down to ~17.5mg (cutting the gummies is always approximate) because not having the medication in my system means I can’t wake up in the morning and eat food because my stomach hurts so badly. It’s a balancing act. But taking less than 20mg at bedtime is pretty unlikely to put me heavily to sleep. When I am having serious sleep problems and I need to be whacked in the head to get to sleep I take 100mg (or something much stronger like Ativan).

So under 20mg at bedtime seems… like the best compromise I can get. I wish I had doctors who could better talk to me about my medication management. I alternate between “Oh my god that’s too much!” and “Wow that’s hardly anything” and neither feels like useful feedback as I’m trying to figure out how far up and down to go.

Because I’m using the pot for: pain, sleep regulation, stomach pain management related to IBS, anxiety, depression, anti-nausea, and to help manage ADHD symptoms of impulsivity… err, what should my dosage be?

That’s at least 7 separate concrete reasons I use this medication. I would be on more like 10 other medications for the same impact if I stopped using pot. Many of them would be gnarly hard on my body.

So yeah. I wish I could find someone to seriously talk to about dosing. Cause I go back and forth between sativa and indica and cbd heavy and I’d love a knowledgable practitioner to plan with. I start the day with sativa because otherwise my depression and anxiety symptoms are awful. I need the cbd heavy for pain management. The indica helps a lot with stomach pain and anxiety and it helps me sleep.

But I’ve learned what I know through trial and error on my body over the last almost decade. I actually feel like I’ve done a great job of managing my medication usage given that I don’t really have guidance. I had a few spells where I used more than needed and I was stoned a lot for a while but mostly I’ve fought hard to stay at the lowest possibly effective doses because this shit is expensive.

Oh, and I’m a less attentive caregiver when I’m really stoned. I guess that part should matter. But it’s super hella fucking expensive.


Of course I care about the attentive caregiver part… sheesh. It’s a joke. I’m funny. WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING AT MY JOKE, GEEZ.

Sometimes I feel like part of my problem is that I am an overly attentive caregiver.

But I digress.

I am pissed off that the state of California, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make edibles almost non-usable for medical patients in favor of trying to regulate casual users of pot now that it is legal as a fun party drug for anyone. Limiting edibles to 10mg doses is absurd for medical patients. I know a lot of people who take 50mg-200mg at each dose. Telling us to eat mountains of candy every day to dose effectively is ridiculous. (The non-sugared edibles are… really hard to swallow cause they taste so bad.) I don’t think my pills will be available at all. I’ve been taking 50mg pills for a long time because it’s the best way to get the right dose level and there’s no sugar.

But oh well! We need to PROTECT THE CHILDREN by making medical patients eat mountains of candy all day long.

Err… ok.

I bought every fucking pill container my dispensary had. I may try for one more big order before the 31st. Because if I do one more big order… I might have all of 2018 covered with the kinds of dosing I prefer.

This is a little amusing because I’ve been trying to clean out the deep freeze because it needs to be defrosted badly and now most of what is in there are my drugs. This strikes me as funny for some reason.

I can put the drugs in a cooler while the freezer defrosts and they will be fiiiiiiiine.

I had an awkward conversation with my kids yesterday as I was dividing up the meds. They came in and sat with me and had a lot of questions about the different packages and types and why are they different. So uhm… I taught a lesson about marijuana dosing for medical usage. I stressed many dozens of times that the piles look the way they do because I have a higher than average tolerance to this mediation and for someone else to take as much as me would result in them feeling horribly bad and sleeping for a day or two.

We talk so often about how medication is a wonderful tool that can kill you. Ok, marijuana won’t kill you if you overdose… but most medications can kill you if you take too much. Never ever take a medication without carefully looking into dosing guidelines for your condition and your body weight.

I told them that the state of California has decided that people should be allowed to use my medication for fun the same way people can use alcohol for fun. Just like with alcohol you have to be careful how much you use and start very slowly. I told them that if they ever decide they want to try marijuana (I don’t recommend it unless you have a medical reason) then they should make sure they start on 5mg or less. Because you don’t know how it will make you feel. “So basically if you ever decide to steal some of my medication you will be very very sorry because everything I buy is too high of a dose for a newbie to start with. Stay the hell away from my medication.”

They nodded and said that sounds like good advice.

I told them that they come from two families with addiction issues. They are likely to build tolerances to medications and drugs quickly and they should be very careful about that. It can be so dangerous.

My sweet daughter piped up with, “Yeah! We are likely to gain tolerance fast and that’s why we shouldn’t use things like Ibuprofen unless we really have to. If we build a tolerance we won’t be able to use it in an emergency.”


But then again we talk about things like how most people who grow up to become addicts do it because they have emotional problems they don’t know how to deal with. Most addicts do not have the emotional support they need and I’d much rather figure out how to help you get more emotional support than have you deal with your issues through addiction. Tell me if you are hurting. If *I’m* the one hurting you… tell your father or a therapist or a friend. Talk about your feelings my loves. You matter.

I feel weird about it but I feel pride when my kids tell me that I fucked up in how I said something. “Mom, when you said ____ it hurt my feelings and I was upset.” Oh shit. Ok. That happened. I said that and you were hurt. I am really sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. What part of that hurt you so that I can choose my words more carefully in the future?

And now my daughter is awake and wants to snuggle me. Bye, oh void.