Emotional/psychological abuse and control

A friend linked to a scholarly article that was talking about how psychological abuse often causes as great or greater problems than physical or sexual abuse. Of course that means I have to stop and spend a lot of time wondering if I abuse people in this way.

I am a bossy motherfucker. I like telling people my opinions. I FUCKING LOVE telling people “what I would do in your situation” and I get funny feelings in my tummy when they ignore me. But I try hard not to explode or follow up with asshole comments like, “I told you that wouldn’t work.”

I think I was probably emotionally abusive towards Anna. I made her feel really bad. I didn’t do it on purpose. I wasn’t trying to hurt her, but I did. I had no right to tell her to get a new dream. That was none of my fucking business and I hurt her very badly. Just because she had been trying for five years running to get into medical school with constantly worsening health problems that made it so she could barely stand up and she had very little cognitive functioning left… I should have shut the hell up. I have no idea if she ever made it into medical school because she got fucking done with hearing my bitchy-ass comments. From the small amount of google-stalking I have done… I don’t think she made it. That doesn’t make me feel good about myself. Predicting that someone will not be able to live out their dream doesn’t make you a good person.

I hope I learned from that. I hope I am… less forceful now. Even if I was right I was severely unkind. I could have supported her better by helping her see related careers that were more attainable without being a raging asshole who yelled that she was never going to make it to medical school and she needs to stop killing herself trying. That was not my place.

To the best of my knowledge, after Anna the next person I have been most abusive towards has been Sarah. I take responsibility for my inappropriate responses. I feel it was reasonable for me to be triggered by many of the things that happened.. but I did not have the right to shout at her nor make her feel scared. And I did. I did not have the right to make her feel less competent or like she was “failing” at meeting my expectations.

Whereas sometimes I am an asshole… I don’t know if I have hurt my kids. I don’t know if I have perpetrated things that feel like abuse to them. It is very hard for children to be able to even evaluate such things. All I know is that my kids seem like the perfect picture of psychological health. I can’t judge by anything else. They have ups and downs like normal people but overall they are very happy with life.

Abuse is about making other people feel small or bad. It is about trying to control them in ways you have no right to control them. You may not mean to perpetrate it but that doesn’t change the fact that you do it sometimes. Usually between grown ups you look for patterns not isolated incidents. With children a couple of isolated incidents can have serious long-term damage.

It is hard for me to look at my relationships and tell if I am making other people feel small or bad. It is almost as hard for me to tell that someone else’s behavior consistently makes me feel bad.

Recently a long-term very close friend said, “In the past year more than 50% of your feeling upset (that I’ve heard about) has been related to a particular person.”

What do I do with that? I don’t know.

I stay in relationships with people who insult me and make me feel bad because mostly I feel comfortable with those people. Mostly I am comfortable with people who feel free to speak disrespectfully towards me because I am very used to people… feeling disrespectful towards me. I’m used to it. I’m not sure that makes it good.

Someone said online today that people who “offer help” are usually doing it to make themselves feel good, not the person they are giving help to. I can say that is 99% true when it comes to me cleaning for people. The list of people I have cleaned for is long and not-that-distinguished. I feel comfortable in such a role. I feel like it gives me an excuse/reason to stay in peoples lives. I’m worth something. There is something I can do. There is something I have to offer.

People I like and respect tell me I am a good person. I think lots of people are good people. They still hurt me. I hurt people.

Lately I’ve been thinking that we do ourselves and our society a disservice by acting like hurtful actions are the result of “monsters”. Very few people qualify as monsters. Very very very very very very few statistically. My father was a monster. Not many other people have raped lots and lots of children.

Good people can hurt others very easily. Sometimes through inattention, sometimes through lack of caring enough to consider what you are saying/doing before you do it, sometimes through being so self-absorbed they just don’t notice.

How do you protect yourself from the good people who will hurt you? How do you decide how good is good enough?

People tell me frequently that I’m a good person and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I am aware of how far I have come and I not interested in backsliding. I want to be better than I am. I don’t think the way I treat people is good enough.

When I talk to people I want them to feel built up and competent. I want them to feel like even if they can’t do something right now they can build up the ability over time and practice.

Right this minute I can’t play a single musical instrument. I have the sneaky suspicion that some decade I will learn. Even though I have it in my head that if you don’t learn as a child it is too late. Some day I will have time and energy and money going spare and I’ll learn. It is never too late.

I need to feel like the people in my life are building me up and not tearing me down. It isn’t ok to make jokes at my expense, no matter how many little “Oh I said it because of x and y” you include. It’s not ok to do that to me.

I understand that a lot of people are deeply comfortable with “little jokes” that are mean and cutting. I am Not. Ok. With. Them.

Once in a while people will comment to me that it is kind of weird that Noah never mocks me. I usually give a death glare to those people and say, “That is because he doesn’t want to become one of the many people I cut out of my life.”

I am prickly, sensitive, and overly conscious of my dignity. It is so easy to poke fun at me. I know. Hundreds of people have done so before you. I didn’t think they were very fucking funny either.

As much as I am growing to believe that the moving I did all the time as a child was overall a positive force in my life it means that I have gotten to go through a lot of different environments. People aren’t that different. If you have the misfortune to be at the bottom of the social ladder… you fucking stay there in place after place. When I say that hundreds of people have made fun of me I’m not kidding. I went to 25 schools before I dropped out at 16. That means I only needed 8 people at each school to get to 200 people being nasty to me. Most schools had 20-30 people who had a serious problem with me. And that’s not even getting into all of the adult situations where I bother people.

It isn’t hyperbole to say that people putting me down is a major trend in my life. People who are mentally ill are treated badly. They are bullied at 2-3 times the normal rate in the US. We are “weird” and that makes us targets. (It is also true that people with mental health issues are also more frequently the bullies. It’s a double whammy of awesome.)

I am not a special-more-hurt-than-anyone-else snowflake. I don’t think I am a professional victim. I think it would be a far stretch to say that anything that has happened to me in the past… almost eight years counts as “victimization”. I still struggle with the long-term results of trauma. Yes, I’m over-fucking-sensitive.

That happens when you are hit in the same spot hundreds of times.

“Oh just ignore it.” Oh man. Psychological studies prove that you are a giant asshole. Just so you know.

I don’t believe that I am exempt from examination of abuser tactics just because I was abused. If anything else I believe that the fact that I have an abusive background means that I must be Much More Vigilant in examining my behavior and being willing to change when someone else has a problem with something I’m doing.

I don’t hit any more. That is huge. I used to be really mean verbally. I was happy to verbally vivisect someone. I don’t do that any more. I no longer join arguments for the sole purpose of making someone who is “wrong” cry. It has been a very long time since such shenanigans have appealed to me.

But I don’t deny that I’ve done it. Honesty is key here.

I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I don’t know if I’m “good”. Other people say so… but whatever. I can ignore that (as I can’t ignore people saying I’m bad… life is funny). But I’m trying. I am steadily trying to insult people less and be less hurtful. I am trying to devote less of my energy to making other people feel bad… even on accident. I am not sure if I am succeeding or not.

These things are very hard to judge. It’s a process. I will never “arrive” at my ideal good person state. It will always be a work in progress. I will always fuck up. I will always make mistakes and say something that sucks sometimes.

How do you also include forgiveness if not everyone who does bad things is a monster? Where do you put up boundaries if “good people” do things that accidentally hurt you?

My kids keep asking when an uncle is coming over to dinner. An uncle I have uninvited from my house because things he said and did made me feel like he was unsafe to have around my house and my children. Is he a bad person? I don’t think so. He has opinions that make him dangerous in my opinion. Why don’t I “get over it” and invite him back over.. he didn’t directly hurt me… Because I am responsible for my children. Because I am responsible for showing them adults and saying, “This is how you be a grown up” and when I show them that behavior and act like it is ok I am harming them. I am encouraging them to accept broken, toxic attitudes as “normal” and “acceptable”. No. It isn’t ok to think that shooting people who bully you is an acceptable choice. And you don’t get to tell my kids it is a solution.

There are lines in the sand that are really clear. If you tell my kids they can shoot people who hurt their feelings… that’s clearly on one side of the line and it’s a side I don’t want to stand near. Just no. Smaller issues…. they are more complicated.

I really don’t know what the solutions are.

Day 9

I didn’t eat very much. Given that I had one day of almost formed poop and otherwise I’m staying with the soft mass I’m wondering what else I need to take out. The cereal sweetened (possibly) with apple juice is gone. I should probably entirely stop eating fruit. Because apparently “healthy” food isn’t actually healthy for me. I’m eating bananas like they are going out of style because everyone tells me they are constipating.

Breakfast: gf pancakes, pecans, banana, maple syrup

Lunch and dinner I ate out of the same container: rice, chicken, carrot, cucumber, grapes, fried potatoes (in cold-pressed olive oil because apparently that totally fucking matters). I had another banana for dessert.

Yesterday I only pooped twice, both in the morning. 2:30 am and 4ish am. Both times they were weird little almost chunks that were really too soft to be chunks. At least it is more brownish now instead of being Bright Yellow.

For exercise: 1.58 miles of walking with a friend and 5 miles of bike riding (pulling both kids on the trailer–we are doing much better with it).

What else can I take out? If I get to day 21 and I have no improvement then I think I will need to “test” wheat and/or dairy and then remove something major from my diet like corn or nightshades. Corn and nightshades are the only possible “allergens” I’m still eating and that is happening because otherwise I can’t eat since many vegetables make me sick in big obvious ways. I can’t turn to a nice healthy diet of lots of salads. I will never leave my bathroom again.

I hate my body right this second. I just want to stop hurting.

It doesn’t help that every elimination diet says, “If you feel a lot of anxiety you may not be able to get accurate results”. Fuck everything in the whole fucking universe. I’m feeling very discouraged and sad.

Clarification

I know that I have to be specific about what I want in order to get it. But when you end up feeling intensely suicidal as one of the result options, you aren’t supposed to tell people that. If the situation is, “Don’t make jokes about me because I will spend days haunting my house like a ghost and wanting to kill myself because it doesn’t sound like a joke it just sounds like a continuation of my life story” then you are being manipulative.

You aren’t allowed to tell people “If you do x I will want to kill myself.” You aren’t allowed to do that. Even if it is true. It is “mean”. It is considered abusive to tell people that.

I don’t know how to get out of this double bind. I never have known how. Many things cause me to feel intensely suicidal and lose days of my life to crying and weeping and hiding in my house. Talking about them is “wrong”. Not talking about them means I have to cut people out of my life because I can’t deal with being triggered.

I don’t know what the solution is.

Define yourself.

I have been having a lot of thoughts lately about identity and what I do and who I am and what makes different choices matter so much. I’m doing too much “Well I’m not _____.”

I need to not define myself in comparison to anyone else. I need to not define myself as what I’m not.

What am I? Who am I?

Well… I’m kind of a pain in the ass. I’m picky. I’m sensitive. I have a lot of very detailed preferences in life from temperature to fabric choices to food choices to how close to me someone is allowed to stand. I have a very large personal space bubble and I’ve really organized all my issues inside it. I have lots of issues. I know that. I am very emotional–to the point where it causes me social problems and difficulties because I react to things that other people consider “no big deal”.

I’m intelligent. I read a lot and study a lot of things and constantly challenge myself to do things that are hard for me. I’m proud of that. I learn new things. I learn hard things just because I feel like it.

I am an intensely physical person. I used to be sedentary. It was very bad for me. I have a lot of emotional issues tied up in how sedentary my childhood was. I’m deeply grateful that I am now in a position to be physically fit and I’m additionally grateful that I can bring my kids along with me. I’m fucking thrilled that my kids think a 5k is no big deal. That is our standard Sunday morning walk. I have worked so hard on this. None of this physicality came naturally to me. I had to want it and go make it happen.

I am a parent. I’m not sure if I’m a good parent or not. My kids like me, my husband thinks I’m doing a good job, and beyond that I just have to pray it all comes out ok in the end. Shanna says, “Even though sometimes you can be a pain in the neck, you are a really good mom and I’m glad I get to have you.” I tell her I feel exactly the same way with the word mom taken out and daughter slipped in. Calli continues to want to be physically attached to me 5+ hours out of the day so I’m pretty sure she is doing ok with me. And she thinks that I must sleep with her every night. So really she thinks we should be touching for 18+ hours a day.

I’m a wife. I’m not a great wife. I’m ok. I’m needy and kind of annoying sometimes but I put out a lot and I do a lot of chores to make up for being difficult to live with. Noah says he is happy with the trade he is getting in life.

I’m not the best friend in the world. I am demanding and difficult and I get upset about things and withdraw and that hurts people. I wish I was better able to support my friends but I’m really a pretty shitty friend right now. I feel that I used to be slightly better at being support for other people. Right now I am so mired in my own bottomless need pit that I don’t have a lot to offer anyone. I’m sorry. I just have no spoons. I have nothing to give. I have no more support or understanding or anything to give anyone. I am so tired.

My body is a mixed bag. I struggle with various kinds of pain and I do my best to keep my whining to a minimum. I know I’m not very good at keeping my whining to a minimum because people feel the need to comment on how whiny I am. So I know I’m really bad at keeping my mouth shut. If people only knew how many complaints I sit on they wouldn’t think I was as big of a whiner. But, whatever. I am a whiner. I’m not denying it. I’m just saying it isn’t as bad as people make me sound sometimes.

My shrink asked me why I sign on to do events with people. I told her that I generally sign on for events with people because I want to guarantee that for x hours that person will be near me and interacting with me. If that isn’t my goal then I don’t sign on to do an event with someone. This was really mixed and conflicting for the last 10k that I flaked out on. I signed on for the race thinking we would train together and then race together. Her life blew up (not her fault and I am not mad) and that didn’t happen and by the race I felt like, “Well I’m training past this for the half marathon and we didn’t actually spend all the time together so maybe I have to take care of my body.” So I was selfish in how I talked to her in the week before the event and I hurt her feelings a lot. I did not handle it well.

A friend said, “Going to Dickens Fair is so much more fun with a group” (Dickens Fair is a historical reenactment like a Renaissance Faire but set in the Victorian period around the novels of Charles Dickens.) and I practically choked. I don’t have fun at Dickens with a group. Most of the times I have tried to go with people it has blown up and I have left crying.

If I want to do an event for myself I generally don’t sign up to do it with anyone else. People don’t follow through very often. I know it isn’t “personal” but it really bothers me. I don’t recover very much when someone flakes on a commitment to something that is important to me. I take it too personally. I feel shitty. It takes days or weeks or months for me to stop freaking out about how people always let me down. (It isn’t true that people “always” let me down but FEELINGS have their own measuring system.) It is so hard for me to trust people to show up when I really care about something.

A few years ago, the first time I ran a major race some friends said they would come watch because the course was right next to their house. Turns out they didn’t feel like getting out of the house so they didn’t show. I cried the whole way home.

If I’m doing something *for me* then I’m really sensitive to people showing support or not. If they do show support then I feel validated as a person. If I don’t get what I nebulously want then I feel like I should walk off an overpass into the pathway of a semi-truck. So I try to do those things alone.

I don’t express how important these things are to people because then I am being “manipulative”. It’s not ok to tell people that if they agree to something and then flake that I will spend days struggling to not kill myself. But that is the reality I live with. And I have to carefully keep it off screen and not talk about it too much because then I’m “inappropriate.”

I rarely write about how upset I am with people not following through. Often the person reads my blog and I don’t want them to feel guilty because of me. I don’t want other people to feel like I’m hurting them by having my feelings. I don’t want to be accused of being a drama queen. Better to shut the fuck up. Just shut up you crazy bitch.

If you can’t clearly ask for what you want from people you can’t expect to get it. If what you want from people is too complicated you can’t expect to get it. If you ask in a way that someone else doesn’t like you can’t expect to get it. But if I clearly talk about most of my mental health issues then I am being manipulative or I am traumatizing people. I can’t fucking win.

Something positive since this is yet another round of “what is wrong with Krissy”–everyone’s favorite game.

I’m very creative. I have a lot of ideas and lots of energy to follow through on my ideas. I like that about me. I have so many things I want to do. I can’t do it all immediately but I have a lot of neat ideas I work on.

I like my writing ability. Even though I should stop. Right. Now. Because my arms hurt like hell.

I love you internet. Thank you for being there for me.

Day 8

I started a probiotic.

Breakfast: gf pancakes, banana, pecan, maple syrup

lunch: soup I made a few days ago with vegetables and chicken

dinner: rice, turkey, raspberries, green beans, pineapple (made my mouth itch like a mother fucker–I think I’m off pineapple for a while)

I had a lot of belly pain and distention around dinner. I felt really nauseated and I couldn’t actually eat while everyone was sitting at the table because I felt really bad. I slowly managed a full plate but it took hours. Given that I ran 4.5 miles I thought it was important that I eat even though I felt yucky.

It was a day so you get a cut tag. Continue reading

Can’t sleep

My arms hurt so I won’t type long. My arms hurt so much they are keeping me awake. The Impact class was hard.

I’m having gigantic feelings. I know I am hard to be nice to. I know I am hard to accommodate. I need more specific accommodation than average. I’m picky and sensitive and I have a lot of hot buttons. I know it isn’t reasonable. I know I don’t get to ask people to change in order to be nicer to me.

I feel like I’m heading into a phase where I should just stay home. I’m not capable of communicating my boundaries in useful, effective ways so I should shut the fuck up and just stay away from people. I’m broken.

If you poke me I will respond with hostility, anger, and possibly hatred. I don’t know how to undo that.

Day 7

They say that if you have a spike in anxiety it can eliminate progress. That’s my experience. I was close to formed poop and now that’s just gone.

Breakfast: Two kinds of cereal eaten with some time delay between them. The peanut butter puffs I ate in the bath tub because I was hangry and freaking out. Then I sat at the table and had “proper” breakfast with the family. I ate the rice cereal with pecans, blueberries, banana, and almond milk again.

Lunch: I had 2 or 3 bites of a chicken breast before I realized it had to have garlic. I was incredibly disappointed because the display sign in the store said, “lemon, salt, pepper” and then I bit into and…. definitely garlic. I was really upset. It’s going to take all month before I can get the fucking irritants out of my diet.

I had pineapple and potato chips and a little bit of turkey breast for the rest of lunch.

Dinner: Noah made a great dinner. (Thank you very much.) Bison patties? Am I forgetting the animal already? I don’t think they were the turkey patties. I had a GF English muffin for my ‘bun’ and I had mustard and roasted tomato on my burger. It was dry as fuck and it took me a long time to chew it all but it was filling and it tasted alright. We had bok choy and roasted pineapple and grilled banana. Because my husband loves me.

Dessert: I had a few bites of almond milk ice cream. Not even a bowl-full because I really “should” be off all frozen foods (known irritant). I hate my life right now.

 

I only wrote down one BM yesterday and I can’t remember if that is accurate or not. Yesterday became a total blur. My day just didn’t go very well. At this point poop has reverted to complete lack of form. Soft cloudy mass in the toilet. At least it is staying more brown instead of being bright yellow?

Over-sensitive.

I’ve been told that I’m over-sensitive since I was a child. It is one of the most common ways that people hand wave off the idea that my feelings matter. It is part of the reason I don’t express boundaries all that well.

“I didn’t mean it that way. See these list of circumstances, those mean it is actually ok for me to say what I did. You are too sensitive.”

Yes. I am. That’s why I stop spending time around people. Because I am “too sensitive” and the person doesn’t care very much and I choose to stop getting poked. It isn’t real fun for me. I don’t brush it off. I don’t laugh it off. I stew. I feel it for a long time. I feel disrespected and I don’t get over that feeling easily.

I’m difficult. Other than choosing to believe that my feelings don’t matter that much I don’t see how I can be much else. Yes, I AM over-sensitive compared to other people. Things bother me that don’t bother other people. Maybe that is the result of me having a much shittier than average first 20 years of my life. It leaves a permanent mark. I can’t change my past. I can’t change what I was made. If asking you to be sensitive of my sore spots is too much to ask then I can’t stand near you.

I just can’t. I would rather walk away than ask someone to be respectful over and over and get ignored. I’m really tired of being ignored.

This is part of why I have no idea what my food issues actually are. I have never been important enough to study. No one has ever thought it was worth looking at me to figure out why I have crippling diarrhea most of the time. I have been thoroughly convinced along with everyone else that I’m just a whiner and nothing is wrong with me–shut up. So I’ve lived with the pain for a long time.

“Just eat more Fiber 1 cereal.” From a doctor. Because… I’m just a whiner.

People don’t make jokes about something unless they really think it. I’m all paranoid and shit but I watch peoples behavior. People who “make jokes” about me… their behavior towards me is generally not that warm.

Like if you flip me off during a conversation you are probably going to be snippy and short and pissy at every single thing I say to you no matter how many people pre-read it for me to ensure that I don’t sound like I’m looking for a fight. There are always layers of deniability. “You just took it wrong.”

No, I don’t think I did. I think you meant what you said. All I have to do is look at how you have behaved over the last six months and… it’s accurate. I need to believe people the first time they say something to me “as a joke” and not make them prove it over and over.

Not everyone likes me. People who makes jokes about me probably have some simmering stuff. I need to notice that and pull back. I don’t have a lot of ability to absorb insult right now. I don’t a lot of the time. It causes me large scale problems I don’t recover from very well. Is that all my fault? Irrelevant. I can’t cope. Doesn’t matter whose “fault”. I have to get through my days.

When I feel insulted and disrespected I spend the whole day turning it over and over and over in my mind looking for patterns to connect it with previous actions. Ah, this is supported by A and B and C and D and E and F… maybe I should create some space here.

I feel like If only I weren’t so sensitive everything would be fine. My mom told me that a lot. She said that the only reason things were so bad between us was because I was an over-sensitive whiner.

I’m projecting mom stuff onto a lot of my friends lately. I’m aware of it. It’s not going all that well. If a situation has too many shades of things I dealt with at home then I’m more sensitive than average before I walk in the door. And I’m always more sensitive than average, so having my sensitivity increase is… difficult for most people to evade. Noah has treated staring at me like a hobby for years and he will tell you it is hard to track what I’m sensitive about this week.

In the Impact class this weekend I had to work really hard on pulling my hits if I wanted to be able to knee the suit instructors in the head. Mostly my early strikes/punches sent people flying. Often one hit was enough to end the fight because I hit so hard. The instructors are pretty good at telling, “That would be a knock out hit” because they practice quite a bit. I rarely get multiple hits because I’m scared and furious and I hit really fucking hard the first time. I was told over and over and over throughout my entire childhood, “You never hit first. Hit last. Make sure that motherfucker isn’t getting up.” But the knee to the head is so satisfying that I tried very hard to pull my early hits so I could knee the guy in the head. I did by the end of the class and it was as satisfying and wonderful as I hoped. Yay for making people fly through the air!

I’m very pleased that if I hit someone without a suit that way they would have to go to a hospital.

When people make little “jokes” it feels like the timid little taps people do as they are trying to set up for a satisfying knee to the head. The smaller hits “aren’t that bad” so don’t “whine” about them. Until someone has really taken you down you don’t get to complain about what has happened to you. Geez.

But I don’t especially like getting a knee to the head. So when people start smacking my face I take that as a hint and I back the fuck off.

But then I’m that big meanie who walks away from everyone and I don’t have good “attachment skills” and I’m broken and I can’t keep relationships.

I’ve been kneed in the head a lot of fucking times and I don’t recognize those little “playful” taps as nothing anymore–they are part of a sequence designed to knock me out and I just can’t accept that anymore.

I didn’t do much of anything yesterday. I came home and felt like shit. I didn’t cry all day, which is pretty good for me–only a few hours, but I stared into space a lot. I stewed. I felt shitty and worthless and I was the opposite of productive.

I’m not sure how productive I’m going to be capable of being today, either. “It’s just a joke” only it isn’t. I can see patterns. It matches larger scale behavior and I need to pay attention to that. If I don’t pay attention to what is happening I can’t see the knee before it strikes my face. I don’t like being blindsided.

Am I over-sensitive? Yes. I’ve been hit a lot. I have a lot of sore spots. If that is a problem for you, too damn bad.

I have never found it useful to go through the full list of, “I am feeling paranoid because of A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, and O.” People get very upset when they find out you have been hoarding a list that long. As soon as you get past three things you can never bring any of it up again, because it is “old stuff”. But I’m not over it. I’ve watched the pattern. I can’t talk about it. So I walk away.

Like I do.

It isn’t like this happens with one person. This is what happens with pretty much everyone. I’m not supposed to express my 300 nit picky little issues. It’s annoying. No one wants to hear it. So I develop a long list of problems and can’t talk about those either. So I walk. I don’t know how to have boundaries.

My shrink told me that if you are spending 50% of your time/effort on a relationship trying to change aspects of the relationship or the person then it isn’t a relationship any more. If I have so many little boundaries I would need to enforce that it feels like I would need to change the person… not worth my time.

How do you express boundaries?

It was a question asked this weekend. My response: badly. With strangers I can over deliver on my boundary explanations and scare people. With people I love I rarely manage to clearly express my boundaries. I hint and if they don’t get the hint I walk away from the relationship. My experience is that trying harder to express boundaries ends with me feeling very frustrated and I waste a lot of time. I don’t have a lot of time going spare so I don’t choose to waste much time these days.

It doesn’t help that I’m not usually aware of what the boundary is exactly nor how it was crossed. I just don’t know. I know that I’m angry. I know that I feel let down. I know that I feel like someone promised something they aren’t going to deliver on. I know that there is something I need that I’m not getting and I don’t know how to ask for it. Trying harder to ask rarely goes anywhere good. So I walk away.

I told my shrink today that I’m getting old enough to think that I don’t need to burn every bridge I cross. Maybe someone isn’t compatible with where I am today but I will be cool with them again in a few years. Maybe I will change what I need. Maybe they will change what they have to offer. Don’t know in advance.

I am having really big feelings today. Food stuff has been rough today. I’m having huge feelings in general. My body hurts. A friend said something she meant as a joke and it triggered me quite badly. If Fremont isn’t somewhere you want to drive to, fine. But if you tell me that you don’t love me enough to drive to Fremont I am going to have an emotional explosion. Nothing good will come of it. I’m probably not going to feel ok for days. I am going to feel angry, betrayed, unloved, and like I want to burn your fucking house down. (Clearly I am not going to do anything violent…) I don’t think that’s funny. It’s not a joke to me. And I don’t have nice, calm, rational, fun reactions to being told that. I’m going to be a basket case for days and there isn’t really any walking it back.

I went to Whole Foods and tried to find something for lunch. I ended up walking through the store aimlessly crying because every single thing I looked at I couldn’t eat.

Day 7 is shit.

I need to stop typing. My hands and arms hurt so much. But I feel so lonely and angry and unimportant. I want to hurt myself so much. So I type. Maybe this is the last form of self harm I have left.

Christmas planning

Shanna has six slots.

Stocking: this sucker is full. It isn’t *packed* but there isn’t much room left. Maybe the top 2″.

Santa: Have. Roominate.

*Want: Don’t have. She has a list, she’ll get something.

Need: Educational games

*Wear: Still need jammies.

Read: Pile of books. Anatomy, space, Spanish language stuff, and how to draw faces.

Calli also gets six slots:

Stocking: Full. Maybe 1″ left at the top.

*Santa: pile o’ Lego’s. I have the boards and I have a small set, I suspect I will get another set.

I’ve spent nearly $500 so far on Christmas. I do have other stuff for other people included in the total–it isn’t all the kids. But we are getting up there on what I want our limit to be for the year. Hm. Shipping kills me every year. It takes such a large percentage of the gift budget. Too bad I love people who live so far away.

I like being done with Christmas shopping before Halloween. Then I get to avoid all the people who are out and angry because other people are out. I’d rather shop in peace.

I’m not ratting on what I’ve gotten Noah.

Want: Don’t have. She has a list, she’ll get something.

Need: Educational games. They are more fun than they sound.

*Wear:Still need jammies.

Read: Lots of snake books. She asked for them.

 

Impact’s first weekend.

I spent the weekend at a self defense class offered from Impact Bay Area.  If you are curious what they teach there will be a public demonstration next Sunday from 4-5:30 that you can come watch. Let me know you are interested and I’ll give you the address.

I have been to a public demo in the past. It was intense and a little scary to watch but it inspired me to want to take the class. I want to be able to do those skills! I’ve got to say, there isn’t much in life that is more viscerally satisfying than kneeing someone in the head and watching them fly four feet before they land on the ground.

After one of my “fight” sessions I managed to deescalate things verbally so I didn’t actually physically fight. The instructor could see I was disappointed so she asked if I wanted to go again for an actual fight. Then everyone burst into laughter. No one else was nearly as eager to physically fight. I felt quite blood thirsty.

It is a very tightly structured class which is both good and bad. The good is: they have a lot of material and they cover it very well. The bad: I have a hard time with people who want to have that much control over my bladder. *I* don’t have that much control over my bladder and I tend to feel pretty humiliated about that. Sorry. I haven’t been able to stick to the bathroom breaks other people assign ever in my life. I just can’t. Physically. That’s an ongoing issue for me in life. I will break the rules and go to the bathroom when I have to. But I’ll feel ashamed of myself and like I am bad the whole time and that dynamic sucks.

I get that they don’t want people wandering off to text for a while and waste time. That’s fine. I pee quickly. I just have to do it right when my body says.

The techniques they are teaching are challenging, but easy to start picking up. I’m going to need to practice a number of them. I’m pretty bad about punching when I shouldn’t. I have hurt my hands pretty badly in fights in the past so I understand why they have the guidance around not punching. Hands are delicate little objects–all those miraculously small bones are easy to break. I’m aware. I’ve worn multiple casts. (Not from fights. I’m klutzy–not that blood thirsty.)

I am unsurprisingly vicious when I’m taken from behind. One of the instructors commented, “Wow. I could hear the suit’s plastic thunk from across the room when you hit him. That doesn’t happen very often. You had to hit him very hard to make that sound.” Well… I was scared. What do you expect? Oh. You think I am here to *learn* to hit people. Naw. I’m here to learn more about *where* to hit them and *how* to hit them. I’m already very good with the whole “hit” part. Done lots of that. I’m totally comfortable with the idea of making someone else hurt very badly in defense of my body.

Based on the classroom discussions (lead by the teacher) I don’t think they get all that many students who are happy to hit people outside of martial arts. They don’t talk as if that is common.

I’m struggling with a few things the teacher has said. Not because she was wrong to say them–because I struggle with these things. There was a lot of conversation about how it is very legally necessary to verbally deescalate things. If you swear at someone and try to piss them off to provoke a fight you are on shaky legal ground to beat the shit out of them. It’s not exactly self defense if you egg a fight on.

The thing is: my attempts at verbal deescalation don’t work that well. A lot of my experience is that I do better to bring an absolute torrent of swearwords then guys will back off and leave me alone. My experience is that if I try to be firm but not engage I have more problems. I understand that legally I have no right to piss someone off and then hit them. I get it. It’s just something I am going to struggle with mightily. My experience is that the best tool in my arsenal for getting people to leave me alone is demonstrating (correctly) that I’m crazy and a random attacker has no god damn idea what I might do. I might just completely go ballistic and make your life a living hell. I’m like that sometimes. But only if provoked.

I try to believe that defending myself is a worthy cause. If it is a worthy cause it is worth absolutely all the energy I can throw at it.

I have deep respect and gratitude for the teachers at Impact. Even when they said or did things I didn’t especially like they were always very clear about why they said what they said. They had justifications and reasons and data. They did not *ever* rely on “because I said so” which I appreciate.

Saturday (day one) was a lot less hard than Sunday and I don’t think it is just because the techniques were more simple. The first day we worked on scenarios I don’t have a lot of personal experience losing. I’ve never been assaulted by a random person walking by and it’s a little baffling to me that people (in the most general sense possible) are terrified of those kinds of occurrences. My issues have always happened with people I know.

Sunday wasn’t necessarily about “people you know” but there was more direct fighting off sexual assault techniques. That was hard for me. I cried through part of the class because just watching the other students was very upsetting. I was grateful that I had a support network in class.

It was sorta funny. One of the lovely women whom I’ve never met before offered me a hug, I suspect because she saw me hugging the people I already knew before the class. I got to say, “Actually I’m not very comfortable letting people touch me until I’ve known them for many years.” One of the women whose hand I’d been holding said, “Yes I’ve known her for many years and today is the first time I’ve ever touched Krissy.” The nice stranger kind of blinked for a bit and said, “Well ok then.”

Yeah, I’ve got boundaries.

But it was the nice kind of running into a boundary. It was safe to express in a nice voice. I like it when that happens.

*I’m* not ok with people touching me until I have known them for a long time. It’s ok that I have that boundary now. No, I didn’t have it when I was much younger and that’s ok too. I’m allowed to have it now even though I haven’t always had it in exactly the same way. People are allowed to change.

I’m finding the class to be incredibly empowering. I highly recommend it for men and women. Not only do you learn more about how to effectively use your body as a weapon when necessary, you get to beat the shit out of suited instructors for days and that is just ridiculously fun. Uhm, maybe not everyone has as much fun with beating the crap out of people as I do. I’m practically giddy.

One technique, what to do when you are grabbed from behind and lifted to the floor, was hard for me to master because when it starts happening I go into a blind panic. Then my sweet helpful classmates were yelling “Bite!” at me because the next step is sayingBite!” Yeah well, when I’m scared and lots of people are screaming bite at me… guess what I do. Whoops. The suited instructors were universal in their response, “Never ever ever apologize for hurting someone who is trying to hurt you. Even in a demo. Never apologize to the bad guy. Never. If you hurt slightly more than you intended to, it is the instructors responsibility to know how to keep himself safe.”

I am pretty ridiculously grateful to those kind men who volunteer to let group after group after group of people beat on them. That is true service to your community. They help people feel more confident in their bodies. It is wonderful to watch.

Luckily my arms are already less sore than they were yesterday. I’m going to have to be conservative about how I use my arms this week. My elbows are very sore. I have rug burn on my knee. I think it is kind of funny that I ended up with rug burn and I didn’t even get laid. That seems… counter intuitive.

I’m looking forward to next weekend.

Day 5: now we’re cooking.

Breakfast: yet again with the puffed rice cereal. I can’t 100% get apples out of my diet till the box is gone so hurry up already. Almond milk, pecans, banana, and blueberries this time.

Lunch: big bowl of the vegetable/chicken soup.

Dinner: leftover stir fry and rice with blueberries for dessert.

I felt way less hungry today. I felt more like the food kept me full. That was nice. I walked 3 miles (very slowly–took me an hour) in the morning before the self-defense class. I probably drank 11 or 12 cups of water again.

Which leads me to…. The cut tag! This is, once again, your warning that the upcoming material is g-r-o-s-s. Reader beware.

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Day 4

Breakfast has been consistent so far with minor variation. Puffed rice cereal, almond milk, pecans, banana. I added pineapple juice and peppermint tea.

Snack of raspberries and potato chips.

1st lunch: big bowl of mostly veggie/chicken soup.

2nd lunch: raw carrots and cucumber, 1/2 a GF English muffin with peanut butter and jelly, banana, lots of raspberries, and turkey bacon.

Dinner: big bowl of peanut butter puff cereal with almond milk.

3 BMs. Copious. Getting more brown. Not getting more firm.

Yesterday was challenging physically. A 7 mile run–I took it slow (1 hour and 40 minutes) because I knew I had a six hour self defense class. I’m glad I didn’t run harder. I was tired at the end of the day. I had a lot of fun in the class. Apparently I hit quite hard. I had to consciously pull my punches so that I could have an opportunity to knee the instructor in the head. Ha.

Day three

Brekkie: more of the forking rice cereal with banana, sliced almonds, and almond milk. I had some peppermint tea. (Peppermint tea seems to be the only kind I “should” be drinking right now.)

Lunch #1: BIG bowl of soup I made yesterday. Mmm veggies.

Lunch #2: cucumbers and carrots raw (I know raw isn’t ideal–I had a lot of belly distention yesterday and I suspect the raw food. I am trying to have mostly cooked stuff but I’m still working on having enough variety sitting around), peanut butter on a gluten free English muffin, some diced up chicken, and another banana. (Bananas are starting to taste SO Sweet when normally I’m kind of meh on them.)

Snack: two gluten free waffles with a big handful of raspberries on top and some maple syrup. Mmmmmmm. Syrup. Maple is one of the few sweeteners I’m supposed to have, and I need to go easy on it.

Dinner: white rice and a huge vegetable stir fry. Cabbage, bok choy, carrots, green beans and broccoli with venison. (Less fatty meat than beef. Apparently fatty cuts of meat can irritate your intestine if you already have diarrhea problems.)

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Moody as hell.

The last three days have been quite a roller coaster. I have minutes or even hours where I feel great. I feel happy. I feel like I can overcome any difficulty because I have people who love me who help me and history has proven that all you need is a small group of dedicated people to change everything.

Then I’m raging and so angry that I feel like I want to break many bones. I want to make people bleed. I haven’t screamed even once, but the surges of emotion are so intense I feel like I am choking.

Then I’m sad and depressed and I feel like of course I’m not going to figure out anything with this stupid diet. I’m torturing myself and Noah for nothing because it won’t work. Nothing has ever worked. I’m a fucking failure and I should die.

Then all of a sudden I am pumped and anxious and I want people to PROVE THEY LOVE ME GOD DAMNIT. HERE ARE SOME HOOPS. PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEEEEEE.

And then the cycle starts all over again. It’s not really a cycle. It’s jumping around very unpredictably. The triggers are small and stupid and really not worth the degree of emotion I experience afterwards.

I’m not talking much. I am reading a lot and trying not to express my range of emotions where other people have to live with them while I’m living with them.

My feelings are real. They are happening. But everyone doesn’t have to be on the roller coaster with me.

Yesterday a brace of birds came and sat on my neighbors roof and looked at me through the window. I hadn’t filled the bird seed container in a few days. So I gave them more food. Then all of the trees within a block of my house exploded in song once they could see my head over the roof.

These small moments feel like magic.

I have the most patient husband. My kids are so kind to me. I’m sorry that my emotions are all over the place. I can’t control them. I’m doing everything I know to do. I’m doing my best.

I’m sorry.

Day 2

I am thrilled and delighted to say that day 2 was better than day 1 despite the internet warning me it would be much worse. Less body pain (though still hanging out in the 4-5 range) and I am super excited about less nausea. We went on a nice long walk for my ‘cross-training’ and I didn’t feel dizzy or sick. Woo!

Food:

Breakfast continues to be the puffed rice cereal. I am conscious of the fact that it “may” be sweetened with apple juice which means I’m not 100% off apples yet. But I need to eat the damn box of cereal. Almond milk and pecans and bananas to make it feel like more of a meal.

Snack: another banana and a few pieces of raw cucumber. I don’t know a way to cook cucumber and it is on my “safe” food list.

Lunch: GF English muffin (it’s kind of… weird…) and peanut butter

2nd lunch: soup! (I made it!) chicken, chicken stock (home made!), carrots, cabbage, brown rice, potatoes.

Dinner: more soup

Continue reading

Day 1

I am having feelings. Noah and I aren’t communicating very well about what I should or shouldn’t be eating so dinner wasn’t “clean” and right this second I am flipping out that I had a day that shitty so that it doesn’t “really” count as day one. I want to beat my head on concrete so fucking bad.

I didn’t feel good for most of yesterday.

For breakfast I ate: puffed rice cereal (which possibly has apple juice in it so it probably doesn’t count as “clean” anyway. I want to jump off a cliff) with almond milk, banana, and pecans.

I had lots of turkey bacon as snack.

Lunch: more turkey bacon, brown rice, raw carrot. I probably shouldn’t be eating raw vegetables at all during this, but I don’t have a lot of food options right now.

Dinner was pad see ewe. I very carefully ensured that the noodles were gluten free and the soy sauce was gluten free (soy is a tricky thing–I’m not supposed to have tofu but a little soy sauce is on the IBS approved list though it isn’t on normal elimination diet lists) he added corn starch, which is borderline but I approved it. This morning he told me he added egg. I’m not supposed to have egg. Which means that all the leftovers, which I was counting on, I shouldn’t eat.

I am not happy at all this second. My body hurts so much. I don’t know how I am going to do this.

I feel like shit and trying to do better is pointless because well meaning people are helpful. I want to die. It will not be possible to stop hurting until I am dead.

I think I am going to have to be responsible for 100% of my food. I can’t do this. I can’t try this hard and sit very still all day because I feel so sick and have Noah come home and helpfully make dinner that means all the feeling shitty was stupid and pointless anyway.

I feel stupid and I want to die. I want to hurt myself so much. I am so upset.

See, this is why I just live with permanent terrible diarrhea.

 

Towards the end of day 1

Holy moly this is likely to be rough. I feel so bad. I feel dizzy and I feel like I will puke. The internet tells me that days 2-7 are the worst. That sounds pretty heinous right this minute. I *know* that part of the problem is inadequate calories. I’ve dropped ten pounds in the last month. It’s that time of year. I *did* eat. I ate as much as I could force myself to eat of those foods. Not sure they were calorie dense enough. This is an ongoing problem I try to manage. Density of calories vs. bulk of food.

Luckily Noah and Pam made me dinner so I’m going to eat more food any second. I feel so grateful for Pam today. She came over and did all the dinner prep. Noah did the actual cooking.

I have a good life and I am grateful for the people I have in my life. I have such good friends.

I’m scared because this weekend is the Impact class with Sarah. I’m also deep into half marathon training. And I feel *shitty*. Power through, motherfucker.

I would say that dropping the elimination diet is smart only I felt like shit before I started. I have felt like shit for almost a week because I ate something that set me off. (Judging by the FODMAP list probably the cauliflower… but it doesn’t always make me sick! And never ever this sick before!)

Dinner is ready.

Food history

Every one has their own journey with food. It differs from culture to culture and between socio-economic groups. If I had to pick one word for my food journey it would be: disrupted. Or maybe inconsistent.

My parents didn’t divorce until I was three. I assume that the first three years of my life involved fairly normal eating. When I was a kid I would look at my mother’s recipe book and look at the menu plans she had in the back. Pot roast, lamb chops, roast chicken. I assume I ate just fine for the first few years. The main thing my mother and my sister had to say was that I was very picky about my eggs. I would ONLY eat them if they were scrambled and cooked hard–basically to the point of being burnt. Both of them would tell me stories about that throughout my childhood in that way that made it sound like they accommodated me endlessly.

Then the divorce happened. We stayed in the house for a while. My mom started working and my sister was supposed to be my caretaker. My sister was a teenager dealing with extreme trauma so she wasn’t a very good caregiver. I knew how to cook my own ramen before I was four.

Then we moved out of the house and into our car. I don’t know what I ate. My mom worked at Denny’s and I remember long hours sitting in the car during her shift. I had nowhere else to be. Eventually I was sent to Auntie’s house for the first time. While I was gone my mom got married.

With Auntie we ate either rice or potatoes and beef every night. That is what Uncle Bob wanted. There would generally be a side of canned vegetables: corn, green beans, or peas.

So the malnutrition didn’t start that early.

I think things got bad when we moved to Oklahoma. We were very poor. We moved there to get away from my mom’s abusive second husband. My mom worked at Jack in the Box and we lived in a double wide in the middle of the woods. We ate a lot of game. I’ve eaten squirrel, chipmunk, fox, venison and I don’t know what all else. Her boyfriend was a pretty good hunter. Other than that I’m not sure what we were eating.

Then we moved to Texas and lost the game meals and my mom got another job (I don’t know doing what) and we lived in a trailer park. My sister moved in with us. We ate junk food, period. My sister was pregnant and mean as a snake. (Drug withdrawals combined with the ick of pregnancy wouldn’t be fun.) I ate food from bags: chips, etc.

Things didn’t get really bad until Tommy was hit by the car. That’s when my mom stopped feeding me. Realizing that right now, I feel very sad for her. I’m not sure I would be a better mother under such conditions.

My mom came back to California while Tommy was in a coma. Things were tumultuous during the five months he was in a coma. I was bounced around all over the place. My mom wasn’t capable of seeing me or taking care of me. I stole a lot of food to eat. I lived with people I didn’t know and I got very rigid about my food preferences. I would eat ramen or nothing in many of the houses I lived in. Food became very traumatic because I was dropped on these random mothers and they had different food culture. I wasn’t familiar with anything they served and I was punished if I didn’t dig in with gusto. I learned to be very difficult about food in order to ensure that I ate food that felt familiar to me. My pickiness was actually very self-destructive, but I didn’t understand that.

I didn’t eat green things, except for pickles and I ate pickles like a banana–I left the skin. I told my mom “green means mold–I’m not eating that”.

I also found weevils in the Nissin ramen packets guaranteeing that I have never been able to eat this brand again. You’ve never experienced horror until ramen is the only food in the house and every package is full of bugs. I ate them. I had to or starve. I cried while I did it.

I was seven when Tommy’s accident happened. I turned eight while he was in the coma. When I was eight or nine we moved to Whittier, in a house my father paid for so my mom could be close to Tommy during his recovery. We were there eighteen months.

Whittier was bad. When I think about the height of my hunger, that’s the period of time I’m thinking about. I was with my mom full time and my sister lived with us. My nephew was born while Tommy was in the coma. After he woke up from the coma he moved in with us and things got worse.

My mom and my sister and Tommy ate food. I ate ramen. They ate out a lot. I remember my mom coming home from work with Orange Julius cups. To this day I experience irrational hatred and anger when I even see the brand name. To be fair they were happy with “food” like liver and onions. No I didn’t fucking eat it with them. There wasn’t much food in the house. They didn’t cook very much. Grocery shopping was a nightmare–we had to go a long way and we had to walk or take the bus. I remember pushing an empty stroller to the store so we didn’t have to carry our things home.

I remember my mom crying as she counted out my packets of ramen. She got things like Lunchables. She told me they were too expensive for me. She wasn’t willing to eat ramen–she thought it was disgusting. Lunchables were palatable to her and about the cheapest food she would eat.

Fruits and vegetables didn’t exist.

We moved to Apple Valley after that. I stole a lot of food in Apple Valley. We moved there to be close to a group home facility Tommy could live in–the only one in the state that would allow adolescents. There are surprisingly few facilities for treating long-term brain injury issues.

My mom worked in City of Industry. Her commute was 90 miles each way. I was alone. I ate ramen.

We moved back to the bay area after that when things became untenable in Apple Valley. My dad was harassing my mom and I was getting beat up in school so much that even my mom couldn’t ignore it any more. We came back to Auntie.

I had diarrhea through most of my childhood. I missed so much school because my belly hurt. My mom read some stupid astrology book that told her that Virgos are prone to stomach complaints and she decided that my whining about my belly had to be that. She didn’t take me to see a doctor. She didn’t talk to me about my food or health. We did not have conversations about nutrition in my family of origin. I’m not sure my mom knew anything. She thought Pepsi and Snickers was a dandy breakfast.

My mom ate other foods. I ate ramen. When I was a kid I rebelled by not having a sweet tooth. I didn’t want to be like my mom.

I got to middle school and for some reason my mom didn’t apply for free lunch at school. I had eaten nachos every day for lunch through most of my childhood. Almost every school across the nation offers shitty nachos as a free lunch option. Mmmmm shitty free nachos. That was my primary school lunch. So in middle school I mixed it up. Every day I took one baggie to school and in it I placed a piece of string cheese, two pickle spears, and beef jerky. That was lunch for a few years. The scary part is that is a more balanced lunch than I had ever eaten previously. (Ok, I’m sure I had individual meals that were more healthy, but not often.)

High school I switched to instant noodles at school. It was a $1/day. Nachos were $2.50/day. I had $20/week for food. Oh, in Bakersfield I spent one semester at a school that had pastrami sandwiches for $2/day. Those were so good.

I started buying baguettes and blocks of cheese. That would be my food for the day.

For some reason, I feel like my mom rarely had food stamps. I think she just didn’t do the paper work. My sister had food stamps on and off throughout my childhood. I ate government cheese at her house. She was the asshole who insisted on fucking Nissin ramen “for variety”.

I don’t like peanut butter nor hot dogs because fucking everyone was always trying to get me to eat one or the other. No fucking thank you.

So I got to adulthood having eaten very little vegetables and even less fruit. My boyfriend at seventeen is the one who forced me to start eating vegetables. It wasn’t acceptable to him that I eat ramen at every meal. He made me eat broccoli. Really, he was a good guy to me.

We moved in together and I started trying to cook because I wanted him to like me and stay with me. If you want a guy to stay with you, you have to be good at cooking–right?

Eventually I decided I didn’t want to stay with him because he was too uhm conservative for me. So I left. I had broadened my food palate enormously. I ate Thai food for the first time. I tried Indian. I ate dim sum for the first time. (My previous entire Chinese experience was Mr. Chau’s fried rice, chow mein, and sweet and sour pork.) I ate Ethiopian food. I started eating vegetables of all kinds.

Then I moved in with my Owner. (He wasn’t my Owner to start with and really there was over a year of moving around and couch surfing and staying with friends in between the fiance and the Owner.) When I was couch surfing I ate out several times a week (it felt like magic–I had the settlement money so all of a sudden I felt like I wasn’t poor any more! I had over $200/month I could spend on food! *swoon*) and I still ate a lot of bread and cheese.

Now I think it is hilarious that $200/month felt like being rich. I spend more than $1200 every month on food now. That was how much money I lived on every month for years.

I got to know more vegetarians and vegans and pescetarians. I learned to feel enormous guilt and shame over my lack of “healthy” diet. When I spend time in a raw vegans house I walk out feeling like a monster who doesn’t care about animals. I tried really hard to add vegetables in my diet. The result was even more diarrhea.

Having kids has been the real kicker though. I eat vegetables now. Daily. We eat 3-5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. My kids often eat more than that by choice. We go through so much fruit it is kind of bizarre to me.

I live with a lot of pain. It doesn’t make being nice easier.

I have done food diaries at various points. I was a champ at Weight Watchers. I have done them for the purpose of bringing them to doctors. What I was told was, “Wow you have a healthy diet! Maybe a little less sausage.” (That happened to be a slightly sausage heavy week… but the sausage isn’t why I have chronic diarrhea you asshole.) A different doctor said, “You need to eat more Fiber 1 cereal.”

So a casual food diary with notation of symptoms isn’t going to be real effective at this stage. I’ve done that. Repeatedly with no resulting help. I can’t narrow down what is causing the problems that way.

My mom spent my childhood mocking me because I knew where every public toilet in town was. I had chronic diarrhea. Why in the hell do you need to make fun of me for needing to shit fire every day? Ok, and I have a small and urgent bladder. I am lead to believe that is exceedingly common amongst people who experience early childhood sexual assault. I suppose that’s another great reason to make fun of me.

Yesterday I went to the store and spent a bunch of money on foods that fall under the auspice of “clean foods”. I feel like such an asshole. Then a friend pointed me to FODMAPS and I feel that is a slightly better focus for my upcoming journey. Let me tell you, elimination diets look like a big fat pain in my ass. The recommended lists of foods contradict one another. I suspect I should stay on the end of the IBS recommendations, regardless of the fact that I don’t have a diagnosis.

I can’t get a doctor to give me a diagnosis. Decades of diarrhea. I hate doctors. I don’t know how to work with them. I don’t know how to get help. And apparently this is a big failure on my part.

I’m not entirely sure what my next steps will be. I know that I go to Hawaii in 24 days. I know that Halloween and its candy bacchanalia is coming up. Thanksgiving is coming. Christmas. I would like to have a better idea what is hurting me. If I wait until a convenient time then I will never do it. I have gotten to 33 years old without ever doing an elimination diet because it is never convenient.

Several people have told me to switch to Soylent. The thing is… at some point I will have to eat again. And if I just switch to Soylent without trying to figure out the problem… it will still be there waiting for me. Even if Soylent did cure my diarrhea… what do I do when I need to eat food? Just suffer the whole time because I don’t know how to treat my body right?

I need more information before I can make different choices. If I could have the option of deciding that diarrhea is worth it for a specific event… that would be different than dreading every meal with friends who are vegetarian or vegan because I will be sick for a week afterwards. We had a vegan meal last Thursday? Wednesday? I’m still shitting fire. Did so this morning.

I’m not saying my diarrhea is anyone else’s fault. I picked the menu for the meal. I don’t know what is hurting me so I don’t know what to avoid.

I get so much conflicting information about “health”. I am at the point where I believe that any and all population wide beliefs about health are not that applicable to me. I need to figure out what health is *for me*. That is going to take data mining. Good thing I’m a control freak.

A thought.

I’m pretty sure that my rage around food issues is just my abandonment issues writ large. This is my continued fury and sorrow and rage that my mother didn’t take care of me. It is a lot easier to blame people who are in my life now than it is to look at the fact that I am still mourning that I did not have anyone to care for me when I was a child.

I’ve had chronic diarrhea all my life. Why didn’t my mom ever say anything to me? Did she just not know? I don’t know.

But this anger isn’t about the people in my life right now. I really hope it doesn’t sound like I’m actually saying that people who know me now are to blame for my issues.