Category Archives: death threats

Moving south

Today we leave Dad’s house. That will be hard. I have really enjoyed my time here. Although it will also be a good thing. I’m sleeping for shit. I’m thinking a thousand thoughts a minute about all the things I want to say to him and we save our conversations for after the kids are in bed so… I’m way short on sleep. I need to move on before I hurt myself.

The talking has been wonderful. You know how I sometimes go on these really big tirades and write and write and write about politics and race and rape and incest and money and class and… heh. You know how I “sometimes” do that? Yeah he got the in person version over the last week. He has looked kind of stunned. I’ve never uhm shared my opinions on such a diverse array of topics quite so freely before. He’s kind of re-meeting me.

You want to claim you are my Dad so you need to get to know me. We’ve had several pointed, “Are you committed to this relationship?” conversations.

Apparently his bio-daughter is not very happy about me. I can understand that and I hold no rancor in my heart. I’m sorry that my existence makes her uncomfortable. I can understand why it does. All of the other “daughters” have been girlfriends who moved on. I haven’t. I’m not a girlfriend and I never have been. I’m an adopted kid. Who he has beaten and fucked. Because that has been part of my relationship with all of my dads.

I can understand why that would make someone uncomfortable. I’m on a fucking weird life path.

But he’s ok walking that path with me and I don’t really care if other people approve or not. He is adapting to the changes in our relationship. We have had an incredibly frank and detailed conversation about the changes in boundaries in my sex life. “What if I did ____?” “Well you’d have a time of untangling your fingers from your internal organs after I ripped your arm off and shoved it down your neck.” “Ok then. So you’re saying that is off the table.” “Yup.”

Quite frankly I think this is an incredibly healthy transition for both of us. We are consciously committing to a mutually supportive relationship that doesn’t have to be based on hurting one another. The hurting one another wasn’t a problem when it was where we both were. I’m not there right now. Are you with me or not?

He says he is with me.

He is scared about some of my choices. He asked me last night if I was truly aware of how much I was risking my life with some of the choices I make in terms of activism. I said I was fully aware that women who speak publicly about the things I choose to speak about often get killed. I’m aware that the status quo doesn’t like what I think.

Dad got to hear about the full extent of my suicidality this trip. He’s had dim awareness that I was a cutter.

It is kind of funny to me how people claim to know me… but don’t read my blog… and wow… they don’t know shit. I think I unload my emotions on fewer people than I think. I’m really hard on the people I unload on… but the list isn’t that long. I think I perceive myself as someone who dumps on everyone who walks by… but that isn’t how it goes. I have more boundaries than I think I do.

I am continually surprised to find out that people have known me for a decade and a half and they don’t know major facts about my life.

I can recite your fucking bio in my sleep. I know details about your life before I met you. I can rattle off your hobbies and accomplishments and fuck ups with great specifics.

What the fuck do you mean you don’t know much about me?! WTF!?

I’m self absorbed. Everyone should function like me. Ahem.

I’m going to miss Dad. And I am never going to live near him full time. Our relationship would dissolve and I like it very much. I like the support I get when I see him. He doesn’t have the stamina for me. He can’t be the kind of consistent I need on a regular basis. I can handle what he has to give when I visit once a year. I don’t resent his limits this way. I just adapt while I’m here.

I ask tactless questions a lot to frame how ridiculous we both are. “So my control freak issues are running into your control freak issues. Which part of this one is your real bug-a-boo? The process or the result because you vary from issue to issue.”

He kind of glares at me for a minute as he thinks about it. Then we discuss it and work out how we can adapt to one another.

It is weirdly a lot of fun for me. He is really ok with blunt negotiations. The bdsm community has been good for him. If you can say, “What I really want to do is tie your legs wide open so I can single tail your clit” you can have a conversation about just about any stupidly specific and personal topic.

Ok.. that isn’t actually true about everyone in the scene. But it is true of the two of us and I love that about him.

We’ve talked a lot about eating and dietary choices with the kids. Exercise habits. Modeling and why we do the things we do. Being responsible to and for our kids and how that creates a permanent reason to take care of ourselves because… we owe them a long life.

He says I have made him think about many of his choices in new ways. I believe that.

Last night he told me he feels adrift and he isn’t sure how to get ahead of the curve. He’s had a really hard several years. I said, “That sounds like a request for advice.” He said yes.

Oh I gave advice. “What you need to do is over the next year ask for help from Person A and Person B and Person C and go through the house and the storage unit. Sell anything you don’t have a really strong desire to keep. Donate what you can’t sell. Time to downsize. You don’t need a big house and property and you can’t keep up with the work. Sell before you degrade the house and can’t make money back. Buy something outright. Buy something small and manageable.”

He has inherited the estates of three rich people. He has an overwhelming amount of stuff and he simply can’t afford to keep the shit. He didn’t get the money. That went to charities. He just got burdened with the shit.

People are hilarious. They really don’t think about what they are doing to the people around them.

Get it in your head that you are putting the house on the market in June of 2016. That will be the end of your time here. 14 years in one spot.

It’s going to be hard to leave. His second marriage had its whole life here. But she’s gone and he has to move on. He can’t support this household without her.

Life is about constantly changing your goals as your resources and abilities change. Things go up and down and you have to be realistic about your capabilities or you will over-promise and under deliver. Or you can sell yourself short and never attain the things you are capable of doing.

Re-evaluate yourself. Where do you want to be putting your time and energy? Do you really want to have to spend 30+ hours a week on cleaning and house maintenance only to watch it fall into constant decline because it really needs 60 hours of work every week? That’s depressing. You feel like a constant failure even though you really are doing your best.

I’m going to cry a lot when he moves. This is Francesca’s house. She loved me here. She made me feel safe here. She is a lot of the reason Dad and I worked out some bumps in the early years. I miss her very much. But our obligation to her is over. It is time to sell off her stuff and her step-dad’s stuff and her mom’s stuff and move on.

She died before we could pay our debt to her. That’s a guilt we have to bear and move on with.

We can take that and pay it forward. That is how she would want us to do it. She wouldn’t want us to wither at home with shame and regret. She would want us to pay it forward. She would say we don’t owe her. We owe the universe. It’s never really a two way street.

That’s what is so hard about parenting. It’s never really reciprocal. I have taken more from Dad than I’ve given. Mostly… what I can give at this point is support as he transitions to a different sense of self.

He’s not a swinging bachelor of means. He needs to stop trying to act like he is. That time of life is over.

There are consequences to not seeing how you are changing. How many do you want to have smack you in the face?

He asked me if I believed he was capable of change at this point in his life. I laughed and said I wouldn’t be in his house if he hadn’t changed and changed again over the last decade and a half. Yes. I believe you are capable of changing. It’s not the tooth fairy. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen you adapt. I’ve seen you resolve to improve on how you manage specific issues. Yes, there have been back slides in some areas, but you continue to improve in broad swaths.

But life is complicated. As you improve in some areas you completely screw up other areas. That’s how it goes.

It seems to me that wisdom is partially understanding that you will never be good at everything. You will never have the inter-personal abilities plus money abilities plus physical abilities plus education abilities and and…

Look at what you actually do with your time. You are good at parts of it. The rest… well… it’s done enough. THE HOUSE DIDN’T BURN DOWN. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!

I don’t cook much. I can’t do it. I turn into a screaming banshee.

It’s not that I “can’t cook”. I can actually cook quite well. But I need to be calm and have a lot of patience and a lot of quiet and a lot of time and nothing else going on in order to do it in a peaceful way. Or I start twitching and shrieking things like, “JUST GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN BEFORE I STRANGLE YOU OH MY GOD WHY DID YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO DO?!?!?!!?!”

I understand that this is part of an age old tradition between mothers and daughters. But with the whole home schooling thing… it’s a problem if I won’t show them how to do things. So it’s complicated.

I’ve been priming the pump with the kids about how things will shift when we leave Grandpa’s house. We are going to a dun dun dun… screen free house. Ok, they own a tv. A big one. But they don’t turn it on. Or they use it for internet browsing. They watch very occasional cooking shows or Myth Busters. They are basically a kid screen-free house.

So uhm, don’t spend all day talking about video games and cartoons. You can talk about books, games you like to play, imaginary stuff you like to do… lots of topics. Don’t spend all day talking about the Minecraft tutorials. That is horribly boring when someone isn’t interested. We won’t be there very long. Be polite.

I have no idea if Shanna is listening. We’ll see.

We came here from Aunt Cookie’s and her only tv watching is Martha Stewart show reruns and Mayberry because her parrot will repeat things from the television. She won’t risk a peppery word in her house. (I kind of horrified her. And the kids taught the parrot to say “poop poop poop”. She was not pleased.) It’s not like we can’t get along with folks who don’t do video games. But she had to listen to a lot about the tutorial makers. Her eyes glazed over. I tried to rescue her.

Shanna can give you a full run down on the benefits and deficits of different tutorial makers and I think it is hilarious. I only half listen. I stood and listened to the new one for a few minutes last night. I wasn’t pleased. He’s an asshole. I told her flat out, “I like so-and-so and I like that other guy because they are silly and kind in how they give instructions. I don’t like this new guy. The way he is saying his friend might not really be a boy because he hasn’t seen proof? That’s bullshit. That’s a jerk thing to do. Questioning someone else’s gender is not ok. If I ever hear you do that, you aren’t watching this channel any more. If you want to know that assholes like that exist I’m not going to stop you from finding out they exist. But you had better not become one.”

Her eyes were kind of big. She nodded and said, “I wouldn’t do that. I just thought it was cool how he built _____.”

“That’s fair enough. He did build a cool ______. I can see why you would admire it. Feel free to learn his Minecraft skills. Don’t learn his interpersonal skills.”

“Got it.”

Man this is a quoting-myself-heavy-post. I want to share it with Noah. I miss you, oh my witness. I WANT TO TALK AT YOU FOR ABOUT TWELVE HOURS STRAIGHT.

I miss you.

I’ve gotta say, it’s kind of wild talking about a lot of the things I write about. To an entrenched white male. Oh man. It’s interesting phrasing and efforts. I have extreme biases. I’m aware of that. I’m working on and with where I am right now.

Dad is a soft sell on many of my more radical ideas. He will listen and help me construct rebuttals to arguments. Not necessarily on purpose, but he argues with me and that gives me practice debating the things I’m going to need to be able to debate without shrieking.

Not sure I can ever be a cook in a high pressure situation though. That may be beyond me in this lifetime.

Intersection of privilege, feminism, and being “retro” as we head into the future.

I went and read the NY Magazine article on Feminist Housewives. I understand that some people feel insulted by the piece. I thought it was hilarious. Holy tomato do I fall into the demographic she is lampooning. Upper middle class and white. We started into this demographic when I was 27 (right in the middle of the 25-30 age group that is the fastest growing segment) when our combined household income was between $75,000 and $100,000. Over the last six years Noah has nearly made it to $200,000. We are absolutely the “kind of people” this article is trying to insult.

Wait, you didn’t think the author was trying to be insulting? Oh. I read it as if she was trying but failed because I really don’t care about her evaluation. Yes, I am a feminist who does not have an out-of-the-home job. What does being a feminist mean in my position? It means I lobby the shit out of my friends-in-similar-dynamics for them to have the autonomy and freedom I have.

On some levels my marriage is quite “retro” and in other ways it is anything but. Folks wouldn’t look at Noah and I and confirm that the patriarchy is in full force. I have agency. I make decisions.

If I were to work out of the house we would be in a worse place financially than we are right now. My salary would not cover how much we would end up spending on daycare, better clothes, eating out, a house cleaner, or a more active gardner. Let me tell you–if I had a job I would quite certainly do less cooking for the house than Noah does while having a job. My job was more hours in the week than Noah’s… for a lot less money. Really about like the social worker that was lampooned in the article.

I went into teaching for the express purpose of learning how to teach my own kids. I became a teacher because I knew I wanted to homeschool my kids someday and I wanted to be able to do so well. I did not go into a helping profession because I wanted to make the world better. I went into teaching to fulfill my own selfish desires and my own plans for the future.

I didn’t really live with my mother full time when I was a child. I grew up in extreme poverty and that means I often had to go live with virtual or literal strangers because she couldn’t care for me. This has created an ache inside me that time doesn’t seem to dull. I did not learn how to be a person from my mother. I learned how to be a person from books while I was alone in a room. I feel a physical need to have specific one-on-one relationships that facilitate personal growth. I need to see what it looks like when people go through the normal changes. I don’t need to spend the rest of my life looking at one cross section of life and only adapting to that. I was great with teenagers–I need to learn how to deal with all ages. I need to be exposed to all ages.

My life journey will never look anything like the typical journey. Even though I fall into specific demographics of high privilege now I will never be able to change who I am or where I come from. I am not like the other women in my demographic. Often I freak them out.

I can say without reservation that I have an uncommonly feminist marriage. My husband has permitted, encouraged, shoved me towards a degree of autonomy that I just don’t see in other marriages. It isn’t that he makes me do things by myself, though he does. It is that he has taught me about his own journey of aloneness. It is that he has made me understand why he has the limitations he has and he understands why I have the limitations I have and we seamlessly step in and rescue one another. He cares about my individual issues and he never assumes that I am a certain way “because I am a woman”.

I do not believe in biological determinism. I know men who are wonderful stay-at-home-dads (my brother has actually been a SAHD for the entire lives of his children) and I know women who are so non-maternal that I don’t understand why they had children. Because that biological clock thing is No Joke. These women wisely find very nurturing caregivers to provide most of the care for their kids and their kids grow up feeling loved and cared for. That’s what life is about, right?

There is no one path. I want to be near my children because it satisfies deep emotional needs for me. I was deeply neglected and abused as a child. I have baggage I am learning how to work through.

I have to stay home and take care of my children myself because otherwise I will never have the impetus to work on my hatred and rage towards working in groups. Without doing this I am unlikely to value the input of other people. Let me tell you I will never change my opinion if I just take a job where I have to work with people. I hate working with people. That’s my idea of hell on earth. I can be the boss and steer the ship in a group–but that’s different. I’m a harsh taskmaster.

I don’t want to be a harsh taskmaster with my children. I want them to learn how to be functional people. That means I have to model being a functional person. One of my biggest gripes about the American educational system is that we are turning out people who know how to be cogs in the machine–not people who can deconstruct the machine and build a new one.

I don’t know about you, but I think we need a new one.

I went on to read The Retro Husband and thought ouch. He’s talking about Noah. Only he isn’t.

Noah and I met during a period in our lives when we could lovingly be called fuck ups. We had a lot of relationship instability and we both treated people like they wouldn’t be in our lives very long. Mostly we were right. When we got married we both had to abruptly change a lot of things in our behavior. We went from not dating/just friends to engaged to married in five months. Our lives changed fast.

I picked a mate who has a profession that is best served by a combination of locking himself in a room to work alone and going out and teaching what he has learned while being locked in a room. Strip clubs don’t feature heavily. I’m pretty sure he has only been in a strip club once in his life. We went together on the first anniversary of our marriage. We had a lot of fun. (I’ve been to a lot of strip clubs and I love them.) We came home and conceived our first child. Amen.

I picked someone who has a dad who has never left his crazy mother. He understands what “for better or worse” means. I looked at the guys in my generation (and two generations above me) and found such understanding to be thin on the ground. I picked someone from inherited wealth who has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. He was taught how to make money. That is a set of skills you either have or don’t have. I quizzed a lot of men. Let me tell you: financial acumen is thin on the ground. He wasn’t taught how to budget money. That’s one of the big downfalls of growing up with more money than you know what to do with. However he doesn’t track our money; I do. I budget well. We are very good partners.

I am self-aware enough to admit out loud that I would probably not be as happy if my partner made very little money. I would have different expectations. I think that  when you look at the demographic of “men who do very little housework have more sex” you have a combination of: women who are lavishly provided for feel grateful and men who philander. That’s my experience.

When I was eighteen I was engaged to my high school sweetheart. That was the price of shacking up and we both wanted away from our parents. I didn’t marry him because even though he made more money than me I paid more of our expenses and I did all the housework. He was really lazy at home. I went from that to a D/s or M/s relationship. (That’s Dominant/submissive or technically Owner/property in our case.) I have always fucking cleaned house for people. I’ve been doing it all my life. I even pick fucking friends who want me to come over and clean for them. (I offer. I am really good at organizing people’s stuff.)

I clean because I am an order Muppet. I have to see order in the world around me or I can’t focus and I can’t relax. I think I clean for other people because I am trying to bond with them. I am trying to offer what I have in terms of “benefits” so people will put up with being my friend. I believe I am intrinsically unpleasant. I must offer something in trade or being around me isn’t worth the cost.

I don’t want my children to feel this way. If I had to put my head down and work a full time job and take care of my kids and take care of my house and provide food… I would certainly never ever have reason to believe that people wanted me around for any reason other than I had work to do for them. “The worst burden for a woman is no burden.” She’s talking about privilege and idleness. She can’t shame and say it bluntly. I should be serving other people, not myself. I shouldn’t just exist for the pleasure of my company. Ha. I appreciate how much she believes women should be out working in the world–but I notice that in order to do it herself she had to give up on the marriage/kids thing. I wanted kids.

I don’t think the author of the NY Magazine piece means that I should be working for other people in order to help support the world. I just don’t.

What is the point and purpose of feminism if I am not allowed to say, “I have the financial privilege to stay home and be the primary caregiver for my children and more than anything in the world I want to do it” and have that be acceptable. I don’t want to have 18, 19, and counting so I am a perpetual breeding machine who never has to do anything else but be mommy.

I will engage in the world again. I will do it as a very different person. I am not allowed to fuck my way through the rest of my life. I spent my childhood assuming I would be a sex worker for most of my life. That was my actual plan. I decided to do something else because I didn’t want my children to believe they had to do it. I changed my behavior in large and dramatic ways because I wanted to be able to look my children in the face and say that acting like me is appropriate. Does that mean I think promiscuity is terrible or bad? No. But they should not expect it of themselves because it is not mandatory. It is not common. It is not standard.

I used two forms of birth control very consistently after I was eighteen (I was on hormonal birth control and ALWAYS used condoms for casual sex and used a diaphragm with longer term fluid bonded partners who refused to wear condoms any more because let’s be honest that is how that shit happens) until I was sure I wanted to have kids. I was not going to get caught with some kid I would resent and a lifetime association with a loser ex-partner. I was smart enough to fucking recognize that at twelve years old. That’s when I went on the pill for the first time. I sometimes used depo provera (to my detriment–that shit is bad for you) then I went back to the pill.

No one sat me down and taught me the facts of life. I found things out piece-meal. A little bit at school (I will say that Los Gatos had adequate public health education–that is a huge advantage not everyone has) but mostly through talking to people. I found out most of it by making mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes before I was eighteen. I had a lot of very risky sex. I made a number of stupid choices.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this rape/not rape thing. How do I differentiate between bad sex and rape? I don’t think it crosses the line unless I was saying “no”. I believe that I have to say “no” or it is my fault that something happened. I ascribe the responsibility and agency for such acts to myself.

When I was twelve I asked a twenty-five year old man to fuck me. That wasn’t rape. But it was still a crime. It was still illegal. It was his legal responsibility to tell me no. I was still a child and he is responsible for his actions. That other twenty five year old I dated when I was twelve. He was at least nice enough to not pressure me when I said I wasn’t ready to have sex yet, but he asked me to at least give him a blow job. I felt kind of guilty because he had taken me out to a meal (Johnny Rockets. I had a grilled cheese sandwich, fries, and a milkshake) and he bought me a Christmas present so… didn’t I owe him? So I gave him the blowjob he asked for. It wasn’t rape. But it was a crime.

This is where rape culture blows my mind because of how pervasive it is. It’s all my fault those poor men committed a crime. I asked them to do it–literally in the first case and by inference in the second when I said I wasn’t ready for sex yet.

I brought it up, you see. I was out on a date–of course there were expectations, duh. How stupid am I to not have stayed home. My mother had given me permission for the date. She met him. She saw us off. I was home by curfew.

I know the difference between rape and not rape. If I said no and lay there crying while someone fucked me that is rape. Even if we are both adults now and I would have consented to the sex if he had just put a condom on. That’s not a mistake on my part. That is not something I invited. Unprotected sex is not a right that a man has. He does not have the right to risk inflicting a child on a woman. Period.

I think in my little corner of the world a rapist is somehow less of a piece of shit if he at least keeps his future-children to himself.

I stay home to take care of my children. They are my whole world for this brief window of time. I don’t think I would be able to handle raising the child of my rapist. My mother had a hard time raising me. She did not bond with me as much as she did other children. She had her tubes tied when I was born. You know how “some women rape easy”? That’s my family. We rape easy. I’m trying to do something different with my children. I am escaping into a different kind of social dynamic.

I really have a feminist marriage. Why do I say that? Because I started off in a marriage where it was ok to beat and rape me and then I decided those things weren’t ok and I put a stop to them. (Let’s be clear that I was ok with it to start with–I gave active consent. Well, ok I gave consent in advance for the rape and then changed my mind because I didn’t really think it would turn into a violent rape because I didn’t know I had been dealing with mostly wussy-assed-pansies trying to “play rape” in the past. Hoo boy.)

Folks have called my husband “whipped” and his response was, “damn right”. Only he is a very autonomous being. I don’t have a lot of control over him in general. I have a ridiculous amount of influence on how he treats me. And other men/boys feel the need to let us know that I shouldn’t have so much influence on how he treats me. He should instead align his preferences with those of other men/boys and treat me how those men/boys feel I should be treated.

I really like my husband. He is self-interested in a way I can work with. I can predict how he will react because he is consistent. He has stated goals. When he starts wandering off from them a brisk reminder gets him back on track. He isn’t particularly pulled towards any boys club. He has been alone too much. He has no faith that the boys club will really be there for him.

I have been with him more for more of his life than anyone else. I like him more than anyone else ever has. I really appreciate him. My life has gone from being a nightmare to being the punchline because I am so vapid and privileged. It is… interesting.

When people mockingly say that I am trying to live how my grandmother lived I would laugh and say that I picked an atheist–not a Mennonite or a Catholic. One grandmother was a printer in Pasadena after WWII (she was enlisted) and the other was the wife of a boxer turned dairy farmer. No, I don’t live like them. I neither have to work as hard nor am I oppressed as much. The Christmas before I divorced my family my mom made me a wonderful book. She hand wrote, in her beautiful hand writing–my mother has the most beautiful writing in the world–all of our family recipes into a recipe book. She gave me what she has to give.

I am a much better cook than any of them. They used shitty ingredients and too much sugar in freaking everything to cover up the bad quality of all the canned produce. I have had to learn how to cook from The Joy of Cooking and the internet. I live in an era where there is no fucking excuse for saying “I don’t know how to do _______.”

Yes, I choose to be a stay at home mom. I choose to homeschool my children with the financial support of my husband. I don’t want to have it all. I don’t want the pressure of more people having expectations of me right now. I only have so much energy to give. I know that makes me fairly pathetic but that’s just how the cookie crumbles. I am privileged. I am lucky that I get to make this choice. I wouldn’t have been able to do this in this way with someone who made a lot less money.

Only I probably would. I would live in a cheap rented apartment and I would probably never own a house. But I would still want to take care of my kids. I don’t live in a nice house now. I will never live in an expensive neighborhood. I would feel unwanted and like I didn’t know how to behave in that kind of environment. Here the kids play on the streets and we hear lots of loud music and lots of people. I feel comfortable. I see signs of people living and laughing and putting down roots.

Yes, I want to be a stay at home mom so I can get to know the seventy-six year old man down the street. I wouldn’t have time to stand around and pass the time of day hearing his stories if I had a job. My life would be less full if I had never heard his stories. I would understand people a little less. He is helping me hate men less. He feels pretty safe to stand around and talk with. He has no designs upon me and he would probably freak the fuck out if I made a pass at him. It is a very comforting exchange. I really value having him around. I think I am shoving him in the role of my Uncle Bob. I’m going to freak out when he dies some day. I’m glad my kids are getting to hear from him. They are learning a lot of history.

Speaking of Uncle Bob. Not mine. Uncle Bob Martin is a technical guy who absolutely means well but has a humorous opinion of women. I’m not a fucking lady. Ladies are expected to act in very proscribed ways I will never agree to behave. Men should not treat me like I am a lady. I want them to treat me like a person-who-is-not-like-them. Like a human from another culture. I am a person who has had a very particular set of lifetime experiences. I am not like other people. I am not like other women. I am not like men. I am also not working in the technology industry so obviously I don’t matter–right?

Only I’ve been coding some in secret (not a secret any more) because I didn’t want to tell Noah at first. I’m still not sharing. I am who should be courted into such an industry but they treat me like an insect. They treat me like my brain is rotting inside my skull because I am so mentally deficient as to want to be near children all day. Oh go fuck yourself. Mostly women are treated like they have no value after they have stayed home to take care of children. Only Uncle Bob wants us to be the ladies and spiffy up the place and nurture our cwute widdle pwojects along to help them actually happen. The boys club has noticed that when you get too many boys in one place you need a den mother.

Well he is asking women to come work in a hostile work environment. He isn’t really acknowledging how or why. At the edges of that hostile work environment (the gaming community is kind of the bastard son of the technology community) we have Anita Sarkeesian speaking about what happens to women who have the audacity to look at how women are treated in the gaming community.

I could stay in an underpaid, unappreciated profession where I get to care for other peoples children all day but not really form bonds because the kids are leaving at the end of the year–so I don’t have to grow as a person. I can remain static as I stand there doing the same thing year after year. Like I’m perfect already. ha.

Or I could stay home and raise children and figure out how to grow fruit and vegetables so that when I am old my property will be fairly self-sufficient. I am contributing to my long-term future. Could it all be yanked away from me? Anything could. You don’t have to tell me that. I don’t think many people understand having an uncertain future more than me. But things really and truly have improved. I have changed. I have learned from my mistakes.

Yes, I’m a feminist and a house wife. Being in this position allows me to acquire skills that I want to have. Having a career would not allow me to develop these skills. I want them. I want them with every fiber of my being. I want to have survival skills that are not taught in an office or a school. Those environments are artifacts of a culture that is dying. I want my children to be able to do something else.

We are at a turning point. We have to change. If that makes me “retro” then I’m ok with that. This essay from Michael O. Church is fifteenth in a series (now of sixteen and counting…) about how corporations need to shift from being part of an industrial model to being part of the technology era. He’s talking about getting rich. He’s not talking about my life any more than Sebastian Marshall is talking about my life. I am not part of the technological revolution these men are portending. Yet I am. I am raising the children who will carry it out.

I believe that women have as much of a place in the world as men. I believe that women are as intrinsically valuable as men–not “because we nurture” but rather because if the human race is to continue it requires men and women. We have not found a way to get around that yet. It’s not because we are both awesome “in our own ways” it’s because we simply cannot continue as a race without both genders. And subjugating women isn’t going so well. We live in an era where silencing us is harder than it has ever been before. We fight back now. And bear the consequences of that too. It’s still better than it was. There have always been consequences for standing up for yourself–that is not a man or a woman thing. Unfortunately the consequences for women tend to involve threats that involve her gender, especially rape.

I have never met anyone who has been actually raped more times than I have. Either that or no one has been willing to say it to me. Some day I will meet someone. I have very real reason to fear reprisals for speaking out–the threatened torture has already happened to me. What makes me think I will avoid it in the future?

Because I have learned more about privilege. I was silenced previously in my life because I was young, ignorant, and too weak to protect myself. I am no longer in such a position. Most women and girls do not understand what the process of learning how to protect themselves means. Unfortunately “protecting yourself” often means staying home and not getting to be part of communities and hobbies you would like to join because if you have a bad experience you are on your own. If you defend yourself people may threaten to kill and/or rape you.

In many ways I feel very consciously like I am choosing a life more like a religious life–I am mostly cloistered and I mostly have contact with women and children. I’m doing it as an increasingly zealous atheist which is kind of awkward.

There are many studies that say that men/women in highly defined relationships do better and are happier. So far in history those relationships have followed a pattern of men work- women raise children. It was a biologically unavoidable task. We no longer live in that world. Now men are no more suited to the weird ass work people do in offices than women are–often men are not as well suited. A great deal of technological work involves a kind of multi-tasking that women are shown to be better at. And as my husband shows me week after week after week in our marriage–he is a better cook than I am and he is quite capable of bathing children and changing diapers and cleaning the house. He doesn’t do as much of it as I do, no, and that’s ok with me. Doing those tasks requires time. I have more time to kill than he does. He is genuinely working his ass off for more structured hours of the day than me. I can pick up slack and increase our mutual leisure time because it makes my life better.

I don’t see how these choices are unfeminist. I am being cold, calculating, and I am serving my interests and the interests of my progeny. I am, however, not serving the interests of an Industrial Age leftover feminism. I am not trying to stamp out home life in service of people living in dormitories and working in factories. I don’t want my children to imprint on a group of people exactly their age so they have no perspective on how dramatic the changes in life are. I want my children to grow up understanding that people change constantly. They don’t settle in and “be the same” for decades. You have to grow.

I don’t see a structure for that in the current set-up. So I’m going to go make it up as I go. I understand that has been the normal human path since the beginning of time. I’m ok with being on The Road Not Taken by other people. I will always be weird. That’s unavoidable.

I wish you knew that you were actually on that road too. You are not actually on the same road as other people and you shouldn’t try to be. What do you want to do with your life? That’s what feminism is about.

At the end of that rant the kind of logical next question is: so what about all the people who don’t have my privilege? Fuck if I know. That’s a really hard question.

My local police force doesn’t suck.

I went to the police station this morning.

I dressed up. I wore a nice skirt and a button up blouse (with pinstripes!) and a blazer and nylons and heels. I looked like a proper grown up. I looked respectable.
When I got there I found out that no officers hang out in the police station. Whoops. I was asked if I wanted to go home and wait for the officer there and talk about it in a more comfortable setting. That was the closest I got to crying. I said that my children don’t need to know about this part of me.

I spoke with a lovely officer. It’s all information-only at this point, as it should be. But they know I exist. They know my family exists. They know that there is a long history of me being assaulted. Saying things like, “I prosecuted my father for rape in San Bernadino County when I was sixteen” made my story much more credible.

The officer told me that coming in was the right choice. He was glad I did. He was very sympathetic and supportive. I was expecting a more dismissive reaction so that felt ridiculously nice. I felt very grateful.

My breath got a little shaky but mostly I stayed very calm. I did not cry. I was not overly emotive.

The whole conversation was under fifteen minutes. We talked about my safety options. He told me again that he applauded my courage.

He seemed to be a little curious why I wrote the book if I am afraid of my family. I told him, “Being out is the only protection I have. They got away with my childhood because it was all hidden. I don’t let anything be hidden now.”

He nodded but didn’t say anything. I’m sure the psychology of trauma victims is something that police officers don’t like to think about more than required.

I did the right thing. I’m not being neurotically paranoid. When you can talk to two therapists, a social worker and a police officer and they all say, “You are not being paranoid” it’s validating.

I hate my dependence on validation.

I feel like a big meanie.

I spend a lot of time feeling very mixed about what I write here.  I honestly usually forget what I have written almost as soon as I hit post and I don’t reread things very often.  I use this space to dump the thoughts that are intrusive into the rest of my life.  They are the harshest things I think.  I’m aware that I am “mentally ill”.  Whatever that means.

It’s hard to not feel ashamed of myself for putting these things out publicly.  You are supposed to put these kinds of thoughts in private journals you later burn.  You don’t want to taint the world with any of this.  I worry about some of the processing I do here.  People don’t like finding out how deep my rage is.  It makes them uncomfortable.  I am going to, once again, alienate people.  Not everyone.  Not the people who matter.  But I will lose people who are only casual distant social contacts at best.

It’s weird to know that I have to live with the consequences of my words, for better or worse.  I say a lot of very harsh things.  I’m trying to walk a fine line between talking about the emotions I experience and why I have them and blaming other people for upsetting me.  I know I’m crazy.  I know I’m having a reaction that is out of proportion to our exchange.  But I’m still having it and I have to deal with it somehow.

Just doing deep breathing exercises is ineffective at managing my rage.  Writing works.  And so I will write about things that make me very angry.  And people will get upset with me.  I’m pretty sure this is an unavoidable fate.  Given what I’ve read today I feel like I should be braced at any moment for a death threat.  On one hand that makes my paranoia sky rocket.  Because do you know who is a credible threat to my life?  Pretty much anyone in my family.  Hello illegal connections.  Not to mention that the whole lot also has serious mental health issues and lots of guns!

Awesome.  I really and truly believe that my brother would never come after me.  I think he wants to believe he is above such things.  And his wife is awesome and balances him really well.  He married a really good woman.  The only credible threat is my sister.  She has threatened to beat me up in public in the last few years.  If I publish there is a very real chance she will show up on my doorstep out of the blue with a shot gun.  She’s pretty insane.  And she has done a lot of very bad for your brain drugs for a very lot of years.

Even though I want to puke on the floor thinking about that… I’m going to keep going on writing.  And internet threats seem so very non-threatening.  So laughable.  Really.  Does some wanker on the internet think that they can hurt me more than my family?  More than my father raping me?  More than my brother beating me, arranging to have other children beat me, and sexually assaulting me repeatedly?

I don’t think I will lose sleep over emails.  I’m already up.  Bah.  That’s a snotty ass thing to say.  I’m in a really bad phase right now in coping with my shit.  Some day I will go back to not dwelling on being less than.  I think.  At those times I will be vulnerable.  And it will make me lose sleep.  But I don’t really think there is much that can be done to cause me to stop writing.  Not anything in writing, anyway.  Not from fear.  I think I am kind of looking forward to that first burst of adrenaline.  I do love a good threat.

I don’t know if it is ok to talk about things that hurt other peoples feelings.  But I’m not sure I can help it.

Kneejerk statement

I had a brief panic attack as I looked through the referring URLs for my blog.  Lots of looking for porn searches.  I thought that was kind of amazing.  I really felt invaded and horrified by that.  That was hard to feel for a few minutes.  You see, there is this nice blogger who happens to be a chick.  And I don’t know about you but I find that people are way less heated about business building than sex.  This woman hasn’t done anything sexual in a public way, but she is denigrated sexually quite viciously.  I’ll tell you flat out, universe, that makes me feel like I should probably figure what I am: a sex blogger or a mommy blogger and never the twain shall meet.  Because if Naomi Dunford is getting death threats I need to prepare myself for the possibility that some day I might too.  I don’t think I can stop myself from posting on the internet.  It’s pretty compulsive.