Discontent

Since I like to record the ups and downs. I’m feeling very discontent. Pissy and dissatisfied. I could list lots of little things that are bugging me, but none of them are big or important. I just feel… meh. Whiny.

I was doing some research on black mold. I probably shouldn’t put off the bathroom remodel for several more years. We wheeze and cough and have terrible sinus issues all winter every winter. Given the amount of black mold I can see around the edges of my bathtub the internet says oh shit that’s a big problem because it is probably in your floor boards. Apparently just a bit all around the edges is a bad sign. Being able to see more of it would be reassuring. Instead it is where I can’t treat it.

I’m feeling a lot of feelings of freak-out over that. I wanted to wait until the mortgage is done. I feel like I’m bad and bad and bad for even thinking about remodeling before the mortgage is done. But we have been going to see doctors about allergies or illness or what have you for years now. I should treat a problem in my house that would cause all of our symptoms. I’ve spent years concerned that Calli is maybe bordering on asthmatic. Apparently black mold in the house will trigger all the symptoms and eventually cause asthma if left untreated. Shit. Shit. Shit.

I don’t have the cash to just do it this second. Well, I do. But it would go a long way towards wiping out my reserves and that scares me so bad.

Noah is due to get a bonus in January. That money would probably be enough. But I really wanted to put it on the mortgage. I feel whiny and obnoxious.

I’m scared of the mortgage in a way I can’t describe. I am so afraid of debt.

In good news I hung up the punching bag and I’ve been hitting it a lot. I’m sure this is good for me.

I’m having a super hard time with the kids. They keep asking for classes. They want to go to classes. No, that’s not accurate. They want me to pay for classes. Once the class is paid for… going isn’t such a priority. They fight me like mad. I’m so sick and tired of arguing with them to get ready for classes. I’m just about ready for a break. Seriously, if it takes me almost an hour to beg you to get dressed for an hour long class…. this isn’t working for me. Gymnatics, ballet, ice skating, swimming… all of them require changing clothes. This has been a series of big fights and I’m worn out. I’m taking a break from classes. If you wanted to fucking go you wouldn’t make my life so shitty. I’m tired of bodily dragging people to classes I don’t care if they attend. Once it is paid for I think you are committed for a month or three (however long the class runs). This is because I won’t sign up for year long programs.

They are asking to sign up for a bunch of things. I think I’m saying no for a while. I am getting to the point of rage every time I have to try and talk them into getting dressed. This is miserable. YOU REMEMBER HOW LAST WEEK YOU WALKED OUT OF ICE SKATING SHIVERING AND CRYING AND TELLING ME IT WAS ALL MY FAULT THAT YOU WERE TOO COLD?!?!?!?!  PUT SOME FUCKING PANTS ON!!!!!!

I don’t want to do this. I really don’t. This sucks.

I keep coming back to this feeling that I “have” to facilitate them going to these classes–after all, I’m home schooling! I must enroll them in classes!

No. No I don’t fucking have to. This is not a motherfucking all the time requirement. As soon as they are able to get ready without being mean to me I’ll sign them right the fuck up. Right now I’m burned out and angry.

The kids asked me to set up a school board for them. We were at Joanne’s and talking about teacher bulletin boards because there was a display of calendar/season options and things. (And we went to a friends house and she has a decked out home schooling room and my kids were expressing how lame I am in comparison. Darn skippy. I’ll spend $3 at Joanne’s on a kit but I don’t know how she had the patience to make all of it by hand. Yup I’m lame. I can live with that.) So they FUCKING ASKED me to do this. I said, “Ok we will need some cork board for that.”

It ended up being four trips to stores and $75 because multiple times the kids broke the cork board to bits before I could put it up on the wall. I mean they broke the cork board completely beyond being usable within two hours of it being in the house.

I cried. I absolutely lost it sobbing. The first trip to the store was frustrating and not their fault. That store didn’t have what I wanted. The second trip involved lots of fighting with Calli and only getting one roll and her breaking it within half an hour of it getting home. The third time was a fruitless journey for appropriate double sided tape. The fourth time I went alone and got three rolls and… Shanna broke one an hour after I got home. She thought it would be fun to jump up and down on top of it. That was when I lost it sobbing.

It’s not that it is that much money. It’s not that cork board is that important. It is that they asked me to do something for them then they actively blocked me and made it hard or impossible and … I’m not supposed to get mad. I’m supposed to respond with a loving gesture and smile.

Fuck that fucking noise.

We do now have cork on the wall that I installed within minutes of getting home within materials. But I feel so angry.

I’m not doing fun stuff with them at home because I’m bitter and pissy about how they are treating me about class stuff and facilitating school stuff. This is not a good situation. I’m saving up my spoons for “dealing with” getting them ready for classes. So I haven’t been reading out loud as much. I play fewer games.

This is a negative cycle. As I pull back they get more annoying. Shanna and I had an explicit conversation yesterday about how she will never get as much attention from me again as she used to get. She was a baby and now she isn’t. I told her that if she is mean to me because I do other things some times… that’s not going to go well.

I am trying to save spoons, right? I should pay attention to where I am bleeding out. Classes have been miserable for a while. None of this is “mandatory”. We are very physically active people. We don’t have to be enrolled in a PE class in order to prove that we are being physical enough. And boy howdy am I not up for trying to encourage Shanna to practice a musical instrument in between lessons. Oh that sounds unpleasant.

This is why I need the other blog already. Get moving, Krissy! Well, I think today will be a good day for pictures so we shall see. I’m making progress. I have babysitting today. I want to finish editing the book and work on the website. I will see how far I get.

I’m terrified waiting till 10am. I pray this guy shows up. I’m not going to do well with a disappointment today. People are all doing their best. When they can’t live up to my expectations that is my problem. Sometimes it really hurts. I took a risk. A risk I… feel mixed about taking. Money is sucktastic.

But I wouldn’t be alive if strangers hadn’t taken pity on me. You have to pay it forward. Even though sometimes you get burned. You can only be happy about your actions if you have actions.

We are going to stay home more so that I can have patience. So we can do more projects at home. Right now we aren’t getting through as many house projects because we are home long enough to drop a mess and leave. I don’t let the kids work on projects when there is already a big mess. It gets too hard to clean up.

If we want to have a winter garden this is the time to put it in. Stay home. Dig in the dirt. It’ll work out in the end. If they wanted to learn these things they probably wouldn’t resist so hard.

Shanna sits down to spend hours drawing horses. She does that without prompting or assistance or fighting. Maybe that’s a good thing for her to do more. I don’t like fighting her. I don’t like fighting her to get dressed and I don’t like being screamed at when she ignores my advice. I’m really tired of getting screamed at. No. It is not my fucking fault that you went ice skating in shorts. I begged for an hour.

I…

Parenting is like a box of chocolates. Lately I’ve been getting these nasty coconut fuckers.

Users Guide (NSFW)

Pam asked me to post this because she has never seen it. Things have changed a lot since I last updated this in 2006.

Here it is… still seven fucking pages. (I modified basically every section. Most of them extensively.)

It has been more than a year and so of course I have changed a bit. I have also decided to revamp the format of the users guide somewhat; I think that means it is officially version 2. J

A couple of years ago I copied the idea of a users guide from my friend because I know that I am difficult to figure out when it comes to sex sometimes. I’m picky and fussy and just generally demanding. Therefore it seems like a lovely idea to have some sort of cheat sheet about how to handle me in general. Some of these things I have figured out on my own, some of these things I have had pointed out to me by friends and/or lovers, some of these things are constantly in flux and will no longer be true in just a few months. Of course this is a living document and therefore subject to change and revision without notice. Just because something is in here doesn’t mean you should assume that for now and all times this is the only thing I like/want/don’t like etc.

Index:
A. Before sex (including courtship/getting to know one another)
1. Just meeting and assumptions.
2. Appearance stuff and attraction.
a. Hair
b. Weight/height
c. Gender
d. Cocks
e. Race
f. Oral Hygiene
3. STIs/safer sex
4. Foreplay
a. Breasts
b. Ways to turn me on
B. During sex (including bdsm play)
1. Oral sex
2. Positions
3. Vibrators
4. Bondage
5. Group Sex
6. D/s
7. Pain
8. Care of the delicate bits
C. After sex. (including relationship level interactions)

A. Before Sex
1. Just getting acquainted
Never assume that you are going to get to go to bed with me. Yes, I go to bed with quite a few people—that doesn’t mean I will choose you. I expect and require that people treat me as an equal, and more importantly as an intelligent, thoughtful, responsible human being until otherwise negotiated. Please don’t act like I ought to be honored to teach you whatever it is you want to know about play/sex/whatever. I already have the honor of teaching many people every day and you are not one of those people.
2. Appearance stuff and attraction
a. Hair
Once upon a time I said that I prefer clean shaven men, but that has radically changed during my adulthood. My opinion now varies tremendously based on personal attitude, grooming standards, and just plain what suits each face. As for the hair on other peoples heads: overall I prefer short hair on men and longer hair on women. However, there have been many exceptions on both genders. If it is long you really ought to take care of it. Dandruff bugs me. Hair that looks/smells dirty bugs me. I have started having more of an appreciation for body hair. At this point it strikes me as highly masculine and that is sexy. Pubic hair doesn’t affect me one way or the other. I wish I could keep myself shaved, but ingrown hairs seem to make that unlikely.
b. Weight/height
Once upon a time I was heavy. It has been several years though and it was only for a brief period and it has become less important to me over time that my identity includes the specific information that I have “lost a lot of weight.” I am still incredibly sensitive to any hint of idea that someone believes I am fat. I find it incredibly offensive and damaging. If I ever feel like someone is interested in me because I am small enough to be “acceptable” I may not be interested in them. I prefer partners who are average/curvy to fairly heavy. Skinny boys don’t do it for me and a woman has to be damn interesting intellectually before I will overlook being able to count her ribs. That being said: I have had numerous experiences recently that have smacked me in the face with how wrong it is to judge anyone based on size. I am working on appreciating people more just for whom they are rather than focusing on some arbitrary thing they may not be able to change. I am generally not attracted to people whom are immobilized by their weight because they can’t do most of the things I enjoy doing. Size stuff overall–I generally prefer men who are three or more inches taller than me. I am really turned on by feeling smaller than someone, particularly male someone’s. I like feeling delicate and like someone can toss me around; given that I’m not a small girl this means that someone needs to be fairly large to treat me this way. If I feel like I can stomp you into the ground, you aren’t going to hit my submissive buttons. I like women of all heights and sizes.
c. Gender
If you haven’t picked up on the fact that I am bisexual then you haven’t been reading this. I list gender in this section only because I feel the need to point out that I have difficulty in being attracted to people who do not register as having a gender. Androgynous people just don’t seem to register as sexual beings for me. I also don’t tend to be attracted to feminine men. I do however like women whom are butch as well as women whom are femme.
d. Cocks (What the hell—since I am listing my preferences…)
Everyone should remember that the vagina is all about potential space. Yes, it can technically stretch, but in a normal resting spot it isn’t particularly large. My body doesn’t stretch terribly well or willingly so I am not a fan of overly large cocks. Period. If it is going to cause my jaw to be sore within five minutes of oral sex I will probably experience a lot of pain during sex and that isn’t good for me. I am so not a size queen.
e. Race
My most significant pool of experience is within my general mutt/white type of background but I am open to new experiences. :)
f. Oral Hygiene
YES. Bad breath/teeth that look unclean is really really really repellent to me. I generally won’t kiss someone with bad breath. I will elect not to even if you are a nice person. Just no. I have a general preference for good teeth, but I don’t have perfect teeth and I generally like people more for the sum of their personhood rather than for any specific thing. I have little or no interest in kissing a smoker.
3. STIs/safer sex
The first thing that ought to happen in foreplay is a discussion of STI’s and safer sex expectations. I get tested every three-four months depending on my ability to be brilliant enough to schedule the exams. (I prefer every three, but I get lazy. Oops.) I will ask many questions about someone’s STI status if I am going to have sex with them. If they have not had an exam within the last six months: why not? I no longer have a chip on my shoulder about this though. I know many people who have just not had any risk in a very long time and I tend to not freak out about this anymore. I still believe in condom usage for penetration, though I am more flexible about uncovered contact. If you have not engaged in anything that sounds like it was potentially risky since your last STI screening I will probably be ok with uncovered oral. This does vary though.
I am a big proponent of the idea that we are having “safer” sex. The only safe sex is with your hand. There is risk involved in the play I do and I acknowledge it and try to minimize it. I do not have a desire to play with people who are in denial about said risk.
I believe that digital sex (hand jobs) are fine in either direction if there are no cuts or abrasions on the hand. If I stop you during petting through clothing and look at your hand, that is probably why. I surreptitiously look at peoples hands all the time, so you may not notice me doing it.
I have HPV. I am very very very upfront with this information. I am happy to provide you with access to information. You are an adult and you make your own decisions based on how much of a risk you are willing to take. Given the prevalence of HPV I think it isn’t that big of a deal, but I don’t have to live in your body for the next umpteen years and you do. I never want someone to regret having been intimate with me and I will defer to the stricter preference for barriers. I have tested clean for a year and a half now. But the virus is still there. I also test positive for HSV1, commonly known as oral herpes. I remember having cold sores as a child so I realized in retrospect that yes, I knew that I had it. However I have not had a sore since childhood and I have been told that I am an exceptionally low risk. Everyone gets to make their own decisions though.
4. Foreplay
a. Breasts
My breasts, in general, are more sensitive than my nipples. It is a strange thing, I know. My nipples don’t particularly appreciate gentle sucking. I will look down on you wondering what you are doing cause I feel…something…sorta… but it isn’t overly pleasurable. Squeezing my breasts randomly is rather annoying to me. If it gives you a big thrill I can sit there and take it, but I won’t be getting any sort of sexual stimulation from it and I will probably get really annoyed after a very short period of time. Hurting my breasts/nipples is another story. Start slow with the pain as you see what my body will handle on a given day, but please… push… :) I will eventually either ask you to slow down or you will hit the limit of how much screaming you want to hear. Either way to indicate a maximum level of pain is ok with me. I am not terribly into having my nipples bitten. It is a sharp, overwhelming sort of pain that I have trouble processing and I just don’t enjoy it very much. I will generally tolerate it while someone wants to do it though. Please just don’t think that I am enjoying it bunches. (I need to get better about talking about this one while it is happening.)
I love playing with breasts/tits. I have a tendency to be overly rough, given my own preferences it isn’t a big shock. If I’m hurting you too much ask me to slow down. I can be gentle; it just isn’t my most natural tendency. I’m really focused on women’s breasts. I like them a lot. I like nipples on both genders. I like licking them and biting them. It makes me happy. If this doesn’t work for you, let me know and I will shift focus.
b. Ways to turn me on
First and foremost: talk to me. Tell me how hot you think I am. Tell me what you want to do to me. Tell me what you are doing while you are doing it. Just hearing you narrate how wet I am when you slide your finger into my cunt will increase the quantity of wetness. Read me porn. Have me read you porn. My brain is the most potent sexual organ in my body. Pay attention to it.
Stroke my legs, particularly behind my knees. It is very easy to turn me on when I am lying on my stomach and my legs are stroked lightly. This is by far the most sensuous activity for me. I love having my neck and head stroked gently.
Biting isn’t very sexy for me most of the time. It is usually far too hard for me, though if it is gently enough I love it.
Tell me how to please you. I love having someone tell me how to get them off—it will usually be enough to get me off.
B. During Sex
1. Oral sex
I like giving blowjobs. A lot a lot a lot. I like them the most if there is some degree of being “forced” involved. I’m not talking about serious forcing, but pushing my head down on your cock is going to get me all wet. Telling me to suck your cock will get me all wet. Asking me politely if I would mind will probably cause me to lose interest in giving you oral sex. If I do it at all it will be a lackluster job and I dislike performing poorly. OH! These suggestions apply to people I have already had sex with. If I have not had sex with you, you bloody well need to ask. For those of you who have already had sex with me, guiding my head down slowly is giving me plenty of time to say, “Not today.”
For the record: if I have given you a blow job I consider you one of my sexual partners. None of this “oral sex doesn’t count as sex” crap. Don’t bloody ever tell me that we haven’t really had sex. You have fucked my body and probably (hopefully) come inside me. We have had sex. Sure, it was a different hole. Whoopie. It was still penetrative sex. Don’t worry about asking me if it is ok to come in my mouth. If I like you enough to let your dick in my mouth, I’m happy to have you come. I do prefer being told when it is happening so I can synch my breathing, but it is just a preference. :) I do have a strong gag reflex and if I seriously fight to bring my head back after you have forcibly shoved my head down on your cock… let me go. I may be on my way to run to the bathroom and vomit. It has happened. It will probably happen again. I’m ok with this. Please don’t let the possibility of this happening prevent you from fucking my mouth with enthusiasm. It is great for me. This being said, I’m not terribly thrilled with having a relationship centered solely around me giving blow jobs. I will eventually feel kind of used.
Going down on girls is a little different for me for some reason. I have to like a girl more than I have to like a guy before I will go down on them. It is a strange sort of thing, but it exists nonetheless and I’m honest with myself about it. ~I have gotten more into giving head to women lately. I am more likely to negotiate it earlier than I have been in the past few years. STI conversations are more serious because I strongly dislike dental dams and I therefore encourage everyone who thinks they might like to have sex with me to GET TESTED EVERY THREE MONTHS!! Also: When you go in to be tested you have to ask for a Herpes test. Most people don’t realize that it isn’t standard. Please do ask. I play with people who have Herpes, but I believe it is important to know.
2. Positions
From behind while I’m on my hands and knees (I dislike actually referring to it as “doggy style” unless we are doing a verbal role play. However, if you want me to be your bitch… that can be negotiated.); knees down, ass up, face and chest buried in a pillow/the bed. This is probably my very favorite favorite favorite; lying on my side with one leg between the leg of my partner and the other leg up in the air generally held against the chest; missionary; if I get picked up and moved around…. *swoon*; anything that rubs really hard on my g-spot is good stuff for me. Mine seems to be even more sensitive than usual.
Anal sex. Yes. Please. More. Start gently, work me into slowly… then fuck me hard and tell me just what a little slut I am. God I love this.
3. Vibrators
I am somewhat fond of using them when I’m alone, but I have a strange thing about using them in front of anyone else. It functions as humiliation play for me. If that is the goal, then that can be dealt with. If that isn’t the goal, be prepared for me to be somewhat uncomfortable. Also, vibrator orgasms feel very different for me than orgasms during sex. I like them, but just know this…
4. Bondage
If I need to tell you that I like bondage you haven’t been paying attention whatsoever. I like very constricting stuff around my chest. This is my favorite way to basically do breath play. Major constriction stuff is good for me. I can’t hold my arms behind my back for terribly long and my elbows get wanky at time. I like lots of different materials. Hog-ties are incredibly sexy to me; something about the position feels extremely delicious to me. Recently several people have said, “Oh you can teach me how to tie you up!” and there is an extensive post about this swimming around in my brain. I just haven’t figured out how I want to address it yet.
5. Group sex
Why yes, I would love to engage in group sex. Thank you for asking. I am picky about the group, but given where I have been spending my time and energy it seems to be ok to suggest it at pretty much any time. I will bow out if it isn’t working for me.
6. D/s
One of my biggest motivators in sex or play is D/s from the bottom side. Serving, being used, etc. is what turns me. Once upon a time I stated vociferously that I do not believe I can have a long term relationship that is egalitarian. I have since grown up and been smacked down a bit more and I am reevaluating that statement. I don’t know if I can do a primary relationship that is entirely egalitarian forever, but I am no longer adamantly opposed to trying provided that there is some play in the relationship. Also, relationships need to grow and form before there is enough trust for D/s. I have learned the hard way that saying from the get-go “I want there to be D/s structure” only leads to some serious problems because the trust doesn’t exist. This means that relationships have to start out at least mostly egalitarian… which leads to some conflict between what I want long term and what I want short term. I am such a pain in the ass.
Submissive men don’t turn me on at all. I can get some cerebral thrill out of being a nasty sadistic bitch, but I don’t want to control men. I can enjoy being dominant with women, but even that isn’t much of a sexual stimulus for me. It is a hard-wired thing.
Big Deal: I am not punished. I am not ever ever ever ever ever ever a bad girl. It isn’t ok with me. If you call me a bad girl during a scene, during sex, whenever I am likely to just start crying and that is the end of things. I will be extremely upset and I won’t get over it terribly quickly. It is one of the biggest deals about being involved with me. Major hot button, please don’t mess this one up. I am a nice, sweet, considerate little slutty girl and you think I am just great for being the way I am. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.
I have lots of schtuff in my background that is very unpleasant. I talk about any/all of it rather openly and freely. If you ever have any questions about something please feel free to ask me. I will answer it as openly and honestly as I possibly can. I have more hot buttons than I can delineate in any users manual but I deal with them all pretty well on my own and I don’t expect anyone to pussy foot around me and my schtuff. If I get upset I will try to deal with it on my own or ask for the help I need. I’m not interested in a white knight. My shit is my shit. Let me have it all by myself. That being said, curling up on a lap and crying once in a while just because I need to cry is exactly what the doctor ordered. Pat me on the head and say, “There there.” I’ll be good to go in time.
I have come to the conclusion that I am not ok with needing to be circumspect about my relationships. If I can’t talk about the people that I’m dating/interested in… I can’t be involved with them. I can’t do secrets. It is not something I’m ok with. I have heard the term, “living a transparent life” and I like it. Everyone is allowed to have their personal preferences for how I treat you directly—such as not wanting me to be terribly clingy in group situations—but I need to be able to hold your hand and talk about you. I have been trying really hard to “respect people’s privacy” and I end up feeling like I’m hiding stuff about myself and I’m done with feeling this way.
7. Pain
I already addressed bondage, so how about pain… I like pain in somewhat specific ways. Years of experimentation has taught me that I have extraordinarily sensitive skin. Anything that impacts a large amount of surface area of skin is going to be very difficult for me to process. For this reason I love single tails and canes. Also, I have a lot of lower back issues so a great deal of impact play doesn’t work for me. Floggers basically don’t work for me. It is almost impossible for a flogger to be used in such a way as to not cause me inadvertent unhappy pain. I like cutting and I am more interested in needles than I am going to admit out loud. I LOVE thuddy spankings when someone cups their hand and goes for my sweet spot… Flat handed all over the place spankings suck.
8. Care of the delicate bits
Due to some of the stuff that happened when I was very young I have a whole lot of scar tissue throughout my vagina/labia/anus. Scar tissue is like a dotted line in the skin that means, “Please tear here.” Despite my very strong desire for rough, and rougher, and rougher sex… I can’t actually handle all that I would like to handle. (Damnit.) Don’t pull roughly on my labia. Don’t pull my ass cheeks apart with any speed or force. Just DON’T. I will tear open and it will hurt and hurt and that will mostly curtail sex for hours if not days. It sucks ass and so I try to avoid massive tearing. Gentle handling of the girly bits is important.
C. After Sex
I am not the easiest person to get along with; I am not the hardest either. I am mercurial and fussy about most things. Yes, I am a control freak. I have come to the conclusion that I am best suited to space cadets who are not very sensitive but whom are willing to pander to my moodiness. If someone doesn’t pay super close attention to me I am less likely to wear them out. I need a lot of attention and time spent on me. Right now I am making that impossible by not being available partly as a self-defense mechanism. If I am not available then I am not feeling like I am just sitting at home alone.
I want someone to spend the night after we have sex. I want someone to pull me close for snuggling and stroke my hair. Being generally soothing is good. I need a lot of reassurance in general.
I run hot and cold with how close I want to be to people. If you let me come and go as I please without being clingy I am far more likely to come back. I know this is a lot to ask of anyone though. Date number five seems to be the magic number. Not very many people make it to date five. If you do, you are likely to last for a while. If you don’t—I still want to be friends!

So much happens

When I’m not posting. I still haven’t successfully found additional baby-sitting. I’m trying. I either helped out our nice handyman or I got screwed by a con artist. I’ll find out next week. The wait as I find out is excruciating.

Shanna is now in size 7 and Calli is wearing size 6. Holy toledo. Calli turns 4 in another week and a half. Shanna is 6 1/4. I think Calli will be taller in the long run.

Stuff brewing with my shrink. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to keep seeing her. Festivity. This isn’t *about me* but it involves me and there might be fall out and fuss. It’s not my fault there are sometimes consequences for talking about clients in ways you shouldn’t. Not my story to tell.

We went to a party for one of Noah’s oldest friends last night. Ran into his ex who has become a good friend. (That lot went to college together.) I feel kind of funny that I still identify this nice lady as Noah’s ex-girlfriend. She’s married and has three kids. Why is that relationship from her past so important? Because it still defines how she came into my life. She is someone who can understand why Noah (the most important grown up in my life) is so lovable. That makes her different. She is going to share some of my innate biases, surely. There must be a kinship there. Ok, so she decided she didn’t want to marry him–that’s great for me! But there is still an ability to appreciate that not everyone has. Noah, much like me, is not always an easy person to like. People who are capable of liking us more than average are to be treasured.

Now everyone in the crowd has kids. Lots of kids. Our kids were the oldest in the pack and the current youngest is 4 months old with a pregnant woman due in December and several parents of onlies talking about when to start trying for new babies. Whoa. The crowd switched from non-breeders to ALL PARENTS ALL THE TIME really fast. We talked a lot about sleep deprivation. (Including the very hot guy I almost nailed right before we shut things down for the breeding period. Deep sigh. He’s still very cute. He seems kind of overwhelmed by parenthood. Heh. He’ll adjust.)

In some crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s weird and people are kind of rude. In other crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s interesting and they would love to hear why I make such choices. They aren’t necessarily going to be moved to change their own decisions, but it is interesting to hear about other peoples lives. Guess which kind of crowd I like hanging out with more? Last night was definitely of the, “I don’t understand but I’m curious” blend. It felt so nice. I’ve been feeling really defensive.

I DON’T THINK EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD HOME SCHOOL. IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE. When I talk about home schooling I am NOT TRYING TO RECRUIT. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT HOW YOU RAISE YOUR KIDS. (I mean, if you live within five miles of me I might half-heartedly hint that it would be cool if you home schooled because, hey–resources! Otherwise I truly don’t care because I won’t be driving to your house to hang out a lot anyway.)

I don’t think home schooling is THE BEST or THE ONLY way of raising kids. It is just the way that works best for my family for a lot of reasons that don’t necessarily apply to other people.

Tell me about this preschool your kid is in. You seem to be excited about the process. Lots of it sounds fun. I’m totally enthusiastic about you doing this. Put your kid in preschool and work. That’s important. Truly. I’m not criticizing. 

I think my daughters need to see that women work too. Not all women live like me. Their Godmama is starting medical school right now. The kids are looking at the pictures and thinking, “Yeah. I could do that. I can be like Aunt Kitten.” Their lives aren’t going to look like mine. (Not because mine is shitty–they have different interests.) My kids will probably be working parents if they have kids. I’m really grateful we know so many kick ass women who are modeling how to make that work.

Even if my kids argue when they are visiting, they still speak well of all the working moms in our lives. “Why can’t you be a nice mom like _____?” “Because you were not blessed in this lifetime. Let’s move on.”

Oh man. Since I borrowed my friend’s stick shift I have been itching to drive again. I hate automatics. I don’t feel like I’m driving. I’m steering at best. I want to drive. Oh man she had a fun car. I keep finding my hand going to the stick shift. Then I sigh and let my hand drop. Nothing to do in my stupid boring mini van. Deep sigh. The memory of a fun, zippy blue car keeps me smiling.

I am not being good about training for the 10k. I wonder if I will get more serious as I get closer to the half marathon or full marathon. (Next half marathon: 14 weeks. Next full marathon: 7 months.)

Sometimes I’m supposed to run 3 miles on two consecutive days. Some weeks I’m in a mood so I run 6 miles one day and nothing the other day. I’m not sure how useful that is. I feel like a sick, sick puppy because I’m really looking forward to the long training runs again.

I still remember the first time I ran 18 miles. The marathon was hard and shitty and I felt like crap. The first time I ran 18 miles I felt like a God. I felt so strong and capable and competent. I strutted when I walked for days. I CAN RUN EIGHTEEN FUCKING MILES MOTHERFUCKER! 26 was brutal in comparison. I’d like to get to the point of 26 miles feeling how 18 miles felt. An extra 8 miles is really rough. I don’t want it to be so rough.

My “goals”: 10k in 75 minutes. I’m running with a friend who is still working up. (She’s doing great!) Half marathon in 2:40. Full marathon better than 6 hours. That’s 46 minutes faster than my first marathon. It shaves almost 2 minutes off each mile meaning I will have to maintain faster than 15 min/mile. Doesn’t sound that hard. Ha. Piss off. You do it if it isn’t that hard. It’ll be hard. Very hard. But I can do it.

Lately my short runs are 13:30 minutes/mile or faster. I really want my short runs to be faster than 12 min/mile. I can’t shake this feeling that at some point in my life it will be necessary for me to run or I will die. It’s a horrible feeling but it puts some pep in my step.

I have already been a hunted animal. I do not have so much hubris as to believe it will never happen again.

I want to travel. I am white and a woman. There are going to be people who don’t like me on sight. Then you combine that with the fact that I rarely shut my fucking mouth. It doesn’t seem like paranoia. It seems like basic caution.

I am now officially in the database of potential speakers for RAINN (rape and incest national network), which I have mixed feelings about. But I’ll put my hat in the ring anyway. If they get a request for my area I will hear about it.

I still haven’t turned up a picture of me alone from within the last two years I can send in for the interview. Whinge.

I am making progress on back-stage stuff for the blog. I not show you now. Neiner. (That grammar error was on purpose.)

Sometimes I feel overwhelming anxiety because I’m redesigning my website. The number of things I teach myself to do is kind of crazy. Yes, lots of other people have already taught themselves this skill. I’ve been a serious asshole about resisting picking up computer skills over more than a decade.

I use word and a web browser and not much else! Damnit!! Only now it is becoming handy to know all this back end stuff. Shoot me now.

I have quite a few things I’m working on right now. I’m trying to put together a book of pictures of our house. I’m trying to figure out how to organize them. We are going to visit a lot of relatives who will never make it to our house. I’m a vain bastard and I like my house a lot. I want to be able to show the great grandmother what I’m doing and she will never travel again due to age.

I didn’t ever anticipate growing up to be an artist. I was pretty spiteful and nasty about the whole concept of art for most of my life. (That is what comes of having art teachers tell you that you are stupid for many years for not following their directions more carefully.) I’m big on shooting myself in the foot.

Hardly anyone gets to grow up how my kids do. They live in a weird little house where they get to ask for paintings on the wall (they help more by the year). Just about everything they can reach is kid friendly and they are allowed to grab at will. (They are tall so now there are a few things they just have to respectfully not touch.) They get to decide how they want to spend their time. They have only a few outside schedule impositions.

I’m pretty jealous of my kids. I didn’t have anything like this. But I get it now. I try to let that be enough. I think I’m nice to them even though I feel jealousy. I’m glad they are here as an excuse so I can live this way. I have to be grateful for that. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do all this without kids. I’m really happy I get to live here doing this. I’m having a lot of fun.

I won’t know for decades if I did the right thing or not. That’s rather annoying. (And that is why no one should write parenting books while their kids are under five. I’m JUST SAYIN’.)

I think it is funny how my mental picture of my reading audience changes over time. I see how many page hits I get. I can tell when a new/random person shows up. (A lot of reading old entries, maybe following a tag for several entries.) Over time people volunteer “I haven’t been reading lately” or “Your blog is too much for me” or “Wow. You write a lot. It’s…. something. To read. Ahem.”

Hi. Thanks for slogging? I know it is random. Thus my desire to somewhat split the blog out pouring into more manageable for other people chunks. Maybe it will get easier. We’ll see!

I wonder too much about what other people think of me. I hope that I surprise people. I hope that they had dire predictions and then… I just… do better than they expected. I’ve been told over and over that people thought I would crash and burn. When I keep turning up at parties people are surprised. “You aren’t dead!” Not yet. More and more I hope I make it to a “natural” death. (i.e. one not caused by me.) My kids asked me to promise that I would never leave them on purpose. That’s a big promise.

I have held my right to end my pain as one of my most sacred rights. And now they want me to give it up. Just because they need me.

As I stay up late at night composing mental letters I wish I could send to my mommy I think… maybe their need is real. They aren’t pretending this love. They are too young to be able to maintain a charade.

Things are always changing rapidly here in Wonderland. Lots to do. Lots of stuff to learn. I feel so inadequate for the list of jobs in front of me. But I won’t get more adequate if I sit on my ass doing nothing. So I run towards each new difficult opportunity.

If you want to make sure we visit you on our cross country road trip you should probably email me pretty soon. I’m making reservations for some places starting in another month. I’m firming up a lot of plans. Yes, some people like to do things fly-by-night making it up as they go. I like going places that you have to reserve a year in advance or ha ha go somewhere else. That means making firm plans.

If we go the northern route then we won’t see friends in Utah. That would be a huge bummer. There is also a stop I’d like to make in Missouri. (Err, not because of the recent issues in Ferguson. Those are terrible and sad. I don’t intend to be a tourist next year to see the carnage. I know someone.)

So I’m making some decisions. If you are sure you want on the route, speak up soon or you may get skipped. That’s how life goes.

Transition stuff.

H’okay. I’m going to need to stop posting for a bit because I need to force myself to get some work done. I’m making checklists. I only have so many hours a day on the computer and I’m going to do shit that intimidates me for a while. Work on the web page.

I can work on a web page. I have a web page. Whoa. I still find this daunting. It’s not like it is hard. Only it seemed so hard for so many years.

I’m going to be splitting my blog stuff. There needs to be a kid-friendly space here. One that can be accessed from the front page or from a direct link. Once you go to the kid-friendly page it should be somewhat challenging to go to the rest of the website. Not sure how I’m going to set that up yet, I’ll be talking to Noah about my options. It is frightfully convenient living with him.

I do want to be able to talk about homeschool stuff more explicitly. I want to be able to talk about traveling with kids. I don’t want to toss it into the middle of my verbal diarrhea of self-hate.

It kind of weirds people out.

Boundaries, right?

And I have found the resolve within myself to take a good long hard look at our life and schedule. The road trip is ten months away. I am going to need to have a huge drawer full of spoons when I leave. I can’t be running a deficit before I even leave. Or I am going to end up calling Pam hysterically halfway through the trip and begging her to fly out to wherever the fuck I am to help me drive home. Like I did with Jenny in Arizona.

Thank you Jenny. I’ll be grateful for the rest of my life. If you ever need me I know for a fact I can be there in 72 hours. I’ve checked lots of options. There aren’t that many people I would drop everything and fly halfway around the world for but you are the top of the list.

(Err, when I was pregnant with Calli I went to Arizona to help a friend. I started having lots of contractions and they wouldn’t stop and it was mid-way through my pregnancy. I had two miscarriages in between having my children so early contractions were a serious concern. I couldn’t drive Shanna and myself home while contracting like that. So Jenny flew out and drove us home. I am so blessed in my relationships it isn’t funny.)

You know what? I know I have at least half a dozen people I could call at any time of the night or day. If I were truly desperate I could put the net out wider and probably come up with dozens of people who were willing and able to help me. Because I am truly blessed. (And because I could buy the plane ticket for someone. Having my own money means that the amount of help I need from someone else is very tractable. Thank you, Noah.)

It is weird living in this space where I feel like a lodestone for both victimization and for amazingly giving people. I have good friends. I am so lucky. I understand that not everyone is so lucky.

I’m going to start enforcing the rule that I don’t drive outside of Fremont more than two days a week. And we are going to stay home until at least 11am four weekday mornings. I have to stop having days where we are out of the house socializing/driving for eleven hours. This is killing me. We are out of the house for 8+ hours at least twice a week sometimes four times a week right now.

I want to know people so much that it is hurting me. Boundaries are good, right?

I need to save up my spoons. And I need to get work done. And I need to have lots of patient-at-home-time when I have the energy to help the kids with their projects. They can’t read. I can’t tell them they have to just do all the stuff by themselves. They needs help with directions. And uhm, I’m home schooling them not leaving them to school themselves. So I need to be more patient. And at home at least occasionally.

I’m not thrilled about this stupid insomnia tonight.

I should probably figure out how/when I am going to transition to travel screen time limits. I think I need to do it in advance so I don’t go through withdrawal during the first weeks of the trip. I’m going to be difficult to deal with as I go off my drugs. (Picture me tapping my arm like a heroin addict.) The internet is my friend. I am sad when I don’t have CONSTANT ACCESS. Not just sad… anxious. I use the internet to hide from real life and I know it.

I need to alter our schedule such that I am truly spending the amount of focused alone time I will have with the kids. I won’t have a garage to hide in for peace on the trip. I need to figure out how to transition towards creating the boundaries I need in different ways.

Although I am not canceling baby-sitting. That would be stupid.

I have to set myself up to succeed or I am going to fail. That is just how it works. It’s not personal.

Oh, and I started bleeding two days ago. How much of my shaking with need to self-harm was PMS? I really hate my body and my body hates meeeeeeee.

Maybe it is time to talk to a gynecologist about the mood swings around my period? Joint pain sometimes. Googling makes it sound like I incline in the direction of PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder). Here’s what Google tells me:

“The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include a least one mood-related symptom. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.

Five or more of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose PMDD, including one mood-related symptom:

  • No interest in daily activities and relationships
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Feeling out of control
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Mood swings with periods of crying
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating”

I hate my body and my body hates meeeeeeeeeeeee! I feel very mixed about all the advice to treat things with nutritional supplements. The other big option is an SSRI, which… I don’t want for Reasons Of Misery. (btdt got the t-shirt and I want my $ back.)

Here’s an article on PTSD and PMDD. Maybe I should talk to a groino about Propranolol. Or Prozac. Would I be willing to try it again? Probably not given this line from the article “The fact that data have shown a 40% nonresponse rate to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in PMDD”…means I should take the fact that I’ve already had no luck with Prozac as a sign. But Propranolol seems to be slightly more effective on the population with PTSD. Would I take a beta-blocker? Could it be used sporadically as needed or is it a daily pill? If I was going to take a daily pill–should I just go on birth control? That’s hilarious given that my husband has had a vasectomy. 

I should go talk to my groino. I feel that I have been really clear about this massive spike in horrible symptoms right before my period for a long time now. My suicidal thoughts and self-harm urges go through the roof. There have to be options I haven’t tried yet. I have an appointment. Monday the 25th during babysitting time. I gave myself a nice window so I can ride my bike there and back. The internet is magic.

Lots of transitions. Lots to do. So little time. I need more spoons. The only way to get them is to cut things out. Just because you don’t like the choices sitting in front of you doesn’t mean you don’t have choices. You are always making a choice. Even if it is to follow the status quo.

I can’t be super close friends with everyone in the world. I don’t have the spoons. I’m not slamming doors, but I’m going to stay home more. I need to. We have stuff to do.

Who am I?

I’ve had several interesting things come up in the past few weeks with different people. Lots of identity conversations. (I forking LOVE identity conversations.)

Labels help people find their “in group” so they feel validated and secure. I have a lot of trouble holding on to my identity though. I am not a very integrated person. I am very different in different settings. (I understand that this variation is actually healthy and normal–but it feels weird in my head.)

When I think of my “identity” I’m not sure which part comes first. Writer? Parent? Wife?

I like that the first word wasn’t about my relationships. I like that the first word was something I do.

I am a teacher by training and inclination. I am an adventurer. I am a traveler. I have been to 27 states and 6 countries so far. I’m far from done. I’m only 32.

I am a very friendly person, except when I’m a raging asshole. Sorry ’bout that.

I am dependable. I don’t give commitments unless I am fucking sure I can keep them.

I am a worker. If there is work to be done and I am standing there, I will not be idle. This is a core part of my identity. I don’t rest until my work is done. That is why my house stays this clean. Otherwise I never rest and I go crazy.

I am a hedonist and a masochist. I have distinct sadistic tendencies but I seem to be able to control them. I am less able to suppress my masochism.

I’m a person who has gone from being poor to being rich and all of it has been not my fault. I was just standing near someone else as a dependent. I have lots of feelings about that. People view economic level as part of socio-economic status and I feel I have none of my own. It wasn’t my fault I was so poor as a child and it isn’t my fault I am so rich now.

So what does that mean about who I am?

I am a gardener. I like touching the dirt. I’m not sure I have a green thumb. (I live in California during a drought… I follow water rationing so things die.) But more plants stay alive each year…

I’m a dancer. I can’t wait in line without dancing. I dance all the time. I just have too much social anxiety to deal with social dancing. I shouldn’t deny that this is part of me though. I don’t have to dance with someone else to count as a dancer. All that matters is that I love to dance and I do it all the time. Many of my “runs” consist of me dancing down the side walk because the song is just so fun that way. My neighbors think I’m crazy, but in a fun way.

I am a support person for a lot of people. The number of people who know they can tell me “I need you” and I will show up is kind of staggering. Overwhelming at times. But I welcome the burden. That’s my net.

Shanna told me once that she would do nice for me because I do nice things for her. I said that was kind of her but really the best thing to do is pass it on. I told her that I appreciate her doing extra chores, but she doesn’t need to go get a job to buy me things. I would be much happier if she instead paid on my generosity.

I told her that when someone does something nice for you, you don’t always do something nice back. Not all relationships are reciprocal. But it is very important to always always pay it forward. That generosity of spirit keeps the world moving on. We can’t stay in a closed loop with very few people. That doesn’t work well. Spread it around.

She thought about that.

I am an angry person. I have good reasons to be angry. If you aren’t angry you aren’t paying attention to the world around you.

I’m an asshole. Sometimes I care way more about me than anyone else standing near me and I will be self-interested to such a degree that I am specifically not nice to people. I can live with this part of my identity.

I’m Krissy. I’m not really Kristine. I still haven’t grown up enough to be a Kristine. Lenora is part of me, but a smaller part by the year and I’m not sure how it feels.

I have lots of feelings about being a Gibbs Girl. I’m a Gibbs girl by injection. It’s… different. But it is the most positive group identification of my life. By a huge margin.

I feel proud of what I have done as a Gibbs. I’m an ok person. I’m an asshole. Sometimes I yell at people who don’t deserve to be yelled at. I haven’t hit anyone in anger in many many many years. At least 6? 8? When did I stop hitting you, Noah? (Not punches, I used to be the sort of woman who thought it was ok to smack men on the shoulder when I was irritated with them. Noah convinced me that it hurt him as much as it hurt me and I needed to stop. Probably for the best.)

I’m a runner. I have already completed one marathon and many half marathons.

I’m a mostly-retired slut. At this point I’m just considered “frisky”. And people only see it on the few occasions in a year we go to a sex party. And sometimes my social anxiety means we don’t even do much there. Ha.

Life is complicated. Time to go swim.

What a day.

I killed some time in Good Vibes tonight and got chewed out by an employee. Some random customers were asking one another questions where I was sitting. Because neither of them knew, I answered. The staff member told me that it wasn’t appropriate for me to talk to customers because they are in Good Vibes to get accurate information.

As if I can’t accurately describe the pluses and minuses of different styles of wrist cuffs. You want to talk about leather, lace, neoprene, latex, and metal? I’ve got stories. After that witch glared at me I’m happy that I told the couple to go to Mr. S for a larger selection of styles of cuffs to choose from. Neiner.

Then I was calmly sitting and reading a book and an employee in the parking garage told me I had to move on. It wasn’t a place to loiter. Even though I was waiting for my friend to park in that garage.

I’m so glad I don’t live in a city. I don’t like cities.

I went to a class tonight on dealing with the death of a partner with whom you had a power exchange relationship. (Master/slave, Dominant/submissive, Daddy-Mommy/kid (not like biological kids–this is an adult sexual relationship style), and Trainer/animal all came up.) She’s right that there are different considerations when you lose a power exchange partner. Vanilla couples are differently enmeshed. Not saying they don’t get enmeshed… bdsm relationships are intense. Grieving them is really hard.

Not saying that bdsm relationships are better or more worthy or anything like that. But there are already lots of support groups for losing a vanilla spouse. Not many people know how to support you through losing your Master. Complicated shit, yo.

Sometimes when I look at people I love I feel shame and anxiety that I don’t give them enough. I don’t help them enough. I don’t make their life enough better. But I’m doing my best.

I’m also relieved to hear that a friend who sent me an invitation to a party (while specifying that it is a CLEAN AND SOBER PARTY) doesn’t consider psych meds of any type to be problematic. *phew*

Still processing hard on a few other things. But I should sleep.

Morning routine

Here is my list of “it would be nice” if I did them in the morning.

  • Run
  • Write on blog
  • Medicate
  • Write on books that are in my head screaming to get out.
  • Water the plants (not *Every* day but most days and I’m struggling to be consistent)
  • Yoga
  • Eat breakfast

The problem is I want to get this all done by 7am and it’s just not happening. Past 7 I have the kids and…. everything gets harder.

Shanna has been making noise about wanting to get more serious about “school”. She understands that she is “going into first grade” and other kid have a lot of work to do at this stage.

I’m sorta wondering if I should mostly cut out socializing this school year. We should do classes and stay at home to practice things. She specifically asked if we could start reviewing Signing Time again.

I’m going to need to limit socializing to maybe two days a week. One week day and one weekend day. Noah desperately needs a weekend day of down time. It’s not fair to blast through the weekends. I think it is good for all of us.

We want martial arts. I’m thinking parkour to start just because it sounds so fun. I’m going to have to email the mom of a boy in our homeschool group. He’s doing lessons already in Fremont. He and Shanna are sorta close in age and they get along pretty well. (At least when they are alone. Not when the (insert winking lights here) wonderful second boy in their triad shows up though. Then they fight over the other boy. Sigh.

Both kids want to stay in swimming lessons over the fall/winter.

Calli will be in HIndi.

Both kids are asking for music classes and there is a place in Fremont that does birth-6 years olds in one class. It isn’t one instrument focused. They kind of move around between a few different kind of instruments. And they are big on ukeleles! I need to get both of ours fixed.

If we start doing language videos every day and practicing together, that will be like another class.

That is on top of our constant outpouring of history and math and science and art.

My kids have memorized the low level addition tables to the point where they are sometimes faster than me. We do not table work on addition. We just talk about math all the time. We count and do addition problems back and forth. They have never ever been asked to do a worksheet.

I got them a geometry set with a compass and man these words are escaping my brain today. Whoa. Uhm, those stupid plastic things you use to help you draw angles. Whatever. We have played with that though.

I would like to take a moment and thank genetics that my kids are *not* primarily visual learners. Many children *need* to see things in front of them in order to understand. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with them. I’m more literal like that. My kids are incredibly good at picking up concepts from hearing and talking about them. It is luck.

But I feel like it fits in with why I haven’t encouraged Shanna towards reading with more vigor. She’ll get there. Until then she has had to develop her memory with greater enthusiasm. She has memorized most of the books we own so she can “read” them to her sister. But she gets enough words wrong that I know she is remembering and not reading.

We have hundreds of childrens books. We have a bigger library than some elementary schools I went to. If Shanna has most of these memorized that means she has had them read to her. That feels good to me.

Our house rule is that any given book is read ONCE per day. I do not reread. Period. So they memorize these books without the benefit of having it repeated over and over and over in a short period. I am so darn envious of Shanna’s memory. She got it from her dad. I sorta glare at them on the sly sometimes but I don’t bitch. It’s a cool talent.

Sometimes when I watch interactions in other families I feel like there is something wrong with us. We are too touchy. Too affectionate. Am I going too far in the affection direction? We don’t “make out” (extended kisses on the lips with lips closed) and tongues belong in your mouth but beyond that if you want to give someone 500 kisses on their face, go for it.

Even in sex communities I have never seen a group of people as physically demonstrative as this family. I feel a little weird about it. Noah says that he and I both came into parenting with major touch deficits. That’s true enough.

But these means my kids are having a hard time learning that you can’t be that affectionate with EVERYONE. It’s a work in progress.

I keep telling Shanna, “When you are a baby it is ok to push until someone tells you “no”. That’s how you learn boundaries. As you get physically bigger the power dynamic shifts. You don’t get to push. You can only do things to people if you ask in advance and they say “yes”. Otherwise you are potentially violating their boundaries and that isn’t ok. People shouldn’t have to say “no” and shove you off of them once you are bigger. That’s only for babies.

This morning at breakfast we had a clarifying conversation about the whole “fucking kids” thing. I asked if it was ok to say “darn kids” and Shanna emphatically said “no.” It is unacceptable to call them anything. The only thing I am allowed to say is, “I am really frustrated with you kids.”

I can’t die. I want to see what she becomes as a grown up. She is so fucking cool.

I think I have talked myself into limiting socializing outside the house to two days a week during the next season or so. Tuesdays and Saturdays. Tuesdays partially because I have therapy on that day and it is park day so I should just assume that day is out of the house.

We have one or two things already scheduled I won’t cancel. I just won’t add more.

I think that partially I’m trying to see if the kids and I can get into a more regular rhythm because we will have to have one next year on the road trip. Just over ten months to go.

I would like it if we were better able to communicate in languages other than English. We will have to just practice. Oh I finally have an in-house study group. I feel so grateful. I don’t have to feel stupid or embarrassed.

When I stay home more I’m slightly less volatile. I think? I wish I remembered this kind of thing better. I know I go stir crazy. But this period of at-home is going to be forcefully ended by being out of the state for five months or so. Maybe I should build up some reserves so that I don’t leave depleted.

Life is complicated. I should pay attention to mis hijas. I don’t know why but I’m not that fond of the word “daughter”. I like hija. I always have. When I was a little girl wandering around the barrio I would hear the Mamas yelling, “Mijas! Ven ahora!” It is one of the most comforting sounds.

My mom didn’t yell for me to come in much. She was happy for me to be out of her face as long as I was willing to be gone. When she did yell at me it was a harsh “Kristine Lenora!”

I like that mi hijas are so tender and gentle with me. Time for snuggling. Maybe after I shower. Phew. (Hey–I already got my running in.)

I want to paint a picture.

Picture a huge cement room. Huge. Like 30′ by 30′. Every two feet throughout the room on the floor, in a grid pattern, is a water spout. So you can shoot water up into the air like they do at Disneyland.

Big cement room, water spouts spitting into the air every 2′ in a grid pattern. You with me?

Now, above this room there is a raised platform walkway. It is barely big enough for you to walk on. There are no hand rails.

It is definitely not 2′ wide, so it runs maze-like in between the jets of water.

But the trouble is, the water kinda sprays sideways at the top. And the platform is just high enough that you are on eye level with the top of the spray. That is coming sideways at you from every direction.

The different jets of water are different emotions.

You don’t really know which really strong jet of water is going to hit you in the face next. All you know is that it is inevitable. And you have no way out of this room unless you walk the maze. And you get no support.

Go.

You are going to go from happiness to sadness in a breath. You will go from feeling like you have everything in the world to live for to thinking that you cannot bear this pain for one millisecond longer; you have to kill yourself–now. You will go from feeling excited about upcoming plans (always plans to look forward to–otherwise not enough reason to not commit suicide) to feeling like you are stupid for ever trying anything at all. You are a failure. You should die. You are evil. You should die.

Then you are ok again. Just because another burst of water hit you.

And you have no control over any of this.

Run, run as fast as you can.

This morning is starting out better

After having my teeth chatter all day yesterday (nerves) I didn’t sleep very well (Noah was up working and it was too warm). But Noah did his bat-like-ears thing this morning and we had a nice cuddle (no euphemism) and chat.

I sometimes really consciously limit things at cuddling if I’m really emotionally volatile. Those are the days I dissociate really early and I’m just taking one for the team. I’m trying to do less of that. If I don’t want to get off I shouldn’t have sex.

(Side note complaint about The West Wing. How would it be possible for someone to accidentally get GHB when they mean to get ecstasy? I mean, I get why Zoe didn’t know something was in her drink. But the French royalty boyfriend is retarded to such a degree that he shouldn’t be able to tie his shoes if he didn’t know the difference in those drugs. GHB is a snotty salty liquid. Ecstasy comes in powder or pills. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT YOU ARE GIVING YOUR GIRLFRIEND THE WRONG DRUG?! Fucking idiot. Having consumed more than my fair share of both drugs I feel qualified to speak.)

Speaking of fucking. I screwed up yesterday. We didn’t make it to National Night Out. Calli insisted on riding bikes. Then she didn’t want to ride, she wanted me to hold the bike and push it the whole way. That makes my back hurt really badly so I was pretty grumpy before we got halfway down the block.

On the way home (we literally only went past four houses) both kids were screaming at the top of their lungs at me about how terrible I am and I kinda lost it.

I screamed: “I am not fucking taking anyone to any fucking party. You are fucking crazy if you fucking think I will give you fucking ice cream after you fucking scream at me. I am not taking you fucking kids anywhere.”

I think that was the whole rant. It’s really not good.

We brushed teeth and I put the kids in bed. I didn’t yell again. Well, from the garage I yelled, “Go back to bed” once or twice but I didn’t yell it loud–just enough to be heard through the door.

After an hour or so the kids were still up and I was calm. I went in to lay down with them and snuggle. Shanna was very specific that it was not ok to call them “fucking kids” and she asked me to explain what “fucking” means anyway.

That was hilarious and awkward.

I told her that it is one of those words that has more than one meaning. We’ve been talking about idioms a lot lately. So I started with saying, “Mostly it is an idiom that means ‘I’m frustrated’. When people say fucking it is just a way of saying out loud that they are frustrated about something.”

She said that next time I should just say I’m frustrated because it isn’t ok to call them fucking kids.

I said that she was right. Then I paused and tried not to be awkward as I said, “There is a second meaning. The second meaning is why people say it is a “bad word”. You know how (babysitter) tells you that ‘stupid’ is a bad word? Well… fucking is like 50 million bazillion times worse. Because fucking is also a word for sexual intercourse. You know, having sex? Making babies? Putting a penis in a vagina? You have books about this.”

She kind of startled, looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Mother. How could you call us that?!”

I said, “Well to be fair.. that is how you were made.”

She fell over laughing. She giggled and said, “We are fucking kids!” And then she laughed until she snorted.

She asked why people think fucking is a bad word. I told her that people think it is bad because most people feel uncomfortable with any word that makes them think of sex because most people think sex is COMPLETELY PRIVATE and talking about it is bad.

She asked me if I think talking about sex is bad. I snorted and said, “Of course not. If you notice… I don’t tell you not to say ‘bad words’ I say pick where you use them carefully. Just because some people don’t want to hear something that doesn’t mean you never get to say it. Just find someone who is ok with you talking about it.”

So not cool and hilarious and awkward all in one story. I don’t think Calli followed the whole conversation but she was very sure that I needed to apologize profusely to both of them for being so mean. So I did.

They apologized for screaming at me. They said that next time they will make a different choice because they are sad about missing the event. I said, “Me too.”

I think I write these things down because I am afraid I will forget. I want to remember the whole arc, not just a piece of it. Yes, I fucked up. I will probably do so again.

I spent a while reading a book about mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder last night. My amateur armchair diagnosis says, “Nope. Not my issue.” So I’m glad I sat down with the book. Maybe I’ll let go of some of my guilty paranoia around that one. I’ve got issues, but that isn’t one of them.

I am predictable for my children. I don’t blame my emotions on them. They are very secure. My kids trust me and we all handle separation pretty well. I don’t feel like I’m doing the clingy attachment stuff. I let them go do their things. I smile and cheerfully wave and tell them that I will be right here when they need me again.

We are supposed to go to Aqua Adventure today. We are having dinner with my favorite former students. (Since they had me perform their wedding that title is now official.) I get to see their darling little nine month old.

I want to hurt myself because I believe that I hurt people and I must be punished for doing so. At least partially, there is a lot going on there.

But I have these people who persist in being in my life year after year when they have no reason to do so beyond desire for my company.

It is hard to be as self-hating as I am with this many people loving you. It takes work. It is really lame.

All I want for my birthday is pictures of people who love me. Despite my raging irrationality…. even I can’t argue with all the smiling faces I see on the walls around me.

I can understand why some religions were unhappy about the idea of capturing a likeness of people. You do capture part of their soul. And it comes and lives with me here in my house. And it tells me that they would be marked forever if I killed myself. So don’t do it.

It is hard sometimes to feel connection. I like visual reminders so much. I have so many people who love me. I am so lucky.

Maybe the kids and I will fill the morning with selecting pictures to print at Costco. We haven’t done a print run since last year. I was emailed a few pictures for the purpose of putting on the wall. I haven’t printed them yet. I should do that.

Right this minute I don’t want to hurt myself. That has to be enough for right now.

I should also hang the punching bag today. I really do need to hit.

The best part of growing up is being able to sit through a day or days of intense desire to hurt myself knowing that the feeling will end. Even though it feels like it lasts millions of years while it is happening.

Even if I feel ok right now, that feeling will end too. Nothing is permanent.

But I have a husband who loves me a lot. He demonstrates this with kind words and gentle touch and physical labor to make my life easier after lots of mental work to make money. I have a husband who, instead of protecting himself from me financially when we got married, put his separate property into a joint legal trust because he wanted to make sure I knew I was always taken care of.

Even if at some point we hate one another. There is no going back from this joint union of assets and help. It could be ripped entirely asunder but no one is going to just go back to how things were.

I hope we continue to like and respect one another. I hope I can continue to manifest being the kind of partner he wants to have. It’s not just the sex. I do a lot of things. Noah gives me more credit for them than I do. I notice that his life is more streamlined than it used to be, but I tend to under rate how much credit I should get for that.

He doesn’t stint in his praise.

I won the jackpot. I don’t know how I ended up with someone who likes me this much. I don’t know how I managed to find a partner who is willing to try so hard to make my life better. The listening and support and encouragement are the most important parts.

If Noah made this much money and tore me down I would not be ok right now. It’s not the money that makes things work. I think we would be ok with far less money. I think if he made less money but encouraged me the way he does I would probably work harder on figuring out how to get paid for writing. If I’m going to destroy my body for this task I might as well make it money earning. Geez.

Instead I’m an expensive pet writing for my ideal reader. (That would be Noah.) The more I write the better he is at treating me how I want to be treated. It’s a win for us.

I think it isn’t fair that I don’t get similar pointers, but life isn’t always fair. I’m expected to do way more mind reading. Good thing his mind is easier to track. Food. Sex. Comics. Games. Programming. Pretty much in that order.

I think I have multiplied my lifetime reading of comics by about a million since meeting him. I have never been a comics person. Now I even go buy them on my own. Damn him.

Even Noah has his downsides. (This is my attempt at being “funny”. Since people often fail to notice how funny I am I thought I would point it out to you.)

I can really appreciate a man whose main downside is that he is obsessed with comics. It is remarkably benign. He giggles a lot.

I hate the phrase “cry for help”. It carried innate shaming within it. Like you shouldn’t need the help. You shouldn’t be bothering people.

When I feel a lot of emotional distress it makes sense to me to ask for help with it. I’ve read a lot of books over a lot of years that tell me it is “healthy”. In fact all those books tell me that not asking for help is a problem.

So I talk about my self-harm urges and my suicidal ideation. Even though I’m also told that talking about those things is traumatic for other people and I shouldn’t do it.

These things are real problems for me. Dealing with them is hard. I have been trying to make progress on my self-loathing and self-harm for decades.

I’m better than I was. Am I better than I was 18 months ago? January of 2013? 2012 was a bad year. 2013 was a good year. January was the beginning of an upswing but I was probably still reeling from Christmas. Christmas is awesome. Christmas sucks golf balls through a garden hose.

I have another book I need to figure out how to publish. Lots more money. Less debt. I like my yard more. I like my house more. I like my kids more. I like my husband more. Do I like myself more? Am *I* better than I was?

I’m not sure I know what that means.

I have definitely learned things I am glad I have learned. I have not hurt myself on purpose in that whole time frame. I’ve ready more than 120 books since then, many of them new to me. Almost half. And then I read them a second time to make sure I got enough out of them.

I haven’t made nearly enough language progress. That’s kind of embarrassing. I’m having trouble keeping that high on the priority list for time spent. It isn’t feeling pressing yet. When it feels pressing I will curse my lack of forethought. I really need to develop some habits in my life.

Given that Noah hasn’t started breakfast yet I should go run. That’s a habit I need.

Ok. Bye.

post-therapy

It is incredibly unusual for me to go to therapy and spend more than half the session crying. Today was one of those days.

She told me that it isn’t actually much of a surprise that I want to scream at everyone, even when I’m not angry at them. I have spent the last six or seven years whittling down my bad habits/escape paths.

I don’t hit people any more. I don’t get hit. I don’t pick up dangerous sex. I have even stopped drinking, even though I never did that much of it.

I write, I run, I talk, and I cry. That’s pretty much all I have left myself for stress relief. The problem is that the running is both good and bad. On one hand, it is good for me because it uses lots of large muscles. On the other hand I come home so activated that I am ready to freak out within minutes. Because my whole body is turned on and ready to react RIGHT NOW.

I can make anything complicated.

She said that given that for most of my life I dealt with these feelings by hitting people… I should probably cut myself some slack for feeling so frustrated with people. I’m not screaming at people. I’m not being totally inappropriate. I feel my feelings and then I go off by myself. Yes, I feel like I want to scream. But I’m not actually screaming at people left and right.

I feel like I want to and then I feel ashamed of myself and then I want to beat my head.

I think I’m going to take a few months off from parties where I know less than 25% of the people going. This isn’t going well for me right now. I have enough stress.

When I go to a party and I know the host and pretty much only the host I spend the event in an agony of anxiety waiting for me to do something inappropriate that will get me banished forever because of course the host likes whoever I am going to offend much more than the host likes me. Obviously.

Even though I have really good friends who have put up with a lot and who have really shown up to be supportive when necessary… I still think at any second a better person will be standing nearby and I will be told to take a walk.

This constant need to test relationships is bad for me and my friends.

We talked about my mom and how much I miss her. She wants me to consider starting a letter-only relationship like I have with Noah’s parents. I’m not sure it is a good idea. My mom isn’t good with boundaries. If you give her an inch she will take a hectare.

I can’t open that door until my kids are old enough to not be at risk near my family. My sister is too dangerous. That’s a hard thing.

My shrink wants me to strongly consider making an informational phone call to the police department in the city where someone I know lives. We were discussing my feelings about things he has posted online and she startled really hard. She told me that I am not someone to over react to threats, so if I feel like I need to get away from someone because he is physically dangerous I should probably tell the police that he exists. They may or may not follow up, but when you look at guys like the Santa Barbara shooter… Seriously. Someone needs to say, “These guys aren’t right and you should keep an eye on them.” Only… I’m conflicted. This is like complaining about doctors.

Have you noticed how I can complain about doctors on my blog but I can’t submit a formal letter of complaint? I couldn’t complain about the fucking plumbing company who fucked us out of thousands of dollars.

Do I think he is dangerous enough that the police should be aware of him? Is he or is he not a broken stair? Well, he defines bullying as being rejected from social groups he wants to be a member of and he believes he has the right to shoot people if they bully him. Maybe the police should hear about that?

I am scared enough that I no longer want him in my home. Probably ever again. No, I will not meet him in neutral public places. He believes he has the right to shoot me if I bully him. Oh he would deny that, but he has said enough time that he has the right to defend himself against bullying that… I have to believe him. He does think he has the right to shoot people for making him feel bad.

That’s pretty fucking scary.

And that was only a five minute derailment during my therapy session. We talked about it because I said the kids were asking to see him and I was ambivalent because the kids are very emotionally attached to him. After hearing more context she said that I should walk away and hope the kids mostly forget. It sucks, but that is what you have to do sometimes.

I feel like a piece of shit for walking away from my friendship. But I have to think that I am important enough to stay away from people who think they have the right to shoot other people because of their feelings.

Nope.

Hunh. Now that I realize that the two biggest things that came up in therapy were mom-things and scary-guy-with-a-gun-things maybe my incredible activation level isn’t so surprising.

don’t know what to do about either situation. I feel like I have no good solutions. And these are kind of big things to deal with. This is heavy duty emotional processing to just toss on top of my full-speed-ahead life.

Ok, maybe it is less surprising that I want to beat my head on things than I want to believe. That is the easiest thing to “slip” and do. All I need is privacy–no gear. And when I have extreme emotional stuff going on, my way of dealing with that has traditionally been to hit or be hit. Noah’s not a masochist. I am so god damn loud I can’t really bottom at home. I should hang the punching bag. Maybe even today.

I had a really good visit at K’s house today. Her kids really like me and that makes me feel proud of myself. They are both kids who would flinch if I was scary. They don’t flinch from me at all. They run towards me with open arms exclaiming my name because they are so happy to see me.

Holy shit that feels good. It is worth every over-night babysitting gig and more of them. Many more over the years.

Even though I feel like a rabid beast who should be shot for the good of the herd, apparently I can be safe. I can take care of kids without hurting them.

My kids don’t seem like the same kind of proof. I’m well acquainted with the fact that abused children are the most loyal. My kids liking me is biological self-defense. K’s kids liking me… that’s a gift.

In the car this afternoon Shanna told me, “Your smile is the greatest Christmas present I could possibly receive. I treasure it more than all the toys I’ll ever get.”

I cried. Because I’ve been crying for days and man that was a wash of emotion. I’m so grateful they can’t see my face while I cry while I drive.

am not complaining about my kids or diminishing how much they like me.

I feel very lucky.

Then we had a really good park day. There has been a huge influx of little girls in the 4-9 range. Those kids can fill a lot of hours of play.

I find it kind of funny how the moms I felt less comfortable around… aren’t coming to as many events any more. I hope I didn’t push them away from the group. The people I feel more bonded with are becoming more of a core group. There are still some interesting dynamics, but I’m really glad I found this community.

I can say I’m feeling crappy. I can allude to things I don’t do with my kids around without being explicit just to clarify a point and no one cares. It’s ok.

People know about the kink cafe in San Francisco. That kind of “knowing” but not discussing.

Oh man, speaking of that community. I was invited to a party. We will be going, because it is a special event for someone in my leather family. I get to meet her new Master. It’s going to be Quite The Party. I noticed that one of the people who likes me the least from that community was invited.

I think it is hilarious how many of my really close friends are very close friends with people who dislike me a lot. To be fair, the animosity is frequently reciprocated in these cases. The funny part is: I think the dislike exists when the person and I are too similar and we can’t bear close contact with someone who is like us.

So let’s be clear that I’m not saying, “I’m better than them.”

Of the approximately 18 people invited to this gathering I have previous positive relationships with 3, negative interactions with 1, and I’ve met 1 other person once and we had a cordial exchange as we expressed our mutual appreciation of our friend. That leave 11 people I don’t know at all.

Man I feel like I should say no. But this is family. Serious Bizness.

Why is Leather Family less of a hostile concept than chosen family? Why am I so god damn inconsistent?

Well, the Leather folk always made their limits and boundaries about what they were committing crystal clear. Well, or we fucked up a few times over the years and had lots of clarifying.

I have a much harder time figuring out how to do that kind of ground-up negotiation with vanilla friends. “Our relationship structure isn’t working and I need to change our dynamic” is kind of weird to most people.

I would like to have a short list of people to whom I was so Committed that I had to turn down lots of other events where I barely know anyone.

I go to a lot of parties where I know less than 25% of the guest list. I network like nobodies business. Weak ties are some of the most useful ties to have.

But man I’d like Family. Chosen family as a concept has blown up for me. Lots of people told me that I was part of their chosen family. I haven’t heard from almost any of them since I got married. Whatever.

Leather has been different for me. Sure, they are all flakey bastards and I kind of hate them sometimes. And yet they aren’t flakey. They just have specific paths they walk. When I want to come join them, they will always make space for me.

But I can’t bring my kids. You know how it goes.

So Leather Family is in a nice neat box for me. It feels safe and comfortable because if my Leather Family had a need that conflicted with my kids, hands-down my kids win. No question. But if I am in the same space as them, or if they need me I will show up. Just like they show up when I tell them they have to.

At my events you always have to kind of wonder who is conservatively religious and who is a flaming pervert. I love my life. I feel so grateful for the diverse cast of characters.

It’s National Night Out. Time to go see my neighbors.

Thank goodness for good days.

Given that I started off the day crying and shaking and gritting my teeth I decided to not pressure myself to work hard all day. I puttered. I got my chores done but it took about four hours longer than normal. I went to the dispensary because I was down to three days of medication (yay babysitter) and discovered that San Jose no longer permits the sale of edibles. Only bud. That sucks. Yes, I have a vaporizer (technically two). It takes a lot of pot to get as stoned with a vape.

I think that today was good because I dropped so much from my work list. I got to feel like I did enough.

Also I called K. I have not been talking to her regularly lately and I’m struggling with that on a few different levels. Talking with her today was nice.

I ran three miles and did a yoga class.

I sorta wonder if part of the reason today was better was because I smoked instead of having edibles. I’ve been kinda wondering if the increased panic is somehow related to the edibles because it feels like it is really high lately. But I am never sure because the panic has come and gone for many years before I touched pot.

So the picnic on Saturday. It was nice. It was well done. The people there were very friendly. If only I could stop feeling like I am a disgusting asshole who should be screamed at to get OUT OUT OUT.

I don’t think other people are doing anything inappropriate to me lately. I think people have been fine. I feel really ashamed of myself.

I am having big feelings about everyone. Lots of feelings about why they should shun me and be disgusted by me. And when I think that really hard for a while I get angry. It is so hard to be nice to people when I feel like I already hate them for rejecting me. It isn’t fair at all.

I don’t feel very worthy of relationships.

Today with the kids was relatively good. There were bumps and several stints in time out for hitting (I wasn’t doing the hitting–for kids who have never been hit I’m continually shocked by how much hitting my kids do on each other) but mostly it was a really loving day.

At bedtime the kids asked me and Noah to sit on the couch and they took turns “reading” us stories. It was really sweet and loving and tender and wonderful.

I did something I’m pretty ashamed of. I haven’t even told Noah yet, though mostly for logistical reasons. I don’t want to talk about it in front of the kids.

I fucked up with the kids. At the party on Sunday. The one where I was losing control and crying a lot.

At some point the kids both got really defiant at once. I didn’t freak out but I asked them to go to the bathroom with me. (They were also sticky so I had a good cover.) When we got to the bathroom I kind of collapsed to the floor and started crying. I told them that I wasn’t having a very good time and I wanted to go home. I told them that if they wanted me to stay so they could enjoy the party they would have to change their attitude right now and stop arguing with me or we would have to leave.

They both looked rather taken aback. They said, “Oh. Uhm, ok.”

Then I washed my face with cold water because we needed to back to the party. They asked me why I was doing that. This is the part I’m ashamed of. I said, “Because people don’t actually want to know when you are crying and cold water helps your face look less puffy so you can hide it more easily. That way people can have an easier time pretending they don’t notice.”

I shouldn’t have said that. And this isn’t the kind of fuck up I can apologize for. If I apologize for this one I will cement the lesson. I need to just not repeat it.

I don’t want my kids to believe that no one gives a shit if they are crying and they should try to hide it. That isn’t the kind of people I want them to be. I want them to be ok with the fact that they matter to people.

Just because I alternate between hot and cold and feeling distant that doesn’t mean I should teach them to believe like me.

I’m sorry I said it.

Do I “really” believe that no one cares? No. The lovely party host followed me out to the side yard to tell me that she could see that I was upset and she wanted to know if there was anything she could do.

It isn’t other peoples fault that I am like this. Not any more. Whatever blame existed has expired. I’m just like this.

I’m sorry.

What did I mean when I alluded to being miserable at Disney next year? I meant that I’m this rich bitch who is going to go to Disneyland twice and Disney World for almost a month out of a calendar year and I am probably going to spend a lot of time crying while I’m there because I feel lonely. I think that is kind of pathetic and stupid. I think I’m pretty much a loser. What is the point of an ungrateful bitch like me getting to have these things?

There is no deserve. There is no fair. There is no right.

I think I’m a fucking idiot for spending so much time on crying and feeling lonely when I have a life that many people would desperately want to have. I am such an ungrateful bitch.

I’m not ungrateful though. I do appreciate what I have. I appreciate it very much. And I can’t stop crying even though I do.

There are these stories they tell you when you are growing up. Just do this thing. Get to this place. Have this relationship and you will be… happy.

I don’t know how to feel happy. Even though I have what I want. Even though I’m doing what I want.

I just want to crawl under my desk and cry for my mommy and I think that’s pretty fucking pathetic.

I want to take my mommy to Disney. She’s so much fun there. She likes to just sit on a bench with me and watch people go by. We would talk about the different dynamics we saw.

I miss my mommy so much. But I have missed her like this my whole life. Contact and attachment were always sporadic and random and hard to predict.

I feel kind of like a loser for posting on the internet about my self-harming urges. But it does help. When I talk about the fact that I want to and I am afraid of slipping then I create a situation where I would have to go back and admit in public that I screwed up. So I’m less likely to slip. It is embarrassing.

I want to beat my head really a lot. I don’t like me very much. I’m not real clear on why I feel I need punishment so bad right now.

It is very hard trying to learn to step back and be objective from my reality and try to convince myself that it isn’t real. These are just lies. I am not a disgusting piece of shit and I don’t need to die. I don’t need to be hurt.

But right now it feels so very true.

Sometimes I feel very sad because I understand why people believe that someone as fucked up as me shouldn’t have kids. I don’t really deserve anything good.

They are so good. Ok, so they can be assholes sometimes–that is part of life. They are good. They are empathetic and loving and considerate to a degree the development books tell me I just can’t expect from kids. But my kids are like this.

I feel so bad that they have to grow up with me. I try to remind myself that at this point without me is far worse in every way. Too late for take backs.

I should go to bed. At least I see my shrink tomorrow. See, this is why I still see a shrink. Cause here I fucking go year after year after year.

I feel pretty disgusted with me. I do well then I do shitty. I’m fucking tired of fucking bouncing.

California Time

Before I launch into my complaints, let me take a moment to note that a nice lady from the party yesterday sent me an email to inquire how I was doing. She noticed I was upset and she wanted to follow up when she didn’t have children clinging to her and screaming in her ear. I get it. I really appreciate the thought. I feel more guilty for not having fun.

But back to the complaints. There is a frequent thing I hear “California Time” that really bugs me. Unless my mother was lying to me (I believe her on this topic) I am an eighth generation Californian. My family has been here a while. I feel unusually qualified to judge whether or not something is “just a Californian thing” or if it is an import thing. California is a state full of immigrants.

Not because I think all people who are born in California are just like me, anything but. However when I stand next to someone who moved here as a twenty-something adult for a job, I feel I have more broad experience to base my judgment on. More than likely their experiences are mostly with other imports at their job.

I’m not saying Californians are never late. People from every place are sometimes late. My personal life experience is that Californians are late (the kind who are born here) when they accidentally schedule two things too closely together. The imports are late because they can’t be bothered to show up on time. After all, they will say, they are just on “California Time”. When people say this to me I have trouble not hitting them.

The difference is intent is important to me. One set feels like people who consistently are trying to shove 27 hours into 24 and that’s hard. The other set feels like, “I don’t have to care about you because I’m allowed to just do whatever now that I live in California.”

I dislike the imports who claim California Time with such a passion. You are fucking up my culture. This is my fucking state. Go do your late shit somewhere else.

I hate this because I show up at a party of imports and they want to bitch about how much Californians suck. Fuck you. I was the only person here on time and I am the only actual fucking Californian. All of you can suck on behalf of Ohio or Pennsylvania and leave my fucking state out of it.

I’m over-sensitive. But I’m in a slightly better mood than yesterday. That’s improvement.

Today while I have babysitting I should probably work on Outrunning. I have some follow up stuff to do now that I have it back from my editor. She doesn’t like my title. She wants me to find something lighter and fluffier. Hrm. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m looking for the suicidal kids. The light and fluffy title won’t grab their eyes.

I’m scared because once I finish the last editing bits… it is time to figure out how to send it out. I should probably try to send it to a dozen or more places by my birthday. Thinking that makes my stomach explode with acid. Oh shit. This is going to be a fun and festive activity.

Because it causes less stomach pain I will spend the next few minutes thinking about the party yesterday. It wasn’t that anyone did anything WRONG. I was off. I was feeling sensitive and whiny before I got there and a couple of people had tones of voices I reacted to when hearing them. That doesn’t mean they didn’t anything wrong. They aren’t responsible for my emotional state.

I had a better time but still a hard time at the picnic on Saturday. Not because anyone did anything wrong. People were really nice. Noah was really nice about the whole thing. He dressed up and danced with me and smiled and it was fun. The kids had a ridiculously good time.

It isn’t other peoples fault when I am struggling. I just happen to be standing near you when I have the struggle.

Despite how many words I can type, I’m not all that articulate when I’m having big feelings. So when I start feeling really uncomfortable and like I am wrong and like I should be forced to leave because I don’t fit with whatever is going on I get… much less socially savvy than usual. Which is bad because my social savvy is mixed anyway.

If you want me to articulately defend why I have an opinion in a mixed crowd where I don’t feel safe I am going to feel judged, loathed, and like I should go light myself on fire. Then I will be really angry with you because I had all those feelings standing next to you.

I’m not an easy person to talk to. I appreciate that people bother. I know it is hard sometimes.

I am really really shitty at responding to things cold. I don’t work that way. If you give me some time I can put together a 20 page defense, sure. This is why I don’t argue very much on twitter. I can’t do 140 characters.

I feel like I “should” start doing some form of work. Really I’d like a nice session of head banging. I don’t feel like I’m doing much right.

Even though Noah wanted me to hold firm on boundaries, I’m glad I let Calli go to sleep with us last night. I feel like I am doing wrong in so many places and in so many ways… I’m glad I hold my babies when they want me.

I will not look back in regret and think, “I wish I had snuggled them more. I wish I had appreciated how small and helpless they were.” I will take all the snuggles they want to give. Even when I don’t want to be touched. This time is so short. I have them for so brief a time.

She will be three for just a few more weeks. Shanna already doesn’t want us overnight. Calli will get there.

I don’t need to shove them towards independence. They will get there sooner than I am happy about anyway.

Shanna and I had a delightful conversation yesterday about wetting the bed. She’s had a couple of accidents recently. She insisted we go buy a mattress cover. She asked me why it happens. I said people wet the bed for all kinds of reasons. It is common for kids to have a period of time where they are learning lots of new things and they are so tired at night that they just can’t wake up to go to the bathroom. I told her it is common when kids have big scared or sad feelings they don’t know how to deal with. I told her it is called a “regression” and sometimes when your body is learning new things it kind of forgets stuff you already know for a few weeks while it is focusing on a new thing but it comes back. Sometimes you are having such an awesome dream that you just don’t want to wake up.

She said, “Well I am not sad or scared so I guess I must be sleeping too deeply. That makes sense. I sure am tired at the end of the day.”

Shanna expresses a lot of appreciation for how I handle accidents. Which is funny. Where did she get the idea that she should get in trouble? I’m not sure. But she seems to just know that some parents aren’t gracious. I tell her, “Dude I’ve had accidents as an adult. They are called accidents for a reason. Not a big deal.”

When I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. When I feel like I am a total failure I just have to look at my kids. They know they are loved. That was the bar. Ok. I’m not failing at everything. They don’t feel scared. They don’t feel sad. They like their lives. They like me so much that being away from me is nearly torture. Well, that doesn’t necessarily say anything about me–kids are like that.

I don’t feel like tagging.

 

Bad mood

Right this minute I would kind of like to set people on fire. I’m in a bad mood. We went to a party today. It wasn’t one of the better parties I’ve been to this year. I mean, the party was fine. It seemed like everyone else had a great time. It was well organized from a kid point of view. But I spent a lot of time crying. And if my kid gets hit in the face next time we go over there I am done. Period. This is the second time she’s been smacked in the face there and a third strike means I’m just fucking done.

It didn’t help that one of the dads was being “playful” so he picked Calli up to swing her around and slammed her head into the side of the couch. “Oops” he said.

She’s ok.

There was a discussion about a childrens book. Other parents thought it was fine. I thought it belonged in a kitsch shop on Castro Street in San Francisco. Overly large horn being shoved forcefully into the rainbow? When I said that I wouldn’t want my kids repeating it at the park the response was that we need new friends.

I managed to keep myself from saying, “Actually my friends are nice people and you are an asshole so I’ll keep my friends.”

It isn’t that I shelter my kids. They can tell you about their vulva, vagina, clitoris, and uterus and what they all do. They know what a penis is and testicles and the scrotum and the anus and they know how babies are made and we have lots of books depicting gay families.

But we don’t have books about oversized phallic objects being shoved into other things as a way of making them better.

I’m ok with being a prude like that.

All of a sudden I’m mad at myself for committing to an event next spring. Because the folks I was around today are going to be there. And all of a sudden I’d rather stay home. Fuck.

Yes, I am more sensitive to the “fucking” imagery than most. Maybe I’m even over-sensitive compared to some of my religious friends. I can live with that.

I don’t have as many social plans as usual this week. Most of the ones I do have are with individual families. That’s probably for the best. I would like to crawl into a hole.

Actually I would like to get in the van and start driving. Maybe I’ll be back next year. Maybe.

I hate the bouncing between being ok and not being ok. Being alone doesn’t feel ok. Being around people feels much worse than being alone sometimes. Being around people reminds me that they are just people I know, not my friends. What makes someone a “friend”?

I don’t really know.

But this one dude didn’t acknowledge me for hours then he finally looked at me and said, “What’s up with Noah?” When I said Noah had time off he grunted and moved away from me and that was the conversation.

That was one of the only times anyone addressed a comment to me today.

I’d like to stay home now. Luckily it is my time off. And Noah and the kids are going to the park. I’ll sit here and cry. That’ll be fucking dandy.

Progress

The kids have blasted through a few different milestones this week. I should record this so I don’t forget. Both kids are now swimming without a life vest. This is huge. Both kids got off the bucket support in ice skating (Calli is doing better than Shanna). Last, but not least, both kids have suddenly decided they are interested in long bike rides.

I find it fascinating how neck and neck they are for physical skills. In a few years Calli will probably be far more advanced than Shanna at the rate she picks things up. They aren’t equally skilled in all areas of knowledge, but Calli has a great relationship with her body. Shanna reminds me of me. Ha.

I feel guilty anytime I say that they can be assholes, but when it comes to dealing with people who might take care of them it seems like fair warning. They can be sweet as pie and they can be serious assholes. You have to be prepared to hold boundaries and really fucking mean your “no” or they will make you sorry. They are tenacious and pushy in a way rarely tolerated in children.

I’m crossing my fingers it will work out in the long run. For now there are days when they are pretty hard to handle.

It isn’t about you (whoever you are) because they do it with me, Noah, K, and everyone else who has ever baby-sat. Children are supposed to test limits. I also believe that children are supposed to run smack into the brick wall of limits and be told NO. Because that is part of life. You don’t always get what you want and learning to manage that frustration is easier when you are under ten than it is over thirty.

I feel scared that I am doing them a disservice by allowing them to push as hard as they do. Most children are “broken” of that habit. I try to break my kids of the habit of shitting in the back yard. Backtalk is ok with me.

Pick your battles.

I want my daughters to be able to grow up and speak as assertively as any man. I don’t know many women who can. I know a few, because I hunt for such Amazonian Goddesses.

They bug me and delight me. They frustrate me and fill me with so much hope I feel like I will explode. Every day. I am grateful every day that I get to be with them. I stop and make time even when I’m being a pissy bitch.

“Today is kind of hard. But it is the best kind of hard I can imagine. I am grateful I get to be here doing what I’m doing.”

Shanna and I had a fight about something…can’t remember what about. It wasn’t a big one. She went to her room to cry. When I checked on her after a few minutes she said, “It feels like no one loves me today.”

I said, “Do you love me?”

“Yes.”

“Do you get mad at me sometimes?”

“Yes. You deserve it.”

“I’m not quibbling. But you can get mad at me without it taking away from how much you love me. Why do you think it works differently for me? You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love you to the moon and back. And sometimes you piss me off. Life is like that.”

She kinda laughed and hugged me.

When I really think about it… I feel bad for my mom. She probably does still love me. Even though she didn’t want me to start with. Even though she wasn’t very good at taking care of me. Even though I have pissed her off, maybe more than all her other children combined. She probably loves me.

I really hope my kids never need to pull away from me for their own safety.

This week has been tumultuous emotionally. But we’ve had internet connectivity stuff that prevented me from boring anyone with it. Huzzah?

Apparently today we are going dancing. Because someone finally responded with a yes. I was getting emotionally ready to back out on going. We don’t really have appropriate costuming. And Noah is not interested in dancing. And managing the kids while dealing with Noah’s unhappiness about being dragged to something he hates is always fun.

I was hoping that everyone would tell me no they weren’t going so I could skip it too.

I like to dance. I love dancing. Sometimes dragging a whole crew of people who need care of coaxing isn’t very fun. It is sounding really hard today. But a posse was formed so now I can’t back out. Even though it sounded like way more fun when I first heard of it months ago it doesn’t sound real fun today.

Noah didn’t go to bed last night. He’s probably going to be cranky. There is always the double whammy that being sleep deprived makes him cranky and then he’s extra cranky because I woke up in the middle of the night and yelled at him about not sleeping. Because when he doesn’t sleep at night he sleeps through the weekend. And we don’t have children who wake up at night anymore so I’m really sick to death of a partner who is cranky because of sleep dep. There is no excuse.

Only there are dozens of excuses and I’m an asshole for wanting to control his sleep so much.

Well, there are weeks when he naps enough during the days to make up a whole extra work day of time gone. Given that his time off amounts to a day of work amount of time off… he is effectively not available 7-9 hours of the day 7 days a week. And it’s not like he hangs out with them for all of the 4-6 hours he overlaps awake with them. Not even close.

The mothers helper kid stopped showing up. That’s a write off.

Getting actual, consistent support is hard. I’m tired.

I’m having a hard time with some communication stuff too. I don’t feel heard very much. When other people act like “they’ve heard all my shit because they’ve read the blog so when we get together it is their turn to talk” I feel… really shitty.

Writing on the blog doesn’t increase my sense of being seen all that much. I think it is important. I think it is helpful with a lot of my relationships. But I never blog about everything going through my head. I have so many layers of filters. If I mentioned x on the blog there is usually about fourteen layers of shit associated with x that I didn’t dare write about.

And people don’t really want to hear about it. I’ve already used my word count up for the day. Without ever once opening my mouth.

I’ve been wanting to bang my head a lot lately as a reminder to shut up. Shut up. Just shut up you stupid bitch.

I’m supposed to stand there and smile and be supportive about someone else’s issues and not say anything that might make anyone feel uncomfortable. Just shut up shut up shut up.

I don’t think it is “personal”. If I asked people about why communication stuff is wonky I would be dismissed or told I was imagining it or it was just my perception.

Ok fine. Maybe I should just stay home with my perception then. In my home with just my kids it doesn’t feel nearly as bad that I’m not allowed to talk about my shit. I knew that was the deal before I got into this situation. It doesn’t bother me very much with kids. I don’t want to hurt them and I know that knowing too much about people like me will hurt kids.

It is harder with adults. So much harder.

Today I run 4.5 miles before the dance event. Thank goodness today is a massage day.

For all that I seem to live at my pity party table I know I have a pretty fucking good life.

I’m going to go cry out my misery at Disney next year. Hilarious.

If I could stop wanting people and if I could start being happier with just being alone as I do things my life would probably be perfect. I really like what I get to do with my time in the main. Yeah, I won’t fill my hours exactly the same way when the kids are grown but I’m content with where I am for now.

If I could just stop feeling sad. If I could stop missing my mommy so much.

Shanna and Calli call one another “Sissy”. I’m not entirely sure how/where they picked it up but now I’m copying it with both of them.

That was what my sister wanted to be called. She would hit me if I used her real first name when I was little. She was Sissy. End of story.

Sometimes when I hear Shanna and Calli say ever so sweetly, “Sissy will you please help me?” “Oh Sissy I’d love to” I walk away and cry.

I feel like an asshole. Why am I crying? Because I’m so fucking jealous. My Sissy hated me so much. Get over it. I’m trying. Thus the crying in the early morning hours. Because crying is how you get over it.

I feel really sad. I did sleep well last night. A good 7.5 hours. That has been my sleep cycle for most of my life. I’ve been trying to eat those shitty vegetable things everyone tells me are “good for me”. I’m mostly eating them cooked, so I don’t get massive diarrhea but sometimes people put them in front of me raw and I try to be all GGG and eat them anyway. And I burn with punishment.

It is funny how suicidal thinking works. There is a difference (for me) between suicidal ideation where I feel like I am working on A Plan and the sad anxious feeling of wanting to give up. The wanting to give up feels like a dog whining in the corner. Small, helpless, not able to get up and do much for itself. Pitiful and pathetic and not worthy of notice. It isn’t threatening. It isn’t real.

There is a difference between the days when I have to more or less crawl across freeway overpasses because I want to jump so fucking badly and the days when I want to just hide under the desk rocking and crying and beating my head.

Hiding this from my children for 7-9 hours a day 7 days a week is really hard.

I need to just be grateful that I don’t have to do much cooking. That is the most frequent point at which I fail to keep my shit together. Thank you, Noah. I really appreciate it.

I need to give my arms a break. Is it bright enough outside to run yet? This time I need to eat something before I leave. That last weekend run where I took off having eaten nothing felt really bad. You require fuel in your tank.

Good thing I pack little squeeze packets of peanut butter and chocolate just in case. I’m smarter than I look. Or, more accurately, I’ve been stupid a lot of times and eventually I learned. So I’m probably not smarter than I look.

I need to give Noah a chance with today. No, he doesn’t like dancing. He tries to be nice about it. He will help with the kids. He will in general be reasonable company.

My expectations of him are really unfair and ridiculous. I’m sorry. I expect Noah to be cheerful and upbeat about pretty much everything and it isn’t very nice of me.

When I’m around someone who is in a shitty mood I tend to sink to their level and keep on sinking. When I’m around people who are upbeat and perky I can ride the wave with them. I feel like a jerk for needing other people to lead my emotional experience.

Sometimes it is hard for me to feel happiness at all without someone modeling how it is supposed to work. That’s a lot of what I like about my kids. They are so happy. Yes, they can be abrasive assholes and they will scream when they don’t like something. (working on that) But mostly minute by minute they are just…. happy. Life is really good. They get their needs met.

That’s a lot of why I like hanging out with them so much. I will fake happiness in order to buy the relationships I want. It is part of why I have such trouble at jobs. I don’t care that much about money. Beyond subsistence and minimal safety I was never real motivated to work hard for money. Enough was good enough.

At every job I’ve ever had there is far less impetus to be in a good mood. Why, so I can make a customer happy? What fucking ever.

But if my attitude is the difference between Shanna and Calli having a good day or a bad day, then I need to work on my attitude. As one of the moms in our group says, “You’ve got to have a good attitude…”

I can’t control the fact that I have mental illness and it has impact on my kids. What I can do is work to mitigate the damage. What I can do is behave in such a way that they will grow up and be able to understand how hard I worked at being good to them. I hope. Who knows. Maybe they will never give a shit. Most kids don’t seem to care about their parents much.

Doesn’t everyone want to feel appreciated?

One of my neighbors is talking about home schooling her kids next year. She talked about wanting to do it from the first day we met. I asked her what was stopping her and it came down to fear that she couldn’t do a good enough job.

Then last year she had a bunch of problems with the school. Her children are really not being appropriately served. So she’s considering home schooling a lot harder.

She asked a lot of questions. I feel I was pretty balanced. I started with my normal, “Of course there is a whole spectrum of opinions from radical in the direction of no direct teaching to school-at-home with every minute scheduled. I’ll talk about what I do first and then I will move on to different points in the spectrum and talk about the pros and cons. The important thing is to figure out what works for you and your child because there is no universal right answer.”

I’m a good advocate.

I really hope she will consider it because she REALLY WANTS TO and she is incredibly organized and focused. She would be good at home schooling. She’s big on answering questions with, “I don’t know the answer to that yet, let’s find out.” Perfect. That is the attitude you need. And she’s super happy to hang with her kids all the time.

I told her the only think she is potentially going to lose out on for her kids is the time they get to spend with her. If you miss a year of public school you can catch up in summer school if you are bright and motivated. Whoopie. Her kids are quite smart (fully literate in two language before third grade is amazing–she mostly taught them) and I don’t see a down side. The only thing holding her back is fear. (That’s what she said. I’m not projecting.)

But it is her life. Who knows. It would be cool though. Even though we probably wouldn’t be live-in-your-pocket besties (even though she lives ONE BLOCK AWAY) it would be nice to have another home schooler in Fremont.

We are going to have to join or create a Fremont home school group or something. Yes, we will still love all the Castro Valley and San Leandro and Oakland people…. but the road is equidistant in both directions. I can only do so much driving.

I wish I felt less desperate. I know that desperation is one of the fastest way to drive people away from you. The depth and intensity are scary. I don’t have a good reason. I’m sorry. Just breathe. Go get some food. Read a few chapters. In about 40 minutes it will be time to run.

Now I will nom a muffin that is poison for Jenny.

Less than 10%.

(Side note before I get going: my editor gave me back my book! I am super duper grateful I am working with her. As I go through the chapters I can see how she edited, but my voice still sounds like me. She improved flow so dramatically. Oh working with competent professionals is like a gentle summer rain. Ahhhhhh.)

Less than 10%. When you want to talk about problematic men that’s the figure you are looking at. In every group of 100 men not even 10 of them are douchebags or rapists or violent.

But lots of people (men and women) get attacked by this percentage. This is the problematic percentage.

Noah thinks it is a very good sign that female violent crime is on the rise. We aren’t that far behind men anymore. He says that is a sign of progress.

I understand the frustration around the #notallmen and #yesallwomen hashtags. No, not all men are a problem. But sometimes when people are angry and ranting about the problem they don’t have the spoons to slow down and gently stroke your hair and say, Of course not you honey.

If you are in the 90%+ of men who are not scumbags, congratulations. I may or may not be willing to thank you for not being a piece of shit all the time but I do notice and appreciate it.

Unfortunately it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. This problematic segment of society. Because it’s not just men. Women are doing more and more violence. We live in a world where they can.

Is there any way to morph the language from, “Men are predators” towards “The problematic portion of society” because there will always be men, women, and trans*folk who fall into the same wedge of the pie. It is stupid to act like ONLY men ever do bad things.

And with the yes all women–are you a woman if you don’t get harassed? Is not getting harassed a sign of shame because you aren’t attractive enough? I don’t think it is based on looks. I don’t know for sure what it is based on. I know that black women get it worse than white women in this country. I don’t have the authority to speak about international patterns.

If you never get harassed, are you a woman? That is what the #yesallwomen bandwagon seems to be about. All women have unpleasant things happen to them. Not all of those unpleasant things are sexual or about street harassment.

Do we really need to unite as a gender behind an experience that only happens to less than half of us? Why in the hell should that be the marker?

Seems pretty stupid to me.

There are bad people in the world. Lots of them. But they are still less than 10% of the population. How do we learn to focus on the problems rather than using gender or race as blanket permission to hate people?

I’m afraid this problem is too big for me.

I can handle this on a small group level. I had lots of classroom conflicts. I had opposing gang members in the same classes. We had issues. But I managed to get my classroom declared neutral territory and by the end of a school year sworn enemies would laugh and put on a stupid play together.

Scale is the problem. How do you deal with problematic people? By having someone stare at them all the time to make sure they don’t get away with shit. But it’s a hard job. Not that many people really want it.

And the worst predators are the ones who don’t go to jail anyway. They are never prosecuted. My dad was a rapist for decades before it took a sixteen year old child saying, “No more”. I am pretty sure I know about at least six other child victims of his. No telling what else he did.

Not all men are bad. Truly. Most men are decent. Some men are flat out wonderful. But y’all got a snake in your gopher hole. I’m not sure that the victims are going to be able to stop this problem.

This has to be seen as a problem that is bigger than perpetrators and victims. By-standers have to start to see it. By-standers need to be unafraid to walk into a public conflict and ask if everyone is ok. Deescalation is super hard. People who are currently amping up are rarely able to manage it alone.

I have walked into a lot of fistfights. I rarely come away with more than a bruise. It is worth the potential danger.

Sometimes I don’t understand how I became the one who is breaking up the fights instead of starting them. Life is so crazy. I think that conflict management training they made me do in junior high helped. The fact that I face steeper penalties now helps too. And I signed up to be a 20 year good example. Oh just shoot me now.

Six years in and no major fuck ups!

Only little fuck ups. Everyone does little fuck ups. That’s basically mandatory. Perfect parents are bad for kids. Kids learn how to handle mistakes and failure by watching their parents.

When I stop and think about it I am very proud of myself. I have an incredibly low frustration thresh hold so if I’m doing something hard for me… well… now I just mutter my constant swear words very quietly instead of screaming them at the top of my lungs. Progress.

I have broken multiple dishes this year. My response, “Ah drat! Back up and let me clean it up. Whoops.”

Shanna’s response every time has been, “Good thing that came from Ikea. *phew* It’s easy to replace!”

When my kids break things they say, “Oh no! Oh thank goodness it is replaceable.”

We don’t get the bone china out very much. We are all clear we won’t be able to just get another one. And it’s pretty. So we save it for very special occasions. (Their grandmother sent them one fancy bone china plate. Because that won’t start a fight at all. It’s Peter Rabbit and friends. Very cute.)

I’ve been talking to Shanna about this. About mistakes and the kinds of mistakes you make. The vast majority of all mistakes are no big deal and you just keep moving while learning from the experience. You have to fail to learn.

There are some mistakes that are bigger. There are some mistakes you can’t get back and they really hurt someone.

The problems with the destructive 10% of society fall into this category in my opinion.

Those problems really hurt. Those problems keep going. On the kid level of understanding we went to the glass case where we keep all of our dishes. Up high above the shelves the kids use Noah and I have a few glass art pieces we have acquired through life.

One of them was a wedding present from Dad and Francesca. Shanna already managed to break the other present I had from Francesca. This is the last thing I have left. I can never get another one. This was the last thing my good friend saw and said, “Oh this makes me think of Krissy.” (I don’t really understand why. It is not my color palette. Whatever.)

If that got broke I would be very sad. If Shanna got mad at me, went to the cabinet and broke it on purpose…. I would feel completely devastated. I told her I would rather have her punch me in the face over and over again. That would hurt me very much.

Even though it is just a thing and things are replaceable. This thing comes packaged with love from someone I will never see again. This item isn’t replaceable. I could buy more glass, but I can never buy more love from Francesca. It is not for sale.

I try not to talk to my kids about rape yet. So I try to talk about problems on a scope they will understand.

My kids understand that there are people in the world who will touch you in your private places without permission. They think that if anyone ever does that kind of thing that they have full permission to cause as much pain as they physically can. Outside of it coming up rarely in books (my kids are quite sure that if Prince Eric snuck into their room to kiss them while they were sleeping he wouldn’t be walking out because his legs would be broken–I love my kids.) I don’t talk about those problems much.

I don’t want them growing up with all rape all the time. And that’s hard for me to do. It is conscious effort to change topics and find accessible, appropriate things to talk about.

I’m kind of tired of the indignant, “But I’m not the problem.” Ok. Fine. Then stop fucking talking about you and TALK ABOUT THE PROBLEM.

All I know is that I have the safety to hide in my house a lot of the time. I live in a relatively safe neighborhood. Well, my next door neighbor keeps getting ripped off. I have not said out loud to him, “Well maybe if you spent less time in your front yard yelling asshole racist shit you would be less of a target… they don’t hit me.”

But that’s not the point. What is the point? Men are raped. Women are raped. Men are rapists. Women are rapists. More than half of the people alive are neither a rapist nor a rape victim.

How do we even talk about the problem? How do we get a handle on the scale? How do we talk about systematic solutions. If every community needs a few dozen people like me to follow around the problems and keep them out of trouble… that’s a hard burden systematically. It’s easier to put them in prison. Only that has so many problems it isn’t funny. Our country is obscene and disgusting in how we incarcerate our citizens.

People a lot smarter than me have been beating their heads on this problem. But I feel like defining the problem further is useful.

Have a good day.

post-interview

It was 45 minutes. She ended it because she was worried about overwhelming me. I managed to not giggle. It’s hard to overwhelm me.

“You want to ask me questions about myself? I can talk all day.” I’m kind of self absorbed.

I think maybe the main thing I would have done differently if I got to steer a bit more towards the end is I would have done a bit more on coping methods: the failures and the successes. Lots of failures to talk about. Oy.

She wants pictures of me. Hopefully recent and some as a child. Does anyone have any pictures of me they particularly like? Eeek.

It will be put in UK print media and potentially online but she isn’t completely sure yet. Oh man. I’ll be sent the text in a week or so to approve/tweak before she sends it out. Apparently I will get paid. I was surprised by that bit.

And it begins.

Did I mention that I finally got the speaker information into the mail for RAINN? I don’t like RAINN as much as I might, but I would be willing to let them send me to high schools to talk to kids. The envelope was ready and just needed postage for many months. I mailed it when I sent the games off to Portland.

Just keep swimming swimming swimming just keep swimming.

Nothing else to do.

Today I will finish the puttering around the house chores I didn’t finish yesterday. I will rest. I will go to the water park. I will eat nachos for dinner.

I will be cuddly and lovey with my kids. Noah gets tonight off so he can get stuff done. So I have a looooooong day ahead of me. That’s ok. I can handle it.

Sometimes I surprise myself.

Letter writing

My generation is not so big on handwritten letters. In general we stick to email. It’s easier, less effort, less waste, etc. But I believe that letters still have a place in society.

I’m not big on the traditional “rules” around when and how to write so I ignore those. I have come up with my own general guidelines for writing letters. A bit ago a friend asked me about how writing letters worked and this is my attempt to respond. (Sorry it took me so long. I was thinking about it.)

We live in a time and a place where there are thousands of things competing for your attention. Being on the computer at all is an exercise in distraction.

Why: Why bother writing letters? It’s a pain in the hand. Mostly it is because the thrill of getting a personal letter doesn’t go away. Everyone is used to post-mail being bills and horrible advertisements. Getting an honest-to-goodness letter feels thrilling and exciting. Someone cared enough about you to write a letter. It is like a tiny little micro-gift of love and attention.

When: When do you write them? I don’t believe in hard and fast rules. We have too many things competing for our attention. I think that it is good to look at your calendar and spot areas where you have a good solid two hours. You don’t need to use all that time, but futzing with addressing an envelope, finding a stamp, etc adds at least half an hour. You want more than an hour because when you sit down you need to organize your thoughts a bit. Do you have to write a letter when someone gets married? When they lose a job?

Write a letter when you want to let someone know that you have been thinking about them. That’s really the only when.

Who: Who should you write letters to? Anyone! Older people appreciate it the most. If you know someone over 60, chances are they would appreciate a letter. It is a throw back to their childhood when communication was that way or no way. (Yes they had phones… but they were *expensive*.)

Kids love letters. Kids will save them and think of you throughout their childhood. Kids will know that you are an adult who cared enough to notice them. They remember.

Your friends will feel special and loved. An email is nice, but letters are so much nicer.

And I despise handwriting. I think that writing letters is torture. But it makes other people so happy. Writing someone a letter is a way of consciously demonstrating that they are important in your life. Sometimes there isn’t another way of doing so. Sometimes you don’t have the spoons to pay as much physical attention to someone as you wish you could.

But they can get a letter in their home. They can feel loved and seen and cared for. And it doesn’t take that many spoons.

I love writing letters. I love the feeling that, unlike my normal for the masses babbling, I’m specifically trying to create a relationship with a person. I only write a letter to further serve a bond. If I write you a letter it is because I want to show you about as much respect as I can show for a person.

Hand-written letters will never go out of style. Email will never take the place of walking to your mail box and seeing a letter from a loved one. It’s just… not the same.

What: What do you write though? It depends on who you are writing. For my in-laws I stick to mostly recounting what the kids are up to. I understand that they aren’t that into me. When I write to close intimate friends I tend to share feelings. I write to tell them why I was thinking about them–how it made me feel. “I was thinking about you last night. I was thinking about when we did _____. I am so glad you are in my life.” Lots of variation is possible there.

Letters exist to help people feel more connected. Reminding someone of a memory means they are very likely to remember it better. They will remember you better. They will remember how they feel about you.

Only it is tinged with the rosy glow of memory. Science has proven that it is much harder for us to remember bad things than good things. When you remind friends of times gone by, they tend to forget the irritations. The difficulties. They remember that you stayed. They remember that you were there. They remember that you were their friend.

That’s the important part.

Sharing memories is a lot of what relationships are built on. The more memories you share the deeper your relationship. The more reminders of your memories you have the stronger you feel about them.

How much: How much do you have to write? I’ve gotten six word postcards that made my day. I have had the good luck to receive twelve page letters. Frankly, that got a little overwhelming. He was an intense guy.

You are just writing to them to remind them to think of you the way you think of them. If you can do that in a few words, feel free. It is just as meaningful.

Revolutionary Women

On Twitter two women I think well of asked what they talked about in front of me that had such an impact. Because thirteen years later I nearly genuflect when I see them and they aren’t sure how they caused such a good impression.

So here we go down memory lane. To set the stage: I was nineteen and I had been dating this guy for a few months. He was to become my Owner but he wasn’t yet. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to Seattle to meet his best friend. I said sure.

At that point in time I had been away from my family for a very brief period of time, just over a year. Most of my childhood and teen years my parents and siblings spent a fair bit of time telling me that my only future career option was to be a whore.

Not a prostitute, not a sex worker–this wasn’t about being PC. My family wanted to make sure I was very sure that I knew I was worthless.

Then I go up to Seattle. I was freshly involved in the bdsm community. The community I had met in the bay area up to that point was mostly male dominant/female submissive. Some women topped, but they tended to still be more or less socially submissive because the guys we spent time with were… pushy. I’ll use that word and be polite.

There weren’t very many fierce women when I showed up. They were pleasant and kind and meant well, but they didn’t inspire my fighting instincts.

Then I went to Seattle. I met my boyfriend’s best friend–who is a really nice guy. I like him a great deal.

But more importantly… I met his partner. His partner was a professional sex worker. By the time I met her she was pretty firmly in the realm of professional dominance and she had stopped doing other forms of sex work. Though she did do other things when she was younger.

Given that I knew I was “meant” to be a whore from when I was a preschooler meeting my first honest-to-goodness sex worker was revolutionary.

She took no shit from anyone. It was like seeing light come down from heaven and hearing the angels sing Hosanna.

She was really educated–self educated, but she could talk intelligently on just about any topic. She was like a cross between Veronica Franco and Florence King. She was a Southern Lady and she could tell you where and how to go fuck yourself while making you smile and say thank you for the honor.

She is a force of nature. I have rarely met anyone with as much force of personality combined with civility. I have nothing like her skill. I would give just about anything to have that much courtesy mixed with my “Go Fuck Yourself”.

Then I met her best friend. Also a sex worker. And I listened to these two women talk.

I had never heard real life women talk like them. They were so mercenary about meeting their own interests. They didn’t give a shit if you were disappointed in what they are willing to offer you. To quote: that is not their dog.

They were able to take care of themselves, tell other people to piss off and manage their own needs, and smile while sounding polite the whole time.

They were allowed to have preferences and requirements and they got to set hoops for dealing with them.

They saw their own value. They are not willing to compromise on their own self worth just because someone else wants to devalue them. I have not known very many women like that.

I’m still not sure I have ever met any other women who can swing a sword to defend themselves while smiling with such glee. They still inspire me.

It took meeting honest-to-goodness sex workers for me to find out that I was not required to go into that profession. They were very clear that I was not a good personality fit. They could rattle off what makes someone a good sex worker. They were quite clear I wasn’t it. They were right.

Sometimes I think I have such strong feelings about them because they were the first people to really tell me that I shouldn’t consider sex work. I’m not a good fit.

I was told: “No one should do sex work unless they have a high sense of the ridiculous and they are good at laughing at life.”

That isn’t me. It is them. And I love them for it.