Category Archives: brother

Feeling supported

It would be really easy for me to spend a lot of time being bitter at everyone in my life because I don’t feel very supported. It would be a combination of a rational reaction and an irrational reaction. I don’t get all the support I need. That’s true. It isn’t anyone else’s fault that I’m not getting my needs though and that’s the part that keeps me from blowing up at people over it.

I’m having big feelings.

I had lunch with my old boss. He’s doing better than he was for a few years. He was my Technical Director when I did theatre. I worked as his subordinate longer than I worked for another direct boss in any job. I like him a lot. He was a sweetie and ripped a board for me so I can finish the camp trailer–it’s easy when you have a table saw.

For a few years there he was lost in an alcoholic haze. I don’t think he remembers much from several years there. He cheated on his wife and had a bad divorce and things just went south for him. He’s stabilizing and doing better now though.

It’s funny talking to him. I met him when I was 16. I met him in the interim period in between Tommy committing suicide and my dad committing suicide when the prosecution was in progress and my family was pretending I didn’t exist.

Talking to him is funny.

He spent a while telling me how annoying it is dealing with some of his current helpers because they have psychological issues and he’s tired of being flexible. To be fair–when I worked for him it was clear that he managed me so well because he had years of history of working in psychiatric hospitals as his ‘side job’ to pay for his theatre career.

When he was describing the boys in the shop these days… I laughed and said, “It sounds like you are describing me.” He said, “Oh you weren’t anything as bad as these boys. You managed your freak outs. You had them–but you still got freakin work done.”

This boss is one of the people who convinced me that I am an extraordinarily hard worker. He continues to bolster my sense of self esteem.

When he was bitching about the boys and trying to say that I wasn’t anywhere near as unstable I said, “Do you understand when you met me and how much I was freaking out?!” I gave him timeline data. He looked shocked. “I had no idea that was going on. You managed your freak outs well.”

My vision of myself doesn’t seem to align with other peoples vision of me very well. I’m never sure what that means.

I had a temper tantrum this morning over string. I’ve been trying to untangle a mess of string for weeks. Every time I make progress helper knots screw everything up and I… I lose it. This morning I finally just threw it away because the temper tantrums are so ridiculous.

It was funny watching Shanna’s reaction. I started getting very angry and cussing a lot. She started looking intimidated and kind of guilty. I stopped my stream of swearing and said, “Oh honey I’m not mad at you or anything about you. I’m mad at the string. I find the string very frustrating and I feel like I could just scream in frustration.”

Her body language completely changed to being completely relaxed and casual and, “Oh ok.” She got up and started dancing. It was… kind of interesting to watch. She spends a lot of time saying, “Thanks for telling me that.”

I am not good at things that require me to squint and pinch my fingers. I get so mad.

And yet it has taken me literally years and over a dozen times of unknotting this fucking same bit of string before I finally throw it away. Because that doesn’t feel like a valid option either. That feels wasteful and bad.

Being poor really messes you up for life.

I’m having lots of feelings. I think it is funny that I’m not more upset than I am. I feel resigned and callous and like I expected this rejection. It’s been a long time in coming.

I am not surprised that I’m being rejected because I did not provide enough support even though every time I offered support I was told no. That just makes sense in this situation. Clearly there was something desired that was never explained to me in the slightest. There was no way for me to do this right.

I’m sad but I’m not exploding with self-deprecation and self-incrimination. I choose to believe that is good.

Although I wonder if I feel as guilty about not being more upset as I feel upset. If that makes any sense. I feel some upset. I feel as much guilt for not being more upset. Language is weird.

Talking is weird. People are weird.

We showed the kids some Bowling for Soup videos this morning (like we do). The kids didn’t understand why I cried so much through this song. (Watch the video and you’ll probably get it. My kids… don’t make the same leaps.)

I’m not having fun explaining to the kids why some adults want to change the nature of your relationship such that they never talk to you again. But life isn’t really designed to be fun for me. That’s not the point of life.

At the end of my life, maybe I’ll stand before some kind of cosmic judge. That judge will know that I’ve been an asshole to a lot of people. Hopefully there will be some kind of balance in being nice to my kids. That’s a bigger, harder, more encompassing job that I actually opted-in to doing. I’m not going to get much credit for being a good friend. I hope that in the balance I’m not that bad of a mother.

I miss my mom. I miss my mom so much.

The funny part of people being mad about not having more of a “grandparent like” relationship is: you are the only grandparent like people I allow to have any influence on my children and you still are angry and feel like what I am giving you is inadequate. Ok. I don’t know how to be different in this regard. I have given you so much more control than any other adults that I don’t understand you punishing me for not giving you more. I don’t know how to give more. I don’t know what that means or looks like.

And you never told me what you wanted. You just pulled away. Then told me that it was all my fault.


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… 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.”


“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.

In medias res, family, pride.

Yesterday running was a sob fest. Going to Texas makes me feel guilty. I do not honor my family, but I go honor his? I felt like the nanny because they didn’t ask me any questions about me. They only asked me questions about the kids. They don’t want to know me. They want to know my children and I am a chaperone.

I used the time that I was running yesterday to apologize for not thinking more often of my dead. As long as I am alive, as long as I remember what they taught me–they aren’t really dead, right?

I remember you Francesca Bennet. I remember you Traci Williams. I remember you Frances Mae Carr Schmidt. I remember you Lenora Bried Archer. I remember you James Arthur Archer. I remember you Orlando Archer. I remember you Vernon Schmidt. I remember you Thomas Wayne Archer. I remember you Robert Lee Abbott.

I do not remember Frances and Lenora because I knew them. I was told lots and lots. They are my grandmothers. I didn’t get to meet either of them. Lenora died of cancer. Frances just didn’t want to live any more. It hurt too much. I understand.

I do not remember Orlando either. Ory. That’s what he was called. He died before I was dreamed up. He was my grandfather. I remember Vernon though. He was not a loving man. But I remember him. I remember him scornfully looking at my hair and my niece’s skin tone and saying, “There’s a nigger in the woodpile.” That’s what he gave me.

I remember the friends who have passed out of my life. Usually because I did something I really shouldn’t have done. It isn’t as nice to name them online. They still want their privacy and all.

But sometimes I chant your names. I love you. I miss you. You are part of me. I am sorry I hurt you.

Amanda Palmer has a new song she released. The Thing About Things. It is a pay what you can/want download. I paid $5 for the song. If you need to download it for free she won’t be mad at you. I promise. I met Amanda. She’s really neat.

23 years ago Thomas Wayne Archer gave me a gold chain. The same Christmas Sissy gave me a gold pendant that says “Special Someone”. Here’s a picture.

Despite my general policy of not wearing gold (I think it looks bad on my skin) I put it on yesterday after the run.

I don’t know what it means to be special to my sister. It didn’t mean that she would be kind to me. It did mean that I am the singular sibling she never had sex with. I was too young then I was too nasty and uninterested. She missed her window.

I don’t feel the family ties. I was told and told and told that pride in your family would carry you through. Your family are the people you can call in the middle of the night and they have to come get you no matter what.

When I called my sister in the middle of the night she hung up on me and told me it was my problem.

Very special.

Going to Texas was weird because my children have a lot of traits from Noah’s side. Shanna spends a fair bit of time just sitting around strumming an ukelele and making up songs. That’s not something that anyone does in my family. All of Noah’s family is very musical.

“If you’re not allowed to love people alive, then you learn how to love people dead.”

“The thing about things is that they can start to have meaning that nobody actually said.”

In the traditions of Burkina Faso your dead more or less follow you around forever. They are tied to you. You can ask them for favors. You can berate them. You can cajole them into helping you understand things.

Daddy, why? What happened? Why did you need to turn around and hurt us like that? Frances, what hurt so bad?

I wish you had wanted to meet me. I’m told I’m pretty special. You were alive until I was thought of. I was inside your daughter and you knew it. But you just didn’t want to keep going. Was Vernon so bad? Why was Nicey enough and you didn’t want to meet me? Did you know what was happening to Sissy and you just couldn’t stop it and you couldn’t watch any more?

Lenora, did you take pride in your children?

Ory, maybe if you had stopped drinking… maybe James wouldn’t have been so broken. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. What else happened anyway?

I will never know. The dead keep their secrets.

But I’m sorry. I love you. As complicated as this is, as much as this hurts, I remember you.

Francesca, Traci, James, Tommy, Lee, Frances, Vernon, Ory, Iain Turner, Uncle Bob, I remember you. You aren’t gone. I promise I will keep remembering.

Even if it hurts I will remember you. I won’t let those memories slip away. I won’t let you die. This is all I can do for you now. I can make sure I remember you. I will rehearse your stories in my mind as long as I live.

I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for everything I did and didn’t do that I was supposed to do.

I feel like it is smart to name my living family members less online. They don’t really want to be tied with me. I’m sorry to you all as well. I’m sorry Mommy and Auntie and Big Brother and Niece and Nephews and Cousins.

I didn’t mean to hurt you so much. I was just trying to stay alive in the only way I saw forward for me. I don’t want to be like Frances.

I don’t want to be like you James. I don’t want to be a monster. I don’t want to have shit roll down hill in my house. I want my house to be safe.

I want to take pride in my family. Mostly what I take pride in is having the strength to walk away and not be like them. But I’m so sorry it has to be this way. I am so so so so so sorry.

I missed my first chance to be special in a family. It’s over. I can build something different. I can try to not break my children. That is all I can do.

I can take pride in them. I can teach them that being “special” to someone does not involve being hit or raped or told you are worthless.

Noah’s family seems to take a lot of pride in my kids. My children reflect well on them. Bah. My children reflect well on me.

Children learn what they are taught. My children are taught that they should be spoken to in civil ways. My children are taught that it isn’t ok for anyone to scream at them. Not me, not someone else. When someone starts screaming at you *that person has a problem* and you should walk away if humanly possible.

Be nice to people if you want them to be nice to you. Figure out what being nice to them means because it is very different in different places. No matter what your Great Aunt thinks. People are not “all alike” and being kind to them means treating them how they need to be treated. Is that hard? Yes. So are lots of other things. It gets easier with practice. So start practicing.

I’m still working on it. Yes, it is hard. It is the work of a lifetime. Learning how to really see different people.

“Things can start meaning things nobody actually said.”

I will not forget where I came from. I will choose to remember. It isn’t the same thing as pride, but there is resignation in it. I think this is part of that “forgiveness” I am supposed to work on. Less for those people and more for me.

I forgive me for wanting to remember. I forgive me for wanting a story when other people are ok with just forgetting. “Just don’t think about the bad things” is the most common advice I have ever gotten.

I will not forget. I will remember. This is the only honoring I can give.

I love you. I love you Mommy. I love you Tommy. I love you Daddy. I love you Sissy. I love you Jimmy.

I don’t think I will ever stop. I wish I could. It would make my life easier.

I think there will be exactly two people who share blood with me at my funeral. I have to make peace with that.

My family will not be there for me. Ever. In any way. Noah is my family. He will be there.

I wake up every day and feel grateful for Noah. I am a very expensive, very high maintenance pet. I’m grateful he took on responsibility for me. I don’t feel very deserving.

am special to Noah.

The folks in Texas didn’t ask that much more about Noah than they did about me. I see why he doesn’t go back more.

Sometimes I feel very sad when I think about how much Noah and I cling together because we don’t really have anyone else. Neither of us have ever been all that loved. Noah wasn’t treated like me, but he wasn’t loved much. That’s a big void.

I’m really glad he is here. I like him. I love him. When I was a kid people would tell me that I didn’t understand what love meant.

Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I still don’t. But I’m glad for what I have. For now love means believing that this person makes me better than I am alone and I make him better. Together we are capable of a lot of things that neither of us can do alone. I think he is competent and wonderful.

He makes me breakfast and Christmas cookies because I don’t actually like the process of cooking that much. He’s awesome. Then I give the cookies away and he doesn’t get mad. The perfect symbiotic relationship.

He made enough cookies for us to share with all of our buddy-neighbors and the home school group cookie exchange. That’s effort.

Thank you. I see your labor. I appreciate it. (I’ve already thanked him several times in person. I’m not just passive aggressive or anything.)

But sometimes I have trouble remembering that Noah really does work hard to make my load lighter. He isn’t just doing his stuff. He does stuff for an us even when it isn’t his first choice of how to spend time.

But he makes my mother’s cookie recipes so my children can grow up with them. Because I wish it were so.

I am special to someone. When I was a child I would react with such anger and hatred if anyone in my family tried to tell me I was special or that they loved me.

If I was special you wouldn’t turn a blind eye to how much horror I experienced. But they did. And I was expected to as well and I couldn’t. I couldn’t be nice until I stopped being hurt all the time.

I’m sorry I’m not a big enough person to be nice to people who aren’t hurting me when I’m being hurt that bad. I just can’t. Other people can, I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I am so small. I am sorry I am so unworthy of pride. No one ever took pride in me. My behavior was disgusting. I was berated and told that I wasn’t welcome to be seen in public. No one wanted to be seen as being part of a unit with me because then they would have to admit they knew the horrible child.

I remember all of you. I will never forget. Even though you didn’t and don’t love me very much. I have to love me enough to make up for that.

Sometimes that is very hard.

I guess that means my family found my blog.

Hello anonymous comments shaming me for not playing the game right.

I didn’t walk away from my family exclusively because of my mom. I didn’t divorce my niece or nephew or aunt because of my mom.

My sister is a pedophile. My mother covers for her. That’s enough for me. If you think that I am wrong for keeping a pedophile out of my life, or someone who has actively covered for multiple fucking pedophiles, well then… we have no common ground.

I feel enormous guilt for kicking my niece out of my life. I know it’s a shitty thing to do. I left her to carry the whole abusive raft on her own. My nephew won’t work enough to keep a place to live. My sister hasn’t worked in years because she has enormous psychological issues (no shit). My mom hasn’t worked in years–I presume she is waiting for my father’s social security.

They wanted me for money. I’m not interested in being that for them. I don’t make any. I have no fucking money of my own. They would love to drain my husband dry. That’s family, right?

No. I was told from when I was a little girl that I would be responsible for taking care of my family when I grew up.

Now my not even 21 year old niece works at In-n-Out and sells Mary Kay cosmetics because that is the income in the house.

I didn’t walk away from her because she has a relationship with my mother. I walked away from her because as long as she buys into the idea that she has to carry the whole broken family she is going to fail. It is inevitable. I only hope she doesn’t have kids because her mom is a sick and scary person.

Yes, I’m a selfish fucking asshole. I divorced my whole family along with the problem people because the whole system creates a safe haven for abusers.

I just can’t be part of it. If that hurts my feelings or their feelings, oh well. We are all grown ups now. We are all making active choices. I’m allowed to dislike the choices that other people make and I am allowed to not have a relationship with them over their choices.

Don’t act like I am the bad guy here. Give me a god damn break. I’m not supposed to be allowed to break contact with my family after how badly I was abused? Oh go fuck yourself. With a chainsaw.

So far I have tried pretty hard to avoid using the full names of my family members. Occasionally a first name slips out. Very very rarely a last name (and we don’t all have the last name) so I feel like I’ve been polite and all that. I’ve been trying pretty hard to make my story about me and leave other people out of it. If I feel threatened the correct thing for me to do is to come out more, not less. I don’t think anyone in my family would like it if I used their legal name every time I talk about my family history of pedophilia and rape. That would make Google a very different entity in their lives.

Right now I believe I am one of the top ten hits for “my father raped me”. I have left my family out of that very consciously. I could change that. If I feel more threatened I absolutely will.

The main protection I have in this life is to not be silent. I can’t give it up.

I heard from my brother; Christmas loot; bdsm semi-graphic recollections; and asking for what I want.

Last night my brother sent me a text message. “Merry Christas. I heard you put out a book, can you send it to me.”

I haven’t spoken to him since right after Uncle Bob died. Not since he told me that telling my story was just melodrama. 
I responded “Google: “No Secrets, No Shame, No Silence.”
Now I’m scared. I feel like I should have just ignored it. But I can’t. Fuck him. I don’t need to hide. I told the absolute truth to the best of my memories. I acknowledge in multiple places that I might be making mistakes in details because it was all so long ago–this is what I remember about my life.
I’m not making mistakes about being raped or molested. I’m just not. I’m forgetting the order of when I lived places. I moved more than fifty fucking times. I challenge anyone to keep that straight when they are talking about their lives between the ages of birth and eighteen. Impossible. 
I’m shaking. I wonder if I will sleep again tonight. I feel like I am going to vomit. I have the bucket with me. Oh my trusty bucket.
I’m scared. But strangely I want to find the self-motivation to start editing again. I know I’m not done. I know I have more work to do to make it actually polished. It is still kind of hard to follow. I can do better. I know it. How in the heck will that fit into the schedule next year? Who knows. But I need to do it. Maybe that can be what I mentally put into my “break time” during the day. (The kids get two hours of iPad usage from 2-4 so I can have quiet in my brain and not kill anyone as I’m making dinner.)

I want the book in paper. People have suggested a Kickstarter campaign to me. I’m thinking about it. It honestly isn’t quite good enough yet. There are a lot of stupid mistakes I PAID AN EDITOR TO FIX AND YET HERE THEY FUCKING ARE. Sigh. Oh well. I’m reread sections on my phone when I’m feeling freaked out by other people getting to read it. “Oh shit, what did I say?!”

Now my brother knows. He isn’t talking to the rest of the family (last I heard) so who knows how this will go.

But now he knows. That can’t be undone. If you haven’t bought the book or left a review go do so. Please.  Somewhere between one and three people buy the book every week. I’m up to almost 1700 downloads. That’s pretty cool. But mostly people won’t know about it unless you tell them. I’ve told the people I know. Now it’s about other people telling the people they know.

And don’t freakin tell me “I don’t have a kindle“.Whatever. They have an app for that.

I finally had that crying jag.  The one I predicted a couple of days ago. Noah took the kids to the park for a few hours and I spent the time wandering around in chores. In the middle of trying to   fold the clothing I noticed that I was crying so hard I could barely see. I set the clothes on the bed then I noticed that I was thinking to my knees. I could feel myself starting to crawl towards the side of the bed but there is always this other part of my brain off on the side that says hey Krissy maybe you should use the bathroom  and get a few napkins for your nose. So I did that first with tears streaming down my eyes then I went straight back to the side of the bed. The side of the bed next to the window is barely big enough to walk through when I’m scared it seems like a good place to hide. It isn’t a lot bigger than my body when I was younger I would have been under the bed.

I cried and cried and cried. I thought a lot about my mom; I miss her so much. It’s worse at Christmas. Really I thought a lot about everyone in my family. I feel like all of their stories are so sad. I think I found the “can’t commit suicide point” though.  if I ever commit suicide my family will rush to tell their side of the story and they will try very hard to make me look like a liar. I am not a fucking liar. I have to outlive them, all of them. If I don’t they will try very hard to make sure I don’t exist; they will erase me. No.

I haven’t been sleeping well. Not nearly enough sleep. I’m tired and sleepy all day long. Because Noah is here I’m taking more naps than usual.

I feel like a ghost. I feel like a strong wind could push me away. I don’t want to die. But I want to stop fighting. I want to stop defending my right to live. I want to stop having to earn the right to be not hurt. I am tired of trying to beg and beg and beg for people to love me and not hurt me. I’m so tired. So very tired.

It’s hard for me to read more than a couple of pages of my book at a time. I don’t want to identify with that story. Mostly I kind of put it out of my head. I am not that broken, destructive little girl anymore.

Yesterday my daughters broke the light fixture in their room. Glass showered a huge pile of stuffed animals, bedding, Lego’s, Barbie clothes, etc. Double Plus Not Good. Noah helped me. Cleaning it up wasn’t that big of a deal. Having help changed the scope of the problem significantly.

When I was a child I would have been beaten and screamed at for hours. We shook our heads and told Shanna that this was “not good” then we sighed and cleaned it up. We talked about why it wasn’t a good idea. We said we hope she doesn’t do something like this again.

That’s it. Moving on.

Every day that I am in this life feels like a fraud. I am not nice. I am violent. I am angry. I am mean and hateful. But I just can’t be with my kids. That’s wrong.

Noah gave me a parenting book for Christmas. Giving the Love That Heals so far it seems reasonable. But then I got to the part where they explicitly say this is not a book for people who have been severely wounded by their childhood–that is a different journey. Should I just quit reading? I feel so bad. I spend a lot of time feeling like the universe wants me to quit. I am broken beyond redeeming.

Fuck you all. as

I want my brother to know what I said about him. I don’t mean to hide anything. I have no secrets, right? I have a lot of stories I haven’t told yet but that is different.

Sometimes people ask me if I am afraid, what with being so out and all. They ask me if I am afraid of being stalked. Not really. If someone comes to my house intending to scare me I might walk outside with a baseball bat and say, “Unless you start running really fast you won’t be walking away from here.”

I’m not very scared of random people any more. Unless they want to shoot me there isn’t a lot they can do to scare me. And I’ve been very suicidal for a long time. I’m not going to run away from someone threatening me. That’s a way to die without having the whole guilt of suicide. It wasn’t my fault–it was some crazy gunman. That will be much easier for my kids to live with.

What, you don’t think about this shit?

I am afraid of being ostracized. I am afraid of being alone. I am afraid of being unloved. I’m not afraid of dying. I think I will welcome that.

It makes for a very different set of behaviors.

I’m afraid of ending up like Puppy’s mom. She has a job she is ok with but doesn’t love. She sits at home and reads books and chain smokes and drinks coffee and eats cookies. She doesn’t do a lot else. She is bitter and angry. She has been treated quite badly in life though I don’t know or care about the whole story. (Puppy was the serious boyfriend right before Noah asked me to marry him. He dumped me on Thanksgiving. Good riddance.)

Wow. Puppy dumped me more than seven years ago. Time sure flies when you are having fun. Tom and I broke up more than eight years ago. A different lifetime. Ten years ago for Christmas I was given a new ball gag, a portable tens unit, and the Uncle Kracker album with the song Follow Me. This year I was given bath scrubs and parenting books and an egg beater. I begged for the egg beater. That is the thing I have missed the most this year since Sarah moved out.

Once Shanna turned on her chair and sighed deeply and said, “Getting stiff peaks with a fork is sure a bitch.” She said it on the exhale of a sigh. It was hilarious. I almost fell down I was laughing so hard. Luckily she hasn’t said it again.

Oh! I got the dress I’ve been wanting for more than five years! I found it on etsy right around when we were starting to try and get pregnant. I decided I couldn’t have it till I had some idea what size I would be long term. I like it as much as I thought I would and it looks as good as I thought it would. Win. Noah did not nearly score so well.

The kids… well, they have generous grandparents. They made out like bandits and don’t appreciate it particularly though I have seen most of the new dress up clothes cycled through. Shanna is in love with the bead set–I thought she would be. She’s making jewelry constantly. It is great hand eye coordination practice so I’m trying to be permissive.

Really all of the new stuff is appreciated but they don’t react particularly in the ways I (apparently) “expect” children to act and that’s weird for me. I’m trying hard to just accept them and not try to direct this. That’s not useful. They are having the experience they are having. Go with it. I am making more comments than I should. It is hard to be as silent as I know I should be. Noah is continually pointing out my inherent hypocrisy; living with him is a mixed blessing sometimes.

He keeps me honest. I don’t want my kids to be particularly attached to things. And they aren’t. They don’t think that getting “more things” means someone loves them more. They just aren’t swayed by it. I should push them into that mindset. Not one little bit. LA LA LA. Move on Krissy.

My mom was very much of that mindset. I was pushed towards that mindset. I kind of have it but mostly don’t. Mostly I am quite low in my attachment to things. Except that egg beater. I really missed having an egg beater. But I don’t care much about which one I have. I’m not particular about “things”. If someone told me I had to walk out of this house with the clothes on my back I would probably clutch my laptop and go. I can deal with the loss of everything else. I would probably want to get dressed very carefully–I would wear several layers… I’m just sayin’.

I look forward to living out of a suitcase. When we went to Scotland for a month we had one large rolling suitcase and I think three small-ish backpacks. For a family of four. It would have been far less if I hadn’t needed all the baby shit. And we were going for a wedding so we needed fancy schtuff.

Someday Noah and I will go on long trips with a couple of backpacks. Well, they might be rolling bags because I am old and my back hurts. Maybe. We’ll see. Backpacks are better.

Notice how this digression happens? I start off with an SMS from my brother and I end up talking about how badly I want to run away. Predictable. I suppose that when it comes to my family  I will always want to run away. That is predictable.

I did something brave. I invited someone not already in my completely comfortable zone to go on a trip with me. I get to do a lot more in-advance negotiation than usual this time. (*wave to person*) I feel like most of my problems while traveling happen because I don’t negotiate my boundaries well enough. I also don’t anticipate a problem because this person is not someone who walks into my life and drops work on me. I’m trying to be more paranoid about that kind of thing. (No leaving two bowls to wash after making banana bread doesn’t count as dropping more work on me. It’s about scale.)

I’ve been listening to Mean by Taylor Swift on repeat for a few days. (Tay–I think you will like this a lot more than you like Lady Gaga. Ha.) I don’t want to be mean. I know a lot of mean people. What does it really mean that I get to pick who I know? Don’t you have to take the bad with the good if you want community? It’s all or nothing–right?

That’s why I like having parties.

Sobonfu told me to make my own community. She told me I would never fit anywhere and that’s fine–make my own. Bruce told me to start a religion. Noah gave me a book for Christmas about how people should be starting their own Tribes. I don’t think I want to start a religion. Sorry, Bruce.

Several times I have had people tell me that I inspire them. That they think of me when they are scared or weak and that helps them find the strength to go on. It is a staggering thing to be told. I don’t feel worthy. Heh. That’s kind of part of the whole thing–right?

Being told that is intoxicating. It is far more potent than any drug and I’ve tried a lot. Having in the back of my mind if I keep going maybe I will hear that again is heady. That’s an addiction too.

Part of the reason that I’m weird to Noah is when guys want the way I want it comes out very differently–it’s a very different search for status for a guy. They have to have money or position or esteem or something before they can have pretty much anything so their want gets directed toward things. (Of course this isn’t universally true: missionaries!)

When I try to think about what I want it is generally in the vague sense of relationships. I have caused quite a few people to not be interested in relationships with me because I like labels that are denotative rather than connotative. If you know what I mean. If you don’t, what I mean is: they say, “We are friends” and what that means is they will think about you when you are right in front of their face and at no other time.

I wish people were honest about that up front. If people referred to me as an acquaintance then I would have such an expectation. They know nothing about me and do not think of me but they have seen me and been introduced. I wish that word was brought back into wider usage.

I like having a large and charming social of social acquaintances. I don’t like having many friends. I am too demanding. I have too many little ticks and irregularities. People have to be willing to take notes and modify their behavior in order to become people I feel comfortable around. Folks who think that isn’t worth their time or attention aren’t actually my friends. If you know what I mean.

But that’s ok! There is this large miasma of people in the acquaintance category. I don’t expect them to give a shit about me. I don’t expect them to modify themselves for me in any way. I just privately (or not so privately) think of them as assholes. I’m civil. Barely. I just try to avoid them.

I have those specific coping methods from the sex communities. It is weird coming into the home schooling community. I have to change how I talk to people. When I take something badly I have to say, “I’m sure that I am not understanding you correctly but I thought I heard you say ____ and to me that sounded like ____ but I’m sure I am misunderstanding. May I ask you to explain?”

It’s fucking hard and embarrassing. But I have to do it otherwise I will start avoiding gatherings because people are there. I can’t do that to the kids.

I want to feel safe from sexual assault. I am going to be avoiding the sex communities for a while and I’ll see if it helps. (Not that I actually feel afraid of anyone in particular at those parties. I haven’t run into anyone who has assaulted me at a party since it happened.) But I’m obviously having conflicted feelings. I don’t need to feel pressure to be there. It’s an opt-in space. I’m doing something else.

It is giving up another piece of my identity. Am I not kinky any more? Am I no longer a pervert? Can I ever undo the things I have done. THAT’S WHY I LET HIM TAKE PICTURES. None of it can ever be completely forgotten. I have pictures. Hundreds. I have a lot of pictures of me fucking girls too. I had a really fun early twenties.

I’m not worried about blackmail because if someone released some of them publicly and it caught wind I would say, “Ooooh! It’s part of a set! Would you like to see the rest?!” Then I would send a lot more.

I used to sleep in a steel cage. I hear he finally made a more comfortable bottom for it. I had my ex-fiancé Steve make it–he was a welder by trade. With one inch steel tubes. It was a grid. It was 2′ x 2′ x 3′. It was a birthday present for Tom the year he turned thirty-two.

I need to not hear these things any more. I don’t really want to hear that Tom had a floor made for it because the current girl wants it more comfy. I want to pat her on the shoulder and say he is in the honeymoon phase. Be careful.

Edge play is something that is talked about a lot in the bdsm world. It is usually treated as what people should be trying to graduate towards. It is often used to mean heavy play. I wish it weren’t. In my opinion edge play is doing something that has a measurable risk of ending your life.

In the past few years a couple of close friends sat me down to lecture me on the escalating risk of me continuing to do breath play–you know, being choked out. It can be done in a variety of ways. I had to, in turn, go to Noah and talk about it. I have had to remind him a few times. It is hard. It is hard to have tears running down my face and have to say, “If you don’t want me to die while we are having sex then you should probably stop doing that.”

Yes, it turns you on. Yes, you want to do it to me. You can’t. Not if you want me to live. I am an animal. I have limits. I am skating near the edges of the amount of trauma a body can absorb. I wish that wasn’t true. But it is.

I have a lot of pictures of my life being risked so that someone could look at me and masturbate.

I have some interesting feelings about that. Ok, most of our play was extreme but not life-risking. We saved that for special occasions.

And I’m not saying it is his fault or that I was abused. My ex emphatically did not abuse me. I scripted most of our intense play. I’m not blaming him. I’m really not. I helped him build a lot of the equipment we used. I gave it to him as presents. I was not abused. I went to fucking Great America and had the bemused air brushing artist paint slave on my back. I wasn’t being abused. I was very proud of what I was doing.

Why did I want that so much?

When I look at the pictures (err, not that I do this often) I’m usually struck by how sad I look. Resigned. As a result he mostly liked to cover my face. He was into hoods. Made of leather, plastic and duct tape, rubber, vet wrap… whatever. As long as he didn’t have to look at me.

I like living with someone who likes looking at me. I like living with someone who likes listening to the sound of my voice. I get three of them. It’s like a god damn miracle. But in order for it to work I have to be just as interested in them.

How do you live like a main character in an ensemble cast? How do you balance all of the needs?

But that’s kind of a lie. Our needs are food, shelter, and water (even though Yakutat freaking Alaska thinks you just need food, shelter and booze). Noah would be supplying those needs if he slacked at work; I promise. But he does a lot more than that. And he comes home and works hard on having relationships with the kids even though he’s an introvert who would really like to be in a quiet dark room.

Because we need love too. And the only way for us to have it is to give it. And give it. And give it long past when we feel like we want to. Because the kids need it right now. They won’t always–eventually it will be cloying and stifling and inappropriate.

It feels really good that we get to be spending so much of our life on a love-in. I know that not everyone gets that.

I had this horrifying childhood but I always felt like there was a way out. How would life work if I didn’t think that?

Privilege. I have so much of it that it is coming out my ears. With great privilege comes great responsibility.

One of the movies I watched recently, I think Winter’s Bone had a scene that is sticking in my head. I couldn’t easily find it on youtube. The kids haven’t seen their father in weeks. Their mother is mentally ill. She hasn’t responded or moved in months. The oldest daughter is trying to figure things out. The three kids are standing near their house watching a neighbor butcher a venison he hunted. The son suggested that they should ask for some meat. They were starving. But the oldest sister said:

“Never ask for what ought to be offered.”

That has been rolling around in my head like a marble. Never ask for what ought to be offered.

But that assumes that everyone around you has the same culture and knows which things ought to be offered.


My culture is white trash. What is yours? Tay–if you say you are white trash I will smile, exclaim “brother!” and hug you to me. It’s an opt-in label. No I don’t get to define it for anyone else.

I just have to figure out who and what I am and what I need. Then I need to figure out how to meet my needs on my own. I understand that this should be obvious and all but it isn’t. I didn’t grow up like that. Now I have a great series of child development books and I get to find out how to forgive myself for being a child.

It is hard being endlessly nice as my kids do frustrating things. But childhood is full of such errors. If you make your kids feel bad for making mistakes then they will be afraid to try things. I don’t want my kids to be afraid to try. I want them to get better at risk evaluation. Different.

I want them to know lots of different kinds of people. That means I have to be able to figure out how to meet my needs no matter who is around. I don’t. Right now I hide behind needing to model for the kids.

I’m bad. What kind of model could I be? As long as all they see is love am I really bad? Do the things I have done define my worthiness to love now?

I hope to fucking hell that I will be good enough. I know I don’t have forever just because I want it. When I’m really maudlin I worry about the kids reading this whining some day.

The uncontrollable crying is because I hurt my mommy. I rejected her. Partially because of things that were outside her control. It’s not just that though. I rejected her because I don’t like being blamed for everyone else’s problems. It is not my fucking fault that my father raped my sister for three extra years.

But having kids who are 2.5 and 4.5 and thinking about my life then and what happened when I was a child…

I don’t need to forgive them. I need to forgive me. It was an accident. It isn’t your fault that they are so mad. They just aren’t allowed to be mad at anyone else.

I’m not allowed to be mad at my kids. And I’m not allowed to be mad at my husband. And I’m not allowed to be mad at my friends. And a parade of therapists, my husband, my friends, and my kids if they ever find out will all join the shouting that I must stop being mad at myself and I must stop hurting myself.

But I’m so fucking mad. I’m not even supposed to be mad at the people who hurt me? No. Being mad is poison. It does nothing to them and it hurts you.

It’s ok to remember and forgive myself for being a child. I don’t need to waste time thinking about whether or not I forgive my family. I don’t. They won’t accept responsibility and they won’t change. I won’t be at the bottom of the shit hill any more.

Good grief. Two hankies of crying. That’s probably enough for one day. I woke up earlier than usual. Wow. More than 4500 words. Don’t you wish you had that time back? Today friends will come over. I will ignore the fact that I wish I was hiding under the desk in the garage sobbing and beating my head on concrete. It will be fine. It will be a lovely day.

It really doesn’t matter how I feel. I want community. This is how you act if you want community. If you deviate you don’t have community. How badly do I want it? Enough to function? Well. Put on your game face. It will be fine. Really. Go in, Krissy. Everyone is awake now. (4635. Ha.)

Tried something different.

“Do you know why I usually don’t touch you when I cry?”
“No. Why?”
“Because my mom used to hit me when I cried.”

Last night I cried on Noah’s chest. I’m not 100% sure but I’m pretty sure that you can count how many times I have done that on one hand with fingers left over. We have been married for six years. I cry nearly every day. Often for many hours. I cry alone.

“No one wants to see that Kristine. No one wants to hear it either. Didn’t I tell you to shut up? Fine. I’ll give you something to cry about.”

The fact that I was raped over and over wasn’t good enough. The fact that people chased me home from school throwing rocks at me wasn’t good enough. The fact that I moved constantly and didn’t have friends or toys I could trust owning wasn’t good enough. The fact that I usually didn’t know if we would have a place to live next week or if we would be homeless wasn’t good enough either.

I cry alone. Often (though not always anymore–I kind of glory in being able to make noise when I cry now) I cry completely silently. Even my breathe barely raises in volume. I shared a bed with my mother till I was sixteen. I know how to have tears run down my face and slowly control the sobbing with breath so that I don’t get hit again. Mostly I just prefer to be alone in a room.

I was always told that I wasn’t allowed to cry unless I was hit–that’s the only good reason. Sometimes I wonder if I found the bdsm scene because I knew I needed to cry and I’m just not allowed to cry without being hit.

When other people think of “bdsm” I’m not sure what they think. I think there isn’t a lot of point if someone isn’t crying. A lot. Mostly uncontrollably. As a top I am ridiculously sadistic. Don’t play with me unless what you want from today is to end up curled in the fetal position on the floor sobbing your heart out. That is what I have in me to give. I prefer when my play partners nearly kill me. I want them to hurt me terribly and risk my life. I know I am not important. I know that very sick people exist in the world. I hope that if I can give them a cheap thrill they won’t hurt someone important.

When Noah raised his hand to stroke my face I flinched.

I was kind of randomly curious tonight so I looked it up. I’m pretty sure that I qualify for SSI for disability due to PTSD. If I had to hold down a job right now my life would be pretty nightmarish. I have continual flashbacks. I have a lot of panic attacks. I barely leave my house. I have to talk myself into believing there are “safe” people on the other side who don’t hate me before I manage. Going to the grocery store is hard. I understand that it is for most parents. But when other peoples kids misbehave in public they don’t crumple to the floor crying because it seems so overwhelming to deal with. I feel like a very pathetic person.

In order to figure out how to talk to my kids I sat around reading Jane Austen books. That is the language Shanna learned. That is why she is so excessively polite. I model it all the time. I made sure that for the first few years of her life she rarely heard anyone but me talk and I modeled extreme manners constantly.

I am trying to figure out how to shape the voices in my children’s head. I know I don’t control who they become. But I *do* control the messages they get about themselves right now.

My children believe manners are not optional and the world will crash to a halt with horror if you are rude. So they don’t do it. Except for the one big exception. “If anyone is ever touching any part of your body in a way you don’t like you need to ask them politely to stop once. If they continue, hit them. Scream. Run away. You are allowed to defend you.”Shanna is extremely aware that her vulva is a private space and that no one should touch it until she is full grown and has asked them politely to touch her there. I told her the “whys and whens” around sex are conversations we will probably have in more like ten years. She tried to ask for more information. I said, “At four all you need to know is no one can touch you there. You won’t be grown up for a very long time.” She’s ok with that for now.

It was weird to cry on Noah. I felt really bad about getting him all wet. The snot flows like a river. Mmmm sexy.

One of the things that is hardest for me about being rich is how isolating it is. I feel like I have gotten to know my neighbors to an unusual degree. They are certainly all shocked that I am attempting to do so. My experience of poverty (I understand that my life is not universal and I do not have the “universal poverty experience”) was that people had a lot more time on their hands. There was a lot of time to kill and no one had any money. People had to either fall into a depressive rut in order to survive or they had to get creative.

I am very creative. Unfortunately I hate working alone and I am really struggling with the period of time when my kids are no help and instead a bunch of extra work. I’m willing to bet that in two or three years Shanna will be able to do most of the things I like to do. She helps a little now.

I like building things. I like having a concrete change on the world. I often get very frustrated with myself because I am a perfectionist and I get little practice to practice so I’m not improving at skills at the rate I want to.

Noah not wanting to build with me is hard. He doesn’t want to do any kind of physical labor on the property. I feel like I am having to drag him kicking and screaming (by the god damn hair) towards the idea of doing any help with homeschooling beyond teaching programming. It is feeling very invalidating of the “us” label.

I feel like I subsumed who I was into my family. My life, my time, my work are all spent on things that directly benefit people in my family other than me. It feels like. Because I am self-serving like everyone else and I enjoy lying to myself.

I do home improvement stuff and I cook and I clean.

It is kind of funny because I feel a little competitive because many of my friends have kids in the same age range. Shanna is behind most of the kids we know academically. (I am tracking various kids in my head. It’s interesting.) On one hand I feel like this means I am failing as a homeschooling parent. On the other hand I have the belief that early academic instruction is a bad idea. I am making a conscious decision. It still feels weird that all my friends kids knew their ABCs faster, can count earlier and higher. Blah.

I believe, because research tells me so, that early introduction of these concepts does not improve IQ or overall achievement down the line. I still feel kind of weirdly insecure about my kid and what I am doing. I don’t exactly think my friends are drilling their kids. Why are they picking things up so much faster? I have no idea. But I feel insecure. That is one of the many things I am just going to have to live with being insecure about. I made a decision based on sound principles I still believe.

What I specifically miss about having community was there were always two or three women in the kitchen talking. I thought that was what the future looked like. I’m very sad because my life won’t look like that for another fifteen years. And then they may very well want to go off into the world and spread their wings. I may do all of these years hoping for that and not get it. I have to be ok with it. I can’t spend my life wishing for that. I would be doing something inappropriate. It’s so hard to know that I can never hope for that. I tried to have that with Sarah. She hid from my anger in her room. I don’t blame her.

I don’t share my anger with my children. I share it with the adults in my life. I’m afraid that if I have hopes for what they will do as adults I will get very angry with them for disappointing me. Talk about poisoning the well. I try very hard to not have expectations of them beyond how they are treating me right now. I treat them how I want them to treat me and by and large it works out. When they are having a bad day and they freak out and cry a lot I comfort them even though my head hurts so much I start to cry too. I rock with them. I tell them it is ok to cry.

I tell my kids over and over, “When you feel sad you are allowed to cry.” I will be their inside voice whether they are with me or not. I want them to believe it is ok to exist. I don’t want them to feel like me.

I tell them it is ok to be frustrated. It’s not ok to shout at people. Let’s figure it out. And mostly we do.

I feel like oozing toxic waste. I feel like poison. I am so sad and so angry. I miss my mom. Isn’t that crazy? Shouldn’t I just be glad to be away from her? But she’s my mommy. I ache for her so bad I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel like my organs want to go into failure. I want my mommy. I have been crying for my mother my entire life. Even when I had her I didn’t have her. My mother didn’t take care of me. My mother damaged me.

My mother told me I wasn’t allowed to be angry when I was raped. She told me I wasn’t allowed to yell or scream or cry. I have made my bed and now I have to lie in it. Silently. While men do whatever they want. And I still miss her. Sometimes that feels like the most fucked up part.

I am sad about not having a father. I do not miss James Archer. I didn’t know him. I don’t even remember what he looks like. That part makes me sad. Sometimes I think of writing Jimmy a letter and asking for a picture. I don’t know if he would send me one. I feel very sad about not being allowed to know what my father looks like. My mother gave Jimmy all the pictures of him many years ago. When I was still a child. I don’t even know if he kept them.

 I don’t miss my sister. I think a wall came up when I found out about her forcing my niece to give my nephew a blow job. She became the living enemy. Being in a room with her and not spitting in her face is tantamount to supporting her behavior. No thank you. I think she is a piece of shit I stepped on.

I wish I felt like people loved me. I wish I could feel loved. I think part of the reason I cried on Noah last night was because I wanted to feel like he loved me. I didn’t feel that way. I feel dead inside. I feel like I went on an extended vacation to Chernobyl and my insides are radioactive and not quite functioning right.

I feel hollow and empty. I feel already dead. I feel like the cessation of breathing is a mere formality.

I have been here before. I know that how I feel right now is not how I feel all the time. I am dimly aware of that. I did have the chutzpah to up and get married. I felt loved. But mental illness is a liar.

When I was in the teaching credential they told us that a child has to hear ten positive things to cancel out everything negative said to them about themself.

When I think about what my mother said to me I cry. My inside voice is strong and loud and dominating. Shut up Kristine. No one cares, Kristine. Shut up.

I’m very ready for this cycle to change.

Bucket list: Run a marathon

 For many years I have said, “Some day I will run a marathon.” I’m aware that a lot of people say that. My ex-boyfriend said it all the time. He still hasn’t. I suppose the idea came into my head because my brother Jimmy is a runner. I asked him in February of 2011 to commit to doing a marathon with me. It was a tentative step towards developing a relationship. We have never been close. Kids in families like ours aren’t allowed to be close.
In May of 2011 my Uncle Bob died. Uncle Bob was the man in my childhood who loved me and cared for me without sexually assaulting me. My family didn’t tell me he was in the hospital or that they were taking him off of life support. My niece decided I should know and she called me. He died while I was stuck in traffic less than five miles away from the hospital.
Something inside me broke. My sister asked me if I had “ever lost someone close to me before” and turned red with fury when I responded, “like our father or our brother Tommy?” I wasn’t allowed to bring them up. They “didn’t count” because they both abused me and sexually assaulted me. I went home and outed myself as an incest survivor on the internet. My brother Jimmy didn’t think that was ok. He told me I was melodramatic and looking for attention. I haven’t spoken to him since. Since my family all decided they were done with me I figured it was a good time to finally write the story of my childhood. I did so in November of 2011.
In January of 2012 I asked my housemate/co-parent to move out, which was stressful and emotionally hard. I also started running. I decided that even though I wouldn’t actually be doing it with Jimmy I was going to do the marathon anyway. We were planning on Long Beach because it is one of the flattest marathons in the state. I registered. I looked up training plans and put them on my Google Calendar for the next ten months.
When you decide to do something there is this waiting period. You want to do it and it is going to be ridiculously hard—how do you get there? I’ve never done anything physically taxing like this before. The only running I previously had done was getting away from people who wanted to beat the shit out of me. I did one year of t-ball and less than a full season of little league. I was “catcher” for one pitch. I missed and it hit me in the stomach and made me puke and cry. They stuck me in the outfield and I got sick of going after a couple of weeks. So I had no basis of “fitness” to build on.
It’s probably worth mentioning that I am a stay at home mom with two kids. They are two and four. So I’ve been doing this running while trying to manage them. Finding time has been interesting. For the first five months I ran in the afternoons after my husband got off work because none of my runs took very long. Once the runs started getting longer and longer I switched to leaving my house by six in the morning. I have no childcare. I have to make use of what little time my husband has available. He is a software engineer so he is out of the house a minimum of 45 hours a week and often more than that. And he wrote a book this year so he doesn’t have a lot of time available for helping me. It’s been stressful.
I hear a lot of people talk about how running is supposed to improve a persons mood. I have no idea who these people are but it doesn’t bloody work for me. I have spent the year crying. I cry before I run. I cry while I run. I cry when I get home. I have a lot of grief. I’m crying for Uncle Bob. I’m crying for my father. I’m crying for my mother. I’m crying for my sister and my brothers. I’m crying for my niece and nephews. I cry and feel worthless and empty. It doesn’t matter how I feel on any given day. I know what I have to do. I schedule things so I don’t have to wonder what a day will require.
I have asked myself over and over all year why this is important to me. Why am I torturing myself? Am I running because my brother is a runner? Because I want to prove that I am a fucking Archer whether my family wants to acknowledge that I am alive or not? Because I want to be a bad ass? Because… I don’t even know. I said I would do it. If I quit or stop then I become just one more person who makes promises and doesn’t keep them. I said I would run the Long Beach Marathon.
About a month before the event a good friend ran a twenty mile race near her home in Portland, Oregon. I was kidding when I said, “Hey if you trained up to this mileage then a full marathon is easy. Come do it with me!” Surprisingly she said yes. Within hours she had talked to her husband and booked a flight.
The last month of training was both the hardest and the easiest. All of a sudden I wasn’t on this terrible solo death march of feeling abandoned. I had to keep training because Ali was coming. Ali loves me. I still had a lot of days where I cried so hard my knees buckled and I fell to the ground and cried until I couldn’t cry any more. Then I got up and ran again. The good days came more often.
Six days before the race I drove to Southern California with my family. We were off to Disneyland! The girls and I had a lot of fun getting in my last walking miles in the park. The day before the race Ali was supposed to fly down first thing in the morning. Her flight was delayed. At the first notice I started feeling a little worried but I thought she would make it and it would be fine.
Six hours later they cancelled her flight entirely. I was afraid that was the end. I didn’t sob on the phone to Ali. I only freaked out a little in text. Her amazing husband jumped on the internet and booked her another flight. It was later and going into a different airport and it would be a lot more complicated—but she would get to SoCal. Unfortunately she would get there too late to pick up her race bib. She emailed me a picture of her ID and her husband emailed me a waver to print so I could pick up her bib for her. We live in the future!
I drove down to the Expo by myself. I didn’t want to be focused on my kids while I was trying to figure out where to go. I wasn’t feeling patient. I checked the lists of people registered. My brother’s name wasn’t on it. After a year of heart pounding anxiety worrying about seeing him that was rather anticlimactic if you ask me.
So I picked up the bibs and went back to our hotel room. I angsted and fussed. Ali got to her moms-in-law’s house. I arrived around 7:30. We talked more than we should have. It would have been impossible to avoid. I hardly ever get to see her. Talking to her feels really good. So we didn’t get to sleep till around 11 pm. I slept till 2:30 am. Then I woke up to use the bathroom and the crying started. I cried until Ali woke up around 5:30. I cried because I didn’t have one more chance to see anyone in my family. They are just done with me. I think there was some big part of me that was praying that Jimmy would see me and hug me. I haven’t said that out loud all year. I was afraid to hope. I was smart.
We woke up and piddled around getting ready. Ali had trouble forcing her way through her breakfast so we left about fifteen minutes after we were supposed to. That’s ok, we left a little bit of a buffer. Then it turned out that the person driving the vehicle had a different opinion about the optimal way to get to the race grounds. An opinion that was unfortunately not born out in reality. We were blocked continually by the race track. Whoops. Eventually we went around on the freeway (what Ali was campaigning hard for from the beginning, apparently—I was fairly unaware of this subtext) and arrived at the race. We had just enough time to stop at the port-a-potties before the last wave started. We hurried. We made it into the last wave and settled in for our run.
I’d like to say it was wonderful because I was with Ali and in many ways it was. She sang me silly songs. She encouraged and coaxed. She helped me through the rough parts. There were a lot of rough parts. The first big problem was the air quality. I am not used to SoCal air quality. I felt like I had to chew each breath before swallowing. It was really hard to run. I was dizzy and nauseated. We walked a lot. It was also almost twenty degrees hotter than either of us are used to running in. Oh and the humidity. The humidity was nightmarish (thus the bad air quality). We were wet all day and crusted in salt. But the real kicker? I started my period at mile 13 along with terrible cramps that made me want to go to bed and curl up and cry. Luckily Ali had extra tampons. Yay for planning ahead. A medical station provided some ibuprofen. I had to finish.
It was beautiful traveling along the ocean. The city of Long Beach is certainly picturesque. One of the most disheartening moments of the race was when the half marathoners split off and we went from being part of a large crowd to being one of the stragglers. It was a little sad for me to realize how far behind the pack of “runners” we were for the marathon. Really we mostly walked. I ran as much as I could but I didn’t want to faint or puke so it wasn’t that much.
In the end our running time was 6:47. We finished seven and a half minutes before they closed the finish line. We were part of the last wave and they only keep the finish line open for 7:30 hours. It’s a darn good thing we weren’t just a hair later and that I managed to run as much as I did.
I did it. I finished the Long Beach Marathon. Thank you Ali. Near as I can tell this is the hardest thing I have ever done with another person. I’m so glad I had you. I won’t forget.
The flea had a gleam in his eye. (Silly song Ali sang.) I think it was because he was plotting. He was wondering how hard it was going to be to run. He wanted to know if he could keep up with you too.
I won’t do another marathon with you. Can we do a half next time? That’s only half as crazy. Next time on your turf with better air quality.

 PS- Sharing is caring.


Running is getting harder. There are a few things going on. For one thing I am dealing with the cumulative of suddenly doing massive amounts of exercise when I have never done so before. It’s an experience. But mostly I am struggling because of how my body is changing. As I lose weight/change shape/harden/whatever I can feel the bones of my brother Tommy coming through in my face.

This is weird and hard to describe. The more time I spend looking at Calli and the more time I spend running the more conscious I am of how my skull resembles my brother. And my running gait is embarrassingly like his. Embarrassing because Tommy had a severe traumatic brain injury. He didn’t run. He lurched. He looked awkward and weird. It was a miracle he walked at all so folks considered it a real big deal.

One year, in Apple Valley, he was on a disabled kids sports team, softball. I remember how Tommy looked running the bases. I move like that. I feel weird when I run. I lurch awkwardly to the side. I have trouble figuring out how to balance my weight. I almost trip a lot. I kind of go back and forth on the side walk.

Except for sometimes when I hit my stride just right and I feel like I am flying. Then I feel Tommy. Then I remember how he would smile the few times he really managed to get going quickly. That wild ebullition on his face. I feel that way when I am running really fast.

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had lived in one place. If someone had looked at me as a small child and said, “Running quickly makes you feel good. Let’s work with this.” I was told to go to my room with a book and shut up. So I’m pretty awkward when I run. I have run more this year than the entire rest of my life combined.

Tommy hated me. Before the accident he was nasty and mean, “No one wanted you. Why were you born? Can’t you die already?” After the accident he was brutal and vicious.

Tommy’s speech was very difficult to understand. He had trouble enunciating and an average sentence would take multiple breaths and minutes to deliver. He hated me because I could hear the first three words and finish his sentences. “You rude, stupid bitch.” He hit me a lot. A really lot. When I think of myself as “not being all that physically abused” what I mean is my mom gave me four really memorable beatings and that’s it. My siblings hurt me all the time. That “didn’t count.”

Once, Tommy was screaming at me. I don’t remember what I did. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. I don’t know. He got as far as, “You are” and I finished, “a stupid worthless bitch, yeah I know” and I didn’t even look up from my book.

I remember the sound of inhaled breath. Then I don’t remember anything until I woke up on the floor. He hit me in the head. I don’t know how long I was unconscious. No one paid attention or cared. I don’t think I was unconscious very long. I think I managed to scramble up and away before he managed the physical dexterity to kick me. Either that or he did it once before I was awake. Regardless I got away just as he was trying to deliver a hard kick. He fell down. He crawled after me screaming that he was going to kill me. He wasn’t going to deal with such a stupid bitch any longer. He should have killed me a long time ago.

That was why I spent a lot of time in the willow tree in the yard. He didn’t have the arm strength to climb any more. I love climbing trees. I still love climbing trees.

That was Tuesday.

Essentially what I’m saying is: having running be a constant reminder of my brother is a mixed thing. I kind of wish I knew what Jimmy looks like when he runs. I’m not sure I have ever seen him run. In high school he was a state finalist. He was quite good.

Running fast is a gene. You have it or you don’t. (Based on what I’ve read.) I don’t know if I truly have it or not but I know I have never tried. It’s not until you are an adult many years later that you can admit to yourself that as a kid you never tried. You never really gave it a go. You have to be honest with yourself.

The only time I ran was when someone was chasing me. I rarely got away. Usually I was caught and had the shit beat out of me.

I think I am afraid of Shanna getting older. She is so like me. I’m afraid she is going to be a lightning rod for people who want to beat the hell out of her as well. I hope not.

When I was nineteen I asked Tom to crucify me. We used rope instead of nails (I’m not that hard core) and we built a padded back board with a cross piece together. Even if you are just tied to a board, being suspended in that position with all of your weight hanging is rather intense. Especially if you stay up for a long time. I certainly got to the point of hallucination from insufficient air and blood circulation.

I saw Tommy and I saw my dad. At that point they had been dead for about three years. The hallucinations didn’t talk to me at all. They just looked at me kind of dispassionately. I am not theirs but I don’t belong to any one else. When I was nineteen I felt it was pretty clear that I was good for one thing–being hurt a lot. That was the one currency I had to buy affection. I can take a lot of pain. I can take a lot of degradation. It just feels normal to me.

I’m having this weird body experience as  I run. I can tell where my body is going to start siphoning energy from fat stores. I’ve watched the various fat pockets on my body (I have a lot of them) over this year. As I run the fat jiggles, quite a bit–really. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being you can barely feel it and 10 being “cut my leg off because it hurts so much” then my fat jiggling is normally in the 2-3 range. I can feel it but it doesn’t hurt. Except when my body is nursing from a given area. I can’t find a better way of thinking about it. We are actively stealing from that spot right now. When I can feel my body stealing from a spot that fat pocket starts hurting at more like the 4-5 level. It starts to feel like pain. Then a week or so later I notice that it is a lot smaller. It’s kind of weird. I didn’t know bodies did this.

I am doing a lot of compensatory eating. I’m a little more than ten pounds heavier than I was in March for the half marathon. I’m very depressed. I’m eating a lot of sugar and crying while I do it. I don’t want my body to be smaller. I hate that I feel more and more like Tommy. Fuck that. I’ll eat ice cream. There’s a lot of ice cream in this world. I don’t have to fucking feel Tommy’s bones coming through. Fuck him. Fuck him. Fuck him.

Yesterday was an eight mile run then the girls and I did a round trip three mile walk for the park. I’m sore and tired. But I’ll do five miles today. And eighteen miles on Saturday.

I’m not going to let Tommy take this away from me. I’m pretty sure he has hurt me enough for one life.

Tall Paul

My dad was really tall. He was 6’7″. He was the tallest in a fairly tall family. The one time I was in a room with a bunch of Archer women (they all have different last names now because they married out of the family so I don’t feel too bad about outing their name) I was reminded that I was tainted by lesser blood. “Your father did marry a short woman. I guess we should have expected a midget.” I’m 5’5″. The next shortest woman in the room was 5’8″. They Archers have a nose built for looking down on people. My sister told me when I was a kid, “It’s a good thing you have the Archer nose so that you can look down on people who are taller than you.”

My brothers were really nasty to me about my size when I was growing up. They were four and a half and eight years, respectively, older than me. Of course I was smaller than them. But they were mean about it. Jimmy called me, “Midget” and he didn’t have a smile on his face. He would “accidentally” smack me in the face with his elbows and then say he can’t be held responsible for not seeing a midget.

It’s kind of funny because on my mom’s side of the family I am the tallest woman in a few generations. I grew up around women who are all much smaller than me so they always talked about how unusually large I was. I really don’t have much perspective on myself. I don’t know if I am a big person or not.

Recently I was lucky enough to have two friends come over to see me on the same day. That was kind of an accident but it was nice. They both happen to be quite tall. Of course they got around to telling me that I am a midget.

I blinked. I don’t think my facial expression changed much. I was trying hard to control the urge to do something violent. I felt such a massive over reaction that I knew there was no way I could react at all. I could feel paralysis set in. Just blink. I’m pretty sure I bit my lip. I tried to control the tears.

I have always cried when I am frustrated. Tears just spring into action. I feel so much anger, so much intensity that I want to hurt someone or something. I know there is nothing I can do. I can’t make the feeling go away. I can’t change how anyone is going to treat me. I can’t do anything about anything. So my eyes well up with tears. These days I don’t feel exactly the same way. I can do things. But not when I am flooded. Not when I hear Jimmy in my head sneering “Midget”.

My therapist told me on Thursday that she needs to stop doing private practice because she has ten months left to complete things for her license and she needs to concentrate on that. I enthusiastically told her I support her doing that. I could immediately feel walls come up. I no longer felt like I had things I wanted to tell her. She was no longer going to be a carrier of my story. I feel like I have to pull back all of the energy I store up to give her and conserve it very carefully.

I’m not up for running out and finding a new therapist this month. Therapy is a relationship. I need space between them so I can regroup and really understand what my current need is in a therapist because things change. Sharon was great when I wanted EMDR to help me deal with the miscarriages and two people who were close to me overdosing on heroin in a short period of time. She was not a good long term therapist for me. My needs changed.

I will need to figure out what I should be looking for right now. There is a big part of me that wants to tell my current therapist that I will wait out the year and hope she comes back to private practice. The two former therapists I really bonded with are both dead. I don’t have very many people in the whole world who have listened to me actually tell my stories out loud. Many people have read them. Not many people have been interested in knowing this part of me. Finding a new therapist is hard.

In February I was told, “There are no personal problems they are all problems of the community.” I’m not sure I know what I need right now. I am going to take advantage of the unexpected budget win-fall and go see my acupuncturist. (See, I only used two c’s in the word instead of three. I can be taught. Eventually.) That will be good. I can get new glasses. Woo. These are more than two years old and I have a constant low level headache because they are out of date. No bueno.

It’s hard how much my current life is influenced by people who hated me. It’s decidedly inconvenient at times. I really wish I could get them out of my head.

The half-marathon.

Three hours and eight minutes. I only went over three hours because I had to stop and wait in a huge line for a bathroom break.  That took quite a while, it was ridiculous. I did not enjoy yesterday. It was definitely one of my shittiest running days ever. I felt like I was at the wall the whole time. My body just felt off the whole time. I felt sad and lonely. I resented the hell out of the fact that most people (that’s pretty much a lie, but I’m going to ignore reality for a bit) were in groups and had supporters. I felt isolated and alone. I don’t feel alone when I go running most of the time. I feel like I am running and no one in my life can do that with me so ok, I happen to be alone right now. Thank god I don’t have to listen to their chatter.

When I am running in a big group of people it feels different. I feel like there is a glass wall between me and other people. I feel like they are on the other side, where people are loved and supported. Then there is me. Alone. Again. It’s really idiotic and self absorbed. There were a lot of other people there alone. A few of them talked to me!

My feelings seem out of place with my reality. Ok, I was alone at the race. I felt sad that no one came to watch me run. I mean, dude. It was in Oakland. It’s not like it is inconvenient to a large percentage of people I know. Someone could have. It’s always complicated, you know? Yesterday I felt like this running thing is a bad idea.

I like how I feel when I run by myself. When I run by myself I feel like I’m not trying to compete with anyone else. I’m just doing my thing. When I run with other people I see how our paces match up and as I drop back and back and back in the crowd… that makes me feel lame. Then I start feeling shame. This is pretty ridiculous. I have been running for less than four months. I don’t need to feel bad that I am not a better runner. It would not be particularly good for my body to try and insist that I be a faster runner right now.

I think I want to run the marathon because I am hoping I get to see my brother one more time. I’m not going to continue training so I can do it again. I saw my mother and my sister and my nephew and my aunt and my cousins once more before I broke ties. I haven’t seen Jimmy in a long time. I know that he looks like my father. I feel like I am already losing the picture in my mind that I have of what that part of my family looks like. I feel unspeakably sad. I feel like there is a weight on my chest. I’m still grieving.

I’m told that grief is kept in your lungs. Shallow breaths keep the grief inside you. Running certainly makes me breathe more deeply. I cried as I ran. I missed my family and I longed for them so much it hurt. My family is the kind of family that is intensely good and intensely bad. I miss the good. I can’t stay because of the bad. I’m really struggling with continuing to believe it is the right decision. I feel so much guilt. I feel so bad that I am keeping my kids away from my family. My mother lives in downtown San Jose. And she has never seen Calli. I feel so bad. I am a terrible person who is hurting my mother.

And I thought about that as I ran past all the cheering people on the sidelines. They were there to support someone they loved. I have driven off the people who would do that for me. And then I have a pity party about it. How pathetic. So I cried a lot while I ran. It was a very hard run.

I felt weird because I didn’t see anyone else eat. I start eating between mile three and four. I take two or three handfuls of trail mix every other mile after that. I run hanging on to my little baggy. Sometimes I feel lazy and I put it in my pocket for a while. In the race environment I felt like the country bumpkin come to town and I’m doing it all wrong. I don’t have sleek running gear. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that close to so much spandex in my life. And I ran in a cotton sweatshirt. I was given a lot of funny looks.  What? It’s what I own. Everyone else was advertising a cause or showing off former marathon shirts. This is also, not true; I wasn’t “the only one” but there really did seem to be a uniform and we were weird. Those of us who weren’t wearing the uniform were quite odd. Oh, and then there were the ladies who ran in tulle skirts. They were cute.

I feel weird running next to people for long periods and not talking to them. It feels awkward and uncomfortable. It feels like a lot of pressure to come up with something to talk about. If I don’t I feel gauche. And that distracted me from running, and them. I think that it is because people train at different paces. When you are in the group of people who are collectively running around fourteen minute miles that means there is a lot of walking. But people mix in their walking in different ways. It also felt like some people ran at a slow jog without really having to pause to walk. But they never went very fast. I’m a very impulsive runner. I run at the speed of the song on my headset. I have a lot of slow songs on purpose so I don’t try to sprint forever, but I do sprint. Mostly the songs are the latest albums from Lady Gaga, Adele, and Katy Perry with a few older songs I like mixed in. It’s a whole bunch of songs that cause me to sit and think about different relationships in my life. I like how I wander through different topics as time goes on. I’m not stuck thinking about the same person in the same way every time I hear any particular song.  It’s a slow journey through different situations.

If I try to run without the music I can’t do it. I can only kind of stumble along. I don’t have anything telling my body it is time to move. I don’t want to run. Not really. I rather hate how it feels some days.  But I don’t have another way of seeing Jimmy. I don’t really care if that is pathetic. I’m not magnanimous. I’m not sure that is a healthy reason. I need to see what Jimmy looks like. It won’t be true, but I will reconstruct a memory for myself of my father. It will be the only picture I will have.

I’ve been watching more movies than usual and recently I heard the line, “You never stop needing your parents.” As I was running part of the reason I was crying was because I realized how far ahead of me Jimmy will be. I realized he will probably leave the race grounds long before I finish. Unless I spot him in the vast zoo of five thousand people right before the race I don’t really have a chance of seeing him. And I will spend that whole race hoping to see him at the finish line. I’m going to cry a lot. I kind of wonder why I do this to myself.

Why does every activity have to be viewed in the most self harming way possible? Why do I always have to have a tale of loss and woe? When will something I am doing be about something, anything other than grieving? My therapist, God bless her, heard that line and looked straight at me and told me that I will never stop grieving. When you were hurt like I was as a child you never stop feeling pain for very long. It feels like a cross between a harsh sentence and great comfort.

I don’t perceive reality very well. I feel isolated and alone when I stand near people. The fact that people are apathetic towards me hurts my feelings because I feel constantly reminded of the apathy I experienced as a child. It caused me a lot of damage when I was a child. The fact that people are apathetic towards me makes me not want to stand physically close to them. Running through the crowd was occasionally terrifying. I don’t like being near large crowds. I consider them dangerous and I’m not even sure why. I feel like I could all of a sudden have some need and people would run past and not care and I would feel devastated. The impending loss of trust feels overwhelming. Like if I fell and was injured. I feel like people wouldn’t stop for me. I feel like this mass movement of uniformed lemmings all run in pursuit of a time goal and that is what they are there for and please get out of the way. It’s not even slightly true. I look around at people and judge faces and there were a lot of people who looked like they would probably be the sort who stop. For someone else. Someone who deserved help. It’s not that I think that other people are deficient in being willing to help good people. It’s that I think I am the kind of person you step around on the side walk because of course this loser is on the ground again.

I don’t know how to change this feeling that I am a terrible person who does not deserve any human compassion and people are going to know that and treat me accordingly. I don’t know how to stop feeling dirty.

I’m glad I get to look forward to six months of running by myself. I need the time alone again to apologize to my knee for running according to trying to keep up with people. I wasn’t listening properly and that was rude. We’ll work it out. I need to figure out how to stop trying to run with anyone else. How do I have blinders on and ignore the people around me. I was seriously spooked by the crowd. I spent a lot of time looking at the spectators and feeling sad that I never saw people I knew. At least I won’t have that distraction in Long Beach. I will be just running to the finish line. I know the spectators aren’t for me and I can ignore them more comfortably.

I’m still not sure how to deal with pacing off of other people. That didn’t work out. And I think I should look up what “interval training” is. People kept asking me about it. I don’t understand why. Google is so cool. Hm. Five minutes on Google tells me I don’t think I will ever answer those questions. That’s not a kind of runner I want to be. Excellent!

I feel like I am feeling like I must run a fast marathon and I shouldn’t have that as a goal. If it takes me six hours that is ok. If I seriously feel compelled to go too fast I will hurt myself. I’ve never run long distances before. I don’t want to injure myself and prevent going to the race. That would be stupid. And I don’t want to find out about how much help my fellow runners would be willing to provide if I injure myself at the race. Both of those sound like Bad Plans.

It’s hard to actually stay on my pace but I need to learn how to do it. That is a lot of what I learned from this race. I am too distractible. I need to not feel hurt by the apathy around me. People aren’t mean, they are concentrating. I should be concentrating too. I did start singing along by mile ten. People smiled at me. It’s a lot of how I measure my running speed–how well I can sing along. I measure my heart and lung workload that way. I don’t have a good silent method. I suppose I have six months to practice, if I want. Or I can just sing along and let people smile. It’s not like I’m doing something terrible. I’m not singing loudly.

Time to stop whining and go inside.