Glitter, expectations, potential, and success.

Well this is going to be a bragging asshole kind of post. I already feel guilty. But I’m going to do it anyway. Why? Because people are complicated and shouldn’t be treated like single issue focused creatures.

I’ve been touching base with some of my boys. This is always a little bit of a weird experience for me. It’s not that they sit around and wait for me but… they leave a space in their life for me. In case I should ever choose to step back in. That is daunting, flattering, and exciting. It means I should consider how to manage the situation so I don’t hurt anyone in a way they don’t need to be hurt.

The goal here isn’t to break as many hearts as possible. The goal is to make as much love as possible so that everyone can be happier, right? But happiness is one of those tricky things. Sometimes it is zero sum game and sometimes more happiness multiplies the happiness. It depends on who you are dealing with, what makes them happy, and what kind of happiness they aspire to in the future.

I feel that if my hoohaw is glittery enough that people are trailing me for decades… I can be gracious. That’s an honor, yo.

But it’s kind of a weird honor. It’s an honor that for at least a few months in a row I stopped wanting. (May I say how tactful my boys were. They stepped right back and didn’t re-present until I started sounding feisty again.)

My boys were respectful about the difference between “no” and “not now”. Thanks!

That’s… well done. Fabulously done. I’m impressed. No one pissed me off with their tenacity. They just kinda… hung out till I was ready to interact with them how they like to be interacted with again.

Oh. Well shit.

I’m feeling feisty. I don’t know what this is going to mean. I’m not feeling slutty, it’s different. Noah really does a good job of fucking me how I want to be fucked so I don’t feel like I’m missing much in the sex department. But I miss bdsm. I miss being that person. I love watching folks eyes light up when they see me because they know I’m about to send a chemical storm of awesome through their body.

There isn’t much else like it.

I think it is funny how the boys stick around and the girls swim on. I don’t have a single girl waiting around on me. Even though I like playing with girls more than I like playing with boys.

Want to know one of the sad facts about the patriarchy? Men and boys are conditioned to get by on the scraps they receive from people every great while. They are good at self-sustaining in between bursts of what I feel like giving them. Women are more complex and either give up on sex and decide they aren’t worthy so they don’t stay in the queue or they move on and slam the door behind them.

That’s my slutty experience.

I don’t think my boys should wait around. I think it just happens. I think it is more that they don’t slam the door behind them than that they are waiting. If that makes sense. It’s not that they are aggressively chasing me at this point. (I’d be fucking rude if they were.) But they… let me know that if I ever change my mind…. here they still are.

I appreciate you so much there aren’t enough words.

You definitely do something for my self esteem that other parts of my life don’t impact. *puff chest*

Very very hot people are thoroughly convinced that they deeply want something I have to offer. Yeah. I feel cocky about that.

Noah and I were talking about the concept of potential the other day. He said that he’s pretty sure he’s used most of the potential he was born with in this life (I must say he’s done well by it) but he isn’t sure about me. He can’t tell at all where the limits of my potential are he just knows I’m not there yet.

That’s…

Oh. Yeah. This is why I like being married to you so much. It’s not just that you waited for me and came back. It’s not just that you fuck like my favorite porn star. It’s not just that you work and work to help make my dreams a reality…

It’s that you genuinely believe my potential is so great that you are going to work your whole life and feel like you are doing the right thing to help propel me forward.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

That’s intense, yo.

I am not just a slave put here to serve the interests of narcissists. heh.

To be fair that narcissist gave me the best possible start to my adult life. He gave me safety, boundaries, and the requirement of developing limits. I’m grateful.

I’m also ready to be something different.

That is feeling quite complex.

My friend asked if were going to be monogamish going forward. I feel guilty because I was the one who closed the relationship because I didn’t think we could recover from more mistakes any time soon. Now I’m the one most antsy. Typical.

I don’t know what we are going to do. I look forward to figuring it out with Noah though. He’s the best person I’ve ever met to talk to.

I have a lot of things on my to do list. They will all get done. I have a lot of things on my bucket list. Most of them will get done. Mostly because I get to do all this planning with Noah and between the two of us… we are quite remarkable.

Noah tells me that the secret to happiness is low expectations. It’s true and not true. On one hand, I expect Noah to be obnoxious and I used to think of him as lazy. (I’ve stopped.) On the other hand I kind of expect him to jump through flaming hoops… and he does.

He has risen to the level of father I demanded of him. I am constantly blown away by what a good father he is. He decided he was doing that shit and he does it like whoa. He’s serious. We made these people. We want to pay as much attention to them as we can possibly stand for their childhood. We pick the high intensity version of parenting. Can we have more time with them? Do we really need to sleep? Can we spend more time with them?

They will grow up so soon. They will go off. They will have to do their best with the lessons we have taught them. It is such a short time.

I don’t want to waste very many minutes.

If I could be lying prone snuggling up with my babies or I could be doing something “productive”? Guess what… productive will be here later. My babies will move on. I pick my babies.

I pick my babies.

I pick my babies.

So what the hell is up with my boys?

I’m a complex woman. I might be a gentle earth mama but I’m also a nasty predatory sadist. These days I know how to hunt for prey that really really really wants to be caught so I don’t feel bad.

Dude. They’ve been fucking waiting for almost two decades. I’m not hurting them by playing games that we both like. I’m having fun. I’m having a kind of fun other people don’t want to have and that’s ok. They don’t need to do it.

As for me, I’m going to beat a nice cock for hours and hours. I’m going to kick it until I have no more kinetic energy left in my body. When I’m done I’m going to snuggle my wonderful friend and feed him snacks and thank him for being so wonderful as to share this experience with me.

I appreciate you. I’m glad we can have this time together doing something we both like so much.

It can’t happen until I seriously catch up on sleep. I feel like a zombie.

Why do we pursue health? What does health mean?

Fuck if I know.

I don’t know what I expect from the future other than I will find adventures. Know what I know about adventures? Sometimes they are a much better story after the fact than a good experience while it is happening.

I have felt a lot of cognitive dissonance lately because people are feeling free to tell me that they had low expectations and high expectations and I’m exceeding them. All of them. I’m just… more than anyone thought I could be.

I don’t know what that means exactly. Doesn’t everyone have this potential? You can write your own story. All you need to do is take every opportunity to act upon the world, right?

I want to learn how to be a tactful ensemble character. I’m not going to stop being a main character. But I don’t want to treat people like they are disposable. Some chapters are short and we part ways and I’ll never talk to you again; that’s ok.

But some chapters pause then resume. Some characters come back in over and over again.

I see you. I am grateful.

Drifting a little

I’m getting to serious sleep deprivation again. I do that. It is shortening my fuse a lot in a variety of situations. Today is a body care day. My body is so upset about everything I’m doing to it. I’m making progress and that is upsetting.

I’m not sleeping enough to repair from the work I’m doing and that’s going to create a negative cycle sooner than later. That’s really damaging. Why am I so anxious?

I feel like I’m having an identity crisis. I have changed a lot of how I’m supposed to behave. I’ve changed a lot of who I am in the past few years.

So I’m sleeping for like half an hour to forty-five minutes in a go then I wake up terrified that I’m about to be late for something or I’m already crying or I feel like I’m bad bad bad.

I’m going to hurt everyone. I’m going to do it all wrong. I will never ever get to the point of being ok. I will never be able to be a good friend; I will always be a selfish bitch.

And I’m maxing out around six hours of sleep in a night. Heavily broken sleep. I’m starting to hurt pretty badly again. It’s been over a week of this. If I take four sleep aide pills I get to six hours of more consistent sleep with only one or two wake ups for peeing. So I’m kinda not wanting to up that dose again.

I don’t want to get back to the point where I’m taking seven or eight pills to get seven or eight hours of sleep. I know how much that hurts my body. But does this hurt me more? Who. The. Fuck. Knows.

 

Too much, again. Damnit.

Stuff is creeping in. Today: having lunch with a friend then we are getting tattoos. Tonight I’m having dinner with a lovely friend. Tomorrow is all the massage. The kids also have stuff to get to.

It isn’t that what I’m doing is hard, it is that I’m having to switch gears on what I’m thinking about. I was thinking about that process lately: transitioning. I’ve been staring at the kids all week and thinking about the idea of transitioning from one activity to another and how do we do it?

A friend asked me how I feel about classes that my kids sign up for. Do I insist on attendance? Err… it doesn’t come up much? My kids aren’t very scheduled. Our classes are exciting treats that we are very happy to learn about. There is no dragging. It isn’t hard for us to get out of the house (mostly) because I start getting ready about three hours before we need to leave.

Most days we sit down at breakfast and talk about the structure of the day. What are we doing? Where are we going? I give the kids an idea of what to expect and when I’ll start prompting them to get ready.

Very rarely I run into the room and say, “Oh shoot! I didn’t look at a clock and I forgot _____ and we need to walk out the door RIGHT NOW!!!”

I am shocked that when I do this the kids usually jump up in the air and start rushing to get ready like someone is chasing them with a hot poker. They have bought in to “this is our life and we are obligated to show up when we say we will”.

I talk a lot about respecting teachers because they choose to share what they know with people who want to learn. That’s a gift and an honor. You must respect the efforts of teachers.

Kinda funny given how anti school I am, right? I’m not anti teachers. I’m anti-Industrial-Era-conformity-brainwashing.

That’s not the same thing as learning or education or teachers. In fact I have incredible respect for the process of learning.

Not that every school (public or otherwise) works the same way. I know. But it’s a crapshoot year by year. In “school” you don’t get to pick your teachers, mostly. In life you do. College is a weird hybrid of “school” and life because you have some choice but not that much. You pick your place of education more. (Not that most people research the teaching staff much before picking a university.) You get to drop classes and take a different teacher if you don’t like an approach… sometimes.

I have multiple bad grades (D or F) on my record because of personality conflicts with teachers. Does that mean I know nothing about those subjects? Nope. It means that bitch didn’t like me.

That happens.

School is about measuring how you jump through the random hoops that someone decides to set for you. You think it is even and fair how those hoops are divvied out? Ha. Ha. Ha.

Standardized tests are flat out abusive to most minority populations. Why? Because they say, “Hey, how quickly can you identify all this random shit from White American Culture? Not fast? Then you’re stupid.”

That’s abusive.

And school in America in the year 2016 is about, “How fast can you regurgitate facts about this culture to prove you are ‘smart’.

Yes there are exceptions. Yes there are good teachers in public schools and there are good private schools.

Are those private schools available to people who are very poor? No? Then school in America is about regurgitating facts. I don’t care that your kid might be getting away with having a good experience. The majority of American children are not.

How do I know this? Why am I so god damn confident of what I know? Because I went to 25 schools. Then 7 universities. Then I substituted in about 8 schools. Then I taught in 4 schools.

It’s not a huge sample size. But it’s big enough to let me see a diversity most people get to pretend doesn’t exist. I went to schools in rural areas, in neighborhoods of a predominate ethnic identity other than white, in rich schools, in poor schools, and many levels in between. I’ve seen Silicon Valley, Compton, and rural Oklahoma.

I can’t speak to the east coast from personal experience. But I read a lot of teachers. I’m pretty sure I’m right from coast to coast. Teachers are talking about the problems in the system. All you have to do is go look a little bit and you’ll find criticism. You’ll never run out of it to read.

I don’t think my way is right or mass actionable. I don’t think the solution to our broken schooling system is everyone opting out to home school. But I don’t know how to force the solutions that are necessary. I don’t know how to force a non-abusive mechanism on top of an abusive system and I just can’t be part of that abusive system any more. Not as a student and not as a parent.

Could I be a teacher in that system? Sure. Why? Because I’m subversive as fuck and I think the kids who are there need people like me whenever possible. Will I sacrifice everything in my life on the altar of helping other peoples kids?

No. I made these two people. I’m responsible for them.

Yesterday I cracked. I stopped asking the kids to help and I sent them outside to play. They had a glorious day and I got the house like 75% of the way to clean. Yes, I know people believe that I clean frantically full time and my house is always spotless so it isn’t that much work (or something). Well, actually…. (I find myself using that more often because it is now a banned phrase in many places. I try to only do it when I’m being a snot and refuting ideas about myself that annoy me.) I don’t clean that much. My house turns into a pit just like everyone else’s house. But I host big parties pretty frequently and I usually spend about a week cleaning before hand. So people think my house is always clean.

It’s a ruse.

I can usually flight of the bumblebee and feel presentable for dinner guests. And my kids have to pick up their toys before they get screens so our house doesn’t get that bad. Only mostly they clean by shoving whichever behind whatever and into wherever. So every so often we have to dump ever drawer, every shelf, every everything in order to find things. Because seriously after a while we can’t find anything and then everyone expects me to be a fucking homing beacon and they ask me 9,032 times a day where “x” is.

can’t.

They ask me to buy them new shoes because they can’t find any to wear. I clean their room and find four pairs. That kinda thing.

So a few times a year we face overwhelming chaos. For the love of toast I don’t know how families with two working parents ever clean at all. When it gets bad (like me being gone two weekends in a row so things kinda pile up extra hard, and we are remodeling, and school level transitioning) it will take a solid 8-10 days of me cleaning for 4-10 hours/day.

(There’s always a day in the middle where I clean for four hours then collapse in a heap and cry for a while.)

This cleaning is extra epic because Youngest child has to be entirely moved out of that bedroom indefinitely for the remodel. They are currently replacing the wall/window and that room is not sealed to the out doors. (They have built the new bathroom walls/front wall in front of it, but it’s not all done and everything.) Lots of construction debris in there. Kiddo can’t use that room.

So they are sharing again for a bit. Which was ridiculous extra cleaning and sorting. Frankly I think they were god damn awesome.

At one point Eldest Child started crying and said, “I’m just not good at cleaning. I’m not smart at this and I never will be.”

I laughed and laughed and laughed. She looked at me and said, “WHAT?!”

“You act like I fell out of my mother’s womb being able to clean. I couldn’t do it when I was seven. Frankly I think you have more skill than I had at that age.”

She blinked for a bit, dried her eyes, and got up and made tremendous progress all in a big burst. At the end she grinned at me and said, “Ok I am getting better.”

Cocky little thing. Yes, you are. Every day. Every year. You are getting better.

So I think about these things because transitioning eats into progress. The more times I have to transition in a day the less progress I make on all tasks. This is a well documented phenomena. You can spend four years taking a Spanish class, or four months of immersion. And after the immersion experience you will be far more fluent.

Some guys I know were bitching at me that I should really stop what I’m doing with my life and learn all about the influential music from 1968.

I told them I don’t have time and they demanded that I justify what is more important than that. I rattled off what I’m doing with my life. They kinda blinked at me and said, “Ok maybe you don’t have time.”

No shit, Sherlock.

Everyone has different stuff going on in their lives. Everyone has a different comfort level of transitions. I don’t need to judge what other people need in order to feel comfortable. That internal Holy Fucking Shit No reaction needs to be turned off. Ain’t nobody trying to tell me that I need to pick it up. Not really.

My inside voice is changing. I do hear you.

Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

Why do I talk to myself? Because over time I am changing how I react to different stimuli. It was said that a lot of what is interesting about me now is that I do fewer global freak outs. When something is upsetting to me I don’t scream about everyone and everything. I can say exactly what I’m upset about and why and I can usually trace it down to the root. That’s letting me pull the weeds. I can tell which tendrils are a problem.

It’s ok that I failed in the school environment. I mean, I was usually an A/B student (except for personality conflicts) and I’m still a failure in the school environment. It isn’t that I’m unintelligent. But I cannot conform in the ways required to go period to period learning in the teeny chunks that can hopefully be absorbed by a large enough percentage of people to not be a complete waste of time to everyone. Woo.

Do you know why I was a good teacher? Because I met before school, during breaks, after school, and on Saturdays with students who could not understand what I was teaching and I helped them catch up on foundational information they missed along the way.

I can’t give that much of myself to people outside my family right now. My kids need that time from me. Why? Because we have some fucked up brain chemistry and DNA from generations of trauma. We need to do what we are doing right now.

We are learning how to adapt to life. We are learning how to learn. We are learning shit loads of stuff that we will be able to use later. We are planning. We are growing.

And we are doing it slowly. We are doing it by concentrating on one thing at a time for a few weeks.

That way we can spend many hours a day on one task and make substantial progress at it instead of spending 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there.

It is hard. It is physically and mentally and emotionally taxing. But I enjoy it. I feel rewarded. I feel like my reward is the conversation I get to have around the table every meal. My kids fucking think.

I know so much intense analysis of My Little Pony characters that it is ridiculous because I don’t think I’ve ever watched an episode. I know their back stories, motivations, and things that are being foreshadowed. Yeah. My kid told me, “They are seriously foreshadowing something about her in this episode….” Then later I heard, “In this episode they broke the fourth wall to…”

I asked her if she knows what breaking the fourth wall actually means. Nope. So I explained. In great detail. With lots of examples. Afterwards she started rattling off examples.

Yup. Like that.

I treat my children like if they don’t know something yet it is because I have not yet done a good enough job of talking about it. So I’d better get on that.

I really like my life.

I like feeling responsible. Resiliency experts say that people are most likely to be successful if they internalize that they must be responsible. In other words: we must find a way or make a way. So we do.

I feel that way about anti-racist stuff. Incest research. Home schooling. Teaching my kids how to take care of their shit.

I believe I must make this work. Period. So I will.

What does that actually fucking mean? It means that I picked this life. Who the fuck knows why. So I’m going to live it to the absolute fullest. With great privilege comes great responsibility. I’m one of the luckiest mother fuckers born in the history of all time.

How did that happen?

Even with all the trauma. So fucking what. Every level of person experiences trauma. That’s universal. Not every being experiences trauma (lucky bastards) but every level of human experience has trauma.

What traumatizes one person is standard, normal, and appropriate to someone else. So check your fucking judgment, wench. (talking to myself…)

I have an idea for the tattoo. I’m not going to write it out in advance. But I’m going to have a wonderful time talking to my artist today. He’s so wonderful.

And I’m having lunch with a friend first. Then dinner with a different friend.

I don’t in any way want to complain about the fullness of my life. I am blessed. I am loved. People seek out my company on my terms. Because they consider the effort to be worth what they get in return.

I can’t judge that. I need to just say thank you.

I’m trying to slow down. Frankly the remodel is driving me batty. They are banging all day long. So every second all day long I have to process hitting sounds and decide they aren’t a threat.

That wears me out.

But I have to be home. For Reasons.

So I’m doing what I can to destress in the house. My anxiety is spiking like a motherfucker. But! I know it is temporary so I can have something I badly want and I’ll get to have it as long as I live here. Sounds worth putting up with.

But it hurts my body. It’ll end soon.

Every time I transition from thinking, “Is that the door?” back to whatever I’m doing… it takes a penalty spoon.

So I’m thinking about transitions like fuck right now. How many activities can I manage to get done in a day? How much work? How many different kinds of tasks? I think it is funny how different stages of cleaning feel different to me. I can’t declutter a room, organize it, then remove filth all in a go. I just can’t transition like that. I have to declutter the house. Then organize it. Then clean. I can’t go back and forth because I experience distress physically and psychiatrically.

Transitions are that hard for me. I will fall to the floor and sob and not be able to do whatever it is you want of me because I just can’t.

That’s something that has been a pattern in my life for a very long time and I’m just kind of recognizing what that means in my head. Oh. Flooding. Oh. That’s…

Oh.

Yeah. That.

I like intense connections with a lot of fucking bandwidth. So when I need to spread that bandwidth out between 37 different distractions instead of 2-3…

I hurt.

It isn’t anyone else’s fault. But I’m trying to figure out what managing that means. I need this to get better. I need to stop flooding when I walk near someone else’s life because I feel like I should try to conform and I can’t I can’t I can’t.

No one god damn asked you to. Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

I’m trying.

It’s funny to stop and think, “This is actually a huge improvement!”

Good grief.

There are a high number of specific high intensity things I want to get done in this life. I won’t get them done in 15 minutes of prep at a time. That’s ok. I don’t need to schedule my life how other people do. It is working for them. Stop projecting.

We all want different things. Health means something different to every person.

I’m trying to figure out what it means to me. This is proving to be more complicated than expected. Not sure if that is because I was naive to start with or what. Anything is possible.

I’m making a lot of progress with my pain stuff. (The overall refraining from typing is helping. Hey–it’s Friday. I kinda took a few days off… I am trying to moderate…)

I’m making progress on pain stuff. My bowels are… well… I’m told this is progress? I don’t fucking know. But it is weirder than hell. I mostly stopped with the pills for a few days (because obviously my body was freaking out) on the doctors recommendation and the freak out ended right away. This is supposedly a sign that things are working right on schedule. I will resume sloughing the parasites from my liver later today. Oh joy. But! I’m seeing… uhm… something fucking weird that I’m told is results?

Pooooooooooooooooooooop.

We talk about poop while eating all the time.

Muahahahaha

My kids are very comfortable saying, “I’m going to eat lots of vegetables because your body sucks.”

If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning. Do one or the other and then do that motherfucker.

I guess?

Yesterday I screwed up. I put in a load of laundry and I didn’t even think about what I was washing. A new dress up clothes thing was put in the basket. It had never been washed. It was bright fucking red. So all the martial arts uniforms were very pink.

Oooooops. Shit. Like rose colored pink. Dark rose. I was all, “NOOOOOOOO!”

Then I thought about my mama and I breathed a prayer of thanks. “Hey kids? Want to learn how to fix a mistake?” I used oxygen brightener and bleach and I boiled it on the stove top and those fuckers are white as snow once again.

Because my mama taught me what to do.

That’s a good memory. Thank you, mama.

Thank you for teaching me how to do my laundry on the stove because that was what we had and you were going to make sure I had the skills to be presentable no matter what happened to me or how bad my life was. You tried. Thank you.

During this process my friend was over and she asked if I wanted her to do the poking/stirring over the fire. I didn’t want her to. I felt entirely Zen in that moment. I am where I want to be doing what I want to do. I’m showing my kids how I fix a mistake. It takes time and effort. But it’ll be ok.

It was one of the most intensely blissful moments I’ve experienced in a while. That’s flow.

If I cared very much about getting out of my house and not being “stuck” with these experiences as the woman… I wouldn’t get to have that. I’m glad I get to have that. I’m glad I get to see the value in my mother.

I miss you, mama.

I miss all the friends I’m not reaching out to because I’m overwhelmed. I’ll come back. I’ll have spoons some day.

In March we have social stuff planned on the first two days. Then… uhm… I don’t know about the Easter party. Wonder how my bathroom will be? Err… I’ll let people know two weeks before?

I think that I need to not schedule anything else in March. Which is intimidating. I’m not resting. I’m working and socializing because I’m so desperate to catch up on the work. I need to rest and I won’t stop working so socializing needs to be back burnered for a few weeks. Just Do Eeeet.

What work do I feel so pressed to do? Well… we are transitioning from preschool to elementary school. Which is a fuck ton of work for me. (I don’t know how you folks who home school with kids in preschool, elementary, middle, & high school do it. How do you find space?! )

The thing I miss the most about teaching in a school is the prep time plus the right to control what everyone was going to be learning. This is much harder. I have to prepare on the fly for a range of topics. It’s brutal some days in terms of cognitive load. It is fucking hard breaking down every little thing into schemas and concepts and repeatable skill training.

This is why other sane people outsource this shit. But we have some genetic stuff to consider that will make us always on the edge of the bell curve. I’m glad the training exists for people in the center of the bell curve. Yay you!

Hi, I’m Krissy. I’m an outlier.

Name the metric.

I just uhm…. like to be difficult?

IT ISN’T PERSONAL, OK!?!

I should stop now. If I get up and start moving now I’ll have all my morning prep done before Noah finishes breakfast and I will be able to eat at the same time as them instead of sitting down as they finish eating. I’m a pain in the ass to take care of. I struggle to think the effort is really merited.

Know something that I find wacky? Youngest child just fucking loves to stand there and hand me pill after pill after pill. Kid says, “You have to fix the problems. You have to get your poop better so you can digest food. I want you to die when you are very very very old. So here.” It varies somewhat, but this entire experience is just…

validating as fuck.

I’m trying to figure out what I need. My issues are complicated, layered, and difficult to solve. I know you are doing what you need to do to solve your issues and it doesn’t look much like what I’m doing.

I need to figure out how to not feel so fucking bad about that. It’s ok that I need stuff other people don’t need. That doesn’t mean I’m bad. That doesn’t mean I should die so I stop stealing resources from more worthy people. It has to be ok that I need what I need.

It isn’t fair that I have the money to pay for it and other people don’t. There is no fair. There is no deserve. There is no way to have things come out even.

I had to believe there is no deserve when it was really bad. I have to believe it about the good stuff too. Or …. or I just can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t get fucking pompous and shitty and “Oh I have a good life because I deserve it. Because I worked harder than other people.”

Gag. Cough. Puke. Bullshit.

No. I really didn’t work harder than other people. Ok, I worked harder than some people. But not harder than everyone. Some people worked ten times as hard as me. They didn’t get where I am.

It’s not because I’m getting what I deserve.

Nothing is fair.

4,050 words. I should stop anyway. Oh my poor wrists. But I feel better. I feel like I’m finding the words to the parts I need to talk about without talking about what I don’t need to talk about.

That feels better.

How do I get to be me without hurting other people?

That’s the journey.

Tiny bit of background reading.

Some of my friends asked me why Formation isn’t for non-Black people. (Incidentally one of the people asking wasn’t even white. So there are layers to these kinds of questions.

First read this article by Mikki Kendall.

Then read this one about what Scotland wants to do. 

Then read this one.

I’d kinda like to link to writing from Black writers all day long to explain this because the reasons shouldn’t really come from a white face. But in short I’ll say: why shouldn’t non-Black people steal this song? Because it isn’t our culture to rebelliously claim. This is a rebellious song. This is a song directed from a marginalized group to the dominant paradigm saying, “I’m not going to stop existing for you.”

That’s not a struggle that should be co-opted. In this country our history of racial tension is such that non-Black people co-opting this specific flavor of rebellion is disrespectful in the extreme.

No one who isn’t Black should be dancing to a song in which a woman proudly claims that she loves her negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils. If you don’t have ’em, shut up. I love you. I love the song too. I’m singing kinda under my breath because it is catchy and beautiful and full of self-love and I totally love that thing. Hell if you don’t understand what it means to mix Creole and negro… stay the fuck out. For reals. Why? Because white culture steals fucking everything and we need to stop.

But I’m going to keep my awareness of the song low key because this isn’t for me. Just like I don’t try to co-opt other life-struggles. I’m not Black. That’s never been my battle and it never will be. If it isn’t your battle, if you don’t understand that the Black Panthers were huge social organizers…

This isn’t for you and that’s ok.

This song is about a culture of diaspora trying to say, “We are here even though you’ve spent hundreds of years using us and trying to kill us. Fuck off. We ain’t changing.”

Read about the insults Beyonce deals with. If these things escape your attention… then you shouldn’t sing this song. Just like white people should spend a lot of time singing Strange Fruit. (It’s on my playlist as a reminder of history. I wouldn’t act like it was my culture.)

These things only matter if you think every culture is equally worthy of respect. If you look at history, ain’t many folk who treat American Blacks like they have a culture worthy of respect. That really has to change.

(For the record: the video was actually filmed in Pasadena in a house that was converted to a set, not IN New Orleans.)

Ok so Scotland isn’t really pushing to extradite her (I get that it is satire). But if you look through the history of American Blacks… they often were held to ridiculous measures. American Blacks have lived with threats, terrorism, and genocide since their forced arrival here.

And we still want to steal every fucking song and make money off it while leaving American Blacks in grinding, nauseating poverty. If American Blacks start catching up on the system we will change the rules until we can fuck them for another generation.

Why shouldn’t non-Black people dance to this song? Because it is a song documenting a very specific struggle. That isn’t ours.

More health stuff.

This time I’m thinking about health stuff as it relates to money. Specifically, how I’m going to catch up on my budget in the next few months. Right now I’m kind of hemorrhaging money. This has to stop soon. Between the remodel, vow renewal, and health related expenses this year is already freaking me out.

Of course health-related expenses includes paying for things like physical skills classes. I’m never sure if I make the right decisions.

Thinking a lot about why we need to say no to things. What is health? What is balance?

I’m going to the grief ritual this year in May and the cruise in August. Then I think I need over a year off from travel. I need to save the money. Travel is related to my mental health because when I travel I talked to a lot of different kinds of people. These conversations are part of how I construct the view of the world that allows me to continue. I don’t think the travel of the waste. I just think I need to not afford it right now.

I think Christmas this year needs to happen for under $300. For the whole family. Why? We don’t have room for new stuff anyway. I think mostly we will buy food.

I’m scared that I’m spending a lot of money trying to fix my body and maybe it won’t work. Maybe I should be spending this money differently. I remind myself that Noah wants me to make these choices right now. This is complicated because I am feeling better but I don’t know if I’m enough better to justify how much money I’m spending. How much better am I going to get through this much money? I don’t know. That is scaring me right now.

I hate when my bank balance is going down instead of up. But I really want this bathroom. I think I will be happy about living in this house forever with this bathroom. I think that if we sell this house the bathroom will be a plus. I know that people don’t believe me yet, I’m used to people not believing me when I say things will happen. The funny thing is, I’m right pretty often. Not all the time.

ack. Kid walked in while I was using the microphone. That was hilarious. Never mind. I’m done typing. Bye.

Words

I’m thinking about the definitions of words again. Words like safety, morality, consent, health, appropriate.

I’m getting better, I think, at recognizing that my freak outs are my body going “Not for me” instead of “How dare you do that.”

I don’t actually care what you do with your life. I know I over react sometimes. I’m sorry. I’m imagining what I would have to do to accomplish that and…

Yeah. I over react. It’s not very nice of me. I’m sorry.

I’m getting better but it is still annoying.

What is healthy for you is not healthy for me and that is ok.

What was healthy for me is not healthy anymore and that is ok.

What is healthy for me now is not very healthy for you so you shouldn’t do it and that’s ok too.

Negotiating is hard. How do you ask for what you want when you aren’t exactly sure what it is? Mistakes suck. They hurt. Recovering from them takes work and effort.

Life is a constant renegotiation. We never arrive at “done” until our life is done. You never know what might happen to you in the future. Your health could improve or decline. Your life could blow up or magically come together. Who forking knows.

Today I feel like I have no idea what my future will be like. But I’m sure glad I will get to do it with Noah and my kids. These people make me think that whatever it is… it’ll be ok.

Some day I probably won’t have so much extra money. I will have to dramatically change what I do with my time and how I manage my spoons. I’m afraid of that time but I know I will find a way to make it ok. I’m plucky like that. I have good reason to strive forward now. I want this. I want them.

I feel grateful to the tips of my toes that I get to spend so much time snuggling with my children. This time will pass. I want every minute of you sitting on top of me I can get. I want every single hour of lying next to one another that can exist. You are growing so fast. You will leave me. You will grow up and move on and that will be right.

I just get this for a little while. I have so much pain to make up for.

I shit you not I would keep having kids to drag this feeling out if I could. I feel like this is one of the things I have done best in my whole life. I spend time with my kids. I guide them and instruct them and let them do what they need to do to grow up. Are they perfect? No. There is no such thing as perfection. If they were perfect I would hate them for it. Let’s be honest.

I need them to be flawed and wonderful and ok. Because I need to see that it is ok for people to be like that. So maybe it is ok that I exist.

We are all kinda flawed and broken. We are all racing towards death on our own pathway. It’s ok. That’s what meat-creatures do.

What will I be like when I grow up?

I kinda reacted like a viper when someone said that I should be done growing up by now after x years of knowing an individual.

You know what, motherfucker, I don’t give a flying fuck what you think about my maturity. I have been in a safe environment for ten years. That’s it. I have not yet had enough time to undo twenty-five years of trauma and if you think I should hurry up you can put it in your pipe and smoke it.

fucking hope I outrun my Eldest Child but I sorta doubt I will manage.

I am learning compassion for myself on this journey. That’s probably a good thing and a big deal. I’ve had ten years to undo a lot of specific trauma. Yeah. That’s not enough time. Go talk to the experts. It’s not enough time. This is hard. It peels off in layers. I fix one problem developmentally then I move right on to the next problem. I keep going though because I get bored of having the same problem.

I like new and exciting problems.

Speaking of which, I think I have messed up every stage of ordering stuff for this bathroom because I didn’t check measurements when I ordered. Well fuck. I get to live with it.

Uhm… yeah. I’ll do this differently next time.

Please sweet Jesus let there never be a next time.

I’m just sayin’.

I kinda wish Noah was mad at me for breaking a rule. He kinda sorta is. My shrink was shocked that he wasn’t pissed off. Yeah, he doesn’t piss off easily. It takes work. I know! I’ve tested these limits extensively.

How do I keep Noah exciting when he is the safest thing ever? That’s a trick. I’m thinking hard about it. The sex is still good. Everything else is trickier in a marriage, though. Well. That’s another think my shrink gushes about. She can’t believe how happy I am with my sex life. She says I am an anomaly in her therapy career. I say, “Yeah how many big sluts have you seen? That practice pays off.” She laughs.

She doesn’t answer though. That’s professional.

I don’t have bad sex unless I decide to. Because I’m that good. I do decide to have bad sex once in a while for complicated reasons. It’s never an accident any more. Well. Ok I’ve had obnoxious interruptions… but that’s not the same.

Why? Because if I’m not done I’ll tell you exactly what to do so that I can get done. And I ain’t fucking subtle. “Ok, this position hurts. I want you to twist your upper body like this…”

Hey you are responsible for the sex you have. If you want it to be good, speak the fuck up.

Nobody can read minds.

I’m sure there are genuinely bad lovers out there who can’t be taught. I haven’t ever decided it was worth my while to date one. I don’t see the upside.

I need to go to a kid class now. I so don’t wanna. I want to sit still till next Tuesday. Sigh. On we go.

About the pills

I talked to the woo doctor who gave me the pills yesterday because I’ve been having lightning flashes of pain in my abdomen. A couple of them. One on either side over multiple days. I said I’m worried about bowel obstruction because I’m alternating between some of the most fierce liquid dark brown diarrhea I’ve ever seen and thin toothpastey things that feel like I’m constipated and I’m about to pass a grapefruit.

I was told that my symptoms confirm the diagnosis. But uhm, apparently I don’t need quite so many pills for this to be effective and I get to cut a whole bunch out.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Physically I’ve been terrible and great and not so good and good and ok so far on the pills. So I’m not sure what the fuck is happening in my body. I’m on week three of this motherfucker. One more week till I’m mostly through the parasite cleanse. Oy.

I was pretty good about doing the meds when I was in Portland. Even though it was yucky and I was whiny.

I…

Man I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I’m out of practice attending the kinds of events where you aren’t supposed to talk about it.

Withholding information

I’m kinda the opposite of good at discretion sometimes. But some things require me to not go into detail. Not because of my own privacy, but because other people are involved.

This was quite a weekend.

I can’t tell you about it. Even though I have allllll the feelz. So many positives and negatives and intensity and STUFF I WANNA PROCESS. But other people have different boundaries than me. Fuck being respectful and other such bullshit.

My cunt hurts quite a bit.

I broke a rule. Noah says it isn’t all the way to cheating, but I feel like I need to document that it happened even if I’m not going to say what I did. Because in the future I’ll be all, “Well I didn’t admit to that one thing that one time” and this is my way of saying, “Yup. I did that.”

I accept responsibility for my actions.

I’m not sure I’d take it back if I could.

Time to clean my house.

oooooooh

“I’ve said before — hey, here’s video of me saying it — that one of the unexpected costs of being female is that people keep holding you accountable for other people’s behavior. You thought you were just a person, but it turns out that you are a wizard. You control the actions of others by the way you choose to dress and walk and talk and live your life.”

 

Maybe it isn’t just a child of crazy alcoholics thing?

Trauma, victimization, & consent

Good golly. Woke up to great sex in the middle of the night and now I’m not sleepy. So instead I’m thinking about trauma and victimization, like a normal person. What? That’s not weird, right?

I think that trauma can happen without being a victim and I think that being a victim can happen without trauma. I think that consent is a nearby Venn circle that overlaps both in weird ways.

I think it is completely possible to consent to things that traumatize the fuck out of you for the rest of your life. I think it is possible to be a victim, to have your consent taken away and not be traumatized. I think it is possible to be a victim and be traumatized and to consent at the same time.

Why?

Because I feel like I’ve lived about fifteen lives in one and I’ve seen a lot of shit. Not just that happens to me. I pay a lot of attention to trauma and assault and rape.

Why are these things different?

I’m not going to look up the dictionary definitions this time. Connotative/denotative meanings… I’m defining for myself today.

Trauma is about a physical response in your body to something bad/scary/overwhelming. It’s a physiological process. You can be traumatized by things you consent to and you can be traumatized by things you do not consent to. People vary dramatically in what will traumatize them. Some people are genuinely not traumatized by rape. It is a bad thing that happens and they move on. Others… they are permanently physically impacted by their experiences. Something being traumatic or not tells you little about scale.

Being a victim is about whether or not you want them to happen. I think you can consent to things and still be a victim. If you feel your consent is coerced, if you are not really safe enough to say no… you can consent and still be a victim. I don’t know how much I think that your ability to get yourself out of a situation or not plays in with victimization.

I am pretty sure my father would be able to get away with saying that there were times I “consented” to what he did with me. But I was still a victim. Why? Because it should not have been happening. It was a crime and it damaged me. It didn’t matter whether I consented or not because I had no ability to understand what I was consenting to.

Adult rape. Paul. Situation: I was in my 20’s, at a sex party while on drugs. I didn’t want unprotected sex and he did. I did not consent to unprotected sex. I repeatedly said no. I wasn’t able to physically resist (yes, I know that was my choice) but I was saying no. I was conscious. I was trying to prevent it. That means I think that legally I was the victim of a crime. Is it one of the more traumatic experiences of my life?

Hahahahahaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa no.

I don’t feel particularly traumatized by that rape. Not really. I don’t wake up to nightmares of his face. I don’t feel terrified of what will happen if we run into one another (we could; this is a small valley).

So, no consent, no real trauma, yes victimization.

The kid who kicked me in the throat. We had a habit of play fighting/wrestling. I think that he did not intend to land a kick on my throat. He was just a kid who lacked finesse, control, and understanding. So quasi-consent. I think technically it was an assault. Do I feel like a victim? Not really. I think it was an assault but not a crime because it was an accident. Do I feel traumatized?

Ok, I do feel kinda haunted by the swollen throat feeling… because it reminded me so much of my brother. I don’t think I was traumatized so much by the incident but from the feeling of, “Oh my fucking god I DO NOT WANT a tracheotomy.”

I feel… I feel feelings about the mom. I don’t think that she victimized me. I don’t feel traumatized. But I feel like she is someone who would push me down in front of a bus and then tell me it was my fault. I feel like every warning signal in my body tells me that any woman who says, “You weren’t assaulted and if you were it was your fault” is so fucking dangerous I wish I was in a different time zone.

Is that about trauma, victimization, or consent? Call it the Spidey sense I developed after other assaults. I don’t want to stand near someone who has such an attitude. It’s a warning shot.

Quite literally, that is the kind of woman who uhm… yeah. That’s why we are where we are as a society. Congratulations to us.

Rich white woman hears her son commits assault? Blame the victim! Can’t be my perfect baby! (Ok this happens in other demographics too with other gender combinations. But I’m feeling pissy!)

Guess what? White kids are pieces of shit too. Just sayin’.

Not that I actually think that kid is a piece of shit. I think he isn’t being guided in the ways he should be guided and that’s tragic.

If someone comes to me and tells me that my children did something violent, awful, or otherwise worthy of judging the shit out of… my response won’t be “No they didn’t.” My response is going to be, “Ok, slow down and start at the beginning. I think I need to hear the whole story.”

I’m pretty sure that my kids can fuck up. Just sayin’.

I think I have gotten to the point where I am a relatively decent person. I started out lying, stealing, hitting people, breaking things, starting house fires, stealing cars…

I’m not in a position to judge. People fuck up.

Why am I thinking about these things? Because I’m trying to judge myself. Because I’m trying to figure out if I am as bad as I think. I’m trying to figure out what being so bad means. I’m trying to figure out how to stop hurting people.

But you know what? I think I’ll always hurt people. I’m not going to stop talking about the fact that I exist. Knowing that I’m here is going to hurt people.

I can’t really do anything about that.

If your safety depends on my being invisible then I guess you don’t get to be safe. Sorrynotsorry.

I think that when the vast majority of people say “the world is like” they really mean “I know a dozen or so people who are like”. The world is a god damn big place. Guess what? We are all weird and different. I draw great comfort from that; it’s why I get to be alive.

I have heard a saying about teachers coming into your life when you need them. I think that people tend to have the experiences they go looking for.

Some people want to be ignored. Some people want to be noticed. Some people want to have intense interactions. Some people want to hide.

Ever noticed how each person is completely convinced that the world they live in is “the world”? Ever notice how they do it by conveniently ignoring the people they walk past that completely contradict their view? Confirmation bias, my friends.

I think one of the most monstrous things about me is how loudly I’m willing to turn up my reality distortion filter. I’m experiencing the world I need to experience. Whatever that means. I’m going to tell you about it. Even if it fucks with your world view. Cause honey badger don’t give a shit. Yes, you think life shouldn’t be about violence and pain. Good for you.

I’m woo enough that I more or less believe we pick the lives we have because there are lessons to gain here. I’m either paying for being Hitler or for some insane reason I picked a life where I was going to have to learn as many painful lessons as possible.

A kind woman shared an Eve Ensler video with me about embracing your inner girl. I think she (Eve) had some good things to say but I was struck by something. (I’ve never seen the Vagina Monologues.) Eve spent a lot of time talking about the pain she’s seen… but she kept bringing herself back to it. “I’m going to tell you about this awful thing that happened to my daughter. I adopted her.” Uhm.

You really could have told the story without making yourself the hero.

Even if that is the relationship that is happening you could have supported her without centering yourself.

That. That’s what I don’t want to do with the incest research. I don’t want it to be about how these stories make me feel. I am going to be traumatized by hearing them, yes. So fucking what?! No one asked me to listen. This is my personal thing I’m doing. The work is my personal thing. The stories I hear are not my personal stories. I’m going out into the world looking for these stories–it is the very opposite of victimization. Even if it is traumatic, it will be done with full consent. How do I center the work and the stories and not myself? How do I tell the story without it being about my trauma. I’m kinda obsessed with my trauma and shit. Well, maybe I’ll always be allowed to whine here about how I’m feeling but when I speak publicly it will not be about me. I think that’s a reasonable boundary? Am I ever going to feel like it is ok to talk about me?

With the Impact instructors there is a tense/weird parting thing at the end of the class. They cannot have any social contact with students for a year after a class. And when they talk about it they all go really stone faced in unison. “We are protecting ourselves.”

What does it mean to do work with traumatized people and be traumatized by the experiences and not get muddy about who is hurting whom?

Well I guess I’m going to fucking find out. How much you wanna bet there will be drama galore for me around this?

Not “drama” but intense emotional surges.

Like I do. Sigh.

Signing off.

Serendipity?

I had quite a conversation this afternoon/evening. I met this man a few weeks ago. He is the friend of a friend. Today we talked about martial arts, self defense, and my future plans. He is a martial arts teacher/personal trainer and when I told him I just signed a 6 month contract he said, “Come over for some free classes for now and when your contract is up we can discuss payment.”

His background: he’s been doing martial arts since childhood. He was in the marines for 18 years with 9 of them spent as a weapons instructor. He worked with the Israeli military as they developed Krav Maga. He’s taught some fantastic number of different art forms.

He specifically teaches womens self defense classes that combine a few disciplines to maximize the strength of the female body. He… was kinda judgey about Impact. But that’s fine. What he’s doing isn’t what Impact is doing.

He’s very local. He is a friend of one of my very favorite moms and she’s known him forever. So he’s incredibly well vouched for.

I told him I have about a five year window before I need to be where I ought to be because I’m going to be more like launching my research in about ten years and I can’t be just getting to physical fitness as I’m doing the interviews. I need to be ready and it just needs to be an ingrained part of my life.

He smiled at me in a way that worries me. And makes me very hopeful at the same time.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I kind of needed to have someone show up and say, “Let me teach you how to be incredibly devastatingly physically effective.”

Sometimes the universe smiles on me in ways I truly don’t deserve. I’m grateful. Thank you.

I have no idea if this will go anywhere. But I’m very happy that this opportunity is falling into my lap.

Also: both of my chiropractors have commented this week that my body seems to have made a huge leap of progress. I’m less inflamed. I have more range of motion. My neck vertebrae has been in actual alignment for more than a week and this is the first time since I’ve seen this doctor that I’ve managed that. Even though this weekend was a brutal physical skills class.

There is emotional healing and physical healing and they tie together. I store my trauma in my body. Even though some people don’t approve of the degree of blood thirst I feel… oh come on. I have legitimate reasons for needing to work through my big feelings towards men. I’m not picking fights with strangers just to be a dick. I’m fighting instructors in class and enjoying it. I am enjoying the process of learning how to keep myself safe for hopefully the first time in my life.

The last time I was raped I fought and I lost. That was very useful when it happened. In many ways it let me stop feeling so god damn guilty about my failure to prevent every other rape.

I can’t lose again.

That is so complicated.

I’m having a lot of complex thoughts about rape right now. I’m looking at my five year old and thinking, “Do I believe this person to be emotionally, spiritually, or intellectually capable of rape?”

No. But that kid sure can walk all the hell over your boundaries unless you enforce them.

Oh wow.

Boundary violations, trauma, consent, rape. I don’t know about you but I sure as fuck didn’t know how to ask for consent when I was five. But I was told I was supposed to put my mouth on as many dicks as I could.

Today my five year old fell asleep on me. So her mouth fell open wide as she drooled on me. I felt nauseated, repulsed, and disgusted by the fact that someone, anyone could look at a child like that and have sexual thoughts.

Then I thought, Oh my god I already had a body count.

Ok. I think I finally believe it is different when a five year old does it than when an adult does it.

I didn’t until today.

Today I looked at my child and saw absolutely no ability to be culpable for such an act.

But a child that age can be trained to do anything. That’s not the same thing as culpability.

I don’t think this change of opinion changes my overall status as a monster. It’s all so complicated.

Why am I a monster? Because I was trained to be a rapist before I knew better? No. Because monsters aren’t really just creatures who have done specific things. Monsters are scary. Monsters don’t have to do anything bad to be monsters. They are just monsters.

I’m a monster because I have absolutely zero desire to be charming. Charming people are god damn dangerous.

Monsters are just ugly and rude and tell you that things have to be the way they expect things to be and that’s how life is, right? DEMANDING ASSHOLE IN THE HOUSE!

Monsters are monsters because they are creepy and they make people uncomfortable.

I need to go to bed.

Oooh new people.

Guess what? Where there is a huge jump in hits without a direct link to snottiness… it isn’t scary.

Ahhh today is a great day. Hopefully I yelled at the contractors enough yesterday to last all week.

Friday I fly to Portland. Sunday I fly home. I’m going alone. I’m looking forward to more than 48 hours of not being responsible for anyone or anything. I mean I’ll have to show up at a birthday party and I’ll be spending time with friends… but if I’m lazy that’s fine. In fact I suspect that if I’m lazy it will make people kinda happy. (Ok, blacksheep will want me to do some exercise but mostly because she can’t sit still to talk so we’ll have to be in motion. I can live with that.) Luckily Dad is lazier than fuck. Once I get around him I can assume a couch lock position and he’ll think it’s great. Ha.

I’m feeling weird about one thing that folks-who-don’t-know-me-on-the-internet conflate.

My Dad was never my Master. I have never been his slave. We are both in the bdsm community, yes. We fucked once (it was awful and gross and never again) and we’ve played a few times because he is very good with canes and single tails and he put needles in me once just to break my cherry. But we haven’t played together other than as a class demo (I’m unusually verbal) in more than ten years. Our closeness at this point is not about our bdsm relationship and we don’t know that we’ll ever play again.

I know I shouldn’t care about strangers getting that detail straight. My Owner was a very different person. My Owner was unmarried and had never had children. My Dad has children almost my age. His oldest is a year younger than me. His bio-children don’t appreciate my presence in his life but… they don’t have to run into me other than weddings and funerals so I can live with that. And I’ve been at both for 15 years.

I suspect it might have been healthier for me to find an adoptive father who didn’t want to beat or fuck me… but baby steps, ok? Maybe what I need isn’t what you need. I can live with that. I don’t need you to be like me for me to be validated in my choices.

My life is unusual. What is right for me is probably not right for you. Don’t emulate me. But consider me, perhaps. As an idea of “Wow. I guess people really do need to be different.

I needed to have a relationship with a Dad where I had the right to set the boundaries on our sex and beatings. I needed to be able to put up more and more boundaries until it wasn’t happening at all and have the experience of someone choosing to stay with me.

I’m glad you don’t need that. I genuinely am.

You don’t know what it meant to me that I was taken to the hospital at 19 by my Dad and it was the first time in my life someone was fucking nice to me when I was sick. Before that I always got in trouble. I was lying. I was malingering. I was just asking for attention.

Yes, I did ask for attention. I was a child and I was sick. I needed attention. But it came in the form of diatribes about how I better not be lying this time or I would get it.

I work with all my might to believe the things my children tell me about their bodies. You feel sick? Ok.

I mean… ok I’m sure at some point my mom wasn’t nasty when I was sick. Taking me to the hospital was always an ordeal. My mom screamed at me the whole way to the hospital for getting a cast re-set because I said I didn’t feel well. Then I puked on the floor.

I’m bad for saying I’m sick because I’m not really sick and I’m bad for not being adamant enough when I’m really sick because I inconvenience people.

Going to the various doctor offices so often lately is… creepy. But I feel like I’m getting good help right now. Things are changing in my body. I’m making a lot of progress on injury sites. I’m feeling stronger. I came back from the trip really beat up and done. Maybe I’ll be over the trip by the cruise but really… I’m looking forward to that week of sitting on my ass watching my kids play in the pool. I’ll be fed whenever I even think about wanting it. I won’t clean a god damn thing.

I don’t rest in hotels. I hate having maids come in so I clean the whole time like normal. Cause I’m neurotic.

But on a cruise ship? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. That’s how you know life is good.

Ok. Breakfast.

Totally flooded.

I haz big feelings. My stomach hurts. But I feel like I worked out this awful thing that has been in my neck/shoulder for years. I feel like I did a major trauma release in this class. That’s kinda intense. Exposure therapy for the win.

This is what exposure therapy means. The attackers are safe guys in suits who maintain their distance so they can maintain their aura of scary. But they are monitored by women the whole time. It isn’t some guy deciding to do something to a woman when he feels like it and she should have to react right. That’s not exposure therapy. Exposure therapy means a female coach kneeling with her face next to your face whispering, “Remember to breathe. Stop. Wait for the moment. You can do this.”

Stop calling real life abuse exposure therapy. It isn’t. Ok, digression over.

My second experience at Impact was fairly different from the first. I didn’t have a friend in the class. It felt like the group warmed up slower but then made more genuine connections once we did warm up. Everyone started off tentative and not too chatty but by the final day we were pretty friendly. That felt nice.

I took a risk the morning of the third day. I said that the cheering wasn’t making it through to me during my fights and I really needed the line to get louder and more encouraging because it’s scary to fight in quiet. I feel alone. I have to say, those women came through once I made a specific request. They did great.

I didn’t ask for more than one extended fight this time. I literally just… couldn’t. By the time I got through the one extended fight my body was saying, “Let the men make them easy from here on out.”

The guys… they have to work ridiculously hard to do an extended fight with the people who really want blood. They do extended fights to teach women that even when you feel exhausted (this is as close as they will get to the exhaustion of a fight where you will be dealing with someone hitting you) and tired and worn out you can still defend yourself. I think I have a better understanding of fighting from a place of exhaustion from the get go, so I didn’t need the exercise this weekend.

I chose to leave a few spoons in my drawer. Because today I seriously need to pay attention to the kids and if I had left it all out on the mat I would spend today in bed crying. I just couldn’t. This wasn’t a real fight to the death so it would have been inappropriate to wear myself out that hard so I couldn’t hang with the kids.

I pay attention to these things.

Topic switch. Back to hitting.

Yes, I think (upon further reflection) what I am doing with Noah unconsciously probably would be better termed a tap or a light smack… but that is still putting my hands on someone else’s body in a way I’m not paying attention to. In a way that he chooses to describe as being hit. Because he gets that choice. I need to stop it.

Just like people don’t get to tell me that when the kid kicked me in the throat it wasn’t assault. Yes, actually it was an assault. I’m not going to prosecute because I don’t think the kid had malicious intent. But it was an assault.

It is possible to hit and not be causing (permanent) damage. Not be hurting people. Still be a problem. Still need to stop.

I need to have so much fucking control over my body that I do not put my hands on people at all unless I am doing it in a way that I am highly conscious and in control of exactly what I’m doing. I can’t be muddy. I can’t be like “Close enough is good enough.” Not with what I want to do with my life.

So maybe I’m over reacting and maybe I’m understanding how much work I have left on this problem. I need to stop hitting people. Entirely. 100000% unless someone is directly threatening my physical safety.

I know I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to live in gray areas but this is a black and white thing. I’ve done too much hitting in my life. I need to get this under control.

I mean, not that I’m going to cancel that nice date with my friend. I’m going to do everything in my power to get to the point where I only hit people (even lightly) when they say, “Pretty please”. Or they start a fight.

I spent a lot of this class thinking about escalation. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I escalate.

I know it’s all victim blamey and shit, but yeah a lot of the fights, a lot of the rapes kinda happened because I had no ability to deescalate. It hurts seeing that so plainly over time. I am not good at managing peoples emotions in a deescalating way. I’m good at cranking the volume up. I stimulate feelings I don’t settle them. This is a problem.

I think about things like the neighbor who has been sexually harassing me. Did I encourage him? I don’t think so. 90%+ of the time I talk to him my kids are standing right there and I don’t encourage displays of sexuality in front of my children. So I’m inclined to believe this is his desperate fantasy that he isn’t dead yet and he’s still sexually interesting instead of this being about me. But do I deescalate properly when he brings stuff up? Mostly I call the kids and keep walking when he gets rude. What else should I be doing?

Well I think kicking the crap out of him then telling him I cannot be in control if a man grabs me may have been effective. He’s keeping more physical distance these days.

But is he going to creep again? My guess is yes. Because creepers gonna creep. Does it make it all my fault if it happens again because I’m stupid enough to talk to him?

You know what? I get to walk around my god damn neighborhood without having to physically fight off unwanted sexual advances. That’s fucking ridiculous. No this isn’t my fault and I should not have to avoid walking down my own god damn street to avoid being sexually harassed. That’s not reasonable. If he starts shit I’m not the one escalating. He is. I’m just not going to fucking be passive. I’m very friendly and non-threatening with him. I have no desire to hurt him. I’m just not going to let him do shit to me I don’t want to have done.

That has to be ok. No matter how old he is. No matter how much I like him. No matter if I know any man ever again.

I get to say yes to everything that happens to my body. Or I get to fucking hurt you. That’s the deal.

I’m getting closer to the point where I feel I could actually do it in a fight.

It was hard having Noah there. I asked him if he thought I could stop him if he tried to rape me at this point. He isn’t convinced.

I need to take more classes. It is 100% my goal to be able to so deeply scare men that they do not believe they could successfully do that again.

Not because I want to hurt men. Because I’m not going to be raped again. I’m done. The passive has been raped right the fuck out of me. I’ve taken all I can take.

It is quite literally my goal to die before letting someone rape me again. I want to fight to the point where someone has the choice to kill me or leave me alone.

I’m done.

Something broke and it can’t be fixed.

To be fair, Noah didn’t see my extended fight. He saw the easy peasy fights the instructors give you to blow off steam so you walk out of the room feeling strong so you don’t leave feeling like you should walk in front of a bus. They plan this shit. They know the roller coaster they put people on. Noah didn’t see quite how effective I am at kicking peoples skulls in. I practice from a variety of angles. I’m semi-worried that I will actually kill someone because I’m going to be kicking with such incredible force and anger. I may well shove someones face into their brain.

I won’t lose sleep over that. Ok, yes I will. I will be convinced I’m a monster who should be killed. Maybe I’ll go to jail and think that’s fair.

But I won’t be god damn raped that day.

I feel dangerous and horrible. But yes I am prepared to use deadly force to prevent someone from raping me again.

I have to believe I deserve that or I need to die today because I cannot endure another rape. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

I’m done. I have to believe I am allowed to kill someone to stop them if necessary. I know that in an actual fight I will have to use the minimum amount of force necessary to stop a fight. I know that. The chances I will get to a fight that results in death are incredibly freakishly low. Only I’m going to pursue a career that will make people hate me with the power of the sun.

So maybe my chances aren’t vanishingly small. Maybe they just aren’t that high?

I don’t know that I am yet at a point where I am capable of holding the adrenaline in and just doing the necessary hurting.

During one of my fights the suited instructor literally ran out of the room to get away from me because I was chasing too much.

I mean, I didn’t chase him off the mat. But I did take steps in his direction. I hear that the expression on my face was uhhhhh… terrifying.

I don’t know if that is a regular schtick of theirs to try and break the tension because it’s funny. Or if he felt like that is actually how an attacker would respond because holy shit.

I don’t know.

You never know.

They call the rape prevention moves “reversals”. Because you are reversing the power. Those are the ones where you have to stay still on the floor and use physics and it’s scary and complicated and fairly precise. I find them horrifyingly triggering.

It’s really hard to say, “I tried that and what happened was…” I failed. That’s what happened. I failed when I tried to do that. I didn’t prevent a rape that day.

Ahhh. I tried to move long before I felt weight. There was no physics to help me. Fuck everything. Well, specifically he fucked me. After slamming my head into the ground so hard I saw stars. I stopped fighting.

I don’t know if it would be different today. I don’t actually feel confident. That was just a fucking class. I was chanting to myself the whole time, “There is no chance this man would actually rape you. There are witnesses. He’s wearing very difficult clothing. This isn’t real.” Because I wanted to run screaming I was so fucking freaked out. But… that means it isn’t that real in my body.

Would I be able to access this when I’m scared? I’ve worked so hard for so many years to break the freeze response. I’m tired of going numb. But it is a genuine survival skill. I have worked hard to make it less likely I will survive.

I’m ready to die or assert myself. One or the other. But I do not yet know for sure that I’d win.

It is hard believing that I would kill to defend myself and that is part of why I am a disgusting person. I don’t know that I really believe I have the right. I am bad. I want to hurt people.

Not really. I’m just god damn done letting them hurt me.

That’s not true either. I do want to hurt people. I want to hurt people who like being hurt because it released kinetic energy from my body and it allows me to be more calm and gentle when necessary and appropriate.

Hitting is all of these things. It is tapping Noah when I shouldn’t. Even though it doesn’t hurt I’m touching someone without consent in a way that can be described as hitting. My friend who is inviting me to a lovely session of testicle kicking, that’s hitting too. It is completely consensual. He’s going to have a good time, I’m going to have a good time–it’s going to be fun! And being willing to beat someone unconscious for trying to rape me.

It’s all hitting. It is all violence. But do they mean the same things? Should they be treated the same way legally? Should they be treated like trauma because “hitting”?

Everyone gets to decide for themselves what is traumatizing. I’ve done bdsm scenes that were WAY more intense/painful/fucking out there than my rapes. My rapes traumatized me. My rapes were an action that I did not consent to happening to my body in a way that proved to me that I do not have the right to have agency over myself or my life. My bdsm scenes were done with friends and they were fun. Even if they were painful and scary. I knew what I was signing on for. I did it on purpose. I did it with full force and vigor and choice.

That makes all the difference.

I don’t feel traumatized by the throat kick. I feel like I learned something about boundaries.

If you fuck up and assault someone… that isn’t the end of the world. How you respond afterwards is what matters.

If you fuck up and assault someone on purpose… that’s different.

I genuinely believe there are accidental assaults all the time. Just like there is involuntary manslaughter.

Ok, I have one specific complaint about the class this time: I really didn’t appreciate the “boogeyman homeless guy” thing. That fucking pissed me off. The vast majority of assaults are someone you know. Leave the fucking homeless guys alone. They are doing their fucking best and I’m god damn tired of the nastiness of housed people.

Being homeless does not mean you are a god damn rapist.

That’s the attitude though. Homeless guys are creepy and scary. Do you know why they creep you out? Because you feel like they aren’t like you and that’s gross. I feel like they are like me and they are in a hard place right now.

I don’t need to feel scared of someone who has so little power and authority in life compared to me. Am I prepared to defend myself if someone does start something? Sure. But I’ve been interacting with homeless people for decades. I’ve done so all over the country and in other countries.

I’m not scared of homeless people. They are scared of me.

Why? Because they know I can call the cops and have them put in jail. That’s how the power dynamic works. Can I really? Would the cops do it? Maybe. But it’s pretty likely. If any of you dressed-like-you-live-in-a-house-people called the police on a homeless person there is a high chance the homeless person is getting arrested.

For vagrancy. For loitering. For trespassing. For intimidation. For assault.

Even if that assault was accidental. Who cares? It’s a homeless person. They are creepy and icki. We don’t want them around, prosecute.

Stop. Calling. The. Cops. On. Creepy. Homeless. People.

Unless you see them commit a serious crime, just leave them the fuck alone. Ok? They have enough god damn problems without whiny people harassing them.

(I’m not really talking to a specific person or even the folks in the class. I’m mad at the universe over this one.)

I’M TALKING TO THOSE ASSHOLES ON NEXTDOOR.

“I saw a homeless person on my street so I called the police.” I hope you die slowly in a lot of pain.

Like those assholes who called the cops on me in Virginia. I looked suspicious. I had out of state license plates and camping gear. Clearly I was up to no good.

This is my cranky face.

It is weird trying to find a place where compassion and the right to break your face live right side by side. Because in being able to defend myself like this… I’m trying to have compassion for myself. I’m allowed to say that 12 rapists in one life is enough. I’m allowed to say that I was 25 when I was last raped and that’s god damn when it ended. I’m allowed to absolutely fucking harm anyone who tries again.

That is what compassion for myself means. Maybe another woman could passively permit a rape and not kill her attacker and later prosecute and that would be the most “ethical” choice of all… or something.

I can’t absorb any more.

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

How do you get ready to actually be able to kill someone if you have to? I don’t want to. I really don’t want to.

Shit I already feel guilty that people seem to kill themselves after dealing with me.

(Yes, I know I am not “at fault” for any of these suicides. Life is complicated.)

In class someone thought it was funny to make a joke about fire. I sure know how to shut down jokes about fire. It was asked “Does anyone have any trauma around fire? No? Good….” Then I raised my hand. “Yeah, my brother self immolated.”

I bring all the fun jokes to an end.

God I suck.

Hell, I’m not even saying to stop using the joke. It’s ok to jokingly tease a group of people and tell them the final test will involve jumping through a fiery hoop. That’s not a bad joke. That’s not a real threat.

That’s ok.

But god I can kill any joke.

I am so not funny that it is really really funny. It is to the point where my litany of traumas is becoming almost hysterical. I have a trauma for any god damn situation.

It is kinda funny sometimes.

WHEN WILL THE INSANITY END?!?!!? is most of the joke.

Well, I’m still having an extraordinary life… but I’d say it is mostly no longer traumatic. I have boundary violation issues every so often that must be managed.

I don’t think I’ve been traumatized in while. I think the last trauma was severing with my family. (I think I traumatized Sarah after that… but that’s a different discussion.)

Why do I split hairs like this? Because my shrink tells me to break everything down into its smallest compartments and then sort them out.

What is hitting? What is violence? What is trauma? These things are so broad and yet so very specific.

Random defensive pissiness: I read an article yesterday. Don’t remember where or by whom and I don’t care. The person was pretty much saying, “Stop talking about your white privilege because you are just grand standing. If you were really doing anything to dismantle structural racism you would do it silently.” Oh fuck you.

I’m trying to fund the revolution, motherfucker. I am putting my money where my mouth is. I do more with every year and I track it better so that I can know that I am doing more with every year.

Recently Noah told me, “If you don’t feel like you do anything in the world… you are giving more and more money away every year. You are financially impacting the lives of more and more people. That is doing something.”

I don’t do this because I’m a nice person. I don’t do this to be good. I do this because I can never help the child I was. I do this because it needs to be done and other assholes aren’t stepping up.

I’m an asshole. I can live with that. But I want to be an asshole who has specific boundaries around where and how I hit people, how I escalate fights, and when it is appropriate for me to use force.

I think that hitting people to teach them is a shitty way to teach them if you want an ongoing relationship. That style of teaching instill anger, fear, distrust, and the belief in the person you are educating that they deserve to be hit.

Ask me how I’m feeling about Noah right now.

We need something different.

I do not feel traumatized. I feel like I discovered a boundary. I need something different. This isn’t working for me.

I have enough brain damage for one lifetime.

I think that hitting should be used when you are ok with ending the relationship and not before.

If you don’t think I should be packing to leave then we should not be in a physical fight. That needs to be a boundary. And no, that does not mean I should get free hits without retribution. That’s not what I’m saying.

I need to stop hitting casually. I need to be taught through repetition and mostly through words. This behavior will mostly be extinguished through catching the “taps” that “don’t count” because actually they do. They teach muscle memory. They remind me that hitting is ok.

I used to hit ineffectively so I thought it was fine for me to hit people. At this point I’m very effective and that means I need to treat my hands like weapons and be in full control of them.

Things change.

Noah hit back because I hurt him. He has the right. I’m not really mad that he believes he has the right to defend himself.

I’m mad that men start out able to defend themselves with so much force without having to take class after class after class and work and work and work.

I’m not sure that I’m mad at the men. I’m just mad.

I know that I need to get over all the shit that happened to me. But a lot of the places I hurt almost every day are from specific assaults.

Do you think you would be able to forget if you were reminded by your body every day?

Maybe if I can actually heal I stand a chance. Maybe.

Chiropractic appointment in 3.5 hours. I’m going to call and schedule acupuncture for this week. I don’t see a massage therapist for a while but I’ll be ok. Two weeks? I’ll live. Ha.

Cause the next time I see massage therapists I’m uhm seeing two in one day because I didn’t really look at the calendar before booking the second one. That’s ok. One person works on a very small area for the full hour and the other person does a more general massage for an hour and a half. It will feel like magic. I will need to drink so much water that day.

I’m really trying.

Some day I would like to spend less money on health care and spend more money on donating to communities of color. They need the money. I’d rather not need to spend it on my body.

I really don’t think I’m the best place to spend all these resources. But I recognize that it is literally necessary for a time if I am going to heal and be able to do the work I want to do. If I want to stop feeling suicidal because I cannot deal with how much pain I experience on a daily basis… I need to spend the money since I have it. I don’t have a justification for giving it away instead of fixing what is wrong.

Not at this point. Not really. I will be a more effective tool if I stop and do maintenance.

That’s just prudence.

Is that close enough to self love to count?

I’m trying.

Today I am going to spend with the kids. Except for the chiropractic appointment. They’ll do bookwork during that time. We’ll be together the rest of the time. I think we should garden. We’ll read. We’ll snuggle.

I will remind my body that despite these training exercises… I’m safe now. I am safe now.

We need to meditate tonight. During the class I was fucking whigging out for a while. Then I remembered what I’ve been saying to myself when we meditate. “I breathe in nothing that will pollute me; I breathe out the nothingness that has consumed me.” It helped. It helped a lot. The fact that I’ve been practicing at night has helped. I calmed down much faster than I used to be able to.

Jenny tells me that I look at how far I have to go. She looks at how far I have come. I write it down so I can see too.

Slightly less hysteria

We spent a lot of time talking last night. Noah says I hit him frequently, but it is closer to a tap than an injurious assault so he doesn’t comment. He says if I were A) hurting him B) intimidating him or C) escalating he’d make it a big deal but I don’t. What I do is more like smacking his shoulder for bad jokes in a way that doesn’t hurt at all.

Ok… that’s not enough that I should be packing my bags and going (I asked) but…

I genuinely don’t notice that I’m doing this and that’s a big problem. I asked him to start calling attention to it every single time it happens. I don’t like that I’m doing this. I want to stop and apparently I’m not doing it on my own.

I asked the kids if I’ve hit them in ways they remember and I don’t. We went down the laundry list of my transgressions. The kids were adamant that I haven’t hurt them outside of what I recall.

We talked about how, “Well we bump each other and that hurts sometimes but it isn’t on purpose. And when we were in the ocean in Florida you grabbed me so hard it hurt really bad.”

Uhm, the ocean in Florida was on the tail end of a fucking hurricane and there was a terrifying riptide. I was grabbing you so hard because I didn’t want you to drown. Soon after we just got the fuck out because it wasn’t safe. So yeah. No apologies over that one. Better you here with a sore arm than gone.

That’s not hitting.

That’s… necessary roughness for life.

I feel like I don’t have scale. I feel like I don’t have perspective and I don’t know what things mean I should have to die.

I really don’t know.

Not. Ok.

Noah says, “Not infrequently, I got hit by you without hitting back.” That means I’m hitting Noah and I’m unaware of it. That’s a real problem.

If I am unconscious of hitting someone that’s a big problem. That’s a problem the size of Montana and I’ve seen Montana. I am completely freaking out over this.

I am a much bigger monster than I even realized. That’s a real problem. I am the problem.

If I knew where my scalpel was I’d be in the bathroom. I’m old enough and fussy enough that I won’t cut with a dull knife any more. I don’t like the scarring. I like my scalpel so that I don’t scar at all. My legs look fine and I have probably made a few thousand cuts in my lifetime.

Yay for sharp blades.

Sarah you may think that no one deserves to be in that place but apparently I am not fucking capable of being conscious of my behavior. Do you know what cutting does? It kinda turns me into a zombie. It completely floods my brain with “Shut the hell up you fucking fuck” and I don’t talk and I sure as fuck don’t hit anyone.

Why is it wrong to do then? If it the sole method of truly controlling my behavior why is it bad?

I apparently am not controlling myself as well as I think. What I am doing is failing.

I’m not even god damn aware of it.

That’s a real problem. And I’ve been fucking freaking out all god damn day because of this. I do not seem to be able to stop being a monster.

Does this mean I’m hitting the kids too without noticing?

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I don’t know. I don’t even know how to ask them.

Oh my god.

You know what, Noah… I think your approach of “not talk about it except sometimes hitting back” has failed. It’s been 10 years. You say I’m hitting you still and you mostly aren’t responding. Maybe we need to try a different approach. Apparently just hitting me occasionally isn’t teaching me.

Who the fuck would have guessed that?

To be fair, I am 100% cognizant of the fact that I used to hit people all the time. I used to hit people just about every day.

How often am I hitting people if I don’t notice?

Hitting

I’m thinking about hitting a lot lately. It factors in that I’m taking a martial arts class so I’m hitting a few times a week. It factors in that I’m in a class this weekend to help me hit people without hurting myself. It factors in that I have a long and colorful history around hitting and being hit.

I don’t think hitting is morally right or morally wrong in and of itself. I think it is situational and context dependent. I think sometimes hitting is downright fun and sometimes it is severely traumatizing. Just like sex can be fantastic or a real problem.

Noah and I hit each other. Mostly this isn’t a big deal because we ask permission first and we do it in specific, negotiated ways. But sometimes someone (mostly me) fucks up and hits in a way that isn’t appropriate.

Does that make it abuse? Abuse is treating someone cruelly or violently. Was I cruel to Noah? I was demeaning. I was rude. Is that the same thing as cruel?

I hit him harder than I hit Eldest Child, but not hard in the world of me hitting people. I’m trying to learn better self control. I still fail.

When I was younger I used to hit people all the time. When I say all the time I mean that not many days went by without me hitting people. Now, outside of specific skills classes you can count on the fingers of a hand how many times I have fucked up and hit someone in the past few years.

It is a lot of progress, but is it good enough? Probably not. I am still trying to work on more self control. The problem is, I have about eleventybillion things that all need lots of self control. Self control is finite.

I’m not mad at Noah for hitting me back. I started it and I deserved it. I’m angry about how hard the hit was.

In my head I liken this to a Chihuahua and a Great Dane. (Not that I advocate hitting animals in any way shape or form–that’s never ok. They really can’t consent.) If you kinda whack a Great Dane on the back the animal might think you are just being a bit rough. If you do the exact same whack on a Chihuahua… you might be able to kill the dog.

I’m not mad at Noah for hitting me. I’m mad that he hit me that hard where he did. Because god damnit aren’t we paying enough fucking money on my god damn medical bills. I am a breakable toy.

I’m not saying I don’t deserve to be hit back when I start it. I’m saying, “How much pain can I actually absorb this lifetime.”

I’m scared. I’m scared because I feel like I’m walking a tightrope where I’m supposed to be appropriate enough for everyone else and still manage to get my pain levels down low enough to where I don’t want to die all the time. I don’t know how to balance this.

Noah and I were talking last night about the fact that it is very hard for me that I don’t have places in my life where I’m supposed to dump the big kinetic, frustrated energy I have in my life. There isn’t anyone I’m supposed to really hit. Noah and I schedule dates every so often where he beats the crap out of me. Because we both think it is hot. It’s consensual, highly negotiated, and a lot of fun. I’m not complaining in the slightest about him hitting me hard when it is on my ass instead of my head.

I think of these as boundary problems. Not necessarily abuse because we do not define some level of hitting as abuse. Some level of hitting is specifically negotiated and ok. Outside of that we have boundary problems. Are they the same as abuse? We both fuck up.

I think that abuse makes people feel small and trapped. I don’t feel like that. I don’t live in fear of Noah beating me. I think that if I’m an asshole he will reciprocate… is that abuse?

We don’t get into angry fist fights. Usually what happens is I don’t think about an impulse, I smack him, he smacks back, we both apologize and it’s over. I can live with that. I have impulse control problems (documented. It’s a thing) and yeah I fuck up. He feels he can live with the level I fuck up because I don’t attack him in anger. I smack him idly while having a conversation in a way that was completely normal for me for decades. I have mostly stopped doing it and sometimes I slip.

I grew up in a hitting culture. America is a gun culture. I grew up around people who hit casually, frequently, as a matter of course. I think my children would be shocked at how much hitting used to be common in my life. Now there’s a slip up every great while. I don’t think I hit Noah like that every year. But once in a while I fuck up.

How many fuck ups are permissible in a lifetime before it isn’t a fuck up it is a lifestyle choice?

If out of 365 days in a year I fuck up once or twice… and I don’t even do it every year so not really even once ever 365 days.

Where does it become abuse?

You know what? I didn’t hit the kid who kicked me in the throat. I don’t hit my kids when they hit me. Last night a kid I like was kicking me in the face (not real hard) and I got up and moved away from the kid after multiple verbal warnings because I sure as shit wasn’t going to hit this kid.

But I fuck up sometimes.

I’m not trying to justify or excuse it. I’m trying to describe it. I don’t think I should be doing this. I think my continual “I’m trying and failing” is pathetic and kind of… yeah. Grow the fuck up. I’m almost 35 god damn years old.

But I know a lot of 70-something year olds with impulse control problems that make mine look like a cake walk.

Am I really so evil and disgusting? I have a hitting problem. I know. I feel like a piece of shit because I know that if I go play with my friend and stomp him into the ground I will probably stop wanting this so bad for a long time. I will want it again eventually (Yes, I am a documented sadist) but not for a while. It’s like relieving pressure instead of having an explosion.

Oooooooh. I just got an email back from my friend. Noah told me I could set up some dinner dates with my friend (for extensive negotiation) then we are going to need to find an appropriate venue. Then alllllllllllllllll the hitting and kicking and slapping and pinching and scratching will be appropriate! I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT. Only I’ll wait. Because I’m patient. Like a spider. This will be all the more glorious for the anticipation. I’m really really excited that this friend suggested playing. There are things I like doing to people that not many people in this world want to experience. If you find someone who is not only tolerant but enthusiastic? That’s god damn magic.

Well I’m at an interesting point for reading this article this morning. It’s discussing victimization by gender in the UK.

I’m one of the percentage of woman who is problematic. I don’t deny that at all. I don’t deny that there are problematic women. I’m here so obviously they exist.

I have a kid clutching one hand. I guess that’s it for today.

What’s going on, briefly.

This weekend is the Impact Bay Area basics class again. I have taken it before. (Somewhat ironically, when I was on the elimination diet. Now I’m on this fucking cleanse thing. I seem to like strenuous exercise when physically depleted. I don’t really claim to be smart.)

This time I don’t know anyone in the class except the suited instructor who I met last time. I don’t have any friends and the rest of the staff is different. This class is fewer people so everything is going faster and feels less rushed. We did extra fights because we had so much extra time and we still left 45 minutes early.

I’m not going as slow as I wish I were going. It would be better for my muscle memory if I could truly slow down. Thing is, I get into a fight situation and I am just kind of a blur. Move.Move.Move.Move. My accuracy is improving a lot (the suited instructor was very complimentary today) and I’m not hitting quite as hard. I know that I’m not hitting as hard because I don’t ache. My wrist is the teeeeeniest bit sore. My elbow doesn’t hurt at all. My back is a little sore from standing for hours today when I don’t usually stand like that.

That’s pretty damn cool.

Honestly I think the Krav classes are helping with that. I’m sloooowly doing the exercises with Noah in class and that’s relatively easy because it isn’t a fight setting. I’m not adrenalized. At Impact the dude is creepy, the situation is tense (on purpose and deliberately in a safe manner) (Ok the dude isn’t *actually* creepy–but with the mask on he is intimidating as fuck.)

I noticed something today. Multiple times the suited instructor backed off from a fight because I verbalized so forcefully. That was a much more adrenalized situation for me than the fights. In the fights I calm down. I center. I look for what I want to hurt and I just go. When it is still words and I don’t know if I’m escalating too much or not enough and I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble for what I’m saying…

That scares the living fuck out of me. Moderate verbal exchanges are much more distressing for me than a fist fight.

I’m really fucked up.

I like knowing where I stand.

I don’t like ambiguity.

Oh wait, speaking of Krav. I have a confession. I document my fuck ups with the kids so I need to do this too. At class the teacher was correcting one of Noah’s stances and Noah asked why. I leaned over, tapped the back of his head twice and said, “Because you are open to this.”

Well, Noah doesn’t get hit by a grown up without hitting back. So he thwapped my head right back.

I hurt for a while. We’ve talked about it. I think I was very wrong to do what I did. It was rude. It was demeaning. It hurt him. I really should not have done that. But I’m pissed about how hard he hit back.

I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to defend himself. He does. He completely does. He’s a lot bigger than me. I think he could use less fucking force and still fucking effectively communicate.

This isn’t something we have done in years. It wasn’t cool of me. That was wrong. I need to not do it again.

But I’m kinda pissed. (Hey everyone on the internet–no taking sides. I’m documenting for the sake of documenting. We are pretty good to one another the vast majority of the time and every few years we have a boundary issue and we talk about it. Then years go by before one or the other of us fucks up again. I kinda think that’s life.)

What the fuck is abuse. I was an asshole, yes.

See. This is pretty much why I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point of thinking of myself as a good person. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop fucking up.

I feel pretty ashamed of myself for being this ridiculous. Grow the fuck up already.

really haven’t finished growing up yet. I know.

Speaking of, I think that’s life.  (I don’t really know this writer. He’s the friend of a friend. But this piece on reenacting trauma and safety hit home in more ways than I’m happy about.)

Yeah. I do this. Over and over and over.

Fuck. I’m not even original. Lame.

On the emotional front: I was busy and dissociated today so I wasn’t suicidal! I uhhh guess that’s good? Awesome. I was very distracted from myself today. So I was probably more positive.

On the poop front: what is this shit…literally. hahahahaha I crack me up.

Ok for real, on the poop front: things are changing. It’s been a week of this “cleanse” bullshit. How is it changing. It is… only a little bit more firm. Still tooth pastey, but so very brown.

I don’t know about you, but my shit has been neon yellow for the vast majority of my life. Sometimes it is green. Very very rarely brown and even when it is brown…not like this.

It’s not black. It’s not tarry or anything. It’s just BROWN.

It’s… I don’t know. It’s intense.

 

Ok, Noah and I are negotiating me hurting people. Because apparently I need to do some hitting.

Thinking about whiteness

Well I’m thinking again. Recently, a wise soul told me that I needed to think about who I am and come back to a place within myself where I can accept who I am. That means thinking about whiteness. That’s complicated. I have a lot more white guilt than is good for me but I do not think I ever want to get to a place where I have none at all.

I have had several white men tell me in the last couple of weeks that I should narrow my focus in life. I should stop paying attention to what is happening to other people; I can’t help them anyway. Wow.

Well actually, I help people on a regular basis. I help people every month. I probably help people every week. I don’t help people every single day.

But I should stop paying attention. I should stop noticing that those people are having problems. It would be good for me.

What do you mean by good?

Sometimes it is a little weird to me, to take responsibility for America’s history of slave ownership because I don’t think any of my ancestors actually owned slaves. Sometimes it seems a little weird to me that I feel burden for something neither I nor my family did. But I do. We as a culture, as a country hurt our citizens. We hurt them very badly and we did it over and over for generations.

No one has ever wanted to take responsibility for what was going on in my family either.

I can’t save everyone. I have a specific budget. Okay it goes up every year, but so has my income. I am selfish too, I am putting money away every single month for our future. I am selfish. But I have so much extra. I know how budgeting works. I am meeting and exceeding my goals.

There has to be balance and I don’t think that very many people get to a place of balance. I feel very humble. I would not be meeting my goals if the universe did not choose to be kind to me. Many years ago when I was younger I had a brief, tempestuous affair with a young man who is pursuing an education in Ayurvedic medicine. He asked to do my chart, meaning my birth chart based on when I was born. I thought that was pretty funny. But he did it and when he came back to me to give me the reading he looked at me really funny.

He said,” you are never going to have to worry about money. And you will always win when you go against somebody in court.”

That has been weird for me in my adult life. Money has fallen into my lap like rain. It is just true. I get it from so many places. I don’t really understand sometimes. When I was younger this often took the form of getting rebates on things. I had budgeted for the full price of something not knowing that there was a rebate and I ended up getting mailed money. Every time spontaneous money pops into my lap I make progress on whatever goal is currently most important to me. I don’t ever use it for splurging.

These days, most extra money gets put towards my mortgage. Some of the investments that Noah owned before we were married send out occasional checks. His parents sometimes feel guilty. And good golly can that man make money. I did not really intend to make my financial fortune through marriage. To be fair, when I married him, his debt significantly outweighed his net worth. So it isn’t like he started out rich. What he started out with was a lot of privilege that he didn’t know how to use. What I brought to the marriage was a financial sense and an iron fist.

Who made who?

But this is how it works for white people. Noah comes from a background of wealth, wealth mostly only grows if you are smart enough to marry somebody who can help you manage that process. Guess what else happens mostly to people? Marriage.

There are privileges for white people from top to bottom in our society. I think I only see this because I’ve experienced so many different levels of society. Most of the people I talk to have a hard time understanding why I care so much about people who are not like me right now.

I have a long memory. I have come really far. You have no idea what kind of people are like me. So many people are like me. They just don’t know it yet. They aren’t like all of me. No one can be like all of me without walking all the roads I have walked. No one was with me. I was alone for so long. Not any more though.

I do not seek to be a good white person. Or rather, I do not think I can ever arrive at being such. It is a well studied phenomena that most human beings only know people within their racial group. I don’t want that. If I put my head down it might happen. I am not going to put my head down. I do need to find some kind of balance. I need to be aware of people around me who need help. I need to do so because I need to pay back the child I was who needed so much help. I need to pay forward all of the karma I have received. I do not believe that doing this will make me love myself more. But I believe it is the right thing to do.

I believe that there is no meaning in life other than the meaning we create by ourselves. I do not believe I am going to be saved. I do not believe anyone has died for my sins. I believe there have been many many people throughout history who have wanted to atone. Yet my sins are still my own. I cannot undo my past but I can make damn sure that my future is something different.

When I was a teacher I had a sign above the whiteboard in my room. It said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. I told the kids that I believe that. When you walk into my classroom whatever you did yesterday is irrelevant. I did not know you then. I did not see any of your transgressions. We have a clean slate. What do you want to do with it?

I do not seek to be good. I do not think I can be. What I do is seek to lessen the pain that is in the world because I want to be a creator instead of a destroyer. I do not help these people because I know them personally. I am distantly friendly afterwords, sometimes. I do not assume friendship. Needing help is a touchy thing. Pride is a really big deal. I do not help people because I am better than them; I help because I have extra.  I want to live in a world where everyone has enough. I don’t think I can get there on my own, but I do what I can. I hope that if a whole lot more people felt the same way, we could move the needle. We could change what it means to be poor in America.

I think that being poor in America should mean that you have a safe place to live and food and heat and clean water and people who love you. I think that every person should be able to get an education for free that will enable them to no longer be poor and instead be middle class or upper class. I don’t think we will ever get away from a class system. I do think that we should change how people get into the class they are in.

I think that being upper class should mean something very different than what it means now. I hope we will get to the end of consumptive wealth displays soon. Just a few people are going to kill all the rest of us. But I am part of the problem. I travel too much. I consume too much. I definitely have a high carbon foot print.

My culture is in everything I do. And my culture is killing the planet.

 

P. S. This post brought to you by Dragon. I am trying to not type. This was moderately less frustrating than it has been so far. Maybe I will learn.