More about hiding in plain sight

Since so many of you went back to an entry where I talk about pot and hiding my crazy in front of people I’ll expand on that issue.

See, I don’t rewrite entries. I just… keep going.

One of the things I dislike about my writing is how much hyperbole I engage in. When I discuss things it is often hard for me to narrow down that I’ve been having a particular symptom for x weeks.

Everything (ha ha) feels like it has been happening for always. Or it has never happened, what are you talking about?

I mean that I get stuck in the extremes when it comes to talking about what is going on. Very few PTSD symptoms genuinely occur for me weekly for years and years on end. That’s just not literally true. You can more or less track the spikes in symptomatic behavior based on my journal entries. Yes, in those entries I make it sound like what is happening today has happened every day of my life. But on other entries I make it clear I’m having a different kind of day.

I dislike that aspect of my personality/writing but extreme emotional switches are one of the hallmarks of PTSD so I’m literally just behaving as if I have the diagnosis I have. But… that’s a weird shameful thing.

I’m always supposed to be pretending to be “normal”. I’m just… not. Only I am! It’s kind of weird. I don’t get it. I’m not “normal” only my experiences are like experiences other people have had so we validate one another.

My pot usage continues to go up and down and the amount of control I have does change with my dosage. If I could stop feeling ashamed I could probably get to the point of consistently dosing and just plain have more self control.

I’ve been doing more reading about the brain injury aspect of PTSD. That part is weird for me to think about because my brother Tommy had a severe traumatic brain injury after his head went through a windshield. I know some things about brain injury and managing that. Managing my own is more complicated.

Especially because I didn’t go through a windshield and abuse is one of those weird things. On one hand we know it causes permanent brain damage. On the other hand… we seldom believe people who self report these experiences so we minimize the effects of abuse and call people crazy when they accurately report what has happened to them.

I’m not as frantic as I was when I wrote the entry that so many people have come back and read in the last day. I haven’t been for a while. My anxiety was peaking for a variety of reasons.

There is a fascinating way to balance extreme exhaustion and pot and PTSD to make sure I’m really just not as punchy any more. At this moment in time if someone wanted to start a fist fight I would probably start giggling and slump to the floor already half asleep.

I wouldn’t go out into the world and do complex social managing like this. It would be incredibly dangerous for me.

But I’ll be honest and say that the extreme upside of this kind of bone numb exhaustion is my anxiety is hella less painful than normal. Thank you, body. I appreciate that.

I have a lot of other kinds of pain but I appreciate any break. Thanks, body.

Y’all trolls should find a better hobby. Garden. Decorate cakes. Let crazy bitches be crazy bitches without having to judge, ok?

Do you know what I think is funny? When people say, “I don’t care if it is illegal–it is abuse.”

You know what? Words have meanings for reasonsWell, actually it does matter if it is illegal. That is the line at which behavior requires outside intervention according to the specifically negotiated customs/expectations of a given area.

In Texas (to the best of my understanding) it is still considered jim-dandy-fine to beat children in school. It’s legal. Is it abuse? Doesn’t matter. You can’t stop a legal action.

It’s kind of like whether or not slavery was “wrong” or not. It was legal for a whole forking long time and there wasn’t much that could be done about it while it was legal.

Is how I’m treating my children abuse? Fuck if I can judge that. It’s really god damn hard for me to see. I literally can’t tell.

I know that compared to the people I know who say they were abused my kids are having a walk in the park.

Is that enough? Who the fuck gets to judge?

Well, actually a judge gets to decide. That’s the basis of having a legal system. Which means that in the end… what matters is what is currently legal whether that is right or wrong in the scope of history.


Are y’all rereading that entry because I go into the historical punishments I would have received? I’ve taken a lot of history classes. I’m very interested in how women have been controlled.

I notice that the Western world really has no stones to throw when it comes to the quality of interactions women have. Doesn’t stop the assholes from acting like they are superior. We ain’t.

When I was a child if I sassed I would have to stand there and let someone slap me until they felt they had changed my attitude sufficiently.

Are my children being abused?


My daughter gets tapped on the face for the first time in her life and she bursts into tears and says, “That’s not ok. You can’t do that to me.”

Now that I’ve felt what that felt like… I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. It isn’t tempting in the same way. I really don’t like how it felt.

I didn’t feel like I was any more worthy of respect.

What is the point of addressing disrespect if you are worthy of far far less respect when you are done?

Well. I learned something from it. I learned a lot about how that doesn’t give me the boost I wanted to get from it. I didn’t “get mine back” in terms of feeling like I was still in control or the boss.

I felt like an asshole bully.

Cause, you know, I was.

I don’t really like that feeling any more. It’s not that I feel bad about having done it in the past. It is that my child is different.

Something that was interesting on the trip. We got to bounce in and out of other peoples lives and see how much time they spend at home or not. People vary so much. There is no normal.

Some people spend a lot of time and and around their house. Some people barely ever see their home while still awake. It’s all part of the variation of normal.

I’m more of a homebody with bursts of genuine wanderlust.

In the bay area it is very common for people to spend 1-3 hours/day driving. I just… don’t want it any more. So the shape of my life will be smaller. I have mixed feelings about that. It feels bad or wrong in some way.

I need interactions with other people the way I need to breathe. But at the same time… I have to stop bouncing between other peoples opinions. I need to care about the people who actually impact my life and not about the people who are outside my locus of influence.

Yes, my writing is overwhelming and intense. Given how many hundreds of hits my splash page is getting every day lately, I’m pretty sure you can tell why. Lots of people have been looking at the website but not buying the book. (If you are a cheap piece of shit you can download it for free at this point. Just look around the web.) You want the Cliff’s Notes version on why I’m so god damn weird?

There isn’t a Cliff’s Notes. You have to wade through the morass for a long time in order to understand. Those who have low reading comprehension will probably never be able to make sense of it.

And they will blame me for that fact and talk about how awful it makes me that my writing isn’t specifically designed for their consumption. Ho hum. I’m bored with that.

This ain’t a news blog. This ain’t some place looking for hits. I’m just documenting my life because that is my compulsion in this lifetime.

I let you read it because long trial and error shows me I just don’t write without an audience. I am an exhibitionist, I guess. I want to be seen in the world as a person who exists because for so many years I was invisible.

I’m not going to keep my dirty laundry in the closet ever again.

Yeah, that means I’m real upfront about the ways I’m a fuck up. If you are in denial about it while cataloging it in this way… you look kinda bad. So I have to accept responsibility.

That is actually one of my favorite things about myself. I acknowledge what I’ve done. I describe it honestly. I take responsibility. I sure like that.


Real life calls.

Just Another Day in Paradise

This is one of those songs for me. I like Phil Vassar. Even if he is a white man. His music… it definitely pervaded my childhood. I grew up wanting the world he described so bad I could taste it and I never had that.

These days my husband, my children and I wander around the house during the day humming this song and periodically hugging one another with a little giggle because we are so happy to be where we are doing what we are doing.

This is my first time being around happy people. This is the Golden Age of my life.

Even though there is stress in the house and the conscious need to adjust expectations and rules…

We are so happy. EC spends a lot of time talking about how she wants to find a way to grow up and find a partner who is compatible with this lifestyle because, “I already live in paradise. I just want someone to come hang out with me.”

It is really neat watching how the partner urge works with someone who has a clinical, distant understanding of sex. It’s… different.

YC is less convinced that a partner is necessary.

Today our friend and Bonus Kids have stuff that takes them out of the house till tomorrow. I’m going to enjoy the peace. I will be happy to have them come back tomorrow, but I’ll enjoy the quieter day. It will be easier to clean the house when I’m not running into seven other people (including the babysitter). It’ll only be four people.

Holy crudmonkeys we missed the baby sitter. She’s a like a cross between a mothers helper and a big sister more than a baby sitter. We rarely leave her alone with the kids. Instead, she comes over and plays with them and mediates conflicts while I’m distracted.

I feel so very lucky to have her. She is such a good influence on the kids. I have mad respect for her way with children. She was religiously home schooled and her mom ran a home day care for years. She has mad skills with kids.

She doesn’t want to do this professionally forever, but it is a great way to earn pocket money while she’s taking her first few years of college classes in lieu of high school. Works for me!

Her family is very very very conservative. I’m surprised her mom tolerates me as an influence but I’ve been very careful not to cross boundaries. I watch my language and my topic of conversation because I have no desire to make them uncomfortable. We even go to Christmas parties at their house. I can behave.

It’s kind of hilarious, really, how closeted I can be when I want to be. I’m aware that people see what they want to see based on what I choose to bring up.

One of the things I’m proudest of in my interactions with this girl is our conversations around yearly raises. I’ve pushed her really hard on this topic. “Ok it’s been about another year. We have something that is very important for you to discuss on a yearly basis for every every every year of your working life. Ahem. What do you need to bring up with your employer every year you have a job? Ahem.” Big cheesy smile. She cringes and tries to avoid it, but then she goes for it. We talk about why she should get a raise. I point out all the new responsibilities she has taken on over the year. I talk about what skills she is teaching the children. I point out how her interactions with them have broadened and deepened. Then I say, “And this hard work you are doing deserves compensation because your time and energy are worth compensation…..right?

She kinda grins and ducks her head and whispers yes. It’s kind of funny and awkward for both of us. I rarely push her in this way. But once in a while I’m going to jump up and down and say you are not allowed to undervalue what you offer the world. Nope. Nope. Nope. Not in my presence.

People are always more complicated than you think.

Their family has taken in a teenage foster child. I told the babysitter that I 100% trust her to adequately supervise my kids around this other child who has been viciously abused. I know that she would intervene instantly and redirect and keep people safe. She was never allowed to be alone in the house with my husband when she was cat sitting and taking care of the plants.

Her family knows how to keep people safe. I have a lot of trust when it comes to them caring for my children. They are probably… more conservative with risk than I am. I’m grateful I have such an opportunity in our lives. I can’t believe we got this lucky.

Small annoyance, I’m on day 38 and I haven’t started bleeding yet. That makes it harder to control my emotions. Not sure why. The hormonal flow is really complicated. Things start getting harder around day 25 most of the time and things don’t ease up till I bleed. My emotions are just more intense and harsh.

I’m going to stop and say a prayer of gratitude that there are no suicidal impulses or feelings.

Thank you, body.

I’m trying really hard to convince myself that there is just so much I want to do and if I die no one else will care and it won’t get done.

Traveling like I did convinced much much much more strongly. My future career is incest research. I want to understand this phenomena better. I want to so very badly. I find other survivors everywhere. The fact that I have such a disturbing history means people don’t feel judged and know they are safe telling me awful stories. I won’t freak out and I won’t judge you. I will accept and believe what you tell me without collapsing or acting like you hurt me by telling me. I will act like you allowed me to make it easier for you to carry this terrible burden and I am grateful. Secrets are terrible. This is very important to me. Still. This work isn’t really enough to motivate me to stay alive until my body gives out.

But put that together with Noah and the kids and my friends and… maybe that is enough?

Yesterday I started poking one of my wonderful girlfriends about how we should consider rooms next door to one another in a nursing home if we outlive our husbands. Just think of all the trouble we could cause. Oh that would be so much fun. Hahahahahaha

I don’t want to outlive Noah. Statistically speaking it is likely. I’m the sort who needs some potential plans.

I haven’t followed all the plans I’ve made in this lifetime. But making the plan got me to the point where I didn’t need the plan. I can do that again.

I’m a future tripper. I’m not that good at living in the moment. I’m trying right now to improve at that skill. It helps that I know, when I manage to pause, that this is the Golden Age of my life. This is going to be the absolute best it gets in terms of a river of affection and love being dumped on my head. Puberty will change all this. I know.

It’s part of why we take so many pictures. I want to remember this. I want to feel these feelings in my body in memory. I want to relive this.

I want to forget the first twenty years.

I think of my life in terms of BK and AK. Before Kids. After Kids.

I feel like I was reborn with them. I got a second chance. I get to try to not be a piece of shit. I haven’t fucked up yet.

Ok, at this point I’ve fucked up. But when they were born, I’m sayin’.

Sometimes if I get started crying in the back yard and the kids come out, one or both of them will stroke my face a few times and say, “None of your mistakes with me are very big. I forgive you.” I don’t know why they do that. I never asked like that. I never asked them to forgive me. I don’t get to do that. It’s not ok.

But they know I don’t feel like I can forgive myself. I’ve done a lot to hurt people. I don’t know what I could do to believe I deserved forgiveness.

There is a giant tattoo on my back of a woman reaching into a tree. There are many banners on the tree of things she could be seeking. Love, Hope, Trust, Joy, Dreams, etc. The thing she wants is Forgiveness.

I want to forgive myself and I don’t know how.

I want to forgive myself for hurting my mother by severing our bond. I can’t. I want to forgive myself for pressing charges against my father even though I knew very well it might kill him. I can’t. I want to forgive myself for starting the fight with Tommy that got him burned and sent to live with our father so he got hit by a car. I can’t.

Slapping my daughter or pulling her hair just…


I barely slapped my daughter. We talked about it. Even she said, “You barely hit me. It didn’t really hurt. But it was so rude and disrespectful and it made me feel so bad.”

Yes. I did that. I’m sorry. I was so wrong. You are right. I felt disrespected and I lashed out and disrespected you. It was the wrong way to handle it. It really was. I am so sorry.

I am so sorry. That was petty, stupid, and mean. It was a ridiculous thing to do.

Put it on the list of things I will probably never forgive myself for doing. I don’t need to disrespect my children. I don’t need to act like they must jump when I say jump or else.

That is not ok.

I don’t feel bad about the hair pulling. That was negotiated.

Just like how it might be a real problem if your husband spanked you and it isn’t a problem if my husband spanks me because it is negotiated. We all get our own boundaries.

I don’t like the hair pulling. I really try hard to use other methods. But we talked about it. I’m not disrespecting them. I’m not hurting them. I am annoying them. That’s so true.

I do that sometimes. I’m hella fucking annoying. Sorrynotsorry.

So are you. And I love you for it.

Weird as it sounds, I really do love them partially for being so annoying. For being so willing to assert their preferences and desires so that people must see them.

I love you. I love you for believing you have the right to want to be seen at all times. Because you are wonderful. I know. I love you.

I’m definitely a “words of affirmation” kind of girl. I will tell you in fantastic detail all the things I like about you and that I see you doing well. Yeah, I’m an asshole and I criticize too. But the positive to negative ratio is approximately 4,583:1.

I’m trying to fill my head with tapes of positive interactions. It is a conscious process.

really really really want my children to replace my mother as my inside voice. To that end I choose how I speak to them very carefully to create the kind of environment I want to imprint on.

I really am not as harsh as I sound in writing. I have to put that intensity somewhere.

There’s an expression I heard a lot when I was a kid, “When the chips are down.” I feel a little weird about it. I’m inconsistent. I feel like there should be “some way” you are ultimately. Some really consistent core and presence.

I honestly don’t feel I have that. Because it depends on which “self” I’m currently manifesting. If I have loud tapes playing inside my head about how I am a worthless whore who deserves to die… I don’t do well under pressure. I’m nasty, mean and vicious. I treat everyone standing near me as if they are attacking me even if they are silent and neutral. It isn’t fair.

But I am like that less and less as the years go by. I have less reason to feel like that point of view is the dominant view of me in a room. I feel safe having other perceptions of myself.

Noah and the kids act like I’m a fucking rock star. That’s… different. That’s a whole different role for me with different expectations and attitudes and everything.

When I met Noah I was consciously trying to sell myself as a possible future partner. I interviewed a lot of people on a whole spectrum of gender. Noah was the only one to really leap at the chance to go do what I imagined doing with my life.

I want to have children. I want to home school them. I want to learn what appropriate means. I want to spend my life doing research. I want to travel. I want an abusive relationship with an on/off switch that I get to control. I want to only be hit or called names when I want to and not at other times. This is not out of anger but about the fact that at this point, my cunt has strong opinions.


I do not actually want to be degraded. I want to raise children in an egalitarian relationship so that my children do not see a model of a submissive woman and later in my life I’d really like to return to being a slave. Because I like it. Because it suits me. Because it is fun.

But not in front of my children. I’ve heard stories….

I’m not doing that in front of my children. I will never kneel quivering in front of my children.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

I’m not shaming you. We all get to have different limits.

We all come from different perspectives. Mine is strong and distinct. What I will and won’t do in front of my children is incredibly defined. It has to be. That’s how I can follow the rules and believe I am doing ok.

I have to be the kind of woman who doesn’t ask for permission, I just tell you that I’m going to be gone for 5.5 months and I’m going to spend tens of thousands of dollars. See you when we get home! Love you!

Feminism means a lot of kinds of things. It means it has to be ok for women to do lots of different things in their lives.

Noah chants, practically religiously, that 50% of everything he makes is mine to spend however I see fit.

He makes a metric fuckton of money. That’s access to some serious privilege. I could pay for a private school with my share, so I have less work to do. Bwahahahaha.

Or I could take them across the country to talk about politics, religion, culture, history, language, cultural and social mores, and let them actually see how differently people live.

always wanted to do this.

I wanted to do this when I was 17.

Now I’ve done it. It was more glorious than I could have hoped. We had hard days. challenge you to find someone who has gone on a serious adventure and never had really hard days.

Managing those are part of the adventure. My children have such intensely positive attitudes that they blow me away. They can recover from just about any blip in mood and say, “Clearly you need more food/water/rest. How about if you stop talking?”

It’s hilarious.

Do you know why they are this way? Because it works. Their observations about the world around them (including about my physical person) are treated seriously. I act like they are a fully fledged companion who needs some guidance sometimes. They treat me the same.

They have every intention of going to college and having careers and not spending as much time with me in the future. We aren’t fully codependent. They don’t care for me like a parent.

It’s funny watching that. I feed myself. My food needs are not their food needs. They really like eating a lot of raw vegetables. That makes me have burning diarrhea from hell. So I feed myself when we travel and they feed themselves. That’s fine. More for me.

They don’t tell me how to manage money. They don’t tell me how to regulate things.

This is all funny stuff for me to observe because I remember mothering my mother by their ages. My mom would forget coats then be freezing so by seven I often carried an extra coat of hers when we left the house. She had too much to think about and she just couldn’t… add taking care of herself. By the time I was older she got into a habit of wearing blazers because she was always cold and she wanted pockets. Also she had a job with a “dress code”. But I remember there being a period of time when I was young.

My kids don’t do that. They will observe that I’m getting cranky and I should check in with my body. But they don’t bring me food because I’m sitting in a chair staring into space listlessly. I did that. Even when I’m in pain and crying as I move because every joint feels like hot coals are dancing around inside of them… I still feed myself.

I am a nasty fucking bitch if I don’t. My body is just done with that.

It’s funny how that goes. I don’t like feeding myself. I often skipped long periods of eating before kids. It wasn’t that I was anorexic. I wasn’t. I was poor, self hating, mentally ill and sometimes I didn’t eat. It’s different. Different people manifest self harm issues in very different ways. For me the withholding of food was always about punishment. I don’t deserve to take resources from people who are better than me.

I mean, I did do “can of corn per day” diets as a teenager because people were telling me I was fat and fat and fat and fat.

I weighed 145lbs at 5’3″.

I hate people.

I did do Weight Watchers as a 20-something after I went to Disneyland Paris and my ass couldn’t fit in one of the rides. Well that sucked.

I think my highest was actually higher, but by the time I got to WW it was 208. I got down to 158. My Owner did want a more pliable bondage model. I lost the weight and lost the Owner. I was fat and happy. He didn’t like it that much. He wanted a thin, pliable young slave girl. That’s what he signed up for. I’m not very flexible emotionally.

Oh well.

I don’t think I’ll ever diet again. At this point my physical activity level is so high I literally could not have conceived of this as a child. I’m pretty god damn fit. I can take off to walk eight miles and it just isn’t a big deal. Three miles I don’t notice.

This is not something I pictured for myself.

I keep feeling this burning feeling in my chest. What I’m doing is great, I’m building my endurance but it isn’t enough. I have to get faster.

I can’t help but feel that at some point in my life my ability to run the fuck away will save my life. The stuff I like to talk about causes some really big feelings in people.

I need to get faster.

That’s going to need to be a specific thing I train for. And thankfully I’m right next to this big, beautiful hill that local people like to call a mountain. (Given what I’ve seen this year… it’s not a mountain. It’s a nice hill.)

There will always be people who disapprove of me. I have to be ok with that. I choose talking about things that are uncomfortable but important. Folks don’t like that.

It’s ok. I have to do it any way.

Why? I don’t know. We all have different things we have to do. This is just… me being the right kind of me.

I can’t be a different kind. I will always be something different. Even though we are different I am glad you are here. There might be some of your opinions I want to change… but not because I want you to go away. Because I want you to be able to see the value in more kinds of people.

I’ve met so many kinds of people. I see value in all of them. Not all of them have anything to specifically offer me. That’s ok. I’m not that important. You don’t need to have anything for me. You offer something to the world. Something it needs to have.

Thank you for being here. Even if you are an asshole. I’m an asshole. It’s nice to have company.

Ack. A kid who can fluently read is awake and reading over my shoulder. Time to stop writing.

Today will require self management.

I’m cranky. I didn’t wake up and medicate before everyone was awake. Instead I started working. In the process I found a bunch of stuff of our current roommate. Much of it is stuff I would throw away without thinking twice. But it’s not mine. So I asked. I’m not allowed to throw it away.

Today is going to be very rough for me. This is important for me to acknowledge to myself so that I don’t take it out on other people. I am a flaming asshole about my space. This is why I’ve never lived all that well with other people.

This time it isn’t just hurting my adult friend and our well established friendship. This time it would be hurting a friend who is going through some trauma and her two already challenged children.

I can’t fuck up this time.


I haven’t yelled yet. Instead I noticed that I was about to start and I said out loud, “You know what? It’s a good time for some medication. I don’t need to take my feelings out on any one around me.”

The funny thing was most of the children in the house chorused, “Yup! It’s a great time!”

Sarah, I’m not your mom. If my children notice that a coping method makes me easier to put up with, instead of eschewing it I will embrace it.

I will decide these children are pretty fucking smart and they can notice patterns. I’m a much easier person to put up with when I am appropriately medicated with the medication I have been given by doctors. Right. I’ll get on that.

I’m not good at medicating. I don’t want to do it. I think I’m a gross dirty drug addict. Everyone around me says No. You. Aren’t. So I medicate. As my doctors want me to do.

Reality is a very difficult thing to perceive. When I’m adequately medicated do I mind that my friend has stuff when she’s staying at my house? Not one little bit. When I’m not medicated I kind of mind people having the audacity to breathe in my presence let alone have stuff that impacts me in any way.

I don’t perceive this as a rational reaction. Nor an appropriate one. Nor a nice one. But it’s the one I have. I’m trying to get better about managing it.

I’m fucking medicating, ok?

The people in this house deserve every ounce of self control I can come up with. Even if that requires medicating. That is what I have to deliver.

This morning I had one of those chats with Eldest Child that remind me I’m on the path I want to be on. She sat there and explicitly listed off all the things she really likes about her life. The list was long and detailed. At the end she said, “I like that dad teaches me about video games and I like that you teach me about white supremacy so I can do something about it.”

I swear to shiny green apples I almost threw her off of me so I could jump up and down and do a touchdown dance.

Fuck yes. This is doing exactly what I wanted it to do. She can’t unsee what she’s seen. This trip really and truly did what I wanted it to do.

I don’t care that she isn’t reading yet. She isn’t ready physically. She’s an “emergent reader”. She’s improving dramatically but she’s not fluent yet.

She has the passion that will fuel her in life. She’ll learn to read. She’ll learn to read fast because she thinks incredibly quickly and she has a genuine thirst for knowledge. She wants detailed explanations often faster than people are capable of speaking. She gets impatient.

She’ll learn to read like me. I have no fear. But I have weird anxiety because when she interacts with school age peers they are all much more fluent and she’s starting to get comments. I notice them.

Do you know how she responds, “Enh. I’ve been working on things I care about more. I’ll get to that. For now you read to me, ok?”

I almost fucking hyperventilated. Her friend blinked, shrugged, and started reading.

Oh. My. God.

I think it is funny that I feel guilty for sitting down to write. I should be working. There is so much to do. But I will work better, I will be less cranky, I will be more patient with everyone around me if I get my head together.

This is, essentially, my form of meditation. That’s part of why it is so stream of conscious and random seeming to folks who don’t know me. I put together a lot of very random pieces of my life in this writing. I make connections that allow me to be in the moment with people in a way I can’t when I’m flailing around in my emotions and reacting moment by moment.

I was completely shocked by how hard the driving was on my arms. I literally couldn’t type like this. My arms burned for months. There were days it was… really pretty sketchy. Typing like this was just out of the question. So I sent Twitter some diatribes. They are approximately 1/10 of the typing damage. It’s not that they are no damage. It is that it is harm management.

I need to hiccup my emotions into the ether. That allows me to put them down. Yeah, I know I’m weird. Duh.

I can be patient if I put my frustration here. If I acknowledge to myself that I’m feeling it and why I’m feeling it. I can say, “Oh. You would feel sad for someone else who had that frustration… but you would tell them they still have to knock their shit off and get it together.”

It’s easier to do that if I create distance from myself and my behavior. Writing it down forces me to examine it.

Part of the reason I need to never go read troll threads again is because I am constantly paranoid I am the most abusive, nightmarish monster on the planet.

Then I talk to a guy who casually tell me that his mother nailed his foot to the floor because she got sick of him running in the house.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

You know what? I’m not the worst. I’m really really not.

So if this is instead some big gray area and spectrum… oh gosh. That’s so much harder to figure out.

I mean good grief. No, I’m not the worst. I’m really really really not. It isn’t just that I don’t nail my kids feet to the floor. I don’t make a practice of hitting them and we talk about how anyone who ever hits them is someone who has lost control and it isn’t their fault and these are the steps to dealing with it. When I have fucked up (and I have) they absolutely respond as if that was a violation of their basic human rights and it stops now.

I don’t feel proud of fucking up. I feel proud of the fact that they think they are worth such vociferous defense. That’s the kind of entitlement I want them to have.

It isn’t that the people around you will be perfect. They won’t. People are a fucking mixed bag. Some of the best, brightest, most amazing people in history have also done horrifying things.

It’s complicated. I’m not perfect. I’m not even that good. But I’m not near the worst. It is hard to figure out where the boundaries are, exactly. There is no guide book. There is no way to be “perfect”.

EC asked me “Why is it hard for parents to learn how to be gentle? Why do parents hit their children?”

I said, “That is a really fantastic question. It has really deep cultural and historical roots as well as some simple psychological explanations. This is one we will come back to a lot of times before you understand it more fully. The most basic explanation is: things are changing. In the past parents thought it was ok to hit. It was more common and normal. At this point in time human beings are finding out about the problems that hitting causes and as a massive group we are trying to change a very ingrained behavior. That’s complicated. In many cases we hit because we were hit. That doesn’t make it right. But it makes it something you have to consciously choose to change. And you have to make that decision over and over and over every day for years because when you are really frustrated… you revert back to your most basic training.

Changing your basic impulses is really hard. That’s why we spend so much time working on your habits. So that for you, this won’t be a struggle. For you it will be as natural as breathing. You will be more like our friend ____. You’ve seen how she mothers, right? Your instincts are more like what her mother taught than like what my mother taught. I’m using her as a model.”

She smiled at me and told me she really appreciates me. I told her that I appreciate her. I told her that every single day she teaches me more about who I want to be and I will never ever stop being grateful for such a magnificent gift. She hugged me. She ran off to play.

Maybe this is all too much for a seven year old. I don’t really know. All I know is in life we get what we get. Some people have their house blown up by enemy insurgents. Some people are beaten and raped. Some people live in one place in safety and never ever hear about one upsetting things because they are sheltered from knowing that bad things exist in the world.

What are the limits?

I don’t know.

I’m not trying to cause PTSD in my children. I am, in full consciousness of the fact that PTSD is in some ways genetically related, trying to consciously teach them resiliency skills without having to expose them to direct trauma.

You parent the children you have. If I look at my family tree… I see a lot of very broken people. Many of these issues are genetically linked as well as being cultural and the result of generational poverty.

If you want to change things you have to have some idea of what you have. Then you can figure out what your resources will allow you to accomplish.

Everyone is different.

I am an abject failure at many parts of life. I am not in denial about this. I try not to spend too much time focusing on my failures and I get on with the parts I do better. Sometimes this makes me sound like a braggart. I’m trying to convince myself that maybe I do have something to offer.

It’s complicated.

Having my friend and her children here is providing a whole bunch of quick lessons. I apologized for starting off this morning ambushing my friend. Good grief that was stupid of me. Why in the hell did I wake up yelling about the fact that the house wasn’t already clean?

Why in the fuck do I do that?

Well, I hadn’t medicated, eaten, or given anyone a chance to wake up and help me. No fucking shit things didn’t go well.

I’m kind of ridiculous sometimes.

I’m so sorry.

But when we had a poop miss (potty training involves accidents–the parental/adult attitude is what decides if mistakes are a big deal or just part of the learning process) I was the only adult in a position to drop what I was doing and deal with bath time.

I wanted to be sitting outside medicating and writing to myself. I’m selfish like that. You know what I did?

I gave the baby a fucking bath. And I smiled. And I was super gentle. And I talked about how proud I was of her for recognizing that it was happening and running to the potty. It’s ok that she didn’t make it. She’s didn’t have one miss yesterday. She is learning. Mistakes are ok. I love you. I love you.

She beamed through the bath. Then we cuddled as we dried her off and played silly games. Then I dressed her.

Then I got to go be selfish again because the other three fucking adults in the house can handle what is going on with the four kids.

Holy crap for Crisco I like this ratio of adults. Ahhhhhhh.

We can all do work and we can all pay attention to the kids. This is like magic.

I really do better when I medicate first thing instead of getting distracted by my idiotic “Must start work” thing I do.

I need to work on that. Today didn’t need to start cranky.

You have to get yourself ready for work before you are ready to work. I’m not very good at that. I don’t want to take care of me. I want to just be a tool doing the work that kind of runs on air and impatience.

It doesn’t work very well. Shit.

I’m completely codependently handing off responsibility right this minute. I got home and told Noah and the roommate “I’m going to be an idiot for a while. I’m going to work. If you think it is a good idea for me to eat so I’m not a nasty bitch you should probably put food in front of me sometimes. No I don’t care what it is. Don’t ask me.

They are doing splendidly.

This isn’t permanent. But the house being utter chaos is driving me completely batshit and I just have to fucking sort everything. Everything. It’s kind of insane. I do this.

They have both been kind of gently teasing me about the fact that things stayed in one place while I was gone and that was kind of novel.

Shush you.

If I didn’t know that they really like this aspect of my personality I’d worry. They are happy the mess is evaporating around them like magic without them having to do anything. Other than deal with me being stupid about self care so I get nasty. Sigh.

I’m in the house with two feeders who don’t like to clean. Surely we can make a trade.

(I ain’t complaining. That part is going great. The food is lovely. Thank you, dears.)

Switch topics.

I’ve been thinking really hard about gossip and reputations and community. I’ve been thinking about black lists and patterns and missing stairs.

Do you know who gets kicked out? The people who don’t freely offer to do enough work for people around them. People who don’t make the people around them feel better about existing.

It isn’t that the monsters get kicked out.

Often the monsters are the fucking pillars of the community and that is why they are allowed to stay no matter what they do.

It’s complicated.

Am I am abuser? Yes. I have abused people. That is absolutely, unequivocally true.

The question I need to focus more on: am I currently abusing people?

Holy fucking shit that is complex. People are so different. What they need is so different.

Figuring out if you are abusing people is partially about figuring out if you are even capable of seeing the needs you are not meeting. That’s god damn hard. How do you know what you don’t know?!

You ask for the opinions of lots and lots and lots of people who have actual reason for having an opinion.

Do you know who you don’t fucking ask?

The internet.


It was fascinating traveling with my children and feeling what it is like to be far from people who know you and are accustomed to you.

Everyone in my life feels absolutely comfortable telling me I’ve crossed a line because I tell people that I need that and I welcome it and I respond positively when it happens.

Do you know why I wanted to go see the woman in Missouri? Because years ago when I was breaking up with my family she sent me a piece of artwork in conjunction with providing support online.

But I’m a gross weirdo for wanting to meet her. Even though her art is on my wall.

That feels really bad to me.

I’m going to be getting rid of the artwork. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like a yucky person for touching something that was made by someone who has so little regard for me that they would publicly shame me for wanting to be friendly.

Hey, I’ll put something I like better there. Something from someone who doesn’t despise me.

I have lots of options.

It’s ok for things to not work out with people. I acknowledge that in ways other people don’t. I can live with being  something different.

And I’ll stay in my sandbox. I will not act like a cat wandering over to shit in someone else’s sandbox and argue.

I think I need to be done with forums. I’m not trying to tell people what they should do or not do. I need to just focus on me.

That’s kind of hard.

I’ve spent… kind of a ridiculous amount of times in internet forums. At this point I’m probably busy enough that I don’t need them in the same way.

I know how to make a web that touches my real life better. I’m very happy about that. It means I am less eager to jump through hoops to prove my status to strangers.

need to not care what you think. That is vitally important to my continued good health and success in life.

If I care about you I will fail. I won’t base my decisions on the people who are in front of me. I would be wrong.

I don’t need to live up to the demands of your culture. I need to live up to mine. That’s complicated.

I don’t think yours is wrong. I don’t think you should stop.

But it wouldn’t work for me for oceans of reasons. It isn’t your fault and it isn’t mine. It isn’t bad and it isn’t wrong.

It takes all kinds.

I’m sorry I don’t always do a good job of pointing out where I need accommodation from your culture to mine. I’m trying to learn how. It’s very very hard.

There are a bleepin lot of you.

It has been hard for me to understand the size and shape of my culture. It’s been hard for me to understand what makes it different from the people around me. That makes it really hard to explain. I’m trying. I’m learning.

How in the hell does a fish explain water?

I think it is funny that a lot of my training for this skill came from being a bdsm demo bottom. How do you explain the physical sensations that are happening right now and why you want them to happen and what is pleasurable and challenging about them and…

Skills generalize in some fascinating ways.

Do you know why we missed the poop? Because the adults have backed off on a lot of the supportive “fun” structure we had in the first few days. We are acting like she just needs to do it.

Which is a whole new level of skill. It’s a huge step up of expectation for her in terms of body awareness. Of course she will make mistakes.

That’s what people do.

If you smile and say, “Whoops! Now you know what that feels like” and you gently help them take a bath…

They want to learn. They get bloody sick of the baths.

Aversive training doesn’t need to be mean or awful.

Diapers sure were convenient. But you aren’t a baby any more, my love. It’s time to help you learn a new part of taking care of yourself. I know you don’t want to. I don’t want to either. But life is like that. We all change.

I want nine kids. Damn his vasectomy.

I would die. Bless his vasectomy.

Fuck you for bringing reality into this relationship. (I say as I talk to myself.)

I decided I should spend as much of babysitting time sitting still as I could force myself to do between bathroom breaks. I’m drinking a lot of tea cause it is damn cold out here.

But this is the only peace to be had. There’s no room at the inn. Ha.

I understand smokers so much more now.

I’m back to my noisy as heck neighborhood. It’s a busy suburb under a bunch of different airports with a railroad track right next to our house between two major freeways.

I’m home.

I don’t live in a city. I don’t want to. In cities… I don’t fit. I’m wrong and wrong and wrong and wrong.

I don’t do that much better in truly rural settings.

I’m something different.

But you know what? My neighbors like me.

I’m home.

My next door neighbor laughed when I told him about people ranting about how they don’t like those weirdos in California.

He laughed and said, “We are weird.”

This was intensely amusing to me.

Given that I am… weird.

He’s uhm yeah. He’s not much like me. Nope nope nope. He is what I would think of as the stereotype of someone who is a suburban dad because that is his dream come true. We’ve talked through some (entertaining to me) personality issues he’s had as a coach over the years. He’s a good guy. And he says stuff I absolutely yell at him for because they are not ok and I call him on that. You know what? He tells me all the time he is glad he knows me.

When I was younger I’d get really pissed off about people saying “Don’t hold back, tell me how you really feel.”

absolutely fucking exploded.

Because it means, “Shut up.”

These days people say, “I really like that you don’t hold back. You tell me how you really feel.”

It’s different.

I don’t know how much it is that I am different and how much it is that my methods are different and how much it is that peoples perception of my position in life and the relative worth of my opinions has changed.

That whole fucking spectrum baffles the fucking shit out of me.

I don’t spend that much time bragging about my victories because my arms fucking hurt. I save my damage for preventing other self harm. I record my fuck ups. So I can never ever deny them. Or if I start to deny something I’ll check myself and say, “Wait. You say I did ____ when you were _____. I would have written that down. Let’s go check. Yup. I totally did that. I really did and it was completely wrong. You are right to remember it as a I time I violated your boundaries. I’m sorry. I should not have done that. I should have done _____ or _____ or ____. But I didn’t.”

And then they will get to decide how they feel about that.

I don’t want to be able to rewrite history.

Yes, it is technically possible for me to rewrite blog entries. Know how I don’t edit much? That’s part of that.

I don’t want to change the story.

I know that if I go back and edit things based on a different mood I may very well change things in ways that dramatically alter the perception of what happened.

I don’t want to do that. If I want to add more on a topic, I do that. I don’t go back and rewrite it though.

It happened. I was wrong. I am very very very very wrong sometimes.

It is not your fault. It is my fault.

I wish people didn’t have to forgive me for fucking up. I am not at that point yet. I am not sure I will ever get there.

But I sure hope the fuck ups are… something different. You know?

Am I abusing my children? Goodness I hope not. I’m told I am not. But I’m afraid. I’m afraid the people saying so don’t really know. But my children say no. I try not to pester them with asking.

I “know” I should never ever ask. I should just know. But I have to ask because I don’t know and I don’t think I am a very good judge.

I know that is an unfair burden. I should be good at judging. I’m not. I have never been good at that. People are so different.

I don’t ask them if I abuse them. I ask them if they would like to change aspects of how we are interacting or if things are working for them. “When x happens I do y and I’m not sure if that is your preference. There are a, b, or c as options if that would be more appropriate.”

And the “work” they do is mostly drawing and playing lego’s and destroying my house as they tell fantastic stories involving almost everything we own going on the floor.

They are learning how to build with what they have. They are also learning how to clean up and how to be a person who is capable of caring for themselves.

I think this is the work of their lives.

I’m ok with you having different plans for your children.

It takes all kinds.

Time to go in.

Let me tell you something about the internet.

When you use “do not link” so that it isn’t obvious where you are coming from… it’s still obvious that assholes are dropping by.

Just so you know.

Do you know what the difference is between mean and bullying? Bullying would be coming to my sandbox to tell me off. Y’all ain’t doing that.

You have my sincere gratitude and appreciation for that. This is really fucking mild in the world of being disapproved of. I see that and I am grateful.

Being mean is showing up so you can come up with reasons to go back to your own sandbox and cackle.

You know what? I think everyone is mean sometimes.

But I’m really really really grateful that I’m not being bullied. I’m really not. It’s ok for people to not approve of me and to talk about that.

It’s ok.

I just don’t need to read it.

Bullies and being mean

At some point in the last year or so I got tired of the word bully. I don’t think it means what people think it means. It is used in all kinds of histrionic ways that I don’t think are appropriate.

To me bullying is an extended type of interaction between people who have no ability to get away from one another. In schools, children don’t have the option of avoiding their peers. So if one kid constantly targets another kid, that’s bullying.

People I don’t know showing up out of the blue to be assholes… that’s not bullying. They are being mean. They are assholes. But they aren’t bullying me. Bullying is about specifically trying to coach a set of conditioned behavior out of someone you perceive as being less than you.

I mean, it’s pretty obvious these women think they are better than me. But I don’t have to interact with them. So it isn’t bullying.

I can choose to not go to their sandbox. I have the right to stay in my sandbox, where I am adored.

I tell you, my ten year old self wouldn’t have believed that this many people would ever like me.

I will never be universally liked. That’s ok. If I were it would mean I had no true principles.

Pam told me last night that I previously said something like “Even fucking Santa Clause isn’t universally liked. There is no chance for me.” I stick by that.

I will continue to write people letters and postcards and attempt to insert myself into their lives. Even in cunts in Missouri think I’m a gross weirdo for doing so. You know what? The vast majority of people think it’s awesome.

I’m trying to be friendly. I don’t want to take anything from you. I don’t need you to do anything for me. I want to sit down and chat for a few hours so I can learn more about the wonderful variety of people in the world. But if your response is to ignore me and go bitch on the internet, you are a cunt.

You could have returned one of the letters “return to sender” and I would have gotten the hint without you having to bring dozens of people to my sandbox to point and laugh at the freak. How in the world do you live with being yourself?

Well, you need to spend your time wandering around the internet looking for people to put down.

You know what? I’m so glad my kids didn’t meet you. You did me a huge favor. Thanks!

You know what? I am an asshole. I’m ok with that. Are you ok with the fact that you are an asshole too or are you delusional enough to think you are nice?

So of course I’m thinking of the damn Taylor Swift song.

You’re pointing out my flaws as if I don’t already see them. As if I’ve not spent years carefully cataloging them so that I can punish myself with the utmost severity for every time I screw up.

It’s kind of funny.

I think the world wants me to hate myself. I think that is the reflection the world wants to see when it looks at me. That is what I have been told to think all my life. Since long before I actually was the monster they accused me of being.

The thing is, the more I hate myself the worse I treat everyone around me.

My children deserve better than that.

My shining, joyous children. My children who teach me about everything good in the world. The children I strive to deserve every day.

I do not assume I will have a relationship with my adult children. I know that I have to earn it through decades of consistent good behavior. Or my children will leave me how I left my mother. I know how these things go.

So it doesn’t matter if people on the internet think I am abusive. It matters if my children think I am abusing them.

I check in with my kids a lot. Pretty much every day. “Am I asking too much of you? I want to push you but not break you. If I’m pushing too hard tell me to stop. I don’t know what you are capable of. Only you know.”

I have done this since I was teaching them to walk. Since I started trying to teach table manners. Everything.

I want to help you learn as much as I am capable of helping you learn so that you can go have the most wonderful life you can possibly have. I don’t want to hurt you. But I’m a rough and aggressive person and I totally could if I’m not careful. I’ll check in a lot.

We actually spend a lot of time around different people. My children interact with a lot of different personality types. They get buffers. They get all kinds of treatment from kid glove to kind of rough.

They have god damn opinions about all of it and they will tell you so in about 97 parts.

I know that my behavior is not always correct. They tell me when they have a problem with me. I know it is popular to believe that children should not ever have to tell their parents to stop. But the thing is, I’ve never met an adult who is a mind reader. Ever adult oversteps with children sometimes.

The difference is in my house the kids are allowed to say stop.

“Mom your voice is harsher than you intend. Don’t do that.”

I do not believe that I am allowed to assure myself that I am not abusing my children. I do not have that right. Not ever.

Not until they are adults and they tell me so. I am absolutely on the hook for policing my behavior every minute of every day until they are not under my control and they tell me that I did it right.

I don’t really give a shit about any one else in the worlds opinion.

And for once, I also have the self control to not go check. Just to verify that people think I am as evil as the most severe of my fears.

You know what? Those are not the tapes I want in my head any more.

There are literally already hundreds of tapes of people telling me that I am bad and worthless and I can’t do anything right.

I genuinely don’t need more in order to have a balanced picture of myself. But thank you for caring so very much about ensuring I am able to provide the highest quality care for my children that I possibly can. I know that your actions are motivated by years of training, education, and love.


What is “neglect”?

It is when children have explicit, clear needs and they aren’t met. That can mean so many many many many things.

I’m not going to try to get into a list.

There is the possibility, maybe even the probability that my children have needs I am not meeting. It is highly likely that there are aspects of their personhood I am 100% blind to and I am not doing what they need to help them towards their future life because it is entirely outside my scope of imagination.

Yes, I know. I tell them that. I deliberately and consciously bring them around lots and lots of kinds of people. Many kinds of learning environments. Many kinds of teachers. So they can have exposure to skills and talents I lack. So they can learn, “Hey mom. What so and so did really felt like it was scratching an itch I didn’t know I had. I need more of that.”

Ok. Let me figure out how to arrange that. I’ve never considered it before. Please give me a few days to do research and I’ll come back with a whole list of possible plans and you can tell me what will work best for you.

No, I’m not perfect. I’m a mean asshole.

I know.

I try hard not to take it out on the people around me. It isn’t their fault. I try hard to be very aware that I am angry about things that are over. It isn’t fair to bring them into today.

I shouldn’t be scared and reacting with anger because of that fear. I know.

I know.

I’m trying.

I noticed recently that my suicidality actually was far less present than average on the trip. My usual PMDD nightmare days just weren’t as big of a problem as usual. I had some bad moments. I didn’t have whole days of lying prone and crying. (I pay for babysitting so my children don’t have to deal with this. No, they do not put their life on hold for my feelings. Near as I can tell my feelings are off stage for my kids most of the time.)

My sweet Eldest Child just came and knocked on the window and waved wildly and smiled super big. Then she signed that she wants me to come inside and snuggle her.

Well god damn. That’s better than whining on the internet.


Noah says I’m handling this round of assholes better than usual. In the past I would have been reading the thread and crying all day long. I’m getting better about thinking that I don’t have to be aware of other peoples opinion of me. I don’t have to know. I don’t have to ask. I don’t want to ask. I don’t want to know.

I’ll stick to caring about the opinions of people who show up and act like a reasonable, respectful person towards me.

But my hits are still high. That pisses me off. Vultures.

Y’all have no boundaries. If you’re here because you want to mock me, you aren’t a good person. You get to live with that. Thank goodness I don’t have to live with people who have as poor of boundaries as you. *phew*

Am I fucked up person? Well, probably. I’ve been documenting my issues for over 10 years. I’ve been in therapy for 30 years because of all kinds of shit.

Yeah. I’m fucked up. But you are here. Because you have… no boundaries or respect for your fellow human being.

Who is fucked up?


I had a great visit with a neighbor today. We chatted for two hours while the kids played. Towards the end I brought up the troll shit. Because I’m a whiny bitch. I mentioned what I had read of specific criticisms. (I don’t know where the thread goes beyond where I did my idiotic number of responding to questions and I really don’t want to know. I’ve been idiotic enough to log in and see that the fucking thread exploded but I had just enough self control to not fucking read it.)

I don’t actually need to care about these peoples opinions of me. They will never actually spend time to get to know me. They have already judged me and it doesn’t matter what I’m actually like.

Everyone who has ever read my writing says, “Wow you are different in person.”

This is the absolute most extreme of my thinking. I’m really a lot fucking milder in person. I have a lot more self control than you might perceive as a judgmental random person.

I don’t really give a shit. I’m not writing for you. I’m writing to organize my thoughts for myself. I’m not writing with the goal of communicating with you, Oh Jane Blow.

I’m writing for Noah. And he does know what I’m doing. And he does track my behavior and my interactions with the kids. So, uhm, your “concern” is … yeah.

You aren’t concerned. You are entertained by feeling superior. That’s a wee bit different.

You know what? I won’t ever come back and read. It’s totally cool for you to have your space to say whatever you want and it doesn’t have to impact me. But for the love of shiny green apples, go the fuck away.

I have managed to chase off most of the folks who really wanted me to become a source of porn for them because they wanted to jack off to thinking about me being raped as a little kid. How hard can it be to chase off a pack of “concerned strangers”?

You aren’t actually concerned about my children. I mean, sorta you are in a self serving anxious way. Not in a way that reflects any awareness of my children.

My children glow with love and health. You really… yeah. I don’t know many people who haven’t been hit by their parents. I know extremely few people who think they have the right to say “Stop” to their parents.

I’m ok with what I’m doing. I mean… no… I’m not ok with all of what I’m doing. I know I get to the point of being a bully. I’m learning a lot about the size and shape of that and what I need to do to create space for myself where I don’t do that.

But you don’t know anything about me. You don’t know how I talk to my children. You believe you do. You seem to think you know a lot. Have fun with that.

Children vary. What is wildly inappropriate or abusive for one child is necessary and or desirable to another child.

Also, cultures vary lots. People all over the world have incredibly different views of what it means to be a child. My children are not having a privileged American childhood. Yeah, they are being taught about work.

It was hilarious when I listed off some of the things people were complaining about. I said, “I’m always afraid these kinds of people might be right. I really don’t want to hurt my kids.”

She started laughing. She told me about how she handles her kids, how her parents handled her, how her siblings handle their kids.

You know what? Eldest Child is probably right. I’m about average. I’m not that great. I’m not that bad. Mostly because I do some things very very well and some things very very badly. So I sorta average out.

I’m getting better at working around my very very badly areas.

Yes. I have severe developmental delays and I don’t know how to do everything I probably should know how to do.


My children are preternaturally confident. They are very sure of who they are, what they want, and what they should get from the world. And they bloody well expect to be treated with at least civility or they will object with great fervor.

I spend a lot of time writing that I want to beat the shit out of my children. I don’t say it that often. Even when my kid told me to knock it off it wasn’t that common and it was mostly muttered under my breath. I don’t yell at them. I don’t threaten them that they must do x work or I will beat them.

I acknowledge to myself that I’m done. Then I turn to them and say, “My drawer of spoons is completely and totally empty. Can you help?”

But yeah. I don’t write for your clarity. I write so I will remember the most extreme bits and not try to deny that they happened.

I’ll remember the good parts. They are so very wonderful.

Gotta go hang out with my friend. And my friend’s kids. And my other friend. And my husband. And my kids.

Because I’m doing ok. I’m not perfect. But I’m doing ok.

Being mean and abuse

Given my childhood history I have a whole cascade of feelings when folks say I’m abusive. I experienced abuse. What my children live in is on a whole different planet. But that doesn’t mean I get to say it isn’t abuse. I don’t have the right. My perspective is really irrelevant.

The only people who have the right to say if I am abusing them or just being kinda mean sometimes… are the people I’m interacting with. And my kids feel very fucking empowered to defend their boundaries.

Yeah, I pull their hair sometimes. We’ve talked about it many times. We have brainstormed other, less obnoxious ways of getting their attention I try them for a while and they abjectly fail and I communicate my frustration and the kids say, “Ok I can see why you pull my hair. Keep it gentle.”

My kids get really fucking absorbed in things. They’ve been allowed to develop the ability to concentrate so fiercely they don’t have much awareness of what is happening around them. Especially in loud and/or crowded situations. It can be really fucking hard to get their attention. So I pinch a little hair between my index finger and my thumb. I don’t do it hard. I’m not trying to hurt nor punish them. That’s not the point.

When I’m too rough they turn around and smack my hand and say, “That was too rough. More gentle.”

So you know what… I find it kind of hard to believe that pulling their hair is going to be high on the list of things I’m going to hell over.

Frankly I’m kind of disgusted that the hens weren’t getting angry at me for slapping my daughter. Why in the hell wasn’t that brought up as far more objectionable?! Jesus you people have the weirdest god damn perspectives.

Yes. I’m mean. Yes. I’m kind of a bully sometimes. This is a well known and published fact.

And you know what? I tell my children, “I am sorry I am kind of a bully sometimes. I am trying to change the behavior I was socialized to have and it is really really hard and sometimes I fuck up. That’s because of me failing to have the control I am supposed to have and it is never because of you. You are not capable of forcing me to lose control. Only I am responsible for me losing control.”

And you know what? That’s the best I god damn have.

Yes. I am a bully sometimes. I know.

They know too. And they feel free to tell me that my tone of voice is too harsh, that my hands are too rough and that I need to be more loving because their bucket is feeling empty.

I can’t do more to prepare them for life. There will be mean bastards in the world. I’m trying to hand them as many tools for coping as I can.

Given how many times I was paddled in public school and dragged around by a whole handful of hair…

You know. I have a hard time believing that what my kids have is so god damn bad.

I’m not saying I think I’m nice. I’m not even saying I think I’m a good mother. I’m saying that (as my Eldest Child likes to tell me) generationally we are improving massively but as a family we aren’t yet where we want to be. We are working on it though.

When I walk through the door back into the house I need to shake this off. I need to act like I am a perky, happy person who can make mistakes and move on. I have to act like that because I have to model it. Right now I don’t just have my kids. I have my awesome Bonus Kids. And their mom. Frankly, it is really important to me that I nail these interactions.

Sorry I don’t live up to your standards.

I don’t need to live up to your standards.

Why did I send a break up card? I sent an acknowledgment that I will stop putting effort towards you. I don’t do slow fades. I call it like I see it. I understand that it makes me weird.

I’m really really really really happy to be weird like me instead of normal like you.

I’ll keep doing me.

I need this to be a one night bump.

I am so fucking pissed. Yup, come read a few blog entries then gather like fucking cackling hens to talk about how much better you are than the mentally ill woman.

I hope you feel very good about yourselves. Clearly you are superior to me in every way. That’s fine. I can live with that.

I don’t need this to be a competition. If it is a competition, fine. I lose. Can we move on now? Are we still in grammar school? This isn’t even high school level snark. I know. I went to five then worked in them. High school kids are usually mature enough to leave mentally ill people alone. Grammar school kids pick them as a target.

Ask me how I fucking know.

Yes. You have not done the terrible things I have done. I know. You are better than me. I know.

There really isn’t a lot I can do about that.

It doesn’t really matter that I’m a fucking piece of shit. I have to wake up tomorrow and smile brightly and coax a very reluctant three year old through potty training. I have to clean some bedrooms because holy crap I haven’t finished unpacking. This will take a week or more. I feel like I’m drowning. I have to help a five year old learn how to use scissors. I have to help a six year old work on reading. I have to help a seven year old work on printing because it’s time.

My to do list is about as long as my arm. I have 93 other tasks I want to get done in the next two weeks. And you know what, I’ll get them done. Because I’m going to have a big god damn party with the very large number of people who think I’m god damn fantastic. And when they walk into my house… there will be comments of “Wow I love what you’ve done.” Utterly predictable every year. Because I always change things. Because I barely stop working long enough to sleep.

Because it really don’t matter that you think I’m a piece of shit. It doesn’t matter if you are better than me. I am here and you are not. My children need me and they don’t need you. So it doesn’t really matter that you are better.

There is nothing for me to actually win or lose here. My life will continue on with or without your approval. But I’ll tell you plain that knowing that a bunch of women, including someone I tried to befriend think it is fun to sit around and talk shit about me…

Well. There are reasons I believe people instantly when they say folks are mean to them or they were abused. People are fucking mean. The average human being likes to be mean for sport.

I really don’t have time for such nonsense.

I’ve got bigger fish to fry. And more important people to care about. Instead of pointing the finger at strangers on the internet I look around the people who actually fucking stand near me and I try to help wherever I can.

So judge the hell out of me. I guess it’s a hobby. I guess you need to have something to do with your time. Uhm. Ok then.

You do you. That will give me all the more reason to do me.

Edit to add: ok high school kids are that mean. I shouldn’t lie.

It’s bound to happen to trainwrecks like me.

I was snarked on a troll site. I was dumb enough to read the thread. I’m an abusive monster says the all knowing internet.

I’m really sad now. It feels like quite an interesting change from the rock star feeling I’ve been having as I nail interaction after interaction of integrating new people and routines and complications.

It doesn’t really matter. The worst things you have ever done are all you are.

And I already knew I was a monster. I knew that long before the kids. So of course it is only natural to think that I am monstrous towards them too.

I spew all my irrational feelings on the internet. I must be a horrible person. Duh. Like, obviously.

You know I write those monster blog posts before the kids are awake, right? It’s not like I spend all day doing this. Ok, right now the kids are awake but there are two other fucking adults interacting with them.

Does my husband step in to protect my children from me? Well, we’ve certainly had conversations about what to tone down. He has absolutely helped me draw boundaries. I picked him because he is both willing and able to do so.

I’m sorry that me talking about the things I like about my relationship with my husband is so obnoxious.

I really shouldn’t have read that thread.

You know, if you truly think I suck… you don’t have to read it. You are allowed to have blissful ignorance that miserable bastards like me exist.

You get to have that privilege if you want it.

I love you, but…

I gotta talk about you. Not because I feel maliciously towards you–really the opposite. Because I feel so many things and I don’t know how to separate what I feel for Person A from what I feel about Person B without a lot of conscious work.

I’ve been home for not much more than 48 hours and I feel… so very happy. I have heard from the majority of people I was worried about keeping in my life. The people I was scared would wander off because they were bored, they are all reaching out. “We missed you. Yes, we want you.”

It feels so incredible. It isn’t that I’ve heard from everyone I know (that would be seriously overwhelming) it is that the local people I am super anxious about keeping… they contacted me.

It’s funny how relationships kind of have different levels of anxiety for me. I honestly don’t worry that much about losing the relationships where we get together for a few hours once or twice a year. I don’t wear those people out. I’m usually able to keep my “difficult” mostly under wraps for a short period of time for reestablishing more tenuous contact. I’ve learned that skill pretty darn well.

I worry about the people I see once a month or more. I wear people down. I keep thinking about how Brittney made it through 30 years then she was…. completely done. It wasn’t ok to have talked about her family. Even though they are part of the reason I am who I am.

I don’t have the right.

The once a year people don’t fall into the cracks in my heart in the same way. I don’t talk about them the same way. I don’t risk alienating them in the same way. It’s all so complicated.

We, apparently, have a housemate situation again. Long-time readers at home may go, “Oh no. Krissy hasn’t ever lived well with roommates….”

You know the fear in my heart so well.

The thing is, with Sarah I think I always knew in the back of my mind that she has quite a support network. When I completely and abjectly failed her… she had other options. The person who is  here now… doesn’t have that kind of network.

Not to mention that I learned a lot from living with Sarah. I learned a lot about how and where I fail. I ask for too much and then I get really mean when I feel let down. That’s me. That’s a problem I’ve been working on all my life and it’s two steps forward and three steps back. My expectations and entitlement are real problems.

I cannot begin to express how wonderful it was to have Sarah join us for the last four days of the trip. Not to mention because she brought along her little brother and he brought his housemate and the two fellas just about kidnapped my kids for three days. So I got to have alone time with Sarah. It was…

We travel so well together. I feel so ashamed that I couldn’t adapt to living together. That was my failure.

Side note: the kids and I are grieving the Godmamas really hard. It’s an ongoing really painful process. I offered help and was refused and then I was dumped for not helping. I don’t know what to do with these feelings. It was suggested to me that I might write the one in California a letter to explain that I tried to help and was refused. But the thing is, writing that letter would be trying to drive a wedge between my friend and her wife. It would be saying, “Pick me, not her.” I can’t do that. They are married. It is more important that I be a friend to their marriage even though I feel like I was treated unfairly and I was hurt. That is what I need to do to actually be this persons friend even though it hurts me.

You know what? I can take a lot of pain. I never feel good about passing it around just so my burden is less. I really can take more than a lot of other people. I should. It doesn’t actually wreck my life to carry these burdens. It does wreck some people.

I can grieve hard for Marcie and Brittney and my mom and turn that into loving compassion for the people who choose to show up for me still. I am not truly abandoned. Not completely. I am deeply loved. Just…. not by everyone. Just…. not everyone can be in a permanent relationship with me even if they love me.

Life is like that.

I want so badly to be the person I want to be deep in my belly. I feel like there is no amount of work that could be too much to get there. It doesn’t matter how hard it is, I have to do it. Because the option is ending up like my friend who is trapped in his house in Oakland. He doesn’t go anywhere. He backed out of all friendships. He is lonely and scared and angry and he just can’t reach out any more.

I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be my mother. I don’t want to retreat from the world into the bosom of my highly dysfunctional, abusive family because it feels like the only safety.

I want something different.

I want to work with children who have a hard time learning. I want to figure out how to help them learn. I am deeply and painfully aware of how hard it is to learn when you are emotionally dysregulated. More than I want to breathe I want to reduce the pain other people feel.

Why don’t I care more about myself than other people? Logotherapy. People can survive almost anything if they have something that motivates them to keep moving through hardship. I want to reduce the pain in the world. That motivates me. That pushes me in a way that I can’t explain. I feel a fire in my belly.

I don’t think *I* am capable of saving people. But I am very good at finding tools for my tool belt and lending them out to other people and explaining how they work. I can maybe talk to them about how to save themselves. Because I can’t do it. I don’t have that power. You have to want it.

What I can do is talk about the wondrous variety of ways I’ve fucked up and what I’ve learned from that. We are social animals. We often learn from the experiences of others.

I have about six books going through my head right now. I need to start files for all of them. I know what the first line is going to be for Part 2. I’m not telling you, oh internet. It’s a secret. But I know what it is.

I want to write a speculative fiction book about technology culture. I have a specific idea and I’m fleshing it out and I’m talking to folks who work in tech about specifics about how some of the elements will work.

I want to write a specific book about what I learned on the road trip. It was… very educational.

I want to write a whole series of childrens books. I want to share the scripts I use. Not because they are perfect and should be copied word for word, because perhaps they will inspire people to consider multiple points of view when handling situations. Maybe they will be just a bit more patient. Specifically I have some specific narratives around being a parent with severe mental illness and how to talk to your kids about it so they don’t take on responsibility for the adult’s problems. Near as I can tell my kids are intensely aware I have problems and that they aren’t their fault. They don’t try to “fix” me but they do learn how to have boundaries around my problems. They stand up for themselves.

There’s a specific book about white trash I want to write. There are specific points and elements I need to string together that I’ve never seen anyone else put together before.

I want to write a book for my mother. There are specific things I want to say. I want to do it before she dies. I’m not 100% sure I will ever send it to her or ask her to read it. But I need to write it. I may not be able to write Marcie a letter, but I need to write a whole book to my mother.

And I know I have some major structural reworking of Outrunning Suicide ahead of me. I’ve got some work cut out for me.

Did I mention that my garden missed me something fierce? It is going to need a fiendish amount of love and attention to come back. Don’t worry. I have approximately a metric shit ton of love to give.

Did I mention that it is time to take home schooling a bit more seriously? There’s some very specific work I need to do around that.

There is a conversation I need to have that I’m dreading so much it makes me want to puke. It doesn’t feel like it can wait until January. But I’m not god damn driving till then and I think the chance of this person coming to me for this chat are just about 0. So… feelings! God this conversation will be challenging. I have literally no idea how it will go and that is fucking awful. There are things I need to apologize for because they fall outside of what I expect from myself. Those are probably not the same things that someone else would like me to apologize for. That’s always fucking complicated. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck.

Before we left on the trip there was part of me that feared that I would be ripping my children from their friends and they wouldn’t have any when we got back. Snicker. Uhm, yeah. My paranoia on that front is assuaged. There’s been a circus here this weekend. We’re good. And I had to tell people they couldn’t come over yet cause we had a full house.

Holy shit. We are home.

A long time ago I didn’t think this house could ever be my home. I didn’t pick it and that is a canker in my breast. But the thing is, I did. I picked Noah. I picked someone who would want a house like this. He picked a blank empty uninteresting shell because he doesn’t care that much about shells. I care intensely. Your shell communicates so much to people who care to look. But you know what? In many ways he did something much more incredible for me. He gave me a space where I am unreservedly wanted and then he told me to do anything I wanted with the shell. It didn’t start out what I wanted. But it is bloody well getting there and that feels like magic.

This is my home.

It’s different than usual right now. There are more people than usual. Almost every bed has two people in it.

You know what? That’s how I grew up. It feels like a house full of love to me.

If I can manage to not fuck everything up. Again.

I’m having an interesting time resettling. My body is very used to taking a whole week of sleeping pills per night in order to sleep 7-8 hours. I want off the pills but I think this is going to take some titration in order for me to not go bananas and beat everyone.

I want to beat someone so badly my fingertips ache. It is a really incredible feeling. I feel like a champagne bottle about to blow. I want to make someone cry. I want that impulse to be ok. I want someone to want that from me. I want to hit someone until they are black and blue and sobbing and they collapse to the floor and I still fucking hit them.

I am so very frustrated. I don’t want to do that to my children or my husband. I want to do that to someone who really likes it. Because I have all this energy in my body and there are ways to do things with it that are intensely positive for just the right people. That is so very complicated.

My friends keep saying, “Just negotiate it!” I know. I love you all for suggesting it. Thank you. You are giving advice and I no longer turn and attack like a pit viper for that kind of thing. I’m improving.

It helps that y’all have gotten to know me. Your advice has gotten so much better. You take me into consideration before you give it. Thank you.

I feel so lucky. I feel like I have more than nine lives. I get to keep trying again to reinvent myself. I get to adapt and become something new. I was kind of talking about this last night. When it comes to community organization/revolution sorta stuff there are at least three kinds of people. Ideas people, Folks who can build a system, & Folks who can maintain a system.

I’m sorta a hybrid of ideas and system building. I feel very lucky to have this hybrid inside of me. But I feel really deep shame around the fact that I am not a sustainer. I can’t. I don’t have that to give. I have a lot of sustainers in my life and I deeply admire them. But I can’t be them. But you know what? I can rip apart a broken system and rebuild it and improve it better than they can. That is worth something too.

We all have our parts to play. We can all be main characters. We can all be the right kind of me.

You do you and I’ll do me and maybe we can improve this place a bit?

I’ve wrapped 45 presents so far. I’m maybe halfway through my list of names. I am such a very lucky woman. I have so many people to love. I’m going to be shipping packages all over the world. Because I am lucky enough to be loved like that.

I sent probably 450+ postcards on the trip. I sat down to write them in batches of 80. I wrote until my hands cramped and I couldn’t hold a pen. I didn’t do it as often as I hoped to be able to, but I had at least nine good rounds.

I have a lot of names in my address book and most people got multiple cards. Not everyone. Sorry. My hands really really hurt.

The children got the most.

I remember what it meant as a child to have adults choose a relationship with me. I choose these children and I will do the necessary work. Because not many people picked me as a kid and it was horrifyingly damaging. I really and truly want there to be less pain in the world. The only way I can do that is to look for patterns and try to change them. I can meet children and choose to stay in their lives. I can choose to put effort towards them and let them know through my actions that they are worthy of time and effort and attention.

Noah really kinda changed everything for me. I really and truly don’t believe I would be capable of being the person I am becoming without Noah. It’s not just that he grants me access to the ability to be a philanthropist. It is that Noah gives me attention with all the heat of the sun. Noah wants to work hard for me and work hard with me and stand back to admire my hard work. Then he’ll fuck me all night long so that I’m constantly flooded with oxytocin.

This is what I always wanted.

I used to be really not interested in oral sex. These days I actually like it quite a bit. It’s really nice. It feels so very loving and bonding and nice. I never wanted that before.

I feel like I am a very different person than I was at 18.

Part of that is because of me. The rest is because I have access to good therapy and I have the best fucking friends any person has ever had. I am supported and loved. I see the web shining and clear. I have learned so much this year. I may spend the rest of my life writing about it.

I want to understand myself and I want to understand other people. So I put a tremendous amount of time and energy into studying folks. I ask a lot of nosy questions. I am not what you might consider a shy and retiring flower. I don’t assume people want their privacy. I assume people are sad and lonely and they really want to bond. So I try. Sometimes I’m wrong about a specific persons motivations and it doesn’t work out. That’s ok. I can try again. Nothing is perfect the first time. Noah isn’t the first boy I promised to marry. But he is the only one I actually married. So I practiced for permanent relationships a lot before I figured out how to ask for what I needed.

“No one is perfect but love makes us so.”*  Being with Noah is better than not being with Noah. Full stop. Does that make him perfect? No. But he really is perfect for me. The complex mix of awful and awesome is exactly what I need.

Let me tell you. Sitting in my back yard in California is not the frigid chilly experience it usually is for me. The rest of the country is fucking cold. This feels so nice this year. Ha. It is normal California chilly, the plants are doing their things. But my experience of it is altered. I am altered. What I expect is altered.

Life is like that.

Permanent revolution. You know… I’ve never actually read Mao. Maybe I should.

I think the problem with all historical systems is there is no such thing as a pure system that can solve all problems. Socialism isn’t the answer. Communism isn’t the answer. Capitalism isn’t the answer. We need a hybrid. We need to figure out what works for which problem and implement solutions as necessary.

It isn’t ok that so many people are hungry. It isn’t ok that so many people live in horrifying poverty. It isn’t necessary.

I have seen that it isn’t necessary.

I can’t unsee that.

There can be less pain in this world. It isn’t mandatory for this many people to suffer this much. Will people always experience pain? Of course. There will always be death and separations and grief and pain. We will always fall and scrape our knees. We will try to climb to get at the Christmas presents and break our arms.

That’s ok.

Things don’t have to be the way they are. Things can change.

Why do I believe that? Because I have studied history. That is all we do: we change. I am a progressive person. I want to help knock down the current broken system so we can build something better. We are capable of such amazing things.

I’ve traveled a lot. Human beings are capable of incredible perseverance and scope.

Oh the things I’ve seen. We are not Mother Nature. We don’t make things like the Grand Canyon. But we really aren’t so shabby.

Go see the Crazy Horse memorial some day. It will inspire you. That family…. holy shit.

If you can’t find a way make a way. That’s what we do.

I’m both intensely impressed with my species and quite sad about the issues. Good golly.

Some of the most incredible people are also monsters. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I think about it a lot.

Am I a monster?

Cue Lady Gaga singing about there being a monster in my head.

That one line of hers goes round and round and round in my brain.

The hilarious thing is… I’m not entirely sure I have the words right. We take the meaning we need to have from the world. Communication is less about what the speaker intends and more about what the listener finds. People are so fucking weird.

Sometimes I have these moments where I think that my friends really aren’t as great as I make them out to be in my head. Then I think, “Ahhh… but people rise or fall to the expectations you set. I’ll keep building them up.” It’s complicated.

There is a huge heavy stone in my heart. There is something I’m working on. It’s a big super hard super big thing. It kinda feels like everything. And I can’t talk about it yet. I can’t even breathe about it out loud until I make a decision. That’s complicated for me. I don’t do very well with processing things on my own like that. I am in fact, really really really bad at coming to positive conclusions that way. Thus the genesis of my writing/verbal diarrhea flow of TMI about my internal process.

Hi, internet, I’ve missed you. But my hands are cramping. I should stop. I’ve got my work cut out for me today. I’m going to drop the van off for servicing and hug my lovely mechanic and thank him for all of his help and advice. He saved my ass. I’ll probably bring a bag of presents that need shipping and come home by way of the post office. It’s less than .3 of a mile extra. I really look forward to walking home. This is my running path. This is my turf. This is my home.

I haven’t ever felt like this before. I feel so comfortable and so welcome and so very wanted.

I need to stop off and chat with my neighbors and thank them for the help and advice that helped keep us safe. I am so very grateful.

I need to go touch the strings of my web. I need to congratulate it for being so strong and shiny and beautiful. Thank you for doing you so that I can do me. I need you so much. Thank you.

I love you.



*(Call the Midwife)

Big feelings and safety.

I was shaking my head watching the kids play at Legoland. A mom started up a conversation. She asked which kids were mine. We both dodged careening bodies. I pointed. My kids were currently fighting. She laughed and said, “Girls do that too? I thought that only happened when a boy was involved.”

I said, “Oh no. Fighting happens between siblings regardless of gender. We’ve had bloody lips and bruises.”

She looked shocked.

She asked why they fight. I am pretty sure she meant it in a rhetorical manner based on how it was phrased but I never let that stop me.

I said, “They fight because your family is your practice for having big feelings. It is the safest place you’ll ever have in your life if your parents do their job right. Kids need to have a safe place to learn how to have big feelings. That’s what siblings give them.”

She looked positively shocked.

Then she said, “I really needed to hear that. Your family is your safe place for having big feelings. Thank you for saying that to me.”

I said, “No problem! I’d say I’m here all the week but it’s a lie. We push out tomorrow. Good thing you caught me.” Then I grinned a Noah-worthy cocky grin.

She laughed.

Like, my kids today have alternated fighting, playing, (currently) giving one another massages, and vowing that they will never play with you again.

Right. Did I mention the massage going on now?

They crack me up.

They also frequently tell me that they are really glad they get have the life we have. They talk to school kids a lot. They don’t want to go to school. They want to learn. Eldest Child keeps saying, “I’ll go to school some day. Like college or something.” Youngest Child started out the trip pissed off about missing kindergarden. We had seriously negotiations about the possibility of a mid-year start.

I don’t see it as likely now. Yeah, they need some space away from one another… but this is working. We need to tweak some things. They need separate damn bedrooms. That’ll happen. In six days.

We split them up before leaving. That way I don’t have that task waiting for me. Yay!

Thank you past me. Your future self says good fucking work. Smart thinking and all that.

I’m having serious thoughts about my pantry. It is probably going away. I don’t know what I’m going to do for food storage. I need the room for books.

I’m going to have to get creative and interesting in how I store books. I’m really looking forward to this. This is my happy face. This is my happy place.

I haz all the booooooooooooooooks. I’ll write reviews and such. 😀

I want to go home and read books and have tea parties. I like my bubble. It is quite wonderful. Soon. Two more nights here. Four nights at Disneyland with Sarah (which will be rad).

I’m looking forward to the adult conversation.