Category Archives: comment

Words, definitions, insults

Bitch, asshole, cunt. Why do we love these words so much? It isn’t just me who has a love-affair. I self-identify easily as an asshole. Yup, I’m self-absorbed and I’m going to default to thinking my needs are more important than yours. I’m not sorry. Bitch is harder for me. Asshole I view as more passive–not attacking anyone but not doing anything unless motivated by selfish need. Bitch is more aggressive. Bitches attack. Bitches are willing to savage people just because they are having a bad day. Notice how gendered these assumptions are? When men withdraw and refuse to engage… they are an asshole. When a woman chases cause she’s pissed… she’s a bitch.

Even that paragraph isn’t really true. Many men are called assholes when they are aggressive. So it’s not like being an asshole is just a passive retreat thing. Men are assholes and women are bitches. Even though some assholes can be loud about it, I feel like assholes are still in the “resistant” role. Assholes “are how they are and you can fuck off if you don’t like it”.

Bitches are different. Bitches want to control. Bitches try to make people do things they may not want to do. Bitches are manipulative (in that bad way.) Really, isn’t being a bitch just a short hand way of saying, “You there, with the vulva, shut your mouth.”

Bitches are women who talk when other people wish they would shut up. Bitches are the women who won’t sleep with you even though, don’t they know you are a Nice Guy?!!?!? 

Those bitches.

P said I call myself a bitch a lot here. So I did a search find on the front page. Do I do it “a lot?” My off-the cuff guess was five references. I was wrong. Eleven references. Only one of them about a person other than myself (and she deserved it–actually she probably didn’t and I’m being a jerk. My only saving grace is I did it in an anonymous way about a stranger and she’ll never know or care.)

Three of the references were “bitchy”. That leaves me with seven times I called myself a bitch. And given how long my entries are… not many entries stay on the front page.

Ok, I call myself a bitch frequently.

I think I partially use these words as self-descriptors because if I say it first… other people are just being “unoriginal” when they use them–it hurts less. I say them because sometimes my reactions seem scary and out of proportion to people (if they knew the whole back story I don’t think my reactions would seem so out of proportion) and if you tell people you are a bitch/asshole they just kind of shrug off the “over” reactions. “Assholes/bitches do that.” It’s a different kind of privilege to opt-in to. The kind of privilege where people stop pressuring you to change so much.

People tell “nice” or “kind” people how they should be all day long. It’s disgusting. When you are a known asshole… people tend to mostly keep their opinions to themselves unless you have a firmly established relationship. My close friends say things to me that would probably shock the fuck out of people who know me casually. It’s about getting used to different peoples tolerances. My tolerances are very unusual. It’s not really that I can “handle more” than other people because I can’t. But the things I can handle are things that are different from what most people can handle. Non-overlapping circles of cope.

I desperately, desperately, overwhelmingly, chokingly want to a good person, but I don’t think I want to be “nice”. I’m an asshole. Assholes can be good people too. Assholes can be personally abrasive and difficult and still do lots of good for the world. Nice people are pretty locked into being nice. They don’t get the dynamic personality I want to have. They have to care too much about the feelings of people around them.

I care exactly how much it is prudent for me to care and maybe a little less.

I have people I latch onto emotionally and my tolerances are vast and broad for people who are in the inner circle. I’m not “nice” but I am tolerant, accepting, and loving. But I’ll be rough and uncomfortable in the process because I just am.

I choose to be effective over being well-liked. If I am liked, bonus. I care way more about being effective.

Someone I spend a fair bit of social time standing near was making conversation. She asked what we are up to lately. I talked about having three conferences in five weeks and can’t these people work together to spread this shit out?! No. They are three completely separate communities. I am probably going to be the singular overlap between events. Sigh. She asked what I am doing at the conferences. I said presenting. She expressed surprise. (Not shock or anything insulting… she just hasn’t heard much about me doing that kind of thing.) I told her I am talking about imposter syndrome in writers and sustainable ambition. She asked me what sustainable ambition is. I gave about a 30 second run down. She kind of hinted, “Uhm… why did they ask *you* to present on that topic?” (She’s really good at asking questions in polite ways so my rephrasing is almost certainly more insulting sounding. She’s super sweet.)

I told her that I got married less than 9 years ago and at that time we had an on-paper net worth of around $300k and over $350k in debt including the mortgage. Now we have a net worth of $1.3 million and $150,000 in debt. We are doing pretty well.

Her jaw dropped.

“Wow. I guess you do have stuff to say on this topic then. Go you. That’s incredible.”

Yeah, I have a few opinions around managing money, savings, investments, and ambition. My opinions are not THE RIGHT OPINIONS EVERYONE MUST SHARE OR FAIL!!!!! But maybe someone will hear a useful tidbit. I was asked to come talk. Other people think they will enjoy hearing me talk about this topic.

Total anxiety fest.

As I’m heading into three conferences (technically at the third one I’m only on the hook for the Easter egg hunt) I feel a little bit more like “People are ok with me being part of their communities.” Even more so…. some of them want me to talk about my experiences. That’s very validating.

If I’m getting positive feedback like that, why do I need to hold on to the bitch/asshole thing?

Because I’m a woman. I will never get away from being a bitch no matter what I do. If I willfully take asshole along with it and I label myself as I see fit in a conversation (When you tell someone, actually I’m not being a bitch I’m being an asshole they tend to be so startled the insults trail off.) then I have a lot more control around my self-perception and around the perception other people have of me.

If I were trying and trying and trying to be nice I would fail and people would flay me with it. Instead I tell people I’m an asshole and they celebrate any ounce of niceness. Fucking awesome.

Ma-nipulation it is fun for me

I like to get my way and it is so fun-ny

(Ok, that rhymes into a little song I sing… Not sure that the tone carries through in writing…)

It is funny for me that if I spend a lot of time telling people I’m an asshole the primary thing people want to do is argue, “Oh no you aren’t…” and then when I do something that is an asshole move they look at me with shock. “Wait… you are… actually an asshole?!”

Truth in advertising doesn’t result in people believing you.

Yesterday I was skirting the bitch/asshole line pretty hard. We were at a trampoline place with friends. There were no employee monitors. So the little kids wanted to stay together in a pack. Which meant 3-7 kids bouncing on one trampoline at a time. I consider this very unsafe. I consider it very unsafe because I’ve seen awful trampoline accidents. (I spent time rurally in Texas. Those kids did stupid shit because they were bored.)

My kids don’t like being bounced. So my kids spent half the time screaming/crying “Get away from me” and “Leave me alone” because they kept getting hurt. If I tried to physically block off ONE GOD DAMN SQUARE other kids just would not leave them alone. I got so fucking mad. STOP BOUNCING MY KID SHE FUCKING SAID NO.

I didn’t curse once. I like these kids. But man their behavior was sucky yesterday. When someone says No, that means fucking no. What is your problem? Also I was extra triggered because one kid I like wrestling with (we’ve done it a lot over many years) kicked me in the throat and wouldn’t talk about it at all. Kid ran away laughing at me. I felt ridiculously triggered and upset. I’m going to need to talk to Parent and Kid about this. I am sincerely worried about accidentally hurting one of these kids some day because they are too rough with my body. I have a lot of reflexes that I’ve toned down but not eliminated. The kids are getting bigger. When they kick me in the throat now it feels like a real threat and I have to do a lot of cognitive processing to recognize that this child is not trying to start a fist fight. It’s hard to sit on. I need some better boundaries here and I’m not being effective at making them without Parent’s help. We’ll see how it goes.

It was at least 9 kids doing doing the chasing-jumping it so it’s not like I’m mad at one person. It was just stressful after a while. And I didn’t want to stomp down to the parent area and tell them, “Will you make your little assholes behave? My little assholes are trying and failing and they are getting hurt.”

Which isn’t an appropriate thing to say at all. No one likes you if you talk about their kids that way. Even though in my opinion EVERY KID IS AN ASSHOLE. I’ve met them. I’ve watched how they behave. Assholes. All of them. It’s not a huge insult it’s just an evaluation of their behavior. They don’t care at all how their actions impact the people around them. It’s a learned process to care about people.

I actually really like the kids that were there. I play with them a lot. We have many good and wonderful games. I feel like I have learned more about how to “play” with this crowd than I ever understood as a child. I really like these kids a lot. Losing contact with them would be devastating. So I have no intention of ever walking up to the group of moms and saying, “Your little assholes….” even though I wouldn’t mean anything that bad by it. That’s how I talk. That’s how I describe the mood of the moment, not their personhood.

I have lots positive to say about every single kid there. But sometimes their behavior sucks. Kinda like me.

I know they meant well. They wanted us to play their game with them. But I’m too big and Calli is too small and Shanna is just too much of a whiner. If I jump with five kids on a trampoline, we may end up with a trip to the hospital and the kids would not back off. Calli got hurt several times because she is just smaller than everyone else. She doesn’t want to feel like a piece of popcorn being tossed about without her will. And Shanna is… Shanna. “I went into the dodge ball area and they THREW BALLS AT ME. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”

Uh, yeah. That happens.

This is the trouble with not sticking kids in public school; they never get the cold hard reality that sometimes balls will come crashing into your face because obviously, “Ha ha” this is such a great game.

I may opt out of the next trampoline group event. We can go by ourselves. We have fun when we go alone. Then I can be as nasty as necessary to defend ONE DAMN SQUARE and Calli will get to jump without sobbing hysterically. We have tons of fun with these kids in every other setting. Maybe we are just not trampoline compatible. That happens.

I’m kind of mean to little kids I don’t know. They won’t fucking listen if you don’t have a harsh tone of voice. “Please stop” is ignored full speed ahead. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR HEARING I SAID STOP.” is listened to much better. I can’t be as harsh with folks we know because then their moms might develop a problem with me. It’s a balancing act of trying to be effective vs. trying to maintain on-going relationships. I really and truly think that children wandering around in the community need to run into the brick wall boundaries of strangers. My kids have gotten yelled at by strangers. Usually my response is, “You deserved it. You ran into someone who owed you nothing and you pushed your luck. Yup, that happens sometimes.”

My shrink and I had a long talk about “You like being that way”. Ok, it wasn’t a long talk. It was just a few minutes. But it was a good talk. Her point is that everyone has some sets of behaviors that feel more natural, more “ok” than others. When a new coping method comes up it can either feel like it overall matches “your approach” or it will feel alien and wrong because it is counter to your impulses. What she meant by “You like being that way” is, I am far more comfortable defaulting to an aggressive way of handling problems. It’s true. I am not always angry and I don’t always curse and I haven’t used actual violence in many years. But if I see a problem my response is probably going to be to walk up to someone and say, “I see we have a problem.”

And even when I do that in nice ways I get called a bitch.

Women are not supposed to be pro-conflict. That is espoused all over the world. Women should shut up and be passive. Yeah, right. (Yes, there are pockets where women are encouraged to be louder and more assertive. Yes, there are men who totally fucking love dominant women. These things usually fall outside the norm.) I haven’t heard that much about it, but I hear that in Chinese culture there is a stereotype that would work for me: Dragon Lady. Usually a grandmother/mom who runs a business? That’s the gist I’ve gotten. A woman who is good at being loud and in charge. Excellent.

I think that conflict moves the world forward. I think that right this minute the world isn’t that great and we need to change a lot of things. Yes, I understand that historically speaking we are at a great place for the rights of white women in first world nations.

I’m, uhm, less satisfied by that level of success than one might assume. It’s not like white women have achieved parity… they are just doing better than other races. Not ok. This has to change. Women in India still have to deal with the very real threat that if they talk back to a man he might throw acid on her face and receive no punishment. Feminism is Not. Fucking. Done. Women of color in this country get thrown under the bus by white feminists all the time and it isn’t fucking ok.

The fact that 91 people were killed by the police in January of 2015 is an atrocity. Most of them were men of color. Black and First Nations men die at a disproportionate rate from being killed by police officers. That’s an outrage. That is abominable, disgusting, and horrifying. There are more black men in prison now than there were black men as slaves! This is not ok. Just not fucking ok.

I think we need change. In our country, in our world. The only way to spur change is to make people uncomfortable with the status quo. George Bernard Shaw says (barely paraphrased): “The reasonable person adapts themself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to themself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable person.”

I’m an unreasonable person. Sometimes this manifests as being a bitch or an asshole. Then we come to cunt.

When I was a little kid there was one word that would cause my mother to drag me to the kitchen by my hair, yank my head back, and fill my mouth with Palmolive. Cunt.

The dirtiest word in our (my bio-family) lexicon. That is the lowest, most disgusting, most degrading thing you can call a woman. That is what I was taught. A cunt is the lowest social position available to a woman and it means contempt and violence at every opportunity.

Being a cunt means being a scapegoat. A cunt is someone who is conveniently assigned every negative behavior and mannerism one wishes to punish. Promiscuity, too loud, too abrasive, too self assured, too “mean”…. It’s complicated. It’s always sexualized. A cunt is a home wrecker.

I’ve never identified as a cunt much. I’ve never been able to get past my childhood conditioning. Even when I was out hunting for married men I was never interested in home wrecking. I usually fucked the wife too. I left them with happy memories and a kiss on the cheek.

Cunt changed for me after I read the wonderful book called Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio. At this point I fairly freely refer to my anatomy as my cunt, especially during sex. But I don’t call people that.

Because I can never forget that the name of the most wonderful part of my body is supposed to be the worst, most terrible, most degraded thing a person can be called. Not cool.

So I conflictedly stick with bitch and cheerfully stick with asshole.

I manage this with the kids slightly differently. I don’t tell them I’m an asshole all day long. I nod and sagely say, “I can be quite annoying, this is true.” Why doesn’t it work that way when I talk to adults? Because I have to defend myself with adults.

I don’t have to defend myself with my kids. I have to explain what I need. Sometimes a few million times… but I don’t need to defend myself. (Ok, the odd sword-fight excepted.) They aren’t attacking me. They are looking for loving connection, even when they bug the shit out of me. So I don’t get as offensive. I don’t need to. It wouldn’t help.

I really like getting to have this experience. I like feeling loved like this, in gentleness and kindness. In this house, the best days involve the four of us piling on top of one another and talking for hours. Eventually we get a bit antsy and want to play again. Then, always, we wind up in another snuggle pile.

It is like a dream come true. I don’t know how to take this wonderful feeling out into the world and give people the benefit of the doubt. It has hurt me so much.

Comment policy

Yesterday I was told that someone would like to leave more comments but she feels weird asking questions about one sentence out of a six page piece of writing. If she can’t address the whole thing she thinks she shouldn’t comment.

I very nearly reenacted something I did often while teaching. I would collapse to the floor and start rolling around and beating my fists on the floor while moaning, “If you have questions and you don’t tell me I CAN’T ANSWER THEM. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

It was a thing. I did it many times while teaching. It always shocked people and made them kind of jump back at first. But then they laughed and started asking more questions.

It is kind of awesome that home schooling gives me a permanent excuse to simply think of myself as a teacher. I stopped thinking or referring to myself as a dancer within months of stopping that activity. I don’t think I will ever stop teaching. I love teaching. If I say something you don’t understand, for the love of shiny green apples please ask me questions.

You don’t understand. I fucking live for this shit. I don’t want to be an enigma. I want to be able to explain things better than I currently do. I want to be a better teacher. If I am confusing people then I am not yet a good enough teacher. I need to know that. I would love to know where and how I am confusing so that I can be less so.

Please don’t feel silly asking me questions. I may not answer them instantly and (if I know you in person) I may be happier sitting you down to explain it in person rather than in writing because tone sucks so much in writing. BUT I LOVE ANSWERING QUESTIONS. Seriously.

Have you met me?

Guys aren’t the only predators

(disclaimer! I only share private emails without permission if they are nasty. I asked if I could share this.)
This was all an email sent to me by a friend/former lover (emphasis his):
“I get self-conscious about posting comments on your blog. I don’t want to post anything that would make you uncomfortable in public, like some of the things I say in this comment… so I don’t. This is what I wrote:
About getting to “yes:” What if a woman climbs on top of me and starts tearing my clothes off? Despite the fact that I am, like, a 3 at best, this does happen occasionally. Generally, I am so shocked that I can’t speak a word at all. Do I need to get a verbal yes from her? Does she need to get a verbal yes from me? How do I know who needs to do the asking and who needs to do the consenting? I suppose everyone should ask and everyone should verbally consent. But then, no woman but you has EVER verbally asked for my consent.

About you: You are not optional. I’ve sometimes been around you and not liked the emotions I was feeling, but in the end being your friend has never failed to make me a better person, and that is my criterion. Throw you under a bus? NEVER EVER. And I’m certain I’m not the only one.

Be well. May I give you a big, big hug? 

Krissy, I am terribly frightened about my friend I told you about who said I was creepy. She’s my best friend in Ithaca, and I know I haven’t raped her because we’ve never so much as touched. But I think I leaned WAY into her and did the emotional equivalent, whatever that is. I need to learn that consent is not just for sex. I spent all this week 3000 miles from home being horrified at myself as the emotional realization of what I had done struck me. It was the worst Thanksgiving ever, for both of us. I seem to hurt everyone I ever care about and I can’t stop hurting them. I think that being human might be the unlimited capacity to hurt others. 🙁 
She reminds me of you. If I have EVER hurt you in any way whatsoever that we haven’t talked about and resolved, I am really sorry for whatever it was. I never mean to hurt you.”
Ok! I’ve been thinking about this for six days. Hopefully that is enough time to digest my thoughts. We’ll see. First of all I am a lot harder to make uncomfortable than this. Heh. I love comments and questions. They validate my existence. 
Second: rating your attractiveness then self-denigrating is beside the point. If multiple women have climbed on top of you and pulled your clothes off there is virtually a 0% chance they rate you so low. So when you turn around and do so you then you are handicapped in being able to respond because you are not thinking about their actual motives. That’s not helpful.
Third: if women are climbing on top of you without your consent, how do you feel about it? Are you upset? Is this something you want to make go away? Is this something where you wish you understood the mechanism because HOW CAN I MAKE THIS HAPPEN MORE?! I can’t tell exactly from your message. It seems to be something of a mixed blessing for you. 
If someone is climbing on top of you and moving full stream ahead there is *no reason* for you to freak out and worry about consent in my opinion. In my opinion the more passive “moving slowly” person (regardless of gender) needs to give consent. 
In my experience most sexual scenarios start out with one person being sure and the other person being convinced. Because I have frequently been the more interested party that is why I ask for consent.
I am pleased to hear that you remember me asking you for your consent. That means I did it properly. It was memorable. You were god damn sure you wanted to fuck me before I started doing things to your body. That’s the proper way, in my opinion.
If women are doing things to you that you don’t like, please for the love of shiny green apples, tell them to stop. No woman is owed a ride on your dick no matter how attractive it is. Seriously. I am not making fun of you even slightly. You do not owe a woman anything. Ever. If you are not enjoying everything that is happening then say no. 
Given what I know about you I think that some kind of assertiveness training might be helpful. You live in an area of the country I know little about so I can’t tell you specifically where to go. Non-Violent Communication might be good. If you were here I would tell you to go to HAI (Human Awareness? Institute–something like that) because HAI is all about the naked touchy feely and learning to have boundaries. I think you would fit right in but I don’t know if they exist where you are.
I had to sit on this for a week because I had to sit here and think really hard about what I think guys should do if women are initiating sex too quickly–boy howdy that happens. I’ve had men tell me to slow down in a wide variety of ways. Some of them respectful and some of them not. 
I have had times when I was being very sexually aggressive and the guy in question put his hands on my hands and said, “As much as I am enjoying this–because I really am–I want to get to know you a lot more than I know you right now before we do this. I’m not feeling safe.”
On one hand I kind of felt like I had been smacked in the face with a big trout. On the other hand, I didn’t take it personally and I didn’t feel bad. He didn’t shame me. He didn’t act like I was doing something bad. He acted like I was doing something he probably would enjoy… after knowing me for longer. I’m absolutely ok with people telling me that. For someone else to tell me what makes them safe is for me to be able to say what makes me safe. 
I’ve had guys pull back and say, “Ew. Why would I fuck a troll?” Those guys should be smacked. Just sayin’. Don’t be like them.
How should you deflect if you aren’t enjoying things? I’m shitty at polite/tactful rebuffs. For this I commend you to other places on the internet. (Maybe Captain Awkward?) I am good at forceful rebuffs that freak out people who weren’t trying that hard and are barely effective against predators. It’s uhm, not a great situation.
Does that at all answer what you were thinking about? You don’t need to feel guilt whatsoever. If you are the more passive partner during sex FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTMAS DON’T FEEL LIKE A PREDATOR. I don’t care if your bits are innie or outie. That’s not what decides power, control, or aggression. Or even just plain selfishness.
On to this other friend you have. I don’t know. You are prone to be very nasty to yourself even when you don’t deserve it so I’m having trouble judging how bad this is. You might be feeling like it is a 9 on the scale of awful and she might think it is a 2. I have no way of judging. You assume people get extremely angry with you and hate you pretty frequently (I have a lot of sympathy for this paranoia) but I haven’t seen much evidence of it in your life. So on one hand I’m being kind of dismissive but not totally.
I don’t know how bad this is. I don’t have enough information. I believe it is possible that you leaned in and made her uncomfortable. Should you be crucified for doing so? Oh good grief no. I have ridiculous personal boundaries and I don’t crucify people who stand too near me. So I counsel finding a middle ground there.
Have you talked to her? Have you said anything along the lines of, “I have been following the cultural norms for behavior I had previously been taught. I’m getting the impression you have different preferences. May I ask you for assistance in determining how I should shift my boundaries to make you more comfortable? It seems like right now I’m doing stuff that bothers you and I’m not sure what it is that I’m doing and I’m not sure how bothered you are.”
Yes, I talk like that.
That’s all I’ve got about her.
Oh good grief no you’ve never hurt me. You are a gentle, kind, compassionate man. You have taught me a lot of very interesting and useful skills (backpacking, survivalist, physics, relationship skills) all the while being far more physically appropriate and kind than almost any man I’ve ever been involved with. Do you not understand that part of the reason we didn’t have more of a relationship was because you were so nice to me and it made me wildly uncomfortable? I don’t know how to act with passive kind men. I always feel like I am stomping on them and hurting them. So uhm I ran away.
No, you never hurt me. I think you are wonderful. I am so thrilled that you are married now. I think your wife is a very lucky woman.
No, you never hurt me. You were very very kind to me. Thank you.

stop wasting your life

Recently I got an anonymous comment on the post My Father Raped Me:

“I don’t think you’re disgusting. So you masturbate while thinking about getting raped, so what? I masturbate to the exact same kind of stuff, and I know I’m not disgusting. Human sexuality is nutbar. Might as well stop fretting and embrace it. You’re just wasting your life with all this moaning and groaning. Get out there and live, goddamn it!”

I read these things and think, “OH MAN. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT YEARS AGO?!?!?!!!111”

And then I get up and I get dressed and I leave the house and I do something stupid or someone says something minor to me and I have a panic attack and I run back home and I don’t leave the house for a week or three. Unless we need food. I have a minimal level of functioning I manage. We can walk to a farmers market and to multiple small food markets (yay ethnic food) so we can get by within the limits of my cope.

You see, in order to drive I have to be sober. So all my functioning out in the world right that involves driving has to be without the anxiety medication that makes me functional. We walk miles and miles. I think Shanna walks at least ten miles a week and many weeks more than that if they successfully pressure me to go out. Calli is in a transitional stage where she literally can’t keep up with Shanna but she wants to and resents almost everything we do to manage it. She hates the Ergo. She only wants to be carried in arms. I’ve been a stupid typist for a decade–my arms go numb in a minute or two and that’s not particularly safe. We are in a fussy period. I recognize that other people would push a stroller but I quite frankly feel resentful as fuck about doing it so I don’t. We manage what we can manage. Sometimes there is crying because Calli is so fucking pissed that she can’t physically do what Shanna can do.

It’s funny when I’m not listening to the screaming.

 When I am stoned and Calli gets to this point in frustration/exhaustion/rage I will force her kicking and screaming into the carrier (I’ve got mad skillz) then I walk along with my hands stroking her legs and her back and her behind and I talk to her about frustration. I tell her that she is strong for walking as far as she did. There is no shame in needing help–that’s why you have a mommy. Mommy’s help their kids. I comfort her while she cries and I calmly in a near whisper ask if she can please lower her voice a little because my head is really hurting.

When I am sober I shake and clench my teeth and have trouble not exploding with rage of my own because most of the time screaming triggers horrible headaches and I would cheerfully like to shove my head through the nearest car windshield just to get the fuck away from that noise.

It’s like being two different people.

One is able to be compassionate. One is already hurting too much.

My problems are not because of what I think about while masturbating. My problems are because my brain was damaged by long term severe neglect and child abuse. Telling me to stop moaning and groaning is pretty dismissive.

A long time ago I explained to a therapist (I can’t remember who or when) that I manage my symptoms through stress management. I have fine tuned what I can handle and if I go over what I can handle then I have problems because all of my coping methods are bad.

That is still mostly true. Being a mother has not worked out like I thought it would. I can’t financially afford to do as much as I would kind of like to do. Life is just like that. I get to do a fantastic amount compared to most people. I don’t complain about the fact that my life has limits.

The deer jumping on the car is going to be kind of hard to absorb financially. I’m going to have to make a lot of choices not to go anywhere just because I can’t pay for gas. The van is really expensive to drive. Going to the homeschool park days is approximately $12 in gas for every trip. That’s a toll that adds up. Given that Noah had to drive the van for two weeks our gas budget was more than twice what it usually is during that period. I have to absorb that. The only way to do so is to cut back on my driving.

It’s going to be kind of lonely but I expect the kids and I will get a lot of exercise and the house will be decorated. We will do a bunch of projects.

Ack. breakfast.


A friend is writing about her experiences as an adoptee. I have strong feelings on the topic of adoption. My sister is biologically my half-sister. My mother was pregnant when she graduated from high school. The father refused to accept that he impregnated my mother. My mother managed to meet and marry my father in her third trimester because he was willing to rescue her. Officially he didn’t have to “adopt” my sister but there was a lot of noise about how she wasn’t “really” his. He thought of her as adopted. Loudly. My father raped my sister for many years. When she was a teenager she went and found her biological father and his family. Her biological father didn’t like who she became after years of being raped and he was a nasty son of a bitch to her. She may have been better off not finding him.

I know a lot of people who were adopted. Sure, not that many in a cosmic sense. I don’t work in adoption so I don’t meet that many. I think that kids get to go find their parents. No matter what. This is not a universally popular opinion. I can live with that. It’s an opinion not an incontrovertible fact. I don’t care that parents don’t want to be found. Do I think it can be intensely painful for the parents, oh God yes. I still think that kids get to go find their parents if they feel they need to.

The sad fact about adoption is that while most (maybe) relinquishing parents do it because they want their child to have a better life than they can provide (at least this is the polite fiction) they don’t know what happened. They are happier never knowing what happened. I can understand that. I just don’t give them as much room in my brain. I don’t think that a relinquishing parent gets to feel ok about their decision while a kid has been raped for a few decades. But the statute of limitations has run out! The parent shouldn’t be held accountable or have to feel guilty! It’s not their fault, right? Oh of course not. It is never anyones fault.

I think there is no such thing as a statute of limitations when it comes to dealing with damage in your emotional life. Sure, maybe you can’t prosecute people for a crime (although I found it galling that when I prosecuted my father my sister, brother, and aunts all had similar stories and they were inadmissible because they were too far in the past) but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with the emotional repercussions. Lots of people confront rapists or molesters years after they can press charges. I digress.

In my judgmental opinion you cannot sever the responsibility you have for your crotch fruit. You just can’t. There is no knife in the world strong enough to cut out a child’s desire for his/her mother. Many adoptees reach a place of peace where they don’t want to know their biological family. I respect that. I think it is probably a healthy choice. Many don’t. Many adoptees spend their entire fucking lives hurting because they were given up. I think they have the right to meet the people who gave them up. I believe that with all my heart.

I am the product of rape. I wish I had not been told that when I was five. I am glad I know it now. I think that people should get to grow up and ask questions about themselves. That is a very powerful belief for me. Not everyone shares it. I can live with that.

Too many characters, how shocking.

I wrote this on the comment field for this post on Band Back Together but it was too long. Links are blessedly short.

I had to write a whole book telling the whole of my trauma before I could understand how bad my life was; I get it. It’s hard to understand how little we have compassion for ourselves.

I understand that people are traumatized by events that seem “minor” compared to some of the things that happened to me. I get that. I see how it has changed the whole course of their life. I don’t give myself the same slack. I feel like I am a failure at life because I have ongoing effects from the abuse. I’m ok with being nice to other people as they cope… but not myself. I should be Over It. Damnit.

I’m not over it. PTSD is no joke. What happened to you was very serious. Some of the most serious I’ve heard about in a first world country. You are out at the far end of the bell curve. We are different. We have actually survived. People who haven’t done that have a different perspective on the world. It’s ok that we are different.

I often feel like I don’t know how to have normal conversations. I feel like everything I know, everything I am was colored by my life when I was a child. I hear over and over in my mind when people are talking to me, “They wouldn’t like you if they knew you were a dirty whore who sucked your father’s dick.” I feel like I want to blurt it out instantly when I meet people so that I can get it over with. I want the people who are going to reject me to hurry the fuck up and do it already. Do it because I am “inappropriate”. That way I can feel like I have control.

Dealing with trauma is serious work. I feel like I have to work all.the.time. on my behavior and thinking. I have a lot of hypervigilance. I can’t relax and just be with my life. I have to think about how I would be acting if I was a good person and then try to pretend to be that. I’m a nasty angry bitter person in my head and I don’t want that to be what my children remember.

I thought about you a lot. I left this comment box open over night and came back to it. It is so easy for me to read things like this and think, “Well duh! Of course she was abused. Who wouldn’t recognize that? That is *totally* trauma.” I had very similar life events and I gloss them over in my mind. Yeah ok some “bad shit” happened. I can say I sucked my father’s dick. I have a hard time saying I was raped.

My dad held a gun to my head and asked me if I deserved to live. I don’t think we will ever really forget. I have a hard time figuring out what moving forward looks like. It’s hard.

I’m not you. I don’t think your struggles look exactly like mine. Nevertheless I can project all I want from this side of a computer. I imagine you have some days that are as bad as my bad days. That’s hard. I’m really sorry. On your very worst days remember that your story has the power to make other people feel less alone and scared.

Other women have survived. I can too. Even though I really don’t even feel like I want to keep trying some days. Other women have survived. I can too.

Thank you for being with the band.