Category Archives: Cross-Country-Trip

Chasing and being ok

I should be sleeping, but I’m awake. I’m thinking about how much I’m shoving on my friend while she’s here. So here’s the sitch. I met this woman on Twitter during my road trip. Towards the end the kids and I realized we were going to have a miserable time camping at the snowy Grand Canyon and decided to detour. I asked the universe (and Twitter) where we should go. This woman popped up and said, “Pick me! Pick Phoenix!” So I did.

We spent a few days together and it was lovely. I think she is great. I think her kids are rad and super smart and really engaged in life. I honestly don’t meet that many public school kids who are that good at asserting themselves. I was seriously impressed with these kids. They are just… there’s a lot of there there.

So I asked my friend to come visit. Thing is, the entire time I’ve known this family they’ve been on my monthly donation list because of disability issues. The mama hasn’t worked in a while and that is indefinite. So this trip is horrifyingly prohibitively expensive.

So I said, “Can I bring you to California. You and your family. You need a break from life.”

We are going all over the bay area and down to Santa Barbara with a stop in Monterey on the way home. We will spend close to a week driving into San Francisco to see the museums.

These kids showed up at my house and with glowing faces they said, “Can we homeschool every day?!” They are so excited they can barely speak. Only they talk just as much as my kids do so this is a hilarious time. Oh so much volume. But fascinating! The opinions! The independent thought going on!

One of the first questions was: “Does your little boy still wear dresses?” Answer: “That question is more complicated than you think. My kid wears dresses sometimes. But I only sometimes have a little boy. Let’s talk about the gender binary and people who do not fall on it at either end.”

It was lovely.

I sat down after dinner and started listing off the cool things to do within an hour of driving… we filled the trip days fast. We have a full itinerary.

I am 100% convinced my friend never would have asked for something like this in her life. I’m spending around $1200-$1500 for them to have this vacation. Folks I don’t know that well that I met through the internet.


I am ruled by my impulses. Because it breaks my heart that my children get to have the life they have and children this god damn smart and talented don’t get to have as much opportunity. Yes, I’d love to bring you out here for three weeks for as much information as we can pack into your little skulls. It would be an honor.

I do these things to pay back the child I was. The child who felt so bad that everyone else got to go do fun things and take classes and go to museums. I got to move again.

Part of what is helping is that I’m not having to chase this family. I offered and she accepted… but I didn’t have to chase her and keep offering.

Being able to accept a gift this big is hard. Pride is a big deal. Accepting this much love and help from someone is hard to feel ok with. People can only take so much then they need to give. Not necessarily back to the person they received from… paying things forward is more important

I am running into asking rev limiters within myself. I can ask different people and it isn’t scary. I can’t ask a small group of people for things repeatedly. That’s too much hard; I feel too much like I’m hurting people.

Unless I get asked back. I need to be asked for things in exchange. Do you know one of the reasons it is easy for me to help this family have this trip? They are kind of assertive about how things need to work for them. “I need _____. I can’t do _____.” Even if receiving a gift they are directing it to be more useful for them. That melts my butter. I feel like they seriously are trying to get what they need from this gift.

I have probably asked many hundreds if not over a thousand people to spend time with me in my life. I don’t ask everyone for sexual attention. Unless I feel an energetic push back… I feel like I am hurting people by sticking around.

If I initiate all of our, “Hey let’s hang out” it will get more and more sporadic over time. My give runs out. My ask runs out. I wish I still had it in me to ask you over lots… I don’t. I don’t think you care. I think you’d rather do something else.

I think you’d rather not put your pants on and walk three blocks to see me after I drive multiple thousands of miles. That’s what I’m worth.

That’s from someone who has been publicly calling me “family” for over a decade. Yeah. That’s what I’m worth to my family.

But not Noah. And not my kids. They would do a whole hell of a lot to see me.

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

Even though they live with me every day. If I start getting distracted by life or people they do tricks until I stare at them again. Please look at us. We need your attention. Yes my loves. I will give you my attention too.

Yes, I like pushy. Yes, I want people who say hey I’m here and I want your attention. Yes, that is risking rejection. Welcome to my god damn life.

It occurs to me that I could create a calendar for the house hold and share that with folks who are interested. Dates when people are free to invite themselves over could be clearly marked.

I can’t keep inviting the way I have for years. I’m tired and it hurts.

Noah says I’m just ditching my friends for lovers. I don’t think that is true. I can list off lots of friends talking and visits in the past few months. It is true that I’m putting less effort into my friends.

But I think I was there anyway. I think there was just a brief surge for dating. I think that is going to… change as time moves on anyway. I’ll run out of ask there too. I don’t get the impression that most of the folks I date are going to feel ok being pushy with asking for dates. My submissive. My glorious submissive. Thank you for being so brave so far. I know I’m busy and asking me means risking me being overwhelmed and kind of a twerp on a given day. I’m grateful you ask. Thank you. I’m sorry I’m not always good company but I’m so glad I get to know you. Sometimes when I say I’m not good company it isn’t about me not liking you it is about me wanting to keep my nasty moods away from you. I know you are comfortable with getting the less than sweet parts of me, but I don’t want to take my feelings out on anyone like that. I don’t want to start using you for that kind of thing.

I love you too much.

I’ll hit you; I’ll carve my name into your flesh with a scalpel; I’ll kick you as hard as I can in the testicles. I do not want to hurt you. I want you to feel loved. I can’t be nasty to you when I’m having a bad day. That’s not cool.

I need to be nasty to you on good days when it is a positive, loving choice for both of us.

I’m going to run out of chase on dating for the same reason I always do. Most people… aren’t as into me as I want them to be. They like me ok, but they don’t really seek me out. I seek them out as much as I can… then I can’t anymore.

Usually that’s about three months.

The people who have gone longer than that… my first fiancé, my Owner, Puppy, Spot, Noah… they always act like they are drawn to me. I don’t think my first fiancé would have fallen out of love with me. I think he wanted to marry me and he was going to be ok being that person forever. I think I could have had that. But he needed me to not change very much. He needed me to calm down and not be so crazy. He needed me to be very conservative sexually. I couldn’t do that for him. I think I could still be with my Owner if I hadn’t wanted kids so much. Puppy was the only one who dumped me. He has some serious issues and that was for the best. He would have been very abusive. Spot… that one did run its course. There was no more there for that relationship. But we are still friends.

Noah came back when I shoved him away as hard as I could. He was still my friend even though it hurt because not knowing me was more painful than dealing with me rejecting him as a boyfriend. Then after a while of being my friend he noticed that I was single for five minutes and he took a chance on offering me the best deal of my whole damn life. Would I like to marry my best friend and have the babies I’ve been dreaming of? Yes. Yes I would.

I like sudden intense protestations of devotion that I end up being able to count on. That works for me.

And Noah has chased me ever since. I do not always honor his efforts as I should. But I take breaks to admire just how forking nice to me he is. He chases me. He feels like he would die without me.

It makes it kind of hard to keep chasing people who are not that enthusiastic about seeing me, who do not push for time or attention, who do not make it clear that they want to know me.

I’m spoiled as fuck.

My submissive chases me à la Pepé Le Pew. Slow and patient and just there for my entire adult life.

You know who else chases me? Sarah. That’s why she is My Sarah. Because she has chased me and pushed and offered and grabbed chances to see me for over twelve years.

Lots and lots and lots of people can ask me once or twice a year for a visit. That’s so wonderful and sweet and generous. They give me what they have to spare. They ask for how much of me they want. I’m grateful for every person who gives me a three hour visit a year because they want to know me and that’s all they have spare. That is a gift.

It is so glorious having people in my life who want more and more and more of me. The number of people who feel that way is growing and I can’t help but think that is so wonderful. One of the women I look up to most described knowing me as being like watching the birth of a planet. I’m developing my own gravity.

So this ADD book I’m reading keeps saying, “There is something special about a lot of people with ADD. You can’t put your finger on what it is. It’s just there.” I find that hilarious.

When you look at comorbidity things: ADD is highly correlated with trauma which is highly correlated with being targeted which is highly correlated to being something that attracts notice.

Being special/different/weird is threatening as fuck. Lemme tell you.

Hey, is that a self love moment there? Did I just admit that I know I’m special?


I am. I always have been. I do radiate energy like the sun. Either I freak people out or I draw them in. I pay attention to people. I want to know them and love them. Just looking at people as hard as I do is special. Not many people are even capable of really looking at everyone around them and paying attention the way I do. It is some trick of attention and hypervigilance and empathy.

And where in the hell did I find the well of love I seem to have for people? Despite everything. Recently someone said I didn’t break; I broke open.

I need to be needed or there isn’t a lot of point in me. I think that the majority of creatures who are ever born live and die not having a point. I think that the creature has to make their own point, their own purpose, their own meaning.

Am I doing it?

So far people in ten states and a few different countries have told me that knowing me has changed them for the better. It’s a start.

I can say with great certainty that the three people who live here, my submissive, and My Sarah will chase me just about to the ends of the earth. Jenny has flown out to rescue me when I was in danger even though she isn’t by nature a chaser.

I still call her Jenny because I’m the only damn one who can. To you, she is Jennifer. You do not have leave to address her familiar. I think the only reason I can’t mature into the grown up name is because it was a very young person who first opened her heart to me. It was a very young person with intense wounds of her own who learned how to put up with me. When I cry and think of how very much I miss my friend I am dimly aware that we are grown ups now… but I miss her from that place of being very young. Because that is where she first touched me. I met her when I was twelve. I feel like twelve was for me the absolute last gasping breaths of my childhood. That was right as I started seriously dating.

Jenny managed to catch the last bits of me that could love as a child. And I love her with all the intensity of a child for their best friend still. Thank you.

Despite how not chaste I am… I am still chased. I am deemed worthy of love. And by people I respect and love in return. People who absolutely thrill me to my toes that these people think I am worth enough of their energy to chase me. People who are impacted by my gravity pull and just have to be near me.

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

That’s at least six people who will… chase me pretty fucking far. Blacksheep has jumped enormous hurdles to be my friend. DSH has gone waaaaaaay far past her comfort zone for me even though she isn’t one to chase people like me.

I could keep going.

I am blessed and blessed and blessed. My Bonus Family. It would take a few pages to go through all they have done for me. Even though I’m god damn difficult and sometimes they need some boundaries. That’s healthy.

Most of the people who love me with great intensity have rev limiters of their own. They have lives. Part of the reason I love them so much is because they are intense people with a lot going on. They give me what they can. Even if they can’t chase me the way I like to be chased…

Really, how spoiled can someone be? I get chased. I have three people chasing me 24/7. Quit being so greedy.

And yet I’d still kinda like to set up a calendar that says when folks can invite themselves over and see what happens.

I don’t want to decide who it is and how many people. I just… want to see what happens. I assume not much. I assume a few people sometimes but not much.  The key to happiness is low expectations.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks. I’m nervous because this is a lot of time to be “on” with folks I don’t know that well. But I know this mama through mental/physical disability support. At least we are both very understanding of our mutual shortcomings. Ha.

I am so grateful that they accepted my invitation. This is going to be a lot of fun for me. I can’t wait to homeschool her kids. I feel like a walking encyclopedia and that is one of my favorite feelings. See how useful I can be. I am a good tool!

One of the things that makes me special is how fast I can access disparate topics in my brain and explain them in simple or complicated ways for just about anyone. I can make connections between things that seem unrelated… until I explain… faster than the vast majority of people I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a lot of people. I am not an expert in almost anything. Instead of going deep I go wide. That allows for a different kind of thinking, a different kind of intensity.

Ok, reading this book on ADD is making me question something about my long term mental health diagnosis: depression. I don’t do the torpor kind of depression. I do the head-down-keep-working-as-you-hate-yourself-and-want-to-die kind. Apparently that is a pretty standard ADD thing. Oh. Huh. That’s supposed to be one of those things they kinda look for. I hate them and their not looking.

If you loathe yourself: you are depressed. Sorta. Maybe.

I made Noah listen to this song. I can’t find it easily on the internet so you get lyrics.  The thing is… I need to be loved. And I need it from lots of people because I’m trying to push past a whole lot of not being loved.

There is some interesting research out there on preverbal trauma and early formative trauma. I feel like I still need to be filled with as much love as an infant. I was not wanted. Not from conception. I only exist because a bad thing happened. What do I have to do to make up for that? What do I have to do for the world to make up for the harm I caused by coming into being. For declaring, “I don’t care that this hurts you. I need to be here.”

It’s not like I think I really deserve to be punished for choosing to be born. It was an accident. A surprise.

To be fair, my mom told me over and over I was a surprise. She didn’t know she wanted me till she had me. Sissy is the one who told me over and over that I was an accident. My mom just admitted it was rape. My mom tries to make sense of her life given the stories she has been given. God wanted her to have that child. Me.

I have been crying for my mother for over 31, almost 32 years. My mom was 32 when I was born. I might be 35 or 36 if I have another child.

Am I a grown up yet?

When my mama was 35 years old she had four children. She locked her abusive husband out of the house and sued for divorce. On the grounds that he had been raping their children. He was still given partial custody. He refused to pay alimony or child support so my mom lost the house and we ended up living in the car. Well, he would pay it. In exchange for sex.

Sometimes I think I judge my mother far too harshly for surviving a world of horror.

Sex. Sex. Sex. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it neither? Is it both? Does it depend?

I think that if I don’t have that much pull… I should probably just be ok with that. It is probably healthier that way. Maybe. Who knows.

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

I think people misunderstand suicide prevention. There is a lot of shaming. “Don’t do it because it is selfish. You hurt people.” I hurt people by living too. I promise. It’s always complicated. It is always about the balance of hurting people vs being hurt.

I think it should be framed as enlightened self interested selfishness. Someday I will get to the point where I am out of good days. I’m not there yet. I’m trying to construct a future so fantastic that I absolutely want to stay alive to see it.

I know we are giving up the WWOOF year I’ve always wanted because of a baby I want more. You know what? I bet I will still go to Africa with Sarah someday. I bet I will still go to Taiwan to see Pam someday. I bet I will still go to South America someday. I don’t know who will go with me or who I will see… but it’s probably going to happen.

I’m like that.

I go do things.

No more travel for a long time though. I need to save money. We don’t really travel cheap.

The kids and Noah have promised to veto all requests for travel in 2017 even if I say, “but we could…”


I love my reminders.

My Eldest Child likes to say, “You should listen to yourself more, mom. You are a smart lady.” But I don’t listen to myself. I need to hear it from you. I need to hear it in your voice. I need to have you replace my inside voice. Do you know why? Because when I talk to me I’m so god damn mean. When you remind me of something I just said a few minutes ago… you usually sound so nice.

I know I sounded nice when I said it to you. That’s because it is easy to be nice to you. No, I can’t remind myself in that same nice way. I need you on a tape in my head. Because my tapes are all so bad. Thank you for reminding me.

I never mean that sarcastically.

Well… maybe once in a while but I’ll make it obvious with a funny voice.

Shiny change of topic. I feel like it is wise to restate a thing about voice in my blog. I talk to “you” a lot. That’s a moving target. I often consciously create sentences so I’m addressing multiple situations and multiple people at once and I phrase it as a singular. So if you feel paranoid that I’m talking to you… maybe…. inclusively…

Or maybe you’re the one. Noah gets a lot of direct address. Ok, other people do too and I hide behind the group thing. Let’s be honest. But I do the group address thing too!

I’m just tricksy.

I sat here for a while and just went through some visuals of stuff I’d like to have happen in my life. Oh let it be so.

Big feelings and safety.

I was shaking my head watching the kids play at Legoland. A mom started up a conversation. She asked which kids were mine. We both dodged careening bodies. I pointed. My kids were currently fighting. She laughed and said, “Girls do that too? I thought that only happened when a boy was involved.”

I said, “Oh no. Fighting happens between siblings regardless of gender. We’ve had bloody lips and bruises.”

She looked shocked.

She asked why they fight. I am pretty sure she meant it in a rhetorical manner based on how it was phrased but I never let that stop me.

I said, “They fight because your family is your practice for having big feelings. It is the safest place you’ll ever have in your life if your parents do their job right. Kids need to have a safe place to learn how to have big feelings. That’s what siblings give them.”

She looked positively shocked.

Then she said, “I really needed to hear that. Your family is your safe place for having big feelings. Thank you for saying that to me.”

I said, “No problem! I’d say I’m here all the week but it’s a lie. We push out tomorrow. Good thing you caught me.” Then I grinned a Noah-worthy cocky grin.

She laughed.

Like, my kids today have alternated fighting, playing, (currently) giving one another massages, and vowing that they will never play with you again.

Right. Did I mention the massage going on now?

They crack me up.

They also frequently tell me that they are really glad they get have the life we have. They talk to school kids a lot. They don’t want to go to school. They want to learn. Eldest Child keeps saying, “I’ll go to school some day. Like college or something.” Youngest Child started out the trip pissed off about missing kindergarden. We had seriously negotiations about the possibility of a mid-year start.

I don’t see it as likely now. Yeah, they need some space away from one another… but this is working. We need to tweak some things. They need separate damn bedrooms. That’ll happen. In six days.

We split them up before leaving. That way I don’t have that task waiting for me. Yay!

Thank you past me. Your future self says good fucking work. Smart thinking and all that.

I’m having serious thoughts about my pantry. It is probably going away. I don’t know what I’m going to do for food storage. I need the room for books.

I’m going to have to get creative and interesting in how I store books. I’m really looking forward to this. This is my happy face. This is my happy place.

I haz all the booooooooooooooooks. I’ll write reviews and such. 😀

I want to go home and read books and have tea parties. I like my bubble. It is quite wonderful. Soon. Two more nights here. Four nights at Disneyland with Sarah (which will be rad).

I’m looking forward to the adult conversation.

The world is burning down.

There are bombings all over the world in the last few days. People are dying from no reason bigger than hatred that some people think differently.

There was an earthquake in Japan.

I’m… at Knott’s Berry Farm. Well, I was.

And now I’m rocking and crying. Today was horribly triggering. But it feels so very selfish and stupid and petty. God, my whole life is pretty fucking ridiculous these days. Yeah, it will take a whole book to figure out why this trip was worth this for me.

We get home in seven days. I’m triggered as all fuck. This place is hurting me.

We had a wonderful day. I completely held it together. I mediated like a god damn champ when they had a hard time.

And now I’m rocking and hurting because keeping it together today was so god damn hard.

That’s where my father used to finger me. I haven’t been there in more than ten years. I actually come to SoCal pretty frequently. I choose to not go there most of the time.

So, the song I’m listening to on repeat is this one.  

That’s my mood right now.

I think that I’m going to finally find the motivation to get the money from my father’s money that the state is holding. It has waited a lot of years. I think I’m ready to take my payment for what he put me through.

I don’t think the kids know how upset I was. I think I did well. They both gushed all the way back to the hotel about how absolutely fantastic today went. And I really agree.

But there is that part of me and this part of me and today I realized that I… completely missed the anniversaries this year. I think this is the first year I’ve ever just sailed right the fuck past them without noticing.

Am I who I thought I would be by 33?

Is my daddy still the monkey on my back?

What the fuck did I learn out in the Wild Wild West? Oh. Lots.

Hungry for a life I’m not ready to begin.

But it’s time to start anyway.

What does it mean. How forking shallow is it. I don’t know. I don’t know.

You know, it is fucking awesome that I learned how to cry completely silently a long time ago. Otherwise this crying in the room with the kids thing would be pretty fucking awkward.

I’m sorry James. I had to.

I hurt. I shouldn’t be typing nor looking down. And I should be sleeping.

But crying alone is hard. Thank you for keeping me company, internet. I love you.

Noah. I have so many stories.

My fingers hurt.

Must haz self control. Seven more days.

It was really hard going through layer after layer of memories of my father. I think they have substantially changed the area where he used to sit me on his lap. I want to write more. The basic allusion to this is in the book. But I could give a lot more details. Especially right this moment.

I’m having some really really really really really really really big feelings. And I have to just calm right the fuck back down and go to sleep. Tomorrow I have work to do. It is not yet time for me to rest. Only seven more days.

Almost home

Randomly, about the fridge…

Despite my early difficulty in adjusting to the plug in fridge it has been a lifesaver. I had to learn a few ways to adapt to it, but at this point I would never go on a long car trip without it again. I *love* the freedom it has afforded me in carrying food around. I’m glad I didn’t dump it.

An ice chest would be way more work and money. Yay mini-fridges that plug into the car!

I have to have a long extension cord (30′ I think) and an adapter so it can be used with regular electricity. I need a power strip so I can keep the fridge and my computer plugged in.


Ghosts, shadows, premonitions

Southern California is a trip. Being here is weird. The trees look right. I know where things are. I know how things go. It feels like home and not home at the same time. I don’t ever want to live here again, but it feels weirdly like my soul thinks this is home.

My grandparents lived a few miles from where I am right now for decades. I never met them, but they were here. My extended bio-family is not that far. I’ll be driving past even more of them in 11 days.

I see shadows of my past everywhere. The hospital where Tommy recovered after his car accident is 17 miles away. 17 miles. I can run that far. (Ok, probably not given the shape I’m in… but I could with just a bit of training.)

It feels weird to be here with my kids this time. I feel like a lot of this journey has been about giving myself the chance to start again. I get a blank slate. I don’t have to be what I was.

But then I think about what I have ahead of me when I go home. I’m nervous about a bunch of stuff. I’m feeling paranoid and scared. I’ll deal with it. But I’m having big feelings. I want to work on scripts but I’m afraid of drama. I may attempt to write them off-line. Or maybe I’ll be an immature baby and put it on livejournal behind a filter.

I feel scared of being public about my feelings and processing. I don’t like it when I feel this way.

I don’t like when I feel like unless I hide I will be punished. I’m not saying that anyone else has said that. I’m saying I feel like that.

I’m looking forward to going home to my garage. And my candles. I can hide in my garage and burn candles and not talk to anyone. Life will be lovely. Folks will come visit if they feel like and not if they feel like.

Frankly, there is a part of me that isn’t sure how much effort I ought to devote to trying to fix problems. There is no fixing. I just don’t want to be hated. Sometimes it don’t matter what you want. You are going to be hated.

And sometimes you just won’t be thought of at all because you aren’t important anyway.

I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to hide from the world in my safe little bubble. My bubble is so god damn awesome.

I haz big feelings

I need to go to sleep but my mind is racing. I’m so tired. Today was quite an adventure. I had us packed up and ready to roll out at 8am. That’s pretty good from a camp site. But my van wouldn’t go into gear. Cue panic.

I call lots of people (including AAA–Thanks Pam!!!) to ask for advice. Is it the transmission? Is it an electrical problem? AHHHH!

By noon the car was fixed. It was a fuse. The dude who fixed it wouldn’t even let me pay him. He got the part from pick a part. Ok then.

We didn’t get out of Phoenix till 2pm with various other errands and sundries. I got into my hotel room at 10:30. (There was a time change too.)

I think I’m partially having trouble sleeping because in the past week or two we’ve hopped time zones and seen daylight savings change. So I feel weird. But it keeps getting earlier so I should feel tired. I don’t get it.

Ack. We are in San Diego. Tomorrow we are going to Legoland. Squee.

Howdy defensiveness

I would like to point out that I am recording the lowest points in my journal because I don’t want to gloss over them later and pretend they didn’t happen. Mostly we are getting along very well. Mostly we are having fun wonderful days full of playing and laughing. We are getting along pretty well.

And then the stress gets to me and I lose some piece of my control. I don’t want to deny later that the worst parts happened so I’ll write them down. I feel comfortable coming back later and filling in the gaps on the good parts. (Yes, this experience will probably turn into a book.)

I’m scared of not being honest about the worst of the worst. I don’t want to ever be in denial about that.

The kids and I had another intense conversation about boundaries, limits, abuse, and standing up for themselves. We talked about how it is better to hurt my feelings now by telling me to BACK OFF rather than hurt my feelings later when you have to stop having a relationship with me because I have a pattern of hurting you. I’d rather not hurt you. Sometimes I am a giant asshole and I will hurt you. I require feedback. I’m sorry that I do. I do.

This trip has been a wonderful experience and I’m so glad we did this. I will remember this forever as a positive time when we learned how to depend on one another to get stuff done. We take our sense of home with us. We haven’t gotten really impatient and pissy to go home till this last month. That’s pretty incredible. And the kids have never gotten mad and told me they are angry we came on the trip. They might get halfway through a similar sentence and I say, “Oh really. You are sorry we did ____ and ______ and _____ and” then they say, “Ok I’m glad we came. This has been incredible.”

I don’t want to bully them. I don’t want to “get away” with doing it because I’m not being watched. So I watch myself.

It’s the only way I know to try and be better.

Eldest Child had a fascinating question the other day about why is it hard to deal with a lot of these parenting issues. We had a conversation about how we are at a fascinating place in history where parenting ideals are radically changing and adapting is hard. There are always hard crunch points as populations change and grow. We talked about the evolution of beliefs from “You must hit your children to prove you love them” to “You must not hit your children to prove you love them” and why that is hard in terms of managing bodily impulses and frustration.

God I love talking to this kid. She blows my mind every day.

Youngest Child continues to alternate between being a ray of sunshine and having excessive temper. Goodness the intensity of that kid.

I’m told that as often as possible I should just be using “kid” as gender instead of boy or girl. It’s kind of clunky in language. But I’m trying.

I’m trying every day. Only 15 days till we go home. I won’t start frequent blogging right away. I seriously need to let my arms heal.

I have to write this down.

I feel deeply ashamed. Which means I need to admit that I did this. Can’t hide things I’m ashamed of.

I hit Shanna. In the face. I slapped her. On a scale of 1-10 the intensity was between a 1 and a 2. There was no red mark let alone a bruise, but I flipped out and started crying and apologizing immediately.

That doesn’t excuse it.

She asked me why I don’t want her to feel like she is bad but then I react as if the things she does are so bad. I told her that her actions have never deserved that strong of a reaction. Her actions do deserve a reaction, but not of that intensity. I lost control. If I was in control I might have yelled, I might have put her in time out, I might have more calmly had a discussion. Instead I felt insulted and I smacked. That was wrong.

Today started out hard and went downhill. The day started with me getting woken up by a kick to the face. Then screaming and jumping on the bed for the next half hour. I don’t wake up cheerful under such circumstances. The driving and such was actually fine. But the previous two days were really long drive days. I got to do most of setting up camp tonight in the dark. So yeah. I snapped.

Part of the problem is that both kids keep asking me for tasks and then not doing the work. They ask for a job then won’t do it. I’m out of patience and that’s a problem.

I’m just praying I don’t fuck up bigger in the next 18 days. I’m so tired. I hurt so much. I feel so awful.

I’m done. All my joints hurt. My head has hurt for days. I feel worn to the bone.

Brain dump

I put a bunch on Twitter, because my arms burn like fire and I only had about 20 minutes on the computer yesterday. This may be a touch repetitive for those who follow me there.

This trip to Texas is flat out weird. It is going so well. I have mixed feelings about this because Noah says that part of the reason it is going so well is because I loudly telegraph my boundaries now and I wasn’t good at doing that in the past. I’m having a hard time with the idea that perhaps they are treating me like a human being because I have finally figured out how to fake acting like one so they aren’t kicking me any more.

That bothers me.

I can’t wait to see Noah’s baby sister. I suspect that things went as well as they did with Noah’s mom because of the intervention of baby sister. She said she was working on things.

They are acting more like I am “one of them” instead of being an interloper who needs to be chased off. They are acting like I am a high status person. I feel almost allergic to what is happening and yet, this is nice.

I am feeling overwhelmed with horror that I am getting to the point where upper class white people no longer feel secure fucking with me but police officers still get to assault black children in school.

The world is disgusting and broken and I want no part of it.

Yet traveling with my children gives me the weirdest hope. They really don’t recognize barriers. They are fine with people “signaling” poor. It isn’t off-putting. They sit down for a chat. “I’m from California, are you from around here?” is a great way to have people tell you lots of stories. I am in awe at how my Eldest Child continues to morph her working-a-crowd techniques.

Last night we went to dinner with Noah’s brothers and their respective SOs and they were a bit flabbergasted when EC walked off in the middle of dinner because she was done and a kid was wearing a Minecraft sweatshirt. I kinda waved like I do to acknowledge that I know where she is. The grown ups at the table were asking, “Uhm, what should we do?” Noah said, “Oh this is her normal.” They all looked at me a bit funnily and I smiled brightly.

You can get away with a lot if you act like it is dead normal.

“Yeah, traveling with her is a bit like traveling with the President. She wants to meet everyone.”

They all kind of nodded slowly and then tried to eavesdrop on her conversation. It was hilarious how they all said things like, “Wow. She’s funny. She’s getting really good at her stand up act.”

Yup. She’s had a lot of practice.

I have some mixed feelings about how hypersocial she is, but I don’t see how I will do her favors by trying to rain on her parade. Near as I can tell, she is getting the support she ought to have. She gets to experiment with people in safe environments basically all day every day. What could be better for a child who has this much need to connect?

She crawled in bed with us this morning telling us about her nightmares. It was fun talking to her about her conscious mind and her subconscious and why she has way more power in her dreams than she thinks. “If you can learn to tell yourself ‘I’m asleep and that means I have all the power in the world’ then nightmares get less scary. You can fight back.” She was incredibly excited about this concept. Thank you, Freddie Krueger movies. I’ve learned so much.

It is really nice having Noah here. I’ve been gone too long. I forgot what it was like to have my mobile self-esteem boosting service around. Noah really likes me and dealing with him is such a treat. He’s nice to me even when I’m sharp.

I really appreciate that my husband and kids act like me getting snippy is a sign that I’m over extended and we should take a break because I don’t need to get so tired. That is… whoa.

They don’t punish me for deviating from cheerfulness. They act like, “Oh poor Krissy.”

Do you know how fucking weird this is?

Last time Jenny was in the country she commented that I’m different. I’m not angry and combative like I was.

I don’t have to be any more. This is what I’m like after 9 years of safety. Imagine what I could have been like with 30+ years. It boggles the mind.

I’m still fierce and I don’t plan to change that. But I’m not looking for a fight in the same way. I’m just fierce. I just have strong opinions and I’m completely happy to share them. I don’t mind that part of my personality.

Staying with the brothers is a bit of a trip. Noah’s parents sent us to this house with a 6-pack of wine. Noah and I each had a glass. The other adults drank 4 bottles. And they had a full bottle at the restaurant.

Whoa. We are out of our league. After EC has spent months convinced that one drink would turn me into a raging alcoholic (BASED ON WHAT?! Have you ever even seen me drunk?!?!?!! NO.) she had quite a spell last night. Telling one of the girlfriends “Oh I see you are the drunk bandmate huh.” The girlfriends response was, “I have never been the drunk band mate. That’s not fair.” But it was funny? A little? Funny in a way that was just a bit too pointed?

The amount of drinking here is pretty scary. And they all think nothing of hopping in the car to drive.

We ain’t in California no more, Toto.

Youngest Child woke up. We think we might run off to the florist and get some flowers to replace all the dead ones hanging out around this house. We are the only ones awake after all.

Kinda funny.

So last night the kids and I were talking about fussing and getting along. Youngest Child said, “I get so scared when you are angry and yelling at us. I’m afraid… you might ground me.

This was said with full quivering of lips and big sad puppy dog eyes.

I literally laughed out loud. Kid was kind of annoyed with me. “What! Being grounded is the second scariest thing ever! Missiles are scarier, of course, but grounding is awful.”

You know what? Maybe I’m not as mean as I want  to believe. I think I do a better job of keeping my cranky away from the kids than I think.

And then this morning we aren’t going anywhere because if you’ve dumped all your clean underwear in the laundry basket because that is your version of “cleaning up” then we don’t need to go anywhere.

I am sick to death of these kids acting like “cleaning up” means “dump it where mom has to deal with it and I don’t.”


I am not going to go do laundry today just because you feel like dumping all your clean stuff in a pile and telling me to wash it. By my reckoning we have 3-4 days before I should do laundry.

Which means I am medicating.

Just done.

I am at the point where if my children refuse to eat, fine. We will sit still all day. Because if I do anything other than just sitting still I have to hear screaming, whining, and begging for sugar. They are pretty unwilling to eat anything other than sugar at this point and I feel like I’m about to lose my mind.

I guess I won’t see New Orleans.

I sincerely hope that was rock bottom.

Yesterday sucked.

We had two long driving days in a row followed by setting up camp on the second of the days. I’m not feeling in perfect health. My body hates what I’m doing. I’m not sure what piece is the hardest.

I’m making a lot of suboptimal choices as we travel. Things like choosing to drink soda even though I know corn syrup rips up my inside. Things like having carbonation even though it causes intense abdominal pain. Things like too much fast food because I can’t deal with preparing better foods. My body is not doing well at all. I keep spiking fevers and having tremors.

My intestinal health has been all over the map on this trip. I have alternated between some of the most excellent poop of my life (I am really impressed with the size and form of a few of these days. Whoa. I don’t know what the hell I did) alternating with burning awful. I’m not even sure how it maps onto drinking soda.

Mostly I’m drinking soda for the caffeine. I should take the caffeine tablets out of my bathroom bag and put them near where I drive and switch to juice. My body would be so much happier.

My weight is slingshotting up and down. I judge this based on how my clothes fit. I can’t tell if I’m gaining muscle or what.

Last night after I had spent the day being a really terrible mother the kids and I laid down in the tent and I said, “Aunt Sarah suggested that we check in. How was today for you?”


“Ok. Did you feel like it was ok to tell me to stop yelling or did you feel like maybe you deserved it?”

“Well, I knew I didn’t deserve it and I knew you were being inappropriate… but it’s kinda hard to tell you to stop when you are that fierce. I just kind of wait for it to end.”

“I’m really sorry. I was pretty awful and mean today. It isn’t your fault when I lose control. Me getting so upset is about me and not about you and I’m really sorry that I am doing such a poor job of controlling myself.”

“Mom… you’ve done well for a long time. This stress is really getting to you.”

“Yeah, you see that’s the part that scares the crap out of me. You should not justify people treating you badly. Don’t let people think that is ok. You don’t deserve it and me being under stress does not justify taking it out on you.”

“I think it is going to take more practice before I can stand up to you on those days.”

“Well, we aren’t dead yet. We have more time to practice before I send you off into the world to deal with bigger bullies than me.”

Younger Child wasn’t very verbal during this conversation. I get the impression that Eldest Child just has… an awareness of self that isn’t quite there yet for Younger Child. It’s complicated. EC can cut me off saying, “I think you are being harsher than you mean.” YC just starts screaming, “Stop being mean to me!!!!”

We are working on nuance. It’s coming.

I don’t even know why I crashed so hard. We got to New Orleans and I stopped to get directions to a grocery store. (I know I was kind of freaking out about being out of food. I’m really wacky about it.) I had a hard time because with the trailer a lot of the roads around here are hard. Lots of narrow streets and quick crossings.

The traffic around here is… I don’t know. I don’t like it. Tons of tail gaiting.

It is fascinating to me how different parts of the country treat the speed limit. In some places, no one speeds. In other places if you go the speed limit people try to run you off the road. I can’t figure out the pattern. I think it would take a lot more experience than I’ve gotten on this trip.

The streets around here are narrow, crowded, and everyone speeds. That’s enough to set off my anxiety.

I’m being forgetful about meds. I’m not taking them as consistently as I should be. That isn’t helping my self-regulation.

I feel super guilty about the fact that the single thing that is getting to me the most is… I need to have a good hour every single day where no one is talking to me so I can just think my thoughts. My kids are literally incapable of shutting the fuck up. I love that about them and I feel like I am going to lose my mind at the same time. We are on day 127. I have had childcare help on approximately 12? 14? days out of this trip. I’m really really low on time to myself and the strain is showing. I need to stop taking it out on the kids.

I’m also flipping out because after New Orleans we head to Texas and holy shit on toast I am not in the god damn mood to be nice to Noah’s fucking parents. They haven’t ever been nice to me. That’s a problem. I’m looking forward to the Great Grandmother. She has put a lot of effort into getting to know me through letters. I feel like she has sincerely tried to adopt me and I appreciate that. It isn’t a strain to be nice to her.

I’m feeling this increasing paranoia that I’m just a fucking asshole all the time and that’s all I am and that feeling makes it so much harder to be nice or patient.

39 days to go. 6 more days in New Orleans. (We had beignets today. Eldest child adored the traditional cafe au lait. How in the hell did that kid come out of my body?!) Then 11 days in Texas. Then 15 days of travel/camping to get from Texas to the Grand Canyon and then on to Anaheim. 5 days at Disneyland with Sarah. That’s going to be so nice.

She’s going to help drive home. That sounds so wonderful right now. I’m really glad that of the next 39 days I’m not actually alone with the kids for 18 days. Only 21 more days of being alone together and it’s broken up. Thank goodness.

I have already emailed our babysitter at home. I want to start right the freak back up again. She’s game. Yay!

Not writing increases my sense of being scattered and unfocused and confused and cranky. Dumping stuff here helps so much. So I sent the kids into the tent to play and I’m out here typing. This is the closest to alone time I get right now. I can hear them completely and totally but they aren’t screaming directly in my face.

The internet connection here sucks so I don’t know if this will post or not.

I pulled apart the back of the van and changed the organization a lot. I think this will work better on the last leg of the trip. At this point the sky box is full of presents and the tumbling mats.

This is going to be the Krissy Claus Christmas.

I haven’t slept well for the past few weeks.

My spoon drawer is empty. I think I have used all of Novembers spoons at this point and I’m borrowing into December. This is starting to seriously worry me. My arms are in so much pain.

I’m having very worried thoughts about this whole WWOOF year thing. If I don’t find a way to be in less pain… I should probably give up that dream.

I’m feeling really upset with myself for my weakness. It is hard to not be really nasty with myself because I am spending so much time sitting very still so I don’t cry from pain.

I am having increasing feelings of panic because I am going to have to find a way to make a transition when we come home. I am going to have to figure out how to deal with home school group stuff. That’s going to be so hard for me and every time even a whisper of a thought crosses my mind my stomach explodes with acid.

And Eldest Child has been talking a lot about how upset she is about the Godmamas not wanting to know us anymore.

I’m feeling grateful that they were only around for six years. There is a chance the kids won’t be damaged forever. It would have been worse if they had stuck around for eight or nine years before bailing. These memories will fade. I’m being asked to process a lot of stuff around that ending/break up. “Did Aunt ____ get much more strict in the last few months because she wasn’t liking me any more and that’s why she stopped wanting to see us?” Oh honey. I can’t know why people are behaving how they are behaving. I don’t truly understand the whole break up.

I know that they didn’t feel supported enough. Me offering repeatedly and being told no… well… I guess I should have shown up even when I was told no? I know they didn’t feel that they had as much influence over the children as they thought they would have. I’m not even sure what that means.

I don’t know.

It is really hard processing this stuff with the kids. I really don’t know what to say. They don’t want to be in our lives. I can’t control that.

It wasn’t a good enough deal for them.

I’m really having a hard time with both of them wanting to talk about it. I feel like it is picking at a scab. I’m not 100% sure what all I did wrong and I’m pretty sure this breakup is about stuff I did wrong. I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of that with the kids though. It’s so complicated.

I wanted to be there to provide support after the accident. I was told that wasn’t ok.

It feels like I can’t do anything right.

If me speculating that I have to cover my ass because if I falter my kids are screwed isn’t being respectful enough… well. My kids are the only ones I have to consider here.

I’m feeling really bad all the way around.

We have had a good day today in terms of interactions, with the kids I mean.

I just… I’d really like to go find a nice bath tub and lock the door and spend a few hours cutting. I don’t like me very much right now and I can’t see anything about me that doesn’t deserve to be set on fire.

I haven’t been mean at all today. I’ve been quiet instead.

I’m glad that my kids know that when I lose control it is about me screwing up and not about them. But somehow that doesn’t seem like enough.

One more night in Florida

Today we leave Vero Beach and drive to Marianna Florida. It’s just too far to get to Alabama in one day from here. This means we will drive through Alabama and not really stop. We are going to stay in New Orleans for 8 nights because that is less exhausting than drive/camp. I planned to drive/camp and… I’m so worn out. I just can’t. I feel guilty.

I sat still for almost three days in a row here. I’m so tired.

40 days until we get home.

On our last day in New Orleans we pick Noah up. Then we get to spend 13 days with him. That will be lovely.

Of course those 13 days will mostly be spent in Texas with his family. I’m feeling kind of numb to that right now. I’m nervous because I don’t have a lot of patience left. I’m kinda worried I will blow up at Noah’s family.

Depends on what they fucking say to me.

8 days in New Orleans, 12 days in Texas (in multiple cities seeing his whole family), 5 days in Disneyland (with Sarah!).

We are otherwise driving then staying put for a day until we get home. That’s the plan. I might change our destinations slightly so that we can have slightly longer drive days and camp for 3 nights in a row to rest in between driving.

My back is so pissed off at me. My arms hurt. I’m spending lots of time on Twitter because it doesn’t cause as much pain. I think it is funny that I thought I would be off Twitter for six months. Instead I’m not posting much here because my arms hurt so much and I don’t want to be recording all of my emotional ups and downs here.

It gets annoying to me.

Lots of big feelings. Mostly we are having a really good time. The down moments still don’t last that long but we are having harder and harder days. The kids are out of fucking patience. So much screaming lately over anything.

Mostly younger child. I think that kid is always going to have big, explosive feelings. Let’s go home and work on managing them in a lower stakes environment, ok? We can figure this out together.

The gender ambiguity is… different than it was months ago. Most days are she/her/girl. I honestly think that the wedding in New York with lots of women in suits was the big thing. There was all of a sudden the perception, “I don’t have to change genders to change how I look. Oh.”

I’m trying to still be tentative about my assumptions that I “know” what this kiddo will decide long-term. It’s not my body and it isn’t my life. I’m trying to just be accepting.

I’m being too hard on Eldest Child and I know it. I’ve been told that she isn’t going to tolerate me being this bossy once we get home. Heh. “Mom I know that you are being so controlling because we keep changing environments and they all have different expectations… but I’m done with this. It stops when we go home, ok?”

I don’t know how I ended up with a kid like this. I mean, yes she reflects the parenting she’s received but I honestly believe most kids just couldn’t be as sure as she is even with me as a parent. Youngest Child sure isn’t the same.

Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with a very short 60 year old. She’s not 30 or 40. She’s… just… I don’t know… aware and resigned to the idosyncracies in life? She is accepting and yet completely sure of her limits and needs. I rarely see that in folks who are more in the middle of life. She’s just… I don’t even know. She’s seen it all. She rolls her eyes like a grandmother who is tired of your lip. She doesn’t put up with guff.

It cracks me up.

I was told that when we get back kids will not be doing chores for a full week. They are just done with being helpful. But they both say, “After that week you get a week off. That’s only fair.”

Holy crap y’all are so fucking nice.

It’s funny how they teach me how to teach every day. We’ve had dozens of philosophical conversations about doing dishes. “It’s not like taking a shower. You don’t just run the water over the dishes for a long time and call it good. Really, haven’t you noticed how in the shower we use soap and rub it on our bodies? Yeah. You have to *rub* the dishes with a soapy sponge/cloth or they don’t get clean. No, running enough water to flood the carpet doesn’t get the dishes clean. Bummer.”

I am… liking Disney resorts less as time goes by. Disneyland is different. The thing that is bothering me the most is how this is a closed community of upper middle class/rich people. Everyone here feels 100% confident that their politics are universal.

I am liking human beings less with every passing day.

Fuck your assumptions with a pogo stick.

I think it is really ridiculous that people feel they have the right to yell at me because I am “bailing on the system” by home schooling but when you mention private schools, “Well that’s different.”

You piece of shit hypocrite. So the very wealthy putting their kids in private school is fine. Poor people or lower middle class people providing an education on their own is destroying the moral fabric of our country? Shove your idiocy where the sun doesn’t shine.

The home schooling demographic is all over the place but usually not that common at the top-most rungs. Most very wealthy people would rather put their kids in private school than home school. Most very wealthy people don’t want to spend that kind of time with their kids because they have to work to maintain that lifestyle.

Did you know that ~25% of the schools in this country are private but they only serve 10% of the population of children? How in the hell can that kind of subsidizing not be more of a problem to the public system?!

Especially since many ostensibly home schooled kids are enrolled in charters and are still part of the funding cycle.

I don’t think it is going to be possible to convince me that caring about the larger system is more important than caring about the individual needs of my children. I brought these people into the world. I owe them. I don’t owe everyone else.

Also, I actually was a public school teacher. I don’t think you get to say I have never contributed in a positive way towards other peoples children.

I’m just not going to throw my kids under the bus. What does that mean? My kids would not be doing hours of homework. I would be organizing mass protests through the PTA. I’d be a problem. My kids would be punished for that.

That’s not fair either. And I sure as fuck am not going to teach them that they should waste years of their life not progressing because other people need to catch up. I’m not going to teach them to do busywork to appease a system that doesn’t care about them and doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

The current public school system is a mess. The push towards testing is really harmful. It creates all kinds of stupid anxiety and self-dislike. Children are convinced by their teachers that they can’t possibly be smart if they don’t follow along like good peons.

I don’t really want to raise people who believe that they are required to just follow bullshit orders. I want my children to think about what they should do and why rules exist.

The convenience of a teacher, principal, or political system should not be their highest priority.

Shit like this. My kids are not going to go to school to be subjected to the casual views of my broken culture. No fucking thanks.

Do you know what my kid says? “Well, I used to think I would marry ___ but now I think that is not a good idea. I want a partner who won’t hurt people. You know… he actually used to push me around too. I didn’t like it but I liked him. Maybe I shouldn’t let someone do that to me. I want a partner who is nice to me. I’ll keep looking.”

My children will not be raised in toxicity. They will not be enculturated to believe that abuse is the same thing as love even though that idea is absolutely pervasive in American culture.


If people don’t treat you right, get the fuck away from them. There are too many fish in the sea.

Ok, kids are waking up. Time to push on.


Rape & privilege

I’ve been talking about rape a lot on Twitter lately. I want to organize my thoughts a bit more, even though my arms burn like fire. So this may be a bit choppier than I normally blog. The Twitter character limit formatting is changing my writing. I hope in a positive way. I know I get too verbose for most people a lot of the time.

Noah spends a lot of time telling me that I spend too much time trying to figure out “who is to blame” for various problems. He’s right and he isn’t.

Thing is, dealing with rape is complicated. It is complicated at a personal level and it is exponentially more complicated at the level of a city and … then try to solve that for a state or a country.

My therapist tells me that it isn’t a good thing that the only way I know how to keep myself safe is to keep actual walls between me and other people. Well, it is the only effective method I’ve ever discovered.

That said, I travel more than the vast majority of people ever do. It’s just too expensive for most people. So I put myself in lots of situations. I put myself in situations where I have to keep, not only myself, but my children safe. Am I willfully putting us into danger just to… I don’t know… prove some macho ass shit to myself?

I genuinely don’t think so. Stranger assault is statistically rare. We don’t invite people into our tent/room. We talk to people in crowded public places then move on. It genuinely doesn’t feel risky.

Do you know what was risky? The way I was taught to walk into bedrooms with people because you wanted “privacy” after just knowing them for a few hours. That was how I spent my childhood. Asking to go into peoples rooms and initiating as much sexual contact as I could get away with and only acknowledging rebuffs grudgingly.

Sometimes it makes my heart beat fast when I enforce boundaries with my kids. They are not allowed to walk up and sit on laps any more. Not with a complete stranger. They can’t jump on strange men. Playing for two minutes doesn’t make them close enough to jump on, nope. You have no idea what is going on with their bodies. You don’t know if they just had surgery on their back. Nope. Don’t jump on strange people.

It is really weird to feel like the biggest god damn hypocrite on the planet. Don’t do anything I did.

This experience is how I understand the neglect I experienced. I completely lacked a frame for it before I was a parent. The awareness comes in stages of dawning horror.

How fucking formative that trauma was. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.

I’ve been acting like a bully with the kids. I’m not asking them to do things I’m ranting that I’m sick of them not doing the thing without being asked. We are talking about it.

I feel really guilty that Eldest Child said, “It’s getting to the point where it’s almost 50/50 nice and mean and that has to change. I know you are tired. Maybe we shouldn’t go out of the room much for a few days.”

I feel this horrible mixture of pride and guilt that she has to help manage me. She can be aware of those kinds of needs. That’s amazing. I don’t want her to parent me though. I’m not using emoticons even though I want to put like 75 frowny faces in a row.

I try to tell myself that the feelings of guilt and shame are because I was raised to believe it is not ok for anyone to ever have to pay attention to me and take care of me. It is not ok for me to want anyone to help me.

I try to tell myself that this is ok. It is a kind of enmeshment, yes, but we talk about how this is not her job and she is going to not be responsible for me long term. I thank her for feedback about her perception of being around me. I seem tired. I should rest. Yeah, thanks.

She acts like I am worthy of paying attention to. I wish that didn’t make me cry.

I’m going to jump back to rape. Why am I confident that my children will not have a life like mine? A kid kind of grabbed at my kids crotch. The instantaneous response was, “You do not have my consent! Get your hand off!”

I win.

I couldn’t save my niece nor my nephew. But my kids don’t think that anyone who wants to is allowed to have access to their crotch. They believe their consent is vitally important.

I win.

That doesn’t mean they will never be raped. I understand that. Let me tell you, I’m not done educating them. I’m just going at an age appropriate rate.

A lot of “staying safe” is a complex web of knowing the right words to say at the right time. If you have highly specific technical language you don’t seem like a good victim and any good predator will walk right by you. Obviously you have the support to protect you. You are not going to be easy to intimidate.

People comment, just about daily, that my children are so aware and ….themselves. It is funny how often the wording is almost exactly that. Another friend commented that it is amazing that people don’t think Eldest Child is bossy. She just has a good plan she wants everyone to follow.

I talk to them about what they want to get from life all the time.

Eldest Child and I have been talking a lot about what she wants to do school-wise when we get home. She has specific requests. She wants to work on languages more. She is frustrated by the limitations on who she can play with. She freaking asked if we can look for a Chinese class (I can hear Pam cheering from here) so she can work on that more consistently. She said we all should take Spanish together (I’ll see what I can do, Youngest child wants Spanish and is not up for Chinese). She said maybe on Hindi for a while. She said we should practice the alphabet and such at home but she thinks we don’t need that as a formal class. So I guess that will be some structure in our days.

We all want martial arts. The kids want gymnastics as well. I can’t teach them many skills like that. I’m happy to pay someone who can.

And she wants to play the violin.

I said we would add lessons one a month until we got up to the full load because all of that at once would crush her. She says that is probably smart.

I appreciate how often she tells me I’m smart.

You know… I think that’s why she does it. She’s a perceptive little thing.

My kids are not going to look like good victims. Not ever. They are going to seem like… they have all the support in the world. It’s only sorta true, but I’m going to give it my all.

But you know what? This option isn’t exactly available to most people. My kids get a full life of having a Ladies Illustrated Primer walking around with them. That’s not what most people experience.

Holy tomato I love my job.

My kids are in touch with their bodies. They know what they like and don’t like and they consider their preferences to be absolutely worthy of consideration at all times. Good prey act like it doesn’t matter what happens to them. They often don’t know what their preferences even are. And as much as we cannot guarantee our own safety in this life, we can build resilience to weather what may come.”

I can never guarantee that my children will be safe. Not truly. Not completely. But I can teach them a variety of skills that will increase their likelihood of not only escaping from a lot of traumas but being able to cope with the inevitable tragedies in life.

My children will experience loss and pain. That is a non-negotiable part of the human condition. I know that. I’m trying to teach them how to ride the waves.

We took a break from the screens. The kids begged me to go back to the beach. It’s supposed to start storming tonight and rain mostly till we leave so I said yes. Even though it scared the absolute shit out of me. The kids kept asking me to go sit with the grown ups and just let them play.

No. No. No.

I sat between them and the ocean. There were four good waves where they started getting dragged out to sea and I grabbed them and bodily pulled them back to shore. They stopped arguing with my presence after the second grab. But they really didn’t want to stop working on the dam they were building.

They are fucking obsessed with building dams this trip. They have built them in little itty bitty creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. It was awesome watching them lecture much older girls about how “We have to find a variety of materials to help provide structural integrity! Just sand won’t hold!”

That was why I had a hard time stopping the play. It was so… intense for them. But that ocean doesn’t fuck around. Lots of places are currently flooded and people die from being swept into the ocean all the time. It’s not a game. There are no take backs. The ocean is bigger than all of us.

After the fourth time when I grabbed them and I felt like barely pulled out of the wave I said, “Ok! That’s it! I’m done!”

The kids didn’t really argue with me. They spent over an hour saying repetitively after we got back to the hotel room, “I think you just saved my life. Wow. You care that much. You are going to stand right there so you can save my life. I think you just saved my life.”

My response is, “I brought you into this world and I’m not giving up on you yet.”

They snuggled with me and looked a bit stunned.

The ocean is not something to fuck around with.

Want to know something kind of hilarious? I had a similar experience with the kid who kicked me in the throat at a group beach trip.

The ocean is bigger than you. I don’t give a shit how strong you think you are. The ocean is bigger than you. Never fight the ocean. You will lose.

So yeah. I think I’m done. If it is storming I am definitely not going down there with the kids. If we want to swim in between rain bursts they have a pool. That is risk enough with a damn thunderstorm.

You have no idea what you mean to me. No forking duh I am going to keep you out of the ocean when it is dragging you like that and you are screaming out in fear. That is my job.

It is both my job to teach you to respect that power and my job to protect you from it as you gain enough experience to have proper respect. It’s a complicated operation.

I think I am really feeling the need to cross reference all of these experiences because I am trying to understand the scope and effects and structure of rape culture. What does it even mean?

Do you know who really taught me I didn’t deserve rape? Sex workers. Grown ass women who were god damn sure what was and wasn’t ok to do to them. I know women who have been sex workers for decades and members of the kink communities for decades who have never been assaulted. I study them with a more than just friendly interest. I want to understand their instincts.

I want to teach those instincts to my children and people who aren’t sex workers have never been able to break them down in a way I can understand. They specifically can talk about what they do to manage risk. I know vanilla women who have never been assaulted. They don’t understand why that is true. They just got lucky.

So I talk to the people who can actually give me the information I seek. I am shameless and mercenary about it.

I’m not teaching my kids to be sex workers. I’m teaching them to think of their body as belonging only to them and never to anyone else.

I am doing my absolute best to raise people who will react indignantly if someone tries to abuse them. My kids interrupt me if they think my behavior is getting near a line. They are immediate in their ability to say what is or isn’t ok about what is happening to their body. It is stunning to see.

I have labored for so many years to try and develop those skills.

Sometimes I feel so jealous I want to shove my head through a window. Just to get that feeling away from me.

My brother used to put his head through windows. They made him wear a helmet whenever he wasn’t in a building with safety windows.

We have really liked hurting ourselves in my family for a long time. I feel so grateful that my children showed mild inclination and were quickly reassured that it is not the right decision to hurt yourself when you are upset. Ask for help figuring out how to handle your feelings when you feel overwhelmed to that point. Your parents will listen to you no matter what.

You don’t have to feel pain. We can maybe help.

I feel so grateful that I found a sperm donor who had excellent genetics and sincere interest in being a really involved parent. This is a wonderful experience to watch.

But Noah has committed rape. And so have I.

Do I think all rapists belong in jail?

Jimminy Christmas don’t ask me. 

This rape culture shit is complicated.

I want my children to be able to do better. I want all the children to have better. Education is the single best route to understanding diverse people and life experiences.

I honestly don’t know what else to do. I need to pick up the kids soon. I’m going to stop.


My shrink wants me working on specific aspects of my hypervigilance/empathy issues. Specifically she wants me doing woo woo shit trying to work on “creating a barrier that starts inside my spine and goes to the edge of my skin and holds me in without letting me contact other people”.

Woo woo shit.

But I’m GGG and I’m paying for her input on my life so I work on my assignments. It’s funny what I think about and notice when I do.

I notice the angry parents more than I notice the sad/upset people. Trying to “focus on myself” means I notice anger more. That’s kind of funny. I think I partially noticed that  because of a conversation I wrote about on the kid blog. My kid told me I was being average for yelling as much as I am at Disney World.

So I went to multiple theme parks without them (there was one roller coaster I wanted to ride and then that park closed so I went to the one that was open to eat) and I spent my time kind of looking around trying not to be impacted by peoples feelings.

I notice way more angry people than usual.

Want to know something funny about anger? I only notice situations that feel like they have probability to escalate as I’m walking around normally with my kids. I tune out the annoying yellers and ranters who just exist without impacting me. I just don’t notice them. When I’m trying not to emotionally connect with people I notice them and they bug the shit out of me.

Why are people so god damned mean?

(Small break to change the topic: ok, watching weather is way cooler on the east coast than it is on the west coast.)

It’s funny how I’m watching people act out the equivalent of that toddler HALT thing you are supposed to look for. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Thirsty) Uhm, it just occurred to me that it is absolutely equally as important for all age groups… but I learned it for watching toddlers.

I’m telling you, I’m learning how to take care of myself by taking care of my kids. It’s a trip.

Anyway. The arguments and fights. Whoo. Just calm down everyone. Clearly I’m not the only one struggling with adjusting to the weather and the distance of walking here. I’m not going to recount the bickering I heard because it’s not central to my story.

I’m the main character here. Stay on topic.

I really and truly love having a space where I get to be the center. I don’t have much desire to “promote” my blog or sell ads to make money. I just want a place where I get to be self centered because I can’t really be in the rest of my life any more. Not if I want to have the life I want to have in thirty years.

I have to think about Noah. I have to think about my kids. I have to make decisions that will have all of us continue this fantastic privileged life we are leading. We are so ridiculously lucky.

I think about that as I spend a lot of money on presents for freaking everyone I know. Yeah. It’s gotten ridiculous.

I think it is funny how it is a mix of things that remind me of you and things that I think will delight you because it will remind you of me.

So so so so many books.

I can’t tell if I am trying to buy peoples love or if I just want to share this ridiculous privilege that I find I’ve stumbled upon. I didn’t earn it. I just… have it. I’m learning so many things. I really want to share.

Want to know my favorite part? I am buying presents for grown ups too, but mostly kids. The won’t care at all if I’m trying to buy their love. They will say, “That sounds great!”

And in the process I will also get to share what I’ve learned. Because they will love me and want to spend time around me. See, it works all the way around.

But it still feels bad. It feels like my mom trying to buy me off from noticing that my life was shit. It feels like trying to buy forgiveness for harm.

I don’t think I’ve harmed them. I really don’t. But I feel scared.

I could let fear keep me from sharing this awesome experience with the kids in my life in the best way I know how. But that seems kind of silly. Even if the best way I know how isn’t The Best Way How Ever it’s ok that I want to do it this way.

“This is why I thought of you when I saw this. This is the aspect of your personality I want to remind you is visible in the world.” My unspoken wish is that this talisman will work as a form of validation for you. I see you. You do matter. I can’t be with you all the time telling you that. Please take this and try to remember it on the dark days. I see you. You do matter.

Is that trying to buy love? I don’t understand gift cultures very well. What I grew up with was very distorted.

My mom overbought gifts because she was brought up Mennonite and poor and she wasn’t allowed to have things. Even when her family was fostering children and the foster children were given presents (to help them adjust) my mom wouldn’t be given presents. So my mom gave her children mountains of presents. By the time I came around it was stuff she has been buying all year long at $.25-$.99 at a time.

I have a lot of feelings about receiving gifts. Then I married Noah. His mom has gift giving issues of her own. We get a lot of stuff. Dealing with it has been an emotional journey.

Apparently Noah’s parents are very happy that we keep sending status updates about our journey to Texas. They are very happy that the kids are excited about visiting them.

I’ve written a lot of 10+ page letters that are probably kind of confusing talking about my background and why I’m not telling the kids negative stories about their grandparents and why I am telling the kids as much about their family as I know. “You get a blank slate with these kids. Whether or not you abused Noah is kind of moot. Don’t fuck this up. The well hasn’t been poisoned even if I don’t like you very much.”

I feel waves of horrifying guilt that I can’t curate this for my mother.

It’s different.

If my niece and nephew hadn’t both been sexually assaulted.

If I had managed to keep it from jumping down a generation. But I can’t do that. I can’t control their story. I wasn’t willing to stand next to them making sure nothing happened.

I get exactly two chances to do that this lifetime. It’s an incredible gift.

Thank you, Noah. I will never run out of gratitude for the fact that you are the reason I get to have this life.

I am watching the sun rise over the savanna as I sit on my balcony. The kids are still asleep.

I’m not sleeping here. I don’t think this is a proper queen bed. And I ran out of sleep aid. So I’m lucky if I catch 4-5 hours of sleep. Even with melatonin and pot. That forking sucks.

I miss Noah. I miss going to sleep without a wad of pills.

Human beings are social animals. It’s a well documented thing that some of the most successful marriages are those in which highly traumatized people have the opportunity to earn attachment.

I am really glad we did this trip. I will be really glad when it is over.

I’ll get to write about it for decades. I only have to live through it once.

I only have to be away from Noah for this long once.

It feels like trying to breathe without my left lung.

It feels like trying to go to sleep only I can’t because I lost Ted and I don’t have Noah and I feel so sad and like such a failure because I can’t even keep my teddy bear.

I can’t keep my mother. And I can’t keep a teddy bear. Clearly I do not deserve to live.

And that’s what keeps me up at night.

Sleep deprivation is known torture. I find that my inability to sleep goes in weird cycles with how safe I feel. The less safe I feel the less I sleep the less safe I feel in a terrible worsening cycle.

This is why I take handfuls of pills when I travel these days. Sleep isn’t optional. We leave the resort tomorrow. I’ll buy more. Driving will be fun before then.

We are spending the night in Miami tomorrow. I want to drive down to the Keys. I want to take pictures of the Everglades. We will have a king sized bed so I can sleep.

I’ve seen so many things. It is becoming kind of amazing to me. It’s not that I think I understand everything I’ve seen. I’m just saying that I have a significantly different impression of the field of botany than I used to have. I used to think plants were boring. I don’t any more.

I’ve seen too many kinds of fantastic plants. I’ve see such incredible growing techniques. I want to keep learning.

I hear my garden is missing me. Sniff. I miss you too baby. Next year will be great. ALL THE FERTILIZER! We’ll come back from this period. It’s ok. Eventually I’ll figure out automatic watering and you won’t have to suffer when I’m gone. I’m sorry.

You know what, Noah? I’m glad Puff didn’t have to spend her declining years dealing with snow. I’m glad she gets to enjoy the last of her life surrounded by sunshine most of the year. And yet she would be pissed here. She’s always pissy the one week we have horrible summer. She had a hard enough childhood with me. I’m glad she is so spoiled now.

I guess things are working out ok.

Today we are going to Typhoon Lagoon because it is the last park we haven’t been to. We’ve been here for like 18 days (minus travel time to/from NYC) and we still haven’t been to the last park. That’s a sign we’ve been resting a lot. Ahhhh. Wise choice.

I’m looking forward to the time on Vero Beach. Hurricane Joaquin means we shouldn’t spend a lot of time playing seriously on the water. Which means we might spend a lot of time sitting alternated with the kids running back and forth in the sand.

Sounds great.

The kids are really frustrated with being on resort property because there aren’t many places where it is appropriate to run.

We like to run everywhere. We don’t have good instincts around that. We spook animals with our sudden bursts of energy.

Good grief we are ridiculous.

Enh, we do fine as long as we move a lot during the day. We can sit. But we only choose to do so when focused on something we find interesting.

Is it really so bad? We are interested in a lot of things. The kids are progressing on skills. Why must it happen in an environment where they are forced to learn to sit all day whether they like it or not?

I just don’t get it. Ok. Wandering off. My arms burn like fire.

Good stuff.

I need to write down some good stuff so that in the future when I reread my archives (ha ha ha I’ll never do it) I can see that I wasn’t a whiny bitch full time.

Right this minute I’m sitting on my balcony overlooking a false as hell savanna. For all that it isn’t even vaguely a savanna, it’s pretty and the animals seem ok. I have mixed feelings about zoos because I’ve read too much about animals going crazy from lack of stimulation. I’m glad this is fairly large. 26 acres isn’t a horrifying box.

Good things: thank goodness that every aspect of checking into Disney is streamlined and assisted. Do you know why I shop inside the parks and pay way too much money for gifts for everyone I know? Because I know that paying $25 for a t-shirt helps Disney keep this many employees standing around ready to help. If they tried to charge less for food and merchandise they would not be able to float an army of employees.

The kids and I had a chat about my behavior today. I told them that I feel like I’m not being very nice lately. Eldest child said, “Mom it’s obvious you need a break and you are louder than we like you to be but you aren’t being mean. You just… aren’t being as nice as usual. It’s ok.”

Youngest child said, “It is hurting my feelings that you don’t want to snuggle. I wish that would change.”

On one hand that doesn’t sound happy or good so why am I recording it here? On the other hand… I always see me as being mean and evil. My children tell me that is not their experience of me. That’s good.

Oh my goodness. A herd of longhorn cattle (a specific breed I can’t remember the name of right this second–they are indigenous to Africa and we don’t see them much in the US) are playing and running around right under me! Ok, that’s ridiculously cool. They are frisking and nudging each other.

The kids and I have been having really interesting conversations lately. We talk about the patriarchy and feminism and biospheres and sustainability and conservation and responsibility.

My kids perceive themselves as people who have the power to influence the world around them in positive AND negative ways and they pay a lot of attention to their behavior because of this. I feel floored that they care.

I mean…. I’ve told them they must care. But I’ve said that to thousands of kids over the years. Do you know how many have believed me? I could count them on my fingers.

We have 53 days until we get home. That’s a good thing. We are almost 3/4 of the way through the trip. I just went and counted (because people keep asking me) and we will see 30 states on this trip. (Including our home state.) Given how far we are through it I know that for sure now.

That’s awesome.

In order they are: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, DC, Virginia,North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona.

I originally had hopes for seeing a few more. I’m going to call it good though because we are crispy fried.

That’s a good thing. I’m respecting our limits.

Oh, good thing. I scheduled childcare for four nights this week. I’m already ecstatic. Want to know something better? I booked two massages for this week. I hurt so much.

Lucky bitch. Lucky bitch. Lucky bitch!

Right this second I feel like a spoiled, pampered, selfish princess. It’s kinda awesome. I’ll feel better after two massages this week. Hell yeah.

Good thing! I weighed myself this morning. Right at 160 lbs. Yup, that’s where I want to be.

Also good thing: Uhm, my pooping is doing better than average with fewer incidents of diarrhea. I’m happy about that. It isn’t expected. I can’t really figure out what is triggering what at this point. My eating is all over the place. But I have solid poop at least half the time right now. Well, “solid” is relative. It’s formed and banana-like. I don’t get hard poop. That’s just not part of my life. That’s ok though. I hear constipation sucks. My kids sometimes get too hard of poop and we have to consciously eat fruit for a bit. It doesn’t seem more pleasant than my diarrhea.

I haven’t been reading. It’s just not the year for it. I read a few books before we left home but I have only finished two Ramona books on the trip. Otherwise I’m reading the internet and that’s it. I just don’t have the attention span for more right now. It’s hard. I hate it when my brain is full like this. But, on the good side: I’ve watched several good shows on Netflix on this trip. Strange Empire, Call the Midwife, Grace and Frankie. They have more or less replaced West Wing as I’m traveling.

Good thing: my libido has returned. I miss Noah. I’m going to kill my Hitachi before I get home.

To build on that last one, I’ve occasionally looked at Craigslist Casual Encounters on this trip. That’s something I do for shits and giggles. It’s not like I can follow up. I have my kids. But it’s fun to look. You know what? I’m so grateful I am not still hunting.


Kids are wonderful and tiring

I want to write but my thoughts are scattered and my arms burn like fire. This hotel room table is at a bad height for me ergonomically and I never let that slow me down. I’m kinda dumb.

I’m over reacting to a lot of things. I’m having trouble not screaming over little, stupid things. It doesn’t help that the kids truly are being irritating. What is happening is: I’m pushing them away because I need space and time to calm down in my body. When I push them away they feel freaked out, rejected, and needy so they cling harder and whine the whole fucking time they are grabbing at me in ways that hurt and piss me off.

Next week the kids have scheduled child care. They asked. I feel a little guilty because Eldest Child flat said, “Mom can we arrange a bunch of childcare next week? I know it will be expensive but I’m pretty sure it will be good for all of us.”

Holy crap. How did I get a child this wonderful? This insightful? This aware?!?!?

My shrink regularly tells me that Eldest Child is preternaturally aware of how people work. “7 year olds just don’t care that much about other people. She’s unusual.”

This because my kid can graphically go through verbally describing why people get upset and which contributing factors are likely to bother which person. “It makes sense that you are angry mom. It is very frustrating when I do _____.”

I don’t know if it is weird. This is all I know. My kid behaves this way because I model it. I don’t really know another way to parent.

My kid understands that in some situations she messed up, sometimes I’m the one who messed up, sometimes Youngest Child messes up… the kid is just good at saying, “Ahhh I think this mistake happened because x person was tired and we haven’t eaten. Let’s fix that.”

I worry about teaching her to take too much responsibility for other peoples stuff, but at the same time she’s quick to not take responsibility when she wasn’t involved so… I don’t know. Maybe it will all work out? Who knows. But she is an amazing person. I am so grateful I get to stand near her.

My Eldest Child is so breathtakingly willing to accept consequences for screwing up that I can’t possibly avoid them for myself when I screw up. When I am inappropriate with the kids we discuss making amends. “What do you think I should do to help make up for this mistake?” Because I talk to them the same way about their behavior. No one is above making amends.

If you screw up you must take responsibility and find a way to solve the problem as best you can. Some problems can’t be fixed and you just have to live with the guilt of knowing you hurt someone/broke something. But you can learn how to not make that mistake again.

Everyone makes mistakes. The best people make mistakes every day and learn from them and make new mistakes tomorrow.

You can’t get through life without mistakes. You will never learn all you need to know. Mistakes teach you about fringe cases and important details. Mistakes teach you about how your awareness needs to spread to more areas.

Mistakes are as mandatory as breathing. You can’t grow without breathing and you can’t grow without making mistakes.

It’s ok. We all mess up. Sometimes the mistakes kinda suck and someone gets mad and maybe there’s screaming or a fight or grounding. But then you pick yourself and you keep going. Because that is what life is.

I check in with the kids after I scream at them. “I was a jerk and I was too loud… but I didn’t go over the line and start insulting you or calling you names, right? Was I in bounds that way?”

Once Eldest Child said, “Actually you slipped and called us brats. Don’t do that again.”

Yes ma’am.

I haven’t done it since.

And my children have never had the experiences I had at their ages. They have never been told that they are stupid, worthless, unworthy, a bitch, a cunt, a whore or that they are too pathetic to deserve life.

I have to tell myself that an occasional errant “brat” isn’t the end of the world. Especially when my children have the self confidence to turn around and tell me that saying “brat” is over the line and I need to knock it off right now.

This trip is causing me to see both of my children in a bunch of different settings so I’m feeling increasingly certain that Eldest Child needs to be evaluated by someone other than me. She has a lot of sensory issues and avoidance behaviors that she is developing to cope. I don’t want her to get locked into avoidance as the only way to cope with sensory overload. I did that with food as a kid and it is part of why I have so many health issues.

I’m really grateful that for all that she is hypersensitive to a lot of things… she doesn’t have the food texture issues I had. Thank goodness.

I’m watching her struggle with the same things I struggled with as a child. The things that made me feel helpless, incompetent, and like I was a failure as a human being. I have enough education and awareness at this point that I recognize that these patterns mean there is something not wired correctly. Help is available in the world. We just have to figure out what kind of help is needed and access it.

She struggles at the same things that used to cause my brothers to laugh at me and tell me if I “couldn’t even throw a ball I was too pathetic to deserve to live.” I’m not really sure why sports are so fucking important.

She doesn’t need to have the years of self-hatred I had. We can find help.

I feel sad and happy at the same time. I know enough that my kids won’t have to suffer like I did. But there is this part of me that can’t stop grieving over the fact that no one gave a shit about me for decades.

I know it isn’t true now. I know that I am loved and cared for now. I know that if I am in need of help now I can find it and/or pay for whatever I need.

But I still hurt. I feel like a pathetic, self-pitying bastard. It doesn’t feel like it is ok for me to keep mourning all these layers of shit from my childhood. But I hurt so much.

I’ve barely cried in months because I don’t like doing it around the kids and I don’t have privacy. I’m sure that is contributing to how backed up I feel emotionally. I don’t have a lot of release available to me when I’m alone with the kids. I really and truly need private space for the ongoing processing of trauma.

I have really big feelings about that. I’m feeling a lot of shame and guilt that I’m sitting here crying and whining like a dog because I can’t stop because I haven’t cried in a while.

The kids and I have been watching a new show, “Call the Midwife”. It’s borderline inappropriate for the kids because it deals with some really harsh truths about life in poverty. But I’m not one to shelter my kids from the fact that other people suffer terribly. They don’t deserve to go through life not knowing that other people have it shitty. No one deserves that, in my opinion, and I kind of hate the parents who bring their children up in a bubble such that the kids can’t understand suffering of other people.


Last night the episode talked about the “Workhouse Howl”. The keening, crying screaming noise that only happens when people suffer horribly for years with absolutely no chance of ever stopping that suffering.

I felt kind of freaked out because when the character started the cry… I knew that I make that sound. My kids kinda looked at me when the crying was explained. Yes, I make that sound sometimes.

It isn’t true that I have no chance to stop the suffering any more. But once your body starts crying like that… stopping it isn’t a voluntary thing. It just happens. Once you have been in that much pain for that long… you can’t always keep it in for the convenience and happiness of everyone around you.

Suffering and pain are really complicated and layered. I would like to believe that some day I will get to the point where I no longer hysterically scream/cry sometimes without volition because I have so many pent up emotions I can’t suppress the noise.

Being rich doesn’t fix these problems. Being rich means you can slowly begin to get help, but getting help is a confusing, horrible process. Even though I can pay for help, I have to know where to go for help, who to ask for help, and what kind of help I need to ask for.

That’s hard.

I have to find the solutions and then find people to help me implement the solutions. It’s hard. I understand why people who are struggling with poverty just can’t.

Trauma impacts you forever. I’m kind of tired of people acting like trauma isn’t a big deal and you should just “get over it”. You know what, motherfucker? I am getting over it. I am making progress. It’s still a nightmare. It’s been a nightmare to be in my body for decades. It is slowly improving but I have trouble believing that being inside my body is ever going to be a pleasant experience.

I wish I could stop crying.

Empathy is a mixed bag.

I’m having a special snowflake problem. One of the reasons my marriage with Noah works as well as it does is because I am overly sensitive to emotional nuance and he is… less sensitive than might be perhaps preferable. Which means I don’t set him off and he can just be kind of consistent as a reference for me. This is convenient for both of us. But I can tell him when someone in his life is looking for emotional response.

“Dude. So and so doesn’t come and say such and such without wanting some kind of response. You don’t know what kind of response so you have to ask, ‘Oh no. Would you like x or y?'”

Mostly I do this with the kids of course. I don’t micromanage every relationship he has. Ahem.

Disney World is incredibly hard because when people around me are having big feelings, my body surges with them. The World is pretty much all about big feelings.

This is exhausting. It’s pretty awesome, but it’s exhausting. Every kid who is shrieking sends my blood pressure skyrocketing.

Luckily I have naturally very low blood pressure and I know how to get it back under control relatively quickly… but I still have the reaction and I have to deal with it. Every kid who is crying causes an emotional surge.

I’m kind of tired of my body bouncing up and down because of everyone else’s emotions. It’s starting to physically hurt.

I’m not so good with “boundaries” in some big, dramatic, noticeable to me ways. If my friend is in a troubled relationship I fret and worry and spend almost as much time flipping out as if it were my troubled relationship and that’s inappropriate.

I feel connected to people. Their sorrows, their frustrations, their difficulties impact me.

Yesterday we had a server at breakfast who messed up everything about our order. Everything had to be sent back and redone. To the extant that I said, “May I have milk to go in my tea” and she brought me an additional pot of tea, with no milk.

Goodness woman. Are you listening at all?

But she looked really sad. She looked like she was having a rough time and having a hard time keeping her mind on her work.

I tipped 80% because we didn’t order much and that was about how much I would have left if we had ordered 3-4 breakfasts like a “usual” table for her.

My experience of working service jobs was that someone forgiving you for mistakes can turn a day around. It inspires you to keep trying.

I notice people feeling bad and I just… can’t ignore it. Even when it is to my detriment. Even when I cause myself problems because I’m not keeping my mind on my business and instead my mind is on everyone’s business but mine.

I think I’m getting better about this but this may be a lifelong struggle for me.

I kinda wish I didn’t love all you motherfuckers. My life would be easier.