Category Archives: girding my loins

oh goodness

I saw my woo nutritionist for what turned out to be basically a hypnosis session. Ok. That’s what she means by coaching sessions. Lots of inner child sort of work. I have trouble discussing this shit with a straight face even though I do it and know it is kind of effective. I want to mock myself the entire time because it sounds so hokey and silly. But it does help.

So if you try to reduce the complexity of my problems down to a core issue it might look like: I do not feel worthy. I do not feel worthy of being alive, of being loved. I do not feel like I can be competent enough to deserve the amount of resources it takes to keep my sorry ass alive. I feel alone, different, disgusting.

That’s kind of a brief summary of my issues, if they are boiled down to just some of the basic essence of this shit.

Let’s start with the word alone. Because it is important. It is tied to the idea of *importance* and then to the other idea of *relationship*.

My worth is tied to how important I am in a relationship.

Shit. That’s not so good. That’s very much how I’ve run my life. I deserve to die because I am not important in relationships.

But it just isn’t true any more. I’m important to Noah and my kids in a way I’ve never been important to anyone else and I never will be important to anyone else and that’s how it should be. But WHY should it be that way?

So my woo work yesterday spent a lot of time focusing on this idea of aloneness.

My woo manifests as feeling like I am connected to everyone and everything. I don’t have to like you or appreciate you. I just have to spend a few seconds near you and I can point out things we have in common. Traits, needs, desires, core components of existence, habits… I can find a way we are similar whether I’m talking about a plant, an animal, a mineral, a planet, whatever. I’m woo as fuck.

If I literally believe that I am made up of component pieces of other things and those other things are made up of similar component pieces that all came from similar or the same places…

I’m not alone. I’m a piece of a whole at all times. I am no more alone than one spoke on a bicycle wheel is alone if it isn’t actively touching the other spokes. You are all connected, even if you aren’t really touching each other or interacting. You all play a part and none of you are expendable.

This shit is how I get through the day.

I am not alone. I have birds that need me to put food out because other humans destroyed their habitat. I have flower seeds that call out begging me to plant them because they want to help give food and shelter to the bees and bugs and birds.

I have neighbors who are thousands of miles from their homes and it hurts them sometimes very badly to feel alone and unloved and far from where they belong. They need me to welcome them and tell them I am glad they are here. Thank you for beautifying this neighborhood. We needed you so much and I didn’t know until I met you. You are so important. I’m glad you are here.

Life is complicated and hard. But even if you aren’t talking to someone right now, how can you be alone? There are 7 billion humans on this planet and so many more animals I can’t imagine their numbers.

Just the ants. I can’t bear to think of how many trillions of ants. *shiver*

I lined my house with diatomaceous earth yesterday. Eldest Child helped. (I should preface most stories of “I did _____” with “Eldest Child helped more than expected” lately. Youngest Child is still… more play than help. 8.5 is a rad-tastic helpful age.) We love you ants, but stay out of my house. For goodness sake.

The kids are over the moon about their big kid sized bunk beds. It is a little odd to have their room feel so grown up. Nothing is little kid sized in there anymore. *sniff*

So yeah. My woo is weird and it continues on its way.

My woo person wanted me to do a lot of nurturing my inner child. That’s an interesting thing for me. My reaction to myself has usually been violence. If I have a need, the correct response is to punish me for having that need. If I ask someone for something that means I have been bad. I was stupid. I was pathetic. I didn’t take care of myself. I inconvenienced someone.

So trying to do inner child work is kind of tough. Having to think of myself as a small vulnerable person… that wasn’t a good time for me. When I was small and weak and vulnerable… that’s when I spent a lot of time being told I was stupid and worthless. That’s when I spent a lot of time being hit and raped. That part of me is buried really deep and really doesn’t want to come out.

That part of me doesn’t believe in safety.

Safety is for other people. People who are worthy.

People like my children.

That really hurts.

How can I be a conduit for people who deserve safety but I can’t be one?

WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST. But not you. Monsters go last.

I am evil. I am scary. I am bad. I am not worthy of being saved.

I sincerely don’t believe that a pill will ever be invented that will take this from me.

I believe that if I am ever going to change this it will be through time and experiences. It will be through having life experiences that show me that my father was about as wrong as a person can be. My mother was about as wrong as a person can be.

Maybe they even did their best. That doesn’t make it good enough. Not even close.

I do not look at my children and see people who have failed to live up to the standards of adulthood already. How could my parents look at me as a tiny child and tell me I had failed to accomplish things that many adults never do? That’s not a failure. That’s not even getting started on trying. That’s bullshit. That’s mean.

That’s not fair.

Yeah, yeah life isn’t fair. I know.

But fuck that shit. Fuck grown ups expecting children to be grown ups. They aren’t. They are kids. They are in the process of becoming. They are trying.

Fuck you for telling them that they are failures. The only thing that is a real failure from a child is giving up. As long as you are willing to keep trying you haven’t failed yet. You just haven’t succeeded yet. It takes time.

I am not alone and I am not a failure.

I am not worthless.

And I don’t have value because I am so good at getting people off.

For so many many many years I defined myself thusly: if I can get people off it is ok that I am still alive. That was enough. That was what I had.

I am good at many many tasks. In the process of living with my consuming terror that I would never be competent at anything I have managed to become competent at an amusing array of tasks.

Instead of being nothing, I am a lot.

*I* am not the roles I fill.

I am pure energy.

I spend a lot of time wondering if I would be able to get through life as anything other than a speeding train of energy. It is hard for me to slow down. It is hard for me to do anything in a slow, gentle, careful way. I have to rush and push as hard as possible or I can’t overcome my own inertia.

I use this language: speeding train, the energy of a combusting star, the force of a jet engine… because others have used this language to describe me. Internally mostly I feel this as pressure and force. MOVE OR DIE. Noah, when Zola drank the Movit #11. Like that. I live like that.

I think a lot about the whole extrovert/introvert thing. I feel absolutely driven to go out and meet people, to spend time with them, to delve into relationships… but it wears me the fuck out. I get so tired.

Connection. Force. Worth. Energy. Relationship.

What do these things mean anyway? I don’t know but the water is done boiling and I’d like tea.

Looking forward

Goodness. I feel kind of like a bastard because 2016 has had some serious high points for me. It’s been a dumpster fire of a year, don’t get me wrong… but I had more good than many. I feel pretty good about where 2016 is ending on a variety of levels.

I would say that my marriage needed the strain it experienced this year. I think we both learned a number of things we weren’t really on our way to learning. We decided to have more kids. We decided to stop waiting on M/s stuff. (That’s going. And going pretty well so far… we are going slow.)

Things with the kids are…. well… I’d say that I couldn’t expect better. In pretty much every way I feel like things are going better as a parent than I expected they would. I thought we would have way more problems. Our relationships are pretty good and improving. We are getting better with every year at talking to one another about what we need. They are really excited about the prospect of more kids.

The house remodel… is absolutely driving me bonkers. But every person who walks into my bathroom gasps. It is worth it. Just keep plugging along. Art. Moar Art. I guess at this moment that I have somewhere between 100 and 200 hours of painting ahead of me between now and the finish line. Fuck.

I’m a painter. It’s a thing I do. I do a lot of it. I’m an artist. How will this play into my future?

No clue yet.

We watched Rogue One today. It… it’s a heavy movie. I feel kinda stunned. I think this is the only Star Wars movie I’ve ever really liked. Of course I like the hit-you-in-the-head one.

I’ve said for a long time that I suspect I will live to see some kind of revolution. Then we elected Trump. You know what?

The next four years need to be full of active resistance. The next four years need to involve making concrete actions in the direction of living in the kind of world I want to live in.

It’s kind of funny that I started out vehemently hating the idea of the American Dream. When I studied it in college and grad school I felt so much anger. I did not think it was attainable for me or anyone like me.

Then I arrived.

Holy shit. How do I share this shit.

How can more people have this kind of safety and security? What can I do to help other people have more access to education and choices and medical care?

Revolutions are made by the people who show up. What does showing up mean? It means different things to every person because you can’t make a revolution out of people who are exactly the same. That’s how you create an empire. By wanting people to be all the same so you can use them interchangeably as spokes on a wheel.

I don’t want a well mechanized empire.

I know what that means.

Even if I would be considered one of the “winners”… no. No. No. No. No.

Fuck that. No. But when and where are different levels of aggression worth countering with other levels of aggression?

How do you have a revolution without having a war? How many people have to die to call it a war?

How do we even know what a war means anymore?

There were 10,000 casualties of the war with Kuwait. In the last one hundred years, how many black people has the US government killed when they weren’t doing a damn thing wrong?

What is a war?

I spent my childhood reading books about the Resistance in WWII.

I need to spend a lot more time thinking about what I’m going to do with my life. I know what i want to do with my life in the very long-term. But what am I going to do while I’m growing up? What will I do to shape the person I need to be someday?

Fuck. This will be a lot of work.

Lots of people do lots of things to shape history. Where do I want to stand?

Chasing and being ok

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was lovely.

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you too much.

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

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

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

Usually that’s about three months.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m spoiled as fuck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa.

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

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

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

Am I doing it?

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

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

I could keep going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I a grown up yet?

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

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

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

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

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

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

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

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

I’m like that.

I go do things.

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

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

Ha.

I love my reminders.

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

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

I never mean that sarcastically.

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

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

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

I’m just tricksy.

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

Inclinations

I’m running into a problem in my sex life. I’m closer to a vanilla bottom a lot of the time and that’s some serious mixed signals in my little world. I like sex. I don’t need it to be that harsh. I don’t need to be hit all the time. I really totally don’t fucking need to get pinched a bunch. My body lives in a lot of pain a lot of the time. I spend a lot of time trying to manage my pain levels. Getting hit is complicated.

But I’m a masochist. I really am. Sometimes it is the best thing ever.

I’m not that much of a sadist either. I have times when I get really super duper in that mood and when I’m in that mood absolutely nothing else will do…

But if you look at the last 15 years… I’m not a serious sadist. Lots of years involve no sadism and only a little bit of missing it.

And I’m heading back into another breeding period. My masochism and my sadism went on walkabout last time. I still like sex. And I want kissing like I want air. I want lots of gentle touch because my whole body is going to fucking hurt for nine months. I am not an easy pregnant person.

I’m even more weepy and sad and isolated feeling. I want my mother and I can’t have her and that hole in my heart eats at me so badly when I’m pregnant.

It has been hard for me my whole life that when I feel worst I am the most isolated. It happens over and over. If I’m sick… I’m usually alone.

I’m looking forward to a pregnancy with a work-at-home partner and older children. I hope it won’t feel so sad. I’m kinda hoping that we can find a way to have people come over that isn’t a problem.

I don’t know what the future will hold and I’m feeling like a huge selfish asshole. I’m worrying about my needs and I’m being really ungracious and fussy about other peoples needs. I’m not being generous or loving. I’m such a fucking asshole.

Part of the problem is I have a very long list of people who want me to consider their needs and feelings. They conflict–I promise you. I have to kinda prioritize and then where in the hell do I fit in?

I don’t know. But I’m sharp and difficult when I say no because I hate saying no. I feel like such an asshole. “Hey you are being brave and wonderful and asking me for this thing that is really important to you. OH MY GOD DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING TIRED I AM!?”

I can’t remember the last time I got more than six hours of sleep in a night. It’s been a bit. I’m dealing with 2-4 hours a lot of nights. What can be done about it? Well I see a whole bunch of doctors and I try what they tell me to try and…. here I am.

My shrink wants me tested for ADD because in her opinion it is not fucking normal to go on 2-4 hours of sleep a night, hold together (mostly) my normal life and have sex for an hour or more most days of the week. She says that is an excessive amount of energy. Really outside the range of normal.

I wouldn’t fucking know.

I am not as toppy during sex as some folks would like.

The other night with Sweet Boy he really wanted me to top all the sex. I could for a few minutes then I untied him and said, “No I can’t do this anymore.”

I don’t like running the fuck very much.really don’t like it much past the first or second time of having sex together. I get it the first time… I’m weird to fuck. Past that, I’m seriously a bottom when it comes to sex. And that passivity goes on turbo when I’m pregnant. I’m receptive but initiating feels so awful.

And if I have to tell you what to do and how to do it? Shit. I’d rather pick my nose.

No offense. It’s not about you. It’s about me.

When I quit my job when I was pregnant with Eldest Child I had severe nausea (I was puking multiple times a day) and I was falling asleep at work, in traffic… everywhere. I could not stay awake. A friend who was a nurse asked me what job I would go get instead because “gestating isn’t a job.”

Many other friends were… happy to share with me their opinion that pregnancy isn’t a disability and I should buck up.

You know what, motherfuckers? If you don’t live in my body…. shuddup. I god damn start out disabled. Pregnancy is a nightmare.

Pregnancy is horrible. And I’m looking at it again. I was kinda thrilled by the idea of never being pregnant again.

But baby.

I want the baby. I want the baby of my body. But I hate pregnancy. I am so sick when I’m pregnant. I am in so much pain. It is such a difficult process. According to natural selection I should already be dead from this.

But fuck natural selection. Science.

When I started looking for people to date I wanted play partners. For very sadomasochistic sex. Then Noah changed his mind about a baby.

That’s seeming like a dumb thing to hunt for at this point. I can’t live up to that. I… will really not be able to live up to that starting in a few months and it will probably be years before I’m back up to speed again. Shit. Shit. Shit.

I feel like I’m jerking people around and being a terrible person.

I went and had lunch with Daddy James. I wanted to touch base with him in a I’m-not-just-in-your-life-to-use-you-for-sex way. He told me it was ok to keep changing what I’m negotiating for because life keeps changing what I have to offer. Thank you Daddy. He also told me it is ok that I am difficult to put up with. People get other things in trade and it is worthwhile for them.

I don’t see how what I have for trade that could possibly be enough to justify putting up with me.

Especially as I’m about to revoke a lot of what makes me a fun toy. I’m not so fun when I’m not up for play. I’m… a lot more boring. Hey, let’s garden or watch Netflix. woo.

Noah wants me to take a month and date as much as I want so that he can experience the full terror and find out just how bad it is going to be. The kids are asking for us to be home 4-5 days/week with no visitors.

How the fuck do I balance that? I’ve got easily dozens of people I’d like to see who’d like to see me. Some of the activities they want to see me for are high energy and some are low energy and I’m kinda flipping out about both kinds equally. “Hey drive to my house and sit around” is just as intimidating as “Let’s do x super high intensity activity.”

OH MY GOD I CAN’T RIGHT NOW.

I want to I want to I want to but I haven’t got it to give.

What I have to give is very narrow and particular and time limited. Like, why in the fuck am I up at this time of night? Because three hours of sleep is enough, apparently. Fuck.

I feel so sad that I am so inadequate to meet the needs of the people I love.

I am inadequate. It’s funny how nonmonogamy is just a chance for me to feel inadequate with more people. Wheeeeeee

I can’t do/be what Noah wants and I can’t for anyone else either. I’m feeling really sad about that right now. I can’t ever be good enough. I can’t ever do enough. I will never be able to satisfy people or make them happy. I will never be enough.

I feel like I’m in a weird transition. I thought I was transitioning out of intensive parenting into more independence and abruptly… I’m in reverse going back into the most restrictive part of this job and lengthening my time of indentured service. What the fuck am I thinking signing up for thirty god damn years of home schooling.

Twenty years sounded awful enough.

Holy shit.

I was really enjoying the expanded freedom of the Bonus Family. That’s not really a thing for a few years again. I hope I will still get my Bonus Kids sometimes. I hope that maybe the older kids can go for a night or two a month still just a way of having “their” time and space away from being in baby-land. But I won’t want or need a couple of weekends. I’m sitting here with a baby anyway. I’d rather have all my babies around more.

Fuck. This is a huge change. This is a massive upheaval. Why are we doing this?

Because I can deal with transitioning back into the world in ten more years. If the IDB (incest data base) takes me a little longer… oh fucking well.

I want this baby. And Noah keeps saying, “Two?” I don’t know. I can’t commit to that till I get through a third pregnancy. But more than likely if Noah asks me in two years if I want another baby he won’t be able to keep me off of him.

Because yeah. I get quiverful. I get wanting more babies. I get it. I get it. I get it.

I’ve already had one person who is not-breeding say it’s ok if I replace them in the population. Anyone else want to volunteer as well to justify my second kid?

I’m not even joking very much.

Parenting is the one thing I genuinely feel like I am excelling at doing. I’m far from perfect but I adapt and I grow quickly. I see problems and I address them.

I think I could handle four kids just fine. I think it would be wonderful. No Pam, I don’t want to hear your negative Nancy shit. I’m aware that you are now a voice of dissent. Ok. Heard. Now don’t bring it up again.

I feel like such an asshole for being mixed when a friend told me she wanted a fourth baby years ago. Fuck. See, the ways in which I am an asshole always come back to bite me in the ass.

I should have said, “I support you.” I’m sorry. I did that wrong.

I know there will be problems. There will be problems with or without another baby. I asked the magic 8 ball and it is never wrong.

There will be problems with or without two more babies. That fucker was consistent in its answers.

Yes.

“Will there be problems if we have a baby?” Yes.

“Will there be problems if we don’t have a baby?” Yes.

“Will there be problems if we have two babies?” Yes.

I’m telling you. The magic 8 ball knows.

I don’t feel confident in the choices I’m making. A lot of what I can see is that each of my choices hurt other people for a cascading list of reasons. I’m not going to be available for what they want…. and I don’t even know how to say what I need.

I don’t know how this is going to work. I don’t know how any of this will balance out. Between the kids, Noah, me, and all the god damn people I care about how is this going to balance?

WHY DO SO MANY OF YOU BASTARDS KEEP LATE HOURS. THIS WOULD BE EASIER IF Y’ALL WERE AVAILABLE AT MORE LIKE 7-10AM!

Ahem.

Why isn’t everything all about me? Because it isn’t and it shouldn’t be. Even if I am the main character in my story… I’m not the center of anyone else’s story. Not even Noah’s. Not really. I’m his wife. That’s an accessory to his life and story not the point of the story.

I gotta be honest with y’all. When I think of what I’d like it’s not that much one on one date time. I’d like more people around and carefully managing people one to one… is a job. Especially within the framework of 4-5 days/week are just not options I wish that there were a bunch of people who said, “X day works for me. Are you free?” And it’s ok for me to say yes to three or four people because… quite frankly… that means that there is a lot of kinds of attention to give and get all at the same time.

That feels like Auntie’s house when I was a kid. Only no one checked if it was ok to come over in advance. They called and said, “You home?” then they came over. Auntie knew a lot of people. I loved my Auntie and of the people in my family she’s the only one I’d want to be even a little bit like.

She’s honorable. She takes care of people. She gets shit done.

She’s enabling as fuck and that’s something I struggle with emulating too much.

I’d like to have open houses on Friday’s. Some people can bring their kids with laptops and sleeping bags and the kids can have a LAN party before going to sleep. The adults can talk or play games. I’d like to not have to be careful about managing invites or treating it like a “party”.

I like to keep the house company-ready just as a matter of course so that having people over isn’t extra work. Then it is less stressful. Cleaning up for people feels bad.

It’s interesting reading this book on ADD my shrink gave me. Driven to Distraction. Reading it is making me cry because it sounds so much like me. Bits and pieces and here and there. But… it would make a lot of sense. My list of flame outs is long and inglorious. My self esteem is shit (at least in part) because I spent my whole life being told I was bad for the ways I deviated from normal.

My shrink is calling my psych to say, “Instead of an SSRI (which has a proven problem history) how about trying a stimulant?”

I’m excited to have someone case managing me like this. She’s known me for years and her feedback feels very useful when dealing with a prescribing person. I’ve always wanted a case manager.

Really I’ve always wanted a knowledgable pushy mother. Kinda like I am. Deep sigh.

Go be what you want to see in the world.

This biology shit is hard core. I want to be a parent. It’s the most important thing I do. I learn the most from it. I grow the most because of it. I have to or I will be a shitty parent.

I don’t want to be one more shitty parent.

I owe them more than that. Because I made them out of pure selfishness. I owe them every ounce of work I can put into being a good parent.

And I have a lot of work in me. How do I focus it more? What do I want to focus it on? My kids. For a lot of years to come they get the lion’s share. They deserve more than I have to give. That’s a lot of why I want to add other adults.

Beautiful tells me she will feel more free to invite herself over. Fuck yes.

I guess I did something right for once.

The Quiet One is an increasing factor. I don’t know what the fuck. But not saying anything here at all feels like lying because this is part of how I keep accountable with Noah. Fuck. I feel like this miraculous available during the week day, local, oriented towards care taking of children person just fell out of the clear blue sky and I don’t know what the fuck.

I really don’t. Because he has some boundaries that are going to make him tricky as heck to negotiate with in particular ways. It is none of the internet’s business because he’s going to be one who doesn’t want to be written about in the same way as a lot of other people I see. Some folks ask for more explicit reports. Some folks believe they deserve privacy. But there is a balance for me.

I don’t want to be a liar about what I’m doing. For good or for bad.

That road is straight to hell.

Kisses. More kisses. More kisses.

I go through waves of needing to not be hit because I need to not think I deserve to be hit. It’s complicated.

If you couldn’t hurt me I wouldn’t be interested. Danger. Danger. Danger.

Sadomasochism, mental health, chronic pain and calibration.

I am a hard fucking pet to own. Noah and I discuss this in detail. He has spent ten years trying to learn how to properly feed me, exercise me, get me to sleep, and take care of me better than ever before. It’s been hard for both of us.

I am an emotional and physical masochist. Does it turn me on when my back hurts? No. What that means is I have learned how to eroticize kinds of sensation (physical and emotional) that other people don’t experience as sexual. This is good and bad.

Within certain contexts I enjoy being hit fairly hard in the scheme of things. Within certain contexts being degraded will make me orgasm like a geyser. But these are not all the time fun things for me. In the wrong times these sensations can be highly damaging. Only the right people get to tell me I’m a good whore. Preferably after role play when their cock (bio or not) is inside me. Then, it works great. If someone random brings that up… the fur’s gonna fly.

I have been suicidal and self harming for almost thirty years. When I talk about my problems, they are not in reaction to my current life. They did not form in context to what is happening now, but I have to deal with them now. PTSD, for me, means that I have a hard time telling what is past tense and what is current tense and what is future tense a lot of the time. I’m just… trying to be a version of me that won’t be too problematic in all times. That’s rough because what was needed from me as a child is different from now.

I don’t think it is possible to over state the impact of my early childhood sexual abuse on my personality formation. I know I lived with my father until I was three. I know the abuse was frequent before he was kicked out. I know it was every time I saw him after that until about twelve.

My father telling me over and over that I exist to get men off and I don’t have the right to say no…

That has absolutely shaped my life.

Noah and I were talking tonight about “What he can get away with” now vs when we got married. I’ve learned to say no. I used to not say no to anything he wanted no matter how much pain it caused me. It really never seemed important that I was in pain. I was going to hurt anyway. He might as well be getting what he wants.

Fibromyalgia fucks all of this up too. I’m in pain a lot of the time. As I age my joints are on fire more days of the month. PMDD complicates my life. (That’s premenstrual dysphoric disorder for those who don’t know.) It means that for roughly 3-10 days a month my brain would kind of like to kill me. I feel useless, worthless, and like I should die. I feel like I am bad. I feel like I hurt people by existing.

This isn’t about reality or rational thinking. This is pure hormonal/chemical hell. And I’ve done everything that I can do about it. I keep trying new things. It does improve over time. But it is pure shit when it is happening.

I live in a kind of chemical soup that doesn’t want me to be alive very much. I live in a chemical state that doesn’t see much purpose for me.

But then there are the happy chemicals. Oxytocin. Endorphins. Serotonin. I can get them. But it’s hard hard hard hard hard.

Something that is complicated and hard and not fair…

I can do the spike up and down thing pretty easily. Ecstasy and despair are easy for me. It’s being ok I suck at. Noah has helped me make more progress on being ok than anything and everything else in my life. But doing so has worked a lot like a standard antidepressant in that it makes the ecstasy part harder. Not impossible, but more complicated.

Noah and I have very deeply connected sex. There’s a lot of “I see you as a whole person with flaws and merits and I love you for being more than one thing.” It is wonderful and life affirming. It helps me feel like I can climb into a box and be safe. Desafortunadamente (why is this word so much better in Spanish?) that box isn’t able to be everything.

Why do I need more?

Why does a Porsche need more maintenance than a Toyota? It is the result of engineering.

Why am I so complicated? Why am I so hard? Engineering.

I need a lot of connection with people. I need lots of people in a way that is hard for Noah to understand. I think Noah is an actual introvert and I am actual extrovert who behaves like an introvert because of trauma and avoidance.

I fucking need people. I need to talk to them. The kissing and sexing is awesome, but I’d say they are part of less than 1% of my relationships. I need connection. Mostly it isn’t sexual. But good golly the sexual connection is so good at making all of those chemicals I suck at making on my own.

Why do I want to date? Because I want massive injections of oxytocin. Because I want to see you and feel so excited you are alive. Because I want you to look at me the same way. Because I need to see that look on your face because there will probably be minutes between this time and next time I see you when it is very hard for me to remember at all that anyone is ever happy to see me.

What I feel right now is what I have always felt and will always feel. Until it changes. Then that is what I feel and have always felt.

You can see how I might try to stack the deck with experiences that land me squarely in the happy brain chemicals column because when I’m there I don’t have to deal with the depressive and anxious symptoms in the same way. It’s like they went on vacation and forgot to write.

So I had multiple possible kissing opportunities go by without kisses. Internally my narrative around this is melodramatic, stupid, and whiny. “See. They’re done.”

I feel like I should stop bothering them.

I feel like what I am is a bother.

Incidentally: shiny change of topic to drop a cryptic comment at someone from yesterday. When I say that someone is giving me “reminders” I don’t mean that in any kind of negative way. My kids and I give each other reminders. It is a way of noticing someone and saying, “Hey do you remember this thing you want to remember?” Because…. most people suck at that. It is a loving thing to do, in my mind. Let me remind you about who you want to be because that makes it easier to stay on track. Let me remind you that I see you and what you are doing is real and has impact on the world so I remind you of what you need to be thinking about.

I sure didn’t mean it as a complaint or as a criticism or an attack or anything negative. Reminders are intensely positive in my life. But I had two hours of sleep and my ability to explain is uhm compromised at such times.

End of shiny change of topic.

I like to be hit. I crave it like other people crave… whatever the fuck they crave. It’s a powerful force in my life. My absolute favorite is hitting with hands. Punching is such a vicious, visceral, vivacious connection that I feel like it makes me more alive. Punching helps me stop dissociating. Punching helps me feel the muscles and the tendons and the bones in my body. Punching helps me feel alive.

I can enjoy being hit with toys but it is a lot more difficult for me. I don’t process it as connection. It tends to increase my dissociation because mostly it hurts more in a way that I have to escape my body in order to tolerate very much of it. I don’t feel connected that way. I feel like I am a thing that a tool is doing a thing to. Sometimes that is hot too. Sometimes I do want to be beaten until I go away. It is like a vacation from the tyranny of living in a brain that hates me this much.

It feels like atonement for being so bad all the god damn time.

But atonement needs to be a sometimes treat or it means that I am shit and I should spend all my time apologizing for being shit.

Constant atonement means I am constantly bad enough that I need to atone.

That hurts.

That hurts my soul as much as it hurts my body.

I don’t always need to atone. Mostly I need to connect with people who want me to be alive and who aren’t shy about telling me so. Because I’m not so sure I want to be alive. But I don’t want to hurt people in this web more than I want to stop being in pain. Right now the balance is very much on the side that my pain doesn’t matter. I need more reason to believe that. And I need less pain.

The happy chemicals make me feel less pain. Less emotional pain and less physical pain. It’s a virtuous cycle.

I feel so very guilty that even when I’m having sex with Noah basically every day and sometimes several times a day… that isn’t enough chemical in the soup to push me over the rim of the pot and out of the boiling water that wants to kill me.

But adding more people… well… it’s variable… but it does more than anything else.

I have managed to long since get the soup down to a simmer from a hard boil, but I haven’t been able to get out of the pot.

Thank you Noah. That is mostly because of you. It is because of the children you have given me. It is because of the life you have given me.

But yeah. I need more relationships. I need people I can talk to and connect with and feel like I matter to them.

Because being a wife and a mother is not enough for me.

Do you know why I think that sport fucking isn’t going to work out for me the way it used to? Because these days even when I fuck someone at a swing party and intend to not really see them again (and hell they gave me a fake name anyway)…

They end up telling me their real name and coming over for lunch with their whole family so we can talk about life balance and problems and how to deal with different life issues and… we are turning into friends.

Noah I know I kinda wanted to just be fuck buddies with people. I went out looking for that.

FUCK ALL OF YOU FOR BEING SO AWESOME.

But I feel small and scared and ashamed. Because asking for support, asking for connection with these other people feels like it is almost specifically designed to be about hurting Noah. I don’t want to hurt Nah. He is the air I breathe. No, he isn’t every ounce of chemical I need… but he is the basis. He is the start. He is safety. He is the love that reminds me to take care of myself when I am failing at doing so.

I feel ashamed of how much I need him. I would be willing to sacrifice other parts of myself for that safety. But I’ll be down in the simmering soup forever. That’s just… true. One of these days the soup is going to finish boiling me and I will die.

I need more chemicals to raise the water line and get the fuck out of the pot.

I am so sorry I need an amount one person can’t supply. I have no idea what is enough.

I am feeling really scared. I want to reach out and I don’t. I am so weary of being a bother. I feel so much like people “put up with” me.

I’m so sorry that I am so horrible.

I want to be good. I want to be just a source of happiness. But the truth is I’m not. I’m full of sadness I don’t know what to do with. Mostly I try to get enough when I feel it is ok to touch people and can access more of those fucking chemicals I can’t produce on my own.

If I walk in wearing makeup and I walk out with a bare face that means I removed it all because I didn’t want it to be obvious I was crying. Part of the reason I have been wearing more makeup is because I’m trying to control the crying. I know I can’t cry without it being obvious and that’s too public for me. I can cry without people seeing with a bare face. I do it a lot.

I want to stop crying some year. Stop crying. Stop crying. Stop crying you fucking baby.

Why do I want to date? Because I had to marry someone as broken as me. I had to marry someone who has so many pieces chopped out of him that he has huge gaping wounds where we can grow together and meld and heal into a new shape that is one thing instead of two broken things.

But how in the mother fuck do we teach our kids about a happy or healthy or normal childhood? By saying “Be grateful you aren’t getting what we got?” Oh goodness no. So I go date (in very small part) because that way I can find people who aren’t broken in the same ways and ask question after question after question. I get the impression people think I’m weird. Tell me how you turned out the way you did. I like you just fine and if I could manage to interact with a mini human to help them turn out like you… that would be a positive in this world.

I can’t make babies with everyone. But I can take the example of what kind of life experiences someone would bring to parenting and try to bastardize that onto my life. It is variably successful piece by piece. Overall it has been wildly successful.

I learn things from Cupid and Deity about a quieter happiness than I have known. They are very different men but they both come from backgrounds they are basically happy about. Do you know how fucking weird that is in my life? Dating them is almost like getting to have a koala bear accidentally fall out of a tree on your head and so see you’ve proven drop bears exist.

Whoa

My submissive inspires me with his passionate devotion to things. He has picked just a few people in his life to pour devotion into and I admire him. I both love and struggle with the fact that his core kinks are around degradation and “dirty” things. I absolufuckinglutely love that I get to do these things… I wish they weren’t degrading or dirty. I think they are fun. I do them from love. I do them out of service because you want to be treated this way and so ok I’m happy to be in that role for you.

So where does the sadism come into all of this? I am a sadist… but I am more of a service top. I do things because I think the person I am playing with wants/needs to experience them. I like being a guide on a journey. Even more I love being lead on a journey but with every passing year I intimidate people more and I get fewer offers.

The sadists are going to be happier with the people who aren’t physically and emotionally damaged at the beginning. I can’t take what a lot of people like to do on a regular basis. I can take it sometimes. I can take it when I’m doing well. Then I can’t for a while.

And the bubbling of the soup has a huge impact. The more emotionally dysregulated I am the more my entire nervous system flares up.

That’s why I want the kissing so much. It calms my central nervous system down. It distracts it from feeling pain.

And when there are chances to do the kissing and someone doesn’t want to… that feels really super out of proportion huge for me. I’m not saying anyone is obligated to make out with me for hours. Hell. I’m not saying you have to spend fifteen minutes kissing me.

But if you tell me you are romantically interested in me and you have a chance to kiss me and you’d rather not….

I feel that in my body and I feel it for days and I feel so sad.

All of this is complicated by the fact that we can’t kiss in front of my kids. So if we see each other a few times when kisses were possible but didn’t happen and then we see each other around my kids… that’s complicated torture. That’s a complicated thing that feels a lot like how I couldn’t hug or kiss or be affectionate around the kids when they were very small. I could do some but I would freak out if I heard them. It took a long time before I decided it was more appropriate for them to see that folks do those things when they like each other.

I have been good about slowly developing these boundaries and I’m going to keep being good about them. That’s important to me. I came from a place of severe inappropriate connection. I have inched my way towards letting my kids see different actions. But my kids have always seen me hug my friends. That’s just a standard thing. Even long hugs. So whereas kissing feels like it is a big boundary for me… my kids aren’t dumb. They will figure things out.

All of this is also complicated by my general problem with time distortion. I mentioned that in a few ways up-post: living in more than one time at once, feeling like how I feel in this moment is how I feel in all moments… but there is also the problem that when I’m really happy, time flies. I feel like I am getting so much input I can barely take it in. I struggle with feeling like hard packed clay soil. If you dump a deluge on me, it’s mostly going to just run off and not impact the plants. When I am depressed and/or anxious time drags on and on and on and on. It feels like there will never ever be a cessation of pain and god I can’t do this.

I have seriously been hurting most of my life. It’s hard to keep carrying that load.

But I have so much good that sometimes I am able to just sling all that hurt into a rucksack, toss it on my back and say, “It doesn’t matter how you feel it matters what you do.”

I think it is a problem that I associate not wearing makeup with a need to hide crying.

When I’m riding high in the pot and I feel relatively happy for me, then I want to beg someone to hurt me.

Why was it at such a sharp edge when I started hunting? Because I have been so safe for so long. I need the sharp and the soft. I got so much soft. I know it wasn’t fair that I didn’t know how to talk to Noah about being the sharp.

But it’s getting better pretty quickly, I think.

I need to not do anything melodramatic around this kissing thing. But I need to have some conversations. I need to talk about some pieces of this in real time with people.

The not kissing when the kids are around: kosher. The not kissing when the kids aren’t around? No. Not ok. I can’t think of you as someone I want to be kissing and deal with feeling like you don’t want to kiss me.

I had to turn off thinking about the Professor like that. He feels whatever he feels and I have no window into that but his behavior is that we had opportunities and there were no kisses and I need to treat that like “We are not people who will be kissing” and move on with my life. I have to compartmentalize like that or I get my feelings hurt.

He’s still my friend though. I still like him a lot. I will… poke at him less for a while because I’m still in the sticky he doesn’t like me that much stage.

I’ll get over that bit. I always do. It’s ok for people to like me how much they like me. But sometimes I have some sad that I am only liked as much as I am. I need to deal with that sad. I need to stay friends. Because that’s dealing with your shit. Because good grief I’m dealing with a lot of people and if I got bitter about everyone who doesn’t want to kiss me I’d have a shitty life. It’s ok.

But I’ll poke the Professor at a slower rate for a bit. I’m not going away;I enjoy the conversation too much. I just need to do some self management.

Even if I stop feeling like I have the right to look for kisses… I don’t want to stop being friends. I went hunting for friends with benefits. I want friends. I want benefits. Largely, apparently, in the form of kissing.

Wouldn’t it have been god damn handy if I could have phrased it that way in like March.

I’m going as fast as I can.

I want more hitting and I want more being hurt. But I want it in between kisses from someone who very much likes me. That’s complicated.

And I want to write about Sweet Boy. Because that was awesome. But I’m closing in on four thousand words and my arms need me to stop soon. He’ll be a lengthy story.

In three and a half hours we leave to go see the doctor about Noah’s vasectomy reversal. Holy shit.

How is this all going to work? Fuck if I know. But I guess we’ll figure it out. It’s that or die and I’m not ready. Even if I want to. I’m not ready. There is so much left to do. I’m not one to sit around when there is work to be done.

Do you know what is the part of our family culture that I am proudest of? “We are workers not shirkers.” When my kids say this, when Noah models it and repeats it… oh my soul glows. Yes. I read this hilarious book called How to Raise the Perfect Children Through Guilt and Manipulation and it is as much a memoir about her childhood as it is written by a parent about parenting. I don’t want to do anything how the sports-fanatic-Catholic author does things in her life…. but I do want to set a strong family culture the way she talks about. I do want to indoctrinate with my ideals the way she talks about. Yeah. Like that. Only something different.

Cause that’s what I am. Like you. Only something different.

Today is the 18th anniversary of Tommy’s suicide. I can’t say I miss you. I am glad you don’t have to be hurting any more. Self immolation. What a way to go.

Good grief I am insecure.

You know… it would be super awesome if in some decade of marriage Noah and I got to the point of being able to say, “We need an epic 9 hour processing day because I HAVE FEELINGS” without the awful screaming. That’d be great. But this is like fight number 3? 4? 5? since we got married. So as bad as it is that we scream the way we do sometimes (and we are both assholes) it is rare and we apologize profusely and get through years of processing afterwards. So it’s not great. But it is unfortunately kinda effective?

We’ve been talking all day. It’s 5pm. We have not been apart for a solid 10 minutes today.

Yeah this whole “I don’t want to follow rules” thing is at an end. We gots rulez. Rulez and rulez and rulez.

I have this horrifying habit of not knowing where my boundaries are until I see them in the rear view mirror. This is a distinctly different problem now than it was earlier in my life because these days we are experimenting with people I have deep love and affection for. That means fucking up is way higher stakes.

There is absolutely no one involved in our lives right now who it would be ok for me to hurt with my flailing. No one.

Fuck.

That’s complicated. Because my boundaries and limits are squiggy and weird.

Like… I don’t want either of us to have a date in the house again. It’s not that I’m mad at the person who came over. I’m not. But I kinda wanted to cancel my date yesterday and stay home and mope because that was just where I was and I didn’t feel like I could because Noah had a date and… that’s not great on a lot of levels. I went to a date when I really wasn’t in the mood and I wasn’t nearly nice enough to my date and at the end I had a meltdown.

Seriously dude. Don’t ask if you need ear plugs to have sex with me. That’ll make me cry the whole way home.

I mean, I’m not overwhelmingly mad at you either. But I’m not going to be able to shake that off and go back to fun time. I can’t.

I’m really sorry that I’m so sensitive. I know I’m a baby.

But I’m 34 fucking years old and I think the chance of me getting over that hot button this decade is at zero.

Also: let’s say this plainly… I’m a selfish piece of shit. I’m dating people because without having sex with more than one person… I don’t really get off. And that *sucks*. That sucks for me and it makes me really resentful of Noah long term because he has no such trouble. I don’t know why I’m wired this way but I am. I have put a good solid college effort into trying to be compatible with monogamy and you know what… it doesn’t work. I just stop orgasming. It’s awful. This is a fact Noah and I have talked about a lot. It’s a problem.My therapist has been tracking this. It’s a problem.

But Noah isn’t having the same problem. So why in the fuck does he need to go off and date?

That’s what my selfish piece of shit self says at least.

So Noah is going to have one date a month. At a party. Because when Noah goes to our friends’ houses to have sex that means I then have feelings about going back to their house and that is not fair at all to our friends.

It isn’t that I need to be the only one touching Noah’s dick. That’s not it.

I’m weird about houses and personal space. I don’t mind him fucking people at parties. Not whether I’m there and not when I’m not. I don’t know why this works this way for me but after a couple of months of trying things this time and years of experience in the past….

I feel comfortable saying I have 0 issue with group sex with both of us (even in our house). I have a small problem with party sex I’m not involved in as far as I don’t want to sit and watch. I have a huge problem, apparently, with sex at peoples houses. Which makes me a fucking hypocrite because I don’t mind that I do it.

I was frankly shocked that Daddy fucked me. He hasn’t in over a decade. I didn’t expect that at all. I didn’t say no and I’m not upset but I didn’t go to his house expecting that even a little. We’ve had a tease relationship for over a decade. So I didn’t really stop and think about how I feel about having sex with him in a house where my children go. If I had thought about it hard in advance…

I feel very uncomfortable about the fact that Noah had sex in a house where I take my kids. I’m not mad at him or the person he had sex with. I just…

Now I’m going to think about that. And…

I rarely know what my boundaries are until I see them in the rear view mirror.

I know it doesn’t matter that they had sex and my kids go to that house once a year. It’s not a big deal.

Only it makes my stomach hurt a lot.

I have been emotionally unstable my entire god damn life. I have to take that into consideration when I decide what boundaries are appropriate for my life. It isn’t likely to just evaporate now. I need boundaries that allow me to go through life without feeling like I’m going to puke. (Especially because I just god damn started a medication that has a side effect of nausea and I need to be able to notice that.)

I don’t think anyone did anything wrong. I had not asked for any limits in any of these areas to begin with and not a single person broke a rule or was rude or bad or anything like that.

I just have these feelings. I’m not saying this is rational.

It’s really weird. I genuinely don’t mind Noah having sex at parties. It doesn’t make my stomach hurt. I kinda walk by the scene once or twice to wave and establish that everyone involved still likes everyone else and it’s cool.

God Noah playing with someone on my couch makes me cry and cry and cry and cry. That’s where I cuddle my kids.

(I’M NOT MAD AT YOU dear friend who is reading this.)

But I would be freaking out more if it had been in the bed. Yeah. Not in the house.

I had a hard time moving into this house. Noah bought this house for hunting. A whole parade of women came through here and that has been pretty hard for me. It took years before I stopped crying about just being the latest slut in the house. This is a thing.

I need it to not be in the house. I’m weird. It’s not that anyone is doing anything wrong. It’s not that I don’t want him to play with the people he’s playing with. Shit, he couldn’t pick nicer or safer or more awesome people. I really like the people he’s playing with.

I’m sorry I am such a baby.

I don’t think anyone did a thing wrong. I don’t think anyone should be in trouble or… I just had feelings I didn’t know I was going to have. Big feelings. The kind of feelings that make it hard for me to be stable and calm and normal. The kind of feelings where I cry a lot for a long time.

It’s not your fault and I’m not blaming anyone. This happens to me. This is my life. This is about me and my brain. But I need to manage it. And Noah has to live with me. He wants me to live for a long time. He has to make choices that reflect where I start melting down if he wants to keep me. Whether that is fair or not fair. What is fair?

I’m sorry I’m unstable and insecure. But that is kinda as advertised at this point.

Also: Noah and I are going to try to go to parties more often together and when we go together he is totally free to play with friends. He’s just only going to make sure he goes to one alone. This means we will only have one of us out of the house one night a week. It was really sucking having us collectively gone two or three nights in a week on dates. That just feels yucky right now. That’s too big of a change from what things have been. Hell, I haven’t been back from the road trip long enough to want that much space from Noah. Even if the dates are nice.

A lot of the kinds of trust Noah wants from me… with hypnosis and M/s in the future… that requires a level of trust that is very hard for me. I am literally not set up to be good at trusting like that. That kind of trust is broken for me.

But he wants it. Which means that the pair of us have to work on figuring out how to build it. And that means limits that may not seem “fair” because we have very different needs and very different reasons we are doing all this.

There is no fair. Just like there is no deserve.

There is what you can bear.

I feel really sad and scared. I don’t like that I need to ask Noah for these limits. But I need to if I am going to be able to build the kind of trust he wants me to build. I will not be stable with him having dates like this. I never have been. It is unlikely to start now.

These are the safest and most awesome women possible. It isn’t that I am insecure about the people.

I’m just… a selfish baby.

We are both taking a lot of comfort from the fact that even though we had a huge fight and said pretty awful things… neither of us at any point even a little bit felt like “I don’t want to be married.” The worst it got was “I need a few hours in a room away from you.”

That feels good.

We are insecure bastards. I’m glad he is finally admitting some of his points of insecurity. Much like Beyoncé, the Queen, I need him to show me that I can hurt him. So that I can stay.

Fuck that album is going to be huge in my life. Lemonade is everything. If you haven’t watched it, stop what you are doing and go watch. YOU ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING BETTER WITH YOUR LIFE. JUST DO IT.

ok?

If you’re all “But I don’t know how” come to my house and you can watch it. I bought it. I’ll watch it hundreds of times. It’s ok if you are with me for one of them.

We spent a long time talking about Noah’s place in the hierarchy of my self destructive habits. It’s good that we are honest about that.

One of our new rules is that only Noah can cut me. We had quite a day. We managed to get through our proposed desired come-in-all-holes date… which is frankly shocking given how I woke up. I didn’t think I’d be interested in sex. Then he spent all those hours talking to me and trying to figure out what we both want.

Ok yeah I’ll suck your dick. And then you can fuck my ass. Then we can take a shower. Then you can hurt me really really really a lot and then fuck my pussy. And then later we christened the first of May in the back yard.

Yup. That’s a good day.

I don’t have any fresh bruises but I have lots of old lovely bruises still fading. (God damn Cupid.) (That was meant to be in a positive sort of way not in a damn you sort of way. More like hot damn. Ahem.) Then I have lots of cuts. I have marks from the clothespins. The caning wasn’t hard enough to leave a mark. That’s ok. I got no warm up. On purpose. Because any little girl who will speak that rudely to her Daddy should get a caning with no warm up.

Meaning I asked for it.

Because man atonement is a thing. Which totally doesn’t excuse my abusive behavior.

It’s not ok to scream at people like that. So we made some specific agreements about how I am going to handle my behavior in the future when I am that upset. We don’t like the agreements we made, but we talked it out. It’s not ok to scream like that. I am less ok with it than he is. Which kinda bothers me. He isn’t mad at me for screaming at him. I think it would be easier if he were mad.

Fuck.

Why is life so complicated?

Uhm. A lot else happened. Holy shit this was an eventful day. We talked about so many insecurities and paranoias and fears and wants and hopes and needs and coping methods and possessiveness and sharing and…

My hands is done. I wrote this during meals. That’s the only time I did much other than pay attention to Noah today. It’s been an epic 14 hours of talking. Sex didn’t start happening till 12:30 or so. I’m ready to go pass out now. I took the Gabapentin like half an hour ago. I feel like I’m walking into a wall of haze…..

Catharsis

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

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

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

  2. 2.
    MEDICINErare
    purgation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is just how life goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like my life.

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

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

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

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

I think I collapsed to the floor.

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

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

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

Childbirth comes to mind.

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

He did a fabulous job. Good man.

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

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

Holy fucking shit.

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

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

Catharsis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People are weird.

Then I came home

Do you know why I’m so happy to be married to Noah? Because when I got home from my date we went out to the garage to medicate and talk. (I medicate. He doesn’t.) I told him everything I could remember and be coherent about with regards to the date. What felt best. Why it was wonderful. (Ok I did take a shower first.)

When I ran out of ways to say, “Oh my god the deity is incredible” Noah transitioned into telling me stories of women he has dated. I have… traditionally not wanted to hear as much as Noah wants to hear about my stories. This time it went better than normal. It was very few minutes of him telling me things he has done before I really wanted his cock in my mouth.

So he kept telling me stories of getting his wicked way with women while I sucked him off for a while. That was hot. Wicked, incredibly hot. He can be a mean man and it is really hot.

He took me to bed and grinned over how raw and sore I was as he fucked me. He likes it when he doesn’t have to put in much effort to hurt me and make me come all at the same time. He says “Thanks, deity.”

I… I need to not have sex again before my Sunday date. That’s gonna hurt too and I need to heal a little. Not that I want to take 30 seconds off from fucking right now.

I’m in one of those phases. They’ve always ended in the past. For a while though… there will be no such thing as feeling like enough.

And today I get to go to Dark Garden for a fitting, then have lunch with Sarah, then see my submissive.

I feel so gloriously lucky. I feel so adored.

Between the fact that Noah has always been the head of the Krissy admiration society, and the fact that my submissive has been… feeling more ok being admiring, and how the deity talked to me last night?

This is why new people are less appealing. New people don’t love me this much. New people don’t spend excessive amounts of time narrating why I’m the best thing ever. Oh I love my handpicked list right now.

Well done, Krissy. You have gotten to the point of being ridiculously good at picking. Good job.

I no longer spend time with people who neg me. I don’t listen to insults, put downs, or people who want to denigrate me. I want to spend time with people who think I am the best damn thing since sliced bread.

And I get to. Pretty much every day of the week and some days of the week I get to stack wonderful people one right after another.

I feel so lucky. I feel so loved. I feel so well fucked.

Good grief I love my life. Thank you Noah. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I couldn’t be who I am right now without you. I was never able to let people be this nice to me before you.

I feel like I owe you everything. Thank you. Oh this is so fun.

The hard stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. That’s just not going to work.

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

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

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

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

But I’m going to explode.

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

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

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

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

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

She laughed more.

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

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

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

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

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

Noah is not enough.

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

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

But I have so many other likes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because losing is so fucking hot.

Feeling more complete

At the conclusion of Cranky Day I went up to Wicked Grounds and had dinner with two wonderful women. We had a great conversation. I felt seen. I felt like I had friends. I felt like I know these peoples stories and they know mine and they want to know more. I know I want to know more about them.

It isn’t just about hunting. It is about needing something bigger than a four person nucleus family with a babysitter.

My submissive walked in, surprised to see me, on a date. I was tactful I think. Barely grabby enough to remind him that I can but not stepping on the toes of his date. I think. I hope. *cross fingers* (No complaints from him.)

I think it is funny how I’m kinda putting people in boxes they didn’t ask to be put in. I don’t know if those are boxes they want to be in.

I am sorta doing with my submissive an intensified, deeper, adult, more intimate version of what I barely hinted at with my best friend in junior high. My poor best friend. I spent so much time hitting him. He told me that it didn’t hurt that much and clearly I needed to be hitting someone so it was ok. But I never kissed him. I never got even close to being sexual with him. That was completely off the table. (I actually went and stayed with this friend on the road trip. His wife is awesome and he has a darling baby boy. I’m so happy for him.)

I’ve never really soaked in wanting without hurrying up to sex. I don’t even really know how to do that. I feel like I’m signing up for the most torturous science project of my life. How does one sit with desire and coax it without indulging it completely?

I don’t know and I want to find out.

When I am grinding on your crotch and you can smell me the thing isn’t that I lack desire to fuck you.

I want to fuck you. But much more than that I want the power to decide not to fuck you. The first power like that I’ve ever really had in my life.

That’s a kind of intoxication I don’t know how to describe.

I love that I can lay on you and kiss you as much as I want to and you will gasp and moan and pant and start crying… but you won’t grab me and force me to do more than I am ready to do.

This is an utterly novel experience for me.

It is gross and creepy and yucky but I feel like the seeds of wanting this came from being a parent. I kiss my kids without escalating. But it isn’t passionate. It is loving and tender without being remotely sexual.

It really taught me a lot about the variety of love I can feel. I am curious about the extent of that variety in a way I was not before having children. How many ways can love?

Am I physically capable of passion without hurrying to get it over with?

And it will be complicated to figure out the dynamic of pain and tenderness. When I say that I haven’t really dominated you in the past, the tenderness is a huge chunk of what I mean. I have tried very hard to give you the kind of pain I thought you wanted. I wasn’t there just being selfish. I like that kind of play and I thought you only wanted a specific thing from me.

If what you want is to do what I want, then this is going to be a whole lot more gentle. Because you don’t understand what I want as much as you think you do. Yes, I want to hurt you. I’m going to fuck you up severely. But that will be like 10% of our relationship.

I’ve watched you for a decade and a half. I’ve watched you be a man of integrity, honesty, character, and dedication.

Why in the world would I want to spend the majority of our time together degrading you?

Just got off the phone with my shrink. That was a lovely phone call. I gave her an update on the folks I’m pursuing. She said, “Oh I know these names.” That makes me happy. She thinks it is a good thing that I am taking my sexual satisfaction this seriously. “If this is what it takes and you can do it… do it.”

She also said that the thing I was cranky about is something we’ve discussed in therapy many many many many many many many times and yup I’ve been cranky about it for a long time. That is an accurate perception on my part. I’m not being hysterical. This is an issue.

I described my April and said, “Ok that is 0-60.”

I said, “IT IS ONLY ON 3 DAYS!!!!”

“Oh. But it is so much emotional intensity… it feels like a lot more than three days…”

Deep sigh.

You don’t understand. I used to do this 5-6 nights/week.

Three nights in a month doesn’t feel like 0-60 for me. And two of those nights I’ll be with the kids for most of the day anyway.

So it doesn’t represent that much time away from my normal life except in the form of lost sleep.

So it feels different to me.

I’m being real careful to catch up on sleep first.

My shrink said yeah, just use Lorazepam every night for a while. Catch up on lost sleep. Just doooo eeeet.

None of this, “But I’m overmedicated” bullshit. I’m not.

I think I have decided to try the Gabapentin. I’m scared shitless. But I seriously need a break from smoking. This is killing my lungs. Edibles are so expensive.

I would much rather give my money away than hemorrhage it on pot. Realistically: I’d rather pay chiropractors.

I’m not sure I will ever stop completely. I like it. But I don’t want to need this much of it. At this point it is hurting me.

My lungs are so pissed.

I won’t be on the computer today. K is bringing the Bonus Kids over. We haven’t had a visit in a while. I’m really happy about it.

Last night two wonderful women decided to come talk to me just because I said in a public way that I would be out of the house.

I feel so lucky.

Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for loving me.

Arms hurt. Love you so much. Bye.

Control, sex, identity

I’ve been a kinky motherfucker all of my life. I officially entered the bdsm community at 18, but I was doing kinky stuff before then. I’ve been giving oral sex for 31 years. I’ve been having PIV (penis in vagina intercourse) by choice for 22 years. This summer marks 16 years of my life in the bdsm community. In two more years I will have been in the bdsm community (to some degree or another) for half of my life. I feel very confident saying that being a pervert is part of my identity. Part of my identity I’m thoroughly comfortable with.

But things shift over time. The kind of pervert I am changes. The kinds of things I like has drifted considerably, especially since having kids.

In all these 16 years I have resolutely shied away from pursuing any kind of ongoing interaction where I was to be Dominant. That’s been a line for me. I like being toppy. I’m sadistic as fuck. But I’m not a Dominant. Nope, that’s not me.

I’m a serious control freak and I manage a lot of that by being the submissive/bottom/slave because then I’m the one who does the vast majority of the work and it goes how I prefer. I date lazy tops. Perfect.

But my life has changed a lot. I feel like I have changed.

There are a lot of people and situations in my life where I could railroad people and control the shit out of them. I’m home schooling my kids. I could micromanage the fuck out of them. I could require them to be submissive to me. Legally I have the right. Yesterday I read this post that reminded me of why I really don’t want my children to be submissive to me in any way.

I don’t know about you, but I fall into being a bully real easy. I have to be careful not to control people inappropriately. I have big opinions and big feelings and people who aren’t rock solid in themselves like being influenced. I could be a serious problem for a lot of people.

I try so hard to not be that. I keep my boundaries fiercely. I don’t boss people beyond very specific, small, limited places where I ask for consent. “Hey we want to organize this event, can I boss people around to get things done quickly?” At this stage of my life 9/10 times when I ask that people gratefully say, “Oh please do.” I’m good at figuring out a plan. I’m good at bossing people.

But I’m scared of it. I avoid it. I don’t seek it out in an ongoing way. I do not want a job where I have that kind of control over people. I am not stable enough. I am not kind enough. I make such bad assumptions.

I act without thinking and I hurt people when I do too much of that.

It isn’t safe nor appropriate for me to be too bossy with any of my friends or family members.

But lately I want to boss. I want to control. I want to have influence in an ongoing control-tastic way.

I got this email from my friend. The one I topped the other night. The one I’ve been thinking about a lot for a while now. The one who likes the really super intense play that I like.

I’m thinking about him way more than is good for my overall balance of life. Holy shit. What do I want from him?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So much. So little. Such specificity. I don’t want to try to meet all his needs. I want to negotiate a very small slice of his soul and control the ever loving shit out of that. As I hurt him really badly.

Anyone who tells me they really want to see me come up from biting them with blood dripping down from my mouth?

Shit. We need to get tested.

Cause I can’t draw blood until we have both been recently tested. I have kids. I have to care. I have too many friends who have contracted Hep C.

Cause if you have been dreaming for years about having me hurt you like that and I have been dreaming for years about hurting you like that and my husband doesn’t mind and your partner thinks it is hotter than the sun?

Uhm…

Why not?

I have worked very hard to cram all of the “me” that is a pervert into a very small box that I keep in the closet. I take it down for very rare special occasions when my kids are far away and kept safe with someone I trust completely.

I know that many people in the community are ok with somewhat fuzzy boundaries with their children. I am not comfortable with that. I need boundaries between them and my sex life constructed with steel beams and concrete reinforcement. This is a no-information/no-fly zone kiddos. Nope.

No, I won’t swing in the house with the kids.

Just no.

Not because I’m judging you. Because I’m trying to deal with the body and brain I have. I’m trying to deal with the highly traumatized DNA sequence I passed down.

Why does sex with Noah behind a closed door feel fine as long as we are quiet? Because I’m really thrilled that my kids think that sex is a natural part of growing up and finding a partner. I’m ok with modeling that.

I can’t model promiscuity. Not given my background.

You know what? My kids have flat told me they don’t want me to date. They know that we have friends who date outside their marriage. They don’t care about what other families do. They told me flat out that they don’t want to give up more time with me.

They are little for such a short time. I’ve already been a pervert for so long. I have already been a slut for so long. Those things will still be there when my children no longer want me like this. I have one shot in this lifetime to nail the kind of parenting relationship I want to have and that means giving my children far more than I want to give. It means giving up things I want really badly for a while.

Life is always about choices.

Noah could tolerate a lot more promiscuity and boundary pushing and dysfunction. But then I’d be teaching it to my kids.

No.

It isn’t that I think that modeling dating is inherently wrong. I truly don’t. Other people have very different lives.

I think I don’t know how to model long term stable relationships. I like picking up strangers and fucking them once or twice and moving on.

I don’t want to model what I like.

Even if I don’t want to stop liking it. I just don’t want to like it in front of them.

This feels so complicated. I don’t like being in the closet. I don’t like feeling like a liar. I don’t like feeling like I am being anything other than 100% brutally honest.

You know what? I am with my kids. I still have boundaries. They sometimes ask probing questions about my history or my experiences and I will either say something matter of fact like, “Yes I dated lots of people before I got married because I wanted to figure out what things were important to me” or “That’s something private that I will not discuss with you during your childhood. You need to grow up without having that information in your brain. You can find it out later.”

So I’m not… lying… but I only answer selectively.

Part of how I have kept these divisions is “I did a lot of stuff in the past I’m not doing now and I have no shame about any of it” and “Right now I’m doing the mom thing.”

But the “mom thing” isn’t all of who I am. Even the (incredibly hot) sex I have with Noah feels like part of the mom thing and…

It isn’t all of who I am.

I’ve gone through a lot of evolution of perception of self. Especially with regards to the word whore. (Small disclaimer in case anyone is new: I’m not talking about sex work. I’m talking about personal associations from formative abuse. Specifically I have to figure out how to get my brain to work around shit my father did. It’s complicated. I’m not knocking anyone or any careers.)

I’m going to need some way to refer to this person I’m playing with. I will need a code name. I’m not ready to make one up yet so this is awkward. I have blanket permission to write about him, but he values his privacy.

For a long time I genuinely saw myself as a kind of sacred whore. I had sex with a lot of people, many of whom… weren’t getting a lot of other play. I feel like there is a lot of emotional healing that comes through sexual intimacy and you can absolutely experience that with strangers. There is a validation and affirmation that doesn’t exist in other kinds of connections in my experience. But it only happens with a highly, highly experienced partner who knows how to read intricate body signals and ask the right questions.

I’m really good at it. I’m told. By an exceptionally long list of people. So I have to believe it is true.

This person I’m playing with likes a lot of degradation with his submission. He wants to be called a whore and I get that. There isn’t a lot I find hotter during sex than having someone grind into me and call me a whore… so I get it. Better if I’m being hurt while they are calling me a whore and fucking me. I’ll usually come right there.

I’m having big feelings about degrading him. He asked me a lot of specific, leading questions leading to his desire to be degraded. Oh my.

I want control so badly right now. I want to be able to boss someone around a lot. I want to really play with someone’s mind. I want to headfuck someone until I can tell them that down is up and up is down.

I know how.

I’ve taken lots of classes. I’ve practiced with lots of people who are considered experts. I trained for this.

But I’ve never actually gone and done it. I’ve always been terrified of this. I don’t have the right. I was a Wiccan too early in life. What you put out there comes back to you times three. Be very careful what you wish for and make happen in your life.

I want to crawl into someone’s head and change parts of how he feels about himself. Not in bad ways. I don’t want to hurt him. I want to… tweak him. Because it’s hot. Because controlling people is so fucking hot.

I don’t want to hurt his life. I don’t want to interrupt his relationship with his partner or his kids or his job or his other play partners or…

I just want this. This piece of control. That I can’t explain yet. I don’t know what it is I want so god damn badly right now.

Thinking about the fact that he has to wait for a letter in response to his email because I feel like making him wait …. I’m going to masturbate quite a few times today. This is hotter than fuck.

(Yes I have appropriate boundaries around it. Don’t worry, I can come quick. I only need like three minutes of privacy.)

The email he wrote me is earth shatteringly hot and I can’t quite quantify why. The depth of longing. The number of years this longing has been sustained for.

I met him when I was 19. He likes to say that I had him from, “And who the hell are you?” Apparently that was the first thing I said to him and he was done.

You know…

I feel like this is a bad rom com justification for intense longing wearing people down.

In this moment I all of a sudden understand one of my friends much better. She has a marriage in which they do not discuss politics because they are on opposite sides of the fence. This man and I… have very differing views. We are going to need a hard and fast rule that if one of us notices that we want to have an argument because it is veering near politics we will need a Shiny Change Of Topic. Because…. I know his views. I know his views about a lot of things don’t align with mine for very complicated and diverse reasons.

He isn’t someone I could have married and had kids with for a laundry list of reasons. Guess what? That role in my life is filled and I’m fucking thrilled with how it is going.

But there is this stuff that I really fucking like to do that I can’t do with my husband because holy shit is he not interested.

Noah’s ok with some biting and scratching because it indicates enthusiasm and he likes that. But he is not a masochist and he has decided limits and he gets mad if they are crossed. It isn’t hot.

He has offered, over the years, to do some bottoming if I feel like I just absolutely have to do it and I just… can’t hit him. Not like that. He doesn’t like it. I topped him once because he wanted to feel what it was like to go through a hook pull and he needed help from endorphins and it sucked for him.

I can’t ever do that to him again.

But I really really really like hurting people and it is much easier to control that impulse on a regular basis if I have occasional times when I get to feel like, “Yes, This Is The Right Time And Space”. It is easier to understand what boundaries feel like when you get to have lots of them in different places at different times for different reasons.

I’m horrified by the idea of putting mild pornography in front of an unknown vanilla audience. But I will take all my clothes off in a room full of strangers, crook my finger at a person I don’t know and proceed to fuck right there. I will go to Folsom Street Faire and tie up any person who wants to get tied up because I know I am safe and competent and I won’t hurt them and they will get to have a sensual experience.

Boundaries, motherfucker.

Some time ago one of my children was being friendly with a random other child while we were waiting in line somewhere. The kids were going to have to just stand there for an hour or more. After a few minutes of Eldest Child trying the mother looked at me and said, “Your children have no boundaries, do they?”

Whoa.

What a global statement. We are friendly in a way that is highly unusual outside of California. We are enculturated to being part of a place that treats everyone warmly and like we could be best friends and we just don’t know it yet.

This is where we have always lived. This is how we know how to be. It isn’t that we have no boundaries. I’m wary about going into peoples houses. The kids have a lot of boundaries around going into secured spaces with people they don’t know. They are only allowed to be taken in the cars of very specific people and we have passwords around that.

No boundaries, holy fuck.

We like to pass the time in line by being friendly. Some of those random chats have turned into beautiful friendships. You know what? On the road trip we stopped in Michigan to visit with a man I met in a grocery store. Because he was wearing a pervy t-shirt and I needed to ask him to join the Mountain View Perverts Society. (We weren’t a real thing, but there was a shocking density of pervert households in a small area; we knew each other.) At worst it usually means standing in line is less tedious.

No boundaries. Jeeez.

You know what? My husband neither wanted nor asked for sexual fidelity when he married me. Nor did I.

I said I would be faithful to our relationship. That doesn’t mean anything about who I fuck or beat. If I am faithful to what Noah wants from me… You know what? I’m better able to be present with Noah if I have other needs met by other people. It means I spend less time being frustrated with him that he completely fails to be a queer masochist. I mean, what the ever loving fuck did I do wrong in this life to end up married to a hetero top?

But you have to take the hand you are dealt. He wanted me. He wanted to do the kids and home schooling thing. He has been up for everything I want to do in life. He isn’t someone who has as much strong direction as me. He’s thrilled to have someone with a stronger rudder around.

But I can’t control him. I don’t boss him. And I can’t hit him.

I have someone I like, someone I love even, walking into my life and telling me that they want me to hurt them as much and as deeply and as harshly as I want to because they think I deserve to have that release in this lifetime.

Holy fucking shit. God that’s hot.

What do I mean when I say I don’t want to date? Because clearly that means something to me. I think it means: if my children have already known you as the kind of person who comes to one big party a year and maybe one dinner a year… that’s probably where it is going to stay. I don’t take much time away from my kids. I need a lot of alone time and that dominates the time I take away from my kids. If I start seeing someone else on my own time frequently… it would cut into how present I can be with my kids and that’s not ok. But I want to see him so much.

And I’m making him wait for letters before we negotiate more. Oh, he’s probably reading this. But that’s different, you know? There are a lot of things I’m not saying here. A lot of things that are going to be private negotiations and may not ever be written about because I’m not 100% sure I want my kids to be able to find that in the archive.

I want to do some pretty fucking evil things.

And he really wants to let me.

Why is that so bad?

I don’t know.

I’m having a hard time talking myself out of it. I don’t want to talk myself out of it. I want to ………

Oh god.

Yes, when we played last weekend it was not anywhere near what we’ve talked about so far. Yes it was sexier. Yes it was more gentle. I was trying to not squick the vanillas, ok?!

Boundaries, motherfucker.

God. This scene is going to be so hot I should sell tickets.

Hey, maybe it would be a way to get enough money to pay to rent a play space during a time when my babysitter is actually free… Ha.

No pictures though. He has privacy concerns.

Yes. I want to take you. Yes. I want to take you.

God the sex is complicated. I think…

I think that is going to have to be part of what makes this so fucking hot. I think my pussy won’t be involved. I’ve never had a stone relationship before. I have never before in my whole slutty life been interested in having a stone relationship. I don’t know what the fuck this means.

It isn’t that I think I won’t have sex with people other than Noah. He kinda holy-crap enjoyed the swinger thing and… yeah I can do that.

It isn’t “what I want” in the same way. But it is close enough and fun enough and sure.

I want to use you and use you and use you and fuck with your head and build you up and help you feel a whole lot more cocky about how wonderful you are with everything you have to offer. I just want this tiny piece of it. But I’ll talk a lot about how much I enjoy all the other parts of you. I want you to be whole.

I want you to be a whole you. I think I can feed part of you.

I think you have already given me something.

I’m sleeping a lot better.

I told the woo Dr I need a month off from these supplements. I need to figure out how my body is doing after what we have been doing.

A lot of my pain issues are improving. I can feel that most of my current ache is because of current unfamiliar strenuous labor. My hands are getting wrecked. I really ought not be typing.

But I can’t say all of these things to Noah. And I need him to know that I’m thinking them. Because I need to be as absolutely transparent with Noah as I can be and in most of our lives… we just can’t talk about this stuff.

I don’t want to “date” in the next ten years. I want my kids and Noah to take up pretty much all of my time. I need that safety. I need it. I don’t know how much time I can carve away from that in order to come out with the relationship I want to have with my kids.

Don’t worry, I’m going to launch these puppies. Then I’ll have more, ahem free time. But a lot of that will go to Noah as his reward for supporting me and providing for me so well for so long.

I don’t know what is left.

I kinda want to find out.

I feel so alive.

Med evaluation

I have a med evaluation appointment in a week. I’d better get my thoughts together.

I’ve been using pot for almost eight years. It changed my life. I use pot to help me sleep, increase my appetite so I can eat healthy balanced meals (I have terrible stomach pain from anxiety), as a pain medication, as an anti-anxiety medication, as an anti-depressant, and just generally to give me a slight pause in between experiencing something and needing to react. Without the pot I respond reflexively to a lot of things in ways that are problematic.

I don’t know what to do about this cocktail.

I am at the point of diminishing returns. I have to consume so much and it is so expensive that it takes too much time and money away from my life. At the very least I need a solid several months off. I tried taking time off earlier and it failed hard.

I need a bridge. I need a different crutch on my way to walking.

Isn’t this what harm reduction is about?

I have dramatically improved my relationship with food over the last few years. I get far less diarrhea now. I have periods of relatively normal bowel function for the first time in my life. I’m going to be working on that in an ongoing way for a while, though. I’m seeing a nutritionist.

I need help sleeping. That’s the first and most important key to this lock. When I go off pot I stop sleeping. Over the counter sleep aides aren’t very effective. I build tolerance really quickly and it just goes up and up. I think a week of sleep aide is a pretty good nightly dose. I may or may not be able to get enough sleep that way.

I need help with my anxiety. I am terrified a lot of the time and it manifests as me being bitchy. I can’t do that to my family or friends. My life is safe now but I haven’t talked my body into understanding that yet. I’m 10 years into safety after 25 years of problems. I’m seeing improvement but I’m not done.

I think that I should probably stick with St. John’s Wort and/or 5-HTP to replace the anti-depressant. I’ve tried most families of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and many anti-anxiety meds. I can take some but not many. I have horrible side effects from medications that end up being much worse than just living with the problems.

I’m hard to medicate.

Long term I’d like to be able to do serious international traveling. The pot isn’t very helpful under those circumstances either.

Ideally I’d like to find two systems that kinda sorta work but aren’t great. One being using pot for all of the above. The other being some complicated system of other meds that are used as needed while I go on long fast periods.

I think I will be a life long pot user. I think I need to have options for when pot isn’t an option because sometimes it isn’t.

I’m not sure what that is going to look like.

But I need to be able to take 6+ off from pot and have that work. I need to be able to do that for efficacy reasons.

My tolerance is just…. not sustainable at this point. I’m back to where I was before the break a few months ago. I don’t want to pay for this every month and I’m doing lung damage.

Balance the harm.

Try to reduce it.

Try to manage the risks so that you still get the upside without so many penalties. Life is just a game, right?

 

Totally flooded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I pay attention to these things.

Topic switch. Back to hitting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m done.

Something broke and it can’t be fixed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t know.

You never know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That makes all the difference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’M TALKING TO THOSE ASSHOLES ON NEXTDOOR.

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

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

This is my cranky face.

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

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

I can’t absorb any more.

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

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

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

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

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

I bring all the fun jokes to an end.

God I suck.

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

That’s ok.

But god I can kill any joke.

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

It is kinda funny sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We need something different.

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

I have enough brain damage for one lifetime.

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

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

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

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

Things change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m really trying.

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

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

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

That’s just prudence.

Is that close enough to self love to count?

I’m trying.

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

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

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

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

Going back to normal?

Well yesterday I was down to 55 hits. Does this mean the cackling hens have moved on to other targets? Let us hope.

For the record I consider myself a cackling hen. I don’t really mean huge insult by saying that. Just describing what I see.

Ok, I am pissed off at myself. Why did I think it was important for me and the kids to see our dentists on the first god damn week of December?! We could have waited. But… it’s hard to reschedule. So I get to drive to Cupertino twice this week.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

It’ll be ok.

I scheduled phone appointments for my shrink this month. I’m not going to drive 2+ hours roundtrip to her office this month.

I… don’t want to sort books twice. And Sarah told me I could come over and go through the boxes of books she has stored since she moved out because she really isn’t going to have space for displaying any year soon here and anytime she wants one she can come over and just borrow it. So having me store the books isn’t like getting rid of them it is like off-site storage you don’t have to pay for.

I can live with that. Access to books, hey.

I’m making Noah do that with me for our date this week. I’m not driving, but I’m heading to Oakland. I know that this book re-integration is coming so I can’t bring myself to start sorting the new books. I don’t want to do it twice. I’m tired.

I helped decorate the tree by spreading ornaments out on the couch so the kids could see them and by putting half a dozen highly breakable ornaments up. Otherwise I let Noah, housemate, and the kids do the work. I was proud of myself for the level of non-work I managed. Mostly I watched. *pat self on back*

One of the things I liked a lot about being a classroom teacher as opposed to being a home schooler was the planning period. As a classroom teacher you sit down and with mellow time to fill you decide how you will spend your time over the days, weeks, and months to come. You can get ahead of the work cycle. You can do things to create time periods where you are coasting.

Home schooling… I haven’t found a coasting period yet. As soon as I sorta catch up in one area I’m behind somewhere else again. Yes, some of these complaints include things like food all over the floor and sweeping because home schooling is much different from classroom instruction… but ugh.

I feel like I never catch my breath. Too many big things happening all the time.

I’m going to be super bummed when the house mate moves out. I mean, I’ll like having more quiet and more space… but I’m going to miss them a lot. This is really nice.

I feel tremendously bad a lot of the time because I’m aware that part of the reason this is going as well as it is springs from the fact that I learned a lot living with Sarah. I don’t want to make those mistakes again. I’m really angry with myself for not being able to make that work. On paper it really solves a lot of my problems.

But my expectations are the problem.

We can all only do what we can do. I am not good at keeping my expectations humble and then I get angry. That’s my fault and something I work on. But it’s still an issue.

Had a great conversation with a friend recently about parental expectations, reactions and reactions. Meaning what the parents want, then what the kids do in reaction to the parent demanding (or asking, I suppose) for whatever then the parents react to how the kids react. Oh golly.

In particular this friend was saying that sometimes when a child cries in response to a demand/request she feels manipulated and she doesn’t like that feeling. She feels angry.

I pointed out that sometimes I feel anger, but it’s always about my internal load of what I’m carrying. I get angry because my internal sensor says, “I’ve given too much today and I can not be supportive right fucking now” which really isn’t the fault of the child. But it happens.

She thought about that.

I see the crying as manipulation, but without a tinge of negativity based on the word. It is largely a subconscious way of asking for attention/support/love. I’m ok with my kids crying to communicate that their bucket is empty and they need some love to put in it. That doesn’t make me angry inherently. I get angry when I feel empty. That’s not about whether or not they should ask that is a reflection of what I have to manage because sometimes the request is awesome and sometimes I struggle.

That’s about me and not about the request.

She reflected and realized she only sometimes gets frustrated. I kind of nodded in my faux-sage way.

When I feel calm, peaceful, relaxed, and like I have energy to burn…. a child crying just triggers the desire to love the child.

When I’m frazzled, anxious, tired, in pain, or just generally done …. a child crying triggers me to want to punch holes in the wall.

This is not about the child.

For the record, I haven’t punched a hole in the wall in a while.

I’m getting better. But I grew up with siblings who put their hands and heads through windows as part of their temper tantrums. Punching the wall is so… mellow.

I will never get as far with my self control as someone who has never had my difficulty with control. That’s just… probably true.

I feel really happy about how things have gone since we got home. I know we are still in the honey moon stage. I do love a good honey moon stage. I’m schmoopy in love with my husband. I feel like my kids and I have such an extraordinary personality match up that it blows my mind. We just get along.

I think it is kind of funny that I’ve been working with the kids on sarcasm a lot lately. I am not usually a particularly sarcastic person. When I am sarcastic I like to go for the Hey. I’m. Being. Sarcastic. angle. I don’t hold back. Mostly my sarcasm involves turkey poop.

We have a hilarious kids book where a turkey eats a bunch of sheep poop because of a prank. So turkey poop is just kind of a thing around here. I talk about turkey butts too. When someone is annoying me they are acting like a turkey butt. I don’t call people brats. I don’t call people harsher names. I say, “Stop acting like a turkey butt.”

I wouldn’t call it civilized. I would just say it isn’t very traumatizing. My kids think it is funnier than shit.

And we all know that shit is hilarious so that’s a big statement.

Potty training continues to go well. There are occasional accidents but mostly she’s pretty potty independent and it has been just over a week.

Yay!

It’s ok to have accidents when you are learning a new skill. Life is like that.

I feel really angsty to get outside and start cleaning up the yards, but not yet. The house isn’t fully settled yet. I still need to find a bunch of stuff. It’s driving me nuts.

The reason I need my house tidy is because I have a whole crowd of people turning to me to say, “Where is _____.”

I DON’T FUCKING KNOW.

Which I’m not supposed to say at top volume 300 times a day. So I need to go fucking find everything so I can start god damn answering with something other than a muted shriek of frustration.

I love you all. But I’ve been gone a long time. And you bastards moved stuff while I was gone. You say that nothing moved while I was gone and that’s a lie. What happened was things were moved then never put back.

THAT’S DIFFERENT.

I love you though. I’ll find everything. It’ll be fine. I just… need a few more days. By this weekend I will know where everything is.

Sometimes I love that I can hold all this in my brain. I just need to carefully look through the contents of every drawer and cabinet in the house then I will just know where everything is. I’ll remember. I will be able to close my eyes and visualize whatever object they want to find and the background picture of what is touching it will fill in the blanks and I will just know.

I love being a visual person.

There are lots of parts of me I don’t like so much. I really like being visual.

Today is going to be awesome. I want to take the trailer hitch off so I can go up my driveway again. Right now it would scrape the whole way.

Then I want to take the van to be cleaned. It is nasty. Then I get to install more car seats. Whee.

hate car seats. I’m just forking saying. HATE car seats.

Bonus kids mean I have a minimum of five more years.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Ok. I can do it. Seven years down. Only five to go.

I need to take stuff to the post office (sorry Jenny, I’ve been an absolute lazy bones about getting stuff moving so far) and bags to the thrift store and extra packing peanuts back to UPS. My inlaws send me about five big black garbage bags worth of packing peanuts every year.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Because they don’t want shit to break.

And a dentist appointment this afternoon on the other side of the valley. The day starts with therapy.

And Pam is coming over tonight. She used to be our steady Wednesday but Wednesday night is the only evening our baby sitter has free. So Pam switched. *phew* Glad that worked out.

Anything else to remind myself of for the day?

One of my dear friends has a horror of living in a house with as many books as I have. Her parents had issues around stuff management and there were too many books in her childhood home and things weren’t really… kept up.

I bring that up because I reflect on the fact that I’m not many years away from having my roof supported by stacks of books and I was wondering if I am doing a disservice to myself or my children by having so many books.

One crucial difference, I hope, is that I plan to read all of these books. They aren’t for show. I desperately want the knowledge contained within. And I’m shit at libraries.

I worry about creating problems in my kids. So I pay attention to where my friends have problems. I pay attention to why.

I’m not just focused on sexual abuse. I pay attention to a lot of metrics. Not sexually abusing my kids is one of the easiest things I’ve done parenting. I am incredibly lucky that I feel absolutely sexual attraction to children. It just doesn’t exist for me. So maintaining appropriate contact in that arena doesn’t take time, effort, or work for me. I monitor my children a lot more than average, but that’s so global that the preventing sexual abuse part doesn’t read as work.

I consciously and seriously worry about causing a lot of issues. I worry about a lot of kinds of abuse.

It is fascinating to me that in many languages there just aren’t words for talking about abuse the way we do in English. There are cultures that don’t have a concept for what you mean when you say abuse or incest. Even if the concepts exist… they aren’t discussed in the same way. They aren’t thought about in the same way.

What is abuse in one time and place is completely normal or even mild in another place and time.

I tell my kids that part of what is hard for modern parents is that times are changing faster than ever in the past and as a species we are usually slow to change. People of my generation are trying to learn to adapt at a rate that would have been entirely unthinkable to our great grandparents.

We are changing the world faster and faster. The most important skills to be teaching now are adaptability and innovation. Use whatever is available to make something new.

These skills have always mattered but not like they do right now.

It is hard getting that pause to figure out what you should be doing. That pause I miss so badly from lesson planning. I was good at lesson planning. I had binders. I miss my binders.

By my third year of teaching I had shit down. I had detailed lesson plans. I had created quizzes, tests, alternative assessments, essay prompts, study questions, vocabulary lists…. Every day I just had to show up and do what I had laid down for myself.

I miss that.

But I’m not a sustainer. When I left I gave my binders to my favorite guy in the department because he wanted to switch from what he had been teaching to my primary area. He was elated that I’d done all the work for him.

Time to start the day.

Peripheral

I asked my current longest running friend how she experiences my emotional ups and downs. She said “Peripherally because mostly I’m focused on me.” It was… humbling in exactly the right way. It was a reminder that the people who love me don’t have to come on the emotional roller coaster with me. They can love me and hear about my life and support me without being traumatized. My experiences are peripheral to their lives. It’s… kind of a freeing way of looking at it.

I don’t know how much to center myself. I don’t know how much impact I have on other people. I don’t know how much they can withstand from me. I don’t know this partially because people are all so different. I have been blessed with friends who can hear about some severe traumas without being damaged. But lots of people can’t even handle mildly upsetting things without freaking out, let alone trauma. So calibration is a bitch.

On the way home from the grief ritual on Saturday I got news that I didn’t like. If I was under the delusion that talking about a road trip for multiple years before I did it would result in people making sure they were home when I come to their city….uhm I am now back in tune with reality. The folks I know make their plans without consulting with me. Lots of folks I wanted to see (I’m up to like 8 different people across the country) aren’t going to be home when I come through town. The… ironic part is how many of them will be in the bay area when I am in their home states. I am having a hard time not feeling specifically avoided. I live in the bay area and you don’t come when I’m there to see me. You come when I am in your city. It… it is hard to not take personally. I’ve been planning this road trip for years. People could have asked me about conflicts. They didn’t. Now I can either change my plans (to make a long trip even longer) to see them or give up the idea of seeing them.

Which is why it is good to be reminded that I am peripheral to other peoples lives and I shouldn’t act like I am at the center. I’m really not. Folks don’t schedule around me. Hoo boy folks don’t schedule around me.

I think this would be easier if it were one person I was having this experience with. Then I could decide how much I prioritize that specific person and make a decision and move on. But once you start stacking that many people and that many conflicts… it gets exponentially more complicated.

I’m having conflict with my plans from five separate people in Portland. That’s… that seems to be a sign I shouldn’t go to Portland. If 5/8 of the people I go there to see won’t be available and one of the people I do want to see has been coming to the bay area without talking to me over the last year so I’m all butt hurt… Maybe Portland wasn’t meant to be part of the road trip? I could take it as a sign to save myself a thousand or so miles of travel. But then I feel like I’m not proving my love to the 3/8 people who are still there.

I’m having internal conflict over my adopted dad coming to the bay area multiple times without bothering to have dinner with us. Why the fuck should I keep trying to create a relationship with you when you come to my area without even the smallest of effort in my direction? It’s not a relationship if I am carrying all of it. But you know what? He didn’t ask me to be my dad. He didn’t ask to adopt my kids. I asked him. And I have to take what he feels like giving. I don’t get to demand more.

But I spent this weekend at a grief ritual. And I spent this weekend reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Fucking Palmer. So I’m in a funny place with regards to my feelings about “just stop asking people for love.”

That’s what cutting Portland out of the road trip would mean for me. It would mean that I am not able to go to that city with my heart in my hands saying, “Please love me.” I feel pathetic about it, but that’s a lot of what I do with my traveling and my life experiences. I go about and meet people I’ve known for a long time and people I have just met and I energetically ask them to love me. Please think I am worthy of humanity and decency and love. I’m scared that I am not deserving. And I need it affirmed over and over.

You need ten positive things to balance out every negative thing you hear about yourself. I spent the first 25 years of my life hearing 1,000 bad things for every good thing I heard. I am spending my adulthood trying to convince myself I am not what I was told I am.

But asking people to love you this way means risking rejection.

Part of my problem is that I have too many expectations of people. I really do. If I were actually content with five minutes of attention from the people I love I wouldn’t feel so disappointed. They can eke out five minutes. They can’t eke out two days. I’m not saying anything bad about them for that. They are where they are. And I am where I am.

I have spent most of my life using physical pain to remind me that I can’t ask for help because people don’t actually care very much. Now everyone in my life really wants me to stop hurting myself. And things are better than they were–more people are willing to demonstrate caring than I have ever experienced. It is getting better year by year. But I am not good at keeping my needs in check. I’m not good at ensuring that I don’t overwhelm people.

I am trying to learn the skills to deal with rejection without feeling like I should die. My hyperbole is not because of anyone in my life right now. It is because I have felt like I should die since early childhood. I’m looking for signs that I should or shouldn’t die. As soon as I feel like there is more weight on the side of no really I shouldn’t be here any more I try to leave. I haven’t tried to leave in 18 years. I was taught that the penalty for trying to leave and failing is really bad. Unless I’m willing to go swim out into the ocean until I can’t come back… I probably won’t attempt suicide again. My gestures are used up. Next time it has to be effective and no take backs.

I’m still weighing every rejection. I’m still tossing evidence into a sack towards the inevitability that I should die today because some day that day will come. Some day it will be the day I should die. It is not avoidable.

I notice something in the cycles of asking for support that I go through. If I ask a lot of people at once for something I don’t want very much… it usually works out. If I ask one person for something I want very much… it rarely works out. One example that is shallow and petty but small and easy to describe is the leather dress. I lived with my Owner for three years. We had a very intense relationship. I did not ask him to buy me things. He bought food for me in restaurants and that was it. I bought all groceries for the house. We were both incredibly sensitive to the idea that he was my Sugar Daddy and he was therefore careful to not pay me.

Isn’t that kind of funny? He wanted to make sure our relationship was “clean” so he would safely not provide very much support. Ha.

Anyway after being together for just shy of 4 years we were at a leather conference. I found a leather ball gown I was simply in love with. It was gorgeous. It was way out of my budget. I had never before asked him to pay for any of the ridiculously large fetish wardrobe I bought because he wanted me to wear those clothes. I didn’t ask him to pay for the 20+ pairs of shoes I bought because he wanted me to wear them. I didn’t own any of those shoes two years after I left him. Most of them were gone in three months. I hated those shoes. But I had to buy them to make him happy. I lived on $14,400/year and he made over $250,000. Anyway.

So I wanted this dress and I asked him to buy it for me. I said it could be my birthday and Christmas and everything put together. He said no. He said it wasn’t worth it to him to buy it for him. This happened in July. We broke up in August. Want to know what is funny? Noah organized my other-lovers and bought the dress for my birthday in September. I didn’t ask my other-lovers for the dress. I just cried on my blog.

I still have the dress. I wear it sometimes. It is one of the few items of fetish wear I have left. Mostly I’ve passed things on to people who are actually into that kind of thing. I used to have a wardrobe that made fetish models and professional dominatrixes drool. I’m not a fetishist though.

I spent a lot of this grieving ritual thinking about how I need to forgive myself for having needs that are in specific shaped boxes. I am not going to get those boxes filled because friends don’t work that way. I could maybe get the needs met if I was open to the universe supplying some random person–that’s how things work out for me. But as long as I get into this place where I create fantasies of doing x, y, and z with a, b, and c because I love them… I’m mostly going to be disappointed. My friends are not programmable. They don’t have the same interests and impulses as me.

This is what makes things so tricky. I have very specific needs and wants. People aren’t Burger King. You can’t have it your way.

A friend suggested that I negotiate differently. Instead of offering a Thing I’m up for, try to negotiate two or three things that might work for both. Thing is, I’m negotiating with anywhere from 3-25 people in a week. I can’t be that flexible. I run into bandwidth limitations.

I am not physically nor emotionally capable of being that open-endedly flexible with that many people. Maybe other people could… I can’t.

I will lose me. I understand that other people can keep themselves while being very flexible. That is awesome for them. That’s not me.

As I read Amanda Palmer’s book I kept thinking, “I have tried to have similar trust in the universe. That is part of how I got raped by 12 people. Uhm… This doesn’t work equally well for everyone.”

I feel like the term “Survival Sex” is only fairly recently added to my working vocabulary. It is… not exactly sex work because money doesn’t exchange hands. It is having sex with people in trade for food or housing. I’m struggling with not having the right goods to trade for my needs any more. Once upon a time I could trade sex and get most of the immediate needs I had met. Now I can’t trade sex for a variety of reasons and I don’t know what currency I have that is of value. My attention? But I bother people so much.

If you look at history there are people who can ask and have their needs met and it is like magic and then there are people who ask and get spit on. A lot of it depends on who you know. How magical is your safety net? The fact that Amanda Palmer had so many people with extra money to throw at artists is part of why she has done so well. If she had not grown up in that net… it would be a very different story.

It is a lot easier to trust that people will meet your needs when your needs have been basically met your entire life. It is not so easy to believe when there have been brief shining moments when all of your needs were met for brief moments and mostly… not so much.

I don’t know how to stop taking it out on my friends that my needs are too big for any of them. If my friends meticulously did every single thing I wanted from them… I would probably still feel this way. My problems are existential and not logistical. I get a lot of assistance and cooperation from friends. My friends do wonderful things with and for me. I can pinpoint problems in the system but… mostly my friends are ridiculously good to me. No, people don’t schedule their lives around me. I’m peripheral. But what they have to spare they hand me generously. It isn’t their fault that it isn’t enough to meet my needs.

Is it my fault? Is it anyone’s fault? I worry about fault so much partially because when I talk about how people aren’t meeting my needs people are quick to assume I’m blaming them. If they feel blamed for my problems they are more likely to cut me out of their lives and then I will be that much further from having my needs met.

You can’t talk about the fact that what you are getting in inadequate. You will cease getting any help at all.

Watch how people treat people of color who complain about the system. If you say, “This isn’t meeting my needs” people will say, “Fine then I won’t help you at all you ungrateful bastard.”

I don’t know what I want from people. Not really. I can come up with imaginary scenarios that would take 20 years of back story to make possible but beyond that… I don’t really know.

I want to feel seen.

In the class part of the ritual Sobonfu said, “If someone is crying and alone in my village someone will come and sit with them. If they don’t start talking, the listener will go get more people. If a small group isn’t enough to get the person to start talking we will get the whole village together to listen. Some problems are so big they cannot be carried by one person or by a small group. The whole village has to see and hear the problem before it can be resolved.”

I feel like that. I feel like there isn’t much of anything that people can do for me at this point beyond seeing and hearing me. I want to feel like an integral part of the system. I want to feel like my pain is so important that many many people care enough to take time out of their day to just see it. So that it can feel real. So that I can put it down. So that I don’t have to metaphorically spend all day clutching it and screaming “Look! Look Just fucking look.”

I don’t want to be disposable.

I’m afraid of treating my friends like they are disposable. I’m afraid I have no path to being correct and meeting my needs and their needs.

Part of my problem dealing with people comes from scale issues. I have an unusually large net of people. They are all fairly loose connections, but I have them all over the place. Weak connections lead to a safer and happier and more successful life. But how do you decide how much energy to give to weak connections?

I think that part of the relief when the Godmamas dumped me is like when a company fires an employee and gets to wipe their vacation time off the books. It is no longer an outstanding debt the company might have to face at any point. I left space in my heart and mind for them. They didn’t want it. They told me no over and over for years. But I left that space open. I tried to cram other people into gaps and holes around the area I was leaving for them. It’s like doing a computer defrag on my emotional priorities.

Ok, you want to be not important. Ok.

All of the people who have made conflicting plans are people I really like and I don’t want to defrag them out of my life.

I feel like there is no way to win.

Either I absorb all the disappointment and sadness and regret and keep coming back to beg for love another time or I give up on the person as a source of support.

This is that black and white thinking that mentally ill people are supposed to “work on”.

It’s not either/or. But I don’t know what it is.

Why am I doing the road trip? For a whole bunch of reasons. Because I want my kids to meet people all across the country and find out that their social skills need heavy adaptation from environment to environment. Because I want my kids to physically see this country so that when we talk about geography and history they have real schema to match things up with. Because I have wanted to do a trip like this my whole life and I never had anyone who wanted to do it with me and I’m too chicken shit to go alone. Because I can. Because I think we are going to reach a point in history where the carbon cost is going to be too high and people can’t do this any more. I want to do it while I can.

Because my cousin sneered at me while we were preparing for the New Zealand trip, “Why are you going overseas when you haven’t seen all of this great country.” Bitch, I’ve seen more of this country than you. It isn’t that great. Shut up.

That cousin hasn’t ever liked me. It wasn’t my fault she disliked me. She moved to Georgia not long after I moved in with Auntie and Uncle Bob for the first time. She cried telling her father that she was sorry she was taking his grandchildren away from him. He said, “That’s ok. I have Krissy.” My cousin never forgave me.

You know what? Uncle Bob dropped me when a younger and more sycophantic girl came along. He dropped that girl when another younger girl came along. You can get over hating me for stealing his love. I didn’t steal it. It was never really mine. He wanted a role and I couldn’t give him the role he wanted. I’m not grateful enough.

I had too much abuse mixed in with my not-really-good-enough support. Some boxes of Fruity Pebbles didn’t solve my problems and everyone kind of hated me for that.

If I could be blithe and capricious with seeing my friends things would work out much better. If I could accept the gift of their friendship and hold it in my open hand without grabbing and crushing it… things would work out better.

But I’m needy and desperate and sad and lonely. Even when I’m in a house full of people who love me. This is clearly not about the people who are currently in my life. This is not about the deficiency in behavior or planning or whatever from the people I know.

This is about a hole inside of me the size of Alaska.

If I’m going to be kind of an asshole about it I would say, If my friends weren’t so cool I wouldn’t be so upset about only getting a small slice of them. But man that’s a dick move.

I can’t actually handle that big of a slice of most of my friends. I start flipping out. I literally shake and I get nasty and difficult. Which is part of what makes my entitlement and possessiveness such a problem. I want them. I want all of them. Then I’m an asshole.

Like I did with Sarah. I want Sarah. I want to live with her and be with her all day every day. Just because I want it that doesn’t mean I can do it in a way that is healthy for both of us. My needs are too big. Her needs are too big. Our needs conflict in very complicated ways. It isn’t about either of us doing something wrong we just aren’t compatible as house mates. That happens.

I need a degree of rigidness and predictability that is very hard for almost everyone. That isn’t about anyone doing me wrong. It’s a recognition of the fact that people can be very complicated. If I don’t have that rigidness in my life then I have breakdowns in my behavior. That rigidity is how I have learned to compensate for not having the support I needed. I created the structure and support I needed for myself by myself but there is a cost.

That cost comes in how much I can trust other people. I have to be able to pick up the pieces if their best isn’t good enough. I have to be able to recover from feeling rejected. I have to be able to feel like I still have a self who is deserving of life at the end of the day. That is not something that other people are responsible for nor can they have serious impact on how it turns out.

The thing is, if everyone I knew catered their whole lives around me and scheduled around me and constantly pestered me to center me in their lives… I would implode. I could not do that. I would reject everyone, stop answering the phone and email and hide in my closet for months.

My friends really aren’t put in a position to be very successful with me. I’m sorry for that.

What I want is friends who are off doing their things. Their things inspire me. Their things remind me that it takes all kinds and all of these diverse, interesting, busy people are necessary to have the world be this fabulous.

And that means I have to take what is left over and find a way to cobble it into enough.

I am really scared that I will have to bail part way through the road trip because I will not have the emotional nor physical stamina to do such a journey alone with the kids. In order to spend quality time with the people we love in Portland I would have to make the trip longer and show up earlier. I don’t think I can bear that cost right now. I think that given that 5/8 of the people we love in Portland will not be available… I should take that as a sign from the universe to come back to Oregon another time. I will not run out of chances.

But I’m scared that if I make that choice I am giving up on those friends. I’m afraid that not putting in the extra effort to force it to work means I am not dedicated enough and I do not deserve those relationships and I will not be given access to them in the future.

I’m afraid that if I decide to not go to Portland during the road trip it will be in large part because I’m saying “Fuck you” to Dad because he didn’t see me when he came to the bay area. He was about 1/3 of the reason I deleted my Fetlife account. I don’t want to see evidence that I’m not that important to you. I don’t want to know. I mean, I know I’m not that important. But I don’t want to read about you talking to your friends about your excitement about visiting them. You don’t visit me. You don’t call me. You don’t email me. I contact you. Or we have no contact.

Yeah, that’s how my relationships with “fathers” go.

Portland is very wrapped up in my feelings about Dad. We usually stay with him when we go up. And right now…

Right now I can’t ask. I can’t ask him for love or support or anything. I can’t ask him to acknowledge that I am alive. I just can’t. He doesn’t want to. If he wanted to be part of my life he knows where I am. He chooses not to.

I…

It isn’t something he has to give.

So when I’m talking about Portland all of my conflicting feelings about all of the wonderful people there crash into each other. And it makes all of the processing ramp up several notches in intensity. I’m not processing how I feel about accommodating Person A. I’m thinking about how I can fit in Person A, Person B, Person C, Person D, Person E, and all of them have conflicting schedule limitations and issues.

Cutting Portland out would mean we had time to get to Missouri. Where one of my online-support-group friends lives. She has twins who are right in the middle of the ages of my kids. I’ve been talking to her about parenting stuff for years. She mailed me artwork for my wall when I was having the break down around Uncle Bob’s death and divorcing my family. She has sent me letters and emails over the years.

So cutting out Portland isn’t just about whether or not I want to say “Fuck you” to Dad or whether I want to try to work around everyone else’s travel schedule. It’s also about whether or not this road trip is about cementing old connections or making new ones.

Portland will still be there in the future. I guarantee that even if this trip doesn’t work out… we’ll get back to Portland. The folks who live there are an intense draw. Even if I get mad at them sometimes. Even if sometimes I feel feelings because I am not the center of their life and THAT TOTALLY SUCKS, YO. I will get back to Portland.

Missouri… maybe. Maybe not. This may be the only or one of two times I will ever go there in my whole damn life.

What is this trip about? Fuck if I know.

But you know what? I walked out of the weekend feeling less upset. I stopped feeling really guilty about how I’m handling the throat kicking incident. If I lose the home school group that’s ok. They were never mine to begin with.

I’m going to be really sad if I lose some of the important Portland people in my life. I can live with not seeing them this year, even if it is disappointing. I don’t want to live with losing them forever. That’s so much harder.

I’m going to close with a quote from Amanda’s book:

We make countless choices every day whether to ask or to turn away from one another. Wondering whether it’s too much to ask the neighbor to feed the cat. The decision to turn away from a partner, to turn off the light instead of asking what’s wrong.

Asking for help requires authenticity, and vulnerability.

Those who ask without fear learn to say two things, with or without words, to those they are facing:

I deserve to ask

and

You are welcome to say no.

Because the ask that is conditional cannot be a gift.

This is what is so hard about me asking my friends for things. I wait to ask until the no hurts me. I have refrained from asking for thousands of small, petty things because I was afraid. Because I don’t want to overwhelm or bother people. So I wait until it is a crises. Then I ask. Then I can’t absorb “no”.

Which means I’m damning everyone from the beginning. I’m not asking for gifts. I’m asking for… investment. I’m asking for responsibility.

You can’t ask your friends to be responsible for you. Then they aren’t your friends any more. They are your wards or your parents or your guardians or something.

I damn myself over and over again. Because I cannot ask when it is just a gift. Because I am so scared. Because my needs have never been very important, even when they really needed to be.

This weekend I had an interaction with a person in which they expressed that part of their goal during the ritual was to not feel pain. I kind of scoffed at that, because I’m an asshole. The person said it at the beginning of the day on Saturday before the ritual proper had started.

I found those words sticking in my head all through the day. I just… couldn’t make myself grieve the way I did last time at the ritual. I didn’t have the hysterical screaming and flailing in me. I didn’t need to beat my head until I couldn’t raise it from the pillow anymore. Instead I found myself just curling up in the fetal position to cry softly.

It was… kind of weird. I’m not really a “let it flow gently over you” kind of person.

The next morning I found the person and told them about my experience the day before. Their face lit up. They were so glad to have had that impact on someone. I apologized for scoffing and said, “I think I needed to hear exactly that. Thank you.”

On Sunday, Sobonfu asked everyone to touch one another more. Even if you are normally a non-touching person… let people touch you. You need to feel like you aren’t alone. You need to physically feel that a person is there with you in your grief.

I’m really a no-touching person.

At one point in the day I was grieving and it turns out that the person who had said they didn’t want to experience pain was my supporter. (Part of the purpose of the grief ritual is that when you are grieving you are always supported. There is a person there to help you however you need.) This person decided to do massage work on me while I was crying. Eventually I moved around so I was lying on my belly just letting it happen.

It was almost magical. I get a lot of body work done. I experience a lot of physical pain and I know a lot of ways to manage it. I do a lot of yoga/stretching… All The Things. I’ve been getting somewhat regular massages since I turned 18 because other wise I get back spasms and spend a lot of time lying on the floor crying and unable to deal with my life.

This was a really transformative body work experience. I walked in with multiple places screaming out in intense pain. I walked out having my pain halved. She didn’t work on me for very long and it wasn’t intense work. But she knew where to press. And it was the physical contact in conjunction with the crying.

In that moment it was ok for me to be asking for support. It wasn’t pathetic. It wasn’t inappropriate. It was what we were all there for. It was entirely appropriate.

I feel like part of my problem is that asking for support puts people in the position where they might have to say no to me. People don’t like saying no. I try not to put them in that position. Which means I wait until it is too urgent. Then I can’t hear no.

It’s a problem. It’s a bad cycle. I’m having a hard time climbing out.

Part of the difficulty springs from the fact that there is no right answer. You just do your best. That’s all anyone has to give.

Interactions

When I was around 12 I had an “epiphany”. If I have the same problem with person after person… it probably isn’t always their fault. As I have gotten older I have had many more life experiences. What I believe at this time is: there are types of people I will always have predictable bad experiences with and types of people I consistently have more positive experiences with. That doesn’t mean that people fall into one camp or the other 100% of the time, but people who have x, y, or z characteristics are more likely to develop problems like a, b, or c with me and people who are more like 1, 2, 3 tend to like me because of 4, 5, 6. After this pattern emerges enough times I no longer think the problems are all with me.

At 7 billion people we aren’t all unique snowflakes–you know? We are predictable if we find the right sample to be compared with.

There are people on this planet who genuinely cannot handle the way I emotionally process. That doesn’t mean I am wrong or bad for needing to process the way I need to. It just means I’m not compatible with those people and I should not try to have emotional experiences with them.

But I’m kind of stupid. I really want to bond with everyone on the whole planet. I lost out on making effective connections with my bio-family so I desperately want to keep everybody else.

One friend said at least the problem I was trying to address in a recent situation got addressed. Sigh. Sorta. Technically. Part of the problem was addressed. The other part of the problem I wanted to address was, how can I keep these people and find a way to get along? That part I completely failed on and it really bothers me.

“You like being that way.” Well, I like being able to pull out being scary when adult men are threatening me. I really wish it didn’t work out that I scared quite so many people.

I want people to think I am safe. More than that, I want to be safe. I want to have the most physically aggressive thing I do to people be bump into them when I don’t see them. I want all the physical pain I cause to be an accident that is acceptable to apologize for. I don’t want to accidentally hurt people a lot such that it can’t be apologized for. The only circumstances under which I want to hit people is if we are both over 30 years of age, my husband said it was ok, and they begged me a really lot to hit them and they told me exactly how they want to be hit. I think that is absolutely the limit of me being allowed to hit people.

I feel very sad that sometimes people don’t feel safe around me. That’s my problem. No one needs to make me feel better about that. My behavior scares people. Sometimes just the fact of my personhood (mental illness is not well thought of) is enough to cause people to fear. They don’t know what I could do so they feel scared. No one needs to make me feel better nor do people need to change their feelings. But man it’s shitty sometimes.

I have a powerful urge to hit. I haven’t struck someone in anger since middle school. Nope, I’m a liar. That was the last *fist fight* I got into. The last time I struck someone in anger was my fiancé when I was 18. I picked him up and threw him into a wall. And I moved out three weeks later. I didn’t want to stay and be that person in that dynamic.

I have beaten the shit out of people in consensual scenes since then. I have slapped adult men on the shoulders in “jest” since then but my husband broke me of that bad habit. I smacked Shanna’s foot one night when it was pitch black and pouring rain and she was viciously kicking the back of my seat in the car. I was afraid I was going to drive off the road. One of my brushes backward with my hand was harder than it should have been.

Once I kind of hit a student. She shoved me from behind and I turned around swinging. I didn’t even remotely “hurt” her because I realized what I was doing and I pulled the punch. I called her parents, sobbing, to apologize. Her dad said, “She probably deserved it” which I thought was a shitty reaction. Dude, defend your kid. That was when I was 23.

I am god damn rigorous about noting my slip ups. I am searching for a level of physical control that is a real stretch for me. It is super important that I get this right. I am not perfect. I’m doing so much better than I used to do.

But every single day that people spend near me they are taking a risk that I will lose control and hurt someone. I have rage issues. I have hitting-things-issues. I have impulse control issues.

I say that I “have” these things. I have punched and kicked holes in the wall in the past 10 years. The last one was after Calli was born, but nothing like that has happened in 2+ years. Pretty much after the last one Noah sat me down and said, “No more. Our kids are too big. Seeing you do that is traumatizing and you can’t do that again.” He’s right. I’m deeply grateful that I have a partner who watches me and cares about the effect of my behavior on our children.

Since that time period I have gotten a lot better about my self-care. I take a lot more time to rest than I used to take. I consciously prioritize taking care of my body and my mental health in ways I was completely incapable of doing during my 20’s.

At what point do I stop needing to be crucified for things I did when I was young?

I think that I am more willing to talk about scary things than other people. I’m not convinced I do more scary things at this point. I am not perfectly gentle. But I feel like I do pretty well.

I don’t think this is a gentle world and I don’t think I should be perfectly gentle with my kids. I don’t believe in corporal punishment, but I believe in rough housing. I believe in trying to learn to shrug off minor pain. Life hurts, kid. I believe in working through how to give and receive verbal boundaries and that means risking getting hurt.

It works out way more than when it screws up. And when it fails, we hug and apologize and try to do differently in the future. It isn’t the end of the world.

It is weird living with the safety of finally having three people who are truly stuck with me for decades if not forever. I don’t take anyone else for granted. Sarah, Jenny, Kira… I view all of those relationships as resting tenuously on my ability to not be a monster in front of them. Jenny has been with me for 21 years. When will I trust her? Maybe it will get easier when she has outlasted Brittney so that my only other comparison wasn’t still hanging over me like a threat. “People can only handle 30 years of you if they are really tough and they barely ever see you and know a very limited and filtered version of your life.” Otherwise… people don’t come anywhere near lasting that long with me.

For the record, I know I can’t put hurdles in front of people and ask them to jump. I have to instead trust people and just wait and see who sticks around. It’s fucking hard.

But Calli and Shanna and Noah are different. Short of some very significant fuck ups… I get to keep them. The kinds of fuck ups that will drive other people away will probably not be enough to drive them away. Biology and legal precedent and all that. They are a lot less likely to stop hanging out with me just because they don’t like my tone of voice. Given how I’m raising my children, if they have a problem with my tone of voice they will bloody well tell me. They will say, “Mom you sound really nasty. You should work on that.”

I’m not that worried about being mean to my adult children. I don’t think they will allow it. And I already love them for it. Oh man, today at dinner I teased Calli. She turned around and snarled, “I’ll teach you to mess with Calli!! Rawr!!!” It was awesome.

My feelings are big and it is sometimes hard for me to keep them hidden from other people. That makes me hard to be around for a lot of kinds of people. That’s not my fault and I don’t think it is something I should try to change. It’s ok for me to be like this. It takes all kinds.

 

Food, connection, triggers, projecting, all the good stuff

It is very rare that I ask someone for permission before I write about something. Mostly I think, “If you didn’t want me to write about it you shouldn’t have done it.” Sometimes I try to recognize that my writing causes other people to have feelings and that’s a complicated thing. I don’t think I “make” people feel things. But I think that if you are going to put a whole series of bombs along the bottom of a building you can’t get upset when the building explodes.

I asked before writing this one. Because I’m going to touch on someone very dear to my heart whom I have hurt quite a lot around this topic. She’s not the reason or the center but people have feelings when they are mentioned in connection to big feelings. I need to process some layers though and she’s touched on in the layers. I’m trying to be gentle.

The other day I was sitting in the kitchen watching Noah, my husband, make breakfast for the family and I felt these waves of emotion. Gratitude. Relief. Appreciation. Surprise. Confusion. Sadness.

Why didn’t my mama want to feed me? That’s such a huge and pervasive thing for me. I can’t not think about the effect this has on my life.

It isn’t that my mom didn’t want to feed me. That’s not what happened at all. My mom ran out of spoons and money. My mom spent much of my childhood very depressed and very poor. She didn’t know how to deal with all the things that were happening to her (I don’t blame her for that) and she did not grow up learning how to cope with such problems.

My mom was thrown into the deep end of the pool without one swimming lesson. She went from being a sheltered, Mennonite hick to being married to a city boy who was a drug addicted, alcoholic pedophile. She really didn’t know how to cope. She didn’t know how to deal with her husband raping her. She didn’t think she had choices. She didn’t know how to deal with her husband beating her children. When she did try to get away, things got worse–not better.

I’m trying to tease out some of my food stuff. I had diarrhea this morning. I haven’t been eating off plan so I assume that it is at least partially because I’ve been thinking about how to talk about this stuff for a few days. But who fucking knows.

I don’t have an official diagnosis but I suspect I qualify as being a “highly sensitive person”. I’ve desensitized myself in many ways over the years–I’m way less sensitive than I was as a kid. When I was a child I had huge food issues. I couldn’t handle unfamiliar foods. I would completely freak out. The wrong texture in my mouth could set me off for hours. I couldn’t “get over” the wrongness of some things in my mouth.

As an adult I have tried really hard to expand my food palate–partially for my own sake and partially to model for my children. But trying new things is complicated for me. I have to be in the right emotional state or I will freak out or get physically sick. Just about anything can make me gag if I’m in the wrong emotional state. It makes me challenging to feed.

Noah surprises me all the time as I reflect on the enormity of the task he has taken on with regards to feeding me. He is mellow, flexible, and very happy to be experimental. He doesn’t take it personally when I have an issue. And he shows up the vast majority of the time to just make food. Even through the elimination diet when I was a moving target of problems. He responded with cheer and good humor and just asked for new directions. He likes them written down, please.

I don’t have to beg. I don’t have to coax. I don’t have to behave “good enough”. I don’t have to do a bunch of things I don’t want to do in order to try and talk him into it.

He just makes food. Because he wants me to eat. He wants me to live for a long time so I can be here with him hanging out.

Trusting someone around food is a process. I don’t like making food very much, but I would much rather have people come to my house where I control the food so I don’t have to wonder if I will be ok or if I will act like an ungrateful asshole at their house. This means I do a lot of inviting people over. I usually cook for those events instead of expecting Noah to cook for all of my friends. He has long days. I don’t need to be mean about him doing a lot of cooking. I probably make dinner 30%-40% of the time. Ok, usually more like 30%. But once in a while I’m nice and I do an extra breakfast shift. (Like, not even weekly. My husband is so nice to me.)

I feel a lot of shame a lot of the time around being ungrateful. I don’t deserve the effort people put into me. Shame is poison. When I feel ashamed, I tend to also feel anger. Shame isn’t guilt. Shame is believing that people are going to be upset with you for breaking unspoken societal guidelines… not breaking a Law or a Rule… just… people won’t like you for doing the wrong thing. Shame is poison. Shame is believing you aren’t good enough because you don’t conform enough to being just like other people. When I believe that other people think I’m not good enough… I get mad at them. Even when this whole cycle is just in my head. It’s part of the reason I’m so difficult to deal with.

A few years ago we tried to have a friend live with us. Part of the deal was: she would handle food. It would be off my plate. Then I could turn my attention elsewhere and do other things. It didn’t work out due to a lot of complicated things revolving partially around her being disabled and unable to just show up seven days a week like clockwork. Because I thought I had her at home to make sure the kids got fed, I started burning spoons I didn’t have to spare if I have to feed the kids. Then sometimes I had to feed the kids.

Oh I have the feelings. I still do. We are still trying to figure out how to mend our relationship. It happens in drips and drabs. Rebuilding trust is so hard.

Rebuilding trust is hard because I am unfair in how I ask people to be rigid in what they offer as my friend. I tend to require people to practically sign blood contracts that they will be present in my life x days per month/year and I need to be able to Trust That. That’s really a problem for people who have unpredictable illnesses like oh roughly half of my peer group. Right. Shit.

I was a monster. I exploded and kicked the cabinet door off. I’m not saying it is someone else’s fault–I lost control and that isn’t ok. It isn’t excusable. How do I move forward and not do that again? Moreover, beyond just never demonstrating that level of rage in front of my kids again, how do I learn to separate my feelings from other peoples actions?

I think about this and I feel scared. What am I going to do if Noah decides he is kind of done cooking for a few years? Am I going to explode at him? Am I going to expect him to just provide for me in that way?

At this point I’m pretty sure I exploded at my friend as harshly as I did because I have an enmeshed thing going on where she is both mother and sister and I have a lot of big, explosive feelings towards both of those roles. My friend wasn’t able to be the perfect Platonic Ideal… and I couldn’t cope. That isn’t her fault and I feel a lot of guilt around putting her in that position. I think that the enormity of what I did to that friend came into a kind of intense relief when I started doing a similar thing with someone else. (I mean the first noun definition of relief: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/relief “prominence, distinctness, or vividness due to contrast.)

I want other people to mend the wounds I have. But it takes a kind of consistency that literally isn’t possible for most people. It isn’t fair or appropriate to ask it of them. This is something I do over and over and I have to change how I handle this. No one can fix me and it is wrong of me to get so mad at people for failing to do so.

How do you heal and learn to trust people while knowing that you can’t trust them to be reliable? Not because anyone is doing anything wrong. Not because they are actually letting me down (I’m not their kid nor their boss so they don’t owe me a fucking thing) but because I have this crushing feeling of being let down.

I’m worried about this being the kind of thing I pass down to my kids. Entitlement about having other people feed them. Entitlement to explode when you don’t get what you want. The feeling that if people take care of themselves they are betraying you.

That’s pretty fucked up.

I’m too hard on my BFFs. Pam told me so. She has a lot of authority to speak about such matters because she has been standing close enough to be in the role for years only she doesn’t have room in her life. She has great boundaries. There is no enmeshing with Pam. She’s on her path. But she comes and looks at me over long periods of time and tells me when I’m doing stupid shit. That’s useful.

I enmesh unless other people have strong boundaries. That’s a lot of why I like people with strong boundaries as much as I do. But really, what I like are women who like making food who need me to clean their house. (Ok, they never need me to clean their house… but I pick people who don’t especially like cleaning so I can feel useful.) I look for people who have challenging relationships with their families–people who are also looking for substitutes to heal some wounds and I try to offer trades. Only I’m not direct or blunt or explicit… I just kinda move in. Until I’m scared that I’ve overstayed my welcome and I evaporate like I was never there.

I project onto people that filling my needs will fill a need for them, like it works in reverse for me. I like doing things for people. I like feeling useful. I like feeling like I have useful skills and abilities.

The ability to feed people is a thing. It’s a big deal. It’s a comfort thing, it’s a way of supporting life. I get why people feel good about being feeders. But I can’t assume that just because someone is a feeder they will reliably and predictably want to feed me. I can’t assume that they will always be able to. And it isn’t ok to punish people when they stop being able to.

I really struggle with how much of this feels like, “You just aren’t allowed to get angry when your needs aren’t met.” But that’s black and white thinking. That’s not very useful.

I’m writing this because I need to figure out a better way of handling my feelings before they get so big I explode. Lots of communal “eat together” stuff happens in my life. I have big, explosive feelings on a regular basis. People say they will feed me then cancel at the last minute. Plans change. I have to manage my feelings better.

Just because people enjoy making food doesn’t mean I can expect them to make food for me.

I’m not sure how to change my set of reactions. Food is primal. Food is necessary every day for life. But it isn’t necessary that other people provide food for me.

I am a little worried about how I will adjust to the road trip. I’ve gotten very used to Noah cooking breakfast and dinner. When I am responsible for providing three meals a day… am I going to expect the kids to do an inappropriate amount of work because I feel like I can’t cope? I’m worried. How much work is inappropriate?

Do I need to develop habits around snacking every x minutes so I don’t get hungry enough to react badly at people. (That actually first happened to me as an adult when I went back packing with a dear friend. He started insisting I eat every 45 minutes while hiking or I got bitchy and he was tired of me ranting at him. It worked really well.) I can’t expect other people to manage my food issues. They are mine. I get into so much trouble because I expect other people to handle me. I spend too much time acting like I am a child and everyone and anyone is responsible for me. Like I’m still wandering from house to house as an unwanted charity case.

I feel like it is vitally important for me to stop feeling like I am a charity case. I don’t know how. Having money isn’t doing it.

I feel like a ridiculous whiny baby when I write about these things. Just get over it already. But it’s hard to shame someone into being better. I have a lot of intense triggers around food. I have a low ability to discern my bodies signals around hunger. I have a lot of resistance to making food. I have a lot of anxiety around most parts of eating from the mechanics of chewing (I’m still worried that I might suddenly run into some awful texture by surprise–it’s part of why I can’t eat seafood.) to digesting to pooping. I don’t have a body that works how I think bodies “should” work and I feel like I’m still looking around for a mom who will help me fix it.

When oh when will I stop looking for substitute parents?

At this point I’m picking candidates who have as much or less life experience than me and that’s not really working and I have to stop. I get really upset with them and that’s wrong of me. I have to change this habit.

I feel scared. I want to say I don’t know how. I know what I want to stop and that doesn’t give me a roadmap of where to go and that feels really scary right now.

I don’t know how far back on the chain of my behaviors/emotions I have to go to start changing things. I feel very overwhelmed wondering how much of my basic personality is actually toxic and I need to change it.

The funny thing is: the shame around wanting people to take care of me by feeding me is wrapped up in the shame around being a loud person.

I have a voice designed for gathering up crowds in a large out door location. It’s a gift. It’s a wonderful gift when it comes to getting peoples attention when they are outside and spread out.

I’m not good at toning down. Then I married someone who has a habit of getting really loud and emphatic. Then we had two kids who think that what they are talking about can be the only important thing in the house so sometimes we kind of have four people shouting at one another. At that point Noah or I get overwhelmed and make everyone stop. It’s kind of funny. We all have to take some deep breaths.

I want my girls to be able to shout people down with their position. I mean, it would be better if they could communicate their position without shouting but I know too many women who are just flat incapable of strongly advocating for themselves. I want my girls to be able to shout people down. I want it to be a tool in their tool box. Boys are given that tool. It’s not a tool that makes you well liked, but sometimes it is a necessary tool. Folks who can’t do it say it isn’t useful but I’ve watched a lot of things get solved by who can shout loudest. I want my kids to be able to win.

I am torn between thinking that being a somewhat scary person is a good thing because it means my kids get acclimated so that maybe other people will be less intimidating in the future. Then I think, “Oh that’s an absurd justification you disgusting monster.”

When food is tied up with a loud voice it probably isn’t going to go well. Shame is a monster. Shame tells me that if I had the audacity to be too loud (for whom?!) I should be punished. I’m not really allowed to punish myself in most ways any more (I don’t have privacy). I used to be punished with food denial. I go through periods of intense anxiety where my stomach hurts really badly and I drop weight really quickly. It’s like I’m trying to punish myself–but I genuinely can’t eat more at those times or I vomit.

I probably eat more sugar than is “good” for me but I get the impression I’m still relatively low compared to the “average” American. (At least I see spreads of food in pictures representing what people eat and I eat WAY less sugar than those pictures ever represent. Whoa.) But frankly even though people want to think of eating as bad… if it gets calories into me sometimes I have to accept that as good enough. No, it isn’t perfect. I’m doing my best. I eat far more fruit and vegetables than I used to–it has to be ok that I snack on buns too.

I went to bed absurdly early last night. I think that partially happened because I wanted to work on this and I won’t get any other chance. I woke up at 2am. By 3 I feel like I am getting pretty hungry. My instinct is to just sit here and whimper as my body hurts. I had to think about it for thirty minutes before I got up to get a cheese stick. My impulse is to wait 5 hours for food. No wonder I’m so damn cranky all the time. I sleep weird. I eat irregularly and expect my body to just keep going regardless of how many calories I have in me.

I could have been a primitive hunter gatherer. “Didn’t find food yet. Keep walking.”

(I’m kidding.)

Maybe the road trip will be kind of like the fast. (The fast didn’t make it so I have solid poop every day forever, but I have a fair bit of it and I’m pretty happy with my current functioning.) I will have a huge break from how food normally looks in my life. I won’t have any of my normal crutches. I won’t have any of my normal support.

Ok, now how do I get it done?

Without living on packed foods plus restaurants. Ahem.

Ok, I feel a little guilty about this–it sorta feels like the first step to not having explosive reactions when people don’t meet my expectations is to just not have expectations of people but for me that results in treating people like interchangeable pieces. That’s not really cool either. “Who cares if you won’t come. Someone else with 2.5 kids will be invited in your place and no skin off my nose.”

I’m sorta ok thinking of people that way when it comes to hosting large group events with a maximum RSVP… it’s ok to just treat number of RSVPs as interchangeable and not act like there is an A and a B list.

But in general with personal relationships? That’s… kind of awful.

I’m going to flip to talking about road trip planning for a minute. I laid out the big map and showed the girls my proposed Plan A route. Shanna immediately had objections. “Why did you go this way? I’d rather go that way. What is this thing over here? I want to see that.” I took a deep sigh. Some of her proposals mean that I won’t be wandering through the cities of my random internet friends. This kind of bummed me out.

But the road trip isn’t about my personal tour through everyone I’ve chatted with on the internet. I don’t feel like I should be the One Who Decides. So if my kid says, “I don’t want to go that way I want to go up here and see the Grand Canyon” I can’t really say, “But then I won’t get to meet [screen name].” Suck it up, Buttercup.

Flexibility seems to be key to handling the food stuff. I don’t know how to become more flexible. I mean, I already have. I eat vegetables and maybe no one else is patting me on the back for that but I bloody well am. I can go over to a friend’s house and eat a whole spread of vegetables and not gag at all. I am quite impressed with my progress. Fifteen years ago I could not do that.

But it isn’t just flexibility. How do I stop trying to force my female friends into the role of mother/sister? How do I stop enmeshing and projecting and transferring and all those other fun psychiatric terms?

Part of it is that I want to feel part of something and I don’t usually feel part of anything. I barely feel like I am “part of” Noah and Shanna and Calli as a team. They are all related by blood to all those other Gibbs. I’m just an interloper. My mom was never accepted into my father’s family. She had it better than I do–but they made sure she knew she wasn’t truly family.

Strangely I have no trouble feeling “part of” just Shanna and Calli. They feel like mine in a way that changes when we are alone or when we are with Noah. When Noah is around I relinquish most of my hold. I don’t have to be as aware. I don’t have to be in control. I take my responsibilities as a parent pretty seriously. I notice a slump of relief when I’m not “on duty”. I drop hypervigilance when the babysitter is here, when other parents visit (they are generally more jumpy about what my kids do than I am so I can relax knowing that someone else will freak out for me), when Noah is here. It’s a nice relief but it is weird feeling these walls between my relative levels of attachment.

My relationship with Noah is so complicated. Recently I was talking to another woman about how she has to live at the whims of her husband. Him having a hard day kind of wipes the house out. I flinched because I was thinking, “That’s my role.” Noah and I have periodic discussions about how he isn’t allowed to be grumpy in an ongoing way… I can’t handle it. But he has to handle me being grumpy. He has to deal with me snapping and being difficult. I apologize constantly but sorry bakes no bread.

I’m thinking about how I want to handle food on the trip. How am I going to handle grocery shopping and cooking and food storage? That’s a long time to not have a system. But my system will have to adapt to the fact that I don’t have control over what kinds of things I will find where.

I will not be doing the Whole Paycheque tour of the US so I can stick with comfortable, over priced food. Yes, we will probably eat factory farmed meat. (Frankly I haven’t found a source of sausage for non-factory farmed meat so we always eat some. And restaurants. We’re going to hell; I know.)

You can’t make contact with local farmers to buy one steak at a time on the road. Doesn’t work. Or rather: I probably could but that would become the focus of the trip and then my kids would hate me.

Priorities.

Being a vegetarian doesn’t work for my body. Horrible digestion problems. Lots of doctors (including many who are vegetarians themselves) say I should not give up meat. That means accepting that I am part of the mass meat market. Ick.

Now I’m dithering. Am I dithering? Have I just reached the end of the processing for one entry? Am I dithering by thinking about logistics for food? Should I instead be bludgeoning myself in the head for my emotional problems? Are the logistics the point or aren’t they? I’m not sure.

Am I better off having a timer on my phone that goes off every x minutes and I need to eat something so I don’t run low on spoons and I can deal with more vagaries in other people supplying food or not? But people get upset if you start snacking because they are half an hour late on dinner. Saying, “I’m going to get psycho if I wait for you” doesn’t help.

I actually did that this week. A friend was bringing lunch and I was eating when she walked in. I felt like I was about to gnaw my arm off. It seemed stupid to wait so I could explode.

For the whole last week I’ve been starving. I’m eating larger than normal meals and snacking in between a few times. And I’m craving sugar like it is going out of style. I went to the store with the kids. “Can I have…” “Yes!” Bad news. Well, the kids thought it was great news. Ranch 99 has the best buns. You want to ask me for lots… I’ll say yes. Totally a sucker for the buns. And mochi. Say “YES!” to mochi. That’s my policy. I like mochi. I’m not sure why because it seems like it should be a weird texture for me only it is the best mouth feel ever.

Frankly I’m trying to build up familiarity with non-American foods so that when I travel it will be easier to find things that feel comfortable and “safe”. I don’t have that many more years until we want to leave for the year. If I don’t eat a fair bit of the stuff now I won’t build up that level of comfort-feel.

Watch me justify my awesome bun binge.

I could live on dim sum. I do order vegetables.

I’m getting the impression that food-wise I should stay out of Japan and Korea. I’ll have a hard time. And yet, Tokyo Disney calls my name. I can find a way to suck it up. They have chicken and beef. I’ll just have to patiently practice how to say, “no fish at all, please–not even broth”.

Now I’m dithering. But it’s after 4 and I’m tired. I’m ready to go back to bed.

I need something resembling a plan. I need to be more mindful of my expectations around people and food. I am already better about carrying snacks so I don’t get over-hungry as often as I used to (parenting helped me with that habit–specifically nursing).

How do I stop treating these women in my life like they have to be stand ins for other people? Why do I keep acting like they have the power to heal me?

Because I’ve watched too many movies and read too many books about the power of friendship. The reality is my life will never be the kind of life that is featured in a heart warming special about camaraderie. C’est la vie. (I’m pretty sure there should be an accent in there.)

I don’t think that means I should devalue what I get. I get friendship. I get shared adventures. I get journeys of self discovery walked side by side. I don’t get healed. I don’t get to have the feeling of connection I believe other people feel as represented by media. (If it happens on tv it MUST BE TRUE.)

Maybe the healing just has to come from always having such a plethora of snacks on hand that I don’t ever get to the point of low blood sugar. (Nuts are awesome.) Maybe the healing is about other people providing bonus food, not the mandatory-for-life kind. Maybe the healing comes from being safe?

I don’t know. I’m still a bitch.

I’m less scared than I used to be. I blow up less often. I am less destructive when I do blow up. I have fewer expectations of people.

Hey–I haven’t blown up at someone about tardiness in a very long time. That’s huge progress for me. It just isn’t a trigger in the same way. Having my kid have a sudden poopy diaper as we are about to walk out the door to be 1 minute late… teaches you that people are late. It’s ok. It has to be ok. All of a sudden you are 30 minutes late and there isn’t a thing you can do but slap a smile on and make the best of it.

I am not where I need to be. I need to work harder on treating my friends how they deserve to be treated. They are doing their best and I don’t have the right to explode when they don’t meet my demands. It isn’t their fault my mama wasn’t nice to me. I don’t have a fucking free pass.

Life is hard. 5010 words. Time to stop.

Balance?

I’ve got to tell you… adding a surprise trip to Hawaii when we are going to do the bathroom remodel and go on a big trip next year and and and…

It feels like a manic cycle. It feels dangerous and stupid. But I’m looking at Mint and jumping up and down and yelling “But I have saved up my god damn fun money!!!!!!!!! I have not been having fun! Clearly! There are MANY hundreds of dollars sitting there waiting in that part of the budget!!!  Why is it god damn mental illness to want to go have fun with my fucking friends without being  MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY?”

I sure don’t want to be nice to me. But this trip is going to be fun. Even though I don’t like being nice to me D and A do. (Being nice to them is easy.) They are both very bossy-plan-having women. If I want to be passive and let someone take care of me I picked a rather good duo. Not that I’m planning a codependent weekend. But if I said, “I’m getting to the point of being hungry where I can’t think and I’ll get angry if I have to make decisions. Can you arrange for us to magically arrive in an eating establishment. I’ll find something on any menu” they would drag me off. They wouldn’t turn and ask me fifty fucking questions or expect me to make a long series of nuanced decisions. They wouldn’t need me to be the boss.

I was a 24/7 slave for years. I am deeply ok with not being the boss in a way that makes my current life very difficult at times. And Noah and I do not have an M/s dynamic. We have agreed that regardless of what we will do in the future, while we have young children we will have an egalitarian relationship. That is what we want to model and teach.

I’m not saying people who make different choices are bad. I’m saying this is what we decided. Ok?

I am the boss around here. We have an egalitarian relationship except for the part where I’m a bossy pain in the ass and Noah follows my orders. Ahem. I love my husband.

My friends want very badly to be respectful of me. I make it clear that I have a huge long list of picky ways I need to be in control and they tactfully make room for that. Which leaves me feeling like the boss a lot of the time. I miss being a slave sometimes.

I don’t think that A or D are going to be my short-term owners or anything but it is going to be really awesome to follow other people who have a plan. I like being a follower. I really do sometimes. I rarely let myself get into it. Normally I resist for reasons I don’t even understand. When I can really do it I love it.

Three bossy, controlling women. It’ll be awesome (and I have zero sarcasm in my voice there–I’m vibrating with excitement). Yeah, the plans are flowing now (they are SMSing me while I type). I pinned them down and booked everything. They are off like rockets. Oh this is so wonderful to watch.

I’m scared I’m going to fuck everything up. Luckily, when I do stupid shit A has this death glare that is followed with, “You need to stop” and then … all of a sudden I haven’t fucked everything up because there is a brick wall in front of my face and we are back on neutral territory.

I admire people with strong boundaries so much.

Noah has been commenting that this down cycle has been longer than almost any I’ve had during our marriage. I’m partially doing this trip because I need something to change the way my hormones are working. Long term stuff is not feeling satisfying. Small petty stuff doesn’t help. I saved up the money.

Is it really ok to be selfish?

This is one of those times when I feel like I have a split life. I have this self-perception that I have nothing and no one and I’m worthless and I should die. Then I notice that I’m incredibly well off financially, I have amazing friends and I have a husband who says go have fun.

I’m not very good at living in the now when the now isn’t very exciting. When the now is a fuck-ton of work… I get worn down. My bucket is empty. There’s a hole in the bottom. It’s a metal bucket and they spent a lot of time dragging it back and forth across concrete and now… not so water tight. That’s just how it works sometimes. They didn’t mean to do it. They were just trying to reach the dipper and couldn’t quite get there and the bucket slid. It was an accident.

But here I am.

I’m ridiculously excited that I get to run away with two wonderfully fun women. They will even do part of the long run with me on Saturday. My life is pretty ridiculously blessed.

Comorbidity

That word is awesome. Comorbidity. It means the simultaneous presence of multiple conditions. Such a fabulous word. Like juxtaposition only in one spot.

My shrink and I were discussing my hypomania yesterday. Hypomania isn’t true mania. It means that you have an elevated activation of your nervous system but you aren’t necessarily doing anything rash or dangerous. I just flip between feeling happy and pissed off with a gentle breeze. I may be spending a “lot” of money but given that all of my big purchases in the last few months are things like “items I will use on cross-country trip” and “shed to prevent bicycles from disintegrating” I don’t really count as manic. I’m not blowing thousands of dollars on the lottery.

I have a lot going on. I have a lot of people in my life and I have dramatically different feelings about different people. Keeping all those feelings inside me and more or less cogent is really hard. It is very disruptive. If I knew fewer people maybe this would be easier… ha. Never happen.

The kids have been pretty explosive too. They are feeding off of me and I take responsibility. It’s like when Jenny copied my tone of voice and we had a bad first 24 hours. It sucks knowing that you are the one triggering the bad interactions in the whole house.

My attitude needs to change, and fast. I have about 18 people coming over in five hours. I haven’t made the food yet. I haven’t moved the tables yet. No biggie. That’s all there is left to do. It’ll get done. But I need to have a good attitude.

There is a family in our home school group who says that a lot when we are doing stuff like hiking and camping, “It’s important to have a good attitude.” I try really hard to listen to them. They have a good point.

So of course I woke up and at 5am I am standing at the freezer saying, “How should I medicate today?” Modern science is wonderful. The variety the dispensary has… it takes my breath away. I am thrilled. Cupcakes and rice crispy bars and brownies and cookies and about 10 different kinds of candy and chocolate bars and pills and oil and wax and ice cream and…

Whoa. All so I don’t have to give myself lung damage. Well done legalization industry.

I’m not a mellow person. I never have been. I am more calm and reflective than I used to be by a large measure. I no longer feel like someone not-paying-attention-to-me-right-now means death.

My shrink and I did several body-calming-exercises. Trying to help my central nervous system calm down. Sometimes I don’t think I could be more activated if I were hit by lightning. I’m already vibrating with energy. (Ok I know that actual lightning would be more… but you understand the metaphor.)

One of the things she had me do was visualize kicking someone. The thing is, that brings up my mental Rolodex of so-and-so and him and her and them and… Memory lane is a funny thing for me.

I will probably never do that again. I will probably never kick anyone in the nuts again. I will probably not kick someone in the chest hard enough to fracture ribs again.

Although I could do martial arts or kick boxing. Maybe that is a work around so that I can still beat the crap out of people but I’m being “monogamous”. As long as I claim I don’t get off on it–it’s fine, right?

Once my Owner watched a Famous Fetish Model/Educator (I’m capitalizing it because she’s a big deal in his little world and he nearly genuflects when he talks about her–whatever.) and her partner do a scene in which she only used her feet. Given how obsessed with feet my Owner was… well, nothing would do but that I do something similar to him. I learned that I liked it. I’ve done a lot of scenes where I didn’t touch someone with my hands.

Not to mention that I have literally had my ass kicked by many people. It feels awesome.

Bdsm gives me a fully consensual and appropriate space to work through my feelings of aggression. Not having it is hard. Cause seriously, if someone sidled up to me and begged me pretty please to knee them in the balls and slap them around right now… Oh I would have trouble saying no. That would be so much fun.

Ahem. Tea Party. Get your head on straight. Sweetness. Light. Gentle hands for the love of toast.

I’m irritated. That’s the only word I can come up with. My shrink wants to stick with activated. Wired for sound.

But these ups and downs, this is why there is so much conflicting opinion about my diagnosis. I’ve heard just PTSD. I’ve heard PTSD and GAD. I’ve heard bipolar. I’ve heard borderline personality disorder (but never from a qualified professional so I’m more doubtful of this one). While on a terrible psych medication I was told borderline schizophrenic but never while not on the evil psych med so that one I get to say isn’t mine.

I swing from depression and suicidal ideation to anxiety and hypomania. This is more tiresome for me than for you. I promise.  I can’t get away.

I’m a weird balance between extrovert and introvert. Finding the right balance is hard. I need people something fierce. But they are draining and tiring.

I am so very driven by my attachment needs. I am driven towards and away from people at the same time. It feels like a war inside my brain. I am afraid to attach too much to any one person. I’m afraid to not try with everyone because you never know who will fit.

But I have a full time job plus overtime of socializing and it is not actually good for me. But culling people feels brutal. Even just putting people on a longer rotation feels hard.

And now that my kids are bonding with my friends… kicking them out of my life is a whole different story. Just like I’m not real approving of polyfuckery in front of children I’m not that thrilled about the idea of a revolving character cast of friends. Kids need to know who is in their lives. Kids needs to have relationships that are not just instant-friends.

So I’m trying to be ok with some people being on a longer leash but not out of my life. It is a really hard transition in thinking.

I think Pam hit level 2 because I completely discounted her as a friend many times over the years and she kept reappearing. We would have intense conversations and I would assume that she never wanted to speak to me again after what I said and… there she was calling me again.

From across the world she kept calling me. So I developed the habit of dropping whatever I was doing because Pam wanted to talk to me.

It was like how Air Force Michael managed to call me from Turkey spontaneously several times while I was institutionalized as a teenager. Only I didn’t get to talk to AF Michael because… I wasn’t at home to take the calls. And he stopped calling after that.

So I fucking answer the phone for Pam. Because I can say whatever crack-brained shit that comes to mind and she keeps calling.

I don’t remember if I wrote what was so amazing about Shanna’s second birthday yesterday. I think I kind of hinted but didn’t get to the meat.

I emailed my friends and said: “My kid needs a party and I don’t want to do it. You do it.”

So they did. And I sat in a chair. And it felt like magic. I felt loved. I did feel supported in that net feeling.

I don’t know why I have such a violent need to hurt myself if I try to get that feeling from a party that is actually literally about me. But I have some suspicions.

I don’t want this feeling for the rest of my life. But you can’t decide to “just stop feeling something”.

You have to decide what you want and move towards it.

Time to go set up for the Tea Party.

Logistics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok. Time to go start the day.