Category Archives: telling the story

An interaction

Holy tomatoes on toast I hurt. So this’ll be brief.

I had an interesting interaction with a dude today. So I found a guy through my massage therapist who specializes in personal training to help people with injuries/problems. I figure that if I can’t get a doctor to prescribe honest to fucking god physical therapy for me so that I can heal some of my injuries… I can hunt on the outskirts of the system. I can find someone who doesn’t really mesh with the gate kept, abusive system.

Sure, I can try this out.

Thing is, he’s a white guy. You know how I am about getting my hackles up with white guys. Especially athletic white guys. I am hostile until I have a reason not to be.

But I desperately need someone who can do what this guy advertises. So I gotta put my personal shit in a box and shove it in a closet and see if I can handle dealing with him.

Sigh. Fuck being a grown up.

So I gotta say, he has an aura. He’s pretty clearly an orphan. The loss of all family came up several times in the conversation. He’s got that… edge of “I have to be cheerfully polite in order to earn money to survive because there’s not a person in the world who values me enough to support me but I’m so sad.”

I mean, he seemed genuinely sweet and caring. I’m not denigrating that at all. He seems incredibly sincere. He wants to help. And he wears grief like a mantle. He advertises his loss openly on his skin. He is reminded all day every day. Grief, even if you smile, leaves tracks on your face.

But he did something that crossed a boundary and it was interesting. I didn’t call it out. I didn’t assert the boundary so in one sense… he didn’t cross a boundary he nonverbally negotiated a boundary change and I didn’t rebuff it to indicate where my boundary actually was.

To be more clear: he asked me about my arm tattoo. I explained it and started tearing up, like I do sometimes. Suicide is sad, yo. And… he leaned in and gave me an incredibly respectful, incredibly gentle, incredibly touching hug. It was the hug of someone who works with bodies and knows how to make touch 100% NON SEXUAL, OKAY?!?!?!

He reminds me just a tad of Taylor. One of the few men I trust almost as much as Noah.

It was absolutely incredible to realize that in a moment of indecision of “should I panic and fight or should I accept this as connection?” in my head my brain wrapped around a man who has loved me as a friend for a long time.

I didn’t feel scared.

I felt uncertain. I felt like I needed to make a decision. I felt like I had a chance to… figure out how this is going to go. Is he allowed to touch me?

I desperately want this man to help me learn how to hold my body in ways that will hurt me less. I need to trust him. I need to trust that he is going to touch me in appropriate ways or this just isn’t going to work.

This, now that I think about it, is scary as shit.

I wasn’t scared in that moment. I just felt it as a moment of choice, “Am I going to surrender to this process or not?”

I used to lash out at dance teachers who wanted to correct my form. I wasn’t there to look perfect I was there to have a chance to talk to people for 2-4 minutes while I did something more healthy than be a slug staring at my god damn computer.

This is different. I know what my goals are here. I need this process.

I need to figure out how to be in less pain.

So maybe he didn’t cross a boundary. But maybe he and I will have a funny conversation about how I normally react to people in a few weeks and we will laugh. He will probably apologize and feel embarrassed. He strikes me as that sort.

It felt like Joey. The 7th Day Adventist boy who was best friends with my brother Tommy and with whom I later lived. (We were both boarders in a house owned by someone at the church–it wasn’t like we were romantic or anything. I was 13.)  He was the one who took me to church and taught me to sing about Jesus loving me no matter what.

I know I have a lot of issues with hating white men because some of them have been complete motherfucking pieces of shit.

But some of them genuinely don’t suck. #Notallmen and all that.

I really hope I’m not making a mistake. But here I am documenting it so that in the future I will have to remember: I made a choice.

I’m trying to surrender to a process.

Please, if any deity exists, let this not be an awful thing.

I’ve stacked the deck in my favor by receiving this personal training with my kids in the room and my husband in the house.

I know how the patriarchy works.

Fuck.

Do you understand how much of my childhood people denied? Something huge and dramatic would happen and folks flat denied it. I need to make sure I can never rewrite history.

I did what I did. Here, I wrote it down.

Catharsis

I need to start getting my thoughts in order to talk about catharsis. I’m sure that what I actually say will vary from what I’m writing about. Such is life.

Because I’m me, let’s start with a definition:

ca·thar·sis
kəˈTHärsəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
    synonyms: emotional release, relief, release, venting; More

  2. 2.
    MEDICINErare
    purgation.

Strong or repressed emotion. I have buckets of that. When I think of catharsis I think of a flood of things all at once. I think about beating my friends until they cry because it is hard to cry on your own. I think of being beaten until I genuinely sob. Not many people have ever done it. I think of being crucified. I think of atonement. I think of freedom from the burden of carrying these emotions forever.

I have two female friends in particular I think about when I think about cathartic scenes. One is my Sarah and another is one I don’t have permission to name. With Sarah a lot of what I work towards is helping her feel ok making noise and taking up space. I do that very deliberately because I have known her for a long time and she has good reasons to make some fucking noise. It’s ok for her to cry about the stuff that is happening and has happened. But that’s a hard thing when you are punished throughout your childhood for having negative feelings.

My other friend had a hard time safewording or really saying no to anything, ever. What is a safeword some of you sweet people ask. A safeword is a word that can end the scene. For most people red stops a scene and yellow means “please check in”. Traditionally speaking safewords can be any significant word or phrase that wouldn’t occur naturally in a scene. In really heavy sm scenes… sometimes a safeword is the difference between a scene and abuse.

So I asked my friend if she wanted to learn how to say no. I hit her for a long time. A really long time. It felt like hours. I was vicious and terrible. The whole time I told her, “I want you to decide when this stops. You have to tell me to stop. You have to defend yourself. You have to know you are worth that.” And on and so forth because fuck I talked for a long time.

Eventually she did crumble and sob and beg me to stop.

I hear she’s done much better with boundaries ever since. I’m glad.

Sometimes you can’t really understand the size and shape of your boundaries until you go all the way to the other side of them so you can get a good look at where they should have been.

I think of a lot of my rape experiences like that. “I should have done ____.”

I didn’t know.

Positive stuff. A few truly stand-out scenes as a bottom. The first crucification was the most intense. When you don’t know what to expect, it is more intense.

Without getting into details about why I told my then boyfriend/top/later Owner that I had a lot of sins I needed to atone for. He joked and said he could crucify me. I said that sounded great.

We built a padded backboard together. Full of hardware and gizmos to make the gearhead happy. I was grateful for all that time in the wood shop learning skills. Yes, I can help you construct equipment. I am a useful tool to have around.

There was obviously a crossbar for my arms. He tied me to the backboard using polyester rope. That was his preference at the time.

I’ve been suspended in a lot of positions. I’ve been suspended by enough people that I think I have a good idea of what the different positions are like. They are all intense in different ways.

The crucification was early in my scene career. I didn’t have much experience then. I was shocked by the breathlessness. That was what made the scene so intense. It hurt, yes, but it was the constriction of my lungs and diaphragm that caused me to see stars and hallucinate and feel like I was talking to dead family members.

I remember feeling a sad benevolence. These people absolutely could not love me while they were alive. The love they feel now is hollow and empty and useless but present. What does it mean? It means they don’t hate me.

It’s ok that I was born. It is ok that I chose my life over theirs. It is ok that I forced retribution on my father for hurting me.

It is just how life goes.

I talked to my boyfriend a little bit about what I felt and experienced. Not long after that he told me he didn’t want to know more about my past. Heh.

I really desperately needed the experiences he gave me. I think he kind of sensed that and couldn’t do it if he knew just how badly I was abused. Especially considering how recent it was when I met him.

I met my future Owner less than a year after my father killed himself.

Now, as a 34 year old that kind of blows my mind. Wow. Less than two years after my father sat in a garage with the motor running and a note saying everything was all my fault… I became a 24/7 slave. Now it was half my life ago.

I didn’t have a normal college experience. I had weird ritualized sm and no alcohol or drugs and I was shoved through doing homework and learning responsibility and household management experience.

He was a parental figure as much or more than a boyfriend. He taught me about loans and interest. He taught me about different levels of protocol and etiquette and appropriate behavior for different settings. It took a while before I was civilized enough to go to work stuff with him.

We spent a lot of god damn time on behavior training. I needed it. I needed to have someone pay attention to me and help me learn those skills just about like ABA therapy.

Do you know what I find funny? Most every boyfriend I’ve ever had is thrilled I married Noah. Because he pays the kind of attention to me none of them ever wanted to pay. They are happy I found that.

I like my life.

Another stand out scene: that scene with the couple in Portland the weekend before Noah asked me to marry him. I love going to Portland. I do so much fucked up shit there.

In that scene it was the first time they had ever co-topped together. It was intense the way they would stop addressing me to focus on one another and talk about what they wanted to do as if I were just kind of a toy then they hurt me fantastically. This is the stand-out most painful scene of my life. He picked me up by my pectoral muscles and shook me like a dog.

That pain made me almost completely lose my mind. It felt like my body was about to be shredded apart. Given that I have previously had the bottom quadrant of my face ripped off by a pit bull, that was an intense experience.

And when I came down to the ground again completely flipping out his partner slapped my face.

I think I collapsed to the floor.

I honestly don’t remember at all what happened after that.

It was a casual pick up scene with folks I barely knew from the rare parties I attended in Seattle.

Why was it cathartic instead of traumatic? Consent. Bitches. There are scenes that once you are in them… there is no way out but through. There are life experiences you must endure that are traumatic even though you want them.

Childbirth comes to mind.

Why did I trust this man to do this to me? He had extensive training by my government on how to torture people. If anyone was going to be able to do it and walk me right to the edge of the line of what I was going to be able to walk away from… it was him.

He did a fabulous job. Good man.

And his partner? God damn. I love a mean woman.

Why was this so positive? Partially because for the whole rest of my life I have an established 11 experience when it comes to pain. Unmedicated childbirth is not the most painful experience of my life. Having my face torn off wasn’t more painful.

Holy fucking shit.

Being in that much pain lets you appreciate all the days you sit at a 6. It’s not so fucking bad.

Would I be so into Noah if I hadn’t had such a shitty life? Probably not. But I am who I am and it is working out pretty well.

Catharsis.

I need to talk about how Noah creates safe space for me. That’s a big deal. That’s kind of the foundation for a lot of the good that has happened.

Noah was ok with me coming out to the garage every morning for months and months and sobbing hysterically. He didn’t react like I was a weirdo and I should stop making him uncomfortable. He said, “Ok. This is where you are right now. What do you want or need from me?”

The process of training him in how to be support has been long and layered, but there is improved trust with every year. That makes everything easier. He does what he says.

Goodness I trust him. The ability to trust someone is… huge.

My cathartic experiences with other people have been primarily one-off releases of emotion in my body. I’m not usually supported before or after. I had a great deal of structural support but just about zero emotional support from my Owner. He had very specific verbal boundaries around this and I really think he behaved ethically.

But I want something different from my forever and it’s ok because I have it.

A lot of my cathartic experiences with Noah have been more gentle and about building connection and intimacy and attachment and trust and care taking and…. It’s different.

And then there are the drug experiences. We’ve had some fucktastically good drug experiences together.

But uhm, that’s not what the show is about.

People are weird.

Top 5 moments of 2015

My friend has an annual tradition of asking about the best 5 moments you remember from the year.

  1. Crazy Horse Memorial. It touched my soul and I need to get back to South Dakota to spend more time here.
  2. Watching my glorious children swim in the water of the Florida Keys in their bikini’s. That’s a once in a lifetime memory for me. They were so happy. So relaxed. So eager to just find out what it meant to exist in a new space.
  3. I’m going to combine two into one because I’m like that. I had two situations on the trip where I felt uncomfortable. In both cases I packed up and left early instead of creating a big scene. I’m proud of myself. I was not capable of doing that in the past.
  4. I think I will always remember 2015 as the year I came back to Noah. It was hard being gone. It was hard having him come visit then leave again. Having him reappear in my life like this feels magical. It feels like I gift I couldn’t possibly deserve. He is so good to me.
  5. Another multi-thing because ha. Childrens museums. I will never forget what it meant to go from museum to museum to museum seeing what different communities think children need to learn. That was a fascinating, educational, enlightening experience. I learned so much about the size and shape of communities as much as I learned about what the communities expect of members.

I know 2015 was hard for lots of people. It was often hard while it was going on for me. But it was amazing and wonderful and awe inspiring too.

The world is burning down.

There are bombings all over the world in the last few days. People are dying from no reason bigger than hatred that some people think differently.

There was an earthquake in Japan.

I’m… at Knott’s Berry Farm. Well, I was.

And now I’m rocking and crying. Today was horribly triggering. But it feels so very selfish and stupid and petty. God, my whole life is pretty fucking ridiculous these days. Yeah, it will take a whole book to figure out why this trip was worth this for me.

We get home in seven days. I’m triggered as all fuck. This place is hurting me.

We had a wonderful day. I completely held it together. I mediated like a god damn champ when they had a hard time.

And now I’m rocking and hurting because keeping it together today was so god damn hard.

That’s where my father used to finger me. I haven’t been there in more than ten years. I actually come to SoCal pretty frequently. I choose to not go there most of the time.

So, the song I’m listening to on repeat is this one.  

That’s my mood right now.

I think that I’m going to finally find the motivation to get the money from my father’s money that the state is holding. It has waited a lot of years. I think I’m ready to take my payment for what he put me through.

I don’t think the kids know how upset I was. I think I did well. They both gushed all the way back to the hotel about how absolutely fantastic today went. And I really agree.

But there is that part of me and this part of me and today I realized that I… completely missed the anniversaries this year. I think this is the first year I’ve ever just sailed right the fuck past them without noticing.

Am I who I thought I would be by 33?

Is my daddy still the monkey on my back?

What the fuck did I learn out in the Wild Wild West? Oh. Lots.

Hungry for a life I’m not ready to begin.

But it’s time to start anyway.

What does it mean. How forking shallow is it. I don’t know. I don’t know.

You know, it is fucking awesome that I learned how to cry completely silently a long time ago. Otherwise this crying in the room with the kids thing would be pretty fucking awkward.

I’m sorry James. I had to.

I hurt. I shouldn’t be typing nor looking down. And I should be sleeping.

But crying alone is hard. Thank you for keeping me company, internet. I love you.

Noah. I have so many stories.

My fingers hurt.

Must haz self control. Seven more days.

It was really hard going through layer after layer of memories of my father. I think they have substantially changed the area where he used to sit me on his lap. I want to write more. The basic allusion to this is in the book. But oh.my.god I could give a lot more details. Especially right this moment.

I’m having some really really really really really really really big feelings. And I have to just calm right the fuck back down and go to sleep. Tomorrow I have work to do. It is not yet time for me to rest. Only seven more days.

Almost home

Day off- watched Mississippi Damned

The kids and I took yesterday afternoon off. We got back to the room around 2 and we stayed in from then on. Now it is noon and the kids don’t have any interest in getting dressed.

So after a light breakfast of Lucky Charms I made myself a huge lunch. I had orange juice, two cups of tea, a ham and cheese sandwich, an apple, and carrots with hummus.

I am stuffed and I haven’t drank all my orange juice yet.

And just now my meds hit.

Hallelujah. Today is awesome.

I actually think I might try to talk them into getting dressed around 4 or 5 and heading into Magic Kingdom for the parades and fireworks. That’s going to be our best shot at seeing them.

So of course, being me… I’m watching Mississippi Damned which is about a dysfunctional family. I hear there will be intense incest and beatings later in the movie. (I’m going to spoiler the fuck out of this movie as I watch it. Just so you know.)

I’m in my feels.

It’s not much like my family or my story. But it is based on a real story and I’ve read a lot of responses from women who say this is like their stories.

This is intense. Like, whoa.

This… you know what? I feel like my mama did me a mountain of favors from the simple fact that she stopped dating.

I’m really glad I only had to deal with one crazy abusive father and one demanding controlling step-father and one inappropriately sexual boyfriend. That’s a short list compared to many women.

She had other relationships in her lifetime, but they predate my memory. Like the father of my sister, who denied that he had ever had sex with her.

My mama did find it in her to go it alone. In some ways… I think that was the biggest gift she gave me. She taught me how to be ok alone. I mean, she’s not ok and she’s not really completely alone. But she doesn’t need Romantic Relationships.

Many women my age believe they aren’t safe unless they have a man. My mama taught me that having a man around is never fully safe.

I feel deeply conflicted about what it is that I’m teaching my children.

I’m going to keep doing it. I’m in it. I’m in it till the end. I’m committed. But I don’t know I’m right. You never know until it is over and it is too late to do anything different.

But as I watch a screaming fight over interrupted sex between folks who are married to other folks and a miscarriage and…

You know what? My mama ran from trouble. She taught me that the safest way to deal with most problems is to run.

I don’t know if she is still running. I know I am. But right now I’m sitting on a porch in sunny Florida at Walt Disney World.

Running has worked out okay for me so far.

This movie is about people who can’t run from their problems. They are deeply invested in their local community. They have roots.

I wonder what that would be like.

What would it be like to believe that leaving everything you know means “moving to a fairytale world”.

No, that’s just life. You move. You start over. You meet new people.

You don’t stay in a small town if you are a dyke with a big mouth. You move on. I didn’t have problems for being queer. No one ever gave a shit about that part of my identity. They were too overall baffled by my presentation to figure out what the hell to object to.

(The dyke in the movie just got in a fist fight.)

And she goes home to get hit more.

I left home when I was 18. I didn’t get out because I was smart or because I was more deserving. I got out because I had the resources to do it.

I believe every one deserves a basic income. I really do. People stay in the most horrifying traumatic situations because they don’t have better options. Money is a disgusting tool.

“If anyone is to blame it is you” said to the woman who interrupted the sex that shouldn’t have been happening. Because the problem is the person pointing out the problem, not the problem.

Yeah. I know that dynamic.

Oh god. Murder. Well, that’s one way to deal with cheating. But why did you shoot the woman who was being cheated with instead of the damn man?

You know what? Fuck the sisterhood.

Shoot the man. Don’t defend the sisterhood of “don’t sleep with my man”. No. Fuck that noise. He’s the problem. She is not someone you have the right to demand such loyalty of that the punishment for disloyalty is death.

No. No. No.

I have not signed such an oath.

You know what? I’ve fucked married men. I’ve fucked cheaters. I don’t owe the sisterhood nothing.

Does that make me a bad person? Add it to the list. Whatever.

Oh golly I respect this man. His daughter flat out asked, “Are you a good father?” He said, “Sometimes. Sometimes not.”

Thank you for that self reflection. I appreciate it even though it isn’t for or about me.

“Some daddies aren’t good at being fathers.”

Yeah. That’s the truth.

I’m having feels about Noah. But I’m not going to write about them. I want to forget them.

Oh no. Here is where the incest stuff comes up. This boy was already victimized. He knows how things work. Now he’s the initiator because he thinks it is how it is supposed to work.

Fuck.fuck.fuckity.fuck.

“Get me a beer.”

Words I’m glad I didn’t have to hear much.

“2nd Notice of Eviction” oh I’ve seen that on my door a lot.

“At least I didn’t let some high school crush be the highlight of my life.” Oh that’s something I was afraid of.  I’m pretty sure I’m safely past that accusation.

This fight right here, between the destitute convict and her mother about money and childhood abuse… that’s part of why I never asked my mama for nothing.

“You gotta watch your back in places like that…. As long as you’re next to family you got heart.”

Oh. My. God. From a family with a lot of trauma and incest and abuse. You know what?! Strangers in the big city are not a bigger risk than your family.

Why do I say that? Because being raped by my “friends” was less traumatic than fucking my actual biological father was. (Friends is in square quotes because at this point I no longer perceive that people who would do that were ever actually my friends. They were guys I knew.)

Hell yeah. Grandmama just brought out a shot gun on the man who was throttling her daughter. ROCK ON!

You know what? I’m not that violent of a person. I try hard to find a way to find solutions without violence. But if you are being attacked I think you have every right to a full throttle defense, from yourself or from a nearby person. And besides the bitch didn’t defend her daughters from her own husband. I’m glad she will at least defend them from their husbands.

Yeah, I do believe in bystander intervention sometimes. I know it isn’t popular. I know that it is frowned upon in some circles. I know why. It is dangerous.

Life is dangerous.

It’s not about being a hero and you can’t think about it that way. That isn’t the point. It isn’t about “being a rescuer”.

It’s about paying attention to the people around you and giving a shit about what happens to them.

But people are so complicated. This movie is reminding me how very complicated people are. We are all so hurt.

“You’ve always gotta make it about you, right?”

Well, we are the main character in our own story, right?

But not everything that happens near me is about me. Sometimes it is, but mostly… I’m not the center of everything. I’m just some chick.

It is complicated how some people are in a position to care more about your intentions and some people are in a position to care about the results of your actions and fuck your intentions you son of a bitch.

Now a woman is fighting cancer. Watching how her family copes with it…

That’s why other people believe they need family. They believe they cannot get such support any other way. But I showed up in the queer community at 18. I watched tight, fierce, chosen families.

I’m an asshole about them. But I know they exist. You just have to show up for them. If I wanted to keep showing up in those communities things would have been different.

I ran away. I went home. I built Wonderland and I had babies and I stopped seeing a lot of the people who were my “chosen family”. A few of the people from back then still come around. Not many.

The number drops by the year.

My loyalty to the people who have made the transition into parent-age with me is decidedly impacted.

And more cheating. More screwing underage inappropriate women. Yeah this movie is a humdinger. I believe this is based on a true story. I know men like these.

I am so grateful I am not prey any more.

I am even more grateful my daughters never will be. It won’t happen.

But doesn’t every mother want to believe that? Even when it is right under their noses and they can’t possibly not see.

I try to tell myself that my children are too blurty. Too prone to share all their business with everyone who walks by. Including every factoid I’ve ever taught them about anatomy or bodily autonomy or bodily integrity or…

I try to tell myself that even though I can’t save everyone… I can keep them safe. Yes, I know I’m throwing everyone else under the bus. I’m sorry.

I didn’t throw them there. I just didn’t roll under with them.

But isn’t that how white feminists justify most of what they do?

What we do.

I’ve got skin in this game and make no mistake.

Oh no. Now we get to the college acceptance letter that decides if the next generation of abuse victims is getting out or staying home to just pass it right along.

She did it. She got in.

In time for her most supportive aunt to die from poverty and diabetes.

Yeah. Life is a real shithole.

The aunt didn’t wait until she actually ran out of insulin. She stopped taking it because she didn’t want the end to be slow and by drips. She had no more money for food anyway.

Yeah. Life is like that.

The last thing she did with her life was tell the girl to “get out. Get away. Go be what we couldn’t.”

Perspective is a nasty son of a bitch. I begged my niece to get out. She wouldn’t.

Ok. I can’t go under the bus with you. I can’t.

I won’t make that choice for my children.

Oh god. The most supportive aunt did have some money left. She left it all to the niece in a lump sum for college.

Yeah. That’s how you get out. You have some support appear.

And the lesbian is in the psych ward. Because she can’t move on from her one high school crush.

Life sucks so fucking much.

Do you know what watching these kinds of movies makes me want to do? Log on to my bank account and transfer more money into long-term investments.

I do not want to end this way. They are killing themselves left and right.

I do not want to end this way. I want something different. And that takes money.

Just like my father in the movie the serial predator kills himself instead of taking his punishment and giving that respect to his victims. Fuck you. Yeah, I know bad shit happened to you too. I know.

Take your fucking punishment you son of a bitch. You earned it.

God damn bastard.

I believe people need to be held accountable for their behavior. So I write mine down as it happens so that I can’t rewrite history. Yeah. I fuck up.

Everyone does. Some of us do it big. Some of us do it over and over. Very very few of us tell the truth about it.

I need truth. Even though truth is sometimes not the same thing as fact. Something can be distorted and still be a truth. Because in every truth there is room for many interpretations. It doesn’t mean it is a fact.

How am I defining these.

It can be true that I need to defend myself even if people don’t feel like they are attacking me. I have more than once needed to physically force people off my body on dance floors because they landed on me and didn’t notice that they were crushing a person and, “Hey why are you so mad?”

I wasn’t assaulted. That’s a fact. There was no intent to harm. It is still true that I had to defend myself. Because they were hurting me and I had to make it stop.

There can be more than one truth. Near as I can tell there is no end to the amount of hurt that can be passed around. I think that means there is room for a lot of different truth.

As I sit here in my posh Walt Disney World condo I reflect on how I don’t deserve to be here.

There is no deserve. Jenny, you asked why I conflate people saying I deserve things now with meaning that I deserved things that happened a long time ago. I love you very much and I take the question very seriously and I may bring it up for years as I try to explain it. I hope it doesn’t get annoying. Tell me to get over it if you need to. I love you.

Saying it is a trigger is short hand. Most people who deal with mental illness can tell you that something is a trigger and that’s about as much as they can follow that path. “I have BIG FEELINGS.”

Well, I’m not like that. I was told that I would know when I was in real labor when I was no longer able to speak. Bitch I was articulately yelling instructions while I was pushing. I was popular for bdsm demonstrations because you can beat the shit out of me and in between screams I can drop down into normal speech and clearly articulate what hurts and where and what is positive and negative about various sensations for what reasons.

I’m special.

I can talk when I’m hurting.

I learned. I taught myself. I worked on it because I was told and told and told to be quiet and I noticed that I only got help when I could tell enough of the story fast enough to get peoples attention. I have to be good at an elevator pitch.

And that skill plus running away has provided the most safety I’ve found.

Let me tell you, things work so well with Noah largely because we are both talkers. Speaking of which, I should go call him. Big feelings.

I want to write more about triggers. But I also want to rest my arms.

Moving south

Today we leave Dad’s house. That will be hard. I have really enjoyed my time here. Although it will also be a good thing. I’m sleeping for shit. I’m thinking a thousand thoughts a minute about all the things I want to say to him and we save our conversations for after the kids are in bed so… I’m way short on sleep. I need to move on before I hurt myself.

The talking has been wonderful. You know how I sometimes go on these really big tirades and write and write and write about politics and race and rape and incest and money and class and… heh. You know how I “sometimes” do that? Yeah he got the in person version over the last week. He has looked kind of stunned. I’ve never uhm shared my opinions on such a diverse array of topics quite so freely before. He’s kind of re-meeting me.

You want to claim you are my Dad so you need to get to know me. We’ve had several pointed, “Are you committed to this relationship?” conversations.

Apparently his bio-daughter is not very happy about me. I can understand that and I hold no rancor in my heart. I’m sorry that my existence makes her uncomfortable. I can understand why it does. All of the other “daughters” have been girlfriends who moved on. I haven’t. I’m not a girlfriend and I never have been. I’m an adopted kid. Who he has beaten and fucked. Because that has been part of my relationship with all of my dads.

I can understand why that would make someone uncomfortable. I’m on a fucking weird life path.

But he’s ok walking that path with me and I don’t really care if other people approve or not. He is adapting to the changes in our relationship. We have had an incredibly frank and detailed conversation about the changes in boundaries in my sex life. “What if I did ____?” “Well you’d have a time of untangling your fingers from your internal organs after I ripped your arm off and shoved it down your neck.” “Ok then. So you’re saying that is off the table.” “Yup.”

Quite frankly I think this is an incredibly healthy transition for both of us. We are consciously committing to a mutually supportive relationship that doesn’t have to be based on hurting one another. The hurting one another wasn’t a problem when it was where we both were. I’m not there right now. Are you with me or not?

He says he is with me.

He is scared about some of my choices. He asked me last night if I was truly aware of how much I was risking my life with some of the choices I make in terms of activism. I said I was fully aware that women who speak publicly about the things I choose to speak about often get killed. I’m aware that the status quo doesn’t like what I think.

Dad got to hear about the full extent of my suicidality this trip. He’s had dim awareness that I was a cutter.

It is kind of funny to me how people claim to know me… but don’t read my blog… and wow… they don’t know shit. I think I unload my emotions on fewer people than I think. I’m really hard on the people I unload on… but the list isn’t that long. I think I perceive myself as someone who dumps on everyone who walks by… but that isn’t how it goes. I have more boundaries than I think I do.

I am continually surprised to find out that people have known me for a decade and a half and they don’t know major facts about my life.

I can recite your fucking bio in my sleep. I know details about your life before I met you. I can rattle off your hobbies and accomplishments and fuck ups with great specifics.

What the fuck do you mean you don’t know much about me?! WTF!?

I’m self absorbed. Everyone should function like me. Ahem.

I’m going to miss Dad. And I am never going to live near him full time. Our relationship would dissolve and I like it very much. I like the support I get when I see him. He doesn’t have the stamina for me. He can’t be the kind of consistent I need on a regular basis. I can handle what he has to give when I visit once a year. I don’t resent his limits this way. I just adapt while I’m here.

I ask tactless questions a lot to frame how ridiculous we both are. “So my control freak issues are running into your control freak issues. Which part of this one is your real bug-a-boo? The process or the result because you vary from issue to issue.”

He kind of glares at me for a minute as he thinks about it. Then we discuss it and work out how we can adapt to one another.

It is weirdly a lot of fun for me. He is really ok with blunt negotiations. The bdsm community has been good for him. If you can say, “What I really want to do is tie your legs wide open so I can single tail your clit” you can have a conversation about just about any stupidly specific and personal topic.

Ok.. that isn’t actually true about everyone in the scene. But it is true of the two of us and I love that about him.

We’ve talked a lot about eating and dietary choices with the kids. Exercise habits. Modeling and why we do the things we do. Being responsible to and for our kids and how that creates a permanent reason to take care of ourselves because… we owe them a long life.

He says I have made him think about many of his choices in new ways. I believe that.

Last night he told me he feels adrift and he isn’t sure how to get ahead of the curve. He’s had a really hard several years. I said, “That sounds like a request for advice.” He said yes.

Oh I gave advice. “What you need to do is over the next year ask for help from Person A and Person B and Person C and go through the house and the storage unit. Sell anything you don’t have a really strong desire to keep. Donate what you can’t sell. Time to downsize. You don’t need a big house and property and you can’t keep up with the work. Sell before you degrade the house and can’t make money back. Buy something outright. Buy something small and manageable.”

He has inherited the estates of three rich people. He has an overwhelming amount of stuff and he simply can’t afford to keep the shit. He didn’t get the money. That went to charities. He just got burdened with the shit.

People are hilarious. They really don’t think about what they are doing to the people around them.

Get it in your head that you are putting the house on the market in June of 2016. That will be the end of your time here. 14 years in one spot.

It’s going to be hard to leave. His second marriage had its whole life here. But she’s gone and he has to move on. He can’t support this household without her.

Life is about constantly changing your goals as your resources and abilities change. Things go up and down and you have to be realistic about your capabilities or you will over-promise and under deliver. Or you can sell yourself short and never attain the things you are capable of doing.

Re-evaluate yourself. Where do you want to be putting your time and energy? Do you really want to have to spend 30+ hours a week on cleaning and house maintenance only to watch it fall into constant decline because it really needs 60 hours of work every week? That’s depressing. You feel like a constant failure even though you really are doing your best.

I’m going to cry a lot when he moves. This is Francesca’s house. She loved me here. She made me feel safe here. She is a lot of the reason Dad and I worked out some bumps in the early years. I miss her very much. But our obligation to her is over. It is time to sell off her stuff and her step-dad’s stuff and her mom’s stuff and move on.

She died before we could pay our debt to her. That’s a guilt we have to bear and move on with.

We can take that and pay it forward. That is how she would want us to do it. She wouldn’t want us to wither at home with shame and regret. She would want us to pay it forward. She would say we don’t owe her. We owe the universe. It’s never really a two way street.

That’s what is so hard about parenting. It’s never really reciprocal. I have taken more from Dad than I’ve given. Mostly… what I can give at this point is support as he transitions to a different sense of self.

He’s not a swinging bachelor of means. He needs to stop trying to act like he is. That time of life is over.

There are consequences to not seeing how you are changing. How many do you want to have smack you in the face?

He asked me if I believed he was capable of change at this point in his life. I laughed and said I wouldn’t be in his house if he hadn’t changed and changed again over the last decade and a half. Yes. I believe you are capable of changing. It’s not the tooth fairy. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen you adapt. I’ve seen you resolve to improve on how you manage specific issues. Yes, there have been back slides in some areas, but you continue to improve in broad swaths.

But life is complicated. As you improve in some areas you completely screw up other areas. That’s how it goes.

It seems to me that wisdom is partially understanding that you will never be good at everything. You will never have the inter-personal abilities plus money abilities plus physical abilities plus education abilities and and…

Look at what you actually do with your time. You are good at parts of it. The rest… well… it’s done enough. THE HOUSE DIDN’T BURN DOWN. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!

I don’t cook much. I can’t do it. I turn into a screaming banshee.

It’s not that I “can’t cook”. I can actually cook quite well. But I need to be calm and have a lot of patience and a lot of quiet and a lot of time and nothing else going on in order to do it in a peaceful way. Or I start twitching and shrieking things like, “JUST GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN BEFORE I STRANGLE YOU OH MY GOD WHY DID YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO DO?!?!?!!?!”

I understand that this is part of an age old tradition between mothers and daughters. But with the whole home schooling thing… it’s a problem if I won’t show them how to do things. So it’s complicated.

I’ve been priming the pump with the kids about how things will shift when we leave Grandpa’s house. We are going to a dun dun dun… screen free house. Ok, they own a tv. A big one. But they don’t turn it on. Or they use it for internet browsing. They watch very occasional cooking shows or Myth Busters. They are basically a kid screen-free house.

So uhm, don’t spend all day talking about video games and cartoons. You can talk about books, games you like to play, imaginary stuff you like to do… lots of topics. Don’t spend all day talking about the Minecraft tutorials. That is horribly boring when someone isn’t interested. We won’t be there very long. Be polite.

I have no idea if Shanna is listening. We’ll see.

We came here from Aunt Cookie’s and her only tv watching is Martha Stewart show reruns and Mayberry because her parrot will repeat things from the television. She won’t risk a peppery word in her house. (I kind of horrified her. And the kids taught the parrot to say “poop poop poop”. She was not pleased.) It’s not like we can’t get along with folks who don’t do video games. But she had to listen to a lot about the tutorial makers. Her eyes glazed over. I tried to rescue her.

Shanna can give you a full run down on the benefits and deficits of different tutorial makers and I think it is hilarious. I only half listen. I stood and listened to the new one for a few minutes last night. I wasn’t pleased. He’s an asshole. I told her flat out, “I like so-and-so and I like that other guy because they are silly and kind in how they give instructions. I don’t like this new guy. The way he is saying his friend might not really be a boy because he hasn’t seen proof? That’s bullshit. That’s a jerk thing to do. Questioning someone else’s gender is not ok. If I ever hear you do that, you aren’t watching this channel any more. If you want to know that assholes like that exist I’m not going to stop you from finding out they exist. But you had better not become one.”

Her eyes were kind of big. She nodded and said, “I wouldn’t do that. I just thought it was cool how he built _____.”

“That’s fair enough. He did build a cool ______. I can see why you would admire it. Feel free to learn his Minecraft skills. Don’t learn his interpersonal skills.”

“Got it.”

Man this is a quoting-myself-heavy-post. I want to share it with Noah. I miss you, oh my witness. I WANT TO TALK AT YOU FOR ABOUT TWELVE HOURS STRAIGHT.

I miss you.

I’ve gotta say, it’s kind of wild talking about a lot of the things I write about. To an entrenched white male. Oh man. It’s interesting phrasing and efforts. I have extreme biases. I’m aware of that. I’m working on and with where I am right now.

Dad is a soft sell on many of my more radical ideas. He will listen and help me construct rebuttals to arguments. Not necessarily on purpose, but he argues with me and that gives me practice debating the things I’m going to need to be able to debate without shrieking.

Not sure I can ever be a cook in a high pressure situation though. That may be beyond me in this lifetime.

Good memories

I was snuggled up between my two favorite girls last night and I thought about my mom. I remembered some good stuff. It made me cry, of course. But I want to remember the good parts.

So I ate ramen a lot. Years and years of ramen. I didn’t always eat it because there was no other option. Sometimes I refused food. Sometimes we had other things to eat and I just… couldn’t.

For example, my mom really liked liver and onions with boiled spinach. For the life of me I still don’t understand why she liked that meal… but she did. When she would cook it and eat it she didn’t pressure me to eat it. She kept her tone light and upbeat. She would lovingly taunt me about how gooooood it was. She told me I was missing out. She told me it would make me healthier and stronger.

I thought she was antagonizing me. I was not capable of accepting it as her attempt to be my parent.

I’m really sorry mom. I’m sorry I don’t give you enough credit for doing anything right. You did do some things right. You tried to get me to eat more diverse, healthier foods. You didn’t force the issue so that it became a battle. You allowed me to have a locus of control to balance out all the areas of my life I couldn’t control.

Thank you. There was no all-good or all-right decision there. There were only varying degrees of bad decisions. I think you made the right call even though I still deal with the nutritional deficits.

Thank you for never hitting me over food. Thank you for never berating me over eating.

Thank you. You did do some things right.

Bragging.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

I don’t know.

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

What do you mean you are done?

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

Right. Uhm. Yeah. I’ll uhhh shut up.

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

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

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

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

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

WHY DO PEOPLE GET SO UPSET THAT A WOMAN THEY DON’T KNOW IS HAVING SEX WITH A MAN THEY DON’T KNOW!!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awkward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop judging, Krissy.

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

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

Food history

Every one has their own journey with food. It differs from culture to culture and between socio-economic groups. If I had to pick one word for my food journey it would be: disrupted. Or maybe inconsistent.

My parents didn’t divorce until I was three. I assume that the first three years of my life involved fairly normal eating. When I was a kid I would look at my mother’s recipe book and look at the menu plans she had in the back. Pot roast, lamb chops, roast chicken. I assume I ate just fine for the first few years. The main thing my mother and my sister had to say was that I was very picky about my eggs. I would ONLY eat them if they were scrambled and cooked hard–basically to the point of being burnt. Both of them would tell me stories about that throughout my childhood in that way that made it sound like they accommodated me endlessly.

Then the divorce happened. We stayed in the house for a while. My mom started working and my sister was supposed to be my caretaker. My sister was a teenager dealing with extreme trauma so she wasn’t a very good caregiver. I knew how to cook my own ramen before I was four.

Then we moved out of the house and into our car. I don’t know what I ate. My mom worked at Denny’s and I remember long hours sitting in the car during her shift. I had nowhere else to be. Eventually I was sent to Auntie’s house for the first time. While I was gone my mom got married.

With Auntie we ate either rice or potatoes and beef every night. That is what Uncle Bob wanted. There would generally be a side of canned vegetables: corn, green beans, or peas.

So the malnutrition didn’t start that early.

I think things got bad when we moved to Oklahoma. We were very poor. We moved there to get away from my mom’s abusive second husband. My mom worked at Jack in the Box and we lived in a double wide in the middle of the woods. We ate a lot of game. I’ve eaten squirrel, chipmunk, fox, venison and I don’t know what all else. Her boyfriend was a pretty good hunter. Other than that I’m not sure what we were eating.

Then we moved to Texas and lost the game meals and my mom got another job (I don’t know doing what) and we lived in a trailer park. My sister moved in with us. We ate junk food, period. My sister was pregnant and mean as a snake. (Drug withdrawals combined with the ick of pregnancy wouldn’t be fun.) I ate food from bags: chips, etc.

Things didn’t get really bad until Tommy was hit by the car. That’s when my mom stopped feeding me. Realizing that right now, I feel very sad for her. I’m not sure I would be a better mother under such conditions.

My mom came back to California while Tommy was in a coma. Things were tumultuous during the five months he was in a coma. I was bounced around all over the place. My mom wasn’t capable of seeing me or taking care of me. I stole a lot of food to eat. I lived with people I didn’t know and I got very rigid about my food preferences. I would eat ramen or nothing in many of the houses I lived in. Food became very traumatic because I was dropped on these random mothers and they had different food culture. I wasn’t familiar with anything they served and I was punished if I didn’t dig in with gusto. I learned to be very difficult about food in order to ensure that I ate food that felt familiar to me. My pickiness was actually very self-destructive, but I didn’t understand that.

I didn’t eat green things, except for pickles and I ate pickles like a banana–I left the skin. I told my mom “green means mold–I’m not eating that”.

I also found weevils in the Nissin ramen packets guaranteeing that I have never been able to eat this brand again. You’ve never experienced horror until ramen is the only food in the house and every package is full of bugs. I ate them. I had to or starve. I cried while I did it.

I was seven when Tommy’s accident happened. I turned eight while he was in the coma. When I was eight or nine we moved to Whittier, in a house my father paid for so my mom could be close to Tommy during his recovery. We were there eighteen months.

Whittier was bad. When I think about the height of my hunger, that’s the period of time I’m thinking about. I was with my mom full time and my sister lived with us. My nephew was born while Tommy was in the coma. After he woke up from the coma he moved in with us and things got worse.

My mom and my sister and Tommy ate food. I ate ramen. They ate out a lot. I remember my mom coming home from work with Orange Julius cups. To this day I experience irrational hatred and anger when I even see the brand name. To be fair they were happy with “food” like liver and onions. No I didn’t fucking eat it with them. There wasn’t much food in the house. They didn’t cook very much. Grocery shopping was a nightmare–we had to go a long way and we had to walk or take the bus. I remember pushing an empty stroller to the store so we didn’t have to carry our things home.

I remember my mom crying as she counted out my packets of ramen. She got things like Lunchables. She told me they were too expensive for me. She wasn’t willing to eat ramen–she thought it was disgusting. Lunchables were palatable to her and about the cheapest food she would eat.

Fruits and vegetables didn’t exist.

We moved to Apple Valley after that. I stole a lot of food in Apple Valley. We moved there to be close to a group home facility Tommy could live in–the only one in the state that would allow adolescents. There are surprisingly few facilities for treating long-term brain injury issues.

My mom worked in City of Industry. Her commute was 90 miles each way. I was alone. I ate ramen.

We moved back to the bay area after that when things became untenable in Apple Valley. My dad was harassing my mom and I was getting beat up in school so much that even my mom couldn’t ignore it any more. We came back to Auntie.

I had diarrhea through most of my childhood. I missed so much school because my belly hurt. My mom read some stupid astrology book that told her that Virgos are prone to stomach complaints and she decided that my whining about my belly had to be that. She didn’t take me to see a doctor. She didn’t talk to me about my food or health. We did not have conversations about nutrition in my family of origin. I’m not sure my mom knew anything. She thought Pepsi and Snickers was a dandy breakfast.

My mom ate other foods. I ate ramen. When I was a kid I rebelled by not having a sweet tooth. I didn’t want to be like my mom.

I got to middle school and for some reason my mom didn’t apply for free lunch at school. I had eaten nachos every day for lunch through most of my childhood. Almost every school across the nation offers shitty nachos as a free lunch option. Mmmmm shitty free nachos. That was my primary school lunch. So in middle school I mixed it up. Every day I took one baggie to school and in it I placed a piece of string cheese, two pickle spears, and beef jerky. That was lunch for a few years. The scary part is that is a more balanced lunch than I had ever eaten previously. (Ok, I’m sure I had individual meals that were more healthy, but not often.)

High school I switched to instant noodles at school. It was a $1/day. Nachos were $2.50/day. I had $20/week for food. Oh, in Bakersfield I spent one semester at a school that had pastrami sandwiches for $2/day. Those were so good.

I started buying baguettes and blocks of cheese. That would be my food for the day.

For some reason, I feel like my mom rarely had food stamps. I think she just didn’t do the paper work. My sister had food stamps on and off throughout my childhood. I ate government cheese at her house. She was the asshole who insisted on fucking Nissin ramen “for variety”.

I don’t like peanut butter nor hot dogs because fucking everyone was always trying to get me to eat one or the other. No fucking thank you.

So I got to adulthood having eaten very little vegetables and even less fruit. My boyfriend at seventeen is the one who forced me to start eating vegetables. It wasn’t acceptable to him that I eat ramen at every meal. He made me eat broccoli. Really, he was a good guy to me.

We moved in together and I started trying to cook because I wanted him to like me and stay with me. If you want a guy to stay with you, you have to be good at cooking–right?

Eventually I decided I didn’t want to stay with him because he was too uhm conservative for me. So I left. I had broadened my food palate enormously. I ate Thai food for the first time. I tried Indian. I ate dim sum for the first time. (My previous entire Chinese experience was Mr. Chau’s fried rice, chow mein, and sweet and sour pork.) I ate Ethiopian food. I started eating vegetables of all kinds.

Then I moved in with my Owner. (He wasn’t my Owner to start with and really there was over a year of moving around and couch surfing and staying with friends in between the fiance and the Owner.) When I was couch surfing I ate out several times a week (it felt like magic–I had the settlement money so all of a sudden I felt like I wasn’t poor any more! I had over $200/month I could spend on food! *swoon*) and I still ate a lot of bread and cheese.

Now I think it is hilarious that $200/month felt like being rich. I spend more than $1200 every month on food now. That was how much money I lived on every month for years.

I got to know more vegetarians and vegans and pescetarians. I learned to feel enormous guilt and shame over my lack of “healthy” diet. When I spend time in a raw vegans house I walk out feeling like a monster who doesn’t care about animals. I tried really hard to add vegetables in my diet. The result was even more diarrhea.

Having kids has been the real kicker though. I eat vegetables now. Daily. We eat 3-5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. My kids often eat more than that by choice. We go through so much fruit it is kind of bizarre to me.

I live with a lot of pain. It doesn’t make being nice easier.

I have done food diaries at various points. I was a champ at Weight Watchers. I have done them for the purpose of bringing them to doctors. What I was told was, “Wow you have a healthy diet! Maybe a little less sausage.” (That happened to be a slightly sausage heavy week… but the sausage isn’t why I have chronic diarrhea you asshole.) A different doctor said, “You need to eat more Fiber 1 cereal.”

So a casual food diary with notation of symptoms isn’t going to be real effective at this stage. I’ve done that. Repeatedly with no resulting help. I can’t narrow down what is causing the problems that way.

My mom spent my childhood mocking me because I knew where every public toilet in town was. I had chronic diarrhea. Why in the hell do you need to make fun of me for needing to shit fire every day? Ok, and I have a small and urgent bladder. I am lead to believe that is exceedingly common amongst people who experience early childhood sexual assault. I suppose that’s another great reason to make fun of me.

Yesterday I went to the store and spent a bunch of money on foods that fall under the auspice of “clean foods”. I feel like such an asshole. Then a friend pointed me to FODMAPS and I feel that is a slightly better focus for my upcoming journey. Let me tell you, elimination diets look like a big fat pain in my ass. The recommended lists of foods contradict one another. I suspect I should stay on the end of the IBS recommendations, regardless of the fact that I don’t have a diagnosis.

I can’t get a doctor to give me a diagnosis. Decades of diarrhea. I hate doctors. I don’t know how to work with them. I don’t know how to get help. And apparently this is a big failure on my part.

I’m not entirely sure what my next steps will be. I know that I go to Hawaii in 24 days. I know that Halloween and its candy bacchanalia is coming up. Thanksgiving is coming. Christmas. I would like to have a better idea what is hurting me. If I wait until a convenient time then I will never do it. I have gotten to 33 years old without ever doing an elimination diet because it is never convenient.

Several people have told me to switch to Soylent. The thing is… at some point I will have to eat again. And if I just switch to Soylent without trying to figure out the problem… it will still be there waiting for me. Even if Soylent did cure my diarrhea… what do I do when I need to eat food? Just suffer the whole time because I don’t know how to treat my body right?

I need more information before I can make different choices. If I could have the option of deciding that diarrhea is worth it for a specific event… that would be different than dreading every meal with friends who are vegetarian or vegan because I will be sick for a week afterwards. We had a vegan meal last Thursday? Wednesday? I’m still shitting fire. Did so this morning.

I’m not saying my diarrhea is anyone else’s fault. I picked the menu for the meal. I don’t know what is hurting me so I don’t know what to avoid.

I get so much conflicting information about “health”. I am at the point where I believe that any and all population wide beliefs about health are not that applicable to me. I need to figure out what health is *for me*. That is going to take data mining. Good thing I’m a control freak.

Revolutionary Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview practice part the second

Hello, I’m Krissy. I’ve had a somewhat unusual life. My father started sexually assaulting me when I was between 14 months (when I potty trained) and when I was 3 years old (when my parents divorced). Those early, formative experiences have shaped most of my life.

The father/daughter incest in my family was only the tip of the ice burg in terms of our problems. My father raped 3/4 children so far as I have been told. He was a serious drug addict and alcoholic. Our family dealt with a lot of physical and emotional violence on top of the sexual assault. When my mom found out about the sexual abuse she divorced him. Then things got worse.

Running from domestic violence is not a life I would wish upon my worst enemy. We lived in dire poverty. We were homeless and dependent on charity for much of my childhood. My mother didn’t have job skills nor education. She truly did the best she could with a monster terrorizing her.

I didn’t grow up so well. I went to 25 schools before I dropped out of high school at 16. I did get a high school diploma through a continuation school experience. Then I went to a series of junior colleges culminating in a trip to university. I hold a BA in English Literature and an expired teaching credential. I did not complete the MA in English Literature I spent seven years working towards because the final exam was handwritten.

I learned handwriting in a school where the teacher was allowed to beat me daily for my poor handwriting. Given that I was already a severely traumatized child the teacher hitting me ensured that I would never have reasonable handwriting. And I have paid the price long-term.

My life has been like that over and over. I have learned reactions or aversions that I developed because of severely abusive environments and now I get to be punished for the rest of my life for being the kind of person who has such reactions.

I wish the incest had been the extent of my sexual abuse. It wasn’t. My father told my brother he was allowed to rape me. Due to him having a severe traumatic brain injury (he was hit by a car when he was 12 and I was 8–it was a terrible accident) he was not physically capable of winning the fights. But I spent a lot of my childhood fighting my brother off of me.

Then I was sent out into a series of low-income neighborhoods with no supervision. All in all I have been raped by twelve men and boys. It took a very long time before I was capable of understanding what I was doing that created safe space for rapists in my life. It took a long time before I understood that the secrecy that was part of my innate behavior only protected bad people.

I have been a writer for a long time. I was given my first journal when I was seven. My sister was mean and terrible to me because she read my journal and mocked me for the contents, which is really sad when everyone is being severely sexually abused. I shouldn’t have been mocked. I should have been helped. But that wasn’t how my family worked.

I have had mixed experiences with trying to report things to law enforcement. With the incest and my father I got excellent support. The San Bernardino Sheriff Department was kind and supportive to me. Those men were some  of the best people I’ve dealt with in my whole life around sexual assault. They believed me. When the detectives came back to see me after interrogating my father for 72 hours straight (it took a long time for him to come down from all the drugs he was on) they were physically green. They told me they had never heard anything so horrible in their whole lives.

Yup, that was my childhood.

When I tried to report other sexual assaults I was given a range of responses from, “We won’t ruin that nice boy’s life for you” to “What else did you expect?” to “You clearly have problems and you should be in therapy not making false calls to the police.” I hate the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department with the fire of a thousand suns. If their office burnt to the ground I would dance on the cinders. I won’t set the fire but I’d dance.

The primary reason I am not dead is because I have been in court ordered therapy for nearly thirty years. I’m 32. I have seen 21 therapists over the course of my life. Only 4 of them have been truly excellent. I have gotten better at picking therapists as time goes by.

I have been suicidal for most of my life, not too surprising. I was institutionalized for suicide attempts twice as a teenager. Both times were before I got up the nerve to prosecute my father.

I prosecuted my father when I was 16. I had called him on the phone to ask him if I could have a computer for school. He told me I could have a computer if I spent a weekend at his house earning it. I slammed the phone down and called 911 and said, “I need to find out how to report my father for sexually molesting me” and I burst into tears.

Part of what made my life as hard was my lack of vocabulary to even talk about what was happening to me. I didn’t learn the word incest until I was a teenager. I didn’t think that what was happening to me was rape. I thought everyone just did those things.

I had to get old enough and read enough books that I understood that my life wasn’t normal.

So like everyone with a lot to figure out I have turned to writing. Writing allows me to gather my thoughts and figure out my overwhelming emotions. Writing is my lifeline.

Interview practice

I asked for some idea of the interview questions so I could get my thoughts in order. Here is what I got back: “your earliest memories of abuse, did you get to experience the justice system/think of it/attempt to get help, did you tell anyone, when did it end and how, how the following years were for you and when you decided to start writing, the reaction you got etc.”

My earliest memories of abuse were of sitting on my father’s lap. He would put his fingers under my dress and penetrate my body. We were often in public places or in large groups of people and I had to be as still as possible. I had to smile or I was punished. If I didn’t smile and act happy I was being “ungrateful”. It progressed on from there. My parents divorced when I was three because a neighbor came forward about my sister being raped by my father.

You would think that getting divorced over incest would mean that he wasn’t left alone with the other children. You would think wrong. I was put in court ordered therapy and still required to visit my father. The abuse continued and escalated.

The most extreme incident was when I was nine or ten years old, my memory always jumps around on this topic. It culminated with my father holding a gun to my head and asking me if I deserved to live after I gave him a blow job.

I prosecuted my father when I was sixteen. I did so when he upped the ante and wanted me to go further than I had gone before. Specifically I needed a computer for school and he told me I would have to come spend a weekend with him alone and earn it.

After a lifetime of hearing my mother talk about how she didn’t want to have sex with him in exchange for child support so we went hungry… I understood the trade.

I hung up the phone and called the police and said, “I need to find out how to report my father for molesting me” and I burst into tears.

The San Bernadino County Sheriffs I worked with earned their pay and treated me quite respectfully. They interviewed me before my mother got home from work, which was important because my mother would have derailed and interrupted. Denial and secrecy were the standard in my family. I knew I would pay for opening my mouth.

My father was arrested and interrogated for 72 hours. It took him a long time to come down from all the drugs in his system. He confessed to everything; he added detail upon detail to my stories so was placed on suicide watch. The sheriffs needed to talk to all the women in my family. My father’s sisters. My sister. There was a long list of crimes he could no longer be prosecuted for due to statute of limitations.

He killed himself the first day of his trial. He sat in his garage with the motor running and wrote note after note about how I was a liar and he was innocent.

It didn’t help that in the lead up between me starting the prosecution process and the court date my brother killed himself. Specifically he lit himself on fire. He had a severe traumatic brain injury and he needed a lot of care and he could not perceive a life past my father going to jail.

My family blames me for both deaths and we have no contact.

That all happened right around when I was turning seventeen. My birthday happened after my brother’s suicide and before my father’s. It wasn’t a happy event.

The best thing I can say about it happening then was I only had a year left to be with my family and endure their anger with me. I had broken all the rules about silence.

I moved almost 50 times as a child and I went to 25 schools. I dropped out of high school at 16 more or less concurrently with prosecuting my father–he stalked me during the run up to the trial and I stopped leaving my house. I entered into an alternative education program at 17 and I have a high school diploma I earned mostly through community college classes.

I have a bachelor’s degree. I have an expired teaching credential–I let it lapse when I stopped working to home school my kids. I spent 7 years in a masters program for English and I don’t have a degree because the entire thing rested on my ability to hand write quickly in a short period of time. I wish they had given classes on that skill instead of on writing research papers. I had a high GPA. I can type a great research paper.

I learned hand writing in a school that thought the best way to teach me was to hit me. Daily. I don’t hand write much and what I do is torturous and slow. I think very quickly and my normal typing speed ranges between 50 and 100 words/minute depending on how excited I am with a given topic. That my degree rested on handwriting is pretty much what living with PTSD means for my life. I was beaten a lot as a child and I will be punished for my learned aversions for the rest of my life. (This is going to feel off-topic.)

I’ve been blogging for about eleven years. I would intermittently journal before that. For me, part of the draw of writing is getting to exist in front of people. So much of my life has been kept secret that I needed to have a public way of acknowledging who I am and what I go through to counter the fact that I can’t talk about most of my issues with most people.

It is a hard fact that when you grow up with incest there are a lot of topics that you have to walk away from when “normal” people get to have a friendly conversation. It sucks knowing that you can traumatize people just be letting them know that you really exist.

Writing allows me to step outside of myself and outside of the current moment by moment experience I am having of the world. If I record what I am feeling, thinking about, processing, and how I am processing things then I am capable of determining when I am stuck in a rut. “Day #63 of sitting here watching The West Wing. This isn’t good.”

I hold myself accountable. Also it means that I give myself credit where credit is due. That’s an important part of the process most people overlook. If you don’t give yourself credit for what you do right, you are less likely to maintain it.

I have come a long way in my life. I was more or less a feral child.  Despite the fact that I will probably be in therapy for the rest of my life (30 years so far–many of them paid by the state of California because I was a victim of violent crime. Prosecuting does have benefits beyond the obvious ones.) I am reasonably happy at this stage.

I have a husband. Two precocious, delightful children who are growing up with a kind of safety and love I could not have imagined. I spent ten years researching child development and training as a teacher so that I could be a parent without doing it badly. Not everyone is as lucky as me when it comes to healing and resources post-incest.

 

Ok, around 1100 words. I have to go eat breakfast now.

Anger and feelings

Now my ergonomic keyboard isn’t working. Because there is a conspiracy to destroy my arms.

Today was a therapy day. We talked about my feelings. Cause I have them. And I pay someone to listen to me fucking talk about them.

Something that happened before with running: after a while I can’t tell the difference between the different kinds of stomach pain. Anxiety, hunger, and illness all feel the same. They can all involve vomiting (or not) and tons of nausea. There isn’t much difference. So as my exercise increases and I’m using more calories my belly hurts a lot of the time. And I can’t tell the difference between hunger and anxiety. Which freaks me out chemically.

We talked a lot about my feeling angry earlier this week. And how my reaction to feeling anger is days of self-recrimination and punishment. I don’t feel like it is ok to be angry.

Even though these days the extremity of my anger is expressed through slamming a cabinet shut. And not that hard. Because I’ve already had to repair cabinets I’ve ripped off the wall and I uhhh don’t want to do that again. I’ve got enough shit to do.

I have punched a hole in a wall in years. I haven’t cut myself in years. I haven’t hit anyone in years. I haven’t inappropriately screamed and screamed at someone in a long time. I have screamed at my kids, but not recently.

I’ve been holding it together. I haven’t flipped out on anyone beyond a quavering voice in a long time.

I realized today that I haven’t had a panic attack in months. (I think that this is helped by how much pot I use.) That is a big deal. Through my teen years and my twenties I didn’t have very many months without panic attacks. Heck, for much of that time I didn’t have many weeks without panic attacks. They tend to go in waves. They get really bad for a while then they subside a little for a while. I’ll take whatever reprieve I can get.

I’m doing better. I really am. People who have known me since I was a teenager tell me I am much more calm. That’s a good sign.

But when I feel angry I treat that as deserving as much punishment as if I went to the park and started slapping kids. My standards for myself really aren’t within a range I can accomplish. I can’t stop feeling angry sometimes.

I haven’t raged at anyone in a long time. This is about as much control as someone like me gets. I spend a lot of time feeling like I am pathetic and disgusting if this is the best I can do. I’m not actually a nice person. I can just play one on tv.

My shrink asked me why on earth have I been babysitting so much for other people lately. I told her it is because I want those kids to know me. I want to have real relationships with them. I have known some of them since birth. I desperately hope they will see me as more than just an occasional party host. I want them to think of me as a caregiver.

That requires giving some care. With a smile on my face. When I feel frustration I need to ACKNOWLEDGE it and talk about how I will deal with it. That conscious modeling teaches the kids so much. My kids and other kids.

“Gosh. I’m feeling really frustrated because this isn’t going how I want it to go. I suppose I have a few choices. I could scream and jump up and down. Will that make things better? (Kids chorus: “No.”) Err, I could get mad and break it because then I won’t have to deal with this again. Will that make things better? (Kids chorus: “No.”) Oh. Am I going to have to take a deep breath, calm down, and try again? (Kids chorus: “Yes.”) Ah crum. That sounds like work. Alllllllllllll riiiiiiiiiiiight.”

Whine is intentional. It makes them giggle.

I’m not sure when I will feel like what I am doing is “good enough”. Part of my problem is, I deeply admire people who are making radically different choices. I want to emulate them. I want to pattern after them because I like them and respect them and look up to them.

But if I do I will wreck the good thing I’ve got going here. Some things aren’t compatible.

I told my shrink that I’ve been having a lot more sexual fantasy/visualization stuff again. She asked like what. I said I miss going to grocery stores looking for a trick. My favorite game is going to a vanilla place (not just grocery stores–but man I love them) and looking for someone. I win if I can get someone home and naked in under two hours. I’ve won the game. Not every time, of course. That wouldn’t be a very fun game.

I think my shrink hasn’t quite fully picked up on the “queer” thing. Multiple times she used very heterosexually focused language to describe who I would pick up and what I would do with them. I corrected her.

Girls who like casual sex are much harder to find than boys who like casual sex. That doesn’t mean I like boys more. Just that when it comes to going hunting, sometimes I like shooting fish in a barrel. Ahem.

She told me that the fantasy shit is “very empowering”. Which is a phrase that triggers my gag reflex. I’ve uhhh heard a bit too much about how victims should empower themselves. It always sounds squicky to me. (Squick, for those who don’t know, is the visceral, physical sensation you get when someone does something you really don’t like. Like someone sucking your toes if you hate that sort of thing. When you get that instinctive shiver of “yuck“. I kind of want to go on to a long list of things that squick some people but I’ll be kind.)

The scared, shameful, dirty feeling after I get angry is probably the most pressing “PTSD symptom” I have right now. That anxiety eats me for days. It means I can’t sleep. It makes me shorter and shorter.

If I feel intense anger it is really hard to calm down. It is really hard to stop feeling attacked and threatened.

I’d like to be clear that I’m rationally aware that no one is attacking me or threatening me at this stage of my life. Not no one. It’s been a long fucking time. I am not saying that I’m getting threats and so of course I’m scared.

No. If I go through the experience of getting angry (my baby-sitter being kind of flakey is annoying but not really that catastrophic–I get other kid care right now) even if I don’t do anything inappropriate I have days of fierce, mean, nasty self-recrimination. I eat irregularly until my stomach is a mass of pain. I don’t sleep enough–not nearly enough. The last few days have involved a lot of staying up late and still waking up early to grind on what a disgusting piece of shit I am.

I’m better than I was. I can distract myself if I’m awake and in front of a screen and smoking pot. Then I can stop the inside-voice-ranting. If I try to lay in bed and go back to sleep… Forget it. The brain weasels will eat me. I’ll end up crying and retreating to the garage to let Noah sleep anyway.

I suppose I use writing about the way I would use a sponsor if I were the AA type. Instead I smoke my pot. With the blessing of no less than two doctors and a therapist.

My shrink told me that I should probably move my blog to being behind some kind of wall. Folks under 18 shouldn’t be allowed to get access to my main writing.

I have feels about that. But if I’m going to be publishing books for the under 18 market I might now also want to have a public blog where I talk about the super hot stripper who was happy to uhhh come to the bathroom with me at a strip club one night. Or the other really hot girl I fucked in an elevator at a club. We really weren’t supposed to be doing that there.

My life has been pretty good.

Yeah. I like girls.

 

Running and body stuff

Bodies are weird. People are weirder.

I spent 2012 running because I wanted to be able to check “run a marathon” off of my bucket list. I had not been much of a runner before that. In the process I found that my body changed substantially. I was already riding the wave of lower-than-usual-weight because my Uncle Bob had recently died and I had divorced my biological family and that was really hard on me and I lost a lot of weight from not eating. I was down to the weight I had previously only reached while starving myself on Weight Watchers and exercising five days a week.

So having the “thinner” body is associated with lots of bad stuff for me. I get there when I’m starving myself and/or dealing with a lot of psychological pain such that my stomach hurts too much to eat. It’s not fun.

Also: when I lose weight the amount of street harassment goes up.

Think about the implication of that. I lose weigh *because* I am already having problems and then all of a sudden the ambient harassment I get in public increases.

Folks ignore the chubby chick running around the neighborhood. When I get thinner men start telling me they want to “come with me” or “distract me” or they just yell shit. And my neighborhood is pretty safe. I know enough of the neighbors that if I have a problem I can go three or four doors down, bang on a door and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt but I’m having a problem.”

I love my neighborhood so much. I appreciate that my neighbors are so friendly with me. I’ve been here for eight years now. I know people.

So it’s not like I’m scared but I really don’t like dealing with it. I feel worn down and tired. Being “thinner” feels more like being a piece of glass that gets thinner and more breakable with time. It’s not a good thing losing mass.

I don’t own a scale and I haven’t in a while and I don’t want to. I don’t care about tracking the number. Knowing it occasionally is just to have data. My recent doctor visit says I went back up to 170. Given the running schedule I’ve put together for the rest of the year… that won’t be true long.

Right now I have a belly. I like my belly. It means my forking pants fit. At this weight my “skinny” pants are tight and my “fat” pants are a bit loose but I can wear everything. It’s convenient.

If I lose a bunch of weight again I should probably just buy some clothes that fit instead of holding my pants on with rope the way I have been doing for a while. I don’t like most belts. So I use the rope belt that Jenny made for her Renaissance Faire costume years ago. She made it by braiding really bright ribbons.

I use this belt all the time. Every time I run it holds up my pants.

Every time I wear the belt I think of Jenny. I think of her kind of silently blessing my endeavors. Jenny loves me. Jenny wants me to keep on keepin’ on.

Being smaller is a weird thing for me. For one thing it means I am more shaped like my mother and that’s a mixed blessing. On one hand, she’s pretty cute. On the other hand… when I catch a glimpse of my body abstractly in a reflection I miss her so much I feel like I get hit with a solid fist of pain.

I want my mommy. I’d much rather be fat and never see her in the mirror again.

But if I’m going to run I don’t think I’m going to pull off fat. No matter how much I eat and let me tell you I try to keep weight on while I’m running. I eat like a hummingbird–my weight sixteen times over a day.

Running puts a natural limit on how much I can eat. After I get accustomed to the pace again I won’t be able to over eat very often. When I’m running my stomach picks a size and that is the size it is. I don’t get to under eat and I don’t get to over eat any more. It’s a really weird feeling. I didn’t exercise as a kid enough to know if that happened then.

So I do my best to eat a lot. I up the calorie density of everything (mmmm butter). But it turns into muscle and I melt away. Because apparently the me I see in the mirror is composed up of a lot of fat.

I don’t actually come from a family of heavy people. The only people in my family background who are heavy are the people with severe mental illness who are entirely sedentary. Everyone who isn’t so depressed they stop functioning is pretty fit.

I think I’ve tried to ignore that most of my life. I’ve always been sedentary and chunky-to-fat.

Losing the label of “fat” is weird and hard. It has been part of my identity for most of my life. I’ve been one of those prideful and hostile people. I don’t mind being fat and I will yell at people who act like it is a problem.

The heavier I am, the less sexualized I am to random men. Of course, there are guys like Noah who like heavy women but they generally are the kind to be chatty and friendly at a party and not the kind who yell things on the street. Which is to say: getting laid isn’t a problem at any size. But I like the invisibility of being heavy in day-to-day life.

My joints bother me off and on. Particularly my hand joints. I now compulsively make the same hand gestures as my mother. This getting old business sucks. As a result I semi-regularly don’t wear my wedding ring set.

I picked a platinum monstrosity. It’s gorgeous and I still feel a giddy thrill of “ohmygod someone let me have this?!” when I look down but it’s solid. Some days I can’t wear it because it makes my finger burn like fire. Which is unpleasant.

Oh holy shit do men feel like it is ok to just get close to me. I don’t remember this from when I was younger. “Hi” is usually the limit of the conversation with the strangers because I think my facial expression is not “welcoming”.

That being scary business is useful.

I wish I could be friendly without getting harassed. Gosh that would be nice.

I can. When I’m fat. So I look at my running schedule for the rest of the year and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I sure like being fit and strong and there are a lot of things I want to go do with my body that require as much or more fitness than I have now. On the other hand… being attractive kind of sucks.

I’m really kind of funny. I spent most of my early life working as hard as possible to attract as much sex as possible and now that it is appropriate (hey–at least more than it was when I was a kid!) I’m trying to figure out how to make it go away. I’m kind of stupid.

I seem to never be willing to do what is expected of me.

It is easy for me to be loving with my body when I’m fat. I feel less betrayed by my presentation to the world. When I’m fat it is easier to take long baths and rub in lots of lotion and give myself gentle touch. When I’m skinnier I tend to take showers and try to get “being naked” over with as fast as possible. I don’t really want to look at or touch myself.

I can tell by my clothing that my weight is shifting a bit. I’m trying to be conscious of the nicer things I do to myself and I’m trying to not stop.

I’m not sure if stopping the nice stuff is because I was that skinny during periods when I was insanely busy or depressed and most of my “me” time available was spent on exercising or working. I didn’t have as much time to sit around and take a bath.

So is it the chicken or the egg? I don’t know.

There are all these layers of things. When I’m running I mostly eat a reasonable diet… only I can’t keep my sugar under control. Sweet bread. That’s my down fall.

The difference is the exercise. When I get into a good routine for exercising, training for longer distances means specific conditioning, it’s a shit-ton of calories. Not to mention that I’m building muscle, which is more efficient at burning calories.

I think I partially stopped running cold because uhm… I was starting to have thigh gap. I think I stopped having thigh gap when I was eight. I don’t feel all that good about having it now. Yes, I’m aware some women are obsessed with it. I do not want to be in that camp. I don’t want to be associated with that camp.

I want to be strong and fit and have the fucking body I’m used to. God damnit.

If I could be a marathon runner with a size 16 body that would be perfect. That’s what I would want if I got to pick a body out of a hat. Unfortunately when I’m seriously training I’m more in the 8/10/12 range depending on brand. I hate the brands that tell me I’m an 8. First of all: no I am not. There are standards, you fuckers. Stop lying to people. Second of all: it is really fucking frustrating to have to take three or four sizes of something into the dressing room in order to find something that fits. Fuck all you fashion bastards.

I fucking hate buying clothes.

And where am I going to store my “fat” clothes? I sure as fuck am not getting rid of any of it. I’ve very carefully found my wardrobe. Maybe under my bed? Oh man.

I like being strong. I don’t like that it seems to come packed with being thin. That seems stupid to me. See, no one asks me what I want. Whine whine whine.

I understand that I live in a time and place where being thinner is a fucking billion dollar industry. (Many billions? I don’t track.) People seem to waste their whole lives on trying to lose weight. I don’t get it.

Ok, I did Weight Watchers when I hit my lifetime maximum weight and I could no longer ride the rides at Disneyland Paris. That bothered me. Being kicked off a ride because I was too physically big was uncomfortable emotionally. So I didn’t want that to be true. Also: I was in the bdsm community and I was on the verge of leaving my Owner and I needed to hunt. So I did lose weight on purpose then.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Then it went away and I wasn’t so happy.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Here we go round again.

I think my lowest adult weight was 148 when I was depressed after Puppy left me and I stopped eating for a month. I was living on a Jamba Juice a day. I got the big size. Sometimes I could swallow cheese. Sometimes it made me puke. This happened right after I moved out on my own to live alone for the first time ever. No one was there to care. So I didn’t care.

My highest non-pregnant weight was 218 as measured at Weight Watchers. I suspect I was a bit heavier a few weeks previously when I was at Disneyland Paris. Pregnant was 222. In between pregnancies and for a lot of my life I hung out in the 180’s. During my previous “more fit” periods I hung out around 165. Running leads me into the low 150’s.

I know some people gain and lose more than a hundred pounds. I know people who have gained and lost more than two hundred pounds. A range of 70 pounds isn’t that extreme. But my body changes a lot. I understand that in the world of Fat Acceptance I max out at what some people consider “skinny fat”. But if I’m fat enough to have employees of department stores sneer at me and tell me I won’t find anything in their store and if I’m fat enough to have people yell it at me while I walk by… it counts.

And every time I gain and lose my body changes shape. I’m hoping that soon I will look matronly enough to be left alone. I notice the dangling chicken wings below my arms with delight. I have old lady arms! Yay!

I’m not dead. I get to be an elder. Even though I’ve never respected my elders, most other people do. People are getting nicer to me with every passing year.

I note these changes with happiness. I feel kind of confused by the people around me who want to remain as young looking as possible. Being young has not been a good stage for me. I want to leave it behind. Far, far behind.

I like being bad ass. I even like being hot. I don’t like being treated like I am responsible for the random desires of men I don’t know. Yeah, I used to be interested and I didn’t mind so much then. Things change. Figuring out the signals is really hard.

I don’t want to be hostile but I haven’t found a better way of getting men to take “no” the first time I say it. Any softer “no” leads to extra pushing. If I am sure the answer is “no” the first time I must say it with great conviction. Otherwise they will push much farther than I want them to. This is consistent.

Anyway. I’ve been running on schedule for about a week now. I’d been running inconsistently one to three times a week for a while. I trained semi-efficiently for the Oakland half in March and I seriously hurt by mile 11. I need to treat my body with more respect and train better this time. Which means being a lot more serious about my cross training and weight training and stretching.

Which means my body is going to change pretty fast. My body, much to my surprise, likes picking up muscle. The more exercise I do the more it snowballs. I come from a family of fit people. My brothers were sports nuts. They had some talent. Tommy’s team was on its way to the Little League nationals when he got hit by a car. (Not literally on the way. The game was a few weeks? days? away. I can’t remember. I was little and living in a different state.) Oops. I never did hear what came of the team. I was too little to care. My other brother was sixth in the state for cross country in high school. But he was expelled two weeks before graduation for having alcohol on campus so it didn’t go anywhere for him. He could have gone to college on scholarship. Whoops.

I understand more now about genetics. When I was a kid I mistook the fact that I was learning for being unable to learn. I thought that because the people around me were so much better than me and they always won that meant I always would lose and I had no ability to improve or ever win.

Now I feel really sad that no one ever stopped and said, “Dude. You are four. Stop comparing yourself to people who are five and eight years older than you. Go compete with people your age. You are doing just fine. Keep trying.”

I gave up before I ever tried. And moving the way I did meant that I never had… anything. I just stayed home because it was the only way to be safe. Being sedentary was mandatory. So I never improved and it became a self-perpetuating “I can’t because I don’t”.

The things I know now…

If I had somehow had the will to exercise I probably would have been a much scarier kid. Probably better that I preferred reading.

But my kids are buff. My kids have so much freedom to move. Sometimes my inner eight year old weeps at how unfair it is that my kids have so much freedom compared to her. That was probably one of the worst periods of “can not leave my room without pain being inflicted on me”. That piece of me is specifically alive and well and bitter as a pull out of my inner child. It is as close as I come to having multiple personalities. The traumas I incurred at different ages have left specific big knots of scar tissue.

I wasn’t hurt physically for all of my life. For most of the time I was just left alone. Even though I am an intensely social person. Just like Shanna, I came alive at the sight of another person. Shanna can, and does, play alone–but it’s very different from her interactions with people. She gets to be with people all day every day. Well, sometimes I tell them to go play and I spend an hour in the garage. But they have never ever been left actually alone in the house. Well, not beyond taking the trash out. I don’t forking count that. I’m on the property. I can hear them.

Stopping to pay attention to this connection (my inner child acting up means my body has more activation and energy and I feel pissy) is part of the re-parenting process. I feel self-conscious and bad because this is part of what I want to get from the home schooling process.

I have to work through my resentment of other people getting “better” than I had. It is a lot of conscious effort to relax and calm down and be able to be present with my children. I have to actively forgive myself for having the childhood I had. It was not my fault. Both of my children are well into the ages when I was out finding neighborhood kids for oral sex. My kids don’t know what oral sex is. It has never entered into their fuzzy little brains. They are too busy whacking things with swords. As they should.

In being nice to my children through their developmental stages I work through understanding what should have happened to me. I learn what appropriate behavior is by reading multiple developmental books and educational theory books. I cross reference and design a model of an “appropriate” teacher for this stage. And I embody it to the best of my ability.

When I fuck up I apologize, explain what I should be doing and I do better next time. Just like my kids do.

We are all in progress here. I tell them, “I have never been a mother to a six year old AND a three year old at the same time before. I am still learning how it works. I’m sorry I made a mistake.”

Our mistakes are small and our forgiveness is huge. It works out.

My children will never remember anything other than a mother who is physically fit. They will not understand that I spent most of my childhood in a depressed haze sitting very still watching the same few VHS tapes over and over and over.

I’m in one of those phases where I understand why the “Trauma Recovery” people say that you have to forgive. My mom was not in a position to give me what I needed. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I can see why I was so hard for her. I’m actually impressed she didn’t beat me more often. Now that I understand the context of her life better… oh poor Mom. I’m not being sarcastic. I feel really bad for her. But I don’t think she could keep from fucking up my kids. Maybe in thirteen or so years I can look her up. We’ll see.

I am a very active person. It’s kind of insane that I spent my childhood as stationary as I did. I get why it happened. But it was really crazy-making.

I did have periods of activity. Auntie was good about making kids go play in the woods. Well, more accurately… she worked night shifts and I was alone most of the time when I lived with her. So I went out into the woods. I couldn’t wander neighborhoods in the random other places we lived because I got lost or got into fist fights. Auntie’s house was consistent enough that I could learn the lay out.

My relationship to my body has always been one of frustration. I have always been torn between being mad that I’m not bigger and being mad that I’m not smaller. Ok, I’ve lost the desire to be smaller. When I was younger and trying harder to pick up sex partners I was wildly jealous of the women who were 5’1″ or shorter. Now I think it would be inconvenient. I retain my desire to be bigger so that I could be more physically capable. I just don’t have the leverage to do some things. It is really annoying.

It has always been weird how much I trade off using my actual weight for using strength as I get smaller. Many of the tricks to use my weight as leverage stop working. Even twenty pounds of difference is a lot. That’s a lot of strength to make up.

Bodies are complicated.

Not a nice person.

Periodically I see references to the idea that every is a good person from their own point of view. Everyone views themselves as the misunderstood protagonist of their own story. Not me. I think of myself as more like an anti-hero. I am not morally superior. If anything I am inferior.

A long time ago it started to seem to me that being a hero was something that just wasn’t available to people like me. I am certainly a protagonist in my story though I am probably mainly an antagonist in other peoples stories.

As Agatha likes to say, “I can work with that.”

I don’t see a lot of point in working hard to be nice.

If I felt physically threatened I probably wouldn’t call the police I probably would beat the shit out of the person threatening me. I’m not so much with the “lawful good” personality trope.

Ok, the first thing I would do is verbally clear up the fact that this person knows it is a really stupid idea to threaten me. That clears up like 99% of issues without violence.

But it is backed up with the real and serious threat of violence. That means I’m not a nice person. I can work with that.

I’m not going around beating people up for casual insults or for doing things I don’t like. I am too apathetic for such shenanigans.  I will only hurt someone if I believe I must do so for self defense. I have experienced an unusually broad range of conflict from mild verbal to physical fights.

Calli turns four in August. Then we all get to enroll in martial arts. Whee! It will be good for us. Maybe they can teach me more control over my abysmal temper.

The goal isn’t now or ever to be a nice person. I want more control over how and when I am not-nice but that doesn’t mean I want to be a nice person.

What makes someone a “good” person or a “bad” person. Are all soldiers automatically bad because they have the potential to kill? Some of them even have. The ones who do kill people tend to come home totally fucked up.

I’ve never killed anyone. Does that make me a good person? But if someone hurt my babies and I thought the police were going to do nothing… Well I don’t feel real bound by the 10 Commandments anyway.

I’d take that person to the desert. My babies are off limits. The penalty for fucking with them is your life.

Does the fact that I will defend my children make me a good person? If I don’t defend my children am I a good person or a bad person? I would be a non-aggressive person. A passive person.

Mostly I just make sure they aren’t alone with people. Not even for a few minutes. And they know ALL the technical names for their body parts and explicitly that anything covered with panties is *private* and people who touch you there mean you harm when you are a kid.

My kids will not be victims.

And I’m very ok with that meaning that I can’t be a nice person. Ok. No problem. I lost that potential long, long ago anyway. I will be fierce instead.

If I were still trying to be a nice person I think I would be paralyzed with fear. I have too much bad in me that might leak out if I say the wrong thing. I might have to stop talking altogether if I wanted to be “nice”.

The little slice of the world I inhabit isn’t very nice. I think it is funny that so many of these writers know only people who think they are nice. Really? I know a lot of people who would laugh at the idea that they are “nice people”.

My shrink says that people who have had easy lives don’t feel comfortable standing near me and that is a lot of why I know so many people with ridiculous trauma histories. She tries to get me to understand that my view of the world is perhaps a bit skewed.

I know a lot of former childhood prostitutes, male and female. I know a lot of people who have been arrested for violence. I know a lot of rapists. I know a lot of people who beat the shit out of people for fun or money. Not like, mafia beat people up or anything.

I didn’t manage to end up friends with the nice fluffy spank-o-philes who just like a nice spanking. I know the people who want to be cut up with razor blades and long whips and turned completely black and blue from all the terrible bruising.

I broke a bone in a scene and didn’t stop the scene for health care. I stayed tied up for hours. We stayed at the party for a while after the scene before we bothered going to the hospital.

Pain is part of my life in a way it isn’t for most people.

I’ve had two hard pregnancies followed by two hellish labors (One unmedicated for 40 hours the other unmedicated for nine days) and neither was anywhere near as painful as when a large man picked me up by my pectoral muscles and shook me like a dog with a toy.

I thought that feeling was so overwhelming I would completely and totally combust from pain. That is still my personal 11. Nothing has been as painful as that.

And I have pictures from a long and storied relationship before that showing how I worked up to it.

Then the week after the hardest scene ever Noah asked me to marry him. Then things changed.

Let me tell you, there is no way to tell the story of me and Noah without it sounding like a rescue mission. All of these pieces fit together and layer.

My Owner was pretty happy with Noah as a partner for me. He gave me Daddy’s permission to date that nice boy. Even Puppy (a not-nice person I dated in between the times I dated Noah) gave me his blessing when I married Noah.

Pretty much all of my ex’s came to my wedding reception. They were all jolly and happy and very glad to see me with someone who wanted to jump through the hoops they were not fucking interested in jumping through.

I feel lucky. Despite the fact that I am not very nice people still love me. As much as I talk about being a raging asshole… that doesn’t actually come out much any more. It did when I was much younger. It did when I was a kid, a teenager. I had it mostly under control by my twenties and I’m doing really well in my thirties.

think mean thoughts but I mostly keep them to myself. To people I say the nice things I think. I’ve learned better how to filter them at full speed. Like all skills it has taken a lot of practice.

But I’m still not nice. Because if I need to say mean things in order to create the effect I want to create I will fucking well do that and probably not feel bad for more than a few seconds.

I have no problem with being nasty to racists but I’m working on doing it with slightly lower volume because I dislike having my throat hurt from screaming. See, still not nice.

My children are the best mirrors in the world. Children learn to treat you by watching how you treat the world around you. They don’t do what you say they do what you do. I don’t really want my kids to have to deal with the punishments that come with being a screamer. And clearly we are all screamers. So I have to figure out how to change myself.

I can’t get through this by telling them what they must do without changing me first. That really blows.

A friend commented with dismay when his childling heard the definition of rules-lawyering and was happy. “No! Don’t do that!” I encourage my kids to do it. Without yelling. Without pestering.

The pestering rule is kinda my favorite thing. Persistence is awesome! Pestering is annoying. Asking for something more than three times is pestering and then you don’t get to have whatever it is that day.

Bam.

When my kids ask for something a second time all I have to say is, “That is your second request.”

And they zip up their lips faster than you can say, “Bob’s y’er uncle.”

I get the impression they react pretty much how I react when someone says their version of “You are getting close to a boundary.”

React with glee! They are defining themselves for you! This is a good thing!

When people used to ask me to leave the morning after a pick up I took that as a sign of healthy boundaries and I left happy to know that I hadn’t over stayed my welcome.

I like my house. I like that I am not going to be kicked out. I can make it as weird as I want to. It’s ok. I have permission. I don’t need no fucking permission. Something. Anything. I can do it to my house.

Kind of crazy.

I look at the houses around me and think, “Man we have different aesthetics.” My neighborhood is full of people doing shit to their houses. Some are gentrifying. Some are just doing general maintenance and repairs to the facades they created decades ago. They like the look of it.

My house right now is just one of the shittier ones (from the outside) in the neighborhood. Not quite derelict, but man do we need to do some repainting. Shabby. Not improved upon since the 1950’s.

Meh. I don’t want to spend the money so I ignore it.

We all channel our frustrations in different ways. I have lots of control issues and I’m not a very nice person. Only I can be very nice and very polite and great to talk to.

Isn’t that why sociopaths are so dangerous (not that I’m a sociopath–too much empathy)? They are so charming. I don’t have to be nasty just because I’m not a nice person.

So many layers.

Noah says I’m consistent. I think I have so many special cases that it is weird that he can find consistency.

I think it is much healthier that I now side track onto thinking about home improvement projects rather than sex or being hurt. I know that I will have to make my own status in this life. I inherit nothing positive. People think of me only as a sum of what they can see.

I can get away with whatever I try hard enough to get away with. If I want to have a community I have to go out and fucking meet the people around me and introduce myself and consistently say “Hi” and smile for years.

Having a distinctive yard is helping. “Oh! You did that!” Yup.

Small pond. A very small pond. I want to be a big fish in a very small pond. That’s all I have the spoons for. I know all those other lakes and rivers and oceans exist but they are kinda scary for me. I like my very small pond.

Here everyone walks to the table completely neutral to one another. We have no preconceived associations other than the most gross (meaning large–not necessarily yucky) and general racial and sexual assumptions.

It was just dumb luck. We happened to move to the same neighborhood during the same span of time. Let’s talk.

I have lived here longer than anywhere else in my whole life. I want to know my neighbors the way other people got to get to know their elementary school peers. I want it.

My kids need community. Communities happen when people create them. Just keep doing things.

I’m not a nice person. But I can be quite charming and fun when I put my mind to it. When I try.

This is why I try to limit my time with people to the amount of control I have to give.

I am an angry girl. But I’m not angry with you. And I try hard to differentiate my behavior better than that. You are not a representative sample of your group to be punished for the whole. No one is. No scapegoats here.

We are not a collective. We are a bunch of individuals. That is why change is so hard. It can’t be mass taught or enforced. It has to be lead.

People aren’t willing to dramatically change their opinion in public. That would mean losing face.

Grow the fuck up.

Under promise; over deliver.

About six years ago I started seeing a guy for massages. A few months into knowing one another I said, “We are more ‘friendly acquaintances’ than ‘friends'” and he took that as a challenge. He’s been showing up at my house once or twice a month ever since. He helped me remodel my garage back when he had two days a week off instead of one. Now that he works six days a week he can only handle shorter visits and I wouldn’t dream of imposing physical labor on him. That’s what friendship means. Seeing one another’s limits.

Yesterday he said that he and his wife have been talking about what they have to offer me in terms of support because clearly I could use some. He said that he was not sure that he could make any type of permanent commitment, the most they could consider was maybe five years or until the WWOOF year since that’s six years away. I countered with the fact that I probably would not be able to trust a longer than three months at a time commitment. We will keep talking. We’ll see.

So I have been pretty sober lately (I took medication this morning because if I wake up at 3am sobbing it’s going to be a day) and that means the return of dreaming. I’m really sorry I’m dreaming again.

My mom used to forget to pick me up from school. In her defense I didn’t always live with her so it’s not like I was a day-in-day-out responsibility for 18 years and she oops forgot in the middle of that. It was pretty common for me to sit in front of school until dinnertime because that was when she thought of me. One memorable day involved sitting there till bedtime. Sometimes, in some places, a principal would come and sit with me and wait. I always knew we would move soon after that happened because my mom didn’t appreciate the principal’s nasty look.

I woke up thinking about my sister. She would shove me or hit me or knock me down. By the time I was eight or nine I would tell her, “If you hit me I will call 1-800-4-a-child and report you for abusing me.” This would result in hours of her screaming at me. There were lots of variations but the basic thread was that I was a stupid bitch and a cunt and she would show me what real fucking abuse was if I didn’t fucking watch myself.

For a while I asked some friends if we could have dinner once a month. I was slightly pestering. I asked repeatedly over a many month time frame. I was told “Oh yes oh yes”. Then my emails didn’t get returned. I started asking more than six months ago and it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think I will ask again.

My bestie keeps talking about wanting to move out of the area. I’m having trouble containing my feelings when she does this. I understand that my role as her friend is one of support and it isn’t ok for me to tell her she can’t move if that is what is right for her. My job will be to help her pack and wish her well and keep in touch. If I lose out on most of the support I have in the process that is my problem and not hers. That is how life works.

I feel really pathetic for needing help and support. This is why I’m trying to get to know the neighborhood teenagers. They are more likely to still be around in a few years and I won’t take it personally when they want to move on in life.

I think I overly internalized the friend who dumped me for being a drug addict because of the pot. I mean, he was just building on my lifelong hatred of all of my family members. The only drug I ever saw them do was pot. So I attributed all of the behavior issues and problems to pot and I hated it with a passion until well into my mid 20’s. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I kind of “figured out” that the behavior problems were because of the meth and coke and crack and crank and whatever other names you want to use. I don’t even know which of those things are “the same” but I know that they are all words I heard in my home as a child. I just didn’t understand what they meant.

I tried pot because a friend told me to. Pot is the only thing that has ever broken through the repetitive negative thoughts. Pot seems to be the only way I don’t go through my day whispering “worthless whore” to myself over and over. I wish I could end the repetitive negative self-talk.

When people tell me “I want to come over, how about x day” and then they don’t come… it just builds on my sense that I am worthless. For my own self-protection I need to not try with those people any more. Even if that makes me feel bad and like I am abandoning people.

I feel horrible guilt that my spoon level requires that I only know people right now who are capable of under promising and over delivering. That is the only way I can know that I am not going to have to suddenly compensate for what feels like people lying to me.

I understand that people “didn’t mean to”.

I have to be nice to my kids all day every day. It doesn’t matter what other people mean. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Which results in an awful lot of my friends feeling like they can’t reach out or offer anything to me at all. Because they can’t PROMISE and so they feel that what they have to offer is worthless.

Man it seems like all we are going to do is fuck each other up.

This is part of that “I am toxic waste and will hurt everyone around me” thing.

I appreciate the people who are telling me not to go off my meds. I appreciate that people who show up at my house and actually watch me interact with my children over prolonged periods of time tell me that I should be medicated. Honestly not as much the other kind of people. Sharing that you think you are better because you medicate and you suspect it is true of me is different than telling me what to do. (K–you totally nailed it.) Splitting hairs is what I do.

If what you mean to say isn’t being heard how you mean it then you need to be willing to adapt your message for a different audience. That is what communication is about.

I’m kind of good at that and kind of shitty. Embrace the dichotomy. Resiliency is based on opposing traits. I hear. From “experts”. Psh. Who gives a shit. I am not actually all that impressed with science. Go look at meta-science about research. It’s all crap. But it’s all we have.

There’s a Carsie Blanton song about that: All We Got.

(Did it work?)

I spend a lot of time every day being grateful for Noah. He grew up with a level of mental illness I will hopefully never reach. It taught him a lot about not looking to other people for his reality. It taught him that he might have to actually defend himself from people who want to hurt him. And yet his dad is still there. Fully committed until one of them dies.

When you say “for better or worse” no one promises that there will be more better than worse.

Living with Noah isn’t always perfect. He pisses me off sometimes. But he is consistently kind and generous with me. He meets his commitments. He’s sure not to commit to something he can’t do.

I think I will get mad at every person who is ever in my life. Anger is how I find my boundaries. It isn’t the most ideal reaction–yeah I fucking know. But Noah has earned a lot of trust from me.

He pisses me off, but when I figure out that I’m angry I can walk away and defuse my anger and come back and negotiate calmly (ok my tone may not be perfect) and there can be a resolution. And he won’t agree to something he can’t do. We find a way to reach something we can both live with. Then he fucking does what he says.

It’s…

When he does fuck up it usually makes him feel worse than me. And at this point the fuck ups are at the level of “I thought we had the ingredients for _____ meal but we don’t.” Uhhh, I can live with that. It’s my fault we ran out anyway because I didn’t bother going to the grocery store.

Oh man. I can feel the medication now. Thank g-d. Arms hurt.

It just occurred to me that I have a ‘brother’ tag and a ‘daddy’ tag and a ‘mother’ tag… but nothing for my sister. I think I’m still afraid of her. She doesn’t live that far away from me. She knows where I live (err, if she is capable of remembering). She uhh consorts with undesirable folks. To be an uppity piece of shit about it.

Kids are up.

Didn’t wake up crying.

I’m up to 38, 471 words. It is getting harder to think of topics I should cover. Almost through the process. Thank goodness.

Therapy was good yesterday. I got to have some time off afterwards because K told me not to come home until two. Yes, ma’am. I sat and ate and wrote. Good thing because I was falling behind in word count.

I have a blank white wall in my garage. Noah suggests islands. My garage is much warmer now. The wall is tilted because it was built around the garage door in such a way that I could believably tell the city inspector that I can dismantle it myself in an hour so SURELY this isn’t a permanent room and thus breaking city code. But it is much warmer now!

Today I need to put plant bulbs in the ground. Daffodils and tulips of joy oh my. So “need” is probably a strong word. They are in the fridge and according to planting guides they want to go in the ground sometime in the next five days. Today is the best day. The lovely rain softened up the ground for me. How convenient.

My therapist and I talked about the whole unmet needs thing. I told her that I’m struggling with the fact that I have actual needs at this point in my life but they are going unmet and they will continue to go unmet and at some point my kids will grow up and I won’t have these needs anymore and hopefully it will be easier then.

I’m kind of used to having needs that aren’t met.

But sometimes even when you have actual needs they will never be met and it won’t kill you. And you have to just get up and keep moving anyway. Even though your needs aren’t being met.

I keep checking the internet. My mother told me that if I took my children away from her she would kill herself. She isn’t dead yet. I guess the need for my children wasn’t as strong as she thought. I think I’m glad. I’m not sure.

I have a lot of good reasons for being an angry person. That doesn’t make it easier for anyone to put up with. That doesn’t mean that people should put up with me lashing out at them.

I asked Noah if I am still harsh with him. He said not anymore but I used to be. I used to be that harsh when I didn’t believe that he would respond well to boundaries or support me or believe me. But I’m not harsh any more. I stopped a while ago.

I blog the way I do, in this stream of conscious sometimes I regret volunteering all of my inner drama to the world sort of way because people like me usually never find a voice.

Being inside my head is not pretty. I really and truly want to accurately reflect it. Being a real person means that you are not always what other people want you to be. That means the difficulties and the good things too.

When I die it will be possible for people to still know a lot about me. The good, the bad, the ugly. It is really important to me for reasons I couldn’t possibly explain. It just is. I hope I am this obnoxious for the rest of my life. Not because everyone deserves to be trashed–that’s not the point. I’m not trashing people.

When I complain about issues I tend to complain about larger patterns and not particular people. I have had a large number of people over the years tell me that they have thought about helping me and they decided not to. That pretty much exact exchange has happened numerous times. I don’t think I have ever blogged about it before (can’t recall off the top of my head) so it is this invisible pattern in my life. It’s a pattern that is causing me problems.

I haven’t talked about it because I know the people involved “mean well”. I don’t actually want to hurt people. I have way more tact than anyone would believe.

But sometimes I am not able to put my head down and shut my mouth and just smile and say thank you. Sometimes I can’t. I regret my lack of control but I’m not sure mastery of this subject is within my grasp in this decade. Maybe later.

If you need to exist out in public that means you will be judged and that means that sometimes you will fuck up in public. Sometimes people will not like how you are acting. That has to be part of the process.

I don’t promise to talk nice in my blog. I promise I will do my best to always treat you exactly how you deserve in person. I’m very sorry that knowing about the difference between what I think and how I act is hard. I am trying to learn how to not be offensive. I don’t know how to turn my brain off though.

I am looking forward to planting and spreading some mulch today. I’ll move slowly.

I’m not going to paint the garage wall this winter. Can’t do it. That means the garage is put back together for a few months. Today I will attach the bookshelves to the wall. That’s the non-self-hating thing to do. I hear.

I’m very glad I get to pick what I do in a day.

I’m very glad I get to spend today with my girls.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that when I was Calli’s age my parents divorced. My mom moved a boyfriend in to support her and I was “mean to him” and he left resulting in my mom and sister hating me. We became homeless. I was sent off to live with the first in a long string of homes. That was when I started rocking and crying myself to sleep.

I’m glad I get to be with my kids all day. I want this life so bad.

The house is clean so the kids can help with cooking stuff. There is room and space and I won’t freak out as I trip over things. I can be patient enough to let them make another mess.

I’m not teaching them to be kids. I’m teaching them how to be an adult. Adults have to go do a lot of different things. You have to have skills. We’ll get to academics. Later.

Today will probably be good. I’m almost done with my reading list. I’m almost done with my gardening projects for the whole year. I’m done with house stuff for the year.

I want to put up the outside Christmas lights. We haven’t gotten a tree yet but we’ve done the rest of the decorating. (I had to move the cabinet the decorations were in–I might as well put them up at the time. Also we will be out of town for 10 days of Christmas. I’d rather not have to do the decorating during the shortened time period. I instead get to come home to Christmas. Yay!)

Noah is making cookies already. I should freeze some. He’s made three kinds so far. Sugar is love. Ha.

My house is already clean enough and set up enough for the party in a month. I will only have to do flight of the bumble bee.

We are in the process of eating all the carbs in the house (almost done with the backlog in the freezer) because come January I will have to do an elimination diet. Yes I will work with medical professionals. I need to need less pot to deal with the pain in my body. I need to stop paying for the ability to eat. This isn’t working. It is too expensive. I need to do something else.

I would like to be fully off of pot before I go on the cross country road trip with the kids in 2015. I don’t think I should be driving during the days and getting stoned every night while I camp alone with my kids. That strikes me as wildly inappropriate and unsafe. So I have to be functional in my body alone before then. I have a year to make it work. Ok. That’s what next year will have to be about. Shit.

Some people need a crutch for their whole life and there is no shame in it. Sometimes you need a crutch for a temporary period. I went about 25 years unmedicated (there were some stupid periods mid-way where I tried meds–I was so sick the whole time) so I will have to get back to that. Stress management has always been how I have done it.

Sex, exercise, better food choices for my body (which I don’t have a fucking clue about right this minute), and I don’t even know what else.

I feel good about the fact that my life is so clearly plugging along. I may be whiny but I get shit done. Things are changing.

I will have tulips in the spring and for every spring afterwards.

I don’t know how much gardening this year will bring. I may be growing very different foods next year if I can’t have nightshades any more. We’ll see.

I am trying to organize some local families into a fruit gleaning group. I have buy-in and initiative. I just need to figure out the details and do the back end work. That will probably be part of next year.

Next year I am going to have to find the courage to go get rejected by a bunch of publishing houses. Woo. bleh.

Good thing next year is next year and this year is this year and I am almost DONE WITH MY CHORE LIST!! Ahem. I uhh probably take too much self-identity from this.

I have completed 50 new-to-me books so far and I am more than halfway through two more.

I really changed the yard this year. Man I’m grateful for the help I got. I sing hallelujahs and praise the names. Paying for help does not invalidate that it is help.

I’m happy with the house progress. I’m overjoyed that my garage will no longer flood. I like the pantry set up a lot more than I did. This is better. Once I have the boxes outside for the tools I think the pantry will be perfect for at least five minutes. Then I’ll find a reason to whine. I’m talented.

No, I’m kidding. I think I may have found a configuration that can just last for years. I feel… way more feelings than I should about this. I’m happy with the idea that my house is settling into a shape where I might stop ripping it apart constantly.

I get to be here. I get to stay here. I’m allowed to make this into what I really want. Nope, it isn’t polished and perfect and an expensive looking house. I’m kind of a cheap date. I’m happy with cotton batting over the pipes as a line of clouds instead of a wooden enclosure. I think it is pretty fun.

I don’t need perfect. I’m not perfect. I’m having fun.

fake it.

I worry about how much I worry about how I affect other people. I don’t work nearly as hard on being nice to my body. I pay a lot of attention to how my behavior impacts my kids. For a while now Shanna has had an occasional eye tic. It is a stress response. I feel that this is a sign that I am not behaving how I should.

It is hard having to pretend that I experience less stress than I do just because it hurts other people that I run so hot. Hot in the sense of high stress load.

I feel very guilty that I had kids because I wanted to have a relationship that was intense and all day every day. I wanted to have the company. I wanted to have to learn how to be nice. I wanted to learn what it means to teach people without shame and resentment. I want it still.

It feels like I created people just so I could perform a science experiment. That doesn’t seem like a nice thing to do. But I’m not sure that the reasons that other people have kids are “better”. I know that I feel guilty that I am not better. I am not fully arrived at behaving how I should for my kids. I don’t deserve them.

I tell myself that my kids are having a good childhood in the scheme of their species. I am nice to them. I do take care of them. They have a wide variety of healthy, good tasting food. They don’t get yelled at much. They have appropriate clothing for the weather. They are allowed to play all day almost every day. (By “allowed” I really mean “forced”.) They are given all the kisses and hugs they want every day. They are allowed to tell me to stop doing anything except for cleaning their bodies. And I don’t even do that much. Usually I default to “fine if you want to be dirty it is your body.” Once in a while the filth gets to be a bit much. And I’m fanatical about teeth care.

I’m doing “better” than I used to be able to do. But it really doesn’t matter. I need to be enough better to stop scaring my kids. If I am producing stress in my kids then my behavior is a problem. I am not behaving good enough. It’s not ok.

My kids should not have to watch me like a weather vane hoping to determine how difficult I will be to put up with that day. That’s not ok. That is a level of crazy I don’t get to inflict on them. I actually really appreciate that Shanna has such “tells”. She is not nearly old enough to talk to me about the stress she is feeling. But I can just look at her face and know whether I am “soft” enough. When she looks nervous I have to visibly calm down and retract the energy I am sending out into the room. It is hard to do. It is a very conscious decision to “look” like I am not angry or upset or anxious.

I can’t just decide to not feel angry or upset or anxious. I feel that way most of the time. I feel scared. I feel like everyone is going to be angry with me soon because I am going to break a rule and then they won’t want to know me any more. I am scared shitless my kids will grow up and not want to know me because I am such an asshole.

But I can’t act like I am having the feelings I am having. I have to fake it.

I saw a friend yesterday I don’t see much. Usually I contain my shit better. This time she saw me right after therapy. She got to see all the messy shame and crying because I don’t know to be “better” already. I feel pretty pathetic that I have been in therapy for almost three decades and I’m still crazy. I still spend a lot of my time shaking in fear. I still spend a lot of time hiding in dark rooms so I can sob uncontrollably. I hide it better. I keep it in a box better.

I fake it better.

Not well enough. My kids see the stress. It isn’t ok for my stress to impact them.

My shrink wants me to look for a meditation class to attend with my kids. I wish that such a thing would not involve a drive to Berkeley. I will look though. It is a good suggestion.

Shanna has been asking more questions about my mom. “Did your mom love you?” “What good things happened to you when you were a kid?” “What did your mom do that was so bad?”

I told her that I don’t actually know if my mom loved me or not. I think she did. I hope she did. I believe she loved me as well as she could and it is really hard when that isn’t enough. I wrack my brain trying to come up with positive stories. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m just a whiny bitch and someone else would have been able to find a lot more joy in my childhood or if it was really bad enough that I should have trouble remembering anything positive. I tell her flat out that she isn’t going to know about the really bad stuff until she is an adult. I told her she doesn’t need to think of me that way.

I’m not always very rational about food so I talk about the food insecurity issues a lot. I feel relatively unashamed of them. The more I read about foster children the more I feel “ok” about having the food issues I have. They make sense in context.

I talk to Shanna about control. Like I ask her how she feels about being directed and forced to do what other people want during a specific period of time. I ask her how she would feel if she never got to pick what she was doing. I ask her how she would feel if she came home and ALL of her toys were gone. Stuff like that. I talk about how when I was a kid I felt very out of control so I controlled what I would put in my mouth.

I talk to her about how sad it is for me that I didn’t get to have any of these good foods when I was a kid. She pities me. I talk about the ways my body has problems because of the food I have eaten. My kids are very aware of nutrition and the things they need to eat. “You have to eat green stuff because it helps you poop!” We do talk about other aspects of nutrition but that is their favorite. Neither of my children have my constant-diarrhea problem (I am hoping this is because of lower stress). They instead are mildly prone to heading in the other direction so I repeat things I have learned from friends with constipation issues.

My shrink says I should answer every question and not dance around things. Well, she doesn’t think I should say I was raped until they are more like puberty age but she is less convinced I need to wait for the magic number of 18. We’ll see.

I cancelled park day for next week. Half of playgroup for next week cancelled. I won’t be sad if the other half cancels. Having five kid-social events in a two week period is too many for me.

I am doing too much. I can’t keep doing these 12+ hour work days. Social time counts as work time whether I like it or not.

I’m having a hard time with the balance of life thing. I have a lot of things I want done. I am having trouble with the fact that it takes a while to get all the things done. In order to put it in perspective I asked Noah about how many man-hours it takes to produce an iPhone for people to bitch about not working magically enough. He said probably in the neighborhood of 500 man-years not including factory work. That’s software/hardware design.

Stuff takes time. Not everything that can be done by a group of humans can be done by a singular human. No matter how much you want it. There just aren’t enough hours in a life. Figure out what you want to build and how you want to spend your time.

Sometimes Shanna asks me about my crying. I tell her that every body is different. When I feel too much emotion inside my body I cry no matter what the emotion is. Sometimes I’m happy; sometimes I’m sad; sometimes I’m angry; sometimes I’m frustrated. My body has just decided that all of these things come out as tears. Sometimes I am crying because bad things happened a long time ago and I was not allowed to cry then and my body needs to let go of that piece of being sad or scared so I’m doing it now. I’m safe now. It’s ok in my life now to just have feelings, so I do.

She gives me a lot of hugs. I am trying so hard not to turn her into a major source of emotional support. I don’t talk about specifics. I talk about how to be an adult and deal with the body you have. I’m very afraid of emotional incest. I know that it is a common “next generation” away from incest mistake.

I am an intensely overly sexualized person. More than that, I tend to not know how to be friends without sexualized touching. I have a lot of big needs that have gone unfilled for my entire life. I feel kind of desperately needy sometimes.

I can’t treat my kids like they are here for my support. I created these relationships because I need to learn how to give support, not because I think I can or should get much back. I’m here for the satisfaction of giving. I have to have the quiet glow that comes from a job well done. I am not going to get a lot else. Not from my kids. Well…. years of kisses and hugs. That’s nice. But at some point they will pull back and that has to be ok.

It is hard learning to be this kind of self-contained. It means I am talking to Noah a lot less about what is going on with me. I can’t breach the defenses at all. We don’t have time. What time we are together we mostly talk about his work and the basics of project stuff or kid stuff. I am very much hiding in the roles I created for myself. I don’t have room for my crazy there. I have to mostly take the crazy off-stage.

I can’t just make the crazy go away this way. But I can damn it up until I have a better space to deal with it. I had better let steam off once in a while or I will be sorry. Very sorry.

I woke up this morning dreaming about cutting. I don’t dream much any more. I rarely remember them at least. Not since I started pot. But this morning I woke up with my hand already moving along my other arm. I’m not sure where that came from. I stopped cutting my arms by early high school. I moved on to my legs because that was easier to hide.

My therapist wants me to go find more things to do as “self care” and I wake up wanting to cut. I do need more stress relief. That has always been my tool of serious self care. That is how I let the steam off. I go off in private and I make sure I am not anyone else’s problem. And I let myself feel how much I hurt all the time. But I have to hide it because it makes other people feel uncomfortable.

Fake it till you make it.

I’m not making it.

If I knew what I “needed” I would do whatever I had to go get it. I would do it. Even if it sucked. Really if you could arrange extra suck just for me that would make me feel better.

Sometimes it is hard knowing that the journey is the point. I am making it. I am nice to my kids and random people in restaurants and my neighbors when they aren’t being racist assholes. I only yell about things that need to be yelled about. Silence is consent. I am not going to leave people ambiguous about how I feel on some topics. Even if that means I’m not nice. If you have never upset anyone then you have never stood for anything.

I have nothing to lose at this stage.

Sometimes it is kind of weird knowing that Noah is the linchpin. All of the luxury and privilege of my life is based on his ability to earn money. I groom him like a friggin race horse. He has more than doubled, nearly tripled, his salary since we met. Because I’m pushy and I give him feedback on what he should or shouldn’t be doing. That’s kind of weird. We really are good for one another.

I’m having a lot of anxiety about spending all of the money Noah earns. I’m not looking forward to my end of year reckoning on Mint. I mean, in terms of petty cash we are higher than we were at the end of last year. We retired a lot of extra mortgage. But I did not save all that I wanted to save.

I kind of went nuts in the back yard instead. And this Texas trip isn’t cheap. I’m going to have to deal with my anxiety. I am fucking thrilled with my yard. Not a single dollar was wasted. I am ecstatic. The only thing between me and what I see in my head is a lot more work on my end. I’ll get there. It will be really pretty. But it is man-years ahead of me and that is sitting hard. It feels like I wasted the money because I didn’t finish the project and now it’s just kind of half-way and limbo sucks.

I do this. Don’t mind me.

At the end of the year I always feel like I am a bad person for spending money on things I wanted. I don’t deserve all the money I spend. I feel really bad that I am not more frugal with Noah’s money. I should make it spread farther. I should be saving more for the kids. I shouldn’t be so selfish.

But really… is building a playground in my back yard purely selfish? My anxiety yells at me that I shouldn’t be doing the work. I’m stupid for adding all the work.

But I want a pretty yard. I didn’t inherit one. I have to make it. Yeah, it will be back breaking work for a decade or so. Stop bitching and do the work. Don’t feel bitter you twit. This is a choice. Beauty doesn’t just happen automatically for most people. And most of what I want is stuff that wouldn’t have been in place anyway.

I’m just being a whiny bitch.

I’m thinking that there will be the Friday Funhouse version of Wonderland. I close my eyes and see kids running around in packs. I hear the laughter and shouting. I turn around and see grown ups playing games and talking and laughing.

I want the laughing so much. I want it so much I ache inside. Crying isn’t really the way to get people to feel good. Laughter doesn’t come from the places I dwell.

It is a little weird to me sometimes that my therapist knows so little about me. Ha. She continues to be shocked by how many people I know. People with as much trauma as me usually hide in their houses for the rest of their lives. They don’t go out and meet social group after social group. People like me usually can’t fake it well enough.

Am I faking it or am I “learning social skills”? I’m not sure they ever really feel natural for anyone.

One of the things I like the most about Noah is that he doesn’t flinch around me. I don’t scare him. I don’t intimidate him. I go back and forth between wanting my kids to have a similar level of toughness and knowing that it usually comes from trauma. And I just can’t traumatize them. I can’t.

Stop clenching your jaw, Krissy. Deep breaths. Whatever you are feeling is just a feeling. It will pass. This moment isn’t forever. You aren’t faking it. This is the process. The frustration is part of the process.

Time to stop typing.

Not proud.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t feel proud of myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She told me she forgives me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I still lost.

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

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

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

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

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

He didn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the point. It is all a game.

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

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

That is comforting and very disturbing.

more thinking. less err, tmi

I’ve been sitting here listening to The Coup more. It is nice that youtube has these automatic playlists so you can listen to a whole album. And have a screen open next to it with the lyrics at the same time. A lot easier to understand. Ok, Violet isn’t actually one of the best ones. But it made me think about relationship stuff.

(I’m trying to not think about my bits. Bear with me.)

Well, more accurately it made me think of when and how I have done drugs. I usually have done so because I saw no other way of making that person like me. I want people to like me. Not many people like me. When people talk very nastily about young kids who use drugs… I think education is the path. Not hostility.

I have tried a pretty fair variety of drugs. A lot of them I tried because I was in a situation where I was dependent on a man (I thought) and he said, “Here. Do this.” I’ve only gone after a few drugs for my own reasons.

I was thinking about that because I tried a different intake of medication today and apparently the cheeba chews do a lot more to deal with the stomach pain than smoking, vaporizing, or pills. I’ve tried all in the last two or three days. I tried a different kind this morning and I’m probably down from a 6 or so to maybe 3. But I also wrote at the same time and writing often relaxes me. Column A and Column B?

Anyway. I have been horribly uncomfortable in social situations my entire life. I am very aware that I am bad and that sooner or later people will figure it out and I will be punished/reprimanded. This is just how I go through life. Usually I slink away like a pathetic puppy never to be seen from again. It’s my cycle. I own that.

Is this actually me letting people have boundaries though? When someone puts up boundaries I take that as a sign to just leave. Obviously I am not wanted here.

Well, I don’t know that I always manage to avoid people forever. I don’t. I travel through a variety of communities. I have land-mine people in all of them. So this is about me and my issues.

Only if I try to go through all of the situations in my head… no. It isn’t always my fault. But I am often someone who triggers people to have strong feelings. They will then tell me those feelings are all my fault. They want to alleviate it. So I am told things like I must dedicate my life to a 12 step program (it is permissible for me to pick my own of course–obviously I have a wide variety of different options I could be eligible for–I am pretty crazy and all) or I am bad.

I don’t think that is about me. That is about someone else deciding “A Good (Mother/Person/I don’t fucking know) acts like _____________.” I never signed on for that role. I like to negotiate my own roles. I like to be able to say, “Am I allowed to ask for this, this, and this–it is ok to say no.” I don’t ask unless I am ok with no.

I am not trying to make other peoples lives harder. I do not write about my anxiety in order to create anxiety in other people. I write so that when I am done writing I can have a 2-6 sentence pitch that is calculated to make it sound appealing to my specific audience that I am talking to in person.

Have you ever noticed that I don’t talk nearly as much as I write? I am rehearsing. I am refining. If that process bothers you, well, don’t watch. I need to do this. And I have learned through long experience that I won’t write just for me. I stop. I get depressed. And then I spend a lot of time cutting. I don’t want to cut any more. I really can’t take the risk of not blogging at this stage of my life. This is rather important to my mental health.

I have to be selfish about this. I have to be selfish about my right to process my feelings in a public way. Blah blah me talking about my trauma will traumatize other people blah blah blah. Have you ever learned the variety of tricks for closing a computer screen? Bam. Problem solved.

Don’t silence me to make you feel better.

Yes, I’m making different choices than you. I go through a different thought process than you.

That doesn’t mean yours is bad. It just means that it belongs to you.

Recently someone told me I was weirdly permissive and authoritarian at the same time with my kids. I explained the permissive part by saying, “I am saving up my “no’s” for when they have boyfriends. If I can say yes I do.” But I am very authoritarian too. Mostly I effect this through modeling.

We spend a ridiculous amount of time practicing our “manners” and “nice talk”. “How do you introduce yourself?”

“How do you look for clues about a person that are a good introduction to conversation? What things must you not mention or people feel sensitive?” We look for examples in books and movies and games and take them apart. “How does this make you feel?”

Even when I am depressed and pathetic and lying on the couch my children get a lot of attention. They bring me books and we read endlessly. Well, or until my throat goes out. Then Shanna starts explaining/reading the books to me. Then Calli takes a turn. We talk about all of them.

Because I know that it doesn’t matter what is going on in my mind or my body I need to keep working on educating them. That is my job. That is what I am here to do. I am responsible. There is no one to whom I can pass the buck.

It keeps me honest.

I grew up in a house of people who rarely got up and did anything. They were all massively depressed. I didn’t learn how to do things until I was an adult. I know this is common in my generation. Latch key kids with a microwave don’t know how to actually survive.

My body actively rebels at eating “normal” food. I should not have any vegetables or fresh fruit while I am otherwise dealing with a terrible multi-day diarrhea outbreak but that’s all I have in the fucking house. (Well, I do have rice. But I think we are almost out of white rice. We do have a 50 lb bag of brown rice! Uhm.)

I don’t know what the happy medium will be for “healthy” in my body. I know that following the advice of “eat lots of vegetables and fruit!” is not actually going well for me. This hurts. This hurts. This hurts. It is distracting all the time.

I kind of wonder if ecstasy stopped working for me because I took too much of it (I didn’t have that much I know people who have had twenty or fifty times as much as I had in my whole life.) or because the trips became about pleasing other people. I was supposed to be entertaining. I wasn’t there because I wanted to be having an experience alone in my body. I was there to please someone else. It stopped having the ability to raise my serotonin. I just felt anxious and sad and like I knew I was going to be disappointing no matter what I did.

My birthday party was described by many people as “The weirdeest e trip ever.” Well, I knew going in to it that I was evil and bad for doing it. I had been told so quite explicitly by someone I loved.

I don’t know many people who can take a hit of ecstasy and still feel suicidal. But I’m special. At this point in my life there aren’t really drugs powerful enough to over ride my basic belief that people do not like me and I am bad.

Pot lets me not care. I feel more relaxed about it. It doesn’t take it away. I still know that I am bad. I still know that I am someone who does not deserve to be alive. But I’m apathetic and kind of tired and happy that I get to play with the two kindest and most wonderful people in the whole fucking world all day. Pot lets me stop and appreciate what I am doing this moment.

Even if no one else in the world values me, these two people do. I religiously keep my promises. I am fierce about my boundaries. I am loving and kind and gentle the vast majority of the time and I apologize when I am too rough. My kids are allowed to say, “Don’t glare at me. It makes me feel sad.”

I don’t like how tired edible pot makes me. It is much more extreme than smoking. I feel weak sometimes. I feel like I am swimming instead of walking. I am tense and fluid at the same time. I don’t like that I often don’t feel anything from a pill for over three hours. That means I have to wake up in the middle of the night and take a pill if I want my stomach to not hurt by breakfast time so that I can eat.

An old man in our neighborhood recently commented, “You’ve lived an awful lot of lives for someone so young.” I laughed.

I feel tired sometimes. I feel like I am not worthy. I feel like there is too much here.

I was talking to a mom at the park. She has many more kids than me. I asked if it was rude to ask her questions about how she manages. She laughed and told me it was ok. I asked a few generic ones. Then I said, “Based on what I’ve read it seems that a lot of what it is that you have to just do your best and trust to the grace of God to make up for the rest.” She laughed. Yeah. That. “This is my problem though–as an atheist I’m pretty much screwed.” She laughed at me some more. Yup. That must suck.

I don’t think there is a chance in this lifetime that i could forgive a so called “benevolent” god for what I have experienced.

It is kind of funny. I understand age of consent laws so much more now than I did when I was a child. I used to sit on men’s laps and say, “I know that you really aren’t supposed to fuck someone my age. But I promise I will never tell. No one cares what I do. My mother won’t even know.”

I did it a lot. To their credit most of them told me no. They understood that it was a crime for them to commit. I was lectured quite a bit sometimes. But then the ones who lectured me or yelled at me proceeded to ensure that there was a larger scale public shaming. Everyone should know that I am contemptible.

I can’t say I enjoyed most of the sex I had as a child. It hurt. But I knew I was “supposed” to do it. I thought it was supposed to hurt like that. I didn’t think sex could be comfortable or fun or nice. Well, maybe for someone else. Girls like me don’t work that way. I grew up just a little more and moved into a sub culture that taught me that “vanilla” girls enjoy being touched gently. Girls like me were masochists and that was way cooler anyway and the goal was always supposed to be to learn how to take more and more and more pain. More degradation. Give up more control of yourself. Become less of a self. Be just a servant. Be no more important than a piece of furniture, hell, sometimes you are the furniture.

I can’t isolate to deal with my social anxiety any more. Instead I have to pretend that I know how to be normal and have friends. I don’t know how I will deal with the fact that my life is a rotating cast of characters. People come and go and the only people you can depend on seeing are me and your dad and each other. The Godmamas have been very consistent for years. That is your next best shot. K has been in our lives for three years. Of course this means I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Same with Tay.

Pam comes and goes. I think that is good. I think she would find that she disagreed with more and more if she spent more time with me. I think she likes me more from far away.

I don’t have enough that is predictable for the kids. We do go to home school stuff. They will know those kids. But I will never be one of the people at every event. I can’t handle the driving. I feel bad about it, but it is what it is. Well, and I’m less willing to pay for things than some people. That’s ok too.

There is a rock climbing place walking distance from our house. I honestly think my kids are too young. But in a few years I bet we will start hanging out there a lot. If you have a kids membership you get a free adult in (one per kid) and I bet we will spend some time there. That would be fun.

I can’t predict the future. I doubt most of the people I know now will be in my life in twenty years. If I look at twenty years ago, when I was eleven, I think the last person standing is K from Lakeside. She occasionally reads my blog and we chat on IM sometimes. She is very busy. That is the only person left. I would not have predicted that she would be the one, let me tell you.

I don’t trust that people will want to know me that long.

Shanna talks about how we will need to add an upstairs apartment some day because she will need the down stairs for her family. I tell her, “We’ll see.” It is funny that when I first thought of having children I knew I would be the kind to boot them out the door at eighteen.

Now Shanna talks about wanting to be a firefighter two days a week and a doctor two days a week and I will be here to home school her kids. She will stay home two days a week because of course her kids need their mom too.

A permanent fucking dependent.

Once upon a time that was not a disgraceful thing. That was not a sign of being worthless. That was life for some people. Why are only some kinds of lives “worthy”?

I am not someone who could survive Wall Street. I couldn’t work there. I would scream and hysterically cry and have a panic attack when someone snapped at me because it would be just one god damn thing too many and it would be bad.

I am not saying that everyone there is bad or that having that kind of life is bad. I am saying I am not suited for it.

I’m also unlikely to ever really understand what it means to be Chinese. Or black. Or a man. I have to imagine. If I am imagining instead of experiencing I don’t get to treat them like they are equivalent experiences. My imagination is just a comfy place inside my mind. I access it in my garage. I’m safe.

I will never understand the feeling of walking down the street and having white women cower and clutch their purses. That would piss me right the fuck off. That would make me want to start a fight. I’m an angry person with a long list of done-me-wrongs.

I always only need one more thing.

This isn’t about anyone else. People cannot walk on egg shells. They have to hold their boundaries. They can step back. They can say, “In this piece of language _______ it sounds like you are kind of attacking. Can I ask for clarification on that?” I will of course say, “Ah. Poor choice of words. Let me attempt to reword. Is this better?”

Ok, maybe not of course. But I’ll try.

I like questions. I like people wanting to understand. I am not dealing well with people saying that I make them feel bad. I’m not trying to. Is there something very specific that you can ask about? No? Yes?

I am not ranting because I am mad at you. I’m ranting because very soon I have to put the mask on and act very polite and very normal and very controlled. For the love of all that is holy I have to stop crying. I need to clean up the four napkins full of snot and go get started on the day.

It doesn’t really matter how I feel. Shit will get done. That is how life works. I do not want to miss life. So I show up for the work.