Incest book review and reflection on what it means to write about incest.
Incest book review and reflection on what it means to write about incest.
I’m saving my hand spoons for other work; that’s why I’m not writing much lately. I’ve made progress on the kitchen painting. Last time I guesstimated I thought I had 20 hours of painting left. Then I did 6 hours. I think I have 14 hours to go. There have been a bunch of times over the years when I’ve sized up a project and thought “24 work hours” or whatever and I’ve been right to within an hour. I’m really good at guessing how much work something will take. *pat self on back*
I have finished the monkey. I think. Maybe. I’m not in love with the face. I still need to fix the banana tree as per the criticism from my submissive. He’s all, “Let me tell you about banana trees.” He used to work on a banana farm. Mine isn’t done yet apparently. Ok. I’ll fix it.
My pot consumption is way the hell down. I’m thrilled. My taper plus abstinent periods have had a major impact on my tolerance. Yay! At this point I’m using 1/4 as much in a whole day as I used to use in my first smoke of the day. That’s a massive decrease. I’m using at the rate of less than an 1/8/week. That’s a huge drop for me. That’s… that’s pregnancy sustainable.
Do I like the fact that I use drugs during my pregnancies? Well… I use less harsh drugs than other doctors would really prefer I be on. I get through my life with a lot of sheer force of will. Doctors would like me chemically regulated so that my emotions are not so extreme and every single medication these fucking doctors suggest is significantly worse than pot for a pregnancy. I don’t have a great option here. But I’m using at a rate that isn’t particularly problematic again. In my judgmental as fuck stoner opinion. Uhm, I’m not judging someone else’s tolerance. I’m saying for me.
I’m using at a rate I will feel comfortable with for myself. Other people are totally allowed to have their own acceptable rates based on their needs and preferences.
I keep coming back to “Well at least I’m not increasing my drug usage during each pregnancy like my mom did…”
My mom used to joke that with her first pregnancy, she didn’t even smoke cigarettes let alone another drug and no alcohol. During her second pregnancy she smoked cigarettes and had alcohol. During her third pregnancy she smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and smoked pot. By her fourth pregnancy (me) she did all that plus speed. She would follow this up with, “And you are the smartest kid I had! So see, drug usage isn’t all that bad.”
I’m not being like my mom…
I will admit I don’t 100% abstain from alcohol with my pregnancies. But I have like 5 glasses of wine per pregnancy (not within a week or anything). That’s well within acceptable tolerances based on research.
Fuck. I’m not good at this whole abstinent life thing.
Guess what else I forking do? I eat soft cheeses. Nyah nyah.
I’m seeing my nasal surgeon today. I got a massive nosebleed this weekend and I called his office to see if they thought I should come in. The nurse started off with “His notes say you probably don’t need to be checked.” “Let me describe how much blood came out of my nose on Saturday.” “You should come in tomorrow.”
Oh, thank you.
I suspect we shouldn’t try for pregnancy until I get my nose under control. There is a substantial change in blood volume in the body during pregnancy and right now… my nose isn’t doing so hot. I don’t think a surge in blood volume would be awesome.
Damnit. And Noah is no longer shooting blanks so we have to…. use condoms for a while. Wheeeee.
It’s like the good old days.
I’m hopeful we can get started trying in November. *cross fingers* Don’t worry. I’ll tell y’all more details than you want to hear. Maybe.
I will definitely keep updating the tally: 7 months of trying, 4 pregnancies so far.
I may have a lot of problems, fertility isn’t on the list.
I’d kinda like to be done with remodel stuff when I get pregnant. This work is hard on my back and body. I don’t want to do it while pregnant very much. Oh god. Especially because all of my body work will pretty much go away in the first trimester. It’s too risky. Massage can absolutely trigger miscarriage. Both of my miscarriages were right after massages (I doubt they were related) but that history means my massage therapists say they won’t work on me till I’m about 16 weeks. Sob.
I watched Poverty, Inc on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how foreign aid is keeping people in poverty internationally. It covers things like up to 80% of all children who are internationally adopted have living parents and they are in orphanages due to poverty.
Adoption is fucking complicated. I’m not saying it shouldn’t exist at all. I’m saying… it’s really complicated and fraught. I’m saying it’s not like buying a car where it is “yours” now. There are people who make wonderful families through adoption. There are people who are adopted who love their adopted parents and never feel any lack in life. There are lots of other less pleasant endings.
I get through life through sheer force of will. I don’t know that I could manage to extend that halo to a child who had serious problems. Serious attachment disorder problems in particular and when you adopt… it’s a roll of the dice. I am great at teaching children who have a wide variety of mental or physical health problems… as long as they attach. It’s something I’ve noticed about myself. The kids who don’t attach… I keep my distance and I’m not that much help for them. I saw it in school. I saw it with my students. The children who attach… I can help. The ones who don’t… I completely fail them.
There are people who work well with kids/adults who have attachment problems. I’ve been blessed to witness some of these exchanges. I fail.
Why do I feel so drawn to fostering then? Because it feels different. If I fail them… it’s… kinda more expected that some foster parents fail. You can try a different foster family if one isn’t a fit. If you adopt someone and they no longer have a fall back position… that’s fucking traumatizing. A failed foster family placement isn’t awesome but it isn’t quite as damaging as a failed adoption. I say as someone with many failed foster family placements.
I feel I could foster a kid and be present with them for how much they miss their mother and how unfair life is. It would break my heart to adopt a kid and never be enough to fill that hole.
I am selfish.
I miss my mother so much. No surrogate mother has ever done much to fill this terrible hole in my heart. I’ve god damn tried. But everyone… fades away. I’m too much. Too demanding. Too needy. I was too hard as a kid and I’m an adult now and I need to take care of myself.
I’m 35 years old and I’m still waking up at 4am to cry about missing my mother.
I want to be seen in a way that only my mother would have been able to see me if she had actually known me throughout my life. The way that the parents of my students see them. (We went to a party with former students and their entire extended families. Their families are so thrilled I’m still around. I’m even in tight with the grandparents.)
I want my mama to see my art and feel proud that I came out of her.
I want my mama to see my children and feel proud that we came from her.
I can’t give her that.
Yesterday Eldest Child asked about writing a letter to my mom. I would send it. I don’t think I am in a place where I can write to her yet… but I won’t prevent a letter from my kid.
I will actively prevent contact with my sister. She participated in the rapes of her children. She is not allowed near my children. Period. But my mother… sending her a letter isn’t a problem. Especially if I don’t write it.
There is a part of me that is sad that I passed up the opportunity to ask my sister if she’d like to step outside for that fist fight she wanted to start when I was pregnant. I am not a mature or adult person.
Instead when I saw her I looked at the floor and treated her like she wasn’t present. Like she was a non person.
Maybe I’m a little mature.
If my arms were great I wouldn’t be able to type much because I have four kids here. My arms suck though. There are a few things I want to try and remind myself of, maybe so I can talk to Noah about them.
My shrink is quite perturbed by my level of interest in Deity. This is becoming A Thing We Talk About. She’s all: “Sport fucking! Yay! Falling in love. Boo.”
When I mention that I already love other partners she cocks an eyebrow and says, “You don’t blush and stammer when you talk about them.”
Well, maybe that is true.
I have a better idea of what I want from my submissive. I have times when I don’t feel I have the oomph to do what I want to do but I feel deeply secure that the line of stuff I’m interested in asking for are all things that are right up his alley.
I have… more comfort around Cupid. I think I’m a lot more into him than I should be. I’m tap dancing on a high wire trying to figure out how to keep him in a spot in my life even though he’s probably not going to be interested in the group stuff everyone else will put up with. I went from wanting someone to do something to wanting Cupid to do things but I’m not 100% sure what.
I’m really not interested in hunting just the now. I feel like I have a lot to explore and learn about and I’m really excited about that.
And I get to balance it with helping Noah feel secure. The whole ship won’t sail if he feels insecure. First I have to figure out how to help Noah feel loved. Then I can figure out what it means that I love these other people.
Because I do. I love my Daddy’s. Every single one of them for different reasons.
What do these loves, these attachments mean? I don’t know. Many of them have been there for a long time. (I messaged Daddy James today to say that even though I was in his neighborhood… I still am not fucking him. Sigh.)
I do love these people. But what does that mean?
What is love?
Some love is possessive and about ownership… but not all love. Sometimes love is about generosity and sharing and wanting them to get joy from anyone but you. Loving someone can include hoping they find the girl of their dreams and settle down and don’t have time for me.
But not Noah. He’s not allowed to run out of time for me.
I fall in love easily. I fall in love often. I fall in love with great intensity. Usually I love forever.
If I sat here and listed allllllllllllll of the people who have a piece of my heart… I’d sound like I was bragging. I would be bragging.
Aren’t I a lucky bitch? I have been able to love so many people.
Some of them even loved me back. At least a little. For a time.
Do any of those loves mean I do not love Noah? I don’t see why that would be true. I married one man. One man has seen me through hardship and illness and despair. One man helped me create the babies that give me life.
It really doesn’t matter how much I love other people this will always be true.
Noah is the only person who ever really looked at me and decided that he was going to prove to me that I am worthy.
Loyalty my friend, loyalty. But what does that loyalty entitle him to? My friend who was here the other weekend says jack shit. My shrink says definitely not sex.
I don’t know what I think.
I know I shouldn’t care what random people out in the world think. I really shouldn’t. I was stupid enough to read one of those “People who commit suicide are selfish” posts. I shouldn’t have. I should have opted-out and done some self-care.
Suicide has shaped my whole life. My grandmother killed herself by overdosing when my mom was pregnant with me. My mom dealt with that loss through my infancy. It was hard. She had been very close to her mother. I don’t really know why. My brother lit himself on fire because he could not cope with the pain of his life. Given how his life was… I don’t feel I have the right to anger. Was he selfish? Yes. But he had the right to be. He was left alone in care facilities where he was abused and that was all he would ever know. My father sat in the garage with the motor running and wrote notes to everyone in the world telling them that I was an evil liar and he was innocent. Even though he’d already confessed and collaborated every story. He wasn’t going to drive himself to the court room that day.
Selfish is just so beside the point.
My therapist OD’ed on heroin. She could not deal with the pain in her life. My adopted step-mom (long story) OD’ed on injected pain medication she was not prescribed. She could not deal with the pain in her life.
I have been institutionalized for attempting suicide. My stomach was pumped and I’m still here.
I don’t have a lot of the attachments other people have. I get what I create. I do the absolute best I can with the platonic friends I have…
Sharing sex and intimacy creates tighter bonds.
I don’t feel like I’m in a position to turn down a good twitterpation. Even if it makes my therapist uncomfortable. Am I going to wreck my life over it? No. I hope not.
Noah’s parents just sent us a cheerful letter to tell us about the cruise they are going on. The same month as the one we are going on. The one they won’t go on with us because they have to “get the hay in”. The hay they won’t touch with their hands because they have employees.
What is attachment?
I’m listening to the kids as they play in the back yard. I’m kinda ridiculous about enforcing outside time. “Y’all spend too much time inside. Get out into the sun. Go. Go. Go.”
I do go with them…
Right now I medicate. It was a long day of driving and being sober. Processing with my therapist. I feel like I’m almost ready to be happy. But not till I deal with Thursday. Oh Thursday.
I love you so. I have been such a twat waffle and I do not deserve your forgiveness. I have no. no. no. no idea how this will go.
I’m thinking of a pithy movie quote, I think from Girls Just Want to Have Fun “You always hurt the one you love.” Shannon Doherty? Is that it?
You know… I think I love my biological father. Even with everything. Most of the people who raped me… I loved them. Many of them I love them now. I might feel really angry with them… but I love them.
What is love?
Even though Tommy spent my childhood beating me and trying to rape me… I loved him. I’m sad his life was so terrible that he had to die to get away from it. I cannot bring myself to be angry with him for not wanting to suffer more for my convenience.
It is almost the anniversary of Tommy’s death. Next month. Eighteen years now. In three more years he will have been dead as long as he was alive.
Rest in Peace, Tommy.
What am I doing with my life?
I am trying to stop being a destroyer. I want to be a builder. I want to be someone who makes less pain in the world and not more.
There are reasons for temporary physical pain that alleviate intense emotional suffering and I don’t know how to deal with that dichotomy. Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing.
I want to figure out how to help there be less pain. One of the ways I do that is to understand and find compassion.
I like loving lots of kinds of people. They all teach me different things. I learn best by being able to stand very close to someone and bask in their presence. I know this after many years of trying a lot of ways to learn. I will pick things up faster. I will learn more quickly. I will try to synch up with this person in any way I can because the drive to conform is what keeps our species alive.
The main reason I manage to be so god damn weird is because I have allowed myself to pattern off incredibly different people. Contradictions are ok. We can all solve different problems.
Ok. Time to be off.
I love you. Even when I have no idea what that means.
Stuff is creeping in. Today: having lunch with a friend then we are getting tattoos. Tonight I’m having dinner with a lovely friend. Tomorrow is all the massage. The kids also have stuff to get to.
It isn’t that what I’m doing is hard, it is that I’m having to switch gears on what I’m thinking about. I was thinking about that process lately: transitioning. I’ve been staring at the kids all week and thinking about the idea of transitioning from one activity to another and how do we do it?
A friend asked me how I feel about classes that my kids sign up for. Do I insist on attendance? Err… it doesn’t come up much? My kids aren’t very scheduled. Our classes are exciting treats that we are very happy to learn about. There is no dragging. It isn’t hard for us to get out of the house (mostly) because I start getting ready about three hours before we need to leave.
Most days we sit down at breakfast and talk about the structure of the day. What are we doing? Where are we going? I give the kids an idea of what to expect and when I’ll start prompting them to get ready.
Very rarely I run into the room and say, “Oh shoot! I didn’t look at a clock and I forgot _____ and we need to walk out the door RIGHT NOW!!!”
I am shocked that when I do this the kids usually jump up in the air and start rushing to get ready like someone is chasing them with a hot poker. They have bought in to “this is our life and we are obligated to show up when we say we will”.
I talk a lot about respecting teachers because they choose to share what they know with people who want to learn. That’s a gift and an honor. You must respect the efforts of teachers.
Kinda funny given how anti school I am, right? I’m not anti teachers. I’m anti-Industrial-Era-conformity-brainwashing.
That’s not the same thing as learning or education or teachers. In fact I have incredible respect for the process of learning.
Not that every school (public or otherwise) works the same way. I know. But it’s a crapshoot year by year. In “school” you don’t get to pick your teachers, mostly. In life you do. College is a weird hybrid of “school” and life because you have some choice but not that much. You pick your place of education more. (Not that most people research the teaching staff much before picking a university.) You get to drop classes and take a different teacher if you don’t like an approach… sometimes.
I have multiple bad grades (D or F) on my record because of personality conflicts with teachers. Does that mean I know nothing about those subjects? Nope. It means that bitch didn’t like me.
School is about measuring how you jump through the random hoops that someone decides to set for you. You think it is even and fair how those hoops are divvied out? Ha. Ha. Ha.
Standardized tests are flat out abusive to most minority populations. Why? Because they say, “Hey, how quickly can you identify all this random shit from White American Culture? Not fast? Then you’re stupid.”
And school in America in the year 2016 is about, “How fast can you regurgitate facts about this culture to prove you are ‘smart’.”
Yes there are exceptions. Yes there are good teachers in public schools and there are good private schools.
Are those private schools available to people who are very poor? No? Then school in America is about regurgitating facts. I don’t care that your kid might be getting away with having a good experience. The majority of American children are not.
How do I know this? Why am I so god damn confident of what I know? Because I went to 25 schools. Then 7 universities. Then I substituted in about 8 schools. Then I taught in 4 schools.
It’s not a huge sample size. But it’s big enough to let me see a diversity most people get to pretend doesn’t exist. I went to schools in rural areas, in neighborhoods of a predominate ethnic identity other than white, in rich schools, in poor schools, and many levels in between. I’ve seen Silicon Valley, Compton, and rural Oklahoma.
I can’t speak to the east coast from personal experience. But I read a lot of teachers. I’m pretty sure I’m right from coast to coast. Teachers are talking about the problems in the system. All you have to do is go look a little bit and you’ll find criticism. You’ll never run out of it to read.
I don’t think my way is right or mass actionable. I don’t think the solution to our broken schooling system is everyone opting out to home school. But I don’t know how to force the solutions that are necessary. I don’t know how to force a non-abusive mechanism on top of an abusive system and I just can’t be part of that abusive system any more. Not as a student and not as a parent.
Could I be a teacher in that system? Sure. Why? Because I’m subversive as fuck and I think the kids who are there need people like me whenever possible. Will I sacrifice everything in my life on the altar of helping other peoples kids?
No. I made these two people. I’m responsible for them.
Yesterday I cracked. I stopped asking the kids to help and I sent them outside to play. They had a glorious day and I got the house like 75% of the way to clean. Yes, I know people believe that I clean frantically full time and my house is always spotless so it isn’t that much work (or something). Well, actually…. (I find myself using that more often because it is now a banned phrase in many places. I try to only do it when I’m being a snot and refuting ideas about myself that annoy me.) I don’t clean that much. My house turns into a pit just like everyone else’s house. But I host big parties pretty frequently and I usually spend about a week cleaning before hand. So people think my house is always clean.
It’s a ruse.
I can usually flight of the bumblebee and feel presentable for dinner guests. And my kids have to pick up their toys before they get screens so our house doesn’t get that bad. Only mostly they clean by shoving whichever behind whatever and into wherever. So every so often we have to dump ever drawer, every shelf, every everything in order to find things. Because seriously after a while we can’t find anything and then everyone expects me to be a fucking homing beacon and they ask me 9,032 times a day where “x” is.
They ask me to buy them new shoes because they can’t find any to wear. I clean their room and find four pairs. That kinda thing.
So a few times a year we face overwhelming chaos. For the love of toast I don’t know how families with two working parents ever clean at all. When it gets bad (like me being gone two weekends in a row so things kinda pile up extra hard, and we are remodeling, and school level transitioning) it will take a solid 8-10 days of me cleaning for 4-10 hours/day.
(There’s always a day in the middle where I clean for four hours then collapse in a heap and cry for a while.)
This cleaning is extra epic because Youngest child has to be entirely moved out of that bedroom indefinitely for the remodel. They are currently replacing the wall/window and that room is not sealed to the out doors. (They have built the new bathroom walls/front wall in front of it, but it’s not all done and everything.) Lots of construction debris in there. Kiddo can’t use that room.
So they are sharing again for a bit. Which was ridiculous extra cleaning and sorting. Frankly I think they were god damn awesome.
At one point Eldest Child started crying and said, “I’m just not good at cleaning. I’m not smart at this and I never will be.”
I laughed and laughed and laughed. She looked at me and said, “WHAT?!”
“You act like I fell out of my mother’s womb being able to clean. I couldn’t do it when I was seven. Frankly I think you have more skill than I had at that age.”
She blinked for a bit, dried her eyes, and got up and made tremendous progress all in a big burst. At the end she grinned at me and said, “Ok I am getting better.”
Cocky little thing. Yes, you are. Every day. Every year. You are getting better.
So I think about these things because transitioning eats into progress. The more times I have to transition in a day the less progress I make on all tasks. This is a well documented phenomena. You can spend four years taking a Spanish class, or four months of immersion. And after the immersion experience you will be far more fluent.
Some guys I know were bitching at me that I should really stop what I’m doing with my life and learn all about the influential music from 1968.
I told them I don’t have time and they demanded that I justify what is more important than that. I rattled off what I’m doing with my life. They kinda blinked at me and said, “Ok maybe you don’t have time.”
No shit, Sherlock.
Everyone has different stuff going on in their lives. Everyone has a different comfort level of transitions. I don’t need to judge what other people need in order to feel comfortable. That internal Holy Fucking Shit No reaction needs to be turned off. Ain’t nobody trying to tell me that I need to pick it up. Not really.
My inside voice is changing. I do hear you.
Chill. The. Fuck. Out.
Why do I talk to myself? Because over time I am changing how I react to different stimuli. It was said that a lot of what is interesting about me now is that I do fewer global freak outs. When something is upsetting to me I don’t scream about everyone and everything. I can say exactly what I’m upset about and why and I can usually trace it down to the root. That’s letting me pull the weeds. I can tell which tendrils are a problem.
It’s ok that I failed in the school environment. I mean, I was usually an A/B student (except for personality conflicts) and I’m still a failure in the school environment. It isn’t that I’m unintelligent. But I cannot conform in the ways required to go period to period learning in the teeny chunks that can hopefully be absorbed by a large enough percentage of people to not be a complete waste of time to everyone. Woo.
Do you know why I was a good teacher? Because I met before school, during breaks, after school, and on Saturdays with students who could not understand what I was teaching and I helped them catch up on foundational information they missed along the way.
I can’t give that much of myself to people outside my family right now. My kids need that time from me. Why? Because we have some fucked up brain chemistry and DNA from generations of trauma. We need to do what we are doing right now.
We are learning how to adapt to life. We are learning how to learn. We are learning shit loads of stuff that we will be able to use later. We are planning. We are growing.
And we are doing it slowly. We are doing it by concentrating on one thing at a time for a few weeks.
That way we can spend many hours a day on one task and make substantial progress at it instead of spending 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there.
It is hard. It is physically and mentally and emotionally taxing. But I enjoy it. I feel rewarded. I feel like my reward is the conversation I get to have around the table every meal. My kids fucking think.
I know so much intense analysis of My Little Pony characters that it is ridiculous because I don’t think I’ve ever watched an episode. I know their back stories, motivations, and things that are being foreshadowed. Yeah. My kid told me, “They are seriously foreshadowing something about her in this episode….” Then later I heard, “In this episode they broke the fourth wall to…”
I asked her if she knows what breaking the fourth wall actually means. Nope. So I explained. In great detail. With lots of examples. Afterwards she started rattling off examples.
Yup. Like that.
I treat my children like if they don’t know something yet it is because I have not yet done a good enough job of talking about it. So I’d better get on that.
I really like my life.
I like feeling responsible. Resiliency experts say that people are most likely to be successful if they internalize that they must be responsible. In other words: we must find a way or make a way. So we do.
I feel that way about anti-racist stuff. Incest research. Home schooling. Teaching my kids how to take care of their shit.
I believe I must make this work. Period. So I will.
What does that actually fucking mean? It means that I picked this life. Who the fuck knows why. So I’m going to live it to the absolute fullest. With great privilege comes great responsibility. I’m one of the luckiest mother fuckers born in the history of all time.
How did that happen?
Even with all the trauma. So fucking what. Every level of person experiences trauma. That’s universal. Not every being experiences trauma (lucky bastards) but every level of human experience has trauma.
What traumatizes one person is standard, normal, and appropriate to someone else. So check your fucking judgment, wench. (talking to myself…)
I have an idea for the tattoo. I’m not going to write it out in advance. But I’m going to have a wonderful time talking to my artist today. He’s so wonderful.
And I’m having lunch with a friend first. Then dinner with a different friend.
I don’t in any way want to complain about the fullness of my life. I am blessed. I am loved. People seek out my company on my terms. Because they consider the effort to be worth what they get in return.
I can’t judge that. I need to just say thank you.
I’m trying to slow down. Frankly the remodel is driving me batty. They are banging all day long. So every second all day long I have to process hitting sounds and decide they aren’t a threat.
That wears me out.
But I have to be home. For Reasons.
So I’m doing what I can to destress in the house. My anxiety is spiking like a motherfucker. But! I know it is temporary so I can have something I badly want and I’ll get to have it as long as I live here. Sounds worth putting up with.
But it hurts my body. It’ll end soon.
Every time I transition from thinking, “Is that the door?” back to whatever I’m doing… it takes a penalty spoon.
So I’m thinking about transitions like fuck right now. How many activities can I manage to get done in a day? How much work? How many different kinds of tasks? I think it is funny how different stages of cleaning feel different to me. I can’t declutter a room, organize it, then remove filth all in a go. I just can’t transition like that. I have to declutter the house. Then organize it. Then clean. I can’t go back and forth because I experience distress physically and psychiatrically.
Transitions are that hard for me. I will fall to the floor and sob and not be able to do whatever it is you want of me because I just can’t.
That’s something that has been a pattern in my life for a very long time and I’m just kind of recognizing what that means in my head. Oh. Flooding. Oh. That’s…
I like intense connections with a lot of fucking bandwidth. So when I need to spread that bandwidth out between 37 different distractions instead of 2-3…
It isn’t anyone else’s fault. But I’m trying to figure out what managing that means. I need this to get better. I need to stop flooding when I walk near someone else’s life because I feel like I should try to conform and I can’t I can’t I can’t.
No one god damn asked you to. Chill. The. Fuck. Out.
It’s funny to stop and think, “This is actually a huge improvement!”
There are a high number of specific high intensity things I want to get done in this life. I won’t get them done in 15 minutes of prep at a time. That’s ok. I don’t need to schedule my life how other people do. It is working for them. Stop projecting.
We all want different things. Health means something different to every person.
I’m trying to figure out what it means to me. This is proving to be more complicated than expected. Not sure if that is because I was naive to start with or what. Anything is possible.
I’m making a lot of progress with my pain stuff. (The overall refraining from typing is helping. Hey–it’s Friday. I kinda took a few days off… I am trying to moderate…)
I’m making progress on pain stuff. My bowels are… well… I’m told this is progress? I don’t fucking know. But it is weirder than hell. I mostly stopped with the pills for a few days (because obviously my body was freaking out) on the doctors recommendation and the freak out ended right away. This is supposedly a sign that things are working right on schedule. I will resume sloughing the parasites from my liver later today. Oh joy. But! I’m seeing… uhm… something fucking weird that I’m told is results?
We talk about poop while eating all the time.
My kids are very comfortable saying, “I’m going to eat lots of vegetables because your body sucks.”
If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning. Do one or the other and then do that motherfucker.
Yesterday I screwed up. I put in a load of laundry and I didn’t even think about what I was washing. A new dress up clothes thing was put in the basket. It had never been washed. It was bright fucking red. So all the martial arts uniforms were very pink.
Oooooops. Shit. Like rose colored pink. Dark rose. I was all, “NOOOOOOOO!”
Then I thought about my mama and I breathed a prayer of thanks. “Hey kids? Want to learn how to fix a mistake?” I used oxygen brightener and bleach and I boiled it on the stove top and those fuckers are white as snow once again.
Because my mama taught me what to do.
That’s a good memory. Thank you, mama.
Thank you for teaching me how to do my laundry on the stove because that was what we had and you were going to make sure I had the skills to be presentable no matter what happened to me or how bad my life was. You tried. Thank you.
During this process my friend was over and she asked if I wanted her to do the poking/stirring over the fire. I didn’t want her to. I felt entirely Zen in that moment. I am where I want to be doing what I want to do. I’m showing my kids how I fix a mistake. It takes time and effort. But it’ll be ok.
It was one of the most intensely blissful moments I’ve experienced in a while. That’s flow.
If I cared very much about getting out of my house and not being “stuck” with these experiences as the woman… I wouldn’t get to have that. I’m glad I get to have that. I’m glad I get to see the value in my mother.
I miss you, mama.
I miss all the friends I’m not reaching out to because I’m overwhelmed. I’ll come back. I’ll have spoons some day.
In March we have social stuff planned on the first two days. Then… uhm… I don’t know about the Easter party. Wonder how my bathroom will be? Err… I’ll let people know two weeks before?
I think that I need to not schedule anything else in March. Which is intimidating. I’m not resting. I’m working and socializing because I’m so desperate to catch up on the work. I need to rest and I won’t stop working so socializing needs to be back burnered for a few weeks. Just Do Eeeet.
What work do I feel so pressed to do? Well… we are transitioning from preschool to elementary school. Which is a fuck ton of work for me. (I don’t know how you folks who home school with kids in preschool, elementary, middle, & high school do it. How do you find space?! )
The thing I miss the most about teaching in a school is the prep time plus the right to control what everyone was going to be learning. This is much harder. I have to prepare on the fly for a range of topics. It’s brutal some days in terms of cognitive load. It is fucking hard breaking down every little thing into schemas and concepts and repeatable skill training.
This is why other sane people outsource this shit. But we have some genetic stuff to consider that will make us always on the edge of the bell curve. I’m glad the training exists for people in the center of the bell curve. Yay you!
Hi, I’m Krissy. I’m an outlier.
Name the metric.
I just uhm…. like to be difficult?
IT ISN’T PERSONAL, OK!?!
I should stop now. If I get up and start moving now I’ll have all my morning prep done before Noah finishes breakfast and I will be able to eat at the same time as them instead of sitting down as they finish eating. I’m a pain in the ass to take care of. I struggle to think the effort is really merited.
Know something that I find wacky? Youngest child just fucking loves to stand there and hand me pill after pill after pill. Kid says, “You have to fix the problems. You have to get your poop better so you can digest food. I want you to die when you are very very very old. So here.” It varies somewhat, but this entire experience is just…
validating as fuck.
I’m trying to figure out what I need. My issues are complicated, layered, and difficult to solve. I know you are doing what you need to do to solve your issues and it doesn’t look much like what I’m doing.
I need to figure out how to not feel so fucking bad about that. It’s ok that I need stuff other people don’t need. That doesn’t mean I’m bad. That doesn’t mean I should die so I stop stealing resources from more worthy people. It has to be ok that I need what I need.
It isn’t fair that I have the money to pay for it and other people don’t. There is no fair. There is no deserve. There is no way to have things come out even.
I had to believe there is no deserve when it was really bad. I have to believe it about the good stuff too. Or …. or I just can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t get fucking pompous and shitty and “Oh I have a good life because I deserve it. Because I worked harder than other people.”
Gag. Cough. Puke. Bullshit.
No. I really didn’t work harder than other people. Ok, I worked harder than some people. But not harder than everyone. Some people worked ten times as hard as me. They didn’t get where I am.
It’s not because I’m getting what I deserve.
Nothing is fair.
4,050 words. I should stop anyway. Oh my poor wrists. But I feel better. I feel like I’m finding the words to the parts I need to talk about without talking about what I don’t need to talk about.
That feels better.
How do I get to be me without hurting other people?
That’s the journey.
There are bombings all over the world in the last few days. People are dying from no reason bigger than hatred that some people think differently.
There was an earthquake in Japan.
I’m… at Knott’s Berry Farm. Well, I was.
And now I’m rocking and crying. Today was horribly triggering. But it feels so very selfish and stupid and petty. God, my whole life is pretty fucking ridiculous these days. Yeah, it will take a whole book to figure out why this trip was worth this for me.
We get home in seven days. I’m triggered as all fuck. This place is hurting me.
We had a wonderful day. I completely held it together. I mediated like a god damn champ when they had a hard time.
And now I’m rocking and hurting because keeping it together today was so god damn hard.
That’s where my father used to finger me. I haven’t been there in more than ten years. I actually come to SoCal pretty frequently. I choose to not go there most of the time.
That’s my mood right now.
I think that I’m going to finally find the motivation to get the money from my father’s money that the state is holding. It has waited a lot of years. I think I’m ready to take my payment for what he put me through.
I don’t think the kids know how upset I was. I think I did well. They both gushed all the way back to the hotel about how absolutely fantastic today went. And I really agree.
But there is that part of me and this part of me and today I realized that I… completely missed the anniversaries this year. I think this is the first year I’ve ever just sailed right the fuck past them without noticing.
Am I who I thought I would be by 33?
Is my daddy still the monkey on my back?
What the fuck did I learn out in the Wild Wild West? Oh. Lots.
Hungry for a life I’m not ready to begin.
But it’s time to start anyway.
What does it mean. How forking shallow is it. I don’t know. I don’t know.
You know, it is fucking awesome that I learned how to cry completely silently a long time ago. Otherwise this crying in the room with the kids thing would be pretty fucking awkward.
I’m sorry James. I had to.
I hurt. I shouldn’t be typing nor looking down. And I should be sleeping.
But crying alone is hard. Thank you for keeping me company, internet. I love you.
Noah. I have so many stories.
My fingers hurt.
Must haz self control. Seven more days.
It was really hard going through layer after layer of memories of my father. I think they have substantially changed the area where he used to sit me on his lap. I want to write more. The basic allusion to this is in the book. But oh.my.god I could give a lot more details. Especially right this moment.
I’m having some really really really really really really really big feelings. And I have to just calm right the fuck back down and go to sleep. Tomorrow I have work to do. It is not yet time for me to rest. Only seven more days.
Today we leave Dad’s house. That will be hard. I have really enjoyed my time here. Although it will also be a good thing. I’m sleeping for shit. I’m thinking a thousand thoughts a minute about all the things I want to say to him and we save our conversations for after the kids are in bed so… I’m way short on sleep. I need to move on before I hurt myself.
The talking has been wonderful. You know how I sometimes go on these really big tirades and write and write and write about politics and race and rape and incest and money and class and… heh. You know how I “sometimes” do that? Yeah he got the in person version over the last week. He has looked kind of stunned. I’ve never uhm shared my opinions on such a diverse array of topics quite so freely before. He’s kind of re-meeting me.
You want to claim you are my Dad so you need to get to know me. We’ve had several pointed, “Are you committed to this relationship?” conversations.
Apparently his bio-daughter is not very happy about me. I can understand that and I hold no rancor in my heart. I’m sorry that my existence makes her uncomfortable. I can understand why it does. All of the other “daughters” have been girlfriends who moved on. I haven’t. I’m not a girlfriend and I never have been. I’m an adopted kid. Who he has beaten and fucked. Because that has been part of my relationship with all of my dads.
I can understand why that would make someone uncomfortable. I’m on a fucking weird life path.
But he’s ok walking that path with me and I don’t really care if other people approve or not. He is adapting to the changes in our relationship. We have had an incredibly frank and detailed conversation about the changes in boundaries in my sex life. “What if I did ____?” “Well you’d have a time of untangling your fingers from your internal organs after I ripped your arm off and shoved it down your neck.” “Ok then. So you’re saying that is off the table.” “Yup.”
Quite frankly I think this is an incredibly healthy transition for both of us. We are consciously committing to a mutually supportive relationship that doesn’t have to be based on hurting one another. The hurting one another wasn’t a problem when it was where we both were. I’m not there right now. Are you with me or not?
He says he is with me.
He is scared about some of my choices. He asked me last night if I was truly aware of how much I was risking my life with some of the choices I make in terms of activism. I said I was fully aware that women who speak publicly about the things I choose to speak about often get killed. I’m aware that the status quo doesn’t like what I think.
Dad got to hear about the full extent of my suicidality this trip. He’s had dim awareness that I was a cutter.
It is kind of funny to me how people claim to know me… but don’t read my blog… and wow… they don’t know shit. I think I unload my emotions on fewer people than I think. I’m really hard on the people I unload on… but the list isn’t that long. I think I perceive myself as someone who dumps on everyone who walks by… but that isn’t how it goes. I have more boundaries than I think I do.
I am continually surprised to find out that people have known me for a decade and a half and they don’t know major facts about my life.
I can recite your fucking bio in my sleep. I know details about your life before I met you. I can rattle off your hobbies and accomplishments and fuck ups with great specifics.
What the fuck do you mean you don’t know much about me?! WTF!?
I’m self absorbed. Everyone should function like me. Ahem.
I’m going to miss Dad. And I am never going to live near him full time. Our relationship would dissolve and I like it very much. I like the support I get when I see him. He doesn’t have the stamina for me. He can’t be the kind of consistent I need on a regular basis. I can handle what he has to give when I visit once a year. I don’t resent his limits this way. I just adapt while I’m here.
I ask tactless questions a lot to frame how ridiculous we both are. “So my control freak issues are running into your control freak issues. Which part of this one is your real bug-a-boo? The process or the result because you vary from issue to issue.”
He kind of glares at me for a minute as he thinks about it. Then we discuss it and work out how we can adapt to one another.
It is weirdly a lot of fun for me. He is really ok with blunt negotiations. The bdsm community has been good for him. If you can say, “What I really want to do is tie your legs wide open so I can single tail your clit” you can have a conversation about just about any stupidly specific and personal topic.
Ok.. that isn’t actually true about everyone in the scene. But it is true of the two of us and I love that about him.
We’ve talked a lot about eating and dietary choices with the kids. Exercise habits. Modeling and why we do the things we do. Being responsible to and for our kids and how that creates a permanent reason to take care of ourselves because… we owe them a long life.
He says I have made him think about many of his choices in new ways. I believe that.
Last night he told me he feels adrift and he isn’t sure how to get ahead of the curve. He’s had a really hard several years. I said, “That sounds like a request for advice.” He said yes.
Oh I gave advice. “What you need to do is over the next year ask for help from Person A and Person B and Person C and go through the house and the storage unit. Sell anything you don’t have a really strong desire to keep. Donate what you can’t sell. Time to downsize. You don’t need a big house and property and you can’t keep up with the work. Sell before you degrade the house and can’t make money back. Buy something outright. Buy something small and manageable.”
He has inherited the estates of three rich people. He has an overwhelming amount of stuff and he simply can’t afford to keep the shit. He didn’t get the money. That went to charities. He just got burdened with the shit.
People are hilarious. They really don’t think about what they are doing to the people around them.
Get it in your head that you are putting the house on the market in June of 2016. That will be the end of your time here. 14 years in one spot.
It’s going to be hard to leave. His second marriage had its whole life here. But she’s gone and he has to move on. He can’t support this household without her.
Life is about constantly changing your goals as your resources and abilities change. Things go up and down and you have to be realistic about your capabilities or you will over-promise and under deliver. Or you can sell yourself short and never attain the things you are capable of doing.
Re-evaluate yourself. Where do you want to be putting your time and energy? Do you really want to have to spend 30+ hours a week on cleaning and house maintenance only to watch it fall into constant decline because it really needs 60 hours of work every week? That’s depressing. You feel like a constant failure even though you really are doing your best.
I’m going to cry a lot when he moves. This is Francesca’s house. She loved me here. She made me feel safe here. She is a lot of the reason Dad and I worked out some bumps in the early years. I miss her very much. But our obligation to her is over. It is time to sell off her stuff and her step-dad’s stuff and her mom’s stuff and move on.
She died before we could pay our debt to her. That’s a guilt we have to bear and move on with.
We can take that and pay it forward. That is how she would want us to do it. She wouldn’t want us to wither at home with shame and regret. She would want us to pay it forward. She would say we don’t owe her. We owe the universe. It’s never really a two way street.
That’s what is so hard about parenting. It’s never really reciprocal. I have taken more from Dad than I’ve given. Mostly… what I can give at this point is support as he transitions to a different sense of self.
He’s not a swinging bachelor of means. He needs to stop trying to act like he is. That time of life is over.
There are consequences to not seeing how you are changing. How many do you want to have smack you in the face?
He asked me if I believed he was capable of change at this point in his life. I laughed and said I wouldn’t be in his house if he hadn’t changed and changed again over the last decade and a half. Yes. I believe you are capable of changing. It’s not the tooth fairy. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen you adapt. I’ve seen you resolve to improve on how you manage specific issues. Yes, there have been back slides in some areas, but you continue to improve in broad swaths.
But life is complicated. As you improve in some areas you completely screw up other areas. That’s how it goes.
It seems to me that wisdom is partially understanding that you will never be good at everything. You will never have the inter-personal abilities plus money abilities plus physical abilities plus education abilities and and…
Look at what you actually do with your time. You are good at parts of it. The rest… well… it’s done enough. THE HOUSE DIDN’T BURN DOWN. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!
I don’t cook much. I can’t do it. I turn into a screaming banshee.
It’s not that I “can’t cook”. I can actually cook quite well. But I need to be calm and have a lot of patience and a lot of quiet and a lot of time and nothing else going on in order to do it in a peaceful way. Or I start twitching and shrieking things like, “JUST GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN BEFORE I STRANGLE YOU OH MY GOD WHY DID YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO DO?!?!?!!?!”
I understand that this is part of an age old tradition between mothers and daughters. But with the whole home schooling thing… it’s a problem if I won’t show them how to do things. So it’s complicated.
I’ve been priming the pump with the kids about how things will shift when we leave Grandpa’s house. We are going to a dun dun dun… screen free house. Ok, they own a tv. A big one. But they don’t turn it on. Or they use it for internet browsing. They watch very occasional cooking shows or Myth Busters. They are basically a kid screen-free house.
So uhm, don’t spend all day talking about video games and cartoons. You can talk about books, games you like to play, imaginary stuff you like to do… lots of topics. Don’t spend all day talking about the Minecraft tutorials. That is horribly boring when someone isn’t interested. We won’t be there very long. Be polite.
I have no idea if Shanna is listening. We’ll see.
We came here from Aunt Cookie’s and her only tv watching is Martha Stewart show reruns and Mayberry because her parrot will repeat things from the television. She won’t risk a peppery word in her house. (I kind of horrified her. And the kids taught the parrot to say “poop poop poop”. She was not pleased.) It’s not like we can’t get along with folks who don’t do video games. But she had to listen to a lot about the tutorial makers. Her eyes glazed over. I tried to rescue her.
Shanna can give you a full run down on the benefits and deficits of different tutorial makers and I think it is hilarious. I only half listen. I stood and listened to the new one for a few minutes last night. I wasn’t pleased. He’s an asshole. I told her flat out, “I like so-and-so and I like that other guy because they are silly and kind in how they give instructions. I don’t like this new guy. The way he is saying his friend might not really be a boy because he hasn’t seen proof? That’s bullshit. That’s a jerk thing to do. Questioning someone else’s gender is not ok. If I ever hear you do that, you aren’t watching this channel any more. If you want to know that assholes like that exist I’m not going to stop you from finding out they exist. But you had better not become one.”
Her eyes were kind of big. She nodded and said, “I wouldn’t do that. I just thought it was cool how he built _____.”
“That’s fair enough. He did build a cool ______. I can see why you would admire it. Feel free to learn his Minecraft skills. Don’t learn his interpersonal skills.”
Man this is a quoting-myself-heavy-post. I want to share it with Noah. I miss you, oh my witness. I WANT TO TALK AT YOU FOR ABOUT TWELVE HOURS STRAIGHT.
I miss you.
I’ve gotta say, it’s kind of wild talking about a lot of the things I write about. To an entrenched white male. Oh man. It’s interesting phrasing and efforts. I have extreme biases. I’m aware of that. I’m working on and with where I am right now.
Dad is a soft sell on many of my more radical ideas. He will listen and help me construct rebuttals to arguments. Not necessarily on purpose, but he argues with me and that gives me practice debating the things I’m going to need to be able to debate without shrieking.
Not sure I can ever be a cook in a high pressure situation though. That may be beyond me in this lifetime.
Last year we somehow stumbled across an advertisement for Hindi lessons at the local temple. (It is on the end of our block.) All four of us went to the first round of classes and it was pretty fun. This year Shanna said she didn’t want to sit still every week and only Calli asked to enroll.
I find the study of Hindi to be stimulating in a way that few things have been. Having to memorize different letters and connect them to sounds that don’t exist in my language feels an order of magnitude different from studying languages with a similar alphabet (like Spanish). I’m not saying harder–I’m not sure if it is harder. But it feels different.
I studied Spanish in school–both high school and college. I am nothing near fluent. But the study of Hindi is teaching me that I have a significant vocabulary–my problem is verb conjugation. When the teacher asks us to create a sentence in Hindi to answer a question I always have a complete sentence in Spanish pop into my head and I have to consciously not say it. Wrong language. But having these little epiphanies over and over that I could probably actually go to South America and communicate fine after a month is pretty huge for me. I have lots of impostor syndrome. I think I am stupid and incapable of learning many things. Then I find out that I ALREADY KNOW THINGS!!!
It is hard to explain how exciting this feels. On one hand, people regularly tell me I am intimidating because I am smart/educated. On the other hand, I feel like I’m not talented nor smart nor educated because I know people who have gone way deeper into almost any topic than I have. I’m good at viewing things in the way that makes me look bad.
Hindi is causing me to feel pride in my ability to learn in a way that few things have. For one thing: I’m turning around and teaching Shanna once we get home. She is making progress as fast or faster than Calli and Calli is actually attending the class. It is like ASL only better. ASL was harder for me to feel pride in because Shanna picked it up at two or three times the rate I did and I always felt stupid and like I am too slow to be able to say what is happening in my mind. I just can’t make my hands go fast enough.
Hindi isn’t like this. I shouldn’t feel so much pride that I am picking up concepts faster than many of the 6-7-8 year old kids in the class.. but they are growing up in houses where this language is a daily occurrence. I do feel pride that I am managing to study on my own well enough that I am picking things up faster than people who are learning more about their native language. (They all speak English in most of their lives and Hindi almost exclusively at home based on what they say in class.)
I’m not competing with the kids. That’s not the point. But I have fairly clear proof that I am learning and I am not stupid. I’m progressing quickly. Having it be so crystal clear that I am learning is… it feels really good. I feel proud of myself.
Today we had kind of a weird class. Some of the teachers were ill so they combined levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. This meant that the class was too slow for half the people and way too fast for the other half. Ahhh group teaching. The teacher who teaching level 4 was disappointed in me that I couldn’t come up with a Hindi sentence describing what I will do on Halloween. Uhm, the only verb I know is “is”. I know colors. I can count. I’m on my way to knowing the alphabet. No… I don’t yet know how to say, “On October 31st we will dress up and go trick or treating.” Nope, don’t have that vocabulary yet. But I may work on it this week and write down the phonetic sentence and say it next week. Because she’d be thrilled I looked it up.
I find it strange that I feel so good about the positive affirmations from the teachers. Why do I care? They are strangers and it’s not like this is going on my permanent record. But I care.
Hindi requires a similar kind of discipline as training for the marathon. I have to show up consistently and do the study. Every single day. I have to train. I have to live my life as if attaining mastery of the language is a goal. Just like training for the marathon. I have to not skip runs because I feel whiny. I have to do it anyway or my body will not be ready on the crucial day. If I don’t study Hindi I won’t ever be able to go to India and study farming with people who have questionable English. I want it so bad I feel an ache in my bones.
I want to be able to talk to people in other countries about farming and incest. I’m kind of weird. I want to go meet people when I learn farming and build relationships and come back years later after they know me and trust me and then get their communities to talk to me about incest. I have a plan.
I feel grateful that some days I wake up and it doesn’t feel like I’m trapped in limbo. I’m on a journey. I’m not waiting for the future to happen to me. I’m living my future. I am doing what I always wanted to do. I am home schooling my children in security and love. I am learning languages so I can go learn from people who have entirely different life experiences than me. I am getting to enjoy the companionship and growth of my children such that I am truly getting to see a happy, healthy childhood up close. I am ridiculously blessed.
When I have conflicts with my kids and I feel very anxious about them it is important to keep in mind that I get along with them better than I’ve ever gotten along with anyone. That doesn’t mean it is always smooth sailing. I am pretty sure I will never have a relationship that is all smooth sailing. That doesn’t mean I should opt-out of relationships and it doesn’t mean I should try hard to keep people away from me.
Life is complicated. I’m grateful that this portion of my journey involves getting to engage in study that improves my sense of self esteem while also significantly furthering my life goals. Often those two aspects do not move in tandem. I am lucky.
Ok, now that I’ve done my Hindi for the day time to run. It’s a wonderfully easy Saturday. This is my shortest Saturday run until April. I should find joy in that. From here on out it gets harder.
Luckily, I can do it. I already have so I have no fear. The half marathon Thanksgiving weekend (my race is on Saturday) will be easy. My informalish goal is to manage a 11:50 or better pace. I was super close last time until mile 11 when my ankles seized. More stretching this training schedule. I’m also doing more weight lifting. Being stronger seems mandatory for more speed at this stage. And 26.2 miles just doesn’t sound that far any more. March will be here soon and I’ll run that far and be fine. It blows my mind.
I am more than I ever thought I could be.
Sometimes I am reminded that people with mental illness are not always good for people to be around. Sometimes it seems like being alone is really the only option if we want to stop the pain. Our pain, the pain we cause other people just by existing.
I have spent a lot of my life literally alone. I have spent years sitting alone in rooms. Yet I contrast that with the wonderful people in my life. I have friends. I am unusually blessed.
But I feel alone. Because it isn’t ok to make anyone else’s life all about my pain and I don’t know how to get past my pain to focus on connection with people. Some days I can kind of get there, I haven’t been doing so well lately.
I absolutely understand the feeling I do everything wrong anyway–the world would be better if I was dead. But I’m not supposed to say that out loud. It is manipulative. It is hurtful. It damages people if you scream at them that you want to die. It isn’t ok to take ones pain out on the people around one.
But there is so much pain. I saw a sign today, advertising a suicide prevention walk. I stood and stared at the sign for a while. I thought about a conversation I had this weekend with two women who expressed how hard it is to deal with suicidal people. Those who want to be supportive of the suicidal person can be absolutely wrung dry. That isn’t fair either.
We (the mentally ill or “crazy” as I think of myself) are told over and over that we should ask for help. Those of us with extreme trauma in our background are also told over and over and over and over again in therapy that it isn’t appropriate for us to talk about our experiences in front of “normal” people because we will hurt them just by admitting that people like us exist.
Shut up. And it is your own fault that you are crazy. And it is your fault if the pain is too much and you die. Why didn’t you get help? And while I’m at it, shut up.
I’m having a hard time with the kids. My shrink is encouraging me to consider getting a job so I can pay for private school because I need a break from my kids. I’m not entirely sure how adding a job to all of my current work would make my life easier. It isn’t like work stress is less impactful than kid stress. And the main job I have prepared to do is teach children. If I went back to doing that all day long I would not be a very nice person to my children. All of my patience would go to my job and by the time I got home I would be screaming and nearly psychotic.
It was funny how at first my shrink tried to talk me into just putting them in public school. She works with the school across the street from my house. It took me staring her down for a while before she admitted that the school is entirely substandard academically and it probably wouldn’t all “work out just fine”.
If my interactions with my kids all of a sudden had to go from just me enforcing about an hour a day of chores to me having to enforce an hour of chores AND force them to do homework that I know to be ineffective and damaging during the 3-4 hours a day I see them… I don’t see how we would get along better. Yes, I may feel less stress. Maybe. I haven’t at any other point in my life when my work situation has been different, but what the hell.
I don’t think sending my kids to a shitty school for babysitting is a good option. I don’t think that is in anyone’s best long-term interests. Would I do it if I HAD TO, yes. No one would die. It isn’t the end of the world. But no, it is not ideal. That is not for the best.
Is home schooling? Mostly we get along. We’ve had a hard few weeks. That happens every so often. I’m not sure we would get along better if our relationship involved me having to force them to get ready for school every day. I am not good at that.
I feel like a failure. I feel like I should die. But I don’t want to leave my kids. I don’t want to hurt them like that. I don’t know how to stop feeling like I am poison to everyone around me. I hurt people so much.
Maybe it would be better if I …… I don’t know.
Being alone is a weird thing. I don’t spend that much physical alone time these days. But I feel very alone emotionally. Is it because I can’t physically talk about almost any of what goes on in my head? I don’t know. I know that when I get together with other people there is usually a very clear dynamic that I am there to listen to them and be supportive of their issues. I need to not overwhelm people or bother them. I need to not be boring with this constant I want to die I want to die I want to die.
My throat hurts. My head hurts. My belly hurts. I want to puke. I want to beat my head so bad that I have to sit very still to not do it. I’ve been thinking about cutting all day. I want to bleed and bleed and bleed and bleed.
I don’t like me very much and it feels very much like I haven’t been punished adequately lately for being a piece of shit.
I can’t burden people with these thoughts. That’s not fair.
In the store, Calli was having a hard time. Calli said something–I forget what–and Shanna responded with some nonsense syllables and Noah, Shanna and I laughed. Calli sobbed. It felt like we were laughing at her and being mean. I pulled her into my arms and I carried her for the next half hour and I talked to her quietly. I apologized over and over. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. We were laughing at the silly sounds. I’m so sorry we hurt you. Clearly we did.
Then Calli asked me if it was right that she hurt herself. I felt utterly crushed. Did I teach you this? I try so hard not to talk about it. I don’t know if I have slipped or not. I may have. I told her that it was not right for her to hurt herself on purpose. I told her that her body is her constant companion–her body will be the only thing with her every minute of her life. She needs to be kind and loving to her body so that it can be strong and do all the things she wants to do in this life. We talked about how being kind to your body means eating healthy foods (we had a long chat about why Ho-Ho’s don’t count as “healthy food”) and drinking good water and exercising and sleeping and relaxing. We talked about balance. I told her that if she hurts herself, she won’t be as strong. I told her that if she hurts herself, she is hurting something that has only done kindness to her–her body has carried her through everything that has happened to her.
By the end she said it made sense and she said she would be careful and loving with her body.
Why can’t I talk me into feeling compassion for my body? I barely ate today. I just… couldn’t. Even though I rode 8 miles on my bike and ran just under 5 miles. I ate one piece of bread pudding and about 1/3 of a package of ramen. I don’t feel physically able to eat more. I feel sick and weak and nauseous and disgusting.
And yet I feel like there are pieces of my life pulling at me from every direction telling me that I have failed. I am not managing to make time for my friends in the ways they want me to. It’s very annoying that I get up so fucking early and I am not available to suit their needs. I am having trouble with home school social stuff. Not because anyone is doing anything. Because I feel like a feral animal in a trap and my stomach hurts all the time and I feel like I just can’t be around good, kind people. I will hurt them.
The world would be a better place if people like me didn’t exist.
More than once this weekend I felt crushing guilt. Some of the kids in the group are *gasp* normal kids and they push boundaries. Any time I enforced a boundary I felt like I should die. (To be fair, none of their parents objected and the kids aren’t upset with me to the best of my knowledge.) I’m not saying this is rational. I am more saying the opposite. None of this is rational.
I don’t know if that “alone” feeling can go away.
I feel a lot of guilt for not doing the 10k this week. But things just kind of fell apart. My running partner and I are both having feelings. We are both having stuff happen in our life and the race just didn’t quite happen for us. I feel like I let her down. I feel like I am a shitty piece of shit who should be run over by a Mac truck.
I can’t do everything. I can’t be every where. I can’t …. I just can’t. Yes, my failures suck. I know.
Yesterday I commented to Noah that I am feeling the lack of Godmama break. My shrink today commented, “It sounds like you really need a break.” Finding other options just isn’t happening. I don’t have the spoons to deal with trying to find babysitting. It is fucking hard. And people lie to me. And people steal money. And people don’t answer their phones. And… Yes, I need some kind of break from my kids. My time off is mostly the 8 hours/week I pay the neighbor but I work like a dog the whole time she is here. It is not rest time. It is “do things that I can’t do with my kids jumping on top of me” time.
I feel weary. I don’t think getting a job is actually the answer. For a hundred reasons. Yes, there would be good aspects. Right now, all I can think is, “What would I start failing on?” I have absolutely no extra spoons. I’m really far into spoon deficit.
Mostly I just pray that I don’t fuck up my kids too badly and I hope we can all make it through the next decade while still liking one another.
You know, me having a “really hard time” with my kids is about on par with the most stable, best parts of my childhood. That’s hard to wrap my head around. I feel so much guilt and so much shame for being a yeller. I don’t call my kids names.
I would have given anything to have my mom say that she was mad at what I did. Instead she told me that she was mad because I was a stupid bitch.
I yell things like, “I am not your fucking maid. Pick up your own shit.” That is what I say when I *lose it*. When I am really harsh. When I am so mean.
I wish my mama was that nice to me. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish. That doesn’t excuse me being this way with my kids. I want to do better. Because I believe they deserve better.
I don’t scream all day long. I don’t scream every day. I scream too much. And I am really struggling with how to stop. I don’t think that adding the stress of a job would somehow magically make it easier for me to have patience. Maybe if I got to be a rural librarian who dealt with very few patrons on a day and who got to sit in a calm, orderly environment all day long. But I don’t actually have that option. I trained to do something high stress.
The idea that I would be less stressed if I went back to dealing with 150 teenagers a day is hilarious. At this point, with how teachers are getting screwed, I’d probably be up to 170 teenagers.
I told my shrink point blank that I want my next career to be in incest research and I cannot start on that path while I have little children. She countered with telling me about women who are public about intense issues getting killed. She had to agree that I should wait at least ten years before seriously starting the incest research for the safety of my children.
Yeah, I’m overly invested in the idea of home schooling. I have wanted to home school my kids since I was 17. I’m pretty devoted to this idea and I’m willing to try pretty hard to make it work out. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure. I have been preparing for home schooling for almost 16 years now. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure.
I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I really don’t. I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m very afraid that none of it will work out and I will end up alone and bitter and hateful.
I would much, much rather die. Life is such a risk. I feel like such a failure each and every day. Ok, there are days I don’t feel like a complete loser. It hasn’t been a good month so far.
I barely talked to the kids today. I was gone five hours for therapy. I can’t do that again. Two hours of exercise/transportation between bart and destinations. One hour of therapy. Two hours of train. I really need to find an incest specialist closer to my city. Why aren’t there tons of psychologists who specialize in incest sitting in my city?! Geez. Very inconvenient. Then I came home and went in my room and cried. Because it is that kind of day.
Noah is home. I did snuggle the kids before and after. We have talked. We have interacted, but not that much more than if they were in school all day.
I can’t talk without saying things I shouldn’t. So I’m not talking. Some days are like that.
And right there, right that minute, that is when the medication hit. Now I’m hungry. Now the pain in my head is mostly muddy noise I can ignore except for the throbbing spot. I still feel sick. But I feel like maybe I will be able to eat dinner.
Calli came into my room this afternoon and asked why I was crying. I said that in my head I was hearing mean things about me and they make me feel very sad. She said, “Like what?” I smiled and told her that she doesn’t need to hear those words come out of my mouth. I don’t need to be the one who teaches her to apply those words to me, or to herself.
I worry about both of my kids, but I worry more about Calli. On one hand I feel like the worst possible mother for her. She clearly has tendencies that I could uhh encourage. In bad ways. On the other hand, how many other people can talk to her about the problems of hurting yourself?
Baby I can’t make you like you any more than I can make me like me. But know that I like you. I love you all the time even when I don’t like something you have done. I am glad for you every minute of the day. I am grateful I get to see you again. You are a good girl who is trying to learn about a complicated world and no one can learn without making mistakes.
I don’t think I am good enough to be their mom. Unfortunately I don’t know who else to nominate for the role.
Also: my kids and I had a long chat about swear words because they are both becoming quite proficient at using shit, fuck, damn, hell, and crap. We talked about the penalties they might experience for using these words. I told them about all the ways I have been punished for talking this way. Shanna asked why I still use the words if so many people have hurt me to try and make me stop. I told her that when people try to force me to do things that is a guarantee I will do the opposite–even if I’m kind of hurting myself in the process. It isn’t smart, but it is how I operate.
Now my kids have decided that since language is all about modeling I have to stop swearing because I am teaching them the words too often. I am not happy about having my kids police my language this much. I’m really not happy about it. But I’m trying to go with it. I think Shanna is being proactive in an overall healthy way.
For the first time in my life I feel like the person who is telling me to stop swearing is doing so because she loves me and she wants more people to be nice to me.
It is very hard being aware that much of what my mother did was not out of love for me, was not out of desire to make me a better person, was not in the service of my best-self.
I look at my kids and I think of the awesome, overwhelming obligation they represent.
I am not sure I’m up for this, but there’s no way out but through.
When I’m not posting. I still haven’t successfully found additional baby-sitting. I’m trying. I either helped out our nice handyman or I got screwed by a con artist. I’ll find out next week. The wait as I find out is excruciating.
Shanna is now in size 7 and Calli is wearing size 6. Holy toledo. Calli turns 4 in another week and a half. Shanna is 6 1/4. I think Calli will be taller in the long run.
Stuff brewing with my shrink. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to keep seeing her. Festivity. This isn’t *about me* but it involves me and there might be fall out and fuss. It’s not my fault there are sometimes consequences for talking about clients in ways you shouldn’t. Not my story to tell.
We went to a party for one of Noah’s oldest friends last night. Ran into his ex who has become a good friend. (That lot went to college together.) I feel kind of funny that I still identify this nice lady as Noah’s ex-girlfriend. She’s married and has three kids. Why is that relationship from her past so important? Because it still defines how she came into my life. She is someone who can understand why Noah (the most important grown up in my life) is so lovable. That makes her different. She is going to share some of my innate biases, surely. There must be a kinship there. Ok, so she decided she didn’t want to marry him–that’s great for me! But there is still an ability to appreciate that not everyone has. Noah, much like me, is not always an easy person to like. People who are capable of liking us more than average are to be treasured.
Now everyone in the crowd has kids. Lots of kids. Our kids were the oldest in the pack and the current youngest is 4 months old with a pregnant woman due in December and several parents of onlies talking about when to start trying for new babies. Whoa. The crowd switched from non-breeders to ALL PARENTS ALL THE TIME really fast. We talked a lot about sleep deprivation. (Including the very hot guy I almost nailed right before we shut things down for the breeding period. Deep sigh. He’s still very cute. He seems kind of overwhelmed by parenthood. Heh. He’ll adjust.)
In some crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s weird and people are kind of rude. In other crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s interesting and they would love to hear why I make such choices. They aren’t necessarily going to be moved to change their own decisions, but it is interesting to hear about other peoples lives. Guess which kind of crowd I like hanging out with more? Last night was definitely of the, “I don’t understand but I’m curious” blend. It felt so nice. I’ve been feeling really defensive.
I DON’T THINK EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD HOME SCHOOL. IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE. When I talk about home schooling I am NOT TRYING TO RECRUIT. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT HOW YOU RAISE YOUR KIDS. (I mean, if you live within five miles of me I might half-heartedly hint that it would be cool if you home schooled because, hey–resources! Otherwise I truly don’t care because I won’t be driving to your house to hang out a lot anyway.)
I don’t think home schooling is THE BEST or THE ONLY way of raising kids. It is just the way that works best for my family for a lot of reasons that don’t necessarily apply to other people.
Tell me about this preschool your kid is in. You seem to be excited about the process. Lots of it sounds fun. I’m totally enthusiastic about you doing this. Put your kid in preschool and work. That’s important. Truly. I’m not criticizing.
I think my daughters need to see that women work too. Not all women live like me. Their Godmama is starting medical school right now. The kids are looking at the pictures and thinking, “Yeah. I could do that. I can be like Aunt Kitten.” Their lives aren’t going to look like mine. (Not because mine is shitty–they have different interests.) My kids will probably be working parents if they have kids. I’m really grateful we know so many kick ass women who are modeling how to make that work.
Even if my kids argue when they are visiting, they still speak well of all the working moms in our lives. “Why can’t you be a nice mom like _____?” “Because you were not blessed in this lifetime. Let’s move on.”
Oh man. Since I borrowed my friend’s stick shift I have been itching to drive again. I hate automatics. I don’t feel like I’m driving. I’m steering at best. I want to drive. Oh man she had a fun car. I keep finding my hand going to the stick shift. Then I sigh and let my hand drop. Nothing to do in my stupid boring mini van. Deep sigh. The memory of a fun, zippy blue car keeps me smiling.
I am not being good about training for the 10k. I wonder if I will get more serious as I get closer to the half marathon or full marathon. (Next half marathon: 14 weeks. Next full marathon: 7 months.)
Sometimes I’m supposed to run 3 miles on two consecutive days. Some weeks I’m in a mood so I run 6 miles one day and nothing the other day. I’m not sure how useful that is. I feel like a sick, sick puppy because I’m really looking forward to the long training runs again.
I still remember the first time I ran 18 miles. The marathon was hard and shitty and I felt like crap. The first time I ran 18 miles I felt like a God. I felt so strong and capable and competent. I strutted when I walked for days. I CAN RUN EIGHTEEN FUCKING MILES MOTHERFUCKER! 26 was brutal in comparison. I’d like to get to the point of 26 miles feeling how 18 miles felt. An extra 8 miles is really rough. I don’t want it to be so rough.
My “goals”: 10k in 75 minutes. I’m running with a friend who is still working up. (She’s doing great!) Half marathon in 2:40. Full marathon better than 6 hours. That’s 46 minutes faster than my first marathon. It shaves almost 2 minutes off each mile meaning I will have to maintain faster than 15 min/mile. Doesn’t sound that hard. Ha. Piss off. You do it if it isn’t that hard. It’ll be hard. Very hard. But I can do it.
Lately my short runs are 13:30 minutes/mile or faster. I really want my short runs to be faster than 12 min/mile. I can’t shake this feeling that at some point in my life it will be necessary for me to run or I will die. It’s a horrible feeling but it puts some pep in my step.
I have already been a hunted animal. I do not have so much hubris as to believe it will never happen again.
I want to travel. I am white and a woman. There are going to be people who don’t like me on sight. Then you combine that with the fact that I rarely shut my fucking mouth. It doesn’t seem like paranoia. It seems like basic caution.
I am now officially in the database of potential speakers for RAINN (rape and incest national network), which I have mixed feelings about. But I’ll put my hat in the ring anyway. If they get a request for my area I will hear about it.
I still haven’t turned up a picture of me alone from within the last two years I can send in for the interview. Whinge.
I am making progress on back-stage stuff for the blog. I not show you now. Neiner. (That grammar error was on purpose.)
Sometimes I feel overwhelming anxiety because I’m redesigning my website. The number of things I teach myself to do is kind of crazy. Yes, lots of other people have already taught themselves this skill. I’ve been a serious asshole about resisting picking up computer skills over more than a decade.
I use word and a web browser and not much else! Damnit!! Only now it is becoming handy to know all this back end stuff. Shoot me now.
I have quite a few things I’m working on right now. I’m trying to put together a book of pictures of our house. I’m trying to figure out how to organize them. We are going to visit a lot of relatives who will never make it to our house. I’m a vain bastard and I like my house a lot. I want to be able to show the great grandmother what I’m doing and she will never travel again due to age.
I didn’t ever anticipate growing up to be an artist. I was pretty spiteful and nasty about the whole concept of art for most of my life. (That is what comes of having art teachers tell you that you are stupid for many years for not following their directions more carefully.) I’m big on shooting myself in the foot.
Hardly anyone gets to grow up how my kids do. They live in a weird little house where they get to ask for paintings on the wall (they help more by the year). Just about everything they can reach is kid friendly and they are allowed to grab at will. (They are tall so now there are a few things they just have to respectfully not touch.) They get to decide how they want to spend their time. They have only a few outside schedule impositions.
I’m pretty jealous of my kids. I didn’t have anything like this. But I get it now. I try to let that be enough. I think I’m nice to them even though I feel jealousy. I’m glad they are here as an excuse so I can live this way. I have to be grateful for that. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do all this without kids. I’m really happy I get to live here doing this. I’m having a lot of fun.
I won’t know for decades if I did the right thing or not. That’s rather annoying. (And that is why no one should write parenting books while their kids are under five. I’m JUST SAYIN’.)
I think it is funny how my mental picture of my reading audience changes over time. I see how many page hits I get. I can tell when a new/random person shows up. (A lot of reading old entries, maybe following a tag for several entries.) Over time people volunteer “I haven’t been reading lately” or “Your blog is too much for me” or “Wow. You write a lot. It’s…. something. To read. Ahem.”
Hi. Thanks for slogging? I know it is random. Thus my desire to somewhat split the blog out pouring into more manageable for other people chunks. Maybe it will get easier. We’ll see!
I wonder too much about what other people think of me. I hope that I surprise people. I hope that they had dire predictions and then… I just… do better than they expected. I’ve been told over and over that people thought I would crash and burn. When I keep turning up at parties people are surprised. “You aren’t dead!” Not yet. More and more I hope I make it to a “natural” death. (i.e. one not caused by me.) My kids asked me to promise that I would never leave them on purpose. That’s a big promise.
I have held my right to end my pain as one of my most sacred rights. And now they want me to give it up. Just because they need me.
As I stay up late at night composing mental letters I wish I could send to my mommy I think… maybe their need is real. They aren’t pretending this love. They are too young to be able to maintain a charade.
Things are always changing rapidly here in Wonderland. Lots to do. Lots of stuff to learn. I feel so inadequate for the list of jobs in front of me. But I won’t get more adequate if I sit on my ass doing nothing. So I run towards each new difficult opportunity.
If you want to make sure we visit you on our cross country road trip you should probably email me pretty soon. I’m making reservations for some places starting in another month. I’m firming up a lot of plans. Yes, some people like to do things fly-by-night making it up as they go. I like going places that you have to reserve a year in advance or ha ha go somewhere else. That means making firm plans.
If we go the northern route then we won’t see friends in Utah. That would be a huge bummer. There is also a stop I’d like to make in Missouri. (Err, not because of the recent issues in Ferguson. Those are terrible and sad. I don’t intend to be a tourist next year to see the carnage. I know someone.)
So I’m making some decisions. If you are sure you want on the route, speak up soon or you may get skipped. That’s how life goes.
I asked for some idea of the interview questions so I could get my thoughts in order. Here is what I got back: “your earliest memories of abuse, did you get to experience the justice system/think of it/attempt to get help, did you tell anyone, when did it end and how, how the following years were for you and when you decided to start writing, the reaction you got etc.”
My earliest memories of abuse were of sitting on my father’s lap. He would put his fingers under my dress and penetrate my body. We were often in public places or in large groups of people and I had to be as still as possible. I had to smile or I was punished. If I didn’t smile and act happy I was being “ungrateful”. It progressed on from there. My parents divorced when I was three because a neighbor came forward about my sister being raped by my father.
You would think that getting divorced over incest would mean that he wasn’t left alone with the other children. You would think wrong. I was put in court ordered therapy and still required to visit my father. The abuse continued and escalated.
The most extreme incident was when I was nine or ten years old, my memory always jumps around on this topic. It culminated with my father holding a gun to my head and asking me if I deserved to live after I gave him a blow job.
I prosecuted my father when I was sixteen. I did so when he upped the ante and wanted me to go further than I had gone before. Specifically I needed a computer for school and he told me I would have to come spend a weekend with him alone and earn it.
After a lifetime of hearing my mother talk about how she didn’t want to have sex with him in exchange for child support so we went hungry… I understood the trade.
I hung up the phone and called the police and said, “I need to find out how to report my father for molesting me” and I burst into tears.
The San Bernadino County Sheriffs I worked with earned their pay and treated me quite respectfully. They interviewed me before my mother got home from work, which was important because my mother would have derailed and interrupted. Denial and secrecy were the standard in my family. I knew I would pay for opening my mouth.
My father was arrested and interrogated for 72 hours. It took him a long time to come down from all the drugs in his system. He confessed to everything; he added detail upon detail to my stories so was placed on suicide watch. The sheriffs needed to talk to all the women in my family. My father’s sisters. My sister. There was a long list of crimes he could no longer be prosecuted for due to statute of limitations.
He killed himself the first day of his trial. He sat in his garage with the motor running and wrote note after note about how I was a liar and he was innocent.
It didn’t help that in the lead up between me starting the prosecution process and the court date my brother killed himself. Specifically he lit himself on fire. He had a severe traumatic brain injury and he needed a lot of care and he could not perceive a life past my father going to jail.
My family blames me for both deaths and we have no contact.
That all happened right around when I was turning seventeen. My birthday happened after my brother’s suicide and before my father’s. It wasn’t a happy event.
The best thing I can say about it happening then was I only had a year left to be with my family and endure their anger with me. I had broken all the rules about silence.
I moved almost 50 times as a child and I went to 25 schools. I dropped out of high school at 16 more or less concurrently with prosecuting my father–he stalked me during the run up to the trial and I stopped leaving my house. I entered into an alternative education program at 17 and I have a high school diploma I earned mostly through community college classes.
I have a bachelor’s degree. I have an expired teaching credential–I let it lapse when I stopped working to home school my kids. I spent 7 years in a masters program for English and I don’t have a degree because the entire thing rested on my ability to hand write quickly in a short period of time. I wish they had given classes on that skill instead of on writing research papers. I had a high GPA. I can type a great research paper.
I learned hand writing in a school that thought the best way to teach me was to hit me. Daily. I don’t hand write much and what I do is torturous and slow. I think very quickly and my normal typing speed ranges between 50 and 100 words/minute depending on how excited I am with a given topic. That my degree rested on handwriting is pretty much what living with PTSD means for my life. I was beaten a lot as a child and I will be punished for my learned aversions for the rest of my life. (This is going to feel off-topic.)
I’ve been blogging for about eleven years. I would intermittently journal before that. For me, part of the draw of writing is getting to exist in front of people. So much of my life has been kept secret that I needed to have a public way of acknowledging who I am and what I go through to counter the fact that I can’t talk about most of my issues with most people.
It is a hard fact that when you grow up with incest there are a lot of topics that you have to walk away from when “normal” people get to have a friendly conversation. It sucks knowing that you can traumatize people just be letting them know that you really exist.
Writing allows me to step outside of myself and outside of the current moment by moment experience I am having of the world. If I record what I am feeling, thinking about, processing, and how I am processing things then I am capable of determining when I am stuck in a rut. “Day #63 of sitting here watching The West Wing. This isn’t good.”
I hold myself accountable. Also it means that I give myself credit where credit is due. That’s an important part of the process most people overlook. If you don’t give yourself credit for what you do right, you are less likely to maintain it.
I have come a long way in my life. I was more or less a feral child. Despite the fact that I will probably be in therapy for the rest of my life (30 years so far–many of them paid by the state of California because I was a victim of violent crime. Prosecuting does have benefits beyond the obvious ones.) I am reasonably happy at this stage.
I have a husband. Two precocious, delightful children who are growing up with a kind of safety and love I could not have imagined. I spent ten years researching child development and training as a teacher so that I could be a parent without doing it badly. Not everyone is as lucky as me when it comes to healing and resources post-incest.
Ok, around 1100 words. I have to go eat breakfast now.
This article here nicely illustrates why I think my “career” after kids will be in incest research. Eventually I think I will do a lot of international travel to gain as wide of a perspective as possible.
Sometimes I feel scared. It feels like the last stage evolution in my self harm. Ok, if I am not allowed to cut or drink or do drugs or have sex with everyone, fine I will just go take on all the pain of all the incest in the world.
Can I contain that much pain?
I want to understand incest in a way no person currently living does. I’ve read the books. The scholarly ones. The hard ones. The ones by the “experts”. They don’t know enough. No one understands this phenomena, this tradition, this taboo. I want to.
The only thing I can do to help “people like me” is find out all there is to find out and then make that knowledge available. If people understood what they were seeing happen in the people around them better then kids in incestuous families could get help.
Yes, I know there are currently “national networks” who are trying to be resources. They are pretty ineffective. Working under their umbrella would hamper my ability to do what I want.
It’s not fair but I have financial support. I can go do whatever the fuck I want with my time and still have a home to come back to. That’s a privilege. It means I don’t have to conform. It may not be fair, but it’s fucking life.
I want this knowledge. I want to find out how other people deal with this. Do they get past it? Do we think about it until we die? Will I interview people in their 90’s and listen to them cry about things that happened 80+ years ago?
Can I hold that kind of pain?
Would it make their life better to tell the story? Yeah. Probably.
Well, I guess I’ll find out how it goes.
It’s a scary next-stage-career to plan for but I like challenges. Thank goodness I have fourteen more years to plan.
Home schooling is a hard enough job. Holy toledo.
Ok I’m going to put a name on it. I want to be known around the world as the leading expert on incest. Even though that sounds terrible and disgusting and like not something that anyone would want to be.
I do. I want to change peoples lives for the better on a large scale.
Only limiting myself to the topic of incest means it will always be a relatively small pond. *phew*
I like small ponds. Small ponds are awesome. The ocean is scary.
Some day I would like to teach police officers and teachers and doctors how to better serve the needs of this population. Yeah, it’s a weird sub group. But it crosses all barriers of race, class, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic level, religion and culture.
It happens. It happens every day. It has every day for all time. Is it a problem? Well…
I’m 32 and I spend a lot of time crying about it. Does that matter? Is it a problem? When I talk to other incest survivors their reactions range from crying to numbing themselves habitually to just… not remembering anything.
Does that matter? Is that a “problem”? Can it be solved? Does anyone care.
So when I have spare time I will look into it. Right now I’ve probably used up my forbearance of patience from the kids. Time to go in.
I am really bad at “editing to make shorter”. I’m all “What do you mean you want to delete some of my PRECIOUS WORDS”. The book may be longer than 30,000 words. Ahem.
The suicide book is hard to read. When I go through sections I stop to reflect on my grandmother, my father, my brother and myself and I put all the theories through the different forced perspectives.
I don’t know why my grandmother killed herself. I know she was the only illegitimate daughter of a prostitute. I know she was married to a Mennonite who was controlling. I know she had five kids and lost one. I know she was very over weight. I know she over dosed when my mom was pregnant with me. There is some possibility that it was an accident. My mom said she saw multiple doctors and had prescriptions for fucking everything. Maybe in the days pre-medication-databases people didn’t cross check her medications. Who knows.
My father killed himself the morning his trial was supposed to start. He didn’t want to go through being prosecuted for raping me. Even though he confessed to the police he wrote suicide notes denying his guilt and blaming me for being a liar who destroyed my family. He sat in his garage with the motor running. Everyone thought he would put a gun to his head but I suppose he was too much of a chicken shit.
My brother covered himself on gasoline and lit himself on fire. There is no accident there. There is no going gently into the good night. Tommy was fucking sure he wanted to die that day in a very painful way. Tommy probably didn’t want to find out what would happen when my dad went on trial. Tommy was very dependent on our father because of his brain injury. And if Tommy was put on the stand it might come out that our father was raping Tommy too. I doubt Tommy wanted to face that.
Suicide happens when someones pain is too big for them to contain any more. I don’t know what pain my grandmother was in. I don’t know what happened to my father in his life to cause him to become a monster. I don’t fault my brother for being done with his shitty life. It was really bad.
But I look at these different perspectives and then I think about me. I don’t know how my grandmother was treated in her life. I know that I went from being treated pretty badly to being treated extraordinarily well. Thank you, Noah.
Noah is sure he wants to keep me for as long as he can have me. This baffles me. I’m not easy to be around. I argue a lot. I can be fairly nasty. I am inherently biased against many of Noah’s points of view–which makes me an asshole on a regular basis. Well, sorta.
I’m careful not to attack Noah. I’m careful not to be mean to him. He has carved out an exception. If he was more sensitive to comments about groups he is sort of part of then we would have more trouble. Luckily being “sensitive” is not one of his strong suits. Phew. He ignores my sniping. Well until he doesn’t and then he argues and argues and argues until I back off. But boy howdy we are civil about it.
It’s kind of weird. Even when I think we are all set for an argument to clear the air… we have a civilized discussion where maybe we don’t like the topic but we can get through it without insulting one another or being a jerk. It’s weird.
I like Noah. He is worth modifying a lot of my behavior. He is very good at challenging me and not discounting me at the same time. We are very good at kicking one another in the ass.
So I don’t have good reasons to die any more. I have a really good life. I spend my days with people who are delighted to be in my presence. I spend my days with people who will cheerfully retry on word choice and tone of voice with a simple “Try again”. We all will. This is an even-steven job. We want to be nice to one another and we all recognize that sometimes that is hard. Sometimes things come out wrong and you need to try again.
No big deal.
It is really nice being able to assume the best of intentions. I think this is what my family resented so much. I never gave them the benefit of the doubt. Not once. Every nasty thing was taken at full face value with extra venom assumed. But they hit me a lot. And told me I was worthless a lot. They called me cunt and bitch and whore and stupid and told me they wished I had never been born.
I don’t think giving them the benefit of the doubt would have been wise. I still feel sad and miss them. That missing is the dangerous and scary part. I feel very bad for hurting my family. If there is a pain that will drown me still in my life that is probably it. Luckily I have three people who are very clear that I am not hurting them and they want me to stay very badly.
I try to remember that. I am important now. I am no longer just that stupid bitch at the bottom of the shit hill. I am not worthless.
It is hard to really believe and see myself as what I am. It would be easier to ignore the real self and try to build a grandiose persona.
But the simple realities of who I am are ok. I’m not as lame as I like to think. I am a teacher. I am a doer and a maker. I help start businesses. Some continue and some fold. I haven’t lost all my money on a business venture yet. I think I always believed I was not someone who “could” do things. I travel the world and my country. I am really good at talking to people. I’m not the best friend over time but I am good at meeting people. I’m a decent mother. I feel proud of the self control I have had in my relationship with my kids. Only fourteen and a half years to go.
Countries: Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, France. I am looking forward to finding out what it feels like to be in a place where white people are not the norm. I have been reading some interesting things about volunteering and the great white savior thing.
I feel some shame about what I want from the WWOOF year. Am I going to be exploiting people? I don’t know. I am not going with the assumption that I am there to save anyone. I am going as a student hoping to learn. I do not think I have the answers or that I will be the best helper they have ever had. I hope I don’t do something so badly that they have to fix it after I leave. That would be embarrassing and pathetic. I do have carpentry skills. I have helped build things.
I don’t know. No motives are above suspicion.
I don’t want to travel the world from tourist spot to tourist spot. That isn’t my way. I want to take my kids to where the poor people live and just meet people. Not because I think I will save anyone. Not because I think that their lives will be better if they meet me. I don’t think I will have a lot of impact on their lives. Not really. Maybe I might be a pleasant afternoon or few months of conversation but I am not going with the idea that I am so awesome that I will make everything better for the people around me.
I think that the people I meet will change me more than I will change them. I am selfish and selfish and selfish and I want to have that experience. I am privileged and I get to do it. Even though I have a lot of mixed emotions about the carbon footprint and economic impact and social implications and blah.
I’m not a hero. I just want to listen.
Ok, I hope I will know one or two small tricks that will be useful for people along the way. But I’m talking minor shit. I don’t think I will be what makes or breaks people. I don’t over rate my importance like that.
Sometimes my friends are very kind to me and they reach out to let me know that I have work to do when my fourteen and a half years of parenting are up. They need me to keep writing.
My not-so-secret wish (I am putting it on the internet and all) is that I want to help people deal with incest and suicidality. Some day I hope I can make a difference in some lives. I hope I can make it easier for people to live. I hope I can ease the burden of their pain.
I hope that some day I can help people feel less alone. And that the feeling of being not-alone will be helpful for them.
I can’t solve your problems. But I can listen.
I go in waves of feeling surprised by how I feel about having my childhood story out there for people to read. People bring it up. I need to get it back out for sale very soon. Yeah, I’m just going to self-publish. Maybe by the end of this year I will have the nerve to do a Kickstarter to get it in print. Then I get to hawk it to book stores. Terrifying.
“Hey, want to read about my shitty life? I hope it will inspire you.”
Sometimes people tell me I’m inspirational. My heart soars. But I don’t want to go the televangelist route or anything like that. I don’t really want to be a life coach. I do fantasize about a part time job putting together displays at Ikea. That would be so much fun for me.
Today is long and busy. Woof. We start the day in San Pablo at 9:00. That means leaving my house by 7:30. We have to leave San Pablo by 1:45 because we have to be back at swim lessons at 2:10. Then we come home and a friend comes over for dinner and spending the night.
Someone commented that socializing is my job. I said that wasn’t far from the truth. I spend as many hours socializing as many people spend at their jobs. That is the only way I have ongoing relationships. I don’t know who will stay for longer stretches and who is temporary. If I’m overly selective then attrition means I spend a lot of time alone feeling very bad about myself. So I say yes. And sometimes lots of people are only available on the same damn day of the week so I have marathon days in order to not pick and choose between which relationships I want more.
I want them all.
I’m in a lucky phase. I don’t have to chase in order to be so busy I can barely manage. I have managed to talk people into inviting themselves over. I have managed to get enough reoccurring dates with people that I don’t have to ask much. Thank you all for consenting to the way I like to do things. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
There is, as always, a long list of people I wish I had the courage to approach right now. I miss them. So I passive aggressively hint about it in writing and put my head down and barrel through my day. Like I do. Of course I wish they would invite themselves over. And they wish I were less of a passive aggressive twat. It’s good to want things.
My shrink tells me that given how demanding my kids are I need to be ok with more of my friendships being on a long timer. Don’t think of them as “over” just because you aren’t being very active in them right now. Life is long.
But that is how I didn’t see Jill for almost two years and then she died and… I miss her. I miss Anna. I miss Brittney. And they are done with me.
Other situations seem a lot less like I should put a lid on the coffin and start nailing. Who fucking knows what the future might bring. Maybe we will get our heads out of our asses.
We all want community. When you start rejecting people for not being perfect you quickly find that you are all alone. It isn’t better. Sometimes we have to accept people warts and all and just find a way to get along. I don’t really like that idea very much. But I have several very close friends who have a +/- window on arrival time that would have caused me to jettison them from my life years ago. Punctuality was a bigger deal pre-kids.
I come to realize that part of my softening on punctuality is because I now have a place to wait where I don’t feel awkward, stupid, abandoned, and like I am on public display as unwanted goods. I like my house.
Stop typing, Krissy. You need to edit then start the day. Go.
Reading about predators makes me feel scared. I’m that good at lying. I could get away with so much.
But the main take away is: if your children ever in any way shape or form come to you with complaints about an adult touching them in a way that makes them feel vaguely uncomfortable take your kid’s side. Fuck every other person in the whole world. Believe your kid.
The rate of false reports is somewhere between 1-3%. The rate of successfully prosecuted rapists is below 3%.
I’m having a lot of feelings about my father as I read this. I have no way of guessing his total number of victims. I wish he was alive and in prison so I could ask. I know about half a dozen or so. Two of my siblings (three including me), his two sisters, the two daughters of that girlfriend he had, and he spent years raping my mom.
Always err on the side of believing a victim. Please. Please. Please. Most people who molest children molest dozens or hundreds of people. Don’t ignore little warning signs or inconsistencies from adults. Don’t think that someone looks trustworthy. People thought my father was an upstanding citizens. He coached fucking Little League. I wonder what he did to those kids.
Apparently religious parents who think the world is a good place are way easier to fool than any other kind of parent. Don’t trust people too much. Please. Sure, you can be a mostly positive person–you have to have the deep seated understanding that even if more than 80% of people are good there are bad people. In this country people have a 69% chance of having some major trauma effect their life. Please don’t believe everything is fine and bad things only happen to other families.
The main thing that differentiates me from true predators is my compulsive desire to come to the internet and confess every wrong thing I do or think. No DA would have trouble making a case against me if I actually did illegal shit. I would write stories about all of it.
This is how I stay honest with myself. If I can’t admit it on the internet I can’t do it.
On that note, given that I’m trying not to have pot I may have a drink today. Later folks. My arms hurt. I’m having waves of anxiety. I feel scared, helpless, and like the world is truly terrifying.
Luckily I don’t always feel this way.
Why do I record these things? Because sometimes my friends tell me, “There was this suspicious thing in my life and because of you I took it seriously and dealt with it.” Or “Someone in my life was raped and I helped her find resources because of the things I learned from you.”
The effects of early childhood sexual assault don’t go away. Why do I still write about it? Because I still have waves of anxiety attacks when nothing in my whole life is going wrong. Because writing is better than cutting. Because writing is better than doing a lot more drugs. Because writing is better than compulsively saying these things in front of my children.
Because I still deal with it almost every day.
It made me very happy to tell my therapist “My friends and I are in a fierce and loving argument/discussion about hobbies and how I should learn to manage time better.” She thinks it is great that you all interact with me. Heh.
Then when I explained the “I can’t do fiddly shit” she said, “Oh of course not. Your flavor of PTSD should be kept as far away from those kinds of actions as possible. If someone has dissociation issues then often things like knitting can help them be more present. You are so hyperaroused that it will drive you crazy. Don’t do that. Try martial arts.”
See, the knitting is very good and healthy for lots of my friends and not for me. I appreciate my pats on the back. Validation is my friend.
I talked to her a lot about wanting to come off of pot. I’m past the baby stage. I told myself I was using pot to give me the self control I needed to get past the baby stage when the kids really couldn’t help how much they triggered me. I don’t have babies any more. Shit.
I think there is the non-zero possibility that I will stop using pot until my kids are adults and then start again. Being stoned is awesome but I want to teach my kids a different lifestyle.
My shrink says she has known people who have had good luck taking some melatonin during the day while getting off pot. You have to be careful to never take it for more than ten days in a row (I should research why) but it can be useful. I also have to up my B vitamins. I should be taking 1,000-1,500 units per day. Ew. Ew. Ew. I should double the fish oil dose. I should start 5-htp.
The idea is that this will probably take a full year. Not to get off pot. That will take less than a month. I have to get my bodily stress more under control. It is going to be a process and it is going to be hard. I will have to really retrain my body with new habits. New habits can be formed in as little as thirty days. I don’t think my lifelong habits will be undone in a month. Ok, I’ve already worked on a lot of the other big problem areas, but more to handle.
Yesterday Shanna kind of complained about me watching The West Wing. I told her I was watching it because I was frustrated and annoyed and I was trying not to yell at her. She said, “Turn it off and let’s talk about it. You won’t solve anything this way.”
I feel so lucky. I feel like I have so much reason to work on my issues. I finally have iron clad reasons to think that my emotional state matters. It impacts my kids hugely and massively all day every day. I matter.
My therapist continues her stream of being shocked by how many people I know. She has been sorta trying to talk me into working with a writing teacher she knows. He could edit my books. I told her I was saving money to work with my friend Janet. She has a lot of experience with writing and running a publishing company and she told me she wanted to work with me. I really want to try that avenue first.
My shrink said, “Oh, what publishing company?”
Her jaw dropped and her eyes bugged. “You know her?”
“Oh yeah. I’ve known her for more than ten years.”
“Uhm, yeah. Work with her. That’s amazing. Wow. You know a lot of people.”
I really do. I know some ridiculously cool people. I get out and talk to people a lot. I am constantly out trying to pull more people into my tenuous web of connections. I like people. The more people I know the safer I am.
By contrast she (my shrink) told me it was pretty chicken shit to have relationships with people where I invite them over a lot and then I stop and expect them to invite themselves over. She said that’s not cool and I should stop it. I said, “But I’m scared.” She said, “So are they.”
She wants me to consider working with kinky survivors as one of the hats I put on some day when I’m a grown up. She thinks I would be uniquely well suited to being able to help people in that category. I’m flattered. This comes up because I spend a lot of time on the PTSD forum fielding questions about bdsm. It is hilarious to me that I hand out this long list of book recommendations and I am friends/former play partners with almost all of the authors. Yeah, I vouch for the information in the book and the integrity of the people giving the information.
I told my therapist about Noah’s reaction to me wanting to go to Islamic countries as an old woman as part of my work with incest. (Noah’s response was, “Ok we need to start martial arts. Now.) Her eyes teared up and she said, “You are so lucky to have a partner who is that supportive of you. Do you understand how rare that is?”
I do understand. I’m grateful every single day.
No, Noah doesn’t try to talk me out of things. I say, “I’m thinking about doing _____” and he says, “How can I help!?” (As a bonus he also makes cookies. So far this year: snickerdoodles (three batches [err… I ate a whole one alone…]), chocolate chip, haystacks, and he has made dough for refrigerator cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and molasses crinkles. He’s serious about liking my ass slightly more when it is bigger. Ha.)
I have friends who put up with me being rude, offensive, and foul mouthed.
I am ridiculously lucky in this lifetime. Not very many people receive as much non-family support as I get. It’s all about perspective, right?
Apparently I need to start a structured routine for a (long) while. I need to have “sitting on a swing for an hour” as part of every day. (Rocking motions are soothing to your brain. If you are upset, hug yourself and rock. You may feel lame but it does help.) I need to find a martial arts gym that will let us come in 2-3 days every week. I need to be running almost every day. (Rest days are important too.) I need to start teaching Shanna how to ride a bike and practice with her. (She has one… but she’s a wuss. She won’t try it unless I’m really bugging her. She likes going as fast as she can with her feet thankyouverymuch.)
I tend to have structure for a short period and then go off the rails when I add a big project. I can’t have any big projects for a year. This feels crushing and unfair. Waaa waaa waaa. Should I call the waaaaaaambulance?
I have to train my body to relax. I’m not sure I have ever been relaxed. Yeah, it will probably take a year. If I am fully relaxed at the end of a year it will be a G-d damn miracle. But I have to try. And this is the year. Go.
If I want to be able to do the serious international travel later I have no choice but to do this now. I can’t put it off any more. I don’t want to end up beating my head on concrete again the next time I leave the country. It is really unpleasant. In 2015 I want to travel with my kids for almost six months just to see if I can. I have to do this work in 2014. I’m feeling very annoyed with myself.
Why don’t I just give up on these hard things and have an easier life? What is wrong with me? Well, I don’t think that what I’m doing right now is actually easier. It is a different hard thing that I have slowly juggled towards as being the best I can get with my current coping skills.
I need different coping skills.
I feel like now it is finally safe enough to try. I have two kids who love me to the moon and back and who want to be nice to me. They just need me to teach them how. I need to teach without yelling or being nasty because then I will actually teach yelling and being nasty.
I feel so blessed that I have this time and this space. I don’t feel I have earned it. I don’t deserve it. But here it is. I have time. I have safety. I have money to fill in the gaps for when I can’t do everything for myself.
I have so much privilege that there is no longer any justifiable excuse for me not doing this work. Shit.
(I do believe it was justified earlier in my life. I was not physically or emotionally capable of doing the work before. I was never safe enough.) If you have to spend all day running to stay in one place someone who criticizes you for not finishing a marathon is a fucking asshole. You are doing what you can do.
I am seven years post rape. I have lived in this house for more than twice as long as I have ever lived anywhere else in my life. I have three people I get to live with who all think I am really nice and wonderful.
It’s time to stop being afraid all the time.
Being afraid makes me nasty. Being afraid makes me inclined to fight anyone and anything at any time because I perceive everyone as a threat. I am really sorry that I am so scared.
I’m going to work with a doctor on my body pain. Pam has offered to either go and hold my hand or babysit. I think I would prefer the hand holding. I’ll arrange the appointment on a day when Noah can stay with the kids.
I am very lucky. I am sorry I act so ungrateful so much of the time.
Yesterday I got to spend time with two thoroughly excellent ladies. It is kind of funny that I am referring to them that way because one of them is dealing with a situation at work where she has to tell someone else in her department, “Uhhh stop sending group emails to “Dear Ladies”.”
Two women who inspire me came out of hiding yesterday. One is a preschool special ed teacher (talk about a special breed of saint) and the other has a background like mine and she now has a masters in social work. After dropping out of high school in 9th grade and never completing high school.
One of my friends is not a parent and the other has one kid. I am on a very different life path than either of them. I am really glad that my kids get to know a lot of women who have entirely different interests. My children mostly know women who work. My children mostly know people who have nothing in common with us other than being breathing monkeys and all.
You don’t have to be like me. I am doing what I must do. I know it is kind of weird.
I am so grateful to talk to other people who are fascinated by the vagaries of humanity. It is nice to get to talk to people and say, “Yeah we share ____ bad habit and ______ good habits. Whoo hoo!”
Noah got to ask the social worker friend and I why we care so much about the opinion of people we don’t like and don’t respect. Why don’t we just get over it already? He’s been pestering me on this one for a bit now and I haven’t given him a useful answer. It was kind of nice for him to get to ask another person who is as angry and difficult as I am. I am NOT ALONE. muahahaha
Yes, Noah you are right. Our lives would be better in every way at this point if we didn’t care.
When you are a white trash kid who depends on a lot of charity… you have to care what people think or they don’t give you any help.
I got out of poverty because of a lot of white privilege. People who would help me just an inch here and there. If I didn’t give a shit what they thought I would have behaved even worse than I did and I wouldn’t have gotten the help.
Historically in my life not caring was more dangerous than it is now. At this point it is a legacy bad habit that I do need to change. It is a coping method that *used* to be necessary and it is still around when I don’t need it any more.
I kind of have a long list of personality problems I am already working on. I haven’t really had time to deal with this one yet. I’m too busy figuring out how to not scream at my kids all the fucking time. It’s really hard. Now I understand why my mom beat the shit out of me.
But I will not pass it on. And that requires a lot of truly active thinking on my part.
If I go on “auto pilot” then I am nasty, shrieking, and violent. I hurt people with great joy. If I want to behave differently then I need to really think hard about it all the fucking time. That doesn’t leave a lot of spare brain cycles for fixing the stuff Noah thinks I should get around to.
I know you are right. I know that is on the list of things I need to change. I get it. But there isn’t a neat little switch attached to my body some where. I don’t get to just decide, “I am going to stop being angry and afraid; all of a sudden I am going to just massively increase my apathy.” Sorry, my nipples aren’t that kind of dial or anything.
I know it “would be better for me” if I could stop having intense emotional reactions to the fact that there will always be people in this world who hate me and wish I would die. Yup, my life would improve in every way if I stopped feeling so bad about that. I know. I know. I KNOW.
It has been nice over the past few days to see people I have known for so long. They have been commenting on how different I am. I don’t hit people any more. I don’t even mean like in a bdsm sense. I hit people fucking constantly for most of my life. It has taken years for Jenny to stop flinching when I come near her. I have had to work really hard at not being scary any more.
I understand that this isn’t an “everyone has it” problem. Please can it be ok that I am working on this problem first instead of the “caring too much” problem?
Seriously. I need to care what people think of me. Fewer people, sure. I agree. I do need to care. Not as much as I do. Yes yes yes the strangers who hate me can fuck off. I get it.
The caring runs on a background tape I never take out of the deck and examine. It’s just kind of there. It is an unfortunate feature of my personality that just exists. I don’t consciously go turn it on. I don’t try to increase my anxiety. It’s just there.
Sometimes people have unconscious reactions. It happens.
So it was nice for Noah to get to talk to both of my friends yesterday. They are very different and share very different sides of my interests. Good grief am I grateful that he got to meet someone as angry as I am who is out doing stuff in the world. She has as many anger problems as I do and she has to just fucking master them, like yesterday.
She is very inspirational to me. I confess that I have a hard time taking advice from people who are not inherently angry. If you aren’t like me then you won’t understand what advice I need or why I need it. She gets it. She gets it better than almost anyone I have ever met.
Why are my very closest friends all former child prostitutes? They can understand me. They don’t flinch. They don’t judge me. They understand why I am angry and they think I need to keep the anger but figure out how to manage it. They are the only fucking people not telling me to just “get over it.”
Dad lectured my friend and I last night about how we need to stop getting so angry. We should learn how to deflect rude/awful/whatever things with humor so that people will like us more.
I did not light up like a roman candle and I feel proud of myself for this. I did leave the room soon after.
Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you.
I love Dad with great intensity but man he is hard for me to deal with sometimes. I view it as practice for dealing with all the people I hate. I don’t know why Dad has managed to cross the line into being so strongly in my affection. He has all the markers of someone I would like to set on fire. But he gets a pass. He has earned it from me.
My friend and I discussed our sixth sense, “I can spot a rape/incest/severe abuse survivor at thirty paces.” I can see it on peoples faces even when it happened decades ago. I just know.
I’m sure I miss people. I’m sure there are people who are better liars than I think. I doubt I miss many because I find them all the fucking time and statistically they aren’t the majority of the population.
It was nice being able to talk to someone who really gets what I want to do with an incest database in the future. Most people feel confused as to why I want to go talk to a bunch of incest survivors. Won’t that be depressing?
I am somewhat unlikely to ever “stop being an angry person”. I think that short of being so stoned I cannot form a coherent thought process I will always be someone who has intense emotions. I feel a lot of anger. A lot of sadness. A lot of fear. Basically all the time.
I don’t understand people who just kind of drift through life apathetically. That is not my way and I don’t have a lot of desire to be like that.
I want to get shit done. Anger is very motivating. Fear is very motivating. Sadness isn’t. I try to lessen how sad I feel. I don’t have as good of a reason for being sad any more. I’m really grateful for how nice to me Noah and my kids are. My sadness is bigger than them and outside of them and mostly they block it out kind of like an eclipse.
Letmetellyou having kids doesn’t block out my anger. Holy shit they piss me off sometimes.
I want to have grown up children who have lived in a low stress environment. I can’t get visibly freaking-out-angry any more. I just can’t. It is not on the list of permissible actions.
I can’t cut myself to maintain control. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
I’m getting rid of my broken habits as fast as I can. I am sorry I can’t go faster but I can’t.
I feel like such a disappointment. So what about what I have done. I am measured by how far I still have to go before I qualify as a good person. I’m not sure I will ever make the jump. The gorge seems so wide.
I am so grateful to the two women who took a break from their normal lives to come talk to me today. They inspire me in very different, complimentary ways. I want to be more like them even if they are polar opposite in some important ways. I like conflict.
It is harder hanging out with Dad than the other friends as the trip goes on. I am having a hard time with my expectations and entitlement. I have some picture in my head of what a “dad is like” and I’m just wrong. I can’t take it out on someone else that they aren’t living up to the pictures in my head. I’m pretty sure I have succeeded at being nice to Dad the whole time we have been here.
Man I’m having a hard time with the constant “teasing” that feels like taunting to me. I want to fight. I want to fight so fucking bad that sometimes sitting very still and not reacting makes me sweat.
No, I can’t just “deflect it with humor”. That path is closed to me. What I could do instead is break your nose. How about if we try it my way and we will see whether your way or my way is more fun for me?
I really struggle with dealing with people sometimes, “Yes–you think everything is funny. You want to make everyone standing near you the butt of whatever joke is floating through your mind this second. I get it. When you do that I am going to react with rage, violence, and perhaps I will inflict a lot of pain when you try using me that way. Please just leave me alone.”
I say more or less that. It doesn’t slow down how often I feel mocked and taunted. “Why can’t you take a joke?” I just can’t. I’ve been god damn telling you so for almost a decade and a half. ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF?
At what point is it bullying instead of playing? If I ask for twenty years for someone to stop making fun of me and they won’t am I entitled to break their kneecaps? I think I should get to start escalating at some point.
This is why I used to hit people all the time. Dad made fun of me less often when I punched him as hard as I could each time I was the butt of the joke. Now that I don’t hit him any more he makes fun of me a lot more.
Why in the fuck is it a good idea for me to stop hitting people? I am having trouble remembering right this second.
Recently Shanna had a situation where a playmate was hitting her a lot. We have talked about it a few times afterwards. We’ve talked about all the things she can do when someone is hitting her. I made it very clear that if she tries two or three things to get someone to stop and they don’t it is ok to hit back.
I don’t think it is ok for me to hit people just because they have said something I don’t like. If someone hits me first I have every right in the world to start breaking bones.
Man. Why doesn’t anyone hit me any more? I’d really like to get in a fight. I’ve had a lot of adrenaline for a while now.
I talked to Shanna a lot about how when you end up in a fight with a friend it is important to not hit in the face. You can damage people easily, accidentally and they don’t tend to forgive you for that. If your friend punches you in the arm and you punch them in the arm back… that’s probably something you will be able to get past in your relationship. Once you break someones nose they don’t forgive you.
Why is caring about what other people tied into this? Because for me not hitting Dad really hard when he pisses me off is part and parcel of the anxiety about other people disliking me.
I want a relationship with someone who will hand me the crumbs of affection Dad is willing to give me. Even though it doesn’t come anywhere close to a real parental relationship. Even though it is always very crystal clear that he has “real children” and then those play partners he tolerates calling him Dad.
I feel so pathetic that this is the best I can share with my children. It is the pinnacle of what I have to offer. No, he will never treat you like his “real family”. I hope you never notice.
He is nice to the kids. He is nice to me. But he’s also an asshole. I’ve known that since the first fucking time I met him. I love a lot of assholes. Just go through my list of friends. I don’t hold the fact that someone is an emotionally unavailable asshole as a reason to not be friends with them. Sometimes that is all I can get.
Noah likes being alone in a way I just don’t. Noah spent his childhood trying to get alone time and failing. I spent my childhood desperately wishing that someone would like me and that people would stop hitting me and raping me and that I wasn’t always alone in a room listening to people laugh. If I came in the room the laughing stopped and the yelling started.
We will always react to stress differently. I need that to be ok. I can’t change it.
Dad would like it if I found his humor funny. I don’t. I’m not sure what to do about that either.
I’m never all that keen on the social solution that involves me just having to shut the fuck up about feeling hurt by someone using me as the butt of the joke over and over. For some strange reason.
You can’t change other people. You can’t decide that their personality should be different so you will just bully them until they conform. You can make them learn how to avoid problems with you but you can’t make them change.
I am learning a lot of this with my kids. I can’t make them be different people than they are. I have to help them learn how to manage their own particular quirks but I can’t just decide to make them different.
It is honestly kind of hilarious having to help Calli learn how to not hit people when she is angry. She really struggles with how intensely mad she gets. She wants to make people bleed when she is pissed. I get it, kid.
Sometimes when she is ramping herself up I will pick her up and carry her away from whatever is making her mad. She will fight me at first. She wants to get right back to the fight she was in the middle of so she squirms really hard to try and get away. I carry her into a calm, dark room.
I say, “I think I can see that you are very mad. Am I right?” Scream/sob answer, “YES!!!!!” “That’s really hard. I’m sorry you are having to struggle with that feeling right now. Are you sure you want to hit when you feel that way though? Do you want someone to hit you when they feel mad?” “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” “Ok. Then we need to find a different way of managing this. If you hit then other people will hit you back.”
I think that is one of the parts that gets me. I don’t like being hit back very much. That’s a lot of the reason I actually stopped hitting people. Noah hits really hard if you hit him first.
I want to show my children how to be a functional adult. Functional adults don’t beat up their friends. (Well… only at special parties with pre-arranged negotiation. That’s different.)
Dad is giving me all he has available to give me. I could be mad that what he has to give is so inadequate compared to the scope of my need or I can be grateful that he bothers at all. No one else has.
Sometimes it is really hard talking myself into consciously being nice and grateful for things that are so inadequate compared to my needs. Why in the fuck should I act nice when someone hands me an ice cube but I needed a glacier to do what I need to do.
You act nice or people go away. You act nice or people don’t give you the time of day. You act nice or you end up alone and hated. You act nice or you might as well already be dead because the whole long shitty life will be so painful that it really has no upside to enduring it.
Dad asked me if I thought I had kids because I was trying to relive my childhood and make it better. He said it in that “Do you understand you are broken and bad and you shouldn’t be doing that” sort of way. My response was, “Oh heck yes I know I am doing that. I write about it extensively. I am very consciously and deliberately trying to find out what a healthy childhood looks like.”
He said, “Oh. I don’t read anything you write. I’m not into that kind of thing.”
I said, “Yeah. I didn’t have any suspicion that you might actually give a shit about what is going on with me.”
He looked a bit taken aback but didn’t respond.
Sometimes it is kind of weird for me that I put so much of myself out into the ether and I just pray that people care. I pray that someone will read it. Someone will give a shit. I know that the vast majority of everyone doesn’t care and never will.
I have to be ok with that. I can’t tone down so that I attract a wider audience. I can’t stop talking about uncomfortable things so that emotionally stunted men will feel entertained by me. Yeah, that’s not my niche. Go watch Chris Rock.
It is hard dealing with the fact that people “caring about me” will rarely intersect with my needs getting met. The caring doesn’t actually do anything for me. I need actions. I don’t get them much. Sometimes I do. Noah is working himself into an early grave much to my shame.
I am not fair to Noah. It is not fair to anyone to have to live with someone as needy and pathetic as I am.
I am sorry that I have so many needs and no way to fill them.
I wish I had a dad who thought I was good for something other than fucking or hitting.
In this lifetime it seems like those are the main early things that people liked about me. I am stupid enough to let people hit me really hard. Hell, I even like it. It seems an appropriate thing to do to me.
I slept more last night than the previous two nights but Noah and I went to bed bickering so I had trouble sleeping again. That probably factors into my right-this-minute emotional instability.
Instead I’ll just come out here to the couch and cry.
I wish I could stop caring what people think of me. I wish I could not care about Dad making all these comments. I wish I could.
I don’t know where the dial is. Can someone please show me?
I’m afraid that the first step in ignoring people not liking me is for me to like myself enough to make up for them.
I’m not sure I will ever be able to do that.
Dad was asking me, “Well why don’t you just _____?” I said, “Are you familiar with PTSD?” “No.” “Have you ever heard of hypervigilance?” “I’ve heard the word and I could guess what it means.” “I am not physically capable of just doing what you want me to do.” “Well try harder.”
I want to hit him in the head with a baseball bat sometimes.
“I don’t know anything about your medically verifiable long list of problems but I still think you need to just get over it and act how I want you to act because then I will get to have more fun.”
Let me jump right the fuck on that for you. Since you are so god damn important and all.
I feel like a petty, whining baby.
If I try to be kind to me I can see that I’m not just whining. I’m processing. Maybe life shouldn’t be as hard for me as it is… but it is. I have to get through each day. I can’t just ignore my physiological response to my life. I have to deal with it. I have to acknowledge that it is real. I have to treat it like it matters.
Yeah, I know I don’t have to be important to anyone else. I get it.
If I want to get through each day while smiling and being nice to my children then I need to have some space somewhere in the fucking world where I am allowed to have all of these feelings.
So I write. That doesn’t mean I am whining. I don’t make people fucking listen to my fucking feelings in person. I’m god damn aware that no one cares.
If I stopped caring what people thought of me then my ability to self-censor would evaporate.
It is genuinely hard for me to censor the stuff that goes through my brain. I think about self harm and suicide and incest and rape about as often as other people think about food. I can’t talk about it almost at all because most of the world will react with violence if I am stupid enough to bring up these topics. These are things I am supposed to pretend don’t exist. I’m breaking the veil by talking about them and I should be punished.
I have to care what people think if I am going to make sure I don’t say anything “inappropriate”. If I just cared about what I thought I would not have so many friends. I really like my friends. I don’t want them to leave me.
Even though I am a petty, pathetic, ungrateful bastard. I try as hard as I can to be grateful for what people have to offer.
I’m really sorry that I have so many needs and that I am so aware of them. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that I wish I had a parent who would love me. I will do my best to not take it out on all of the people who just can’t love me that way. I understand that this is my problem and I need to shut up.
Sometimes it is really hard. 4,000 words in. Sometimes writing it is all I can do. I’m sure as fuck not allowed to talk about it. That would be rude or something.
No one can give me what I want. I know. It isn’t anyone else’s fault I feel this way. I know. It is my fault.
I should just stop caring.
Yesterday in the course of my daily life I was talking with a guy. Someone I don’t really know. I’ve seen him before but we certainly aren’t “friends”. We were chit chatting and, like it does, the topic gets around to families.
It made sense in context for me to say, “I’m really glad my father is dead so that I don’t have to deal with him.” He asked how my father died. I said he died rather than go to prison for raping me.
The guy got quiet then looked at me. His face kinda crumbled and he said, “My dad did that to me too.”
We didn’t get real in detail or anything. We didn’t trade full stories. But I gave him my phone number and I told him to call me in the middle of the night or any other time if he needs to talk about what has happened to him. People like us need support and it is very hard to find. Not everyone is even capable of supporting us.
He said he has never talked to anyone but God about it. He looked so sad. I said, “As a boy I’m not surprised. There aren’t many resources for girls and it is a lot harder on boys. It’s not like anyone follows little boys around checking up on them and keeping them safe. You don’t deserve any of what happened to you and I’m really sorry it happened.”
He nodded. He took my number. I’m going to try and get to know him more.
Sometimes I worry about my desire to go find ALL THE INCEST SURVIVORS. I worry that some day my children will be raped by someone I have brought into their lives. Statistically speaking that is how it works. I watch my kids like fucking hawks. They don’t get a lot of alone time with anyone but me or Noah or the Godmamas. The Godmamas have earned my trust. So has Noah.
I worry because I know that a great many people who are rapists do so because they were trained and they don’t “mean it”. I know that and have compassion for that on a deeper level than most people. I truly have compassion for being a predator.
But my kids aren’t prey.
I feel like I am walking a razor thin line. I want to be of use and helpful to people like me. But first and most importantly I need to make sure my kids don’t end up like me.
But I will keep being out. And I will keep handing my phone number out. I’m very serious about the middle of the night calls being ok. If you can’t tell anyone else in the world about being raped because you are too afraid, you can tell me. I swear to a God I don’t believe in that I will not judge you or put you down or say that you deserved it in any way.
I might help you see how some of your behaviors bring shitty people into your life. But it isn’t your fault they are shitty people and it isn’t your fault shitty people do shitty things. Sometimes you still need to pick a different street corner to stand on even if nothing in the world is your fault. If you want to live you have to adapt.
I will keep randomly volunteering that my father raped me. It will make some people uncomfortable and they won’t want to be around me. Ok. It will make a lot of other people understand that I am safe for them. I care a lot more about that.
Also, I apologized to my neighbor for yelling at him about the racist stuff. I’ve been feeling guilty and to me that means I need to do something. He laughed when I apologized. I don’t think he’s worried about my freak outs. He seems to enjoy our company a lot.
Maybe by the time you are in your late 70’s and you spend most of your time just waiting around to die you don’t take it personally when other people have feelings. You can wait out those silly storms. Having weird company is better than just being alone all the time.
If you want to change peoples hearts it is probably best to try a tactic other than screaming at them.
I worry about how much I worry about how I affect other people. I don’t work nearly as hard on being nice to my body. I pay a lot of attention to how my behavior impacts my kids. For a while now Shanna has had an occasional eye tic. It is a stress response. I feel that this is a sign that I am not behaving how I should.
It is hard having to pretend that I experience less stress than I do just because it hurts other people that I run so hot. Hot in the sense of high stress load.
I feel very guilty that I had kids because I wanted to have a relationship that was intense and all day every day. I wanted to have the company. I wanted to have to learn how to be nice. I wanted to learn what it means to teach people without shame and resentment. I want it still.
It feels like I created people just so I could perform a science experiment. That doesn’t seem like a nice thing to do. But I’m not sure that the reasons that other people have kids are “better”. I know that I feel guilty that I am not better. I am not fully arrived at behaving how I should for my kids. I don’t deserve them.
I tell myself that my kids are having a good childhood in the scheme of their species. I am nice to them. I do take care of them. They have a wide variety of healthy, good tasting food. They don’t get yelled at much. They have appropriate clothing for the weather. They are allowed to play all day almost every day. (By “allowed” I really mean “forced”.) They are given all the kisses and hugs they want every day. They are allowed to tell me to stop doing anything except for cleaning their bodies. And I don’t even do that much. Usually I default to “fine if you want to be dirty it is your body.” Once in a while the filth gets to be a bit much. And I’m fanatical about teeth care.
I’m doing “better” than I used to be able to do. But it really doesn’t matter. I need to be enough better to stop scaring my kids. If I am producing stress in my kids then my behavior is a problem. I am not behaving good enough. It’s not ok.
My kids should not have to watch me like a weather vane hoping to determine how difficult I will be to put up with that day. That’s not ok. That is a level of crazy I don’t get to inflict on them. I actually really appreciate that Shanna has such “tells”. She is not nearly old enough to talk to me about the stress she is feeling. But I can just look at her face and know whether I am “soft” enough. When she looks nervous I have to visibly calm down and retract the energy I am sending out into the room. It is hard to do. It is a very conscious decision to “look” like I am not angry or upset or anxious.
I can’t just decide to not feel angry or upset or anxious. I feel that way most of the time. I feel scared. I feel like everyone is going to be angry with me soon because I am going to break a rule and then they won’t want to know me any more. I am scared shitless my kids will grow up and not want to know me because I am such an asshole.
But I can’t act like I am having the feelings I am having. I have to fake it.
I saw a friend yesterday I don’t see much. Usually I contain my shit better. This time she saw me right after therapy. She got to see all the messy shame and crying because I don’t know to be “better” already. I feel pretty pathetic that I have been in therapy for almost three decades and I’m still crazy. I still spend a lot of my time shaking in fear. I still spend a lot of time hiding in dark rooms so I can sob uncontrollably. I hide it better. I keep it in a box better.
I fake it better.
Not well enough. My kids see the stress. It isn’t ok for my stress to impact them.
My shrink wants me to look for a meditation class to attend with my kids. I wish that such a thing would not involve a drive to Berkeley. I will look though. It is a good suggestion.
Shanna has been asking more questions about my mom. “Did your mom love you?” “What good things happened to you when you were a kid?” “What did your mom do that was so bad?”
I told her that I don’t actually know if my mom loved me or not. I think she did. I hope she did. I believe she loved me as well as she could and it is really hard when that isn’t enough. I wrack my brain trying to come up with positive stories. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m just a whiny bitch and someone else would have been able to find a lot more joy in my childhood or if it was really bad enough that I should have trouble remembering anything positive. I tell her flat out that she isn’t going to know about the really bad stuff until she is an adult. I told her she doesn’t need to think of me that way.
I’m not always very rational about food so I talk about the food insecurity issues a lot. I feel relatively unashamed of them. The more I read about foster children the more I feel “ok” about having the food issues I have. They make sense in context.
I talk to Shanna about control. Like I ask her how she feels about being directed and forced to do what other people want during a specific period of time. I ask her how she would feel if she never got to pick what she was doing. I ask her how she would feel if she came home and ALL of her toys were gone. Stuff like that. I talk about how when I was a kid I felt very out of control so I controlled what I would put in my mouth.
I talk to her about how sad it is for me that I didn’t get to have any of these good foods when I was a kid. She pities me. I talk about the ways my body has problems because of the food I have eaten. My kids are very aware of nutrition and the things they need to eat. “You have to eat green stuff because it helps you poop!” We do talk about other aspects of nutrition but that is their favorite. Neither of my children have my constant-diarrhea problem (I am hoping this is because of lower stress). They instead are mildly prone to heading in the other direction so I repeat things I have learned from friends with constipation issues.
My shrink says I should answer every question and not dance around things. Well, she doesn’t think I should say I was raped until they are more like puberty age but she is less convinced I need to wait for the magic number of 18. We’ll see.
I cancelled park day for next week. Half of playgroup for next week cancelled. I won’t be sad if the other half cancels. Having five kid-social events in a two week period is too many for me.
I am doing too much. I can’t keep doing these 12+ hour work days. Social time counts as work time whether I like it or not.
I’m having a hard time with the balance of life thing. I have a lot of things I want done. I am having trouble with the fact that it takes a while to get all the things done. In order to put it in perspective I asked Noah about how many man-hours it takes to produce an iPhone for people to bitch about not working magically enough. He said probably in the neighborhood of 500 man-years not including factory work. That’s software/hardware design.
Stuff takes time. Not everything that can be done by a group of humans can be done by a singular human. No matter how much you want it. There just aren’t enough hours in a life. Figure out what you want to build and how you want to spend your time.
Sometimes Shanna asks me about my crying. I tell her that every body is different. When I feel too much emotion inside my body I cry no matter what the emotion is. Sometimes I’m happy; sometimes I’m sad; sometimes I’m angry; sometimes I’m frustrated. My body has just decided that all of these things come out as tears. Sometimes I am crying because bad things happened a long time ago and I was not allowed to cry then and my body needs to let go of that piece of being sad or scared so I’m doing it now. I’m safe now. It’s ok in my life now to just have feelings, so I do.
She gives me a lot of hugs. I am trying so hard not to turn her into a major source of emotional support. I don’t talk about specifics. I talk about how to be an adult and deal with the body you have. I’m very afraid of emotional incest. I know that it is a common “next generation” away from incest mistake.
I am an intensely overly sexualized person. More than that, I tend to not know how to be friends without sexualized touching. I have a lot of big needs that have gone unfilled for my entire life. I feel kind of desperately needy sometimes.
I can’t treat my kids like they are here for my support. I created these relationships because I need to learn how to give support, not because I think I can or should get much back. I’m here for the satisfaction of giving. I have to have the quiet glow that comes from a job well done. I am not going to get a lot else. Not from my kids. Well…. years of kisses and hugs. That’s nice. But at some point they will pull back and that has to be ok.
It is hard learning to be this kind of self-contained. It means I am talking to Noah a lot less about what is going on with me. I can’t breach the defenses at all. We don’t have time. What time we are together we mostly talk about his work and the basics of project stuff or kid stuff. I am very much hiding in the roles I created for myself. I don’t have room for my crazy there. I have to mostly take the crazy off-stage.
I can’t just make the crazy go away this way. But I can damn it up until I have a better space to deal with it. I had better let steam off once in a while or I will be sorry. Very sorry.
I woke up this morning dreaming about cutting. I don’t dream much any more. I rarely remember them at least. Not since I started pot. But this morning I woke up with my hand already moving along my other arm. I’m not sure where that came from. I stopped cutting my arms by early high school. I moved on to my legs because that was easier to hide.
My therapist wants me to go find more things to do as “self care” and I wake up wanting to cut. I do need more stress relief. That has always been my tool of serious self care. That is how I let the steam off. I go off in private and I make sure I am not anyone else’s problem. And I let myself feel how much I hurt all the time. But I have to hide it because it makes other people feel uncomfortable.
Fake it till you make it.
I’m not making it.
If I knew what I “needed” I would do whatever I had to go get it. I would do it. Even if it sucked. Really if you could arrange extra suck just for me that would make me feel better.
Sometimes it is hard knowing that the journey is the point. I am making it. I am nice to my kids and random people in restaurants and my neighbors when they aren’t being racist assholes. I only yell about things that need to be yelled about. Silence is consent. I am not going to leave people ambiguous about how I feel on some topics. Even if that means I’m not nice. If you have never upset anyone then you have never stood for anything.
I have nothing to lose at this stage.
Sometimes it is kind of weird knowing that Noah is the linchpin. All of the luxury and privilege of my life is based on his ability to earn money. I groom him like a friggin race horse. He has more than doubled, nearly tripled, his salary since we met. Because I’m pushy and I give him feedback on what he should or shouldn’t be doing. That’s kind of weird. We really are good for one another.
I’m having a lot of anxiety about spending all of the money Noah earns. I’m not looking forward to my end of year reckoning on Mint. I mean, in terms of petty cash we are higher than we were at the end of last year. We retired a lot of extra mortgage. But I did not save all that I wanted to save.
I kind of went nuts in the back yard instead. And this Texas trip isn’t cheap. I’m going to have to deal with my anxiety. I am fucking thrilled with my yard. Not a single dollar was wasted. I am ecstatic. The only thing between me and what I see in my head is a lot more work on my end. I’ll get there. It will be really pretty. But it is man-years ahead of me and that is sitting hard. It feels like I wasted the money because I didn’t finish the project and now it’s just kind of half-way and limbo sucks.
I do this. Don’t mind me.
At the end of the year I always feel like I am a bad person for spending money on things I wanted. I don’t deserve all the money I spend. I feel really bad that I am not more frugal with Noah’s money. I should make it spread farther. I should be saving more for the kids. I shouldn’t be so selfish.
But really… is building a playground in my back yard purely selfish? My anxiety yells at me that I shouldn’t be doing the work. I’m stupid for adding all the work.
But I want a pretty yard. I didn’t inherit one. I have to make it. Yeah, it will be back breaking work for a decade or so. Stop bitching and do the work. Don’t feel bitter you twit. This is a choice. Beauty doesn’t just happen automatically for most people. And most of what I want is stuff that wouldn’t have been in place anyway.
I’m just being a whiny bitch.
I’m thinking that there will be the Friday Funhouse version of Wonderland. I close my eyes and see kids running around in packs. I hear the laughter and shouting. I turn around and see grown ups playing games and talking and laughing.
I want the laughing so much. I want it so much I ache inside. Crying isn’t really the way to get people to feel good. Laughter doesn’t come from the places I dwell.
It is a little weird to me sometimes that my therapist knows so little about me. Ha. She continues to be shocked by how many people I know. People with as much trauma as me usually hide in their houses for the rest of their lives. They don’t go out and meet social group after social group. People like me usually can’t fake it well enough.
Am I faking it or am I “learning social skills”? I’m not sure they ever really feel natural for anyone.
One of the things I like the most about Noah is that he doesn’t flinch around me. I don’t scare him. I don’t intimidate him. I go back and forth between wanting my kids to have a similar level of toughness and knowing that it usually comes from trauma. And I just can’t traumatize them. I can’t.
Stop clenching your jaw, Krissy. Deep breaths. Whatever you are feeling is just a feeling. It will pass. This moment isn’t forever. You aren’t faking it. This is the process. The frustration is part of the process.
Time to stop typing.
In my continual efforts to not have secrets about which I feel shame, yesterday we had kind of an incident.
I had to dismantle the slide. An adult friend who was far above the weight limit decided to take a ride. It broke. No fucking shit. It ripped some of the bolts through the plastic and fucked up the wooden support under the slide. So it had to be taken apart. I could fix it with much larger washers, but it was a pain in my ass.
The entire time I was working on the slide, ok that isn’t fair–the first half of the time, the kids were not very happy with me. I tried to patiently explain what I was doing and why. I explained every tool and piece of equipment I was using. I showed them the damage and told them why I had to dismantle it in order to fix it.
The kids stood there and YELLED at me that I was mean for breaking their slide as I took it apart. Even though I had explained why and showed them how I would put it back together.
I fucking lost it. They have been yelling at me that I am mean a lot lately. Basically every time I do not instantly comply with their demands.
I turned around and started screaming at them that if I am so fucking mean go in the fucking house and leave me the fuck alone while I do this fucking work for your fucking play structure.
I don’t feel proud of myself.
I am not sure what the right thing to do there would be but I wasn’t capable of turning around and being nice. I just couldn’t. I am so fucking tired of being yelled at that I am mean while I am in the middle of doing demanding physical labor for someone else’s benefit. I just can’t sit there and tolerate that. I fucking can’t.
But I should figure out how to handle it without yelling “fuck” at children. On one hand I feel bad. On the other hand, wow have I never yelled fuck at my kids like that before. That was special. I’ve been remarkably good for me about swearing over the past few years.
I called K to calm me down. These days it feels like she is the only stress relief I have. The Godmamas are overwhelmed by familial need (that happens) and Noah is working a lot. A lot. A really really lot. He works his primary job, comes home for an hour or so then goes in the garage to do different work. This weekend he’s at a conference.
I used to get 3-5 hours of not-parenting every day. These days I’m under two hours. I do all of my work while managing the kids. Which isn’t something I deserve pity for. I wanted this and all. But it is hard to have enough patience for everything.
We did another hour or so of painting on the play structure. Calli has painted most of the stairs by herself. I was very impressed. I “helped” by doing a last few smoothing strokes on each board but she put the paint down and mostly spread it around by herself. Her paint clothes are now solidly covered in paint because she sat in it while she was painting. It was totally adorable.
Shanna painted the kid-side hand rail mostly on her own. I came along and did a little edging of the parts she had trouble seeing. That’s ok. There were a lot of little corners. Those are easy to miss.
I’m working on the rainbow. It’s a pain in my ass. But it’s coming along. I have used three fucking ladders in order to reach everything. I could have gotten away with two ladders if the thing was about three inches shorter. But it isn’t. So I needed a third ladder. C’est la vie.
I’m starting to have trouble sleeping again. Once I get six or so hours of sleep I feel like my sleep gets lighter–I come up to a lighter sleep cycle and then I just can’t really rest more. I get up to use the bathroom and then I fret. And fret. And fret.
Do you know what makes me feel worst about yelling at Shanna like I did? She came back to me and apologized for yelling at me about an hour after I yelled at them. I apologized to her too. I told her that I was sorry for yelling “fuck” at her because that isn’t very nice or respectful or loving. She said, “Well, we weren’t being very nice to you.”
I said, “No you weren’t. But you are kids. Kids push grown ups. It is my job to be the grown up and hold boundaries. It isn’t very cool of me to scream at you for being a kid.”
She told me she forgives me.
I don’t know how to be a better mother than I am. But I feel she deserves better. She is such a wonderful kid. It is kind of funny that I feel like I am mean to them. But never for the things they yell at me about. Those things are never the mean things. They yell at me that I am mean when I am doing nice things. If they yelled at me while I was actually being mean I think I would just nod and agree.
I think that when they start yelling at me I need to immediately separate us whenever possible. Not because they are “getting in trouble”. If you have feelings like that go express them somewhere else. You are allowed to have them. You aren’t allowed to yell at me like that. Hell, I barely yell at them the way they feel free to yell at me.
My kids are so fucking not abused. The cocky little… oh man. Clearly not abused. Abused children aren’t this god damned demanding.
I haven’t made progress on the book this week. I am thinking about it a lot. I know what I want to say. I just haven’t sat down to write. The minute I sit down the kids jump on top of me and demand that I do _________. (The list is long.)
I feel like we have phases where I can do independent work (like the mural on the fence) and then I just can’t for a while because they feel clingy and upset about being ignored and they won’t allow me to focus on anything. Right now I can’t do the dishes without them bugging the shit out of me to entertain them in some way.
I spend a lot of time saying, “It is not my job to entertain you. Go entertain yourself.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. That’s the process.
This is hard. I absolutely understand the impulse to just “put them in school”. I feel like there is stuff here to learn. There are lessons in this learning-to-put-up-with-people that I have to learn. I need it. NEED.
When I am an old woman I hope I will be proud of myself for doing the things that I knew were things *I* needed to do. I don’t in any way think that other people should mirror my path. I need to figure out how to be with kids.
When I lose it, which doesn’t happen very often–I do record pretty much all of them–I feel like I am proving that my children deserve to be removed from my care and given to someone who could treat them better. Only when I talk to so-called-“normal” (not diagnosed as crazy from a young age) mothers most of them spend a lot more time screaming at and/or punishing their kids. There is no way in hell I could treat my kids the way I hear/see other mothers doing it. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror.
But I don’t think they are abusive. I don’t think their kids are damaged or fucked up in any way. So why do I feel so strongly that if *I* behaved that way I would be an abusive monster?
Is it the slippery slope argument? I can’t scream at my kids frequently because screaming just makes me more and more angry (being the one to scream means I am the one to escalate) and I have a really hard time controlling my urge to hit when I get too angry. And when I start screaming I am more or less incapable of screaming without cursing every other word. That is just part of the whole dynamic for me. I see other mothers who are able to scream or discipline and they don’t have to chant fuck fuck fuck over and over.
Right now my kids are sleeping in the cutest way possible. Shanna is “normal” direction but curled up in child’s pose. (Now I get why that is named that way.) Her nightgown is rucked up around her waist and she didn’t wear panties to bed. So she’s mooning the hallway. Calli is also in child’s pose but her head is firmly up against Shanna’s side so they are at a 90 degree angle to one another. They make a T.
I love how connected they are. They fight more now. But holy tomato they are attached to one another. They want to be near one another. Even when they are mad they don’t like separating. They do play in different rooms sometimes (Calli is very willing to run her own games when Shanna is being too bossy) but mostly they don’t like being away from one another.
Shanna keeps telling me that when she is a grown up she is going to go find my big sister and teach her how a big sister should act.
I tell my kids a lot, “How you treat your sister teaches her how to treat you. If you hit, pinch, kick, or shove you are saying that it is ok to do to you. I will not intervene until you get to the point of serious injury. You need to learn how to be nice.”
It is really interesting how Shanna is starting to take responsibility for “I am older and have more self control so I have to teach my sister how to act.” She frequently tells Calli, “Oh Calli! Please stop pinching me. It is hard to not pinch you back when you do that.” Once in a while she does pinch back. Then Calli wants to cry foul. I play at being deaf.
Today is a weeding day. The front yard is really bothering me. I haven’t weeded all summer. My pansies are getting choked out and fuck that noise.
The asparagus are growing like mad. I had no idea they looked like that. They kind of look like fennel as they grow up. It’s really neat. No one believes me that they are asparagus.
Tomato season is (thank goodness) nearly over. I will probably get another 5-10 lbs this year. One more batch of sauce. I’m ready to stop processing.
I am learning a lot about how I feel about food preservation and eating from my yard. I don’t know where I am going to put more raised beds in the future (maybe my roof?) but I think that long-term I will mostly want to figure out how to eat what is in season and do staggered planting. Like putting lettuce out to start every three weeks. Eat it as it comes ripe. We tend to not preserve a whole lot of fruit from the yard so far. Partially this is just current production size but partially it is that we gorge when things are in season. It feels nice. Then we have a break and that feels nice too. Preserving and eating the same things all the time causes me to get really bored and not want to eat at home.
I am sorta keeping to the schedule I drew up. That makes me feel good. I haven’t worked on Outrunning this week but that is the most serious deviation.
I’m having a hard time writing. I think that I’m actually feeling writers block about the book. I’m scared. I’m scared of really and truly committing to what I think a 12 year old should know. That feels like a heavy responsibility. I don’t want to do it wrong. I don’t want to give too much information and push kids towards making bad decisions.
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is that no one wants to seriously think about how much power they have. People don’t like acknowledging to themselves who and what they really are in the scope of things. People either under or over rate themselves. It’s hard to be accurate.
I don’t know how much influence I might potentially have and that is really scary. If Torque (the guy who publicly apologized to me and who gave me specific permission to use his handle whenever I talk about him) had understood how much it meant that he publicly say, “I screwed up and I am sorry” he would have done it ten years ago. If he had been willing to actually deal with me, what difference might that have made in my life?
Sure, he was a softball sized trauma. He violated my consent in a painful way. But he didn’t have sex with me. He didn’t rape me. He did beat me… but I had asked him to so it is a really weird thing to figure out how upset I am allowed to get about the whole situation.
I asked him to do a scene. Scenes are potentially fraught. Everyone has to be responsible for themselves or they SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN BDSM. If you need to be taken care of then you are not someone who should engage in bdsm. Period.
But he did stuff I told him not to do. And when I screamed “no” and “stop” he ignored me until I said “red” even though I had negotiated not using safewords. But I did have a safeword. I did make it stop.
Recently I was thinking about the last rape. What I really really really hope will be the last rape.
I gave permission in advance for a rape scene. I didn’t understand the difference between compliant rape and a rape I would actually fight against. I never fought before that. I was trained to not fight from when I was a toddler. I was literally physically taught to not fight against being raped from when I was a toddler. When I was twenty-five I finally fought back.
I still lost.
I still got raped. Even though that time I didn’t want it and I was upset enough to fight and I fought as fucking hard as I was physically capable of fighting.
I haven’t ever done that before. I always give. I always know that it is right that I lose. I know I deserve to be raped. I know I deserve to service the needs of people around me because I am a whore and that is what whores are for.
But that last rape was different from all the others. That is the only time I can look at and really believe in my heart, “I was not able to stop that.”
Every other time I acted like it was like the scene with Torque. If I knew the safeword I could stop it but I don’t play with safewords so mostly I will eventually go limp and try to not die.
I don’t say “no” to sex. Well, I do now. Rarely. Barely. I started in pregnancy. I made Noah promise in advance that if I decided to not have sex from the date of conception to three months after delivery that he wouldn’t divorce me. I knew there was the non-zero possibility. I know that happens for some people. I was really scared. I made him promise because clearly he picked me because I am sexually compulsive and at that point we were still non-monogamous and I was pretty scared that he would wander off and not come back if I cut him off.
I went and did a lot of bdsm because I wanted to find out what it felt like to believe you were allowed to say “stop” and have it work. When that mechanism failed me…
I don’t say “no” much. I learned how to say “stop”. Barely. It took a lot of effort and work. It took really consciously trying to do it. My Owner worked with me. He did a lot of very dangerous things where I HAD to say stop or he might end up in jail for manslaughter and we don’t want that now, do we?
It is kind of funny because outside of sex I say “no” more easily than almost anyone I’ve ever met. I’m pretty happy to add a “and go fuck yourself while you are at it!” But that sex button thing is old.
Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and saying repeatedly, “You will not be held accountable for your feelings; you will only be held accountable for your actions.”
I have big feelings. I have mean feelings. I have sad feelings. I have hateful feelings. I have painful feelings.
I’m not hurting anyone else by having these things inside of me. If I control my temper and manage to not lash out (screaming that I am not fucking mean for fixing the fucking slide aside) then I am not hurting people. If I am not hitting anyone I am not hurting anyone. If I control my tone of voice such that I do not sound mean or hateful then I am doing fine. It’s ok that I am playing a game.
That’s the point. It is all a game.
No one is against you. They are for themselves. Don’t take it personally.
You will only be held accountable for how you act. I don’t know how you feel. I can’t know. That is forever a shut door. I just know how you act. I care about how you act.
That is comforting and very disturbing.
I do a lot of defining myself in negatives. I don’t just mean that I am derogatory towards myself. I mean that I think of myself in terms of, “I am not like _____; I do not do _____” It is one way of making yourself different. Not a useful way. It means that you are constantly placing how other people are as primary. I’m not like you. People take it as a rejection or as a negative statement about them. Going out and creating an identity without negatives is much harder. It takes tremendously more emotional and psychological energy to go create something from scratch rather than just reject everything that walks by as being “not you”.
I was asked how the party went. Well. Where in my stress cycle should I answer that question from? I think that most people had fun. I absent mindedly made a minor social faux pas early on and never stopped hearing in my head how stupid, rude, domineering and offensive I am. When everyone finally left I cried for hours because I felt so guilty for offending someone.
If you are going to move through life being an asshole but you cry every time someone lets you know that you are crossing their boundaries… you aren’t giving people a way to have a relationship with you that is not basically subservient. If I don’t want subservient relationships (I don’t) then I can’t keep doing this bullshit. It’s not ok to cause other people to feel guilty for having boundaries. They need to have them. I need to take my wrist slap and move on. That is the adult way to handle such things. That is how you have relationships.
This is why my therapist wants me to stop socializing for a while. I spend a lot of time examining all of my interactions with people and looking for reasons that person is very likely to walk away from knowing me any minute for a long list of good causes. I know that I push my luck every day and in every way. When will people be sick of my shit? I get that a lot. My paranoia is not baseless. Is it paranoia to watch for tornados in tornado country?
But the paranoia drives people away as surely and as quickly as if I was chasing them away with a fire hose.
On my last day of teaching English at the Hindu temple one of the kids brought up suicide. A kid from their school jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge last year. They are all still thinking about it. I talked to them about how hard it is to get help when you are mentally ill. It wears people out. They want you to hurry up and get better already so that you don’t inconvenience them. What do you do if you can’t just snap out of it and behave the way other people want? Either you can put up with being punished for being how you are or you do what you can do to get away from the pain. Sometimes that is suicide. Not that I know exactly why that girl jumped. There are as many reasons to do it as there are people who do it.
Walking on eggshells means trying to place someone else as the primary character in the story and not being sure what your lines are. “What do I say so that this delicate and sensitive individual is not upset?” Can’t be done. As soon as you are reacting from that place you have already assumed that offense is likely and just assuming that means that the offense is already communicated. Game over. You lose.
Sometimes people snap at my social faux pas because they are not feeling patient today but they feel patient on other days. I am probably similarly obnoxious on both days but the difference is not about me. If people try to pick their behavior towards me based on my mood they will mostly pick wrong. It drives me batshit. You can only act how you feel like acting. Faking it will make neither of us happy. And acting like you have already been kicked makes people want to kick you. Really hard.
Some days I am going to wander off and cry if someone blinks too hard in my direction. It isn’t about someone letting me know that I crossed a boundary. When I have been crying two, three, four hours a day for over a week… my emotional reaction is not about you and I’m sorry that I’m standing near you when it starts such that you will feel responsible. You aren’t. My feelings come from inside me. The kind of shame I feel isn’t something that people I know now put on me. It is about old tapes.
I don’t keep people in an ongoing way if they seriously shame me. I don’t fucking think so–I don’t need that crap.
I think very hard about every person who is in my life. If I invite you to my house (even if you think you are one of the casual people) I have spent many hours thinking about you. I have mulled over every piece of data I have ever acquired and I have carefully weighed it. I know you because I want to know you. I don’t have accidental friends any more. I have people in my life because I choose them out of a long list of ever rotating acquaintances.
I am mercenary. I do not see any benefit to being less than frank about this. I don’t pick my friends based on them being able to wait on me or do work for me or babysit or give me social status. I pick my friends based on them having character traits I desperately admire and want to be able to watch develop more closely. I don’t understand. I want to. Please let me stare at you until I understand.
I don’t think that most people in my life understand this. I want you near me because I want to figure out how and why you do _________. This is something I want to understand in this lifetime and I don’t know another way of accessing this information. I want to know why you want to do the things you want to do. I want access to your motivations. I’m trying to hack my own motivation system. What makes you do the things you do? It isn’t that I will use your motivation to do exactly the same thing as you, but clearly you have learned some neat tricks I don’t know.
I never really understand what I have to offer though. That end of the deal keeps me up at night. I see what I get out of knowing people. I see clear value. I don’t understand what I have to offer. I don’t understand why anyone bothers to know me. I don’t see how the unpleasantness of my company could possibly be balanced by anything I know or do.
I can understand that Shanna and Calli are tied to me. Children need their moms. I get that. I can certainly understand how Noah finds enough value in the trade. Past that… I don’t really get it. I think that is part of the reason I read as mean. I am sad and bitter that I have nothing that is worthy of trade for a relationship. I feel broken and angry about it. I don’t know how to build people up and make them feel happy about being themselves while standing next to me. I know how to make people feel angry and irritated and like they don’t want to stand next to me any more. It is a self-fulfilling prophesy. I do this a lot.
I can’t be perfect in order to not annoy people. I can only be. I have to accept the rebuffs when someone lets me know I am crossing a boundary without turning that into a federal case or people won’t feel comfortable communicating boundary incursions and they will just stop talking to me. No one likes drama. No one wants to feel guilty for having boundaries.
Not everything is about me, yo.
I woke up early because I have to get my crying over early before a busy day. Not many left before I hit “vacation” for a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to this. I need to get my stress levels down to the point where I am not crying for multiple hours a day as a way of avoiding beating the shit out of people.
I cry partially from frustration. I don’t know how to let the intensity of my emotions defuse without doing something. I used to cut. I like being beaten. I have punched holes in a lot more walls than I should admit. These days I feel like I live in a glass cage. If I hit anything it will break and I will be in a shower of shards. So I cry. And cry. And cry. I don’t know if it is healthier or not but it is certainly less violent. Progress?
See, this kind of thing is actually huge progress. I don’t know that I would give myself much credit for it without writing. I have progressed past hitting other people constantly to deal with my frustration through punching walls to crying. I have progressed past cutting myself into letting other people hit me in consensual and pre-agreed ways into crying. Progress, not perfection? I am moving in a less self-hating direction.
Now I cry over someone pointing out that I said something four times. (Which is annoying. I know.) You know… at least it is much better than my previous coping methods of hitting her or cutting myself would have been much more inappropriate. Both are ways that I would have dealt with that interaction in the past.
Most of my friends have social anxiety to some degree or another, I think this commonality increases their patience for me. But it means that some days my anxiety runs into their anxiety and then things just get worse. Neither can break the cycle. Awkward.
In my life the only thing I have found that really and truly breaks the stale mates and allows relationships to continue is time. If you both continue to spend time together despite acknowledging sometimes feeling awkward… you continue to have a relationship. Not every relationship is comfortable every moment. If you choose to have the relationship then you look for ways to spend time together even if it is kind of weird. Even if you do have some defensive conversations.
I need to get my stress levels down. It is a physical limitations thing. I can only monitor my social behavior so closely if I am doing a lot of major physical work. I have been using my body unusually hard for the past few weeks. The mural and the backyard work have both used a lot of muscles I’m not used to moving. They have both taken a lot of patience I didn’t actually have going spare.
I need to figure out what it means to do projects as a parent. I’m still not handling the energy allotment thing very well.
I feel scared a lot of the time because I can’t control what other people do and I am worried about driving people away from relationships with my children. I do not want to isolate them. But it seems pretty awful for me to expect people to put up with me being an asshole just so they can help take care of my kids when no one but me and Noah owes my kids anything.
My kids are neat. They will be more neat if they know people like you. You are neat. This is all stuff that floats around in my head making me vulnerable and scared all the time. I feel my children deserve relationships that I do not have or know how to create.
I don’t think my kids want to see their grandparents because they want to hurt me. I think that one or both of them will decline to go when they finally understand that I’m not going. I will do my best to not share how I feel about the trip. What they need to know is that they have grandparents who love them and a mom who loves them and their mom is very happy to help them pack and I will kiss them goodbye and tell them to have fun. That is more or less the end of the story in our house.
But I am still going to cry when they are gone. I am still going to be very sad that it has worked out that I just don’t get extended family this lifetime. I’m grateful that I managed to get a nuclear family thing. I get to be sad about this. I get to grieve about that. It doesn’t hurt my kids if I spend my alone time crying.
If I describe visiting their grandparents… I don’t have to sell it or try to make it sound fun in a fake way. When they go see their grandparents they need to remember a bathing suit because they have an indoor pool. They need to remember clothes appropriate for riding a horse because they have horses. Not to mention cows and I don’t know what other animals. There is a whole floor of a house that is just toys. You and your dad and your sister will stay on an apartment by yourselves and you will be able to go play with the toys probably anytime you want while you are visiting.
I mean, shit dude. I don’t talk about the people much or try to predict how the relationships will be. I don’t know these people. I say that her aunts and uncles all play music–maybe she should bring her uke so they can teach her cords.
I think my daughters are very lucky to have connection to a lot of rich, talented people. She should take advantage of the fact that she was born into that family. She should go meet the old Great Aunt who has traveled all over the world doing whatever the fuck she wanted for most of her life. She’s a neat lady. Maybe if she met Shanna and Calli she would be more enthusiastic about coming to California for visits. So far she is kind of lazy. I’ve asked.
My children will not have my story. My children will not grow up without a family. They have connections. My children have people in the world tracking them and caring. I am not going to do anything to make that network smaller than I have to. I cut my family off because I don’t think my family is going to stop passing on the incest without some kind of intervention I don’t know how to do. So I’m keeping my kids the fuck away from them. I feel very sad that this is required but it is. It just fucking is.
Whenever someone tells me that I should forgive my mother because she won’t live forever I see my adult nephew breaking down as he told me about his rape experiences. No. No. No. No. My children will be kept away from them. All of them. I don’t think it is their fault that it happened to them but we haven’t had someone avoid incest in a few generations. I’m keeping my kids away from all of them.
When people tell me to just “get over it” and “stop thinking about it” I think “That shit is why it keeps happening generation after generation.”
I think about my mom a lot. I miss her. It doesn’t help that my Leather Mom is going through a lot of strife and I’m not helping very much (partially because of my limitations partially because she is telling me no). My Leather Mom and my birth mother share a birthday. I find that thinking about one or the other of them brings up a lot of really strong feelings.
Why do I think about my mom so much? Because everyone else gets to talk to me about their moms all the time. It’s just normal conversation. So I think about my mom and try to stay silent. I feel bad. I feel like a dirty terrible person.
One of the last things my mother said to me was that she would kill herself if I took my kids away from her. I keep checking on the internet and she isn’t dead. I guess that is just one more broken promise.
Broken promises are a big thing right now. What does it mean to say, “I will do _____.”
Relationships are about choices. Sometimes they are uncomfortable. Often that discomfort comes from inside me and is about the fact that I am thinking three hundred painful things all while I’m trying to have a relationship. When I can get those three hundred thoughts under control and actually focus on the person in the room I am grateful to have that relationship. I am glad it is still there. But it feels like I’ve been phoning it in from somewhere else for a while. I never understand what benefit there is to other people in putting up with me.
I am scheduled to be at Dad’s for Thanksgiving. How long is this going to continue? I have had him in my life more or less for going on fourteen years. We have a fairly distant relationship but honestly I do better with those. I have a hard time with being good-enough when people are around more often. I am able to behave perfectly appropriately for my target audience when I only see people once or twice a year. I feel ashamed that I can’t keep up the game with people I see more.
It makes me wonder if I have my anxiety as under control as I think with my kids. Some of my recent frustrations have made me realize that I need to start writing names on the white board in our room. I don’t want to discuss my relationship fluctuations in front of the kids any more. Shanna is starting to sorta follow and have her emotions influenced. I’m having to do a lot of backpedaling and defending of people with her and that’s… awkward.
I don’t want my kids to share my emotional experiences of people. My children are having different experiences. My experiences are my problem. My experiences are distinctly shaped by having an anxiety disorder. I do not want my kids learning my emotional dysregulation. If they develop their own later I don’t want it to be clearly my fault.
This is part of what I like about Unschooling. I have to pay attention to what I am doing, all DBT like. I have a bad habit of loving and hating people. My kids don’t need to hear about it. I don’t need to teach them to obsessively over analyze every conversation before and after it happens. So far they seem pretty good at talking to people.
I went to a book club meeting yesterday. I need to update my reading list, I’ve added three or four. Book club always turns into a small scale therapy/support group. I find it interesting how the folks who are consistent are unschoolers who come from abusive backgrounds. Other folks come and go. Not that I’m consistent enough to actually say that. Maybe my few attendance points are flukes. I should probably keep that up. My therapist wants me going out and doing stuff without my family. Book club is not terribly threatening. Most of the places I would choose to go involve fending off sexual advances and I’m not in the mood.
What the hell else do people do?
From Resurrection After Rape:
How often do you think about your rape, and do you ever feel like you have thoughts about it that you can’t stop?
It varies a lot over time. I can make myself busy enough that I don’t think about rape for weeks or even months at a time. But there is a physical price tag to staying busy enough. Usually after such a stretch I get ill and have a lot more flashbacks than usual for a while.
Mostly as I go through life I have a few days a week where I can’t stop thinking about rape. It is in some corner of my mind churning and churning. Why? What is all this “rape is about power” bullshit about? I think about Noah raping. I think about what that means a lot. I think about that kid Jeremy. The 17 year old who sodomized me. That seems more clearly about power. With my dad I think it is safe to say it was about power. With my brother Tommy it was very much about power.
I think about poor Michael. He didn’t want to have sex with me. He did it because he would suffer if he didn’t. Was his cousin really the rapist? Why don’t I think of his cousin as a rapist? He fucked my mouth until he came. I think that qualifies as rape when the female involved is a crying seven year old.
Yeah, I think about this a lot. Being around children constantly makes me think, “When I was your age I was ______”; “When I was your size someone _______.”
Tonight I had a conversation with my shaman. We talked about whether or not children should be afraid of their mothers. I told him that I believe that mothers have a moral imperative to consciously try to be not scary to their children. Mothers certainly are able to scare their children but they should consciously choose the opposite. Unless there is a damn good reason then go full bore and scare the ever loving shit out of them. No half measures. Don’t dick around at the edges. Have a god damn good reason for what you do.
I don’t know how to stop the thoughts about rape. A lot of them are not thoughts so much as random spasms of pain. It isn’t real pain it’s a weird phantom pain. It is the memory of pain. All of a sudden some stupid little neuron in my brain misfires and I feel suddenly as if I am being raped again and it hurts. It really fucking hurts. But it doesn’t really hurt. I’m just crazy.
I think a lot about being almost seven years rape free. I say it to myself a lot. More than six years. Almost seven years. This is a good trend. I want this to continue. No more rape. How do you stop being raped? Have I really stopped? Did I just lengthen the time between rapes? Oh god.
I’m scared of the travel I want to do in the future. So scared I sometimes have brief ideas of killing myself rather than facing the danger. Not really. That sounds way the hell worse than I mean it.
This whole depersonalization thing is hard to explain. I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m not really fully alive. The idea of dying is very comforting and easing and like it would be a positive step. Relief. When I am really scared I know that the only way to stop being afraid is to die. I will be afraid until I die. I believe that and weep with the knowledge.
I don’t kill myself every time I am afraid though. I think about it. I see it in my head. I watch movies about how it would happen. The rape is very much tied up in this. The physical somatic sensations generally trigger a whole bloodbath in my head.
And I can’t talk about this. I don’t talk about this. Pretty impressive, eh? Only I slip sometimes. Then I’m reminded that I’m BAD BAD BAD. I have traumatized someone! I am abusive! What a fucking monster. I should be… whatever. Moving on.
What kinds of nightmares or memories do you have about your rape?
Whoa. Not a good question to ask me. That’s a flood. I have a lot of memories. Thanks to THC I don’t dream any more and I haven’t in a long time. I consider that a blessing. I used to have terrible nightmares. I have a variety of different memories about the rapes. Some of them I have what I think of as a “movie” in my head. I watch those experiences from a very third person point of view. I was older and better able to dissociate at will. I don’t have very many physical memories of those experiences but I can tell you uncanny details about the physical spaces.
I have a lot of physical memories of the early rapes–the stuff with my dad. I feel like there isn’t enough steel wool on the whole god damn planet to wipe the feel of his touch off of me.
Michael is one of the most real to me of all the rapes. That was a transitional one. I was seven. That was the first vaginal rape with a penis. I had a serious crush on him and I had been following him around for a couple of months. I wanted him to like me so much. I have a lot of very intense memories of the entire relationship. It’s vivid as pictures and sounds and smells and I can feel him in a way I can’t with almost any other rape. I’m not sure why that one imprinted so much more than anything else. It’s not like I can remember every aspect of being seven that clearly.
That one is coming up more as the kids in the home schooling group are all heading for that age range. I have a lot of troubling thoughts when I see them. I keep my mouth shut. I keep my fucking mouth shut.
How does thinking about rape make you feel and why?
Scared. Angry. Those are my two main emotions. Scared because I genuinely feel like my life experiences are such that it is stupid to believe I am actually post-rape. I feel like there is a very low chance I will never be raped again in my life. I feel with every fiber of my being that the only way I can ensure I am never raped again is to be dead. That makes me very angry and makes me feel very scared.
How hard is it for you to talk about your rape?
Well I can write all night long. I don’t speak about it well. My throat closes. Or I go emotionally flat lined and I can say anything shocking I want. I won’t get emotionally invested because I know that I have to be monitoring the people in the room and pull back on my commentary any second now or I will get in a lot of trouble for being bad.
I don’t actually get in a lot of trouble any more. Well, I lose a high number of friendships. I suppose that counts.
What, if anything, makes you afraid to talk about rape?
I’m afraid of being abandoned more. I’m afraid of being told that I am boring. I am afraid of being told that I say the same thing over and over and no one gives a shit. I’m afraid of being told that I am stupid and it was all my fault.
Who have you told about your rape and why did you tell them?
Err, everyone on the internet. Why: because we like you! Err, because I feel like my head will explode from how much it hurts to have all of these things in my head and not be allowed to talk about them. I am not allowed to talk about them. If I talk about them I will be abusing people. I just have to shut up shut up shut up shut up. But I can’t seem to still my fingers. It is one of those weeks. I was on good behavior last week. It has a toll.
What did they say or do about it?
Err, not much. I mean, some people have been more or less supportive in conversations. But what is anyone going to do about it? (Besides go leave a review for my book. Seriously people.)
How did your rape make you feel about yourself as a person?
That I’m a worthless white trash whore and I had better fucking get used to it.
How is your rape affecting you as a person right now?
Well I have serious worries about the stress load on my internal organs. Being inside my body is not fun.
What thoughts do you sometimes have about yourself because of the rape?
Well if I had never been raped the likelihood of decades of suicidal ideation was lower.
What do you wish people knew or understood about the rape so they could help you now?
This one really is the kicker, isn’t it? What do I want from people? What do I want them to understand about being assaulted? Well, I want to be allowed to exist as a really damaged person without being shamed. I want to be worthy of consideration. What help can people give me now? I honestly don’t know. The folks who visit are really awesome.
What is the scariest part of writing about the rape?
I have never received a death threat due to my writing. I sometimes wonder if it is only a matter of time.
There are a bunch more but I’m tired. Goodnight.