Category Archives: mother trouble

Calm or productive

This morning started out a little rough for me. I asked EC a couple of weeks ago to cull the multiple boxes of school stuff from last year and pick out which items she wants to put in her portfolio. I guess she didn’t understand what I meant. She threw away all of her previous work from grades K-3 and she threw away her sibling’s portfolio work (only kindergarten) and she filled the portfolio’s with random memorabilia and knick knacks. I didn’t discover this till today, so there’s no chance of climbing through the recycling and getting stuff back.

I about blew a gasket.

I didn’t call names. I didn’t scream about how terrible they were. But I did scream that I was very angry. When I calmed down I said (perhaps inappropriately) that a lot of the reason I am so meticulous about keeping this documentation is because I need to make sure no one can ever say I’m not educating my kids and take them away. EC internalized this as “I threw away the portfolio documentation and that means I’m going to be taken away.” We’ve since talked about how there aren’t actually legal requirements to keep this documentation and my fear of CPS is very irrational given that we are unlikely to be looked at as a family at risk. We talked about the difference between a rational fear and an irrational fear.

I think we’ve all calmed down. But I’ve been the opposite of productive since then. Because I need to put most of my mental and emotional energy into calming down. I uhhh also neglected to take any pot till 1pm, which doesn’t help.

Noah says I didn’t cross a line but the line was getting reeeeeal close and I was teetering.

It’s weird having another adult in the house to walk around following me as I rant. It makes me think I’m glad he missed the first three years of my parenting because I was a much bigger bitch.

My poor children.

I sent out another email looking for a therapist for EC. She has fallen through the cracks in the past few months because the folks who looked possible for her didn’t pan out. I need to get that in line though. It’s not ok that she justifies me screaming at her. That’s fucked up and not ok and she needs to have her own therapist who can help her feel like no one should be screaming at her. Not even her mother.

She isn’t always ok with me screaming at her. I don’t get a free pass. But if I’m yelling at her about something she really did she will often say, “Oh I deserve this one.”

NO. YOU MAY DESERVE TO HAVE SOMEONE TALK TO YOU SHARPLY BUT NO ONE DESERVES TO BE SCREAMED AT UNLESS THEY ARE COMMITTING ASSAULT. SCREAMING IS A SIGN THAT SOMEONE HAS LOST CONTROL AND THAT’S BULLSHIT.

She needs a therapist. I say it to her all the damn time. I phrase it as, “I lost control and I was wrong.”

She doesn’t want me to feel bad.

That’s broken and we need to fix it. I get to feel bad for my shitty actions, too.

It’s like an explosion of pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh here we go

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

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

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

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

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

I should be dead. This still comes up.

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

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

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

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

Oh bitch, please.

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

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

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

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

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

I have some feelings here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Waaaaaaay better than anticipated.

I have been terrified of talking to CPS all of my parenting life. Tonight I called CPS to talk about something that happened in my house. I went into it hyperventilating. I came out of it feeling really reassured.

The lady asked me a ton of questions. Both about the incident, about life in general, about handling the incident.

No I’m not telling the internet what happened.

By the end of the conversation she said, “You are doing everything you can do to handle this. Kids do these kinds of things. Then you educate them. You are doing that. We really couldn’t add help for your family.”

I hate that I want outside validation so much. Am I doing this right? Am I handling this right? This is absolutely the biggest hiccup of our family experience so far. Did I handle it right?

According to CPS they don’t want to open a case file. I called for a consultation and that’s good enough. Keep doing what I’m doing.

That’s not what I expected at all. She was really nice and supportive. She was glad I called to check and see if there is more I should do.

Lady if there is more I have to do for these kids, just give me a check list. I will learn how to do backflips through flaming hoops for them if I have to.

We also had our first visit with the therapist who will be working with Future Middle Child tonight. It went well. I think they will be a good match for my busy, fidgety, impulsive sweetheart.

You don’t have to be a good person to keep improving.

There are days…

There are days when children are jumping up and down and screaming as loud as they can PLEASE BEAT ME. IT WOULD BE SUCH A WONDERFUL IDEA.

Nevertheless we continue to not beat the children.

In that way I have of not wanting to humiliate the children but also wanting to document things for myself let me vaguely say: it was a high crime day.

I need some god damn sleep. I’m mad at my shrink for being so against pot that she thinks me running on 3 -4 hours of sleep for weeks is just fine and I should keep it up.

Today is the kind of day that lets me know I have to deal with some of my biggest issues whether I have a boy child or not.

It’s not only men and boys who hurt people.

I love my children. Sometimes I am spectacularly unimpressed with their behavior.

See, I’m not a perfect mother and I’m not raising perfect children. I’m an asshole raising… uhhh I probably shouldn’t say that.

But I’m just sayin’.

My choices wouldn’t work for other people because other people aren’t broken in the ways I am. They don’t need the same structure.

I am amazed at what y’all do without the rigorous scaffolding I build for myself… and I still fuck up. This much extra time and work still is not producing the best ever results.

I’m not sure what that even means.

There were patterns I wanted to change.

I don’t get to control other people. I can only pray that I influence.

No matter how many times I tell myself I am… I’m not the boss of you. You are. You reminded me today.

Moms and art and adoption

I’m saving my hand spoons for other work; that’s why I’m not writing much lately. I’ve made progress on the kitchen painting. Last time I guesstimated I thought I had 20 hours of painting left. Then I did 6 hours. I think I have 14 hours to go. There have been a bunch of times over the years when I’ve sized up a project and thought “24 work hours” or whatever and I’ve been right to within an hour. I’m really good at guessing how much work something will take. *pat self on back*

I have finished the monkey. I think. Maybe. I’m not in love with the face. I still need to fix the banana tree as per the criticism from my submissive. He’s all, “Let me tell you about banana trees.” He used to work on a banana farm. Mine isn’t done yet apparently. Ok. I’ll fix it.

My pot consumption is way the hell down. I’m thrilled. My taper plus abstinent periods have had a major impact on my tolerance. Yay! At this point I’m using 1/4 as much in a whole day as I used to use in my first smoke of the day. That’s a massive decrease. I’m using at the rate of less than an 1/8/week. That’s a huge drop for me. That’s… that’s pregnancy sustainable.

Do I like the fact that I use drugs during my pregnancies? Well… I use less harsh drugs than other doctors would really prefer I be on. I get through my life with a lot of sheer force of will. Doctors would like me chemically regulated so that my emotions are not so extreme and every single medication these fucking doctors suggest is significantly worse than pot for a pregnancy. I don’t have a great option here. But I’m using at a rate that isn’t particularly problematic again. In my judgmental as fuck stoner opinion. Uhm, I’m not judging someone else’s tolerance. I’m saying for me.

I’m using at a rate I will feel comfortable with for myself. Other people are totally allowed to have their own acceptable rates based on their needs and preferences.

I keep coming back to “Well at least I’m not increasing my drug usage during each pregnancy like my mom did…”

My mom used to joke that with her first pregnancy, she didn’t even smoke cigarettes let alone another drug and no alcohol. During her second pregnancy she smoked cigarettes and had alcohol. During her third pregnancy she smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and smoked pot. By her fourth pregnancy (me) she did all that plus speed. She would follow this up with, “And you are the smartest kid I had! So see, drug usage isn’t all that bad.”

I’m not being like my mom…

I will admit I don’t 100% abstain from alcohol with my pregnancies. But I have like 5 glasses of wine per pregnancy (not within a week or anything). That’s well within acceptable tolerances based on research.

Fuck. I’m not good at this whole abstinent life thing.

Guess what else I forking do? I eat soft cheeses. Nyah nyah.

I’m seeing my nasal surgeon today. I got a massive nosebleed this weekend and I called his office to see if they thought I should come in. The nurse started off with “His notes say you probably don’t need to be checked.” “Let me describe how much blood came out of my nose on Saturday.” “You should come in tomorrow.”

Oh, thank you.

I suspect we shouldn’t try for pregnancy until I get my nose under control. There is a substantial change in blood volume in the body during pregnancy and right now… my nose isn’t doing so hot. I don’t think a surge in blood volume would be awesome.

Damnit. And Noah is no longer shooting blanks so we have to…. use condoms for a while. Wheeeee.

It’s like the good old days.

I’m hopeful we can get started trying in November. *cross fingers* Don’t worry. I’ll tell y’all more details than you want to hear. Maybe.

I will definitely keep updating the tally: 7 months of trying, 4 pregnancies so far.

I may have a lot of problems, fertility isn’t on the list.

I’d kinda like to be done with remodel stuff when I get pregnant. This work is hard on my back and body. I don’t want to do it while pregnant very much. Oh god. Especially because all of my body work will pretty much go away in the first trimester. It’s too risky. Massage can absolutely trigger miscarriage. Both of my miscarriages were right after massages (I doubt they were related) but that history means my massage therapists say they won’t work on me till I’m about 16 weeks. Sob.

I watched Poverty, Inc on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how foreign aid is keeping people in poverty internationally. It covers things like up to 80% of all children who are internationally adopted have living parents and they are in orphanages due to poverty.

Adoption is fucking complicated. I’m not saying it shouldn’t exist at all. I’m saying… it’s really complicated and fraught. I’m saying it’s not like buying a car where it is “yours” now. There are people who make wonderful families through adoption. There are people who are adopted who love their adopted parents and never feel any lack in life. There are lots of other less pleasant endings.

I get through life through sheer force of will. I don’t know that I could manage to extend that halo to a child who had serious problems. Serious attachment disorder problems in particular and when you adopt… it’s a roll of the dice. I am great at teaching children who have a wide variety of mental or physical health problems… as long as they attach. It’s something I’ve noticed about myself. The kids who don’t attach… I keep my distance and I’m not that much help for them. I saw it in school. I saw it with my students. The children who attach… I can help. The ones who don’t… I completely fail them.

There are people who work well with kids/adults who have attachment problems. I’ve been blessed to witness some of these exchanges. I fail.

Why do I feel so drawn to fostering then? Because it feels different. If I fail them… it’s… kinda more expected that some foster parents fail. You can try a different foster family if one isn’t a fit. If you adopt someone and they no longer have a fall back position… that’s fucking traumatizing. A failed foster family placement isn’t awesome but it isn’t quite as damaging as a failed adoption. I say as someone with many failed foster family placements.

I feel I could foster a kid and be present with them for how much they miss their mother and how unfair life is. It would break my heart to adopt a kid and never be enough to fill that hole.

I am selfish.

I miss my mother so much. No surrogate mother has ever done much to fill this terrible hole in my heart. I’ve god damn tried. But everyone… fades away. I’m too much. Too demanding. Too needy. I was too hard as a kid and I’m an adult now and I need to take care of myself.

I’m 35 years old and I’m still waking up at 4am to cry about missing my mother.

I want to be seen in a way that only my mother would have been able to see me if she had actually known me throughout my life. The way that the parents of my students see them. (We went to a party with former students and their entire extended families. Their families are so thrilled I’m still around. I’m even in tight with the grandparents.)

I want my mama to see my art and feel proud that I came out of her.

I want my mama to see my children and feel proud that we came from her.

I can’t give her that.

Yesterday Eldest Child asked about writing a letter to my mom. I would send it. I don’t think I am in a place where I can write to her yet… but I won’t prevent a letter from my kid.

I will actively prevent contact with my sister. She participated in the rapes of her children. She is not allowed near my children. Period. But my mother… sending her a letter isn’t a problem. Especially if I don’t write it.

There is a part of me that is sad that I passed up the opportunity to ask my sister if she’d like to step outside for that fist fight she wanted to start when I was pregnant. I am not a mature or adult person.

Instead when I saw her I looked at the floor and treated her like she wasn’t present. Like she was a non person.

Maybe I’m a little mature.

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?

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.

Words and asking

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

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

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

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

And that backfires. Like such arrangements do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But there is no fair.

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

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

I am so weird about boundaries.

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

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

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

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

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

That won’t be public.

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

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

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

We get one shot at happily ever after.

No pressure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is just a thing.

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

It’s complicated.

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

I am so tired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is so complicated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m having feelings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does sustainable mean?

What is a need and what is a want?

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

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

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

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

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

Hubris is dangerous.

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

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

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

No pressure.

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

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

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

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

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

Where is the line?

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

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

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

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

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

Sex.

Sex is so annoying.

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

I really do.

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

Yeah. It is.

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

And pain.

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t like anyone that much.

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

Oh JesusFuckingChrist No.

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

owe my family better than that.

See how the owe is complicated?

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

Not enough.

It occurs to me that part of my trigger around Noah dating is probably related to the fact that my mom was incapable of loving more than one child at a time. I was literally sent to live with other people over and over and over because I was too demanding of her attention when she needed to focus on another child.

That’s not all of it. But it factors in.

If someone I love a lot loves people other than me… I’m going to be sent away. Because I will never be able to behave good enough to deserve being loved at the same time.

I sure make that true, don’t I?

Limits are funny

My code switching skills are variable. Sometimes I’m excellent. Sometimes I really suck. I have managed to compartmentalized enough that I can have wild sex in every part of my house when my kids aren’t home. That is new. For years it was behind a locked door even when they weren’t home. Noah can testify that it was wacky.

I have serious issues with sexuality and children. This is about me and it isn’t fucking rational.

I don’t want either of us to be having sex any more in places where we bring the kids. I know our house is different… whatever. I don’t care. It makes me uncomfortable. That means I have to stop having sex at the house of friends who invite the kids over. It means Noah does too.

But that doesn’t mean I have to stop going to every person’s house. But it’s an A or B choice. Sex or kids.

Some of our sex-having-friends were tightly involved with our children before sex. That makes the boundaries… interesting to figure out.

I’m having an interesting time figuring out which parts bug me and why.

Like, my kids are never ever ever ever ever going to Cupid’s house or Deity’s house. It’s just not an option. Period. Because I go there for sex.

I have a very visual memory. When I think of places I think of what I have seen there. I am an asshole about getting mental pictures of what Noah is doing.

I’m weird about how that overlaps with my kid-memories of a place.

So like… my kids have been to my submissive’s house. It was a while ago though and so that means we need to decide… is it a sex house or a kid house. Cause right now it’s time to decide.

My kids go to Daddy’s house. I won’t fuck there again.

Is it fair?

Life isn’t fair.

Someday I will just know what these boundaries are and it won’t feel so angsty. I look forward to that day.

How in the hell am I going to be a slut and a good parent. How. How. How.

In no way shape or form do I think that the path I follow is the “One Twue Way“. I think there are many ways to be a good parent.

I’m just trying to figure out how to manage me.

My emotional volatility is a real thing. It’s well documented through lots of life circumstances and events and ups and downs and unrelated situations. And to get a handle on that I picked a life where it isn’t ok to be emotional volatile so I have no choice but to god damn figure out how to be more stable. That means other peoples choices don’t need to look like mine.

Human beings are complicated systems. I’m getting my digestion in order. I’m working on sleep. I’m increasing how much sex I have and the variety because it dramatically improves my mood. Even with the odd fight.

We genuinely don’t fight often. And when we fight it is because we are both feeling insecure and threatened and we don’t know how to ask for reassurance without being kind of an asshole. I think everyone feels taken for granted sometimes.

Maybe I’m projecting.

I’m trying to get things in place for me to handle the next stage of child rearing. We are done with babies. Next year Youngest Child is going into first grade. Kiddo will be 6. Not quite time for academics… but we can see it coming. Kiddo is decidedly resisting being asked to do any academics before 7. Adamant. “Do you want to try a little?” “Nope.”

Well done kiddo. I’m proud.

But Eldest Child is teaching herself to read increasingly complicated books at a rapid rate. This month I should figure out what I need to do to get her a tour at the part-time-homeschool-through-the-district program. She’s interested for third grade. So it sounds like we are going to slide towards school instead of waiting and going all at once when she’s older.

I don’t mind.

Limits are interesting to find. She wants more consistent push now. And she wants it to be with peers in a group. I’m ok with that. I wanted to wait until she was ready. She is now. I’m completely forking ok with the amount of separation she’s asking for. I might balk if she asked for full time school. I don’t think it would go well. Part time sounds great.

It will be nice to spend more time with Youngest Child alone. That kid blows my mind all the time. The jokes. The connections. The desire to have a sunny spirit even though the child has mood swings like a mofo. This is a kid who will have a journey in life. I hope I am going to be able to be the kind of support I need to be. I’m trying.

Part of the reason we need to cut back on dating in terms of time is because we can’t date that many nights and exercise and pay attention to the kids and date each other and have friends and get alone time.

Holy crap.

We need alone time for different reasons. But we both have times when we really need time alone in a room. Preferably with our computers. Our one true love.

I see you, Noah.

Although really if I had to give up my computer or Noah I’d bin the computer without thought. Even you, oh internet, are not as wonderful as Noah. You don’t get me off like that. Speaking of which I should stop typing for the day.

Our kids were invited for an extra night at my friend’s house. So Noah left me an assignment. I’m supposed to get off 30 times. That’s hard masturbating. So I’m going to need to spend a lot of time. Sigh. Poor me. Bye.

Ok, yeah. My life is awesome. It isn’t perfect every minute. But I really don’t get to complain. Not really. I can process the parts I don’t like… but good grief.

I am where I want to be. I have support. I have friendship. I have love. I have the freedom to try things and course correct when I figure out which parts work and don’t work for me. Because it only has to work for me and Noah. Well, and the folks we go on to negotiate with. Their consent matters too.

But we have to figure out our limits and boundaries first and then negotiate from that position. Which has been tricky over the last few months because we didn’t know. I wanted to go fuck around and see what would stick. I have a better idea now.

That’s the point of trying things, right? It isn’t that you have to be committed to always doing something the same way if you try it once or twice.

Hell, even if you do something for a few years you don’t have to keep doing it that way forever. You can renegotiate.

 

But I like the telling part…

I went to a party last night. The kind of party where you aren’t supposed to talk about what you do. But how much do I respect those boundaries? Only by the skin of my teeth. Which has no skin. So I totally don’t get that expression.

It was hot. I had a lot of fun. It was interesting to manage my feelings and expectations. Noah had more uhm contacts than me (this was intentional) and we both left feeling like we had a really positive experience.

I do have explicit permission to write about one of my partners. He has given me blanket permission to write about him. But that’s complicated. You see, a lot of folks I know… also know him. I’m having big feelings. They come in waves and layers and they impact many different aspects of my life.

Who am I? What do I want? Am I good or am I a monster? Can’t I be both? Is it ok?

I’m not sure I want to stop being a monster. What I want to do is go bite him right on top of the bruise he has from me biting him last night. That’s what I want to do.

He said that for that night it was a 9 but in the future I can treat it like a 7 because he really wants to let me do what I want to do.

So. Hot. Explosively. Hot.

Well I had my first fuck since Muse. Not with my friend I am hurting. Why not?

Why not?

Why not?

Why do I need that to be a boundary? I’m still thinking about it. It’s complicated. It has to do with a sense of obligation, about boundaries, about my own limits around energetic output, and of course it’s about the fact that when I’m being super slutty… I wanna bottom.

Even though it is explosively orgasmic to fuck your throat, it is hard for me to turn around and say, “Ok now I want you to fuck me like this and like that and do it this way and harder and…”

When I’m fucking I want to drop like a rock.

That was part of the trouble with breaking the rule in Portland. I wanted to break so many rules. I wanted to cheat. Because he likes flipping people.

That’s where I get in trouble. My friend, who lets me hurt him so exquisitely, has absolutely no drive or desire or impulse to flip me. Not an ounce. None. I’ve looked in that well. I’ve dug out the bottom praying for brackish sips of toppy energy.

I love you so much. I want to drop when I fuck.

I feel bad for wanting that and I don’t want to feel bad for that.

I can do enough feedback to tell a stranger how to avoid land mines and encourage them to hit the tempo I want. That’s easy. I can’t tell a submissive how to fake being forceful enough to fuck me. I know folks who can. My hat is off to you. Sounds fucking hot. I can’t do it.

That was the thing with my Owner. He liked to submit to me. But when he was done he wanted to flip the table hard and have me go down.

I like that.

If I don’t feel a strong challenge, if I don’t feel like someone kind of wants to crawl inside me to eat my neck from the inside… meh. I’ll go find someone else to fuck. Don’t worry. There are more out there. Dick is the most plentiful thing on earth. As Feminista Jones recently pointed out, dick is more plentiful than drinking water.

And if what I want is someone who will fuck me like an animal then go away and not talk to me anymore?

I’m in a god damn buyers market.

This is part of why negotiating boundaries with Noah is so hard. I’m so touchy. I’m so sensitive. I need so much attention and energy and maintenance. We aren’t going to be polyamorous any year soon if ever. I have no desire to share that big of a piece of him.

But how does it work to fuck your friends? How does it work to keep people at a distance? I don’t know.

My kids are my secondaries. That sounds creepy. I don’t think we have an emotionally incestuous relationship. I think we have a lot of boundaries around what it means to be support for one another. I don’t think I am overly enmeshed or overly dependent on them. But I am really seriously teaching them how to take care of themselves. And I’m doing that by figuring it out (kinda) in front of them.

I believe with all my heart and soul that much of this journey needs to be off-screen for them. Sure, I write about it publicly and some day they may discover just how skanky their mom was/is…

I can live with that.

I believe I am allowing them to grow up in a world where sexuality is normal, healthy, private, and personal. People do it in a lot of different ways for a lot of reasons and there is no one way that is right or wrong. We have friends of quite diverse family arrangements. And I’m matter of fact and shame free about all of it. I explain why things I tried failed because of defects in my personality. It isn’t that those ways of existing are wrong.

I just can’t do them.

I don’t know why sex can be biting someone and slapping him and fucking his throat with my strap on and that’s enough. We didn’t even kiss.

But sometimes that is a complete sexual experience that needs to be respected within the boundaries that apply to it. Sex isn’t what you think it is. Sex is a lot of things.

I kissed his body. I kissed his neck. I licked him. Do you know the most contact I had with his cock? When he was wearing pants I kneeled on his crotch and jerked him off with my knees. I was still fully dressed.

Sex can be a lot of things.

Sex can be a lot of things it can’t be with Noah. That’s feeling interesting to me right now. And then the pick up sex.

Gosh. Feeeeeeeeeeeeelings. Where do these all fit in my heart, in my loins, in my life?

I asked permission for the pick up sex. Absolutely no cheating happened. This was all highly negotiated and safe and what not. Lots of condoms and covered oral sex. Ok we didn’t use gloves for fingering.

I swear to goodness driving across the country with my kids was more dangerous than fucking this dude.

Why didn’t I hunt for a woman?

Complicated.

Because there are more feelings involved. Squishy feelings. Feelings I have a harder time keeping at arms length. Because I want to fall in love with you. Because I miss women so much. Because I would want to… not have the boundaries I’m supposed to have. Because I do want to come over and bring my kids and all of us can cuddle because surely that’s not a problem, right?

A long time ago I went home with a couple after a wild drug fueled orgy. I shit you not. In the morning the three of us were lying in bed naked doing more drugs. In walked their eight year old kid.

No one blinked. This was just normal.

I left very soon after. I didn’t really keep dating them. I couldn’t do that.

My kids know I smoke pot. My kids know I have had sex. My kids see my casually naked because I genuinely see nudity as not a big deal.

My kids don’t walk in on me smoking pot with my lovers in the nude. Nope, nope, nope.

Do I think I’m better than them? No. Not really. Because you can go down a list of this for that wrong for right and… I’m not. I’m not better than anyone. I don’t have stones to throw. But I have decisions to make about where my boundaries need to be.

Isn’t judging kind of a necessary thing in life? It doesn’t have to mean someone else is in the wrong. But you have to judge anyway. You have to judge if something is right for you.

I asked very careful permission before I engaged in any sm play because this was not a bdsm party. I asked the host, I found a semi-private room. I asked the other people playing in the room for permission before I got started. When other people wanted to join us in the room I asked them if they were comfortable before things got going.

I want it to be ok for me to be in my place in the weird ass world and I want it to be ok that sometimes other people need to be protected from my baser urges. My baser urges are pretty wicked and I know that. Whoa.

I kept it light. I knew I was at a vanilla party. I’m told I only got up to a 3/4 for the hitting. The biting I got more fierce because that doesn’t scare people who are watching. Uhm, not as much?

No punching. No kicking. No serious choking.

I kept it kinda sensual mean.

aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh. I’m going to beat off like a fiend for weeks thinking about this. I need to go to a real bdsm party with him so I can fuck him up. I feel like I’m fiending like a junkie. I like this feeling.

This used to be my life. Ok, I didn’t top that much. Enough. I topped as often as other people could talk me into it. Because people who really crave being hit can tell what I have hiding beneath my smile.

How am I going to keep boundaries around this?

I’ve already loved you for way more than ten years. I’ve known you for more than fifteen years. If this changes, what will that mean? How much of me is going to go to a relationship that has been… super low key for a long time?

That’s the rub. That’s where the negotiating comes in.

Last night I was teasing him and I was teasing me. I know what we both really want and I couldn’t give it to him there. It wouldn’t have been appropriate.

See: I can be taught.

He told me, “Many years ago I decided that even if I didn’t know what you wanted from me, I want to give you everything I have.”

Danger. Danger. Danger. Soooooooooooooooooo much temptation there. That could be so much fun. So much intoxication. So much excitement.

Crap.

It’s magical. It’s appealing.

I have at least ten more years before I will consider seriously dating. Realistically I’m not sure our marriage would survive a serious outside relationship for one of us. We are enmeshed mother fuckers.

But I don’t mind when he goes and does x with someone else.

Cause it isn’t cheating. I walked into the room. I saw what was happening. I saw who it was happening with. I grinned. I walked out.

I like watching other people but I honestly don’t like watching Noah have sex with a stranger. I like watching him fuck my friends because then I can tell them both what to do and be a bossy shithead. That’s kinda inappropriate when he’s banging someone I don’t know. Boundaries, bitch.

And the very best part is when we got home he wasn’t ready to get a hard on so he put on  a strap on and fucked me till he was ready to get hard again. Because I wasn’t done yet and if you aren’t hard that’s fine, we have equipment for that. I’m not done yet. And then we woke up and had frantic sex again in the middle of the early morning.

Because we feel cocky, snotty, insatiable, and completely and totally lucky that we get to come home and fuck each other.

I think it is hilarious that my shrink is shocked by how much sex we have considering how long we have been married. “Krissy, you know that people just don’t do that, right?” Meh. I know people who do. Maybe you don’ t know the right people.

It’s all about where you stand.

Noah likes to make fun of me. If I can find people who are more extreme at something I will loudly and prolifically say that I’m not that good at ________. Doesn’t matter what the topic is.

If there are fifty people alive who are better than me, clearly I’m not that good.

Uhhhh, right?

Depends on your scale. I’ve never ever tried to be a specialist. I’m a generalist. So what the fuck does that mean?

I don’t know yet.

Let’s find out.

Peace

This morning I had a peaceful moment. One of those true, Zen moments of “I am happy and this is where I want to be.” Eldest Child woke up to use the restroom too early. I was awake doing chores, like usual. She asked me if I would climb in bed with her so she could sing me a lullaby. Twinkle Twinkle was the song of choice. Then she spent a while talking to me about why she likes me.

This is kind of a habit I have with the kids. I don’t put them to bed all the time, probably not even half the time these days at home. Maybe a quarter of the time? But we had the road trip and all the years before that of shared bed times. At bed time, what we do is we cuddle up close and spent 15-20 minutes talking about all the reasons we like each other. “You did ____ and I was so impressed with your thoughtfulness. You did ______ and I was shocked to see that you have made that developmental jump. I thought that was a (age inflation) thing and I’m really wow’ed. You said ______ word today and that was surprising because I didn’t know you knew that word!”

We bookend that with waking up to morning snuggles. During morning snuggles we talk about what we need to do today and how the schedule will work.

I can understand why my children insist I’m not an asshole and I just have bad moments. I don’t understand it so much from other people. Sometimes I feel like my children get to have a relationship with someone that no one else even gets to meet.

Sometimes I am capable of seeing myself as kind, giving, and loving.

That doesn’t change the fact that I’m an asshole.

Contradiction is necessary for life. For survival. You can be kind and an asshole.

Why am I so convinced I’m an asshole? Because I lawyer up fast when my contractors give me trouble. Because I find that swearing at men really harshly is one of the best ways to convince strange men I’m not interested in their attention. Because I find that sometimes it is necessary to kick people really hard to get them to let go and I’m willing to do it. Because I’m going to keep talking about why the word whore is eating my brain even though people with sex work careers twitch and feel really upset about it.

Want to hear something wild? Yesterday one of the most famous sex workers of our era gave me permission to use the word whore however I need to in my processing. She says if anyone questions me again I can send them to her.

That is… incredibly validating. Wow. Thanks.

I’m not sure I’m ever going to pull that card. But I may print out that tweet and cut it up small and put it in my wallet next to the permission slip from Noah. Just so that I think about it.

I have permission to look at this however hard I need to in order to get over it. She said so.

I am so fucking weird about permission. I’ve spent my whole life cringing, crying, and hurting myself because I felt that was the only thing I was allowed to do without permission. I need permission to stop. I need permission to feel something else about myself.

Why does that have to be the default? I mean, blame your parents yada yada, why does that have to be my default?

Why do I have to assume, in every moment, that I am the least valuable person present and if someone should die it should be me?

Not that I want to get to the point of wanting to sacrifice other people for myself.

Wait, maybe that is it.

I have never known a white person with really high self esteem who isn’t willing to throw other people under the bus for their own advancement. I have known people of color with high self esteem whom I have never seen sacrifice a friend. I know people of color who are exploitive assholes, too.

I’m trying to think through my white friends… y’all make very self absorbed choices. I do too. I’m not sitting on a high horse. I’m sitting flat on the ground. I’m not high and mighty here. I’m trying to figure out how this works.

I am willing to throw people under a bus if I feel I have to do so in order to be effective.

That’s why I’m an asshole. I need accurate labeling so other people know they have to protect themselves from me.

want to help you. I will try to help you. But if I feel I have to be effective in some area for Reasons…

I’m a selfish piece of shit. That’s why I’m alive. I’m willing to say that Safeway doesn’t matter as much as me, I’m stealing food. I’m willing to say, “Being around people who make choices like x is so problematic to me that I will bug and bug and bug people who make choices like that until they don’t want to know me any more.”

I’m an asshole because I make a lot of assumptions about people and I don’t check my privilege nearly often enough. I’m trying to get better. This is hard.

My life has been kind of hard to adjust to.

I spent my childhood moving like a ghost through different communities. I never stayed long enough to belong. I lived in a lot of neighborhoods where we were the only white family. I grew up feeling like being white was a bad thing. Know why? White people don’t care about their kids very much. That was how I experienced it as a child. I don’t think that is literally true across the board. That was my experience. In white neighborhoods there were always packs of unsupervised children doing horrifyingly inappropriate things. In neighborhoods of color there might be much older teenagers or 20-somethings causing trouble, but the kids were god damn watched.

I was chased out of so many homes for having bad behavior. I was told I was a bad girl dozens, maybe a hundred times.

It’s funny how my memories of these things change and drift. I remember them very differently as my understanding of the situation changes.

When I was 21ish I honestly didn’t remember all those lectures about being bad. I had kinda blocked them out. I knew I was bad but it was a fog hanging over my life. I didn’t have all those disparate voices going through my head.

As a parent watching my children be children (by which I mean breaking rules and fucking up) I hear those people in my head over and over more and more clearly. Oh. That was why they said that.

Click.

Now I get it.

Shit.

I have always felt like I was living in many ages at once. But I feel like my future selves have changed a lot over my life. My ability to perceive who I could be has changed.

These days I can picture having grandchildren who scornfully tell my children that they should be more patient, like Grammie. I will giggle. My children will say, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS LIKE TO GROW UP WITH.” I will giggle.

Do you have any idea what having that vision in my head means to me? I have the belief that I might be able to arrive at having the kind of experience of being in my body that I want to have. I believe that I might get to the point of being actually regulated and calm.

I have hope for something I was not capable of dreaming up 20 years ago.

It’s amazing what ten years of safety can do for a body. I see it in myself. I see it in my children. That is something that home schooling does for me that isn’t necessary for almost anyone else I know.

I require this specific time to be set aside in my adult life where the entire point of my day is to model how to have big emotions, get them under control, deal with them appropriately when they come up, and then keep working.

Not suppressing. Not denying. Not minimizing. Not avoiding until it comes crashing down on you at some inappropriate time in the future. Your feelings matter. They live in you and they serve a purpose. If you ignore them in the moment you will pay a price later. There are times and places where emotional displays are not appropriate, but get that stuff out as fast as possible so it doesn’t become a poison.

I am grateful every day for the life I am leading right now.

I have the safety, the money, the access to care providers, and the education to do something about the trauma in my body.

That is magical. This should be available to everyone who has experienced trauma. We would be a better world.

People deserve to be seen in context and understood. Most people who seem “crazy” to you wouldn’t seem so crazy if you knew more about their story. I tell my children all the time, “Weird just means you aren’t used to it yet; eventually it is just normal.”

My mom used to say, “The only norma people are the ones you don’t know very well.”

One of my neighbors is stepping up the offer of maternal-nature-friendship. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, Thank You Oh Universe, You Sure Do Like To Hear My Calls, Don’t You?

On the other hand… I’m scared of blowing up what we currently have if she finds out more about me. I’m not exactly the uhhhh conservative type and she is quite shy, scared, and sheltered. I don’t want to hurt her. She will need a lot of boundaries around the kinds of things she can handle hearing and I’m not sure how to find those boundaries without fucking up pretty badly. Once you say something it can never be unsaid.

We have a really solid, positive relationship. Losing it would be brutal. This feels really tricky. Our families are fairly strongly connected at the level we have now. I feel really like this is a big risk. Much bigger than telling all the strangers on the internet about my raunchy sex life and habit of beating people up for fun.

I’m kinda weird.

My superego is fucking developed at this point, ok? I’m growing up.

I’m an asshole and she is not. She wants to mother me. What will she do when she finds out I have approximately 500 x’s as much life experience as her?

There is a thing I think about. When I was in the bdsm community I was really serious about learning all I could as fast as I could. I played a lot with a lot of people. Basically I spent more time on bdsm than I spent on my college education, which I was pursuing simultaneously. Much Much Much more time on bdsm.

I was a serious slut and it was really fun and I have no regrets. I learned what I wanted to learn from that experience. I’m shocked at how often I find ways to apply the lessons I’ve learned, not in ways you’d expect.

I had more life experience at 25 than many people have at 50. It isn’t hyperbole, it is simple fact. I say yes to almost anything that comes up. I know very diverse people in many communities. I’m a moody bastard with a short attention span.

I’ve done a lot of things. It is something I notice when I meet new people these days. I sound like a lying braggart. Nope. I got receipts. I did all that. Why? Because I never felt like I had a better choice than to do what I was doing so I did it all in. As soon as something stops feeling like the best choice in the moment I break down, fall into a deep depression. Go home. Hurt myself until I figure out that the boundaries required in that community are not things I can maintain long-term. Then I heal. Then I try again.

It goes faster and faster as I age and get boundaries carved out of granite. It is harder to change them. I am less tolerant of my internal, “I need to conform by doing x in this environment” sensor and I just flee.

I have a home now. I have less reason to tolerate your bullshit rules. Wanna know why I know they are bullshit rules? Cause this ain’t my first rodeo. Don’t worry, I think the rules in my house are bullshit too. They are all weird and arbitrary. They are made to suit the moods of whichever asshole in the vicinity is loudest.

I know.

I used to know a man who liked to say, “I’m the only psycho in this relationship” or maybe he said he was the only one who gets to be crazy? I may be misremembering. I’ll cop to that.

I need to be the biggest asshole in the space I’m in. So Noah is an asshole, but I know that I’m much more likely to be the one to bulldoze than him.

It works for us. Picture a heart emoji here, but I have technically banned them so this will have to do.

He doesn’t think I’m an asshole. That’s part of why this works. I think we are both assholes and I’m just a bigger one. But he’s all mellow and tolerant so it works out. Do you however you need to, ok?

I’m going to be kinda passive aggressive here and say: if you are one of Noah’s friends… this is a great time to ask him to go out some time. He needs to talk. To more people than just me right now cause life is like that sometimes.

I can’t fill his tank as much as he needs me to right now. Because I’m dealing with the remodel and and and. His job is kinda hard.

I need to go beat the shit out of people. I don’t know what he needs. But right now, he’s wilting like a flower and that’s a serious bummer. I don’t know what it is that is missing right now, but clearly all the right nutrients aren’t in place.

This is the kind of micromanaging, paying attention that I want in my life. It is why I appreciate the people who have stuck with me and really got to know me so much. Because I’m more pushy like this by the year. Because people do it more with me. It’s a careful balance. How much controlling and influencing other people should we do?

I really don’t know where those boundaries ought to be. I’m not pulling up Noah’s email account and making plans for him. That’s over the line.

Where is the line?

Everyone is different. I want you to get to be who you need to be. I want to figure out who I need to be and I want to just do the shit out of it.

This feels like baby steps towards self love, doesn’t it? This morning feels good. I have to say that these piles of tile are inspiring. I may be jaunting off to get more sparkly tiles today. I’m really excited about the snow wall. I want to build that first because I have so much white and it would be nice to get it mostly used up and out of the way so I see how much I need to still buy in terms of tile for the rest of the bathroom. I really can’t tell yet.

It depends on how high up the walls I want to go, right? We’ll see!

Youngest child’s half bathroom is spring. Other half bathroom is summer. The bathing room is going to have autumn and winter. I can’t wait to look at the sparkly snow while I take baths in candle light at night. That will be so beautiful.

I’m serious my friends, if you want to come take a bath… let me know.

I’m thinking hard about how I want to make the tree of life that will climb up the wall over the bath tub. I need to look at more pictures. That will probably be that last bit I design because much of it might be painted, I haven’t decided.

I know that “traditionally speaking” you want flat walls. I’m not going to have flat walls with perfectly level tile. It’s going to be pretty rough and it will be on purpose and structured and artistic. I think it will work.

Oh please God let this work cause this puppy is going to be expensive if I fuck up.

Go big or go home, bitch.

Oh goodness what did I get myself into?!

Have I told you that the floor will have a stone path lined with green tiles to look like grass?

I’m having SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FUN.

If only the roof weren’t uhm, being tricky. We are still negotiating. I’m blathering on Twitter but I won’t rehash it here. Just… gotta keep walking on. I’m trying to not be angry. At this point all of the guys in the company have apologized for making decisions without me when clearly they made the wrong choice at a critical juncture. I had preferences and they didn’t ask. Even though I’ve told them over and over and over I want to be asked.

Ok. Trying to move on. Have to get this shit finished. If it’s beautiful… I will still write positive reviews with caveats about how I had to be fierce in advocating for myself.

I made it very clear that from here on out the crew was not to dump their lunch garbage all over and leave it here for weeks. Saw blades are all over the ground and that’s not cool. My lawyer was at this meeting. I should stop talking about it for all kinds of reasons.

I wanted to write something down here for documenting purposes. Instead, I hit cut’n’paste and sent it to my lawyer.

That seems smart just now.

Past self, you picked this woman out based on proximity and hope. Well done!

Today will be a good day, I think. I hope. I believe. Oh yeah, a friend asked if she could come over to dinner. I should tell Noah. Ha. Surprise. We have six people coming over for dinner.

Roll with it. Life flows like that. If people ask to come over for dinner the next night and I have no plans…. I’m weak. I have no willpower for that kind of rejection. Because you hit my sweet spot. Basically no output of energy and lots of input of attention. Yeah, you can do that. Sounds awesome. I have to cook anyway. Don’t worry. I always have enough food around.

You never know who might be coming to dinner.

 

Too much, again. Damnit.

Stuff is creeping in. Today: having lunch with a friend then we are getting tattoos. Tonight I’m having dinner with a lovely friend. Tomorrow is all the massage. The kids also have stuff to get to.

It isn’t that what I’m doing is hard, it is that I’m having to switch gears on what I’m thinking about. I was thinking about that process lately: transitioning. I’ve been staring at the kids all week and thinking about the idea of transitioning from one activity to another and how do we do it?

A friend asked me how I feel about classes that my kids sign up for. Do I insist on attendance? Err… it doesn’t come up much? My kids aren’t very scheduled. Our classes are exciting treats that we are very happy to learn about. There is no dragging. It isn’t hard for us to get out of the house (mostly) because I start getting ready about three hours before we need to leave.

Most days we sit down at breakfast and talk about the structure of the day. What are we doing? Where are we going? I give the kids an idea of what to expect and when I’ll start prompting them to get ready.

Very rarely I run into the room and say, “Oh shoot! I didn’t look at a clock and I forgot _____ and we need to walk out the door RIGHT NOW!!!”

I am shocked that when I do this the kids usually jump up in the air and start rushing to get ready like someone is chasing them with a hot poker. They have bought in to “this is our life and we are obligated to show up when we say we will”.

I talk a lot about respecting teachers because they choose to share what they know with people who want to learn. That’s a gift and an honor. You must respect the efforts of teachers.

Kinda funny given how anti school I am, right? I’m not anti teachers. I’m anti-Industrial-Era-conformity-brainwashing.

That’s not the same thing as learning or education or teachers. In fact I have incredible respect for the process of learning.

Not that every school (public or otherwise) works the same way. I know. But it’s a crapshoot year by year. In “school” you don’t get to pick your teachers, mostly. In life you do. College is a weird hybrid of “school” and life because you have some choice but not that much. You pick your place of education more. (Not that most people research the teaching staff much before picking a university.) You get to drop classes and take a different teacher if you don’t like an approach… sometimes.

I have multiple bad grades (D or F) on my record because of personality conflicts with teachers. Does that mean I know nothing about those subjects? Nope. It means that bitch didn’t like me.

That happens.

School is about measuring how you jump through the random hoops that someone decides to set for you. You think it is even and fair how those hoops are divvied out? Ha. Ha. Ha.

Standardized tests are flat out abusive to most minority populations. Why? Because they say, “Hey, how quickly can you identify all this random shit from White American Culture? Not fast? Then you’re stupid.”

That’s abusive.

And school in America in the year 2016 is about, “How fast can you regurgitate facts about this culture to prove you are ‘smart’.

Yes there are exceptions. Yes there are good teachers in public schools and there are good private schools.

Are those private schools available to people who are very poor? No? Then school in America is about regurgitating facts. I don’t care that your kid might be getting away with having a good experience. The majority of American children are not.

How do I know this? Why am I so god damn confident of what I know? Because I went to 25 schools. Then 7 universities. Then I substituted in about 8 schools. Then I taught in 4 schools.

It’s not a huge sample size. But it’s big enough to let me see a diversity most people get to pretend doesn’t exist. I went to schools in rural areas, in neighborhoods of a predominate ethnic identity other than white, in rich schools, in poor schools, and many levels in between. I’ve seen Silicon Valley, Compton, and rural Oklahoma.

I can’t speak to the east coast from personal experience. But I read a lot of teachers. I’m pretty sure I’m right from coast to coast. Teachers are talking about the problems in the system. All you have to do is go look a little bit and you’ll find criticism. You’ll never run out of it to read.

I don’t think my way is right or mass actionable. I don’t think the solution to our broken schooling system is everyone opting out to home school. But I don’t know how to force the solutions that are necessary. I don’t know how to force a non-abusive mechanism on top of an abusive system and I just can’t be part of that abusive system any more. Not as a student and not as a parent.

Could I be a teacher in that system? Sure. Why? Because I’m subversive as fuck and I think the kids who are there need people like me whenever possible. Will I sacrifice everything in my life on the altar of helping other peoples kids?

No. I made these two people. I’m responsible for them.

Yesterday I cracked. I stopped asking the kids to help and I sent them outside to play. They had a glorious day and I got the house like 75% of the way to clean. Yes, I know people believe that I clean frantically full time and my house is always spotless so it isn’t that much work (or something). Well, actually…. (I find myself using that more often because it is now a banned phrase in many places. I try to only do it when I’m being a snot and refuting ideas about myself that annoy me.) I don’t clean that much. My house turns into a pit just like everyone else’s house. But I host big parties pretty frequently and I usually spend about a week cleaning before hand. So people think my house is always clean.

It’s a ruse.

I can usually flight of the bumblebee and feel presentable for dinner guests. And my kids have to pick up their toys before they get screens so our house doesn’t get that bad. Only mostly they clean by shoving whichever behind whatever and into wherever. So every so often we have to dump ever drawer, every shelf, every everything in order to find things. Because seriously after a while we can’t find anything and then everyone expects me to be a fucking homing beacon and they ask me 9,032 times a day where “x” is.

can’t.

They ask me to buy them new shoes because they can’t find any to wear. I clean their room and find four pairs. That kinda thing.

So a few times a year we face overwhelming chaos. For the love of toast I don’t know how families with two working parents ever clean at all. When it gets bad (like me being gone two weekends in a row so things kinda pile up extra hard, and we are remodeling, and school level transitioning) it will take a solid 8-10 days of me cleaning for 4-10 hours/day.

(There’s always a day in the middle where I clean for four hours then collapse in a heap and cry for a while.)

This cleaning is extra epic because Youngest child has to be entirely moved out of that bedroom indefinitely for the remodel. They are currently replacing the wall/window and that room is not sealed to the out doors. (They have built the new bathroom walls/front wall in front of it, but it’s not all done and everything.) Lots of construction debris in there. Kiddo can’t use that room.

So they are sharing again for a bit. Which was ridiculous extra cleaning and sorting. Frankly I think they were god damn awesome.

At one point Eldest Child started crying and said, “I’m just not good at cleaning. I’m not smart at this and I never will be.”

I laughed and laughed and laughed. She looked at me and said, “WHAT?!”

“You act like I fell out of my mother’s womb being able to clean. I couldn’t do it when I was seven. Frankly I think you have more skill than I had at that age.”

She blinked for a bit, dried her eyes, and got up and made tremendous progress all in a big burst. At the end she grinned at me and said, “Ok I am getting better.”

Cocky little thing. Yes, you are. Every day. Every year. You are getting better.

So I think about these things because transitioning eats into progress. The more times I have to transition in a day the less progress I make on all tasks. This is a well documented phenomena. You can spend four years taking a Spanish class, or four months of immersion. And after the immersion experience you will be far more fluent.

Some guys I know were bitching at me that I should really stop what I’m doing with my life and learn all about the influential music from 1968.

I told them I don’t have time and they demanded that I justify what is more important than that. I rattled off what I’m doing with my life. They kinda blinked at me and said, “Ok maybe you don’t have time.”

No shit, Sherlock.

Everyone has different stuff going on in their lives. Everyone has a different comfort level of transitions. I don’t need to judge what other people need in order to feel comfortable. That internal Holy Fucking Shit No reaction needs to be turned off. Ain’t nobody trying to tell me that I need to pick it up. Not really.

My inside voice is changing. I do hear you.

Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

Why do I talk to myself? Because over time I am changing how I react to different stimuli. It was said that a lot of what is interesting about me now is that I do fewer global freak outs. When something is upsetting to me I don’t scream about everyone and everything. I can say exactly what I’m upset about and why and I can usually trace it down to the root. That’s letting me pull the weeds. I can tell which tendrils are a problem.

It’s ok that I failed in the school environment. I mean, I was usually an A/B student (except for personality conflicts) and I’m still a failure in the school environment. It isn’t that I’m unintelligent. But I cannot conform in the ways required to go period to period learning in the teeny chunks that can hopefully be absorbed by a large enough percentage of people to not be a complete waste of time to everyone. Woo.

Do you know why I was a good teacher? Because I met before school, during breaks, after school, and on Saturdays with students who could not understand what I was teaching and I helped them catch up on foundational information they missed along the way.

I can’t give that much of myself to people outside my family right now. My kids need that time from me. Why? Because we have some fucked up brain chemistry and DNA from generations of trauma. We need to do what we are doing right now.

We are learning how to adapt to life. We are learning how to learn. We are learning shit loads of stuff that we will be able to use later. We are planning. We are growing.

And we are doing it slowly. We are doing it by concentrating on one thing at a time for a few weeks.

That way we can spend many hours a day on one task and make substantial progress at it instead of spending 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there.

It is hard. It is physically and mentally and emotionally taxing. But I enjoy it. I feel rewarded. I feel like my reward is the conversation I get to have around the table every meal. My kids fucking think.

I know so much intense analysis of My Little Pony characters that it is ridiculous because I don’t think I’ve ever watched an episode. I know their back stories, motivations, and things that are being foreshadowed. Yeah. My kid told me, “They are seriously foreshadowing something about her in this episode….” Then later I heard, “In this episode they broke the fourth wall to…”

I asked her if she knows what breaking the fourth wall actually means. Nope. So I explained. In great detail. With lots of examples. Afterwards she started rattling off examples.

Yup. Like that.

I treat my children like if they don’t know something yet it is because I have not yet done a good enough job of talking about it. So I’d better get on that.

I really like my life.

I like feeling responsible. Resiliency experts say that people are most likely to be successful if they internalize that they must be responsible. In other words: we must find a way or make a way. So we do.

I feel that way about anti-racist stuff. Incest research. Home schooling. Teaching my kids how to take care of their shit.

I believe I must make this work. Period. So I will.

What does that actually fucking mean? It means that I picked this life. Who the fuck knows why. So I’m going to live it to the absolute fullest. With great privilege comes great responsibility. I’m one of the luckiest mother fuckers born in the history of all time.

How did that happen?

Even with all the trauma. So fucking what. Every level of person experiences trauma. That’s universal. Not every being experiences trauma (lucky bastards) but every level of human experience has trauma.

What traumatizes one person is standard, normal, and appropriate to someone else. So check your fucking judgment, wench. (talking to myself…)

I have an idea for the tattoo. I’m not going to write it out in advance. But I’m going to have a wonderful time talking to my artist today. He’s so wonderful.

And I’m having lunch with a friend first. Then dinner with a different friend.

I don’t in any way want to complain about the fullness of my life. I am blessed. I am loved. People seek out my company on my terms. Because they consider the effort to be worth what they get in return.

I can’t judge that. I need to just say thank you.

I’m trying to slow down. Frankly the remodel is driving me batty. They are banging all day long. So every second all day long I have to process hitting sounds and decide they aren’t a threat.

That wears me out.

But I have to be home. For Reasons.

So I’m doing what I can to destress in the house. My anxiety is spiking like a motherfucker. But! I know it is temporary so I can have something I badly want and I’ll get to have it as long as I live here. Sounds worth putting up with.

But it hurts my body. It’ll end soon.

Every time I transition from thinking, “Is that the door?” back to whatever I’m doing… it takes a penalty spoon.

So I’m thinking about transitions like fuck right now. How many activities can I manage to get done in a day? How much work? How many different kinds of tasks? I think it is funny how different stages of cleaning feel different to me. I can’t declutter a room, organize it, then remove filth all in a go. I just can’t transition like that. I have to declutter the house. Then organize it. Then clean. I can’t go back and forth because I experience distress physically and psychiatrically.

Transitions are that hard for me. I will fall to the floor and sob and not be able to do whatever it is you want of me because I just can’t.

That’s something that has been a pattern in my life for a very long time and I’m just kind of recognizing what that means in my head. Oh. Flooding. Oh. That’s…

Oh.

Yeah. That.

I like intense connections with a lot of fucking bandwidth. So when I need to spread that bandwidth out between 37 different distractions instead of 2-3…

I hurt.

It isn’t anyone else’s fault. But I’m trying to figure out what managing that means. I need this to get better. I need to stop flooding when I walk near someone else’s life because I feel like I should try to conform and I can’t I can’t I can’t.

No one god damn asked you to. Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

I’m trying.

It’s funny to stop and think, “This is actually a huge improvement!”

Good grief.

There are a high number of specific high intensity things I want to get done in this life. I won’t get them done in 15 minutes of prep at a time. That’s ok. I don’t need to schedule my life how other people do. It is working for them. Stop projecting.

We all want different things. Health means something different to every person.

I’m trying to figure out what it means to me. This is proving to be more complicated than expected. Not sure if that is because I was naive to start with or what. Anything is possible.

I’m making a lot of progress with my pain stuff. (The overall refraining from typing is helping. Hey–it’s Friday. I kinda took a few days off… I am trying to moderate…)

I’m making progress on pain stuff. My bowels are… well… I’m told this is progress? I don’t fucking know. But it is weirder than hell. I mostly stopped with the pills for a few days (because obviously my body was freaking out) on the doctors recommendation and the freak out ended right away. This is supposedly a sign that things are working right on schedule. I will resume sloughing the parasites from my liver later today. Oh joy. But! I’m seeing… uhm… something fucking weird that I’m told is results?

Pooooooooooooooooooooop.

We talk about poop while eating all the time.

Muahahahaha

My kids are very comfortable saying, “I’m going to eat lots of vegetables because your body sucks.”

If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning. Do one or the other and then do that motherfucker.

I guess?

Yesterday I screwed up. I put in a load of laundry and I didn’t even think about what I was washing. A new dress up clothes thing was put in the basket. It had never been washed. It was bright fucking red. So all the martial arts uniforms were very pink.

Oooooops. Shit. Like rose colored pink. Dark rose. I was all, “NOOOOOOOO!”

Then I thought about my mama and I breathed a prayer of thanks. “Hey kids? Want to learn how to fix a mistake?” I used oxygen brightener and bleach and I boiled it on the stove top and those fuckers are white as snow once again.

Because my mama taught me what to do.

That’s a good memory. Thank you, mama.

Thank you for teaching me how to do my laundry on the stove because that was what we had and you were going to make sure I had the skills to be presentable no matter what happened to me or how bad my life was. You tried. Thank you.

During this process my friend was over and she asked if I wanted her to do the poking/stirring over the fire. I didn’t want her to. I felt entirely Zen in that moment. I am where I want to be doing what I want to do. I’m showing my kids how I fix a mistake. It takes time and effort. But it’ll be ok.

It was one of the most intensely blissful moments I’ve experienced in a while. That’s flow.

If I cared very much about getting out of my house and not being “stuck” with these experiences as the woman… I wouldn’t get to have that. I’m glad I get to have that. I’m glad I get to see the value in my mother.

I miss you, mama.

I miss all the friends I’m not reaching out to because I’m overwhelmed. I’ll come back. I’ll have spoons some day.

In March we have social stuff planned on the first two days. Then… uhm… I don’t know about the Easter party. Wonder how my bathroom will be? Err… I’ll let people know two weeks before?

I think that I need to not schedule anything else in March. Which is intimidating. I’m not resting. I’m working and socializing because I’m so desperate to catch up on the work. I need to rest and I won’t stop working so socializing needs to be back burnered for a few weeks. Just Do Eeeet.

What work do I feel so pressed to do? Well… we are transitioning from preschool to elementary school. Which is a fuck ton of work for me. (I don’t know how you folks who home school with kids in preschool, elementary, middle, & high school do it. How do you find space?! )

The thing I miss the most about teaching in a school is the prep time plus the right to control what everyone was going to be learning. This is much harder. I have to prepare on the fly for a range of topics. It’s brutal some days in terms of cognitive load. It is fucking hard breaking down every little thing into schemas and concepts and repeatable skill training.

This is why other sane people outsource this shit. But we have some genetic stuff to consider that will make us always on the edge of the bell curve. I’m glad the training exists for people in the center of the bell curve. Yay you!

Hi, I’m Krissy. I’m an outlier.

Name the metric.

I just uhm…. like to be difficult?

IT ISN’T PERSONAL, OK!?!

I should stop now. If I get up and start moving now I’ll have all my morning prep done before Noah finishes breakfast and I will be able to eat at the same time as them instead of sitting down as they finish eating. I’m a pain in the ass to take care of. I struggle to think the effort is really merited.

Know something that I find wacky? Youngest child just fucking loves to stand there and hand me pill after pill after pill. Kid says, “You have to fix the problems. You have to get your poop better so you can digest food. I want you to die when you are very very very old. So here.” It varies somewhat, but this entire experience is just…

validating as fuck.

I’m trying to figure out what I need. My issues are complicated, layered, and difficult to solve. I know you are doing what you need to do to solve your issues and it doesn’t look much like what I’m doing.

I need to figure out how to not feel so fucking bad about that. It’s ok that I need stuff other people don’t need. That doesn’t mean I’m bad. That doesn’t mean I should die so I stop stealing resources from more worthy people. It has to be ok that I need what I need.

It isn’t fair that I have the money to pay for it and other people don’t. There is no fair. There is no deserve. There is no way to have things come out even.

I had to believe there is no deserve when it was really bad. I have to believe it about the good stuff too. Or …. or I just can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t get fucking pompous and shitty and “Oh I have a good life because I deserve it. Because I worked harder than other people.”

Gag. Cough. Puke. Bullshit.

No. I really didn’t work harder than other people. Ok, I worked harder than some people. But not harder than everyone. Some people worked ten times as hard as me. They didn’t get where I am.

It’s not because I’m getting what I deserve.

Nothing is fair.

4,050 words. I should stop anyway. Oh my poor wrists. But I feel better. I feel like I’m finding the words to the parts I need to talk about without talking about what I don’t need to talk about.

That feels better.

How do I get to be me without hurting other people?

That’s the journey.

Stomach hurts

I’m sick. I feel awful. Like normal when I’m sick I’m beating myself up emotionally. I woke up this morning missing my biological family something fierce. It hit me like a freight train.

I miss them but I can’t be part of the family. I won’t keep secrets. I won’t act like everything is fine.

The generation after mine got raped too. I can’t pretend everything is fine.

But they can. So they get to have a family and I don’t. Because that’s how the cookie crumbles.

How ungrateful. I have a family. I have Noah. I have my kids. I had sure better not fuck it up. This is all I have.

I feel completely and totally certain that if Noah and the kids all died I would not live 24 hours.

I feel like this is the most sad I have been in a while. This feels brutal. I hurt so much. Part of it is weird bitterness over adopted family stuff too.

I walk away from people so they can’t walk away from me. Which makes it my fault relationships don’t last. Which is easier to bear than the fact that people just don’t like me very much.

I’m in a god damn mood. Pity party, table of one.

I feel sad, keening grief. I feel like I want to cut and beat my head on the floor and…

It’s just there this morning. Just because.

Sometimes I think I beat my head on the floor because I’m hoping I will damage my brain enough that I will stop thinking because what I think hurts me so much.

I am really grateful that today is a slow pace. We’ll have some nature time. It’s the first day of my officially reduced schedule. I’m on the day planner. It’s here. I mean, I haven’t done that much for weeks, but it was an unstructured kind of not doing that much. And not doing that much means I did a fair bit. Cause I’m like that.

But I have big blocks of the day marked as rest. In between other “healthful” activities and shit that I’m supposed to build into my life because supposedly I might hate myself less some year if I keep this bullshit up.

With every passing year I feel more and more ashamed of myself for not talking to my mother. I understand her neglect so much more. She was doing her best.

Her best wasn’t good enough. Is that really her fault?

I don’t know. But I can’t have her in my life and I feel like that makes me a piece of shit. It is hard to not feel like that fact is reason enough to deserve death on its own. I hurt my mama. I am bad.

If I wanted to I could crawl in bed with any of three people and they would hug me and love me and I wouldn’t have to be alone right now. The trouble is, I want my mother. I have wanted my mother my whole life.

It never goes away. Sometimes I don’t think about it. But then a quiet moment comes along and I check in with my body and there it is. This ache that never goes away.

Mama.

There was a woman, for a few years, who told me she wanted to be my adopted mom. I haven’t heard from her in a long time. She has a life of her own. She’s busy. She doesn’t actually have room for me in her life. I’m not really worth the effort.

My adopted mom and my biological mom share a birthday. So every year I keen for the two women I don’t deserve to have love me. I could reach out to them. But I’m kind of done chasing love that isn’t really meant for me.

I was never really wanted. Not really.

But Noah wants me. However I got here. And my kids are stuck with me till they aren’t. We’ll see what happens.

I think a lot about what my mother’s life would have been like if she had aborted me like she should have. It would have been better. Maybe she could have saved Tommy and he wouldn’t be dead. Maybe she could have kept the other kids together after the divorce instead of just getting the “girls”.

If I hadn’t been there so many things would have been different. Easier. I have not been worth the trouble to take care of, ever.

I want to cut really badly. I haven’t wanted to like this in a while. It’s been such a nice Christmas.

Mama mama mama mama.

It always comes back to you. I love you. I love you with all of my black soul.

But you don’t get to hurt my babies. My babies live in a state of perfect trust where the unreliable people are outside the family. Inside their family they are safe and they believe that people tell them the truth. If you were considered inside their family bubble that would be shattered.

You can’t tell the truth to save your life. Because lying was necessary to save your life and you don’t seem to be able to stop now.

Now. What do I know. I haven’t talked to you in five years. But you couldn’t tell the truth then. Given your age I doubt it has changed. It’s not like you are ready to go through puberty now and see the error of your ways.

You had to lie all the god damn time and I get that and I can forgive you for the past. I can’t let you lie to my children like that going forward and you are literally not capable of telling the truth. I think it is because you are incapable of perceiving the truth. If you did you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Can I really judge that?

Yes and no.

I have to do what I have to do to get out of bed in the morning, so yeah I judge. I judge that your way of being is not for me and I have to find something different and do it with a vengeance.

That intensity I have that bothers people so much? A lot of that exists because overcoming inertia is hard. It is a basic physics problem. I don’t like me very much. In order to talk to people I have to first pretend I like myself (because if you don’t formulate your interactions based on the premise of liking yourself you will get abused again) then decide what treatment would be right for me if I liked myself then figure out how to manipulate people around me into behaving in a way that will be comfortable for me. That takes a fuck ton of energy, thought, and consideration.

Yes I think about how to manipulate you. I think about how to cause you to have the set of emotions I want you to have so that you will continue to enjoy my company. I’m going to cause you some set of emotions. Indifference. Irritation. Joy. Love. Contempt. Anxiety. Something. Yes, I think consciously about what I would like to be causing and I work towards it. If I don’t do that… I bother people so much.

have to think about this if I still want to have friends in the future. Even if manipulate is a dirty word. What-fucking-ever.

I think about which people need me to physically move slowly and which people like that I’m generally a quick darting person.

I think about which people can handle which portions of my range of emotions. Some people can only handle the joy. Some people can only handle my anger.

I think about which people will feel tolerant of which parts of my past experiences and I try to cull my stories carefully these days. I have improved these filters tremendously since having children. I used to uhhhh have fewer appropriate stories for all topics. I’m branching out.

I have noticed lately that I have two distinctly different somatic experiences of my approaches to people. Sometimes I don’t feel safe …. engaging. So I don’t say much. I look at the floor and I don’t make eye contact with people. I have a permanent fucking crick in my neck.

Then there are times when I’m ok pretending I’m a main character and I look everyone in the eye and I insert myself into peoples way and I seem to be more charming than not.

I don’t know how to get that pretense of comfort sometimes. Like today I couldn’t do it. Today if I had to be in a group of people I would be monosyllabic. I’d probably cross my arms and rock in the corner. Like I do when I’m uhhhh feeling mature.

Today I feel like I’m stuck in an elevator. Wait, let me back up. Know how I talk about feeling present with many selves/ages all at once? Right now I feel like I’m stuck on elevator between selves. If all the various permutations of me are floors on a building, I’m stuck between Neurotically In Control Adult and Weak And Defenseless Child. Neither is true. Both are true. Fuck everything.

I’m sad. My arms hurt like a mother fucker but I couldn’t sit on this today. I have to let it pass through me and move on. Writing it down helps so much.

I try hard not to make it obvious in my day to day life that my literal survival depends on the survival of the people in this house. That’s creepy. You have to go about your life as if that were incidental to your own survival. But I know it.

I have some incredibly dramatic ideas about how I could ensure that I would absolutely not risk being rescued in time this time. It’s not a call for fucking help. I don’t want help any more.

I want my family and that’s it. If I can’t have them then that’s it.

So yeah. I’m not writing this down because I’m very certain that I would follow through and if you forewarn people they feel duty bound to stop you and fuck that.

But, my family is alive and it doesn’t matter. Hopefully they won’t all die and it will absolutely never be necessary. I want to be with them.

I feel incredibly angry with people who call suicide selfish. Fuck you with a pogo stick. People who commit suicide are people who are in pain they cannot bear. Fuck you for being so selfish that you think they should continue to suffer in order to spare you even the slightest discomfort.

I don’t owe you that.

I owe you neither continued suffering nor silence. I owe you nothing. I do not owe you my life. There are things I’d like to do. I’m going to keep busy as long as I’m alive. Not because I owe people. Because I’m having fun. Because I’m finding out what it feels like to be loved. Actually loved. Shows up every day loved.

Yes Noah, I would throw myself against any rock for that. It is true. Yes I would damage myself over and over and over for that. I did so in the search for it. I didn’t think it would come true. I expected to off myself in desolation and despair before now because no one would ever actually love me.

Lots of people like to fuck me. Some people like to talk to me. It’s different to really love and take care of someone.

Sometimes I stop and realize… my body count is bigger than some peoples whole Monkey Sphere. No wonder I’m capable of seeing more people as real people.

I searched high and low for someone who could love me. Then when he started creeping on me I dated him for a bit and dumped him.

The other day in the car Eldest Child wistfully said, “I hope I grow up and meet someone as perfectly suited to me as you two found.” We both kinda went, “Bwuahahaha. No. We were not suited when we met.” She was shocked.

We changed. We became something different for one another. We became our better selves because that is what we agreed to do for one another. Having someone make that promise and then deliver and deliver and deliver and deliver for a decade now…

This is what trust feels like.

It’s so new.

Sometimes I ask my kids if they can trust me. They tell me that they know I’m telling the truth unless I’m using a silly voice then they know I’m lying. I said, “Actually sometimes when I use a silly voice I’m still telling the truth. Just to mess with you.” They glared a little. But I feel ok with this arrangement. Treat pronouncements in silly voices with great caution. Important life lesson.

I tell my kids that we won’t do everything I plan but we will do everything I promise. There’s an important difference there. I always over plan. I’m an ambitious motherfucker. No matter what you are referencing I over plan. It’s a lifestyle. It’s part of how I save money hand over fist. I plan for 60%-80% of our income. Then whatever comes in over that is extra and I invest it. And I have plans and plans and plans for investing stuff.

You don’t do the things I’ve done if you are a meek or under planning sort of person. That intensity that bothers people? It’s a mixed bag. It drove me around the country despite overwhelming pain. It causes me to get up and try again on being nice every single day with my kids. Because I’ve decided I’m all in for this thing.

There are times when I fail. I’m very careful what I promise. An awful lot of what I promise is that I will always try. I will always apologize when I fuck up. I will not promise perfection. That is folly.

I won’t promise and promise and promise for years that I will take you to do X thing and never do it. Even when the money is there because Other People Come First.

I won’t be my mother. It’s not just about the sex abuse. I know that casual readers often think that preventing sexual abuse is kinda my hobby horse to ride with my kids.

I mean, it’s important. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s really just the tip of the ice burg.

Eldest Child just ran in and jumped on my lap. I may be out of steam for the morning. Hard to hold the laptop on my lap while she wiggles. She is staring intently at the screen and trying to read what I’m writing. She’s getting a few words. Ahhhhh. Time to close this window. My time of hiding in plain sight with my feelings is just about over.

I love you kid.

Tell the truth.

Well, I’ve hit my kids. Both of them.

I was leaning into the van trying to find things and I noticed that the kids left a milk container in there. It was sideways and leaking onto a pile of books. I yelled for Eldest Child to get over here and help me. She appeared and I meant to hand things back to her but I misjudged distance. I smacked into her belly pretty forcefully. I wasn’t trying to hit, but I did. We’ve discussed it a few times and I’ve apologized. I really didn’t mean to slap a pile of stuff into your belly. I meant to hand it to you and I misjudged. That’s sucky. I’m sorry.

Then this morning Eldest Child thought it was funny to tap on my face. I said that it hurt and I wanted it to stop, but my eyes were closed and I wasn’t that emphatic. So Youngest Child walked up with a toy and slapped me in the face hard enough to bring tears to my eyes. I smacked her body hard enough to get her away from me because she started bouncing the toy on my face again.

I didn’t apologize for the second hit. No, I’m not actually sorry that I hit you hard enough to push your body far enough away from me that you had to stop hitting me.

I didn’t punch or slap that hard. There isn’t a mark at all. But it hurt my bloody nose and I’m not freakin sorry I made your body get away from mine. You don’t get to hurt me.

So, I’ve done it. Shit.

I’m going to have a day of feeling like a bad mother. But you don’t get to hit my fucking face. I don’t care who you are.

Rape & privilege

I’ve been talking about rape a lot on Twitter lately. I want to organize my thoughts a bit more, even though my arms burn like fire. So this may be a bit choppier than I normally blog. The Twitter character limit formatting is changing my writing. I hope in a positive way. I know I get too verbose for most people a lot of the time.

Noah spends a lot of time telling me that I spend too much time trying to figure out “who is to blame” for various problems. He’s right and he isn’t.

Thing is, dealing with rape is complicated. It is complicated at a personal level and it is exponentially more complicated at the level of a city and … then try to solve that for a state or a country.

My therapist tells me that it isn’t a good thing that the only way I know how to keep myself safe is to keep actual walls between me and other people. Well, it is the only effective method I’ve ever discovered.

That said, I travel more than the vast majority of people ever do. It’s just too expensive for most people. So I put myself in lots of situations. I put myself in situations where I have to keep, not only myself, but my children safe. Am I willfully putting us into danger just to… I don’t know… prove some macho ass shit to myself?

I genuinely don’t think so. Stranger assault is statistically rare. We don’t invite people into our tent/room. We talk to people in crowded public places then move on. It genuinely doesn’t feel risky.

Do you know what was risky? The way I was taught to walk into bedrooms with people because you wanted “privacy” after just knowing them for a few hours. That was how I spent my childhood. Asking to go into peoples rooms and initiating as much sexual contact as I could get away with and only acknowledging rebuffs grudgingly.

Sometimes it makes my heart beat fast when I enforce boundaries with my kids. They are not allowed to walk up and sit on laps any more. Not with a complete stranger. They can’t jump on strange men. Playing for two minutes doesn’t make them close enough to jump on, nope. You have no idea what is going on with their bodies. You don’t know if they just had surgery on their back. Nope. Don’t jump on strange people.

It is really weird to feel like the biggest god damn hypocrite on the planet. Don’t do anything I did.

This experience is how I understand the neglect I experienced. I completely lacked a frame for it before I was a parent. The awareness comes in stages of dawning horror.

How fucking formative that trauma was. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.

I’ve been acting like a bully with the kids. I’m not asking them to do things I’m ranting that I’m sick of them not doing the thing without being asked. We are talking about it.

I feel really guilty that Eldest Child said, “It’s getting to the point where it’s almost 50/50 nice and mean and that has to change. I know you are tired. Maybe we shouldn’t go out of the room much for a few days.”

I feel this horrible mixture of pride and guilt that she has to help manage me. She can be aware of those kinds of needs. That’s amazing. I don’t want her to parent me though. I’m not using emoticons even though I want to put like 75 frowny faces in a row.

I try to tell myself that the feelings of guilt and shame are because I was raised to believe it is not ok for anyone to ever have to pay attention to me and take care of me. It is not ok for me to want anyone to help me.

I try to tell myself that this is ok. It is a kind of enmeshment, yes, but we talk about how this is not her job and she is going to not be responsible for me long term. I thank her for feedback about her perception of being around me. I seem tired. I should rest. Yeah, thanks.

She acts like I am worthy of paying attention to. I wish that didn’t make me cry.

I’m going to jump back to rape. Why am I confident that my children will not have a life like mine? A kid kind of grabbed at my kids crotch. The instantaneous response was, “You do not have my consent! Get your hand off!”

I win.

I couldn’t save my niece nor my nephew. But my kids don’t think that anyone who wants to is allowed to have access to their crotch. They believe their consent is vitally important.

I win.

That doesn’t mean they will never be raped. I understand that. Let me tell you, I’m not done educating them. I’m just going at an age appropriate rate.

A lot of “staying safe” is a complex web of knowing the right words to say at the right time. If you have highly specific technical language you don’t seem like a good victim and any good predator will walk right by you. Obviously you have the support to protect you. You are not going to be easy to intimidate.

People comment, just about daily, that my children are so aware and ….themselves. It is funny how often the wording is almost exactly that. Another friend commented that it is amazing that people don’t think Eldest Child is bossy. She just has a good plan she wants everyone to follow.

I talk to them about what they want to get from life all the time.

Eldest Child and I have been talking a lot about what she wants to do school-wise when we get home. She has specific requests. She wants to work on languages more. She is frustrated by the limitations on who she can play with. She freaking asked if we can look for a Chinese class (I can hear Pam cheering from here) so she can work on that more consistently. She said we all should take Spanish together (I’ll see what I can do, Youngest child wants Spanish and is not up for Chinese). She said maybe on Hindi for a while. She said we should practice the alphabet and such at home but she thinks we don’t need that as a formal class. So I guess that will be some structure in our days.

We all want martial arts. The kids want gymnastics as well. I can’t teach them many skills like that. I’m happy to pay someone who can.

And she wants to play the violin.

I said we would add lessons one a month until we got up to the full load because all of that at once would crush her. She says that is probably smart.

I appreciate how often she tells me I’m smart.

You know… I think that’s why she does it. She’s a perceptive little thing.

My kids are not going to look like good victims. Not ever. They are going to seem like… they have all the support in the world. It’s only sorta true, but I’m going to give it my all.

But you know what? This option isn’t exactly available to most people. My kids get a full life of having a Ladies Illustrated Primer walking around with them. That’s not what most people experience.

Holy tomato I love my job.

My kids are in touch with their bodies. They know what they like and don’t like and they consider their preferences to be absolutely worthy of consideration at all times. Good prey act like it doesn’t matter what happens to them. They often don’t know what their preferences even are. And as much as we cannot guarantee our own safety in this life, we can build resilience to weather what may come.”

I can never guarantee that my children will be safe. Not truly. Not completely. But I can teach them a variety of skills that will increase their likelihood of not only escaping from a lot of traumas but being able to cope with the inevitable tragedies in life.

My children will experience loss and pain. That is a non-negotiable part of the human condition. I know that. I’m trying to teach them how to ride the waves.

We took a break from the screens. The kids begged me to go back to the beach. It’s supposed to start storming tonight and rain mostly till we leave so I said yes. Even though it scared the absolute shit out of me. The kids kept asking me to go sit with the grown ups and just let them play.

No. No. No.

I sat between them and the ocean. There were four good waves where they started getting dragged out to sea and I grabbed them and bodily pulled them back to shore. They stopped arguing with my presence after the second grab. But they really didn’t want to stop working on the dam they were building.

They are fucking obsessed with building dams this trip. They have built them in little itty bitty creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. It was awesome watching them lecture much older girls about how “We have to find a variety of materials to help provide structural integrity! Just sand won’t hold!”

That was why I had a hard time stopping the play. It was so… intense for them. But that ocean doesn’t fuck around. Lots of places are currently flooded and people die from being swept into the ocean all the time. It’s not a game. There are no take backs. The ocean is bigger than all of us.

After the fourth time when I grabbed them and I felt like barely pulled out of the wave I said, “Ok! That’s it! I’m done!”

The kids didn’t really argue with me. They spent over an hour saying repetitively after we got back to the hotel room, “I think you just saved my life. Wow. You care that much. You are going to stand right there so you can save my life. I think you just saved my life.”

My response is, “I brought you into this world and I’m not giving up on you yet.”

They snuggled with me and looked a bit stunned.

The ocean is not something to fuck around with.

Want to know something kind of hilarious? I had a similar experience with the kid who kicked me in the throat at a group beach trip.

The ocean is bigger than you. I don’t give a shit how strong you think you are. The ocean is bigger than you. Never fight the ocean. You will lose.

So yeah. I think I’m done. If it is storming I am definitely not going down there with the kids. If we want to swim in between rain bursts they have a pool. That is risk enough with a damn thunderstorm.

You have no idea what you mean to me. No forking duh I am going to keep you out of the ocean when it is dragging you like that and you are screaming out in fear. That is my job.

It is both my job to teach you to respect that power and my job to protect you from it as you gain enough experience to have proper respect. It’s a complicated operation.

I think I am really feeling the need to cross reference all of these experiences because I am trying to understand the scope and effects and structure of rape culture. What does it even mean?

Do you know who really taught me I didn’t deserve rape? Sex workers. Grown ass women who were god damn sure what was and wasn’t ok to do to them. I know women who have been sex workers for decades and members of the kink communities for decades who have never been assaulted. I study them with a more than just friendly interest. I want to understand their instincts.

I want to teach those instincts to my children and people who aren’t sex workers have never been able to break them down in a way I can understand. They specifically can talk about what they do to manage risk. I know vanilla women who have never been assaulted. They don’t understand why that is true. They just got lucky.

So I talk to the people who can actually give me the information I seek. I am shameless and mercenary about it.

I’m not teaching my kids to be sex workers. I’m teaching them to think of their body as belonging only to them and never to anyone else.

I am doing my absolute best to raise people who will react indignantly if someone tries to abuse them. My kids interrupt me if they think my behavior is getting near a line. They are immediate in their ability to say what is or isn’t ok about what is happening to their body. It is stunning to see.

I have labored for so many years to try and develop those skills.

Sometimes I feel so jealous I want to shove my head through a window. Just to get that feeling away from me.

My brother used to put his head through windows. They made him wear a helmet whenever he wasn’t in a building with safety windows.

We have really liked hurting ourselves in my family for a long time. I feel so grateful that my children showed mild inclination and were quickly reassured that it is not the right decision to hurt yourself when you are upset. Ask for help figuring out how to handle your feelings when you feel overwhelmed to that point. Your parents will listen to you no matter what.

You don’t have to feel pain. We can maybe help.

I feel so grateful that I found a sperm donor who had excellent genetics and sincere interest in being a really involved parent. This is a wonderful experience to watch.

But Noah has committed rape. And so have I.

Do I think all rapists belong in jail?

Jimminy Christmas don’t ask me. 

This rape culture shit is complicated.

I want my children to be able to do better. I want all the children to have better. Education is the single best route to understanding diverse people and life experiences.

I honestly don’t know what else to do. I need to pick up the kids soon. I’m going to stop.

Kids are wonderful and tiring

I want to write but my thoughts are scattered and my arms burn like fire. This hotel room table is at a bad height for me ergonomically and I never let that slow me down. I’m kinda dumb.

I’m over reacting to a lot of things. I’m having trouble not screaming over little, stupid things. It doesn’t help that the kids truly are being irritating. What is happening is: I’m pushing them away because I need space and time to calm down in my body. When I push them away they feel freaked out, rejected, and needy so they cling harder and whine the whole fucking time they are grabbing at me in ways that hurt and piss me off.

Next week the kids have scheduled child care. They asked. I feel a little guilty because Eldest Child flat said, “Mom can we arrange a bunch of childcare next week? I know it will be expensive but I’m pretty sure it will be good for all of us.”

Holy crap. How did I get a child this wonderful? This insightful? This aware?!?!?

My shrink regularly tells me that Eldest Child is preternaturally aware of how people work. “7 year olds just don’t care that much about other people. She’s unusual.”

This because my kid can graphically go through verbally describing why people get upset and which contributing factors are likely to bother which person. “It makes sense that you are angry mom. It is very frustrating when I do _____.”

I don’t know if it is weird. This is all I know. My kid behaves this way because I model it. I don’t really know another way to parent.

My kid understands that in some situations she messed up, sometimes I’m the one who messed up, sometimes Youngest Child messes up… the kid is just good at saying, “Ahhh I think this mistake happened because x person was tired and we haven’t eaten. Let’s fix that.”

I worry about teaching her to take too much responsibility for other peoples stuff, but at the same time she’s quick to not take responsibility when she wasn’t involved so… I don’t know. Maybe it will all work out? Who knows. But she is an amazing person. I am so grateful I get to stand near her.

My Eldest Child is so breathtakingly willing to accept consequences for screwing up that I can’t possibly avoid them for myself when I screw up. When I am inappropriate with the kids we discuss making amends. “What do you think I should do to help make up for this mistake?” Because I talk to them the same way about their behavior. No one is above making amends.

If you screw up you must take responsibility and find a way to solve the problem as best you can. Some problems can’t be fixed and you just have to live with the guilt of knowing you hurt someone/broke something. But you can learn how to not make that mistake again.

Everyone makes mistakes. The best people make mistakes every day and learn from them and make new mistakes tomorrow.

You can’t get through life without mistakes. You will never learn all you need to know. Mistakes teach you about fringe cases and important details. Mistakes teach you about how your awareness needs to spread to more areas.

Mistakes are as mandatory as breathing. You can’t grow without breathing and you can’t grow without making mistakes.

It’s ok. We all mess up. Sometimes the mistakes kinda suck and someone gets mad and maybe there’s screaming or a fight or grounding. But then you pick yourself and you keep going. Because that is what life is.

I check in with the kids after I scream at them. “I was a jerk and I was too loud… but I didn’t go over the line and start insulting you or calling you names, right? Was I in bounds that way?”

Once Eldest Child said, “Actually you slipped and called us brats. Don’t do that again.”

Yes ma’am.

I haven’t done it since.

And my children have never had the experiences I had at their ages. They have never been told that they are stupid, worthless, unworthy, a bitch, a cunt, a whore or that they are too pathetic to deserve life.

I have to tell myself that an occasional errant “brat” isn’t the end of the world. Especially when my children have the self confidence to turn around and tell me that saying “brat” is over the line and I need to knock it off right now.

This trip is causing me to see both of my children in a bunch of different settings so I’m feeling increasingly certain that Eldest Child needs to be evaluated by someone other than me. She has a lot of sensory issues and avoidance behaviors that she is developing to cope. I don’t want her to get locked into avoidance as the only way to cope with sensory overload. I did that with food as a kid and it is part of why I have so many health issues.

I’m really grateful that for all that she is hypersensitive to a lot of things… she doesn’t have the food texture issues I had. Thank goodness.

I’m watching her struggle with the same things I struggled with as a child. The things that made me feel helpless, incompetent, and like I was a failure as a human being. I have enough education and awareness at this point that I recognize that these patterns mean there is something not wired correctly. Help is available in the world. We just have to figure out what kind of help is needed and access it.

She struggles at the same things that used to cause my brothers to laugh at me and tell me if I “couldn’t even throw a ball I was too pathetic to deserve to live.” I’m not really sure why sports are so fucking important.

She doesn’t need to have the years of self-hatred I had. We can find help.

I feel sad and happy at the same time. I know enough that my kids won’t have to suffer like I did. But there is this part of me that can’t stop grieving over the fact that no one gave a shit about me for decades.

I know it isn’t true now. I know that I am loved and cared for now. I know that if I am in need of help now I can find it and/or pay for whatever I need.

But I still hurt. I feel like a pathetic, self-pitying bastard. It doesn’t feel like it is ok for me to keep mourning all these layers of shit from my childhood. But I hurt so much.

I’ve barely cried in months because I don’t like doing it around the kids and I don’t have privacy. I’m sure that is contributing to how backed up I feel emotionally. I don’t have a lot of release available to me when I’m alone with the kids. I really and truly need private space for the ongoing processing of trauma.

I have really big feelings about that. I’m feeling a lot of shame and guilt that I’m sitting here crying and whining like a dog because I can’t stop because I haven’t cried in a while.

The kids and I have been watching a new show, “Call the Midwife”. It’s borderline inappropriate for the kids because it deals with some really harsh truths about life in poverty. But I’m not one to shelter my kids from the fact that other people suffer terribly. They don’t deserve to go through life not knowing that other people have it shitty. No one deserves that, in my opinion, and I kind of hate the parents who bring their children up in a bubble such that the kids can’t understand suffering of other people.

Anyway.

Last night the episode talked about the “Workhouse Howl”. The keening, crying screaming noise that only happens when people suffer horribly for years with absolutely no chance of ever stopping that suffering.

I felt kind of freaked out because when the character started the cry… I knew that I make that sound. My kids kinda looked at me when the crying was explained. Yes, I make that sound sometimes.

It isn’t true that I have no chance to stop the suffering any more. But once your body starts crying like that… stopping it isn’t a voluntary thing. It just happens. Once you have been in that much pain for that long… you can’t always keep it in for the convenience and happiness of everyone around you.

Suffering and pain are really complicated and layered. I would like to believe that some day I will get to the point where I no longer hysterically scream/cry sometimes without volition because I have so many pent up emotions I can’t suppress the noise.

Being rich doesn’t fix these problems. Being rich means you can slowly begin to get help, but getting help is a confusing, horrible process. Even though I can pay for help, I have to know where to go for help, who to ask for help, and what kind of help I need to ask for.

That’s hard.

I have to find the solutions and then find people to help me implement the solutions. It’s hard. I understand why people who are struggling with poverty just can’t.

Trauma impacts you forever. I’m kind of tired of people acting like trauma isn’t a big deal and you should just “get over it”. You know what, motherfucker? I am getting over it. I am making progress. It’s still a nightmare. It’s been a nightmare to be in my body for decades. It is slowly improving but I have trouble believing that being inside my body is ever going to be a pleasant experience.

I wish I could stop crying.

We’re heeeeeeeeeeere.

At Disney World that is. Yesterday was intense. It took more than eight hours to get from one hotel room to the next. It was about four and a half hours of freeway driving. I’m not counting the driving time where I got lost in forking Orlando. That took a while. Grocery shopping was sorta epic.

As we drove out to the resort I started shaking and my stomach hurt and I felt like I was about to puke. I kept up a steady chatter to myself, “Krissy it’ll be ok. This will go fine. This is Disney. You are late for check in… they will have people waiting around who are happy to help you. It’ll be fine.”

It was rather ridiculous but hey, do what you gotta do.

We got to the driveway and I started asking just about anybody in a uniform, “I’m new here, which step do I do first?”

They all smiled at me and directed me to where I needed to be.

They are all thrilled to get a Californian. These are the Disney Vacation Club properties, so they see owners and that is a fairly set group of time share people. Variety isn’t as common as you’d think for a hotel.

I had a lot of questions and I said flat out, “I’m going to feel anxious until I have a few concerns addressed.”

You know what? Like magic extra employees kind of backed over to where I was talking to the nice desk clerk. They all smiled like they were super excited that they might get to help.

fucking love this place.

You know what? They addressed every concern right down the list. I do have to unhitch my trailer, but that’s ok. It means we will be more likely to sneak off to Universal Studios to see the Harry Potter exhibit and that’s exciting.

Oh, parking is right next to our room. This is so fabulously convenient I have no words. I thought it would be a hike. I feel so spoiled. After three months of continuous travel I now think that one of the biggest luxuries in hotels in nearby parking.

I had a very nice person help carry my stuff in from the van with a dolly so I didn’t have to make eleventy billion trips. He thought it was hilarious that I wouldn’t let him carry the heavy stuff up the stairs. It was his first day back at work after a back injury. You aren’t carrying my heavy fridge up the stairs! Heck no!

He thought that was funny. He asked a lot of questions about me and what I do. He was thrilled to meet a writer. He said he had never met one before. Over and over he said, “Whoa. You are one hard working woman. I’ve never seen a woman rush to carry heavy stuff up the stairs for me before. And you home school your kids. And you travel around the country. And you write books. Whoo. You wear me out.” He must have said it twenty times. I laughed.

He asked for information about my books. I gave him all that he needed to find me. Who knows if he will follow up.

It’s a bit awkward to tell people, “I wrote about my experiences growing up in an incestuous family. It’s intense.”

Trigger warnings, baby.

This was all after a hilarious incident with a conservative postal employee in Georgia. I’ve never seen a federal employee retract their implication that there is anything wrong with being queer so damn fast in my life. With a smile.

It’s funny what conclusions folks jump to when they find out you are home schooling.

Nope. I ain’t teaching the Bible. We don’t pray.

I mean, we have many Bibles in the house… but I teach it as one set of mythology among many that humans have come up with over many thousands of years.

It’s just one path out of many. They are all ok.

We were kind of a hilarious experience for my newly adopted niece in Georgia. (Long story.) she is growing up with a Baptist mother and a Catholic father. They attend church regularly. It’s a big deal.

I leaned over and said, “I’m a Godless Heathen.”

Her eyes went wide.

Yeah. That was wonderful.

I said, “You are going to hear a lot about people like me and when you hear those things you can decide for yourself if you agree or not. I’m just one person out of many. I don’t represent ‘all the weirdos’ of the whole world but I do represent a lot of them. When you hear people say nasty things about people like those know that they are talking about me. And think about that.”

She nodded slowly. I was an intense experience for a 9 year old.

I really loved settling into the room here at the resort. We have a system. I explained it to the kids. We all relaxed once the system was discussed and the kids stopped chafing at boundaries every other second.

It was palpable. I didn’t take my medication until after this experience occurred so it wasn’t just that all of a sudden I was stoned and I didn’t care any more. The kids stopped fighting.

It’s been a rough few days. I’m not proud but I screamed and screamed and screamed in the car. They would not stop beating on each other. I mean… they stopped when I went a little nutty. But they would not stop until I went berserk screaming about how they had to Stop Stop STOP.

I felt kind of bad about it until we talked about it later in the evening. I said I was sorry that sometimes I was an asshole when more gentle methods failed but sometimes I really need to be effective. You can’t hit each other.

Eldest Child nodded and said, “Oh I know. We really couldn’t even hear you until you broke our concentration.”

Youngest Child nodded and said, “Yeah… uhh… it’s hard to hear you sometimes when we get into it.”

Then my eldest child looked down, and brushed her head bashfully like we were in a damn movie and apologized.

It was… kind of weird.

YC didn’t apologize exactly but there were amends made. At five it isn’t always a verbal apology yet and that’s ok.

I asked if we could make an agreement to ask for rest any time and every time we feel tired so we don’t whine or get cranky with each other and everyone agreed. They know where their free feeding snack food is. They don’t have to ask me every other minute if they can have _______. It’s glorious freedom.

I think it is hilarious that they both, separately, echoed something that Noah said to me a long time ago in almost exactly the same tone of voice.

“One of the things I like about you is that you make every place feel like home” with a happy sigh to follow. This is in reference to how I set up and organize hotel rooms to within an inch of their lives if I am going to be in them long. I have to or I can’t find shit and that makes me crazy. I have to know where all my stuff is. We have a lot of stuff. That’s a lot of things to put my hands on over and over and over so I can know exactly where it is when I need it.

This is how I comfort myself. This is how I create the order I need. This is how I create the structure and the scaffolding to teach the lessons I want to teach. We are not working on the in-the-room-manners here. That lesson happens elsewhere. Here, we rest. It’s so relaxing and nice.

Only we rest and relax with a pool and a playground a 3 minute walk away so we get lots of exercise right before bed so we go to sleep easily.

This is why I pay for this. Because having people leap to help me with a smile has a cost and I am happy to pay it. I’m told that privilege can’t be bought, but advantages can. If I’m going to be a fucking rich person I’m going to occasionally pay for some fucking advantages.

Oh this is wonderful. And I have to not swear so I’ll get it out now.

Ahhh. Maybe not. I’m feeling pretty mellow. That was a happy fuck.

Cause I’m like that.

Thank you Noah.

I have quite the set up for our little mini kitchen. We don’t get a stove or a full size fridge so I brought our fridge up. The freshest food goes in the apartment fridge so the kids eat it first. The stuff they are allowed to grab at will is in an open container at a tempting eye-height. Other snacks are organized by priority in drawers cause I’m a neurotic fuck.

Tier two foods are things that we will access a lot on the trip for breakfast but they shouldn’t be freely snacked on during the rest of the day or we won’t have breakfast for the rest of the trip. We’re here almost three weeks. Be strategic.

Tier three foods are meal foods that probably require adult help because the microwave is hecka high.

Seems reasonable, right?

Ahhhhhh. Freedom.

It is funny watching them stop asking for things every few minutes. It is kind of weird every time I see this tremendous example they just want to find out what the boundary is.

I can work with that.

Apparently, there is a certain level of beating on one another in the car that brings very unpleasant screaming.

Dude, I was going 60 miles an hour on the freeway, how am I supposed to react? I’m in an unfamiliar area during a frigging interchange. STOP FIGHTING RIGHT NOW.

I get kind of upset sometimes. I’m told I can be intimidatingly loud.

Well if you’d stop when I asked in a more moderate tone dozens of times.

I genuinely don’t know what else to do. I mean, sometimes I use the radio to startle them. But a good loud blast of sound is the only thing I can figure out to do when they go at it in the car.

I do not use the screaming method outside of the car. I separate them. In the car… THEY HAVE A TUMBLING MAT BETWEEN THEM AND THEY STILL REACH AROUND IT TO BEAT ON EACH OTHER.

Oh my. Yeah. Sibling stuff is complicated.

Mostly they get along really well. Sometimes… yeah. We have a long way to go on impulse control. But I don’t have a lot of room to complain. I was way the heck more violent than them.

This trip has had highs and lows, like all trips. I think being at the resort is going to be a high point. We are really excited to explore. We are ready to not be in the car.

The first thing we are doing is going over to child care to talk about options and schedules so the kids can pick times they want to be there.

I’m not sure what I’ll do. But I’ll go do something.

I feel a little weirdly guilty and ashamed. This is such a stupid thing to want to do. What a waste of money and time.

But it will be… so fun.

I love you Disney. Thank you for smiling at me.