Category Archives: identity

Really lucky

Holy smokes. This pregnancy has been… so incredibly supported. My friends are stepping up in ways that shock me. One gal in particular, Rose, has delivered: a bassinet, changing table, a swing, most of the clothes we will need for the first year, bedding, a baby carrier, toweling, and maternity clothes.

I wasn’t looking for this support. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t beg. It just arrived as this beautiful gift from the universe. I have a wonderful friend who saved everything from her last kid and she wants to share.

I first met Rose in I think 2001ish. She doesn’t remember me from that period. We started talking a lot more last year. She has spare maternal energy lying around. I appreciate such folks.

Other fabulous friends have passed on more maternity clothes and supplies I’ll need before/after the birth.

It’s starting to look like the only thing I’m really going to have to buy are diapers. That’s ok. I love buying Rumparooz because they are the cutest darn thing ever. The prints! Oh they are so cute. There’s not much in this world I think is more precious than an enormous cloth diaper butt on a baby. It’s weird… but man that sight makes me choke up with joy.

WHEN DID I BECOME THIS PERSON. Err, over a decade ago.

And my Jenny is even going to be sending me super tiny diapers so I don’t need to get any for the first few weeks.

I have arrived. I am there in life. I have friends and family and support and love.

I feel so incredibly lucky. I didn’t think this would happen to me. But here I am.

Do you know what is incredible to me? When I started on the parenting journey some of the folks I loved the most told me they didn’t approve. They thought I was going to do a horrible job. In the past nine years of parenting what has happened is I started off doing ok and I’ve improved. I am way more calm. I am way more able to communicate in useful, effective ways that are appropriate for children (or for anyone, really).

I got my first real shot at learning and growing and developing in a stable environment. And I have blossomed. And my friends tell me so and can point out specific ways I’ve changed and grown and they can tell me why they are impressed with my progress.

I’m not sure I’ve changed my spots. But I have developed some interesting stripes to go along with the spots.

Random art/bdsm cross over.

B is the publicly acceptable way to refer to my friend’s wife so I’m going to say that. I haven’t asked my friend how he feels about being mentioned by name so I’ll still refrain. This is only a bdsm crossover because I know these folks through that community.

B is a HUGE patron of the arts. In her house and in her office there is a ton of art. Her office has a bunch of fancily painted walls by a variety of artists she knows. There are multiple murals or small pieces in different rooms.

She offered me space to paint, if I want. On one hand… I want to say no. I’m tired and that would be work. On the other hand… this beautiful, talented, interesting woman who works with a demographic I target heavily for influencing with my life has invited me to have space to influence how people feel.

She told me that if it would make me happier to do the work they could chain me while I work. I said that is not permitted within the current boundaries of my relationship but thank you for the offer.

That’s… that’s a really cool offer. I have art installations in California. Would I like to also have an art installation in Alaska?

Oh gosh. When I phrase it like that….

My friend who invited me up here to stay… he has a voice. He influences lives all over the world and he has done so for going on twenty years now. He has spent years encouraging me to share my voice with the world because he thinks I have lessons to teach.

I feel really validated here.

These people who are doing the real work are validating that even though I am hiding at home for a few years so I can learn the things I want to learn… I still have a lot to offer. They invite me back into the wide world.

But I’m afraid of the wide world. The wide world is big. The wide world doesn’t want to do shit for me. The wide world wants to know what I’m going to do for them.

That’s how it works with everyone. I don’t think I’m persecuted or anything.

I like my bubble.

I like having a family.

I like the friends who seek me out and ask to be part of my life. I like the people who actively invite me into their lives because they perceive me as being someone they want to be near.

The wide world…

Is hard.

But I’m not truly contemplating the wide world. I’m contemplating a wall. Maybe I should go make some sketches. I’m having some ideas. Butterflies and change and growth.

Cause I brought quite a few art supplies…

Now I know.

I’m white as shit.

Apparently shit like Renaissance Faires *are* cultural for me.

My mom thought she was more than half German. I don’t think that’s possible if I’m only 13.7% French/German. My grandfather wasn’t wrong about there being someone non-white somewhere in the family tree.

I’m pretty excited about this. I’m very British apparently. I’m wondering if the 26.4% Broadly Northwestern European is Scottish. This would lend some support to the stories about my family being British colonialists.

Oh here we go

So The Guardian came out with a thing saying that if you care for the planet you should have fewer children. Enter judgmental shaming.

I’m having a third child. I still don’t know if I’m having a fourth child.

Is this a tremendously selfish choice? Absolutely. Am I contributing another body to the planet when there are already a lot of bodies? Yup.

But you know what? Not that many people in the world were genuinely wanted. I’m going to be a selfish piece of shit and bring another person or two into this world who is desperately wanted. Because I need to stand near that so that I can try to learn how to fix my fucked up brain. I’ve made a lot of progress… but I’m not done growing up.

I am teaching myself attachment with my children. It isn’t the most recommended way to heal developmental trauma but I’m doing a surprisingly good job based on the evaluations I get from a wide variety of health practitioners.

I should be dead. This still comes up.

But I’m not dead. I’m instead making progress on my mental and physical health. I continue to make progress.

My children talk frankly about how they love how much I focus on them but I’m clearly going to need more people to balance the load in a few years because they are going to want more time away from me. This is a conscious thing we work on. We support one another while giving space for someone to pull away because that’s healthy.

I think it is funny that I sometimes make progress because a therapist helps and I sometimes make progress despite a therapist being an obstacle. Both seem useful.

My shrink said something that is burning in my brain and bugging me. “You are obsessed with being unique.”

Oh bitch, please.

I have spent my life meeting people and trying desperately to find reasons that I am like them. I can usually find somewhere between 5%-50% of similarity in experience and then I say something else about myself and the person starts doing the loud, “NOT LIKE THAT. I’M NOT LIKE THAT. NO. NOTHING LIKE THAT.”

I’m not obsessed with being unique. I am resigned. I am aware. I am trying to find ways to move through the world that allow me to get hurt less while also hurting other people less and that’s complicated because I don’t have that much in common with almost anyone so finding a way to interact without mutual pain is fraught.

A fucking psychiatrist who tells me that two dozen medication trials mean that I’m just getting started and I should do two or three dozen more trials before I’m allowed to say that medication doesn’t work for me… that’s someone who is obsessed with not seeing me as unique. That’s a problem. Given that a high number of these pills make me intensely suicidal and your advice is, “Well, go to the ER”…. naw. Nope. No fucking way.

Pot works. It’s not perfect, NONE OF THESE DRUGS ARE PERFECT YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, but it is less harmful than basically anything else available. The problem with pot is that it is illegal in a bunch of places. So I “should” get on a legally recognized drug. That will wreck my whole fucking life. Just so I can be legit.

But I’m unhealthily obsessed with seeing myself in context of my life?

I have some feelings here.

My shrink telling me that maybe I only need three hours of sleep so I shouldn’t use pot to help me sleep… that’s fucking bothering me. Chronic sleep deprivation is torture,. It literally makes people go insane. BUT DON’T USE POT.

I don’t think the bad thing here is my insistence that I be seen in context of my life and my experiences. We all have our own unique life experiences. Most people have life experiences that fit within a bell curve of normal. Then there’s me.

But I should stop paying attention to that so people can streamline care right the fuck over me. If I die that’s just collateral damage.

I am still alive because I god damn insist on seeing myself as unique. You bet your fucking buttons.

I don’t think everyone “should” have lots of kids because having kids is a good thing. I don’t think that adoption is bad.

I think I need to have more biological children because I have terrible problems in my brain that will only be fixed through long term exposure and work. I need to work on my family’s genetic problems and I need to find compassion for myself and the psychological and physical problems that come from being like me.

I’m not completely unique. I have children who inherit a lot of what it means to be me. And that means I need to work on what it means to be me.

I don’t think this is a journey that everyone needs to go on. I don’t think it is a journey that most highly traumatized people should engage in. I think it is what I need to do.

I think there is the distinct possibility that if I do move somewhere and get a big house… I will foster. I have always wanted to foster when my children are older and can be positive role models to the kids I’m fostering.

It isn’t that I’m opposed to helping kids who need a home. It is that I need to fix my home first or I’ll just fuck them up more than they’ve already been fucked up and that’s not fair. Not to them and not to me.

Today I see the pain doctor and the woo nutritionist. I’m going to tell her I need fewer pills. I’m gagging and choking and it makes eating a nightmare. My gag reflex goes into hyper drive during pregnancy and I’m tired of retching at the table.

Slight side note: Future Middle Child had their first solo therapy appointment. They told me they didn’t want to talk about it. They want privacy. I told them that is a jim dandy thing. I may sometimes say, “How did it go?” because I’m nosey and curious but telling me “I don’t want to talk about it” is ALWAYS ok. Telling me no when I want to know something is fine. You are allowed. You are permitted to have space where I am not.

Having children is complicated. There are consequences across many planes. Yes, I’m increasing my effective carbon footprint.

I’m also trying to learn how to feel ok. That’s really hard. I’m selfish and I’m terrible and I’m going to do what I need here.

“If you really want to have more children, just adopt. There are many children in the world who need good homes.”

That is… such a complicated statement, folks. Cross cultural adoption is complicated. Adopting older children who have major trauma is complicated.

Losing your mother is traumatic. Getting an adoptive mother is…. not the same thing as getting to be with your mother. I’m not knocking adoption. It’s wonderful. It’s important. Lots of people are effectively “saved” through adoption. But it has bad sides too.

In order to be a good adoptive parent you need to be able to put your shit aside and focus on the needs of this important person you brought into your life. They are not there to meet your needs and what is going on with them may not help you heal your ancestral trauma.

I have a lot of ancestral trauma to heal and I’ll be fucking frank that it is easier when I deal with my children. My children make me believe that I deserve to heal. That my family deserves to have better than we have always had. Not in terms of money or “things”. But in terms of love and consideration and mutual aid.

My grandmother fostered when my mother was tiny. My mom was highly damaged because her mother (my grandparent) spent a lot of time acting like the kids who were there to be fostered were special and needed special treatment but her kids needed to be slapped into silence.

My family has a lot of baggage in our bones and in our brains and in our blood. I want to see if that can be healed. I will not be able to do that through surrogate children. Only through children of my blood.

Which does not change the essential worthiness of all other children. But I’m not ready for them. It’s not them, it’s me.

Looking forward

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

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

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

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

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

No clue yet.

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

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

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

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

Then I arrived.

Holy shit. How do I share this shit.

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

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

I don’t want a well mechanized empire.

I know what that means.

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

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

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

How do we even know what a war means anymore?

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

What is a war?

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

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

Fuck. This will be a lot of work.

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

Family, opinions, planning

There isn’t much in this world I like as much as I like how much my children want to spend time with me. Last night they begged me to sleep in their room between them. I was there for six hours until my back was hurting enough that I needed to change beds. I was sad to leave them, but gosh I get to hurting.

I read a lot of development stuff. There are some seriously contradictory opinions out there. Some folks (who will remain nameless cause I ain’t sending support their way) really believe it is terrible for me to provide as much support and physical affection as I provide. “Children need to get used to being alone.”

I got used to being alone. It broke something inside of me I don’t know how to fix. Naw, I’m good with not doing that to my kids. We deal with the separation that we need to deal with, but I don’t force space between us. My kids ask for space as they desire more of it and I let go and give them a little push. “Sure! Try your wings! Jump out of the nest! Do it! Do it!” But I’m standing behind them at first before I fling myself headlong at the ground to be there to catch them if they need it.

My children aren’t really alone as they try things. Sometimes I stop and reflect that my children are some of the least-alone people I’ve ever personally known. I did that. Wait: I did that.

Holy tomato. I took this hole inside of me and I decided “Ok that piece is not getting passed on” and I haven’t. I have been able to do what I set out to do.

My kids treat one another like they are a matched set. They get whiny about how much time they are separate for camps a few times a year. They are together and happy about it every day. My constant harping on how they are a team must help. I tell myself. Because I want to feel useful. It’s working.

I have children who believe deep in their bones that we are happier, stronger, and better together as a group than we can be alone. After I grew up feeling like I poisoned everything I touched. How did that come to be?

It started with Noah. It started with the fact that I don’t poison him, I help him. I make him feel more motivated and alive and inspired than he has ever been in his whole life. Nothing ever jump started him like me.

That’s pretty cool because he was a neat guy when I met him. He’s grown up so beautifully. I’m not entirely sure I married a man. He really may have still been a boy. At this point, he’s a man and it is so beautiful. He’s responsible. He’s diligent. He’s caring. Where he has tendencies towards flakiness or fucking up he has devised elaborate systems of checks and balances so he can’t drop anything important on accident. He taught himself how to stop fucking up. That’s huge, yo.

I appreciate how self-reinforcing our family values are. We value hard work and the pursuit of health. We think exercise and outside time are necessary to health and if the grown ups are slacking and lazy the kids tell us to get off our butts and do it. It is a glorious system. My kids think that life is a balance of work and rest and if you do too much of one or the other you develop problems so you have to pay attention to your schedule. When I work too much, they come down on me to rest. “Mom you will get sick. Don’t act like this.” My kids will comment on how we need more protein and vegetables to balance out the sugar we eat.

They are going to be some micromanaging motherfuckers when they are grown. It will allow them to be excellent at a wide variety of careers.

My kids are fierce. They are always the most female-presenting looking kids in the fighting group at whatever kid event we go to. They love to fight and they are getting better and better at sportskidship. Less gloating over winning. More “that was a really fun game, thank you for playing with me”. It is a work in progress. I use the word fierce because that is the most common word that random parents observe about my kids. “Wow they are fierce.” “Yup, they are.”

My kids have never been taught to soften themselves because people expect that from folks born with a vulva. Psh. Whatever.

In our house we talk about what it means to be a person born with a vulva and a uterus and what it means to be a girl and a woman. We are very clear that there are some maintenance acts that happen to anyone with these body parts but that doesn’t make you a girl or a woman just like having long hair wouldn’t make you a boy or a girl. But whether you are a boy or a girl you have to care for long hair–it’s just something that takes effort. Bodies take work and the nature of that work does not define who you are.

I’m well aware that there are people in this world who do not approve of how I am raising my children. I’m well aware that there is no “right way” to parent. I don’t think I’m doing it th One Twue Way. I think I’m adapting to my quirks and issues and my childrens’ quirks and issues and my partner’s quirks and issues and devising a system that makes us happy. That doesn’t mean it applies to other people.

Sweet cheese I don’t think I know what you should be doing. You are so different from me. You have such wildly different needs from this parenting journey. If I told you what to do I would hurt you and I would probably hurt your kids.

I need to remind myself of that more often. Even when I have a very strong opinion about an aspect of other people’s parenting I need to shut my fucking mouth. I’ve been failing at that lately in a specific case. I need to back all the way off. I can’t control other peoples actions. I need to stop trying.

Sometimes it is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaard not sharing my opinion.

Suck it up, wench.

I know there are a multitude of reasons I would make different decisions. Just one small aspect of our life would have to change and I would believe I needed to alter almost everything. I don’t think my path is the right one. It’s just the one I’m on.

I ask my kids about school regularly. I am not married to home schooling (even though I love it for entirely selfish reasons and I would cheerfully keep them around forever) I am choosing it as the right path for now. I really didn’t want to send my children to school before the age of 7 or 8 for a variety of developmental reasons… but past that… school is probably fine or healthy unless you have reason to know that a specific school is a bad match for a given kid. I just seriously think the US fucks up early education.

Up until I started painting my house like mad I flat yelled at anyone who hinted in any way that I was an artist. Because in kindergarden I was told I couldn’t do art right and I would never be good at it.

I wanted my kids to skip the imprinting of kindergarden.

Achievement: unlocked.

Now what?

I’m pretty sure I should stop calling us unschoolers. We are eclectically home schooling. We aren’t following a formal curriculum but we are borrowing aspects of a bunch of different curriculums and wandering back and forth as I see fit. I’m also making a bunch up because I’m totally trained in how to do that.

This is getting way fun. Youngest Child is being allowed to very slowly work through first grade. Kiddo is in first grade and I don’t need to push at all. Kiddo opts in to doing work. (I said kiddo didn’t need to start till next year but they were bored.) So I pushed Eldest Child a bit and at this point she is solidly where she would be if she had been doing academics for the last three years.

The amount of progress they have both demonstrated this year kind of blows my mind. Eldest Child started off the year seriously delayed academically and she isn’t anymore. Holy crap. I have always been just praying I wasn’t fucking her over too much. I was totally taking it on faith that things would work the way they did.

Thank. Fucking. Goodness it worked out. That wasn’t actually guaranteed. Science experiments involve the possibility of complete failure.

I’ve been aware from day one that I’m not raising my children in a given cultural tradition. I’m raising them as a science experiment in which I get to control the variables. Yeah, yeah I researched a ton of theories first. I’m not just flying blind. I’m making conscious choices. This is a science experiment. Let’s see if I can hold it together for 20 or 30 years. 30 god damn years. I didn’t want that many years of parenting. I wanted to have kids closer together than that. Sigh.

I want more kids. I want them so much it is a constant ache inside of me. People tell me to adopt. People tell me to find “Chosen Family”.

I want more people who are related to me. Who come back. Who want to see me. There is a fierce ache inside of me.

I have so many cousins and aunts and uncles and a mother and a sister and a brother and nephews and a niece…

And they prefer loyalty to rapists over me.

I want to have children. This is my only chance at having the kind of family that other people get to have. I know people who adopt and have it go well. I know people who were adopted who had a shit show of a life experience because they never ever got over the fact that they didn’t get to stay with their mother.

It’s a roll of the dice with someone’s life. I respect people who can do it. I’m not in that place.

I wouldn’t write about it so often but someone or other brings it up with me every god damn week.

Noah and I talk about moving somewhere more rural in a few years. Somewhere we could have a much bigger house and spending a decade or two fostering kids. Fostering children is different. I have always felt a call towards fostering. But I’m not in the right place in my life for it for a variety of reasons.

I’m working towards it.

But I want more children and my window on that opportunity is not going to be open much longer. My body is not exactly in perfect working order and that’s not going to improve when I hit 40.

Hey I’ll be having kids in the same age range as most of my friends who have kids who are the same age as my older kids. See, I do want to emulate your life experiences. Sorta. In that way that my emulations usually barely resemble the originals.

I like that we are all different. I like that we need such different kinds of support. I learn so much from knowing you. I learn about things that I could never understand without your explanations. Thank you for your patience with me.

I try to not be too obnoxious with my lack of initial understanding.

Individuation is going to have to be a thing next year. I’ve subsumed in a way that is eating me. I noticed something yesterday. I completely flipped out and started dating when Pam left. I think that Pam was filling a huge intimacy hole in my life and I didn’t know or understand what that meant until she was gone.

I miss you Pam. I support you in what you are doing. I know it has value and I know you need to do it. You are learning things you need to learn. I miss you. You have value all the time. You have extreme value to me personally. I support you in not always prioritizing my needs. I really do. But I’m allowed to miss you. That’s ok.

Everyone who loves me is busy as fuck. It isn’t personal. It has nothing to do with me and I’m not allowed to be cranky about it, not really. I pick people who have a lot going on to love intensely. That’s something I do.

I need to figure out how to have consistent contact with folks. We are going to try some arrangements of inviting folks over. We’ll test some approaches. Some things will work. Some things will fail. Both results will teach us stuff.

It’s going to be an adventure to start trying harder to have non-sexual relationships with some folks I like having sex with. For a lot of the past ten years I have just avoided specific people at times when it wasn’t opportune to be jumping them. I have treated more than one man kinda like a meat stick and I need to stop that. I need to expand some of my comfort zone. I need to get better at enforcing boundaries other than with actual walls.

This will be a drama filled adventure. Oh fun.

I hope we don’t fuck up too badly. Erf. I hope that I manage to learn these lessons without more turnover of friendships.

like the people I know. I would prefer to keep them.

Sometimes people ask me with paranoia about my agenda for wanting to know them. What I want to get from you is pretty simple: understanding of how and why another person makes the choices they make. If you let me learn about you I will be able to make better, kinder decisions in the future because my understanding of what people might need will be expanded. Thank you.

And if there is anything I can do for you that helps reduce the pain you feel at being alive, let me know. I fucking live for that shit.

Life is hard. I need you. I am a selfish bastard and I wish you needed me too. Most of you don’t need me and I get that. I accept it because there really isn’t another option. But I wish you needed me the way I need you. I cannot be an understanding person without trying to understand you.

I really want to understand people as a larger group. As a collective. I have to do that through individuals. My data is entirely made up of anecdotes and I’m ok with that.

Only in the anecdotes do I hear the why behind peoples beliefs and actions.

I’m going to rewrite Outrunning Suicide next year and I’m going to do it through talking to children. I’m going to find some and work through the chapters one by one with kids. If I can’t explain it in a way that the younger kids can get… it is still too advanced. Right now it is challenging for some adults to read. That’s not the book I’m trying to write. So I need to rip it apart and break it down into smaller pieces.

It’s going to be a lot of work. That’s ok. It is worthy work.

I need to feel like I am doing more in this world than just being super nice to my crotch droppings. I mean, it’s a good thing to do… but I need more than that. Writing the books I have in my head is part of how I will establish the reputation and credibility I will need for building the incest database. My runway on that is extending by an extra ten years. I should put that time to good use and write some of the other books I need to write.

I know I have at least ten books in me and I’m still working on the second one. Time to get the lead out.

I’m getting closer to being able to understand how to tell Part 2.

I know there are several books in me about family dynamics aimed at children. Aimed at teaching them a vocabulary with which to seek out help.

I think I have a truly terrifying children’s board book to graphic novel series in me that slowly unveils layers of stories of abuse. It’s going to be really god damn disturbing. But educational. “When I was a child I spake as a child; when I became a man I put away childish things.” How does understanding of these topics grow and change and morph? What does the boogeyman mean? How is it used? How could it be useful? What is just… entertainment? What do we owe as family obligation?

Am I ever going to be the grownup I see in my head? Will I ever feel like I am a real person who deserves to be loved because they have ruddy well earned it?

I frequently see people espouse the view that no one should have to earn love. We all just deserve it. Well. I can see how you would want to believe that. Sure. I haven’t experienced a world where that is how it works. I could rail at the world for existing in this form or I could work really hard to try and earn love. I’m going to fuck up sometimes. It is going to backfire sometimes. Standing still and stomping my feet and saying, “But I deserve it so give it to me” hasn’t ever worked for me.

I’ve had to work on my behavior. My mood swings. My actions in the world. My fucking facial expressions. My kids won’t even let me fucking cuss much anymore. What the hell.

I have had to learn to tolerate types of touch that irritate me and I’ve had to learn how to reject types of touch I like a lot in order to have this life. It is a painstaking process.

There are people in this world who get to occupy positions they haven’t really earned. That hasn’t been my life experience very often. I work. That’s how I get things.

Time to stop typing. I missed you, internet.

Love, friendship, dating, and sex.

This has been a year of trying things to see what fits. What improves situations. What makes things worse. I end the year with a lot of mixed feelings. I didn’t manage to love myself more.

After experimentation and months of talking… Noah has asked me to commit to never dating solo again. Polyamory is off the table. No, we won’t reevaluate that at year twenty. When I go out on dates Noah feels like he wants to die and that’s not ok. When Noah dates I feel relief that he has found someone better than me and it is ok for me to die.

Dating… doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Ok.

What does love mean then? Because we both have intense feelings of love for many people in this world. We both say “I love you” to people and mean it with our whole hearts.

Noah got to relearn this year that other people think that saying that means you want to Commit To A Relationship. I am lucky in that most of the folks I say it to accept it as a gift and don’t really think of it as meaning more than that. I get to be a comet in your life. Not a girlfriend.

I feel like my impulse to avoid women for casual sex was a good one right now. Both times Noah really reached out to women this year… they weren’t looking for casual. They wanted to be important. They deserve to be treated like they are important–no argument from me. But that doesn’t mean that we have it to give in the way they need to receive it.

I’m feeling pretty shitty about the way we hurt some folks this year. We needed to learn more about ourselves and that is a messy shitty process sometimes.

I find it fascinating that the men I reached out to have universally said, “Don’t worry about me. Fix your marriage. I’ll still be your friend in whatever capacity later.”

That hasn’t been the response of the women. I lost a friend. Noah learned that he isn’t going to be able to continue a friendship he wanted to continue.

That’s fair. It’s ok that there are consequences to our actions. We earned them.

But this is why I didn’t pursue women. I knew that what I was doing was messy and complicated and I didn’t know how it would end up. Thank you, lovely forgiving men.

I completely and totally understand why the women who were approached responded the way they did. I get it. I do. I think their reactions are understandable, fair, and appropriate.

Frankly the men involved could use with a little more self-protection mechanisms. Y’all deserve more consideration than I can give you.

We like having sex together with friends. It feels fun. It feels validating. It feels like having an adventure together. I think it is funny that my friends (whether conservative or liberal, Christian or atheist, monogamous or VERY POLY) and my therapist are all coming down hard on “Y’all are swingers and that’s ok.

Many of you were not the sorts of people to say that sort of thing when I first met you. I’d like to believe I’ve had a positive impact on you. I love you.

I love my relationship anarchist friends with all my heart. I can’t live like you. I think it is cool that you make the life and love and relationship choices you make. Go you. But I have to make the choices that make me ok and that make Noah ok.

We started out completely open. We have rocked back and forth on the pendulum trying to figure out what works for us from completely closed to “I can’t follow rules right now”.

I feel like a serious asshole, but it really did take the second time Noah completely broke down sobbing hysterically on the floor before I got it. I can’t date. Never again. I can’t have a boyfriend. It will rip him apart and I can’t do that.

Ok.

That is the deal. I needed to see that laid out plain as day.

We have friends who are happy to have sex with us together. If I need to individuate so badly (and I totally fucking do) maybe I need to do it in a way that respects this boundary for Noah.

I’m good at having sex with a friend and continuing to love them forever while having a 99.99% of the time platonic relationship. Even my platonic is effusively affectionate and supportive. I show up for my friends.

As long as everyone understands that if Noah needs me that is my first priority. Balancing my kids and Noah is weird sometimes. Early on when my children are infants they come first because triage of needs and all there is to a power struggle of importance. But frankly with six and eight year old children… Noah doesn’t have needs very often. When he does I tell the kids they have to wait. Yes, yes preservation of the species and all that…

Noah is the only person on this whole earth who is committed to taking care of meI’m not fucking with that.

I’m a needy thing. I can’t guarantee that my kids will take care of me. Barring his death or incapacitation… Noah will take care of me until I die. That’s the deal. Noah isn’t the sort to wander off if it gets hard. Noah isn’t a quitter. I started out hard. There have been no misrepresentations here implying I might be easy in any way.

I’m hard.

And he picks me over and over every day. Year after year. His intensity and commitment grow instead of diminishing.

I haven’t worn him out. Not in ten years of hard and shenanigans and fuckery.

I have a really good deal. It is a deal I want. It is a deal I like. It is a deal I appreciate.

There are limits within that deal.

It was really good and important to get to the point where Noah could actually admit out loud that he does not want polyamory at all, ever. That was important to hear. It’s important to document as a shift in what he wants. It’s important for my future behavior that I internalize what that means.

We aren’t looking for a unicorn. We aren’t looking to date. We are just the kind of friends who are fun to have sex with sometimes. Ok.

I need to internalize what that means. I need to figure out how to shift my behavior set so that I accurately signal what is on the table instead of leading people on.

We’ve hurt enough people this year. I hurt the Quiet One. We hurt our friend. I’m going to go ahead and be a shit and say that Noah hurt the out of state person.

Fuck. We did that. I’m sorry. There isn’t much I can do to fix any of it.

But I can move forward and try to figure out how to not do it again. You can’t always repair the damage you cause. Sometimes there are good reasons you can’t fix things with someone you have hurt or traumatized.

That doesn’t mean that you should pretend it didn’t happen. Acknowledge the pain you cause. Even if part of acknowledging it means stepping back and not inflicting your presence on people who don’t fucking want to deal with you.

That’s legit, yo.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Thank you, Bailey.

Some people are in our lives so we can learn lessons. Sometimes that lesson is, “I’m an asshole who hurts people in ________ ways.” I feel really bad about the number of people who have been in my life to demonstrate to me that I am a disrespectful bully.

I’m sorry. I think I do better about that now than when I was younger. I’m still not perfect.

I’m not sure I will ever stop being a bully 100% of the time. That shit can be effective, yo. There are times in life when you need to be able to stand up and demand your way. Bullying behavior works very well. Like, when Noah was in the hospital and none of the nurses would take me seriously that he needed a non-Opioid medication. I had to all but throw a temper tantrum to get them to call a doctor and evaluate him. I don’t feel bad. I brought chocolates and apologized later.

They said they deal with worse all the time.

Life is funny.

Bullying is a complicated subject. We present it in school as “evil” and The Behavior To Avoid when the reality is that the world is full of bullying and being able to manage it is important. Sometimes bullying is not evil. A lot of really important stuff only gets done because there is a bully shoving everyone along.

It’s like manipulation. It gets a bad rap but I think there is some utility there.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to add anything else to this topic. Cheers.

Identity

My Jenny (she ain’t Jenny to you: she’s Jennifer) has been trying to convince me that the story of me isn’t about my family or my parents or what happened to me. She wants me to think of my story as being about what I have done with agency.

I see what you’re doing there.

What have I done with agency? How far back in my life does this go?

I’m going to try and talk positively about myself. So this is going to sound like bragging and I need to not give a fuck.

I am generous. I have spent my life trying to help people as much as I can. From when I was quite young I was always the person who jumped up to help if I noticed someone struggling with something, no matter what it is. I remember when I was 7 or 8 I noticed some women in a grocery store struggling to open the stupid plastic vegetable bags. (Now that I’m all old and I wash dishes and I have dry skin I get it.) I talked my mom into staying in the grocery store for extra time so I could stand there and open plastic bags for people. I mean, it’s kind of a stupid example and it isn’t one of my biggest helping people moments in my life but that’s the point. I don’t just help people in big ways.

I have helped a lot of people in big ways. I have given away a fairly extreme amount of money at this point and I’m going to give a lot more. I give of my physical service. I show up and help people who are struggling. I’ve had friends who needed to move house, but they were disabled and they literally could not do the work for themselves. So I showed up and did it all. Because I was not going to let them suffer. When my friend was in her absolute lowest place of dealing with her alcoholism I went to her house and cleaned up years of nasty filth because I knew that if she was in a nice clean house it would help her stop feeling like a disgusting loser who deserved every bad thing. (It worked. She’s in a fantastic place in her life now. It isn’t because of me but I’m absolutely part of what helped her.)

I provide emotional support to a lot of people. I have personally been the recipient of many incest stories that were never previously spoken aloud and that number is only going to increase with time. This matters. I help people who are highly traumatized feel normalized and acceptable in their struggles. That’s a god damn big deal.

I was a really good teacher. Even though I tend to not feel safe or comfortable almost ever I am extremely good at creating environments where other people feel safe and comfortable. I can’t count how many children I’ve helped cope with huge life problems and this number will only go up.

I am patient. Not universally. Not in every situation with every person. But I am very patient. This has been a big deal in a variety of job settings and personal relationships. I can sit and listen through things that bore the crap out of other people or traumatize other people and I can be patient and present with where someone needs me to be.

I am capable of imagining how things “should be” despite never experiencing it myself and I can hand a good experience to other people. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I absolutely fail at this because other people have a very different picture in their head of how things “should be” and I hurt them. I am so very sorry.

I am a loyal friend. I keep people. I reach out over and over and over again to people. I come back despite problems and fights and disagreements. I don’t let feelings of discomfort be the reason I abandon people once I feel bonded. I don’t end relationships until there is a Very Good Reason. Instead I write letters, emails, Christmas cards, and I drive all the fuck over the place to maintain contact with people.

I spend a lot of time explaining to people why they need to understand the points of view of people who are different than them. I’m very good at this. I’m good at helping people see the connections that exist between different groups. I can find compassion for almost anyone and I’m good at helping other people understand that they need to find more compassion than they might be otherwise inclined to feel.

I am a good mother. Not because of anything in particular that I do, mothering isn’t like that, but for very similar reasons to why I was a good teacher. I excel at really looking at people and adapting to why their needs are unique. I don’t really treat my kids the same because they have different personalities and needs. I try to give them what they need individually.

I am better and better at not blaming other people for my emotions and problems. I see how my ups and downs are because of things inside me and not because of exterior stimuli. I can explain this in detail at speed in most cases. It’s been an incredibly hard skill to learn and I’m not done improving it.

When I screw up I apologize without deflecting responsibility. Yup, I did that. I hurt you. Yup. I’m sorry. That was wrong. Is there anything I can do to help repair the damage that I caused?

I do not hit my children as a matter of course. Which is apparently shocking to a large segment of the population because people comment regularly on how they expect me to do so. I slapped my daughter once. It was a grievous error. I have put tremendous effort into making sure I don’t let myself get that angry since and I will put more effort in that direction with every passing year. I do not justify my lack of control by saying it is her fault and I do not justify my lack of control by saying that I was trying to teach her a lesson. I think that acknowledging that I completely fucked up and lost control is a big deal. I cannot count how many parents have justified hitting their children in front of me. No, it’s not ok.

I am a hard worker. Every boss I have ever had has commented on how they have never had an employee who works as diligently as me. Didn’t matter whether I was working in a library, theatre, fast food restaurant, retail store, cleaning houses, or teaching school. I work and work and work. I’m really proud of this.

I am good at organizing things. I see patterns very quickly and I can manage space unusually well. It’s a visual perceptive ability that I am grateful for every day.

I have dealt with a pretty wide array of physical and mental health problems. I haven’t been able to “cure” myself but I put tremendous effort into improving.

I prosecuted my father, putting an end to his ability to rape children. I feel proud of this.

I have protected my children from my violent, rapist family.

I create beauty in the world. My house and yard were frankly ugly as shit when I moved in. Now my house is pretty magical. My yard is so beautiful that people who were driving by stopped and asked to buy my house. I said no.

I managed to travel extensively even when I was living on $14,400/year. I save money fantastically well and as a result I manage to make every penny count. I have managed to significantly increase Noah’s wealth during our marriage. Sure, this year I exploded our debt profile but I’ll have it paid off in five years (including my entire mortgage). Watch and see.

When a person told me to my face that they were going to threaten me whenever they felt like (and they offered to physically attack Noah) I managed to still deescalate the situation such that no violence occurred. Sure, I got called an evil racist because I described their behavior as inappropriate and said they should apologize, but you can’t win every fight. I feel good that despite the fact that I wanted to fly off the handle and beat the ever loving shit out of this person they confirmed that they never felt threatened by me. They felt traumatized, but maybe I can’t save you from feeling traumatized by situations you create.

I feel good about telling a child that when you feel scared and upset it is ok to cry. That is healthy. It is appropriate. When someone hits you and tells you not to cry that is abuse. I feel very good about being a voice expressing that sentiment to a child.

I’m proud of the road trip. I learned a lot. My children learned a lot. I did a fantastic amount of work to make that happen.

I feel weirdly proud of the library I’ve managed to acquire. Which is a shitty thing to feel proud of because it means I’m proud of spending money and that’s weird. But my library is incredibly diverse. My library normalizes a lot of human experiences. My library encourages thinking about a lot of different parts of life. I have created the home schooling environment of my dreams. I really have arrived at where I wanted to get. I picked this goal at 17 and I have diligently worked towards it ever since. I feel proud of how many skills I managed to pick up and consciously work towards so that I can be good at this.

I feel proud of the progress I have made in harming myself less over time. It isn’t that I have high self esteem and it isn’t that I am psychologically healthy but I do less damage to myself over time. That has taken enormous effort on my part.

I feel proud of myself for reaching out to someone who sexually harmed me and asking them to make it right. I couldn’t do it in every case with every person who hurt me, but I feel very proud of doing it once.

I believe that even if I do not think of myself as “a good person who sometimes does bad things” there is benefit to thinking of myself as an asshole who often does the right thing. I believe this has value because I am not justifying my fuck ups and sweeping them under the rug in the name of “but I’m good”. Instead I take full responsibility for all the harm I cause and I continue to fight like hell to do positive things. To me that is a healthier balance than believing I’m good and kind of ignoring the harm I cause. I like that balance.

I like how strong I am. I like that despite horrible pain I work fiercely and intensely and with dedication on whatever task is put in front of me. I’m not saying that I think all people with chronic pain should act like this… I think there is still some self harm going on in my behavior. But never the less I have to find ways to like myself and I like that I am capable of putting “But this is important” over “I hurt and I don’t want to”.

I am proud that I didn’t let a horrifying childhood break me entirely.

Since I’m trying to list shit: I feel like I have had a rather good track record on picking people to date. It isn’t that every person I’ve ever dated has been perfect, but I have been good at picking people who are loving, supportive, and usually good with boundaries. Given the relationships I saw modeled as a child… I’ve really picked fantastic people to date. Go me. (And my marriage was even smarter. Damn I picked a good spouse.)

I have not allowed my overwhelming longing for my mother trap me in abusive cycles. That’s a big deal.

That’s enough for now. I’m supposed to write some affirmations. I have the pushiest damn friends ever. (I love you. Thank you for caring about me and giving me homework.)

I am patient and generous.

I am a good mother for my children. (Which is to say, I don’t think I’d be as good for every kid… these things are complicated. Ok, you aren’t supposed to justify affirmations or minimize them but I’m still me.)

I am loved.

I create beauty and connection.

I am strong emotionally and physically.

I am good at loving people.

I am an outstanding teacher.

I fight the good fight.

I have a lot to give.

 

I’m going to sit down with the birthday book my friends gave me and remind myself of why other people love me. Thank you for loving me so much that you will go through so much effort to help me stay alive. I am grateful beyond the scope of expression.

Sex and fucking up

I had a great chat yesterday. It made me think about a lot of how I’ve screwed up this year.

Sex is complicated. We have sex for so many reasons. For connection, intimacy, orgasms, bonding, feeling-not-alone-in-this-minute.

The thing is, that’s complicated. Why didn’t I pick Noah for every time I wanted sex this year? Because that’s complicated. Sometimes sex with a particular person is loaded with implications across your whole life you can’t handle and you want the ease of sex with someone else. Sometimes I wanted to feel like I still had the ability to connect with new people.

New people have been very instrumental to my survival. I get that it isn’t something that is a big deal to everyone. I know that lots of people have been safer in the known communities of their lives. I have survived by over and over again throwing myself backwards into the arms of strangers and just praying they would catch me. At this point it is no longer a survival mechanism but it is an ingrained habit. That’s complicated.

I don’t think I chased sex as self harm this round but I have certainly done so in the past. Sometimes the choice is, “Do I hurt myself in a known and predictable way because I don’t like myself very much or do I take the risk that this person will be nicer to me than I am able to be to myself or maybe they will hurt me more than I would hurt myself. Roll the dice.”

That’s a choice I’ve made many times in my life. If you haven’t had to deal with the cognitive load of poverty plus severe traumatization… you probably won’t understand. It will seem baffling to you that someone would make such a choice.

I’m glad you’ve never been there. That’s awesome for you.

I’ve been there a lot. I’m not there lately, but I have zero judgment for someone else finding themself in that position. It happens.

There have absolutely been nights when I’ve picked up a stranger and fucked them instead of hurting myself because I didn’t think I could stop until I put me in a hospital.

Was that a bad choice? I really don’t think so. I think I made the best choice I could given all the circumstances of my life in that moment.

It is hard to keep the larger picture in mind when you are judging one particular choice. Choices that were completely reasonable for me at different points in my life shouldn’t be judged the exact same way at this point in my life. I’m in different circumstances. I have different options.

To put it bluntly: I can have an emergency “weekend trip to relax” at this stage of my life. If I feel like I’m going to freak out and do something drastic… I can make it a very safe kind of drastic. Because I’m rich.

But that was literally not available to me before marriage.

Money. Money. Money.

If you have enough money, time, support, fill in the blank to have better options… who the fuck are you to judge someone doing the best they can!?

Get off your high horse.

But I’m really not in the same position as I once was.

How in the hell is any of my behavior this year justifiable? Hunh, hunh?

I’m not sure I can “justify” my behavior. I think I can explain it. I don’t think my explanations are “good enough” from many points of view and there’s not much I can do about that.

I learned things I needed to learn. I was able to find words for problems I wasn’t able to find words for until I processed all the way through some extreme emotions. I was able to change boundaries that were a big problem for me.

Could I have found a way to do it without freaking out and breaking a lot of rules?

Maybe. I tried. I failed.

I succeeded when I blew the boat up.

Things are going a lot better in a variety of ways. Was it worth the cost? Yes. To me. Was it to Noah? He’s still deciding. He’s still raw. That’s fair.

Sometimes we don’t do things to people and they hurt anyway. I didn’t go out and fuck people to hurt Noah. That’s not why it happened. We are all autonomous beings running our own stories and our behavior is not always about our partners. We have our own narrative running. It isn’t about you.

Even if we love you. Even if there could be negative consequences for you. We can’t make every single choice only about you. That’s not a way to be a person.

Would it be nice if our choices didn’t hurt you? Yes.

Yes.

I played a very careful line this year. I didn’t actually do stuff that was that risky to my life. I mostly went out and spent extra time with my friends. People who have been good to me for a long time. I had a tremendous amount of fun. It will help keep me warm for years to come. Was it worth the price I paid?

Probably. Does that mean I can do it like that again? No. I really can’t. It would break Noah.

What does that mean? Our relationship functions based on a lot of trust and mutual worship. If I kill that then I’m kinda destroying both of our reason to live. Whether or not I’m doing something at Noah… I need to pay attention to the impact. My life is completely intwined with him.

If I rock the boat he feels every wave. There is not a lot of separation there.

I’m not sure we will ever get to the point of being “polyamorous” even if we are allowed to discuss it in ten years. But it is ok to have sex with our friends sometimes if we do it together. Is that my ideal? I don’t know. I don’t think my ideal is more fair so I guess it will have to be ok.

There is no fair.

I get why we are both so possessive. I see the holes in both of us that we use one another to fill.

Sex with friends is different than the anonymous sex I also like. They scratch different itches. Sex with friends is safer and more predictable (not in a bad way). Anonymous sex allows me to feel like I am touching the core of connection between strangers. It is both intimate and distant in a way that feels like a spiritual practice to me. The trust and risk are intense rushes.

But my life is wrapped around Noah. So whether or not I’m doing something at him… he will feel it.

Noah doesn’t feel so awesome about my having sex with other people. He wants me to keep my worship at home. When we are having sex with other people together, that’s ok. That’s not scary or hard. Well, sometimes it is logistically hard or a position is hard or… but it’s not threatening in the same way. We are having an adventure together. No one is left to sit with their imagination and fear.

Noah really doesn’t want me to go off alone any more than I want him to. Seems fair. Annoying, but closer to fair than most things ever get.

Why annoying? Because I am selfish selfish selfish selfish selfish. A lot of the reason I have sex is for the orgasm and changing partners increases that like a motherfucker. Sigh.

No life is perfect.

(For the record: Noah has been working hard on this and has had a pretty fucking outstanding success recently. There’s an A for effort and result.)

I know he’s trying. I can see it. I don’t think it would be possible to look at Noah and not see that he is trying as hard as he possibly can for me.

I’m so annoying and hard.

He works far harder than anyone can ask for; that kind of effort is a freely given gift. I know how lucky I am. My physical and mental health issues have not been easy. But Noah considers my companionship worth the cost.

How in the hell did I end up here?

I auditioned hundreds of people and Noah won the part.

I think we are much better and more interesting together than we ever were apart.

I’m looking forward to pregnancy. I get so exhausted that our pace of life will utterly collapse. Yeah, yeah, pregnancy isn’t a disability yeah yeah pregnant women should carry on as if nothing was happening…

I can’t. Gestating is fucking hard in my body. Remodeling and resettling the house has to be complete by January. Next year I’m going to work on academics with my big kids, sit around, sleep, exercise, eat and go grocery shopping.

I’m probably not going to get much else done, to be honest. And that’ll continue for at least 3-6 months after the baby is born.

I’m toast. Breeding is hard.

I’ve completed the cycle and come out the far side more than once so I’m very aware of what it looks like for me.

I’m really excited about the possibility of a pregnancy where I am in much better physical shape to start with (hello marathon and half marathons, you have halo effect I still feel) and I have my IBS mostly under control and I can breathe through my nose. This will be a different experience. I’m also older. This will also be a medicalized experience (hiya bleed out problems) which is kinda terrifying for me.

All the feelings. And my back is giving me trouble. I need to finish this damn remodel. But bending over really kinda sucks.

I’ll get through it. Put a corset on and get your work done, woman.

It’s kinda funny how we all adapt to the tasks life puts in front of us. This art shit weighs on my soul. I really am more calm in my home because of the art work. It is so easy to ground in my house. When you are here you are really in a particular, individual place. That’s a big deal for me. In other peoples homes, in most of the homes I’ve ever lived in… they all kinda blend together. Sure the knick knacks and furniture are sorta different… but the white walls meet the white ceilings and I want to crawl under a table and cry.

No, it’s not rational.

I do not want a fancy “nice” bathroom that looks like it could be in a hotel somewhere. And I’m willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for the experience I want to have. Every doctor I have wants me to take baths as often as I can. I spend time in my bathroom. I recycle the water too. To deal with my hippy guilt. (The internet tells me that epsom salts, baking soda, vinegar, and sugar are all fine for plants on a small scale so my bath water is fine  for my plants. Woo hoo.)

We’ve had a broken toilet for a long time. We’ve been using the grey water to flush the toilet. I’m thrilled that with the increased bath capacity of water I will also be able to use the water for more plants. I’ve always used some of it sometimes… but never for plants if someone has used shampoo or soap.

Why am I so tolerant of my friends having quirks or needing accommodation for their mental health needs? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Uhm, err, just because I’m a nice person?

*cough*

Because I fucking obsess over what to do with my bath water. I got no stones to throw on people needing to do their thing.

Oh man. I’m going to go through a pregnancy in a bathtub big enough to roll over in. Oh the glory.

Spoiled rotten motherfucker.

I really like my house.

Did I mention I’m having candle holders permanently installed on the walls of the bathroom? And there are skylights above it?

The walls are going to be glittering scenes of autumn and winter. I’m working on them.

My house is a very particular place. I like it so much.

I need to clean it. But that’s a problem for a different day. It won’t be really cleaned until the remodel is done. Too much dust and dirt is being generated every day. Not worth a deep clean. I’ll probably splurge on professionals in January at the start of the pregnancy.

Then I’ll spend a year basking in my family. In 2016 I was supposed to learn how to love myself. I don’t know that I managed, exactly. But I’ll spend 2017 hanging out and letting my family love me. That’s… almost the same thing?

Today will be a Zen sorta day. Noah has a dentist appointment. I’m watching a neighbor’s child in the morning and walking them to school. It’s kinda funny. Then I get to come home and get the kids onto chores and academics while I work. I will have to find a way to do work that is right next to them so we can talk while they do their stuff. They always have questions, which is very appropriate.

Tonight we are going to trick or treat with friends we haven’t seen much in the year since we’ve been back from the road trip. We’ve been really bad friends this year. I’ve dropped everyone and everything on the floor for this remodel. And I do it when I’m doing the breeding thing too.

Uhm, I’m sorry. I will crawl out of a hole again in the future. I hope you still like me then.

But yes. Touching base with old friends. Longevity is a big deal for me. A dear woman I know is deeply associated with a phrase: “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

I’m really curious which threads are deep enough in the weave that I will know them for most of my life. I am made up of the people who know me. The people who carry my story with them when they go. I am made up of the people who sometimes ruefully think, “What would Krissy do?”

I am a creation in your mind as much as I am anything at all. And the fact that you think about me. That fact is enough to mean that even when I fuck up, I am maybe not beyond forgiveness.

Now that it’s done…

I’ll talk about it. But posting “I’m about to go do something basically illegal” is silly. Instead, write about it after the fact. Ahem.

Err, this is why I wanted three days of complete sobriety. To make it so the experience was more intense. No pot, alcohol, or caffeine. Wheeeeeeee.

So I managed to turn up a therapist who does guided MDMA journeys. It’s one of those things that is talked about in PTSD circles. You can do years of processing work in an afternoon. After 33 fucking years of therapy I could use some god damn short cuts.

It was… much less intense than I’m used to. I think he gave me a low dose.

It was good though. I stepped out of my box and talked about a lot of developmental trauma stuff. (It helped that I’ve been rereading the Healing Developmental Trauma book…) We talked a lot about some of my core wounding stuff. The shit that just doesn’t heal. We talked about volition, consent, responsibility, shame, and all those other awesome things.

I talked a lot about the rape I committed when I was a kid. I talked a lot about my brother and my dad’s suicides. I talked about my internal core lack of worth. Recent studies show that the fact that I was the product of rape, my mother seriously contemplated aborting me, and I wasn’t loved much once I arrived… that’s really enough to create that worthless feeling forever.

But! Brains are plastic! They can change.

You just have to work both hard and smart to figure out how the fuck to change it. It’s complicated as fuck.

I feel… like maybe some of it budged today. We talked a lot about my children in context of my experiences. I literally can’t imagine my children forcing oral sex on other children at five. That’s a taught behavior.

My father taught me. I was doing my best to be good. I’m not evil because I had an evil father who taught me things I shouldn’t have been taught. I have been fucking scrupulous about consent for a lot of years now and that is unlikely to change.

I am not a serial rapist. My father was. I am not.

I may be a monster, but I have my limits. I do not want to destroy another person’s soul.

Yes I fucked up really really bad and there were consequences. A little boy was hurt. But I was five. Five year olds… can’t be held to the same standard as an adult. I say that as someone who has been privileged to see a number of five year olds over the last few years. None of them, even if they did something so horrible, would be to blame. The person who taught them to do that would be to blame.

If I had done it again at 15 or worse yet at 25 this would be a different conversation.

I was five.

It isn’t my fault I was born. I did not choose to punish my mother with my birth. That’s not how it works. I did not rape my mother. My father did.

Maybe it’s ok that I was born. I was the only person who was willing to stop my father from raping more people. Not a single other person was going to step up and do that.

Maybe I’m not so bad.

I did the right thing. Even though it hurt. Even though there were consequences. I had to do it. I really did.

We talked about how there is no such thing as “the best mom” because every child has different needs… but I’m a good mom. I’m responsive to my children. I have put a lot of my mental health problems into cabinets and drawers and I god damn show up for my kids. Even when it hurts and I want to dissociate and hide. Even when I feel depressed. Even when I feel anxious. I stomp my shit, explain that my tone of voice will suck because I’m having a rough day, and I fucking show up.

I’m too privileged not to. In my opinion. I have so much support. I can’t let my support down by being a bad mom. I need to be worthy of this life I find myself in the middle of. My children and my husband act like I am good. I am blessed beyond measure.

I have the kind of family that many people dream about and never get. That has to count for something. It didn’t happen by accident. I made this. I made this home. Noah supplied the house. I made it a home for my family. I made these little people and I’ve managed to care about their needs for years and years and  years. Eight years and counting of doing the work.

Pieces of shit don’t do that.

I’m not 100% down yet (halo is niiiiiiice) but we’ll see how I feel over the next few days. We’ll see how this sticks.

I just feel slow, not hungry, and kind of at a distance still. I don’t hear any of the voices in my head that hate me.

I’ll take any break I can get.

Chasing and being ok

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was lovely.

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you too much.

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

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

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

Usually that’s about three months.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m spoiled as fuck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa.

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

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

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

Am I doing it?

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

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

I could keep going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I a grown up yet?

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

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

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

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

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

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

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

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

I’m like that.

I go do things.

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

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

Ha.

I love my reminders.

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

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

I never mean that sarcastically.

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

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

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

I’m just tricksy.

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

What does “dating” mean anyway.

I kinda had this epiphany yesterday.

“Hey Noah. Have you passed up chances to play with Beautiful?”

“Not really.”

“Meaning you take them any time they come up.”

“Yeah.”

“And that’s been happening for eight years. Yeah. You’re dating.”

But not dating in a way that scares the shit out of me and causes me to have panic attacks and freak out. Because it’s very low key.

It was just funny to think about. Because if I’m dating my submissive… I have only had like two more dates with him than Noah has had with Beautiful and I’m definitely dating him.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO USE THESE WORDS. FUCK ALL THE EVERYTHING.

But I don’t think this idea that Noah isn’t going to date is tenable. It’s a nice idea. But yeah. It’s not going to be uhhh accurate. Right now the person he is dating is comfortable with it being at the whim of my mental health (thank you, thank you, thank you) but that’s a messy thing. I don’t want to be the weather vane controlling everyone’s lives as I go up and down the roller coaster.

Oh fuck everything.

The more honest with ourselves we are about what we are doing the less likely it is to blow up.

WE AREN’T DATING WE ARE JUST VERY GOOD FRIENDS WHO HAVE VERY INTIMATE CONTACT. FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS.

Yeah. You just tell yourself whatever the fuck you need to say to get through today. The truth will still be sitting there.

Dating.

What does dating mean anyway? I used to get so mad at my Owner when he would say he hadn’t dated someone. I was all, “You had a three month period where they were at your house three nights a week. You dated for a brief period.” “Oh but it wasn’t serious dating so it’s not dating.” That conversation made me want to break glass.

Thing is, Beautiful is mostly happy with group dates where they just split off to play for a while and otherwise we are together. I like that. I like that a lot and I’d like to see if anyone could fit into a similar sort of role in my life. If these people want to come hang out with us when I am pregnant and miserable or in the babymoon year…

I wouldn’t be alone this time.

I mean, I’m not going to be alone this time. I have the big kids and Noah works from home. It is going to be different from top to bottom. But the kids aren’t company and… Noah still has to ignore me for a large chunk of the day. That’s fine. I miss talking to more people.

Ironically one of our children said, “We should name the child (Beautiful’s real name) because that is a beautiful name.” I think this person is in our life. Ya’know…

loved working retail. I was good at connecting with people all day long one right after another. Being home is…. hard.

And begging friends for play dates is hard work. Mostly everyone is too busy. Or they only want to get together under some narrow parameters outside the house because they don’t want me in their house so they feel uncomfortable coming to my house. Sigh. I’m totally ok with always hosting. I don’t feel imposed upon. I feel catered to.

I feel really really guilty asking people to drive to me all the time. The road goes both ways and I should offer to reciprocate. But I really don’t want to. So I’m asking people less. Because I’m feeling bad about asking.

What is dating? Dating is an extra layer of “It is ok to inconvenience me as you ask me for something.”

Why do I think things with Beautiful aren’t just casual play partners? Cause when I ask if things will escalate when I’m pregnant and not interested he does that head duck thing where he doesn’t want to admit I’m right.

I guess it is good I haven’t managed to chase off every woman who was interested in Noah. Sigh. I swear I wasn’t trying.

I wonder if ADD meds would help with my urge to self harm. A quick search says it is inconclusive. I’d be happy to give it a go.

I don’t know if I want to continue Abilify. I still am not convinced it is doing enough positive. An inch of improvement isn’t worth it. And the kids say I’m getting crankier.

Ok, here’s some blatant honesty. One reason I have always harshly rejected the label of poly is because I have known some extraordinarily bad parents who happened to be poly. It is more important to me that I nail being a good parent than that I nail any other role. If I’m a bad wife, girlfriend, friend, whatever. I can live with that.

I don’t think I could live with myself if I really believed I was a bad mother. I’m a harsh critic. I work really hard on my behavior for my kids.

I’ve seen people do poly really wrong. I’ve seen it hurt kids a lot. I’m scared of that. I’m really really really scared of that.

I like nonmonogamy. It means that our lives aren’t just sexually exclusive. It doesn’t really make any promises about the size or shape or definition of what anything inside of that means. It can mean a lot of different things and a lot of different levels of friendship and love.

What does love mean anyway?

It means I want Noah to be happy and not depressed. That means that when my body goes completely to shit when I’m pregnant… either I encourage him to see Beautiful more (he slept with a different friend during other pregnancies) or I deal with him getting increasingly depressed. These are the options. We’ve been through this dance. I know what the choices are.

But what about the absolute freaking out I do when he comes home? Meh. Even that is muted when I’m pregnant. I don’t give a shit about much other than how much pain I’m in. Bitch come here and rub my back. And my arms. And my feet. Just don’t stop rubbing till tomorrow, ok?

My shrink said she didn’t know if I could get over my fear of Noah dating in this lifetime. But if it has already been kinda happening for eight years… (I actually have a specific brain hack plan in place for how to deal with moving through some of this fear and we have a phone called scheduled on Friday to find out if we will be able to do it.)

Where is the threat?

What is the threat?

What is there to be afraid of. Other than that he will be too god damn enthusiastic when biting my neck.

OW

When I come out of feeling asleep from the breeding period, I wake up with a vengeance. Noah doesn’t do that. If he falls asleep again… waking up would be hard. He’s going to get very habituated to his depressed habits and that doesn’t suit my lifetime goals.

Where is my enlightened self interest here?

I woke up after 6 hours of sleep, and ended up painting by candle light starting at 3am. I’m tired. But I think well in this kind of tired. I read that is an ADD thing too. Deliberately exhausting yourself before you can focus. If this is a lot of what the problem is… I’m going to be so bitter it hasn’t come up before now.

I’m almost 35 fucking years old. I had problems all the way through school because I was a disruptive little snot. Why didn’t anyone ever suggest this?

Ugh. Anyway.

I’m going to add to the data form for the Stanford folk that I think Eldest Child has it. Both she and I only skip one to two markers per person. Different markers. We both kinda scream it. If you sit and read books about case studies that is. That whole super high needs baby thing? Yeah.

Eldest Child doesn’t look like me but she has a lot of my personality and physical weirdness. A lot of extreme sensitivities and fussiness about needing things to be just so. She gets overwhelmed, but I manage her overwhelm so well that it is practically invisible at this point. I would not want her on medication. She is learning to cope with her body and she’s doing great for the life she has now.

But I bet I could learn some tricks to help both of us.

And you know what? Adding people into our lives will be adding people who might know more about this disorder than I do. People who can help me so that I don’t have to be the expert on everything.

I’d be ok deferring expert status on a whole lot of shit. I don’t need to know everything in the world. Ain’t my job. I have enough jobs. I’m tired.

I’m told it isn’t my job to meet everyone’s needs. Believe me I know. But I still feel like what I have to offer is so very inadequate. I am so high maintenance. What do I offer that is worthy of such effort?

Inclinations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wouldn’t fucking know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But baby.

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

But fuck natural selection. Science.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OH MY GOD I CAN’T RIGHT NOW.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twenty years sounded awful enough.

Holy shit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not even joking very much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go be what you want to see in the world.

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

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

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

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

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

I guess I did something right for once.

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

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

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

That road is straight to hell.

Kisses. More kisses. More kisses.

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

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

Blatantly stealing without consent.

Noah said this:

“Another thing I said, and should say again: I know you feel like you’ve been restricted to being just a wife and mother. But between writing two books and running a marathon, you have done several bucket-list-level things that other people usually never manage, while being a world-class wife and mother. You’re amazing. (And the road trip! Which I didn’t mention, but is also bucket-list-level, though less distinct from the “mother” role the way you did it.)”

Sadomasochism, mental health, chronic pain and calibration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That has absolutely shaped my life.

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

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

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

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

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

Something that is complicated and hard and not fair…

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

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

Why do I need more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel like I should stop bothering them.

I feel like what I am is a bother.

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

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

End of shiny change of topic.

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

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

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

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

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

That hurts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUCK ALL OF YOU FOR BEING SO AWESOME.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m so sorry that I am so horrible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m going as fast as I can.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dads, adoption, and belonging

I was just talking to my Dad. The conversation was interesting. I didn’t know my step-mom was adopted. I didn’t know that his current partner was adopted. I didn’t know that his current partner is 38 not 21. Ok, now all of a sudden I object way less.

We talked about the language around adoption we use. Dad has a lot of daughters. He has a biological daughter he raised. He has a series of girlfriends he calls daughters. He has me. I’m the adopted daughter. His girlfriends aren’t adopted in the same way and they don’t stick around in the same way. I’m still here sixteen years later. No one else has made ten years.

Except the bio-kid, of course.

Dad said he has mixed feelings about me being called the adopted daughter because he has so many people in his life who were at-birth-adoptees and “real child” vs “adopted child” is sensitive stuff for them.

I said, “Yeah I hear that. But I was chosen as an adult. It’s different. It matters that you loved me enough to adopt me as an adult. That is worth claiming. That’s a thing.”

I know it makes me different than the other daughters. It makes me different in a way that feels positive. I’m special. He chose me. I’m not someone he’s dating and fucking. I didn’t just happen to come from his body. He met me, got to know me, figured out that dating is not on the table… and he kept me anyway.

And let me tell you, he’s kept me. I’m invited to family stuff. I think only Sarah has invited me to her family like he has. So if I need to get over my hatred of the concept of “chosen family” it is because of these two. Dad treats me like his kid that he can be a little obscene with. But I don’t ever want to fuck him again.

And he keeps me anyway.

Because he adopted me. Because I am special to him. Special enough to keep.

I’m smoking in the side yard listening to Dad talk to the kids in the back yard. He may be reading to them, that’s what the cadence sounds like. He’s really good with them. He’s patient. He’s gentle. He is appropriate and non-sexual.

I know his bio kids. They both assure me that he was always completely appropriate when they were little. When they got older he became more of an asshole about “This is who I am and I have a weird as fuck life.”

But they ignore a lot of it and have good relationships. I admire those relationships. I don’t want a relationship like they have though. I want a different relationship. I want to be the adopted daughter.

Busy busy

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and started painting. I did it by candle light because the breaker in the kitchen is turned off. I need to finish the ceiling today so we can turn the light on and put the fridge back.

I painted behind the fridge first. Both to get it done and so I could practice some techniques. God damn I’ve improved. I’m way the hell better at painting than I used to be. It’s a shame that tree will be covered. It’s gorgeous.

I finished the first layer of ceiling color and stopped at 6:30 for a break. My shoulders ache. This is going to be slooooooooooooooow because I have a lot of work on vines and leaves I want to do. Not to mention that Eldest Child wants me to go back over everything with glitter. We’ll see.

This project is going to take many days. I look forward to it. I want to finish the ceiling today. I want the light back on.

Which means I need to figure out where the trees are coming from on the walls so I can plan animals, and plants around them. Argh. IF ONLY THIS WEREN’T FUN.

With every passing year I like my painting more. The moss is downright eery and pretty.

Combine this with how much yard work I’ve gotten done this year… 2016 is a beautiful year of growth. And houseguests.

I bought the plane tickets for my friend and her kids yesterday. They are coming out for most of July. Originally I had kinda expected them to drive… with all the health problems involved that was a stupid and unsafe thought. I’m so happy she was brave enough to ask for plane tickets. I know it is hard to ask people to spend money on you. It’s hard to feel worthy. But I’m bugging her about coming to visit and there’s no way she can pay. So I bought tickets. I get them for 18 days. Sounds wonderful to me.

I’m just sad the house is in chaos. But oh well. Life is what it is.

Oh crap. I need to clean up the spare room for Dad today. Whoops. That’s kinda important cause he arrives tonight.

It will be fun. Maybe he’ll sit in a chair and talk to me while I paint. I will enjoy that.

Oh crumbs. It is the end of the school year. We need to go through boxes of saved materials for the year and cull for the portfolio. That can wait till I’m done with painting.

Side note: I feel good about life when I can look down and see paint splotches on my hand.

Other random thought: my Dad has met all of my Serious Relationships in the past 12 years. It sorta makes me think I ought to invite folks over for supper this week to meet him. I’d invite you-who-plays-with-Noah too. Cause I’m like that. Tuesday or Friday would work. What do y’all think? I’m only sorta kidding. Not really. I’d do it.

When I say “I’d do it” I really mean “How serious do you consider yourself to be?” Because no really, my Dad has met every even slightly serious relationship I’ve had as an adult since I met him. And he lives in Washington. So. How serious do you consider yourself to be in my life? This might be something worthy of direct conversations instead of passive aggression but whatever.

It’s a bonus that Dad already knows my submissive and Cupid. He’d like Daddy and Deity just find. I need a nickname for you Ms. You, the one I talk to so much in DMs on Twitter. You come up in conversation in our house at least four times a week… so you are totally in need of a blog name. Who do you want to be?

Sarah is just Sarah because she happened long before nicknames for me. And Jenny. And fuck Noah’s privacy. He gave it up with the marriage contract.

Really, if anyone in our sexin-web wanted to come, please do. We obviously want you.

Ahem.

Sometimes I stop and wonder why do I feel alone? I’m not alone anymore. Not emotionally, physically, energetically… not even spiritually. I may not be Dagora, I may not have my ancestors following me around like a flock of crows waiting to hear from me. I may not be a Christian who believes that Jesus will carry me when I falter.

But I have you. That’s enough.

Then why do I still have this keening alone alone alone feeling? Why am I so scared of myself? We are born alone and we die alone and I’m afraid afraid afraid of when I will make myself die. Please, not too soon. Don’t do it until I am completely out of good days.

Why am I so afraid of being alone? Because I’m not very nice to me. Alone means hitting, cutting, burning myself. It means the meanest words I know said over and over and over. Because I believe I deserve that.

But when I am not alone I know that it is not ok with Person X that I do that to myself. They love me and need me to at least pretend I love myself too.

I am so afraid of being alone.

I feel so lucky that I found people who want to be nice to me. I feel so lucky that I found people who, when I explain how I am being hurt by something, work to change problematic behaviors.

It isn’t that this behavior is wrong for all people. It is that it hurts me and I need you to notice that you are interacting with me.

I am not just like everyone else. I fall far outside the standard deviations in almost every metric. I have to be learned.

The trouble is that I do not believe I am worthy of such effort, time, and commitment.

My friends show up for the amount of time, with the amount of effort and commitment they have to give. Thank you. I appreciate your generosity. You don’t owe me the time of day let alone what you actually give me. Thank you.

I know I sound ungrateful. I’m not. I‘m grateful. I‘m grateful. I‘m grateful. I‘m grateful. I‘m grateful. I‘m grateful. 

Please don’t be mad at me for not being grateful enough. I’m trying.

On Wednesday I am leaving the kids home with Grandpa and daddy and I get to go help my friends for a change. Including driving (ugggggggg) I’ll probably take about six hours to go help them with a project that just exploded in their life.

I feel honored to be asked. They don’t ask for help much. They instead offer a lot of help. I am so grateful to not just be sponging off of them. Instead I have something to offer. This feels so good.

It hurts me when I ask people if I can help them with a project and they refuse. It feels like they do not trust me. It feels like I am not worthy. The quality of my work is too poor. I do not deserve to have that time with them.

I am sorry that I insulted you by offering you substandard, inadequate help. I will not trouble you further.

And that globalizes. It becomes hard to ask for other things. I am not good at asking for help. I am good at offering help. I kinda need people to let me help them so that I can get to a place where I am able to accept help in return when someone sorta bossily pushes it on me.

Oh I love bossy people. Love love love.

The satisfaction of people believing that my help is worth something…. that is huge. Whether it is a wood working project, organizing, writing, parenting, bdsm, whatever.

When people act like I hold wisdom and experience that is useful… I feel like my life has value. I should not die. See… I have things left to give. I am still a useful tool.

I need to be useful.

This isn’t a “healthy” part of my makeup but it’s there.

Ok, I’ve been writing for about 40 minutes. 1400ish words. Should I stop now and save spoons for painting? Yes I should. Future me needs these arms. I typed slow so I wouldn’t hurt myself too much. I was careful.

I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art. I love making art.

Ok. Now I’m ready to stop resting.

Words and asking

Yesterday Noah asked me why I didn’t use my words to ask him for something if I wanted it. I hissed, “How well does that go?” He said that I get a lot of little things I ask for and almost none of the big things. I just about screamed, “That’s why I didn’t fucking ask.”

There is this story about my mom that goes around and around in my head. My mom got tired of having her little boys play with their Matchbox cars in the kitchen, the only non-carpeted room. She knew my dad would tell her no to ripping the carpet out of their bedroom. “It would hurt the resale value of the house.” So she waited until he went to work (he worked graveyards), put the kids to sleep in her bed, took speed, and ripped the floor up by herself. She had the laminate mostly installed before he got home.

I asked my mom why she didn’t ask him. She snorted and said, “If I ask then I get told no, then the consequences are big. If I just do it… he’s not going to undo it.”

I think that’s a lot of why when I decided I couldn’t be monogamous right now I said I just couldn’t follow rules and I needed to try stuff. I needed to see what felt right and not say no to things before I even really decided what I felt about it.

And that backfires. Like such arrangements do.

Sometimes. And sometimes it is absolutely the only way to get what you want at all. Yeah, I was a serious asshole. I really was.

I feel like the fact that my sex life has been entirely measured in someone else’s satisfaction for many years now has broken something in me. Something I don’t know how to fix. I’m bitter about how much “taking one for the team” I’ve done.

I guess the thing I’m getting from the team is physical support through disability. Oh.

It is interesting having a friend visiting for the weekend (sorry I’m puking) who is an absolutely ardent feminist. Of the take-no-shit-variety. I was doing my expounding on trying to figure out what I “owe” Noah.

She looked so pissed. I said, “It’s ok. Say it. Even if it’s mean.”

“I want to punch you in the face. You don’t owe him shit.” She went on at more length. But that bit is enough.

An awful lot of our relationship is predicated on transactional trades. We spend a lot of time talking about how much we owe one another. It’s complicated. It is a lot of what allows both of us to feel safe.

But there is no fair.

How much of everything in life has to be changed just because of one shift. I don’t know.

Yesterday I emailed all of my folks and told them I am not going to go out on a date again in May. We need to actually negotiate. This is involving some really long, rough conversations in person and a shit ton of livejournal entries on our private filters. There are things my kids don’t need to see someday.

I am so weird about boundaries.

I think that part of the problem right now is I have made a lot of deals over the years I probably shouldn’t have made. Not how I did. They took from me in ways I didn’t really have that much to give. And I feel long term hurt by them. And I’m feeling bitter. And I’m holding it against Noah.

That list of done-me-wrongs never needs to be part of the public record. That’s kinda like crying rape because you didn’t like the sex. The fact that these are in retrospect not deals I should have made…

That’s not something I’m going to publicly take Noah to task for. That’s complicated.

I made choices. I made choices I shouldn’t have made, but I didn’t know that till it was too late. That isn’t something to punish Noah for. But I clearly do.

Recently Noah made a list of shit he was holding over me (good god that. STILL?!?!) and I should probably do the same.

That won’t be public.

Noah and I are in a funny place. We both understand very clearly that if we don’t make this marriage work… we will just not ever be ok again. We won’t get over this failure. Neither of us would remarry and have more kids. We would date and be complete assholes about never trusting anyone again. This is… one of those things about our personalities. We both walked into this not sure that it was really a good idea to be taking a risk on even one person when we have been burned and burned and burned and burned.

When you learn before age 3 that you are not loved, not likable and all you are worthy of is abuse and contempt…

Trying once is really what you have in you. Getting over that is brutally hard. You can try once. After that it will be broken in a way that can’t be got back.

We get one shot at happily ever after.

No pressure.

To be fair most of the first ten years have been excellent. This really has been a good marriage. But some things need to change and how they need to change and what that shape will look like is… in flux and that’s god damn terrifying. Change sucks donkey dick.

I find it… interesting… that Noah is really willing to talk about a third kid lately. Yeah. That would put me right back on a choke chain. It’s true. I would go home with my baby again.

I want another baby. I’d see a high risk OB. I’d be at a hospital the whole time. I’d follow orders so I wouldn’t die. But… yeah. I don’t think it is going to happen for lots of reasons.

I know my friends are starting to talk to me about adoption but I’m really not done grieving the son I wanted to give birth to.

This is complicated with a gender fluid kid who really… is on their own journey.

I wanted to work through my shit with a little boy. I know that isn’t “fair” either. But I did. I have to grieve not getting that. I mean, I have a great relationship with my Bonus Kid and I’m really happy he visits more lately. But it’s not the same.

I have never been allowed to love a little boy of my blood. My nephew was the closest I came to that and… complicated. My brothers were violent monsters. I had no other family contact.

This is just a thing.

I dreamed about my son for years. Sometimes I wonder if I was dreaming about the sons I could have had with previous partners and that just wasn’t meant to be part of this story with Noah. I don’t know.

It’s complicated.

Yes I know there are lots of kids who need homes. They are going to have different problems genetically than my family. I don’t already intimately know what needs to be done to correct their unavoidable issues; I have researched everything that has touched my family extensively over the past fifteen years. It is going to be a very different very hard problem to work with a different child.

I am so tired.

Now that I have an almost 8 year old and an almost 6 year old, do I really want another baby?

Yes. I really do. But it isn’t going to happen. Sometimes I wonder if wanting space away from Noah is part of grieving that. He doesn’t want another baby.

I get why. There are good reasons. I feel sad.

Being a mom is kinda the thing I think I’m best at. I get quiverfull. I get it.

This is all so complicated. Because if Noah was all “Fine let’s have a kid” I’d be all “Bye side-boys. I’ll see you in 5-7 years.”

Even though the rest of the deals are still not where I need them to be long-term. I wouldn’t care.

Life is so complicated.

My biology understands that I exist to breed even if the rest of me would like to do other things with this meat sack.

People are so fucking weird. Even though I don’t really have the spoons to have a baby I would. I’d start trying this month if Noah consented. He’s about to be 40. Time’s a wastin’. I turn 35 this year.

But that ship has sailed. We need to figure something different out. Shit. That’s hard. It hurts.

We construct these careful houses where we can be safe. Do this, don’t do this. So we try to draw as little negative attention and as much positive attention as possible while maintaining stasis. We accept limits that may not be sustainable in service to particular goals.

I don’t know what sustainable means. I am not the best sustainer in the world. I work best in sprints followed by periods of collapse. Parenting that way sucks. So I have to be more level for them. Which is an interesting thing to balance. I can stay level if I stay small. Or if I get bigger with support.

I can’t be a bigger person and take up more room and get no more support and stay completely level. I can’t. [delete text that doesn’t go into the record].

I’m having feelings.

Thank you to everyone for the extent of the “I know you two will solve this” message I’m getting from a variety of folks. From folks we date/play with to other friends. It’s kinda funny. I feel all y’all believe in us far more than I do right now.

Thank you. I need you to carry that belief for a bit. It is hard for me.

Part of being able to construct your own reality rests on the basic requirement that you must be able to believe in what you are doing. I have a pretty good reality distortion field. But it’s flickering and I feel like I am not able to believe in what I am trying to make true.

I don’t know how to feel more safe and open right now. I feel closed off, defensive, scared. I’m not negotiating from a mindset of generosity. I have a scarcity mindset and I feel so tired of always having to take one for the team.

But Noah takes a lot for the team too. I’m not acknowledging that enough. We have both been running deficits for years. It isn’t just me. I… I don’t even know where to begin in this negotiation. This is so hard. Do we make lists of things we have been missing/pining for and then rank them in importance?

How do we deal with time? Is it about how much time we spend together? Is it about “how dare you spend time with someone else?”

Honestly I was out too much at night in April. I wasn’t touching base with the kids the way I want to. I have arranged all the night time babysitting we are going to have till the end of July, I think. I’m not going to go out more than that. No matter what it is for.

This time with my children goes so fast. If I miss much of this time I can’t ever get it back. I don’t get a second chance. I do remember that priority.

But I don’t ever get back the chance to have the sex life I want to have in this life either. If I just… don’t… that’ll be a thing.

How much do I want? I don’t know. Honestly given how busy my life is… I literally don’t have time for as much independent dating as I did in April. That’s going to kill me. No hyperbole. My body will give out if I don’t sleep more than that.

What does sustainable mean?

What is a need and what is a want?

I feel like I need to have some kind of nonmonogamous contact in my life. What that is… I don’t know. I think the need level is probably actually fairly low. I think one date a month probably would be ok. I’d like to go to parties at other times and be allowed to play then. I could accept having to play together. That would be fun to figure out. It would change who we play with somewhat and what kind of play we do. Maybe?

I can deal with evolution. I don’t have to play how I used to play, not exactly. I don’t anyway. So much has changed.

I feel like I did need to go try. It was wonderful and I’m really glad I got to be reminded of what SM means to me. And I got off a lot.

I do need some of this in my life. I may increase how much I need as my children need me less.

For now I do know that my time and energy is still… mostly going into the kids. I choose this. I want this. This is who I want to be. When I finish growing up I will be able to look at incontrovertible proof that I can sustain something. I need to see the real evidence of that before I will believe it. I’m not even halfway there yet. Don’t get cocky, wench.

Hubris is dangerous.

I have about three more years till I hit the halfway point. I believe I have about four more years with Eldest Child and about six more years with Youngest Child to teach them what they need to know to keep themselves safe… or they will have to learn it on their own painfully. That’s my window. Either I help them establish the habits that will carry them through a lifetime… or they have to learn them later, painfully, on their own.

Development is a funny beast. I’ve studied it a lot. I have incredibly strong opinions about brain development and attachment and behaviorism and emotional health and mental health and…

And I get one chance to do this right. Period. If I fuck it up I will forever more be trying to heal damage I caused.

No pressure.

I love unschooling. I’m not even being sarcastic. This is my kind of pressure chamber. I thrive under this specific kind of “Succeed. There is no or else. Succeed” pressure. I just… do it. Ok.

If you can’t find a way you make a way. The most resilient people are the ones who believe they have no choice but to make something work.

This whole “owe” thing is complicated. I get the anti-feminist bits of it. I do. But you probably don’t see how much it gives too.

Ugh. Systems. They exist for reasons and some of those reasons are good and some are shitty. WTF

But I really do need to think about this “you don’t owe him shit” thing. What do we choose to owe and what is being extorted from us? I think that is the more crucial distinction. I think making conscious trades and feeling indebted for them is not specifically evil. I think that having someone extort recompense for trades… is a problem.

Where is the line?

Shit monogamy is easier. You give what you have to give and that is that. Kinda end of discussion.

I NEVER EVEN TOOK CALCULUS. FUCK THIS ADVANCED VARIABLE BULLSHIT.

My kids are asking me a lot of questions about Lemonade. Yes they get to hear it with the swearing. There are some fucking subjects that deserve swearing. The work is to figure out context. We talk about that a lot. Code switching is a big topic around here. If you maintain super formal “nice people” manners 100% of the time… a whole lot of people will think you are a snob. Having multiple kinds of approaches to talking to people is handy.

I said to a friend “We only fight about nonmonogamy.” The response: “So you only fight about sex.”

Ok, yeah. That’s true. Not money. Not kids. Not housework (if I start feeling peevish about not getting enough help I can ask for it and get it with great civility).

Sex.

Sex is so annoying.

WHY DO I LIKE HAVING SEX SO MUCH!??!?!?! Sigh.

I really do.

I like what happens in my body when I’m having sex with more than one person. I like it a lot. I like what it does to my general energy level. Is it worth this fight?

Yeah. It is.

If we are going to be married for many more decades… I’m not spending them always taking one for the team. I need my sex life to be about my pleasure.

And pain.

I’m pretty sure I know who I want to hurt on a longer term basis. I am less convinced I know for sure what I need from my bottoming/submitting/etc. I have some idea of pieces I’d like. But are those all needs? Not really. I could be pretty flexible. I could adapt.

I am weirdly conscious of how much of my sexuality formed around my Owner. I’m ok with lots of those buttons shifting. I have no attachment to them staying where they are. But I need them moved and not just… ignored. If that makes sense.

I am a cheerful situational pervert. I’m happy to please the one I’m with. I don’t need all aspects of my experiences to be the same.

I’m not the kind of fetishist who collects the garments and sized toys that all future partners will wear one right after another.

But I’ve sure worn a lot of them. For a little while. I have never been willing to do that for very long.

I don’t like anyone that much.

Do you know why some of the awful stuff between Noah and I really doesn’t need to be published? It’s bad enough that I’m an abusive bully. I don’t need to publicly humiliate him. That’s a very different sort of line. I say some awful things some times. It’s bad enough that he can hear it in his head. He doesn’t need to see it. And know that lots and lots and lots of his friends are going to see it. Know his children can read the things that hurt him the most.

Oh JesusFuckingChrist No.

No. There are things that can’t be taken back. I can say that things are hard for me. I can’t list done-me-wrongs. Not publicly. No.

owe my family better than that.

See how the owe is complicated?

It is useful and problematic at the same time. Just like me.

Boundaries on and off screen

I am somewhat hyperaware that someday my kids may grow up and read this. It could happen. That means I actually… edit… maybe more than you might think of my life here. I’m nervous about how I present Noah. I talk about him in terrible ways sometimes. I also very carefully avoid saying a lot of terrible things about him.

I do not want sides taken. I do not want back and forth bickering in public. I do not want my children seeing the depths to which we sink when we are being fucking petty. Why not? It’s complicated.

We haven’t fought like this since we closed our relationship. Fighting like this is why we closed our relationship. Because we didn’t think we could stay married through fighting like this.

But that was when we had babies and it just wasn’t ok at all for me to have emotional variance because of my relationship with Noah. I had to be regulated because I was teaching emotional regulation just about 24/7.

That was kind of a difficult thing for someone who is as dysregulated as I have been all my life. I look at my children and feel that I succeeded. Clearly they got the lessons they needed developmentally when they were needed. I did it. I stayed calm. I taught them how to handle conflict and big feelings without flipping out.

I did it.

Which means I can have more things in my life that cause my feelings to fluctuate. Which is fucking tricky.

Nonmonogamy is going to be hard. There are a lot more insecurities here than either of us are really having fun talking about.

What does safety mean? What does connection mean? What are we working towards? What do we want? What is the purpose of sex in our relationship? What do we do for one another versus for ourselves?

I sure wish that these conversations could come with a little more sleep for me. Out of the past three nights I’m now only down about one night of sleep. That’s improving…

But we talk all night long because we can’t talk in front of the kids.

I am not sure either of us are being fair. Yeah, I’m being an asshole. I’m not in denial. I’m not trying to say that I’m being fine and he’s the asshole. I’m really not saying that.

I cheated and broke his heart. He thought he was going to get to be my one and only forever and ever amen.

He’s allowed to be absolutely furious about that.

I know.

I’m trying very very hard to not get into done-me-wrongs. I will talk about what I know I have done wrong. I don’t need to get into done-me-wrongs.

It won’t help. I hiss those often enough in person. It’s not like I’ve forgotten the list. I just don’t need to write it down.

How do you fight in civilized fashion when you are a compulsive over-sharer? Like this. You say what you did wrong and talk about being angry without placing blame. I’m not saying that Noah is to blame for my feelings. He isn’t. I mean… a couple of his particular phrase choices were infuriating… but whatever. I’m being a right bitch in this fight.

How do you build towards a vision of self that may not be what your partner wants? How big do you want your partner to be? How small so you can feel bigger? I don’t know.

Who is pulling whom around on a chain.

I don’t want to leave. That’s part of the reason I have no particular reason to bad mouth Noah up one side and down the other. I don’t want to leave. Even though I’m angry about some stuff right now… that’s life. I flipped the canoe of our life over. There are going to be some feelings we have to deal with. I’m ok with that. I’m not enjoying this process but I see it as necessary.

I’m not afraid of conflict.

I’m afraid of not getting my needs met.

I’m afraid of not being who I want to be because I am afraid that someone else doesn’t want me to be.

I’m afraid of making myself small and unthreatening and never doing anything with my life again because I have decided I don’t deserve to ask for what I really want.

What does necessary even mean?

I’m sure I don’t know.

Am I fucking everything up permanently? Well. I guess we will find out. There is the non-zero possibility.

It is hard when I feel like I’m absolutely the bad guy here. I’m the one insisting on change because the status quo wasn’t working. I feel like a fucking asshole for not making it work. For not deciding that it was just good enough because that was all I agreed to this life.

I did not promise sexual fidelity in my marriage vows. Yeah. I slammed the door four years ago when we were having screaming fights about lying and … shit don’t rehash it. It wasn’t well done.

I feel like everything bad must be all my fault. I feel like I am a monster. A selfish, disgusting monster.

Day 38. Still no bleeding. PMDD means that right before I start bleeding I tend to have intense spikes of depression and anxiety. My suicidal urges go through the roof. This is a well documented phenomena.

I need to be something other than a cum dumpster who can’t cum. This just… isn’t working any more.

I wish I didn’t feel so fucking bad about that.

Sometimes people ask why I write such whiny melodramatic stuff. Aren’t I embarrassed? I’m documenting what living with an acute stress disorder is like. The kind that results from brain damage. If you think I should be embarrassed that says more about you than it does about me. No, it’s not fucking smooth. Yeah I’m a lot of fucking drama. Lots of ups and downs.

That’s what brain damage does. Pieces of it are absolutely my fault in an ongoing way I really don’t deny that. But I’m also trying to deal with my problems. That means I’m going to flail and do things that don’t work sometimes and I will document those fuck ups so I don’t forget and have to make the same mistake over and over.

I’m not writing for you.

I’m writing for me.

Catharsis

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

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

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

  2. 2.
    MEDICINErare
    purgation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is just how life goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like my life.

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

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

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

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

I think I collapsed to the floor.

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

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

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

Childbirth comes to mind.

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

He did a fabulous job. Good man.

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

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

Holy fucking shit.

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

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

Catharsis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People are weird.