Category Archives: living with disability

Sleep study

I went in and got the results of the sleep study. I’m so pissed that it took years to get a fucking sleep study. I HAVE BEGGED. I don’t have sleep apnea. Well, technically I’m barely clinically in the range because I have slightly more apnea incidents close to REM sleep than is “standard” but pregnancy increases apnea incidences. The apnea scale goes from 0-30 and 0-5 is considered normal. I’m at 5.6. Given that pregnancy increases apnea incidences… I don’t have apnea.

The more important metric is blood oxygen level and I never got below 96% which is great.

So the last several years when doctor after doctor has told me they wouldn’t give me sleeping pills because I might have apnea but they weren’t willing to test me… that was a big fat fuck you.

I need to go through all the medical results I’ve gotten in the past year or two and put into a binder like Sarah has. I’m tired of having debates with doctors about whether I have this condition or that and whether or not I should just get back on Prozac. UGH!!!!

Oh, and my apnea score only qualifies if you look at this amalgam number. If you look at the base apnea number I’m at like a 2.3. (I’m not bothering to look it up this second because Jesus I don’t give a shit.)

So my insurance company will not fund a cpap machine. I’m not clinically impacted. The sleep study place said I still might have some improvement in sleep if I tried a cpap, so why don’t I spend $800 (that I can’t get back) to try out the machine! Sure I have no signs that it would help and I’m ridiculously sensitive to things on my body interrupting my sleep, but WHY NOT spend a whole bunch of money on something that probably won’t help?! DON’T I WANT TO LOOK LIKE I’M TRYING TO GET BETTER?!?!?!?!?!

I fucking hate every doctor.

The sleep doctor said that looking at all the readouts from my study she would guess that I am waking up from a combination of pain (probably fibromyalgia based) and hypervigilance/anxiety. I would probably be helped by a simple sleeping pill or anti-anxiety pill but she hesitates to prescribe anything like that while I’m pregnant because extra sedation on top of the pot is mixed.

So you know how I’ve been BEGGING for lorazepam for YEARS?!?!?! That’s a simple sleep/anti-anxiety pill. I take 10 a month when I get to decide my dosing. BUT OH MY GOD IT’S HORRIBLE FOR ME TO DECIDE THAT I NEED A MEDICATION CLEARLY I MUST BE ON A DAILY PILL THAT RUINS MY LIFE OR I’M NOT TRYING.

I feel rather like I have improved my life and my body against the direct efforts of medical providers for a long time now and that’s confusing and mixed.

I still haven’t gotten my records transferred from the OB practice so I can be permitted in a new practice. That’s 3 weeks now. I should go throw a temper tantrum today because I’m 22 fucking weeks pregnant and going a month without care isn’t acceptable because they don’t fucking feel like sending some god damn paperwork. Walk down stairs. Make a copy. Hand it to me. That’s the end of this discussion.

Appropriate exposure?

Last night I kind of exploded at EC. By exploded I mean that she was taunting me in a way the kids have been enjoying irritating me for a few weeks now and I asked why they are doing it. She giggled and said “To irritate you”.  I said, “Go somewhere else. Go sleep in the backyard, on the couch, in the garage, in my bed… I don’t care. Go somewhere else.”

That was the explosion. I didn’t even yell. FMC was asleep.

After 15 or so minutes of crying I felt really bad so I went and found her. She was in the garage bed. (We have beds all over our house.) She was defensive and kind of pissy at first, which was appropriate and fair.

I told her, “There’s something I need to talk to you about. You know how I tell you that sometimes my brain is an asshole to me? (Assume she interrupts with a lot of “yeahs” and “uh huhs” and “oh that’s what that means” but doing the actual dialogue is a pain in the ass.) First of all: do you know what a cycle is? Like a butterfly’s life cycle. (Oh yeah!) Well, my mental health stuff comes in cycles. I have long periods where I do ok and then for a while I do poorly. For a few weeks now I’ve been having a problem with my brain being an asshole to me. Part of my mental health stuff is called depression. It’s kind of like being sad but sad turned up to the max plus not liking myself very much and feeling REALLY irritable because my brain is being such an asshole all the time. Imagine walking through your day with your brain constantly screaming that you are bad and worthless and you deserve to be in a lot of pain. (At this point she interrupted to exclaim that she hasn’t known!) Of course you haven’t known. It isn’t real appropriate for me to tell you this stuff most of the time. It’s not your business. You can’t change it. You can’t make it better. It doesn’t happen because of you. Why should I act like you should walk on egg shells because it is happening? That would be wrong. So I do my best to be cheerful and loving even when my brain is telling me really vicious things. But sometimes when this happens… I’m going to be over sensitive and I’m going to over react to you trying to irritate me because… I’m already dealing with the maximum load of irritation I can bear. Just because my brain is being an asshole.”

She was really sweet about it. She said that she’s sorry my brain is doing that to me and she’ll try to not be extra irritating for a bit.

I reminded her that it is in fact her job to irritate me… she’s a kid. I am not telling her this so that she will change her behavior a lot. She’s doing what she is supposed to do. I’m telling her so that she understands that I’m not blowing up because she deserves it. I’m blowing up because my brain is being such a raging asshole that I wish I could blow up almost every minute of every day and I’m fighting that urge and sometimes I lose. I don’t want her to feel like my loss of control is her fault. It’s something that *I* have to get a hold of. It’s not a problem she can “not irritate” me out of. I’m going to struggle forever and there’s not much she can do about that. My problems aren’t about her.

She said it made sense. She asked if it was ok for her to come back in the bedroom. I said of course. We went to bed.

I hope I handled that right.

I do some weird things to avoid feeling weird.

I now have 28 weeks worth of drugs in my house. Because I have 20.5 weeks to go until I’m done being pregnant and I’m super uncomfortable going to the dispensary when I’m really pregnant and I barely leave my baby in the fourth trimester. So… I will probably go back one more time in the next week or two before I get any bigger to buy another 4-5 weeks worth of meds.

It’s like prepping for the road trip.

That’s a really lot of drugs to buy in like 4 shopping trips. I assume the folks who work there think I am either a MASSIVELY heavy user or that I’m reselling.

Actually I’m staying on the lowest consistent dose I’ve managed in years…. I kind of love buying my drugs this way because I count everything out super carefully and I package things up so that I don’t get too heavy handed and use it up too quickly. When I buy like this, I’m deciding for 4-6 months EXACTLY how much I get in a day. The only way to get a day that is a heavy use day is to balance it with low use days.

It keeps me within the range I think is optimal.

I wish this was the kind of thing that medical people patted me on the back about instead of clutching their pearls. I am able to buy 6 god damn months worth of medication and eke it out even though it might be super fun to do it ALL in a month. I don’t do that because this isn’t a party fun thing it’s a medication that keeps me functional.

Why isn’t that perceived as different from addiction?

Sometimes lying is the truth.

Today I am going to smile. I am going to laugh. I am going to be encouraging and I am going to seem happy.

It is my baby’s birthday party. I can’t make this about me. My baby needs love and support and to feel like they are delightful for being alive.

Yes beloved. I will put my shit in a box. I’ll deal with it later. Today it is about you. And you are glorious and a source of joy.

Another ultrasound

The tech was… not warm. She had crappy bedside manner. But I have pictures of Lightning. The tech inappropriately told me that she saw nothing wrong. That’s supposed to come from my doctor. But that’s fine. Likely no Down’s Syndrome.

There’s a part of me that is feeling angry about people being relieved my baby is any way. However they come out is how they are supposed to be and fuck you very much. Are there some ways of being that create more work in the world? Yes. BUT WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE AND WE CAN AFFORD THAT SHIT SO STOP ACTING LIKE PEOPLE ARE SUPERIOR BASED ON HOW ACTIVE SOME PARTS OF THEIR GENOME ARE.

I just…

It’s bothering me. Like it would be The End Of The World And The Worst Thing if my baby were born… dunh dunh dunh… abnormal.

Guess what motherfuckers. We’re abnormal.

And lots of people in my family are disabled in one way or another. I’m not real open to the perception that we should be sad about any of us existing.

Reading White Trash and looking at the genetic stuff that likely comes from poverty and trauma…

GAH.

I would not terminate a less than “perfect” child. I will embrace them and figure out how I need to grow and change to support them in their path to independence. That’s my job.

I’m in this with them until I can’t be anywhere any more.

That’s the deal.

Dr Notes again

We are still going through test results. Today consisted of a lot of him (pain doctor) going down a list of vitamins, minerals, or whatever your body is supposed to have and saying, “Barely in normal range but it’s so low I’m worried” or “Totally deficient” and a couple of times he dropped in, “Ok, it’s a little weird but ____ is normal. Hunh. I wonder why.” For example, my amino acids are doing great and that baffles him.

But I’m deficient in most places. Especially B and D.

I have to come in to the office twice a week for ten weeks to get intravenous vitamins. I want to cry. Other vitamins I can take sublingually. Some are going to be liquids. A few chewable that I’m supposed to just suck on forever.

Sigh.

But very few new pills! That’ll be good!

He says my GI tract is so fucked that I can’t absorb vitamins almost at all and that’s why I’m so deficient. Given the decades of diarrhea that seems legit to me.

I point blank asked about exercise, Blacksheep. He said, “Walk. Don’t jog. If you are feeling REALLY good and you want to walk a little fast… maybe… But DON’T JOG. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RAISE YOUR HEART RATE. Just move around.”

Which is exactly what I’ve been trying to nail down for advice. Tell me what my limits need to be because I think my limits are…  not where other peoples are.

I’m going to have a more boring couple of years, here.

I had a somatic therapy session today. That was good. I spent time working on my ridiculous need for validation. I talked about my codependency. I cried a lot. Lots of grounding was done.

It’s like an explosion of pain

I think about my mother and I feel like I should die. I am a bad daughter. I am undeserving of love.

Maybe I was never deserving of love and that’s why I was never treated with love.

My kids ask about her. They want to understand. I’m vague. Yes, she kissed me sometimes. No it wasn’t every day. No, I was not hugged every day. There were days when I was hit and told to leave the room when I asked for hugs. When I was younger I thought I wasn’t hit very much because I wasn’t beaten with implements or beaten to the point of bruising. But I was slapped all the time. Especially on my back. She saved face slaps for when I was disrespectful. I was slapped on my back and on my thighs really frequently. When I complained I was told it “didn’t count” and I internalized that for years.

Now I get it. I get how overwhelmed with ongoing trauma she was. I get that she literally couldn’t bear to be touched.

But I didn’t get it when I was three and four and five. I don’t know when I stopped asking for hugs.

I remember coming in my mom’s room with a book and curling up on the bottom corner of her bed to read. That was as close as I was allowed to get to her.

And I’m 35 and I ache with the desire to touch my mother. But I probably never will again.

People don’t understand what those with PTSD mean when they say “trigger”. Because my feelings about my mom are triggered all the time. I feel like I am dropped in the middle of a cyclone of feelings. I’m completely overwhelmed with panic and longing and distress. I feel like I’m still three. I’m still rocking and sobbing and begging my mother to pick me up from my foster home.

I want my mommy and I can’t have her. I never really had her. She never felt like mine.

And she is probably going to die with this entirely unresolved between us. And there is nothing I can do about it but sit in a room and cry. When I really should be working. But I had something come up that triggered a wall of feelings and I can barely think or move because I’m consumed with wanting my mother.

I will never. Ever. Ever. be capable of doing anything that makes me deserving of a mother. That ship has sailed.

I was born not enough. I will die not enough.

This strikes me as a good topic for a lot of somatic work.

Notes

Today’s doctor visits were lovely. The pain doctor is going to become my favorite medical provider of all time if he keeps going like this. He’s upset with the psychiatrist I fired last. He thinks it is fucked up (not the word he used) that she did a genetic test on me that showed I wasn’t processing folic acid but she didn’t bother to find out how deficient I am and she didn’t recommend supplementation. Folic acid deficiency can wreck your mood all on its own. And she KNEW I had it but she was way more focused on getting me on heavy psych drugs. He asked me, “Did she know you were trying to get pregnant?” I said, “Yup!” He put his head in his hands and stayed that way for a few seconds.

That right there is enough to make me want to kiss his feet.

He was upset that my shrink is so anti-pot that she told me that 3 hours of sleep is fine. He said he doesn’t want me on anything else for sleep, no sleep aid. BUT USE THE POT. He told me to stop feeling ashamed and medicate how I need to for myself and my baby’s health.

I’m going to be having words with my shrink.

He went through why he believes that pot is the best choice for me. He had specific reasons. He went through other medications that I “could” use and he flat said that he wouldn’t give any of them to a pregnant woman and he’s upset that other people want to. He said, “I know that I have colleagues in the medical field who are not convinced about pot but I am. It is the safest medication we have for your issues.”

He used to be a pharmacist. He can go off on drug side effects all day.

Do you know what he did after going through my test results with me? Order more tests! Because these results mean that he knows which questions to ask next! He won’t be giving me any supplements or treatments till he has a whole cascade of questions answered!

I want to kiss his feet.

He’s starting to outline treatment option possibilities but he’s very clear that he’s not sure where he’s going yet. (I love this man so much.) He is being super specific that there are a bunch of treatments that might be useful that he won’t do till after I give birth. But he’s got a bridge plan to get me there. Stuff to start out with. Gently encourage balancing instead of brute forcing.

I want to kiss his feet.

He told me “Stop listening to people who tell you that pot is wrong. It may be wrong for someone else but it is right for you.”

I feel pathetic that I feel like a drought stricken plant being hit with a nice rain storm.

A doctor isn’t telling me that I’m bad for not wanting to take drugs that make me feel worse. A doctor isn’t shaming me for doing something that helps with my pain and my psychological problems.

And he isn’t pussy footing around and refusing to give me a sleep study and telling me to “Try Zyrtec”.

I feel respected. I feel like this is medical care for me.

Then I went to my woo nutritionist and said “Noooooooooooooooo mooooooooore pills. Can’t. Nope.”

She said, “That’s fine. We’ll do this and that and you’ll put some in juice and some in a smoothie and you’ll be great.”

Fine. I can do a smoothie a day. I can do a cup of juice with powder in it. Sure. That’s less likely to make me puke.

I am at the point where my body associates meal times with pills so my body is starting to gag as I get hungry in prep for the pill madness. It has to end.

I also spaced out the next appointment so I have time to be less than perfect on dosing all the medication daily. Ahem.

Then I went to the dispensary and noticed that I have gotten my pot consumption down to a practically economical $250/month. I feel I’ve been doing well with two pills a day. I’m relatively stable. (That means I actually spent less than that over the past 6-8 weeks because I’ve been not doing the night pill because I’m ashamed. So this is good.) This is a lower place than my tolerance has been in a very long time. This is great. I’m excited.

I don’t feel good. I’m tired as fuck. But I feel hope. It’s a nice feeling.

I had an interesting conversation with the nurse who drew my blood. We talked about what “healing” the body means in context of developmental trauma. I told her, “What does it even mean to “heal” someone like me who never had periods of normal or good health from birth?” She had never read books about developmental trauma. I recommended several. I told her, “In your job, in this office, a huge percentage of your patients are going to be here for trauma whether they can word it that way or not.”

She blinked slowly and had an intense look on her face. She said, “I’ve never thought about the things you are talking about. I have literally never considered what it does to the body to be traumatized so young. What are those book titles again? I need to write them down so I can read them.”

I feel I did a good thing today.

An interaction

Holy tomatoes on toast I hurt. So this’ll be brief.

I had an interesting interaction with a dude today. So I found a guy through my massage therapist who specializes in personal training to help people with injuries/problems. I figure that if I can’t get a doctor to prescribe honest to fucking god physical therapy for me so that I can heal some of my injuries… I can hunt on the outskirts of the system. I can find someone who doesn’t really mesh with the gate kept, abusive system.

Sure, I can try this out.

Thing is, he’s a white guy. You know how I am about getting my hackles up with white guys. Especially athletic white guys. I am hostile until I have a reason not to be.

But I desperately need someone who can do what this guy advertises. So I gotta put my personal shit in a box and shove it in a closet and see if I can handle dealing with him.

Sigh. Fuck being a grown up.

So I gotta say, he has an aura. He’s pretty clearly an orphan. The loss of all family came up several times in the conversation. He’s got that… edge of “I have to be cheerfully polite in order to earn money to survive because there’s not a person in the world who values me enough to support me but I’m so sad.”

I mean, he seemed genuinely sweet and caring. I’m not denigrating that at all. He seems incredibly sincere. He wants to help. And he wears grief like a mantle. He advertises his loss openly on his skin. He is reminded all day every day. Grief, even if you smile, leaves tracks on your face.

But he did something that crossed a boundary and it was interesting. I didn’t call it out. I didn’t assert the boundary so in one sense… he didn’t cross a boundary he nonverbally negotiated a boundary change and I didn’t rebuff it to indicate where my boundary actually was.

To be more clear: he asked me about my arm tattoo. I explained it and started tearing up, like I do sometimes. Suicide is sad, yo. And… he leaned in and gave me an incredibly respectful, incredibly gentle, incredibly touching hug. It was the hug of someone who works with bodies and knows how to make touch 100% NON SEXUAL, OKAY?!?!?!

He reminds me just a tad of Taylor. One of the few men I trust almost as much as Noah.

It was absolutely incredible to realize that in a moment of indecision of “should I panic and fight or should I accept this as connection?” in my head my brain wrapped around a man who has loved me as a friend for a long time.

I didn’t feel scared.

I felt uncertain. I felt like I needed to make a decision. I felt like I had a chance to… figure out how this is going to go. Is he allowed to touch me?

I desperately want this man to help me learn how to hold my body in ways that will hurt me less. I need to trust him. I need to trust that he is going to touch me in appropriate ways or this just isn’t going to work.

This, now that I think about it, is scary as shit.

I wasn’t scared in that moment. I just felt it as a moment of choice, “Am I going to surrender to this process or not?”

I used to lash out at dance teachers who wanted to correct my form. I wasn’t there to look perfect I was there to have a chance to talk to people for 2-4 minutes while I did something more healthy than be a slug staring at my god damn computer.

This is different. I know what my goals are here. I need this process.

I need to figure out how to be in less pain.

So maybe he didn’t cross a boundary. But maybe he and I will have a funny conversation about how I normally react to people in a few weeks and we will laugh. He will probably apologize and feel embarrassed. He strikes me as that sort.

It felt like Joey. The 7th Day Adventist boy who was best friends with my brother Tommy and with whom I later lived. (We were both boarders in a house owned by someone at the church–it wasn’t like we were romantic or anything. I was 13.)  He was the one who took me to church and taught me to sing about Jesus loving me no matter what.

I know I have a lot of issues with hating white men because some of them have been complete motherfucking pieces of shit.

But some of them genuinely don’t suck. #Notallmen and all that.

I really hope I’m not making a mistake. But here I am documenting it so that in the future I will have to remember: I made a choice.

I’m trying to surrender to a process.

Please, if any deity exists, let this not be an awful thing.

I’ve stacked the deck in my favor by receiving this personal training with my kids in the room and my husband in the house.

I know how the patriarchy works.

Fuck.

Do you understand how much of my childhood people denied? Something huge and dramatic would happen and folks flat denied it. I need to make sure I can never rewrite history.

I did what I did. Here, I wrote it down.

from a book

I’m reading Bessel Van Der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score and he says, “Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity(emphasis original): being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love: These are complex and hard-earned capacities. {…} Many traumatized people find themselves chronically out of sync with the people around them. Some find comfort in groups where they can replay their (trauma). Focusing on a shared history of trauma and victimization alleviates their searing sense of isolation, but usually at the price of having to deny their individual differences: Members can belong only if they conform to the common code. Isolating oneself into a narrowly defined victim group promotes a view of others as irrelevant at best and dangerous at worst, which eventually only leads to further alienation.”

He goes on, of course. I’m quoting from page 81.

That seems real relevant to some of my shit.

oh goodness

I saw my woo nutritionist for what turned out to be basically a hypnosis session. Ok. That’s what she means by coaching sessions. Lots of inner child sort of work. I have trouble discussing this shit with a straight face even though I do it and know it is kind of effective. I want to mock myself the entire time because it sounds so hokey and silly. But it does help.

So if you try to reduce the complexity of my problems down to a core issue it might look like: I do not feel worthy. I do not feel worthy of being alive, of being loved. I do not feel like I can be competent enough to deserve the amount of resources it takes to keep my sorry ass alive. I feel alone, different, disgusting.

That’s kind of a brief summary of my issues, if they are boiled down to just some of the basic essence of this shit.

Let’s start with the word alone. Because it is important. It is tied to the idea of *importance* and then to the other idea of *relationship*.

My worth is tied to how important I am in a relationship.

Shit. That’s not so good. That’s very much how I’ve run my life. I deserve to die because I am not important in relationships.

But it just isn’t true any more. I’m important to Noah and my kids in a way I’ve never been important to anyone else and I never will be important to anyone else and that’s how it should be. But WHY should it be that way?

So my woo work yesterday spent a lot of time focusing on this idea of aloneness.

My woo manifests as feeling like I am connected to everyone and everything. I don’t have to like you or appreciate you. I just have to spend a few seconds near you and I can point out things we have in common. Traits, needs, desires, core components of existence, habits… I can find a way we are similar whether I’m talking about a plant, an animal, a mineral, a planet, whatever. I’m woo as fuck.

If I literally believe that I am made up of component pieces of other things and those other things are made up of similar component pieces that all came from similar or the same places…

I’m not alone. I’m a piece of a whole at all times. I am no more alone than one spoke on a bicycle wheel is alone if it isn’t actively touching the other spokes. You are all connected, even if you aren’t really touching each other or interacting. You all play a part and none of you are expendable.

This shit is how I get through the day.

I am not alone. I have birds that need me to put food out because other humans destroyed their habitat. I have flower seeds that call out begging me to plant them because they want to help give food and shelter to the bees and bugs and birds.

I have neighbors who are thousands of miles from their homes and it hurts them sometimes very badly to feel alone and unloved and far from where they belong. They need me to welcome them and tell them I am glad they are here. Thank you for beautifying this neighborhood. We needed you so much and I didn’t know until I met you. You are so important. I’m glad you are here.

Life is complicated and hard. But even if you aren’t talking to someone right now, how can you be alone? There are 7 billion humans on this planet and so many more animals I can’t imagine their numbers.

Just the ants. I can’t bear to think of how many trillions of ants. *shiver*

I lined my house with diatomaceous earth yesterday. Eldest Child helped. (I should preface most stories of “I did _____” with “Eldest Child helped more than expected” lately. Youngest Child is still… more play than help. 8.5 is a rad-tastic helpful age.) We love you ants, but stay out of my house. For goodness sake.

The kids are over the moon about their big kid sized bunk beds. It is a little odd to have their room feel so grown up. Nothing is little kid sized in there anymore. *sniff*

So yeah. My woo is weird and it continues on its way.

My woo person wanted me to do a lot of nurturing my inner child. That’s an interesting thing for me. My reaction to myself has usually been violence. If I have a need, the correct response is to punish me for having that need. If I ask someone for something that means I have been bad. I was stupid. I was pathetic. I didn’t take care of myself. I inconvenienced someone.

So trying to do inner child work is kind of tough. Having to think of myself as a small vulnerable person… that wasn’t a good time for me. When I was small and weak and vulnerable… that’s when I spent a lot of time being told I was stupid and worthless. That’s when I spent a lot of time being hit and raped. That part of me is buried really deep and really doesn’t want to come out.

That part of me doesn’t believe in safety.

Safety is for other people. People who are worthy.

People like my children.

That really hurts.

How can I be a conduit for people who deserve safety but I can’t be one?

WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST. But not you. Monsters go last.

I am evil. I am scary. I am bad. I am not worthy of being saved.

I sincerely don’t believe that a pill will ever be invented that will take this from me.

I believe that if I am ever going to change this it will be through time and experiences. It will be through having life experiences that show me that my father was about as wrong as a person can be. My mother was about as wrong as a person can be.

Maybe they even did their best. That doesn’t make it good enough. Not even close.

I do not look at my children and see people who have failed to live up to the standards of adulthood already. How could my parents look at me as a tiny child and tell me I had failed to accomplish things that many adults never do? That’s not a failure. That’s not even getting started on trying. That’s bullshit. That’s mean.

That’s not fair.

Yeah, yeah life isn’t fair. I know.

But fuck that shit. Fuck grown ups expecting children to be grown ups. They aren’t. They are kids. They are in the process of becoming. They are trying.

Fuck you for telling them that they are failures. The only thing that is a real failure from a child is giving up. As long as you are willing to keep trying you haven’t failed yet. You just haven’t succeeded yet. It takes time.

I am not alone and I am not a failure.

I am not worthless.

And I don’t have value because I am so good at getting people off.

For so many many many years I defined myself thusly: if I can get people off it is ok that I am still alive. That was enough. That was what I had.

I am good at many many tasks. In the process of living with my consuming terror that I would never be competent at anything I have managed to become competent at an amusing array of tasks.

Instead of being nothing, I am a lot.

*I* am not the roles I fill.

I am pure energy.

I spend a lot of time wondering if I would be able to get through life as anything other than a speeding train of energy. It is hard for me to slow down. It is hard for me to do anything in a slow, gentle, careful way. I have to rush and push as hard as possible or I can’t overcome my own inertia.

I use this language: speeding train, the energy of a combusting star, the force of a jet engine… because others have used this language to describe me. Internally mostly I feel this as pressure and force. MOVE OR DIE. Noah, when Zola drank the Movit #11. Like that. I live like that.

I think a lot about the whole extrovert/introvert thing. I feel absolutely driven to go out and meet people, to spend time with them, to delve into relationships… but it wears me the fuck out. I get so tired.

Connection. Force. Worth. Energy. Relationship.

What do these things mean anyway? I don’t know but the water is done boiling and I’d like tea.

Identity

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

I see what you’re doing there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am patient and generous.

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

I am loved.

I create beauty and connection.

I am strong emotionally and physically.

I am good at loving people.

I am an outstanding teacher.

I fight the good fight.

I have a lot to give.

 

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

Moving the needle

I’m trying to figure out how to get things to improve in my marriage. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m scared. At this point we are most of the way through arguing about all of our done-me-wrongs over the last ten years. There’s been an absolute fuck ton of arguing this year.

I don’t know about you, but I have let a lot of things slide over ten years because I didn’t want to argue. Then when things kinda hit a boil… everything comes out. We’ve had little and big problems that I’ve bit my tongue and la-la-la ignored. I’m not so sure it was useful.

At some point last night I realized that we have fairly equivalent lists of “you did _____” for one another. So we have hit the point where we have fairly well hashed out the problems and we are getting to… we have to forgive to move on.

Fuck.

I both am and am not a forgiving person. There are lots of things that I don’t really forgive. Lots. Shit dude, I cut off my family. There are things I won’t forgive. But I don’t think Noah has done anything that heinous. Everything that has been hurtful has individually not been over my threshold, but collectively… oh that’s harder.

But I want him to forgive me. Damnit.

I did something, well said, something horribly awful this year. I screamed at Noah that I wished he would die. I didn’t mean it and in less than five minutes I was crying and apologizing and saying I wanted to take it back.

I don’t have a high horse for sitting on here. I don’t think I have been less hurtful than Noah. I have been differently hurtful at different times… but I have been a horrible person. I’m really not denying that.

If we are going to move forward we have to forgive.

Oh fuck.

One of the biggest problems we are dealing with isn’t really Noah’s fault but he’s done some awful things because of it. Me saying no. I don’t really speak up when things make me uncomfortable all that well. My early life taught me that life is uncomfortable. Full stop. Speaking up about it just means people punish you for not complying faster because my comfort is irrelevant.

This is creating problems. I have done a lot of things while feeling wildly uncomfortable because I don’t react to that feeling as if I have any right to be defended. So I put myself in situations where I don’t believe I can say no and I do it over and over.

Sex. Oh sex is a fucking mess. Well, our sex life has been better between us lately than it has been in years. Which is fascinating given how much we are fighting. I feel like everything is my fault. I’m not sure it is but I feel like it.

How are we going to learn to have boundaries around “us” as a collective instead of maintaining individual boundaries and I’m supposed to learn to speak up more, and earlier, when I’m uncomfortable? I really don’t know. Yes, unicorn hunting is hard but both of us completely flip out when the other goes off to play alone.

It is both of us.

I feel really ashamed of how strongly I react to Noah playing separately, which is kind of funny because his reaction isn’t… that much less intense. Not really. It feels like imminent death for both of us. So why do I need to feel ashamed of that feeling?

Because I feel like I’ve been exposed to poly for my entire adult life WHY HAVEN’T I MATURED PAST BEING AN INSECURE TWAT WAFFLE? It isn’t lack of effort or time. I just… I’m just so insecure that it’s ridiculous. It isn’t Noah’s fault, not even a little bit. If anything were going to make me feel secure it is Noah’s behavior in aggregate.

Yet here I am. Feeling like I really should jump off a bridge so that Noah has more space in his life to replace me with someone who is less of a colossal loser. He doesn’t want that. Not even a little. But it is very much how I feel. He… doesn’t feel that differently about me dating.

Why do I feel so ashamed of having the same feelings he has?

Because I believe I am supposed to feel supportive. I believe I am supposed to be willing to support him finding every scrap of happiness he can in this life. That’s what a good wife/partner would do.

I am not a good wife. I am small, selfish, insecure, and so very sad.

Do you know what is incredibly fucking complicated? The fact that… we don’t really have many platonic friends. If we are going to be controlling as fuck about one another, how do we handle the fact that we are mostly only friends with old lovers/play partners? It is hard. We both have a habit of acting like people on our side aren’t as threatening as people on the other persons side.

I was listing off the people I feel closest to… all of them I’ve been intimate with. I haven’t had SEX with all of them. But I’ve been intimate. I like crossing boundaries with people. I like bonding.

After this year I wouldn’t be surprised if none of our friends ever want to play or have sex with us again. Oh the drama.

Noah is right that I can’t ever have sexual contact with someone again without his consent. I ignored his no this year. I can’t do that again.

That’s a mistake I get to make once this lifetime.

Last night’s conversation hurt a lot. But I feel like we got closer to understanding, “I did x because y.”

We really are getting to the point where the only step left is forgiveness. If we want to move forward, and shit we are talking about another god damn kid, we have to forgive. What does that look like? What does that mean?

It means tearing up the tally marks for who has done what wrong to whom. That’s pretty scary.

I know I have behaved abusively in the last ten years. I believe there have been times when Noah has too. Should we be carefully keeping lists of documentation so that we can hurt each other as much as possible with these actions? Is this how abuse is normalized and tolerated and excused on a wide spread basis?

There are lots of kinds and types of abuse. Our marriage has not included the deal breakers I experienced early in my life. We both abuse in the ways we do rarely and only after a lot of pressure builds up that we haven’t figured out healthier ways to manage. Does that excuse it? No. I don’t know what to do.

Noah is right that in order to know what is going on with me, sometimes he has to listen to venom and sort through it for the truth. That really sucks. But there are a lot of things I just can’t talk about until I am so angry I am almost frothing at the mouth.

In arguments Noah keeps saying, “You knew it was hurting me and you wouldn’t stop.” But I have stopped. I stopped months ago. I have not continued leading people on in conversation. I’m not making promises I can’t keep with other people. I certainly haven’t been on a date recently. I did stop. I just didn’t stop on a dime the way he wanted me to. Something is going on currently that I feel will do a lot to decide how we move forward. If boundaries can be expressed in a way that actually supports our marriage going forward… that’s going to be a big deal. If I feel that it isn’t managed well…

I’m scared. I’m bitter. I’m frustrated and angry.

I work all the god damn time and I really don’t have much in my life that is about letting off steam. Most of my work demands that I project happiness and cheer whether I feel it or not. I don’t show my emotional range to my kids much because I don’t think it would be very fair. I’m a god damn roller coaster and they don’t need to be on the trip with me. So I shove my feelings in a box and I smile and I keep my voice pretty calm and level. Are there cracks in my armor? Sure. I’m not perfect. But my kids seem to genuinely not understand how upset I get and how often.

I am a very good liar.

I spend a lot of time hugging and snuggling when I would like to be shoving my head through a window. When I would like to be raging and crying and cutting myself up. I pretend that I enjoy being a loving mother instead.

How in the fuck am I supposed to learn to care about being uncomfortable when pretty much my whole life is set up around, “It doesn’t matter how you feel it matters how you support the people around you.”

I honestly don’t want as much physical contact with my kids as they want with me. It feels alienating and hurtful. Partly because I am so jealous I didn’t get it that I feel like I am going to burst into flames. My needs didn’t matter. Why in the mother fuck are yours so god damn important?

Why is everyone more important than me?

I’m supposed to make other people feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting there thinking about the various pitfalls of ways to kill myself.

I don’t matter.

But Noah has built a life around how much I matter to him. I am seriously impressed with the amount of work he has put in to being a good partner. It’s a lot of why I feel he deserves someone better. Someone who can meet him halfway honestly instead of with a forced smile.

It isn’t that I don’t love Noah. It is that I spend so much time shoving down how uncomfortable I feel that there is often not room for authentic emotions near the surface. I have to have a layer of pretense over everything in order to cope.

This is how I have survived. This is how I have accomplished as much as I have. I pretend that how I feel doesn’t matter even a little bit, I put my head down, and I work.

A lot of my work is consciously projecting emotions I don’t feel: happiness, comfort, feeling secure. Because I am so good at pretending I feel these things I’m very good at helping other people feel this way. From what I understand from the people I weirdly interrogate: their feelings seem to be more authentic than mine.

Uhm I guess that’s good. I can pretend to be ok and help other people feel actually ok.

It all comes down to how I actually feel is irrelevant.

As a result I hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt.

It’s been a bad year in pretty much every way. Well, the cruise was lovely. We made promises for the next decade of our life that we need to figure out how to keep.

Otherwise 2016 has been overwhelmingly shitty. I’m so god damn over this remodel I could scream and never stop. Today they finish the initial drywall installation in the bathroom. They have finished the stucco outside. They will be here till January at least. We have a hearing in January and doing work communicating with the lawyer saps my will to live. It feels so mentally taxing and draining.

In retrospect… I’ve done an amount of work this year that I probably shouldn’t have been able to get done. I’m so tired.

I’m on the verge of collapse.

And I don’t really know what feeds me at this point. From where am I drawing energy? From the clear blue sky and I don’t god damn know how much longer I can continue.

I miss socializing. I miss my friends. I miss community. I don’t in any way shape or form have the ability to do more of it right now. Because as much as I get something back from that there is also a cost associated and right now I can’t pay.

We haven’t even been inviting people over to dinner much. I just can’t.

I have felt existentially lonely for a long time. The road trip was really hard in this way.

Noah desperately wants to be enough all by himself for me. But Noah has a lot on his plate. I can’t ask for any more of Noah. It isn’t fair or appropriate or ok. So I feel like I have spent a lot of time trying to make myself smaller. So that what Noah has to spare is enough.

I’m hurting so much.

I feel like a real schmuck in our conversations sometimes. I know he has made enormous leaps of progress in the past year since we’ve been back from the road trip. He is organized and efficient and he’s trying so god damn hard. The trouble is I have a back log of hurt and frustration and need and sadness and I don’t know how to deal with it. If I weren’t dealing with years of hurt… would this be enough? I don’t know. It is closer to enough than it ever has been before. But I don’t know how to evaluate it given how much I’m flailing.

I feel like I’m reaching the part where I’m genuinely in a family and I genuinely need to figure out the coping skills for forgiving and staying that other people have. I’ve never developed these skills. They have never been relevant to my life.

I need to stop making Noah cry. I don’t place it as a goal that I will feel happy. But I need to stop making Noah cry. Because Noah having a minimum bar of ok is more important than me being happy.

And this is how things fuck up. This is how I build up backlogs of things that hurt me until I explode. Because I don’t think I am important enough to deserve support on the smaller stuff. There is just so much that makes me uncomfortable that I really don’t believe I have the right to ask for consideration. It would be a job and not a fun one.

I’m not sure how forgiveness ties in to being able to respect or like myself. Can I forgive if I think I deserve the bad treatment? If I think it will never stop because it is just that I receive it?

My heart and my head and my stomach hurt. I feel physically sick and I don’t think it is illness. I think it is sadness. I think it is the feeling that I matter so fucking little. I feel worthless and pointless and stupid. I feel like I should die.

I feel like death is the only route to stop hurting. Life is pain.

Forgive. I have carved forgive on my body in more than one place because I feel like if there is a lesson I am supposed to learn in this lifetime it is how to forgive. But am I forgiving Noah or am I forgiving myself? I sorta feel like I will not ever be able to forgive anyone else, not really, until I forgive myself.

Forgive myself for being petty and weak and insecure and so very damaged by the experiences I’ve had. How do I forgive myself for not being whole when I have never been whole and I don’t really even understand what that might be like?

I feel so very sad. And my arms hurt like a motherfucker. I need to stop.

Sex and fucking up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that was literally not available to me before marriage.

Money. Money. Money.

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

Get off your high horse.

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe. I tried. I failed.

I succeeded when I blew the boat up.

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

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

There is no fair.

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

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

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

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

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

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

No life is perfect.

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

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

I’m so annoying and hard.

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

How in the hell did I end up here?

I auditioned hundreds of people and Noah won the part.

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

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

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

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

I’m toast. Breeding is hard.

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

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

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

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

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

No, it’s not rational.

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

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

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

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

*cough*

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

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

Spoiled rotten motherfucker.

I really like my house.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moms and art and adoption

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.

Sure, you can validate me.

Well that was fucking awesome. Eldest Child had her evaluation at Stanford today. They told me everything I wanted to hear, everything I expected to hear, and then lots of nice things thrown in for a cherry on top.

Specifically: yes this child has ADHD. Both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive so she’s not one of those one sided ADD children.

Also: verbally she is incredibly high, right at the gifted level and academically she is all over the map. Her reading is at grade level (HA! That happened JUST RECENTLY) and her writing and math are both at first grade level. I said, “That makes sense because she’s working on the 1st grade workbooks in both of those areas.” They suggested that if she doesn’t catch up by the end of the school year I might want to investigate resources in the school district for helping in those areas. They think she might have a learning disability but they suspect that whatever I’m doing is helping her deal with it to the point where it isn’t particularly diagnosable at this point.

That was what I wanted to hear and what I expected to hear. That was very validating.

Then they threw in a bunch of nice stuff like, “We rarely get to see children as happy as her; it’s a real treat.” “I kinda wish you could teach classes to our other families, you really have a lot of this figured out.” “Most of the recommendations we are going to send you are things you are already doing–good job.”

All of the doctors we spoke to expressed that in their opinion with different parents or if she was in school… she would be struggling emotionally and academically. They said, “She is very lucky that you have been willing to build a whole world around her needs. It’s a wonderful thing to see.”

I honestly didn’t expect to get this much of a pat on the back. They literally had nothing to say that I was doing blatantly wrong.

I’m so forking glad that we did this.

Now that it’s done…

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

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

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

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

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

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

But! Brains are plastic! They can change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was five.

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

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

Maybe I’m not so bad.

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

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

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

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

Pieces of shit don’t do that.

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

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

I’ll take any break I can get.

Chasing and being ok

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was lovely.

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you too much.

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

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

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

Usually that’s about three months.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m spoiled as fuck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa.

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

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

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

Am I doing it?

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

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

I could keep going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I a grown up yet?

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

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

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

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

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

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

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

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

I’m like that.

I go do things.

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

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

Ha.

I love my reminders.

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

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

I never mean that sarcastically.

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

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

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

I’m just tricksy.

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

Inclinations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wouldn’t fucking know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But baby.

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

But fuck natural selection. Science.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OH MY GOD I CAN’T RIGHT NOW.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twenty years sounded awful enough.

Holy shit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not even joking very much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go be what you want to see in the world.

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

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

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

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

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

I guess I did something right for once.

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

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

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

That road is straight to hell.

Kisses. More kisses. More kisses.

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

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

For a complete change of channel: baby

We saw the vasectomy reversal doctor today. He is as nerdy and fabulous as Noah told me. I’ve gotta say: if you are going to let someone cut up your junk then stitch it back together… pick this guy. His statistics are amazing. If I had a dick I’d let him cut into it.

“A vasectomy is the new condom because they are so reversible.” Holy shit.

It was a much more hopeful conversation than I anticipated. Now I need to get all my medical records together and go meet an ob. That’s the scary part.

Noah is talking about two more. He says he isn’t going to insist. But he keeps saying two more. Two more. Two more.

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

I can’t say the idea doesn’t fill me with overwhelming joy. I might get to be blessed with four of his babies? This child rearing thing is going well. Our genes mix well. We make god damn awesome kids.

But but population problem. Bad person.

But babies. But my babymoon years have been the happiest, most peaceful years of my life. Even with the stress of an infant.

You don’t understand the stress of my normal life. Having to just be with someone who is adjusting to the cold (or too hot) cruel world? Oh, my precious love. I can’t fix everything. But I’ll be here with you. I will love you. I promise. No matter what. No matter who you become or what you do. I will love you with every speck of me.

That can’t be taken back.

And I say it over and over for a whole year.

I tell my children that they are wanted here. We really really really wanted to know you and we are so grateful you are here now. We need you to be whole. We love you. Thank you for picking this family. We are so honored by your presence.

And that’s what I spend a year doing.

It feels so good.

I don’t go out more than absolutely necessary. And I can make it not very necessary. I’m fine with delivery lots of stuff.

All of you’s out in the web… you are grown ups. You have time perspective. You can wait. This one can’t. This one has needs that are right fucking now what the hell are you waiting for?!

I get it, sweetheart. I’ll work harder. I know I’m too slow. Ok, which need is it again? Let’s go through the list.

You are the most important one in the room this year. We will all help you as much as we can.

Even though I’ve always said that I would hate having my kids be little mamas I’m looking forward to seeing my kids be older siblings. They are caretakers and nurturers. This will be lovely.

TWO?!

Oh my.

I think that the bed frame we bought to celebrate the end of co sleeping will go away. That’s kind of a bummer. It’s nice. Instead we will go back to having mattress on the floor. I might be a nice mama and let the big kids move back in. I think Eldest Child will be a sometimes companion and (current) Youngest Child will be a usual companion for a few more years. I think it might be a reason for (current) Youngest Child to become really happy about being promoted to Middle Child. Sleep bonding is the best bonding. I love it so much. I’m thinking multiple mattresses so that Noah can be mostly away from all the restless folk.

Some folks are born into a family. Some folks find a family. Some folks choose a family. Some folks marry into a family. Some folks adopt a family.

Some folks make their family with their body because that is how they can do it.

I’m really looking forward to doing this again. I’m scared, but I’m excited. How will this play in with the fact that I just kind of exploded out of mommy-mode?

I don’t know and I don’t care. Babies. That will resolve itself eventually. They won’t always be babies and I won’t always make more of them. But I’m going to make these ones. Fuck yes biology.

I feel like I don’t know about the fourth child. That’s complicated for so many reasons. I had my heart set on a third baby. I find it funny that my friend is now kinda extolling all the positives to a fourth so the third doesn’t feel lonely and and and.

Oh my god. Am I going to get a lot of “go for four?”

That’s… not the reaction I expected. I expected recoils of horror. More lectures about how I really shouldn’t be bringing children into the world. But my children are so wonderful. How on earth can you not want more children this cool?

I really want to see what they do as they grow up. Maybe that will be my bulwark against suicide. Maybe I’ve been looking at this all wrong.

Maybe it isn’t that any one person ever has to be enough to make me feel little enough pain that I can promise I won’t off myself.

I don’t think that is a situation that can happen. Not for anyone. I can’t tell a person I promise that. Fuck you.

But maybe, just maybe, if it isn’t a person it is an idea, it is a whole group, it is a position where I really want to be able to help guide these people for a fucking long time because they are so incredible already and clearly it is in part because I am a fucking good guide.

I want more of this feeling.

My children are my motivation in life. Even if I don’t want them to define my whole identity. And on that note… I should go hang out with them.