Self care for the win.

I have been trying hard to take care of myself for the past few days. And I just went on a run to get my meds because why punish myself longer?

I’ve been trying to be careful about eating. I’ve been careful about water. I’m making sure I sleep a lot. That’s what you do when you are a grown up, right? Or a “healthy” person of any age?

One big example of whiteness working is the fact that when I’m out with my kids I don’t get catcalled. It doesn’t happen. When I go out for a run by myself… men yelled their phone numbers out the window of trucks. I watched a dozen or more guys almost get whiplash checking me out.

That doesn’t happen when I’m with my kids. It is like I have a magical cloak of protection. My understanding from the women of color that I know is… they don’t have that cloak. It doesn’t matter if their kids are with them or not. They are treated like a piece of meat.

I think about that as I move about the world. What influence can I have on the people around me to change how things work?

I really don’t know yet. But I think about it.

People are hard (post-therapy)

This was one of those therapy sessions where I feel mad at my shrink because STOP TAKING OTHER PEOPLES SIDES. WHAT THE FUCK?! She really likes to explain to me in great detail why other people are justified in doing what they are doing. I have started telling her, “You know… I already understand their point of view and don’t need to pay you to explain it to me. I don’t like their point of view and I’m bitching about it. I get that they have validity. What.Fucking.Ever.”

She reacts as if she doesn’t know what to do with me. Totally fair.

This time it was explaining why one of my friends did what they did. I get it already. I get that this person was doing what felt comfortable to them. I get that they weren’t trying to be rude. I get it.

I still feel like it was fucking rude and I’m annoyed. I don’t care that they didn’t intend to be rude. It felt rude to me and I’m having feelings and I want to process my feelings without being told how I shouldn’t have these feelings because reasons.

What.Fucking.Ever. Are you my shrink or are you on their payroll?

I get really mad when she says I shouldn’t feel a way because reasons. Uhm, feelings don’t work that way.

Yes, I get that you want me to have context and sympathy and empathy and all that… I have that. Sometimes I get to care about my feelings and how I’m treated. I don’t have to only care about other peoples feelings. This is not that kind of game.

I’m not saying I had the right to be a nasty bitch to my friend when I was annoyed about an interaction. That would be over the line. I completely agree. But I get to have my damn feelings. Don’t tell me not to feel a way.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Fastest fucking way to piss me off. I’m trying to train her. “I hear that you are very upset about this and you don’t want to hear the other point of view defended right now.”

Yup, that’s all I want you to say when I’m in the midst of my feels.

Some other day when I’m not ranting and raving about how pissed off I am is a great time to bring up, “Remember that other day when you were really mad? Can we talk about that now?”

Then I can listen. Then I can respect their point of view. When I am in the midst of my feels fuck right off with telling me I have to care more about them than me. Especially when I didn’t do anything with my mean feels besides get quiet.

Even ranting about people on my blog is pissier than what I did to this friend. In person all I did was get quiet. Ok, my tone of voice probably got snippier but I wasn’t mean. I worked really fucking hard on that. I didn’t like what was happening and I got through it and out of the situation. I was nice to my friend. We did exchange messages after this issue expressing our continued affection and desire for a relationship.

I’m still mad my friend did a thing. I’m FUCKING ALLOWED TO FEEL THAT WAY.

I don’t hate my friend. I don’t want to stop being friends with this person. I feel this person has a lot to offer the world as a human being and me in particular as my friend. Specifically what I value about this relationship is the many little bits of “insider” information they drop about their culture that I would otherwise be completely shut out of. Thank you for telling me about you, your family, and your culture. That is a real gift.

I’m still mad about a thing. I won’t be mad forever. It’s not a big thing. I wasn’t raped. I wasn’t hit. I wasn’t called a name. I wasn’t told anything horrible.

I just didn’t like something. It was a small thing. I’ll get over it.

Aren’t I allowed to dislike a thing?

I didn’t yell at my friend. I didn’t shun my friend. I didn’t name my friend online as a BAD PERSON. I just had feelings. Why is that discouraged?

I think she (my shrink) was objecting to my language around my feelings more than me having feelings but I’M NOT READY TO GIVE HER THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT YET SO DON’T TELL ME I SHOULD, OK?!

She said that she didn’t think what my friend did was a boundary violation but rather just an assertion of that friend’s boundaries. (Gender neutral language is a fucker.)

I would agree if I hadn’t already told this person that I don’t like X about a thousand times over a decade.

Friend could have waited one more day and done Thing without me and it would have been all good. So I had feels about the fact that my friend couldn’t wait one fucking day and had to do it in front of me even though I’ve said SO MANY TIMES that I’m not interested in being around Thing.

It’s not like I travel across the country to interrupt my friend’s private life very often. Haven’t seen friend in years. Couldn’t wait ONE FUCKING DAY.

Ok, fine. Maybe it isn’t a boundary violation. But FUCK YOU ANYWAY. I’m still annoyed. It was still a Thing I’ve repeatedly said annoys me.

This is why I continue to pay shrinks. I can hate them with impunity then get over it and continue to benefit from their redirection. It’s ok to have highly mixed feelings about your therapist. It is one of the known things about long-term therapeutic relationships. If you don’t have the full range of feelings with your therapist you probably aren’t getting everything out of therapy you could be getting. I need to learn how to deal with these GO FUCK YOURSELF feelings in a way that is more constructive and useful. My shrink pissing me the fuck off gives me a very safe space to work through boundary setting and arguing in a way that is me-centered and safe without being a threat to a core relationship.

Even though I have many mixed feelings about white men, and especially white geeks… I can’t use Noah as too much of a proxy there. That is toxic to our relationship. I can safely use my therapist as a proxy for people to be mad at. As long as I also get over it and learn how to do the later steps because that is why I pay her to be in my life.

People use therapy differently. For me, therapy is largely about finding surrogate parents who will help guide me towards the me I want to be instead of the me that other people wish I would be so I would be more convenient.

I will probably never be convenient. I’m just not cut out for that.

That’s ok though. Life isn’t about convenience. Pretty much my whole life is set up around “inconvenient but important”.

I will not be mad at my friend for years about Thing. But I will ensure that next time we hang out together Thing just isn’t an option on the table because it bugs me. That’s not awful. It’s not mean. My friend can go do Thing without me all the other days of their life.

My shrink asked me why I like assholes as friends. I said, “Because I’m an asshole.” She laughed and laughed and laughed.

She asked me what being an asshole means to me. I said that assholes are people who are completely and totally capable of being selfish and self-centered when they feel the need. I might hurt people in my selfishness. Yup. That’ll happen. I’m going to prioritize me anyway because I can’t spend my whole life worrying about everyone but me. I’ll die. So I’m an asshole sometimes.

I understand why so many of the men in my life are completely self-absorbed. They were raised to be. I understand why so many of the women in my life struggle to center themselves. They were raised to think they weren’t important.

I think being an asshole is important sometimes. Being completely sure that your needs come first is an asshole move. It is also a survival move. I think that it is impossible to survive a whole series of awful shit without ever being an asshole. I think it is mandatory to be an asshole sometimes if you want to survive hard stuff.

I know people who have managed to have lives that look like they are wrapped in cotton balls. Those people don’t really strike me as assholes. They center other people in a way I just… won’t. Not ever again.

I center my children more than anyone else and even they are sometimes told to get away from me because I need to focus on me right now.

It is hard on them and I don’t feel good about myself when I do it. But it is a fact. Sometimes I have to focus on me or we won’t get where we are going. It is just fucking required. You can’t be more important 24/7 or I can never leave my house because I can’t risk having a need.

I understand on a deep level that my friends share with me what they have to spare. I approve. I don’t think they should give to me until it hurts them.

Sometimes I am still going to be annoyed by their behavior and I need that to be ok. I can’t be abusive to my friends because I feel annoyed by their behavior–that’s not ok. But I can have feelings. Don’t tell me not to.

It’s ok to ask, “Well what did you do with those feelings? Do you feel you were just?” That’s always fair. I fuck up. I need to be called on my behavior when I fuck up. Sometimes my behavior is not just. When that happens I need to make amends and try to do better in the future. I don’t get to treat people badly because I’m having a feels.

But don’t tell me not to have my feels. Or I may direct allllllllllllllllll of them towards you. You won’t like that. My feels are BIG.

The day improved because my kids are awesome.

We left the apartment around noon and got back at about 5:30.

First we wandered down to the market in this building and bought some groceries. That makes me feel more secure. I feel like an idiot because we didn’t need the food I bought. But it made me feel better and we will eat it.

As we were walking we passed a coffee shop. Eldest Child said, “Wait… is that a coffee shop?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Do you think they would tea with caffeine? Would that help you since you don’t have meds?” OH MY GOODNESS CHILD YOU ARE THE BEST THING EVER BORN AND I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Yes, caffeine would help and yes they have some in a form I will enjoy consuming. Thank you for your suggestion. Oh that was so awesome. (Later she commented on the fragrance of the tea. Oh she makes me happy.)

Then we went to a “park”. That is in square quotes because really it was just an open stretch of grass with benches in between streets. It was a grassy island in between traffic. Doesn’t matter, we can run and scream anywhere. The kids had a great time getting to know the local homeless crew, like we do.

Then we wandered towards a farmers market and bought nectarines and cucumbers. Because it makes me feel better about myself.

Then we realized… oh. That building right there? That’s the White House. Let’s get closer! Then we were kicked out of the park and I’m not sure why. (It wasn’t just us. The whole park was cleared and the police doing it seemed irritated that they were asked to kick us out.)

So we wandered over to buy some water. Because I was silly and forgot a water bottle.

Of course we spent this time handing nectarines to homeless people and chatting with them. Like we do.

Then we made it to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Because fuck yeah. Due to the fact that I had to carry everything a long way I bought fewer books than usual. Just the very best. Spent hours wandering around in there talking about art. It was really neat and fun to ask them why they think artists made different choices.

Then we walked towards the apartment and the kids saw an Ethiopian restaurant. If my children can see and recognize and request Ethiopian food my answer is yes. Yes. YES! While we were eating a random homeless woman came by and set up in front of the restaurant to beg for money. I went out and asked her if she wanted to join us for a meal. She said she wasn’t hungry so we talked for a few minutes. In the end she cried and thanked me for noticing her. No problem.

The food was spicy as fuck and so good I almost cried.

Then we came home and have been on our screens. I told the kids that the screens are being turned off at 10 pm. No arguing.

Noah gets on a plane crazy late tonight. He has to take a cab here tomorrow. I feel guilty but the parking situation is ridiculous.

AND!!! Thanks to the ever-wonderful Sarah I now have babysitting lined up for this weekend. Eight hours of it.

Ok, DC is going better. Thank goodness.

This isn’t starting out great. Oh goody.

First: $500 in parking. That sucks.

Then: whoops. I left my meds in the van. 2 miles away in the wrong direction from things we want to see. Shit.

And: Eldest Child asked if she could stay up later than me to “finish a show”. I went to bed at 11. I said finish this show and go to sleep. I woke up at 3:30 to use the bathroom and confiscated the screen. Now she is sleeping. Not sure what we will do today. She’s only been asleep for 5 hours so far. Not going to be a fun camper.

Oh goody. Well, I guess it is a good thing I had no desire to wake up and be immediately active.

I don’t know when Younger Child went to sleep. But she crawled in bed with me at some point. Still sleeping.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I won’t push the kids today. We can rest. We need it. On day 79. Day 83 is the halfway point. At this point I want to up and drive home and the kids say, “But Disney World! Trick or Treating! You can do it mom!”

ugh.

So. Forking. Expensive.

My first impression of Washington DC is crying because of how expensive it is. I thought I would be “smart” and book an AirBnB place because it is cheaper than a hotel and we can have a kitchen and… I thought I was SMART!

I’m not smart. It wasn’t until it was too late to cancel the booking that I noticed… no parking. Then I looked around DC. Oh. My. God. The only two possible options were the airport which would have been a nightmare because it is 6 miles away and getting a spot that holds the van and the trailer… good luck. The other option is at the central bus/train depot. They have RV parking. It’s $50/day-night. That sounds horrible, right? Wait. It gets better. The trailer counts as a separate vehicle. So that’s $100/day-night.

I cried. I had a huge panic attack and kind of flipped out a little. IT TAKES UP ONE PARKING SPACE WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO PAY DOUBLE.

Oh god.

So that was my introduction to DC.

As we walked around later my Eldest Child actually fucking said, “Why does everyone look so glamorous? No one looks like crap.”

I almost fell to the ground I was laughing so hard. Oh child. You rock my world. Thank you.

We ordered cupcakes for the birthday of younger child. Yay!

So tired. Want to sleep. Thud.

Rest day, yay.

The kids are fried and I can respect that. The past two days were intense. New York is hard for us. We are overwhelmed by the noise, by the number of people trying to sell us things, by the size of the buildings… everything. This is overwhelming on steroids.

We are having a hard time partially because our friendly/outgoing approach to life doesn’t work well here. NYers are so desensitized to people yelling at them that they are not very open to random conversations. Eldest Child was kind of shell shocked by the number of people who asked her to buy something in a ten minute period. If even she gets kind of numb… that’s a big deal.

My kids are feeling rejected and sad because in restaurants people don’t want to talk to us. I’m not as upset by it because I’ve experienced it before.

I think it is kind of interesting that the kids keep saying, “Let’s go back to Duluth.” I guess cities with about 86,000 people are just… more approachable.

Looks like we aren’t going to be able to meet up with anyone I know who lives in NYC. Why am I not surprised? They are busy. Shocking. But when you fly to California I am supposed to drop everything and drive 90+ miles round trip to enjoy an hour of your company. Right.

Realistically… I’m ok I don’t have to be on my best behavior right now. My best is kind of long-gone.

We went to tea party restaurants. It is going to be fun to go home to Fremont and go visit our local tea shop and say, “We have been to some of the fanciest, most posh tea houses in the country… we like you more.” Traveling makes me love my home so much. My tea shop is perfect for me and every other one is kind of meh.

AND most of these tea shops that are twice or three times as expensive. I wanna go home!

Not yet. 77 days in. 89 days to go.

I’m really looking forward to staying in one place for longer in Florida. I’m so tired.

I talk to my shrink in half an hour. That’s a good thing.

Maybe, if we rest today I might actually get around to writing some postcards. We didn’t get any in NYC. Whoops.

I am so tired.

Reaching out to people is hard. I want to pay attention to people and I also want to climb into the closet and not do anything for a very long time.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, thud.

Last night’s phone call with Noah was awesome. He talked and talked and talked to me about the patterns I’m trying to see in my interactions. What should I be doing earlier to deal with ____?

I love Noah. He will talk as long as I want to about things that are hard for me. I love you. I am coming home. But not yet.

Periodically I read that the only way to heal from complex PTSD is to find an intense therapeutic relationship and build all the skills you need. Instead I have Noah. We are codependent as fuck and I like it that way. We have boundaries but we also have a big willingness to share the clock-work-like inner workings of our brains and say, “Do you have a tool this shaped?”

The kids and I are having a lot of positive interactions mixed in with me yelling, “Can you PLEASE STOP SCREAMING IN THE CAR.” By the time I get home the ringing in my ears will probably be permanent.

Well, we get to NYC today. It’ll be rad. We aren’t camping. I fucked up the reservation dates. Whoops.

Thank all the stars in the heaven I am a rich bitch who can make another path. Or just thank Noah. Well done, honey!

Today I want to take the kids to central park. Squee. Maybe FAO Schwarz. We’ll have to eat.. Oh New York. I really enjoyed visiting you last time. I’m glad I don’t have to be alone this time. It will be a lot more fun to be with the kids.

We had a blast at the aquarium yesterday in Mystic Connecticut. I was not an aquarium person on my own before kids. As I paid our admission yesterday I figured out why. Looking at fish is a rich person hobby. Holy crap.

I went on another book buying binge in a fabulous toy store. I complimented the woman on the range of selection and she said, “I really always wanted to run a book store but here I am.”

I spent over $400 on books yesterday.

I need to have a “come check out my library” party when I come back.

I also intend to go through the list and figure out which ones I should get copies of for which kids in my life. There are a bunch I plan to have sent to the UK but I figure that is easiest done online. There are a bunch I want to send to my nephew in Mt. View and tons more for my Bonus Kids. I have stuff kind of mentally bookmarked for all the home schoolers we know.

I think it is funny that I am going to spend thousands of dollars on books on the trip then I will go home and rebuy the same damn books so I can give them away. Being rich is the best damn thing ever.

I’m a reader. The best gift I can share with anyone are words that have moved me. I read a book yesterday about the lady who started the Red Cross. I bawled. Well done, touching story.

I made Noah talk to me about patterns with the men last week. I’ll call them A, B, and C in the order they happened. He said that near as he can tell they were all cases with boundary violations where the person had strong reason to believe they could not be challenged.

Yeah that sounds right. The first one was arriving on his property and he immediately insulted me. Then I brought it up with his wife and she denied that it could have happened. I left ASAP.

Second was being told how scary I was repeatedly while I tried to softly express boundaries and they were walked on. There were multiple meals I didn’t want to go out to eat and he insisted. After telling me repeatedly that I’m terrifying so I felt like I was in a real bind as to appropriate responses. I can’t respond with any intensity or I’m “scary” but I don’t do well at lukewarm saying, “This is a boundary and stop pushing me.” I either say it a few times then drop it and go along (which is what I did this time and I’m kind of mad at myself) or I say them’s fighting words. I don’t have much of a happy medium. This is becoming more and more of a thing I need to fix.

I went along. I didn’t make big waves. I’m not sure I made him comfortable because it was probably obvious I wasn’t happy. But you know what? When I tell you repeatedly I don’t want to do something and you insist… I’m not going to pretend to be fucking happy for you. You didn’t look for agreement on what we should do. You decided. You decided on something I didn’t want and then made sure I knew you didn’t want to back down and I can’t come on strong because I’ll scaaaaare  you.

The third was kinda complicated. The boundary violation was less clear. It was just a whole series of interactions designed to create an in-group and I’m not in the in-group. Starting out by telling me how selfish I am for home schooling and how you don’t approve… well I don’t give a fuck if you approve. I may even have said that verbatim. Then it moved on to expounding that women who experience domestic violence are kinda (something insulting but I can’t remember exactly what and I don’t want to incorrectly paraphrase) something and they should just leave. Just leave. Just leave.

He finally stopped talking when I said my sister lived with her abuser for 17 years and only had one main abuser. My parents split up when I was 3 and my mother ran and I was abused by dozens of people and spent my childhood homeless and stealing food. You really want to tell me that is better?!

They looked at the ground and wouldn’t look at me. That was the end of that conversation.

Then we didn’t really interact again until my kid asked if it was possible to make some eggs without onions. I hadn’t been complaining about the onions in every meal but my bowels were getting angry with me. Onions give me gas. The kind of gas where I have to sit on the toilet for really long periods cause I can’t tell if I’m going to shit or fart. So I try to limit onions. A little bit I can basically tolerate because I don’t care about being flatulent. But in multiple meals for multiple days I need to cry uncle. My body hits a limit. And I’m trying to drive all day long so both heavy flatulence and needing to stop six times for bathroom breaks is kinda annoying.

His response: “I’m not a short order cook.” I wouldn’t have cared only he established in the first 15 minutes (before the home schooling rant) that there isn’t enough room for multiple people to be in the kitchen cooking separate things so we are just going to have to eat together or we would have to eat on some wacky schedule after they clear out.

I said, “That’s fine. We can leave.”

But I feel anxious and guilty and like I did something wrong. I didn’t scream at all this time. These sets of times. I feel like this was a fairly healthy way of handling these problems. I got along with B well enough to get through the visit and hopefully by the next time I see him I will be better at saying, “Stop pushing. This is a boundary” without screaming and I’ll be able to handle him better. I’m not good with passive aggressive people. They have a whole tool box I don’t have and I’m not good at managing that tool box. It is the opposite

I didn’t grow up with parents who were withdrawn and emotionally absent who frowned upon anger. That is not my story and I’m never going to be able to embody that story for other peoples comfort.

I grew up with anger being a vitally important piece of my survival and I don’t plan to stop being an angry person. I want to direct it more than I currently can.

Noah called it having intense personal energy (Did I quote you right?). When he or I decide we are going to do something (it can be something relatively trivial and small and stupid) we will just put our heads down and get it done no matter who we have to bulldoze or what we have to do to get it. Lots of intensity involved.

Yes, I am a high intensity person. I like that about myself. What I don’t like is how many people want me to feel ashamed. I’m a dumb fucking moron about going along with that self-defeating bullshit.

I’m pretty good at not being mean, these days, but I’m not good at ignoring people who imply I should be ashamed of myself. “You’re so scary. You terrify me.” Ok. Go talk to your mama about it.

Ok, Eldest Child says I must get busy on the day.

Passive aggressive girl is passive aggressive

1. I really wish I didn’t have to care about your feelings more than mine.

2. If I didn’t love you bigger than the WHOLE FUCKING SKY I would knock your block off when you hit me. Instead I hiss through my teeth, “Stop hitting me.” I hope it works some day.

3. I feel really bad that I get so angry around folks like you. It isn’t your fault. You haven’t done a thing wrong. You’ve been so nice to me. But the symbol of what you represent… oh gosh. I’m sorry I catch you in that net.

4. I’m not calling you. I’m not bringing my kids to your house. I’m done with you. “Family”. Hah.

5. I am not going to drive through your city tomorrow. It is a conscious choice because you don’t want to know me any more. I probably won’t go back to that city until I’m sure you are gone from there.

6. I miss you. I’m sad that you didn’t respond to my emails. Guess we won’t meet up on this trip. Haven’t seen you in…11? 12? years. I love you still. I think I always will.

7. I’m going to be sad for the rest of my life that you ended our relationship because you weren’t getting enough support but you didn’t ask even once for support and I was told no every time I offered.

8. Fuck you.

9. I’m tired of feeling like my options are “be alone” or “be abused” but you make it clear that with you those are the options. I’ll pick being alone. Good thing I’m not actually alone anymore.

10. I want to be nice to you and I don’t know how. You give no directions. You don’t tell me what you want or prefer. But I get punished when I do things wrong. Right.

Ode to Noah then I wandered, of course.

Maybe my internet will work well enough to hit post. Maybe not.

Noah told me a few weeks ago that he had a lot of anxiety heading into this trip. He thought that either I would decide that I was done with him and not really come back or I would decide that I never want to be away from him again.

Let’s go with option B. I can see why he was nervous about me wanting to leave–I’m kind of an asshole like that. But let’s go with option B.

The things about Noah that please me fill a very long list.

I am pleased by the fact that he puts a lot of effort into being cheerful for my benefit even though he might instinctively default to having a resting bitch face. Instead he knows that I am severely impacted by what he tries to reflect into the world and he works hard on being cheerful for me. The longer I am away from him the more apparent it is to me that this aspect of our interactions has a massive impact on my whole life. I feel so sad right now.

Noah cares about my body. I don’t mean he thinks I’m hot and he wants to fuck me. I mean that he has put a lot of effort into learning how to cook for me so that food can taste good and not make me sick. Literally no one else has ever put the amount of effort into caring about my body that Noah has. I don’t think I have tried as hard as he has to figure out my food issues. He’s … he is so nice to me.

Noah can listen to my words and not get tripped up by my tone of voice. This is wonderful and terrible, as I mentioned before. I feel safe with Noah because I can tell him why I am having an issue and I don’t have to worry about him getting upset with me because I expressed my issue in a tone of voice that would bother someone else. He just doesn’t care.

When something bothers me, there is a very short window where I can try to say something about it before it becomes a BIG DEAL and I will start yelling. I usually handle this badly. (I handled it horribly with Sarah and she’s the grown up other than Noah I’ve had to work on this the most with. I’m still trying. At this point I feel like my failures with Sarah are the biggest and most important fuck ups of the last decade and I am trying to compile a list of “No really fix this” so I can maybe one day actually deserve the honor of her friendship. I know I am not there now.) I kind of whisper/hint that I’m having a problem. If someone doesn’t jump on it and ask for more details and try to figure out just how big of a deal this little issue actually is… I stop talking about it. I won’t talk about it again unless I hit a point of screaming and screaming and screaming such that I can’t stop without just leaving. It really sucks. I wish I was better at this. I’m better than I was but I’m still in a really shitty spot. Once I get to the point of screaming it is really hard for me to calm down. I scream like that because I feel unsafe, intimidated, and like I don’t matter. It is really hard to get out of that mindset.

I know it isn’t fun for other people that I act like an animal in a trap. Noah can catch the whisper window and say, “Wait… I think you just brought up an issue. Is this a big issue or a little issue? How much should I pay attention to this?”

You know what? I didn’t even fucking realize I did it this way until I noticed Noah’s consistent reaction. He is very good at paying attention to me and noticing, “Ahhhh. If I catch her in this window it is easy. If I wait… it gets bad.” I don’t notice those windows very well. I don’t think I am very important. I don’t think that the first whispered request for someone to please pay attention to _______ is very important because I’m not very important.

Which means I either stop dealing with someone and walk away or I scream and then they don’t want to be my friend any more. Because I’m scary. Because I’m mean.

I’m leaving triggering situations on the trip as fast as I can. I got away from the guy who called me stupid. I have no reason to pursue a relationship with your family now. It would be toxic for me. Nope, there isn’t a second chance on this. There was a very small window during which I could find out if I can get along with your family and now I know y’all ain’t safe. You think I’m stupid and your wife thinks, “He wouldn’t say that.” Ok, I’m moving on.

I had a hard time with my friend’s dad in New Hampshire. I left days before I thought I would because I just can’t deal with being nice on his turf. Not when mild requests are responded to sharply. I’m going to just leave and deal with my body and my children where I don’t need to fucking ask for your permission.

So I feel like I’m improving. I’m not always looking for conflict.

I worry most about my handling of my friend in Ithaca. I was in a bad mental place before I arrived which means I had fewer spoons to give to dealing with him. I had a hard time with aspects of the visit but he wasn’t an asshole. He wasn’t insulting. He wasn’t a problem. He just… has preferences that aren’t mine. That is hard. When I say in a small voice that I think it is a good idea to stay in and cook and you insist on going out… well I will stop arguing because I can’t keep arguing and not turn into a raging bitch. That’s on me. But when I say no more than once…

I feel really sad. I don’t know how to defend my boundaries without behaving in a way that causes people to tell me that I’m a scary bitch. I’m really tired of people ignoring my soft “no” so that I can be told I’m a scary bitch when I say I SAID NO.

There is no way for me to win here. (This friend hasn’t ever called me a bitch. I’m conflating two situations. One current and one in the past. I’m not sure I will ever get over being pulled to the front of the room during a workshop on how to have boundaries as an example of what not to be like. “You don’t have to be like the biggest bitch on the beach when you say no”. Although the friend I was staying with told me repeatedly that I was scary. So it’s kinda triggering and these two events are kinda blurring together.)

I’m not feeling like I am ok.

In Pittsburgh one of my kids said something that was fairly rude to another kid. The other mother (appropriately and civilly) rebuked my kid. I am not upset about the actions of the mother–she was fine. I feel embarrassed and ashamed that my child behaved that way. I feel like it is a demonstration that I am a failure as a parent. I haven’t taught my kids how to be polite.

Noah is good at convincing me that I am not the center of everything and other people (including my children) are probably behaving as they are for reasons of their own and not because of me.  I feel stupid that I need to be reminded of this so often and it really doesn’t stick as a lesson. Thankfully Noah keeps telling me.

Noah acts like being with me is pleasant. Not many people act like that. People tell me that they learn a lot from me. People tell me that I can be interesting or entertaining. But I wear people down. I scare them. I am disruptive and hard to get along with. Noah acts like I’m really an average level of difficult. The longer I travel the more I recognize what this means in my life. I’m tired of being just too much work for everyone.

Noah is patient with dealing with my body issues. I am frequently in overwhelming pain. He is nice to me about it. He doesn’t get impatient. He doesn’t act like I’m inconveniencing him… even when I am. When I was pregnant and so sick he acted like taking care of me was a necessary part of the deal and he wasn’t bitter.

For the whole rest of my life I am going to remember how nice Noah was about handling me when I was pregnant. I am so grateful that I never accidentally got pregnant with all of my slutting around. I have never in my life known another man who would have been as nice to me.

Noah is the only guy I’ve ever been involved with who liked that I was slutty and who didn’t try to control it. I feel completely offended by the many people I dated who thought they should be able to pimp me out when it is amusing to them. Never. Fucking. Tell. Me. I. Should. Fuck. Someone. Because. I. Said. They. Were. Cute. Who I fuck and when is under my control and your input is not welcome or wanted or appropriate.

I mean, I accept limitations better than I accept people telling me I should fuck another person. Never treat me like I am your whore to loan out. Never. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. This is an issue that makes me feel so fucking angry and degraded. How dare you think that you should have ANY input on what I do with my pussy.

My dad told me I should go fuck people. I don’t want to hear it from my friends or lovers.

Noah acts like my boundaries matter. He looks for my boundaries and he remembers them and he acts like they are important.

Noah acts like I am a person. Not a role to fulfill his needs.

I appreciate that Noah talks to me like I am smart. I think he is the man who has treated me like I am the smartest. I know a lot of smart guys. Mostly they think I’m stupid or they will give lip service to thinking I’m smart but in casual conversation it is obvious that they don’t think I’m that bright. Noah honest-to-fucking-Gawd thinks I’m smart. Noah is the only man I talk to on a regular basis who treats me like I might be an actual authority on some topics. Noah has physically watched me do research and no one else ever has. No one else has ever wanted to spend time with me when I’m not focused on them. Noah is ok with me being a complete person. Not every minute has to be focused on him.

Noah wants me to grow and change. He doesn’t want me to stay the same so that I can fulfill his bullshit adolescent fantasies forever. I’m not supposed to remain an immature 23 year old kid forever just obsessed with looking for new sex partners. It is ok with him that I change what I want and how I act. It is so very validating.

Noah encourages me to travel and have adventures. I haven’t met a man on this trip who is so encouraging of their partner. I am grateful I picked the man I picked.

To be fair, he is the one who showed up out of the blue to ask me to marry him–not the other way around. But I was going to ask him to knock me up. He was the best choice. I was so right.

I should… do something other than type.

Gosh I miss you Noah. I’m glad I get to see you in a week. I’m already fucking flipping out that I won’t see you at all in September. I’m a fucking idiot for planning a trip this long. WAAAAAAAAAAA

Reality distortion bubbles

I’m praying I don’t step on toes with this post. I might. I need to figure this out any way.

I’ve had a really hard time since we left Michigan. No, since we left Ohio. Pennsylvania was hard and New York was hard and I had a hard time in New Hampshire.

I think that part of what is happening is that I am running into other peoples reality distortion bubbles and… they live in a world that doesn’t work for me. But when I show up at their house I have to go with the flow. Which means I feel vibratingly uncomfortable and angry and I don’t know how to talk about it as it is happening without shrieking.

Some day soon I will have consistent wireless and I will write a very long post about why I feel so comfortable with Noah. Not today. But it is percolating as I deal with other people. It is both convenient and problematic that Noah can ignore my tone of voice to listen to the meat of what I’m trying to communicate. I can sound like a shrieking harpy and he will say, “I hear that you feel really sad and this is hurting you” and then I can stop shrieking and feel heard and feel validated. I miss you so much.

Other people live in a world where calling people stupid is fine. You have to put up with it. Other people live in a world where their food choices are dictated by what they feel like having right now. I live in a world where I must manage the behavioral abilities of my children. Sometimes they do better than I expect, sometimes when I say, “They are about to lose it” they start flipping out five minutes later. My life is not based on what I feel like doing every minute. I have to respect my limits and the limits of my kids. Other people live in a world where they can say “I don’t approve of people who are/do _____ but I guess you are acceptable.”

I have no desire to be your token exception that proves the rule. Shove it where the sun don’t shine.

Specifically in this case it was, “I don’t approve of home schooling because most people who do it don’t have the education you have. Because you spent so many years in college preparing that it is ok for *you*.”

You know what? I occasionally run into people who home school and think, “Those kids would be better off in school.” About 300 times as often I meet people and think, “That kid would be better off home schooled.”

Yes, there are “unqualified people” home schooling. HAVE YOU ACTUALLY TALKED TO MANY PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS?!!?!??!?!?!?

Many are dumber than fucking rocks.

“Is it possible to make some eggs without onions.” “I am not a short order cook.” “Ok fine. We can leave.”

I’m sorry my bowels have requirements you don’t feel like following. I will go elsewhere to deal with my body so that you don’t have to be inconvenienced.

Onions give me gas. Painful gas that means I spend a long long long time in the bathroom because I’m not sure if I’m going to fart or shit my pants so I can’t just walk around doing stuff.

I ate onions at every other fucking meal here but I’m at the limit of what I can eat without saying something about the problem it is causing me.

But I don’t matter very much.

That’s fine. I can leave. I’ll go somewhere else where my physical needs aren’t inconvenient to other people.

So we are off to Maine today. I never heard back from the home schoolers we know who moved to New Hampshire. I sent a whole bunch of emails. I haven’t heard back in three months. Three months ago they were excited about a visit. Oh well.

I understand that people don’t react to me the way they do because they are trying to be mean to me. They are just living in their own reality distortion bubble.

I feel really guilty about the fact that I never feel comfortable. I feel ashamed. There are always a whole bunch of things that don’t work for me for _____ and _____ and ________ reasons. I don’t know how to deal with that.

Even when I’m doing absolutely everything in my power to be accommodating I’m still told how scary, rude, and inconvenient I am.

No, I really don’t want to sit and watch tv with you. It is not a bonding exercise for me. It shows me that even though we haven’t been in the same room much for years and years… you would rather listen to a tv show you could hear any day (it’s on fucking Netflix) than talk to me.

Ok. I can go.

Just keep walking.

Just keep walking.

Exhaustion is a real thing.

I’ve slept eight hours in a row three nights in a row. I guess this is a good place to sleep. I am still so tired I feel like i’m existing in a mental fog. This isn’t great. There is “so much to do” and I’m not doing it all because I’m too tired.

I go back and forth between castigating myself for not being “more fun” and not playing more and feeling like most mothers tell me flat out they couldn’t do what I’m doing. I am playing. We are doing fun stuff. But I’m also spending a fair bit of time collapsing. I’m so tired I can barely function.

Keep moving.

My friend wanted me to watch tv with them last night. So I paced around packing while the television was on. If I had tried to sit through the whole show I would have passed out. It was funny watching the show. QI? Something like that. A British storytelling quiz show. It was funny because the show had “laugh” prompts and “awww” prompts. They never occurred when I was having a natural reaction. When I laughed I was the only person laughing. When they said to laugh I didn’t think it was funny.

I’m just not built for tv. My friend kept giving me odd looks because I laughed in strange places. Sorry, it struck me as ridiculous…

I’m getting more of that “you are a scary, terrifying person” thing. I’m told I am much more in control than I was ten years ago.

Time to keep walking. I’m scary. It is never that other people have trouble managing their own feelings and that is a problem. The problem is that I’m scary.

What have I done that caused you to feel fear? I raised my voice? I jumped up and down? I was really angry? Did I touch you? No. Did I insult you? No. Did I say I am going to hurt you? No.

But I’m scary. Ok. I’ll keep walking.

My friend and his partner have been wonderful and inviting. They’ve been really sweet with my kids.

It is still time to keep walking. It is fascinating how I want to do these trips in large part because when I get home I relish the fact that I don’t scare my neighbors much. I’m sure they think I’m weird (they said so in my birthday book) but they know I have boundaries (they said that too).

I appreciate being appreciated for my boundaries.

I spend so much time feeling like I am just “too much”. I should “calm down” so that I’m not “scary” for people.

Maybe you being scared isn’t really about me. Maybe I’m just the one standing here but you have these feelings anyway and you want to blame them on me.

Some people are interpreted as more scary than others. It is kind of fascinating how that works. Usually it is people with big feelings who are scary. Want to know what is hilarious? Folks are rarely scared of serial abusers. Serial abusers have massive self control and they only show their problematic side to victims. Every one else sees a “perfect” person they will defend all day long.

I don’t think people who have big feelings are scary. I think they are very honest. Then again, I’m better at managing people who have big feelings. At least I can see what they are feeling instead of trying to guess through the layers of lies most people wear. “Oh I’m fine.” Whatever.

I’m an intense person. I can’t change that and I’m not going to try. I will always scare some people. It’s ok. I can keep walking.

Historically speaking I know that I’m safer if I keep walking. If I stand in one place too long I irritate people and then I must be silenced. For the good of the community, don’tcha’know?

Keep walking. Keep walking.

Ithaca is already easier.

For one thing: the streets don’t scare the shit out of me. For another thing: staying with my friend is really rad. This is the dude I went to Alaska with all those years ago. I went to Alaska with him in 2004. Now I get to spend time with his rad wife too. This is going well. Last night we walked for ice cream.

Today I think we will go to the Sagan Planet Walk and science museum. Tomorrow we will go look at gorges.

Cause Ithaca is gorges. Hahahaha. Ahem.

Also: like magic yesterday I started having normal poop. WHERE DID YOU COME FROM AND WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE YOU STAY WITH ME LONGER?!

I’m having normal poop. Eldest child is constipated. To the point where she is complaining about it hurting. But she resists eating vegetables when they are available. Dude, you are creating your own problem. If you refuse to eat salad don’t bitch when it hurts to poop. Yes, it hurts. Duh. You don’t want to eat roughage.

Another thing that Ithaca has going for it: I can walk from my friend’s house to everything we want to do. Which sounds absolutely wonderful right now.

I think it helps that I have gotten 8 hours of sleep two nights in a row. I think my inconsistent sleep is part of what is making my mood suck so much. I spent the five hour drive yesterday trying not to cry and I’m not entirely sure why.

Pittsburgh was an anxiety fest from hell. I spent that section of the trip with my stomach on fire and trying to pretend I was calm so I didn’t flip out at every one. It was a bad day for me to go to a birthday party at the home of someone whose wife makes me nervous.

She’s one of those “good women”. I don’t usually get along with them. They usually think I’m kind of a dirtbag with no manners. (Accurately.)

Didn’t help that Eldest child had to be spoken to about her manners. Of course that means I’m a bad mother.

FEELINGS THE FUCKING SIZE OF ALASKA.

I feel incompetent, stupid, useless, and worthless. It’s been a bad few days.

I keep messing things up. Apparently the birthday party was on the same day that my buddy wanted me to be at his roller derby game in a different part of Pennsylvania but I didn’t track it very well. So I just missed the roller derby game because I thought it was the next day. Whoops.

Details like this are getting really hard to track. I feel like I am treating people disrespectfully because I’m just barely getting from place to place and I’m not doing a good job of tracking what other people wish were happening. I’m just barely making it.

Most of the people we’ve visited so far wish we were coming a few days earlier or a few days later. So I feel wrong basically all the time.

No, I can’t mesh my schedule around everyone. I just… can’t.

And I’m missing people because I just don’t have the spoons to chase everyone down. My ex-girlfriend never responded to my pings, that makes me sad. I really wanted to see her.

My inside voice is turned up high and doesn’t like me much right now. That is making everything challenging. Having to get up every day and get things done while my inside voice is ranting at the top of its lungs about how I’m stupid and pathetic and I can’t do anything right is hard.

It is really hard getting up every day. Right now I’d like to climb into a hole and not come out for a few weeks.

The kids and I are talking with great longing about how we don’t want to drive at all in December. I’m not sure I will even be up for Christmas decorating. Noah is talking about getting it started for us in November because otherwise I may just be a failure this year.

96 days to go.

I don’t think we will make it to Maine. Maybe a day trip. From here we go to a friend’s house in New Hampshire. (It’s kind of awesome to me that a very high percentage of my “friends” on this trip are folks I slept with many years ago. I’m grateful that didn’t make people leave my life.) New Hampshire to New Jersey to Washington DC. Supposed to see a friend in Virginia but she isn’t answering email. Then Dollywood, then Nashville, then a friend outside Atlanta. From there to Savannah to Orlando.

I’m looking forward to the Disney World stay. I’m glad I didn’t break it up into as many different resorts as I considered.

Maybe we dodged a bullet.

When I was pregnant with Shanna Noah and I seriously considered moving to Pittsburgh. We flew out here in January to visit snow and see if I could maybe stand it because it is so much cheaper. Right now I feel like we dodged a bullet. I don’t think I would have done well here. I’m not sure what all it is, but I think I would wither here.

For one thing, driving around the city is panic attack central. I haven’t had panic attacks in months and months (I can’t remember the last one–but I wrote about it so it was a while ago) and I’ve had two here while driving. That sucks. The roads are super narrow. Sometimes intersections are absolutely terrifying and I’m convinced I’m going to kill everyone. That’s not even an interpersonal thing–that’s just about the lay out of the city.

It is so dark. It is summer time and it is uncomfortably warm… and it is still dark. The buildings obscure the sun.

I have met some nice people. I met an awesome woman I know from Twitter. I know I could find people I would like. It’s not just that the folks I wanted to stay with didn’t work out.

It’s complicated.

I’m glad we get to move on to New York now.

I feel guilty that I haven’t already written long thank you notes to everyone who participated in my birthday present. My mind is blown. 44 letters submitted by people who like/love me. That is very intense. I love you all so much. Thank you. I will be writing to everyone individually.

Holy tomato thank you. Thank you for loving me. I will spend my birthday reading and rereading your letters.

Yes, I choose you. I choose being in your life and I hope I can invite you into mine.

Watching whiteness work.

Tonight I watched something that upset me a lot. We were down at the hotel pool. We were there for a while when another family showed up. Two kids, both looked to be in the 3-4 range.

The daughter looked to be clearly a biological child. The son was clearly of a different race than everyone else present. He was a medium brown.

The daughter taunted the son. The “mother” proceeded to take away the boy’s flotation device and torture him.

I can’t think of another way to describe a mother forcing a little kids head under water while the kid screams “no, please stop mommy.”

The mom said, “Stop yelling you little pussy.”

We left. I don’t know these people and it isn’t an incident that the police would take seriously. I can’t report them to CPS because I don’t know who they are.

The world is such a sad place.

I hope that little boy has someone protect him at some point. I will spend tonight weeping at my helplessness. I feel so useless. He deserves better.

I didn’t intervene because it has been fairly well documented that intervening in situations like that often escalates the problems for the kid. I felt so completely useless.

Whine.

I’m having big feelings. Pittsburgh is not my favorite city so far. Driving here is nerve wracking and scary. The folks we are staying with (camping in their driveway) are not folks I actually know well. I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t like being called stupid.

There is a very big part of me that says that tomorrow when Noah is here he needs to help me pack up camp because I don’t want to be stuck here doing it alone after he is gone because I feel so very uncomfortable.

It isn’t the wife or the kids. They are fine. I’m just… not feeling ok about being on the property of a guy who feels free to tell me I’m stupid this often. It feels like setting myself up to be in another situation where I am going to end up screaming at someone and then I’m the mean nasty bitch.

Literally he called me stupid in the first two minutes of conversing. Then he repeated it again about a different topic in less than two hours.

I’m fucking flipping out.

Hey, white people…

We kinda have a problem in our country. We have major racial segregation and stratification.

That’s a big problem.

In my opinion, if you want to think you are a good person… you have to believe that black lives matter as much as the lives of your children. If you don’t think that then…. yeah. You aren’t that good of a person.

Why?

Because the children born of my body (or yours) are exactly as important as the lives of children born to non-white mothers. And that is why we must scream from the top of our lungs that Black Lives Matter. (Yes, I know that other minority races are killed at rates that need looking into. We need to go after the police.)

Why?

Because that is just how it works. There is no superiority hierarchy. There is no reason to believe that being white is better than being any other race. If you think that people are more deserving of a good education if their parents can pay more money, either through private school tuition or through higher taxes in a “better” school district, you aren’t that good of a person and you need to work on that.

This shit really is that basic.

“Higher property taxes mean better schools” but then later you say that black people earn less money as adults because they are lazy.

Bullshit. They earn less money because people like you, with money, are selfish about it. That fucking sucks.

If we want to have a country where everyone has genuinely equal opportunity to succeed you have to start with the basic premise that the schools in Compton, Detroit, or East Palo Alto should be as good as Beverly Hills High, Hunter in New York, or Los Gatos High School.

Or you aren’t that good of a person. You should work on that.

I’m not saying I hate you for having biases towards your kids/clan. I’m saying you need to work on that. It’s a character flaw. I have tons. I know how much it sucks when they are pointed out to you.

Nevertheless… get busy working on that. I love you. You can do better. We can do better.

We, as white people, make up more than 70% of the country. If we don’t get our heads out of our asses we are going to be on the wrong fucking side of history.

While I’m at it: police violence. Why in the motherfucking hell did a black woman get vaginally searched on the side of the road for marijuana?! Her name is Charnesia Corley. She deserves better from her government. She deserves to get the same therapy for the rest of her life paid for by her government that I got because I was a victim of a violent crime that was sent to court. She was raped by a police officer. On the side of the road. Let me motherfucking tell you. Having someone you do not know, like, trust, or want to be intimate with shove their fingers into your vagina is rape.

Over marijuana. Which is rapidly being legalized around the country.

This situation is insane. This is absolutely around the bend terrorism.

This has to change.

If you aren’t willing to make some noise about this needing to change… then you aren’t being a very good person.

I hear folks regularly try to justify the police killing citizens because “They have a dangerous job.” LOTS OF PEOPLE HAVE DANGEROUS JOBS. THEY DON’T GET TO SHOOT PEOPLE WITH IMPUNITY WHEN THEY GET SCARED.

What a ridiculous, nonsensical, mean-spirited justification. No, not mean-spirited. It is evil.

Yeah. If you defend the American police institution… you are on the wrong side of history. Look into that. The police kill 25 citizens for every 1 of them that die. That means you are ok with your government executing people when they feel scared.

Really? You believe it is ok for government officials who are sworn to serve and protect to execute people when they feel scared?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Whoa.

We have to change this. Seriously.

Offline notes from Michfest–that crummy day

Off-line notes from Michfest

Today is that big feelings day of the month. I’m on day 25 of my cycle. I have approximately 31-ish day cycles. For PMDD they say that the last 5-10 days of your cycle are the worst. Today is hard.

I’m not sure why today is so hard. I dropped the kids off at childcare around 1:30 pm and haven’t been able to stop crying for the last hour. Not sure entirely what I’m sad about. I tried to go hide in the woods to cry until I was done. Then the ants started biting me. Fine. I’ll go back to my tent and type on my computer away from you little assholes. You can have your fucking woods.

So let me say that anything and everything I say about Michfest right this minute is shaped by the fact that I’m already crying and I’m not sure why. I’m a bad mother. I’m a bad person. I should kill myself. I don’t know why.

I think if I had come here 15 years ago when I first heard of it I would have had a very different adult life. I’m not sure what would have happened, but I think it would have been different. I think there would have been a much higher chance that I would not have ended up marrying a man.

I’m not saying that I’m sorry I’m married to Noah. I’m not. I like him very much and I don’t plan to leave him–not even for political lebianism.  But I think if I had come here 15 years ago instead of listening to my friends who said “It isn’t trans-inclusive and going means you hate trans people” I would have had a different life path.

For the record, there is a big camp of people here rallying for trans-inclusion. Yes, there are some TERFs. (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) There are *so many kinds of womyn here*.

I actually had a great conversation this morning with a 72 year old retired school teacher. We talked about the profession and how it has shifted over the past 50 years. She thinks it is smart to keep my kids away from Common Core. Her words: “I haven’t seen such state sanctioned mass abuse of children in all my life.”

To that I say: you obviously don’t live in areas where there are mostly children of color. (She doesn’t. I asked.)

But Common Core even hurts the white kids! Oh man. I feel like that is where it has to get in the conversation before people really see how fucked the topic is. No really, most of public education has been state sanctioned mass abuse of children of color for years. Look at the rates of suspensions and detentions based on race. Look at how teachers discipline *preschool* children of color. We’ve always had state sanctioned mass abuse.

I see a lot of white women here. There is a noticeable section of non-white women, but of course it is nearly 90% white. I have a hard time with how many of the white women “go native” and pick sacred regalia as “cool ethnic” clothes. I know just enough about other cultures to know that if something is meant to be worn by high status people of a certain group to signal their years of training…. it isn’t for me.

I read a neat thing comparing “new age” stuff with Native American spirituality. It certainly had nothing nice to say about folks who want to be called shamans outside of one Native tradition. That’s complicated for me because I had a relationship for a very long time with a white man who really wanted to be a shaman.

I’m having so many feelings.

I’m having tons of conversations with people about trans inclusion and exclusive spaces and race. One person said a couple of gems and I asked for permission to quote her words (she preferred without her name which is totally cool) she said that Michfest is not a utopia–it’s an agreement. It isn’t safe space, it is safe enough space.

Those two sentences have been sitting hard in my belly.

(For one thing… utopias aren’t good things. Go read the book. It’s Not Good Stuff.)

I like the idea of safe enough space. I appreciate that the womyn here have been sharing their experiences through years of coming.

I’m having a hard time with my feelings today. Oh man. I’m cranky that all of the interesting workshops happened first thing this morning and my kids wouldn’t get their shit together so I could go. So I get a day of just kind of sitting here. Woo.

I have to work a night shift in the child care tonight. That makes me want to lose my shit all over people. I am not a good night person. This is going to be horrible. I have to be there till midnight. I didn’t register for shifts early enough and everyone who uses daycare has to work in the daycare. The fact that I normally go to sleep one hour into the only available shift really doesn’t matter. Suck it, bitch.

I’m really feeling nasty towards me today. As I was walking a long a couple of womyn asked me if I was ok. (I’m not that subtle when I’m bawling and I can’t stop.) I just tried to get away from them as fast as possible. Which feels mean too.

The whole time I just kept saying to myself that being a crazy bitch isn’t anyone else’s problem. I am no one’s problem. Just mine. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Crazy. Bitch.

Several womyn who were walking past me took the time to tell me that it isn’t ok for me to say shit in front of my children. Thanks for your feedback.

Meanwhile this other vibrant, wonderful woman is screaming mother fucker from the stage. Hallelujah.

There is a decided old dyke vibe. My kids regularly jerk on my arm and whisper to me, “I thought there were only womyn here and I see a man.”

No honey. You see a womyn. Womyn come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. They dress in a lot of ways. Womyn aren’t just one kind of creature. All these people you see? They’re womyn.

And yes, there are transwomyn on The Land. Apparently for 15 years now. Rock. Fuckin’ On.

I hear that this community has had major growing pains over the past 40 years. Apparently in the early years black womyn were regularly harassed for possibly being men. The organizers grew to understand that WOC deserved a separate safe area. Then the BDSM folks caused a big uproar. They have their own space now. I uhhh accidentally walked through it on the first day when I had the kids. Whoops. Luckily we were there during the day and folks hadn’t really gotten going yet.

There are over 300 kids here this year. I hear that before there were so many children it was an all chick all the time orgy. I’m sad I missed that.

I can’t help but think, as I listen to all the beautiful old lesbians share their tales, that the problem isn’t trans-inclusion. The problem is: how much can a particular human being adapt/evolve?

I get the impression that Lisa Vogel, the woman who runs this event (Disclaimer: haven’t met her) is just tired. She can’t up and reinvent herself anew anymore. She’s getting older and she’s tired. Maybe it is time for someone else to start something else.

I’m sad that this event is just ending. The first few days we were here were pretty magical for me. I don’t usually feel like I belong places. I had a little of that for a few days.

No really, they want *all* womyn here who were born with a cunt. They don’t care if you are hetero, queer, or lesbian. They don’t care if you are femme or butch. They have safe space for all kinds of marginalized demographics (recovery, Deaf, disabled women) but… not a separate safe space for trans-folk. There are quite a few transmen joyfully welcomed because they’ve been coming since before transition.

I honestly have squiggly feelings about that. Transwomyn aren’t fully welcomed but people who have eschewed being a woman to become a man are allowed? WTF?

That’s a kind of biological essentialism that I just can’t cope with. My pussy is not the defining part of my life.

But you know what? There are a very high number of very butch womyn there. I bet they hesitate to put a cap on that end of the spectrum of acceptability. If you were born with a pussy you count.

We spent last night introducing a nice Australian family to s’mores. That was awesome.

I’m not still weeping. I don’t know why I was weeping beyond the usual: I suck and I don’t deserve to steal oxygen from worthy people. Whatever.

Today is warm. We had a brief sprinkling of rain. It is very grey and I bet it will rain more later.

Last night taking a shower was cool. They have outdoor showers. Six heads on a frame that looks like a swing set. Lots of nekkid womyn just hanging out doing what they need to do for their bodies.

I am so glad my kids are getting to see this diversity. Several older womyn have asked me if the nudity is troublesome for my kids. Nope. We think it is great.

One nekkid womyn saw us bundled up and she said, “Oh no! Am I wearing too few clothes?” I said, “You’re perfect.” Eldest child said, “Oh no! It’s totally legal for you to be naked at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Rock on!”

The womyn laughed. Turns out she lives much more rurally than this in somewhere colder than this and she spends most of her life naked. I said, “We are from a mediterranean climate. This feels brutal.”

Last night when we were showering we found the Santa Cruz crowd (of course) and it was funny that I was the least cold person. I’ve rarely had that experience.

I find it fascinating that very few womyn wear makeup but the ones who do wear FULL FACE. It’s a costume not about looking natural. I love that most of the womyn wear brightly colored saggy, baggy, not stylish clothes. That is so awesome. My people!