Silver lining

The upside of extra time spent at home is we are getting along phenomenally well. I’m yelling much less than normal. The only screaming I’ve done lately was over dealing with the Apple website and I was alone in my bedroom for that. I hate their website.

And I’m getting a whole bunch of chores checked off the list. That’s useful.

Between the grief ritual and the spanking I feel purged. My anxiety level is much lower. I feel less desire to reach out to people. Less desire to be affirmed.

I have three people who love me very much. I have three people who prioritize my safety and well-being. I have three people who are just about at my beck and call. This has to be enough. And I don’t get them forever. I have less than thirteen years left where I have this much say-so over three people.

I’m enjoying this phase of life.

Next week my bonus kids will come for a long visit. I’m looking forward to it intensely. It’s like a weekend of intensive teaching. It feels time limited and thus safe. I can pour out all of my energy, all of my give into you for this time limited period and then send you home.

I feel kind of silly because hanging out with kids feels so rewarding. It is appropriate to help them. It is appropriate to teach them how to help themselves. I like teaching people how to do things for themselves.

In just a minute it is time to go inside and ice some cupcakes. Calli and I made them. We are going to have a tea party today.

We like them. It doesn’t matter if anyone else does.

It’s going to be hard to care less about other people liking me or not. So far, it feels pretty bad. Feeling disposable feels really bad.

Today Shanna woke up and said she didn’t feel very well. We were supposed to go to an event. Part of me wonders if she wasn’t feeling well because she loves me and she knows I’m feeling uncomfortable and she wanted to spare me in the only way she could.

I dinno.

All I know is my days are very good and very happy when I am home with my kids. My favorite view is my front porch looking in.

Although I’ve got to say… my garden looks great. Pretty much the whole view around here is awesome. I have more and more flowers in the yard.

I can see seven different kinds of flowers from where I am sitting. There are way more right around the corner. I should write down everything I have in my yard right now. Looks like the grapes I’ve been working on for a few years didn’t like how they were trimmed. They aren’t coming back. Crud.

Time to go ice a cake. My battery is almost dead.

I’m seriously worried about how I will handle my withdrawal from technology on this trip. I’m on a fucking screen all the time.

Guess I’ll have to pay more attention to Shanna and Calli. Oh darn. That will be such a bummer.

(That’s my sarcastic voice.)

Alone is nice

A friend said, “Hey, can I steal your kids over night?” My response was something akin to YES YES YESSSSSSSSS.

Noah and I went out on a date. It was fun. We came home and had raunchy sex. I married the right boy.

It was funny last night. I ran into one of my uhm immense harem. He is now married and expecting a baby. Good for him. I asked what his wife sees in him and he told me, “My magnificent cock.”

Me… being me… I made a crack about how I don’t remember it being that great. He then proceeded to tell me about how I wasn’t that into him because I fucked him during the wrong time of my life.

It is fascinating to me how my male lovers tend to assume I stopped fucking them because of logistical reasons that blocked my ability to access their cocks. My former female lovers need to be coaxed through not feeling rejected as a human being. I didn’t stop loving you as a friend because I stopped eating you out.

But the fellas don’t have the same self esteem problems. I find that funny.

Plan D

Today I am going to rework the first section of the road trip. We will be skipping the Pacific North West. We will get back there in the future. There is no shortage of ties that pull me in that direction. I am going to take it as a sign that I should explore other areas. Specifically I will take it as a sign that most of my friends won’t be there when I can be there anyway.

Going from the bay area to Salt Lake City then east will be easier anyway. Instead of having it take 16 days to get to Salt Lake we can get there in 6 and take a detour to see a neat geyser in Nevada that Shanna heard about. Hilariously, this route will take me past where Burning Man happens and this will probably be the closest I ever get. Maybe I’ll look into camping on the playa just so I can say I did it once. I have an extra 10 days to play with now. Ha.

I love my friends very much and they love me. Many of my suggestions don’t work out. The ones that are meant to work out do. It’s ok that not everyone is along for the whole roller coaster. They give me what they have to spare. I do the same. Sometimes that means we can’t meet all of each others needs. Life is like that.

Doesn’t change how much love there is. Just changes where I’m driving in June.

Post-therapy

We spent a lot of time talking about how my sense of self-worth is far too influenced by whether or not other people make time for me. My shrink wants me to work harder on going 50% of the way to people and then stopping. If someone doesn’t meet me halfway, I am better off turning around and continuing walking by myself. Going 75% of the way so that I can beg them to please notice me isn’t sustainable anymore.

Specifically I have homework about mapping out my cognitive stuff around my self-worth. And then specifically try to move the “other peoples opinions” bubble farther away from me.

Peripheral

I asked my current longest running friend how she experiences my emotional ups and downs. She said “Peripherally because mostly I’m focused on me.” It was… humbling in exactly the right way. It was a reminder that the people who love me don’t have to come on the emotional roller coaster with me. They can love me and hear about my life and support me without being traumatized. My experiences are peripheral to their lives. It’s… kind of a freeing way of looking at it.

I don’t know how much to center myself. I don’t know how much impact I have on other people. I don’t know how much they can withstand from me. I don’t know this partially because people are all so different. I have been blessed with friends who can hear about some severe traumas without being damaged. But lots of people can’t even handle mildly upsetting things without freaking out, let alone trauma. So calibration is a bitch.

On the way home from the grief ritual on Saturday I got news that I didn’t like. If I was under the delusion that talking about a road trip for multiple years before I did it would result in people making sure they were home when I come to their city….uhm I am now back in tune with reality. The folks I know make their plans without consulting with me. Lots of folks I wanted to see (I’m up to like 8 different people across the country) aren’t going to be home when I come through town. The… ironic part is how many of them will be in the bay area when I am in their home states. I am having a hard time not feeling specifically avoided. I live in the bay area and you don’t come when I’m there to see me. You come when I am in your city. It… it is hard to not take personally. I’ve been planning this road trip for years. People could have asked me about conflicts. They didn’t. Now I can either change my plans (to make a long trip even longer) to see them or give up the idea of seeing them.

Which is why it is good to be reminded that I am peripheral to other peoples lives and I shouldn’t act like I am at the center. I’m really not. Folks don’t schedule around me. Hoo boy folks don’t schedule around me.

I think this would be easier if it were one person I was having this experience with. Then I could decide how much I prioritize that specific person and make a decision and move on. But once you start stacking that many people and that many conflicts… it gets exponentially more complicated.

I’m having conflict with my plans from five separate people in Portland. That’s… that seems to be a sign I shouldn’t go to Portland. If 5/8 of the people I go there to see won’t be available and one of the people I do want to see has been coming to the bay area without talking to me over the last year so I’m all butt hurt… Maybe Portland wasn’t meant to be part of the road trip? I could take it as a sign to save myself a thousand or so miles of travel. But then I feel like I’m not proving my love to the 3/8 people who are still there.

I’m having internal conflict over my adopted dad coming to the bay area multiple times without bothering to have dinner with us. Why the fuck should I keep trying to create a relationship with you when you come to my area without even the smallest of effort in my direction? It’s not a relationship if I am carrying all of it. But you know what? He didn’t ask me to be my dad. He didn’t ask to adopt my kids. I asked him. And I have to take what he feels like giving. I don’t get to demand more.

But I spent this weekend at a grief ritual. And I spent this weekend reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Fucking Palmer. So I’m in a funny place with regards to my feelings about “just stop asking people for love.”

That’s what cutting Portland out of the road trip would mean for me. It would mean that I am not able to go to that city with my heart in my hands saying, “Please love me.” I feel pathetic about it, but that’s a lot of what I do with my traveling and my life experiences. I go about and meet people I’ve known for a long time and people I have just met and I energetically ask them to love me. Please think I am worthy of humanity and decency and love. I’m scared that I am not deserving. And I need it affirmed over and over.

You need ten positive things to balance out every negative thing you hear about yourself. I spent the first 25 years of my life hearing 1,000 bad things for every good thing I heard. I am spending my adulthood trying to convince myself I am not what I was told I am.

But asking people to love you this way means risking rejection.

Part of my problem is that I have too many expectations of people. I really do. If I were actually content with five minutes of attention from the people I love I wouldn’t feel so disappointed. They can eke out five minutes. They can’t eke out two days. I’m not saying anything bad about them for that. They are where they are. And I am where I am.

I have spent most of my life using physical pain to remind me that I can’t ask for help because people don’t actually care very much. Now everyone in my life really wants me to stop hurting myself. And things are better than they were–more people are willing to demonstrate caring than I have ever experienced. It is getting better year by year. But I am not good at keeping my needs in check. I’m not good at ensuring that I don’t overwhelm people.

I am trying to learn the skills to deal with rejection without feeling like I should die. My hyperbole is not because of anyone in my life right now. It is because I have felt like I should die since early childhood. I’m looking for signs that I should or shouldn’t die. As soon as I feel like there is more weight on the side of no really I shouldn’t be here any more I try to leave. I haven’t tried to leave in 18 years. I was taught that the penalty for trying to leave and failing is really bad. Unless I’m willing to go swim out into the ocean until I can’t come back… I probably won’t attempt suicide again. My gestures are used up. Next time it has to be effective and no take backs.

I’m still weighing every rejection. I’m still tossing evidence into a sack towards the inevitability that I should die today because some day that day will come. Some day it will be the day I should die. It is not avoidable.

I notice something in the cycles of asking for support that I go through. If I ask a lot of people at once for something I don’t want very much… it usually works out. If I ask one person for something I want very much… it rarely works out. One example that is shallow and petty but small and easy to describe is the leather dress. I lived with my Owner for three years. We had a very intense relationship. I did not ask him to buy me things. He bought food for me in restaurants and that was it. I bought all groceries for the house. We were both incredibly sensitive to the idea that he was my Sugar Daddy and he was therefore careful to not pay me.

Isn’t that kind of funny? He wanted to make sure our relationship was “clean” so he would safely not provide very much support. Ha.

Anyway after being together for just shy of 4 years we were at a leather conference. I found a leather ball gown I was simply in love with. It was gorgeous. It was way out of my budget. I had never before asked him to pay for any of the ridiculously large fetish wardrobe I bought because he wanted me to wear those clothes. I didn’t ask him to pay for the 20+ pairs of shoes I bought because he wanted me to wear them. I didn’t own any of those shoes two years after I left him. Most of them were gone in three months. I hated those shoes. But I had to buy them to make him happy. I lived on $14,400/year and he made over $250,000. Anyway.

So I wanted this dress and I asked him to buy it for me. I said it could be my birthday and Christmas and everything put together. He said no. He said it wasn’t worth it to him to buy it for him. This happened in July. We broke up in August. Want to know what is funny? Noah organized my other-lovers and bought the dress for my birthday in September. I didn’t ask my other-lovers for the dress. I just cried on my blog.

I still have the dress. I wear it sometimes. It is one of the few items of fetish wear I have left. Mostly I’ve passed things on to people who are actually into that kind of thing. I used to have a wardrobe that made fetish models and professional dominatrixes drool. I’m not a fetishist though.

I spent a lot of this grieving ritual thinking about how I need to forgive myself for having needs that are in specific shaped boxes. I am not going to get those boxes filled because friends don’t work that way. I could maybe get the needs met if I was open to the universe supplying some random person–that’s how things work out for me. But as long as I get into this place where I create fantasies of doing x, y, and z with a, b, and c because I love them… I’m mostly going to be disappointed. My friends are not programmable. They don’t have the same interests and impulses as me.

This is what makes things so tricky. I have very specific needs and wants. People aren’t Burger King. You can’t have it your way.

A friend suggested that I negotiate differently. Instead of offering a Thing I’m up for, try to negotiate two or three things that might work for both. Thing is, I’m negotiating with anywhere from 3-25 people in a week. I can’t be that flexible. I run into bandwidth limitations.

I am not physically nor emotionally capable of being that open-endedly flexible with that many people. Maybe other people could… I can’t.

I will lose me. I understand that other people can keep themselves while being very flexible. That is awesome for them. That’s not me.

As I read Amanda Palmer’s book I kept thinking, “I have tried to have similar trust in the universe. That is part of how I got raped by 12 people. Uhm… This doesn’t work equally well for everyone.”

I feel like the term “Survival Sex” is only fairly recently added to my working vocabulary. It is… not exactly sex work because money doesn’t exchange hands. It is having sex with people in trade for food or housing. I’m struggling with not having the right goods to trade for my needs any more. Once upon a time I could trade sex and get most of the immediate needs I had met. Now I can’t trade sex for a variety of reasons and I don’t know what currency I have that is of value. My attention? But I bother people so much.

If you look at history there are people who can ask and have their needs met and it is like magic and then there are people who ask and get spit on. A lot of it depends on who you know. How magical is your safety net? The fact that Amanda Palmer had so many people with extra money to throw at artists is part of why she has done so well. If she had not grown up in that net… it would be a very different story.

It is a lot easier to trust that people will meet your needs when your needs have been basically met your entire life. It is not so easy to believe when there have been brief shining moments when all of your needs were met for brief moments and mostly… not so much.

I don’t know how to stop taking it out on my friends that my needs are too big for any of them. If my friends meticulously did every single thing I wanted from them… I would probably still feel this way. My problems are existential and not logistical. I get a lot of assistance and cooperation from friends. My friends do wonderful things with and for me. I can pinpoint problems in the system but… mostly my friends are ridiculously good to me. No, people don’t schedule their lives around me. I’m peripheral. But what they have to spare they hand me generously. It isn’t their fault that it isn’t enough to meet my needs.

Is it my fault? Is it anyone’s fault? I worry about fault so much partially because when I talk about how people aren’t meeting my needs people are quick to assume I’m blaming them. If they feel blamed for my problems they are more likely to cut me out of their lives and then I will be that much further from having my needs met.

You can’t talk about the fact that what you are getting in inadequate. You will cease getting any help at all.

Watch how people treat people of color who complain about the system. If you say, “This isn’t meeting my needs” people will say, “Fine then I won’t help you at all you ungrateful bastard.”

I don’t know what I want from people. Not really. I can come up with imaginary scenarios that would take 20 years of back story to make possible but beyond that… I don’t really know.

I want to feel seen.

In the class part of the ritual Sobonfu said, “If someone is crying and alone in my village someone will come and sit with them. If they don’t start talking, the listener will go get more people. If a small group isn’t enough to get the person to start talking we will get the whole village together to listen. Some problems are so big they cannot be carried by one person or by a small group. The whole village has to see and hear the problem before it can be resolved.”

I feel like that. I feel like there isn’t much of anything that people can do for me at this point beyond seeing and hearing me. I want to feel like an integral part of the system. I want to feel like my pain is so important that many many people care enough to take time out of their day to just see it. So that it can feel real. So that I can put it down. So that I don’t have to metaphorically spend all day clutching it and screaming “Look! Look Just fucking look.”

I don’t want to be disposable.

I’m afraid of treating my friends like they are disposable. I’m afraid I have no path to being correct and meeting my needs and their needs.

Part of my problem dealing with people comes from scale issues. I have an unusually large net of people. They are all fairly loose connections, but I have them all over the place. Weak connections lead to a safer and happier and more successful life. But how do you decide how much energy to give to weak connections?

I think that part of the relief when the Godmamas dumped me is like when a company fires an employee and gets to wipe their vacation time off the books. It is no longer an outstanding debt the company might have to face at any point. I left space in my heart and mind for them. They didn’t want it. They told me no over and over for years. But I left that space open. I tried to cram other people into gaps and holes around the area I was leaving for them. It’s like doing a computer defrag on my emotional priorities.

Ok, you want to be not important. Ok.

All of the people who have made conflicting plans are people I really like and I don’t want to defrag them out of my life.

I feel like there is no way to win.

Either I absorb all the disappointment and sadness and regret and keep coming back to beg for love another time or I give up on the person as a source of support.

This is that black and white thinking that mentally ill people are supposed to “work on”.

It’s not either/or. But I don’t know what it is.

Why am I doing the road trip? For a whole bunch of reasons. Because I want my kids to meet people all across the country and find out that their social skills need heavy adaptation from environment to environment. Because I want my kids to physically see this country so that when we talk about geography and history they have real schema to match things up with. Because I have wanted to do a trip like this my whole life and I never had anyone who wanted to do it with me and I’m too chicken shit to go alone. Because I can. Because I think we are going to reach a point in history where the carbon cost is going to be too high and people can’t do this any more. I want to do it while I can.

Because my cousin sneered at me while we were preparing for the New Zealand trip, “Why are you going overseas when you haven’t seen all of this great country.” Bitch, I’ve seen more of this country than you. It isn’t that great. Shut up.

That cousin hasn’t ever liked me. It wasn’t my fault she disliked me. She moved to Georgia not long after I moved in with Auntie and Uncle Bob for the first time. She cried telling her father that she was sorry she was taking his grandchildren away from him. He said, “That’s ok. I have Krissy.” My cousin never forgave me.

You know what? Uncle Bob dropped me when a younger and more sycophantic girl came along. He dropped that girl when another younger girl came along. You can get over hating me for stealing his love. I didn’t steal it. It was never really mine. He wanted a role and I couldn’t give him the role he wanted. I’m not grateful enough.

I had too much abuse mixed in with my not-really-good-enough support. Some boxes of Fruity Pebbles didn’t solve my problems and everyone kind of hated me for that.

If I could be blithe and capricious with seeing my friends things would work out much better. If I could accept the gift of their friendship and hold it in my open hand without grabbing and crushing it… things would work out better.

But I’m needy and desperate and sad and lonely. Even when I’m in a house full of people who love me. This is clearly not about the people who are currently in my life. This is not about the deficiency in behavior or planning or whatever from the people I know.

This is about a hole inside of me the size of Alaska.

If I’m going to be kind of an asshole about it I would say, If my friends weren’t so cool I wouldn’t be so upset about only getting a small slice of them. But man that’s a dick move.

I can’t actually handle that big of a slice of most of my friends. I start flipping out. I literally shake and I get nasty and difficult. Which is part of what makes my entitlement and possessiveness such a problem. I want them. I want all of them. Then I’m an asshole.

Like I did with Sarah. I want Sarah. I want to live with her and be with her all day every day. Just because I want it that doesn’t mean I can do it in a way that is healthy for both of us. My needs are too big. Her needs are too big. Our needs conflict in very complicated ways. It isn’t about either of us doing something wrong we just aren’t compatible as house mates. That happens.

I need a degree of rigidness and predictability that is very hard for almost everyone. That isn’t about anyone doing me wrong. It’s a recognition of the fact that people can be very complicated. If I don’t have that rigidness in my life then I have breakdowns in my behavior. That rigidity is how I have learned to compensate for not having the support I needed. I created the structure and support I needed for myself by myself but there is a cost.

That cost comes in how much I can trust other people. I have to be able to pick up the pieces if their best isn’t good enough. I have to be able to recover from feeling rejected. I have to be able to feel like I still have a self who is deserving of life at the end of the day. That is not something that other people are responsible for nor can they have serious impact on how it turns out.

The thing is, if everyone I knew catered their whole lives around me and scheduled around me and constantly pestered me to center me in their lives… I would implode. I could not do that. I would reject everyone, stop answering the phone and email and hide in my closet for months.

My friends really aren’t put in a position to be very successful with me. I’m sorry for that.

What I want is friends who are off doing their things. Their things inspire me. Their things remind me that it takes all kinds and all of these diverse, interesting, busy people are necessary to have the world be this fabulous.

And that means I have to take what is left over and find a way to cobble it into enough.

I am really scared that I will have to bail part way through the road trip because I will not have the emotional nor physical stamina to do such a journey alone with the kids. In order to spend quality time with the people we love in Portland I would have to make the trip longer and show up earlier. I don’t think I can bear that cost right now. I think that given that 5/8 of the people we love in Portland will not be available… I should take that as a sign from the universe to come back to Oregon another time. I will not run out of chances.

But I’m scared that if I make that choice I am giving up on those friends. I’m afraid that not putting in the extra effort to force it to work means I am not dedicated enough and I do not deserve those relationships and I will not be given access to them in the future.

I’m afraid that if I decide to not go to Portland during the road trip it will be in large part because I’m saying “Fuck you” to Dad because he didn’t see me when he came to the bay area. He was about 1/3 of the reason I deleted my Fetlife account. I don’t want to see evidence that I’m not that important to you. I don’t want to know. I mean, I know I’m not that important. But I don’t want to read about you talking to your friends about your excitement about visiting them. You don’t visit me. You don’t call me. You don’t email me. I contact you. Or we have no contact.

Yeah, that’s how my relationships with “fathers” go.

Portland is very wrapped up in my feelings about Dad. We usually stay with him when we go up. And right now…

Right now I can’t ask. I can’t ask him for love or support or anything. I can’t ask him to acknowledge that I am alive. I just can’t. He doesn’t want to. If he wanted to be part of my life he knows where I am. He chooses not to.

I…

It isn’t something he has to give.

So when I’m talking about Portland all of my conflicting feelings about all of the wonderful people there crash into each other. And it makes all of the processing ramp up several notches in intensity. I’m not processing how I feel about accommodating Person A. I’m thinking about how I can fit in Person A, Person B, Person C, Person D, Person E, and all of them have conflicting schedule limitations and issues.

Cutting Portland out would mean we had time to get to Missouri. Where one of my online-support-group friends lives. She has twins who are right in the middle of the ages of my kids. I’ve been talking to her about parenting stuff for years. She mailed me artwork for my wall when I was having the break down around Uncle Bob’s death and divorcing my family. She has sent me letters and emails over the years.

So cutting out Portland isn’t just about whether or not I want to say “Fuck you” to Dad or whether I want to try to work around everyone else’s travel schedule. It’s also about whether or not this road trip is about cementing old connections or making new ones.

Portland will still be there in the future. I guarantee that even if this trip doesn’t work out… we’ll get back to Portland. The folks who live there are an intense draw. Even if I get mad at them sometimes. Even if sometimes I feel feelings because I am not the center of their life and THAT TOTALLY SUCKS, YO. I will get back to Portland.

Missouri… maybe. Maybe not. This may be the only or one of two times I will ever go there in my whole damn life.

What is this trip about? Fuck if I know.

But you know what? I walked out of the weekend feeling less upset. I stopped feeling really guilty about how I’m handling the throat kicking incident. If I lose the home school group that’s ok. They were never mine to begin with.

I’m going to be really sad if I lose some of the important Portland people in my life. I can live with not seeing them this year, even if it is disappointing. I don’t want to live with losing them forever. That’s so much harder.

I’m going to close with a quote from Amanda’s book:

We make countless choices every day whether to ask or to turn away from one another. Wondering whether it’s too much to ask the neighbor to feed the cat. The decision to turn away from a partner, to turn off the light instead of asking what’s wrong.

Asking for help requires authenticity, and vulnerability.

Those who ask without fear learn to say two things, with or without words, to those they are facing:

I deserve to ask

and

You are welcome to say no.

Because the ask that is conditional cannot be a gift.

This is what is so hard about me asking my friends for things. I wait to ask until the no hurts me. I have refrained from asking for thousands of small, petty things because I was afraid. Because I don’t want to overwhelm or bother people. So I wait until it is a crises. Then I ask. Then I can’t absorb “no”.

Which means I’m damning everyone from the beginning. I’m not asking for gifts. I’m asking for… investment. I’m asking for responsibility.

You can’t ask your friends to be responsible for you. Then they aren’t your friends any more. They are your wards or your parents or your guardians or something.

I damn myself over and over again. Because I cannot ask when it is just a gift. Because I am so scared. Because my needs have never been very important, even when they really needed to be.

This weekend I had an interaction with a person in which they expressed that part of their goal during the ritual was to not feel pain. I kind of scoffed at that, because I’m an asshole. The person said it at the beginning of the day on Saturday before the ritual proper had started.

I found those words sticking in my head all through the day. I just… couldn’t make myself grieve the way I did last time at the ritual. I didn’t have the hysterical screaming and flailing in me. I didn’t need to beat my head until I couldn’t raise it from the pillow anymore. Instead I found myself just curling up in the fetal position to cry softly.

It was… kind of weird. I’m not really a “let it flow gently over you” kind of person.

The next morning I found the person and told them about my experience the day before. Their face lit up. They were so glad to have had that impact on someone. I apologized for scoffing and said, “I think I needed to hear exactly that. Thank you.”

On Sunday, Sobonfu asked everyone to touch one another more. Even if you are normally a non-touching person… let people touch you. You need to feel like you aren’t alone. You need to physically feel that a person is there with you in your grief.

I’m really a no-touching person.

At one point in the day I was grieving and it turns out that the person who had said they didn’t want to experience pain was my supporter. (Part of the purpose of the grief ritual is that when you are grieving you are always supported. There is a person there to help you however you need.) This person decided to do massage work on me while I was crying. Eventually I moved around so I was lying on my belly just letting it happen.

It was almost magical. I get a lot of body work done. I experience a lot of physical pain and I know a lot of ways to manage it. I do a lot of yoga/stretching… All The Things. I’ve been getting somewhat regular massages since I turned 18 because other wise I get back spasms and spend a lot of time lying on the floor crying and unable to deal with my life.

This was a really transformative body work experience. I walked in with multiple places screaming out in intense pain. I walked out having my pain halved. She didn’t work on me for very long and it wasn’t intense work. But she knew where to press. And it was the physical contact in conjunction with the crying.

In that moment it was ok for me to be asking for support. It wasn’t pathetic. It wasn’t inappropriate. It was what we were all there for. It was entirely appropriate.

I feel like part of my problem is that asking for support puts people in the position where they might have to say no to me. People don’t like saying no. I try not to put them in that position. Which means I wait until it is too urgent. Then I can’t hear no.

It’s a problem. It’s a bad cycle. I’m having a hard time climbing out.

Part of the difficulty springs from the fact that there is no right answer. You just do your best. That’s all anyone has to give.

Grief ritual, briefly

It is fascinating to me how the energy of the crowd is different than last time. Last time the crowd was generally young and very peppy. The singing and dancing and energy raising was super well done. They were into creating space.

Not this time. Whoa. This time there are people sitting on the floor with their phones ignoring the proceedings. Many people are “doing it for credit and you can’t make me do that spiritual shit.” Uhm, why didn’t you take a different class for credit? If you are so opposed to the curriculum why are you spending thousands of dollars to be here?!

People baffle me.

But on the other side of the coin, last time folks were pretty quiet and restrained about their grieving. Lots of crying, sure, but I was the only screamer last time. This time… I haven’t screamed. I didn’t feel the need. Lots of other people did though! This is a screamtastic group.

Which is fascinating.

I’m finding that whereas last time I was there very much to grieve about the assaults… this time not so much. This time I’m trying to work through how to forgive myself for following the lessons of my ancestors. Suicide is kind of a thing for my family. I feel a lot of shame for having so much suicidal ideation. I shouldn’t put my friends and loved ones through that. I’m a bad person for thinking/talking about it the way I do. But I talk about it so much because I’m trying to keep from doing it. Talking about my mental health problems is so much healthier than I used to be able to manage.

Suicide is a real problem. Existential despair is a real thing. It’s a complicated, layered thing. It’s not easy to manage alone in a vacuum.

So many thoughts.

Good day

Some people are comfortable doing the “come to the house and play” thing and lots of people aren’t “let’s meet at parks”. I think the “let’s meet at parks” people may fade a bit in focus for me. At least over the next three months. A family showed up yesterday (I wasn’t actually expecting them, but bonus) and played for three hours. It was great.

I was appropriate! I did not mention topics of stress within the group. I spoke vaguely about having trouble with my big feelings so I’ve been hibernating a bit more than usual. She was vaguely supportive and kind. All I wanted.

*phew* I kept my fat mouth shut.

I *have* to make the assumption that people are not on my side and that they do not want to be converted. I will not be talking about anything that has sides.

Well, I’m occasionally comfortable talking about how I have trouble fitting into some of the group rules… which I suppose means a conflict with the group owner. Only not really. I don’t ask for exceptions from her rules. I just go along with them because it is her group. I really like the group owner and have not heard a harsh word from her. I’d like to keep it that way so I try hard not to make her life difficult. She’s always been nice to me. If she has policies that aren’t my favorite, that falls squarely into my problem and not hers.

You know how March was going to have no more social? I have the self control of a nine month old presented with a breast. This week was the nice family. (It wasn’t *really* “adding” something because I took an event off and they were the only ones RSVPed to the event and they wanted to come over and play even without painting. Yay!) And a friend asked to stop and have tea next week. That’ll be less than an hour long chat. That won’t be stressful.

So I did add some social. I probably should have said no. I’m weak. If there is a chance someone might be nice to me… I don’t really have it in me to say no.

Whoa. Took a break there to do some crazy shit. I created an fake email address and facebook. I downloaded a bunch of recent pictures of my bio-family. See Noah, this is why I don’t put many pictures of the kids on the internet. I’m going to a grief ritual where I am going to cry about these people. Recent pictures will be useful.

Apparently my nephew got married. I hope he is happy.

Life is so complicated. Shanna is demanding attention now.

Complaints are funny.

I spent a while today working on Plan C for the road trip. 21 days in Orlando, a week down at Vero Beach because Shanna thinks that sounds like more fun than four weeks of amusement park. Then way more time with the relatives in Texas. They wanted more time and I wasn’t sure how I would squeeze it in with the later dates in Disney World. Now, no trouble. Shanna gets the ten days she wants with family.

Only 13 weeks to go. That’s hardly anything at all. Three months. It’s getting close.

I feel like such an asshole having mixed feelings about my current life. My friends are so nice to me and I’m so ungrateful. I’m working as hard as I can on gratitude.

Had a little… interaction with Callidora the other day. I asked before we went into Ikea if she wanted me to shop while she was in kid-care or if she wanted to shop. She was adamant that I should do my shopping while she was in kid care. When she got out of kid-care she started pitching a fit because she wanted to go shopping.

Uhm, no. You said I should do my shopping alone so I did and now I’m done. No, I’m not going again for your sake. I only needed a kettle (my electric kettle bit the dust. Boo hoo) and some cheap journals. That’s practically walking out of Ikea empty handed. I DON’T need more temptation.

So Calli flipped out. She started screaming at me. I stopped walking and turned to her and said, “Does this approach ever get you what you want?”

She went still. “Uhm, no.”

“Would you like to try again?”

“Yes.” Pause for deep breath. “I would really like to go shopping.”

“Well, you already made the decision for this trip. I’m sorry you changed your mind after the fact. Would you like to make a request for the next time we come to Ikea?”

“Yes. Next time we come to Ikea, will you please sit and read while I’m in kid care because I really want to go shopping with you.”

“Yes. We can do that. No problem.”

“Ok.”

Then she skipped back to the car. She went from screaming to fine in under ten minutes. It was like fucking magic.

I love home schooling. I feel like we get so many chances to work through the bumps. Speaking of which, I need to reread the seven year old book. Before I assassinate my oldest child. She’s heading into a new stage. I need to have a kindly old woman explain this stage to me and tell me that this too shall pass. God I love these parenting books. They make everything easier.

I feel like parenting is teaching me how to let bad things just be until they pass. I was very bad at that before kids. I had to do something. Then you have kids. Then you get fucking tired. Now I can wait.

I feel incredibly guilty for having the suicidal ideation at this point. (Today was great. No ideation at all. I can’t remember any super intense ideation towards the tail end of yesterday. Is the intensity passing?) I feel like it is a horrifying injustice to the people who love me. How can I be such a selfish, mean little bastard?

It just comes naturally.

It bothered my mom that I wanted to kill myself. I didn’t care very much. It bothers me very much that I have impulses to leave Noah and Shanna and Calli. They deserve better. They deserve better than to have me flailing and shrieking about how much my life sucks. My life really doesn’t suck. I am incredibly lucky. I am freakishly lucky considering where I started.

I’m doing my best. I wish my best were better.

I cancelled the painting event with the home school group. Apparently one family is going to come over to play anyway. That was a bit surprising to me today. We won’t be doing a huge art project. It’ll be lower key.

Part of my problem comes when I start expecting things. I expected to stay home alone tomorrow. So I’m surprised and thrilled that some folks are coming over. I only had to sort of off-handedly invite then. I invited them to a group event. Then cancelled the group event. Then they said, “We would love to come over even if we aren’t painting.”

I have flashes of awareness that I’m really not hated the way I fear I am. I’m not universally beloved or centered in peoples lives. That’s probably healthy or some shit.

am a polarizing figure. (Amusingly I just read a book called Dataclysm that talks about how polarizing people are more successful at dating. If folks are getting a 1-5 rating, I get a lot of 1s and a lot of 5s. I don’t get that many 3s.) I can understand why folks feel like they need to shove me away in order to be safe. I just…

I just have to advocate for me even though I’m a mixed bag. Or no one will. And I’ll die.

I’ll come back to gratitude. I can’t make everything work out. I feel disproportionate disappointment about things that I want and can’t make work out. But I have so much good. So many daily wonderful events.

I have a friends group so diverse and extensive that no one could truly deserve it. I’m just lucky. I’m a whiny piece of shit about people not wanting to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it sometimes. I’m very obnoxious like that. I try to keep my whining/crying to my blog and my house. That’s as far as I’ve come with “boundaries”.

The kids say I have to stop typing now. They want to be on top of me.

I’m really glad for my life.

Defensive much?

Hoo boy I’m feeling defensive. That does not mean that anyone is attacking me. I’m going to clarify anyway.

I do not feel entitled to have people go on trips with me. I do not feel like I deserve having people go on expensive vacations with me. I really don’t feel like anyone owes me such behavior.

I just wish I had people in my life who wanted to do things like that with me. I ask the people I know because I don’t know how to ask people I don’t know. Unfortunately… my friends don’t really like spending their vacations the same way I do.

A good friend of mine rows crew. She’s been doing it for years. She’s done a lot of travel for the sport. Very serious business in her life. She has wonderful friends from that community and she’s built a lot of her life around facilitating having crew in her life.

I don’t have a single solitary thing I like the way she likes crew.

I like Disney Land/World because I like the customer service. I’m kind of meh on the movies. I really don’t give a shit about meeting characters. I’m not impressed with “magic”. I’m fucking impressed with people being nice to me.

Disney is horrifyingly expensive. I know that. I understand that going to Disney is not something that everyone can do. I know that many people who could think they have much better ways to spend money. I can’t argue. There are better ways to spend money.

I don’t know how to meet people who like what I like. I talk to random people in line at Disney parks. I make “line friends”. But I don’t know how to find the people who want to do group trips on a regular basis. I know that such people exist because I know some of them. They go with groups all the time. I will never be part of their group.

I don’t know how to find a group of people who like me. Who also like doing what I like doing.

There aren’t many things that I feel I can invite people into doing. I don’t have a lot of community standing anywhere. I’m not that good at anything. I’m thrilled to invite people into being a beginner with me, but I’m not an expert at anything.

Mostly people who form packs around a hobby or an interest are people who are good at whatever the skill is. I know people who travel internationally for juggling festivals. They are serious about their fucking juggling.

I don’t have a hobby like that. I don’t have a thing I like doing that naturally bonds me together with people. I tend to follow along on the hobbies of people I like and hope I can be invited into the group strongly enough that it doesn’t matter that I don’t give a shit about the hobby. That never pans out.

I danced because Jenny invited me. Because Ainvited me to dance and was willing to teach me how. Because I felt I had enough people who consciously wanted me to go that it was ok for me to be there.

I felt welcomed into the bdsm community when I felt like fresh meat. I understood my limited worth and value and welcome. I wore it out.

So going to Disney shit is one of the things I personally like most in life. It’s lame, it’s stupid… Disney vacations are really awesome for me. It is one of the environments in which I feel most successful. Partially that is because in Disney…. if you need help all you need to do is look around, spot a cast-member, and ask for help in a chirpy voice. They will jump right on that shit. It feels so good to me. I don’t have that experience much.

So I invite people to go with me. And I feel really guilty for asking people to go with me because it’s expensive and it’s time people don’t want to spend that way.

I feel shitty for asking because then people have to tell me no and it doesn’t make them feel good and it doesn’t make me feel good. But not asking means you have no chance of being told yes. It’s a double bind.

I don’t think any of my friends should ever feel bad about not wanting to go to Disney with me. I don’t think anyone should ever feel guilt about not wanting to hemorrhage money on an experience they don’t want. I’m not that big of an asshole.

But I feel sad. And I don’t know how to deal with being sad in a way that has zero impact on people around me. Either I can not write about things, which means I take things out on the people who are in the room with me (like Noah, Shanna, and Calli) or I write about my feelings and make people feel bad through the internet.

I feel like this running into two combined issues for me. One: my Disney relationship is complicated because I mostly am so attached to going because my mom really liked Disneyland. All of my Disney memories and feelings are weirdly tied up with my mom and abuse/nurturing mixed together. I’m trying to replace the experiences I’ve had with more positive experiences but it is slow going. The other thing is: I’ve been really sitting heavily with the stuff my dad used to say about me being an inherited witch.

He told me, frequently, that I was an inherited witch. If I failed to get people to do what I wanted I just wasn’t trying hard enough.

I feel like that message is part of what is fucking me up so hard right now. I feel like my lack of ability to get things to go how I want with the home school group is a sign that I just haven’t buckled down and worked hard enough. I don’t want it enough. I didn’t … something. I “should” have control and I am bad because I am not maintaining control.

It’s not appropriate or rational.

One of the lessons I beat my head against all the time is… I can’t make people do what I want. I really can’t. I can’t make people fulfill my needs. They are filling their needs and their needs are not about me.

This is why I’m so grateful for Noah and the kids. Their needs do involve me. I am necessary. I put myself in this boat on purpose. And even with those motherfuckers they still don’t do what I want.

Nobody listens!

(I kid. Mostly. Ok, I’m not kidding when I say that no one listens. That’s just true. But they aren’t motherfuckers. Well, Noah is a motherfucker. But that’s different.)

I feel really stupid for how upset I get about the Disney shit. Talk about entitled idiocy. Boo hoo, people don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation I will enjoy and they won’t. Boo hoo.

I am genuinely not mad at Person A, B, or C about the Disney shit. What I feel is sad. Because I like them enough that I want to have the bonding vacation time and I can’t figure out how to be someone in a position for them to have that kind of relationship with. I don’t know the right things to offer. I don’t know how to be “right”.

I just do everything wrong. The things I want are wrong. I don’t know how to invite people into the kinds of relationships they want.

I don’t know what to do differently.

The older I get the more and more I gain awareness that whereas I am enjoying pursuing “fitness” I am 100% not fucking interested in physical competition or sports. It feels like a lot of the group identity stuff has to come through being willing to engage in that kind of competitive spirit. I can’t do it. I get too emotionally invested and then I hate everyone and I don’t have any fun. I’m a total fucking asshole about competition. I can’t do it and have fun. I’m mean. I start wanting to hurt people. Bad juju.

You have to know your limits.

I don’t want to say that people don’t prioritize me. That’s a lie. Blacksheep would not have run a marathon with me nor flown to Hawaii on the spur of the moment if she didn’t prioritize me. I mean, good fucking grief.

Ok, so those two times I managed to offer something that was her speed. I need to not feel like her lack of desire to go on a cruise is reflective of the pattern of our relationship. Not related.

DSH also went to Hawaii and has made efforts over many years to include me and my family in events she pretty much doesn’t invite people to. We are clearly special to her. Not being up for a specific trip doesn’t mean that she doesn’t prioritize me. (I’m sorry I was so self-involved when I saw you the other day. Sometimes I’m really bad at looking past me.)

J isn’t doing anything wrong by preferring camping. I know this. I’m disappointed that spending time with me and the kids is not more of a draw. I’m allowed to feel disappointed and sad when things fall through. It’s not ok to shame people for making choices that are appropriate for them.

Am I allowed to feel disappointed?

I really don’t know. Maybe? I feel like there is a level where it’s ok to be disappointed and a level where you are just a self-absorbed piece of shit. Do I really get to be disappointed that I can’t talk people into spending almost $10,000 on a vacation? No. I really fucking don’t. Being upset or acting like people “should” do that for me is gross.

I’m living in a weird place of hyper-privilege. I don’t get to be upset that people have trouble coming along with me. If I do that then I’ve lost all the perspective I should have. That would be offensive.

…Ok. So I’m an entitled piece of shit. Am I allowed to be disappointed? I asked these people because I really enjoy their company. I asked people who ostensibly have the funds and time to spare, they just choose to spend their resources elsewhere. As is their right.

Am I allowed to be disappointed? I want to say, “Yes. But not mean.”

I feel guilty because I’m not being as supportive of Noah as I should be right now. He’s about to go through job transition stuff. His company is shutting down and it’s going to be a period of disruption. And I’m self-absorbed and spending my days trying to avoid crying. I need to get the fuck over myself.

I can understand why so many folks in the mental health community are pissed off at Neil Gaiman for his most recent book Little Triggers. Triggers are not “things that bother you”. Triggers are things that make you feel like you are living in another time and place experiencing horrible things again. Triggers are black boxes you get locked inside of. Sometimes you don’t even get a window to remind you that there is a “real life” out there waiting for you when you get out. Triggers are smells that cause you to be unable to see the people in the room with you because instead you see ghosts. Horrible, violent ghosts who are going to hurt you again and are never going to stop hurting you.

I’m triggered and it sucks. But at least I’ve learned more coherent language and coping skills! That’s… progress?

Also! A note on comments. I check my comments obsessively which is pretty stupid because I get very few. I could check once a week and be fine. Because I check so often that means that most of the time that I check I am not at a proper keyboard in the frame of mind to take in someone else’s words and respond coherently. Which is why so many people get one sentence monosyllabic answers. I’m acknowledging that I see it.

I read every comment dozens of times. I think about them. I try to figure out exactly what someone meant (because I understand that I’m reading through some fucked up filters and trying to make sure I read things correctly is a lot of effort) and usually… I don’t respond intelligently. Or if I do respond intelligently it fuels one of my next blog posts and I may or may not make it clear in the new blog post that I am expounding on a question from a comment. I’m tricksy like that.

Sometimes I say, “I’m sorry you had those experiences” because I have overwhelming crushing sorrow upon reading your words and I am so fucking sorry you had that happen to you. It shouldn’t have happened. That is wrong. The world shouldn’t work that way.

But I can’t type all that every time. Mostly because some days my arms burn like fire and I’m not typing more sentences than I have to at all.

I’m really looking forward to the enforced break from typing on the road trip. I hope I heal.

This is going to be a major lifestyle switch for us. I say as all four of us sit here in a room on our separate screens.

Noah wisely points out that I mostly only feel like I hate the whole world and all the people too when I need to spend some time at home. Soon I will stop feeling that way. Soon I will remember that actually… I desperately love people. I even like people, warts and all. Complications and all. Difficulties and all. If I like people even if they are difficult, maybe there are still people who will love me even if I’m difficult.

I’ll want to crawl out from under my rock again. If I stop pushing myself.

It is very annoying to me how often Noah is right. *glare* (You will remember exactly when I wrote this.)

For now, this is a very nice rock. I’m going to sit here for a while longer. It’s a good idea. I’ll stop wanting to swipe people with my claws if I stay here for a while longer.

Down kitty.

Weirdly accomplished

You know what? I’m feeling proud of myself right now. I had a bad weekend emotionally. All I did was sit quietly and read and cry. That’s pretty fucking awesome. I had a lot of desire/impulse to hurt myself and I just let it be. I was not capable of letting these feelings just be ten years ago. I had to hurt myself.

Even three years ago.

I take this “modeling” thing seriously. I’m home schooling for reasons. Some of those reasons are so that I am forced to proactively deal with my mental health because I have genetically susceptible children and they need to be taught coping methods as easily as they are taught to tie their shoes. It’s just necessary for our genetic material. If you proactively handle your problems… they don’t turn into problems.

The funny thing is: I’m covered in bruises and I have no idea how I got any of them. So maybe I’ll dissociate a little and get in a tiny bit of self-harm. It doesn’t count though. I can’t remember it.

I played with the kids a little but not a lot. I participated in meals (that Noah made because he is so ridiculously nice). I didn’t spend the whole weekend ranting. I snuggled people. I wasn’t completely avoidant.

I just made sure that I spent time sitting in the sunshine enjoying my plants and bugs. Holy shit we have a lot of bugs in our back yard. I completely didn’t notice until I sat out there for a few hours. Then I realized that there were hundreds of bugs on each planter bed. Lots of different kinds! I need to figure out how to get more beneficial insects into my yard. Ladybugs, oh ladybugs… where are you? I saw a butterfly! My garden is attracting butterflies!!!!!! /me happy dance

(That’s an IRC reference; the /me thing. IRC is a chat room program. I’m kind of a nerd.)

I’m in a lot of pain, but it is an amount of pain I can work through. I will probably try to run when the babysitter is here today. I have been feeling yucky stiff. It is weird how much better I feel when I’m exercising more consistently. My foot is finally feeling better.

I made a DMV appointment to process the trailer. I’m plugging right along on getting ready for the road trip.

I have made most of my Disney World reservations. It’s kind of funny that I pushed Disney World further back date wise to accommodate other peoples needs. Now they don’t want to go. So I’m not going to be there on my birthday like I had originally planned because instead I wanted to be with friends. But now the friends don’t want to go. I didn’t want to be there in October. October is more expensive points-wise.

Yeah, that’s how scheduling goes.

Hell, I scheduled Calli’s birthday around being in Boston with the Godmama. Maybe I should just fucking change all of the scheduling again. I’m feeling shitty about scheduling around people who dump me.

I have feelings. I need to stop acting like people are ever going to be a significant part of my life. It is folly. I am going to do my shit alone. Why is this so hard for me to accept?

Because I know a lot of people who are part of tight friend-networks and I am so jealous I can’t see straight. I don’t even know how to follow a group to be part of events like that. I’ve tried. I just… never make it.

It’s a good thing I’m not the kind of person who requires other people to go do interesting things.

I feel sad in the same way I felt sad when I stopped hanging out with the people I knew at Los Gatos High School. I feel like I wasted a bunch of time and energy on people who are never going to think I am important. I feel stupid.

I’m taking the no-shows very hard lately. It is especially hard that the home school group is amorphous and I have a lot of very different experiences with the families in it. There are consistent, dependable people. But they are busy. The people who are eager to make plans are the same people who just don’t show up and never remember that they had plans in the first place.

Each no-show, unfortunately, balances out against 10 successes. It’s stupid. I should try to count them in the other direction. I should try to emotionally feel like each success balances out 10 no-shows but…

But I’m digging out of a big black hole anyway. I don’t have that kind of slack to give.

Outside of parks I have two home school events on the calendar between now and the road trip. That may be good enough.

I don’t think the people in the group are doing something wrong or terrible. I think they are living their lives as if I am not important to them… which is simply literally true and accurate.

Sometimes I can handle it and sometimes I can’t. When I can’t, best I stay home. No one is interested in feeling guilty or ashamed because they are not prioritizing me. They shouldn’t prioritize me. It would be kind of weird and fucked up if they did. I’m nothing to them.

That’s the problem. I’m nothing to pretty much everyone. It’s a lot of why I feel like I am nothing.

But I have three people. And they were so nice to me this weekend. That has to be good enough. It is what it is. It is all that I will ever have.

It is three people more than a lot of people get. My mom has never in her life had three people be nice to her the way my family is nice to me. I shouldn’t be so ungrateful.

Restless night

Calli was right. It was too hot for a comforter. It made my sleep really broken.

I spent Saturday trying really hard to find perspective on my emotions. Perspective is one of those skills I specifically suck at. Developmentally it is a skill I am not so good at. What I feel this minute is what I have felt for all time and I will never feel any other way. This is good and bad. When I feel good I feel very good and can only dimly picture how I feel on off days. On bad days… there has never been good and never will be good and I should die. There have been so many years of pain. It is not worth more pain.

It’s like I store my memories in different color boxes and some days I’m only allowed to open red boxes or green boxes or purple boxes.

I KNOW I have good people in my life who love me. If I haven’t seen them or heard the expression within the last 24 hours… I’m rather a doubting Thomas. It doesn’t feel real unless I have seen it recently. Which is bullshit. Asking people to ‘prove’ their feelings is bullshit.

Thing is, I’m not sure there is anything that anyone could to do PROVE their feelings. I am very doubting of Noah’s devotion and if ever there was an irrational lack of belief… it is about Noah. That dude loves me so much he had reordered his whole life around accommodating me. I don’t get to act for a millisecond like Noah doesn’t like me. Talk about bullshit.

When I feel like the only place I belong is in a dark hole beating my head… I don’t perceive that Noah loves me. I don’t perceive that anyone could love someone like me. I don’t deserve it. I never will. I never could. I never have deserved love and I can’t change that.

And then my mood switches and I feel like an ungrateful piece of shit for having had any period of time where I am not giving my friends the credit they deserve. See, my inability to perceive the good things in my life real time are validation why they should be taken from me and given to someone more deserving. Someone who doesn’t forget that people love her. Someone who is safe all the time and not just sometimes.

How come someone injuring me causes me to react as if *I* am the one who hurt someone and I have to do penance?

I was the scapegoat for a long time. It is hard to escape that role. Now I do it to myself because it is comfortable. Now it is my fault I’m treated this way. Because it’s always best to put as much blame and shame on the scapegoat as humanly possible.

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for a kid in our life. It was at a place with giant inflatable climbing structures and slides. I have rug burn on my elbow from the slides. You go super fast. It was weird being there. I felt like I was visiting a surreal alternative reality. “Is this what life is like for rich, working parents?” We went from room to room. 30 minutes here, 20 minutes here, 20 minutes here, 40 minutes to eat. You lost 10 minutes of party time to room transitions because every kid has to stop playing and go get shoes. It was… surreal. Whoa. Is this what people expect from birthday parties? Wow. I feel super lame that my parties are “Come over to my house. There will be food.” Frankly… my non-school acclimated children were confused by the changes in location. “Why are we doing this?” Uhm… I think they want us to not get bored of a few places to climb? It was a fun party and the family inviting us is awesome. But I stand there talking to the other moms about their nannies and work schedules and I feel… lame.

You are all out doing something for the feminist cause. I’m uhm… well I garden a lot. Even that is unfair. I have a few months a year where I garden a lot. I … fuck I don’t know what I’m doing.

I’m a fucking loser who is a disgrace to the feminist cause. Pretty much that’s what I am.

I think it is funny that I feel way less secure about being a non-working parent when I feel on the outs with the home school group. I don’t have community backing. I’m not parenting in a way that is approved of by anyone so clearly I must be wrong. I can’t seem to line up with anyone. So I’m just wrong.

Right this minute I’d like to be curled up as small as I can make myself under my desk while I beat my head. I’d really like to stop the intensive screaming in my brain about how I’m a fucking loser who can’t do anything right.

I can’t express how globally fucked up it made me that my father spent years telling me that I was an inherited witch and if I failed to get people to do what I wanted it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough and I’m lazy.

I can’t get people to like me. I can’t seem to find a place in a community where I feel secure and ok. Obviously this means I’m not trying hard enough. It is all my fault that I am not secure. If only I weren’t such a stupid, vicious, mean cunt people might like me.

But they don’t. Because I am a selfish stupid asshole.

In my heart of hearts, I would give anything to be someone that people defended. But I never will be. That’s not my role in this lifetime. You have to be a good person before people defend you. I was almost a good person. I was almost defended against my dad. But he got the last word on that.

Losing that chance meant losing any chance I would ever be worthy. No vindication for me. No validation. No proof that I don’t deserve bad things. Instead just more affirmation that I *do* deserve the bad stuff. Bad things happen to bad people because they deserve it. Haven’t you heard of karma? Clearly I’m paying for being a mass rapist in another life.

I want to die. I can’t pay anymore for sins I have already committed. I have nothing left.

I feel so empty.

Right now I get myself through the urge to hit my head or cut or drink or or or by rocking and telling myself, “This night will end. These feelings aren’t forever.”

It is hard to have faith.

Less than shockingly the plans we had for today are cancelled. She got a better offer. (Ok, it was her mom asking her to come help with something.) At least she emailed me more than 16 hours in advance. I haven’t had that much notice of someone canceling in a while. A text an hour before is usually the most consideration I get. Mostly people just forget and don’t show up.

I’ve now had the experience of almost a dozen different families in the home school group making plans with us and completely forgetting and then just not showing up. I never bring up that they stood us up. Apparently we aren’t important enough to remember and I’m not going to beat people over the head with that.

We aren’t very important. I know.

I feel bad for my kids. I have no idea if I’m treating this ok. I don’t tell my kids who from the group might be coming over on a given day because everyone is so flakey. I’m tired of my kids getting disappointed because other people make plans and then don’t bother to remember.

I’m feeling very frustrated with people lately. I don’t have the right to have expectations around how people treat me. But I have them. And when I feel let down… I don’t like people very much any more.

If you make plans with me and I clear a day and then I sit there all day waiting for you to show up… I don’t like you any more by the end of the day. Sometimes people remember and try to apologize and I go through the motions of saying it is ok. I know the script I have to follow or I’m the bad person. But I’m not ok. Being forgotten like that is a massive trigger and I’ve not invited those families over again. I’m not trying twice. Which means i’m running out of people to try to get to know in the home school group. People aren’t interested in keeping commitments and I can’t deal with this degree of being disposable to everyone around me.

“I’ll make plans and then only keep them if sitting at home in my jammies is less appealing.” That’s how I perceive people as treating me. Which is self-absorbed of me. Of course I’m self absorbed. I’m just like everyone else.

I’m a complaining piece of shit. But in the past few weeks I’ve had almost half a dozen people no-show specific plans with me, I had a kid kick me in the throat with no consequence, and a dude I semi-respected told me he didn’t know anything about me other than that Noah likes to fuck me so I must be ok.

People fucking suck.

Not “everyone” but enough people that I’m struggling with having any patience or love or consideration to give. I’m tapped out.

I spend a lot of time wondering why I had kids instead of offing myself. Seems pretty stupid in retrospect. Now I’m stuck. I owe these people a minimum of 20 years of hard work. I chose to bring them into the world. That is a huge responsibility.

But lemme tell you, I wasn’t given a similar launching. Why do I care so much about doing this? Sometimes I struggle with my jealousy and anger. No one loved me. How can I turn around and love other people? I don’t know what it feels like. I don’t know what it looks like. I don’t know how to act.

One thing that I think I’m doing well on: my mom used to get very angry with me and scream at me when she felt bad about being inadequate. When my mom couldn’t feed me she would get furiously, insanely angry at me for asking for food. I was supposed to know better than to ask for things she couldn’t do. I’ll not deny that I get snippy sometimes with my kids. “That is a need I can’t fix in this minute. You have to wait until we get home.” On my 469th repetition of that phrase I get kind of pissy sounding. But I deliver it kindly many many times. Dozens of times.

Maybe my mom used all of her nice up on my sister who was born 13 years earlier? I’ve seen that happen with parents.

When I can’t meet a need for my kids I try hard not to get mad at them. I try hard to acknowledge that it is a need and it sucks that it isn’t getting met right now. Sometimes your mom is going to fail you. That is one of the hardest lessons in life. Moms can’t fix everything.

Shanna is the most forgiving soul I have ever come across. When I tell her that I’m at my limit and I can’t do anymore she says, “I understand. You are trying and sometimes you run out of ability to do things. That happens.” Then she does something nice like patting my head or stroking my face and she nods like she is 76 years old.

For all the problems I have with people outside my house, I must say that within these walls I’m the luckiest bitch ever.

What am I doing with my life? I’m being nice to my kids. I’m teaching them how to be nice to me. It’s a really wonderful experience and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to have this experience. I feel guilty that “being nice” is a lot of what I’m doing with my life and my time. If I get too tired from other activities I can’t be nice any more. So gardening, painting, writing, socializing… everything takes a back seat to my ability to be nice to my kids. If I feel like nice is slipping I drop everything and sit around and read until I can be nice again.

I feel like I have the most wonderful life I could have.

Then why do I spend so much time feeling like I should die? Because I don’t deserve this good. It should be taken from an ungrateful loser and given to someone worthy.

I’d really like to meet this “worthy” person some day. Just to find out what they are like. I’m pretty sure I’ll find reasons to complain about them. I’m magical that way.

I was thinking about something yesterday. About emotional control. I can control my emotions in some situations and not others. I can keep it together until I can’t. It is hard to figure out what triggers the loss of control. It is partially that I am more prone to lose control once I’m safe again. Safety means having less control. In unsafe environments I am much more capable of keeping my shit together. The home school group felt safe for a while. Thus I did more emotional sharing. Now that feels wildly unsafe. Which is going to be interesting for my control. I bet I will cry less at events. I will cry more when I come home. I won’t have to take breaks to go to the bathroom and cry for stress relief. It’s wacky.

The less safe I feel the more I create a crunchy candy shell around me. It means I feel less supported because I can perceive support less. It means I feel much more isolated and angry. It means I feel misunderstood and unwanted. No one wants trash here. I have to hide everything about myself before I am punished.

I feel so angry when I am behaving this way. When I am carefully protecting myself and ensuring that people don’t get new ammunition today.

I can tell I’m not doing ok partially based on the body changes. Yesterday was a massage day. (I have the best fucking life.) I’ve worked with this guy for over six years. He is a God. Yesterday he was very confused because I had a bunch of ‘hot spots’ I don’t normally have. Areas of pain where if you touch them gently I will levitate off the table as I shriek out my pain. That’s unusual. I’ve been blessed with a lot of body work in this lifetime. Reacting like that is unusual. I have a lot of pain issues. The hot spots are different.

It is fascinating to me how the more prickly I feel emotionally the more physically sensitive I become. It’s like when I’m feeling vulnerable to pain my body and brain are going to ensure that I have the maximum amount possibly available.

My back hurts so bad that I asked Noah to move heavy things… and I did not have sex in trade. That’s pretty fucking unheard of. Both me asking for help and me not making a trade when I ask for help. That’s a debt. I don’t like debts. I discharge them as fast as humanly possible.

hurt. I can tell that the physical pain is related to how emotionally bad I feel and I don’t know how to change that right now.

I feel like I’m at this juncture where I need to “take the power back” but I never had any to begin with so this “back” part is baffling me.

The kids have swimming on Monday and a dentist appointment on Tuesday. Otherwise we have baby sitting scheduled next week. The grief ritual is next weekend. I’m looking forward to that. I anticipate not being able to speak or move without pain next Monday. I anticipate screaming until my throat locks and my head hurts so bad it feels like it will explode. I’m looking forward to the grief ritual. A safe place where I can have my big feelings and no one will tell me I’m scary or bad.

I could use a serious cry right now. It’s good timing. I am so grateful that Sobonfu is in the world doing the work she does.

The funny thing is–I don’t feel personally important to Sobonfu. I don’t think she will remember me much beyond a vague facial recognition. She meets a lot of people. I don’t really care. I don’t have a personal relationship with her. I have a student relationship with her. Teachers don’t need to understand their students in the same way. Teachers need to be examples and they need to answer questions. They don’t have to understand the full circumstances of their students. It isn’t necessary.

Why does it bother me less to be not much of a person to her? Because I’ve never tried to be. I’ve never asserted myself. I’ve never asked for her attention. It means I’m not being rejected. I never tried.

If I had put less energy and effort into courting the home school group I would probably care less. But I’ve been with this group longer than any school group I’ve ever been part of. Very soon I will have been part of this group longer than I was really active in the bdsm community and that is my longest span of community participation to date in this lifetime.

Maybe I just hit my expiration date? I don’t belong in any group for longer than three years? I don’t know.

What I want to do is delete all IM applications, delete my email, delete all social media (including fucking meet up) and say that there are only about three people in the world who care enough to call me. Maybe I only need them.

Doesn’t seem fair to my kids, though. Shit.

Avoidance

This is feeling pathetic and lame. I’m feeling intensely suicidal. Because I don’t want to deal with resolving how to handle stuff with the home school group. That’s not cool. (I’m not threatening anyone or anything. I’m just having stupid shit in my brain.)

I feel trapped. I feel like nothing will ever be better for me. I feel like I should just go because of course it will come out that it happened and then everyone will tell me it is my fault.

I told exactly two people in the group. I asked them not to intervene. One of the first responses was, “You could promise the mom you would never go near the kid again.” (To be fair the other response was THAT MOTHER IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS.) I told them only because I’m about to leave for five months and I’m afraid that if I leave with no one knowing I will return to everyone knowing that I did a bad thing.

I want to slit my wrists. Someone assaults me and I’m supposed to promise to never go near him again?

I want to never go back to the group. I want to never ever talk to anyone from that community again. I’m supposed to promise to not be a problem after someone almost kills me.

I’ve never been anything but a problem. I should just go. I am clearly, obviously, not as worth keeping.

I want to beat my head on the floor.

More than 50% of what is on the schedule for the rest of the month is babysitting. I anticipate a lot of time sitting in the garage and crying. I’m due.

We have three home school events on the calendar. We’ll see.

I asked the kids if they would mind staying home more for a while and they both cheered. Maybe they don’t need those kids as much as I think. They have friends who are not dependent on me being part of that group.

Maybe I shouldn’t make any decisions when I’m triggered like this. My shrink calls it “abreaction”. She says that I get so upset about things that are happening now because I was not allowed to react when things happened to me when I was a kid. The throat kick qualifies as an assault. If I was still a mandated reporter my happy ass would be on the phone with CPS. Because I’m not a mandated reporter I get to be one in a long line of people supporting that abusive people don’t get consequences for their behavior.

Whee.

I am honestly not sure if a CPS call is the “right thing” but it would cause drama in the home schooling community that would affect my kids for years. Do I care enough about that boy not being a future abuser to risk my kids getting targeted because their mom is a whistle blower?

That’s what I’m looking at.

Do I think that kid will assault other people in the future? Unequivocally yes. I’ve seen him hit a lot of people.

But am I willing to put my kids in a position where they will be punished because I spoke up about this pattern? How many people is it ok for this kid to hurt without consequences?

I don’t think I’m going to intervene. I’m going to say this is a fucked up world where people are allowed to do bad things every day without consequences. One more rich bastard will get away with being a bad person. Shocking. It’s not because of me. It’s because that is how the world works.

And the home school group likes them more than me. They don’t rock the boat. They aren’t a problem. Just me. I’m the one who should promise to not be a problem.

I want to die.

Just because in this moment in time I can’t see the road forward doesn’t mean there won’t be one. I’ll stop acting like I have friends there. It isn’t safe for that kind of trust. I’m not there because I will gain friends. I’m not good enough to be friends with.

I’m just a fucking driver for my kids.

It’s not ok for me to create drama. No one fucking cares. Just shut up you stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid bitch.

I’m actually glad I’m able to write this down as it happens this time. Usually it takes such a long time.

I’m really looking forward to running away from home. I can stop dealing with the fact that I don’t think people like me very much. I can stop dealing with the fact that I feel like it would be ok in my community if I died as long as no one had to be punished for it.

I don’t know how to stop this panic in my belly.

Deep breaths. That is step number one. Stop the shallow breathing, nit wit.

Groups care more about preserving the group than any individual member. It’s not personal. It is how all institutions work. Doesn’t matter if that behavior will damage individuals. It is how groups work. Group harmony over the defense of the individual. Completely standard human behavior. It isn’t personal. No one is acting that way out of specific hatred of me.

I don’t think there is a grudge. I don’t think there is spite.

I think there is apathy. And I’ve had so much of it that I want to die.

I’ll stay home instead. With the three people who would be completely devastated if I were to hurt myself or die. They are the only people whose opinion I should court. They are the only people who have an actual stake in my life.

Looking outside these walls is seeming pretty dangerous. But then I want to run away from home? I’m a conundrum.

It will be safe to ask for my needs on the trip. Every request will be fleeting and brief. If someone says no I will be on to the next town tomorrow and whatever.

Here, with people I was trying hard to be friends with… having my physical safety be …. uhm… as important in the discussion as it is…

I can’t cope with that. I feel disposable. Promise to stay away from him. I’ll stay far far far far far away.

I’ll stay so far away that you may never see me again. Is it avoidance if I’m doing what they want? They don’t like me that much anyway.

For a while I was trying to form a more core group of Fremont people. That didn’t pan out.

That’s just how life goes. The people who live near you are not always palatable. I’m not. So I guess that’s just how it goes. I believe that writing as much as I’m writing will mean that I will have consequences. I believe I will be punished for saying this. And maybe that belief is enough that it will become true. Maybe it would have happened no matter what I said and now my words can be used as the justification.

That’s what happened with the Godmamas. They pulled away and turned down all help and refused any gestures from my side and then said I never did anything for them. They said I talked about how they wanted to leave so fine they are leaving.

I expect to be fully shunned in the home school group. I had a problem. Thus am the problem.

Haven’t beat my head yet this morning. That’s an act of will.

Maybe I’m just a melodramatic bitch. Probably. Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up you stupid cunt. Don’t you know no one fucking cares.

I’m scared and I’m sad. There is probably going to be a lot of fall out from this. We won’t be invited to parties. We won’t be the ones at the big group events. They will be. Because I’m the problem. I feel like I should apologize to my kids for belonging to me.

I feel like any community that chooses someone who behaves like that… deserves what they get. And if I’m stupid enough to stand near someone whom I’ve seen kick other people viciously, maybe I deserve what I get too.

Of course I deserve to be kicked in the throat. How could it be any other way?

It was my fault. I rough housed. What else did I expect?

That phrase haunts me. It echoes through the years. You went on a date with a boy. What else did you expect? You drank alcohol (three shots over multiple hours!). What else did you expect?

I expect to be treated like shit. I expect to be treated like if I die it is no big loss any way.

That’s what I expect. And that means I’m “scary” and I should be punished for scaring people.

And so the world turns.

Money and privilege

It is fascinating to me how different people prioritize their money. I’m not saying my way is “right”. I make a lot of very wasteful choices. My Disney obsession is expensive and probably not “worth” the money. But I spend it anyway because I want the customer service experience. I understand that other people are not interested in the customer service experience. That’s fine.

So then you get into this position where asking people to go with you is weird and mixed. It’s expensive. It takes a big chunk of someone’s disposable income. This seems like an asshole thing to even ask about.

But not asking means you are discounting people from your life without even giving them a chance. People surprise me all the time with what they will agree to.

I try to only ask if I’m ok with “no”. I don’t want elaborate “no”s. I don’t really want to be told in great detail why my plan sucks in your opinion. No is fine. Not your thing. Not in the budget. Just “no” is great.

Not everyone wants to do the same things as me. I’m used to that.

I read about how the primary way to deal with addiction and mental health issues is to seek connection. My experience of seeking connection is that mostly what it does is dramatically increase the rate at which people tell me they don’t want to spend time with me or do things with me.

We won’t be painting the fence this year. No one is interested. So much for that tradition. It was something we did a few times and then people didn’t want to do it any more. I’m afraid that will be my story on that one.

I’m feeling very paranoid about the home school group in general. I feel like I should go.

Really, I’ve been intensely suicidal for over a day here and that’s most of what’s going on. I did stuff yesterday and I tried to pretend I wasn’t having the movie screens of how I should die in my head. I haven’t had suicidal impulses for a bit. They started on Tuesday, intensified yesterday and are still present this morning. Asking people to do things with me is hard. It opens me up to hearing that people don’t have time or interest in being in my life. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t personal.

I feel like I may drop out of the home school group until after the trip. I feel like shit there. I feel unwanted, like no one gives a shit if I die, and like I’m the problem.

Yes, yes, these are not “rational” thoughts. I’ve never put much claim to being “rational”.

I’m still not dealing well with something that happened there a few weeks ago. There was a specific trigger. I’m still reeling from it. Near death experiences kind of fuck me up.

I was hurt pretty badly. And I’m not going to get much support around that. Because that is how things go for me. Instead I’m the problem.

I’m so tired of being told that when white boys assault me it is my fault and I should be punished. I am not ok.

I feel so much shame. Like I shouldn’t even be talking about it happening at all. Not even in the vague ways I am doing it. I should be tied to a rail road track so I can be run over.

Looking for more connection with people just seems to be a good way to ensure that I’m told over and over that I’m not a priority.

I talked to a parent at the park this week. She was one of the few people RSVPed to painting the fence. She flakes more than 50% of the time on the day of the event. I told her that because she has such a poor track record, if more people don’t show up I’m canceling. She said, “Just cancel now.” The other person at the table started a long explanation of why they aren’t coming.

I know you have 15,000 reasons and it isn’t personal. It isn’t about me. But I need to change my behavior anyway. If I’m looking for connection and people don’t have the time/interest/energy/money I am maybe better off not asking any more. Which is kind of a problem. Because one of the primary ways of treating mental illness is seeking connection.

But I don’t feel I’m worth anything. I feel like connecting with me is clearly not worth the investment.

It doesn’t help that my life is full of a lot of moving parts. There are people who are willing to do some very narrow slices of things with me if I can accommodate all of their needs.

I really don’t know what to do about my needs. I need to stay home and make sure my needs are met in this building without anyone else. I don’t have other options. Not really. I have it inconsistently. Unpredictably. When other people feel like it. Which is how the world works! I’m not in a unique, sad position or anything. I’m not being persecuted.

I just have to decide what to do with the spoons I have given the level of engagement I get from other people.

I wish I cared about people less. My life would be so much better if I cared less about people.

You know what? I’m not served by being vague about this. Only the person who assaulted me is served. So a few weeks ago I was rough housing with a kid (like I’ve done with literally hundreds of children over the course of my career in education) and he chose to kick me in the throat.

I tried talking to the kid. I tried talking to the kid’s mom. It turned into “all my fault” and I’m “scary and dangerous”.

Your kid almost killed someone and *I* am scary and dangerous? I couldn’t swallow without pain for five days. Breathing wasn’t fun in the first 24 hours.

I have *lived* with someone who had to have a tracheotomy due to a swollen throat. Not an experience I want for myself.

This is really triggering me all over the place. Doesn’t matter how good or bad anything else might be, this takes away basically all of my good “cope” abilities.

Another fucking white boy almost killed me and it’s no big deal. I’m the problem.

I feel so much hate I don’t know what to do. I am super thrilled to have this family out of my life and I will never say another neutral or positive thing about them. I think only bad things. Maybe that isn’t what their friends want, but I don’t give a shit.

The kid commits assault and the mom defends him and blames the victim. I have no good to say. That’s not a “mistake” any more. It could have been a mistake. Now it is a coverup. I feel nothing but hate, scorn, contempt, and disgust. What pathetic, horrible people. But that’s what being rich will do for you. You can totally be like that and get away with it.

I do not have good luck with upper middle class white people. It’s like being back in Los Gatos. It’s like when that fuckwad Justin climbed on top of me and tried to rape me and only was pulled off because I screamed loud enough to wake other people up. Nothing happened to him. HE’S A FUCKING MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER NOW.

But I’m sure he learned how to be a nice person along the way. Not.

I feel like I should just stay home forever. Otherwise I have to deal with little piece of shit white boys assaulting me and I have to be cheerful and fine with it or I will be the problem.

I can’t go to the park and be angry. That’s not “appropriate”. I’m not allowed to get angry that I was assaulted and almost killed.

I went flying backwards and landed several feet away. This was a fucking serious kick from a kid who is the size of a small adult.

So instead I will spend my days with movie reels running in my head of all the ways I should die. And I won’t offer to host anything for the home school group. And maybe I’ll stop going entirely.

The group would much rather have this other family. They fit in better. They aren’t a problem. After all, him assaulting me isn’t a problem. I’m the problem.

I want to slit my wrists so fucking much. It feels like I’m lying to myself if I think things will ever get better. I will never fucking matter. It will always be ok for white boys to damage me. I am not important.

Probably didn’t help that the asshole at the speech knew literally nothing about me, invited me to speak, then proceeded to interrupt me and tell me I’m not allowed to say that, or that, or that. After I spent weeks in advance asking him for guidance and he blew me off. I felt so insulted and angry.

I hate white men so fucking much right now. Which isn’t fair at all. It really isn’t. I fucking know it isn’t fair. But most of my life isn’t fucking fair. Right now the not fair is being spread around. Sorrynotsorry.

Sometimes I honestly wish that I would get assaulted by a woman or a black person or someone of Hispanic descent or Asian or whatever just so I can stop hating white people as the sole recipient of all my bad feelings towards the world. Surely there are bad people in other categories.

I only have problems with white men and boys. No, I don’t like white women much either.

Maybe I’ll go to India and change that. Maybe I’ll leave the rape capital of the world going, “Yup, still hate white men more than every other category put together. Weird.” Most likely I will get through the India trip without being touched. Which will feel kind of ironic. If I go to the rape capital of the world and I manage to avoid being raped… it’s going to be a pretty fucking big deal in my world. Like, whoa.

It is hard to explain how terrifying it is to live with a swollen throat. “Oh god. Am I going to have to go to a hospital (which is a big problem for me from the word go) and have people I don’t know, like, nor trust stab me in the throat to put in a tube so I don’t die?” Tracheotomies are no joke. Tommy’s scar looked like a gunshot wound. People would recoil in horror when they saw him. It made him unable to ever speak normally again. Too much damage to his vocal cords.

I feel so disposable.

Supposedly a family from the home school group is coming over today. How much you want to bet that they will cancel? Doesn’t matter. Not folks I can talk to about the reason I’m upset anyway.

I know I should “just get over it” and I will. But this is going to take a while, I think. It doesn’t help that I’m having a lot of other big emotional events around it at the same time. It is making it hard to process the assault. It is making it more complex and layered and picking out which pieces are upset about what is hard.

Eventually I’ll figure out how to turn off the movie reels. This will not be the assault that causes me to commit suicide. Fuck that little bastard. He isn’t that important. Neither is his mother. About whom I would like to unleash a torrent of swear words the likes of which even this blog has never seen.

But I won’t. I will call him a little bastard for kicking me in the throat. Only in my blog. Never to his face. If he grows up and feels angry with me because I said that I can live with that. I’m pretty fucking angry he kicked me in the throat and doesn’t even have to apologize. It’s apparently acceptable for him to do. If it is acceptable for him to kick me in the throat it is acceptable for me to call him a bastard in my blog and in my blog only.

My fucking sandbox. I’m allowed to be pissed here. I could swear about the mom more. Frankly, she’s the grown up making decisions here. I’m afraid that if I let myself get more angry at her she will become a lightning rod for all of the anger I feel towards every white woman in her position and that’s… that’s actually not ok. That’s dangerous for me. I don’t need to focus that much hate on her.

She only deserves as much as she earned.

Why am I less worried about conflating the hate I generally feel towards white men towards the kid?

Honestly because I’m less likely to do something to the kid. If the mom ever verbally started something I might feel a much stronger inclination to punch her in the face. I wouldn’t hit the kid. Not even if provoked. He’s a kid. I have that kind of control down pretty well after years of practice. I don’t hit kids. But the mom? She’d deserve it. But I don’t deserve the amount of jail time I would get so I’d best work on that self control.

I honestly believe that if you defend your kid almost killing someone that you deserve to be punched in the face.

I come from the kind of background where both of them should get the shit beaten out of them for their behavior. I understand I no longer live in such a world. Things will continue to be unfair. Rich assholes have always and will always be allowed to get away with assault and mostly with murder. I will continue to hate them. I will continue to hope that bad things happen to them. I won’t spend much time or energy on hoping that. Bad juju is bad juju and the more time you stew in it… the more of it you get. I understand that.

But getting really angry about being assaulted is healthy. I need to not just sit here feeling like a disposable whore. Better that I get upset. Better that I get angry in my own self-defense than internalizing their message that I deserve what happened. I don’t deserve it.

Unless I was actually assaulting the kid I don’t deserve what I got. I was tickling him after he pounced me on a trampoline. That does not deserve a fucking throat kick that launched me backwards multiple feet. No fucking excuse under the sun.

I hope I never talk to the kid again. Even if I do, I won’t call him names. I’m allowed to blow off steam here. It is appropriate *here* and only *here*.

It isn’t his fault he is one of a long-line of abusive pieces of shit I’ve had to deal with. I continue my pattern of not fucking liking blondes.

(Sorry to friends who are blonde who have been nice to me. I do like *you*. I’m really sorry about these gross generalizations. I don’t truly mean them in every particular case. Big feelings are big. I’m married to a fucking white blonde guy. It is like how sometimes people in interracial marriages are still huge fucking racists.)

I would just say I’m a misandrist but that’s not even all of it. I don’t have problems with men who aren’t white in the same way. And I have truckloads of issues with white women so it isn’t just misandry. I’m a race traitor. Not really. I married a white guy and had white children so I’m not a race traitor. I’m just incredibly self-hating. No, that’s not even it.

It is hard for me to not project my bad former experiences onto new people. All white people look alike. It’s hard to treat them like individuals who deserve individual treatment until they behave in a way that makes them individual and nice enough to me to fucking deserve me being nice to them. White people have a much higher bar to jump over before I will be nice to them. I default to as much courtesy as I can manage with people who aren’t white. With white people I’m defensive and pissy from the first word.

Which may be part of how I confine my bad experiences to white people. Would make sense, yo?

Which is kind of funny because more than 50% of the people in my life are white. Am I a raging asshole to them at all times? I don’t think so. I can learn to treat people as individuals.

I’m nice to Noah the vast majority of the time. But I’m nice to Noah because he said, “What happened to you?” and then he sat there and listened respectfully and remembered things and altered his behavior to fit my preferences.

I haven’t had that experience with any other white men. They don’t give a shit about me. They just want me as an audience for how cool they are or to wait on them or to have sex with them. They aren’t interested in me.

Which might explain my level of hostility. White men don’t know shit about me unless I beat them over the head with the information. They don’t ask. They don’t want to know. Between the beatings and the rapes and the fact that most white men act like I’m a blow up doll… what’s to like?

I am not interesting because Noah likes sticking his dick in me. Fuck you. I am not fucking impressed with being told that I am interesting because I’m married to an interesting man. Go straight to hell and do not pass Go and do not collect $200.

You know what though? I’m probably going to be an asshole about backing out of home school stuff. I will probably leave a lot of “yes” RSVPs just in case I feel up to coming. That way I have options on a given day. But I’m going to start canceling a lot more often. And at the last minute.

I’m going to stop acting like I owe anyone anything. I don’t. I have tried really hard to honor commitments to the group like they were serious commitments. That isn’t going well for me. Fuck it. I would benefit from being intensely more selfish for a while.

And that asshole who told me I was only interesting because Noah wanted to marry me? The only god damn question he had about home schooling was the most stupid, contemptible question, “What about socialization?” Oh fuck you with a pogo stick. Know how you are wandering the globe playing at being a cool guy instead of raising your kid? Don’t talk to me about socialization. Sticking your kid in school and day care isn’t socialization. Socialization is what happens when your children interact with people of all ages and learn how to manage different situations. For kids with good parents who go to school they learn socialization on the weekends. My kids have the opportunity to learn how to deal with diverse people of all ages all day every day. Fuck your ignorance.

I wouldn’t be so pissy if he wasn’t generally insulting in my direction. But if you condescend to me that much in a five minute conversation fucking watch me hand it back to you.

My stomach hurts. I feel like I’m going to puke. I’m not sick. I’m angry. I’m anxious. I’m afraid I will be punished for writing all this. It’s not ok to be such an angry person.

It’s not ok to get so angry about someone almost killing me.

What the fuck is wrong with the world?

I have post traumatic stress disorder. What that means is my brain was altered by my life experiences. It is difficult for me to stop feeling fear and/or anger when they come up for me. My brain was altered by my life experiences. It isn’t something that is a choice. I’m not angry because I think it is fun or awesome. I’m angry because my life has been in danger many times and getting angry is what got me away from danger and kept me alive. It is a survival trait. It is not bad. But boy howdy it is shamed.

It is important to get angry when someone tries to kill you. You need that anger to get the fuck away from them. You (general you) feel that kind of anger because your body wants you to know that you should not be near people who make you feel that way. They are bad for you. They are dangerous.

In our modern society we conflate “people who have opinions I disagree with” with “people who assault me” and that creates a lot of problems. We treat arguments as if they have the same weight as physical assault. (But only if it is a white person who is getting their feelings hurt.) We treat physical assault as if it only matters if it happens to select classes of people. You have to be socially higher up than the person who assaults you.

I will never stop being white trash. Doesn’t matter what my fucking bank balance says. I’m not poor white trash any more. That’s very true. Social class is a very complicated beast.

That, “I need to stay away from her because I want to punch her in the face” thing? That’s why I will never stop being white trash.

I will not punch her in the face. I don’t think there is much verbal provocation she could give me that would cause me to risk jail time. She isn’t worth it. I would only actually strike her if she hit me first. I’ve learned my lessons about punishment quite well. My superego is well developed and healthy and all that. I’m not going to jail over a bitch like her.

She isn’t worth it.

But I think that ranting about this in my blog will turn out to be a good thing for me. It will make it a lot easier to put it down. I think I should stop reacting with shame and silencing when I have these experiences. I really wanted to put this in a box and not write about it for years. Not until it feels safe. That’s how I have handled most of my traumas. I don’t write about them right away… I can’t. This is actually really quick turn around for me. Two weeks? That’s rapid turn around.

My shrink suggested that part of the reason I am as upset as I am is because I am watching that mom be a very bad parent. That is an anxiety producing thing for me. I’m a teacher. I’m an abuse survivor. Bad parenting is really really hard to watch and not do anything about.

She suggested that I have enmeshed with the kid and feel upset because the kid is not getting the necessary and appropriate parenting and that fuels some of my despair. I can’t fix every broken family and that is really hard for me.

I think she’s sweet to suggest it but I’m not sure I deserve quite that much benefit of the doubt. Heh. Maybe. Empathy does seem to be my superpower.

My assumption is that I will be gardening alone today. If someone decides to show up, bonus. I’m not waiting for it and I’m not looking for it. I invited people. Folks are busy. They tell me frequently that they want to come, but the reality of modern life is everyone has too many obligations. I get it.

I’ll get my work done. I’m not building the garden for anyone else. Not really. I’m building it because I’ve always wanted to live in a place that had a big, nice, garden. I used to walk past this house on my way to the bus stop from Auntie’s house. The elderly woman who lived there didn’t mind me detouring off the road and walking through her garden on the way. It was so wonderful. She died when I was in middle school. A different family bought the house. They cut down the garden to make more parking spots.

I want connection with people too much. I spend too much time and energy looking outward for my worth and meaning and value.

Yes, my children need to have friends. They do have friends. Maybe I don’t need to worry so much about this home school group. Maybe I’m not a good follower and it is necessary to be a follower in order to keep silent about abusive behavior in a group. I don’t know.

I stopped hanging out with the dancers when I learned who all the rapists were. I couldn’t be in the room with them any more. I stopped going to bdsm events alone when I was raped there too even though it was supposedly “safe” to be there. I stopped trying to work at Fair when a guy raped me and no one was going to care.

Should I stop hanging out with the home schoolers because it really isn’t very important when a kid almost kills me?

That is my pattern. I stopped hanging out with the Los Gatos High School people much because they all picked Justin. They hang out with him a lot still.

No, I’m never going to forgive him for that “little mistake”. He will never apologize so there is nothing to forgive. There is only reason that I know he is not safe to be in a room with.

But I’m irrational, they say. Oh fuck your rational. I’ve been hurt enough.

And you know what? Each time I’m told it is my fault. Completely fucking consistent reaction.

Thus I sit here thinking about swimming out into the Pacific Ocean until I can’t possibly make it back to shore. Then stopping. And waiting. I hope a shark doesn’t eat me. I’m really scared of sharks.

I hope I drown fast.

How come the Zen feeling and the suicidal feeling coexist like this? I started out yesterday morning feeling very calm. I knew I’d had the flashes of ideation, but it felt under control.

Then the rest of the day happened.

I like my house. I like the people in it. I like that I get to be here. I like what I am doing with my days.

But I’m a disposable whore who should be put down for the good of the herd.

I’m trash. And trash can bring down the general value of a population. Cull the outliers so they don’t mess up your system.

I want to beat my head so fucking much my neck muscles are locking.

But I’ll write about it and purge it and probably go have a good day with the kids. I have four hours off this morning. I suspect I will sit very still in a dark room. Maybe it won’t be that dark. Maybe I’ll read. I do have a bunch of interesting looking new books. I’m also in the middle of Battle Magic and Dataclysm. I should finish both books before moving on. I could totally read.

No chat room today. Arms hurt like fire.

I should stop.

That was a day.

Yesterday was up and down the emotional slider. Hoo-boy. I cried all the way up to therapy because it was that kind of morning. Luckily therapy went really well. My shrink mentioned things like, “Your level of activation is probably so high because you are feeling enmeshed into these situations. You aren’t sure who is being hurt and who is being protected and if you have the power to protect anyone. Yeah, that’s hard.” She earns her money. Reframing things is part of how I calm down.

Then we went to the park. It was… a slow park day but fine. I’m happy my bonus kids have been coming to the park lately. They really like me and I feel better about myself when I see them. I’m struggling with feeling disconnected from the park group. I feel like I should leave. I think it is a PTSD avoidance thing, not a real set of problems so I haven’t left. But I’m having a lot of feelings. That happens.

Then we went to see our accountant. He was kind of overwhelmed by the number of accounts and activities we did this year. Several new investment accounts. Business stuff is multiplying in a lot of directions. It was… validating and awesome. Clearly we are handling our money well. I’m proud of myself.

Then we went off to meet up with the charity speaking gig. It… was not all one could hope. When the fellow organizing says he doesn’t know much about you other than that you are married to a cool guy so you must be cool. Oh, and he made sure a woman is speaking at every stop on the tour this time. “JUST GIVE ME A WOMAN.”

Wow. I feel… wow. I’m not going to be doing that again. The talk was fine. I feel like Noah and I did reasonably well. I’m not going to bother saying the name of the charity event because then I might feel bad for shit talking. The other folks were less inspiring than they wanted to be.

And I am low on patience for white boys who think very highly of themselves. Additionally: stimulants do not make you as much cooler as you think. They will in fact probably have a negative effect on your personality. That whole talking over people thing? Stop it. Don’t defend yourself in the middle of someone else’s talk. You look like a schmuck.

I get very angry when people ask me a question and then cut me off before I can answer telling me that I can’t say that. It’s a very bad way to become my friend. It’s a good way to ensure that I will instead spit on your grave.

So yeah. The speaking gig was not all it was cracked up to be. Blissfully showing up last night means we won’t be doing the 15th. Good. I am not interested in wasting more of my life on those clowns.

That’s kind of an awesome feeling. “I’m too good for you. Go waste someone else’s time.” I’m so fucking grateful I don’t have to work in the tech industry. I like my friends who work in tech. I don’t like everyone else who works in tech very much. And oh man the dripping condescension about how Uber is going to improve the whole world? Someone’s been drinking some fucking Kool-Aid. (Yes, I know it is a reference to a doomsday cult.)

Today our wonderful friends are sick. So we have an unexpected down day at home. Oh thank goodness. I have emails to respond to. The kids are happy to rest. Tomorrow is a gardening day. I’m thrilled that it is raining today. It will soften up the dirt nicely. (I’m not actually “happy” that our friend is sick. Seeing her would have meant acupuncture for me which would have done loads to reduce my pain and anxiety. But you have to find a silver lining.)

Yesterday was also a fabulous day because I got two email communications that thrilled me. One was a friend confirming social plans before we leave on the trip (have to wedge people in while we can) and the other was from a mom who is happy to help me resolve some issues between our kids.

I feel so grateful for the willingness to work on an issue. I started crying from relief when I read the email. You aren’t going to tell me it is all my fault because I’m bad. Oh thank you. I don’t think anyone in this situation is bad. I think we all just need to learn how to tweak our behavior a little so we can be nice in the ways we need to receive. People are complicated. I’m very willing to adapt to you. I hope you can adapt to me too.

I’m having a good day. Lots of rest. There are some things I want to get done–organizing the paperwork I need for the DMV. Get fertilizer. Go to the bank for small denomination bills for babysitting and allowance. I’m grateful to get a lower effort day than it would have been.

Today feels really nice. This is that Zen feeling. I am exactly where I want to be. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. I am so lucky. Today, people will be nice to me. I’ll get snuggles. I’ll get to giggle and play. I will get to rest and have down time to write, apparently. The kids have missed their screens.

A lot of how I keep screen time to a minimum is I keep us busy. We don’t use screens when folks are over and we don’t use screens in transit. We also have to have the house cleaned up before screens come out. They are naturally limited by the structure of our life instead of by me saying, “You get two hours a day.” It is easy to be consistent with.

I look for sustainability in rules.

I’m also looking for kids who think it is just plain easier to put things away when they are taken out. I’m getting that result.

I have poor planning skills.

Today is insane.

I leave the house at 8am to drive to Oakland. If I leave later than that for my 9:30 appointment I am usually late. Then from 9:30-10:30 I have therapy. Kids will be with friend. During the 9-10 time slot Noah will be giving an interview with some Ruby folks.

Then Noah hops on the train north. We pick him up from the train station, grab lunch, go to the park for park day in Castro-Fucking-Valley.

We leave park day at 1 (which means we’ll only be there about 1.5 hours) to drive to Belmont for a meeting with our accountant. Our taxes are psychotically, ridiculously hard. This year we can’t answer questions via email and get it done. We have to go through piles of documents. I want to cry already. Lots of side business stuff. Lots of investment accounts. Lots of moving pieces. We have four damn checking accounts. And savings accounts. And. Yeah, I see why we have graduated to “We need meetings to go over documents and answer questions now.”

After that meeting we drive down to East Palo Alto to drop the kids off with some friends who enjoy baby sitting. We don’t have many friends who enjoy babysitting. The kids get to see two such families *in one day* how often does that happen? Never.

Then Noah and I drive to Stanford for a speaking event. The folks running that event asked us if there is anyway we can “go out to dinner” with folks from the conference… at 8pm. Uhm. We’ll see. I may be ready to stab someone in the eye with forks.

And Wednesday I get to drive to San Pablo. Thursday I’m hosting a gardening event for kids. (Thank goodness no driving.) Saturday and Sunday both involve noticeable driving. Friday is a rest day. I’m going to hide in my bedroom and not be even a little bit productive. Fuck the whole world.

I think I will have to say “no” to any and everything else proposed for March. I have to deal with DMV and a whole bunch of other logistical things here in town and they are all getting dropped. I should say no to anything else proposed in March because we have exactly two days that aren’t booked at all. Every other day is booked for a minimum of four hours and some days we are booked for nine hours.

So much for saving up spoons.

My anxiety is through the roof today. I’m not good at managing boundary stuff and it’s coming up in a variety of settings.

 

I tell my kids that bravery isn’t being not-afraid. It means you keep going when you are afraid. Today I am very afraid. Today I feel like I should cancel everything and hide in my closet because surely today is the day I will be stoned to death by my community for crimes against humanity. Surely, today is that day.

So I’ll wear a necklace and a wedding ring and lipstick and tell myself that I’m past the point of people feeling safe enough to assault me that way. Surely it will count for something…

Maybe I’ll believe it someday.

I feel really scared because standing up for my right and my childrens right to be physically safe is not going very well. I didn’t attack. I said, “Your kid isn’t allowed to hurt me.” And it is going badly. Like it does when I tell people they don’t have the right to hurt me. Because they think they *do* have the right to hurt me.

Right now, unmedicated, that is sitting on me like a ton of bricks. I feel flattened and hollow and like a worthless whore who should die.

Today is going to be rough.

+/- FogCon and health

+ Spending time with Sarah at the conference was lovely.

- Working on all three days meant I spent a lot of time working and very little time enjoying panels. That was poor planning on my part. I only made it to panels on one day.

+ Going on the train with the kids. That was fun.

- Next time I will not pick restaurants that are so far away and make reservations so I feel like we HAVE TO do the whole fucking walk. That was dumb.

+ Took the girls swimming and we had a lot of fun.

- Boo stupid hotel telling us the pool was closed on the website so we had to buy new damn bathing suits.

- Kids taking off from the adult they were supposed to be with and getting in an elevator alone.

+ Didn’t have many hypervigilance symptoms all weekend. I wasn’t scared. I was very relaxed. I even slept fairly well even if I didn’t sleep enough. I did have some anger surges but they were usually… connected to things that kind of deserved some anger. LIKE KIDS RUNNING OFF AND GETTING IN A FUCKING ELEVATOR ALONE. So I don’t feel like it was PTSD symptomatic. And I calmed down and didn’t rant.

-/+ Started bleeding Saturday morning. This is actually a really good thing because my pattern with the PMDD is the day I start bleeding I have pain, but all of a sudden my mood improves. I’m much more tolerant that day. I’m kind of self-absorbed thinking about the physical pain so I don’t react to what other people are doing as much. But it means I am in a lot of pain.

- This gets another negative. This sucks. So much pain. Insane pain. Holy fucking shit can I beat my joints with hammers so that they stop fucking hurting hurting hurting hurting. They would hurt less if I hit them with hammers.

- Naturopath won’t work with insurance even a little bit.

- Not happy about some kid interactions. I intervene faster than some other parents. I have a very hard time with the fact that other people are fine with their kids experimenting with hitting and kicking my children. If it was once I wouldn’t even notice. It’s not once. It has happened almost half a dozen times. I’m not sure how to address this. Yes, kid is very young. That means it should be the parents responsibility to be shadowing the kid at all times to be preventing that behavior in my opinion. That’s how I got my kids through those phases. Yes it was labor intensive. Yes, it kind of sucked for me. I wanted the kids. There is no such thing as “helicopter parenting” with the under 3 set. That’s called “parenting”. That’s not even true. Helicopter parenting is not letting your kid climb the ladder to go down the slide. Helicopter parenting is not letting your ten year old walk to the convenience store. Helicopter parenting is calling to yell at the college professor for not giving your kid an “A”. But if you watch your kid kick someone else and choose to not intervene the first time that’s a problem. It’s not free range parenting either. I think what I’m really doing is hoping that we will come back from the trip and this problem will have evaporated as a “stage”. (No I haven’t talked to the parents. I don’t know them that well and I feel awkward as fuck. It’s never a good time.)

+ I bought so many cool books. I’m terribly excited. Including a new comic book series about a neat sounding re-imagining of Beowulf. Looking forward to sharing it with the kids.

- Books are heavy. I feel like I practically broke my back on the train on the way home carrying the books. Yes, I know that e-reading is a solution to this. It really isn’t a good solution for me for a variety of reasons. Everyone is different!

+ So forking proud of the kids for how they handled carrying their stuff on the trip. They were pretty good about staying on task and focusing and carrying on when they wanted to quit.

+ I had an alcoholic drink on two of the nights of the conference and throughout the whole weekend I HAD SOLID POOP. I don’t understand. Yes, I stuck with whiskey because it is on the IBS approved list, but sometimes it is still problematic. Belly, I give you gentle and loving pats. Good job. Maybe it was all the fucking vegetables and fruit I ate. I tried so hard to be good to you even though we were traveling. I love you. Please be nice to me like this more often.

+ I had a lot of neat conversations with people. I miss those kinds of environments so much. One of the harder things about home schooling is the lack of colleagues. I talk to home schooling parents, but I don’t don’t use curriculum. So we aren’t talking technique all that much. This weekend was really fulfilling in that way. I felt like, Yes I have studied this shit, By Gawd.

+ A writer I have long admired caught me in the hallway alone at a random moment and all but invited herself over to dinner to see what I’ve done with my house after I described the painting. My heart went pitter patter. Oh yes. You did that. You totally just did that. You said, “I want to come over for dinner. Send me an email so we can match up our schedules.” Oh. Oh. *fluttery hands* You did that! It’s my dream come true and she doesn’t even read my blog. *swoon*

+ The panel I was on went so well. I’m really happy it worked out. True to form people came up to me and said, “I got a lot out of it. It was really intense.” That’s me. I may not be able to bring the funny but I’ve got bushels of intense. 

+ Got an email this weekend inviting us to a speaking gig on Tuesday. I found baby sitting. I need to make a resume. Even though this event isn’t a “Stanford” event… it’s at Stanford. I was invited to speak at Stanford. I need a resume. Yeah, I’m a “stay at home parent” but I’m doing shit.

+ It was neat seeing the evolution of people. I saw a lot of people I have known very distantly for my entire adult life. A number of folks I met when I was 18 or 19. They seemed… maybe confused by my lifestyle choices? I couldn’t read the facial expressions that well. The comments were mostly neutral with a hint of snark and that is downright positive for most of them. I feel like I am on the path I want to be on. It was neat feeling very affirmed in that.

+ It is nice feeling like looking around at other people convinces me that I am growing past role models. The things I want to do are not things that other people want to do. So I don’t have role models. I need to just do them and be ok with that. It’s funny to me how I can feel that in some communities and I’m still struggling to be “ok” with my identity in other parts of my life/self.

(Which isn’t to say that I think I am “better” than other people. I’m not. But I’m dealing with very different logistics and that’s ok.)

+ I am so grateful that I live in the time and place I live. And I’m really happy to be home.

The five month trip is going to be hard. I’m thinking hard about how we can bring home with us. It’s coming up soon. 17 weeks until we leave. That doesn’t feel like very long. Four more months. I’m excited. I’m terrified. I have wanted to do this for so long. How are we going to keep up our Adventurous Spirits!?

Time will tell.