Category Archives: addiction

I wish

I wish it was politically possible to do a study of the outcomes of women who have mental illness during pregnancy that actually randomized SSRI’s & other medications vs pot vs unmedicated spikes of emotional distress.

I would sign up to be randomized. I would fully comply with taking heinous medications that I know hurt me if it would help people on a larger scale understand what happens.

I worry a lot about the emotional spikes I have because I feel ashamed of needing pot. One dose a day is… not the best thing ever. It means I come up and down every day. So I have these wild grief/sobbing periods and that doesn’t seem healthy.

Fuzzy boundaries, longing, and self control.

Oh golly. This has been quite a month. Changing rules and boundaries and more oh my. I feel like it has been coming for a while. Noah feels like it has been coming for a while. My shrink says, “It’s about damn time!”

I feel like this last four year monogamy stretch was really healthy, useful, and appropriate. I’m not good at narrowing my focus. I like to always be broadening my horizons. Meeting new people. Fucking new people. But if I want the future I want to have, I have to put the time in now.

I know that.

Over the past four years Noah and I have certainly maintained a better-than-average sex life (based on national poll numbers) but it was…. not the kind of sex life we are capable of having. It’s been good but ok. My libido was not ever fully turned on. Fully turning on my libido has consequences. I don’t narrow the focus very well.

I’m not that good at keeping to strict boundaries.

A few years ago during one of our “soft open” periods I asked for permission to have sex with a friend. I really shouldn’t have for a lot of reasons. It was complicated. I feel like (in retrospect) the main reason I really wanted to have sex with him that night was because I felt like I shouldn’t but I knew he had been in love with me for years. This got so achingly complicated. Turns out I had this one night with him right before I had my first miscarriage. I will never know 100% for sure if I lost Noah’s baby or my friend’s and that… that weighs on my heart. Especially because what I know of my friend’s other history. So complicated. He was the guy other than Noah who was on the “If I hit X age without finding a co-partner to marry and have kids with you can knock me up as a known donor friend.” Then Noah asked me to marry him and that list kinda blew up.

“Not supposed to” is a huge aphrodisiac for me. It’s part of why what I did in Portland was as hot as it was. I wasn’t really supposed to. And I did it anyway. And I almost fucking came even though there was nothing resembling genital contact. Just SM. It was so hot. Partially because I’m not supposed to.

Sometimes I am genuinely surprised that Noah and I manage to keep up a hot legal sex life. I’m surprised that isn’t a problem for me.

I’m struggling right now because I have a huge number of friends I haven’t had sex with yet. For reasons. Lots of reasons. As many reasons as there people on the list. And I’m kinda feeling like I just want to line them all up.

Why?

Because they were so nice and supportive and wonderful for so long without sex, surely it is time. I’m allowed to again. I really should, right?

Oh. My.

It’s not an “I don’t want to but I should.” It’s more “I was not allowed to so they became taboo and now the boundary is fuzzier and it’s still not clear I should but it is less clear that I shouldn’t so oh my goodness I waaaaaaaaaaaant to.

You, and you, and you, and you. Let’s not forget you.

Like I have the time for that.

I think part of what is making this fuzzier and more confusing and hard is that these people have been so wonderful for so long without sex that I really love them and feel like they have my back and I like rewarding that kind of thing. Primarily with sex.

Because I’m a one trick pony?

Hey, I don’t have time to come clean your room as a thank you for being my friend any more. Besides, sex is just better.

If people love me I want to make them feel good. I really like doing so with sex. I’m grateful for all the 100% vanilla relationships in my life. I think I’m respecting those boundaries.

I’m only feeling consuming lust towards the folks who are poly and who have expressed desire for me in the past.

That’s like having healthy boundaries, right?

I feel like I want to go back to all those chapters where there are unfinished stories. What could happen now? I’m so different. What would it be like now?

But I have no desire to walk away from what I have now. I have no desire to have lots of time away from my kids. So this gets complicated. As much as I’d kind of like to spend the rest of my life on my back… (or front or side or knees or….)

I really don’t. I had that on option. I turned it down. I wanted to be a breeder. I wanted to homeschool. It is going so well. I feel like I am really and truly living in a healthy manner in front of my children.

I have such mixed feelings about these off-screen activities.

My friend asked me why I feel more bad about sex with other people than sex with Noah because my ‘thing’ is I don’t want my kids around sex.

It’s different. It just is. Noah and I only have sex behind locked doors. We are really quiet. I think it *is* healthy that my kids see that their parents are wildly attracted to one another. They see us make out frequently. They see physical affection as being a huge part of a partnership.

But I don’t know how to teach that with a dilute focus.

Only I kind of do, because I am. But I need them to not know how dilute my focus is. I need for them to see fully realized compartmentalization where I am with them when I am with them. I am with their dad when I am with their dad.

They have no idea what I’m like off-stage. That is good.

But it’s not like I’m in the closet. Someday they will know.

I don’t know what this will mean. Nor do I know how it is going to go with all of these wildfires I’d like to set.

Matches. I like playing with matches.

I want to use people. But I don’t want to use people in a way that leaves them feeling bad or unwanted or rejected or hurt. I want to use people gloriously, joyously and have them feel like they are walking on sunshine back to the rest of their life.

Is that ok?

But I like the telling part…

I went to a party last night. The kind of party where you aren’t supposed to talk about what you do. But how much do I respect those boundaries? Only by the skin of my teeth. Which has no skin. So I totally don’t get that expression.

It was hot. I had a lot of fun. It was interesting to manage my feelings and expectations. Noah had more uhm contacts than me (this was intentional) and we both left feeling like we had a really positive experience.

I do have explicit permission to write about one of my partners. He has given me blanket permission to write about him. But that’s complicated. You see, a lot of folks I know… also know him. I’m having big feelings. They come in waves and layers and they impact many different aspects of my life.

Who am I? What do I want? Am I good or am I a monster? Can’t I be both? Is it ok?

I’m not sure I want to stop being a monster. What I want to do is go bite him right on top of the bruise he has from me biting him last night. That’s what I want to do.

He said that for that night it was a 9 but in the future I can treat it like a 7 because he really wants to let me do what I want to do.

So. Hot. Explosively. Hot.

Well I had my first fuck since Muse. Not with my friend I am hurting. Why not?

Why not?

Why not?

Why do I need that to be a boundary? I’m still thinking about it. It’s complicated. It has to do with a sense of obligation, about boundaries, about my own limits around energetic output, and of course it’s about the fact that when I’m being super slutty… I wanna bottom.

Even though it is explosively orgasmic to fuck your throat, it is hard for me to turn around and say, “Ok now I want you to fuck me like this and like that and do it this way and harder and…”

When I’m fucking I want to drop like a rock.

That was part of the trouble with breaking the rule in Portland. I wanted to break so many rules. I wanted to cheat. Because he likes flipping people.

That’s where I get in trouble. My friend, who lets me hurt him so exquisitely, has absolutely no drive or desire or impulse to flip me. Not an ounce. None. I’ve looked in that well. I’ve dug out the bottom praying for brackish sips of toppy energy.

I love you so much. I want to drop when I fuck.

I feel bad for wanting that and I don’t want to feel bad for that.

I can do enough feedback to tell a stranger how to avoid land mines and encourage them to hit the tempo I want. That’s easy. I can’t tell a submissive how to fake being forceful enough to fuck me. I know folks who can. My hat is off to you. Sounds fucking hot. I can’t do it.

That was the thing with my Owner. He liked to submit to me. But when he was done he wanted to flip the table hard and have me go down.

I like that.

If I don’t feel a strong challenge, if I don’t feel like someone kind of wants to crawl inside me to eat my neck from the inside… meh. I’ll go find someone else to fuck. Don’t worry. There are more out there. Dick is the most plentiful thing on earth. As Feminista Jones recently pointed out, dick is more plentiful than drinking water.

And if what I want is someone who will fuck me like an animal then go away and not talk to me anymore?

I’m in a god damn buyers market.

This is part of why negotiating boundaries with Noah is so hard. I’m so touchy. I’m so sensitive. I need so much attention and energy and maintenance. We aren’t going to be polyamorous any year soon if ever. I have no desire to share that big of a piece of him.

But how does it work to fuck your friends? How does it work to keep people at a distance? I don’t know.

My kids are my secondaries. That sounds creepy. I don’t think we have an emotionally incestuous relationship. I think we have a lot of boundaries around what it means to be support for one another. I don’t think I am overly enmeshed or overly dependent on them. But I am really seriously teaching them how to take care of themselves. And I’m doing that by figuring it out (kinda) in front of them.

I believe with all my heart and soul that much of this journey needs to be off-screen for them. Sure, I write about it publicly and some day they may discover just how skanky their mom was/is…

I can live with that.

I believe I am allowing them to grow up in a world where sexuality is normal, healthy, private, and personal. People do it in a lot of different ways for a lot of reasons and there is no one way that is right or wrong. We have friends of quite diverse family arrangements. And I’m matter of fact and shame free about all of it. I explain why things I tried failed because of defects in my personality. It isn’t that those ways of existing are wrong.

I just can’t do them.

I don’t know why sex can be biting someone and slapping him and fucking his throat with my strap on and that’s enough. We didn’t even kiss.

But sometimes that is a complete sexual experience that needs to be respected within the boundaries that apply to it. Sex isn’t what you think it is. Sex is a lot of things.

I kissed his body. I kissed his neck. I licked him. Do you know the most contact I had with his cock? When he was wearing pants I kneeled on his crotch and jerked him off with my knees. I was still fully dressed.

Sex can be a lot of things.

Sex can be a lot of things it can’t be with Noah. That’s feeling interesting to me right now. And then the pick up sex.

Gosh. Feeeeeeeeeeeeelings. Where do these all fit in my heart, in my loins, in my life?

I asked permission for the pick up sex. Absolutely no cheating happened. This was all highly negotiated and safe and what not. Lots of condoms and covered oral sex. Ok we didn’t use gloves for fingering.

I swear to goodness driving across the country with my kids was more dangerous than fucking this dude.

Why didn’t I hunt for a woman?

Complicated.

Because there are more feelings involved. Squishy feelings. Feelings I have a harder time keeping at arms length. Because I want to fall in love with you. Because I miss women so much. Because I would want to… not have the boundaries I’m supposed to have. Because I do want to come over and bring my kids and all of us can cuddle because surely that’s not a problem, right?

A long time ago I went home with a couple after a wild drug fueled orgy. I shit you not. In the morning the three of us were lying in bed naked doing more drugs. In walked their eight year old kid.

No one blinked. This was just normal.

I left very soon after. I didn’t really keep dating them. I couldn’t do that.

My kids know I smoke pot. My kids know I have had sex. My kids see my casually naked because I genuinely see nudity as not a big deal.

My kids don’t walk in on me smoking pot with my lovers in the nude. Nope, nope, nope.

Do I think I’m better than them? No. Not really. Because you can go down a list of this for that wrong for right and… I’m not. I’m not better than anyone. I don’t have stones to throw. But I have decisions to make about where my boundaries need to be.

Isn’t judging kind of a necessary thing in life? It doesn’t have to mean someone else is in the wrong. But you have to judge anyway. You have to judge if something is right for you.

I asked very careful permission before I engaged in any sm play because this was not a bdsm party. I asked the host, I found a semi-private room. I asked the other people playing in the room for permission before I got started. When other people wanted to join us in the room I asked them if they were comfortable before things got going.

I want it to be ok for me to be in my place in the weird ass world and I want it to be ok that sometimes other people need to be protected from my baser urges. My baser urges are pretty wicked and I know that. Whoa.

I kept it light. I knew I was at a vanilla party. I’m told I only got up to a 3/4 for the hitting. The biting I got more fierce because that doesn’t scare people who are watching. Uhm, not as much?

No punching. No kicking. No serious choking.

I kept it kinda sensual mean.

aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh. I’m going to beat off like a fiend for weeks thinking about this. I need to go to a real bdsm party with him so I can fuck him up. I feel like I’m fiending like a junkie. I like this feeling.

This used to be my life. Ok, I didn’t top that much. Enough. I topped as often as other people could talk me into it. Because people who really crave being hit can tell what I have hiding beneath my smile.

How am I going to keep boundaries around this?

I’ve already loved you for way more than ten years. I’ve known you for more than fifteen years. If this changes, what will that mean? How much of me is going to go to a relationship that has been… super low key for a long time?

That’s the rub. That’s where the negotiating comes in.

Last night I was teasing him and I was teasing me. I know what we both really want and I couldn’t give it to him there. It wouldn’t have been appropriate.

See: I can be taught.

He told me, “Many years ago I decided that even if I didn’t know what you wanted from me, I want to give you everything I have.”

Danger. Danger. Danger. Soooooooooooooooooo much temptation there. That could be so much fun. So much intoxication. So much excitement.

Crap.

It’s magical. It’s appealing.

I have at least ten more years before I will consider seriously dating. Realistically I’m not sure our marriage would survive a serious outside relationship for one of us. We are enmeshed mother fuckers.

But I don’t mind when he goes and does x with someone else.

Cause it isn’t cheating. I walked into the room. I saw what was happening. I saw who it was happening with. I grinned. I walked out.

I like watching other people but I honestly don’t like watching Noah have sex with a stranger. I like watching him fuck my friends because then I can tell them both what to do and be a bossy shithead. That’s kinda inappropriate when he’s banging someone I don’t know. Boundaries, bitch.

And the very best part is when we got home he wasn’t ready to get a hard on so he put on  a strap on and fucked me till he was ready to get hard again. Because I wasn’t done yet and if you aren’t hard that’s fine, we have equipment for that. I’m not done yet. And then we woke up and had frantic sex again in the middle of the early morning.

Because we feel cocky, snotty, insatiable, and completely and totally lucky that we get to come home and fuck each other.

I think it is hilarious that my shrink is shocked by how much sex we have considering how long we have been married. “Krissy, you know that people just don’t do that, right?” Meh. I know people who do. Maybe you don’ t know the right people.

It’s all about where you stand.

Noah likes to make fun of me. If I can find people who are more extreme at something I will loudly and prolifically say that I’m not that good at ________. Doesn’t matter what the topic is.

If there are fifty people alive who are better than me, clearly I’m not that good.

Uhhhh, right?

Depends on your scale. I’ve never ever tried to be a specialist. I’m a generalist. So what the fuck does that mean?

I don’t know yet.

Let’s find out.

Bragging.

I was feeling kind of angsty. So I used an 18 year old coping method and I went and found a chat room. I sure like talking to people. That lead to a series of weird feelings.

I can’t get into specifics for Reasons because I was hanging out in a mental health support chat room. Folks care about their privacy a bit more than average.

I talked to a person who had an experience with abuse masquerading as bdsm. We had a long conversation. This person had no idea that such things happen to other people because this person was never part of “the scene”. I think I blew that persons mind a bit. I was casual and up front with all kinds of general attitudes and problems the community has. I feel guilty that I may have dove into the deep end of their trauma just casually answering the questions I was asked. They didn’t feel that heavy or intense to me because bdsm wasn’t traumatic to me. The community wasn’t traumatic to me. So I feel pretty guilty that I might have hurt this person by my indifference to the intensity that they experienced. I shared links to articles written by folks in the scene about the kinds of problems this person experienced. Mind blown. “This happens to other people?!?!?!” Yes. There aren’t that many truly singular human experiences. Most experiences happen to many people and you just have to ask around until you find your tribe.

That was actually a neat conversation for me. I’m very into talking about community dynamics. But it was so personal for them…

But more than that… I felt like I was bragging. When I’m asked, “How do you know so much about this topic?” “Uhm… I’ve been to a lot of national bdsm conferences. I’ve taught bondage and suspension classes. Go to a kinky book store, read the names of the authors… those are my friends.” And uhm, many of them have played with me. I feel like I must be lying or exaggerating but it is just plain true. I used to go around the country tying people up and being tied up for fun.

Then the topic morphed because the people in chat morphed. Chat rooms are like that. We talked a lot about travel and different climate zones and how food migration works and…

I have a lot of stories. When I get into a chat room and people are just casually going through lots of little references to get to know one another… I have a lot of stories. I think I sound more interesting than I am if you just listen to the things I’ve done.

I think I sound like a liar. I talk casually about travel all over my country and the world. I talk about good and bad things as casually as if they had equal impact on me and people react very oddly to that. I’ll go from telling a story about a principal being on first name basis with me in 5th grade to talking about being beaten daily by a different principal and neither mention feels “important” to me in the way it seems to hit other people. “Your principal hit you!” Uhm, it was Texas. They did that as of the 1990’s and I’m pretty sure they still do it now. It’s not a big deal.

That “it’s not a big deal” is part of why I feel weird. I moved so many times that I seem to have picked up pieces of a lot of different life stories and then I shoved them all together in a way that sounds… frankly impossible to casual listeners.

I have been called a liar to my face many times, that’s why I think I sound like a liar. I couldn’t possibly have done all the things I say I’ve done.

Dude, I really don’t exaggerate for effect much. I don’t have to.

Yes, I really was a teacher. Yes I really was a stage manager too. I’ve had people challenge that I could have done all the things I did. Uhm… I went to college. I did theatre in college. Being a stage manager is not exactly rocket science…. they let teenagers do it. Depending on how liberal you are with the definition of “teach” I have worked in an educational capacity with kids from 1st grade to community college. (I was a substitute for a while. That’s a hard fucking job.) In the community college I was the youngest person in my classroom. My students loved me. I can encourage you through writing a much more… assertive view than you even knew you had.

Yesterday I felt waves of shame, like I should stop bragging. I was just participating in a conversation. But that feels like shoving things in peoples faces. Other people participate in conversations by mostly listening. I should do more of that. Obviously me talking is a problem.

Why?

I don’t know.

I didn’t dominate the conversation. I wasn’t the only one talking. I wasn’t the only one with stories. But I was talking with up to five or six people and I dropped the most stories. I suspect this is related to typing speed in addition to other people being shocked that I just kept going. Nope, I’ve got lots more stories than these. I’ve barely shown you the tip of the ice berg.

What do you mean you are done?

Oh. I’ll shut up now. Uhm… I guess people are going to talk about tv characters now because they are out of personal stories.

Right. Uhm. Yeah. I’ll uhhh shut up.

I really like talking about myself. I really like hearing other people talk about themselves. Why do other people want to spend so much time talking about celebrities? It is very confusing to me. I only vaguely know the names of the people they are talking about from magazine covers in the grocery store. I’d rather chew my arm off than research these people so I can join in the conversation.

Uhm, I’ll go clean my house now. Thanks.

flat refuse to spend time researching so I can join in slut-shaming other women. Fuck. That. Noise.

I think women get to fuck as many people as they want and it is none of your god damn slut-shaming business. Go straight to hell.

In my defense… I did not say that in the chat room. I did get quiet.

WHY DO PEOPLE GET SO UPSET THAT A WOMAN THEY DON’T KNOW IS HAVING SEX WITH A MAN THEY DON’T KNOW!!!!!!

I feel pretty upset by how much of this I’ve seen in the last day. That woman you are describing as a whore has fucked way fewer people than me. What do you want to say to me now? Nothing because I’m different? Fuck you with a chain saw.

Oh, you judge her because she was “stupid” enough to let her boyfriend take naked pictures of her? THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF SUCH PICTURES OF ME. FAR MORE EXPLICIT PICTURES. Fuck you very much.

I feel pretty pissy about this topic. Thus the shouting.

The only reason I’m “different” is because I’m not doing it today. If I was still behaving that way you wouldn’t think I was different. I am making different choices now for specific reasons related to managing my trauma. Not because I am a morally superior person who has conquered my base urges. Fuck you with a 2″x4″.

Even when I get ranty like this… I feel weird shame like I’m bragging. I’m just talking about my life but it feels like I’m exaggerating to make a point.. I’m not. These are just my thoughts and experiences. Ok, plus a few vague general threats at non-specific people. Not real threats. I don’t plan to shove anything forcibly into anyones orifices without permission ever in this life. But I’m colorful in how I bleed off stress.

This article right here is part of why I defend sex work so vigorously. It has a place in society. Women who have sex with lots of people have a place in society no matter why they are having that sex. Sex is one of the most primal urges we have and I don’t see how suppressing it does folks good. Let’s look at the history of abuse perpetrated by the Catholic church in the name of suppressing sexual desire. Not good juju.

I will not join in on dog piling on someone to tell them they are bad for making a choice you don’t agree with. That is not my job here on this planet. I really don’t want to tell people how bad they are.

I want them to feel like they are ok. And feel like there are probably other people like them and they are ok too.

I want people to feel ok with existing. I want people to believe that a community exists for them even if it is hard to find.

To me, the sum of my stories is a search for a place in community. I have tried a lot of things looking for community. Some tricks worked and some tricks failed spectacularly. I talk about both sides equally as freely. If other people can learn from my failures that makes them even more valuable.

I learn from other peoples failures. Part of the reason I haven’t really been in a relationship with intense domestic violence is because I watched it happen to other people and I made different choices.

The first time a boyfriend slapped me I exploded like a hurricane and ended the relationship. I am not going to fucking let anyone get away with slapping me and saying it doesn’t count as “really hitting”.

I have a very strong ability to set the reality of my life. I don’t let other people define what happens to me. My words. My opinions. My life. Fuck Right Off.

Why haven’t I had an abusive boyfriend? Because I only date people who force me to beg for my beatings. Or I walk. If I hint a little that a beating might be nice and you start hitting me… I leave. That’s not a safe situation. I often talk about deserving things I don’t really deserve or want. A partner who took such musings as hints to hit me… would not be safe.

I pick partners who make me beg for my beatings. I have to give explicit directions about where and how I want to be hit or they just don’t hit me. I really like the boundaries I’ve developed.

BDSM is not abuse. The difference between bdsm and abuse is educated consent on the part of the bottom. I have a real problem with experienced dominants manipulating inexperienced submissives. I think uneducated consent is basically invalid.

But I have strong opinions. When I play with newbies I give them a fucking lecture a mile long before I touch them. I want educated consent.

I learned by giving a blowjob to a little boy in kindergarden. Later he told everyone I raped him. From where I was standing…. he hadn’t said no. From where he was standing…. he hadn’t said yes.

I have a hard time forgiving myself for a mistake I made when I was five. I don’t get to make those kinds of mistakes ever again. Period.

Barely a topic switch… whether I am ever promiscuous again may actually revolve around how my kids turn out. If they are happy, healthy people who don’t give a shit… I might do it. If they would be horrified if they found out… I’m probably done.

I can’t hide who and what I am. I choose a relationship with my children over other aspects of myself. Even though I’d love to convert half the women in my future nursing home to lesbianism. That would be hawt. At least bisexuality if they didn’t want to swear off men. Personally I like people at all points along the gender spectrum. Yay people! Yay bodies!

When I first came into the bdsm community/public sex community I met this lovely woman. She was in her late 60’s when I arrived. I think she was 69 when I was 18. So that’s 15 years ago. I am pretty sure she’s still active. I saw her not that long ago. She is my hero.

I want to be playing with hot young 40 year olds when I’m in my 80’s. I’ll play with old people too… but that would be really fun. I think it is gross that the old men want teenage girls. I’ve done my virgin initiations. They weren’t the most interesting sex I’ve had. I’ll take grown ups, thanks.

The breeding period requires particular behavior sets from me. I chose it willingly with my eyes wide open. The boundaries do not yet chafe.

I get cranky about incidentals in my life. I get frustrated by details of my life. Overall I am so very happy that I’m doing what I’m doing. I like where I am. I’m learning how to be appropriate. I’m doing so in an environment that is actually safe for me. I will always have a version of appropriate that doesn’t match up with other peoples perfectly.

Like last night I apparently educated a local middle schooler about the basics of sex ed. Whoops. Hadn’t really set out to do that. But she asked direct questions. I’m not going to give evasive or shameful answers. Her friend freaked out and tried to shut me up. “SHE DOESN’T KNOW THESE THINGS YET!!!”

Yeah. And that’s dangerous. She needs to know these things so she can keep her body safe.

Someone with fully developed breasts and an hour glass figure needs to know the basic technical non-salacious names for sex. And if someone stands there and asks me direct questions… I’m going to answer them in plain language.

Awkward.

So yeah. Last night I was taught why my friend said, “Your kids are not sheltered.” No, but they are protected. I believe ignorance is dangerous. This is a big, scary fucking world. There are ways to minimize your risks.

I’m not blaming victims. I’m talking about how some women can walk through life making seemingly dangerous choices and they never get assaulted once. There are ways to minimize your risks. There are tricks to keeping yourself safe. I’ve talked to a lot of women about how they manage their lives.

I want to protect my kids. I believe that knowledge is power. They have all the age appropriate books on sex that exist. They know that sex makes babies. They can look at an anatomy drawing and show you where the vulva, labia, clitoris, prostate, anus, urethra, or penis is. Technically, Shanna has memorized more of the specific names than I have. I always have to reread the book to see what a lot of the accessory names are. I know fallopian tubes, but there are some tubes in guys that I don’t remember. She does. But I’m not the one who spends a lot of time talking about wanting to be a doctor.

They also know that sex is something adults do for fun but it isn’t for kids because it can hurt kid bodies.

Why did this come up? Because there are sexual references everywhere and Shanna asks what they mean. I am not graphic, but I say, “Well grown ups like thinking and talking about sex. So that’s a reference to sex. You’ll understand it after puberty.”

I talk about sex as if it is a normal, natural part of life. I talk about choosing when to have children based on being able to take care of a family. I talk about having “kissed boys and girls other than your dad before him because I wanted to make sure I knew I found the right person”. I’m not graphic.

I don’t want to be “out” with my kids the way some of my friends are out with their kids. My kids won’t see deviant-from-normal behavior during their childhood. Regardless of what I do during baby-sitting time.

And a lot of it comes back to feeling weird for talking about this stuff. Am I bragging? No. I’m trying to work out the logistics of my life. I’m trying to get a clear picture on who and what I am. I am trying to prove to myself, Yup. Still here.

I’m in the breeding period. Most members of my species end up here on accident and they kind of chafe at the boundaries as a result. Their freedom was curtailed not by choice. I want this so much.

I want to know what a childhood is like when the parents are not having sex in front of nor with their children. I want to know what a childhood is like when there isn’t constant drug and alcohol induced partying going on. I use pot, but it isn’t a party drug for me. It is something I do in isolation or I take a pill. I’ve only smoked around a handful of people (the wonderful folks who come over for dinner) and it doesn’t happen until after the kids are asleep. My kids are not growing up in a party house.

Only they are. It’s kind of weird. I’m finding out what “vanilla” parties are like and they are pretty fun.

Not long ago my neighbors re-did their house. They were tired of “looking like a preschool”. But… you have young children. Ok, the materials should age up, but why in the world do you think that your house shouldn’t look like kids live there?

Stop judging, Krissy.

I like that kids like coming here. They feel comfortable. I like that I can invite a whole bunch of people over and it works out really well. Everyone leaves raving about how they’ve had a wonderful time.

I’m going to go have fun with my family now.

Addiction

What an interesting article.

My dad is part of the 5% that came home from Vietnam to a lifetime of drug addiction. What was broken there?

I’ve had people tell me that I’m addicted to drugs (the only one I’m still using is pot–the others aren’t appealing anymore), that I’m addicted to cutting (don’t do it now that I have good reason to pick other methods of coping), that I’m addicted to sex (I haven’t picked up promiscuous sex in years; if I need positive touch I can get it now without having to beg strangers), and that I’m addicted to various other things I don’t do any more.

Truly I should have stopped everything I was doing in my life to move into the 12 step approach to life. Clearly, without a 12 step program I will never do anything but drugs, promiscuous sex, and cutting.

Err… or something.

Today has been an emotional journey.

I’ve been crying on and off for 13 hours now. It’s a day. I went to a tea party. I cried at the tea party. Even though strangers could see me. (Usually I have better control than that; mostly I get to a bathroom in time to hide my crying.)

One of my former flings was at the tea party. He spent a lot of the party hitting on me really hard. He remembers me very fondly. I feel like I should take a shower. (Although to be fair–the pride weekend we hooked up was wicked hot. He’s a switch and just as good at taking pain as he is at giving pain. We had a really ridiculously hot weekend of beating the shit out of each other in between rabid fucking. Ok, I remember him fondly too.)

But I still feel like I should take a shower. Which is becoming a thing for me. I was talking to Noah about this yesterday. I’m in a weird spot with sex. Sex is feeling weird and dirty and gross and like I am disgusting for having it and I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that. Which… isn’t really like me.

I have been having sex of some kind for over 30 years. I’ve been having vaginal sex of my own volition for 21 years. I feel very weird about having sex be this weird for me. I was never put off by sex and now I am. I feel like I’m in a really terrible rut for this. It hasn’t been going on for a super long time, maybe a few weeks?

It is very weird for me to feel repulsed by the idea of sex. And I’m feeling that way really intensely. It is making my relationship with Noah rocky. And then having an old flame hit on me magnifies it in intense and awkward and uncomfortable ways.

I’ve had some weirdness ever since getting pregnant the first time. Decreased libido, I don’t feel sexy when my kids are around, I don’t “turn on” very easily any more… there has been a lot of weirdness to adjust to, but the repulsion feels new. (I don’t think I have suddenly developed an aversion to Noah. I am much more repulsed by the idea of sex with anyone else right now.)

I feel dirty, bad, and like if I have boundaries I am a terrible person who deserves to be punished. Sex feels almost like a punishment.

Today has been such an explosion of self-loathing. In every way possible. I should die. I should die. I should die. I should stop being such a scary terrible person. I don’t know a way to stop being so fucking scary without dying.

This morning Noah made us a really elaborate breakfast. In the process he shouted at the kids a few times. From the other side of the house I felt shocked and afraid. When I came into the kitchen the kids were totally cool with it. I asked Noah if he needed time to go calm down and both him and the kids defended that he was fine.

If I say “empty the dishwasher” sometimes the kids will all but cower under the table. I don’t even have to raise my voice. (Actual screaming provokes less of a reaction.) Noah says it is because I am so intimidating. You know–like a large black man.

Are you fucking kidding me?

So I spent the day crying because I’m a piece of shit who should die because I can’t seem to do anything to stop scaring people. No matter how hard I try, I’m still that fucking scary bitch who should be punished for having emotions that are too big.

Sometimes I can whisper a request and the kids will react as if I have done something terrible. I feel manipulated.

I feel like I should die because it isn’t possible for me to attain behavior that would be considered “acceptable”.

I spent a bunch of time at the tea party talking to a woman I used to go dancing with. Both of us have been on mental health roller coasters over the last few years. When she has problems, her friends take her in. She has spent a lot of the last few years basically couch surfing with friends who cook for her and clean up after her and she has a great team of doctors she works with who are really nice to her. In the conversation I asked a little bit about what kind of traumas trigger what kind of things for her and she said, “I’ve never had a traumatic experience in my life.”

When she said how grateful she is that her friends have taken her in and supported her this way because it is really hard for her to take care of herself when she is depressed I said, “No one has ever loved me that much. Not my friends, not my parents. It doesn’t matter how I feel. I have to take care of myself.” Then I cried.

Noah takes some care of me, but he doesn’t do that much. People have done some things to care for me. One friend cooked me breakfast lunch and dinner for three weeks after my second child was born. When my uncle died and I dropped my basket I had friends show up for a week to baby-sit my kids.

But in between some pieces of help I have to get off my fucking ass and do everything else for myself. I don’t get months of support. I get a few minutes then a kick in the ass to get the fuck back up and take care of myself.

When my wisdom teeth were removed, I was 21 and living with my Owner. My mom came to stay with us to “take care of me” afterwards. I had four dry sockets. I was in horrible pain. My mom sat on the couch reading and I cooked and served her food.

I’m a self-pitying son of a bitch.

When I get really sick 9/10 times I drive myself to the hospital. I don’t really know who to ask for help. Even though doctors have told me flat out I can’t drive those days… I do it anyway because that is the only transportation I have.

I’m having a really hard time this week with the whole “scary” thing. I won the court case, but I don’t feel “cleared” at all. This is a consistent problem for me. Near as I can tell the only thing I can do to avoid scaring people is stay in my room without talking to people.

I want to die so much.

I’m having a really hard time with knowing that my therapist doesn’t have a lot of hope for me changing. That is really hurting.

If you ask my kids at any other time if they think I am scary they say no. They tell me they know I wouldn’t hurt them even though I get very angry sometimes. But man they cower. They cower like I chase them with a belt. Hell, they fucking cower more than someone who has been chased with a belt. If you get hit enough times you learn that cowering just pisses people off and they hit you more times.

Noah and I talked today about putting the kids in school. He asked what I would do during the day. I said cut. It would be totally easy to hide if I had that much alone time. We don’t want to put the kids in school. But if I think the kids are being damaged by being around me (uhm, cowering) then maybe school is more appropriate.

You never know what the “right” decision is until it is too late to do anything about all the wrong decisions.

Despite hearing today from a teacher who likes Common Core I remain unconvinced that school is currently the right choice for my kids. This teacher asked how my kids have learned to talk about math problems if they have never had a math class. If I’ve never sat them down with a textbook and worksheets, how can they learn?! It’s a miracle. But without curriculum assistance of any kind my kids can do addition, some subtraction, and the occasional multiplication problem. (The 4 year old isn’t doing multiplication yet, but she has demonstrated that she understands the principle.) We do them verbally.

I feel like I’m being mean and ungrateful towards Noah for having this many big, unpleasant feelings. I feel like I am doing something specifically objectionable because of disloyalty. I feel like when I talk about my lack of support I am implying that he isn’t doing enough and that isn’t true. I’m pretty sure there isn’t time in the day for Noah to do more.

But I still have so many needs and there isn’t anyone I can ask. I try really hard to build some of the consistency I need and it falls through over and over.

It isn’t that no one ever does anything for me. I know that I *do* get help. But I get one off help.

I want a god damn mother.

Right now I am feeling very self-pitying and sad. I wish I had the flavor of mental illness where people love me and take care of me and feel sad that I am hurting instead of the flavor where people think I am scary and intimidating.

I want to die.

My friend said she feels confident that with the help of wonderful doctors she will improve a lot and her life will get better and she won’t have so many symptoms.

If you read books about suicidality, there are specific “things” that are the reasons people kill themselves. There are only a few categories of spurs, really. I have most of them really active in my life. I don’t think I will ever stop feeling suicidal until I can find a way to meet the needs that are driving the impulse to die. My problems are relational and I can’t fix them by myself. And I can’t make anyone care about me that much.

I don’t know that I will ever get much better. I will never believe I am worthy of enough love to justify staying alive. “Never is a long time.” I don’t feel very hopeful today.

I hope that some day this will feel less intense. I hope that some day I will believe I am worthy of someone taking care of me and I will find a way to make that happen in a way that will benefit my mental health long term.

Right now I feel like no one loves me enough.

Which is of course all my fault and all my problem.

Not coping-methods

I’m reading this book on meditation. (Specifically because it is published by one of the publishing houses I think is most likely to be interested in my book.)

It is hard living with contradictory selves. I honestly and truly believe that people don’t want to be in my life unless they want something from me. And yet I think that the vast majority of people who love me want nothing more than to chat with me for a few hours a year. That doesn’t seem like much to “want” from me.

But it creates a suspicious feeling. I’m really having a screwy day. I’m most of the way through a whiskey sour (1 oz whiskey, 4 oz sours) so I’m feeling it.

My stomach doesn’t hurt like it did when I came home from therapy. Between the medication and the alcohol I don’t feel so much like I should die. I just feel tired, drained, and kind of sad.

I feel like my therapist believes that I experience suicidality because I “like” it. I happen to think it would be more convenient if I believed that I am exceedingly able to handle most things that come up. I think I would like it if I didn’t always feel like I am hurting people so much just by existing.

I don’t know how to gentle down enough to deserve to live.

It was interesting, actually, on Friday I went to a party. Winter Bash. The Renaissance Faire guild I used to work with has a party every year. It’s not really the guild–the guild mistress and her husband have a big party. They invite people from lots of parts of their lives… but I only talk to the guild people because that’s who I know.

I had some really great chats. I’m glad I made it. I haven’t made it up in several years and it was lovely to catch up with a few specific people. But everything is mixed for me.

I watched people flinch when I was too loud/extreme/strong in my phrasing or something. I didn’t feel like I was that bad. The people who already knew me didn’t really flinch. Strangers did.

I like being able to produce that reaction from people when I want to produce that reaction. I actually don’t like that it happens when I think I’m doing just fine.

I feel like a manipulative chicken shit for talking about wanting to die when I am merely being held responsible for my actions.

But that’s not really it. If a judge wants to slap a restraining order on me because I said things that were genuinely illegal… that’s reasonable. I think that if I were actually threatening to kill someone I would bloody well deserve a restraining order and I would accept it.

I have no interest in hurting that doctor. If I haven’t hurt the people who have raped me… If I haven’t driven up to my sister’s front door and caused her permanent damage… a doctor fucking up some instructions is not going to send me over the edge.

I’m not actually a violent person. I am an abrupt person. I am an angry person. I understand that other people have no way of knowing whether or not I am a threat to them when I am angry in front of them.

I only tell myself it is ok to drink for stress reasons every few years. I never feel good about it. Even though I am massively opposed to AA and I don’t think I’m an alcoholic I have just as much guilt about drinking when I’m upset as I read about in books. Which… depending on how I read different books… actually means I’m an alcoholic. Even though I’ve never had a problem with drinking very much. I think about alcohol a lot. When I have even one serving I feel enormous guilt–which kind of makes alcohol a problem. Which by some definitions means I have a problem with alcohol and I shouldn’t drink.

It’s god damn medicinal. I need to lower my anxiety level.

I’m all the way up to four drinks this week. One at the holiday party. Two last night. One today. This is how I keep me honest. Speaking of which: diarrhea this afternoon. With this much alcohol no duh. I haven’t had alcohol in months. Before I stopped drinking entirely I averaged 1-3 drinks/month. (Yo- whiskey, one drink a night, is FODMAP friendly…)

I’ll stop hurting myself after the court date.

See, part of the thing about my self-harm is: I do it as an outlet. Otherwise I have outbursts of inappropriate emotion around people who don’t deserve it. Then I get punished for not having enough control of my emotions. The punishment is inevitably much larger and more of a problem than my self harm.

I reiterate: what the fuck is so bad about me hurting myself so that I don’t react inappropriately around other people and end up way more hurt?!?!?!?!?!

I miss cutting. Instead, Eldest is building some pretty cool stuff in Minecraft and Youngest is enjoying having the power to steer the iPad. I’m hurting my arms (typing) or reading and not talking a lot. If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say nothing at all.

I made ramen for lunch. For one of the few times in my life… it didn’t taste good. I got no comfort from the experience. I don’t think wheat is going so well. Oh god.

It is kind of funny that this happened on “vacation” week. Most kids aren’t supposed to be “schooling” this week. So it is very typical of their generation that they will spend most of their time on the screen this week. Ha.

There is a part of my brain that knows I won’t be upset about any of the things that is happening in six months. I will dimly remember being upset.

It would be nice to borrow from future self. I think having the awareness of a future self who will not be upset about these things is the best I can manage. I should stop typing and start reading.

Lots of balls in the air.

We went to pick up the Prius because Toyota said it was fixed. Before it could be driven out of the parking lot a warning light came on. Toyota sent us home with a rental. But that’s pending more dealing with and maybe more paying for fixing things and who knows what.

The dishwasher is due to be installed today. I can’t wait. I have a full kitchen of dishes and I’m not fucking hand washing them all.

I have contacted half a dozen lawyers and left messages. Haven’t heard back. It’s kind of a bad week. Shit.

Talked to my shrink yesterday. I felt guilty because I try not to pester her outside of my sessions. She said it sucks but it isn’t as big of a deal as I’m afraid of it being. Oh god.

Oh, and Christmas is in three days. Maybe I should wrap more presents. I have everything. Although we haven’t discussed what we are eating on Christmas. Might be smart to plan ahead.

I haven’t heard back about the only plans I attempted for this coming weekend. I guess we are just sitting at home till the court date. That’s probably for the best.

I’m medicating and reading and trying to not cry or have a bad tone of voice. The kids are SUPER snuggly because they can tell I’m upset. I feel like I’m really getting to the point where I’m straining the amount of understanding kids should give their parents. This elimination diet has been rough in a few ways.

Luckily I’m on gluten, dairy, and eggs without a problem. I’m still wussing out about a lot of the high fodmap vegetables. I’m trying classes of food at a time. I should probably wait till after Christmas, chill on sugar, dairy, and eggs, and see if I can handle some of the known fruit/vegetable irritants. Have to get the body working better soon. Running out of time.

Too much to do. Can’t sit home being sick.

I haven’t looked around the house or the yards for all the projects I’ve made no progress on in months. I just can’t bear to look. I’ll get back to it. But it is hurting in the idle time.

I need to put together the travel trailer for one thing. Oh man.

I feel a lot better than I did. But I should stop typing. So much anxiety and sadness. I feel like a maelstrom about to explode.

This is one of those periods when I wonder “Is it really so bad if I back slide on some of my self-harming behaviors so that I have more spoons for dealing with the kids?” Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If I went in the bathroom and cut my leg up I would have more patience and calm. I would be a nicer person.

If it’s ok for me to let doctors give me hormones to change how my brain works, why is it so fucking bad for me to do it with a razor blade for free?!

There are a lot more self-harming things I’m thinking about but listing them seems questionable right now.

I’ll sit very still and read young adult fiction. It’s “better”. I’m told.

Like it goes.

Yesterday was a banner day. One friend said she isn’t going to be able to see me for a while. That whole I’m too intense thing. It’s appropriate, fair, and the right thing to do if someone needs space. Other friends stood us up for dinner.

Mostly it wasn’t a bad day. I spent time with home schoolers. (I managed to spend a lot of the time discussing house organizing strategies–that was fun.) Sometimes I think it is very important that I not spend too much time around the home schoolers. I don’t want them to have to tell me to go away too. That would hurt my kids. So I have to very carefully divvy out how much time I spend there so my kids don’t get told to go away too.

One mom is not real happy because apparently Shanna and the boy she has had a crush on for over a year ran out to the field and kissed. There’s a milestone for you. The other mother expressed displeasure and said that wasn’t to be happening.

My point of view is so skewed. Someone else is really upset because a six year old and an eight year old had a chaste peck. I know that by that age I had given blowjobs to…..at least five or six boys and girls (That I have strong memory of and I get the impression more was happening in my first neighborhood than I remember because we moved when I was three). Perspective is important. Not that I’m saying it would be ok for Shanna to upgrade her sexual activity because I did. That is NOT my point. My point is that a chaste peck is… not alarming to me.

I told Shanna that it is very sweet that she loves him so much, but for a few more years she should limit herself to hugs because kisses are for grown ups. She looked at me like I was a big fat liar. Fair enough. She was more willing to admit that if the boy’s mother is upset about it then it shouldn’t happen again. She doesn’t want to get him in trouble. I feel kind of sad that I am already teaching my daughters to be careful with their sexuality because people around them will punish either them or their partners if they do it in a way that isn’t “approved”.

I feel sad and empty. I feel like I am stupid for reorganizing my life because I want to facilitate relationships with people only to have them tell me that they can’t.

I want to beat my head right now. I feel so stupid.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been thinking that I should finish the letter to Noah’s parents. And I’ve been thinking about the letter I wrote to my mother that I haven’t had the guts to send. The feelings about those two letters could fill thousands of words by themselves.

So I feel shitty with a pile of crap on top. Thinking about how much I wish my mommy loved me will pretty inevitably make me want to hurt myself.

At 3am Calli came and found me. She said, “I’m alone in my bed.”

“…..ok.”

“Shanna is in her bed.”

“….. ok.”

“I don’t want to be alone in my bed.”

“Ahh, now we come to the crux of the matter. You want me to come to bed with you.”

“Yes. And I want you to cuddle me and I want you to sleep with me all night long.”

“Well, I can’t promise all night long. But I will snuggle you back to sleep.”

I had to leave the room when I couldn’t control my crying any more and I didn’t want to wake her up.

Mama mama mama. Every time my kids say it I think of how many millions of times I said it only to not get my mother. I’m torn between feeling like I am “healing my inner child” by facilitating this for my kids and feeling so jealous of them I can barely breathe.

I remind myself over and over that I have three people who love me. That is three more people than a lot of people get. Don’t be greedy.

But today I’d like to beat my head. I think it is kind of interesting how head beating wasn’t much of a thing for me as a kid. When I was a kid I was more focused on cutting, burning myself, biting myself (to the point of blood), and hitting myself with large blunt objects.

Now those activities are less appealing. Now I just want to kneel on concrete and beat until I am not capable of thinking any more. I don’t know if this is a step up or down.

I don’t think the birth control pills are helping very much so far. I can technically understand that I have this dip monthly. These feelings aren’t “real”. But they are.

I am struggling with how to deal with the people who ask me for space. This is not just one person. There are a lot of people in this camp. More than a dozen. I overwhelm people. This is a known issue.

Once people ask for space I try to turn and walk away. They will ask me to come back if they want me to. Only people don’t really. So usually I wait a year or so and I ask again. Then I’m told I’m too intense again. Then I wait a year.

Am I ever going to get to the point where I just walk away? I don’t know. It is so hard for me to walk away from people. I don’t want to feel more alone and unloved than I already do. So I maintain tenuous contact with people who may or may not actually like me but who definitely can’t really handle me. Is that fair to me or them? I don’t know.

I feel tremendous guilt when I ask any of these people to spend time with me a year later. Like I am inflicting an unwanted burden on someone who has already told me they don’t want it. There are always mixed signals. I’m always told that they just need a little break. And then they wait for me to initiate contact and I get kind of passive aggressive comments in public later if I don’t keep pursuing them for a relationship even though they told me to go away.

I don’t feel like I am capable of doing much right. I feel like I hurt people just by existing and that isn’t very nice of me. I should shut my stupid piece of shit mouth because no one wants to fucking hear it.

I told the home schoolers I wouldn’t stay for the whole camping trip. So I can go running with someone who doesn’t really want to see me any more. Yup. That’s how things go for me. This is the second time I have planned far in advance for a race with someone only to have them need space from me. I have had successful races with friends if we decide to do it together at the last minute. Planning to do things with me enforces more time spent and then I become a problem.

I’ll run the six mile loop today again. I still want to run a marathon in March. I’m pretty sure I will plan to do it alone. That seems like the best idea even if someone says, “Oh I will do it with you.” It’s just not a good idea. I’m too hard to deal with.

I feel so guilty for wanting people to be my friend. I am toxic waste and I should stop hurting people.

I am looking forward to my birthday this year probably more than I ever have in my life. I am going to be alone. I am leaving my house the day before. I am not bringing my phone or any other screen. I am going to spend the day of my birthday alone. I am not going to speak to anyone.

That way I will feel no disappointment about anything all day. I can have a day with no expectations from anyone else in the world. It doesn’t matter if no one else wants to talk to me or be nice to me.

Last year on my birthday I spent a week in advance telling the kids, “I want to do x, y, and z. Because it’s my birthday.” They yelled and screamed the whole time and made x, y, and z entirely unpleasant and terrible. I cried through the afternoon and evening because I wasn’t even allowed to eat the french fries I wanted to eat without getting berated.

I want to beat my head on concrete. I wonder how much this change in impulse has to do with a chance in circumstance. I only have privacy in the garage. There is no way in hell I would cut in the garage. Too messy. I only cut in the bath tub. I no longer have private access to a bath tub. I am old enough and wise enough that I am not going to burn myself in the house again (fire damage is real, yo). And frankly, after my brother burning himself alive… burning myself is less appealing. That habit mostly went away after Tommy died. It wasn’t a game any more.

Just like I don’t understand the appeal of video games where you shoot people and kill people. I’ve had a gun held to my head. It’s not a fucking game.

If you hit yourself with hammers or the like you get marks you can’t hide. Beating my head on concrete doesn’t leave appreciable external bruising. Perfect!

Because I haven’t beat my head on concrete in a while, instead I have developed a habit of sometimes sneaking out to the garage and eating a handful of chocolate chips. Mmm secret binge eating. That’s the ticket.

I am having huge feelings about the fact that I have concluded that I have to stop drinking alcohol. I can’t have the occasional glass of something. It makes me sick. Literally, physically sick. I am not physically well for days. That means I have to stop drinking. I am having huge feelings around this. I am anti-12 step programs. Yes, they work for some people. Ok, saying I am “anti” them is too strong. I have never wanted to participate. I think that is ok. I am not going to turn my authority over to a higher power. Nope. Not this lifetime.

So I’m having weird feelings around not drinking. It feels like the end of fun. Which is weird because… I’ve never been much of a drinker. I have always enjoyed feeling like I had it as an option even if I frequently didn’t take it. Now that I’m telling myself I “can’t” have it I feel rebellious and angry and like I want to sit down and drink a bottle of wine by myself.

My contrariness is a real problem. Well, and my self-harm urges are strong, If I truly crystalize that drinking is self-harm then of course it is suddenly more appealing. These fucking fuckers keep telling me I shouldn’t beat my head because I already have enough brain damage. Drinking it is!

Only I can’t beat my head and I can’t drink. I can’t keep increasing my stroke risk just because I want to. I can’t keep doing massive damage to my internal organs just because I don’t like myself very much.

Sometimes I wish that it was socially acceptable for me to sew my mouth shut and just go through life that way. People would like me so much more.

Shanna and Calli and Noah like me. That is three more people than a lot of people have. I shouldn’t be so greedy.

Reflections

Today I took the girls to visit an old friend of mine. I haven’t seen her much since I had kids. She’s older than me and she has a grown daughter. Talking to her is different now than it used to be.

Now she actively tries to tell me not to use her as an example. I don’t know if she was simply unaware of how I tried to pattern match off of her in the past or if it seemed more harmless.

Now she adamantly tells me that I should not make similar choices to her. She is not all that happy with the far side of the parenting road and she thinks that she made a lot of wrong choices.

Given that she is a specialist who works with developmentally delayed children (wow I know a lot of them) I did my normal poke, “Several friends think I should have Calli evaluated as potentially somewhere on the spectrum or possibly a speech delay. What do you think?”

She snickered. She said, “I have a 3.5 year old client who can point and say “unh” when he wants something. She’s really not delayed.”

This was kind of weird because I realized how much I want to brush off the encouraging and/or positive comments I receive about my children. Instead I worry and worry about the outliers who tell me, “I think you should ____”.

I never know how to feel about that. I don’t spend a lot of time talking about it, but lots of strangers stop me to grab my shoulders and stare at me in a really intense way and say, “Do you know how exceptional your child is?”

It happens every few months. I uhhh don’t know how to react. This is usually after ten or so minutes talking to Shanna. Talking about that sounds like bragging but honestly it makes me uncomfortable.

It’s not like it only comes from the sweet old grandmothers. It comes from a wide variety of people in a wide variety of circumstances. They are a lot easier to brush off and not think about much. I worry about the criticisms.

I want to believe that people are seeing the real experience of my life when they see potential areas I’m fucking up and not when it’s going right. The going right must be a fluke, right? I don’t believe compliments or positive statements. Although I’m not looney–I know my oldest child is advanced in speaking. But yeah. Whatever. How’s that going to effect the price of tea in China?

When I first knew a lot of my friends as mothers they were still young-ish mothers. I knew them through the periods they talk of with regret. It’s weird to now hear that side of it because I didn’t know anything at the time. I thought they were so great. Now they tell me not so much.

I’m worried, like I am. What am I fucking up? What am I missing? What am I not catching that a competent professional would catch?

Then I went on to read a thread on a homeschool email list about the idea of seeing a speech pathologist/therapist/getting kids evaluated for autism/etc other labels. The point was made that many, most issues (like speech stuff) would naturally resolve around six but we put kids into therapy earlier than that “so they don’t get used to the stigma of being deficient”. (Not my phrasing–emphasis is mine.)

It was a long thread and I’m quoting a very small part and the person I’m quoting had many interesting ideas so I’m not trying to paint it badly. But it was one of those “howdy there, juxtaposition” moments. (I’m working my way through a book on how people reach insights. It’s fascinating how connections layer.)

Anyway. The point was I think it is kind of interesting that I’m dithering about getting Calli evaluated. I have not been able to make up my mind if I want to pursue it or not. If she has speech delay it is extremely minor and most kids resolve minor issues on their own by six. She doesn’t have a severe speech issue. That is clear. She seems to have some difficulty with some sounds, but we do exercises. I’m not sure speech therapy would have much to offer her. The pediatrician does the basic autism screening and has at every appointment. The pediatrician says Calli is fine. But I worry.

And I hesitate to put my sticky little feet near the waters of the system. Do I really want my local school system building a dossier on my kids so that they can pester me about what I’m doing and whether I’m doing it right?

I go back and forth about how I feel about working with charter schools and it comes down to, ultimately, the fact that if I got the wrong “supervising teacher” to work with I would explode with rage.

That’s not so healthy or functional, I know.

I don’t do well with people who have a small amount of arbitrary power and then are petty. It’s a super common trait though and not a situation I really want to deal with.

But I worry about the idea that I am flying blind with no one to supervise me. The trouble is finding someone I respect who would be in an appropriate position to work with me. Mostly I just ask different people who have different specialties for informal evaluations.

Yeah. I feel mixed about the “methodology” I’m following. It’s uhm. Well. It’s unschooling. I don’t have a rubric of right or wrong. I’m just… doing.

What I’m trying to do is teach me and Shanna and Calli how to be polite to people. We have very good manners together. We can go to a grown-up only house and behave exactly how we should because there are Rules and we gosh darn spend the whole car ride there going over them. There are different rules for different places

I consciously and deliberately always specify why a rule exists.

You know that obnoxious “why” phase parents bitch about? We don’t have much of that here. I explain why before they can ever stop to consider how to react to an arbitrary rule. We don’t have many arbitrary rules.

Even “no food on the carpet” is “except on party days or very rarely with something that has NO CRUMBS”.

I need my children to be able to pick up on subtle behavior clues. I need it like I need water. It is not normal or natural to be as obsessed with it as I am. That means that it is not acceptable for me to expect my children to just be able to do it.

It means I have to explicitly teach my children how to evaluate how to talk to people. It means I have to go through and explain detailed body language stuff. We work on it a lot.

It’s controlling and wacky and crazy. But I tell them a lot, “I’m teaching you what I have learned. I don’t know everything. Sometimes I’m just flat wrong. As you grow up you will have different experiences than I’ve had and you will decide that I’m very wrong about some things. That happens to the best of us. For now, try to get some idea of what I’m looking at. It will take time and practice and you are going to make some mistakes and feel embarrassed. Brush it off and try again. You have to fail a million times before you can be an expert at anything.”

I want my kids to have the self confidence that comes from being allowed to try 30 things that fail before you find something that works.

And that means I frustrate the shit out of them.

I sorta think of myself as aspiring to be a cross of Mary Poppins, Mr. Miyagi, and Professor McGonagall. But more cuddly than that list implies.

I’m very demanding and exacting and I expect that is going to suck to live with long-term. We’ll see.

I don’t like curriculum but we talk about history a lot. I believe that studying history is important because many of the mistakes that we might make were already made by other people–go see how it worked out for them and then decide if you want that kind of result. We talk about historical people and periods and events and we read biographies.

When Shanna makes a grammar error and I correct her she does actually say, “Why was that wrong?” so I guess I get some “Why” questions. Mostly she says “What does ____ mean?”

I set the framework in their heads. We talk about space and biology and evolution and chemistry and physics and botany.

We haven’t been seriously working on language stuff but our play sometimes includes bouncing between using all the words in our collective vocabulary in every language we know to name objects in a space. It’s fun. They teach me words. (I verify things on the internet…) That will only get bigger as they get older. It’s a great way of getting them to sit still and be patient. I start by pointing at something and I will say it’s name/color/some descriptive term and someone will respond with a variation or move to a new object.

Unschooling means we spend our lives learning. The kids have spontaneous jam sessions where they sit down and make up song lyrics for a half hour to an hour. I uhhh look askance from a distance as someone who has always felt excluded from the cliqueish world of playing music. Shanna really likes making music and making up lyrics to go with what she is playing. It is a lot of fun to watch. It’s not “serious learning” but I would argue that it’s also important. She’s only five. Yes, some disciplines believe you can force children to learn even younger than she is. There is also some reason to believe it is better to start at more like seven or eight when the kid will really understand the range of options.

For now I’m comfortable with dithering. Or maybe I just think eight because that is when public schools start music. Who knows.

Shanna’s learning enough right now. She really does have a lot she’s trying to do.

We play math games. I don’t start them. I would probably avoid math much more if I could. Ugh. Shanna is very focused on math to my jaundiced view. She probably sits down to spontaneously do math work every week or two. She’s not a prodigy or anything but she’s interested and she feels like she is successful at it and she knows that understanding math is important for many careers. She doesn’t have any opening for bias that might imply she might be potentially bad at math.

We spend our days moving back and forth between subjects all day long. Cooking is chemistry and math. We talk about how much food costs. We talk about why we make the choices we make with the money we spend on food. There are a lot of shoot-off topics from there. Sometimes I do sit down and draw out how something would visually look if I think it would be hard for them to imagine.

But it’s all organic. (I don’t mean the hippy dippy shit.) I mean it just kind of happens. I respond to their questions all day long. I alternate filling their heads with so much information they sometimes look like they might explode with telling them, “I don’t know how to do it. You figure it out.”

We are loud people. We want to be heard. That is the last trait I want to extinguish in my kids. Same with not punishing them for whining. *I* whine. I’m not going to forking punish my kids for doing what I model. That would make me a despicable hypocrite.

do not punish my kids for doing things I have taught them to do. Iron clad rule.

Does everyone live with rules? This many rules. So many rules. I feel like I am drowning in all the rules, rules, rules. Be this here. Be that there. Be something else someplace else. 

I like the Biblical phrase “a house divided”.

Fall. Fall. Fall.

Only I’m not divided. I promised me I’d never do that. I would never split off my memories so that only certain parts of me existed at a time. Apparently that is one of the main ways folks like me get out of childhood. That’s what the specialists tell me.

I’m not splitting. But I’m learning how to be polite in a wide variety of different cultures and it’s hard. I think I only get to like 70% correct anywhere I try.

I always say too much. I’m too forward. I’m too loud. I’m too inappropriate (although this one has faded now that I only over-share sexually with some of Noah’s random co-workers at Christmas parties. Surely that’s uhm not as bad as I’ve ever been before. That’s been it for the last several years running.

This is big.

And yet I shouldn’t talk about it because it is indiscreet. But controlling hypersexuality doesn’t go away when you are married and monogamous and having moderately good sex with your husband. (I post about bad spells and he goes, “Ahh. An opportunity. So if I put in more effort I get more sex? H’okay then!”) We’re too tired for the earth shattering kind of sex. Some day we’ll get back there. *cross fingers*

I feel like that is the main overwhelming fact of parenthood. Exhaustion. I actually sleep pretty well these days. What, I only miss 2-7 hours in the average week lately? I’ve been sleeping pretty well. I wake up when I want to and not because I have to. That’s doing ok. But I’m still exhausted.

Yes, it’s a running day and I’m tired after eight miles. But it’s not that. I think the running makes me feel better about being this tired because I am whether I run or not. At least when I run I get to have this macho swagger for a while as I feel my rock hard thighs. Holy crap. I didn’t know my legs did that. (They stopped being rock hard when I defrosted and relaxed after the run… but they had like an hour there.. Maybe I need more mid-run stretching breaks… hm.)

I think that the schedule I should keep is either run or edit seven days a week. I only predictably have till 6:30am to work. The whole rest of the day is too overwhelming with kid-need-to-communicate. I love them so much but sometimes I feel like a wrung out sponge.

When I look kind of deflated Noah says, “Well we didn’t pick the low intensity kind of parenting.”

Nope. Not so much.

If I get through this twenty year period and I end up with adult children who want to be my friends and who can go off into the world and have happy lives…

I don’t want a codependent relationship forever. I don’t want two dependents. I want to engage in loud, wild, crazy sex in the middle of my living room. You can move out some day, kiddos. I have plans.

But I hope and pray every day that they will want to be my friend. I want to hear about their lives. I want to know what happens to them. Sure, I hope that they will tell me sometimes that I am a good mom. Mostly I hope that I will look at what they do with their life and think quietly to myself “That was a good choice.” I should keep my mouth shut. It is not my job to judge who they become as adults. Not one way or another.

I don’t judge them much now. I evaluate them. But I describe everything in terms of progress and development. There is no “good” or “bad”. I’m just making sure you are doing what a three year old should be able to do.

I worry that if I decide to have her evaluated she will have a very small delay and I will be told that I “really should pay for therapy so she won’t be more delayed later” (when that is only a faint possibility).

Yeah, I over think things.

If she has a 10% or 20% delay then she is still in the range of normal. She’s just not right at the center line or above it. I don’t believe there is a chance that she is more delayed than that. And her expressive language is advanced. I think she just has to grow into her mouth.

I want to give her time. I think that is all I have to give her. I don’t want to think of her as “behind”. She’s Calli. She’s not the most advanced in every single part of human development but she is certainly not struggling to be understood.

If she starts having problems having conversations with strangers because they can’t understand her then I will take her in for an evaluation. That seems like a good bar. As long as strangers can understand her and have a pick up conversation she is doing well enough for three.

Ok. I think I can stop worrying about that now. (I can dream, can’t I? Actually I can’t because I’ve started having pot at night again. Thank you blissful slumber. Yes, my tolerance is lower.)

I feel like I am so tired I will go fall in my bowl of soup. Maybe time to start getting ready for dinner. I’m so glad it is a leftovers night.

I planned out dinners for February and March. I’m pretty good about sticking to my schedule if I make it. I’m hoping to uhm bring down my food budget a little. It’s hard given some of my food priority stuff. I do my best to buy my meat from actual farmers. I make a big exception for sausage. I’m going to hell for the sausage. I have some very strong feelings about the unsustainability of factory farmed meat. But man I know how expensive it is to be all prissy about “food ethics”. Maybe this year I should be better about tracking food spending. I wonder what I’m putting where. I could look at vendors. on Mint… Hmmm. Now I’m procrastinating. Put down the darn keyboard, Krissy.

Under promise; over deliver.

About six years ago I started seeing a guy for massages. A few months into knowing one another I said, “We are more ‘friendly acquaintances’ than ‘friends'” and he took that as a challenge. He’s been showing up at my house once or twice a month ever since. He helped me remodel my garage back when he had two days a week off instead of one. Now that he works six days a week he can only handle shorter visits and I wouldn’t dream of imposing physical labor on him. That’s what friendship means. Seeing one another’s limits.

Yesterday he said that he and his wife have been talking about what they have to offer me in terms of support because clearly I could use some. He said that he was not sure that he could make any type of permanent commitment, the most they could consider was maybe five years or until the WWOOF year since that’s six years away. I countered with the fact that I probably would not be able to trust a longer than three months at a time commitment. We will keep talking. We’ll see.

So I have been pretty sober lately (I took medication this morning because if I wake up at 3am sobbing it’s going to be a day) and that means the return of dreaming. I’m really sorry I’m dreaming again.

My mom used to forget to pick me up from school. In her defense I didn’t always live with her so it’s not like I was a day-in-day-out responsibility for 18 years and she oops forgot in the middle of that. It was pretty common for me to sit in front of school until dinnertime because that was when she thought of me. One memorable day involved sitting there till bedtime. Sometimes, in some places, a principal would come and sit with me and wait. I always knew we would move soon after that happened because my mom didn’t appreciate the principal’s nasty look.

I woke up thinking about my sister. She would shove me or hit me or knock me down. By the time I was eight or nine I would tell her, “If you hit me I will call 1-800-4-a-child and report you for abusing me.” This would result in hours of her screaming at me. There were lots of variations but the basic thread was that I was a stupid bitch and a cunt and she would show me what real fucking abuse was if I didn’t fucking watch myself.

For a while I asked some friends if we could have dinner once a month. I was slightly pestering. I asked repeatedly over a many month time frame. I was told “Oh yes oh yes”. Then my emails didn’t get returned. I started asking more than six months ago and it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think I will ask again.

My bestie keeps talking about wanting to move out of the area. I’m having trouble containing my feelings when she does this. I understand that my role as her friend is one of support and it isn’t ok for me to tell her she can’t move if that is what is right for her. My job will be to help her pack and wish her well and keep in touch. If I lose out on most of the support I have in the process that is my problem and not hers. That is how life works.

I feel really pathetic for needing help and support. This is why I’m trying to get to know the neighborhood teenagers. They are more likely to still be around in a few years and I won’t take it personally when they want to move on in life.

I think I overly internalized the friend who dumped me for being a drug addict because of the pot. I mean, he was just building on my lifelong hatred of all of my family members. The only drug I ever saw them do was pot. So I attributed all of the behavior issues and problems to pot and I hated it with a passion until well into my mid 20’s. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I kind of “figured out” that the behavior problems were because of the meth and coke and crack and crank and whatever other names you want to use. I don’t even know which of those things are “the same” but I know that they are all words I heard in my home as a child. I just didn’t understand what they meant.

I tried pot because a friend told me to. Pot is the only thing that has ever broken through the repetitive negative thoughts. Pot seems to be the only way I don’t go through my day whispering “worthless whore” to myself over and over. I wish I could end the repetitive negative self-talk.

When people tell me “I want to come over, how about x day” and then they don’t come… it just builds on my sense that I am worthless. For my own self-protection I need to not try with those people any more. Even if that makes me feel bad and like I am abandoning people.

I feel horrible guilt that my spoon level requires that I only know people right now who are capable of under promising and over delivering. That is the only way I can know that I am not going to have to suddenly compensate for what feels like people lying to me.

I understand that people “didn’t mean to”.

I have to be nice to my kids all day every day. It doesn’t matter what other people mean. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Which results in an awful lot of my friends feeling like they can’t reach out or offer anything to me at all. Because they can’t PROMISE and so they feel that what they have to offer is worthless.

Man it seems like all we are going to do is fuck each other up.

This is part of that “I am toxic waste and will hurt everyone around me” thing.

I appreciate the people who are telling me not to go off my meds. I appreciate that people who show up at my house and actually watch me interact with my children over prolonged periods of time tell me that I should be medicated. Honestly not as much the other kind of people. Sharing that you think you are better because you medicate and you suspect it is true of me is different than telling me what to do. (K–you totally nailed it.) Splitting hairs is what I do.

If what you mean to say isn’t being heard how you mean it then you need to be willing to adapt your message for a different audience. That is what communication is about.

I’m kind of good at that and kind of shitty. Embrace the dichotomy. Resiliency is based on opposing traits. I hear. From “experts”. Psh. Who gives a shit. I am not actually all that impressed with science. Go look at meta-science about research. It’s all crap. But it’s all we have.

There’s a Carsie Blanton song about that: All We Got.

(Did it work?)

I spend a lot of time every day being grateful for Noah. He grew up with a level of mental illness I will hopefully never reach. It taught him a lot about not looking to other people for his reality. It taught him that he might have to actually defend himself from people who want to hurt him. And yet his dad is still there. Fully committed until one of them dies.

When you say “for better or worse” no one promises that there will be more better than worse.

Living with Noah isn’t always perfect. He pisses me off sometimes. But he is consistently kind and generous with me. He meets his commitments. He’s sure not to commit to something he can’t do.

I think I will get mad at every person who is ever in my life. Anger is how I find my boundaries. It isn’t the most ideal reaction–yeah I fucking know. But Noah has earned a lot of trust from me.

He pisses me off, but when I figure out that I’m angry I can walk away and defuse my anger and come back and negotiate calmly (ok my tone may not be perfect) and there can be a resolution. And he won’t agree to something he can’t do. We find a way to reach something we can both live with. Then he fucking does what he says.

It’s…

When he does fuck up it usually makes him feel worse than me. And at this point the fuck ups are at the level of “I thought we had the ingredients for _____ meal but we don’t.” Uhhh, I can live with that. It’s my fault we ran out anyway because I didn’t bother going to the grocery store.

Oh man. I can feel the medication now. Thank g-d. Arms hurt.

It just occurred to me that I have a ‘brother’ tag and a ‘daddy’ tag and a ‘mother’ tag… but nothing for my sister. I think I’m still afraid of her. She doesn’t live that far away from me. She knows where I live (err, if she is capable of remembering). She uhh consorts with undesirable folks. To be an uppity piece of shit about it.

Kids are up.

post-therapy (more) hobbies and yay friends.

It made me very happy to tell my therapist “My friends and I are in a fierce and loving argument/discussion about hobbies and how I should learn to manage time better.” She thinks it is great that you all interact with me. Heh.

Then when I explained the “I can’t do fiddly shit” she said, “Oh of course not. Your flavor of PTSD should be kept as far away from those kinds of actions as possible. If someone has dissociation issues then often things like knitting can help them be more present. You are so hyperaroused that it will drive you crazy. Don’t do that. Try martial arts.”

See, the knitting is very good and healthy for lots of my friends and not for me. I appreciate my pats on the back. Validation is my friend.

I talked to her a lot about wanting to come off of pot. I’m past the baby stage. I told myself I was using pot to give me the self control I needed to get past the baby stage when the kids really couldn’t help how much they triggered me. I don’t have babies any more. Shit.

I think there is the non-zero possibility that I will stop using pot until my kids are adults and then start again. Being stoned is awesome but I want to teach my kids a different lifestyle.

My shrink says she has known people who have had good luck taking some melatonin during the day while getting off pot. You have to be careful to never take it for more than ten days in a row (I should research why) but it can be useful. I also have to up my B vitamins. I should be taking 1,000-1,500 units per day. Ew. Ew. Ew. I should double the fish oil dose. I should start 5-htp.

The idea is that this will probably take a full year. Not to get off pot. That will take less than a month. I have to get my bodily stress more under control. It is going to be a process and it is going to be hard. I will have to really retrain my body with new habits. New habits can be formed in as little as thirty days. I don’t think my lifelong habits will be undone in a month. Ok, I’ve already worked on a lot of the other big problem areas, but more to handle.

Yesterday Shanna kind of complained about me watching The West Wing. I told her I was watching it because I was frustrated and annoyed and I was trying not to yell at her. She said, “Turn it off and let’s talk about it. You won’t solve anything this way.”

I feel so lucky. I feel like I have so much reason to work on my issues. I finally have iron clad reasons to think that my emotional state matters. It impacts my kids hugely and massively all day every day. I matter.

My therapist continues her stream of being shocked by how many people I know. She has been sorta trying to talk me into working with a writing teacher she knows. He could edit my books. I told her I was saving money to work with my friend Janet. She has a lot of experience with writing and running a publishing company and she told me she wanted to work with me. I really want to try that avenue first.

My shrink said, “Oh, what publishing company?”

“Greenery Press.”

Her jaw dropped and her eyes bugged. “You know her?”

“Oh yeah. I’ve known her for more than ten years.”

“Uhm, yeah. Work with her. That’s amazing. Wow. You know a lot of people.”

really do. I know some ridiculously cool people. I get out and talk to people a lot. I am constantly out trying to pull more people into my tenuous web of connections. I like people. The more people I know the safer I am.

By contrast she (my shrink) told me it was pretty chicken shit to have relationships with people where I invite them over a lot and then I stop and expect them to invite themselves over. She said that’s not cool and I should stop it. I said, “But I’m scared.” She said, “So are they.”

Damnit.

She wants me to consider working with kinky survivors as one of the hats I put on some day when I’m a grown up. She thinks I would be uniquely well suited to being able to help people in that category. I’m flattered. This comes up because I spend a lot of time on the PTSD forum fielding questions about bdsm. It is hilarious to me that I hand out this long list of book recommendations and I am friends/former play partners with almost all of the authors. Yeah, I vouch for the information in the book and the integrity of the people giving the information.

I told my therapist about Noah’s reaction to me wanting to go to Islamic countries as an old woman as part of my work with incest. (Noah’s response was, “Ok we need to start martial arts. Now.) Her eyes teared up and she said, “You are so lucky to have a partner who is that supportive of you. Do you understand how rare that is?”

I do understand. I’m grateful every single day.

No, Noah doesn’t try to talk me out of things. I say, “I’m thinking about doing _____” and he says, “How can I help!?” (As a bonus he also makes cookies. So far this year: snickerdoodles (three batches [err… I ate a whole one alone…]), chocolate chip, haystacks, and he has made dough for refrigerator cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and molasses crinkles. He’s serious about liking my ass slightly more when it is bigger. Ha.)

I have friends who put up with me being rude, offensive, and foul mouthed.

I am ridiculously lucky in this lifetime. Not very many people receive as much non-family support as I get. It’s all about perspective, right?

Apparently I need to start a structured routine for a (long) while. I need to have “sitting on a swing for an hour” as part of every day. (Rocking motions are soothing to your brain. If you are upset, hug yourself and rock. You may feel lame but it does help.) I need to find a martial arts gym that will let us come in 2-3 days every week. I need to be running almost every day. (Rest days are important too.) I need to start teaching Shanna how to ride a bike and practice with her. (She has one… but she’s a wuss. She won’t try it unless I’m really bugging her. She likes going as fast as she can with her feet thankyouverymuch.)

I tend to have structure for a short period and then go off the rails when I add a big project. I can’t have any big projects for a year. This feels crushing and unfair. Waaa waaa waaa. Should I call the waaaaaaambulance?

I have to train my body to relax. I’m not sure I have ever been relaxed. Yeah, it will probably take a year. If I am fully relaxed at the end of a year it will be a G-d damn miracle. But I have to try. And this is the year. Go.

If I want to be able to do the serious international travel later I have no choice but to do this now. I can’t put it off any more. I don’t want to end up beating my head on concrete again the next time I leave the country. It is really unpleasant. In 2015 I want to travel with my kids for almost six months just to see if I can. I have to do this work in 2014. I’m feeling very annoyed with myself.

Why don’t I just give up on these hard things and have an easier life? What is wrong with me? Well, I don’t think that what I’m doing right now is actually easier. It is a different hard thing that I have slowly juggled towards as being the best I can get with my current coping skills.

I need different coping skills.

I feel like now it is finally safe enough to try. I have two kids who love me to the moon and back and who want to be nice to me. They just need me to teach them how. I need to teach without yelling or being nasty because then I will actually teach yelling and being nasty.

I feel so blessed that I have this time and this space. I don’t feel I have earned it. I don’t deserve it. But here it is. I have time. I have safety. I have money to fill in the gaps for when I can’t do everything for myself.

I have so much privilege that there is no longer any justifiable excuse for me not doing this work. Shit.

(I do believe it was justified earlier in my life. I was not physically or emotionally capable of doing the work before. I was never safe enough.) If you have to spend all day running to stay in one place someone who criticizes you for not finishing a marathon is a fucking asshole. You are doing what you can do.

I am seven years post rape. I have lived in this house for more than twice as long as I have ever lived anywhere else in my life. I have three people I get to live with who all think I am really nice and wonderful.

It’s time to stop being afraid all the time.

Being afraid makes me nasty. Being afraid makes me inclined to fight anyone and anything at any time because I perceive everyone as a threat. I am really sorry that I am so scared.

I’m going to work with a doctor on my body pain. Pam has offered to either go and hold my hand or babysit. I think I would prefer the hand holding. I’ll arrange the appointment on a day when Noah can stay with the kids.

I am very lucky. I am sorry I act so ungrateful so much of the time.

Caved.

I sat down yesterday at my computer intending to buy three tickets to Texas for December. I said to Shanna, “You understand that I’m not going, right?”

Her eyes got as wide as saucers. “But you have to go. I can’t go meet new people without you. When I am talking to people I don’t know well and you are there I am brave because I know I am wonderful. When you aren’t there I am scared and I can’t do it. I need you.”

“If I went with you to Texas and I stayed in the hotel with you but you had to go to your grandmothers house with just your dad and sister would that be good enough?”

“Yes. That would be good enough.”

I’m going to Texas in three months, apparently.

I’m fucking serious about not setting foot inside that woman’s house again. Maybe I will go visit the great grandmother or great aunt instead. Or I will sit inside a fucking Starbuck’s.

I can be nice in letters–I think I am very fucking nice in the letters I send. I sent five to seven page letters about the kids a few times a year. I’m all neutral but upbeat and such.

I want my kids to know them. I want my kids to have a family. But I’m aware that they will never be my family. Such is life.

The whole rest of the year is travel heavy. So much for a save year. My end of the year reckoning on Mint is going to involve some head hanging with shame. It’s a good thing Noah is earning money at a faster rate than planned for. I’m not making every savings goal. But I do have a god damn fabulous back yard now. It’s a trade off.

We leave on Monday for Disneyland. It will be me and my girls. We will have fun together. Since Calli’s birthday Shanna has been drawing me picture after picture because she wants to decorate for my birthday. I think I will bring a stack of them and scotch tape and put them up on the windows in our hotel room. I am so fucking glad I get to be their mom.

I haven’t been sleeping well. Lots of mom stuff. The last three nights have been pretty bad. It’s lead up to my birthday so I’m not surprised. Six days and counting. I think that knowing that I will be alone with the kids is both helping and hurting. On one hand, I feel sad. But I don’t have the anticipation of waking up in my house with having it just be one more shitty day when I should do laundry and scrub the floor. (Not that my days are shitty–I like my life and I like my job. But man I’ve got this birthday thing.)

I don’t give very many birthday presents any more. I want to spend time with people on their birthdays (or near their birthdays) but gifts aren’t the thing. Only if I find something that seems talisman-like. That’s hard to just decide to find.

I have things scattered throughout my house. Talismans. I’m loved. I should keep writing. People want to know what I am thinking.

Connection. Multiplicity. Embrace plurality. So many things to think about. How to not be scary.

I feel like over the last year or so I have had to realize that all of those hours I spent during my childhood practicing my “scary” expressions worked. Becoming non-intimidating is taking a lot of conscious work.

I feel like I am walking this razor thin line. If I am intimidating then I run off the people I want to love. If I am not intimidating… well I know how that goes.

Better to be undefended and on the verge of death at any moment. That makes people like you more. Then you aren’t scary.

Maybe being scary is just one of those important parts of life. I’m pretty sure my kids aren’t actually afraid of me. When I ask them they emphatically say they aren’t scared. Shanna says, “Sometimes you startle me. But that’s not the same thing.” But I am scary to other people. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the fear.

Speaking of fear, I bought a bicycle. One that can have a kid trailer thing on the back. First I need to take Shanna out on her bike. After she feels comfortable riding then we will get the trailer for Calli. The bike store fellas told me I can’t have a kid being pulled and a kid on my handle-bars. Just one or the other. Bah humbug. I bet it would have worked two years ago. They are a lot heavier now. I went on a five and a half mile bike ride. I haven’t done that since high school. I only felt like I was going to die for 75% of the time. Hopefully that goes down.

People in my family get hit by cars while on bicycles. It happened to both of my brothers and my dad. My mom and sister were smart enough to stay off of fucking bikes. Now I’m stupid. And risking my kids. Oh god.

September and October are probably as fully booked as I want them. November is probably already as booked as I want it. In December we will be out of state for nine days. I will probably not do very much other than travel in December. If I don’t decorate for Christmas in November I won’t do much beyond a tree. So realistically I have the next three and a half months scheduled. I won’t be bored. I have a lot to do.

It’s time to write Outrunning Suicide. I want it done before New Years. I have a rainbow castle to paint. (This sucker is huge.) I have to install a bunch of hardware for the swings in the back yard.

Not to mention educating my children. That is probably enough to do for the next three months.

Disneyland, two camping trips, over a week in Portland and a weekend in Texas. So much for 2013 being a light year.

I can’t go to Disneyland next year. (No time share points) I think the only traveling I want to do in 2014 is a half marathon in Portland with two of my very favorite ladies in the whole wide world. I hear I already have buy-in from the spouse of the one who will have to travel. This is a good sign.

I’m wussing towards encouraging the home schoolers who live within five miles of me to start thinking along the lines of a Free Democratic School. Driving is a real issue for everyone in the bay area. Having to drive 40-50 miles round trip in order to hang out for a few hours is prohibitive on a long-term basis. If you look at history a lot of who people know is based on who lives near them. It isn’t about “who is best“. Life is about making the best of who is there.

I think that part of the reason I am doing the stuff to my house that I am doing is because I think of future parties and events. I am not good at going out into the world. I am not good at feeling like the world wants me very much. If I make this a good place to be, people will come to me. That is just the nature of how things work. I feel like a spider spinning a web. Err…only I don’t want to eat anyone.

I want to know lots of kids and watch them grow up. I want to have them love visiting my house. So I build a playground. And I paint murals. And I provide endless quantities of fruit, vegetables, and cheese. I only rarely make guests eat ramen.

The part that makes me feel like a spider is how I know that I have to sit and wait. I’m not actually ready for the kinds of relationships I want to have with growing up kids. I don’t mean that my house isn’t ready–though it isn’t. If I went and grabbed people now and tried to fill my house with people… well… my kids would rapidly learn a lot of things I don’t want them to know. My kids are not yet ready to have their reality fucked with.

I’m fairly aware that I go through life with a big reality distortion bubble around me. (I think everyone does to a greater or lesser extent–you see the world from your point of view and not from an objective point of view.) Right now I am carefully crafting the reality my children will have as “baseline” for the rest of their lives. Based on everything I have read about child development and psychology this is important.

Most people don’t seem to think about this much. They just live their life and their kids share it and that is how reality is created thankyouverymuch. My childhood had no consistent reality. I moved more than fifty times. I got to see that every “reality”, every set of rules that people lived by were totally arbitrary.

That means that if I want to I can sit down and make up the rules for reality for my children in any fashion I want. There is no right way. I personally believe there are a lot of wrong ways but not any particular right way. What is right is so individual based on personality and inner strengths.

How I behave with my children is a carefully constructed little universe that isn’t a lot like how I am with the rest of the world. How I am with my children is how I am without defenses and without fear. I do not have the ability to extend that beyond my front door at this point in time.

I feel so lucky that I get to be alone with them so much. I feel so glad that we get to spend a lot of time in an environment where I set the rules. Pam says I am a permissive authoritarian. I think that will shift a lot with time. After a while it won’t be my place to set the rules with such fierceness.

Only I think in some ways I will get much more fierce. I told Shanna flat out one day when she was being very rough with me, “This is not an acceptable way to treat my body. If you continue to treat me this way as you get bigger I will eventually start hitting back. I am not your punching bag.” She stopped hitting me. She hasn’t tried to punch me over and over since.

I have no idea how this will go over the years.

I want my children to believe in the core of their body that they have the right to beat the living shit out of someone who crosses their physical boundaries. I want this to not be a question in their mind. It is just simple fact. We are animals and sometimes we have to defend ourselves. Yup. That’s part of how it works in the world.

But here in Wonderland we don’t hit. We don’t scream. This is a safe place. The violence needs to stay out there in the world. We do not hit our family members. Well, until they are clearly beating on you then go ahead and defend yourself. It needs to take a lot of provocation though. Don’t. Hurt. Your. Family. We are in this together.

I make a big deal out of this being a conscious creation because this is not like anything I have ever known. I was taught to expect people to hurt me. I was taught to hit people as a sign of affection. I was taught that the way to make yourself feel bigger is to hurt the people around you as much as possible.

It is hard for me to change. It takes so much conscious effort. But my children show me the fruits of my labor every day. It is worth it. They are worth it. This life is worth it.

I think about my mother a lot. I think about what she taught me and how she taught me. And sometimes when Calli moves her head just right I see my mother so clearly it is like she is in the room. I have no idea how this will all go.

In medias res. We are always in the middle of the story. There is no beginning and no end. My children have to go to Texas. That is part of their story. I get to choose how much disappointment mom delivers when. I will never be enough to meet all of their needs. That just isn’t how life works. But I have choices about how many needs I meet and when and which particular things I want to skip.

I have so. much. privilege.

All I’m doing right now with my life is hanging out and being available to meet their needs. This is surprisingly exhausting. And sometimes I pick up a side job or two. Mostly if I am not available to meet a need of theirs it is because I bloody well choose to not do it right now.

I sent Shanna to Texas once without me. Sending both seems different. And Shanna is a lot more sure she wants me to go. Some day she will want to do things I will not be up for doing. Then she will go without me. I can understand her wanting to stand near my reality distortion field. I am what she has always known and I have been really good to her. Other people are less predictable. She has figured that out already. I am always ready to smile at her. Other people… not always.

I will focus on this hurting me in my writing though. This is a choice. I’m not a victim here. But I’m making a choice that is questionably right for me. I don’t feel very good about having a relationship with Noah’s abusive mother after walking out on my abusive mother. I don’t know how to describe the kind of betrayal that represents.

My sister told me over and over and over “Abused children are the most loyal.” She said that consciously to tell me not to talk about what I saw in our house. I broke ranks. I broke fucking ranks. I can’t now go silently put up with someone else’s abuse. That’s just not ok. No. I’d rather punch the fucking bitch in the face. And it’s not really cool to fly from California to Texas in order to punch your mother in law in the face so I just won’t set foot in her house. I understand my triggering mechanism. I’m rather realistic all things considered.

“Just be nice” isn’t useful advice for me. Part of the reason that I don’t want to go is I know I have a rather lot of latent rage and she’s a nice safe not actually threatening target who likes to act like people are kicking her all the time. I’ve met me. If you stand in front of me and whine and cringe and cower as if I have been kicking you for hours… I will start kicking you. I understand this impulse only too well. I try to avoid kicked dogs for this reason. My experience of Noah’s mom is that she is a kicked dog.

I am a kicked dog. That is how I went through my childhood. I recognize it very well in others. Being a kicked dog is part and parcel with being a bully. You assume that people are mean to you so you push them towards being mean to you–you antagonize on purpose. Kicked dogs are the meanest little curs.

It’s a vicious cycle. I try to stay out of vicious cycles these days. I try very hard to stay in virtuous cycles.

A virtuous cycle, for the purpose of this essay, is one in which my positive behavior towards a person is rewarded by positive behavior and so on. I believe that kicked dogs need love too but they usually can’t get it from one another. They need to go find someone who isn’t a kicked dog, best if it is someone who is kind of bewildered by the experience, who will react in non-patterned ways.

Patterns are the problem. Patterns are how it keeps going. Vicious cycles. If you snap at someone and they snap back then it goes from there. If you snap at someone and they blink at you and say, “Are you ok?” well… that’s just not a similar sort of pattern. If you snap back it is obvious that you are a fucking asshole and that’s not good. Don’t do that.

Virtuous cycles involve people who are able to look at you and say, “You are having feelings. They are not about me. Would you like to talk about them?” Vicious cycles are more like, “You are clearly having feelings ALL ABOUT ME AND NOW I AM GOING TO YELL AT YOU ABOUT THEM.” Well, other people have other vicious cycles. But the ones I’m thinking about right this minute are like that. There are lots of other cycles. Don’t mistake me here as being the source of information about vicious cycles. Oh man.

I am home schooling my kids so that as they go through life they always have someone standing near them who will smile back. In my lofty experience there is always someone in the world who will smile back. Even if you happen to not be standing near that person right now. It is hard for me to keep faith in that belief sometimes. For most of my life it has been just a faith not unlike most peoples faith in G-d. Someone will smile back.

A while back I read some article about “computer face”. If you turn on peoples cameras secretly they all have the same slack jawed expression. I very consciously work on smiling the majority of the time. I try hard to have my muscles assume that position by default.

I have very deep grief lines. I turn thirty-two next week. If I am not careful I will be a very stern and unapproachable and lonely old woman. I know this to be true. If I want to have my future be the way I want it to be I will have to work hard on every aspect of my character. It feels so daunting.

I had children so I would have a permanent motivating force to change and get better. So I’m going to fucking Texas. I’m not going in the house. My reality distortion field is big enough to extend that far. Yes, Shanna. I will go so you know you are wonderful.

In the end, she won’t remember it much. I’m only kind of sort of doing this for her. I’m doing this so that I know I made all of the choices about creating space between us for reasons I feel ok about.

Recently I was talking to a mother who was not feeling happy about her day care experience in one relatively confined way. Mostly she was satisfied so she said, “I just had to decide that when you are paying someone you have to accept that they are doing their best and let it go.”

That, in a nut shell, is why I cannot put my kids in day care. I would do it if I had no choice and I had to work because I needed the money. But that is why I have made the choice to stay home. (That and ridiculous financial privilege, let’s be clear here.) I don’t want to just put up with the best that someone else feels like giving me.

I need to know that when they are eighteen and I send them off into the world (really I doubt it will be that long) I need to know that my kids have had all of the experiences they need to have in order to be competent at handling themselves. I can’t live with trusting someone else to “do their best”. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I’m glad that other people have such loving trust. I think it is quite healthy.

I don’t know anyone I trust enough to have the charge of my kids like that.

I trust the Godmamas enough that I send my kids there unsupervised and I have legal documentation saying they are the next of kin. But I still don’t want them setting reality for my kids. I love them and I want their influence… but as an add on or in case of critical system failure. Err, I’ll be a dick and say I think that I will do better. But they will be getting traumatized kids and I can’t think of anyone in the world I would trust more to adequately and lovingly raise traumatized children who started out being raised by me. They will be the most gentle adjustment to not-Krissy reality of anyone in the world. So I don’t pick them to be like me. I pick them to love the results of being like me. It’s kind of a different metric.

But geezus on toast I don’t want someone else teaching my kid how to be a kid for eight hours a day. I don’t want my daughters going through life not sure if someone will smile back.

There are a lot of gifts I can’t give them. I don’t mean financially–I mean in terms of spirit and family and community and sense of place. I can give them Wonderland. Where they are wonderful to me. We do go out into the world lots. And they are doing more and more things away from me.

I’m going to Texas because I had to rock myself to sleep crying for my mother too many times. I need to be there. Just in case. She won’t always be little. I won’t fucking do this for a twenty-five year old I shit you not. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t do it for a fifteen year old. This trip will hurt me. This trip will hurt a lot. This trip has the high potential to be miserable. I have to go through airport security. I probably should not fly with pot. Alcohol makes my stomach hurt and that makes my temper shorter. I do have trusty-dusty Lorazepam! I will have to cut the pills up substantially more to take them during the day. I take 1mg at night and that knocks me straight out. (Not every night. Thirty pills lasts me for four to five months.)

Texas really hasn’t been good to me. I don’t like going there. I must like these kids a whole lot. It won’t be very long. I will be there for moral support. I will read a book. Maybe five. Maybe I will spend a lot of quality time in coffee shops writing Outrunning. That would be kind of funny. Not ha ha funny. Just funny.

Time for breakfast. I have missed you, internet. I shouldn’t make a habit of this for a while. The book is going to eat my hands.

I want to believe that most parents have vague expectations/hopes/dreams about how this process of parenting will go because then I don’t feel like an asshole. I don’t have hard core expectations of my kids like “You will grow up and be a lawyer” but for most of my life I kind of fantasized about stroking my little girl’s hair and helping her fall asleep. Cue birth of first daughter. From about three months of age little S has been slapping my hand and glaring at me if I stroked her hair. I feel a degree of sadness about this that is entirely out of proportion but there it is. Then I had C. She loves having her hair stroked. I’m so glad I had two daughters so I could spread out my expectations and not ask too much of either one of them individually.

We are off sugar. It doesn’t effect the kids but I’m also off caffeine and alcohol till Easter. I think that harm springs from excess. Moderation is very important in life–moderation in everything! Even moderation. Which means that I am bad at keeping things like sugar/alcohol/caffeine as a sometimes treat and they start creeping in more and more. So I periodically take a while off then I try to go slow when I start again. Then things get out of hand and I take a break. I’m not sure it is “ideal” but it is how I get through. My kids hate me. My husband isn’t too sure about me. Why did I make everyone else do it with me? Because sugar is literally a drug. If you look at studies of what it does to your brain it’s not a joke. I want my kids to grow up knowing that you have to consciously look at your consumption of things that are bad for you and take breaks. Your body needs them. It’s not about punishment. This is a big part of my food religion.

I am too mean and nasty to be a vegan. I honestly don’t care enough about animal rights to do it. I am, however, not a big fan of factory farming or most of our current system of producing goods. I’m not a vegetarian because my diet is not diverse enough to provide me the nutrients I honest to dawg need so I eat meat to fill in the gaps. It’s not a perfect system but it has obviously worked for many species for a long time. I don’t need perfect–I need to not be dead. And when I read things about how consumption of quinoa is probably going to contribute to the destruction of a Latin American country I can’t help but be reaffirmed in my belief that if it doesn’t grow within 100 miles of my home I probably shouldn’t eat it.

But that springs from my hubris. I live in Northern California. More food grows here than anywhere else. The only thing I would have to give up from my regular diet in order to eat entirely locally is bananas. Whoopie. Most of the people in the entire world can’t have my hubris.

Ok. So my food religion doesn’t actually scale. Or make sense at all for large populations. If you look at pretty much every religion of every kind I feel that way about it. They don’t scale. They make sense for whoever they make sense for and not at all for the rest of the world. That’s kind of how things work.

My food religion partially springs from the fact that I live in a place where this is possible. It is disgusting, ethically, to be completely aware of all of my resources and make different choices. In my entirely judgmental opinion. But I know almost no one who has my degree of resources in this area. So it gets trickier almost immediately.

Understanding what privilege means, what having money means, what having resources really means is this constant slow-dawning process for me. What things are actually secure for me and which things aren’t.

I have been participating in an incest support group. Next week is our last meeting. They aren’t a bad group of women but I can’t deal with a support group that far away. It takes too much of my life to participate. In order to spend six hours a month with them I have to spend $240 and spend eight hours driving in miserable traffic. I don’t get enough out of it to balance the cost. Not when I also have to arrange child care and deal with stress around that. My friend who has been watching them is quite sick. I don’t feel ok asking her for this as a permanent favor. She can’t truly commit to doing it and I don’t want to get into the situation of being mad at her because her body is doing what it is doing. That would make me a serious asshole.

I did that with my former housemate. I thought I was agreeing to a trade of work. But I had an expectation level that was higher than her body could provide. Not because she didn’t want to. Not because she wasn’t trying. Bodies betray us. And I was an asshole. So I lost my friend over it. I can’t keep doing that in my life. I will end up totally alone. So I can’t ask too much of anyone.

I also participate in an online ptsd support forum. That is, uhm, more at my participation level and spoon level. I can do it in my garage at 4am and not trouble anyone at all. It’s fucking great.

But both groups function to scare the ever loving shit out of me. Given my level of trauma I am unbelievably productive and functional. At least that is how it appears to my judgmental eye. That’s… kind of scary for me.

Am I just in a good period? Am I going to crash like they did? Many of them didn’t truly lose control of their lives until they were in their 40’s or 50’s. I’m not past falling yet. I was reading today about why a woman became homeless at 49. I’m not past that yet. I can’t lose vigilance.

I live with extreme mental illness. I have studied the field enough to be utterly confident that the devils chasing me are much larger than most people deal with. I’m able to put that mental illness in a box and study it from the outside. I’m able to see where my behavior is broken and just decide that I have to alter that pattern. The mental illness is still there but the behavior is corrected.

I’m able to consciously try and see from other peoples perspectives. It’s empathy. My shaman laughed at me and told me that I act autistic but I don’t know that he is right. I make a logical decision… sorta. But I’m acting from the ability to guess what someone in that position would want. I’m kind of mind reading. I’m going through my film rolodex in my head, “What do I know about this person. Play entire film of life in fast forward. Go.”

What would someone who had that life want? I fucking guarantee you it is different from what I want. From what the monsters in my head are screaming at me to do. Doing this is very tiring. If I don’t do this in full detail with each person as an individual I fall prey to stereotypes and then I offend the shit out of people so I have to be careful not to do that. Or to blatantly say, “So if I were to treat you like person of _______ group the answer would be _______ but obviously you’ve had personal life experience that differs from your group. What do you say?”

I’ve fallen into Pinterest since I ditched Facebook and Mothering. I still feel that is a good decision. But I’ve been a bit more bored. I’ve also been rewatching The West Wing during break time. It’s less diverting. And less connecting. But I’ve been thinking about me more. So who knows.

Winter will always be a fallow period for me. I think I’m actually categorically ok with the idea that as an animal I want to take some time off from my most tiring work in the winter when my body aches and I’m stiff and uncomfortable all the god damn time.

So I was reading an article that was adamantly about Self-Reliance as opposed to Survivalist in nature and hanging my head in shame. I’m that kind of nutcase. I totally am. My uhh future planning is increasingly of the self-reliant nature. And travel. I want to root firmly then run away and know I can come back. It will always be here for me. I don’t know why I need to do this. I just do. I have to see things. I have to experience them myself. I don’t learn enough from reading about them.

I want to talk to people in a lower stakes environment. The thing that is hardest for me about my life is the degree of censoring what I say I have to do. Have I mentioned the extreme mental illness part?

My kids know that sometimes their mom is sad and cries. They know that a long time ago bad stuff happened but we are all safe now. They know we don’t have contact with my family because they are not nice people. That’s all they know.

I need to travel because I need to have the experience of being able to reinvent myself as new and interesting over and over. It is comfortable and safe. It makes me feel better about myself. I know how to do that. I have finally gotten good at it.

I have been thinking almost constantly about how I got good at that specifically because I was training myself for prostitution. When I first saw the movie Pretty Woman and Julia Roberts said something about how no little girl wants to grow up and do that I consciously thought, “Well I will charge more than you.”

I absolutely expected I would end up a prostitute until I was 19. Then I met a prostitute. One of the high charging kind. Ok, she wasn’t still a call girl by the time I met her. She was a pro domme. But she had done every kind of sex work there was and I ended up in her house over and over again. That sounds kind of funny. My boyfriend was best friends with her boyfriend and we visited them from out of state. So we had kind of an interesting relationship. Not exactly friends

She explained to me what was necessary for a girl to keep herself safe. She talked about a kind of trusting your instincts that I don’t have. I literally am not physically capable of doing what she talked about. I am specifically drawn to people who will damage me instead of people who will honor agreements.

That is a lot of why it has scared me so bad when Noah had done things that have pushed boundaries. Life is very scary. I am very dependent.

Those conversations with her are really why I never got into sex work. I was asked. I actually think that I gained so much weight because I was trying to avoid that fate. The last thing I wanted was to be attractive and stand near the people my boyfriend knew. As a fat girl I was invisible and left alone. I saw what happened to the thinner and more attractive women. I saw how they were rotated in and out of the community if they were bottoms. Only the tops survived.

I didn’t want to do that to people. So I got fat. Then I got out.

I’ve had a lot of time lately to think about my relationship with my body. I kind of wish I hadn’t let the doctors office weigh me. Going off sugar is letting me see my emotional pattern with regard to eating lately. If I’m hungry enough to eat some nuts then I do. Mostly I’ve just been eating a lot less and feeling fine.

Since I went to the doctor I’ve been eating a really lot. I thought I weighed more than ten pounds more than that and by golly before I go and see the bastard again I will weigh what I think I weigh. I will have the body I think I have.

It’s really kind of weird. I’m pretty afraid of being thin. I’ve been looking at my therapist and feeling twitchy lately. She is uhm a stones throw from my body. She is my body if I never had kids and I had exercised more starting earlier. So yeah. So I eat. And miss my old therapist who was a motherly alternating warm and stern black woman with a full figure and a rich laugh. When I was being stupid she called me on it. When I was doing well she was really enthusiastic and told me why I should feel good about myself.

I don’t have that kind of relationship with my current therapist. I don’t feel warm. I feel defensive. I feel like she is very agressive in pursuing her agenda. I’m having a hard time with therapist directed therapy. Ha.

I’ve been reading a lot of therapy comparison stuff lately and man are people against folks having a “paid friend”. I kind of think that is what I want. I miss Traci so much. I think Traci would be delighted with how my life is going.

I’m going to visit Dad soon. He has another new girlfriend. I was just getting to know the last one. I miss Francesca. I’m so sad that she doesn’t get to know my children. I think they would have filled a big void in her life. She had so much love to give. Grandkids who visited every other year? She would have been thrilled. She liked sending me presents every year as his “daughter”. My relationship was an entangled mess between both of them.

Traci was my therapist for seven years. She died of a heroin overdose just about five years ago. Francesca was Dad’s wife. I knew her from when I was nineteen. I met her long before they were married. Before they were even solidly together. She overdosed five years ago. Pain medication for cancer. She had gotten addicted while treating her mom. It looked like an accident. Kind of. But she was a recovered heroin addict.

Traci and Francesca were two of the people I looked to for a lot of support. They both died right around Shanna’s birth. I totally enmeshed with Shanna as a result in that first year. I tried reconciling with my family because I was lonely and needy. I paid for Conflict Mediation and was soundly manipulated.

I didn’t divorce my family until Uncle Bob died. Not until my sister asked me in a condescending voice if anyone close to me had ever died before. Because my brother and my father don’t count.

I feel like every relationship in my life has a shelf life. Brittney left at thirty years. Her family is angry about the book. Ok.

I look at Noah and my kids and I feel throat wrenching fear. I feel like I have a fifteen year year of reprieve and then oh holy hell what is going to happen to me? Sometimes I feel very ashamed that I “pull of normal” such that people are surprised at how broken I am. It’s complicated. I contribute to the invisibility of “people like me”. I feel a lot of pressure to maintain a specific front for the benefit of everyone but me. It feels invalidating all of the time.

Sometimes I just like staying home for a while. That way the level of censoring is automatic. We talk about what they want to talk about and it all works out. Other grown ups bring up topics. I spend a lot of time in my head. I have strong opinions loosely held. I’m ridiculously picky about how I am challenged though.

I’m starting to look at who is good at challenging me and getting me to actually change. That’s useful data for me to have. I like pushy people. Holy potato do I like me some pushy people. I combine that with requiring them to recognize specific “I’m done” signals and being willing to go with “Shiny Change Of Topic Please”. That’s a hard combination.

It’s kind of funny watching The West Wing. I have a lot of authority issues. I neither want to be the President nor serve anyone else. I don’t want responsibility for other people and I don’t want them to have responsibility for me. I want things exchanged to be gifts. But I’m really not into Burning Man. I think that is pretention not a gift economy. I need to travel. In other places they have gift economies. Yes, I will read about them before I go so I won’t be too gauche. I hope. I’m sure I will be. But I will be able to apologize for living in the native language.

I want to meet people who are nothing like me. I want to hear as many stories as I can hear. It is hard maintaining relationships with people who live near me. I feel afraid of the eventual brush off. I really need to travel.

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt because the kind of travel I want is just not something Noah is interested in. And it will make this monogamy stuff more complicated. We also have stern agreements about celibacy. Complicated.

I’m dependent so I want to run away so I can prove that I’m not really in a cage. I am still free. Or some stupid shit like that. Or I want macro scale view on my country. I want to actually understand it better. And other countries. I want to talk to people. I need to. I need to hear their stories. I need to hear what life is like for other people. I need other models in my head. I need alternatives to what I know.

What I know isn’t good enough. I need to know more. I don’t learn as well from reading or from taking classes in school. I like talking to people. I want to know about them.

It feels like looking at the future destruction of my life. How far will I run? How many people will I hurt in the process?

I don’t know how I am going to balance everyones needs but I’m going to have to figure it out.

For a while there I was looking in the mirror a lot. I enjoyed watching my hair grow–I shit you not. I’m past that phase, mostly. Now when I look in the mirror I feel dismay at being untidy. But if I try to fix it I’ll make it worse; I promise. Curly hair is just like that. So I’m not looking at myself again.

And we come back to body issues. It’s just been that sort of week. I’ve been thinking. How am I going to wreck my life? My health? My relationships?

Participating on a ptsd support website and being in a support group for incest survivors is giving me a dizzying array of options to work with. Many/most of the issues being accidents because man do we not have control of our bodies. We just don’t.

I have a pretty ridiculous amount of control near as I can tell. I’m not sure why. I just do. I know that this role requires this behavior for this amount of time and you just fucking do it.

Two of my potential biggest supporters through this phase of my life were taken from me right at the beginning of the journey. I’m one quarter of the way through the expected time of specific duty. I’m doing ok. I’m trying to not be demanding or too taxing on any source of support but that balance often makes people feel unwanted or unappreciated or something.

I feel like I understand why I am taking winter off of people. I am not going out much. It is a good thing. Spring is coming. I have busy times coming. Lots of work to do. I won’t be able to sit around in my head. I want to seriously produce this year. I need to. I need to root. I have mother-in-law money set aside for it.

It will be fun.

Privilege. Responsibility. Curiosity. Sustainability. I don’t have any answers. I am, however, a wasteful American. I look at my habits and I think about what it will be like to live differently at this point.

I have been homeless. We lived in our car so I have not had the experience of living on the street. I have been sent to sleep on the floor or the couch in a series of homes of people I didn’t know. I was often not with family for extended periods. Given what I have read about attachment theory I cry for the child I was. No wonder I fucked everything that moved. Please, please love me. But I ran away right after the sex was over because I made sure that no one could leave me ever again.

Puppy did me a huge favor by being the only boyfriend I’ve ever had  as an adult who has broken up with me. He wasn’t a good fit and he recognized it. He could have been more gracious–I’m just saying. But that needed severing and I’m glad he did. Things are certainly working out really well.

And breakfast is ready.

Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.

When I was younger I was quite fond of the Davey Crockett movies Disney made. I always wondered how he knew he was right. I feel a lot of doubt. The funny thing is, being challenged takes a lot of that feeling away.

Why did I send my niece a mean, nasty letter? Because it was mean and nasty. I will slightly dispute the phrase abusive, but that’s about perception so I will only slightly dispute it and live with the fact that other people different opinions.

Do I get to defend me? That’s what it comes down to. Am I allowed to say, “No more.” Was it my niece’s fault? Of course not. She never did anything to me. I’m not holding her responsible for what happened to me. I’m not even holding her responsible for what happened to her. It isn’t her fault she was raped by a parent either.

But she wants to continue living with her abuser. She wants to continue normalizing the abuse and tolerating it. I don’t need to be mean to her to get away from her. It’s not a requirement. Maybe someone else could have figured out how to do it nicely.

I am a flawed and broken person. I am extremely violent. I am nasty and mean. I was taught to be that way. It was extensively modeled. Maybe someone better than me could have found a better way to handle it.

I am limited by being me.

Am I sure I was right in hurting my niece? I know I was not. Hurting her wasn’t the point and it didn’t make me happy.

Was I right in breaking contact with my family? Yes. Yes. Yes. Unless you believe large scale sexual abuse should be normalized there really isn’t an alternative view on this one.

I tried to stay with my family. Then I started finding out how many people my sister raped. And how they are all covering it up. Yeah, no. I can’t be part of that. No thanks. My kids deserve better.

I am absolutely certain that I am the best thing to come out of that family. Vain? Sure. Arrogant? Sure. I really am. I completely fucking am. And my kids are going to be distinctly better than I am. I am going to make sure my family can’t fuck them up.

My sister is a drug and alcohol dependent pedophile. My brother is drug and alcohol dependent and believes that if he ever had a daughter that would be bad because inevitably he would do things. My mother has not been able to have a stable relationship outside of our family (not even friendship) since I was a small child.

My aunt works like a dog into her 70’s. She supports her three grown, disabled children. One has Lupus. One is a paraplegic from a motorcycle accident. One is severely diabetic and learning disabled to the point where he hasn’t been very functional this lifetime. He has never truly lived independently. All of these kids are in their 50’s now. They still can’t function without their mommy.

Yeah, I don’t want my kids turning out like my family. I judge.

I judge the drinking and the drugs and the lying. I judge the refusal to do honest work. I judge the attitude of superiority that allows them to terrorize children. How broken do you have to be to feel like a big person by raping children?

I am absolutely sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was right in walking away from my family. But I still feel bad that they hurt more because of me. I never wanted to hurt them. I just wanted them to stop hurting me. I wanted to prevent them from ever hurting my kids.

I’m going to go to the Police station today. I spent yesterday talking with therapists and social workers and online support groups of people who have a lot of experience with domestic violence. It is an information only sort of report. I want to ensure that if something happens it is treated as an escalation not step one. That is all I want. Nothing should happen today except a paper trail. There is “nothing to report” only I want my local police to know I exist and that I have a long history of being terribly abused by my family and I’m not sure if they are capable of stopping.

It’s hard to judge these kinds of things until it is too late.

27 children die pretty much every week. They are killed by their parents for one reason or another. Family violence is endemic in this country. Given my story I have a much higher than usual chance of having things keep going. That’s just kind of how my life goes. It isn’t paranoia to explain my story in progress to people.

“I have not received any specific threats but they are absolutely smart enough that they wouldn’t. The last several times I have seen my sister there have been posturing maneuvers up to and including her threatening to beat me up while I was pregnant. She would do it too. I don’t want police to visit my family and “check up” or anything. I just want to know that if things start escalating I have a prayer of being believed and supported.”

Because I am going to walk into a police station in a few hours I don’t want to smoke. Which means I’m sitting with my anxiety this morning.

A while ago I read that anxiety is energy in the body that wants to be doing something but you are thwarted. I feel a lot better now that I’m in the count down to doing what I can do. I have a plan. It’s not a great one. It’s not an important one. I don’t expect anything to change because of my plan–not really. But I’ve still decided my course of action. Now I can just put my head down and keep moving. I have a plan.

My two little girls are next to me on the bed while I write. Since I’m not smoking I don’t need to freeze my ass off in the garage this morning. Instead I’m sitting in comfy warmth with cuddles.

My life isn’t what other people want. That’s ok. I don’t do things how other people do. That’s ok too. It is better than ok. It’s unavoidable. We aren’t going to all fall into Stepford line.

4.5 years into parenting I am a lot less sure about the right way to parent. I feel fairly certain that my specific doubts will increase instead of decreasing over time. I have to parent how it feels right to me. I know that I have very different needs and preferences than other people. Humans are weird like that.

I feel loved here in a way I have never been loved. Noah really doesn’t understand how nice he is to me. He underestimates it. Or maybe he just doesn’t really understand how nasty other people have been. He pays attention to me in ways that startle me.

Every single time I take my shirt off he comes to delighted attention. He is more alert than any teenage boy to the possibility of nudity. He is so happy and appreciative.

But it’s not just the sex. He makes me breakfast every day. He does dishes. He cleans. He plays with our kids and works hard to take a serious interest in them. He shows them how things work and reads to them and generally takes it seriously that if they are going to learn about things it has to come from us. So we interact with our kids like crazy and hope that a whole bunch sticks. I’ll be more methodical when they are older. For now I’m just showing them the world.

A friend came over recently and was relaying difficulty with her daughter in a store. It was kind of weird because I had this intense reaction about how I would treat the same situation. And I had this intense explosion in my chest when she was talking. Oh my god I would not handle it that way. But that’s not because I am better or right. It’s because I would freak out and start crying. It’s because I have a lot of time to kill I have luxuries that people who work don’t have. I can tell the kids at the door to the store, “Either you behave or we are turning around and going home.” My kids think the store is an outing. I can go back for many days in a row until they are willing to behave to my satisfaction. People with jobs just can’t do that. You have to buy food–right?

I don’t think I am right because I have the Right Answer. I think I am right for me because I have paid a lot of attention to how I handle things over the years. I know my limitations. I know what things will cause me to start completely losing my shit. I work around them. It has been a long defining process.

I have “so much self control” because I carefully choose what I expose myself to.

Yes, I was mean to my family. Yes, my niece is a lot younger than me so I suppose I have an obligation to be nicer to her than to the people who are older than me.

I have no choice but to live with it. I think I will do ok at that. I’m sure I was right. There were no good choices. I had no good options. I believe I inflicted as little damage as possible. Oh believe me I could have been nastier.

Even though I hurt people I tend to hurt them in calculated ways. I protect myself–sometimes in ways that do not place other people as more important than me. I have to live with that. I don’t think it will be that hard.

I am not in denial about hurting people. I try hard not to do it randomly. I try hard not to do it indiscriminately. I will defend myself though. If there is collateral damage–oh well. I can’t always save everyone else from the consequences of their actions.

The social mask

In the past three weeks I have had three people comment on the difference between what I write and what they see when we are together. That makes it something worth writing about.

Of course there is a difference in how I act in public and the crazy shit I write about. If I acted in public the way I write about on my journal I would be in a lot of danger. If I was unable to mask my craziness it would be extremely unsafe for me to go out in public. I would risk being 5150’ed again. I never want to go to a hospital again. I can’t lose it where anyone can see.

If you look at the whiteboard in my room there is a lot written down but if you notice very little of it is outside my house and even less than that is any kind of social activity. I generally keep my “socializing” to under twenty hours in a week and most weeks I’m under eight hours.

That is how much “playing the game” I can do right now.

On the occasional week when I try to push it and do more because that week just happens to be busy I am usually sorry. I will have to spend a lot of time in the bathroom crying for all the hours over my “maximum” I am actually out. It is embarrassing and humiliating and I feel ashamed of myself the whole time.

Being around people involves a lot of active and conscious thinking about “what I am allowed to say”. The consequences for getting it wrong include being asked to leave, being asked to never come back, or if I genuinely lose it and start freaking out I may lose my kids or get arrested.

I’m not exaggerating and I’m not wrong.

I’m aware of how “hysterical” women have been treated throughout history. I have done a lot of specific research. In olden times I may have had to walk around with my tongue in a heavy vice for days or had to wear a collar with spikes on the inside while tied to a post in public so other people could remind me how bad I was.

The consequences in the modern area are downright soft and fuzzy in comparison–I get that. Nevertheless I don’t want them.

I don’t want them. I don’t want them. I don’t want them.

I’m awake in the middle of the night because my stomach is hurting because I didn’t smoke before bed. By 2:30 my stomach hurts and I can’t sleep through it. Then I start having racing thoughts because that is just what I do when I am in pain. Then I risk being a mess tomorrow. Lots of breakthrough crying.

My kids know I cry. I can’t hide it from them. I try my best to present it as, “Everyone is different. I cry a lot–most people don’t. That’s ok. People vary.” They are still young enough that they don’t really ask questions about why.

Noah deals with/occasionally sees me crying as I’m going about my day. I wander around working and crying at the same time. That’s just life for me.

Yes, I believe this is something that I have to carefully keep people from seeing. This is probably, by hour, the biggest part of my life and I have to make sure no one else sees it happening. Or I will get in trouble for being bad again.

The fact that I wander through life feeling very sad and crying for many hours of most days is something I have to carefully hide and prevent people from seeing or I get in trouble. Over and over and over.

It’s not hyperbole. I can tell stories all day and all night long.

I’m at a very low ebb on my ability to “play the game” with other people because I require so much of myself for my interactions with my kids.

My kids know I cry. They know that I have wonky chemicals in my brain that make me prone to have my eyes just start watering and it’s not a big deal and they know that sometimes I think about things that happened long ago and it was bad and I’m really glad that my life is different now and I’m so glad that I know my kids. They know that they are nicer to me than anyone has ever been and that I am grateful.

Well, so far Shanna parrots these things back. I say “them” but I am still working on brainwashing Calli but Shanna is pretty ingrained at this point.

I feel really stupid sometimes but when I am saying in a calm and clear voice, “It’s ok to be mad at me. I do things you don’t like. You are totally allowed to have those feelings but it is not ok to call me names and it is not ok to scream at me. Try again.” I still have tears running down my face. I can keep control of my voice at this point–it is great effort but I can prevent myself from descending into the ragged sobbing sort of breathing that makes talking hard. I sound “like a teacher should” but my eyes are watering.

I feel weird knowing that my children are going to grow up thinking that your mom crying all the time is normal and something to ignore. I feel very ashamed of myself. I feel like I am proving those people right who told me that I should not be a mother because someone like me isn’t capable of being a good mother.

I’m not selfless enough? I don’t have enough self control? For the past couple of years of “bad cycle” which probably actually started as postpartum depression after Calli was born combined with Shanna hitting the age I was when my abuse started so I started having daily intrusive flashbacks.

That was not long after Traci–my therapist of seven years–OD’ed on heroin and I ended up finding Sharon who totally sucked and tried to talk me into believing that I had Disassociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personalities) because of how I segment my behavior when I am around people.

I don’t think I really took the placenta pills as long with Calli. I stopped taking fish oil. I haven’t started again even though I know it is a mood stabilizer. I have other supplements my therapist wants me to start and when I think of the act of swallowing pills I start to gag and my stomach aches just thinking about it.

By the end of the time I was taking all the god damn supplements my midwife wanted me on (15 fucking pills a day) I was frequently spontaneously vomiting them up.

My body knows that when I take a lot of pills it is because I want to die. That is what my body thinks is happening because I was dumb enough to treat my body disrespectfully enough that it doesn’t trust my intentions anymore. Smart body.

I really am not so good at taking pills. And the idea that I should take a handful or so every day for the rest of my life is something that I don’t think I can get my gag reflex to move past.

Even though everyone keeps telling me that if I only swallow this pill my life will be magically better. It hasn’t worked any other fucking time I’ve tried some fucking magic pill. I’m still me. I’m still completely broken. I still don’t have a family or very much consistent support–I am building it. I’m trying. But it is dependent on having people in my life who actually show up to do it. I don’t have many people volunteering for that role and of the people volunteering I have to evaluate for them if they really have enough spoons to be dependable *for me* because I am a god damn special snowflake with standards through the roof.

If I know I will have an out of proportion negative reaction to someone acting how they typically act I need to be very careful how much time I spend around them. It is not their fucking problem I’m crazy and that I have had “bad life experiences” that cause me to want to yell at them. If I can’t be tactful (otherwise known as keep my fucking mouth shut or on trivial topics) then I can’t be around people. I silently back away from most relationships because I don’t think I have the right to hurt people by being mad at them for being them.

I don’t know how to reconcile the fact that it isn’t that I actually think they are wrong it’s that it is very hard for me to keep straight in my head what kind of commentary is appropriate in which settings. I’ve been introduced to a much larger number of social situations than most people. I have moved somewhere between 60 and 70 times in my life. Each of those times involved meeting somewhere between five and hundreds of new people all in a big rush. I have lived at every socio-economic level from the projects to multi-million dollar homes and I went to school with Steve Wozniac’s kid. His son was best friends with the brother of the girl I was best friends with. Many of my friends had server space hosted by Woz because that’s just how things worked. That’s where I lived.

I could pull out my sock puppet prime minister (it’s a long story–maybe I will tell it some day) and name drop all the long list of two degrees of separation I have with “important” people.

So uhm yeah. I walk through life feeling like I am the lowest status person in every single room I walk into. I assume that if I say the wrong thing and offend the wrong person (and I have no god damn idea who the “important” people are–I constantly fuck that up) I will be told to leave and all of a sudden there will be a tidal wave of nasty gossip about me behind my back.

How many illustrative stories do I need to have? I could start with less than two years ago and move backwards over thirty years and have many dozens.

Being the scapegoat is hard. I have a lot of behavior patterns that get me into trouble. I don’t understand exactly how they work. I don’t understand why I am so god damn offensive to people but I am.

I tend to go through life believing that people who are still here are the ones around whom I have been most successful at wearing the right mask. I look for signs that I am breaking their social contract and I try very hard to apologize for fucking up before they have to call me on it because I don’t want to be rejected just because I said or did something that was inappropriate for someone in that kind of relationship.

I hyperventilate over this and hyper-analyze every thing I say or do after the fact and try to look for reasons I might have crossed a line and pro-actively send an apology. I really can’t handle losing many more friends. It devastates me so much.

Oh for the love of toast of course I hide “what I am really like”. I am unpleasant and needy. No one likes people like that. I really can’t handle having more people decide they don’t like me en masse. So I need to be god damn careful about everything I say and do.

After smoking for half an hour I think that the stomach pain has changed enough that I can try eating and see if that will help.

I have been trying to track my marijuana usage more. Why am I using it. When. What, specifically, is it doing for me that I need? Mostly it is the end of the year and I am freaking out about how much I spent (I used edibles basically exclusively for about two months while I was training for the marathon to clear some of the lung funk–yes smoking is disgusting and I would like to stop–and those two months cost as much as the whole rest of the year combined and gosh it sounds like way too much money for any medication and… accompanying shame cycle.) thus I am beating myself up about how much I need to stop using it.

If I’m going to damn myself it will at least be with accurate data.

I go through ~ 1/8 of pot/week. I wake up earlier than everyone in my family and I have some then. It calms my stomach pain enough for me to eat. On days when I don’t smoke before breakfast (often out of impulses of shame because I am a disgusting person for needing a “drug” I should just “willpower” my way through after all) I generally am unable to eat because the stomach pain is such that I have constant nausea and I have a ridiculously strong gag reflex. If I try to eat I have a lot of violent stomach pain because my stomach is not fucking interested in accepting food.

If I am in a restaurant this is when I have to get up and leave the table. I either go to the restroom or I go outside because I need to cry. I need to cry because it hurts and because I am ashamed of myself for crying in public just for something stupid that someone else would be able to hide. I know I am not exhibiting the proper social behavior and if I keep that shit up in public I will be fucking sorry.

At home that is when I say in a small voice, “Excuse me” and I go smoke enough to relax my nausea and deal with my gag reflex. I usually feel better after eating. But I am also still stoned after eating. So who the heck knows exactly where the better comes from. But on days when I don’t smoke I probably don’t consume a full meal worth of food in a day. I physically can’t. It hurts too much.

So a year ago when I went to the doctor I layed out all my issues and I was told she wouldn’t deal with my stomach until I dealt with psychiatry and psychiatry told me to take a pill I didn’t want to take, stop breastfeeding instantly (because this new magic pill is extremely toxic to me and the baby), and stop pot instantly or psychiatry would not work with me.

Uhm. No. Fuck you. I know what those side effects will do to my life. They will make it so I can no longer play the game when I have to because I will be debilitated by the side effects. I have watched this effect cascade with person after person in my life. No. No. No.

I will not work with a fucking doctor who spends five minutes talking to me and then wants to prescribe a medication that will destroy every coping method I have and tell me that I just have to “deal with it” while smirking at me. That is demeaning. You have studied what trauma does to the brain? Well so have I, motherfucker. You have not done a single fucking blood test. You have not done a brain scan. You have not taken a full medical history to find out how bad the side effects have been every time I have been forced onto a drug “for my own good” and how often that has lead to significant public blow ups and more trauma.

You don’t give a shit. It shows on the fucking smirk on your face. I don’t fit into your mold of a good person so you want to drug me into a stupor so that I stop doing what I am doing and blindly do what you say. No. You don’t know what I have to react to or why.

Fuck you. You want me dead. I can’t come to any other conclusion and continue to survive.

It took twenty-five minutes (I’m uhm babbling paragraphs in between random distractions else-net Oooh shiny! That’s a lot of why it sounds so incoherent and random-ha.) but I finished a piece of string cheese. Minimal gagging but I haven’t been able to eat any nuts yet. And my graham cracker is untouched.

We will have new insurance cards soon. I promise that as soon as I can log into the new insurance system I will make an appointment. I promise me.

An awful lot of why I am smoking the pot is to deal with my massive stomach pain. I feel very scared because if I reveal that there is an anxiety portion to the pain I risk not being treated again but if I don’t tell the doctor that I may not get appropriate treatment.

I feel like I am in a bind and there is no way for me to get out of it. I have to just throw a dart at a dart board and pray that I get a doctor who will want to help me without requiring that I instantly trust them enough to send my entire life headlong. No one deserves that kind of trust from me. Give me a fucking break.

I know that my intense fear of having to deal with a doctor for this is making the pain escalate unbearably. I understand that link. I understand that for most of the year the pain has stayed at a consistent 1-3 with spikes up to 5 or so when I try to eat without smoking but since I have been actively been thinking about the fact that I have to deal with this soon the pain has been spiking to 8 and 9 and causing me to nearly vomit spontaneously in public–which is kind of embarrassing. And shame producing. Knowing that my body may betray me at any moment and make me a public spectacle makes me feel constantly ashamed of existing. I should just fucking die so that I don’t have to go around inconveniencing people all the time.

When I vomited on the floor of the hospital when I was twelve, when I was waiting in the lobby to get a cast on my broken arm, my mom grabbed me, hit me and hissed: “You just did that to get attention.”

Over and over I sobbed “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

The nurse tried to tell me it would be ok but I couldn’t stop crying.

When I go out in public I generally did not smoke because I don’t do so before driving. Which means I have to get through breakfast without smoking if I want to go to the park. I generally don’t eat much or sleep properly the night before with anxiety about the spike in stomach pain and the increased difficulty in being patient with the kids.

That’s a lot of why I limit excursions out of the house. Those days are ridiculously hard on my body. When people come to me I evaluate how offended they will be if I am stoned and I try to uhm match expected tolerance because generally what I think other people will be ok with is lower than what I actually usually use.

This is the big problem with using any medication so sporadically. The effects are needed when dosage isn’t present. I have many days where I wake up and I let the negative thoughts get too entrenched before I start smoking (it is an unpleasant process and I don’t enjoy it and I don’t like being “the kind of person who smokes pot” and and and) so often I have to kind of psyche myself up first and bribe myself with the idea of being in a more pleasant mood.

The amount of conscious dealing with shame I do every day is really hard. I have to consciously deal with it or I will not eat and not sleep and get weak to the point where I am not physically able to complete my chores without slowly dragging chairs all over the house so that I can move from chair to chair to finish my cleaning.

Because I am that compulsive and crazy. I have to “appear” functional. I “have to” maintain certain appearances or I risk terrible consequences. I don’t know exactly what they will be or from whom. Sure as the sun will rise I will have someone else in my life whom I trust a great deal turn around and tell me that I am abusive and terrible and they are disgusted by me. It is going to happen again and again because that is something that people just feel free to say to me.

That is part of what I mean when I say that I am the lowest status person in every room I walk into. I am a white trash whore and I can never undo that. In any room I walk in to someone may decide to go off on me. It happens when I happen to say something I shouldn’t say.

Usually that means I answer a question honestly. People ask a wide variety of questions in the casual chit chat process that if I answer honestly the person will respond with horror and disgust and move away from me exhibiting great hostility. I have to guess which lies to tell and when.

When my mask is slipping, like it was this weekend, I went to a friends baby shower. Want to know my connection to the group? I knew the host from working together (where deliberately obscured) and the party was at the house of someone she has known since middle school–they were both around our mutual place of employment. I went out with both of them like twice. I uhh begged to eat out my friend’s friend. She let me. Then never talked to me again.

Till I walked into her house this weekend and she didn’t remember me even slightly (or at least gave no sign of remembering me–she certainly didn’t know my name).

This uhm, happens to me pretty regularly. I’m very careful what questions I answer when I talk to people in general. I uhm was kind of stupid.

So the father of the host (he has known the mom-to-be since she was a kid, remember) was chatting me up and he told me that his wife wrote a book but she is afraid to publish it. I uhm wasn’t thinking so I said, “I actually wrote a book and self published. If you look at places like Amazon publishing or there is a wide variety of competing models you can be e-published for practically nothing and you can get books in print and deal with hawking them at book stores yourself for fairly little money. That is how publishing often works, actually.”

So then he asked me about my book. He had to prod me more than once. “Oh you wrote a book? I bet it’s a lovey dovey romance isn’t it? I bet it’s all cutesy schmoopsy and adorable right?” heh heh.

Cue my not amused face.

“No, actually it’s a memoir about the first eighteen years of my life.”

*snicker* “No eighteen year old has done anything worth writing about.”

By that point in the conversation my heart was racing and I was breathing fast and I could feel the flush rising. I had been kind of avoiding eye contact. Then I looked straight at him and said, “Well I I was moved more than fifty times, I was homeless, I stole to eat, I went to twenty-five schools in diverse combinations of socio-economic levels and race: everything from the projects to graduating high school in Los Gatos after only going to that school for my sophomore year and only three semesters of high school total. (said to someone whose kid went to one of the worst schools in the east side of San Jose [these two places are right next to each other and Los Gatos is where all the rich people live]) I was raped or sexually assaulted dozens of times over more than twenty years, including my father and my brother extensively abusing me, along with a bunch of random neighbors. I self-mutilated for decades as part of how I dealt with what was going on with me and every mental health professional I have worked with has been freaked out by the variety and range of trauma I have been through.

I had enough happen to me to justify a book.”

At this point picture him kind of mouth agape blinking kind of fast. “Oh uhm. Wow. Yes. You would have enough to write about.”

We didn’t really talk after that.

I let my mask slip. I did not tightly contain my answer enough. I wasn’t appropriate enough. Mostly because I didn’t give a shit. I will probably never see this man again. My connection to him is tenuous enough that I just don’t have to fucking care if he thinks I am awful for unloading on him like that. (You wouldn’t fucking believe how often people screamed at me for uttering even four sentences of the above paragraph in a challenging voice. I should not be speaking. Shut up. I don’t have the right to make people think about unpleasant things.)

The conclusion I draw from this is I shouldn’t exist. Or I should simper and play stupid and lie and answer questions in evasive ways and for the love of crisco stop writing and talking about this shit.

So I do my very best to force my lips to be literally closed for as much of the time I am with other people as I can. I end every social interaction with sores on the inside of my mouth from chewing it so hard to keep from saying anything that might be inappropriate.

Yes. It is enormous physical strain.

I can’t tell how these descriptive/prescriptive things work about labels. People tell me that I should eschew thinking of myself as bad and stop thinking about my behavior as bad. But I regularly get into trouble I don’t want to be in because I don’t have appropriate filters. Bullshit I’m not bad. I’m punished for being bad often enough that it seems imprudent for me to stop trying to filter.

I want to be a nice person. I really fucking do. I am tired of being told I am not wanted and being abandoned. I am tired of people kicking me really hard and feeling free to tell me that I am a disgusting piece of shit but they still love me and if I start jumping through x, y, and z hoops then they might be able to have a relationship with me or help me. But not until I jump through all those hoops without support. If I don’t do that first I won’t be able to prove that I deserve them bothering to waste time and energy on me.

I uhm can’t bend to whims like that. I have to live in my body 24/7 and deal with the consequences. I have a very tightly controlled life that I can manage because I limit it so severely.

But when I say, “I stay home” I don’t mean that I hide in bed crying all day. I mean that my kids and I play in the yards and garden and walk for miles around our neighborhood when I stay regularly medicated thus I can sleep and eat in a way that allows me to be physically able to.

Since the marathon I have been fucking around with almost not using pot to see how this works for me. It’s going really badly. I need to see a doctor.

The reason I don’t just “get a vaporizer” to try it is because when I spend money on something believing that it is unlikely to solve my problem and it is money I don’t want to spend… it’s kind of doomed before I start. I can’t be on marijuana forever. I do have to figure out how to live life without it in order to do the things I want to do.

But what does that even mean? Part of it is that my stomach god damn hurts and I have to heavily medicate in order to deal with the pain and nausea in order to eat and sleep like a “normal” person and have any appearance of functionality.

Being in pain actively triggers my PTSD symptoms and causes flashbacks because I have such a long history of being in pain and that being something I am not allowed to talk about or deal with because “You aren’t really in pain–you are just a whiny hypochondriac.”

My mother screamed at me and threatened me that “my arm had better fucking be broken or she would break it herself” because I asked her to leave work early and come home (I was 12 and alone all day every day because I was on year round school and had no friends or family) to take me to the hospital. It was broken.

Something is wrong in my body. Something that I can’t fix. Something that I am self medicating (said with substantial scorn and derision) to deal with because doctors have actively told me they will not provide service until I jump through hoops I can’t jump through.

I can’t abruptly switch psych meds right now because I have no reliable help with my children. When I go through med rounds the side effects make me extremely unpredictable and historically very violent and my self-harming goes through the roof and my ability to function completely disintegrates and I spend hours every day literally hiding either in closets or under beds because I want to kill myself so much.

I literally cannot do that to my kids. There are reasons I’m not on psych meds. If someone bothered to ask me what those reasons were I would be happy to explain and I am willing to bet a compassionate doctor would hear my history and agree that it probably isn’t the best idea to try to force me to take a psych med as step one of any and all physical care.

That is not a way to establish trust because my behavior will abruptly be destroyed and out of control and erratic and I will completely associate it with my relationship with that doctor and have to stop association because I can’t continue to listen to the advice of someone who is going to force me to go through that given that I don’t have the fucking resources to deal with dropping the ball on the ways I am currently functional.

It feels humiliating. But that is the reality of my life right now. I stay home so that I can always handle talking to my kids in the tone of voice I want them to talk to me. I have to keep my physical stress levels down enough to not freak out when we are in an environment where I have less control.

Watch me at parties. If I stay seated the whole time I have a much better chance of being able to have conversations because being there makes me physically weak because of the strain on my body of having to be hyperaware to such a level. If it is a stand-and-mingle sort of party I am going to spend a lot of time walking in and out of the room because I have to go find somewhere to sit down and sob hysterically because standing in that room and trying to talk to people hurts my body so much.

No, this isn’t something that is obvious to people around me. If I was visibly contorting with pain people wouldn’t talk to me. If I said anything other than “Oh I’m fine” “Great!” when people ask me “How are you?” then they won’t ask me any more. And they won’t talk to me about anything else either. They try to keep a wide distance between them and me because I have revealed that I have needs and they are very fucking sure that isn’t their problem and they don’t want to get involved. That’s a direct quote. I get told that a lot. “I’m sorry. You have a lot of needs and I don’t want to get involved.”

Uhm, I didn’t ask you to do anything. I don’t fucking ask people to meet my needs. I can ask for help with wants–I have to be very ok with hearing “no” or with the fact that there is a better than 50/50 chance that I will be stood up because that is just my historical percentage. Because if I ask someone for help with a need all hell breaks loose when they let me down. My relationships don’t last through me asking things of people other than the pleasure of their company on sporadic occasions. I am doing my very best to ensure that I understand my place and stop fucking up this boundary.

Having this sort of level of need as a background thead in my life why won’t anyone help me means that I don’t understand how hard it is for people to meet my needs. I am not good at understanding the limits of how I should ask for things. When I ask for actual needs to be met I have to understand that the person may just not show up or may not feel like it any more once the time comes or have some emergency in their life that is more important than me so I have to suddenly scramble for how to figure things out at the last second without the normal planning time I give myself. It feels very unfair at the time I’ll tell you.

I go through life knowing that I am “not rational” and I am “over-sensitive” thus pretty much no one needs to give a shit what I think or feel because I’m a piece of shit.

No, I do not act in public like I have the thoughts I have. It would be incredibly dangerous. It’s not hyperbole; it is simply true.

I hate limbo.

But I love having a plan. I have thirty days left until the marathon. If the kids want to watch the ipad, fine. I’m too tired to be entertaining. I want to be able to stretch without being knocked over. I’m also trying to not smoke. That leaves me dependent on edibles/pills and that’s a different experience for mood control. I think my lungs deserve a break this month. The hacking cough is really gross.

I think I should try not to type much. I need to find arm braces. I need to start icing my arms and stretching more consistently. Otherwise NaNoWriMo will wreck me. I’m looking forward to this book. Smart ass working title: Mary Sue’s Love Story

It’s weird thinking of myself as an animal training for a performance event. It changes how careful I am with myself. I give more respect to an animal than I do to myself. It’s not like I think I am an expensive race horse or anything, but I am being nicer to myself than I was and improvement is the point.

I finally set up the drop keyboard stuff on the desk. Maybe I won’t fuck up my hands by typing at a surface 6″ too high this year.

I gave away all the last of my tomatoes because K likes green ones. She makes a relish with them. I am planning to rip out all the tomato plants today and do a bunch of digging and maybe some planting. I am having a hard time with everything being waiting.

But holy christ do I not have the energy for people. I can barely be nice to Noah. I’m nice to the kids but I’m distracted. I feel far away. I think that is one of the big differences between the edibles and smoking. I get far less of this complete dissociation with smoking. I also get fewer panic attacks this way. I’m kind of looking forward to a few weeks of being this kind of stoned, honestly. It feels really nice for my nervous system–like a vacation from being me. I don’t have the heart pounding and the skin tension and easy startle. I feel really guilty when I am stoned like this. Like it is a cop out. I’m not learning how to really live. I’m not so stoned I am sitting on the couch and staring at the tv. But I am moving slowly and stopping to stretch a lot. I feel able to pay attention to the weird knots in my neck instead of just feeling angry with myself for not being as stretchy/bendy/flexible as I wish I was.

But I feel like I am breathing under water. I feel just a slight heaviness on my chest. It’s still easier than the panic attacks. But I can’t drive this stoned. I know I am reacting a few seconds too slow. I’m not stupid. Which means for a few weeks I can’t drive much. (No, I don’t drive after smoking either, but I can come home and immediately smoke and feel relief from the anxiety and edibles work differently in my system–it’s less of a push-the-button-get-medicine effect. It’s global or nada.)

There is a part of me that looks at the time line of my life and mentally stocks up pot for the crisis points–the anniversaries. The specific new, big traumas. I think I will be able to get to a point where I’m ok for weeks or months in between trigger points. I’m starting to wonder if I should even be trying to “not react” to trigger events. It seems like I spend a lot of time and energy trying to not get upset by things that would make any rational person upset. That’s silly. If I just batten down the hatches at those points, maybe there will be “ok” in between.

Less than seven years. I have to be completely functional without any medication to help within seven years. If I can’t go for a year completely sober here then we can’t travel internationally. Sober sooner would be better.

I’m scared.

Compulsions

I’m obsessively staring at my training schedule. I’m scared. This week I run twenty miles for the first time this round. Woof. The peak of training gives me forty miles in a week. I am lovingly and loathingly (yes I know that isn’t a word) noticing that hell week is my birthday week. I turn thirty-one and then immediately have to run forty miles in the five days following. I don’t fuck around.

I’m scared and elated. I’m going to do this. It can be done by a human being therefore it is god damn going to be done by me. I will. I won’t fuck this up. Perseverance is one of my more admirable attributes. Tenacious as a honey badger. I tell myself while running in my “Badass as a Honey Badger” tshirt. I’m the exact opposite of sexy.

I don’t know how to be this person in the world. I don’t know how to be open to people and yet not available. I have committed my life and all that I am elsewhere. How do I have time for other people? You just do. You have to. You have to be part of something bigger. At least I do. I need to have friendships. I’m having trouble keeping my panties on. I have a hard time not sitting on peoples laps. That is how I break the ice. But that’s ice I don’t need to be breaking ever again. Awkward.

There is this reserve developing. Now there are parts of me I will defend with a machete. Off limits. It is scary for me to think about having to say no at some point. I am nervous because I like to stand in places where asking is significantly more friendly than not asking. Most folks go out to hunt. I don’t even know what I’m hunting for.

I want people who want to know my kids. Who want to part of my familial dynamic. Who want to have a real space in my life. Most people fill these roles with family. Most people think of friendships as low stakes. I will always be a low stakes relationship. I will always be who they see when people are “avoiding their family”.

Part of what I have been thinking about while running lately is how it isn’t my fault I don’t have a family. It’s not like I am less deserving than other people. But you roll the dice and you take what you get. There is no deserving in life. I am not physically capable of keeping the silence my family of origin required of me. That just can’t be asked of me. Too late. I’m an evil liar, blah blah, whatever. It doesn’t matter what I deserve. It matters what I can create with my hands and my mind. It matters what effect I have on the world.

When I ask former students what I taught them they say that I taught them to like themselves. That’s a fuck load more than my family did for me. My family taught me that when the men and boys in my family couldn’t find a willing pussy it was my job to lie down and provide.

What can I create? What can I be? What matters? If you can’t be a good example be a horrible warning?

I don’t know. I’m afraid to take pride in anything. I don’t want to develop a weak spot where I can be attacked. I don’t want to feel insecure about someone letting me know that I actually really suck at that thing I think I am good at. I am terrified to build myself up.

I’m well into training for a marathon. I don’t talk about it much in person. I don’t think anyone gives a shit. I think they listen with glazed eyes so I should just shut up and let them tell me what they are doing. That’s all they care about anyway. Why don’t I brag about this? I’m fucking doing it. I’m out running four days a week and stretching and doing strength training. I’m doing it. I’m not going to win speed records and that’s ok! Doing this is a fairly big deal. Why do I minimize this to myself? Why do I act like I’m not doing this good enough? Why do I feel like if I am doing it then it must not be that hard. I’m nothing special. If I can do it then it must not be a big deal. Talking about it is rather fraught, so I don’t.

It’s kind of weird, this being a writer. I have been blogging fairly consistently for nearly nine years. A number of people have read basically all of it. That’s a large body of knowledge about my life. But it was acquired in a room without me in it. There was no shared intimacy. This is very similar to the sexual exhibitionism. I feel like a freak because I can’t talk about a period of my life without talking about how and why my sexuality went through a massive change. And for me that has meant a lot of different partners and different approaches to sex. I understand why my former therapist asked me pointed questions about multiple personalities.

If I make sure people only see me in a certain set of circumstances with a certain environment I can tailor my behavior. I can be appropriate with great effort. If I keep people out at arms length. That’s kind of awkward with this whole out thing. Now I don’t really know what people are thinking about when they look at me. Oh holy fucking shit. For most of my writing life I’ve known the dozen or so people who seriously followed my writing. We had dinner so that I could fill in the bits on the stories I won’t tell in public. I tailor what I share with the world. I feel odd wondering what that actually looks like. How close is it to me?

What is more real, after all? The image that I carefully construct in writing (or rather the image that free form spews out of my brain never to be looked at or thought about again–I couldn’t reread the volume I produce; there isn’t enough time in the day) or how I behave? I’m never really sure. If you are judging me by how I behave then which group of friends will you judge by? I’m very different in different settings.

Compulsive hypersexuality is kind of a funny thing. If I think back I can see parallel lines between when I started smoking pot and when I stopped sleeping around. I guess I traded addictions. I am a very compulsive person. Right now I’m having a hard time with food. I’m having trouble respecting my body’s “full” signal. I’m making myself hurt. And I’m gaining weight… while training for a marathon. I’m eating a lot.

I’m scared because I think I’m getting closer to one of those periods where I feel the need to experience pain. That was how it worked with Tom. That was what our relationship did for me. I stayed with Tom instead of cutting. He was a reliable source of discomfort. He provided the hogties that fueled his masturbatory life and he was willing to play a lot harder to meet my needs. I think I came up with most of our heaviest play. In no way shape or form was I a victim. But I’m very compulsive. And I have a strong disinterest in my continued physical safety. Or had, anyway.

It is weird looking over at Noah. He’s biting his finger nail. He’s the only person I will ever have sex with again. Well, barring early death. If he kicks the bucket I’m not staying celibate for his memory. I’m not that devoted. He wouldn’t either and fair is fair. It’s weird looking at him. I get to sit here and have this intense feeling of power and ownership. He is mine. I don’t have to check his google calendar so I can schedule a date with my husband. I don’t have to know when he is out dating and fill that time carefully in a way I can handle without crying or freaking out. He does go out and do things occasionally, but it is rare. What he is doing with his time is hanging out with his kids and his wife. I feel really special. This really amazing person wants me. He does have kind of a funny hunch back. I guess we truly are perfect for each other. I’m not quite Beauty and he’s not quite the Beast. He’s not all the way to Quasimodo either so he still works for me. Definitely cute enough to be the hero.

While I’m running I’m playing over the years in my head. What am I going to write about? Which relationships are the most important? How can I show the pivotal times and places and people? How am I going to set the different tones of the different parts of my life? How am I going to make it obvious in text that my behavior radically changes based on where I am standing? How do I make an image of me that is real and true?

The first book was what happened to me. A lot of it I couldn’t change. I could have made different decisions, maybe. Whatever. It’s over. What happened when I was an adult is different. I had agency. I made choices. I acted. I wanted. I was compulsive. I learned to manage my compulsions in a variety of ways. What did that trial and error process look like? What bridges did I burn and when and how and why in the process? I’m trying to get my head around the whole story arc and it feels so large. So complex. I feel like a freak as I carefully compare the continuing evolution of my behavior in separate, non-adjacent parts of my life. What did I learn? How did I learn it?

I don’t know. I can’t find an object lesson in my life. I survived. I just did. That was all I did. I can’t make a lesson out of it. Maybe it is closer to a horrible warning. I feel bad about that though. I’m not. I have had a fairly decent adulthood. I want to explain why rape is just such a casual part of my life. I want to really work through all the connections between different parts of myself growing up.

Tom gave me a safe space to grow up. He hurt me when I asked nicely so that I could deal with my urge to self mutilate. After Tom I went on to drugs and a rather indecent amount of casual sex. And graduate school. And teaching. And dancing. More travel.

I’ve done a lot of things. Not all of it has been sex. Yet when I think of myself I see nothing of potential interest outside of sex. That says a lot about my priorities.

I am trying to figure out how to be proud of myself without sounding like I am bragging. I’m not bragging. I’m telling the truth. Sometimes the truth sounds cool and sometimes it sounds fucking embarrassing. Bah humbug. It’s time to go to sleep.

Always with the defensive, this girl.

Yesterday was one of those magical running days. The kind where the beat of the music and my grief match up perfectly. It’s hard to describe what I enjoy about running. There are several stretches of blocks in my neighborhood that I use for sprinting. The lines on the sidewalk just require it. When I get to those specific streets I pray for the right fast song. I run until I can barely breathe. I run until I am gasping out sobs and I can barely see anymore because I am crying so hard. There is so very much to cry about.

I have so much grief. I feel like I will never stop grieving. I will never feel like I can move past these feelings. I’m trying to trust the process. I’m trying to believe that even though this cycle of mourning isn’t over it will end some day. I just don’t know when. It’s hard to keep going.

Why was I crying yesterday? It’s hard to remember specifics because I cover so many topics in my head. I spent a lot of time thinking about why I am the sort of person to send nasty judgmental shaming letters to. I get them every so often. I trigger the shit out of people. It’s the same reason my former therapist fired me. I don’t do things how other people think they should be done. In the process I am deeply distressing. People don’t like feeling distressed by how “off from the norm” I am. They want me to fall back in line, damnit. I should do _________ in order to be acceptable to them. I can’t.

I can’t ever be acceptable to everyone in my life. That isn’t an option open to me. I will always bother people in some way on some level. Pretty much everyone. I will always talk about subjects that make you uncomfortable, no matter who you are. I will search for that topic that bothers you the most and then I will harp on it constantly. I do this on an unconscious level. I default to challenging people. A lot of the time I’m not doing it on purpose. I believe with every part of me that I would not have survived if I was willing to let other people set the terms of my reality. I would have crumbled a long time ago. I would have to believe that I was who they say I am.

This time I would have to believe I am an addict. I am bad. I am helpless before these things that control me. My cutting, anger, drug use, and sexual activity are bad. I am bad for being addicted to these things. Bad. Bad. Bad. I know. I’ve always known. I know that you think I am bad. That doesn’t mean that you are right or that I have to agree. That’s an opinion not a provable set of facts. I’m obsessive (even though I hear this kind of pedantry means you lose the argument I am going to do this anyway because it is my fucking blog and I’m only arguing with myself which means there is no such thing as losing) so here’s a definition for you:

Addiction is defined as the continued use of a mood altering substance or behaviour despite adverse consequences.[1] This can include, but is not limited to, alcohol abusedrug abuse, exercise abuse, and gambling. Some defining characteristics of addiction include: impaired control over subtances/behaviour, preoccupation with substance/behaviour, continued use despite consequences, and denial.[2] Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed deleterious effects (long-term costs).[3]Physiological dependence occurs when the body has to adjust to the substance by incorporating the substance into its ‘normal’ functioning.[4] This state creates the conditions of tolerance, and withdrawal. Tolerance is the process by which the body continually adapts to the substance and requires increasingly larger amounts to achieve the original effects. Withdrawal refers to physical and psychological symptoms people experience when reducing or discontinuing a substance the body had become dependent on. Symptoms of withdrawal generally include but are not limited to anxietyirritability, intense cravings for the substance, nauseahallucinationsheadaches, cold sweats, and tremors.

That’s from Wikipedia. I use marijuana under medical supervision to deal with psychological issues. Yes there are technically adverse side effects because smoking is bad for your lungs. Overall it makes my life so much better it isn’t funny. I repeat that it has fewer side effects than any other drug I could be on.

Cutting, sex, and anger are all in a hand wavey category. I have a problem with the 12 step language of weakness. “I’m not responsible. A higher power has to save me.”  Well… I am certainly addicted to harming myself. I do it in a variety of ways. I don’t give any particular method much higher billing than any other. I think that is what he really meant by saying I am addicted to these things. But of course he’s blowing hot air out of his ass so he doesn’t quite see the pattern. I go through long periods without cutting. I have gone many years between periods where I feel bad enough about myself to need that release. I can easily channel that frustration and rage into other areas if given the slightest chance.

Cutting works to put an end to bad emotional states that would otherwise lead to suicide. Is it a great approach? No. It isn’t. But for an awful lot of my life I didn’t have a better choice and I think that cutting was significantly better for me than suicide. No one is going to take that belief away from me. I had to cope. I managed. I survived. The last time I cut I had kind of an epiphany that it wasn’t working any more. I threw away my scalpels. I have moved beyond the utility of that as a coping method. I didn’t stop because someone shamed me or told me I was bad for doing it. That kind of response is only likely to cause me to go do it more and more and more. I stopped because I realized it was insanity to continue. Insanity in the sense that it doesn’t make sense to keep doing the same activity and expecting a different response.

I no longer have a life where I need a physical outlet for my emotional pain. Thank you, Noah. Thank you for being my bulwark against the dark. Thank you for providing me with a safe place to live for the rest of my life. Thank you for supporting me so that I can do work I am better suited for and I don’t have to go out and “get a job” to prove I have worth.

The emotional pain I feel now I can talk about and find solutions for. I think the only place where the language of addiction is particularly useful for me is where it talks about the diminishing returns issue. Or if you talk about the cost being too high for the benefit.

I asked Noah for monogamy partially as a way of providing myself an ‘out’ on dealing with a lot of my problematic behavior. I’m not good at self-regulation when it comes to sex. Now I am safe. Now I will always be able to say, “I’m in a monogamous marriage; I can’t have sex with you” instead of having to be able to say “I don’t want to.”  Saying I don’t want to have sex with someone is hard. I feel unworthy of doing so. I feel like if someone is suffering for lack of sex it is my job to fix it. I can be a sacred whore, that’s fine–but I must be a whore. I don’t say no very well. I am going to hide behind monogamy and be grateful for it. I feel guilty that I am dragging Noah behind me kicking and screaming into this change. I feel like I am unfairly punishing him for a problem he doesn’t have. But I asked and he agreed and he doesn’t really want to talk about whether it is fair or not. It is. Move on.

I cried yesterday because I feel terribly bad that in order to protect myself from my own impulsive behavior I have curtailed Noah. It seems selfish and immature and just flat mean. I am such a bitch. And I’m trying to learn how to tell him “no” in general. I no longer close my eyes and go away and let him have sex with me. It’s hard. It’s hard to feel like I am not breaking rules. It is hard because I feel like I am bad for not giving him release when and how he wants it. I am not holding up my end of the deal. He is supporting me–don’t I owe him?  I told him that thirty years of being a whore is enough for anyone. It’s time to retire.

Noah isn’t attacking me. Noah doesn’t require that I put out because he wants me to. I project that onto him. I fear that belief. I have it. That’s enough.

Am I an addict? Maybe? Yes? It seems to be an irrelevant question.  Unless you believe that someone who takes thyroid medication is also an addict it is simply a innate bias to say that the pot is a problem. It’s not your preferred kind of medication but I’m a hippy and my doctor agrees that it is good for me. Imagine me sticking my tongue out at you. I also see a massage therapist and an acupuncturist (ok, not since pregnancy but I will get back there some day–I believe in the benefits). I think I should see a chiropractor about something going on in the lower right hand side of my back. That has been a problem since Jeremy sodomized me when I was like ten. I have never been able to get it to stop hurting. Running is teaching me a lot about my body. I think I have a better idea of how to deal with the pain.

So! Am I an addict when it comes to pot? Wikipedia says no. I’m going to go with that. Sex? Well… obviously I’m doing as much “recovery” from that as I can do. I am not actually interested in celibacy and trying to be celibate just because someone else might think I should be would result in me not being married any more. Noah wouldn’t tolerate that. He’s dealing with me saying “no” a lot and he’s dealing with not being allowed to have sex with other people. I think he’s a god damned stand up guy. No more can or should be asked of our marriage as I’m figuring out this shit with my relationship to sex. So am I addicted to sex? Maybe? But it doesn’t matter because I’ve figured out how I can have a healthy relationship with it and I’m moving forward. Kind of a useless thing to sit around and go to meetings on at this point. Just sayin’.

I haven’t cut in nearly a year and I no longer have my favored cutting tool. I could some day acquire another one, sure. I don’t think I will though. I don’t want that modeled for my children as an option of coping mechanisms.

It’s interesting to me how this evolution has happened. I cut for many years. When I stopped cutting my body as a teenager I started cutting my hair. It got shorter and shorter till I shaved it when I was seventeen. My mother was so angry with me it wasn’t funny. I felt like the whole world was radiating anger with me for cutting my hair. I was told constantly how ugly I was and how unflattering my “new look” was.

It’s been very weird and uncomfortable that people keep gushing about how good I look with a shaved head/short hair this time. It makes me cry. Because when they say it I hear my mother ranting in my head and I want to hit them and cry that they are lying to me. I feel rage that this person is lying about finding me attractive this way. I try to not do more than clench my fists. I try to not stomp away. I smile. I say thank you. I think that I flinch sometimes and then people simply become more emphatic. Noah certainly tells me that he likes it often. That is one of the things I cried about yesterday. “Hair” was on.

I wonder if my family hated this as a hair cut because of how intense it makes me look. I feel like I have to plaster a fake smile on my face all of the time or I look like I might punch you in the face as soon as say “hello”. It’s weird. I feel like the effects of aging are doing interesting things to my face. I am going to wrinkle like fuck. All the women in my family have deep lines of care from a fairly young age. We live hard lives and it shows. I look at my hands and I see my mothers hands. I see the rope appearing. My hands are the hands of someone who does manual labor. Well, I don’t have deep callouses yet. But I will as soon as I get up the energy to do more gardening. I would have done anything to prevent aging the way I am if I had stayed in a relationship with Tom.

One of the things I cry about when I run is thinking about how resentful Tom would be of the changes in me. It’s strange. I cry because I loved him so much and he wanted such a small piece of who I am. I feel bad that after my family he felt so very good to me but we didn’t know how to be real people together. Tom lives in a world where “pretty” and “sexy” are such a high bar that they become a vocation. I’m naturally pretty lazy. I don’t think I am that pretty and I don’t see much point in dressing up a plow horse to take it to town. I know I am attractive but it’s different. As I age it becomes more dramatic to me. I am intense in a way that precludes pretty. Pretty is about unoffensive and I will never be that. My perception of the world Tom lives in is honestly kind of bleak. I would not be happy in it. I can’t stay dedicated to something I feel like I will never actually attain. It involves a lot of specific activity and specific idleness that I just don’t want. I think back over how I lived my life and I feel glad that I made most of the choices I made. I was always running.

A boyfriend from high school sent me a congratulatory message about the half marathon and sent me a link to a marathon training program that is way more awesome than what I had been doing. By which I mean I am so grateful that this program wants me doing two miles for the first few weeks because it feels like such a wave of relief I can barely stand it.  Doing only two miles for the last two days of running has meant I have practiced sprinting. It uses different muscle groups and it feels good to stretch my legs once in a while.

I lost my train of thought a while ago because my cat jumped on the keyboard and then I got mad at her. We had to pause and have a negotiation wherein she glared at me and looked sad that I had thrown her the floor. I sighed deeply and went and got a blanket to prevent her from drawing blood and I moved my computer so she could lay on my lap. Puff’s mother gave her to me when Puff was only a few days old. Her eyes were still closed and I bottle fed her to keep her alive. Puff’s mother brought us the babies to save them from a rain storm that would have drowned them outside. The feral mama wasn’t willing to come inside and care for the babies and she didn’t want anything to do with them later, but she did save them. That feels important. I have had Puff for fourteen years. My niece named her. T said, “She looks like a puff of clouds.” She is white with grey nearly-Siamese markings. For a couple of years after Shanna was born Puff avoided me. I feel like our relationship has deepened a lot over the last year or so. She doesn’t mind Calli the way she minds Shanna. She loves that I sit in the garage alone. I attribute a lot of our relationship growth to the smoking, actually. It keeps me away from the kids and she is quick to remind me that our alone time should be special, darn it!

I feel the need to apologize for my many typos. I stop writing when I am abruptly pulled away to do something else and I really don’t have time to edit. I’m not a professional writer so it feels ok to be sloppy.

That’s why.

This morning I had an important thought.  If I stop smoking pot now I am going to start cutting frequently.  The Ativan is not a choice that works as well.  I’m not willing to be on a daily pill, even though I probably should at this point.  My mood cycles have been horrible in the last two weeks.  Pot levels it all out and makes me cheerful and just barely stupid.  I am in a great space to sit and play with Play Doh for hours.  I can build with Lego’s all day.  I’m noticing what things I didn’t get Shanna that I probably should have.

I’m enjoying how cuddly and affectionate Calli is… when I’m stoned.  When I’m sober it bothers me and I want to get up and walk away.  There is something wrong with me.  When I am sober it hurts.  She bangs her head on me, she scratches, she steps on me awkwardly or knees me or or or or…  I kind of hate it.  When I am stoned I just mumble, “oooph, gentle with Mommy”.  I’m so glad to be near her that I don’t mind her rough antics.  She doesn’t mean anything by them.  She’s just a baby.

My body isn’t a good place to be lately.  I have to spend a lot of time dissociated if I want to function at all. It’s hard.  Most of my body hurts most of the time.  My stomach hurts terribly from stress, pot also levels that out.

Pot allows me to put aside my grown up concerns and worries and just be present and happy in the moment with my kids.  Most of the day is really quite pleasant.  I only think about things that are relevant to what is in my line of sight, quite deliberately.  That’s how I manage to be a good mother.  I think only of our immediate house and my kids most of the time.  I don’t divide my energy well.  I can work on house stuff like cleaning with the kids around, but that’s the limit.  Sometimes they let me read.  They hate the computer and mostly I have to be in a different room on a break in order to use it.  That’s when I smoke pot.

I go think about grown up things for brief periods behind closed doors during the day.  That is what having Sarah here gives me.  Time to walk away from the kids when my thoughts become intrusive.  When I am starting to feel edgy I can ask for a break.  I’m trying to have the breaks be as effective sober and they just aren’t.  My emotions are too intense.

I have ridiculous self-control and ridiculous patience… within small tight boundaries.  My kids will grow up being told frankly that I smoke because I need the medicine in the plant and there isn’t a better way to get it out for me.  Why do I need the medicine?  Because of something that was broken when I was a little girl.  They won’t be broken in that way so they won’t need the medicine.  It’s rather unpleasant to do, so I don’t recommend it.  Shanna will cheerfully lecture anyone within hearing on how disgusting and unhealthy smoking is.  Yay California.

But sober, I’m edgy and raw.  I cry a lot.  I can’t stand to let anyone touch me and when my kids grab me my entire physical reaction is to want to shake them off like a dog.  I loathe being touched.  It feels like such a disgusting and horrible incursion into my body.  Every touch feels bad right now.  Everything hurts.  The most gentle of caresses feels like a slap.  I can mostly dissociate away when sober, but not enough to smile or pretend I am enjoying it.

I don’t want my children to grow up with a mother who flinches away from them constantly as if they are terrible people for wanting to touch her.  I think I should get stoned instead.  It doesn’t really matter that I feel bad about doing it.  It doesn’t matter that the stupid bitch at PAMF looked at me like dirt because I have a medical card.  It allows me to be a good mother.  I feel so ashamed of myself for needing it.  I guess this makes me an addict?  Officially?  I don’t know.

It seems to me that most of life is about walking a series of thin lines.  I am more ashamed of cutting than I am of smoking pot.  The specific reason I think it is worse is because I will be more strongly judged and censured for cutting.  I don’t know a lot about tribal cutting, I’ve never bothered to find out.  I can imagine there being places in the world where my desire to cut myself to deal with my emotional experience would be viewed differently.  If I were to lose my fear of judgment, I would be able to represent myself in a way that would feel more honest.  I am a person who has experienced a lot of pain. But I did it in a way that is invisible and hard to ignore.  There are scars all through my vagina.  I think the scars should be on the outside so that other people can see them.  I think that marking yourself in proportion to the pain you feel is a way of identifying yourself so that you can find other people to talk to who can hopefully give you relevant advice beyond, “Just cheer up!”  Yeah, fuck you too.

Pot keeps me from feeling suicidal.  I’m just not desperate enough.  It really pisses me off that I can never really be a martyr for any cause ever in my life because if I go in a way that is not completely fucking random people will assume I killed myself.  It’s just got to be the base assumption forever.

I’d really like to kill myself.  But in my personal hierarchy of needs it is far far more important that I never give my children the experience of parental suicide.  Jimmy thinks that just not talking about things and not doing the same things will break the chains and he’s wrong.  The only thing that will break the chains is consciously talking about what we are doing and then choosing to do something else.  It is hard to be a different person.  It doesn’t happen by sitting back silently and hoping it happens.

Who do I want to be?  I want to be someone who doesn’t need to be apathetic all the time in order to function.  This stage of processing won’t last forever.  What do I need to change about my life in order to not get back to feeling this desperate and hurt?  Can I change enough?   Is this just something that is part of me because of my previous trauma?  Will I always find a new trigger somewhere down the road?  I don’t know.  I really don’t.

I’m just bitchy and mean and bored and antsy and angry and touchy when I am sober.  I feel so dissatisfied with everything in life.  I hate that in myself.  And when I’m stoned I’m fine.  No really.  I am doing exactly what I said I would and I do enjoy it when I can focus on it.  There must be something wrong with me if I need pot to focus.  That’s not very functional, only it is.  I’m functional, I really am.  I beg the internet to believe me.  Why do I care so much?  Why do I feel like I constantly have to prove that I have some value.  I am not just a worthless piece of shit.  Even if I do smoke pot.  Even if I am just a disgusting whore.

I think I’m ordering more pot today.