Category Archives: mental illness is a liar

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 can do something…

I may be a shitty wife who rarely does the work that a wife should do, but once in a while I try. I screwed over Noah’s day by fucking up the timing of when EC needed to be somewhere so I’m making dinner while he’s out and about.

Holy fucking shit this stock smells SO GOOD. I may not be the greatest cook in the world… but I’m pretty bad ass at making soup.

*pat self on the back*

Why?

Today Future Middle Child asked me why I read forums since I think most of the people who post there are mean and unpleasant.

I told them it is a distraction. Sometimes the words I hear inside my head about my head aren’t very nice. I feel happy when I think about my kids or my husband and sometimes with some of my friends. But there are times when my brain is kind of mean to me and every thought about myself is really mean. When that is happening… I read stuff about other people so I don’t have to think about me.

Sad

I’m in that place where reaching out to talk to people seems like a bad idea. All the things I want to say sound like whining and complaining and I don’t have the right.

I’ve had some interesting thoughts in the last week about how I do not have the right to complain any more. I’m not destitute. I’m not trading abuse for survival. I have it good.

Just shut up already.

Identity

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

I see what you’re doing there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am patient and generous.

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

I am loved.

I create beauty and connection.

I am strong emotionally and physically.

I am good at loving people.

I am an outstanding teacher.

I fight the good fight.

I have a lot to give.

 

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

Sex and fucking up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that was literally not available to me before marriage.

Money. Money. Money.

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

Get off your high horse.

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe. I tried. I failed.

I succeeded when I blew the boat up.

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

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

There is no fair.

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

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

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

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

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

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

No life is perfect.

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

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

I’m so annoying and hard.

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

How in the hell did I end up here?

I auditioned hundreds of people and Noah won the part.

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

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

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

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

I’m toast. Breeding is hard.

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

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

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

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

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

No, it’s not rational.

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

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

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

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

*cough*

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

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

Spoiled rotten motherfucker.

I really like my house.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that it’s done…

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

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

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

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

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

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

But! Brains are plastic! They can change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was five.

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

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

Maybe I’m not so bad.

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

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

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

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

Pieces of shit don’t do that.

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

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

I’ll take any break I can get.

Chasing and being ok

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was lovely.

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you too much.

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

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

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

Usually that’s about three months.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m spoiled as fuck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa.

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

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

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

Am I doing it?

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

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

I could keep going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I a grown up yet?

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

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

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

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

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

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

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

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

I’m like that.

I go do things.

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

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

Ha.

I love my reminders.

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

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

I never mean that sarcastically.

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

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

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

I’m just tricksy.

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

What does “dating” mean anyway.

I kinda had this epiphany yesterday.

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

“Not really.”

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

“Yeah.”

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

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

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

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

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

Oh fuck everything.

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

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

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

Dating.

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

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

I wouldn’t be alone this time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does love mean anyway?

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

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

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

Where is the threat?

What is the threat?

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

OW

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

Where is my enlightened self interest here?

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

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

Ugh. Anyway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sadomasochism, mental health, chronic pain and calibration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That has absolutely shaped my life.

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

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

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

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

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

Something that is complicated and hard and not fair…

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

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

Why do I need more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel like I should stop bothering them.

I feel like what I am is a bother.

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

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

End of shiny change of topic.

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

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

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

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

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

That hurts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUCK ALL OF YOU FOR BEING SO AWESOME.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m so sorry that I am so horrible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m going as fast as I can.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Busy busy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ahem.

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

But I have you. That’s enough.

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

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

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

I am so afraid of being alone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I love bossy people. Love love love.

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

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

I need to be useful.

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

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

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

Ok. Now I’m ready to stop resting.

Very briefly

Today I wake up feeling happier than I have in a bit. From a mood tracking point of view this is significant.

I was feeling some feelings of potential rejection and I processed them with a nice friend who was all, “Let’s talk context” and then I got full circle to “Shit. I’m acting like a spoiled baby who isn’t being aware of the limitations of the people I like a lot. Knock that crap off.”

Thank you for your patience with my selfishness and self-absorption.

I worry a lot about whether or not I am using my time in the most useful or effective or fun ways.

Sometimes life isn’t about that. Sometimes life is about being with someone when neither of you feel exciting. Sometimes life isn’t about maximizing “Make me have fun today or I’m kicking you to the curb.”

Sometimes life is just sitting together and having dinner and being tired. Because that is where you are. That has to be ok too.

If you like someone, you have to like them all the time. Even when they are tired and don’t have a lot to give. Or you are an asshole.

Ok, I know I’m an asshole… but I try hard to not be that flavor of asshole.

As I sit here mooning over the Sweet Boy Noah is making fun of the fact that I’m not really ready to stop expanding the roster.

But I want to spend the time everyone on the roster already deserves and time is limited. Sometimes the right kind of time to be spent isn’t what you think you want, and it is bonding anyway.

What is the difference between being someone’s friend and using them for sex/play?

I want to be your friend. I like you. I’ve liked you for such a long time.

Ok, but next time it is a date can I ask for at least more kissing and hugging? I’m ok with no sex and play. We are all human animals and we get tired. But I feel like, for me, to call it a date I’d like at least some more kissing and hugging.

I want to be your friend too. But I also want to mack on you because yeah, that’s totally why I’m there. Because I want to be your friend who macks on you. It’s a thing.

The funniest part of chasing so many people right now is how insecure every person is. None of us feel worthy of being liked this much. None of us feel like forsooth someone will like us.

But I like you and you and you and you and you. Near as I can tell you like me back.

How can we work on some of this mythical “self esteem” bullshit I hear so much about? How can your love for me help me love myself and how can my love for you help you love yourself? Can we help one another feel worthy? I don’t know. I want to find out.

It helps with Noah. It really does. Being with Noah has changed me. As much as it hurts my fucking finger, wearing the rock he gave me (err, that I picked out and bought for myself on his dime) has changed how I feel about myself in the world. Because it changes how I’m treated by random people.

Do you know how weird it is for a dirty street kid to have people genuflect because you must be important to be wearing a rock like that? Blows my fucking mind.

Worth is all about games of perception.

I think I’m going to try to have a week off pot. I’m just going to have Abilify in the morning and Klonopin at night.

Wish me luck.

Can I do this?

Can I say enough of what I want to say without getting in trouble. That’s the dance.

When you are a person who acts there are going to be times when you fuck up. You will do wrong. That’s not… avoidable. It just isn’t. You will step on toes. You will cross boundaries.

That’s life.

The trouble is in repairing those mistakes and moving on. The trouble? Maybe the meat of life. Because I don’t know about y’all but I don’t get through a day without a fuck up. Some are huge and some are tiny, but they always happen. Life isn’t about when you fall down, it’s about how and when you get back up.

In the last period of discussion things have been… more tumultuous. Thus a lot of my radio silence. I don’t want to document some of these bounces even a little. That’s hard for me. There are a lot of reasons I don’t want to document a lot of what I’m thinking and feeling. Despite popular opinion there are lots of boundaries around what I write. I only have a few friends who are smart enough to show up at my house, grin, and say, “Ok tell me what you can’t write about.” Those people hear the best stories.

I know that the pendulum is swinging hard and I don’t know where the center will be when it stops. I hesitate to comment on just how fucking far the pendulum is swinging. Folks get alarmed.

Part of the reason I usually try to be honest and document the most extreme moments is because very few people who live with this disorder are safe enough to do so. By and large… I am.

But I’m not safe enough to get into all the nitty and gritty of this. Even I recognize my points of vulnerability.

Why am I not safe enough? It isn’t because anyone will hit me. It isn’t because my reputation will be destroyed or anything like that. What reputation I have is… there. I’m unstable and that’s a well known thing. Hard to tarnish that reputation. What are people going to say, “Oh look the mentally unstable person is unstable.” News flash at 11: water is wet.

Hi. Love you too.

That’s kinda the joy of having documented this shit for so very long. MY BEHAVIOR IS TO SPEC AND AS ADVERTISED AND ACTUALLY I’M IMPROVING. So don’t complain too loudly. (It is weird trying to stay present with the feeling that as much as I don’t like this much swinging… it is an improvement over the past. It really is.)

Am I annoying? Well yeah.

How do you go through life knowing you are a monster and manage to not abuse anyone? I’m trying to find out. What is the difference between being an asshole sometimes and being abusive? I’m told that a lot of it is about patterns and frequency. Everyone loses it sometimes. But you can’t lose it in the same way over and over and call it a mistake. If you do the same thing every time a trigger happens… that is possibly abuse or leading to it. Depends on what you do.

I have a wide constellation of coping methods. I’m trying to get better about how I use them.

I feel very ashamed that as I move through life I use my reflection in the mirror of my children as the primary judge of whether I’m doing ok. They are happy, secure, they feel loved, they feel like bumps in life mean a few moments of discomfort and not tragedy.

They learned that from me. I must not be as bad on the outside as I feel inside.

How cryptic can I be about something and still say it. It is amazing to me what is considered threatening from a woman and to be avoided and what is considered acceptable from a man and he is fine for being that way. Just fucking amazed over how these standards play out.

That said: thank all the stars in the heaven for easy going slutty folk. I’m not one of you. But I appreciate you. I appreciate that you don’t mind that in between showing up for the sex I am going to be off-stage HAVING BIG FEELINGS about everything because that’s just what I do. My feelings by and large aren’t your problem. Even if you read them in my journal, my feelings aren’t your problem. If my feelings distress you, stop reading about them.

And for the love of toast don’t tell me extensively why you stopped reading. Please. I beg of you. Just go quietly into that good night and let me wonder.

I already have a lot of voices in my head narrating what I should and shouldn’t say because I hurt people by existing. I don’t want to add your voice.

If you ever feel specifically hurt by a topic and you want to email me and say, “Hey Krissy. I love you and I know this is awkward but x is really triggering for me. May I ask you to get better at tagging x so that I can look at your tags before deciding to read an entry so that I can skip those pieces? I would appreciate that.” My response would be to fanatically never miss that tag again. Or, you could try: “Hey Krissy. I know that I am not the person you are writing about, but I am attached to person you are writing about and I’m having feelings. Is it possible for you to maybe tone down ______? I would really appreciate that.” My response would be: Of course I will respect your feelings. (I know I am not consistent with tagging. I’m not… writing for the whole world. If you are a close friend asking me to make sure I hit a specific tag is a small thing for me to add to my brain. Trying to really be serious about tagging and warning my writing for any possible trigger that exists… that’s a lot of pressure. But if you are a regular reader and you want to say “Hey x is a thing for me” I can totally get better about marking x. I just… fuck it’s a lot of pressure to warn about everything I write about. But I get avoiding things. I do it too.)

I have a lot of people I don’t write about for various reasons. I have a lot of people where I can allude to some things and not others. I’m ok with boundaries. But they need to be stated. I interact with hundreds of people. If I try to intuit all the unspoken “Please don’t” boundaries I will freeze into inaction and never ever write a word again.

I’m thinking really hard about writing. Whether it is more positive or negative right now. Part of the reason it is hard for people to detect that I have boundaries at all is because they are so variable. I have them in such different places for different reasons and some of those I can articulately explain and some of them are… a mystery to me. They just are.

I like what I learn from writing. But can I pay the cost for it?

Full head, full house, ouchie arms

If my arms were great I wouldn’t be able to type much because I have four kids here. My arms suck though. There are a few things I want to try and remind myself of, maybe so I can talk to Noah about them.

My shrink is quite perturbed by my level of interest in Deity. This is becoming A Thing We Talk About. She’s all: “Sport fucking! Yay! Falling in love. Boo.”

When I mention that I already love other partners she cocks an eyebrow and says, “You don’t blush and stammer when you talk about them.”

Well, maybe that is true.

I have a better idea of what I want from my submissive. I have times when I don’t feel I have the oomph to do what I want to do but I feel deeply secure that the line of stuff I’m interested in asking for are all things that are right up his alley.

I have… more comfort around Cupid. I think I’m a lot more into him than I should be. I’m tap dancing on a high wire trying to figure out how to keep him in a spot in my life even though he’s probably not going to be interested in the group stuff everyone else will put up with. I went from wanting someone to do something to wanting Cupid to do things but I’m not 100% sure what.

I’m really not interested in hunting just the now. I feel like I have a lot to explore and learn about and I’m really excited about that.

And I get to balance it with helping Noah feel secure. The whole ship won’t sail if he feels insecure. First I have to figure out how to help Noah feel loved. Then I can figure out what it means that I love these other people.

Because I do. I love my Daddy’s. Every single one of them for different reasons.

What do these loves, these attachments mean? I don’t know. Many of them have been there for a long time. (I messaged Daddy James today to say that even though I was in his neighborhood… I still am not fucking him. Sigh.)

I do love these people. But what does that mean?

What is love?

Some love is possessive and about ownership… but not all love. Sometimes love is about generosity and sharing and wanting them to get joy from anyone but you. Loving someone can include hoping they find the girl of their dreams and settle down and don’t have time for me.

But not Noah. He’s not allowed to run out of time for me.

I fall in love easily. I fall in love often. I fall in love with great intensity. Usually I love forever.

If I sat here and listed allllllllllllll of the people who have a piece of my heart… I’d sound like I was bragging. I would be bragging.

Aren’t I a lucky bitch? I have been able to love so many people.

Some of them even loved me back. At least a little. For a time.

Do any of those loves mean I do not love Noah? I don’t see why that would be true. I married one man. One man has seen me through hardship and illness and despair. One man helped me create the babies that give me life.

It really doesn’t matter how much I love other people this will always be true.

Noah is the only person who ever really looked at me and decided that he was going to prove to me that I am worthy.

Loyalty my friend, loyalty. But what does that loyalty entitle him to? My friend who was here the other weekend says jack shit. My shrink says definitely not sex.

I don’t know what I think.

I know I shouldn’t care what random people out in the world think. I really shouldn’t. I was stupid enough to read one of those “People who commit suicide are selfish” posts. I shouldn’t have. I should have opted-out and done some self-care.

Suicide has shaped my whole life. My grandmother killed herself by overdosing when my mom was pregnant with me. My mom dealt with that loss through my infancy. It was hard. She had been very close to her mother. I don’t really know why. My brother lit himself on fire because he could not cope with the pain of his life. Given how his life was… I don’t feel I have the right to anger. Was he selfish? Yes. But he had the right to be. He was left alone in care facilities where he was abused and that was all he would ever know. My father sat in the garage with the motor running and wrote notes to everyone in the world telling them that I was an evil liar and he was innocent. Even though he’d already confessed and collaborated every story. He wasn’t going to drive himself to the court room that day.

Selfish is just so beside the point.

My therapist OD’ed on heroin. She could not deal with the pain in her life. My adopted step-mom (long story) OD’ed on injected pain medication she was not prescribed. She could not deal with the pain in her life.

I have been institutionalized for attempting suicide. My stomach was pumped and I’m still here.

I don’t have a lot of the attachments other people have. I get what I create. I do the absolute best I can with the platonic friends I have…

Sharing sex and intimacy creates tighter bonds.

I don’t feel like I’m in a position to turn down a good twitterpation. Even if it makes my therapist uncomfortable. Am I going to wreck my life over it? No. I hope not.

Noah’s parents just sent us a cheerful letter to tell us about the cruise they are going on. The same month as the one we are going on. The one they won’t go on with us because they have to “get the hay in”. The hay they won’t touch with their hands because they have employees.

What is attachment?

I’m listening to the kids as they play in the back yard. I’m kinda ridiculous about enforcing outside time. “Y’all spend too much time inside. Get out into the sun. Go. Go. Go.”

I do go with them…

Right now I medicate. It was a long day of driving and being sober. Processing with my therapist. I feel like I’m almost ready to be happy. But not till I deal with Thursday. Oh Thursday.

I love you so. I have been such a twat waffle and I do not deserve your forgiveness. I have no. no. no. no idea how this will go.

Fuck.

I’m thinking of a pithy movie quote, I think from Girls Just Want to Have Fun “You always hurt the one you love.” Shannon Doherty? Is that it?

Anyway.

You know… I think I love my biological father. Even with everything. Most of the people who raped me… I loved them. Many of them I love them now. I might feel really angry with them… but I love them.

What is love?

Even though Tommy spent my childhood beating me and trying to rape me… I loved him. I’m sad his life was so terrible that he had to die to get away from it. I cannot bring myself to be angry with him for not wanting to suffer more for my convenience.

It is almost the anniversary of Tommy’s death. Next month. Eighteen years now. In three more years he will have been dead as long as he was alive.

Rest in Peace, Tommy.

What am I doing with my life?

I am trying to stop being a destroyer. I want to be a builder. I want to be someone who makes less pain in the world and not more.

There are reasons for temporary physical pain that alleviate intense emotional suffering and I don’t know how to deal with that dichotomy. Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing.

I want to figure out how to help there be less pain. One of the ways I do that is to understand and find compassion.

I like loving lots of kinds of people. They all teach me different things. I learn best by being able to stand very close to someone and bask in their presence. I know this after many years of trying a lot of ways to learn. I will pick things up faster. I will learn more quickly. I will try to synch up with this person in any way I can because the drive to conform is what keeps our species alive.

The main reason I manage to be so god damn weird is because I have allowed myself to pattern off incredibly different people. Contradictions are ok. We can all solve different problems.

Ok. Time to be off.

I love you. Even when I have no idea what that means.

Shame is complicated

Well. I am starting to set up conversations with people. It’s going to take a few days to schedule all of them. Scheduling is a moving target. And I’m trying to figure out how to build the wave. Looks like the first chat will be the easiest and least stressful. The next scheduled one is the one I’m most anxious about. Then I don’t know where the rest of them fit in yet. I need to leave time for crying after these.

It won’t be someone else’s fault I’m crying. I do it from stress.

I’m scared. I feel like I still… know my boundaries when I run into them and have to cut to stay “ok” in my day to day life. I don’t realize until I’m way way way over capacity “Oh I should have stopped a while ago.” Then what do you do? Because if you cut to cope because you are over capacity PEOPLE ACT LIKE THE WORLD IS ENDING. OH NO. LET’S THROW EVERYTHING IN THE AIR AND CHANGE EVERYTHING BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS WRONG.

Or maybe I was a little over my rev limit?

Fuck. I don’t know.

I feel bad that my ability to cope is so limited. It is a lot bigger than it used to be, but I still have limits.

It really complicates things that interacting with children (and their uhm questionable fucking ability to respect body autonomy) changes how I can handle adults. And that is so variable and it feels so incredibly unfair. Like, if Noah had a date scheduled after the day/night I had with the kids yesterday…

Oh god I would have flipped out. But when you are dealing with other people you need to schedule commitments and keep them. So my boundaries with other people aren’t allowed to be fuzzy and squiggy like that.

But my life is fuzzy and squiggy and variable and I am not someone who can manufacture consistency for another adult’s sake.

I have a hard enough time providing consistency for kids. That is my limit.

I have a hard time being patient and giving and loving with adults when I’ve had 12+ hours out of the last 24 with a kid screaming in my fucking face and hitting everyone. One of the kids had a hard day this week. It happens. These are tiny little people who have a lot going on with their sensory systems. There are days they are just fucking overwhelmed and they are obnoxious as fuck to deal with.

At the end of that I have no patience to give to grown ups. I really don’t. And that’s not fair. I feel like a fucking asshole but if I am activated that many times in a day I literally just can’t turn around and give to an adult. I will flip out and start screaming and breaking things.

I need to go hide away from people after that. Because I’m frazzled as fuck. I got through it without being mean to the kid. I didn’t scream. I wasn’t unduly rough. I didn’t punish harshly. I did enforce a metric fuck ton of time outs. But that seems appropriate and useful. Stop hitting people. It’s not ok.

I’ve seen a bunch of kids go through phases like this. It isn’t about a kid sucking or being bad. It’s a hard phase and it takes patience, love, and correction correction correction.

I get so tired.

I feel like an asshole playing the “traumatized body/brain” card a lot. But the reality is that my central nervous system is shot. I have an acute stress disorder. These things are noticeable strain. I do have limits. Things that activate my emotional system… I can only be calm through so many. Once I get scared enough… I’m not physically capable of thinking and processing the way I must in order to act like a fully present adult. My range of tolerance is wider than average (according to the shrinks I’ve been seeing for a long time) but it isn’t infinite and I start off so much more distressed than average.

I don’t want to take things out on people because I am moody and variable. That means that mostly I assume to defaulting I should offer nothing sustained at all. Because I might fail.

So far Pam is the only sustained once a week dinner guest who can actually deal with my emotional variance and the fact that sometimes you show up and I’m screamtastic and fussy and… no fun.

Everyone else stops coming.

And Pam is leaving the state. Eventually. She keeps threatening. We’ll see.

When I feel ok I have a lot to give. I have patience, love, energy, tolerance… when I don’t feel ok I feel like a bank vault. You don’t open that easily or for fun. It’s fucking hard and takes a sequence of codes and… then only take out what you fucking have to what the fuck close that fucker already.

This is why I don’t want “polyamory”. I’m not good enough at being consistent enough to be a dependable part of a group of people like that. I feel ashamed of myself, but it is true. I have very good friends who sometimes want to have sex with me. And I love them a lot. I will move mountains for my friends. When I can.

When I can’t… I fucking hope you have other support people too. Because I will fail you. I give you what I have to spare. That is what I can give.

I have signed on for being the sustainer of my children. I have signed on for helping to sustain Noah, with the strong caveat that he knows sometimes he has to catch himself. (Hey–he can’t always catch me either. Seems fair.) I have signed on to be a consistent source of non-continuous sustaining for my Bonus Kids. I’m one of Their Grownups. I like that. I like that I did manage to find someone who thinks I am worth the trouble of coming to because their kids need someone like me.

I’m grateful I managed to find folks for that. It wasn’t looking like that was going to work out. It was looking like I was not worth that much effort from anyone.

I’m really grateful things have gone this well for 6 years with my Bonus Kids.

I would never ever ever ever ever play with or sleep with the parents of my Bonus Kids because I can’t fuck that up. That’s like shitting in the waterhole. It’s really stupid long-term.

I fuck up a lot of sexual relationships. I fuck up a lot of non-sexual relationships too… but I fuck up sexual relationships faster. I run hot and cold and that hurts people.

Even I need to understand some boundaries.

I know many dozens of non-breeding long-term polyamorous adults. I have never been capable of the emotional consistency I see them enact. That’s bothered me my entire adult life. That is part of what reminds me of how broken I am. I know so many people who can do it. Who can be consistent and dependable in their emotional reactions.

My emotional reaction to thing A is impacted by thing B and thing C and thing D and thing E and I don’t fucking know how that will go on any given day.

I’m more predictable and calm than ever in the past. How come this progress never ever ever ever feels good enough?

Ok, I just thought of a piece of why Noah dating is so difficult for me…

I always know, every day, that at the end of the day I have to handle the extent of my emotional variance on my own. Noah helps a lot more than anyone else but he has limits. His manufactured cheerfulness is part of what he does for me. That consistency of affect helps me more than words can say. I calibrate off of him. I try to match him. I model after him. When he isn’t here and I am flailing… it’s hard. Even if he can’t sit down to process with me for hours, being around him is regulating.

If I am going to leave more space in my life for not depending on him to be physically present and I know that he is leaving me to go do something fun with someone else…

I need to lock down hard on not depending on him. Because I will resent the fact that I will sometimes have really shitty days and he will be out having fun instead of helping me. Because I built a life that was very near my carrying capacity and then I added shit and sometimes I get really overwhelmed and… I don’t have enough help. Getting less is hard.

I do encourage him to go do things with friends. Because I feel guilty as shit that he doesn’t have much of a life. He works and has the social life I bring to him, mostly. I don’t know if he’d be more motivated to seek out more of a social life if I provided less of one? I do invite a lot of forking people over. He’s not just hiding at home with his family or working. But not much is of his initiation.

But dating is… different. I feel bad about that but it is.

It isn’t fair that I don’t really believe someone can treat me like I’m important and be seriously in love with someone else. I think people can fuck their friends and still be nice to me, sure. But be really in love? Not really.

Love means so many things. What is love?

I will lose time and support in that equation. Because love may be infinite but time is not. I’m doing fairly well… because I have the level of support I have. If it decreased I would… have a hard time.

If I have to spend yet more time alone with my kids regulating myself… that has a cost. The road trip demonstrated that to me quite clearly.

I wasn’t all that nice by the end. Not really. The kids were so glad to get home.

Both kids have commented a lot recently that I’m doing better. They have individually and collectively commented on the fact that I’m not screaming anywhere near as much as I used to and that is really nice.

I’m scared to rock this boat.

I’m scared that being selfish with my energy and only wanting to give it to my kids like this means I have no business pursuing nonmonogamy because I am just using my friends and I’m not offering good trades.

If I’m going to do this… I need to get more comfortable with canceling going forward. I can’t pay the cost of doing something I don’t want to do in the moment any more. And that’s complicated.

I’m not dependable enough and… that makes me feel like I shouldn’t be doing this at all. Maybe swinger parties. Other than that I’m too much of a selfish asshole to date.

fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck

This is part of my transactional shit. Noah and I talk very explicitly about what we trade. What kinds of energy expenditures we each need to receive. What are our priorities and which can be dropped when things get tight?

I don’t have enough to trade other people. Not really. I have “what I have going spare today” and often that is so little.

The only consistent front to Noah dating that I can manufacture consistently is space. I can’t promise closeness. I can’t promise loving reconnection. If I have to cope on my own then I need to fucking cope on my own and that is messy and hard. Because mostly how I cope is to be pretty fucking hard on myself. That is how I have come this far.

I did not get this far on compassionate self acceptance. I got this far from being a fucking dictator with my body who doesn’t give a shit what I’m feeeeeeling.

Just work, bitch.

But Noah really wants me to be sunny for him. I can’t do that when I’m coping on my own. It is variable and inconsistent and happens randomly. That’s how it has always been. He is spoiled by how consistent I have been able to be while bouncing off of him for hours a day.

That’s from you. That’s from modeling off of you. When I lose you…

Noah teaches me how to be nice. I can hear it in his voice. When he errs towards nastiness it feels like an instrument being played off key and I instantly mention that he’s harsh. He stops, gets this weird look on his face, and tries again.

I think that is a lot of what has allowed me to be as stable as I’ve been in the last ten years. He works so hard to model it.

When I lose my model I fuck up so much more. That doesn’t feel like a fair burden. And, I know this is bullshit, but I’ve had a hard time with how much he works. I’m not supposed to feel like that is a choice to be away but that’s been hard. I’ve had to be very conscious and deliberate around not being an asshole to him over that. It’s not a rational reason to be mean to him and I’ve had to work on it because it is triggering to me.

It has taken a lot of time and effort to be truly supportive and not kind of an asshole about how much he works. I think I’m pretty good now, but it wasn’t easy.

Noah is the person who makes me feel safe. That’s not fair. I know I should “feel safe in myself”. Whatever. I don’t. I never have. I spend a lot of time feeling like I’d like to vibrate out of my fucking body to get away from myself because I am the problem. I am the one who brings so much pain on myself.

I am the one who can’t behave consistently enough to be worthy of love.

Maybe if I were someone who could say, “Today is a bad day for a date… you should reschedule” I would be able to handle him dating without wanting to scratch his fucking face off when he comes home all excited and I had a shitty day with a side of shit salad. But I am not capable of doing that kind of thing. I’ll put my head down and tell him to do what he wants to do and then I’ll need three days away from him because I hate him so much.

It isn’t fair. Or rational. Or whatever. I know.

I have never had a time in my life when I was not giving to other people pretty much at the extent of what I had to give. I’ve never had a time when I was just… idling. I’m tired. I have hard days with this caregiving crap.

Noah is tired too. His job isn’t easy. He comes home to us.

I’m sorry I am not good at letting you have other people in your life who are more dependable and worthy.

That’s something Noah brings up a lot. I’m really insecure about the fact that everyone he has wanted to get involved with since we got married is just… so mellow. He brings it up really frequently how irrational I am because these are incredibly non-threatening people. They are not drama.

I’m the problem. It never comes from someone else. Just me.

But he also doesn’t want to deal with the fact that giving him space to go be with people who are not worthless pieces of shit means that I am going to spend a few days hiding to deal with the fact that I don’t really like being the problem, the drama, the variable one who just can’t get her shit together.

I feel embarrassed that I fucking exist.

Just stop crying about things that shouldn’t make you cry you stupid, whiny bitch.

None of these people should make me cry.

Being alone makes me cry.

Then why do I need to go be alone once he comes back?

Because I had to hold it together in front of the kids and I need space to recover from that facade. I can’t model off of you when I need to react to you and I have not been allowed to do so even a little bit all day. I needed to pretend all day that I was fine and everything was fine and I don’t mind lots of extra alone time with the kids, sure why not.

I have to pay the piper for that later.

And I’m not supposed to take it out on you. That’s not fair either. I can’t let my tone of voice get shitty. So I need to be alone. In order to not take my emotional variance out on you I need to be alone.

I’m told that my “yelling” by having a harsh tone counts just as much as when I escalate in volume and start screaming.

So yeah. I need a lot of alone time.

Even though I don’t decompress very well alone. I can’t decompress in the presence of the person I am feeling activated because of. I can’t use you to calm down when I am upset because of you. That’s what I mean when I say that it is losing my safe person. If I’m crying because I had to spend more hours manufacturing sustaining cheerfulness alone because you wanted to go fuck someone else… I can’t be in a room with you. I just can’t.

I know we are already talking about several steps down the line from this. I know.

I feel like I should have some idea of what my feelings are given the conversations I’m going to have soon. Fuck my stomach hurts.

I don’t have enough to trade. I have no right to even be having these discussions.

I feel like shit.

Luckily the first conversation will happen this weekend and will actually be the lowest stress one of the bunch. I need to finish scheduling them. Oh golly.

*head desk*

If only I wanted to fuck fewer people this would be easier. Or Noah. Either of us, really.

Something occurs to me: a lot of this comes down to… I don’t ask for additional support on the really hard days. I just don’t. You have to just show up and see that I need it and provide it. Or it will be invisible to you. If Noah is going to be present less, he will see a lot less. Which will be massive in my life. That will be a huge reduction in support. Because I will not be capable of asking for more support in other ways. I just… that’s a thing. That’s a very known thing.

It all comes back to being my fault. Everything would be fine if I were less fucked up.

On being mentally ill in public

I’ve been documenting my ups and downs for a long time now. This is something that happens. I have a really extreme range of emotions. In order to let people know me I document them about as much as I can. Which means people are invited onto the roller coaster with me.

Which means people always ask what they can do.

Not a whole hell of a lot. This isn’t about you. Even if you are one of the people who is closest to the center of the storm (like Noah) there isn’t a whole hell of a lot someone can do when I’m going up and down like a cork. That is in me and is only kinda sorta barely related to what is happening around me.

In general I do not request nor want major adjustments in life structure or behavior in the people around me because of my volatility. That would become problematic very quickly as I became controlling to everyone nearby.

That’s not more healthy.

Which makes monogamy shit really fucking tricky.

What can you do? Love me when I’m done. Be ok with me taking space. Let me know you’ll be there when I come back. Let me know you don’t hate me because I am riding this roller coaster.

I think that being on this roller coaster means I deserve contempt and abuse. Because I am hurting people by being so fucking difficult.

I am difficult. I do have ridiculously intense emotional reactions to things that logically I believe should not be a big deal.

No one is threatening any part of my life right now. No one put a single toe out of line. No one went a hair over a deliberate boundary.

But I want to die because I believe I am the source of pain for many people and I have absolutely no idea how to stop being that source of pain.

What should someone do for me? Fuck if I know. DON’T THREATEN TO SEND ME TO A HOSPITAL.

That’s the biggest and most important thing. If you want me to feel safe never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever threaten me with hospitalization. In my extremely well considered and educated opinion mental illness is best treated out patient within a supportive community framework which I already god damn have.

You go to hospitals if you are physically ill and you need medicine you can’t get any other way. You go to hospitals for surgery. Otherwise going to a hospital is asking to be hurt.

Don’t threaten me with hospitalization.

Let me stay home and snuggle my kids. Let me hide in my garage and write about my feelings in the safest environment I’ve ever been in.

The people who mostly know me now have never seen anything like the level of panic, fear, and dysregulation that would become dominant if I felt I would be hospitalized against my will again. I am literally not sure I could survive that experience again. I think my body would do anything anything anything anything to make sure I don’t have to live through that again.

You do not understand how traumatizing being in a mental hospital was for me. Any time I feel I am slipping a toe out of line on “how I am supposed to be” that is an undercurrent of why the panic escalates. Not a big piece of it, but it is fucking there.

Don’t hospitalize me. I’m sorry I’m bad. Please don’t punish me any more. Please please please please please don’t punish me more.

I’m sorry I’m bad.

I don’t feel particularly good about inflicting this on the people around me. I feel like it is all my fault. Sometimes the triggers really do seem to be my fault. There is stuff around nonomongamy that I 100% blame myself for opening the door.

It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening. It is my fault this is happening.

I do not blame anyone else. I did this. I hurt myself. I open doors I don’t want opened. Because I want other doors open and things are connected. I bring this on myself.

This is my fault for not being able to keep it in my pants. I deserve to feel pain.

I am not angry with anyone else. I am angry with myself.

Promiscuity and permission

I had a thought. And even though I’m trying not to type much this weekend I want to write this down.

The difference between me doing what I’m going to do and feeling good about myself and me doing what i’m going to do and feeling bad about myself… is mostly about how I’m perceived.

I’ve been a big slut chasing sex since I was in preschool. Rampant promiscuity is part of my life.

This time… I’m coming home to a safe home. With a partner who grins at me and who wants to hear every filthy detail. He’s concerned about my safety and my rate of adding partners. He’s concerned about me stepping outside my carefully vetted pool because in the past that has been a mixed bag for me.

He’s not telling me to stop fucking my friends.

He’s not sure what he wants and that is a slow process we are talking about a lot together. He’s not entirely sure what he thinks will be sustainable in terms of my behavior but we are talking.

There is no shame.

I need to say that again because it is so important: There is no shame.

There are uncomfortable feelings. There is a tinge of sadness on both or parts. We wanted the fantasy of monogamy. We liked it. We wanted it to work.

It didn’t work well for us. We are going back to stuff that has worked well for us.

But we are doing it from a framework of a very happy and supportive marriage. We like each other. It is a little weird going back to dating from the point of view that I’m blissfully happy at home and I love my marriage… I just do better with a variety of sex partners in my life. I like bouncing off of people.

It really helps that since I started fucking around Noah is inspired and he’s been fucking me more and better than he has since the first year of marriage. We are getting close to our pre-kids sex life.

Which is fucking awesome.

We are getting back to the sex life we had when I was dating Spot and…. I can’t remember who else. It’s embarrassing how bad I am at remembering who I dated when. I can remember that I dated someone, but I need to really think about it to figure out which period of my life. (Actually… it may have been just Spot and Noah because I was teaching. I was real busy then.)

“Which slut period did you overlap?”

But I remember Spot. He’s one of the few who made it to 9 months. I liked Spot a lot. He was… a nice break from the assholes I had been dating. Ultimately he was too nice for me and that’s ok too. I’m one of those terrible people who likes assholes.

I need you to have brick wall boundaries because I am going to throw myself at them. I don’t want them to collapse. Usually only assholes can do that. Assholes know “I go out this far and this is where I stop. Get the fuck off my wall.”

But this is what I was thinking about this morning. Permission. Noah gives me permission to exist in a way no one else ever has. I’m not sure it would have occurred to anyone else. I’m not sure anyone else would look at me and think, “Oh there’s a person quaking with fear because no one has given her permission to act how she wants to act.”

Snicker.

But it’s true. I do. I do what I’m going to do anyway. The difference is whether I feel ashamed of myself afterwards for acting in a way I think I’m not supposed to act or whether I feel fine because I was told I am fine.

Noah does that.

Noah gives me that.

He tells me I am fine.

Punching is so awesome.

Last night was a punching heavy night. I was punching a lot and then I got punched a lot. Life is fair sometimes.

I played with the Professor. He plays with a lot of new people and he is good at helping people explore sensation. I told him I didn’t know what I wanted to be hit with because I genuinely don’t know what I like at this point, but I know I’m on the thud end.

He brought an assortment of toys and hit me for a while with them before switching to punching.

I liked and hated most of the toys. I loved the punching. Loved the punching. Got off on the punching. That was fabulous deep thud. That rocked all the way to the center of me.

Surface pain on my skin is harder. The flogger was a lot of surface area of skin. I feel like I like/enjoy/can tolerate floggers exponentially better now than I could when I was younger (I am apparently getting older and less sensitive) but they are still hard. I feel panic when a large amount of surface area is hit at once.

And holy shit for shoe shine do I dislike any hits on my low back. Mother fucker. That’s always been true.

Once, when I was 19 I was on a date with a friend and he was passing me around a party. I complained so much about specific kinds of hitting that he found a marker and made a big X on my low back and wrote “NOT HERE” and on my ass he wrote “NO STING”. Then he had way more people hit me.

It went better at that party after that.

I feel like things have drifted but those are still fairly accurate warning labels and I should figure out how to explain them better on my own.

My low back has been problematic since early childhood because of a vicious assault. No, I don’t like it when I’m hit there.

It isn’t sexy. It isn’t easy to process. It hurts.

Thank you for the lesson.

The flogger on the upper back wasn’t like that. That was horrible and painful and mean and… hot. I felt like if that came with a story I could really get into suffering like that. As a stand alone sensation it wasn’t my favorite but I could see the appeal. Which is a huge shift for me. Thank you for the lesson.

I felt kind of ridiculous for liking the Nerf thing. I shouldn’t like being hit with a Nerf toy. That’s perverted.

It was a great warm up toy. Oh man. He did a warm up. It was like magic. I remembered correctly! Warm ups are awesome! Yay warm ups!

He was very good at the reassuring-from-the-back-hug. Some tops nail that and some… don’t. He was really good.

Last night was a night of SM like I used to do. Lots of violence and my genitals were not in play at all. It was a stark reminder of how much I have drifted. Oh yeah. That used to be my life.

It isn’t any more.

I have a tremendous quantity of feelings to process. I’m going to put them in this nice neat box I have here and deal with my day. I don’t have any other play scheduled after today and that will stay true for a bit.

I need to process these bits. I need to integrate what I need to say differently. I need to think about what to say about play for it to be more of what I want.

I need to figure out more about what the fuck I want. I have inklings and that’s not good enough. I need to think about this.

Why don’t I feel comfortable talking during play sometimes? I really don’t. I don’t feel like anything I could say would be ok. So I don’t say much. I don’t like that. It isn’t useful. Just making noises isn’t good enough feedback.

I feel like I need to figure out the difference between playing to suffer and playing to have fun and playing to get off. I think they are different. I think I need to figure out the limits on the suffering I can offer at this point.

My low back needs to be off the table. That’s going to need to be a hard limit. Fine, maybe someone else won’t be damaged by light hits there. I can be. It needs to be a hard limit for me. I don’t need to talk about it and I have to figure it out before I bottom again because… someone is going to cripple me.

Words. Words are hard. I like typing. I like typing till my hands cramp and ache and this is so definitely my current favorite form of self harm.

Words are harder. Words are scary. Speaking is hard. I need to work on more scripts. Ugh.

Just being able to make the noises is huge progress for me. I know it doesn’t seem like that to people. I know it just seems like some obnoxious thing I do. It has been hard for me to be in my body enough to connect with what is happening. I have tried hard to do that.

I have spent a lot of my life dissociated. I go back and forth between dissociation and hypervigilance so that I either don’t know what is happening around me and to me or I’m freaking out about everything near me.

It’s fun.

The hypervigilance has improved dramatically over the last few years. I have consciously worked on a number of my tics and they have improved. I still don’t have a comfort zone but I don’t feel crawl-out-of-my-skin-anxious as often. I am also far less dissociated. I can’t be and take care of the kids. I have to be present. I picked the high-intensity version of parenting. I can’t phone it in much. They won’t let me.

Maybe my comfort zone is fucking people. Every other part of interaction is harder and more complicated. It’s why I’m pushing people for fucking with play.

I think. As I look in retrospect at my behavior over the past few weeks. I think that is what is going on. Ok. This is why I talk to myself. Because I’m trying to figure out why the fuck I do what I do.

I think it is healthy for me to sit with the discomfort that comes from people not asking for access to my genitals. But it is hard.

Ok maybe I am lying. Yeah. I do have a comfort zone. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all when Cupid or Deity or Daddy were fucking me. Not when I fucked my submissive. Not when I picked up a random at a sex party.

That felt comfortable. Other aspects of our interactions are not always comfortable for me and I stick them out anyway. But…

It’s part of why I’m pushing so hard for kissing. Kissing feels kinda like that but more available in public.

Ok. Well. I’m figuring some stuff out. This is kinda fucked up. I need to find some way of feeling comfortable that doesn’t involve soliciting sex. Well… ok, I do feel comfortable around the kids. Most of the time. Except when I’m triggered.

So it isn’t only during sex.

And it is variable with Noah. Sometimes I feel comfortable and sometimes I don’t. We’ve had a lot of sex over a lot of years and we often do it whether I am up for it or not. Because that is our deal. I’m not sorry. But it means that I have had mixed experiences of the sex.

I need to update the users guide again. Hilarious. Well… this is a changing time.

Silence

This is an easy trigger to trace. Many of my earliest memories are of my biological father hurting me sexually. I was required to be silent and still. If I squirmed or whimpered or anything I was punished.

can suffer silently. But it requires that I go away. It requires that I give you a bag of flesh and bones and I will be somewhere over there watching.

Noah points out that this really isn’t just about my father though. There are people littered through my whole life who required me to suffer in silence. My arms are completely not up for the laundry list… but it’s there.

It’s a trigger. It isn’t that I think someone is terrible for commenting on how loud I am. (Yes. I am very loud when someone is hitting me.) It is that it is a trigger. It is that now I feel ashamed and bad and like I did something wrong and shaking this off is gonna suck.

I’m supposed to go pretend I’m a bad ass tomorrow.

Fuck.

I’m loud. I’m loud when I top. I’m loud when I bottom. I’m loud when I fucking exist in a room.

I’m loud.

I make people cringe and move away from me just because I am offensive. I exist too loudly. I should stop.

I have absolutely no idea how to get to a happy medium from here. I don’t know what a happy medium would be.

Yes. I’m loud. I can scream so loud that a party of hundreds of people comes to a sudden halt. (I’m told people still feel haunted by that night.) I can quieten down auditoriums of thousands of screaming teenagers. Fucking loud.

I feel like that makes me bad. I am inconvenient, intrusive, rude. I force people to acknowledge me. I force people to have to be fully present with the fact that I am in pain.

I’m a fucking asshole.

I’m not here to make you have a more comfy experience.

I need to shake this off and go back to cackling with glee. I have a boy to cut up.

I will not let this be a problem for me. I don’t give a shit that I feel triggered. I have shit to do.

I’m really kinda done feeling so god damn bad for existing.

I don’t think this person meant I should suffer in silence. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that commenting on how very loud I am is complicated. Noah has kinda figured it out. He solves this by saying “More!”

Pretty much everyone else… it’s a mixed thing.

This is a me problem.

Trauma, victimization, & consent

Good golly. Woke up to great sex in the middle of the night and now I’m not sleepy. So instead I’m thinking about trauma and victimization, like a normal person. What? That’s not weird, right?

I think that trauma can happen without being a victim and I think that being a victim can happen without trauma. I think that consent is a nearby Venn circle that overlaps both in weird ways.

I think it is completely possible to consent to things that traumatize the fuck out of you for the rest of your life. I think it is possible to be a victim, to have your consent taken away and not be traumatized. I think it is possible to be a victim and be traumatized and to consent at the same time.

Why?

Because I feel like I’ve lived about fifteen lives in one and I’ve seen a lot of shit. Not just that happens to me. I pay a lot of attention to trauma and assault and rape.

Why are these things different?

I’m not going to look up the dictionary definitions this time. Connotative/denotative meanings… I’m defining for myself today.

Trauma is about a physical response in your body to something bad/scary/overwhelming. It’s a physiological process. You can be traumatized by things you consent to and you can be traumatized by things you do not consent to. People vary dramatically in what will traumatize them. Some people are genuinely not traumatized by rape. It is a bad thing that happens and they move on. Others… they are permanently physically impacted by their experiences. Something being traumatic or not tells you little about scale.

Being a victim is about whether or not you want them to happen. I think you can consent to things and still be a victim. If you feel your consent is coerced, if you are not really safe enough to say no… you can consent and still be a victim. I don’t know how much I think that your ability to get yourself out of a situation or not plays in with victimization.

I am pretty sure my father would be able to get away with saying that there were times I “consented” to what he did with me. But I was still a victim. Why? Because it should not have been happening. It was a crime and it damaged me. It didn’t matter whether I consented or not because I had no ability to understand what I was consenting to.

Adult rape. Paul. Situation: I was in my 20’s, at a sex party while on drugs. I didn’t want unprotected sex and he did. I did not consent to unprotected sex. I repeatedly said no. I wasn’t able to physically resist (yes, I know that was my choice) but I was saying no. I was conscious. I was trying to prevent it. That means I think that legally I was the victim of a crime. Is it one of the more traumatic experiences of my life?

Hahahahahaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa no.

I don’t feel particularly traumatized by that rape. Not really. I don’t wake up to nightmares of his face. I don’t feel terrified of what will happen if we run into one another (we could; this is a small valley).

So, no consent, no real trauma, yes victimization.

The kid who kicked me in the throat. We had a habit of play fighting/wrestling. I think that he did not intend to land a kick on my throat. He was just a kid who lacked finesse, control, and understanding. So quasi-consent. I think technically it was an assault. Do I feel like a victim? Not really. I think it was an assault but not a crime because it was an accident. Do I feel traumatized?

Ok, I do feel kinda haunted by the swollen throat feeling… because it reminded me so much of my brother. I don’t think I was traumatized so much by the incident but from the feeling of, “Oh my fucking god I DO NOT WANT a tracheotomy.”

I feel… I feel feelings about the mom. I don’t think that she victimized me. I don’t feel traumatized. But I feel like she is someone who would push me down in front of a bus and then tell me it was my fault. I feel like every warning signal in my body tells me that any woman who says, “You weren’t assaulted and if you were it was your fault” is so fucking dangerous I wish I was in a different time zone.

Is that about trauma, victimization, or consent? Call it the Spidey sense I developed after other assaults. I don’t want to stand near someone who has such an attitude. It’s a warning shot.

Quite literally, that is the kind of woman who uhm… yeah. That’s why we are where we are as a society. Congratulations to us.

Rich white woman hears her son commits assault? Blame the victim! Can’t be my perfect baby! (Ok this happens in other demographics too with other gender combinations. But I’m feeling pissy!)

Guess what? White kids are pieces of shit too. Just sayin’.

Not that I actually think that kid is a piece of shit. I think he isn’t being guided in the ways he should be guided and that’s tragic.

If someone comes to me and tells me that my children did something violent, awful, or otherwise worthy of judging the shit out of… my response won’t be “No they didn’t.” My response is going to be, “Ok, slow down and start at the beginning. I think I need to hear the whole story.”

I’m pretty sure that my kids can fuck up. Just sayin’.

I think I have gotten to the point where I am a relatively decent person. I started out lying, stealing, hitting people, breaking things, starting house fires, stealing cars…

I’m not in a position to judge. People fuck up.

Why am I thinking about these things? Because I’m trying to judge myself. Because I’m trying to figure out if I am as bad as I think. I’m trying to figure out what being so bad means. I’m trying to figure out how to stop hurting people.

But you know what? I think I’ll always hurt people. I’m not going to stop talking about the fact that I exist. Knowing that I’m here is going to hurt people.

I can’t really do anything about that.

If your safety depends on my being invisible then I guess you don’t get to be safe. Sorrynotsorry.

I think that when the vast majority of people say “the world is like” they really mean “I know a dozen or so people who are like”. The world is a god damn big place. Guess what? We are all weird and different. I draw great comfort from that; it’s why I get to be alive.

I have heard a saying about teachers coming into your life when you need them. I think that people tend to have the experiences they go looking for.

Some people want to be ignored. Some people want to be noticed. Some people want to have intense interactions. Some people want to hide.

Ever noticed how each person is completely convinced that the world they live in is “the world”? Ever notice how they do it by conveniently ignoring the people they walk past that completely contradict their view? Confirmation bias, my friends.

I think one of the most monstrous things about me is how loudly I’m willing to turn up my reality distortion filter. I’m experiencing the world I need to experience. Whatever that means. I’m going to tell you about it. Even if it fucks with your world view. Cause honey badger don’t give a shit. Yes, you think life shouldn’t be about violence and pain. Good for you.

I’m woo enough that I more or less believe we pick the lives we have because there are lessons to gain here. I’m either paying for being Hitler or for some insane reason I picked a life where I was going to have to learn as many painful lessons as possible.

A kind woman shared an Eve Ensler video with me about embracing your inner girl. I think she (Eve) had some good things to say but I was struck by something. (I’ve never seen the Vagina Monologues.) Eve spent a lot of time talking about the pain she’s seen… but she kept bringing herself back to it. “I’m going to tell you about this awful thing that happened to my daughter. I adopted her.” Uhm.

You really could have told the story without making yourself the hero.

Even if that is the relationship that is happening you could have supported her without centering yourself.

That. That’s what I don’t want to do with the incest research. I don’t want it to be about how these stories make me feel. I am going to be traumatized by hearing them, yes. So fucking what?! No one asked me to listen. This is my personal thing I’m doing. The work is my personal thing. The stories I hear are not my personal stories. I’m going out into the world looking for these stories–it is the very opposite of victimization. Even if it is traumatic, it will be done with full consent. How do I center the work and the stories and not myself? How do I tell the story without it being about my trauma. I’m kinda obsessed with my trauma and shit. Well, maybe I’ll always be allowed to whine here about how I’m feeling but when I speak publicly it will not be about me. I think that’s a reasonable boundary? Am I ever going to feel like it is ok to talk about me?

With the Impact instructors there is a tense/weird parting thing at the end of the class. They cannot have any social contact with students for a year after a class. And when they talk about it they all go really stone faced in unison. “We are protecting ourselves.”

What does it mean to do work with traumatized people and be traumatized by the experiences and not get muddy about who is hurting whom?

Well I guess I’m going to fucking find out. How much you wanna bet there will be drama galore for me around this?

Not “drama” but intense emotional surges.

Like I do. Sigh.

Signing off.