Category Archives: sexual assault

On busses and hurricanes

Yesterday I had a visit with the pain management doctor. It was a brief check in. It did not quite go how I expected on a few levels. He’s very interested in the totality of my health so he asks a lot of questions about my mental health. I was blunt in saying that I’ve been very depressed. He got really intense and asked me what is going on?

I told him that my husband and I are in a rough spot in our sex life. That things have been rocky on and off in that department from the beginning because I am so fucked up.

I started crying.

The doctor did this thing where he swelled like a lizard trying to intimidate a predator. He started saying with great emphasis, “YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR ANY OF THIS. THAT’S NOT OK. BAD PEOPLE DID BAD THINGS TO YOU. YOU BEAR NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE RESULTS.”

He tried to present a metaphor to me about who is responsible for sexual health and that kind of failed when I rattled off loudly and emphatically that if you don’t ask someone’s STD status and you choose to not wear a condom… you kind of deserve what you get. He didn’t think I would feel like that at all.

He decided to switch gears and explain this a different way since I wouldn’t go along with his beliefs about sexual responsibility.

He said, “Ok fine. Imagine you are a bus. Your responsibility in this life is to drive the bus and stay on the road. Well guess what? Your bus happens to be going through a hurricane. The hurricane isn’t your fault. The hurricane is what other people have chosen to do to you and there is nothing you can do about it. You just have to stay on the road. That’s your task. You can’t control how hard the winds buffet you and you can’t control how much debris whacks the outside of the bus and you can’t control if pieces fly off the bus because of outside elements attacking your bus. Ok, you with me? Ok. Here’s my point: YOU KEPT THE BUS ON THE FUCKING ROAD NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.”

He then asked me if I had disclosed about my background before I married Noah, essentially… was I allowing him to have full consent when he married a crazy person. I said oh yes. I told him all about my fucked up history and mental illness and my issues. I mean, as best as I could.

He said, “Then it is your husband’s fucking fault he married you and he NEVER GETS TO BITCH ABOUT YOU HAVING PROBLEMS.”

I felt… completely stunned. I was sobbing at this point. I don’t think I have ever in my life had a doctor explode and swear at me so much. That was fairly shocking. Holy tomato. I mean, I swear… but doctors don’t usually swear back.

He told me that he has trauma in his background… not like mine but really severe trauma of a slightly different kind. He looked rather haunted when he referenced it. He did that brief almost hollowed out looking thing that people do when they think back to the ghosts that haunt them.

He told me that it isn’t ok for people to be angry with us for coping with what was done to us by bad people. If we react in a bad way at some time… it’s not our fault. We are doing our best to cope with what has been thrown at us and no one gets to judge us for this.

I told him that being married to a mentally ill person is very rough even if no one is to blame. He glowered and said that even if it is rough they don’t get to bitch. This is what they signed on for.

I just… kind of stopped arguing and kept crying. Because goodness. I don’t agree that mentally ill people are never to be held responsible for their behavior. That’s fucked up.

But Sarah’s probably right and I’m taking on a bullshit level of responsibility here.

I came home last night and told Noah that I’ve been having the thought process that… I didn’t cause the shame he feels about his sexuality. But I did fail to heal it and that was something he dearly wanted our marriage to accomplish. And I feel like there is some element where he is very upset with me for failing to fix that. But I can’t. That’s not in me to fix. That’s not about me, not really. That’s not even about how often I fuck him. That’s bigger than me. That’s bigger than me having physical problems.

If we could both get past feeling so bad about ourselves… it wouldn’t be a big deal if he wanted to masturbate with/near me when my cunt is not up for sex. I like mutual masturbation a lot. I think it’s a great game. And frankly… when I know I’m really not expected to take my pants off I have a lot of fun playing with a cock. They are neat. That’s not something I react negatively to. When I feel I really don’t have to take my pants off.

But that’s the rub. I self impose this feeling that I’m bad if I don’t escalate the sex as quickly as possible.

The pressure doesn’t come mostly from Noah. It is about what I feel is mandatory.

And given that we have records going back to day one of our marriage… I think we can count on our fingers how many months we have skipped sex in 11 years (including that 6 month road trip). There is no case whatsoever for sexual withholding. That is just literally not happening. We don’t have sex 2-3 times a day like Noah would prefer… but Jesus H Christ on toast.

Most bad months we still have sex 2-4 times.

Noah has genuinely never had to cope with a real drought. The longest periods of celibacy we have experienced are immediately post-partum and if you want to complain about that I get to beat you until you are black and blue because MY GOD DAMN CUNT WAS RIPPED APART AND YOU ARE A STUPID SELFISH PIECE OF SHIT IF YOU DON’T FUCKING CARE.

That’s the one time in my life that I will defend my pussy like a god damn honey badger. You don’t get to complain that my cunt isn’t performing well enough right after I give birth. Fuck you all the way to hell and back. NOT OK.

I know women who were not ok with having their cunt touched for a god damn year. I wait like 3 months.

No bitching about my post partum recovery time. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. (Not that Noah has ever complained. He was willing to try when the doctor gave us the go ahead with the first kid and I declared it a failed attempt and made him stop and he was patient until I was ready to try again. He did not ask to try so early the second time. Noah actually did just fine in this department. So my ranting is at the generic universe and isn’t about him.)

Yesterday when I was talking to my various medical people (acupuncture, pain doctor, and sleep people in one day) and they asked me about how my marriage is going… I was conscious of how much of a problem it was that my former shrink thought Noah could do no god damn wrong and I needed to always compromise in his favor. I said, “He’s a good husband but he’s a person so he screws up sometimes.” That got nods and acceptance. That’s a much more fucking realistic picture of him.

He is a good husband. But he’s a human being so he fucks up sometimes. That’s not the end of the world. I don’t reject people out of hand for fucking up sometimes. That’s life.

But sometimes I cope very poorly with the set of skills I have within me. I cope in ways that hurt me and people around me because I don’t have a better way of handling what is happening to me. Sometimes all the ways I have to cope seem to fail and I feel like I need the big guns and those are never fucking pleasant to be around.

I don’t always cope in nice ways that make other people feel comfy and happy. Sometimes I just keep the fucking bus on the road and that’s the god damn best I can do.

The doctor got really quiet and intense near the end of the appointment. He looked at me for a long minute or so. He said, “I hope you understand how impressive it is that you are still here. The problems you cause by being here are nothing to compare to the miracle of your presence. Most people would die if they went through the size of hurricane you went through. You may not always be convenient, but it’s not your fault and I’m really glad you are here.”

I don’t know that I’ve ever had a non-psych doctor make me cry like that. That was so intense.

Research I should pay for

https://business.highbeam.com/435395/article-1G1-171858947/impact-sexual-coercion-psychological-physical-and-sexual

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260513506052 (slightly summarized/interpreted here: http://www.medicaldaily.com/repetitive-sexual-assault-affects-psyche-more-we-ever-thought-284542)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777339/     from this one:

The latest amendment of the Indian Penal Code concerning rape laws in 2013 claims to be not only gender neutral, but also worded broadly. However, regarding the definition of force and consent, it continues to be ambiguous and fails to address many issues. An example is the exemption from marital rape which assumes marriage to be a generalized sort of consent for a man to have sexual intercourse with a woman whenever he wants. Problems in interpretation of consent also exist in cases in which the defendant and complainant are non-married acquaintances.

https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-11-29

http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/global_campaign/en/chap6.pdf

Chasing and being ok

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was lovely.

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you too much.

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

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

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

Usually that’s about three months.

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

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

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

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

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

I’m spoiled as fuck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa.

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

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

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

Am I doing it?

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

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

I could keep going.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I a grown up yet?

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

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

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

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

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

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

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

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

I’m like that.

I go do things.

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

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

Ha.

I love my reminders.

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

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

I never mean that sarcastically.

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

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

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

I’m just tricksy.

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

Punching is so awesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It went better at that party after that.

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

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

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

Thank you for the lesson.

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

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

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

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

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

It isn’t any more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So it isn’t only during sex.

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

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

Silence

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

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

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

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

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

Fuck.

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

I’m loud.

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

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

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

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

I’m a fucking asshole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a me problem.

Feeling more complete

At the conclusion of Cranky Day I went up to Wicked Grounds and had dinner with two wonderful women. We had a great conversation. I felt seen. I felt like I had friends. I felt like I know these peoples stories and they know mine and they want to know more. I know I want to know more about them.

It isn’t just about hunting. It is about needing something bigger than a four person nucleus family with a babysitter.

My submissive walked in, surprised to see me, on a date. I was tactful I think. Barely grabby enough to remind him that I can but not stepping on the toes of his date. I think. I hope. *cross fingers* (No complaints from him.)

I think it is funny how I’m kinda putting people in boxes they didn’t ask to be put in. I don’t know if those are boxes they want to be in.

I am sorta doing with my submissive an intensified, deeper, adult, more intimate version of what I barely hinted at with my best friend in junior high. My poor best friend. I spent so much time hitting him. He told me that it didn’t hurt that much and clearly I needed to be hitting someone so it was ok. But I never kissed him. I never got even close to being sexual with him. That was completely off the table. (I actually went and stayed with this friend on the road trip. His wife is awesome and he has a darling baby boy. I’m so happy for him.)

I’ve never really soaked in wanting without hurrying up to sex. I don’t even really know how to do that. I feel like I’m signing up for the most torturous science project of my life. How does one sit with desire and coax it without indulging it completely?

I don’t know and I want to find out.

When I am grinding on your crotch and you can smell me the thing isn’t that I lack desire to fuck you.

I want to fuck you. But much more than that I want the power to decide not to fuck you. The first power like that I’ve ever really had in my life.

That’s a kind of intoxication I don’t know how to describe.

I love that I can lay on you and kiss you as much as I want to and you will gasp and moan and pant and start crying… but you won’t grab me and force me to do more than I am ready to do.

This is an utterly novel experience for me.

It is gross and creepy and yucky but I feel like the seeds of wanting this came from being a parent. I kiss my kids without escalating. But it isn’t passionate. It is loving and tender without being remotely sexual.

It really taught me a lot about the variety of love I can feel. I am curious about the extent of that variety in a way I was not before having children. How many ways can love?

Am I physically capable of passion without hurrying to get it over with?

And it will be complicated to figure out the dynamic of pain and tenderness. When I say that I haven’t really dominated you in the past, the tenderness is a huge chunk of what I mean. I have tried very hard to give you the kind of pain I thought you wanted. I wasn’t there just being selfish. I like that kind of play and I thought you only wanted a specific thing from me.

If what you want is to do what I want, then this is going to be a whole lot more gentle. Because you don’t understand what I want as much as you think you do. Yes, I want to hurt you. I’m going to fuck you up severely. But that will be like 10% of our relationship.

I’ve watched you for a decade and a half. I’ve watched you be a man of integrity, honesty, character, and dedication.

Why in the world would I want to spend the majority of our time together degrading you?

Just got off the phone with my shrink. That was a lovely phone call. I gave her an update on the folks I’m pursuing. She said, “Oh I know these names.” That makes me happy. She thinks it is a good thing that I am taking my sexual satisfaction this seriously. “If this is what it takes and you can do it… do it.”

She also said that the thing I was cranky about is something we’ve discussed in therapy many many many many many many many times and yup I’ve been cranky about it for a long time. That is an accurate perception on my part. I’m not being hysterical. This is an issue.

I described my April and said, “Ok that is 0-60.”

I said, “IT IS ONLY ON 3 DAYS!!!!”

“Oh. But it is so much emotional intensity… it feels like a lot more than three days…”

Deep sigh.

You don’t understand. I used to do this 5-6 nights/week.

Three nights in a month doesn’t feel like 0-60 for me. And two of those nights I’ll be with the kids for most of the day anyway.

So it doesn’t represent that much time away from my normal life except in the form of lost sleep.

So it feels different to me.

I’m being real careful to catch up on sleep first.

My shrink said yeah, just use Lorazepam every night for a while. Catch up on lost sleep. Just doooo eeeet.

None of this, “But I’m overmedicated” bullshit. I’m not.

I think I have decided to try the Gabapentin. I’m scared shitless. But I seriously need a break from smoking. This is killing my lungs. Edibles are so expensive.

I would much rather give my money away than hemorrhage it on pot. Realistically: I’d rather pay chiropractors.

I’m not sure I will ever stop completely. I like it. But I don’t want to need this much of it. At this point it is hurting me.

My lungs are so pissed.

I won’t be on the computer today. K is bringing the Bonus Kids over. We haven’t had a visit in a while. I’m really happy about it.

Last night two wonderful women decided to come talk to me just because I said in a public way that I would be out of the house.

I feel so lucky.

Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for loving me.

Arms hurt. Love you so much. Bye.

Trauma, victimization, & consent

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

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

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

Why?

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

Why are these things different?

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

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

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

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

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

Hahahahahaahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can’t really do anything about that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not “drama” but intense emotional surges.

Like I do. Sigh.

Signing off.

Totally flooded.

I haz big feelings. My stomach hurts. But I feel like I worked out this awful thing that has been in my neck/shoulder for years. I feel like I did a major trauma release in this class. That’s kinda intense. Exposure therapy for the win.

This is what exposure therapy means. The attackers are safe guys in suits who maintain their distance so they can maintain their aura of scary. But they are monitored by women the whole time. It isn’t some guy deciding to do something to a woman when he feels like it and she should have to react right. That’s not exposure therapy. Exposure therapy means a female coach kneeling with her face next to your face whispering, “Remember to breathe. Stop. Wait for the moment. You can do this.”

Stop calling real life abuse exposure therapy. It isn’t. Ok, digression over.

My second experience at Impact was fairly different from the first. I didn’t have a friend in the class. It felt like the group warmed up slower but then made more genuine connections once we did warm up. Everyone started off tentative and not too chatty but by the final day we were pretty friendly. That felt nice.

I took a risk the morning of the third day. I said that the cheering wasn’t making it through to me during my fights and I really needed the line to get louder and more encouraging because it’s scary to fight in quiet. I feel alone. I have to say, those women came through once I made a specific request. They did great.

I didn’t ask for more than one extended fight this time. I literally just… couldn’t. By the time I got through the one extended fight my body was saying, “Let the men make them easy from here on out.”

The guys… they have to work ridiculously hard to do an extended fight with the people who really want blood. They do extended fights to teach women that even when you feel exhausted (this is as close as they will get to the exhaustion of a fight where you will be dealing with someone hitting you) and tired and worn out you can still defend yourself. I think I have a better understanding of fighting from a place of exhaustion from the get go, so I didn’t need the exercise this weekend.

I chose to leave a few spoons in my drawer. Because today I seriously need to pay attention to the kids and if I had left it all out on the mat I would spend today in bed crying. I just couldn’t. This wasn’t a real fight to the death so it would have been inappropriate to wear myself out that hard so I couldn’t hang with the kids.

I pay attention to these things.

Topic switch. Back to hitting.

Yes, I think (upon further reflection) what I am doing with Noah unconsciously probably would be better termed a tap or a light smack… but that is still putting my hands on someone else’s body in a way I’m not paying attention to. In a way that he chooses to describe as being hit. Because he gets that choice. I need to stop it.

Just like people don’t get to tell me that when the kid kicked me in the throat it wasn’t assault. Yes, actually it was an assault. I’m not going to prosecute because I don’t think the kid had malicious intent. But it was an assault.

It is possible to hit and not be causing (permanent) damage. Not be hurting people. Still be a problem. Still need to stop.

I need to have so much fucking control over my body that I do not put my hands on people at all unless I am doing it in a way that I am highly conscious and in control of exactly what I’m doing. I can’t be muddy. I can’t be like “Close enough is good enough.” Not with what I want to do with my life.

So maybe I’m over reacting and maybe I’m understanding how much work I have left on this problem. I need to stop hitting people. Entirely. 100000% unless someone is directly threatening my physical safety.

I know I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to live in gray areas but this is a black and white thing. I’ve done too much hitting in my life. I need to get this under control.

I mean, not that I’m going to cancel that nice date with my friend. I’m going to do everything in my power to get to the point where I only hit people (even lightly) when they say, “Pretty please”. Or they start a fight.

I spent a lot of this class thinking about escalation. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I escalate.

I know it’s all victim blamey and shit, but yeah a lot of the fights, a lot of the rapes kinda happened because I had no ability to deescalate. It hurts seeing that so plainly over time. I am not good at managing peoples emotions in a deescalating way. I’m good at cranking the volume up. I stimulate feelings I don’t settle them. This is a problem.

I think about things like the neighbor who has been sexually harassing me. Did I encourage him? I don’t think so. 90%+ of the time I talk to him my kids are standing right there and I don’t encourage displays of sexuality in front of my children. So I’m inclined to believe this is his desperate fantasy that he isn’t dead yet and he’s still sexually interesting instead of this being about me. But do I deescalate properly when he brings stuff up? Mostly I call the kids and keep walking when he gets rude. What else should I be doing?

Well I think kicking the crap out of him then telling him I cannot be in control if a man grabs me may have been effective. He’s keeping more physical distance these days.

But is he going to creep again? My guess is yes. Because creepers gonna creep. Does it make it all my fault if it happens again because I’m stupid enough to talk to him?

You know what? I get to walk around my god damn neighborhood without having to physically fight off unwanted sexual advances. That’s fucking ridiculous. No this isn’t my fault and I should not have to avoid walking down my own god damn street to avoid being sexually harassed. That’s not reasonable. If he starts shit I’m not the one escalating. He is. I’m just not going to fucking be passive. I’m very friendly and non-threatening with him. I have no desire to hurt him. I’m just not going to let him do shit to me I don’t want to have done.

That has to be ok. No matter how old he is. No matter how much I like him. No matter if I know any man ever again.

I get to say yes to everything that happens to my body. Or I get to fucking hurt you. That’s the deal.

I’m getting closer to the point where I feel I could actually do it in a fight.

It was hard having Noah there. I asked him if he thought I could stop him if he tried to rape me at this point. He isn’t convinced.

I need to take more classes. It is 100% my goal to be able to so deeply scare men that they do not believe they could successfully do that again.

Not because I want to hurt men. Because I’m not going to be raped again. I’m done. The passive has been raped right the fuck out of me. I’ve taken all I can take.

It is quite literally my goal to die before letting someone rape me again. I want to fight to the point where someone has the choice to kill me or leave me alone.

I’m done.

Something broke and it can’t be fixed.

To be fair, Noah didn’t see my extended fight. He saw the easy peasy fights the instructors give you to blow off steam so you walk out of the room feeling strong so you don’t leave feeling like you should walk in front of a bus. They plan this shit. They know the roller coaster they put people on. Noah didn’t see quite how effective I am at kicking peoples skulls in. I practice from a variety of angles. I’m semi-worried that I will actually kill someone because I’m going to be kicking with such incredible force and anger. I may well shove someones face into their brain.

I won’t lose sleep over that. Ok, yes I will. I will be convinced I’m a monster who should be killed. Maybe I’ll go to jail and think that’s fair.

But I won’t be god damn raped that day.

I feel dangerous and horrible. But yes I am prepared to use deadly force to prevent someone from raping me again.

I have to believe I deserve that or I need to die today because I cannot endure another rape. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

I’m done. I have to believe I am allowed to kill someone to stop them if necessary. I know that in an actual fight I will have to use the minimum amount of force necessary to stop a fight. I know that. The chances I will get to a fight that results in death are incredibly freakishly low. Only I’m going to pursue a career that will make people hate me with the power of the sun.

So maybe my chances aren’t vanishingly small. Maybe they just aren’t that high?

I don’t know that I am yet at a point where I am capable of holding the adrenaline in and just doing the necessary hurting.

During one of my fights the suited instructor literally ran out of the room to get away from me because I was chasing too much.

I mean, I didn’t chase him off the mat. But I did take steps in his direction. I hear that the expression on my face was uhhhhh… terrifying.

I don’t know if that is a regular schtick of theirs to try and break the tension because it’s funny. Or if he felt like that is actually how an attacker would respond because holy shit.

I don’t know.

You never know.

They call the rape prevention moves “reversals”. Because you are reversing the power. Those are the ones where you have to stay still on the floor and use physics and it’s scary and complicated and fairly precise. I find them horrifyingly triggering.

It’s really hard to say, “I tried that and what happened was…” I failed. That’s what happened. I failed when I tried to do that. I didn’t prevent a rape that day.

Ahhh. I tried to move long before I felt weight. There was no physics to help me. Fuck everything. Well, specifically he fucked me. After slamming my head into the ground so hard I saw stars. I stopped fighting.

I don’t know if it would be different today. I don’t actually feel confident. That was just a fucking class. I was chanting to myself the whole time, “There is no chance this man would actually rape you. There are witnesses. He’s wearing very difficult clothing. This isn’t real.” Because I wanted to run screaming I was so fucking freaked out. But… that means it isn’t that real in my body.

Would I be able to access this when I’m scared? I’ve worked so hard for so many years to break the freeze response. I’m tired of going numb. But it is a genuine survival skill. I have worked hard to make it less likely I will survive.

I’m ready to die or assert myself. One or the other. But I do not yet know for sure that I’d win.

It is hard believing that I would kill to defend myself and that is part of why I am a disgusting person. I don’t know that I really believe I have the right. I am bad. I want to hurt people.

Not really. I’m just god damn done letting them hurt me.

That’s not true either. I do want to hurt people. I want to hurt people who like being hurt because it released kinetic energy from my body and it allows me to be more calm and gentle when necessary and appropriate.

Hitting is all of these things. It is tapping Noah when I shouldn’t. Even though it doesn’t hurt I’m touching someone without consent in a way that can be described as hitting. My friend who is inviting me to a lovely session of testicle kicking, that’s hitting too. It is completely consensual. He’s going to have a good time, I’m going to have a good time–it’s going to be fun! And being willing to beat someone unconscious for trying to rape me.

It’s all hitting. It is all violence. But do they mean the same things? Should they be treated the same way legally? Should they be treated like trauma because “hitting”?

Everyone gets to decide for themselves what is traumatizing. I’ve done bdsm scenes that were WAY more intense/painful/fucking out there than my rapes. My rapes traumatized me. My rapes were an action that I did not consent to happening to my body in a way that proved to me that I do not have the right to have agency over myself or my life. My bdsm scenes were done with friends and they were fun. Even if they were painful and scary. I knew what I was signing on for. I did it on purpose. I did it with full force and vigor and choice.

That makes all the difference.

I don’t feel traumatized by the throat kick. I feel like I learned something about boundaries.

If you fuck up and assault someone… that isn’t the end of the world. How you respond afterwards is what matters.

If you fuck up and assault someone on purpose… that’s different.

I genuinely believe there are accidental assaults all the time. Just like there is involuntary manslaughter.

Ok, I have one specific complaint about the class this time: I really didn’t appreciate the “boogeyman homeless guy” thing. That fucking pissed me off. The vast majority of assaults are someone you know. Leave the fucking homeless guys alone. They are doing their fucking best and I’m god damn tired of the nastiness of housed people.

Being homeless does not mean you are a god damn rapist.

That’s the attitude though. Homeless guys are creepy and scary. Do you know why they creep you out? Because you feel like they aren’t like you and that’s gross. I feel like they are like me and they are in a hard place right now.

I don’t need to feel scared of someone who has so little power and authority in life compared to me. Am I prepared to defend myself if someone does start something? Sure. But I’ve been interacting with homeless people for decades. I’ve done so all over the country and in other countries.

I’m not scared of homeless people. They are scared of me.

Why? Because they know I can call the cops and have them put in jail. That’s how the power dynamic works. Can I really? Would the cops do it? Maybe. But it’s pretty likely. If any of you dressed-like-you-live-in-a-house-people called the police on a homeless person there is a high chance the homeless person is getting arrested.

For vagrancy. For loitering. For trespassing. For intimidation. For assault.

Even if that assault was accidental. Who cares? It’s a homeless person. They are creepy and icki. We don’t want them around, prosecute.

Stop. Calling. The. Cops. On. Creepy. Homeless. People.

Unless you see them commit a serious crime, just leave them the fuck alone. Ok? They have enough god damn problems without whiny people harassing them.

(I’m not really talking to a specific person or even the folks in the class. I’m mad at the universe over this one.)

I’M TALKING TO THOSE ASSHOLES ON NEXTDOOR.

“I saw a homeless person on my street so I called the police.” I hope you die slowly in a lot of pain.

Like those assholes who called the cops on me in Virginia. I looked suspicious. I had out of state license plates and camping gear. Clearly I was up to no good.

This is my cranky face.

It is weird trying to find a place where compassion and the right to break your face live right side by side. Because in being able to defend myself like this… I’m trying to have compassion for myself. I’m allowed to say that 12 rapists in one life is enough. I’m allowed to say that I was 25 when I was last raped and that’s god damn when it ended. I’m allowed to absolutely fucking harm anyone who tries again.

That is what compassion for myself means. Maybe another woman could passively permit a rape and not kill her attacker and later prosecute and that would be the most “ethical” choice of all… or something.

I can’t absorb any more.

I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

How do you get ready to actually be able to kill someone if you have to? I don’t want to. I really don’t want to.

Shit I already feel guilty that people seem to kill themselves after dealing with me.

(Yes, I know I am not “at fault” for any of these suicides. Life is complicated.)

In class someone thought it was funny to make a joke about fire. I sure know how to shut down jokes about fire. It was asked “Does anyone have any trauma around fire? No? Good….” Then I raised my hand. “Yeah, my brother self immolated.”

I bring all the fun jokes to an end.

God I suck.

Hell, I’m not even saying to stop using the joke. It’s ok to jokingly tease a group of people and tell them the final test will involve jumping through a fiery hoop. That’s not a bad joke. That’s not a real threat.

That’s ok.

But god I can kill any joke.

I am so not funny that it is really really funny. It is to the point where my litany of traumas is becoming almost hysterical. I have a trauma for any god damn situation.

It is kinda funny sometimes.

WHEN WILL THE INSANITY END?!?!!? is most of the joke.

Well, I’m still having an extraordinary life… but I’d say it is mostly no longer traumatic. I have boundary violation issues every so often that must be managed.

I don’t think I’ve been traumatized in while. I think the last trauma was severing with my family. (I think I traumatized Sarah after that… but that’s a different discussion.)

Why do I split hairs like this? Because my shrink tells me to break everything down into its smallest compartments and then sort them out.

What is hitting? What is violence? What is trauma? These things are so broad and yet so very specific.

Random defensive pissiness: I read an article yesterday. Don’t remember where or by whom and I don’t care. The person was pretty much saying, “Stop talking about your white privilege because you are just grand standing. If you were really doing anything to dismantle structural racism you would do it silently.” Oh fuck you.

I’m trying to fund the revolution, motherfucker. I am putting my money where my mouth is. I do more with every year and I track it better so that I can know that I am doing more with every year.

Recently Noah told me, “If you don’t feel like you do anything in the world… you are giving more and more money away every year. You are financially impacting the lives of more and more people. That is doing something.”

I don’t do this because I’m a nice person. I don’t do this to be good. I do this because I can never help the child I was. I do this because it needs to be done and other assholes aren’t stepping up.

I’m an asshole. I can live with that. But I want to be an asshole who has specific boundaries around where and how I hit people, how I escalate fights, and when it is appropriate for me to use force.

I think that hitting people to teach them is a shitty way to teach them if you want an ongoing relationship. That style of teaching instill anger, fear, distrust, and the belief in the person you are educating that they deserve to be hit.

Ask me how I’m feeling about Noah right now.

We need something different.

I do not feel traumatized. I feel like I discovered a boundary. I need something different. This isn’t working for me.

I have enough brain damage for one lifetime.

I think that hitting should be used when you are ok with ending the relationship and not before.

If you don’t think I should be packing to leave then we should not be in a physical fight. That needs to be a boundary. And no, that does not mean I should get free hits without retribution. That’s not what I’m saying.

I need to stop hitting casually. I need to be taught through repetition and mostly through words. This behavior will mostly be extinguished through catching the “taps” that “don’t count” because actually they do. They teach muscle memory. They remind me that hitting is ok.

I used to hit ineffectively so I thought it was fine for me to hit people. At this point I’m very effective and that means I need to treat my hands like weapons and be in full control of them.

Things change.

Noah hit back because I hurt him. He has the right. I’m not really mad that he believes he has the right to defend himself.

I’m mad that men start out able to defend themselves with so much force without having to take class after class after class and work and work and work.

I’m not sure that I’m mad at the men. I’m just mad.

I know that I need to get over all the shit that happened to me. But a lot of the places I hurt almost every day are from specific assaults.

Do you think you would be able to forget if you were reminded by your body every day?

Maybe if I can actually heal I stand a chance. Maybe.

Chiropractic appointment in 3.5 hours. I’m going to call and schedule acupuncture for this week. I don’t see a massage therapist for a while but I’ll be ok. Two weeks? I’ll live. Ha.

Cause the next time I see massage therapists I’m uhm seeing two in one day because I didn’t really look at the calendar before booking the second one. That’s ok. One person works on a very small area for the full hour and the other person does a more general massage for an hour and a half. It will feel like magic. I will need to drink so much water that day.

I’m really trying.

Some day I would like to spend less money on health care and spend more money on donating to communities of color. They need the money. I’d rather not need to spend it on my body.

I really don’t think I’m the best place to spend all these resources. But I recognize that it is literally necessary for a time if I am going to heal and be able to do the work I want to do. If I want to stop feeling suicidal because I cannot deal with how much pain I experience on a daily basis… I need to spend the money since I have it. I don’t have a justification for giving it away instead of fixing what is wrong.

Not at this point. Not really. I will be a more effective tool if I stop and do maintenance.

That’s just prudence.

Is that close enough to self love to count?

I’m trying.

Today I am going to spend with the kids. Except for the chiropractic appointment. They’ll do bookwork during that time. We’ll be together the rest of the time. I think we should garden. We’ll read. We’ll snuggle.

I will remind my body that despite these training exercises… I’m safe now. I am safe now.

We need to meditate tonight. During the class I was fucking whigging out for a while. Then I remembered what I’ve been saying to myself when we meditate. “I breathe in nothing that will pollute me; I breathe out the nothingness that has consumed me.” It helped. It helped a lot. The fact that I’ve been practicing at night has helped. I calmed down much faster than I used to be able to.

Jenny tells me that I look at how far I have to go. She looks at how far I have come. I write it down so I can see too.

Peripheral

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.

I…

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

and

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.

Impact’s first weekend.

I spent the weekend at a self defense class offered from Impact Bay Area.  If you are curious what they teach there will be a public demonstration next Sunday from 4-5:30 that you can come watch. Let me know you are interested and I’ll give you the address.

I have been to a public demo in the past. It was intense and a little scary to watch but it inspired me to want to take the class. I want to be able to do those skills! I’ve got to say, there isn’t much in life that is more viscerally satisfying than kneeing someone in the head and watching them fly four feet before they land on the ground.

After one of my “fight” sessions I managed to deescalate things verbally so I didn’t actually physically fight. The instructor could see I was disappointed so she asked if I wanted to go again for an actual fight. Then everyone burst into laughter. No one else was nearly as eager to physically fight. I felt quite blood thirsty.

It is a very tightly structured class which is both good and bad. The good is: they have a lot of material and they cover it very well. The bad: I have a hard time with people who want to have that much control over my bladder. *I* don’t have that much control over my bladder and I tend to feel pretty humiliated about that. Sorry. I haven’t been able to stick to the bathroom breaks other people assign ever in my life. I just can’t. Physically. That’s an ongoing issue for me in life. I will break the rules and go to the bathroom when I have to. But I’ll feel ashamed of myself and like I am bad the whole time and that dynamic sucks.

I get that they don’t want people wandering off to text for a while and waste time. That’s fine. I pee quickly. I just have to do it right when my body says.

The techniques they are teaching are challenging, but easy to start picking up. I’m going to need to practice a number of them. I’m pretty bad about punching when I shouldn’t. I have hurt my hands pretty badly in fights in the past so I understand why they have the guidance around not punching. Hands are delicate little objects–all those miraculously small bones are easy to break. I’m aware. I’ve worn multiple casts. (Not from fights. I’m klutzy–not that blood thirsty.)

I am unsurprisingly vicious when I’m taken from behind. One of the instructors commented, “Wow. I could hear the suit’s plastic thunk from across the room when you hit him. That doesn’t happen very often. You had to hit him very hard to make that sound.” Well… I was scared. What do you expect? Oh. You think I am here to *learn* to hit people. Naw. I’m here to learn more about *where* to hit them and *how* to hit them. I’m already very good with the whole “hit” part. Done lots of that. I’m totally comfortable with the idea of making someone else hurt very badly in defense of my body.

Based on the classroom discussions (lead by the teacher) I don’t think they get all that many students who are happy to hit people outside of martial arts. They don’t talk as if that is common.

I’m struggling with a few things the teacher has said. Not because she was wrong to say them–because I struggle with these things. There was a lot of conversation about how it is very legally necessary to verbally deescalate things. If you swear at someone and try to piss them off to provoke a fight you are on shaky legal ground to beat the shit out of them. It’s not exactly self defense if you egg a fight on.

The thing is: my attempts at verbal deescalation don’t work that well. A lot of my experience is that I do better to bring an absolute torrent of swearwords then guys will back off and leave me alone. My experience is that if I try to be firm but not engage I have more problems. I understand that legally I have no right to piss someone off and then hit them. I get it. It’s just something I am going to struggle with mightily. My experience is that the best tool in my arsenal for getting people to leave me alone is demonstrating (correctly) that I’m crazy and a random attacker has no god damn idea what I might do. I might just completely go ballistic and make your life a living hell. I’m like that sometimes. But only if provoked.

I try to believe that defending myself is a worthy cause. If it is a worthy cause it is worth absolutely all the energy I can throw at it.

I have deep respect and gratitude for the teachers at Impact. Even when they said or did things I didn’t especially like they were always very clear about why they said what they said. They had justifications and reasons and data. They did not *ever* rely on “because I said so” which I appreciate.

Saturday (day one) was a lot less hard than Sunday and I don’t think it is just because the techniques were more simple. The first day we worked on scenarios I don’t have a lot of personal experience losing. I’ve never been assaulted by a random person walking by and it’s a little baffling to me that people (in the most general sense possible) are terrified of those kinds of occurrences. My issues have always happened with people I know.

Sunday wasn’t necessarily about “people you know” but there was more direct fighting off sexual assault techniques. That was hard for me. I cried through part of the class because just watching the other students was very upsetting. I was grateful that I had a support network in class.

It was sorta funny. One of the lovely women whom I’ve never met before offered me a hug, I suspect because she saw me hugging the people I already knew before the class. I got to say, “Actually I’m not very comfortable letting people touch me until I’ve known them for many years.” One of the women whose hand I’d been holding said, “Yes I’ve known her for many years and today is the first time I’ve ever touched Krissy.” The nice stranger kind of blinked for a bit and said, “Well ok then.”

Yeah, I’ve got boundaries.

But it was the nice kind of running into a boundary. It was safe to express in a nice voice. I like it when that happens.

*I’m* not ok with people touching me until I have known them for a long time. It’s ok that I have that boundary now. No, I didn’t have it when I was much younger and that’s ok too. I’m allowed to have it now even though I haven’t always had it in exactly the same way. People are allowed to change.

I’m finding the class to be incredibly empowering. I highly recommend it for men and women. Not only do you learn more about how to effectively use your body as a weapon when necessary, you get to beat the shit out of suited instructors for days and that is just ridiculously fun. Uhm, maybe not everyone has as much fun with beating the crap out of people as I do. I’m practically giddy.

One technique, what to do when you are grabbed from behind and lifted to the floor, was hard for me to master because when it starts happening I go into a blind panic. Then my sweet helpful classmates were yelling “Bite!” at me because the next step is sayingBite!” Yeah well, when I’m scared and lots of people are screaming bite at me… guess what I do. Whoops. The suited instructors were universal in their response, “Never ever ever apologize for hurting someone who is trying to hurt you. Even in a demo. Never apologize to the bad guy. Never. If you hurt slightly more than you intended to, it is the instructors responsibility to know how to keep himself safe.”

I am pretty ridiculously grateful to those kind men who volunteer to let group after group after group of people beat on them. That is true service to your community. They help people feel more confident in their bodies. It is wonderful to watch.

Luckily my arms are already less sore than they were yesterday. I’m going to have to be conservative about how I use my arms this week. My elbows are very sore. I have rug burn on my knee. I think it is kind of funny that I ended up with rug burn and I didn’t even get laid. That seems… counter intuitive.

I’m looking forward to next weekend.

Can’t argue with a spreadsheet.

I have been taking a good long look at my budget for the upcoming roadtrip. That’s way more fun than thinking about how to manage conflict.

An RV would be $15,000-$25,000 depending on what I was able to find. There are occasional “steals” at $15k. Plus a massive amount of ongoing maintenance I can’t predict now. Plus twice as much gas as I originally planned. Plus learning to manage a longer, taller vehicle that will be hellishly difficult to park.

A pop up tent would be $6,000-$11,000. Plus ongoing expenses I can’t predict. Plus learning to drive a 30′-40′ vehicle. Plus much more gas than originally hoped for.

Did I mention that my original budget for this trip is $12,000?

Shit.

Whereas I can get a roof storage container, portable toilet, tent that kind of telescopes onto the back of the van for privacy and space to stand up, nice camp kitchen set up, and the odds and ends I want for over $2k. I could probably get much cheaper if I was willing to troll Craigslist patiently.

Sold.

It’s going to be much much physically harder. I’m not “looking forward” to how physically hard this will be. All of my other plans will have to scope down until I can handle things.

On the upside I can’t find any advice on tent traveling with kids for extended periods more recent than say… settling the US. People don’t do it. I bet I will find some interesting writing material off of this trip. Ha.

The kids have some super rad tumbling mats from Ikea ($10 a pop) that fit sideways in the van if you leave some of the sections folded. If I take out the middle row seats and have the car seats come in and out (The Britax Frontier is not that hard to install–it’s just getting a tight seatbelt connection instead of those FROM HELL clips on the True Fit I have.) from the back row… we could sleep in the van and use the exterior space more optionally for other purposes.

We don’t *have* to set the tent up every night. I am going to have a fabulous roof container to store shit so I can have a versatile potential set up.

Ok, part of me thinks it is kind of hilarious that I am going to attach a tent to my van that has a main room and a vestibule so the vestibule can be my bathroom.

As this morning demonstrates to me once again… I can’t be without toilet access in the middle of the night. Just can’t. Must have access. Luckily these days there are some darn nifty little numbers that will be easy to bring with us. And from the pictures it looks an awful lot like you can unscrew the storage tank and walk to a public toilet and slowly dump it in with two or three flushes and you are good to go.

That seems like a level of septic management I can handle. I was frankly a little terrified of the whole RV hook up thing.

I’m scared. This seems like… a fuck ton of work. It’s going to be hard. But I want this experience and I really don’t want to spend my entire budget before I hit the road, know what I mean?

I was asked, “But couldn’t you resell the RV or trailer when you get home?” The answer being, “I hope but such things are hard to predict and I would have to just be prepared to eat the money. Plus lots of other money in the future if I want the vehicle to be in good enough shape to sell.”

I want to pay off my mortgage. Buying an RV would seriously derail me. It would derail the international trip.

Ok fine. I can suck it. Yes, it will be hard. We will also be staying at friends’ houses pretty frequently. It will work out.

I’m more worried about Noah joining us than just the three of us. It will make sleeping harder. I’m not sure if the four of us can sleep in the van together. We may need to have options for sleeping on the ground those nights anyway. In general my plan is to sleep in the van. I really prefer the idea of sleeping behind metal and glass and locks. Is the van totally secure? Of course not. But I like my illusions.

I have woken up from sleeping in a tent to find a grizzly bear foot print less than three feet from where my head was. That scared the crap out of me. Of course I took a picture. (And DA remembers–see, that proves it.)

Do you know what part of it is? If I let the budget for this trip explode… Noah will sigh, put his head down, and “try to earn more money”. Naw, the original budget will be more than adequate. I am already fleecing him in ways that give me the vapors. I feel like I am taking advantage of him. But he is agreeing and such. He wants his kids educated by me. In whatever way I see fit. He sees it as an investment the same as a private school.

Life is complicated.

There is exactly one bike rack on the market that will allow us to take three independent bikes plus the recumbent trailer we are endeavoring to learn how to use. We haven’t fallen yet! I’m proud of us. *phew*

Shanna says she is looking forward to this trip. I told her that our screen time will be severely limited. I won’t be able to be online either. She clapped her hands and said, “So you will be forced to play with us ALL DAY EVERY DAY. That sounds wonderful.”

Oh man.

I told her that every single day I would need to take private time and the way that is going to work is I will sit in a chair outside where I can see them and I will put head phones on. I don’t want to talk the whole time I have the head phones on. I need time to be private inside my brain. She said she can agree to that because they will be able to see me so it’s all good.

She jumped up and down and squeed. She is so fucking excited that I won’t be able to hide in the garage. Sigh.

Sometimes it is hard for me to understand how much my kids like me. I’m not sure I have ever in my life had as unmixed of emotions as my kids have. They love me and adore me and nearly worship me. There isn’t a lot of hesitation.

I have never seriously hurt them and the minor injuries I cause tend to involve lots of apologies and noticeable change in my behavior so I don’t duplicate the fuck up.

Some days, some moments I am able to see that I am doing what I want to do as a mother. Even though it is hard and I am very scared. I am doing it.

The only thing Calli understands about the trip at this point is, “I get to go to Disney World, right?”

Since everyone decided they didn’t want my points for Hawaii, you can be at Disney World for a really long time, kiddo. I’m sorry that my friends had life events come up that caused them to not go on their trips. I’m ok with getting more time to luxuriate around a pool at Disney World. I won’t have to set up a tent for a month. Sounds fucking awesome.

Although if I wanted to conserve points… Disney World has a camp grounds. Ha.

I don’t want to stay longer than four weeks so the point conservation is less mandatory than it could be. There are too many things to do in the country to spend all of our time at fucking Disney World. But I think a month in the middle of this trip will be decadent.

I want to save budget money for going to the fancy princess tea party at Disney World, no I don’t want a fancy RV or pop up trailer that bad. I’d rather get to do all the things I want to do than have a posh sleeping place.

Because now my budget is down to being about $10,000 because I’ve spent the first $2,000.

(I had to decide. I had to just do it. We have a camping trip in two weeks and… I don’t have a plan as to how to provide for it. Erf. I told Noah that I want to put the tent up and down four times during the weekend while I have a grown up there to help me. The last time or two I want to put it up alone. Shanna says that I will never put it up alone. She will always help. We’ll see.)

The funny thing is, I bet Shanna will be able to be all the help I need. By the time we leave on this trip she will be seven. I have felt shocked her entire fifth year by how competent and capable she has become. I expect seven to knock my socks off.

She says she is looking forward to “all that nice lazy time for me to practice my cooking–we won’t have anything else to do.” She says that by the end of the trip she intends to be an expert at preparing camping meals.

And Calli says she is looking forward to me having to read to them for hours every day. She says that will be her favorite part. I have been a slacker asshole on reading for a while. I have been overwhelmed by life and my emotions.

We won’t drive every day. On driving days we will go three or four hours then set up camp. Camp set up needs to be perfected in under an hour. Take down needs to be perfected in half an hour. I will have to practice until I can get it. If I include food prep that will put me up to about six hours a day of “work”.

I won’t be able to garden or socialize much. I won’t have to clean the house. I won’t have my whole library with me so I can read a book or two a day. I won’t be reading on the screen because that’s just fucking rude after a while. Plus, I don’t want to spend the whole time obsessing over charging my fucking phone.

With sleep that will account for 14-16 hours of the day/night. That leaves me with a solid 8-10 hours every day of leisure time. I should probably schedule an hour in the morning of writing time and an hour after dinner of “mommy-quiet” time. That gives me 6-8 hours a day of paying attention to them.

I’m looking forward to sleeping with them more. If it didn’t seem so mean to Noah I would probably do it all the time. I love waking up to see them. I can’t believe I made you.

I feel so lucky. Even when we fight or have disagreements, I still feel so passionately in love with my kids. Not sexual passion. It’s not like that at all. I feel pretty grateful that I missed the pedophile gene in my family. I experience no arousal at the sight of a child.

But I have intense surges of emotion. Sometimes they feel so strong I almost can’t keep standing.

This is the best thing I have ever done. This is the best me I have ever shared with anyone.

A few months ago in February it marked ten years since I met Noah. In August (actually on my nephew’s birthday) it will be ten years since I broke up with my Owner-turned boyfriend. He wasn’t my Owner by the time I left. That had been over for a year because it was “too much work”. In September it will be eight years of marriage. Next month marks eight years of living in this house.

Time keeps passing. It isn’t like it used to be. I used to mark the seasons of my life by which trauma occurred and where I was living. “Well I was raped when I was going to x school so I must have been y age because that is the correlation to the grade I know I was in at that school. So-and so died or had a violent accident while I was at that other school.”

The most terrible break ups of the past ten years have involved Puppy (not that horrible and I’m happy to be rid of him) and my family (terrible, but necessary and contained in scope of harm) and Sarah. And she’s not completely gone. That we may be able to grow past some day. We ain’t dead yet.

Uncle Bob’s death and divorcing my family is probably the biggest trauma in the past eight years. Ok, that last rape is hanging on to the curve. Kind of sucky that it will always overlap the marriage timing.

But we had lots of therapy over that shit.

Now I’m marking the years by “the year I hired an awesome guy to build up my backyard” or “the year I added trees” or “when we went on that trip”.

Is this what “normal” life is like?

I’m trying to psyche myself up for the conversation I will need to have soon. I’m leaning towards:

“Hi. May I talk to you kind of privately? We don’t know very much about one another. Sometimes when you don’t know someone very well, humor is especially tricky. Humor either creates a feeling of shared experience or alienation and it’s a difficult line to walk. At this moment in time I am giving you all the benefit of the doubt in the world. I believe you are trying hard to create camaraderie within the group. Unfortunately I’m not really someone who has a “typical” sense of humor.

Which is a long-handed way of saying that sometimes your “jokes” are kind of personal and they feel denigrating to me. I don’t like feeling denigrated. I need to avoid people who evoke those feelings in me and I’m hoping I don’t have to start avoiding you. Outside of a few specific jokes we have otherwise had positive interactions and I would really prefer to continue down the positive path.

My kid is kind of in love with your kid. It would be super rad if we could all get along. I’m really struggling with your humor. I need you to lighten up on me. I’m on the sensitive side and that has to be ok.”

I have been thinking about it a lot. It is a lot less aggressive. A lot more from the point of view of getting along. Less threatening sounding. Less attacking sounding… but I make it clear I will avoid her if I have to.

It is ok for her to have the sense of humor that she has and it is ok that I am a sensitive fucking snowflake. Surely we can find a way to get along. Not that my issues are online. But that Wired article is pretty cool.

And hey Lisa–it’s funny that you tell me that it’s not an option for me to leave the group but you are ALWAYS talking about how much you want to move. If I did smileys on my blog I would stick my tongue out at you. But I have more dignity than that. So neiner.

Today I feel less like every one hates me and I should go eat worms. That is nice.

Violence

Last night we had a hard conversation. I think we were both basically polite to one another but it was a hard conversation. It was about threatening behavior, violence, and gender. I get the distinct impression that Noah is tired of the idea that women are allowed to publicly threaten and be violent and men have to be under more control than that. I’m sorry you (dear husband) are upset about this situation. I don’t see it changing on a societal level soon.

Specifically we were walking through a parking lot and I saw a bumper sticker: “I still miss my ex but my aim is improving.” I don’t remember what I said but Noah described it as full of bravado. I’m not going to dicker with that characterization. I said something to the effect of those kinds of stickers being more acceptable from a woman than from a man. Not that they are great. Not that you are a nice person if you have one on your car.

If you put a bumper sticker on your car that implies you would like to shoot people you are, by definition, not a nice person.

But those kinds of being a not-nice person is inherently more threatening from men because the vast majority of actual violence is perpetrated by men. I didn’t make up the world. This is the reality we live in. Women can get away with saying things like this “as a joke” and men can’t.

Is that fair? No. But I think that it is a very common attitude. I have heard it a lot.

In particular I got the impression Noah wanted me to be contrite for essentially threatening my ex.

This was right after I left my high school sweetie/fiancé Steve. He was incredibly upset by the bumper sticker for very good reasons. Steve had every right in the world to take that as a threat. I was physically abusive to him during our relationship.

Noah pointed out that a statement like that from me should be considered as threatening or more threatening than it is from the average man because I am an extremely violent person with fire arms training. I pointed out that ALL of the fire arm training happened after the bumper sticker came off so that point is… a little mixed.

I wouldn’t put the sticker on my car now. I am not in a social position for that kind of asshole move. I would suffer consequences I don’t want to suffer. I’m not stupid.

When I was 18 and I was just discovering the bdsm community there were a long list of reasons I was doing my best to become as intimidating as possible as fast as possible. Yes, I absolutely consciously cultivated being scary.

By the time I put this sticker on my car and consciously tried to become scarier I had been raped by nine people. I wanted it to stop.

I had men who were 20+ years older than me harassing me at munches. Ms. L.Q.–most of the problematic people had moved away by the time you showed up at the Wednesday munch. It was two-to-four guys who were buddies and dirt bags. They did things like try to take my clothes off in public (at the fucking munch!). They hit me in ways that were clearly non-negotiated and then laughed at my indignation. They were “just trying to teach me what subs were for.”

So I got increasingly violent until they backed off. No, I don’t feel a single fucking ounce of regret.

Was putting the bumper sticker on my car nice? No. It wasn’t intended to be. It was a raging asshole move. Like I’m a raging asshole. Haven’t I said this enough times? Why don’t people believe me?

It took a long time and a lot of beatings and humiliation and degradation before I turned into what I am. Should I apologize for the process?

This is sounding a lot like how I should apologize for vomiting. Fuck off.

Is it defensible as an action? (Putting a bumper sticker on a car in order to broadcast being scary.)

Well… I don’t know. If a man did it there might be more social punishment. Yup, that’s just true. Is it “fair” that I got away with it? Probably not.

Life isn’t fair. Haven’t you noticed? I get away with anything and everything I can and feel like I want to get away with… just like everyone else. It just so happens that what I can get away with isn’t exactly the same as other people. Life is complicated.

I don’t feel bad for doing it. I felt bad at the time for threatening Steve. He and I had a long conversation (at the time) and I apologized up one side and down the other. I only took the sticker off my car when I had to before my public teaching career started. I took all the nasty, graphic, swearing, violent bumper stickers then. I had dozens. Apparently a hair dryer is *awesome* for removing bumper stickers. Didn’t even fuck up the paint.

I’m not trying to make excuses. I know it is a shitty thing to do. I have done a lot of shitty things. But sometimes a shitty thing is the best option in front of me. What should I do then?

Be careful to not be aggressive? Would you like me to rattle off my history for you?

From 18-23 I had freedom from being raped. That was the period of my life when I was the most openly hostile and aggressive and intimidating of my entire life. I was dealing with a lot of people who would very happily beat me until I lay on the floor sobbing and begging for mercy. I don’t think I over stepped. I really don’t. I don’t feel bad.

At 23 I had enough people screaming at me that I was too aggressive, too nasty, too bitchy (public humiliation for being too firm in rejecting sexual advances from random men) so I tried to mellow out.

I was raped by two “friends” within a short period of time.

I don’t feel bad about how nasty I was in between or since. Maybe other people know how to avoid being raped without being nasty. I don’t. The way I avoid it these days is I am never alone with men.

This isn’t actually better. It feels really depressing and scary and pathetic. What am I going to do when my kids get older? Am I going to cut all my male friends out of my life because my children will no longer be present as chaperones? There is a non-zero possibility.

I really hope I get much more ugly really soon. Age faster, damnit. Be an ugly, mean, nasty old crone so everyone leaves you the fuck alone.

I’m really scared.

People tell me that I should just not be alone with men who aren’t trustworthy.

I’m going to kill myself now. That’s the end of that line of conversation for me.

Not true! I’m alone with Noah all the time. Even though he’s no saint. He has a history that should make a girl like me run. But I don’t. Because mostly he is so nice to me that I can’t believe it.

But how am I supposed to judge who is safe and who isn’t? My whole life is full of rapists. I’ve read all the victim blamey-everything. I know it is my fault I was raped because I picked bad people to be near. Yup, I know.

But…

How do you people who aren’t raped repeatedly find people to talk to? I seem to have a very narrow and specific type of man who wants to know me. I don’t know what to do about it.

Other than be really scary and convince them it’s a bad idea to fuck with me. That is relatively successful compared to everything else I’ve tried.

But then I’m a raging asshole who pisses off all the poor men who think it is unfair that I can be ragingly threatening without arrest and they can’t.

You know… if we could trade privilege loads we could talk. Yes, there are advantages to being a woman. I think I am more frank about that than the majority of people who talk about privilege. I think there is some specific tremendous freedom in being a woman compared to being a man.

And yet…

There is no “win” here. No one has it all good and no one has it all bad.

I have been told and told and told and told that I should learn how to reject people nicely. So they don’t get mad at me.

Twelve rapists later I’m kind out of out the ability to assume that people mean me no harm so I should do them no harm. Fuck you. I assume you could hurt me if you wanted to and it is my responsibility to defend myself or just me will have to live with the consequences.

Am I an asshole? Absolutely. I am what I was made to be through careful shaping in life. Could I choose to react differently? Probably.

I don’t think I fucking owe anyone a reaction to trauma that they like more. I acknowledge the pitfalls of my approach. I seem violent and scary. Yup. That isn’t nice. True that. It isn’t fair that women can do it and men can’t. So true I have no more words for you.

Only I have more words for you.

We are all doing our best. Maybe my best isn’t good enough for you. Maybe my best is something you find disgusting and inappropriate. Would you really like for me to sit in judgment of how you handle everything in your life? Have you really got it all together?

I’m a mixed bag. I do some things well and everything else not very well. I am violent and intimidating because the lack of both of those qualities caused me many problems throughout my lifetime. If you don’t like that I developed the ability to be psychotically evil, well, you can join the line of people who don’t want to know me. It’s ok. That is how they need things to work. I can’t argue.

I am not as actively violent any more. Instead I hide. Instead I just refrain from “risky” situations. My life is smaller and more limited and I am genuinely afraid of what will happen when my children get older. Maybe I will just give up on doing anything.

I’m told over and over how bad I am for being violent. When being violent is the only thing that has ever had a modicum of success in keeping me safe.

It really feels like I should just die. That is the only thing I can do to satisfy the conflicting demands. I don’t have a way of protecting myself that is nicey-nice to everyone around me.

Why does that always have to be the priority? Oh yeah. Because I don’t matter. Got it.

It is not hyperbole for me to say that when I am experiencing severe difficulty no one wants to help me.

Is it uniformly always completely true? No, of course not. At this stage I have more help than I’ve ever had. I attribute a lot of that to the writing. Without the writing people just didn’t get to know me. I am not good at just making friends and allies. I am, but I’m not. I alienate people. Without the violence. Without trying.

Things are common speech for me that are completely taboo for other people. I freak people out without understanding why or trying to do it. I trigger the fuck out of people and that is hard for them. Totally reasonable.

Really, once a dozen people have raped you shouldn’t you be given a free pass to defend your body? Isn’t it ok for me to do? Oh. Only if I can do it in a way that doesn’t bother anyone or make any men feel like I am doing something they aren’t allowed to do.

Right. I forgot.

If you can’t have it as a tool then it “isn’t fair” that anyone else gets it and we have to stop. Because obviously the status quo is fair. We musn’t give anyone the ability to use tactics and tools unavailable to white men. That Wouldn’t Be Fair.

Sometimes it blows my mind that I live in a world where it is totally acceptable to tell someone who has been on the receiving end of as much violence as I have that they shouldn’t do things that are aggressive or defensive.

Just die already.

This book hurts my heart.

Reading about predators makes me feel scared. I’m that good at lying. I could get away with so much.

But the main take away is: if your children ever in any way shape or form come to you with complaints about an adult touching them in a way that makes them feel vaguely uncomfortable take your kid’s side. Fuck every other person in the whole world. Believe your kid.

The rate of false reports is somewhere between 1-3%. The rate of successfully prosecuted rapists is below 3%.

I’m having a lot of feelings about my father as I read this. I have no way of guessing his total number of victims. I wish he was alive and in prison so I could ask. I know about half a dozen or so. Two of my siblings (three including me), his two sisters, the two daughters of that girlfriend he had, and he spent years raping my mom.

Always err on the side of believing a victim. Please. Please. Please. Most people who molest children molest dozens or hundreds of people. Don’t ignore little warning signs or inconsistencies from adults. Don’t think that someone looks trustworthy. People thought my father was an upstanding citizens. He coached fucking Little League. I wonder what he did to those kids.

Apparently religious parents who think the world is a good place are way easier to fool than any other kind of parent. Don’t trust people too much. Please. Sure, you can be a mostly positive person–you have to have the deep seated understanding that even if more than 80% of people are good there are bad people. In this country people have a 69% chance of having some major trauma effect their life. Please don’t believe everything is fine and bad things only happen to other families.

The main thing that differentiates me from true predators is my compulsive desire to come to the internet and confess every wrong thing I do or think. No DA would have trouble making a case against me if I actually did illegal shit. I would write stories about all of it.

This is how I stay honest with myself. If I can’t admit it on the internet I can’t do it.

On that note, given that I’m trying not to have pot I may have a drink today. Later folks. My arms hurt. I’m having waves of anxiety. I feel scared, helpless, and like the world is truly terrifying.

Luckily I don’t always feel this way.

Why do I record these things? Because sometimes my friends tell me, “There was this suspicious thing in my life and because of you I took it seriously and dealt with it.” Or “Someone in my life was raped and I helped her find resources because of the things I learned from you.”

The effects of early childhood sexual assault don’t go away. Why do I still write about it? Because I still have waves of anxiety attacks when nothing in my whole life is going wrong. Because writing is better than cutting. Because writing is better than doing a lot more drugs. Because writing is better than compulsively saying these things in front of my children.

Because I still deal with it almost every day.

Be thankful

Yesterday one of my favorite people asked me what I am thankful for. (Other than her of course. Even if she does split my personality.)

I’m thankful for so much. I’m thankful for my husband and my kids and my house and my yard and my life.

I’m thankful that I have a Dad now who wants me to come see him for holidays. I didn’t spend holidays with a Dad for more than 25 years.

I’m thankful that I can break contact with my biological family and not end up alone for the rest of my life. That was what I expected. That is why most people don’t maintain no contact. The being alone is too hard.

I’m thankful for all the beautiful flowers I have been able to plant in my yard. I am looking forward to next spring. I feel antsy and joyous about seeing all the bulbs come up. Next spring when the tulips and narcissus and wildflowers (a “variety” bag of seeds) and marigolds and hydrangeas and lilies and roses and blue potato vines all bloom I will get to sit outside and know that I’m allowed to pick those flowers if I want to. I’m allowed to look at them as long as I want to without creeping anyone out. I’m allowed to be here.

I’m thankful for that. I didn’t expect to ever have this feeling. This is my home.

Shanna told me yesterday that she was nervous about going to Portland because she doesn’t want to leave Wonderland. “But this is my home. It won’t be the same to sleep somewhere else. I will feel like I’m not as safe.”

I asked her what about Wonderland makes her safe. She said, “Wonderland is magic because it is so full of love. No where else has as much love.”

I just about burst into tears. I did that. I made that come true for someone else. I’m thankful for that.

She eventually decided that since I was going with her the love would come with her and she can consent to the trip. Oh good.

This morning before we go I will churn the custard into ice cream and put it in the freezer (we had a bunch of milk and cream and eggnog–my life is made of awesome). I have more bags to throw in the back of the van. We have food to eat before we leave. But mostly we are ready to go.

I packed yesterday. The older I get the harder time I have doing my packing in advance. It doesn’t help that my kids and I each have less than a week of warm-ish clothes. So I had to wash and pack absolutely at the last minute because… that’s all the clothes I have.

Ok, I have more warm weather clothes. I could go at least two weeks without doing laundry in the summer. In the winter I have about six days of clothes. It’s all coming to Portland.

I’m thankful that I once again have a washer and dryer in my garage. Witness my happy dance of joy.

I’m thankful for every person who works at Apple creating the products that make my life better.

I’m thankful that I can decide to go on a four mile run uhhh jog energetic walk and my body is able to carry me through. I am so glad I have the strength to get through the distance even though I am not fast. It is a step in the process. Not everyone is able to do what I can do. I’m thankful for the strength in my body.

For a large portion of my “runs” I act like a whack job extra who got off the set of Swing Kids. I like dancing down the side walk. It’s a lot of fun.

I think it is funny that I so strongly reject the label of “dancer” because I dance all the fucking time. I love to dance. I just can’t be part of the dance community any more. I know too many rapists there. Not my own–thankfully. That community was easy on me. But I take sides. I have had too many women come to me with the stories of what is happening to them. I can’t pretend it isn’t true or real.

I can’t let the rapists touch me. I can’t be nice to them. I can’t pretend we are friends. I also don’t have the right to confront them. It isn’t my story.

I’m thankful that I can flee from communities and still have friends.

At this stage of my life I don’t get to complain much about what is happening to me. I am safe. I am loved. I am thankful for that.

I’ll finish Outrunning in another day or two. I feel scared and like it is the right thing to do.

One of the ladies on one of my sex abuse support forums (I have such a cheerful life) was relaying a case in her community. An 11 year old girl pregnant by a 15 year old boy. Neither of the kids knew you could get pregnant the first time. Now the boy is in jail for rape even though it was consensual sex.

Do I believe that an 11 year old can consent?

Does it matter if it was consensual? How would their lives be different if they had read a nice book by a weird lady telling them to use two forms of birth control even for the first time you have sex? Would that have helped?

Well, whether or not an 11 year old is ready for sex is debatable. It is not debatable that she is not ready to be a mother. No one is at 11. Your brain isn’t ready to treat someone else as more important than you.

I will try to publish. Even though it is scary. I believe it is the right thing to do. I don’t want to micromanage how people run their lives. I want them to have more information before they make decisions. I want them to understand the choice they are making before they make it. I’m not sure if I can fully help them with that but I can give them some of the first inklings. I can give them some of the outlines of what they need to know.

I’m thankful for all of the people who have written books that I have been fortunate enough to read. I’m so glad I know the things I know. I like my brain.

As I get older I’m not even as angry about being raped. I learned so many things about myself and about human nature. I don’t think I would have been able to learn those lessons from a book.

I feel really bad for the people who raped me. They are all people who are so full of hurt they are incapable of seeing how they hurt other people. I am thankful I am not like them. I am thankful that I can see the hurt I cause. I am grateful that it is not invisible to me. It seems like that would be a terrible burden. I don’t want to be unaware.

How can you be considerate if you are unable to tell how your actions effect people?

I am thankful that despite lots of good reasons to be dead inside I am not. I can feel. I can be sad and angry and happy and joyous and miserable. Not everyone gets to have the full range. (Sometimes I wish my range was spread out a bit more over time but you can’t have everything.)

I like my body. I am learning to be grateful for my brain. I have a great brain. It has allowed me to do a wide variety of neat things.

Go forward. Do your best. It’s all you can do.

(I’m really not mad, Pam. I get why you say what you do to your mom. I love you to the moon and back.)

Why I am so out.

Yesterday in the course of my daily life I was talking with a guy. Someone I don’t really know. I’ve seen him before but we certainly aren’t “friends”. We were chit chatting and, like it does, the topic gets around to families.

It made sense in context for me to say, “I’m really glad my father is dead so that I don’t have to deal with him.” He asked how my father died. I said he died rather than go to prison for raping me.

The guy got quiet then looked at me. His face kinda crumbled and he said, “My dad did that to me too.”

We didn’t get real in detail or anything. We didn’t trade full stories. But I gave him my phone number and I told him to call me in the middle of the night or any other time if he needs to talk about what has happened to him. People like us need support and it is very hard to find. Not everyone is even capable of supporting us.

He said he has never talked to anyone but God about it. He looked so sad. I said, “As a boy I’m not surprised. There aren’t many resources for girls and it is a lot harder on boys. It’s not like anyone follows little boys around checking up on them and keeping them safe. You don’t deserve any of what happened to you and I’m really sorry it happened.”

He nodded. He took my number. I’m going to try and get to know him more.

Sometimes I worry about my desire to go find ALL THE INCEST SURVIVORS. I worry that some day my children will be raped by someone I have brought into their lives. Statistically speaking that is how it works. I watch my kids like fucking hawks. They don’t get a lot of alone time with anyone but me or Noah or the Godmamas. The Godmamas have earned my trust. So has Noah.

I worry because I know that a great many people who are rapists do so because they were trained and they don’t “mean it”. I know that and have compassion for that on a deeper level than most people. I truly have compassion for being a predator.

But my kids aren’t prey.

I feel like I am walking a razor thin line. I want to be of use and helpful to people like me. But first and most importantly I need to make sure my kids don’t end up like me.

But I will keep being out. And I will keep handing my phone number out. I’m very serious about the middle of the night calls being ok. If you can’t tell anyone else in the world about being raped because you are too afraid, you can tell me. I swear to a God I don’t believe in that I will not judge you or put you down or say that you deserved it in any way.

I might help you see how some of your behaviors bring shitty people into your life. But it isn’t your fault they are shitty people and it isn’t your fault shitty people do shitty things. Sometimes you still need to pick a different street corner to stand on even if nothing in the world is your fault. If you want to live you have to adapt.

I will keep randomly volunteering that my father raped me. It will make some people uncomfortable and they won’t want to be around me. Ok. It will make a lot of other people understand that I am safe for them. I care a lot more about that.

Also, I apologized to my neighbor for yelling at him about the racist stuff. I’ve been feeling guilty and to me that means I need to do something. He laughed when I apologized. I don’t think he’s worried about my freak outs. He seems to enjoy our company a lot.

Maybe by the time you are in your late 70’s and you spend most of your time just waiting around to die you don’t take it personally when other people have feelings. You can wait out those silly storms. Having weird company is better than just being alone all the time.

If you want to change peoples hearts it is probably best to try a tactic other than screaming at them.

Not proud.

In my continual efforts to not have secrets about which I feel shame, yesterday we had kind of an incident.

I had to dismantle the slide. An adult friend who was far above the weight limit decided to take a ride. It broke. No fucking shit. It ripped some of the bolts through the plastic and fucked up the wooden support under the slide. So it had to be taken apart. I could fix it with much larger washers, but it was a pain in my ass.

The entire time I was working on the slide, ok that isn’t fair–the first half of the time, the kids were not very happy with me. I tried to patiently explain what I was doing and why. I explained every tool and piece of equipment I was using. I showed them the damage and told them why I had to dismantle it in order to fix it.

The kids stood there and YELLED at me that I was mean for breaking their slide as I took it apart. Even though I had explained why and showed them how I would put it back together.

I fucking lost it. They have been yelling at me that I am mean a lot lately. Basically every time I do not instantly comply with their demands.

I turned around and started screaming at them that if I am so fucking mean go in the fucking house and leave me the fuck alone while I do this fucking work for your fucking play structure.

I don’t feel proud of myself.

I am not sure what the right thing to do there would be but I wasn’t capable of turning around and being nice. I just couldn’t. I am so fucking tired of being yelled at that I am mean while I am in the middle of doing demanding physical labor for someone else’s benefit. I just can’t sit there and tolerate that. I fucking can’t.

But I should figure out how to handle it without yelling “fuck” at children. On one hand I feel bad. On the other hand, wow have I never yelled fuck at my kids like that before. That was special. I’ve been remarkably good for me about swearing over the past few years.

I called K to calm me down. These days it feels like she is the only stress relief I have. The Godmamas are overwhelmed by familial need (that happens) and Noah is working a lot. A lot. A really really lot. He works his primary job, comes home for an hour or so then goes in the garage to do different work. This weekend he’s at a conference.

I used to get 3-5 hours of not-parenting every day. These days I’m under two hours. I do all of my work while managing the kids. Which isn’t something I deserve pity for. I wanted this and all. But it is hard to have enough patience for everything.

We did another hour or so of painting on the play structure. Calli has painted most of the stairs by herself. I was very impressed. I “helped” by doing a last few smoothing strokes on each board but she put the paint down and mostly spread it around by herself. Her paint clothes are now solidly covered in paint because she sat in it while she was painting. It was totally adorable.

Shanna painted the kid-side hand rail mostly on her own. I came along and did a little edging of the parts she had trouble seeing. That’s ok. There were a lot of little corners. Those are easy to miss.

I’m working on the rainbow. It’s a pain in my ass. But it’s coming along. I have used three fucking ladders in order to reach everything. I could have gotten away with two ladders if the thing was about three inches shorter. But it isn’t. So I needed a third ladder. C’est la vie.

I’m starting to have trouble sleeping again. Once I get six or so hours of sleep I feel like my sleep gets lighter–I come up to a lighter sleep cycle and then I just can’t really rest more. I get up to use the bathroom and then I fret. And fret. And fret.

Do you know what makes me feel worst about yelling at Shanna like I did? She came back to me and apologized for yelling at me about an hour after I yelled at them. I apologized to her too. I told her that I was sorry for yelling “fuck” at her because that isn’t very nice or respectful or loving. She said, “Well, we weren’t being very nice to you.”

I said, “No you weren’t. But you are kids. Kids push grown ups. It is my job to be the grown up and hold boundaries. It isn’t very cool of me to scream at you for being a kid.”

She told me she forgives me.

I don’t know how to be a better mother than I am. But I feel she deserves better. She is such a wonderful kid. It is kind of funny that I feel like I am mean to them. But never for the things they yell at me about. Those things are never the mean things. They yell at me that I am mean when I am doing nice things. If they yelled at me while I was actually being mean I think I would just nod and agree.

I think that when they start yelling at me I need to immediately separate us whenever possible. Not because they are “getting in trouble”. If you have feelings like that go express them somewhere else. You are allowed to have them. You aren’t allowed to yell at me like that. Hell, I barely yell at them the way they feel free to yell at me.

My kids are so fucking not abused. The cocky little… oh man. Clearly not abused. Abused children aren’t this god damned demanding.

I haven’t made progress on the book this week. I am thinking about it a lot. I know what I want to say. I just haven’t sat down to write. The minute I sit down the kids jump on top of me and demand that I do _________. (The list is long.)

I feel like we have phases where I can do independent work (like the mural on the fence) and then I just can’t for a while because they feel clingy and upset about being ignored and they won’t allow me to focus on anything. Right now I can’t do the dishes without them bugging the shit out of me to entertain them in some way.

I spend a lot of time saying, “It is not my job to entertain you. Go entertain yourself.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. That’s the process.

This is hard. I absolutely understand the impulse to just “put them in school”. I feel like there is stuff here to learn. There are lessons in this learning-to-put-up-with-people that I have to learn. I need it. NEED.

When I am an old woman I hope I will be proud of myself for doing the things that I knew were things *I* needed to do. I don’t in any way think that other people should mirror my path. I need to figure out how to be with kids.

When I lose it, which doesn’t happen very often–I do record pretty much all of them–I feel like I am proving that my children deserve to be removed from my care and given to someone who could treat them better. Only when I talk to so-called-“normal” (not diagnosed as crazy from a young age) mothers most of them spend a lot more time screaming at and/or punishing their kids. There is no way in hell I could treat my kids the way I hear/see other mothers doing it. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror.

But I don’t think they are abusive. I don’t think their kids are damaged or fucked up in any way. So why do I feel so strongly that if *I* behaved that way I would be an abusive monster?

Is it the slippery slope argument? I can’t scream at my kids frequently because screaming just makes me more and more angry (being the one to scream means I am the one to escalate) and I have a really hard time controlling my urge to hit when I get too angry. And when I start screaming I am more or less incapable of screaming without cursing every other word. That is just part of the whole dynamic for me. I see other mothers who are able to scream or discipline and they don’t have to chant fuck fuck fuck over and over.

Right now my kids are sleeping in the cutest way possible. Shanna is “normal” direction but curled up in child’s pose. (Now I get why that is named that way.) Her nightgown is rucked up around her waist and she didn’t wear panties to bed. So she’s mooning the hallway. Calli is also in child’s pose but her head is firmly up against Shanna’s side so they are at a 90 degree angle to one another. They make a T.

I love how connected they are. They fight more now. But holy tomato they are attached to one another. They want to be near one another. Even when they are mad they don’t like separating. They do play in different rooms sometimes (Calli is very willing to run her own games when Shanna is being too bossy) but mostly they don’t like being away from one another.

Shanna keeps telling me that when she is a grown up she is going to go find my big sister and teach her how a big sister should act.

I tell my kids a lot, “How you treat your sister teaches her how to treat you. If you hit, pinch, kick, or shove you are saying that it is ok to do to you. I will not intervene until you get to the point of serious injury. You need to learn how to be nice.”

It is really interesting how Shanna is starting to take responsibility for “I am older and have more self control so I have to teach my sister how to act.” She frequently tells Calli, “Oh Calli! Please stop pinching me. It is hard to not pinch you back when you do that.” Once in a while she does pinch back. Then Calli wants to cry foul. I play at being deaf.

Today is a weeding day. The front yard is really bothering me. I haven’t weeded all summer. My pansies are getting choked out and fuck that noise.

The asparagus are growing like mad. I had no idea they looked like that. They kind of look like fennel as they grow up. It’s really neat. No one believes me that they are asparagus.

Tomato season is (thank goodness) nearly over. I will probably get another 5-10 lbs this year. One more batch of sauce. I’m ready to stop processing.

I am learning a lot about how I feel about food preservation and eating from my yard. I don’t know where I am going to put more raised beds in the future (maybe my roof?) but I think that long-term I will mostly want to figure out how to eat what is in season and do staggered planting. Like putting lettuce out to start every three weeks. Eat it as it comes ripe. We tend to not preserve a whole lot of fruit from the yard so far. Partially this is just current production size but partially it is that we gorge when things are in season. It feels nice. Then we have a break and that feels nice too. Preserving and eating the same things all the time causes me to get really bored and not want to eat at home.

I am sorta keeping to the schedule I drew up. That makes me feel good. I haven’t worked on Outrunning this week but that is the most serious deviation.

I’m having a hard time writing. I think that I’m actually feeling writers block about the book. I’m scared. I’m scared of really and truly committing to what I think a 12 year old should know. That feels like a heavy responsibility. I don’t want to do it wrong. I don’t want to give too much information and push kids towards making bad decisions.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is that no one wants to seriously think about how much power they have. People don’t like acknowledging to themselves who and what they really are in the scope of things. People either under or over rate themselves. It’s hard to be accurate.

I don’t know how much influence I might potentially have and that is really scary. If Torque (the guy who publicly apologized to me and who gave me specific permission to use his handle whenever I talk about him) had understood how much it meant that he publicly say, “I screwed up and I am sorry” he would have done it ten years ago. If he had been willing to actually deal with me, what difference might that have made in my life?

Sure, he was a softball sized trauma. He violated my consent in a painful way. But he didn’t have sex with me. He didn’t rape me. He did beat me… but I had asked him to so it is a really weird thing to figure out how upset I am allowed to get about the whole situation.

I asked him to do a scene. Scenes are potentially fraught. Everyone has to be responsible for themselves or they SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN BDSM. If you need to be taken care of then you are not someone who should engage in bdsm. Period.

But he did stuff I told him not to do. And when I screamed “no” and “stop” he ignored me until I said “red” even though I had negotiated not using safewords. But I did have a safeword. I did make it stop.

Recently I was thinking about the last rape. What I really really really hope will be the last rape.

I gave permission in advance for a rape scene. I didn’t understand the difference between compliant rape and a rape I would actually fight against. I never fought before that. I was trained to not fight from when I was a toddler. I was literally physically taught to not fight against being raped from when I was a toddler. When I was twenty-five I finally fought back.

I still lost.

I still got raped. Even though that time I didn’t want it and I was upset enough to fight and I fought as fucking hard as I was physically capable of fighting.

I haven’t ever done that before. I always give. I always know that it is right that I lose. I know I deserve to be raped. I know I deserve to service the needs of people around me because I am a whore and that is what whores are for.

But that last rape was different from all the others. That is the only time I can look at and really believe in my heart, “I was not able to stop that.”

Every other time I acted like it was like the scene with Torque. If I knew the safeword I could stop it but I don’t play with safewords so mostly I will eventually go limp and try to not die.

I don’t say “no” to sex. Well, I do now. Rarely. Barely. I started in pregnancy. I made Noah promise in advance that if I decided to not have sex from the date of conception to three months after delivery that he wouldn’t divorce me. I knew there was the non-zero possibility. I know that happens for some people. I was really scared. I made him promise because clearly he picked me because I am sexually compulsive and at that point we were still non-monogamous and I was pretty scared that he would wander off and not come back if I cut him off.

He didn’t.

I went and did a lot of bdsm because I wanted to find out what it felt like to believe you were allowed to say “stop” and have it work. When that mechanism failed me…

I don’t say “no” much. I learned how to say “stop”. Barely. It took a lot of effort and work. It took really consciously trying to do it. My Owner worked with me. He did a lot of very dangerous things where I HAD to say stop or he might end up in jail for manslaughter and we don’t want that now, do we?

It is kind of funny because outside of sex I say “no” more easily than almost anyone I’ve ever met. I’m pretty happy to add a “and go fuck yourself while you are at it!” But that sex button thing is old.

Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and saying repeatedly, “You will not be held accountable for your feelings; you will only be held accountable for your actions.”

I have big feelings. I have mean feelings. I have sad feelings. I have hateful feelings. I have painful feelings.

I’m not hurting anyone else by having these things inside of me. If I control my temper and manage to not lash out (screaming that I am not fucking mean for fixing the fucking slide aside) then I am not hurting people. If I am not hitting anyone I am not hurting anyone. If I control my tone of voice such that I do not sound mean or hateful then I am doing fine. It’s ok that I am playing a game.

That’s the point. It is all a game.

No one is against you. They are for themselves. Don’t take it personally.

You will only be held accountable for how you act. I don’t know how you feel. I can’t know. That is forever a shut door. I just know how you act. I care about how you act.

That is comforting and very disturbing.

more questions

From Resurrection After Rape: 

How often do you think about your rape, and do you ever feel like you have thoughts about it that you can’t stop?

It varies a lot over time. I can make myself busy enough that I don’t think about rape for weeks or even months at a time. But there is a physical price tag to staying busy enough. Usually after such a stretch I get ill and have a lot more flashbacks than usual for a while.

Mostly as I go through life I have a few days a week where I can’t stop thinking about rape. It is in some corner of my mind churning and churning. Why? What is all this “rape is about power” bullshit about? I think about Noah raping. I think about what that means a lot. I think about that kid Jeremy. The 17 year old who sodomized me. That seems more clearly about power. With my dad I think it is safe to say it was about power. With my brother Tommy it was very much about power.

I think about poor Michael. He didn’t want to have sex with me. He did it because he would suffer if he didn’t. Was his cousin really the rapist? Why don’t I think of his cousin as a rapist? He fucked my mouth until he came. I think that qualifies as rape when the female involved is a crying seven year old.

Yeah, I think about this a lot. Being around children constantly makes me think, “When I was your age I was ______”; “When I was your size someone _______.”

Tonight I had a conversation with my shaman. We talked about whether or not children should be afraid of their mothers. I told him that I believe that mothers have a moral imperative to consciously try to be not scary to their children. Mothers certainly are able to scare their children but they should consciously choose the opposite. Unless there is a damn good reason then go full bore and scare the ever loving shit out of them. No half measures. Don’t dick around at the edges. Have a god damn good reason for what you do.

I don’t know how to stop the thoughts about rape. A lot of them are not thoughts so much as random spasms of pain. It isn’t real pain it’s a weird phantom pain. It is the memory of pain. All of a sudden some stupid little neuron in my brain misfires and I feel suddenly as if I am being raped again and it hurts. It really fucking hurts. But it doesn’t really hurt. I’m just crazy.

I think a lot about being almost seven years rape free. I say it to myself a lot. More than six years. Almost seven years. This is a good trend. I want this to continue. No more rape. How do you stop being raped? Have I really stopped? Did I just lengthen the time between rapes? Oh god.

I’m scared of the travel I want to do in the future. So scared I sometimes have brief ideas of killing myself rather than facing the danger. Not really. That sounds way the hell worse than I mean it.

This whole depersonalization thing is hard to explain. I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m not really fully alive. The idea of dying is very comforting and easing and like it would be a positive step. Relief. When I am really scared I know that the only way to stop being afraid is to die. I will be afraid until I die. I believe that and weep with the knowledge.

I don’t kill myself every time I am afraid though. I think about it. I see it in my head. I watch movies about how it would happen. The rape is very much tied up in this. The physical somatic sensations generally trigger a whole bloodbath in my head.

And I can’t talk about this. I don’t talk about this. Pretty impressive, eh? Only I slip sometimes. Then I’m reminded that I’m BAD BAD BAD. I have traumatized someone! I am abusive! What a fucking monster. I should be… whatever. Moving on.

What kinds of nightmares or memories do you have about your rape?

Whoa. Not a good question to ask me. That’s a flood. I have a lot of memories. Thanks to THC I don’t dream any more and I haven’t in a long time. I consider that a blessing. I used to have terrible nightmares. I have a variety of different memories about the rapes. Some of them I have what I think of as a “movie” in my head. I watch those experiences from a very third person point of view. I was older and better able to dissociate at will. I don’t have very many physical memories of those experiences but I can tell you uncanny details about the physical spaces.

I have a lot of physical memories of the early rapes–the stuff with my dad. I feel like there isn’t enough steel wool on the whole god damn planet to wipe the feel of his touch off of me.

Michael is one of the most real to me of all the rapes. That was a transitional one. I was seven. That was the first vaginal rape with a penis. I had a serious crush on him and I had been following him around for a couple of months. I wanted him to like me so much. I have a lot of very intense memories of the entire relationship. It’s vivid as pictures and sounds and smells and I can feel him in a way I can’t with almost any other rape. I’m not sure why that one imprinted so much more than anything else. It’s not like I can remember every aspect of being seven that clearly.

That one is coming up more as the kids in the home schooling group are all heading for that age range. I have a lot of troubling thoughts when I see them. I keep my mouth shut. I keep my fucking mouth shut.

How does thinking about rape make you feel and why?

Scared. Angry. Those are my two main emotions. Scared because I genuinely feel like my life experiences are such that it is stupid to believe I am actually post-rape. I feel like there is a very low chance I will never be raped again in my life. I feel with every fiber of my being that the only way I can ensure I am never raped again is to be dead. That makes me very angry and makes me feel very scared.

How hard is it for you to talk about your rape?

Well I can write all night long. I don’t speak about it well. My throat closes. Or I go emotionally flat lined and I can say anything shocking I want. I won’t get emotionally invested because I know that I have to be monitoring the people in the room and pull back on my commentary any second now or I will get in a lot of trouble for being bad.

I don’t actually get in a lot of trouble any more. Well, I lose a high number of friendships. I suppose that counts.

What, if anything, makes you afraid to talk about rape?

I’m afraid of being abandoned more. I’m afraid of being told that I am boring. I am afraid of being told that I say the same thing over and over and no one gives a shit. I’m afraid of being told that I am stupid and it was all my fault.

Who have you told about your rape and why did you tell them?

Err, everyone on the internet. Why: because we like you! Err, because I feel like my head will explode from how much it hurts to have all of these things in my head and not be allowed to talk about them. I am not allowed to talk about them. If I talk about them I will be abusing people. I just have to shut up shut up shut up shut up. But I can’t seem to still my fingers. It is one of those weeks. I was on good behavior last week. It has a toll.

What did they say or do about it?

Err, not much. I mean, some people have been more or less supportive in conversations. But what is anyone going to do about it? (Besides go leave a review for my book. Seriously people.)

How did your rape make you feel about yourself as a person?

That I’m a worthless white trash whore and I had better fucking get used to it.

How is your rape affecting you as a person right now?

Well I have serious worries about the stress load on my internal organs. Being inside my body is not fun.

What thoughts do you sometimes have about yourself because of the rape?

Well if I had never been raped the likelihood of decades of suicidal ideation was lower.

What do you wish people knew or understood about the rape so they could help you now?

This one really is the kicker, isn’t it? What do I want from people? What do I want them to understand about being assaulted? Well, I want to be allowed to exist as a really damaged person without being shamed. I want to be worthy of consideration. What help can people give me now? I honestly don’t know. The folks who visit are really awesome.

What is the scariest part of writing about the rape?

I have never received a death threat due to my writing. I sometimes wonder if it is only a matter of time.

 

There are a bunch more but I’m tired. Goodnight.

writing prompt

From “Resurrection After Rape”–you are supposed to be writing a letter to yourself the day before the rape.

Dear Krissy,

Tomorrow something will happen to you that will change your life. What I want you to know about it is…

It won’t be one tomorrow. It will be many tomorrows. You won’t be raped once. You will be raped a lot. You will have a hard time learning how to stop being raped. I want you to know that you were taught. At some point it becomes your fault if something happens to you–at some point you must recognize your role in it. You did finally learn how to make it stop.

I want you to know that none of the men who raped you were actually very powerful in the scope of the world. It really sucks that they had enough power to do that to you.

I want you to know that maybe with some of them fighting would have helped but it wouldn’t have with all of them. With some of them if you had fought you would have been hurt badly. You had no way of guessing who was whom at the time. You made the right choice. You are still alive.

I need you to understand that being alone is often the safest way to be. It is hard, I know. I know how much you hate being alone. You really need to learn how to embrace it. The only safe way of not making someone angry with you is to be alone. It’s ok to be alone a lot.

I want you to know that you will always feel weird. When people say “trigger” they probably don’t understand what that means for you. Be patient with them. They mean “feel uncomfortable” you mean “full body flashback of being raped”. It’s ok to be self absorbed. You have to deal with your physical experience of being in the world even if you are irritating to other people. Even if they wish you would just shut the fuck up already.

See, that’s why the alone thing is so nice. You can care for your needs without being bad for having them.

Within every person there is an ageless essence. It is there on your first day and is the same on your last. There is part of your personality and core self that stays the same. That part of you can not be touched by anything that any one says or does to you. It is yours. You may spend your whole life crying because you don’t believe you can make up for being bad but that part of you isn’t bad. That part is ok. That part that makes you you isn’t bad. Really.

Even good days will often involve crying. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel ashamed of yourself. It just is. You didn’t pick this body you were put into–it’s just walking meat. It cries. So what? It has been through a lot.

Run earlier. It is, apparently, good for you. Try harder to drink water. It is also, apparently, good for you.

Keep reading. People will compliment you on your prodigious vocabulary for the rest of your life.

Love, me.

Good fear bad fear

I was standing in line at the grocery store. The snooty-ass Whole Foods down the street from my friend’s house. I was there for ice cream and to kill time as I waited for my friend to finish something at the house.

I’m standing there be-bopping in my little world while I waited in line. It was a very slow line. I don’t even remember what song it was but my “under my breath” singing became uhm not so under my breath and the guy in front of me turned around.

I turned bright red and looked down and started fumbling awkwardly with my back pack so that I could avoid eye contact.

“Ah, so what flavor is for tonight?”

I jumped a few inches. I didn’t think he would actually talk to me.

“Vanilla! Always vanilla. Uhm, err and Sea Salt Caramel.”

“My friends swear by that brand, what do you think of it?”

“I don’t have an opinion. I usually buy from my local ice cream shop in Fremont, Loard’s. I’m visiting friends tonight. This is within walking distance of their house.”

“Oh. Do you get up to Oakland often?”

At this point I shifted my arms to place my big fat wedding ring on top of my pile of stuff. “Naw I usually stay close to home and family.”

“Oh.” He turned around and finished his transaction. He stopped to rebag his groceries into his personal carrying sack because he had been busy talking to me and had forgotten to give the cashier his bags.

I paid in cash, pocketed the money and left the building about as fast as I could. I went up the street walking at a rapid pace. He outdistanced me. He stopped just in front of me and looked like he was about to verbally engage me again.

I kind of shrank away. He looked sad. He turned and started walking up the hill significantly more quickly than I could–he was more than a foot taller than me and I am pretty ambling.

He didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. It was an awkward mix of flattering and scary. I don’t want to be pursued ever again. I don’t want anyone to look at me as prey any more. It scares the ever loving shit out of me.

But I do want it. I do want people to think I am pretty. I do want to be desired. I do want to go sit on my Daddy’s lap and have him stroke my hair and call me Princess and grind me on his crotch. (I have this friend. He’s absolutely old enough to be my father. Really I have these three male friends and it’s very confusing and just go with it ok–my biological father is dead.)

I want these things. It is very confusing to read things about “rape recovery” because man it really presents a dim view of the idea of consensual bdsm. I feel like I don’t agree with the idea that just because I was raped there are whole classes of behavior I am now too tainted to engage in. There is a large and loud contingent in the bdsm community in general that wants people like me (crazy for short-hand PTSD and GAD for longer hand) to just opt-out.

Go be invisible. Fall out of the herd. Die.

That is the Darwinian message whether they intend it or not. That is what happens when fringe communities drift toward the mainstream.

It’s cool. I’m used to it.

I am gosh darn delighted to report that I’m starting to experience an uptick in libido. Last month was quite drought-like. Ha. I’m not actually entirely sure that directing my compulsive sexual outbursts into a monogamous relationship is entirely healthy either.

I’ve told Noah about some of the more extreme things I want to do. He is rather terrifyingly interested. The kinds of things you can’t write about in advance or people try to stop you. I’ll wait till my kids are adults–I promise.

I am what I was made. Is it ok for me to be? What is right and what is wrong? When I was sixteen I went to visit my mother’s life-long best friend over New Years. I remember her recounting a conversation she had in her Bible study class, “Oh goodness girl we get racy! You know, the Bible says that what a man and a woman do together within the bounds of Holy Matrimony is alright. It’s all good. You can go ahead. Have fun, sugar. But not until you are married. Death glare.

I spent a lot of my childhood thinking I would grow up and marry her son. I would do what he told me. I would obey. I would be his proper wife.

When I was twenty or twenty-one, I can’t remember which, I went to that guy’s wedding. I was with my Owner. We watched a wedding ceremony that was way more hardcore Dominant/submissive than our Owner/property contract. It was really pretty funny.

My Owner took responsibility for me like someone takes responsibility for a stray cat. He kept me safe and fed for a few years and he had some strict rules about behavior. It was all negotiated very specifically.

It managed my anxiety. I knew what I was good for. I knew what he wanted from me. I trolled his favorite hard core fetish pornography website to figure out what he wanted from me. I learned how to be what he wanted.

But it wasn’t me. I’m not an actual fetishist. I just want people to like me. I’m willing to do just about anything to feel like I deserve someone liking me. I have an intense need to feel pain. It is very easy to use bdsm as a reasonable source of satisfaction.

But what does being submissive mean? What does being a masochist mean? What does being a slave mean? Do these acts turn me on? Sometimes. Not a majority of the time. I err enjoy thinking about them a lot. My memories keep me warm alll winter.

When I was training for the marathon I enjoyed my little jaunt down memory lane. I ran past places I’ve had sex and thought about what might be happening with those guys. I have no idea. I hope they are well.

I was reading Wikipedia. Intrusive thoughts. That was what triggered this whole piece of writing. It’s very OCD focused and all sarcasm aside that’s not my set of issues. You know how much the “stereotypical guy” thinks about sex–right? A lot, constantly–something of that nature. It’s not true, but it’s kind of the attitude.

Outside of this whole “being with kids” thing I tend to think about sex obsessively and compulsively. Compartmentalization for the win! If you added up all the hours I have spent masturbating it probably stretches into a couple years of my life at this point. I like me.

It has been really abrupt and challenging to deal with having this split personality thing. I do not think about sex when my kids are around. That means I totally want to shove Noah into a sexless role because that is how I think about him right now. I’m not aggressively interested in sex yet. It’s starting to come back. I’ve had several years of very little sexual interest. This has been a very odd period for me.

But we still have a lot of sex. If we only have sex six times in a month that is drought-like. And I feel guilty and like I am not holding up my end of the bargain. We’ve only had one month where we had sex less than ten times and I felt really angry with myself the whole month that we only had sex six times. I just couldn’t god damn do it. If I had tried I would have hated him.

It is hard knowing that if I grow to hate him it wil be largely because I have not told him about small boundary incursions and then it will escalate into a large problem without him even knowing the storm is about to break. I don’t want to hate him. Hating him serves none of my life goals and would basically prevent most of the rest of them.

Sure, I could find new goals. More humble goals. But man that makes it sound like I like him because of money. It’s not money. Noah pays attention to me and encourages me. I have always written but I needed Noah to give me permission to write about the really dark stuff. I needed an Audience.

My Owner wouldn’t read stuff I wrote. My ex-fiancé wouldn’t read what I wrote. Puppy wouldn’t read anything I wrote. All of them told me, “People should be allowed to have private space to write about their feelings.” It was practically that exact wording from each of them.

I’m not sure I would be able to keep believing I deserve to exist if I didn’t live with someone with an ego the size of Texas. He is brash and self-assured and god damn full of himself and he’s completely sure he wants to spend his time with me. He tells me so over and over. He proves it through actions and patterns of work over long periods of time. He’s consistent. It’s really not about the money. The money is more a side effect.

I will always have a hard time remembering him raping me. He really enjoyed how much I did not enjoy that. He gets one. I agreed to one. I set those boundaries in advance. I didn’t try to say “safeword” or anything hokey like that. I fought him. That was really weird. I knew he wouldn’t stop. I knew that fighting him just antagonized him and made it worse. If I actually wanted a dead fish rape I could have had it. I just would have had to go limp. It was my own fucking fault it was so brutal.

It’s always my fault.

I write this knowing that people in the home school community will read it. People who were in my house today. People who are quite Christian. I’m not like you. Only I am.

I have heard my friends in the Leather community wonder if we should have some kind of “coming out day” like Gay Pride. I think that if I am in the closet to you it is because you have never actually looked at me. You instead chose to see a mirror of you and you ignored the shadowy parts where I was different.

We all have more similarities than differences. Whether you are talking to the prostitute or the investment banker or the gas station attendant or the flight attendant or the programmer or the sys admin or the house wife. It is said that if you look for the good in people you will find it. No, that’s not true. Abe Lincoln says that if you look for the bad you will find it. I’m ignoring him. I don’t like agreeing with people very much.

I think that if you want to get to know people and find commonalities and ways of getting along you can. There are stories about Auschwitz prisoners talking in a friendly manner with guards. I’ve read them in classes. Of course with my Swiss cheese memory I have no idea what the names were.

People can find ways to relate. The things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us. Blah blah.

I don’t believe it but I believe it is true enough in a pinch. I think that as a species we need to have a live and let live philosophy. The problem is how to handle perception of scarcity of resources?

Sex is a resource. There are a lot of people who are sad they aren’t getting any. Did random dude at the grocery store for sure want to get in my pants? Enh, It’s not 100%. But I have an extremely high success rate with this kind of scenario. I can generally get that kind of approach to result in sex within six hours.

Then I probably never speak to them again and eventually cannot remember their name. I have a vague dread of running into them but I’m cheerful and apologetic about not remembering names. They are only sometimes mad at me. Ha.

Guess what? Guys aren’t more ok with being used than girls are. Well, some are. Not mostly though; they get hurt feelings. This is why you can’t date/have sex with too many people in a given social group. You poison the well.

Love and affection and sex are different needs but we often try to meet them in a jumble. What you do when people don’t actually meet all of your needs? Go find someone else?

I get the general impression that if I worked harder on exercise I could sleep with an even more obscene number of people than I have already slept with. Four digits. Five digits. Why the hell not? All it takes is low standards and a willingness to ask–right?

I don’t think I would find any more self-esteem at the bottom of that well. It’s not like I’m doing the equivalent of being a born again virgin declaring fidelity to my man. I’m not made  sanctified in my compulsive sexual acting out because of some fucking walrus in Nevada.

I have a lot of sex because it is what I am required to do. Not required by Noah–we don’t have that kind of relationship. This is what I feel I owe him. I somehow have arrived at this being part of the trade he gets for putting up with me.

Lately I have initiated sex because I was actually interested. And I got off. And it was only a little uncomfortable and not even painful. That’s fairly unusual these days. That whole combination doohickey. I have sex because that is the deal.

You get married and you are his whore. That’s the deal. You had better find someone you can handle whoring to.

That is what my mother taught me. Word for word. I bet you money she would deny ever saying it. I can’t forget. I remember and remember and remember and seal my lips. My daughters will not hear that from me. No Sir.

I don’t know the difference between wanting to feel like I am allowed to exist and wanting to have sex. Most of the validation for my existence has come through sex. Kind of pathetic, right?

Now I have these kids. It’s different. This incest shit will not go on to my children. They will be kept away from my whole family and aren’t all women in my position absolutely convinced that their partner would never do such a thing? All I know is my kids show absolutely no signs of abuse. I can cross my fingers and pray. Seriously–isn’t that how life works?

How do I ever trust anyone? How do I ever let go of fear enough to go to sleep at night? I lie in bed sometimes and can’t stop thinking about my father touching me. Intrusive memories. I’ve got ’em.

Just get over it. Just move on. I have increasing neuroscience on my side motherfucker. It’s not that easy. Trauma damages the brain. New instances of trauma layer on top of older layers in difficult to dissect patterns. In the scale of a lifetime I am getting over it; I am moving on. It’s just not as quick or as silent as you would apparently hope.

I’m still existing. I’m still talking and talking and people only have to listen if they want to.

I’m only really writing for my Audience. He’s read everything I have written since the age of twenty. Well, not all of my school papers. Only the ones I put on the internet. I can’t say all of the things I wrote in this post to him. He’ll get all conversational off-roady on me and we’ll talk about something else. I want him to see this. I want him to be part of this struggle. This is his sex life too. I want monogamy because I want a partner who is very invested in helping me figure my shit out. Me not figuring my shit out means big dips in your sex life.

I married someone who thinks nothing of taking NLP, hypnosis, and cooking classes to meet chicks.

What I need most in this lifetime is for someone to love me and believe that it is not only permissible for me to change it is required. I want to be loved by being encouraged to grow. I want to be loved by being taken care of. I have a provider, let’s be clear here. It’s a fairly primitive sort of gratitude.

What trade does anyone make in relationships? The pleasure of one anothers company? What does that mean?

When I am around people I feel uncomfortable, anxious, and like people are going to start screaming at me pretty much all of the time. Apparently I cause other people to feel like this as well because they comment on being afraid I will yell at them regularly. Noah says I don’t yell very often. I suppose it’s all relative.

I still want to be around people. I understand that this is a kind of fear I have to learn to work through.

Rapists don’t make me feel more fear than random groups of people. Hanging out with predators makes me feel more comfortable. I know how to play that game. I know how to get through that scenario.

Learning how to tell the difference between “good” fear and “bad” fear has been the journey of my adulthood. I need companionship and community. I just need it. It’s a species-level need. I don’t need to feel fucking guilt about it. There are six billion fucking people on this planet and precious few of them truly want to be alone. I mean, people need alone time. That’s not what I mean.

I struggle with how to build friendships. There are all these rules about what you can discuss and when. I uhh don’t like following rules. A while back I was a rude fucking asshole with a friend as I pushed her to try and change her sexual boundaries with her husband for me. Not cool.

I think that being monogamous will keep me from shitting where I eat. Sexual monogamy means that I am not a threat. I can be a non-sexualized being to the people I meet. I don’t have to know or care about their sexual interest in me.

Only sometimes it appears whether I like it or not. Good fear. Bad fear. Move towards it. Move away from it.

How the fuck do people figure this out?

Weighing the cost of confrontation.

Whenever someone has their boundaries violated, whether sexually or otherwise, that person (male or female) has to decide whether a confrontation is worthwhile. In my extremely judgmental opinion such confrontations should take place if: a) the victim/survivor/experiencer-of-boundary-violation feels there is value in saying their side of the story OR b) the perpetrator can be stopped through the action of speaking up.

It is hard to get truly accurate statistics no matter what you do. In the areas of rape and sexual assault these numbers are extra fuzzy. There are a few studies but they are small and I feel weird about judging from those studies.

Almost all of the studies about rape and sexual assault I have read (and I’m pretty sure I’ve read every big-name one in existence) involve fewer people-who-have-been-victimized than I have talked to in my lifetime.

I go find these people. It’s not just women. I want to hear their stories. I truly do. So I’ve heard hundreds. Probably a few thousand at this point. Most of them on the internet–I haven’t met all of these people in person. I think about what they tell me with regards to their particular situation. Everyone has a slightly different circumstance to their assault.

Over all, near as I can tell, the number of successfully prosecuted rapes is around 3%. That means that if you have been raped you have around a 97% chance that your rapist’s rights are more important than yours.

Oh gee, why don’t more people try to press charges? I wonder.

I have confronted. I have pressed charges. I have spoken to police officers on multiple occasions. I have chosen to not confront sometimes. I have had people say, “Hey you didn’t want to confront so I went and told this person you have been talking about him so here, now you can talk to him about it!”

Uhm, what is there for me in this potential discussion? Confirmation that this person did a lot of drugs and alcohol so “can’t remember” and thus it isn’t supposed to matter what happened between us. Yeah. That will make me feel better.

I get to choose what I do with my time. I’m pretty sure that I should be doing things that make me feel better about myself and not things that confirm that in the opinions of other people I am a worthless whore who isn’t even worth remembering.

Yeah. I think I would rather shove rusty nails in my veins. But it could be just me.