Category Archives: therapy

Oh here we go

So The Guardian came out with a thing saying that if you care for the planet you should have fewer children. Enter judgmental shaming.

I’m having a third child. I still don’t know if I’m having a fourth child.

Is this a tremendously selfish choice? Absolutely. Am I contributing another body to the planet when there are already a lot of bodies? Yup.

But you know what? Not that many people in the world were genuinely wanted. I’m going to be a selfish piece of shit and bring another person or two into this world who is desperately wanted. Because I need to stand near that so that I can try to learn how to fix my fucked up brain. I’ve made a lot of progress… but I’m not done growing up.

I am teaching myself attachment with my children. It isn’t the most recommended way to heal developmental trauma but I’m doing a surprisingly good job based on the evaluations I get from a wide variety of health practitioners.

I should be dead. This still comes up.

But I’m not dead. I’m instead making progress on my mental and physical health. I continue to make progress.

My children talk frankly about how they love how much I focus on them but I’m clearly going to need more people to balance the load in a few years because they are going to want more time away from me. This is a conscious thing we work on. We support one another while giving space for someone to pull away because that’s healthy.

I think it is funny that I sometimes make progress because a therapist helps and I sometimes make progress despite a therapist being an obstacle. Both seem useful.

My shrink said something that is burning in my brain and bugging me. “You are obsessed with being unique.”

Oh bitch, please.

I have spent my life meeting people and trying desperately to find reasons that I am like them. I can usually find somewhere between 5%-50% of similarity in experience and then I say something else about myself and the person starts doing the loud, “NOT LIKE THAT. I’M NOT LIKE THAT. NO. NOTHING LIKE THAT.”

I’m not obsessed with being unique. I am resigned. I am aware. I am trying to find ways to move through the world that allow me to get hurt less while also hurting other people less and that’s complicated because I don’t have that much in common with almost anyone so finding a way to interact without mutual pain is fraught.

A fucking psychiatrist who tells me that two dozen medication trials mean that I’m just getting started and I should do two or three dozen more trials before I’m allowed to say that medication doesn’t work for me… that’s someone who is obsessed with not seeing me as unique. That’s a problem. Given that a high number of these pills make me intensely suicidal and your advice is, “Well, go to the ER”…. naw. Nope. No fucking way.

Pot works. It’s not perfect, NONE OF THESE DRUGS ARE PERFECT YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, but it is less harmful than basically anything else available. The problem with pot is that it is illegal in a bunch of places. So I “should” get on a legally recognized drug. That will wreck my whole fucking life. Just so I can be legit.

But I’m unhealthily obsessed with seeing myself in context of my life?

I have some feelings here.

My shrink telling me that maybe I only need three hours of sleep so I shouldn’t use pot to help me sleep… that’s fucking bothering me. Chronic sleep deprivation is torture,. It literally makes people go insane. BUT DON’T USE POT.

I don’t think the bad thing here is my insistence that I be seen in context of my life and my experiences. We all have our own unique life experiences. Most people have life experiences that fit within a bell curve of normal. Then there’s me.

But I should stop paying attention to that so people can streamline care right the fuck over me. If I die that’s just collateral damage.

I am still alive because I god damn insist on seeing myself as unique. You bet your fucking buttons.

I don’t think everyone “should” have lots of kids because having kids is a good thing. I don’t think that adoption is bad.

I think I need to have more biological children because I have terrible problems in my brain that will only be fixed through long term exposure and work. I need to work on my family’s genetic problems and I need to find compassion for myself and the psychological and physical problems that come from being like me.

I’m not completely unique. I have children who inherit a lot of what it means to be me. And that means I need to work on what it means to be me.

I don’t think this is a journey that everyone needs to go on. I don’t think it is a journey that most highly traumatized people should engage in. I think it is what I need to do.

I think there is the distinct possibility that if I do move somewhere and get a big house… I will foster. I have always wanted to foster when my children are older and can be positive role models to the kids I’m fostering.

It isn’t that I’m opposed to helping kids who need a home. It is that I need to fix my home first or I’ll just fuck them up more than they’ve already been fucked up and that’s not fair. Not to them and not to me.

Today I see the pain doctor and the woo nutritionist. I’m going to tell her I need fewer pills. I’m gagging and choking and it makes eating a nightmare. My gag reflex goes into hyper drive during pregnancy and I’m tired of retching at the table.

Slight side note: Future Middle Child had their first solo therapy appointment. They told me they didn’t want to talk about it. They want privacy. I told them that is a jim dandy thing. I may sometimes say, “How did it go?” because I’m nosey and curious but telling me “I don’t want to talk about it” is ALWAYS ok. Telling me no when I want to know something is fine. You are allowed. You are permitted to have space where I am not.

Having children is complicated. There are consequences across many planes. Yes, I’m increasing my effective carbon footprint.

I’m also trying to learn how to feel ok. That’s really hard. I’m selfish and I’m terrible and I’m going to do what I need here.

“If you really want to have more children, just adopt. There are many children in the world who need good homes.”

That is… such a complicated statement, folks. Cross cultural adoption is complicated. Adopting older children who have major trauma is complicated.

Losing your mother is traumatic. Getting an adoptive mother is…. not the same thing as getting to be with your mother. I’m not knocking adoption. It’s wonderful. It’s important. Lots of people are effectively “saved” through adoption. But it has bad sides too.

In order to be a good adoptive parent you need to be able to put your shit aside and focus on the needs of this important person you brought into your life. They are not there to meet your needs and what is going on with them may not help you heal your ancestral trauma.

I have a lot of ancestral trauma to heal and I’ll be fucking frank that it is easier when I deal with my children. My children make me believe that I deserve to heal. That my family deserves to have better than we have always had. Not in terms of money or “things”. But in terms of love and consideration and mutual aid.

My grandmother fostered when my mother was tiny. My mom was highly damaged because her mother (my grandparent) spent a lot of time acting like the kids who were there to be fostered were special and needed special treatment but her kids needed to be slapped into silence.

My family has a lot of baggage in our bones and in our brains and in our blood. I want to see if that can be healed. I will not be able to do that through surrogate children. Only through children of my blood.

Which does not change the essential worthiness of all other children. But I’m not ready for them. It’s not them, it’s me.

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 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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much happens

When I’m not posting. I still haven’t successfully found additional baby-sitting. I’m trying. I either helped out our nice handyman or I got screwed by a con artist. I’ll find out next week. The wait as I find out is excruciating.

Shanna is now in size 7 and Calli is wearing size 6. Holy toledo. Calli turns 4 in another week and a half. Shanna is 6 1/4. I think Calli will be taller in the long run.

Stuff brewing with my shrink. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to keep seeing her. Festivity. This isn’t *about me* but it involves me and there might be fall out and fuss. It’s not my fault there are sometimes consequences for talking about clients in ways you shouldn’t. Not my story to tell.

We went to a party for one of Noah’s oldest friends last night. Ran into his ex who has become a good friend. (That lot went to college together.) I feel kind of funny that I still identify this nice lady as Noah’s ex-girlfriend. She’s married and has three kids. Why is that relationship from her past so important? Because it still defines how she came into my life. She is someone who can understand why Noah (the most important grown up in my life) is so lovable. That makes her different. She is going to share some of my innate biases, surely. There must be a kinship there. Ok, so she decided she didn’t want to marry him–that’s great for me! But there is still an ability to appreciate that not everyone has. Noah, much like me, is not always an easy person to like. People who are capable of liking us more than average are to be treasured.

Now everyone in the crowd has kids. Lots of kids. Our kids were the oldest in the pack and the current youngest is 4 months old with a pregnant woman due in December and several parents of onlies talking about when to start trying for new babies. Whoa. The crowd switched from non-breeders to ALL PARENTS ALL THE TIME really fast. We talked a lot about sleep deprivation. (Including the very hot guy I almost nailed right before we shut things down for the breeding period. Deep sigh. He’s still very cute. He seems kind of overwhelmed by parenthood. Heh. He’ll adjust.)

In some crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s weird and people are kind of rude. In other crowds I’m the only home schooler and that’s interesting and they would love to hear why I make such choices. They aren’t necessarily going to be moved to change their own decisions, but it is interesting to hear about other peoples lives. Guess which kind of crowd I like hanging out with more? Last night was definitely of the, “I don’t understand but I’m curious” blend. It felt so nice. I’ve been feeling really defensive.

I DON’T THINK EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD HOME SCHOOL. IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE. When I talk about home schooling I am NOT TRYING TO RECRUIT. I DON’T GIVE A SHIT HOW YOU RAISE YOUR KIDS. (I mean, if you live within five miles of me I might half-heartedly hint that it would be cool if you home schooled because, hey–resources! Otherwise I truly don’t care because I won’t be driving to your house to hang out a lot anyway.)

I don’t think home schooling is THE BEST or THE ONLY way of raising kids. It is just the way that works best for my family for a lot of reasons that don’t necessarily apply to other people.

Tell me about this preschool your kid is in. You seem to be excited about the process. Lots of it sounds fun. I’m totally enthusiastic about you doing this. Put your kid in preschool and work. That’s important. Truly. I’m not criticizing. 

I think my daughters need to see that women work too. Not all women live like me. Their Godmama is starting medical school right now. The kids are looking at the pictures and thinking, “Yeah. I could do that. I can be like Aunt Kitten.” Their lives aren’t going to look like mine. (Not because mine is shitty–they have different interests.) My kids will probably be working parents if they have kids. I’m really grateful we know so many kick ass women who are modeling how to make that work.

Even if my kids argue when they are visiting, they still speak well of all the working moms in our lives. “Why can’t you be a nice mom like _____?” “Because you were not blessed in this lifetime. Let’s move on.”

Oh man. Since I borrowed my friend’s stick shift I have been itching to drive again. I hate automatics. I don’t feel like I’m driving. I’m steering at best. I want to drive. Oh man she had a fun car. I keep finding my hand going to the stick shift. Then I sigh and let my hand drop. Nothing to do in my stupid boring mini van. Deep sigh. The memory of a fun, zippy blue car keeps me smiling.

I am not being good about training for the 10k. I wonder if I will get more serious as I get closer to the half marathon or full marathon. (Next half marathon: 14 weeks. Next full marathon: 7 months.)

Sometimes I’m supposed to run 3 miles on two consecutive days. Some weeks I’m in a mood so I run 6 miles one day and nothing the other day. I’m not sure how useful that is. I feel like a sick, sick puppy because I’m really looking forward to the long training runs again.

I still remember the first time I ran 18 miles. The marathon was hard and shitty and I felt like crap. The first time I ran 18 miles I felt like a God. I felt so strong and capable and competent. I strutted when I walked for days. I CAN RUN EIGHTEEN FUCKING MILES MOTHERFUCKER! 26 was brutal in comparison. I’d like to get to the point of 26 miles feeling how 18 miles felt. An extra 8 miles is really rough. I don’t want it to be so rough.

My “goals”: 10k in 75 minutes. I’m running with a friend who is still working up. (She’s doing great!) Half marathon in 2:40. Full marathon better than 6 hours. That’s 46 minutes faster than my first marathon. It shaves almost 2 minutes off each mile meaning I will have to maintain faster than 15 min/mile. Doesn’t sound that hard. Ha. Piss off. You do it if it isn’t that hard. It’ll be hard. Very hard. But I can do it.

Lately my short runs are 13:30 minutes/mile or faster. I really want my short runs to be faster than 12 min/mile. I can’t shake this feeling that at some point in my life it will be necessary for me to run or I will die. It’s a horrible feeling but it puts some pep in my step.

I have already been a hunted animal. I do not have so much hubris as to believe it will never happen again.

I want to travel. I am white and a woman. There are going to be people who don’t like me on sight. Then you combine that with the fact that I rarely shut my fucking mouth. It doesn’t seem like paranoia. It seems like basic caution.

I am now officially in the database of potential speakers for RAINN (rape and incest national network), which I have mixed feelings about. But I’ll put my hat in the ring anyway. If they get a request for my area I will hear about it.

I still haven’t turned up a picture of me alone from within the last two years I can send in for the interview. Whinge.

I am making progress on back-stage stuff for the blog. I not show you now. Neiner. (That grammar error was on purpose.)

Sometimes I feel overwhelming anxiety because I’m redesigning my website. The number of things I teach myself to do is kind of crazy. Yes, lots of other people have already taught themselves this skill. I’ve been a serious asshole about resisting picking up computer skills over more than a decade.

I use word and a web browser and not much else! Damnit!! Only now it is becoming handy to know all this back end stuff. Shoot me now.

I have quite a few things I’m working on right now. I’m trying to put together a book of pictures of our house. I’m trying to figure out how to organize them. We are going to visit a lot of relatives who will never make it to our house. I’m a vain bastard and I like my house a lot. I want to be able to show the great grandmother what I’m doing and she will never travel again due to age.

I didn’t ever anticipate growing up to be an artist. I was pretty spiteful and nasty about the whole concept of art for most of my life. (That is what comes of having art teachers tell you that you are stupid for many years for not following their directions more carefully.) I’m big on shooting myself in the foot.

Hardly anyone gets to grow up how my kids do. They live in a weird little house where they get to ask for paintings on the wall (they help more by the year). Just about everything they can reach is kid friendly and they are allowed to grab at will. (They are tall so now there are a few things they just have to respectfully not touch.) They get to decide how they want to spend their time. They have only a few outside schedule impositions.

I’m pretty jealous of my kids. I didn’t have anything like this. But I get it now. I try to let that be enough. I think I’m nice to them even though I feel jealousy. I’m glad they are here as an excuse so I can live this way. I have to be grateful for that. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to do all this without kids. I’m really happy I get to live here doing this. I’m having a lot of fun.

I won’t know for decades if I did the right thing or not. That’s rather annoying. (And that is why no one should write parenting books while their kids are under five. I’m JUST SAYIN’.)

I think it is funny how my mental picture of my reading audience changes over time. I see how many page hits I get. I can tell when a new/random person shows up. (A lot of reading old entries, maybe following a tag for several entries.) Over time people volunteer “I haven’t been reading lately” or “Your blog is too much for me” or “Wow. You write a lot. It’s…. something. To read. Ahem.”

Hi. Thanks for slogging? I know it is random. Thus my desire to somewhat split the blog out pouring into more manageable for other people chunks. Maybe it will get easier. We’ll see!

I wonder too much about what other people think of me. I hope that I surprise people. I hope that they had dire predictions and then… I just… do better than they expected. I’ve been told over and over that people thought I would crash and burn. When I keep turning up at parties people are surprised. “You aren’t dead!” Not yet. More and more I hope I make it to a “natural” death. (i.e. one not caused by me.) My kids asked me to promise that I would never leave them on purpose. That’s a big promise.

I have held my right to end my pain as one of my most sacred rights. And now they want me to give it up. Just because they need me.

As I stay up late at night composing mental letters I wish I could send to my mommy I think… maybe their need is real. They aren’t pretending this love. They are too young to be able to maintain a charade.

Things are always changing rapidly here in Wonderland. Lots to do. Lots of stuff to learn. I feel so inadequate for the list of jobs in front of me. But I won’t get more adequate if I sit on my ass doing nothing. So I run towards each new difficult opportunity.

If you want to make sure we visit you on our cross country road trip you should probably email me pretty soon. I’m making reservations for some places starting in another month. I’m firming up a lot of plans. Yes, some people like to do things fly-by-night making it up as they go. I like going places that you have to reserve a year in advance or ha ha go somewhere else. That means making firm plans.

If we go the northern route then we won’t see friends in Utah. That would be a huge bummer. There is also a stop I’d like to make in Missouri. (Err, not because of the recent issues in Ferguson. Those are terrible and sad. I don’t intend to be a tourist next year to see the carnage. I know someone.)

So I’m making some decisions. If you are sure you want on the route, speak up soon or you may get skipped. That’s how life goes.


We started out this session talking about the last session. Wrapping up the things I was freaking out about such that I could not actually speak about them. It is hard to be able to talk about the freaking out while I am freaking out. Figuring out how to describe things is hard. If I say, “I’ve always done this” it sounds like I mean that I do it all the time and that’s not accurate. “I have had periods where I do this throughout my life” is a different thing. I freak out sometimes. Not all the time. We clarified things like why I over reacted when she said that I would need to go on medication (she doesn’t think of pot as being on medication–I disagree; strenuously) and money stuff. It was a lot easier to be clear about the dividing lines amongst things I was talking about last time. I was more coherent today.

Then we spent a fair bit of time talking about the micro-aggression stuff in the home school group. We came up with some language that would work for me. Then I went to the park and asked the organizer of the group about my language and she… well. She isn’t as pro-confrontation as I am. She likes people to get along. She told me I could say what I wanted but she looked… distressed.

I don’t really want to distress this person. I like her.

My options, as I perceive them:

  • say nothing and tolerate someone taking pot shots at me.
  • say nothing and leave the group.
  • say something and potentially have it blow up in my face.
  • say something and have it go well.

So once you get past the idea of say nothing or say something you have to deal with what to say. There are more and less confrontational things to say. I am the kind of person who would say, “I don’t really like being the butt of the joke. If this continues to happen I will have to make sure you no longer come to my house and I will stay away from you in public.”

I want to say that. But it’s all confrontational.

Well, I could just leave the group. That’s a nice and tidy way to ensure I am not confrontational. Because I’m not going to fucking keep my mouth shut any more. At this stage of my life… no. Fuck no. Fucking fucker no.

This is the “school” group I have been involved with the longest. I’m not sure how long it will last. That makes me sad.

I feel like I frequently end up in this boat. If I stand up for myself I will make people sad. If I don’t stand up for myself… I’m going to just leave.

At least I already know I wouldn’t be missed anyway.

Turn it around.

That doesn’t happen very often. We had a fantastically grumpy early day. Then from dinner on the day was gleeful and awesome. A friend came over to dinner. He is a balloon twisting artist. I don’t know when the girls and I have laughed so hard or so much. It was ridiculously fun.

He made mermaids and aliens and a heart scepter and a whole bunch of swords so we could have a (non-ouchy) battle and a bow and arrows and a spear and a few other things.

It was so fun. We laughed hysterically for just about an hour straight. He’s really funny and good at the performance aspect. He’s been practicing for ten years so he’s got it down.

I feel so lucky to know the people I know. They will come over to my house and talk to me and tell me stories. They have fantastic stories. I love stories.

Sometimes I feel kind of weird that so many of the people I introduce my children to are people I met through “Alternative Lifestyle Communities”. They are big perverts.

But they are big perverts who are completely uninterested in children and who only do things with consenting adults. I watch them intently and their behavior with my children is rigorously correct. They are probably more worried about slipping up and seeming inappropriate than I am.

watch my kids. If they hear something inappropriately verbally I can help them process it. But nothing will physically happen to them. I don’t worry that much about keeping their pristine little ears protected.

If the most racy comment of the night is “Who is the size queen here?” (He made a sword for himself out of the much bigger style of balloon. It was kind of funny, really. We would trade off who was fighting with it and tease just a hair.) I can live with that.

My kids are going to grow up in America. If they don’t learn that some people are obsessed with size… then they’ve missed a vital part of the culture. Give me a break. Helllllloo Texas.

(Hey all you Texans. Neiner neiner neiner Alaska is bigger and I’ve been there too.)

I think it is hilarious that in preparing for Easter some of the moms have offered to bring food potluck style. Some dads are coming on their own. They haven’t offered to bring anything.

I see this pattern and try to convince myself that I’m not a failure as a mother because I’m shitty at brining stuff for potlucks. I’m the asshole who shows up with a bag of chips.

Like you do.

I feel unusually upbeat this morning. I’ve been kind of whiny and sad in my head lately.

Oh man. I was talking about some tv character being annoying because he/she/it was annoying and freakin Shanna turned to me and said, “Well you should like her/him/it because you are whiny too and you should like people who are like you.”

Oh man. Kid. Oh man.

I squinched my nose at her then realized… She’s being sincere and literal. No teasing is happening.

Then I burst out laughing.

I like that my kids don’t really tease me. They haven’t learned teasing. We do very little of it in this house. Once in a while we will tease in a tiny way and then will follow that with a clarification that we mean it with love. Noah and I are both on the paranoid side. I get the impression that he is a lot more ok with teasing than I am but he has worked to talk to me how I want to be talked to.

Teasing is really hard for me. It feels like lying. If I feel like someone is lying to me then I get really really angry and hateful almost instantly. People tease trying to be friendly and share affectionate feelings. It will make me turn on you like a viper. Don’t fucking tease me. I’ve been fucking taunted enough for one fucking lifetime.

I think that ones overall response to these things largely depends on how you grew up with teasing. My family teased me constantly. They may even have meant it lovingly sometimes. I don’t think my family hated me as much as I kinda think they did. But they did show me contempt constantly. And no one was willing to believe me that I was being horribly abused. So their teasing felt more like turning the knife than making a joke.

I hate teasing. I try to do very little of it. Once in a while I tease because I know that other people bond through teasing. I can generally force out a sentence before I start apologizing and making it clear that I wasn’t serious.

Sometimes my kids say things to me… and it sounds like a tease… and I can feel my body start activating the threat response system. Then I realize that they aren’t teasing. They are saying what they literally perceive. They aren’t mocking me. They are making the connections that they see out loud because I have modeled not having an inside voice. I think tactless things out loud all day long. My kids live with that.

It is really interesting to have to work so hard on calming down with them.

I talked to my shrink about my current hypervigilance about my hypervigilance (I’m a cluster fuck of fun) and she agreed that it might be a worthy process but yeah I’m going to be so exhausted I can barely breathe for a while.

Trying this hard to be aware of unconscious processes and change them is really exhausting. I’m just living on the prayer that it will be worth it in the end.

I have stopped going to most of the forums I used to frequent. I’m feeling like I have nothing to spare but frustration and snottiness so I’m shutting up. If I am impatient with where someone else is on their journey… that’s my problem and I don’t need to be a cunt. Just shut up for a while.

I go up and down the spiral. Sometimes I am way more functional than I am at other points. I really have no room to judge anyone else. It may feel like Uncle Bob’s death was a long time ago but it wasn’t. I was not competent at all to do the basics of caretaking for a good solid week.

I don’t have any right to judge where other people are. I know that my seasons of pain come and go. Sometimes I can function and be out in the world and sometimes I can’t.

But sometimes where I am has nothing left over for other people. I don’t need to be mean about it. I just need to take care of myself. Less typing is good anyway.

I feel like I’m being avoidant with the kids. Not terribly so. They still aren’t spending much time alone. They still ask me questions every ten minutes all day long. But I am mentally checked out more. I’m creating more walled rooms in my head that I can step into when I can’t handle focusing on them.

I get so tired. It isn’t their fault. They are probably what you might call “spirited children”. Which is a nicey nice way of saying that they have a lot of energy and willingness to just do shit in frequently destructive ways.

Kids do that. You have to be patient. But I’ve been reading a lot. I just reread the Stieg Larson Millenium trilogy that was originally intended to be a ten book series but the author died. Damn him. I can see the foreshadowing. I can see him laying tracks in the first book for stuff that won’t happen till the seventh or eighth book. Lisbeth’s sister was going to be a big deal.

I’m avoiding editing. After Easter I don’t really have a choice. I have less than six weeks until I send it to my editor. Get crackin’.

Noah is making more progress on my shit than I am. I feel pretty guilty about that.

In general I feel the need to point out how much I appreciate Noah. Not many people in the world are willing to consciously adapt to me. Noah showed me what that could look like and I don’t think I will ever be ok with losing this now. Noah makes me feel like I am ok. There is nothing terrible about me. I have some annoying preferences, but who the hell doesn’t? Whatever. No big deal. Easy to accommodate.

It is only in seeing how he fails to live up to what I expect that I see how contemptuously I expect people to treat me. I’m pretty sure I project a lot of contempt. To be more clear: I think that I assume people feel contempt for me when they don’t. I have contempt for myself and that’s enough for me to assume other people share the sentiment.

It is incredibly hard to learn how to accurately perceive the world around you. You see the world through your particular little lens. Maybe you think the world is essentially good because you have had mostly positive experiences. Maybe you think the world is terrible because you have had mostly terrible experiences.

The world is neither. The world is mostly indifferent. I struggle with seeing that and understanding it. I struggle hard with being able to believe that the world doesn’t actually care that much one way or another about me. At least not until I have gone out and done things that the world can judge.

Then some people will like it and some people won’t and mostly people won’t care. Move on.

You can’t be doing it for them. You have to just do it for yourself. Because you have to manifest in the world what you want the world to be.

Despite the ever changing sea that is my emotional experience of the world, other people perceive me differently.

The nice 90 year old lady at the Post Office thinks I’m just great because I helped her cross the street when she was scared.

I think the world is a place where all the people around you would be potential allies and help if you just could figure out how to ask for your needs. Does everyone care? No. Frequently you can’t find the right way to appeal to people. Sometimes your basic position in the world bothers people and they will avoid you if you make clear your needs.

I think this is what is keeping me away from the PTSD forum right now. Everyone else is in the bunker-down-nobody-loves-me-everyone-hates-me-guess-I’ll-eat-worms stage. Or at least those are the threads being posted.

No, your PTSD is not some terrible secret you have to keep or everyone in the world will reject you for being terrible and disgusting. Yes, you will have to do a lot of self advocating and specifically requesting the kind of contact you want with people. Yes, it’s hard.

Ok, I try not to talk about neighbors. Here’s a thing that is coming up. I go to other peoples houses and more or less invite myself in. If I don’t do so for a while then people feel like I am rejecting them and I don’t like them anymore.


But I get passive aggressive emails telling me they miss me when I don’t invite myself over.

I think everyone is shitty at relationships and when people know you have PTSD they are frequently more timid because the risk of social discord is high. They don’t want to hurt you again. So they don’t know what to do. So they do nothing. And that feels like rejection.

But they are sitting in their house feeling sad about me not being there. It’s a whole cluster fuck.

People. Oh man.

“I wish this person loved me enough to chase me for a relationship. Since they don’t love me that much I won’t bother them.” And thus the world goes ’round.

I think that the main reason my thinking on this has shifted to the current location is because of all the writing I do. People feel brave enough to tell me that they want me to keep writing for many decades. Until they die or longer. They want me in their lives. But time and distance and complications of life mean I don’t see these people much. But they want me to continue.

I don’t think that the average person with PTSD has people reaching out to tell them that they need to keep on keepin’ on. And that is sad. I am very lucky to have the people in my life I have.

I feel sad that most people seem to have the experience that telling people they have PTSD results in really negative relationship shifts. I find I experience more positive shifts. Yes, I have to do a lot of work because people are timid. But they do try hard with me. People give me space for some of my weird reactions that I can’t help that much. I have not been uninvited to all the parties just because I cry from stress at the parties. I go do my thing and calm down and come back when I can and people are cool with that. I take care of me and I’m still welcome to be part of the space when I’m ready.

At some point I will have spoons to share and I will try to be more motivational like with them. Not right now. I’m tired. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do. I can’t talk about my process while I’m figuring it out. Big shifts are hard.

Changing the hypervigilant behavior is really really hard. I’ve been working on it for a bit. I don’t know how long I will last in this phase. I suppose it would help if I articulated a goal to work towards. And metrics for success. That way it won’t become just a way to grind myself down.

Specifically, what have I been working on?

I am trying to stop counting how many people are in rooms. I’m trying to stop reorienting myself towards exits every few minutes. I suppose I’m trying to stop the behaviors that seem the most irrational to me. They aren’t helpful and they aren’t even all that related to my trauma. They are just things I started doing to cope with the anxious feelings. But they use a lot of tracks of my brain and contribute to my feelings of always being in danger.

I’m not sure I am specifically addressing other behaviors right now. Trying to be conscious of when I start to engage in those actions without thinking is really draining and hard.

So I started them to cope with anxiety but they create a different anxiety of their own. Kind of like pot. Harm Reduction. Less harm. That doesn’t mean that the next choice is a good choice… just a slightly less bad one. If I had “good” options I might take them. I don’t. I’m doing the best I can. Just like everyone else.

Or maybe they aren’t. I can’t really judge.

Today is entirely unscheduled. We will probably do the inside decorating. I’ll clean up the garage. Again. It always needs to happen. Oy.

Maybe I will spend a big chunk of the day sitting on the couch with the kids. We can read. That seems like a really good day right now.

Terrible thought

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

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

Meditation means turning off my awareness of ALL THE THINGS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like my memory very much.

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

That sounds like hell on earth.

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

What does that say about me?

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

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

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

Uhm bugger off. I get to have my feelings.

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

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

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

Healthy? No. But it’s what I did.

Now what.

I don’t know.

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

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

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

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

Sometimes the process isn’t so pretty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good day for therapy.

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

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

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

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

I can’t take it personally.

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

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


I write Noah’s mother long letters about my kids because I wish I could tell my mother these things. It isn’t the same. She doesn’t even like me.

I sent a follow up message about the cat scan that should be ordered. Let’s see what happens. I feel so sad.

This morning during our morning snuggle Calli said, “Everyone needs love!” and hugged me tight. Shanna said, “You weren’t loved when you were a little girl, were you?” I said no. I wasn’t. She said she would love me enough to make up for it.

I hope so. I’m not sure how this works. I try so hard to hide my need. It isn’t anyones problem but mine.

One of the random moms I don’t know well from the home schooling group happened to be in the lobby when I walked out of the surgeons office crying. She wanted to comfort me. I couldn’t even talk to her. I’m not sure I was civil.

I want people to like me and be nice to me and care about me but I don’t seem to be able to behave in a way that will let me deserve it. Noah likes me. Shanna likes me. Calli likes me. That has to be enough.

I hate talking to doctors. I hate them so much for, “Why don’t you go see psychiatry? You don’t have to feel this way.” Fuck you and your fucking magic pills. They don’t work. They won’t make me “feel better”. They never have before. I have fucking tried.

It doesn’t matter. Just shut up and get used to hurting. That’s just life. Sometimes it works that way.

I’m not going to stop feeling disposable until people stop disposing of me. Trying to convince me that I should change this is flat stupid. If I started expecting people to stick around then I would experience much more extreme grief when they leave me. I can’t believe that people will stay. They never do.

It feels very bizarre every day that Noah isn’t gone yet. What is he waiting for?

I lay in bed half the night thinking about cutting. I couldn’t sleep. It was too late for a sleeping pill. I traced with my fingers the lines I wanted to make. I wish this wasn’t the resting place for my brain too. I wish there were more tracks.

This morning I commented to Noah how intense it is that the kids like to cuddle with me for literally hours a day. I wonder how children handle not being able to cuddle as much as they need to? I learned to offer sex or cut myself. Those are the kinds of touch I know how to go get for myself when I feel bad. I couldn’t wake Noah up. I wasn’t interested in sex and he hadn’t slept enough. He can’t be up all night with my stupid hysterics.

I don’t know how to be someone different. Someone better. Someone who isn’t bad.

My therapist keeps telling me that I need to work on letting people touch me. This cuddling with the kids is a good mid-level step but they sit on me. It is kind of different. I don’t seem to be able to let adults touch me in a comforting, non-sexual way. I can’t allow it. If I allow it I might find out I like it and then I may never get it again. I don’t want to find out how good something is that only other people get.

Stop whining Kristine. Go work. The only value any human has is what they do for other people. It really doesn’t matter what happens to you. It isn’t like bad things are happening any more. Other people have genuinely bad experiences happening to them today. Shut the fuck up already you whining, pathetic, stupid loser.

No, I wouldn’t talk to anyone else this way.

I’m scared. My body hurts. I tried to ask for help. That rarely goes well. See, this is why I think I am better off just staying home and hoping it kills me. Then I won’t waste anyones time with them having to tell me that pain just happens when you are crazy. If I weren’t so crazy my problems would go away. See, just stop being crazy and it will all be fine. It is my fault things happen. If I weren’t so damn crazy…

If you have too many projects going then you can’t die.

I spoke with my therapist on the phone. She’s thrilled that I sent her such an email. She said, “When a client can get mad at you and articulate it–that is often a good sign. It means you actually trust me.” We’ll see. We are going to continue working together. We are going to change the structure of our sessions and the content of what we are processing. I’m willing to keep trying.

I feel bad when I write about being suicidal because I know I worry people. I know it sounds a lot like the boy who cried wolf. The big reason I want my own domain is so I can talk about feeling intensely suicidal without violating a TOA or getting a smack down from a moderator.

I know it is hard to know someone as specifically unpredictable as I am. Bonding to me is foolish. Goodness knows when I will blow up and hurt you again. I’m just like that. And I’m selfish–so very selfish. If I weren’t selfish I would be dead.

When I am not feeling suicidal I know that I am a rule breaker. I know that there are taboos around talking about suicide for a reason. Why do I think I am so god damn special that I should get to break that taboo? I literally believe I will die if I try to follow the taboo. I can’t.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to a beautiful girl saying, “I need you.” Then there is cuddling and kissing and stroking as we go back to sleep. I need you, too. I need you so much I feel like my heart will explode.

I used to not talk about being suicidal. Instead I cut myself and burned myself and overdosed on pills and took whatever drugs people handed me and fucked anyone who was even vaguely interested. Anything to not have to think or talk about how very suicidal I was.

I don’t do any of those things any more. I’m just left with the fleeting feeling of being completely overwhelmed by pain and wanting to escape.

Today is starting off ok. My neighbor told me I can paint her fence. The school is happy to go along with the contest idea after STAR testing in May. Frankly I’m glad of the delay. It gives me time to get organized.

My therapist asked me if I feel I got value from the group therapy experience. I told her, “I already knew the outlines of my tribe. I already understood the commonalities of our experience–even if I don’t understand each specific member of my tribe. I won’t keep these women in my life due to geographic constraints–it’s no insult towards them. I didn’t learn anything particularly new and I didn’t form relationships that will change my life. It was a neutral experience.

I was watching an interview with Amanda Fucking Palmer (Supposedly I will be going to a backyard concert with 49 other rad people sometime this year. I am trying to learn more about her. She commented that she believes the human brain is not meant to know 50,000 people and care about them and their problems and their sister’s problems. Our brains were meant to care about a few hundred people. It’s an interesting problem on the modern scale.

How do you pick who to care about? Most people just get who they get. They grow up around a set of people and they never move that far away. You know who was born near you. My life isn’t like that. The people who are keeping threads in my life have scattered to the winds. They are not day-in-day-out dependable. They are all busy and spread out geographically. How is the human brain meant to adapt to this? I’m not sure but I’m trying.

I’m reading more about resilience and getting pissed off. I’m tired of statistical everything acting like I shouldn’t exist. Statistical anomaly. That’s me. I just shouldn’t happen. People can’t do what I can.

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam. I shall either find a way or make one.

I’m just about done with Collapse by Jared Diamond–author of Guns, Germs, and Steal (which I haven’t read). I’m having a bitch of a time keeping up with reading new books. I don’t like reading new books. I like rereading old books and visiting my friends. I finished Outlander again for my book club and I have to sit on my hands so I don’t read the whole damn series again before book club. (I have like three weeks. I could totally read the next six books that each are over 1,000 pages long in that time but I wouldn’t read anything new and if I want to read 52 new books this year… oh man. Get crackin.)

Today we are going to learn about local weeds with the homeschool group. And have dance class. And swim class. And our back door will be sealed against the coming rain (it’s a process). I need to wash one load of laundry and fold three. I need to start thinking about packing. Ugh.

It’s just another day in paradise, right?

therapist and motherhood

I sent my therapist an email and she predictably responded with horror. “Oh shit, I made you feel how?! Oh no!” (To be clear I said, “I am not saying it is ‘all your fault’ I am saying this approach isn’t working for me.”) We will talk on the phone this afternoon. EMDR is just going to be stopped indefinitely.

Yesterday I had one of those weird days where I understand that becoming a mother is the first time in my life I genuinely feel “in the club” and no one can kick me out. Even if someone else doesn’t think I’m doing it “good enough” I’m a mother. I’m not a dancer because whenever I go to dance events I have to listen to assholes tell me how not-good I am. Fine. I’m just not a dancer then.

Motherhood is different. It’s better. There isn’t a set yard stick. It was kind of fun to get into the debates that rage so fiercely in that world. I tried hard to say that all choices are fine. Do what makes sense to your life circumstances.

The path I am choosing through parenthood involves as few extra steps on my part as possible. No, I am not going to puree your food. It’s food. Eat it. No I am not going to go buy you a special “kid proof” cup. Here is a cup. Use it. No I am not going to deal with having to come help you five times during the night while you are somewhere else–I’ll just sleep with you. I’m lazy. Let’s be clear that I don’t think these are moral choices. This is about parental choices and personalities. We’re all different. That’s cool. I can see the advantages of other choices–but they come with work/expense I don’t want. *shrug*

Someone with a harsh background said she was about to start therapy for the first time. I gave her a rather long lecture on how she needs to prepare herself for working on issues. If you don’t show up in therapy with a specific agenda it will probably be a waste of your time. The therapist doesn’t know you or what you need to work on. You need to decide. I talked about EMDR and CBT and more general talk therapy models. What will help you?

Meds aren’t the answer. You need to change your life. Meds can be a crutch to get you through a hard transition– but if you want to make lasting happiness happen in your life you need to go through a pretty major transition. Obviously what you are doing isn’t working.

I say that with no judgment. It’s hard to make the changes one needs. I do understand that.

I’m glad I told my therapist how bad EMDR is making my life. That was the right choice. It’s hard for me to confront people who feel like they are “in charge” and tell them they are wrong. I have a very fearful approach to hierarchy. I am evasive then belligerent. I’m working on it.

I know that I don’t have “good reasons” to be suicidal at this point. I get to wake up every day surrounded by an intensity of love many people never get to experience. I am one of the luckiest bitches on the planet. This is “mental illness”. It’s not about what is logically happening to me right now. My brain is broken. My brain believes that I should always be afraid. That I should always expect people to be nice to me at first so that I will trust them so they can hurt me much much much more very soon. For me to stop believing this would be for me to stop believing that my life experience has any validity at all. I’m in kind of a bind.

I have genuinely had a life where most people are unsafe and dangerous to me. Their apathy towards what is going on in my life has caused me to endure outrageous trauma. Because no one wanted to get involved. Because no one wanted to look. Because it wasn’t their problem. For me to actually believe that I am safe and people will help protect me or that my life will be better would be the same as me deciding that there is a whole human race on Mars and we just haven’t met them yet.

I will have to make up that belief despite having no solid reason to believe in it. Shit, I’d rather believe in an omnipotent G-d and I don’t see that happening.

But motherhood is this weird club. They aren’t my “friends” but they clearly respect me and listen to me in a way I’ve never experienced before. It’s fucking weird.

Thank you, hormones, that’s better.

I participate on a support forum for PTSD. I was just refreshing my memory of how PTSD effects body stress levels and coping. It is hard not to feel ashamed of being broken in the ways I am. It isn’t my fault though.

I haven’t thought about killing myself in over twelve hours. I track these things not to make other people nervous but rather because I have to believe there is enough of a pattern that I can make sense of it over time even if it never makes sense to anyone else.

My friend K has talked me through some blow ups with the kids over the past few days. She came and spent Wednesday with us because she was worried about me. I appreciate her a lot. She talked to me about how it is actually ok to have consequences with your kids and I’m not a meanie head. Life has consequences. Not punishments–that’s a horse of a different color–but there are sometimes unfortunate results to your actions. Bummer.

Having to be the heavy significantly depresses me. It is a fat load of stress and it feels terrible. I prefer it when my kids just kind of go along and do as they are told. Ha. Specifically at 9am the house was clean and I said, “Ok, remember that when you play with stuff you have to put it away when you are done. We are leaving in about three hours for an event and I do want the living room neat when we go.” I went to take a shower in the last half hour. Apparently Barbie needed a pixie cut. And some confetti. And and and and and and and. When I walked out and nearly had a heart attack my dear daughter smirked at me and said, “This is too much for me to clean up. I guess you are going to have to do it.”

We didn’t go to the event. Once she had the consequence and we talked about it and I had the few minutes of being mad while I did indeed clean up the mess we talked about responsibility and consequences we had a better day. It was like we needed to have a blow up. Then we got along. I don’t mean she did what I said for the rest of the day. (Cue hysterical laughter.) I mean that getting to say, “No. If you ignore your responsibilities there are consequences” made me more patient with the other boundary incursions all day. I got to put up one brick wall. This is a line. I WILL DEFEND IT. Then I felt better for the rest of the day. I could be more gentle.

We were sad to miss our friends. I think that was actually a lot of why the day went well after that. We did a lot of commiserating about how much we miss our friends and how sad it was that we didn’t get to visit with them yesterday. We were “on the same team” about being sad about not going. We had another chat about who is responsible for doing what in this house. “No actually it isn’t my job to follow you around all day picking up after you. It is your responsibility to clean up after your stuff. If you can’t clean up your stuff clearly you have too much and we should get rid of a bunch of it. What would you like to start with?” I do a lot. And often I am happy to help with stuff that isn’t “my job” just because I’m a nice lady–do not take advantage of me. I won’t be real friendly.

Alright, confession time. I left the room where the kids were and I put another dent in the drywall yesterday after I came out and saw the Barbie hair everywhere. (Really child. If you are going to give a haircut STAND STILL AND DON’T WALK AROUND THE WHOLE LIVING ROOM WHILE YOU DO IT.) I didn’t mean to. I was barefoot and I didn’t actually feel like I was kicking with force.

We went to Home Desperate and got drywall patch. I fixed the new one and the hole that has been in the wall for about five years now. While I fixed the holes I talked to Shanna about consequences. See, I have consequences for my bad behavior too. I have to fix the holes. It is a very bad idea to put holes in your wall. I am not being very responsible when I do it. I have to fix them now and that is annoying and inconvenient. But–better walls than people. Walls are easier to fix. You never never never kick a person when you are angry. Or hit a person. Walls don’t have feelings. It isn’t good to hit or kick them but better than a person. I waked into the wrong room.

I have been trying not to walk into the garage every time I get upset. The punching bag is in the garage. Unfortunately pot is also in the garage and the associate me going in the garage with smoking and I don’t want them to think that every single time I get upset I smoke. I don’t. It’s hard having this feel like an image problem.

I think that having kind of a scene was what broke the suicidal ideation this time. I don’t like that as a pattern. I don’t need to blow up at my kids in order to convince myself that I shouldn’t die. To be fair I don’t think it is a major pattern at this point. That hasn’t happened many times–specifically blowing up at the kids to deal with being suicidal, I mean.

But I do need some kind of stress-clear-the-air thing sometimes. How can I do that and preserve my relationship with the kids? So far they don’t hold a grudge against me for getting angry. It doesn’t happen all that often and it always blows over quickly and I don’t hold a grudge against them. I don’t stay angry with my kids. That’s a big thing for me.

Right before dinner I asked if the kids were upset with me for not going out. I was told that they missed their friends but they weren’t upset with me. Consequences happen. Both of them said it. I understand that they are at an age where sucking up to me is a survival trait. I hope I am not teaching them to squash their anger or upset because only I am allowed to have feelings. I comforted them when they were sad about not seeing their friends. We talked about when we will get to see them soon. We talked about how to ensure that we don’t have to miss out on seeing our friends again.

I also didn’t let them have the screen. We did have dessert and all other privileges. I don’t want to be too over-kill. But if you get in so much trouble you can’t go play with your friends I’m not going to give you the iPad to distract you with. Hell no. I talked about how I have to create my own entertainment and so does their dad. They have to learn how as well.

I don’t feel ashamed of how I handled it overall. That’s good. No, I’m not perfect. There is always room for improvement but I did ok. I have to understand that given how hysterical I was on Tuesday during the EMDR that my mood on Wednesday and Thursday was close to unavoidable. It will happen again. Welcome to deep trauma work. It has consequences.

How do I apply the principles of harm reduction to this new stress? Well, I’m only seeing my shrink twice a month because I can’t handle more. I feel like doing as much EMDR and as much group work as we have done is causing me to feel really emotionally guarded with my shrink. I feel besieged. I am very used to client directed talk therapy. Therapist directed EMDR heavy therapy is… different. I’m having a hard time adjusting to this whole, “Here. We’ll do this EMDR on you for basically all of our time together because that is a magic button that will fix you even though we don’t have a relationship.” It feels a lot like a fuck buddy, really. Here, let’s get together to do ____ together because even though _____ is fun on your own it is more fun with someone else! Now go away because I don’t actually want to talk to you afterwards. Err, maybe I don’t think about processing like other people do.

Just keep swimming, right? I’m busy. I’m keeping very busy. Only a few people have RSVPed for the Easter party even though I have had a lot more people get excited in person. I don’t know if people are coming or not. Maybe we will end up with ten pounds of sugar for five kids. That would be scary. Could be up to thirty kids. I guess I’ll find out the morning after a hellish drive. Ha. I’m pretty stupid. (Yes, 1/3 of a pound of sugar per kid is still a lot but I figure the parents will steal some as well.)

Today is my last full work day at home before I go to Portland and before the Easter party. That’s kind of intimidating. I am technically capable of doing work on days when I have other obligations but if I want to be nice to my kids I keep it to a bare minimum. It will all work out.

Drywall patching. Laundry. Clean the kitchen. Put out Easter decorations. Make lunch and dinner. Fill eggs with candy. Clean bathroom (really). And I’m sure my kids will want me to read to them and play with them and snuggle them. That sounds like a full day. I’m already tired. I haven’t slept well all week. I feel bad when my discombobulated cycles coincide with Noah having a rockin sort of week (he was interviewed by this internet business guru guy and he’s selling a lot of books) because then he feels guilty.

I don’t want Noah to feel bad about being successful because I am a loser. That’s not a healthy dynamic. I specifically and directly benefit from him maximizing his awesome. I don’t want that to be a fuzzy thing.

And all of a sudden I am having a full stream of words in my head for the wedding ceremony in May. I’m going to close this window and go work on that.

Looking for a therapist (still)

(First: I didn’t mention getting new shoes and I worried blacksheep. Yes, I got shoes that work  better for my feet. No more ouchie.)

I sent out some emails to local therapists last night. When I do the modern equivalent of throwing a dart at the phone book I find that I am mostly interested in working with black women–apparently. If you search through all the people who are therapists in Fremont (and are listed online in a way I can find) only black women mention the important buzzwords for me: intense early trauma, “all stages of addiction”, incest, complex ptsd, ongoing anger issues, depression. Even when white people (or Asian or Middle Eastern [from what I see here]) try to say they work with trauma they are fussy and particular. They work with “change of life traumas” or “immigrant family issues”. Not really my problems.

“Hi, thank you for calling me back I have a few important buzzwords I have to run past a therapist before I can work with them: incest, bdsm, promiscuity, self-harm, attachment parenting, complex ptsd and queer. Let’s talk about them.

I don’t have a problem with educating an open minded therapist about alternative lifestyle issues. I am looking for a long-term relationship. I have two distinct needs with regards to therapy: first is that I go through periodic intense crisis periods. I have very little prediction of when they will happen outside of obvious anniversaries of trauma. Those are often very intense for me. I strongly prefer someone who has some experience in EMDR and CBT because I need occasional directed work. Mostly I see therapists because I do not have ongoing bonding relationships with very many people and I suffer intensely from this. Lack of attachment is one of the hardest parts of my life for me. I use therapists as surrogate parents and friends.

I need a therapist who will not flinch or overly react when I am all of a sudden telling you intense details about lurid rapes. I need someone who will not get overly indignant all the time–that’s not very useful. I am already angry. If you flinch or react or pull away when I talk about difficult things I will begin to look for patterns of disapproval. I will find them, I will project the fuck all over you and then I will disappear. I need to have a fairly blank mirror to talk to for a long time. That is hard for therapists. I am a fairly weird patient. You have to get to know me slowly.

I have been in therapy more on than off for 27 years. I have a few intense hot buttons due to these experiences: first and foremost is punctuality. If you do not respect my time you do not respect me. I will take note. I won’t be back. No I won’t try to “work it out.” I’m fucking paying for your time. I feel entitled to my 55 minutes. It is one of the few things in this life I feel genuinely entitled to: I pay for 55 minutes and I bloody well need to get them. I need you to be careful what you say to me. If something sounds like a promise to me and you don’t follow through I will disappear.

And seriously dude, all of my symptoms existed in well documented fashion for many years before I tried smoking pot. The fact that 99% of western medicine believes that my first problem is marijuana and I “should be sober before beginning treatment” means that I’m just not in a position to accept a lot of help. I’m not very open to western drugs right now. The side effects are far worse than the benefits of the drugs. They hurt me. Pot isn’t great but it is effective and less damaging to me than most of my other options. I’m not interested in being shamed because I’m trying to deal with a lot of stuff that isn’t my fucking fault.

I don’t take advice well at the beginning. I have to warm up to people. I have to know someone for a while and hear a series of shorter conversations before I begin to respect someones opinion. I do not respect people just because they want me to. I am very anti-authoritarian and I am very resistant to being directed towards giving up aspects of my self-determined identity. I have come a long way. I need to be respected for that. I do not need more people who are just assholes about how I’m not perfectly like a non-traumatized person so obviously I suck.”

And the next asshole who sends me a long letter about how what I really need is to say how helpless I am and turn everything over to “God” and go to AA/NA is going to get punched. Fuck you very much. It’s an approach that helps approximately 10% of the people who try it. I’m very unlikely to be in that small group.

It’s weird to me that I am doing very well and very poorly at the same time. I’m afraid that is going to be permanent. I have a lot of body memories from being raped. Most of my intense suicidal ideation happens around wanting to be away from those sensations. it hurts and I’m really tired of hurting in that way. Flashbacks and corresponding suicidal ideation seems to be a permanent fixture in my life. Managing that takes a lot of energy. It has been really bad since Shanna was about eighteen months.

I really hate my parents. If my father were alive I think I would enjoy killing him slowly by inches. I would take off one finger and toe at a time before I slowly started carving shapes out of other parts of his body.  I don’t actually want to hurt my mom–I suppose that’s good. But I don’t want to know her. I don’t want to act like everything is all hunky dory and fine now. I’m not fine. I’m a fucking wreck. You fucking assholes wrecked thirty years of my life so far. How much longer am I going to have to feel like this? Maybe forever? Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

Mostly I feel very lucky that I get to have the life I have. I enjoy my kids far more minutes of the day than they trouble me, even including all the extensive work I do for them. I’m really happy to have them here as companions for my life. I do not begrudge them some work. But it is a lot of work. It’s hard to find enough energy for everything.

It’s not that my relationship with Noah is free from all frustration, but it is very affirming. Noah thinks I’m just a great person. I like being around him. He talks to me like I am smart. My house is a very good and safe place to be.

This process blows.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about why I need a therapist so much all of a sudden. What is this urge. What does it mean? Why is it happening?

I have this intense need to be seen. I need to feel like I exist in the world and I need to see proof of myself reflected in the eyes of other people. Right now I have Noah and the kids, mostly. I go through my life feeling invisible. I am not someone in the eyes of the people around me. I am furniture. They don’t know me and they don’t particularly care.

I have wonderful friends who give me what they can. They are all busy people. I tried to change the nature of my friendships-called-family and they blew up badly. It’s happened one right after another. I can’t keep risking this. This is too hurtful. My need is just too much for people.

I see a therapist week after week after week after week because otherwise no one gives a fucking shit about the stupid piddly shit of my life. I feel like I only exist in the highlights. No one cares what I am actually struggling with. No one wants the story. No one has time. Some of them kind of wish they could. The problem is that if they wish they could maybe then they feel some shame about not being able to help me. Then they get mad at me. Because it’s my fault they feel ashamed.

I need a therapist because I need to see knowledge of me reflected in someones eyes. I desperately fucking need to have someone know my complex story so that I can make small references to the distant past that is hugely significant. I fucking need that. I can’t handle having to live my life in the Readers Digest Version. I feel like a fake and a liar all the god damn time. I’m constantly feeling my heart race because I’m afraid I’ll slip and talk about the wrong thing at the wrong time and all of a sudden people will hate me and tell me they don’t want to be near me any more.

Don’t call this fucking paranoia. This is my god damn life.

I have to pay someone to be as consistent as I need. And even when I do pay someone to be in this role I can’t get it.

I’m looking for a parent. I’m looking for someone to be an active mentor. I feel so fucking alone. I’m so scared. I think I am pathetic. Isn’t it past time I was the adult already?

But I still hide under the desk and cry because I don’t know what to do when I feel consumed with self-loathing other than to hurt myself in some way and I’m trying not to teach that. I don’t know what to do. Right now I rock and cry. I feel like a blithering idiot but I try to comfort myself. I feel really stupid. I stroke my own hair.

No. No one is ever going to take care of me. I will never have that. When I am sick I have to get up and deal with it by myself. It is never going to be different. I just missed that. These things are stupid and petty and small.

But I haven’t cut myself in over a year. I haven’t cut myself since I stopped trying to meet the needs of my chosen family. I just can’t. I have nothing to give. If I want to keep the self control to not mutilate myself I have to save that energy. It is that hard to not hurt myself. To not beat my head on the floor. To not punch door frames.

Sometimes all I can do is sit under the desk and cry.

I need a therapist because I need someone to watch the seasons of my life. Who can coach me. Who can talk to me about why I am currently struggling and what are the “balls” I have to drop. How I can I figure out how to lower the amount of harm in my life? It’s a process.

When I am actively involved in communities I can sometimes coast without a therapist and do ok. I had a Buddy when I was a teacher. He had the classroom next to mine. We spent a lot of time talking. He got a lot of the story. Not the details of abuse or anything. But he learned a lot about me. A lot more than a therapist given how much time we spent talking.

I had that at the munch when I dated Tom. Losing that in the breakup was hard.

I need a therapist because for me what I am feeling right now is what I have always felt and will always feel. It’s not true. I have a very convenient memory. I need someone that I touch base with who really focuses on me. Where I get to be selfish and self absorbed and no I am not going to keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to “burden you”. Fucker I need some god damn support. And I have to pay for it. And it’s flakey. And it might die. Or tell me to go away because I do something horrible. Or it might stop showing up within an hour of the assigned start time. Or it might… just… need to move on. I’m a client, not a friend.

As inadequate as it is… it’s the only way I can have a relationship with someone where I see them every week. I need that. Even though it makes me feel pathetic and stupid and small. Better to pay a therapist to be my friend than to kill myself because I feel like I don’t fucking matter.

Just seems like money well spent.

Back to hunting, I guess.

Noah recently discovered that we have money in an HSA we forgot about. Woo. That means I all of a sudden have money in the medical section. I think I am going to call my former therapist and say I am ready for a referral now.

What I am doing right now isn’t working for me. That means I need to figure out how to change it. I’m not very good at doing that by myself. That’s ok. There are professionals for this shit. This is why I have been in therapy for decades and I probably will be for most of my life. Even though I feel ashamed of myself for that. My therapists are the most stable friendships I have. I need mirrors. I don’t seem to be able to construct a mirror with sufficient intensity any other way. I have to pay someone to pay attention to me before I believe that they will actually do so week after week.

I feel really pathetic. I also feel really suicidal. It’s time to call for a referral. I’m not managing on my own right now.

I really hate me.


My therapist asked me today why I am so much stronger than other people.  Why I have been able to do things that other people can’t.  She said she thinks of it as integrity, but it’s more than that.

I told her that I did a lot more things before I was 18 than most people do in a lifetime.  And I did them in weird bursts with new people.  Then I, inevitably, was chased away because people didn’t like me.  I was too different.  Too weird.  Too… something.  Then I had months or years to sit around and think about what I did and what other people did and look at patterns.  I was always a reader, so I knew that other people didn’t have lives that looked like mine.

I don’t think that most people who are abused as intensely as I was have the same kind of boom and bust cycles.  I think that most people stay in one place with one pattern and they live it over and over again.  I’ve had so many patterns I can’t name them all.  Yeah, yeah, I’ve always been hyper-sexual.  But it’s different now.  I no longer fall into bed with people who obviously dislike me and are just interested in getting off.  I have higher standards than that.  My patterns have changed a lot over time.

I don’t think most people are given the time and space to do that.  To reinvent themselves over and over for more than twenty years.  I had a lot of opportunities to try things out and decide they didn’t work for me.  I would never see these people again, what did it matter?

I’m stronger because the only person I have ever had to look at for a long time is me.  And I can’t live with myself if I behave any other way.  Why in the fuck should I worry about making anyone else feel good about themselves and their shitty behavior?  If it makes me feel bad, I’m the only one I have to worry about.  You are your problem.  That is a mixed thing.  But it means that yes, I have a lot of integrity.  I am up front about everything I do, everything I am.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If it drives other people off… well… that’s just business as usual for my life.  It’s not scary.  I know what that means.  I will always be able to find new people.

It means that when I look at Shanna and Calli I have to think really hard about what relationship I want to have with them.  I’m pre-scripting my permitted behavior over the next twenty years.  If I don’t write the script now I will ad lib.  I’m not a person who can be trusted to ad lib.  They are the first people ever in my life where I feel responsible for the effect of my behavior on them.  Everyone else is on their own.

This is really intense.

Different facets.

Today is hard because I have already been a friend, a lover, and a therapy client.  Any second now I need to be a mother.  I need to be a partner.  I need to be a wife.  I need to be a boss.

It’s hard to be these different parts of me.  They feel like they don’t add up to a person.  I’m not sure if they are less or more than a person, but not really a person.  A host with many guests.  I hurt.  I hurt inside my heart.  I am all these things and more and it feels like a terrible thing I am doing.  I am supposed to pick.  Ok, probably not one.  But just two or three.  Fine, I can be a mother and a therapy client and a wife.  Those are supposed to be my priorities, right?

But I really enjoyed being a lover today.  Today I felt beautiful.  Noah tolerates a lot of my derogatory self-talk.  Well, he ignores me.  He tells me I’m beautiful.  He tells me he likes me.  Today my Daddy made me stand in front of a mirror and he touched me and made me look and told me that I am beautiful.  I feel like I can still barely lift my head.  I can’t look up at someone saying that about me.  I’m not.  I’m so ugly and mean and bad.  You don’t know how bad.

Maybe.  There are parts of me that are ugly and mean and bad.  I have done things I am ashamed of.  I have hurt people.  But maybe this isn’t an ‘or’ situation.  Maybe I’m ugly and I’m beautiful.  Maybe the most beautiful thing I have done in my whole life was standing up to my family and prosecuting my father and preventing him from ever victimizing another person.  I did that.  All by myself.  My father was a serial rapist.  He had molested many people from childhood to adulthood.  I. Got. Rid. Of. Him.  As sure as if I put a gun to his head.  I made sure he could never hurt anyone again.  Ok, so I didn’t expect him to kill himself, not really.  I was surprised.  I was devastated.  I knew it was a risk.  Everyone thought he would put a gun in his mouth.  But he didn’t.  He sat, like a chicken shit, in his garage and ran his truck.  While he sat there he wrote notes of hate to me and my mother.  I burned that note many years ago after Tom urged me to.  It ate at me.  He told me, essentially, that he was committing suicide because I was an evil liar and he didn’t want to go to hell for the sin of murdering me because I murdered my brother.  Did you follow that?  His grammar (and spelling) was worse.  But the hate was god damn obvious.  What a piece of shit.  He sent that note to his daughter.

It’s not like he could tell himself that he was innocent.  Give me a break.  He didn’t want to go to prison.  He was too fucking chicken shit to accept the consequences of his actions.  I’m not.  My father is dead.  I’m glad.  I made the world a more beautiful place by effectively killing him.

But I am still what he made me.  I still thrill to the touch of my Daddy.  Maybe I can find a way for that to be ok.  Maybe that’s just one way that my friends can love me and touch me and heal parts of me I can’t reach by myself.  Every man I call Daddy has been in my life for a long time.  Specifically, Dad has been active in my life for nearly as many years as my biological father.  I stopped seeing my biological father when I was thirteen.  I have known Dad for eleven years.  I have spent considerably more time in Dad’s company than I did with my father in my entire life.  Dad is also a really good grandpa to my kids.  He loves them.

And Daddy?  Well, he sure knows how to make me come.  And he is ok with me waking him up in the middle of the night when I need to talk.  He has been for more than seven years.  I have done so, whenever I needed to, for over seven years.  And I’m crazy and bossy and difficult and he loves me.  It was really nice to come home to my Daddy today.  I am feeling pretty shocked by how this feels.

Maybe the only kind of love I have ever known how to get from a dad will be met.  And it will be met in a way that allows me to be healthy and whole.  I’m not a hole.  My Daddy may be a big slut, but I’m special.  I always have been.  And Dad?  I’m his first daughter.  He introduces me that way, which is funny because he has a biological daughter.  He’s had several girlfriends after me who are also “daughters”.  But everyone knows it’s different with me.  I’m not a girlfriend and I never was and I never will be.  He just takes care of me when I don’t know how to do it for myself.

I feel very little.  And happy and sad at the same time.  I feel like I am holding the hand of my best friend at the funeral of a very bad person.  I am safe now.  I will never be hurt by my dad again.  I may be single tailed by my Dad.  I may be fucked by my Daddy.  But my dad will never hurt me again.

Maybe I’m not over the incest thing.

Auditioning therapists

I’m looking for lightning.  I’m looking for that strike of magic where I will feel ok sharing all of my hard, complicated stuff.  It’s not always obvious who I will feel compelled to spill my guts to.  With most people, I selectively tell stories.  I am aware of peoples perception of me.  That’s not a great thing to do with a therapist.

Yesterday I felt tentative.  She was intense in a way that felt intimidating.  She had a very strong, sharp personality and a sharp tone of voice.  She sounded like me.  When she listened intently, which is most of what she did, her face was closed in a way that felt hostile.

Today I had a totally different feeling.  She looked comfortable in her body.  She had a very small, slight smile the whole time.  I felt like if I lost my shit and crawled over and put my head in her lap to cry she would stroke my hair and say, “Poor Baby” in exactly the right way.  She checked in with me about making comments.  She point blank asked, “Is it ok for me to say…”  When I told her I would like to hear some response from her at a certain point she said, “Listening to your story makes me feel very quiet.  I have to listen with all of me so my voice feels small.”  Then she had to clear her throat and try a few times before speaking.

She kind of had to take a pause twice.  The first time was when she was skimming the timeline.  I told her that is most of the highlights of traumatic events, but I didn’t list them all.  She visibly startled and said, “There is more?”

At the end I tried to startle her again and I asked her about bdsm.  She shrugged it off and said she’s totally fine with it.  I said, “I’m kind of an extreme player.  If it won’t cause someone else to be traumatized, I probably won’t get off on it.”  Her eyes went WIDE.  For about 1.2 seconds.  Then she said, “Oh.”  I could see her thinking about that but she didn’t ask.  So I volunteered that I like to do things like be hanged by the neck.  She didn’t blink that time.

Her background is hypnotherapy.  That was her entry into helping people.  She likes the Gestalt/two-chair stuff.  She has done a lot of work with “inner children”.  She feels completely comfortable with my drug usage.  Her facial expressions when I talked about Noah were priceless.  I think she likes him already.

And man, I’m going to say it.  She is black and she has that kind of Mammy vibe.  Like she is the best person in the world to talk to about your problems because she will either take care of you, if you really need it, or slap you on the ass and tell you to get busy taking care of yourself.  I’m not sure how to describe this feeling.  Like a combination of deep patience and experience with suffering combined with just being sick to death of whiners and loafers.  It’s a lot like how I see myself, only older and more mature. I can’t read anything about her life and I like it that way.

I made an appointment with her for next Thursday morning at 9am.  Anyone available to babysit?