Category Archives: definitions

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.

Why?

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?

Whoa.

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…”

Ha.

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.

Catharsis

I need to start getting my thoughts in order to talk about catharsis. I’m sure that what I actually say will vary from what I’m writing about. Such is life.

Because I’m me, let’s start with a definition:

ca·thar·sis
kəˈTHärsəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
    synonyms: emotional release, relief, release, venting; More

  2. 2.
    MEDICINErare
    purgation.

Strong or repressed emotion. I have buckets of that. When I think of catharsis I think of a flood of things all at once. I think about beating my friends until they cry because it is hard to cry on your own. I think of being beaten until I genuinely sob. Not many people have ever done it. I think of being crucified. I think of atonement. I think of freedom from the burden of carrying these emotions forever.

I have two female friends in particular I think about when I think about cathartic scenes. One is my Sarah and another is one I don’t have permission to name. With Sarah a lot of what I work towards is helping her feel ok making noise and taking up space. I do that very deliberately because I have known her for a long time and she has good reasons to make some fucking noise. It’s ok for her to cry about the stuff that is happening and has happened. But that’s a hard thing when you are punished throughout your childhood for having negative feelings.

My other friend had a hard time safewording or really saying no to anything, ever. What is a safeword some of you sweet people ask. A safeword is a word that can end the scene. For most people red stops a scene and yellow means “please check in”. Traditionally speaking safewords can be any significant word or phrase that wouldn’t occur naturally in a scene. In really heavy sm scenes… sometimes a safeword is the difference between a scene and abuse.

So I asked my friend if she wanted to learn how to say no. I hit her for a long time. A really long time. It felt like hours. I was vicious and terrible. The whole time I told her, “I want you to decide when this stops. You have to tell me to stop. You have to defend yourself. You have to know you are worth that.” And on and so forth because fuck I talked for a long time.

Eventually she did crumble and sob and beg me to stop.

I hear she’s done much better with boundaries ever since. I’m glad.

Sometimes you can’t really understand the size and shape of your boundaries until you go all the way to the other side of them so you can get a good look at where they should have been.

I think of a lot of my rape experiences like that. “I should have done ____.”

I didn’t know.

Positive stuff. A few truly stand-out scenes as a bottom. The first crucification was the most intense. When you don’t know what to expect, it is more intense.

Without getting into details about why I told my then boyfriend/top/later Owner that I had a lot of sins I needed to atone for. He joked and said he could crucify me. I said that sounded great.

We built a padded backboard together. Full of hardware and gizmos to make the gearhead happy. I was grateful for all that time in the wood shop learning skills. Yes, I can help you construct equipment. I am a useful tool to have around.

There was obviously a crossbar for my arms. He tied me to the backboard using polyester rope. That was his preference at the time.

I’ve been suspended in a lot of positions. I’ve been suspended by enough people that I think I have a good idea of what the different positions are like. They are all intense in different ways.

The crucification was early in my scene career. I didn’t have much experience then. I was shocked by the breathlessness. That was what made the scene so intense. It hurt, yes, but it was the constriction of my lungs and diaphragm that caused me to see stars and hallucinate and feel like I was talking to dead family members.

I remember feeling a sad benevolence. These people absolutely could not love me while they were alive. The love they feel now is hollow and empty and useless but present. What does it mean? It means they don’t hate me.

It’s ok that I was born. It is ok that I chose my life over theirs. It is ok that I forced retribution on my father for hurting me.

It is just how life goes.

I talked to my boyfriend a little bit about what I felt and experienced. Not long after that he told me he didn’t want to know more about my past. Heh.

I really desperately needed the experiences he gave me. I think he kind of sensed that and couldn’t do it if he knew just how badly I was abused. Especially considering how recent it was when I met him.

I met my future Owner less than a year after my father killed himself.

Now, as a 34 year old that kind of blows my mind. Wow. Less than two years after my father sat in a garage with the motor running and a note saying everything was all my fault… I became a 24/7 slave. Now it was half my life ago.

I didn’t have a normal college experience. I had weird ritualized sm and no alcohol or drugs and I was shoved through doing homework and learning responsibility and household management experience.

He was a parental figure as much or more than a boyfriend. He taught me about loans and interest. He taught me about different levels of protocol and etiquette and appropriate behavior for different settings. It took a while before I was civilized enough to go to work stuff with him.

We spent a lot of god damn time on behavior training. I needed it. I needed to have someone pay attention to me and help me learn those skills just about like ABA therapy.

Do you know what I find funny? Most every boyfriend I’ve ever had is thrilled I married Noah. Because he pays the kind of attention to me none of them ever wanted to pay. They are happy I found that.

I like my life.

Another stand out scene: that scene with the couple in Portland the weekend before Noah asked me to marry him. I love going to Portland. I do so much fucked up shit there.

In that scene it was the first time they had ever co-topped together. It was intense the way they would stop addressing me to focus on one another and talk about what they wanted to do as if I were just kind of a toy then they hurt me fantastically. This is the stand-out most painful scene of my life. He picked me up by my pectoral muscles and shook me like a dog.

That pain made me almost completely lose my mind. It felt like my body was about to be shredded apart. Given that I have previously had the bottom quadrant of my face ripped off by a pit bull, that was an intense experience.

And when I came down to the ground again completely flipping out his partner slapped my face.

I think I collapsed to the floor.

I honestly don’t remember at all what happened after that.

It was a casual pick up scene with folks I barely knew from the rare parties I attended in Seattle.

Why was it cathartic instead of traumatic? Consent. Bitches. There are scenes that once you are in them… there is no way out but through. There are life experiences you must endure that are traumatic even though you want them.

Childbirth comes to mind.

Why did I trust this man to do this to me? He had extensive training by my government on how to torture people. If anyone was going to be able to do it and walk me right to the edge of the line of what I was going to be able to walk away from… it was him.

He did a fabulous job. Good man.

And his partner? God damn. I love a mean woman.

Why was this so positive? Partially because for the whole rest of my life I have an established 11 experience when it comes to pain. Unmedicated childbirth is not the most painful experience of my life. Having my face torn off wasn’t more painful.

Holy fucking shit.

Being in that much pain lets you appreciate all the days you sit at a 6. It’s not so fucking bad.

Would I be so into Noah if I hadn’t had such a shitty life? Probably not. But I am who I am and it is working out pretty well.

Catharsis.

I need to talk about how Noah creates safe space for me. That’s a big deal. That’s kind of the foundation for a lot of the good that has happened.

Noah was ok with me coming out to the garage every morning for months and months and sobbing hysterically. He didn’t react like I was a weirdo and I should stop making him uncomfortable. He said, “Ok. This is where you are right now. What do you want or need from me?”

The process of training him in how to be support has been long and layered, but there is improved trust with every year. That makes everything easier. He does what he says.

Goodness I trust him. The ability to trust someone is… huge.

My cathartic experiences with other people have been primarily one-off releases of emotion in my body. I’m not usually supported before or after. I had a great deal of structural support but just about zero emotional support from my Owner. He had very specific verbal boundaries around this and I really think he behaved ethically.

But I want something different from my forever and it’s ok because I have it.

A lot of my cathartic experiences with Noah have been more gentle and about building connection and intimacy and attachment and trust and care taking and…. It’s different.

And then there are the drug experiences. We’ve had some fucktastically good drug experiences together.

But uhm, that’s not what the show is about.

People are weird.

Belief

I was asked what I believe in. If I’m not a Christian, what am I? Where do we go? Why are we here?

I believe we are here because of a series of accidents, some terrible and some wonderful.

I believe the only meaning that exists is the relationships we create while we are here. I think we are alive as long as we live in the hearts and minds and souls of whatever we have touched. I think that we die when our last breath leaves our body. I think that we become one with everything that has ever been and will ever be.

I think that connection is enough for me to want to make things better for the other results of accidents. They didn’t choose this either. There is no deserve. There is no plan. But we can try to make it better.

It takes all kinds. I don’t need you to be like me and I don’t need to be like you. But I want you here.

That is what I believe in.

The hard stuff

There is a lot of stuff about Noah I won’t write. It’s complicated why. He says that he feels like he shouldn’t write it if I have chosen not to write it and I think that’s silly.

There are ways I don’t write about Noah because doing so would make him a supporting character in my story who was failing to live up to expectations. That’s not who or what he is though. He is a main character who is choosing to live with me. I don’t know how to write his story as it deserves to be written.

Part of the reason I don’t write more about him is because I would misattribute his actions all the time and I don’t want to do that.

I would paraphrase and misremember and go in a whole different direction and create a character for me to be at odds with.

I don’t want to do that. I do not want to take away Noah’s right to define himself and I think if I did substantially more writing about him… I would kinda do that to him. That would be wrong.

I asked him if he feels he knows everything about me. He shook his head emphatically–no. I asked him if he feels I know everything about him. He said  not quite everything… but basically.

I have to believe he is wrong. That is very important. I have to believe I don’t know everything.

Because whatever it is I know so far… he’s going to change. People do. He will make new stories and if I file him away as a supportive character and I already know his backstory so whatever…

No. That’s just not going to work.

Our conversations hurt right now. In that way that growth and change hurt. I’m trying to see which words from this conversation are going to stick in my head. I’m not going to write down the one I’m trying to not remember.

Boundaries have shifted all over the place. That means things feel very unpredictable and that’s scary. Yes. That’s true.

I have two very busy weekends in a row. Which was rather rude of me to schedule. But I really and truly cannot express how deep this hunger goes.

Let’s see how I feel after that. I’ll probably have a better idea of what I need. I know that this is not sustainable.

But I’m going to explode.

I am very not sure I am going to be able to talk any one person into hitting me the way I want to be hit right now. These are all newish play experiences. They don’t know me as a bottom so they don’t really trust what they can do. I have to respect that tops have their own limits. (I’m not sure could deliver a first time scene to someone at the intensity level I want so I’m not mad at anyone. It’s fucking hard to trust someone like that. Topping is risky in a way bottoming isn’t.) So I’m kinda hanging my hopes on a culmination of pain. Please oh please let me get hurt enough.

I saw a doctor yesterday for std checking. She was adorable. I love Planned Parenthood doctors. She was very curious about the bruises on my breasts (of course starting with worried) and I said, “Don’t worry. I had to ask nicely to get that bruise.” She looked startled. “Wait, what?”

“I’m a masochist. I had to ask one of my slutty friends very very very very nicely to get that bruise.”

She laughed. “I can’t believe you call them your slutty friends.”

“Well, at some point it is truth in advertising.”

She laughed more.

She’s thrilled I come in often for checks when I’m active. Come on back. She agreed that sterilization sounds wise but they don’t do that. I’m looking into options near me.

It would be somewhat hilarious to do a gofundme “Do you want to ensure that Krissy never gets pregnant again so that she can be alive long enough to fuck *you*?”

I’m kidding. I’ll pay for it. But it’s funny in my head.

I feel really mean. I feel like I should just go back to monogamy and decide that it is good enough.

But I can’t. I hit a wall. This isn’t enough and it is making me crazy. It’s not enough. I feel like a selfish fucking asshole.

Noah is not enough.

I’m feeling almost giddy at all the possibilities that are available to me right now. All of the things I love to do that Noah… doesn’t even know I’ve done. That isn’t part of who he sees me as.

He sees me as someone to be available for the things he likes.

But I have so many other likes.

Noah is relatively simple and I am fucktastically complex. That’s hard. Well he wanted a crazy girl for excitement.

I made a tiny bit of progress on tile yesterday. I’ll do more today.

Oh! Tile is here. I should email the folks who said they could help. Not 100% of it arrived, but most of it. Enough that I could finish the tree if they were taken of the backing.

Right now I’m working on spring. It’s perty. Grass and flowers.

I’m sorry Noah. I wish I could be just the supportive character of your dreams. I really can’t. I am so many things. Just you wait and see. I don’t want to leave. I mean… I want to go play. But I want to come back. I want you to see these parts of me. I want you to know me. I want you to want me. I like how you want me. I like how you snuggle me to sleep night after night, year after year.

It isn’t that being with you is bad. It is that you don’t hunger to hurt me. I’m not actually angry about that. I have been seriously partnered with people who had that hunger. Notice how I’m here? I don’t want to live with that. I don’t want to live with someone who wants to hurt me that much on a regular basis. Not really.

But I do want to beard the lion in his den. Why?

Because losing is so fucking hot.

Not fair

I spend a lot of time worrying that what I want isn’t fair. Not to Noah, not to the people I am propositioning, not to my kids, maybe even not to me.

What is “fair”?

Noah is having some feelings about how much time I’m spending thinking about the folks I’m chasing. That is logical and reasonable. I haven’t spent much time with anyone yet. It’s mostly in my head and some IMing and letters and emails. It’s almost entirely emotional energy at this point. But he notices.

I feel like it isn’t fair that I forcefully reject the label of polyamorous because I just can’t take on being responsible for someone’s needs that way. This article reminds me that I don’t have much to offer.

The thing is… I actually do talk to my prey quite a bit. I think there is a big difference between one-offs I pick up at parties (where I usually will not even write down my email address or phone number or name: if you can remember my name to google me you can find me) and the people I…

am attached to.

Because this is love. I don’t want to call it polyamory because I have issues of my own. But this is love.

Why do I love my submissive? Because he is smart, funny, he’s a great father. I have barely met one of his children one time many many years ago in a waving from the car sort of thing (I think but I might be remembering wrong) so I’m judging from his self-descriptions.

But I know how much time he spends. I know what activities he engages in. I know how he encourages his kids to try and fail and get up again. I respect him.

Even though I disagree with some of the decisions that his personal beliefs lead him to make… I actually have respect for the fact that he has his faith and he is going to god damn act it out. It matters to him and I really respect that. I respect it when people take their faith (whatever that is) seriously.

My faith is it takes all kinds. And if we are going to all make it that will take money and help.

I love the way he has taken care of his slave. He has one of the longest term M/s relationships I know. They are so loving and considerate and caring. Being around them always makes me feel just a little bit happier that such people are in the world. I respect that they model how to talk to one another and be loving while having boundaries.

I even really respect the fact that even with ownership between them they get to do what they each need to do for their lives.

Because we are all different. We are all complicated. We all have such different needs. They show me one way of working out those different needs. They don’t switch together because that’s a complicated thing in a dynamic. But other people are different.

I can understand to some degree. I can’t switch with Noah. Sometimes that is hard. Sometimes I think it simplifies things and improves my life. I appreciate that Noah doesn’t have a strong need for me to turn on dominance with him when I’m totally not in the mood. That was hard with my Owner. He’s a very switchy person. He wanted to have ultimate control of what kind of stimulation he was getting when, but sometimes he wanted to be dominated on demand and that was serious work for me.

I have a deep, burning inner sadist but this dominance thing is different. No matter what my submissive is saying. He doesn’t know. Picture me sticking my tongue out but this is a smiley free zone.

Today I took youngest child to the penultimate ballet class of the series and I used the hour to exercise. I ran for 40 minutes then I did a bunch of crunches/push ups/planks/leg lifts/etc until I needed to get the kidlet.

I have an increasingly weird opinion of my body. Why can’t I get stronger and stay fat this isn’t fair. I do drop weight pretty fast when I start heavily exercising. I feel this awful feeling of “See. If you only cared about your looks you could be thin” and I want to scream back WATCH ME BUY 15 GALLONS OF ICE CREAM AND EAT IT ALL THIS WEEK MOTHERFUCKER I’LL SHOW YOU ‘CARES ABOUT LOOKS!”

Ahem. But I’m not sure that is actually good for my health. So I don’t know what I’m doing.

I want to be better able to ride Noah (or anyone else). So I want to get better at running. Because right now I want to do that. I’ve been having a lot of fun on top lately with Noah even though that is historically not much my thing.

Really lots has been changing about my sexual interests over the last few years. On one hand Noah is so ideal because he is up for trying anything with the merest suggestion. On the other hand I’ve kind of exhausted the things he really wants to try.

Even though people are constantly surprised that I’m not the top in the relationship… no… I like being a sexual follower. I like doing what you want to do err, but let’s be clear that is if you are in the mood to do what I like doing. Cause I’m a selfish shithead. I like being told what to do and how to do it. Even if what you like isn’t perfectly my favorite I really like that you want to tell me to do it.

So I’m in an interesting place with my submissive. He thinks I’ve been so dominant with him and I think I’ve been an incredibly perceptive service top. I say the things to you I wish someone was saying to me.

Sigh

I’m actually looking forward to Noah watching me top in a few weeks. He’s never seen me top Sarah. He’s never seen me seriously beat on anyone. I feel like… after ten years he gets to meet a whole new me.

This is terrifying and exciting at the same time.

I hope it doesn’t change how he sees me too much.

I need to review some anatomy lessons. Especially the bone structure of the face.

God I’m mean.

No marks anyone can see when you go to work. I’ll be good.

I may draw these lines with a bright red marker to remind me. And cross out the no-no areas on the body with bright red. Because I’m still learning new boundaries and it’s important I don’t fuck this up.

The amount of trust that is being placed in me, quite frankly, scares the shit out of me. Why would anyone put their physical safety in my hands like this? Why would anyone give me permission to do this much damage to their body?

Shit, why am I just about begging the Professor on my knees to be just as rough or worse with me?

Because I’m a masochist.

Because I’m a sadist.

Because I have wonderful, complimentary friends who can help take me to heights of ecstasy completely impossible in vanilla sex. I know. I’ve tried and tried and tried.

I want someone completely and totally pedantic to crawl inside my head and whisper pretty much whatever he wants because I have faith that he sees me better than I see myself and I think he will say things I should hear.

I hope my submissive trusts me for fairly similar reasons.

I know Sarah trusts me for that reason. Lots of history proving that I will tell you what you really need to get programmed into your inside voice as I cause your body to absolutely flood with chemicals so that these lessons can be beaten as deeply into your unconscious existence as possible.

You are good. You are worthy. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are so very necessary. You are wonderful. I see you. I am so happy you are here. Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for loving me. I love you. I love you. I love you.

The script varies and has different components but that’s kind of the basis of what I like to beat into people.

I don’t hit people because I want them to feel small or bad or wicked. I hit people because it is fucking hot and you are so fucking nice for letting me do this. Extra bonus points if it gets you off. I’m completely satisfied with you just enjoying it.

For me, and for some other perverts I know, bdsm is sex of the mind and the body but not necessarily of the genitals. It can involve the genitals but it doesn’t have to. It’s about the chemical experience of strong sensations in your body. It’s about the power dynamic of doing that to someone or letting someone do that to you. Submitting your body to someone else’s desires is hotter than the sun.

I mean, I think. But I’m highly sexually submissive. I just don’t do that without serious negotiation. I think those kinds of roles are things that must be highly explicitly stated. I think the expectations must be verbally agreed on or (preferably) written down so that can be reviewed as necessary.

Power exchange means permission to have expectations about how you will be treated. Without some serious verbal negotiation (or written for an ongoing relationship) it is inappropriate to get into a situation where you have serious expectations of how you will be treated.

Folks just don’t actually generally sign on for that. Not when it comes to pain play and power imbalanced relationships. Not anymore. Once upon a time such things were normal and expected but things have changed.

Now it’s abuse. If someone tries to control you or hurt you without extensively asking your permission they are an abuser and you need help.

Things change.

We have to adapt. Even if our wiring doesn’t want to. Even if we would be much more successful predators if we were more up front about our hunting.

Side note. There are many women in this world I’d like to meet and talk to. How does it feel to live in your world and have this many partners? I’m kinda a freak in my world.

I’m not sure they want to talk to me. Maybe I’ll find out some day.

You never know what might happen. Life is long.

It is weird how with every passing year I feel like I have more and more I want to do before I die. I feel so much more urgency to be busy and active and accomplish things. Shit. I might live to be as old as 80. That’s a lot of fucking time to fill. I’d better make lists. Or I’m going to be old and be pissed I wasted so much time.

Sometimes I’m quite angry with myself for how I spent my childhood. Then I try to find compassion. If I had been out trying to exercise by myself as I moved around as a child the horror stories I experienced would have been much more frequent.

It’s ok that I hid. I had good reasons. I need to stop hating myself for everything I had to do to get through hell.

It’s over. I can change now. I can do something different.

I feel guilty, Noah. I feel like I’m letting you down. I also feel like I’ve been dragging and dragging and dragging for a long time. I think you are filling my bucket with everything you have going spare.

I need a deluge from somewhere. So I have a nice safe deity lined up who will fuck me senseless and maybe eventually get around to hurting me; a nice safe Professor who will beat the shit out of me and (we’ll see); Sarah who wants me to gleefully beat on her while telling stupid jokes; and a nice submissive who wants me to make him bleed and bleed.

That’s a deluge if ever I’ve produced one. That’s a lot of energetic stuff going on.

I’ve never managed a line up that felt this intense this… instantly… before. April is going to be god damn intense.

Oh yeah, and I’ll be playing with Noah and our normal sex life will continue. Cause that’s not going to change.

I have a very hard time feeling like this is ok. But whether it is ok or not I am going to do it. Because Noah is the only person who could stop me (other than my proposed partners losing interest) and he’s… ok with it.

Maybe that’s over stating. He’s nervous right now.

I get it. I’m being a selfish bitch.

I feel like I am about to god damn explode out of this little box that my life is allowed to be. This is not all of who I am. I am big. I am so many things. I am so many people. I want so many experiences at so many intensity levels. I want all of it. I want all of you.

I’m a little surprised I managed to damn this for four years. That’s my longest stretch of monogamy in my life.

Watch the riverbanks flood. Just wait. Soon there will be so much green.

Speaking of which: I’m very happy with how the tile mosaics are coming along. As long as these people I already dislike manage to install this well… I will live in a gorgeous house. I’m a lot more talented than I thought, which is kind of funny.

I can make beautiful things. No, not perfect. No I don’t make pictures that look like photographs. But I help people feel feelings.

That’s all I’m trying to do.

Different people encourage me to look at myself in different ways. Yes, they may call me filthy names, but they also concretely say, “Let’s look at x, y, and z and talk about it objectively.”

Because the filthy names are at uhm, my request. It’s ok. It gets me off.

So the whore thing is so complicated. On one hand I want to stop having this negative thing in my head where I keep coming back to this awful place of feeling bad about who I am. On the other hand if someone is hurting me and fucking me and whispers that I’m a whore and I should come…

I will. Over. And over. And over.

I kinda don’t want to give that up just cause it isn’t pc? It is super hot.

But I want it to stop being part of my negative tape when I am having a bad day. I want to stop randomly feeling bad about myself and calling myself a whore because of it. That’s dumb.

I want to change that.

But eliminating the word whore from my life entirely isn’t it.

That would be easier. Avoiding this powder keg would be easier. But then I wouldn’t get to orgasm like that and I’m not that pc.

 

Peace

This morning I had a peaceful moment. One of those true, Zen moments of “I am happy and this is where I want to be.” Eldest Child woke up to use the restroom too early. I was awake doing chores, like usual. She asked me if I would climb in bed with her so she could sing me a lullaby. Twinkle Twinkle was the song of choice. Then she spent a while talking to me about why she likes me.

This is kind of a habit I have with the kids. I don’t put them to bed all the time, probably not even half the time these days at home. Maybe a quarter of the time? But we had the road trip and all the years before that of shared bed times. At bed time, what we do is we cuddle up close and spent 15-20 minutes talking about all the reasons we like each other. “You did ____ and I was so impressed with your thoughtfulness. You did ______ and I was shocked to see that you have made that developmental jump. I thought that was a (age inflation) thing and I’m really wow’ed. You said ______ word today and that was surprising because I didn’t know you knew that word!”

We bookend that with waking up to morning snuggles. During morning snuggles we talk about what we need to do today and how the schedule will work.

I can understand why my children insist I’m not an asshole and I just have bad moments. I don’t understand it so much from other people. Sometimes I feel like my children get to have a relationship with someone that no one else even gets to meet.

Sometimes I am capable of seeing myself as kind, giving, and loving.

That doesn’t change the fact that I’m an asshole.

Contradiction is necessary for life. For survival. You can be kind and an asshole.

Why am I so convinced I’m an asshole? Because I lawyer up fast when my contractors give me trouble. Because I find that swearing at men really harshly is one of the best ways to convince strange men I’m not interested in their attention. Because I find that sometimes it is necessary to kick people really hard to get them to let go and I’m willing to do it. Because I’m going to keep talking about why the word whore is eating my brain even though people with sex work careers twitch and feel really upset about it.

Want to hear something wild? Yesterday one of the most famous sex workers of our era gave me permission to use the word whore however I need to in my processing. She says if anyone questions me again I can send them to her.

That is… incredibly validating. Wow. Thanks.

I’m not sure I’m ever going to pull that card. But I may print out that tweet and cut it up small and put it in my wallet next to the permission slip from Noah. Just so that I think about it.

I have permission to look at this however hard I need to in order to get over it. She said so.

I am so fucking weird about permission. I’ve spent my whole life cringing, crying, and hurting myself because I felt that was the only thing I was allowed to do without permission. I need permission to stop. I need permission to feel something else about myself.

Why does that have to be the default? I mean, blame your parents yada yada, why does that have to be my default?

Why do I have to assume, in every moment, that I am the least valuable person present and if someone should die it should be me?

Not that I want to get to the point of wanting to sacrifice other people for myself.

Wait, maybe that is it.

I have never known a white person with really high self esteem who isn’t willing to throw other people under the bus for their own advancement. I have known people of color with high self esteem whom I have never seen sacrifice a friend. I know people of color who are exploitive assholes, too.

I’m trying to think through my white friends… y’all make very self absorbed choices. I do too. I’m not sitting on a high horse. I’m sitting flat on the ground. I’m not high and mighty here. I’m trying to figure out how this works.

I am willing to throw people under a bus if I feel I have to do so in order to be effective.

That’s why I’m an asshole. I need accurate labeling so other people know they have to protect themselves from me.

want to help you. I will try to help you. But if I feel I have to be effective in some area for Reasons…

I’m a selfish piece of shit. That’s why I’m alive. I’m willing to say that Safeway doesn’t matter as much as me, I’m stealing food. I’m willing to say, “Being around people who make choices like x is so problematic to me that I will bug and bug and bug people who make choices like that until they don’t want to know me any more.”

I’m an asshole because I make a lot of assumptions about people and I don’t check my privilege nearly often enough. I’m trying to get better. This is hard.

My life has been kind of hard to adjust to.

I spent my childhood moving like a ghost through different communities. I never stayed long enough to belong. I lived in a lot of neighborhoods where we were the only white family. I grew up feeling like being white was a bad thing. Know why? White people don’t care about their kids very much. That was how I experienced it as a child. I don’t think that is literally true across the board. That was my experience. In white neighborhoods there were always packs of unsupervised children doing horrifyingly inappropriate things. In neighborhoods of color there might be much older teenagers or 20-somethings causing trouble, but the kids were god damn watched.

I was chased out of so many homes for having bad behavior. I was told I was a bad girl dozens, maybe a hundred times.

It’s funny how my memories of these things change and drift. I remember them very differently as my understanding of the situation changes.

When I was 21ish I honestly didn’t remember all those lectures about being bad. I had kinda blocked them out. I knew I was bad but it was a fog hanging over my life. I didn’t have all those disparate voices going through my head.

As a parent watching my children be children (by which I mean breaking rules and fucking up) I hear those people in my head over and over more and more clearly. Oh. That was why they said that.

Click.

Now I get it.

Shit.

I have always felt like I was living in many ages at once. But I feel like my future selves have changed a lot over my life. My ability to perceive who I could be has changed.

These days I can picture having grandchildren who scornfully tell my children that they should be more patient, like Grammie. I will giggle. My children will say, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS LIKE TO GROW UP WITH.” I will giggle.

Do you have any idea what having that vision in my head means to me? I have the belief that I might be able to arrive at having the kind of experience of being in my body that I want to have. I believe that I might get to the point of being actually regulated and calm.

I have hope for something I was not capable of dreaming up 20 years ago.

It’s amazing what ten years of safety can do for a body. I see it in myself. I see it in my children. That is something that home schooling does for me that isn’t necessary for almost anyone else I know.

I require this specific time to be set aside in my adult life where the entire point of my day is to model how to have big emotions, get them under control, deal with them appropriately when they come up, and then keep working.

Not suppressing. Not denying. Not minimizing. Not avoiding until it comes crashing down on you at some inappropriate time in the future. Your feelings matter. They live in you and they serve a purpose. If you ignore them in the moment you will pay a price later. There are times and places where emotional displays are not appropriate, but get that stuff out as fast as possible so it doesn’t become a poison.

I am grateful every day for the life I am leading right now.

I have the safety, the money, the access to care providers, and the education to do something about the trauma in my body.

That is magical. This should be available to everyone who has experienced trauma. We would be a better world.

People deserve to be seen in context and understood. Most people who seem “crazy” to you wouldn’t seem so crazy if you knew more about their story. I tell my children all the time, “Weird just means you aren’t used to it yet; eventually it is just normal.”

My mom used to say, “The only norma people are the ones you don’t know very well.”

One of my neighbors is stepping up the offer of maternal-nature-friendship. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, Thank You Oh Universe, You Sure Do Like To Hear My Calls, Don’t You?

On the other hand… I’m scared of blowing up what we currently have if she finds out more about me. I’m not exactly the uhhhh conservative type and she is quite shy, scared, and sheltered. I don’t want to hurt her. She will need a lot of boundaries around the kinds of things she can handle hearing and I’m not sure how to find those boundaries without fucking up pretty badly. Once you say something it can never be unsaid.

We have a really solid, positive relationship. Losing it would be brutal. This feels really tricky. Our families are fairly strongly connected at the level we have now. I feel really like this is a big risk. Much bigger than telling all the strangers on the internet about my raunchy sex life and habit of beating people up for fun.

I’m kinda weird.

My superego is fucking developed at this point, ok? I’m growing up.

I’m an asshole and she is not. She wants to mother me. What will she do when she finds out I have approximately 500 x’s as much life experience as her?

There is a thing I think about. When I was in the bdsm community I was really serious about learning all I could as fast as I could. I played a lot with a lot of people. Basically I spent more time on bdsm than I spent on my college education, which I was pursuing simultaneously. Much Much Much more time on bdsm.

I was a serious slut and it was really fun and I have no regrets. I learned what I wanted to learn from that experience. I’m shocked at how often I find ways to apply the lessons I’ve learned, not in ways you’d expect.

I had more life experience at 25 than many people have at 50. It isn’t hyperbole, it is simple fact. I say yes to almost anything that comes up. I know very diverse people in many communities. I’m a moody bastard with a short attention span.

I’ve done a lot of things. It is something I notice when I meet new people these days. I sound like a lying braggart. Nope. I got receipts. I did all that. Why? Because I never felt like I had a better choice than to do what I was doing so I did it all in. As soon as something stops feeling like the best choice in the moment I break down, fall into a deep depression. Go home. Hurt myself until I figure out that the boundaries required in that community are not things I can maintain long-term. Then I heal. Then I try again.

It goes faster and faster as I age and get boundaries carved out of granite. It is harder to change them. I am less tolerant of my internal, “I need to conform by doing x in this environment” sensor and I just flee.

I have a home now. I have less reason to tolerate your bullshit rules. Wanna know why I know they are bullshit rules? Cause this ain’t my first rodeo. Don’t worry, I think the rules in my house are bullshit too. They are all weird and arbitrary. They are made to suit the moods of whichever asshole in the vicinity is loudest.

I know.

I used to know a man who liked to say, “I’m the only psycho in this relationship” or maybe he said he was the only one who gets to be crazy? I may be misremembering. I’ll cop to that.

I need to be the biggest asshole in the space I’m in. So Noah is an asshole, but I know that I’m much more likely to be the one to bulldoze than him.

It works for us. Picture a heart emoji here, but I have technically banned them so this will have to do.

He doesn’t think I’m an asshole. That’s part of why this works. I think we are both assholes and I’m just a bigger one. But he’s all mellow and tolerant so it works out. Do you however you need to, ok?

I’m going to be kinda passive aggressive here and say: if you are one of Noah’s friends… this is a great time to ask him to go out some time. He needs to talk. To more people than just me right now cause life is like that sometimes.

I can’t fill his tank as much as he needs me to right now. Because I’m dealing with the remodel and and and. His job is kinda hard.

I need to go beat the shit out of people. I don’t know what he needs. But right now, he’s wilting like a flower and that’s a serious bummer. I don’t know what it is that is missing right now, but clearly all the right nutrients aren’t in place.

This is the kind of micromanaging, paying attention that I want in my life. It is why I appreciate the people who have stuck with me and really got to know me so much. Because I’m more pushy like this by the year. Because people do it more with me. It’s a careful balance. How much controlling and influencing other people should we do?

I really don’t know where those boundaries ought to be. I’m not pulling up Noah’s email account and making plans for him. That’s over the line.

Where is the line?

Everyone is different. I want you to get to be who you need to be. I want to figure out who I need to be and I want to just do the shit out of it.

This feels like baby steps towards self love, doesn’t it? This morning feels good. I have to say that these piles of tile are inspiring. I may be jaunting off to get more sparkly tiles today. I’m really excited about the snow wall. I want to build that first because I have so much white and it would be nice to get it mostly used up and out of the way so I see how much I need to still buy in terms of tile for the rest of the bathroom. I really can’t tell yet.

It depends on how high up the walls I want to go, right? We’ll see!

Youngest child’s half bathroom is spring. Other half bathroom is summer. The bathing room is going to have autumn and winter. I can’t wait to look at the sparkly snow while I take baths in candle light at night. That will be so beautiful.

I’m serious my friends, if you want to come take a bath… let me know.

I’m thinking hard about how I want to make the tree of life that will climb up the wall over the bath tub. I need to look at more pictures. That will probably be that last bit I design because much of it might be painted, I haven’t decided.

I know that “traditionally speaking” you want flat walls. I’m not going to have flat walls with perfectly level tile. It’s going to be pretty rough and it will be on purpose and structured and artistic. I think it will work.

Oh please God let this work cause this puppy is going to be expensive if I fuck up.

Go big or go home, bitch.

Oh goodness what did I get myself into?!

Have I told you that the floor will have a stone path lined with green tiles to look like grass?

I’m having SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FUN.

If only the roof weren’t uhm, being tricky. We are still negotiating. I’m blathering on Twitter but I won’t rehash it here. Just… gotta keep walking on. I’m trying to not be angry. At this point all of the guys in the company have apologized for making decisions without me when clearly they made the wrong choice at a critical juncture. I had preferences and they didn’t ask. Even though I’ve told them over and over and over I want to be asked.

Ok. Trying to move on. Have to get this shit finished. If it’s beautiful… I will still write positive reviews with caveats about how I had to be fierce in advocating for myself.

I made it very clear that from here on out the crew was not to dump their lunch garbage all over and leave it here for weeks. Saw blades are all over the ground and that’s not cool. My lawyer was at this meeting. I should stop talking about it for all kinds of reasons.

I wanted to write something down here for documenting purposes. Instead, I hit cut’n’paste and sent it to my lawyer.

That seems smart just now.

Past self, you picked this woman out based on proximity and hope. Well done!

Today will be a good day, I think. I hope. I believe. Oh yeah, a friend asked if she could come over to dinner. I should tell Noah. Ha. Surprise. We have six people coming over for dinner.

Roll with it. Life flows like that. If people ask to come over for dinner the next night and I have no plans…. I’m weak. I have no willpower for that kind of rejection. Because you hit my sweet spot. Basically no output of energy and lots of input of attention. Yeah, you can do that. Sounds awesome. I have to cook anyway. Don’t worry. I always have enough food around.

You never know who might be coming to dinner.

 

Hurt

Tonight I woke up a little weird. I was doing some processing on Twitter. I got a few DMs from someone telling me I have to “just stop the whore thing because you are hurting me because I was a whore”. My response was, “I don’t know you. I don’t know your story. I’m not talking about you. I’m working through my stuff. If it hurts you, opt out. Don’t tell me to stop.” So I got a block. That seems appropriate.

I’m not mad at being blocked. That is the right choice. If I bother you… block me. Yes I have problematic behaviors. Yes, talking about the “whore” thing is hard and tricky. But I’m not talking about you. I go to lengths to make it clear I’m working through an emotional existential thing and I’m not talking about sex work or sex workers. I’m talking about my issues and associations and history with the word whore.

If you tell me I can’t process… you are saying I can’t get over it. You don’t want me to get over it. You want me to be silent. I don’t owe you that. If someone I was very close to needed to ask me for boundaries, that would be different.

If I defaulted to silence on every topic that might upset a stranger I should just wire my lips shut and be done with it.

I give trigger warnings because I know these topics really upset people. Hell, they upset me. But I can’t pretend this isn’t happening to make you more comfortable at the expense of myself.

I don’t owe you that.

Literally, my Twitter bio is a long trigger warning. That’s all it does. “I talk about upsetting stuff like _____.”

Given that my father called me a whore so many times… I have stuff to work out there. Even if other people have different stuff to work out. I’m not trying to tromp on your issues. I’m trying to work through my head. If that is a problem for you, opt out.

Don’t tell me to stop doing the work. I really need to do this work.

She came back to tell me that I am a SWERF then blocked me again.

I’m pretty clear that what is going on here is not all about me. There are layers here. I don’t want to erase the experience of sex workers. I don’t want to eliminate their rights. I think sex workers are people who have jobs. I think I was abused and I’m trying to rewire my brain and that requires me to talk about the ways I was abused.

I don’t think that other people who identify as whores are bad. I think that I have an association because of my father that I need to change.

I don’t know how to do that in silence.

Trauma, victimization, & consent

Good golly. Woke up to great sex in the middle of the night and now I’m not sleepy. So instead I’m thinking about trauma and victimization, like a normal person. What? That’s not weird, right?

I think that trauma can happen without being a victim and I think that being a victim can happen without trauma. I think that consent is a nearby Venn circle that overlaps both in weird ways.

I think it is completely possible to consent to things that traumatize the fuck out of you for the rest of your life. I think it is possible to be a victim, to have your consent taken away and not be traumatized. I think it is possible to be a victim and be traumatized and to consent at the same time.

Why?

Because I feel like I’ve lived about fifteen lives in one and I’ve seen a lot of shit. Not just that happens to me. I pay a lot of attention to trauma and assault and rape.

Why are these things different?

I’m not going to look up the dictionary definitions this time. Connotative/denotative meanings… I’m defining for myself today.

Trauma is about a physical response in your body to something bad/scary/overwhelming. It’s a physiological process. You can be traumatized by things you consent to and you can be traumatized by things you do not consent to. People vary dramatically in what will traumatize them. Some people are genuinely not traumatized by rape. It is a bad thing that happens and they move on. Others… they are permanently physically impacted by their experiences. Something being traumatic or not tells you little about scale.

Being a victim is about whether or not you want them to happen. I think you can consent to things and still be a victim. If you feel your consent is coerced, if you are not really safe enough to say no… you can consent and still be a victim. I don’t know how much I think that your ability to get yourself out of a situation or not plays in with victimization.

I am pretty sure my father would be able to get away with saying that there were times I “consented” to what he did with me. But I was still a victim. Why? Because it should not have been happening. It was a crime and it damaged me. It didn’t matter whether I consented or not because I had no ability to understand what I was consenting to.

Adult rape. Paul. Situation: I was in my 20’s, at a sex party while on drugs. I didn’t want unprotected sex and he did. I did not consent to unprotected sex. I repeatedly said no. I wasn’t able to physically resist (yes, I know that was my choice) but I was saying no. I was conscious. I was trying to prevent it. That means I think that legally I was the victim of a crime. Is it one of the more traumatic experiences of my life?

Hahahahahaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa no.

I don’t feel particularly traumatized by that rape. Not really. I don’t wake up to nightmares of his face. I don’t feel terrified of what will happen if we run into one another (we could; this is a small valley).

So, no consent, no real trauma, yes victimization.

The kid who kicked me in the throat. We had a habit of play fighting/wrestling. I think that he did not intend to land a kick on my throat. He was just a kid who lacked finesse, control, and understanding. So quasi-consent. I think technically it was an assault. Do I feel like a victim? Not really. I think it was an assault but not a crime because it was an accident. Do I feel traumatized?

Ok, I do feel kinda haunted by the swollen throat feeling… because it reminded me so much of my brother. I don’t think I was traumatized so much by the incident but from the feeling of, “Oh my fucking god I DO NOT WANT a tracheotomy.”

I feel… I feel feelings about the mom. I don’t think that she victimized me. I don’t feel traumatized. But I feel like she is someone who would push me down in front of a bus and then tell me it was my fault. I feel like every warning signal in my body tells me that any woman who says, “You weren’t assaulted and if you were it was your fault” is so fucking dangerous I wish I was in a different time zone.

Is that about trauma, victimization, or consent? Call it the Spidey sense I developed after other assaults. I don’t want to stand near someone who has such an attitude. It’s a warning shot.

Quite literally, that is the kind of woman who uhm… yeah. That’s why we are where we are as a society. Congratulations to us.

Rich white woman hears her son commits assault? Blame the victim! Can’t be my perfect baby! (Ok this happens in other demographics too with other gender combinations. But I’m feeling pissy!)

Guess what? White kids are pieces of shit too. Just sayin’.

Not that I actually think that kid is a piece of shit. I think he isn’t being guided in the ways he should be guided and that’s tragic.

If someone comes to me and tells me that my children did something violent, awful, or otherwise worthy of judging the shit out of… my response won’t be “No they didn’t.” My response is going to be, “Ok, slow down and start at the beginning. I think I need to hear the whole story.”

I’m pretty sure that my kids can fuck up. Just sayin’.

I think I have gotten to the point where I am a relatively decent person. I started out lying, stealing, hitting people, breaking things, starting house fires, stealing cars…

I’m not in a position to judge. People fuck up.

Why am I thinking about these things? Because I’m trying to judge myself. Because I’m trying to figure out if I am as bad as I think. I’m trying to figure out what being so bad means. I’m trying to figure out how to stop hurting people.

But you know what? I think I’ll always hurt people. I’m not going to stop talking about the fact that I exist. Knowing that I’m here is going to hurt people.

I can’t really do anything about that.

If your safety depends on my being invisible then I guess you don’t get to be safe. Sorrynotsorry.

I think that when the vast majority of people say “the world is like” they really mean “I know a dozen or so people who are like”. The world is a god damn big place. Guess what? We are all weird and different. I draw great comfort from that; it’s why I get to be alive.

I have heard a saying about teachers coming into your life when you need them. I think that people tend to have the experiences they go looking for.

Some people want to be ignored. Some people want to be noticed. Some people want to have intense interactions. Some people want to hide.

Ever noticed how each person is completely convinced that the world they live in is “the world”? Ever notice how they do it by conveniently ignoring the people they walk past that completely contradict their view? Confirmation bias, my friends.

I think one of the most monstrous things about me is how loudly I’m willing to turn up my reality distortion filter. I’m experiencing the world I need to experience. Whatever that means. I’m going to tell you about it. Even if it fucks with your world view. Cause honey badger don’t give a shit. Yes, you think life shouldn’t be about violence and pain. Good for you.

I’m woo enough that I more or less believe we pick the lives we have because there are lessons to gain here. I’m either paying for being Hitler or for some insane reason I picked a life where I was going to have to learn as many painful lessons as possible.

A kind woman shared an Eve Ensler video with me about embracing your inner girl. I think she (Eve) had some good things to say but I was struck by something. (I’ve never seen the Vagina Monologues.) Eve spent a lot of time talking about the pain she’s seen… but she kept bringing herself back to it. “I’m going to tell you about this awful thing that happened to my daughter. I adopted her.” Uhm.

You really could have told the story without making yourself the hero.

Even if that is the relationship that is happening you could have supported her without centering yourself.

That. That’s what I don’t want to do with the incest research. I don’t want it to be about how these stories make me feel. I am going to be traumatized by hearing them, yes. So fucking what?! No one asked me to listen. This is my personal thing I’m doing. The work is my personal thing. The stories I hear are not my personal stories. I’m going out into the world looking for these stories–it is the very opposite of victimization. Even if it is traumatic, it will be done with full consent. How do I center the work and the stories and not myself? How do I tell the story without it being about my trauma. I’m kinda obsessed with my trauma and shit. Well, maybe I’ll always be allowed to whine here about how I’m feeling but when I speak publicly it will not be about me. I think that’s a reasonable boundary? Am I ever going to feel like it is ok to talk about me?

With the Impact instructors there is a tense/weird parting thing at the end of the class. They cannot have any social contact with students for a year after a class. And when they talk about it they all go really stone faced in unison. “We are protecting ourselves.”

What does it mean to do work with traumatized people and be traumatized by the experiences and not get muddy about who is hurting whom?

Well I guess I’m going to fucking find out. How much you wanna bet there will be drama galore for me around this?

Not “drama” but intense emotional surges.

Like I do. Sigh.

Signing off.

Totally flooded.

I haz big feelings. My stomach hurts. But I feel like I worked out this awful thing that has been in my neck/shoulder for years. I feel like I did a major trauma release in this class. That’s kinda intense. Exposure therapy for the win.

This is what exposure therapy means. The attackers are safe guys in suits who maintain their distance so they can maintain their aura of scary. But they are monitored by women the whole time. It isn’t some guy deciding to do something to a woman when he feels like it and she should have to react right. That’s not exposure therapy. Exposure therapy means a female coach kneeling with her face next to your face whispering, “Remember to breathe. Stop. Wait for the moment. You can do this.”

Stop calling real life abuse exposure therapy. It isn’t. Ok, digression over.

My second experience at Impact was fairly different from the first. I didn’t have a friend in the class. It felt like the group warmed up slower but then made more genuine connections once we did warm up. Everyone started off tentative and not too chatty but by the final day we were pretty friendly. That felt nice.

I took a risk the morning of the third day. I said that the cheering wasn’t making it through to me during my fights and I really needed the line to get louder and more encouraging because it’s scary to fight in quiet. I feel alone. I have to say, those women came through once I made a specific request. They did great.

I didn’t ask for more than one extended fight this time. I literally just… couldn’t. By the time I got through the one extended fight my body was saying, “Let the men make them easy from here on out.”

The guys… they have to work ridiculously hard to do an extended fight with the people who really want blood. They do extended fights to teach women that even when you feel exhausted (this is as close as they will get to the exhaustion of a fight where you will be dealing with someone hitting you) and tired and worn out you can still defend yourself. I think I have a better understanding of fighting from a place of exhaustion from the get go, so I didn’t need the exercise this weekend.

I chose to leave a few spoons in my drawer. Because today I seriously need to pay attention to the kids and if I had left it all out on the mat I would spend today in bed crying. I just couldn’t. This wasn’t a real fight to the death so it would have been inappropriate to wear myself out that hard so I couldn’t hang with the kids.

I pay attention to these things.

Topic switch. Back to hitting.

Yes, I think (upon further reflection) what I am doing with Noah unconsciously probably would be better termed a tap or a light smack… but that is still putting my hands on someone else’s body in a way I’m not paying attention to. In a way that he chooses to describe as being hit. Because he gets that choice. I need to stop it.

Just like people don’t get to tell me that when the kid kicked me in the throat it wasn’t assault. Yes, actually it was an assault. I’m not going to prosecute because I don’t think the kid had malicious intent. But it was an assault.

It is possible to hit and not be causing (permanent) damage. Not be hurting people. Still be a problem. Still need to stop.

I need to have so much fucking control over my body that I do not put my hands on people at all unless I am doing it in a way that I am highly conscious and in control of exactly what I’m doing. I can’t be muddy. I can’t be like “Close enough is good enough.” Not with what I want to do with my life.

So maybe I’m over reacting and maybe I’m understanding how much work I have left on this problem. I need to stop hitting people. Entirely. 100000% unless someone is directly threatening my physical safety.

I know I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to live in gray areas but this is a black and white thing. I’ve done too much hitting in my life. I need to get this under control.

I mean, not that I’m going to cancel that nice date with my friend. I’m going to do everything in my power to get to the point where I only hit people (even lightly) when they say, “Pretty please”. Or they start a fight.

I spent a lot of this class thinking about escalation. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I escalate.

I know it’s all victim blamey and shit, but yeah a lot of the fights, a lot of the rapes kinda happened because I had no ability to deescalate. It hurts seeing that so plainly over time. I am not good at managing peoples emotions in a deescalating way. I’m good at cranking the volume up. I stimulate feelings I don’t settle them. This is a problem.

I think about things like the neighbor who has been sexually harassing me. Did I encourage him? I don’t think so. 90%+ of the time I talk to him my kids are standing right there and I don’t encourage displays of sexuality in front of my children. So I’m inclined to believe this is his desperate fantasy that he isn’t dead yet and he’s still sexually interesting instead of this being about me. But do I deescalate properly when he brings stuff up? Mostly I call the kids and keep walking when he gets rude. What else should I be doing?

Well I think kicking the crap out of him then telling him I cannot be in control if a man grabs me may have been effective. He’s keeping more physical distance these days.

But is he going to creep again? My guess is yes. Because creepers gonna creep. Does it make it all my fault if it happens again because I’m stupid enough to talk to him?

You know what? I get to walk around my god damn neighborhood without having to physically fight off unwanted sexual advances. That’s fucking ridiculous. No this isn’t my fault and I should not have to avoid walking down my own god damn street to avoid being sexually harassed. That’s not reasonable. If he starts shit I’m not the one escalating. He is. I’m just not going to fucking be passive. I’m very friendly and non-threatening with him. I have no desire to hurt him. I’m just not going to let him do shit to me I don’t want to have done.

That has to be ok. No matter how old he is. No matter how much I like him. No matter if I know any man ever again.

I get to say yes to everything that happens to my body. Or I get to fucking hurt you. That’s the deal.

I’m getting closer to the point where I feel I could actually do it in a fight.

It was hard having Noah there. I asked him if he thought I could stop him if he tried to rape me at this point. He isn’t convinced.

I need to take more classes. It is 100% my goal to be able to so deeply scare men that they do not believe they could successfully do that again.

Not because I want to hurt men. Because I’m not going to be raped again. I’m done. The passive has been raped right the fuck out of me. I’ve taken all I can take.

It is quite literally my goal to die before letting someone rape me again. I want to fight to the point where someone has the choice to kill me or leave me alone.

I’m done.

Something broke and it can’t be fixed.

To be fair, Noah didn’t see my extended fight. He saw the easy peasy fights the instructors give you to blow off steam so you walk out of the room feeling strong so you don’t leave feeling like you should walk in front of a bus. They plan this shit. They know the roller coaster they put people on. Noah didn’t see quite how effective I am at kicking peoples skulls in. I practice from a variety of angles. I’m semi-worried that I will actually kill someone because I’m going to be kicking with such incredible force and anger. I may well shove someones face into their brain.

I won’t lose sleep over that. Ok, yes I will. I will be convinced I’m a monster who should be killed. Maybe I’ll go to jail and think that’s fair.

But I won’t be god damn raped that day.

I feel dangerous and horrible. But yes I am prepared to use deadly force to prevent someone from raping me again.

I have to believe I deserve that or I need to die today because I cannot endure another rape. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

I’m done. I have to believe I am allowed to kill someone to stop them if necessary. I know that in an actual fight I will have to use the minimum amount of force necessary to stop a fight. I know that. The chances I will get to a fight that results in death are incredibly freakishly low. Only I’m going to pursue a career that will make people hate me with the power of the sun.

So maybe my chances aren’t vanishingly small. Maybe they just aren’t that high?

I don’t know that I am yet at a point where I am capable of holding the adrenaline in and just doing the necessary hurting.

During one of my fights the suited instructor literally ran out of the room to get away from me because I was chasing too much.

I mean, I didn’t chase him off the mat. But I did take steps in his direction. I hear that the expression on my face was uhhhhh… terrifying.

I don’t know if that is a regular schtick of theirs to try and break the tension because it’s funny. Or if he felt like that is actually how an attacker would respond because holy shit.

I don’t know.

You never know.

They call the rape prevention moves “reversals”. Because you are reversing the power. Those are the ones where you have to stay still on the floor and use physics and it’s scary and complicated and fairly precise. I find them horrifyingly triggering.

It’s really hard to say, “I tried that and what happened was…” I failed. That’s what happened. I failed when I tried to do that. I didn’t prevent a rape that day.

Ahhh. I tried to move long before I felt weight. There was no physics to help me. Fuck everything. Well, specifically he fucked me. After slamming my head into the ground so hard I saw stars. I stopped fighting.

I don’t know if it would be different today. I don’t actually feel confident. That was just a fucking class. I was chanting to myself the whole time, “There is no chance this man would actually rape you. There are witnesses. He’s wearing very difficult clothing. This isn’t real.” Because I wanted to run screaming I was so fucking freaked out. But… that means it isn’t that real in my body.

Would I be able to access this when I’m scared? I’ve worked so hard for so many years to break the freeze response. I’m tired of going numb. But it is a genuine survival skill. I have worked hard to make it less likely I will survive.

I’m ready to die or assert myself. One or the other. But I do not yet know for sure that I’d win.

It is hard believing that I would kill to defend myself and that is part of why I am a disgusting person. I don’t know that I really believe I have the right. I am bad. I want to hurt people.

Not really. I’m just god damn done letting them hurt me.

That’s not true either. I do want to hurt people. I want to hurt people who like being hurt because it released kinetic energy from my body and it allows me to be more calm and gentle when necessary and appropriate.

Hitting is all of these things. It is tapping Noah when I shouldn’t. Even though it doesn’t hurt I’m touching someone without consent in a way that can be described as hitting. My friend who is inviting me to a lovely session of testicle kicking, that’s hitting too. It is completely consensual. He’s going to have a good time, I’m going to have a good time–it’s going to be fun! And being willing to beat someone unconscious for trying to rape me.

It’s all hitting. It is all violence. But do they mean the same things? Should they be treated the same way legally? Should they be treated like trauma because “hitting”?

Everyone gets to decide for themselves what is traumatizing. I’ve done bdsm scenes that were WAY more intense/painful/fucking out there than my rapes. My rapes traumatized me. My rapes were an action that I did not consent to happening to my body in a way that proved to me that I do not have the right to have agency over myself or my life. My bdsm scenes were done with friends and they were fun. Even if they were painful and scary. I knew what I was signing on for. I did it on purpose. I did it with full force and vigor and choice.

That makes all the difference.

I don’t feel traumatized by the throat kick. I feel like I learned something about boundaries.

If you fuck up and assault someone… that isn’t the end of the world. How you respond afterwards is what matters.

If you fuck up and assault someone on purpose… that’s different.

I genuinely believe there are accidental assaults all the time. Just like there is involuntary manslaughter.

Ok, I have one specific complaint about the class this time: I really didn’t appreciate the “boogeyman homeless guy” thing. That fucking pissed me off. The vast majority of assaults are someone you know. Leave the fucking homeless guys alone. They are doing their fucking best and I’m god damn tired of the nastiness of housed people.

Being homeless does not mean you are a god damn rapist.

That’s the attitude though. Homeless guys are creepy and scary. Do you know why they creep you out? Because you feel like they aren’t like you and that’s gross. I feel like they are like me and they are in a hard place right now.

I don’t need to feel scared of someone who has so little power and authority in life compared to me. Am I prepared to defend myself if someone does start something? Sure. But I’ve been interacting with homeless people for decades. I’ve done so all over the country and in other countries.

I’m not scared of homeless people. They are scared of me.

Why? Because they know I can call the cops and have them put in jail. That’s how the power dynamic works. Can I really? Would the cops do it? Maybe. But it’s pretty likely. If any of you dressed-like-you-live-in-a-house-people called the police on a homeless person there is a high chance the homeless person is getting arrested.

For vagrancy. For loitering. For trespassing. For intimidation. For assault.

Even if that assault was accidental. Who cares? It’s a homeless person. They are creepy and icki. We don’t want them around, prosecute.

Stop. Calling. The. Cops. On. Creepy. Homeless. People.

Unless you see them commit a serious crime, just leave them the fuck alone. Ok? They have enough god damn problems without whiny people harassing them.

(I’m not really talking to a specific person or even the folks in the class. I’m mad at the universe over this one.)

I’M TALKING TO THOSE ASSHOLES ON NEXTDOOR.

“I saw a homeless person on my street so I called the police.” I hope you die slowly in a lot of pain.

Like those assholes who called the cops on me in Virginia. I looked suspicious. I had out of state license plates and camping gear. Clearly I was up to no good.

This is my cranky face.

It is weird trying to find a place where compassion and the right to break your face live right side by side. Because in being able to defend myself like this… I’m trying to have compassion for myself. I’m allowed to say that 12 rapists in one life is enough. I’m allowed to say that I was 25 when I was last raped and that’s god damn when it ended. I’m allowed to absolutely fucking harm anyone who tries again.

That is what compassion for myself means. Maybe another woman could passively permit a rape and not kill her attacker and later prosecute and that would be the most “ethical” choice of all… or something.

I can’t absorb any more.

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

How do you get ready to actually be able to kill someone if you have to? I don’t want to. I really don’t want to.

Shit I already feel guilty that people seem to kill themselves after dealing with me.

(Yes, I know I am not “at fault” for any of these suicides. Life is complicated.)

In class someone thought it was funny to make a joke about fire. I sure know how to shut down jokes about fire. It was asked “Does anyone have any trauma around fire? No? Good….” Then I raised my hand. “Yeah, my brother self immolated.”

I bring all the fun jokes to an end.

God I suck.

Hell, I’m not even saying to stop using the joke. It’s ok to jokingly tease a group of people and tell them the final test will involve jumping through a fiery hoop. That’s not a bad joke. That’s not a real threat.

That’s ok.

But god I can kill any joke.

I am so not funny that it is really really funny. It is to the point where my litany of traumas is becoming almost hysterical. I have a trauma for any god damn situation.

It is kinda funny sometimes.

WHEN WILL THE INSANITY END?!?!!? is most of the joke.

Well, I’m still having an extraordinary life… but I’d say it is mostly no longer traumatic. I have boundary violation issues every so often that must be managed.

I don’t think I’ve been traumatized in while. I think the last trauma was severing with my family. (I think I traumatized Sarah after that… but that’s a different discussion.)

Why do I split hairs like this? Because my shrink tells me to break everything down into its smallest compartments and then sort them out.

What is hitting? What is violence? What is trauma? These things are so broad and yet so very specific.

Random defensive pissiness: I read an article yesterday. Don’t remember where or by whom and I don’t care. The person was pretty much saying, “Stop talking about your white privilege because you are just grand standing. If you were really doing anything to dismantle structural racism you would do it silently.” Oh fuck you.

I’m trying to fund the revolution, motherfucker. I am putting my money where my mouth is. I do more with every year and I track it better so that I can know that I am doing more with every year.

Recently Noah told me, “If you don’t feel like you do anything in the world… you are giving more and more money away every year. You are financially impacting the lives of more and more people. That is doing something.”

I don’t do this because I’m a nice person. I don’t do this to be good. I do this because I can never help the child I was. I do this because it needs to be done and other assholes aren’t stepping up.

I’m an asshole. I can live with that. But I want to be an asshole who has specific boundaries around where and how I hit people, how I escalate fights, and when it is appropriate for me to use force.

I think that hitting people to teach them is a shitty way to teach them if you want an ongoing relationship. That style of teaching instill anger, fear, distrust, and the belief in the person you are educating that they deserve to be hit.

Ask me how I’m feeling about Noah right now.

We need something different.

I do not feel traumatized. I feel like I discovered a boundary. I need something different. This isn’t working for me.

I have enough brain damage for one lifetime.

I think that hitting should be used when you are ok with ending the relationship and not before.

If you don’t think I should be packing to leave then we should not be in a physical fight. That needs to be a boundary. And no, that does not mean I should get free hits without retribution. That’s not what I’m saying.

I need to stop hitting casually. I need to be taught through repetition and mostly through words. This behavior will mostly be extinguished through catching the “taps” that “don’t count” because actually they do. They teach muscle memory. They remind me that hitting is ok.

I used to hit ineffectively so I thought it was fine for me to hit people. At this point I’m very effective and that means I need to treat my hands like weapons and be in full control of them.

Things change.

Noah hit back because I hurt him. He has the right. I’m not really mad that he believes he has the right to defend himself.

I’m mad that men start out able to defend themselves with so much force without having to take class after class after class and work and work and work.

I’m not sure that I’m mad at the men. I’m just mad.

I know that I need to get over all the shit that happened to me. But a lot of the places I hurt almost every day are from specific assaults.

Do you think you would be able to forget if you were reminded by your body every day?

Maybe if I can actually heal I stand a chance. Maybe.

Chiropractic appointment in 3.5 hours. I’m going to call and schedule acupuncture for this week. I don’t see a massage therapist for a while but I’ll be ok. Two weeks? I’ll live. Ha.

Cause the next time I see massage therapists I’m uhm seeing two in one day because I didn’t really look at the calendar before booking the second one. That’s ok. One person works on a very small area for the full hour and the other person does a more general massage for an hour and a half. It will feel like magic. I will need to drink so much water that day.

I’m really trying.

Some day I would like to spend less money on health care and spend more money on donating to communities of color. They need the money. I’d rather not need to spend it on my body.

I really don’t think I’m the best place to spend all these resources. But I recognize that it is literally necessary for a time if I am going to heal and be able to do the work I want to do. If I want to stop feeling suicidal because I cannot deal with how much pain I experience on a daily basis… I need to spend the money since I have it. I don’t have a justification for giving it away instead of fixing what is wrong.

Not at this point. Not really. I will be a more effective tool if I stop and do maintenance.

That’s just prudence.

Is that close enough to self love to count?

I’m trying.

Today I am going to spend with the kids. Except for the chiropractic appointment. They’ll do bookwork during that time. We’ll be together the rest of the time. I think we should garden. We’ll read. We’ll snuggle.

I will remind my body that despite these training exercises… I’m safe now. I am safe now.

We need to meditate tonight. During the class I was fucking whigging out for a while. Then I remembered what I’ve been saying to myself when we meditate. “I breathe in nothing that will pollute me; I breathe out the nothingness that has consumed me.” It helped. It helped a lot. The fact that I’ve been practicing at night has helped. I calmed down much faster than I used to be able to.

Jenny tells me that I look at how far I have to go. She looks at how far I have come. I write it down so I can see too.

Violence and feminism

Yeah, Wendy is right. I was muddling together two topics in the last really big post. There are two separate issues: the interplay between a husband/wife (I’m being hetero/cis-centric here) and the interplay between men and women in terms of compensation for their labor on the open market. I’m muddying them and that makes it hard to follow. It, err made sense in my head. (This is why I don’t write for publication.)

Hispanic and Indigenous and Black women are kept in poverty through systematic means. I’m not saying that a specific person is to blame. I’m saying that we have a systemic problem where we do not value people as we should. This is a problem.

What should be done about it? That’s fucking complicated. But as long as Hispanic women are making 53% of what white men make we have a problem.

Noah thinks we need to have more of a plan before we shake things up. I can see why he thinks that. He lives in a very carefully ordered world. He makes specific products for specific markets and he needs those people to want to be invested in his ideas/plans.

I see that. Makes sense. He is doing a particular thing, namely trying to be successful in the current capitalist system.

I don’t see a way for this system to ever be fair. No, I don’t know what the alternatives are. I don’t know what we should do to solve all of the problems. But we need to stop acting like a significant portion of the globe deserves to be kept beneath the feet of white people.

White supremacy has simply got to fucking end. We are not better. If you look at the history of white people we are not nice people. We are not more pure. We are not more kind. We are not more worthy. We are just people.

For a very long time in this country we have had a system set up to make things work out best for white men. When things didn’t go well for the white men they would kill whoever was in their way.

Yes, yes there are murderers in every single race. I get it. I know. But would you like me to break down the ratio of prisoners in our country by race? White people do more than our share. We are disproportionately represented in the population and we pay for our crimes the least often.

Not. Fucking. Ok.

Why do I think the Silk Road guy should go to jail? Because how many millions of Black men are in jail because they sold drugs. He is not fucking more worthy of a light sentence. Do I think that all the Black men deserve their sentences? Good grief no.

But we are where we are. Unless you want to turn around and release millions of Black men fuck you and your sympathy for a rich white dude.

It would not be physically possible for me to have less sympathy.

Which brings me back to violence. And revenge, I suppose.

I’m ok with shouting at people. That’s the difference for me. Shouting is raised volume. Yelling is raised inflection and not necessarily about volume. (In my little head.) I’ve spent the last week reading a book about abusive men. Raising your voice is one of those questionable things.

I know people who are just about appalled by the volume of my voice on a regular basis. Many of those people are ok hitting their kids.

I find that… remarkable. Why do people tell me to hit my kids all the damn time? They tell me it isn’t ok to yell. I should hit the kid instead.

We live on different planets. My kids don’t flinch when I shout at them. Ok, occasionally… but not usually. We are loud all the time. It’s our normal. They don’t hear a shout and flinch like they know they are in trouble.

Frankly the kids flinch more when I lower my voice and say something with intensity. They don’t mind volume. They mind me sounding scary.

I sounded scary/mean earlier today. Shanna is obsessed with Minecraft to the point where she is becoming quite the little self absorbed asshole about it. No one is allowed to talk about anything else in her presence or she will talk louder to drown out your conversation. I’m done with this shit.

I kind of growled at her that it isn’t ok. You are not the only person in the room. You can stop acting like your thoughts are the only important thoughts in the world. I was harsher when I specifically said that she has to stop talking over her sister. I tolerate it a lot when she does it to me, but she’s really effectively silencing Calli and that’s just not fucking ok.

You don’t get to drown out your sister. That’s not acceptable.

I’m walking a fine line here with my kids. I want them to be able to shout people down to participate in conversations when that is necessary and sometimes it is in life. I also really need them to support one another. As time goes on… I notice that I expect Shanna to have a maturity she just doesn’t have yet. She doesn’t understand why it is a problem to never let Calli talk.

I stopped growling. We kept talking. We agreed that I am going to start saying, “Topic” when she needs to change the topic from her perseverating. I told her that if she ignores me saying that tactfully I’m going to be sending her to her room. That will be awkward on the road trip. Uhm… I don’t know how the fuck that will work. We’ll see!

I’m going to physically prevent you from treating your sister badly. It is my job. I need to build both of you up. I need you both to learn that you are worthy of speaking and being listened to. Not just one of you. We are not going to have the golden oldest child here. Fuck that noise.

I told Shanna that this is a conversational skill that many adults still struggle with. I told her I struggle with learning how to keep the conversation interesting to other people.

I asked her how she would feel if every time she wanted to talk about Minecraft I started loudly talking about the book I am reading. Even though no one else in the room has read it or cares. I could talk all day long really loudly. Her eyes went big. “I wouldn’t like that very much.”

Yeah kid, that’s how I fucking feel about Minecraft. I figured out how to set up an account and establish a LAN connection. What Do You Expect Of Me?!

(I drop the “fuckings” when I’m talking to Shanna. Well… like 95% of them.)

I told Shanna that it is my job as her mom to give her feedback on her behavior so she can learn how to be respectful of other people. That process will not be comfortable for either of us and sometimes I’m going to be too harsh. I’m sorry.

She hugged my hand and said, “You mean well.”

We talk a lot about mistakes. You can’t learn without making mistakes. I tell her there are little mistakes, medium mistakes and BIG mistakes. BIG mistakes are usually the kind of thing that will risk your life. Let’s not do those. Medium mistakes might involve a trip to the hospital or a lengthy amount of cleaning/repairing to fix… but you’ll recover. (I told her about stealing my mom’s car. That’s a medium mistake.) And we talk about little mistakes.

Talking over everyone is a little mistake. If you don’t make it… you won’t learn what happens.

You have to make as many little mistakes as you can. It builds your character. Being perfect is useless.

I make lots of little mistakes. It’s just how life goes. It is part of why I can answer so many random questions people have. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

Raping the boy in kindergarden… I hesitate to call it a medium mistake. But no one died. If big mistakes are limited to things that cause death… that means committing rape is a medium level offense.

I have big feelings about that. Does that mean my dad raping most of his kids was just a medium mistake? Whoa.

Some of my friends, because they love me, want me to not feel permanently ashamed of committing rape when I was 5. They tell me that a 5 year old can’t be held permanently accountable. It’s different when it is an adult.

I believe that it is a difference of degree and not kind. I’m still a rapist even if I am not actively dangerous to anyone right now. There are rapists who are still an active threat and they have to be managed differently than me. I’m not scary in the same way. I think that is why folks want me to put it behind me.

Yeah, that’s what Josh Duggar tried to do. I don’t respect it from him and I wouldn’t respect it from me. I need to know what I am capable of and watch myself carefully for the rest of my life. I am a violent person.

It is hard for me that all of the literature about dealing with abusive men makes it sound like women are so rarely abusive as to be not worth addressing. That’s not fair. Women like me exist. We are a different problem but a problem nonetheless. And nobody wants to address us. No one. We don’t exist.

Which means that men believe that women are incapable of violence. Ha. Ha. Ha. Oh yes we are.

But then again… folks seem to believe that the only men capable of violence are Black men. Or maybe “scary looking” (left to the judgment of the viewer) guys are dangerous. Not “nice looking boys”. Oh you naive fuckers.

The innocent looking ones are often the most dangerous.

I think about violence a lot. I think about police brutality. I think about the fact that white men with heavy weapons were allowed to surround a Mosque and the police stood there and thought that was fine. But if folks are peacefully protesting a murder they will be put under curfew, arrested for going to work, and beaten.

I think that violence is a feminist issue. But holy shit I don’t know what to do about it. Do you ask the tiger how to become less violent? Not so much. We put violent people into our police force and then wonder why they behave like animals. We picked them based on that trait.

Honestly I’m not sure a whole country can become more equal. There will always be a hierarchy. But maybe the spread can narrow?

Need a new box

In my head I tend to classify how much I can ask from people. There are some people I can ask a lot from and some people… not so much. There are some people who can provide physical support but no emotional support and there are some people who can provide emotional support via the computer but they really can’t take being in a room with me.

I’ve learned how to have space in my life for people having the kind of relationship with me they can handle having. I’m trying to not beat myself up over these limits that other people have. The limits aren’t about me. Life is complicated for everyone and I’m kind of like a hurricane in motion sometimes. I know that I overwhelm people. I’m much better at containing it than I used to be.

I need a new box for relationships. I touched on this yesterday and then didn’t follow up on it, not really. Community members. It’s not the same as acquaintance and it sure isn’t friend.

For a while I was good, emotionally, at partitioning the home school group people. I’m not there to make friends for me. I’m there so my kids can grow up around people.

I haven’t been good at it for a while. I culled a few people and tried to shove them into the friend bucket and I’m afraid I shot myself in the foot.

I expected things I had no right to expect. That’s going to hurt me over and over and over. Of course the group exists to perpetuate itself at the expense of individual members. Duh. That’s how systems work. I shouldn’t have believed that I… was anything other than a cog in the system. Cogs aren’t protected. Cogs are replaceable.

There has to be space for community members. I can’t ask them for anything. But they have stood near me for years and that means they think they know me. Mostly… not so much. They don’t want to know me. If they get to know me, if I try to befriend them… it will end in them not talking to me any more.

This is not my first rodeo.

I’m going to keep burning whatever bridges I burn with writing. It keeps me from cutting. I talk to Noah about the stuff I really can’t write about.

I’m not as alone as I feel. Things have improved. Things are better. I need to stop expecting people to care about me and be ok with nodding from the far side of the park.

That’s what people want.

Words, definitions, insults

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

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

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

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

Those bitches.

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

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

Ok, I call myself a bitch frequently.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her jaw dropped.

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

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

Total anxiety fest.

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

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

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

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

Ma-nipulation it is fun for me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uh, yeah. That happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bragging.

I was feeling kind of angsty. So I used an 18 year old coping method and I went and found a chat room. I sure like talking to people. That lead to a series of weird feelings.

I can’t get into specifics for Reasons because I was hanging out in a mental health support chat room. Folks care about their privacy a bit more than average.

I talked to a person who had an experience with abuse masquerading as bdsm. We had a long conversation. This person had no idea that such things happen to other people because this person was never part of “the scene”. I think I blew that persons mind a bit. I was casual and up front with all kinds of general attitudes and problems the community has. I feel guilty that I may have dove into the deep end of their trauma just casually answering the questions I was asked. They didn’t feel that heavy or intense to me because bdsm wasn’t traumatic to me. The community wasn’t traumatic to me. So I feel pretty guilty that I might have hurt this person by my indifference to the intensity that they experienced. I shared links to articles written by folks in the scene about the kinds of problems this person experienced. Mind blown. “This happens to other people?!?!?!” Yes. There aren’t that many truly singular human experiences. Most experiences happen to many people and you just have to ask around until you find your tribe.

That was actually a neat conversation for me. I’m very into talking about community dynamics. But it was so personal for them…

But more than that… I felt like I was bragging. When I’m asked, “How do you know so much about this topic?” “Uhm… I’ve been to a lot of national bdsm conferences. I’ve taught bondage and suspension classes. Go to a kinky book store, read the names of the authors… those are my friends.” And uhm, many of them have played with me. I feel like I must be lying or exaggerating but it is just plain true. I used to go around the country tying people up and being tied up for fun.

Then the topic morphed because the people in chat morphed. Chat rooms are like that. We talked a lot about travel and different climate zones and how food migration works and…

I have a lot of stories. When I get into a chat room and people are just casually going through lots of little references to get to know one another… I have a lot of stories. I think I sound more interesting than I am if you just listen to the things I’ve done.

I think I sound like a liar. I talk casually about travel all over my country and the world. I talk about good and bad things as casually as if they had equal impact on me and people react very oddly to that. I’ll go from telling a story about a principal being on first name basis with me in 5th grade to talking about being beaten daily by a different principal and neither mention feels “important” to me in the way it seems to hit other people. “Your principal hit you!” Uhm, it was Texas. They did that as of the 1990’s and I’m pretty sure they still do it now. It’s not a big deal.

That “it’s not a big deal” is part of why I feel weird. I moved so many times that I seem to have picked up pieces of a lot of different life stories and then I shoved them all together in a way that sounds… frankly impossible to casual listeners.

I have been called a liar to my face many times, that’s why I think I sound like a liar. I couldn’t possibly have done all the things I say I’ve done.

Dude, I really don’t exaggerate for effect much. I don’t have to.

Yes, I really was a teacher. Yes I really was a stage manager too. I’ve had people challenge that I could have done all the things I did. Uhm… I went to college. I did theatre in college. Being a stage manager is not exactly rocket science…. they let teenagers do it. Depending on how liberal you are with the definition of “teach” I have worked in an educational capacity with kids from 1st grade to community college. (I was a substitute for a while. That’s a hard fucking job.) In the community college I was the youngest person in my classroom. My students loved me. I can encourage you through writing a much more… assertive view than you even knew you had.

Yesterday I felt waves of shame, like I should stop bragging. I was just participating in a conversation. But that feels like shoving things in peoples faces. Other people participate in conversations by mostly listening. I should do more of that. Obviously me talking is a problem.

Why?

I don’t know.

I didn’t dominate the conversation. I wasn’t the only one talking. I wasn’t the only one with stories. But I was talking with up to five or six people and I dropped the most stories. I suspect this is related to typing speed in addition to other people being shocked that I just kept going. Nope, I’ve got lots more stories than these. I’ve barely shown you the tip of the ice berg.

What do you mean you are done?

Oh. I’ll shut up now. Uhm… I guess people are going to talk about tv characters now because they are out of personal stories.

Right. Uhm. Yeah. I’ll uhhh shut up.

I really like talking about myself. I really like hearing other people talk about themselves. Why do other people want to spend so much time talking about celebrities? It is very confusing to me. I only vaguely know the names of the people they are talking about from magazine covers in the grocery store. I’d rather chew my arm off than research these people so I can join in the conversation.

Uhm, I’ll go clean my house now. Thanks.

flat refuse to spend time researching so I can join in slut-shaming other women. Fuck. That. Noise.

I think women get to fuck as many people as they want and it is none of your god damn slut-shaming business. Go straight to hell.

In my defense… I did not say that in the chat room. I did get quiet.

WHY DO PEOPLE GET SO UPSET THAT A WOMAN THEY DON’T KNOW IS HAVING SEX WITH A MAN THEY DON’T KNOW!!!!!!

I feel pretty upset by how much of this I’ve seen in the last day. That woman you are describing as a whore has fucked way fewer people than me. What do you want to say to me now? Nothing because I’m different? Fuck you with a chain saw.

Oh, you judge her because she was “stupid” enough to let her boyfriend take naked pictures of her? THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF SUCH PICTURES OF ME. FAR MORE EXPLICIT PICTURES. Fuck you very much.

I feel pretty pissy about this topic. Thus the shouting.

The only reason I’m “different” is because I’m not doing it today. If I was still behaving that way you wouldn’t think I was different. I am making different choices now for specific reasons related to managing my trauma. Not because I am a morally superior person who has conquered my base urges. Fuck you with a 2″x4″.

Even when I get ranty like this… I feel weird shame like I’m bragging. I’m just talking about my life but it feels like I’m exaggerating to make a point.. I’m not. These are just my thoughts and experiences. Ok, plus a few vague general threats at non-specific people. Not real threats. I don’t plan to shove anything forcibly into anyones orifices without permission ever in this life. But I’m colorful in how I bleed off stress.

This article right here is part of why I defend sex work so vigorously. It has a place in society. Women who have sex with lots of people have a place in society no matter why they are having that sex. Sex is one of the most primal urges we have and I don’t see how suppressing it does folks good. Let’s look at the history of abuse perpetrated by the Catholic church in the name of suppressing sexual desire. Not good juju.

I will not join in on dog piling on someone to tell them they are bad for making a choice you don’t agree with. That is not my job here on this planet. I really don’t want to tell people how bad they are.

I want them to feel like they are ok. And feel like there are probably other people like them and they are ok too.

I want people to feel ok with existing. I want people to believe that a community exists for them even if it is hard to find.

To me, the sum of my stories is a search for a place in community. I have tried a lot of things looking for community. Some tricks worked and some tricks failed spectacularly. I talk about both sides equally as freely. If other people can learn from my failures that makes them even more valuable.

I learn from other peoples failures. Part of the reason I haven’t really been in a relationship with intense domestic violence is because I watched it happen to other people and I made different choices.

The first time a boyfriend slapped me I exploded like a hurricane and ended the relationship. I am not going to fucking let anyone get away with slapping me and saying it doesn’t count as “really hitting”.

I have a very strong ability to set the reality of my life. I don’t let other people define what happens to me. My words. My opinions. My life. Fuck Right Off.

Why haven’t I had an abusive boyfriend? Because I only date people who force me to beg for my beatings. Or I walk. If I hint a little that a beating might be nice and you start hitting me… I leave. That’s not a safe situation. I often talk about deserving things I don’t really deserve or want. A partner who took such musings as hints to hit me… would not be safe.

I pick partners who make me beg for my beatings. I have to give explicit directions about where and how I want to be hit or they just don’t hit me. I really like the boundaries I’ve developed.

BDSM is not abuse. The difference between bdsm and abuse is educated consent on the part of the bottom. I have a real problem with experienced dominants manipulating inexperienced submissives. I think uneducated consent is basically invalid.

But I have strong opinions. When I play with newbies I give them a fucking lecture a mile long before I touch them. I want educated consent.

I learned by giving a blowjob to a little boy in kindergarden. Later he told everyone I raped him. From where I was standing…. he hadn’t said no. From where he was standing…. he hadn’t said yes.

I have a hard time forgiving myself for a mistake I made when I was five. I don’t get to make those kinds of mistakes ever again. Period.

Barely a topic switch… whether I am ever promiscuous again may actually revolve around how my kids turn out. If they are happy, healthy people who don’t give a shit… I might do it. If they would be horrified if they found out… I’m probably done.

I can’t hide who and what I am. I choose a relationship with my children over other aspects of myself. Even though I’d love to convert half the women in my future nursing home to lesbianism. That would be hawt. At least bisexuality if they didn’t want to swear off men. Personally I like people at all points along the gender spectrum. Yay people! Yay bodies!

When I first came into the bdsm community/public sex community I met this lovely woman. She was in her late 60’s when I arrived. I think she was 69 when I was 18. So that’s 15 years ago. I am pretty sure she’s still active. I saw her not that long ago. She is my hero.

I want to be playing with hot young 40 year olds when I’m in my 80’s. I’ll play with old people too… but that would be really fun. I think it is gross that the old men want teenage girls. I’ve done my virgin initiations. They weren’t the most interesting sex I’ve had. I’ll take grown ups, thanks.

The breeding period requires particular behavior sets from me. I chose it willingly with my eyes wide open. The boundaries do not yet chafe.

I get cranky about incidentals in my life. I get frustrated by details of my life. Overall I am so very happy that I’m doing what I’m doing. I like where I am. I’m learning how to be appropriate. I’m doing so in an environment that is actually safe for me. I will always have a version of appropriate that doesn’t match up with other peoples perfectly.

Like last night I apparently educated a local middle schooler about the basics of sex ed. Whoops. Hadn’t really set out to do that. But she asked direct questions. I’m not going to give evasive or shameful answers. Her friend freaked out and tried to shut me up. “SHE DOESN’T KNOW THESE THINGS YET!!!”

Yeah. And that’s dangerous. She needs to know these things so she can keep her body safe.

Someone with fully developed breasts and an hour glass figure needs to know the basic technical non-salacious names for sex. And if someone stands there and asks me direct questions… I’m going to answer them in plain language.

Awkward.

So yeah. Last night I was taught why my friend said, “Your kids are not sheltered.” No, but they are protected. I believe ignorance is dangerous. This is a big, scary fucking world. There are ways to minimize your risks.

I’m not blaming victims. I’m talking about how some women can walk through life making seemingly dangerous choices and they never get assaulted once. There are ways to minimize your risks. There are tricks to keeping yourself safe. I’ve talked to a lot of women about how they manage their lives.

I want to protect my kids. I believe that knowledge is power. They have all the age appropriate books on sex that exist. They know that sex makes babies. They can look at an anatomy drawing and show you where the vulva, labia, clitoris, prostate, anus, urethra, or penis is. Technically, Shanna has memorized more of the specific names than I have. I always have to reread the book to see what a lot of the accessory names are. I know fallopian tubes, but there are some tubes in guys that I don’t remember. She does. But I’m not the one who spends a lot of time talking about wanting to be a doctor.

They also know that sex is something adults do for fun but it isn’t for kids because it can hurt kid bodies.

Why did this come up? Because there are sexual references everywhere and Shanna asks what they mean. I am not graphic, but I say, “Well grown ups like thinking and talking about sex. So that’s a reference to sex. You’ll understand it after puberty.”

I talk about sex as if it is a normal, natural part of life. I talk about choosing when to have children based on being able to take care of a family. I talk about having “kissed boys and girls other than your dad before him because I wanted to make sure I knew I found the right person”. I’m not graphic.

I don’t want to be “out” with my kids the way some of my friends are out with their kids. My kids won’t see deviant-from-normal behavior during their childhood. Regardless of what I do during baby-sitting time.

And a lot of it comes back to feeling weird for talking about this stuff. Am I bragging? No. I’m trying to work out the logistics of my life. I’m trying to get a clear picture on who and what I am. I am trying to prove to myself, Yup. Still here.

I’m in the breeding period. Most members of my species end up here on accident and they kind of chafe at the boundaries as a result. Their freedom was curtailed not by choice. I want this so much.

I want to know what a childhood is like when the parents are not having sex in front of nor with their children. I want to know what a childhood is like when there isn’t constant drug and alcohol induced partying going on. I use pot, but it isn’t a party drug for me. It is something I do in isolation or I take a pill. I’ve only smoked around a handful of people (the wonderful folks who come over for dinner) and it doesn’t happen until after the kids are asleep. My kids are not growing up in a party house.

Only they are. It’s kind of weird. I’m finding out what “vanilla” parties are like and they are pretty fun.

Not long ago my neighbors re-did their house. They were tired of “looking like a preschool”. But… you have young children. Ok, the materials should age up, but why in the world do you think that your house shouldn’t look like kids live there?

Stop judging, Krissy.

I like that kids like coming here. They feel comfortable. I like that I can invite a whole bunch of people over and it works out really well. Everyone leaves raving about how they’ve had a wonderful time.

I’m going to go have fun with my family now.

Modeling

I had a thought about things being easier with former-students than friends. People tell me that I sound like I think I am better than people–because I’m such a bossy know it all. Mostly I have massive inferiority complex issues. I think that other people are “better” than me: smarter, more deserving of love, kinder… etc. There aren’t that many people I feel “superior” to and I tend not to be friends with them. Mostly I maintain relationships with people because I look up to them. If I keep coming back to your house year after year… it’s not because I think I’m better than you.

This idiotic feeling that everyone is better than me makes me brittle and pissy. I get defensive. I get bitchy. I get offensive.

Former students usually feel like they are more deserving of love than me, but we have an established dynamic where me defaulting to sounding like a bossy know it all as a coping mechanism is acceptable. With my friends… I’m constantly anxious that I am going to say something that sounds like, “You should do _____” when I don’t have the right to do so. I do not have the right to boss my friends even if I have ideas about what I would do in their position. My advice should not come unsolicited.

I’m such a raging asshole about receiving unsolicited advice that I’m trying to be better about giving it. But holy fucking shit it increases my anxiety.

In the past seven days we have spent time around more than a dozen different families. As I watch my friends interact with their children, I often have intense “I could not handle ____” feelings. Sometimes I think in detail about how I would handle things differently. Not because I think that parent is wrong for doing what they are doing. Every parent has different tools in their tool box and every kid needs different kinds of parenting.

I sound like my way is the One Twue Way but it really isn’t. There are as many paths as there are people walking.

I’m just finding that I’m having problems because for most of my life I have tried to alter my behavior through picking people who do something in a way I admire and trying to copy them. This is working increasingly poorly as I get older. There aren’t models for who I want to be. That’s not a slam on anyone I know–y’all are lovely people. But I can’t do what you are doing. Not because it is bad or doesn’t deserve to be done… I can’t do it.

That whole “Be Yourself” thing. It’s shitty.

Some days I have a hard time standing next to people as they parent their kids because I am a buttinski. (That is a word that has no real meaning so-far-as-I-know but my mother said it a lot. Someone who likes to butt in to other peoples business.) Not because they are doing it “wrong” but because I have a hard time standing idly by when there seems to be A Problem. I think that is part of why other peoples kids screaming is harder for me to hear than my kids screaming. When my kids scream I generally have things I am allowed to do to try and fix the situation. Even if I will fail at fixing the situation… I am allowed to do something and that soothes my anxiety. With someone else’s kid… there is nothing I can do and my internal system gets hysterical. Can’t Fix Problem. GAAAAAAAH

I have to live with this discomfort. Other people are behaving totally appropriately. But it’s hard.

I feel like this is tied in with the food stuff somehow. Not sure if I’m saying that right now because I want to look for a theme or because there is a link.

Interference means love. Loving people means inserting yourself into their lives and helping them with their needs. Codependence. Feeding people is love. Sugar is love.

I want a mother figure to come in and boss me and tell me how to fix what is going wrong with my body because the person is able to observe me from the outside and make judgments about what is and isn’t good for me. Even though I react like you have thrown gasoline on me when people offer up their guidance. I’m such a fucking asshole.

I want to be part of an extended “chosen family” network and I want to be part of the lives of a lot of the children I know right now over a long period of time. I want to see them grow up. I want to know them for 20 years and that means not pissing off their parents too much. Cue anxiety explosion.

I piss people off. The more afraid I am of pissing people off and pushing them away the more anxious I am around them and the more likely I am to push them away. Self-fulfilling prophesies.

It also occurs to me that I probably had an easier time at dinner with my students because I a)had finally taken some medication right before picking Noah up (takes a while to hit my system so I don’t feel guilty about driving in the 30 minutes or so after popping pills–don’t feel them for 2+ hours) and b) had some rum with dinner. Both did a lot to level out my anxiety. That probably actually accounted for most of the euphoric difference from earlier in the day. Ahem.

Yeah, I’ve been drinking a little more. I haven’t recorded every drink. I’m still not averaging more than one or two in a week, but I haven’t written every single one down and that makes me feel like I’m hiding something.

Shame. Guilt. Bad. So very bad.

This round of middle-of-the-night-blather brought to you by, “I sure wish my kid turned the bathroom light off in the middle of the night after peeing because it wakes me the fuck up.” Although I do not complain loudly or fervently because I am SO HAPPY that she isn’t having accidents. But my sleep cycle is fucked. Good thing tomorrow has nothing planned.

Oh! The kids completed their first 5k. By which I mean Calli was carried for at least 1k and Shanna was probably carried for .5k. The race was kind of a logistical nightmare. They started us more than 40 minutes late so it was just about completely dark before the “day” wave started running. They didn’t light the course and it was super uneven and would change from gravel to dirt to huge random pits that you had to carefully skirt to avoid injury… it seemed like a liability waiting to happen. I wonder if there were injuries.

Despite some bickering with kids mid-race I had fun. It felt like a nice little bit of exercise to me. We did it with friends who were wearing rather heavy children on their backs. That takes an impressive amount of strength. Yay everyone!

In the past week I’ve been told about five pregnancies and two miscarriages. It must be that time of life. My heart aches for the losses my friends are suffering. It is hard living with joy and sorrow at the same time… but that seems to be the essence of life.

Almost out of battery and I’m too wussy to sit in the garage right now while my computer charges. Hopefully I can fall asleep again soon.

Problems and complications

J- you aren’t wrong that they are problems for me. I’m not disagreeing with you. But whether something is a “problem” or just a “complication” depends largely on your perspective, mind-set, and attitude. And all of those things fluctuate for me wildly and in difficult to predict ways.

Some days I feel like I have problems. On those days they are problems. I can’t surmount dealing with many situations. I don’t know how to work around something in particular that is happening. It’s not a complication–I can’t get past it; I have a problem.

Other days I wake up seeing the web of privilege I sit in and I think, “Not much can touch me that will seriously disrupt my day.”

My ongoing mental illness is much much much more of a problem than the dishwasher breaking. And yet there is only so much I can do about my mental illness and it is hellza easy to fix the dishwasher if you have money. Perspective.

I have problems. I’m not trying to argue with that. It would be obnoxious and annoying if I tried to say I have no problems. But it is hard for me to see the dishwasher or the car breaking as problems. I think that on some level having things like that break energizes me. I get to feel extra competent because HA HA! I CAN FIX THINGS!!!

I like complications. Complications make me feel alive and competent and like I have my shit together. Complications are “problems” that are easy to solve and they won’t actually hurt me. I will feel slightly annoyed by having less money to throw at my mortgage but not that annoyed.

I am even sitting pretty on the wildly swinging mood swings about my physical problems. This morning I had the loosest stool I’ve had in eight days and it is still well within my range of acceptable poop. My body is being really nice to me even though I’m having eggs and dairy (including cream!). I’m feeling weird about egg seeming to be sometimes a problem and sometimes not. But I hear that with IBS that will be true.

The more I read about the intersections of IBS and PTSD the more the PMDD makes sense and I worry about other comorbid issues. I’m never going to be able to medicate for my physical problems. That is more clear with every book I read. Diet, exercise, stress management. Those are my options. Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic are known to help manage the pain but I will not be able to find a medication that fixes me.

I feel a tremendous amount of relief in that acknowledgment. Some people feel a lot of pain. Life works like that. It’s hard, but it’s true. I can’t ignore it.

It means that my body stuff is less a “problem” and more an ongoing complication to be managed. If I want to not hate myself. Or I can think of me as a problem with no solution but death.

Somehow trying really hard to reframe it as not-a-problem seems important?

I’m glad I sat down and read three books on IBS this week. That was a good choice. It is helping me feel less frantic. It is helping me feel resigned to the life I’m going to have.

Frankly, in the world of IBS sufferers… I’m pretty mild from what I read. I don’t have overwhelming pain most of the time. I don’t feel like I’m being stabbed in the belly with knives a lot of the time. I’m a little abashed to read that having diarrhea with few other symptoms (the joint pain might be related but it might not–I have a lot of other conflicting things that could cause that) means I’m just about as lucky as someone with IBS can be. Oh. Ok. I should… not be so pissy.

It’s kind of like getting all self-righteous that you suffered THE MOST as a poor child in America and then finding out how it goes for poor people in third world countries. Oh. I… didn’t have it as bad as I thought. Oh shit I’m totally a self-absorbed asshole.

At least I already knew that fact.

J–you are being supportive and wonderful. I appreciate your validation and concern a lot.

I’m trying to figure out how to hack my brain.

This is part of that resiliency shit I read so much about. Reframing things from problems to complications is a big part of what allows people to thrive. I read these things. Implementing them in my life is harder. I get flashes of it.

This week it is really weird how having the dishwasher and car break has snapped me out of a depression streak. I was very focused for many weeks on the things I can’t fix and can’t make better. All of a sudden I’m seeing how many things I can fix and that’s huge.

And my arm hurts a lot less today. *phew*

Perspective decides how you feel about things. I’m afraid a lot of this post sounds like strident arguing and I don’t mean it that way. I mean, your response sent a clarion call through my brain and I’m trying really hard to figure it out.

I watch a lot of repetitive tv shows and movies and I read a range of books but a few repetitively nearly to the point of religion. When a new idea causes me to feel excited I have a lot of response partially because I have consciously created such a rut in the rest of my life.

Difference is striking.

I notice that when someone expresses support for me, my main response is an almost 1000 word post (and counting) defending why I don’t really have problems and I don’t deserve support, see I’ve got it all covered.

Does that mean if more people expressed support more often I would never write about the problems because I would be locked in a haze of trying to pretend there are no problems here. I don’t know. But it is interesting to me how much I want to not want support.

J, I do appreciate the support. You are right that I do have problems. I do have situations that need to be dealt with. I’m very good at tunnel thinking. If I don’t want to believe I need support this second I will be nearly rabid in my denial that I need support ever. I bite the hand that feeds me.

Well, is this biting a hand? I’m babbling about how I have money to pay to fix some problems so I shouldn’t complain. Is this biting a hand that feeds me? It makes it less likely people will express support in the future.

When I read about suicidality there are a few key categories of things that make people off them. When I go down the lists one of the things that jumps out at me the hardest is the need to be taken care of. I don’t really let people take care of me. When they express even mild support I will rant about how I don’t need it. I’m scared.

I don’t really know how to let people be support for me. This is an ongoing issue. At this point in time my early coping methods have become toxic. I think they were appropriate when I developed them. My life is different now. I do need to have friends who will confirm that I have problems. I need that validation as I try very hard to climb under a rock labeled D-E-N-I-A-L.

There are two kinds of problems in the world. The kinds money can solve and the kinds money can’t solve. I have a lot of problems money can’t solve. That is hard. My friends try to be kind to me as I deal with them. Then a problem that can be solved pops up and all of a sudden I have a burst of feeling-competent. (Which is pretty stupid because I have money because of Noah instead of because of competency on my part. Ok, fine I could fritter more away… but I don’t earn it.)

That feeling of competency makes me really want to white wash everything into being Just Fine, Damnit.

That makes it really hard to have perspective on what is a problem,what is a complication, and where is the dividing line of denial.

If I’m reacting this much to the words that someone says… I’m probably sitting on some denial. I am so ridiculous to deal with.

Today is less Zen. I feel a lot more anxious. A lot more like I’m letting “someone” (not sure who) down all the time. I can’t do anything right. I can’t even have the right feelings of gratitude when someone is nice to me. I am such a piece of shit.

I wrote thank you cards that were nearly apologies to Noah’s relatives yesterday. We are opening Christmas presents as they arrive this year. Waiting until Christmas morning has gone very badly every year so far. This year: few presents on Christmas morning. Just…….. can’t do the deluge. Overwhelming. Hysteria. Crying. No more.

I don’t want to be mad about the mess and them being unable/unwilling to pick up after their new stuff hitting all at once. They can’t sort out a huge new pile. They can find homes for one or two new things at once. They are that resourceful.

Yes, I could just write the cards now and hold them till after Christmas and mail them then and pretend we waited. I’m not really willing to present myself dishonestly to these people. They need to see what they are getting. Warts and all.

I feel like I am threatening people as I write on their Christmas cards “We are coming to your city next year….” I’m really scared about the reactions we will get. I need to not care.

Years ago I flew to New York City in large part because there was a guy I had flirted with/played with many times at large bdsm conferences and I wanted to have individual time with him. I wanted him to beat me so much I went across the fucking country to beg him to do it. I uhm, didn’t have an inspiring performance from him. He was tired and had a back injury and he wanted to sit still and have me “please him” and he didn’t want to do anything.

I’m not that kind of service bottom.

My traveling is a mixed bag. Sometimes the reception I get is stellar and sometimes it kinda sucks. (The guy in New York invited another woman over while I was there. For their first date. He played with her. He vigorously beat the shit out of her and fucked her wildly while I watched. But he “hurt too much” to play with me. Fucker.)

But I take enormous comfort from the fact that when I travel with my kids I travel with my own little reality distortion bubble. My kids are starting to sing at me, “Mom–you have to have a good attitude!” They learned it from one of the other home schooling families. I could wring that mom’s neck. (I’m totally kidding.) I get told it a lot. Pretty much any time we are on an out door adventure and I start getting grumpy they sing at me with a big cheesy smile. So I think grumbly thoughts at the mom who taught it to them. But I also close my lips on my complaints more often than not.

My kids are teaching me how to be. In some sense, my kids are showing me the difference between a problem and a complication.

J, you are right that the car being broken is a problem. It has to be routed around for many days. It will cause impact on our financial budget in ways I’ll have to deal with. This may cost thousands of dollars which kinda blows. I’m enormously grateful I have it to spend but that is kind of beside the point. It will have negative impact. You are right that it is a problem.

The dishwasher feels… more like a complication. Our dishwasher barely worked. It’s been actively, literally falling apart for years. You have to wash everything completely before the dishwasher can “wash” the dishes. And it is around $900. Given our budget… that seriously doesn’t feel like a problem.

It is hard to have perspective. It is hard to evaluate things for myself.

I need to just stop typing. Getting sore. So repetitive anyway. Yick.

Define yourself.

I have been having a lot of thoughts lately about identity and what I do and who I am and what makes different choices matter so much. I’m doing too much “Well I’m not _____.”

I need to not define myself in comparison to anyone else. I need to not define myself as what I’m not.

What am I? Who am I?

Well… I’m kind of a pain in the ass. I’m picky. I’m sensitive. I have a lot of very detailed preferences in life from temperature to fabric choices to food choices to how close to me someone is allowed to stand. I have a very large personal space bubble and I’ve really organized all my issues inside it. I have lots of issues. I know that. I am very emotional–to the point where it causes me social problems and difficulties because I react to things that other people consider “no big deal”.

I’m intelligent. I read a lot and study a lot of things and constantly challenge myself to do things that are hard for me. I’m proud of that. I learn new things. I learn hard things just because I feel like it.

I am an intensely physical person. I used to be sedentary. It was very bad for me. I have a lot of emotional issues tied up in how sedentary my childhood was. I’m deeply grateful that I am now in a position to be physically fit and I’m additionally grateful that I can bring my kids along with me. I’m fucking thrilled that my kids think a 5k is no big deal. That is our standard Sunday morning walk. I have worked so hard on this. None of this physicality came naturally to me. I had to want it and go make it happen.

I am a parent. I’m not sure if I’m a good parent or not. My kids like me, my husband thinks I’m doing a good job, and beyond that I just have to pray it all comes out ok in the end. Shanna says, “Even though sometimes you can be a pain in the neck, you are a really good mom and I’m glad I get to have you.” I tell her I feel exactly the same way with the word mom taken out and daughter slipped in. Calli continues to want to be physically attached to me 5+ hours out of the day so I’m pretty sure she is doing ok with me. And she thinks that I must sleep with her every night. So really she thinks we should be touching for 18+ hours a day.

I’m a wife. I’m not a great wife. I’m ok. I’m needy and kind of annoying sometimes but I put out a lot and I do a lot of chores to make up for being difficult to live with. Noah says he is happy with the trade he is getting in life.

I’m not the best friend in the world. I am demanding and difficult and I get upset about things and withdraw and that hurts people. I wish I was better able to support my friends but I’m really a pretty shitty friend right now. I feel that I used to be slightly better at being support for other people. Right now I am so mired in my own bottomless need pit that I don’t have a lot to offer anyone. I’m sorry. I just have no spoons. I have nothing to give. I have no more support or understanding or anything to give anyone. I am so tired.

My body is a mixed bag. I struggle with various kinds of pain and I do my best to keep my whining to a minimum. I know I’m not very good at keeping my whining to a minimum because people feel the need to comment on how whiny I am. So I know I’m really bad at keeping my mouth shut. If people only knew how many complaints I sit on they wouldn’t think I was as big of a whiner. But, whatever. I am a whiner. I’m not denying it. I’m just saying it isn’t as bad as people make me sound sometimes.

My shrink asked me why I sign on to do events with people. I told her that I generally sign on for events with people because I want to guarantee that for x hours that person will be near me and interacting with me. If that isn’t my goal then I don’t sign on to do an event with someone. This was really mixed and conflicting for the last 10k that I flaked out on. I signed on for the race thinking we would train together and then race together. Her life blew up (not her fault and I am not mad) and that didn’t happen and by the race I felt like, “Well I’m training past this for the half marathon and we didn’t actually spend all the time together so maybe I have to take care of my body.” So I was selfish in how I talked to her in the week before the event and I hurt her feelings a lot. I did not handle it well.

A friend said, “Going to Dickens Fair is so much more fun with a group” (Dickens Fair is a historical reenactment like a Renaissance Faire but set in the Victorian period around the novels of Charles Dickens.) and I practically choked. I don’t have fun at Dickens with a group. Most of the times I have tried to go with people it has blown up and I have left crying.

If I want to do an event for myself I generally don’t sign up to do it with anyone else. People don’t follow through very often. I know it isn’t “personal” but it really bothers me. I don’t recover very much when someone flakes on a commitment to something that is important to me. I take it too personally. I feel shitty. It takes days or weeks or months for me to stop freaking out about how people always let me down. (It isn’t true that people “always” let me down but FEELINGS have their own measuring system.) It is so hard for me to trust people to show up when I really care about something.

A few years ago, the first time I ran a major race some friends said they would come watch because the course was right next to their house. Turns out they didn’t feel like getting out of the house so they didn’t show. I cried the whole way home.

If I’m doing something *for me* then I’m really sensitive to people showing support or not. If they do show support then I feel validated as a person. If I don’t get what I nebulously want then I feel like I should walk off an overpass into the pathway of a semi-truck. So I try to do those things alone.

I don’t express how important these things are to people because then I am being “manipulative”. It’s not ok to tell people that if they agree to something and then flake that I will spend days struggling to not kill myself. But that is the reality I live with. And I have to carefully keep it off screen and not talk about it too much because then I’m “inappropriate.”

I rarely write about how upset I am with people not following through. Often the person reads my blog and I don’t want them to feel guilty because of me. I don’t want other people to feel like I’m hurting them by having my feelings. I don’t want to be accused of being a drama queen. Better to shut the fuck up. Just shut up you crazy bitch.

If you can’t clearly ask for what you want from people you can’t expect to get it. If what you want from people is too complicated you can’t expect to get it. If you ask in a way that someone else doesn’t like you can’t expect to get it. But if I clearly talk about most of my mental health issues then I am being manipulative or I am traumatizing people. I can’t fucking win.

Something positive since this is yet another round of “what is wrong with Krissy”–everyone’s favorite game.

I’m very creative. I have a lot of ideas and lots of energy to follow through on my ideas. I like that about me. I have so many things I want to do. I can’t do it all immediately but I have a lot of neat ideas I work on.

I like my writing ability. Even though I should stop. Right. Now. Because my arms hurt like hell.

I love you internet. Thank you for being there for me.

Words need definitions: grounding

Well, we had quite a weekend. Hoo boy. The kids are grounded. For the purposes of this event grounding has been defined as: you do not get privileges for a week and for one week you are not allowed to talk back about your chores. You do them immediately and with good humor because you bloody well owe your mother.

Shanna said she would rather just be stuck in her room all day every day and we said that wasn’t an option. Eventually she agreed. And she did her chores this morning.

Well, at least that weekend is over.

I want to paint a picture.

Picture a huge cement room. Huge. Like 30′ by 30′. Every two feet throughout the room on the floor, in a grid pattern, is a water spout. So you can shoot water up into the air like they do at Disneyland.

Big cement room, water spouts spitting into the air every 2′ in a grid pattern. You with me?

Now, above this room there is a raised platform walkway. It is barely big enough for you to walk on. There are no hand rails.

It is definitely not 2′ wide, so it runs maze-like in between the jets of water.

But the trouble is, the water kinda sprays sideways at the top. And the platform is just high enough that you are on eye level with the top of the spray. That is coming sideways at you from every direction.

The different jets of water are different emotions.

You don’t really know which really strong jet of water is going to hit you in the face next. All you know is that it is inevitable. And you have no way out of this room unless you walk the maze. And you get no support.

Go.

You are going to go from happiness to sadness in a breath. You will go from feeling like you have everything in the world to live for to thinking that you cannot bear this pain for one millisecond longer; you have to kill yourself–now. You will go from feeling excited about upcoming plans (always plans to look forward to–otherwise not enough reason to not commit suicide) to feeling like you are stupid for ever trying anything at all. You are a failure. You should die. You are evil. You should die.

Then you are ok again. Just because another burst of water hit you.

And you have no control over any of this.

Run, run as fast as you can.

Anger and feelings

Now my ergonomic keyboard isn’t working. Because there is a conspiracy to destroy my arms.

Today was a therapy day. We talked about my feelings. Cause I have them. And I pay someone to listen to me fucking talk about them.

Something that happened before with running: after a while I can’t tell the difference between the different kinds of stomach pain. Anxiety, hunger, and illness all feel the same. They can all involve vomiting (or not) and tons of nausea. There isn’t much difference. So as my exercise increases and I’m using more calories my belly hurts a lot of the time. And I can’t tell the difference between hunger and anxiety. Which freaks me out chemically.

We talked a lot about my feeling angry earlier this week. And how my reaction to feeling anger is days of self-recrimination and punishment. I don’t feel like it is ok to be angry.

Even though these days the extremity of my anger is expressed through slamming a cabinet shut. And not that hard. Because I’ve already had to repair cabinets I’ve ripped off the wall and I uhhh don’t want to do that again. I’ve got enough shit to do.

I have punched a hole in a wall in years. I haven’t cut myself in years. I haven’t hit anyone in years. I haven’t inappropriately screamed and screamed at someone in a long time. I have screamed at my kids, but not recently.

I’ve been holding it together. I haven’t flipped out on anyone beyond a quavering voice in a long time.

I realized today that I haven’t had a panic attack in months. (I think that this is helped by how much pot I use.) That is a big deal. Through my teen years and my twenties I didn’t have very many months without panic attacks. Heck, for much of that time I didn’t have many weeks without panic attacks. They tend to go in waves. They get really bad for a while then they subside a little for a while. I’ll take whatever reprieve I can get.

I’m doing better. I really am. People who have known me since I was a teenager tell me I am much more calm. That’s a good sign.

But when I feel angry I treat that as deserving as much punishment as if I went to the park and started slapping kids. My standards for myself really aren’t within a range I can accomplish. I can’t stop feeling angry sometimes.

I haven’t raged at anyone in a long time. This is about as much control as someone like me gets. I spend a lot of time feeling like I am pathetic and disgusting if this is the best I can do. I’m not actually a nice person. I can just play one on tv.

My shrink asked me why on earth have I been babysitting so much for other people lately. I told her it is because I want those kids to know me. I want to have real relationships with them. I have known some of them since birth. I desperately hope they will see me as more than just an occasional party host. I want them to think of me as a caregiver.

That requires giving some care. With a smile on my face. When I feel frustration I need to ACKNOWLEDGE it and talk about how I will deal with it. That conscious modeling teaches the kids so much. My kids and other kids.

“Gosh. I’m feeling really frustrated because this isn’t going how I want it to go. I suppose I have a few choices. I could scream and jump up and down. Will that make things better? (Kids chorus: “No.”) Err, I could get mad and break it because then I won’t have to deal with this again. Will that make things better? (Kids chorus: “No.”) Oh. Am I going to have to take a deep breath, calm down, and try again? (Kids chorus: “Yes.”) Ah crum. That sounds like work. Alllllllllllll riiiiiiiiiiiight.”

Whine is intentional. It makes them giggle.

I’m not sure when I will feel like what I am doing is “good enough”. Part of my problem is, I deeply admire people who are making radically different choices. I want to emulate them. I want to pattern after them because I like them and respect them and look up to them.

But if I do I will wreck the good thing I’ve got going here. Some things aren’t compatible.

I told my shrink that I’ve been having a lot more sexual fantasy/visualization stuff again. She asked like what. I said I miss going to grocery stores looking for a trick. My favorite game is going to a vanilla place (not just grocery stores–but man I love them) and looking for someone. I win if I can get someone home and naked in under two hours. I’ve won the game. Not every time, of course. That wouldn’t be a very fun game.

I think my shrink hasn’t quite fully picked up on the “queer” thing. Multiple times she used very heterosexually focused language to describe who I would pick up and what I would do with them. I corrected her.

Girls who like casual sex are much harder to find than boys who like casual sex. That doesn’t mean I like boys more. Just that when it comes to going hunting, sometimes I like shooting fish in a barrel. Ahem.

She told me that the fantasy shit is “very empowering”. Which is a phrase that triggers my gag reflex. I’ve uhhh heard a bit too much about how victims should empower themselves. It always sounds squicky to me. (Squick, for those who don’t know, is the visceral, physical sensation you get when someone does something you really don’t like. Like someone sucking your toes if you hate that sort of thing. When you get that instinctive shiver of “yuck“. I kind of want to go on to a long list of things that squick some people but I’ll be kind.)

The scared, shameful, dirty feeling after I get angry is probably the most pressing “PTSD symptom” I have right now. That anxiety eats me for days. It means I can’t sleep. It makes me shorter and shorter.

If I feel intense anger it is really hard to calm down. It is really hard to stop feeling attacked and threatened.

I’d like to be clear that I’m rationally aware that no one is attacking me or threatening me at this stage of my life. Not no one. It’s been a long fucking time. I am not saying that I’m getting threats and so of course I’m scared.

No. If I go through the experience of getting angry (my baby-sitter being kind of flakey is annoying but not really that catastrophic–I get other kid care right now) even if I don’t do anything inappropriate I have days of fierce, mean, nasty self-recrimination. I eat irregularly until my stomach is a mass of pain. I don’t sleep enough–not nearly enough. The last few days have involved a lot of staying up late and still waking up early to grind on what a disgusting piece of shit I am.

I’m better than I was. I can distract myself if I’m awake and in front of a screen and smoking pot. Then I can stop the inside-voice-ranting. If I try to lay in bed and go back to sleep… Forget it. The brain weasels will eat me. I’ll end up crying and retreating to the garage to let Noah sleep anyway.

I suppose I use writing about the way I would use a sponsor if I were the AA type. Instead I smoke my pot. With the blessing of no less than two doctors and a therapist.

My shrink told me that I should probably move my blog to being behind some kind of wall. Folks under 18 shouldn’t be allowed to get access to my main writing.

I have feels about that. But if I’m going to be publishing books for the under 18 market I might now also want to have a public blog where I talk about the super hot stripper who was happy to uhhh come to the bathroom with me at a strip club one night. Or the other really hot girl I fucked in an elevator at a club. We really weren’t supposed to be doing that there.

My life has been pretty good.

Yeah. I like girls.