Category Archives: i don’t have time to tag

Beeee yourself

Eldest Child wanted to sleep with my nipple in her mouth at all times. Middle Child wanted to nurse enough to not be starving and then get that dang boob out of their face. Youngest Child wants to nurse probably slightly past satiation so that she has a good vomit towards the end but then she wants to sleep with the nipple against her lips in case she wants it later. If the nipple moves away she is terribly upset.

EC could not be put down. MC liked being left alone to look around a room a little. YC mostly wants to be held but if you put her down for a few minutes she’s ok with it and she doesn’t start indicating that she’s lonely until I’ve been gone 5-10 minutes.

EC and MC both screamed in the car as if we were lying them on a bed of nails. YC… is mostly chill unless she got into the car hungry.

EC was the most violently anti-diaper changes; she screamed hysterically through every diaper change for months. MC didn’t like them but didn’t cry 100% of the time. YC sometimes gets annoyed with being cold and complains about that but mostly she’s thrilled to get poop taken off her and she is quiet and cooperative.

Noah points out that this baby is the least… fussed post birth and she’s the only birth where I didn’t feel traumatized.

It is wonderful to me that I can’t see my family or Noah’s family in YC’s face the way I can in EC or MC. She is so completely and totally her own person. YC has a few facial expressions in common with EC (oh they have a mighty pirate YARRRRRRR face) and her face shape is suggestive of EC’s face… but very different. My Youngest Child looks like herself and that’s it.

This child seems so relaxed and mellow. She seems happy and like she’s getting exactly what she needs. I don’t feel as anxious and on the verge of ruining her life/killing her as I did with the older kids. She feels so fragile, but she also seems happy and sturdy. I think she feels fragile because I have acclimated to big kids and the difference is striking.

My milk is fully in. I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight (I’M EATING EVERYTHING THAT ISN’T NAILED DOWN). My house is shockingly tidy. My kids have not fallen behind on school work. I’m doing 1-3ish hours of chores a day and mostly resting.

I’m doing “the right things”. I’m a little bored because sitting this still is not my favorite. I think that today I will be up for trying another walk. I tried making breakfast on day three and squatting to get stuff out of the bottom of the fridge fucking hurt so bad I wanted to scream so I didn’t try a walk yesterday or day three. I’m on day five now.

It’s amazing that she’s only been here five days. I like her so much.

I think YC will be fully out of newborn size by the time she is ten days old. I can barely sorta get it on her now.

I am back to the point where I’m looking at all of my clothes and thinking, “How much boob access does this have?” I have multiple years in front of me where all of my clothes need to be picked based on access to my nipples. This is kind of hilarious to me. Given our plans in this time period I’m a little confused as to how much of this I should box up for “some day” and how much I should just pass along.

I already took all of my maternity stuff out and put it in bags to donate. I could barely wear it pregnant because I never got that big and I’m already shrunk down to about the middle of my size range. I’m mushy and I have extra skin, but my girth is not anywhere near as big as I am sometimes without being pregnant so my clothes are fitting fairly normally already.

My boobs are ridiculous. Rock hard and almost the size of EC’s skull. Which is disturbing because she’s almost 10 and has an adult sized head. YC’s skull looks tiny and insignificant next to my mighty tits. This makes me giggle so much. Bodies are weird. I miss tandem nursing right now. Having a big kid to relieve all the pain of engorgement was a gift.

Yesterday I hit the wall of “Oh my god every single piece of me is in pain. Ow Ow Fucking Ow.”

Blacksheep followed up on me asking her how she psyches herself up to be bad ass. She said that part of it is she never says to herself that she can’t do something.

I really do aspire to be as bad ass as this woman someday.

But the thing is… I have limits. I have physical, emotional, and mental limits. There are things I can’t do.

That’s hard. I think that my limits are often pretty extreme… there are many ways in which my limits greatly exceed “average” so folks are confused by the vehemence of my expression of limits. Mostly… I am not what people think of when they think “disabled” which is completely legit.

My limits move around based on a lot of factors. When I did the elimination diet from hell my body was so sick. I could not do a fraction of what I normally can. It was rough. I go through periods where I have no energy or ability to think and I essentially shut down. I plan around these things and try to avoid hitting the wall so that I fail people.

I think that I am so certain and defensive of my limits because I’m well aware of how often I could fail people if I were more casual about how I observe my boundaries. If I didn’t watch my limits like a hawk I would let people down and I really don’t want to. I have so much to give and then I’m done and I don’t want someone standing around needing me to continue or they will fail too. That’s not fair.

So I am adamant and fierce about my boundaries because if I don’t then I will hurt people. I know where I will fail and I identify that point and I do my best to avoid it. I know how to work me until I am absolutely spent… but I got through the necessary bits.

So when it comes to talking myself into doing something hard… I have to look at the whole picture before I decide if I can or can’t do something. There are millions of things I could do if I was supported properly and they were all I was doing. Can I do those things within the structure and framework of my life given my other obligations? That’s a harder question. The calculus is intense.

So as much as I admire and look up to the idea of seeing yourself as just so fucking competent it isn’t in question… I’m pretty sure that will always be aspirational for me. There are too many ways I fail for me to have such hubris. (I’m not saying it is hubris for someone else… I’m talking about my failings here.)

I am really enjoying how much mothering feels like something I can do even though it is hard and draining and demanding. Mothering really kind of sucks as a job. It’s painful and often not that rewarding moment by moment.

But I get to look at my glorious children and know that I did that. I made them from scratch and then I fed their bodies and nurtured their minds and their spirits. I don’t think that mothering is the best task for everyone. I don’t think it should be a mandatory part of anyone’s life. But I want it to be part of my life and I want to be good at it.

And I am.

Drugs sound so nice.

I’m definitely in early labor. But this is me. What the fuck does that even mean. Does that mean an eon of suffering? Naw. I have an induction scheduled for the 14th. And no interest in laboring long and hard so I’ll be done delivering on the 14th either with a vaginal birth or a c-section so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

But today has been shit. Twice early today I got this horrible shooting/stabbing pain in my lower right abdomen. It hurt so fucking bad I started screaming and kicking out uncontrollably. That’s not usual for me with contractions. But it hasn’t happened again. I messaged a friend who is a mom of many who worked in an OB office for years and asked her for advice. She said, “Hrm. I wouldn’t necessarily call this second but if it happens a third time you have to call the advice nurse and you should probably go in.” It didn’t happen a third time. So I sit at home.

I have felt like a fucking psycho hose beast all day. I can’t tell if this is just a feeling inside of me or if I have genuinely been nasty to everyone all day. I’m randomly crying. I hurt everywhere.

Ok, I’m seriously fucking pissed about this. I have this major remission of fibromyalgia pain during the pregnancy. That ended yesterday. My entire body is an explosion of pain and I would like to rip someones fucking head off so that I can piss down their throat because that is the only thing that sounds fun when I hurt this badly.

“Is it all happening again” – Godfather 3

love. sex. family. community. health. history. awareness. california woo. having your place. pain. commitment. relaxation. controlled vs uncontrolled bloodlines. queer vs heteronormative dynamics. 36 years old–at the middle of life?

You are not going to die. Neither am I, motherfucker.

But there will have to be a passage. And those sometimes hurt like a mother fucker. Don’t fear. That shit just makes you clench up and everything hurts more

Do you rise through your own merits or through the recommendation of those with merit?

Know your history.

In medias res.

I do not aspire to be that which is looked at.

I shun beauty.

What am I then if I am not a vain motherfucker?

I want to be known and understood. Which is so much more than to be looked at. To be looked at to be is to be projected upon. I want to change you.

That is what art aims to do. It aims to change that which looks upon it.

Like a pond. Like a bodyguard.

Joints. Connection. Pain.

love

1st cousin.

1st

mary

movement

cognitive dissonance. the misspelling reveals the flaw.

thank you autocorrect. even if I fucking hate you.

home. any. minute.

fingers hurt

No one dies.

Today I went to the hospital for an interview. They wanted to know what I wanted from labor. It was an hour long interview so there were more questions. But I was asked what my goal was for labor. I said “No one dying.” The lady conducting the interview almost fell out of her chair. She enjoyed my irreverence over all.

She asked me if I’d ever had thoughts of hurting myself. I said, “Ok let me start my spiel. I have long-term chronic suicidal ideation but I am not in imminent danger and I have no specific plans to hurt myself.”

She commented that I know the right words to say.

This ain’t my first rodeo.

I’ve been rewatching the Jaws series and The Godfather. I guess this is my week for violent grown up movies. Who are you. Where do you belong? What does it mean to be you?

How much does what your parents want for you matter?

Do your children belong to you or your spouse?

What is belonging?

Does it matter what your name is? What art you want to hang on the wall? Who you hang out with?

What defines who you are?

Who. Are. You.?

How much of who you are rests on your ability to control yourself through stimuli or pain or whatever?

If you can stand still as someone hits you, does that make you tough?

If you define yourself…. what does that mean?

Who. Are. You.

Do you rest upon the shattered dreams of everyone who looks like you or shares your religion or who had grandparents born within 100 miles of your grandparents?

What is safety? What is security?

Perception and reality

I feel like a lot of my adult life has focused in some intense ways on trying to determine how to accurately perceive reality. This is complicated because people genuinely do inhabit different realities.

The reality of being a homeless person is different than the reality of a rich, housed person. It’s not that the people are just perceiving things differently… they are different realities. 

I have jumped so many layers of human existence that sometimes it is very hard to determine what is a holdover perception, what is a true perception, and what is entirely in my fucking head.

Like… I have struggled through a lot of my pregnancy with the feeling of being abandoned. As my wonderful friends have checked up on me consistently and made sure that I was never alone for long.

Some days I sort of wish the flow of love would slow down because I’m overwhelmed trying to get back to people and some days I fail at reciprocating how I mean to. Because I feel so empty. THAT’S NOT ABOUT PEOPLE ABANDONING ME! That’s about an old belief and being out of date. I have not been abandoned this pregnancy. Not even for a day.

That’s…

oh.

That’s true. I haven’t talked to the same people every day. I don’t have a mother who is constantly checking up on me because she is concerned. Instead I have this extended web of people who are tagging in and out as they have spoons for dealing with me.

Oh. That’s really special.

I am so tremendously, overwhelmingly lucky. This doesn’t happen to everyone.

Randomly: given that I almost certainly know you, oh bond-hardware visitor… someday I will find out who you are. And I am going to be a turkey butt about teasing you about your lack of desire to fess up to your identity for years. I’m just saying.

Also randomly: I am feeling so proud of myself for how I handled the kids lying about screen stuff. I didn’t fly of the handle. I didn’t escalate in a nasty or inappropriate way. I didn’t scream. I am not imposing ridiculous consequences or causing my children to be afraid of me. I kept my shit together and told them I wasn’t ready to state a consequence immediately because I needed to think about it. I stated very reasonable, age appropriate consequences. My kids feel like the punishment fits the crime and they are totally on board with what they earned.

We are all going to fuck up sometimes. What did we learn from this experience? That they are capable of lying to me for an extended period of time (this is an important life skill) and that lying to me makes their stomach hurt a lot so they don’t want to do it again for something petty. That’s such a win-win.

I don’t love being lied to. It pisses me off. But I fully recognize that it is better for my children in the long run for them to be capable of lying.

Not everything is about me. They need to have skills I won’t love them having. That is life.

And I’m super happy that MC did not rat on EC. That feels like a big deal too. Often MC will throw EC under a bus just to see her squirm and I really have a problem with that. MC likes watching EC get in trouble and that pisses me off so much. I’m really happy that MC picked their sister’s side this time. That was good.

Even if I don’t like what they did I can recognize the layers of complexity and complication and I can see how some pieces of it are awesome even if I’m pissed about other layers. Life is so tricky.

Our wonderful friend is here for child care. She moved in last night and she’s here until the baby is here. I feel a tremendous load of stress relief.

This whole experience is going so freaking well. I feel supported. I feel loved. I feel like an awful lot of people have more confidence in me than I have in myself. Excellent. I can work with that. I am good at borrowing other peoples confidence in me.

After having the almost manic preparation days I am so thrilled to feel this calm. I feel like it’s going to be ok. I am looking forward to my OB check this morning. I’m pretty sure she is going to tell me that there has been progress.

The way my crotch hurts feels useful. Which is so funny. And this contraction… feels useful too. Phew. Ouch. Ok. Time to go pay attention to humans.

Weirdness

Today I have been so fucking bitchy. I’m tired of my kids whining for sugar. It happened about half the hours they were awake today. That gets old. This is not constant for them. They did a bunch of cleaning, but we got to the end organization bits and everyone ran out of steam. They did work hard.

I just woke up in a god awful mood.

I’m tired but I feel wired for sound. I don’t feel sleepy, which is weird because I took my normal night med almost three hours ago. Usually I’m pretty damn sleepy. I feel cranky and restless and fussy and I don’t know why.

Because I’m a day shy of being 39 fucking weeks pregnant and this shit fucking sucks.

I want to meet my kid.

I want to stop waiting. I want to get the show on the road. You’ve baked. Move out.

I said that out loud and I got the fiercest kick. I’m going to have another feisty little snot. I am so excited. I’m not being sarcastic.

Maybe this kid will be less obedient. hahahaha…*sob*

It is utterly bizarre to me the way this person… yeah. They are the last. I have no desire in my heart to bear more children. I want this person. I don’t know them yet but I will and it will be awesome. And then I can spend a few years getting this person inculcated into the family culture. Then I might be ready to foster.

I love our family culture. I love the family I get to introduce this child to. I love the boundaries and limits and respect and consideration that is shown in our house.

Even when I’m a cranky bitch and I want to fuss at everyone for BREATHING SO FUCKING LOUD IN THE SAME ROOM AS ME it isn’t that I don’t like them. It’s that my body is pissed off today.

Weirdly… I haven’t pooped at all today and I’ve eaten a lot of vegetables in the past 36-ish hours and I have this absolutely bizarre feeling that I’m partially angry because my intestine is full. But I don’t seem to be able to poop. I don’t know. It’s… really weird. This does not usually happen to me.

Less than 24 hours till labor can go ahead and start without us having a problem. I mean… I don’t have my “pre-admission intake appointment” till Wednesday but whatever. I can fill out paperwork between contractions. I’m talented.

I found the advance directive! Doesn’t that count for anything?!

This here dude Noah is allowed to make decisions for my body. Even if I’m not in a coma. It’s kind of wacky.

I feel like I am absolutely going to explode with energy. But I’m tired. This is weird. I’m contracting but it’s not anything regular or majorly intense. It’s just “Yup. Still contracting occasionally.”

I think I may have officially past the point where I can do a sit up. I tried to get up earlier and I almost pulled a damn muscle. That fucking hurt. Ok, so I’ll claim it as I made it to 38 weeks and count myself thrilled. That’s way the fuck more strength in my abdomen than I ever expected to have. And that is probably a lot of why I haven’t had big back problems this pregnancy.

Hey, past self: well done! You maintained fitness! That’s really fucking cool! You can still walk three miles without a problem! You are doing so great at staying strong this time!

I’m told it will help.

I asked blacksheep how she psychs herself up to be a bad ass. Her response was… I almost fell over backwards laughing. She is such a tremendous bad ass that she doesn’t need to psych herself up to be a bad ass. She just decides she’s going to do something and then it gets done.

I aspire to that kind of self regard. I have worked so hard in the past 12-13 years to make a lot of her words my inside voice.

I can’t live like someone else. My needs are too weird. I can’t be like someone else. My brain and my body are odd. But god damn I can have people become part of my inside voice and that part’s great.

When I feel like shit and I want to give up I think of how loving and gentle blacksheep was as she coaxed me through just one minute of running at a time.

She didn’t need me to hurry or meet a schedule. She wanted me to challenge myself and do my best. She didn’t complain even once about how fucking slow I was. She accepted me. She could encourage me from where I started through where I needed to get without causing me to feel even a little bit bad about not being better.

It’s basically a fucking miracle. That kind of feat hasn’t been accomplished very many times in my whole life.

I want a birth that ends like that. Where I feel like I did exactly what I needed to do to get through my process and it was totally ok it happened like it did.

I tell people I didn’t run a marathon I energetically walked a marathon. I completed a marathon. I did it because I signed up to run it with my brother and I said I would go so I went. Even though he didn’t race. I did it because I wanted to be physically fit enough to handle my kids and frankly… I’m still coasting on the fitness I gained and I’m so glad I did it. I did it because I need to change how living in my body goes and I need to change how I perceive myself.

I completed a god damn marathon. Not quickly… but I did it. When the vast majority of all people don’t have the stamina. Even though my body is shitty. Even though I’m usually in a lot of pain. I can put that to the side and say, “It doesn’t matter how I feel; it matters what I do.” Even though I could barely fucking breathe.

“After you get this surgery you will feel so good you will want to go run a marathon!” “Uhhhh. I’ve already done that.” “You ran a marathon with a septum this deviated?” “Yup.” “Wow.”

That’s part of my inside voice too.

What is true and what is not true. Many things can be true at the same time even if they directly contradict one another.

I can be a bitch and still be a nice mother. We all have our bad days. My poor family. They are being so patient. And they’ve worked so hard lately.

There is no fair.

I couldn’t eat much dinner. My belly just said no. This feels related to the not really pooping thing. I hear (because I talk to pregnant folk a lot) that right before labor there is usually a massive cleansing of the system to make room and shift things about. Somehow this weirdly feels related to, “Babysitting hasn’t gotten here yet. Sit tight. Almost. Soooooooon. Then just go.”

I understand that all of my lovely friends are telling me how much easier their later births were because they are trying to be comforting. I totally get it. That does not align with my personal experience to date so I really apologize if I’m tetchy. Right at this point I’m barely holding my tone of voice together at all. If I sound massively cunty, please forgive me. Or avoid me for a while. That would make sense.

I didn’t post much on the forum today. I’m not sure I posted at all. My arms are so pissed. I have to slow down.

But that’s part of why I have this pent up need to whine here.

Also: I will never be this pregnant again. It’ll be interesting to remember how I felt. If I ever go back and read. I really wonder if my kids will ever read. I hope not. But this shit is public because I don’t keep many secrets. It’s too hard to keep secrets straight. I know my stories drift over time as my perspective and perception and memory change. That’s… not something I know how to avoid. It’s part of why I try to record stuff as soon as possible after it happens.

I am very sad to report that my massage therapist’s mother died. She has been frail and barely hanging on for some time. She was 99 1/2 years old. I feel bad that my massage therapist, in her grief, reached out to me to offer me a massage because now she doesn’t have to worry about every sniffle and illness as much. But given that I know I am her highest paying client and I know she just had a bunch of bills fall in her lap… I went in to see her. Clearly my body has missed her as my family has been persistently sick and I haven’t been to her. I brought chicken and dumpling soup that Noah made.

She told me that I am consistently the only person who gives anything to her that is thoughtful. That makes me sad. Her brother is self absorbed and doesn’t do much for her beyond helping to manage their mother. Her mother… stopped being there like almost a decade ago. No one else looks at her and thinks about her.

Dude. She just lost her mother. Show up with fucking food. She is going to have trouble getting up and making food to nourish herself. She is going to get super fucking depressed. I gave her an electric blanket for Christmas because she can’t afford to heat her house and she was in so much pain from the cold she couldn’t sleep. When she was talking about trying to figure out what she could afford to make for Christmas dinner last year for her and her brother… I brought over meat from my freezer. Because dude… I won’t miss a damn roast.

People have given so much to me in this life. I have some friends who blow my mind with their generosity and their love. Why do I deserve it? Why do I get it? Why in the hell doesn’t my massage therapist have friends who love her too?

I don’t deserve to take up more space than her. I don’t deserve more than my share.

If I’m even a little bit honest with myself… my life is preternaturally good compared to hers. She has not lived for herself.

I won’t see her for a while. I was planning to take the 4th trimester off. She said she was invited to go stay with some folks out of state and she’s going to take them up on it. She’s going to go find herself.

I am so glad. I hope that what she lacks here she can find there. I am not going to be here forever any more than her mother could be.

And she matters. Her needs matter. Her health matters.

It’s already been a year full of death. And here comes new life. Because it is all part of this big never ending process. Things start and end and change and change again and there will always be pain. Pain at the beginning and pain at the ending. Change hurts. That doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. It means you are part of the human experience.

This person, who is kicking the shit out of my ribs, has something to teach me that I need to learn very badly. They will have behaviors and needs that will trigger the shit out of me. And I need to look past myself, I need to set myself aside and reach for a love that is bigger than me and see what does my child need?

This is my church.

I am going to be un-PC and potentially offensive to my non-breeders for a moment here. This isn’t about you and it might sound fucking rude.

I go on. I have an obligation to get up and go on because there are these people that I created who entirely depend on me at this stage. When they no longer need me to help them survive, they will still have something they need from me. It might be closeness and it might be distance. We’ll see.

I check to see that my mother is alive. I may need distance… but I don’t wish death upon her. As long as she is alive there is a chance she might cyberstalk me and feel pride in what she finds. Hey maybe it’ll make her hate me more. Whatever. I can’t control that. But I think very hard about the fact that her story continues. It continues in my children. In the hair my kid is growing out to their waist. They have my mother’s hair. I spent a lot of time brushing my mother’s hair. The texture is in my fingertips. My mama used to love having me brush her hair. She always said I was good at it. She was rough and she even hurt herself. She could do some things with such delicacy… but she could not be gentle with bodies.

When I teach my children to be gentle I think of my mother and how her story is changing and growing. What she could not give… I can. My children will not grow up knowing constant pain just for inhabiting a body as their due.

Stories can change.

People can change. But they have to work like a motherfucker. It’s hard. But if you can’t look back on yourself 18 months ago and think “Wow I really sucked” you aren’t trying hard enough. Noah is part of my inside voice now too. Sometimes in good ways. Sometimes in mixed ways and we are trying to figure that out.

I feel incredible envy towards my friends who feel confident that their body just knows what to do for labor and it’ll all be fine. My body is a little shit head who did not study for the fucking exam.

BUT I DID STUDY. I READ BOOKS. I WENT TO CLASSES. I LEARNED BREATHING TECHNIQUES. I DID FUCKING HYPNOSIS AND NLP. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Want to know how I completely fucked my relationship with Anna up beyond all possibility of repair? I told her she needed to be realistic about the needs and limitations of her body and she needed to get a new dream that was actually attainable given her issues.

I deserved that divorce. I was a cunt.

I have to get a new dream with regard to god damn birth. I don’t need to prove that my body is a wonderful magical strong natural creature who will just do the right thing. hahahahahaha

*cough*

My body likes to get dragged kicking and screaming over the finish line minutes before folks are saying, “Well never mind then.”

I procrastinate on shit like a motherfucker. Then I race the clock because I live for pressure.

Then I try to mask my exhaustion and terror that I may have failed anyway.

I went to CSUH for 5 quarters after I finished bouncing through a bunch of junior colleges. Those were the only terms of my entire scholastic career where I consistently did all of my work in advance and turned everything in with time to spare. I think it was because I was trying to please my Owner. He had opinions about my “laziness”. Yeah I’ve never kept that kind of thing up before or since.

EC’s birth I was able to labor down just fine once I was given the epidural so I could sleep. But I had to argue against “Just go ahead and c-section” the whole time. They would have opened me up the hour I came in if I had let them. I was not interested. I had a chip on my shoulder.

MC’s birth I was dealing with the fact that my labor support was pissy about having to spend so much time with me. That sucked.

This time… I’ll just deal with shift changes. Ta da! No pressure to hurry already. But I get to decide when it has hurt enough.

I’m not looking for another merit badge. I’m not proving that my body knows how to do something cool. I’m trying to get through a bloody shit show of an experience where my body will… have to fucking cooperate one way or another. Mother fucker.

As I get kicked viciously. Yeah. I mean you.

It’s gonna hurt and I’m going to bleed. Because that is just life.

And at the end I will meet a person. A person who will be part of the story of my blood line. And they will not grow up being denigrated. And they will not be abused. They will be cherished and loved and told that they were very much wanted. They will not be treated like an unwanted burden.

I get to make that true. Because I have the power to write that part of the story.

My mother did not understand the power she had to create my inside voice. I work very hard on making sure that I am careful what I am programming.

Baby I have so much I want to teach you about. I love seeing your siblings already believe it. You will be a complex person. You are going to suck sometimes. You are going to be awesome sometimes. You are going to hurt people. You are going to be hurt. You are not defined by one part of yourself… you are instead defined by the patterns you create.

Once is a mistake. Make new mistakes. Doing the same thing over and over ceases being a mistake and becomes a choice.

I wonder how much my depression this pregnancy has been related to knowing that this is one of the most selfish decisions I’ve made. The world doesn’t need another person like me. Not really.

But here I am. Making another one. Because I’m a selfish piece of shit and I want to see a reflection of myself that is better than me.

Luckily! I made sure that isn’t that hard.

If you start out a piece of shit… not that hard to be better than that.

I can make a whole twig of my family tree free from incest. It’ll be awesome.

I think meds have hit enough that I should eat something else before sleeping.

Abandoned and unloved

Sometimes I reflect that my perception problem is bigger than my actual problems at this phase of my life. Am I abandoned? No. Am I unloved? No. But I still feel like I am. Is this a reflected emotion from a previous time in my life or just some random insanity? It’s complicated.

I can’t perceive my mom as abandoning me. I told her to get the fuck out of my life and not come back. I did not give her a real choice between me and my sister because I believe if you give someone an ultimatum you deserve to lose. Just leave. So I left the family. The family didn’t really leave me. They are still squatting like a pack of evil toads in the exact same spot.

I’m the one who left. They didn’t go anywhere.

Do they love me? Who cares.

When I feel whiny that no one has ever tried to pick me up as a codependent project the way I have with other people… err… that’s probably actually a good sign. I’m a bad project person. Why? Because I have my own ideas about where I’m going and what I’m trying to change about myself. If someone wanted to come over and clean my house there are very few, very carefully delineated tasks I would permit them to do. And my big trouble at this point is organizing and the chance I would seriously let someone else come over and organize my house is about zero. I’d flip out.

So what in the hell am I whining about anyway?

Am I whining about my own frustration with my current lack of competence? Am I whining about my lack of ability to create a poly household? Am I whining about my inability to become an entrenched member of a community? I’m a fringe member of a lot of communities but I’m not entrenched anywhere and that’s real and valid and not my hysteria.

But I’m welcome in any of those spaces… folks just recognize that I’m a drop in, rare member.

So what am I really freaking out about.

Am I angry because I don’t know how to change the feelings in my body? Am I angry (partly) because I’m nine months pregnant and that’s just a normal part of the process. (My due date club assures me that pretty much everyone there is a raging lunatic right now except for the people who are depressed and crying so that they are non-functional. I love online due date clubs where everyone is crazy hormonal at the same rate. That shit’s validating.)

Most of the folks are sharing stories about how they are screaming at random people in public. So it’s truly not just me right now.

Incompetence is killing me. I feel so sick and so bad. I feel almost incapable of moving. I’m trying to go for walks because they are causing a lot of contractions and IT’S EVICTION TIME, BUDDY.

Noah told someone yesterday that I had two weeks to go and I wanted to hit him. Why? Because that makes it sound like more days than I want to admit in my head. IT’S LESS THAN 14 DAYS TILL MY DUE DATE IT WILL NEVER BE TWO WEEKS AGAIN OH MY GOD DO NOT IMPLY IT COULD POSSIBLY BE 14 MORE DAYS OF THIS HELL AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Clearly I did not hit him. I am cognizant enough of how irrational I am being. But it was a struggle. And oh my god I was so mad. I sat on it and didn’t bitch at him. But I’m completely irrational about this at this point.

Then I feel really bad about myself for emotionally over reacting. I didn’t hit him. I didn’t yell at him. I mildly argued with him that it was more like a week and a half but I didn’t flip out or get rude. But I still feel guilty and like I’m an asshole because my internal reaction was more like having a spurt of fire come out the top of my head.

I can’t do this again. No more babies. My lovely friend sent me a link to an article on microchimera. That’s about the cells babies leave behind in your body after you are done birthing them. It’s fascinating how they influence you forever. They are found colonizing the entire body. They go to different spots and are either antagonists or helpers at fixing problems depending on what kind of stuff is going on in your body. Sometimes I wonder if the intensity of my depression while pregnant is at all related to the fact that the cells of my former children are trying to convince me to think that the children who already exist are more important and I should not keep making more of these terrible parasites.

I offered my children a deal. How about if I move a chair around the house today and supervise them cleaning so I can do the mental work of helping them organize their stuff (they got a bunch of new school supplies) but I won’t do any of the physical work so that I don’t wear out so fast and get bitchy. They think that is an awesome suggestion.

Do you know how grateful I am that my children are workers and not shirkers? The amount of times in their lives that I have been angry with them for shirking work… I can pretty much count on my fingers. They are bleepin motivated. And it’s not even that they fear my explosions of anger (I…. hope… I think… I’m not usually as explosive as I am right now… the kids keep telling me that my behavior in the past three months is super extreme for me and I’m not really being that bad) it’s that they have completely internalized that delaying work makes it harder.

When you put off a small task it becomes a medium or large task and that shit’s exhausting. You can only do that to yourself so many times before you just lose track and completely fail at keeping the small tasks done entirely. Then you create other problems for yourself. Keep your task list small and manageable. Be careful what you agree to do. Then bloody well follow through.

In my head I compare this to my extensive list of cousins and I weep for joy. My cousins had to be threatened with beatings before they would do fucking anything. I hate my family. Everyone just sat around and watched Auntie wait on people hand and foot.

Not in my god damn house.

Sometimes I have this odd moment where I realize that even if I feel like I don’t like myself… I like my behavior.

I like that me yelling at my kids once or twice a week is a huge explosion of mean and my kids feel perfectly entitled to tell me my behavior is sucking. That’s… a very positive situation to my mind. My kids feel safe going to therapy and bitching about how mean I am and I confirm, yeah I am grumpy as fuck and the therapist says, “Pregnancy sucks.”

Yup. All true.

And this is not forever. I’m not mean like this most of the time.

I’m not mean most of the time. My kids are getting more and more emphatic as they talk about this. “This is not like you.” Oh baby. If only you knew me before you were born.

Oh wow. That was a lovely moment. Middle Child came out to the living room and asked Eldest Child, “May I shoulder surf?”

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. THEY ARE SO FUCKING POLITE.

(EC is reading a comic book. MC wants to share so that they can snuggle up and be dog piled on top of EC. They have been getting along almost preternaturally well in the past few days. The intense fighting we had for a while is at an ebb. Thank god. I’m the only grumpy bitch in the house right now.)

Oh. Slight notice to folks. Middle Child has asked if we can try to use the first three letters of their name only because that is a more boyish name that will hopefully have people assigning them female pronouns less often. Okie dokie. That’s a perfectly fair thing to ask. They have been spending a lot of time talking about how “I love being femme, but I need to figure out mixed gender signals because I’m tired of people thinking I’m a girl. Boys can have long hair. Boys can like dresses. Boys can like makeup. But… it is hard for people so I need to figure out how to get them to understand I’m more of a boy.”

The complexity of thought about presentation… it blows my mind.

I correct people about MC’s gender all the time. I’m pretty militant about enforcing their pronouns (they ask me to! I don’t come down hard with the hammer unless kiddo says it is an appropriate space for me to do so!) so I get a lot of questions about “What does non-binary mean?” I give a rough clinical definition and then I say, “But honestly I don’t know what it means to be non-binary deep in my bones and I don’t have to. It’s not my journey. It is my child’s journey and whether or not I understand I have to support them in any way I can. They have asked me to be respectful by using these pronouns and giving them a certain kind of treatment and I need to just comply. Understanding really isn’t necessary.” That shuts people down in a way I find useful. They stop trying to come up with loopholes for why they shouldn’t comply with “weird pronoun requests”. Ha.

I don’t have to understand. I just have to not be an asshole.

I mean… I’m being an asshole lately. Sigh. But I’m completely and totally out of cope and it’s coming down on everyone and I’m sorry.

Sweet cheese I hope I’m not quite this whiny all the god damn time. I have big feelings. But this… sitting in a chair whining shit is getting fucking old. If I’m whining and working… whatever. That is what it is.

I don’t like this sitting still and doing nothing but whining business. This is not my thing.

Find gratitude

I have been given so much stuff for this kid. I think I have already been given more stuff for this child than I was given for the first two kids and I had a big baby shower that time.

Most of this has come from R, of course, because she had everything from her child and I got it all. L gave me cloth diapers; a style I haven’t used before and I am completely nerdily excited about getting to try them. Sarah is giving me the fanciest diaper bag I’ve ever owned. Some clothes have come from a few other assorted people. T gave me some postpartum supplies I will definitely use. When it all gets sorted and put away… it’s stunning to me how much I have been given this time.

As I bitch and moan and whine about how I don’t get as much support as I want and I *melodramatic hand to forehead* want to be alone…

Oh, and R gave me the maternity pants I wear. The only ones I have.

Yeah… I’m an ungrateful bitch.

I’ve been given a lot. My community is trying to support me and I’m acting like an asshole about it. I’m being completely self absorbed and petty and stupid.

I’m sorry y’all. That’s not cool.

I do understand how kind my friends are being. They are putting up with my whining and not thwacking me even a little.

Fuck I hope I’m not usually this whiny.

To do list (for self guilting purposes)

Calls:

  • car seat installation appointment (this brand sucks ass. I will never take it out until it is forward facing.)

Other tasks:

  • anything else I should write for scripts & routines? Check in with care provider

I feel like I owe a lot of human beings contact of some sort. I should SMS people. I should call. I should write thank you notes and letters. I literally, completely can’t. It isn’t that I don’t care. I feel guilty as shit. But I have nothing to give. I feel so empty and tired and worn to a nub. I feel like if I tried I would end up needing to hurt myself in order to be more present with the reality that this contact hurting me doesn’t matter because I don’t matter. So I continue to be shitty about responding to everyone. It’s not you, it’s me.

My bucket is empty and I remain entirely unsure of what to do with that. I don’t know how to fill it. I don’t know how to feel better right now. I don’t know how to ache less. My body and my mind and my soul all hurt. I keep waking up to these brutal dreams where I mutilate the shit out of myself.

I am so terrified of labor that I am unable to put it into useful words. What in the motherfuck was I god damn thinking.

I want to meet this child so badly. I love how active she is. She’s rarely still and never for a full hour at a time. She wakes me up from a dead sleep kicking the shit out of me. She’s here motherfucker.

I love her completely already. Even though I am scared I don’t have enough to give her. Somehow I am going to have to dig a new well in order to fill her up the way I have my other kids.

I read a neat article about adulting and queer identity.  It made me wonder how much of my entire concept of “adulting” is centered around ideas I got from Marion Zimmer Bradley around Maiden/Mother/Crone. I was absolutely devastated recently when Jenny told me that Bradley was actually a sick motherfucker who helped abuse children. I feel like a piece of my childhood is shattered.

If you can’t find a way you make a way. That’s been a lot of my approach to parenting. “I’m not strong enough to do this.” Well then motherfucker get your sorry ass to the gym and fucking work out until you are god damn strong enough. Don’t be a fucking wimp. Just do it. I wasn’t strong enough to chase my kids. So I trained for a god damn marathon so I knew I could have the stamina to keep up with their little asses.

I didn’t have the patience for this shit. So I learned.

This next stage of motherhood is going to be brutal. I know it. And I know that step one is finding a place to dig a new fucking well and I don’t know how yet.

Yet. That word is so important. I tack it on to every complaint my children have about their own incompetency at something. “I can’t do ____” “Yet.”

I am terrified of labor. And I’m also really chill about it in a weird way? I want to labor without medication until I decide I’m ready for medication then I want it freely fucking offered. I want to see if I can medicate myself to sanity/calm/relaxation and have another vaginal birth if I can do so in a reasonable length of time. If I can’t–cut me the fuck open and get this shit over with.

I am not going to die over this god damn birth. But I’m scared.

What am I scared of?

I wish I fucking understood. It’s not really the pain. The first 2 days of labor really isn’t that painful. And that’s contracting every 6 minutes for days without break. Pushing a baby out… well it’s uncomfortable but I’ve done it medication free and I still say I’ve had more painful things happen to me.

The pain isn’t the scary part. It is being trapped for days in my own inability to help myself. It is feeling inadequate and like a failure because it is so fucking hard for me and it isn’t for other people. I feel stupidly bad about the fact that labor is harder for me than it is for most people. I need so much god damn support and I feel ashamed of that.

I’m not a 6 hour, show up, bam here’s the baby, go home kind of case. And I feel embarrassed for existing. I don’t deserve the help I need. I’m too much fucking trouble.

I’ve been trying in the last few days to be more… assertive about asking Noah to do things for me. It’s really hard and sometimes I feel like I’m going to choke on my tongue as I say the words. But I’m two god damn weeks away from my due date. I’m getting to the point in pain cycles where… I need to ask for more touch. I need him to clean up the ant infestation because I have gotten over my phobia of ants but leaning down is painful and hard and I just don’t want to crawl through bugs at this stage of my god damn pregnancy.

But I feel really bad for every single thing I ask for. Because I am such a burden. And I don’t deserve any of what I get. Noah gets such bad trade for his effort.

Why am I so completely obsessed with starting sentences with prepositions? It bugs me about myself. And the word “really”. I use it way the fuck more than anyone needs to.

In some way I suspect it is because I dislike how self absorbed I tend towards being and I don’t want every god damn sentence starting with “I”.

Self.Absorbed.

A happy family

Oh hey. Today is my shitty sister’s birthday. Happy birthday psycho-Sissy. May your 49th birthday be nicer than your disgusting self actually deserves.

Sigh.

I told Noah recently that part of my problem is that I can list off all the ways I am a failure as a wife and mother with great fluency but I really don’t understand what ways in which I am successful. I don’t feel like I’m doing much of anything right.

He told me a few things he appreciated and of course my brain abruptly dropped those words out of my memory banks because nice things are so easy to forget. But I did latch on to one thing: a happy family.

Noah pointed out that this is his first chance getting to be part of a happy family too. It’s not that we get along 100% of the time or that everything is sunshine and roses every day. But taken as a whole… we are a very happy family. We wake up to snuggles every day. We say with great sincerity every morning, “I am so happy I get to see you again.” We give hugs and kisses whenever anyone leaves the house because you never know what could happen and we want to make sure that no matter what we will have no regrets about how we left one another behind.

We encourage one another. We are supportive of everyone getting to have whatever big feelings the person needs to have. (With strong guidelines about Outside Voices Belong Outside.) Having the feeling is always ok. Let’s talk about ok and not ok ways of dealing with our feelings.

It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be so angry you feel like you are going to explode. Ok. Now how do we handle these big feelings in a healthy way?

It’s funny to notice that part of my problem at this point is how much guilt and shame I feel for my moodiness while pregnant. PMDD means I have shitty moods every month. I have suicidal periods just about like clockwork. But I can check my phone and look at the Clue application and see that my mood is about my hormonal cycle and not just because I’m a horrible person. When I’m pregnant… it just drags on and on and it isn’t about this day in the month and it feels like these feelings will never end. It feels like I feel like this because I am just a shitty ungrateful person.

I spent six fucking years crying for this baby. How dare I spend the pregnancy depressed and feeling like I should die.

I feel really ashamed of myself. I should be ecstatic. I should embrace the discomforts and inconveniences of pregnancy with relative good cheer. I owe that to Noah and the kids because they all agreed to having this baby.

But I can’t. I’m a petty small pathetic asshole and I feel like fucking shit and I’m so sad and I feel like I don’t deserve anything good in this world.

My friend’s mom offered to be a labor support person. She has helped her daughters and her nieces. It’s such a sweet offer. And every time I consider it I want to burst into tears because I’ve spent my whole life getting by on the dregs of parenting that other people have left over from the people who actually matter to them–their kids. I know that is appropriate and fair and how it should be. But I am so sad my mama has never been able/wanted to be there for me like that.

I’m so terrified of labor again. I had a conversation with Noah about it. I don’t think we are very clear about what I want from a labor support person. He thinks that what I want/need is someone to be between me and the doctors/nurses advocating for me. Given that I am fully able to scream coherent directions in the middle of pushing… That’s not the part I worry about. I can yell at people for myself. I’m really good at that. And when midwives/OBs say that you know you are in “real labor” when you can’t talk anymore… I laugh at them. I have done a lot of training myself for a lot of years to be able to process and communicate no matter how much pain I’m in. A number of bdsm presenters have told me I’m their favorite demo model because I am always able to be articulate about what I am experiencing no matter how overwhelming it is.

I’m afraid of the fact that I don’t believe in me much. I want to be a quitter. I believe I am going to fail. Again. As usual.

Despite lots of evidence that I don’t fail at everything and I have in fact gone through this process twice before.

I want something a lot closer to blacksheep doing the marathon with me and coaxing me through and believing in me when I can’t believe in myself. She was so breathtakingly wonderful during the race. “You can run for a minute. I know you can. I’ll set my timer. You don’t have to run longer than that. You can do it.” She got me through. I’m pretty sure I would have failed at the marathon if she hadn’t been beside me telling me I could do it.

And I don’t actually trust my friend’s mom like that. If she tells me that I can do it I will get angry and scream at her that she doesn’t even really know me so how the fuck does she know what I’m capable of. It worked with blacksheep in large part because she has known me for a long time and she can cite chapter on verse on things where I didn’t fail. It’s not like she’s a sycophantic constant part of my life… I only see her intermittently every few years. But she knows me. She can remind me of things I forget about myself. She had full standing to say, “You trained for this and your body can do this.”

I feel so stupidly grateful for how my chiropractor is jazzing me up at every appointment. He lists off all the ways in which my body is doing very well all things considering. Yes, pregnancy is hard… but I’m really strong this time. He keeps stressing that he has never seen a pregnant person sit up casually on their own from laying down in their ninth month before. This bodes well for me. My hips are still adjusting super easily. Really, all of me is adjusting super well and if I would fucking type less (I’m escaping from my depression on forums… that’s a lot of why I’m not recording more of it here…) I would be in extraordinary shape.

I am thinking about asking Noah to hide my computer and phone most of the time for a while. I have no self control and I am seriously hurting myself. I will keep a note pad out to write down the things I actually need to do on a computer and I could probably get it all done in an hour or two a day.

I installed one carseat yesterday. The second one is being a pain in the ass and putting it together before installation is… more complicated than I anticipated. I now understand the incredible luxury of buying Britax and having that shit arrive in one piece. But I needed something more narrow for the Prius because I’m going to need to get a carseat and a low back booster in the back seat with room for another butt.

Looking back in the van and seeing just a low back booster… I AM SO FUCKING CRAZY. I WAS INCHES AWAY FROM BEING OUT OF CAR SEATS ENTIRELY. I AM AN IDIOT.

But god I want this baby. Even though I don’t feel deserving. Even though I feel like my existence is a horrible thing that shouldn’t be inflicted on the world. I am selfish and bad and I want this baby.

I want to love this person and dote on them and encourage them and find out what flavor of asshole they are. Because they are going to be an asshole sometimes. Just like everyone else.

Speaking of assholes… time to go yell at my kids and throw them into the backyard at 7:30 in the morning.

It’s getting easier

The last couple of days have been interesting in my brain. I feel like I am closing a loop of understanding around codependency stuff. It’s helping with pieces of my depression. It all started with an off-hand comment I made to a gal from the forums. I said we are all there because we are codependent and we want to “fix” someone. She hadn’t thought about it that way. That has made me have a lot of thoughts about my sex life.

I haven’t been writing much mostly because I would not have been able to do so without saying things I would regret in the future. As much as I am ok with most of my lame-ass and/or bitchy thoughts being recorded for posterity… there’s a level of respect I owe my marriage and that’s a fascinating thing to discover as the years go by.

It’s not that I won’t say bad things about Noah. I totally will. But they have to be true and said for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is that I need to write it so I can see it and prove to my brain that something is real. But for the past few weeks… I’ve been bitchy as fuck and most of the things I wanted to say are true and not true and the only purpose of saying them would have been because I was feeling bitchy as fuck.

So I shut up.

When I am in a better mindset it is very easy to see that Noah fails upward. He tends to only make the same mistake once or twice. He has worked unfathomably hard for our family. He has changed in ways that I am not always sure are healthy but he god damn did it. He still fucks up. We still have issues.

But a lot of our fuck ups are about me. Our sex problems are mostly my sex problems. He has tried. And I am just about fully unable to communicate at the level necessary for really solving these problems. This also happens to be a not so hot month of my life for dealing with sexual dysfunction issues. For one thing, semen ripens the cervix and makes labor go faster. I want this over with so all the penis in vagina needs to be happening. Luckily I’m so god damn wet all the time that tearing isn’t happening.

I have to admit that physically this has been by far my easiest pregnancy. I am depressed as shit and I don’t feel good but I’m doing way better than any previous time.

I think all that stupid exercise helped. And the nutrition work. My body is in a much happier place than it was when I started this experience.

But what about my mind. A buddy sent me a neat article on microchimeras, which is a fancy name for the cells from babies that live in mothers forever. Even not full term babies seem to leave some hint of their presence forever. They were testing women in their 90’s and they had clear signs of their children’s cells. The cells are sometimes antagonists that cause health problems and sometimes are like little stem cells that protect the mother from issues.

It’s been interesting to think of that in terms of my increasing depression with later pregnancies. How much is that related to the cells of my previous children yelling at me bitch you have nothing more to give. Shut this god damn factory down.

Yeah yeah. This is the last. I promise myself. I wanted this one so very much. I don’t know why yet. Whatever challenge this child is going to bring to my life I need it so badly that I’ll fuck up big chunks of my life plan. We won’t do a lot of the travel I dreamed about. It will be hard to save up yet more money to put another kid through college. It will delay Noah’s retirement quite a bit. But I hunger for this child deep in my soul. I need to know them even if it will make my life harder.

I didn’t have children because I was looking for a convenient life. I had children because I wanted to feel what it was like to have a happy family and I knew that the parents have to create the frame for that. I have lost my shot in this life at experiencing that as a child. The best I can do is figure out what it means and go do it for my children.

That means listening to them and getting to know them as individuals. It means setting them up for success and letting them totally fuck up sometimes without rescuing them. It means learning what boundaries feel like because I have lots of developmental books telling me what should and shouldn’t happen at various developmental stages.

I look for broad agreement. I don’t like following any single philosophy. I’m not a good follower of any “ideal”. I think that there are a million ways to be right, you have to judge your own circumstance.

And temperament matters. I am so grateful that my children and I have incredibly complimentary personality types. We don’t fight much and it’s not because my children are cowed. They are sassy little things who absolutely voice every discontent. They just… don’t have many. I mean, there are probably complaints that they keep behind their teeth because they are afraid to tell me. Assume “afraid” in that sentence is really a stand in for a lot of complex emotions that can’t be simplified to fear. My kids want me to be happy and I’m sure that sometimes they would rather not upset me than voice an issue. I try to do my best all the time to accept “no” well and to give them space for their own opinions and boundaries. They do voice complaints sometimes about me and I try to address them with speed and good humor.

I mean, I asked them if they wanted to see therapists so that they could have a safe adult to talk to about problems with me. I’m trying to create space for them.

So I feel like this is a you can lead a horse to water situation.

I have put a lot of responsibility on Noah for a lot of years to fix my problems with sex. That’s really not gone very well and maybe I need to try something different. He can’t fix this. This is big. There’s a lot going on here that I literally can’t clearly articulate at this point and I’m not really heading into a time of my life where I have traditionally had a lot of access to thoughts about sex. Maybe we are waiting another five years. Oh god I hope not.

I feel really done with sex being something I owe. And that’s incredibly complicated for a laundry list of reasons.

It’s been interesting talking to Noah about the ways I have done sex. I didn’t fuck all those people by looking for intimacy. What does “feeling good” mean to someone who dissociates at the drop of a hair.

Part of the problem is that Noah worked really hard on helping me stop dissociating. And then I figured out that sex hurts and I can’t do that any more. I can do things that help me dissociate more and that therefore help me process a lot of sex. But those things all have a very high cost to my relationship and are probably off the table for the rest of my life.

So… then we need to change sex and I don’t even know what that means.

And I’m not going to be in the best physical or mental place to work on it for a long time.

Complete topic shift.

I have been having petty, stupid, bitchy thoughts about a situation. I am angry with myself for not responding more. I am giving away too much energy to someone who doesn’t matter. I know I’m being a dumbass. MAKE LIKE FUCKING ELSA ALREADY.

Why an I letting it take up space in my brain? Someone can only make you feel small if you let them. It’s ok to have different life priorities. But yeah. I like staying home for many good reasons.

I didn’t say something snottier because… even though I have bitchy ass thoughts… I don’t actually want to model that behavior for my children. I will directly address things but it’s… different?

I don’t get bitchy with people. I get forceful.

But I still wish I got to be bitchy. It would be satisfying sometimes. At least it is in my snide comments to Noah. But I won’t even write them down here. Because it’s really stupid and even I’m not that immature.

But I’ll acknowledge that the struggle is real. Being nice is shit.

This is all superego. My id is ready to be mean to someone for sport. Because I’m petty. sigh

But I didn’t and I won’t.

Because I really am staying alive for this “good role model” experience. And soon there will be three. And the third will be such a different experience.

Why do I start most of my sentences with fucking prepositions?! It’s a god damn nervous tic.

Everything is related to something else. I guess it feels more appropriate to start every sentence as if it were a continuation of a previous thought. It’s all building from somewhere. But where is it going?

To bed.

Procrastination, future tripping, refusals, and gifts

I need to take attendance and create the PE log for this grading period. It’s due today. I am… clearly not doing it yet. I have been too busy pressuring my kids to get their stuff done in the past few days to get my share done. Instead I figured out how to spend almost $2,000 worth of school funding money. I probably wouldn’t be done with that project if Sarah hadn’t had an unexpected few hours to browse at the same time as me. Thank you, Sarah. That was such a huge help. It took at least 8 hours of my time to do that project… and Sarah probably put 2-3 hours in as well. Yes, home schooling is work for the parent. I’m shocked by every person who asks me if home schooling is easier. Uhhh… in what way? I don’t have to enforce being dressed and out the door at a reasonable hour…

My wonderful Jenny gave me a great gift today. She told me that they will not be able to vacation with us this year. She didn’t belabor it. She didn’t make it a long drawn out guilt trippy sort of no. She didn’t tell me about how other people are more important so she will spend her time/money on them. She just said they can’t this year.

I am so happy with her I could cry. A good solid respectful “no” is a treasure. I totally understand that vacations are costly and difficult to arrange. I have no expectation or feeling of entitlement that I should receive that kind of money/time expenditure. But I’m told that I should ask for things I want. A messy no is really hard. This was lovely. I’m so happy.

And that means I can talk to my family about what we want to do and not think about anyone else’s preferences. My kids are asking for snow and the beach. I don’t think they understand how contradictory these requests are. It shows their limited California weather life.

So maybe we will have a split trip. Or who knows. Maybe we will have to pick one after I look at the price of air travel. I just know that now I get to future trip and hang out in my happy place where I think of what I could do instead of what I am doing.

Pregnancy is so miserable.

P&A have been inviting me to the Bahamas for years. Maybe…

It’s a big world. Our bank account is recovering from the remodel hell. Maybe… we’ll see….

Maybe we should wait until after the house is sold? I don’t know. We’ve got some serious logistics to look at for the next 12-18 months….

More on community

I seriously love the new receptionist at my chiropractor’s office. She’s been here a few months and she is a delight to talk to. Her kids are 18, 12, and 6. So we talk about the insanity of having a third child and the masochism of age gaps. She laughs at me a lot (in a “I did it to myself and now you are doing it to yourself so ha ha ha” sort of way) and she helps me strategize how to cope with some issues.

I had an interesting text conversation with our former neighbor yesterday. The babysitter’s mom who moved out of state. She is just noticing that FMC is nonbinary and she is pushing back on my attempts to inculcate the pronoun usage. She asked if I was upset with her for asking questions. No… that’s not it.

I’m really upset with myself that my child has been adamantly insisting on an identity label for over three years and so many people in our life have… not noticed. That means I’ve failed pretty hard and I’m really glad I sent out the Christmas card.

Oh hey. I just noticed that I did not receive cards back from a few long-term friends who are hard core Christian. I’ve been on their Christmas card list for almost two decades. Hmm.

I’m not happy that I have been such piss poor support that people who spend a lot of time with us have… missed this detail about my child. That’s a huge failure on my part. I fucked up. And I need to do better. I need to jump on every single instance of “How are the girls” and correct people. I need to interrupt every single person who misgenders them.

Or I’m not really doing my job and that’s not cool.

I think this has been muddy for me because I have come into this situation from the POV of having adult friends who transition and they don’t always/usually want me to speak for them. They don’t necessarily want to be outed or put on the spot when people misgender them. Staying out of the business of an adult friend is… a more common or more appropriate tactic.

But this is my damn kid and I have not been doing my job. It’s different. I think I’ve been trying to let FMC set the terms of these interactions and that’s… mixed? I’m good about checking in with them when we go to a new place to meet new people (like getting dropped off at camp: I ask if they want to do introductions or if they want me to handle it. Their opinion varies over time) but I think I have been expecting them to carry the burden of setting reality with the grown ups we see a lot and that’s not fair.

It’s like getting upset when a child doesn’t prevent an adult from abusing them.

“Why didn’t you stop it. I assumed you were ok with it because you didn’t stop it.”

know my child needs my support on this issue. Abdicating responsibility is a chicken shit action. My kid deserves better.

And that has to entirely come from me.

That was really sweet.

EC and I had an hour long chat this morning. We reordered the chore list so that it is easier to understand/follow/check. We updated the point distribution a bit. We listed next to each chore whether it is daily, weekly, or optional for bonus points. She’s pretty happy with this update and she thinks it will help her be more consistent. There are even zero point chores on the list because they have to be done anyway (like getting dressed and brushing your teeth).

We talked about her perception that it is terribly unfair. I said, “Let me talk to you about the things in my life where I have missed out on a big thing by having one tiny thing not be perfect. Let’s start with the masters degree I spent 7 years and $35,000 on. That I don’t have. Because I didn’t cross my t’s and dot my i’s properly.”

(Yes I know that isn’t appropriate apostrophe usage but doing it another way looks even stupider.)

I went down a long list of things that I have tried to get/accomplish and I’ve missed by the skin of my teeth. At the end… she was way less upset about losing out on a couple of hours of screen time.

I’m always impressed that she listens to me for these conversations. We talked about why I’m being a hard ass and why I think it is important given that the rest of the world is going to be way colder and less understanding than me. If I don’t help you transition to what the world expects… I’m hurting you. I’m being a bad mother if I give you what you want every time. Life isn’t like that.

It is my job to tell you no, you haven’t done what you agreed to do so you don’t get the reward.

Even though you were soooooo close.

Sorry my love.

My kids talk about the concept of punishment a lot, which is interesting to me. I don’t actually punish very often beyond a time out. They’ve both been grounded 2 or 3 times in their whole lives and the groundings very tremendously based on what happened. Sometimes it’s a minor “You don’t get x & y privilege for a week” and sometimes it is “Your life is going to suck for a week. You get nothing good.” Which is… much harsher… but uhhh… still feels namby pamby to me? When I was a kid harsh punishments involved beatings and being locked in a room that was stripped of everything. I wasn’t allowed to read or have toys or anything.

I’ve never taken books or toys away. I’ve just said, “I’m not taking you to the park/to playdates/out to dinner/you don’t get dessert”.

I really struggle with perspective on this issue.

So she’s not mad at me anymore.

I told her it’s ok for her to still be mad at me. She’s allowed to get as frustrated or upset or irritated or angry as she needs to be at me. I suck sometimes. I am the enforcer of limits and rules and punishments. It’s totes legit to get pissed at me.

And then we need to talk about it. Because I’m your mom and you are stuck with me for another 8.5 years and we need to find a way to live together.

It’s hard that sometimes I’m an asshole because I am trying to help you in the long-run. That doesn’t feel good. That doesn’t feel validating or true. It feels like a lie. Until I tell you a lot more about my thinking process and the things that have happened to me to help me feel like this is the right choice in this moment. Then… oh. It kind of makes sense. But I’m still an asshole. AND THAT’S OK. I know I’m an asshole. Yup. Totally true.

It’s fascinating to me how my kids make such small mistakes. I fucked up big over and over as a child. (This was partially due to poor supervision.) But my kids are just not drawn to the huge fuck ups I did. This is fascinating to stand adjacent to. I would never punish my kids the way I was punished, even if their fuck ups were bigger… but I really struggle with understanding how to cope with this stuff. It’s so…. opposite my experiences. My kids are so good. I was the canonical bad kid. I tested every boundary until it broke and then I just kept going. My kids don’t.

I can’t tell if I’m too hard on them or if I’m hard enough that they are having a really good childhood that will prepare them for the fact that life is hard. I really can’t tell and that’s scary.

I feel like we are rounding the bend coming out of a big disequilibrium period. We still have bumps but there is less frantic fighting. Less fury. Fewer explosions.

I can’t tell how much of this is just me and my emotional cycles. But I think the kids are feeling less distress too. EC was terribly distressed for less than 24 hours. And now she’s back to giggling and being wonderful. She isn’t angry we withheld the screen yesterday. She’s just super motivated to get her time today. (She did half of her chores before she walked in to talk to me at 6am.)

She’s excited that I am going to sit down and help her plan out the game she wants to release for her birthday. I think that’s our afternoon activity. I am going to sneak school planning into the system. Because I am deeeeeeeeeevious.

We have these amazing science books that the charter school paid for and we will have to give back at the end of the year. So I’m trying to push hard and get us through all of them in the second semester because I’m not going to buy separate copies for us to keep going next year. We have the k-4 curriculum right now and I’d rather get the 5th grade+ curriculum next if we are going to buy more from this author/publisher. Which means we need to get our butts in gear and get these science experiments done. We have physics, biology and chemistry. We are mostly done with chemistry (EC’s favorite of the science subjects), we have a solid start on physics, and we need to get our butts in gear on biology.

Amusing side note: I’m pretty sure EC is in the middle of a growth spurt. She has hurt herself running into things approximately 20 times in the past three days. It’s getting kind of funny in a not funny and she’s mad at me for laughing sort of way. It’s just so… hyperklutzy that it’s funny. This is about her body changing, not about her paying attention. She’s also getting noticeably less chubby.

I hope my kids are not scarred by the way we talk about their bodies. We embrace chub. We are gleeful and happy about pudging out because it means a growth spurt is coming soon. EC has been decidedly chubby lately. We go, “Oh look! You have a double chin again! I wonder when you will shoot up…” Because there is such a strong cause and effect with both of my children. They don’t have extra pudge unless they are about to grow. So they get excited and brag, “Heyyyy look at my belly. Chubchubchubchubchub.” Then we giggle and think it is awesome.

But Noah and I are both incredibly gleeful and delighted with our bellies as well. So far my kids seem to think their bodies are awesome.

It’s been a good morning of talking to my family.

Meanest mom ever

I made my daughter cry. Well, we made an agreement a bit ago and I’m sticking to it and that seems TOTALLY UNFAIR to my daughter and she’s crying because I’m being consistent. Specifically: chores. We had a long time where the kids were allowed to have screen time as soon as they were done with chores.

This drifted because I’m pregnant and apathetic and spaced out as shit. So eventually EC was just sneaking on to the computer early in the morning and then spending a bunch of time whiiiiiiiining about how it wasn’t fair she had to get off the computer to do her chores.

I was asking about the same (not that long) chore list upwards of 15 times a day. When I’m using hyperbole I like to say I was asking 90 times a day. I doubt it was ever actually that high… but I’m certain there were days when I got up to 30 asks because I had to ask about each individual chore several times. “Are you sure you’ve brushed your teeth? Come here and let me look” kind of bullshit.

So I told her that I’m tired of playing this game where I am spending the entire day begging/demanding that she do her chores. If she asks for screen time and she hasn’t done her chores then she doesn’t get screen time today. Because I’m sick of you irritating me and wasting my time and acting like it should be my job to hound you all fucking day to do your chores. This isn’t ok.

So yesterday she did all but one chore. And then got REALLY MAD at me for pointing out that she hadn’t done her chores and so the answer for the day is no.

THAT’S NOT FAIR.

Actually, when we sit down at the table and discuss how we want to handle this ongoing problem and we agree to a solution in the cold light of day… and then I enforce the agreement…

That’s kind of the definition of fair, kiddo. We discussed this and agreed that you are having trouble building consistency/responsibility and it should be on your head not mine to get your stuff done.

But me remembering and actually enforcing these limits is terrible.

Well. Stop fucking trying to get out of doing your stuff. You know what your stuff is. We’ve talked about this chore list a lot. We negotiate about everything on it. Fair doesn’t mean you always get what you want.

We also tried for a while that she could earn chore points by building things/using programming languages to create her own games… but that morphed into her playing other peoples games and bitching loudly about how she should get points for that.

Right. No more points for building games because you are exploiting the system.

NO FAIR.

Oh well.

I realized this moment that by the time future youngest child is ready for academics… EC will be 17. Oh god. That’s a lot of fucking years of home schooling.

Can’t think about that yet.

I got to see Pam yesterday. She had a layover in the bay area and she drove around spending a few hours with her Important Peeps. I’m really glad I made the list. It was so nice to talk to her and hug her. She’s one of the more touchy/huggy of my friends and that felt absolutely lovely. It’s hard having her on the wrong coast. But, she’s doing something that is important to her and the only reasonable response is, “I support you and good luck.”

I am afraid of showing favoritism between my kids. I have this horror of it. My mom played her kids off of one another. I have different things I like about my kids and they have different traits that irritate me. I try to give them different experiences and I end up wondering how they will perceive this in the long run. Like: FMC has had way more traveling/exotic/interesting birthdays… and fewer in town birthday parties. I think they’ve only had two birthday parties with friends. EC hasn’t had the traveling birthdays but she’s had more parties.

They get different toys at different times and I’m never sure what “fair” even means. I feel really guilty that I gave EC a doll for Christmas and FMC didn’t get a similar kind of present. Even though FMC has a huge stack of dolls they are being petulant about. And FMC got another damn doll from grandma for Christmas. EC just got the one from me. (For the record: FMC was freaked out by EC getting a doll for Christmas and has decided to “share” their dolls now because they are afraid that EC won’t share her one special doll. It’s… uhhh… interesting.)

I’m watching FMC go from being fully in their Id to having a little bit of an Ego and the barest hints of a Superego. I feel like EC went through this transition much younger. But I can’t tell because with the two year age gap I get hella fuzzy.

EC was good at sharing her stuff from absurdly early. She’s generous by nature. She’s not a grasper. She’s not one to hoard her shit. FMC on the other hand…. is all about MINE!!! FMC will only consent to share if they can see a clear benefit to themself coming any minute now. I think I judge this more than I should. I’m a sharer. I think I have a hard time with the hoarding. Because to me, in order for the hoarding thing to work out you either have to have WAY less personal stuff or you have to be ok with storing multiple copies of everything to be “fair” and neither sounds great to me.

I forced sharing for years because that way we got to have a reasonable variety of types of toys in a small space. Now they are getting too big for that. So they are each culling like mad down to having just a few things they want to hoard and be selfish with and… I’m not sure how this is going to go.

I can hear a child up and wandering around… but no one has come in to see me yet.

Oh hey. I typed too soon. And she walked in and stepped on my ankle. Awesome.

fatalistic attitude

I’m in a weird mood. People are who they are going to be. Better/worse are such weird qualifiers to use to judge people.

I am not better than someone else because I have more money. I am not worse than someone else because I have less impulse control. I am not better if I am more of a planner. I am not less if someone else is more physically fit.

My cousin is where she is in life partially because of shit that was beyond her control and partially because of her choices. Like all the rest of us.

All children go through whinnnnnnnnnny phases and I just signed up to hear that with a third damn kid. My stupidity knows no bounds. I’m a full-fledged masochist. I understand it is developmentally appropriate and a kid isn’t really doing something wrong when they go through that phase. But my big kids are past that phase. And now I’m starting over. I will have more years of loud whining/shrieking in my house because little kids don’t have volume or tone control. It’s 100% normal, predictable, and appropriate. But it’s kind of rough on the ear drums at times.

I’m in a mood where if you have to laugh or cry about life… I can laugh. It’s all so ridiculous.

I’m really enjoying all the conversations with folks about where to move in the country. The folks I’m talking to are mostly coming out on the side that my family should stay on the left coast or we are not going to have an easy go of life. Given the diversity of experiences/perspectives I’m hearing this from… I suspect it has some merit. I’m truly hearing this from an extensive list of people. Even my damn chiropractor, after knowing me and my kids for a few years, has said that he suspects we will not be happy unless we stay in a left coast state.

It’s neat in part because I’m hearing more about what people think of me and they are trying to phrase it in excruciatingly polite ways. “You are very progressive and I don’t think a more regressive state would be comfortable for you.”

Ha.

More and more people are spontaneously using the word progressive to describe me, which I find fascinating. Folks don’t describe me to my face as a liberal. They just skip that word.

I feel so physically weary and exhausted that I can barely move around. Yesterday I barely hit 1,000 steps by bed time. I think I’m sick again. I’m super dizzy. But no cholestasis! (That was the possible liver problem that would have resulted in early delivery.) I’ve just got itchy as shit winter skin. That’s a great problem to have. Ahhhhh. If lotion is the best cure for a problem life is fucking awesome.

I am enjoying less social media in my life. I feel like I am feeling less cranky about the fact that I’m never going to be a big part of anyone I know’s life. I am on the outskirts of a lot of communities. Not because I am shunned or excluded, because that is as close in to the center as *I* feel comfortable.

No one can make me feel comfortable. I’m not sure if it is emotionally/physiologically possible for me. I have rare moments when I’m with my nuclear family where I feel totally relaxed and comfortable but if I add more people into the room my anxiety levels creep up. Even with the people I love the most like Sarah and Pam and Jenny. Because I’m afraid I will say the wrong thing and be offensive. I am afraid I will cross a boundary I don’t understand and justifiably earn a punishment. I am afraid I will lose these people who are so important to how I define myself and that is abjectly terrifying.

The fact that Jenny has consented to being a witness to my life for 24 years is something I use to console myself when I feel worthless and like I am ruining everyone around me by existing. Jenny’s had a pretty ok life. It hasn’t been full of ostentatious displays, but her life has been alright. Me standing near her didn’t make it so she was unable to be a successful person. I didn’t wreck her by existing near her. You don’t know how much I have been afraid I was such poison I would hurt her like that.

So I hold on to the fact that she still wants to know me even though I’m difficult. And the knowledge that I could totally fuck that up because I’ve got mad skillz means that when we are in person I’m awkward and stiff and I say stupid shit because I’m nervous.

So I don’t spend a lot of time feeling comfortable. Even around the people I love the most. Which isn’t their fault. It’s about me knowing that I am not always appropriate and I deserve the consequences I earn whether my fuck up was deliberate or not. Intention doesn’t matter.

As the years go by I am terrified that I will retreat more and more into silence around people because I don’t know how to judge if the words I want to say are ok or not. There are some subjects I can engage in where I don’t think people will get mad at me (gardening, and art are the two safest topics I know) but mostly… people are unpredictable to me. It’s hard to guess where they will blow up and why they will hate me.

I am never going to be the most popular person in a room. I will always be difficult.

And even if everyone is there for my fucking birthday and interested in a sex party with me at the center I will still sit in the corner and sob because of course people actually hate me and I’m a terrible person for asking these people to come to my house and not do what they would rather be doing.

I’m speshul.

I asked Noah for the key to the medicine cabinet. I don’t think I’m a risk to myself at this point. I carefully counted out and divvied up my medication. I now have seven bags in the freezer that demarcate how much medication I will use over the next seven months. I’m reducing my dosing for the next couple of months even though that is not great for my mental health because it will reduce how much pot is in the meconium if the hospital decides to test me. The hospital told me they wouldn’t be testing my baby if I come in through an established OB practice, but I’m nervous. We don’t have a healthy federal administration and more marijuana using mothers are facing problems.

I also very specifically counted it out so that I’m slashing my night medications down to the barest possibly helpful dose after my due date because I can’t be sleeping that heavily with a newborn. I won’t sleep well for 2-3 months and that’s the deal. Right now I’m taking 50mg at bedtime. I’m cutting down to ~17.5mg (cutting the gummies is always approximate) because not having the medication in my system means I can’t wake up in the morning and eat food because my stomach hurts so badly. It’s a balancing act. But taking less than 20mg at bedtime is pretty unlikely to put me heavily to sleep. When I am having serious sleep problems and I need to be whacked in the head to get to sleep I take 100mg (or something much stronger like Ativan).

So under 20mg at bedtime seems… like the best compromise I can get. I wish I had doctors who could better talk to me about my medication management. I alternate between “Oh my god that’s too much!” and “Wow that’s hardly anything” and neither feels like useful feedback as I’m trying to figure out how far up and down to go.

Because I’m using the pot for: pain, sleep regulation, stomach pain management related to IBS, anxiety, depression, anti-nausea, and to help manage ADHD symptoms of impulsivity… err, what should my dosage be?

That’s at least 7 separate concrete reasons I use this medication. I would be on more like 10 other medications for the same impact if I stopped using pot. Many of them would be gnarly hard on my body.

So yeah. I wish I could find someone to seriously talk to about dosing. Cause I go back and forth between sativa and indica and cbd heavy and I’d love a knowledgable practitioner to plan with. I start the day with sativa because otherwise my depression and anxiety symptoms are awful. I need the cbd heavy for pain management. The indica helps a lot with stomach pain and anxiety and it helps me sleep.

But I’ve learned what I know through trial and error on my body over the last almost decade. I actually feel like I’ve done a great job of managing my medication usage given that I don’t really have guidance. I had a few spells where I used more than needed and I was stoned a lot for a while but mostly I’ve fought hard to stay at the lowest possibly effective doses because this shit is expensive.

Oh, and I’m a less attentive caregiver when I’m really stoned. I guess that part should matter. But it’s super hella fucking expensive.

I’M KIDDING.

Of course I care about the attentive caregiver part… sheesh. It’s a joke. I’m funny. WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING AT MY JOKE, GEEZ.

Sometimes I feel like part of my problem is that I am an overly attentive caregiver.

But I digress.

I am pissed off that the state of California, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make edibles almost non-usable for medical patients in favor of trying to regulate casual users of pot now that it is legal as a fun party drug for anyone. Limiting edibles to 10mg doses is absurd for medical patients. I know a lot of people who take 50mg-200mg at each dose. Telling us to eat mountains of candy every day to dose effectively is ridiculous. (The non-sugared edibles are… really hard to swallow cause they taste so bad.) I don’t think my pills will be available at all. I’ve been taking 50mg pills for a long time because it’s the best way to get the right dose level and there’s no sugar.

But oh well! We need to PROTECT THE CHILDREN by making medical patients eat mountains of candy all day long.

Err… ok.

I bought every fucking pill container my dispensary had. I may try for one more big order before the 31st. Because if I do one more big order… I might have all of 2018 covered with the kinds of dosing I prefer.

This is a little amusing because I’ve been trying to clean out the deep freeze because it needs to be defrosted badly and now most of what is in there are my drugs. This strikes me as funny for some reason.

I can put the drugs in a cooler while the freezer defrosts and they will be fiiiiiiiine.

I had an awkward conversation with my kids yesterday as I was dividing up the meds. They came in and sat with me and had a lot of questions about the different packages and types and why are they different. So uhm… I taught a lesson about marijuana dosing for medical usage. I stressed many dozens of times that the piles look the way they do because I have a higher than average tolerance to this mediation and for someone else to take as much as me would result in them feeling horribly bad and sleeping for a day or two.

We talk so often about how medication is a wonderful tool that can kill you. Ok, marijuana won’t kill you if you overdose… but most medications can kill you if you take too much. Never ever take a medication without carefully looking into dosing guidelines for your condition and your body weight.

I told them that the state of California has decided that people should be allowed to use my medication for fun the same way people can use alcohol for fun. Just like with alcohol you have to be careful how much you use and start very slowly. I told them that if they ever decide they want to try marijuana (I don’t recommend it unless you have a medical reason) then they should make sure they start on 5mg or less. Because you don’t know how it will make you feel. “So basically if you ever decide to steal some of my medication you will be very very sorry because everything I buy is too high of a dose for a newbie to start with. Stay the hell away from my medication.”

They nodded and said that sounds like good advice.

I told them that they come from two families with addiction issues. They are likely to build tolerances to medications and drugs quickly and they should be very careful about that. It can be so dangerous.

My sweet daughter piped up with, “Yeah! We are likely to gain tolerance fast and that’s why we shouldn’t use things like Ibuprofen unless we really have to. If we build a tolerance we won’t be able to use it in an emergency.”

THEY LISTEN TO ME AND APPLY THE LESSONS LATER. I FEEL I HAVE WON A GIANT VICTORY IN LIFE.

But then again we talk about things like how most people who grow up to become addicts do it because they have emotional problems they don’t know how to deal with. Most addicts do not have the emotional support they need and I’d much rather figure out how to help you get more emotional support than have you deal with your issues through addiction. Tell me if you are hurting. If *I’m* the one hurting you… tell your father or a therapist or a friend. Talk about your feelings my loves. You matter.

I feel weird about it but I feel pride when my kids tell me that I fucked up in how I said something. “Mom, when you said ____ it hurt my feelings and I was upset.” Oh shit. Ok. That happened. I said that and you were hurt. I am really sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. What part of that hurt you so that I can choose my words more carefully in the future?

And now my daughter is awake and wants to snuggle me. Bye, oh void.

Plugging along

I continue to be impressed with Future Middle Child holding it together through Christmas. They genuinely had a hard time with their sister getting a doll and them not getting a doll and they are talking about their feelings, in a separate room from sister, instead of tantruming. That’s awesome. Well done, kid.

They already have enough damn dolls and they won’t share any of them. Eldest Child is not being unduly favored.

I feel happy about my continued plan of not giving many toys for Christmas. I am not good at making things “even” and this is just easier.

They share most of the books they get. The clothes that EC gets will be hand-me-downs before much longer (and frankly they can share the clothes that FMC got this year because they are practically the same size). The art supplies mostly get shared. The games are played together.

The only “just mine” thing is the doll.

So it is reasonable for FMC to be having feelings. But they have half a dozen “just mine” dolls already.

I love that we give each other a lot of food. That feels nice to me.

We have very functional/consumable Christmas presents and I like it. It suits my personality. We aren’t trying to look for pretty/useless things or duplicates of what we already own.

Everyone is highly conscious of the fact that over the next year we want to downsize a lot.

I broke the zipper on my favorite jammies night before last. My belly was too much pressure. I am going to find a tailor to replace the zipper because those 10 year old jammies are not ready to be binned. They just need a new zipper.

I’m happy that by 33 weeks pregnant I am starting to be big enough to strain my damn pajamas. My belly feels… so non-impressive to me. I don’t have tight skin on my belly. I have a bunch of loose fat and extra skin. You can still smoosh my belly fat in big handfuls! It’s hilarious. I don’t anticipate new stretch marks from my body expanding around this kid. I will never again use up all the extra skin I used for containing EC. That pregnancy was just… whoa. I was huge.

Dad called on Christmas. That was nice. He’s doing well. His current relationship is far less dramatic than most of his relationships. I hope things continue to go well for them.

I talked to my cousin a little. She needed to tell me at great length how devastated she is and then she instantly switched into the drama from her dating life and how she’s going to get even with people. Ok. That’s where you are in life. Ok. I don’t feel as sad about her not showing up. I recognize that we probably only had a low stress Christmas because she didn’t show up. It would have been anxious with her here.

I wanted her here. But maybe getting what I want isn’t always a good thing. She actually had the audacity to suggest that we could try again next year.

hahahahahahaha no. I need to not keep being this flavor of stupid.

I will need to love her over the phone. Or stop talking to her. I’m not sending more money. Ever.

I will keep donating money to places that use it instead of buying plane tickets that go unused. That’s a bad usage for money. And since I have feelings about money being essentially set on fire in terms of usefulness… I need to not do this again.

It’s ok. Today I get to talk to Jenny. The kids want to go shopping for a couple of things they want to buy with their allowance. Noah is working. I will putter through chores. I like it when the kids are on academic break…. And all of their physical skills classes are on break. Blissful easy schedule.

I went to the dispensary yesterday and bought 4 months of meds. As of January 1st the laws around my medication are going to be shitty. All medications must be sold in 10mg doses. I use 50mg-70mg at a time. So I’m going to have to buy huge lots of single serving medications and fill my stomach with shitty candy constantly in order to medicate appropriately. The pills I like… are going off the market entirely. I’m stocking up.

I continue to be amused at how perception of marijuana usage varies. My last (fired) psychiatrist was panicking and throwing fits about how I am an addict ruining my life because I use so much pot. My pain management doctor says, “That’s a very conservative dose for managing your conditions–you are doing great.” The budtender says, “Wow! You microdose! Good for you!”

Perspective.

Am I a filthy overusing addict or am I using a moderate amount of medication for my conditions. Who the fuck knows.

Sigh.

Taking 50mg pills 3x’s/day is not being a heavy user. It’s staying medicated so I don’t have the big dips in mood and pain.

The Zantac is my best friend right now. I’m chugging water and it feels so good. I haven’t been on it a week though. I’m watching carefully for when it becomes less effective.

I feel less depressed but like anxiety is hiding nearby. I don’t feel super anxious. But I feel like super anxious is watching me from the corner waiting to jump on my head.

I continue to worry about the results of the liver test I took. I won’t get results for a bit. I’m a bit worried about my next ultrasound. Kiddo’s kidneys weren’t shaping up perfect. I’m afraid of needing to have a bunch of specialists in the room when my child is born. But if that is the path… I just need to find gratitude that I live in a place where such people exist and I can afford to pay them for their time.

But I’m nervous.

I don’t feel like the baby is transverse anymore. When I do a sit up there is now just a solid ridge down the center of my belly and it isn’t wide anymore. Way less vicious kicking into my lower right ribs.

The baby is still moving… but it doesn’t feel as frequent/constant/painful. Lots more Braxton Hicks contractions.

I think it’s funny that no matter what time of night or day if I put my hand on my belly and ask how the baby is doing… the baby starts moving instantly. I know it’s woo woo weird shit, but I feel like this kid is excited to meet me too.

Looking at the calendar… we should probably try to do dates with the kids this week. It’s easier this week than any other week till after the baby is born. The date nights we do are a big deal. The kids really value them.

My kids ask me a lot about dates. They think dates are the best things ever. Going on a date means you spend time one on one with someone talking. You get to monopolize someone’s attention and you aren’t being rude at all. Dates are fabulous. No sharing mom’s attention with that pesky sibling. Ha.

When I say that I hear too much about video games… I don’t mean that I hear the games (thank god). I mean that our date night is going to involve multiple hours of me hearing about which game makers are the current obsessions and what a child likes about this way of playing a game and what they want to make in their next game and why they want me to do a bunch of supportive work (I finally got around to uploading music for EC onto her computer so she can stop bugging me about this step) and…

My kids want me to help them learn how to process their thoughts. Including about video games. We work through how to plan out their process. EC wants to release a game on her birthday. We are talking about how to schedule the work so it all gets done while she’s also doing all her school work.

We are going to go get her a paper planner so we can start talking about the logistics of planning this shit for herself. Really we just need replacement months because she’s stealing my old planner. I prefer paper but it’s harder to share with Noah so I don’t use it much anymore. We are going to talk about different planning/journaling styles and she will be encouraged to try things and see what she likes.

I’m not so secretly excited about the teaching planning portion of helping with the video game. Even if I do wish I never had to hear about the damn games again. Sigh.

No life is perfect. I may chafe at being dumped in gamer culture but I picked my spouse and this is his culture. Suck it up, buttercup.

Noah’s been ridiculously nice lately. Sometimes he’s distracted and inattentive and I feel neglected. He’s nailed the last few days. I feel guilty for enjoying this so much because I will feel petulant when he gets busy again. I don’t want to feel guilty for enjoying this. I want to just enjoy it. But letting myself have good feelings would be silly or something.

Noah’s talking about his conference schedule for the year. May I say again how the timing of this baby was maybe not the easiest possible? He’s going to hit the ground running for travel before the baby is three months old and then he’s going to be gone just about every month after that. The month the baby is turning 3 months old he is gone for over a week between two conferences.

That’s going to be… festive.

But we’ll cope. It will be fine. The big kids will be sad they don’t get to move back into the bed with me when Noah is gone. Not with a 3 month old. This will be our first time of me not snuggling them when their dad is gone. That piece is going to be emotionally hard for all of us. By the time the kid is over a year old… sure. Not at 3 months.

I feel a little bit like a hypocrite. When FMC was born EC still slept with me basically full time. But BIG OLE 7 & 9 year old bodies are different.

They could hurt the baby in their sleep and there are no take backs.

I’m excited that we are running low on Christmas sweets. I feel… over sugared. Good thing my sugar levels are always so low that me binging on sugar around Christmas is not particularly unhealthy…

I’m afraid to stop eating the sugary snacks though. I’ve gained a little weight and I don’t want to lose it….

I’m going to go climb back in bed. I’m cold.

Anxiety.

I invited my cousin to come visit us for Christmas. After doing so she informed me that she will be spending half the time with the relatives I don’t speak to.

Yesterday she texted me that she needs money to get an ID card because otherwise she can’t get on the plane. In like 48 hours.

She knew she didn’t have an ID card before I bought the plane ticket. She could have brought up the fact that she didn’t have an ID nor money to replace her ID then. Instead she waited until late last night.

I’ve already done a bunch of physical labor preparing for having a guest. With sending her money for the ID and buying her Christmas presents and the plane ticket… I’ve sunk about $1,000 into this visit. That I get half of because she wants to go see the relatives who hate her and do nothing but talk shit about her.

And maybe she won’t be able to get an ID in time? I can’t find indication online for how long it takes in her state. It just says, “You’ll receive your ID after paperwork has been processed.” Does that take minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks?

I feel like of course this is how it is going. How could I have expected someone in my family to behave otherwise?

This is why Noah is so fucking miraculous to me. He’s the only person who makes commitments and shows up more than 95% of the time. Everyone else… I’m shown exactly how little of a priority I am.

I spent 10 months of my personal fun money on this visit. That may end up not happening. Because she didn’t want to tell me weeks ago that she couldn’t get on a plane.

This is why I don’t ask people for time or attention. This doesn’t actually surprise me.

I feel sad. I feel like of course this is how I’m being treated. This is how important I am. I’m not.

In other news I told the kids that they need to actually do their chores without me nagging and being a bitch before they get their computers back and we’ve had more than 24 hours off the computer and miraculously… they are getting along better. We’ve had less fighting in the past 24 hours than we’ve had in while. And things were on an upswing between the kids. So that’s awesome.

We saw Star Wars yesterday as our advent activity. Noah asked for it. Given that mostly the advent calendar is about what I or the kids want…. yes Noah we can totally go see Star Wars with you. It was sweet listening to his reactions.

And this morning we laid in bed and talked for a long while. It was so lovely.

It is hard that talking to Noah feels like basking in the sun. When he doesn’t have the time or energy to spend on talking I feel like the sun has gone away and I will never be warm again.

I know I can’t pin him down and demand hours of talking every day–he’s too busy for that. But it’s hard doing without it. I feel like I wither.

I try not to be too controlling with it though.

So then I get into this space where I don’t feel like I can ask for anything because asking is controlling, right?

Such a cluster fuck.

consumed with frustration

My body sucks. That doesn’t help anything. Yesterday I had a nice healthy salad for lunch. When I was trying to swallow the penultimate bite I had to spit it out into my bowl. Then race to the bathroom to throw it up with great force.

Strangely about three hours later I ate a massively heavy Chinese meal and felt fine. I needed the calorie density.

Then all night long I was up to painfully poop every two hours. I feel like my intestine are being scraped with a paint scraper.

I’m so frustrated about the video games in my house. I have a full time god damn job of listening to video games and I have fucking hated video games for about thirty years now. But I can’t get a break unless I literally abandon everyone I live with.

I’m tired of feeling helpless and incompetent. I’m tired of needing so much help that Noah going to the grocery store is him contributing to bonding time such that I feel like shit all the time because the work that goes into maintaining my physical body is so much that talking to me isn’t much of a priority.

I hate that I am never alone and I feel so lonely that it physically hurts.

I want to mutilate my body so badly that I spend a lot of time sitting very still because that is the most self control I can have. Mutilating myself is a lot of how I remind myself that no one owes me anything. I have no right to ask for more or demand more or beg for more. Just shut up.

I have asked for way more than is fair to ask for. Just shut up you stupid bitch.

I feel like I want to leave. Not divorce/move out. But be gone from when I wake up till when I go to sleep. I’m tired of my role being to bitch at people all day about the work they don’t want to do in between bursts of listening to god damn video games.

So I spend a lot of time on the forums mentally checked out because it feels more like connection than anything else I have on offer at this stage of my life. Only it really isn’t connection.

I feel so empty. And I’m never going to get anything more from this valley. Asking is so utterly pointless.

I periodically go through the communities in my head that I miss. Then I remind myself of all the rapists who are more important than me. And I stay home.

I’m really sad and I don’t know how to change this feeling.

Pay attention to me.

Everyone is gone. So I’m going to take this opportunity to pay attention to myself. I had a lovely bath last night in the dark with about 20 candles burning. I like that a lot.

Today I scheduled all my appointments to be done in time to go to the tea shop by myself. I think I have done a good job about not whining about being sad that the baby shower just didn’t happen. But I was disappointed and for some reason missing the tea shop was a big chunk of that so I’m just going by myself. And this way I don’t need to feel overwhelmed with shame that I’m asking Sarah to foot the bill so my friends can have a tea party with me. I wasn’t sad about missing out on presents–whatever. I wanted the attention. So I’m going to go pay it to myself.

Tomorrow I’m going to go to the second Saturday party I love so much. I will socialize and be a voyeur. It’ll probably be healthy for me to have a follow up conversation with Cupid after all this time.

Sunday I’m going to have a conversation. I probably won’t report on it. But there will be feelings involved.

I’m watching a lot of Netflix. I slept in the meditation room because I really didn’t want to be in the big bed alone. I slept ok but not great. Better than expected, to be fair.

Now I need to get off my ass and figure out breakfast then go take the gestational diabetes test. Then a massage. Then a tea party.

It’ll be a good day.

When I get home I get to sort paperwork. This has been on my To Do list for about 9 months. Sigh.