Both kids woke up with diarrhea and I threw up and can’t get through a bowl of cream of wheat. I don’t think we are going anywhere today. I’m overly happy about that.
We are having a problem because EC is pushing for more individual space and boundaries. It isn’t a problem because she wants it. It’s a problem because FMC is uhhhh not interested in allowing their sister any space at all.
We have been talking about this in the house for a while. We keep coming back to “We are not willing to escalate punishments to the point that they are more effective and the ways we have tried to punish for this interruption are failing entirely.”
We need to find a way to incentivize instead of punishing away this behavior. I believe in behavior extinguishment… but it’s complicated. Punishing often makes a behavior more entrenched and resistant. (For one thing our “punishments” are pansy ass and we know it. We are not here to hurt or shame our kids.) We need to find a way to make giving someone else space something that gives FMC more of what they want in life. We have to find a way to frame this/phrase this as “Here let us show you how you will get what you want if you go along with this boundary.”
I know that some people don’t like how manipulative I train my children to be. I respect that opinion. But I think my behavior as a human being improved when I learned how to think about my behavior in terms of “Will this help me meet my goals or will this create problems for me?”
I don’t believe in training children to follow rules because they are rules and you must follow rules. That’s bullshit. Some rules need to be broken. Some rules need to change. Some rules just don’t fucking apply to the situation we are in.
Why does this rule exist?
I’m not saying I have to fully agree with every rule in order to follow them… but I am more likely to follow a rule if I understand why the rule exists and I am at least in agreement that following it is in line with who I want to be in the world.
How do we teach FMC that giving their sister space is going to create the relationship they want in the future?
Punishing is not going to teach this.
Heh. Punishing me is a great way to ensure that I’m going to do what you don’t like….. where you can’t see me.
Enlightened self interest babe, how can we teach this to you.
For EC I have been chanting since they were 2 years old, “If you want to have a good relationship with your sibling when you are an adult you need to think about whether or not this action is likely to make your sibling want to know you.” The same chant really hasn’t worked with FMC. When they look up at their sister they see an unfailing flow of love and support and I think they genuinely don’t believe that their sister would stop providing it. They identify less with the fact that I walked away from my family and rejected everyone. EC knows that I refuse to know my big sister and that haunts her. FMC… doesn’t care?
FMC doesn’t believe they have to earn love in the same way. Uhm… I guess that’s good? It’s mixed. Noah and EC and I all act like we have to do a shit ton of work to earn being loved in the long term. It’s questionably healthy. Near as I can tell FMC is the only person in this house who believes in unconditional love. They think we will love them and take care of them and be with them no matter how big of an asshole they are.
I mean… that’s… good…
I’M SO CONFUSED.
I feel this terrible existential keening because I think I’m too demanding and boring to deserve friends and I feel like I should stop bothering people because I don’t have enough to offer…
And I live with this fucking kid who believes that them existing is their fucking gift to this world and now what does the world have to offer them.
Like… WHO THE FUCK MADE YOU weird.
It’s funny how they feel like me and not like me and like my chance to rewrite my history and like an alien and…
I love them so much. I feel bad when I target a specific behavior and assert my will as if I actually know things and I’m right about my judgments. What fucking hubris. Who in the fuck am I to decide that they are not good enough?
I’m their fucking mother and if I say they need to god damn learn how to let their sister have boundaries I’m fucking right and you will motherfucking do as I say.
Only I say it to them with less swearing.
One of the few things my mama said right to me was, “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.” My mama, for all the bad things I can and do say about her… she only kind of sort of wanted to silence me. She was afraid of me speaking truths that would make her already shitty life harder… but otherwise she encouraged me to speak up. When teachers would complain I was too mouthy my mama would say that they must not be a very good teacher then because I do just fine in a classroom with a good teacher.
My sweet little baby. I don’t want to punish you for crossing boundaries. That makes me feel like shit. It makes you feel like shit. You then proceed to cross the next boundary like clockwork and we start the whole shitty cycle over again.
What can I do to help you believe that following these boundaries is the thing that you want to do?
Because I want to manipulate the shit out of you. I have no pride. I will not dissemble. My sweet love I want to manipulate you until you believe that it is just absolutely the right thing to give people space when they ask.
How can I do this?
This is my next hobby horse to ride. Because if we don’t figure this shit out… I’m afraid you and your sister are going to get into a big bloody fist fight. And frankly… y’all don’t need that.
Even if you might kinda deserve having someone punch you for being so disrespectful of their boundaries. I won’t do it or condone it… but I’m capable of seeing why someone else might think it was the best reaction to your behavior.
God you are so much like me.
I’m sorry kid.
I wish I could have given you easier genetics. Sigh.
How can we teach you without you having to get as many black eyes as I did? Or maybe you just need to get them and I can’t protect you from that. I’ve always needed to learn from experience too.
I hope this hubris I have in believing I know best for you doesn’t fuck up our relationship forever. I try hard to limit my control areas… I know I don’t know best in all areas… just a few.
I love you. I’m trying. I know I’m failing to meet your needs in that way that all mothers fail their children. I hope you can forgive me.
B is the publicly acceptable way to refer to my friend’s wife so I’m going to say that. I haven’t asked my friend how he feels about being mentioned by name so I’ll still refrain. This is only a bdsm crossover because I know these folks through that community.
B is a HUGE patron of the arts. In her house and in her office there is a ton of art. Her office has a bunch of fancily painted walls by a variety of artists she knows. There are multiple murals or small pieces in different rooms.
She offered me space to paint, if I want. On one hand… I want to say no. I’m tired and that would be work. On the other hand… this beautiful, talented, interesting woman who works with a demographic I target heavily for influencing with my life has invited me to have space to influence how people feel.
She told me that if it would make me happier to do the work they could chain me while I work. I said that is not permitted within the current boundaries of my relationship but thank you for the offer.
That’s… that’s a really cool offer. I have art installations in California. Would I like to also have an art installation in Alaska?
Oh gosh. When I phrase it like that….
My friend who invited me up here to stay… he has a voice. He influences lives all over the world and he has done so for going on twenty years now. He has spent years encouraging me to share my voice with the world because he thinks I have lessons to teach.
I feel really validated here.
These people who are doing the real work are validating that even though I am hiding at home for a few years so I can learn the things I want to learn… I still have a lot to offer. They invite me back into the wide world.
But I’m afraid of the wide world. The wide world is big. The wide world doesn’t want to do shit for me. The wide world wants to know what I’m going to do for them.
That’s how it works with everyone. I don’t think I’m persecuted or anything.
I like my bubble.
I like having a family.
I like the friends who seek me out and ask to be part of my life. I like the people who actively invite me into their lives because they perceive me as being someone they want to be near.
The wide world…
But I’m not truly contemplating the wide world. I’m contemplating a wall. Maybe I should go make some sketches. I’m having some ideas. Butterflies and change and growth.
Cause I brought quite a few art supplies…
We are still going through test results. Today consisted of a lot of him (pain doctor) going down a list of vitamins, minerals, or whatever your body is supposed to have and saying, “Barely in normal range but it’s so low I’m worried” or “Totally deficient” and a couple of times he dropped in, “Ok, it’s a little weird but ____ is normal. Hunh. I wonder why.” For example, my amino acids are doing great and that baffles him.
But I’m deficient in most places. Especially B and D.
I have to come in to the office twice a week for ten weeks to get intravenous vitamins. I want to cry. Other vitamins I can take sublingually. Some are going to be liquids. A few chewable that I’m supposed to just suck on forever.
But very few new pills! That’ll be good!
He says my GI tract is so fucked that I can’t absorb vitamins almost at all and that’s why I’m so deficient. Given the decades of diarrhea that seems legit to me.
I point blank asked about exercise, Blacksheep. He said, “Walk. Don’t jog. If you are feeling REALLY good and you want to walk a little fast… maybe… But DON’T JOG. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RAISE YOUR HEART RATE. Just move around.”
Which is exactly what I’ve been trying to nail down for advice. Tell me what my limits need to be because I think my limits are… not where other peoples are.
I’m going to have a more boring couple of years, here.
I had a somatic therapy session today. That was good. I spent time working on my ridiculous need for validation. I talked about my codependency. I cried a lot. Lots of grounding was done.
Puff isn’t doing very well. She’s 19 years old. She’s been in pain for quite some time. We’ve had her on a lot of medication for a bit now.
In the past couple of days she is having a harder and harder time walking. Her back legs are just…. crumbling. She can barely lift her claws out of blankets when she wants to stand up and she cries because the effort hurts.
Puff isn’t going to be around much longer. I might go to an event this weekend or I might (accurately) claim grief and stay home.
It’s time to say goodbye.
There are two conferences I’m interested in for this summer. The CA home school association conference and a conference aimed at the families of gender non-conforming youth. They happen on consecutive weekends in August. Today I looked up the registration costs.
It would cost a hair shy of $1100 to register my family for both conferences. That’s not including food or housing costs (both of them are about an hour away, which is a barrier to my attendance if I have to commute each day). One of the conferences encourages using their on-site sleeping arrangements that go for $90/bed/night/person. So they would want almost $800 for my family sleeping there for two nights.
Do you know what we don’t need to do this summer? Go to conferences. We can stay home. We can study some books and try to talk to people in other ways.
I have to stop hemorrhaging money. You can’t have everything you want in life.
Ok. This is where I have to pretend I have self discipline. Sigh.
There isn’t much in this world I like as much as I like how much my children want to spend time with me. Last night they begged me to sleep in their room between them. I was there for six hours until my back was hurting enough that I needed to change beds. I was sad to leave them, but gosh I get to hurting.
I read a lot of development stuff. There are some seriously contradictory opinions out there. Some folks (who will remain nameless cause I ain’t sending support their way) really believe it is terrible for me to provide as much support and physical affection as I provide. “Children need to get used to being alone.”
I got used to being alone. It broke something inside of me I don’t know how to fix. Naw, I’m good with not doing that to my kids. We deal with the separation that we need to deal with, but I don’t force space between us. My kids ask for space as they desire more of it and I let go and give them a little push. “Sure! Try your wings! Jump out of the nest! Do it! Do it!” But I’m standing behind them at first before I fling myself headlong at the ground to be there to catch them if they need it.
My children aren’t really alone as they try things. Sometimes I stop and reflect that my children are some of the least-alone people I’ve ever personally known. I did that. Wait: I did that.
Holy tomato. I took this hole inside of me and I decided “Ok that piece is not getting passed on” and I haven’t. I have been able to do what I set out to do.
My kids treat one another like they are a matched set. They get whiny about how much time they are separate for camps a few times a year. They are together and happy about it every day. My constant harping on how they are a team must help. I tell myself. Because I want to feel useful. It’s working.
I have children who believe deep in their bones that we are happier, stronger, and better together as a group than we can be alone. After I grew up feeling like I poisoned everything I touched. How did that come to be?
It started with Noah. It started with the fact that I don’t poison him, I help him. I make him feel more motivated and alive and inspired than he has ever been in his whole life. Nothing ever jump started him like me.
That’s pretty cool because he was a neat guy when I met him. He’s grown up so beautifully. I’m not entirely sure I married a man. He really may have still been a boy. At this point, he’s a man and it is so beautiful. He’s responsible. He’s diligent. He’s caring. Where he has tendencies towards flakiness or fucking up he has devised elaborate systems of checks and balances so he can’t drop anything important on accident. He taught himself how to stop fucking up. That’s huge, yo.
I appreciate how self-reinforcing our family values are. We value hard work and the pursuit of health. We think exercise and outside time are necessary to health and if the grown ups are slacking and lazy the kids tell us to get off our butts and do it. It is a glorious system. My kids think that life is a balance of work and rest and if you do too much of one or the other you develop problems so you have to pay attention to your schedule. When I work too much, they come down on me to rest. “Mom you will get sick. Don’t act like this.” My kids will comment on how we need more protein and vegetables to balance out the sugar we eat.
They are going to be some micromanaging motherfuckers when they are grown. It will allow them to be excellent at a wide variety of careers.
My kids are fierce. They are always the most female-presenting looking kids in the fighting group at whatever kid event we go to. They love to fight and they are getting better and better at sportskidship. Less gloating over winning. More “that was a really fun game, thank you for playing with me”. It is a work in progress. I use the word fierce because that is the most common word that random parents observe about my kids. “Wow they are fierce.” “Yup, they are.”
My kids have never been taught to soften themselves because people expect that from folks born with a vulva. Psh. Whatever.
In our house we talk about what it means to be a person born with a vulva and a uterus and what it means to be a girl and a woman. We are very clear that there are some maintenance acts that happen to anyone with these body parts but that doesn’t make you a girl or a woman just like having long hair wouldn’t make you a boy or a girl. But whether you are a boy or a girl you have to care for long hair–it’s just something that takes effort. Bodies take work and the nature of that work does not define who you are.
I’m well aware that there are people in this world who do not approve of how I am raising my children. I’m well aware that there is no “right way” to parent. I don’t think I’m doing it th One Twue Way. I think I’m adapting to my quirks and issues and my childrens’ quirks and issues and my partner’s quirks and issues and devising a system that makes us happy. That doesn’t mean it applies to other people.
Sweet cheese I don’t think I know what you should be doing. You are so different from me. You have such wildly different needs from this parenting journey. If I told you what to do I would hurt you and I would probably hurt your kids.
I need to remind myself of that more often. Even when I have a very strong opinion about an aspect of other people’s parenting I need to shut my fucking mouth. I’ve been failing at that lately in a specific case. I need to back all the way off. I can’t control other peoples actions. I need to stop trying.
Sometimes it is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaard not sharing my opinion.
Suck it up, wench.
I know there are a multitude of reasons I would make different decisions. Just one small aspect of our life would have to change and I would believe I needed to alter almost everything. I don’t think my path is the right one. It’s just the one I’m on.
I ask my kids about school regularly. I am not married to home schooling (even though I love it for entirely selfish reasons and I would cheerfully keep them around forever) I am choosing it as the right path for now. I really didn’t want to send my children to school before the age of 7 or 8 for a variety of developmental reasons… but past that… school is probably fine or healthy unless you have reason to know that a specific school is a bad match for a given kid. I just seriously think the US fucks up early education.
Up until I started painting my house like mad I flat yelled at anyone who hinted in any way that I was an artist. Because in kindergarden I was told I couldn’t do art right and I would never be good at it.
I wanted my kids to skip the imprinting of kindergarden.
I’m pretty sure I should stop calling us unschoolers. We are eclectically home schooling. We aren’t following a formal curriculum but we are borrowing aspects of a bunch of different curriculums and wandering back and forth as I see fit. I’m also making a bunch up because I’m totally trained in how to do that.
This is getting way fun. Youngest Child is being allowed to very slowly work through first grade. Kiddo is in first grade and I don’t need to push at all. Kiddo opts in to doing work. (I said kiddo didn’t need to start till next year but they were bored.) So I pushed Eldest Child a bit and at this point she is solidly where she would be if she had been doing academics for the last three years.
The amount of progress they have both demonstrated this year kind of blows my mind. Eldest Child started off the year seriously delayed academically and she isn’t anymore. Holy crap. I have always been just praying I wasn’t fucking her over too much. I was totally taking it on faith that things would work the way they did.
Thank. Fucking. Goodness it worked out. That wasn’t actually guaranteed. Science experiments involve the possibility of complete failure.
I’ve been aware from day one that I’m not raising my children in a given cultural tradition. I’m raising them as a science experiment in which I get to control the variables. Yeah, yeah I researched a ton of theories first. I’m not just flying blind. I’m making conscious choices. This is a science experiment. Let’s see if I can hold it together for 20 or 30 years. 30 god damn years. I didn’t want that many years of parenting. I wanted to have kids closer together than that. Sigh.
I want more kids. I want them so much it is a constant ache inside of me. People tell me to adopt. People tell me to find “Chosen Family”.
I want more people who are related to me. Who come back. Who want to see me. There is a fierce ache inside of me.
I have so many cousins and aunts and uncles and a mother and a sister and a brother and nephews and a niece…
And they prefer loyalty to rapists over me.
I want to have children. This is my only chance at having the kind of family that other people get to have. I know people who adopt and have it go well. I know people who were adopted who had a shit show of a life experience because they never ever got over the fact that they didn’t get to stay with their mother.
It’s a roll of the dice with someone’s life. I respect people who can do it. I’m not in that place.
I wouldn’t write about it so often but someone or other brings it up with me every god damn week.
Noah and I talk about moving somewhere more rural in a few years. Somewhere we could have a much bigger house and spending a decade or two fostering kids. Fostering children is different. I have always felt a call towards fostering. But I’m not in the right place in my life for it for a variety of reasons.
I’m working towards it.
But I want more children and my window on that opportunity is not going to be open much longer. My body is not exactly in perfect working order and that’s not going to improve when I hit 40.
Hey I’ll be having kids in the same age range as most of my friends who have kids who are the same age as my older kids. See, I do want to emulate your life experiences. Sorta. In that way that my emulations usually barely resemble the originals.
I like that we are all different. I like that we need such different kinds of support. I learn so much from knowing you. I learn about things that I could never understand without your explanations. Thank you for your patience with me.
I try to not be too obnoxious with my lack of initial understanding.
Individuation is going to have to be a thing next year. I’ve subsumed in a way that is eating me. I noticed something yesterday. I completely flipped out and started dating when Pam left. I think that Pam was filling a huge intimacy hole in my life and I didn’t know or understand what that meant until she was gone.
I miss you Pam. I support you in what you are doing. I know it has value and I know you need to do it. You are learning things you need to learn. I miss you. You have value all the time. You have extreme value to me personally. I support you in not always prioritizing my needs. I really do. But I’m allowed to miss you. That’s ok.
Everyone who loves me is busy as fuck. It isn’t personal. It has nothing to do with me and I’m not allowed to be cranky about it, not really. I pick people who have a lot going on to love intensely. That’s something I do.
I need to figure out how to have consistent contact with folks. We are going to try some arrangements of inviting folks over. We’ll test some approaches. Some things will work. Some things will fail. Both results will teach us stuff.
It’s going to be an adventure to start trying harder to have non-sexual relationships with some folks I like having sex with. For a lot of the past ten years I have just avoided specific people at times when it wasn’t opportune to be jumping them. I have treated more than one man kinda like a meat stick and I need to stop that. I need to expand some of my comfort zone. I need to get better at enforcing boundaries other than with actual walls.
This will be a drama filled adventure. Oh fun.
I hope we don’t fuck up too badly. Erf. I hope that I manage to learn these lessons without more turnover of friendships.
I like the people I know. I would prefer to keep them.
Sometimes people ask me with paranoia about my agenda for wanting to know them. What I want to get from you is pretty simple: understanding of how and why another person makes the choices they make. If you let me learn about you I will be able to make better, kinder decisions in the future because my understanding of what people might need will be expanded. Thank you.
And if there is anything I can do for you that helps reduce the pain you feel at being alive, let me know. I fucking live for that shit.
Life is hard. I need you. I am a selfish bastard and I wish you needed me too. Most of you don’t need me and I get that. I accept it because there really isn’t another option. But I wish you needed me the way I need you. I cannot be an understanding person without trying to understand you.
I really want to understand people as a larger group. As a collective. I have to do that through individuals. My data is entirely made up of anecdotes and I’m ok with that.
Only in the anecdotes do I hear the why behind peoples beliefs and actions.
I’m going to rewrite Outrunning Suicide next year and I’m going to do it through talking to children. I’m going to find some and work through the chapters one by one with kids. If I can’t explain it in a way that the younger kids can get… it is still too advanced. Right now it is challenging for some adults to read. That’s not the book I’m trying to write. So I need to rip it apart and break it down into smaller pieces.
It’s going to be a lot of work. That’s ok. It is worthy work.
I need to feel like I am doing more in this world than just being super nice to my crotch droppings. I mean, it’s a good thing to do… but I need more than that. Writing the books I have in my head is part of how I will establish the reputation and credibility I will need for building the incest database. My runway on that is extending by an extra ten years. I should put that time to good use and write some of the other books I need to write.
I know I have at least ten books in me and I’m still working on the second one. Time to get the lead out.
I’m getting closer to being able to understand how to tell Part 2.
I know there are several books in me about family dynamics aimed at children. Aimed at teaching them a vocabulary with which to seek out help.
I think I have a truly terrifying children’s board book to graphic novel series in me that slowly unveils layers of stories of abuse. It’s going to be really god damn disturbing. But educational. “When I was a child I spake as a child; when I became a man I put away childish things.” How does understanding of these topics grow and change and morph? What does the boogeyman mean? How is it used? How could it be useful? What is just… entertainment? What do we owe as family obligation?
Am I ever going to be the grownup I see in my head? Will I ever feel like I am a real person who deserves to be loved because they have ruddy well earned it?
I frequently see people espouse the view that no one should have to earn love. We all just deserve it. Well. I can see how you would want to believe that. Sure. I haven’t experienced a world where that is how it works. I could rail at the world for existing in this form or I could work really hard to try and earn love. I’m going to fuck up sometimes. It is going to backfire sometimes. Standing still and stomping my feet and saying, “But I deserve it so give it to me” hasn’t ever worked for me.
I’ve had to work on my behavior. My mood swings. My actions in the world. My fucking facial expressions. My kids won’t even let me fucking cuss much anymore. What the hell.
I have had to learn to tolerate types of touch that irritate me and I’ve had to learn how to reject types of touch I like a lot in order to have this life. It is a painstaking process.
There are people in this world who get to occupy positions they haven’t really earned. That hasn’t been my life experience very often. I work. That’s how I get things.
Time to stop typing. I missed you, internet.
This has been a year of trying things to see what fits. What improves situations. What makes things worse. I end the year with a lot of mixed feelings. I didn’t manage to love myself more.
After experimentation and months of talking… Noah has asked me to commit to never dating solo again. Polyamory is off the table. No, we won’t reevaluate that at year twenty. When I go out on dates Noah feels like he wants to die and that’s not ok. When Noah dates I feel relief that he has found someone better than me and it is ok for me to die.
Dating… doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Ok.
What does love mean then? Because we both have intense feelings of love for many people in this world. We both say “I love you” to people and mean it with our whole hearts.
Noah got to relearn this year that other people think that saying that means you want to Commit To A Relationship. I am lucky in that most of the folks I say it to accept it as a gift and don’t really think of it as meaning more than that. I get to be a comet in your life. Not a girlfriend.
I feel like my impulse to avoid women for casual sex was a good one right now. Both times Noah really reached out to women this year… they weren’t looking for casual. They wanted to be important. They deserve to be treated like they are important–no argument from me. But that doesn’t mean that we have it to give in the way they need to receive it.
I’m feeling pretty shitty about the way we hurt some folks this year. We needed to learn more about ourselves and that is a messy shitty process sometimes.
I find it fascinating that the men I reached out to have universally said, “Don’t worry about me. Fix your marriage. I’ll still be your friend in whatever capacity later.”
That hasn’t been the response of the women. I lost a friend. Noah learned that he isn’t going to be able to continue a friendship he wanted to continue.
That’s fair. It’s ok that there are consequences to our actions. We earned them.
But this is why I didn’t pursue women. I knew that what I was doing was messy and complicated and I didn’t know how it would end up. Thank you, lovely forgiving men.
I completely and totally understand why the women who were approached responded the way they did. I get it. I do. I think their reactions are understandable, fair, and appropriate.
Frankly the men involved could use with a little more self-protection mechanisms. Y’all deserve more consideration than I can give you.
We like having sex together with friends. It feels fun. It feels validating. It feels like having an adventure together. I think it is funny that my friends (whether conservative or liberal, Christian or atheist, monogamous or VERY POLY) and my therapist are all coming down hard on “Y’all are swingers and that’s ok.”
Many of you were not the sorts of people to say that sort of thing when I first met you. I’d like to believe I’ve had a positive impact on you. I love you.
I love my relationship anarchist friends with all my heart. I can’t live like you. I think it is cool that you make the life and love and relationship choices you make. Go you. But I have to make the choices that make me ok and that make Noah ok.
We started out completely open. We have rocked back and forth on the pendulum trying to figure out what works for us from completely closed to “I can’t follow rules right now”.
I feel like a serious asshole, but it really did take the second time Noah completely broke down sobbing hysterically on the floor before I got it. I can’t date. Never again. I can’t have a boyfriend. It will rip him apart and I can’t do that.
That is the deal. I needed to see that laid out plain as day.
We have friends who are happy to have sex with us together. If I need to individuate so badly (and I totally fucking do) maybe I need to do it in a way that respects this boundary for Noah.
I’m good at having sex with a friend and continuing to love them forever while having a 99.99% of the time platonic relationship. Even my platonic is effusively affectionate and supportive. I show up for my friends.
As long as everyone understands that if Noah needs me that is my first priority. Balancing my kids and Noah is weird sometimes. Early on when my children are infants they come first because triage of needs and all there is to a power struggle of importance. But frankly with six and eight year old children… Noah doesn’t have needs very often. When he does I tell the kids they have to wait. Yes, yes preservation of the species and all that…
Noah is the only person on this whole earth who is committed to taking care of me. I’m not fucking with that.
I’m a needy thing. I can’t guarantee that my kids will take care of me. Barring his death or incapacitation… Noah will take care of me until I die. That’s the deal. Noah isn’t the sort to wander off if it gets hard. Noah isn’t a quitter. I started out hard. There have been no misrepresentations here implying I might be easy in any way.
And he picks me over and over every day. Year after year. His intensity and commitment grow instead of diminishing.
I haven’t worn him out. Not in ten years of hard and shenanigans and fuckery.
I have a really good deal. It is a deal I want. It is a deal I like. It is a deal I appreciate.
There are limits within that deal.
It was really good and important to get to the point where Noah could actually admit out loud that he does not want polyamory at all, ever. That was important to hear. It’s important to document as a shift in what he wants. It’s important for my future behavior that I internalize what that means.
We aren’t looking for a unicorn. We aren’t looking to date. We are just the kind of friends who are fun to have sex with sometimes. Ok.
I need to internalize what that means. I need to figure out how to shift my behavior set so that I accurately signal what is on the table instead of leading people on.
We’ve hurt enough people this year. I hurt the Quiet One. We hurt our friend. I’m going to go ahead and be a shit and say that Noah hurt the out of state person.
Fuck. We did that. I’m sorry. There isn’t much I can do to fix any of it.
But I can move forward and try to figure out how to not do it again. You can’t always repair the damage you cause. Sometimes there are good reasons you can’t fix things with someone you have hurt or traumatized.
That doesn’t mean that you should pretend it didn’t happen. Acknowledge the pain you cause. Even if part of acknowledging it means stepping back and not inflicting your presence on people who don’t fucking want to deal with you.
That’s legit, yo.
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Thank you, Bailey.
Some people are in our lives so we can learn lessons. Sometimes that lesson is, “I’m an asshole who hurts people in ________ ways.” I feel really bad about the number of people who have been in my life to demonstrate to me that I am a disrespectful bully.
I’m sorry. I think I do better about that now than when I was younger. I’m still not perfect.
I’m not sure I will ever stop being a bully 100% of the time. That shit can be effective, yo. There are times in life when you need to be able to stand up and demand your way. Bullying behavior works very well. Like, when Noah was in the hospital and none of the nurses would take me seriously that he needed a non-Opioid medication. I had to all but throw a temper tantrum to get them to call a doctor and evaluate him. I don’t feel bad. I brought chocolates and apologized later.
They said they deal with worse all the time.
Life is funny.
Bullying is a complicated subject. We present it in school as “evil” and The Behavior To Avoid when the reality is that the world is full of bullying and being able to manage it is important. Sometimes bullying is not evil. A lot of really important stuff only gets done because there is a bully shoving everyone along.
It’s like manipulation. It gets a bad rap but I think there is some utility there.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to add anything else to this topic. Cheers.
I’m trying to figure out how to get things to improve in my marriage. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m scared. At this point we are most of the way through arguing about all of our done-me-wrongs over the last ten years. There’s been an absolute fuck ton of arguing this year.
I don’t know about you, but I have let a lot of things slide over ten years because I didn’t want to argue. Then when things kinda hit a boil… everything comes out. We’ve had little and big problems that I’ve bit my tongue and la-la-la ignored. I’m not so sure it was useful.
At some point last night I realized that we have fairly equivalent lists of “you did _____” for one another. So we have hit the point where we have fairly well hashed out the problems and we are getting to… we have to forgive to move on.
I both am and am not a forgiving person. There are lots of things that I don’t really forgive. Lots. Shit dude, I cut off my family. There are things I won’t forgive. But I don’t think Noah has done anything that heinous. Everything that has been hurtful has individually not been over my threshold, but collectively… oh that’s harder.
But I want him to forgive me. Damnit.
I did something, well said, something horribly awful this year. I screamed at Noah that I wished he would die. I didn’t mean it and in less than five minutes I was crying and apologizing and saying I wanted to take it back.
I don’t have a high horse for sitting on here. I don’t think I have been less hurtful than Noah. I have been differently hurtful at different times… but I have been a horrible person. I’m really not denying that.
If we are going to move forward we have to forgive.
One of the biggest problems we are dealing with isn’t really Noah’s fault but he’s done some awful things because of it. Me saying no. I don’t really speak up when things make me uncomfortable all that well. My early life taught me that life is uncomfortable. Full stop. Speaking up about it just means people punish you for not complying faster because my comfort is irrelevant.
This is creating problems. I have done a lot of things while feeling wildly uncomfortable because I don’t react to that feeling as if I have any right to be defended. So I put myself in situations where I don’t believe I can say no and I do it over and over.
Sex. Oh sex is a fucking mess. Well, our sex life has been better between us lately than it has been in years. Which is fascinating given how much we are fighting. I feel like everything is my fault. I’m not sure it is but I feel like it.
How are we going to learn to have boundaries around “us” as a collective instead of maintaining individual boundaries and I’m supposed to learn to speak up more, and earlier, when I’m uncomfortable? I really don’t know. Yes, unicorn hunting is hard but both of us completely flip out when the other goes off to play alone.
It is both of us.
I feel really ashamed of how strongly I react to Noah playing separately, which is kind of funny because his reaction isn’t… that much less intense. Not really. It feels like imminent death for both of us. So why do I need to feel ashamed of that feeling?
Because I feel like I’ve been exposed to poly for my entire adult life WHY HAVEN’T I MATURED PAST BEING AN INSECURE TWAT WAFFLE? It isn’t lack of effort or time. I just… I’m just so insecure that it’s ridiculous. It isn’t Noah’s fault, not even a little bit. If anything were going to make me feel secure it is Noah’s behavior in aggregate.
Yet here I am. Feeling like I really should jump off a bridge so that Noah has more space in his life to replace me with someone who is less of a colossal loser. He doesn’t want that. Not even a little. But it is very much how I feel. He… doesn’t feel that differently about me dating.
Why do I feel so ashamed of having the same feelings he has?
Because I believe I am supposed to feel supportive. I believe I am supposed to be willing to support him finding every scrap of happiness he can in this life. That’s what a good wife/partner would do.
I am not a good wife. I am small, selfish, insecure, and so very sad.
Do you know what is incredibly fucking complicated? The fact that… we don’t really have many platonic friends. If we are going to be controlling as fuck about one another, how do we handle the fact that we are mostly only friends with old lovers/play partners? It is hard. We both have a habit of acting like people on our side aren’t as threatening as people on the other persons side.
I was listing off the people I feel closest to… all of them I’ve been intimate with. I haven’t had SEX with all of them. But I’ve been intimate. I like crossing boundaries with people. I like bonding.
After this year I wouldn’t be surprised if none of our friends ever want to play or have sex with us again. Oh the drama.
Noah is right that I can’t ever have sexual contact with someone again without his consent. I ignored his no this year. I can’t do that again.
That’s a mistake I get to make once this lifetime.
Last night’s conversation hurt a lot. But I feel like we got closer to understanding, “I did x because y.”
We really are getting to the point where the only step left is forgiveness. If we want to move forward, and shit we are talking about another god damn kid, we have to forgive. What does that look like? What does that mean?
It means tearing up the tally marks for who has done what wrong to whom. That’s pretty scary.
I know I have behaved abusively in the last ten years. I believe there have been times when Noah has too. Should we be carefully keeping lists of documentation so that we can hurt each other as much as possible with these actions? Is this how abuse is normalized and tolerated and excused on a wide spread basis?
There are lots of kinds and types of abuse. Our marriage has not included the deal breakers I experienced early in my life. We both abuse in the ways we do rarely and only after a lot of pressure builds up that we haven’t figured out healthier ways to manage. Does that excuse it? No. I don’t know what to do.
Noah is right that in order to know what is going on with me, sometimes he has to listen to venom and sort through it for the truth. That really sucks. But there are a lot of things I just can’t talk about until I am so angry I am almost frothing at the mouth.
In arguments Noah keeps saying, “You knew it was hurting me and you wouldn’t stop.” But I have stopped. I stopped months ago. I have not continued leading people on in conversation. I’m not making promises I can’t keep with other people. I certainly haven’t been on a date recently. I did stop. I just didn’t stop on a dime the way he wanted me to. Something is going on currently that I feel will do a lot to decide how we move forward. If boundaries can be expressed in a way that actually supports our marriage going forward… that’s going to be a big deal. If I feel that it isn’t managed well…
I’m scared. I’m bitter. I’m frustrated and angry.
I work all the god damn time and I really don’t have much in my life that is about letting off steam. Most of my work demands that I project happiness and cheer whether I feel it or not. I don’t show my emotional range to my kids much because I don’t think it would be very fair. I’m a god damn roller coaster and they don’t need to be on the trip with me. So I shove my feelings in a box and I smile and I keep my voice pretty calm and level. Are there cracks in my armor? Sure. I’m not perfect. But my kids seem to genuinely not understand how upset I get and how often.
I am a very good liar.
I spend a lot of time hugging and snuggling when I would like to be shoving my head through a window. When I would like to be raging and crying and cutting myself up. I pretend that I enjoy being a loving mother instead.
How in the fuck am I supposed to learn to care about being uncomfortable when pretty much my whole life is set up around, “It doesn’t matter how you feel it matters how you support the people around you.”
I honestly don’t want as much physical contact with my kids as they want with me. It feels alienating and hurtful. Partly because I am so jealous I didn’t get it that I feel like I am going to burst into flames. My needs didn’t matter. Why in the mother fuck are yours so god damn important?
Why is everyone more important than me?
I’m supposed to make other people feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting there thinking about the various pitfalls of ways to kill myself.
I don’t matter.
But Noah has built a life around how much I matter to him. I am seriously impressed with the amount of work he has put in to being a good partner. It’s a lot of why I feel he deserves someone better. Someone who can meet him halfway honestly instead of with a forced smile.
It isn’t that I don’t love Noah. It is that I spend so much time shoving down how uncomfortable I feel that there is often not room for authentic emotions near the surface. I have to have a layer of pretense over everything in order to cope.
This is how I have survived. This is how I have accomplished as much as I have. I pretend that how I feel doesn’t matter even a little bit, I put my head down, and I work.
A lot of my work is consciously projecting emotions I don’t feel: happiness, comfort, feeling secure. Because I am so good at pretending I feel these things I’m very good at helping other people feel this way. From what I understand from the people I weirdly interrogate: their feelings seem to be more authentic than mine.
Uhm I guess that’s good. I can pretend to be ok and help other people feel actually ok.
It all comes down to how I actually feel is irrelevant.
As a result I hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt.
It’s been a bad year in pretty much every way. Well, the cruise was lovely. We made promises for the next decade of our life that we need to figure out how to keep.
Otherwise 2016 has been overwhelmingly shitty. I’m so god damn over this remodel I could scream and never stop. Today they finish the initial drywall installation in the bathroom. They have finished the stucco outside. They will be here till January at least. We have a hearing in January and doing work communicating with the lawyer saps my will to live. It feels so mentally taxing and draining.
In retrospect… I’ve done an amount of work this year that I probably shouldn’t have been able to get done. I’m so tired.
I’m on the verge of collapse.
And I don’t really know what feeds me at this point. From where am I drawing energy? From the clear blue sky and I don’t god damn know how much longer I can continue.
I miss socializing. I miss my friends. I miss community. I don’t in any way shape or form have the ability to do more of it right now. Because as much as I get something back from that there is also a cost associated and right now I can’t pay.
We haven’t even been inviting people over to dinner much. I just can’t.
I have felt existentially lonely for a long time. The road trip was really hard in this way.
Noah desperately wants to be enough all by himself for me. But Noah has a lot on his plate. I can’t ask for any more of Noah. It isn’t fair or appropriate or ok. So I feel like I have spent a lot of time trying to make myself smaller. So that what Noah has to spare is enough.
I’m hurting so much.
I feel like a real schmuck in our conversations sometimes. I know he has made enormous leaps of progress in the past year since we’ve been back from the road trip. He is organized and efficient and he’s trying so god damn hard. The trouble is I have a back log of hurt and frustration and need and sadness and I don’t know how to deal with it. If I weren’t dealing with years of hurt… would this be enough? I don’t know. It is closer to enough than it ever has been before. But I don’t know how to evaluate it given how much I’m flailing.
I feel like I’m reaching the part where I’m genuinely in a family and I genuinely need to figure out the coping skills for forgiving and staying that other people have. I’ve never developed these skills. They have never been relevant to my life.
I need to stop making Noah cry. I don’t place it as a goal that I will feel happy. But I need to stop making Noah cry. Because Noah having a minimum bar of ok is more important than me being happy.
And this is how things fuck up. This is how I build up backlogs of things that hurt me until I explode. Because I don’t think I am important enough to deserve support on the smaller stuff. There is just so much that makes me uncomfortable that I really don’t believe I have the right to ask for consideration. It would be a job and not a fun one.
I’m not sure how forgiveness ties in to being able to respect or like myself. Can I forgive if I think I deserve the bad treatment? If I think it will never stop because it is just that I receive it?
My heart and my head and my stomach hurt. I feel physically sick and I don’t think it is illness. I think it is sadness. I think it is the feeling that I matter so fucking little. I feel worthless and pointless and stupid. I feel like I should die.
I feel like death is the only route to stop hurting. Life is pain.
Forgive. I have carved forgive on my body in more than one place because I feel like if there is a lesson I am supposed to learn in this lifetime it is how to forgive. But am I forgiving Noah or am I forgiving myself? I sorta feel like I will not ever be able to forgive anyone else, not really, until I forgive myself.
Forgive myself for being petty and weak and insecure and so very damaged by the experiences I’ve had. How do I forgive myself for not being whole when I have never been whole and I don’t really even understand what that might be like?
I feel so very sad. And my arms hurt like a motherfucker. I need to stop.
I had a great chat yesterday. It made me think about a lot of how I’ve screwed up this year.
Sex is complicated. We have sex for so many reasons. For connection, intimacy, orgasms, bonding, feeling-not-alone-in-this-minute.
The thing is, that’s complicated. Why didn’t I pick Noah for every time I wanted sex this year? Because that’s complicated. Sometimes sex with a particular person is loaded with implications across your whole life you can’t handle and you want the ease of sex with someone else. Sometimes I wanted to feel like I still had the ability to connect with new people.
New people have been very instrumental to my survival. I get that it isn’t something that is a big deal to everyone. I know that lots of people have been safer in the known communities of their lives. I have survived by over and over again throwing myself backwards into the arms of strangers and just praying they would catch me. At this point it is no longer a survival mechanism but it is an ingrained habit. That’s complicated.
I don’t think I chased sex as self harm this round but I have certainly done so in the past. Sometimes the choice is, “Do I hurt myself in a known and predictable way because I don’t like myself very much or do I take the risk that this person will be nicer to me than I am able to be to myself or maybe they will hurt me more than I would hurt myself. Roll the dice.”
That’s a choice I’ve made many times in my life. If you haven’t had to deal with the cognitive load of poverty plus severe traumatization… you probably won’t understand. It will seem baffling to you that someone would make such a choice.
I’m glad you’ve never been there. That’s awesome for you.
I’ve been there a lot. I’m not there lately, but I have zero judgment for someone else finding themself in that position. It happens.
There have absolutely been nights when I’ve picked up a stranger and fucked them instead of hurting myself because I didn’t think I could stop until I put me in a hospital.
Was that a bad choice? I really don’t think so. I think I made the best choice I could given all the circumstances of my life in that moment.
It is hard to keep the larger picture in mind when you are judging one particular choice. Choices that were completely reasonable for me at different points in my life shouldn’t be judged the exact same way at this point in my life. I’m in different circumstances. I have different options.
To put it bluntly: I can have an emergency “weekend trip to relax” at this stage of my life. If I feel like I’m going to freak out and do something drastic… I can make it a very safe kind of drastic. Because I’m rich.
But that was literally not available to me before marriage.
Money. Money. Money.
If you have enough money, time, support, fill in the blank to have better options… who the fuck are you to judge someone doing the best they can!?
Get off your high horse.
But I’m really not in the same position as I once was.
How in the hell is any of my behavior this year justifiable? Hunh, hunh?
I’m not sure I can “justify” my behavior. I think I can explain it. I don’t think my explanations are “good enough” from many points of view and there’s not much I can do about that.
I learned things I needed to learn. I was able to find words for problems I wasn’t able to find words for until I processed all the way through some extreme emotions. I was able to change boundaries that were a big problem for me.
Could I have found a way to do it without freaking out and breaking a lot of rules?
Maybe. I tried. I failed.
I succeeded when I blew the boat up.
Things are going a lot better in a variety of ways. Was it worth the cost? Yes. To me. Was it to Noah? He’s still deciding. He’s still raw. That’s fair.
Sometimes we don’t do things to people and they hurt anyway. I didn’t go out and fuck people to hurt Noah. That’s not why it happened. We are all autonomous beings running our own stories and our behavior is not always about our partners. We have our own narrative running. It isn’t about you.
Even if we love you. Even if there could be negative consequences for you. We can’t make every single choice only about you. That’s not a way to be a person.
Would it be nice if our choices didn’t hurt you? Yes.
I played a very careful line this year. I didn’t actually do stuff that was that risky to my life. I mostly went out and spent extra time with my friends. People who have been good to me for a long time. I had a tremendous amount of fun. It will help keep me warm for years to come. Was it worth the price I paid?
Probably. Does that mean I can do it like that again? No. I really can’t. It would break Noah.
What does that mean? Our relationship functions based on a lot of trust and mutual worship. If I kill that then I’m kinda destroying both of our reason to live. Whether or not I’m doing something at Noah… I need to pay attention to the impact. My life is completely intwined with him.
If I rock the boat he feels every wave. There is not a lot of separation there.
I’m not sure we will ever get to the point of being “polyamorous” even if we are allowed to discuss it in ten years. But it is ok to have sex with our friends sometimes if we do it together. Is that my ideal? I don’t know. I don’t think my ideal is more fair so I guess it will have to be ok.
There is no fair.
I get why we are both so possessive. I see the holes in both of us that we use one another to fill.
Sex with friends is different than the anonymous sex I also like. They scratch different itches. Sex with friends is safer and more predictable (not in a bad way). Anonymous sex allows me to feel like I am touching the core of connection between strangers. It is both intimate and distant in a way that feels like a spiritual practice to me. The trust and risk are intense rushes.
But my life is wrapped around Noah. So whether or not I’m doing something at him… he will feel it.
Noah doesn’t feel so awesome about my having sex with other people. He wants me to keep my worship at home. When we are having sex with other people together, that’s ok. That’s not scary or hard. Well, sometimes it is logistically hard or a position is hard or… but it’s not threatening in the same way. We are having an adventure together. No one is left to sit with their imagination and fear.
Noah really doesn’t want me to go off alone any more than I want him to. Seems fair. Annoying, but closer to fair than most things ever get.
Why annoying? Because I am selfish selfish selfish selfish selfish. A lot of the reason I have sex is for the orgasm and changing partners increases that like a motherfucker. Sigh.
No life is perfect.
(For the record: Noah has been working hard on this and has had a pretty fucking outstanding success recently. There’s an A for effort and result.)
I know he’s trying. I can see it. I don’t think it would be possible to look at Noah and not see that he is trying as hard as he possibly can for me.
I’m so annoying and hard.
He works far harder than anyone can ask for; that kind of effort is a freely given gift. I know how lucky I am. My physical and mental health issues have not been easy. But Noah considers my companionship worth the cost.
How in the hell did I end up here?
I auditioned hundreds of people and Noah won the part.
I think we are much better and more interesting together than we ever were apart.
I’m looking forward to pregnancy. I get so exhausted that our pace of life will utterly collapse. Yeah, yeah, pregnancy isn’t a disability yeah yeah pregnant women should carry on as if nothing was happening…
I can’t. Gestating is fucking hard in my body. Remodeling and resettling the house has to be complete by January. Next year I’m going to work on academics with my big kids, sit around, sleep, exercise, eat and go grocery shopping.
I’m probably not going to get much else done, to be honest. And that’ll continue for at least 3-6 months after the baby is born.
I’m toast. Breeding is hard.
I’ve completed the cycle and come out the far side more than once so I’m very aware of what it looks like for me.
I’m really excited about the possibility of a pregnancy where I am in much better physical shape to start with (hello marathon and half marathons, you have halo effect I still feel) and I have my IBS mostly under control and I can breathe through my nose. This will be a different experience. I’m also older. This will also be a medicalized experience (hiya bleed out problems) which is kinda terrifying for me.
All the feelings. And my back is giving me trouble. I need to finish this damn remodel. But bending over really kinda sucks.
I’ll get through it. Put a corset on and get your work done, woman.
It’s kinda funny how we all adapt to the tasks life puts in front of us. This art shit weighs on my soul. I really am more calm in my home because of the art work. It is so easy to ground in my house. When you are here you are really in a particular, individual place. That’s a big deal for me. In other peoples homes, in most of the homes I’ve ever lived in… they all kinda blend together. Sure the knick knacks and furniture are sorta different… but the white walls meet the white ceilings and I want to crawl under a table and cry.
No, it’s not rational.
I do not want a fancy “nice” bathroom that looks like it could be in a hotel somewhere. And I’m willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the experience I want to have. Every doctor I have wants me to take baths as often as I can. I spend time in my bathroom. I recycle the water too. To deal with my hippy guilt. (The internet tells me that epsom salts, baking soda, vinegar, and sugar are all fine for plants on a small scale so my bath water is fine for my plants. Woo hoo.)
We’ve had a broken toilet for a long time. We’ve been using the grey water to flush the toilet. I’m thrilled that with the increased bath capacity of water I will also be able to use the water for more plants. I’ve always used some of it sometimes… but never for plants if someone has used shampoo or soap.
Why am I so tolerant of my friends having quirks or needing accommodation for their mental health needs? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Uhm, err, just because I’m a nice person?
Because I fucking obsess over what to do with my bath water. I got no stones to throw on people needing to do their thing.
Oh man. I’m going to go through a pregnancy in a bathtub big enough to roll over in. Oh the glory.
Spoiled rotten motherfucker.
I really like my house.
Did I mention I’m having candle holders permanently installed on the walls of the bathroom? And there are skylights above it?
The walls are going to be glittering scenes of autumn and winter. I’m working on them.
My house is a very particular place. I like it so much.
I need to clean it. But that’s a problem for a different day. It won’t be really cleaned until the remodel is done. Too much dust and dirt is being generated every day. Not worth a deep clean. I’ll probably splurge on professionals in January at the start of the pregnancy.
Then I’ll spend a year basking in my family. In 2016 I was supposed to learn how to love myself. I don’t know that I managed, exactly. But I’ll spend 2017 hanging out and letting my family love me. That’s… almost the same thing?
Today will be a Zen sorta day. Noah has a dentist appointment. I’m watching a neighbor’s child in the morning and walking them to school. It’s kinda funny. Then I get to come home and get the kids onto chores and academics while I work. I will have to find a way to do work that is right next to them so we can talk while they do their stuff. They always have questions, which is very appropriate.
Tonight we are going to trick or treat with friends we haven’t seen much in the year since we’ve been back from the road trip. We’ve been really bad friends this year. I’ve dropped everyone and everything on the floor for this remodel. And I do it when I’m doing the breeding thing too.
Uhm, I’m sorry. I will crawl out of a hole again in the future. I hope you still like me then.
But yes. Touching base with old friends. Longevity is a big deal for me. A dear woman I know is deeply associated with a phrase: “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
I’m really curious which threads are deep enough in the weave that I will know them for most of my life. I am made up of the people who know me. The people who carry my story with them when they go. I am made up of the people who sometimes ruefully think, “What would Krissy do?”
I am a creation in your mind as much as I am anything at all. And the fact that you think about me. That fact is enough to mean that even when I fuck up, I am maybe not beyond forgiveness.
I’m saving my hand spoons for other work; that’s why I’m not writing much lately. I’ve made progress on the kitchen painting. Last time I guesstimated I thought I had 20 hours of painting left. Then I did 6 hours. I think I have 14 hours to go. There have been a bunch of times over the years when I’ve sized up a project and thought “24 work hours” or whatever and I’ve been right to within an hour. I’m really good at guessing how much work something will take. *pat self on back*
I have finished the monkey. I think. Maybe. I’m not in love with the face. I still need to fix the banana tree as per the criticism from my submissive. He’s all, “Let me tell you about banana trees.” He used to work on a banana farm. Mine isn’t done yet apparently. Ok. I’ll fix it.
My pot consumption is way the hell down. I’m thrilled. My taper plus abstinent periods have had a major impact on my tolerance. Yay! At this point I’m using 1/4 as much in a whole day as I used to use in my first smoke of the day. That’s a massive decrease. I’m using at the rate of less than an 1/8/week. That’s a huge drop for me. That’s… that’s pregnancy sustainable.
Do I like the fact that I use drugs during my pregnancies? Well… I use less harsh drugs than other doctors would really prefer I be on. I get through my life with a lot of sheer force of will. Doctors would like me chemically regulated so that my emotions are not so extreme and every single medication these fucking doctors suggest is significantly worse than pot for a pregnancy. I don’t have a great option here. But I’m using at a rate that isn’t particularly problematic again. In my judgmental as fuck stoner opinion. Uhm, I’m not judging someone else’s tolerance. I’m saying for me.
I’m using at a rate I will feel comfortable with for myself. Other people are totally allowed to have their own acceptable rates based on their needs and preferences.
I keep coming back to “Well at least I’m not increasing my drug usage during each pregnancy like my mom did…”
My mom used to joke that with her first pregnancy, she didn’t even smoke cigarettes let alone another drug and no alcohol. During her second pregnancy she smoked cigarettes and had alcohol. During her third pregnancy she smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and smoked pot. By her fourth pregnancy (me) she did all that plus speed. She would follow this up with, “And you are the smartest kid I had! So see, drug usage isn’t all that bad.”
I’m not being like my mom…
I will admit I don’t 100% abstain from alcohol with my pregnancies. But I have like 5 glasses of wine per pregnancy (not within a week or anything). That’s well within acceptable tolerances based on research.
Fuck. I’m not good at this whole abstinent life thing.
Guess what else I forking do? I eat soft cheeses. Nyah nyah.
I’m seeing my nasal surgeon today. I got a massive nosebleed this weekend and I called his office to see if they thought I should come in. The nurse started off with “His notes say you probably don’t need to be checked.” “Let me describe how much blood came out of my nose on Saturday.” “You should come in tomorrow.”
Oh, thank you.
I suspect we shouldn’t try for pregnancy until I get my nose under control. There is a substantial change in blood volume in the body during pregnancy and right now… my nose isn’t doing so hot. I don’t think a surge in blood volume would be awesome.
Damnit. And Noah is no longer shooting blanks so we have to…. use condoms for a while. Wheeeee.
It’s like the good old days.
I’m hopeful we can get started trying in November. *cross fingers* Don’t worry. I’ll tell y’all more details than you want to hear. Maybe.
I will definitely keep updating the tally: 7 months of trying, 4 pregnancies so far.
I may have a lot of problems, fertility isn’t on the list.
I’d kinda like to be done with remodel stuff when I get pregnant. This work is hard on my back and body. I don’t want to do it while pregnant very much. Oh god. Especially because all of my body work will pretty much go away in the first trimester. It’s too risky. Massage can absolutely trigger miscarriage. Both of my miscarriages were right after massages (I doubt they were related) but that history means my massage therapists say they won’t work on me till I’m about 16 weeks. Sob.
I watched Poverty, Inc on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how foreign aid is keeping people in poverty internationally. It covers things like up to 80% of all children who are internationally adopted have living parents and they are in orphanages due to poverty.
Adoption is fucking complicated. I’m not saying it shouldn’t exist at all. I’m saying… it’s really complicated and fraught. I’m saying it’s not like buying a car where it is “yours” now. There are people who make wonderful families through adoption. There are people who are adopted who love their adopted parents and never feel any lack in life. There are lots of other less pleasant endings.
I get through life through sheer force of will. I don’t know that I could manage to extend that halo to a child who had serious problems. Serious attachment disorder problems in particular and when you adopt… it’s a roll of the dice. I am great at teaching children who have a wide variety of mental or physical health problems… as long as they attach. It’s something I’ve noticed about myself. The kids who don’t attach… I keep my distance and I’m not that much help for them. I saw it in school. I saw it with my students. The children who attach… I can help. The ones who don’t… I completely fail them.
There are people who work well with kids/adults who have attachment problems. I’ve been blessed to witness some of these exchanges. I fail.
Why do I feel so drawn to fostering then? Because it feels different. If I fail them… it’s… kinda more expected that some foster parents fail. You can try a different foster family if one isn’t a fit. If you adopt someone and they no longer have a fall back position… that’s fucking traumatizing. A failed foster family placement isn’t awesome but it isn’t quite as damaging as a failed adoption. I say as someone with many failed foster family placements.
I feel I could foster a kid and be present with them for how much they miss their mother and how unfair life is. It would break my heart to adopt a kid and never be enough to fill that hole.
I am selfish.
I miss my mother so much. No surrogate mother has ever done much to fill this terrible hole in my heart. I’ve god damn tried. But everyone… fades away. I’m too much. Too demanding. Too needy. I was too hard as a kid and I’m an adult now and I need to take care of myself.
I’m 35 years old and I’m still waking up at 4am to cry about missing my mother.
I want to be seen in a way that only my mother would have been able to see me if she had actually known me throughout my life. The way that the parents of my students see them. (We went to a party with former students and their entire extended families. Their families are so thrilled I’m still around. I’m even in tight with the grandparents.)
I want my mama to see my art and feel proud that I came out of her.
I want my mama to see my children and feel proud that we came from her.
I can’t give her that.
Yesterday Eldest Child asked about writing a letter to my mom. I would send it. I don’t think I am in a place where I can write to her yet… but I won’t prevent a letter from my kid.
I will actively prevent contact with my sister. She participated in the rapes of her children. She is not allowed near my children. Period. But my mother… sending her a letter isn’t a problem. Especially if I don’t write it.
There is a part of me that is sad that I passed up the opportunity to ask my sister if she’d like to step outside for that fist fight she wanted to start when I was pregnant. I am not a mature or adult person.
Instead when I saw her I looked at the floor and treated her like she wasn’t present. Like she was a non person.
Maybe I’m a little mature.
I should be sleeping, but I’m awake. I’m thinking about how much I’m shoving on my friend while she’s here. So here’s the sitch. I met this woman on Twitter during my road trip. Towards the end the kids and I realized we were going to have a miserable time camping at the snowy Grand Canyon and decided to detour. I asked the universe (and Twitter) where we should go. This woman popped up and said, “Pick me! Pick Phoenix!” So I did.
We spent a few days together and it was lovely. I think she is great. I think her kids are rad and super smart and really engaged in life. I honestly don’t meet that many public school kids who are that good at asserting themselves. I was seriously impressed with these kids. They are just… there’s a lot of there there.
So I asked my friend to come visit. Thing is, the entire time I’ve known this family they’ve been on my monthly donation list because of disability issues. The mama hasn’t worked in a while and that is indefinite. So this trip is horrifyingly prohibitively expensive.
So I said, “Can I bring you to California. You and your family. You need a break from life.”
We are going all over the bay area and down to Santa Barbara with a stop in Monterey on the way home. We will spend close to a week driving into San Francisco to see the museums.
These kids showed up at my house and with glowing faces they said, “Can we homeschool every day?!” They are so excited they can barely speak. Only they talk just as much as my kids do so this is a hilarious time. Oh so much volume. But fascinating! The opinions! The independent thought going on!
One of the first questions was: “Does your little boy still wear dresses?” Answer: “That question is more complicated than you think. My kid wears dresses sometimes. But I only sometimes have a little boy. Let’s talk about the gender binary and people who do not fall on it at either end.”
It was lovely.
I sat down after dinner and started listing off the cool things to do within an hour of driving… we filled the trip days fast. We have a full itinerary.
I am 100% convinced my friend never would have asked for something like this in her life. I’m spending around $1200-$1500 for them to have this vacation. Folks I don’t know that well that I met through the internet.
I am ruled by my impulses. Because it breaks my heart that my children get to have the life they have and children this god damn smart and talented don’t get to have as much opportunity. Yes, I’d love to bring you out here for three weeks for as much information as we can pack into your little skulls. It would be an honor.
I do these things to pay back the child I was. The child who felt so bad that everyone else got to go do fun things and take classes and go to museums. I got to move again.
Part of what is helping is that I’m not having to chase this family. I offered and she accepted… but I didn’t have to chase her and keep offering.
Being able to accept a gift this big is hard. Pride is a big deal. Accepting this much love and help from someone is hard to feel ok with. People can only take so much then they need to give. Not necessarily back to the person they received from… paying things forward is more important
I am running into asking rev limiters within myself. I can ask different people and it isn’t scary. I can’t ask a small group of people for things repeatedly. That’s too much hard; I feel too much like I’m hurting people.
Unless I get asked back. I need to be asked for things in exchange. Do you know one of the reasons it is easy for me to help this family have this trip? They are kind of assertive about how things need to work for them. “I need _____. I can’t do _____.” Even if receiving a gift they are directing it to be more useful for them. That melts my butter. I feel like they seriously are trying to get what they need from this gift.
I have probably asked many hundreds if not over a thousand people to spend time with me in my life. I don’t ask everyone for sexual attention. Unless I feel an energetic push back… I feel like I am hurting people by sticking around.
If I initiate all of our, “Hey let’s hang out” it will get more and more sporadic over time. My give runs out. My ask runs out. I wish I still had it in me to ask you over lots… I don’t. I don’t think you care. I think you’d rather do something else.
I think you’d rather not put your pants on and walk three blocks to see me after I drive multiple thousands of miles. That’s what I’m worth.
That’s from someone who has been publicly calling me “family” for over a decade. Yeah. That’s what I’m worth to my family.
But not Noah. And not my kids. They would do a whole hell of a lot to see me.
Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.
Even though they live with me every day. If I start getting distracted by life or people they do tricks until I stare at them again. Please look at us. We need your attention. Yes my loves. I will give you my attention too.
Yes, I like pushy. Yes, I want people who say hey I’m here and I want your attention. Yes, that is risking rejection. Welcome to my god damn life.
It occurs to me that I could create a calendar for the house hold and share that with folks who are interested. Dates when people are free to invite themselves over could be clearly marked.
I can’t keep inviting the way I have for years. I’m tired and it hurts.
Noah says I’m just ditching my friends for lovers. I don’t think that is true. I can list off lots of friends talking and visits in the past few months. It is true that I’m putting less effort into my friends.
But I think I was there anyway. I think there was just a brief surge for dating. I think that is going to… change as time moves on anyway. I’ll run out of ask there too. I don’t get the impression that most of the folks I date are going to feel ok being pushy with asking for dates. My submissive. My glorious submissive. Thank you for being so brave so far. I know I’m busy and asking me means risking me being overwhelmed and kind of a twerp on a given day. I’m grateful you ask. Thank you. I’m sorry I’m not always good company but I’m so glad I get to know you. Sometimes when I say I’m not good company it isn’t about me not liking you it is about me wanting to keep my nasty moods away from you. I know you are comfortable with getting the less than sweet parts of me, but I don’t want to take my feelings out on anyone like that. I don’t want to start using you for that kind of thing.
I love you too much.
I’ll hit you; I’ll carve my name into your flesh with a scalpel; I’ll kick you as hard as I can in the testicles. I do not want to hurt you. I want you to feel loved. I can’t be nasty to you when I’m having a bad day. That’s not cool.
I need to be nasty to you on good days when it is a positive, loving choice for both of us.
I’m going to run out of chase on dating for the same reason I always do. Most people… aren’t as into me as I want them to be. They like me ok, but they don’t really seek me out. I seek them out as much as I can… then I can’t anymore.
Usually that’s about three months.
The people who have gone longer than that… my first fiancé, my Owner, Puppy, Spot, Noah… they always act like they are drawn to me. I don’t think my first fiancé would have fallen out of love with me. I think he wanted to marry me and he was going to be ok being that person forever. I think I could have had that. But he needed me to not change very much. He needed me to calm down and not be so crazy. He needed me to be very conservative sexually. I couldn’t do that for him. I think I could still be with my Owner if I hadn’t wanted kids so much. Puppy was the only one who dumped me. He has some serious issues and that was for the best. He would have been very abusive. Spot… that one did run its course. There was no more there for that relationship. But we are still friends.
Noah came back when I shoved him away as hard as I could. He was still my friend even though it hurt because not knowing me was more painful than dealing with me rejecting him as a boyfriend. Then after a while of being my friend he noticed that I was single for five minutes and he took a chance on offering me the best deal of my whole damn life. Would I like to marry my best friend and have the babies I’ve been dreaming of? Yes. Yes I would.
I like sudden intense protestations of devotion that I end up being able to count on. That works for me.
And Noah has chased me ever since. I do not always honor his efforts as I should. But I take breaks to admire just how forking nice to me he is. He chases me. He feels like he would die without me.
It makes it kind of hard to keep chasing people who are not that enthusiastic about seeing me, who do not push for time or attention, who do not make it clear that they want to know me.
I’m spoiled as fuck.
My submissive chases me à la Pepé Le Pew. Slow and patient and just there for my entire adult life.
You know who else chases me? Sarah. That’s why she is My Sarah. Because she has chased me and pushed and offered and grabbed chances to see me for over twelve years.
Lots and lots and lots of people can ask me once or twice a year for a visit. That’s so wonderful and sweet and generous. They give me what they have to spare. They ask for how much of me they want. I’m grateful for every person who gives me a three hour visit a year because they want to know me and that’s all they have spare. That is a gift.
It is so glorious having people in my life who want more and more and more of me. The number of people who feel that way is growing and I can’t help but think that is so wonderful. One of the women I look up to most described knowing me as being like watching the birth of a planet. I’m developing my own gravity.
So this ADD book I’m reading keeps saying, “There is something special about a lot of people with ADD. You can’t put your finger on what it is. It’s just there.” I find that hilarious.
When you look at comorbidity things: ADD is highly correlated with trauma which is highly correlated with being targeted which is highly correlated to being something that attracts notice.
Being special/different/weird is threatening as fuck. Lemme tell you.
Hey, is that a self love moment there? Did I just admit that I know I’m special?
I am. I always have been. I do radiate energy like the sun. Either I freak people out or I draw them in. I pay attention to people. I want to know them and love them. Just looking at people as hard as I do is special. Not many people are even capable of really looking at everyone around them and paying attention the way I do. It is some trick of attention and hypervigilance and empathy.
And where in the hell did I find the well of love I seem to have for people? Despite everything. Recently someone said I didn’t break; I broke open.
I need to be needed or there isn’t a lot of point in me. I think that the majority of creatures who are ever born live and die not having a point. I think that the creature has to make their own point, their own purpose, their own meaning.
Am I doing it?
So far people in ten states and a few different countries have told me that knowing me has changed them for the better. It’s a start.
I can say with great certainty that the three people who live here, my submissive, and My Sarah will chase me just about to the ends of the earth. Jenny has flown out to rescue me when I was in danger even though she isn’t by nature a chaser.
I still call her Jenny because I’m the only damn one who can. To you, she is Jennifer. You do not have leave to address her familiar. I think the only reason I can’t mature into the grown up name is because it was a very young person who first opened her heart to me. It was a very young person with intense wounds of her own who learned how to put up with me. When I cry and think of how very much I miss my friend I am dimly aware that we are grown ups now… but I miss her from that place of being very young. Because that is where she first touched me. I met her when I was twelve. I feel like twelve was for me the absolute last gasping breaths of my childhood. That was right as I started seriously dating.
Jenny managed to catch the last bits of me that could love as a child. And I love her with all the intensity of a child for their best friend still. Thank you.
Despite how not chaste I am… I am still chased. I am deemed worthy of love. And by people I respect and love in return. People who absolutely thrill me to my toes that these people think I am worth enough of their energy to chase me. People who are impacted by my gravity pull and just have to be near me.
Oh I love you I love you I love you.
That’s at least six people who will… chase me pretty fucking far. Blacksheep has jumped enormous hurdles to be my friend. DSH has gone waaaaaaay far past her comfort zone for me even though she isn’t one to chase people like me.
I could keep going.
I am blessed and blessed and blessed. My Bonus Family. It would take a few pages to go through all they have done for me. Even though I’m god damn difficult and sometimes they need some boundaries. That’s healthy.
Most of the people who love me with great intensity have rev limiters of their own. They have lives. Part of the reason I love them so much is because they are intense people with a lot going on. They give me what they can. Even if they can’t chase me the way I like to be chased…
Really, how spoiled can someone be? I get chased. I have three people chasing me 24/7. Quit being so greedy.
And yet I’d still kinda like to set up a calendar that says when folks can invite themselves over and see what happens.
I don’t want to decide who it is and how many people. I just… want to see what happens. I assume not much. I assume a few people sometimes but not much. The key to happiness is low expectations.
I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks. I’m nervous because this is a lot of time to be “on” with folks I don’t know that well. But I know this mama through mental/physical disability support. At least we are both very understanding of our mutual shortcomings. Ha.
I am so grateful that they accepted my invitation. This is going to be a lot of fun for me. I can’t wait to homeschool her kids. I feel like a walking encyclopedia and that is one of my favorite feelings. See how useful I can be. I am a good tool!
One of the things that makes me special is how fast I can access disparate topics in my brain and explain them in simple or complicated ways for just about anyone. I can make connections between things that seem unrelated… until I explain… faster than the vast majority of people I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a lot of people. I am not an expert in almost anything. Instead of going deep I go wide. That allows for a different kind of thinking, a different kind of intensity.
Ok, reading this book on ADD is making me question something about my long term mental health diagnosis: depression. I don’t do the torpor kind of depression. I do the head-down-keep-working-as-you-hate-yourself-and-want-to-die kind. Apparently that is a pretty standard ADD thing. Oh. Huh. That’s supposed to be one of those things they kinda look for. I hate them and their not looking.
If you loathe yourself: you are depressed. Sorta. Maybe.
I made Noah listen to this song. I can’t find it easily on the internet so you get lyrics. The thing is… I need to be loved. And I need it from lots of people because I’m trying to push past a whole lot of not being loved.
There is some interesting research out there on preverbal trauma and early formative trauma. I feel like I still need to be filled with as much love as an infant. I was not wanted. Not from conception. I only exist because a bad thing happened. What do I have to do to make up for that? What do I have to do for the world to make up for the harm I caused by coming into being. For declaring, “I don’t care that this hurts you. I need to be here.”
It’s not like I think I really deserve to be punished for choosing to be born. It was an accident. A surprise.
To be fair, my mom told me over and over I was a surprise. She didn’t know she wanted me till she had me. Sissy is the one who told me over and over that I was an accident. My mom just admitted it was rape. My mom tries to make sense of her life given the stories she has been given. God wanted her to have that child. Me.
I have been crying for my mother for over 31, almost 32 years. My mom was 32 when I was born. I might be 35 or 36 if I have another child.
Am I a grown up yet?
When my mama was 35 years old she had four children. She locked her abusive husband out of the house and sued for divorce. On the grounds that he had been raping their children. He was still given partial custody. He refused to pay alimony or child support so my mom lost the house and we ended up living in the car. Well, he would pay it. In exchange for sex.
Sometimes I think I judge my mother far too harshly for surviving a world of horror.
Sex. Sex. Sex. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it neither? Is it both? Does it depend?
I think that if I don’t have that much pull… I should probably just be ok with that. It is probably healthier that way. Maybe. Who knows.
Yes. Yes, I want pushy.
I think people misunderstand suicide prevention. There is a lot of shaming. “Don’t do it because it is selfish. You hurt people.” I hurt people by living too. I promise. It’s always complicated. It is always about the balance of hurting people vs being hurt.
I think it should be framed as enlightened self interested selfishness. Someday I will get to the point where I am out of good days. I’m not there yet. I’m trying to construct a future so fantastic that I absolutely want to stay alive to see it.
I know we are giving up the WWOOF year I’ve always wanted because of a baby I want more. You know what? I bet I will still go to Africa with Sarah someday. I bet I will still go to Taiwan to see Pam someday. I bet I will still go to South America someday. I don’t know who will go with me or who I will see… but it’s probably going to happen.
I’m like that.
I go do things.
No more travel for a long time though. I need to save money. We don’t really travel cheap.
The kids and Noah have promised to veto all requests for travel in 2017 even if I say, “but we could…”
I love my reminders.
My Eldest Child likes to say, “You should listen to yourself more, mom. You are a smart lady.” But I don’t listen to myself. I need to hear it from you. I need to hear it in your voice. I need to have you replace my inside voice. Do you know why? Because when I talk to me I’m so god damn mean. When you remind me of something I just said a few minutes ago… you usually sound so nice.
I know I sounded nice when I said it to you. That’s because it is easy to be nice to you. No, I can’t remind myself in that same nice way. I need you on a tape in my head. Because my tapes are all so bad. Thank you for reminding me.
I never mean that sarcastically.
Well… maybe once in a while but I’ll make it obvious with a funny voice.
Shiny change of topic. I feel like it is wise to restate a thing about voice in my blog. I talk to “you” a lot. That’s a moving target. I often consciously create sentences so I’m addressing multiple situations and multiple people at once and I phrase it as a singular. So if you feel paranoid that I’m talking to you… maybe…. inclusively…
Or maybe you’re the one. Noah gets a lot of direct address. Ok, other people do too and I hide behind the group thing. Let’s be honest. But I do the group address thing too!
I’m just tricksy.
I sat here for a while and just went through some visuals of stuff I’d like to have happen in my life. Oh let it be so.
I kinda had this epiphany yesterday.
“Hey Noah. Have you passed up chances to play with Beautiful?”
“Meaning you take them any time they come up.”
“And that’s been happening for eight years. Yeah. You’re dating.”
But not dating in a way that scares the shit out of me and causes me to have panic attacks and freak out. Because it’s very low key.
It was just funny to think about. Because if I’m dating my submissive… I have only had like two more dates with him than Noah has had with Beautiful and I’m definitely dating him.
WHY DO WE HAVE TO USE THESE WORDS. FUCK ALL THE EVERYTHING.
But I don’t think this idea that Noah isn’t going to date is tenable. It’s a nice idea. But yeah. It’s not going to be uhhh accurate. Right now the person he is dating is comfortable with it being at the whim of my mental health (thank you, thank you, thank you) but that’s a messy thing. I don’t want to be the weather vane controlling everyone’s lives as I go up and down the roller coaster.
Oh fuck everything.
The more honest with ourselves we are about what we are doing the less likely it is to blow up.
WE AREN’T DATING WE ARE JUST VERY GOOD FRIENDS WHO HAVE VERY INTIMATE CONTACT. FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS.
Yeah. You just tell yourself whatever the fuck you need to say to get through today. The truth will still be sitting there.
What does dating mean anyway? I used to get so mad at my Owner when he would say he hadn’t dated someone. I was all, “You had a three month period where they were at your house three nights a week. You dated for a brief period.” “Oh but it wasn’t serious dating so it’s not dating.” That conversation made me want to break glass.
Thing is, Beautiful is mostly happy with group dates where they just split off to play for a while and otherwise we are together. I like that. I like that a lot and I’d like to see if anyone could fit into a similar sort of role in my life. If these people want to come hang out with us when I am pregnant and miserable or in the babymoon year…
I wouldn’t be alone this time.
I mean, I’m not going to be alone this time. I have the big kids and Noah works from home. It is going to be different from top to bottom. But the kids aren’t company and… Noah still has to ignore me for a large chunk of the day. That’s fine. I miss talking to more people.
Ironically one of our children said, “We should name the child (Beautiful’s real name) because that is a beautiful name.” I think this person is in our life. Ya’know…
I loved working retail. I was good at connecting with people all day long one right after another. Being home is…. hard.
And begging friends for play dates is hard work. Mostly everyone is too busy. Or they only want to get together under some narrow parameters outside the house because they don’t want me in their house so they feel uncomfortable coming to my house. Sigh. I’m totally ok with always hosting. I don’t feel imposed upon. I feel catered to.
I feel really really guilty asking people to drive to me all the time. The road goes both ways and I should offer to reciprocate. But I really don’t want to. So I’m asking people less. Because I’m feeling bad about asking.
What is dating? Dating is an extra layer of “It is ok to inconvenience me as you ask me for something.”
Why do I think things with Beautiful aren’t just casual play partners? Cause when I ask if things will escalate when I’m pregnant and not interested he does that head duck thing where he doesn’t want to admit I’m right.
I guess it is good I haven’t managed to chase off every woman who was interested in Noah. Sigh. I swear I wasn’t trying.
I wonder if ADD meds would help with my urge to self harm. A quick search says it is inconclusive. I’d be happy to give it a go.
I don’t know if I want to continue Abilify. I still am not convinced it is doing enough positive. An inch of improvement isn’t worth it. And the kids say I’m getting crankier.
Ok, here’s some blatant honesty. One reason I have always harshly rejected the label of poly is because I have known some extraordinarily bad parents who happened to be poly. It is more important to me that I nail being a good parent than that I nail any other role. If I’m a bad wife, girlfriend, friend, whatever. I can live with that.
I don’t think I could live with myself if I really believed I was a bad mother. I’m a harsh critic. I work really hard on my behavior for my kids.
I’ve seen people do poly really wrong. I’ve seen it hurt kids a lot. I’m scared of that. I’m really really really scared of that.
I like nonmonogamy. It means that our lives aren’t just sexually exclusive. It doesn’t really make any promises about the size or shape or definition of what anything inside of that means. It can mean a lot of different things and a lot of different levels of friendship and love.
What does love mean anyway?
It means I want Noah to be happy and not depressed. That means that when my body goes completely to shit when I’m pregnant… either I encourage him to see Beautiful more (he slept with a different friend during other pregnancies) or I deal with him getting increasingly depressed. These are the options. We’ve been through this dance. I know what the choices are.
But what about the absolute freaking out I do when he comes home? Meh. Even that is muted when I’m pregnant. I don’t give a shit about much other than how much pain I’m in. Bitch come here and rub my back. And my arms. And my feet. Just don’t stop rubbing till tomorrow, ok?
My shrink said she didn’t know if I could get over my fear of Noah dating in this lifetime. But if it has already been kinda happening for eight years… (I actually have a specific brain hack plan in place for how to deal with moving through some of this fear and we have a phone called scheduled on Friday to find out if we will be able to do it.)
Where is the threat?
What is the threat?
What is there to be afraid of. Other than that he will be too god damn enthusiastic when biting my neck.
When I come out of feeling asleep from the breeding period, I wake up with a vengeance. Noah doesn’t do that. If he falls asleep again… waking up would be hard. He’s going to get very habituated to his depressed habits and that doesn’t suit my lifetime goals.
Where is my enlightened self interest here?
I woke up after 6 hours of sleep, and ended up painting by candle light starting at 3am. I’m tired. But I think well in this kind of tired. I read that is an ADD thing too. Deliberately exhausting yourself before you can focus. If this is a lot of what the problem is… I’m going to be so bitter it hasn’t come up before now.
I’m almost 35 fucking years old. I had problems all the way through school because I was a disruptive little snot. Why didn’t anyone ever suggest this?
I’m going to add to the data form for the Stanford folk that I think Eldest Child has it. Both she and I only skip one to two markers per person. Different markers. We both kinda scream it. If you sit and read books about case studies that is. That whole super high needs baby thing? Yeah.
Eldest Child doesn’t look like me but she has a lot of my personality and physical weirdness. A lot of extreme sensitivities and fussiness about needing things to be just so. She gets overwhelmed, but I manage her overwhelm so well that it is practically invisible at this point. I would not want her on medication. She is learning to cope with her body and she’s doing great for the life she has now.
But I bet I could learn some tricks to help both of us.
And you know what? Adding people into our lives will be adding people who might know more about this disorder than I do. People who can help me so that I don’t have to be the expert on everything.
I’d be ok deferring expert status on a whole lot of shit. I don’t need to know everything in the world. Ain’t my job. I have enough jobs. I’m tired.
I’m told it isn’t my job to meet everyone’s needs. Believe me I know. But I still feel like what I have to offer is so very inadequate. I am so high maintenance. What do I offer that is worthy of such effort?
I’m running into a problem in my sex life. I’m closer to a vanilla bottom a lot of the time and that’s some serious mixed signals in my little world. I like sex. I don’t need it to be that harsh. I don’t need to be hit all the time. I really totally don’t fucking need to get pinched a bunch. My body lives in a lot of pain a lot of the time. I spend a lot of time trying to manage my pain levels. Getting hit is complicated.
But I’m a masochist. I really am. Sometimes it is the best thing ever.
I’m not that much of a sadist either. I have times when I get really super duper in that mood and when I’m in that mood absolutely nothing else will do…
But if you look at the last 15 years… I’m not a serious sadist. Lots of years involve no sadism and only a little bit of missing it.
And I’m heading back into another breeding period. My masochism and my sadism went on walkabout last time. I still like sex. And I want kissing like I want air. I want lots of gentle touch because my whole body is going to fucking hurt for nine months. I am not an easy pregnant person.
I’m even more weepy and sad and isolated feeling. I want my mother and I can’t have her and that hole in my heart eats at me so badly when I’m pregnant.
It has been hard for me my whole life that when I feel worst I am the most isolated. It happens over and over. If I’m sick… I’m usually alone.
I’m looking forward to a pregnancy with a work-at-home partner and older children. I hope it won’t feel so sad. I’m kinda hoping that we can find a way to have people come over that isn’t a problem.
I don’t know what the future will hold and I’m feeling like a huge selfish asshole. I’m worrying about my needs and I’m being really ungracious and fussy about other peoples needs. I’m not being generous or loving. I’m such a fucking asshole.
Part of the problem is I have a very long list of people who want me to consider their needs and feelings. They conflict–I promise you. I have to kinda prioritize and then where in the hell do I fit in?
I don’t know. But I’m sharp and difficult when I say no because I hate saying no. I feel like such an asshole. “Hey you are being brave and wonderful and asking me for this thing that is really important to you. OH MY GOD DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING TIRED I AM!?”
I can’t remember the last time I got more than six hours of sleep in a night. It’s been a bit. I’m dealing with 2-4 hours a lot of nights. What can be done about it? Well I see a whole bunch of doctors and I try what they tell me to try and…. here I am.
My shrink wants me tested for ADD because in her opinion it is not fucking normal to go on 2-4 hours of sleep a night, hold together (mostly) my normal life and have sex for an hour or more most days of the week. She says that is an excessive amount of energy. Really outside the range of normal.
I wouldn’t fucking know.
I am not as toppy during sex as some folks would like.
The other night with Sweet Boy he really wanted me to top all the sex. I could for a few minutes then I untied him and said, “No I can’t do this anymore.”
I don’t like running the fuck very much. I really don’t like it much past the first or second time of having sex together. I get it the first time… I’m weird to fuck. Past that, I’m seriously a bottom when it comes to sex. And that passivity goes on turbo when I’m pregnant. I’m receptive but initiating feels so awful.
And if I have to tell you what to do and how to do it? Shit. I’d rather pick my nose.
No offense. It’s not about you. It’s about me.
When I quit my job when I was pregnant with Eldest Child I had severe nausea (I was puking multiple times a day) and I was falling asleep at work, in traffic… everywhere. I could not stay awake. A friend who was a nurse asked me what job I would go get instead because “gestating isn’t a job.”
Many other friends were… happy to share with me their opinion that pregnancy isn’t a disability and I should buck up.
You know what, motherfuckers? If you don’t live in my body…. shuddup. I god damn start out disabled. Pregnancy is a nightmare.
Pregnancy is horrible. And I’m looking at it again. I was kinda thrilled by the idea of never being pregnant again.
I want the baby. I want the baby of my body. But I hate pregnancy. I am so sick when I’m pregnant. I am in so much pain. It is such a difficult process. According to natural selection I should already be dead from this.
But fuck natural selection. Science.
When I started looking for people to date I wanted play partners. For very sadomasochistic sex. Then Noah changed his mind about a baby.
That’s seeming like a dumb thing to hunt for at this point. I can’t live up to that. I… will really not be able to live up to that starting in a few months and it will probably be years before I’m back up to speed again. Shit. Shit. Shit.
I feel like I’m jerking people around and being a terrible person.
I went and had lunch with Daddy James. I wanted to touch base with him in a I’m-not-just-in-your-life-to-use-you-for-sex way. He told me it was ok to keep changing what I’m negotiating for because life keeps changing what I have to offer. Thank you Daddy. He also told me it is ok that I am difficult to put up with. People get other things in trade and it is worthwhile for them.
I don’t see how what I have for trade that could possibly be enough to justify putting up with me.
Especially as I’m about to revoke a lot of what makes me a fun toy. I’m not so fun when I’m not up for play. I’m… a lot more boring. Hey, let’s garden or watch Netflix. woo.
Noah wants me to take a month and date as much as I want so that he can experience the full terror and find out just how bad it is going to be. The kids are asking for us to be home 4-5 days/week with no visitors.
How the fuck do I balance that? I’ve got easily dozens of people I’d like to see who’d like to see me. Some of the activities they want to see me for are high energy and some are low energy and I’m kinda flipping out about both kinds equally. “Hey drive to my house and sit around” is just as intimidating as “Let’s do x super high intensity activity.”
OH MY GOD I CAN’T RIGHT NOW.
I want to I want to I want to but I haven’t got it to give.
What I have to give is very narrow and particular and time limited. Like, why in the fuck am I up at this time of night? Because three hours of sleep is enough, apparently. Fuck.
I feel so sad that I am so inadequate to meet the needs of the people I love.
I am inadequate. It’s funny how nonmonogamy is just a chance for me to feel inadequate with more people. Wheeeeeee
I can’t do/be what Noah wants and I can’t for anyone else either. I’m feeling really sad about that right now. I can’t ever be good enough. I can’t ever do enough. I will never be able to satisfy people or make them happy. I will never be enough.
I feel like I’m in a weird transition. I thought I was transitioning out of intensive parenting into more independence and abruptly… I’m in reverse going back into the most restrictive part of this job and lengthening my time of indentured service. What the fuck am I thinking signing up for thirty god damn years of home schooling.
Twenty years sounded awful enough.
I was really enjoying the expanded freedom of the Bonus Family. That’s not really a thing for a few years again. I hope I will still get my Bonus Kids sometimes. I hope that maybe the older kids can go for a night or two a month still just a way of having “their” time and space away from being in baby-land. But I won’t want or need a couple of weekends. I’m sitting here with a baby anyway. I’d rather have all my babies around more.
Fuck. This is a huge change. This is a massive upheaval. Why are we doing this?
Because I can deal with transitioning back into the world in ten more years. If the IDB (incest data base) takes me a little longer… oh fucking well.
I want this baby. And Noah keeps saying, “Two?” I don’t know. I can’t commit to that till I get through a third pregnancy. But more than likely if Noah asks me in two years if I want another baby he won’t be able to keep me off of him.
Because yeah. I get quiverful. I get wanting more babies. I get it. I get it. I get it.
I’ve already had one person who is not-breeding say it’s ok if I replace them in the population. Anyone else want to volunteer as well to justify my second kid?
I’m not even joking very much.
Parenting is the one thing I genuinely feel like I am excelling at doing. I’m far from perfect but I adapt and I grow quickly. I see problems and I address them.
I think I could handle four kids just fine. I think it would be wonderful. No Pam, I don’t want to hear your negative Nancy shit. I’m aware that you are now a voice of dissent. Ok. Heard. Now don’t bring it up again.
I feel like such an asshole for being mixed when a friend told me she wanted a fourth baby years ago. Fuck. See, the ways in which I am an asshole always come back to bite me in the ass.
I should have said, “I support you.” I’m sorry. I did that wrong.
I know there will be problems. There will be problems with or without another baby. I asked the magic 8 ball and it is never wrong.
There will be problems with or without two more babies. That fucker was consistent in its answers.
“Will there be problems if we have a baby?” Yes.
“Will there be problems if we don’t have a baby?” Yes.
“Will there be problems if we have two babies?” Yes.
I’m telling you. The magic 8 ball knows.
I don’t feel confident in the choices I’m making. A lot of what I can see is that each of my choices hurt other people for a cascading list of reasons. I’m not going to be available for what they want…. and I don’t even know how to say what I need.
I don’t know how this is going to work. I don’t know how any of this will balance out. Between the kids, Noah, me, and all the god damn people I care about how is this going to balance?
WHY DO SO MANY OF YOU BASTARDS KEEP LATE HOURS. THIS WOULD BE EASIER IF Y’ALL WERE AVAILABLE AT MORE LIKE 7-10AM!
Why isn’t everything all about me? Because it isn’t and it shouldn’t be. Even if I am the main character in my story… I’m not the center of anyone else’s story. Not even Noah’s. Not really. I’m his wife. That’s an accessory to his life and story not the point of the story.
I gotta be honest with y’all. When I think of what I’d like it’s not that much one on one date time. I’d like more people around and carefully managing people one to one… is a job. Especially within the framework of 4-5 days/week are just not options I wish that there were a bunch of people who said, “X day works for me. Are you free?” And it’s ok for me to say yes to three or four people because… quite frankly… that means that there is a lot of kinds of attention to give and get all at the same time.
That feels like Auntie’s house when I was a kid. Only no one checked if it was ok to come over in advance. They called and said, “You home?” then they came over. Auntie knew a lot of people. I loved my Auntie and of the people in my family she’s the only one I’d want to be even a little bit like.
She’s honorable. She takes care of people. She gets shit done.
She’s enabling as fuck and that’s something I struggle with emulating too much.
I’d like to have open houses on Friday’s. Some people can bring their kids with laptops and sleeping bags and the kids can have a LAN party before going to sleep. The adults can talk or play games. I’d like to not have to be careful about managing invites or treating it like a “party”.
I like to keep the house company-ready just as a matter of course so that having people over isn’t extra work. Then it is less stressful. Cleaning up for people feels bad.
It’s interesting reading this book on ADD my shrink gave me. Driven to Distraction. Reading it is making me cry because it sounds so much like me. Bits and pieces and here and there. But… it would make a lot of sense. My list of flame outs is long and inglorious. My self esteem is shit (at least in part) because I spent my whole life being told I was bad for the ways I deviated from normal.
My shrink is calling my psych to say, “Instead of an SSRI (which has a proven problem history) how about trying a stimulant?”
I’m excited to have someone case managing me like this. She’s known me for years and her feedback feels very useful when dealing with a prescribing person. I’ve always wanted a case manager.
Really I’ve always wanted a knowledgable pushy mother. Kinda like I am. Deep sigh.
Go be what you want to see in the world.
This biology shit is hard core. I want to be a parent. It’s the most important thing I do. I learn the most from it. I grow the most because of it. I have to or I will be a shitty parent.
I don’t want to be one more shitty parent.
I owe them more than that. Because I made them out of pure selfishness. I owe them every ounce of work I can put into being a good parent.
And I have a lot of work in me. How do I focus it more? What do I want to focus it on? My kids. For a lot of years to come they get the lion’s share. They deserve more than I have to give. That’s a lot of why I want to add other adults.
Beautiful tells me she will feel more free to invite herself over. Fuck yes.
I guess I did something right for once.
The Quiet One is an increasing factor. I don’t know what the fuck. But not saying anything here at all feels like lying because this is part of how I keep accountable with Noah. Fuck. I feel like this miraculous available during the week day, local, oriented towards care taking of children person just fell out of the clear blue sky and I don’t know what the fuck.
I really don’t. Because he has some boundaries that are going to make him tricky as heck to negotiate with in particular ways. It is none of the internet’s business because he’s going to be one who doesn’t want to be written about in the same way as a lot of other people I see. Some folks ask for more explicit reports. Some folks believe they deserve privacy. But there is a balance for me.
I don’t want to be a liar about what I’m doing. For good or for bad.
That road is straight to hell.
Kisses. More kisses. More kisses.
I go through waves of needing to not be hit because I need to not think I deserve to be hit. It’s complicated.
If you couldn’t hurt me I wouldn’t be interested. Danger. Danger. Danger.
I am a hard fucking pet to own. Noah and I discuss this in detail. He has spent ten years trying to learn how to properly feed me, exercise me, get me to sleep, and take care of me better than ever before. It’s been hard for both of us.
I am an emotional and physical masochist. Does it turn me on when my back hurts? No. What that means is I have learned how to eroticize kinds of sensation (physical and emotional) that other people don’t experience as sexual. This is good and bad.
Within certain contexts I enjoy being hit fairly hard in the scheme of things. Within certain contexts being degraded will make me orgasm like a geyser. But these are not all the time fun things for me. In the wrong times these sensations can be highly damaging. Only the right people get to tell me I’m a good whore. Preferably after role play when their cock (bio or not) is inside me. Then, it works great. If someone random brings that up… the fur’s gonna fly.
I have been suicidal and self harming for almost thirty years. When I talk about my problems, they are not in reaction to my current life. They did not form in context to what is happening now, but I have to deal with them now. PTSD, for me, means that I have a hard time telling what is past tense and what is current tense and what is future tense a lot of the time. I’m just… trying to be a version of me that won’t be too problematic in all times. That’s rough because what was needed from me as a child is different from now.
I don’t think it is possible to over state the impact of my early childhood sexual abuse on my personality formation. I know I lived with my father until I was three. I know the abuse was frequent before he was kicked out. I know it was every time I saw him after that until about twelve.
My father telling me over and over that I exist to get men off and I don’t have the right to say no…
That has absolutely shaped my life.
Noah and I were talking tonight about “What he can get away with” now vs when we got married. I’ve learned to say no. I used to not say no to anything he wanted no matter how much pain it caused me. It really never seemed important that I was in pain. I was going to hurt anyway. He might as well be getting what he wants.
Fibromyalgia fucks all of this up too. I’m in pain a lot of the time. As I age my joints are on fire more days of the month. PMDD complicates my life. (That’s premenstrual dysphoric disorder for those who don’t know.) It means that for roughly 3-10 days a month my brain would kind of like to kill me. I feel useless, worthless, and like I should die. I feel like I am bad. I feel like I hurt people by existing.
This isn’t about reality or rational thinking. This is pure hormonal/chemical hell. And I’ve done everything that I can do about it. I keep trying new things. It does improve over time. But it is pure shit when it is happening.
I live in a kind of chemical soup that doesn’t want me to be alive very much. I live in a chemical state that doesn’t see much purpose for me.
But then there are the happy chemicals. Oxytocin. Endorphins. Serotonin. I can get them. But it’s hard hard hard hard hard.
Something that is complicated and hard and not fair…
I can do the spike up and down thing pretty easily. Ecstasy and despair are easy for me. It’s being ok I suck at. Noah has helped me make more progress on being ok than anything and everything else in my life. But doing so has worked a lot like a standard antidepressant in that it makes the ecstasy part harder. Not impossible, but more complicated.
Noah and I have very deeply connected sex. There’s a lot of “I see you as a whole person with flaws and merits and I love you for being more than one thing.” It is wonderful and life affirming. It helps me feel like I can climb into a box and be safe. Desafortunadamente (why is this word so much better in Spanish?) that box isn’t able to be everything.
Why do I need more?
Why does a Porsche need more maintenance than a Toyota? It is the result of engineering.
Why am I so complicated? Why am I so hard? Engineering.
I need a lot of connection with people. I need lots of people in a way that is hard for Noah to understand. I think Noah is an actual introvert and I am actual extrovert who behaves like an introvert because of trauma and avoidance.
I fucking need people. I need to talk to them. The kissing and sexing is awesome, but I’d say they are part of less than 1% of my relationships. I need connection. Mostly it isn’t sexual. But good golly the sexual connection is so good at making all of those chemicals I suck at making on my own.
Why do I want to date? Because I want massive injections of oxytocin. Because I want to see you and feel so excited you are alive. Because I want you to look at me the same way. Because I need to see that look on your face because there will probably be minutes between this time and next time I see you when it is very hard for me to remember at all that anyone is ever happy to see me.
What I feel right now is what I have always felt and will always feel. Until it changes. Then that is what I feel and have always felt.
You can see how I might try to stack the deck with experiences that land me squarely in the happy brain chemicals column because when I’m there I don’t have to deal with the depressive and anxious symptoms in the same way. It’s like they went on vacation and forgot to write.
So I had multiple possible kissing opportunities go by without kisses. Internally my narrative around this is melodramatic, stupid, and whiny. “See. They’re done.”
I feel like I should stop bothering them.
I feel like what I am is a bother.
Incidentally: shiny change of topic to drop a cryptic comment at someone from yesterday. When I say that someone is giving me “reminders” I don’t mean that in any kind of negative way. My kids and I give each other reminders. It is a way of noticing someone and saying, “Hey do you remember this thing you want to remember?” Because…. most people suck at that. It is a loving thing to do, in my mind. Let me remind you about who you want to be because that makes it easier to stay on track. Let me remind you that I see you and what you are doing is real and has impact on the world so I remind you of what you need to be thinking about.
I sure didn’t mean it as a complaint or as a criticism or an attack or anything negative. Reminders are intensely positive in my life. But I had two hours of sleep and my ability to explain is uhm compromised at such times.
End of shiny change of topic.
I like to be hit. I crave it like other people crave… whatever the fuck they crave. It’s a powerful force in my life. My absolute favorite is hitting with hands. Punching is such a vicious, visceral, vivacious connection that I feel like it makes me more alive. Punching helps me stop dissociating. Punching helps me feel the muscles and the tendons and the bones in my body. Punching helps me feel alive.
I can enjoy being hit with toys but it is a lot more difficult for me. I don’t process it as connection. It tends to increase my dissociation because mostly it hurts more in a way that I have to escape my body in order to tolerate very much of it. I don’t feel connected that way. I feel like I am a thing that a tool is doing a thing to. Sometimes that is hot too. Sometimes I do want to be beaten until I go away. It is like a vacation from the tyranny of living in a brain that hates me this much.
It feels like atonement for being so bad all the god damn time.
But atonement needs to be a sometimes treat or it means that I am shit and I should spend all my time apologizing for being shit.
Constant atonement means I am constantly bad enough that I need to atone.
That hurts my soul as much as it hurts my body.
I don’t always need to atone. Mostly I need to connect with people who want me to be alive and who aren’t shy about telling me so. Because I’m not so sure I want to be alive. But I don’t want to hurt people in this web more than I want to stop being in pain. Right now the balance is very much on the side that my pain doesn’t matter. I need more reason to believe that. And I need less pain.
The happy chemicals make me feel less pain. Less emotional pain and less physical pain. It’s a virtuous cycle.
I feel so very guilty that even when I’m having sex with Noah basically every day and sometimes several times a day… that isn’t enough chemical in the soup to push me over the rim of the pot and out of the boiling water that wants to kill me.
But adding more people… well… it’s variable… but it does more than anything else.
I have managed to long since get the soup down to a simmer from a hard boil, but I haven’t been able to get out of the pot.
Thank you Noah. That is mostly because of you. It is because of the children you have given me. It is because of the life you have given me.
But yeah. I need more relationships. I need people I can talk to and connect with and feel like I matter to them.
Because being a wife and a mother is not enough for me.
Do you know why I think that sport fucking isn’t going to work out for me the way it used to? Because these days even when I fuck someone at a swing party and intend to not really see them again (and hell they gave me a fake name anyway)…
They end up telling me their real name and coming over for lunch with their whole family so we can talk about life balance and problems and how to deal with different life issues and… we are turning into friends.
Noah I know I kinda wanted to just be fuck buddies with people. I went out looking for that.
FUCK ALL OF YOU FOR BEING SO AWESOME.
But I feel small and scared and ashamed. Because asking for support, asking for connection with these other people feels like it is almost specifically designed to be about hurting Noah. I don’t want to hurt Nah. He is the air I breathe. No, he isn’t every ounce of chemical I need… but he is the basis. He is the start. He is safety. He is the love that reminds me to take care of myself when I am failing at doing so.
I feel ashamed of how much I need him. I would be willing to sacrifice other parts of myself for that safety. But I’ll be down in the simmering soup forever. That’s just… true. One of these days the soup is going to finish boiling me and I will die.
I need more chemicals to raise the water line and get the fuck out of the pot.
I am so sorry I need an amount one person can’t supply. I have no idea what is enough.
I am feeling really scared. I want to reach out and I don’t. I am so weary of being a bother. I feel so much like people “put up with” me.
I’m so sorry that I am so horrible.
I want to be good. I want to be just a source of happiness. But the truth is I’m not. I’m full of sadness I don’t know what to do with. Mostly I try to get enough when I feel it is ok to touch people and can access more of those fucking chemicals I can’t produce on my own.
If I walk in wearing makeup and I walk out with a bare face that means I removed it all because I didn’t want it to be obvious I was crying. Part of the reason I have been wearing more makeup is because I’m trying to control the crying. I know I can’t cry without it being obvious and that’s too public for me. I can cry without people seeing with a bare face. I do it a lot.
I want to stop crying some year. Stop crying. Stop crying. Stop crying you fucking baby.
Why do I want to date? Because I had to marry someone as broken as me. I had to marry someone who has so many pieces chopped out of him that he has huge gaping wounds where we can grow together and meld and heal into a new shape that is one thing instead of two broken things.
But how in the mother fuck do we teach our kids about a happy or healthy or normal childhood? By saying “Be grateful you aren’t getting what we got?” Oh goodness no. So I go date (in very small part) because that way I can find people who aren’t broken in the same ways and ask question after question after question. I get the impression people think I’m weird. Tell me how you turned out the way you did. I like you just fine and if I could manage to interact with a mini human to help them turn out like you… that would be a positive in this world.
I can’t make babies with everyone. But I can take the example of what kind of life experiences someone would bring to parenting and try to bastardize that onto my life. It is variably successful piece by piece. Overall it has been wildly successful.
I learn things from Cupid and Deity about a quieter happiness than I have known. They are very different men but they both come from backgrounds they are basically happy about. Do you know how fucking weird that is in my life? Dating them is almost like getting to have a koala bear accidentally fall out of a tree on your head and so see you’ve proven drop bears exist.
My submissive inspires me with his passionate devotion to things. He has picked just a few people in his life to pour devotion into and I admire him. I both love and struggle with the fact that his core kinks are around degradation and “dirty” things. I absolufuckinglutely love that I get to do these things… I wish they weren’t degrading or dirty. I think they are fun. I do them from love. I do them out of service because you want to be treated this way and so ok I’m happy to be in that role for you.
So where does the sadism come into all of this? I am a sadist… but I am more of a service top. I do things because I think the person I am playing with wants/needs to experience them. I like being a guide on a journey. Even more I love being lead on a journey but with every passing year I intimidate people more and I get fewer offers.
The sadists are going to be happier with the people who aren’t physically and emotionally damaged at the beginning. I can’t take what a lot of people like to do on a regular basis. I can take it sometimes. I can take it when I’m doing well. Then I can’t for a while.
And the bubbling of the soup has a huge impact. The more emotionally dysregulated I am the more my entire nervous system flares up.
That’s why I want the kissing so much. It calms my central nervous system down. It distracts it from feeling pain.
And when there are chances to do the kissing and someone doesn’t want to… that feels really super out of proportion huge for me. I’m not saying anyone is obligated to make out with me for hours. Hell. I’m not saying you have to spend fifteen minutes kissing me.
But if you tell me you are romantically interested in me and you have a chance to kiss me and you’d rather not….
I feel that in my body and I feel it for days and I feel so sad.
All of this is complicated by the fact that we can’t kiss in front of my kids. So if we see each other a few times when kisses were possible but didn’t happen and then we see each other around my kids… that’s complicated torture. That’s a complicated thing that feels a lot like how I couldn’t hug or kiss or be affectionate around the kids when they were very small. I could do some but I would freak out if I heard them. It took a long time before I decided it was more appropriate for them to see that folks do those things when they like each other.
I have been good about slowly developing these boundaries and I’m going to keep being good about them. That’s important to me. I came from a place of severe inappropriate connection. I have inched my way towards letting my kids see different actions. But my kids have always seen me hug my friends. That’s just a standard thing. Even long hugs. So whereas kissing feels like it is a big boundary for me… my kids aren’t dumb. They will figure things out.
All of this is also complicated by my general problem with time distortion. I mentioned that in a few ways up-post: living in more than one time at once, feeling like how I feel in this moment is how I feel in all moments… but there is also the problem that when I’m really happy, time flies. I feel like I am getting so much input I can barely take it in. I struggle with feeling like hard packed clay soil. If you dump a deluge on me, it’s mostly going to just run off and not impact the plants. When I am depressed and/or anxious time drags on and on and on and on. It feels like there will never ever be a cessation of pain and god I can’t do this.
I have seriously been hurting most of my life. It’s hard to keep carrying that load.
But I have so much good that sometimes I am able to just sling all that hurt into a rucksack, toss it on my back and say, “It doesn’t matter how you feel it matters what you do.”
I think it is a problem that I associate not wearing makeup with a need to hide crying.
When I’m riding high in the pot and I feel relatively happy for me, then I want to beg someone to hurt me.
Why was it at such a sharp edge when I started hunting? Because I have been so safe for so long. I need the sharp and the soft. I got so much soft. I know it wasn’t fair that I didn’t know how to talk to Noah about being the sharp.
But it’s getting better pretty quickly, I think.
I need to not do anything melodramatic around this kissing thing. But I need to have some conversations. I need to talk about some pieces of this in real time with people.
The not kissing when the kids are around: kosher. The not kissing when the kids aren’t around? No. Not ok. I can’t think of you as someone I want to be kissing and deal with feeling like you don’t want to kiss me.
I had to turn off thinking about the Professor like that. He feels whatever he feels and I have no window into that but his behavior is that we had opportunities and there were no kisses and I need to treat that like “We are not people who will be kissing” and move on with my life. I have to compartmentalize like that or I get my feelings hurt.
He’s still my friend though. I still like him a lot. I will… poke at him less for a while because I’m still in the sticky he doesn’t like me that much stage.
I’ll get over that bit. I always do. It’s ok for people to like me how much they like me. But sometimes I have some sad that I am only liked as much as I am. I need to deal with that sad. I need to stay friends. Because that’s dealing with your shit. Because good grief I’m dealing with a lot of people and if I got bitter about everyone who doesn’t want to kiss me I’d have a shitty life. It’s ok.
But I’ll poke the Professor at a slower rate for a bit. I’m not going away;I enjoy the conversation too much. I just need to do some self management.
Even if I stop feeling like I have the right to look for kisses… I don’t want to stop being friends. I went hunting for friends with benefits. I want friends. I want benefits. Largely, apparently, in the form of kissing.
Wouldn’t it have been god damn handy if I could have phrased it that way in like March.
I’m going as fast as I can.
I want more hitting and I want more being hurt. But I want it in between kisses from someone who very much likes me. That’s complicated.
And I want to write about Sweet Boy. Because that was awesome. But I’m closing in on four thousand words and my arms need me to stop soon. He’ll be a lengthy story.
In three and a half hours we leave to go see the doctor about Noah’s vasectomy reversal. Holy shit.
How is this all going to work? Fuck if I know. But I guess we’ll figure it out. It’s that or die and I’m not ready. Even if I want to. I’m not ready. There is so much left to do. I’m not one to sit around when there is work to be done.
Do you know what is the part of our family culture that I am proudest of? “We are workers not shirkers.” When my kids say this, when Noah models it and repeats it… oh my soul glows. Yes. I read this hilarious book called How to Raise the Perfect Children Through Guilt and Manipulation and it is as much a memoir about her childhood as it is written by a parent about parenting. I don’t want to do anything how the sports-fanatic-Catholic author does things in her life…. but I do want to set a strong family culture the way she talks about. I do want to indoctrinate with my ideals the way she talks about. Yeah. Like that. Only something different.
Cause that’s what I am. Like you. Only something different.
Today is the 18th anniversary of Tommy’s suicide. I can’t say I miss you. I am glad you don’t have to be hurting any more. Self immolation. What a way to go.
I’m moving forward. The remodel stuff is creaking along the lines of “I’m about to fire your ass” and I have support. Today two grown ups are coming over and they will help with yard work and painting tasks.
Yard work tasks:
transplant the blue agaves transplant YC’s plant fill the palettes with dirt and transplant the strawberries finish moving the remaining dirt into more planters for YC’s “own bed for growing things”. Sorry it has to be divided up. Some weed pulling and moving of yuck to the green waste bin Filling all the bird feeders Trim the roses and distribute the thorns so I get fewer cats. Fucking neighbor cats Water both yards
Remove cupboards & hardware Scrub walls with intensive cleanser
- Sand walls
- Rescrub with cleanser
Doesn’t that sound like a full enough damn day?
Laundry (must strip bed) working on this Load dishwasher Hand wash sink of dishes Clear counters and finish finding “during painting” homes for everything
Contact peeps chores:
Where am I sleeping on the 25th? Must look at options on a map. Thank you generous, kind friends.Decision made. Beginning of the parade route. Write a letter. To whom is yet to be decided but I should do it.Wrote 2 Look at Jenny’s birthday box, see what has to be added and make the shopping list. I should fucking mail it this weekend. I’m already in the next month. I know she forgives me, but I’m feeling like an asshole. Schedule acupuncture Schedule pampering w/Sarah
To be fair! The kitchen prep is only from my waist up today. Because I’m painting in stages for reasons of not exhausting myself.
Noah told the kids yesterday that surely we were about out of room for plants. The kids both argued. He argued back. I said, “I expect we’ll have 40-80 more plants before I’m done.” Noah said, “Whoa.”
Well, after the house is painted I’m ringing the fucker with plants. There are going to be a lot of indoor plants once we are done painting this time.
I’m going to spend the next year of my life trying to learn how to take proper care of my garden. This is going to take a fuck-ton of time.
I’m looking forward to it.
When it all goes to pieces, I still have chores to do. One of the difficulties in trying to be someone who organizes get togethers is… you have to deal with other peoples schedules. Whether I schedule in advance or at the last minute this sucks.
Yesterday we were supposed to have a playdate with five families. All bailed at the last minute. I think one is in labor (good reason to skip the park! Good luck!); another has to wait on a bureaucrat who is making her life hell (good golly that sucks. Good luck!); another forgot it was election Tuesday and oops she always works (ok, this one kinda bugs me a bit); another was just running behind and she could have showed up two hours late if we waited (no, I’m not gonna); last but not least one family said they were technically happy to show up… with hand foot and mouth disease–that cancellation is my fault.
But I was on my way to babysit other kids and see another family. Picking up a highly communicable disease on the way seemed rude.
Nobody did anything wrong. But it still feels hard.
Sometimes people ask me why I’m not more willing to drive for park playdates these days. I stop laughing eventually.
Because driving far from my house for a park play date is a variable experience at the end of a hard experience for my body. Nope.
Last time some of these folks missed a playdate I scheduled over near them and they asked if we could come back the next week to see them.
Funny how folks don’t generally say, “Know how we broke our plans? How about if we offer this super convenient for you alternative?” That’s not how it works. I offer to come to them and do a bunch of work and they expect me to just do it again. Because clearly it wasn’t that hard the first time so just keep doing it. But it’s too hard for them to come to me.
I would like to take this moment and say “Thank you” to all the people who come visit me on a regular basis. Thank you for helping me feel like maybe I do have some value to someone.
Last night Noah and I had it out a bit more. This is going to be a rough year. I’m not writing them down here but I sure went down my list of done-me-wrongs. I did that after running four miles because I was afraid I would otherwise do something drastic and awful.
That’s like healthy progress, right?
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss.
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What does it mean?
How do I fill my bucket without hurting Noah? That seems to be where we are stuck. Yesterday a solid 8 people asked me why I was wearing braces. I begin to understand Mitrian’s anger and frustration. I tell people because I type too much. They ask why. I say because it is better than screaming at people. They say, “Yes. Keep typing.”
I’m so glad to hear that more people agree that me harming myself is superior to me impacting other people with negative emotions. Now we just dicker about methods.
This became absolutely crystal clear to me when I was talking to someone about cutting the other day.
Cutting actually heals pretty easily in the scheme of things. I am permanently crippling myself in the name of self harm that is more socially acceptable. Because the only place I’m actually allowed to exist is here. Everywhere else is a compromise.
I’m having huge feelings about my date with Cupid not including any intimacy. I’m not upset that we didn’t play. I’m not even cranky about not having sex. He’s not a life support unit for a dick. But we didn’t hug or kiss. So I feel like I didn’t really fill my bucket. And that’s the date I get this month.
I mean, I feel like an asshole for feeling that way because I came off an excellent group date with Noah and Deity and playing with the Sweet Boy.
But that was my only option for one to one serious adoration this month.
Noah and I do adore each other sometimes, in the middle of being cranky and fussy. Right now it’s hard. I know we aren’t actually usually cranky and fussy but I am today and so it feels like always.
What is it that I need here? What isn’t being met? Why do I feel so empty and fussy and sad?
This is a brutal period. I am soaking through pads and that hasn’t happened since I was postpartum. I’m a light bleeder.
I feel like…
I feel like that stone that was sitting heavily in my breast got too heavy and burst through the lining of my body and fell through my organs and out my cunt.
I cannot give that gift away. It is not mine to give. I cannot make that promise. Probably not ever. I wanted to. I can’t. That is not a promise I know I can keep and not being a liar is more important than making anyone feel better for a moment. Even for many moments. Not if it comes at the cost of a lie.
I have been trying to see if I could find a way to promise that I would not end my life early by choice. I have been trying to see if I could find a way to make it bearable to carry this pain no matter what because it would be too selfish to leave the people who love me.
I cannot make that promise. I am selfish. And I hurt. I have hurt all my life. I have never been free from pain.
Some day I will have a bad day. That day will be too much for me. Yeah, there probably could have been more good days on the other side of that bad day. Probably. But I don’t know where my limit of carrying bad days is. That has to matter.
Do you have to be ok with it? No. Do you have to like it? No.
All that matters is that on the bad days I am alone. I will carry what I can carry until I can’t carry it any more and then I will set it down.
I need to not give a shit that it might hurt you.
If my arms were great I wouldn’t be able to type much because I have four kids here. My arms suck though. There are a few things I want to try and remind myself of, maybe so I can talk to Noah about them.
My shrink is quite perturbed by my level of interest in Deity. This is becoming A Thing We Talk About. She’s all: “Sport fucking! Yay! Falling in love. Boo.”
When I mention that I already love other partners she cocks an eyebrow and says, “You don’t blush and stammer when you talk about them.”
Well, maybe that is true.
I have a better idea of what I want from my submissive. I have times when I don’t feel I have the oomph to do what I want to do but I feel deeply secure that the line of stuff I’m interested in asking for are all things that are right up his alley.
I have… more comfort around Cupid. I think I’m a lot more into him than I should be. I’m tap dancing on a high wire trying to figure out how to keep him in a spot in my life even though he’s probably not going to be interested in the group stuff everyone else will put up with. I went from wanting someone to do something to wanting Cupid to do things but I’m not 100% sure what.
I’m really not interested in hunting just the now. I feel like I have a lot to explore and learn about and I’m really excited about that.
And I get to balance it with helping Noah feel secure. The whole ship won’t sail if he feels insecure. First I have to figure out how to help Noah feel loved. Then I can figure out what it means that I love these other people.
Because I do. I love my Daddy’s. Every single one of them for different reasons.
What do these loves, these attachments mean? I don’t know. Many of them have been there for a long time. (I messaged Daddy James today to say that even though I was in his neighborhood… I still am not fucking him. Sigh.)
I do love these people. But what does that mean?
What is love?
Some love is possessive and about ownership… but not all love. Sometimes love is about generosity and sharing and wanting them to get joy from anyone but you. Loving someone can include hoping they find the girl of their dreams and settle down and don’t have time for me.
But not Noah. He’s not allowed to run out of time for me.
I fall in love easily. I fall in love often. I fall in love with great intensity. Usually I love forever.
If I sat here and listed allllllllllllll of the people who have a piece of my heart… I’d sound like I was bragging. I would be bragging.
Aren’t I a lucky bitch? I have been able to love so many people.
Some of them even loved me back. At least a little. For a time.
Do any of those loves mean I do not love Noah? I don’t see why that would be true. I married one man. One man has seen me through hardship and illness and despair. One man helped me create the babies that give me life.
It really doesn’t matter how much I love other people this will always be true.
Noah is the only person who ever really looked at me and decided that he was going to prove to me that I am worthy.
Loyalty my friend, loyalty. But what does that loyalty entitle him to? My friend who was here the other weekend says jack shit. My shrink says definitely not sex.
I don’t know what I think.
I know I shouldn’t care what random people out in the world think. I really shouldn’t. I was stupid enough to read one of those “People who commit suicide are selfish” posts. I shouldn’t have. I should have opted-out and done some self-care.
Suicide has shaped my whole life. My grandmother killed herself by overdosing when my mom was pregnant with me. My mom dealt with that loss through my infancy. It was hard. She had been very close to her mother. I don’t really know why. My brother lit himself on fire because he could not cope with the pain of his life. Given how his life was… I don’t feel I have the right to anger. Was he selfish? Yes. But he had the right to be. He was left alone in care facilities where he was abused and that was all he would ever know. My father sat in the garage with the motor running and wrote notes to everyone in the world telling them that I was an evil liar and he was innocent. Even though he’d already confessed and collaborated every story. He wasn’t going to drive himself to the court room that day.
Selfish is just so beside the point.
My therapist OD’ed on heroin. She could not deal with the pain in her life. My adopted step-mom (long story) OD’ed on injected pain medication she was not prescribed. She could not deal with the pain in her life.
I have been institutionalized for attempting suicide. My stomach was pumped and I’m still here.
I don’t have a lot of the attachments other people have. I get what I create. I do the absolute best I can with the platonic friends I have…
Sharing sex and intimacy creates tighter bonds.
I don’t feel like I’m in a position to turn down a good twitterpation. Even if it makes my therapist uncomfortable. Am I going to wreck my life over it? No. I hope not.
Noah’s parents just sent us a cheerful letter to tell us about the cruise they are going on. The same month as the one we are going on. The one they won’t go on with us because they have to “get the hay in”. The hay they won’t touch with their hands because they have employees.
What is attachment?
I’m listening to the kids as they play in the back yard. I’m kinda ridiculous about enforcing outside time. “Y’all spend too much time inside. Get out into the sun. Go. Go. Go.”
I do go with them…
Right now I medicate. It was a long day of driving and being sober. Processing with my therapist. I feel like I’m almost ready to be happy. But not till I deal with Thursday. Oh Thursday.
I love you so. I have been such a twat waffle and I do not deserve your forgiveness. I have no. no. no. no idea how this will go.
I’m thinking of a pithy movie quote, I think from Girls Just Want to Have Fun “You always hurt the one you love.” Shannon Doherty? Is that it?
You know… I think I love my biological father. Even with everything. Most of the people who raped me… I loved them. Many of them I love them now. I might feel really angry with them… but I love them.
What is love?
Even though Tommy spent my childhood beating me and trying to rape me… I loved him. I’m sad his life was so terrible that he had to die to get away from it. I cannot bring myself to be angry with him for not wanting to suffer more for my convenience.
It is almost the anniversary of Tommy’s death. Next month. Eighteen years now. In three more years he will have been dead as long as he was alive.
Rest in Peace, Tommy.
What am I doing with my life?
I am trying to stop being a destroyer. I want to be a builder. I want to be someone who makes less pain in the world and not more.
There are reasons for temporary physical pain that alleviate intense emotional suffering and I don’t know how to deal with that dichotomy. Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing.
I want to figure out how to help there be less pain. One of the ways I do that is to understand and find compassion.
I like loving lots of kinds of people. They all teach me different things. I learn best by being able to stand very close to someone and bask in their presence. I know this after many years of trying a lot of ways to learn. I will pick things up faster. I will learn more quickly. I will try to synch up with this person in any way I can because the drive to conform is what keeps our species alive.
The main reason I manage to be so god damn weird is because I have allowed myself to pattern off incredibly different people. Contradictions are ok. We can all solve different problems.
Ok. Time to be off.
I love you. Even when I have no idea what that means.
Well. I am starting to set up conversations with people. It’s going to take a few days to schedule all of them. Scheduling is a moving target. And I’m trying to figure out how to build the wave. Looks like the first chat will be the easiest and least stressful. The next scheduled one is the one I’m most anxious about. Then I don’t know where the rest of them fit in yet. I need to leave time for crying after these.
It won’t be someone else’s fault I’m crying. I do it from stress.
I’m scared. I feel like I still… know my boundaries when I run into them and have to cut to stay “ok” in my day to day life. I don’t realize until I’m way way way over capacity “Oh I should have stopped a while ago.” Then what do you do? Because if you cut to cope because you are over capacity PEOPLE ACT LIKE THE WORLD IS ENDING. OH NO. LET’S THROW EVERYTHING IN THE AIR AND CHANGE EVERYTHING BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS WRONG.
Or maybe I was a little over my rev limit?
Fuck. I don’t know.
I feel bad that my ability to cope is so limited. It is a lot bigger than it used to be, but I still have limits.
It really complicates things that interacting with children (and their uhm questionable fucking ability to respect body autonomy) changes how I can handle adults. And that is so variable and it feels so incredibly unfair. Like, if Noah had a date scheduled after the day/night I had with the kids yesterday…
Oh god I would have flipped out. But when you are dealing with other people you need to schedule commitments and keep them. So my boundaries with other people aren’t allowed to be fuzzy and squiggy like that.
But my life is fuzzy and squiggy and variable and I am not someone who can manufacture consistency for another adult’s sake.
I have a hard enough time providing consistency for kids. That is my limit.
I have a hard time being patient and giving and loving with adults when I’ve had 12+ hours out of the last 24 with a kid screaming in my fucking face and hitting everyone. One of the kids had a hard day this week. It happens. These are tiny little people who have a lot going on with their sensory systems. There are days they are just fucking overwhelmed and they are obnoxious as fuck to deal with.
At the end of that I have no patience to give to grown ups. I really don’t. And that’s not fair. I feel like a fucking asshole but if I am activated that many times in a day I literally just can’t turn around and give to an adult. I will flip out and start screaming and breaking things.
I need to go hide away from people after that. Because I’m frazzled as fuck. I got through it without being mean to the kid. I didn’t scream. I wasn’t unduly rough. I didn’t punish harshly. I did enforce a metric fuck ton of time outs. But that seems appropriate and useful. Stop hitting people. It’s not ok.
I’ve seen a bunch of kids go through phases like this. It isn’t about a kid sucking or being bad. It’s a hard phase and it takes patience, love, and correction correction correction.
I get so tired.
I feel like an asshole playing the “traumatized body/brain” card a lot. But the reality is that my central nervous system is shot. I have an acute stress disorder. These things are noticeable strain. I do have limits. Things that activate my emotional system… I can only be calm through so many. Once I get scared enough… I’m not physically capable of thinking and processing the way I must in order to act like a fully present adult. My range of tolerance is wider than average (according to the shrinks I’ve been seeing for a long time) but it isn’t infinite and I start off so much more distressed than average.
I don’t want to take things out on people because I am moody and variable. That means that mostly I assume to defaulting I should offer nothing sustained at all. Because I might fail.
So far Pam is the only sustained once a week dinner guest who can actually deal with my emotional variance and the fact that sometimes you show up and I’m screamtastic and fussy and… no fun.
Everyone else stops coming.
And Pam is leaving the state. Eventually. She keeps threatening. We’ll see.
When I feel ok I have a lot to give. I have patience, love, energy, tolerance… when I don’t feel ok I feel like a bank vault. You don’t open that easily or for fun. It’s fucking hard and takes a sequence of codes and… then only take out what you fucking have to what the fuck close that fucker already.
This is why I don’t want “polyamory”. I’m not good enough at being consistent enough to be a dependable part of a group of people like that. I feel ashamed of myself, but it is true. I have very good friends who sometimes want to have sex with me. And I love them a lot. I will move mountains for my friends. When I can.
When I can’t… I fucking hope you have other support people too. Because I will fail you. I give you what I have to spare. That is what I can give.
I have signed on for being the sustainer of my children. I have signed on for helping to sustain Noah, with the strong caveat that he knows sometimes he has to catch himself. (Hey–he can’t always catch me either. Seems fair.) I have signed on to be a consistent source of non-continuous sustaining for my Bonus Kids. I’m one of Their Grownups. I like that. I like that I did manage to find someone who thinks I am worth the trouble of coming to because their kids need someone like me.
I’m grateful I managed to find folks for that. It wasn’t looking like that was going to work out. It was looking like I was not worth that much effort from anyone.
I’m really grateful things have gone this well for 6 years with my Bonus Kids.
I would never ever ever ever ever play with or sleep with the parents of my Bonus Kids because I can’t fuck that up. That’s like shitting in the waterhole. It’s really stupid long-term.
I fuck up a lot of sexual relationships. I fuck up a lot of non-sexual relationships too… but I fuck up sexual relationships faster. I run hot and cold and that hurts people.
Even I need to understand some boundaries.
I know many dozens of non-breeding long-term polyamorous adults. I have never been capable of the emotional consistency I see them enact. That’s bothered me my entire adult life. That is part of what reminds me of how broken I am. I know so many people who can do it. Who can be consistent and dependable in their emotional reactions.
My emotional reaction to thing A is impacted by thing B and thing C and thing D and thing E and I don’t fucking know how that will go on any given day.
I’m more predictable and calm than ever in the past. How come this progress never ever ever ever feels good enough?
Ok, I just thought of a piece of why Noah dating is so difficult for me…
I always know, every day, that at the end of the day I have to handle the extent of my emotional variance on my own. Noah helps a lot more than anyone else but he has limits. His manufactured cheerfulness is part of what he does for me. That consistency of affect helps me more than words can say. I calibrate off of him. I try to match him. I model after him. When he isn’t here and I am flailing… it’s hard. Even if he can’t sit down to process with me for hours, being around him is regulating.
If I am going to leave more space in my life for not depending on him to be physically present and I know that he is leaving me to go do something fun with someone else…
I need to lock down hard on not depending on him. Because I will resent the fact that I will sometimes have really shitty days and he will be out having fun instead of helping me. Because I built a life that was very near my carrying capacity and then I added shit and sometimes I get really overwhelmed and… I don’t have enough help. Getting less is hard.
I do encourage him to go do things with friends. Because I feel guilty as shit that he doesn’t have much of a life. He works and has the social life I bring to him, mostly. I don’t know if he’d be more motivated to seek out more of a social life if I provided less of one? I do invite a lot of forking people over. He’s not just hiding at home with his family or working. But not much is of his initiation.
But dating is… different. I feel bad about that but it is.
It isn’t fair that I don’t really believe someone can treat me like I’m important and be seriously in love with someone else. I think people can fuck their friends and still be nice to me, sure. But be really in love? Not really.
Love means so many things. What is love?
I will lose time and support in that equation. Because love may be infinite but time is not. I’m doing fairly well… because I have the level of support I have. If it decreased I would… have a hard time.
If I have to spend yet more time alone with my kids regulating myself… that has a cost. The road trip demonstrated that to me quite clearly.
I wasn’t all that nice by the end. Not really. The kids were so glad to get home.
Both kids have commented a lot recently that I’m doing better. They have individually and collectively commented on the fact that I’m not screaming anywhere near as much as I used to and that is really nice.
I’m scared to rock this boat.
I’m scared that being selfish with my energy and only wanting to give it to my kids like this means I have no business pursuing nonmonogamy because I am just using my friends and I’m not offering good trades.
If I’m going to do this… I need to get more comfortable with canceling going forward. I can’t pay the cost of doing something I don’t want to do in the moment any more. And that’s complicated.
I’m not dependable enough and… that makes me feel like I shouldn’t be doing this at all. Maybe swinger parties. Other than that I’m too much of a selfish asshole to date.
This is part of my transactional shit. Noah and I talk very explicitly about what we trade. What kinds of energy expenditures we each need to receive. What are our priorities and which can be dropped when things get tight?
I don’t have enough to trade other people. Not really. I have “what I have going spare today” and often that is so little.
The only consistent front to Noah dating that I can manufacture consistently is space. I can’t promise closeness. I can’t promise loving reconnection. If I have to cope on my own then I need to fucking cope on my own and that is messy and hard. Because mostly how I cope is to be pretty fucking hard on myself. That is how I have come this far.
I did not get this far on compassionate self acceptance. I got this far from being a fucking dictator with my body who doesn’t give a shit what I’m feeeeeeling.
Just work, bitch.
But Noah really wants me to be sunny for him. I can’t do that when I’m coping on my own. It is variable and inconsistent and happens randomly. That’s how it has always been. He is spoiled by how consistent I have been able to be while bouncing off of him for hours a day.
That’s from you. That’s from modeling off of you. When I lose you…
Noah teaches me how to be nice. I can hear it in his voice. When he errs towards nastiness it feels like an instrument being played off key and I instantly mention that he’s harsh. He stops, gets this weird look on his face, and tries again.
I think that is a lot of what has allowed me to be as stable as I’ve been in the last ten years. He works so hard to model it.
When I lose my model I fuck up so much more. That doesn’t feel like a fair burden. And, I know this is bullshit, but I’ve had a hard time with how much he works. I’m not supposed to feel like that is a choice to be away but that’s been hard. I’ve had to be very conscious and deliberate around not being an asshole to him over that. It’s not a rational reason to be mean to him and I’ve had to work on it because it is triggering to me.
It has taken a lot of time and effort to be truly supportive and not kind of an asshole about how much he works. I think I’m pretty good now, but it wasn’t easy.
Noah is the person who makes me feel safe. That’s not fair. I know I should “feel safe in myself”. Whatever. I don’t. I never have. I spend a lot of time feeling like I’d like to vibrate out of my fucking body to get away from myself because I am the problem. I am the one who brings so much pain on myself.
I am the one who can’t behave consistently enough to be worthy of love.
Maybe if I were someone who could say, “Today is a bad day for a date… you should reschedule” I would be able to handle him dating without wanting to scratch his fucking face off when he comes home all excited and I had a shitty day with a side of shit salad. But I am not capable of doing that kind of thing. I’ll put my head down and tell him to do what he wants to do and then I’ll need three days away from him because I hate him so much.
It isn’t fair. Or rational. Or whatever. I know.
I have never had a time in my life when I was not giving to other people pretty much at the extent of what I had to give. I’ve never had a time when I was just… idling. I’m tired. I have hard days with this caregiving crap.
Noah is tired too. His job isn’t easy. He comes home to us.
I’m sorry I am not good at letting you have other people in your life who are more dependable and worthy.
That’s something Noah brings up a lot. I’m really insecure about the fact that everyone he has wanted to get involved with since we got married is just… so mellow. He brings it up really frequently how irrational I am because these are incredibly non-threatening people. They are not drama.
I’m the problem. It never comes from someone else. Just me.
But he also doesn’t want to deal with the fact that giving him space to go be with people who are not worthless pieces of shit means that I am going to spend a few days hiding to deal with the fact that I don’t really like being the problem, the drama, the variable one who just can’t get her shit together.
I feel embarrassed that I fucking exist.
Just stop crying about things that shouldn’t make you cry you stupid, whiny bitch.
None of these people should make me cry.
Being alone makes me cry.
Then why do I need to go be alone once he comes back?
Because I had to hold it together in front of the kids and I need space to recover from that facade. I can’t model off of you when I need to react to you and I have not been allowed to do so even a little bit all day. I needed to pretend all day that I was fine and everything was fine and I don’t mind lots of extra alone time with the kids, sure why not.
I have to pay the piper for that later.
And I’m not supposed to take it out on you. That’s not fair either. I can’t let my tone of voice get shitty. So I need to be alone. In order to not take my emotional variance out on you I need to be alone.
I’m told that my “yelling” by having a harsh tone counts just as much as when I escalate in volume and start screaming.
So yeah. I need a lot of alone time.
Even though I don’t decompress very well alone. I can’t decompress in the presence of the person I am feeling activated because of. I can’t use you to calm down when I am upset because of you. That’s what I mean when I say that it is losing my safe person. If I’m crying because I had to spend more hours manufacturing sustaining cheerfulness alone because you wanted to go fuck someone else… I can’t be in a room with you. I just can’t.
I know we are already talking about several steps down the line from this. I know.
I feel like I should have some idea of what my feelings are given the conversations I’m going to have soon. Fuck my stomach hurts.
I don’t have enough to trade. I have no right to even be having these discussions.
I feel like shit.
Luckily the first conversation will happen this weekend and will actually be the lowest stress one of the bunch. I need to finish scheduling them. Oh golly.
If only I wanted to fuck fewer people this would be easier. Or Noah. Either of us, really.
Something occurs to me: a lot of this comes down to… I don’t ask for additional support on the really hard days. I just don’t. You have to just show up and see that I need it and provide it. Or it will be invisible to you. If Noah is going to be present less, he will see a lot less. Which will be massive in my life. That will be a huge reduction in support. Because I will not be capable of asking for more support in other ways. I just… that’s a thing. That’s a very known thing.
It all comes back to being my fault. Everything would be fine if I were less fucked up.
Yesterday Noah asked me why I didn’t use my words to ask him for something if I wanted it. I hissed, “How well does that go?” He said that I get a lot of little things I ask for and almost none of the big things. I just about screamed, “That’s why I didn’t fucking ask.”
There is this story about my mom that goes around and around in my head. My mom got tired of having her little boys play with their Matchbox cars in the kitchen, the only non-carpeted room. She knew my dad would tell her no to ripping the carpet out of their bedroom. “It would hurt the resale value of the house.” So she waited until he went to work (he worked graveyards), put the kids to sleep in her bed, took speed, and ripped the floor up by herself. She had the laminate mostly installed before he got home.
I asked my mom why she didn’t ask him. She snorted and said, “If I ask then I get told no, then the consequences are big. If I just do it… he’s not going to undo it.”
I think that’s a lot of why when I decided I couldn’t be monogamous right now I said I just couldn’t follow rules and I needed to try stuff. I needed to see what felt right and not say no to things before I even really decided what I felt about it.
And that backfires. Like such arrangements do.
Sometimes. And sometimes it is absolutely the only way to get what you want at all. Yeah, I was a serious asshole. I really was.
I feel like the fact that my sex life has been entirely measured in someone else’s satisfaction for many years now has broken something in me. Something I don’t know how to fix. I’m bitter about how much “taking one for the team” I’ve done.
I guess the thing I’m getting from the team is physical support through disability. Oh.
It is interesting having a friend visiting for the weekend (sorry I’m puking) who is an absolutely ardent feminist. Of the take-no-shit-variety. I was doing my expounding on trying to figure out what I “owe” Noah.
She looked so pissed. I said, “It’s ok. Say it. Even if it’s mean.”
“I want to punch you in the face. You don’t owe him shit.” She went on at more length. But that bit is enough.
An awful lot of our relationship is predicated on transactional trades. We spend a lot of time talking about how much we owe one another. It’s complicated. It is a lot of what allows both of us to feel safe.
But there is no fair.
How much of everything in life has to be changed just because of one shift. I don’t know.
Yesterday I emailed all of my folks and told them I am not going to go out on a date again in May. We need to actually negotiate. This is involving some really long, rough conversations in person and a shit ton of livejournal entries on our private filters. There are things my kids don’t need to see someday.
I am so weird about boundaries.
I think that part of the problem right now is I have made a lot of deals over the years I probably shouldn’t have made. Not how I did. They took from me in ways I didn’t really have that much to give. And I feel long term hurt by them. And I’m feeling bitter. And I’m holding it against Noah.
That list of done-me-wrongs never needs to be part of the public record. That’s kinda like crying rape because you didn’t like the sex. The fact that these are in retrospect not deals I should have made…
That’s not something I’m going to publicly take Noah to task for. That’s complicated.
I made choices. I made choices I shouldn’t have made, but I didn’t know that till it was too late. That isn’t something to punish Noah for. But I clearly do.
Recently Noah made a list of shit he was holding over me (good god that. STILL?!?!) and I should probably do the same.
That won’t be public.
Noah and I are in a funny place. We both understand very clearly that if we don’t make this marriage work… we will just not ever be ok again. We won’t get over this failure. Neither of us would remarry and have more kids. We would date and be complete assholes about never trusting anyone again. This is… one of those things about our personalities. We both walked into this not sure that it was really a good idea to be taking a risk on even one person when we have been burned and burned and burned and burned.
When you learn before age 3 that you are not loved, not likable and all you are worthy of is abuse and contempt…
Trying once is really what you have in you. Getting over that is brutally hard. You can try once. After that it will be broken in a way that can’t be got back.
We get one shot at happily ever after.
To be fair most of the first ten years have been excellent. This really has been a good marriage. But some things need to change and how they need to change and what that shape will look like is… in flux and that’s god damn terrifying. Change sucks donkey dick.
I find it… interesting… that Noah is really willing to talk about a third kid lately. Yeah. That would put me right back on a choke chain. It’s true. I would go home with my baby again.
I want another baby. I’d see a high risk OB. I’d be at a hospital the whole time. I’d follow orders so I wouldn’t die. But… yeah. I don’t think it is going to happen for lots of reasons.
I know my friends are starting to talk to me about adoption but I’m really not done grieving the son I wanted to give birth to.
This is complicated with a gender fluid kid who really… is on their own journey.
I wanted to work through my shit with a little boy. I know that isn’t “fair” either. But I did. I have to grieve not getting that. I mean, I have a great relationship with my Bonus Kid and I’m really happy he visits more lately. But it’s not the same.
I have never been allowed to love a little boy of my blood. My nephew was the closest I came to that and… complicated. My brothers were violent monsters. I had no other family contact.
This is just a thing.
I dreamed about my son for years. Sometimes I wonder if I was dreaming about the sons I could have had with previous partners and that just wasn’t meant to be part of this story with Noah. I don’t know.
Yes I know there are lots of kids who need homes. They are going to have different problems genetically than my family. I don’t already intimately know what needs to be done to correct their unavoidable issues; I have researched everything that has touched my family extensively over the past fifteen years. It is going to be a very different very hard problem to work with a different child.
I am so tired.
Now that I have an almost 8 year old and an almost 6 year old, do I really want another baby?
Yes. I really do. But it isn’t going to happen. Sometimes I wonder if wanting space away from Noah is part of grieving that. He doesn’t want another baby.
I get why. There are good reasons. I feel sad.
Being a mom is kinda the thing I think I’m best at. I get quiverfull. I get it.
This is all so complicated. Because if Noah was all “Fine let’s have a kid” I’d be all “Bye side-boys. I’ll see you in 5-7 years.”
Even though the rest of the deals are still not where I need them to be long-term. I wouldn’t care.
Life is so complicated.
My biology understands that I exist to breed even if the rest of me would like to do other things with this meat sack.
People are so fucking weird. Even though I don’t really have the spoons to have a baby I would. I’d start trying this month if Noah consented. He’s about to be 40. Time’s a wastin’. I turn 35 this year.
But that ship has sailed. We need to figure something different out. Shit. That’s hard. It hurts.
We construct these careful houses where we can be safe. Do this, don’t do this. So we try to draw as little negative attention and as much positive attention as possible while maintaining stasis. We accept limits that may not be sustainable in service to particular goals.
I don’t know what sustainable means. I am not the best sustainer in the world. I work best in sprints followed by periods of collapse. Parenting that way sucks. So I have to be more level for them. Which is an interesting thing to balance. I can stay level if I stay small. Or if I get bigger with support.
I can’t be a bigger person and take up more room and get no more support and stay completely level. I can’t. [delete text that doesn’t go into the record].
I’m having feelings.
Thank you to everyone for the extent of the “I know you two will solve this” message I’m getting from a variety of folks. From folks we date/play with to other friends. It’s kinda funny. I feel all y’all believe in us far more than I do right now.
Thank you. I need you to carry that belief for a bit. It is hard for me.
Part of being able to construct your own reality rests on the basic requirement that you must be able to believe in what you are doing. I have a pretty good reality distortion field. But it’s flickering and I feel like I am not able to believe in what I am trying to make true.
I don’t know how to feel more safe and open right now. I feel closed off, defensive, scared. I’m not negotiating from a mindset of generosity. I have a scarcity mindset and I feel so tired of always having to take one for the team.
But Noah takes a lot for the team too. I’m not acknowledging that enough. We have both been running deficits for years. It isn’t just me. I… I don’t even know where to begin in this negotiation. This is so hard. Do we make lists of things we have been missing/pining for and then rank them in importance?
How do we deal with time? Is it about how much time we spend together? Is it about “how dare you spend time with someone else?”
Honestly I was out too much at night in April. I wasn’t touching base with the kids the way I want to. I have arranged all the night time babysitting we are going to have till the end of July, I think. I’m not going to go out more than that. No matter what it is for.
This time with my children goes so fast. If I miss much of this time I can’t ever get it back. I don’t get a second chance. I do remember that priority.
But I don’t ever get back the chance to have the sex life I want to have in this life either. If I just… don’t… that’ll be a thing.
How much do I want? I don’t know. Honestly given how busy my life is… I literally don’t have time for as much independent dating as I did in April. That’s going to kill me. No hyperbole. My body will give out if I don’t sleep more than that.
What does sustainable mean?
What is a need and what is a want?
I feel like I need to have some kind of nonmonogamous contact in my life. What that is… I don’t know. I think the need level is probably actually fairly low. I think one date a month probably would be ok. I’d like to go to parties at other times and be allowed to play then. I could accept having to play together. That would be fun to figure out. It would change who we play with somewhat and what kind of play we do. Maybe?
I can deal with evolution. I don’t have to play how I used to play, not exactly. I don’t anyway. So much has changed.
I feel like I did need to go try. It was wonderful and I’m really glad I got to be reminded of what SM means to me. And I got off a lot.
I do need some of this in my life. I may increase how much I need as my children need me less.
For now I do know that my time and energy is still… mostly going into the kids. I choose this. I want this. This is who I want to be. When I finish growing up I will be able to look at incontrovertible proof that I can sustain something. I need to see the real evidence of that before I will believe it. I’m not even halfway there yet. Don’t get cocky, wench.
Hubris is dangerous.
I have about three more years till I hit the halfway point. I believe I have about four more years with Eldest Child and about six more years with Youngest Child to teach them what they need to know to keep themselves safe… or they will have to learn it on their own painfully. That’s my window. Either I help them establish the habits that will carry them through a lifetime… or they have to learn them later, painfully, on their own.
Development is a funny beast. I’ve studied it a lot. I have incredibly strong opinions about brain development and attachment and behaviorism and emotional health and mental health and…
And I get one chance to do this right. Period. If I fuck it up I will forever more be trying to heal damage I caused.
I love unschooling. I’m not even being sarcastic. This is my kind of pressure chamber. I thrive under this specific kind of “Succeed. There is no or else. Succeed” pressure. I just… do it. Ok.
If you can’t find a way you make a way. The most resilient people are the ones who believe they have no choice but to make something work.
This whole “owe” thing is complicated. I get the anti-feminist bits of it. I do. But you probably don’t see how much it gives too.
Ugh. Systems. They exist for reasons and some of those reasons are good and some are shitty. WTF
But I really do need to think about this “you don’t owe him shit” thing. What do we choose to owe and what is being extorted from us? I think that is the more crucial distinction. I think making conscious trades and feeling indebted for them is not specifically evil. I think that having someone extort recompense for trades… is a problem.
Where is the line?
Shit monogamy is easier. You give what you have to give and that is that. Kinda end of discussion.
I NEVER EVEN TOOK CALCULUS. FUCK THIS ADVANCED VARIABLE BULLSHIT.
My kids are asking me a lot of questions about Lemonade. Yes they get to hear it with the swearing. There are some fucking subjects that deserve swearing. The work is to figure out context. We talk about that a lot. Code switching is a big topic around here. If you maintain super formal “nice people” manners 100% of the time… a whole lot of people will think you are a snob. Having multiple kinds of approaches to talking to people is handy.
I said to a friend “We only fight about nonmonogamy.” The response: “So you only fight about sex.”
Ok, yeah. That’s true. Not money. Not kids. Not housework (if I start feeling peevish about not getting enough help I can ask for it and get it with great civility).
Sex is so annoying.
WHY DO I LIKE HAVING SEX SO MUCH!??!?!?! Sigh.
I really do.
I like what happens in my body when I’m having sex with more than one person. I like it a lot. I like what it does to my general energy level. Is it worth this fight?
Yeah. It is.
If we are going to be married for many more decades… I’m not spending them always taking one for the team. I need my sex life to be about my pleasure.
I’m pretty sure I know who I want to hurt on a longer term basis. I am less convinced I know for sure what I need from my bottoming/submitting/etc. I have some idea of pieces I’d like. But are those all needs? Not really. I could be pretty flexible. I could adapt.
I am weirdly conscious of how much of my sexuality formed around my Owner. I’m ok with lots of those buttons shifting. I have no attachment to them staying where they are. But I need them moved and not just… ignored. If that makes sense.
I am a cheerful situational pervert. I’m happy to please the one I’m with. I don’t need all aspects of my experiences to be the same.
I’m not the kind of fetishist who collects the garments and sized toys that all future partners will wear one right after another.
But I’ve sure worn a lot of them. For a little while. I have never been willing to do that for very long.
I don’t like anyone that much.
Do you know why some of the awful stuff between Noah and I really doesn’t need to be published? It’s bad enough that I’m an abusive bully. I don’t need to publicly humiliate him. That’s a very different sort of line. I say some awful things some times. It’s bad enough that he can hear it in his head. He doesn’t need to see it. And know that lots and lots and lots of his friends are going to see it. Know his children can read the things that hurt him the most.
Oh JesusFuckingChrist No.
No. There are things that can’t be taken back. I can say that things are hard for me. I can’t list done-me-wrongs. Not publicly. No.
I owe my family better than that.
See how the owe is complicated?
It is useful and problematic at the same time. Just like me.