Days 41-43

I’m having a hard time updating this every day as time goes on. I’m feeling guilty and bad. I’m cheating on the diet because it is cheat on the rules or scream and scream and scream and scream. I don’t have a limit-less amount of self control.

41- Breakfast: gf pancakes, blueberries, black tea, rice milk, sugar, maple syrup

Lunch: ramen

Dinner: rice, ground beef, carrots, Brussels sprout (singular–the leftover), sweet potato, maple syrup

2pm- hard brown poop

42- Brekkie: regular scones, Devon cream, vanilla curd (holy trinity of wheat, dairy, and eggs right there), peppermint tea, turkey bacon

Lunch: Krispy Kreme Donut and hot chocolate. Don’t judge.

Dinner: steak, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes

2:30am- completely solid, brown poop

5:30am- less solid, more like tooth paste, multiple pieces

At 3pm I got a call from Fremont PD asking me if I was a danger to society. Cue major anxiety spike. As we were driving to Kaiser. Awesome.

3:30pm- multiple pieces, brown, floaty

5pm- diarrhea

7pm- diarrhea (plenty for a stool sample for Kaiser)

43- Brekkie: hot rice cereal cooked into fritters with gf flour, maple syrup, and scrambled eggs

Lunch: rice, beef short ribs

Dinner: PF Chang’s g.f. menu. noodles, fried rice, chicken, beef, lettuce scallions, egg drop soup, broccoli, lemon, carrots, scallions, and there was shrimp I didn’t eat. GF soy sauce and pot sticker sauce. No dairy.

5:30am- poop, many pieces, soft, not diarrhea

2pm- brown, very solid.

 

And that’s caught up. Today is Thanksgiving. Have a good day.

Case manager

I am apprehensive about being assigned a case manager. My instinct is to treat it like a punishment and recoil with a hiss. I’m so rational. But I can instead choose to find gratitude. This is an Opportunity. And since I am frantically thinking about this process instead of winding down for sleep, I will record my thoughts. Maybe parts of this will be useful to recycle for emails with new person.

Dear So And So (because)

Hello! I am excited for this chance to work with you. I do hope you are a person who likes puzzles because I’m kind of a challenge. As I’m sure you know, mental and physical health are intrinsically linked. All of the work of treating my physical health is held up by the work of treating my mental health. Before I get into either my physical or my mental health issues (don’t worry–I’ll get there) I feel it is important to introduce myself a little.

I like to set people up for success. I am quirky and it is hard to guess what things I am particular about and thus I volunteer more information than perhaps people might want to hear. I’m usually good at hearing boundaries like “I’ve heard enough on this topic, thanks” but unfortunately as a medical provider that is sticky. If you don’t let me finish on a topic (yes, it is annoying that I’m long-winded) you may not get all the necessary details. Sometimes they are at the end of a long schpeal.

I take a lot of patience to deal with. I am mercurial and moody and because you will almost entirely be dealing with me in a hospital setting I will frequently appear very angry. Unless we have just had a specific negative interaction the anger isn’t about you. I have a long and storied history with medical treatment. My family has had a lot of medical issues and I have spent many years of my life unhappily in hospitals. I am also in a lot of pain and very frustrated. I’m not angry because of you. I am angry when I’m in hospitals. I chose home birth partially for this reason. It was easier to change the setting than my attitude.

I know that this anger makes it hard for doctors to talk to me. I try to manage my feelings. I try to monitor my tone of voice and my words but they get away from me. I am suppressing a lot. I promise. This complicates health care a great deal.

As a case manager it is useful for you to know that I have a major chip on my shoulder about “people in authority” not caring about me. I fell through every crack in the system when I was a child. I had a horrifying life and no one helped and I’m bitter. I’m sorry that this will mean that I don’t give you as much patience as you deserve at first. It is very hard for me to build trust. If you are interested in the Readers Digest version of my list of traumas I can send you the one page sheet I give to new therapists. Approximately one sentence describing the major traumas that happened every year from two through twenty-five.  I don’t need to get into it here.

Working with systems is very hard for me. I have not traditionally been very successful in them. I have complex, unusual needs and it is very hard for me to get the awkward help I need. I look so very functional and mental illness is funny and invisible and so hard to treat.

I am particular about being both highly rigid and accommodating. What I mean by that (I’ll take punctuality as one example but there are many) is I can be very rigid about what I hear. “I’ll call you tomorrow” that doesn’t result in a phone call feels like a deliberate slight. A stab in the back. A betrayal. (I am… somewhat prone to the dramatic. Better to warn you.) However if you know that you are someone who is often running late you can say to me, “Hey! We have an appointment at x’o’clock. I frequently run up to an hour late. That is the reality of the kind of job I have. Bring a book and prepare to enjoy your lovely down time in the waiting room.” I will nod and say: “Cool.” And it will be totally ok. Even though usually I get kind of nutty when people are more than about twenty minutes late. If you set my expectations appropriately I am easily managed.

Really that is the key to successfully working with me. Set my expectations appropriately and I will think you are better than cheese on toast. Which sounds really good now that a doctor told me to cut gluten and dairy for a minimum of three months. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. (Obviously I will be editing before I send to a real professional. I’m crazy but I’m not that crazy.)

Physical health (in no particular order):

  • digestion problems
  • joint pain that has been sporadic, perhaps linked to PMDD/period?
  • headaches
  • nutrition support–this is *not* something where a generic group class would be even vaguely appropriate. I need someone to work with me on my food issues and they are weird.

Mostly (As my blood work and other work ups will tell you) I’m healthy. But I’m in pain. Pain that is sometimes severe enough to make it hard for me to engage in my normal life. Why?

Then of course we get into the layered mental health. Also in no particular order:

  • I have PTSD
  • I have GAD
  • I have been diagnosed with depression at various points. It is not a label my current therapist feels is an over riding feature of my presentation so I’m including it partially for background notes.
  • I have been diagnosed as bipolar, but this is again disputed. Some doctors claim my issues are all chemical. Some doctors look at the calendar and notice Hey! Every freak out is timed right next to a major trauma anniversary! 
  • I deal with suicidal ideation. NOTE: I SAID IDEATION. I DID NOT SAY I AM CURRENTLY SUICIDAL AND FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTMAS DO NOT FREAK OUT. Sorry for the shouting. Man this is a hard one to deal with. It is hard being me. People who say, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” can spend a decade or so in my life before they speak. My problems aren’t temporary. My problems are big and ongoing.
  • That said! I am completely aware that I am living in the golden era of my life. I am more loved now than I have ever been or than I will be in the future. My kids will never like me this much again. Ha. Mental illness doesn’t care that my life is kind of awesome right now. It just tells me that I should be sad and scared and I should die because I am bad.
  • I have a therapist. She is an incest specialist. She is totally happy to talk to you about my treatment if you are interested in her contact information. I hunt high and low for therapists. I need people who are used to dealing with some of my specific brand of broken.
  • I am not particularly interested in trying psych medications at this time. I have tried in the past with great ill effects and little to no positive effect. I have a delicate balance in my life. I am not going to upset the cart to make Kaiser feel better about getting me on drugs. Thanks!
  • I have a medical marijuana card. I recognize that Kaiser doesn’t do that sort of thing. Whatever. That’s fine. Could you please at least be polite about the fact that I started using pot when I was 27 and using it for medical reasons? I mean, if I had started self-medicating at 16 you should still be polite to me but I tried all of the meds you want to offer me first (and all of the other doctors at Kaiser should be polite too… and they aren’t..). I’m going to yank out a big fat-ass was of privilege mother-fucker. (Yes I will edit.)
  • Even if there is “Some New Med” I’m kind of done. My body doesn’t like new hormones, thanks.

Leading me into: can I please, please, pretty please work with a nutritionist who cares about holistic health? Do such people work at Kaiser?

I understand that “gut health is the key to mental health” and I’m aware that seratonin is produced in the gut and it is common to get depressed when you have diarrhea (which I’ve had for most of my life) when your seratonin is flushed out of your body without being absorbed. Awesome, possum.

Ok. I’m starting to nod off.

I hate Kaiser.

So yesterday when I walked out of the GI department I was very angry. I was cursing and calling people (not the ones sitting behind the desk–my absent doctor) names. The GI department decided that the way to handle this was to call the police and report a threat. When I said, “I don’t need a card for the appointment I wrote down the date” apparently the woman heard, “I’m going to go stab my doctor.” That’s what she told the police I said.

I am incredibly upset about this. Holy. Fucking. Shit. On the upside, the police officer I had a long chat with told me that Kaiser does this.

Also, I got home to an email telling me that they are assigning me a case manager for “quality of care” reasons. I’m feeling scared. I don’t know if this case manager is going to exist to help me get medical treatment or help Kaiser keep me from being a problem.

In the past week Kaiser failed to call me for a phone appointment, failed to give me mandatory instructions for a major appointment (I mean SEVEN DAYS of prerequisites), and they called the cops on me. I am feeling so upset I have no words. I hate Kaiser. I hate Kaiser so so so so so so so so so much right now.

The doctor I saw tonight was not a friendly lady. It seemed as though she was very impatient with my shenanigans. Which bugs me. She told me to take wheat and dairy back out and don’t put them back in for another two months. Oh god. She said there is no point in restricting anything else. I feel… mixed.

They took a whole bunch of blood (six tubes!), I gave a urine sample, and they sent me home with stool collecting materials. Oh this should be fun. I’m actually thrilled this data will be there before the big GI testing that will be done on the 8th.

As I talked to the doctor today I complained about a previous plan of attack for a problem she said, “Well that is our system” and I said, “Yes but I am an individual human being and individuals rarely perfectly fit systems.” She shrugged. She is not my new GP. I’m happy about that. She’s just the person who was there today.

I’m still drinking pedialyte. They didn’t give a shit about my dehydration. My friends are freaking out. They actually look at me as time passes and they aren’t liking what they see.

The doctor told me that since I gained 30 lbs in the last year losing 20 lbs in the last two months is totally fine.

Oh really? I… Oh man. Really?

After all, a year ago they thought I was too fat. Now I’m really too fat. They don’t think rapid weight loss could be a bad thing.

I don’t care about 5 lbs up or down in a month. I really don’t. 10 lbs in a month is a lot. When I’m trying to eat as much food as I can hold and I’m *still* dropping weight like that? It seems concerning. That I gain weight when I stop exercising makes sense. That I lose weight precipitously when I’m not exercising seems more problematic. When I’m training for a marathon I lose weight and it makes sense. I don’t complain.

This isn’t that.

My urinalysis is already back. I’m very normal.

I just… can’t seem to stop feeling pain. I’m sure it is all my fault because I’m crazy. If I would just shut up everything would be fine.

 

Just another morning.

This morning in Ferguson no one gives a shit about my intestinal issues. So I sit here and wonder how important, really, are my problems? Well, they are important to me.

But the world is so big. And so much is going wrong that is much bigger than me. I sit here in my highly privileged life. I hide in my nice safe home. I hide in my now-safe life from the ills of the world. Not my dog I say.

I think I will get off my ass and take the kids to the park today. Park day is just under thirteen miles away. That’s not exactly in town but that’s throwing me a bone considering many of the parks are more than twenty five miles away. I’ll consider it a gift. I don’t need to prepare much for dinner tonight now; we’ll scrounge leftovers and make room in the fridge for Thanksgiving foods.

I am arranging interviews with potential baby-sitters. Maybe I’ll find someone who will follow through. If I do then Noah and I will enjoy more date time. We will also get a night to work without tag-teaming the kids. Instead of tag team parenting we’ll abandon them at the same time like normal parents.

If this works out (ha ha ha–how often do things work out?) I’ll have 16-20 hours of kid care a week over four days. I balk at paying for it, but I suspect it will be healthy for all concerned.

Right this minute Calli has the iPad, Shanna is on Noah’s computer (playing Minecraft) and I am typing. I find this… weird. Noah is, of course, on his other computer.

I don’t have the spoons right now. I need a way to create more spoons for me. I feel selfish and guilty for paying for child care when I don’t earn money but I need help. The downside of Noah earning buckets of money is he works a lot of hours. I don’t complain (much. anymore.) but it is hard sometimes. The kids are very extroverted. Being in school for those hours wouldn’t be fun for them. Being with a baby sitter who plays with them is rad. I’m trying to find a solution that works for all of us.

I’m getting pickier about baby sitters. No screen time with baby sitters. Do projects. Make shit. All those things I’m lukewarm about. I am best at teaching the underpinning layers of work associated with life and I’m good at some artistic endeavors but my range is limited. Baby sitters have different skills. Perfect.

Oh! Shanna got most of the way through making a pillow yesterday. She stitched together a whole bunch of scraps of fabric. We haven’t stuffed it yet because I think she should add another layer of seems a little closer together, but Shanna made a pillow. Completely of her own initiation and design. It’s pretty rad.

I like that my kids think, “I want to make ___” and then they do it. They don’t create elaborate fantasies about how they would do it if they did it… they do it. Bam.

I tell my kids not to expect everyone in the world to be as interested in them as I am, but if you ever feel like you need to have someone tell you that you are wonderful you know the way home.

I can pick you apart into little pieces and make you squirm when I talk about the shitty things you do. I can also tell you in exquisite detail why you make the world a better place and why I’m proud of you and why I love you so very much that it is worth living through any amount of pain just to get to look at you for another day.

You are going to piss me off because that’s how it goes. People annoy me. It isn’t personal. What is personal is that I would do anything for you and your sister. You are special.

I am listening to Shanna complain about the terrible winter. As it is a bright sunny day in California. Apparently there has been a lot of snow and ice in the game. I am going to find it funny living with so many gamers. It is going to be a serious act of will to stop reacting to all game references with hostility.

My earliest memories of video games were of my brothers hitting me when I asked for turns. They called me names and told me that I was too stupid to play. I’ve managed to learn to be ok with some games but not many. Most cause a visceral repulsion.

It is weird living with so many gamers in a gamer culture. The plain truth is I kind of hate gamers in that kind of anonymous “I hate group even though I can say I don’t hate a, or b, or c who are members of that group.” My uncle was a terrible racist. But he got along fine with the individual members of other races he knew. Funny man. I’m pretty sure I’ve moved my intolerance onto another group but kept the venom and idiocy.

Well this wandered. I do that.

Sometimes I sort of feel like that awful Meatloaf song. I would do anything for love, but I won’t be nice.

Good grief. I should get up. If only I knew where I left my willpower. But I have to get ready for the park. We should leave in two hours. Blergh and blick.

Today is a loss.

My doctors appointment didn’t happen and otherwise I’ve mostly been reading. When I stop reading I get cranky and pissy and my tone of voice sucks and I sound like a bitch. I feel guilty that when I apologize for my tone (which I’m doing every 2.4 minutes) Shanna says, “Mom you are only grumpy because your body doesn’t feel good. Soon you will get through the elimination diet and you will feel better. It’s ok.”

I don’t feel deserving of their patience or love. Never the less, Shanna has oceans of love and patience to give.

I feel confused and out of sorts and anxious. I feel like I don’t know what to do or when to do it.

For this week my plans are getting cancelled. I will choose to not get upset because I’m all out of fucks to give. We are supposed to show up to help decorate the Christmas tree at Christmas in the park Wednesday after my dentist appointment. I suspect that I will bail on the park tomorrow and I may bail on the Friday evening event (seeing Christmas in the park get all lit up). If I stay home for those two events then I have way more down time this week. I feel like I’ve been mostly having down time lately. Some day I will be less sick.

In the mean time, I’m prepared to say that I’m not allergic to milk nor wheat. I’ve eaten some of both over the past week. A fair bit. And chocolate. I had a lot of milk and chocolate yesterday. I’ve pooped normally for 4 out of the previous 5 days. I choose to believe that milk and wheat are cleared now. THANK GOD.

This is good and bad. I’ve been cutting wheat, dairy, fatty meats, corn, garlic/onion, sometimes nightshades (mostly not), eggs, and anything else gluten contaminated.

At this point I’ve tested everything but corn. I don’t suspect an allergy to corn. I’ve had normal poop after wheat, dairy, fatty meat, eggs, garlic/onion, and nightshades.

So where in the fuck does this leave me? I’m clearing up the diarrhea and I’m slowly adding things back in and…. I still don’t know if it is all in my head. It is really looking like I don’t have an allergy I have too much anxiety. Which is something I was terrified of finding out from the beginning. Because if all of my diarrhea is caused by anxiety and not food… that’s quite a circle to get into. Then the diarrhea is all my fault because I have anxiety. I’m sure someone more rational could find a way out of that cycle that doesn’t sound like, “Then I guess I should die” but I’m not that person.

I’m really god damn struggling with suicidal ideation. I’m struggling with how much I’m bouncing up and down emotionally. It is hard to hurt this much. It doesn’t help that I feel like a whiny baby. My life isn’t hard. It really isn’t. I don’t have the right to complain so much.

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Fucking whine. Whine. WHINE!

I can’t even go for a run because my MOTHERFUCKING ANKLE HURTS. (Really I shouldn’t run until my weight stabilizes. One of my friends [one of the few who frequently sees me naked] commented that my weight loss is becoming really apparent. Not with the additional exercise.)

I haven’t cut myself. I haven’t had alcohol. I did medicate more severely than I have in a while. Whoa. Right now it feels like self-care.

I don’t know why I’m pooping normally right now and I don’t usually. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I find this all very frustrating. I feel terrible. BUT I CAN POOP!

I couldn’t make this shit up.

I went to Kaiser. Her first question at registration: “Did you follow all the instructions?”

“What instructions?”

You can see where this will go. I didn’t have an appointment today. I will have one in two weeks. When I will be able to know in advance that I shouldn’t have Motrin for 7 days (totally broke that one) I will know that I shouldn’t eat fruits and vegetables or any other high fiber food for 3 days (broke the shit out of that rule) and I will give myself multiple enemas.

Kind of a lot of instructions to just not give me.

I sent my primary care physician an email telling him that I am very angry that I was given no instructions and I want a new primary care physician.

I don’t feel good. And now I just got a big fat middle finger from the idea of figuring out why I don’t feel good. This is my life. I am so angry. I feel yucky. I have had more solid poop, but I have a lot of abdominal discomfort. I have a lot of general pain right now. (No Motrin for SEVEN days? This is going to be really awful.)

Can’t I just cut myself and move on with my life? Why am I looking for “professional help” again? How is this helping? I am not a happy camper. I hate doctors. I hate doctors. I hate doctors. They don’t god damn help. And they perfect that sanctimonious “I know more than you” smile as they DON’T FUCKING HELP. I hate doctors so much. So so so so so so so so so so so so much. They don’t help. But they have a high sense of their own importance. Haven’t ever met a doctor without an ego problem.

I am so angry. So angry. Oh well.

Doesn’t matter.

Days 37-40 Progress!

I’m getting lazy about moving my tracking from my poop book to here.

37- Brekkie: gf pancakes, apples, apple/chicken sausage, maple syrup

Lunch: rice, lamb

Dinner: venison meatloaf (venison, carrot, Worchestershire sauce, mashed potatoes made with ghee, carrot, bell pepper, mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper), brussels sprouts

Dessert: peanut butter cookie, blueberry sorbet

10:30am- solid, formed, yellow poop

38- Brekkie: gf pancakes, apples, blueberry syrup, maple syrup, peppermint tea

Lunch: gf English muffin, mustard, turkey lunchmeat, soy cheese, grape juice

Pedialyte

Dinner: meatloaf, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, mashed, maple, sugar, sparkling apple juice

noonish- long, thin, mostly formed, felt very solid but looked like toothpaste

39- Brekkie: fried potato, ketchup, turkey lunch meat, peppermint tea

Lunch: steak, garlic mashed potatoes (with milk! Big test item!), salad, cheese, cucumber, honey-mustard dressing

Dinner: stuffed peppers (beef, rice, carrot)

Dessert: rice pudding

2:15pm- solid, brown

4:15- solid-ish, toothpaste-like, brown, but a little green

40- Brekkie: rice Chex, rice milk, pork bacon, chocolate croissant (big test item), hot cocolate (made with milk, big test item)

Lunch: Thai food! pad see ewe (with egg-so a test item), rice, yellow curry, a Thai samosa,

Dinner: spare ribs, rice

6:45am- solid poop, very brown, hard to wipe up

1:45pm- solid poop, brown, not super hard

3:45pm- small pieces, yellow, softish

Bouncing

My emotions are going up and down and up and down and up and…

I’ve been basing my elimination diet restrictions around things I find on the internet. Because that is at least more information than I have previously been able to get from doctors. This is very frustrating because every body has a unique set of needs and limitations.

I’ve been eating tons of bananas and eschewing apples because the internet told me to. Today the woo-doctor told me I’m allergic to bananas and not to apples. Cue image of me beating my head on the floor.

I stopped eating pecans because the internet said that was probably my problem and I kept the peanut butter because the internet said it couldn’t be causing my issues.

Woo-doctor says that pecans are fine and peanuts are a problem.

I just… Oh my god this is so visceral and primal and hard. Every food feels like poison.

Today he said I react to tomatoes even though he said I didn’t last time. I had violent diarrhea after eating the tomato recently. Like whoa. I have had a spectacular amount of diarrhea in my life. This made me go whoa.

Food is just so god damn hard.

At this point I have been “treated” for all of the food allergies he detected. As of this morning… I still have diarrhea. He hasn’t finished treating all of my environmental factors. That will take at least one more, maybe three more visits. I’m feeling sad that I’m this far into treatment and it still hurts.

I see the GI department at Kaiser next Monday. I am not anticipating meeting a doctor who will give a shit (ha ha ha). I’d be willing to put a lot of money on the idea that I will leave crying with no help. On Wednesday I will have a broken tooth repaired. At least I have full confidence that I have A medical professional (singular) in my life who is fully worth what I pay for his time.

I’m feeling entitled and pissy. How can I spend THIS MUCH MONEY AND TIME in order to get… no relief of pain.

Because that’s how it fucking works sometimes. But it is why I don’t give poor people shit for not solving their problems. Health problems are fucking expensive.

I have three or four emails to respond to. I have several people who have kindly extended invitations and I need to respond. I feel… ugh. I want to be around people so much my skin aches but trying to schedule and follow up feels painful.

I’m going round and round in my head with some of my feelings about my friends. I can’t stop thinking about Pam telling me that I’m too hard on my BFFs.

My BFFs aren’t treated fairly at all. They don’t walk into a relationship with someone who sees their good qualities and wants to appreciate them for those qualities. I’m a using piece of shit. I see how people complement (or not) my own issues and I pick people who have gaps in their life where I can convince myself that I’m neeeeeeeeeded. Only I’m not. And over and over I run into the brick wall that I am not necessary to anyone’s life. Period.

Oh my fucking god it hurts. I know that just about everyone is in the same boat. I don’t feel my existential whining is tonier or deeper. Same shit different day.

I don’t want my friends to love me like a friend. I want them to love me like family. I want someone to love me the way I love my children. It isn’t going to happen. And sometimes I come up against unmistakable proof that I will never have that love. Ever.

I spend weeks crying and weeping and wanting to die.

It isn’t anyone’s fault. No one owes me that. The one person who maybe might have owed me something has given me what she had to give and that’s that.

It is so hard stepping back and having to be ok with the fact that I am a friend. No one will ever love me that much. Noah comes the closest. My kids will grow up and move on with their lives more than likely. I won’t be their bestie either. Noah is it. That’s my chance.

Noah is very separate from me. We will never do the enmeshment thing I do with women. We are too different. We don’t really like spending our time in similar ways. He is not one to work with his hands beyond typing and I struggle with not holding that against him.

I really am an asshole.

It feels really bad that people do love me and I look at it and think “it’s not enough”. I don’t feel very good about myself. How fucking dare I demean the gift of love that people didn’t have to give me in the first place?

I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.

It has occurred to me that it might turn out to be true that the only person who can love me as much as I need to be loved is me. Only I’ve been taught I’m not worthy of love. So I can’t really love me very much.

Something else occurred to me. When I talk about being the lucky one for having found Noah… that isn’t because I believe that Noah is actually categorically The Best. (He isn’t.) Noah appreciates me. I don’t know very many people who are appreciated the way Noah appreciates me. I don’t know many spouses who feel that way about one another. I don’t even know many friends who really feel that way.

It is weird being appreciated. Not many people are granted that gift in this lifetime. Most people get moments of being appreciated. They get some specific incident. Noah… it’s just more broad than that. Even though I’m obnoxious, and moody as fuck, and hard to live with… he can wax rhapsodic at the barest hint that I would like him to cosset me. No matter how angrily he was arguing with me seconds before.

Noah is my biggest fan.

I don’t get the impression many people ever get to know what that feels like. And I am sorry for everyone else.

Sometimes I think that if I had found a woman to love me and enmesh with me the way I wanted but not a man… I would have exactly the same problems with my friends but the gender would reverse. I don’t throw myself against the brick wall of friendships with men any more. I just don’t.  Either a friendship with a man is easy or it doesn’t exist.

But holy shit for Crisco I bang my head on relationships with women. I want to fall in love so deep and so fast that I get dizzy.

I feel like the biggest asshole in the world because I tell these wonderful, caring, giving women that they aren’t enough. That’s what I do to my BFFs. I need so much from them and I get so angry when they just plain can’t. It is very codependent of me.

A long time ago I had this epiphany–if I have the same problem with person after person after person… it probably isn’t their fault.

Kira loves me. Sarah loves me. Anna probably still loves me. Brittney probably still loves me. Lauren feels strong affection for me. Julia probably still loves me. I say probably because I haven’t spoken to them in many years. I just… can’t imagine that feeling changing. Not from those women. Just like I will love them, Steve, my Owner, Air Force Michael until I die. Just because you are not in a current relationship with someone that doesn’t mean you stop loving them.

None of the women I weep over dislike me or are mad or are rejecting me. It comes from me. The push and the pull both.

Day 36

I don’t know how this is going.

Brekkie: hot rice cereal (that I made wrong the day before) fried into fritters with olive oil and maple syrup.This was surprisingly tasty. Noah added some gf flour mix.

Lunch: ramen

Dinner: risotto, sparkling apple juice

4:45am- lots of dark brown very soft diarrhea

9:15am- slightly shaped, light yellow/brown

6:15pm- bright yellow diarrhea

 

Today it is formed. Which means that the ramen didn’t completely fubar me. I don’t know what is up with my body. Does this mean milk is a no? AHHHH.

Woo doctor said I’m allergic to bananas but apples are fine. Which is the reverse of what I’ve been doing for over five weeks now. Shit.

Day 35

Brekkie: hot rice cereal with sugar and milk. I also had black tea with sugar and milk. This is a “test cow milk day”.

Lunch: lamb, mashed potatoes (ghee only), one lonely carrot. More tea with milk!

Dinner: beef soup with homemade stock, bok choy, cabbage, and carrots.

Dessert: peanut butter cookies (made with just sugar and no flour)

 

3:30am: huge cloud of soft greenish poop

7am: more greenish soft cloud. Wow I feel empty.

Find gratitude.

My life is not short on excitement. It is now pretty clear that this elimination diet journey is going to take many months. Deep sigh. At least I have the ability to do it. Be happy about that. Takes privilege.

Beyond food being hard over the next few weeks I will have Thanksgiving. I have no idea what I will eat (even my “yes” list is suspect given how much diarrhea I still have) but I will be with the three people in the world who are obsessed with me. It’ll be a good day.

Christmas should be fun. We are starting to gear up.

January will hopefully be very slow. Glacially slow. We’ll see. February we go to Disneyland for a week. March has FOGcon. April has My Little Pony Convention (Called BABScon). May is Shanna’s birthday. June is Noah’s birthday and then we run away.

Just over six months away. I’m starting to look for specific data on where to camp and store stuff while we site-see and such on the big trip. My data-filled-book grows. I’m excited. What to do in different places? Oh so many choices.

Whatever negative things I can say about my life… it is full of wonder and joy. I’m grateful to be doing the things I get to do.

I’m sure we will sneak in another weekend or two camping once I get the trailer put together. Yes, I need to test it in cold weather. I want to live in it for six months. There will be cold nights.

Today I go back to the woo-doctor again. A friend invited us to go ice skating this afternoon. Then we see Pam for the penultimate time before she runs off to see her family on another continent. She’ll be back but she’s going to be gone a while.

Next week no woo-doctor. I get to go be frustrated by Kaiser telling me they won’t help me (wait and watch) and on Wednesday I get a crown put on the tooth I cracked. Yay! Or something. So today with the woo-doctor and then two weeks till I can see him again. (Saying that mostly so I remember later when I talk to him.)

The lucky ones, Miss Piggy, and taking turns.

I drove to therapy this morning alone. Alone time in the car is pretty fun these days. One of the songs was Taylor Swift’s The Lucky Ones and I spent a bunch of time thinking about it. In order to be one of “the lucky ones” you have to be compared to other people, who are less lucky by comparison. Noah spends a lot of time telling me that people aren’t happy or sad on an absolute scale they are happy or sad compared to the people near them.

I’m kind of a miserable son of a bitch. I spend a lot of time feeling shitty and miserable and like my life is shit. Which is demonstrably not true. I know a fair number of single people (of both genders or no particular gender at all) who haven’t found anyone in the world who validates them the way that Noah and my kids validate me.

I *am* one of the lucky ones. I have two children who are perfectly suited to my desires from children. They are plucky, ambitious, cheerful, talkative, and very affectionate. Pretty much what I would have designed if I had been able to sit down with paper and decide what kind of kids I would have.

And then there is Noah. I feel like a serious schmuck sometimes because of how unworthy I feel about Noah. Noah is a good partner. Like, whoa good. He is cheerful and encouraging and loving and so ridiculously sweet to me. I feel so much gratitude that there is someone on this planet who loves me so much. I don’t see many people with a similar level of unconditional love and support. I truly am one of the lucky ones.

It is hard changing my self perception. It was accurate that the first 25 years of my life weren’t great. I didn’t have the worst early life in history. I didn’t have anything near one of the best early lives. It was a life. It was hard. So when I think of my life being shitty, it is entirely past tense. My life isn’t shitty any more.

That leads me to this idea of finding hope. My life isn’t shitty any more and it probably will never reach the point of being that shitty again. I am going to have bad days. I am going to have bad experience. I may even experience more trauma (the world is like that) but forever and ever amen I am not in the position I was in. I am always going to be one of the lucky ones. That is weird.

I feel really weird because so much of it feels like a gift Noah bestowed on me. I’m his rescue project. Ew, ick, yuck. (For the record he doesn’t seem to appear to think of me this way. You can tell who thinks of you as being “lower” socially or in need of “rescue”. Noah doesn’t talk to me like that.)

Even when I’m being incredibly irrational, Noah treats it like one state of being. It is one way I act. It isn’t the only way I act. Sometimes I am even highly rational. He treats those times as being more important.

I was thinking recently how unfair it is that Noah has to be supportive of me so much of the time in comparison to how much support I give him. It occurred to me, while watching The Muppet Christmas Carol, that I am uhm, kind of Miss Piggy like with my affection for Noah. It has to be all ME ME ME ME ME ME until I notice that he has an issue and then I flatten him with my desire to be “supportive”. This was not a flattering self-understanding.

Noah has told me that I want him to be obsessed with me. I’m willing to bet that is true. I do. I want him to care and care and care and be interested and fascinated and I want him to not get bored with me even though I’m repetitive.

A long time ago we agreed that we would take turns having bad days. We each believe that it is our responsibility to carry 100% of the relationship. That way when someone falls down it doesn’t feel like they aren’t doing their share. I like to believe I provide a little of this experience for Noah. I know it is a fucking lie–I don’t support him like he supports me. I’m really sensitive to this whole “being a dependent” thing. But he doesn’t expect me to do much and I treat him doing things around the house like a gift.

The secret to happiness is low expectations. If Noah expects me to do just about nothing and instead I do more like 45% of the work–I don’t seem as bad! In comparison, on weeks when Noah does no cooking nor any cleaning… I can’t find it in my heart to be mad at him. He does so much work that I have to smile and say, “That’s ok. I’ll do it this time.”

I believe in setting people up for being successful. We have carefully created a life where we are each likely to seem successful to the person we are standing nearest–partially because we carefully set up what it means to be “successful”. We are both big on giving direction, “I would really love it if you _______”. I appreciate that he has worked really hard on being able to say things to me–even when it is hard and he knows I won’t like it. He prefaces with, “I’ve been trying hard to think of a good way to say this and I haven’t come up with one. I hope that I can say it in a bad way and you can hear what I really mean without getting upset about my bad phrasing.”

I love this man so much I feel like I will explode some days. He acts like me reacting to bad phrasing is a reasonable thing to have happen. He hopes I won’t get mad this time because he really means well. But if I do get mad, well it will make sense and that’s ok.

I don’t get a lot of that kind of accommodation in the world. Mostly people act like it isn’t ok to ever react badly to their words. If you do then you are the meanie. But! BUT! BUT!

Noah acts like I am a person with a long and convoluted history and he wants to be kind to me. That means handling my little points of prickliness without treating me like an imposition. I feel so loved in my house. I feel like I matter.

I have a lot of friends. My friends love me very much. I am very grateful for their presence in my life. Noah is in a whole different category. Noah validates me.

Noah tells me frankly that he lived before he met me and he would carry on without me if I died but he would be forever less. Noah makes me feel like if I died, the world would be less bright. There would be less reason to keep trying hard things.

I’ve got some feelings about this boy of mine. I feel very lucky. I hope I never take him for granted. I hope I always appreciate him this much. When I struggle to see what I’ve got going for me, and I feel like I should die…

I don’t want to miss out on one day of Noah’s company. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I think this life is all I’ve got. Take it and make with it what you will. I want more time with Noah. I want more time with Shanna and Calli. Surely feeling like you have good reason to get up every day is enough reason to consider yourself one of the lucky ones?

Am I ever going to stop feeling like I was put in a movie of someone else’s life?

Bullying

I sort of feel like “she’s bullying me” is the clarion call of my childrens’ generation the way “it’s not fair” was for my generation. They do not understand what they are complaining about and it sounds pretty funny to me most of the time. “No, actually your sister doing something you dislike isn’t the same thing as bullying.”

We are starting to run into bullying situations. I have a heavy heart as I think about how much like me my daughter is. Shanna can be a bully. The other day at a park a bigger girl told Shanna to be on “guard duty” so Shanna beat the shit out of the little boys who wanted to come to that part of the playground. Luckily she is very bad at fighting. But she hit the little boy in the face.

I intervened about as fast as I physically could. We talked there and ended up coming home early because the excuse, “The bigger girl told me to do it” isn’t one that buys you a lot of slack with me.

I believe that one of the things I said as I huffily dragged her from the park (she was screaming about how I was bullying her by not letting her play) was, “It is despicable to hit someone half your size as part of a game. I don’t care if you think I’m bullying you. You can go home and play alone if you are going to act like that.”

I haven’t lost any sleep over enforcing the boundary but I do worry about her growing up. She’s going to have to make a lot of the same mistakes I’ve made.

I was a vicious bully.

I worry about my privileged little princess punching down. I was not starting life in a position much like Shanna’s. My behavior and hers… really shouldn’t be comparable. I fought all the time because I was being viciously beaten and raped. My kid has never had a traumatic experience. But she seems to feel almost as much need to hit and be defensive. I’m not sure what to do with this. I keep offering martial arts and she is turning me down.

I believe that “bullying” or punching down behaviors need to be watched forever. One needs to engage in self-monitoring. Everyone punches in some direction–never punch down or you are a bully. That’s just a rule in my little world. You can’t punch down. If you do you are hurting people who are less able to defend themselves than you are and that is poor sportswomanship.

Wow. Spell check let me have that word? Cool.

Shanna is trying to use physical intimidation a lot more in general lately. That is not going as well as she might hope. If you shove your face in my face and growl at me I’m very likely to grab the shirt of your outfit and make sure I win that intimidation game. I tend to win even with people who are bigger than me. Shanna doesn’t have a chance. I’m scary when I feel threatened. I had to learn the skill.

Part of the reason I don’t hit my kids is because I do not want to punch down. They are already so very helpless compared to me–less helpless by the day but still–that hitting them at all would be punching down. Always.

It is going to be quite a journey for Shanna and I to learn how to be bossy together without being bullies. Bossy is good. Bossy is great. Bullying is not acceptable.

People learn things best by doing something wrong and observing the consequences. I need to be patient with my children and with me. We have to mess up or we won’t learn. Sometimes, that messing up involves punching down when you don’t understand that it is a problem.

I’m looking forward to when my kids are old enough for the really mess-with-you-mind teaching. I want to talk about the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment. I want to talk about obeying orders. I want to talk about what it means to hurt someone else on the say-so of your “boss”.

But I’ll wait to mess with their minds for a few more years. Puberty will be so much fun.

There is a difference between having engaged in bullying behavior and being a bully. It is the same dichotomy that exists in racism, sexism, ageism, ableism. There is space for an ignorant person to say something or do something without a larger scope of targeted behavior. When does someone jump the tracks into “being” that kind of person.

I’m not sure. But I’ve met people who are on that side of the line. It’s like pornography–I know it when I see it.

All the woo

Went back to see the woo doctor today. We have officially “treated” so I am “clear” on: eggs, dairy, sugars, grains, msg, oils/fats, and my stomach acids.

We have “treated” but I’m not yet “clear” on: yeast, herbs (cilantro and garlic), nuts, and digestive enzymes.

As far as he is concerned, I should avoid the stuff he treated today for another 24 hours then I can go to town. He says I can start wheat and dairy today.

I’m having feelings. Worries. Concerns.

Still left to treat are: chocolate, corn, fruits, pollens, grasses, weeds, blood components, my own hormones (doesn’t shock me that I might have problems there), neurotransmitters, vitamins, temperature stimuli…

Oh the festivity continues. But I’m eating rice pudding so my life isn’t all bad.

Day 32

Breakfast: gf pancakes, maple syrup, potatoes, turkey bacon

Lunch: rice pudding made with arborio rice, rice milk, maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon

Dinner: lamb shank with olive oil, ghee, rosemary, sage, carrots, plus potatoes (with more ghee–you can make a reasonable mashed potato this way), brussels sprouts (the brussels sprouts were my favorite part of dinner–wacky.)

Dessert: blueberry sorbet and a gf peanut butter cookie. Because my husband loves me.

1:45pm- poop, solid, very dark brown, multiple hard pieces

6pm- long, thin, tooth paste-like.

Given that I’ve eaten it a couple of days in a row I’m going to add tomatoes to my “ok” list due to lack of reaction. Really I should update the list because it is longer now.

Good list:

rice, turkey, venison, lamb, chicken, sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, celery, bok choy, bell peppers, tomato, potato, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, maple syrup, peanut butter, ghee, olive oil, banana, blueberries, grapes, cinnamon, sage, rosemary, nutmeg, basil, bay

Know for certain that these things are totally ok.

Maybe list:

pineapple, raspberry?

Bad list:

eggs, carbonation

I am of the opinion that I shouldn’t test any new food on Monday. I think I should wait until Tuesday. I’m trying to decide what to test next. I’m sort of wondering if I should test garlic next. If I *knew* one way or another about garlic it would make a lot of choices easier. It is shocking how hard it is to get food without garlic in it. If I can have garlic all of a sudden a whole new world of processed foods open up to me.

I think garlic might be harder to avoid than gluten or dairy or corn. Which feels wacky. I see the woo-Doctor on Monday. Maybe he will say that I am supposedly “all over” my gluten and dairy issues. That would be nice.

Mom guilt

I’ve been pretty sick this week. I dislike the fact that I have spent a lot of the time I’ve been sick beating myself up for being lazy. Uhm, I’m not lazy I’m sick. It happens. But it feels like it isn’t actually ok. And it has dragged on so long that whatever amount of “slack” I sort of grant myself is expired. Just stop whining already.

But man I’ve been sick. I’m waiting to see if I’m going to get better soon. I barely left the house this week. I collapsed when I got home from Hawaii and I’ve barely done anything since. Some laundry. Swept the floor. Grocery shopping. Not much.

I want to feel better but I don’t know how. I persevere on the elimination diet because I want to figure out the problems with my intestinal tract. I don’t feel better yet. I feel terrible. I don’t think I’m eating diverse enough calories. The lamb was alright, but it would have been good with garlic or ketchup. Sigh. I’m really not doing well at diverse calories right now.

When I decided to get started on this diet I thought it would take maybe a month. Now that I’m on day 33 I think this is going to take months. Ew. Ew. Ew.

But! It would be super nice to go on the road trip next year without diarrhea. I need to feel better. Somehow.

Day 31

Breakfast: rice cereal, rice milk, banana, maple syrup

Snack: peppermint tea, gf English muffin, raspberry jam

Lunch: turkey lunch meat, blueberries

Dinner: gf pasta, tomato sauce, soy cheese

6:45am- poop! Solid! a log!!

6:45pm- poop! Solid! a log! (greenish)

9:20pm- mostly solid, paste-like

Ok. This is good news. A full day of solid poop. I think I should try to have two or three days of poop before I experiment with food. Although I did add tomato tonight when I haven’t had tomato in a while. So maybe I have already experimented. And I had way more soy today than usual. Mmmm soy cheese.

Tomorrow shouldn’t be a lot of variation. Rice, get the damn lamb shanks in to cook promptly. Make more chicken stock so Noah can make risotto. Mmm chicken feet.

I feel like it would be better for humanity if I was locked in a closet for a few months. I’m just not very nice.

Tonight I made two pizzas. One regular one that I totally couldn’t eat. Then I made a gf pizza with soy cheese and I left off the pineapple and… It seemed ready to go. Then I was fucking brilliant enough to read the ingredient label. Eggs. Shit, shit, double shit. Eggs very clearly cause massive diarrhea. I’m not up for that tomorrow. So then I had to cook a third god damn dinner.

My attitude sucks. I hate food so much. I feel so sad and so bitter and …. man food sucks. I need to keep going with the experiment, because every piece of data I gather is useful but my attitude sucks. It doesn’t help that I’ve felt bad for a long time. But the whiny reason isn’t that important. My attitude sucks.