Category Archives: easter

Whoa.

FYI: We will not be hosting Easter this year. Easter falls on the same weekend as the My Little Pony conference and our bathroom will be ripped apart for a remodel.

 

Mortgage is below $180,000 now. Whoa. And I am taking out a huge loan so I can be more in debt. Oh man that seems stupid. But I want to fix all this stuff. How am I going to pay off not only this $180,000 but an additional $100,000 in the next six years? Realistically… five years.

How am I going to do this? Technically, the HELOC is a lower interest rate than my mortgage. And the HELOC will have an early repayment penalty. It is kind of feeling like rolling a bunch into the mortgage is smartest. The HELOC has to take at least three years to pay off. And the more I send to the mortgage the faster I pay it off the less interest over time. I’m already to the point where each payment is way more than 50% principle.

I’m feeling ridiculously tempted to send $20k to the mortgage. I want to do it. I don’t want to do it. Oh man.

I have ~ $105k in cash and ~ $180k in current debt. That means that between where I want to be and where I am right now I need to come up with an extra $200k. Pretty much. In five years. On top of all the ridiculously expensive things I like to do, like travel.

To me, that sounds like this year I have to pay a minimum of $50k on combined mortgage/HELOC if I want to stay on track.

No pressure. It seems completely insane to me. I doubt my mom has ever made $50k in a year. I made that much money my first year working as a teacher, barely.

Hm. How is this going to work out?

And I will do this while maxing out 401Ks, IRAs, 529s, and doing some additional random mutual fund investing.

Ok, I just sent $10k to the mortgage. That means I’m flirting with $50k in our primary checking instead of $60k and I can live with that. That’s enough heading into the remodel and travel. At least $20k of that will go into the remodel and the traveling will be in the neighborhood of $10k. But the travel money will come out slowly and mostly just look like barely expensive months. By the end of this year I will probably be able to send an additional $10k to the mortgage. That means that by the end of the year my mortgage principle will be below $150k. With four years to go. I’m going to be paying $50k-$60k for the next few years. Ouch.

But then, before I’m 40 years old, we will all of a sudden have a place to live that is paid off. Our relative income requirements will drop through the floor. We will owe ~$6k/year for taxes and then whatever maintenance costs.

I’ve lived in the bay area my whole life and I’ve been poor for more than 2/3 of my life. Needing this much money is crazy to me. Some day my house maintenance plus taxes will be less than $1,000/month. That will include utilities because the solar on the roof is awesome. That’s an amount of money I can come up with to keep my family safe. Food will be a different challenge.

Right now mortgage plus taxes plus maintenance fees is more like $4k/month. I… I can’t be the sole wage earner and keep that ship afloat. I feel pathetic but I can’t.

I’m scared of the future. I believe this period of being rich will be brief. If I don’t secure my future I will be in a lot of trouble. I’d like to be relatively sure I will be able to live in the future on less than $30k/year. My garden is coming along! Not there yet, but I didn’t want to be there yet. I want my garden to be pretty much ready by the time I’m 50. I’ve got time.

Calli has been telling me frequently that I’m not allowed to die. When I raise an eyebrow at her and kind of smirk she says, “Well… you can die of old age when you are 90 or something. BUT NOT BEFORE THAT.”

That’s rather a big deal to someone like me.

I’m trying to prepare for a future even while I’m scared I won’t have one. Even while I’m scared I don’t deserve one. Even while I’m scared that some day I will be in too much pain to continue and I will kill myself early. I’m trying to live as if I will live until I am 90 so I must take steps. I’m trying to show my kids how to take care of yourself for your whole life.

Noah is home. I missed him. I feel very lucky that if I am going to be stuck on this stupid, hateful planet for 90 years–at least I get to do it while spending most of those years with Noah.

By the time I’m 90 I will have spent less than 2/9 of my life in horrible poverty. Whoa. Perspective shift.

If I live in this house when I’m 90 then I will have lived here for 65 years. Whoa. I’ve already lived here for 8 years and that feels wacky. In June, right before I run off on my road trip, I will have lived in this house for three times as long as I’ve ever lived anywhere else.

Wonderland is working for me.

Hosting is always a learning experience.

I understand that the below bit sounds a little ranty. It is not actually something that ruined my day or anything. It was a really excellent party. It was lovely to see everyone. 35 people came which means we lost about 10% of the RSVP list and far exceeded my catty assumption. Ok, I’ll be less suspicious next time.

I had great verbal exchanges with every single party guest I think; I managed at least a sentence or two. The kids got along pretty well once we instituted the “only soft swords” rule. (Err, technically another mom was there and did it. Thanks!) Much candy was consumed by all. We have very little left and most of what we have left was delivered by a neighbor as an auxiliary present. We have tasty leftovers for days. I’m thrilled. The house was entirely cleaned up by 2:30. Well… there is one more load to go through the dishwasher. But that’s it.

All told I think I spent about sixty hours on this event. Shopping, cleaning, more cleaning, more fucking cleaning, gardening, food prep, egg prep, decorating, etc. When we are going to have a party that is the time when I go through and actually clean off all the surfaces because usually they are piled high with shit. I do this for two reasons:

  1. If people walk into a clean house then they try to clean up after themselves because it is obvious that they have made a change in the environment.
  2. People are less likely to break things. I don’t know why this is true but I’ve tried experiments.

All that extra cleaning is pretty hard work. Even just filling the fucking eggs. That took like three hours while I sat and watched The West Wing. Again. They are starting to feel more like my friends than any of my friends. I think there might be something kind of wrong with me.

Some of the things I learned for next year: the hunt is only for kids ten and under. I have feelings. I am not angry about anything, but I want to have a different outcome to a particular situation.

I spent a lot of money on toys for the eggs. Probably actually more than I should have. I bought a bunch of My Little Pony figurines because all the kids are really into them. I divvied them out into eggs knowing that I would *have to be ok* with the possible outcome of most/all of the toys going to one or two kids and everyone else getting none. Including my kids getting none.

Yup, my kids got none. That’s fine. We don’t exactly need more shit. I’m pretty happy that the only “things” they came through Easter getting are some bubble wands they will break in two weeks, a lunch pail, handle bar streamers, and two small stuffed animals. Sweet. The nice great aunt who usually sends them so much shit I can’t count it all went light this year.

But I’m having some feelings about the big kids who don’t actually play with my kids getting all the toys so they can bring them to school and share them with their friends there.

I didn’t intend to donate a bunch of toys to middle schoolers I don’t know.

I’m having feelings. I feel kind of like I did something for my community of kids I know and have relationships with and… this kid I only kind of know decided that it should instead go to this outside community. It’s not the kid’s fault that we don’t know each other very well. I sort of feel like I am punishing and I don’t mean it that way. If this kid wanted to come to the party next year and be a big kid helper I would be thrilled. It isn’t that this persons presence is a problem.

Feelings.

I could solve this by not buying toys next year but I don’t think that is the solution. I think the solution is saying that the hunt is for kids ten and under. Even if it was one of our six year old friends who got them all to take home I think I would feel differently.

The toys would probably be things that my kids could go and visit and play with that way even though my kids didn’t “get” them. I’d be throwing a line out into the community and creating a path for more friendship and play.

Instead someone we don’t really see much and who doesn’t play with my kids much will go give them away at school.

I have feelings.

Kids ten and under. Kids over ten can buy their own damn toys.

No one did a darn thing wrong. I didn’t realize that I had this underlying need/hope thing about the toys. That was my mistake for not knowing in advance what kind situation I was trying to create.

I *don’t* want to shun older kids (especially not the kid in question) but life moves in stages. There are things you do at some ages that you stop doing at other ages. That doesn’t have to be a mean, terrible punishment. Maybe I could figure out some kind of big kid alternative activity for next year.

Actually, that would be awesome. I bet I could come up with something that would be more interesting than just walking around picking up eggs from the middle of the grass.

don’t want to punish. But sometimes I do something with a really specific goal in mind and once I understand what that goal is then I want to work towards it as much as I can.

There is a place for big kids in our house and at our parties and in our lives. But they do different things. We have enough up and coming babies that I think that having a slower paced hunt where the little kids don’t have to run to find stuff… would be more what I’m looking for.

I’ll have to think about what the big kids could do. Luckily I have a year to plan.

I am really enjoying throwing an Easter party every year. Every other forking holiday is already solidly overbooked for everyone in my life. I’m camping on Easter in a totally-non-Christian way. This is about the American holiday “Easter” rather than Christian beliefs and it is kind of interesting to see how that is shaping out.

Atheism is kinda weird, yo. Not that our kids are atheists. Shanna is very firm that she believes in God. All of them. You just need to call on the right one for that day. I love my kid so much.

Go find the ally you need today. You won’t always have the same needs. You will change. Your needs will change. Some people will be good at taking care of you under some circumstances and really bad at taking care of you in other circumstances. Life is about finding balance.

I started working at 4:30 this morning. I stopped at 2:30, Then I sat down to type for an hour. I’m tired. My arms hurt. The rest of me feels better than it has in ages because Tay the magnificent was here. Best fucking massages ever. I am a lucky person in so many ways. Tired. Go flop now.

Turn it around.

That doesn’t happen very often. We had a fantastically grumpy early day. Then from dinner on the day was gleeful and awesome. A friend came over to dinner. He is a balloon twisting artist. I don’t know when the girls and I have laughed so hard or so much. It was ridiculously fun.

He made mermaids and aliens and a heart scepter and a whole bunch of swords so we could have a (non-ouchy) battle and a bow and arrows and a spear and a few other things.

It was so fun. We laughed hysterically for just about an hour straight. He’s really funny and good at the performance aspect. He’s been practicing for ten years so he’s got it down.

I feel so lucky to know the people I know. They will come over to my house and talk to me and tell me stories. They have fantastic stories. I love stories.

Sometimes I feel kind of weird that so many of the people I introduce my children to are people I met through “Alternative Lifestyle Communities”. They are big perverts.

But they are big perverts who are completely uninterested in children and who only do things with consenting adults. I watch them intently and their behavior with my children is rigorously correct. They are probably more worried about slipping up and seeming inappropriate than I am.

watch my kids. If they hear something inappropriately verbally I can help them process it. But nothing will physically happen to them. I don’t worry that much about keeping their pristine little ears protected.

If the most racy comment of the night is “Who is the size queen here?” (He made a sword for himself out of the much bigger style of balloon. It was kind of funny, really. We would trade off who was fighting with it and tease just a hair.) I can live with that.

My kids are going to grow up in America. If they don’t learn that some people are obsessed with size… then they’ve missed a vital part of the culture. Give me a break. Helllllloo Texas.

(Hey all you Texans. Neiner neiner neiner Alaska is bigger and I’ve been there too.)

I think it is hilarious that in preparing for Easter some of the moms have offered to bring food potluck style. Some dads are coming on their own. They haven’t offered to bring anything.

I see this pattern and try to convince myself that I’m not a failure as a mother because I’m shitty at brining stuff for potlucks. I’m the asshole who shows up with a bag of chips.

Like you do.

I feel unusually upbeat this morning. I’ve been kind of whiny and sad in my head lately.

Oh man. I was talking about some tv character being annoying because he/she/it was annoying and freakin Shanna turned to me and said, “Well you should like her/him/it because you are whiny too and you should like people who are like you.”

Oh man. Kid. Oh man.

I squinched my nose at her then realized… She’s being sincere and literal. No teasing is happening.

Then I burst out laughing.

I like that my kids don’t really tease me. They haven’t learned teasing. We do very little of it in this house. Once in a while we will tease in a tiny way and then will follow that with a clarification that we mean it with love. Noah and I are both on the paranoid side. I get the impression that he is a lot more ok with teasing than I am but he has worked to talk to me how I want to be talked to.

Teasing is really hard for me. It feels like lying. If I feel like someone is lying to me then I get really really angry and hateful almost instantly. People tease trying to be friendly and share affectionate feelings. It will make me turn on you like a viper. Don’t fucking tease me. I’ve been fucking taunted enough for one fucking lifetime.

I think that ones overall response to these things largely depends on how you grew up with teasing. My family teased me constantly. They may even have meant it lovingly sometimes. I don’t think my family hated me as much as I kinda think they did. But they did show me contempt constantly. And no one was willing to believe me that I was being horribly abused. So their teasing felt more like turning the knife than making a joke.

I hate teasing. I try to do very little of it. Once in a while I tease because I know that other people bond through teasing. I can generally force out a sentence before I start apologizing and making it clear that I wasn’t serious.

Sometimes my kids say things to me… and it sounds like a tease… and I can feel my body start activating the threat response system. Then I realize that they aren’t teasing. They are saying what they literally perceive. They aren’t mocking me. They are making the connections that they see out loud because I have modeled not having an inside voice. I think tactless things out loud all day long. My kids live with that.

It is really interesting to have to work so hard on calming down with them.

I talked to my shrink about my current hypervigilance about my hypervigilance (I’m a cluster fuck of fun) and she agreed that it might be a worthy process but yeah I’m going to be so exhausted I can barely breathe for a while.

Trying this hard to be aware of unconscious processes and change them is really exhausting. I’m just living on the prayer that it will be worth it in the end.

I have stopped going to most of the forums I used to frequent. I’m feeling like I have nothing to spare but frustration and snottiness so I’m shutting up. If I am impatient with where someone else is on their journey… that’s my problem and I don’t need to be a cunt. Just shut up for a while.

I go up and down the spiral. Sometimes I am way more functional than I am at other points. I really have no room to judge anyone else. It may feel like Uncle Bob’s death was a long time ago but it wasn’t. I was not competent at all to do the basics of caretaking for a good solid week.

I don’t have any right to judge where other people are. I know that my seasons of pain come and go. Sometimes I can function and be out in the world and sometimes I can’t.

But sometimes where I am has nothing left over for other people. I don’t need to be mean about it. I just need to take care of myself. Less typing is good anyway.

I feel like I’m being avoidant with the kids. Not terribly so. They still aren’t spending much time alone. They still ask me questions every ten minutes all day long. But I am mentally checked out more. I’m creating more walled rooms in my head that I can step into when I can’t handle focusing on them.

I get so tired. It isn’t their fault. They are probably what you might call “spirited children”. Which is a nicey nice way of saying that they have a lot of energy and willingness to just do shit in frequently destructive ways.

Kids do that. You have to be patient. But I’ve been reading a lot. I just reread the Stieg Larson Millenium trilogy that was originally intended to be a ten book series but the author died. Damn him. I can see the foreshadowing. I can see him laying tracks in the first book for stuff that won’t happen till the seventh or eighth book. Lisbeth’s sister was going to be a big deal.

I’m avoiding editing. After Easter I don’t really have a choice. I have less than six weeks until I send it to my editor. Get crackin’.

Noah is making more progress on my shit than I am. I feel pretty guilty about that.

In general I feel the need to point out how much I appreciate Noah. Not many people in the world are willing to consciously adapt to me. Noah showed me what that could look like and I don’t think I will ever be ok with losing this now. Noah makes me feel like I am ok. There is nothing terrible about me. I have some annoying preferences, but who the hell doesn’t? Whatever. No big deal. Easy to accommodate.

It is only in seeing how he fails to live up to what I expect that I see how contemptuously I expect people to treat me. I’m pretty sure I project a lot of contempt. To be more clear: I think that I assume people feel contempt for me when they don’t. I have contempt for myself and that’s enough for me to assume other people share the sentiment.

It is incredibly hard to learn how to accurately perceive the world around you. You see the world through your particular little lens. Maybe you think the world is essentially good because you have had mostly positive experiences. Maybe you think the world is terrible because you have had mostly terrible experiences.

The world is neither. The world is mostly indifferent. I struggle with seeing that and understanding it. I struggle hard with being able to believe that the world doesn’t actually care that much one way or another about me. At least not until I have gone out and done things that the world can judge.

Then some people will like it and some people won’t and mostly people won’t care. Move on.

You can’t be doing it for them. You have to just do it for yourself. Because you have to manifest in the world what you want the world to be.

Despite the ever changing sea that is my emotional experience of the world, other people perceive me differently.

The nice 90 year old lady at the Post Office thinks I’m just great because I helped her cross the street when she was scared.

I think the world is a place where all the people around you would be potential allies and help if you just could figure out how to ask for your needs. Does everyone care? No. Frequently you can’t find the right way to appeal to people. Sometimes your basic position in the world bothers people and they will avoid you if you make clear your needs.

I think this is what is keeping me away from the PTSD forum right now. Everyone else is in the bunker-down-nobody-loves-me-everyone-hates-me-guess-I’ll-eat-worms stage. Or at least those are the threads being posted.

No, your PTSD is not some terrible secret you have to keep or everyone in the world will reject you for being terrible and disgusting. Yes, you will have to do a lot of self advocating and specifically requesting the kind of contact you want with people. Yes, it’s hard.

Ok, I try not to talk about neighbors. Here’s a thing that is coming up. I go to other peoples houses and more or less invite myself in. If I don’t do so for a while then people feel like I am rejecting them and I don’t like them anymore.

I go home and think WHY THE FUCK DO I HAVE TO INVITE MYSELF OVER?! YOU NEITHER WANT TO COME TO MY HOUSE NOR INVITE ME. WHY THE HELL SHOULD I DO THIS?!?!?!

But I get passive aggressive emails telling me they miss me when I don’t invite myself over.

I think everyone is shitty at relationships and when people know you have PTSD they are frequently more timid because the risk of social discord is high. They don’t want to hurt you again. So they don’t know what to do. So they do nothing. And that feels like rejection.

But they are sitting in their house feeling sad about me not being there. It’s a whole cluster fuck.

People. Oh man.

“I wish this person loved me enough to chase me for a relationship. Since they don’t love me that much I won’t bother them.” And thus the world goes ’round.

I think that the main reason my thinking on this has shifted to the current location is because of all the writing I do. People feel brave enough to tell me that they want me to keep writing for many decades. Until they die or longer. They want me in their lives. But time and distance and complications of life mean I don’t see these people much. But they want me to continue.

I don’t think that the average person with PTSD has people reaching out to tell them that they need to keep on keepin’ on. And that is sad. I am very lucky to have the people in my life I have.

I feel sad that most people seem to have the experience that telling people they have PTSD results in really negative relationship shifts. I find I experience more positive shifts. Yes, I have to do a lot of work because people are timid. But they do try hard with me. People give me space for some of my weird reactions that I can’t help that much. I have not been uninvited to all the parties just because I cry from stress at the parties. I go do my thing and calm down and come back when I can and people are cool with that. I take care of me and I’m still welcome to be part of the space when I’m ready.

At some point I will have spoons to share and I will try to be more motivational like with them. Not right now. I’m tired. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do. I can’t talk about my process while I’m figuring it out. Big shifts are hard.

Changing the hypervigilant behavior is really really hard. I’ve been working on it for a bit. I don’t know how long I will last in this phase. I suppose it would help if I articulated a goal to work towards. And metrics for success. That way it won’t become just a way to grind myself down.

Specifically, what have I been working on?

I am trying to stop counting how many people are in rooms. I’m trying to stop reorienting myself towards exits every few minutes. I suppose I’m trying to stop the behaviors that seem the most irrational to me. They aren’t helpful and they aren’t even all that related to my trauma. They are just things I started doing to cope with the anxious feelings. But they use a lot of tracks of my brain and contribute to my feelings of always being in danger.

I’m not sure I am specifically addressing other behaviors right now. Trying to be conscious of when I start to engage in those actions without thinking is really draining and hard.

So I started them to cope with anxiety but they create a different anxiety of their own. Kind of like pot. Harm Reduction. Less harm. That doesn’t mean that the next choice is a good choice… just a slightly less bad one. If I had “good” options I might take them. I don’t. I’m doing the best I can. Just like everyone else.

Or maybe they aren’t. I can’t really judge.

Today is entirely unscheduled. We will probably do the inside decorating. I’ll clean up the garage. Again. It always needs to happen. Oy.

Maybe I will spend a big chunk of the day sitting on the couch with the kids. We can read. That seems like a really good day right now.

Drips, drabs, ups, and downs.

We went up to San Pablo yesterday to see some friends. This is after that specific friend coming to my house monthly for ohhh four years now? I am starting to try and do some trips up there in exchange for all the trips to my house. The distance between us is not shorter just because he is a guy with no kids. I can do effort too.

And when I drive up there I get to spend time with his lovely wife. I find the visits to be highly educational in diverse arenas. For one thing: she knows way the fuck more about gardening than I do and she’s happy to talk about plants. Lately getting near someone with lots of plant knowledge who does not eschew my children is somewhat tricky. I’ve tried to sign up for gardening classes THAT ARE BEING ADVERTISED ON AN UNSCHOOLING MAILING LIST and I was told I would have to get babysitting. Stop fucking advertising in this space if my fucking kids aren’t welcome you fucking fuckers. I didn’t say fuck to the people in question. I just dropped it.

Beyond the gardening stuff, I am having a bit of trouble with Callidora. Well, phrasing it that way sounds more extreme than it is. Many of my parenting approaches work really well for Shanna and don’t work at all with Calli. Luckily my friends’ wife seems to identify really strongly with Calli. They are very similar temperamentally and she is giving me a lot of feedback for how to tweak our interactions so they work better.

I feel so much gratitude I don’t have words. Someone is willing to look at me and look at my daughter and look at our relationship and say, “You are doing ok, but you both might be happier if you did……”

Err, in defense of my hubris more than once I have said, “I’m afraid I am going to have to do ____” and her response was “Yes. That is exactly what you have to do.” So she isn’t entirely telling me new information. But she is very good at skimming out the bullshit and getting to the heart of the matter. “This is failing because of x.”

I don’t trust many people to give me feedback. I’m not sure why I trust her feedback as much as I do. For one thing she doesn’t use the word “should” and I’m not sure if that has become a specific trigger. Maybe I explode at people for that word rather than because I am completely unwilling to accept advice? It’s hard to tease out.

Also, she tends to say “Calli seems to be a lot like me. When I was a kid I had x and y and z experiences and this is how it went well and this is how it went badly. If Calli is as much like me as she seems right now, you are going to have to deal with a and b and c. It’s not a good idea to do d.”

I guess there is an implied “should” in that but she doesn’t say it.

It also occurs to me that I push Calli in a way I have never pushed Shanna. When Shanna was three I had a one year old. We did not spend a lot of time pushing the absolute physical limits of what she could accomplish until she collapsed in frustrated tears.

I’m having a hard time understanding fully that Calli wants to be able to do things she isn’t ready to do yet and I need to find a tactful way of bailing her out even as I push Shanna to try. Differentiated instruction is a bitch.

(Err, the bicycle riding project is coming along. We’ve hit a few hiccups. As my wise new running mate commented, “Dude. You’ve been out with them four times? Relax and do more low pressured practice.”

Yeah yeah. You may have a point. But we bought the bikes because we want to ride to the park. I need to decide in my adult brain that even if that is the eventual goal… we sure as shit can’t start by doing that. I should probably not try to leave our housing development again until June. We need more low-stakes practice than we have had. Hours and hours and hours and hours.

It is not just a form of transportation. It is about entertainment. It has to be about entertainment at first or they won’t gain enough proficiency to use it as transportation later. The transportation part doesn’t have to be worked out at three, instantly. Relax you bitch.

Medication has been spotty this week. I (re?)noticed a pattern. Whenever I get to the point of using sufficient medication that I actually feel good instead of having just the edge of the pain taken away I punish myself for days with under medicating so I feel a lot more pain. I’m not supposed to be using pot like a pot head. I’m not supposed to be trying to get high. I’m supposed to be just managing the pain.

I think I am too much of a Puritan. My sister told me I had ancestors on the Mayflower (Not her–different fathers.). Maybe it is too deeply buried within my DNA? I can’t stop believing that I must suffer. Anything that feels good MUST BE BAD.

I have been very consistent lately about giving up my morning “off time” to wake up with the kids. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. On one hand I’m more frazzled and I’m not taking a compensatory amount of time later. On the other hand… we are getting along better. When the kids open their eyes in the morning to me in their bed smiling at them… the whole day is easier. The first thing they hear every day is, “Good morning. I’m so glad to see you again. I’m looking forward to our wonderful day together.”

They smile back and say, “Me too!” then grab my neck and pull me close. Then I get a sleepy “Good morning.”

Sometimes it feels weird knowing that I do this as a parenting gesture in large part to make up for the hole in my heart. No one was ever happy to see me during my childhood. I was a terrible, unwanted burden.

I completely support mothers who need to abort children born of rape. I wish my mother hadn’t allowed her religion to force her to keep me. I was not wanted. And they made my life hell.

Now I have something different. It is so very nice. But it’s a lot of emotional and mental and physical work. And I get really tired.

When I’m tired it is harder to be consistent. When I’m scared I start screaming. That’s consistent.

Calli has asked me to stop raising my voice at her when I’m repeating orders/requests/whatever you want to call them. Demands? She told me (while making eye contact so this is serious as a fucking heart attack) “I will be able to listen to you better if you get close to me and whisper in my ear that it is important.”

If a three year old can so clearly ask for the kind of interaction she needs then I am a fucking asshole if I ignore the request. This is how I teach them ownership of their body and consent and boundaries.

I’ve been working on it. I kind of feel that I should create some accountability tool for myself. Maybe another sheet of paper on the wall. I can ask Calli to help me decide whether I approached her correctly or not and we can decide if I get a mark in the “right behavior” column or the “not so right” column. It will also help her clarify which aspects of the raised voice stuff are a problem for her.

My kids are not going to grow up thinking adults are perfect and kids need to bend to the adults around them. Ha. Ha. Ha. No. We want to live together. We need to adapt to one another.

I’m happy about the upcoming social stuff. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed that people are agreeing so delightedly to come to my events. My RSVPs fill up fast. (Err, RSVP for Easter if you are coming… not many spaces left.)

I have had something like six people in the last two weeks get really excited when I confirm that I’m hosting Easter again. “OH! You throw the best parties!”

I do?

Oh.

Well that’s awesome. How do I do that? What makes them “the best” for you? Because I spend my parties in kind of an anxious hell hoping I don’t offend everyone and run them off such that they never want to come back.

And yet I keep hosting. Irony.

I don’t seem to be running people off. I mean… I do… but I don’t. I run some people off.

I feel very guilty when I admit to myself that I run off people who need things from me that I can’t give. My anxiety and shame around not being able to meet their needs makes me angry and cruel. It isn’t my fault I can’t meet their needs. It isn’t their fault I can’t meet their needs. It isn’t their fault they have needs. I have needs they can’t meet either. But I get mean. This is a major character flaw of mine.

I don’t do this with people who have small needs I can easily meet. If people need something from me that is going to be an up to five hour commitment one time… I love doing that. That helps me feel like I am part of a community and I’m useful and all kinds of good feelings. When someone starts to need 3-10 hours of work from me every fucking week in order to have a relationship with them…

I get mean. I am awful. I am not a nice person. I don’t know how to have healthy limits without being an asshole. I’m not making excuses or justifying my behavior. It’s wrong.

I have been talking to a friend a lot about how different it is in America versus other more crowded countries. Americans apologize for bumping into someone. In China you would never say any word other than “sorry”. So they don’t bother.

I spend a lot of time apologizing for taking up space. I spend a lot of time apologizing for being inconvenient. I spend a lot of time apologizing for not being able to do/be what someone else wants/needs.

I am sorry I am so inadequate. I clearly see that I am.

Right now I’m having anxiety attacks because some folks are mad at me. Folks I don’t really need to “care” about per se. They aren’t my friends. They are the close friends of one of my friends. They are mad at me because my vomiting on Friday caused them some inconvenience. I have apologized profusely for inconveniencing them. I’m sorry they were brought into the situation by our mutual friend. But yeah. I’m the bitch.

And I feel consumed with shame and I have for days. I inconvenienced them. I stole hours of their life and made them about me when they already kind of hate me. I’m really sorry. I did apologize. I have not been acknowledged and that is what I assumed would happen.

I get into these situations. I’m sorry I inconvenienced you. I have very little control over when I vomit. I’m just glad I didn’t make a mess on my floor.

But it impacted your life. And you wish I didn’t impact your life. So you are angry with me because I popped up and existed in a way you couldn’t tune out.

I’m really sorry.

This is more or less why I avoid that whole segment of the “community”. I don’t really like feeling like I am doing something wrong by breathing in a way they can hear.

So yeah. I don’t think I will teach with my friend again. There is a bunch of stress in the lead up and if I get sick there is lots of acrimony, blame, and anger. Not from my friend. He was mellow about the situation. But he didn’t feel qualified to handle the class alone and those are the other people he has in his life to turn to for support.

Yeah well, me hanging around near them feels like an abusive family reunion where they all wish I would drop dead. The sooner the better.

More one of them than the other but… well that’s not a story I’ll write down yet. Maybe a few more decades. It being thirteen years ago still isn’t long enough. Some day.

It’s not all her fault. I was a bitch. But man. Oh man. Ok. Shiny change of topic.

I’ve been having a lot of feelings all week over that. I was doing great last week until I started vomiting on Friday.

I associate vomiting with letting people down and being a bad and weak person. When I get sick my association is that I will also be in trouble for some reason. I am inconvenient when I’m sick.

Noah is working hard to change some of these patterns. He’s nice when I’m sick. He does a lot of telling me that it isn’t my fault and I didn’t do anything bad. I feel really pathetic for needing it. But I do. And he does it. I am so grateful for him as a partner.

I like teaching though. I will look for more opportunities to teach. Just no co-teaching in a situation potentially wrapped in shame-inducing trauma. When I had to cancel a class as a professional teacher… no one made me write a formal apology. I’d like to go back to that kind of treatment. Thanks.

My running mate wants me to stop thinking of writing as a hobby and start thinking of it as a business. I’ve sold enough forking copies of my book that I can stop pretending I’m not a real writer. I shouldn’t have to pay for my book editing and publishing stuff out of my “fun money”. It’s not my hobby. Noah doesn’t take his business expenses out of his fun money. It’s a separate category in the budget. It’s not very healthy for me to demean myself in this fashion.

I will severely limit my career as a writer if I can’t employ an editor until I save up enough fun money by denying myself everything. Denial as a full-time lifestyle in a household that otherwise has a lot of privilege… that’s kinda self-hating. It’s being weird. It’s unhealthy.

Why do women do this to themselves? My writing “doesn’t count”. It’s just… something I do. Like the laundry. And when there are expenses for it, well, they are “mine”, right?

I developed a lot of habits over the years of having the annuities and living with men. What I could have was very strictly limited to what I had in that $1200 every month. I didn’t over extend. And now I have no real personal income and… I’m flailing. The $100/month of fun money is… not enough. Not for me to feel like I can track all of “my” spending separately from household stuff.

We just have a clothes budget. It is for all four of us. If someone gets something then the other three have to wait a while. *shrug* But it changes how I think of things. Although… when I bought the pretty clothes in Portland I took a big chunk out of my personal money. I spent more than $500 on two items of clothing. It didn’t seem fair to make my family give up that large a share of the clothes budget on me getting two items. So more than $300 came out of my fun money. That seemed fair to me.

When the kids really get a big clothes splurge… it goes in the “kid” section even though mostly they come out of the main category.

The kids have a big section of the budget that is amorphously used for classes, home school supplies. books, toys, gear of whatever kind (was baby carriers and diapers now it has moved on to bikes), and rarely clothes.

A long time ago I consciously went out and started spending time with older men. They could talk to me about money. How they got it. What they did with it. I made my own judgments about who lived in which kind of house and who had how much money. I’ve always been tactless as fuck. I would point blank ask them how much cash they had in the bank and whether or not they had investments.

I didn’t understand most of what they told me. But I remembered it. It’s kind of funny to have little memories float up now and again as I’m trying new things with investing.

Be sure you are right, then go ahead. I will, Davey. I will research and research and research and I’ll figure out what I think is right. Of course I know I could always be wrong. Some minute change in my life might make all of my careful risk calculations moot and irrelevant.

I have no way of predicting that. So I have to just act and hope for the best.

Save.

Debt is evil.

Make your money work for you.

Pay yourself first.

Sometimes I think I turn to these mantras as the only way I have of blocking out all the voices in my head who want me to think I am stupid and a bitch and I should just stop inconveniencing them by breathing.

I’ve been really stunned by the intensity of my suicidal ideation this week.

I also haven’t been doing my daily check in calls with my friend. She’s really busy on a project. She’ll be back in a week or so. I support and respect her participation in this event and that means she has no time to think about me. I am a big girl and I’ll keep my big girl panties on.

It is interesting how suicidal ideation is not always about depression. I don’t feel like I am feeling depression symptoms. This is more on the anxious/overwhelmed side. Manic is a word people like. But I’m not… doing anything manic.

Just out of the blue driving on the freeway I see a weird opening where it would be possible to turn and be hit by a semi-truck and I want to do it more than I want anything in the world. I want in that moment to feel a lot of pain and then die. I want it as much as my heart wants to beat. It is immediate and visceral and all encompassing.

I have to breathe very lightly and lift my hands so I have a very light guiding pressure on the steering wheel. Sometimes I get off the freeway to breathe and stretch my neck and remind myself, “Not today.”

The reasons I don’t like driving are varied and complicated and… I’m willing to bet that someday I will not be able to drive any more. It is part of the reason I am as strongly motivated to make friends near my house as I am. Walking will always be a good idea. Forever. For my health.

Thanks, Pam, for letting me write this morning.

My head feels better. I feel a lot less shame. Writing it down helps.

I don’t need to feel shame because other people would prefer that their world didn’t overlap with mine. I could reject our mutual friend so that they never have to hear about me again, but given that he values his relationship with me that seems kind of awful.

But I think I should have different boundaries. Still working on where those need to be. Boundaries are tricky things. You only find out you have them when they are transgressed. Ha. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CLASS. And what I got out of it is: I need to make sure I never have to deal with your extended friends again. Awesome.

That’s a lesson I can learn.

They aren’t going to like me. No matter what. Ever. I need to not care about that. They are allowed to have their experience of the world where I am… something. I don’t know what. I shouldn’t speculate. I would surely overstate my importance. I certainly don’t suspect that either of them while away hours just hating me. I’m not that important.

So I don’t need to feel shame because they are feeling irritation. That’s not something I need to take on. I gave an apology. I offered restitution to the best of my ability. That’s what I’ve got. Move on. I didn’t vomit on purpose.

And when I feel shame for my social behavior I rush home to assure myself that I am managing my money properly. No one is going to be able to force me to move. I’m allowed to stay here. I’m jumping through all the hoops that actually matter for my life. I don’t have to care that they dislike me. There won’t be any consequences.

And then I can stop thinking about it.

Thank you internet. That’s the end of my confession for today. I have some dirt to play with and a fence to sand. Tomorrow a bunch of little kids are going to come paint a few sections. We are adding more year by year. Drips and drabs. It’s really fun.

Saturday is the Girl Genius Volume 1 read aloud. Email me for details if you want to come hear Noah do all the hilarious voices.

Teaching was fun.

The internet gave me the tentative go-ahead to carry on with my plans since they were more than 24 hours after the last uhm incident. So I taught a class yesterday. It was on boundary transgressions.

The word “rape” didn’t come up. I feel… fairly flabbergasted really. It was not that kind of crowd. We had eight students, so not a big class. Three women. Two of the women were ladies who have been around the block a few times and they were frankly inspirational. They frequently came up with better (more tactful, polite AND effective) responses to boundary violation situations than I did. I’m so glad they came.

This was mostly a new-to-bdsm crowd who wanted to learn more about social boundaries and trying new things. I hope I gave them some things to think about and some exercises to practice. *cross fingers* A couple of people left mid-way and the rest of the class said they were very happy to be there and they learned a lot.

I was surprised by how effectively I co-taught with my friend. I kind of thought that would be a bit rocky. I also kind of forgot “Oh yeah… I’m a writing teacher…” and most bdsm classes aren’t really writing classes. But mine involves writing! I brought paper and pens and everything. And they wrote. Like you do.

It was good though. Self-evaluation kind of stuff you don’t necessarily have to share with the class. They spent the time scribbling furiously so I don’t think they were completely unengaged.

So hard to judge.

There was a point about victimization I never made because it never fit appropriately in the conversation. It was a really… non-traumatized crowd. I remain shocked that most of the bdsm community does not come to bdsm through trauma. I *know* it is true… and yet I feel surprise. Every time I rediscover. “Oh wait. Not everyone is like me.”

But the point was: living in a state of perpetual victimhood will ruin your life. Yet sometimes you have to come to a place within yourself where you understand that for a limited time and duration you were a victim or you can’t grow past that place. You have to be able to recognize that everyone can be a victim but you don’t want to be a victim forever. You have to figure out how to change your mindset after a boundary violation and take back your right to respond.

You always have ways to respond you just haven’t thought of yet. Keep going back to your inner resources and brain storming ways to do it differently next time.

Alas. I made a similar sort of line of commentary but not explicitly that language. These people weren’t victims and they clearly didn’t understand the language of victimhood. It was interesting to adapt on the fly.

We did some fun role playing. Even though not everyone was eager to “act” everyone verbally participated a lot. I made everyone be talkative since the class was so small. I’m really good at that patient-smile-while-people-feel-pressured-to-talk. I’ll just grin expectantly at you while making lots of eye contact. We’ll see who can be silent. Muahahaha.

My co-teacher gave me some specific good feedback (less second person, he worried about one of my lack-of-eye-contact points I countered with “but if you make eye contact during writing assignments they stop writing because they think time is up” he said that was a good reason).

I had a great time. Lots of anxiety around the event for a variety of socially awkward reasons but it worked out. I’m glad I was well enough to attend.

And I signed the paperwork. I no longer have any legal ties to the coffee shop in San Francisco. It is being bought by two new enthusiastic owners. Everyone is excited. It’s staying within the community. Yay! I helped keep the coffee shop open because I wanted that to be a community space for all the young freaks who need it. I’m really glad that more people in the extended community are getting involved. It is more likely to last this way. Yay! Yay!

All in all, canceling Saturday was sad but we had a great weekend. We got to rest on Saturday and maybe that is for the best anyway. We have busy stuff coming up.

Oh! And the hot tub is gone! Hallelujah! I get to clean up and organize my back yard more. The Easter party will be epic. I’m growing to enjoy the Easter parties more by the year. I’m figuring out what I enjoy and what doesn’t work. I’m really pretty surprised that I can hide as many hundreds of eggs as I manage on my tiny property. But I find them for eight months.

I think that the Easter party is partially so fun because I’m not competing with much other holiday stuff. Ok, I lose people for Passover. That’s ok. It’s not Christmas-time. It isn’t over-all as stressful of a time of year.

I bought way way way less candy this year. Last year was overwhelming. See, I learn.

If the weather cooperates this Friday home schoolers will be coming over to paint the fence. This will be fun. I get the impression at least a few folks will come to hear Girl Genius.

This week is a running week with J. Maybe if we are going to do alternative weeks on Tuesdays and Saturdays we should make those running dates split up so we see one another once a week but not on the same day every week. Maybe. I’m going to keep up the running this year. Darn it.

It is time for the monthly pilgrimage to San Pablo this week. That’s a long drive. But seeing those folks in their home is important. The kids have to learn to manage grown-up-only houses. It’s a process.

It will be a very busy and hopefully fun week. Only four hours of driving scheduled over the next ten days. That should be nice. Yay for staying home and having people come to me.

Easter fretting.

It is going to be raining cats and dogs on Easter. That means no outdoor hunt. Which means I will only be able to hide 40-50 eggs. I have over 300 filled. Hm. I’m really not sure how I want to handle this. Although the chance of rain went from 70% to 30% and they are no longer predicting thunder storms during my party window.

I think I’m just going to have a party no matter what and if I have a bunch of eggs left I’ll organize something with the homeschool group in the next week or two.

Ok. That’s a plan.

Now I understand “fuck cancer”

For most of my life I have been kind of confused by the “fuck cancer” emphasis people have. They seem to be more upset by it than other kinds of death. I’m a death-is-death-how-doesn’t-matter person. Only in the past couple of weeks Kate Bornstein (who is one of the most important voices in gender deconstruction) has had a crowd source fundraising effort because she has cancer–we need her. She has the courage to speak about things that must be spoken about. She is really important.

And another person I know has 6, 4, and 2 year old children. Kate is very likely to survive. She has a very survivable kind of cancer and now the outpouring of love and money she will need to fight for life. His survival chances are in the single digits.

I can’t stop weeping. I “know” my grandmother died from cancer. I don’t know what kind–not breast cancer. I know that much.

The kind of knowing I want my children to have for me is something that cannot come until they are adults and putting it all together in retrospect. I think that I all of a sudden just received a catapulted stone of fear in my belly. How will his children know him?

He told me just before he found the lump that I had inspired him to start marathon training. That process was more or less how the lump started bothering him. That’s why they found this. I told him to start making videos for his kids. One for each birthday up until they are 25 or 30. They need to know you and get the advice you would give them.

Shanna was asking me about parents yesterday. Kind of the standard kid question kinds of things: do only Mommies take care of babies? Oh dear goodness I hope not or a lot of kids would starve to death. I told her that some babies have only one mommy or only one daddy and some babies have a mommy and a mommy (or mama) and some babies have two daddies and some babies have more than two parents of any possible gender consideration. What matters to a baby is that consistent grown ups hold and care for and love the baby. That is all that is needed to make a parent. Not biology. Not anything else. I said that babies are designed to fall in love with the grown ups who care for them because that is how the baby will ensure survival. Mutual love with a grown up means the grown up becomes invested and puts a lot of time and energy towards the baby.

She said, “So it doesn’t matter if it is a boy or a girl?” I asked her how many times it has mattered whether I have a penis or a vulva while I change diapers. I asked her if she thinks our female friend K is too stupid to figure out how to clean her son’s penis. Shanna laughed. I asked her if her father has ever had trouble wiping her butt. She confirmed that he is a poop wiping expert. I said, “Anuses are universal.”

She asked if girls are supposed to stay home with their babies. The timing on this conversation was just hilarious considering what I have been reading on the internet lately. I said girls are supposed to do the things that make them happy. By being happy in front of their kids they are teaching their kids the right way to live. For some mothers this means staying home and for some mothers this means working outside the home for a company. All mothers work. All mothers do a back breaking amount of work. If a mother has an outside job then the children can either stay with dad (I cited families we know) or if both parents work day care of some kind can be arranged (I explained several different examples we know).

Every family looks different because every family is made up of different people. Different people are made happy by different things. That is what makes life beautiful. If everyone was exactly the same life would be really crappy. Every person is on a completely individualized path through life.

I said that different people have different advantages. I talked to her about money. I talked to her about how some people have large extensive families and that is a different very important kind of support. It gives different life options. For example: single parenting is a very different experience if you are rich than if you are poor. Single parenting is a very different experience if you have a large and involved family than if you have no family support. I went on and on. She asked more questions. It kept going.

I tell my children frequently that while they are children they have a few specific jobs they have to work on. Their primary job is to play with the world. The process of play and exploration is the primary thing that children should be focused on. After that you have to learn how to have relationships with people; you have to learn how to be considerate. But the third thing is: with great privilege comes great responsibility. I tell my children explicitly that they are part of the most privileged cohort that has ever been born. They have more access to information and the ability to learn than any person has ever had at any point in history. And my kids have free access to it all day every day because they are not locked in an institutionalized setting following some bullshit agenda that is the resort of so much compromise nothing real is taught. I expect them to take learning seriously.

I talk about how the world is changing and there are a lot of people in the world who do not have access to information. There are a lot of big problems to be solved. People will have to be exceptionally able to synthesize large amounts of data in order to solve these problems. People will have to learn a bunch of cross-disciplines in order to solve these problems. The only way is to start young and take it seriously. Learn.

I tell my kids that I want them to grow up and be fierce and sure of their opinions. They should not believe they are “always right” because that is hubris–no one is always right. But listen to Davey Crockett: Be sure you’re right and go ahead. Plan at leisure; act with haste. If you hesitate then some someone less qualified will speak first and set the plan. That’s really not a great situation. If you can’t find a way; make a way. You will make mistakes or you will never learn and grow. You must make big mistakes. That is part of life.

Even if I get upset with you over a mistake I will get over it. I love you more than I love breathing. More than I love any thing in the whole world. I will get angry with you. I will shout at you. I will never hit you. I will always love you.

Thinking about cancer makes me feel so very afraid of my children not knowing me. Shanna proudly informed me that she was going to grow up and be a bad ass just like me. I laughed. I told her that would make me very happy. I want to see that. I want to see what she is going to be like. I want to know her. I want that so fucking much.

Getting to see what Shanna will do in the world will be my entertainment and reward for still being alive.

And that’s before I even get to Calli. Calli is a born engineer. She is going to need to have a woman behind her saying, “You can do it” for a great many steps in her life. She is going to live in a “man’s world”. Hell she already wants to be Diego–not Dora. Not Alicia. She’s Diego. She’s the god damn main character who rescues everyone.

They need me. It is so clear. Like my friend’s children need him. And I start weeping again and I understand fuck cancer.

There is no right. There is no should. There is no deserve in this life. There just is.

On April 1st it will be the birthday of one of the awesomest women I know. I’m sorry I won’t be in Portland with her. That would have been wonderful.

In other news I am exchanging books with a friend who is also a writer on April 1st. We are essentially work-shopping one another’s books. You know, a real forking editing job. I’m ridiculously excited. I want No Secrets to be finished and I have stalled. It has been almost a year and a half since I wrote it and it still isn’t in paper. Erf.

In September Noah is officially off the leash and he gets to start being a mostly absentee father/husband while he works on whatever he wants to work on. I’m thinking about treating July like my own personal NaNoWriMo. I want to write Outrunning Suicide before I have a hard time negotiating for time. A lot of the shape of it is working itself out in my head. Stylistically it will not resemble No Secrets. That’s for the best. I’ve been reading reviews of writers differently lately. “What will they bitch about with my content–repetitiveness. I can’t just tell the same stories. Hm. Interesting.”

Sometimes it is kind of convenient that I have been through such a ridiculous variety of kinds of extreme trauma. I always have another fucking story. Ha.

A few times lately I have thought about my mother. I’ve thought about what will happen when Shanna is eighteen. Shanna might want to meet my family. She will be allowed to. I’ll drive her to the house and wait at the bottom of the hill for her. She doesn’t have to share my views on them. She didn’t make my bed; I did.

Shanna asked me if I loved my mommy when I was a little girl. I told her that when I was a little girl I thought my mommy was the best thing in the whole universe. I loved her with my whole heart. She was my sun and my moon. Shanna then pointed out that I don’t feel that way now. I said, “No. I don’t. You will have different opinions when you are in your thirties than you have right now too.” She looked thoughtful.

It is really hard giving space for beliefs that are not your own. If I break the incest chain in my family I have absolutely done a measurable good in the world. I just found a biography from someone in the middle of a six generation chain. My stomach hurts too much to read it right now. At some point in the not-too-distant future I will have read everything easily findable on this topic. That’s a little weird to know. It makes me want to create more data.

Life goals:

I want to deepen and broaden the scope of information known about incestuous families. At some point I will figure out a measurable goal around this topic. I don’t have it yet.

I want to live outside my country of origin for a minimum of five years, preferably in one year chunks. I’ll get homesick bad.

I want to see what Noah can do. He has really impressed me so far. I want to see what he and I can do together.

You outrun suicide by giving yourself full permission to do it, but you keep moving the goal posts. “Ok I can do it. But first I have to do…” It’s on the to do list. But a lot of other things are going to happen first.

I want my children to be adults and to be able to say, “Yeah. I agree. It’s time. I love you. Do what is right for you.” Maybe I will have to move to Oregon once I hit 70. When I get there I will get to be near a friend of mine. She is partnered with one of the people who pushed that law through. I feel so grateful that I get to know people who change the world. They give me the courage to keep trying.

Holy fuck. I just had a thought. What age level is Outrunning Suicide aimed at? If I want a lot of people to be able to read it I have to think about that. My writing is rather obtuse most of the time. Well that will take some thought.

When I was a child there were very few periods of time when I didn’t want to die. I stayed alive mostly because I was too depressed to be expeditious. I didn’t know anything other than pain. I was not permitted to act like I was in pain. That was rude.

My life is different now. I didn’t understand what a life free from pain was. It was a myth. I wouldn’t say that I am exactly pain free at this point but I am probably at the lowest level of pain and the highest level of joy I have ever had. These are the best days of my life. And I know it while I am living them.

I keep wandering in my head to a Madeleine L’Engle book A Wind in the Door. The mitochondria are in trouble! The farandolae aren’t deepening! I just read Collapse by Jared Diamond. Help! The planet is in trouble! The humans aren’t deepening!

I don’t know. Lots of feelings. Today I don’t want to die. And I weep at the loss of a great mind. I hope he doesn’t read this. My grief is not his problem. I’m glad his wife has a very supportive family. I’m glad they live near her family and not his. I am so sorry it is happening.

I’ve read tragedies for years. I’ve taught units on tragedy. I never really got it before. I’ve never been deep enough into a community to really understand what the loss of a person means before.

He’s going to fight. He’s that kind of guy. My grief is entirely premature and I need to stfu. But this is where I feel.

I have spent most of my life believing very firmly that for me cancer was one of the goalposts. I wouldn’t fight. I would go quietly into the dark night because I’m not interested in more suffering.

Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you different is selling something.

Now I don’t know. When I think about the things I want to do. When I think about not seeing my daughters grow up to be fierce and bad ass? (She-Ra is pretty bad ass is a frequent comment around our house. I said it once. Oy.)

There is no right. There is no should. There is no deserve. There is only what is. And what you go do with it. We live in a time of practically preternatural access to science. If you have money. If you want to fight something bad enough we live in a time of honest-to-goodness miracles.

How much do I want to see my daughters at thirty? Forty? Fifty? Sixty? What will they do with their lives? I want to know so very badly. I am curious. I want to know. I want to see what this being I have unleashed on the world will do.

Somehow I don’t envision her walking onto the family compound at eighteen and not coming back. It’s thirteen years away. She’ll be able to evaluate people on her own at that point. She will have had a lot of practice with a lot of different kinds of people. She will be able to read people well. My family isn’t subtle. Even if she does want to get to know them–and why not, they are interesting people–she won’t want to stay.

She will have shit to do. My family has nothing to do but be unhappy. They will sit in one place doing that until they die. I don’t understand why. It’s like a clock that has run down. Poverty, physical health, mental health, and a kind of apathy I don’t understand. An anger about entitlement and responsibility I don’t understand.

I have had such a ridiculous amount of privilege. I’m only starting to understand the shape of it.

I have had the privilege of being able to set the goal post of “I’ll kill myself if” pretty low but I’ve been healthy enough to always meet a really ableist centric attitude. I have been able to be an asshole about independence. I’ve also had a guaranteed income for most of my adult life. I’ve been financially stable without having to have a job. That’s so fucking ridiculous.

I have no safety net though. I don’t have Bank of Mom and Dad. I don’t have emergency reserves beyond those I create. For most of my adult life I was inches above the poverty line living in one of the most expensive places in the world. I have never come close to bankruptcy and my credit score is ridiculous. I did that with a lot of seed capitol. I feel like an asshole for being glad that pit bull attacked me. It made the whole rest of my life better.

Perspective if everything.

I’ve been thinking about my mom. I have been specifically thinking, “I forgive you. I hope you forgive me.” If my kids ever go and meet her I hope my mom understands why I kept them away. My kids will be different. They will not have broken spirits. I hope she will be able to see that and be glad. I hope she will forgive me. I hope she understands wanting to keep your kids safe.

I hope she will forgive me.

I hope she will still be alive so that she will be able to meet my kids some day. I hope my kids want to talk to her a lot for a while. I bet she won’t live long after that but she will die happier than she has been in a long time. They will be like her. They will be able to ask her questions about things she has had great skill at doing. They will think she is an interesting person.

It’s kind of a weird balance. I have to tell the truth to my children. The truth is that no one is all bad. Everyone has good parts. The thing about life is learning how to find the good that balances the bad and evaluating if the value is high enough. In most families people decide that the kin alliance is worth putting up with the bad. That’s normal and right.

When my kids are adults they will not be children who are easy to mold. They will not be instructed in how sex is natural and fine between family members as long as you don’t breed because it is only in breeding too close to the line that you develop problems.

I hope that when my daughters are eighteen they will have the ovaries to say to a biological family member who solicits sexual contact, “You are a disgusting piece of shit and I hope you rot in hell.” Because yeah. That’s the reaction you should have to incest.

But I don’t think my family would dare at that point. And if everyone keeps their britches on, it’s fine… right? Oh fuck. *beat head on wall* Wait. I’m not supposed to do that any more.

Maybe I should get dressed and run. That would be all healthful and crap.

I want to live. I have stuff to do. I’m scared. Fuck cancer. I can’t be strong enough to outrun it. No one can. It just happens. Am I going to instantly stop smoking so I can lessen my risk of lung cancer? No. I wouldn’t be a nice person. (Vaporizer is still impact on the lungs. My lungs will tell you.)

On the way I will eat more Easter candy. My body says: “Hey, I know-instead of crying: sugar rush and endorphins!” Is this ideal? Nope. We recognize two candy-holidays a year in this house. Otherwise I would get in a long of trouble. I didn’t eat candy like this when I was a kid. It’s kind of weird.

Ok, run.

Always look on the bright side.

Given the behavior of everyone in my household yesterday and how I feel today I’m glad I don’t have to drive to Portland tomorrow. That would suck. However I am fully confident that I will be better by say Tuesday or Wednesday which gives me an unexpected few days to prepare for the Easter party.

I uhm think I will be going overboard as compensation. It’ll be fun. Pinterest oh how you eat my brain.

I am pretty confident that we will have at least twelve fifteen kids. I’ve had that many “yes we are coming” actual confirmations. (re-checked email) A whole bunch of other people just haven’t responded at all. Thank you to my wonderful blog readers. You all responded. When I fuss I am not fussing about you. (My blog readers said “no” if they can’t make it. See how polite people are when they read about your inner process?)

Food, Glorious Food

I’m pretty excited about the party today.  I probably should be off starting to prep for it right now.  The reason I am not doing so is because it is still pitch black outside.  I think the first thing I do should be to hide the eggs so the girls aren’t woken up by me moving around in the house before then.  Excellent.  Time to think.  One of the things that has been on my mind a lot lately is food.  Seems normal, I think everyone focuses on food.  Especially when they are about to host a party.  But that isn’t really what I mean.  I mean that I’m thinking about food in the abstract.  I’m thinking about what it means to me.  See, I’m doing that because I’m not really eating.  Yesterday I had an egg mit from Noah’s Bagels and a 16 oz drink from Jamba Juice for breakfast.  For the entire rest of the day I had a slice of cheese, a couple bites of sausage, half a bowl of ramen, and about 5 bites of meat at a Japanese restaurant.  I am not a small chick.  I am breastfeeding.  That is simply not an adequate number of calories for a day.  Right before going to bed I asked Noah to bring me food and he did and I ate a sandwich.  I did that because I knew Calli would be up all night nursing (I was mostly right) and I didn’t want to deal with the level of stomach pain I get if I let her keep nursing when I’m over hungry.

Maybe that is part of why I hate nursing her so much.  And that’s why my jeans are falling off.  It’s this weird thing.  I am so clearly punishing myself.  Wait.  I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’m not telling the story right.

I’ve been thinking about food a lot.  I’ve been thinking about food a lot because I’ve been playing games with denying myself food.  This feels unsettling and weird to me because… it’s not October.  I accept that I do things like this every so often, but it never crossed my mind until this morning when my wonderful online girlfriend asked me about it.  My father committed suicide in the beginning of October.  I think I have spent every October since his death not eating.  This was actually an issue with Tom.  He got very worried and upset the first two years of our relationship when I didn’t eat for a month.  I mean, I do eat some.  But I eat 25-50% of what I normally eat.  And my weight tends to plummet rapidly during this time.  I’ve always gotten a lot of positive feedback about that and uhm, that’s weird.  It’s weird that I get so much overt societal approval for being that specific flavor of fucked up.  Society as a whole would love for me to develop this kind of overwhelming shame at all times so that I could finally have the appropriate body size.

And yet I’m not real inclined to do that.  I have very quiet anxiety that I don’t express to almost anyone about being “too fat” where I don’t know where the line is.  And I don’t even know exactly why I feel so bad about this anxiety.  Ok, here’s the thing: my actual shoulder bones are very narrow.  And for whatever reason I don’t tend to put on much weight in the very upper arms/shoulder/upper back areas.  So my upper body is always going to look funny in larger sized clothes because they hang wrong.  And I feel like I can never look attractive in my clothes.  And that really bothers me.  It really and truly bothers me that when I am heavy it is literally impossible to find things that fit me in the shoulders.  I’m starting to wear strapless dresses/shirts because then I can wear an open size medium sweater that doesn’t hang off my shoulders.

So obviously this is a complicated issue.  Food is love for me.  Very very much so.  I love to feed people and I surround myself with people who think food is love.  And then I do things like telling Noah last night that if he ever tries to get me to eat Japanese food again it will be proof that he is a terrible person who doesn’t love me because something in the flavor palate really bothers me.  Ok, I didn’t use exactly those words but that was strongly the gist of it.  And for the record I apologized as soon as my brain caught up with what my stupid mouth had just said.  I was horrified.  Oh man.  For the record the Japanese food thing is almost certainly connected with my overall food issue right now.  Nothing tastes good to me these days.  It’s complicated.

And that’s a lot of why I feel so awkward right now.  I’m really nervous about my ability to pull off being adequately social for the party today.  I don’t know how to talk to people because I am leapfrogging from one yucky thought to another about food stuff.  Why do I surround myself with feeders and then refuse to eat?  Because I don’t deserve love.  Because I’m saying bad things about my Daddy.

And that is why I don’t eat in October.  I am paying penance for killing him.  Without ever having considered if I should or shouldn’t, I am.  That’s an awful thing to think about.  I don’t think he deserves it in my big kid brain.  I don’t know where to begin to find a road around this obstacle.  Even if he doesn’t deserve it the little girl inside me is really upset about hurting her Daddy.

I’m kind of twitching about using that name for him.  You see, I tend to refer to him as my father.  Because he fathered me.  He spawned me.  That sort of thing.  I have had multiple Daddys at this point and they’ve been good men.  It’s kind of an odd story really.  Even I am not slow enough to have missed the connection between me having multiple friends and lovers I call Daddy and thinking about my father molesting me.  It’s kind of odd that the process has healed me in many ways.

Side note: I noticed that it was 5:30 and that I was kind of hungry.  I made a conscious decision to get up and get something to eat because it is absolutely mandatory that my mood be stable today.  I don’t want to eat it.  It actually tastes disgusting enough that I am having difficulty chewing and I feel nearly unable to swallow.  I’m eating a Vanilla Chip Chewy Granola Bar made by Cascadian Farms.  Normally I think these things are just about heaven on earth.  Right now my mouth feels coated and waxy and I feel repulsed and I am having minor gag reflex responses at the idea of taking a third bite.  But I don’t want to be a nasty bitch to my friends today so I took my damn third bite and I will just try not to think about the taste.  Because if I do this, if I allow myself to sit in this cycle today, I will cause a nasty big blow up fight in public and I will feel humiliated and proven right that I am an unstable bad person.

No thanks.  I’ll eat the fucking granola bar.  And every time someone tells me to eat today I will.  Because even if my little girl thinks I deserve to lose all my friends and be punished because I am a terrible person for prosecuting my father my big girl says fuck that shit.  I am not going to do this to myself any more.  I have people in my life who are just itching to feed me and love me.  I really should let them do both.  Even if I can’t love me when I am breaking family taboos and talking about family or relationship secrets.  But I don’t even know if that is it.  I just know that I feel upset enough when I am processing abuse stuff that I begin to withhold food from myself.

Hmm.  Interesting thought.  I wonder if part of the reason I am so prone to attach strongly to people who show love with food because I know I do this to myself and I know that *for me* it is necessary for me to have a cushion of fat to deal with these times of punishing myself.  Years ago I did Weight Watchers and I lost 50 pounds.  It was rather dramatic.  I was also doing a lot of intense exercise and I got into rather good shape.  (I realize now as I mourn that vigorous body.)  I’m trying to get back to feeling like I have that kind of energy.  Though now it occurs to me that it will probably not happen as long as I am waking up at 4 in the morning to write about being sexually assaulted while I was little.

But I have to wake up at 4 and write about it or I will answer cashiers in grocery stores with, “Hi, I’m Krissy and I’m a sexual assault survivor.  Specifically incest that primarily happened in the first ten years of my life, and multiple horrifying rapes when I was 7-10 years old, and a few date rapes and near misses as a teenager.  And then I prosecuted my father and he killed himself and I’ve been a hot mess ever since.  But thanks for asking how my day is!  I hope you are having a good one!”  That wouldn’t be ok, you know?

I hold that boundary.  And I don’t talk about my abuse and trauma very much during the day.  Even though this is an intense period of processing I don’t allow myself to talk about it during the day outside of therapy much because it isn’t appropriate for my kids to hear.  That has to be a boundary.  So instead I just punish myself.

And I grow to resent my children.  Especially nursing.  They are taking so much from me right now but I keep picturing this wonderful scene from a movie I recently watched.  The movie was Mother and Child with Annette Bening.  I sobbed my heart out through the whole story.  But specifically towards the end a woman is successful in adopting a baby after great personal sacrifice trying to do so.  She calls her mom in the middle of the night and throws a temper tantrum about how needy the baby is.  The grandmother in question, S. Epatha Merkerson, pulls back into this stern dignified look.  She then proceeds to tell her daughter off up one side and down the other for daring to have the gall to complain about a baby having needs.  These days when I start to feel pissy with the girls I close my eyes and picture that stony face of disappointed fury telling me to get off my ass and take care of the god damn baby.  And I plaster a smile on my face and get over myself.  I am not always as fast in some of my responses as I would like because I have to stop and take deep breaths to deal with my frustration level sometimes.  But everyone here is happy and healthy and growing and feeling really loved and supported as part of a whole unit.  A big part of that is I have decided that the version of Attachment Parenting we want to practice does not involve all the extremism that some loud voices in the “Natural Family Living” community think it should.  And that’s ok.  I don’t have to think that everything in the mainstream is wrong just because it is a common thing to do.  That is conforming to a specific kind of non-conformity and oh man it is killing me.  So I’m not doing the perfectly available 24/7 thing anymore.  And you know what?  It’s helping a lot.

You can see why I feel that thinking about food is complicated?  But the sun is stealing slowly over the horizon.  I can now clearly see the outline of the tree in our yard.  It is time for me to get up and go hide Easter eggs for a party.  I have something like 12 kids coming on a hunt today.  It will be super fun.   Luckily 5 of those kids are too young and 1 is probably mostly too old because I only have 48 eggs.   Always look on the bright side I say.  The kids will all have a wonderful time and it will be a great party.  I will eat every time someone mentions that I should.  The awesome thing is, no one who loves to feed me will have a chance to read this journal entry before the party.  But they will read it later.  Then the game becomes, do I tell them this morning what stupid destructive game I am playing so they can help me break the cycle?  Or do I act like a crazy person and create drama.  Yeah.  I think I’ll be talking to them as soon as possible.  I wish I didn’t need as much support as I do but I’m really glad that I can get it since I need it.  I am very lucky.

Evil Soul

So I’m a counter phobic 6, as least that is what Noah tells me. And Rebecca. And other people concurred. Maybe someday I will study the Enneagram and I will decide if I agree or not. Until then all I know is the more something scares me the more intensely focused on it I am. And right now I am so terrified of what I am currently thinking about that I am shaking. It is difficult to type. The thing is, what I am afraid of is being called a liar. I’m afraid of someone reading this and saying it isn’t true. When I first starting writing about things like this I was in graduate school. It was actually a fiction writing class. I chose to write creative non-fiction, basically telling stories about my trauma, because I couldn’t think of anything else to write. I didn’t present it that way to the class. One of the other students was very assertive in her position that what I was writing was unrealistic and not very good. I haven’t ditched that criticism yet, though I should.

I’m scared to write about these things because they are crazy. Really, seriously crazy. Why do I think they are that crazy? Because I have spent my adult life around atheists who have no patience for the woo. But I believe in the woo. And I need to own that and stop beating around the bush and just… say it.

Oh god this hurts. I found it. I had to come back to it. I had to come looking for the dark place instead of waiting for it to find me. That was harder than I thought. It was a lot harder than I thought to get back to this frantic state where I have to type or I am going to explode. It is even neat to me that I can’t say these words, I do need to type them. Thank god for computers. Fuck computers. That’s my life. And I’m already losing it. Shit.

After therapy this week Noah and I decided that it was a great night to go do more of the two chair thing starting at about 10. I was wired for sound. Something that came up a lot in therapy and then later with Noah was thinking about my current level of suicidal ideation. It’s really at an alarmingly high level. I feel more active compulsion than I have in years. My therapist asked me if I wanted to get into it with her and I told her no. When I told Noah that I had done that he responded with, “Ah! A challenge!” or the slightly less bombastic equivalent, which nonetheless means the same thing.

I am suicidal. Statistically speaking it’s really quite unsurprising. My particular brand of suicidal seems to be spurred mostly by shame. But here I am using my analytic voice. And each word of composition is ponderously considered, difficultly spelled, and not conducive to actually doing this. Let’s try something else.

It’s really scary to let these feelings come up. I feel intense pressure in my chest. I feel my throat tighten. I want to sob uncontrollably and yet I can’t breathe enough to get out sound. This is one of the feelings that produce intense, copious liquid tears. Often in other times when I cry I rack with sobs but no liquid comes out. I wonder why there is such variation in crying. And oh look. That was a really weak ass, uninteresting derail. Maybe some discomfort? Ha.

I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna talk about being terrible. I don’t want to say out loud that I believe I am evil. I believe my brother and my father are dead because I was loud and drew attention to myself and everything bad that came after is all my fault. I believe I am evil because my father whispered into my ear from when I was a tiny child that I was a witch. I have casually told stories for years about my maternal grandmother being a witch and I’ve told stories about things she supposedly did.

I learned every single one of those stories from my father. And the grandmother in question was not his. He was villainizing—no… he was literally demonizing my mother’s bloodline. He bloody well convinced me that I cannot escape being evil. He repeatedly encouraged me to seek out black magic because I had powers. When I was a teenager I read a bunch of books about Wicca, Shamanism, and a few other off-shoot pagan religions. I tried to cast a spell on a then-boyfriend to make him become obsessed with me. Hey, The Craft had just come out. He did become pretty obsessed with me. I think it’s much more likely that he became obsessed with me because I was a pretty girl who was willing to have sex with him.

But oh my god. I have built up this entire narrative in my life about how that scared me off of trying to pursue more magical endeavors because I have power. That is the crux of it. I have power. I do. The fact that I have survived my life is pretty much proof. I have survived my father molesting me all through my earliest memories. I have survived risky sexual activity during the periods of intense acting out I have had. The 25 year old man who fucked me at my request when I was 12 years old didn’t wear a condom. He was a drug dealer in Santa Clara. His name was Sean David Segura. And no, I don’t feel bad for naming him. Yes, I do. I hate that I feel like he deserves the shield of anonymity. He didn’t rape me and I’m not claiming he did. Only I was 12 years old and reeling from the last time my father sexually assaulted me and I wasn’t being supervised because no one gave a shit about me and I ran wild. I did it because everyone in my life was forcing me to be a grown up but I wasn’t fucking ready. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. I have been having sex as a consenting adult since I was 12 years old. That’s 18 years. Super Bowl Sunday is my “anniversary”. No wonder I feel so.fucking.old. I started working when I was 15. It was intermittent at first, but I contributed an awful lot towards my support. My mother would pick up my paycheques and dole out my $20/week allowance. It was festive. This is relevant, but not what I am doing tonight.

I have power. I have gone through fucking hell. My early childhood was abusive in ways I am just beginning to be able to understand. I became an adult at 12 years old. I made some really really bad choices along the way. I did not choose the straight and narrow at pretty much any point. Why did I survive? How was I able to keep so much of me private from my family and the abuse? I think I have power. I don’t know how to explain this and I’ve spent my lifetime wracking it back and forth in my brain. I don’t even know if this is just how it works for absolutely everyone on the planet. But when I decide I want something I god damn make it happen. Whether it is good or bad. The only thing really big goal I have set that I haven’t made was getting my masters. But I started grad school because I wanted to have more knowledge before I started being a teacher because I felt unqualified. Uhm, well, I met that goal. Why again am I a failure because I didn’t obtain a piece of paper that would impress other people but not improve my life? Yeah, scratch that. I am a god damn rock star. When I say I am going to do something, I do it.

Only that’s not true. That’s the positive side of my brain. I’m there maybe 70% of the time when I’m doing extraordinarily well. I’m there like 45% of the time right now. It’s odd to flipflop back and forth between that kind of optimism and the kind of overwhelming self-hatred I have. I don’t have ‘meh’ feelings about myself. I either think I am amazingly wonderful or I am so despicable that I am using the power I have to do evil. Oh, and I have lots of silly examples of things that I decide I want and then they magically appear in my life (no really) but the best one is the dream about Tommy’s accident. I haven’t explained that yet. It’s 11:43 pm on a Thursday night and my children will be awake (possible multiple times) within 6 hours. Why the hell not tell that story. (Editing note: it is now 3:48 am on Saturday and I haven’t slept much since starting this.)

(Minor background note: my parents divorced when I was 3. There was knowledge at the time of the divorce of sexual abuse but the belief was it only happened to my sister. Or at least that is what I was always told growing up. I am currently struggling with my feelings around what I think my mom did or didn’t know and that’s challenging for me. But that’s a digression for a different day. My mom and I bounced around moving a lot. I went to 25 schools before dropping out of high school in my junior year. My brothers mostly lived with our father.)

So to start this right, I have to set the stage. That’s what you do, right? I was either 6 or 7. Tommy wanted to come live with us for a while. We were living with Auntie and Uncle B. in Northern California in the house they still live in. One night Tommy and I were bickering, as a 6ish and 10ish year old sibling pair will do that sort of thing. My uncle intervened. Specifically speaking he started yelling at my brother and spilled a cup of boiling liquid on my brother. Luckily my brother escaped major damage. But that was it. We were out.

Basically, I baited my brother and then we had to move. But I don’t want to leave the story like that. There was a lot going on. My brother and I had weird sibling dynamics. I was significantly more intelligent than him and better in school but he was good at sports and charming and knew how to get along. I was prickly and difficult and acting out. I wasn’t an innocent victim in the situation, but neither am I to blame for all of it. And ultimately it was my mother, as the adult, who handled the situation badly and abused us and set us up to fight so… yeah. Maybe not any of it was really my fault. But it will always feel like my fault. It will always feel like I was mean to Tommy and then everything in my life blew up. That is my story. That is what is stuck in my head. That is the age I am. I’m 7. Maybe I should do some research on 7 year olds. And that is the end of where this digression is useful.

My mom packed up our stuff and drove south through LA to drop off Tommy back at our dad’s house. My mom and I went off to Oklahoma and Texas and that was a whole adventure. Texas is was where I was raped for the first time when I was 7. But one night in May of 1989 my brother Tommy was hit by a car. Specifically, he was hit by a drunk accident injury attorney. It’s almost comedic. Only it’s tragic. He was on drugs and the belief is that he was more or less trying to commit suicide. He succeeded. He was hit by a car on Imperial Highway, which if you know Southern California is a major road.

(Side note: shoulders, center of breath and ability to move between mindsets)

Tommy died. Sure they brought him back but he was never the same. He had a severe traumatic brain injury. He had a horrible life up until I prosecuted my father and Tommy once again tried to kill himself. This time he went out walking and bought a gas can. He went behind a shopping center. He doused himself in gasoline and he lit himself on fire. Tommy was still alive when they got him to the hospital even though 80% of his body was burned. My father, in one of the most magnanimous acts of his life, told them to turn off life support and let Tommy die.
The story in my head is that Tommy’s suicide was my fault because I prosecuted my father and Tommy couldn’t handle the idea of our father going to prison. But it’s total fucking bullshit. The truth is Tommy had been suicidal from when he was a small child and he tried over and over and over and over in more and less successful ways over the years. There was a long period where he had to wear a helmet and boxing gloves full time because he had a habit of shoving his head through windows for fun. How in the hell is it my fault that he finally succeeded?

But it is. And I am trembling with terror as I try to write this. My lizard brain is screaming out in terror no no no no no no I’m bad I’m bad I’m bad it’s all my fault. I killed Tommy. I killed Tommy twice with my selfishness. God gave him back and let me have a second chance at being a good little sister and I killed my big brother twice. And I believe this because I believe I have the power to influence things great and small. And I hated Tommy more than almost anyone on this earth.

Admitting that about my poor, dead brother makes me wrack with sobs. You are not supposed to speak ill of the dead. Tommy had a brain injury. It wasn’t his fault. I should be loving in my thoughts towards him. But I’m fucking glad the son of a bitch is dead. As much as my every memory of my father is laced with molestation, every memory of Tommy is laced with cruelty. He liked to see me in pain. Really it was my first SM relationship and I just didn’t know it. Tommy would arrange to have other people beat me up. Tommy was there the day I was thrown off the monkey bars and broke my arm when I was 6. He pretty much told the kid to do it. After the accident Tommy hated me with the intensity of the sun. He did things to me that hurt every single day. Practically any time I came within arms reach. As he got older and further through puberty he would attack me and try to knock me down so he could rape me.

Our father told him that if he couldn’t get sex outside the family it was my responsibility to provide it for him and he was allowed to take it.
This was my reality growing up. These were the things that went on behind closed doors. And I’m talking about them. I’m telling the secrets. And I feel like I will choke to death. I feel intense shame and horror. Seeing these stories in front of me like this hurts. When the stories just keep coming and there is detail after detail after detail and I know I am leaving 90% of the horror out of the story for the sake of time to write it all down…oh my god. It was monstrous. Why does this continually surprise me? Because day by day one atrocity at a time you can’t see the picture. You can’t see how horrible it is. And this is a nice digression and all, but it feels awfully comfy and that can’t be useful.

Yes, actually there is something very useful here. I grew up to have a four year long bdsm relationship with a man named (tbd). I called him Daddy. For two of those years (the middle two) we were in a 24/7 Master/slave relationship. Oh my god. There is so much there to write about. I need to write about him. But not today. Not till he says it is ok.

I’m supposed to be talking about being suicidal. But I really don’t want to. It hurts to talk about being suicidal. And I’m experiencing a lot of bursts of manic creativity in other directions and that is really rare for me so I am on to something big. This has to be huge. What the fuck is this.
I’m feeling a lot of internal pushback about talking about the witchcraft stuff. This is really hard for me. This is the part where I start to feel awkward and uncomfortable because I don’t feel secure that it is ok to have the beliefs that I have. Right this minute I’m feeling very freaked out because what portion of my very odd belief structure is taken directly from my father’s brain washing. Oh my fucking god I was brainwashed into believing magic and believing that I am an evil force in the world.

No no no no. Fuck you. I’m not going to do that. Saying that does not make it true. I feel incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of being brainwashed. I’m not going to let that be something I sit with right now. I’m allowed to make that choice.

I believe in magic. I believe that if you want something bad enough you will take action and create that thing in your life. I believe this is a
positive and good thing. Given that I have repeatedly managed to shove myself through ridiculous amounts of work in very short periods of time I would say it works for me. I’m allowed to have this belief without my father being allowed to take it away. I wonder if that is behind the current obsession with Alice in Wonderland. I’m playing in my mind with the idea of agency and Alice is certainly a very different character through the different representations of her. I feel like I am turning about looking in funhouse mirrors trying to figure out which version of my agency is the right one. How much control do I get to believe I have in the universe.

Oh god this hurts. I found it. I had to come back to it. I had to come looking for the dark place instead of waiting for it to find me. That was harder than I thought. I believe that my father’s death is my fault. I believe it with an intensity that consumes me. And I have a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome and I want my fucking Daddy. That is what is going on. I am thinking about him molesting me. I am thinking about him hurting me. I want him. I want to be hurt. I want to do an intense sm scene. I want to do something horrible and destructive.

I want to kill myself.

What other act is there in the world that I could commit that would prove beyond the shadow of a doubt to every single person in the whole wide world that I am a worthless piece of shit and my father wanted to rape me and I kind of wish he had. I wish he had raped me instead of killing himself because then I wouldn’t feel this fucking guilty. And that is what I am hiding from. And that. Oh dear god.

I believe that prosecuting him was an evil act that forced him to do it. I believe I had the ability, with my hate, to do that to him. But I don’t really have that power. And I wasn’t acting out of evil. I was a scared half-kid-half-adult who was flailing around trying to not die. There was no bad in defending myself. I’m allowed to say no. I know that now, as an adult.

The funny thing is, reading this… you’d think I have trouble expressing boundaries. But I don’t. I’m actually fantastically good at expressing boundaries. I explore how to expand and retract them as necessary on a frequent basis. I put exhausting quantities of energy into defending my boundaries in a way that I believe is in the “range of acceptable normal boundaries” and I have to see it that way or I can’t do it at all.

I’m going to take a break here to say that this piece of writing is brought to you courtesy of a California Medical Marijuana permit. Without it I would be crying and beating my head against a wall and trying to slit my wrists. Instead I am writing productively in a way that is completely outside the parameters of my normal life and I am able to carry on as a functional human being during the day. Right now I am fighting to save my life because if I don’t deal with the extent of my father sexually assaulting me I don’t know if I will see my daughters grow up because I don’t know where else to begin fighting the monsters in my head. I have to say all of this out loud. And that is hard. That means going places my brain doesn’t want to let me go. I have to hack my brain and it hurts a lot. I’m not sure I can say I recommend this method of dealing with trauma. But if you feel like you don’t have a lot of time, why the hell not. I think this is my favorite digression ever.

See, I don’t want to talk about being suicidal. Being suicidal hurts. It makes me cry. I feel like I am evil and bad. No really. I believe that with an intensity that overwhelms me at random points in my life and I cannot focus on what is before me. I think I am barely aware it is happening, but it colors my intense paranoia. I am not reaching out to specific people right now because I believe no one wants me to. And I truly know this is paranoia because I sent out an invitation to a birthday party on Labor Day weekend five months in advance and within 24 hours I had 27 people who said they wanted to be there. It is simply not possible that everyone in the world thinks I am bad. It is more likely that people are busy and don’t notice me. It’s not personal. But I am doing what my mother does. I am sitting at home feeling like everything is wrecked forever and ever and ever because this terrible thing happened to our family and I can’t get passed it. Only for me right now it is the story of my abuse. I am stuck in cycles that are not good for me. I am trying to blow up my life because I cannot handle stability. I cannot handle stability because I was horrifically abused. I need to work through that and it’s going to hurt.

I am suicidal because I am the victim of incest and sexual assault. I am suicidal because I believe the things my father told me. I believe I am evil and a witch. I believe it deep in my monkey brain and I don’t know how to get these things out of me.

No. Fuck that noise. I don’t know yet. I haven’t done it yet. Just because I haven’t done it yet doesn’t mean I won’t. It will just be harder. I’m really tired of harder. I’d like a break one of these years. But if I have to get stronger I will. Because that is what I do. Because that is who I am. I have a really good, really stable life now and I am not going to fuck it up. I am going to hold it together. And I am going to write in the middle of the night. And I will get passed this.

But not in this essay. Because it is now 5:22 am on Saturday morning. My agenda for today is rather a busy one you see. Today I get to: finish the side yard drainage problem no matter how long it takes me nor how much it hurts because otherwise I won’t have a smooth pathway for people to walk on when they come to my Easter party and it is very very very important to me in my neurosis that when people come to my home they have a smooth path. No one there would judge me poorly in any way if I said, “We had a flooding problem in the last rainstorm and the yard is full of weird potholes because I have been dealing with a severe mental health crisis and I haven’t had time to deal with it!” But that’s not ok to say. That would be stepping all over the boundaries of everyone who wants to be generically, softly encouraging of my life in a light social way. So instead I will write intense journal entries in the middle of the night. I will frantically repair my side yard until I believe that I will not be embarrassed to have people see it. Before anyone gives me a panicked phone call, I’ve got it mostly done. You see, I don’t have the luxury of sitting down to do a project all in one go in one day basically ever. I’ve been working on the side yard for days. My entire body hurts. I am physically and mentally exhausted. I feel like I have nothing left to give to any part of my life.

But do you know what I will do? I will finish the delicious scone I have been noshing on with a nod to my wonderful online girlfriend who is doing a lot to help me grow right now and I will plaster a smile on my face. This was a really really big success in the war for me. I’m proud of it. No one gets to make me be silent any more. I can talk about my demons. I can brainstorm ways to deal with them. I can invite commentary. I can be real about the fact that there are two sides to every story but the only one that matters in my recovery is mine. I have to be aware of not losing my story to thoughts of being the scapegoat. I am not to fucking blame for almost anything that happened to me as a child. And I have behavioral patterns that I watch like a hawk. Because I have come a long way. I do hold it together. Shit. Or maybe this will be a rough day. Fuck.

So my first living on less challenge for myself. We have Easter coming up and I would like to host a brunch for some friends. I think it sounds like fun. Because I am a huge dorkwad a lot of what I want to do is get my back yard to a place where it would be fun to be in. I need a short-term goal to reach. I want to spend no more than $50, to be taken out of our entertainment budget. How am I going to reach this goal? There are many things to figure out. How many people would I like to host? In particular, Shanna and I are both excited about the upcoming egg hunt. I’m not sure if our friends-with-small-kids will want to come over though. Well, you have to ask if you want things so I’ll figure that bit out. We’ll have to decide what kinds of foods to serve and decorating. On $50. It’s a good thing I have some time to plan.

Luckily I already have someone coming (hopefully today) to take the shed out of my back yard and I found a table/chair/umbrella set on freecycle a couple of weeks ago. That’s the first big step towards making the backyard more fun for a party. I also need to go find some free fill dirt for some of the fuss in the yard. That’s going to be exciting. But! This can be done!

I would like to have some decorations as well. I wonder what Shanna and I can make. 🙂