Category Archives: creepy shut in

Sex and fucking up

I had a great chat yesterday. It made me think about a lot of how I’ve screwed up this year.

Sex is complicated. We have sex for so many reasons. For connection, intimacy, orgasms, bonding, feeling-not-alone-in-this-minute.

The thing is, that’s complicated. Why didn’t I pick Noah for every time I wanted sex this year? Because that’s complicated. Sometimes sex with a particular person is loaded with implications across your whole life you can’t handle and you want the ease of sex with someone else. Sometimes I wanted to feel like I still had the ability to connect with new people.

New people have been very instrumental to my survival. I get that it isn’t something that is a big deal to everyone. I know that lots of people have been safer in the known communities of their lives. I have survived by over and over again throwing myself backwards into the arms of strangers and just praying they would catch me. At this point it is no longer a survival mechanism but it is an ingrained habit. That’s complicated.

I don’t think I chased sex as self harm this round but I have certainly done so in the past. Sometimes the choice is, “Do I hurt myself in a known and predictable way because I don’t like myself very much or do I take the risk that this person will be nicer to me than I am able to be to myself or maybe they will hurt me more than I would hurt myself. Roll the dice.”

That’s a choice I’ve made many times in my life. If you haven’t had to deal with the cognitive load of poverty plus severe traumatization… you probably won’t understand. It will seem baffling to you that someone would make such a choice.

I’m glad you’ve never been there. That’s awesome for you.

I’ve been there a lot. I’m not there lately, but I have zero judgment for someone else finding themself in that position. It happens.

There have absolutely been nights when I’ve picked up a stranger and fucked them instead of hurting myself because I didn’t think I could stop until I put me in a hospital.

Was that a bad choice? I really don’t think so. I think I made the best choice I could given all the circumstances of my life in that moment.

It is hard to keep the larger picture in mind when you are judging one particular choice. Choices that were completely reasonable for me at different points in my life shouldn’t be judged the exact same way at this point in my life. I’m in different circumstances. I have different options.

To put it bluntly: I can have an emergency “weekend trip to relax” at this stage of my life. If I feel like I’m going to freak out and do something drastic… I can make it a very safe kind of drastic. Because I’m rich.

But that was literally not available to me before marriage.

Money. Money. Money.

If you have enough money, time, support, fill in the blank to have better options… who the fuck are you to judge someone doing the best they can!?

Get off your high horse.

But I’m really not in the same position as I once was.

How in the hell is any of my behavior this year justifiable? Hunh, hunh?

I’m not sure I can “justify” my behavior. I think I can explain it. I don’t think my explanations are “good enough” from many points of view and there’s not much I can do about that.

I learned things I needed to learn. I was able to find words for problems I wasn’t able to find words for until I processed all the way through some extreme emotions. I was able to change boundaries that were a big problem for me.

Could I have found a way to do it without freaking out and breaking a lot of rules?

Maybe. I tried. I failed.

I succeeded when I blew the boat up.

Things are going a lot better in a variety of ways. Was it worth the cost? Yes. To me. Was it to Noah? He’s still deciding. He’s still raw. That’s fair.

Sometimes we don’t do things to people and they hurt anyway. I didn’t go out and fuck people to hurt Noah. That’s not why it happened. We are all autonomous beings running our own stories and our behavior is not always about our partners. We have our own narrative running. It isn’t about you.

Even if we love you. Even if there could be negative consequences for you. We can’t make every single choice only about you. That’s not a way to be a person.

Would it be nice if our choices didn’t hurt you? Yes.

Yes.

I played a very careful line this year. I didn’t actually do stuff that was that risky to my life. I mostly went out and spent extra time with my friends. People who have been good to me for a long time. I had a tremendous amount of fun. It will help keep me warm for years to come. Was it worth the price I paid?

Probably. Does that mean I can do it like that again? No. I really can’t. It would break Noah.

What does that mean? Our relationship functions based on a lot of trust and mutual worship. If I kill that then I’m kinda destroying both of our reason to live. Whether or not I’m doing something at Noah… I need to pay attention to the impact. My life is completely intwined with him.

If I rock the boat he feels every wave. There is not a lot of separation there.

I’m not sure we will ever get to the point of being “polyamorous” even if we are allowed to discuss it in ten years. But it is ok to have sex with our friends sometimes if we do it together. Is that my ideal? I don’t know. I don’t think my ideal is more fair so I guess it will have to be ok.

There is no fair.

I get why we are both so possessive. I see the holes in both of us that we use one another to fill.

Sex with friends is different than the anonymous sex I also like. They scratch different itches. Sex with friends is safer and more predictable (not in a bad way). Anonymous sex allows me to feel like I am touching the core of connection between strangers. It is both intimate and distant in a way that feels like a spiritual practice to me. The trust and risk are intense rushes.

But my life is wrapped around Noah. So whether or not I’m doing something at him… he will feel it.

Noah doesn’t feel so awesome about my having sex with other people. He wants me to keep my worship at home. When we are having sex with other people together, that’s ok. That’s not scary or hard. Well, sometimes it is logistically hard or a position is hard or… but it’s not threatening in the same way. We are having an adventure together. No one is left to sit with their imagination and fear.

Noah really doesn’t want me to go off alone any more than I want him to. Seems fair. Annoying, but closer to fair than most things ever get.

Why annoying? Because I am selfish selfish selfish selfish selfish. A lot of the reason I have sex is for the orgasm and changing partners increases that like a motherfucker. Sigh.

No life is perfect.

(For the record: Noah has been working hard on this and has had a pretty fucking outstanding success recently. There’s an A for effort and result.)

I know he’s trying. I can see it. I don’t think it would be possible to look at Noah and not see that he is trying as hard as he possibly can for me.

I’m so annoying and hard.

He works far harder than anyone can ask for; that kind of effort is a freely given gift. I know how lucky I am. My physical and mental health issues have not been easy. But Noah considers my companionship worth the cost.

How in the hell did I end up here?

I auditioned hundreds of people and Noah won the part.

I think we are much better and more interesting together than we ever were apart.

I’m looking forward to pregnancy. I get so exhausted that our pace of life will utterly collapse. Yeah, yeah, pregnancy isn’t a disability yeah yeah pregnant women should carry on as if nothing was happening…

I can’t. Gestating is fucking hard in my body. Remodeling and resettling the house has to be complete by January. Next year I’m going to work on academics with my big kids, sit around, sleep, exercise, eat and go grocery shopping.

I’m probably not going to get much else done, to be honest. And that’ll continue for at least 3-6 months after the baby is born.

I’m toast. Breeding is hard.

I’ve completed the cycle and come out the far side more than once so I’m very aware of what it looks like for me.

I’m really excited about the possibility of a pregnancy where I am in much better physical shape to start with (hello marathon and half marathons, you have halo effect I still feel) and I have my IBS mostly under control and I can breathe through my nose. This will be a different experience. I’m also older. This will also be a medicalized experience (hiya bleed out problems) which is kinda terrifying for me.

All the feelings. And my back is giving me trouble. I need to finish this damn remodel. But bending over really kinda sucks.

I’ll get through it. Put a corset on and get your work done, woman.

It’s kinda funny how we all adapt to the tasks life puts in front of us. This art shit weighs on my soul. I really am more calm in my home because of the art work. It is so easy to ground in my house. When you are here you are really in a particular, individual place. That’s a big deal for me. In other peoples homes, in most of the homes I’ve ever lived in… they all kinda blend together. Sure the knick knacks and furniture are sorta different… but the white walls meet the white ceilings and I want to crawl under a table and cry.

No, it’s not rational.

I do not want a fancy “nice” bathroom that looks like it could be in a hotel somewhere. And I’m willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the experience I want to have. Every doctor I have wants me to take baths as often as I can. I spend time in my bathroom. I recycle the water too. To deal with my hippy guilt. (The internet tells me that epsom salts, baking soda, vinegar, and sugar are all fine for plants on a small scale so my bath water is fine  for my plants. Woo hoo.)

We’ve had a broken toilet for a long time. We’ve been using the grey water to flush the toilet. I’m thrilled that with the increased bath capacity of water I will also be able to use the water for more plants. I’ve always used some of it sometimes… but never for plants if someone has used shampoo or soap.

Why am I so tolerant of my friends having quirks or needing accommodation for their mental health needs? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Uhm, err, just because I’m a nice person?

*cough*

Because I fucking obsess over what to do with my bath water. I got no stones to throw on people needing to do their thing.

Oh man. I’m going to go through a pregnancy in a bathtub big enough to roll over in. Oh the glory.

Spoiled rotten motherfucker.

I really like my house.

Did I mention I’m having candle holders permanently installed on the walls of the bathroom? And there are skylights above it?

The walls are going to be glittering scenes of autumn and winter. I’m working on them.

My house is a very particular place. I like it so much.

I need to clean it. But that’s a problem for a different day. It won’t be really cleaned until the remodel is done. Too much dust and dirt is being generated every day. Not worth a deep clean. I’ll probably splurge on professionals in January at the start of the pregnancy.

Then I’ll spend a year basking in my family. In 2016 I was supposed to learn how to love myself. I don’t know that I managed, exactly. But I’ll spend 2017 hanging out and letting my family love me. That’s… almost the same thing?

Today will be a Zen sorta day. Noah has a dentist appointment. I’m watching a neighbor’s child in the morning and walking them to school. It’s kinda funny. Then I get to come home and get the kids onto chores and academics while I work. I will have to find a way to do work that is right next to them so we can talk while they do their stuff. They always have questions, which is very appropriate.

Tonight we are going to trick or treat with friends we haven’t seen much in the year since we’ve been back from the road trip. We’ve been really bad friends this year. I’ve dropped everyone and everything on the floor for this remodel. And I do it when I’m doing the breeding thing too.

Uhm, I’m sorry. I will crawl out of a hole again in the future. I hope you still like me then.

But yes. Touching base with old friends. Longevity is a big deal for me. A dear woman I know is deeply associated with a phrase: “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

I’m really curious which threads are deep enough in the weave that I will know them for most of my life. I am made up of the people who know me. The people who carry my story with them when they go. I am made up of the people who sometimes ruefully think, “What would Krissy do?”

I am a creation in your mind as much as I am anything at all. And the fact that you think about me. That fact is enough to mean that even when I fuck up, I am maybe not beyond forgiveness.

Come down like a box of hammers.

I was thinking about the idea of “safe space”. I hang out in the lobbies of a lot of communities that are very focused on this idea. Places where people are safe. It means very different things to different people. I was thinking about what it would mean to me.

I believe that children need to hit. I believe it is part of the developmental process and …yeah it happens. I believe that the appropriate response is coming down like a box of hammers. On any given day my children get one chance for hitting someone. If they hit a second time we are going home right the fuck now and we will be having an unpleasant conversation the whole way home about how you do not have the right to hit people.

I believe that a safe space for me would involve people caring more when their children hit other people.

I don’t live in a world where that is true. Well, there are always people who over react. I don’t scream hysterically at my children for hitting. I don’t hit them. I don’t ground them for extensive periods of time. I don’t take away a bunch of privileges. I sure as hell don’t punish them once we get home–by then they bloody well forgot anyway.

I react in the moment. You get one chance per day. Not three fucking chances on hitting people. I don’t think so. Unless someone else hit you first, and then ok fine you can hit.

But quite frankly… my kids rarely hit back with anyone other than one another. They like fantasy violence quite a bit. They definitely egg on “fighting”. But they are very aware that if they hit a non-combatant mom is going to explode like a fire cracker. No. No. No.

You do not hit someone unless you have their consent. Did you ask them if they want to play a fighting game with words? No? Then what in the world makes you think it is ok to hit them?! IT IS NOT OK TO HIT SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT CONSENTED TO BEING HIT.

Lots of people will agree to play fighting games if you ask. It’s fine to ask.

But I don’t feel like other people have the consent fetish that I have. I need things negotiated and spelled out. Other people… not so much.

I’ve got to say, when my kids were habitually hitting the punishment did continue to the house. When it was happening almost every time we went somewhere we had groundings at home over it. It is a normal developmental stage.

The important part is how adults handle it. If adults act like it is fine… well. That’s a fucking lesson. If adults teach that you are allowed to hit as long as you don’t get caught… that’s a fucking lesson.

My kids don’t enjoy my blistering lectures. Do they “get” all of them? No. They don’t. I talk as if they were adults and they aren’t. They “get” a fraction of what I’m saying. But these conversations are cumulative. They will remember that from as far back as their memory goes their mother was absolutely consistent you do not hit someone who has not consented to being hit.

I understand that other people don’t think this is a message that should be consciously taught. Maybe they just never think of it as an option as opposed to making a decision. I don’t really know.

But it won’t work any other way in my house. I’ll drag you home from the park yelling at you about how you have no right to strike someone else. I won’t feel bad. I DON’T GET TO HIT YOU. YOU DON’T GET TO TURN AROUND AND HIT OTHER PEOPLE. WE DON’T PLAY THAT SHIT AROUND HERE.

Play fighting is different. That’s a game. Know how you know something is a game? You asked someone if they wanted to play before you got started.

But Shanna seriously has issues about getting in other peoples personal space bubbles. I suspect that is part of what causes kids to feel motivated to hit her. She gets right the fuck in their face and most people aren’t taught what to say. Maybe she’ll learn. I’m not sure how many more times she will need to be hit though. I couldn’t begin to count how many times she’s been punched. We talk about it a lot.

So much for home schooling meaning that my kids won’t be beat on. At least I’m there and I get to take them fucking home after the third hit of the day.

If my kids get one chance, why do I give other people two chances? Because one kid hit both my kids once and the other time… man those two have a long running sorta-feud. Given how many times Shanna has punched him… well. What did she do this time? And he does apologize. Usually even without prompting from an adult.

So how many chances do I give? I don’t know. I’m very tired of being hit. Very very very very very very very very very tired of being hit. And I am even more sick of my kids getting hit. And I notice that they are usually the ones who come crying because they got hit.

I’m not sure if they are bigger whiners or if they are actually hit that much more often than other kids.

I’d like to go a whole fucking year without being hit nonconsensually. I’ve never had a year like that. Not one.

I feel very triggered. I wasn’t “pushed out” of my biological family because I prosecuted my father. But I was told through actions that in order to be allowed to stay I would have to accept that everyone around me would rewrite history. “It didn’t really happen.” “He never did anything like that to anyone else.” “You are the problem. We were fine until you caused problems.”

I’m the problem. I should apologize. I should promise to not be a problem any more.

The only way I can promise that is if I die. I’ve never been anything but the problem.

Cue round of intense suicidal ideation. THIS IS A SHITTY TIME. I HAVE AWESOME KIDS IN THE HOUSE WHO ARE BEING NICE TO ME AND LOVING ON ME. WHY IN THE FUCK AM I IN THE YARD CRYING BECAUSE I FEEL UNLOVED AND WORTHLESS AND LIKE I SHOULD DIE.

Because I can’t not cry if I’m in the room with them right now. And Noah is here. It is being handled.

I’m not going to die over this. These people are so not worth it. If losing my mother isn’t going to do it… hell no. But turning the movie screen surround sound system off is hard. I have a lot of willpower to abstain from following through; stopping the thoughts is harder. I feel like I have run most of my life on sheer hate. I’m not dead yet because you will not win, motherfucker.

Which motherfucker, precisely? I don’t even know any more. Take your fucking pick. I’ve got a whole fucking card deck full of names.

Do something different. Yes, the crying and typing is an improvement over the cutting and the head banging, fine and dandy. (Though the arm pain means that this is maybe actually one of the most self-harming actions of my whole life. Cutting had far less chance of crippling me. Ok, banging my head could have caused a stroke. WHATEVER.)

I should fucking know by now. If you have a problem with people you have to shut the fuck up. People are not actually interested in “working through differences”. They want confirmation bias that they are right and you are wrong. I should never have bothered to talk to that fucking mother in the first place. I knew she wouldn’t give a shit about her kid hurting me. Why in the fuck was I so fucking stupid?

I am the problem. Clearly.

If I didn’t have a house full of kids, whoa. I’d make different life choices.

But if I didn’t have the kids I wouldn’t be dealing with these people anyway. So maybe it’s a wash.

Why don’t I just walk away? Why is this worth bothering to try for anyway? Mostly because I’ve kept my kids here for four years and I’ve told them to bond with people. Now I feel like a monster.

Everyone I tell them to bond with I eventually run off. I am a piece of shit. I suppose it will be a good thing that I have bonus kids here tonight. I will have something to do while I’m awake anyway. They always need a lot of help at night. They haven’t done that much sleeping outside their house. Lots of checking in, “Yes, you are still with Krissy and Noah and Shanna and Calli. Yes, you will see your parents again soon. Yes, we love you. Yes, they love you. It is time to sleep now so we can play tomorrow.” I can fucking smile on cue to be reassuring. I’ve worked hard.

I believe that children deserve to have an adult who wants to meet their emotional needs around. It doesn’t have to be a parent full time. It is healthier if it isn’t. Children need to learn that having needs is ok. Needing reassurance is ok. Needing to have help feeling safe is ok.

I can feel safe here. If I can’t feel safe other places, well… if I weren’t such a fucking problem maybe I wouldn’t have so many problems.

I’ve never been able to find a way to not be a problem other than staying home. Or dying.

I want to run away so bad. I’ve lived here too long. I’ve used up my welcome. People are tired of my bullshit. I don’t blame them. I’m tired of it too. If I could run away from being inside my head I would. I want to turn the movie screens off and I can’t.

I keep coming back to swimming out into the ocean. That really does seem to be my first choice. If I go far enough it is pretty fucking sure. I didn’t do so well with over dosing. My body is so sensitive to medications these days I don’t think my body would permit an overdose. I couldn’t use a gun. I converted my garage so I can’t follow my dad. I’m really not a big enough asshole to use Tommy’s method. That was seriously traumatizing to the people involved in the rescue. That’s not fair you fucking asshole. If you are going to kill yourself, at least don’t make a bunch of fucking spectators watch you burn. Not cool. People don’t get over that. Hell, I didn’t even see it and I can’t get over it.

Swimming. Yes, swimming straight out into the Pacific Ocean sounds great.

I have kids! Can’t! Calli tells me all the god damn time that I have to die of very old age. I’ll try, baby.

I’m definitely having temporary problems right now. In ten years this won’t matter at all. Stop being so melodramatic. Err, I’m diagnosed with reasons why I react this way. Fuck you, negative-self-talk. I am fucking improving. I god damn held it together great today. I didn’t start crying till bedtime. That’s doing just fucking fine, ok?!

Whether something is good or bad depends on your point of view.

So sad.

Good & Bad

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about something. Most things are neither good nor bad as part of their intrinsic “existence”. They are good or bad in the eyes of someone who is judging.

For example: my kids can’t sit still to save their fucking lives (literally) so they can’t move up to a booster seat from a car seat even though they are WAY big enough compared to the legal minimum. I could be really annoyed with them for being so immature. I could be frustrated that they won’t “grow up”. Or I could recognize that I live full time with ants in my pants and I can be glad that they are in an environment where they aren’t punished for the nature they have. I just keep them in car seats. (This goes through my head because I have to install four carseats in the van again. Sigh. I loathe installing carseats. I always break half my nails and have numb fingers for days. CAN’T WE MOVE INTO FUCKING BOOSTERS ALREADY?!?!?!!!!!!)

I sent a reference to a study to a friend. She was afraid I was trying to say something mean. It was a study that finds that how much time parents spend with their kids has little effect on outcome for life. Being a working parent is no worse than being a stay at home parent according to this study–specifically they found that socio-economic level is most of what decides how your kids will turn out. (Shocking, I know.) I sent this to a friend who works in a “See! You were right all along!” sort of way. She didn’t read it that way. I’m sorry it seemed hurtful. I meant it more like, “I’m totally wasting time obsessing over my kids. I should get a job.”

I more meant to poke fun at myself. But things are neither good nor bad in a vacuum. They are good or bad depending on how they are received.

I pick sensitive people to be friends with. That means there are times when we all feel thin skinned. I keep praying that I will get better at riding through these times.

Shanna asked me if she was stupid for loving the boy she’s had a crush on for years. I told her that if loving him brings both of them joy and happiness… it isn’t stupid even if you don’t love him forever. It is never stupid to enjoy the time you have with someone. Even if it isn’t forever.

I need to work on my perspective around the home school group. I fear that we are nearing our exit date. This feels so sad. I’m not going to be an asshole about doing anything dramatic before the trip. I just don’t know that I will try hard to rejoin the group when we come back. I really don’t know.

On one hand I’m having a hard time with this because I feel like a quitter and a bad person. My kids NEED FRIENDS. But… my kids have friends with or without this group. And really… they didn’t bond that much with anyone. Near as I can tell most of the group doesn’t like us very much. It is hard that we have put in the time to get established in the group. It’s been four years. If we have more problems than good times… why bother?

This is still going to be the school group I’ve been associated with the longest for my life. Maybe I’ve hit the limit of what I can handle. If my kids were going to preschool then regular school we wouldn’t get upset about graduating from one group of people to another. Why do I feel like such a quitter with this crowd?

I’m tired of driving 40+ minutes to sit at a freezing cold park. I’m the one with the problem so I’ll solve it by backing away.

Apparently I’m the one with most of the problems. I should promise to not be a problem any more.

Maybe I should just stay home.

Maybe I’m just the problem.

The group doesn’t care about having institutional memory as to which kids have done what. I need to not care either. I have no power, influence, or status. Shut the fuck up you stupid bitch.

I …

I feel sad.

So I’ll say that today I took the trailer to the CHP station to get the VIN verified. On Friday I get to visit the DMV for registration and licensing and what-not. I’m excited. I get to run away from home soon. So I can forget that I’m not very wanted.

Tonight my bonus kids will come to visit. They stay till Friday. I’ll drop them off on our way to PonyCon (Officially named BabsCon but who knows what the hell that means). I’m so excited about seeing them. I haven’t been feeling very successful with kids lately other than them. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong because I’m bad. Because I deserve to be kicked. Because I am bad. Because I’m angry that I was told to promise not to be a problem any more. I don’t know how to stop feeling angry about this.

I’ll stop eventually. I’m just not there yet.

Next week a different set of kids is spending the night. We have never kept this pair before. I have more apprehension than with my bonus kids just because I’ve never been alone with these kids for long. They have very different rules in their family. (Not evaluating them as better or worse.) It’s going to be an exercise in “setting expectations”. I love those. I do better with kids than I do with adults.

With kids I’m good at saying, “Oh! I didn’t explain this right. That was my mistake. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how to be successful.” With adults I’m all, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Why did you fuck up?” Which is… not so helpful. I’m such an asshole.

I feel very good at handing patience to people I perceive as younger than me and horrifyingly bad at doing it with people who are older. One trick to force me out of this pattern is to have someone older than me as my designated student. (I have taught writing classes to adults much older than me.) Then I know going in that I have the “power” in the exchange and I can be gracious.

Such an asshole.

We got our summer sandals yesterday so we can work on breaking them in before the trip.

The thing about not feeling wanted… I spend a fair bit of time feeling like Noah doesn’t want me around. If ever there was an irrational, unfounded feeling… this is it.

The problem lies in my ability to perceive. Part of the trouble is people are so spread out that everyone needs a lot of driving from me in order to facilitate relationships. That hurdle means I need to feel pulled like a magnet. If I don’t feel wanted like that… it gets harder and harder.

I called my friend on the phone every day for over a year. We had a hard communication issue. We are still friends. I love her so much. I don’t really call any more. I can’t. I’m not punishing her. I just… can’t. I start crying as soon as I pick up the phone because I don’t feel invited enough so I put it down without dialing. Which isn’t her fault and I don’t want her to do anything to try and change this. It just is. Instead we are emailing a bit more often and trying to arrange in person time. I can feel wanted enough for that. Once I get there her facial expression lets me know that she really wants me there. But a hurdle got put in front of the phone. And I don’t know how to get over it.

I do this with people and methods of communication. This is a constellation of problems I have over and over with a wide variety of people. This isn’t someone else’s fault. It just is.

Living with it is hard. Is my over sensitivity a good thing or a bad thing? It just is. Being this sensitive is part of what makes me me. It’s part of what makes me good at being empathetic in the ways I am. I wouldn’t give up that part of me for anything. It just means that I am hypersensitive to feeling like my presence is not making peoples lives better.

I want to make peoples lives better. I’m terribly afraid that mostly I make the world a worse place. I drain people of energy and resources and I’m really not worth it. I’m a needy motherfucker.

Someone I know was talking about how she has “no friends” but I know of her knowing a lot of people. Near as I can tell she meant, “I don’t have anyone I can call on a bad day for support”. Uhm, do you know what I do on my bad days? I talk to the internet. I don’t get a response the vast majority of the time. I don’t call anyone. I don’t have anyone in my life right now that I feel that comfortable with. I’ve had it at points for periods of time, but it comes and goes.

Mostly on bad days I isolate myself and cry and try to wait for it to end; I hope it ends fast.

Does that mean I have “no friends”? Well that seems mean to all of the people who give what they can.

My bad days are just too much. They are too bad. They are too frequent. It isn’t fair to burden people. My shrink tells me over and over that I just can’t expect to ever have that kind of support. Period.

So I stay home. And I cry. And I write. That’s how I get through bad days now.

Well, at least it is better than cutting myself as a reminder that everyone would be happier if I was dead. If I stopped being such a problem.

My feelings are all over the map. High and low at the same time. This is overwhelming and shitty.

Just run away. Just run away. Just run away.

Weirdly accomplished

You know what? I’m feeling proud of myself right now. I had a bad weekend emotionally. All I did was sit quietly and read and cry. That’s pretty fucking awesome. I had a lot of desire/impulse to hurt myself and I just let it be. I was not capable of letting these feelings just be ten years ago. I had to hurt myself.

Even three years ago.

I take this “modeling” thing seriously. I’m home schooling for reasons. Some of those reasons are so that I am forced to proactively deal with my mental health because I have genetically susceptible children and they need to be taught coping methods as easily as they are taught to tie their shoes. It’s just necessary for our genetic material. If you proactively handle your problems… they don’t turn into problems.

The funny thing is: I’m covered in bruises and I have no idea how I got any of them. So maybe I’ll dissociate a little and get in a tiny bit of self-harm. It doesn’t count though. I can’t remember it.

I played with the kids a little but not a lot. I participated in meals (that Noah made because he is so ridiculously nice). I didn’t spend the whole weekend ranting. I snuggled people. I wasn’t completely avoidant.

I just made sure that I spent time sitting in the sunshine enjoying my plants and bugs. Holy shit we have a lot of bugs in our back yard. I completely didn’t notice until I sat out there for a few hours. Then I realized that there were hundreds of bugs on each planter bed. Lots of different kinds! I need to figure out how to get more beneficial insects into my yard. Ladybugs, oh ladybugs… where are you? I saw a butterfly! My garden is attracting butterflies!!!!!! /me happy dance

(That’s an IRC reference; the /me thing. IRC is a chat room program. I’m kind of a nerd.)

I’m in a lot of pain, but it is an amount of pain I can work through. I will probably try to run when the babysitter is here today. I have been feeling yucky stiff. It is weird how much better I feel when I’m exercising more consistently. My foot is finally feeling better.

I made a DMV appointment to process the trailer. I’m plugging right along on getting ready for the road trip.

I have made most of my Disney World reservations. It’s kind of funny that I pushed Disney World further back date wise to accommodate other peoples needs. Now they don’t want to go. So I’m not going to be there on my birthday like I had originally planned because instead I wanted to be with friends. But now the friends don’t want to go. I didn’t want to be there in October. October is more expensive points-wise.

Yeah, that’s how scheduling goes.

Hell, I scheduled Calli’s birthday around being in Boston with the Godmama. Maybe I should just fucking change all of the scheduling again. I’m feeling shitty about scheduling around people who dump me.

I have feelings. I need to stop acting like people are ever going to be a significant part of my life. It is folly. I am going to do my shit alone. Why is this so hard for me to accept?

Because I know a lot of people who are part of tight friend-networks and I am so jealous I can’t see straight. I don’t even know how to follow a group to be part of events like that. I’ve tried. I just… never make it.

It’s a good thing I’m not the kind of person who requires other people to go do interesting things.

I feel sad in the same way I felt sad when I stopped hanging out with the people I knew at Los Gatos High School. I feel like I wasted a bunch of time and energy on people who are never going to think I am important. I feel stupid.

I’m taking the no-shows very hard lately. It is especially hard that the home school group is amorphous and I have a lot of very different experiences with the families in it. There are consistent, dependable people. But they are busy. The people who are eager to make plans are the same people who just don’t show up and never remember that they had plans in the first place.

Each no-show, unfortunately, balances out against 10 successes. It’s stupid. I should try to count them in the other direction. I should try to emotionally feel like each success balances out 10 no-shows but…

But I’m digging out of a big black hole anyway. I don’t have that kind of slack to give.

Outside of parks I have two home school events on the calendar between now and the road trip. That may be good enough.

I don’t think the people in the group are doing something wrong or terrible. I think they are living their lives as if I am not important to them… which is simply literally true and accurate.

Sometimes I can handle it and sometimes I can’t. When I can’t, best I stay home. No one is interested in feeling guilty or ashamed because they are not prioritizing me. They shouldn’t prioritize me. It would be kind of weird and fucked up if they did. I’m nothing to them.

That’s the problem. I’m nothing to pretty much everyone. It’s a lot of why I feel like I am nothing.

But I have three people. And they were so nice to me this weekend. That has to be good enough. It is what it is. It is all that I will ever have.

It is three people more than a lot of people get. My mom has never in her life had three people be nice to her the way my family is nice to me. I shouldn’t be so ungrateful.

Avoidance

This is feeling pathetic and lame. I’m feeling intensely suicidal. Because I don’t want to deal with resolving how to handle stuff with the home school group. That’s not cool. (I’m not threatening anyone or anything. I’m just having stupid shit in my brain.)

I feel trapped. I feel like nothing will ever be better for me. I feel like I should just go because of course it will come out that it happened and then everyone will tell me it is my fault.

I told exactly two people in the group. I asked them not to intervene. One of the first responses was, “You could promise the mom you would never go near the kid again.” (To be fair the other response was THAT MOTHER IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS.) I told them only because I’m about to leave for five months and I’m afraid that if I leave with no one knowing I will return to everyone knowing that I did a bad thing.

I want to slit my wrists. Someone assaults me and I’m supposed to promise to never go near him again?

I want to never go back to the group. I want to never ever talk to anyone from that community again. I’m supposed to promise to not be a problem after someone almost kills me.

I’ve never been anything but a problem. I should just go. I am clearly, obviously, not as worth keeping.

I want to beat my head on the floor.

More than 50% of what is on the schedule for the rest of the month is babysitting. I anticipate a lot of time sitting in the garage and crying. I’m due.

We have three home school events on the calendar. We’ll see.

I asked the kids if they would mind staying home more for a while and they both cheered. Maybe they don’t need those kids as much as I think. They have friends who are not dependent on me being part of that group.

Maybe I shouldn’t make any decisions when I’m triggered like this. My shrink calls it “abreaction”. She says that I get so upset about things that are happening now because I was not allowed to react when things happened to me when I was a kid. The throat kick qualifies as an assault. If I was still a mandated reporter my happy ass would be on the phone with CPS. Because I’m not a mandated reporter I get to be one in a long line of people supporting that abusive people don’t get consequences for their behavior.

Whee.

I am honestly not sure if a CPS call is the “right thing” but it would cause drama in the home schooling community that would affect my kids for years. Do I care enough about that boy not being a future abuser to risk my kids getting targeted because their mom is a whistle blower?

That’s what I’m looking at.

Do I think that kid will assault other people in the future? Unequivocally yes. I’ve seen him hit a lot of people.

But am I willing to put my kids in a position where they will be punished because I spoke up about this pattern? How many people is it ok for this kid to hurt without consequences?

I don’t think I’m going to intervene. I’m going to say this is a fucked up world where people are allowed to do bad things every day without consequences. One more rich bastard will get away with being a bad person. Shocking. It’s not because of me. It’s because that is how the world works.

And the home school group likes them more than me. They don’t rock the boat. They aren’t a problem. Just me. I’m the one who should promise to not be a problem.

I want to die.

Just because in this moment in time I can’t see the road forward doesn’t mean there won’t be one. I’ll stop acting like I have friends there. It isn’t safe for that kind of trust. I’m not there because I will gain friends. I’m not good enough to be friends with.

I’m just a fucking driver for my kids.

It’s not ok for me to create drama. No one fucking cares. Just shut up you stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid bitch.

I’m actually glad I’m able to write this down as it happens this time. Usually it takes such a long time.

I’m really looking forward to running away from home. I can stop dealing with the fact that I don’t think people like me very much. I can stop dealing with the fact that I feel like it would be ok in my community if I died as long as no one had to be punished for it.

I don’t know how to stop this panic in my belly.

Deep breaths. That is step number one. Stop the shallow breathing, nit wit.

Groups care more about preserving the group than any individual member. It’s not personal. It is how all institutions work. Doesn’t matter if that behavior will damage individuals. It is how groups work. Group harmony over the defense of the individual. Completely standard human behavior. It isn’t personal. No one is acting that way out of specific hatred of me.

I don’t think there is a grudge. I don’t think there is spite.

I think there is apathy. And I’ve had so much of it that I want to die.

I’ll stay home instead. With the three people who would be completely devastated if I were to hurt myself or die. They are the only people whose opinion I should court. They are the only people who have an actual stake in my life.

Looking outside these walls is seeming pretty dangerous. But then I want to run away from home? I’m a conundrum.

It will be safe to ask for my needs on the trip. Every request will be fleeting and brief. If someone says no I will be on to the next town tomorrow and whatever.

Here, with people I was trying hard to be friends with… having my physical safety be …. uhm… as important in the discussion as it is…

I can’t cope with that. I feel disposable. Promise to stay away from him. I’ll stay far far far far far away.

I’ll stay so far away that you may never see me again. Is it avoidance if I’m doing what they want? They don’t like me that much anyway.

For a while I was trying to form a more core group of Fremont people. That didn’t pan out.

That’s just how life goes. The people who live near you are not always palatable. I’m not. So I guess that’s just how it goes. I believe that writing as much as I’m writing will mean that I will have consequences. I believe I will be punished for saying this. And maybe that belief is enough that it will become true. Maybe it would have happened no matter what I said and now my words can be used as the justification.

That’s what happened with the Godmamas. They pulled away and turned down all help and refused any gestures from my side and then said I never did anything for them. They said I talked about how they wanted to leave so fine they are leaving.

I expect to be fully shunned in the home school group. I had a problem. Thus am the problem.

Haven’t beat my head yet this morning. That’s an act of will.

Maybe I’m just a melodramatic bitch. Probably. Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up you stupid cunt. Don’t you know no one fucking cares.

I’m scared and I’m sad. There is probably going to be a lot of fall out from this. We won’t be invited to parties. We won’t be the ones at the big group events. They will be. Because I’m the problem. I feel like I should apologize to my kids for belonging to me.

I feel like any community that chooses someone who behaves like that… deserves what they get. And if I’m stupid enough to stand near someone whom I’ve seen kick other people viciously, maybe I deserve what I get too.

Of course I deserve to be kicked in the throat. How could it be any other way?

It was my fault. I rough housed. What else did I expect?

That phrase haunts me. It echoes through the years. You went on a date with a boy. What else did you expect? You drank alcohol (three shots over multiple hours!). What else did you expect?

I expect to be treated like shit. I expect to be treated like if I die it is no big loss any way.

That’s what I expect. And that means I’m “scary” and I should be punished for scaring people.

And so the world turns.

Today is a loss.

My doctors appointment didn’t happen and otherwise I’ve mostly been reading. When I stop reading I get cranky and pissy and my tone of voice sucks and I sound like a bitch. I feel guilty that when I apologize for my tone (which I’m doing every 2.4 minutes) Shanna says, “Mom you are only grumpy because your body doesn’t feel good. Soon you will get through the elimination diet and you will feel better. It’s ok.”

I don’t feel deserving of their patience or love. Never the less, Shanna has oceans of love and patience to give.

I feel confused and out of sorts and anxious. I feel like I don’t know what to do or when to do it.

For this week my plans are getting cancelled. I will choose to not get upset because I’m all out of fucks to give. We are supposed to show up to help decorate the Christmas tree at Christmas in the park Wednesday after my dentist appointment. I suspect that I will bail on the park tomorrow and I may bail on the Friday evening event (seeing Christmas in the park get all lit up). If I stay home for those two events then I have way more down time this week. I feel like I’ve been mostly having down time lately. Some day I will be less sick.

In the mean time, I’m prepared to say that I’m not allergic to milk nor wheat. I’ve eaten some of both over the past week. A fair bit. And chocolate. I had a lot of milk and chocolate yesterday. I’ve pooped normally for 4 out of the previous 5 days. I choose to believe that milk and wheat are cleared now. THANK GOD.

This is good and bad. I’ve been cutting wheat, dairy, fatty meats, corn, garlic/onion, sometimes nightshades (mostly not), eggs, and anything else gluten contaminated.

At this point I’ve tested everything but corn. I don’t suspect an allergy to corn. I’ve had normal poop after wheat, dairy, fatty meat, eggs, garlic/onion, and nightshades.

So where in the fuck does this leave me? I’m clearing up the diarrhea and I’m slowly adding things back in and…. I still don’t know if it is all in my head. It is really looking like I don’t have an allergy I have too much anxiety. Which is something I was terrified of finding out from the beginning. Because if all of my diarrhea is caused by anxiety and not food… that’s quite a circle to get into. Then the diarrhea is all my fault because I have anxiety. I’m sure someone more rational could find a way out of that cycle that doesn’t sound like, “Then I guess I should die” but I’m not that person.

I’m really god damn struggling with suicidal ideation. I’m struggling with how much I’m bouncing up and down emotionally. It is hard to hurt this much. It doesn’t help that I feel like a whiny baby. My life isn’t hard. It really isn’t. I don’t have the right to complain so much.

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Fucking whine. Whine. WHINE!

I can’t even go for a run because my MOTHERFUCKING ANKLE HURTS. (Really I shouldn’t run until my weight stabilizes. One of my friends [one of the few who frequently sees me naked] commented that my weight loss is becoming really apparent. Not with the additional exercise.)

I haven’t cut myself. I haven’t had alcohol. I did medicate more severely than I have in a while. Whoa. Right now it feels like self-care.

I don’t know why I’m pooping normally right now and I don’t usually. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

I find this all very frustrating. I feel terrible. BUT I CAN POOP!

This week is crazy.

Monday was one of my slowest days. 9:30 doctor appointment. Babysitting from 8-12. Went to grocery store and bank on the way home from doctor. Came home and did chores and chores and chores.

Tuesday (today): must run 6 miles, 9:30 therapy session which means a three hour trip out of the house. No park. The kids want to stay home with Noah and play Minecraft. Shanna has just finally started playing instead of watching endless tutorials so I’m not actually cranky. I feel kind of weird about being happy that she is finally learning to *do* something with the game.

Wednesday is insane. Run 5 miles. Babysitting from 8-12. Doctor appointment at 9:30. I have to pick food up from the co-op right after 12. 12:30-3 I plan to sit on the couch and read to the kids. At 3 Pam shows up. I run out the door immediately for a 4pm dentist appointment. Noah won’t be home until after bedtime because he’s teaching.

Thursday I plan to hide in my room. Also: the kids and I need to go on a bike ride.

Friday at 5:30 in the morning I leave the house to head towards the airport and Hawaii.

It is a very full week.

I wonder if I can stay busy enough to not feel lonely. I doubt it. I wish I felt emotionally more stable. I really don’t. I feel like I should hide and not talk to anyone because I am such a raging asshole and I hurt everyone. I feel sad. I feel like I am disgusting and bad. If only I didn’t take everything so seriously, so personally maybe I would deserve friends. Maybe if I were less self absorbed.

Thing is, if I become less self absorbed I will probably die. I’m not very good at taking care of myself. I put off my needs as long as possible until picking up the pieces is a frantic, almost unattainable goal. I monitor this process so I can get as close as possible to the edge. If I didn’t monitor it… I’d just not be able to recover. I wouldn’t leave myself that extra inch I NEED.

I’m scared. I feel like the things I need are too much trouble for people so I should just die. I should stop being such a god damned inconvenience.

It really sucks that seeking treatment for suicidal ideation results in all kinds of bad shit happening. We are not a country that wants people to feel better.

My heart hurts. I slept 7 hours (my sleep schedule is getting wacky again–7:30pm through 2:30am) so I’m not underslept but I feel like shit. I feel flattened and unimportant.

A while back Pam observed that I expect too much from my BFFs. She would know as she’s watched my behavior for a long time. I expect my BFFs to fill a lot of the hole in my heart left from my mother and my sister. But that isn’t fair. No one can do that. So I flail and my BFFs flail and then we pull back. Then I notice that months or years have gone by and we aren’t really close friends any more. I was drowning them in my need and that means we just aren’t really friends now.

I’m sorry.

I’m in this hard place where asking for anything feels so completely unreasonable I just can’t do it. I’d rather sit here and cry. Everything I need feels so complicated and I can’t explain it and I feel so much frustration that I put people off by expressing that frustration where they can hear me and then I don’t have friends any more.

I have nothing to give. It’s going to be hard with the kids for a few days. They are a bottomless pit of need too. And they need me to give and give. I feel so empty. Probably good that it is a therapy day.

Whatever. It’s another day. Get the fuck up and do your work, bitch. No one is going to do it for you.

So many big feelings.

Over the past few days I’ve had this niggling little thing in the back of my mind. I feel very upset by someone joking that they “don’t love me enough” to do something. But I’ve been turning it over and turning it over and turning it over and as I’ve gone through a variety of adrenalized states I’ve had access to a lot of memories that are normally kind of buried because I don’t know about you but my memory is a funny place. I remember best the things that happened when I was in the same emotional state I am in right now. So I’ve had a lot of interesting memories surfacing.

I have totally made that joke. Not once. Not to one person. Many, many times. I’m pretty sure I went through a phase where I was saying it to a bunch of people with great regularity. When I think super duper duper hard… I may have said it to that person before.

Well shit. That means I have to get off my fucking high horse.

I really hate it when that happens.

Part of the trouble is, I have a lot of sympathy for all the circumstantial reasons behind it coming up last week. I didn’t expect her to jump up and abruptly change her day for me. That wasn’t on my agenda. I wasn’t gunning for that. She was responding to feeling overwhelmed and the things in front of her were things she couldn’t drop. So she joked. Ok, I hated the joke and it made me feel bad… but she didn’t say it because she consciously wanted to hurt me.

I didn’t actually want to hurt people when I used to say, “You are really awesome and all but I don’t love you enough to drive to Davis for a relationship.”

I said that a lot.

Man I’m such a hypocritical asshole.

It doesn’t help that the last two things I’ve tried to schedule at the house flopped. I “understand” that it was scheduling issues. That totally happens. But in both cases I started out with a whole bunch of enthusiastic people and then they all… kinda flaked. It happens. But it feels bad when large groups of people all do it together. I tried having an event in September and I tried in October. Both just failed. I’m not angry at anyone–but I feel wounded and like if I hadn’t already stupidly announced the holiday open house I would cheerfully hide alone in my house till spring.

I don’t feel very loved. So having one of my closest friends joke that she doesn’t love me… it was stepping on my broken toe. I “get” that it was a “joke”.

But I don’t feel very loved so it doesn’t feel like a joke it feels like just telling me the truth. One of the hardest parts of having big gaps in between people is I hold on to the bad feelings of being rejected and and unloved for a long time. Seeing different people doesn’t help that much. Maybe it is a distraction and maybe not.

It isn’t Noah or the kids fault that I don’t feel loved. It isn’t the fault of this joke. I’m just in that kind of cycle. I’m sure the elimination diet isn’t helping. I’m also trying hormonal birth control for the first time in many years and it is NOT REGULATING MY EMOTIONS. I’ve been trying to take vitamins which is resulting in spontaneous vomiting in the morning. The class over the last two weekends was physically and emotionally draining in the extreme. In that 24 hour class I put out more energy and force than I normally do in over a month. My body hurts everywhere. I have some truly impressive bruises.

I’m having trouble feeling loved. Even with the kids. It doesn’t feel like love, it feels like momentary manipulation so I will do what you want. I recognize this as a problem in my perception and not a change in how my children treat me. Their actual attempts to manipulate are far less subtle and nuanced. They are quite charming, really—it’s different than when they are being loving. But I just can’t see it. I feel very empty and hollow.

I’m a weird introvert/extrovert blend. I need alone time and I NEED people time. I need the right kinds of people time to fill me up or I get emptier and emptier. I haven’t been getting “the right kind” of people time much lately. I get most of it with Noah or Pam and I get very little actual attention from either of them because the kids are always in our faces demanding all of the attention. I’m scared of Pam going to Taiwan soon. I am going to miss her.

Over the past few years we’ve had a series of wonderful people who come over once a week for dinner for long periods of time. Sometimes we have two wonderful people at once who come by weekly. It has been just Pam for a while. I really like Pam, unfortunately so do my children. The kids vocally and clearly negotiate how much time they have to share with me because they want all of Pam’s attention. It’s funny.

People stop coming for a variety of reason. My favorite reason to ascribe it to is because I’m an asshole.

A stopped coming because after I drew him extensive graphs and charts to describe how tired I was and I said I needed help he continued to expect me to wait on him hand and foot like I have since I was 19. I stopped inviting him over because I can’t be the god damn service submissive forever and either you help or I can’t do this.

P had health issues. It wasn’t personal.

C I specifically uninvited because I got to the point of feeling actually unsafe in his presence. That’s a good enough reason to uninvite people in my opinion.

It’s a mixed bag that in my youth I went out looking for perverts and people who felt dangerous. It means I look at my friends in new lights when it comes to sharing my children with them.

Pam is the only person currently on a steady roster. Even the home schoolers who supposedly are supposed to have a set day of fun stuff… we skip it more than we go. We see home schoolers every week, but which day and where move around a lot. I am very very certain that my kids need to have friends of their own. I make it happen. I take them to places where they can socialize and see the same kids and get to know people. It is a specific goal. You can’t home school your kids and keep them from having friends. That will fuck them up for life. Finding friends can be hard but I consider that one of my job duties.

I think it is funny that I do not prioritize teaching from a curriculum–I prioritize learning how social interactions work. I think that early life should be about learning how to manage people. You will have plenty of time for book learning later. I am trying to teach emotional regulation (which is a hilarious thing for me to teach) and boundaries. Those are the biggest and most important skills we work on with conscious intent.

Yesterday I was an asshole to Shanna. They like to reach through their toy bookshelf and grab all the jars of jam and bring them to their side and play with them. I mostly object because these are glass items and I already clean up a lot of broken glass and I don’t want to clean up broken glass plus sticky. I’ve asked them four or five times not to do this. So this time I screamed. I screamed, “It is not ok to play with my stuff. You have your own stuff. STOP USING MINE. IT BREAKS. I AM REALLY CRANKY ABOUT CLEANING UP ALL THE GLASS. JUST STOP IT.” So I’m an asshole but I’m not an asshole who will be picked up by CPS. Just a garden variety asshole.

Later in the day I was reading the internet and I saw one of those pithy quote things and it said, “In our house we only yell if there is a fire.” I felt floored. Oh man. How can I ask my kids not to yell if I am such a yeller.

So I read the quote to Shanna. She gave me a side eye rule and said, “I wouldn’t mind if that became a rule for our house.”

I looked at her for a few minutes. She didn’t quite meet my eye. I asked her how scared she felt that morning. She said, “Well, I knew you wouldn’t hit me or anything so I wasn’t *that* scared, but it makes my tummy feel really bad.” I nodded. I apologized. She apologized for playing with the jam jars again. We hugged.

I feel beyond blessed in my children. I feel I got unusually empathetic children and I get down on my knees thanking anyone who will listen daily. I am so grateful for the specific children I have. They really work for me. I don’t dislike other peoples children (well… sometimes I do but not mostly) but my kids are so well suited to me. Occasionally I witness family interactions where the parents and the kids aren’t well suited and I feel this surge of anxiety mixed with gratitude. That would be so hard. I’m so grateful I don’t have that specific issue.

Not that my kids are easy 100% of the time–ha.ha.ha. But we are annoying in compatible ways. It’s important.

A while back Pam told me I was too hard on my BFFs. I expect too much from them. She then let me know how much time she spends with her BFF and it isn’t much.

I feel like maybe I need to pull into myself for a while. Looking outside me for validation isn’t going well. Other people have the audacity to have bad days and they aren’t just sitting around waiting to have positive interactions with me. WTF.

On one hand I feel like what I would like to do is stay home and do projects and invite people over. On the other hand inviting people over doesn’t usually work and then I feel rejected so I think that I should just work by myself.

I’m feeling really sad. I have to forgive people for hurting me because they really didn’t mean to. And I’ve said basically the same thing so I can’t have more harsh boundaries.

But I don’t feel very loved lately. I’m not *blaming* anyone. I don’t think this feeling is the result of the actions of A, B, C, D, or E people. That’s not my point. I cycle through feelings. It happens. Right now I feel very alienated and alone. I have a Noah and a Shanna and a Calli who love me and never actually let me be alone so this feeling isn’t about “reality”.

But my relationship with my kids is only kind of about me. I have to very carefully always partition of the parts of me that would be problematic or dangerous. It is very hard to constantly censor everything I say so that I am only appropriate for my kids.

If you knew me before kids–did you think I would be physically capable of minding my mouth enough to be appropriate for children? Probably not.

But it comes at a cost. It comes at the cost of feeling like *I* am not important, just that there is someone standing here who is willing to work. If I could find a suitable replacement it would be better for everyone if I died. Then I would stop hurting people. No one would have to listen to my whining about how neeeeeeeedy I feel.

On Saturday during the Impact class we got to do a “custom fight”. You have the choice of battling an inner critic, an event from your past, or something you are afraid might happen. You can choose to have the battle be verbal or physical.

I went first because I knew I wouldn’t have the courage to say what I said after I heard what everyone else wanted to fight. I knew mine was going to seem “crazy” and “intense” compared to everything else.

I told them it was a combination of inner critic and past events. I told them I grew up in a family who had generations of alcoholism and drug addiction and incest. With all the beatings such a description implies. I told them that I knew all my life that I was the child of rape and no one had wanted me from the minute I was born. I told them about my family members telling me that I am a worthless whore–I should die and stop wasting the resources that should be spent on someone worthy.

My fight was super fucking intense. It went on and on. The suited instructor was really verbally awful. By the end I was crying and screaming “I am not your whore anymore” as I was viciously kicking him in the head.

If that had been a real fight with an unsuited person there would have been major hospital time. I’m happy about that.

I keep wondering what will happen if I ever run into my sister again. The funny thing is, I have about a 1% fear of getting randomly mugged or assaulted. I just don’t live in fear of that. I know people who have had it happen to them–I shouldn’t feel so shielded from that assault. But it is way outside my realm of experience and I have enough to be afraid of so I’ve just never spent brain cycles on worrying about it.

I’m scared I will run into my sister again. I strongly suspect that will turn into a fist fight. Given that she wanted to start one when I was 6 months pregnant I doubt her wrath has cooled. She has hated me all my life. “It is your fault that son of a bitch had three more years to rape me. Mom was ready to leave when you fucking came along.” Well, go ahead and hate me Sissy, but it wasn’t my fault I was born.

For all the bloody noses and bruises and wounds my sister gave me… I could cheerfully put her in the hospital. And I know her knee has already blown out more than once. The fight wouldn’t even have to last long.

It was funny at the end of the class. At my turn to reflect the instructors verbally noted that I came in with fighting skills and I was willing to adapt them. I said, “Well most of my other fights have ended in a trip to ER to deal with my injuries so I’m grateful to learn techniques that might prevent that.” As soon as the bruising goes down I am going to spend a lot of time with my punching bag practicing. But first the bruising needs to go down. My elbow fucking hurts.

Maybe it is just best to stay home alone for a few months. I’m needy and sad and I can’t hear what people say the way they mean it. I can only hear more reason to hurt. That isn’t about everyone standing near me–that comes from me.

Today is the Halloween parade at park day. I’m supposed to bring a pot luck contribution. Fuck if I know what to bring. A tray of carrot and cucumber sticks? I can bring you a fuck ton of bok choy. Want some plain rice? fuck my life.

Just to add a little bonus gross to this entry: I’m weirded out that since I bought the bell peppers my poop looks like it is sprinkled with little red confetti. I really don’t digest food much.

I need to get back on the horse with half marathon training. I semi-slacked in the week between the Impact classes because I felt so dead. Today is a five mile run. I feel continually shocked that five miles is no big deal. I’m debating between running in the dark before Noah goes to work (I would have to leave in about half an hour) or taking the kids to the gym so I can run on a treadmill. I mostly prefer running outside. But I’m not sure I have it in me to run in the dark today. I feel wobbly. In the dark, when I’m wobbly–I trip. And it hurts. So I’m kind of loathe to go do that on my already injured body. Even my ankle is feeling twingy and sore. Treadmill it is.

I’m at the point on the elimination diet where I’m 14 days in and I haven’t seen much change. This is all fairly normal poop to me. That makes me think I should take out nightshades next. This thought makes me want to cry. I won’t until I finish eating the current cooked nightshades, because I’m not so big on throwing food away, but I probably should.

I feel so bad. The really sad/scary thing about taking the nightshades out: it removes almost all of the GF “bread” stuff I could eat. No more pancakes. I’m going to be eating rice at every meal. (I’m vaguely aware that there are products like millet and couscous in the world but I have essentially never eaten them and switching to them on an elimination diet seems… kind of weird. Should I really be randomly switching to food I’ve never eaten?” If I have to long-term follow these restrictions it makes sense to introduce them after a while… but not during the elimination diet, right? I don’t fucking know.

A friend offered to make a meal plan. I don’t want one. This is a moving target. This is hard. I am so frustrated. What I can handle putting in my mouth shifts from moment to moment and day to day. I feel so much hatred and anger all wrapped up in food. Nothing good comes from food. Unless it has lots of wheat, dairy and sugar. Then the food carries love.

Noah isn’t even cooking much for me. Which is another sad thing. This stupid elimination diet is taking away one of the most common things someone does to express love for me. No wonder I don’t feel very loved lately.

This moment isn’t forever. But it is shitty. And I feel sad. I don’t want to go pretend to be happy and festive and part of a group today. I want to wedge myself between the wall and the bed and cry.

The main thing I can think of that would make today easier is if I went into the bathroom and locked the door and lighted my candles and got out the scalpel blade that is secretly hiding in a drawer in my room (I no longer have a handle, but I somehow missed a blade when I cleared out the house a while ago) and cut for a long time. I want that feeling so bad. I am not calm and I could be. I care too much about feeling unlovable and I could shut that off. It would just take a few cuts. Then I would be calm and sure that I’m not loved and that is just how it is. I wouldn’t feel frantic and sad. Just resigned. This is how things work.

I feel so sad. Not cutting at this point feels like not caring enough about me to take care of me. Instead I just force myself to feel as shitty as possible for as long as possible. Just so other people can feel better. It’s a reminder of how little I matter.

If I could find a suitable replacement I would go. I am tired of flailing and hurting. I’m so tired.

I want my mommy.

Alone.

Sometimes I am reminded that people with mental illness are not always good for people to be around. Sometimes it seems like being alone is really the only option if we want to stop the pain. Our pain, the pain we cause other people just by existing.

I have spent a lot of my life literally alone. I have spent years sitting alone in rooms. Yet I contrast that with the wonderful people in my life. I have friends. I am unusually blessed.

But I feel alone. Because it isn’t ok to make anyone else’s life all about my pain and I don’t know how to get past my pain to focus on connection with people. Some days I can kind of get there, I haven’t been doing so well lately.

I absolutely understand the feeling I do everything wrong anyway–the world would be better if I was dead. But I’m not supposed to say that out loud. It is manipulative. It is hurtful. It damages people if you scream at them that you want to die. It isn’t ok to take ones pain out on the people around one.

But there is so much pain. I saw a sign today, advertising a suicide prevention walk. I stood and stared at the sign for a while. I thought about a conversation I had this weekend with two women who expressed how hard it is to deal with suicidal people. Those who want to be supportive of the suicidal person can be absolutely wrung dry. That isn’t fair either.

We (the mentally ill or “crazy” as I think of myself) are told over and over that we should ask for help. Those of us with extreme trauma in our background are also told over and over and over and over again in therapy that it isn’t appropriate for us to talk about our experiences in front of “normal” people because we will hurt them just by admitting that people like us exist.

Shut up. And it is your own fault that you are crazy. And it is your fault if the pain is too much and you die. Why didn’t you get help? And while I’m at it, shut up.

I’m having a hard time with the kids. My shrink is encouraging me to consider getting a job so I can pay for private school because I need a break from my kids. I’m not entirely sure how adding a job to all of my current work would make my life easier. It isn’t like work stress is less impactful than kid stress. And the main job I have prepared to do is teach children. If I went back to doing that all day long I would not be a very nice person to my children. All of my patience would go to my job and by the time I got home I would be screaming and nearly psychotic.

It was funny how at first my shrink tried to talk me into just putting them in public school. She works with the school across the street from my house. It took me staring her down for a while before she admitted that the school is entirely substandard academically and it probably wouldn’t all “work out just fine”.

If my interactions with my kids all of a sudden had to go from just me enforcing about an hour a day of chores to me having to enforce an hour of chores AND force them to do homework that I know to be ineffective and damaging during the 3-4 hours a day I see them… I don’t see how we would get along better. Yes, I may feel less stress. Maybe. I haven’t at any other point in my life when my work situation has been different, but what the hell.

I don’t think sending my kids to a shitty school for babysitting is a good option. I don’t think that is in anyone’s best long-term interests. Would I do it if I HAD TO, yes. No one would die. It isn’t the end of the world. But no, it is not ideal. That is not for the best.

Is home schooling? Mostly we get along. We’ve had a hard few weeks. That happens every so often. I’m not sure we would get along better if our relationship involved me having to force them to get ready for school every day. I am not good at that.

I feel like a failure. I feel like I should die. But I don’t want to leave my kids. I don’t want to hurt them like that. I don’t know how to stop feeling like I am poison to everyone around me. I hurt people so much.

Maybe it would be better if I …… I don’t know.

Being alone is a weird thing. I don’t spend that much physical alone time these days. But I feel very alone emotionally. Is it because I can’t physically talk about almost any of what goes on in my head? I don’t know. I know that when I get together with other people there is usually a very clear dynamic that I am there to listen to them and be supportive of their issues. I need to not overwhelm people or bother them. I need to not be boring with this constant I want to die I want to die I want to die.

My throat hurts. My head hurts. My belly hurts. I want to puke. I want to beat my head so bad that I have to sit very still to not do it. I’ve been thinking about cutting all day. I want to bleed and bleed and bleed and bleed.

I don’t like me very much and it feels very much like I haven’t been punished adequately lately for being a piece of shit.

I can’t burden people with these thoughts. That’s not fair.

In the store, Calli was having a hard time. Calli said something–I forget what–and Shanna responded with some nonsense syllables and Noah, Shanna and I laughed. Calli sobbed. It felt like we were laughing at her and being mean. I pulled her into my arms and I carried her for the next half hour and I talked to her quietly. I apologized over and over. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. We were laughing at the silly sounds. I’m so sorry we hurt you. Clearly we did.

Then Calli asked me if it was right that she hurt herself. I felt utterly crushed. Did I teach you this? I try so hard not to talk about it. I don’t know if I have slipped or not. I may have. I told her that it was not right for her to hurt herself on purpose. I told her that her body is her constant companion–her body will be the only thing with her every minute of her life. She needs to be kind and loving to her body so that it can be strong and do all the things she wants to do in this life. We talked about how being kind to your body means eating healthy foods (we had a long chat about why Ho-Ho’s don’t count as “healthy food”) and drinking good water and exercising and sleeping and relaxing. We talked about balance. I told her that if she hurts herself, she won’t be as strong. I told her that if she hurts herself, she is hurting something that has only done kindness to her–her body has carried her through everything that has happened to her.

By the end she said it made sense and she said she would be careful and loving with her body.

Why can’t I talk me into feeling compassion for my body? I barely ate today. I just… couldn’t. Even though I rode 8 miles on my bike and ran just under 5 miles. I ate one piece of bread pudding and about 1/3 of a package of ramen. I don’t feel physically able to eat more. I feel sick and weak and nauseous and disgusting.

And yet I feel like there are pieces of my life pulling at me from every direction telling me that I have failed. I am not managing to make time for my friends in the ways they want me to. It’s very annoying that I get up so fucking early and I am not available to suit their needs. I am having trouble with home school social stuff. Not because anyone is doing anything. Because I feel like a feral animal in a trap and my stomach hurts all the time and I feel like I just can’t be around good, kind people. I will hurt them.

The world would be a better place if people like me didn’t exist.

More than once this weekend I felt crushing guilt. Some of the kids in the group are *gasp* normal kids and they push boundaries. Any time I enforced a boundary I felt like I should die. (To be fair, none of their parents objected and the kids aren’t upset with me to the best of my knowledge.) I’m not saying this is rational. I am more saying the opposite. None of this is rational.

I don’t know if that “alone” feeling can go away.

I feel a lot of guilt for not doing the 10k this week. But things just kind of fell apart. My running partner and I are both having feelings. We are both having stuff happen in our life and the race just didn’t quite happen for us. I feel like I let her down. I feel like I am a shitty piece of shit who should be run over by a Mac truck.

I can’t do everything. I can’t be every where. I can’t …. I just can’t. Yes, my failures suck. I know.

Yesterday I commented to Noah that I am feeling the lack of Godmama break. My shrink today commented, “It sounds like you really need a break.” Finding other options just isn’t happening. I don’t have the spoons to deal with trying to find babysitting. It is fucking hard. And people lie to me. And people steal money. And people don’t answer their phones. And… Yes, I need some kind of break from my kids. My time off is mostly the 8 hours/week I pay the neighbor but I work like a dog the whole time she is here. It is not rest time. It is “do things that I can’t do with my kids jumping on top of me” time.

I feel weary. I don’t think getting a job is actually the answer. For a hundred reasons. Yes, there would be good aspects. Right now, all I can think is, “What would I start failing on?” I have absolutely no extra spoons. I’m really far into spoon deficit.

Mostly I just pray that I don’t fuck up my kids too badly and I hope we can all make it through the next decade while still liking one another.

You know, me having a “really hard time” with my kids is about on par with the most stable, best parts of my childhood. That’s hard to wrap my head around. I feel so much guilt and so much shame for being a yeller. I don’t call my kids names.

I would have given anything to have my mom say that she was mad at what I did. Instead she told me that she was mad because I was a stupid bitch.

I yell things like, “I am not your fucking maid. Pick up your own shit.” That is what I say when I *lose it*. When I am really harsh. When I am so mean.

I wish my mama was that nice to me. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish. That doesn’t excuse me being this way with my kids. I want to do better. Because I believe they deserve better.

I don’t scream all day long. I don’t scream every day. I scream too much. And I am really struggling with how to stop. I don’t think that adding the stress of a job would somehow magically make it easier for me to have patience. Maybe if I got to be a rural librarian who dealt with very few patrons on a day and who got to sit in a calm, orderly environment all day long. But I don’t actually have that option. I trained to do something high stress.

The idea that I would be less stressed if I went back to dealing with 150 teenagers a day is hilarious. At this point, with how teachers are getting screwed, I’d probably be up to 170 teenagers.

I told my shrink point blank that I want my next career to be in incest research and I cannot start on that path while I have little children. She countered with telling me about women who are public about intense issues getting killed. She had to agree that I should wait at least ten years before seriously starting the incest research for the safety of my children.

Yeah, I’m overly invested in the idea of home schooling. I have wanted to home school my kids since I was 17. I’m pretty devoted to this idea and I’m willing to try pretty hard to make it work out. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure. I have been preparing for home schooling for almost 16 years now. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure.

I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I really don’t. I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m very afraid that none of it will work out and I will end up alone and bitter and hateful.

I would much, much rather die. Life is such a risk. I feel like such a failure each and every day. Ok, there are days I don’t feel like a complete loser. It hasn’t been a good month so far.

I barely talked to the kids today. I was gone five hours for therapy. I can’t do that again. Two hours of exercise/transportation between bart and destinations. One hour of therapy. Two hours of train. I really need to find an incest specialist closer to my city. Why aren’t there tons of psychologists who specialize in incest sitting in my city?! Geez. Very inconvenient. Then I came home and went in my room and cried. Because it is that kind of day.

Noah is home. I did snuggle the kids before and after. We have talked. We have interacted, but not that much more than if they were in school all day.

I can’t talk without saying things I shouldn’t. So I’m not talking. Some days are like that.

And right there, right that minute, that is when the medication hit. Now I’m hungry. Now the pain in my head is mostly muddy noise I can ignore except for the throbbing spot. I still feel sick. But I feel like maybe I will be able to eat dinner.

Calli came into my room this afternoon and asked why I was crying. I said that in my head I was hearing mean things about me and they make me feel very sad. She said, “Like what?” I smiled and told her that she doesn’t need to hear those words come out of my mouth. I don’t need to be the one who teaches her to apply those words to me, or to herself.

I worry about both of my kids, but I worry more about Calli. On one hand I feel like the worst possible mother for her. She clearly has tendencies that I could uhh encourage. In bad ways. On the other hand, how many other people can talk to her about the problems of hurting yourself?

Baby I can’t make you like you any more than I can make me like me. But know that I like you. I love you all the time even when I don’t like something you have done. I am glad for you every minute of the day. I am grateful I get to see you again. You are a good girl who is trying to learn about a complicated world and no one can learn without making mistakes.

I don’t think I am good enough to be their mom. Unfortunately I don’t know who else to nominate for the role.

Also: my kids and I had a long chat about swear words because they are both becoming quite proficient at using shit, fuck, damn, hell, and crap. We talked about the penalties they might experience for using these words. I told them about all the ways I have been punished for talking this way. Shanna asked why I still use the words if so many people have hurt me to try and make me stop. I told her that when people try to force me to do things that is a guarantee I will do the opposite–even if I’m kind of hurting myself in the process. It isn’t smart, but it is how I operate.

Now my kids have decided that since language is all about modeling I have to stop swearing because I am teaching them the words too often. I am not happy about having my kids police my language this much. I’m really not happy about it. But I’m trying to go with it. I think Shanna is being proactive in an overall healthy way.

For the first time in my life I feel like the person who is telling me to stop swearing is doing so because she loves me and she wants more people to be nice to me.

It is very hard being aware that much of what my mother did was not out of love for me, was not out of desire to make me a better person, was not in the service of my best-self.

I look at my kids and I think of the awesome, overwhelming obligation they represent.

I am not sure I’m up for this, but there’s no way out but through.

Progress

The kids have blasted through a few different milestones this week. I should record this so I don’t forget. Both kids are now swimming without a life vest. This is huge. Both kids got off the bucket support in ice skating (Calli is doing better than Shanna). Last, but not least, both kids have suddenly decided they are interested in long bike rides.

I find it fascinating how neck and neck they are for physical skills. In a few years Calli will probably be far more advanced than Shanna at the rate she picks things up. They aren’t equally skilled in all areas of knowledge, but Calli has a great relationship with her body. Shanna reminds me of me. Ha.

I feel guilty anytime I say that they can be assholes, but when it comes to dealing with people who might take care of them it seems like fair warning. They can be sweet as pie and they can be serious assholes. You have to be prepared to hold boundaries and really fucking mean your “no” or they will make you sorry. They are tenacious and pushy in a way rarely tolerated in children.

I’m crossing my fingers it will work out in the long run. For now there are days when they are pretty hard to handle.

It isn’t about you (whoever you are) because they do it with me, Noah, K, and everyone else who has ever baby-sat. Children are supposed to test limits. I also believe that children are supposed to run smack into the brick wall of limits and be told NO. Because that is part of life. You don’t always get what you want and learning to manage that frustration is easier when you are under ten than it is over thirty.

I feel scared that I am doing them a disservice by allowing them to push as hard as they do. Most children are “broken” of that habit. I try to break my kids of the habit of shitting in the back yard. Backtalk is ok with me.

Pick your battles.

I want my daughters to be able to grow up and speak as assertively as any man. I don’t know many women who can. I know a few, because I hunt for such Amazonian Goddesses.

They bug me and delight me. They frustrate me and fill me with so much hope I feel like I will explode. Every day. I am grateful every day that I get to be with them. I stop and make time even when I’m being a pissy bitch.

“Today is kind of hard. But it is the best kind of hard I can imagine. I am grateful I get to be here doing what I’m doing.”

Shanna and I had a fight about something…can’t remember what about. It wasn’t a big one. She went to her room to cry. When I checked on her after a few minutes she said, “It feels like no one loves me today.”

I said, “Do you love me?”

“Yes.”

“Do you get mad at me sometimes?”

“Yes. You deserve it.”

“I’m not quibbling. But you can get mad at me without it taking away from how much you love me. Why do you think it works differently for me? You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love you to the moon and back. And sometimes you piss me off. Life is like that.”

She kinda laughed and hugged me.

When I really think about it… I feel bad for my mom. She probably does still love me. Even though she didn’t want me to start with. Even though she wasn’t very good at taking care of me. Even though I have pissed her off, maybe more than all her other children combined. She probably loves me.

I really hope my kids never need to pull away from me for their own safety.

This week has been tumultuous emotionally. But we’ve had internet connectivity stuff that prevented me from boring anyone with it. Huzzah?

Apparently today we are going dancing. Because someone finally responded with a yes. I was getting emotionally ready to back out on going. We don’t really have appropriate costuming. And Noah is not interested in dancing. And managing the kids while dealing with Noah’s unhappiness about being dragged to something he hates is always fun.

I was hoping that everyone would tell me no they weren’t going so I could skip it too.

I like to dance. I love dancing. Sometimes dragging a whole crew of people who need care of coaxing isn’t very fun. It is sounding really hard today. But a posse was formed so now I can’t back out. Even though it sounded like way more fun when I first heard of it months ago it doesn’t sound real fun today.

Noah didn’t go to bed last night. He’s probably going to be cranky. There is always the double whammy that being sleep deprived makes him cranky and then he’s extra cranky because I woke up in the middle of the night and yelled at him about not sleeping. Because when he doesn’t sleep at night he sleeps through the weekend. And we don’t have children who wake up at night anymore so I’m really sick to death of a partner who is cranky because of sleep dep. There is no excuse.

Only there are dozens of excuses and I’m an asshole for wanting to control his sleep so much.

Well, there are weeks when he naps enough during the days to make up a whole extra work day of time gone. Given that his time off amounts to a day of work amount of time off… he is effectively not available 7-9 hours of the day 7 days a week. And it’s not like he hangs out with them for all of the 4-6 hours he overlaps awake with them. Not even close.

The mothers helper kid stopped showing up. That’s a write off.

Getting actual, consistent support is hard. I’m tired.

I’m having a hard time with some communication stuff too. I don’t feel heard very much. When other people act like “they’ve heard all my shit because they’ve read the blog so when we get together it is their turn to talk” I feel… really shitty.

Writing on the blog doesn’t increase my sense of being seen all that much. I think it is important. I think it is helpful with a lot of my relationships. But I never blog about everything going through my head. I have so many layers of filters. If I mentioned x on the blog there is usually about fourteen layers of shit associated with x that I didn’t dare write about.

And people don’t really want to hear about it. I’ve already used my word count up for the day. Without ever once opening my mouth.

I’ve been wanting to bang my head a lot lately as a reminder to shut up. Shut up. Just shut up you stupid bitch.

I’m supposed to stand there and smile and be supportive about someone else’s issues and not say anything that might make anyone feel uncomfortable. Just shut up shut up shut up.

I don’t think it is “personal”. If I asked people about why communication stuff is wonky I would be dismissed or told I was imagining it or it was just my perception.

Ok fine. Maybe I should just stay home with my perception then. In my home with just my kids it doesn’t feel nearly as bad that I’m not allowed to talk about my shit. I knew that was the deal before I got into this situation. It doesn’t bother me very much with kids. I don’t want to hurt them and I know that knowing too much about people like me will hurt kids.

It is harder with adults. So much harder.

Today I run 4.5 miles before the dance event. Thank goodness today is a massage day.

For all that I seem to live at my pity party table I know I have a pretty fucking good life.

I’m going to go cry out my misery at Disney next year. Hilarious.

If I could stop wanting people and if I could start being happier with just being alone as I do things my life would probably be perfect. I really like what I get to do with my time in the main. Yeah, I won’t fill my hours exactly the same way when the kids are grown but I’m content with where I am for now.

If I could just stop feeling sad. If I could stop missing my mommy so much.

Shanna and Calli call one another “Sissy”. I’m not entirely sure how/where they picked it up but now I’m copying it with both of them.

That was what my sister wanted to be called. She would hit me if I used her real first name when I was little. She was Sissy. End of story.

Sometimes when I hear Shanna and Calli say ever so sweetly, “Sissy will you please help me?” “Oh Sissy I’d love to” I walk away and cry.

I feel like an asshole. Why am I crying? Because I’m so fucking jealous. My Sissy hated me so much. Get over it. I’m trying. Thus the crying in the early morning hours. Because crying is how you get over it.

I feel really sad. I did sleep well last night. A good 7.5 hours. That has been my sleep cycle for most of my life. I’ve been trying to eat those shitty vegetable things everyone tells me are “good for me”. I’m mostly eating them cooked, so I don’t get massive diarrhea but sometimes people put them in front of me raw and I try to be all GGG and eat them anyway. And I burn with punishment.

It is funny how suicidal thinking works. There is a difference (for me) between suicidal ideation where I feel like I am working on A Plan and the sad anxious feeling of wanting to give up. The wanting to give up feels like a dog whining in the corner. Small, helpless, not able to get up and do much for itself. Pitiful and pathetic and not worthy of notice. It isn’t threatening. It isn’t real.

There is a difference between the days when I have to more or less crawl across freeway overpasses because I want to jump so fucking badly and the days when I want to just hide under the desk rocking and crying and beating my head.

Hiding this from my children for 7-9 hours a day 7 days a week is really hard.

I need to just be grateful that I don’t have to do much cooking. That is the most frequent point at which I fail to keep my shit together. Thank you, Noah. I really appreciate it.

I need to give my arms a break. Is it bright enough outside to run yet? This time I need to eat something before I leave. That last weekend run where I took off having eaten nothing felt really bad. You require fuel in your tank.

Good thing I pack little squeeze packets of peanut butter and chocolate just in case. I’m smarter than I look. Or, more accurately, I’ve been stupid a lot of times and eventually I learned. So I’m probably not smarter than I look.

I need to give Noah a chance with today. No, he doesn’t like dancing. He tries to be nice about it. He will help with the kids. He will in general be reasonable company.

My expectations of him are really unfair and ridiculous. I’m sorry. I expect Noah to be cheerful and upbeat about pretty much everything and it isn’t very nice of me.

When I’m around someone who is in a shitty mood I tend to sink to their level and keep on sinking. When I’m around people who are upbeat and perky I can ride the wave with them. I feel like a jerk for needing other people to lead my emotional experience.

Sometimes it is hard for me to feel happiness at all without someone modeling how it is supposed to work. That’s a lot of what I like about my kids. They are so happy. Yes, they can be abrasive assholes and they will scream when they don’t like something. (working on that) But mostly minute by minute they are just…. happy. Life is really good. They get their needs met.

That’s a lot of why I like hanging out with them so much. I will fake happiness in order to buy the relationships I want. It is part of why I have such trouble at jobs. I don’t care that much about money. Beyond subsistence and minimal safety I was never real motivated to work hard for money. Enough was good enough.

At every job I’ve ever had there is far less impetus to be in a good mood. Why, so I can make a customer happy? What fucking ever.

But if my attitude is the difference between Shanna and Calli having a good day or a bad day, then I need to work on my attitude. As one of the moms in our group says, “You’ve got to have a good attitude…”

I can’t control the fact that I have mental illness and it has impact on my kids. What I can do is work to mitigate the damage. What I can do is behave in such a way that they will grow up and be able to understand how hard I worked at being good to them. I hope. Who knows. Maybe they will never give a shit. Most kids don’t seem to care about their parents much.

Doesn’t everyone want to feel appreciated?

One of my neighbors is talking about home schooling her kids next year. She talked about wanting to do it from the first day we met. I asked her what was stopping her and it came down to fear that she couldn’t do a good enough job.

Then last year she had a bunch of problems with the school. Her children are really not being appropriately served. So she’s considering home schooling a lot harder.

She asked a lot of questions. I feel I was pretty balanced. I started with my normal, “Of course there is a whole spectrum of opinions from radical in the direction of no direct teaching to school-at-home with every minute scheduled. I’ll talk about what I do first and then I will move on to different points in the spectrum and talk about the pros and cons. The important thing is to figure out what works for you and your child because there is no universal right answer.”

I’m a good advocate.

I really hope she will consider it because she REALLY WANTS TO and she is incredibly organized and focused. She would be good at home schooling. She’s big on answering questions with, “I don’t know the answer to that yet, let’s find out.” Perfect. That is the attitude you need. And she’s super happy to hang with her kids all the time.

I told her the only think she is potentially going to lose out on for her kids is the time they get to spend with her. If you miss a year of public school you can catch up in summer school if you are bright and motivated. Whoopie. Her kids are quite smart (fully literate in two language before third grade is amazing–she mostly taught them) and I don’t see a down side. The only thing holding her back is fear. (That’s what she said. I’m not projecting.)

But it is her life. Who knows. It would be cool though. Even though we probably wouldn’t be live-in-your-pocket besties (even though she lives ONE BLOCK AWAY) it would be nice to have another home schooler in Fremont.

We are going to have to join or create a Fremont home school group or something. Yes, we will still love all the Castro Valley and San Leandro and Oakland people…. but the road is equidistant in both directions. I can only do so much driving.

I wish I felt less desperate. I know that desperation is one of the fastest way to drive people away from you. The depth and intensity are scary. I don’t have a good reason. I’m sorry. Just breathe. Go get some food. Read a few chapters. In about 40 minutes it will be time to run.

Now I will nom a muffin that is poison for Jenny.

Logistics

Thank you for all the comments. I certainly know I am not alone in experiencing social anxiety and group troubles. I read textbooks. I know how common my issues are. Heh. It is interesting seeing where other people are with handling it. I go in and out of phases where I can handle putting myself out there. Sometimes I can and sometimes not so much.

Tomorrow is a tea party at our house. The current RSVP count is maddening because it never stays the same in the last 24 hours. This group is… really big on changing their minds in the final hours. Which means if I start baking this afternoon there is a non-zero chance I will make two or three times as much food as I need because half or more of the people will cancel.

But the house is pretty much ready. I’ll choose to just be happy about that. I am ridiculously impressed by how helpful the kids are becoming. Shanna washes dishes now too. With every party that goes by they do more and more of the work.

My secret plan is working. My kids are going to be entirely adept at hosting before they are ten.

My kids are going to have very different issues than me. I really can’t predict what they will be like. But I know they will show up as adults with a large variety of skills.

We aren’t going to the park today because Shanna’s favorite girl in the neighborhood is only available to play on Tuesdays. Shanna asked if she could stay home to see her friend and that will make my life easier. I don’t know what it will mean about the whole shape of the day.

The kids were going to K’s while I have therapy before the park then Aqua Adventure. Now… I’m not so sure. We’ll see.

I finished all the invitations for Calli’s birthday yesterday. I feel on the ball on that one because I’m a month early. *phew*

I need to make a list of foods I’m making for tomorrow so I can email people. Folks always ask what they can do. The thing is, given how high the flake rate is for events… I hesitate to share duties. If someone decides not to show up at the last minute then I have to scramble and I don’t like that much. Tea parties aren’t like pot lucks. They aren’t events that can have a completely random menu. Says my little control freak brain.

I’m sorta thinking that I could say, “You can contribute $5-$10 on a sliding scale for what your family can afford per kid if you want to defray the costs. I do not require that any kid pay. If I couldn’t afford the parties I wouldn’t have them.”

I like them being just so. That makes it easier for me to get set up in advance. If I am reacting to an unpredictable amount and quantity of food from other people… I experience a lot of anxiety. What if someone else has a bad morning and brings their six kids without having made the food they agreed to make? I’d be uhhh up a creek. Either I would spend the whole party making food such that I didn’t get to talk to anyone or have fun, or kids would be standing there picking through my snack cart for the whole time. Neither option pleases me.

(I specifically said six kids because at this moment in time no one in the group has six kids. [Err, at least not that have all six active within the homeschool group…] So I’m not picking on anyone. It’s a metaphor. It could be one kid. But it would be more likely with six kids because man I have a lot of sympathy for moms with that many kids. I can’t imagine keeping up with that workload.)

I would be just as fussy with two or three kids.

I can create a smoothly ordered system if I am in control of all the pieces. I’m shitty at adjusting to, “Well I forgot to buy cucumbers so I made pb&j’s instead” when I already made the pb&j’s for the party and now that’s all we have to eat….

People are variable. And if I just do it then I don’t get mad at anyone for being human. I get that they are human and all. I need to be loving and accepting of people being where they are.

I’m probably better off saying that people can give $ if they really want to contribute. I totally don’t think I want help. Maybe some help. Not really. Go away. Don’t help me.

I’m kidding. Don’t go away. Come to my party. Enjoy yourself as a guest. Don’t pressure me to make-work for you because that’s hard. I’ll get to the work at a pace I can handle. Then I don’t have to stop my train of thoughts to create something for you to do. That can be pretty frustrating.

When I want help I ask for it. Shanna’s second birthday was awesome. I told my friends to come over and do everything for the party because I was very pregnant and I planned to sit in a chair.

They did.

It was really pretty breathtaking. The fact that I have social anxiety and insecurity about my relationships is pretty much horse shit. They show up. They work like dogs. I am so grateful.

I suppose that yesterday when I thought of the wedding reception and my 30th birthday I was looking for mass. At that quantity of people I start cracking.

The birthday parties for the kids have all been really great. I know that the parties aren’t for me so a lot of my anxiety goes away. I have a much narrower parameter of acceptable behavior “Ok for my kids” and that relieves the pressure of what to say to people.

As I look at the group of people who is working hard to know my kids throughout their lifetime… I feel quite humbled. My kids have an extensive network. There are a lot of grown ups who have been there over and over for six years running for Shanna. She trusts and loves them with absolutely no limits.

I feel so grateful that I get to see what that looks like. Even as I go through my feelings of rage that “chosen family is bullshit” these people show up for my kids. And they show up. And they show up.

Even my worry about an “appropriate place” for them to go should I die… they have options. They have lots of aunts who would make it work. My kids may not get to have the life I would give them, but they would be loved and cared for. They would be told good things about me.

I’m so grateful that I have gotten to this point. Even though sometimes I feel like I am going to have to leave because I am a monster who will hurt people.

Other people have to decide for themselves if I am hurting them or not. I should not proactively withdraw just to keep them safe. That isn’t actually what they want. They would rather tell me to knock it off if I start over-stepping. Well, maybe they don’t like doing that.

But I’m not shitty company all the time. Clearly folks like talking to me once in a while. I can stop pretending that I am torturing people just by existing near them. It is a really annoying habit of mine.

And I settled the menu for the tea party and followed up with sending my address to all the guests. Checking things off lists.

The kids have been staying up till 9 pretty consistently. Stupid Day Light Savings. They are sleeping later. It’s pretty awesome.

Oh, it’s official. I will not drink hard alcohol anymore. I had one fucking drink and it made me puke. I can have a glass of wine on rare occasions. When we run out of what is in the house I should probably stop buying it. Noah likes his rum and that’s his call. My body doesn’t like it. I had horrible diarrhea for more than 24 hours. It is time to recognize this limit. Yes, body. You win.

Ok. Time to go start the day.

Running and body stuff

Bodies are weird. People are weirder.

I spent 2012 running because I wanted to be able to check “run a marathon” off of my bucket list. I had not been much of a runner before that. In the process I found that my body changed substantially. I was already riding the wave of lower-than-usual-weight because my Uncle Bob had recently died and I had divorced my biological family and that was really hard on me and I lost a lot of weight from not eating. I was down to the weight I had previously only reached while starving myself on Weight Watchers and exercising five days a week.

So having the “thinner” body is associated with lots of bad stuff for me. I get there when I’m starving myself and/or dealing with a lot of psychological pain such that my stomach hurts too much to eat. It’s not fun.

Also: when I lose weight the amount of street harassment goes up.

Think about the implication of that. I lose weigh *because* I am already having problems and then all of a sudden the ambient harassment I get in public increases.

Folks ignore the chubby chick running around the neighborhood. When I get thinner men start telling me they want to “come with me” or “distract me” or they just yell shit. And my neighborhood is pretty safe. I know enough of the neighbors that if I have a problem I can go three or four doors down, bang on a door and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt but I’m having a problem.”

I love my neighborhood so much. I appreciate that my neighbors are so friendly with me. I’ve been here for eight years now. I know people.

So it’s not like I’m scared but I really don’t like dealing with it. I feel worn down and tired. Being “thinner” feels more like being a piece of glass that gets thinner and more breakable with time. It’s not a good thing losing mass.

I don’t own a scale and I haven’t in a while and I don’t want to. I don’t care about tracking the number. Knowing it occasionally is just to have data. My recent doctor visit says I went back up to 170. Given the running schedule I’ve put together for the rest of the year… that won’t be true long.

Right now I have a belly. I like my belly. It means my forking pants fit. At this weight my “skinny” pants are tight and my “fat” pants are a bit loose but I can wear everything. It’s convenient.

If I lose a bunch of weight again I should probably just buy some clothes that fit instead of holding my pants on with rope the way I have been doing for a while. I don’t like most belts. So I use the rope belt that Jenny made for her Renaissance Faire costume years ago. She made it by braiding really bright ribbons.

I use this belt all the time. Every time I run it holds up my pants.

Every time I wear the belt I think of Jenny. I think of her kind of silently blessing my endeavors. Jenny loves me. Jenny wants me to keep on keepin’ on.

Being smaller is a weird thing for me. For one thing it means I am more shaped like my mother and that’s a mixed blessing. On one hand, she’s pretty cute. On the other hand… when I catch a glimpse of my body abstractly in a reflection I miss her so much I feel like I get hit with a solid fist of pain.

I want my mommy. I’d much rather be fat and never see her in the mirror again.

But if I’m going to run I don’t think I’m going to pull off fat. No matter how much I eat and let me tell you I try to keep weight on while I’m running. I eat like a hummingbird–my weight sixteen times over a day.

Running puts a natural limit on how much I can eat. After I get accustomed to the pace again I won’t be able to over eat very often. When I’m running my stomach picks a size and that is the size it is. I don’t get to under eat and I don’t get to over eat any more. It’s a really weird feeling. I didn’t exercise as a kid enough to know if that happened then.

So I do my best to eat a lot. I up the calorie density of everything (mmmm butter). But it turns into muscle and I melt away. Because apparently the me I see in the mirror is composed up of a lot of fat.

I don’t actually come from a family of heavy people. The only people in my family background who are heavy are the people with severe mental illness who are entirely sedentary. Everyone who isn’t so depressed they stop functioning is pretty fit.

I think I’ve tried to ignore that most of my life. I’ve always been sedentary and chunky-to-fat.

Losing the label of “fat” is weird and hard. It has been part of my identity for most of my life. I’ve been one of those prideful and hostile people. I don’t mind being fat and I will yell at people who act like it is a problem.

The heavier I am, the less sexualized I am to random men. Of course, there are guys like Noah who like heavy women but they generally are the kind to be chatty and friendly at a party and not the kind who yell things on the street. Which is to say: getting laid isn’t a problem at any size. But I like the invisibility of being heavy in day-to-day life.

My joints bother me off and on. Particularly my hand joints. I now compulsively make the same hand gestures as my mother. This getting old business sucks. As a result I semi-regularly don’t wear my wedding ring set.

I picked a platinum monstrosity. It’s gorgeous and I still feel a giddy thrill of “ohmygod someone let me have this?!” when I look down but it’s solid. Some days I can’t wear it because it makes my finger burn like fire. Which is unpleasant.

Oh holy shit do men feel like it is ok to just get close to me. I don’t remember this from when I was younger. “Hi” is usually the limit of the conversation with the strangers because I think my facial expression is not “welcoming”.

That being scary business is useful.

I wish I could be friendly without getting harassed. Gosh that would be nice.

I can. When I’m fat. So I look at my running schedule for the rest of the year and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I sure like being fit and strong and there are a lot of things I want to go do with my body that require as much or more fitness than I have now. On the other hand… being attractive kind of sucks.

I’m really kind of funny. I spent most of my early life working as hard as possible to attract as much sex as possible and now that it is appropriate (hey–at least more than it was when I was a kid!) I’m trying to figure out how to make it go away. I’m kind of stupid.

I seem to never be willing to do what is expected of me.

It is easy for me to be loving with my body when I’m fat. I feel less betrayed by my presentation to the world. When I’m fat it is easier to take long baths and rub in lots of lotion and give myself gentle touch. When I’m skinnier I tend to take showers and try to get “being naked” over with as fast as possible. I don’t really want to look at or touch myself.

I can tell by my clothing that my weight is shifting a bit. I’m trying to be conscious of the nicer things I do to myself and I’m trying to not stop.

I’m not sure if stopping the nice stuff is because I was that skinny during periods when I was insanely busy or depressed and most of my “me” time available was spent on exercising or working. I didn’t have as much time to sit around and take a bath.

So is it the chicken or the egg? I don’t know.

There are all these layers of things. When I’m running I mostly eat a reasonable diet… only I can’t keep my sugar under control. Sweet bread. That’s my down fall.

The difference is the exercise. When I get into a good routine for exercising, training for longer distances means specific conditioning, it’s a shit-ton of calories. Not to mention that I’m building muscle, which is more efficient at burning calories.

I think I partially stopped running cold because uhm… I was starting to have thigh gap. I think I stopped having thigh gap when I was eight. I don’t feel all that good about having it now. Yes, I’m aware some women are obsessed with it. I do not want to be in that camp. I don’t want to be associated with that camp.

I want to be strong and fit and have the fucking body I’m used to. God damnit.

If I could be a marathon runner with a size 16 body that would be perfect. That’s what I would want if I got to pick a body out of a hat. Unfortunately when I’m seriously training I’m more in the 8/10/12 range depending on brand. I hate the brands that tell me I’m an 8. First of all: no I am not. There are standards, you fuckers. Stop lying to people. Second of all: it is really fucking frustrating to have to take three or four sizes of something into the dressing room in order to find something that fits. Fuck all you fashion bastards.

I fucking hate buying clothes.

And where am I going to store my “fat” clothes? I sure as fuck am not getting rid of any of it. I’ve very carefully found my wardrobe. Maybe under my bed? Oh man.

I like being strong. I don’t like that it seems to come packed with being thin. That seems stupid to me. See, no one asks me what I want. Whine whine whine.

I understand that I live in a time and place where being thinner is a fucking billion dollar industry. (Many billions? I don’t track.) People seem to waste their whole lives on trying to lose weight. I don’t get it.

Ok, I did Weight Watchers when I hit my lifetime maximum weight and I could no longer ride the rides at Disneyland Paris. That bothered me. Being kicked off a ride because I was too physically big was uncomfortable emotionally. So I didn’t want that to be true. Also: I was in the bdsm community and I was on the verge of leaving my Owner and I needed to hunt. So I did lose weight on purpose then.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Then it went away and I wasn’t so happy.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Here we go round again.

I think my lowest adult weight was 148 when I was depressed after Puppy left me and I stopped eating for a month. I was living on a Jamba Juice a day. I got the big size. Sometimes I could swallow cheese. Sometimes it made me puke. This happened right after I moved out on my own to live alone for the first time ever. No one was there to care. So I didn’t care.

My highest non-pregnant weight was 218 as measured at Weight Watchers. I suspect I was a bit heavier a few weeks previously when I was at Disneyland Paris. Pregnant was 222. In between pregnancies and for a lot of my life I hung out in the 180’s. During my previous “more fit” periods I hung out around 165. Running leads me into the low 150’s.

I know some people gain and lose more than a hundred pounds. I know people who have gained and lost more than two hundred pounds. A range of 70 pounds isn’t that extreme. But my body changes a lot. I understand that in the world of Fat Acceptance I max out at what some people consider “skinny fat”. But if I’m fat enough to have employees of department stores sneer at me and tell me I won’t find anything in their store and if I’m fat enough to have people yell it at me while I walk by… it counts.

And every time I gain and lose my body changes shape. I’m hoping that soon I will look matronly enough to be left alone. I notice the dangling chicken wings below my arms with delight. I have old lady arms! Yay!

I’m not dead. I get to be an elder. Even though I’ve never respected my elders, most other people do. People are getting nicer to me with every passing year.

I note these changes with happiness. I feel kind of confused by the people around me who want to remain as young looking as possible. Being young has not been a good stage for me. I want to leave it behind. Far, far behind.

I like being bad ass. I even like being hot. I don’t like being treated like I am responsible for the random desires of men I don’t know. Yeah, I used to be interested and I didn’t mind so much then. Things change. Figuring out the signals is really hard.

I don’t want to be hostile but I haven’t found a better way of getting men to take “no” the first time I say it. Any softer “no” leads to extra pushing. If I am sure the answer is “no” the first time I must say it with great conviction. Otherwise they will push much farther than I want them to. This is consistent.

Anyway. I’ve been running on schedule for about a week now. I’d been running inconsistently one to three times a week for a while. I trained semi-efficiently for the Oakland half in March and I seriously hurt by mile 11. I need to treat my body with more respect and train better this time. Which means being a lot more serious about my cross training and weight training and stretching.

Which means my body is going to change pretty fast. My body, much to my surprise, likes picking up muscle. The more exercise I do the more it snowballs. I come from a family of fit people. My brothers were sports nuts. They had some talent. Tommy’s team was on its way to the Little League nationals when he got hit by a car. (Not literally on the way. The game was a few weeks? days? away. I can’t remember. I was little and living in a different state.) Oops. I never did hear what came of the team. I was too little to care. My other brother was sixth in the state for cross country in high school. But he was expelled two weeks before graduation for having alcohol on campus so it didn’t go anywhere for him. He could have gone to college on scholarship. Whoops.

I understand more now about genetics. When I was a kid I mistook the fact that I was learning for being unable to learn. I thought that because the people around me were so much better than me and they always won that meant I always would lose and I had no ability to improve or ever win.

Now I feel really sad that no one ever stopped and said, “Dude. You are four. Stop comparing yourself to people who are five and eight years older than you. Go compete with people your age. You are doing just fine. Keep trying.”

I gave up before I ever tried. And moving the way I did meant that I never had… anything. I just stayed home because it was the only way to be safe. Being sedentary was mandatory. So I never improved and it became a self-perpetuating “I can’t because I don’t”.

The things I know now…

If I had somehow had the will to exercise I probably would have been a much scarier kid. Probably better that I preferred reading.

But my kids are buff. My kids have so much freedom to move. Sometimes my inner eight year old weeps at how unfair it is that my kids have so much freedom compared to her. That was probably one of the worst periods of “can not leave my room without pain being inflicted on me”. That piece of me is specifically alive and well and bitter as a pull out of my inner child. It is as close as I come to having multiple personalities. The traumas I incurred at different ages have left specific big knots of scar tissue.

I wasn’t hurt physically for all of my life. For most of the time I was just left alone. Even though I am an intensely social person. Just like Shanna, I came alive at the sight of another person. Shanna can, and does, play alone–but it’s very different from her interactions with people. She gets to be with people all day every day. Well, sometimes I tell them to go play and I spend an hour in the garage. But they have never ever been left actually alone in the house. Well, not beyond taking the trash out. I don’t forking count that. I’m on the property. I can hear them.

Stopping to pay attention to this connection (my inner child acting up means my body has more activation and energy and I feel pissy) is part of the re-parenting process. I feel self-conscious and bad because this is part of what I want to get from the home schooling process.

I have to work through my resentment of other people getting “better” than I had. It is a lot of conscious effort to relax and calm down and be able to be present with my children. I have to actively forgive myself for having the childhood I had. It was not my fault. Both of my children are well into the ages when I was out finding neighborhood kids for oral sex. My kids don’t know what oral sex is. It has never entered into their fuzzy little brains. They are too busy whacking things with swords. As they should.

In being nice to my children through their developmental stages I work through understanding what should have happened to me. I learn what appropriate behavior is by reading multiple developmental books and educational theory books. I cross reference and design a model of an “appropriate” teacher for this stage. And I embody it to the best of my ability.

When I fuck up I apologize, explain what I should be doing and I do better next time. Just like my kids do.

We are all in progress here. I tell them, “I have never been a mother to a six year old AND a three year old at the same time before. I am still learning how it works. I’m sorry I made a mistake.”

Our mistakes are small and our forgiveness is huge. It works out.

My children will never remember anything other than a mother who is physically fit. They will not understand that I spent most of my childhood in a depressed haze sitting very still watching the same few VHS tapes over and over and over.

I’m in one of those phases where I understand why the “Trauma Recovery” people say that you have to forgive. My mom was not in a position to give me what I needed. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I can see why I was so hard for her. I’m actually impressed she didn’t beat me more often. Now that I understand the context of her life better… oh poor Mom. I’m not being sarcastic. I feel really bad for her. But I don’t think she could keep from fucking up my kids. Maybe in thirteen or so years I can look her up. We’ll see.

I am a very active person. It’s kind of insane that I spent my childhood as stationary as I did. I get why it happened. But it was really crazy-making.

I did have periods of activity. Auntie was good about making kids go play in the woods. Well, more accurately… she worked night shifts and I was alone most of the time when I lived with her. So I went out into the woods. I couldn’t wander neighborhoods in the random other places we lived because I got lost or got into fist fights. Auntie’s house was consistent enough that I could learn the lay out.

My relationship to my body has always been one of frustration. I have always been torn between being mad that I’m not bigger and being mad that I’m not smaller. Ok, I’ve lost the desire to be smaller. When I was younger and trying harder to pick up sex partners I was wildly jealous of the women who were 5’1″ or shorter. Now I think it would be inconvenient. I retain my desire to be bigger so that I could be more physically capable. I just don’t have the leverage to do some things. It is really annoying.

It has always been weird how much I trade off using my actual weight for using strength as I get smaller. Many of the tricks to use my weight as leverage stop working. Even twenty pounds of difference is a lot. That’s a lot of strength to make up.

Bodies are complicated.

Money, money, money by the pound.

I’m scared and insecure. Let’s talk about money. I won’t feel as bad about myself. That can’t be healthy, can it? I feel insecure about some parts of my life. Let me wander over and assure myself that my social problems are not going to derail me getting to do whatever the fuck I want to do. Maybe that isn’t unhealthy.

I have decided that I can’t buy an RV for the road trip until I have maxed out on saving for the road trip and I have maxed our emergency fund. That seems S-M-R-T.

This month’s salary + bonus (the bonus Noah is whiny enough to say isn’t high enough) will almost entirely go off for credit cards, mortgage, etc. Luckily I can now say that the second business I helped fund has been so successful I have been bought out. The check is on its way to me. I’m a god damn entrepreneur. Go me.

With that bump I will have $21,000 (rounded, obviously) out of the $25,000 I want in the checking account before I travel and $25,000 out of $40,000 in an emergency fund. That means I want to save an additional $19,000 before I buy an RV. And it means that I will be blowing a huge hole in my emergency fund that I will have to recoup. So uhm. Erf. But I think I can do that in the next few years.  Seriously, he makes obscene amounts of money. If I can’t do that then I’m a fucking loser. Technically I have been saving at a rate to make the goal on the emergency fund in four years and some. I want that as back up before we go over seas.

Yeah yeah yeah I have an IRA, 401k, two 529s, and additional investment stuff going on. Don’t tell me, “Oh gosh if you have that much cash you should invest!”

I like having a cushion. I invest, but I like my cushion. Shit happens. I like having many options. I like knowing that I will be able to do what I want to do.

Noah has already earned $15,000 out of the $60,000 I think we will need for the around the world trip. His ability to earn money continues to blow my mind. That is kept in a third account.

My real “back up” in case Noah loses his job is the fact that we have $60,000 in cash distributed between accounts nominally in the name of other more shallow goals. Of course all such frippery could be tossed to the side in case of a catastrophe. I’ve got back up plans for my back up plans.

I… don’t earn money. But I manage it very well. He wouldn’t have this much if he had to manage it himself. That isn’t his strength. That’s my strength. I’m not so good at earning.

A friend was mentioning how her partner needs to hire a professional organizer and I said, “I’m close to putting out my shingle. I’d charge $30/hour.” She yelled at me for a while. She thinks my starting rate should be $50/hour with the possibility of a sliding scale if I’m feeling fucking generous.

I am going to potentially have four whole hours tomorrow to edit the book. Maybe someday it will earn money. Probably when I’m dead. That’s usually how it works for writers. Luckily I have children who will get the income. It won’t just go to a publishing house. Ha.

I feel pretty weird about having this much money. But looking at it does help calm me down.

My mom spent my whole childhood crying over money. All the time. Almost every day. My mom has experienced poverty in a way I will never really understand. Children don’t get it. Kids don’t understand being poor vs. rich. It is too complex. Now I feel like all I can do is try to imagine my mother’s experience.

I’m so grateful I don’t have to endure what she went through. She has no money sense. Even when she has enough in her pocket to cover all her expenses this month she can’t do it. I don’t know what broke her or when.

Even if things in my life were to go badly they can never ever ever go as badly as they have gone for my mom. I have a college education and a history of helping to start businesses. I have a rich and varied work history and a lot of people who would vouch for me. I could find work at a reasonable salary. My mom never could.

The head of my union told me that if I ever want to go back into teaching it doesn’t matter if they are hiring or not they will hire me. I can teach gang kids. I can form personal relationships and help them understand the benefits to them of literacy.

That’s a god damn marketable skill.

I feel really bad for my mom. She is becoming a Dickensian character in my mind. She never had my options. She never had the same privileges I had.

I went to Los Gatos High School. Maybe only for my sophomore year but I got to learn about the standards of college and a rigorous set of expectations as a teenager. My mom graduated from Bakersfield High School pregnant with absolutely no expectation that she would need to learn anything more complicated than cooking, baking, and sewing.

For the record, she’s great at all three. Better than me.

It is harder and harder for me to be angry with her as the years pass. I feel really sorry for her. But I can’t let her hurt my kids.

My children have absolutely no exposure to toxic, bitter people. None. The last few years have been the nicest of my life. I have felt suicidal less often then ever before. Pretty frequently I find myself consciously making choices that work to extend my life because I’m not ready to die yet.

I never felt this good about myself when I knew my mother. Having pity for her is fine. I can pity rabid animals too. I shouldn’t pick them up.

It’s all mixed up. My mom. Money. Feeling scared. Feeling attacked. That asshole “funny” unschooling dad. The mom who keeps making cracks about me. Scheduling difficulties and feeling unimportant. Other people have their own shit and aren’t just my support units. It all feels the same. The same unworthy, stupid, bad. Talking about it feels manipulative, but I don’t want anyone to change what they are doing.

I feel this way right now. I don’t always feel this way. I write it down partially so I can prove to myself, “See–it changes. It goes up. It goes down. You have weak boundaries right now. That isn’t anyone else’s fault. It’s ok. They will come back up again soon.”

Soon I won’t feel like everyone hates me and I should go eat worms.

I wonder how much it is tied to Shanna’s current defiance. She’s getting very close to being the age I was when I caused the fight with Tommy that involved Uncle Bob burning Tommy with the hot coffee.

The punishment for that was moving to Texas and my brother got hit by a car. I will have a hard time handling this defiance streak. “Abreact.” That’s my therapists favorite word. Reliving trauma. Supposed to be in a therapeutic session but welcome to my life. Flashbacks?

I’m not having flashbacks. But I am reliving some of the terror I felt when I was disobedient. When she turns around and flips out at me I feel like it is all my fault and I am about to be punished and then I over react.

It’s going to be a rocky few months. Holy shit on Crisco. But we will get through it and we will develop new coping methods for handling triggering situations without abuse. Like you do. If you want to know your kids in thirty years.

I tell my kids that I’m sorry for my mistakes a lot. I hurt Calli yesterday. We were playing and dancing and I twisted her arm a little wrong. I’ve done exactly that dance move with her hundreds of times. But she gained weight recently and it pushed her past a threshold. Oops. I’m really sorry. We spent a while cuddling with an ice pack. She’s fine now. But she was really freaked out and she kept yelling that I hurt her.

Yes. I did. I’m really sorry. It didn’t hurt the last time I did it. I won’t do it any more. You are too big now and I didn’t notice because I wish you were going to be my tiny baby forever. As you grow up I will sometimes hurt you because I misunderstand how your boundaries are shifting. I’m so sorry. I can’t be perfect. There is no such thing. I will make many more mistakes. I’m so sorry.

By the end we were petting the cat and each others faces and she told me she forgives me and we went on with the day.

It doesn’t really matter if some woman who will never be my friend makes jokes about my lack of value. But I miss my mama. And I wish that my mama had thought I was valuable. My mama didn’t miss me when I was gone for a month either. No one really misses me if I’m gone. I know.

Some days it hurts more than others.

I’m not “funny”. Instead people “can’t tell the difference between my whining and my talking”.

I am a whiny baby and I don’t like being picked on.

It’s really not fair that I have to continue having involvement with this group for the sake of my children when I would rather just not go back. That’s how I handle these things. I can’t have a fight. I can’t make drama. If I don’t like how I’m treated, I leave. But I can’t leave.

I can make sure I stop talking to this woman. She thinks she is “funny”. I think it’s not funny to tell someone who has been suicidal for most of their life that no one would miss them.

Happy fucking Mothers Day

I’m almost done with the third quartet from Tamora Pierce. I’ll go back to reading about people who are allowed to start fist fights with bullies. Sometimes I wish my life were that simple still. I am going to read every book she has ever written. I even have the add-odd short story collections. I’m really glad she is out there writing.

Confluence of events

The thing about PTSD is cumulative stress is a greater than normal problem. A bunch of “little stressors” combine to make big ones. If I have one piece of support fall down the whole structure is going down. Which is to say, I’ve had a bad week and some. It’s my problem. I’m carefully staying away from the idea of asking for help. When I am already in this state and I start asking for help I don’t react rationally when people appropriately tell me “no”. So I can’t ask at all.

I’m not dealing well with people emailing me to tell me how awesome my rapist is. I find myself crying at random points in the day because all I can hear in my head is what a worthless whore I am. At least he is funny. He even won an award for being so funny.

Uhm. Bully for him?

I am struggling with the fact that the homeschool group is not full of my friends. They are the parents of the kids my kids play with. Leaning on them for emotional support is inappropriate and potentially a hostile environment. They sure as fuck aren’t going to take my side. They want to remain neutral and hear all the points of view. In their world it is totally ok to go to the rapists’ show. He hasn’t done anything to them, after all.

I feel attacked. I don’t think anyone is actually attacking me. I’m pretty sure no one gives enough shits about me to attack me right now. But I feel fully activated for a big fight. I feel scared. I feel unsafe.

I feel like no one is going to like me any way so I might as well be as aggressive as humanly possible just to make sure I don’t end up with the short stick as usual. Which is a privileged, asshole way to respond to problems.

I don’t see much in me worthy of liking lately.

It is hard trying to be “rational” about other people handling their own needs and priorities. I feel abandoned and unimportant.

I am not responding to emails because I have nothing positive to say and I want to unload a big fat self absorbed whine on everyone so I’m just… saying nothing.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all. Which is a lot of why I haven’t been blogging.

I feel like shit. Physically and emotionally I feel awful. I feel sad. I feel unwanted and stupid and like I should stop bothering people. I should go the fuck away already.

I suppose the upside is I don’t especially feel suicidal or like I want to cut. I just want to hide and avoid everyone.

Who the fuck could like a stupid bitch like me? I’m not funny. I’m not especially worthy of anything.

Just a waste of fucking resources.

Attention seeking.

I read a lot of really nasty things on the internet about how mentally ill people are just “attention seeking”. Every single time I read something like that what I get out of the experience is, “No one gives a shit about my experience of life and I should never ask for help.” Luckily I live with someone who demonstrably thinks that attitude is bullshit and he *does* want me to ask for attention when I need it.

Yesterday started off rocky but improved. Noah was very nice to me in those ways that Noah is very nice. I really like living with him. My issues with my body predate him and aren’t because of him and nevertheless he tries hard to make my life better. When I communicate that I am doing especially badly he takes a deep breathe and finds a way to be more giving.

Sometimes that means making all the food instead of just most of the food when he is home. Sometimes that means a lot of massage (yesterday was a fantastic rubbing day). Sometimes it means reading me books as a way of paying attention to me but not focusing on me. It’s a subtle distinction but very important.

When Noah is nicer to me in these ways I tend to feel a lot more inner push to make sure I’m finishing “my share” of the work around the house. Things get much tidier after he has paid attention to me because he likes the house tidy. I try to streamline things so he doesn’t have any more stress than usual. If he spends the whole day rubbing me there is basically a 0% chance I will turn down sex. You’ve totally done the prerequisite touching. Ok.

The folks on the PTSD forum spend a lot of time talking about how “not safe” it is to talk about having this disorder and what it means. They believe you should only tell people if you HAVE to. If there is no way to avoid mentioning it. Like, if you are going to marry someone you have to tell them in advance but they can usually justify not talking about it for years of dating.

I have the opposite approach. I tell everyone. I document the ups and the downs. Not because I expect lots of people to react or to treat me particularly differently. Partially so people can (hopefully) understand that my extremes are not their fault. Clearly I have extreme reactions all the time to seemingly inconsequential stimuli. It is not someone else’s fault when I suddenly have intense feelings of shame and worthlessness and suicidal ideation. It just happens sometimes.

I can usually pull together a basket of “Ohhh…. this happened and that happened and that thing over there and that’s when I lost control” but the fact that I lost control isn’t the fault of cause A, cause B or cause C. I lost control because maintaining control is very hard and I struggle with it all the time and sometimes I slip.

I am outbursty, loud, and over-sharing pretty much all the time. So it’s not because of you. Nothing YOU did caused this.

Well, unless you are one of the many people who abused me. But I doubt it. They are pretty much gone from my life. And I don’t even think that my issues are anyone in particular’s fault. My issues are the result of a tremendous number of small and large failures on the part of people who were responsible for the safety of a child.

Now that I have the responsibility for the safety of children I can see that. It’s not my mom’s fault. It’s not my dad’s fault. It is my mom and dad and sister and aunt and uncle and brother and school principals and school teachers and neighbors and therapists and….

My brain wouldn’t have gotten so fucked up if I hadn’t been severely neglected and abused. That was a joint effort to create.

But here I am. What do I do now? Do I expect people to dance like monkeys for my entertainment to try and make up for all the shit that happened before? God I hope not. I visit with friends when I have the self control to make our visit mostly about their feelings of comfort and safety and I avoid people when I can’t manage to behave well enough. I invite people to parties mostly because I know a tremendous number of really cool people and I think their lives would be better if they cross pollinated. I don’t expect to be the center of attention and if that starts to happen I will leave the room.

So man I have feelings about this whole “attention getting” thing. It sure sounds like people shouldn’t be seen. It sure sounds like no one should allow the truth of their life to be visible to other people and I don’t like that one bit.

I’m sorry that my truth is so melodramatic and sad. I really am. Lying about it in order to make other people feel better would drastically increase the likelihood that I will die from suicide. It’s always there for me at the corner. I don’t do it because enough people have convinced me that *they personally* would be hurt that I can’t do it. I love them a lot more than I love me and I can avoid causing them pain. If the trade is pain for me or pain for someone I love I will always volunteer to be the one in pain. I’m used to it. I have a lot of experience with pain. Most of the people I love are much less experienced and I want to keep it that way.

It’s a dance. This attention seeking bullshit. I need enough attention that I can talk myself into not dying and not so much attention that I need to leave the room because I can’t handle people looking at me.

I was asked (on the forum) how I could learn to see myself with compassion. How could I work towards seeing the value I add to the world that my friends can clearly see. How do you move past feeling like a worthless piece of shit?

I don’t really know. I am an over-achiever to compensate for my feelings of low self-worth.

This means that when I go to random parties and I don’t care about whether people like me or not (like Noah’s work Christmas party) I have a rather ridiculous number of cool stories to tell. I usually feel surprised by how many neat things I have done. Wow. I’ve had an interesting life. I don’t notice except when I am telling someone new. When I’m just sitting around being me I feel lame, boring, whiny, and obnoxious.

Don’t forget! I whine every day!

Over-sensitive, whiny baby. Things like the comments my friend made about the Christmas presents I bought. I will never bring it up with him because I’m not fucking interested in being told he was just joking and I should lighten up.

Have you noticed how I’m not a “lighten up” person?

Yes, this is manifestly all my fault and a problem I have. I know. I fucking know. I know that many people have teasing as a love language. I get that. It doesn’t change the fact that I leave and go home to cry and cry because that teasing doesn’t feel like love to me.

Am I allowed to have my reactions and feelings or do I have to conform to what makes other people feel comfortable?

I’m sorry I am so sensitive. I really fucking wish I wasn’t. But I am. I could deal with it by not talking to people any more so that I don’t get upset with them. I could deal with it by allowing people to say whatever they want and I’ll just do my crying in private. I could deal with it by asking people to stop (boy does that have a shitty track record–usually letting people know that it intensely bothers you is a cue for them to intensify how much of it they do). I could try to weed out the people who are teasers–but that doesn’t work.

Some days I can handle more of it than other days. Some days some teasing is genuinely ok and I don’t leave to go cry. Some days when I hang out with people I can pull off happy and cheerful while they are with me and I am crying before they are to their car. Or before I am to my car if I am at their house.

“Oh they didn’t mean anything by it” does not help me feel better. I don’t feel better at all that people casually say nasty things to me. They don’t mean to be nasty. It isn’t nasty from their point of view.

This is the walking on egg shells shit.

I feel dismissed and like it doesn’t matter that I have a whole frame around why I have the reactions and feelings I have. I don’t matter. What matters is that I maintain the structure and shape of what makes other people feel comfortable. Obviously I am over-sensitive and thus it is just my problem.

I’m looking forward to the grief ritual in February. There are parts of it I won’t enjoy. I get very angry when people meet for these kinds of things and declare that we have “created a community together and now we can support one another.” Bullshit. You are people I will see at a weekend conference and then probably never again. Maybe we will wave at a coffee shop. We are not a fucking community. God I get so angry when people say things like that to me.

I get why they say it. Most of the people in the room are students at a particular university and they have lots of classes together. They *could* form a community. I am not interested in joining your school (I’m not going to do the commute nor the cost) so I am not part of your community. I get it. I am not part of the community for reasons of my own choosing. I get it. It’s my fault. I get it.

I am enjoying having many days in a row where we aren’t seeing anyone. It is no one else’s fault I am so touchy and difficult and I wouldn’t be able to calibrate to someone else right now. Better to not be near people if I can’t be nice enough. I don’t like dealing with the long-term damage of people knowing just how difficult I can be.

Because seriously, when people complain about me being difficult that is on the day where I saved up all my easy. I’m fucked no matter what I do.

I feel sad and angry and trapped. I’m not trapped. These feelings will fade. My life is good. I am not upset because of anyone who is standing near me and I’m very sorry I have these feelings.

They will pass.

Catch up sleep is my friend.

I got nine hours of sleep last night. I only manage such a feat a few times a year so I’m excited. I medicated for sleep last night. I don’t do that much. Mostly I just medicate the day-time anxiety so I’m not a mean, nasty bitch. Once in a while I help myself sleep. My body feels pretty happy right this minute.

We sat around yesterday. I did a couple loads of laundry and made dinner. That was my productivity. Noah caught up on the internet and the kids played. Today will be a going-out day again. Tomorrow too. We got an SMS from Ms. Blacksheep and I told Shanna and Calli that we were offered the ability to sleep near their new friends A and M. Shanna declared loudly that she was ready to leave Grandpa’s house in favor of being near A because A IS MY BEST FRIEND. WE SHOULD BE AT HER HOUSE! Oh. Well, ok then.

It is interesting watching the vagaries of children. What does “best friend” mean to a five year old? I’m not going to say she is right or wrong. I’m glad y’all are getting along. Sure, we can camp at their house after school the last day/night so you can see them again. That sounds great.

I think the kids are getting pretty bored of watching Dad play video games (his way of playing with the kids) or now he has switched to watching football. He has exhausted his repertoire trying to entertain them.

I think I maintain a relationship with Dad because we live very far apart and I don’t have a lot of expectations of someone who lives this far away from me. If I lived close to him I would resent the fuck out of coming to his house and making dinner for him only to have him walk away from the table with barely a nod to watch football. Yeah. I don’t work this way.

People are so different. Being in this house is reminding me of why I’m glad I don’t have a television set and I will probably never have one again in my life. I feel so much anger when someone ignores me to watch tv. I don’t know what it is but football makes me feel hate.

Really. Watching other people run back and forth on a screen is more interesting than talking to me. Well fuck you very much too. I’ll just fucking leave.

When I was a kid the tv was on 24/7 and I was constantly screamed at to shut up so I didn’t distract people from watching tv. But they were never not watching tv. So basically I was just supposed to be silent.

I hate the tv. I hate the fucking surround sound that means I can be on the far side of the fucking house and I can’t get the fuck away from the fucking football.

I’m having issues. Time to leave. I love Dad with great intensity but it is such a good thing I’ve never actually lived with him. I don’t think we would get along. I don’t say that because I think that he is a bad person. I don’t think he is a bad person. I think he is a very good person. I really do. My feeling “triggered” is not about him. It is not his fault. I don’t think he is bad for liking football. I just don’t like it.

This trip I have been busting out terminology. He says he didn’t know I had PTSD. He knew that some things happened to me a long time ago but he has carefully avoided knowing what or that it might have current effects on me. I’m getting clinical. He kind of looks shell shocked. I should probably shut up.

Only if you want to know me and you have known me for almost fifteen years… you probably should have some idea about what my life is like. You should know some real things about me.

If the only thing you know about me is that I like single tails and canes why are you calling me your friend? We aren’t friends. If that is the only thing you think is worth putting in your memory banks about me then we aren’t fucking friends.

I’m just another girl in your line up.

I took a break there for an hour or so to talk to Dad because he woke up and came down. He is trying so hard. I feel really guilty for being impatient with him.

Dad is doing his best to have a relationship with me. He is fully bringing all he has to offer and that is all that any human being can do. It isn’t his fault I am so needy and damaged. He didn’t do any of it. He has been intensely respectful of my consent for the entire time I have known him. He’s a big consent advocate in general.

Dad can be an asshole, yes. Mostly though he is a very good person. I feel so glad that I get to know him.

We had a good talk this morning. I sort of opened the flood gates. He asked why I write the way I do. I told him that I have this burning internal need to exist in front of people and mostly my life is very isolated. I either write about myself or I feel like I don’t exist. I want to exist so fucking bad.

I love Dad a lot. He has been very good to me. I feel very guilty for feeling irritated with the things he does. He isn’t hurting me.

He’s really nice to the kids, too. He’s been patient with them destroying stuff. He hasn’t yelled at all. If I think back I can’t think of him ever yelling at me once. He just doesn’t do that. He tends towards apathy not inappropriate control.

No person is without challenging parts of their personality. I have more than most. I need to be patient with people being where they are.

He confirmed that I am way easier to be around now than I used to be. I’m a lot nicer now. He said that Francesca really saw my potential. She made sure I kept coming around. And now she is gone. I miss her so much. I saw her potential too.

Every time Shanna is kind to animals I tell her about Francesca. That was kind of Francesca’s thing. She was an animal rescuer. My kids have played Diego and Francesca the Animal Rescuers!

It makes me cry. I wish Francesca had gotten to be a grandmother. She would have been a very good one. She didn’t get to have kids. Life is like that sometimes. I miss her so much.

I have this feeling and I try to believe that other people would miss me like this if I died. So don’t die.

Yeah, I feel more patient after the sleep. I get so nasty when I’m exhausted. I feel really bad about it but I don’t know how to control it better. Sometimes I don’t sleep and that is that. Sleep hygiene. Or something.

Sometimes it is hard knowing that almost every relationship in my life is opt-in. People can choose to show up occasionally or not as they see fit. There is no assumption that we will be together and you have to opt-out. That’s the difference between friends and family. You have to guiltily tell your mom you aren’t coming “home” for the holidays. You don’t have to tell me shit. The assumption is I am on my own.

But Dad keeps opting in. Maybe I should work on being less of a cunt. I have already made a lot of progress. He tells me so.

 

PS- my arms burn like fire.

PPS- Dad asked for the link to my blog again. Good thing I don’t say anything behind anyone’s back that I won’t say to their face.

My people.

Yesterday I got to spend time with two thoroughly excellent ladies. It is kind of funny that I am referring to them that way because one of them is dealing with a situation at work where she has to tell someone else in her department, “Uhhh stop sending group emails to “Dear Ladies”.”

Two women who inspire me came out of hiding yesterday. One is a preschool special ed teacher (talk about a special breed of saint) and the other has a background like mine and she now has a masters in social work. After dropping out of high school in 9th grade and never completing high school.

One of my friends is not a parent and the other has one kid. I am on a very different life path than either of them. I am really glad that my kids get to know a lot of women who have entirely different interests. My children mostly know women who work. My children mostly know people who have nothing in common with us other than being breathing monkeys and all.

You don’t have to be like me. I am doing what I must do. I know it is kind of weird.

I am so grateful to talk to other people who are fascinated by the vagaries of humanity. It is nice to get to talk to people and say, “Yeah we share ____ bad habit and ______ good habits. Whoo hoo!”

Noah got to ask the social worker friend and I why we care so much about the opinion of people we don’t like and don’t respect. Why don’t we just get over it already? He’s been pestering me on this one for a bit now and I haven’t given him a useful answer. It was kind of nice for him to get to ask another person who is as angry and difficult as I am. I am NOT ALONE. muahahaha

Yes, Noah you are right. Our lives would be better in every way at this point if we didn’t care.

When you are a white trash kid who depends on a lot of charity… you have to care what people think or they don’t give you any help.

I got out of poverty because of a lot of white privilege. People who would help me just an inch here and there. If I didn’t give a shit what they thought I would have behaved even worse than I did and I wouldn’t have gotten the help.

Historically in my life not caring was more dangerous than it is now. At this point it is a legacy bad habit that I do need to change. It is a coping method that *used* to be necessary and it is still around when I don’t need it any more.

I kind of have a long list of personality problems I am already working on. I haven’t really had time to deal with this one yet. I’m too busy figuring out how to not scream at my kids all the fucking time. It’s really hard. Now I understand why my mom beat the shit out of me.

But I will not pass it on. And that requires a lot of truly active thinking on my part.

If I go on “auto pilot” then I am nasty, shrieking, and violent. I hurt people with great joy. If I want to behave differently then I need to really think hard about it all the fucking time. That doesn’t leave a lot of spare brain cycles for fixing the stuff Noah thinks I should get around to.

Uhh, sorry.

I know you are right. I know that is on the list of things I need to change. I get it. But there isn’t a neat little switch attached to my body some where. I don’t get to just decide, “I am going to stop being angry and afraid; all of a sudden I am going to just massively increase my apathy.” Sorry, my nipples aren’t that kind of dial or anything.

I know it “would be better for me” if I could stop having intense emotional reactions to the fact that there will always be people in this world who hate me and wish I would die. Yup, my life would improve in every way if I stopped feeling so bad about that. I know. I know. I KNOW.

I just…

I’m trying.

It has been nice over the past few days to see people I have known for so long. They have been commenting on how different I am. I don’t hit people any more. I don’t even mean like in a bdsm sense. I hit people fucking constantly for most of my life. It has taken years for Jenny to stop flinching when I come near her. I have had to work really hard at not being scary any more.

I understand that this isn’t an “everyone has it” problem. Please can it be ok that I am working on this problem first instead of the “caring too much” problem?

Seriously. I need to care what people think of me. Fewer people, sure. I agree. I do need to care. Not as much as I do. Yes yes yes the strangers who hate me can fuck off. I get it.

The caring runs on a background tape I never take out of the deck and examine. It’s just kind of there. It is an unfortunate feature of my personality that just exists. I don’t consciously go turn it on. I don’t try to increase my anxiety. It’s just there.

Sometimes people have unconscious reactions. It happens.

So it was nice for Noah to get to talk to both of my friends yesterday. They are very different and share very different sides of my interests. Good grief am I grateful that he got to meet someone as angry as I am who is out doing stuff in the world. She has as many anger problems as I do and she has to just fucking master them, like yesterday.

She is very inspirational to me. I confess that I have a hard time taking advice from people who are not inherently angry. If you aren’t like me then you won’t understand what advice I need or why I need it. She gets it. She gets it better than almost anyone I have ever met.

Why are my very closest friends all former child prostitutes? They can understand me. They don’t flinch. They don’t judge me. They understand why I am angry and they think I need to keep the anger but figure out how to manage it. They are the only fucking people not telling me to just “get over it.”

Dad lectured my friend and I last night about how we need to stop getting so angry. We should learn how to deflect rude/awful/whatever things with humor so that people will like us more.

I did not light up like a roman candle and I feel proud of myself for this. I did leave the room soon after.

Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you.

I love Dad with great intensity but man he is hard for me to deal with sometimes. I view it as practice for dealing with all the people I hate. I don’t know why Dad has managed to cross the line into being so strongly in my affection. He has all the markers of someone I would like to set on fire. But he gets a pass. He has earned it from me.

My friend and I discussed our sixth sense, “I can spot a rape/incest/severe abuse survivor at thirty paces.” I can see it on peoples faces even when it happened decades ago. I just know.

I’m sure I miss people. I’m sure there are people who are better liars than I think. I doubt I miss many because I find them all the fucking time and statistically they aren’t the majority of the population.

It was nice being able to talk to someone who really gets what I want to do with an incest database in the future. Most people feel confused as to why I want to go talk to a bunch of incest survivors. Won’t that be depressing?

I am somewhat unlikely to ever “stop being an angry person”. I think that short of being so stoned I cannot form a coherent thought process I will always be someone who has intense emotions. I feel a lot of anger. A lot of sadness. A lot of fear. Basically all the time.

I don’t understand people who just kind of drift through life apathetically. That is not my way and I don’t have a lot of desire to be like that.

I want to get shit done. Anger is very motivating. Fear is very motivating. Sadness isn’t. I try to lessen how sad I feel. I don’t have as good of a reason for being sad any more. I’m really grateful for how nice to me Noah and my kids are. My sadness is bigger than them and outside of them and mostly they block it out kind of like an eclipse.

Letmetellyou having kids doesn’t block out my anger. Holy shit they piss me off sometimes.

I want to have grown up children who have lived in a low stress environment. I can’t get visibly freaking-out-angry any more. I just can’t. It is not on the list of permissible actions.

I can’t cut myself to maintain control. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

I’m getting rid of my broken habits as fast as I can. I am sorry I can’t go faster but I can’t.

I feel like such a disappointment. So what about what I have done. I am measured by how far I still have to go before I qualify as a good person. I’m not sure I will ever make the jump. The gorge seems so wide.

I am so grateful to the two women who took a break from their normal lives to come talk to me today. They inspire me in very different, complimentary ways. I want to be more like them even if they are polar opposite in some important ways. I like conflict.

It is harder hanging out with Dad than the other friends as the trip goes on. I am having a hard time with my expectations and entitlement. I have some picture in my head of what a “dad is like” and I’m just wrong. I can’t take it out on someone else that they aren’t living up to the pictures in my head. I’m pretty sure I have succeeded at being nice to Dad the whole time we have been here.

Man I’m having a hard time with the constant “teasing” that feels like taunting to me. I want to fight. I want to fight so fucking bad that sometimes sitting very still and not reacting makes me sweat.

No, I can’t just “deflect it with humor”. That path is closed to me. What I could do instead is break your nose. How about if we try it my way and we will see whether your way or my way is more fun for me?

I really struggle with dealing with people sometimes, “Yes–you think everything is funny. You want to make everyone standing near you the butt of whatever joke is floating through your mind this second. I get it. When you do that I am going to react with rage, violence, and perhaps I will inflict a lot of pain when you try using me that way. Please just leave me alone.”

I say more or less that. It doesn’t slow down how often I feel mocked and taunted. “Why can’t you take a joke?” I just can’t. I’ve been god damn telling you so for almost a decade and a half. ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF?

At what point is it bullying instead of playing? If I ask for twenty years for someone to stop making fun of me and they won’t am I entitled to break their kneecaps? I think I should get to start escalating at some point.

This is why I used to hit people all the time. Dad made fun of me less often when I punched him as hard as I could each time I was the butt of the joke. Now that I don’t hit him any more he makes fun of me a lot more.

Why in the fuck is it a good idea for me to stop hitting people? I am having trouble remembering right this second.

Recently Shanna had a situation where a playmate was hitting her a lot. We have talked about it a few times afterwards. We’ve talked about all the things she can do when someone is hitting her. I made it very clear that if she tries two or three things to get someone to stop and they don’t it is ok to hit back.

I don’t think it is ok for me to hit people just because they have said something I don’t like. If someone hits me first I have every right in the world to start breaking bones.

Man. Why doesn’t anyone hit me any more? I’d really like to get in a fight. I’ve had a lot of adrenaline for a while now.

I talked to Shanna a lot about how when you end up in a fight with a friend it is important to not hit in the face. You can damage people easily, accidentally and they don’t tend to forgive you for that. If your friend punches you in the arm and you punch them in the arm back… that’s probably something you will be able to get past in your relationship. Once you break someones nose they don’t forgive you.

Why is caring about what other people tied into this? Because for me not hitting Dad really hard when he pisses me off is part and parcel of the anxiety about other people disliking me.

I want a relationship with someone who will hand me the crumbs of affection Dad is willing to give me. Even though it doesn’t come anywhere close to a real parental relationship. Even though it is always very crystal clear that he has “real children” and then those play partners he tolerates calling him Dad.

I feel so pathetic that this is the best I can share with my children. It is the pinnacle of what I have to offer. No, he will never treat you like his “real family”. I hope you never notice.

He is nice to the kids. He is nice to me. But he’s also an asshole. I’ve known that since the first fucking time I met him. I love a lot of assholes. Just go through my list of friends. I don’t hold the fact that someone is an emotionally unavailable asshole as a reason to not be friends with them. Sometimes that is all I can get.

Noah likes being alone in a way I just don’t. Noah spent his childhood trying to get alone time and failing. I spent my childhood desperately wishing that someone would like me and that people would stop hitting me and raping me and that I wasn’t always alone in a room listening to people laugh. If I came in the room the laughing stopped and the yelling started.

We will always react to stress differently. I need that to be ok. I can’t change it.

Dad would like it if I found his humor funny. I don’t. I’m not sure what to do about that either.

I’m never all that keen on the social solution that involves me just having to shut the fuck up about feeling hurt by someone using me as the butt of the joke over and over. For some strange reason.

You can’t change other people. You can’t decide that their personality should be different so you will just bully them until they conform. You can make them learn how to avoid problems with you but you can’t make them change.

I am learning a lot of this with my kids. I can’t make them be different people than they are. I have to help them learn how to manage their own particular quirks but I can’t just decide to make them different.

It is honestly kind of hilarious having to help Calli learn how to not hit people when she is angry. She really struggles with how intensely mad she gets. She wants to make people bleed when she is pissed. I get it, kid.

Sometimes when she is ramping herself up I will pick her up and carry her away from whatever is making her mad. She will fight me at first. She wants to get right back to the fight she was in the middle of so she squirms really hard to try and get away. I carry her into a calm, dark room.

I say, “I think I can see that you are very mad. Am I right?” Scream/sob answer, “YES!!!!!” “That’s really hard. I’m sorry you are having to struggle with that feeling right now. Are you sure you want to hit when you feel that way though? Do you want someone to hit you when they feel mad?” “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” “Ok. Then we need to find a different way of managing this. If you hit then other people will hit you back.”

I think that is one of the parts that gets me. I don’t like being hit back very much. That’s a lot of the reason I actually stopped hitting people. Noah hits really hard if you hit him first.

I want to show my children how to be a functional adult. Functional adults don’t beat up their friends. (Well… only at special parties with pre-arranged negotiation. That’s different.)

Dad is giving me all he has available to give me. I could be mad that what he has to give is so inadequate compared to the scope of my need or I can be grateful that he bothers at all. No one else has.

Sometimes it is really hard talking myself into consciously being nice and grateful for things that are so inadequate compared to my needs. Why in the fuck should I act nice when someone hands me an ice cube but I needed a glacier to do what I need to do.

You act nice or people go away. You act nice or people don’t give you the time of day. You act nice or you end up alone and hated. You act nice or you might as well already be dead because the whole long shitty life will be so painful that it really has no upside to enduring it.

Dad asked me if I thought I had kids because I was trying to relive my childhood and make it better. He said it in that “Do you understand you are broken and bad and you shouldn’t be doing that” sort of way. My response was, “Oh heck yes I know I am doing that. I write about it extensively. I am very consciously and deliberately trying to find out what a healthy childhood looks like.”

He said, “Oh. I don’t read anything you write. I’m not into that kind of thing.”

I said, “Yeah. I didn’t have any suspicion that you might actually give a shit about what is going on with me.”

He looked a bit taken aback but didn’t respond.

Sometimes it is kind of weird for me that I put so much of myself out into the ether and I just pray that people care. I pray that someone will read it. Someone will give a shit. I know that the vast majority of everyone doesn’t care and never will.

I have to be ok with that. I can’t tone down so that I attract a wider audience. I can’t stop talking about uncomfortable things so that emotionally stunted men will feel entertained by me. Yeah, that’s not my niche. Go watch Chris Rock.

It is hard dealing with the fact that people “caring about me” will rarely intersect with my needs getting met. The caring doesn’t actually do anything for me. I need actions. I don’t get them much. Sometimes I do. Noah is working himself into an early grave much to my shame.

I am not fair to Noah. It is not fair to anyone to have to live with someone as needy and pathetic as I am.

I am sorry that I have so many needs and no way to fill them.

I wish I had a dad who thought I was good for something other than fucking or hitting.

I wish.

In this lifetime it seems like those are the main early things that people liked about me. I am stupid enough to let people hit me really hard. Hell, I even like it. It seems an appropriate thing to do to me.

I slept more last night than the previous two nights but Noah and I went to bed bickering so I had trouble sleeping again. That probably factors into my right-this-minute emotional instability.

Instead I’ll just come out here to the couch and cry.

I wish I could stop caring what people think of me. I wish I could not care about Dad making all these comments. I wish I could.

I don’t know where the dial is. Can someone please show me?

I’m afraid that the first step in ignoring people not liking me is for me to like myself enough to make up for them.

I’m not sure I will ever be able to do that.

Dad was asking me, “Well why don’t you just _____?” I said, “Are you familiar with PTSD?” “No.” “Have you ever heard of hypervigilance?” “I’ve heard the word and I could guess what it means.” “I am not physically capable of just doing what you want me to do.” “Well try harder.”

I want to hit him in the head with a baseball bat sometimes.

“I don’t know anything about your medically verifiable long list of problems but I still think you need to just get over it and act how I want you to act because then I will get to have more fun.”

Let me jump right the fuck on that for you. Since you are so god damn important and all.

I feel like a petty, whining baby.

If I try to be kind to me I can see that I’m not just whining. I’m processing. Maybe life shouldn’t be as hard for me as it is… but it is. I have to get through each day. I can’t just ignore my physiological response to my life. I have to deal with it. I have to acknowledge that it is real. I have to treat it like it matters.

Yeah, I know I don’t have to be important to anyone else. I get it.

If I want to get through each day while smiling and being nice to my children then I need to have some space somewhere in the fucking world where I am allowed to have all of these feelings.

So I write. That doesn’t mean I am whining. I don’t make people fucking listen to my fucking feelings in person. I’m god damn aware that no one cares.

If I stopped caring what people thought of me then my ability to self-censor would evaporate.

It is genuinely hard for me to censor the stuff that goes through my brain. I think about self harm and suicide and incest and rape about as often as other people think about food. I can’t talk about it almost at all because most of the world will react with violence if I am stupid enough to bring up these topics. These are things I am supposed to pretend don’t exist. I’m breaking the veil by talking about them and I should be punished.

I have to care what people think if I am going to make sure I don’t say anything “inappropriate”. If I just cared about what I thought I would not have so many friends. I really like my friends. I don’t want them to leave me.

Even though I am a petty, pathetic, ungrateful bastard. I try as hard as I can to be grateful for what people have to offer.

I’m really sorry that I have so many needs and that I am so aware of them. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I wish I had a parent who would love me. I will do my best to not take it out on all of the people who just can’t love me that way. I understand that this is my problem and I need to shut up.

Sometimes it is really hard. 4,000 words in. Sometimes writing it is all I can do. I’m sure as fuck not allowed to talk about it. That would be rude or something.

No one can give me what I want. I know. It isn’t anyone else’s fault I feel this way. I know. It is my fault.

I should just stop caring.

You say you want people to visit you yet you have no time; what gives?

Great question. How can I whine fucking constantly about being overscheduled and lonely at the same time. Totally reasonable to wonder about.

Ah! You assume me being “scheduled” implies social time! Well, some of it is social time. But an awful lot of the stuff that is on my “schedule” is work.

If I don’t schedule when I will do gardening work… it doesn’t get done. I have a crisper drawer full of daffodils and tulips. Those need to get in the ground in the next ten-ish days or I won’t have a spring crop. They had to sit in the crisper for approximately six weeks. I have to put “gardening day” on my calendar or I will have wasted a shit-ton of money on bulbs. I can’t just have stuff in the house and hope I will get around to it; I don’t.

I put “decorate for _____” as a scheduled activity.

Some days my scheduled activity is “go to therapy” because after therapy I’m kind of a wreck. I often spend hours crying and I can’t really change gears to “go do” something else because I can’t sustain the attention. Is it pathetic? Well, whatever. That’s beside the point. It is what happens. After therapy I need to cry and cry. Will I ever stop feeling crazy? Will I ever feel in control of my body? I don’t know. So I cry.

Some days we have home school events scheduled. I take it pretty seriously that I have to provide social interaction for my kids. They must get to know children. So I can’t be a hermit-crab. So we have home school park days and occasional outings and one day I invited people over to make gingerbread houses (which will involve two scheduled days of preparation in advance to *make* all the fucking gingerbread so I have to be home and working those days).

So when I say I am “scheduled” I don’t always mean “with people” or “with friends”. (I am maybe moving in the direction of friendship with some of the home school moms but mostly I try to not be offensive because I need my kids to have access to their kids. I may *like* a lot of the home school moms tremendously but being around them is an anxiety train wreck because I am so afraid that they are going to start hating me and then they won’t let my kids play with their kids and it will be all my fault. It is nothing resembling rest to hang out with them.)

I have a day set aside to pack for the Portland trip.

I have two days devoted to gentlemen doing work on the house. Plumbing and building an insulated wall behind my garage door because holy crap do I need my garage to be useable this winter instead of being a fucking refrigerator.

I have a trip to Portland that will take ten days and a trip to Texas that technically only takes three days but with packing and a rest day afterwards (our flights are late at night–the kids will be crispy fried) that is more like five days of commitment.

If you want to know about “social time” I have two friends who are coming over for tea in December. (One will be gluten free–which takes extra thought preparation for me.–TOTALLY worth the effort.) I have a friend who comes to dinner on Wednesday nights. Someone else is coming this weekend. I scheduled an open house in December. (I think that at least ten people will show up. I’m excited.) That’s my me-social-time till the end of the year.

I talk to K every day on the phone or I go absolutely crazy. That is one of the biggest supports in my life.

I even schedule days where the kids get to decide what I have to do all day because otherwise they feel ignored all the damn time. (They aren’t ignored… I talk to them all day while I’m doing other stuff but they really wish they were the center of the universe AT ALL TIMES.) I have to schedule playing with them because I am so tired all the time. If I don’t schedule it I don’t do it. That’s how spoon management works.

So that is how I can be overscheduled and lonely at the same time. I don’t see much of my “friends”. But I get a lot of work done.

start of a bad cycle?

I have so much anxiety right now that I am shaking and not sleeping. I got less than five hours tonight and I am so full of adrenaline there is no chance I will sleep again.

I deleted everything off my fetlife profile. Most of my experience there involves me having an unusual opinion and then a bunch of people jump on me and talk about how icki I am. I participate in casual sex conversations. Apparently women like me, who will have sex with strangers (err, at least I used to) are disgusting, stupid, and we are obviously not worth keeping around. We have no self-esteem and we denigrate the women around us just by existing.

I get less shit for my promiscuity from Christians than I do from “perverts”. At least the Christians act like, “Well duh you like sex.” The perverts talk about how there is something wrong with me for not wanting a deep emotional connection with everyone I fuck.

Does anyone else see this as odd?

I don’t think that is why I am up though. I feel horrible guilt for canceling on the mural. I’m really not functional enough. I have a job. I’m supposed to be homeschooling my kids. I haven’t paid much attention to them recently. I mean, I pay attention to them… but not to the degree I *should* as a home schooling parent. Right now I expect them to just entertain themselves all day while I do work. I’ve been doing this for months. This isn’t a long-term solution.

I feel like I am trying to do so many things that I’m not getting anything done.

And I feel left out because I don’t have the spoons to go do the fun social things my friends do. I really can’t handle it on a lot of levels. I will probably never work Dickens Fair again because I don’t want to run into my rapists.

I’m not sure why I feel so isolated, unimportant, and worthless right now. I have wanted to cut for a few days. It has been really hard to not do it. I haven’t which is supposed to be all that counts. But I want to. I trace designs on my flesh with a non-threatening finger.

I miss people but I am so tired and worn out that I really can’t handle being around anyone. I feel brittle, tired, and snappish. I’m not saying it is anyone else’s fault. It just is.

I hate when I do this. I want to be around people so much it physically hurts. But I know I can’t behave well enough to pull it off. If I spend time around people when I feel like this then I do stuff I know I shouldn’t do and I lose relationships.

Better to hide until I am less of a cunt.

I hate when I get into this place of feeling desperately lonely while seeing people. I am overscheduled with people I have to “behave” very carefully around.

I feel guilty because the easiest things to cancel on are things for the kids. I can skip their friends more easily than I can skip my long list of chores.

I feel lonely and mean at the same time. This isn’t a good combination. I feel angry in a way that is hard to pretend isn’t there. I’m not even sure what I’m angry about. I just feel really angry. So angry that I could probably punch dozens of holes in a wall without noticing the knuckle damage.

I’m sitting very still and not doing anything terrible.

I wonder how long this will go on this time. I hate this feeling. Tonight I could beat my head on concrete for a long time.

I think a lot about impulses. I think a lot about compulsive behavior. I think a lot about choices and emotions.

I don’t seem to be able to control my emotions. I am controlling my behavior by being quiet and still. But that is of limited duration. I’m sure I will come up with more work to do.

Noah is writing another book. And going back and forth on what he wants to do after some work issues. I have feelings about both set of circumstances but it is what it is. I don’t think that is why I’m freaking out. I may be feeling some increased anxiety because job stuff is kind of uncertain but he always lands on his feet. And I have almost five months of income in cash in the bank. We will be ok. (Which blows my mind considering how much money he makes.)

I know I’m worried about money in the “I feel existential angst for being a terrible person and spending money on anything other than rent, rice and beans” sort of way. I’m not actually worried.

I opened an IRA in my name and fully funded it for the year. (The limit is only $5500.00… so not that extreme.) I’m going to start having this as an auto-deposit thing.

No one will help when I am old. I will have what Noah and I have managed to save. I should take that more seriously and pay myself first. Making sure I don’t end up homeless when I’m old should be a serious priority. I’ve already been homeless. I don’t really want to be ever again.

I feel scared and dirty and bad.

I feel like I can’t do anything right. I can’t do anything worth doing. I can’t…

I don’t even know. I have been feeling a weird balance between feeling happy and feeling scared that it is all going away soon.

I am really upset with myself for saying yes to the mural and then saying no. That feels like a really horrible thing to do. I am bad. I should have said no from the beginning or I am stuck with having said yes.

It’s kind of like how I never thought I had the right to say ‘no’ to sex once I had a meal with someone.

Buy me a grilled cheese sandwich and a milkshake and that gets you a blowjob. I don’t even have the self-esteem to be high priced.

Which makes things complicated with Noah. A friend told me I should consider paying myself as a housewife.

I don’t deserve to be paid. These days I’m not even a good whore. I haven’t had sex ten times in the past two months and some put together let alone hitting quota each month.

I feel tired and sad and I hurt. I keep moving in and out of feeling sick. I’ve had terrible nausea for days. My throat hurts, well not my throat. My neck. The corded muscles that are kind of on the sides of the front.

Just over 2,000 words and I will hit 30,000 words on the book. I’m honestly running out of things I would want to say to twelve year olds. I’m also feeling like, “No one will let their kids read this thing anyway. Why am I wasting my time?”

I feel so bad that I needed this book terribly when I was twelve years old and I’m not sure it will be of any worth to anyone else. I don’t think other people need the same lessons I need. Not everyone is a worthless whore.

I feel so broken and disgusting. People like me shouldn’t be allowed to spread their disgusting point of view.

I’m not quite to suicidal but if this continues I will get there. That is where this is heading. I can more or less see the pattern.

Being suicidal is just a thought process. It is how a brain deals with feeling over loaded and unable to function through pain. Suicidal isn’t a “feeling”. I’m feeling sad and lonely and unimportant and expendable. Those are feelings. Suicidal isn’t a feeling. It’s a thought process. It is how my brain has learned to handle feeling all these feelings.

I don’t want to kill myself. I have these kids to raise. I really like them. I’m not at a dangerous spot.

I’m just struggling with how my brain works.

I need to not schedule anything until after the end of the year. Hell, it’s the holiday season. Maybe I’m just going bananas in that typical end of year SAD hell that so many people live with. Maybe I’m just missing my mom. I really miss my mom. Every year that goes by hurts more.

Why didn’t my mommy love me?

I can see my kids through my pain. I can make their needs more important than mine. My mother couldn’t do the same thing. She couldn’t do anything more than survive. She had no spoons left to give to helping me.

I have no spoons left to help other people right now. Do I have any right to throw stones?

I watched some really heavy TED talks today yesterday. Specifically Indian women talking about rape. Stories about three year old children raped until their intestine fall out of their bodies.

Ok, I don’t win the oppression olympics.

The woman who told that story was gang raped by eight men and used that as a reason to devote her entire life to helping victims of trafficking.

I am not that cool. I haven’t used my personal tragedies to help other people in a large and measurable way. I am small, selfish, and not very useful.

I wanted children too much. I think that engaging in that kind of work means you give up on a family of your own. You can’t take care of your own kids and devote your life to helping people. In the process you neglect your own kids.

I don’t want to neglect my kids.

I know a number of people who have devoted their lives to helping professions. I know therapists and emergency responders and… lots of professions. Lots of people. I know a lot of people.

I don’t feel like I deserve to know the good people I know. I am not as good as them. Sure, I taught high school for three years. It wasn’t even three years. It was 2.5 years because of my copious vomiting all day long. Because I was too incompetent to do anything while I gestated.

I hope that this round of self-pity doesn’t last long. I’m really tired of this shit.

After canceling on painting I have a couple of days where I can stay home. I am just about to the point where I don’t have house chores left. I need to clean off the tops of the bookshelves in the living room and shift things so the plumbing can be fixed on Thursday. I am thinking about asking Noah and Uncle C to help me Wednesday night.

My back hurts all the time. I have periodic spasms where I lie on the floor and breathe until I can move around again.

I’m just not being nice to my body. I’m acting like working a manual labor job is necessary for basic survival and that’s just not true at this stage of my life. It is self-hating.

I don’t know how to feel less pain. I add stress until I crack. I’m not good at doing anything else. This isn’t a healthy balance.

No painting this month or next. The paint will get put away. Maybe in the spring. Maybe in the summer.

Maybe more West Wing. Hiding from life sounds great.

A shorter brain dump.

I apologize for the terrible typos. Welcome to the world of first drafts. 🙂 I’m a generalist. Not a.. whatever I wrote instead. (I’ve already forgotten. Awesome.)

I spent a while yesterday fantasizing about my ideal next Ikea trip. I spent almost an hour with measuring tapes moving around my house. I asked Noah and he told me to go ahead. It will be almost $2,000. I choke on that number. Ok, I’m rounding up, closer to $1800?

It will involve a radical difference in the pantry and give me a lot more space to move around and more storage at the same time. It will also give me more bookshelf room in the living room. I will be getting a lot of drawer pull outs and door things. These things now come in hot pink and turquoise. Perfect.

It also involves getting two of these as my next non-pee-filled couch experience. If you put these facing each other you can get a 15′ runway for summersaults and wrestling. That sounds like rainy day awesome to me. And I won’t have to scream at the kids all the time to stop jumping on the couch. No springs to potentially injure them. Excellent. No, they aren’t very “grown up” but they will get me to stop yelling so much and that will be nice for everyone.

All told I would be getting 43 new cubes of storage space. That’s a lot. Less than just getting two new 5×5’s but I don’t have good places for 5×5’s. (Obviously I’m an Expedit girl.) Instead I will get sizes that fit better in my house. I didn’t like the floor to ceiling book shelf thing in the living room. I tried it for a few years and I always felt like I was hyperventilating from lack of space. I like having all the pictures on the walls.

I feel like my suicidal ideation has been at a low ebb since I put all the pictures up. Other parts of my life are going well too, so it’s not like I think that one thing made all the difference or anything. But it reminds me that people do still love me. They just aren’t in my house right now. I feel a kind of benevolence as I see them smiling on me every day.

I like having all the pictures up because it is so hard for me to believe that anyone even could like me. But I have pictures of Jenny that are twenty years old. And now I have pictures of her daughter, whom she named after me. Even I’m not deluded enough to think that there is a lack of emotion there. But it is so hard to feel. It is hard to remember that these connections really are what life is made up of. No, not everyone gets to have a family like Pam. Life just doesn’t work like that.

I have pictures of Pam that are fourteen years old. Now she makes videos for my kids because she isn’t here all the time and she wants to be able to read them stories.

I don’t really “believe” I am unloved. Not any more. But it is hard to feel like I deserve love. It is hard to believe that I can love people without damaging them in some major way. It is hard to believe that I am not a monster and all of these people are going to find out the truth about me and then they won’t love me any more.

So I compulsively admit every time I scream at my kids. I tell people that I have to be conscious of my stress levels because when things get too bad I kick holes in walls or kick the cabinets apart.

I don’t want to be in the closet. I think the closet would just magnify all of my shame. I wouldn’t have the knowledge that I have to admit in public how bad I am. My dad got away with so much. My siblings are compulsive liars. I don’t want to be a liar.

The money I spend at Ikea is about my knowledge that if you have a solve-able problem and you choose not to solve it you can’t take your frustration with the results out on anyone else.

In other words: if I don’t deal with the mess in the garage by really finding homes for all of it I can’t get mad at my kids for making huge messes with the stuff left on the floor.

Our boundaries are generally very clear. If stuff is on the top shelf, you have to ask an adult before you get it down. If stuff is down low then you can play with it.

Do you see how fucked I am?

Shanna is old enough and clever enough to know she is getting away with stuff. But I didn’t tell her that the boundaries still existed as these things were temporarily on the floor.

So here we are. And boy that is a big mess of Valentines crap.

But hey, we will only have to make one card in February.

Yesterday was a shouty-day. I differentiate between shouting, yelling, and screaming. Screaming is the stuff that hurts my throat. That’s too much, period. Yelling is about tone. Yelling sounds mean and doesn’t even have to be all that loud. You can “yell” at someone without raising your voice. It’s about berating and being harsh. Shouting is being a little louder than normal but not aggressive or punishing or shaming.

“Right! Another pile! No really, come over here next because we missed a lot!” Not fierce, more commanding?

I partially judge the difference based on their response. Screaming results in crying and freaking out. It’s just not ok. I always end up comforting them when I scream and apologizing a lot because it scares the shit out of them.

Yelling has a variety of results but it is differentiated by a shame overtone in some way. Yelling makes them defensive or they cringe.

Being shouty results in shrugs, eye rolling and back talk while they more or less do as I ask.

Isn’t that part of childhood?

Learning to do things even when you don’t want to is part of life. I fucking guarantee you I don’t feel like doing laundry as much as I do. I really don’t feel like cooking as much as I do. But it has to be done.

Sure I could structure my whole life around trying to get around those tasks but I don’t like any of the trades.

I’m trying to get better at even bringing shouting down. I may still be mad at K for telling a large group of people that I was the biggest bitch there but she has a point.

I think I’m ok with being the biggest bitch at the beach. I can live with that.

I don’t want to be a bitch to my daughters. They are special.

Why do my priorities matter so much? I need my children to understand that their physical actions have measurable impact on the world. If you leave something on the floor, someone else will step on it. If you don’t pick up your stuff either someone else has to do it or the space has to go unused.

We live in a fairly small house by modern American standards. Including the garage we have ~1400 sq ft. If you make space unusable by other people that’s a pretty selfish thing to do when you have moved on to taking up other space as well.

We have pest problems if we aren’t mindful. This has been proven repeatedly. These are not constraints I have just dreamed up.

We have people over a minimum of once a week and usually we have people over three or four times in a week. We are very lucky that people humor me. Leaving my house unusable is uhhh not an option I am ok with. We need to clean up after ourselves.

I can’t expect other peoples kids to understand fluctuating weird boundaries. My boundaries need to be simple and clear. Nothing off the top shelf without permission. Food on the linoleum. Stay out of the adult bedroom and the pantry and the side yard with the gate. I should probably paint signs on the door and the gate.

I want to create self teaching space. I could do it with the shelving I have but it would involve a lot more down sizing than I want to do or just messy piles left about.

I know that every single time I do something like this I am pushing back future goals. I think of the cute folks in “Up” who keep breaking into their savings. I know that a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. A house is the same way. When do I stop?

Well I’d be out of room for furniture and I think that would set me up for the next 5-10 years for what I want.

But next year there will be something else. And the year after that. etc. You get my point. I can stop belaboring. Or can I?

Like the dishwashing machine; it’s breaking. The whole top rack comes off periodically. We will probably want to replace that because I tell you fucking what I don’t want to be responsible for hand washing all of our dishes.

Here we go, all what I want to pay for right about now:

  • Seal the garage door
  • gutters
  • bookshelves
  • couches that don’t smell like pee and that allow me to yell less
  • dishwasher
  • pipes in garage
  • washing machine

I think that is it. They would improve the feeling of being in the house tremendously. I notice as winter comes and the garage is unpleasant in the morning. Brrr.

But we also want to take vacations. I feel very guilty when I think of how much money I want Noah to spend. It isn’t a reasonable thing in the current economy. Not for the vast majority of the country. But he is doing it.

Why is what he knows how to do worth so much money? Clearly it is.

He’s really busy. The thing is, if he wasn’t trying to earn money in the time he would be playing video games. Or hunting. He wants a lot of time and space away from us. The intensity is hard. I get it. Ha ha ha I get it.

I met someone new at the park yesterday. We talked about how to deal with overwhelming people because parenting advice because. No specific details.

The conversation was fine but I had to take a break to use the bathroom. Like, duh. When I came back the response was a big grin and, “I’m sorry I need to stop talking to you because I feel overwhelmed.” I spun on my heel and walked away. I also forgot to gather up all of my belongings because I left as quickly as I could get the kids together.

I know it was “a joke”.

But I don’t really think that is a signal I should ignore. Not at all. Not in the slightest increment. Not if I want to be welcome back later.

I’m not there for me. I’m there for my kids. Next time I will make sure I say a whole lot less to anyone who isn’t more tested.

Maybe that isn’t fair. Maybe… maybe.

Be careful what you say to people you don’t know. I thought I censored pretty well. I didn’t say anything explicit beyond being involved in the queer and transgendered communities. I said that to indicate that the group does actually have queer families. And yet we have Mormons. It’s awesome. It takes all kinds. We are all very nice to one another at the park and on outings. I think it is great.

I’m sure it was a joke. And yet.

I am too sensitive. This is true. It’s not like I will shun this person permanently but I will be a lot more timid in the future.

Managing boundaries is hard. I didn’t talk about sex. I talked about entirely vanilla life experiences. I was G-rated if you don’t think “queer” is a dirty word.

Do you know that my mother put makeup on every single day? We were very poor so it was the cheapest and most garish makeup available. Every. Single. Fucking. Day.

No, no I don’t want to wear makeup. Thanks.