Category Archives: half marathon

Health inventory

I am feeling excessively whiny. I am hoping that if I record the full whine I can stop repeating bits of it to Noah and anyone else who will listen. It is hard to not talk about it even though I know it annoys people to hear about.

Starting at the top, because I often do that. Head hurts. I have a headache in the forehead part of my skull. I have a raging headache in the back of my skull where I have my usual minor headache caused by looking down too much. I have a fractured tooth and that isn’t feeling good. I get a crown in just over two weeks. My TMJ (yes, this one has a real diagnosis from a real doctor) is acting up like mad and both sides of my jaw hurt like crazy. I’ve clearly been clenching and fighting the clenching and that makes me ache something fierce. I also have a ton of sinus pressure and I feel like I have a cold.

My neck hurts. The muscles supporting my skull are all corded with knots.

My shoulders and arms hurt really badly. Surfing was a lot of very unfamiliar motion and even moving my arms hurts. I can feel a lot of knots I’m not used to having. My range of motion is impacted. Surfing was fun but very hard. Luckily my forearms aren’t as painful as usual. (I’ll thank my lucky stars for that one.) I’m having a lot of general joint pain (I include the TMJ with that) and my shoulders/elbows/wrists/finger joints are all painful. It isn’t my normal “typing fucks me up” pain–it’s different.

My chest and upper back feel sore, like I was punched a lot. (And yes, I do know what it feels like to be punched a lot.) My abdominal muscles right below my ribs are still so sensitive that gentle touching hurts. Luckily the pain has come down a few notches and I will no longer scream if the kids idly brush me. *phew*

Then we get into the intestine region of the torso. Oh holy hell. It is improving! That’s a great thing. After the plane ride just about anything would be an improvement. I feel tender and sore. My lower back aches really badly, but I’m used to that. It spiked into much more intense pain when I was bleeding last week thanks to cramping but it isn’t as bad now. *phew* But my belly region is very uncomfortable and sad.

My hips hurt. My hips hurt so much. My thighs hurt. My knees hurt. My calves hurt. My ankles hurt. Seriously, my ankle hurts so fucking much I can’t sit cross legged. My feet are sore and tender.

Have I mentioned that I don’t feel good?

Tomorrow I will be blessed with a meal cooked by someone else that is within plan and multi-course and is likely to help me feel loved and taken care of while having flavor. Noah is still being my hero with cooking for me, but he has less experience with this range of restrictions. He’s doing his best, but it is hard to adapt to an elimination diet. Especially while he is still cooking different stuff for him and the girls that follow our more normal diet.

Today the girls asked the babysitter to make them ramen for lunch. When I smelled it I almost started crying because I wanted it so much. I am committed to figuring out what is making me sick, because clearly I took some inflammatory food out and then put it back and my body is freaking the fuck out but it is hard feeling denied food. It is excruciatingly hard on a daily basis. I feel like I don’t deserve food.

My friend told me it is great that I haven’t fallen into the “I can’t eat anything” trap and now I feel ashamed of myself because I totally want to say that over and over. I’m trying so hard to be positive. I think it would be easier if my kids weren’t eating my favorite foods in front of me while I can’t have any.

It is shocking to me in an ongoing way how visceral food is. I read people write things about how food is just fuel. Oh man. It totally isn’t. It is love and comfort and bonding and right now I’m shut out of my favorite forms. Holy shit this is hard.

I am trying to keep my whining to myself. It is hard. I’m trying to keep up with the whirl of activities but it is hard. I feel dizzy and weak. My friend pointed out this weekend that I am drastically under caloried for the amount of exercise I’m doing and she’s right. 17 days till the half marathon and then I will be cutting back my exercise a lot until I have food more under control. I do want to do this race though. I’m still upset with myself for paying for a 10k I didn’t do this year.

Tomorrow I drive to San Pablo. That will be a good trip. In the evening Pam is coming over. She’s about to head off for a long visit with family on the other side of the world so I have to store up my Pam attention while I can. Friday we are going out to Modesto to see friends for the day. (Luckily the friend I am going with is very happy to do most of the driving. *phew*) Next week I have another visit with the woo-allergy doctor and therapy and a massage. I am one lucky, supported person. The week after that I see the Kaiser specialist (I have low hopes and much bitterness in my heart), have dinner with a friend I haven’t seen for a bit, have a dentist appointment to get a crown, hopefully we will get to decorate the tree with the home school group, and Pam is coming over–all that before Thanksgiving. T-day we are staying home while I cry about not being able to eat a real Thanksgiving dinner. I just can’t watch someone else eat what I want to fucking eat and can’t. I can’t. I would be so mean and self-involved and such an asshole. So we are staying home. Then that weekend I run the half marathon.

December will be slower than November, for one thing less exercise. I’m not driving much in December. Other than the grocery store the only driving I have booked for December is therapy. Given that the kids have been wanting to stay home while I have therapy because they want the screen time I’m not even sure if we will be making the park days.

I could seriously use a whole month of not doing much. For one thing, I need to build the trailer that is sitting on a pallet in my driveway. Also: I’d like to finish the planter box project in the back yard. I have been so exhausted I have not been physically able to do the work. I feel pathetic, but bodies have limits.

I feel like an asshole because numerous people have asked me how they can help and I don’t have good answers. One friend told me to give her a list of foods and she would meal plan for me. I *can’t* follow through on that. Every few days I seem to be changing what is excluded or included because I have no real guidance. The best I can do is what I’m recording here. That isn’t great.

I don’t actually think there is much help I can get. I’m lucking in to going to someones house where they already follow a diet that lines up with my elimination diet. I only had one or two “no’s” to add to their list of no so I didn’t have to think hard.

I feel like I can’t think very well. I feel confused and stupid.

Despite feeling shitty I continue to be grateful that I get to be married to Noah and I’m really glad for my kids. They are so awesome.

So many big feelings.

Over the past few days I’ve had this niggling little thing in the back of my mind. I feel very upset by someone joking that they “don’t love me enough” to do something. But I’ve been turning it over and turning it over and turning it over and as I’ve gone through a variety of adrenalized states I’ve had access to a lot of memories that are normally kind of buried because I don’t know about you but my memory is a funny place. I remember best the things that happened when I was in the same emotional state I am in right now. So I’ve had a lot of interesting memories surfacing.

I have totally made that joke. Not once. Not to one person. Many, many times. I’m pretty sure I went through a phase where I was saying it to a bunch of people with great regularity. When I think super duper duper hard… I may have said it to that person before.

Well shit. That means I have to get off my fucking high horse.

I really hate it when that happens.

Part of the trouble is, I have a lot of sympathy for all the circumstantial reasons behind it coming up last week. I didn’t expect her to jump up and abruptly change her day for me. That wasn’t on my agenda. I wasn’t gunning for that. She was responding to feeling overwhelmed and the things in front of her were things she couldn’t drop. So she joked. Ok, I hated the joke and it made me feel bad… but she didn’t say it because she consciously wanted to hurt me.

I didn’t actually want to hurt people when I used to say, “You are really awesome and all but I don’t love you enough to drive to Davis for a relationship.”

I said that a lot.

Man I’m such a hypocritical asshole.

It doesn’t help that the last two things I’ve tried to schedule at the house flopped. I “understand” that it was scheduling issues. That totally happens. But in both cases I started out with a whole bunch of enthusiastic people and then they all… kinda flaked. It happens. But it feels bad when large groups of people all do it together. I tried having an event in September and I tried in October. Both just failed. I’m not angry at anyone–but I feel wounded and like if I hadn’t already stupidly announced the holiday open house I would cheerfully hide alone in my house till spring.

I don’t feel very loved. So having one of my closest friends joke that she doesn’t love me… it was stepping on my broken toe. I “get” that it was a “joke”.

But I don’t feel very loved so it doesn’t feel like a joke it feels like just telling me the truth. One of the hardest parts of having big gaps in between people is I hold on to the bad feelings of being rejected and and unloved for a long time. Seeing different people doesn’t help that much. Maybe it is a distraction and maybe not.

It isn’t Noah or the kids fault that I don’t feel loved. It isn’t the fault of this joke. I’m just in that kind of cycle. I’m sure the elimination diet isn’t helping. I’m also trying hormonal birth control for the first time in many years and it is NOT REGULATING MY EMOTIONS. I’ve been trying to take vitamins which is resulting in spontaneous vomiting in the morning. The class over the last two weekends was physically and emotionally draining in the extreme. In that 24 hour class I put out more energy and force than I normally do in over a month. My body hurts everywhere. I have some truly impressive bruises.

I’m having trouble feeling loved. Even with the kids. It doesn’t feel like love, it feels like momentary manipulation so I will do what you want. I recognize this as a problem in my perception and not a change in how my children treat me. Their actual attempts to manipulate are far less subtle and nuanced. They are quite charming, really—it’s different than when they are being loving. But I just can’t see it. I feel very empty and hollow.

I’m a weird introvert/extrovert blend. I need alone time and I NEED people time. I need the right kinds of people time to fill me up or I get emptier and emptier. I haven’t been getting “the right kind” of people time much lately. I get most of it with Noah or Pam and I get very little actual attention from either of them because the kids are always in our faces demanding all of the attention. I’m scared of Pam going to Taiwan soon. I am going to miss her.

Over the past few years we’ve had a series of wonderful people who come over once a week for dinner for long periods of time. Sometimes we have two wonderful people at once who come by weekly. It has been just Pam for a while. I really like Pam, unfortunately so do my children. The kids vocally and clearly negotiate how much time they have to share with me because they want all of Pam’s attention. It’s funny.

People stop coming for a variety of reason. My favorite reason to ascribe it to is because I’m an asshole.

A stopped coming because after I drew him extensive graphs and charts to describe how tired I was and I said I needed help he continued to expect me to wait on him hand and foot like I have since I was 19. I stopped inviting him over because I can’t be the god damn service submissive forever and either you help or I can’t do this.

P had health issues. It wasn’t personal.

C I specifically uninvited because I got to the point of feeling actually unsafe in his presence. That’s a good enough reason to uninvite people in my opinion.

It’s a mixed bag that in my youth I went out looking for perverts and people who felt dangerous. It means I look at my friends in new lights when it comes to sharing my children with them.

Pam is the only person currently on a steady roster. Even the home schoolers who supposedly are supposed to have a set day of fun stuff… we skip it more than we go. We see home schoolers every week, but which day and where move around a lot. I am very very certain that my kids need to have friends of their own. I make it happen. I take them to places where they can socialize and see the same kids and get to know people. It is a specific goal. You can’t home school your kids and keep them from having friends. That will fuck them up for life. Finding friends can be hard but I consider that one of my job duties.

I think it is funny that I do not prioritize teaching from a curriculum–I prioritize learning how social interactions work. I think that early life should be about learning how to manage people. You will have plenty of time for book learning later. I am trying to teach emotional regulation (which is a hilarious thing for me to teach) and boundaries. Those are the biggest and most important skills we work on with conscious intent.

Yesterday I was an asshole to Shanna. They like to reach through their toy bookshelf and grab all the jars of jam and bring them to their side and play with them. I mostly object because these are glass items and I already clean up a lot of broken glass and I don’t want to clean up broken glass plus sticky. I’ve asked them four or five times not to do this. So this time I screamed. I screamed, “It is not ok to play with my stuff. You have your own stuff. STOP USING MINE. IT BREAKS. I AM REALLY CRANKY ABOUT CLEANING UP ALL THE GLASS. JUST STOP IT.” So I’m an asshole but I’m not an asshole who will be picked up by CPS. Just a garden variety asshole.

Later in the day I was reading the internet and I saw one of those pithy quote things and it said, “In our house we only yell if there is a fire.” I felt floored. Oh man. How can I ask my kids not to yell if I am such a yeller.

So I read the quote to Shanna. She gave me a side eye rule and said, “I wouldn’t mind if that became a rule for our house.”

I looked at her for a few minutes. She didn’t quite meet my eye. I asked her how scared she felt that morning. She said, “Well, I knew you wouldn’t hit me or anything so I wasn’t *that* scared, but it makes my tummy feel really bad.” I nodded. I apologized. She apologized for playing with the jam jars again. We hugged.

I feel beyond blessed in my children. I feel I got unusually empathetic children and I get down on my knees thanking anyone who will listen daily. I am so grateful for the specific children I have. They really work for me. I don’t dislike other peoples children (well… sometimes I do but not mostly) but my kids are so well suited to me. Occasionally I witness family interactions where the parents and the kids aren’t well suited and I feel this surge of anxiety mixed with gratitude. That would be so hard. I’m so grateful I don’t have that specific issue.

Not that my kids are easy 100% of the time–ha.ha.ha. But we are annoying in compatible ways. It’s important.

A while back Pam told me I was too hard on my BFFs. I expect too much from them. She then let me know how much time she spends with her BFF and it isn’t much.

I feel like maybe I need to pull into myself for a while. Looking outside me for validation isn’t going well. Other people have the audacity to have bad days and they aren’t just sitting around waiting to have positive interactions with me. WTF.

On one hand I feel like what I would like to do is stay home and do projects and invite people over. On the other hand inviting people over doesn’t usually work and then I feel rejected so I think that I should just work by myself.

I’m feeling really sad. I have to forgive people for hurting me because they really didn’t mean to. And I’ve said basically the same thing so I can’t have more harsh boundaries.

But I don’t feel very loved lately. I’m not *blaming* anyone. I don’t think this feeling is the result of the actions of A, B, C, D, or E people. That’s not my point. I cycle through feelings. It happens. Right now I feel very alienated and alone. I have a Noah and a Shanna and a Calli who love me and never actually let me be alone so this feeling isn’t about “reality”.

But my relationship with my kids is only kind of about me. I have to very carefully always partition of the parts of me that would be problematic or dangerous. It is very hard to constantly censor everything I say so that I am only appropriate for my kids.

If you knew me before kids–did you think I would be physically capable of minding my mouth enough to be appropriate for children? Probably not.

But it comes at a cost. It comes at the cost of feeling like *I* am not important, just that there is someone standing here who is willing to work. If I could find a suitable replacement it would be better for everyone if I died. Then I would stop hurting people. No one would have to listen to my whining about how neeeeeeeedy I feel.

On Saturday during the Impact class we got to do a “custom fight”. You have the choice of battling an inner critic, an event from your past, or something you are afraid might happen. You can choose to have the battle be verbal or physical.

I went first because I knew I wouldn’t have the courage to say what I said after I heard what everyone else wanted to fight. I knew mine was going to seem “crazy” and “intense” compared to everything else.

I told them it was a combination of inner critic and past events. I told them I grew up in a family who had generations of alcoholism and drug addiction and incest. With all the beatings such a description implies. I told them that I knew all my life that I was the child of rape and no one had wanted me from the minute I was born. I told them about my family members telling me that I am a worthless whore–I should die and stop wasting the resources that should be spent on someone worthy.

My fight was super fucking intense. It went on and on. The suited instructor was really verbally awful. By the end I was crying and screaming “I am not your whore anymore” as I was viciously kicking him in the head.

If that had been a real fight with an unsuited person there would have been major hospital time. I’m happy about that.

I keep wondering what will happen if I ever run into my sister again. The funny thing is, I have about a 1% fear of getting randomly mugged or assaulted. I just don’t live in fear of that. I know people who have had it happen to them–I shouldn’t feel so shielded from that assault. But it is way outside my realm of experience and I have enough to be afraid of so I’ve just never spent brain cycles on worrying about it.

I’m scared I will run into my sister again. I strongly suspect that will turn into a fist fight. Given that she wanted to start one when I was 6 months pregnant I doubt her wrath has cooled. She has hated me all my life. “It is your fault that son of a bitch had three more years to rape me. Mom was ready to leave when you fucking came along.” Well, go ahead and hate me Sissy, but it wasn’t my fault I was born.

For all the bloody noses and bruises and wounds my sister gave me… I could cheerfully put her in the hospital. And I know her knee has already blown out more than once. The fight wouldn’t even have to last long.

It was funny at the end of the class. At my turn to reflect the instructors verbally noted that I came in with fighting skills and I was willing to adapt them. I said, “Well most of my other fights have ended in a trip to ER to deal with my injuries so I’m grateful to learn techniques that might prevent that.” As soon as the bruising goes down I am going to spend a lot of time with my punching bag practicing. But first the bruising needs to go down. My elbow fucking hurts.

Maybe it is just best to stay home alone for a few months. I’m needy and sad and I can’t hear what people say the way they mean it. I can only hear more reason to hurt. That isn’t about everyone standing near me–that comes from me.

Today is the Halloween parade at park day. I’m supposed to bring a pot luck contribution. Fuck if I know what to bring. A tray of carrot and cucumber sticks? I can bring you a fuck ton of bok choy. Want some plain rice? fuck my life.

Just to add a little bonus gross to this entry: I’m weirded out that since I bought the bell peppers my poop looks like it is sprinkled with little red confetti. I really don’t digest food much.

I need to get back on the horse with half marathon training. I semi-slacked in the week between the Impact classes because I felt so dead. Today is a five mile run. I feel continually shocked that five miles is no big deal. I’m debating between running in the dark before Noah goes to work (I would have to leave in about half an hour) or taking the kids to the gym so I can run on a treadmill. I mostly prefer running outside. But I’m not sure I have it in me to run in the dark today. I feel wobbly. In the dark, when I’m wobbly–I trip. And it hurts. So I’m kind of loathe to go do that on my already injured body. Even my ankle is feeling twingy and sore. Treadmill it is.

I’m at the point on the elimination diet where I’m 14 days in and I haven’t seen much change. This is all fairly normal poop to me. That makes me think I should take out nightshades next. This thought makes me want to cry. I won’t until I finish eating the current cooked nightshades, because I’m not so big on throwing food away, but I probably should.

I feel so bad. The really sad/scary thing about taking the nightshades out: it removes almost all of the GF “bread” stuff I could eat. No more pancakes. I’m going to be eating rice at every meal. (I’m vaguely aware that there are products like millet and couscous in the world but I have essentially never eaten them and switching to them on an elimination diet seems… kind of weird. Should I really be randomly switching to food I’ve never eaten?” If I have to long-term follow these restrictions it makes sense to introduce them after a while… but not during the elimination diet, right? I don’t fucking know.

A friend offered to make a meal plan. I don’t want one. This is a moving target. This is hard. I am so frustrated. What I can handle putting in my mouth shifts from moment to moment and day to day. I feel so much hatred and anger all wrapped up in food. Nothing good comes from food. Unless it has lots of wheat, dairy and sugar. Then the food carries love.

Noah isn’t even cooking much for me. Which is another sad thing. This stupid elimination diet is taking away one of the most common things someone does to express love for me. No wonder I don’t feel very loved lately.

This moment isn’t forever. But it is shitty. And I feel sad. I don’t want to go pretend to be happy and festive and part of a group today. I want to wedge myself between the wall and the bed and cry.

The main thing I can think of that would make today easier is if I went into the bathroom and locked the door and lighted my candles and got out the scalpel blade that is secretly hiding in a drawer in my room (I no longer have a handle, but I somehow missed a blade when I cleared out the house a while ago) and cut for a long time. I want that feeling so bad. I am not calm and I could be. I care too much about feeling unlovable and I could shut that off. It would just take a few cuts. Then I would be calm and sure that I’m not loved and that is just how it is. I wouldn’t feel frantic and sad. Just resigned. This is how things work.

I feel so sad. Not cutting at this point feels like not caring enough about me to take care of me. Instead I just force myself to feel as shitty as possible for as long as possible. Just so other people can feel better. It’s a reminder of how little I matter.

If I could find a suitable replacement I would go. I am tired of flailing and hurting. I’m so tired.

I want my mommy.

Hindi study

Last year we somehow stumbled across an advertisement for Hindi lessons at the local temple. (It is on the end of our block.) All four of us went to the first round of classes and it was pretty fun. This year Shanna said she didn’t want to sit still every week and only Calli asked to enroll.

I find the study of Hindi to be stimulating in a way that few things have been. Having to memorize different letters and connect them to sounds that don’t exist in my language feels an order of magnitude different from studying languages with a similar alphabet (like Spanish). I’m not saying harder–I’m not sure if it is harder. But it feels different.

I studied Spanish in school–both high school and college. I am nothing near fluent. But the study of Hindi is teaching me that I have a significant vocabulary–my problem is verb conjugation. When the teacher asks us to create a sentence in Hindi to answer a question I always have a complete sentence in Spanish pop into my head and I have to consciously not say it. Wrong language. But having these little epiphanies over and over that I could probably actually go to South America and communicate fine after a month is pretty huge for me. I have lots of impostor syndrome. I think I am stupid and incapable of learning many things. Then I find out that I ALREADY KNOW THINGS!!!

It is hard to explain how exciting this feels. On one hand, people regularly tell me I am intimidating because I am smart/educated. On the other hand, I feel like I’m not talented nor smart nor educated because I know people who have gone way deeper into almost any topic than I have. I’m good at viewing things in the way that makes me look bad.

Hindi is causing me to feel pride in my ability to learn in a way that few things have. For one thing: I’m turning around and teaching Shanna once we get home. She is making progress as fast or faster than Calli and Calli is actually attending the class. It is like ASL only better. ASL was harder for me to feel pride in because Shanna picked it up at two or three times the rate I did and I always felt stupid and like I am too slow to be able to say what is happening in my mind. I just can’t make my hands go fast enough.

Hindi isn’t like this. I shouldn’t feel so much pride that I am picking up concepts faster than many of the 6-7-8 year old kids in the class.. but they are growing up in houses where this language is a daily occurrence. I do feel pride that I am managing to study on my own well enough that I am picking things up faster than people who are learning more about their native language. (They all speak English in most of their lives and Hindi almost exclusively at home based on what they say in class.)

I’m not competing with the kids. That’s not the point. But I have fairly clear proof that I am learning and I am not stupid. I’m progressing quickly. Having it be so crystal clear that I am learning is… it feels really good. I feel proud of myself.

Today we had kind of a weird class. Some of the teachers were ill so they combined levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. This meant that the class was too slow for half the people and way too fast for the other half. Ahhh group teaching. The teacher who teaching level 4 was disappointed in me that I couldn’t come up with a Hindi sentence describing what I will do on Halloween. Uhm, the only verb I know is “is”. I know colors. I can count. I’m on my way to knowing the alphabet. No… I don’t yet know how to say, “On October 31st we will dress up and go trick or treating.” Nope, don’t have that vocabulary yet. But I may work on it this week and write down the phonetic sentence and say it next week. Because she’d be thrilled I looked it up.

I find it strange that I feel so good about the positive affirmations from the teachers. Why do I care? They are strangers and it’s not like this is going on my permanent record. But I care.

Hindi requires a similar kind of discipline as training for the marathon. I have to show up consistently and do the study. Every single day. I have to train. I have to live my life as if attaining mastery of the language is a goal. Just like training for the marathon. I have to not skip runs because I feel whiny. I have to do it anyway or my body will not be ready on the crucial day. If I don’t study Hindi I won’t ever be able to go to India and study farming with people who have questionable English. I want it so bad I feel an ache in my bones.

I want to be able to talk to people in other countries about farming and incest. I’m kind of weird. I want to go meet people when I learn farming and build relationships and come back years later after they know me and trust me and then get their communities to talk to me about incest. I have a plan.

I feel grateful that some days I wake up and it doesn’t feel like I’m trapped in limbo. I’m on a journey. I’m not waiting for the future to happen to me. I’m living my future. I am doing what I always wanted to do. I am home schooling my children in security and love. I am learning languages so I can go learn from people who have entirely different life experiences than me. I am getting to enjoy the companionship and growth of my children such that I am truly getting to see a happy, healthy childhood up close. I am ridiculously blessed.

When I have conflicts with my kids and I feel very anxious about them it is important to keep in mind that I get along with them better than I’ve ever gotten along with anyone. That doesn’t mean it is always smooth sailing. I am pretty sure I will never have a relationship that is all smooth sailing. That doesn’t mean I should opt-out of relationships and it doesn’t mean I should try hard to keep people away from me.

Life is complicated. I’m grateful that this portion of my journey involves getting to engage in study that improves my sense of self esteem while also significantly furthering my life goals. Often those two aspects do not move in tandem. I am lucky.

Ok, now that I’ve done my Hindi for the day time to run. It’s a wonderfully easy Saturday. This is my shortest Saturday run until April. I should find joy in that. From here on out it gets harder.

Luckily, I can do it. I already have so I have no fear. The half marathon Thanksgiving weekend (my race is on Saturday) will be easy. My informalish goal is to manage a 11:50 or better pace. I was super close last time until mile 11 when my ankles seized. More stretching this training schedule. I’m also doing more weight lifting. Being stronger seems mandatory for more speed at this stage. And 26.2 miles just doesn’t sound that far any more. March will be here soon and I’ll run that far and be fine. It blows my mind.

I am more than I ever thought I could be.

Next of kin

The future is always scary to me. Lots of worry about the future. Godmama is out of the ICU. She is moving to a rehabilitation facility today or tomorrow. She is expected to make a full recovery. It is not clear yet what extent the brain injury will have long term impact. It isn’t clear how long recovery will be–months or years.

I feel kind of cold for worrying about the impact this will have on my kids. We need to go visit our lawyer anyway and take my childhood best friend out of the paper work. The person who was supposed to be executor moved to a different state and hasn’t initiated contact once since moving. I’m seeing that as a bad idea going forward.

If Jenny lived in this country it would be a no-brainer. But international stuff is tricky. I feel scared.

How do I make sure my kids will be safe? Well, first of all you have to accept that if you put your children into moving vehicles you can’t guarantee that they will be safe. But moving on down from that risk…

I didn’t understand what commitment meant when I was younger. Now that I’ve actually been part of a family for a while I have a better idea.

I’m scared. But the future will come and that will be that.

Today I will run five miles, finish the drawings for the remodel, and who knows what else. It will be a busy day. Like they all are.

Next 10k race in 18 days. Half marathon eight weeks past that, so ten weeks out. Oh boy.

So much happens

When I’m not posting. I still haven’t successfully found additional baby-sitting. I’m trying. I either helped out our nice handyman or I got screwed by a con artist. I’ll find out next week. The wait as I find out is excruciating.

Shanna is now in size 7 and Calli is wearing size 6. Holy toledo. Calli turns 4 in another week and a half. Shanna is 6 1/4. I think Calli will be taller in the long run.

Stuff brewing with my shrink. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to keep seeing her. Festivity. This isn’t *about me* but it involves me and there might be fall out and fuss. It’s not my fault there are sometimes consequences for talking about clients in ways you shouldn’t. Not my story to tell.

We went to a party for one of Noah’s oldest friends last night. Ran into his ex who has become a good friend. (That lot went to college together.) I feel kind of funny that I still identify this nice lady as Noah’s ex-girlfriend. She’s married and has three kids. Why is that relationship from her past so important? Because it still defines how she came into my life. She is someone who can understand why Noah (the most important grown up in my life) is so lovable. That makes her different. She is going to share some of my innate biases, surely. There must be a kinship there. Ok, so she decided she didn’t want to marry him–that’s great for me! But there is still an ability to appreciate that not everyone has. Noah, much like me, is not always an easy person to like. People who are capable of liking us more than average are to be treasured.

Now everyone in the crowd has kids. Lots of kids. Our kids were the oldest in the pack and the current youngest is 4 months old with a pregnant woman due in December and several parents of onlies talking about when to start trying for new babies. Whoa. The crowd switched from non-breeders to ALL PARENTS ALL THE TIME really fast. We talked a lot about sleep deprivation. (Including the very hot guy I almost nailed right before we shut things down for the breeding period. Deep sigh. He’s still very cute. He seems kind of overwhelmed by parenthood. Heh. He’ll adjust.)

In some crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s weird and people are kind of rude. In other crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s interesting and they would love to hear why I make such choices. They aren’t necessarily going to be moved to change their own decisions, but it is interesting to hear about other peoples lives. Guess which kind of crowd I like hanging out with more? Last night was definitely of the, “I don’t understand but I’m curious” blend. It felt so nice. I’ve been feeling really defensive.

I DON’T THINK EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD HOME SCHOOL. IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE. When I talk about home schooling I am NOT TRYING TO RECRUIT. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT HOW YOU RAISE YOUR KIDS. (I mean, if you live within five miles of me I might half-heartedly hint that it would be cool if you home schooled because, hey–resources! Otherwise I truly don’t care because I won’t be driving to your house to hang out a lot anyway.)

I don’t think home schooling is THE BEST or THE ONLY way of raising kids. It is just the way that works best for my family for a lot of reasons that don’t necessarily apply to other people.

Tell me about this preschool your kid is in. You seem to be excited about the process. Lots of it sounds fun. I’m totally enthusiastic about you doing this. Put your kid in preschool and work. That’s important. Truly. I’m not criticizing. 

I think my daughters need to see that women work too. Not all women live like me. Their Godmama is starting medical school right now. The kids are looking at the pictures and thinking, “Yeah. I could do that. I can be like Aunt Kitten.” Their lives aren’t going to look like mine. (Not because mine is shitty–they have different interests.) My kids will probably be working parents if they have kids. I’m really grateful we know so many kick ass women who are modeling how to make that work.

Even if my kids argue when they are visiting, they still speak well of all the working moms in our lives. “Why can’t you be a nice mom like _____?” “Because you were not blessed in this lifetime. Let’s move on.”

Oh man. Since I borrowed my friend’s stick shift I have been itching to drive again. I hate automatics. I don’t feel like I’m driving. I’m steering at best. I want to drive. Oh man she had a fun car. I keep finding my hand going to the stick shift. Then I sigh and let my hand drop. Nothing to do in my stupid boring mini van. Deep sigh. The memory of a fun, zippy blue car keeps me smiling.

I am not being good about training for the 10k. I wonder if I will get more serious as I get closer to the half marathon or full marathon. (Next half marathon: 14 weeks. Next full marathon: 7 months.)

Sometimes I’m supposed to run 3 miles on two consecutive days. Some weeks I’m in a mood so I run 6 miles one day and nothing the other day. I’m not sure how useful that is. I feel like a sick, sick puppy because I’m really looking forward to the long training runs again.

I still remember the first time I ran 18 miles. The marathon was hard and shitty and I felt like crap. The first time I ran 18 miles I felt like a God. I felt so strong and capable and competent. I strutted when I walked for days. I CAN RUN EIGHTEEN FUCKING MILES MOTHERFUCKER! 26 was brutal in comparison. I’d like to get to the point of 26 miles feeling how 18 miles felt. An extra 8 miles is really rough. I don’t want it to be so rough.

My “goals”: 10k in 75 minutes. I’m running with a friend who is still working up. (She’s doing great!) Half marathon in 2:40. Full marathon better than 6 hours. That’s 46 minutes faster than my first marathon. It shaves almost 2 minutes off each mile meaning I will have to maintain faster than 15 min/mile. Doesn’t sound that hard. Ha. Piss off. You do it if it isn’t that hard. It’ll be hard. Very hard. But I can do it.

Lately my short runs are 13:30 minutes/mile or faster. I really want my short runs to be faster than 12 min/mile. I can’t shake this feeling that at some point in my life it will be necessary for me to run or I will die. It’s a horrible feeling but it puts some pep in my step.

I have already been a hunted animal. I do not have so much hubris as to believe it will never happen again.

I want to travel. I am white and a woman. There are going to be people who don’t like me on sight. Then you combine that with the fact that I rarely shut my fucking mouth. It doesn’t seem like paranoia. It seems like basic caution.

I am now officially in the database of potential speakers for RAINN (rape and incest national network), which I have mixed feelings about. But I’ll put my hat in the ring anyway. If they get a request for my area I will hear about it.

I still haven’t turned up a picture of me alone from within the last two years I can send in for the interview. Whinge.

I am making progress on back-stage stuff for the blog. I not show you now. Neiner. (That grammar error was on purpose.)

Sometimes I feel overwhelming anxiety because I’m redesigning my website. The number of things I teach myself to do is kind of crazy. Yes, lots of other people have already taught themselves this skill. I’ve been a serious asshole about resisting picking up computer skills over more than a decade.

I use word and a web browser and not much else! Damnit!! Only now it is becoming handy to know all this back end stuff. Shoot me now.

I have quite a few things I’m working on right now. I’m trying to put together a book of pictures of our house. I’m trying to figure out how to organize them. We are going to visit a lot of relatives who will never make it to our house. I’m a vain bastard and I like my house a lot. I want to be able to show the great grandmother what I’m doing and she will never travel again due to age.

I didn’t ever anticipate growing up to be an artist. I was pretty spiteful and nasty about the whole concept of art for most of my life. (That is what comes of having art teachers tell you that you are stupid for many years for not following their directions more carefully.) I’m big on shooting myself in the foot.

Hardly anyone gets to grow up how my kids do. They live in a weird little house where they get to ask for paintings on the wall (they help more by the year). Just about everything they can reach is kid friendly and they are allowed to grab at will. (They are tall so now there are a few things they just have to respectfully not touch.) They get to decide how they want to spend their time. They have only a few outside schedule impositions.

I’m pretty jealous of my kids. I didn’t have anything like this. But I get it now. I try to let that be enough. I think I’m nice to them even though I feel jealousy. I’m glad they are here as an excuse so I can live this way. I have to be grateful for that. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do all this without kids. I’m really happy I get to live here doing this. I’m having a lot of fun.

I won’t know for decades if I did the right thing or not. That’s rather annoying. (And that is why no one should write parenting books while their kids are under five. I’m JUST SAYIN’.)

I think it is funny how my mental picture of my reading audience changes over time. I see how many page hits I get. I can tell when a new/random person shows up. (A lot of reading old entries, maybe following a tag for several entries.) Over time people volunteer “I haven’t been reading lately” or “Your blog is too much for me” or “Wow. You write a lot. It’s…. something. To read. Ahem.”

Hi. Thanks for slogging? I know it is random. Thus my desire to somewhat split the blog out pouring into more manageable for other people chunks. Maybe it will get easier. We’ll see!

I wonder too much about what other people think of me. I hope that I surprise people. I hope that they had dire predictions and then… I just… do better than they expected. I’ve been told over and over that people thought I would crash and burn. When I keep turning up at parties people are surprised. “You aren’t dead!” Not yet. More and more I hope I make it to a “natural” death. (i.e. one not caused by me.) My kids asked me to promise that I would never leave them on purpose. That’s a big promise.

I have held my right to end my pain as one of my most sacred rights. And now they want me to give it up. Just because they need me.

As I stay up late at night composing mental letters I wish I could send to my mommy I think… maybe their need is real. They aren’t pretending this love. They are too young to be able to maintain a charade.

Things are always changing rapidly here in Wonderland. Lots to do. Lots of stuff to learn. I feel so inadequate for the list of jobs in front of me. But I won’t get more adequate if I sit on my ass doing nothing. So I run towards each new difficult opportunity.

If you want to make sure we visit you on our cross country road trip you should probably email me pretty soon. I’m making reservations for some places starting in another month. I’m firming up a lot of plans. Yes, some people like to do things fly-by-night making it up as they go. I like going places that you have to reserve a year in advance or ha ha go somewhere else. That means making firm plans.

If we go the northern route then we won’t see friends in Utah. That would be a huge bummer. There is also a stop I’d like to make in Missouri. (Err, not because of the recent issues in Ferguson. Those are terrible and sad. I don’t intend to be a tourist next year to see the carnage. I know someone.)

So I’m making some decisions. If you are sure you want on the route, speak up soon or you may get skipped. That’s how life goes.

Life is pretty good.

Wow, thanks for all the comments. That started my day off differently than normal. I’m having trouble controlling my smileys despite my promise to myself that I wouldn’t use them in the blog. Ahem.

I’m in a good mood. I finished scheduling arrangements for the summer. Shanna has a couple of weeks of summer camp. They are kind of random.

Mondays will be cleaning/family-gym night. (Noah and I started dating by being gym buddies. He’s fun to exercise with.)  And the kids love the day care. With a trip to Aqua Adventure in the middle of the day.

Tuesdays switch a bit. Every other week we go to Oakland for therapy. I usually spent post-therapy talking to K for a bit. Sometimes we go to park day afterwards. Or we don’t go to therapy and we try to go to park day. If it is my only unscheduled day of the week, sometimes we stay home during the day. Tuesday nights will be babysitting from 4-8. We will sometimes date but mostly that’s alone time.

Wednesdays are variable. Concerts. County Fair. Visits with friends. Stuff happens. We go to Aqua Adventure in the afternoon. Then Pam comes over to spend the night.

Thursdays mornings for four hours I exchange child care with a local stay at home mom. One week at my house, next week at her house. I can’t believe how crazily productive I am during that period. (It used to be three hours, we decided to bump it after we’ve ended up standing around talking for two hours after most sitting-sessions because the kids are not ready to split up after three hours.) One week I get to go up to L’s house and plan out Calli’s birthday party. (It’s a joint thing cause she’s got a birthday twin. It’s working out.) Every other Thursday I will be running with J. The in between Thursdays will be Noah’s night off.

Friday days are variable. Gym visits with a mom so the kids can play in the day care. Help K clean out her basement (I’ve been looking forward to this for years. I have pestered them asking, “So! When can we clean out your basement?!”) Aqua Adventure most weeks. (All these trips to Aqua Adventure are dates with another family. I have to go.) Nights are Family-Date-Night. The kids will help make dinner. When Noah and I cooperate, the kids always find ways to keep us busy.

Saturdays are variable. We do stuff. Sometimes it is just a massage. Sometimes we go see people. Sometimes we hang out at home and keep busy. This is when Noah gets in the epic reading sessions with the kids. (Would anyone like to go to the day-time PEERS event in August? It sounds fun…. And like my hours…)

Sundays start with Shanna making breakfast. Then we walk to the farmers market. Then we hang out and rest for the remainder of the day.

On top of that I have a very full exercise schedule. 2-3 days of running. One walk to the farmers market. 1-2 days of cross training. (I start out with more cross training and slightly less running but that shifts as I get closer to the half marathon.) Stretching and strength training. One rest day. Must rest or you don’t progress as well.

Dinners are planned until September. I consciously put a lot of easier stuff on the calendar. I’m going to need easier cooking if I will get through it. I’d like to conserve some money. I’ve been uhm, over spending. It’s halfway through the year and I am not over budget on most stuff, but I have absolutely no wiggle room and I really wanted a cushion. Sigh. At the end of the year I am going to send a bunch to the mortgage even if it hurts. I hope to build a cushion so it doesn’t hurt. The mortgage is still hovering at $200,000 and if I am going to pay it off in six more years then I need to get some large payments in, the sooner the better. Interest is a beast.

Debt is bad.

Really, if I got the house paid off in 2019, that would be dreamy. If all the mortgage money was suddenly going spare I could do a lot of interesting things. The longer I drag out the mortgage, the more I pay. That’s the simple logic of interest. The faster I get rid of the mortgage the more of my own money I get to keep. I can do fun things with it instead of give it to a bank.

I don’t pay on my car loans for the full term either.

Interest is yucky.

Except when I’m earning it. Then it’s awesome.

When I was a little girl, my life financial goal was to have $250,000 invested and to own my own home and car. I wanted no debt and a cushion “in case”. I picked that as a goal when I was, 10? 11? I know it was firm in my head before 12.

The fact that we have more than one account with that amount of money blows my fucking mind. I haven’t finished paying off the house yet. Damnit. Soon. Before I’m 40.

Thank you, Noah. I couldn’t have done this alone. To be fair, you couldn’t have either. You kind of suck at managing money. We make a great team. When we got engaged you had one account with that much money. You had a thirty year mortgage that you weren’t making expedited progress towards. You had a lot of debt from motorcycle purchases and accidents and home improvement and medical bills.

I’m pretty good. Doubled the investment. Paid off all the debt. Bought two cars, paid them off nearly instantly. The house is probably only six years away from being paid off. If I slacked it has a maximum of seven years left on the mortgage. Instead of twenty more years.

It is really easy to try hard for someone who rewards my hard work with kindness, attention, and love.

Not to mention that we went from being pretty much the crappiest house on the block to having people stop and offer to buy it because they like the garden so much.

I’ve been good to your bottom line. That’s pretty awesome.

You started off in a privileged position. It would not be reasonable to expect someone to do what we have done without the outrageous privilege of having a bunch of money handed to them.

I don’t know how I had my childhood but came out with different financial values. It’s A Mystery.

I honestly think it was the guaranteed income. It changes your whole way of thinking. When I grow up I might be willing to lobby congress for a guaranteed income. I think that is the only logical solution for a country with our resources and our degree of poverty.

Income inequality is bad for the country. Period. I don’t know when in the fuck I changed. Probably when I got my head out of my ass and looked at what was really happening to people near me because they didn’t have guaranteed income and I did.

I think I had the reverse of most people. Most people are protected by their parents during childhood and they have to make their way as adults–many are ill prepared. I was not financially cared for as a child. Once I turned eighteen I had a guaranteed income until I was thirty. I knew exactly how long I had to get my shit together and I put most of the money into college.

That’s an insane privilege. I didn’t know it while I was young.

It isn’t a hand out. It’s an investment. “I want you to do well, so our whole country will do well. This amount of money will keep you from making desperate choices so that you can survive. That way you can learn to thrive.”

This shit is studied.

Anyway. I’m in a good mood. The kids have been very affectionate and kind of clingy. Given how much they reject me lately I’m enjoying it. I think that they are noticing how much time we spend with other people lately.

Like: in the next two weeks I am providing 32 hours of babysitting for other peoples kids. That’s a fucking job. I do a lot of jobs all at once. I know that is kind of the joke about stay at home moms. Then add home schooling. Even unschooling is work. Don’t be fooled.

Right this minute I feel like I can handle all the balls in the air. I have said no to the things that weren’t fitting for me. It is hard but it was the right decision.

I can do this much scheduled and accomplish the things I want to do. Ok.

Also: I have to take the summer off of Netflix. I am watching too much. I’m going to try to limit my screen time to pre-6:30 am. I have a lot to do. (So I won’t be on chat much.)

I have a lot of projects I want to do. Sitting at the computer means I don’t get antsy enough to do them. If I change that dynamic, I get more done and I feel more satisfied about my time spent.

This is one of those times when my center of focus is moving in closer. I know this has happened before. It happened when I had Shanna for one thing. I just stopped communicating with most of the outside world. For years. I have been re-emerging.

Now I kind of don’t want to. I’ve built a world. I am really busy inside this little world. There’s a lot I want to do.

I need to buy saw horses. I have a lot of projects I want to do this summer and saw horses would make all of them easier. (So much for not painting this year.) That money will probably come out of my ‘entertainment’ budget. Because man is it cheaper to entertain myself at home than out. I have all the paint I need. Maybe another sheet of sand paper. Then we paint. No problem. I own all the other bits.

This is why some people can spontaneously make things. They have already accumulated all the crap. That’s why other people hoard. They want this feeling. “Oh I have everything for that.”

Only hoarders can’t find it when they want it. So they buy it anew for every project.

Man. Layers.

I remember my grandpa’s shed. He died when I was twelve. He was the only grandparent I met. He had painted the outline of every tool on the pegboard so he knew exactly where to put it.

In that moment, of seeing his shed I understood how things “should” be organized. It is all so clear. Yes.

I think I’ve been trying to get there ever since. I’m not there. I’m still shifting. He was in his 80’s. I doubt his work shop was always that meticulous. Give me time.

Someone recently said, “If this is how you use your garage… where do you put your storage?”

Storage? What’s that? My closets mostly don’t have doors. I don’t have an attic or a basement or a shed. My garage is fully occupied but not with storage. Ok, I store books on book shelves. Different.

I have what you see. I’m just trying to get the organization perfect. It happens in layers.

We change. Our needs change. Life is a process. I’m still arriving. I have so much more patience for that now than I used to have.

If a Zen moment appears, grab it. I feel ok. I feel like I am ok. I am doing what I wanted to do. I have, in fact, done far better than I dared dream. I haven’t perfectly arrived, but life is about the process. I’m doing well at the process.

My family thinks I am doing well by them. I’m not a perfect friend but I’m not a piece of shit. I do my best. Sometimes that isn’t enough. That’s life.

At this moment I honestly believe I couldn’t be doing more than I am. But I’m not over extended. Just busy. Booked. I can’t say yes to a lot more. People can join me on what I have already planned. That’s all I have to offer right now. And sometimes, I need to reserve family time. Holy crap do we spend time with people.

We need to reset our normal. Because even we–freaks that we are–have our own normal.

I have lots of gardening I should be doing. See–I need to stay home. There is work to do. While I babysit. Oh man.

It is going to be a blessedly full summer.

Running and body stuff

Bodies are weird. People are weirder.

I spent 2012 running because I wanted to be able to check “run a marathon” off of my bucket list. I had not been much of a runner before that. In the process I found that my body changed substantially. I was already riding the wave of lower-than-usual-weight because my Uncle Bob had recently died and I had divorced my biological family and that was really hard on me and I lost a lot of weight from not eating. I was down to the weight I had previously only reached while starving myself on Weight Watchers and exercising five days a week.

So having the “thinner” body is associated with lots of bad stuff for me. I get there when I’m starving myself and/or dealing with a lot of psychological pain such that my stomach hurts too much to eat. It’s not fun.

Also: when I lose weight the amount of street harassment goes up.

Think about the implication of that. I lose weigh *because* I am already having problems and then all of a sudden the ambient harassment I get in public increases.

Folks ignore the chubby chick running around the neighborhood. When I get thinner men start telling me they want to “come with me” or “distract me” or they just yell shit. And my neighborhood is pretty safe. I know enough of the neighbors that if I have a problem I can go three or four doors down, bang on a door and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt but I’m having a problem.”

I love my neighborhood so much. I appreciate that my neighbors are so friendly with me. I’ve been here for eight years now. I know people.

So it’s not like I’m scared but I really don’t like dealing with it. I feel worn down and tired. Being “thinner” feels more like being a piece of glass that gets thinner and more breakable with time. It’s not a good thing losing mass.

I don’t own a scale and I haven’t in a while and I don’t want to. I don’t care about tracking the number. Knowing it occasionally is just to have data. My recent doctor visit says I went back up to 170. Given the running schedule I’ve put together for the rest of the year… that won’t be true long.

Right now I have a belly. I like my belly. It means my forking pants fit. At this weight my “skinny” pants are tight and my “fat” pants are a bit loose but I can wear everything. It’s convenient.

If I lose a bunch of weight again I should probably just buy some clothes that fit instead of holding my pants on with rope the way I have been doing for a while. I don’t like most belts. So I use the rope belt that Jenny made for her Renaissance Faire costume years ago. She made it by braiding really bright ribbons.

I use this belt all the time. Every time I run it holds up my pants.

Every time I wear the belt I think of Jenny. I think of her kind of silently blessing my endeavors. Jenny loves me. Jenny wants me to keep on keepin’ on.

Being smaller is a weird thing for me. For one thing it means I am more shaped like my mother and that’s a mixed blessing. On one hand, she’s pretty cute. On the other hand… when I catch a glimpse of my body abstractly in a reflection I miss her so much I feel like I get hit with a solid fist of pain.

I want my mommy. I’d much rather be fat and never see her in the mirror again.

But if I’m going to run I don’t think I’m going to pull off fat. No matter how much I eat and let me tell you I try to keep weight on while I’m running. I eat like a hummingbird–my weight sixteen times over a day.

Running puts a natural limit on how much I can eat. After I get accustomed to the pace again I won’t be able to over eat very often. When I’m running my stomach picks a size and that is the size it is. I don’t get to under eat and I don’t get to over eat any more. It’s a really weird feeling. I didn’t exercise as a kid enough to know if that happened then.

So I do my best to eat a lot. I up the calorie density of everything (mmmm butter). But it turns into muscle and I melt away. Because apparently the me I see in the mirror is composed up of a lot of fat.

I don’t actually come from a family of heavy people. The only people in my family background who are heavy are the people with severe mental illness who are entirely sedentary. Everyone who isn’t so depressed they stop functioning is pretty fit.

I think I’ve tried to ignore that most of my life. I’ve always been sedentary and chunky-to-fat.

Losing the label of “fat” is weird and hard. It has been part of my identity for most of my life. I’ve been one of those prideful and hostile people. I don’t mind being fat and I will yell at people who act like it is a problem.

The heavier I am, the less sexualized I am to random men. Of course, there are guys like Noah who like heavy women but they generally are the kind to be chatty and friendly at a party and not the kind who yell things on the street. Which is to say: getting laid isn’t a problem at any size. But I like the invisibility of being heavy in day-to-day life.

My joints bother me off and on. Particularly my hand joints. I now compulsively make the same hand gestures as my mother. This getting old business sucks. As a result I semi-regularly don’t wear my wedding ring set.

I picked a platinum monstrosity. It’s gorgeous and I still feel a giddy thrill of “ohmygod someone let me have this?!” when I look down but it’s solid. Some days I can’t wear it because it makes my finger burn like fire. Which is unpleasant.

Oh holy shit do men feel like it is ok to just get close to me. I don’t remember this from when I was younger. “Hi” is usually the limit of the conversation with the strangers because I think my facial expression is not “welcoming”.

That being scary business is useful.

I wish I could be friendly without getting harassed. Gosh that would be nice.

I can. When I’m fat. So I look at my running schedule for the rest of the year and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I sure like being fit and strong and there are a lot of things I want to go do with my body that require as much or more fitness than I have now. On the other hand… being attractive kind of sucks.

I’m really kind of funny. I spent most of my early life working as hard as possible to attract as much sex as possible and now that it is appropriate (hey–at least more than it was when I was a kid!) I’m trying to figure out how to make it go away. I’m kind of stupid.

I seem to never be willing to do what is expected of me.

It is easy for me to be loving with my body when I’m fat. I feel less betrayed by my presentation to the world. When I’m fat it is easier to take long baths and rub in lots of lotion and give myself gentle touch. When I’m skinnier I tend to take showers and try to get “being naked” over with as fast as possible. I don’t really want to look at or touch myself.

I can tell by my clothing that my weight is shifting a bit. I’m trying to be conscious of the nicer things I do to myself and I’m trying to not stop.

I’m not sure if stopping the nice stuff is because I was that skinny during periods when I was insanely busy or depressed and most of my “me” time available was spent on exercising or working. I didn’t have as much time to sit around and take a bath.

So is it the chicken or the egg? I don’t know.

There are all these layers of things. When I’m running I mostly eat a reasonable diet… only I can’t keep my sugar under control. Sweet bread. That’s my down fall.

The difference is the exercise. When I get into a good routine for exercising, training for longer distances means specific conditioning, it’s a shit-ton of calories. Not to mention that I’m building muscle, which is more efficient at burning calories.

I think I partially stopped running cold because uhm… I was starting to have thigh gap. I think I stopped having thigh gap when I was eight. I don’t feel all that good about having it now. Yes, I’m aware some women are obsessed with it. I do not want to be in that camp. I don’t want to be associated with that camp.

I want to be strong and fit and have the fucking body I’m used to. God damnit.

If I could be a marathon runner with a size 16 body that would be perfect. That’s what I would want if I got to pick a body out of a hat. Unfortunately when I’m seriously training I’m more in the 8/10/12 range depending on brand. I hate the brands that tell me I’m an 8. First of all: no I am not. There are standards, you fuckers. Stop lying to people. Second of all: it is really fucking frustrating to have to take three or four sizes of something into the dressing room in order to find something that fits. Fuck all you fashion bastards.

I fucking hate buying clothes.

And where am I going to store my “fat” clothes? I sure as fuck am not getting rid of any of it. I’ve very carefully found my wardrobe. Maybe under my bed? Oh man.

I like being strong. I don’t like that it seems to come packed with being thin. That seems stupid to me. See, no one asks me what I want. Whine whine whine.

I understand that I live in a time and place where being thinner is a fucking billion dollar industry. (Many billions? I don’t track.) People seem to waste their whole lives on trying to lose weight. I don’t get it.

Ok, I did Weight Watchers when I hit my lifetime maximum weight and I could no longer ride the rides at Disneyland Paris. That bothered me. Being kicked off a ride because I was too physically big was uncomfortable emotionally. So I didn’t want that to be true. Also: I was in the bdsm community and I was on the verge of leaving my Owner and I needed to hunt. So I did lose weight on purpose then.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Then it went away and I wasn’t so happy.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Here we go round again.

I think my lowest adult weight was 148 when I was depressed after Puppy left me and I stopped eating for a month. I was living on a Jamba Juice a day. I got the big size. Sometimes I could swallow cheese. Sometimes it made me puke. This happened right after I moved out on my own to live alone for the first time ever. No one was there to care. So I didn’t care.

My highest non-pregnant weight was 218 as measured at Weight Watchers. I suspect I was a bit heavier a few weeks previously when I was at Disneyland Paris. Pregnant was 222. In between pregnancies and for a lot of my life I hung out in the 180’s. During my previous “more fit” periods I hung out around 165. Running leads me into the low 150’s.

I know some people gain and lose more than a hundred pounds. I know people who have gained and lost more than two hundred pounds. A range of 70 pounds isn’t that extreme. But my body changes a lot. I understand that in the world of Fat Acceptance I max out at what some people consider “skinny fat”. But if I’m fat enough to have employees of department stores sneer at me and tell me I won’t find anything in their store and if I’m fat enough to have people yell it at me while I walk by… it counts.

And every time I gain and lose my body changes shape. I’m hoping that soon I will look matronly enough to be left alone. I notice the dangling chicken wings below my arms with delight. I have old lady arms! Yay!

I’m not dead. I get to be an elder. Even though I’ve never respected my elders, most other people do. People are getting nicer to me with every passing year.

I note these changes with happiness. I feel kind of confused by the people around me who want to remain as young looking as possible. Being young has not been a good stage for me. I want to leave it behind. Far, far behind.

I like being bad ass. I even like being hot. I don’t like being treated like I am responsible for the random desires of men I don’t know. Yeah, I used to be interested and I didn’t mind so much then. Things change. Figuring out the signals is really hard.

I don’t want to be hostile but I haven’t found a better way of getting men to take “no” the first time I say it. Any softer “no” leads to extra pushing. If I am sure the answer is “no” the first time I must say it with great conviction. Otherwise they will push much farther than I want them to. This is consistent.

Anyway. I’ve been running on schedule for about a week now. I’d been running inconsistently one to three times a week for a while. I trained semi-efficiently for the Oakland half in March and I seriously hurt by mile 11. I need to treat my body with more respect and train better this time. Which means being a lot more serious about my cross training and weight training and stretching.

Which means my body is going to change pretty fast. My body, much to my surprise, likes picking up muscle. The more exercise I do the more it snowballs. I come from a family of fit people. My brothers were sports nuts. They had some talent. Tommy’s team was on its way to the Little League nationals when he got hit by a car. (Not literally on the way. The game was a few weeks? days? away. I can’t remember. I was little and living in a different state.) Oops. I never did hear what came of the team. I was too little to care. My other brother was sixth in the state for cross country in high school. But he was expelled two weeks before graduation for having alcohol on campus so it didn’t go anywhere for him. He could have gone to college on scholarship. Whoops.

I understand more now about genetics. When I was a kid I mistook the fact that I was learning for being unable to learn. I thought that because the people around me were so much better than me and they always won that meant I always would lose and I had no ability to improve or ever win.

Now I feel really sad that no one ever stopped and said, “Dude. You are four. Stop comparing yourself to people who are five and eight years older than you. Go compete with people your age. You are doing just fine. Keep trying.”

I gave up before I ever tried. And moving the way I did meant that I never had… anything. I just stayed home because it was the only way to be safe. Being sedentary was mandatory. So I never improved and it became a self-perpetuating “I can’t because I don’t”.

The things I know now…

If I had somehow had the will to exercise I probably would have been a much scarier kid. Probably better that I preferred reading.

But my kids are buff. My kids have so much freedom to move. Sometimes my inner eight year old weeps at how unfair it is that my kids have so much freedom compared to her. That was probably one of the worst periods of “can not leave my room without pain being inflicted on me”. That piece of me is specifically alive and well and bitter as a pull out of my inner child. It is as close as I come to having multiple personalities. The traumas I incurred at different ages have left specific big knots of scar tissue.

I wasn’t hurt physically for all of my life. For most of the time I was just left alone. Even though I am an intensely social person. Just like Shanna, I came alive at the sight of another person. Shanna can, and does, play alone–but it’s very different from her interactions with people. She gets to be with people all day every day. Well, sometimes I tell them to go play and I spend an hour in the garage. But they have never ever been left actually alone in the house. Well, not beyond taking the trash out. I don’t forking count that. I’m on the property. I can hear them.

Stopping to pay attention to this connection (my inner child acting up means my body has more activation and energy and I feel pissy) is part of the re-parenting process. I feel self-conscious and bad because this is part of what I want to get from the home schooling process.

I have to work through my resentment of other people getting “better” than I had. It is a lot of conscious effort to relax and calm down and be able to be present with my children. I have to actively forgive myself for having the childhood I had. It was not my fault. Both of my children are well into the ages when I was out finding neighborhood kids for oral sex. My kids don’t know what oral sex is. It has never entered into their fuzzy little brains. They are too busy whacking things with swords. As they should.

In being nice to my children through their developmental stages I work through understanding what should have happened to me. I learn what appropriate behavior is by reading multiple developmental books and educational theory books. I cross reference and design a model of an “appropriate” teacher for this stage. And I embody it to the best of my ability.

When I fuck up I apologize, explain what I should be doing and I do better next time. Just like my kids do.

We are all in progress here. I tell them, “I have never been a mother to a six year old AND a three year old at the same time before. I am still learning how it works. I’m sorry I made a mistake.”

Our mistakes are small and our forgiveness is huge. It works out.

My children will never remember anything other than a mother who is physically fit. They will not understand that I spent most of my childhood in a depressed haze sitting very still watching the same few VHS tapes over and over and over.

I’m in one of those phases where I understand why the “Trauma Recovery” people say that you have to forgive. My mom was not in a position to give me what I needed. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I can see why I was so hard for her. I’m actually impressed she didn’t beat me more often. Now that I understand the context of her life better… oh poor Mom. I’m not being sarcastic. I feel really bad for her. But I don’t think she could keep from fucking up my kids. Maybe in thirteen or so years I can look her up. We’ll see.

I am a very active person. It’s kind of insane that I spent my childhood as stationary as I did. I get why it happened. But it was really crazy-making.

I did have periods of activity. Auntie was good about making kids go play in the woods. Well, more accurately… she worked night shifts and I was alone most of the time when I lived with her. So I went out into the woods. I couldn’t wander neighborhoods in the random other places we lived because I got lost or got into fist fights. Auntie’s house was consistent enough that I could learn the lay out.

My relationship to my body has always been one of frustration. I have always been torn between being mad that I’m not bigger and being mad that I’m not smaller. Ok, I’ve lost the desire to be smaller. When I was younger and trying harder to pick up sex partners I was wildly jealous of the women who were 5’1″ or shorter. Now I think it would be inconvenient. I retain my desire to be bigger so that I could be more physically capable. I just don’t have the leverage to do some things. It is really annoying.

It has always been weird how much I trade off using my actual weight for using strength as I get smaller. Many of the tricks to use my weight as leverage stop working. Even twenty pounds of difference is a lot. That’s a lot of strength to make up.

Bodies are complicated.


If you do much research on mental illness, or really any undesirable behavior you want to eliminate, distraction is key.

This week in therapy my shrink spent a lot of time harping on the idea that I need to start being a lot more choosy about who I allow into my life. I always wonder how much my shrinks judge me. No, actually I don’t wonder very often or I would be very paranoid. Occasionally I wonder. When therapists very rarely encourage me towards squeezing people out of my life (it is rare but it happens) I always wonder how long they have sat on that impulse.

When did my description of my friend start bothering you? They never tell me, of course.

Therapy is such a weird beast. It is a relationship but not a a real one. It is unidirectional and unbalanced. There is honesty but not full honesty. Truth but not the whole truth. The whole truth involves someones opinions which I shouldn’t be taking into consideration.

I shouldn’t change to make my therapist happy. She otherwise isn’t part of my life. I should not alter the support I get to make her happy.

But sometimes you do have to follow their advice because they are right. She doesn’t say “so and so is icki” she says “what do you get from this relationship and what do you give to it? If the balance doesn’t work for you then you need to move on”. She says to me, “I know that for most of your life you have had to accept relationships with anyone who wanted to have a relationship with you. That is no longer true. You need to keep your children safe.”

I was raped over and over because I made a lot of stupid choices. Because I accept any relationship that is offered. Because I don’t say “no” when I should.

Yeah yeah yeah people think of me as being overly firm with my “no” delivery. You only know what my life is like after more than half a dozen rapes or more. The people who have known me the longest met me when I had been raped at least half a dozen times.

The things that happen to you change you. I did not know how to say “no”. I have learned to say it loudly and firmly. Loudly and firmly enough that I often bother people who wish I was “softer” about the process. Oh fucking well.

“Most people have no more than five people in their true inner circle.” (Quoting my shrink again.)

Jenny. Noah. K. My kids. Pam. That’s six. I have absolute trust in their love for me. Do I feel that way about anyone else? Not really. Jenny bought her way in by being the only person who comforted me during a horrible childhood. K has been the single most helpful person by a humongous margin during the parenting journey. I talk to her more often than anyone I don’t live with. I think she is the most motherly friend I have ever had. She has actually shown up when the rubber meets the road for the past few years. Pam has been with me for more than half of my life. To the best of my recollection I have gotten really pissed off at her, but never for actual boundary violations. I can’t remember one.

Other people were in the inner circle at other points. When they were able to show up. Life changes. I don’t stop loving them. Not a jot. But I don’t have trust any more. If I search my body this moment I’m not angry about the fact that I have seen the waxing and waning of so many friendships. They were with me when it made sense. It doesn’t make as much sense any more.

I can’t explain what it was like in my childhood. I was not allowed to cry. My crying irritated people and it was beaten out of me. That’s a lot of why I cry so much now. I was horribly brutalized and then punished if I grieved.

want to write in excruciating detail about my current emotional outpouring towards people. But I don’t want it as part of the record. There are names I don’t write about. Lots of them. There are lots of specific details I don’t want to announce in public. Mostly because I’m aware that my perceptions are highly biased and I’m a much bigger judgmental asshole than people understand and I need to keep it that way.

I don’t want the fall out. I’m that lame. So I’m having trouble working through the emotions. Writing things out is a lot of how I get rid of things. It has become very useful for me over the years. (Yes, people who like people journals get these things out without the public fall out. Clearly I don’t write that way. You don’t get to pick the writing talent you get. You just get it.)

So I’ve been looking for distraction. Painting went so breathtakingly well. The only time I raised my voice was when Shanna was backing into an open paint can. (It was a good save. She wasn’t cranky.) *phew* I did it.

I’m reorganizing toys again. Because I like playing house. Because it makes me happy. I refine how I organize as I watch them use things. I try to figure out where how to have things “live” where they are played with. I want to make their set up convenient for them so it is easy for them to clean up.

It is hard to find a system when you are a kid. You literally don’t have the schema to do it. Kids need to be shown how to find systems. Some people are naturally very gifted, but usually there is the overall framework of systemization within their life and that is why they are so accustomed.

I’m not very good at providing constant systemic living. I will never run a prison. I believe that needs and wants change dramatically over time and it is good to be constantly tweaking your system to be more appropriate for where you are today.

Sustainability is hard to find. What can you keep up? Deciding to be rigid in your system means you exclude millions of awesome options. I like trying lots of things. I need more flexibility.

It is hard reading my shrinks’ evaluation of me. I don’t think it is accurate that I can’t work because of relational issues. Although I had a lot of job volatility throughout my work life. Ha.

Today will be fun. I have babysitting time this morning. I am going to sit here and do all the work for the home school yearbook. (I’m a slacker. I should have done this a month ago.) I need to go to REI. That will be festive. I’m glad I can do it without the kids. I would like to work on the reading list for the book, but I only get three hours. I will need to get it done soon. Blah.

I need to do scheduling today. I need to plan out my running and exercise. I’m doing a half marathon with a friend in October and I’m really not doing appropriate exercise to support that. I have to start. It takes planning or I just don’t get it done. Deep sigh.

I don’t understand how other people naturally just do exercise. I have to plan how I will force myself. I have to have a reason to exercise–an upcoming obligation that will require my body to have something it doesn’t have right now. Long-term planning is too hard.

Distraction. What is distraction? What is focus? What am I doing with my life? Are the people who come and go the focus or a distraction? Is the painting a distraction or a focus? Is reorganizing the toys so they are easier for the kids to clean up a distraction or a focus?

Isn’t it all about your priorities? Isn’t it different for every person you ask?

Is writing a distraction from my life or one of the focuses in my life? Gardening? House maintenance (both of the repair and of the cleaning variety)?

What is life?

What does it mean to have a focus in your life? I read a lot about what other people do with their time. You can tell what people care about by looking at how they spend their time.

It’s ok that we are all different. If we were all the same that would be boring. We need symbiotic relationships.

The inner circle doesn’t mean that you only have relationships with people you trust that much. There are lots of other kinds of relationships. It is ok to share smaller pieces of yourself with people.

And it’s ok to walk away when it no longer works for you.

It doesn’t make me a bad person. People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Not everyone will be there forever.

There are some perverts who probably shouldn’t be around my kids. I recognize that in a larger sense–my kids are not exposed to the broader bdsm community.

Things that are ok for me aren’t necessarily ok for my kids. My kids are impressionable.

Boundaries are complicated.

What makes someone an asshole? Caring about their own needs to the point where they are ok with other people getting hurt sometimes as they take care of themselves.

What makes someone a bitch? Saying or doing things to hurt other people on purpose to be spiteful.

Notice how the gendered one is a lot nastier? I notice that in my language.

I’m an asshole. I try hard to not be a bitch.

I don’t have time to explain why this dude is wrong. There are so many ways he is wrong that I would permanently damage my arms. Ain’t worth it.

I get to walk away. Yeah, it might hurt you but I am not obligated to sit around and tend your feelings. Notice how you have never tended mine? Fuck right off.

But spite isn’t necessary. What’s the difference? When you are writing, what’s the damn difference?

Well, I say fuck you to the universe but I don’t say it to people. I don’t publicly (or privately) slam people when I end a relationship. In general I maintain a policy of being very positive when I talk about former friends/partners/acquaintances. I’m well-fucking-aware that you are judged by how you judge other people

So I’m an asshole, but I try to limit the scope.

always have the right to walk away. It is the most American attitude one can have. Well, or the other American attitude “I have the right to own a gun so I can shoot people who seem scary“.

I seem scary to a lot of people. To the point where strangers will comment on it in public. I worry a lot about guns.

I kind of hope that the next revolution in this country is a call to disarmament. Citizens give up their guns so that police can de-militarize.

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice to stop hearing about mass shootings at schools?

And wouldn’t it be nice if white people were called terrorists when they instill terror just like people of other races? Parity in discussion would help us figure out the common solutions.

I need to answer a whole bunch of emails. I haven’t forgotten you. I just… haven’t scheduled yet. Scheduling goes in batches. I can’t handle adding things in between scheduling-fests. Then I get “over scheduled” and I’m shaking by the end of the month. It sucks.

Tonight I get to have dinner with an old friend before we go to the Diana Gabaldon reading. I’m excited. There’s a new book in a series I love.

This will be the very first time I’ve ever been to a reading for an author I know. I have heard random people at college but I had no previous knowledge of them. A step towards fandom I guess?

What is the focus of your life? How do your actions support that? How does your time spent support that? How does your energy spent support that?

When you are old, what will you appreciate more? That you spent time working in your garden or that you spent time with people you will definitely not know by then? Depends on the person. Depends on how the time with them is spent.

Sometimes you need to pick the garden.

Boundaries are hard. Being an asshole is hard.

The lucky one

I woke up feeling positive affect. (That means I’m in a good mood.) Since I spend so much time feeling shitty (and writing about it) sometimes I like to make sure I show some balance. I feel some balance. My feelings aren’t *balanced* but there are representative samples from many points on the spectrum.

If you know what I mean.

Anyway, really it started yesterday. Yesterday was a fairly mellow day. I did gardening and some house cleaning and the kids and I read and played. Nice day.

At one point I was getting angry with the kids for outright refusing to clean up so we could go do something I wanted to do I started getting loud. At one point I started shrieking, “Am I going to have to scream? Is that the..” I cut myself off. I stood very still and took several deep breaths.

“No one ever has to scream. That is a false choice. No, I can ask this without screaming. That would be a failure on my part. Baby, please just pick stuff up.”

Shanna smiled huge, gave me a big thumbs up, winked and said, “Good job mom! You totally calmed yourself down there and I’m really proud of you for recognizing that you never need to scream.”

We only got like 70% of the picking up done. I let it go. I felt a little embarrassed by Shanna’s commentary. And happy at the same time.

I like and appreciate and value people watching me enough to make positive comments on my behavior progress. It’s a little weird having my kids give me those sorts of compliments. But I take positive opinions where I can get them.

At bed time Shanna asked me something about the time before kids. I said, “Know how I get grumpy sometimes” “Yeah” “Well… I was way more grumpy and mean and I used to hit people pretty frequently when I was mad.”

She looked at me with as much shock and horror as if I said I like to sit around dumping salt on snails all day long.

Then I said, “You know how I am sad sometimes and I cry pretty often?” “Yeah” “Well before you were born I cried a lot more. I was very sad about most of the things in my life.”

She looked kind of troubled.

Then I said, “Know how I am mostly happy and cheerful these days?” “Yeah!” “That’s because of you. That started when you were born. Your dad helps a lot because he is the nicest person to me I’ve ever met. Your sister helps. All three of you give me so much love that it feels like maybe some day I will be able to stop crying.”

She hugged me fiercely.

I am deeply aware that people who are as broken as me usually don’t get to “pass” into happy families. That’s not usually a life path that opens up in front of us. Some days I understand in the depths of my soul that I am one of the lucky ones.

For every bad thing that has happened to me I have had some other corollary thing that was positive. I have had an unusual amount of privilege. Not just white privilege, not just female privilege (which exists in my entirely judgmental opinion) … it’s more than that.

Sometimes I feel like a cuckoo. I can be dropped in any nest and I will manage to survive. I have had access to some ridiculously prestigious spaces. I was trailer trash for a long time. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been in a wide variety of $5million + homes. I’ve been in $20 million homes. That is a kind of access that isn’t available to everyone.

I’ve seen enough things to continually inspire me. I can walk into any situation and find the perks and downsides. There are always perks. There are always downsides.

They say that people who deal with depression perceive the world far more accurately than average. In reality, the world sucks.

I go back and forth between feeling flattened by the limits I perceive and knowing that if I can’t find a way I will make a way. All of the limits you perceive are just obstacles. No matter how big or frustrating.

We sent someone to the moon. What the fuck else can our species do?!

I have thirteen chapters left to edit for the book. Many of them are only two or three pages long so that’s not so bad.

Then I need to do the pull out sections. Definition pages. Resources lists. Bibliography. Ew. Ew. Ew. Writing sucks.

But! I’m thinking about doing one of those fancy-ass annotated bibliographies. Where I not only give them a list of resources (internet, book, phone) but give short descriptions of how and when they are useful and where they fail. That saves other people a lot of time trying things out that won’t be a good fit.

It is hard to talk about this book. If I get a few more readers who tell me that they like it and think it is full of useful information I hope it will be less hard to talk about. Yesterday I tried to explain it to our teenage babysitter. She’s a religiously home schooled sixteen year old. Ok fine, my kids aren’t sheltered in the scheme of things.

But she asked me what the book is about. I said it is a book about harm reduction aimed at middle school kids. I asked her if she is sort of familiar with the Alcoholics Anonymous method where you must be 100% abstinent forever and convince yourself that you are powerless. She said yes. I said, “Well… not many people do well with AA. It doesn’t have the highest success rate. Most people do negative things: drugs, alcohol, cutting themselves, other bad coping methods because they have things going in their lives that are genuinely causing them pain. Telling them to stop the coping method without solving the pain is really stupid. It’s not that you need to just learn to bear this pain forever all day with the grace of god. It’s that you need to lessen how much pain you are in so you don’t need to be doing the bad things.”

She said, “That sounds like a really good book. I hope I get to read it soon.”

If I can help other people feel less pain, that’s a mitzvah. That’s a life’s work. That is worthy.

Even if there isn’t a lot of money in it. I have Noah. I have the privilege to not care.

I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel because I get to live my life any fucking way I want. The limits I run into are more self-imposed then exterior.

could go buy a fancy RV. But I’d rather put that extra $20k into my mortgage so I can stop paying fucking interest. Maybe after the house is paid off and my kids are teenagers the four of us will have an interest in a bigger RV as a way of longer term traveling. If I want to waste money on it then it will be ok. It will be after the WWOOF year. So if I am on track for college savings and retirement savings… why not?

After I remodel my house. I don’t want to spend $25,000 on a vehicle before I spend $25,000 upgrading my bathroom.

If these are the limits of my life… I really have no room to bitch. First World Problems as they like to say.

I look at all the books in my house and I feel lucky. I get to read… almost as much as I want. The kids complain if I read too much.

Today, if the kids are willing to clean up, we are going to the water park. (Last night I only asked for the living room to be cleaned up so that their poor gimp-tastic father could walk around without injury. If you want me to take you to a kids play place… pick up ALL of your stuff. Or no.)

Then this afternoon our beloved Taylor is coming. My back is looking forward to this. I should probably get dressed and go run right now before breakfast. Then it will be done for the day.

I am so grateful that I’ve found a sometimes-running buddy. I’m looking forward to a half marathon with her in October. I am looking forward to training again. My body feels a lot better under those conditions.

Ok, go run.

What behavior should I have.

I’m not sure what to think about something. When someone adamantly insists, “I’m not being hostile or aggressive” but a sample of more than ten people all perceive someone as being both hostile and aggressive… something is broken in the process. Maybe there are some learned behaviors that appear hostile and aggressive that are happening unconsciously whether you feel that way or not.

Body telegraphing, if you will.

People certainly believe they have the right to punish you for variations from the emotional affect they believe you should have. You think I’m wrong? Watch little kids in a classroom. They are punished routinely for having the wrong attitude.

I worry about being someone who tone polices other people. I don’t think that is good juju. (I am reading Ashe Dryden because she wrote a neat article.)

If someone jumps up and down saying they aren’t angry but their body language is perceived as being aggressive they will be punished.

You have to learn how to “show” the same “feelings” as the people around you or you will be punished. It’s a lot more complicated than it seems. It is very cultural and people are required to adapt from environment to environment or they will be punished.

Try church hopping if you want an example of this. Holy toledo.

Silencing is the word Ashe uses.

Human communities are communities whether they are individual tech companies, web forums, bdsm communities, churches, schools, retail stores, or fast food chains in my experience. We don’t get away from our innate desire to find people who validate us and make us feel better about being the way we are.

When people tell me they don’t have that desire they are usually arguing about why they want to keep their social status on a website forum because they aren’t interested in other forms of social status. Whatever dude. I feel you. I go through my forum phases and I don’t judge.

The internet is going to change everything.

Only it won’t change a god damn thing. Because we will just bring all the everything with us. I am interested in what will happen. I still kind of hope that I will live through another revolution of some kind.

I mean, I already am. Not really. But I am living through the transition from the Industrial Age into the Technology Era and I’m doing it in the time and place where that is being made. I am sitting in my garage staring at a device that would seem like magic to any of my grandparents.

All of my grandparents died before 1990 and three of them died before 1980. They couldn’t imagine my MacBook Air. It’s playing music. I can see my pictures organized on a screen behind the one on which my magic typewriter is writing. My typewriter isn’t even attached to anything–it just floats free and has a magic sensor that lets it talk to my laptop.

Magic I tell you.

That’s a revolution in and of itself. The sheer access to information I have had in my life is magic. I used to have a lot of spare time. You know what I did? I read. A lot of it was shit. But I learned words. I learned concepts. I have the ability to imagine things that I’m pretty sure my family still can’t. Not because they couldn’t–but they are incredibly unlikely to care.

My grandparents would probably all be horrified by me if they knew me, even if they only saw the “settled” results. I did end up in a heterosexual relationship with two kids. I do dress them very conservatively. In some ways, shouldn’t I be worthy of approval?

Nope. I tell my kids they don’t owe any fucking adult their god damn submission. If someone tells you to do something that isn’t about your *safety* you need to decide how much you care about honoring their request. Don’t make messes other peoples have to clean up–that’s an asshole thing to do. But a lot of people are going to randomly tell you yes or no or whatever just to feel powerful. They have no power over you. You don’t have to fucking care if they approve of whether you are obedient enough.

That’s just not relevant.

So I’m pretty sure my grandparents wouldn’t approve. And yet their living great grandmother thinks they are awesome. She works with poor kids in a poor rural area. My kids know so much. They can talk about so many things. She’s not used to dealing with kids who are talked to one on one all day.

I think a lot about the things I learned from Sobonfu. Your ancestors are tied to you. It is their fault you are here so they owe you. It doesn’t matter if they like it. They can suck it. If they didn’t want to be responsible for you then they should have been more careful about what they sowed, eh?

I really like that view. I was raised with the opposite idea. That we owe permanent obedience and service to the ancestors for the blessing of birth. I hate my system.

I, however, have read enough economics to understand why “let the ancestors take care of things” is mixed.

Dependence. Obedience. How much do these things matter in communities, businesses, humans?

I don’t know. But writing time is over.

Oh! I ran the half marathon. My time was approximately 2:52. I don’t have the official race results yet. The early part was great. I kept pace with the 2:40 pacer up until mile 11 when I started having ankle spasms. I feel quite proud of my ability to finish under 3 hours given how much that hurt. It didn’t hurt if I walked very carefully. Only if I bent my feet.

Ok, now to schedule the next half and figure out what exercises I should be doing to strengthen that muscle. Holy shit ow.

my life is good when I’m not chemically out of whack

The new ergonomic keyboard doesn’t have all the parts necessary to work. This is annoying. That is going to be the low point of my day. Which is really cool. I can exchange my biggest problem of the day.

Every single day I wake up grateful for Noah. He is so nice to me. He is so kind. I have received more love and caring in the past seven years than in the previous twenty-five years put together. I am so lucky.

Many people have childhoods as bad as mine. Most of them don’t go on to have happy adult lives. At this point in time my strife feels like stuff I’m opting into or it is so structurally vast that it isn’t really a day-to-day problem for me. I have conflicts with my friends because I pick intelligent, opinionated, fierce people for my life. I go out and hand select them out of the bunch of quieter and more complaisant people. I can’t bitch that we have conflict. I can learn how to manage it without having a heart attack–damnit. Or I’m fighting things like rape culture and whereas it is a problem every day it isn’t a Daily Problem if you know what I mean.

If I was hungry that would be a Daily Problem. If I didn’t know how I was going to pay rent that would be a Daily Problem. I don’t have those kinds of problems anymore. My big problems are that sometimes my kids scream more than I like or I am inconvenienced by a major electronics retailer.

I just can’t bitch too loud, you know?

My garden is so beautiful lately that it takes my breath away. I MADE THAT MOTHERFUCKER!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!! *happy dance*

I no longer feel like everything I touch turns to shit. Some stuff doesn’t work out. It isn’t all my fault and I am not poison. I can do things. My corn is popping up. Clearly I can do something.

I see so much green. I have more plans. It’s going to take years and every day of work will be a joy. I get to stay here long enough to make long-term plans. I get to dream about the future. Shanna likes to talk about building one of the houses next door so we can tear down the fence between the yards and build a second story walkway between the houses. (Technically she just wanted to fully connect the houses. I voted for the second floor walkway so we could still have the side yards in between for plants. She decided that I am smarter than I look. She is my kid.)

I think that sounds pretty magical and wonderful. When I remodel my house I am getting a sound proof room so my husband can beat me and no one will hear. I want to have that privacy in the future (I’m kind of sick of not being able to play at home) but I also want to have the connection with my kids. I like them as people. It’s not about having control over them forever. I enjoy their company. If they enjoy mine I’d be thrilled to keep hanging out with them. I genuinely like them.

I feel so lucky.

When you decide at seventeen that what you want is to be a home schooling parent there is a lot of room for things to not work out. I feel blessed that not only did I find a partner who is supportive but my children and I happen to have compatible temperaments. They have a lot of freedom to do things that bug me without penalty. Frequently I will acknowledge, “This is not my favorite thing. But I don’t get to control everything you do. I hope it goes well. I can’t watch.”

I feel incredibly lucky that my dreams are coming true and it’s actually a pleasant process. That is a rare dichotomy. Usually if you get what you want you find out it isn’t that great.

Noah is that great. The joy I feel spending all day with my kids is that great.

This weekend was basically perfect. I ran 12 miles. Socialized with a very old friend (16 years and counting–more than half my life now) for three hours; rocky stuff happening in her life but I’m glad she has the fortitude to take the steps she needs to take. It is kind of amazing the way her life is 100% different than it was three years ago. She has a new job in an entirely new field (she left theatre) she has a kid and she’s about to be single for the first time in a very long time. That’s a lot of big changes. Got an ergonomic keyboard and new running shoes. Otherwise we hid in the house. That’s a very slow weekend for us. Eight hours of bustle for me and no one else.

Of course because I was in the house and only busy for eight hours out of forty-eight I did a bunch of yardwork. Grow wildflowers, grow. Damn you. I hung up the hanging pots! I’ve had them for over a year and I haven’t gotten around to it. I’m getting all my residual chores done that I’ve been procrastinating on now that I’m procrastinating on editing. Doo de doo. I’ll get it done.

And the petition. I’m going for upbeat, friendly, everyone should get to live here without pain.

I’m really grateful that my neighbors are becoming so much more friendly over time. I will know everyone on the block some day. We have a new family! With kids! They are visibly Islamic so I will cross my fingers that I can behave in a socially appropriate enough way to manage to not offend the parents so our kids can be friends. My lifestyle is different. I won’t corrupt your young children.

I will wait until they are teenagers.


I will corrupt them with ideas like, “No one gets to touch any part of your body unless you actively want it to happen. If someone does so, find other adults who can help you deal with the situation.”

And, “Sex is awesome and if you want to have it then that is between you and your conscious. If you are going to have heterosexual sex, use two forms of birth control every single time you have sex. Always a condom no matter what. Always another form of birth control for the woman. If you are going to have homosexual sex then one barrier is fine. Use barriers. Every time. Even for oral.”

When you are young you don’t know what is going to happen to you 50 years from now. You won’t know you want to do until you get there. Leave as many options open as possible. Protect your body and your sexual health. There are no take backs once you contract a disease and you can’t tell by looking at people who has what. Even medical testing is iffy for a lot of diseases. Protect yourself until you are ready to have children. Or you get married and are on permanent birth control because you have ruled out kids. I don’t care what married people do. When you are a kid and you can’t take care of a kid, USE BIRTH CONTROL.

I support you having one kid, two kids, twelve kids, twenty kids (though I will instinctively wince just because oh man I can’t imagine that) or no kids at all because oh man kids are icki.

Maybe I will corrupt your kids. I want to introduce them to the concept of plurality. There can be more than one right answer. Your way isn’t the only way. My way isn’t the only way.

I admire many of the tenants of faith from all of the major religions. I think religion is mostly a set of written down rules on how to be good. Every one has their own idea of what “good” means. I think there need to be many sets of rules because we need many kinds of people.

All progress depends on the unreasonable (wo)man. If no one has a belief that is unreasonable to you then progress won’t be made. We have to stretch the borders of acceptable parameters.

Yes, autistic ways of being should be better understood and supported from earlier in life so that folks have an easier adulthood. I struggle with how to deal the bitterness from the current adults who didn’t get any help.

I understand what it feels like to desperately need help during your childhood and to not get it. I have more options for help now that I’m an adult. Autistic adults… not so much. The vast majority of all people with mental illness do not have the resources I have.

I am one of the lucky ones. How much of that is privilege granted to me by the color of my skin? How much of that has been my ability to meet the right people so I can get help? How much of that is that I first had access to state funded therapy and then I had good health insurance and then I had a rich husband?

If you prosecute your rapist then you get state funded therapy. You will be part of the victim-witness support network. That shit is worth its weight in gold. My PTSD has been classified as severe for more than half my life. The state has a vested interest in keeping me off of a bell tower with an Uzi. The state also wants me to not kill myself. The state put a lot of money into educating me and the state wants a productive citizen out of the deal, damnit.

“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” JFK was a guilt trippin’ motherfucker. But he’s right.

My autistic friends teach me over and over and over and over that it really doesn’t matter what you “mean” when you say something. It matters what other people see, hear, and feel as a result of you saying something. If you play it right then you get the reaction and relationship you want. If you play it wrong then you alienate people and they hate you and blame their feelings of discomfort on you.

I’m such an asshole. I totally treat other people the way I am treated. Them’s just the rules of the jungle.

But if you consciously believe with your whole heart that it takes all kinds and there is value to every life then you ought not to be that kind of asshole. This is troubling. This is where my ethics and morals and behavior don’t line up. This is not so cool. Ok. When your behavior doesn’t match your ethics you have a few choices.

A) Ignore the mismatch and be a flaming hypocrite.

B) Acknowledge the mismatch and say, “But I have REASONS” and be a flaming hypocrite.

C) Acknowledge the mismatch and decide whether to change your ethics/morals or your behavior. This has mandatory follow up steps if the goal is to change your behavior. If you have no later checks then you will resort to “easier” instead of doing what is right.

Well, as much as I believe that it takes all kinds and everyone is valuable and shit I think that people have the right to reject me. I believe that people have the right to not want to know me. I believe that people have the right to not invite me to their parties and not invite me to their homes because I am rude and offensive. They don’t even need a reason. They can just be not that interested in me.

They have the right to not want to be my friend. I don’t get to take that away from them just because I long for community.

Like my neighbors. Some engage with me more than others. Even the ones who are clearly uninterested in a relationship they have gotten to the point of obvious recognition and acknowledgment of humanity.

My monkey sphere is pretty fucking full. It’s ok that not everyone in the whole world wants to be my best friend. I am incredibly overwhelmingly lucky to have the diverse relationships I have.

Not all of my friends are “nice people”. Some of them are canonical “nice people”. I like variety. I have something to learn from everyone. I am imperfect but striving. That is all I can do.

I’m glad when the anger passes. When the sudden rage dissipates. I don’t really “know” what causes it. It’s about a lot of different factors all exploding at once. It’s different every time.

In the wake of it I feel gratitude for the absence. I’m glad I didn’t fuck up a relationship. I didn’t scream. (One yell. But it was of the “I WOULD LIKE TO FINISH A SENTENCE WITHOUT BEING INTERRUPTED” variety and there are much worse things I could have done. Not great but I call it a win anyway.)

Children are supposed to test boundaries. That is the whole point of childhood. You learn what happens when you do things.

Shanna tries to be a joker. She likes to lighten the mood. She wants to make a face and make me laugh and have everything be all better now. It’s honestly kind of weird to me. Some of her “joking” faces have all the markers of “I want to start a fist fight”. I have taken to asking, “Is that a silly face or an angry face?” The answer is almost always, “Silly!” (She does get mad too–but that’s usually more clear and related to a situation I can understand.)

When my kids ask me to lighten up I either do so or leave the room until I can calm down because I’m flooding. They have a right to not be around a stress-tastic person. I want them to learn how to have boundaries too.

The thing about our relationship is that we always come back and snuggle after tense moments. We are incredibly physically affectionate. If my kids rejected my affection I would stop but they beg for more. I hug, cuddle, and kiss them hundreds or thousands of times a day. Maybe we have the odd day when I only kiss the top of their heads like ten times.

We check in and then we run off to do our thing again.

Are you still there? I still love you and want to be around you. Ok, I’m going to do my thing again.

I have wanted this my whole life.

I feel horrible guilt but at this point I can have two to three hours by myself on many days. My kids can be told to go in the back yard with snacks and they don’t come back for hours. I feel like I shouldn’t be abandoning them for those periods. But it’s good for all of us so I do it. Other parents don’t force their kids to be alone so they can get alone time. They put their kids in daycare so they can play with other kids instead of being forced into solitude. I don’t feel like a nice mom.

I would feel differently if Shanna were less social. I think Calli loves it. She checks in when she needs to for her hug and kiss and then she goes back to playing.

I spend my days making up songs about how much and why I love my kids. My children will not be the type to grow up and wonder if their parents loved them. My kids are more on the smothered end. Only I take them to the park and classes and parties and turn them loose. They are very engaged with the world and they do not allow me to mediate any more. Shanna flat tells me to leave her alone at parties. She knows that my anxiety cramps her style. It’s… a little weird. But she seems to be working with what she has so we’ll see where it takes her.

I’m not the boss of her life. I mean, I sort of am for a little while. But not for forever. It is my job to teach her the rote body memory necessary for caring for yourself with ease an adult. You will just be used to “This is what we do all day to take care of our bodies.” It won’t be this weird thing that involves transactions with other people all day long to get your basic needs met.

The thing I hate the most about all the American bastards who wrote about “self sufficiency” and “self reliance” and living out in the woods by themselves WOULD HAVE STARVED if not for the generosity of women in their communities.

Fuck your self reliance.

And yet! There is a basic level of self care that I believe that every human being should have. I feel rather disturbed by the number of adults I know who say, “I can barely boil water”. What the hell. That shows a dramatic and disturbing hole in your education. Your parents failed you. I’m sorry for that.

See, I’m a judgmental bastard all over the place.

And if you catch me on the wrong day I may rant at you about how debt (in particular consumer debt and school loans) is the boogeyman. It will eat your soul. It will force you into a crappy and terrible life where you have no ability to change the system. Debt will make you a slave.

Ugh and ick. I’m looking forward to the days of not having a mortgage. I feel grateful for this fact. I’m scared I won’t manage it in the five years I was hoping to do it. I’m afraid it may take six or seven because then we will have to come up with mortgage payments during the WWOOF year and that will be kind of annoying.

But it wouldn’t be the end of the year. And maybe if we rented out our house for pretty much the mortgage we could make it work.

“I will find a way or make one.” Roman Carthaginian general Hannibal didn’t fuck around.

The number of opportunities in your life increase as you build skills. I feel increasingly confident that I can meet the challenges that come my way. I may not get rich–but I think I will manage our resources well enough to not eat cat food in my old age. At that point my supposed food ethics may go to hell. I will eat what I can afford. I had better never develop actual gluten issues or I’m fucked. Giving up ramen would be traumatic.

I don’t have a lot of answers. I think I am ready to set some boundaries in a nice voice without being an asshole. I feel more relaxed after the weekend. I feel grateful that my problems are this small.

Six days till my next race. I’m ready but I may be slow. That will be ok too. I hope to best  three hours. We’ll see.

My life is pretty cool.


Today I took the girls to visit an old friend of mine. I haven’t seen her much since I had kids. She’s older than me and she has a grown daughter. Talking to her is different now than it used to be.

Now she actively tries to tell me not to use her as an example. I don’t know if she was simply unaware of how I tried to pattern match off of her in the past or if it seemed more harmless.

Now she adamantly tells me that I should not make similar choices to her. She is not all that happy with the far side of the parenting road and she thinks that she made a lot of wrong choices.

Given that she is a specialist who works with developmentally delayed children (wow I know a lot of them) I did my normal poke, “Several friends think I should have Calli evaluated as potentially somewhere on the spectrum or possibly a speech delay. What do you think?”

She snickered. She said, “I have a 3.5 year old client who can point and say “unh” when he wants something. She’s really not delayed.”

This was kind of weird because I realized how much I want to brush off the encouraging and/or positive comments I receive about my children. Instead I worry and worry about the outliers who tell me, “I think you should ____”.

I never know how to feel about that. I don’t spend a lot of time talking about it, but lots of strangers stop me to grab my shoulders and stare at me in a really intense way and say, “Do you know how exceptional your child is?”

It happens every few months. I uhhh don’t know how to react. This is usually after ten or so minutes talking to Shanna. Talking about that sounds like bragging but honestly it makes me uncomfortable.

It’s not like it only comes from the sweet old grandmothers. It comes from a wide variety of people in a wide variety of circumstances. They are a lot easier to brush off and not think about much. I worry about the criticisms.

I want to believe that people are seeing the real experience of my life when they see potential areas I’m fucking up and not when it’s going right. The going right must be a fluke, right? I don’t believe compliments or positive statements. Although I’m not looney–I know my oldest child is advanced in speaking. But yeah. Whatever. How’s that going to effect the price of tea in China?

When I first knew a lot of my friends as mothers they were still young-ish mothers. I knew them through the periods they talk of with regret. It’s weird to now hear that side of it because I didn’t know anything at the time. I thought they were so great. Now they tell me not so much.

I’m worried, like I am. What am I fucking up? What am I missing? What am I not catching that a competent professional would catch?

Then I went on to read a thread on a homeschool email list about the idea of seeing a speech pathologist/therapist/getting kids evaluated for autism/etc other labels. The point was made that many, most issues (like speech stuff) would naturally resolve around six but we put kids into therapy earlier than that “so they don’t get used to the stigma of being deficient”. (Not my phrasing–emphasis is mine.)

It was a long thread and I’m quoting a very small part and the person I’m quoting had many interesting ideas so I’m not trying to paint it badly. But it was one of those “howdy there, juxtaposition” moments. (I’m working my way through a book on how people reach insights. It’s fascinating how connections layer.)

Anyway. The point was I think it is kind of interesting that I’m dithering about getting Calli evaluated. I have not been able to make up my mind if I want to pursue it or not. If she has speech delay it is extremely minor and most kids resolve minor issues on their own by six. She doesn’t have a severe speech issue. That is clear. She seems to have some difficulty with some sounds, but we do exercises. I’m not sure speech therapy would have much to offer her. The pediatrician does the basic autism screening and has at every appointment. The pediatrician says Calli is fine. But I worry.

And I hesitate to put my sticky little feet near the waters of the system. Do I really want my local school system building a dossier on my kids so that they can pester me about what I’m doing and whether I’m doing it right?

I go back and forth about how I feel about working with charter schools and it comes down to, ultimately, the fact that if I got the wrong “supervising teacher” to work with I would explode with rage.

That’s not so healthy or functional, I know.

I don’t do well with people who have a small amount of arbitrary power and then are petty. It’s a super common trait though and not a situation I really want to deal with.

But I worry about the idea that I am flying blind with no one to supervise me. The trouble is finding someone I respect who would be in an appropriate position to work with me. Mostly I just ask different people who have different specialties for informal evaluations.

Yeah. I feel mixed about the “methodology” I’m following. It’s uhm. Well. It’s unschooling. I don’t have a rubric of right or wrong. I’m just… doing.

What I’m trying to do is teach me and Shanna and Calli how to be polite to people. We have very good manners together. We can go to a grown-up only house and behave exactly how we should because there are Rules and we gosh darn spend the whole car ride there going over them. There are different rules for different places

I consciously and deliberately always specify why a rule exists.

You know that obnoxious “why” phase parents bitch about? We don’t have much of that here. I explain why before they can ever stop to consider how to react to an arbitrary rule. We don’t have many arbitrary rules.

Even “no food on the carpet” is “except on party days or very rarely with something that has NO CRUMBS”.

I need my children to be able to pick up on subtle behavior clues. I need it like I need water. It is not normal or natural to be as obsessed with it as I am. That means that it is not acceptable for me to expect my children to just be able to do it.

It means I have to explicitly teach my children how to evaluate how to talk to people. It means I have to go through and explain detailed body language stuff. We work on it a lot.

It’s controlling and wacky and crazy. But I tell them a lot, “I’m teaching you what I have learned. I don’t know everything. Sometimes I’m just flat wrong. As you grow up you will have different experiences than I’ve had and you will decide that I’m very wrong about some things. That happens to the best of us. For now, try to get some idea of what I’m looking at. It will take time and practice and you are going to make some mistakes and feel embarrassed. Brush it off and try again. You have to fail a million times before you can be an expert at anything.”

I want my kids to have the self confidence that comes from being allowed to try 30 things that fail before you find something that works.

And that means I frustrate the shit out of them.

I sorta think of myself as aspiring to be a cross of Mary Poppins, Mr. Miyagi, and Professor McGonagall. But more cuddly than that list implies.

I’m very demanding and exacting and I expect that is going to suck to live with long-term. We’ll see.

I don’t like curriculum but we talk about history a lot. I believe that studying history is important because many of the mistakes that we might make were already made by other people–go see how it worked out for them and then decide if you want that kind of result. We talk about historical people and periods and events and we read biographies.

When Shanna makes a grammar error and I correct her she does actually say, “Why was that wrong?” so I guess I get some “Why” questions. Mostly she says “What does ____ mean?”

I set the framework in their heads. We talk about space and biology and evolution and chemistry and physics and botany.

We haven’t been seriously working on language stuff but our play sometimes includes bouncing between using all the words in our collective vocabulary in every language we know to name objects in a space. It’s fun. They teach me words. (I verify things on the internet…) That will only get bigger as they get older. It’s a great way of getting them to sit still and be patient. I start by pointing at something and I will say it’s name/color/some descriptive term and someone will respond with a variation or move to a new object.

Unschooling means we spend our lives learning. The kids have spontaneous jam sessions where they sit down and make up song lyrics for a half hour to an hour. I uhhh look askance from a distance as someone who has always felt excluded from the cliqueish world of playing music. Shanna really likes making music and making up lyrics to go with what she is playing. It is a lot of fun to watch. It’s not “serious learning” but I would argue that it’s also important. She’s only five. Yes, some disciplines believe you can force children to learn even younger than she is. There is also some reason to believe it is better to start at more like seven or eight when the kid will really understand the range of options.

For now I’m comfortable with dithering. Or maybe I just think eight because that is when public schools start music. Who knows.

Shanna’s learning enough right now. She really does have a lot she’s trying to do.

We play math games. I don’t start them. I would probably avoid math much more if I could. Ugh. Shanna is very focused on math to my jaundiced view. She probably sits down to spontaneously do math work every week or two. She’s not a prodigy or anything but she’s interested and she feels like she is successful at it and she knows that understanding math is important for many careers. She doesn’t have any opening for bias that might imply she might be potentially bad at math.

We spend our days moving back and forth between subjects all day long. Cooking is chemistry and math. We talk about how much food costs. We talk about why we make the choices we make with the money we spend on food. There are a lot of shoot-off topics from there. Sometimes I do sit down and draw out how something would visually look if I think it would be hard for them to imagine.

But it’s all organic. (I don’t mean the hippy dippy shit.) I mean it just kind of happens. I respond to their questions all day long. I alternate filling their heads with so much information they sometimes look like they might explode with telling them, “I don’t know how to do it. You figure it out.”

We are loud people. We want to be heard. That is the last trait I want to extinguish in my kids. Same with not punishing them for whining. *I* whine. I’m not going to forking punish my kids for doing what I model. That would make me a despicable hypocrite.

do not punish my kids for doing things I have taught them to do. Iron clad rule.

Does everyone live with rules? This many rules. So many rules. I feel like I am drowning in all the rules, rules, rules. Be this here. Be that there. Be something else someplace else. 

I like the Biblical phrase “a house divided”.

Fall. Fall. Fall.

Only I’m not divided. I promised me I’d never do that. I would never split off my memories so that only certain parts of me existed at a time. Apparently that is one of the main ways folks like me get out of childhood. That’s what the specialists tell me.

I’m not splitting. But I’m learning how to be polite in a wide variety of different cultures and it’s hard. I think I only get to like 70% correct anywhere I try.

I always say too much. I’m too forward. I’m too loud. I’m too inappropriate (although this one has faded now that I only over-share sexually with some of Noah’s random co-workers at Christmas parties. Surely that’s uhm not as bad as I’ve ever been before. That’s been it for the last several years running.

This is big.

And yet I shouldn’t talk about it because it is indiscreet. But controlling hypersexuality doesn’t go away when you are married and monogamous and having moderately good sex with your husband. (I post about bad spells and he goes, “Ahh. An opportunity. So if I put in more effort I get more sex? H’okay then!”) We’re too tired for the earth shattering kind of sex. Some day we’ll get back there. *cross fingers*

I feel like that is the main overwhelming fact of parenthood. Exhaustion. I actually sleep pretty well these days. What, I only miss 2-7 hours in the average week lately? I’ve been sleeping pretty well. I wake up when I want to and not because I have to. That’s doing ok. But I’m still exhausted.

Yes, it’s a running day and I’m tired after eight miles. But it’s not that. I think the running makes me feel better about being this tired because I am whether I run or not. At least when I run I get to have this macho swagger for a while as I feel my rock hard thighs. Holy crap. I didn’t know my legs did that. (They stopped being rock hard when I defrosted and relaxed after the run… but they had like an hour there.. Maybe I need more mid-run stretching breaks… hm.)

I think that the schedule I should keep is either run or edit seven days a week. I only predictably have till 6:30am to work. The whole rest of the day is too overwhelming with kid-need-to-communicate. I love them so much but sometimes I feel like a wrung out sponge.

When I look kind of deflated Noah says, “Well we didn’t pick the low intensity kind of parenting.”

Nope. Not so much.

If I get through this twenty year period and I end up with adult children who want to be my friends and who can go off into the world and have happy lives…

I don’t want a codependent relationship forever. I don’t want two dependents. I want to engage in loud, wild, crazy sex in the middle of my living room. You can move out some day, kiddos. I have plans.

But I hope and pray every day that they will want to be my friend. I want to hear about their lives. I want to know what happens to them. Sure, I hope that they will tell me sometimes that I am a good mom. Mostly I hope that I will look at what they do with their life and think quietly to myself “That was a good choice.” I should keep my mouth shut. It is not my job to judge who they become as adults. Not one way or another.

I don’t judge them much now. I evaluate them. But I describe everything in terms of progress and development. There is no “good” or “bad”. I’m just making sure you are doing what a three year old should be able to do.

I worry that if I decide to have her evaluated she will have a very small delay and I will be told that I “really should pay for therapy so she won’t be more delayed later” (when that is only a faint possibility).

Yeah, I over think things.

If she has a 10% or 20% delay then she is still in the range of normal. She’s just not right at the center line or above it. I don’t believe there is a chance that she is more delayed than that. And her expressive language is advanced. I think she just has to grow into her mouth.

I want to give her time. I think that is all I have to give her. I don’t want to think of her as “behind”. She’s Calli. She’s not the most advanced in every single part of human development but she is certainly not struggling to be understood.

If she starts having problems having conversations with strangers because they can’t understand her then I will take her in for an evaluation. That seems like a good bar. As long as strangers can understand her and have a pick up conversation she is doing well enough for three.

Ok. I think I can stop worrying about that now. (I can dream, can’t I? Actually I can’t because I’ve started having pot at night again. Thank you blissful slumber. Yes, my tolerance is lower.)

I feel like I am so tired I will go fall in my bowl of soup. Maybe time to start getting ready for dinner. I’m so glad it is a leftovers night.

I planned out dinners for February and March. I’m pretty good about sticking to my schedule if I make it. I’m hoping to uhm bring down my food budget a little. It’s hard given some of my food priority stuff. I do my best to buy my meat from actual farmers. I make a big exception for sausage. I’m going to hell for the sausage. I have some very strong feelings about the unsustainability of factory farmed meat. But man I know how expensive it is to be all prissy about “food ethics”. Maybe this year I should be better about tracking food spending. I wonder what I’m putting where. I could look at vendors. on Mint… Hmmm. Now I’m procrastinating. Put down the darn keyboard, Krissy.

Running is so different now.

That first year I was running I felt like I was being hounded by demons on every step. I spent most runs sobbing and crying and spitting big gobs of mucous out of my mouth so I could breathe. It was a regular occurrence for me to fall to my knees and cry for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes and sob as hard as I could in the middle of a run. I spent a great portion of every run planning how I could kill myself with the handy materials (jump off an over pass, eat poisonous plants, deliberately step in front of a Mac truck among other ideas).

I think that happened because I was training so I could run with my brother. I know my brother hates me and blames me for a lot of things that couldn’t possibly be my fault. So training to run with him was really hard. I’m kind of glad he flaked.

Instead of having a gut wrenching awful experience I had a very hard experience with someone who loves me an awful lot. She must or she wouldn’t have flown from out of state to run an awful marathon with me. It was not convenient for her to do. She went through a lot of trouble.

And all through that difficult race (it was a very hard race for experienced marathoners–the conditions were just awful) she was there with me coaxing and playing and keeping my spirits up. She sang to me. She told me funny jokes. She would gently and lovingly coax me into a minute of running… just a minute… to speed up our pace from the crawling walk I mostly managed. I would not have been an official finisher of that race without her. It was too hard for me alone.

So now when I run I notice that my internal dialogue is different. Instead of hearing what a lazy, fat, stupid, disgusting, waste-of-time bitch I am the whole way I have Blacksheeps gentle voice instead. “You can do it! I have so much faith in you. Small steps, just move ’em quick. Just a minute of running then we can walk again. You can do it. I believe in you.”

I don’t cry when I run any more. Sometimes I’m still pokey and slow and that’s ok. I get a little more of a questioning eyebrow response back now. I don’t get told I’m fucking pathetic for going so slow. I get more of a, “Are you sure you can only move that fast?”

Right now I’m training for my training half marathon. I’m going to do another half marathon later in the year with Blacksheep. I’m doing this one with the mindset of getting into better shape so I can go closer to her pace. I know she will be patient with me no matter how fast I will go–she will not shame me. She will not degrade me or act disappointed. She will be encouraging and enthusiastic about me trying so hard because she knows how long the journey has been.

When I think about reparenting stuff this kind of thing is kind of what I mean. Blacksheep talks to me the way I talk to my kids. Like they will mistakes and get back up and try again because that is what you do.

Making mistakes does not define you. Refusing to correct your mistakes does define you. There are choices in life.

I’m looking forward to both 1/2 marathons this year. And…. I’m thinking that I might go right from the second 1/2 marathon into training for a full marathon again. I like how my body feels when I’m doing the long-distance running. I’d like more of that with tapes of Blacksheep playing in my head. I need that in my life.

It’s not like she’s with me on every run. But I can remember and draw strength from the love that is there.

I do that with cooking and Sarah. When I’m feeling scared and I can feel myself wanting to curl up in a ball and cry because I feel stupid and like I can’t I can’t I can’t. Sarah comes and whispers in my ear, “Yes you can. It’s easy. Here let’s read the recipe together.”

This is how I piece together my reparenting. I’m going to go have my glass of tea now.

Thank you so much for loving me.


I’m training for the Oakland half marathon in March. I have not been super good about being consistent about what I’m doing when. Yesterday I went out for a four mile run. I was very proud of myself because I consciously went kind of slow for the first mile. It took me ~ 13:48 to do the first mile. By the end of the fourth mile my overall average was down to 12:46?8? Can’t remember the last digit.

That means I picked up a lot of speed over the last three miles. Usually my first mile is by far my fastest and I slow down from there. I hardly ever ‘warm up’. I felt pretty proud of myself. And I stopped and arranged a play date with the neighbor kids Shanna has been asking about. *pat self on back*

Long term I would like to maintain the general fitness level where I can run five miles in an hour or three miles in thirty minutes. I would like to be doing ten mile runs on Saturday mornings just as a matter of course. Ideally long term I will develop the habit of having a Tues/Thurs/Sat/Sun schedule of doing 5/3/10/3 miles. (The Sunday one is a walk to the farmers market and not a run.) I think that is more or less my goal.

Happy 2014.

I don’t really want to write a retrospective of the year. It was a better year than most for me. Maybe one of the happiest of my whole life. My PTSD symptoms continue to be challenging but I don’t think I got dumped by a long-term friend. I didn’t have to move. I got to buy anything I wanted. I did get support even if it didn’t feel like “enough” (that’s not really anyone else’s fault–I’m not even sure what “enough” would mean) and that is a big step up from most of my life.

We had dinner last night with my current “bestie” and her family. She’s the only person I talk to almost every day who doesn’t live with me. That person changes over the years. I try at this point to not hold on to attachment to a specific person needing to be there for me forever. I will never have a BFF. Britt decided she didn’t want me and that’s fine. My Jenny loves me and will love me forever but she’s far away and I won’t ever get to spend a lot of time with her again. That’s ok. I still love her with all my heart and soul. It is what it is.

My bestie told me she doesn’t think going cold turkey off pot is a good idea. She watched me cycle emotionally a lot yesterday and she flat told me that she thinks I am doing a self-hating thing. This is why I pick opinionated people as friends. They tell me what they really think. Even though sometimes I’m an asshole in response. I’m way better about the asshole thing than I used to be.

I am trying to let go of feeling sad about all of the relationships that have ended. People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime and you will never know who is in which category until you die. That’s when you finally have perspective on the story. It will all be ok in the end.

2014 needs to be a year of not spending money. I need to take the long term financial planning stuff seriously. I have some expensive goals.

Otherwise I think that mostly I need to work on being more brave. And kind. I need to yell less.

I happen to love a lot of other people who also have psychological challenges of their own. I’m not the only one with anxiety and panic disorder and PTSD and depression. If I want those people in my life I am going to have to consciously and deliberately keep inviting them in or they won’t be in my life. They can’t invite themselves in. Or they won’t. I don’t know which and from where I am sitting it doesn’t matter. It all comes out the same in the wash.

People are never going to be “all I want” from them. I have to manage that. It isn’t anyone else’s fault. It isn’t my fault either. It isn’t anyone’s fault near as I can tell. It just is. I can either be kind and loving or I can be nasty and alone.

I don’t want to be alone. I really don’t.

I’m looking forward to 2014. I have so much to look forward to. I love spending time with my kids so much. I am deeply grateful to the friends in my life. Noah is the source of all my safety and security. I cannot begin to express how much I notice that. I need to treat Noah as well as he treats me. I’m really grateful that I get to have someone who loves me this much in this lifetime.

I won’t keep everyone forever and ever. I need to not feel that it happens because I am a worthless piece of shit. That’s not it. Sometimes the people who can’t be in my life do truly love me… but sometimes love is not enough. I am hard. That will always be true. I need to transfer the bitterness about losing some people into gratitude for the people who can stay. It isn’t anyone’s fault that some people have to go. It’s just life.

Part of the challenge for this year will be to get my body to hurt less. I hope to get my brain to stop chanting that I am a worthless whore. It’s a goal.

I’m really looking forward to my birthday this year. I was talking to Noah about it this morning. It looks like I will take off for nearly a week alone because my birthday is on a Wednesday and I think it may be a good idea to schedule the half marathon in Portland the weekend before or the weekend after. I will check with blacksheep and race schedules and decide for sure. Shanna says she is not interested in going to the Unschooling conference in Washington the weekend of her birthday. She wants to be here with friends.

I’m looking forward to waking up alone on my birthday somewhere far from my home. I will have no one and nothing to take care of except my base bodily needs. That sounds like the best birthday ever right now. Maybe I’ll go dance in the trees all by myself.

Learning and shame

Therapy was unusual last night in some awesome ways. I showed up half an hour early because I wasn’t sure about public transit to the new location and the appointment before me cancelled so she was just sitting around. We could have started early but instead she decided to pick my brain. She moonlights as a guidance counselor at a middle school. The school is more than 60% black and over 30% latino. They have some problems. I don’t think I can explain how good it felt to talk to her about how to handle these children. She is the “emergency” therapist who sees the kids who are in serious crisis Right Now. I had a lot to say. It was interesting how the end of the conversation was quite sad. We had to plainly discuss the fact that there ARE things that can be done for these kids, but how much time and energy do you have? What are the things that you can really sustain doing? It’s hard to evaluate. She took notes on the things I said. I felt so respected. She told me that she is going to strongly consider how she can get me up there to talk to her really at risk kids. She thinks it will be good for them to hear a white person with my history because they don’t believe a white person can understand. I used the fuck out of that misperception when I was teaching. You can’t buy tools as handy as that.

I told her about what an asshole I am being to a friend who is having issues with the public education system. I told her I don’t understand why I still have friends. This directly linked into a lot of my attitudes about education and child rearing which ties into a lot of my feelings about having less worth in society because my earning potential is really quite low. Being a stay at home mom is not a very respected position. Oh well.

We talked about my frustration and confusion that Americans don’t seem to be training their children to be adults. They prepare the kid for preschool so the kid can be prepared for kindergarden so the kid can be prepared for the lower grades, then middle school, then high school, then college, then graduate school, then a PhD program, then a postdoctoral… I suppose we should all be college professors? I suppose some people transition into working in industry. Many companies run a lot like schools. It’s odd. Outside of academia I have worked in food service. I worked in the library and the theatre in college. I have taught. Really those have been my jobs. I feed people and help them learn. I like it–mostly.

I feel a lot of uncertainty about the future. I’m sadly aware that many of the people who are alive and making decisions now care very little about the long-term consequences of what we are doing as a society. I feel like it is ridiculously important that my kids understand that we are animals that require food. What are all the steps involved in arranging for adequate, constant food. My children will probably never know food uncertainty. What can they learn and figure out about how to help other people have the same life experience? What problems are going to crop up in our food supply? I’m quite nervous about this. I want my children to be incredibly practical. One of the up-sides of doing all these home improvement projects by myself with the kids is they are seeing how to do these tasks. Very soon they will be learning how to do them.

I also think my children will need to know how to program. I suspect that will be a mandatory skill for people who want serious job prospects in the future. I want my children to have options. I want them to feel like they are prepared to take the world by storm when they are adults. I want them to know so many things that they feel completely competent to go learn whatever they need but don’t yet know. I want them to see themselves as strong and able to assimilate new information.

I struggle with learning a lot of things. I don’t have the best memory. I read extremely quickly and I can synthesize ideas quickly but I forget things. That’s kind of a problem. I hope my kids get Noah’s memory.

My therapist and I talked extensively about how I feel like the next fifteen years are a gift. I have always wanted to go learn things but I didn’t want to go alone. Soon I will be able to go to dance events with my kids. Soon I will be able to do martial arts classes with my kids. I already practice languages with my kids. I’m discovering that I remember more Spanish than I think. I’m not as incompetent as I assume. It’s nice. I have these wonderful companions to learn with.

Shanna and Calli don’t think I am lame for how little skill I have at gardening. I feel really pretty silly for the intensity of my emotions around gardening. I grew up with people who had no respect for farming as a career and as a result they tried hard to never touch anything growing. My family felt they “got off the farm” and they had no interest in looking back. My family hasn’t farmed in at least three generations on all sides. Why is there so much hostility? Such disdain? We don’t garden.

Only I’m going to have this house paid off in another decade or so and I’m going to be stuck looking out that back window for all the remaining years of my life. I’d like it to be pretty. I feel kind of vain and silly about that. I would like to look at a colorful, interesting yard. I want it so bad I ache with wanting. I want to feel like a stupid, incompetent, worthless person still gets to look at something nice because I have the physical ability to create it.

It’s always harder than I think. I forget to water. I don’t have good weeding technique. I would starve to death if I had to take care of a whole field in order to eat. I feel ashamed of that. I feel weirdly pathetic because I can’t figure out the physical motion that will allow me to do this work quickly. It’s hard. I don’t know what I can do without damaging the plants I want to keep. I’m trying things and experimenting. It’s a slow process.

When I can remove my idiotic self-deprecation from this thought process I find it really kind of wonderful that I am learning all of these things and talking them through with my kids. Calli is too young to really understand yet, but Shanna is picking things up. I am really moving at about the right speed for Shanna. I feel ponderously slow and incompetent. Really I’m just moving at four year old speed. If I went faster she would feel left out. I wouldn’t want to outpace my companion.

It’s a lot of how I think about running. How do you find a pace for running with other people? I worry about it. I have several upcoming opportunities for running with friends. Some who are far more experienced runners than me and at least one who runs less than me. I’m fucking thrilled by the idea of running with someone who runs less than me. I won’t feel like I am slowing her down. I won’t have to feel embarrassed when I need to walk. I’m scared of running with people who are honest to dawg athletes. Standing near them makes me feel like my low status in their world is blinking in neon over my head. LOSER WHO CAN BARELY RUN. Physical Education classes were never kind to me.

It was an odd experience to look around the park on Tuesday and realize that whereas the home school kids will have various “coaches” they won’t have a PE teacher. If they do that position will fall to me. What athletic activities do I think my kids should know how to do? I have to figure out how to teach them or arrange to have someone else teach them. I think I should buy a small soccer ball and bring it. I feel odd about that. I want them to love things I don’t love. I want them to have access to ideas and hobbies I am not actually into.

This was one thing that surprised my therapist last night: how focused I am on trying to figure out what I don’t know that I should be teaching my kids. I feel intense pressure to work constantly on dealing with the extent and damage of my ignorance. I feel crippled by the extent and volume of my ignorance. I am not trying to be a know-it-all. I’m trying to be an actual competent person. The problem is that I value an odd combination of competences. I am extremely specific in what I care about and I totally ignore things I don’t understand or see value in. That’s kind of a problem. I simply can’t limit my children due to my biases. I want them to be competent adults. I want to know in twenty-five years that I have loosed two extremely fucking competent women on the world and they are off building and learning things I can’t wrap my mind around. They took the genesis of information I gave them and went off to do things I can’t understand.

I like being a jill of all trades. I don’t really aspire to master many topics. I’m a generalist. I like and highly value generalists. But like many people like me I feel like my lack of mastery means I am low in status. I’m not the best at basically any task. I notice and have a hard time with that emotionally. I don’t do competitive things because I can’t handle the fact that I’m never fucking going to be first. Do you know what second place is? The first fucking loser. I cried watching people pass me during the half marathon. I’m an idiot.

I want my kids to either be such prolific generalists that they terrify people or able to become masters in something. Other than talking to abused kids, which really… I’m awesome at that, I don’t think I will attain mastery of any subjects in this lifetime. That really kind of bothers me. I’m trying to gain peace with the idea that I will never really take anything to eleven. I will never be the best. Not everyone gets to be. lame.

My wonderful daughter just wandered out to sit on my lap. Today we are going to the redwoods to cut down trees so I can build her a play house. I should really take pictures of this process. I have a vision in my head. I know what I am going to do. It’s going to be really neat. You’ll see. I’m good at taking pictures in my head and turning out a decent approximation. Heck, look at my daughters.  This looks like my picture in my head of a family. We are kind to each other. Maybe I do have a reality distortion field.

The half-marathon.

Three hours and eight minutes. I only went over three hours because I had to stop and wait in a huge line for a bathroom break.  That took quite a while, it was ridiculous. I did not enjoy yesterday. It was definitely one of my shittiest running days ever. I felt like I was at the wall the whole time. My body just felt off the whole time. I felt sad and lonely. I resented the hell out of the fact that most people (that’s pretty much a lie, but I’m going to ignore reality for a bit) were in groups and had supporters. I felt isolated and alone. I don’t feel alone when I go running most of the time. I feel like I am running and no one in my life can do that with me so ok, I happen to be alone right now. Thank god I don’t have to listen to their chatter.

When I am running in a big group of people it feels different. I feel like there is a glass wall between me and other people. I feel like they are on the other side, where people are loved and supported. Then there is me. Alone. Again. It’s really idiotic and self absorbed. There were a lot of other people there alone. A few of them talked to me!

My feelings seem out of place with my reality. Ok, I was alone at the race. I felt sad that no one came to watch me run. I mean, dude. It was in Oakland. It’s not like it is inconvenient to a large percentage of people I know. Someone could have. It’s always complicated, you know? Yesterday I felt like this running thing is a bad idea.

I like how I feel when I run by myself. When I run by myself I feel like I’m not trying to compete with anyone else. I’m just doing my thing. When I run with other people I see how our paces match up and as I drop back and back and back in the crowd… that makes me feel lame. Then I start feeling shame. This is pretty ridiculous. I have been running for less than four months. I don’t need to feel bad that I am not a better runner. It would not be particularly good for my body to try and insist that I be a faster runner right now.

I think I want to run the marathon because I am hoping I get to see my brother one more time. I’m not going to continue training so I can do it again. I saw my mother and my sister and my nephew and my aunt and my cousins once more before I broke ties. I haven’t seen Jimmy in a long time. I know that he looks like my father. I feel like I am already losing the picture in my mind that I have of what that part of my family looks like. I feel unspeakably sad. I feel like there is a weight on my chest. I’m still grieving.

I’m told that grief is kept in your lungs. Shallow breaths keep the grief inside you. Running certainly makes me breathe more deeply. I cried as I ran. I missed my family and I longed for them so much it hurt. My family is the kind of family that is intensely good and intensely bad. I miss the good. I can’t stay because of the bad. I’m really struggling with continuing to believe it is the right decision. I feel so much guilt. I feel so bad that I am keeping my kids away from my family. My mother lives in downtown San Jose. And she has never seen Calli. I feel so bad. I am a terrible person who is hurting my mother.

And I thought about that as I ran past all the cheering people on the sidelines. They were there to support someone they loved. I have driven off the people who would do that for me. And then I have a pity party about it. How pathetic. So I cried a lot while I ran. It was a very hard run.

I felt weird because I didn’t see anyone else eat. I start eating between mile three and four. I take two or three handfuls of trail mix every other mile after that. I run hanging on to my little baggy. Sometimes I feel lazy and I put it in my pocket for a while. In the race environment I felt like the country bumpkin come to town and I’m doing it all wrong. I don’t have sleek running gear. I’m not sure I’ve ever been that close to so much spandex in my life. And I ran in a cotton sweatshirt. I was given a lot of funny looks.  What? It’s what I own. Everyone else was advertising a cause or showing off former marathon shirts. This is also, not true; I wasn’t “the only one” but there really did seem to be a uniform and we were weird. Those of us who weren’t wearing the uniform were quite odd. Oh, and then there were the ladies who ran in tulle skirts. They were cute.

I feel weird running next to people for long periods and not talking to them. It feels awkward and uncomfortable. It feels like a lot of pressure to come up with something to talk about. If I don’t I feel gauche. And that distracted me from running, and them. I think that it is because people train at different paces. When you are in the group of people who are collectively running around fourteen minute miles that means there is a lot of walking. But people mix in their walking in different ways. It also felt like some people ran at a slow jog without really having to pause to walk. But they never went very fast. I’m a very impulsive runner. I run at the speed of the song on my headset. I have a lot of slow songs on purpose so I don’t try to sprint forever, but I do sprint. Mostly the songs are the latest albums from Lady Gaga, Adele, and Katy Perry with a few older songs I like mixed in. It’s a whole bunch of songs that cause me to sit and think about different relationships in my life. I like how I wander through different topics as time goes on. I’m not stuck thinking about the same person in the same way every time I hear any particular song.  It’s a slow journey through different situations.

If I try to run without the music I can’t do it. I can only kind of stumble along. I don’t have anything telling my body it is time to move. I don’t want to run. Not really. I rather hate how it feels some days.  But I don’t have another way of seeing Jimmy. I don’t really care if that is pathetic. I’m not magnanimous. I’m not sure that is a healthy reason. I need to see what Jimmy looks like. It won’t be true, but I will reconstruct a memory for myself of my father. It will be the only picture I will have.

I’ve been watching more movies than usual and recently I heard the line, “You never stop needing your parents.” As I was running part of the reason I was crying was because I realized how far ahead of me Jimmy will be. I realized he will probably leave the race grounds long before I finish. Unless I spot him in the vast zoo of five thousand people right before the race I don’t really have a chance of seeing him. And I will spend that whole race hoping to see him at the finish line. I’m going to cry a lot. I kind of wonder why I do this to myself.

Why does every activity have to be viewed in the most self harming way possible? Why do I always have to have a tale of loss and woe? When will something I am doing be about something, anything other than grieving? My therapist, God bless her, heard that line and looked straight at me and told me that I will never stop grieving. When you were hurt like I was as a child you never stop feeling pain for very long. It feels like a cross between a harsh sentence and great comfort.

I don’t perceive reality very well. I feel isolated and alone when I stand near people. The fact that people are apathetic towards me hurts my feelings because I feel constantly reminded of the apathy I experienced as a child. It caused me a lot of damage when I was a child. The fact that people are apathetic towards me makes me not want to stand physically close to them. Running through the crowd was occasionally terrifying. I don’t like being near large crowds. I consider them dangerous and I’m not even sure why. I feel like I could all of a sudden have some need and people would run past and not care and I would feel devastated. The impending loss of trust feels overwhelming. Like if I fell and was injured. I feel like people wouldn’t stop for me. I feel like this mass movement of uniformed lemmings all run in pursuit of a time goal and that is what they are there for and please get out of the way. It’s not even slightly true. I look around at people and judge faces and there were a lot of people who looked like they would probably be the sort who stop. For someone else. Someone who deserved help. It’s not that I think that other people are deficient in being willing to help good people. It’s that I think I am the kind of person you step around on the side walk because of course this loser is on the ground again.

I don’t know how to change this feeling that I am a terrible person who does not deserve any human compassion and people are going to know that and treat me accordingly. I don’t know how to stop feeling dirty.

I’m glad I get to look forward to six months of running by myself. I need the time alone again to apologize to my knee for running according to trying to keep up with people. I wasn’t listening properly and that was rude. We’ll work it out. I need to figure out how to stop trying to run with anyone else. How do I have blinders on and ignore the people around me. I was seriously spooked by the crowd. I spent a lot of time looking at the spectators and feeling sad that I never saw people I knew. At least I won’t have that distraction in Long Beach. I will be just running to the finish line. I know the spectators aren’t for me and I can ignore them more comfortably.

I’m still not sure how to deal with pacing off of other people. That didn’t work out. And I think I should look up what “interval training” is. People kept asking me about it. I don’t understand why. Google is so cool. Hm. Five minutes on Google tells me I don’t think I will ever answer those questions. That’s not a kind of runner I want to be. Excellent!

I feel like I am feeling like I must run a fast marathon and I shouldn’t have that as a goal. If it takes me six hours that is ok. If I seriously feel compelled to go too fast I will hurt myself. I’ve never run long distances before. I don’t want to injure myself and prevent going to the race. That would be stupid. And I don’t want to find out about how much help my fellow runners would be willing to provide if I injure myself at the race. Both of those sound like Bad Plans.

It’s hard to actually stay on my pace but I need to learn how to do it. That is a lot of what I learned from this race. I am too distractible. I need to not feel hurt by the apathy around me. People aren’t mean, they are concentrating. I should be concentrating too. I did start singing along by mile ten. People smiled at me. It’s a lot of how I measure my running speed–how well I can sing along. I measure my heart and lung workload that way. I don’t have a good silent method. I suppose I have six months to practice, if I want. Or I can just sing along and let people smile. It’s not like I’m doing something terrible. I’m not singing loudly.

Time to stop whining and go inside.

Race day

I’m going to leave my house in about an hour to go run the half marathon. It’s raining like mad. I can’t shake feeling sad. My neck hurts. My head hurts. My heart hurts.

Maybe I shouldn’t be running to prove something to someone, but I am. I’m always trying to prove something. I’m always trying to prove I am worth something. Sometimes I fail. But I’m always always hoping I’m good enough.