I need to find some words for what is going on in my head. I’ll start with saying that fake nails are evil. When they come off, my fingertips are sore for weeks and it makes typing very uncomfortable.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole “trying to love myself” thing I’ve been supposedly working on this year. How am I doing on it? I don’t know. Noah asked me what I got out of the experiment earlier this year with stepping out. That’s complicated.
I learned that my orgasm response isn’t as changed as I thought it was. I just don’t react to my long-term relationship the way I respond to sex with new people. Not even just new people, my submissive isn’t a new partner–but he is someone I am not enmeshed with. There’s a lot of individuality there.
I learned that Noah is a lot more attached to me than I really understood. Maybe I should have understood that to start with, but I didn’t. I genuinely didn’t know I would hurt him to the degree that I did. Now I know.
I have managed to get to the point where I don’t have a constant drumbeat of “worthless whore” in the back of my brain. That’s good. That’s progress. That’s a huge fucking deal after decades of trying to drown out that voice any way I could. I wouldn’t say I have high self esteem, but I have a kind of void in my head where I am waiting to see who and what I will be.
I learned that when I get past the breeding period, my identity as a public pervert is really really really important to me. I’m not ok with just being a private player. I am an exhibitionist and being part of the pervert community matters to me. That is not something Noah has ever cared about in the same way. Noah doesn’t need community affirmation of his identity in the way I do. That’s probably healthier but… I am what I am. Given that we are restarting this whole breeding thing I have more time to kind of step back. I don’t feel the same urge when I’m pregnant or when I’m caring for a tiny baby.
I’ve been thinking constantly about why I need to have more children, why can’t I be satisfied with helping some of the many children who need help in the world? It’s complicated. I still would like to foster someday. But fostering will not be about taking someone else’s child and making them mine. It will be about helping someone else’s child. I love my Bonus Kids. They are fantastic. I’m grateful I get to love on them and teach them and spend time with them. They aren’t mine. They aren’t part of me.
I feel so very damaged by not having a biological family who would love and embrace me. The children of my blood and my body give me a mirror in which to look at myself with love. I haven’t had a lot of that in my life. My children are mini-me-not-me’s. They take my characteristics and Noah’s and they mix them up in complicated ways and they become these separate individual people who are worthy of love. They give me a way to see myself as possibly worthy of love. If pieces of me are deserving of love in these other shapes, maybe I am too.
I know people who have been adopted and I know people who have adopted children. I am not trying to cast aspersions on their lives or choices. I am saying that I am broken. I am saying that I have limits. I am saying that I would be one of those assholes who would adopt and always see their adopted children as different from their “real” children. I don’t want to do that to a kid. That would be so fucking mean. Fostering isn’t the same as adopting. I think I could be a very good foster parent. I think I would be a horribly bad adoptive parent and I don’t want to inflict that on a child who already has to deal with the pain of separation from their birth mother.
I don’t want to be responsible for hurting another being like that and I’m fairly certain I would.
I know people who have adopted and had biological children. They are wonderful parents. I admire them and seek to learn from their kind hearts. My heart is small and broken and pathetic. I am not the wonderful person they are. I am a selfish asshole.
I feel deeply ashamed of being so limited. I feel ashamed of my inability to love and care for people not born of my body in the same way I love my biological children. I feel ashamed of how small and selfish I am. I need to see myself in my children in order to give and give and give the way I have. I feel ashamed of the fact that I am as good of a mother as I am because I am trying to reparent myself. I give to my children because I wish someone had given to me and that feels terrible. I would not be able to do the same thing for another child. That’s a failure in me.
I feel ashamed of this limitation in the same way I am ashamed of how small my life is. I have so much privilege. So much security. So much safety and… I don’t help very many people with it. I don’t do that much with my life.
I am a mother and a wife. I stay home and I hide in this little cave.
My friends are not so pathetic. They are part of the world. They have jobs. They have connections to community organizations and they interact with something bigger than their own life.
I feel ashamed of how small and self-involved my life is.
But I’m really and truly not able to take anything else on at this point and be good at mothering. I feel so ashamed of this fact. I read. I study. I try to prepare for a future in which I will be able to actually help people. I pray that I get to that future and I pray that all this god damn study will be of real value in the world. I don’t feel like I am of value now. I have managed to silence the drumbeat of “worthless whore” but I still fear that I am a waste of resources.
Noah’s surgery went well. After a tense conversation with the anesthesiologist who said “Oh I think we’ll do the same thing that failed last time only we’ll use more of the same drug!” we said… errrr… are there other options? Noah got a spinal and stayed awake through the surgery to eliminate the risks involved in general anesthesia. As a result today he is feeling way better than he did the day after the attempted surgery. Which, to me, means that Noah made the right choice in skipping the general. But I can’t believe he stayed completely still through three hours of someone sewing up his vas deferens. That’s a man who is serious about wanting more kids. Holy shit.
After the surgery I commented that it went fast–only three hours of sewing. He joked, “My crotch is more complicated than a maramé plant holder and less complicated than a cable knit sweater.” The surgeon heard this joke, nodded sagely, and said, “That’s true.” I found this exchange hilarious.
I feel guilty as fuck about this whole process. There are good reasons to not have more children. The only reason to have them is because I want them so bad I physically ache most of the time with longing. I want to meet these people. The people who could be part of me and possibly love me even though I am such a deeply flawed human being. My children love me. I know we haven’t hit the rocky teen years yet… but I know children who hate their parents long before the age of eight. It’s not even rare.
My kids and I get along. It’s not that we never have conflict… but we figure it out. It is shocking to me that parenting is going so well.
I don’t feel deserving. I don’t feel worthy of what I have. But life doesn’t look at deserving as it figures out who gets what. You get what you get.
This morning I went to the grocery store and watched the checkers publicly humiliate a woman who is a chronic shoplifter. As I watched this process I thought to myself, “That could be me.” I am not better than her. I am not more deserving of humane treatment just because I have a credit card. I despise the fact that I live in a world that only affords people humanity if they have money. I feel disgusted for the part I play living in this world. I’m going to call the store manager today and have a chat about the store’s policies. I know they have to deal with shop lifters. They don’t have to publicly degrade them. That fucking sucks. That isn’t necessary.
Why do we treat people so badly just as a matter of course?
Why can’t I adopt children and love them and take care of them and share the unfair quantity of privilege I landed in? Because I fucking suck.
I am tired. I’m sore. My nose fucking hurts still. But I’m gleefully breathing with my mouth closed. Like magic.
I just… I’m just tired.