Category Archives: christmas

silly…

I am almost done with Christmas shopping and I seriously don’t want to still be doing this shit come November. Not this fucking year. I just… don’t fucking want to. So I’m doing the annual “What the fuck do I put in Noah’s stocking” hunt. When I go through lists of “recommended for men” stuff for stockings I’m all “Wait… did I marry a man?!?!?!” He isn’t interested in any of the shit they recommend.

I feel like this is awesome. That’s the kinda man I want. The kind who… only fills some boxes off the man checklist. Perfect.

This is like when people used to tell me I wasn’t a woman because I didn’t like chocolate.

WHAT DOES GENDER MEAN ANYWAY?!

Looking forward to today

My friend offered to take the kids to the dentist so I don’t have to drive twice this week. How awesome with a side of groovy is that?! She slept over because they have to leave at 7:15. That’s devotion right there.

I was maybe a trifle stupid in terms of “resting” because yesterday I spent a lot of time crawling around the arbor putting up Christmas lights. Now when I look out into my backyard I see a brightly lit area. This is my favorite part of winter. Sparkly lights. I didn’t put any on the front of the house. I ran out of steam and I don’t actually care that much about other people seeing the lights. I’m not doing this for other people. I’m doing it because I want to wake up and sit down in the morning to look out at the lights and let that giddiness fizz in my belly.

I’m home. And it’s Christmas.

Today I will rest a lot. And do mild, gentle exercise like a walk and stretching.

do want to feel better.

I like changes.

Things are moving around in the house. This is glorious for me. I love rearranging. Lots of furniture has left. Very little is going to replace it. We will get a small dresser for Calli. But the armoire and huge dresser are gone. This means Calli’s room and the garage feel much more open and spacious.

The van is mostly packed. Tomorrow I will probably get everything else out of the garage and side shed. Food won’t be packed and that’s ok. There are a few hanging details left to arrange, but things are plugging along.

I ordered Shanna a larger bathing suit because all of her size 6 stuff is getting ridiculously small. She’s between size 6 and 7–it depends on the brand and the style of clothing. It’s kind of funny, this is the closest her age and her size have been in her life.

Signed on for AAA. The ultra-woo-hoo version where they will tow you for 200 miles. Card is in the mail.

Emailed the travel itinerary to most folks. I’m sure I missed some people.

Because I’m a dork I now have Shanna’s birthday present, Santa present, Christmas jammies, and a new fun outfit. Most of these things have just kind of been sitting around waiting for her to get to this size. They are not new purchases. So I will have to look for Calli on the road. They both have ornaments for this year, barrettes, and a glitter tattoo thing for their stockings. I am not going to be willing to come home from this trip and do a lot of Christmas shopping. So I’m trying to be mostly done before I leave.

I have a bad habit of buying stuff WAY too big. Which means stuff sits around waiting for Shanna to grow into things. Then I scramble to have Calli get something. But, she actually gets stuff she wants. Shanna gets whatever I bought however long ago. Ha.

I’m resettling the school stuff. Only 12 more days in our school year. Things are going so fast.

Wonderful Christmas

This was a great holiday. The kids did a little bit of fighting and I responded with “Be nice or be silent” and the day went fine. I don’t pull that card very often. But once in a while I’m willing to do so. I have to follow that rule most of the time so I don’t see a reason to not-share it.

We went for a walk and passed out Christmas presents to our friend-neighbors. We sang Christmas carols while we walked.

Noah made lots of wonderful food, including snickerdoodles. Because I’m eating wheat and dairy.

At this point I’m off-leash and my poop is varying but pretty acceptable. I wonder how long I will keep tracking. I still have the book going. Well, I am avoiding the high FODMAP fruits and vegetables still, but I’m on wheat and dairy and eggs and I’m pooping well.

I’m really wondering about the fasting. There is interesting science around the body needing breaks once in a while. Dinno.

Something that I should pay more attention to: the best days of my life are days when I’m with Noah and the kids alone. I can handle those expectations. I feel the least anxiety. I feel tired sometimes, but I feel like I’m ok.

My kids show no signs that they are being hurt by growing up with me. They are happy and healthy individuals. I can’t be all bad.

But when I deal with other people I never know when all of a sudden I will be bad and scary and a problem.

My lawyer wants me to work on feeling indignant that I am being forced to go to court for the “crime” of writing a date on a piece of paper forcefully. I’m really good at indignance in defense of other people and not so much in defense of myself.

My next therapy session will be interesting. I latched onto a few phrases from the last session and I am going to have to bring them up in a very soft tone of voice or she will get huffy. Even though I’m supposed to use the word “scoffed” in court instead of huffy I don’t think my shrink will scoff. I think she gets a little impatient and huffy. The implication of “You like being this way” and “You refuse to change” really bother me from a therapist.

I may not be changing at the rate you would like to see but it is absolute horse pucky to say I’m not changing.

The reversion to suicidal impulse is fucking annoying. I get it. I don’t know how to stop feeling like I am bad and I am going to hurt people so I should die for the good of the herd. It’s a pervasive problem. (Santa brought me a cool book Crazy Like Us about how America is exporting its mental health problems onto the rest of the world. The information on PTSD and depression was fascinating.)

It was interesting reading about how American big Pharma companies consciously tries to change national character through marketing. The Japanese, (apparently, according to this book) don’t have a hugely negative attitude towards suicide, well at least traditionally. It was seen as something that people sometimes feel they need to do.

Man that would be a different culture. I live with the feeling that the best thing I could do for my community would be to stop being a waste of resources AND the feeling that anyone who would kill themselves is a lame, weak, disgusting piece of shit. I love my country. Or something.

I read a lot of nasty, hysterical, awfulness written about people who commit suicide. I’m curious. Whoa. People really hate that others sometimes get out of being in pain before they think it should be allowed.

But, I didn’t have suicidal impulses yesterday. I had a great day. I was with my family. Calli asked once if we were “really done” opening presents and I said,”Given that you have been opening them all month, yes–that’s enough.” She looked sad for about a minute then she moved on to playing and having fun.

Truly this was a mellow and happy Christmas. It wasn’t a screaming, crying, sobbing kind of holiday. It almost didn’t feel like a holiday because there was so little misery.

I think I should remember this lesson in the future. Even though I wish I had a larger family, constructing one is a complicated process at which I do not excel. Other people can build large chosen families and feel ok. I don’t seem to be capable. But I do ok with my husband and kids. I can handle that level of building a family. It seems to be all I have to give.

Man I spent some time being mad at Noah last night for having a vasectomy though. My hormone cycle is wicked. I want a baby so bad. I didn’t yell or act mean. But I had feelings. I think it is utterly bizarre that I went from being basically a sex addict to being pissed that more of my sex life isn’t procreational.

Hormones are weird. Weird. Weird.

It isn’t like I actually want to get pregnant right now. I want to leave on a trip in six months. Not a great time to get pregnant. And trying to talk Noah into a kid after the trip wouldn’t work. The age gap would be way too big. I don’t want a 6/8 year gap. That went so badly for me as a kid. My window of having babies is over.

I’m a little bitter. Ok, a lot bitter. But if that is the only upset I feel on Christmas it is still a good day. That is a wacky unconscious hormonal thing. That’s evolution being a pain in the ass.

I love you Noah. You make such wonderful children. I wish I got to meet a whole bunch more of them. Sometimes some of my two-children friends want me to share criticism of large family sizes. I can’t even bash the Duggars. If I could bear the children I would love them. I just understand I can’t take care of them. And physically I would die. Not everyone is capable of having lots of children. We are doing great that so many women stay alive through childbearing these days. I’d be a statistic. And then poor Noah would be hosed.

So it’s going to be a small Christmas forever. But it was so nice. I had a lot of fun. I felt a lot of joy. I was very very glad to be there. I have a family. They like me and love me. I am so very blessed.

This sucks.

I have had so much diarrhea in the last 24 hours that it is kind of horrifying. It burns and burns and burns and burns. Based on the color of things coming out of me, the blue jello went through me in under an hour. I would guess that the extreme burning is stomach acid coming through with the poop.

Noah and I had a very unfun conversation about “support” and medical procedures. Namely: that begging on my blog for a friend to come with me is how I get support during medical procedures and I’m not all that happy about that. He agreed that it kind of sucks. That said, we both think DSH may be slightly more useful in managing Kaiser anyway.

Basically I said, “Remember me begging for you to be more involved in Calli’s pregnancy and you remember how you didn’t do it? Yeah. At this point begging other people for help seems more productive so I don’t waste my breath asking you any more.” That can’t be fun to hear.

When my family sat down to a lovely dinner I wanted to go in the bathroom and cut. I didn’t, but that was all I could think about. Not being able to eat is becoming a real problem for me. Psychologically this is getting really bad.

Yes, I know that I was going to have nasty diarrhea right now by design. They made me take a fucking laxative (as if I need help causing diarrhea) and I’ve had no fiber in four days, going on five. Apparently no fiber also causes me major diarrhea. So I’m going to have diarrhea right now. This is for a medical procedure.

But my poop book is an exercise in crying and feeling bad. I have a few days in a row that are ok then I’m back to diarrhea and I haven’t cheated on wheat or dairy in a while. And I still have wicked diarrhea all the time. Somehow I am finding it hard to believe that wheat and dairy are the problem when I’m up to day 55 and I still mostly have diarrhea. Yes, I did cheat a few days so I suppose there are going to be people who tell me it is all my fault I haven’t really cleared my system so I can’t truly be sure. But give me a fucking break.

I’ve had wheat on five or six days out of the last 55. I don’t think wheat is the current problem. I really don’t. Yes, I understand that a lot of the current problem is stress (when I’m not preparing for a medical exam) and I don’t know how to get that out of my life.

Part of the problem is, if you start telling me how anxiety causes my diarrhea you spike my anxiety… and my diarrhea… and you convince me that the only solution is dying. It is my fault I suffer. The only way out is death.

Now, after several mugs of broth I know I just couldn’t do the GAPS diet. If I tried drinking straight broth daily I would throw up after a few days. Just like I can’t consistently take multi-vitamins or I projectile vomit them. Festive!

I’m scared that I am going to get to the end of this procedure and have the same diagnosis I have now–IBS. The thing about IBS, they don’t know what causes it and other than managing stress and trying to figure out which foods trigger you the worst… nothing can be done. And the foods that trigger you aren’t true allergies. You just have to play with food forever and someday something will give you wicked diarrhea and sometimes not. (Some people get constipation. The internet makes me think that I am starting to alternate constipation and diarrhea because that would explain the massive uptick in gas pain. Since starting this elimination diet the pain in my belly is 4 or 5 times as bad as it was. I *never* got abdominal pain like this from gas before the elimination diet. Sometimes I double over in pain and have to breath for a while.

Sometimes I think the gas pain is worse than labor. I think it is funny that I am developing this list of things that have happened to me that actually hurt worse than labor. Given that I had a 9 day unmedicated labor at home followed by a hemorrhage that left me unable to walk for two weeks… that really is kind of saying something.

Right now it is 3am. I woke up at 2am to drink as much as I can. Only clear fluids at this point. No liquid past 4am. Not till after lunchtime. Seemed important to tank up now. And quite frankly: when you have this much diarrhea, getting dehydrated hurts. Yay Sprite! I am drinking Sprite! Even though it has carbonation. Fuck the universe. I already hurt. I need calories. If I have more apple juice I will puke. (I’m also drinking home made stock. Which, at the bottom of the cup, makes me totally fucking gag. It’s great in soup. By itself… not my thing.)

I’m going to drink a minimum of four cups of liquid. Maybe I’ll try to force six cups into me. Phew. Now the broth is gone. Bleh. Yuck. Ew. Cover the taste with SUGAR!

We had a great interview with a babysitter last week and she no-showed last night. I looked at her profile again last night and I’m the fourth one star review saying she interviews great then never shows up to work. At least it isn’t personal? A different babysitter no-showed an interview yesterday.

I’m kind of amazed by how many people will email me telling me they want a job and they they either don’t show up to interview or they interview and don’t show up for work. It is just about impossible to find people who want to show up consistently and earn money. They want money but they think that an exchange of their labor for the money is ridiculous. Given that I pay right in the middle of the babysitting scale for my area it isn’t that I’m under paying.

My shrink keeps telling me that I have to find another babysitter. Given that I can spend 10-20 hours a week on hunting for a babysitter only to end up with no babysitter (there have been a minimum of six weeks that I’ve tried this since Shanna was like two) I’m starting to question the point of the search. I could find a daycare to drop them off at, no problem. I can’t find people who want to consistently come to my house to babysit. That’s just… onerous. (Thank goodness for the homeschooled teenager three doors down. But her parents are looking for a house in Modesto. I’m going to cry a lot.)

In positive news: we got a Christmas tree yesterday. I put up the lights and garland and I let the girls decorate the rest. So we have kind of a hilarious band of ornaments. It actually makes me feel very happy. This is the range of their current competence, neatly illustrated. so cute.

In general I feel the kids deserve medals for how patient they are being with me lately. When I start crying when I’m eating (because man my food doesn’t taste good anymore) Shanna comes and pets my shoulder and tells me, “Mom I know this elimination diet is really tough. But it’s not forever. You can get through this. We will figure out how to make you hurt less. Then we’ll figure out how to make it taste good.”

I feel so guilty for my suicidal thoughts. How could anyone want to get away from someone as wonderful as Shanna? Or Calli. Oh man Calli has been the biggest love bug lately.

I feel grateful all the time that I get to be with my kids instead of people who wouldn’t appreciate them as much. Sometimes my friends tell me they would “shut Shanna up” and I think “That’s why I’m so glad she’s my daughter and not yours. I don’t want to shut her up.”

Calli has been trying to figure out volume stuff lately. She’s experimenting with whispering voices and how close to someones head you have to be for what volumes. I think it is wonderful.

Once in a while Shanna asks me what’s wrong. I suppose at those times I don’t have a great facial expression. I tell her, “Something isn’t going right with my body or I would be smiling. You are enough reason to smile all day every day. But my body isn’t.”

Recently a woman I know was talking about her experience moving through the world with what she described as “resting bitch face”. I don’t think I have that. Of all the ways I trigger people to be more hostile to me, I at least skip one magnetic pull for hostility. I’m a smiler. Big time. Safety decision. A very long time ago I figured out that doing something other than smiling was kind of dangerous.

I feel weird about what I’m teaching my daughters. Don’t be quiet. Smiling is safer. Take up space in the world. People will protect you more if they have more of an emotional bond with you and the way to create that bond is to seem personable and friendly no matter how you feel. Your feelings don’t matter; the feelings you cause other people to have matter.

I’m glad my kids are getting to the point where they will rattle off that clothes don’t make you pretty; your behavior, or not, makes you pretty.

It has taken many many many times of saying, “I’m not going to tell you that you are pretty because you changed your clothes. I’m going to tell you that you are pretty if your behavior is awesome.” Earn it or you don’t get it.

I’ve had many people tell me over the past 15 years that I’m not one to give idle praise and that is part of why people trust my praise. I won’t say you are awesome until you are and then I will say it thousands of times.

If you believe suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems then I want to live with you for 15 years and cause you as many emotional and physical problems as I have before we have a conversation. And fuck you while we are at it.

I want to stay. I want to see my kids grow up. More than anything I want to find out what Shanna is like as a 35 year old woman. Whoa. What will Calli do with her life? I can’t guess. She doesn’t even have any “When I grow up” beliefs yet. Other than wanting to be near me.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not had children I would be dead. Sometimes it seems like cheating that having kids is not only as good as I hoped it would be, it is better. I could never have imagined all of the life I have now. I didn’t have the imagination. And I’m going to do some intensely cool things in the future. Even if I do have diarrhea.

My shrink tried to tell me that if I get a “real diagnosis” that means I’m likely to have diarrhea forever that will be the end of travel. I laughed. I told her that I have a travel toilet. I’m going.

My kids are going to see this country. And many others. My kids are going to find out what a range of humans exist here. My kids have so much privilege that sometimes it kind of breaks me. My kids are growing up being told that with great privilege comes great responsibility. I say things like, “There are a lot of people in this world who are so hungry they are not able to think of solutions to the larger problems. It is the responsibility of people who have enough and more to solve these problems because you have the ability to think. If you waste what you have, that is terrible. That is hurtful. You are damaging the people who cannot do what you are doing just out of… what? Not wanting to? Not wanting to deal with making mistakes and having to learn from them? You are going to fuck up in ways big and small. Try to change things. The world needs changing.”

A former student told me that Outrunning Suicide is the book she wishes she had read when she was twelve. She said she cried because of all the mistakes she made during her teen years that could have been avoided if she had read this book. I need to find the time and motivation to submit this for publication. Man it takes spoons. She described it as “It’s like The American Girl Body Book but grown up…”

She says I’m very good at presenting facts and options and not telling people what to do. *phew*

I don’t want to tell you what to do. I don’t know what you should do.

H’okay. 90 minutes since I’ve been in the bathroom and 5 cups of liquid later time to leave the garage. Have a good day, y’all.

Good day

I clean my back yard like many people go to church: for Christmas and Easter. Today, I did some pruning/cleaning and … the kids did more. Holy moly they are getting so big and competent! We were done with all the yard work by ten in the morning.

Physically I feel pretty ok today. That’s nice. I’ve been talking to the kids about pacing the work today so we can rest/go to bed early tonight so we have energy for tomorrow.

Emotionally I feel like today is the best day I’ve had in weeks. That makes me worry that tomorrow I will wake up sobbing and have to drug myself into oblivion to get through the party. Burn that bridge when you get there.

Today the main feeling of sadness I have is that I’m not protesting more right now. I believe it is the right thing for people to be doing. Historically speaking, if you aren’t on the side of being upset about the things happening in our country you are on the wrong side.

But I don’t have the spoons. I’m donating money for funeral costs. I feel sad that I have nothing better to give.

I’m thinking about what I “should” write about my experiences with Kaiser. Haven’t started writing yet.

Today I’m interviewing babysitters. We’ll see if anyone pans out. *Cross fingers* Hell, at this point I may do a cartwheel if someone shows up.

My kids are more competent by the day. I’m getting through the chores I want to get done. When the kids finish eating (they are bottomless pits today) we are going to mail Jenny and Little Djinn’s presents. I’ll also drop off most of the Christmas cards (the ones *I’m* sending; the kids haven’t finished theirs yet).

Aunt Sarah–we have no address for you. I should email you. I will try to get around to it. I am such a fucking schmuck.

I’m kind of surprised that my attitude is positive today. I’m eating rice and turkey and chicken. whoo hoo. You know what? If you put enough dijon mustard on something it tastes alright. It’s just a couple of days. And I get to have soda. (Even though carbonation is awful. I need calories and if apple juice is supposed to be a lot of my form of calories soda isn’t that much worse.) I had ginger ale. swoon with joy

And I pooped today. Like, normal poop. I really think eggs are a bigger problem than wheat or dairy. Even though the last doctor I talked to said it wasn’t possible. After all, she’s a doctor–she knows everything.

Ok that’s my snark for today. Off to post!

(Actually, before I run off: I sorta wonder how much my happiness is tied to the fact that the kids are exponentially more helpful than they were. Hmmm.)

Find gratitude.

My life is not short on excitement. It is now pretty clear that this elimination diet journey is going to take many months. Deep sigh. At least I have the ability to do it. Be happy about that. Takes privilege.

Beyond food being hard over the next few weeks I will have Thanksgiving. I have no idea what I will eat (even my “yes” list is suspect given how much diarrhea I still have) but I will be with the three people in the world who are obsessed with me. It’ll be a good day.

Christmas should be fun. We are starting to gear up.

January will hopefully be very slow. Glacially slow. We’ll see. February we go to Disneyland for a week. March has FOGcon. April has My Little Pony Convention (Called BABScon). May is Shanna’s birthday. June is Noah’s birthday and then we run away.

Just over six months away. I’m starting to look for specific data on where to camp and store stuff while we site-see and such on the big trip. My data-filled-book grows. I’m excited. What to do in different places? Oh so many choices.

Whatever negative things I can say about my life… it is full of wonder and joy. I’m grateful to be doing the things I get to do.

I’m sure we will sneak in another weekend or two camping once I get the trailer put together. Yes, I need to test it in cold weather. I want to live in it for six months. There will be cold nights.

Today I go back to the woo-doctor again. A friend invited us to go ice skating this afternoon. Then we see Pam for the penultimate time before she runs off to see her family on another continent. She’ll be back but she’s going to be gone a while.

Next week no woo-doctor. I get to go be frustrated by Kaiser telling me they won’t help me (wait and watch) and on Wednesday I get a crown put on the tooth I cracked. Yay! Or something. So today with the woo-doctor and then two weeks till I can see him again. (Saying that mostly so I remember later when I talk to him.)

Christmas planning

Shanna has six slots.

Stocking: this sucker is full. It isn’t *packed* but there isn’t much room left. Maybe the top 2″.

Santa: Have. Roominate.

*Want: Don’t have. She has a list, she’ll get something.

Need: Educational games

*Wear: Still need jammies.

Read: Pile of books. Anatomy, space, Spanish language stuff, and how to draw faces.

Calli also gets six slots:

Stocking: Full. Maybe 1″ left at the top.

*Santa: pile o’ Lego’s. I have the boards and I have a small set, I suspect I will get another set.

I’ve spent nearly $500 so far on Christmas. I do have other stuff for other people included in the total–it isn’t all the kids. But we are getting up there on what I want our limit to be for the year. Hm. Shipping kills me every year. It takes such a large percentage of the gift budget. Too bad I love people who live so far away.

I like being done with Christmas shopping before Halloween. Then I get to avoid all the people who are out and angry because other people are out. I’d rather shop in peace.

I’m not ratting on what I’ve gotten Noah.

Want: Don’t have. She has a list, she’ll get something.

Need: Educational games. They are more fun than they sound.

*Wear:Still need jammies.

Read: Lots of snake books. She asked for them.

 

Marital Discord

(Not looking for advice.)

You know how I don’t complain much about Noah? Mostly this is because I don’t have a lot to complain about. I’m a complainer. I like getting things off my chest. I feel better afterwards. So the lack of complaining is noteworthy.

Things are hard lately. My parasympathetic nervous system is shot. Which makes things like sex really hard. I don’t orgasm much at all. We can count how many times I have gotten off (other than masturbating) in the last year on one hand. That sucks. I can masturbate. But partner sex isn’t really doing a lot for me. Partner sex is about gritting my teeth while Noah uses my cunt to masturbate. I’m not feeling very good about myself. I have to grit my teeth because frequently it just flat hurts and I’m trying to bear it. I’m not even really lubricating very much.

Noah periodically says, “We could stop having sex for a while” and that makes me feel worse. I have been very aware from early childhood that marriage meant having sex. That’s why you get married. So you have someone around to fuck whenever you want.

I feel like the biggest asshole ever. Noah married me largely because of my hypersexuality. It’s gone. Well, I bet I could go pick up a casual sex partner and be fine but man I can’t get it up at home. This is hard.

I’m not really sure how to create more space for feeling like sex is a good thing in my life. Right now there just isn’t space. I spend all day being whacked as people whine “Mooooooommmmmmmmmmmy”. No, I don’t feel fucking sexy.

Pretty much every time anyone touches me I flinch. I’m having a hard time. I don’t really know what to do about this other than wait it out and hope it gets better as the kids get older.

At some point I’m going to be able to sit my kids down and beg them to stop hurting me all the time but they still aren’t to a point where they are even capable of understanding what that means. I’m struggling. I feel like the physical experience of the world my body has is the least important priority for everyone in my house. I’m having a hard time.

It doesn’t help that my ambient pain is really high even on pot. Most of my joints hurt a fair bit of the time. My muscles hurt. Pick a random place on my body and poke it and you have like an 80% chance I will say, “Yup that hurts.” Everything hurts. My fucking eyes hurt. I’ve had a headache for months. My arms, legs, and torso fucking hurt. No, I don’t feel very sexy.

In my head I keep praying that maybe if I work with a doctor and change my diet it will help. Maybe. January.

None of this is Noah’s fault and I feel like a ridiculous asshole for withholding sex. I feel like a really bad person.

The part that is bothering me the most is that when I think about sex I think about cutting. But not my normal leg-grid-pattern. When I think about sex and how little it matters how it feels to me I want to cut on my arms. I want to start right at the elbow and pull down to the wrist. Which is more of a suicidal gesture/attempt than just stress relief. I feel very upset with myself for that happening.

Noah is not pressuring me. This is not Noah’s fault. This is just happening. This is just how my brain works.

Sex is one of the primary ways that Noah gets his “cup filled” if you know that whole metaphor. That’s how he feels loved. That’s how he feels wanted. That’s how he gets energy to go out and do the death march that is his life.

We aren’t doing very well right now. We are both tired in this existential way that goes far beyond the sleep deprivation we have had in the past six years (I didn’t sleep much while pregnant).

I think that part of our problem is we keep coming to arguments that center around the fact that we are on very opposite ideological grounds about a great many things.

Noah was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he deeply identifies with the plight of rich people trying to run companies. When you speak badly about rich people/people with privilege… you’re talking shit about him. I’m the kind of person who has a lot bad to say about rich people and people with privilege.

This gets complicated and hard. We both acknowledge that we are better about this strife than we used to be. But it is wearying and hard. These arguments are extremely depressing for me, I think they are for him too.

It is very hard knowing that I have the life of comfort and privilege I have because of someone who falls into a category I talk a lot of shit about. That doesn’t say nice things about me.

I just can’t get into the mindset of arguing from the point of view of the rich and privileged. Whether I currently have money or not. I will pretty much always take the side of the less advantaged in any fight. No, I can’t get into arguing that corporations are doing great things. And I totally understand the impulse to go burn down the houses of the people who own Wal Mart.

(I’m not advocating arson.)

It means that sometimes I have the active feeling of “sleeping with the enemy”. I’m a fucking sell out.

This isn’t helping our sex life.

I would be less grumpy if my entire body didn’t hurt every minute of the day. Err, I hope.

It is very hard for Noah that I actually hate whole categories he belongs to. That makes him feel pretty bad–which makes sense. I don’t hate him. I love Noah very much. Noah is the only person in my entire life who has ever really wanted to know me. I love Noah. I even like Noah. But man we struggle sometimes.

I feel guilty. I feel like if I could just get the fuck over myself everything would be fine. I really have the ideal set up for me. Just relax. Stop being so fucking hateful. I’m not sure how to let go of this resentment I have. This hatred of everyone everywhere who “has” what I don’t have.

It’s not about the money, not really. I think money is the strawman. Security. Safety. Feelings of belonging.

We had a great party last weekend. Those people were here to see me and Noah. They like both of us. I spent a lot of the party feeling like *I* should leave because I am such an unpleasant stupid bitch.

All of my internal dialogue lately is about how stupid, worthless, and unlovable I am. I keep trying to interrupt it. “If you wouldn’t tell your best friend these things don’t say them to yourself.” It doesn’t help that I totally don’t believe that these things are true of anyone else in my life, just me. Of course I wouldn’t say them to my best friend. Just me.

Christmas will be a lot smaller next year. I’m having waves of feeling really upset that almost everything I got under the tree were things I either sent Noah a specific web link “buy this” or I dragged him to the mall and put things in a bag and told him to pay for them. I’m done. I can’t do this again. I feel so bad. (In his defense he did pick which books off my wish list. I am happy about his choices.)

Noah has too many things to think about. Gift shopping for me doesn’t make it to the top of the priority list unless I force it. So I think I am done receiving gifts. I can’t do this again. I feel like a worthless piece of shit.

I’m going to medicate to get through today. I’ve had several unmedicated days lately. I can’t do today without. I don’t think I would be able to stop crying.

Tell the truth. For the last day or so I have felt very suicidal. Lots of images in my head. I don’t want to admit it out loud because I feel like a pathetic attention whore.

It doesn’t help that someone came on the PTSD forum complaining about how her partner talks about her trauma a lot and this supporter says, “She’s just doing it for attention.”

Why the fuck doesn’t she just shut up. Why the fuck don’t I just shut up. All it would take is a little while with a razor blade. I’d shut the fuck up.

I feel so very worthless and stupid and bad. Why can’t I do anything right? Even when people are very nice to me I turn it into a reason to feel bad. I am so fucking pathetic. I hate myself so much.

None of this is Noah’s fault. But he lives with it. That makes me feel very bad about myself. He deserves better.

Sometimes I think there is no such thing as pleasing me. That I am just an asshole. I could come up with a whole long list of other disparaging things to say. I should probably stop though. I’ve made that point. I suck. Moving on.

I want to cut really badly. I want it so much. But today I wouldn’t actually trust myself to just stay on my leg and that is bad juju. I think that when I can confine myself to my leg and fairly shallow cuts as stress relief it’s not the worst coping method in the world. Today I don’t think I could. Today I want to die. No cutting today. My kids still need me.

It is hard feeling like I only exist as a support unit for other people. I take care of my kids. I’m a hole for Noah to fuck. I don’t feel like there is any me that matters in that equation. It’s not a fair characterization of my relationship with Noah. I “know” that. I just don’t know that.

I feel so sad. I want my mommy. It is all my fault I can never have a relationship with her. I walked away. I have no one to blame but me.

I felt pretty hurt by the 1 star review on Amazon saying that I don’t take responsibility for any of the shit in my life. Oh man. I feel responsible.

It is my fault that I have such negative experiences. If I knew how to act proper things would work out better. If I could stop flinching and freaking out all day long then I could probably enjoy sex. It is my fault I can’t control my body. I feel very guilty for every argument I have where I refuse to concede that all we need is another fucking honky to solve the problem.

I don’t feel like I am fighting the good fight. I’m fighting the stupid, irrelevant, no-one-cares-anyway fights. I’m mostly just fighting myself. I’m losing.

This is post-period so I can’t blame it on PMS. I just feel this way. I just feel like a worthless whore.

I’m sorry Noah. I know you deserve better than this. It seems like telling the truth is still a good policy. I don’t think I can just pretend to be what you want.

Clear your head.

I think it is a good thing that Noah and I are planning to hibernate for about a week. Both of us are getting tetchy and short-tempered even about things that don’t usually bother us. Not optimal.

I think that next Christmas I will buy fewer gifts for my kids. I have a hard time with being buried under the avalanche of kind gifts from friends. It is a double edged sword. Other people show my children love through gift giving–it is a fine old tradition. My kids don’t notice what comes from me as a result. Nothing I do feels special to them because it is eclipsed by the nice things from other people.

I don’t think I should continue this gift-giving-love-language thing. I feel sad that nothing I do seems special to them. They have an embarrassment of riches. I don’t want to encourage anyone else to stop (often the gift giving is a large part of the relationship and my kids NEED relationships with other people) but I need to handle my feelings.

The friend who was over sat here and criticized me for not getting enough presents and he was very critical that I didn’t give the kids clothes for Christmas. “But that is part of the process!”

Uhm, my kids are sent boxes of hand made clothes from their grandmother. Nothing I do is going to make a dent next to that. So I don’t waste my time and money trying. He spent a bunch of time telling me how that wasn’t really good enough because I’m not giving the kids what they want. I just… I don’t even know how to respond. Fine. I’m not doing it right. How dare I not give my kids clothes when they have no room in their closet or drawers. I am such a bad parent.

The more presents the kids unwrap on Christmas the more screaming happens. There are never “enough” and yet the kids struggle with feeling overwhelmed. “That’s MY toy.” Dude. There were two identical ones. You don’t even know for sure that the one in your hand came with your name on it. Truly this does not require screaming.

Overall it was a nice day. I think the kids were very normal and fine. I just…

Sometimes I think that “happiness” is the awareness of non-suffering. If you aren’t aware of your lack of suffering you don’t feel happiness.

I am not suffering right now. Is that the same thing as happiness? I’m not sure. I feel tense. My hands are shaking and my belly is cramping. I still know that I will have a good day.

Partially the hand shaking bit is that I have been slowly coming off the pot. Less and less each day. Yesterday was nearly non-medicated. I am growing more afraid of the pain I feel in my body. I’ve been masking it for a long time. Dealing with it as a full-effect-affront is really hard. It steals my spoons away from every other emotional use.

But I will continue. Maybe happiness isn’t about the lack of suffering. Maybe happiness has to be orthogonal to the suffering. Maybe you have to figure out how to be happy *while* suffering.

I am grateful right now, this minute that I get to have the life I have. Today I will get to see my wonderful daughters and my very kind husband. Today I will get to relax and slowly putter on housework (The house is actually quite tidy) and play with the kids.

I notice that part of my shiver–part of the constant feeling of wrongness is the feeling that I’m doing it wrong if no one is there watching me to tell me I’m doing it right. I am not good at giving myself approval for what I do. My approval is worthless. Really less than worthless. If I think I am doing right then I shake with terror that I must be lying to myself.

But I *am* doing what I want to do. Is it “right”? Who decides? Is there a universal standard? First: pick a country, religion, race, and socio-economic setting. Then maybe you can decide what is right or not. But then you get into things like “Some people are temperamentally suited to being a stay at home parent and some people aren’t–regardless of gender.”

So there is no right. There is just what you do.

I love people so much. I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my friends. Some times I feel like I will drown in the waves of emotion. I feel so overwhelmed. I don’t know how to handle these feelings. I feel… unfamiliar with this process. I should get mean and drive people away because at least then I will feel more comfortable. I will be alone, which is what I’m used to anyway.

But I love them so much. I don’t want to hurt them. These feelings are confusing and hard and overwhelming but so what? They just are. Just go with it.

Love people. Do your best. Try to be kind. I’m reading about predators and I’m reminded over and over “Nice is not a personality trait–it is a behavioral choice. The most terrible of people are often extremely nice.”

If what I want from my life is to have impact on people in a positive way it has nothing to do with how I feel. That has to be pretty much irrelevant.

I think part of the emotional fraught-ness right this minute is this continual feeling of having people be missing. I miss my family. I miss my mother. I miss my sister. I miss my Auntie. I miss my niece and nephew. I try to replace them with other people who love me and it just isn’t the same. I feel guilty for the fact that the love of my friends does not obliterate this ache. I feel ungrateful and bad.

But I won’t scream today. I will be kind. I will be gentle and loving. I will make sure that other people don’t have the same holes inside of them. That’s all I can do with this day.

This is how people make it to level 2.

After writing long angsty things I specifically emailed my friend. The response, “I was joking. I had a great time. Your friends are awesome. You were completely fine. I’m going to go take a shower now.”

Yup. That’s how you manage my anxiety. Pat me on the head and then go about your business. Perfect all around.

In other news Christmas was really awesome. The kids are hyped up to within an inch of being able to spontaneously combust and so they have cried a lot. Otherwise it’s been a good day. GoldieBlox and RobotTurtles and marble run and musical instruments and Legos. Life couldn’t get better.

And I got several books. Shop Class As Soul Craft by Matthew B. Crawford, Healing Developmental Trauma by Laurence Heller and Aline LaPierre, and Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists & Other Sex Offenders by Anna Salter.

Obviously my husband knows to whom he is married. I feel loved. And adequately socked. It’s a good Christmas. Lots of bath products. YAY!

Ok, stomach… get ready.

It’s the day! Almost our last social obligation of the year. I’m excited. We aren’t leaving the house between Christmas and New Years.

It is weird how anxiety works. I’m looking forward to seeing people but man my stomach hurts.

At the home school holiday party I said, “Man I’m whiny today. I’m sorry.” Another mother countered with, “How is that different from any other day?” I don’t think I will speak when that person is standing within 10′ of me any more.

This is the kind of thing I over react to. Ok, if I’m that unpleasant then I will work hard to make sure you don’t have to acknowledge that I exist any more.

But she didn’t say I was awful. She said I was whiny. This is a true statement. I am.

Sometimes Noah asks why I don’t punish the kids for whining. Because I don’t punish for things I model. That’s just how it rolls in this house.

There was also a noticeable amount of discussion as to how sad it was that a certain blog reader and 3/5 of her kids weren’t there. (We never get the other 2/5.) I told people that I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a rejection of the group for being sucky. Spoons can only stretch to cover so many activities.

Part of what I like about hosting events is I get to introduce my friends to one another. I know really neat people.

2013 has been one of the best, most stable years of my entire life. If I can’t get my anxiety under control under these circumstances I’m fucked.

I often go back and forth in my head, “My friends deserve to know me sober. Because being sober is always superior to being a loser drug addict. But wait! You are talking like a schizophrenic about to stop taking their meds. Maybe this is a bad plan.”

Don’t worry. I won’t try to do this sober. I haven’t been practicing enough to do an event of this size alone yet. I would spend the party in my bedroom crying and shaking if I tried.

That feels really pathetic. God I’m a loser. Bravery isn’t about feeling no fear. It is about performing to spec no matter how terrified you are. Having a holiday party shouldn’t be terrifying but it is.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what “should” be true. It matters what is.

I’m going to have to spend pretty much all of next year working on being able to do this sober. I’m going to have to be able to handle any size of crowd unassisted before 2015 or I can’t take the kids on the road trip. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Tomorrow. I’ll work on that tomorrow. Next year. All of next year. Not today.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I say “not today–I’ll do that later.” My only consolation is I do usually get around to doing it… or it wasn’t important to begin with.

It is nice to see that I do the things I say I will. Not every single thing–I don’t make that many promises on purpose. I have to figure out sober again.

I used to be sober. I managed my PTSD without meds for most of my life. It has meant a lot of isolating in order to calm my ambient stress. I don’t get that now that I have kids.

I have to teach them to be part of my lower stress or I’m fucked. This sounds hard and scary.

Bravery doesn’t mean never feeling scared. It means you keep your ass moving even when you are scared. I can do that. I can keep moving.

I think today will be fun. I think I will be glad I did it even though it creates stress too.

I thanked Noah and the kids for helping me clean the house. I told them that it is important to me to once in a while have a clean house and a party and I appreciate that they did work towards that even if it isn’t important to them.

I was only an asshole about the cleaning for maybe 10 hours total and it wasn’t all yesterday it was over a week. That’s not great but it isn’t as bad as it could be.

In my head I have this tally sheet. I know how harsh I have seen some mothers be. I’m not on the harsh end of what I have seen. I have seen some seriously brutal people though. I like being on the nicer end of the scale. I don’t even know why I want it so bad but I do.

If I can’t get my kids to cooperate by being nice to them then I think the cooperation I get through being an asshole is suboptimal. Sometimes I’m a fucking self absorbed asshole and I do it. I try really hard to avoid it though.

Life involves work. I need my kids to not be the kind of people who sit back and watch while work is being done. I need for them to be the kind of people who say, “There is work to be done? Where do I start?”

I very consciously don’t give them much bullshit work day-in/day-out through the year. I really don’t have a lot of make work. I don’t make them live in a perfectly clean house all the time (ha!). I enforce daily teeth cleaning, underwear changing, and they have to set the table for meals. That’s what I really enforce on a daily basis.

I need for them to grow up in an atmosphere where it is fine to not do much most of the time and sometimes you have to chip in. You just do.

I don’t know how to inspire this very well though. I always resort to bullying and crying at some point. It’s pretty fucking lame. I try to recognize when I am bullying, retract the statement and walk away. “I should not have said that. I’m sorry I was such a jerk.” Usually that comes in the form of a threat to throw away anything that isn’t picked up. It’s not a cool threat. I’m an asshole for saying it. Just because I feel it that doesn’t excuse me saying it.

I tried really hard to not fuss at the kids. I wasn’t fully successful but I tried. I need to try harder. It isn’t their fault I want things. I try to let them know, “There isn’t a good reason I want this. I just want it. Will you please help me?” Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. It is hard to manage my emotional reaction to being turned down.

Right now it is part of that whole, “If I do not know the answer will be ‘yes’ then I don’t have the spoons to ask for help” problem. I get into these cycles. As the people I live with the kids have to deal with the results of what happens when I can’t handle a no and I get one any way. Mostly I go in my room and shut the door and cry.

Which makes me feel like a manipulative piece of shit.

I try to not-react as much as possible. I know that I’m supposed to maintain a neutral state over here on my own but I’m shite at that. I’m trying.

Like the woman letting me know that I whine every day. Oh. Shit. Ok I guess the solution is to just stop talking. I don’t know what else to do.

I don’t think I can stop talking entirely. That would kill me. But I can make sure I don’t bother you any more. I’m sorry my existence is such a trial to you. I’m not even being sarcastic. I am annoying. I’m sorry. I don’t really know how to change that I am this difficult.

Some people are easier than others. I don’t even just mean the sex. Not that I’ve been easy to have sex with lately. Poor Noah. Our sleep cycles are totally out of alignment and we’re tired and over-committed and having kids is an impediment. Life happens.

This phase isn’t permanent–right?

Just keep moving. If you are still alive there is always a chance that things will change. If you want things to be different, just keep moving. Just because I can’t do something today that means nothing about ten years from now.

Right now I can’t play any musical instrument. That could change. I don’t sew. Some day I might. Right now Noah thinks there is no chance he will ever be a distance runner. It’s not his favorite. But if he wants to keep eating cookies with me at the rate we are going through them… I think it could happen.

If he wants to have a long, sex-filled life with me we will have to do some more exercise. I’m told it is good for you. We have no physical disabilities so we don’t have good excuses. (There are good reasons some people can’t run. I’m not acting like this is universally applicable…)

I have a lot of time ahead of me. I can figure out how to do a lot of things. I read something cool this morning about how great artists often go through big revivals in their 80’s.

I have spent most of my life believing I would die fairly young. But if I want to find out what Shanna is like on her 60th birthday I have to not die until well into my 80’s. I should plan for that. I should consciously try to get there. I should work at it. And then Calli is even two years behind that.

I want to see what their lives will be like. I don’t want to just witness their childhood and feel sad all the time that no one loved me as a child.

What will they do with their adulthoods? How will they inspire me? I’m sure they will.

Just keep moving. Keep introducing them to interesting people. I know so many neat people. I know people who do the fucking coolest stuff. I like basking in their glow. I like getting to be an audience. I should stay alive and keep doing that.

Today I will manage my anxiety and see friends. My kids will get to see a lot of different kinds of people. It is rare that I cross the streams like this. Home schoolers, perverts, geeks, and dancers. Who knows what the results will be like. I think everyone will be child-appropriate. I think people will be polite and wonderful. I think that sometimes questions will be answered in surprising ways. That’s for the best.

It takes all kinds in this world. My friends are Christians, Jews, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, and pagans. I don’t have any friends who are practicing Muslims but it’s not on purpose. At least no one has chosen to share with me that they follow that religion.

I thought about name tags. “Hi my name is ________. I know Krissy/Noah through ___________.” That would be awesome for me. I would enjoy how people self-identify. Ha. “Burning Man. Uhhhh…. that’s it…. I know them through Burning Man.” Not that I (Krissy) have gone. But I know a lot of Burners. And many people that I think of in other categories would probably self-identify our friendship that way because it sounds more child safe.

I’m not going to put anyone more on the spot than I have to. Not today. I don’t have the spoons to manage.

It will be a good day. Time to stop typing.

Christmas shopping is over.

I’m annoyed I had to spend time out shopping today. My dear sweet 5 year old decided that yesterday was a great day to go through my dresser. So she saw her Santa present.

I can’t handle the guilt that would come with ruining the Santa secret this year. And the only other “toys” she was getting from us for Christmas was a board game she can’t play alone yet (Goldiblocks!) or a wooden stick with a horse head on it. Those both struck me as thoroughly lame Santa presents. Because I have issues.

The firefighter outfit would have been perfect. Freakin kid!!!!

So she will get musical instruments. Because I’ve been dithering about getting them for three years already. I have mixed feelings.

Mostly I feel guilty and like I am going overboard on Christmas.

We won’t have very many wrapped presents under the tree.

I think I’m having issues with feeling like I am undersupplying too. My childhood training of mountains of gifts is hard to overcome. I feel like I am not very fun. Mostly these days I don’t get my kids toys. Their grandparents send enough combined with random presents from friends. I don’t give toys for birthdays.

I want to give my kids toys for Christmas. I wish I didn’t feel so ashamed of myself.

This is what having privilege is about, right? If you are able to do it, there is no shame in doing it. I’m not going so overboard that we will suffer next year for this. I’m not running up debt I can’t pay off. I’m spending cash I have on hand.

I wish I didn’t feel so bad about buying things I want with Noah’s money. Really? I feel guilty about buying a musical instrument set? I feel guilty about the Lego’s too.

Calli’s Santa present is a Lego set. Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Because it is her favorite show.

I don’t think they are too spoiled…

busy day

Good news! I had ten days of pot left in the stash I brought to Dad’s house. I had two more weeks in the freezer. Christmas will not be as stressful as I thought. YAY!!!!

I thought making gingerbread houses would take me more like 1/2 an hour per batch with a little extra wiggle room. Instead it is taking over an hour per batch. I had to make 14 sets. I wish my kids had fewer friends. And some people are kind of grumpy with me for not being invited. My finger is numb from pressing on the knife to cut out the pieces.

Ok, have to start making icing. People arrive in 2.5 hours. I slept for about four hours because I so dramatically underestimated how long this would take. Today had better be fun.

Didn’t wake up crying.

I’m up to 38, 471 words. It is getting harder to think of topics I should cover. Almost through the process. Thank goodness.

Therapy was good yesterday. I got to have some time off afterwards because K told me not to come home until two. Yes, ma’am. I sat and ate and wrote. Good thing because I was falling behind in word count.

I have a blank white wall in my garage. Noah suggests islands. My garage is much warmer now. The wall is tilted because it was built around the garage door in such a way that I could believably tell the city inspector that I can dismantle it myself in an hour so SURELY this isn’t a permanent room and thus breaking city code. But it is much warmer now!

Today I need to put plant bulbs in the ground. Daffodils and tulips of joy oh my. So “need” is probably a strong word. They are in the fridge and according to planting guides they want to go in the ground sometime in the next five days. Today is the best day. The lovely rain softened up the ground for me. How convenient.

My therapist and I talked about the whole unmet needs thing. I told her that I’m struggling with the fact that I have actual needs at this point in my life but they are going unmet and they will continue to go unmet and at some point my kids will grow up and I won’t have these needs anymore and hopefully it will be easier then.

I’m kind of used to having needs that aren’t met.

But sometimes even when you have actual needs they will never be met and it won’t kill you. And you have to just get up and keep moving anyway. Even though your needs aren’t being met.

I keep checking the internet. My mother told me that if I took my children away from her she would kill herself. She isn’t dead yet. I guess the need for my children wasn’t as strong as she thought. I think I’m glad. I’m not sure.

I have a lot of good reasons for being an angry person. That doesn’t make it easier for anyone to put up with. That doesn’t mean that people should put up with me lashing out at them.

I asked Noah if I am still harsh with him. He said not anymore but I used to be. I used to be that harsh when I didn’t believe that he would respond well to boundaries or support me or believe me. But I’m not harsh any more. I stopped a while ago.

I blog the way I do, in this stream of conscious sometimes I regret volunteering all of my inner drama to the world sort of way because people like me usually never find a voice.

Being inside my head is not pretty. I really and truly want to accurately reflect it. Being a real person means that you are not always what other people want you to be. That means the difficulties and the good things too.

When I die it will be possible for people to still know a lot about me. The good, the bad, the ugly. It is really important to me for reasons I couldn’t possibly explain. It just is. I hope I am this obnoxious for the rest of my life. Not because everyone deserves to be trashed–that’s not the point. I’m not trashing people.

When I complain about issues I tend to complain about larger patterns and not particular people. I have had a large number of people over the years tell me that they have thought about helping me and they decided not to. That pretty much exact exchange has happened numerous times. I don’t think I have ever blogged about it before (can’t recall off the top of my head) so it is this invisible pattern in my life. It’s a pattern that is causing me problems.

I haven’t talked about it because I know the people involved “mean well”. I don’t actually want to hurt people. I have way more tact than anyone would believe.

But sometimes I am not able to put my head down and shut my mouth and just smile and say thank you. Sometimes I can’t. I regret my lack of control but I’m not sure mastery of this subject is within my grasp in this decade. Maybe later.

If you need to exist out in public that means you will be judged and that means that sometimes you will fuck up in public. Sometimes people will not like how you are acting. That has to be part of the process.

I don’t promise to talk nice in my blog. I promise I will do my best to always treat you exactly how you deserve in person. I’m very sorry that knowing about the difference between what I think and how I act is hard. I am trying to learn how to not be offensive. I don’t know how to turn my brain off though.

I am looking forward to planting and spreading some mulch today. I’ll move slowly.

I’m not going to paint the garage wall this winter. Can’t do it. That means the garage is put back together for a few months. Today I will attach the bookshelves to the wall. That’s the non-self-hating thing to do. I hear.

I’m very glad I get to pick what I do in a day.

I’m very glad I get to spend today with my girls.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that when I was Calli’s age my parents divorced. My mom moved a boyfriend in to support her and I was “mean to him” and he left resulting in my mom and sister hating me. We became homeless. I was sent off to live with the first in a long string of homes. That was when I started rocking and crying myself to sleep.

I’m glad I get to be with my kids all day. I want this life so bad.

The house is clean so the kids can help with cooking stuff. There is room and space and I won’t freak out as I trip over things. I can be patient enough to let them make another mess.

I’m not teaching them to be kids. I’m teaching them how to be an adult. Adults have to go do a lot of different things. You have to have skills. We’ll get to academics. Later.

Today will probably be good. I’m almost done with my reading list. I’m almost done with my gardening projects for the whole year. I’m done with house stuff for the year.

I want to put up the outside Christmas lights. We haven’t gotten a tree yet but we’ve done the rest of the decorating. (I had to move the cabinet the decorations were in–I might as well put them up at the time. Also we will be out of town for 10 days of Christmas. I’d rather not have to do the decorating during the shortened time period. I instead get to come home to Christmas. Yay!)

Noah is making cookies already. I should freeze some. He’s made three kinds so far. Sugar is love. Ha.

My house is already clean enough and set up enough for the party in a month. I will only have to do flight of the bumble bee.

We are in the process of eating all the carbs in the house (almost done with the backlog in the freezer) because come January I will have to do an elimination diet. Yes I will work with medical professionals. I need to need less pot to deal with the pain in my body. I need to stop paying for the ability to eat. This isn’t working. It is too expensive. I need to do something else.

I would like to be fully off of pot before I go on the cross country road trip with the kids in 2015. I don’t think I should be driving during the days and getting stoned every night while I camp alone with my kids. That strikes me as wildly inappropriate and unsafe. So I have to be functional in my body alone before then. I have a year to make it work. Ok. That’s what next year will have to be about. Shit.

Some people need a crutch for their whole life and there is no shame in it. Sometimes you need a crutch for a temporary period. I went about 25 years unmedicated (there were some stupid periods mid-way where I tried meds–I was so sick the whole time) so I will have to get back to that. Stress management has always been how I have done it.

Sex, exercise, better food choices for my body (which I don’t have a fucking clue about right this minute), and I don’t even know what else.

I feel good about the fact that my life is so clearly plugging along. I may be whiny but I get shit done. Things are changing.

I will have tulips in the spring and for every spring afterwards.

I don’t know how much gardening this year will bring. I may be growing very different foods next year if I can’t have nightshades any more. We’ll see.

I am trying to organize some local families into a fruit gleaning group. I have buy-in and initiative. I just need to figure out the details and do the back end work. That will probably be part of next year.

Next year I am going to have to find the courage to go get rejected by a bunch of publishing houses. Woo. bleh.

Good thing next year is next year and this year is this year and I am almost DONE WITH MY CHORE LIST!! Ahem. I uhh probably take too much self-identity from this.

I have completed 50 new-to-me books so far and I am more than halfway through two more.

I really changed the yard this year. Man I’m grateful for the help I got. I sing hallelujahs and praise the names. Paying for help does not invalidate that it is help.

I’m happy with the house progress. I’m overjoyed that my garage will no longer flood. I like the pantry set up a lot more than I did. This is better. Once I have the boxes outside for the tools I think the pantry will be perfect for at least five minutes. Then I’ll find a reason to whine. I’m talented.

No, I’m kidding. I think I may have found a configuration that can just last for years. I feel… way more feelings than I should about this. I’m happy with the idea that my house is settling into a shape where I might stop ripping it apart constantly.

I get to be here. I get to stay here. I’m allowed to make this into what I really want. Nope, it isn’t polished and perfect and an expensive looking house. I’m kind of a cheap date. I’m happy with cotton batting over the pipes as a line of clouds instead of a wooden enclosure. I think it is pretty fun.

I don’t need perfect. I’m not perfect. I’m having fun.

Christmas gifting. (I’m just skipping Halloween entirely.)

Noah declared that with a large raise should come a raise in our gift giving budget. Then we bought tickets to Texas. Ha. I’m already starting to near the end of shopping so I thought I would figure out what I’ve done. We have a lot of travel near the end of the year and I want to not think about gifts in November and December if I can help it.

Noah:

something to wear: check

something to read: nope

something you want: nope

something you need: nope

stocking: nada

Santa: yeah no.

Uhm. on to less depressing people.

Shanna:

something to wear: yes (nightgown)

something to read: yes

something you want: doll she picked out at Disneyland

something you need: backpack with self-entertainment kit

stocking: mostly done. still need tights and maybe one toy.

Santa: no clue

Calli:

something to wear: yes (nightgown)

something to read: yes

something you want: doll she picked out at Disneyland

something you need: bed spread

stocking: mostly done. still need panties and socks (she asked for Strawberry Shortcake socks and I haven’t found them yet)

Santa: no clue

 

Coming along though. Some stuff needs to get shipped soon. I should wrap it first.

One season at a time.

Shanna was in the grocery store. She wanted to know why the Christmas trees were being put up with the Halloween stuff. I told her to talk to an employee and not me because I am not responsible.

But of course I’m already thinking about Christmas a lot. Thanksgiving is handled. We are going to Dad’s. Christmas we are staying home.

This year the only presents under our tree on Christmas morning will be to and from people who are in the room. I’m not having another over whelming Christmas with stuff from Noah’s parents. I am deeply grateful for the stuff they send. I even send freakin thank-you letters.

But I don’t know these people and they don’t need to dominate my day on Christmas.

We will get up and make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning instead of pre-making them and making a bunch. That was my mom’s thing. It doesn’t need to be my thing. I can have part of the tradition with a lot less work.

I’m looking forward to the lights. I’m already having an interesting time adjusting to the dark. (My kids are sleeping way more! It’s awesome.)

I just don’t care about Halloween this year. Usually I do. This year I just… don’t.

Because my husband likes lists:

I of course want a stocking and Santa present. Soap, underwear, socks, food, and maybe something shiny like a lip gloss? You know those colorful stacking blocks I was looking at? Great Santa present. (Look around for best price. They vary by more than $70 depending on website.)

A book (something to read)

I shoved a jammie shirt in your underwear drawer. You could pick out a pair of bloomers to go with them and I would be happy. (something to wear)

A compost bucket. Shiny and metal and with a lid to keep in the nasty smell. Please. 🙂 (something you need)

Err… something from my gift list? It would be nice to have one more present. 🙂 (something you want)

Noah, I appreciate that you try so hard. I see it.

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.

Tricky.

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.)

Christmas

Noah and I are having a hard time settling into Christmas. We both have a lot of baggage. Even though he is quite unfair and he doesn’t have time to sit down and write me essays about what he is feeling I persist in laying my emotions before the internet.

Shanna has been asking me about Christmas. What it means. Why we do it. I told her that just about every religion has some kind of ritual in late December around the longest night of the year. Sometimes it is a few days away and folks try very hard to come up with some kind of “rational” story about why they need to have a celebration then. Stories are very easy to come up with.

I told her that just about every human being has trouble sustaining hope and through the winter is when it is hardest. You feel like everything is terrible and bad. There is no point in trying. Many people feel sad and rejected and unloved at this time of year. It feels like there will never be a return of light.

So in this country we call our mid-winter celebration Christmas (mostly, unless you have a specific reason to call it something else) and if you notice there are a lot of lights associated with it. People like light. It makes us feel like we don’t have to be alone and scared in the dark.

I keep my Christmas tree lit for basically all of December. I understand that it is technically a fire risk. I also sleep out there near the tree several times. I always have.

I need the light. I need that renewal of hope every year. It is a subtle thing, but very important to me.

Then of course she wants to know why presents. I said that generosity (giving stuff) and avarice (getting stuff) both make people feel very good. It has to do with the chemicals in our brain. I said that people like combining symbols because that makes them more powerful. If you give gifts as part of a ceremony of lights that is about restoring hope it is like a promise every December that good things will come again.

Even though you are scared–even though it feels like there is no hope. There is always hope. The longest, darkest, most terrible day of the year always brings hope.

Thus we mark it with gifts. Both to keep us from being afraid and to make us happy. And because getting stuff is kind of fun.

In our house we use this as a time of restocking necessary things but getting slightly higher quality or fancier version.

Socks, underwear (if needed), pajamas, soap, consumable objects–both edible and otherwise–provide the bulk of gifts.

I really like giving food. There is something primal and intense for me about being able to feed people. I feel like that is one of the primary ways I have of actually being supportive and loving of the people in my life.

Almost no one in my life needs me to buy them soap or socks. They just don’t have need in that area. They do need to eat multiple times a day every day. I can allow them to skip a step of work or save money. That is something I can actually do. That makes me feel good in the same kind of way that going out and picking up garbage in our neighborhood makes me feel good.

And sugar is just awesome. So I give a lot of sweets to go along with my lights and subliminal message of hope. No matter how bitter your life is right now, here is some sweet to go along with it. This too shall pass. Just like the long night will pass. There is always hope.

In our culture we have Christmas and New Years right together. What better hope is there than having a clean slate right after the festival of lights?

Oh, and there was this historical guy named Jesus and the Christians are very big on him so that’s why you see Nativities. It’s part of their mythology. Luckily we live right next to a Hindu temple so the expression, “It’s part of their mythology” gets used a lot. Especially with the uber intense Christian homeschooling family a few doors down.

“Why does she talk about Jesus all the time?” Because it brings her comfort. Don’t worry about it.

Our advent calendar is full of things to do. Like fill out Christmas cards. Put up the outside lights. Make cookies. Have a party. Go on a walk and look at the lights. I may try to talk my similarly-community-crazy neighbors into caroling. That would be rad.

I like for Christmas to be a time of spending time together. I have hope because of and for the people in this house. Let’s be honest here. I’m a cold bastard. I may love people outside of my house but I can’t spend much time having hope for them. It wears me out. I have no control over their lives.

I have to keep my hope in house. This is a far more pleasant experience now than it used to be. Trying to have a renewal of hope alone with yourself is very hard. Now I have these wonderful people to be with.

And I’m freaking out. The kids have broken four tree ornaments and two other decoration pieces in the first three days of having stuff out. I got mad. I yelled. Noah pointed out that I should put the breakable things away before I create a situation I will regret. He’s a smart boy. They broke ornaments that were my mothers. They broke the stable that is part of the nativity set that belonged to my family of origin before I was born. I have no idea if it is 35 or 50 years old. Now it is broken.

It is just a thing. Noah is right that it isn’t appropriate to get mad at the kids. They are two and four. If I have breakable things I need to keep them out of reach or it is on my head.

That’s the part that is different from what I experienced. That is the most important part. I can’t get angry with them for being two and four. Well, I can. But making a habit of it is stupid. I think it is ok that Shanna and Calli saw me get angry about so many things getting broken so fast. But that anger needs to stay in that ten minute period and I can’t dwell on it.

I’ve been sick and the kids are cooped up and fussy. And we are all cold. The pilot light will be lit today. Woo.

Getting through all the tasks I associate with Christmas is overwhelming if not structured. That’s why I do the advent calendar. Otherwise I freak out and get stuck doing too much on one day and I’m overwhelmed and I end up crying. I cry when I get frustrated being getting mad feels so unacceptable.

I don’t feel like I wrapped that up coherently but I have to go start the day.