Category Archives: 10k


Sometimes I am reminded that people with mental illness are not always good for people to be around. Sometimes it seems like being alone is really the only option if we want to stop the pain. Our pain, the pain we cause other people just by existing.

I have spent a lot of my life literally alone. I have spent years sitting alone in rooms. Yet I contrast that with the wonderful people in my life. I have friends. I am unusually blessed.

But I feel alone. Because it isn’t ok to make anyone else’s life all about my pain and I don’t know how to get past my pain to focus on connection with people. Some days I can kind of get there, I haven’t been doing so well lately.

I absolutely understand the feeling I do everything wrong anyway–the world would be better if I was dead. But I’m not supposed to say that out loud. It is manipulative. It is hurtful. It damages people if you scream at them that you want to die. It isn’t ok to take ones pain out on the people around one.

But there is so much pain. I saw a sign today, advertising a suicide prevention walk. I stood and stared at the sign for a while. I thought about a conversation I had this weekend with two women who expressed how hard it is to deal with suicidal people. Those who want to be supportive of the suicidal person can be absolutely wrung dry. That isn’t fair either.

We (the mentally ill or “crazy” as I think of myself) are told over and over that we should ask for help. Those of us with extreme trauma in our background are also told over and over and over and over again in therapy that it isn’t appropriate for us to talk about our experiences in front of “normal” people because we will hurt them just by admitting that people like us exist.

Shut up. And it is your own fault that you are crazy. And it is your fault if the pain is too much and you die. Why didn’t you get help? And while I’m at it, shut up.

I’m having a hard time with the kids. My shrink is encouraging me to consider getting a job so I can pay for private school because I need a break from my kids. I’m not entirely sure how adding a job to all of my current work would make my life easier. It isn’t like work stress is less impactful than kid stress. And the main job I have prepared to do is teach children. If I went back to doing that all day long I would not be a very nice person to my children. All of my patience would go to my job and by the time I got home I would be screaming and nearly psychotic.

It was funny how at first my shrink tried to talk me into just putting them in public school. She works with the school across the street from my house. It took me staring her down for a while before she admitted that the school is entirely substandard academically and it probably wouldn’t all “work out just fine”.

If my interactions with my kids all of a sudden had to go from just me enforcing about an hour a day of chores to me having to enforce an hour of chores AND force them to do homework that I know to be ineffective and damaging during the 3-4 hours a day I see them… I don’t see how we would get along better. Yes, I may feel less stress. Maybe. I haven’t at any other point in my life when my work situation has been different, but what the hell.

I don’t think sending my kids to a shitty school for babysitting is a good option. I don’t think that is in anyone’s best long-term interests. Would I do it if I HAD TO, yes. No one would die. It isn’t the end of the world. But no, it is not ideal. That is not for the best.

Is home schooling? Mostly we get along. We’ve had a hard few weeks. That happens every so often. I’m not sure we would get along better if our relationship involved me having to force them to get ready for school every day. I am not good at that.

I feel like a failure. I feel like I should die. But I don’t want to leave my kids. I don’t want to hurt them like that. I don’t know how to stop feeling like I am poison to everyone around me. I hurt people so much.

Maybe it would be better if I …… I don’t know.

Being alone is a weird thing. I don’t spend that much physical alone time these days. But I feel very alone emotionally. Is it because I can’t physically talk about almost any of what goes on in my head? I don’t know. I know that when I get together with other people there is usually a very clear dynamic that I am there to listen to them and be supportive of their issues. I need to not overwhelm people or bother them. I need to not be boring with this constant I want to die I want to die I want to die.

My throat hurts. My head hurts. My belly hurts. I want to puke. I want to beat my head so bad that I have to sit very still to not do it. I’ve been thinking about cutting all day. I want to bleed and bleed and bleed and bleed.

I don’t like me very much and it feels very much like I haven’t been punished adequately lately for being a piece of shit.

I can’t burden people with these thoughts. That’s not fair.

In the store, Calli was having a hard time. Calli said something–I forget what–and Shanna responded with some nonsense syllables and Noah, Shanna and I laughed. Calli sobbed. It felt like we were laughing at her and being mean. I pulled her into my arms and I carried her for the next half hour and I talked to her quietly. I apologized over and over. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. We were laughing at the silly sounds. I’m so sorry we hurt you. Clearly we did.

Then Calli asked me if it was right that she hurt herself. I felt utterly crushed. Did I teach you this? I try so hard not to talk about it. I don’t know if I have slipped or not. I may have. I told her that it was not right for her to hurt herself on purpose. I told her that her body is her constant companion–her body will be the only thing with her every minute of her life. She needs to be kind and loving to her body so that it can be strong and do all the things she wants to do in this life. We talked about how being kind to your body means eating healthy foods (we had a long chat about why Ho-Ho’s don’t count as “healthy food”) and drinking good water and exercising and sleeping and relaxing. We talked about balance. I told her that if she hurts herself, she won’t be as strong. I told her that if she hurts herself, she is hurting something that has only done kindness to her–her body has carried her through everything that has happened to her.

By the end she said it made sense and she said she would be careful and loving with her body.

Why can’t I talk me into feeling compassion for my body? I barely ate today. I just… couldn’t. Even though I rode 8 miles on my bike and ran just under 5 miles. I ate one piece of bread pudding and about 1/3 of a package of ramen. I don’t feel physically able to eat more. I feel sick and weak and nauseous and disgusting.

And yet I feel like there are pieces of my life pulling at me from every direction telling me that I have failed. I am not managing to make time for my friends in the ways they want me to. It’s very annoying that I get up so fucking early and I am not available to suit their needs. I am having trouble with home school social stuff. Not because anyone is doing anything. Because I feel like a feral animal in a trap and my stomach hurts all the time and I feel like I just can’t be around good, kind people. I will hurt them.

The world would be a better place if people like me didn’t exist.

More than once this weekend I felt crushing guilt. Some of the kids in the group are *gasp* normal kids and they push boundaries. Any time I enforced a boundary I felt like I should die. (To be fair, none of their parents objected and the kids aren’t upset with me to the best of my knowledge.) I’m not saying this is rational. I am more saying the opposite. None of this is rational.

I don’t know if that “alone” feeling can go away.

I feel a lot of guilt for not doing the 10k this week. But things just kind of fell apart. My running partner and I are both having feelings. We are both having stuff happen in our life and the race just didn’t quite happen for us. I feel like I let her down. I feel like I am a shitty piece of shit who should be run over by a Mac truck.

I can’t do everything. I can’t be every where. I can’t …. I just can’t. Yes, my failures suck. I know.

Yesterday I commented to Noah that I am feeling the lack of Godmama break. My shrink today commented, “It sounds like you really need a break.” Finding other options just isn’t happening. I don’t have the spoons to deal with trying to find babysitting. It is fucking hard. And people lie to me. And people steal money. And people don’t answer their phones. And… Yes, I need some kind of break from my kids. My time off is mostly the 8 hours/week I pay the neighbor but I work like a dog the whole time she is here. It is not rest time. It is “do things that I can’t do with my kids jumping on top of me” time.

I feel weary. I don’t think getting a job is actually the answer. For a hundred reasons. Yes, there would be good aspects. Right now, all I can think is, “What would I start failing on?” I have absolutely no extra spoons. I’m really far into spoon deficit.

Mostly I just pray that I don’t fuck up my kids too badly and I hope we can all make it through the next decade while still liking one another.

You know, me having a “really hard time” with my kids is about on par with the most stable, best parts of my childhood. That’s hard to wrap my head around. I feel so much guilt and so much shame for being a yeller. I don’t call my kids names.

I would have given anything to have my mom say that she was mad at what I did. Instead she told me that she was mad because I was a stupid bitch.

I yell things like, “I am not your fucking maid. Pick up your own shit.” That is what I say when I *lose it*. When I am really harsh. When I am so mean.

I wish my mama was that nice to me. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish. That doesn’t excuse me being this way with my kids. I want to do better. Because I believe they deserve better.

I don’t scream all day long. I don’t scream every day. I scream too much. And I am really struggling with how to stop. I don’t think that adding the stress of a job would somehow magically make it easier for me to have patience. Maybe if I got to be a rural librarian who dealt with very few patrons on a day and who got to sit in a calm, orderly environment all day long. But I don’t actually have that option. I trained to do something high stress.

The idea that I would be less stressed if I went back to dealing with 150 teenagers a day is hilarious. At this point, with how teachers are getting screwed, I’d probably be up to 170 teenagers.

I told my shrink point blank that I want my next career to be in incest research and I cannot start on that path while I have little children. She countered with telling me about women who are public about intense issues getting killed. She had to agree that I should wait at least ten years before seriously starting the incest research for the safety of my children.

Yeah, I’m overly invested in the idea of home schooling. I have wanted to home school my kids since I was 17. I’m pretty devoted to this idea and I’m willing to try pretty hard to make it work out. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure. I have been preparing for home schooling for almost 16 years now. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure.

I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I really don’t. I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m very afraid that none of it will work out and I will end up alone and bitter and hateful.

I would much, much rather die. Life is such a risk. I feel like such a failure each and every day. Ok, there are days I don’t feel like a complete loser. It hasn’t been a good month so far.

I barely talked to the kids today. I was gone five hours for therapy. I can’t do that again. Two hours of exercise/transportation between bart and destinations. One hour of therapy. Two hours of train. I really need to find an incest specialist closer to my city. Why aren’t there tons of psychologists who specialize in incest sitting in my city?! Geez. Very inconvenient. Then I came home and went in my room and cried. Because it is that kind of day.

Noah is home. I did snuggle the kids before and after. We have talked. We have interacted, but not that much more than if they were in school all day.

I can’t talk without saying things I shouldn’t. So I’m not talking. Some days are like that.

And right there, right that minute, that is when the medication hit. Now I’m hungry. Now the pain in my head is mostly muddy noise I can ignore except for the throbbing spot. I still feel sick. But I feel like maybe I will be able to eat dinner.

Calli came into my room this afternoon and asked why I was crying. I said that in my head I was hearing mean things about me and they make me feel very sad. She said, “Like what?” I smiled and told her that she doesn’t need to hear those words come out of my mouth. I don’t need to be the one who teaches her to apply those words to me, or to herself.

I worry about both of my kids, but I worry more about Calli. On one hand I feel like the worst possible mother for her. She clearly has tendencies that I could uhh encourage. In bad ways. On the other hand, how many other people can talk to her about the problems of hurting yourself?

Baby I can’t make you like you any more than I can make me like me. But know that I like you. I love you all the time even when I don’t like something you have done. I am glad for you every minute of the day. I am grateful I get to see you again. You are a good girl who is trying to learn about a complicated world and no one can learn without making mistakes.

I don’t think I am good enough to be their mom. Unfortunately I don’t know who else to nominate for the role.

Also: my kids and I had a long chat about swear words because they are both becoming quite proficient at using shit, fuck, damn, hell, and crap. We talked about the penalties they might experience for using these words. I told them about all the ways I have been punished for talking this way. Shanna asked why I still use the words if so many people have hurt me to try and make me stop. I told her that when people try to force me to do things that is a guarantee I will do the opposite–even if I’m kind of hurting myself in the process. It isn’t smart, but it is how I operate.

Now my kids have decided that since language is all about modeling I have to stop swearing because I am teaching them the words too often. I am not happy about having my kids police my language this much. I’m really not happy about it. But I’m trying to go with it. I think Shanna is being proactive in an overall healthy way.

For the first time in my life I feel like the person who is telling me to stop swearing is doing so because she loves me and she wants more people to be nice to me.

It is very hard being aware that much of what my mother did was not out of love for me, was not out of desire to make me a better person, was not in the service of my best-self.

I look at my kids and I think of the awesome, overwhelming obligation they represent.

I am not sure I’m up for this, but there’s no way out but through.

Next of kin

The future is always scary to me. Lots of worry about the future. Godmama is out of the ICU. She is moving to a rehabilitation facility today or tomorrow. She is expected to make a full recovery. It is not clear yet what extent the brain injury will have long term impact. It isn’t clear how long recovery will be–months or years.

I feel kind of cold for worrying about the impact this will have on my kids. We need to go visit our lawyer anyway and take my childhood best friend out of the paper work. The person who was supposed to be executor moved to a different state and hasn’t initiated contact once since moving. I’m seeing that as a bad idea going forward.

If Jenny lived in this country it would be a no-brainer. But international stuff is tricky. I feel scared.

How do I make sure my kids will be safe? Well, first of all you have to accept that if you put your children into moving vehicles you can’t guarantee that they will be safe. But moving on down from that risk…

I didn’t understand what commitment meant when I was younger. Now that I’ve actually been part of a family for a while I have a better idea.

I’m scared. But the future will come and that will be that.

Today I will run five miles, finish the drawings for the remodel, and who knows what else. It will be a busy day. Like they all are.

Next 10k race in 18 days. Half marathon eight weeks past that, so ten weeks out. Oh boy.

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.

Life is pretty good.

Wow, thanks for all the comments. That started my day off differently than normal. I’m having trouble controlling my smileys despite my promise to myself that I wouldn’t use them in the blog. Ahem.

I’m in a good mood. I finished scheduling arrangements for the summer. Shanna has a couple of weeks of summer camp. They are kind of random.

Mondays will be cleaning/family-gym night. (Noah and I started dating by being gym buddies. He’s fun to exercise with.)  And the kids love the day care. With a trip to Aqua Adventure in the middle of the day.

Tuesdays switch a bit. Every other week we go to Oakland for therapy. I usually spent post-therapy talking to K for a bit. Sometimes we go to park day afterwards. Or we don’t go to therapy and we try to go to park day. If it is my only unscheduled day of the week, sometimes we stay home during the day. Tuesday nights will be babysitting from 4-8. We will sometimes date but mostly that’s alone time.

Wednesdays are variable. Concerts. County Fair. Visits with friends. Stuff happens. We go to Aqua Adventure in the afternoon. Then Pam comes over to spend the night.

Thursdays mornings for four hours I exchange child care with a local stay at home mom. One week at my house, next week at her house. I can’t believe how crazily productive I am during that period. (It used to be three hours, we decided to bump it after we’ve ended up standing around talking for two hours after most sitting-sessions because the kids are not ready to split up after three hours.) One week I get to go up to L’s house and plan out Calli’s birthday party. (It’s a joint thing cause she’s got a birthday twin. It’s working out.) Every other Thursday I will be running with J. The in between Thursdays will be Noah’s night off.

Friday days are variable. Gym visits with a mom so the kids can play in the day care. Help K clean out her basement (I’ve been looking forward to this for years. I have pestered them asking, “So! When can we clean out your basement?!”) Aqua Adventure most weeks. (All these trips to Aqua Adventure are dates with another family. I have to go.) Nights are Family-Date-Night. The kids will help make dinner. When Noah and I cooperate, the kids always find ways to keep us busy.

Saturdays are variable. We do stuff. Sometimes it is just a massage. Sometimes we go see people. Sometimes we hang out at home and keep busy. This is when Noah gets in the epic reading sessions with the kids. (Would anyone like to go to the day-time PEERS event in August? It sounds fun…. And like my hours…)

Sundays start with Shanna making breakfast. Then we walk to the farmers market. Then we hang out and rest for the remainder of the day.

On top of that I have a very full exercise schedule. 2-3 days of running. One walk to the farmers market. 1-2 days of cross training. (I start out with more cross training and slightly less running but that shifts as I get closer to the half marathon.) Stretching and strength training. One rest day. Must rest or you don’t progress as well.

Dinners are planned until September. I consciously put a lot of easier stuff on the calendar. I’m going to need easier cooking if I will get through it. I’d like to conserve some money. I’ve been uhm, over spending. It’s halfway through the year and I am not over budget on most stuff, but I have absolutely no wiggle room and I really wanted a cushion. Sigh. At the end of the year I am going to send a bunch to the mortgage even if it hurts. I hope to build a cushion so it doesn’t hurt. The mortgage is still hovering at $200,000 and if I am going to pay it off in six more years then I need to get some large payments in, the sooner the better. Interest is a beast.

Debt is bad.

Really, if I got the house paid off in 2019, that would be dreamy. If all the mortgage money was suddenly going spare I could do a lot of interesting things. The longer I drag out the mortgage, the more I pay. That’s the simple logic of interest. The faster I get rid of the mortgage the more of my own money I get to keep. I can do fun things with it instead of give it to a bank.

I don’t pay on my car loans for the full term either.

Interest is yucky.

Except when I’m earning it. Then it’s awesome.

When I was a little girl, my life financial goal was to have $250,000 invested and to own my own home and car. I wanted no debt and a cushion “in case”. I picked that as a goal when I was, 10? 11? I know it was firm in my head before 12.

The fact that we have more than one account with that amount of money blows my fucking mind. I haven’t finished paying off the house yet. Damnit. Soon. Before I’m 40.

Thank you, Noah. I couldn’t have done this alone. To be fair, you couldn’t have either. You kind of suck at managing money. We make a great team. When we got engaged you had one account with that much money. You had a thirty year mortgage that you weren’t making expedited progress towards. You had a lot of debt from motorcycle purchases and accidents and home improvement and medical bills.

I’m pretty good. Doubled the investment. Paid off all the debt. Bought two cars, paid them off nearly instantly. The house is probably only six years away from being paid off. If I slacked it has a maximum of seven years left on the mortgage. Instead of twenty more years.

It is really easy to try hard for someone who rewards my hard work with kindness, attention, and love.

Not to mention that we went from being pretty much the crappiest house on the block to having people stop and offer to buy it because they like the garden so much.

I’ve been good to your bottom line. That’s pretty awesome.

You started off in a privileged position. It would not be reasonable to expect someone to do what we have done without the outrageous privilege of having a bunch of money handed to them.

I don’t know how I had my childhood but came out with different financial values. It’s A Mystery.

I honestly think it was the guaranteed income. It changes your whole way of thinking. When I grow up I might be willing to lobby congress for a guaranteed income. I think that is the only logical solution for a country with our resources and our degree of poverty.

Income inequality is bad for the country. Period. I don’t know when in the fuck I changed. Probably when I got my head out of my ass and looked at what was really happening to people near me because they didn’t have guaranteed income and I did.

I think I had the reverse of most people. Most people are protected by their parents during childhood and they have to make their way as adults–many are ill prepared. I was not financially cared for as a child. Once I turned eighteen I had a guaranteed income until I was thirty. I knew exactly how long I had to get my shit together and I put most of the money into college.

That’s an insane privilege. I didn’t know it while I was young.

It isn’t a hand out. It’s an investment. “I want you to do well, so our whole country will do well. This amount of money will keep you from making desperate choices so that you can survive. That way you can learn to thrive.”

This shit is studied.

Anyway. I’m in a good mood. The kids have been very affectionate and kind of clingy. Given how much they reject me lately I’m enjoying it. I think that they are noticing how much time we spend with other people lately.

Like: in the next two weeks I am providing 32 hours of babysitting for other peoples kids. That’s a fucking job. I do a lot of jobs all at once. I know that is kind of the joke about stay at home moms. Then add home schooling. Even unschooling is work. Don’t be fooled.

Right this minute I feel like I can handle all the balls in the air. I have said no to the things that weren’t fitting for me. It is hard but it was the right decision.

I can do this much scheduled and accomplish the things I want to do. Ok.

Also: I have to take the summer off of Netflix. I am watching too much. I’m going to try to limit my screen time to pre-6:30 am. I have a lot to do. (So I won’t be on chat much.)

I have a lot of projects I want to do. Sitting at the computer means I don’t get antsy enough to do them. If I change that dynamic, I get more done and I feel more satisfied about my time spent.

This is one of those times when my center of focus is moving in closer. I know this has happened before. It happened when I had Shanna for one thing. I just stopped communicating with most of the outside world. For years. I have been re-emerging.

Now I kind of don’t want to. I’ve built a world. I am really busy inside this little world. There’s a lot I want to do.

I need to buy saw horses. I have a lot of projects I want to do this summer and saw horses would make all of them easier. (So much for not painting this year.) That money will probably come out of my ‘entertainment’ budget. Because man is it cheaper to entertain myself at home than out. I have all the paint I need. Maybe another sheet of sand paper. Then we paint. No problem. I own all the other bits.

This is why some people can spontaneously make things. They have already accumulated all the crap. That’s why other people hoard. They want this feeling. “Oh I have everything for that.”

Only hoarders can’t find it when they want it. So they buy it anew for every project.

Man. Layers.

I remember my grandpa’s shed. He died when I was twelve. He was the only grandparent I met. He had painted the outline of every tool on the pegboard so he knew exactly where to put it.

In that moment, of seeing his shed I understood how things “should” be organized. It is all so clear. Yes.

I think I’ve been trying to get there ever since. I’m not there. I’m still shifting. He was in his 80’s. I doubt his work shop was always that meticulous. Give me time.

Someone recently said, “If this is how you use your garage… where do you put your storage?”

Storage? What’s that? My closets mostly don’t have doors. I don’t have an attic or a basement or a shed. My garage is fully occupied but not with storage. Ok, I store books on book shelves. Different.

I have what you see. I’m just trying to get the organization perfect. It happens in layers.

We change. Our needs change. Life is a process. I’m still arriving. I have so much more patience for that now than I used to have.

If a Zen moment appears, grab it. I feel ok. I feel like I am ok. I am doing what I wanted to do. I have, in fact, done far better than I dared dream. I haven’t perfectly arrived, but life is about the process. I’m doing well at the process.

My family thinks I am doing well by them. I’m not a perfect friend but I’m not a piece of shit. I do my best. Sometimes that isn’t enough. That’s life.

At this moment I honestly believe I couldn’t be doing more than I am. But I’m not over extended. Just busy. Booked. I can’t say yes to a lot more. People can join me on what I have already planned. That’s all I have to offer right now. And sometimes, I need to reserve family time. Holy crap do we spend time with people.

We need to reset our normal. Because even we–freaks that we are–have our own normal.

I have lots of gardening I should be doing. See–I need to stay home. There is work to do. While I babysit. Oh man.

It is going to be a blessedly full summer.

Rape, rape culture, and home school dynamics. (What a fun title.)

If I sat down and delineated all of the relationships that are bumpy right now… I wouldn’t have many people willing to talk to me next week. I feel like if I am having this many problems all at once it must be me. I’m doing something. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing wrong.

Is it oversharing? I haven’t even done that much of it lately. Not for me. Not in the scope of my level of over sharing.

I don’t know.

Passive aggression today. (Err, obviously not with the person who might read this.) There is one mom in particular who likes to make cracks about me. In the past it was a comment about how it isn’t possible to tell the difference between when I whine and when I talk. Today it was how no one will miss me if I disappear for a month. “Oh I’m kidding.”

I would cheerfully like to lock my front door, set up grocery delivery service, and maybe come out next year.

At least someone else, who I consider more friendly to me, looked kind of shocked when she said no one would miss me. I don’t think I was the only one who thought the “joke” wasn’t funny.

I’m sorry I’m not the quality of person you wish you got to associate with. What would you like me to do about that?

I’m feeling really really sad about some scheduling things. I don’t think anyone did anything wrong. Sometimes scheduling is hard and makes me sad.

I am happy that I got to speak with someone else on the unschooling list who felt very upset about the whole exchange. She felt that his “I’m not defending what he did to Krissy… but this show is great! He won an award!” was pretty disgusting. I’m so grateful to hear that I’m not the only one. I’ve been feeling really bad about the fact that I live in a world that prioritizes the funny rapists. I don’t feel like I want to live in a world like that. She said she wouldn’t care if I was the only victim this guy had–the fact that he has many such stories from many women isn’t more problematic. The fact that people will cover for him even for one rape is seriously a disgusting thing. She said she doesn’t want her kids in a room with someone like that and she’s grateful I spoke up.

Mostly I get crickets back. So I never know how much of what I say harms people or helps them. The people who do speak up are usually men telling me to shut up because I might hurt one of the poor men folk. I have less sympathy for this point of view than many might hope.

I don’t go out of my way to hurt any individual men. Well, or at least it has been a great many years since I have. (And all of those guys had to ask VERY NICELY.)

If I hurt my rapists by talking about them… sorry dudes. You made this bed, not me. I didn’t tell you to do what you did. So I get to talk about it. You get no privacy from me.

The vast majority of men in the whole wide world haven’t done a negative thing to me. So mostly I think guys are ok. I wish they would yell at one another for inappropriate sexist behavior more often but no one is perfect. I’m a yeller. I understand it isn’t everyones thing.

I feel scared. Unimportant. Stupid. I feel like if I got raped so many times it must be all my fucking fault and there is nothing I can do to take away me deserving it. I feel like maybe I wasn’t clear enough with Paul. Or with Dan. I told them so many times that I didn’t do bareback sex. Over and over I said, “This is a cover required portal. Thanks.” I thought I was funny. I said that I only have sex when two forms of birth control are used. (I sure as shit knew I didn’t want to coparent with either loser. Having protected sex is one thing. Having a baby with a loser is different.)

Am I allowed such fine tuned boundaries? Or is that breaking some rule such that it’s ok when guys want to stick it in any way?

“He won an award! He’s so funny!”

I hate you. I’m glad I don’t even know who you are, funny unschooling asshole dad, but you can jump right off a cliff.

Wait. Isn’t that me wishing harm on an individual man? Didn’t I just try to claim I don’t do this?!?!?!

Well, ok I’m a fucking liar. It’s unusual for me to wish harm on someone. And I don’t wish to go harm him. And I don’t wish to have someone else go harm him for me. But I’d be cool with him jumping off a cliff. Ok, no I wouldn’t. He’s a parent. That would be horrible and I would be a horrible person for being cool with him committing suicide.

Ok… uhm… don’t jump off a cliff. But shut the fuck up, okay? Stop endorsing rapists. It makes you look like a Very Bad Person with Questionable Judgement. Now that I know that you will send your kids to Paul I think I need to make sure my kids are never alone in a room with you.

And yet I live with someone who has committed rape. What kind of fucking hypocrite piece of shit am I? I really wonder sometimes.

Why can I forgive one rapist and not another? Well. I don’t have a good answer to that question but it fucking keeps me up at night.

Noah is not the only rapist I have forgiven. Life is very complicated. Why in the hell do I carry around a grudge bigger than Alaska for some of the dudes who raped me? Why do I pick and choose?

I want to believe that part of it is, I don’t forgive the ones who have a long list of victims. I don’t forgive the real predators.

So Noah isn’t a real predator? Enh, not really. Noah learned boundaries slow and hard but he has shown continual progress across the board in his life. He hasn’t sat in one place doing the same thing with chick after chick after chick. I have seen no sign of my kids having anything like inappropriate sexual knowledge and I bloody well look for signs. I believe that he has been as honorable within our family as one can be.

This unschooling dad who is defending Paul probably has many years of positive experiences. Lots of trust. Why shouldn’t he defend his friend?

Do I really believe that rapists deserve to be shunned for all time and banned from all gatherings?

I can’t say yes with a straight face, now can I?

I think this is where I sit in the hamster wheel. I can’t say that all rapists should be banned. This is what is keeping me up at night. Then what do I think should happen?

I’m not shy about outing Noah. Which means that I am inviting other people to shun him if I say that rapists should be shunned. Is that what I want? Do I believe that secretly it would be better for them if they just got the fuck away from Noah? Err, no. I think he’s a really interesting person with a lot to offer.

Why don’t I want to see Paul in such a light? Why do I want him to be cast in the role of villain so I can rant and rail and hate him so much? Is this misdirected shit at my dad?

I think that part of it is–I can forgive someone for raping me. I know that my behavior “invited” such response. When there is a whole string of other women… you know… no. You are hurting people. I know of three other specific women who have been extremely fucked up by you. You are a bad person. You are a liar and a cheat and a fraud as your profession. You say hateful nasty things that you really believe with a smile on your face and people laugh because they think you are “joking.”

If you make a big chunk of your living from being a jerk… I don’t think that is funny. Clearly lots of other people do because you have made a career out of this. People are fucking weird.

But given the things I like to do… I can’t say that much.

Only clearly I can say a lot.

I sat a friend’s sister down before Burning Man last year and gave her an intense conversation about always having a sober trip sitter if you do drugs so you can be safe.

You never know when there will be someone around who just wants to “stick it in a few times. It’s no big deal.”

Because too many people, me included, don’t think all rapists should be banned from all spaces. So they are everywhere.

I know there is a large demographic who believes that it is my fault or the woman Paul raped before me’s fault or the woman before that’s fault. We didn’t report. We haven’t put Paul in jail. It is our collective fault that he is out there raping a whole string of women.

Cause uhm, yeah. That makes sense. It is his dick and it is our fault we have cunts he can put it in. Like, duh.

Something like that.

My heart hurts. I feel so sad. But at least when I can write about it Noah knows why I’m so tetchy. It’s easier to accommodate my anxiety du jour if he knows what it is shaped like.

Sometimes I feel very sad and very scared that at the end of the day I belong with the rapist camp. I know so many rapists because, well duh. I just would. That’s just the shape in the world I belong in.

Why do I only forgive some of them? Noah’s not the only one. But the others in my life have more right to privacy. Noah’s a sucker for marrying me. Marrying was like the opposite of an NDA. “I agree to having my life discussed in detail on the internet. Even the embarrassing shit. Ok, maybe mostly only those bits.”

Is it just because I like Noah’s jokes more? He doesn’t make jokes that make other people look small or pathetic. His jokes are about bicycles. And smart ass parrots. He doesn’t want to denigrate people.

Is that enough of a difference? Does that justify my attitude?

“Get over it.”

I’m trying. It’s complicated.

Paul and I had sex several times. It wasn’t a stranger rape. He was a sometimes-partner at sex parties. He is less than 1% of my sexual partners. Why do I care so much that one time he did something that was against my boundaries? Why is it such a big deal that I want to keep my children and the children of my friends away from him?

Because he bloody well groomed me into inappropriate displays of trust followed by an action that could have resulted in an STD or a baby. He’s a big whore. He has no right having bareback sex.

Paul feels like a legitimate threat. Not to me–never again. I’m no longer in a vulnerable demographic as far as he is concerned. But there are a lot of nice young girls out there. Waiting to be groomed.

That scares me silly.

I feel attacked even though I am not the one at risk. Even though no one is attacking me. Even though instead of attacking my character or criticism instead only support was voiced. I en’t saying my feelings are logical so don’t nitpick.

How do I get over feeling attacked? Anxiety is energy stored in the body that needs to be used somehow. Well, I have a 10k race tomorrow. That should help.

It is hard to stop feeling attacked when I continually run into people who make little “jokes” about me. Oh I’m sure she doesn’t mean it. (See–it’s totally not just men I have trouble with. I have troubles with all possible gender configurations. I’m flexible like that.)

Deep breath. In. Out. Not here to make friends. Here to provide children with opportunity to make friends. I don’t have to be friends with the parents. It is not a requirement.

Would it really be that tacky if I started bringing a book and sitting off to the side? I feel like speaking in the group is resulting in people disliking me and I would prefer to just opt out.

I’m tired of feeling scared of every word out of my mouth. I’m tired of feeling like I’m doing something wrong.

This is why I loudly say I’m poor white trash. Or I used to. I’m not any more. Now I don’t get to say that and my lack of cultural mesh is just my fault. I’m just… wrong.

I’d rather be wrong because I said I’m poor white trash than because you’ve just decided to despise me despite my best efforts at being sociable. I’m not as good at the social slams and I don’t really like being around it.

I need to make some different choices. What the fuck.

I feel sad. I feel bad. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. Define “everything”. I can’t.

I could come up with complaints about my parenting, but they are all fairly minor complaints. In the scheme of things I’m doing ok.

I don’t think I’m doing everything wrong with Noah. He keeps telling me he likes me. When I crawl back into bed after one of my many trips to the bathroom he snuggles me like a teddy bear. Clearly this is a man who has jumped over hoop after hoop after hoop to demonstrate his love for me. Clearly.

Do I think everyone should put as much effort into me as Noah does? Nah. That would be hella annoying. I don’t have anything to exchange on that level and the exchange is most of why it is important.

I want my belly to stop hurting. It’s not food. It’s anxiety. I want my teeth to stop chattering like I am on the verge of crying. I want to stop crying. I want to be less testy.

Where’s my god damn zen state?

Up your butt and around the corner. That’s where it fucking went.

I am so mature.

In other evasive news, I have started making more editing progress. I’m not making it shorter. That will be why I pay a real editor. But I am doing a lot of editing and clarifying points. And this coming week I have three separate days where I have babysitting so I will have more space from the kids. One of those days is just an hour for therapy. Two of the days I will use the time for editing. I have a local teenage baby-sitter and I found a local stay at home mom who wants to do trades. Awesome. She has work she needs to get done too.

I’m not actually doing everything wrong. I just feel like it. I just feel like I’m walking with a black cloud over my head.

I’m not doing everything wrong. When I am less able to be stimulating to my kids, I make sure they have lots of contact with other adults and children. They aren’t being isolated. Yeah, some weeks they get more screen time than they “should”. But they are still well under national average so whatever.

My kid is going to go run a 1.5 mile race tomorrow because she really wants to. I know she can do this distance because I have run much farther with her. I’m not worried about them getting some screen time. Balance, grasshopper.

I’m not eating a balanced diet. I haven’t done meal planning in a while. I’m not sleeping adequately or evenly. I’m not exercising consistently enough. Basically I’m not doing anything to keep my body on an even keel.

See, we all fall down sometimes. It’s not about how many times you fall down. It’s about how many times you get up.

Why do I think Paul should be shunned and not Noah? That question keeps me up at night. How can I justify my own nitpicky hypocrisy? Why are some people beyond redemption and other people aren’t? I don’t know. Why the fuck are they?

“I’ll just stick it in a little.”

Because I still want to beat my head when I think about how stupid stupid stupid stupid I was for being near a piece of shit like you in the first place. Wanting to be near a dirt bag like you sure seems to be indication enough that I deserve whatever I get.

Now I’m picturing Agatha Heterodyne chasing my brain hamsters screaming, “DIE!!!!” (Noah will probably provide a link to an appropriate web page tomorrow. He’s cute like that.)

Why does my cunt matter so much? Because I god damn say it does. Because it does. Because it is part of me. Because I get to decide what is and isn’t important as it goes in and out of there. No one else.

If you don’t understand that basic ownership violation I just… maybe I’m finally out of words.

Suicidal ideation

I love getting eight hours of sleep by 3am. It makes my whole day better. It makes my whole life better. Then I am more cheerful and enthusiastic about what I have to do. I consider it the first thing I must do in a day in order to have a good day. The second thing I must do in order to have a good day is get more than 75% of my chores done by 9am. I have a thing in my head.

I participate in a variety of online support groups–or rather I have over the years, not so much at this second–and it has been a fairly big thing for me over the past ten years “I am more productive by 9am than a great many people are all day.” It’s a thing in my head. I work very hard on it. That way I feel I have the freedom to do with the rest of the day as I please.

Pretty much every online support group has strict rules about talking about suicide. Really, pretty much everyone everywhere believes it isn’t ok to talk about–especially if you are seriously thinking about it.

My furnace dries out the air terribly. I’ve spent all winter coughing and hacking and feeling unhappy about it since I moved into this house. Now my kids join me. So they’ve been waking up a lot at night. It means I have a lot of time in the middle of the night to think about them and to think about suicide and for me to think about what happiness means.

There are a lot of parenting books on the market that will tell you that you are bad bad doomed if you have children because you want to give yourself a reason to live. BAD. DON’T DO THAT! That’s what the books say.

To that I say: becoming a parent is always a selfish decision. Why is my selfish decision worse than yours? I have promised myself and my kids that I will absolutely not kill myself until they are adults because they require care and I am the one who has to give it. I have to say that it gets easier by the year. I’m learning what happiness feels like.

I know a lot of people who work very hard to ensure that they don’t have to “deal with” their kids in the middle of the night. Gosh that is my favorite time. I love feeling like my mere presence keeps the monsters at bay. Because I do. In Calli’s mind and in Shanna’s mind if I am in the room then they are safe and life is good. That’s just the end of the debate.

That feeling is better than every drug I have ever taken and I’ve tried a really lot of drugs. A lot. A really lot. Ha. But I did the vast majority of my drug taking (other than this stoner thing)  in under two years after I was a college graduate. Let me get on my pulpit for a second to lecture anyone younger than me about how you should wait until your brain is done forming before you use drugs. Wait until your brain decides which connections it wants before you break sections. Just do. I’m serious. You have a long fucking life in front of you. You don’t need to try everything in the first twenty years. Good grief.

I have never believed that I had a long life ahead of me. I have wanted to die since I was seven years old. For the past twenty-four years I have wanted to be dead more than I have wanted to be alive. Well, I would say that the percentages kind of rock back and forth staying in the 40’s and 50’s. I wanted to die a lot and I didn’t want to live very much but actually killing yourself is harder than it looks sometimes. I did not overdose as a teenager as a cry for help. I simply vomited up the drugs and was found before I could finish dying. Different.

Now I’m really glad I’m not dead. I feel like getting to sleep with my little girls, with their faces pressed to mine as they mumble over and over while falling asleep, “Mommy love you so much. So much. Sooooooooo much” this is the reason that people live. This feeling of love and happiness. This is why people stay alive. The hope of this. The belief that some day they will get to have this feeling. This is the increased joy that parents have that non-parents don’t get. That is one of those things they find in studies. Over a lifetime parents have more joy than non-parents–a shitload more stress too… but it’s worth it.

I never thought I would actually experience having someone love me like this. I believed this would always be for someone else. I’m very concerned that I not alienate my children… ever. I have to behave appropriately in order to deserve a relationship with them. But I’m not very good at acting appropriately.

Sometimes I feel like the biggest fucking hypocrite in the world when I get mad at my kids for breaking rules. Ha.

I told Shanna, about the stealing candy thing, it is my job to teach you the rules of society. I get angry because I feel afraid. If you steal as an adult there are serious consequences. I have to teach you that it is not a good thing to steal or the rest of your life will be harder and you will have a lot of very unpleasant experiences. I don’t want you to suffer. How can we work on you not doing this? I told her that I really don’t know “how this should be taught” because when I was a child the way I was taught was to be hit. I don’t want to hit her and I’m not really sure what the other options are and I feel kind of overwhelmed sometimes as I try to deal with it. I’m sorry I scream so much. I know it is annoying or scary depending on the day.

I asked her if she knew that how much I love her is completely unaffected by whether or not she perfectly follows the rules. I do not perfectly follow the rules and I hope she will always love me. She told me that somewhere else there are kids who always do exactly what their mothers say and they never break rules. I laughed and said those must be the most boring, uncurious children on the planet and how sad for their mothers’. She looked very confused.

I have not thought about killing myself in a bit. Certainly weeks. But I was asked to reaffirm that I understand and will follow the rules of forums and I WILL NEVER POST THAT I AM FEELING SUICIDAL. Thus I am thinking about the concept though I am not experiencing it. I have felt shamed and bad for being suicidal for pretty much my entire life. I’m aware that people are uncomfortable with the fact that I feel this way and their discomfort is the most important thing here.

Talking about it, or not, has not even slightly increased my self-harming behaviors. Over time my self-harming behaviors have kind of melted away. I’m not hurting myself anymore, I’m really not. It was a process I had to go through. I had to be whiny and angsty and I had to really process how much I wanted to die. This process is simply part of being alive for me. I understand that other people don’t like it. I feel very uncomfortable about being told over and over and over and over that because I make other people feel uncomfortable when I talk about it I shouldn’t talk about it.

Well, how much do you enjoy being surprised by someone offing themself? Wouldn’t you have preferred a warning? Dude, seriously.

P!nk has a song on her new album about drinking and doing drugs and running away and I feel suicide is strongly implied. I really appreciate it when people admit in public that this struggle is part of their life. The song is The Great Escape and I listen to it a lot right now. I’ve been thinking about how I understand this whole “creation of something new” thing now that I didn’t understand before. I have a family now. I have never had one before. Oh wow. This is how they are supposed to look? I’ve been thinking about having something to live for.

It’s really interesting watching how the percentages change. Feeling suicidal vs. wanting to live. That’s a ratio I’ve been actively tracking for most of my life. I have visualized it a lot of different ways over time. These days I think wanting to die falls into the teens. I’m very happy about that. That’s a ridiculous amount of progress for me.

But I’m not supposed to talk about it. I’m not supposed to be graphic about my ongoing struggles to not kill myself. Someone else might feel uncomfortable. Welcome to my sandbox, motherfucker. Here the rules are that I get to talk about whatever gets me through the night. If I am sitting here and writing something then I am not cutting. I am not hitting my body against a large blunt object. I am not soliciting some piece of shit to hurt me. I am not offering up sex to people I don’t know just to get through the night without having to be alone.

I’m not alone. I really love that my kids need me in the middle of the night because I need them in the middle of the night. I need to feel love in the middle of the night. I need to feel wanted. I need to feel like it matters that I not die.

The passion and the pain are going to keep you alive someday. I honestly don’t know how someone in my position would work through this without children. I can understand putting off the decision to die because you still have things you want to do–that is more or less the path I was on pre-kids. I made deals with myself, “I want to do ____. ____. and ____ then it doesn’t matter.” I was very selfish and random about the deals over the years and that’s ok. It was a deal with me about how much pain I have to endure.

That’s the plain and simple reality behind my suicidal ideation. Do I or don’t I get to decide how much pain I have to be in? Am I or am I not in charge of this decision? I think this is where I make the jump to atheism entirely.

I want to be the one who decides when my pain ends. I hold that right. I consider it one of my basic rights. Other animals do the same thing. It is natural just like infanticide is natural. It exists in every species. In America there are approximately thirty seven children killed by their parents every week. You don’t see headlines very often. Every fucking week.

Parenting is hard but I fucking guarantee you that no part of this journey has been remotely as difficult as what came before it so I’m still coasting. My second labor was nine days long followed by a blood hemorrhage that left me unable to walk to the bathroom for weeks. I crawled. Otherwise I simply did not leave my bed. But my friend K delivered enough food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three weeks. It was a calm but peaceful period. I learned my baby. I didn’t mind the work. It was nice.

Life is about work. Life is about creating and the things you want to do. I freakin love Richard Scarry. Everyone is a worker. All the work must be done. Some of the work is not more honorable than anything else. There is a hierarchy in pay–that tends to exist because some jobs can be done by many people and some jobs can be done by smaller and smaller groups of people and when you have to compete for the talents of a small group… you have to pay a lot of money.

You have to think about those people. The ones who are so selfish. Wait… that’s my husband. He has spent our entire marriage working his ass off to increase his income. Isn’t that selfish? He didn’t do it until he had a reason to. He didn’t care enough to bother. He wasn’t driven by love of acquisition on its own. But now he has this wife with really expensive travel interests and uhm he has decided that he wants to provide for me. He knew that was who I wanted to be before we married.

He doesn’t want me to spend time wanting to die. He wants me to have a list of things I want to do that is really long and complex and it’s ok if it is also expensive–he knows I am overall frugal and I am providing for our long-term safety before I take travel money out. It’s cool. He told me so. Explicitly. He reminds me every few months. It’s weird but really cool. I appreciate how explicitly my husband wants me to be happy.

He wants to keep me. He thinks that the likelihood is higher if I have a sandbox where I can say whatever I want and not get kicked off a support forum for it. He gives me resources I don’t have to have in my head.

I feel like both of us really changed when we got married. We have someone to work for and that is a powerful motivator for both of us. It has been interesting to see as a progression. We get better and better at not hurting one another as we make mistakes and learn how to talk about them. We really don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over.  We make new ones! heh

So, to continue on the P!nk trend: Slut Like You is fun. When you are looking to ensure that you don’t have to be alone tonight it dramatically changes how you act. The stakes are different. You’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow. You have to get through tonight in order to get there.

I’m trying to figure out what mental hurdle I have to working on the books right now. I know I’m overwhelmed by life. I think that I’m just too tired to think. I need to have some reason for a deadline so I can plan around it. I’ll figure it out. I need to decide how much I want to have done by December so I can backwards plan.

I need to feel like I am moving towards what I want to be moving towards. Right now I feel pretty out of control of my schedule. I’m not sure how to change that. Well no. That’s a big fat lie. I know how to change it. I am changing it. This is a process. The schedule will be back to being shaped how I need it to be shaped in about another two weeks. Then we leave town for a week. See how this goes? Oh man.

Portland, we are practically doing a drive-by. March 25th we drive north towards Eugene. We are sleeping there because the kids will be sick of the car. We are aiming to arrive at Dad’s house at 6pm on Tuesday the 26th. We are spending the day with Aunt Cookie, a truly delightful woman. I have an intense interest in hearing stories about Noah’s family. They shape my story now. I don’t have many sources of information.

Wednesday during the day we don’t have plans and we will probably want to go do something fun. Not sure what yet. Wednesday we should hang out with Dad. Thursday and Friday we are hanging out with A. Ha. I haven’t even emailed her to confirm that yet. But she offered it to me. I’m taking it. (pause. email sent.) We will spend Thursday and Friday nights walking around Dad’s neighborhood talking to him and playing with kids. On Saturday we drive allllllll the way home. With four kids who have had a long week and who will not be happy about being in the car. Thank goodness for iPads. Ha.

What we ask of our children is not natural. How we have to deal with the constraints of their lives is not natural. But beating them isn’t a better option. Sometimes you can’t let them have the pace of travel that is appropriate for them. You have to just get there. It is hard but life is that way sometimes.

Once upon a time travel involved physical exertion… even sitting in a wagon is fairly labor intensive compared to a car. We provide these children padded worlds of strapped in boredom. I am not capable of being entertaining for a twelve hour drive. Not even in shifts because then my “off” shift would be driving and I would have a stroke from road rage. That is not in anyone’s best interests. No, my kids can’t entertain themselves for that long. I understand that this is a tragic failing. Never the less… we are going to use them. They can’t use them for the whole trip so there will be other entertainment involved. It’ll work out. It will be one long day of our lives. No big deal. I’m trying to psych myself up for the trip. I’m trying to lay out in advance how much energy I am going to need for various stages. I’m trying to figure out how I will do it without getting punchy about having to teach my kids new situational manners over and over and over for a week solid. It’s a pain but worth it in the long run.

I need my kids to understand how to evaluate for situational manners. I need to consciously talk about how I am evaluating everything around me for clues about how I should behave. I do this every time we travel. It’s a lot easier at Disneyland because there are a lot of “let loose” places. We are going to be moving between environments that will have wildly different “grown up” rules that are going to feel unfair or inappropriately constricting because they aren’t used to those rules. I’m going to be tested over and over. It’s going to be fun.

But this is the whole process of life. I want to teach them how to do this while smiling. I want this trip to be a happy and joyful memory. Shanna is probably going to actually remember this trip for a long time. We will take pictures. She may eventually remember the pictures more than the day but she will have the same kind of connection to these people that I have to Brittney, the little girl who was born four months before me across the street from my family. I was set in my baby carrier next to her in her baby carrier. I have pictures of us when we are two and three and four and seven and and…

I want my kids to have that. I hope they never lose it.

I didn’t think I would lose Brittney. It is hard finding out how unforgivable existing is. Oh, that’s not true I would be told. I am allowed to exist. But I must be silent so no one ever has to actually find out the specifics because oh man that is over the line. The book. The fucking book. I’m having trouble going back through and editing. This is why I paid an editor. Unfortunately after reading the Kindle edition I am entirely unsatisfied with the job she did and I feel fairly back at square one. I thought I was getting an editor but what I got was a copyeditor and that’s a different job.

I wanted technical editing. I wanted someone to give me feedback on flow and let me know where I am being vague and random. I wanted someone to look at it as a work of art to be made better with a few tweaks. Ahhhhh. I get it now. I did get that. That’s what I asked for. She didn’t make many suggestions for changes. She treated it like it was sacrosanct as a poor incest victims story. It was allowed to ramble and be weird.

Ack. But then people don’t want to buy it and it isn’t actually telling the story I want to tell. I can’t always see when I’m doing that without this ridiculous analytical reading that is really hard to do. A page takes me multiple hours. Actually reading something and dealing with the errors is god damn fucking hard work. Why do you think the overall production values of everything in the everything has gone down? (And why I make no promises about my blog entries. These are not polished pieces, yo.)

But the book was supposed to be. And it so clearly isn’t. I feel kind of morally offended by that. In order to motivate that kind of interest you either need a True Fan or someone who is going to make money off the writing. I had neither. Such is life. I’m slowly progressing on editing. It’s hard. I need to set specific goals and plow through it though. Bleh. Yuck. Bleh.

I am running. I’m tired and I’m switching my days for workouts around like crazy but I’m getting through everything. I have a 10k at the end of April. So far my standard for 5ks has been “I pray for under forty minutes”. I’m hoping to do the 10k in eighty minutes.

That means maintaining a standard pace just barely faster than 1km in eight minutes. That means .62 miles in eight minutes. That means I’ll have to run at least 11:50 through the whole damn race. That is way way way faster than I did the marathon. (My marathon average was 15:40/mile. I’m serious when I say I walked a marathon. I’m still hella proud.)

This pace is going to be a huge stretch for me. My race partner may have a different set of goals and staying together is more important than time to me. Additionally: I’m all for wimping out at mile five and crawling the last mile if I feel bad. Flexibility.

What is the goal: the method or the result? Let’s be clear that when it comes to crossing six miles of distance speed vs. just reaching the finish line is a very different set of goals. I no longer fear not reaching the finish line physically… unless I push myself too hard. I am not in amazing physical shape. I’m in good shape. But I’m not an experienced athlete. I have ramped up at a pretty reasonable rate all things considered.

Every body is where it is. You can’t be too hard-lined about “goals” because progress not perfection kind of trumps any stuck on points. It is quite possible I’m not physically capable of running that fast for that long… yet. I may have to work longer before I reach that goal. I sure as fuck would not have been able to do the marathon at that pace. Not given the conditions (high eighties in temperature, high eighties in humidity, really terrible air quality, I started my period at mile thirteen along with horrible cramps). I just couldn’t expect different from myself that day.

I have to still be alive tomorrow to try again. I have to make it to today. If the pace is more important than anything else I might injure myself and then there won’t ever be another try no matter what. And maybe the rest of my life will be a lot harder. Because I was stupid and careless because I don’t care very much if I continue to stay alive.

I really can’t do that any more. Not if I want to be here for more nights of “I love you soooo much”. I want that more than I want anything else. So I will learn how to be good to my body. So I can have as many of those nights as I can.

The passion and the pain are going to keep you alive some day.

I should probably go start breakfast.

No one ever knows the long-term value of what they do. That knowledge is given to no creature. If I want to be a character that has existed then there must be record of that. Only I care to create that record. Noah is invested in supporting this branch of growth on his family tree. He sees it as vital to his long-term success. I’m not sure how I snow balled him.

I think that talking about suicide is something I need to be able to do. My grandmother killed herself. She overdosed. She had been trying for decades. My mother has stories of cleaning up blood after she got home from school because her mother was cutting her wrists again. My brother killed himself. He left the residential care facility where he lived because he had a severe brain injury and would never be able to care for himself again. He walked to a gas station and bought a can of gasoline. He went behind a local grocery store and lit himself on fire. My father sat in the garage with the motor running.

Have I mentioned that I have turned my garage into a really nice room? Ok, technically I have done nothing permanent because city ordinance says it must be able to hold a car at all times and my response would be “give me three minutes and a person to help me move furniture”. That’s not a permanent room. But it’s a really nice place to hang out. There are not likely to be cars in here.

Harm Reduction means being honest about the patterns of behavior in your life. It means setting specific goals and working to reduce the harm you are inflicting on yourself. Usually you are inflicting the harm (hair pulling, cutting, biting your nails, drinking alcohol, picking at scabs, doing most recreational drugs including pot, any obsessive repetitive damage to your body really) because you are trying to relieve stress from some other place in your life.

Noah said he read an article claiming that the first person likely to live over a thousand years is probably alive today. Think about mortality. It’s changing. The brackets are shifting. Where do I want to be on that scale? I don’t want to live a thousand years. That sounds like work. I would rather just live. But I have a rather lot of decades of work in front of me.

What am I going to do when I grow up? I will probably experience an unprecedented to my species amount of freedom after my children are adults. I will still be married to this guy who thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread. I know the deall: there is some travel he wants to do and otherwise I have to do it alone and not be gone too long or too often. Too long is going to be tested a lot over the years as we figure out what that means.

Statistically speaking I am extremely likely to die by my own choice. Sometimes just sitting with that in the pit of my stomach is very hard. You know what they say about statistics? There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

I believe in self-fulfilling prophesies. I believe the only thing that ever can or has changed the world is someone deciding they want to do it. Yes, of course coalitions are awesome and all… but it takes individuals having a specific vision. A dream, if you will. Otherwise there is no call to exit one’s torpor and do anything. If you are not living up to your vision of yourself… what are you doing instead? Why is there a discrepancy? Are you realistically going to change your life?

Then either change or decide to be happy, right? Happiness isn’t about getting what you want it’s about enjoying what you have. I think I saw that on Pinterest recently.

I want security. I want to have roots. I want a place to come back to. I want community. I want to be allowed to exist without carefully following the rules about what I am or am not allowed to talk about. I like fully informed opt-in relationships.

Now I’m just procrastinating. It was nice to write. I haven’t spent this much time on it in a while. Sometimes it is funny to me the way that writing is one of the most purely satisfying activities I do. I have thought. There. Evidence. Ha. Take that Universe. I have taken up space. In a technological world I have taken up a space smaller than a pin head. Whoop.

But we never know what our impact will be. We have to just exist. And get out of our houses. That’s important whether you like it or not. To be honest I don’t like it very much but I try hard not to take my dislike out on the people who are randomly unlucky and happen to be standing next to me. It isn’t dislike of the people. It is dislike of being out of my house.

It took me a long time to understand that and really fully feel it. I enjoy my work here. I enjoy feeling like I am doing things to work towards my long-term happiness. I am enjoying the physical work and when I am older and less able to work hard I will get to sit in my garden in the shade and enjoy a lifetime of work. Hopefully while babysitting for grandkids who will visit a lot so that I get to know other children deeply.

Now I get it. Now a lot more things make sense to me.

But I have other things I need to do first. Like breakfast. Ugh.