If I could turn back time

Yesterday, as we walked to the farmers market, we talked to a bunch of neighbors. Like we do. One of our neighbors expressed that she wishes she had a time machine so she could go back in time and do everything right the way we have.

*cough* *choke* *sputter*

Do everything right? Bwahahahahahaha

But I can see why it might look that way if you know us as we walk by. Fair enough.

I get the general impression that her two kids have different fathers. I think what she means is “I didn’t manage to figure out a happy family.”

Only she seems pretty happy with her kids. It isn’t a mom/dad/kids dynamic… but they don’t have a bad life. They are stable and secure. She is raising the children in the home she was raised in so her expenses haven’t been too bad in life. She’s had an easier time than most of the single moms I know.

So what does it mean?

It means that she can’t get someone to think about her and prioritize her in the ways she wants. That makes sense. I auditioned a lot of people before I found someone who would treat me how I wanted to be treated. I dated a lot of people for 3-6 weeks. They weren’t willing to jump through hoops for me (reasonable decision) so I moved on. No big deal.

But other people don’t feel like they have the right to date scores of people and break up with them on the path to finding someone they want to stick with. I’m not sure why. We seem to have this myth that everything must work out with the first or second or third person you date. Yeah… I wasn’t going to be able to make that work.

I shudder to think of the kind of marriage I would have had with any one else I dated. I’m still married and doing well at marriage because this is a task Noah has put his whole heart and soul into.

I don’t have the standard complaints about marriage.

Do you know that my husband has computer programs that externalize most of our household management so he can track it and I don’t have to think about it? I don’t decide how often we need to sweep or mop. He checks the pantry and the fridge against a list of staple food items and he makes the shopping list. Sure, I do most of the grocery shopping but that’s because I like the grocery store. If something isn’t on the list I buy it if I want it and I don’t if I don’t think about it. If we don’t have something we need for a meal… he runs to the store to get it. I already went. It wasn’t on the list.

Noah’s so nice I don’t deserve him.

I suspect that part of the reason he tries this hard is when he was trying a lot less hard and bouncing between me and other obligations… I walked.

That scarred him.

I’m a selfish bitch. Or, more accurately, I am not good at meeting my needs. I have gotten my needs met through most of my life by asking person after person after person after person after person. If you don’t want me to do that… you need to do something about my HUGE and omnipresent needs.

Which is a fuck ton of work. Noah picks doing it because he doesn’t want me to go anywhere.

Noah picked a high maintenance pet. Not everyone wants that. I present to you the trail of broken hearts I left behind me. They all loved me. But mostly… not enough to do back breaking amounts of work.

I get it. That seems sane.

But I need a lot. Noah wants to give it to me instead of having me ask strangers for the rest of my life. I would feel like that was just. What I need is so unfair for an individual. But here we are.

We talk frequently about how this is our one chance in this lifetime for a happy family. We were not lucky enough to grow up in happy families. We can’t make our families of origin less toxic. Our only shot at creating a reality we want to live in is right now.

Every day when we wake up we get to decide: how are we going to approach the day. How are we going to approach each other.

I want Noah to be nice to me. So I’m nice to Noah. No, I’m not just kind enough to do it for its own sake. I need the trade. It’s work to be nice. It’s work to center someone and care about them and to learn what they need.

It’s really hard learning what people need. It’s work.

It’s hard setting boundaries. Often when you are crystal clear and you say “I can’t do this any more” someone will say “Well I don’t accept that. I don’t want that boundary so I will refuse to recognize it.”

You don’t understand how this works. The door will be closed the next time you knock on it.

Because we can’t go back in time and “do things right”. You have to move forward with what is. I’m a big fan of looking at the past to learn lessons from it. But I learn the lessons so I can make different choices in the future. Not so I can pretend I didn’t do what I did.

I did that. I’ll accept the consequences.

An attempt at appreciation

You don’t exist for me. You are not a thing. You are a person. A fully complex person with wants and desires and needs and boundaries.

Even within the context of acknowledging that you are a person I want to say that you are beautiful. Beauty is a subjective thing. We each define it differently. When I say you are beautiful what I mean is when I look at you I feel yearning.

I wish to smell your skin.

I wish I was permitted to smell your hair. But you are a person and not a flower so I keep my distance.

You are wonderful.

When I say wonderful I mean that I wonder about you. I think about you. I wonder what makes you smile and what makes you frown. Both are equally important because your joy and your repulsion are equally important.

You are important. You are important because you offer viewpoints that no one else can offer. Your opinion matters because it is utterly unique. Even if you agree with your sister or your tia or your mei mei you are different. You are you.

You are beautiful. You are beautiful for your imperfections as much as for your glow. You bemoan your acne and I say that your pores are alive with a need to reach for the air.

You burst with being alive. How can I see that as anything other than glorious. The essence of you wants to meet the world. Sometimes it crusts over because life is really fucking inconvenient.

You are still magnificent.

You may believe that having uneven eyes or uneven lips or a hitch in your gait means you are less than.

I weep at your glory.

You may say, “But I’m faaaaat“. Smile when you use that word. The smile should drip with invitation and allure. Yes. You are fat. Gloriously fat. Delightfully fat. Worshipfully fat.

Oh how I fall before your munificent body. You are a gift to the world. Thank you.

I see the curves of your breasts and I want to pillow my head on them. I want to gently touch them and give them all of the gentleness the world usually shuns.

I want to caress and kiss you and tell you I love you.

Not because you do anything for me. You don’t. You are a stranger. Because you exist and you make me want to be a better person. You make me wish I could deserve the glory of your attention, if even for a moment.

Sometimes when I look at you I wonder if your skin holds as much promise of warmth as it looks like. I won’t find out, because that would cross a boundary. But I wonder.

I am glad you are in this world. I get to wonder about you. You get to have a whole life. That seems like a good balance.

Moving the needle preparation

I had an interesting conversation with my therapist yesterday. We talked about the kids and my work.

We discussed where Youngest Child is on their gender path and what that is going to mean. We went to UCSF yesterday partially to start the paper trail that my child’s gender expression has been non-standard from very early childhood. No one can ever go back and rewrite this story and say that my kid hasn’t been asking for this. It’s not coming from me. I’d be fine with having two cis children. But that’s not what I got and I’m just as happy having what I have. I just need to help them figure out how to walk this path.

Speaking of which, UCSF was great. Everyone was friendly, helpful, and accepting. The only push back/denials we got were the staff members expressing the current limits of the law and medical science. That seems like a perfectly reasonable place to say “no”. “Medical science can’t give you a body that is half and half. You have to sorta let it go one way or another. Then you can alter within a set of parameters… but you have to kinda have more estrogen or more testosterone. Some way.” They were clear that legally you can’t be nonbinary. I kinda smiled and internalized that we need to go talk to a progressive lawyer because they can’t help and that’s ok.

We talked about Eldest Child. It’s kind of hilarious right now: my therapist and all of the aunties are in full agreement with me that it’s time for this kid to walk off the ledge. It’s time to be responsible for your own education or it’s time to go to school. It’s… weird/neat/wonderful that I’m getting such universal agreement that how I perceive this situation is how other people perceive our current circumstance. It’s time for this shift. JUMP OUT OF THE NEST, LITTLE BIRD. Not in the sense that you have to move out or anything… birds don’t move out the day they leave the nest either. It’s a process. This girl needs to start just… taking responsibility instead of waiting for it to be handed to her.

Or it’s time for school.

The official line is she is on probation. Either she starts taking initiation by July…. as in habitually just doing it through the end of May, all of June, all of July… in August I’m signing her up for school. It’s time.

Especially since you want me to have a baby… I’m done babying you.

I love you. I believe you can do this. You don’t need my direction all day every day.

hahahahahaha let’s see.

Then we get to the part that is more about me. That is more about moving the needle in life. I care about a lot of shit and there’s a lot of fucked up shit in the world I wish I could have influence on. I wish I could impact homelessness, poverty, racism, sexism…

The simple reality is that moving the needle on one of those topics is a full lifetime of work and most people who pour themselves into them don’t move the needle. It’s fruitless and frustrating. If I continue to bounce around freaking out about tons of things at once… I will waste all the energy of my life.

Many people have described me as having the energy of a star being born. I don’t want to waste that.

Incest. I want to move the needle on incest.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to top caring about all the things I care about, but I need to seriously be focusing my research, reading…. and more of my money on this topic if I’m going to do what I want to do.

When I die I want to be remembered for the work I did on helping people understand incest. That’s my hill to die on. That’s my cause. That’s my thing.

That means not caring about a lot of other things very much.

I told my therapist that I don’t know how I’m going to be a one issue pony because I’m not really a one issue pony. She laughed.

She told me that my worry about needing to learn more about different cultures before I can talk to them about incest is good… but not as necessary as I think. She specializes in incest. She’s seen a looooooooooooooooot of patients with incest backgrounds. She’s white. She has lived in countries where there were almost no white people doing this job. She might know a bit more than me about what it means to work with culturally diverse incest participants.

I’m trying to figure out how to talk about these things. Perpetrator/victim language is very complicated in incest where a lot of the contact isn’t all that exploitive. When there is a huge age difference incest is often predatory and negative, but similar age family members explore sex together all the time and it isn’t the same thing as an adult hurting a child. It just isn’t. Acknowledging one set of experiences often feels like it is erasing the different points of view. I think they all matter.

I don’t think I will ever understand incest if I think of it as all bad.

There are even pieces of what happened to me that aren’t ALLLLLL bad. It’s complicated.

My shrink told me that working on my facial expressions so that I can absorb things more placidly without reacting would help. She told me that when it comes to working with people who don’t look like me… if I treat people like valuable individual human beings…. I’ll be ok. I’ll have problems sometimes… but no work exists without problems.

I’m highly spooked by the experience I had last summer. I keep telling myself if that person has the identical traumatic experience with every white person they talk to no matter how the white person in question behaves… maybe I can’t do anything to be safe enough for all people. There are going to be people who are so traumatized by people who look like me that I can never be a real person in their perception. That doesn’t mean I should decide I can’t talk to anyone in their demographic.

All people deserve to be given a shot at telling their story/presenting who they are. If I have a pattern of making people express that I’m silencing them then I need to change. If it is one person and the other people I talk to tell me that what I’m doing is positive for them… maybe I need to accept that I can’t reach everyone and keep going forward.

I think I am overall pretty good at helping people feel heard and like their story matters. I ask questions. I listen. I don’t assume that people are like me.

I’m going to fuck up. I really will. I will hate myself for every error I make. But I can’t make progress without making mistakes.

Noah points out that at this moment in my life my emotional barriers are still kind of thin. I’m not ready to take on a bunch of new traumatic stories. Not yet. But I want to work on that. That is the next step to master.

I kind of wonder if having my own room will help a bit. My shrink points out that I often create my boundaries with literal walls. I deal with the world when I can handle it and otherwise I stay home. If I have a literal room where I can take all of my big scary feelings and process them… maybe there will be less leakage. I wasn’t ready for such a specific container in the past. I’m not sure if I’m ready now but it seems like a good time to start working on this exercise.

I’m going to make a grief alter in my room. I spend so much of my life faking happiness I don’t feel that I need a concrete, physical representation of the grief I feel all the time. I want to honor the reality of my experience on this planet.

I am absolutely overfull of grief.

Maybe creating a better space for my grief will allow me to be a more healthy conduit for the grief of others.

Sobonfu, this world is a much worse place without you. Thank you so much for being willing to share your knowledge with unworthy, ignorant people such as myself. I am glad you are no longer in pain though. I hope you are resting in love.

Phew. Time to rest my arms. I love the new set up. My neck already feels less pissed off. My shoulder is still tweaking though. My forearms are barely tingling instead of burning. Smart time to stop.

New set up. Again. Oh god will it ever stop.

For the second time in my life folks have decided it is wise if I have a place of my own to go to. The first time there were 12 of us living in a 5 bedroom house. I was 12-13. No one wanted to share a room with me so I got my own. Let me tell you, everyone made a big deal out of the fact how that was the one room in the house where I ought to be.

This time Noah and the kids are not real happy about the fact that I’m climbing into my closet to hide under the clothes to cry because there isn’t any where else in the house where it is appropriate for me to do so. I’m probably always going to cry. I don’t know how to make that stop. I’m a whiny, immature, ridiculous baby and I need to cry. I’m sorry.

So we moved stuff. Again. I’m so sick of moving shit in my house. And the dining room/kitchen have plastic sheeting up for walls so that dehumidifiers can remove water from the walls after a hose burst.

I WANT TO STOP LIVING IN A HOUSE THAT IS SHIFTING AND UNDER GOD DAMN CONSTRUCTION.

So we put the bunk beds in the sleeping room. We also moved the kid dresser and book shelf into there. One of the smaller dressers we had previously had in there stayed for Noah’s clothes. The other two dressers went into what was the kid bedroom/long time ago former office.

I get an office/clothes storage room. I’m going to get a damn door and I’m going to put a lock on it.

I’m going to have my bondage picture up on the wall and keep kids out.

Noah has taken over the garage (that was kinda my office for a long time but with him working at home… I got squeezed out). The kids still have a play room and beds they can be alone in. We do permit children to say they need alone time in the play room.

I have in the van, to get rid of, 5 bags of toys from the play room. The play room is really not a little bit empty. But maybe they can put stuff away now. Except for stuff that is too big (baseball bat, weapons, giant chess set) their toys now fit in the pull out drawers against the wall. The playroom feels really nice. It feels useable and not over stuffed. I have no idea how long this will last. I cringe to consider it.

But all the doll house stuff and all the play kitchen stuff fit in bins. Cleaning up that room can be done lickity split. I pray it lasts a week. Sob.

In the move to a new room I asked Noah if I could steal one of his GIANT monitors. He let me. Now I have a screen that is genuinely in a place that is good for my neck and a keyboard at the right height. This feels miraculous. It’s still not an ideal keyboard, but it’s better than I’ve ever done before. Progress.

I want to get back to working on books and that is going to take some space in my life and some infrastructure. I’m almost there. I’m going to finish painting the kitchen this week. (Beloved submissive, I am going to be boooooooooooring and leave it a palm tree instead of a banana tree because I’m at the point of hysterics thinking about 15-20 hours of painting. I’m going to finish the damn cabinets that are white and stop. I’m so tired.)

Dad comes to visit next week for Eldest Child’s birthday. We are all looking forward to seeing him and I don’t want to do this work when he’s here. Noah’s birthday is the weekend after that and I promised Noah he could get rid of my paint for his birthday present.

Hey, don’t judge my marriage.

I still haven’t heard from any of the dudes who are fixing our water damage yet today. I really don’t want to track them down.

I hate owning a house.

Good people

Right now I feel like I’m in an amusing position. I spend a lot of time bitching about how I’m not ok with needing a teacher in order to be a thing.

I started working with a personal trainer. He’s really positive, encouraging, and gentle. I feel lucky to gain access to someone who can stare at me and say, “Ok you are tightening this muscle group and not this other muscle group. Try again.” I need that.

Noah and I have a great dance instructor. He’s super perky and chatty and encouraging. I like him a lot.

Relentless forward progress, indeed.

Fess up

Who is reading me from the high school I used to teach at? I can see your IP has been here multiple times. Who are you? Come on. If you won’t admit it in a comment, send me an email. somethingdifferent at that gmail place.

Who is here from that school. Come on. You have to tell me. East Side represent and all that. (It is the East Side Union School District…)

 

I’m not even pressuring whoever is in San Rafael who is here ALL THE TIME.

Obsession, attention, space

How much time can you think about a person? I think about Noah all the time. I think about what he wants. I think about what he likes. I do things to accommodate his preferences all day and all night. Noah is the center of my world.

But I’m not the sex crazed maniac with him any more and that’s hurting him. I seem to be mostly drawn to having that reaction to people early on and it fades. I’m not spending a lot of time lusting after my lovers. I’m not spending much time thinking about sex. I’m working. I’m tired. I hurt.

I feel like I have allowed myself to get into a place where I have agreed to a workload where I am literally too tired to be a sexy person. I’m not blaming Noah for this any more than I’m blaming Noah for me evicting myself from having space. I’m stupid about how I manage things.

It was easier to obsess about Noah and be excited when I saw him when he wasn’t in the house 24/7. It was easier to think about him and plan for him. He’s been home for about a year now. It’s hard. I don’t have any space from him any more. I am with him all the time which means that I just can’t sustain a lot of energy to give him. I’m so tired. This is hurting him a lot and I don’t know how to change it.

I’m really struggling with the comics and the video games. I have grudgingly adapted to reading a few comics over the years so that I can have something to talk about with the people in my house. I am inundated with the action of people playing video games or talking about video games approximately 900% more than I want to be. I feel irritated. It would be like if Noah moved into a house with people obsessed with sports who never shut the fuck up about it. He wouldn’t like that at all.

I don’t like video games and I never get away from them. I haven’t in over a decade. Even though I don’t like them and being around them (and the constant conversation) is irritating as shit. Fine, yes, there are a few video games I have played. I don’t even kill zombies anymore because my hands hurt, the iPad is broken, and I’m so sick of video game conversation I’m not interested in fixing the iPad so I can play it again.

At this point in time I am pushing back hard to get space for people in my life who don’t live in this house. People who will talk to me about other things.

I feel like an asshole because I don’t want to shame Noah or the kids for liking video games any more than I want to shame people for liking golf. It’s just not my thing. But I hear it every day. I’ve heard it every day for years and years and years and years and years.

It’s alienating. It’s not fair of me to be so pissy about it. No one is trying to be bothersome to me. They try hard to be tactful and not have that be their ENTIRE conversation. But my kids wish that approximately 70% of their time was spent discussing comics and video games. I’m not saying it is even mostly Noah at this point.

It is that I spend all my life feeling like I’m supposed to be excited and affectionate while people talk about stuff that make me want to rip my hair out.

I spend so much time feeling like I am defending my right to not be interested with a machete. I don’t have to be interested in everything you are interested in. No one in this house is ever going to care about most of the things I care about. I don’t make y’all listen to hours of conversation about things you don’t care about every day.

But I should work. And smile. And be encouraging when people talk excitedly about what they are interested. And I should shut up about the things I’m interested in because it is a distraction from the focus of the house.

Noah wants me to focus more on him. I feel like it means I either need to get it up for sex I’m not physically up for or I have to get into video games.

It’s not fair. Noah has been awesome about dancing lately. Noah has read one or two books from my childhood so he can understand some of my thinking better. What am I bitching about?

I feel stepped on all the time. I feel like an entitled bitch.

I feel like I am supposed to get better at dissociating so I don’t even hear the conversation about video games. I’m supposed to spend that time somehow getting my body interested in sex for later.

ugh

I understand that video games have value. I get that some of them have neat stories. I get that there are interesting game mechanics and art and music and…

I don’t care.

I could point out how much work goes into professional sports, too. I don’t care.

I’m not saying that what I’m interested in is better. I’m saying it is what I’m interested in.

I feel like there are limits to the value of enmeshment in my marriage. I like Noah more when I’m not forced to be part of everything I don’t like. But then I’m abandoning him and not caring about him and not paying attention to him and that’s wrong. I’m supposed to be there. Adoring. Smiling. Telling him how clever and wonderful he is.

He is clever. He is wonderful. I do smile at him. But I’m tired and cranky and I’m ready to break things when I hear about video games.

I don’t know what to do to create space for Noah and the kids where their interests are fine but I don’t have to hear about it.

Because guess what? I don’t want to hear about the video games. But telling them they can’t ever talk about what they like is an asshole thing to do. I’ve never done it and I don’t think I will. Clearly Noah avoids the topic sometimes when I’m super turbo cranky to start with. He will wave off the kids sometimes “This isn’t a good time.” Then I feel like a really bad person because I don’t let them have fun.

Our life, as it stands, isn’t sustainable in the way Noah wants it to be. I’m too tired. So much of my life requires pouring out energy in the form of work or self control. I am not a nice person. But I don’t call people names much anymore. I don’t hit people. I don’t tell people all the mean as shit things I think and see. I have made progress on controlling what an asshole I am. But I’m still an asshole.

Since I was a little kid I carved out space for myself by wandering from my “home” and finding sex. Doing so last year is going to have aftershocks that last for years. I hurt Noah so much. And I’m not really making it up to him. I’m still working and exhausted and cranky as fuck.

And I feel really scared about the fact that he’s this upset about not being centered… and he wants me to have another baby. Guess what I don’t do for years when I have a new baby. I don’t center Noah. The baby comes first. Noah starts being more important around 18 months of age. He gets really sad and withdrawn.

I don’t blame Noah for being sad and withdrawn. He’s allowed. He’s permitted all the feelings that exist. He wanted to grow up and be the center of an intense love story forever. And I’m bad at keeping focus on him the way he keeps focus on me.

I’ll point out that his body isn’t on the roller coaster ride from hell. He isn’t managing the same variables. But I’m supposed to be the same kind of consistent as I morph into a host animal. I can’t.

I feel like my marriage is a long series of me failing my husband because I just don’t have enough to give.

I’m supposed to care about Noah, and our kids, and our house in that order. Other people and interests are supposed to come later.

As I live in a world that tells me that people who live like that are completely worthless. Ok, I have great value for Noah if I do that. Complicated.

It’s frustrating that I do have interest in sex with Noah, but never at the times that work out. Not when it is convenient for him. It’s at times when it is impossible and then when it is possible I’m exhausted. It sucks. I haven’t run out of desire. I have run out of timing.

The funny thing is: a family bedroom isn’t really going to cut into it that much. When I want sex it is rarely sleeping time anyway.

And we have a bed in the garage. Where the sound is noticeably dampened so I feel less creepy. With a lock on the door.

I want more sex. I want more bdsm. I don’t know how to arrange it.

I have felt like an asshole for over a decade now because I struggle to be in the same place as Noah with bdsm. It isn’t that he’s wrong. It is that either I have to talk him through doing what I want or I have to accept something I don’t necessarily want that much. I don’t know why I have had a hard time being in the same place as him but I do. I have since the beginning. Even when things are at their absolute best this is still a struggle.

We do more generic sex really well together. That’s easy to get in the same head space. Noah hurting me is complicated. It’s always too much or too little. I’m always frustrated. It’s not fair of me.

I get through my life by programming sets of rules for different roles I fulfill. And right now… I have no space in my life where I’m not in a role. It’s exhausting.

I am a bad adoring wife. I have been bad for a while now.

I’m grateful Noah is encouraging me to come exercise with him more. We have always bonded well while moving together. He initially caught my interest because he was willing to be a consistent gym buddy when other people wouldn’t.

I’m not saying I would like Noah more if he gave up video games and only cared about what I care about. I’m really not. I don’t think that would be positive or healthy. Noah needs space for his brain to unwind and video games are his thing. I don’t want to take that away.

But how can there be space between us so that we can have separate interests without choking one another on it? Can there still be enmeshment if I don’t have to hear about video games every day? I hope so.

I’ve been thinking about Noah’s various suggestions for how to carve space for me in the house. I’m cranky as fuck about doing the work… I really don’t want to… but I think it probably would be smart. I need space where I can do my thing without having to stomp away into more common area where I feel like I’m not allowed to set boundaries about conversation. I don’t want to tell the people in my house they can’t talk about their shared obsessive interests. That’s shitty. The kids and Noah get a lot out of bonding together over stuff. I don’t want to fuck that up. It’s a really important thing for the three of them.

I would encourage my kids to play team sports if they had inclination. Doesn’t mean I would enjoy hearing about it.

I’m absolutely convinced that Noah underestimates how much time and energy I spend thinking about him and trying to be a good partner. This is kind of the crux of my life. I can pour energy out and still suck. I’m sorry. I know I am pathetic. I wish I were better at showing you how much I like you.

Lately Noah has been sitting outside with me more. I really like it. I have worked so hard on making a pretty yard. I like enjoying it. I like all the colors and variety of flowers and plants. I like that the kids feel like they live in a jungle.

Noah has been going to dance classes with me and I’m having a lot of fun. It’s really nice. But I come home and pass out. (Or I stay up fussing and angsting and I don’t want to wreck his sleep) So I don’t think Noah feels as appreciated for it as he would like. It isn’t turning into lots of sex for him and that’s hard.

I don’t feel like a lot of the early sex we had was “bonding” per se. It was sex I like to have. A lot of the sex I have really isn’t about bonding. At this point we are so bonded you’d need a crowbar to separate us and that makes sense different, hard.

There isn’t really room for longing for it. There isn’t room in my life to want connection. I have so much connection it is choking me.

I am talking to more of my people who are far away. I’m on the phone a lot lately. Folks in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Scotland, New York, I’m going to Alaska…

I think this trip to Alaska might be the last trip of my cat’s life. She needs so much medication and attention. I would have to pay someone with a lot of cat experience and my super awesome babysitter is leaving the state. I’d trust her to medicate my cat. Her family has fostered for years and she takes responsible to a whole new level. I need to chill the fuck out for Puff.

She’s worth it. 19 years of companionship and love.

If I talk to people on the phone then Noah doesn’t fear that I’m more interested in them than him. None of these are friends I bang much (or at all) and that’s a conscious choice right now. It seems… wise.

I am still talking to my lovers occasionally. They are important people in my story. But they are less dominant in my life at the moment. I have so many subtle variations of seasons. I love these people a lot. Looks like Deity landed the cool job in Ohio. I’m really happy for him. I hope he manages to find the two wives he’d like to have.

I’m here. Being Noah’s wife. I like being Noah’s wife. I like Noah. Not because he sometimes doesn’t talk about video games. Because he is kind, thoughtful, generous, loving, attentive, wicked smart, he has the perfect cock, and I genuinely believe that he is going to stick around and be my family forever if I let him.

I think our enmeshment would be well served by some separation. Not tons. But some. Some space for me.

I need to feel like I’m chasing people to some degree. My beloved Noah isn’t a creature I must chase. Instead he pursues me a la Pepe le Pew. How can I chase him if he is always in pursuit?

Today I’m not out of hope. It’s day two of my cycle. That’s often a good day.

Oh good grief

Guess what? My house is a construction zone. I am… how do they say… less than pleased. Only I’m consumed with gratitude that I can pay to fix this. A hose broke under the sink in the kitchen. It damaged the walls. To fix this we need: a plumber, a restoration specialist (to dry out and repair the walls), an asbestos (I spelled that wrong earlier… ha!) investigator, then a general contractor to put everything back. This will take at least a week. The kitchen and dining room are behind plastic sheeting. Cooking is… not going to be much fun.

So that’s festive.

I went to a different chiropractor today because my massage therapist told me to and she’s bossy as fuck and I take orders from people who deliver great service. She doesn’t know my chiropractor and she didn’t know if she should trust his work. Her guy does do much more extensive testing than my guy, so ok. At the end of his evaluation (and querying me about alllllllllll my medical treatments) he told me that in his opinion I am already doing everything that can be done. He’s impressed by how I’m managing. He says I am unusually strong in a variety of ways. My hands may burn like a motherfucker ALL THE TIME but I can do stuff with them. I am a twatwaffle who is overly pleased by evaluations that determine that I’m strong. Stupid shit like he couldn’t pull my fingers apart and he expected to do so without much force. I have done manual labor for a lot of my life. It has an impact.

I’m bleeding. I did ovulate this month, but Noah was out of state. I’m grateful that my body seems to be getting back online… slowly.

I am way down in pot usage. For a while there I was at 200-250mg/day. Today I’ve used less than 50mg. I am doing all I can to make my body a more habitable space for a fetus.

I’m exercising more. Lots of bike rides, which is HUGE for me. I’m so scared of bikes. The fact that I’m getting out there and doing it is a big deal. I’m going to call and make an appointment at the recumbent bike shop in Alameda for a week or so from now. Riding a standard bike is hard on my back and arms. We need another bike in the family because right now Noah can’t come with us. He can use the bike I have now if I change over. Noah and I even went on an almost two mile run today. By “run” I mean I probably ran for a whole minute out of every five. I’m really out of shape, but I can fix that.

I am… having waves of apprehension about pregnancy. I have so many conflicting feelings. The dominant feeling at the top of the pile is I WANT A BABY so that makes all the other difficult feelings kind of hard. I want to talk about the conflict I feel and I don’t want to make it sound like that conflict means we shouldn’t do it. I’m scared. Being pregnant has not been a fun experience for me. My body suffers. Not Noah. Me. Labor has been literally a near death experience. I’m scared. I’m scared of losing control of my body to nursing again and I really couldn’t bear the extra work of formula feeding. If I had to get up in the middle of the night and make a bottle I would lose my shit. Nursing is easier. And harder. It’s complicated.

I sent off a check today I… probably maybe shouldn’t have sent because my bank balance isn’t that flush. But my friend is unable to get into a home on her own and I’m not going to let her be homeless. It’s a loan. It’ll come back. But… I am not in the best month ever for sending out a big loan. But my friend’s need won’t wait. You know what? I’ll live with the anxiety of not having the bank balance I want. My friend needs a home. She’s been my friend for a very long time. If I don’t step up then I’m a piece of shit. Folks like us need to help one another because there isn’t another soul available to just help her. Most folks who grow up as poor as we were never get access to people with this deep of a pocket. I have to help.

I take comfort from knowing that the money I have loaned out so far has come back in full, before the expected fulfillment date. Gifts are different. I pick good people to loan to. That’s a piece of shit thing to say. I pick people to loan money to who are having temporary cash flow problems but they will have the money. They just don’t this minute. Have faith in them.

I wasn’t viewed as a good risk for a long time. But I really am a good risk for money. My bank balance may not be where I want it to be because I like having a $60k buffer and I’m nowhere near that. But I have a hair shy of $770,000 invested. I’m doing fine.

Noah likes to tease me because I adamantly insist that the money he earns is his and I don’t have money. He points out that depending on how old we get, we may spend more years living off the money I have invested than living off his salary. So whose money is it? His. His. His.

Nyah

Noah has been so forking nice lately. He’s clearly frustrated. He’s clearly having a hard time. But he digs deep and he finds patience for me and the kids. I am continually impressed with how Noah takes all of my horrible stereotypical judgments about men and sets them on their ear. That’s wonderful and slightly irritating.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how Noah deserves better than me. But I’m not sure I’m capable of living up to what he deserves. I feel like if I’m not about as good as I’m going to get the peak isn’t that far away. I’m afraid I don’t have many more times in my life I can just say, “Well work harder and be better.” I’ve done it to myself a lot in my life. That is how I have gotten here. It doesn’t matter if I’m in pain or exhausted. Work harder; be better.

That’s how a lot of parenting has worked. It doesn’t matter if I feel like I can’t. Do it anyway. Work harder; be better. I have managed to push myself through a fantastic amount of improvement this way. I’m afraid I’m reaching the end of the utility of this tool.

I’ve been borrowing spoons from a future I didn’t believe I would have. Paying the piper for this hurts.

I should be sleeping but my arms hurt. My hips hurt. My neck hurts. My back hurts. My shoulders hurt. Instead I watch Rihanna videos and think about one of the most beautiful women alive. She’s talented. I don’t know why I like watching her as much as I do.

Why do Americans like black culture and hate black people. Do I hate black people? I sure hope not. I haven’t acted like I do. I don’t think that me not hating black people is enough. We have an entire world steeped in antiblackness. What have I done to eradicate that? Well, I have sure as shit talked to my children about it. I have educated classrooms full of kids about it. That’s not enough.

Rihanna has a song–Unfaithful–about cheating. It’s interesting to me. “I don’t want to be a murderer.” Is sex really all that? I’ve definitely left relationships because of sex. But am I a murderer if I cheat on someone? Complicated. Noah has given up more of himself for our relationship than I have. Our lawyer commented that our relationship doesn’t have a similar level of public disclosure. I blog. He doesn’t. That’s ok. I get something from blogging that he doesn’t. He doesn’t feel affirmed from screaming into the void the way that I do. Noah doesn’t get the same thing from defining himself that  get. That’s ok.

We live in a world that says that men are strong and women are weak. But what is strength?

I regularly have the experience of having men be surprised by what I am physically capable of doing. Stop underestimating me.

Do you know who doesn’t underestimate me? Noah. Noah is the person in my life who has consistently believed I am capable of the most. Does that mean Noah is weak? Naw. If I have a jar to open I hand it to him.

Goodness. The song “Hate That I Love You”. Goodness.

“That’s how much I love you
That’s how much I need you
And I can’t stand you
Must everything you do make me wanna smile
Can I not like you for awhile? (No)” Rihanna – Hate That I Love You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sometimes I feel like it would be nice to not like Noah for a while. But then I’m away from him for a few seconds and I want him to tell me a stupid joke. The closer I am the more I want distance the further I am the more I want closeness. I feel like we need to create some sort of distance so I am longing for him. I do long for him. I miss him sometimes even when I’m out for the day at appointments. Five hours are entirely too many to be away from him and yet sometimes five minutes are too many to be together. No. That’s not true. Sometimes I want him in the room and quiet.

I don’t know that I ever really want him not in the room.

Maybe when I’m feeling embarrassed about what I’m doing. Like nitrous. I’m weird. It’s not like he cares. But he doesn’t indulge in my vices the way I do. Sometimes I feel really ashamed. I don’t like smoking in front of him. He isn’t gross like me. He doesn’t do things to alter his body in order to stand being alive.

I feel so bad that I want chemical assistance to be ok being alive. I should just be grateful he is here making it better. But I hurt so much.

Nitrous fucking helps.

I don’t do it all the time. I can’t afford it. But man. There are nights.

Random aside: how does Rihanna manage to look like she has small breasts and curvaceous mountains IN THE SAME DAMN VIDEO. (different song)

optical illusions are so cool.

Anyway.

What is the difference between appreciation and appropriation? I don’t know.

But send out more money. Stay home. Don’t take more for yourself. Maybe, hopefully that can be enough.

The funny thing is, I expect money to be the most forward facing part of me in the future. I will send a lot of money out into the world and I’ll stay home. I’ll hide in Wonderland. I’ll pretend the world is comfortable and predictable. I’ll pretend that “sustainable workload” isn’t hysterical. I’ll figure out which plants I won’t kill. It’ll work out.

Or nothing will work out. And in 100 years I will have been dead for a long time and I won’t matter. Who knows.

I want to matter. I want to matter. I want to matter.

I want to matter even though I was conceived in violence and resistance. My mother resisted making me. She didn’t want me. I shouldn’t be here.

I want to matter anyway.

Maybe rapists are motivated by hearing the siren call of the children who desperately need to be born. Puke. Retch. Vomit. fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that. Maybe even the most unwanted piece of shit in the whole universe can still grow a beautiful plant and that isn’t about anything else.

Sometimes shit produces the most beautiful flowers.

What is shit but refuse? That which is rejected. The body cannot absorb some pieces so it sends those back out into the world.

Am I that which my mother and father could not digest so they sent me off into the world? Hiiiiiiii.

I don’t think so. I think my presence on this planet is a demonstration that violence sometimes overcomes.

Only he’s dead now.

Who am I?

Am I this flesh bag? Am I these words on a screen? Am I the emotions inside the meat bag? Am I a concept inside your head? Am I a real person or am I an idea? I’m not sure I know. But I will keep creating me, year after year.

Do you know what I am? I am not a victim. I have had bad shit happen to me, yes. But I am not a victim. I am instead a recipient of shittiness. A victim is a person duped. A person tricked. A person killed for sacrifice. A person injured or killed as a result of an accident or crime or event. I am not a victim. A victim is a person who is harmed, you say. But what is harm? hey the internet says harm is physical damage. Like the damage in my body? Shit.

I’m pretty sure there are people out there who believe I have caused them pain.

If you have caused pain does your pain matter?

If you have caused more pain than you have experienced does it matter? How do you measure? How does one evaluate?

I don’t know.

I know that I need to turn to Noah. That’s a thing. Even when I’m in pain, Noah is who I have chosen as the person I turn to. Even when he irritates me, Noah is who I need to process how god damn annoying Noah is. That’s not fair. What is fair? I don’t know. But I know that I’m grateful for Noah. I’m grateful every day.

It’s not the money.

It’s not even the cooking.

It’s not the sex.

It’s the listening. It’s the looking. I feel like Noah looks at me like no human being has ever cared to look at me. I exist in Noah’s eyes in a way I don’t otherwise.

If I am a piece of shit, then with Noah I create the most beautiful flowers. Our children astound me. Even as they irritate the shit out of me. They are real people who need to make their own mistakes. They cannot absorb mine.

This is all so complicated.

An experiment

This may be even weirder than a lot of what I write. Also: my keyboard is sticking obnoxiously.

How do I manage to feel like I belong here? I don’t know. I don’t belong anywhere. I have long felt like “mother” was the only club that I’m allowed to be in that I would actually join. I love the easy camaraderie that is mothers talking about their children. “Us” and “them”. Every other version of that has resulted in me hissing.

But I love being a mother.

will not discuss my local sports team vs your local sports team, but the endless variety that our beautiful progeny demonstrate? That I can discuss all day. Yours isn’t better. Mine isn’t better. They are all amazing.

Mothering is probably the only activity I engage in where I would be ok with competing if it didn’t mean that people who aren’t me were measured. Everything else I do: art, dance, writing… I know I’m not shit. I’m not great. I’m not wonderful. But I think I really deliver on the mothering skills pretty damn well. If someone could have a way of measuring attentiveness and I liked the prize, I might consent to be judged. But I don’t care to earn money for other displays of possible skill. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that kind of potential–but I know I shoved it away from me with great force.

Do you know that my house is set up the way it is because of child protective services and not because of what I want? I want to ensure I won’t have people knocking on my door accusing me of mistreating my children. So I go to ridiculous lengths to center my children to the degree that sometimes I feel like I cease to exist in my house.

Which is hilarious. Because my presence oozes from all the strangely painted surfaces.

I fear that Noah and I both fear to exist in this house.

Neither of us want this to be “my” house. We both backflip and somersault to say no! I am leaving it to you!

All families should have such strife.

No really, this is complicated. Who owns this house? Both of us. Only not me. Only Noah gets upset with me because he’s done everything he can to gift it to me.

I didn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. I didn’t pick it.

But I sure as hell did change it.

I think Noah could move out and I would still channel this as Noah’s house in perpetuity. It cannot belong to me because it has had his name on it.

I have heard people deny responsibility for ownership in similar ways, but usually people ascribe the ownership they refuse to gods.

I could name the person who lived here before us and for whom mail still rarely comes but that’s kinda silly. It isn’t my house. It will never be my house. This is practically a religious observation.

Sometimes I wonder about the purpose of procreation. Are they just… pawns? Are they individual creations with minds of their own? Does that mean I’m a God?

Yo, if every Mama thought of herself as a Goddess that might explain some of the conversations I’ve been having.

But I truly don’t feel like that has been happening.

Yet I wonder what would happen if there was space for me.

I fucking hate that in my head this ENTIRE THING has been read with a Jamaican accent. WHY ARE PEOPLE WITH AN ACCENT INHERENTLY MORE SAGE AND EXPERIENCED.WHY WHY WHY.

What would happen if there were space for me to grow up? Space for me to blossom? Space for me to be free?

I’ve had my own room for a lot of my life. Ok, that’s a lie. I haven’t. But I had my own room intermittently as a child. It was always punishment. Since I was small, being alone has always been something I have perceived as “You do not deserve unity. Go.”

I was born from rape. My very existence was experienced as a sundering. A break. A rift. A chasm in connection. I was born blue.

When Noah suggests that we should reorder the house to make space for me, to make a room for me, he is motivated by love and consideration and caring.

Break; rip; tear; shove.

I will crawl into that room and die.

All space made for me is space made for nothingness. Made for the heft between forces. Made for the absence of legitimate force.

When I freak out it isn’t about you being inconsiderately or inadequately just.

No creature can be other than what it was made to be.

I am not wanted.

I was created in violence. In erasure of self. In force of self upon other. I am the erasure of the other. I am the force the begats the violence then violence forces the situation. It’s all perfectly natural.

I am a rapist. I will never be anything but. I am the daughter and sister of rapists. We are what we are. We cannot change.

We are.

What is?

Is my sister a rapist? Am I? Are her children rapists? Are mine? Can they ever be anything else? Honestly this question is on the list of reasons I don’t talk to my sister’s children. I just… can’t know.

Other people seem to believe that “knowing someone” means they can’t be a violent rapist. I think that me knowing someone increases the odds they might be.

I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’m evil and I’m afraid I’m less evil than average.

What would happen if I opened my mind to the idea that I could have a lair in this house.

I don’t know. It might be interesting. It might be diabolical. It might be trite and boring as shit.

That’s me for you.

In an alternative universe a Fox newsroom might say that I’ve resigned.

It is of utmost importance to point out that I do not think Noah is responsible for me feeling like this isn’t my house. He’s done a lot of stuff to try and help that happen. He put my name on every thing he legally owns. He has done everything that can be done in any forum to make me half owner of everything he has.

It isn’t Noah’s fault.

This is about me.

This is about the fact that I don’t feel like I fit. This about half of Noah not feeling like my birthright.

I may be brilliant. I may be accomplished. But I ain’t shit. I ain’t never gonna be shit.

I don’t deserve half of Noah’s wealth. I can’t. No human being can deserve that. He sure as shit doesn’t deserve it, but he gets it.

I don’t know how to make sense of these things.

I have more than I need but I don’t have enough. What I want is my mother. I think I could have been ok being poor forever if she loved me but I’m not that lucky so I make due. I have other comforts. Some of them are more material than others.

I hate my mother. I love my mother. I hate my mother. I love my mother. I hate my mother. I love my mother.

Does my father even occur as a blip? I don’t know. Some fathers are everything. My father…

I am a product of creation. You are a product of creation. Does that mean that we are all part of the great story of creation? If so, who is the author? Who gets the byline? Is it God? Do I believe in God? Do you? Do I care?

Are you my God? Do you want to be?

Home

What does it mean to belong somewhere? How do you learn to feel comfortable? How does someone feel like they have the right to be somewhere?

How do I find home?

Over time I keep thinking “Maybe if I change things to suit me then it’ll feel like mine.” Then all of a sudden I feel like I covered in wiggling snakes of shame. This isn’t my home and it can’t be. I have never had and I will never have a real home.

What makes a real home?

Somewhere it is ok for me to spend a little while talking to my friends without being told that I don’t deserve the space for doing so. I didn’t ask for silence; I asked that people not crack distracting jokes. But that’s not ok to ask for.

All the space here is allocated. I don’t get any of it.

Sure! When we get to that point it’s fine to say that it’s my fault I haven’t properly allocated already. But where?

If we give up on having a separate *bedroom* for the kids we risk CPS backlash. I can’t do that. If we put all the toys in the bedroom the children seem to be physically incapable of picking up.

So here we are.

My space is… the back yard I guess.

I know I’m a whiny, petulant baby. I know that I “should” just be secure and stop being so difficult. It’s not Noah’s fault I’m so damaged. It isn’t ok for me to talk about how I don’t belong here and I feel like I should leave. I feel like I did a great job of setting up a house for Noah and his kids. Now I should go because I am the problem.

I talked to my cousin yesterday after I was already freaking out. Apparently she told her mother (my actual first cousin, since the gal I’m talking to is my first cousin once removed–it’s kind of fun knowing the specific label) that she’s talking to me. My actual first cousin responded with” Why would you talk to her? She isn’t nice to her mother.

The cousin I’m talking to defended me. She said, “You know what happened to her. No one has to be nice after that happens. She’s the only person in this family who wants to call regularly just to check on me. In years of being out here none of you have.”

Now my actual first cousin and the Auntie who raised me are calling her to check in. To reestablish the dominance of their ties.

I don’t deserve any love.

I am not nice enough to my mother. I should crawl into a hole and die for the shame of it.

I’m sleeping better with everyone in one room.  Not quite 8 hours, but between 6 and 7. It’s not amazing, but it’s better than the week before.

Shame. Sleep. Worth. Home.

I’m scared because the more I feel like I’m not supposed to be here the harder it is to engage with other peoples emotional needs. I’m too busy paying attention to the pain in my belly to focus on the human in front of me. I’m bad and I should go.

I will never ever stop being bad and I should go before I hurt these people more.

The dude in the head shop spent a while evangelizing to me yesterday. He wanted me to know that no matter what I am a liar and a thief and a sinner if I’ve ever done any lying or stealing at all–no matter how young I was.

See, I am a rapist. It can’t be changed. It happened. I am that disgusting piece of shit and there is no redemption.

BUT JESUS DIED FOR ME AND THAT MAKES IT ALL OK.

No. No it doesn’t. Can I please just buy what I came here for and leave to feel like a dirty piece of shit at home instead of having you lecture me about how bad I am?

Because guess what, A, (his name started with an A) you may KNOW that Jesus exists because you made stupid life choices and you survived them so clearly a higher power has a plan for you. Because you tried to drink yourself to death and you survived alcohol poisoning. You walked away from car crashes without a scratch. Clearly you are special.

I didn’t walk away from my father raping me without a scratch. I didn’t walk through my life path doing just ducky with the results of my stupid choices. I carry the pain every day. I’m not saved for some higher purpose.

I’m just still here. Because the good die young and I’m a piece of shit so I might live to be 100.

I know that Noah has gone to great effort to help me feel like I belong here. I know. It isn’t his fault that I don’t feel like this is my house. This is his house. This is the house he bought for hunting. This is his.

I’m just… the prey living in the cage.

I mean, yes and no.

He’s made sure I should be financially stable for the rest of my life with or without this house.

I’m so sad. It’s also day 33 of my cycle. That doesn’t help.

An interaction

Holy tomatoes on toast I hurt. So this’ll be brief.

I had an interesting interaction with a dude today. So I found a guy through my massage therapist who specializes in personal training to help people with injuries/problems. I figure that if I can’t get a doctor to prescribe honest to fucking god physical therapy for me so that I can heal some of my injuries… I can hunt on the outskirts of the system. I can find someone who doesn’t really mesh with the gate kept, abusive system.

Sure, I can try this out.

Thing is, he’s a white guy. You know how I am about getting my hackles up with white guys. Especially athletic white guys. I am hostile until I have a reason not to be.

But I desperately need someone who can do what this guy advertises. So I gotta put my personal shit in a box and shove it in a closet and see if I can handle dealing with him.

Sigh. Fuck being a grown up.

So I gotta say, he has an aura. He’s pretty clearly an orphan. The loss of all family came up several times in the conversation. He’s got that… edge of “I have to be cheerfully polite in order to earn money to survive because there’s not a person in the world who values me enough to support me but I’m so sad.”

I mean, he seemed genuinely sweet and caring. I’m not denigrating that at all. He seems incredibly sincere. He wants to help. And he wears grief like a mantle. He advertises his loss openly on his skin. He is reminded all day every day. Grief, even if you smile, leaves tracks on your face.

But he did something that crossed a boundary and it was interesting. I didn’t call it out. I didn’t assert the boundary so in one sense… he didn’t cross a boundary he nonverbally negotiated a boundary change and I didn’t rebuff it to indicate where my boundary actually was.

To be more clear: he asked me about my arm tattoo. I explained it and started tearing up, like I do sometimes. Suicide is sad, yo. And… he leaned in and gave me an incredibly respectful, incredibly gentle, incredibly touching hug. It was the hug of someone who works with bodies and knows how to make touch 100% NON SEXUAL, OKAY?!?!?!

He reminds me just a tad of Taylor. One of the few men I trust almost as much as Noah.

It was absolutely incredible to realize that in a moment of indecision of “should I panic and fight or should I accept this as connection?” in my head my brain wrapped around a man who has loved me as a friend for a long time.

I didn’t feel scared.

I felt uncertain. I felt like I needed to make a decision. I felt like I had a chance to… figure out how this is going to go. Is he allowed to touch me?

I desperately want this man to help me learn how to hold my body in ways that will hurt me less. I need to trust him. I need to trust that he is going to touch me in appropriate ways or this just isn’t going to work.

This, now that I think about it, is scary as shit.

I wasn’t scared in that moment. I just felt it as a moment of choice, “Am I going to surrender to this process or not?”

I used to lash out at dance teachers who wanted to correct my form. I wasn’t there to look perfect I was there to have a chance to talk to people for 2-4 minutes while I did something more healthy than be a slug staring at my god damn computer.

This is different. I know what my goals are here. I need this process.

I need to figure out how to be in less pain.

So maybe he didn’t cross a boundary. But maybe he and I will have a funny conversation about how I normally react to people in a few weeks and we will laugh. He will probably apologize and feel embarrassed. He strikes me as that sort.

It felt like Joey. The 7th Day Adventist boy who was best friends with my brother Tommy and with whom I later lived. (We were both boarders in a house owned by someone at the church–it wasn’t like we were romantic or anything. I was 13.)  He was the one who took me to church and taught me to sing about Jesus loving me no matter what.

I know I have a lot of issues with hating white men because some of them have been complete motherfucking pieces of shit.

But some of them genuinely don’t suck. #Notallmen and all that.

I really hope I’m not making a mistake. But here I am documenting it so that in the future I will have to remember: I made a choice.

I’m trying to surrender to a process.

Please, if any deity exists, let this not be an awful thing.

I’ve stacked the deck in my favor by receiving this personal training with my kids in the room and my husband in the house.

I know how the patriarchy works.

Fuck.

Do you understand how much of my childhood people denied? Something huge and dramatic would happen and folks flat denied it. I need to make sure I can never rewrite history.

I did what I did. Here, I wrote it down.

Education is really expensive.

There are two conferences I’m interested in for this summer. The CA home school association conference and a conference aimed at the families of gender non-conforming youth. They happen on consecutive weekends in August. Today I looked up the registration costs.

It would cost a hair shy of $1100 to register my family for both conferences. That’s not including food or housing costs (both of them are about an hour away, which is a barrier to my attendance if I have to commute each day). One of the conferences encourages using their on-site sleeping arrangements that go for $90/bed/night/person. So they would want almost $800 for my family sleeping there for two nights.

Do you know what we don’t need to do this summer? Go to conferences. We can stay home. We can study some books and try to talk to people in other ways.

I have to stop hemorrhaging money. You can’t have everything you want in life.

Ok. This is where I have to pretend I have self discipline. Sigh.

Pay the piper

My head has been swirling with thoughts about worthiness. How do you deserve life?

****************************************************

I was born in pain and fear.

I was born blue and struggling to live.

I was born.

Now what?

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That’s kinda like a poem. I’ve had it stuck in my head for days. Normally I don’t even come that close to poetry so it’s a little weird to me that I keep getting fragments in my head.

I’m not going to tell you about my big feelings though. Too much typing for ouchie arms. But I just reconciled Mint. We…. we need to be more conservative with money for the rest of the year. The bathroom remodel ended up being a good $80-$90k more than we wanted it to be, including lawyer’s fees. Which sucks! But I will crawl out of this debt.

Because life isn’t fair. Because I can. Because it will just take me a little time because I’m one of the few lucky people in my generation.

Why do most people think they “deserve” the good things they get and the bad things are accidents/unlucky/random? I run into this over and over and over as a mindset and I don’t get it. The fact that I am not dead is pure dumb luck. The fact that I have reached financial safety isn’t really through efforts of my own–it was luck. My failures are mine. My failures happen because I lack access to a resource or I fail to plan.

Why in the hell don’t other people think like this? It makes you feel a whole lot more responsible for helping other people stumble onto good luck. I think it helps keep me more humble.

I do not have good things because I deserve them or because I am better than people who don’t have them. I’m a piece of shit. I’m not better than anyone. But life is completely and totally unfair.

Life isn’t fair. There is no fair. There is no deserve. The wheel has turned and I’m currently up on top. I won’t be here forever.

I talk to my massage therapist a lot about her mother. Her mother has dementia. Her daughter gave up the last five years of her life to care for her mother before cracking and having so many health problems of her own that she had to put her mother into a nursing facility.

I will get old. I will lose what dignity I have managed to shore up. My body will fail. My mind may fail. What I have now… it is fleeting.

By golly I’m going to enjoy it while I have it.

Or am I? Do I enjoy anything? Or do I make myself so miserable I’m not capable of enjoying things. I’m kinda ridiculous.

My sleep cycle is shit this week. THIS IS WHEN I WANT THE GOD DAMN SLEEPING PILLS, YOU PIECE OF SHIT DOCTORS WHO REFUSE TO LET ME HAVE TWO SLEEPING PILLS IN A MONTH.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time feeling so angry I want to explode in a ball of fire. Why is it that if my husband said, “I have difficulty sleeping a few days a month. I want 2-3 sleeping pills” he would be given them without any push back.

But I can’t get them for love or money.

Maybe I should consider the black market.

I don’t want a lot. I want 2-3/month. It’s not excessive. It’s not unhealthy. But I’m mentally ill! So I have to be under 100% compliance or I get no help! Because when you are mentally ill you deserve to be punished by withholding care because you cannot possibly be a reliable witness to your own life experiences!

This article makes me so angry I want to break all the walls and windows in my house. I’m not going to because ow. But holy fuck. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system. I hate the medical system.

This being abuse is NOT IN MY HEAD.

I’m doing that thing again where I wake up earlier and earlier. It sucks. 5, 4, 3. Eventually I will kind of reset but it will hurt for a while. Especially because I do not deserve help sleeping, according to doctors.

I’m so angry.

I’m tired of knowing what I need and I’m not allowed to have it because someone in authority thinks I don’t deserve it.

I hate your fucking authority. I hate doctors.  I hate teachers. I hate police officers. I hate the entire concept of fucking society.

I know I don’t get to opt out of society. But I don’t think I can stop hating it either.

I just noticed that I paid for therapy in May… but I didn’t schedule any. Whoops.

I should try to go back to sleep.

All I need to do today is sit on the kids to make them do their chores and put two blueberry bushes in the ground. Oh, and hang out with my neighbor for a couple of hours. Super chill day.

I spent a while looking at Mint. We need to remember what it is like to live when you aren’t a super rich person or we are going to get ourselves in trouble. The rest of this whole year…. isn’t going to be super thrilling. That’s ok. I have a fantastic bathroom to sit in so that I can console myself.

I’m kinda glad the babysitter is moving away. She’s seriously breaking my budget. Childcare is so expensive. She won’t be replaced any year soon here.

Like, we shouldn’t eat out again this month other than ECs birthday. Not because we are in financial distress, because we have overspent our budget in every area and we need to stop. During the remodel I couldn’t stop the hemorrhage if I tried. Now I have to. I did manage to stop the flow of spending while we still have a reasonable buffer in cash. We aren’t in trouble. We have investments we could tap if we wanted to. We are not in trouble. But we are not going to hit the goals I’d like to hit unless we change.

That’s a ridiculously good feeling. I’m not in trouble. I just have priorities.

That’s about as lucky as a person can get.

Perspective

Do you know what I think is funny? When someone has been teaching for 20 years so they know EVERYTHING about teaching. It could not possibly be different than their experience. Oh, they’ve taught at 4 schools in two cities–one city is international so has nothing to do with the US system. So teaching at 3 schools in one city qualifies you as an expert on everything having to do with education.

Fascinating. Tell me more about your broad and diverse experiences. I would love to hear about them. Please tell me how the school system works. I. Am. So. Ignorant.

Keeping busy

Today we dropped Noah off at the airport. He is off to a work conference. The kids and I did a whole bunch of house chores. And I rode my bike almost seven miles round trip to grocery shop. That felt like such an accomplishment. Then I went on an almost two mile walk with another buddy. All in all I spend over two hours exercising today. I feel gloriously worn out. That was even after having sex this morning.

I did some weeding too.

I’m tired. I’ve read a lot of Battle Magic because I’m on a reread spree again. I like the comfort of visiting friends.

Magnificent worry

Ok, I shouldn’t be typing. My arms hurt. But I’m frantically repeating stuff in my head and I won’t be able to put it down until I do.

I’m worried about things with my cousin because of my tendency to jump into relationships with both feet and enmesh as much as is permitted. It’s complicated with my actual family as opposed to a friend I’m just meeting, but complicated doesn’t mean all good.

This specific family member is on the outs with the entire rest of my family because she’s got super fierce boundaries and she don’t take no shit off of nobody. If you have to stand in a room with my sister that will lead to fireworks. Most of my family is on my abusive, rapist sister’s side of everything for reasons I will never understand. So folks like me and the cousin who won’t genuflect and kiss the Godfather’s ring are… not popular.

I don’t play that kind of game with abusive bullies. Ask me about a friendship that went south last year. Or not.

She’s 7 years younger than me. I’ve known her for almost all of my life. We have only ever sporadically spent time together but we get along well when we do. I can’t recall us ever having a big flaming fight even though both of us have done so with every other member of the family. (This might be convenient memory… but I don’t think so.)

This has the potential to fill the hole that I have tried so desperately to fill for so many years with friends. The thing about friends is, they share what they have going spare and then they go back to their families. That’s not wrong. I’m not saying I’m angry at them.

I’m saying that for most of my life when it is time to go have family time that meant I was alone or finding some person to fuck me for a night because no one wanted more from me than that.

My life is so different now. I am cherished. I am appreciated. I am loved. I am cared for. My husband is a god damn miracle.

Oh hey, there’s something else I need to write down because it is eating me from the inside. I haven’t written the accolades that Noah deserves to receive. For the past year and some since I cheated, Noah buckled down. He didn’t reject me. He didn’t long-term punish me. He didn’t continue lashing out and making my life miserable even though I hurt him quite a bit.

Instead Noah spent some months pulling into himself a little more and then he turned to me like a flower seed getting water after a long drought. He has stepped up his game in basically every area. He is doing more household chores, more scheduling of day to day stuff. He has pretty much entirely taken over date planning (after I complained bitterly that I did it for years) and he’s so much better at it than me. He gives me menus of options for dates. He asks what I’m physically and emotionally up for.

Noah is so miraculous to me. The way Noah loves me isn’t really about filling my needs, though it does. He loves me this way to fill a hole in himself and I am just lucky enough to get to be the beneficiary. Noah decided that in this life he is going to be a good husband and a good father and he is going to do whatever the fuck he needs to do to be those things.

I feel in awe of him. I work hard. I change myself to be better at having relationships. Noah blows my god damn mind.

If you had asked me before we got married if I thought Noah would end up doing this much for me I would have laughed so hard I would have fallen out of a chair.

And now he treats me like I am the most precious thing he has ever been lucky enough to touch. Even though I’m frustrating and difficult and so expensive… he loves me.

I have said for a long time that I wondered if I would feel the frantic searching need for more sex partners if I had adult women family members. Phew. I guess we are going to find out.

My cousin has expressed several times that she would really like it if I contacted her basically daily. She doesn’t have anyone checking in on her except for her housemate who is a friend from middle school.

(Don’t knock those middle school friends. Those people are the fucking rocks that you build your world on.)

Talking to my cousin is interesting because on one hand I feel this soaring feeling in my chest. I feel so lucky and happy and loved and this is beautiful. She knows me. She knows my family. She knows our history. And she loves me. I also feel very small. Because my cousin has most of my problems and none of my support.

Where the fuck is her Noah?

Almost no one on this whole planet is lucky enough to find a partner who is as supportive as mine. And I don’t treat him as well as he deserves.

I really need to work on that. Just like he has worked so hard on treating me how I want to be treated.

Even if he is a white man, he’s worth it.

And the waves go high

I’m euphoric. I had a magnificent day. I helped a nice person feel better about difficult things that are happening in their life and I helped them figure out what steps they need to take to help their child. Then I got paid for doing that.

Holy shit being paid for helping people is AWESOME.

Do you know what I did the minute the money hit my paypal account? I rolled all of it right back out to one of the women I send money to every month. The comment I got in my inbox was “Oh my god. You don’t know what you just did. I have no food at all in my house and I was crying because I didn’t know how I was going to get through this week. Thank you. Now I will eat.”

Then I talked to my cousin for another hour.

I napped.

I took a super long, relaxing bath with Noah and I washed him and we watched a fun dancing movie together. (Shall We Dance–the Japanese version.)

Now I need to go jump my super hot, awesome, generous, sweet, giving husband before he picks the kids up from gymnastics.