Category Archives: adult-only

Published in the adult-only category

Keeping busy

Today we dropped Noah off at the airport. He is off to a work conference. The kids and I did a whole bunch of house chores. And I rode my bike almost seven miles round trip to grocery shop. That felt like such an accomplishment. Then I went on an almost two mile walk with another buddy. All in all I spend over two hours exercising today. I feel gloriously worn out. That was even after having sex this morning.

I did some weeding too.

I’m tired. I’ve read a lot of Battle Magic because I’m on a reread spree again. I like the comfort of visiting friends.

Magnificent worry

Ok, I shouldn’t be typing. My arms hurt. But I’m frantically repeating stuff in my head and I won’t be able to put it down until I do.

I’m worried about things with my cousin because of my tendency to jump into relationships with both feet and enmesh as much as is permitted. It’s complicated with my actual family as opposed to a friend I’m just meeting, but complicated doesn’t mean all good.

This specific family member is on the outs with the entire rest of my family because she’s got super fierce boundaries and she don’t take no shit off of nobody. If you have to stand in a room with my sister that will lead to fireworks. Most of my family is on my abusive, rapist sister’s side of everything for reasons I will never understand. So folks like me and the cousin who won’t genuflect and kiss the Godfather’s ring are… not popular.

I don’t play that kind of game with abusive bullies. Ask me about a friendship that went south last year. Or not.

She’s 7 years younger than me. I’ve known her for almost all of my life. We have only ever sporadically spent time together but we get along well when we do. I can’t recall us ever having a big flaming fight even though both of us have done so with every other member of the family. (This might be convenient memory… but I don’t think so.)

This has the potential to fill the hole that I have tried so desperately to fill for so many years with friends. The thing about friends is, they share what they have going spare and then they go back to their families. That’s not wrong. I’m not saying I’m angry at them.

I’m saying that for most of my life when it is time to go have family time that meant I was alone or finding some person to fuck me for a night because no one wanted more from me than that.

My life is so different now. I am cherished. I am appreciated. I am loved. I am cared for. My husband is a god damn miracle.

Oh hey, there’s something else I need to write down because it is eating me from the inside. I haven’t written the accolades that Noah deserves to receive. For the past year and some since I cheated, Noah buckled down. He didn’t reject me. He didn’t long-term punish me. He didn’t continue lashing out and making my life miserable even though I hurt him quite a bit.

Instead Noah spent some months pulling into himself a little more and then he turned to me like a flower seed getting water after a long drought. He has stepped up his game in basically every area. He is doing more household chores, more scheduling of day to day stuff. He has pretty much entirely taken over date planning (after I complained bitterly that I did it for years) and he’s so much better at it than me. He gives me menus of options for dates. He asks what I’m physically and emotionally up for.

Noah is so miraculous to me. The way Noah loves me isn’t really about filling my needs, though it does. He loves me this way to fill a hole in himself and I am just lucky enough to get to be the beneficiary. Noah decided that in this life he is going to be a good husband and a good father and he is going to do whatever the fuck he needs to do to be those things.

I feel in awe of him. I work hard. I change myself to be better at having relationships. Noah blows my god damn mind.

If you had asked me before we got married if I thought Noah would end up doing this much for me I would have laughed so hard I would have fallen out of a chair.

And now he treats me like I am the most precious thing he has ever been lucky enough to touch. Even though I’m frustrating and difficult and so expensive… he loves me.

I have said for a long time that I wondered if I would feel the frantic searching need for more sex partners if I had adult women family members. Phew. I guess we are going to find out.

My cousin has expressed several times that she would really like it if I contacted her basically daily. She doesn’t have anyone checking in on her except for her housemate who is a friend from middle school.

(Don’t knock those middle school friends. Those people are the fucking rocks that you build your world on.)

Talking to my cousin is interesting because on one hand I feel this soaring feeling in my chest. I feel so lucky and happy and loved and this is beautiful. She knows me. She knows my family. She knows our history. And she loves me. I also feel very small. Because my cousin has most of my problems and none of my support.

Where the fuck is her Noah?

Almost no one on this whole planet is lucky enough to find a partner who is as supportive as mine. And I don’t treat him as well as he deserves.

I really need to work on that. Just like he has worked so hard on treating me how I want to be treated.

Even if he is a white man, he’s worth it.

And the waves go high

I’m euphoric. I had a magnificent day. I helped a nice person feel better about difficult things that are happening in their life and I helped them figure out what steps they need to take to help their child. Then I got paid for doing that.

Holy shit being paid for helping people is AWESOME.

Do you know what I did the minute the money hit my paypal account? I rolled all of it right back out to one of the women I send money to every month. The comment I got in my inbox was “Oh my god. You don’t know what you just did. I have no food at all in my house and I was crying because I didn’t know how I was going to get through this week. Thank you. Now I will eat.”

Then I talked to my cousin for another hour.

I napped.

I took a super long, relaxing bath with Noah and I washed him and we watched a fun dancing movie together. (Shall We Dance–the Japanese version.)

Now I need to go jump my super hot, awesome, generous, sweet, giving husband before he picks the kids up from gymnastics.

Bodies and stuff

When I was a kid my mom wasn’t very happy about the size of her breasts. Her bra size was 32AA. I internalized that smaller breasts were bad. As I hit puberty and early adulthood I spent  a lot of time being upset about how small my boobs were. While wearing a D cup. Then I took birth control and I swelled to an E cup. Then I got pregnant and swelled to probably an F. Then I nursed for years. I now wear a DD/E depending on brand (if I bother to wear a bra at all–which I very rarely do) and I no longer wish for larger breasts. I’m big enough, damnit. I have to buy fucking specialty bras. It’s a pain in the ass. But in my head… I still don’t have particularly large breasts. Because we imprint in funny ways.

Except for periodic walks, bike rides, or dance class… I have been a slug since the Easter party. I helped take down the outside decorations that would get ruined in rain. Pretty much all the other clean up… Noah has done. I’m sitting around and reading and resting. I’m told this is good for me.

I am delighted to report that in terms of pain… most of my big injury spots are being well behaved. I haven’t seriously injured myself again in the past month or more. Yay! But I have a lot of nerve/joint pain. Boo. I would say I have areas that are spiking to 4/5 in pain but most of my body is hanging out around 2/3. That’s not bad for me.

Everything is relative.

And… I won’t be writing the and stuff. Never mind. Got busy!

But, before I hit post, I talked to my cousin on the phone. It went really really really really well.

from a book

I’m reading Bessel Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score and he says, “Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity(emphasis original): being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love: These are complex and hard-earned capacities. {…} Many traumatized people find themselves chronically out of sync with the people around them. Some find comfort in groups where they can replay their (trauma). Focusing on a shared history of trauma and victimization alleviates their searing sense of isolation, but usually at the price of having to deny their individual differences: Members can belong only if they conform to the common code. Isolating oneself into a narrowly defined victim group promotes a view of others as irrelevant at best and dangerous at worst, which eventually only leads to further alienation.”

He goes on, of course. I’m quoting from page 81.

That seems real relevant to some of my shit.

Unique is kind of an annoying word.

My therapist today did that thing where someone says, “You have to view yourself as unique” when what they mean is, “You think you’re a special snowflake, don’t you?” Oh boy.

To give more explanation: this came up in context of talking about my whiny sensitivity around the fact that I spend more hours than average researching educational theories and parenting strategies.

My therapist wanted it to be about me thinking I’m a special snowflake.

No… I’m an educator. How much time I spend is not unique. It is just… associated with a profession I am no longer engaged in.

I’m being vague on purpose because I don’t want to explain something that happened. Just go with me here.

If Michael Pollan were to throw a party and say in an attempt to be humorously disparaging, “I probably spend too much time thinking about food” and someone responded with, “Everyone thinks about food.” Would that feel like an invitation to have a conversation or like an attempt to shut down?

It’s not that how much Michael Pollan thinks about food is unique; it isn’t unique. But it is unusual.

Does that make Michael Pollan actually better than everyone else who thinks about food that much? Uhhh… what is the metric here? How are we judging? What are we judging? What does that question, that better even mean?

I think I finally got my shrink to understand because she pivoted to a story: she knew a couple where the wife spent many years depressed and feeling pointless. Then her husband retired and started to really see what she did with her time. He said, “You aren’t a house wife. You are a property manager” because she had bought three rental properties during the course of their relationship and she dealt with all of that. Apparently she felt better about herself after her husband labeled her work in this way.

I had this thought as I was driving home. I want to be an integral part of a story. I don’t want to be a cog in a machine. Kinda like how Steve Jobs is not “part of Apple” he is the reason Apple exists. Only I don’t want to start a company. That’s not what I’m driven to do this lifetime.

I want to go research sexual violence and I don’t want to do it while I have little kids. I really really really don’t. I don’t think that is safe for my kids.

When I get pissy about feeling dismissed I don’t think it is because I’m such a unique special snowflake who should receive genuflection, but it’s more that I desperately want a small cast of characters in my life who see me as being valuable and knowledgable. I’m not the most special person ever. But I’m really important to a few people.

I don’t want to break the internet. I want a few people in my life who love me and believe that they genuinely could not be as cool if they did not know me. I want to help a few people be in less pain than they would have been without me.

I think that’s an ok goal.

I feel like part of my angsty shit around this is that I want to be recognized for what I’ve done. I’m not “just a stay at home mom”. I am a professional educator. I have put an enormous amount of energy into being this and knowing what I know. I’m a sensitive and whiny baby around feeling like that isn’t respected.

Which doesn’t mean I think I’m unique.

But it means I feel unseen in that moment. I feel like what I’ve done is not serving this person so they are discounting it and I am not actually what I think I am.

I know that my sense of self needs to be less permeable. I pathetically proffer before you evidence that my sense of self is more secure than it used to be.

I need to feel myself reflected back in order to feel like I get to exist. This is bad because I can’t let someone not seeing me as something deter my from my goals.

I need to stop pausing, even for a minute.

I am an educator. That’s just an accurate description of how I move through the world. I do that. Even if I’m not getting paid… a great many teachers throughout history weren’t paid in cash. So what?

I didn’t fire my shrink because we spent a while talking about what I want from her and what I never want to discuss again and she agreed that the boundaries sound good.

ok.

Keep plugging away on being less crazy.

Get to go talk to that annoying shrink lady

I’m mad at my shrink again. That happens. Today we get to have one of those Come To Jesus talks about whether or not we will continue working together. I suspect we will… I don’t have any promising leads to replace her at bat and it’s not like flying solo without a psychiatrist. My shrink helps me. Psychiatrists… have honestly never helped me. They suck.

Let’s go back to that bit where we work on processing my emotions and integrating my new experiences, m’kay? That’s better than trying to find some asshole to drug me. I’m tired of arguing about what drugs I should be taking.

I’m rereading The Body Keeps The Score and The Body Remembers and I’m taking notes.

I hit plateaus in my development. Getting to the next level usually requires a period of concentrated study and effort and work. Maybe that is what the next year or two should be about.

I don’t do so good without a Thing That I’m Doing to keep me out of trouble. Sure, I’m home schooling and gardening and wifing and all that shit, but I have a lot of capacity. I could do all that and find trouble too.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m going to get back to Outrunning Suicide.

But I feel like I need to have a trauma management component too.

I’m trying to figure out how I can wedge in enough stimulation and specific obligations in my house to not get bored and become a problem. I’m kind of like a super intelligent dog where if you leave them alone in your house they will rip up your flooring just for entertainment. I used to know a dog who did that for real.

I’m trouble.

Noah has managed to buckle down and get serious on organizing a tremendous amount of shit because he feels the stakes are high enough: if he manages he will get what he always wanted. He hopes.

What are the stakes for me?

I’d like to be in less pain. I’d like to physically feel the emotional connection I believe is already in place with many people. I love people. They love me. I know it intellectually. I can see the demonstrations of it and I document this shit obsessively so I can never claim that people don’t love me.

know that people love me. But mostly I don’t feel it. Mostly I feel this keening vacuum in my chest. I need more demonstration. More intensity. More people.

Only that doesn’t actually help it just causes trouble. Shit shit shit shit.

I believe pretty seriously that at this point in time the only thing that is going to change this is if I find some ritualistic way to slowly increase how many minutes a day I feel connection. It’s not true that I never ever ever feel connection. It is that then I stop touching the person or stop seeing them or stop being in the room with them and I feel like I stepped into an abyss of loneliness that will never stop.

I will never be with someone again,

Even if I’m only going to be alone for an hour. It’s ridiculous; I know.

Dysregulated thinking. Hi. Brain trauma is fun.

But I’m so much better than I used to be! Now I actually enjoy alone time sometimes!

There is also this balance problem around the fact that I just can’t physically stand the stimulation of really being with people and accepting stimulation 24/7. My kids and Noah are a bit overwhelming sometimes. We are together something like 22/7. It’s intense. Even when the babysitter comes over usually that just means another body is in the house and happy to help the kids with their art projects. We are together and together and together and together and together.

So it isn’t sheer contact that is going to solve my problem.

To be fair, since Noah got this job at home I have been working like a demon. Him being home has been difficult because he wants me to turn and give him a lot of attention and… I’ve been working to the point where I’m not paying the necessary-for-survival level of attention to my own body and I’m hurting myself badly and he feels sad if he’s ignored and my kids want attention and….

We need a different dynamic.

I can’t stand this dynamic where I’m in a room alone doing my thing and people yell at me from across the house expecting me to suddenly have room in my brain to be straining to hear them (I don’t hear so good) and mentally blocking out other stimulation so I can respond. That’s irritating as shit. Literally, I don’t hear very well. Background noise prevents me from having any idea what is happening. DO YOU KNOW HOW OFTEN MY HOUSE IS COMPLETELY QUIET?! PRACTICALLY NEVER. So I’m almost always trying to listen over noise. It’s a miracle I hear anything.

But I pass hearing tests.

I don’t know.

I get confused and angry with a lot of background noise. I can’t pick out the thread of voice that I’m supposed to be following. It blends in with clicking and banging and hissing and whatever the fuck else is happening. Our current dishwasher may be much more quiet but it still distracts me.

I’m sure I do the same annoying thing.

But I’m also trying to get into the habit of asking permission before I enter the kid bedroom. Just because you have crossed a boundary in the past doesn’t mean you need to keep crossing it forever.

I had kind of an awkward conversation with EC yesterday as we walked back from dropping YC off at camp. We talked about religion. We talked about why her dad is so interested in finding some sort of spiritual connection at this stage so he’s bringing stuff up. We talked about why I pull away from religion like it is a horse fly about to bite me.

It’s one more thing that is not for me.

How come asshole people are allowed to speak for God and tell little children that they aren’t wanted so that little children imprint on that belief and can’t shake the feeling for the rest of their lives that even God doesn’t want them.

My religion is you. You are all I have. Even if you don’t want me.

How do I learn to feel like I am connected? How do I learn how to feel like it is ok that people love me. It isn’t a violation of the natural order of things.

It isn’t like those weird people who are obsessed with vampires and werewolves. It’s ok for people to like me. It doesn’t take a suicidal bent in your brain. Truly. I swear. I pray.

Today is day 12 of my cycle. As of yesterday I still haven’t ovulated in over a month. Not too surprising I guess. But I was kind of hoping. Even as I feel dread and fear at the thought of another pregnancy oh dear god another birth…

I really want to meet this person.

I can’t explain it. This biological compulsion, this urge, this drive… I want to meet this person.

If there is honesty in my soul (which I doubt)…..

I want to meet my son.

All those god damn dreams about my son.

My Youngest Child, my sweet non-binary baby, I feel like sometimes they kind of wish they were the son I talk about. Baby you are perfect. I wanted to know you too. I think you are great. You teach me new things and I love you and you give me the opportunity to grow and be better. I love you so much.

I want to meet my son.

Yes, I know I could end up with another daughter or another non-binary kid (technically the odds of this are lower–but still possible! I’d be down) and I’d have to smile and never ever indicate anything but complete pleasure and joy. I know. Believe me I know.

But it’s there. It’s deep inside of me. That longing is there.

I won’t fuck him or anything gross like that. It’s not that kind of longing. I want to have a completely non-sexual in every way shape and form relationship with a boy of my blood. I want it. I’ve never had that before.

I feel so sad that I’ve never had that before. I mean, my oldest brother never molested me, but there was always this poisoning to our relationship. Our father told me he had the right to have sex with me whenever he wanted. Our relationship was poisoned.

I feel like people throw around “toxic” and “abusive” all the time these days. But it was fucked up with a side of nauseating and disgusting to grow up with parents who specifically instructed children to fuck each other. I’m sorry, but “My parents looked at me wrong and that made me feel small so they are toxic” is not where I’m going with this.

I want more evidence that someone like me can be in a relationship without making it gross and bad and wrong.

Is it nature or is it nurture or fate or what?

I have sex with everyone, right? Or maybe only some people? Maybe only (mostly) appropriate grown ups who aren’t related to me who aren’t going to be damaged by the experience?

But that makes me just like my father in some way. I don’t know. I don’t know I don’t know.

And now my daughter is awake and talking to me full speed ahead. She jumped from one rug to another rug. I have to hear where her elbow was, where both feet were, why she wobbled, why she’s proud of herself for the good save…

My children literally narrate their lives as if there is a video camera watching them at all time. They think they are creating a full speed documentary about themselves. I feel like I will lose my cheese sometimes because THERE ARE ALWAYS VOICES IN MY EARS NARRATING SHIT I DON’T WANT TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS EXACT SECOND NOW WHILE I’M TRYING TO CONCENTRATE ON SOMETHING ELSE. Sigh.

And she’s doing it from an adjacent room. So she’s raising her voice a lot to make sure I hear her. Which might wake up the sleeping Youngest Child and then there will be Hell To Pay.

Sigh.

I love you all. Even when you yell.

I love them so much I feel like my heart will explode. Now she’s repeating the full story again as if I didn’t hear it the first time because she is so concerned that I know EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAPPENS TO HER. It’s really kinda cool in an overwhelming way.

Let me tell you, these children are not ok with the idea of separation between us. How can I not feel connected? What is wrong with me?

I just finally said, “Can I finish typing and pooping in peace? Can I talk about your body when I finish focusing on my body for the morning? I’ll hear all about your miraculous jump from floor mat to floor mat for the fourth time then. Ok?”

She stood up and said, “Oh! Hey! Yeah! That’s a good idea” and ran out of the room. I will be required to listen for a fourth time. I can tell.

I don’t actually mind. But please wait till I stop typing.

Don’t worry, I won’t type much longer. My arms are getting sore and I feel about done pooping. You wanted to know that, right? Hahahahahaha

In pooping news: I’m just about done with this round of “cleanse” from my woo nutritionist and things are going really well in the poop department! Well formed, solid but not hard, light brown, once maybe twice a day…. That’s perfect. I get occasional stabs of belly pain from the “Oh my god my body hates having actual solid matter in my intestine” but it’s just a few seconds and then it doesn’t hurt to poop. I think I just have trouble sometimes as things round a bend inside of me.

Since everyone really wants to hear about the progression of my IBS, right?

The thing is, poop news are big news. Serotonin forms in the gut. Happiness is tied to how well you digest. Contentment, security, safety… these feelings are tied to how you digest food. So it seems like it’s kinda of wacky and it seems like it is exactly the damn point. My body is a whole and complete system and I can’t fix one part when another part is completely out of whack.

I’ve had a couple of non-crisis years in my life. A few. Not many. Maybe it is time to have a few more and work on integration.

I feel like the road trip was a big deal. I proved to Noah that I will come back. Our bond was sorely tested but it remained. I like him so much. I like being around him. I like how he treats me and looks at me and thinks about me.

I like how he makes me feel.

People don’t care how you feel. People care how you make them feel.

Do I know how I make Noah feel?

I like that I make Noah feel like he is wonderful. He hasn’t had a whole lot of that in his life either.

Have I mentioned that Noah’s dancing is coming along quite a bit? I feel like I did a really smart thing on not pushing Noah to dance. I ask for the occasional dance to a song at a wedding or something like that and I haven’t otherwise pushed Noah to be a more serious dancer. I’m happy to lead during the rare dances I pull him through. As a result he didn’t build up this defensive wall with me around dancing. I didn’t try to make him do it. So after lots of years he decided to be nice to me and work on his issues around this activity.

Hey, I read comic books. It seems fair.

But I didn’t ask for it. I think it mattered a lot that I didn’t ask.

I’m really grateful that Noah is stepping outside his comfort zone to be more fun for me. We do struggle with finding activities other than “staring at a computer” that we like to do together. We like to eat.

Noah wormed his way into my life being my gym buddy. He was the first friend who seriously exercised with me on a regular basis.

Noah has been such a big part of all the healthy steps in my life. I don’t know where I’d be without Noah.

It’s probably time to let Noah help me through the next step. He sure would be happy to.

I don’t think I need more drugs. I need to figure out how to feel the connection that is already there.

I love my friends even if we aren’t doing ecstasy or nitrous or having sex together. I promise. Those shared activities allow me to feel the love back. I need to find a way to feel it that doesn’t involve manually over riding my brain.

I don’t do ecstasy as often as I write about it. I think about it and how worthwhile it is or isn’t. I feel I am pretty firmly of the opinion that I will never ever ever do mdma in a large group again. It’s powerful medicine and that’s not an appropriate way for *me* to use it. With 1-3 other people it can be a tool of powerful working. More than that… it’s not a tool it’s an idiotic thing to do to my brain.

But I had to find that out. The same way I had to find out that Prozac is not a magic drug that will solve my problems. Only one of those drugs I tried with a doctor who told me that a drug will be the magical key to all my problems and one of those drugs I tried with people who told me, “I don’t know what will happen. Try it.”

I trust one of those introductions to drugs more than I trust the other. One is open to the idea that a drug will fail me and not solve my problems. The other claims that a drug must be the answer.

Life is funny.

In just under two hours it is time to head up to Oakland. I should probably get started on the morning snuggle part of the day.

slow and steady

Well, I’m going to be typing this puppy slowly with my left hand. My right arm isn’t working well. Elbow says fuck the whole world. Tens unit now, ice soon. Then bath.

Why do I do the things I do? It’s complicated. Which things? Which time?

I don’t want to be in pain any more.

I think that right there is the root of a lot of my suicidal ideation and impulses. I want to stop being in pain and my experience of being alive is that there is no end to pain.

I enjoyed the party more than I thought I would. Noah observed that we had a really high cancellation/flake rate (those are different actions: thank you to people who cancel, I know that shit happens) but we probably ended up with about the right number of kids.

The family with teenagers showed up about half an hour late and that was kind of perfect. Her big kids found all the remaining eggs (to the best of my ability to determine). I wanted to stagger the start time anyway.

I had several really pleasant interactions with children of friends who hadn’t previously warmed to me. That was nice.

My smile wasn’t fake all day. I did feel joy. I just also hurt really really really badly. Articles like this neatly encapsulate part of why it doesn’t feel safe to be honest about how my body is doing. I am abusing people.

I am a monster no matter what I do.

What is a monster?

There is a minister in San Francisco I need to find a way to have a chat with. She gave an excellent presentation on monsters and I’d really like to talk to her in more depth. I should look her up. I bet she’s open to that kind of thing sometimes. It is part of her profession.

I’m drinking tea and eating the last of the pecan pie Noah made for our friend’s birthday. He found a recipe with no corn syrup for me because he loves me.

Noah does so so so so so so much because he loves me. That is a man who is motivated by love.

What am I motivated by?

I want to be in less pain.

The new research on addiction stuff shows… duh duh duh… the problem is connection.

Is connection the answer to my pain?

This is complicated. I have some interesting books on neuroplasticity after trauma I’m rereading. I’ve read them before. I’ll probably read them more times after this time. I can’t recite the shit in my sleep yet.

I absorb it in layers as I am at different developmental plateaus. I can see (with the awesomeness of hindsight and obsessive documentation) how I understand things differently over time.

I do change. I do grow.

Do I feel less pain?

What an interesting question.

Setting up for parties is enormously stressful. I often kinda melt down. I spent a lot of time beating my head on concrete in between setting up for my 30th birthday party, where I later did ecstasy with friends and spent most of the party on the couch having panic attack because I couldn’t believe that anyone actually liked me.

I don’t much like being in my body.

Or my brain. I would even deal with the body if I could just get a shiny new brain.

Noah tells me that what he is researching is interesting to him because of the emphasis around getting to exist without shame.

I wouldn’t know what it was like to not feel shame. I wouldn’t know what it was like to feel comfortable. I wouldn’t know what it was like to not feel pain.

Let me put that more plainly: I have always felt ashamed. I have always felt uncomfortable. I have always felt pain.

It moves around. Sometimes it is more emotional. Sometimes it is more mental. How do I distinguish? There is a difference between crying and being unable to remember numbers during math.

There were extensive periods of my childhood where I was literally incapable of remembering a series of digits. So clearly I was stupid.

I went to 25 schools. No teacher saw me for very long. How I presented in the first two days decided how I was treated and it went well and it went very very very poorly.

Some teachers recommended that I be tested for special ed because clearly I was retarded. Some teachers recommended that I be tested for GATE because clearly I was a genius.

More than one thing can be true.

And I’m 35 fucking years old and I still think about this and cry. Because I don’t know what I am. Because I can’t narrow it down. I’m too retarded to belong with the smart people. I’m too “high functioning” to need more services than basic therapy to help make sure I don’t end up the kind of person who climbs to the top of a bell tower with a gun. Cheers.

That’s not entirely true either. They’ve tried lots of meds. I’m told that at around a dozen I’ve barely seen the tip of the ice burg and I should keep trying! There is a wonder med out there for me! And in the process I need to lose more months of my life to feeling so bad I want to die and be told that the correct response to the medical community giving me drugs that make me want to die is to put myself inpatient so they can give me more drugs and cut me off from the only community and the only positive connection I’ve ever had.

Tell me more about how you have my best interests at heart.

In the state of California’s mind the fact that I reached adulthood passionately convinced I should never own a gun is a win. Cheers. Therapy Worked. Patient Is Cleared For Society.

Everyone is biased. Everyone is wrong. But I have to walk around feeling the effects of the wrong decisions that happen in my body, not you.

Don’t act like there are equal stakes here when you are trying to avoid a malpractice lawsuit for not following the letter of the rules exactly the same for each patient.

I mean, I get it. I think it’s totally appropriate to have that stance. But I need to act like how I feel is more important than going through a process.

Is the result the point or is the process the point?

It matters.

I learned that lesson very well as a slave. There were times when shortcuts were absolutely the right decision. Save a dime or save time and it was a good plan. There were times when shortcuts resulted in severe punishment. I had a couple of doozies.

I remember when my mom met my Owner. She looked at him and she leaned over to me and whispers. “You do what he says? Really? Why?

Yeah. I know.

But I did. I took my punishments and I learned which processes to god damn follow. He had been in the military and there were some things where the process was the entire point. Oh. Ok. Sure. Whatever.

That was a man with good boundaries. I’ll say that for him. He told you what he wanted to give in a relationship and what he wanted to get and he didn’t really move from where he started.

I’m not like that. I change.

And then I change again.

And then I change again.

Poor Noah.

Well, I’m in a lot more physical pain than I used to be in… But I don’t think I’m in as much emotional pain as I was. I know that I still write about the ups and downs and they still sound extreme… but I have a lot of intrusive memories interacting with my kids. Yay PTSD is fun. I mean, they are present in one of the back channels of my mind.

My child is about to turn nine. When I was about to turn nine… oh god. It wasn’t good, yo. Not typing that shit today.

My child is leaning close on turning seven. When I look at my sweet, emotional, sensitive, nobody-loves-me-everybody-hates-me-I-guess-I’ll-go-eat-worms child I think “And this is with people telling you all day long that we love you and being patient with your shit. Wow. No wonder I completely flipped out.”

If my Eldest Child shows me a picture of what I wish I could have been like if everything were perfect? Well… I think my Youngest Child shows me a more realistic picture of what I could have been like under best case scenario. That baby needs a lot of love and approval and building up. There’s a leaky hole in them. They struggle to know they are as wanted and loved.

And that’s with drowning the kid in affection since birth. I mean good grief.

I have one child who pluckily declares that her parents almost never get mad unless they have a very good reason and another who is afraid that they aren’t as good as everyone around them. Oh baby. How did we do this?

It’s a stage. I know. Deep breath. Keep doing what you’re doing. Everyone has moments of self doubt. Everyone has times when they feel like they aren’t enough. But you are all you are. Keep working on learning new skills and learning new facts and learning new processes and you’ll figure out what you need to know for life.

Life means so many different things to so many different people. And every single way is right.

Well, if it isn’t right that isn’t because it isn’t the same as what other people do. Maybe folks are doing something what is wrong for them and they ought change that. But that doesn’t mean they need to conform to being just like another person.

That’s never the way.

Do I actually want to die? Or do I just want to be in less pain?

That’s kinda an important question when you are talking about a permanent solution, no?

Or at least people keep telling me.

When I think about many more years with Noah, I want to smile. I will tell Noah that I want a falling star and he will say, “Do you have one in particular in mind or will any one do?”

I’m going to sit in my bath tub and think about how I can be in less pain.

WHY

That’s why. The party was pretty darn good given how much I flipped out yesterday. I continue to find it bothersome that if someone I like, who is my friend, asks me how I’m doing I have basically zero interest in answering honestly if I’m not doing well. Lots of folks asked me how I was doing at the party. Ha.

I’m not doing badly for me today. I’m in a lot of pain but I slept well. Once things got going the party was as smooth as butter. I spent a lot of time hugging my people and that was really lovely.

I love you all. Thank you for being part of my life. I wish it were a less bumpy ride.

What counts?

I feel like I wear a mantle of shame. I don’t do enough to help people. My life is small and selfish and focused on my problems instead of problems that are bigger than me.

Noah told me yesterday about a specific subset of pagans who believe that activism in the political/social arena is the same thing as spirituality. Yeah. That kind of sounds right. My religion is you and I need to serve you in order to be a good supplicant. I try to serve you as best I can. I know I fail more often than I succeed.

But when I feel like I do nothing nothing nothing for humanity… what counts?

I have a complicated relationship with my children. They are me-not-me. Does working for them count as doing something for someone other than myself or is it self serving?

I can’t actually count the number of people who have told me that they have felt inspired or educated or impacted by me. It’s not a small number. I tend to get a handful or so a year. Some years I get more, “I learn so much from you” than other years.

People have told me they are still alive because of me. How does that figure into the count?

Plants help everyone be healthier and better able to breathe. I’ve put a whole bunch in the ground. Does that count as doing something that is bigger than me? I now basically host bird conventions in my yard. I get all the representatives in my neighborhood showing up to fight it out over the bounty of food in my yard.

My actual human neighbors knock on my door to ask for advice and help. I give it when asked. Does that count?

I’m not entirely sure the problem is that I “don’t do anything for anyone but myself” so much as I think I have a difficult time perceiving anything I do as counting towards adding value to the world. Aren’t I just a drain?

I’m really not.

I helped a nice old lady pass her driving test. She hadn’t ever taken it in English before. I helped her study the book and practice what they were asking her. It wasn’t my “job” it was just something my neighbor needed help with. That’s a real thing. That’s helping someone.

I know that in the fullness of my life I want to do more. But I’m not doing nothing.

This is weird and complicated. I want to be a big fish in a very small pond. I’m not interested in trying to be nationally important. I want to be important to a small group of people. Aren’t I already there though? I’m very important to a few dozen people in the world. Isn’t that the right size of pond for me? I don’t know.

I feel ashamed of myself for feeling like I have more help to give than this. It’s a weird feeling. I don’t think I should feel ashamed of this. I fear it is too much like hubris. Too much like being the tallest stalk of grass in the yard so you get cut down fastest.

Is this part of where women feel like staying at home isn’t the same thing as having a job? I would be miserable and feel like I was wilting in the vast majority of jobs out there. I would feel like not spending time with my kids was wasting my life.

Then why do I need to focus away from them so damn bad? What is it already?

I keep reading these impassioned articles from women earnestly explaining why staying at home is the end of a happy life. Oh.

You will never again be treated like you might be good for anything. I’m not sure the problem is with staying at home. I think the problem might be the perception of mothers. We don’t do anything all day, right?

I gotta say: if you are a stay at home mom and your kids believe you “do nothing” then you need to teach those little snot waffles a lesson.

If someone implies that I’m lazy or do nothing my children are all over that like white on rice. “Don’t you call my mother lazy! She never stops working! Be quiet! She should rest more!” That’s right.

Sometimes I feel like a huge asshole because I will not be taken for granted. Nope. If you are going to benefit from my work you are going to hear about how hard I am working. In detail. And you will show appreciation or I will stop doing this work and You Don’t Want That, Now Do You?

Is this the same thing as self esteem?

What counts as doing something for other people? I do some selfish work. I do some self-maintenance work. I do a lot of work for other people. When does it count? When is it enough? When have I bought my right to keep breathing and eating and needing resources?

Maybe figuring out how to change that perception is the kind of thing I could work on in therapy instead of spending that time fighting about how I should take a series of drugs that make me feel like death? Just a suggestion since I’m paying through the nose for the time spent.

Tomorrow is the Easter party. We didn’t max out RSVPs. Phew. Not quite 30 kids. It’ll be great.

Why don’t I mentally count the fun that little kids have at my parties as part of doing something for people? Because really I throw these parties so my inner child can finally be invited to a party.

I am allowed to stand near happy, excited people if I provide enough stimulation, attraction, and diversion.

I’m so happy when my friends tell me that their children bug them for months, “When is Krissy’s party?” I love you too. I’m very happy you want to come. I hope that my surprises for this year are as fun as I think they are. At 10am tomorrow there is a 5% chance of rain. By 1pm it is up to a 65% chance of rain. Hunt fast, children. Ha.

Ok. I have a child laying on the floor tapping her toes at me. She wants me to come look at the horses she transformed into unicorns and this whole “Mom staring at the computer” thing is super annoying, apparently.

I love you all. Even those I don’t.

oh goodness

I saw my woo nutritionist for what turned out to be basically a hypnosis session. Ok. That’s what she means by coaching sessions. Lots of inner child sort of work. I have trouble discussing this shit with a straight face even though I do it and know it is kind of effective. I want to mock myself the entire time because it sounds so hokey and silly. But it does help.

So if you try to reduce the complexity of my problems down to a core issue it might look like: I do not feel worthy. I do not feel worthy of being alive, of being loved. I do not feel like I can be competent enough to deserve the amount of resources it takes to keep my sorry ass alive. I feel alone, different, disgusting.

That’s kind of a brief summary of my issues, if they are boiled down to just some of the basic essence of this shit.

Let’s start with the word alone. Because it is important. It is tied to the idea of *importance* and then to the other idea of *relationship*.

My worth is tied to how important I am in a relationship.

Shit. That’s not so good. That’s very much how I’ve run my life. I deserve to die because I am not important in relationships.

But it just isn’t true any more. I’m important to Noah and my kids in a way I’ve never been important to anyone else and I never will be important to anyone else and that’s how it should be. But WHY should it be that way?

So my woo work yesterday spent a lot of time focusing on this idea of aloneness.

My woo manifests as feeling like I am connected to everyone and everything. I don’t have to like you or appreciate you. I just have to spend a few seconds near you and I can point out things we have in common. Traits, needs, desires, core components of existence, habits… I can find a way we are similar whether I’m talking about a plant, an animal, a mineral, a planet, whatever. I’m woo as fuck.

If I literally believe that I am made up of component pieces of other things and those other things are made up of similar component pieces that all came from similar or the same places…

I’m not alone. I’m a piece of a whole at all times. I am no more alone than one spoke on a bicycle wheel is alone if it isn’t actively touching the other spokes. You are all connected, even if you aren’t really touching each other or interacting. You all play a part and none of you are expendable.

This shit is how I get through the day.

I am not alone. I have birds that need me to put food out because other humans destroyed their habitat. I have flower seeds that call out begging me to plant them because they want to help give food and shelter to the bees and bugs and birds.

I have neighbors who are thousands of miles from their homes and it hurts them sometimes very badly to feel alone and unloved and far from where they belong. They need me to welcome them and tell them I am glad they are here. Thank you for beautifying this neighborhood. We needed you so much and I didn’t know until I met you. You are so important. I’m glad you are here.

Life is complicated and hard. But even if you aren’t talking to someone right now, how can you be alone? There are 7 billion humans on this planet and so many more animals I can’t imagine their numbers.

Just the ants. I can’t bear to think of how many trillions of ants. *shiver*

I lined my house with diatomaceous earth yesterday. Eldest Child helped. (I should preface most stories of “I did _____” with “Eldest Child helped more than expected” lately. Youngest Child is still… more play than help. 8.5 is a rad-tastic helpful age.) We love you ants, but stay out of my house. For goodness sake.

The kids are over the moon about their big kid sized bunk beds. It is a little odd to have their room feel so grown up. Nothing is little kid sized in there anymore. *sniff*

So yeah. My woo is weird and it continues on its way.

My woo person wanted me to do a lot of nurturing my inner child. That’s an interesting thing for me. My reaction to myself has usually been violence. If I have a need, the correct response is to punish me for having that need. If I ask someone for something that means I have been bad. I was stupid. I was pathetic. I didn’t take care of myself. I inconvenienced someone.

So trying to do inner child work is kind of tough. Having to think of myself as a small vulnerable person… that wasn’t a good time for me. When I was small and weak and vulnerable… that’s when I spent a lot of time being told I was stupid and worthless. That’s when I spent a lot of time being hit and raped. That part of me is buried really deep and really doesn’t want to come out.

That part of me doesn’t believe in safety.

Safety is for other people. People who are worthy.

People like my children.

That really hurts.

How can I be a conduit for people who deserve safety but I can’t be one?

WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST. But not you. Monsters go last.

I am evil. I am scary. I am bad. I am not worthy of being saved.

I sincerely don’t believe that a pill will ever be invented that will take this from me.

I believe that if I am ever going to change this it will be through time and experiences. It will be through having life experiences that show me that my father was about as wrong as a person can be. My mother was about as wrong as a person can be.

Maybe they even did their best. That doesn’t make it good enough. Not even close.

I do not look at my children and see people who have failed to live up to the standards of adulthood already. How could my parents look at me as a tiny child and tell me I had failed to accomplish things that many adults never do? That’s not a failure. That’s not even getting started on trying. That’s bullshit. That’s mean.

That’s not fair.

Yeah, yeah life isn’t fair. I know.

But fuck that shit. Fuck grown ups expecting children to be grown ups. They aren’t. They are kids. They are in the process of becoming. They are trying.

Fuck you for telling them that they are failures. The only thing that is a real failure from a child is giving up. As long as you are willing to keep trying you haven’t failed yet. You just haven’t succeeded yet. It takes time.

I am not alone and I am not a failure.

I am not worthless.

And I don’t have value because I am so good at getting people off.

For so many many many years I defined myself thusly: if I can get people off it is ok that I am still alive. That was enough. That was what I had.

I am good at many many tasks. In the process of living with my consuming terror that I would never be competent at anything I have managed to become competent at an amusing array of tasks.

Instead of being nothing, I am a lot.

*I* am not the roles I fill.

I am pure energy.

I spend a lot of time wondering if I would be able to get through life as anything other than a speeding train of energy. It is hard for me to slow down. It is hard for me to do anything in a slow, gentle, careful way. I have to rush and push as hard as possible or I can’t overcome my own inertia.

I use this language: speeding train, the energy of a combusting star, the force of a jet engine… because others have used this language to describe me. Internally mostly I feel this as pressure and force. MOVE OR DIE. Noah, when Zola drank the Movit #11. Like that. I live like that.

I think a lot about the whole extrovert/introvert thing. I feel absolutely driven to go out and meet people, to spend time with them, to delve into relationships… but it wears me the fuck out. I get so tired.

Connection. Force. Worth. Energy. Relationship.

What do these things mean anyway? I don’t know but the water is done boiling and I’d like tea.

Another good morning.

Gardening is the best work I do. I feel so happy with the results. I get results so quickly. Ok, there are some pieces that are about long-term-settle-in-and-wait… BUT IF I SPREAD COCOA MULCH DOWN IT INSTANTLY LOOKS PRETTY AND GROOMED. It’s magic. And it smells so good.

I love my garden. Some day I may get to the point of loving my garden more than my children. I love my garden so very much. It’s so pretty. I get to have an almost creepy level of control and I’m not hurting anyone. It’s glorious. I’m allowed to kill plants that irritate me and I’m not evil. I’m allowed to stomp on things if I’m pissy and mean feeling and then I have to deal with the consequences but I haven’t hurt a person.

My garden will forgive me and love me even though sometimes I take big axes to it and chop pieces of it away. I don’t like pomelos. Get the fuck off my tree you mean old bastard.

I’m allowed. It’s ok here.

I love gardening. I don’t know of many better activities in this world. And my children help more and more with every passing year. You don’t know what this means to me.

I love my garden.

I like outside better

Yesterday I planted. I’m not sure if I can express how happy this makes me. And miraculously, my arms hurt less than normal. Gardening is good for me.

I have less than a week before I need to have a spiel for my shrink. What do I want from her? How do I want to proceed going forward?

I have spent a lot of time over the past few days thinking that what I would like from a therapist for a while is assistance in forming a more regimented schedule. Part of my ongoing issues is that I don’t treat my body like it is worth consistent maintenance care and as a result it sometimes melts down. During the next round of breeding awful (because this shit is brutal in my body) what I want to do to get through it is figure out a way to have an “idealized healthy schedule” and get me and the rest of the family used to all the tasks involved in taking care of a body. We aren’t great at modeling this shit. We aren’t great at doing this shit… but it matters.

For example there are a bunch of things that ideally would be done daily: go for a walk, meditate, stretch; there are tasks that should be on a weekly timer: gardening is better for me than a pill and a couple of weekly dates would help a lot.

I want to figure out a better more consistent socializing schedule. I tend to go in boom and busy cycles of either doing too much or too little and it isn’t very good for me. I’d like to have several days a month where I put more effort into seeing people. I’d like to have more specifically scheduled no-plans days with my family so that we can sit in our house and stare at the wall in between all the hard work and fun we have.

I want help finding balance and figuring out what that means for me. I want to be able to talk about the nitty gritty stuff in detail and talk about how to adjust things slowly instead of going from extreme to extreme like a pendulum.

I want to spend a solid year working on EMDR for my anniversaries. I want to plan sessions around them in advance so I can do specific processing on the stuff that creeps up like a land mine over and over in predictable ways. I don’t want “Oh by the way it is my brother’s birthday” to be what I drop in the last 2 minutes of therapy before I run out crying like normal. I want to write up a lot of difficult anniversaries in advance and plan sessions for them. I need to figure out a better approach to these days. I need assistance managing that.

I’m bleeding right now so I’m pretty clearly not pregnant yet. I have about a week left of my current level of pot pills. When I go in to the dispensary again I’m going to buy 30 mg pills, which are a huge reduction from the 50mg and 100mg pills I often buy. I crept up again towards the end of the remodel. Pot is more effective for pain than ibuprofen and when I am on the daily maximum dose of ibuprofen, yeah my pot usage climbs again. But I feel like that is getting to a better place again. I want to use the 30 mg pills and try to find a routine where I take them more often. 1)Right when I wake up 2)With breakfast 3)With smoothie snack time 4)With lunch 5)With dinner. That would put me at 150mg/day which is a slight reduction from where I have been for a while but it would have a more consistent load in my body so I don’t have the spikes and valleys. If I can get this routine in place, ideally after a month or two I will lower to 20mg doses for the rest of pregnancy and I’d only be using 100mg/day. I would be really really really content with that considering all the other options I have on the table for helping with stability.

I need to get absolutely fascist that I can disrupt my sleep once maybe twice in a week and absolutely never thrice. Dance classes are too damn late at night and I hate it. What the fuck is wrong with all you night people. (I kid.)

I believe I have a permanently malleable brain. I believe that what will change how it works is: repetition, time, and new experiences. I do not believe a pill can fix me. I believe pot helps me relax enough to let my brain explore new channels of reactions instead of immediately jumping to I’VE HAD THIS EXPERIENCE BEFORE AND IT SUCKED. ALL SYSTEMS AT FULL ALERT. I don’t want more medication help beyond that slight chance to try again on processing what is happening to me.

I hope that some day I won’t need pot but I don’t know. I have a fond internal narrative about getting off pot for a while and using it again whether I need it or not when I’m old just because it is fun. If I live to be 80 I’m going to use an awful lot of drugs for fun. Why the hell not?

I imagine how funny it will be to tell stories, “Puking on dxm sure isn’t as much fun as it used to be. I think I threw my neck out retching.”

Ok, maybe it isn’t as funny to you as it will be to me. I’m ok with that.

Hell, I even wish that for a few months my therapist and I could go through a check list of shit like, “How many servings of vegetables have you eaten this week?” I want help going through all of these processes so that I can get them to the point of being automatic and in the back ground. I want help learning how to take care of myself without it being a physically painful, mentally strenuous task. The only reason it is so painful at this point is because I’m stupid about not taking care of myself and I hurt myself. I’m clever and shit.

Bodies are meant to be used. They are meant to go through a range of motion.

Hey, did I mention that my shoulder appears to be genuinely healing? The damage I did when Eldest Child was a baby is getting better, finally. In time for me to fuck myself up with another kid. Good job there, Krissy.

I spend a lot of time lately going whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy do I want another baby? They are so haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard.

Because my children are why I wake up and go to sleep and I love them so much I feel like I will explode. And they are going to go off and have their own lives. I’m only going to get to share a fairly small slice compared to what I’d like to share. Maybe if there are more of them I will be less suffocating in my need to still be part of their lives.

Sometimes Jenny tells stories about why she is miffed at her mother for her mother’s lack of good boundaries. I cringe internally and think “Oh I’m going to be that asshole. Damnit.”

I have no illusions. I’m going to be a giant pain in the ass.

Maybe if I have more children to share the complaints about how annoying I am then somehow they will manage to put up with me between the group. I know a bunch of families where the mother outlived the father and shuttles between adult children. I could do that. I could get myself a small RV and spend a few months a year in different places visiting folks before I move on.

I spend a really unhealthy amount of time thinking about how horrific things will be for me when Noah dies. No one else can bear very much of my company. I’m hard. Even the people who love me the most can’t really handle too much time with me because I’m hard. I don’t blame them for this and I’m not angry. I’m just glad they put up with me at all. If you can only handle two or three hours in a year with me… at least you come back for those few hours. I’m grateful you think I am worth that much forbearance.

I’m sorta scared that when Noah dies I will be incapable of believing that anyone else wants to spend much time with me and I will spend the rest of my life running away from people. Sometimes I think I want to own this house until I die, maybe rent it out while I galavant around, and sometimes I think that when Noah dies I don’t want to have a tie to a single physical place. I won’t belong anywhere and I will never have a home again when he dies. He carries my home inside of him. Only the kids carry it too. The road trip was so weird. I missed Noah, that was hard. But the kids feel like home.

I want more kids because I want more people who are enculturated to think I’m normal.

Recently I feel guilty for taking the piss out of a friend. She’s really happy about the baby in her life. I’m thrilled she gets to experience the joy of having a kid to love. But this friend is one of quite a few people I knew from the bdsm community who was not real open to hearing about my kids as babies. I have developed a habit of not talking to many of these people about my kids almost at all. Ok, I write about my kids–but that’s different. I write to myself. I write to organize my thoughts. I write knowing that some people read, but I could be writing to no one at all. I don’t write to bond with someone.

Me writing at you is not an exchange. If you feel close to me and bonded, that doesn’t mean I feel the same way about you.

It doesn’t mean I don’t feel bonded with you but that comes from other stuff. I don’t get anything back from this energetic exchange except the ability to feel like I am putting burdens down. I understand me better but I don’t know what you get out of it and I don’t get better understanding of you from this process most of the time.

What matters is how I feel when we are together. If I feel like there is a long list of topics I can’t bring up because you don’t want to hear about them and I feel tremendous anxiety about trying to pretend that huge chunks of my life don’t exist so you can feel more comfortable…. that’s what I impress on. That’s what I notice. I notice that you don’t want to hear about huge chunks of my life.

It’s been hard for years that many of my friends have been hostile to hearing about my children. Many of my friends have made their contempt for my breeding quite clear. About as clear as folks have made their contempt for all “stupid mouth breathers” (which I was one until surgery recently–cheers). (To be clear: different friends are annoyed by the mouth breathing than the breeding.)  I feel wrong all the time. I feel like my choices are offensive. My manner of existing is a problem. How dare I breathe so loudly that they can hear me? I am an affront. I know.

It is very hard if someone who has made a big deal out of not wanting to know about children turns around and wants me to be supportive of their children. That’s hard. It feels incredibly invalidating. It feels erasing. It feels like… it feels like a continuation of this trend where I’m treated like shit but I’m supposed to turn around and be nice to other people because “that’s how it is supposed to be” and it doesn’t matter that I’ll never get it I have to give it.

Like how I went to Camp Everytown and had a horrible, traumatizing experience of finding out I was just about the least privileged/most traumatized person there but I was supposed to shut up and support the kids through finding out that they were in the middle of the pack.

BUT I HAVE THAT WHITE PRIVILEGE GOING FOR ME SO I SHOULD SPEND MY LIFE CONSUMED WITH THE IDEA THAT I’M JUST A PIECE OF SHIT WHO HAS NEVER EARNED ANYTHING, AMIRITE?

I’m not angry at this person at all. I feel sad.

I want to turn around and be generous. Yeah, you couldn’t listen to me but now I should be able to listen to you to model how that should work. So that maybe later you will be able to give that to someone else.

It makes me so grateful for the random neighbors who ask me about my children and who genuinely want to hear the answers. They have known my kids all their lives and they care. Even though they don’t have to. Thank you.

Pam calls me and asks about my children. Pam didn’t necessarily start out wanting a relationship with my kids per se, but she loves me so much that she has created a relationship anyway. She will talk to my kids long distance and read them stories because she wants to be supportive and part of their life.

Almost the first thing Sarah said after getting an apartment that was safe for children to visit was, “Can the kids come for a visit?”

It’s been interesting to talk to the kids recently about trying to live with Aunt Jenny and Aunt Sarah. It didn’t go so well. I was an asshole. I was rigid. I was too controlling. I got too angry about stupid things. We stopped living together because we wanted to try and preserve a relationship and we weren’t going to if we lived together. Sometimes relationships need some distance too. I’ve talked about how Sarah really doesn’t owe me forgiveness. My behavior was wrong. But Sarah has a big heart. Sarah has forgiven me. She’ll probably always have some boundaries up to make sure I don’t hurt her like that again–that’s fair and appropriate–but she loves me enough to talk to me, to spend time with me, to trust me.

D, I am not angry about hearing about your baby. I’m glad you get to have one. I’m glad you get to experience emotionally what the fuss is about. That’s a really good thing. And I just might tie your ass to a chair and make you look at pictures of my next baby. Because at this point it will be only fair.

I don’t feel like I am completely solid on what I want to say to my shrink but my arms are starting to hurt and I have a kid awake. Time to move on to a different activity.

First I’m going to sit here for a minute and go through my mental rolodex of people I love. I am blessed. I am lucky. My life is very good.

I need to write about Taylor. He said that I haven’t really and he brought it up in a way that lets me know it is time. I don’t write about people more because I’m always worried about saying shit that offends someone. I worry about revealing stuff that has been told in confidence. But if my sweet friend says, “I was thinking about it and I don’t think you’ve written about me.” Yes, I have. I wrote about you when we did the garage together. But that was years ago. I’ll do it again. It’ll be easy and fun.

Next time. I need to rest my hands.

This is going to come in some weird chunks. Luckily for me you have no choice about format.

If I’m going to make some choices about what I want from therapy I need to think about my life and how different parts are working.

  • Marital
  • Parenting
  • Friendship
  • Giving back
  • Physical health
  • Emotional health
  • Spiritual health

I’m sure there is more.

I know that a big part of what I need to actively work on is my inability to perceive people as liking me or for perceiving that there is a place for me. I can be in a gathering of people who love me intensely and still feel like I am such a problem I should just burst into flames.

My psych wanted me to be “stable”. I find that to be an odd goal. Absence of strong emotions. I don’t think that is a goal for me. I want to be able to manage my strong feelings without screaming at anyone or hitting anything or kicking anything or saying things that make my friends feel they need a whole lot of space for me. I don’t want to stop having the feelings.

I believe that a function of growth mindset with regards to my particular life/case means that I will have an easier time existing in my body–not that I will get all the way to pleasant. But I’ll take the moments of good I can get.

I’m sure I’m going to write this down many times but I need to do so now: I walked out on my psych after she told me that we have to keep trying pills so we can find the one that will fix my PTSD damaged brain. She said I could go into remission.

That’s not exactly how it works. I can learn to feel safe. I can learn to overcome the learned deficiencies in my brain. That doesn’t mean a magic pill wipes away the damage. It’s work.

PTSD isn’t a death sentence. PTSD doesn’t signal the end of life. There are many cases where medications help make other therapies more effective. It is totally worth trying medications to treat PTSD. Then you get to the fact that I’m chemically weird. Is it right for me that I have to be on medication? I am really getting to the point where I think not.

I was there for sleeping pills, essentially. I will go back to over the counter. Maybe I’ll hurt myself by using them inappropriately. Ok.

I have 2-3 nights per month where I can’t get to sleep for love or money. I wanted help not completely losing those nights of sleep. I think I could increase my emotional stability if I could regulate my sleep better. Over the years I’ve gotten a lot better in this area but I still have work to do.

It’s ok that you don’t want to help me though. I’ll just lie to the next doctor. I understand that you need that from me in order for everyone to feel comfortable here. I just deeply wish it wasn’t true.

At this point in my life I pretty seriously see medical providers as gate keepers. They have access to helpful tools and they will make you jump through hoops before you are allowed access to the tools. I’m not very good at performing acquiescence. I’d be dead if I were so I have trouble seeing why it is something I should pick up.

I just had a funny moment where I realized with great clarity that if I had been capable of feeling like I “belonged” in my family I almost certainly wouldn’t have prosecuted my father. If I had been able to have that deep feeling of group loyalty that other people seem to have whether they like it or not… I’d be in a very different life place.

Maybe it is a protection mechanism that I never feel like I fit in. It keeps me from tolerating abusive behavior. I will walk on from anyone, no matter how much I like them, if I don’t feel like I belong. I basically never feel like I belong. So I walk away from most groups.

I miss the Merrie Pryanksters. I miss going and performing at Renaissance Faires. But I never felt like I fit in. So I stopped going. You know, every time I talk to someone from that group they are warm, welcoming, and express that they miss me? Why do I feel this inner resistance to going back and trying again?

Because it isn’t a place for me. I don’t know why. It is this keening anxiety inside of me.

Do you know when it stills? When I’m at the bottom of a puppy pile in my house. Every person here wants me around intensely. Even when they get mad at me (and they do get mad at me–I’m an asshole and I deserve it) they still love me and it will still be a maximum of a few hours until they want to love on me again.

Sometimes my children can be almost shaking with anger at me and I can say, “I know I am terrible and I deserve all the fury you feel in your body right now. But you look like a hug. I know I suck, but do you think a hug could help how you are feeling in your body right now?” Usually they melt into tears and cry and hug me with intensity. It hurts being so mad at someone you love.

It’s ok to be mad at me. I deserve it sometimes. I’ll accept that. It makes sense.

You know what else I was thinking about when I couldn’t sleep for most of last night? I was thinking about the fact that it is very select friendships that have ended over the years. And despite my desire to say that all of my problems are my fault because I’m always the common denominator…

The Godmama has basically never had a friendship last longer than ten years. I know because I’ve asked her about her life obsessively for nearly ten years. The Bonus Mama has a habit of breaking contact with people and saying that everything was all their fault. This isn’t her first time. A told me he would be my family forever… but he doesn’t have friends that I know of other than the dude he went shooting with a lot. I don’t know how he’s doing with his newer obligations but I don’t think he was ever a decent sibling to his actual sibling. Other A, she was wrapped up in her families crazy shit. That wasn’t really me.

I want to think that all of the break ups that happen in my life happen because good people get tired of dealing with a piece of shit like me. But I don’t actually think that is what is going on.

I mostly have relationships with troubled people. I search for them. My friends have physical and emotional and mental disabilities. Some have all of the above and some have one and not the others. I’m sure I have a few people somewhere in my life who are completely mentally and physically healthy but I can probably count those people on my fingers and have some left over. I gravitate towards people who struggle.

We can understand each other. We can validate each other. Life is hard.

If I’m picking people who already have their own spree of trauma behind them… big issues aren’t going to be only about me. That’s not how relationships work. There are two sides to problems.

I offered the Godmama help. Her wife wouldn’t let me. I tried to help the Bonus Family in a way that didn’t offend the Bonus Mama but at some point there’s stuff I have to say about the kids. A&A? I don’t feel bad about the fact that things ended. That happens.

Life involves a lot of endings. I tell my kids that endings are necessary because they create space in your life for a new beginning.

Why do I feel like the ending of a relationship is such a failure then?

Because I love you and I wish I knew how to hold on to you forever. But I don’t know how. Sometimes I’m afraid I can’t.

The funny thing about my psych having a conniption fit about my stability is… I am actually in the most stable period of my life. I think I’m doing great. She thinks I’m a never ending train wreck.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

But lack of sleep is totes going to help. Thanks.

I don’t think it is my psych’s fault I have my problems. It is her fault that she is unwilling to give me the help I want to receive because it isn’t how she likes helping people. I get that she is covering her ass. I get that. I don’t even think she is bad to do so. She has Standards of Care for a reason. It helps a large chunk of people.

Just like large chunks of people are helped by government cheese. And then you give it to someone with a severe dairy allergy. BUT I’M TRYING TO HELP. GEEZ WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING?!

I guess I’m just selfish.

Someone who will give me a gene test that shows that a whole bunch of medications are essentially not able to help me but I have to try them anyway “just to be sure”…

Med trials aren’t fun. They are hell. They feel horrible and my experience of many psych meds is that it dramatically increases my suicidality. Oh how perfect! But if I want to stop playing this game of Russian Roulette, clearly I have a fixed mindset and I am unwilling to grow beyond my trauma.

Oh fuck you with a pogo stick.

I have made more progress than people believed possible. How dare you tell me I am incapable of more. How the fuck do you know? Medical people told my brother he would never walk again either. Guess what he motherfucking did? That bitch walked. Ok, he looked funny as hell but he got around without anyone’s damn help when doctors swore up and down that would never happen.

Fuck doctors.

Western medicine is really quite young. Psychiatry is an even younger discipline. And a great many people follow it like it is a religion. The way that people “believe in science”. Ok dipshit, you know what? Science is a process of asking questions. If you “believe in the results” you are just as silly as the people who follow religion whom you believe you are better than. So fuck right off. The results of studies are directly conflicting all the damn time. If you believe in those results you are stupid.

Sorrynotsorry.

I care about studies. They influence my thinking. I read them obsessively. But I don’t believe in them any more than I believe in the Norse or Egyptian or Hindi or Christian mythology I read to the kids.

It’s good to know what other people believe in. It makes it easier to figure out life. That doesn’t mean I have to agree.

It’s like the vaccine schedule. It is designed with the belief that the vast majority of children will be in day care from approximately six weeks of age. If a child is going to be exposed to day care then they really do need to be vaccinated as early as possible to ensure their protection and the protection of the people around them. But if all children stayed at home with a parent/family care giver until five or six years of age… we wouldn’t need the same vaccine schedule. It is different in different countries and it works out ok. The US has (I might be remembering this wrong or it may have changed in eight years) one of the most extreme vaccination schedules: meaning more shots and earlier. We are scared to death of under vaccinating.

But countries that vaccinate later and less often don’t have raging rates of disease epidemics compared to us. They just have an entirely different culture and the children are exposed at different rates. That’s not right or wrong. It’s just different.

My first child was vaccinated late. My second child was vaccinated early. There were different things going on in their lives. With my first child I barely left the house to grocery shop. She genuinely wasn’t exposed. My second child was exposed so they were vaccinated as early as possible. I don’t feel bad for making different decisions. The circumstances were different.

I don’t feel there is any value in blindly conforming for the sake of blindly conforming. If I had to work and my kids had to go to day care they’d probably follow the normal vaccination schedule. It isn’t my favorite but it would make sense.

I feel like my situational ethics is going through the rough lately and I’m not sure I like it. For most of my adult life I’ve refused to lie to doctors and as a result I’ve had a lot of fights. I’m to the point where I’m ready to lie with a big smile on my face. I don’t care. You don’t want to hear the truth. You want to hear what you want to hear and I need the support I need so I need to manipulate you into giving me what I need because I can’t get it honestly. Cheers.

Because being honest means doing without and I’m kinda frustrated with that bullshit. I will never be properly, completely under the control of a doctor. That’s not an option in this life. Get over it.

I sent my therapist an email. Here, I’ll just copy and paste it because I have no shame. I sent this with the title “I feel I need to say something”

So today was festive. I then went and fired (redacted psych name). I’m comfortable with this decision.

I’m going to spend a lot of the next two weeks thinking hard (and writing too much; I’m sure) about how I’m going to need to talk about some of my medical stuff going forward. I believe that I still have things I can learn from you, but I feel that I need to put some thought into what I want that to be.

It’s probably time for me to look around and take more stock of my life and make decisions about what I’m trying to change. That will make it a lot easier to figure out what kind of help is actually useful.

I didn’t sign it and I didn’t give any more detail than that. I am not ending my relationship with you but I’m going to dictate the terms of it. Not you.

I feel like part of what I am going to say to her when I see her again is that it is not ok for her to call me with “Something she wants to say but she doesn’t want to get into a response.” If you want to say something at me outside of session you may send me an email and I’ll read it whenever the fuck I feel like. You are not entitled to my time whenever you want it. Do not call me and tell me that I am not to respond again. That’s not ok. We don’t have that kind of relationship.

We talk when I want to talk to you. I listen to you talk when I pay for time. I do not listen to you at your discretion. We do not have that sort of relationship and I do not want that sort of relationship with you. Hello: boundaries.

I am intensely conscious that medical providers are here to meet my needs at great expense to me. Guess what motherfucker? I’m not paying to be here for you. That’s bullshit. Pay me.

Talk about entitled.

I’ve dealt with a number of doctors who think I’m paying for them to decide if they want to acknowledge me. Oh I don’t god damn think so.

Psych’s line was: “I don’t want you on more than one mind altering drug”. Oh horse shit. You are going to put me on more than one mind altering drug. That’s your plan.

You don’t want me on any drug that you do not dole out. I get it. War on Drugs. Marijuana is the devil. Ok, whatever. You haven’t sufficiently studied it so you don’t know you can trust it. Whatever. What I know is that every other medication you make me try makes my life hell and this one drug is practically a miracle. I’m just going to have to live with you not liking my choices.

My shrink’s comment was, “She’s not as anti-pot as most psychiatrists. You shouldn’t judge so harshly.” The entire profession sucking is not a reason for me to be happy about a particular person not being the shittiest one in the bunch. For fuck’s sake.

VICTORY IS MINE *cough* I just managed to hear the gardener outside. I haven’t heard him in a year. I want the grass mowed for Easter. I’m so excited. *cough* Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The psych wanted me to try up to 30 other drugs because “eventually” I will find my magic pill. What I hear when she says that is over a year, perhaps two years of drug trials. Most of which are going to put my body through the wringer and make me feel like I should die. All in the name of “stability”.

I do not believe that path will lead to greater stability and happiness for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe there is a path to greater stability and happiness. Just that I don’t think it’ll be paved by big pharma.

I believe with all my heart that I have the potential to grow and change. I do it over and over again. I do very little but change and grow.

That’s just how I roll.

This’ll be festive to untangle

Today was interesting. I walked out of my therapy session 1/3 of the way into it. Then I fired my psychiatrist 8 minutes into our session. What a productive use of driving that far.

I then literally drove somewhere to schedule an appointment with a different kind of therapist. Because I’m me.

Because when someone tells me that my lack of desire to conform to what they want from me is proof that I lack a growth mindset I’ll turn around and look for growth in a different direction. Fuck you. It isn’t that I lack the desire to grow. It is that I believe with every fiber of my being that your Standards of Practice are not the path to health for me.

I think I’m going to have a weird and convoluted path that doesn’t resemble the path other people need. That isn’t because I think I can’t grow. It is because I believe that the things I need are non standard. I believe that a lot of what people need is actively negative for me even though it is awesome for other people. I don’t think that is true because I believe I can’t change. I just don’t think I can be what other people are.

I don’t think that means I am incapable of growth. I think it means I’m going to have a weird as fuck growth pattern.

Communication is a two way street. Sometimes people cannot reach a place of understanding and that doesn’t mean anyone has failed. It means that you don’t have shared language or goals or understanding.

Sometimes miscommunication just is.

I traumatize some people just by existing. I have big issues with medical providers that come from me but is also related to the training and belief structures inculcated during the educational process.

It’s me and it isn’t me.

I’m kinda angry that I had a psychiatrist tell me to my face that I have to try every drug sold because some drug out there will be the miracle that will fix my brain and cause my PTSD to go into remission.

That’s not growth mindset. That’s magical thinking.

You don’t want us to build trust you want me to comply with what you want.

Yeah, no.

Guess what I don’t spend a lot of time doing?

Yeah. I don’t spend a lot of time complying with what people want just because they want it. It’s kind of a lifestyle choice.

So expect an obscene amount of navel gazing over the next two weeks. I need to spend some time thinking about what I want to work on in therapy. Or I might need a break from therapy for a while. It isn’t that I’m stable. It is that maybe I have exhausted this bag of tricks and I need to find a different bag.

That happens.

If I didn’t feel this sick anxiety in my stomach about not being done painting I’d be in a much better place right now.

Hahahahaha. Maybe. I’m fucking flipping out. But that’s complicated.

The next few weeks have to unwind some stuff. I just have to.

Randomly

I haven’t been greasing my hair properly in months. It takes time. It’s a regime. So my curls have been frizzy as fuck and delicate and less curls and more fuzz. But I have now approached optimal grease level again.

Meaning I washed my hair two days ago, braided it, finger combed that bitch out today and I have gorgeous curls.

I just needed moar grease.

Coconut oil, you are my friend. Thank you.