Category Archives: the anger stage

Selfish asshole

I’ve said for a while that I’m not interested in being polyamorous. I also say that I’m not good at being monogamous. These are still both true. Noah and I have been talking and talking and talking. We are both wicked insecure. We both have a lot of abandonment issues. It makes sense given that neither of us have relationships with our families of origin.

We both feel kind of at sea in the world. We both have a hard time feeling truly connected, wanted, important. This isn’t a problem that one or the other of us have.

I’ve been hurting Noah. He’s been hurting me. I kinda feel like we need to do that sometimes just so that we have to stop and scream LOOK AT ME. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

Because over time we take one another for granted. We try to be grateful. We try to be aware and appreciative but it’s hard year after year. Sometimes we need to go do some asshole stuff so we can apprciate the fact that mostly we aren’t assholes to each other.

Last post I thought I’d have three dates a month and Noah would have one. Noah doesn’t really like what I will have to do to deal with that one date a month without being mean to him. Because I would have to take steps to deal with my feelings and not abuse him. I would need to create a lot of space around myself so I don’t lash out.

Because I would want to lash out.

Noah dating triggers so many insecurities for me. I don’t like it.

This is weird to me because I don’t freak out about him playing with friends at parties I’m at. That doesn’t bother me and I don’t god damn know why.

But Noah wanting to go out on a date with someone else… One on one time where he can pay attention to them because they are special…

I’m a fucking asshole.

Because I sure don’t mind me dating. Uhm, we decided I need to go down to two dates in a month. Because yeah. We aren’t cancelling May. Because that’s asshole shit. But starting in June we are going to… not be going out with other people so much. Because yeah. We may not be perfect at monogamy but spending as much time together as possible is really what we both want from life. If we feel that way we should act that way.

Going forward I am very happy about the boundary: no sex in places our kids go (other than our house). That feels… like a thing for me.

I’m trying hard. I’m trying to figure out what wants to bend and what needs to stay rigid and…

This is all hard.

But Noah doesn’t want me to hate him. Not even a little. Not even for a little while. So yeah. Him dating is complicated. Because I do hate him when he dates. It’s terrible. It feels awful. But it’s there. I fucking hate him. He is pretty confident I wouldn’t be able to compartmentalize that long term. Maybe he’s been looking at me for a while.

And hearing about his dates makes me physically ill.

So yeah. How much dating should we do? Maybe not so much.

Is this fair? I don’t think so. But life isn’t fair.

I kinda want to list all the things we talked about. All the levels of insecurities. But the thing is, talking about that has the possibility to hurt my friends and I don’t want to do that. I’m not insecure because of the people involved. The people involved being this safe actually makes it that much harder to feel this way.

All of the people involved are wonderful, safe, kind, considerate and loving. I’m the asshole.

I’m so sorry.

I spent a long time talking to the Professor yesterday and he tried very hard to talk me into thinking that it is ok for me to get angry with Noah. I don’t feel like it is ok. I feel like it is disgusting and shameful because he deserves better than that from me. He really does. He is my whole world.

Even if I like fucking other people. Noah is everything.

Yes we still have a lot of conversations ahead of us about play. The intensity thing is going to continue to be a … topic… for a long time to come.

Sunday and Monday were so awesome. Thank you K for letting me have this. Saturday was… mixed. Mostly good. (Thanks Deity.)

My feelings are not because of the people Noah plays with. My feelings are because I’m neurotic, insecure, and I have very little intrinsic self worth. This is not anyone else’s fault. This is my shit. And it’s shit.

Noah and I talked a lot about whether or not it is easier for me for him to date strangers or friends and…

It is easier to have him date friends. It isn’t that I think anyone he has seen has any desire to be a homewrecker or a problem or hurt me or anything like that.

My fear isn’t rational. My fear isn’t based on anyone doing anything wrong. But it is intense, all consuming and there. I have to act like it is there and deal with it. Or it leaks into my life and I am a seriously problematic person.

I can’t keep verbally abusing Noah. I just can’t. Which means I need to take steps to make sure that stops. It isn’t something that comes up very often. I think this is the third time we’ve had to work on this issue in about 12 years.

When I feel hatred like that… I am fucking mean.

Yeah. I know exactly what to say to make you feel like shit. I’ve watched you for years. Yes. I can take you apart with a verbal scalpel. Yup. No problem.

I need this to be the last time I ever talk to Noah like that. It just can’t happen again. He deserves and has earned better from me. Which means I need to be careful about the situations I put myself in. Because when I’m that angry… I need to put physical space between me and Noah. Because I’m a problem.

And I don’t handle him dating. I feel really ashamed of myself.

Noah wants me to be open, vulnerable, transparent, and relaxed. I can’t be any of those things when I hate him.

I just can’t.

Which isn’t to say that I think him dating deserves me hating him. It doesn’t.

I am such an asshole.

I’d rather be told, “No really this ‘I don’t want to follow rules’ shit is over. Follow some fucking rules” than be told, “Fine then I’m doing what I want.” One of those effectively reins me in. One of those means… our relationship kinda sucks. But it only effectively reins me in after I’m good and hurt and pissed.

Like the mature and responsible person I obviously am.

It isn’t that I feel I must own Noah’s cock solely and permanently. It is that… I want to be there. I don’t want to feel like I am being left so he can go find someone more interesting. Which makes me a flaming cunt for dating other people.

God I don’t like me very much.

I have no particular desire to stop seeing my submissive, Deity, Cupid, or Daddy. But if I only get to see them every other month… that I can live with. To be fair I’ll probably make damn sure I end up at parties with my submissive every month even if we don’t make dinner dates every single month.

Noah won’t let me hit him. Ok he would let me hit him. He told me so. But he wouldn’t like it at all and that feels terrible. I have absolutely no desire to hit someone who is tolerating being hit but who doesn’t like it. That’s disgusting.

I feel… like a piece of shit for wanting to date and not wanting Noah to date. I am not asking Noah to be monogamous.

I notice that he puts a lot of effort into dates with other people. We have dates if I go find an event and I go find a babysitter and I …

That hurts.

I feel selfish and terrible.

Yeah. This is who I am. I am selfish and terrible.

Totally flooded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I pay attention to these things.

Topic switch. Back to hitting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m done.

Something broke and it can’t be fixed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t know.

You never know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That makes all the difference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’M TALKING TO THOSE ASSHOLES ON NEXTDOOR.

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

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

This is my cranky face.

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

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

I can’t absorb any more.

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

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

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

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

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

I bring all the fun jokes to an end.

God I suck.

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

That’s ok.

But god I can kill any joke.

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

It is kinda funny sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We need something different.

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

I have enough brain damage for one lifetime.

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

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

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

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

Things change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m really trying.

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

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

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

That’s just prudence.

Is that close enough to self love to count?

I’m trying.

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

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

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

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

Tut, tut, looks like rain.

I keep losing attempts at posts because my internet is spotty. Who knows if this will go up or not.

The tent is covered with a tarp. There is an 80% chance of rain today. We are inside with our screens plugged in so we don’t run out of battery. I have a power cable that can handle being snaked outside and all the “in door” cables are inside the tent. Modern living is awesome.

We went to the Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument. It was a fascinating experience. We spent a lot of time talking about the “need” to fight. The Native Americans who fought the US government… did they have a choice to fight? Did the white people have any real justification for trying to force the Natives onto reservations that eliminated their way of life?

Complicated. “We needed room to grow” only holds water if you assume the folks you step on don’t matter. What about the needs of the people who were here first?

At this point there is a good argument to be made that none of us have anywhere else to go. This globe is round. We are out of room to send people to the corners.

I don’t know what to suggest. But when the park ranger says, “But this is my home” I want to throw up on the floor.

No it isn’t, you colonizing piece of shit.

If you steal something, does it become yours? If you take a piece of earth that folks believe belongs to no one and decide that now it is all yours… does anyone else have to care about your broken as fuck beliefs? You are disgusting.

I am disgusting. I am a white colonizer. But I have no where to go. Europe doesn’t want me.

I don’t know what a vibrant, loving multi-cultural community would look like. I’ve never seen one. I want to know where such a place is. It’s not about carefully balancing “We need 54% of this kind of people and 13% of this kind of people and…” it’s bigger than that. It’s more about finding a way to make diverse people feel welcome and comfortable. I don’t know how to do that.

I have been reminded recently that I’m intimidating. So clearly I will not be the one to create this multi-cultural nirvana. I will probably not be allowed to go. It will only be for people who can get kicked in the throat and then keep their voice soft so no one has to know it hurt.

I am incredibly hurt. I was pretty sure that folks would care way more about the feelings of the other family. I was right. I’m the problem. I’m intimidating. Even though I am not the one committing assault I am the scary and dangerous one.

What the fuck does “scary” mean to you? It means that someone isn’t passive when they are attacked? What the fuck do you really expect from people?

Why is it that I’m a problem and the kid who assaulted someone isn’t a problem? This sounds to me like when black churches are burnt down and the news says, “HEY BLACK PEOPLE, DON’T GET UPSET!!!!”

Why the fuck don’t you focus on the people who are a violent problem instead of acting like the victims are the problem?

Because that would upset your social order. Much easier to say that folks like me are the problem. Go fuck yourself.

I’m not saying my issues with the home school group are like systematic racism. Not even slightly. But the coping methods work similarly.

Folks who like how things are going are similar, no matter which broken system they are defending.

Noah asked me if I wanted to buy a year book for the group. Good thing I already deleted my membership so I won’t have to decide. No one from the group will ask me. Noah won’t make a decision. I can just… not do anything. Let it be.

I sorta wish that the woman who decided that while I was on the roadtrip was a good time would have instead said, “Stop SMSing me because you make me uncomfortable” instead of sending a message to the leader of the group and asking for me to be taken to task. If you didn’t feel the need to handle this in four months, then it wasn’t that critical. You made a choice.

I don’t think it is critical that this issue be handled. I don’t think there is any handling to do. The parent of the kid who committed assault said it didn’t happen and if it did happen it was all my fault. The leader of the group says *I* can’t intimidate people. The co-leader says “Thanks for not interrupting the birthday party to tell me you are assaulted.”

There is nothing for me there. I’m sorry I spent so many years trying so hard. I am not valued. I am apparently no more valuable than a piece of dog shit.

I’m due to start my period any day now. Back in Utah when I got the original email setting off this cluster fuck of upset I tried to talk about it slowly and logically with a few people. Mostly I just didn’t sleep and I felt like shit. Now I’m sleeping, thanks to mega doses of pills, and I feel less crazy and less like I will do something frantic. But I want to hurt myself really badly. I am never going to be worth defending. No one is ever going to give a shit about people hurting me. I am just not important enough.

I don’t know how to stop hating myself for this. I don’t know how to stop hating me for being a worthless piece of shit.

If I mattered, maybe the folks in the group would care that I was almost killed instead of saying things like, “He’s just a skinny kid”. That phrase describes many of my rapists. I’m not impressed.

You believing he couldn’t have hurt me as much as I claim… that’s insulting. You think I am unable to perceive what happens to my body. The intensity of me wanting to defend my body isn’t ok. Talking about what happened to me publicly isn’t ok.

If you don’t want me to talk publicly about you… don’t fuck with me.

I didn’t think the mother of the boy brought it to your attention. I know who did that. Don’t worry. She’s on my shit list now.

Specifically I was told, “I’m not saying that there couldn’t have been an accident, but I’m saying that perhaps it didn’t happen on the scale or with the intent in which it has been presented.”

Then in the next email, “I’m not minimizing!”

Actually, that is a textbook minimizing. Good job illustrating my point.

I’m not saying the little kid had intent. I’m saying the actions of all the adults near the kid are teaching the kid that he’s allowed to assault people without consequence. When he hurts people you will drive them from the group rather than allow them to be angry. Because he must be protected from the consequences of his actions.

You don’t believe I am in any danger. But I was assaulted and you are telling me it isn’t as bad as I think it is. You don’t care about how much danger I’m in or not. You only care about not having to deal with conflict in your group.

There is no chance that anyone in this group could possibly demonstrate that they care about my health or safety. They had a chance and blew it. That’s life.

If you want to come to me to address my behavior without telling me about the elaborate plan you have created to ensure that the next time this kid assaults someone he goes to jail then you don’t care about my safety or the safety of other people in the group. You care about the abuser. And you have to live with being that kind of person.

I feel sick to my stomach. I’m shaking and anxious. I want to cut so badly. I’m really sorry I tried so hard for people who are going to prioritize the “fear” of the mother of someone who assaulted me over me. I will never matter to these people.

I feel like shit. I’m sure they are rolling their eyes and talking about how melodramatic I am. I am deleting the mean things I wish would happen to you. I’m not going to do any of it.

This is the part that really drives me up a wall. DO YOU REALLY THINK I AM SO STUPID AS TO PUNCH THIS FUCKING CUNT AND GO TO JAIL? WHAT HAVE I DONE TO CONVINCE YOU THAT I AM SO MAGNIFICENTLY STUPID?!

I imagine horribly violent things to do to y’all. I won’t do them because I won’t go to jail over pieces of shit like you.

I feel so full of anger and rage that I feel poisoned. I hate you so much right now.

How dare you wait until I was on the road and my childrens’ physical safety depends on my ability to focus? You are a selfish piece of shit and I hope bad things happen to you.

I am so angry I can barely sit still. I can barely have a conversation. Mostly I’m just not talking today beyond necessary logistics.

I am so angry.

It’s that time of the month. I can clock this shit.

Only it isn’t just that time of the month. This shit started in what, February? And then the group organizer decided to “resolve things” on my nephew’s birthday. I love it when there are holidays where I’m going to feel bad and people send me shitty emails. That just makes the whole day awesome.

None of this was handled well. No, I don’t handle it well when I’m assaulted. The fact that you expect me to handle this well and there is nothing happening to the person who assaulted me…

Nope. I don’t want to know you. I really don’t. You are icki people. I may or may not talk shit about you for decades. Maybe I’ll decide you aren’t worth remembering. But you can bet your fucking buttons that I will tell other families I meet home schooling to be careful of that fucking family.

You don’t want me to talk publicly about the fact that I think I should call CPS on a family where the kid commits assault and there is no consequence? Oh well!

I feel bad that I didn’t call. I should have. I didn’t because I didn’t want the consequences. Now that I’m out of the group anyway I really wish I had just up and called the next day when an investigator could have come to my house and seen my injuries. Maybe then this kid would be given intervention from the state so that he doesn’t fucking think his behavior is ok.

For a while I was working hard on getting the kids to write letters to people. Then they asked to write the boy who kicked me. Or the kids of the woman who emailed the group organizer to force this issue to a head right now. Or the group organizers kids.

So we just aren’t writing letters because I don’t want to try and talk them into thinking about other people.

Thanks so much for caring about my safety and health. So glad you wanted to resolve issues for the good of the group.

Keep on moving

Yesterday was a mixed bag. I had a lot of PTSD/anxiety symptoms early on. Lots of shaking and I couldn’t finish sentences because my mind wasn’t on what people wanted me to talk about. It’s hard to ignore where my brain is. I want to talk about what I’m thinking about not what you want me to think about.

I spent yesterday talking with my friend’s mother in law, who is a conservative Mormon. We had quite a conversation. I was polite and friendly but challenging. If you have one personal experience that causes you to believe x are you aware there are whole countries that have tried y to solve that problem and their result was z which is the opposite of what you are predicting? No you don’t believe that happened? Uhm, I can list the countries. This isn’t fictional speculation.

Luckily my friend and his wife are more open minded. Or I probably wouldn’t be here. I asked them if they would read their son books about diverse families if I mailed them some and they said yes. They will keep them in their bedroom so grammy doesn’t have a chance to object. Awesome.

I’ve been horrifying the mother in law. I’m home schooling my kids. That means I have full license to talk about shit I see out loud because I need to explain it to my kids. We are talking about the shooting in Charleston and the resultant kerfluffle over the Confederate flag. I’m a lot more balanced than you might assume. But I mention the extremes of the positions held and I say things like, “A small group of people believe the most extreme end of this argument and that argument goes like: ___.” I don’t make it sound like I agree with them unless I really do. I can present arguments I don’t believe in.

But my friend also posted fabulous pictures of gay pride parades all over the world.  I opened the link while Shanna was sitting next to me. She asked questions, of course. So I described what was going on in the pictures and gave some historical context. Specifically Shanna pointed at a picture of a person wearing a picture with transphobia written in a circle with a red line through it. She wanted to know what the word was and why the person was wearing it. So I gave her my best explanation. “You know how you know M and when she was born people believed she was a boy and it took a while for her to be able to tell folks that she wasn’t a boy she was a girl? Well, there are other people in the world who have similar experiences. Other people have gender expectations of them that do not match who they believe they are. People who believe that they have been misgendered are transgendered. People who believe they are the opposite sex, which is slightly different than gender, are transsexual. Some people believe that being trans* is wrong or disgusting or God doesn’t like it or they are afraid of people who they perceive as weird or… Lots of reasons people don’t approve. So this person is wearing the shirt to say, “It’s not ok that you are afraid of me existing. I’m just a person. Get rid of your transphobia.” With the mother in law shooting daggers in my direction. “I’m not ok with people telling children that that lifestyle is ok.” “Yeah well I’m gay so I don’t care if you approve or not.” Her eyes went WIDE.

We changed the topic like a minute or two later without being obvious about it.

Nope, I don’t back down. Period. But I’m being polite. My friend and his wife said that if I offended her mother it is probably good for her any way. Hilarious.

Today we are going to the temple and getting a tour. We are also going to Welfare Square, where they give free tours every hour on the hour. In my extremely judgmental opinion the Mormons get a lot right when it comes to community and caring for one another. I deeply approve of the way the church takes care of its members. We are going to be visiting so Shanna and Calli can see some of how that works. I believe that is an important part of coming to Utah.

I’ve had a lot of fun here and I’m glad I scheduled so many days. I have slowly been able to talk to my friend and his wife more and more with each night as I catch up on sleep and rest and can listen better with every day. I’m really enjoying hearing their stories.

Last night I saw something I haven’t seen since I was a child. I saw a mama put her baby to sleep with juice in a bottle.

You know what? I don’t even judge. I did not say “My babies went to sleep with mama milk in their mouths and nothing else because of tooth rot.” I had the fleeting thought. And then I realized that I am completely paranoid about tooth rot because of genetic susceptibility. This kid has perfect teeth. They do clean his teeth. But sometimes he goes to bed with juice. And you know what? Even though a dentist wouldn’t approve… I don’t need to decide whether I approve or not. Not my kid. Not my life. I am not dealing with their array of factors.

I have truly enjoyed my time here. They are lovely people and I’m grateful I get to know them. No, they don’t make every choice I make. That’s part of what makes them so awesome. I get to see about how other people adapt to life and challenges and brain storm solutions. Thank you for allowing me to see you.

(The baby has a nasty cold and the milk is making him extra phlegmy and the juice soothes him. I give sick babies what they want too.)

Traveling like this is showing me how very wealthy we are. That’s uncomfortable and weird and wonderful at the same time. I do not go to the grocery store with a set “I have 37.38. What can I get?” I mean… I have done so. That was my early adulthood and childhood but I don’t do that any more. Now I walk into grocery stores and say, “What do we want to eat this week? Pick a rainbow!” What privilege. I’m buying groceries and doing dishes at every stop we make. Here in Utah I’ve been making dinner because they don’t arrive home till 6pm. I don’t want to eat at 7 so I’m making it. And I clean up while they are at work.

As I sit here I ponder a lot of things. I ponder things about compatibility. Noah is the right partner for me. Noah thinks that people need to make mistakes in order to learn and life is all about learning… so life is all about fucking up and trying again. I have to have that structural support behind me or I’ll give up. I’m tired. I’m sad. I feel like a failure. For the first time in my life I have someone who says, “You aren’t scary or bad or intimidating or icki. But you have fucked up. Let’s move forward.”

He’s all about the moving forward and I love him for it so much I can barely breathe.

Folks being intimidated by me isn’t entirely about me. It is a little bit about me. But mostly it isn’t. Just like it isn’t the fault of black men that white women often find them “scary”. No they aren’t fucking scary. You are scared. There is a difference. You are scared because you want to be scared. Because you want to blame other people for your feelings. Whatever.

Do you know what is kind of awesome for my mental health? I no longer get to believe that I am receiving a specific kind of treatment because someone has a chip on their shoulder about poor people. I can get over that part of my personal shite. That’s useful.

I find it hilarious that people are far more terrified of potential violence than they are of actual violence. I was kicked in the throat but I’m the one who has to make promises to not be scary going forward. What.Fucking.Ever.

Not a safe place for me. I won’t promise to be not scary. You aren’t promising I won’t be assaulted again. You know what? No one has ever offered me an apology. But I’m supposed to just act like I’m the problem? Nope nope nope.

I’m past believing that I am the bad one in every situation.

I’m not saying I think everyone else in this situation is bad. I’m saying I am not going to promise to not be a problem. I wasn’t the problem. Go to hell.

That’s not fair to ask of me.

I really appreciate that I have Pam and Noah answering many many many emotional emails right now. I’m not saying anything snotty to other people in email. I’m sending my snark on to appropriate recipients who will say, “Yeah… just keep emailing me. It’ll be fine.”

Pam has known me for more than half my life. She doesn’t need me to promise I won’t be dangerous. She has seen me taunted and taunted and she knows I don’t react. She doesn’t need a promise. She has seen it.

I am glad that there are people who will tell me that they know the spurious observations of my character are made by people who don’t know me. But isn’t that always how it goes?

I accuse someone of rape and then I’m told it didn’t happen because other people know it didn’t happen.

Wait. Only I’m being accused of being scary and intimidating. I didn’t hurt anyone. But I’m the problem.

Oh well.

(Shanna wants me to stop writing and play Plants vs Zombies with her. I said, “Would you rather have me tell you my whiny thoughts or would you rather have me write them down in my blog? She says, “Ahh. Uhm I’ll pick a level I can play alone.” Ha.)

I’m not even being accused. My language sucks. I was asked if I want to resolve issues. I’m saying no. Maybe at some point in the future I would care about resolving these issues but if you waited four fucking months to bring this up when I’m out of state you can fucking wait until I fucking feel like talking about it. Obviously it wasn’t pressing enough to handle immediately. Or it would have been handled.

The fact that I feel intimidated, unsafe, and like I could be attacked again doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Just the fact that other people are scared of my writing.

Cry me a river then build me a bridge and get over it.

I write so that I don’t say these things in person. So I don’t do anything I’ll regret. So I don’t hit anyone. But the writing makes me just as bad or MUCH MUCH WORSE than someone who has committed assault.

I have no patience for this. Give me a break.

This has been my whole life in a nut shell. I’ve been assaulted over and over and over and over again and then people turn around and tell me that getting angry about it isn’t ok and I need to promise to not be dangerous. GO STRAIGHT TO HELL AND DO NOT PASS GO AND DO NOT COLLECT $200.

Yeah that’s my life in a nut shell. I was never allowed to be angry about my father or brother molesting me. I was not allowed to be angry about any of the rapes. I wasn’t allowed to be angry about a kid throwing me off the monkey bars on purpose even though he broke my fucking arm. I am not allowed to be angry about the little bastard who kicked me in the throat hard enough that I was in pain for many days?

You know what… I am not playing this game. I get to be angry. I’m not promising that I won’t get angry. I’m not EVER going to promise that I won’t defend myself. I don’t know what you people are going to do. I’m not going to be castrated of my defense abilities. Hell, I barely use them so it is offensive that you want to say I can’t have any such abilities at all.

When I talk about the ways in which I have hurt people… in just about every case the person consented to be hurt. The ribs I’ve cracked? The guy suggested the wrestling match or the kicking scene. I didn’t bring it up. I just won.

I haven’t hit anyone on the shoulder in a friendly gesture in almost a decade. I am just not fucking violent. But I’m a cusser. And I write angry things. So I’m bad and scary. Go the fuck to hell. This is how I process my feelings. If my feelings scare you the adult thing to do is to stop reading about them. Not to tell me to stop having them.

Time to go make breakfast.

Family

Dealing with Noah’s family is complicated. I am not that inclined to shut my mouth and put up with awful because… I get no positive out of knowing them. I mean, his parents send money and his aunts send boxes of candy around holidays. If these windfalls evaporated from my life I wouldn’t miss them. I don’t plan for the money. I feel awkward about accepting it. I accept it because they are Noah’s family and they have the right to give him things.

I don’t care. If I never heard from any of them again I would be just fine. They are not integral to my sense of self. They aren’t my family. Why should I make myself smaller in order to make them feel like they are correct?

Nope.

I have nothing to gain by keeping my mouth shut and letting the status quo continue. The status quo is not a good place for me.

Silence in the face of atrocity is how I ended up with the horrifying childhood I had. I’m never going to be silent again. Even if it offends the shit out of everyone. Even if I never get another box of candy.

Right now I’m watching a movie about Grace of Monaco. It is fascinating watching Nicole Kidman pretend to learn the history of the country so she can take on the role of princess. I can see why she learns what she learns for the sake of her children.

My children don’t need me to learn how to be a serene highness. Thank G-d.

But I need to consciously try to facilitate them having relationships with these racist fuckers. Why? Because they are family. I’m not part of the family. Not really. I am a facilitator. I am an extension. I am Shanna and Calli and Noah’s family. I am not Aunt Cookie’s family. I am not Aunt Candy’s family. I’m the mother of their great-nieces which isn’t the same as family. I’m unavoidable but I am not likable.

So I drive the kids around the country. And I take dictation as they write letters to these people. I will help them make phone calls when they get just a bit older. And the whole damn time I will be arguing with the messages they receive.

No, your family is not superior to other people. The relatives who tell you that you are better are lying. You are just a person. A wonderful person, but just a person. You need to earn your own merit. It is not automatic based on your appearance.

We had an interesting conversation yesterday. The Godmamas came up again. In reference to some people are ok with mellow yellow and some people really aren’t. Shanna made a comment to the effect that we are better people if we are more worried about the drought than the cleanliness of our toilet.

I told her that the two have no relationship whatsoever and she is very wrong if she believes that one measure like that decides what makes a good person. I am *not* a better person than your Godmamas. Well, they aren’t the Godmamas any more. I’m still not a better person. I worry about different things. I focus on different things. I spend my time and energy in different ways. Doesn’t mean I’m better. I’m different.

I don’t think I’m better than Aunt Cookie or Candy either. Even if they have opinions that are distinctly racist. Even if they have dozens of opinions that make me sick to my stomach… that doesn’t mean I’m a better person.

I’m a person with giant flaws, just like everyone else.

I need people to call me on my flaws in order for me to grow and change and become better. I am better than I was. I’m not perfect. I never will be. I do not aspire to perfection. I’m an asshole and ok with that.

The difference between me and the aunts is… I know I’m an asshole. They would hotly deny that they are. Even though they believe that people who end up homeless deserve to suffer. They think that their beliefs are just “justice”.

But I’m the only one who knows I’m an asshole. I think that human beings deserve dignity and support so I’m an unconsciounable asshole. Good thing I can live with that. I can be the kind of rude where I challenge racists in my life. I can’t be the kind of rude where I just shut up and allow people to be awful. I do not choose going along with the flow for the good of bigots. I do not care about avoiding conflict. If you want to avoid conflict with me you can leave the room.

That is the assurance that men walk around with. If you want to avoid an argument with them you can leave the room. I’ve decided that it is a trait and I want it. So I adopted it. I don’t back off.

I wouldn’t be here if I were more namby pamby.

I’m not important. I’m not special. I’m not someone who changes things. My reality distortion field only extends as far as my voice can reach. Maybe that is why I am so fucking loud now.

I didn’t used to be loud. When I was a child I was constantly in trouble for mumbling. No one could ever hear me. I got yelled at by dozens of teachers because I would raise my hand and then no one could understand me.

I don’t have that problem now.

I’m also getting better about being able to challenge people without having to scream at them. It’s progress. Now I can challenge in a flat voice. That’s a big improvement and I’m happy about it.

I have no interest in learning to avoid conflict. I do have interest in learning how to have conflict without acting like a harpy. Conflict is fine. Conflict is about challenging the status quo. I have a serious problem with the status quo. I want to change it.

The status quo involves too many people suffering terribly because of structural inequalities. I’m not ok with that. Structural inequalities need to be addressed. We are at a point in history where we have no justification beyond pure greed for continuing to allow this many people to live with starvation and homelessness.

We have major structural racial problems in the world. Not just in my country. Acting like they aren’t real is… not something I can do. Not even to make someone feel more comfy about how short sighted their world is. Can’t do it.

I will always be willing to point out real, hard things. Even if that makes me an asshole. I think that is my role here. Sometimes I’m wrong about the things I think I see. That’s highly inconvenient.

Sometimes I don’t know how to translate what I see into useful words that other people can understand. Frequently I don’t know the approach that will spur other people into seeing things as I see them. I don’t know how to be the universal translator. I wish I could be.

I wish I could be.

Come down like a box of hammers.

I was thinking about the idea of “safe space”. I hang out in the lobbies of a lot of communities that are very focused on this idea. Places where people are safe. It means very different things to different people. I was thinking about what it would mean to me.

I believe that children need to hit. I believe it is part of the developmental process and …yeah it happens. I believe that the appropriate response is coming down like a box of hammers. On any given day my children get one chance for hitting someone. If they hit a second time we are going home right the fuck now and we will be having an unpleasant conversation the whole way home about how you do not have the right to hit people.

I believe that a safe space for me would involve people caring more when their children hit other people.

I don’t live in a world where that is true. Well, there are always people who over react. I don’t scream hysterically at my children for hitting. I don’t hit them. I don’t ground them for extensive periods of time. I don’t take away a bunch of privileges. I sure as hell don’t punish them once we get home–by then they bloody well forgot anyway.

I react in the moment. You get one chance per day. Not three fucking chances on hitting people. I don’t think so. Unless someone else hit you first, and then ok fine you can hit.

But quite frankly… my kids rarely hit back with anyone other than one another. They like fantasy violence quite a bit. They definitely egg on “fighting”. But they are very aware that if they hit a non-combatant mom is going to explode like a fire cracker. No. No. No.

You do not hit someone unless you have their consent. Did you ask them if they want to play a fighting game with words? No? Then what in the world makes you think it is ok to hit them?! IT IS NOT OK TO HIT SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT CONSENTED TO BEING HIT.

Lots of people will agree to play fighting games if you ask. It’s fine to ask.

But I don’t feel like other people have the consent fetish that I have. I need things negotiated and spelled out. Other people… not so much.

I’ve got to say, when my kids were habitually hitting the punishment did continue to the house. When it was happening almost every time we went somewhere we had groundings at home over it. It is a normal developmental stage.

The important part is how adults handle it. If adults act like it is fine… well. That’s a fucking lesson. If adults teach that you are allowed to hit as long as you don’t get caught… that’s a fucking lesson.

My kids don’t enjoy my blistering lectures. Do they “get” all of them? No. They don’t. I talk as if they were adults and they aren’t. They “get” a fraction of what I’m saying. But these conversations are cumulative. They will remember that from as far back as their memory goes their mother was absolutely consistent you do not hit someone who has not consented to being hit.

I understand that other people don’t think this is a message that should be consciously taught. Maybe they just never think of it as an option as opposed to making a decision. I don’t really know.

But it won’t work any other way in my house. I’ll drag you home from the park yelling at you about how you have no right to strike someone else. I won’t feel bad. I DON’T GET TO HIT YOU. YOU DON’T GET TO TURN AROUND AND HIT OTHER PEOPLE. WE DON’T PLAY THAT SHIT AROUND HERE.

Play fighting is different. That’s a game. Know how you know something is a game? You asked someone if they wanted to play before you got started.

But Shanna seriously has issues about getting in other peoples personal space bubbles. I suspect that is part of what causes kids to feel motivated to hit her. She gets right the fuck in their face and most people aren’t taught what to say. Maybe she’ll learn. I’m not sure how many more times she will need to be hit though. I couldn’t begin to count how many times she’s been punched. We talk about it a lot.

So much for home schooling meaning that my kids won’t be beat on. At least I’m there and I get to take them fucking home after the third hit of the day.

If my kids get one chance, why do I give other people two chances? Because one kid hit both my kids once and the other time… man those two have a long running sorta-feud. Given how many times Shanna has punched him… well. What did she do this time? And he does apologize. Usually even without prompting from an adult.

So how many chances do I give? I don’t know. I’m very tired of being hit. Very very very very very very very very very tired of being hit. And I am even more sick of my kids getting hit. And I notice that they are usually the ones who come crying because they got hit.

I’m not sure if they are bigger whiners or if they are actually hit that much more often than other kids.

I’d like to go a whole fucking year without being hit nonconsensually. I’ve never had a year like that. Not one.

I feel very triggered. I wasn’t “pushed out” of my biological family because I prosecuted my father. But I was told through actions that in order to be allowed to stay I would have to accept that everyone around me would rewrite history. “It didn’t really happen.” “He never did anything like that to anyone else.” “You are the problem. We were fine until you caused problems.”

I’m the problem. I should apologize. I should promise to not be a problem any more.

The only way I can promise that is if I die. I’ve never been anything but the problem.

Cue round of intense suicidal ideation. THIS IS A SHITTY TIME. I HAVE AWESOME KIDS IN THE HOUSE WHO ARE BEING NICE TO ME AND LOVING ON ME. WHY IN THE FUCK AM I IN THE YARD CRYING BECAUSE I FEEL UNLOVED AND WORTHLESS AND LIKE I SHOULD DIE.

Because I can’t not cry if I’m in the room with them right now. And Noah is here. It is being handled.

I’m not going to die over this. These people are so not worth it. If losing my mother isn’t going to do it… hell no. But turning the movie screen surround sound system off is hard. I have a lot of willpower to abstain from following through; stopping the thoughts is harder. I feel like I have run most of my life on sheer hate. I’m not dead yet because you will not win, motherfucker.

Which motherfucker, precisely? I don’t even know any more. Take your fucking pick. I’ve got a whole fucking card deck full of names.

Do something different. Yes, the crying and typing is an improvement over the cutting and the head banging, fine and dandy. (Though the arm pain means that this is maybe actually one of the most self-harming actions of my whole life. Cutting had far less chance of crippling me. Ok, banging my head could have caused a stroke. WHATEVER.)

I should fucking know by now. If you have a problem with people you have to shut the fuck up. People are not actually interested in “working through differences”. They want confirmation bias that they are right and you are wrong. I should never have bothered to talk to that fucking mother in the first place. I knew she wouldn’t give a shit about her kid hurting me. Why in the fuck was I so fucking stupid?

I am the problem. Clearly.

If I didn’t have a house full of kids, whoa. I’d make different life choices.

But if I didn’t have the kids I wouldn’t be dealing with these people anyway. So maybe it’s a wash.

Why don’t I just walk away? Why is this worth bothering to try for anyway? Mostly because I’ve kept my kids here for four years and I’ve told them to bond with people. Now I feel like a monster.

Everyone I tell them to bond with I eventually run off. I am a piece of shit. I suppose it will be a good thing that I have bonus kids here tonight. I will have something to do while I’m awake anyway. They always need a lot of help at night. They haven’t done that much sleeping outside their house. Lots of checking in, “Yes, you are still with Krissy and Noah and Shanna and Calli. Yes, you will see your parents again soon. Yes, we love you. Yes, they love you. It is time to sleep now so we can play tomorrow.” I can fucking smile on cue to be reassuring. I’ve worked hard.

I believe that children deserve to have an adult who wants to meet their emotional needs around. It doesn’t have to be a parent full time. It is healthier if it isn’t. Children need to learn that having needs is ok. Needing reassurance is ok. Needing to have help feeling safe is ok.

I can feel safe here. If I can’t feel safe other places, well… if I weren’t such a fucking problem maybe I wouldn’t have so many problems.

I’ve never been able to find a way to not be a problem other than staying home. Or dying.

I want to run away so bad. I’ve lived here too long. I’ve used up my welcome. People are tired of my bullshit. I don’t blame them. I’m tired of it too. If I could run away from being inside my head I would. I want to turn the movie screens off and I can’t.

I keep coming back to swimming out into the ocean. That really does seem to be my first choice. If I go far enough it is pretty fucking sure. I didn’t do so well with over dosing. My body is so sensitive to medications these days I don’t think my body would permit an overdose. I couldn’t use a gun. I converted my garage so I can’t follow my dad. I’m really not a big enough asshole to use Tommy’s method. That was seriously traumatizing to the people involved in the rescue. That’s not fair you fucking asshole. If you are going to kill yourself, at least don’t make a bunch of fucking spectators watch you burn. Not cool. People don’t get over that. Hell, I didn’t even see it and I can’t get over it.

Swimming. Yes, swimming straight out into the Pacific Ocean sounds great.

I have kids! Can’t! Calli tells me all the god damn time that I have to die of very old age. I’ll try, baby.

I’m definitely having temporary problems right now. In ten years this won’t matter at all. Stop being so melodramatic. Err, I’m diagnosed with reasons why I react this way. Fuck you, negative-self-talk. I am fucking improving. I god damn held it together great today. I didn’t start crying till bedtime. That’s doing just fucking fine, ok?!

Whether something is good or bad depends on your point of view.

So sad.

Not here

I think it is going to be a very good thing to take a break from my life this year. I understand why people idealize the solo traveler adventure shit. It is a chance to stop dealing with all of the expectations of you. I’m not going to be alone. But I’ll change the rules.

I won’t have to fucking vacuum a floor for months.

Some of my friends would cheerfully tell me to hire a cleaner and never clean the floor again! I have big issues with that idea. Big ones. I’m not so fucking good I deserve to never fucking clean a floor again. I don’t know that I think you are too good to clean your own floor either.

Yeah yeah, time management. I have class issues.

I feel worry that I upset a friend when I said I could never live in Alameda. She (potentially, I project that she) felt I was disparaging her home. I’m not trying to disparage the town. The architecture is lovely. I hear the schools are fine.

That doesn’t mean I would feel comfortable there. I would feel dramatically uncomfortable living there because it is beautiful and fine and I am not.

I’m aware that people in the 1% would not especially perceive me as “rich”. Compared to everything I knew before marriage I am filthy, stinking rich. It depends on your perspective. That said I will never have the attitudes, morals, and behaviors of a rich person. I have been white trash too long. Could I act the part in severely delineated ways? Probably. But I can’t carry the ruse on forever. My neighbors have to accept me leaving piles of shit around for months.

I’m gross. I think bodily functions are just fucking fine and if you prompt me to apologize for farting or burping I may get mean. I’m not going to accept being shamed over stuff I cannot fucking help. “I’m not shaming you. I’m just trying to teach you good manners.” You are just trying to get me to apologize for existing. Fuck you. If you want to do it, whatever. I’m not going to. Although I would appreciate you not doing it in my house. Here we are all mammals and unashamed of that.

(Not really fuck you. I’m going to be cussing more than usual for a few days. I have some frustrated energy to deal with. I can’t talk about it. So instead I will sublimate a few extra “fuck yous” into every other part of my life. Wheeeeeeeeeeee.)

I have no desire to have the house of a rich person. I would feel wildly uncomfortable. When I am in a rich house I feel like I am there to be a servant. I *have* had that job. (Cleaning houses.)

And it doesn’t really take being that high on the hog before I feel wildly uncomfortable. I live in a lower middle class tract house. Now that I’ve put a bunch of plants in the yard I’m very content. I have a desire for a bigger bathroom, but otherwise… I don’t want a bigger/nicer house.

I would spend my time there feeling like I was polluting it. That house should be filled with someone who has the decency to apologize for farting.

Noah told me that reactions to farting are class based. Rich people pretend it doesn’t happen. Middle class people apologize for it. Poor people laugh. I laugh. Noah used to apologize, now he ignores it.

I feel … not exactly “anonymous” here where I live. I feel … more acceptably average. There are more genuinely poor people here. There are actual derelict buildings. We have a lot of multi-generational living. Most houses in my neighborhood have extended family living with them. Only a few of us don’t.

When I ask to spend time with my neighbors they assume the kids will play in the yard not that we will go somewhere and fork over a bunch of money to be “entertained”.

I have no desire to raise children who expect frequent entertainment. Ha ha ha. Make your own entertainment. As a result they are really good at entertaining themselves. We don’t go to many shows. We go to the park.

We do go to Disneyland. That’s more so I can have the cheerful ambiance, let’s be clear. That good cheer boosts me up. I think as much because I can dream about my next trip on hard days than because being there is actually that magic. Being there is work. But it is work in a friendly environment and I totally love that shit.

I frequently have the feeling “I am not supposed to be here.” I am not part of the “us” for this location. I am an outsider. I do not belong. I should go.

Alameda is like that for me. I recognize that there are good restaurants and good people who like me and other fine benefits. They are not for me. I don’t belong in Palo Alto either.

I couldn’t have a wacky ass yard full of weeds I don’t pull in Palo Alto. My neighbors would make me very sorry. And my kids wouldn’t be allowed to play with their kids. It would be lonely and hard. My behavior would be “wrong”.

No one in my neighborhood gives a shit what I do with my yard. They are nice to me when I’m out front. They stop to chat about the weather and the kids and they admire the flowers. They don’t complain about how unprofessional and unfinished it looks. They tell me it is wonderful to see me playing with the kids. Then they smile and go on their way.

I fucking love my neighborhood. Have I had issues with people here? Yeah. But not big ones. The hardest-to-deal-with issue moved away. They said they were up for being pen pals but we were never given an address and we’ve never gotten a letter. I don’t think they were telling the truth about being up for writing. I really wish people wouldn’t lie.

That said, I totally forgot to write to Pam when she was overseas. Because I am a douche.

I tell her about my life here in the blog! Although, to be fair, when I’m talking to her one on one she gets way more details than the rest of you get. That’s the benefit of sticking around for 17 years.

Well, there are other people who get the same level of disclosure as her. But lately she spends the most time here so she gets the most stories. That’s just how that works out. I can’t put a lot of the stories in writing.

You think I have no tact?

Oh man.

I want to be not-here for a while. Where “here” is my life. I’m not feeling suicidal–which is frankly wonderful. I feel like I got more of a burst of fighting spirit. It’s more that I’m spending too much of my life feeling like I’m about to do the wrong thing and destroy everything. I want a break from this tension.

I don’t know how tenuous the connections in my life are. So I will spread them really thin. And see who holds.

The people who want to come back will come back. And I can maybe not be such a jackass. Ha ha ha. The people who don’t reintegrate into my life… weren’t meant to be. Worrying won’t change what happens. Well, worrying is more likely to make bad things come true.

I need to stop looking around me all day every day with this whining feeling. I feel anxious and like I need to run away before everyone discovers I’m bad, bad, bad, bad.

I didn’t do anything wrong. This time. But that hardly matters, does it? I will do something wrong soon enough. I’m just getting a little bit of it back in advance.

It isn’t that I think I can’t visit places like Alameda. But have you noticed that I start wanting to tidy? Obviously I should be there to be the help. It’s a thing. Ok, that’s a complicated reaction on my part. Part of it is just obsessive control issues. Order! Must! Impose! Order! I’m a lot better than I used to be…

I want to go out into the rest of the country and remind myself that I live in a bubble. A wonderful bubble where I am more safe than I would probably be anywhere else. My specific flavor of weird is so well suited to exactly where I live. Fremont is a small town in a big urban metro area.

So it turns out I have two friends who live on Alameda about five houses away from one another. They all have little girls who are the same age. They don’t know each other.

We know all of our neighbors. Ok that’s not true. There are houses we don’t know. We make up for it by knowing more than 60% of the people on every street within our whole housing development block. I don’t see that happening elsewhere in the bay area. Folks are too pissy about being interrupted. There are a high number of questionably employed people in my ‘hood. Lots of them are retired folks and my kids will get to understand the circle of life through losing these dear people. We’ve already had some have to move into assisted care.

I think it helps that a very high percentage of our neighbors are immigrants and they are thrilled someone wants to meet them. Fremont is the second most language diverse city in the country. In addition to trying to meet the new folks I have introduced folks who have been neighbors for 30+ years. “Stop calling her the Chinese lady on the corner. Her name is _____. Come over here and say hello. Yes, now.” I love playing social director.

One of the good things about hanging out with folks who are in their 70’s… they don’t really give a shit if you throw the occasional temper tantrum. They shake their heads and snort. They mutter, “kids” under their breath and don’t hold a grudge. I feel… tolerated. I’ve talked to the old dudes about being suicidal. They were more comforting than you might expect. They didn’t have solutions or answers but they listened and have been really nice to me for years since. They make a point of walking by and yelling a “hello”.

They want me to stay. So they show up.

I really like my neighborhood. I’m scared of how it will change over 30 years. Because it will totally change. I’ll have to keep being the welcome wagon. Maybe over time the percentage of people I know will increase instead of decreasing.

I think that part of my problem is… I know I’m a lot of work to be friends with. I am hard along a whole bunch of different axis. I do not know how to spell the plural of that word and I’m too lazy to look it up.

I’m always afraid of when other people will run out of spoons for dealing with me and abruptly drop me. They have to for their own self-preservation. I get that.

I think that is one of the reasons Pam feels so safe. She has a huge family that constantly fill her spoon drawer. She has more surplus than anyone I know.

Everyone else has a lot less support of their own. How in the world can I expect them to support me when they aren’t getting the support they need? And I do need a lot of support from friends. I need a lot of listening. I need a lot of accommodation in terms of physical behaviors and verbal mannerisms. I’m complicated.

I get why it isn’t worth it to most people. I really do.

It is hard to see what other people get out of bothering. I get it with Noah and Shanna and Calli. I see the biological imperative I fill for them.

I’m not even fucking any of my friends these days. Why do they bother?

I want to run away from these feelings. But I’ll come back. Because I know that my feelings are lying to me. I know that people clearly love me and find value in a relationship with me. They are still here. Whether I understand it or not is beside the point.

But I really want a break.

The joy of traveling is reinventing yourself every day. The impact of a given mood on the rest of my life is likely to be zero. What-fucking-ever! Freedom.

Not that I plan to act psycho across the country. I want to make new friends and strengthen old ties. But I can be pretty wacky and intense. People can handle intense in a nice, safe, time delineated box. And I come in with my built-in reality distortion field. I have to be “appropriate” for my kids. Which makes for a very specific kind of intense that is different from my previous more inappropriate modes.

Life is always changing. But sometimes it is hard to see how much you’ve changed if you always stand in the same place.

Food, connection, triggers, projecting, all the good stuff

It is very rare that I ask someone for permission before I write about something. Mostly I think, “If you didn’t want me to write about it you shouldn’t have done it.” Sometimes I try to recognize that my writing causes other people to have feelings and that’s a complicated thing. I don’t think I “make” people feel things. But I think that if you are going to put a whole series of bombs along the bottom of a building you can’t get upset when the building explodes.

I asked before writing this one. Because I’m going to touch on someone very dear to my heart whom I have hurt quite a lot around this topic. She’s not the reason or the center but people have feelings when they are mentioned in connection to big feelings. I need to process some layers though and she’s touched on in the layers. I’m trying to be gentle.

The other day I was sitting in the kitchen watching Noah, my husband, make breakfast for the family and I felt these waves of emotion. Gratitude. Relief. Appreciation. Surprise. Confusion. Sadness.

Why didn’t my mama want to feed me? That’s such a huge and pervasive thing for me. I can’t not think about the effect this has on my life.

It isn’t that my mom didn’t want to feed me. That’s not what happened at all. My mom ran out of spoons and money. My mom spent much of my childhood very depressed and very poor. She didn’t know how to deal with all the things that were happening to her (I don’t blame her for that) and she did not grow up learning how to cope with such problems.

My mom was thrown into the deep end of the pool without one swimming lesson. She went from being a sheltered, Mennonite hick to being married to a city boy who was a drug addicted, alcoholic pedophile. She really didn’t know how to cope. She didn’t know how to deal with her husband raping her. She didn’t think she had choices. She didn’t know how to deal with her husband beating her children. When she did try to get away, things got worse–not better.

I’m trying to tease out some of my food stuff. I had diarrhea this morning. I haven’t been eating off plan so I assume that it is at least partially because I’ve been thinking about how to talk about this stuff for a few days. But who fucking knows.

I don’t have an official diagnosis but I suspect I qualify as being a “highly sensitive person”. I’ve desensitized myself in many ways over the years–I’m way less sensitive than I was as a kid. When I was a child I had huge food issues. I couldn’t handle unfamiliar foods. I would completely freak out. The wrong texture in my mouth could set me off for hours. I couldn’t “get over” the wrongness of some things in my mouth.

As an adult I have tried really hard to expand my food palate–partially for my own sake and partially to model for my children. But trying new things is complicated for me. I have to be in the right emotional state or I will freak out or get physically sick. Just about anything can make me gag if I’m in the wrong emotional state. It makes me challenging to feed.

Noah surprises me all the time as I reflect on the enormity of the task he has taken on with regards to feeding me. He is mellow, flexible, and very happy to be experimental. He doesn’t take it personally when I have an issue. And he shows up the vast majority of the time to just make food. Even through the elimination diet when I was a moving target of problems. He responded with cheer and good humor and just asked for new directions. He likes them written down, please.

I don’t have to beg. I don’t have to coax. I don’t have to behave “good enough”. I don’t have to do a bunch of things I don’t want to do in order to try and talk him into it.

He just makes food. Because he wants me to eat. He wants me to live for a long time so I can be here with him hanging out.

Trusting someone around food is a process. I don’t like making food very much, but I would much rather have people come to my house where I control the food so I don’t have to wonder if I will be ok or if I will act like an ungrateful asshole at their house. This means I do a lot of inviting people over. I usually cook for those events instead of expecting Noah to cook for all of my friends. He has long days. I don’t need to be mean about him doing a lot of cooking. I probably make dinner 30%-40% of the time. Ok, usually more like 30%. But once in a while I’m nice and I do an extra breakfast shift. (Like, not even weekly. My husband is so nice to me.)

I feel a lot of shame a lot of the time around being ungrateful. I don’t deserve the effort people put into me. Shame is poison. When I feel ashamed, I tend to also feel anger. Shame isn’t guilt. Shame is believing that people are going to be upset with you for breaking unspoken societal guidelines… not breaking a Law or a Rule… just… people won’t like you for doing the wrong thing. Shame is poison. Shame is believing you aren’t good enough because you don’t conform enough to being just like other people. When I believe that other people think I’m not good enough… I get mad at them. Even when this whole cycle is just in my head. It’s part of the reason I’m so difficult to deal with.

A few years ago we tried to have a friend live with us. Part of the deal was: she would handle food. It would be off my plate. Then I could turn my attention elsewhere and do other things. It didn’t work out due to a lot of complicated things revolving partially around her being disabled and unable to just show up seven days a week like clockwork. Because I thought I had her at home to make sure the kids got fed, I started burning spoons I didn’t have to spare if I have to feed the kids. Then sometimes I had to feed the kids.

Oh I have the feelings. I still do. We are still trying to figure out how to mend our relationship. It happens in drips and drabs. Rebuilding trust is so hard.

Rebuilding trust is hard because I am unfair in how I ask people to be rigid in what they offer as my friend. I tend to require people to practically sign blood contracts that they will be present in my life x days per month/year and I need to be able to Trust That. That’s really a problem for people who have unpredictable illnesses like oh roughly half of my peer group. Right. Shit.

I was a monster. I exploded and kicked the cabinet door off. I’m not saying it is someone else’s fault–I lost control and that isn’t ok. It isn’t excusable. How do I move forward and not do that again? Moreover, beyond just never demonstrating that level of rage in front of my kids again, how do I learn to separate my feelings from other peoples actions?

I think about this and I feel scared. What am I going to do if Noah decides he is kind of done cooking for a few years? Am I going to explode at him? Am I going to expect him to just provide for me in that way?

At this point I’m pretty sure I exploded at my friend as harshly as I did because I have an enmeshed thing going on where she is both mother and sister and I have a lot of big, explosive feelings towards both of those roles. My friend wasn’t able to be the perfect Platonic Ideal… and I couldn’t cope. That isn’t her fault and I feel a lot of guilt around putting her in that position. I think that the enormity of what I did to that friend came into a kind of intense relief when I started doing a similar thing with someone else. (I mean the first noun definition of relief: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/relief “prominence, distinctness, or vividness due to contrast.)

I want other people to mend the wounds I have. But it takes a kind of consistency that literally isn’t possible for most people. It isn’t fair or appropriate to ask it of them. This is something I do over and over and I have to change how I handle this. No one can fix me and it is wrong of me to get so mad at people for failing to do so.

How do you heal and learn to trust people while knowing that you can’t trust them to be reliable? Not because anyone is doing anything wrong. Not because they are actually letting me down (I’m not their kid nor their boss so they don’t owe me a fucking thing) but because I have this crushing feeling of being let down.

I’m worried about this being the kind of thing I pass down to my kids. Entitlement about having other people feed them. Entitlement to explode when you don’t get what you want. The feeling that if people take care of themselves they are betraying you.

That’s pretty fucked up.

I’m too hard on my BFFs. Pam told me so. She has a lot of authority to speak about such matters because she has been standing close enough to be in the role for years only she doesn’t have room in her life. She has great boundaries. There is no enmeshing with Pam. She’s on her path. But she comes and looks at me over long periods of time and tells me when I’m doing stupid shit. That’s useful.

I enmesh unless other people have strong boundaries. That’s a lot of why I like people with strong boundaries as much as I do. But really, what I like are women who like making food who need me to clean their house. (Ok, they never need me to clean their house… but I pick people who don’t especially like cleaning so I can feel useful.) I look for people who have challenging relationships with their families–people who are also looking for substitutes to heal some wounds and I try to offer trades. Only I’m not direct or blunt or explicit… I just kinda move in. Until I’m scared that I’ve overstayed my welcome and I evaporate like I was never there.

I project onto people that filling my needs will fill a need for them, like it works in reverse for me. I like doing things for people. I like feeling useful. I like feeling like I have useful skills and abilities.

The ability to feed people is a thing. It’s a big deal. It’s a comfort thing, it’s a way of supporting life. I get why people feel good about being feeders. But I can’t assume that just because someone is a feeder they will reliably and predictably want to feed me. I can’t assume that they will always be able to. And it isn’t ok to punish people when they stop being able to.

I really struggle with how much of this feels like, “You just aren’t allowed to get angry when your needs aren’t met.” But that’s black and white thinking. That’s not very useful.

I’m writing this because I need to figure out a better way of handling my feelings before they get so big I explode. Lots of communal “eat together” stuff happens in my life. I have big, explosive feelings on a regular basis. People say they will feed me then cancel at the last minute. Plans change. I have to manage my feelings better.

Just because people enjoy making food doesn’t mean I can expect them to make food for me.

I’m not sure how to change my set of reactions. Food is primal. Food is necessary every day for life. But it isn’t necessary that other people provide food for me.

I am a little worried about how I will adjust to the road trip. I’ve gotten very used to Noah cooking breakfast and dinner. When I am responsible for providing three meals a day… am I going to expect the kids to do an inappropriate amount of work because I feel like I can’t cope? I’m worried. How much work is inappropriate?

Do I need to develop habits around snacking every x minutes so I don’t get hungry enough to react badly at people. (That actually first happened to me as an adult when I went back packing with a dear friend. He started insisting I eat every 45 minutes while hiking or I got bitchy and he was tired of me ranting at him. It worked really well.) I can’t expect other people to manage my food issues. They are mine. I get into so much trouble because I expect other people to handle me. I spend too much time acting like I am a child and everyone and anyone is responsible for me. Like I’m still wandering from house to house as an unwanted charity case.

I feel like it is vitally important for me to stop feeling like I am a charity case. I don’t know how. Having money isn’t doing it.

I feel like a ridiculous whiny baby when I write about these things. Just get over it already. But it’s hard to shame someone into being better. I have a lot of intense triggers around food. I have a low ability to discern my bodies signals around hunger. I have a lot of resistance to making food. I have a lot of anxiety around most parts of eating from the mechanics of chewing (I’m still worried that I might suddenly run into some awful texture by surprise–it’s part of why I can’t eat seafood.) to digesting to pooping. I don’t have a body that works how I think bodies “should” work and I feel like I’m still looking around for a mom who will help me fix it.

When oh when will I stop looking for substitute parents?

At this point I’m picking candidates who have as much or less life experience than me and that’s not really working and I have to stop. I get really upset with them and that’s wrong of me. I have to change this habit.

I feel scared. I want to say I don’t know how. I know what I want to stop and that doesn’t give me a roadmap of where to go and that feels really scary right now.

I don’t know how far back on the chain of my behaviors/emotions I have to go to start changing things. I feel very overwhelmed wondering how much of my basic personality is actually toxic and I need to change it.

The funny thing is: the shame around wanting people to take care of me by feeding me is wrapped up in the shame around being a loud person.

I have a voice designed for gathering up crowds in a large out door location. It’s a gift. It’s a wonderful gift when it comes to getting peoples attention when they are outside and spread out.

I’m not good at toning down. Then I married someone who has a habit of getting really loud and emphatic. Then we had two kids who think that what they are talking about can be the only important thing in the house so sometimes we kind of have four people shouting at one another. At that point Noah or I get overwhelmed and make everyone stop. It’s kind of funny. We all have to take some deep breaths.

I want my girls to be able to shout people down with their position. I mean, it would be better if they could communicate their position without shouting but I know too many women who are just flat incapable of strongly advocating for themselves. I want my girls to be able to shout people down. I want it to be a tool in their tool box. Boys are given that tool. It’s not a tool that makes you well liked, but sometimes it is a necessary tool. Folks who can’t do it say it isn’t useful but I’ve watched a lot of things get solved by who can shout loudest. I want my kids to be able to win.

I am torn between thinking that being a somewhat scary person is a good thing because it means my kids get acclimated so that maybe other people will be less intimidating in the future. Then I think, “Oh that’s an absurd justification you disgusting monster.”

When food is tied up with a loud voice it probably isn’t going to go well. Shame is a monster. Shame tells me that if I had the audacity to be too loud (for whom?!) I should be punished. I’m not really allowed to punish myself in most ways any more (I don’t have privacy). I used to be punished with food denial. I go through periods of intense anxiety where my stomach hurts really badly and I drop weight really quickly. It’s like I’m trying to punish myself–but I genuinely can’t eat more at those times or I vomit.

I probably eat more sugar than is “good” for me but I get the impression I’m still relatively low compared to the “average” American. (At least I see spreads of food in pictures representing what people eat and I eat WAY less sugar than those pictures ever represent. Whoa.) But frankly even though people want to think of eating as bad… if it gets calories into me sometimes I have to accept that as good enough. No, it isn’t perfect. I’m doing my best. I eat far more fruit and vegetables than I used to–it has to be ok that I snack on buns too.

I went to bed absurdly early last night. I think that partially happened because I wanted to work on this and I won’t get any other chance. I woke up at 2am. By 3 I feel like I am getting pretty hungry. My instinct is to just sit here and whimper as my body hurts. I had to think about it for thirty minutes before I got up to get a cheese stick. My impulse is to wait 5 hours for food. No wonder I’m so damn cranky all the time. I sleep weird. I eat irregularly and expect my body to just keep going regardless of how many calories I have in me.

I could have been a primitive hunter gatherer. “Didn’t find food yet. Keep walking.”

(I’m kidding.)

Maybe the road trip will be kind of like the fast. (The fast didn’t make it so I have solid poop every day forever, but I have a fair bit of it and I’m pretty happy with my current functioning.) I will have a huge break from how food normally looks in my life. I won’t have any of my normal crutches. I won’t have any of my normal support.

Ok, now how do I get it done?

Without living on packed foods plus restaurants. Ahem.

Ok, I feel a little guilty about this–it sorta feels like the first step to not having explosive reactions when people don’t meet my expectations is to just not have expectations of people but for me that results in treating people like interchangeable pieces. That’s not really cool either. “Who cares if you won’t come. Someone else with 2.5 kids will be invited in your place and no skin off my nose.”

I’m sorta ok thinking of people that way when it comes to hosting large group events with a maximum RSVP… it’s ok to just treat number of RSVPs as interchangeable and not act like there is an A and a B list.

But in general with personal relationships? That’s… kind of awful.

I’m going to flip to talking about road trip planning for a minute. I laid out the big map and showed the girls my proposed Plan A route. Shanna immediately had objections. “Why did you go this way? I’d rather go that way. What is this thing over here? I want to see that.” I took a deep sigh. Some of her proposals mean that I won’t be wandering through the cities of my random internet friends. This kind of bummed me out.

But the road trip isn’t about my personal tour through everyone I’ve chatted with on the internet. I don’t feel like I should be the One Who Decides. So if my kid says, “I don’t want to go that way I want to go up here and see the Grand Canyon” I can’t really say, “But then I won’t get to meet [screen name].” Suck it up, Buttercup.

Flexibility seems to be key to handling the food stuff. I don’t know how to become more flexible. I mean, I already have. I eat vegetables and maybe no one else is patting me on the back for that but I bloody well am. I can go over to a friend’s house and eat a whole spread of vegetables and not gag at all. I am quite impressed with my progress. Fifteen years ago I could not do that.

But it isn’t just flexibility. How do I stop trying to force my female friends into the role of mother/sister? How do I stop enmeshing and projecting and transferring and all those other fun psychiatric terms?

Part of it is that I want to feel part of something and I don’t usually feel part of anything. I barely feel like I am “part of” Noah and Shanna and Calli as a team. They are all related by blood to all those other Gibbs. I’m just an interloper. My mom was never accepted into my father’s family. She had it better than I do–but they made sure she knew she wasn’t truly family.

Strangely I have no trouble feeling “part of” just Shanna and Calli. They feel like mine in a way that changes when we are alone or when we are with Noah. When Noah is around I relinquish most of my hold. I don’t have to be as aware. I don’t have to be in control. I take my responsibilities as a parent pretty seriously. I notice a slump of relief when I’m not “on duty”. I drop hypervigilance when the babysitter is here, when other parents visit (they are generally more jumpy about what my kids do than I am so I can relax knowing that someone else will freak out for me), when Noah is here. It’s a nice relief but it is weird feeling these walls between my relative levels of attachment.

My relationship with Noah is so complicated. Recently I was talking to another woman about how she has to live at the whims of her husband. Him having a hard day kind of wipes the house out. I flinched because I was thinking, “That’s my role.” Noah and I have periodic discussions about how he isn’t allowed to be grumpy in an ongoing way… I can’t handle it. But he has to handle me being grumpy. He has to deal with me snapping and being difficult. I apologize constantly but sorry bakes no bread.

I’m thinking about how I want to handle food on the trip. How am I going to handle grocery shopping and cooking and food storage? That’s a long time to not have a system. But my system will have to adapt to the fact that I don’t have control over what kinds of things I will find where.

I will not be doing the Whole Paycheque tour of the US so I can stick with comfortable, over priced food. Yes, we will probably eat factory farmed meat. (Frankly I haven’t found a source of sausage for non-factory farmed meat so we always eat some. And restaurants. We’re going to hell; I know.)

You can’t make contact with local farmers to buy one steak at a time on the road. Doesn’t work. Or rather: I probably could but that would become the focus of the trip and then my kids would hate me.

Priorities.

Being a vegetarian doesn’t work for my body. Horrible digestion problems. Lots of doctors (including many who are vegetarians themselves) say I should not give up meat. That means accepting that I am part of the mass meat market. Ick.

Now I’m dithering. Am I dithering? Have I just reached the end of the processing for one entry? Am I dithering by thinking about logistics for food? Should I instead be bludgeoning myself in the head for my emotional problems? Are the logistics the point or aren’t they? I’m not sure.

Am I better off having a timer on my phone that goes off every x minutes and I need to eat something so I don’t run low on spoons and I can deal with more vagaries in other people supplying food or not? But people get upset if you start snacking because they are half an hour late on dinner. Saying, “I’m going to get psycho if I wait for you” doesn’t help.

I actually did that this week. A friend was bringing lunch and I was eating when she walked in. I felt like I was about to gnaw my arm off. It seemed stupid to wait so I could explode.

For the whole last week I’ve been starving. I’m eating larger than normal meals and snacking in between a few times. And I’m craving sugar like it is going out of style. I went to the store with the kids. “Can I have…” “Yes!” Bad news. Well, the kids thought it was great news. Ranch 99 has the best buns. You want to ask me for lots… I’ll say yes. Totally a sucker for the buns. And mochi. Say “YES!” to mochi. That’s my policy. I like mochi. I’m not sure why because it seems like it should be a weird texture for me only it is the best mouth feel ever.

Frankly I’m trying to build up familiarity with non-American foods so that when I travel it will be easier to find things that feel comfortable and “safe”. I don’t have that many more years until we want to leave for the year. If I don’t eat a fair bit of the stuff now I won’t build up that level of comfort-feel.

Watch me justify my awesome bun binge.

I could live on dim sum. I do order vegetables.

I’m getting the impression that food-wise I should stay out of Japan and Korea. I’ll have a hard time. And yet, Tokyo Disney calls my name. I can find a way to suck it up. They have chicken and beef. I’ll just have to patiently practice how to say, “no fish at all, please–not even broth”.

Now I’m dithering. But it’s after 4 and I’m tired. I’m ready to go back to bed.

I need something resembling a plan. I need to be more mindful of my expectations around people and food. I am already better about carrying snacks so I don’t get over-hungry as often as I used to (parenting helped me with that habit–specifically nursing).

How do I stop treating these women in my life like they have to be stand ins for other people? Why do I keep acting like they have the power to heal me?

Because I’ve watched too many movies and read too many books about the power of friendship. The reality is my life will never be the kind of life that is featured in a heart warming special about camaraderie. C’est la vie. (I’m pretty sure there should be an accent in there.)

I don’t think that means I should devalue what I get. I get friendship. I get shared adventures. I get journeys of self discovery walked side by side. I don’t get healed. I don’t get to have the feeling of connection I believe other people feel as represented by media. (If it happens on tv it MUST BE TRUE.)

Maybe the healing just has to come from always having such a plethora of snacks on hand that I don’t ever get to the point of low blood sugar. (Nuts are awesome.) Maybe the healing is about other people providing bonus food, not the mandatory-for-life kind. Maybe the healing comes from being safe?

I don’t know. I’m still a bitch.

I’m less scared than I used to be. I blow up less often. I am less destructive when I do blow up. I have fewer expectations of people.

Hey–I haven’t blown up at someone about tardiness in a very long time. That’s huge progress for me. It just isn’t a trigger in the same way. Having my kid have a sudden poopy diaper as we are about to walk out the door to be 1 minute late… teaches you that people are late. It’s ok. It has to be ok. All of a sudden you are 30 minutes late and there isn’t a thing you can do but slap a smile on and make the best of it.

I am not where I need to be. I need to work harder on treating my friends how they deserve to be treated. They are doing their best and I don’t have the right to explode when they don’t meet my demands. It isn’t their fault my mama wasn’t nice to me. I don’t have a fucking free pass.

Life is hard. 5010 words. Time to stop.

What a day.

The first conversation of the day went well. We didn’t yell. We kept our voices quiet. We both talked about our big feelings and why we have been behaving the way we have. I feel like I heard her boundaries (there are several topics of conversation I just won’t bring up again and if she brings it up my role is, “ok”). One can never tell if one is heard or not. We cried. We hugged. The future will tell what comes of all that.

Then it turns out my therapist and I got off-schedule and she had a different client in for an appointment and I didn’t get to have the second difficult conversation of the day. Instead I felt upset. Which is… not an improvement over getting to be done with the second difficult conversation. I have since emailed her and discovered that we got off-kilter enough that we won’t be seeing one another at all in January. I… am strangely kind of happy about that. No problem.

Then I went to the park. Today was A Day. I had Big Feelings. I don’t think I shit all over anyone. But man I had Big Feelings.

A few days ago I messaged the group and asked if we could start negotiations for the spring group camping trip. Some people in the group read that as I was proposing that we start talking about the whole group trip. Yay! The organizer of the group read it as, “Krissy is going to go do her thing with a few people.”

I’m having feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. They will be going camping without me. The four weekends in April/May that would work for me don’t work for anyone else. That isn’t anyones “fault” and I’m not angry with anyone but I’m having feelings. I feel disappointed. I feel like I should stop trying to host things through this home school group because sometimes they go well and frequently I end up feeling like I’m trying to be part of a group but I’m not really and would I just stop interrupting what THEY want to do already?! (Scheduling is fucking hard with this big of a group. Everyone has conflicting schedules. I don’t think that everyone needs to be available at my beck and call. I feel grumpy that five months of notice isn’t enough to get people to even be willing to talk to me. I feel grumpy that when I say “group camping trip” that is read as “Krissy doing her thing”.)

Jokes were made multiple times today such that I spent a lot of time literally bite my tongue hard enough to draw blood to keep from responding nastily because I didn’t think they were funny. I finally left the park when one mom asked me where I had been and I said, “In the bathroom” and she responded, “Well we didn’t know where you were. Next time check in.”

I almost lost my shit.

I “understand” that she was “playing”.

I have huge triggers around bathroom control. When I was a high school teacher I had a sheet of paper on a table by the door. If you have to go to the bathroom, sign yourself out and just go. Legally I have to be able to say I knew where you were the whole time but I don’t want to talk about it–just go. I don’t want someone asking me about my bathroom habits. I have huge issues going back decades to bathroom control issues. I am completely not fucking ok with someone telling me that I should check in before going to the bathroom. I almost went up like a fucking Roman candle.

My cheeks hurt really bad from biting myself. My tongue hurts really badly. Eating will be festive for days.

In better-news I spent a while talking to a mom who has a background kind of like mine. Incest/many rapes. One of the biggest differences between us is she has been much less stable during adulthood. Many active suicide attempts after having many children. So a whole order of magnitude more complicated than my issues, in my opinion. I’m an asshole and I’m convinced I don’t matter and I cry a lot and I don’t have a lot of will to live… but I don’t have a lot of active will to go die. That’s impetus I lack. I am glad that I can be someone to listen to her when other people can’t handle it. I am glad that she can hear my stories and not flinch. I told her that she and I should make a date with no kids around to really get into details and specifics. I spend a lot of time hushing her at the park because I don’t let kids hear details at all. We go off and sit a ways away from people before we talk about the gory bits.

I’m having huge feelings. I don’t think they are anyone’s fault. Even though there were a bunch of people I wanted to rage at today… I don’t feel like I am actually mad at them.

I genuinely don’t feel like I am mad AT someone. I just have a lot of anger in my body.

It really sucks feeling this angry. I don’t think it is anyones fault. I am genuinely convinced that no one today did anything genuinely “bad” or even “jerk-like”. I’m just…

Oh, I started bleeding today. That was early. But a friend pointed me at a new period tracker app that tracks mood. I’m going to start tracking things like rage, feeling suicidal, etc. I am not tracking food anymore (even though I probably should) and I’m a tracker.

I need to get a handle on my mood swings. If I can better predict them maybe I can figure out a better way of managing them. I hope. Whether anyone else has hope that I can change… I see nothing but a whole lot of changing behind me. I don’t see that trend stopping.

Feel like I’m fucking up everywhere

I have apparently upset a bunch of people in the unschooling forum by describing those who do a lot of more formal music learning as doing “fancy pants music” as opposed to my making up rhyming songs with no instruments. I wasn’t trying to be an asshole. But apparently I succeed without trying all the time. Wooo.

Yesterday I got into it on twitter with a woman I barely know from home schooling. (Mostly what I know about her is she was kicked out of my home schooling group because she posted a lot of pictures of other peoples kids on her home schooling group website and made it look like we were “clients” for her home schooling assistance organization.) She was posting about how people should give her money to buy books because books should be free for kids. I kind of went off. It wasn’t necessary or nice.

I told her that as long as she thinks books should be free she is saying the time and energy of the authors isn’t worth anything. If you seriously want to campaign hard about how books should be free… you are saying authors should die of starvation. Their children do not deserve to live in homes. If someone knows something you want to know they have to cough it up no matter how it effects their life. I got really mad. The funny part was when she told me not to put words in her tweets. That was funny because her posts are 100% barely-literate hashtags. She doesn’t use words in her tweets.

I know a lot of authors who are struggling to survive. I’m really tired of hearing that it is just that they barely survive.

“Money has no value. We should stop treating it like it is important.” Only she said it in a hashtag run together and not mostly spelled like words. But that is what she said. I told her, “If money has no value why do you keep begging for it on the internet?” That is when she finally got mad enough to write an actual sentence and tell me to stop following her.

She runs indie-gogo campaigns asking people to fund her home schooling efforts nearly once a month.

I’m a judgmental asshole. If you want people to give you money while you are saying loudly that it has no value… I’m going to call you on it. If you are saying that my friends who write books should not be compensated for their time… I’m going to get really fucking hostile. Many of my friends pay their rent and buy their food with money they earn from their writing. Stealing from them is not just.

Yes, I think that kids need access to books. When I said that the solution to her problem (Wanting books and not wanting to pay for them) was the public library she went off on how I just don’t understand. Yeah, I don’t understand that you feel you have the right to benefit from other peoples time and they should suffer to give you benefits. It’s only just.

No kidding people, the public library is the solution for not being able to afford books. Acting like people owe you free books is really… I’m not going to be nice. Fuck you very much. Books cost money. They cost time. If you think you deserve that exchange for free you can fuck yourself. You don’t. You don’t deserve shit. You don’t deserve free books any more than I deserve a mother who loves me. These aren’t things you can “deserve” and then get.

If you want your kids educated for free we have a free public education system. Yes, it isn’t very good.

This is about the most judgmental I will ever be about poverty related stuff.

I have a hard time with the idea that a public education is completely intolerable and unacceptable because… I was entirely publicly educated. Yes, I have done an extreme amount of outside self-study… that’s available to anyone who wants to do it. I think that if you believe your child is owed a free education, here you go. We have a public system set up to provide that.

If you think that your child is owed a free unschooling education where everyone in your community gives you books and money so your kid can do anything (s)he wants… no. You may not have it. That’s not how it works.

Your kid is not owed free ice skating lessons. The fucking instructor needs to eat. Your kid is not owed free music lessons. The fucking instructor needs to eat.

I notice how you only think your child’s “need” to learn is important here. The need of other people to not die doesn’t seem to rank in the importance chart and that’s not something that is going to provoke a lot of sympathy for the needs of your kids.

No, your kid DOES NOT NEED FREE BOOKS and fuck you very much. Your kid needs food, water, and shelter. Those things cost money. The very money you are saying doesn’t matter and you won’t give any to other people to help them provide for the needs of their own children.

People have survived without free books for many tens of thousands of years.

Especially now that we have the internet I think demanding free books is just fucking ridiculous. Get a god damn library card and borrow books on the kindle device on your fucking computer. The whole process is free. (I live in the same county with access to the same system–no really, it is easy to use.) If you have the internet you have no standing to require that people owe you free books. That’s lazy, self-absorbed, and just about malicious.

I know how much it sucks to not be able to afford books. That was my childhood. I am so grateful I can afford to buy lots of books for my kids. I think it is very sad that not every child gets to have a whole library in their house the way my kids get to have a library.

But I don’t think the solution is saying that books shouldn’t cost money. It takes time, energy, and resources to make books. That can’t be just passed along as “free”.

If people started saying with more seriousness that Noah should be giving away the books he was writing I would no longer allow him to write books. He takes time away from his family to write those books. That has a cost *I* have to bear. The money he earns from writing I use to make it easier for me to deal with the fact that he is not with the kids a lot–he is working or writing books most of the time. If someone wants me to just suck it up and bear all the cost… fuck you. No more books for you, asshole. Making your life better at the expense of mine is not a fucking trade I’m making for any fucking asshole who fucking demands it of me. Go to hell.

I feel like an asshole for having this position. But people would line up around the block for Noah to spend 24/7 teaching them for free. I would never see him again if I didn’t have boundaries. He has a lot of stuff to teach that other people can use to go make money. Yes, it has value. Maybe I’m a selfish asshole for not wanting him to share his knowledge completely freely.

I don’t care how many people tell me money doesn’t matter, I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich and I’m going to god damn act like money has value. I like my surprise Hawaiian vacations. I like spending a month in Scotland. I like getting to build a park in my backyard. These things cost money. I don’t think I deserve money more than other people. I think Noah is better at earning it than average. That’s not about “deserving”. It just is.

But I think if you have a product to sell and people want to buy it there isn’t shame in selling your product. I think that demanding that people give something away just because you want to have it and don’t want to pay for it… that’s… that’s a special kind of entitlement.

But this is how rich people always justify keeping poor people down, right?

The thing is: when you are talking about authors not deserving to be paid for their books… mostly you aren’t talking about folks like Noah who write as their second lower-paying-job. I have many women of color in my life who write books. They pay their rent with the proceeds. My stance may seem “convenient” because it is protecting Noah but I’m a lot more concerned with the women who have kids and no other income. They need god damn protection.

I practically give my books away. I charge very little. I’m not selling books to make money. I will cheerfully give a free copy of my books to anyone who asks. I’m not trying to support a family I’m trying to get information out into the ether. Different approach. One I’m perfectly entitled to take if I want to take it.

But no one has the right to demand it of me.

Demanding that I give up my financial security so you can have a little knowledge is… not a fair trade. Saying that someone else should go massively into debt paying for college so they can learn things and then write books for free so that you don’t have to incur debt for the knowledge… that’s a special kind of entitled.

I don’t think I am entitled to other people doing work for me for free. Hell, I think I can pay people buckets of money and still not get them to actually work in a way that is helpful. (Hello medical profession.) And I don’t think this attitude is because I have money in the bank. I had a much larger chip on my shoulder about people giving me things when I had just about no money in the bank.

If you want to find a music teacher and offer to trade cooking meals for classes… that’s great. If you want to find an ice skating coach willing to trade for produce you grow in your yard, awesome.

I don’t think that money is the only valid unit of transaction for “paying” for services. I really don’t. I think trades are totally valuable and worthy. However when you say “books should be free” you aren’t offering to trade for the knowledge. You just want to steal it. And I have no respect for that.

People do not respect things they get for free. If you are able to demand a completely free education (oh wait–one is already available) then you place no value on it. (See recent uptick in home schooling demographics. We don’t appreciate that which we can get for free. Instead we want to reinvent the wheel and do it ALL OUR SELVES which makes it harder and… more valuable.)

I’m not trying to say that all home schooling people expect the community to hand over stuff for free. I’m not saying that wanting free resources is bad. (I think wanting a free public education system and a free library system is basically a healthy set of goals for a society.) I think saying that authors should write for free is crap. What a user. (Either that or you are saying that the government should be subsidizing authors the same way it subsidizes the library and public schools and… that’s a bad idea too.)

There are just as many users in the public system as there are out of it. I don’t think this woman is the only example of entitlement. I’m just being a ranty-pants today.

I haven’t said much that was mean about anybody in a while. I get a backlog of “want to be mean” feelings. I think it is a little funny that my “want to be mean” feelings are now saved up for ranting about how unjust it is that people want free books. That is what I’m getting my panties all in a twist about?

Are you going to tell Toni Morrison that her books should be free? Are you going to tell bell hooks she doesn’t deserve to be paid for her writing?

Oh man. I’m sure they would be better at telling you what is wrong with your position. Much more articulate than me.

I write for free. I’m not saying that authors should never write for free. I am saying readers do not have the right to decide whether or not authors should get paid. I think the author should be allowed to gate keep how much money their writing is worth. If I want to write for free, whatever. If Noah wants to write for pay, it isn’t ok to steal from him.

But would I shoot someone who wanted to steal a copy of his book? That’s where these property-rights come up. Are you willing to shoot someone to defend your stuff? How much force is appropriate to defend your right to “stuff”? I don’t own a gun and I wouldn’t shoot someone to defend my stuff. If someone walked into my house and stole my wedding ring set (by far the single most expensive thing I own) I would not think it was worth killing someone to protect.

I don’t think that people who steal books should go to jail.

I think life is very complicated. I think that people who steal books should be forced to have a full time job in a library so they can be surrounded by books full time and get past the feeling that they must be stolen to be enjoyed.

If what you want is an education, there are many ways to get one for free. Why are you saying books should be free when so many websites want to give you the information for free? All you have to do is look at the blinding ads.

I think my desire to have a friend who wants to talk to me every single day is much like the desire that other people have for free books. If it requires work from someone else you can’t just decide that you want it. Well, you can want it. But you can’t decide that someone else has to provide it. I want a relationship that is close enough that someone wants to speak to me every day. But I can’t demand it. That doesn’t work. You can’t demand that authors give their work away for free. They will stop writing and go find a different job that will provide them with money so they can eat.

There is no deserve in this life. You don’t deserve books. I don’t deserve friends who want to interact with me in the ways I want to be interacted with. I get what people have to give. You get the free books people want to give away as free. You can’t just pick which ones will be free.

Mostly I’m procrastinating. I can’t submit the book anywhere until I can come up with a biography. “Krissy is a stupid bitch who should die” is probably not going to sell copies.

I feel like a mean nasty bitch who should never speak to anyone again. I want to hurt myself so badly.

Oh, didn’t have 8 hours of babysitting yesterday. Second babysitter called and said, “Uhm my phone says I shouldn’t drive anywhere… can we reschedule?” I’m flexible. Even though I’m not really flexible and I have explosions of negative feelings.

My stomach hurts and I feel sad. I feel mean and nasty and like I don’t deserve love at all. I don’t deserve love any more than she deserves free fucking books.

For the record: I’m not sure that I’m “right” and she’s “wrong” on this topic. I’m just babbling.

More time

I’m clearly on a down hormonal swing. I wonder how much my menstrual cycle figures in. I’ve been bleeding for five days. Barely enough to count as bleeding. I’m not filling up panty liners. I didn’t do the explode with rage thing right before my period. I suppose that is good. Instead I am weepy and scared and I feel like I am on the verge of terribly hurting Noah.

To be fair, he isn’t complaining. This is about my perceptions.

I’m not allowed to ask for divorce or separation within five days in front of or in back of my period. Many women are rational regardless of where they are in their cycle. I’m pretty fucked up near mine.

It’s not that he does anything so terrible. It isn’t that he says anything that is so bad. It is because I am such an asshole. I want to scream and shout and hit him. Not because he deserves it. Because I want to do it. Because I feel so fucking angry that he says the things he says.

It really doesn’t help that he is right pretty frequently. It is ridiculously easy to hate his guts when he is right. The thing is, he is right in his descriptions of how things are. He has a better grasp of reality than I have. He sees different points of view and he understands connections between things that I really don’t get. And he can explain it. Sometimes I hate his living breathing guts. And then I feel so guilty and ashamed.

I’m a lot better at figuring out what is wrong with what is. No, I don’t know how to fix it. Noah needs to have something that is the agreed upon path before he is going to change his course. And really there isn’t much that I’m asking him to do at this point. There is nothing I think he needs to change.

Even being pissy about the video game thing is transitory. He hasn’t always worked on video games. He won’t always work with video games. That’s just the thing of the year. I don’t have that much emotional investment in what company he works for.

I have class issues. And it isn’t Noah’s fault. And they aren’t about Noah. Unfortunately he is standing really close to me. Well, unfortunate is a tricky word.

I worry about whether or not I am capable of being what he needs. And I’m scared that someday I will decide I can’t.

Noah says he is working hard to give me such a nice deal that I will never want to leave. I don’t want him working hard to get love from an abusive harpy. That’s not really a fair deal in life.

Today is sad. Today will end. At the end of the day Noah will still be there. And even if I have big feelings I won’t be mean to him. Even though I feel so bad for having the feelings I have. I can just be quiet.

I’m sorry I am so negative. I’m sorry I don’t appreciate you as much as you deserve.

But there isn’t really much “deserve” is there?

Some days are like that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I really am a fucking asshole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today I feel very scared and very sad.

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

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

Who needs a title.

Even though I rarely split my random thoughts into multiple posts, today seems like the day. Scheduling can stand alone.

I am so excited about seeing Jenny that I can barely sit still. I haven’t seen her since her wedding and that was literally years ago. Scotland is pretty far and I don’t have the money to travel with two kids as often as I would like. Too many other trips I’m saving for. Damn priorities. I will make it back to Scotland. Just not that soon. This way I get to meet my niece! She is coming to my house! I am so excited. I am going to take many pictures. She won’t remember Wonderland but hopefully the pictures will inspire her to feel more comfortable visiting again when she gets older.

I fantasize about trading kids for a year when they are older. We’ll see. Not because I want to be away from my kids for even five minutes. Just because it’s an opportunity to live in a different place with someone who would be good at taking care of you. That’s not an opportunity every kid has. My kids are so lucky. They will never have any way to wrap their tiny entitled little brains around how lucky they are.

I struggle with that. I talk to my therapist about my jealousy. She says it is a good thing I can admit it because lots of people feel jealous of their kids and can’t admit it–that creates other problems. I know I’m jealous. I know I wish I could have had a life that was 20% as nice as their life is. But I can’t change the past. My life is pretty rad now.

I don’t have complaints about my life. I’m in one of those magical windows of time when even my fucked up brain can look around and register, “Yup I’m safe. And my life is fucking awesome. I get to do exactly what I want when I want. No one yells at me. People like me enough to let me get away with shit. I have totally nailed this ‘life’ thing.”

Ok, I’m still sad about not having a mom who cares about me. But that isn’t something that *I* can do anything about. Everything that I can influence is going well. It isn’t my fault that I have the problems I have. I’m doing very well with what I was served this lifetime. Most people who get the hand I’m dealt burn out long before now. Most people who grow up thinking they are a worthless piece of shit who should die never get past that.

I’m grateful for every moment when I don’t feel like that. It feels like a gift. It feels like a surprise. I don’t hate myself right now. I don’t feel like I should die so that I stop poisoning everyone around me. The absence of feeling is amazing. I don’t feel like I should die.

Dealing with being suicidal is very hard. It hurts physically and emotionally. The days when I don’t have the evil voices whispering that everyone would be better off without me are by definition Good Days.

Today I baby-sit and I clean. Because I’m a dork. Jenny and little djinn won’t give a shit if my house is cleaner than it is right now. Jenny won’t complain about the fact that my annual dusting day is months away. (Ha. I wish I were kidding.)

But I love them. I love them so much and I don’t get to see them very often. It feels like an honor thing. I want to welcome them into a nice-ish home. Ok, my house will never be a Nice House (imagine I know how to do the little raised TM thing like a trademark sign). I have a weird house. It’s small. I repair things and they kinda look like shit. It wasn’t a Nice House when I arrived. But it is a lot of fun. There is a lot to look at. There is a lot to do. If you are bored in my house it is because you are of a weak and inferior mind. And don’t fucking say out loud to me that you are bored because there is always cleaning or dusting. I don’t care if you live here or not I’ll make you work if you complain .

I feel weird pride in my house. It isn’t a Nice House but it is a really lovely home. I think that I was a big asshole to Brittney because I always felt insecure about the fact that she has lived in a Nice House her whole life other than her college co-housing experience. Her family just does that. Last I heard she was putting off kids kind of indefinitely because it was more important to be able to afford a huge house. She didn’t want kids until she could give them what she had. But when we were kids the Nice House didn’t require two parents working 50+ hours a week. So she isn’t giving her proto-children what she had. She had a mother who stayed home and took care of her.

I am insecure and petty. I am not very supportive when people talk about such goals. I shoot holes in the reasoning. I think this contributes to Brittney ending the relationship. I was not even vaguely supportive of her lifestyle. Really she didn’t dump me until I talked honestly about her dad–she has to pick him over me. He’s still a constant source of money and support. I don’t think he would tolerate divided loyalties.

I’m not even sure why I’m ruminating on her this morning. Because I contrast her in my head with the people who haven’t decided to ditch me? She had the right. Any one and every one has the right to not want to know me. I can be a serious asshole. No denial here.

Losing Brittney was as hard or harder than losing my family. And I lost all of them permanently when I wrote the first book. No one wants me to reflect on how they impacted me. Ok.

I developed the desire to NOT have a Nice House when I visited Brittney as a child. We weren’t allowed to touch anything. Her mom was very house proud and made sure that everyone knew that the house was HERS and we were there on sufferance so DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING.

I don’t want a Nice House. I want a nice home. I don’t want expensive things that can’t be touched. I want shit I can touch and break without having to scream and cry over how terrible it is.

So my house is full of shit from Ikea. And I’m pretty happy about that. When my kids draw on things I shrug. When things break my kids know to say, “Oh thank goodness that came from Ikea so it is easy to replace!”

I was exposed to Nice Houses as a kid. What I learned from that experience is that I don’t belong there because I’m not good enough.

So why do I care so much about cleaning my house just because someone is coming over?

Well, the traditional meaning of the word “slut” more meant “woman who is bad at house keeping”. I may be a slut (retired) but I’m not a slut. I know that women are judged very harshly on their ability to keep a reasonably tidy house. Yes, my house meets “reasonably tidy” in spades but I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about my annual dusting. I just can’t give a shit to do it more often.

But I might feel panic and do it before my lovely international visitors show up. Because neurosis is like that.

Jenny lived in a Nice House when we were kids. (Yes, I know that the pre-earthquake house was far less Nice but I only knew the post-Loma Prieta Earthquake rebuilt house. It was Nice.) Jenny had a mama who could cook, clean, garden, and work.

I felt so jealous of Jenny when we were younger. Now not so much. Not because her adult life has been bad (not even close) but because we have such different personalities that we want very different things. I don’t feel jealous towards her any more. I just like her. I just feel glad when I get to be around her. I know more of the cost of her life. I no longer begrudge her the way I did when we were in middle school. I didn’t understand then.

Sometimes I wonder if I ever could have gotten over feeling jealous of Brittney. I don’t want what she has. Not even slightly. I don’t want the asshole-liar-cheating father even if he is rich. I don’t want the narcissistic mother who cares about very little other than her looks. I don’t want the job that is soul crushing and terrible… but earns a lot of money.

I don’t feel jealous any more. Instead I moved on to being a critical asshole. Cause that’s so much healthier and shit.

Brittney was my first friend. I was born across the street from her five months after her. I’m very sorry I only had her for thirty years. Even if I am a fucking asshole who doesn’t appreciate her the way she deserves to be appreciated. I miss her like I miss my abusive-as-fuck sister. It doesn’t matter that our relationship was totally fucked up. You are what I had and I miss you. Even though I’m an asshole, you are such a huge part of me. So much of who and what I am came to being because of reacting to them. For better or worse.

I have been so blessed in my friendships. Brittney did love me. She just can’t deal with someone who is as much of an asshole as I am. Somehow I think that is a very healthy choice.

Maybe in another few decades she will forgive me and look me up. I doubt I will look her up. Just like I will never chase Anna again.

Some doors are slammed closed for good reason. People protect themselves for good reasons. I know I hurt people. I have to be supportive of them protecting themselves from me or I am just another monster.

But it makes me appreciate Jenny so much more. Twenty years of friendship now. And we started on such rocky footing. I haven’t always been as nice as she deserves. (To be fair I’m not sure she has always been as nice as I deserve…)

At some point you have to forgive people for their fuck ups or you don’t get to have relationships. Every one fucks up. Every one. There isn’t a person on this planet who is perfect.

I’m really excited about seeing Jenny. I may even splurge on energy and dust. Just because she is So Special. Not many people merit me dusting LetMeTellYou.

My house may not be Nice but I like it. When I look out the garage window I get to see a lovely garden. I get to look at the marigolds that started as volunteers in my friend’s yard. She told me to take some home. Now every time I see the flowers I think of my friend and feel happy and loved. My tomatoes are protected by love, motherfuckers. (Companion planting. Marigolds help chase off pests from tomatoes.)

I’ve spent a lot more energy than average on being sad that I am not “good enough” for people to love. I am not the kind of person that so-and-so wants. That was part of moving all the time and constantly dealing with the fact that I disappointed people everywhere for not being… something enough. It varied from place to place.

I’m never right. Not for any where.

But I’m right here. In this house I’m the right kind of me. I don’t have to be like anyone else. I don’t have to know how to maintain a Nice House. I’m not inferior and bad just because I don’t know how. I’m not bad here because my seed using skills are… limited. It’s ok that I need starts.

I spend so much time and energy being ashamed of my mistakes and inadequacies that sometimes I wonder if I could single handedly run a power supply plant with all my wasted energy. If I could take back that wasted energy and put it on the power grid I could probably power Fresno.

Lame.

Today will be good. Babysitting and cleaning and resting. That’s enough for a day. The next few days I will have to be on my best behavior. No crying. No slamming things. No shouting. The little one who is visiting isn’t used to someone as volatile as me. I don’t want to scare her. That means I have to reign in. I don’t as much for kids who get to know me over time.

In general I think it is good for little kids to know a variety of kinds of people–including volatile people like me. Life involves a lot of different coping skills–I’m a useful person to learn to deal with. But for short periods of time sheltered kids just hide from me if I don’t tone it down. If I know this in advance it is my fault if I don’t solve the problem. I can’t expect a freakin one year old to adapt to me. Let’s be reasonable here.

One of the moms in the home school group keeps saying that she thinks I’m meditating in secret and lying to her about it. This kind of confuses me. She perceives that over the time she has known me I have gotten a lot better at keeping a reign on the energy I put out into the world.

K-I think these fucking kid-lit books by Tamora Pierce are useful. And I feel lame for that.

I still don’t meditate (though it is on my checklist of things to start doing. Yes, I know I freakin should) but I do consciously think about reaching out and metaphorically grabbing my extra energy and putting it in a box. Not the same as meditation. But I am trying to conserve my energy more. I’m trying to scare people less.

I know that my frantic-self disrupts lots of people. Just by standing near me. I’m trying to be better about that. Being near autistic folk has made this…. more important. Sometimes I walk into an autistic house and get immediate comments about how I need to pull in my anger because it negatively effects the people present. I’ve heard this from more than one person in more than one place. So I’m trying. I think it is funny how it is mostly the moms of autistic boys who tell me this. “Don’t set him off.”

My existing too loudly in a room (while standing still and not saying a word) sets people off. It gets kind of annoying.

But you get the body and life you get. You can deal with it or you can be an asshole and expect the whole world to bend to you. I want to keep being invited back. That means I have to figure out how to stop radiating anger when I’m in those houses. It is hard. Sometimes I can barely even tell that I’m doing it. Nevertheless I have to gain control.

Just do it already.

Drips, drabs, ups, and downs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do?

Oh.

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

And yet I keep hosting. Irony.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m really sorry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Save.

Debt is evil.

Make your money work for you.

Pay yourself first.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Pam, for letting me write this morning.

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

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

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

That’s a lesson I can learn.

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

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

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

And then I can stop thinking about it.

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

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

Anger.

I am so angry I feel like I could levitate. It’s not one thing. It’s a million tiny things. But I’m fucking angry. Full of rage. I want to burn things down and make people bleed.

I have barely shouted and it has been entirely of the “STOP RUNNING THAT SHOPPING CART INTO MY ANKLES!!!!” variety so I don’t feel that bad. They did it literally seven times. I was so fucking pissed.

But I’m angry. Angry. Burn it down angry.

I am not entirely sure why. Part of it is anger over a social gaffe of my own. I was a complete asshole to someone who didn’t deserve it. I never like myself much after that. I don’t feel bad if I’m an asshole to an asshole. I feel bad when I kick puppies.

But that isn’t all of it.

I’m scared. I’m angry and scared. I’m trying new things and I am risking rejection and that is very hard for me. I want to show people why they should reject me out of hand. I want to test everyone and scare them and make them put up big boundaries to keep themselves safe from me because I am a bad person.

I’m scared. I’m angry but I’m more scared. I’m also having some issues with entitlement. My kids aren’t doing the basics of picking up after themselves this week. I don’t know what is up.

Shanna. Oh my goodness Shanna. I went into her play room with a box and I picked up allllllllllll the dress up clothes on the floor. Shanna quickly turned and shoved Calli and said, “If she is coming in here to pick up our toys to donate them to someone else so we don’t have to clean them up anymore–say thank you.” Then they both chorused, “Thank you.”

I…

Jeebus. What do I do with that. I wanted to snarl. I didn’t. Self control I haz it.

But I have taken a large number of toys out of their play room and put them in boxes in the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind. Please, Universe–stop giving my kids toys. We are full and over flowing and our blessing far exceed our ability to cope with them. No more toys for a few years, ok?

P.S. Books are ok.

Oh my goodness. I’m clearly having feelings. I’ve bought books recently. I’m not going to admit how much I’ve spent. I’ll have to fess up at the end of the year and you can bloody well wait till then.

I’m very excited. I uhh went online and found the entire Tamora Pierce collection. Oh yes, I did. I am very excited. I have already been pissy more than once that I gave the books back to my friend as quickly as I did because there are particular books I want to reread.

I also bought new because I am the kind of rich piece of shit who should be supporting authors. Damnit.

But uhm, eek.

I need to start selling books I write. Like, to the person who emailed me and requested a way to buy a book I have already written. Eek. Ok. Thankfully, Noah says I will have a sales page up very soon. Which blows my mind.

My life is good. I don’t know why I am so angry. Entitlement? I don’t feel “triggered” other than feeling habitually disrespected by the kids this week.

I have serious fucking issues around cleaning. I’m so sorry, kids. You must keep common space reasonably picked up or I’m just not all that nice. If your room is a mess I can keep my mouth shut. The living room being impossible to walk across…just fucking no. That’s god damn rude.

Ok. Must go pay attention to people here. Don’t really want to. Life doesn’t always give me what I want.

Thinking about stuff else-net.

Sometimes I look at the way people “ask for help” and I think “you don’t actually want help. You want to be pissed at people for failing to help you.”

It is easier to see it when someone else is doing it in front of me. I’m pretty sure I do that sometimes.

I’m struggling with the line between “I want to help EVERYBODY” and “Well, I don’t want to help you because you annoy me.”

It’s a good thing I don’t have a lot of spoons left to hand out any way. This person is clearly more interested in being pissed off about the stuff that happened a long time ago than in doing actual healing.

Healing from trauma is messy, painful, and inconvenient. If you expect therapy to “make you feel all better” without any messy or painful bits then you can keep dreaming. And keep firing therapists. You can say that it is all the fault of all 50 of those therapists that you aren’t better.

But you know what? You are responsible for you. Not anyone else.

I’m responsible for me. If I want to be “better” I have to first define what “better” means and then I have to do every single step of walking to get there. No one can do it for me. It’s hard. It’s life. I can’t make someone else have an easy journey. I can’t make me have an early journey.

Sometimes life is just hard. And on that note I am going to stop beating my head against the wall with this person. I can’t fix him. I will never even know who he is. He can’t be a project of mine.

I have too many projects going already.

My people.

Yesterday I got to spend time with two thoroughly excellent ladies. It is kind of funny that I am referring to them that way because one of them is dealing with a situation at work where she has to tell someone else in her department, “Uhhh stop sending group emails to “Dear Ladies”.”

Two women who inspire me came out of hiding yesterday. One is a preschool special ed teacher (talk about a special breed of saint) and the other has a background like mine and she now has a masters in social work. After dropping out of high school in 9th grade and never completing high school.

One of my friends is not a parent and the other has one kid. I am on a very different life path than either of them. I am really glad that my kids get to know a lot of women who have entirely different interests. My children mostly know women who work. My children mostly know people who have nothing in common with us other than being breathing monkeys and all.

You don’t have to be like me. I am doing what I must do. I know it is kind of weird.

I am so grateful to talk to other people who are fascinated by the vagaries of humanity. It is nice to get to talk to people and say, “Yeah we share ____ bad habit and ______ good habits. Whoo hoo!”

Noah got to ask the social worker friend and I why we care so much about the opinion of people we don’t like and don’t respect. Why don’t we just get over it already? He’s been pestering me on this one for a bit now and I haven’t given him a useful answer. It was kind of nice for him to get to ask another person who is as angry and difficult as I am. I am NOT ALONE. muahahaha

Yes, Noah you are right. Our lives would be better in every way at this point if we didn’t care.

When you are a white trash kid who depends on a lot of charity… you have to care what people think or they don’t give you any help.

I got out of poverty because of a lot of white privilege. People who would help me just an inch here and there. If I didn’t give a shit what they thought I would have behaved even worse than I did and I wouldn’t have gotten the help.

Historically in my life not caring was more dangerous than it is now. At this point it is a legacy bad habit that I do need to change. It is a coping method that *used* to be necessary and it is still around when I don’t need it any more.

I kind of have a long list of personality problems I am already working on. I haven’t really had time to deal with this one yet. I’m too busy figuring out how to not scream at my kids all the fucking time. It’s really hard. Now I understand why my mom beat the shit out of me.

But I will not pass it on. And that requires a lot of truly active thinking on my part.

If I go on “auto pilot” then I am nasty, shrieking, and violent. I hurt people with great joy. If I want to behave differently then I need to really think hard about it all the fucking time. That doesn’t leave a lot of spare brain cycles for fixing the stuff Noah thinks I should get around to.

Uhh, sorry.

I know you are right. I know that is on the list of things I need to change. I get it. But there isn’t a neat little switch attached to my body some where. I don’t get to just decide, “I am going to stop being angry and afraid; all of a sudden I am going to just massively increase my apathy.” Sorry, my nipples aren’t that kind of dial or anything.

I know it “would be better for me” if I could stop having intense emotional reactions to the fact that there will always be people in this world who hate me and wish I would die. Yup, my life would improve in every way if I stopped feeling so bad about that. I know. I know. I KNOW.

I just…

I’m trying.

It has been nice over the past few days to see people I have known for so long. They have been commenting on how different I am. I don’t hit people any more. I don’t even mean like in a bdsm sense. I hit people fucking constantly for most of my life. It has taken years for Jenny to stop flinching when I come near her. I have had to work really hard at not being scary any more.

I understand that this isn’t an “everyone has it” problem. Please can it be ok that I am working on this problem first instead of the “caring too much” problem?

Seriously. I need to care what people think of me. Fewer people, sure. I agree. I do need to care. Not as much as I do. Yes yes yes the strangers who hate me can fuck off. I get it.

The caring runs on a background tape I never take out of the deck and examine. It’s just kind of there. It is an unfortunate feature of my personality that just exists. I don’t consciously go turn it on. I don’t try to increase my anxiety. It’s just there.

Sometimes people have unconscious reactions. It happens.

So it was nice for Noah to get to talk to both of my friends yesterday. They are very different and share very different sides of my interests. Good grief am I grateful that he got to meet someone as angry as I am who is out doing stuff in the world. She has as many anger problems as I do and she has to just fucking master them, like yesterday.

She is very inspirational to me. I confess that I have a hard time taking advice from people who are not inherently angry. If you aren’t like me then you won’t understand what advice I need or why I need it. She gets it. She gets it better than almost anyone I have ever met.

Why are my very closest friends all former child prostitutes? They can understand me. They don’t flinch. They don’t judge me. They understand why I am angry and they think I need to keep the anger but figure out how to manage it. They are the only fucking people not telling me to just “get over it.”

Dad lectured my friend and I last night about how we need to stop getting so angry. We should learn how to deflect rude/awful/whatever things with humor so that people will like us more.

I did not light up like a roman candle and I feel proud of myself for this. I did leave the room soon after.

Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you.

I love Dad with great intensity but man he is hard for me to deal with sometimes. I view it as practice for dealing with all the people I hate. I don’t know why Dad has managed to cross the line into being so strongly in my affection. He has all the markers of someone I would like to set on fire. But he gets a pass. He has earned it from me.

My friend and I discussed our sixth sense, “I can spot a rape/incest/severe abuse survivor at thirty paces.” I can see it on peoples faces even when it happened decades ago. I just know.

I’m sure I miss people. I’m sure there are people who are better liars than I think. I doubt I miss many because I find them all the fucking time and statistically they aren’t the majority of the population.

It was nice being able to talk to someone who really gets what I want to do with an incest database in the future. Most people feel confused as to why I want to go talk to a bunch of incest survivors. Won’t that be depressing?

I am somewhat unlikely to ever “stop being an angry person”. I think that short of being so stoned I cannot form a coherent thought process I will always be someone who has intense emotions. I feel a lot of anger. A lot of sadness. A lot of fear. Basically all the time.

I don’t understand people who just kind of drift through life apathetically. That is not my way and I don’t have a lot of desire to be like that.

I want to get shit done. Anger is very motivating. Fear is very motivating. Sadness isn’t. I try to lessen how sad I feel. I don’t have as good of a reason for being sad any more. I’m really grateful for how nice to me Noah and my kids are. My sadness is bigger than them and outside of them and mostly they block it out kind of like an eclipse.

Letmetellyou having kids doesn’t block out my anger. Holy shit they piss me off sometimes.

I want to have grown up children who have lived in a low stress environment. I can’t get visibly freaking-out-angry any more. I just can’t. It is not on the list of permissible actions.

I can’t cut myself to maintain control. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

I’m getting rid of my broken habits as fast as I can. I am sorry I can’t go faster but I can’t.

I feel like such a disappointment. So what about what I have done. I am measured by how far I still have to go before I qualify as a good person. I’m not sure I will ever make the jump. The gorge seems so wide.

I am so grateful to the two women who took a break from their normal lives to come talk to me today. They inspire me in very different, complimentary ways. I want to be more like them even if they are polar opposite in some important ways. I like conflict.

It is harder hanging out with Dad than the other friends as the trip goes on. I am having a hard time with my expectations and entitlement. I have some picture in my head of what a “dad is like” and I’m just wrong. I can’t take it out on someone else that they aren’t living up to the pictures in my head. I’m pretty sure I have succeeded at being nice to Dad the whole time we have been here.

Man I’m having a hard time with the constant “teasing” that feels like taunting to me. I want to fight. I want to fight so fucking bad that sometimes sitting very still and not reacting makes me sweat.

No, I can’t just “deflect it with humor”. That path is closed to me. What I could do instead is break your nose. How about if we try it my way and we will see whether your way or my way is more fun for me?

I really struggle with dealing with people sometimes, “Yes–you think everything is funny. You want to make everyone standing near you the butt of whatever joke is floating through your mind this second. I get it. When you do that I am going to react with rage, violence, and perhaps I will inflict a lot of pain when you try using me that way. Please just leave me alone.”

I say more or less that. It doesn’t slow down how often I feel mocked and taunted. “Why can’t you take a joke?” I just can’t. I’ve been god damn telling you so for almost a decade and a half. ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF?

At what point is it bullying instead of playing? If I ask for twenty years for someone to stop making fun of me and they won’t am I entitled to break their kneecaps? I think I should get to start escalating at some point.

This is why I used to hit people all the time. Dad made fun of me less often when I punched him as hard as I could each time I was the butt of the joke. Now that I don’t hit him any more he makes fun of me a lot more.

Why in the fuck is it a good idea for me to stop hitting people? I am having trouble remembering right this second.

Recently Shanna had a situation where a playmate was hitting her a lot. We have talked about it a few times afterwards. We’ve talked about all the things she can do when someone is hitting her. I made it very clear that if she tries two or three things to get someone to stop and they don’t it is ok to hit back.

I don’t think it is ok for me to hit people just because they have said something I don’t like. If someone hits me first I have every right in the world to start breaking bones.

Man. Why doesn’t anyone hit me any more? I’d really like to get in a fight. I’ve had a lot of adrenaline for a while now.

I talked to Shanna a lot about how when you end up in a fight with a friend it is important to not hit in the face. You can damage people easily, accidentally and they don’t tend to forgive you for that. If your friend punches you in the arm and you punch them in the arm back… that’s probably something you will be able to get past in your relationship. Once you break someones nose they don’t forgive you.

Why is caring about what other people tied into this? Because for me not hitting Dad really hard when he pisses me off is part and parcel of the anxiety about other people disliking me.

I want a relationship with someone who will hand me the crumbs of affection Dad is willing to give me. Even though it doesn’t come anywhere close to a real parental relationship. Even though it is always very crystal clear that he has “real children” and then those play partners he tolerates calling him Dad.

I feel so pathetic that this is the best I can share with my children. It is the pinnacle of what I have to offer. No, he will never treat you like his “real family”. I hope you never notice.

He is nice to the kids. He is nice to me. But he’s also an asshole. I’ve known that since the first fucking time I met him. I love a lot of assholes. Just go through my list of friends. I don’t hold the fact that someone is an emotionally unavailable asshole as a reason to not be friends with them. Sometimes that is all I can get.

Noah likes being alone in a way I just don’t. Noah spent his childhood trying to get alone time and failing. I spent my childhood desperately wishing that someone would like me and that people would stop hitting me and raping me and that I wasn’t always alone in a room listening to people laugh. If I came in the room the laughing stopped and the yelling started.

We will always react to stress differently. I need that to be ok. I can’t change it.

Dad would like it if I found his humor funny. I don’t. I’m not sure what to do about that either.

I’m never all that keen on the social solution that involves me just having to shut the fuck up about feeling hurt by someone using me as the butt of the joke over and over. For some strange reason.

You can’t change other people. You can’t decide that their personality should be different so you will just bully them until they conform. You can make them learn how to avoid problems with you but you can’t make them change.

I am learning a lot of this with my kids. I can’t make them be different people than they are. I have to help them learn how to manage their own particular quirks but I can’t just decide to make them different.

It is honestly kind of hilarious having to help Calli learn how to not hit people when she is angry. She really struggles with how intensely mad she gets. She wants to make people bleed when she is pissed. I get it, kid.

Sometimes when she is ramping herself up I will pick her up and carry her away from whatever is making her mad. She will fight me at first. She wants to get right back to the fight she was in the middle of so she squirms really hard to try and get away. I carry her into a calm, dark room.

I say, “I think I can see that you are very mad. Am I right?” Scream/sob answer, “YES!!!!!” “That’s really hard. I’m sorry you are having to struggle with that feeling right now. Are you sure you want to hit when you feel that way though? Do you want someone to hit you when they feel mad?” “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” “Ok. Then we need to find a different way of managing this. If you hit then other people will hit you back.”

I think that is one of the parts that gets me. I don’t like being hit back very much. That’s a lot of the reason I actually stopped hitting people. Noah hits really hard if you hit him first.

I want to show my children how to be a functional adult. Functional adults don’t beat up their friends. (Well… only at special parties with pre-arranged negotiation. That’s different.)

Dad is giving me all he has available to give me. I could be mad that what he has to give is so inadequate compared to the scope of my need or I can be grateful that he bothers at all. No one else has.

Sometimes it is really hard talking myself into consciously being nice and grateful for things that are so inadequate compared to my needs. Why in the fuck should I act nice when someone hands me an ice cube but I needed a glacier to do what I need to do.

You act nice or people go away. You act nice or people don’t give you the time of day. You act nice or you end up alone and hated. You act nice or you might as well already be dead because the whole long shitty life will be so painful that it really has no upside to enduring it.

Dad asked me if I thought I had kids because I was trying to relive my childhood and make it better. He said it in that “Do you understand you are broken and bad and you shouldn’t be doing that” sort of way. My response was, “Oh heck yes I know I am doing that. I write about it extensively. I am very consciously and deliberately trying to find out what a healthy childhood looks like.”

He said, “Oh. I don’t read anything you write. I’m not into that kind of thing.”

I said, “Yeah. I didn’t have any suspicion that you might actually give a shit about what is going on with me.”

He looked a bit taken aback but didn’t respond.

Sometimes it is kind of weird for me that I put so much of myself out into the ether and I just pray that people care. I pray that someone will read it. Someone will give a shit. I know that the vast majority of everyone doesn’t care and never will.

I have to be ok with that. I can’t tone down so that I attract a wider audience. I can’t stop talking about uncomfortable things so that emotionally stunted men will feel entertained by me. Yeah, that’s not my niche. Go watch Chris Rock.

It is hard dealing with the fact that people “caring about me” will rarely intersect with my needs getting met. The caring doesn’t actually do anything for me. I need actions. I don’t get them much. Sometimes I do. Noah is working himself into an early grave much to my shame.

I am not fair to Noah. It is not fair to anyone to have to live with someone as needy and pathetic as I am.

I am sorry that I have so many needs and no way to fill them.

I wish I had a dad who thought I was good for something other than fucking or hitting.

I wish.

In this lifetime it seems like those are the main early things that people liked about me. I am stupid enough to let people hit me really hard. Hell, I even like it. It seems an appropriate thing to do to me.

I slept more last night than the previous two nights but Noah and I went to bed bickering so I had trouble sleeping again. That probably factors into my right-this-minute emotional instability.

Instead I’ll just come out here to the couch and cry.

I wish I could stop caring what people think of me. I wish I could not care about Dad making all these comments. I wish I could.

I don’t know where the dial is. Can someone please show me?

I’m afraid that the first step in ignoring people not liking me is for me to like myself enough to make up for them.

I’m not sure I will ever be able to do that.

Dad was asking me, “Well why don’t you just _____?” I said, “Are you familiar with PTSD?” “No.” “Have you ever heard of hypervigilance?” “I’ve heard the word and I could guess what it means.” “I am not physically capable of just doing what you want me to do.” “Well try harder.”

I want to hit him in the head with a baseball bat sometimes.

“I don’t know anything about your medically verifiable long list of problems but I still think you need to just get over it and act how I want you to act because then I will get to have more fun.”

Let me jump right the fuck on that for you. Since you are so god damn important and all.

I feel like a petty, whining baby.

If I try to be kind to me I can see that I’m not just whining. I’m processing. Maybe life shouldn’t be as hard for me as it is… but it is. I have to get through each day. I can’t just ignore my physiological response to my life. I have to deal with it. I have to acknowledge that it is real. I have to treat it like it matters.

Yeah, I know I don’t have to be important to anyone else. I get it.

If I want to get through each day while smiling and being nice to my children then I need to have some space somewhere in the fucking world where I am allowed to have all of these feelings.

So I write. That doesn’t mean I am whining. I don’t make people fucking listen to my fucking feelings in person. I’m god damn aware that no one cares.

If I stopped caring what people thought of me then my ability to self-censor would evaporate.

It is genuinely hard for me to censor the stuff that goes through my brain. I think about self harm and suicide and incest and rape about as often as other people think about food. I can’t talk about it almost at all because most of the world will react with violence if I am stupid enough to bring up these topics. These are things I am supposed to pretend don’t exist. I’m breaking the veil by talking about them and I should be punished.

I have to care what people think if I am going to make sure I don’t say anything “inappropriate”. If I just cared about what I thought I would not have so many friends. I really like my friends. I don’t want them to leave me.

Even though I am a petty, pathetic, ungrateful bastard. I try as hard as I can to be grateful for what people have to offer.

I’m really sorry that I have so many needs and that I am so aware of them. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I wish I had a parent who would love me. I will do my best to not take it out on all of the people who just can’t love me that way. I understand that this is my problem and I need to shut up.

Sometimes it is really hard. 4,000 words in. Sometimes writing it is all I can do. I’m sure as fuck not allowed to talk about it. That would be rude or something.

No one can give me what I want. I know. It isn’t anyone else’s fault I feel this way. I know. It is my fault.

I should just stop caring.

Post-EMDR: birthday edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I want… I want… I want.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is why I don’t have friends.

So someone decided to tell me that I am “too smart” to believe a fairly extreme interpretation of the opinion of the laws of my country. Specifically, that lawmakers who push through anti-abortion laws have more interest in preserving the parental rights of rapists than in protecting me.

I feel so much rage. I would like to punch that man in the face. I don’t think I should be in a room with him for a while. I’m fucking tired of the condescension. This is why I don’t have more friends. I have a hard time suffering fools.

When I was eighteen years old I met a guy online and brought him to a party. He drugged me and raped me. I called the police the next day and told them that I would like to press charges. I had physical evidence. It was soon enough that I probably could have gone to the hospital for a rape kit and to be tested for the drugs he gave me. But I was stupid and I didn’t think of it. I called the police and asked them to help me.

I was told “What did you expect?” The officer refused to press charges. It might harm my rapist’s career in the Coast Guard. There is no doubt in my mind that the Sheriff who told me that I got what I deserved would be on the side of that guy getting to know his kid. I’m really grateful that most of my rapists decided to wear condoms. That bit of magnanimous action is probably the only reason I have not had to have an abortion or be a severely abusive mother. I promise you that if I had a child because someone raped me I wouldn’t be a good mother. It’s not the kid’s fault–of course. But shit rolls down hill.

“Too smart” how condescending, rude, and arrogant. Ah, so I must be smart enough to agree with a man. I see. Well I suppose that means you are giving me undue credit.

I live in a world that goes back and forth between how it treats me. On one hand women should be pure and innocent until they meet the right man. On the other hand men have needs and there should be trashy women they don’t have to care about who are required to meet those needs whenever desired. Try to tell me I am wrong.

I have been the whore no one had to give a shit about for most of my life. I am self-sufficient. My needs are my problem and no one else’s. That has been made very clear to me.

Noah is different. The only reason I understand that not everyone is treated as a hole who is required to serve whom ever when ever is because I read books and I finally found someone who is nice to me. I am so grateful that he is nice to me. He really is. He’s gentle. He tries to be considerate. When he is self-absorbed for a while and I break down crying he doesn’t get mad at me. He apologizes for ignoring me and loves on me. (Not sex.) It’s so weird. Someone cares about me. Someone thinks that me feeling good and safe and loved is important. How very different from the rest of the world.

People are happy to say that they think I should feel good, even that I deserve to feel good and safe and loved. But they won’t do anything about their behavior to help me feel that way. I’m just supposed to magically start feeling that way. I don’t know about other people, but it doesn’t work that way for me.

In order for me to feel safe I have to avoid people who are going to denigrate my intelligence if I have the audacity to have different life experiences. When a man is arguing with me about rape rhetoric it’s not exactly a level playing field. They are trying to argue the ideals and the best possible case scenario so they can look reasonable and logical. I’m telling you what has happened to me. Fuck you. Don’t fucking tell me how our system should work and look down on me because it doesn’t fucking work that way.

The last guy who raped me before Noah showed up to rescue me didn’t use a condom. He got me so drunk I passed out and had unprotected sex with me. I would have been thrilled to have sex with him–with a condom. He didn’t want that so he stacked the deck and had the kind of sex he wanted to have. It’s a good thing I was on birth control. How do you think the Dickens Fair community would have reacted if I had shown up pregnant claiming that one of the popular actors raped me? No one would believe it. I got what I was asking for anyway. And I would have had to share custody.

Don’t fucking tell me I am “too smart” to believe that politicians want to actively hurt me. Life has taught me that slowly and painfully. I think I should do some unfriending. It’s really not worth the aggravation.

I think every so often about the fact that if I hadn’t been white I don’t think there is any chance in the world I would be where I am. I would not be safe. I would still be suffering. It feels wildly unfair. I have a lot of survivors guilt.

If I wasn’t white then the lawyer who defended me when I was five wouldn’t have allowed his daughter to be friends with me. I doubt he would have worked for me for cheap. That annuity changed my life. If I wasn’t white I wouldn’t have been interesting to someone like Tom. He helped support me for years and gave me a safe, stable place to attend college from. I doubt I would have finished college without his help. Noah probably wouldn’t have recognized me as being like him if I wasn’t white.

It all feels like an accident. I feel like I got lucky over and over. I only got the help I needed because my outside appearance was pleasing enough. Because men with money want to fuck me and in this country the men with money are mainly white.

I’m not supposed to say that, right?

In this country you have rights if you have enough power and money to fight for them. Poor women of color are rarely in that category. When white men tell me that I am being melodramatic when I interpret laws in the ways that I do I feel so much rage and anger I want to physically attack them. How god damn dare you try to interpret the experiences of people who will never have your advantages. Never have your opportunities. Never have the protection you enjoy under the law.

And when my “friends” start lecturing about how taxes are theft and the government is stealing their money to give it away to unfit people I want to go on a shooting spree. I’m not sure I qualify as a Libertarian any more.

You have enough. You have so much that you have a lot of needless fluff in your life. You have extra money and food and everything else. Why are you such a selfish piece of shit that you think that other people should suffer because you don’t want to share? Welcome to America. If you can get it for yourself then you can have it, no matter how many people you have to step on and hurt in the way. If you want to live a reasonably decent life with dignity you had got damn better pick the right kind of white family to be born into.

I am so angry.

I am angry with myself that I don’t have more energy to work in social justice now. But I can’t. I would do a lot of damage to my kids if I tried. That feels humiliating. I can’t do much to change the world right now. All I can do is talk about how fucked up it is. I can talk about how it has hurt me. Often when I talk about how it has hurt me other women will come talk to me about their stories. They feel less alone. If that is the only gift I have to give at this point then I had better start curling ribbon to put on top.

I don’t hate all white men. Noah doesn’t condescend to me. He doesn’t denigrate my intelligence. He doesn’t insult me. He is fairly unusual among the white men of my experience. He doesn’t act like it takes an act of Congress to force him to apologize when he is accidentally a douche. I didn’t know that men like him existed.

Noah is my first experience with a man who treats me like an equal. The other men I deal with act like I should look up to them and their experience, their wisdom, and respect them. I’d rather eat worms.

I don’t respect people more or less based on their job or their money. I respect people for how they exist in the world. I know a lot of people who are actively working to make the world better. They do it in a wide variety of ways. No one is perfect. One of the most important things you can do to make the world a better place is to stop treating women like they are less than men. A lot of people do. This is not a guy thing. Misogyny is alive and well among women.

I’m also going to take a moment to say that I hate everyone who says, “Pregnancy is not a disability” whether they are men or women. I’m glad you have had that experience. I was enormously sick and incapable. I guess that makes me inferior, pathetic, and bad. I was disabled. I was on bed rest. I had to not walk around or I puked all over the place. I lost 18 pounds by the end of my second trimester because I was so sick.

But I was supposed to shake it off and “act normal” because men don’t go through this period where an alien parasite invades their bodies so obviously I shouldn’t be effected by the experience. If I have issues it is all my mind. I could function if I just wasn’t so lazy.

I really hate people. Yes, I could have kept teaching. Even though it was technically illegal for me to leave the classroom unsupervised to go vomit several times a day. I guess I should have been puking in the trash can. Geez, these lazy women wanting special treatment while they vomit uncontrollably. What the fuck is their problem.

This is all wrapped up for me. When a man tells me I am “too smart” to believe that lawmakers might push things through in a way that is severely problematic and dangerous to me I reference back to my life experience.

I’m always told things will be easy. That I shouldn’t complain. It’s easy for every one else, why am I whining.

I’m sorry I’m not you. And yet, fuck you. No I’m not. You are a fucking asshole and I don’t want to be like you.

I react the way I react based on a life of experiences. Do not insult me. Do not talk down to me. Those are not the only rapes in my life. When I am trying to decide how I feel about rape I have a wide variety of emotions available to me based on a wide variety of circumstances and occasions. I’m sure they are all my fault. What else did I expect?

I expect that people think I am a worthless piece of shit. I am a hole with no value of my own. The only reason to keep me or people like me around is if you want a hole. I should not get much say so about who goes in or who comes out. It’s not my place. I’m just the hole.