Category Archives: sex work

I like how I handled that.

I was talking on the phone to someone I love. They were expressing frustration about a girl in their life. They decided that the way to deal with their frustration was to repeatedly call this girl a whore.

I told them to stop denigrating sex workers. If you don’t like that this girl runs her mouth off, say you don’t like how she runs her mouth. If you don’t like how lazy she is… say you don’t like how lazy she is. If you think she sleeps around too much… just shut up that’s none of your business. Don’t call people whores.

They defended their right to do so. “I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel and I didn’t have to stoop to that so I don’t approve of sex work.”

I said, “I need to get off the phone and not have this conversation. I love you and I’ll talk to you later.”


I’m kind of ridiculously proud of myself for being clear and direct and unequivocally setting my boundary without attacking. Naw. You don’t get to bad mouth sex workers to me. Nor do you get to bad mouth women by placing them sex worker adjacent. That shit just won’t fly.


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.


Now I get it.


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?


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.


Lots of big feelings

The trip is going well. I am so gosh darned tired I feel like I might slip into a puddle and never solidify into a solid being again.

I had a hard time with Noah’s aunts. They grew up in particular times and places and they believe what they believe. Unfortunately for them there is a whole bunch of evidence proving that their beliefs suck.

I am highly dysregulated. I am having a hard time calming down. Too many conversations about poverty and homelessness and race. I really don’t respect the opinions they have.

One aunt spent a long time telling me about how much she enjoys reading the journals of settlers and colonials. They only killed people when they had no choice.

Uhm… go read something written by the folks that the settlers barely avoided killing. You will hear a very different story.

No. The white assholes who showed up on this continent because they were being chased out of their European homes did not kill Native Americans because the Natives were trying to persecute the white people. No. No. No. No.

We are interlopers here. We do not get to claim that our existence here is just about our basic survival. We are stealing in order to survive.

Depending on how you look at it, all humans have been thieves since the beginning. We steal from plants and animals in order to survive. That’s complicated. It’s a hard ethical conundrum. Vegetarians believe that by not eating flesh that you are fine for how you are stealing. Vegans think it must be even more strict and milk and eggs are also over the line.

But no one ever objects to stealing from the artichokes or carrots or cauliflower. We’ve decided they can’t matter.

But that’s kind of funny.

Throughout history many groups of human beings have decided that other groups of human beings don’t matter in similar ways. Sometimes we make these evaluations based on race. Sometimes based on economic privilege. Sometimes based on work choices. If you look around the planet, folks feel free to shit on sex workers in almost every country that exists. Even though sex work is one of the most universal, oldest professions that exists. We still want to punish any individual who engages in it.


One of the aunts spent a lot of time telling me that she hated the Occupiers and she thinks folks who are homeless are just lazy and they need to get a job.

I told her, are you aware that it takes two or more full time jobs to afford rent, not including utilities or food or a car in most states for people who work minimum wage? You bought your property in 1981 with help. No, other people can’t do what you did. It is really awful for you to think that people who can’t do what you did are lazy. How dare you.

You bought a property for fairly cheap. You had help for 20 years of your mortgage. How dare you say that other people who can’t do what you did are lazy.

Are you aware that historically speaking black people have been shut out of owning property?

This is not about lazy.

Are you aware that the largest race riot in our American history was white people who were jealous that black people were doing too well? But we’ve had a lot of race riots. Mostly they erupt because white people are persecuting non-whites. It is bullshit.

I don’t deal well with people who are incapable of seeing the layers of privilege that built their lives. We are all made up of support and relationships with people. Unfortunately there are major demographics who have traditionally not received support. And they are currently struggling much more significantly than demographics that have traditionally received more support.

I want to equalize that. We can’t go back and fix everything bad that has ever happened. I don’t want to. That’s not the point of life. But we can make it so the people who are alive right now have more access to ways to better their lives.

We don’t have to punish people for being disadvantaged. We don’t have to punish people for being icki and poor and not what we want to look at. We can choose compassion. We can choose to help people just because they exist and they should exist.

I want you to exist. Even when I don’t like you. Even if I want to shout at you because your opinions are just flat terrible.  You do worthy things. Even if those things don’t benefit me in any way shape or form. Not everything is about me.

Not everyone has to benefit me in order to be worthy.

I’m getting better at defending the intensity of my opinions without having to scream at people and tell them how much I hate them for having the opinions they have. I’m glad for that. I am modeling better behavior for my children. I am teaching them to be fierce, but not mean.

I’m trying. I’m trying to model what I think should exist. Have strong opinions. They matter. They help. They are important. But try to express them in a way that will educate instead of alienate.

I really suck at that.

Last night was so awesome. Dad and I got stoned together and I unloaded on him. He’s not an emotional guy. He doesn’t really want to hear about feelings. Ha ha mother fucker. You adopt me and you get what you get. If you want to be my Dad you get to find out what I’m like. And that means listening to an hour or so of emotional unloading every other year or so. Suck it, buddy. Just cope. You can manage.

He did. He’s wonderful to me. I listened to what was going on with his life. He is struggling more than I am. That’s… kind of weird to me. He’s supposed to be the stable grown up. Only now I’m the stable grown up. How the fuck did that happen?

He’s had a hard time since his wife died. Things have been rocky. It makes sense. That has been seven years now. His business failed and that was really hard financially and emotionally. He likes his current job, but it doesn’t pay that much and he has a lot of bills. Complicated. He’s really depressed.

He expresses admiration for my obsessive saving. Which is awkward. I appreciate his positive feedback on my skills but it is uncomfortable too. I don’t think I should be doing better than other people. That is not my self-perception. If I do something well, emotionally, I want it to be because any one can do it and it isn’t very hard. That isn’t true any more though. I’m good at a lot of things that most people suck at. I am an incredibly skilled person.

That’s hard to accept sometimes. I don’t ever get to use the excuse that I just can’t any more. I can find a way. That’s daunting. Overwhelming. Too much pressure. I don’t want to be able to find a way. I want to have the excuse that I don’t have to.

But I’m exceptionally competent. If I don’t do something it is probably because I choose not to and not because I can’t. That’s…

Shit. I’m out of excuses. I like excuses.

Talking to Dad is intense on a variety of levels. As the years go by I am increasingly willing to share my opinion on what I see. “You are selfish in a short sighted way. If we could get your selfishness to see the long-view then I think your romantic life would improve.” He is strangely willing to listen to me now whereas ten years ago he snorted and said what the hell do I know.

Now he’s had two marriages go badly and mine is doing well and he’s willing to listen.

He spent a lot of time questioning whether I was on the road trip because my marriage is rocky. He had a really hard time believing that Noah would be ok with this kind of separation unless we were on the verge of divorce.

Nope, we are very happy together. Lots of sex. Lots of good conversation. We really enjoy one another’s company. But I’m a traveler and he’s not. He loves me anyway just like I love him for being a home body. We are ok with supporting one another through divergent experiences. We don’t have to do everything together. It’s ok if we are different.

It is part of why I am so very happy to be married to Noah. He doesn’t want a Mrs. Noah Gibbs who is there to facilitate his life. He wants to be partnered with Krissy Gibbs. Who is bad ass and does cool things.

He’s bummed when people think I’m cool because he married me. He thinks that is missing the point of me. I am not cool because he sticks his dick in me. I’m cool so he wants to stick his dick in me. People should get the order right.

I really like Noah. I am ridiculously happy to be married to someone who trusts me and who works as hard as he works. I like hard workers. I like people who pick goals and then put their head down and accomplish them come hell or high water. I really like Noah. He inspires me. He also taunts me and I want to punch him for it. But I don’t because we do not have that kind of relationship.

Noah causes me to think really hard about my ever expanding repertoire of skills. He isn’t ok with me minimizing my abilities. He says, “Nope. You don’t get to think you are incompetent any more. You probably never were but you don’t get to think it now.”

I cannot express what knowing him has meant to me. He believes in me. He believes in me the way other people believe in G-d. He thinks I can just do things. So I can.

Thank you.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen to the world if everyone had someone who believed in them as much as Noah believes in me. It would be a really incredible planet. I wish I could see that planet.

I want to be part of a world where people build one another up instead of tearing each other down. That was the hard part of dealing with the aunts. I didn’t want to tear them down in the process of educating them and that is hard. Tearing people down is so much easier than building them up.

How do you teach people to see that they are privileged because they grew up with a highly educated parent who had the ability to teach them a variety of skills that other people never know exists? How do you teach people to see that they are lucky and blessed because they got to have abusive help for a period of time?

Some people get no help at all. Not even packaged with abuse. No one wants to help them from the get-go.

Can we get over this idea that people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps? That’s a crock of shit. The people who survive and who do well are people who have neighbors who show up to help. Not people who do it alone.

I’ve tried doing it alone and I’ve tried finding a network of support. Finding the network is horrifyingly hard. It is emotionally draining and hurtful. There are hundreds of false starts. It feels hopeless most of the time. But then you notice that this time when you fell down someone was there to grab your elbow and keep you from landing on the concrete.

I believe in the MonkeySphere. I believe my connections to human beings are the reason I am alive. Mostly through Shanna and Calli and Noah, but my friends are important. My friends matter so much.

If I weren’t at Dad’s house I wouldn’t be able to see the extent of how much he loves me and would do if I needed it. He’s never going to be able to provide financial support–he might need it in the future. But he has been emotional support for almost 16 years. He has supported me through many different changes in my life. He adapts with me as I change radically and he really wishes he didn’t have to.

I see you. I appreciate you.

Looks like my kids are going to be his grandkid experience. His bio-kids are respectively one and two years younger than me. His son is only going to have children if there is a catastrophic accident and he’s considering pre meditative surgery. Just to be safe. Dad’s bio-daughter is 30 and doesn’t have a partner. Her mom would like her to have kids but she isn’t real interested in single parenting and things aren’t lining up.

It is weird seeing that I am creating a place for myself. I am in the middle of generations. I help interpret going up and going down. I really appreciate that I get to spend so much of my life teaching people how to get along. Kids and adults. That probably isn’t how other people see how I spend my time… but it is how I see what I’m doing. I give other adults a lot of feedback. I try to do it in ways that won’t cause them to turn around and yell at me to back off (I’m pretty deft) but I’m a bossy motherfucker. I’m going to volunteer my view whether you like it or not.

And there are people who keep me around even though I’m highly obnoxious. My life is great.

Last night I told Dad that I feel very safe unloading on him at this point because I know that he likes having me around. He laughed and asked why I am so sure. I said, “I’ve watched you for a lot of years. When you are done with people you get mean. Your jokes are more and more cutting. You point out their flaws more frequently and with more venom. It is hard to watch when you are doing it to people I like. It is part of why I don’t spend more time with you. I don’t want to wear out my welcome. You have never treated me that way and I want to continue this trend.”

He got quiet and thoughtful. After a while he nodded and said, “You are right. I do like you a lot. I’m not sick of you.” He didn’t say that much more about it. He’s not the sort.

I’m sitting in Dad’s back yard resting. I’m thinking about doing some weeding. He’s been really sad and just isn’t keeping up with the house and yard. I cleaned his pipes this morning. If you are going to pollute your lungs, at least don’t do it through an inch of tar, come on.

I’ll clean the kitchen after lunch and before I make dinner. Boy it needs it. I’ll probably clean the bathroom tomorrow because there is mildew starting. This house is more than twice the size of my house, I can see why he is having a hard time keeping up. He used to be able to pay help and now he can’t. I think he should down size but it’s complicated.

Everything is complicated.

Maybe the girls and I will come out here and weed his beds and run over to a nursery. We can put a handful of low-maintenance veggies in so he continues to feel loved after we leave. It is weird how plants do that. I don’t understand it, but I’m starting to see it and exploit the loop hole. Yay for exploitable techniques.

Holy moly we’ve been seeing great yards. Aunt Cookie and my friend W have gorgeous yards. These ladies are accomplished. It was a real treat to visit and see the results of their hard work. I feel so inspired. I need to touch some dirt. I need to put in more plants. The planet needs more plants.

Maybe I can ask him if one of his beds can be a wild flower seed mix for birds and butterflies. So when the flowers come up he can think of us.

We love you and we want you to be here.

I love pot. Today I’m not driving so I’m heavily medicated. Right in this moment I feel like if the biggest burdens in my life are dealing with some classist, racist, mostly decent people… I can work with that. I like educating people. I will learn how to talk about these topics. It is very important to me that people like them learn why they are wrong. I understand that they will be more likely to listen to someone they perceive as being like them. They see me as being like them.

They are wrong as fuck, but that’s ok.

It’s an exploitable loop hole. No, I’m not like you. But I know how to ape some of your class markers and I have learned to do so out of self-preservation. I have learned how to make people like you stop hitting me. I’m not like you.

I’m never going to stop being a fierce person. I believe it is necessary. But I want to learn how to temper it when I choose. I want it to be more under control. I want it to be a tool in my tool box and not the defining explanation of what I’m like. I believe that being capable of violence is necessary for self preservation. I’m going to get better at being lethal and learn how to stop the bullshit posturing.

I don’t need to win the dick contests. Even though mine is bigger.

I don’t like what I win. How is being the biggest dick a good thing?

Well, it’s a good thing when I can get men to back the fuck off of being bossy and/or controlling but quick. There has to be another way.

I struggle with the grey area of wanting to be more open and inviting and wanting to be all go the fuck away.

What is the path? Who knows. I’m just walking.


I asked my current longest running friend how she experiences my emotional ups and downs. She said “Peripherally because mostly I’m focused on me.” It was… humbling in exactly the right way. It was a reminder that the people who love me don’t have to come on the emotional roller coaster with me. They can love me and hear about my life and support me without being traumatized. My experiences are peripheral to their lives. It’s… kind of a freeing way of looking at it.

I don’t know how much to center myself. I don’t know how much impact I have on other people. I don’t know how much they can withstand from me. I don’t know this partially because people are all so different. I have been blessed with friends who can hear about some severe traumas without being damaged. But lots of people can’t even handle mildly upsetting things without freaking out, let alone trauma. So calibration is a bitch.

On the way home from the grief ritual on Saturday I got news that I didn’t like. If I was under the delusion that talking about a road trip for multiple years before I did it would result in people making sure they were home when I come to their city….uhm I am now back in tune with reality. The folks I know make their plans without consulting with me. Lots of folks I wanted to see (I’m up to like 8 different people across the country) aren’t going to be home when I come through town. The… ironic part is how many of them will be in the bay area when I am in their home states. I am having a hard time not feeling specifically avoided. I live in the bay area and you don’t come when I’m there to see me. You come when I am in your city. It… it is hard to not take personally. I’ve been planning this road trip for years. People could have asked me about conflicts. They didn’t. Now I can either change my plans (to make a long trip even longer) to see them or give up the idea of seeing them.

Which is why it is good to be reminded that I am peripheral to other peoples lives and I shouldn’t act like I am at the center. I’m really not. Folks don’t schedule around me. Hoo boy folks don’t schedule around me.

I think this would be easier if it were one person I was having this experience with. Then I could decide how much I prioritize that specific person and make a decision and move on. But once you start stacking that many people and that many conflicts… it gets exponentially more complicated.

I’m having conflict with my plans from five separate people in Portland. That’s… that seems to be a sign I shouldn’t go to Portland. If 5/8 of the people I go there to see won’t be available and one of the people I do want to see has been coming to the bay area without talking to me over the last year so I’m all butt hurt… Maybe Portland wasn’t meant to be part of the road trip? I could take it as a sign to save myself a thousand or so miles of travel. But then I feel like I’m not proving my love to the 3/8 people who are still there.

I’m having internal conflict over my adopted dad coming to the bay area multiple times without bothering to have dinner with us. Why the fuck should I keep trying to create a relationship with you when you come to my area without even the smallest of effort in my direction? It’s not a relationship if I am carrying all of it. But you know what? He didn’t ask me to be my dad. He didn’t ask to adopt my kids. I asked him. And I have to take what he feels like giving. I don’t get to demand more.

But I spent this weekend at a grief ritual. And I spent this weekend reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Fucking Palmer. So I’m in a funny place with regards to my feelings about “just stop asking people for love.”

That’s what cutting Portland out of the road trip would mean for me. It would mean that I am not able to go to that city with my heart in my hands saying, “Please love me.” I feel pathetic about it, but that’s a lot of what I do with my traveling and my life experiences. I go about and meet people I’ve known for a long time and people I have just met and I energetically ask them to love me. Please think I am worthy of humanity and decency and love. I’m scared that I am not deserving. And I need it affirmed over and over.

You need ten positive things to balance out every negative thing you hear about yourself. I spent the first 25 years of my life hearing 1,000 bad things for every good thing I heard. I am spending my adulthood trying to convince myself I am not what I was told I am.

But asking people to love you this way means risking rejection.

Part of my problem is that I have too many expectations of people. I really do. If I were actually content with five minutes of attention from the people I love I wouldn’t feel so disappointed. They can eke out five minutes. They can’t eke out two days. I’m not saying anything bad about them for that. They are where they are. And I am where I am.

I have spent most of my life using physical pain to remind me that I can’t ask for help because people don’t actually care very much. Now everyone in my life really wants me to stop hurting myself. And things are better than they were–more people are willing to demonstrate caring than I have ever experienced. It is getting better year by year. But I am not good at keeping my needs in check. I’m not good at ensuring that I don’t overwhelm people.

I am trying to learn the skills to deal with rejection without feeling like I should die. My hyperbole is not because of anyone in my life right now. It is because I have felt like I should die since early childhood. I’m looking for signs that I should or shouldn’t die. As soon as I feel like there is more weight on the side of no really I shouldn’t be here any more I try to leave. I haven’t tried to leave in 18 years. I was taught that the penalty for trying to leave and failing is really bad. Unless I’m willing to go swim out into the ocean until I can’t come back… I probably won’t attempt suicide again. My gestures are used up. Next time it has to be effective and no take backs.

I’m still weighing every rejection. I’m still tossing evidence into a sack towards the inevitability that I should die today because some day that day will come. Some day it will be the day I should die. It is not avoidable.

I notice something in the cycles of asking for support that I go through. If I ask a lot of people at once for something I don’t want very much… it usually works out. If I ask one person for something I want very much… it rarely works out. One example that is shallow and petty but small and easy to describe is the leather dress. I lived with my Owner for three years. We had a very intense relationship. I did not ask him to buy me things. He bought food for me in restaurants and that was it. I bought all groceries for the house. We were both incredibly sensitive to the idea that he was my Sugar Daddy and he was therefore careful to not pay me.

Isn’t that kind of funny? He wanted to make sure our relationship was “clean” so he would safely not provide very much support. Ha.

Anyway after being together for just shy of 4 years we were at a leather conference. I found a leather ball gown I was simply in love with. It was gorgeous. It was way out of my budget. I had never before asked him to pay for any of the ridiculously large fetish wardrobe I bought because he wanted me to wear those clothes. I didn’t ask him to pay for the 20+ pairs of shoes I bought because he wanted me to wear them. I didn’t own any of those shoes two years after I left him. Most of them were gone in three months. I hated those shoes. But I had to buy them to make him happy. I lived on $14,400/year and he made over $250,000. Anyway.

So I wanted this dress and I asked him to buy it for me. I said it could be my birthday and Christmas and everything put together. He said no. He said it wasn’t worth it to him to buy it for him. This happened in July. We broke up in August. Want to know what is funny? Noah organized my other-lovers and bought the dress for my birthday in September. I didn’t ask my other-lovers for the dress. I just cried on my blog.

I still have the dress. I wear it sometimes. It is one of the few items of fetish wear I have left. Mostly I’ve passed things on to people who are actually into that kind of thing. I used to have a wardrobe that made fetish models and professional dominatrixes drool. I’m not a fetishist though.

I spent a lot of this grieving ritual thinking about how I need to forgive myself for having needs that are in specific shaped boxes. I am not going to get those boxes filled because friends don’t work that way. I could maybe get the needs met if I was open to the universe supplying some random person–that’s how things work out for me. But as long as I get into this place where I create fantasies of doing x, y, and z with a, b, and c because I love them… I’m mostly going to be disappointed. My friends are not programmable. They don’t have the same interests and impulses as me.

This is what makes things so tricky. I have very specific needs and wants. People aren’t Burger King. You can’t have it your way.

A friend suggested that I negotiate differently. Instead of offering a Thing I’m up for, try to negotiate two or three things that might work for both. Thing is, I’m negotiating with anywhere from 3-25 people in a week. I can’t be that flexible. I run into bandwidth limitations.

I am not physically nor emotionally capable of being that open-endedly flexible with that many people. Maybe other people could… I can’t.

I will lose me. I understand that other people can keep themselves while being very flexible. That is awesome for them. That’s not me.

As I read Amanda Palmer’s book I kept thinking, “I have tried to have similar trust in the universe. That is part of how I got raped by 12 people. Uhm… This doesn’t work equally well for everyone.”

I feel like the term “Survival Sex” is only fairly recently added to my working vocabulary. It is… not exactly sex work because money doesn’t exchange hands. It is having sex with people in trade for food or housing. I’m struggling with not having the right goods to trade for my needs any more. Once upon a time I could trade sex and get most of the immediate needs I had met. Now I can’t trade sex for a variety of reasons and I don’t know what currency I have that is of value. My attention? But I bother people so much.

If you look at history there are people who can ask and have their needs met and it is like magic and then there are people who ask and get spit on. A lot of it depends on who you know. How magical is your safety net? The fact that Amanda Palmer had so many people with extra money to throw at artists is part of why she has done so well. If she had not grown up in that net… it would be a very different story.

It is a lot easier to trust that people will meet your needs when your needs have been basically met your entire life. It is not so easy to believe when there have been brief shining moments when all of your needs were met for brief moments and mostly… not so much.

I don’t know how to stop taking it out on my friends that my needs are too big for any of them. If my friends meticulously did every single thing I wanted from them… I would probably still feel this way. My problems are existential and not logistical. I get a lot of assistance and cooperation from friends. My friends do wonderful things with and for me. I can pinpoint problems in the system but… mostly my friends are ridiculously good to me. No, people don’t schedule their lives around me. I’m peripheral. But what they have to spare they hand me generously. It isn’t their fault that it isn’t enough to meet my needs.

Is it my fault? Is it anyone’s fault? I worry about fault so much partially because when I talk about how people aren’t meeting my needs people are quick to assume I’m blaming them. If they feel blamed for my problems they are more likely to cut me out of their lives and then I will be that much further from having my needs met.

You can’t talk about the fact that what you are getting in inadequate. You will cease getting any help at all.

Watch how people treat people of color who complain about the system. If you say, “This isn’t meeting my needs” people will say, “Fine then I won’t help you at all you ungrateful bastard.”

I don’t know what I want from people. Not really. I can come up with imaginary scenarios that would take 20 years of back story to make possible but beyond that… I don’t really know.

I want to feel seen.

In the class part of the ritual Sobonfu said, “If someone is crying and alone in my village someone will come and sit with them. If they don’t start talking, the listener will go get more people. If a small group isn’t enough to get the person to start talking we will get the whole village together to listen. Some problems are so big they cannot be carried by one person or by a small group. The whole village has to see and hear the problem before it can be resolved.”

I feel like that. I feel like there isn’t much of anything that people can do for me at this point beyond seeing and hearing me. I want to feel like an integral part of the system. I want to feel like my pain is so important that many many people care enough to take time out of their day to just see it. So that it can feel real. So that I can put it down. So that I don’t have to metaphorically spend all day clutching it and screaming “Look! Look Just fucking look.”

I don’t want to be disposable.

I’m afraid of treating my friends like they are disposable. I’m afraid I have no path to being correct and meeting my needs and their needs.

Part of my problem dealing with people comes from scale issues. I have an unusually large net of people. They are all fairly loose connections, but I have them all over the place. Weak connections lead to a safer and happier and more successful life. But how do you decide how much energy to give to weak connections?

I think that part of the relief when the Godmamas dumped me is like when a company fires an employee and gets to wipe their vacation time off the books. It is no longer an outstanding debt the company might have to face at any point. I left space in my heart and mind for them. They didn’t want it. They told me no over and over for years. But I left that space open. I tried to cram other people into gaps and holes around the area I was leaving for them. It’s like doing a computer defrag on my emotional priorities.

Ok, you want to be not important. Ok.

All of the people who have made conflicting plans are people I really like and I don’t want to defrag them out of my life.

I feel like there is no way to win.

Either I absorb all the disappointment and sadness and regret and keep coming back to beg for love another time or I give up on the person as a source of support.

This is that black and white thinking that mentally ill people are supposed to “work on”.

It’s not either/or. But I don’t know what it is.

Why am I doing the road trip? For a whole bunch of reasons. Because I want my kids to meet people all across the country and find out that their social skills need heavy adaptation from environment to environment. Because I want my kids to physically see this country so that when we talk about geography and history they have real schema to match things up with. Because I have wanted to do a trip like this my whole life and I never had anyone who wanted to do it with me and I’m too chicken shit to go alone. Because I can. Because I think we are going to reach a point in history where the carbon cost is going to be too high and people can’t do this any more. I want to do it while I can.

Because my cousin sneered at me while we were preparing for the New Zealand trip, “Why are you going overseas when you haven’t seen all of this great country.” Bitch, I’ve seen more of this country than you. It isn’t that great. Shut up.

That cousin hasn’t ever liked me. It wasn’t my fault she disliked me. She moved to Georgia not long after I moved in with Auntie and Uncle Bob for the first time. She cried telling her father that she was sorry she was taking his grandchildren away from him. He said, “That’s ok. I have Krissy.” My cousin never forgave me.

You know what? Uncle Bob dropped me when a younger and more sycophantic girl came along. He dropped that girl when another younger girl came along. You can get over hating me for stealing his love. I didn’t steal it. It was never really mine. He wanted a role and I couldn’t give him the role he wanted. I’m not grateful enough.

I had too much abuse mixed in with my not-really-good-enough support. Some boxes of Fruity Pebbles didn’t solve my problems and everyone kind of hated me for that.

If I could be blithe and capricious with seeing my friends things would work out much better. If I could accept the gift of their friendship and hold it in my open hand without grabbing and crushing it… things would work out better.

But I’m needy and desperate and sad and lonely. Even when I’m in a house full of people who love me. This is clearly not about the people who are currently in my life. This is not about the deficiency in behavior or planning or whatever from the people I know.

This is about a hole inside of me the size of Alaska.

If I’m going to be kind of an asshole about it I would say, If my friends weren’t so cool I wouldn’t be so upset about only getting a small slice of them. But man that’s a dick move.

I can’t actually handle that big of a slice of most of my friends. I start flipping out. I literally shake and I get nasty and difficult. Which is part of what makes my entitlement and possessiveness such a problem. I want them. I want all of them. Then I’m an asshole.

Like I did with Sarah. I want Sarah. I want to live with her and be with her all day every day. Just because I want it that doesn’t mean I can do it in a way that is healthy for both of us. My needs are too big. Her needs are too big. Our needs conflict in very complicated ways. It isn’t about either of us doing something wrong we just aren’t compatible as house mates. That happens.

I need a degree of rigidness and predictability that is very hard for almost everyone. That isn’t about anyone doing me wrong. It’s a recognition of the fact that people can be very complicated. If I don’t have that rigidness in my life then I have breakdowns in my behavior. That rigidity is how I have learned to compensate for not having the support I needed. I created the structure and support I needed for myself by myself but there is a cost.

That cost comes in how much I can trust other people. I have to be able to pick up the pieces if their best isn’t good enough. I have to be able to recover from feeling rejected. I have to be able to feel like I still have a self who is deserving of life at the end of the day. That is not something that other people are responsible for nor can they have serious impact on how it turns out.

The thing is, if everyone I knew catered their whole lives around me and scheduled around me and constantly pestered me to center me in their lives… I would implode. I could not do that. I would reject everyone, stop answering the phone and email and hide in my closet for months.

My friends really aren’t put in a position to be very successful with me. I’m sorry for that.

What I want is friends who are off doing their things. Their things inspire me. Their things remind me that it takes all kinds and all of these diverse, interesting, busy people are necessary to have the world be this fabulous.

And that means I have to take what is left over and find a way to cobble it into enough.

I am really scared that I will have to bail part way through the road trip because I will not have the emotional nor physical stamina to do such a journey alone with the kids. In order to spend quality time with the people we love in Portland I would have to make the trip longer and show up earlier. I don’t think I can bear that cost right now. I think that given that 5/8 of the people we love in Portland will not be available… I should take that as a sign from the universe to come back to Oregon another time. I will not run out of chances.

But I’m scared that if I make that choice I am giving up on those friends. I’m afraid that not putting in the extra effort to force it to work means I am not dedicated enough and I do not deserve those relationships and I will not be given access to them in the future.

I’m afraid that if I decide to not go to Portland during the road trip it will be in large part because I’m saying “Fuck you” to Dad because he didn’t see me when he came to the bay area. He was about 1/3 of the reason I deleted my Fetlife account. I don’t want to see evidence that I’m not that important to you. I don’t want to know. I mean, I know I’m not that important. But I don’t want to read about you talking to your friends about your excitement about visiting them. You don’t visit me. You don’t call me. You don’t email me. I contact you. Or we have no contact.

Yeah, that’s how my relationships with “fathers” go.

Portland is very wrapped up in my feelings about Dad. We usually stay with him when we go up. And right now…

Right now I can’t ask. I can’t ask him for love or support or anything. I can’t ask him to acknowledge that I am alive. I just can’t. He doesn’t want to. If he wanted to be part of my life he knows where I am. He chooses not to.


It isn’t something he has to give.

So when I’m talking about Portland all of my conflicting feelings about all of the wonderful people there crash into each other. And it makes all of the processing ramp up several notches in intensity. I’m not processing how I feel about accommodating Person A. I’m thinking about how I can fit in Person A, Person B, Person C, Person D, Person E, and all of them have conflicting schedule limitations and issues.

Cutting Portland out would mean we had time to get to Missouri. Where one of my online-support-group friends lives. She has twins who are right in the middle of the ages of my kids. I’ve been talking to her about parenting stuff for years. She mailed me artwork for my wall when I was having the break down around Uncle Bob’s death and divorcing my family. She has sent me letters and emails over the years.

So cutting out Portland isn’t just about whether or not I want to say “Fuck you” to Dad or whether I want to try to work around everyone else’s travel schedule. It’s also about whether or not this road trip is about cementing old connections or making new ones.

Portland will still be there in the future. I guarantee that even if this trip doesn’t work out… we’ll get back to Portland. The folks who live there are an intense draw. Even if I get mad at them sometimes. Even if sometimes I feel feelings because I am not the center of their life and THAT TOTALLY SUCKS, YO. I will get back to Portland.

Missouri… maybe. Maybe not. This may be the only or one of two times I will ever go there in my whole damn life.

What is this trip about? Fuck if I know.

But you know what? I walked out of the weekend feeling less upset. I stopped feeling really guilty about how I’m handling the throat kicking incident. If I lose the home school group that’s ok. They were never mine to begin with.

I’m going to be really sad if I lose some of the important Portland people in my life. I can live with not seeing them this year, even if it is disappointing. I don’t want to live with losing them forever. That’s so much harder.

I’m going to close with a quote from Amanda’s book:

We make countless choices every day whether to ask or to turn away from one another. Wondering whether it’s too much to ask the neighbor to feed the cat. The decision to turn away from a partner, to turn off the light instead of asking what’s wrong.

Asking for help requires authenticity, and vulnerability.

Those who ask without fear learn to say two things, with or without words, to those they are facing:

I deserve to ask


You are welcome to say no.

Because the ask that is conditional cannot be a gift.

This is what is so hard about me asking my friends for things. I wait to ask until the no hurts me. I have refrained from asking for thousands of small, petty things because I was afraid. Because I don’t want to overwhelm or bother people. So I wait until it is a crises. Then I ask. Then I can’t absorb “no”.

Which means I’m damning everyone from the beginning. I’m not asking for gifts. I’m asking for… investment. I’m asking for responsibility.

You can’t ask your friends to be responsible for you. Then they aren’t your friends any more. They are your wards or your parents or your guardians or something.

I damn myself over and over again. Because I cannot ask when it is just a gift. Because I am so scared. Because my needs have never been very important, even when they really needed to be.

This weekend I had an interaction with a person in which they expressed that part of their goal during the ritual was to not feel pain. I kind of scoffed at that, because I’m an asshole. The person said it at the beginning of the day on Saturday before the ritual proper had started.

I found those words sticking in my head all through the day. I just… couldn’t make myself grieve the way I did last time at the ritual. I didn’t have the hysterical screaming and flailing in me. I didn’t need to beat my head until I couldn’t raise it from the pillow anymore. Instead I found myself just curling up in the fetal position to cry softly.

It was… kind of weird. I’m not really a “let it flow gently over you” kind of person.

The next morning I found the person and told them about my experience the day before. Their face lit up. They were so glad to have had that impact on someone. I apologized for scoffing and said, “I think I needed to hear exactly that. Thank you.”

On Sunday, Sobonfu asked everyone to touch one another more. Even if you are normally a non-touching person… let people touch you. You need to feel like you aren’t alone. You need to physically feel that a person is there with you in your grief.

I’m really a no-touching person.

At one point in the day I was grieving and it turns out that the person who had said they didn’t want to experience pain was my supporter. (Part of the purpose of the grief ritual is that when you are grieving you are always supported. There is a person there to help you however you need.) This person decided to do massage work on me while I was crying. Eventually I moved around so I was lying on my belly just letting it happen.

It was almost magical. I get a lot of body work done. I experience a lot of physical pain and I know a lot of ways to manage it. I do a lot of yoga/stretching… All The Things. I’ve been getting somewhat regular massages since I turned 18 because other wise I get back spasms and spend a lot of time lying on the floor crying and unable to deal with my life.

This was a really transformative body work experience. I walked in with multiple places screaming out in intense pain. I walked out having my pain halved. She didn’t work on me for very long and it wasn’t intense work. But she knew where to press. And it was the physical contact in conjunction with the crying.

In that moment it was ok for me to be asking for support. It wasn’t pathetic. It wasn’t inappropriate. It was what we were all there for. It was entirely appropriate.

I feel like part of my problem is that asking for support puts people in the position where they might have to say no to me. People don’t like saying no. I try not to put them in that position. Which means I wait until it is too urgent. Then I can’t hear no.

It’s a problem. It’s a bad cycle. I’m having a hard time climbing out.

Part of the difficulty springs from the fact that there is no right answer. You just do your best. That’s all anyone has to give.

I’m a talker.

I read a nice article on parenting and princesses and race and I had lots of thoughts.

The first “Barbie” that came into our house was black. The first cuddly dolls I bought were black and asian. Eventually white dolls filtered into the house too. I didn’t buy them.

My children are white, privileged, and upper middle class. They will see the world I present as the default world.

I have pictures of naked fat people hung in my house. I love the work that Adipositivity does and I’m very happy to have my children grow up seeing the beautiful art work. Naked people are not a big deal. My children have been to naked bathing places. Yes, even ones that have both genders present. They are pretty good about how to behave. They’ve seen a lot of kinds of bodies. They think that people are beautiful in lots of different shapes and colors.

I can’t imagine living in a world where you must be thin, blonde, blue eyed, and white to be beautiful. That repels and disgusts me. No. I will not live in that world. You can’t fucking make me.

And thanks to the wonders of home schooling… my kids are growing up in a bubble of my reality distortion field. My six year old comments on being too skinny after her latest growth spurt, “I should eat more.” At a time when 1 in 4 girls under the age of seven have been on a diet. My kid has never heard about calorie restriction for the purpose of losing weight.

Food is fuel. My kids would tell someone that they were loco for not eating. “Without fuel you can’t use your body or your brain. You can’t grow. Don’t get dumb, eat something.”

I feel like I am living a science experiment. With enough privilege… is it possible for someone to grow up with the benefits of modern life while largely skipping the cultural framework?

I’m going to fucking find out.

From the time my kids were curious about bodies and asking for the names of parts they have been able to recite, “Most boys have a penis but not all. Most girls have a vulva but not all. Some people don’t really want to be a boy nor a girl and you have to ask them for their word.”

Ok, that third bit wasn’t there in the first year or so. I didn’t think of it then. We grow with time. But the kids have known it for a while now.

No, I’m not good at asking everyone their preferred pronoun.

I believe it is my job as a parent to prepare my children for the world. That doesn’t mean I need to immerse them in the toxic waters before they even know how to swim. My kids will deal with the fascist beauty standards at some point. But until them I will tell them that my mom-apron is a badge of honor and you have to “level up” or be born lucky enough to be fat enough to get one.

When your kids love on your belly this much… it is sad to see it shrink. I’m not having fun with losing weight.

I believe it is my job to set the terms of reality for now. In our experience of life people have different skin because their ancestors emigrated at different speeds away from the equator. No more, no less. If you meet someone in a given place it doesn’t matter what they look like, assume they are from here and act like that is true. They will tell you if they were not born here. (Wherever here may be.)

Boys and girls are both interested in My Little Ponies. It is always ok to ask if a kid wants to play a pony game. Some boys love playing “poor boy in distress” and you can totally ask if you can be his Princess-to-the-Rescue.

You are allowed to want to be the boss. That doesn’t mean other people at the park will listen to you. Good bosses learn how to be pleasant while they get people to do what they want. Sometimes a bossy voice is the best way to get your way and sometimes it will block you. Think about how you interact with people.

Science, math, and engineering are the building blocks of life. We talk about them all the time. There will never be a thought that “girls can’t do that”. Pshaw. Watch us.

My children are growing up with a very dynamic woman who does things. I declaim intentions and I get shit done.

I feel very conflicted about the not earning money bit. I really do feel like I’m letting down the feminist cause. I speak very positively about the benefits of being a working woman. My kids very much admire the working moms we know. Sometimes my kids ask to move in with them. Then I say, “Know how much time dad is at work? She wouldn’t be with you for that many hours of the day. You’d go to daycare with other kids.”

“Oh. I want to stay with you.”

Ok then. We’ll keep doing what we are doing so long as it suits us all so well. Calli and Shanna chafe at how many hours I spend “away” from them now. I don’t get 20 hours a week off between Noah and baby-sitters. They are really not up for less parental time. It is interesting to watch.

It is hard for me to live with the perfect seriousness of their declarations. They have no sarcasm yet. “I love you. You are the very best mom for me. I’ve looked at the other options. I’m so happy I have you.” Heh. I’m not the platonic ideal of motherhood. I would not be a good mom for many many many many children. I’m so lucky and so happy that I ended up with kids who are such good personality matches. That doesn’t always happen. It’s a gift.

Yesterday Shanna and I had a neat exchange. I don’t remember the segue but she said, “Yeah and if you did x like me you would have been beaten. I’m glad you don’t beat me.”

I said, “Is it kind of weird that I talk about that? I will never harm you like that. I will poke you. I will be obnoxious in your direction. But I will never harm you like that. I talk about it because it lives inside of me and I’m trying to make sense of it. I’m trying to figure out why they did it and why I am not going to make the same choices. I need to figure out what I’m going to do instead. I’m not very graceful about the process. I’m trying.”

She looked up at me and beamed she said, “I know you will never hit me. But it does make me have big feelings when you talk about it.”

I told her, “I’m glad you know that. I’m really sorry I scare you.”

“I’m really sorry they hurt you.”

Then she leaned her head on me. I hugged her. Then we went on with our chores.

I feel guilty about not earning money, as a feminist thing. I’m one of those terrible, disgusting upper class bitches. I’m a sponge “living off” my husband. I’ve read lots of nasty nasty thoughts about people in my position. In a lot of spaces I move through it would be more respectable if I had weekend shifts as a sex worker. At least then I would have the potential for autonomy and I wouldn’t be a dependent.

I live in a very specific, very specifically chosen world.

But feminism is about everyone getting to make the right choices for them. Yeah, I’m a dependent. I went hunting for a partner who was interested in supporting me as a home schooling parent. That was what I advertised myself as looking for. Usually I would bring it up by the third date. The only times I didn’t was when I knew before asking it just wasn’t an option for Reasons. I didn’t provide false advertising. I didn’t say I wanted 50/50. I didn’t look for equality.

Yet I did. I also said that I wouldn’t be in a power unequal relationship during the time I raised my children. Some SM or some roleplay is different. I don’t want to be a slave during the time I have children. They will not grow up with a subservient woman as an example. Nope, nope, nope. That was a conscious choice.

Other people feel like the job they do is enough reason to stay alive. Or they don’t think there is a reason to die, so whatever–they are here. They don’t question it. I think I need Reasons to stay alive. I need specific, conscious things that are pulling me here. Because I don’t have a powerful urge to stay. I need to know things will be better/different in the future. I need to. I need to work towards that reality about as hard as I can.

I don’t know how to shape a healthy family in the toxic stews of mainstream American culture. I see people who mostly do it… but I don’t understand how. That’s not a slam on them.

I need to pull out. (And we all know how well the pull out method works, don’t we?) At least for a little while. At least for personality formation stages. I want my kids to learn from me for a while. I want to teach them what the world is like. I don’t want to risk an apathetic kindergarden teacher. That damage can’t be undone.

My children are learning that boundaries are appropriate, even talking up the power structure. When I’m in a bad mood my kids will say, “Mom I think your tone of voice is a lot harsher than you mean.” They feel totally comfortable saying, “You need to calm down before you talk to me.” But they also deal with the fact that sometimes people sound angry without taking it personally. They have lots of practice with, “Mom is in a bad mood. Tone of voice will suck for a bit. It’s not you. I’m really sorry.”

They know that when you do something wrong you apologize, and try to do better. You don’t say, “Well you deserved it.” “I only hit you because you broke a rule.” That doesn’t happen here.

In our house if someone says, “Stop it” you must stop. Period. Even if you are the larger, more powerful grown up. We are past the dental wars, thank goodness. I hope to never have to overpower them again.

I am so grateful I get to have this experience. And I know that I mostly get to have it because of Noah. I am totally aware. That’s a lot of why I try so hard to be nice to him. He has been very good to me.

Life is very complicated.

Sarah brought up a point. She said (roughly), “So I was concerned after the day where you said 8 hours out of the house was rough. How is five months going to go?”

I’ve thought of that. It’s complicated. Part of it is: on the road trip we won’t have the socializing obligations that take so much out of me. We’ll have brief periods of seeing people, but not really. I work hard with the home school community. I have horrible anxiety there sometimes. Not with the women I know well, I’m pretty comfortable with them. But there are some of them that… well… I’m terrified of saying the wrong thing and having them tell their kid(s) to shun my kid(s). It’s very hard for me emotionally to interact with them. And sometimes… it isn’t appropriate to opt-out of interacting.

So spending 3 hours in a group outing is more like 15 hours of being out while alone with the kids.

Spoons, glorious spoons, we have to count them.

But I also won’t have the support I usually have. I have no idea. This could blow up in my face. I’m open to that possibility! I’m hoping that by being open to the idea of failure it will be less likely to happen. Realistically, I think there is the non-zero chance I will get to Noah’s first visit with us and cry and say, “You have to help me drive home.” Then we’ll spend 5-6 days coming home. I’ll give him at least two weeks notice of this.

Failure is always an option… otherwise you can’t try. That said! If we can’t do this trip I have to stop talking about the around-the-world-trip. So there is a fair bit at stake here. Either we can do it or we can’t. What kind of bitch am I? The kind who claims she can do cool shit and then fails?

think not.

I’m not really a bitch. I’m not sure why that word felt appropriate there. Trying to convince myself I’m more macho than I am? Something.

Every time I look at the map I rethink sections of the trip. “Oh! I forgot about so and so! They live right over…”

I’m kind of working on Plan B.2 right now. Because the detour I thought of last night only involves detouring off the main inter-state freeway onto more local highways so we can see some friends on the way past their state. That’s not anything big enough to justify calling it Plan C.

Because I labeled a Plan A. And that got shot to hell by thoughts of international border crossings and a strong need to re-see the Grand Canyon. “Mom it’s kind of ridiculous that you think that me seeing it when you were pregnant with Calli is good enough.” Strong opinions. We have them.

You saw snow when you were 2! What do you want from me?!

Every year snow trips, apparently. Oh well.

Can’t have everything, kiddo. The sooner you figure that out the better. Your life is not exactly lacking in experiences. There will always be people who have done things you haven’t. Don’t get competitive about life experiences. You’ll sound like an asshole. Do what you want even though that will mean ruling out options. You have that luxury.


I was feeling kind of angsty. So I used an 18 year old coping method and I went and found a chat room. I sure like talking to people. That lead to a series of weird feelings.

I can’t get into specifics for Reasons because I was hanging out in a mental health support chat room. Folks care about their privacy a bit more than average.

I talked to a person who had an experience with abuse masquerading as bdsm. We had a long conversation. This person had no idea that such things happen to other people because this person was never part of “the scene”. I think I blew that persons mind a bit. I was casual and up front with all kinds of general attitudes and problems the community has. I feel guilty that I may have dove into the deep end of their trauma just casually answering the questions I was asked. They didn’t feel that heavy or intense to me because bdsm wasn’t traumatic to me. The community wasn’t traumatic to me. So I feel pretty guilty that I might have hurt this person by my indifference to the intensity that they experienced. I shared links to articles written by folks in the scene about the kinds of problems this person experienced. Mind blown. “This happens to other people?!?!?!” Yes. There aren’t that many truly singular human experiences. Most experiences happen to many people and you just have to ask around until you find your tribe.

That was actually a neat conversation for me. I’m very into talking about community dynamics. But it was so personal for them…

But more than that… I felt like I was bragging. When I’m asked, “How do you know so much about this topic?” “Uhm… I’ve been to a lot of national bdsm conferences. I’ve taught bondage and suspension classes. Go to a kinky book store, read the names of the authors… those are my friends.” And uhm, many of them have played with me. I feel like I must be lying or exaggerating but it is just plain true. I used to go around the country tying people up and being tied up for fun.

Then the topic morphed because the people in chat morphed. Chat rooms are like that. We talked a lot about travel and different climate zones and how food migration works and…

I have a lot of stories. When I get into a chat room and people are just casually going through lots of little references to get to know one another… I have a lot of stories. I think I sound more interesting than I am if you just listen to the things I’ve done.

I think I sound like a liar. I talk casually about travel all over my country and the world. I talk about good and bad things as casually as if they had equal impact on me and people react very oddly to that. I’ll go from telling a story about a principal being on first name basis with me in 5th grade to talking about being beaten daily by a different principal and neither mention feels “important” to me in the way it seems to hit other people. “Your principal hit you!” Uhm, it was Texas. They did that as of the 1990’s and I’m pretty sure they still do it now. It’s not a big deal.

That “it’s not a big deal” is part of why I feel weird. I moved so many times that I seem to have picked up pieces of a lot of different life stories and then I shoved them all together in a way that sounds… frankly impossible to casual listeners.

I have been called a liar to my face many times, that’s why I think I sound like a liar. I couldn’t possibly have done all the things I say I’ve done.

Dude, I really don’t exaggerate for effect much. I don’t have to.

Yes, I really was a teacher. Yes I really was a stage manager too. I’ve had people challenge that I could have done all the things I did. Uhm… I went to college. I did theatre in college. Being a stage manager is not exactly rocket science…. they let teenagers do it. Depending on how liberal you are with the definition of “teach” I have worked in an educational capacity with kids from 1st grade to community college. (I was a substitute for a while. That’s a hard fucking job.) In the community college I was the youngest person in my classroom. My students loved me. I can encourage you through writing a much more… assertive view than you even knew you had.

Yesterday I felt waves of shame, like I should stop bragging. I was just participating in a conversation. But that feels like shoving things in peoples faces. Other people participate in conversations by mostly listening. I should do more of that. Obviously me talking is a problem.


I don’t know.

I didn’t dominate the conversation. I wasn’t the only one talking. I wasn’t the only one with stories. But I was talking with up to five or six people and I dropped the most stories. I suspect this is related to typing speed in addition to other people being shocked that I just kept going. Nope, I’ve got lots more stories than these. I’ve barely shown you the tip of the ice berg.

What do you mean you are done?

Oh. I’ll shut up now. Uhm… I guess people are going to talk about tv characters now because they are out of personal stories.

Right. Uhm. Yeah. I’ll uhhh shut up.

I really like talking about myself. I really like hearing other people talk about themselves. Why do other people want to spend so much time talking about celebrities? It is very confusing to me. I only vaguely know the names of the people they are talking about from magazine covers in the grocery store. I’d rather chew my arm off than research these people so I can join in the conversation.

Uhm, I’ll go clean my house now. Thanks.

flat refuse to spend time researching so I can join in slut-shaming other women. Fuck. That. Noise.

I think women get to fuck as many people as they want and it is none of your god damn slut-shaming business. Go straight to hell.

In my defense… I did not say that in the chat room. I did get quiet.


I feel pretty upset by how much of this I’ve seen in the last day. That woman you are describing as a whore has fucked way fewer people than me. What do you want to say to me now? Nothing because I’m different? Fuck you with a chain saw.

Oh, you judge her because she was “stupid” enough to let her boyfriend take naked pictures of her? THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF SUCH PICTURES OF ME. FAR MORE EXPLICIT PICTURES. Fuck you very much.

I feel pretty pissy about this topic. Thus the shouting.

The only reason I’m “different” is because I’m not doing it today. If I was still behaving that way you wouldn’t think I was different. I am making different choices now for specific reasons related to managing my trauma. Not because I am a morally superior person who has conquered my base urges. Fuck you with a 2″x4″.

Even when I get ranty like this… I feel weird shame like I’m bragging. I’m just talking about my life but it feels like I’m exaggerating to make a point.. I’m not. These are just my thoughts and experiences. Ok, plus a few vague general threats at non-specific people. Not real threats. I don’t plan to shove anything forcibly into anyones orifices without permission ever in this life. But I’m colorful in how I bleed off stress.

This article right here is part of why I defend sex work so vigorously. It has a place in society. Women who have sex with lots of people have a place in society no matter why they are having that sex. Sex is one of the most primal urges we have and I don’t see how suppressing it does folks good. Let’s look at the history of abuse perpetrated by the Catholic church in the name of suppressing sexual desire. Not good juju.

I will not join in on dog piling on someone to tell them they are bad for making a choice you don’t agree with. That is not my job here on this planet. I really don’t want to tell people how bad they are.

I want them to feel like they are ok. And feel like there are probably other people like them and they are ok too.

I want people to feel ok with existing. I want people to believe that a community exists for them even if it is hard to find.

To me, the sum of my stories is a search for a place in community. I have tried a lot of things looking for community. Some tricks worked and some tricks failed spectacularly. I talk about both sides equally as freely. If other people can learn from my failures that makes them even more valuable.

I learn from other peoples failures. Part of the reason I haven’t really been in a relationship with intense domestic violence is because I watched it happen to other people and I made different choices.

The first time a boyfriend slapped me I exploded like a hurricane and ended the relationship. I am not going to fucking let anyone get away with slapping me and saying it doesn’t count as “really hitting”.

I have a very strong ability to set the reality of my life. I don’t let other people define what happens to me. My words. My opinions. My life. Fuck Right Off.

Why haven’t I had an abusive boyfriend? Because I only date people who force me to beg for my beatings. Or I walk. If I hint a little that a beating might be nice and you start hitting me… I leave. That’s not a safe situation. I often talk about deserving things I don’t really deserve or want. A partner who took such musings as hints to hit me… would not be safe.

I pick partners who make me beg for my beatings. I have to give explicit directions about where and how I want to be hit or they just don’t hit me. I really like the boundaries I’ve developed.

BDSM is not abuse. The difference between bdsm and abuse is educated consent on the part of the bottom. I have a real problem with experienced dominants manipulating inexperienced submissives. I think uneducated consent is basically invalid.

But I have strong opinions. When I play with newbies I give them a fucking lecture a mile long before I touch them. I want educated consent.

I learned by giving a blowjob to a little boy in kindergarden. Later he told everyone I raped him. From where I was standing…. he hadn’t said no. From where he was standing…. he hadn’t said yes.

I have a hard time forgiving myself for a mistake I made when I was five. I don’t get to make those kinds of mistakes ever again. Period.

Barely a topic switch… whether I am ever promiscuous again may actually revolve around how my kids turn out. If they are happy, healthy people who don’t give a shit… I might do it. If they would be horrified if they found out… I’m probably done.

I can’t hide who and what I am. I choose a relationship with my children over other aspects of myself. Even though I’d love to convert half the women in my future nursing home to lesbianism. That would be hawt. At least bisexuality if they didn’t want to swear off men. Personally I like people at all points along the gender spectrum. Yay people! Yay bodies!

When I first came into the bdsm community/public sex community I met this lovely woman. She was in her late 60’s when I arrived. I think she was 69 when I was 18. So that’s 15 years ago. I am pretty sure she’s still active. I saw her not that long ago. She is my hero.

I want to be playing with hot young 40 year olds when I’m in my 80’s. I’ll play with old people too… but that would be really fun. I think it is gross that the old men want teenage girls. I’ve done my virgin initiations. They weren’t the most interesting sex I’ve had. I’ll take grown ups, thanks.

The breeding period requires particular behavior sets from me. I chose it willingly with my eyes wide open. The boundaries do not yet chafe.

I get cranky about incidentals in my life. I get frustrated by details of my life. Overall I am so very happy that I’m doing what I’m doing. I like where I am. I’m learning how to be appropriate. I’m doing so in an environment that is actually safe for me. I will always have a version of appropriate that doesn’t match up with other peoples perfectly.

Like last night I apparently educated a local middle schooler about the basics of sex ed. Whoops. Hadn’t really set out to do that. But she asked direct questions. I’m not going to give evasive or shameful answers. Her friend freaked out and tried to shut me up. “SHE DOESN’T KNOW THESE THINGS YET!!!”

Yeah. And that’s dangerous. She needs to know these things so she can keep her body safe.

Someone with fully developed breasts and an hour glass figure needs to know the basic technical non-salacious names for sex. And if someone stands there and asks me direct questions… I’m going to answer them in plain language.


So yeah. Last night I was taught why my friend said, “Your kids are not sheltered.” No, but they are protected. I believe ignorance is dangerous. This is a big, scary fucking world. There are ways to minimize your risks.

I’m not blaming victims. I’m talking about how some women can walk through life making seemingly dangerous choices and they never get assaulted once. There are ways to minimize your risks. There are tricks to keeping yourself safe. I’ve talked to a lot of women about how they manage their lives.

I want to protect my kids. I believe that knowledge is power. They have all the age appropriate books on sex that exist. They know that sex makes babies. They can look at an anatomy drawing and show you where the vulva, labia, clitoris, prostate, anus, urethra, or penis is. Technically, Shanna has memorized more of the specific names than I have. I always have to reread the book to see what a lot of the accessory names are. I know fallopian tubes, but there are some tubes in guys that I don’t remember. She does. But I’m not the one who spends a lot of time talking about wanting to be a doctor.

They also know that sex is something adults do for fun but it isn’t for kids because it can hurt kid bodies.

Why did this come up? Because there are sexual references everywhere and Shanna asks what they mean. I am not graphic, but I say, “Well grown ups like thinking and talking about sex. So that’s a reference to sex. You’ll understand it after puberty.”

I talk about sex as if it is a normal, natural part of life. I talk about choosing when to have children based on being able to take care of a family. I talk about having “kissed boys and girls other than your dad before him because I wanted to make sure I knew I found the right person”. I’m not graphic.

I don’t want to be “out” with my kids the way some of my friends are out with their kids. My kids won’t see deviant-from-normal behavior during their childhood. Regardless of what I do during baby-sitting time.

And a lot of it comes back to feeling weird for talking about this stuff. Am I bragging? No. I’m trying to work out the logistics of my life. I’m trying to get a clear picture on who and what I am. I am trying to prove to myself, Yup. Still here.

I’m in the breeding period. Most members of my species end up here on accident and they kind of chafe at the boundaries as a result. Their freedom was curtailed not by choice. I want this so much.

I want to know what a childhood is like when the parents are not having sex in front of nor with their children. I want to know what a childhood is like when there isn’t constant drug and alcohol induced partying going on. I use pot, but it isn’t a party drug for me. It is something I do in isolation or I take a pill. I’ve only smoked around a handful of people (the wonderful folks who come over for dinner) and it doesn’t happen until after the kids are asleep. My kids are not growing up in a party house.

Only they are. It’s kind of weird. I’m finding out what “vanilla” parties are like and they are pretty fun.

Not long ago my neighbors re-did their house. They were tired of “looking like a preschool”. But… you have young children. Ok, the materials should age up, but why in the world do you think that your house shouldn’t look like kids live there?

Stop judging, Krissy.

I like that kids like coming here. They feel comfortable. I like that I can invite a whole bunch of people over and it works out really well. Everyone leaves raving about how they’ve had a wonderful time.

I’m going to go have fun with my family now.

Revolutionary Women

On Twitter two women I think well of asked what they talked about in front of me that had such an impact. Because thirteen years later I nearly genuflect when I see them and they aren’t sure how they caused such a good impression.

So here we go down memory lane. To set the stage: I was nineteen and I had been dating this guy for a few months. He was to become my Owner but he wasn’t yet. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to Seattle to meet his best friend. I said sure.

At that point in time I had been away from my family for a very brief period of time, just over a year. Most of my childhood and teen years my parents and siblings spent a fair bit of time telling me that my only future career option was to be a whore.

Not a prostitute, not a sex worker–this wasn’t about being PC. My family wanted to make sure I was very sure that I knew I was worthless.

Then I go up to Seattle. I was freshly involved in the bdsm community. The community I had met in the bay area up to that point was mostly male dominant/female submissive. Some women topped, but they tended to still be more or less socially submissive because the guys we spent time with were… pushy. I’ll use that word and be polite.

There weren’t very many fierce women when I showed up. They were pleasant and kind and meant well, but they didn’t inspire my fighting instincts.

Then I went to Seattle. I met my boyfriend’s best friend–who is a really nice guy. I like him a great deal.

But more importantly… I met his partner. His partner was a professional sex worker. By the time I met her she was pretty firmly in the realm of professional dominance and she had stopped doing other forms of sex work. Though she did do other things when she was younger.

Given that I knew I was “meant” to be a whore from when I was a preschooler meeting my first honest-to-goodness sex worker was revolutionary.

She took no shit from anyone. It was like seeing light come down from heaven and hearing the angels sing Hosanna.

She was really educated–self educated, but she could talk intelligently on just about any topic. She was like a cross between Veronica Franco and Florence King. She was a Southern Lady and she could tell you where and how to go fuck yourself while making you smile and say thank you for the honor.

She is a force of nature. I have rarely met anyone with as much force of personality combined with civility. I have nothing like her skill. I would give just about anything to have that much courtesy mixed with my “Go Fuck Yourself”.

Then I met her best friend. Also a sex worker. And I listened to these two women talk.

I had never heard real life women talk like them. They were so mercenary about meeting their own interests. They didn’t give a shit if you were disappointed in what they are willing to offer you. To quote: that is not their dog.

They were able to take care of themselves, tell other people to piss off and manage their own needs, and smile while sounding polite the whole time.

They were allowed to have preferences and requirements and they got to set hoops for dealing with them.

They saw their own value. They are not willing to compromise on their own self worth just because someone else wants to devalue them. I have not known very many women like that.

I’m still not sure I have ever met any other women who can swing a sword to defend themselves while smiling with such glee. They still inspire me.

It took meeting honest-to-goodness sex workers for me to find out that I was not required to go into that profession. They were very clear that I was not a good personality fit. They could rattle off what makes someone a good sex worker. They were quite clear I wasn’t it. They were right.

Sometimes I think I have such strong feelings about them because they were the first people to really tell me that I shouldn’t consider sex work. I’m not a good fit.

I was told: “No one should do sex work unless they have a high sense of the ridiculous and they are good at laughing at life.”

That isn’t me. It is them. And I love them for it.

My life is so full of awesome.

Yesterday was awesome with a side of awesome-sauce. When the only down part of the day is me bawlling out the kids for “pruning” (aka HACKING ALMOST TO DEATH) most of the food plants in the front yard. Shanna decided that it would be awesome to clean up the house to make it up to me.  I’m not sure some of the asparagus can recover. Luckily it is a spreading plant and even if those bits are dead, more will grow eventually. It’s going to take a good three years to get back to where the blueberry bushes were. My tomatoes are not going to be robust this year. (I’m ok with that. I didn’t want to grow any.) She pruned the apple tree that was just starting to do well. This is my sad face.

And that was my only bad. If that is the only bad in my day, well, I can get ten minutes of yelling out of it and then a little pout and move on. Ok, I’m done now. I really like problems that will fix themselves with time.

Otherwise the kids and I had a really nice day. We spent some time walking around Los Gatos. I talked to them about stuff I did as a kid. They were really interested in all the stories. I find myself perpetually in a state of confusion that they actually give a shit about me. They really do. They want to know about me. They want to know more than anyone other than Noah. It’s crazy. If anyone other than my kids followed me around asking for stories about my life it would probably be a little creepy. But my kids hunger for them.

I feel seen and valued. I tell them all the time that I am so glad that now I get to walk these places with them. Every memory that involves them is sweeter than what came before. I’m glad I get to show them things I like and places I have existed. I’m glad that they are happy I am with them.

It feels like it goes beyond the whole “If my mom hadn’t been alive I wouldn’t be alive.” They like me. They want to know me. I don’t feel I deserve it.

I’m probably going to apologize for yelling when they get home. I lost my temper. It’s ok to tell them why what they did was a bad idea. I probably didn’t need to shout it though. That wasn’t very nice of me. Sometimes, I’m not very nice. Which is a mixed thing.

My kids believe that it is ok for them to fuck up. They take it in stride, apologize, and then move on full stream ahead. “Oh shit. Mom is really mad at me because I did something I shouldn’t have. Hey! I’ll clean up all my stuff! Mom likes that!”

Repair attempts. I hear that acknowledgment of repair attempts are the strongest indicators of healthy and happy relationships. (Ok, mostly I’ve seen this with reference to marriage. If your spouse is TRYING to repair a fuck up, ALWAYS at least acknowledge that you see that they are trying–even if you kind of don’t want to let them make the repair yet. “I can see that you are trying really hard to help me stop feeling mad right now. I’m going to need to be mad for a few minutes. I appreciate that you are trying. I will be back to reciprocate in a few minutes when I calm down.”)

My kids try to repair. I try to repair. None of our fuck ups are that big. And our forgiveness is brobdingnagian. (That’s one of my FAVORITE WORDS EVER.)

Last year, when the awesome dad from the home school group was working in my yard, their teenage son came with him. At one point I told the boy to do something for his mom so she would get really excited. I did my kind of squeak and bounce thing. He his eyes got kind of wide and his head leaned back and he said, “Uhhh. My mom doesn’t get excited like that.”

I told him he obviously isn’t trying hard enough. He seemed skeptical. But I think about exchanges like that when I have my ALL CAPS LOCK ALL THE TIME days. I am that excitable in person. I understand why my kids are loud.

(Jenny–the town is so different. Next time you come to California we need to take Little Djinn there. It’s wacky how different it feels now. The Safeway has been totally remodeled. Now there is underground parking and the store is like twice the size. The Walgreens moved. That was kind of weird for me. Auntie shopped there a lot so the idea that it moved… No! Stop ignoring my sentimentality when you make business decisions!)

This year is fifteen years since I graduated from high school. Twenty years for Noah. Whoa. Time flies. Not that he graduated. And I graduated despite not going to high school. Life is confusing.

Clearly a high school education is not the make-it-or-break-it part of education. The pair of us argue with that idea pretty firmly. “Oh really? People can’t be successful or functional unless they can adapt to a toxic high school environment. Who was it that said it is no measure of health to be adjusted to a profoundly sick society?” (For the record it was: Jiddu Krishnamurti. I LOVE the internet. I never have to say I don’t know something again.)

Success is such a funny thing. The goal posts just move.

Recently Noah and I were discussing my lust for order. I wish I were someone who could be regimented and predictable. He commented that someone highly regimented can’t be successful in his profession. The point of his job is to imagine things. You can’t do that if you are predictable–not really. You can go down a checklist of possibilities, but you can’t imagine something different.

I suppose this is like the Imagineer vs. the Engineer. Ha.

These days when I set goal posts for the future I understand that they are mutable. My original goals of “save $250,000 and own my own house” were supposed to take me till I was sixty or so.  Sometimes it is hard holding in the impulse to just cash out stock and pay the house off tomorrow. I could. And I’d still meet that minimum barrier for safety.

But my goals changed. Yes, I want the house paid off. But holy crap I’ve learned what investing money can do to your overall security. Shanna’s college tuition is almost 1/3 there. She just turned six. I didn’t actually contribute that much. It grows. Like fucking magic.

I feel… less fanaticism about paying the house off Right Now. I’ll get it paid off soon enough. It’ll be fine.

For someone who doesn’t believe in God I spend a lot of time praying. Every month when I pay my bills I sit still and I close my eyes and thank whatever is listening that I can pay every bill without robbing Peter to pay Paul.

My mom got to have that feeling once a year. When she got her income tax return. It was spent the day it arrived catching up on things that had to be paid. Every year of my childhood. The eleven months in between were anxiety filled cry fests. What was she going to do wrong this month. She started out every month short. And she didn’t really have a way to get more money.

Today I went out to a lovely breakfast with Noah. I couldn’t eat very much of it because my stomach hurt. We put it in a to-go container for me to eat after I medicate. It’ll be awesome then.

I see every thread of privilege that runs through my life. I feel like the threads are interwoven with gratitude and sorrow and shame. I’m grateful I get to have the things I have. I appreciate them. I’ve seen the lack. I understand how good I have it. I feel really sad that most people never get to feel this easing of worry. When they say that money can’t buy happiness… it can buy you ways to not worry. I feel ashamed that I have all this and other people have so little. That feels disgusting and inappropriate and wrong.

I feel good that my kids know that when you walk buy a homeless person begging, you find something to give them. Food, money, some conversation if you really have nothing to give. You treat them like a person. We have so much extra. If we don’t share then we are shitty people.

I don’t think I will get my grocery bill under control. But I have relationships with a fair number of homeless people and I don’t feel bad about handing them bags of food. My kids see that a lot. That’s just part of their experience of the world.

We are very lucky. We have extra. If you have extra and you don’t share, then you are an asshole.

Yes, we need to have conversations about systemic solutions. But I am not a hive creature. I am an individual. I can’t solve whole systemic problems. Often, I don’t know what the answer is. But I can help the person standing in front of me.

Are they currently suffering as the “result of bad decisions”? Maybe. But I’ve seen an awful lot of people make the best god damn decisions they had available and they still didn’t work out so well. I’m not in a position to judge. If Noah didn’t like fucking me so much… I wouldn’t have so much extra.

I don’t really feel I have a lot of moral high ground. And I feel a great deal of dismay that I am supposed to feel superior to people who earn their living the same way I do only they don’t also have to do all the fucking laundry. Sex work really doesn’t seem that different to me.

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” Sometimes attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt though no one knows for sure.

I have a small mind. Sometimes I think I glory in that. I like to discuss people. I try to do it as more than just gossip–I like looking for patterns and figuring out how people work and why they do the things they do.

I have a strong natural dislike of population studies. I like individual case studies, one after another. I think that in the generalizations you lose the truth. This comes of being an outlier on most scales. Not as many any more… I’m trending towards average as I age. At least on some metrics.

But if you can never undo what you have done, then there are scales on which I will be an outlier until I die. I’m not sure I will ever get over distrusting population studies. But I want to go do a study on a population. I want to do it one person at a time.

Noah just asked me, “Have you ever considered what a system would look like if it was set up to manage people like you?” (Meaning contrary and difficult people who are prone to do the opposite of what you tell them to do even when they are shooting themselves in the foot.) (We’ve been talking about systematic solutions Like You Do On A Sunday Morning.)

More choices. More money. I consider every child born to be an investment in the future of this country. Each individual person has the potential to do Great Things if they are encouraged appropriately. Maybe their Great Things will be in their neighborhood. Maybe in their state capitol. Maybe on tv. I don’t care. Whatever. Do what makes you feel like you are doing the thing that you are good at doing. It is different for different people.

Getting training in your life path is hard and costs money. I really believe in the basic income. I think that children as young as four and five should be allowed to petition the courts to be adopted by a guardian of their choice. Even if the court is a little worried. Kids who are adopted out should retain a child advocate who will work with them throughout their lifetime. Kids who need to leave their nuclear family will probably need a wide net of different kinds of support people.

Kids should be born with the ability to pay for their own day care and food, should such assistance be necessary. These kids will pay my social security. I need them to be as healthy and functional as possible.

Instead our system tries to tell people that they have as few choices as possible. We constrain learning and say that if you don’t learn well by listening to lectures and doing worksheets obviously you are pretty stupid.

Not everyone has that experience of the school system. Some people experience a bewildering array of options and learning possibilities. Guess how much money the parents of those kids usually have?

Maybe money does buy happiness. Or at least it can buy the ease of worry to the point where you are able to feel happy.

But people can learn with almost no money spent. Money isn’t the point. Having a truly engaged teacher is one of the main building blocks of education. The people who help you discover things on your own are the people who increase your options for the future. People who give you a checklist of what to do and what not to do are limiting you.

I think this is beyond me today. And I’m getting stabbing pain in my elbow. I’m going to stop now.

Terrible thought

So the thing about meditation is that it is learning to sit in the still space.

My whole life requires me to move around and constantly respond to stimuli. I’m used to taking in fantastic amounts of information and consciously thinking about it. (If you are ever curious, ask me what I’m thinking about randomly some day. The firehose may drown you. I can talk faster than I can type. Muahahahaha.) That’s what hypervigilence means in a broad sense.

Meditation means turning off my awareness of ALL THE THINGS.

I think I am struggling with finding space where I really feel safe enough to not pay attention.

I pay a lot of attention to my kids. They still create messes and destroy things at a rate that blows my mind. I don’t clean the house every day. I would lose my mind.

My kids are extremely hands-on and creative with their environment. What that means is a shit-ton of work for me.

I have to maintain a certain level of clean so I don’t freak out. I have to vacuum a few times a month or we get bugs. Noah worries more about clutter than I do.

I think I have more anxiety around trying to please Noah than about keeping the house picked up. If he gets house and their shit is everywhere he sighs deeply and starts stomping around to pick it up. So I try to do that most days. But not every day.

But I set boundaries around “You have to have your stuff picked up before you can move on to some other large structured activity”. I’m inconsistent around this though. Like, the house is a mess but we went to Dickens anyway. I had Monday as a scheduled “cleaning day” so I was ok with that. The kids do help when I clean. They are getting really good at that.

The balance on that kind of stuff has improved dramatically. The training is working. Ha. But they need a tremendous amount of energy and direction from me to learn still. I don’t have time to go sit in a quiet space. They bug me every two fucking minutes.

“Quiet time in the garage” doesn’t really exist lately. They come in every fucking two minutes. If I get to the point of yelling at them then sometimes I can get up to ten minutes. (Still differentiating yelling from screaming as about volume/intensity/level of rage. Not sure if it feels that much different to them. They don’t cringe when I yell but they do back off. I’m usually yelling from the far corner of the garage to say “NOT RIGHT NOW.” I’m not feeling guilty but it isn’t effective either.)

I’m doing something wrong or they are testing boundaries or this is a phase or something. Holy fucking shit. Parenting is not usually as hard as it has been for a while.

We were traveling. It’s the holidays. I am probably pretty short compared to normal.

December 6th is my leather mom’s birthday. She’s going through a hard time and I can’t really support her. I feel shitty about that. It is also my biological mother’s birthday. She turned 64. Today is my biological father’s birthday. He would also have been 64. Instead he sat in his garage when he was 49. Stopping time on his maturation process.

I’m flying to Texas but Noah’s mom refuses to meet at a restaurant for a meal. I guess I won’t see them. That’s probably for the best. No I won’t be going to your house for you to yell at me. No thank you. I did not abandon one abusive mother in order to turn around and submit to another one.

I’m sad. I feel like I’m “doing everything wrong” again.

I read these annoying fucking checklists of “habits of mentally healthy people” and I think well no shit I’m not mentally healthy. I know people who don’t remember their lives very well. That would be the only way for me to lose awareness of the anniversary shit in my life. I may love those people but I do not choose to pursue that coping method.

I like my memory very much.

I need to feel safe enough to sit in my quiet space. I resist meditation because it is about sitting around and practicing self control for the fuck of it.

That sounds like hell on earth.

I would much rather multi-task to the point where I will have a stroke. It’s more comfortable.

What does that say about me?

Fuck you still place. Fuck you with a big stick.

“Why don’t you just stop dwelling on the past?”

Why don’t I just stop being sad that I don’t get to have a dad I haven’t had sex with in this lifetime? Really?

Uhm bugger off. I get to have my feelings.

If you haven’t had to buy love with your cunt for most of your life you really can’t understand.

It’s kind of weird now. Now I feel like there really won’t be any reason for people to want to know me. I don’t know how to talk to people. I don’t have anything to offer. I don’t know what to say. Being in public is weird.

What role in society can I fill? I spent most of my life looking for sex partners. I only grudgingly tolerated no’s when people made them explicit (and then they sometimes told me later “I was kinda hoping you would ask again later” WTF!).

Healthy? No. But it’s what I did.

Now what.

I don’t know.

I really did spend my childhood believing I was preparing for a career in sex work. Now that it didn’t work out my back up career is turning out to be way the fuck more work than I thought it would be. Good grief.

But it’s good. I want to be doing what I’m doing. I really do. I want to learn what it is like to be this kind of person. Even if I will never “really” understand because I will always have a brain that is paralyzed with terror because I’m prepared for the next problem.

Yeah yeah, fucking still space. Exercise the self control muscles you have more of them. Have more of the self control muscles have more ability to calm down central nervous system. Fuck you still place. Fuck you you fucking fuck.

My inside voice isn’t so inside today. Apparently.

Sometimes the process isn’t so pretty.

I think I struggle with completely letting go of the white trash stuff as part of my language evolution in general.

I have been yelled at not to curse for nearly three decades. I promise you that someone will yell at me again soon. “How dare you speak that way in front of children.” I get it every so often.

I no longer turn around and say, “Fuck you you ignorant fuck” but I did before I had kids. Ok I only actually did that once. She deserved it. I hadn’t been “cursing” so much as I was being literal and explicitly educational. Then I switched to cursing. Uhm, you had to be there?

There are people who can kill ’em with kindness. There are people who can disarm with humor. Then there’s me. May I introduce you to this trout I am going to smack you in the head with?

But most people who have been in a room with me have no idea. FUCK YOU PEOPLE WHO SAY I DON’T HAVE TACT.

You just say that because my tact falls on a different line than yours.

Why am I so interested in saying fuck you lately? Fuck you universe. Fuck you fucking everything in the fucking everywhere in the whole fucktastic piece of fuck world.

Good day for therapy.

But my kids don’t act like people who live with someone who talks that way. It would doing the routine. I’m just not good at being nice when I’m challenged. I’m sure this means I’m not nice. As if there was doubt.

Naw, lately the problem is that I’m taking shit personally. They are kids. They aren’t doing much because of me. (Well other than breathing and not being covered in filth all day.)

If they are bothering me I need to respectfully ask for the space I need.

I’ve listened to a god damn lot of victim blaming shit in my lifetime. I can tell you 57 reasons it is all my fault I was raped. O course I can figure out how my over reaction to my kids not being very thoughtful is all my fault. As if it were not completely developmentally normal (I HAVE BOOKS FOR THIS SHIT) and all that.

I can’t take it personally.

But I am. Because I’m like that. I need to stop.

Fuck you still place. Fuck you with a fucking chainsaw.

This too shall pass

One of the problems with blogging the way I do is I don’t edit or proofread or “final draft” anything. So I walk away from the computer and spend the rest of the day thinking, “I wish I hadn’t said ____.” or “I wish I had changed the phrasing of _______.” or “I sure hope so-and-so doesn’t think I am talking about him/her….”

I was reading about famous people I don’t care about and one was loudly pissed off that another person made it seem like she currently has mental illness issues. That was a long time ago. How dare you bring it up. That could hurt my ability to work.

With the whole live-blogging of mental illness thing people have a pretty up-to-the-day progress on my mental health. People who have known me for a long time (*wave*) know that things come and go. I don’t have the same issues all the time. I don’t focus on the exact same problems… they drift.

I spend a lot of time feeling rather ashamed of the exhibitionism involved in being this open. I try to justify it to myself by moving platforms every few years. People have to consciously try to keep up with me. I make it difficult. I am not broadcasting my freak on the side of the road with a billboard… I just write about it.

Apparently something like 40% of my country believes that End Times are coming any day now and they are voting with this belief in mind.

But I worry about how weird I am?

Think about the word “normal”. What does it mean? Within the range of expected behaviors/performance/whatever? Common? Average? Oh man. What does “average” mean?! (Math majors–I’m not really asking.)

Does it really take all kinds? Are people allowed to want to be hit? Are people allowed to want to keep their kids out of the mainstream because the mainstream is not where you want them to be? Are people allowed to dress in little more than pasties and panties and run around in public?

Why not? What is your actual objection? It makes you think about sex? I think that is your problem and not someone else’s.

People who are raped don’t cause rape. Rapists cause rape. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn’t make it your fault. If the correct way to avoid being raped is to be in a locked room your entire life then that is not ok. Or have a chaperone. Some of us aren’t well-liked enough to get a chaperone this lifetime.

It is hard knowing intellectually that people love me but not feeling emotional connection. I think I feel connection more sometimes than others. And I often feel emotion in the moment when I see someone. When I can see their face and hear their tone of voice and think, “Oh of course this person still likes me (s)he is just completely overwhelmed by life and coming to me is a high barrier and… ok. I can trust this for a bit.” Then I leave the room. I don’t feel it any more. It feels like it never was and I only imagined it and really they think I am a piece of shit.

No, it’s not “rational”.

I’m play acting my emotions–why shouldn’t I believe every one else is too?

Do you know what is the worst fucking advice ever in the history of ever? “Just be yourself.” That is the fucking shittiest god damn thing you can say to someone. What it means is “If you are someone who deserves to have good things happen to you they will happen. If good things don’t happen… well… I guess you weren’t good enough-huh?”

What it means is “I the person giving advice have no fucking idea how you are going to do this so I am going to say something meaningless and pointless and hope to fuck that you figure it out.”

They say that the personality is pretty solidly set by five or six. That explains why I still think about sex all the fucking time. Oh wait. Or maybe it is just natural for my species and I have a sex drive on the high side. Maybe everything isn’t bad. Did you know that most men who define themselves as politically conservative stop having sex in their 60’s and men who define themselves as liberal tend to have sex into their 80’s?

What does it mean to be perverted anyway? I haven’t done anything that is outside the range of human exploration. I am not the only one to have done anything on my long list of things I’ve done. Given what I read on the internet the main thing that is weird about my list is just that I’ve tried such a variety. Most people tend toward niches. I don’t have strong preferences and I had a long partner list. I tried whatever they were into because I wanted to figure out what they liked and why. It isn’t how other people make friends but I have made some really good friends this way.

Why are the friendships I’ve made through sexual exploration supposed to be “bad”? Sometimes I read about spouses demanding that their partner NEVER speak to a former lover again. This goes for all gender combinations. If Noah wanted to ban everyone he or I have had sex with from our house we would be down to about four friends. Well… he might have a few more because he has some guy friends from college and they weren’t bi. I would only still know my good Christian friends. (I have them! I try to not be too big of an asshole.) That would sure change the scope of my life.

I haven’t slept much tonight. Just… awake. Anxious. Home school event at my house today. So I really should be sleeping. It will be fine. Gardening. And I’m babysitting at the same time for a different kid. Just another day in paradise.

I don’t feel that I am grateful enough for the blessings in my life. I feel like I take people and things and security for granted. Only I don’t feel secure so am I taking it for granted or do I just not believe I have it?

I spend a lot of time feeling like people tolerate me out of pity. I don’t want pity. I don’t want to be that despicable asshole you tolerate because “Oh she doesn’t mean it. She has had a hard life.” I’m afraid I am that person.

I don’t want to make people feel smaller. I don’t want to make people feel bad. A smart lady I know is probably already saying, “You can’t make people feel anything.” I’ve listened to you say it enough times…

I know that being aware of how much turmoil is in my head hurts people sometimes. They feel like I am denigrating them. They feel attacked. They feel that I disapprove. Sometimes I do disapprove of something but if pressed the fullness of my disapproval would probably be something to the effect of, “I wouldn’t do it. I would find something different. I know that you are not me and you are doing your best.” I am fully and vibrantly aware that most of the things I “approve” or “disapprove” of have nothing to do with actual merit or worth it is just my opinion. It is just my preference.

I do think you are doing the best you can. You have to get through every day for you. That will be a different road than I walk. I really and truly don’t believe that anyone “should” copy my methods or opinions. I tell my children so just about every day.

“I say things in strong ways because I have strong opinions. You are allowed to have your own opinions that are equally as strong–even if they directly oppose my opinions. That is just a right.”

Even if it makes them challenging to live with now. It will make them strong in the future. I care more about the future when I will not be there to watch over them than I care about today when I’m feeling frazzled and annoyed and just want to be obeyed.

Apparently a taste for uhhh colorful women runs in the family. I was looking at youtube videos of my sister-in-law tonight. (She married Noah’s younger brother.) Oh man. Her favorite person ever is Freddie Mercury and she is a singer for punk bands (ok, their current effort isn’t exactly “punk” it is more 50’s rock). I feel a little weird about how much of her ass I have seen before meeting her but it will all work out. Listening to the lyrics she writes makes me happy. Here is a woman who cusses way more than me.

Something that I probably want to bring up with my therapist is this out of sight/out of mind abrupt emotional thing. As soon as someone is out of my sight I believe they hate me. I believe that they aren’t contacting me and asking for a visit because I am so bad. It couldn’t be because they are busy.

I have one friend in particular who takes visiting even more seriously than I do. I’ve been seeing him every month (sometimes twice a month) for nearly all the years I have been a parent. At one point early on in our relationship I said, “I feel we are more ‘friendly acquaintances’ than ‘friends'” and he decided that he didn’t want to be seen that way. So he has made enormous effort to visit consistently. Because he wants me to think of him as my friend.

There is no earthly reason for me to feel like nobody likes me everybody hates me I guess I’ll go eat worms. Well, there is that whole family estrangement thing. Lately that is feeling in my head like all-my-fault. The holidays are coming. Oh shit. I wonder if my mother misses me. I wonder if my sister thinks of me. I wonder if Auntie feels any compassion at all for me or if she thinks I am just a big crazy liar. It doesn’t really matter. No one in my family will rape my kids.

If you want to stop being hard you have to figure out how to laugh at life. Do you know that an inability to laugh at life is why I consciously decided to not pursue sex work? It wasn’t for other scruples. I’m over-sensitive and pissy and I get my feelings hurt by things that aren’t personal. Thus I am not suitable for sex work or a wide variety of other professions. That’s ok! I’m keeping busy.

I know that there are people who can go through life in safety without growing hard. I don’t really understand that mechanism. Why is it that when you hang out with friends nothing happens but when I hang out with friends… they rape me. I’m sure it is the people I pick for friendship. Obviously. But not everyone I know is a rapist. I think. How the hell would I know? I don’t follow everyone around all the time…

I should probably go back to bed. The kids have been sleeping till seven lately and more sleep would help my day.

The thing I keep coming back to is: it has to genuinely not matter to me what other people think of me. I need to not consider that. That’s hard. I care a lot about what other people think. I feel constantly overwhelmed by how hard it is that I have no control over what other people think. The only thing I can do is hide and not subject them to my presence. I could probably do with having fewer people tell me that they hear all about the shit-talking about me. Ok, fine. People want to say nasty things about me. Well, opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

When people dislike me it feels like they agree that my life should have happened. I deserve what I got. That may or may not be what they think but it is my reaction. The only part of that I can control is my reaction. If I can get my reaction under control.

I have to not care. I have to think I am a decent-enough person. I have to think I am kind-enough. I have to think I am doing good-enough things. I have to think I am doing my best and if that isn’t good enough… that’s life. I hope you have other people in your life who can help fill your needs because I will never be enough.

I’ve been thinking that with the kids lately. I will never be enough to meet their needs. I’m getting a lot more time with them just lately. This constant feeling of not being enough is hard. I feel so tired.


Yesterday I was hanging out on youtube because what else do you do when you kill your social networking sites? I watched Miranda Lambert (I need to buy more of her albums–I have one but I think she is one of the only actual “country” singers of my generation) and Kelly Clarkson (I don’t need to buy any of her albums) sing Strawberry Wine. (I linked to the original sung by Deanna Carter because it is better.) This song came out when I was thirteen.

I spent weeks crying hysterically when this song came out. I knew that I was not someone who would ever have those memories. At thirteen I had no idea who my “first kiss” was. Those memories are gone.

I can’t remember clearly the first time I felt “loved” in a physical way. I knew long before puberty that I was never going to be the kind of girl who was involved in that kind of love story. I would never be loved like that. I was already dirty.

I thought that I would have a never-ending stream of men and women. I thought there would be no love for me. I thought of myself already as a whore. I didn’t think anyone could love someone like me.

I’ve been reading a lot more writing from sex workers lately. I’ve been reading about their issues with the word whore. I don’t know if I will ever be able to stop thinking of myself as a whore. Just like being white trash–this is part of me. It’s part of me that other people tell me I am not allowed to have because it might reflect badly on them.

I don’t know how to feel like people aren’t telling me to stop existing. What they are really saying is, “Create a world in which I feel always comfortable–never do things that bother me.” They aren’t saying I can’t exist. I should just shut the fuck up.

The song doesn’t make me cry anymore. Instead it makes me think of what I did as a teenager. It’s not bittersweet it’s just sad. I’m exactly the kind of girl that boys like to fuck and then never acknowledge again. I got the few cards and letters from Michael–until I scared him off.

Be quiet Krissy. Don’t be crazy. It don’t matter how you feel. It matters how you look. This is why I have no interest in being a lady. No thanks. God that’s a lot of rules. I’ll stick with being white trash. And offensive.

A friend sent me a link to a gofundme campaign for a book I would probably enjoy reading. I’m nervous about it. But it sounds interesting.

One of the things I am enjoying about getting older is how I see that my feelings of alienation are pretty standard. As bad as I think I feel–it’s pretty common. The things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us.

I think that parties make me feel so bad because I notice over and over how other people can casually tell stories about themselves and their lives without having to carefully look around the room and check to see if everyone in the room is of an appropriate age. I feel dirty and gross. I can’t talk about myself or what I have done in my life. I’m just disgusting. I will horrify people if I do it too casually.

I don’t know how to stop feeling bad about that.

Post-EMDR: birthday edition

When I try to think backwards in time about my birthdays mostly I think of crying. I have cried through most of my birthdays. Today I was specifically asked if any of them were good and I can come up with my 21st birthday (400+ perverts sang to me in a sneak preview of The Secretary which is pretty much the perfect movie to release on my birthday) and that’s the absolute highlight. 23 wasn’t bad. Tom threw a party for me three weeks after I broke up with him. The most attention he paid to my birthday in our years together. 30 was pretty good. My party was both good and very weird.

But let me tell you I arranged to go to the movie when I was 21 and I arranged the party when I was 30.

As far back as I can remember my birthday is a reminder of the fact that I’m not particularly likable. People (my “friends” who were invited) have decided that my birthday party is a great time to sit down and tell me everything they dislike about me. It’s happened over and over. I tried to change that with 30. It was such a weird night. And then the creating a household thing exploded. So it’s kind of a mixed bag.

This year I am going to Disneyland with my kids and a friend. I’m not inviting Noah. Like, specifically if he asked to come (which I anticipate snowballs falling in hell before he asks to come with me on a trip) this time I would say no.

If I’m not going to be the special pretty princess at least I don’t want my face rubbed in it. I will never be the special-center-of-attention. That’s not a role I get this lifetime. I understand that most people don’t get it.

For most of my birthdays I remember things like my mom getting me  chocolate cakes because no one else wants to get stuck eating vanilla even though that is my favorite flavor. No one else likes it so it isn’t coming into the house.

On other peoples birthdays I try hard to pay attention to them. I want them to know that I am grateful that they exist. I want to buy their love–let’s be frank. I want people to know that I think they are worth buying love from. It’s kind of nice to experience, you know?

My birthdays feel like a reminder that I was never wanted. I am the product of rape. If my mother hadn’t been Catholic she would have aborted me. Happy Fucking Birthday. I don’t know how to feel wanted. Mostly I understand that it isn’t anyone else’s problem to deal with my insecurities so I try to not talk about them.

I’m actually pretty good these days at not actively bribing people to come pay attention to me. I get enough that I no longer value myself and my time so little that I am willing to beg people for their attention. It happens or it doesn’t. I have to consciously stop myself from grilling people about why do you want to talk to me? Don’t you find me unpleasant? I think I’d give just about anything to not have to be with me for a day. I find me incredibly unpleasant.

Sometimes it is kind of weird knowing that I could train myself to be nicer. It’s just behavioral conditioning–no big deal. I have the wrong instincts to get through the world safely as a “nice” person. I gravitate towards people who need boundaries expressed with hurling knives. I like them. I just plain do. And way more than I like them I want them to like me so I have traditionally just not said no.

My therapist, like everyone else who knows me and Noah, after listening to me talk about birthday stuff for a few minutes said, “Wait… isn’t that unusually inconsiderate from him?” “Yup.” “Hunh. Why is this a thing? What kind of trauma does he have around birthdays?” “None that I know of in particular.” “Hunh. Weird.” “Yup.”

That’s how discussing birthdays goes with everyone. Why is Noah really excellent at being considerate about almost everything else but has uhm not prioritized my birthday? How the fuck should I know. I’ve asked and haven’t gotten a great answer.

I think it’s the pressure. He’s nice to me all the time because he wants what it gets him. On my birthday the pressure is kind of insane. Failing to act is at least on a different scale from doing “something” that I find disappointing. I can be honest and say that on occasion I have been disappointed in gifts in my lifetime. He’s probably noticed. I’m sure that’s not his favorite thing to deal with.

I really think that part of it is about him not wanting to feel like he has to jump through hoops. He cooks breakfast every day because logistically it is a really great thing for him to do. My birthday probably has less obvious benefits.

I don’t think that one session of EMDR made this issue resolve in my head. I have a long life of birthdays ahead of me. I’m feeling very frightened by the idea of ending up spending my birthday alone every year once my kids are a bit older. Once I’m no longer so interesting and all.

I’m not going to be willing to wake up on my birthday and have everyone in my house act like it is every other day. I can’t do that any more. I’m tired of not fucking mattering. I’m not going to coax and beg my kids to pay attention to me. The only other adult in their life with such influence is going to teach them that my birthday doesn’t matter. I need to not be here while it happens.

This is the kind of thing that makes me not want a long life. I generally start crying about my birthday in August (my birthday is in September) and do it pretty solidly until November. Noah not doing anything last year hit me harder than normal and I’m still crying about it in March. That feels pathetic.

He married me. He had children with me. He works like a dog for me. He cooks me breakfast every day. He stopped sleeping with other people. What more does he bloody need to do to prove that he likes me? I don’t know.

This ache isn’t about him. I don’t know what could fill it. I don’t know if he would be able to if he wanted to but he doesn’t want to so it doesn’t matter. Every year my birthday feels like a reminder that my mother never wanted me. That my father was a monster. That I was just born to be a worthless whore.

I’m really glad that I never actually did sex work. I think that for me that would have been emotionally problematic. As a sex worker you can be an expensive well treated one or you can be a badly treated poorly treated one. Guess which one I would have headed for?

This whole birthday thing is not about getting stuff. I’m really not looking for more crap in my house. I’m not especially materialistic and I have all of my needs met and then some. I absolutely know the extent of my privilege. I am not acting like my husband is inadequate at providing. He’s a fantastic provider. No complaints there.

I want to feel special. Most every day I feel like my presence is in large part tolerated because I am willing to do enormous amounts of work in exchange for people tolerating my presence. I know I owe people something for putting up with me. They sure as shit aren’t doing it for the pleasure of my company.

People who don’t want anything from me confuse me. So I avoid them. Right now I have nothing to give so I avoid the people who want something from me too. I don’t go out as much as I did in the past.

I feel like a selfish piece of shit. I am seriously only hanging out with people who have something specific they are offering me. They come and find me and ask to hang out with me. And I’m still fucking whining on the internet and crying for more than 1/3 of a year because I feel unwanted and unlikable.

That’s broken. I don’t know how to fix that. I see the parameters of what is broken and where but I don’t know how to fix it yet.

Ok, it’s not true that I only use people. Hyperbole is my friend and all. I have highly reciprocal relationships with some people. Mostly though I’m a using bitch. I feel bad about it. I have never been this friend before and I remain quite confident that once I get through this small children phase I will no longer be a using bitch. I anticipate me doing a lot of kid-care for other people in the future.

I don’t feel like my being here on the planet matters very much. My birthday is kind of the chance to say that I am special and every year I am slapped really hard in the face with the fact that I’m really not very important.

Let me throw into this rant the many odd feelings I’m having because Noah’s parents send us so many gifts. In terms of adding random novelty and beauty to my house really they have me covered for the year. Ok, some of their stuff isn’t a hit. Mostly their taste has improved to the point where I write long gushing thank you letters detailing how I’m using all the presents.

So this weird birthday thing really isn’t about being mad about not getting presents. Presents aren’t the point.

I don’t know how to experience my birthday and think, “It’s a good thing I’m alive”.  I go through each one knowing that I shouldn’t be here. It’s kind of like permanently living in It’s a Wonderful Life. I feel like I am always kind of simultaneously viewing both options at the same time: I am alive and I am having this life where clearly people do love me–I did manage to find people vs. I was not wanted from the moment of my conception in every way. How can someone conceived in such hate and rage and violence and anger and humiliation ever be worthy of anything else?

That’s what EMDR helps me put into words. This separation of where the emotion is evolving towards vs. what the trigger is about.

I don’t know what will change how I feel about myself. I don’t know if I will ever stop wanting to hurt myself. I don’t know if I will ever be able to stop hating myself.

I tattooed on my back that the thing I want the most is forgiveness. I think that something more akin to an exorcism would be necessary to get rid of how much hate I feel for myself.

I don’t remember what I was watching but the adult child of an incest survivor was speaking about what it was like growing up with his mother. He said something like, “The thing I remember the most about my mother was that she was always just a little sad. She would stand off to the side in every gathering and watch like she wished she was invited but she never felt she could join.”

I’m scared my kids will say that about me.

I kind of feel like life is a party I wasn’t invited to. I kind of heard by word of mouth that it was happening and some people not connected with hosting have said, “You should come!” but I wasn’t actually invited… you know?

But no one is invited. Well, my kids have been. Holy tomato. I work hard at that. It’s very funny hearing the lectures I give them.

My kids don’t know that I’m roiling in self-hatred. It’s completely outside of their scope of the universe and it’s going to gosh darn stay that way. Well, till they can read at any rate.

I want… I want… I want.

I want to stop hurting like this. I want to know how to actually feel valued and loved given that I have a number of relatively sane non-user people working really hard to ensure that my company is desired. And I’m only having sex with one of them. It’s pretty weird. I don’t really know how to handle this.

It is very weird trying to psychologically get my head around the fact that the internet is permanent. Well, until an energy crisis. But let’s assume it’ll last my lifetime. I think it will. Why is that in this post? I’m starting to think about mortality differently. I have never before seriously entertained the idea of living into my 70’s, 80’s, or beyond. Given my life experiences I am unlikely to make it that long. But I will almost certainly make it into my 60’s.

That’s a lot of birthdays to worry about facing. I try to tell myself that the only thing that stays the same is that everything changes. I won’t always feel how I feel right now. Right now I am very deep in that miasma of shitty feeling. I feel stupid and immature for wanting to talk about these things in public. I feel like I should hit delete and walk away because I am wasting peoples time by writing this inane drivel. And I go on and on and on. Shut the fuck up already.

Geez inside voice, I haven’t even hit 2500 words–what got stuck in your craw? (Have I mentioned that I am in love with WordPress telling me word count as I go?)

I think I am going to stop though. We are going to go out to dinner to celebrate Noah’s last day at his old job. He is starting a shiny new upgraded position at a new company next week. Things are exciting here.

I really have nothing to complain about. My ingratitude is staggering. But there it is.

I want to believe that most parents have vague expectations/hopes/dreams about how this process of parenting will go because then I don’t feel like an asshole. I don’t have hard core expectations of my kids like “You will grow up and be a lawyer” but for most of my life I kind of fantasized about stroking my little girl’s hair and helping her fall asleep. Cue birth of first daughter. From about three months of age little S has been slapping my hand and glaring at me if I stroked her hair. I feel a degree of sadness about this that is entirely out of proportion but there it is. Then I had C. She loves having her hair stroked. I’m so glad I had two daughters so I could spread out my expectations and not ask too much of either one of them individually.

We are off sugar. It doesn’t effect the kids but I’m also off caffeine and alcohol till Easter. I think that harm springs from excess. Moderation is very important in life–moderation in everything! Even moderation. Which means that I am bad at keeping things like sugar/alcohol/caffeine as a sometimes treat and they start creeping in more and more. So I periodically take a while off then I try to go slow when I start again. Then things get out of hand and I take a break. I’m not sure it is “ideal” but it is how I get through. My kids hate me. My husband isn’t too sure about me. Why did I make everyone else do it with me? Because sugar is literally a drug. If you look at studies of what it does to your brain it’s not a joke. I want my kids to grow up knowing that you have to consciously look at your consumption of things that are bad for you and take breaks. Your body needs them. It’s not about punishment. This is a big part of my food religion.

I am too mean and nasty to be a vegan. I honestly don’t care enough about animal rights to do it. I am, however, not a big fan of factory farming or most of our current system of producing goods. I’m not a vegetarian because my diet is not diverse enough to provide me the nutrients I honest to dawg need so I eat meat to fill in the gaps. It’s not a perfect system but it has obviously worked for many species for a long time. I don’t need perfect–I need to not be dead. And when I read things about how consumption of quinoa is probably going to contribute to the destruction of a Latin American country I can’t help but be reaffirmed in my belief that if it doesn’t grow within 100 miles of my home I probably shouldn’t eat it.

But that springs from my hubris. I live in Northern California. More food grows here than anywhere else. The only thing I would have to give up from my regular diet in order to eat entirely locally is bananas. Whoopie. Most of the people in the entire world can’t have my hubris.

Ok. So my food religion doesn’t actually scale. Or make sense at all for large populations. If you look at pretty much every religion of every kind I feel that way about it. They don’t scale. They make sense for whoever they make sense for and not at all for the rest of the world. That’s kind of how things work.

My food religion partially springs from the fact that I live in a place where this is possible. It is disgusting, ethically, to be completely aware of all of my resources and make different choices. In my entirely judgmental opinion. But I know almost no one who has my degree of resources in this area. So it gets trickier almost immediately.

Understanding what privilege means, what having money means, what having resources really means is this constant slow-dawning process for me. What things are actually secure for me and which things aren’t.

I have been participating in an incest support group. Next week is our last meeting. They aren’t a bad group of women but I can’t deal with a support group that far away. It takes too much of my life to participate. In order to spend six hours a month with them I have to spend $240 and spend eight hours driving in miserable traffic. I don’t get enough out of it to balance the cost. Not when I also have to arrange child care and deal with stress around that. My friend who has been watching them is quite sick. I don’t feel ok asking her for this as a permanent favor. She can’t truly commit to doing it and I don’t want to get into the situation of being mad at her because her body is doing what it is doing. That would make me a serious asshole.

I did that with my former housemate. I thought I was agreeing to a trade of work. But I had an expectation level that was higher than her body could provide. Not because she didn’t want to. Not because she wasn’t trying. Bodies betray us. And I was an asshole. So I lost my friend over it. I can’t keep doing that in my life. I will end up totally alone. So I can’t ask too much of anyone.

I also participate in an online ptsd support forum. That is, uhm, more at my participation level and spoon level. I can do it in my garage at 4am and not trouble anyone at all. It’s fucking great.

But both groups function to scare the ever loving shit out of me. Given my level of trauma I am unbelievably productive and functional. At least that is how it appears to my judgmental eye. That’s… kind of scary for me.

Am I just in a good period? Am I going to crash like they did? Many of them didn’t truly lose control of their lives until they were in their 40’s or 50’s. I’m not past falling yet. I was reading today about why a woman became homeless at 49. I’m not past that yet. I can’t lose vigilance.

I live with extreme mental illness. I have studied the field enough to be utterly confident that the devils chasing me are much larger than most people deal with. I’m able to put that mental illness in a box and study it from the outside. I’m able to see where my behavior is broken and just decide that I have to alter that pattern. The mental illness is still there but the behavior is corrected.

I’m able to consciously try and see from other peoples perspectives. It’s empathy. My shaman laughed at me and told me that I act autistic but I don’t know that he is right. I make a logical decision… sorta. But I’m acting from the ability to guess what someone in that position would want. I’m kind of mind reading. I’m going through my film rolodex in my head, “What do I know about this person. Play entire film of life in fast forward. Go.”

What would someone who had that life want? I fucking guarantee you it is different from what I want. From what the monsters in my head are screaming at me to do. Doing this is very tiring. If I don’t do this in full detail with each person as an individual I fall prey to stereotypes and then I offend the shit out of people so I have to be careful not to do that. Or to blatantly say, “So if I were to treat you like person of _______ group the answer would be _______ but obviously you’ve had personal life experience that differs from your group. What do you say?”

I’ve fallen into Pinterest since I ditched Facebook and Mothering. I still feel that is a good decision. But I’ve been a bit more bored. I’ve also been rewatching The West Wing during break time. It’s less diverting. And less connecting. But I’ve been thinking about me more. So who knows.

Winter will always be a fallow period for me. I think I’m actually categorically ok with the idea that as an animal I want to take some time off from my most tiring work in the winter when my body aches and I’m stiff and uncomfortable all the god damn time.

So I was reading an article that was adamantly about Self-Reliance as opposed to Survivalist in nature and hanging my head in shame. I’m that kind of nutcase. I totally am. My uhh future planning is increasingly of the self-reliant nature. And travel. I want to root firmly then run away and know I can come back. It will always be here for me. I don’t know why I need to do this. I just do. I have to see things. I have to experience them myself. I don’t learn enough from reading about them.

I want to talk to people in a lower stakes environment. The thing that is hardest for me about my life is the degree of censoring what I say I have to do. Have I mentioned the extreme mental illness part?

My kids know that sometimes their mom is sad and cries. They know that a long time ago bad stuff happened but we are all safe now. They know we don’t have contact with my family because they are not nice people. That’s all they know.

I need to travel because I need to have the experience of being able to reinvent myself as new and interesting over and over. It is comfortable and safe. It makes me feel better about myself. I know how to do that. I have finally gotten good at it.

I have been thinking almost constantly about how I got good at that specifically because I was training myself for prostitution. When I first saw the movie Pretty Woman and Julia Roberts said something about how no little girl wants to grow up and do that I consciously thought, “Well I will charge more than you.”

I absolutely expected I would end up a prostitute until I was 19. Then I met a prostitute. One of the high charging kind. Ok, she wasn’t still a call girl by the time I met her. She was a pro domme. But she had done every kind of sex work there was and I ended up in her house over and over again. That sounds kind of funny. My boyfriend was best friends with her boyfriend and we visited them from out of state. So we had kind of an interesting relationship. Not exactly friends

She explained to me what was necessary for a girl to keep herself safe. She talked about a kind of trusting your instincts that I don’t have. I literally am not physically capable of doing what she talked about. I am specifically drawn to people who will damage me instead of people who will honor agreements.

That is a lot of why it has scared me so bad when Noah had done things that have pushed boundaries. Life is very scary. I am very dependent.

Those conversations with her are really why I never got into sex work. I was asked. I actually think that I gained so much weight because I was trying to avoid that fate. The last thing I wanted was to be attractive and stand near the people my boyfriend knew. As a fat girl I was invisible and left alone. I saw what happened to the thinner and more attractive women. I saw how they were rotated in and out of the community if they were bottoms. Only the tops survived.

I didn’t want to do that to people. So I got fat. Then I got out.

I’ve had a lot of time lately to think about my relationship with my body. I kind of wish I hadn’t let the doctors office weigh me. Going off sugar is letting me see my emotional pattern with regard to eating lately. If I’m hungry enough to eat some nuts then I do. Mostly I’ve just been eating a lot less and feeling fine.

Since I went to the doctor I’ve been eating a really lot. I thought I weighed more than ten pounds more than that and by golly before I go and see the bastard again I will weigh what I think I weigh. I will have the body I think I have.

It’s really kind of weird. I’m pretty afraid of being thin. I’ve been looking at my therapist and feeling twitchy lately. She is uhm a stones throw from my body. She is my body if I never had kids and I had exercised more starting earlier. So yeah. So I eat. And miss my old therapist who was a motherly alternating warm and stern black woman with a full figure and a rich laugh. When I was being stupid she called me on it. When I was doing well she was really enthusiastic and told me why I should feel good about myself.

I don’t have that kind of relationship with my current therapist. I don’t feel warm. I feel defensive. I feel like she is very agressive in pursuing her agenda. I’m having a hard time with therapist directed therapy. Ha.

I’ve been reading a lot of therapy comparison stuff lately and man are people against folks having a “paid friend”. I kind of think that is what I want. I miss Traci so much. I think Traci would be delighted with how my life is going.

I’m going to visit Dad soon. He has another new girlfriend. I was just getting to know the last one. I miss Francesca. I’m so sad that she doesn’t get to know my children. I think they would have filled a big void in her life. She had so much love to give. Grandkids who visited every other year? She would have been thrilled. She liked sending me presents every year as his “daughter”. My relationship was an entangled mess between both of them.

Traci was my therapist for seven years. She died of a heroin overdose just about five years ago. Francesca was Dad’s wife. I knew her from when I was nineteen. I met her long before they were married. Before they were even solidly together. She overdosed five years ago. Pain medication for cancer. She had gotten addicted while treating her mom. It looked like an accident. Kind of. But she was a recovered heroin addict.

Traci and Francesca were two of the people I looked to for a lot of support. They both died right around Shanna’s birth. I totally enmeshed with Shanna as a result in that first year. I tried reconciling with my family because I was lonely and needy. I paid for Conflict Mediation and was soundly manipulated.

I didn’t divorce my family until Uncle Bob died. Not until my sister asked me in a condescending voice if anyone close to me had ever died before. Because my brother and my father don’t count.

I feel like every relationship in my life has a shelf life. Brittney left at thirty years. Her family is angry about the book. Ok.

I look at Noah and my kids and I feel throat wrenching fear. I feel like I have a fifteen year year of reprieve and then oh holy hell what is going to happen to me? Sometimes I feel very ashamed that I “pull of normal” such that people are surprised at how broken I am. It’s complicated. I contribute to the invisibility of “people like me”. I feel a lot of pressure to maintain a specific front for the benefit of everyone but me. It feels invalidating all of the time.

Sometimes I just like staying home for a while. That way the level of censoring is automatic. We talk about what they want to talk about and it all works out. Other grown ups bring up topics. I spend a lot of time in my head. I have strong opinions loosely held. I’m ridiculously picky about how I am challenged though.

I’m starting to look at who is good at challenging me and getting me to actually change. That’s useful data for me to have. I like pushy people. Holy potato do I like me some pushy people. I combine that with requiring them to recognize specific “I’m done” signals and being willing to go with “Shiny Change Of Topic Please”. That’s a hard combination.

It’s kind of funny watching The West Wing. I have a lot of authority issues. I neither want to be the President nor serve anyone else. I don’t want responsibility for other people and I don’t want them to have responsibility for me. I want things exchanged to be gifts. But I’m really not into Burning Man. I think that is pretention not a gift economy. I need to travel. In other places they have gift economies. Yes, I will read about them before I go so I won’t be too gauche. I hope. I’m sure I will be. But I will be able to apologize for living in the native language.

I want to meet people who are nothing like me. I want to hear as many stories as I can hear. It is hard maintaining relationships with people who live near me. I feel afraid of the eventual brush off. I really need to travel.

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt because the kind of travel I want is just not something Noah is interested in. And it will make this monogamy stuff more complicated. We also have stern agreements about celibacy. Complicated.

I’m dependent so I want to run away so I can prove that I’m not really in a cage. I am still free. Or some stupid shit like that. Or I want macro scale view on my country. I want to actually understand it better. And other countries. I want to talk to people. I need to. I need to hear their stories. I need to hear what life is like for other people. I need other models in my head. I need alternatives to what I know.

What I know isn’t good enough. I need to know more. I don’t learn as well from reading or from taking classes in school. I like talking to people. I want to know about them.

It feels like looking at the future destruction of my life. How far will I run? How many people will I hurt in the process?

I don’t know how I am going to balance everyones needs but I’m going to have to figure it out.

For a while there I was looking in the mirror a lot. I enjoyed watching my hair grow–I shit you not. I’m past that phase, mostly. Now when I look in the mirror I feel dismay at being untidy. But if I try to fix it I’ll make it worse; I promise. Curly hair is just like that. So I’m not looking at myself again.

And we come back to body issues. It’s just been that sort of week. I’ve been thinking. How am I going to wreck my life? My health? My relationships?

Participating on a ptsd support website and being in a support group for incest survivors is giving me a dizzying array of options to work with. Many/most of the issues being accidents because man do we not have control of our bodies. We just don’t.

I have a pretty ridiculous amount of control near as I can tell. I’m not sure why. I just do. I know that this role requires this behavior for this amount of time and you just fucking do it.

Two of my potential biggest supporters through this phase of my life were taken from me right at the beginning of the journey. I’m one quarter of the way through the expected time of specific duty. I’m doing ok. I’m trying to not be demanding or too taxing on any source of support but that balance often makes people feel unwanted or unappreciated or something.

I feel like I understand why I am taking winter off of people. I am not going out much. It is a good thing. Spring is coming. I have busy times coming. Lots of work to do. I won’t be able to sit around in my head. I want to seriously produce this year. I need to. I need to root. I have mother-in-law money set aside for it.

It will be fun.

Privilege. Responsibility. Curiosity. Sustainability. I don’t have any answers. I am, however, a wasteful American. I look at my habits and I think about what it will be like to live differently at this point.

I have been homeless. We lived in our car so I have not had the experience of living on the street. I have been sent to sleep on the floor or the couch in a series of homes of people I didn’t know. I was often not with family for extended periods. Given what I have read about attachment theory I cry for the child I was. No wonder I fucked everything that moved. Please, please love me. But I ran away right after the sex was over because I made sure that no one could leave me ever again.

Puppy did me a huge favor by being the only boyfriend I’ve ever had  as an adult who has broken up with me. He wasn’t a good fit and he recognized it. He could have been more gracious–I’m just saying. But that needed severing and I’m glad he did. Things are certainly working out really well.

And breakfast is ready.

Playing house and thinking about destiny

I have to say that typing my name into the url spot feels good. It’s like I finally have an online home. It’s my god damn sand pit. Excellent.

I have been enormously busy. In the past two days I finished the play house (well, I haven’t attached the planters and I haven’t got climbing plants established–but wood is done), built and mostly installed a raised bed. Started 36 plants indoors and I have a few new food plants coming up in front from the seed spread a few weeks ago. I never label when I do that so I have no forking clue what is growing until it’s done. It’s SCIENCE!

Inside the house I have kept up with the kitchen (doing so requires 2+ hours of work/day between cooking and cleaning), washed and/or folded seven loads of laundry. Cleaned up the whole floor so I could vacuum. I swept the kitchen and the kids scrubbed the linoleum for me (their idea–I swear) and after wiping up the big puddles with a towel the floor is as clean as with mopping so I’m happy.

I also took Shanna to dance class and I have spent 3-4 hours reading aloud over the past two days. I’ve watched three episodes of The West Wing and an interesting documentary called Whore’s Glory (it’s available instant on Netflix–this is how I get movies). If you don’t think white privilege exists go look at what it means to be a woman of color. They don’t have the same options for getting out.

In this country and in Europe prostitution can be a choice. The kinds of scenarios that exist in other countries isn’t enacted here in the same way.

White prostitutes by and large choose it. They may not make the choice with happiness and glee… but it’s a choice.

My great- grandmother was a prostitute and had an illegitimate daughter. My grandmother got “out” of that profession and into a marriage because she was able to blend into society and not be tarred by the brush of her mother.

In some countries if you are a whore you are locked into a ghetto. You are not allowed to leave that slum. Your children are raised there and aren’t really allowed to leave either. None of you have enough money to go anywhere anyway.

My mother was knocked up in high school. She graduated pregnant. She found someone to marry her weeks before the baby was born so that she wouldn’t really be a bastard. Even by 1969 it wasn’t a great situation. Much better than in the 1920’s when my great-grandmother did it.

My sister got married at seventeen had a baby at nineteen was divorced at twenty. Then she had another baby at twenty-two with “guy of the moment” because she didn’t want her kids spaced too far apart and she didn’t want just one. Then she was strongly admonished that she “should” have her tubes tied and she consented. No one in the hospital told her that the procedure wasn’t covered by the state medical plan. It took her more than ten years to pay for that surgery. My understanding is the main benefit has been that she has been able to have a lot of unsafe sex.

People do what they are taught and what they are allowed to do.

I was born into a family where I was not allowed to say no to sexual contact. It was beaten into me.

I am trying to create a family where no one has to do things they don’t want within reason. Like, if Shanna has ballet… sorry Calli you have to go too. Even though you don’t wanna. I understand. I’d like to stay home too.

So there has to be some compromising. But I want them to learn how to be very conscious and deliberate about those compromises. Your opinion matters and the only person who can advocate for you is you.

But there are a lot of boundaries. If you want to scream, that’s fine. Go outside or in the playroom with the door shut. You are not allowed to hurt me by screaming in my face.

It’s weird. I feel like I am negotiating all the time. And I constantly have to put a pause on the whole maelstrom in my head to go mediate some dispute and I have to act completely calm and fair and not scream and be matter of fact and… bleh.

But being able to deliver that consistently… that’s what the pot does.

I don’t know how to describe what it feels like to live in constant heart stopping terror as I go about my daily life because I don’t really think I have ever consistently not felt this way enough to tell the differences.

Sober I have many panic attacks in an average day. I can slow my heart rate through sheer force of will and breath control if I concentrate on it really hard but it makes me seem spacey and kind of dazed. I have to be really selfish and think about my body and it makes me snappy and impatient with everyone else. I often am heard to say “Just leave me alone” even though I know it’s not a good one. I need to develop a better script there but managing panic attacks is really fucking hard. They usually happen out in public where I have none of my usual coping methods.

My kids don’t need to have to learn to live their life around my agonizing stomach cramps. It doesn’t matter to them that I may vomit any minute if I’m not careful. I swallow a lot of bile because I don’t want to admit what is happening. Long-term it’s just not their problem.

The noise is a lot of it. When they get older we can have different discussions about noise but I’m really worried. Our house is loud all the time. We all like to talk. Hilariously, sometimes all four people will be in separate rooms shouting to be heard. I am having a really hard time with how we handle noise. And yet when I lower my voice Noah gets louder and I cringe more and my stomach hurts more and… ugh. It goes better if I try to match his excessive volume.

And the kids are very young and their volume control issues are normal and they are progressing in a completely normal developmental fashion and I need to just be nice about it. This is why people like the part about handing their kid off to another caretaker for most of the day. The noise is unbearable. Sometimes I make my children play out back. We live in California. Even in winter this is a reasonable thing to just go do in underwear. Vitamin D is good for you. And no I don’t put sunblock on any of us. I haven’t in years and I think I can count the number of times I’ve put sunblock on my kids on my fingers. Most of them in New Zealand for playing in the pool. That was necessary, dangit.

And last night I ran 2.67 miles in 31:08. I felt pretty happy about that. I am training for a 10k with my running buddy. We don’t live near one another so a lot of this training is separate but we will be able to practice together a few times. I’m looking forward to it.

I like feeling like getting and being stronger is something that I just do. So our 5k this month was 39 minutes. That means for our 10k we probably should pray we can <80 minutes. But it would be really fun to do it in <70 minutes. That would take actual work towards getting faster. Something I have traditionally been (ironically) steadfastly against. But the goal is different. We have ten weeks. That’s not shaving off a lot of time. If we took it seriously we could.

But it would mean treating out bodies like racing animals. It would mean meal planning for optimal nutrition. It would mean spacing out our exercising as it feels right for our body not for our schedule and hahahaha we will get it in when we can. It means consciously getting stronger alongside the running. Something I struggle with.

And it’s not like I have anything else on my mind at all. Or anything else to do. Why the hell not. Let’s just go with OCD thinking about my body again. CAUSE THAT LEADS TO LIFE BALANCE. Excuse me while I hack up a hair ball.

And my friend? She’s the kind of busy that makes it kind of seem like, “Hey stay at home mom… what is it you…do… all day?” Not that she is like that. But her life is very busy. She has a lot of balls in the air. Way more than I can handle. That’s ok! She’s not me. So it feels kind of extra special that I am getting so much of her attention for this period. Muahaha. I monopolize you for exercise motivation. I’m only kind of a loner. I get lonely.

I get to see Tay today. It’s going to be a great day. I have a life of ease and luxury. It is an accident that I have it this good. I really like having multiple days in a row where I don’t have to drive. I feel so much more physically relaxed. Being in the car is such a high stress load that it really doesn’t leave me with much on the other end. That feels pathetic. But I’ve gotten to stay home. I haven’t been in a car in over twenty four hours! It’s like a miracle. And I have worked. Things came into the house. They are finally resettling again. I get the general impression other people don’t get rid of things at the rate of 2-5 large garbage bags every month. It isn’t because I buy so much. We have generous grandparents. And a lot of old stuff. And figuring out how things work is a gradual process.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the stuff in my life. Why do I have any of it again? If I ask myself too often things disappear really fast. February is already a two bag month and I’m looking at things that are on top of the book shelves because I have nowhere else to put them and I’m feeling fussy. I don’t like looking at all the crap. Grrr Waaa kerflumph.

Tay is coming today and we have swimming. We might walk depending on how moods are going. And we aren’t going anywhere tomorrow. We might get to have three full days without the car in a row. It is really weird to think about. Children and adults need to exercise. The only reason to drive to swim practice is because it’s about 1.8 miles away and sometimes I don’t leave enough time to let the kids walk there. I really should just always plan my day around walking. That’s what their body needs. Mine too if I’m honest.

I have two choices right now. I can either be at the nursery when it opens and get work done before Tay arrives. Or I can take advantage of Noah being home and go to the gym for a dance workout class thing. I honestly think I will be happier with the dirt. Is that weird? This is why I don’t identify as a dancer. I do actually really joyfully describe myself as a gardner these days. I find it kind of ironic that in terms of time spent gardening is probably going to outpace theatre in a few months. I have already been semi-serious about gardening longer than I was really active in the bdsm community. I wonder how many years it will be before I have spent more hours of my life gardening than having sex. I think that will take a while longer. I’m actually looking forward to it.

I’m looking forward to being on the other side of a lot of these little clocks in my head. I am not quite counting the months until my father has been dead for more of my life than he was alive but almost. In three more years it will balance.

I think I’m going to go get myself some dirt. I’m feeling pretty grateful for my mother-in-law money right now. I just deposited one last Christmas check from my grandmother-in-law. $300. Today is the day I’m buying yellow roses. I have today and tomorrow to get them planted. It’s going to be a wonderful day.

I’m almost ready to take pictures. Almost. I’m not sure why I’m feeling so vulnerable about sharing but I am. My house is increasingly beautiful to me. Even the problems are things that I am looking at differently than other people. And I know what I will get to do round about the time I hit fifty if everything goes according to plan. And you know how life is about shit like that.

I don’t care if my words are judged. If anyone says anything mean about my house I will cry.

The Embargo

We’re told women want sex as much as men. As far as I can tell, it’s true. So why don’t we see more equality? When somebody is paying for sex, why is it always a man paying? When you go to a singles bar, why is it that more men are so often cruising fewer women instead of the
other way around? And why is asking and trying to get attention the default and expected behavior for men, and a stigmatized sign of being “too desperate” in women?

Why, in other words, are men pushing for sex and women acting as gatekeepers when women want sex as much as men do? Shouldn’t women be pushing and men resisting about as often?

I do push. The reactions suck. Here’s what happens to me, as a woman who pushes for sex. I go out on a series of first dates with guys who want me to be their dream come true. They see one side of me and decide that I have to change my whole life to accommodate their preferences. Guys are really nasty when you are not instantly available to them in any capacity they want. And that means being the perfect level of busy. Because if you have less or more going on than them that is supposed to automatically happen. Your schedule is supposed to give way to theirs.

It’s just assumed. I know chicks do this too. But when chicks expect more time than a guy wants to give she is labeled as “clingy” and too “dependent”. It’s a massive character flaw.

It’s true in some cases and not in others. But near as I can tell most men don’t want sex as much as we’re told men want it. More equality in what? I cannot count the number of married women I know who whine and bitch and moan about not getting enough sex. Once people are trapped in marriage it really is a toss-up who actually wants more sex. It’s immediate access to sex that is less guaranteed. A lot of this is that many women tend to be turned on by different things than men. Often things that take more time and emotional connection to establish. They may want sex, but not right now and not with you.

There is a physical component of need to sex and there is an emotional component. The general norms indicate that men and women have different levels of trust-need in order to have physical attraction. It may be a cultural construct, but we live where we live.

Why are women gatekeepers? Because if they have sex they are often shamed, humiliated, and later violently assaulted for being stupid enough to say yes. If a high school girl says “yes” in any context other than a committed long-term relationship she becomes a slut. Once a girl has the reputation of being a slut she is in active danger. Boys will follow her around and strongly imply, often backed with physical intimidation, that since she said once she is required to say yes again, to him. It is terrifying to open the gates of sex when you are a teenage girl. That road is littered with violence.


Here are some standard non-answers: “men are dogs” or “men are perverts” or “men have no shame.” Those are euphemisms we use for “men show that they want sex, right out in public.” If desire is equal and universal, why is it shameful to say so? If it’s not shameful to say so, why do we use shaming words for people who do?

Here are more standard non-answers: “women aren’t slaves to their base urges.” “Women are too pure for that.” These are actually the same non-answers, phrased passive-aggressively – wanting sex is shameful, and only men do that. That is, also false and also shaming.

Part of this is the idea that pleasure is sinful. We are a religious country whether we want to admit it or not. As a collective group the Judeo-Christian crowd has decided that if men have a little fun on the sly it can be ignored. If a woman does she should be shunned. This is hearkening back to the era where if a girl lost her virginity before marriage she no longer had market worth and she would be treated badly permanently. Even if she lost her virginity through rape. It really is a tough line that women have to walk. We are supposed to constantly appear sexually appealing, because after all if we aren’t sexually appealing we have no intrinsic value, but be careful about not spreading it around. If you spread a commodity amongst too many people it is no longer valuable.

Why Buy the Cow?

We mean that sex should happen in a tight, monogamous bond, preferably marriage. We also mean that women should enforce that — wait for the ring, wait for the commitment, make him buy gifts and act thoughtful and show how much he wants it. Women are thoughtful and give gifts too, of course. But if you look at what gifts cost and who is coercing who, it’s pretty clear that women can strong-arm men much more often than vice-versa.

In fact, sex is considered incredibly valuable for the woman acting as gatekeeper — so valuable that it’s often treated as a woman’s first and most important asset, and not just by men. Women remind each other that he won’t “buy the cow” if you just give sex away — make him earn it with a powerful commitment and many gifts, over and over again.

If sex is that valuable *only for women*, that’s a huge imbalance.

Why are men expected to spend more money? Uhm, maybe because they make more? Maybe because they will permanently, always, be privileged when it comes to being a provider? The purpose of giving gifts in the courting stage is to show that you will be a good provider. Given that many women still feel nervous about being able to provide for themselves financially, it’s a reasonable worry.

Picking the right mate is the difference between a life of luxury or a life of misery. Ask me how I know. What would my life have turned out like if I hadn’t been such a good whore I managed to catch a rich husband?

Working Girls

We don’t like to admit these things in conversation, but actions speak louder than words. We act like sex is a valuable commodity that must be paid for by men. The world’s oldest profession is also one of the most universal. Yes, men can be prostitutes too. But overwhelmingly their clients are other men, not women.

Feminists dispute some of these points – which ones depends on which feminist you talk to or read. But they dispute what *should* be the case more often than they dispute what *is* the case. And many modern feminists believe prostitution is just fine… That when women have
something of such value they should be free to sell it if they want to.

Mostly women don’t know that they have any commodity to sell other than their body. We are not brought up to cultivate our minds. We are not taught business skills. We are not taught how to be successful. We are taught to shut up and suck smoothly. The reason that a lot of women don’t “put out” early on in courting is because when they do they are abandoned. Many men believe that the kind of woman who will put out quickly is one you should despise. You never know until it is too late what kind of man you are sleeping with. It’s a dangerous risk to take.

Pater Noster

But isn’t it the Patriarchy or The Man holding women into these rigid roles, and forcing sex to be sold by women? In a word, no.

The Patriarchy is real, alive and well. But why would it enforce roles on women that force men to pay constantly for sex, whether from prostitutes or with constant and expensive gifts to a single wife? If The Man was in charge of this specific effect, wouldn’t he follow the lead of the Middle East and keep a harem or several wives? He’d pay, yes, and continue buying gifts, but the focus on monogamous bonds keeps him from playing one wife against another, inhibits his chances to find dalliances outside his home and generally holds him back if what he wants is constant and uninhibited sex. He has many better models of sex and marriage to choose from than the modern American one if he’s being properly self-serving. The Man may have chosen this from among his various available choices… But women *do* get to restrict his choices, or he’d have made a different one.

Vast cultural differences, that’s why. Although you are fooling yourself if you think that rich men don’t already have this. Not every guy. But enough that it is kind of silly to imply that we actually follow monogamy in this country. American women have learned to put a higher price on themselves. I’m all for it.

Follow the Money

Here’s the question to ask: who benefits? People are often selfless individually, but they’re generally ruthlessly mercenary in groups and over long times. A large group’s habits and customs mostly work to their collective advantage, even when individuals are selfless,
self-sabotaging or self-sacrificing.

Who benefits? Women wind up holding an extremely valuable commodity, and eventually being paid handsomely for it.

Traditionally speaking this was the only means of survival. To act like there is something wrong with it is short-sighted and self-absorbed. Things have changed substantially over the last few generations, but women still have to worry about pregnancy. Women will still bear the burden of work if a man happens to knock them up. You don’t know until it is too late how much responsibility a man will take for his actions. Yes, this is true of women as well, but it is pretty ridiculous to act like the responsibility for the outcome of sex falls primarily on men. No, it’s on women. And men are upset that women don’t sign on for a whole lot more of it? That shows that they aren’t bearing as much cost for the decision.

If a woman chooses to have sex she is going to have to deal with the consequences. Perhaps pregnancy and motherhood. Perhaps an abortion. These are both significant decisions that have lifelong consequences. Men prove early and often that they don’t have to be bound by the same rules. Yes, some men are responsible. What is a woman’s guarantee?

Devil’s Bargain

But don’t women lose a lot? Well, if they’re interested in sex, sure. They get less sex. They get less variety in sex. They get partners who are *desperate* for sex, which is not a recipe for *good* sex in the same way that a starving person isn’t going to pay much attention to the effort you lavished into getting the sauce right on the roast lamb.

But then, if sex is held as a commodity in public, desiring it has been defined as weakness. Admitting you *want* sex is already a betrayal. So you’re only losing what it’s now low-class to admit wanting. So everybody “wins”, right?