Category Archives: soggy day

Boundaries on and off screen

I am somewhat hyperaware that someday my kids may grow up and read this. It could happen. That means I actually… edit… maybe more than you might think of my life here. I’m nervous about how I present Noah. I talk about him in terrible ways sometimes. I also very carefully avoid saying a lot of terrible things about him.

I do not want sides taken. I do not want back and forth bickering in public. I do not want my children seeing the depths to which we sink when we are being fucking petty. Why not? It’s complicated.

We haven’t fought like this since we closed our relationship. Fighting like this is why we closed our relationship. Because we didn’t think we could stay married through fighting like this.

But that was when we had babies and it just wasn’t ok at all for me to have emotional variance because of my relationship with Noah. I had to be regulated because I was teaching emotional regulation just about 24/7.

That was kind of a difficult thing for someone who is as dysregulated as I have been all my life. I look at my children and feel that I succeeded. Clearly they got the lessons they needed developmentally when they were needed. I did it. I stayed calm. I taught them how to handle conflict and big feelings without flipping out.

I did it.

Which means I can have more things in my life that cause my feelings to fluctuate. Which is fucking tricky.

Nonmonogamy is going to be hard. There are a lot more insecurities here than either of us are really having fun talking about.

What does safety mean? What does connection mean? What are we working towards? What do we want? What is the purpose of sex in our relationship? What do we do for one another versus for ourselves?

I sure wish that these conversations could come with a little more sleep for me. Out of the past three nights I’m now only down about one night of sleep. That’s improving…

But we talk all night long because we can’t talk in front of the kids.

I am not sure either of us are being fair. Yeah, I’m being an asshole. I’m not in denial. I’m not trying to say that I’m being fine and he’s the asshole. I’m really not saying that.

I cheated and broke his heart. He thought he was going to get to be my one and only forever and ever amen.

He’s allowed to be absolutely furious about that.

I know.

I’m trying very very hard to not get into done-me-wrongs. I will talk about what I know I have done wrong. I don’t need to get into done-me-wrongs.

It won’t help. I hiss those often enough in person. It’s not like I’ve forgotten the list. I just don’t need to write it down.

How do you fight in civilized fashion when you are a compulsive over-sharer? Like this. You say what you did wrong and talk about being angry without placing blame. I’m not saying that Noah is to blame for my feelings. He isn’t. I mean… a couple of his particular phrase choices were infuriating… but whatever. I’m being a right bitch in this fight.

How do you build towards a vision of self that may not be what your partner wants? How big do you want your partner to be? How small so you can feel bigger? I don’t know.

Who is pulling whom around on a chain.

I don’t want to leave. That’s part of the reason I have no particular reason to bad mouth Noah up one side and down the other. I don’t want to leave. Even though I’m angry about some stuff right now… that’s life. I flipped the canoe of our life over. There are going to be some feelings we have to deal with. I’m ok with that. I’m not enjoying this process but I see it as necessary.

I’m not afraid of conflict.

I’m afraid of not getting my needs met.

I’m afraid of not being who I want to be because I am afraid that someone else doesn’t want me to be.

I’m afraid of making myself small and unthreatening and never doing anything with my life again because I have decided I don’t deserve to ask for what I really want.

What does necessary even mean?

I’m sure I don’t know.

Am I fucking everything up permanently? Well. I guess we will find out. There is the non-zero possibility.

It is hard when I feel like I’m absolutely the bad guy here. I’m the one insisting on change because the status quo wasn’t working. I feel like a fucking asshole for not making it work. For not deciding that it was just good enough because that was all I agreed to this life.

I did not promise sexual fidelity in my marriage vows. Yeah. I slammed the door four years ago when we were having screaming fights about lying and … shit don’t rehash it. It wasn’t well done.

I feel like everything bad must be all my fault. I feel like I am a monster. A selfish, disgusting monster.

Day 38. Still no bleeding. PMDD means that right before I start bleeding I tend to have intense spikes of depression and anxiety. My suicidal urges go through the roof. This is a well documented phenomena.

I need to be something other than a cum dumpster who can’t cum. This just… isn’t working any more.

I wish I didn’t feel so fucking bad about that.

Sometimes people ask why I write such whiny melodramatic stuff. Aren’t I embarrassed? I’m documenting what living with an acute stress disorder is like. The kind that results from brain damage. If you think I should be embarrassed that says more about you than it does about me. No, it’s not fucking smooth. Yeah I’m a lot of fucking drama. Lots of ups and downs.

That’s what brain damage does. Pieces of it are absolutely my fault in an ongoing way I really don’t deny that. But I’m also trying to deal with my problems. That means I’m going to flail and do things that don’t work sometimes and I will document those fuck ups so I don’t forget and have to make the same mistake over and over.

I’m not writing for you.

I’m writing for me.

Hunting lessons

Exhaustion is a real thing. When I’m over tired I can’t read tone to save my life. I’m whiny, over-sensitive and I’m going to spend a lot of time crying. It’s not about a person saying something… it’s about being tired. I didn’t respect that yesterday. Given how much… pushing it I’ve done on sleep stuff lately I need to build better boundaries around this. Don’t respond to messages when I’m that tired.

I wrote about 7 pages in a word document yesterday. Notice how I’m not posting it? I don’t think I was even a little coherent. I was tired and scared.

I live with a kind of existential dread most people can’t understand. On one hand I’m one of the asking-ist people you’ll ever meet. I ask and ask and ask for things. On the other hand I live in mortal terror that I will rape someone again. That I will ask for something and someone won’t feel comfortable/safe saying no and I will be an evil monster as usual.

This is complicated for me. Because if you can’t say, “Hey do you want to do x?” and get a yes/no answer…how the fuck is life supposed to work?

I don’t know.

Folks tell me that I’m doing a good thing by giving people opportunities to refine their boundaries and decide what they do and don’t want.

I feel scared all the time that I’m on the verge of hurting people. I feel like I should withdraw a lot because I’m pushing too hard. Noah says this may be a bad time to assume that my bad reading of one persons tone means I should stop asking other people for things.

For some reason he seems to think that individual humans should be judged on their own behavior.

Whatever.

So it isn’t going to be a rule (because how the fuck well do I follow rules?!?!) but I think it should be a guideline to not respond to ambiguous messages at all when I’m tired. Once I’m not tired I can say, “Hey I’m not sure I’m getting your tone of voice here. Can you clarify?” Cause wouldn’t that be useful.

I don’t feel like I did yesterday. Glorious 8 hours of sleep. I hate sleep deprivation.

Many folks in the scene have been asking me, “Oh do you remember Mistress ___? She’s coming around more again.”

Goody. She likes to tell me that I’m a bigger bitch than her because I don’t handle sleep deprivation well. Can’t wait to run into her. weeeeeeeeeeee

I’ve gotten off overly lucky this hunting phase. Things have been going too smoothly. I’ve been getting too many ‘yes’ answers. Too many people telling me I’m doing it right. When I hit a bump it feels… big.

It isn’t. I’m going to get over it. But yesterday I couldn’t read tone and I spent a lot of time crying. Like I do.

Sleep. Dear goodness, sleep.

When I was a kid my sister used to tell me, repeatedly, that if I have the same problem over and over it is my fault and not other peoples fault.

I push boundaries. I do it globally. That makes it seem to me like it is all my fault and I’m a bad person. It means that when I feel spooked that I came too near a boundary with one person I want to globalize it and use it as a reason I should stay home and stop hurting people.

I want to use that experience as evidence that I am a monster who is unable to stop hurting people. I want to use the hint of possibility that I pushed too hard as evidence that I should stop asking for anything from anyone because I am not deserving.

I want to tell everyone that I know they don’t really want me and I should stay home.

I kinda got yelled at for that yesterday. Not “YELLED AT” but forcefully reminded that it isn’t my place to tell people what they think or want.

Yeah.

I’m sorry.

I feel bad for wanting you. I feel like I am placing a burden on you that I shouldn’t be placing. It isn’t fair. It isn’t appropriate. Just because I want you that means nothing about what you want and I don’t know what you want.

I don’t know and I’m not sure I’m good at reading people.

Noah makes sure to do over the top physical gestures to highlight how delighted he is by me constantly. Because otherwise I walk through my life feeling like an anvil of disappointment is about to drop on my head because I am not good enough to please anyone.

It isn’t fair to need people to be so demonstrative of their approval. I should just believe.

But I don’t. I’ve had too many years of wanting to die because I am not enough. I do need to feel like people really want me to be there.

Or I should go home and snuggle my kids. Because my kids really want me to be there.

I’m not saying I want to die right now. I don’t. I’m doing alright. I feel… whiny not suicidal. That’s fantastic progress for me. I feel sad and anxious and like I really want to figure out how to do this right some fucking year.

I want to stop messing up negotiating. I feel like there is no valid excuse for fucking up this way at this stage. I’m not a kid messing up out of ignorance. I’m a grown up who fucks up because I’m sloppy and I don’t dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s.

I feel ashamed of that.

But I don’t know how to find a happy medium on the herpes shit. It is… complicated. So many people have it but the few people who don’t know/haven’t been specifically told they are positive… it’s a thing. Should I tattoo “I have herpes” on my forehead so I don’t ever fuck up that bit of negotiating again?

Kissing is a big deal. My Owner didn’t kiss me. I’ve dated other guys who wouldn’t kiss me but who would allow me to provide some kind of service (sometimes sexual and sometimes not) for them.  I can’t do that any more. I just can’t. Maybe that section of the users guide should be rewritten.

I like kissing and I know I’m diseased. I’m sorry. I feel bad about existing in this dichotomy but here I am.

Thank you for not caring, Noah.

Kissing feels connecting and bonding. Kissing feels like the difference between just being an object and being a person having an intense shared experience. I need kissing at this point or I really shouldn’t be playing with someone at all.

I’m not negotiating this well and I need to change that.

Lessons hurt. I hate learning lessons. Fuck opportunities for growth. FUCK THEM WITH A POGO STICK.

Do you know what would make all of this easier? If I were less fucking hypersensitive. But if that were true in one area I’d be a lot less sensitive in other areas.

I don’t actually want to stop being who and what I am. I like being sensitive. I like that I react strongly to my perceptions of peoples feelings. That often goes well. But sometimes I’m tired and I read something wrong.

Yeah. That happens.

Uhh… I do better in person. Where I can look at facial expressions and eventually feel comfortable asking millions of questions. I do have to warm up to the questions though. I am actually kind of shy at first.

I don’t want to scare you off. I want you to volunteer stuff. No one ever tells me enough about themselves.

Oh they tell me more than enough about their hobbies. I want to hear about you.

I know it is kind of weird how much I actually like people. But I’m not playing. I do.

I don’t want you to be in a room with me so you can act out my fantasy. I want to be in a room with you so I can see you more fully developed as a character of your own. If you talk fast the whole time I get more of a picture of who you are. (I like turns to talk too. Don’t worry. I know how to talk fast.)

I’m high maintenance. I want understanding and that mandates intense communication. I’m not comfortable. I don’t exist near people to feel comfortable in their presence. That is not how life goes for me. I am not comfortable.

I am with you because I want to understand you. Because I find you compelling. Because I want to know you. Because I want you.

I may not understand what that means. I probably don’t. I will ask for things. I wish you would ask more so that every step of verbal negotiation didn’t come from me.

That is true so much and it scares me because when I am always always always the leader how do I know I am doing what people want instead of dragging them through things they may not be completely on board for doing?

Trust people to be grown ups?

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Sorry, gotta catch my breath.

Phew. Laughing that hard is dangerous. I’m going to bust a rib.

People laugh at me when I say “when I grow up” in reference to my future research. They ask me if I’m grown now. No. I’m not.

don’t know many grown ups. And I don’t know many people my age or younger. I chase an older crowd and I always have. Guess what. Most of them are not grown up. I mean, they are grown. They are “adults”.

We are all fucking up and growing.

We aren’t done growing up.

I know… a few. They are inspiring and intimidating as fuck to me.

Hands hurt too much to go into that.

Hunting lessons…

Wanting is hard. Wanting is scary. The rejection isn’t the scary part. The scary part is the terror that I will hurt people. I will hurt people. Not because I will hit them (though I will) but because I will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or ask for something in a way they don’t feel comfortable refusing and they will feel regret and I will feel shame.

That’s gonna happen.

That is part of hunting.

That fuck up. It is inherent. Other people minimize their risk by looking for one lifetime target and calling it good.

I… like to learn lessons. I have so much to learn. There is so much I want to know. There are so many situations I need to be able to have absolute control over my reaction no matter what physical or emotional stress is going on that I have to perfect this.

I have to. This is going to be necessary for me as a grown up. I am going to need to have 100% control over my reactions. I will need to know “I don’t open my email until I’ve had at least 20 hours of sleep out of 72.”

I need to know myself.

Noah didn’t think the messages sounded the way I read them. It took a lot of explaining and whining and telling back story before he went, “Oooooohhhh… ok. I can see how you read it that way.”

So it was a stretch that was only possible because I’m so awesome.

God I’m ridiculous.

No. I just have a long and complex story and I’m reacting as if all if it is true in every moment of every day and those filters are better and worse based on factors like sleep. Ahem.

Other people can handle sleep deprivation. Great for them.

I can’t.

But there is so much fun to be had in the middle of the night.

I have five solid nights in a row where I’m staying home and getting sleep before our next night out.

But then a different party is the next day.

Fuck. Ok. I need a break after that. I iz at capacity. Ow. I found it. Noah told me he thought I would.

I wanted to see where it was now. I found it. Ow. I’m old.

Why didn’t I want to go to a dark place? I don’t know. It wasn’t that the pain level was beyond my capacity. I never got near an 8. I just…

I don’t know.

It didn’t feel that way. It didn’t feel like that was what was appropriate in the setting? I don’t know.

I need help going on a journey. If I’m going to stand somewhere and just… do what I do… that…. uhhhh… varies.

It is wildly unpredictable.

I also have a really hard time with feeling like I am topping from the bottom. Noah and I have had a hard time figuring this out. I… don’t know how to gracefully lead as a bottom. I suck. So either I shut my fucking mouth and smile as the top decides what is going to happen next or… things get kind of awkward and tense and I spend the rest of the scene feeling bad.

So yes. Sometimes I don’t know what to say.

Even me. I get tongue tied. It is true. I feel like a jukebox waiting for someone to pick a song to play. I don’t know what to say. I don’t have any idea of what would be pleasing. I have such a short window of time in which to try to be pleasing…

I’m afraid of picking wrong.

It isn’t that I’m trying to make up a story to tell. It is that I don’t know which version of myself to start with. There are so many. The order in which I present them matters. It can lead to increased intimacy or it can lead to things like, “I need you to stop telling me about your background. I don’t really want to know.”

This is why Noah and I spend so much time during sex talking about previous sex we have had either with one another or with other people.

I know that I will only learn how to read these things better by running into these walls at full speed so I see all the signals all the way up to long past when I “should” have stopped so that in the future I will understand that danger signals much earlier and have a stronger need to distance myself fast. I know this is “safe” practice.

But I’m so tired of being disappointing. I’m so tired of having people forcefully shove me away because I am wrong.

Asking, wanting, desiring always means risk. It always means possible rejection or unmatched interest or pain.

Always.

Is it worth it?

Even though I’m still tired and even though I still have turbulent feelings…

Yes.

All of it. All of them. Every lesson. Every experience. I’m not sorry I asked. I’m sorry if me asking was done badly. I’m sorry if I asked in a way that did not support people telling me no when they should have or if they really wanted to in the fullness of time. I’m sorry that I will keep making mistakes.

But I’m not sorry enough to stop.

I want to learn this.

I will make mistakes. So will other people. I will get up. I will try again if they are game.

I want.

But first I want more sleep.

 

I have poor planning skills.

Today is insane.

I leave the house at 8am to drive to Oakland. If I leave later than that for my 9:30 appointment I am usually late. Then from 9:30-10:30 I have therapy. Kids will be with friend. During the 9-10 time slot Noah will be giving an interview with some Ruby folks.

Then Noah hops on the train north. We pick him up from the train station, grab lunch, go to the park for park day in Castro-Fucking-Valley.

We leave park day at 1 (which means we’ll only be there about 1.5 hours) to drive to Belmont for a meeting with our accountant. Our taxes are psychotically, ridiculously hard. This year we can’t answer questions via email and get it done. We have to go through piles of documents. I want to cry already. Lots of side business stuff. Lots of investment accounts. Lots of moving pieces. We have four damn checking accounts. And savings accounts. And. Yeah, I see why we have graduated to “We need meetings to go over documents and answer questions now.”

After that meeting we drive down to East Palo Alto to drop the kids off with some friends who enjoy baby sitting. We don’t have many friends who enjoy babysitting. The kids get to see two such families *in one day* how often does that happen? Never.

Then Noah and I drive to Stanford for a speaking event. The folks running that event asked us if there is anyway we can “go out to dinner” with folks from the conference… at 8pm. Uhm. We’ll see. I may be ready to stab someone in the eye with forks.

And Wednesday I get to drive to San Pablo. Thursday I’m hosting a gardening event for kids. (Thank goodness no driving.) Saturday and Sunday both involve noticeable driving. Friday is a rest day. I’m going to hide in my bedroom and not be even a little bit productive. Fuck the whole world.

I think I will have to say “no” to any and everything else proposed for March. I have to deal with DMV and a whole bunch of other logistical things here in town and they are all getting dropped. I should say no to anything else proposed in March because we have exactly two days that aren’t booked at all. Every other day is booked for a minimum of four hours and some days we are booked for nine hours.

So much for saving up spoons.

My anxiety is through the roof today. I’m not good at managing boundary stuff and it’s coming up in a variety of settings.

 

I tell my kids that bravery isn’t being not-afraid. It means you keep going when you are afraid. Today I am very afraid. Today I feel like I should cancel everything and hide in my closet because surely today is the day I will be stoned to death by my community for crimes against humanity. Surely, today is that day.

So I’ll wear a necklace and a wedding ring and lipstick and tell myself that I’m past the point of people feeling safe enough to assault me that way. Surely it will count for something…

Maybe I’ll believe it someday.

I feel really scared because standing up for my right and my childrens right to be physically safe is not going very well. I didn’t attack. I said, “Your kid isn’t allowed to hurt me.” And it is going badly. Like it does when I tell people they don’t have the right to hurt me. Because they think they *do* have the right to hurt me.

Right now, unmedicated, that is sitting on me like a ton of bricks. I feel flattened and hollow and like a worthless whore who should die.

Today is going to be rough.

Scripts are ready.

I have a pretty good idea of what I want to say for two conversations today. I have my goals in mind. I’ve worked on tone of voice. I know some directions I would like the talks to go, but not being able to predict the other side, I’ve prepared a number of different possible responses. There are many ways to win here and only a few ways to lose.

I want to a) talk about my feelings b)talk about my actions c) talk about actions I am worried I will take in the future and figure out how to avoid the impending explosion.

For me to explode at someone is never THEIR fault (even if they said or did a dick-thing, it’s still my choice how I react) but there are situations in which I am more likely to fail and I will fail in that direction. I am predictable, sadly. If I see all the signs coming it is my duty and my duty alone to try to head it off at the pass.

I am hopeful that this will resolve in a way that relieves the stress and pressure I’ve been feeling for months. I don’t do well with limbo and unspoken “communications”.

One way or another I will be out of my misery in 5.5 more hours. Maybe my stomach will stop hurting. At least for a day. Then I can start cycling on the fact that I need to go meet a new doctor. The fun never ends.

 

Problems and complications

J- you aren’t wrong that they are problems for me. I’m not disagreeing with you. But whether something is a “problem” or just a “complication” depends largely on your perspective, mind-set, and attitude. And all of those things fluctuate for me wildly and in difficult to predict ways.

Some days I feel like I have problems. On those days they are problems. I can’t surmount dealing with many situations. I don’t know how to work around something in particular that is happening. It’s not a complication–I can’t get past it; I have a problem.

Other days I wake up seeing the web of privilege I sit in and I think, “Not much can touch me that will seriously disrupt my day.”

My ongoing mental illness is much much much more of a problem than the dishwasher breaking. And yet there is only so much I can do about my mental illness and it is hellza easy to fix the dishwasher if you have money. Perspective.

I have problems. I’m not trying to argue with that. It would be obnoxious and annoying if I tried to say I have no problems. But it is hard for me to see the dishwasher or the car breaking as problems. I think that on some level having things like that break energizes me. I get to feel extra competent because HA HA! I CAN FIX THINGS!!!

I like complications. Complications make me feel alive and competent and like I have my shit together. Complications are “problems” that are easy to solve and they won’t actually hurt me. I will feel slightly annoyed by having less money to throw at my mortgage but not that annoyed.

I am even sitting pretty on the wildly swinging mood swings about my physical problems. This morning I had the loosest stool I’ve had in eight days and it is still well within my range of acceptable poop. My body is being really nice to me even though I’m having eggs and dairy (including cream!). I’m feeling weird about egg seeming to be sometimes a problem and sometimes not. But I hear that with IBS that will be true.

The more I read about the intersections of IBS and PTSD the more the PMDD makes sense and I worry about other comorbid issues. I’m never going to be able to medicate for my physical problems. That is more clear with every book I read. Diet, exercise, stress management. Those are my options. Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic are known to help manage the pain but I will not be able to find a medication that fixes me.

I feel a tremendous amount of relief in that acknowledgment. Some people feel a lot of pain. Life works like that. It’s hard, but it’s true. I can’t ignore it.

It means that my body stuff is less a “problem” and more an ongoing complication to be managed. If I want to not hate myself. Or I can think of me as a problem with no solution but death.

Somehow trying really hard to reframe it as not-a-problem seems important?

I’m glad I sat down and read three books on IBS this week. That was a good choice. It is helping me feel less frantic. It is helping me feel resigned to the life I’m going to have.

Frankly, in the world of IBS sufferers… I’m pretty mild from what I read. I don’t have overwhelming pain most of the time. I don’t feel like I’m being stabbed in the belly with knives a lot of the time. I’m a little abashed to read that having diarrhea with few other symptoms (the joint pain might be related but it might not–I have a lot of other conflicting things that could cause that) means I’m just about as lucky as someone with IBS can be. Oh. Ok. I should… not be so pissy.

It’s kind of like getting all self-righteous that you suffered THE MOST as a poor child in America and then finding out how it goes for poor people in third world countries. Oh. I… didn’t have it as bad as I thought. Oh shit I’m totally a self-absorbed asshole.

At least I already knew that fact.

J–you are being supportive and wonderful. I appreciate your validation and concern a lot.

I’m trying to figure out how to hack my brain.

This is part of that resiliency shit I read so much about. Reframing things from problems to complications is a big part of what allows people to thrive. I read these things. Implementing them in my life is harder. I get flashes of it.

This week it is really weird how having the dishwasher and car break has snapped me out of a depression streak. I was very focused for many weeks on the things I can’t fix and can’t make better. All of a sudden I’m seeing how many things I can fix and that’s huge.

And my arm hurts a lot less today. *phew*

Perspective decides how you feel about things. I’m afraid a lot of this post sounds like strident arguing and I don’t mean it that way. I mean, your response sent a clarion call through my brain and I’m trying really hard to figure it out.

I watch a lot of repetitive tv shows and movies and I read a range of books but a few repetitively nearly to the point of religion. When a new idea causes me to feel excited I have a lot of response partially because I have consciously created such a rut in the rest of my life.

Difference is striking.

I notice that when someone expresses support for me, my main response is an almost 1000 word post (and counting) defending why I don’t really have problems and I don’t deserve support, see I’ve got it all covered.

Does that mean if more people expressed support more often I would never write about the problems because I would be locked in a haze of trying to pretend there are no problems here. I don’t know. But it is interesting to me how much I want to not want support.

J, I do appreciate the support. You are right that I do have problems. I do have situations that need to be dealt with. I’m very good at tunnel thinking. If I don’t want to believe I need support this second I will be nearly rabid in my denial that I need support ever. I bite the hand that feeds me.

Well, is this biting a hand? I’m babbling about how I have money to pay to fix some problems so I shouldn’t complain. Is this biting a hand that feeds me? It makes it less likely people will express support in the future.

When I read about suicidality there are a few key categories of things that make people off them. When I go down the lists one of the things that jumps out at me the hardest is the need to be taken care of. I don’t really let people take care of me. When they express even mild support I will rant about how I don’t need it. I’m scared.

I don’t really know how to let people be support for me. This is an ongoing issue. At this point in time my early coping methods have become toxic. I think they were appropriate when I developed them. My life is different now. I do need to have friends who will confirm that I have problems. I need that validation as I try very hard to climb under a rock labeled D-E-N-I-A-L.

There are two kinds of problems in the world. The kinds money can solve and the kinds money can’t solve. I have a lot of problems money can’t solve. That is hard. My friends try to be kind to me as I deal with them. Then a problem that can be solved pops up and all of a sudden I have a burst of feeling-competent. (Which is pretty stupid because I have money because of Noah instead of because of competency on my part. Ok, fine I could fritter more away… but I don’t earn it.)

That feeling of competency makes me really want to white wash everything into being Just Fine, Damnit.

That makes it really hard to have perspective on what is a problem,what is a complication, and where is the dividing line of denial.

If I’m reacting this much to the words that someone says… I’m probably sitting on some denial. I am so ridiculous to deal with.

Today is less Zen. I feel a lot more anxious. A lot more like I’m letting “someone” (not sure who) down all the time. I can’t do anything right. I can’t even have the right feelings of gratitude when someone is nice to me. I am such a piece of shit.

I wrote thank you cards that were nearly apologies to Noah’s relatives yesterday. We are opening Christmas presents as they arrive this year. Waiting until Christmas morning has gone very badly every year so far. This year: few presents on Christmas morning. Just…….. can’t do the deluge. Overwhelming. Hysteria. Crying. No more.

I don’t want to be mad about the mess and them being unable/unwilling to pick up after their new stuff hitting all at once. They can’t sort out a huge new pile. They can find homes for one or two new things at once. They are that resourceful.

Yes, I could just write the cards now and hold them till after Christmas and mail them then and pretend we waited. I’m not really willing to present myself dishonestly to these people. They need to see what they are getting. Warts and all.

I feel like I am threatening people as I write on their Christmas cards “We are coming to your city next year….” I’m really scared about the reactions we will get. I need to not care.

Years ago I flew to New York City in large part because there was a guy I had flirted with/played with many times at large bdsm conferences and I wanted to have individual time with him. I wanted him to beat me so much I went across the fucking country to beg him to do it. I uhm, didn’t have an inspiring performance from him. He was tired and had a back injury and he wanted to sit still and have me “please him” and he didn’t want to do anything.

I’m not that kind of service bottom.

My traveling is a mixed bag. Sometimes the reception I get is stellar and sometimes it kinda sucks. (The guy in New York invited another woman over while I was there. For their first date. He played with her. He vigorously beat the shit out of her and fucked her wildly while I watched. But he “hurt too much” to play with me. Fucker.)

But I take enormous comfort from the fact that when I travel with my kids I travel with my own little reality distortion bubble. My kids are starting to sing at me, “Mom–you have to have a good attitude!” They learned it from one of the other home schooling families. I could wring that mom’s neck. (I’m totally kidding.) I get told it a lot. Pretty much any time we are on an out door adventure and I start getting grumpy they sing at me with a big cheesy smile. So I think grumbly thoughts at the mom who taught it to them. But I also close my lips on my complaints more often than not.

My kids are teaching me how to be. In some sense, my kids are showing me the difference between a problem and a complication.

J, you are right that the car being broken is a problem. It has to be routed around for many days. It will cause impact on our financial budget in ways I’ll have to deal with. This may cost thousands of dollars which kinda blows. I’m enormously grateful I have it to spend but that is kind of beside the point. It will have negative impact. You are right that it is a problem.

The dishwasher feels… more like a complication. Our dishwasher barely worked. It’s been actively, literally falling apart for years. You have to wash everything completely before the dishwasher can “wash” the dishes. And it is around $900. Given our budget… that seriously doesn’t feel like a problem.

It is hard to have perspective. It is hard to evaluate things for myself.

I need to just stop typing. Getting sore. So repetitive anyway. Yick.

Bad moment

This minute is really bad. I’m very sad. I’m confusing a lot of grief over my mother and not being cared for with grief about friendships not working how I want them to work. There is nothing I can do about either situation.

Right now I am completely empty.

It is hard going up and down like this so many times in a day. I feel wrung out like a towel. I feel like everything is all my fault and people should try very hard to get away from me because I am so terrible. I want to die so I don’t hurt anyone else.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything.

So many big feelings.

Over the past few days I’ve had this niggling little thing in the back of my mind. I feel very upset by someone joking that they “don’t love me enough” to do something. But I’ve been turning it over and turning it over and turning it over and as I’ve gone through a variety of adrenalized states I’ve had access to a lot of memories that are normally kind of buried because I don’t know about you but my memory is a funny place. I remember best the things that happened when I was in the same emotional state I am in right now. So I’ve had a lot of interesting memories surfacing.

I have totally made that joke. Not once. Not to one person. Many, many times. I’m pretty sure I went through a phase where I was saying it to a bunch of people with great regularity. When I think super duper duper hard… I may have said it to that person before.

Well shit. That means I have to get off my fucking high horse.

I really hate it when that happens.

Part of the trouble is, I have a lot of sympathy for all the circumstantial reasons behind it coming up last week. I didn’t expect her to jump up and abruptly change her day for me. That wasn’t on my agenda. I wasn’t gunning for that. She was responding to feeling overwhelmed and the things in front of her were things she couldn’t drop. So she joked. Ok, I hated the joke and it made me feel bad… but she didn’t say it because she consciously wanted to hurt me.

I didn’t actually want to hurt people when I used to say, “You are really awesome and all but I don’t love you enough to drive to Davis for a relationship.”

I said that a lot.

Man I’m such a hypocritical asshole.

It doesn’t help that the last two things I’ve tried to schedule at the house flopped. I “understand” that it was scheduling issues. That totally happens. But in both cases I started out with a whole bunch of enthusiastic people and then they all… kinda flaked. It happens. But it feels bad when large groups of people all do it together. I tried having an event in September and I tried in October. Both just failed. I’m not angry at anyone–but I feel wounded and like if I hadn’t already stupidly announced the holiday open house I would cheerfully hide alone in my house till spring.

I don’t feel very loved. So having one of my closest friends joke that she doesn’t love me… it was stepping on my broken toe. I “get” that it was a “joke”.

But I don’t feel very loved so it doesn’t feel like a joke it feels like just telling me the truth. One of the hardest parts of having big gaps in between people is I hold on to the bad feelings of being rejected and and unloved for a long time. Seeing different people doesn’t help that much. Maybe it is a distraction and maybe not.

It isn’t Noah or the kids fault that I don’t feel loved. It isn’t the fault of this joke. I’m just in that kind of cycle. I’m sure the elimination diet isn’t helping. I’m also trying hormonal birth control for the first time in many years and it is NOT REGULATING MY EMOTIONS. I’ve been trying to take vitamins which is resulting in spontaneous vomiting in the morning. The class over the last two weekends was physically and emotionally draining in the extreme. In that 24 hour class I put out more energy and force than I normally do in over a month. My body hurts everywhere. I have some truly impressive bruises.

I’m having trouble feeling loved. Even with the kids. It doesn’t feel like love, it feels like momentary manipulation so I will do what you want. I recognize this as a problem in my perception and not a change in how my children treat me. Their actual attempts to manipulate are far less subtle and nuanced. They are quite charming, really—it’s different than when they are being loving. But I just can’t see it. I feel very empty and hollow.

I’m a weird introvert/extrovert blend. I need alone time and I NEED people time. I need the right kinds of people time to fill me up or I get emptier and emptier. I haven’t been getting “the right kind” of people time much lately. I get most of it with Noah or Pam and I get very little actual attention from either of them because the kids are always in our faces demanding all of the attention. I’m scared of Pam going to Taiwan soon. I am going to miss her.

Over the past few years we’ve had a series of wonderful people who come over once a week for dinner for long periods of time. Sometimes we have two wonderful people at once who come by weekly. It has been just Pam for a while. I really like Pam, unfortunately so do my children. The kids vocally and clearly negotiate how much time they have to share with me because they want all of Pam’s attention. It’s funny.

People stop coming for a variety of reason. My favorite reason to ascribe it to is because I’m an asshole.

A stopped coming because after I drew him extensive graphs and charts to describe how tired I was and I said I needed help he continued to expect me to wait on him hand and foot like I have since I was 19. I stopped inviting him over because I can’t be the god damn service submissive forever and either you help or I can’t do this.

P had health issues. It wasn’t personal.

C I specifically uninvited because I got to the point of feeling actually unsafe in his presence. That’s a good enough reason to uninvite people in my opinion.

It’s a mixed bag that in my youth I went out looking for perverts and people who felt dangerous. It means I look at my friends in new lights when it comes to sharing my children with them.

Pam is the only person currently on a steady roster. Even the home schoolers who supposedly are supposed to have a set day of fun stuff… we skip it more than we go. We see home schoolers every week, but which day and where move around a lot. I am very very certain that my kids need to have friends of their own. I make it happen. I take them to places where they can socialize and see the same kids and get to know people. It is a specific goal. You can’t home school your kids and keep them from having friends. That will fuck them up for life. Finding friends can be hard but I consider that one of my job duties.

I think it is funny that I do not prioritize teaching from a curriculum–I prioritize learning how social interactions work. I think that early life should be about learning how to manage people. You will have plenty of time for book learning later. I am trying to teach emotional regulation (which is a hilarious thing for me to teach) and boundaries. Those are the biggest and most important skills we work on with conscious intent.

Yesterday I was an asshole to Shanna. They like to reach through their toy bookshelf and grab all the jars of jam and bring them to their side and play with them. I mostly object because these are glass items and I already clean up a lot of broken glass and I don’t want to clean up broken glass plus sticky. I’ve asked them four or five times not to do this. So this time I screamed. I screamed, “It is not ok to play with my stuff. You have your own stuff. STOP USING MINE. IT BREAKS. I AM REALLY CRANKY ABOUT CLEANING UP ALL THE GLASS. JUST STOP IT.” So I’m an asshole but I’m not an asshole who will be picked up by CPS. Just a garden variety asshole.

Later in the day I was reading the internet and I saw one of those pithy quote things and it said, “In our house we only yell if there is a fire.” I felt floored. Oh man. How can I ask my kids not to yell if I am such a yeller.

So I read the quote to Shanna. She gave me a side eye rule and said, “I wouldn’t mind if that became a rule for our house.”

I looked at her for a few minutes. She didn’t quite meet my eye. I asked her how scared she felt that morning. She said, “Well, I knew you wouldn’t hit me or anything so I wasn’t *that* scared, but it makes my tummy feel really bad.” I nodded. I apologized. She apologized for playing with the jam jars again. We hugged.

I feel beyond blessed in my children. I feel I got unusually empathetic children and I get down on my knees thanking anyone who will listen daily. I am so grateful for the specific children I have. They really work for me. I don’t dislike other peoples children (well… sometimes I do but not mostly) but my kids are so well suited to me. Occasionally I witness family interactions where the parents and the kids aren’t well suited and I feel this surge of anxiety mixed with gratitude. That would be so hard. I’m so grateful I don’t have that specific issue.

Not that my kids are easy 100% of the time–ha.ha.ha. But we are annoying in compatible ways. It’s important.

A while back Pam told me I was too hard on my BFFs. I expect too much from them. She then let me know how much time she spends with her BFF and it isn’t much.

I feel like maybe I need to pull into myself for a while. Looking outside me for validation isn’t going well. Other people have the audacity to have bad days and they aren’t just sitting around waiting to have positive interactions with me. WTF.

On one hand I feel like what I would like to do is stay home and do projects and invite people over. On the other hand inviting people over doesn’t usually work and then I feel rejected so I think that I should just work by myself.

I’m feeling really sad. I have to forgive people for hurting me because they really didn’t mean to. And I’ve said basically the same thing so I can’t have more harsh boundaries.

But I don’t feel very loved lately. I’m not *blaming* anyone. I don’t think this feeling is the result of the actions of A, B, C, D, or E people. That’s not my point. I cycle through feelings. It happens. Right now I feel very alienated and alone. I have a Noah and a Shanna and a Calli who love me and never actually let me be alone so this feeling isn’t about “reality”.

But my relationship with my kids is only kind of about me. I have to very carefully always partition of the parts of me that would be problematic or dangerous. It is very hard to constantly censor everything I say so that I am only appropriate for my kids.

If you knew me before kids–did you think I would be physically capable of minding my mouth enough to be appropriate for children? Probably not.

But it comes at a cost. It comes at the cost of feeling like *I* am not important, just that there is someone standing here who is willing to work. If I could find a suitable replacement it would be better for everyone if I died. Then I would stop hurting people. No one would have to listen to my whining about how neeeeeeeedy I feel.

On Saturday during the Impact class we got to do a “custom fight”. You have the choice of battling an inner critic, an event from your past, or something you are afraid might happen. You can choose to have the battle be verbal or physical.

I went first because I knew I wouldn’t have the courage to say what I said after I heard what everyone else wanted to fight. I knew mine was going to seem “crazy” and “intense” compared to everything else.

I told them it was a combination of inner critic and past events. I told them I grew up in a family who had generations of alcoholism and drug addiction and incest. With all the beatings such a description implies. I told them that I knew all my life that I was the child of rape and no one had wanted me from the minute I was born. I told them about my family members telling me that I am a worthless whore–I should die and stop wasting the resources that should be spent on someone worthy.

My fight was super fucking intense. It went on and on. The suited instructor was really verbally awful. By the end I was crying and screaming “I am not your whore anymore” as I was viciously kicking him in the head.

If that had been a real fight with an unsuited person there would have been major hospital time. I’m happy about that.

I keep wondering what will happen if I ever run into my sister again. The funny thing is, I have about a 1% fear of getting randomly mugged or assaulted. I just don’t live in fear of that. I know people who have had it happen to them–I shouldn’t feel so shielded from that assault. But it is way outside my realm of experience and I have enough to be afraid of so I’ve just never spent brain cycles on worrying about it.

I’m scared I will run into my sister again. I strongly suspect that will turn into a fist fight. Given that she wanted to start one when I was 6 months pregnant I doubt her wrath has cooled. She has hated me all my life. “It is your fault that son of a bitch had three more years to rape me. Mom was ready to leave when you fucking came along.” Well, go ahead and hate me Sissy, but it wasn’t my fault I was born.

For all the bloody noses and bruises and wounds my sister gave me… I could cheerfully put her in the hospital. And I know her knee has already blown out more than once. The fight wouldn’t even have to last long.

It was funny at the end of the class. At my turn to reflect the instructors verbally noted that I came in with fighting skills and I was willing to adapt them. I said, “Well most of my other fights have ended in a trip to ER to deal with my injuries so I’m grateful to learn techniques that might prevent that.” As soon as the bruising goes down I am going to spend a lot of time with my punching bag practicing. But first the bruising needs to go down. My elbow fucking hurts.

Maybe it is just best to stay home alone for a few months. I’m needy and sad and I can’t hear what people say the way they mean it. I can only hear more reason to hurt. That isn’t about everyone standing near me–that comes from me.

Today is the Halloween parade at park day. I’m supposed to bring a pot luck contribution. Fuck if I know what to bring. A tray of carrot and cucumber sticks? I can bring you a fuck ton of bok choy. Want some plain rice? fuck my life.

Just to add a little bonus gross to this entry: I’m weirded out that since I bought the bell peppers my poop looks like it is sprinkled with little red confetti. I really don’t digest food much.

I need to get back on the horse with half marathon training. I semi-slacked in the week between the Impact classes because I felt so dead. Today is a five mile run. I feel continually shocked that five miles is no big deal. I’m debating between running in the dark before Noah goes to work (I would have to leave in about half an hour) or taking the kids to the gym so I can run on a treadmill. I mostly prefer running outside. But I’m not sure I have it in me to run in the dark today. I feel wobbly. In the dark, when I’m wobbly–I trip. And it hurts. So I’m kind of loathe to go do that on my already injured body. Even my ankle is feeling twingy and sore. Treadmill it is.

I’m at the point on the elimination diet where I’m 14 days in and I haven’t seen much change. This is all fairly normal poop to me. That makes me think I should take out nightshades next. This thought makes me want to cry. I won’t until I finish eating the current cooked nightshades, because I’m not so big on throwing food away, but I probably should.

I feel so bad. The really sad/scary thing about taking the nightshades out: it removes almost all of the GF “bread” stuff I could eat. No more pancakes. I’m going to be eating rice at every meal. (I’m vaguely aware that there are products like millet and couscous in the world but I have essentially never eaten them and switching to them on an elimination diet seems… kind of weird. Should I really be randomly switching to food I’ve never eaten?” If I have to long-term follow these restrictions it makes sense to introduce them after a while… but not during the elimination diet, right? I don’t fucking know.

A friend offered to make a meal plan. I don’t want one. This is a moving target. This is hard. I am so frustrated. What I can handle putting in my mouth shifts from moment to moment and day to day. I feel so much hatred and anger all wrapped up in food. Nothing good comes from food. Unless it has lots of wheat, dairy and sugar. Then the food carries love.

Noah isn’t even cooking much for me. Which is another sad thing. This stupid elimination diet is taking away one of the most common things someone does to express love for me. No wonder I don’t feel very loved lately.

This moment isn’t forever. But it is shitty. And I feel sad. I don’t want to go pretend to be happy and festive and part of a group today. I want to wedge myself between the wall and the bed and cry.

The main thing I can think of that would make today easier is if I went into the bathroom and locked the door and lighted my candles and got out the scalpel blade that is secretly hiding in a drawer in my room (I no longer have a handle, but I somehow missed a blade when I cleared out the house a while ago) and cut for a long time. I want that feeling so bad. I am not calm and I could be. I care too much about feeling unlovable and I could shut that off. It would just take a few cuts. Then I would be calm and sure that I’m not loved and that is just how it is. I wouldn’t feel frantic and sad. Just resigned. This is how things work.

I feel so sad. Not cutting at this point feels like not caring enough about me to take care of me. Instead I just force myself to feel as shitty as possible for as long as possible. Just so other people can feel better. It’s a reminder of how little I matter.

If I could find a suitable replacement I would go. I am tired of flailing and hurting. I’m so tired.

I want my mommy.

Alone.

Sometimes I am reminded that people with mental illness are not always good for people to be around. Sometimes it seems like being alone is really the only option if we want to stop the pain. Our pain, the pain we cause other people just by existing.

I have spent a lot of my life literally alone. I have spent years sitting alone in rooms. Yet I contrast that with the wonderful people in my life. I have friends. I am unusually blessed.

But I feel alone. Because it isn’t ok to make anyone else’s life all about my pain and I don’t know how to get past my pain to focus on connection with people. Some days I can kind of get there, I haven’t been doing so well lately.

I absolutely understand the feeling I do everything wrong anyway–the world would be better if I was dead. But I’m not supposed to say that out loud. It is manipulative. It is hurtful. It damages people if you scream at them that you want to die. It isn’t ok to take ones pain out on the people around one.

But there is so much pain. I saw a sign today, advertising a suicide prevention walk. I stood and stared at the sign for a while. I thought about a conversation I had this weekend with two women who expressed how hard it is to deal with suicidal people. Those who want to be supportive of the suicidal person can be absolutely wrung dry. That isn’t fair either.

We (the mentally ill or “crazy” as I think of myself) are told over and over that we should ask for help. Those of us with extreme trauma in our background are also told over and over and over and over again in therapy that it isn’t appropriate for us to talk about our experiences in front of “normal” people because we will hurt them just by admitting that people like us exist.

Shut up. And it is your own fault that you are crazy. And it is your fault if the pain is too much and you die. Why didn’t you get help? And while I’m at it, shut up.

I’m having a hard time with the kids. My shrink is encouraging me to consider getting a job so I can pay for private school because I need a break from my kids. I’m not entirely sure how adding a job to all of my current work would make my life easier. It isn’t like work stress is less impactful than kid stress. And the main job I have prepared to do is teach children. If I went back to doing that all day long I would not be a very nice person to my children. All of my patience would go to my job and by the time I got home I would be screaming and nearly psychotic.

It was funny how at first my shrink tried to talk me into just putting them in public school. She works with the school across the street from my house. It took me staring her down for a while before she admitted that the school is entirely substandard academically and it probably wouldn’t all “work out just fine”.

If my interactions with my kids all of a sudden had to go from just me enforcing about an hour a day of chores to me having to enforce an hour of chores AND force them to do homework that I know to be ineffective and damaging during the 3-4 hours a day I see them… I don’t see how we would get along better. Yes, I may feel less stress. Maybe. I haven’t at any other point in my life when my work situation has been different, but what the hell.

I don’t think sending my kids to a shitty school for babysitting is a good option. I don’t think that is in anyone’s best long-term interests. Would I do it if I HAD TO, yes. No one would die. It isn’t the end of the world. But no, it is not ideal. That is not for the best.

Is home schooling? Mostly we get along. We’ve had a hard few weeks. That happens every so often. I’m not sure we would get along better if our relationship involved me having to force them to get ready for school every day. I am not good at that.

I feel like a failure. I feel like I should die. But I don’t want to leave my kids. I don’t want to hurt them like that. I don’t know how to stop feeling like I am poison to everyone around me. I hurt people so much.

Maybe it would be better if I …… I don’t know.

Being alone is a weird thing. I don’t spend that much physical alone time these days. But I feel very alone emotionally. Is it because I can’t physically talk about almost any of what goes on in my head? I don’t know. I know that when I get together with other people there is usually a very clear dynamic that I am there to listen to them and be supportive of their issues. I need to not overwhelm people or bother them. I need to not be boring with this constant I want to die I want to die I want to die.

My throat hurts. My head hurts. My belly hurts. I want to puke. I want to beat my head so bad that I have to sit very still to not do it. I’ve been thinking about cutting all day. I want to bleed and bleed and bleed and bleed.

I don’t like me very much and it feels very much like I haven’t been punished adequately lately for being a piece of shit.

I can’t burden people with these thoughts. That’s not fair.

In the store, Calli was having a hard time. Calli said something–I forget what–and Shanna responded with some nonsense syllables and Noah, Shanna and I laughed. Calli sobbed. It felt like we were laughing at her and being mean. I pulled her into my arms and I carried her for the next half hour and I talked to her quietly. I apologized over and over. We didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. We were laughing at the silly sounds. I’m so sorry we hurt you. Clearly we did.

Then Calli asked me if it was right that she hurt herself. I felt utterly crushed. Did I teach you this? I try so hard not to talk about it. I don’t know if I have slipped or not. I may have. I told her that it was not right for her to hurt herself on purpose. I told her that her body is her constant companion–her body will be the only thing with her every minute of her life. She needs to be kind and loving to her body so that it can be strong and do all the things she wants to do in this life. We talked about how being kind to your body means eating healthy foods (we had a long chat about why Ho-Ho’s don’t count as “healthy food”) and drinking good water and exercising and sleeping and relaxing. We talked about balance. I told her that if she hurts herself, she won’t be as strong. I told her that if she hurts herself, she is hurting something that has only done kindness to her–her body has carried her through everything that has happened to her.

By the end she said it made sense and she said she would be careful and loving with her body.

Why can’t I talk me into feeling compassion for my body? I barely ate today. I just… couldn’t. Even though I rode 8 miles on my bike and ran just under 5 miles. I ate one piece of bread pudding and about 1/3 of a package of ramen. I don’t feel physically able to eat more. I feel sick and weak and nauseous and disgusting.

And yet I feel like there are pieces of my life pulling at me from every direction telling me that I have failed. I am not managing to make time for my friends in the ways they want me to. It’s very annoying that I get up so fucking early and I am not available to suit their needs. I am having trouble with home school social stuff. Not because anyone is doing anything. Because I feel like a feral animal in a trap and my stomach hurts all the time and I feel like I just can’t be around good, kind people. I will hurt them.

The world would be a better place if people like me didn’t exist.

More than once this weekend I felt crushing guilt. Some of the kids in the group are *gasp* normal kids and they push boundaries. Any time I enforced a boundary I felt like I should die. (To be fair, none of their parents objected and the kids aren’t upset with me to the best of my knowledge.) I’m not saying this is rational. I am more saying the opposite. None of this is rational.

I don’t know if that “alone” feeling can go away.

I feel a lot of guilt for not doing the 10k this week. But things just kind of fell apart. My running partner and I are both having feelings. We are both having stuff happen in our life and the race just didn’t quite happen for us. I feel like I let her down. I feel like I am a shitty piece of shit who should be run over by a Mac truck.

I can’t do everything. I can’t be every where. I can’t …. I just can’t. Yes, my failures suck. I know.

Yesterday I commented to Noah that I am feeling the lack of Godmama break. My shrink today commented, “It sounds like you really need a break.” Finding other options just isn’t happening. I don’t have the spoons to deal with trying to find babysitting. It is fucking hard. And people lie to me. And people steal money. And people don’t answer their phones. And… Yes, I need some kind of break from my kids. My time off is mostly the 8 hours/week I pay the neighbor but I work like a dog the whole time she is here. It is not rest time. It is “do things that I can’t do with my kids jumping on top of me” time.

I feel weary. I don’t think getting a job is actually the answer. For a hundred reasons. Yes, there would be good aspects. Right now, all I can think is, “What would I start failing on?” I have absolutely no extra spoons. I’m really far into spoon deficit.

Mostly I just pray that I don’t fuck up my kids too badly and I hope we can all make it through the next decade while still liking one another.

You know, me having a “really hard time” with my kids is about on par with the most stable, best parts of my childhood. That’s hard to wrap my head around. I feel so much guilt and so much shame for being a yeller. I don’t call my kids names.

I would have given anything to have my mom say that she was mad at what I did. Instead she told me that she was mad because I was a stupid bitch.

I yell things like, “I am not your fucking maid. Pick up your own shit.” That is what I say when I *lose it*. When I am really harsh. When I am so mean.

I wish my mama was that nice to me. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish. That doesn’t excuse me being this way with my kids. I want to do better. Because I believe they deserve better.

I don’t scream all day long. I don’t scream every day. I scream too much. And I am really struggling with how to stop. I don’t think that adding the stress of a job would somehow magically make it easier for me to have patience. Maybe if I got to be a rural librarian who dealt with very few patrons on a day and who got to sit in a calm, orderly environment all day long. But I don’t actually have that option. I trained to do something high stress.

The idea that I would be less stressed if I went back to dealing with 150 teenagers a day is hilarious. At this point, with how teachers are getting screwed, I’d probably be up to 170 teenagers.

I told my shrink point blank that I want my next career to be in incest research and I cannot start on that path while I have little children. She countered with telling me about women who are public about intense issues getting killed. She had to agree that I should wait at least ten years before seriously starting the incest research for the safety of my children.

Yeah, I’m overly invested in the idea of home schooling. I have wanted to home school my kids since I was 17. I’m pretty devoted to this idea and I’m willing to try pretty hard to make it work out. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure. I have been preparing for home schooling for almost 16 years now. Yes, putting my kids in school would be a failure.

I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I really don’t. I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m very afraid that none of it will work out and I will end up alone and bitter and hateful.

I would much, much rather die. Life is such a risk. I feel like such a failure each and every day. Ok, there are days I don’t feel like a complete loser. It hasn’t been a good month so far.

I barely talked to the kids today. I was gone five hours for therapy. I can’t do that again. Two hours of exercise/transportation between bart and destinations. One hour of therapy. Two hours of train. I really need to find an incest specialist closer to my city. Why aren’t there tons of psychologists who specialize in incest sitting in my city?! Geez. Very inconvenient. Then I came home and went in my room and cried. Because it is that kind of day.

Noah is home. I did snuggle the kids before and after. We have talked. We have interacted, but not that much more than if they were in school all day.

I can’t talk without saying things I shouldn’t. So I’m not talking. Some days are like that.

And right there, right that minute, that is when the medication hit. Now I’m hungry. Now the pain in my head is mostly muddy noise I can ignore except for the throbbing spot. I still feel sick. But I feel like maybe I will be able to eat dinner.

Calli came into my room this afternoon and asked why I was crying. I said that in my head I was hearing mean things about me and they make me feel very sad. She said, “Like what?” I smiled and told her that she doesn’t need to hear those words come out of my mouth. I don’t need to be the one who teaches her to apply those words to me, or to herself.

I worry about both of my kids, but I worry more about Calli. On one hand I feel like the worst possible mother for her. She clearly has tendencies that I could uhh encourage. In bad ways. On the other hand, how many other people can talk to her about the problems of hurting yourself?

Baby I can’t make you like you any more than I can make me like me. But know that I like you. I love you all the time even when I don’t like something you have done. I am glad for you every minute of the day. I am grateful I get to see you again. You are a good girl who is trying to learn about a complicated world and no one can learn without making mistakes.

I don’t think I am good enough to be their mom. Unfortunately I don’t know who else to nominate for the role.

Also: my kids and I had a long chat about swear words because they are both becoming quite proficient at using shit, fuck, damn, hell, and crap. We talked about the penalties they might experience for using these words. I told them about all the ways I have been punished for talking this way. Shanna asked why I still use the words if so many people have hurt me to try and make me stop. I told her that when people try to force me to do things that is a guarantee I will do the opposite–even if I’m kind of hurting myself in the process. It isn’t smart, but it is how I operate.

Now my kids have decided that since language is all about modeling I have to stop swearing because I am teaching them the words too often. I am not happy about having my kids police my language this much. I’m really not happy about it. But I’m trying to go with it. I think Shanna is being proactive in an overall healthy way.

For the first time in my life I feel like the person who is telling me to stop swearing is doing so because she loves me and she wants more people to be nice to me.

It is very hard being aware that much of what my mother did was not out of love for me, was not out of desire to make me a better person, was not in the service of my best-self.

I look at my kids and I think of the awesome, overwhelming obligation they represent.

I am not sure I’m up for this, but there’s no way out but through.

Like it goes.

Yesterday was a banner day. One friend said she isn’t going to be able to see me for a while. That whole I’m too intense thing. It’s appropriate, fair, and the right thing to do if someone needs space. Other friends stood us up for dinner.

Mostly it wasn’t a bad day. I spent time with home schoolers. (I managed to spend a lot of the time discussing house organizing strategies–that was fun.) Sometimes I think it is very important that I not spend too much time around the home schoolers. I don’t want them to have to tell me to go away too. That would hurt my kids. So I have to very carefully divvy out how much time I spend there so my kids don’t get told to go away too.

One mom is not real happy because apparently Shanna and the boy she has had a crush on for over a year ran out to the field and kissed. There’s a milestone for you. The other mother expressed displeasure and said that wasn’t to be happening.

My point of view is so skewed. Someone else is really upset because a six year old and an eight year old had a chaste peck. I know that by that age I had given blowjobs to…..at least five or six boys and girls (That I have strong memory of and I get the impression more was happening in my first neighborhood than I remember because we moved when I was three). Perspective is important. Not that I’m saying it would be ok for Shanna to upgrade her sexual activity because I did. That is NOT my point. My point is that a chaste peck is… not alarming to me.

I told Shanna that it is very sweet that she loves him so much, but for a few more years she should limit herself to hugs because kisses are for grown ups. She looked at me like I was a big fat liar. Fair enough. She was more willing to admit that if the boy’s mother is upset about it then it shouldn’t happen again. She doesn’t want to get him in trouble. I feel kind of sad that I am already teaching my daughters to be careful with their sexuality because people around them will punish either them or their partners if they do it in a way that isn’t “approved”.

I feel sad and empty. I feel like I am stupid for reorganizing my life because I want to facilitate relationships with people only to have them tell me that they can’t.

I want to beat my head right now. I feel so stupid.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been thinking that I should finish the letter to Noah’s parents. And I’ve been thinking about the letter I wrote to my mother that I haven’t had the guts to send. The feelings about those two letters could fill thousands of words by themselves.

So I feel shitty with a pile of crap on top. Thinking about how much I wish my mommy loved me will pretty inevitably make me want to hurt myself.

At 3am Calli came and found me. She said, “I’m alone in my bed.”

“…..ok.”

“Shanna is in her bed.”

“….. ok.”

“I don’t want to be alone in my bed.”

“Ahh, now we come to the crux of the matter. You want me to come to bed with you.”

“Yes. And I want you to cuddle me and I want you to sleep with me all night long.”

“Well, I can’t promise all night long. But I will snuggle you back to sleep.”

I had to leave the room when I couldn’t control my crying any more and I didn’t want to wake her up.

Mama mama mama. Every time my kids say it I think of how many millions of times I said it only to not get my mother. I’m torn between feeling like I am “healing my inner child” by facilitating this for my kids and feeling so jealous of them I can barely breathe.

I remind myself over and over that I have three people who love me. That is three more people than a lot of people get. Don’t be greedy.

But today I’d like to beat my head. I think it is kind of interesting how head beating wasn’t much of a thing for me as a kid. When I was a kid I was more focused on cutting, burning myself, biting myself (to the point of blood), and hitting myself with large blunt objects.

Now those activities are less appealing. Now I just want to kneel on concrete and beat until I am not capable of thinking any more. I don’t know if this is a step up or down.

I don’t think the birth control pills are helping very much so far. I can technically understand that I have this dip monthly. These feelings aren’t “real”. But they are.

I am struggling with how to deal with the people who ask me for space. This is not just one person. There are a lot of people in this camp. More than a dozen. I overwhelm people. This is a known issue.

Once people ask for space I try to turn and walk away. They will ask me to come back if they want me to. Only people don’t really. So usually I wait a year or so and I ask again. Then I’m told I’m too intense again. Then I wait a year.

Am I ever going to get to the point where I just walk away? I don’t know. It is so hard for me to walk away from people. I don’t want to feel more alone and unloved than I already do. So I maintain tenuous contact with people who may or may not actually like me but who definitely can’t really handle me. Is that fair to me or them? I don’t know.

I feel tremendous guilt when I ask any of these people to spend time with me a year later. Like I am inflicting an unwanted burden on someone who has already told me they don’t want it. There are always mixed signals. I’m always told that they just need a little break. And then they wait for me to initiate contact and I get kind of passive aggressive comments in public later if I don’t keep pursuing them for a relationship even though they told me to go away.

I don’t feel like I am capable of doing much right. I feel like I hurt people just by existing and that isn’t very nice of me. I should shut my stupid piece of shit mouth because no one wants to fucking hear it.

I told the home schoolers I wouldn’t stay for the whole camping trip. So I can go running with someone who doesn’t really want to see me any more. Yup. That’s how things go for me. This is the second time I have planned far in advance for a race with someone only to have them need space from me. I have had successful races with friends if we decide to do it together at the last minute. Planning to do things with me enforces more time spent and then I become a problem.

I’ll run the six mile loop today again. I still want to run a marathon in March. I’m pretty sure I will plan to do it alone. That seems like the best idea even if someone says, “Oh I will do it with you.” It’s just not a good idea. I’m too hard to deal with.

I feel so guilty for wanting people to be my friend. I am toxic waste and I should stop hurting people.

I am looking forward to my birthday this year probably more than I ever have in my life. I am going to be alone. I am leaving my house the day before. I am not bringing my phone or any other screen. I am going to spend the day of my birthday alone. I am not going to speak to anyone.

That way I will feel no disappointment about anything all day. I can have a day with no expectations from anyone else in the world. It doesn’t matter if no one else wants to talk to me or be nice to me.

Last year on my birthday I spent a week in advance telling the kids, “I want to do x, y, and z. Because it’s my birthday.” They yelled and screamed the whole time and made x, y, and z entirely unpleasant and terrible. I cried through the afternoon and evening because I wasn’t even allowed to eat the french fries I wanted to eat without getting berated.

I want to beat my head on concrete. I wonder how much this change in impulse has to do with a chance in circumstance. I only have privacy in the garage. There is no way in hell I would cut in the garage. Too messy. I only cut in the bath tub. I no longer have private access to a bath tub. I am old enough and wise enough that I am not going to burn myself in the house again (fire damage is real, yo). And frankly, after my brother burning himself alive… burning myself is less appealing. That habit mostly went away after Tommy died. It wasn’t a game any more.

Just like I don’t understand the appeal of video games where you shoot people and kill people. I’ve had a gun held to my head. It’s not a fucking game.

If you hit yourself with hammers or the like you get marks you can’t hide. Beating my head on concrete doesn’t leave appreciable external bruising. Perfect!

Because I haven’t beat my head on concrete in a while, instead I have developed a habit of sometimes sneaking out to the garage and eating a handful of chocolate chips. Mmm secret binge eating. That’s the ticket.

I am having huge feelings about the fact that I have concluded that I have to stop drinking alcohol. I can’t have the occasional glass of something. It makes me sick. Literally, physically sick. I am not physically well for days. That means I have to stop drinking. I am having huge feelings around this. I am anti-12 step programs. Yes, they work for some people. Ok, saying I am “anti” them is too strong. I have never wanted to participate. I think that is ok. I am not going to turn my authority over to a higher power. Nope. Not this lifetime.

So I’m having weird feelings around not drinking. It feels like the end of fun. Which is weird because… I’ve never been much of a drinker. I have always enjoyed feeling like I had it as an option even if I frequently didn’t take it. Now that I’m telling myself I “can’t” have it I feel rebellious and angry and like I want to sit down and drink a bottle of wine by myself.

My contrariness is a real problem. Well, and my self-harm urges are strong, If I truly crystalize that drinking is self-harm then of course it is suddenly more appealing. These fucking fuckers keep telling me I shouldn’t beat my head because I already have enough brain damage. Drinking it is!

Only I can’t beat my head and I can’t drink. I can’t keep increasing my stroke risk just because I want to. I can’t keep doing massive damage to my internal organs just because I don’t like myself very much.

Sometimes I wish that it was socially acceptable for me to sew my mouth shut and just go through life that way. People would like me so much more.

Shanna and Calli and Noah like me. That is three more people than a lot of people have. I shouldn’t be so greedy.

Progress

The kids have blasted through a few different milestones this week. I should record this so I don’t forget. Both kids are now swimming without a life vest. This is huge. Both kids got off the bucket support in ice skating (Calli is doing better than Shanna). Last, but not least, both kids have suddenly decided they are interested in long bike rides.

I find it fascinating how neck and neck they are for physical skills. In a few years Calli will probably be far more advanced than Shanna at the rate she picks things up. They aren’t equally skilled in all areas of knowledge, but Calli has a great relationship with her body. Shanna reminds me of me. Ha.

I feel guilty anytime I say that they can be assholes, but when it comes to dealing with people who might take care of them it seems like fair warning. They can be sweet as pie and they can be serious assholes. You have to be prepared to hold boundaries and really fucking mean your “no” or they will make you sorry. They are tenacious and pushy in a way rarely tolerated in children.

I’m crossing my fingers it will work out in the long run. For now there are days when they are pretty hard to handle.

It isn’t about you (whoever you are) because they do it with me, Noah, K, and everyone else who has ever baby-sat. Children are supposed to test limits. I also believe that children are supposed to run smack into the brick wall of limits and be told NO. Because that is part of life. You don’t always get what you want and learning to manage that frustration is easier when you are under ten than it is over thirty.

I feel scared that I am doing them a disservice by allowing them to push as hard as they do. Most children are “broken” of that habit. I try to break my kids of the habit of shitting in the back yard. Backtalk is ok with me.

Pick your battles.

I want my daughters to be able to grow up and speak as assertively as any man. I don’t know many women who can. I know a few, because I hunt for such Amazonian Goddesses.

They bug me and delight me. They frustrate me and fill me with so much hope I feel like I will explode. Every day. I am grateful every day that I get to be with them. I stop and make time even when I’m being a pissy bitch.

“Today is kind of hard. But it is the best kind of hard I can imagine. I am grateful I get to be here doing what I’m doing.”

Shanna and I had a fight about something…can’t remember what about. It wasn’t a big one. She went to her room to cry. When I checked on her after a few minutes she said, “It feels like no one loves me today.”

I said, “Do you love me?”

“Yes.”

“Do you get mad at me sometimes?”

“Yes. You deserve it.”

“I’m not quibbling. But you can get mad at me without it taking away from how much you love me. Why do you think it works differently for me? You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love you to the moon and back. And sometimes you piss me off. Life is like that.”

She kinda laughed and hugged me.

When I really think about it… I feel bad for my mom. She probably does still love me. Even though she didn’t want me to start with. Even though she wasn’t very good at taking care of me. Even though I have pissed her off, maybe more than all her other children combined. She probably loves me.

I really hope my kids never need to pull away from me for their own safety.

This week has been tumultuous emotionally. But we’ve had internet connectivity stuff that prevented me from boring anyone with it. Huzzah?

Apparently today we are going dancing. Because someone finally responded with a yes. I was getting emotionally ready to back out on going. We don’t really have appropriate costuming. And Noah is not interested in dancing. And managing the kids while dealing with Noah’s unhappiness about being dragged to something he hates is always fun.

I was hoping that everyone would tell me no they weren’t going so I could skip it too.

I like to dance. I love dancing. Sometimes dragging a whole crew of people who need care of coaxing isn’t very fun. It is sounding really hard today. But a posse was formed so now I can’t back out. Even though it sounded like way more fun when I first heard of it months ago it doesn’t sound real fun today.

Noah didn’t go to bed last night. He’s probably going to be cranky. There is always the double whammy that being sleep deprived makes him cranky and then he’s extra cranky because I woke up in the middle of the night and yelled at him about not sleeping. Because when he doesn’t sleep at night he sleeps through the weekend. And we don’t have children who wake up at night anymore so I’m really sick to death of a partner who is cranky because of sleep dep. There is no excuse.

Only there are dozens of excuses and I’m an asshole for wanting to control his sleep so much.

Well, there are weeks when he naps enough during the days to make up a whole extra work day of time gone. Given that his time off amounts to a day of work amount of time off… he is effectively not available 7-9 hours of the day 7 days a week. And it’s not like he hangs out with them for all of the 4-6 hours he overlaps awake with them. Not even close.

The mothers helper kid stopped showing up. That’s a write off.

Getting actual, consistent support is hard. I’m tired.

I’m having a hard time with some communication stuff too. I don’t feel heard very much. When other people act like “they’ve heard all my shit because they’ve read the blog so when we get together it is their turn to talk” I feel… really shitty.

Writing on the blog doesn’t increase my sense of being seen all that much. I think it is important. I think it is helpful with a lot of my relationships. But I never blog about everything going through my head. I have so many layers of filters. If I mentioned x on the blog there is usually about fourteen layers of shit associated with x that I didn’t dare write about.

And people don’t really want to hear about it. I’ve already used my word count up for the day. Without ever once opening my mouth.

I’ve been wanting to bang my head a lot lately as a reminder to shut up. Shut up. Just shut up you stupid bitch.

I’m supposed to stand there and smile and be supportive about someone else’s issues and not say anything that might make anyone feel uncomfortable. Just shut up shut up shut up.

I don’t think it is “personal”. If I asked people about why communication stuff is wonky I would be dismissed or told I was imagining it or it was just my perception.

Ok fine. Maybe I should just stay home with my perception then. In my home with just my kids it doesn’t feel nearly as bad that I’m not allowed to talk about my shit. I knew that was the deal before I got into this situation. It doesn’t bother me very much with kids. I don’t want to hurt them and I know that knowing too much about people like me will hurt kids.

It is harder with adults. So much harder.

Today I run 4.5 miles before the dance event. Thank goodness today is a massage day.

For all that I seem to live at my pity party table I know I have a pretty fucking good life.

I’m going to go cry out my misery at Disney next year. Hilarious.

If I could stop wanting people and if I could start being happier with just being alone as I do things my life would probably be perfect. I really like what I get to do with my time in the main. Yeah, I won’t fill my hours exactly the same way when the kids are grown but I’m content with where I am for now.

If I could just stop feeling sad. If I could stop missing my mommy so much.

Shanna and Calli call one another “Sissy”. I’m not entirely sure how/where they picked it up but now I’m copying it with both of them.

That was what my sister wanted to be called. She would hit me if I used her real first name when I was little. She was Sissy. End of story.

Sometimes when I hear Shanna and Calli say ever so sweetly, “Sissy will you please help me?” “Oh Sissy I’d love to” I walk away and cry.

I feel like an asshole. Why am I crying? Because I’m so fucking jealous. My Sissy hated me so much. Get over it. I’m trying. Thus the crying in the early morning hours. Because crying is how you get over it.

I feel really sad. I did sleep well last night. A good 7.5 hours. That has been my sleep cycle for most of my life. I’ve been trying to eat those shitty vegetable things everyone tells me are “good for me”. I’m mostly eating them cooked, so I don’t get massive diarrhea but sometimes people put them in front of me raw and I try to be all GGG and eat them anyway. And I burn with punishment.

It is funny how suicidal thinking works. There is a difference (for me) between suicidal ideation where I feel like I am working on A Plan and the sad anxious feeling of wanting to give up. The wanting to give up feels like a dog whining in the corner. Small, helpless, not able to get up and do much for itself. Pitiful and pathetic and not worthy of notice. It isn’t threatening. It isn’t real.

There is a difference between the days when I have to more or less crawl across freeway overpasses because I want to jump so fucking badly and the days when I want to just hide under the desk rocking and crying and beating my head.

Hiding this from my children for 7-9 hours a day 7 days a week is really hard.

I need to just be grateful that I don’t have to do much cooking. That is the most frequent point at which I fail to keep my shit together. Thank you, Noah. I really appreciate it.

I need to give my arms a break. Is it bright enough outside to run yet? This time I need to eat something before I leave. That last weekend run where I took off having eaten nothing felt really bad. You require fuel in your tank.

Good thing I pack little squeeze packets of peanut butter and chocolate just in case. I’m smarter than I look. Or, more accurately, I’ve been stupid a lot of times and eventually I learned. So I’m probably not smarter than I look.

I need to give Noah a chance with today. No, he doesn’t like dancing. He tries to be nice about it. He will help with the kids. He will in general be reasonable company.

My expectations of him are really unfair and ridiculous. I’m sorry. I expect Noah to be cheerful and upbeat about pretty much everything and it isn’t very nice of me.

When I’m around someone who is in a shitty mood I tend to sink to their level and keep on sinking. When I’m around people who are upbeat and perky I can ride the wave with them. I feel like a jerk for needing other people to lead my emotional experience.

Sometimes it is hard for me to feel happiness at all without someone modeling how it is supposed to work. That’s a lot of what I like about my kids. They are so happy. Yes, they can be abrasive assholes and they will scream when they don’t like something. (working on that) But mostly minute by minute they are just…. happy. Life is really good. They get their needs met.

That’s a lot of why I like hanging out with them so much. I will fake happiness in order to buy the relationships I want. It is part of why I have such trouble at jobs. I don’t care that much about money. Beyond subsistence and minimal safety I was never real motivated to work hard for money. Enough was good enough.

At every job I’ve ever had there is far less impetus to be in a good mood. Why, so I can make a customer happy? What fucking ever.

But if my attitude is the difference between Shanna and Calli having a good day or a bad day, then I need to work on my attitude. As one of the moms in our group says, “You’ve got to have a good attitude…”

I can’t control the fact that I have mental illness and it has impact on my kids. What I can do is work to mitigate the damage. What I can do is behave in such a way that they will grow up and be able to understand how hard I worked at being good to them. I hope. Who knows. Maybe they will never give a shit. Most kids don’t seem to care about their parents much.

Doesn’t everyone want to feel appreciated?

One of my neighbors is talking about home schooling her kids next year. She talked about wanting to do it from the first day we met. I asked her what was stopping her and it came down to fear that she couldn’t do a good enough job.

Then last year she had a bunch of problems with the school. Her children are really not being appropriately served. So she’s considering home schooling a lot harder.

She asked a lot of questions. I feel I was pretty balanced. I started with my normal, “Of course there is a whole spectrum of opinions from radical in the direction of no direct teaching to school-at-home with every minute scheduled. I’ll talk about what I do first and then I will move on to different points in the spectrum and talk about the pros and cons. The important thing is to figure out what works for you and your child because there is no universal right answer.”

I’m a good advocate.

I really hope she will consider it because she REALLY WANTS TO and she is incredibly organized and focused. She would be good at home schooling. She’s big on answering questions with, “I don’t know the answer to that yet, let’s find out.” Perfect. That is the attitude you need. And she’s super happy to hang with her kids all the time.

I told her the only think she is potentially going to lose out on for her kids is the time they get to spend with her. If you miss a year of public school you can catch up in summer school if you are bright and motivated. Whoopie. Her kids are quite smart (fully literate in two language before third grade is amazing–she mostly taught them) and I don’t see a down side. The only thing holding her back is fear. (That’s what she said. I’m not projecting.)

But it is her life. Who knows. It would be cool though. Even though we probably wouldn’t be live-in-your-pocket besties (even though she lives ONE BLOCK AWAY) it would be nice to have another home schooler in Fremont.

We are going to have to join or create a Fremont home school group or something. Yes, we will still love all the Castro Valley and San Leandro and Oakland people…. but the road is equidistant in both directions. I can only do so much driving.

I wish I felt less desperate. I know that desperation is one of the fastest way to drive people away from you. The depth and intensity are scary. I don’t have a good reason. I’m sorry. Just breathe. Go get some food. Read a few chapters. In about 40 minutes it will be time to run.

Now I will nom a muffin that is poison for Jenny.

Comorbidity

That word is awesome. Comorbidity. It means the simultaneous presence of multiple conditions. Such a fabulous word. Like juxtaposition only in one spot.

My shrink and I were discussing my hypomania yesterday. Hypomania isn’t true mania. It means that you have an elevated activation of your nervous system but you aren’t necessarily doing anything rash or dangerous. I just flip between feeling happy and pissed off with a gentle breeze. I may be spending a “lot” of money but given that all of my big purchases in the last few months are things like “items I will use on cross-country trip” and “shed to prevent bicycles from disintegrating” I don’t really count as manic. I’m not blowing thousands of dollars on the lottery.

I have a lot going on. I have a lot of people in my life and I have dramatically different feelings about different people. Keeping all those feelings inside me and more or less cogent is really hard. It is very disruptive. If I knew fewer people maybe this would be easier… ha. Never happen.

The kids have been pretty explosive too. They are feeding off of me and I take responsibility. It’s like when Jenny copied my tone of voice and we had a bad first 24 hours. It sucks knowing that you are the one triggering the bad interactions in the whole house.

My attitude needs to change, and fast. I have about 18 people coming over in five hours. I haven’t made the food yet. I haven’t moved the tables yet. No biggie. That’s all there is left to do. It’ll get done. But I need to have a good attitude.

There is a family in our home school group who says that a lot when we are doing stuff like hiking and camping, “It’s important to have a good attitude.” I try really hard to listen to them. They have a good point.

So of course I woke up and at 5am I am standing at the freezer saying, “How should I medicate today?” Modern science is wonderful. The variety the dispensary has… it takes my breath away. I am thrilled. Cupcakes and rice crispy bars and brownies and cookies and about 10 different kinds of candy and chocolate bars and pills and oil and wax and ice cream and…

Whoa. All so I don’t have to give myself lung damage. Well done legalization industry.

I’m not a mellow person. I never have been. I am more calm and reflective than I used to be by a large measure. I no longer feel like someone not-paying-attention-to-me-right-now means death.

My shrink and I did several body-calming-exercises. Trying to help my central nervous system calm down. Sometimes I don’t think I could be more activated if I were hit by lightning. I’m already vibrating with energy. (Ok I know that actual lightning would be more… but you understand the metaphor.)

One of the things she had me do was visualize kicking someone. The thing is, that brings up my mental Rolodex of so-and-so and him and her and them and… Memory lane is a funny thing for me.

I will probably never do that again. I will probably never kick anyone in the nuts again. I will probably not kick someone in the chest hard enough to fracture ribs again.

Although I could do martial arts or kick boxing. Maybe that is a work around so that I can still beat the crap out of people but I’m being “monogamous”. As long as I claim I don’t get off on it–it’s fine, right?

Once my Owner watched a Famous Fetish Model/Educator (I’m capitalizing it because she’s a big deal in his little world and he nearly genuflects when he talks about her–whatever.) and her partner do a scene in which she only used her feet. Given how obsessed with feet my Owner was… well, nothing would do but that I do something similar to him. I learned that I liked it. I’ve done a lot of scenes where I didn’t touch someone with my hands.

Not to mention that I have literally had my ass kicked by many people. It feels awesome.

Bdsm gives me a fully consensual and appropriate space to work through my feelings of aggression. Not having it is hard. Cause seriously, if someone sidled up to me and begged me pretty please to knee them in the balls and slap them around right now… Oh I would have trouble saying no. That would be so much fun.

Ahem. Tea Party. Get your head on straight. Sweetness. Light. Gentle hands for the love of toast.

I’m irritated. That’s the only word I can come up with. My shrink wants to stick with activated. Wired for sound.

But these ups and downs, this is why there is so much conflicting opinion about my diagnosis. I’ve heard just PTSD. I’ve heard PTSD and GAD. I’ve heard bipolar. I’ve heard borderline personality disorder (but never from a qualified professional so I’m more doubtful of this one). While on a terrible psych medication I was told borderline schizophrenic but never while not on the evil psych med so that one I get to say isn’t mine.

I swing from depression and suicidal ideation to anxiety and hypomania. This is more tiresome for me than for you. I promise.  I can’t get away.

I’m a weird balance between extrovert and introvert. Finding the right balance is hard. I need people something fierce. But they are draining and tiring.

I am so very driven by my attachment needs. I am driven towards and away from people at the same time. It feels like a war inside my brain. I am afraid to attach too much to any one person. I’m afraid to not try with everyone because you never know who will fit.

But I have a full time job plus overtime of socializing and it is not actually good for me. But culling people feels brutal. Even just putting people on a longer rotation feels hard.

And now that my kids are bonding with my friends… kicking them out of my life is a whole different story. Just like I’m not real approving of polyfuckery in front of children I’m not that thrilled about the idea of a revolving character cast of friends. Kids need to know who is in their lives. Kids needs to have relationships that are not just instant-friends.

So I’m trying to be ok with some people being on a longer leash but not out of my life. It is a really hard transition in thinking.

I think Pam hit level 2 because I completely discounted her as a friend many times over the years and she kept reappearing. We would have intense conversations and I would assume that she never wanted to speak to me again after what I said and… there she was calling me again.

From across the world she kept calling me. So I developed the habit of dropping whatever I was doing because Pam wanted to talk to me.

It was like how Air Force Michael managed to call me from Turkey spontaneously several times while I was institutionalized as a teenager. Only I didn’t get to talk to AF Michael because… I wasn’t at home to take the calls. And he stopped calling after that.

So I fucking answer the phone for Pam. Because I can say whatever crack-brained shit that comes to mind and she keeps calling.

I don’t remember if I wrote what was so amazing about Shanna’s second birthday yesterday. I think I kind of hinted but didn’t get to the meat.

I emailed my friends and said: “My kid needs a party and I don’t want to do it. You do it.”

So they did. And I sat in a chair. And it felt like magic. I felt loved. I did feel supported in that net feeling.

I don’t know why I have such a violent need to hurt myself if I try to get that feeling from a party that is actually literally about me. But I have some suspicions.

I don’t want this feeling for the rest of my life. But you can’t decide to “just stop feeling something”.

You have to decide what you want and move towards it.

Time to go set up for the Tea Party.

drowning in my own bile

I feel like I’m drowning in my own bile. I don’t even know what is going on. The last few days have been really emotionally tumultuous. Noah asked me what I thought triggered it.

I think that part of my problem is that my perceived expectation of my value is different than my perceived lived experiences of my value. Does that make sense?

I know I am dripping with financial privilege. I always thought that having more money would mean feeling more secure. I always thought that being able to buy any food I wanted would be the same thing as happiness.

Many of the women I spend time with have been discussing the same theme lately: are people in your life friendly or friends? I didn’t even bring it up so I feel a bit better about that. I’m not the only insecure one.

For example of drowning in ones own bile: I managed to run into a woman at the water park I like a great deal. I got to know her during swim lessons for the kids because we overlapped for a long time. I don’t know why but I’m totally drawn to her. I have been since I met her. Her personality makes me feel more calm and assured. She just has that competent “I know what I’m fucking doing so move out of my way” sort of vibe. God I love self-assured people.

She just got back from Hawaii. They went with friends. 14 people. They go together on a big trip every other year.

I told her, “The funny thing is, that’s why I bought a time share. And I don’t have enough friends to fill a trip so instead I go alone.”

This is choking in my own bile. I have weird pull out pieces of privilege. I want to share that so fucking bad because having privilege that you get to enjoy only while alone doesn’t really feel like privilege after a while. It disgustingly feels kind of like a punishment. Which makes me feel ungrateful and guilty and terrible. I am such a shitty person.

I have friends. What I don’t have is a friends group. I have lots of friends who are super busy doing their own things. It isn’t even that my friends can’t afford to join me on my adventures (though that is true) mostly it is that they already have the friends-group they are going to have. And I’m never really part of groups.

I feel like a fucking asshole. I know that this isn’t other peoples fault or problem or anything. I know that I am just a selfish asshole. I don’t like myself for being what I am very much.

I’m reading a horrible, terrible, no-good book. It’s about health in marriages. It is horrible because it spends a lot of time talking about emotional needs and how people should try to be vulnerable and bring their needs. It’s about attachment between adults the same way I’ve studied attachment with children. I’m so fucked.

No, I can’t bring all my cavernous needs to Noah. I can’t bring them to anyone. They are my fucking problems. They are problems inside of me and they aren’t anyone else’s problem.

And that makes me want to die. Noah says he wants to make my life so good that I never want to leave it. The problem is, the money really isn’t what matters. And he can’t give me a depth of relationship that covers all the holes inside me. Not because he doesn’t care, but because what I need doesn’t come from a person. It comes from a whole interconnected tribe and I don’t have one. I’ve never had one.

And so I drown in my own bile.

I feel so sad that I see people 4-7 days a week and it doesn’t help me feel like people see me or give a shit about me. I feel so sad that when I look at my life and interactions I can’t understand why anyone would miss me as anything other than a work horse.

I had a panic attack yesterday while driving. I really didn’t want to go socialize with people with whom I am friendly instead of friends. But I had pre-existing plans. And I don’t like to cancel. So when I got lost on the way to somewhere I have been dozens of times I started crying and hyperventilating and screaming and I had to pull off the road to calm down so I didn’t cause an accident. It’s been a while since I had a panic attack. I will choose to be happy about the gap in time instead of hating myself for having another. I’ll have more. Many more. That’s just how my body works.

I want group identity so badly that I drift through the feeling that I will die without it every so often. It has come up again and again in my life.

For a while I will have the energy to pursue someone for a closer relationship. The feeling of needing to die from lack of connection fades. Then I run out of energy for forcing a relationship and things kind of fade and I want to die. I want to die so much. My body hurts. My heart hurts.

It isn’t fair to my children. They should count now. They should be enough for group identity. I’m a fucking Gibbs girl now.

Only I know that if I stand next to anyone else named Gibbs, other than the ones who live in this house, I’m very much not part of the family.

I wish that my kids felt like more of a relationship. It feels so much like a job. A draining, hard job. I do get love back, but mixed in with a lot of hitting, screaming, and my needs being entirely unimportant.

Noah is so tired. I feel guilty for asking him for anything. He doesn’t have any more attention to give.

I hate myself for being such a whiny, needy baby. I want my mommy so bad.

Instead I will sit here and watch The West Wing and I’ll eat a cheese stick. I’ll cry.

Really, it’s for the best that I don’t have more of a friends group who wants to try group activities sorta under my umbrella. My group trips rarely go well. It’s usually my fault. I have a hard time with people shirking work. In most group trips there are people who work and people who don’t and I get into conflict with the non-workers. Most of the other worker-bees don’t complain and thus I’m a problem.

I know.

I’m selfish and entitled. I don’t like myself very much for it.

I’ve certainly been on group trips to things. They work out when I am barely known to everyone there and I don’t talk much.

I’m sorry that I am such an asshole. It has been so necessary on so many levels that I don’t really see that part of my personality going away.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m a sorry sack of shit.

Today is another day. Hanging out with the mothers’ helpers. Ice skating. Noah’s sister is in town and we are having dinner with her and her boyfriends’ family. Because she came to California to see her boyfriend, not her brother. We are going to Los Gatos. I will endeavor to pretend I am a first time visitor to the town because man that smoothes things over. No, “I have a diploma from your high school” because then it spirals into Stories. I know better than to tell Stories tonight.

Tomorrow is so busy. Birthday party. Other party.

I know so many people. Why do I feel so lonely? It’s the difference between being friends or being friendly. I’m very friendly with people. Mostly, lots of people like me. That’s because I keep my fat, stupid mouth shut about almost everything I think. My feelings don’t fucking matter and I know it. Yeah, I’m a whiny bitch. I know. I’m very sorry that I’m hurting. I’m very sorry that sometimes that is obnoxious to be around. I try my best to not make it anyones problem.

And I want to die. It is so pathetic. There isn’t anything going on right now that justifies my feelings. Nothing bad has happened. I feel lonely. I alternate between having pathetically low expectations and having expectations that are so high that only a blessed few ever see anything like that.

I want a family. I want grown ups who spend time with me and who are just there. I have a hard time with how much Noah works. I support it. I don’t bitch, well… I don’t let him work overtime.

We have discussed how my behavior would be a serious problem for him if he was in a less-impacted profession. My insistence that he work for 40 hours flat would cause career problems in almost any other career. Yeah. I’m a selfish piece of shit. Lots of women have it much harder than me and they aren’t whiny bitches.

I want to die. Because clearly there is someone more worthy waiting in the wings who would better appreciate the ridiculous privilege I have. Only there isn’t someone waiting in the wings. That isn’t how life works. I would fuck my children up for a very long time.

Missing my family is like a wound filled with gangrene. No good will come of this. It poisons every part of my life.

I know it is my responsibility to be pleasant to people. It is not their fault that I hurt. It would be a lot easier if I was still allowed to cut. I don’t blow up as much. It is like venting steam out to prevent an explosion.

What triggers it? I have some suspicions but I can’t write about it. Even I recognize some limits. The only reason I haven’t had a good session of head banging already is because I would have to admit that I did it and I would have to reset the clock on talking about my self harm.

I’ve been pretty good for a couple of years. Almost three years. I don’t want to slip now. I don’t want to have to tell anyone how broken and stupid and pathetic I am. And I won’t lie. That compulsive telling is probably why I am alive.

It feels like a betrayal of how hard Noah works to be this sad. He works hard to earn money and he works hard to be emotionally supportive. He does his very best. And I am an ungrateful piece of shit.

Some days are like that.

I’m in a bad mood. So I’m out here to medicate and write and hope I can cheer myself up.

My arms hurt. That doesn’t help. It also means that writing is questionable.

Noah and I have been bickering. We don’t get all the way to fighting. Neither of us allow that. We walk away before it escalates. But there is a lot of tension right now. Noah looks at almost any problem as if you have to have a problem-proof solution before you can change things. I think that favors the people already in power (like him) and I think sometimes you blow shit up without knowing how things will work out. Might get better, might get worse.

Given how well his life is going for him I see why he doesn’t appreciate assholes like me. For the life of me I don’t understand why he wants to be married to me.

I’m feeling my feelings. I told him this morning that sometimes I wonder how long we will be married. It isn’t Noah’s fault that sometimes I look at him and see the enemy. I’m not the most rational person on my best days. I wonder if I will be able to get over myself. It isn’t that I think Noah is actually doing anything so bad. But he has a lot of opinions I’m openly contemptuous towards. That’s really hard on a marriage. He tries to be patient with me, but it is very hard to be nice to someone who is contemptuous.

Would I respect him more if he built houses or fixed cars instead of building video games? I clearly didn’t go marry someone in one of those professions. There isn’t a lot of ambition in most construction workers or mechanics. They solve the problem in front of them and that is good enough for today. I really like and admire ambition. How come it had to come packaged with video games? Because that is how it works for my generation. I like Noah. I like how his brain works. I do kind of wish that someone as smart and talented and basically competent did… I don’t know.

He wants to work with computers. I married someone who has been obsessed with computers since he was seven. He doesn’t want to work for the government and he does want to make money. That means you go to the highest bidding company and frequently those are places like… video games.

Just because I don’t play them doesn’t mean they have no financial value to someone.

I feel existentially bothered by video games and I don’t know how much of that is tied to my brothers beating me up when I asked to use their consoles.

I really am a fucking asshole.

This is compounded and escalated by feelings I’m having about friendships. I thought of someone it would be nice to see. I added her to a Google group. Well, I sent her an invite. She told me since she would never come to my events she wouldn’t bother to join the group. But I could come visit her some time if I wanted.

I know a lot about her life and surrounding circumstances. I get it. She has experienced rapid physical decline over the last few years. She is barely getting her job done and her social life has evaporated. It’s not about me. It is not personal at all.

But I have a lot of disabled recluses in my life. If I went from friend to friend every day I would only see a couple of people twice in a month. People who have their own disabilities tend to have more patience with my deficiencies. I have periods where I don’t go anywhere or see anyone for a long time and my friends wait them out.

But I know a lot of people. I can’t carry the weight of going from house to house visiting my friends. Even if I want to. Even if I put them on a rotation and only see 1-3 in a month it is hard.

I wish I had more spoons but I don’t. I have just over fourteen more years where parenting needs to get basically all of my patience and “give” to anyone other than myself.

I don’t feel like a very good friend. This person in particular has been very frank with me that the hourglass is running out on her life. She will not live with the kind of pain she has right now for much longer. I have a lot of respect for that. I think people get to decide for themselves when they hurt too much and they need it to stop. Even if that means suicide.

So I feel like a giant asshole for not wanting to prioritize a lot of visits to her house. I will only have the privilege of her presence for a few more years, at most. How dare I waste even one minute of that time?

But if I prioritize her pain over my own and over making sure I have a network of people who are good for my kids I will be doing the most important job I will ever have badly.

Some people in the Leather community are shitty about boundaries with children. I don’t take my kids around them much even if I love them a lot and think they offer great value to the world.

My kids don’t need to grow up in Leather. No thanks. They don’t need to know it is a culture. They don’t need to talk about being from a multi-generational kink family. (I met a cousin at a national bdsm conference. He says his father and grandfather are openly involved. Seriously. My brother and I have had conversations. My family is so fucked up.)

It is kind of hard to make mercenary choices about who I let my kids spend their time with. I feel really guilty and mean. But I’m going to do it anyway and live with the guilt.

It is hard to make real conscious choices about how my kids are spending their time. It is hard to step back and objectively evaluate “What kinds of relationships do they have and how are these relationships serving them?” My kids are treated very much like clients if I were a case manager. “What kind of care are they getting?”

It is hard to evaluate myself. Much harder than evaluating other people. I can’t see me objectively and my evaluations match my overall self-esteem which means I have more days where I think I am doing badly than days I feel like a good parent. But I persevere because I have a lot of external validators in place telling me to keep on keeping on because I’m doing ok.

I can’t evaluate myself. So I try to make sure my evaluators are people whose opinion is worth listening to. They need to have enough experience in doing what I’m doing that I will listen to them. I like older women a lot. I am a serious asshole about discounting the opinions of people who have never done what I am doing.

Meh. How can you judge. How do you know? When it’s not like everyone who has done stay at home parenting (or even home schooling) is really fit to judge anyway. I’m inconsistent. And an asshole.

I tried to get a bunch of yard work projects done this week. I entirely failed and I feel bad about myself. Part of the problem is lack of upper body strength. Part of the problem is that many of these projects are two person projects because you require three or four hands at times and…

I can’t ask the kids yet. I get too impatient and grumpy and it isn’t fair. I can’t ask.

So my lack of productivity (even though I kept up with house chores and nearly a full time job of socializing) means I feel really shitty about myself. Cause I’m like that.

“If you didn’t let blame take up so much space in your mind….”

Oh fuck you. Did you sit down with a catalogue and pick how your brain works? No? Then shut the fuck up.

I only hear such commentary from people who are highly successful in repressive regimes. By those standards the most success I have had under such a system was marrying well. I really think it’s kind of idiotic to think I am otherwise going to be like people who grew up to be successful in such a regime. I haven’t done so hot on my own.

I’m not financially secure because I’m good at the system. I had some lucky horrible luck. That’s uhh, not the same thing as being good in the system.

I had an extended runway in the form of an accident settlement. It’s not that I’m that good. How would anyone else do if they were given $250,000 slowly between 18 and 32?

I’m not that special. I’m not someone who has risen in this system. Expecting me to be supportive of the system and expecting me to think well of the system is… kind of dubious.

I’m aware that the rug can be yanked out from under me at any point. I’m not secure. My status is not my own. It’s borrowed at best. I’m not going to be real loyal to borrowed status. I don’t care that much if it is lost.

I wonder how long my marriage will last. I’m afraid I’m not going to be capable of being as nice as Noah deserves. I won’t stay and abuse him. If I get too bad I will just go. No one deserves to be punished for all the broken in me. And I’m not sure I can be nice forever to someone who is so supportive of the status quo.

Today I feel very scared and very sad.

Today I feel very sure that I can ruin any good thing and make it bad. It’s just a talent. I can drive anyone away. Just give me some time. And if I can’t drive them away I’ll run away. One way or another I am going to find a way to prove that I don’t deserve to be loved. I am too bad.

I should probably stop writing and stop crying. We need to leave for Hindi class in 15 minutes.

My life is so full of awesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editing continues

I have finished section one. It is 13,908 words. It is exactly 1/3 of the chapters I wrote for the book. (The middle section has more chapters than either other section.)

Roughly the sections are: Introduction/history/definitions, General life skills/sex/friends/social media/etc, Scary Shit.

Now that I’ve finished the easy section I’m feeling nervous.

If you are an early reader be aware that the Google Doc folder now has updated chapters that are titled as chapters and everything. All fancy and official like.

I’m still open to all feedback. (Pam, I haven’t integrated the feedback you gave me on the Google Doc folder, but I have it in physical writing. It will be up in the next day or two.)

My editor is out of town a fair bit in early June. I may fudge a bit and do the bibliography then and not stress about doing it before June.

Coming along.

I did something brave about a boundary. But I feel like I did it in the most chicken shit way possible. I’m trying to decide if tomorrow I want to go deal with another hard thing that is hanging over my head. Just get it the fuck over with. I don’t like limbo.

I think that the other hard situations are things that can only be solved with time. I don’t think there is another resolution available.

In other news, I was told this weekend that I may not get a chance to go to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival next year. This year, the 40th, may be the last given the push-back the organization is getting on their transphobic policies.

I… I have mixed feelings. I would really love to be in an all woman environment for a week with the kids. But I don’t need them to be women-born-women. I just need them to be people who identify with the more female end of the spectrum. I’m even cool with the event involving people who are androgynous/non-gendered.

I’m sorry I want so badly to get away from men. But I really do. Not forever. I like you all an awful lot and I’m not actually ready for my radical lesbian separatist commune.

Other than my mother, my aunt, my sister, and my niece I haven’t ever spent a lot of time in an all-female environment. My uncle was often blessedly absent. He did show up every day though.

I never did summer camp. I didn’t go to a private school. Hell, when I do go to events I usually ensure I’m plastered to someone with a dick because it’s safer.

“I have a boyfriend” is the only line that has ever kept me safe. Fuck everyone. I have never been raped while in a serious relationship.

So I feel a little weird about wanting to go to a transphobic event. I don’t feel good about that aspect of my desire to participate in the event.

I don’t feel threatened by the transwomen in my life. They are some of the most supportive people.

Yeah, I do feel threatened by the men. More than I “should” feel threatened. Whatever.

Deep breaths. No one is attacking me. None of this is personal. People aren’t reacting to me, they are reacting to things in their own lives. They aren’t talking to me. I’m observing things. I’m… over reacting. I’m sure.

I’m making progress on the book. I feel proud of that. My entire body hurts. I’m not sure why. I’m not sleeping well. Too much anxiety.

Deep breaths.

Anxiety is energy you want to spend that doesn’t have anywhere to go.

Nothing to do but sit and wait for time to pass. I fucking hate this. Things to do, but at a later time, simmer in my brain. I can’t stop thinking about them. They use up so many cycles.

I think I am going to go to sleep early. I’ll wake up and finish the second section before therapy.

Boy do I have a lot to talk to my shrink about. Shit I’m not telling the internet. Yeah, I do have some gosh-darned tact.

SEE!

And this weekend I demonstrated that tact when I discovered that the help my friend wanted from me was different than the help I envisioned in my head. I didn’t ever offer up advice. I was good. Be supportive how people want you to be supportive, damnit.

Otherwise you aren’t helping you are being a jack ass.

It’s probably actually a good thing it went the way it did. It was rather restful in terms of helping-friends-clean days go. That was awesome given that I feel like ass.

Deep breaths. Whatever will be will be. The future is not ours to see.

No, I’m not a monster. Not everyone hates me. I don’t need to go eat worms. I am not hurting anyone by writing the book I’m writing. It isn’t terrible. I’m not bad. I’m just saying the things I wish I had known.

I’m not telling them what to do. I’m giving them information and I’m tying it in with morality and ethics and long-term planning. I’m talking about diversity and privilege money and shame.

I’m not doing something bad.

I wish it didn’t hurt my heart to write these things down.

I’m sorry boys–no one likes young men. It’s true. I talk about why. I talk about how unfair it is.

I don’t think that men have it all good and women have it all bad.

It’s not that kind of book.

I talk about how to find adult allies in different living environments. How do you figure out who is a predator? How do you learn to ask the right questions to get the help you need?

I’m talking about food, bodies, exercise, and dealing with people who have mental illness.

I don’t think I’m being scary. These are things that exist in the world. Here is some matter-of-fact information about how to interact with increased safety. But I feel a lot of anxiety. I’m going to have to be brave to get the book published. This will be hard.

Criticism sucks. Have I mentioned that my editor is apparently notorious for fairly harsh criticism. I look forward to bathing in the stormy glow.

It’ll be rad. Yeah. Sure. Oh man.

I’m scared. But move forward or shut the fuck up, right?

I’m trying. Shrink down. Maybe that’s easier. Maybe I can carry that. Drop some balls. Move on. Just keep swimmin’.

 

Not usually a late starter

I didn’t do much other than read to the kids and sit around dazed through the morning. I napped. I woke up around lunch time. Then I napped again. Then I talked to a friend on the phone and sat very still. I don’t feel well.

But after dinner I edited the book gasp! I also went on a lovely run with Shanna. I am very happy that exercising together is a consistent way for us to positively bond. Tonight she went 1.75 miles. She ditches me on sprints and I slowly catch up Pepe Le Pew like. She is convinced that together we will train to win ALL the races. I say, ok ma’am but you will have to do the scheduling for the training. That sounds like a job.

I’m thinking about screwing myself over financially. By “screwing myself over financially” I mean paying off my mortgage approximately one year later than I originally wanted to have it done–which is early on a fifteen year mortgage.

Perspective is important here.

 

Easter morning

Kids will start arriving in five hours. I feel pretty ready. I counted the eggs. I do, technically, have 300 but 15 of them are out of general circulation because I turned them into games. I can live with that.

I’m putting 100 in the front, 100 in the back, and 85 in the house.

Big kids will be told they musn’t look lower than their waists. There are plenty of high up eggs and then some. You can only pick low lying fruit after the little kids give up. There is plenty of candy. If you get zero candy from eggs, go take some off the table. I have enough to cause comas in at least ten kids. Hopefully spread out among 20 kids and 20 + adults it will just lead to stomach aches. Or people will be smart and take most of their share home to savor over multiple days. We’ll see.

Other people are bringing most of the real food. Thank you all. I’m so glad someone is a responsible adult around here. Yay!

It should be a lot of fun. The house is ready. I have ~30 minutes of decorating to do once the sun is up. You can’t put crepe paper outside before the day you want it. I learned that the hard way.

I’m sending Noah and the kids to the farmers market so that I can stay home and hide eggs and finish the clean up. I will assemble the fruit and vegetables we have in the house while they are gone and Noah will finish the food set up when he gets back. By that point I will be on the driveway trying to corral a growing horde of children. It will be fun. I’m going to put the giant chess set out there and chalk. I can keep them entertained for at least 15 minutes. I will probably also get the kids to chant the guidelines in a group. That way they won’t break things. “The top shelf of EVERY BOOK CASE is off limits to kids.” “Big kids look for eggs above their waist.” “No eggs in the bedrooms or pantry or bathroom.”

As of this moment I have had 45 people say they are coming. Want to make bets on it being closer to 20 people? People like to change their minds at the last minute.

Either way it will be fun.

The preparation for parties is hard. Yesterday I was grumpy. I yelled three times. Four? Maybe a fourth. Once when Shanna was hitting me with a balloon and accidentally knocked over something breakable. I yelled to get out of the kitchen. Not great.

I wasn’t even that *mad*. I just screamed it. I had been in the process of asking her nicely to take the balloon out of the kitchen and then there was a loud noise then broken glass then… I screamed. Get Out Of The Kitchen.

When I was cleaning up their stuff and sorting things into piles to be put away properly Shanna came over and spread all the piles out and started recombining them because she was making an “art gallery”. When I noticed I yelled at her to get away from my piles. That’s not nice. I could have asked.

I don’t feel like I had a lot of “ask nicely” left. The kids have fought me really hard on every step of party prep this time. When I say, “Please pick up x” instead they go dump the whole box that x goes in and leave that in the middle of the floor.

I don’t think I’m up for more parties this year if this is how they are going. I’m not going to fight the kids tooth and nail so they can have birthday parties. That sounds hellish.

Lately we are having a hard time with them believing they should not ever have to do anything. I understand this is a common belief and all but I don’t share it and I kind of don’t like people who have it. I know lots of grown ups who think it is fine to not do anything. I am not nice to them.

Entitlement is a real issue for me. I am not here to serve you.

I am being strict but I don’t think I’m being completely unreasonable. I’m not making them clean up stuff that is my mess. I want them to pick up their toys and empty the dishwasher and set the table. If that is too much to ask then I think that I am all of a sudden out of energy to cart you around to do every fucking thing you want.

I just…

I don’t know if I am being a petty asshole or if I am setting appropriate boundaries. I don’t make them pick up every single toy every single day. I do ask that they keep the main walkways clear because I don’t appreciate hurting myself just because they wanted to dump out a tub of Lego’s and walk away. Not cool.

I’ve screamed a lot this week. Way up from average. But I feel more pressure to clean up the house. And when I feel more pressure to clean up the house and the kids consciously go on a destruction binge…

I don’t know how this should be handled. But maybe Step A is that if I am going to be fought every step of the way for parties we won’t have them. I’m not up for battles like this. It’s shitty and no fun and stressful and it does a lot of damage to our relationships.

I can’t do all the work with a smile on my face while I am also tripping over the stuff I have asked you 1,362 times to clean up because it is hurting me and you haven’t played with it in three days anyway.

I get mad. Very mad. I hate you and don’t want to be in a room with you because I am afraid I will lose control and do something I will regret.

I regret yelling. I don’t want it to escalate. I can live with some regrettable yelling. That’s not going to convince me I’m a shitty parent who should die.

I don’t call them names. I don’t say things that attack their character. No matter how angry I am I stop to clarify. “I love *you* but right now I am very angry about the way you are behaving. Your behavior is not working for me.”

And when we are not stressed we talk about the whole “sometimes your behavior won’t work for people and you will have to decide how much you care. Sometimes it is expedient (yes I defined it for her) to conform and do what people want and sometimes you have to harden your heart and do what you know is right.”

Life is complicated.

Mostly we get along so well I feel like the fact that we usually get along so well handicaps me for handling it when we are in discord.

Last night as we were going to sleep Calli stroked my face and said, “Mommy, sometimes when you get mad you are SO FIERCE. I like it. It makes me feel safe.”

That kind of statement both comforts me and scares the shit out of me. Am I training them to be attracted to intense, violent, angry people? Oh that’ll go well.

Sometimes it is really hard to know if I am doing right. I don’t want them to believe that it is ok for people to scream at them. We talk a lot about how it ISN’T OK EVER for someone to scream at you. Sometimes it happens anyway because bad things happen to everyone. You can either internalize it as a sign that you deserve such treatment or you can think, “Wow they are having a bad day.”

You can’t do anything to deserve people treating you badly. Them treating you badly is about them.

Sometimes that is hard. Sometimes the only thing you can do is get away from the person. That is so very hard.

But that’s not true. There are things you can do. You can ask for boundaries. You can ask for concessions. You can state what you need and you can leave if you don’t get it.

You have lots of options.

When I’m getting too nasty my kids stop me and say, “Mom I think your tone of voice is way more fierce than you mean it to be. I feel scared.”

I stop and hug them and apologize for scaring them.

I am a very fierce person.

Is it ok to be fierce and a mother? I’m not sure I have a point at this time. I will never be one of the gentle ones. I will always be one of the loud, scary, aggressive ones. I will always be one of the ones who startles you and challenges you and makes you think about why you are doing what you are doing. I don’t take excuses well.

You did what you did and now take the consequences. I’m not going to make this easier on you. Sometimes consequences suck ass. I’ve received a lot of them. I know very well how much it can suck to be held accountable for your behavior. But that’s the way the world works.

Shalyndra–you are right that people in a social setting penalize women for displays of aggression more than men. We are silenced. We are told that it is unseemly for us to be so angry or difficult or nasty. The men are encouraged to be manly. (insert grunting noise)

But when it comes to things that sound like *threats* women are given a pass. People do not believe they are capable of “true” violence. Men are told that their random jokes are threatening and that they must now be punished.

It occurred to me while I was running yesterday–this situation is kind of like the BMI.

Individual women want to punish individual men for the reality that statistics say men commit more crime. Whether or not that man is a criminal.

Women are given a pass on being believed as violent–we are shushed and told just to calm down now, we know we couldn’t do anything violent anyway. Women aren’t that way.

The BMI is applied to individuals without regard to individual factors. Many people in the obese category are far more healthy than people in the thin category and yet… stigma.

Us/them. The enemy.

Noah told me he doesn’t know how things will ever change as long as us loud yelling women on the internet think of him as the enemy.

I went running with another angry woman. (I hope that description doesn’t bother you. You aren’t “always” angry. But you can do the angry woman stuff.) I told her what Noah said. She said, “He engages in behavior that reinforces the status quo. He doesn’t want to give up what he has so that someone else can have a more fair share. That means he is the enemy.”

Wars start over resources. At this point the United States is going through one of the harshest equality differences we’ve seen.

Is Noah is the enemy? Sometimes I think so. Sometimes I understand that he is just a symbol and *he* is not at all my enemy. But he’s done bad things.

He hasn’t done anything that is worse than things I’ve done. Not even close. So if he is the enemy… am I?

Monsters, monsters everywhere and not a one to beat.

Grumpy day.

I’ve screamed more than once. I am really tired of being asked for candy 3,523 times a day starting ten minutes after they loudly and rudely refuse to eat breakfast. My screaming has mostly consisted of “IF YOU WILL NOT EAT REAL FOOD YOU WILL NOT EAT CANDY. STOP ASKING ME.”

Next year I will buy all candy for the event the day before. I will not have candy in my house for a week again if I can avoid it.

Deep breath. Today will end. Yup, today is kind of rocky. All three of us have cried and said we feel really sad because of how we are interacting. We hugged and said we would try harder.

That’s all you can do, right? Some days are hard. No one actually did anything all that bad. Stealing candy isn’t the end of the world. Yelling about stolen candy isn’t the end of the world.

But we are all kind of sad. Some days are like that.

Drips, drabs, ups, and downs.

We went up to San Pablo yesterday to see some friends. This is after that specific friend coming to my house monthly for ohhh four years now? I am starting to try and do some trips up there in exchange for all the trips to my house. The distance between us is not shorter just because he is a guy with no kids. I can do effort too.

And when I drive up there I get to spend time with his lovely wife. I find the visits to be highly educational in diverse arenas. For one thing: she knows way the fuck more about gardening than I do and she’s happy to talk about plants. Lately getting near someone with lots of plant knowledge who does not eschew my children is somewhat tricky. I’ve tried to sign up for gardening classes THAT ARE BEING ADVERTISED ON AN UNSCHOOLING MAILING LIST and I was told I would have to get babysitting. Stop fucking advertising in this space if my fucking kids aren’t welcome you fucking fuckers. I didn’t say fuck to the people in question. I just dropped it.

Beyond the gardening stuff, I am having a bit of trouble with Callidora. Well, phrasing it that way sounds more extreme than it is. Many of my parenting approaches work really well for Shanna and don’t work at all with Calli. Luckily my friends’ wife seems to identify really strongly with Calli. They are very similar temperamentally and she is giving me a lot of feedback for how to tweak our interactions so they work better.

I feel so much gratitude I don’t have words. Someone is willing to look at me and look at my daughter and look at our relationship and say, “You are doing ok, but you both might be happier if you did……”

Err, in defense of my hubris more than once I have said, “I’m afraid I am going to have to do ____” and her response was “Yes. That is exactly what you have to do.” So she isn’t entirely telling me new information. But she is very good at skimming out the bullshit and getting to the heart of the matter. “This is failing because of x.”

I don’t trust many people to give me feedback. I’m not sure why I trust her feedback as much as I do. For one thing she doesn’t use the word “should” and I’m not sure if that has become a specific trigger. Maybe I explode at people for that word rather than because I am completely unwilling to accept advice? It’s hard to tease out.

Also, she tends to say “Calli seems to be a lot like me. When I was a kid I had x and y and z experiences and this is how it went well and this is how it went badly. If Calli is as much like me as she seems right now, you are going to have to deal with a and b and c. It’s not a good idea to do d.”

I guess there is an implied “should” in that but she doesn’t say it.

It also occurs to me that I push Calli in a way I have never pushed Shanna. When Shanna was three I had a one year old. We did not spend a lot of time pushing the absolute physical limits of what she could accomplish until she collapsed in frustrated tears.

I’m having a hard time understanding fully that Calli wants to be able to do things she isn’t ready to do yet and I need to find a tactful way of bailing her out even as I push Shanna to try. Differentiated instruction is a bitch.

(Err, the bicycle riding project is coming along. We’ve hit a few hiccups. As my wise new running mate commented, “Dude. You’ve been out with them four times? Relax and do more low pressured practice.”

Yeah yeah. You may have a point. But we bought the bikes because we want to ride to the park. I need to decide in my adult brain that even if that is the eventual goal… we sure as shit can’t start by doing that. I should probably not try to leave our housing development again until June. We need more low-stakes practice than we have had. Hours and hours and hours and hours.

It is not just a form of transportation. It is about entertainment. It has to be about entertainment at first or they won’t gain enough proficiency to use it as transportation later. The transportation part doesn’t have to be worked out at three, instantly. Relax you bitch.

Medication has been spotty this week. I (re?)noticed a pattern. Whenever I get to the point of using sufficient medication that I actually feel good instead of having just the edge of the pain taken away I punish myself for days with under medicating so I feel a lot more pain. I’m not supposed to be using pot like a pot head. I’m not supposed to be trying to get high. I’m supposed to be just managing the pain.

I think I am too much of a Puritan. My sister told me I had ancestors on the Mayflower (Not her–different fathers.). Maybe it is too deeply buried within my DNA? I can’t stop believing that I must suffer. Anything that feels good MUST BE BAD.

I have been very consistent lately about giving up my morning “off time” to wake up with the kids. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. On one hand I’m more frazzled and I’m not taking a compensatory amount of time later. On the other hand… we are getting along better. When the kids open their eyes in the morning to me in their bed smiling at them… the whole day is easier. The first thing they hear every day is, “Good morning. I’m so glad to see you again. I’m looking forward to our wonderful day together.”

They smile back and say, “Me too!” then grab my neck and pull me close. Then I get a sleepy “Good morning.”

Sometimes it feels weird knowing that I do this as a parenting gesture in large part to make up for the hole in my heart. No one was ever happy to see me during my childhood. I was a terrible, unwanted burden.

I completely support mothers who need to abort children born of rape. I wish my mother hadn’t allowed her religion to force her to keep me. I was not wanted. And they made my life hell.

Now I have something different. It is so very nice. But it’s a lot of emotional and mental and physical work. And I get really tired.

When I’m tired it is harder to be consistent. When I’m scared I start screaming. That’s consistent.

Calli has asked me to stop raising my voice at her when I’m repeating orders/requests/whatever you want to call them. Demands? She told me (while making eye contact so this is serious as a fucking heart attack) “I will be able to listen to you better if you get close to me and whisper in my ear that it is important.”

If a three year old can so clearly ask for the kind of interaction she needs then I am a fucking asshole if I ignore the request. This is how I teach them ownership of their body and consent and boundaries.

I’ve been working on it. I kind of feel that I should create some accountability tool for myself. Maybe another sheet of paper on the wall. I can ask Calli to help me decide whether I approached her correctly or not and we can decide if I get a mark in the “right behavior” column or the “not so right” column. It will also help her clarify which aspects of the raised voice stuff are a problem for her.

My kids are not going to grow up thinking adults are perfect and kids need to bend to the adults around them. Ha. Ha. Ha. No. We want to live together. We need to adapt to one another.

I’m happy about the upcoming social stuff. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed that people are agreeing so delightedly to come to my events. My RSVPs fill up fast. (Err, RSVP for Easter if you are coming… not many spaces left.)

I have had something like six people in the last two weeks get really excited when I confirm that I’m hosting Easter again. “OH! You throw the best parties!”

I do?

Oh.

Well that’s awesome. How do I do that? What makes them “the best” for you? Because I spend my parties in kind of an anxious hell hoping I don’t offend everyone and run them off such that they never want to come back.

And yet I keep hosting. Irony.

I don’t seem to be running people off. I mean… I do… but I don’t. I run some people off.

I feel very guilty when I admit to myself that I run off people who need things from me that I can’t give. My anxiety and shame around not being able to meet their needs makes me angry and cruel. It isn’t my fault I can’t meet their needs. It isn’t their fault I can’t meet their needs. It isn’t their fault they have needs. I have needs they can’t meet either. But I get mean. This is a major character flaw of mine.

I don’t do this with people who have small needs I can easily meet. If people need something from me that is going to be an up to five hour commitment one time… I love doing that. That helps me feel like I am part of a community and I’m useful and all kinds of good feelings. When someone starts to need 3-10 hours of work from me every fucking week in order to have a relationship with them…

I get mean. I am awful. I am not a nice person. I don’t know how to have healthy limits without being an asshole. I’m not making excuses or justifying my behavior. It’s wrong.

I have been talking to a friend a lot about how different it is in America versus other more crowded countries. Americans apologize for bumping into someone. In China you would never say any word other than “sorry”. So they don’t bother.

I spend a lot of time apologizing for taking up space. I spend a lot of time apologizing for being inconvenient. I spend a lot of time apologizing for not being able to do/be what someone else wants/needs.

I am sorry I am so inadequate. I clearly see that I am.

Right now I’m having anxiety attacks because some folks are mad at me. Folks I don’t really need to “care” about per se. They aren’t my friends. They are the close friends of one of my friends. They are mad at me because my vomiting on Friday caused them some inconvenience. I have apologized profusely for inconveniencing them. I’m sorry they were brought into the situation by our mutual friend. But yeah. I’m the bitch.

And I feel consumed with shame and I have for days. I inconvenienced them. I stole hours of their life and made them about me when they already kind of hate me. I’m really sorry. I did apologize. I have not been acknowledged and that is what I assumed would happen.

I get into these situations. I’m sorry I inconvenienced you. I have very little control over when I vomit. I’m just glad I didn’t make a mess on my floor.

But it impacted your life. And you wish I didn’t impact your life. So you are angry with me because I popped up and existed in a way you couldn’t tune out.

I’m really sorry.

This is more or less why I avoid that whole segment of the “community”. I don’t really like feeling like I am doing something wrong by breathing in a way they can hear.

So yeah. I don’t think I will teach with my friend again. There is a bunch of stress in the lead up and if I get sick there is lots of acrimony, blame, and anger. Not from my friend. He was mellow about the situation. But he didn’t feel qualified to handle the class alone and those are the other people he has in his life to turn to for support.

Yeah well, me hanging around near them feels like an abusive family reunion where they all wish I would drop dead. The sooner the better.

More one of them than the other but… well that’s not a story I’ll write down yet. Maybe a few more decades. It being thirteen years ago still isn’t long enough. Some day.

It’s not all her fault. I was a bitch. But man. Oh man. Ok. Shiny change of topic.

I’ve been having a lot of feelings all week over that. I was doing great last week until I started vomiting on Friday.

I associate vomiting with letting people down and being a bad and weak person. When I get sick my association is that I will also be in trouble for some reason. I am inconvenient when I’m sick.

Noah is working hard to change some of these patterns. He’s nice when I’m sick. He does a lot of telling me that it isn’t my fault and I didn’t do anything bad. I feel really pathetic for needing it. But I do. And he does it. I am so grateful for him as a partner.

I like teaching though. I will look for more opportunities to teach. Just no co-teaching in a situation potentially wrapped in shame-inducing trauma. When I had to cancel a class as a professional teacher… no one made me write a formal apology. I’d like to go back to that kind of treatment. Thanks.

My running mate wants me to stop thinking of writing as a hobby and start thinking of it as a business. I’ve sold enough forking copies of my book that I can stop pretending I’m not a real writer. I shouldn’t have to pay for my book editing and publishing stuff out of my “fun money”. It’s not my hobby. Noah doesn’t take his business expenses out of his fun money. It’s a separate category in the budget. It’s not very healthy for me to demean myself in this fashion.

I will severely limit my career as a writer if I can’t employ an editor until I save up enough fun money by denying myself everything. Denial as a full-time lifestyle in a household that otherwise has a lot of privilege… that’s kinda self-hating. It’s being weird. It’s unhealthy.

Why do women do this to themselves? My writing “doesn’t count”. It’s just… something I do. Like the laundry. And when there are expenses for it, well, they are “mine”, right?

I developed a lot of habits over the years of having the annuities and living with men. What I could have was very strictly limited to what I had in that $1200 every month. I didn’t over extend. And now I have no real personal income and… I’m flailing. The $100/month of fun money is… not enough. Not for me to feel like I can track all of “my” spending separately from household stuff.

We just have a clothes budget. It is for all four of us. If someone gets something then the other three have to wait a while. *shrug* But it changes how I think of things. Although… when I bought the pretty clothes in Portland I took a big chunk out of my personal money. I spent more than $500 on two items of clothing. It didn’t seem fair to make my family give up that large a share of the clothes budget on me getting two items. So more than $300 came out of my fun money. That seemed fair to me.

When the kids really get a big clothes splurge… it goes in the “kid” section even though mostly they come out of the main category.

The kids have a big section of the budget that is amorphously used for classes, home school supplies. books, toys, gear of whatever kind (was baby carriers and diapers now it has moved on to bikes), and rarely clothes.

A long time ago I consciously went out and started spending time with older men. They could talk to me about money. How they got it. What they did with it. I made my own judgments about who lived in which kind of house and who had how much money. I’ve always been tactless as fuck. I would point blank ask them how much cash they had in the bank and whether or not they had investments.

I didn’t understand most of what they told me. But I remembered it. It’s kind of funny to have little memories float up now and again as I’m trying new things with investing.

Be sure you are right, then go ahead. I will, Davey. I will research and research and research and I’ll figure out what I think is right. Of course I know I could always be wrong. Some minute change in my life might make all of my careful risk calculations moot and irrelevant.

I have no way of predicting that. So I have to just act and hope for the best.

Save.

Debt is evil.

Make your money work for you.

Pay yourself first.

Sometimes I think I turn to these mantras as the only way I have of blocking out all the voices in my head who want me to think I am stupid and a bitch and I should just stop inconveniencing them by breathing.

I’ve been really stunned by the intensity of my suicidal ideation this week.

I also haven’t been doing my daily check in calls with my friend. She’s really busy on a project. She’ll be back in a week or so. I support and respect her participation in this event and that means she has no time to think about me. I am a big girl and I’ll keep my big girl panties on.

It is interesting how suicidal ideation is not always about depression. I don’t feel like I am feeling depression symptoms. This is more on the anxious/overwhelmed side. Manic is a word people like. But I’m not… doing anything manic.

Just out of the blue driving on the freeway I see a weird opening where it would be possible to turn and be hit by a semi-truck and I want to do it more than I want anything in the world. I want in that moment to feel a lot of pain and then die. I want it as much as my heart wants to beat. It is immediate and visceral and all encompassing.

I have to breathe very lightly and lift my hands so I have a very light guiding pressure on the steering wheel. Sometimes I get off the freeway to breathe and stretch my neck and remind myself, “Not today.”

The reasons I don’t like driving are varied and complicated and… I’m willing to bet that someday I will not be able to drive any more. It is part of the reason I am as strongly motivated to make friends near my house as I am. Walking will always be a good idea. Forever. For my health.

Thanks, Pam, for letting me write this morning.

My head feels better. I feel a lot less shame. Writing it down helps.

I don’t need to feel shame because other people would prefer that their world didn’t overlap with mine. I could reject our mutual friend so that they never have to hear about me again, but given that he values his relationship with me that seems kind of awful.

But I think I should have different boundaries. Still working on where those need to be. Boundaries are tricky things. You only find out you have them when they are transgressed. Ha. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CLASS. And what I got out of it is: I need to make sure I never have to deal with your extended friends again. Awesome.

That’s a lesson I can learn.

They aren’t going to like me. No matter what. Ever. I need to not care about that. They are allowed to have their experience of the world where I am… something. I don’t know what. I shouldn’t speculate. I would surely overstate my importance. I certainly don’t suspect that either of them while away hours just hating me. I’m not that important.

So I don’t need to feel shame because they are feeling irritation. That’s not something I need to take on. I gave an apology. I offered restitution to the best of my ability. That’s what I’ve got. Move on. I didn’t vomit on purpose.

And when I feel shame for my social behavior I rush home to assure myself that I am managing my money properly. No one is going to be able to force me to move. I’m allowed to stay here. I’m jumping through all the hoops that actually matter for my life. I don’t have to care that they dislike me. There won’t be any consequences.

And then I can stop thinking about it.

Thank you internet. That’s the end of my confession for today. I have some dirt to play with and a fence to sand. Tomorrow a bunch of little kids are going to come paint a few sections. We are adding more year by year. Drips and drabs. It’s really fun.

Saturday is the Girl Genius Volume 1 read aloud. Email me for details if you want to come hear Noah do all the hilarious voices.

Unusual session.

I don’t cry much during therapy. It’s just not part of the process for me, mainly. I don’t cry in front of people very well. Today I probably cried for half the session. Partially as a result of that and partially just because well duh she sent me home with a book. The Cannabis Health IndexIt is an examination of all the published medical studies about cannabis. It is meticulously footnoted and researched. If you want citation, this is the book for you.

PTSD is not one of the best studied issues in the book. Only three published studies and whereas they are hopeful/positive they aren’t strongly conclusive. Fair enough.

One of the things I like about the book so far is he says that cannabis is not dangerous but it isn’t harmless. There are demographics and populations who really shouldn’t be using pot; there is harm to come from misusing any medication. But when you compare it to the tens of thousands of people who die from medical prescription issues or the combined hundreds of thousands of people who die from alcohol and tobacco… it’s not dangerous.

A lot of what he (Uwe Blesching, the author) talks about is how cannabis allows you to change your mental state so that you can begin to unravel the problems in your mind which are manifesting in your body. He’s very specific and detailed as he examines how it can often allow you to be positive and think through the things that are hurting you. Often we hurt ourselves by being unable/unwilling to change patterns in our lives. He proposes that pot is a way to build a bridge between the mind and the body.

We all have confirmation bias, right?

I’ll point out that he is pretty serious about using the lowest dose medically appropriate and being on it for the shortest period of time possible. He wants people to use it as a medication to allow them to heal and then move on.

I’ve heard from a lot of people that alcohol more or less worked that way. They “outgrew” the need they had for alcohol even though for some period of time they were dependent on it.

A lot of my problem is that I am emotionally retarded. I do not mean stupid or any similar derogatory meaning. I mean underdeveloped. I mean immature. I mean held back. I mean less advanced than is typical or expected for someone my age. Like, literally emotionally retarded and not “I’m so laaaaaaaame.” (Yes, I’m defensive and worried about being misconstrued.)

So, I’m emotionally retarded and I feel a lot of shame around that. Pot allows me to stop feeling mired in the intense self belief I have that I am inherently bad and unlovable. Pot allows me to stop feeling like I should be punished for hurting the people I have hurt in my life (my mother is one of the main people). Good golly I want to be a martyr.

Pot allows me to be patient with myself as I try to work out how to have emotional regulation so that I can on-the-spot teach it to my children. I believe that my job is to teach my children emotional self-regulation. The primary way that children learn is through modeling. With pot I can manage emotional self-regulation. I can respond more “appropriately” to different stimuli instead of going into gut-level flight or fight response.

The problem is that I feel intense guilt about spending the money on pot. That’s one of the biggest problems I have. Krissy you are rolling in money. Get the fuck over it. (Ok, I’m not “rich” by the standards of the people I know. Which freaks me out. I’ve been in more than one $10 million home.) Only I can think of a million and one things that I believe are “more worthwhile” than me being relieved of torture in my brain. I’m much more inherently comfortable with the idea that I should be suffering than just about any other possible life result for me. This is kind of a problem.

I felt immediately defensive when the author suggested that maybe I don’t actually want to get over PTSD because it feels more safe/comfortable/whatever. If I feel immediately angry and defensive… I should probably examine whether something is accurate. Because I’m like that.

Cannabis is the only medication I have ever taken that produces significant positive, measurable, real difference in my life and mood. But it’s not cheap. And I feel enormous shame and guilt about being such an expensive pet.

Noah doesn’t begrudge me. Not at all. I don’t get push back from Noah about money. So far he says he is very happy about what I do with the money he earns. He specifically praises me and expresses gratitude.

I still feel ashamed.

That euphoric-ish feeling of not hating myself pretty much only comes with being pretty stoned.

Ok. I ordered some. I’m going to make tincture. I’ve been doing ok with what I have tried of it. I’ll cross my fingers that it lasts me long enough to be cost effective. *choke*

I think it is pretty miraculous that I got to pause in the middle of writing this and spend an hour researching strains before ordering from my local delivery service. Talk about luxury. I can have my pot delivered to my house after my doctor gives me the recommendation. God Bless America.

The book stresses that one of the benefits of the medication is that it allows you to feel at peace with being where you are. If I were to paraphrase his message I would say: pot allows you to not feel guilty about the number of spoons you have and it helps you cheerfully decide how to spend them. It’s not that pot increases your spoons by that much. But feeling guilty and feeling a lot of shame over having the number of spoons you have does actively decrease your spoons further. So pot sorta seems like a way to raise spoons.

Does that make sense?

I’m not far into the actual guide. I intend to read all of it. My head is going to be bursting with things that are hard for me to recite accurately. Oh man. Apparently Multiple Sclerosis is the most focused on area of study by far. I look forward to what I will learn. So far I’m just through the introduction (all 72 forking pages of it) and the sections on Aging (the first) and PTSD. Cause, duh.

Yeah. Feelings. Nearly time for sleep.