Category Archives: hair


I haven’t been greasing my hair properly in months. It takes time. It’s a regime. So my curls have been frizzy as fuck and delicate and less curls and more fuzz. But I have now approached optimal grease level again.

Meaning I washed my hair two days ago, braided it, finger combed that bitch out today and I have gorgeous curls.

I just needed moar grease.

Coconut oil, you are my friend. Thank you.

“Recovery” and a brain dump about being an asshole.

Resurrection After Rape puts forward this explanation for how one will recognize “Recovery” when it happens:

  1. When you can face the thoughts of rape rather than having to avoid them;
  2. When you understand the connection between your current self-concept and your rape, so that when you feel down on yourself you won’t accept that as a “permanent truth” of who you are;
  3. When you no longer engage in self-harming behaviors (including substance abuse) to manage emotions and memories;
  4. When flashbacks have diminished to the point they either no longer happen, or no longer interfere with your life and emotions;
  5. When you can appropriately respond to people’s ignorant attitudes about rape, rather than withdrawing from them and wilting in lonely shame;
  6. When you have begun to offer support to other survivors;
  7. When you have begun to view your body as a valuable thing and not as a betrayer or curse, and you take care of its needs;
  8. When you learn to recognize the warning signs of dangerous men and avoid them, no matter how charming they appear to be;
  9. When men no longer have control over your opinions of yourself;
  10. When you are able to confront, challenge, and speak proudly to men;
  11. When you make your own choices whether to disclose your rape to someone because of something you need to say, not something you need to hear for you to make progress;
  12. When you no longer feel guilty for asking for help, or for having rough days, or for taking the length of time needed for growth.

This organization does not recognize the medical studies showing marijuana to be the most effective drug for PTSD apparently. They exist. If you can’t find them then you are too ignorant to be allowed on the internet.

I think I’m fairly solid on 1, 5 (I have some inappropriate mixed in with my appropriate responses but I think I’m in “recovery” territory on this one.), 6, 7 (I thank the marathon for this. I was not capable of properly taking care of my body when I was pregnant–I didn’t know how. I learned during the marathon. It was a weird change.), 8, 11.

I’m working on 2, 3 (I have prescriptions from doctors for all of my drugs. I do use as minimally as I can get away with but I absolutely need these meds at this point. Is that abuse?), 4 (I have the ability to not react to them in front of anyone else. I can’t make them stop. They increase my overall stress levels slowly. I have to periodically go allow myself to consciously think about them or I start having ranty inappropriate outbursts in random settings.), 9 (onman don’t get me started), 10 (Often I am shitty at talking to men.), 12.

Mixed bag as usual. I’m just like that. And this guy doesn’t have a monopoly on definitions.

I will say that I appreciate the section on managing panic attacks. Education + replacement of negative self-talk with positive self-talk has been my approach. Glad to get my little gold star there. I read everything looking for confirmation bias to prove I am “right” like every other human. I like to blame it on public education but that’s a straw man argument.

A question from the book. If rape is a form of theft, what did it steal?

I am afraid of men. I do still stand near them–but I do so uneasily and with great anger. I feel that rape stole my faith in men. People can rant at me all day and all night about how women rape too and that won’t change the fact that I was raped by twelve men not twelve women.

Are twelve men a representative sample of all men? Can I judge all men based on them? Of course not. I don’t actually judge all men. I just avoid the ones who are not already through the barriers of trust. They have to come in sideways. Usually they have to fit in a nice, neat little box so that I can trust how they will behave. I really like men who are emphatically not interested in me even though they like me. When they feel the need to mention that I am completely not their type I feel a little relaxation of tension.

I am not a nice person. I yell. I say mean things. I say hurtful things. I am a dick. I am an asshole. I am a bitch. Pick a word. White trash whore. Sure. I say mean, nasty things. Sometimes there is a very small grain of truth in what I say and I use that as justification for my hurtfulness.

I’m not a sociopath. I don’t deny my actions or the results of my actions. I don’t deny my blame. I just don’t seem to be able to adequately shut my mouth. I think it would take suturing. Luckily I have friends who are into that sort of thing because they agree with me that women should just shut the fuck up. I would be a much nicer person if I just shut the fuck up.

Today I yelled what my mother yelled at me. I feel pretty ashamed of myself.

I have no excuse. I do not get to deflect blame. I could give a laundry list of reasons why I was out of patience. Doesn’t matter. Being mean isn’t ok.

I will never be good enough. Ever. I’m literally not capable of it. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have had kids. I don’t deserve them. I am not capable of being nice enough. I pray that the damage I cause is slight in the scope of their lives. I cross my fingers that I am a net positive for them. I’m scared.

I feel very ashamed of myself for not being good enough. I’m just not. Just work harder is the only message I have on this score. I weigh, eternally, in my mind if my children would be better off if I got a job and let them go to school. Would they be better off if they didn’t have to deal with me so much of the time?

I don’t know. Every decision is so layered, so complicated I’m not sure I can know what the right decision is. I know what I am doing. I know why. Today was a rocky day. I think I have been over extending myself and I ran out of spoons. I was mean and nasty.

It’s not ok. It’s not justified. I’m not claiming any expiation. My choices and my behavior are my god damn fault. I don’t get to say, “Well I was just acting like my mother” like that excuses anything.

It’s really stupid but I think my next therapy session will be a whole long conversation about hair. About my mother screaming at me and hitting me and cutting my hair into ugly hair cuts on purpose as punishment so people would mock me and the nasty shaming that happened for months when I shaved my bangs off in fourth grade. My mom was so fucking pissed when I shaved my head when I was seventeen. She liked my hair about an inch long so she didn’t have to take care of it. I wanted to be pretty. When my hair was long it wasn’t pretty it was matted.

My long hair was the long unkept hair of a neglected child. I can’t figure out how to care for my children’s hair. And I can’t keep everything in the house under lock and key. My kid has some interesting impulse issues.

And I have a bad temper.

I need to get my temper under control. I need to not say the things my mother said to me. It’s hard having to stop and think carefully about everything you say because what comes out of your mouth naturally is poison. I know how to say what I was taught to say. Do you know why I cuss so much? My entire childhood was full of being told what a fucking rude ass bitch I was.

I’m struggling with the me-not-me boundaries. I know what I was taught to say in these scripts. The scripts I have are bad. I am not ad-libbing well. I am not trying to excuse or justify myself. I certainly don’t think I can continue.

Feeling guilty isn’t good enough. Crying for hours after I am nasty really isn’t good enough. It isn’t even remotely helpful.

This is broken. I don’t know how to fix it. I feel really stupid and pathetic and useless and bad.

You can’t just stop being something. You have to pick what you want to be and move towards that. I don’t want to say what I said today again. I don’t know what I’m going to say instead. That will take thinking. I don’t know what to do.

I have been told that people pity my children for having to live with me. Why do I feel free to say whatever comes into my head? Because people tell me things like that. I feel like I have listened to enough diarrhea of the mouth that I get to have it too. No I’m not taking the fucking high road. Instead I am the crazy ass old lady with the big knife who makes the punks run away in fear.

When it comes right down to it… I don’t actually want to be a nice person. I’m a dick. But I don’t want to be one with my kids. I want to treat them like they have earned better treatment than that from me. They have. They have a variety of character flaws, most of them age related, which I can’t exactly hold against them. That’s the revenge of grandmothers every where. “Ha ha. You used to do that.” And now my daughters do to me what I did to my mother.

Of course my daughter pushes every boundary to the point of breaking at all times. She’s related to me. And I want her to be that kind of adult. Yup, she’ll be somewhat sociopathic. But I hope she understands that I have earned consideration other people haven’t earned and she will be nice to me.

I want to be nice to my kids because I am a selfish son of a bitch and I want to have good relationships with independent adults. I don’t want them to be like me and I don’t want to decide what they should be.

I can’t insult their choices even though I find them frustrating. But what does that mean?

I don’t know. I fucked up today. I’m reading a book on rape recovery that harps up one side and down the other how one must be completely sober forever and ever amen or you are not “healed” and it makes me want to drink a bottle of wine. I don’t actually drink much–alcohol gives me terrible stomach aches. But I was told not to. So I want to.

How in the fuck can I get mad at my kids for being exactly like me? Punishing them for being something I will encourage in adulthood is kind of ass backwards. I am not actually working towards my long-term goals.

I think I need to do some work on my attachment to how my kids look.

didn’t yell “You are a reflection of me and I’m fucking tired of walking around with an ugly little brat.” I just said that it was ugly hair cut and she looked funny and people were going to laugh at her.

I got mad because we are going to be in a wedding in two weeks. I said, “Now you will look ugly in the pictures forever.” That was what my mother said to me when I gave myself a haircut two days before school picture day. You know what? I don’t look any worse than I do in any other awkward school photo. It really hasn’t wrecked my life.

I shouldn’t have said that to my daughter. I have already apologized. But you can’t actually take it back. You can’t unsay things.

I’m not a monster. I’m self aware enough to really understand that on a primal level. I have not done monstrous damage to my children. But sometimes I take a little spike and a mallet and I insert those mean things she will hear in the back of her head forever. I hate myself for that. I don’t want to be her mean inner voice. I want to be the voice inside her head that makes her feel good about being alive.

I don’t want my daughter to hear what I heard. I don’t want her to have these tapes. Mostly she won’t–I get that. I’m already through a lot of important hurdles and I understand it looks like relatively smooth sailing through the next few years of non-anniversaries.

I’m going to freak out. She is going to do things just like me and I will react blindly. I will play the tape that is instantly related to the behavior. I don’t know how to completely circumvent this. Do I just stop speaking at all?

I need more of a plan than I currently have. That’s kind of a horrifying and overwhelming thought.

I need to schedule less. I’ve gotten schedule-happy again. I schedule things because I feel guilty about isolating my children. I know a lot of home schoolers who are out all day every day. I feel kind of uncomfortable about how much socialization my kids get.

I feel like what I am doing is not good. I don’t know why. It’s kind of a creeping fungus feeling. I’m not giving my children what is “normal” for their peers.

I don’t want to in some strong idealogical ways. But I think I drank the Kool-Aid on “Home schoolers aren’t at home”. I feel like I should be more active in the communities that exist. I should present a large peer group to my kids and then consistently expose them many times a week.

I’m struggling. I feel existentially not-ok. I have a really high level of self-loathing. My self-talk is all mean and nasty. It’s been on an uptick for a bit.

I want relationships but I can’t handle them and I don’t deserve them. Life isn’t really about deserve though.

The future isn’t written yet. Maybe my children will remember me as an abusive bully. Maybe not. They are certainly clear on the point that Mommy is not always nice. Sometimes Mommy is mean.

If I ever get dragged in front of a judge in a CPS court all they will have to do is print my blog. I don’t want secrets. I didn’t hit. I didn’t go on an extended tirade. Noah did step into the room and signal me that it was time to stop. Good for him. I’m glad he was home.

It feels very bad sometimes knowing that I am simply not a nice person. I would have died if I had been “nice”. If I had been more passive my life would have been so much worse. Being defiant and nasty has truly been useful.

It is still useful sometimes. Not all the time. It’s a hard character trait to keep under control.

People alternate between telling me I’m a bitch/dick/asshole/whatever and telling me that they like that they always know where they stand with me.

When I get up from this keyboard I need to be mostly done processing this. I need to talk to my therapist about it but I can’t keep going on and on with my daughter. That would be dragging her into my emotional quagmire. She doesn’t have the attention span to still be upset about a random one off comment she will probably never hear again. If I don’t turn it into a thing.

If I drop it and never say it again then I will have succeeded in not passing this tape on. If she wants to cut her own fucking hair she can cut her own fucking hair. I do. I have since I was a very young child. For me to get angry about it is so over the top ridiculous that there aren’t words.

But my tape for mothers is rabid anger because now people will think my child is unsupervised and ugly. She is neither. She does have access to scissors. She is out of my line of sight during the day. We have a small house and they wander at will. I work wherever I am working. I don’t pen them right with me–it seems silly.

If I want children who are autonomous and independent in their actions I need to give them more direct supervision (which would drive me ape shit) or farm it out or be ok with what they do.

Those really are the only options. It is not ok to expect micromanaged results from a free range kid. I honestly don’t want kids who require direct supervision at all times. My kids entertain themselves while I work. I can clean/cook/garden and they run around and play.

Short of putting padlocks on everything in the house, which I am morally opposed to doing, there is no “putting things up” at this point. Kid is too big. Yes, there will be consequences and occasionally fury over her decisions.

You can’t learn without making mistakes.

I tell other people that the way to get good at something is to make as many mistakes as possible as fast as they can–they will learn the most the fastest that way. Somehow that approach doesn’t seem suitable in parenting.

I’m off to feel awkward and uncomfortable and like I’m the biggest asshole in the room. Cheers.

You are good. You are smart. You are kind.

Noah agreed to be married to me for better or worse. I think he might actually mean it. I think that even though I’ve been miserable and mean and sick for almost five years he shows a remarkable resiliency in cheer. All I have to do is have sex with him and he’s suddenly good to go again. It’s kind of weird. I don’t have quite the same system. I need so much support in so many areas and I am deeply ashamed of that need. I feel like my need is a sign that I am pathetic and lazy. I feel like I am a failure because I cannot completely do every thing in my life by myself. I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t have a job. All I have to do is keep the house clean, the kids fed and clothed, and at this stage… play with them. It’s not exactly hard. Right?

It’s really fucking hard because it takes so much patience. I am not a very patient person. I am a very demanding and exacting person. I don’t like delays at all. I spend most of my days wanting to bash my head through a wall as a pressure relief. Instead I take a deep breath, count down from ten silently, then I try to smile and say, “Let’s try again.” That’s my fucking job.

I have always been very clear about the fact hat I behave differently “at work” than I do “in my life”. In my life I do a lot of things I have to hide from my work. When I was teaching I was not particularly “out” about talking about my queerness or sexual history. I didn’t talk about going to raves and doing drugs on the weekends–although I did. I think that being in the closet about those things was wise. It meant that when kids started talking about things I understood the language but I wasn’t their “buddy” because I wasn’t an obvious peer. I’m not sure I am phrasing this right–I need to make my mistakes past-tense. I can’t talk about them while I’m doing them because then I get muddled up and unable to be honest about my mistakes. I know that I am doing stupid shit but I can’t admit it yet because I want to keep doing it for a while. I didn’t need to tell students I did that.

Noah came in to talk to me so whatever train of thought I had was gone. As Calli likes to say, “Whoops!” She also spreads her arms and yells, “Ta da!” I can’t wait until she can really talk. End sidebar.

And a new day dawns. I still don’t know exactly where I was going with that train of thought. I’m going to keep going instead of hitting post because I don’t get comments anyway. So what if things are long and complicated. I’m apparently just writing for me. And Noah. He talks to me about my writing. That feels like a manipulative ploy but I don’t mean it to be. People talk to me about my writing when I can get them in person. I’m not subtle in asking for feedback. I really like finding out what my writing makes people think about.

My wonderful complication was over for dinner recently and she told me that she thinks about me. It was said in the context of, “I’m glad it is ok that we don’t IM very frequently because you just know I think of you.” No, actually I didn’t know that you think about me. Wait. You think about me? Oh shit. What do you think?! When I get to that point I am trying to learn to reference something I got from Ashley Judd “ I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me.”

That’s hard for me to wrap my head around.

I was taught that it is my responsibility to influence and control what other people think of me. I should be careful what I reveal. I should tell different people different stories so that I evoke the right reactions from people. It’s a lot of why I do large information dumps on people and then run away. I believe in the core of my being that I am “doing it wrong” and I am bad for what I am doing. It is bad for me to be rude and inflict my inner stupidity on other people. No one wants to hear about how pathetic I am. No one wants to read the same whiny bullshit year after year. Grow the fuck up already. Stop being sad. But I can’t. I can’t stop. I wish I could stop. I don’t know how to stop being sad. I am sad. I just am. And while I am sad I have to make believe that I am happy and cheerful and that we live in basically a good world. That’s my job.

I need to have some place where I can say over and over again that I was hurt very badly and it still hurts. I would give anything to make this pain go away. I would give anything if I no longer needed to sit in a room by myself and cry every single day because I am so fucking sad. I cry and cry until I am dehydrated. I drink nearly a gallon of water a day. I shouldn’t be able to get dehydrated. But that pee doesn’t lie. (See, there I go with the tmi.)

It hurts. I miss my mom. I’m horrified every day because I look at Shanna and I think, “I was out having oral sex with multiple children already.” My mother didn’t keep me safe. I look at Shanna and wonder what I would be like if I had been allowed to be innocent. What would I want in life? How would I feel about the world? How would I be different? And it bothers me. It bothers me all the time.

I feel like I am a dirty, bad, mean piece of shit. I’m really glad that other people tell me, often, that they do not have that experience of me. I feel pathetic and stupid for needing to be told that. I’m told that you have to say ten nice things to balance out every bad statement to a person. That’s kind of the way it affects your sense of self.

I spent my whole childhood being told I was stupid and bad and a whore and little bitch and worthless. I’m thirty years old and I still sit alone in a room and cry about it. Because it still lives in me. I was told those things so many times that I agreed. I thought they were true. If fucking everyone tells you the same story how can you believe anything else? If it walks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it swims like a duck? It’s probably a duck–right? If one person tells me to buy horse shoes I’m going to look at him funny. If two people tell me to buy horse shoes I’m going to think about it. If three people tell me to buy horse shoes I am going to get moving towards the store; I probably need them, right?

I spent my whole childhood being told I was stupid and bad and a whore and little bitch and worthless.

It still hurts. I’m not a fan of that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I have healed from every broken bone I have had. My arms work fine. My hand works fine. I have been hit with sticks. I have been hit with stones. Those things heal. I can forget that kind of pain. It isn’t important. I believe I am a worthless piece of shit. I believe I am dirty and bad.

Noah gave me shampoo and conditioner for Christmas. This is kind of funny because I haven’t used such products in years. Since my hair is hella short I’ve been using them because it really doesn’t matter if my hair frizzes. I’m discovering something I had forgotten when I switched to baking soda and vinegar. It doesn’t matter how many times I “soap” my hair it always feels dirty to me. Dirty in that way that indicates “not washed”. I feel like there is no way to get the dirt and the bad off of me. It is a physical feeling. I remember my mother complaining about my hair. The only way my mother liked my hair was about an inch long so that she could ignore taking care of it. She was very resistant to me having long hair even though she complimented me on how I looked far more when I had long hair. Hair has such a weird place in my life. My mother was always thrilled when I wanted to play with her hair. Sissy loved to have her hair brushed. I don’t like having other people care for my hair because no one ever wants to be gentle enough. It hurts when other people touch my hair. My mom and sister liked it when I did their hair because I was more gentle than them. I was taught to touch my head and hair roughly. To treat it like something gross. Because I am dirty. When I switched to baking soda and vinegar I had a feeling of at peace with the feeling of my hair. It didn’t feel “clean” but it did feel soft. It’s interesting to use shampoo and conditioner again. My hair feels rough and dirty again. Specifically dirty. And I think it is making my dandruff worse. See, more tmi.

I feel stupid because I want to talk about how bad I feel about being an animal and having hair and being dirty. I need to talk about this because I don’t want to teach my daughter to feel this way. My brother is a stupid moron because he thinks the way to break behavior patterns is to not talk about them and pray they go away. Yeah. That doesn’t work. Not talking about things creates a festering wound because GUESS WHAT?! It is still a wound. It still hurts. Just not talking about it isn’t working.

I have to work very hard every day to decide what I want to teach my children because what I was taught was that I am bad, dirty, worthless, useless, and a whore. I know that I must be something else. I must be other than just what I was taught to be. Somehow I did that. How did I do it? Where did I do it? What should I do instead? I don’t know what to do. You can’t deal with a problematic behavior by just “not doing ‘x'” you have to replace ‘x’ with something. You have to have some idea of what you are moving towards. I don’t know. I don’t have very many good examples.

I don’t get to watch other parents very often. When I do I spend most of the time thinking, “Oh they do ________ better than me.” Of course this means that I offer criticisms. Because I’m like that. I expect that they are judging me so I start first. Just to get this going. I guess. I need to hear peoples criticisms of me. I suppose this is why I am asking people for feedback in person. I don’t need to hear the random criticism of people on the internet who don’t know me or what I actually do. When you only know me through my writing you are hearing a very random sampling of things from my brain. It’s a poor example of my life. That’s the joy of mental illness. I can be totally fucked up in my head but life just keeps plugging right along. I’m doing my best to be functional at my job and how that works is going to change over time. I’m trying to figure out the right way to act. I’m trying to figure out my idea of the best mother for my kids. It’s not exactly like me. I’m having a very hard time figuring out how it will interact with my sex life. We have a lock on our bedroom door.

I feel disgusting for needing sex. I am developing more of a complex as time goes by. Noah is, understandably, not thrilled. This is going to be hard to work through. For some strange reason he seems to be willing to go through this with me. I ask so much of him. Far more than I should ask. I know that it isn’t ok to need as much support as I need. That doesn’t change the fact that I need it. And he is willing to give it. He says. We’ll see. I’m so scared. I hurt so much. I need so much. I know I’m not supposed to talk about it. No. That’s not true. I’m supposed to talk about it one hour a week in a therapists office and then be all better. Right?

I hurt so much. I cry so much. I am so fucking sad. But my personal time is long over. Really I’m being kind of an asshole to Noah right now. I need to cry though. I have to. I can’t not cry today. And I don’t like doing it in front of the kids more than necessary. They will see enough sadness from me this lifetime.

Always with the defensive, this girl.

Yesterday was one of those magical running days. The kind where the beat of the music and my grief match up perfectly. It’s hard to describe what I enjoy about running. There are several stretches of blocks in my neighborhood that I use for sprinting. The lines on the sidewalk just require it. When I get to those specific streets I pray for the right fast song. I run until I can barely breathe. I run until I am gasping out sobs and I can barely see anymore because I am crying so hard. There is so very much to cry about.

I have so much grief. I feel like I will never stop grieving. I will never feel like I can move past these feelings. I’m trying to trust the process. I’m trying to believe that even though this cycle of mourning isn’t over it will end some day. I just don’t know when. It’s hard to keep going.

Why was I crying yesterday? It’s hard to remember specifics because I cover so many topics in my head. I spent a lot of time thinking about why I am the sort of person to send nasty judgmental shaming letters to. I get them every so often. I trigger the shit out of people. It’s the same reason my former therapist fired me. I don’t do things how other people think they should be done. In the process I am deeply distressing. People don’t like feeling distressed by how “off from the norm” I am. They want me to fall back in line, damnit. I should do _________ in order to be acceptable to them. I can’t.

I can’t ever be acceptable to everyone in my life. That isn’t an option open to me. I will always bother people in some way on some level. Pretty much everyone. I will always talk about subjects that make you uncomfortable, no matter who you are. I will search for that topic that bothers you the most and then I will harp on it constantly. I do this on an unconscious level. I default to challenging people. A lot of the time I’m not doing it on purpose. I believe with every part of me that I would not have survived if I was willing to let other people set the terms of my reality. I would have crumbled a long time ago. I would have to believe that I was who they say I am.

This time I would have to believe I am an addict. I am bad. I am helpless before these things that control me. My cutting, anger, drug use, and sexual activity are bad. I am bad for being addicted to these things. Bad. Bad. Bad. I know. I’ve always known. I know that you think I am bad. That doesn’t mean that you are right or that I have to agree. That’s an opinion not a provable set of facts. I’m obsessive (even though I hear this kind of pedantry means you lose the argument I am going to do this anyway because it is my fucking blog and I’m only arguing with myself which means there is no such thing as losing) so here’s a definition for you:

Addiction is defined as the continued use of a mood altering substance or behaviour despite adverse consequences.[1] This can include, but is not limited to, alcohol abusedrug abuse, exercise abuse, and gambling. Some defining characteristics of addiction include: impaired control over subtances/behaviour, preoccupation with substance/behaviour, continued use despite consequences, and denial.[2] Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed deleterious effects (long-term costs).[3]Physiological dependence occurs when the body has to adjust to the substance by incorporating the substance into its ‘normal’ functioning.[4] This state creates the conditions of tolerance, and withdrawal. Tolerance is the process by which the body continually adapts to the substance and requires increasingly larger amounts to achieve the original effects. Withdrawal refers to physical and psychological symptoms people experience when reducing or discontinuing a substance the body had become dependent on. Symptoms of withdrawal generally include but are not limited to anxietyirritability, intense cravings for the substance, nauseahallucinationsheadaches, cold sweats, and tremors.

That’s from Wikipedia. I use marijuana under medical supervision to deal with psychological issues. Yes there are technically adverse side effects because smoking is bad for your lungs. Overall it makes my life so much better it isn’t funny. I repeat that it has fewer side effects than any other drug I could be on.

Cutting, sex, and anger are all in a hand wavey category. I have a problem with the 12 step language of weakness. “I’m not responsible. A higher power has to save me.”  Well… I am certainly addicted to harming myself. I do it in a variety of ways. I don’t give any particular method much higher billing than any other. I think that is what he really meant by saying I am addicted to these things. But of course he’s blowing hot air out of his ass so he doesn’t quite see the pattern. I go through long periods without cutting. I have gone many years between periods where I feel bad enough about myself to need that release. I can easily channel that frustration and rage into other areas if given the slightest chance.

Cutting works to put an end to bad emotional states that would otherwise lead to suicide. Is it a great approach? No. It isn’t. But for an awful lot of my life I didn’t have a better choice and I think that cutting was significantly better for me than suicide. No one is going to take that belief away from me. I had to cope. I managed. I survived. The last time I cut I had kind of an epiphany that it wasn’t working any more. I threw away my scalpels. I have moved beyond the utility of that as a coping method. I didn’t stop because someone shamed me or told me I was bad for doing it. That kind of response is only likely to cause me to go do it more and more and more. I stopped because I realized it was insanity to continue. Insanity in the sense that it doesn’t make sense to keep doing the same activity and expecting a different response.

I no longer have a life where I need a physical outlet for my emotional pain. Thank you, Noah. Thank you for being my bulwark against the dark. Thank you for providing me with a safe place to live for the rest of my life. Thank you for supporting me so that I can do work I am better suited for and I don’t have to go out and “get a job” to prove I have worth.

The emotional pain I feel now I can talk about and find solutions for. I think the only place where the language of addiction is particularly useful for me is where it talks about the diminishing returns issue. Or if you talk about the cost being too high for the benefit.

I asked Noah for monogamy partially as a way of providing myself an ‘out’ on dealing with a lot of my problematic behavior. I’m not good at self-regulation when it comes to sex. Now I am safe. Now I will always be able to say, “I’m in a monogamous marriage; I can’t have sex with you” instead of having to be able to say “I don’t want to.”  Saying I don’t want to have sex with someone is hard. I feel unworthy of doing so. I feel like if someone is suffering for lack of sex it is my job to fix it. I can be a sacred whore, that’s fine–but I must be a whore. I don’t say no very well. I am going to hide behind monogamy and be grateful for it. I feel guilty that I am dragging Noah behind me kicking and screaming into this change. I feel like I am unfairly punishing him for a problem he doesn’t have. But I asked and he agreed and he doesn’t really want to talk about whether it is fair or not. It is. Move on.

I cried yesterday because I feel terribly bad that in order to protect myself from my own impulsive behavior I have curtailed Noah. It seems selfish and immature and just flat mean. I am such a bitch. And I’m trying to learn how to tell him “no” in general. I no longer close my eyes and go away and let him have sex with me. It’s hard. It’s hard to feel like I am not breaking rules. It is hard because I feel like I am bad for not giving him release when and how he wants it. I am not holding up my end of the deal. He is supporting me–don’t I owe him?  I told him that thirty years of being a whore is enough for anyone. It’s time to retire.

Noah isn’t attacking me. Noah doesn’t require that I put out because he wants me to. I project that onto him. I fear that belief. I have it. That’s enough.

Am I an addict? Maybe? Yes? It seems to be an irrelevant question.  Unless you believe that someone who takes thyroid medication is also an addict it is simply a innate bias to say that the pot is a problem. It’s not your preferred kind of medication but I’m a hippy and my doctor agrees that it is good for me. Imagine me sticking my tongue out at you. I also see a massage therapist and an acupuncturist (ok, not since pregnancy but I will get back there some day–I believe in the benefits). I think I should see a chiropractor about something going on in the lower right hand side of my back. That has been a problem since Jeremy sodomized me when I was like ten. I have never been able to get it to stop hurting. Running is teaching me a lot about my body. I think I have a better idea of how to deal with the pain.

So! Am I an addict when it comes to pot? Wikipedia says no. I’m going to go with that. Sex? Well… obviously I’m doing as much “recovery” from that as I can do. I am not actually interested in celibacy and trying to be celibate just because someone else might think I should be would result in me not being married any more. Noah wouldn’t tolerate that. He’s dealing with me saying “no” a lot and he’s dealing with not being allowed to have sex with other people. I think he’s a god damned stand up guy. No more can or should be asked of our marriage as I’m figuring out this shit with my relationship to sex. So am I addicted to sex? Maybe? But it doesn’t matter because I’ve figured out how I can have a healthy relationship with it and I’m moving forward. Kind of a useless thing to sit around and go to meetings on at this point. Just sayin’.

I haven’t cut in nearly a year and I no longer have my favored cutting tool. I could some day acquire another one, sure. I don’t think I will though. I don’t want that modeled for my children as an option of coping mechanisms.

It’s interesting to me how this evolution has happened. I cut for many years. When I stopped cutting my body as a teenager I started cutting my hair. It got shorter and shorter till I shaved it when I was seventeen. My mother was so angry with me it wasn’t funny. I felt like the whole world was radiating anger with me for cutting my hair. I was told constantly how ugly I was and how unflattering my “new look” was.

It’s been very weird and uncomfortable that people keep gushing about how good I look with a shaved head/short hair this time. It makes me cry. Because when they say it I hear my mother ranting in my head and I want to hit them and cry that they are lying to me. I feel rage that this person is lying about finding me attractive this way. I try to not do more than clench my fists. I try to not stomp away. I smile. I say thank you. I think that I flinch sometimes and then people simply become more emphatic. Noah certainly tells me that he likes it often. That is one of the things I cried about yesterday. “Hair” was on.

I wonder if my family hated this as a hair cut because of how intense it makes me look. I feel like I have to plaster a fake smile on my face all of the time or I look like I might punch you in the face as soon as say “hello”. It’s weird. I feel like the effects of aging are doing interesting things to my face. I am going to wrinkle like fuck. All the women in my family have deep lines of care from a fairly young age. We live hard lives and it shows. I look at my hands and I see my mothers hands. I see the rope appearing. My hands are the hands of someone who does manual labor. Well, I don’t have deep callouses yet. But I will as soon as I get up the energy to do more gardening. I would have done anything to prevent aging the way I am if I had stayed in a relationship with Tom.

One of the things I cry about when I run is thinking about how resentful Tom would be of the changes in me. It’s strange. I cry because I loved him so much and he wanted such a small piece of who I am. I feel bad that after my family he felt so very good to me but we didn’t know how to be real people together. Tom lives in a world where “pretty” and “sexy” are such a high bar that they become a vocation. I’m naturally pretty lazy. I don’t think I am that pretty and I don’t see much point in dressing up a plow horse to take it to town. I know I am attractive but it’s different. As I age it becomes more dramatic to me. I am intense in a way that precludes pretty. Pretty is about unoffensive and I will never be that. My perception of the world Tom lives in is honestly kind of bleak. I would not be happy in it. I can’t stay dedicated to something I feel like I will never actually attain. It involves a lot of specific activity and specific idleness that I just don’t want. I think back over how I lived my life and I feel glad that I made most of the choices I made. I was always running.

A boyfriend from high school sent me a congratulatory message about the half marathon and sent me a link to a marathon training program that is way more awesome than what I had been doing. By which I mean I am so grateful that this program wants me doing two miles for the first few weeks because it feels like such a wave of relief I can barely stand it.  Doing only two miles for the last two days of running has meant I have practiced sprinting. It uses different muscle groups and it feels good to stretch my legs once in a while.

I lost my train of thought a while ago because my cat jumped on the keyboard and then I got mad at her. We had to pause and have a negotiation wherein she glared at me and looked sad that I had thrown her the floor. I sighed deeply and went and got a blanket to prevent her from drawing blood and I moved my computer so she could lay on my lap. Puff’s mother gave her to me when Puff was only a few days old. Her eyes were still closed and I bottle fed her to keep her alive. Puff’s mother brought us the babies to save them from a rain storm that would have drowned them outside. The feral mama wasn’t willing to come inside and care for the babies and she didn’t want anything to do with them later, but she did save them. That feels important. I have had Puff for fourteen years. My niece named her. T said, “She looks like a puff of clouds.” She is white with grey nearly-Siamese markings. For a couple of years after Shanna was born Puff avoided me. I feel like our relationship has deepened a lot over the last year or so. She doesn’t mind Calli the way she minds Shanna. She loves that I sit in the garage alone. I attribute a lot of our relationship growth to the smoking, actually. It keeps me away from the kids and she is quick to remind me that our alone time should be special, darn it!

I feel the need to apologize for my many typos. I stop writing when I am abruptly pulled away to do something else and I really don’t have time to edit. I’m not a professional writer so it feels ok to be sloppy.

Yesterday we took advantage of our date night to shave my head.  First Noah used the clippers, then a straight razor.  I discovered that straight razors hurt a lot more than safety razors.  This is the second time I shaved my head.  The first time was when I was 17.  I shaved my head around three weeks after my father killed himself.  It was time for a new beginning then.  It’s time for a new beginning now.  From 17 until now I have made most of my decisions about my appearance based on the opinions of men.  I feel kind of ashamed when I write that.  It’s not the “me” I’m supposed to be.  I’m supposed to only care about pleasing myself.  You don’t amass a body count like mine by only trying to please yourself.

I’m taking more comfort from monogamy than anyone but Noah knows.  I don’t have to hunt any more.  I never have to leave the house wondering if I look good enough for someone.  Well, I’ll still dress in stuff Noah likes occasionally.  But I’m done trying to find people who are willing to fuck me.  It’s a different approach to life.  Non-monogamy is fairly all-consuming for me.  I don’t have many non-hunting periods.  I didn’t hunt during the breeding period.  I didn’t hunt much for a couple of the years I was with Tom.  Tom had me jumping through enough hurtles that I was content.

Noah is different.  Noah is happy to have sex with me at any time.  No factors beyond, “Are the kids occupied and safe and fine on their own?” matter.  He looks for child care or sleep.  Then he’s good.    I think he’s enjoyed the various colors and he’s finding something to like about every length of my hair.  Today the tiny cuts no longer sting so I bet he’s going to touch it a lot more.  It is neat feeling.  Last night it still hurt and the pillow was annoying so I didn’t want him to touch much.

I put a body stocking on after we shaved my head so that I could stay warm.  The plan was to tie me up and mess with my head being different.  That didn’t happen.  Instead we talked about the way our sex life is causing me to feel unsafe.  The way our sex life is dramatically increasing how much I dissociate.  We talked about the fact that every time he rapes me there is serious long-term damage.  How much damage am I really expected to bear this lifetime?  How many of these does he think I can handle before I jump off a bridge?  I have been sexually assaulted over and over for nearly thirty years.  I think I need at least a few years off.  At the very fucking least.

This is something I struggle with.  It seems like most of my appeal is that I am someone you don’t have to care whether I am interested or not.  If you want to fuck me, sure go ahead.  It seems like that usage is really the only purpose for my life, so why not?  That doesn’t increase my ‘bonding’ feeling during sex for some reason.  It means that pretty much all sexual contact has to be treated as potentially unpleasant and I have to learn to block out all of those sensations, forever.  Because that way I can survive being repeatedly raped.  I won’t feel it any way.  I can’t work on getting back to the place where I can orgasm.  If I do that, how will it be used against me or withheld from me?  How will I be hurt in exchange for being stupid enough to present more vulnerability in my body?

It’s time to start new.  For the first time in my life I never have to give in to that compulsive feeling again.  I never have to earn my social admission with my cunt.  I no longer have to advertise that I am there to fulfill sexual needs other people have.  It’s not my problem.  I am no longer the designated whore.  I don’t know what else I could be.  What else am I good for?  If I’m not going to be that, just generically, I think I am tired of being raped too.  I think it’s time to say that my husband should really start to respect the word “No.”  I should be allowed to be in control of my body.  I deserve it.  I have carried this body around for thirty years.  No one else has the knowledge of it that would allow them to treat it with respect.  Just me.  So right now no one treats it with any respect.

I need to change that or I am never going to stop feeling like I am one push from jumping off a bridge.  Life is harder than advertised.  Life hurts.  That doesn’t mean I should accept with resignation the idea that I have to tolerate being raped for my entire god damn life.  No.  Even though so many people obviously think that is what I am good for, they show my by continuing to rape me, I am done thinking that is all I am good for.  I don’t think I am strong enough to keep getting up afterwards.  I don’t think I have many more rapes left in me.  I think my body is nearing its limits.  I have already been taken down all the pegs I can be taken down.  If you put me any further down I’m going to fall off the board.

I go through the world in the body of a woman.  I don’t think it works like this for men.  Every day, whether I put time or energy into my appearance or not, I have to be braced when I am out in public.  People feel quite free to comment on how I look and act.  Most of the comments are nice.  I get told ridiculously often that I have a nice smile.  It’s one of the reasons I am completely uninterested in braces.  My smile is special and unique to me.  It is nice enough that random strangers tell me they are happy to see it when I walk around by myself.  I think what God gave me was good enough.  Even though my teeth aren’t perfectly straight.  Even though they aren’t very white.  I didn’t discover teeth brushing until I was twelve and I started noticing that it was really gross when boys didn’t brush their teeth before kissing.  I decided that applied to me too and I started brushing my teeth.  I have a lot of legacy damage from poor dental care.  I have an ass-rapingly-expensive dental implant.  Oh wait, did I just make a rape joke?

Of all the people in the world, shouldn’t I take it more seriously!  Don’t I know that this topic isn’t funny?!  I have been raped far more times than I can count.  It is just part of life.  I’m going to joke about it.  Otherwise I cannot live with the constant effect it has on me.  I know that other rape victims feel differently.  I’m sorry if what I say offends you.  We are all just trying to get through the day.

I am almost out of pot.  I will either run out today or tomorrow.  We have $29 left for this month in the health budget.  I plan to see my therapist one more time and that will be $150.  I don’t think I should buy more pot.  This is already going to be dinging next month.  Budgets suck.  I am *only* going to be able to pay for therapy next month.  Nothing else.  I need to start saving room in that budget because soon I will want to buy another massage package.  The massage probably is more important given the current strain my body is under.  Intimidating.

It’s time to start again.  The only way I know to be a parent is to be the kind of adult you think your kids should respect.  I want to be worthy of respect.  I want to make choices that are actually good for me instead of being a less bad form of self-harm.  Sex is often a form of self-harm for me.  That’s one of those things I will only admit on days when the wind is right.  I have as much denial around that topic as everyone else.  Having to be available to basically anonymous men is a form of self-harm.  I’m putting myself at enormous risk.  For the thrill of hopefully having judged right and the sex doesn’t hurt this time.  Maybe instead of trying to figure out how to write just the right personal ad I should tell my husband I want him to stop choking me and raping me.  Please can our sex life not be something that hurts me.  I don’t want to perfect the art of asking other people to stop hurting me.  I want to just close that book and walk away from it.  There is no point in pursuing that story.  I don’t want to keep upping my body count.  It’s not a goal any more.  Whatever there was to get out of that activity I did it long ago.

I know, everyone else who is non-monogamous will now tell me how they want to have connections and I’ll tell you that fucking me is one of the fastest ways to ensure that I am going to avoid you in the future.  You want more of those connections in your life?  I can have boundaries and keep myself safe if I treat the people as disposable so I don’t have to care what they want.  It is excruciatingly hard to tell Noah about the results of his (occasional, rare) actions because I already feel like I am letting him down.

He wanted a poly marriage.  He wanted to have a life where he got to be a highly individualized person.  He wanted a lot of time to himself to keep having other people and things in his life.  He wanted to continue on being a cheerful sadist.  He wanted to be allowed to do the things he imagines.  And I am not only backing out on being the recipient of his urges but I’m telling him that he shouldn’t do them with anyone else either.  I feel like the worst kind of double crosser.  I am a piece of shit.  I am changing the deal.

I can’t handle being raped anymore.  Maybe ever again.  This hurts so much.  The cost is too high.  I cannot live with someone who really likes it when I don’t enjoy our sex in any way.  Well, that’s too harshly worded.  I can live with him.  But I can’t keep doing that.  I’m tired of barely being able to feel my vagina.  I’m tired of rearranging furniture in my head during sex.  I’m tired of feeling scared in my home.  I never get to be safe anywhere in the whole wide world.

But Jesus-H-Christ.  I am now a partial owner of a bdsm coffee shop.  I am going to have to figure out how to negotiate those kinds of worlds knowing that I will never really feel all that much like I belong.  I don’t want to be hurt any more.  Nor do I want to hurt anyone else.  I don’t want to be raped any more.  I don’t want to fuck everyone who is kind of hard up.  What good am I then?  I don’t know.  But maybe it is time to find out.

I did’t shave my head to make me ugly.  I don’t think it does.  But I did do it to remove the distraction of trying to be appealing.  I don’t want to actually be pretty right now.  It is hard figuring out how to let guys down gently in a way that doesn’t result in me getting nasty treatment.  I have to instead figure out how to just not attract them.  Because if I am attractive it is my own fucking fault and I’m just an asshole cock tease if I don’t follow through.

I went to a friend’s party on Saturday.  I spent my time clinging to the few people who have come to my house.  I only had one conversation that was not me clinging to someone who has proven they like me.  The one-off was about babies.  And someone rapidly left the group when I talked about my labor experience.  I felt like I should just get up and leave the party.  Everything I have to say is repulsive and depressing.  My experiences are things people don’t want to hear about.  I’m not pleasant enough.  My life isn’t pleasant enough.

I think I need to learn how to just stop speaking at all.  Can you pick up selective mutism as an adult?  Probably not.  But I need to appear happy and perky.  I need to smile.  I need to be polite (whatever that means).  I need to look and act like I had a different life than I had.  That is what people like.  Those are the people who are liked.  I’m not nice.  I’m harsh.  I’m abrupt.  I sound angry.  I’m unpleasant and difficult and prickly.  I swear a lot.  I have no idea what manners most people follow.  I am bewildered in every social space because I am inevitably wrong and I don’t know why.  I don’t understand and I don’t think I ever will.

I own a business now.  I don’t have a choice about going out into the world.  I have a specific format that interaction is supposed to revolve around.  I have a job and I’m perfectly capable of behaving myself at work.  It’s time to try again on leaving my house and interacting with people.  Even if I’m not the biggest bad-ass bottom in the room it’s ok.  There is no where else in the world I can talk about the intensity of my sex play without people running in horror.

Just because I don’t want to be raped any more that isn’t truly going to send me screaming into the closet.  Once your sex life is as weird as mine it just morphs.  It doesn’t really contract.  There have to be other avenues to pursue.  Surely not everyone in the world is hurt constantly during sex.  They wouldn’t have so much of it.

It’s going to be a good day.

I have stress erupting all over my life right now.  But I finally hit a moment this morning where I realized that I am truly doing everything I can to fix all of the situations I am standing near and all that needs to happen is time passing.  It will all get easier and better.  We really have gotten through most of the worst bits.

I get to choose what kind of day I am going to have.  Today is Sunday.  Today my wonderful Noah is home.  I get to spend time with him and our awesome kids.  Sunday is a rest day.  I don’t clean on Sundays.  (Yes, yes I know that you are supposed to rest on the Sabbath not on Sunday, but I’m a heathen.)  Today my husband is going to shave my head.  Eek.  I need to be in the right mood for that or it would be wasting the experience.  I’m not having him shave my head because I want to be bald.  Clippers would be fine for removing the color.  He wants the experience.  He has a whole constellation of experiences he would like to have around this.  I can either decide to have a good day and get my shit together and go have really good experiences with my husband… or I can be a pissy, whiny bitch.  What a joy.  So it’s probably time to put my big girl panties on.  I sent all the emails I am probably going to send today.  I am thinking about a lot of things.  It’s time to stop thinking about them and think about other stuff.  It’s time to go have flow experiences.  It’s been a while since we have really played.  This is going to be interesting to be challenged right now.  He wants me to give him something of mine.  He wants part of me.  Part of me that I have never shared with anyone in my life.

I kind of have to be present for that.  It wouldn’t be just to be otherwise.  I think my phone will stay in the garage on vibrate.  I will probably check it at some point, but I have a date today.  I’m busy.

Shorter and shorter.

I’ve been pulling at my hair for an hour in that way that means I will cut it again today.  I have Hair on repeat.  Really if you think about it, Lady Gaga singing about hair is somewhat ironic.  She wears wigs.  As she says over and over, “I am my hair” she is saying that she is something that is external.  She has so much control over who she is that she decides differently on a daily basis.  Does that mean that people who have abrupt changes in their appearance are changing who they are?

This is all too angsty; I know.  I love semi-colons.  Damn you, commas.  Jenny likes to remind me that the “rules of writing” were just randomly invented by some twat one day.  Ok, that’s not exactly what she says.  But it is what I hear.  It makes me smile every single time.  Because if some twat just made it up one day I don’t need to feel bound to it.  I can do whatever I want.  It’s a fun kind of rebellion–normally invisible.

Along with my hair getting shorter I notice how my field of vision is shortening.  I’m not responding to emails or text messages unless I have seen the person recently.  Recently as in seeing them within the last month.  People I haven’t seen in many months… I don’t know.  I just never seem to remember when I am at the computer.  Or it is something like right now where I am actively avoiding.  I don’t know why I am actively avoiding.  I do.  I don’t want to say why I am actively avoiding.

I’m not at ease in my skin right now.  I feel not-ok in a way that I can’t ignore.  I feel like a thousand monkeys are jumping on my chest.  It hurts just behind my breastbone.  Right now I don’t feel like I can look people in the eye.  I feel dirty.  Small.  Less than.  It’s not anyone else’s fault.  At this point in time I don’t think there are very many people who know me even casually who think that of me.  Not really.  Sure, there are people who dislike me.

Outside of my family I don’t actually believe that people wish me ill.  And they all feel very guilty for wishing me ill.

I am trying to see my shaman on Thursday.  Since our babysitter quit I’m not 100% sure that is going to happen.  And I may have to reschedule with him because of a meeting in the city anyway.  It feels kind of like the universe doesn’t want me to see him.  I want to see him.

I’ve got my bangs too high that I don’t stand a chance.  I think I need to ask my shaman to shave my head.  There.  That is the compulsive.  Why don’t I ask Noah?  Why do I want to keep this away from him?  Why is my shaman more appropriate?

Well didn’t I just fucking load that question.  What does ownership mean?  I don’t know.  I really don’t.  I am very much like a wild animal.  I run off and do things by myself sometimes.  I can’t accept having everything in my life have to come from Noah.  Right now there is so very little in my life that isn’t for him.  That plays a part in why I was dating too, I think.

Noah doesn’t have the same wounds in identity because of his appearance.  I don’t see the deep fractures in his soul from feeling bad about how he looks.  My shaman has spent a fair bit of time being upset with his physical body.  Even my use of male pronouns is part of that fight.  I feel like it is a failure in me that I cannot default to gender neutral pronouns.  They all feel wrong, false, not grammatical.  Not allowed.

Does that mean that people who are not easily labeled by one of those correct pronouns do not exist?  It certainly feels that way.  I suppose that since the dominant name and label is generally male it is close enough.  That is awkward to say and write about.  I feel like I am jumping on the crazy train, but who am I kidding?  I was already here.

I want to see my shaman.  I want to talk to him about my shifting sense of self.  I want to talk to him about feeling so very bad about existing.  I don’t have a church.  I don’t have a congregation.  But I do have a shaman.  I’m not sure how these things happen.  How does a life get built, anyway?

The part of me that is fighting with my compulsion admits that I want to use sex to get close to my shaman.  I want to feel connected with him.  Given our history I know it wouldn’t work in the way I wanted it to, anyway.  We have an odd time connecting that way because we go at very different speeds.  We are not a match or it never would have fallen off.  But I feel like I should do it anyway.  I love him so much.  I feel like I have to earn the honor of his regard.  I have to prove to him that I do want him.  I do love him.  There is nothing else I have to give that has any value or worth at all.  Absolutely never is the pleasure of my company a possible exchange.  I know there is no pleasure in my company.  I am too mean.  Too sharp.  Too vicious and unpleasant.

I take comfort in getting to explain to him that I am not allowed to have sex with anyone else anymore.  It’s not my fault.  I’m sorry I am changing the deal.  I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry that I will never meet that need again.  Please, please don’t reject me now.  He won’t.  But I feel absolutely terrified anyway.  Hell, he doesn’t remember the last time we had sex.  I was not pleased when I figured that out.  Butthead.  Apparently he doesn’t value me based on the things I think he does.  He doesn’t even remember the parts that I think are the most important thing I have to give.

What the fuck is it that he is getting then?  I need to ask.  I need to go to him and talk to him about starting to dye my hair when I first started pulling away from my mom.  The colors have gotten increasingly bolder and more odd and aggressive as I have felt angrier and angrier with my mother.  The bleach is kind of a bitch though.  I had a temper tantrum while trying to comb my hair one day because I couldn’t get the knot out.  I cut it out.  I did a bad job.  It was fun for several days to try to even it out and giggle because with the curls and the weird dye job (I think five colors in splotches) it really doesn’t matter much if it is “even”.

But I’m tired of going out in public and hearing the comments.  I smile at the children who ask.  I frown at the boys who snicker “clown”.  It’s like fucking junior high all over again.  I’m done.  I’m not hunting. I’m done.  I feel like that part of me is gone.  I miss my hair.  I miss being able to turn my head and get a curtain to hide behind.  It was part of how I dealt with my vast discomfort in public.  I lost my veil.  I feel exposed in a way that feels deeply uncomfortable.  I have nothing to hide behind except my eyelids.  They do not feel like adequate cover.

I feel like me shaving my head will happen like all the cutting.  In the bathroom by myself.  I know my shaman doesn’t keep up with my blog.  He frankly tells me he doesn’t have the time to read my ever-increasing flood.  That’s ok.  It means I can talk about him all I want.

I feel like part of what is going on with the less-than is I feel so very weird about my place in the social hierarchy lately.  I don’t feel like I am behaving.  I fit nowhere.  It was a true thing I said when I told my therapist that the only way I will ever fit into a group is if I leave Noah and am a poor single mother.  They just don’t make groups for me any more.

What does that mean?  I guess that means this is the American Dream then.  Solitude.  More of it.  I don’t understand why.  I’m not sure where I got broke and I don’t know how to fix it.  I don’t fit.  I feel wrong. I feel like everything in me is wrong.  I still feel bewildered by my lack of anger.  I don’t have that energy right now.  Anger is normally a big spur to me getting off my fucking ass and getting shit done.  It’s one of the things I use to fuel my productivity and I don’t care if that’s healthy or not.  Everyone dies, right?  I could very carefully never ever use my body harshly.  I don’t think I would be very proud of my life.

What am I proud of?  I kind of want to go ask my shaman to bait it out of me.  He drives me insane.  He says irritatingly true things.  One right after another.  It’s hard to not hate him sometimes.  I would ask him to take the last of this shame from me when he shaved my head.  But I don’t think I am going to ask.  Because this is one of those things I have to do alone.  He can’t take shame from me.  Not really.

Shame is something that I own all by myself.  I have to learn to wear it or I have to take it off.  I don’t know how to take it off right now.  I feel stuck.  I feel too little and small.  I haven’t done anything to really be proud of.  I have done things that other people do and I expect far more support for it.  I am small and selfish and petty.  I am weak.  Really?  Am I?  Maybe.  Yes?  Of course?

I recently saw this picture, one of the canonical “starving children in Africa” pictures.  I feel terrible describing it that way.  But these pictures are used as bludgeoning tools.  You can’t ignore the fact that seriously, right this minute a small child is starving to death in another part of the world.  While you wear big fur boots and lots of makeup and talk about how pathetic they are.  It’s kind of an American trope, this guilt.

If I ever feel bad for myself I am supposed to remind myself that I am at least not a starving child in Africa and go on about my life.  Well doesn’t that just support the status quo.  I don’t much like the status quo.

The thing about guilt and shame is they aren’t useful.  They are paralyzing.  They rarely spur people to much action beyond denial.

When the children hiss hostile words at me I hear my mother telling me that all the people in the world think I look stupid.  Everyone thinks I am ridiculous.  Why?  What have I done?  Why is it ridiculous to play with your appearance?  Why is it expected to be a set thing that doesn’t modify as time goes by?  Why can’t I change?  Why am I to be mocked?

But you know what?  I’m a fucking grown up.  My triggers are mine to manage.  I am not going to get all the children in the world to stop making fun of me.  They are little assholes.  They can’t help it.  So are their parents.

I have a lot of interesting feelings emerging as my hair gets shorter and shorter.  My mother liked my hair short.  She wanted me to look like a boy.  She commented openly on it.  I’m really intrigued by how harsh my face appears with short hair.  I’m not sure how I feel about that as a lifestyle choice going forward.  I am going to have an interesting time as it grows out.  I want my veil back.  It’s interesting knowing that if I want long hair going forward in my life I have to stop doing anything to it.  I’m stuck with baking soda and vinegar for the rest of my life.  I will have gorgeous hair again.

It’s weird learning what self-care means.  It’s weird thinking about learning to take care of my body.  It’s weird learning what it means to be gentle with myself.  It’s happening in unexpected ways.  I don’t feel bad about the cutting.  I hope I don’t do it again because the marks aren’t fading fast and I don’t want my daughters to learn it as an appropriate coping mechanism.  It means I need to figure out what to do.  I don’t know right now.  So far the answer seems to be, “Don’t hate yourself.”  I’m not sure what that actually means as something to teach my kids.  How do I do that?  For the love of shiny green apples, how can someone like me teach anything other than hating yourself?

I’m going to a homeschooling meet-up tomorrow with the kids.  We will be doing Sharpie tie-dye.  I won’t shave my head before then.  They deserve to know what they are getting into with our family.  We are weird.  Get used to it.

hair cutting

No one really knows what the boundaries are for another person.  You have to speak for yourself, only, always.  I decided to stop hunting and I cut all my hair off.  In the bathroom with nail scissors.  And now I’m going to feel like a fucking schmuck for years.  Something broke.  I think if I believed I could get away with wearing a burqa I would.  I feel like a melodramatic, stupid, immature moron.  Not to put too fine a point on it.

Ok, so what really happened is I was in the process of trying to leave the house one day and I couldn’t comb through the snarls.  I lost my temper and badly cut the knot out.  I have been compulsively going into the bathroom to fix it ever since.  It’s rather short.  My hair is not ok with bleach.  I have a fairly ridiculous amount of shame around the fact that this is not the first time I have stopped hunting and shaved my head.  I should tell that story.  I don’t know if it is in the book or not.

I was seventeen and at West Valley.  I was hanging out with Praveena.  It was towards the end of our time hanging out together.  I was on the tail end of one of my whoring-around-phases and feeling really bad about myself.  I was getting to the point where I noticed that everyone who fucked me ditched me really soon after.  I was at Praveena’s house and we were having a conversation about the fact that it bothered me that people no longer wanted to be my friend after we had sex.  She thoughtfully looked at me and said, “Then why don’t you find out if they want to be your friend before you have sex with them?”

I started shaking.  You don’t understand.  People don’t spend time with me very often.  Sex was how I got people to look at me.  I moved around so often that I knew that I had to get attention quickly or I wouldn’t get it at all.  I know what I’m supposed to act like.  I know my “role”.  I couldn’t verbalize any of that at the time.  I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be near me.  I just sat there shaking.  I had been cutting my hair at home compulsively for a while.  It was probably three or four inches long.  I asked her for shaving supplies.  She was kind of confused as to why I wanted to shave my legs right then but she got them.

I went out in the back yard and shaved my head.  She watched in wide mouthed horror.  She had hair almost to her waist.  She was a gorgeous Persian girl with super thick luscious hair.  She sputtered and gasped and tried to talk me out of it.  I remember the look of squick on her face.  I laughed.

My mother didn’t laugh.  To put this in larger context, this happened in October of 1998.  My father had killed himself a couple of weeks earlier.  Tommy had killed himself in June.  My mom said a lot of very rude and nasty things to me about my looks.  She pointed out that my head was exceedingly lumpy.  She pointed out that given how fat I was, my head looked especially small and stupid.  I need that big bushy hair to balance out my fat ass.

I was invited to go to a ‘formal’ dinner related to the haunted house event I volunteered at.  My hair was only a few millimeters long at that point.  I covered my head in glitter and wore a tight black velvet dress.  My mom didn’t say anything, but she shook her head and grimaced.

At the time I felt awkward and stupid and barely spoke to anyone.  The reality is that people were perfectly nice and civil to me.  The people who knew me at all were friendly and strangers went out of their way to be nice.  I never went back to that organization.  My mother extensively talked about how stupid I looked and how she bets they would be making fun of me behind my back.

I’m not really cutting my hair because I think it makes me look ugly.  When I feel ugly I feel compelled to cut my hair.  I really do have beautiful hair.  My hair is lovely enough that someone who feels and acts the way I do should not have that much camouflage to look “normal”.

I can’t possibly explain my mothers furious disgust at people who dye their hair “funny colors”.  Oh my god.  Anyone who would do that is disgusting.  They are lesser, dirty people.  They are not normal.  Above all we must be normal, right?  I don’t even know what that means.

I really and truly did dye my hair because I thought it was fun.  I have enjoyed catching glimpses of myself in reflections and seeing the shock of color.  It makes me smile.  Unfortunately my hair is quite fine and the bleach destroys it and it gets shorter and shorter and… yeah.  It’s time to deal with letting it grow out again.

And that represents so much internal conflict of self-expression and self-identity.  It’s ridiculous that it matters so much.  As I listen to Lady Gaga sing about her own hair experience I feel trite and ridiculous and like I am such a product of my generation.  Of course I dye my hair odd colors and cut it myself in ridiculous ways.  I’m Emo, right?  I guess I never got over high school.

This is part of what I mean when I say I don’t fit.  I don’t really know the rules.  Do you want to know the main reason I’m cutting my hair myself?  Because it really doesn’t matter if I pay someone to do this.  Pretty soon I’m going to just buzz it because it’s time to start fresh.  There really isn’t a point in paying someone to do that.  I’ve been looking extensively at our budgeting.  I’m going to continue paying for Noah’s haircuts because I like them.  Enh, I’m just done paying for them for a few years.  It makes me twitch to pay that much money on hair care.  Curly hair is very forgiving and it’s not like I’m trying to impress anyone.  That feels bad to say.

I have fun cutting my hair.  I like trying to figure out the shape of my head.  I get compliments from random people when I am out so I think I do a reasonable job.  I’m not ugly.  I don’t really think that having short hair makes me ugly.  I don’t think that other people with short hair are ugly.  But when I am feeling ugly I compulsively cut my hair.  I’m trying to change what I see in the mirror.  I want to have more control over what I see.  I don’t want to go pay someone else who will try to make me look like some mainstream idea of beauty.  Whatever it is that society values and requires of women I am not it.  Let’s get the advertising straight.

There are fifty sides to every story.  I like cutting my hair.  I think it is fun.  I think it is weird.  I think it is a slightly self-harming behavior but fairly harmless so it’s ok.  I think it is an obsessive compulsive tick when I am overwhelmed with my sexuality.  I think that other people will judge me badly for being the kind of person who will do this.  I don’t know why I care.  Thank goodness we are through picture season.

I need to let the roots get a bit longer before I decide how short to get.  Until then I get to cut off bits and pieces every time the urge strikes.  I think it is kind of funny that I do this during cold weather.  I guess I’ll just have to wear my Cheshire Cat hat all the time for a few months.  That’s subtle.

I told Noah some truth last night.  I wonder how that will work out.

I am my hair

Last night Noah finally talked about his areas of insecurity.  It makes me feel like perhaps I shouldn’t have put the trampoline in the exact location I did.  There is a really lot of “But I thought you wanted…” in my marriage.  That’s not good.

No matter how much I am hurting, I want Noah.  Noah sees me in a way no one else does.  He wants me more than anyone else ever has, and I don’t mean just for sex.  Noah lies to me because he wants to be perfect for me and he’s afraid he’s not.  He’s afraid to tell me he isn’t.  Oversimplifying, but true.  I think that’s never ok.  You have to tell me the truth, for better or worse.

No one promised me more better than worse.  Mostly it has been more better than worse.

I told my therapist yesterday that I don’t fit in groups.  She tried to argue with me until I leaned forward and intently told her, “If I left Noah tomorrow and all of a sudden I was single and poor I would find dozens of groups that would take me with open arms.  As a married, rich, seemingly heterosexual, who looks the way I do and acts the way I do with the trauma history I have… No.  I don’t fit into groups.  She closed her mouth and nodded.  She told me she can see my point.  My therapist also took a new job.  She will only have hours on Thursday or Friday nights.  Thursday’s Sarah is going to be taking a class and it’s Noah’s night off.  Not to mention that I don’t think I want to fight rush hour traffic to Oakland.  And having therapy on Friday night would wreck the whole fucking weekend.  I cry enough.  I guess this means I am going to be between-therapists.  Shit.  Perfect timing.

It feels like petulant whining for me to be upset.  I have such a comfortable, easy life right now I shouldn’t whine so much about anything that is going wrong.  How can it be that bad?  I feel really weird about the fact that I still have loud, messy poor people problems.  The way I throw temper tantrums feels low class to me.  I have only witnessed the “public” faces of homes with more money.  I can’t act like them.  I can’t produce children who act like them.  I can’t even have a middle class attitude about infidelity.  I want to go jump off a bridge.  I’m so melodramatic.  It’s all so very intense.  I can’t have “normal” “acceptable” feelings.  I don’t feel angry and upset.  I feel like (and do) cut up large swaths of my body.

What exactly are people supposed to do with anger?  I’ve never been able to figure this out.  You’re allowed to feel anger you just aren’t allowed to show it.  How the fuck does that work?  I don’t think other people get as angry as me.

Side note: the dry cleaners who got their window broken at the General Strike?  $620.  I feel thrilled that I did that.  The family who owns the business almost cried.  The building management was going to make them pay it.  Do you know why I did it?  Because I really want to break windows and it is only the thinnest veneer of control I have over that urge.  I can’t feel angry with whoever broke the windows.  I understand.

I just honestly think I am smarter and more willing to think about long-term consequences than him.  (I know it was a him because J.P. Massar watched the kid do it.)  I understand ignorance.  I think that people should be working a lot harder to learn about different points of view.  I know it is hard.  I struggle with feeling safe being myself around other points of view.  I start to feel like I meld in and disappear.  Until I do something Wrong and I feel ostracized.

I don’t go dance because there are too many people who won’t look me in the eye.  I feel unwelcome.  I’m not mad about it.  I’m resigned.  This has been my whole life.  I understand.  I’m not someone that people want to look in the eye.  It’s ok.

It’s approaching the end of funny colored hair time.  The bleach is destroying it.  Yesterday I cut off several inches in the front at a funny angle with wisps every which way because I couldn’t comb the knot out.  I should probably straighten my hair cut a bit today.  In front of a mirror this time.  It’s time to stop bleaching and let it grow.  I’m also at the perfect point in my cycle to kind of want to shave my head so I will have a weird reason to hide at home again for a long time.  That’s the kind of thing I want to do and I don’t want to deal with the social consequences of doing.  Boy howdy do you get comments when you shave your head as a girl.  I’m trying to decide how short I am willing to go this time.  I have a lumpy head.  I went down to nothing when I was seventeen.  Not long after my father killed himself.  So
thirteen years ago I shaved my head and like a year ago my hair was nearly to my waist.  If I ever want long hair again it will be a long, slow slog.  Like, when I’m fifty.  We’ll see.

My heart hurts.