Category Archives: Uncategorized

too much.

I’m doing too much. It’s as simple as that. Homeschooling is a job. I have not been giving myself the mental credit for how much work I’m doing with it. I act like it is the background noise… like needing to water the plants. It’s not really a job job the way that planting or pruning is…

Only it really is.

I am mentally and on paper tracking math, history, science, language arts, foreign languages (we all do some study), art, and a whole bunch of other constellation topics like health and nutrition, and fitness.

I don’t give myself much credit. I feel like “Every mom thinks about their kids all the time. I’m not special.” But most parents are not forking homeschooling. I act like I should be able to handle my kids with the same amount of energy as my friends who have full time jobs and who put their kids in school/after school care.

But that’s not what I’m doing and I really need to stop feeling so ashamed that I don’t handle everything like the full time out of the home parents.

It’s ok for me to feel utterly exhausted by the amount of work I do for my children. I’m teaching and parenting without many breaks. I get some breaks, it’s true… but not a lot. I get approximately a teachers prep period amount of break per day. And my job is from when I wake up until I pass out.

I’m tired.

I miss the babysitter. Sigh. She’s really not replaceable. She was so perfect for our family. Although I will admit that I’m feeling pretty grateful to not be paying for her right now. She got pretty expensive towards the end.

She left in May. So I have been… pretty intensely with the kids since then. Except for Alaska.

Last night EC told me that when I was in Alaska “It felt like… it felt like something missing.” I missed you too, baby.

We talked to EC about enmeshment and what it means.  We mentioned that we are unusually enmeshed for folks of our demographic. EC beamed and said she likes it that way. I like it that way too. We are trying to figure out having room for individuality with our enmeshment. It’s a process.

***************************** (Above written in the morning before the day got busy. Resuming at the very end of the day after therapy.)

Today was a good somatic therapy session. We did energy work, of course, but we did a lot of talking about boundaries and connection.

I think I have been in therapy for pretty much my whole life because this is one of the only ways I know for sure that it’s ok for me to have connection without sex. Outside of the rock solid boundaries of therapy… that’s always been harder for me. It’s not that I don’t connect with people without sex (like, I’ve never banged Jenny and that’s 24 years and counting) ever ever ever. But it’s a lot harder for me and it’s so hard for me to trust it.

We spent a while talking about my frantic questioning of people to try and understand the “rules” of different relationships and how I often feel punished for being bad because people don’t appreciate that I need things spelled out in such fantastic detail because I genuinely can’t guess what people want very well. My shrink went on to a long digression about how that’s very common for Aspie/Autistic people. We need things spelled out so much that we anger people and it’s very common for Autistic people to be abused for being so annoying.

Oh shit. Now I’m going to sound like that dude I divorced for having inappropriate boundaries with my children. “I’m so peeeerrrrrrrrrrrrsecuted because of my Autism.”

Shit I hope not.

The thing is, I recognize that I’m a super high intensity needy as fuck person. I irritate people. That doesn’t make me a victim. It means that I irritate people like a sheet of fine grain sand paper. Whether it is my fault or not… it’s pretty natural that people react to being rubbed with sand paper.

Am I “bad” because I don’t understand the “rulez” other people live by?

Well Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ WHICH RULES am I supposed to follow? Do you know how many fucking different sets of rules I’ve been exposed to?!?!?!?!?!?

Users Guide 3.1

Good golly I’m learning lessons fast. This is an update. Unless you are planning to fuck me soon, you can mostly skip.

Many… many years ago I copied the idea of a users guide from my friend because I know that I am difficult to figure out when it comes to sex sometimes. I’m picky and fussy and just generally demanding. Therefore it seems like a lovely idea to have some sort of cheat sheet about how to handle me in general. Some of these things I have figured out on my own, some of these things I have had pointed out to me by friends and/or lovers/husband, some of these things are constantly in flux and will no longer be true in just a few months. Of course this is a living document and therefore subject to change and revision without notice. Just because something is in here doesn’t mean you should assume that for now and all times this is the only thing I like/want/don’t like etc. After the roller coaster that was pregnancy and giving birth, I promise you things change in my body over time.

Index:
A. Before sex (including courtship/getting to know one another)
1. Just meeting and assumptions.
2. Appearance stuff and attraction.
a. Hair
b. Weight/height
c. Gender
d. Cocks
e. Race
f. Oral Hygiene
3. STIs/safer sex
4. Foreplay
a. Breasts
b. Ways to turn me on
B. During sex (including bdsm play)
1. Oral sex
2. Positions
3. Vibrators
4. Bondage
5. Group Sex
6. D/s
7. Pain
8. Care of the delicate bits
C. After sex. (including relationship level interactions)

A. Before Sex
1. Just getting acquainted
a. General

Never assume that you are going to get to go to bed with me. Yes, I go to bed with quite a few people—that doesn’t mean I will choose you. I expect and require that people treat me as an equal, and more importantly as an intelligent, thoughtful, responsible human being until otherwise negotiated. Please don’t act like I ought to be honored to teach you whatever it is you want to know about play/sex/whatever. I have taught classes and initiated virgins and newbies alike. I’ve put in my time to the community. I can coast on doing what pleases me and only what pleases me.

b. Specifics in a Having-Kids-Lifestyle

I don’t have a lot of free time. What free time I have is mostly spent alone because I have a very high intensity life that requires me to be well regulated emotionally despite stress. I can’t focus on getting to know new adults in a really concentrated way. I’m not flakey, but I don’t have much availability. And to be honest I’m a little flakey. My priority at this stage of my life is being nice to my kids. I have to keep the rest of my life quiet enough for that to happen or I have to drop other stuff. That is the deal for another ten years.

c. Kissing

This gets a whole section. Way before sex because it often happens long before sex happens. I like to kiss. Kissing is a big thing for me. I think kissing is one of the most intimate activities and if I am going to bed or playing with you I am seeking intimacy. Intimacy doesn’t mean you’ll be my one twue love or that we need to settle down… It just means I want to know you. If I want intimate contact with you, I probably want kissing to be part of that. (See below section on STI’s.)

2. Appearance stuff and attraction
a. Hair
Once upon a time I said that I prefer clean shaven men, but that has radically changed during my adulthood. My opinion now varies tremendously based on personal attitude, grooming standards, and just plain what suits each face. As for the hair on other peoples heads: I don’t care anymore. I barely notice. I’m interested in your mind. I like body hair on anyone. Pubic hair doesn’t affect me one way or the other. I sometimes shave large portions of my body. I sometimes skip shaving for over a year at a go. You have to be totally ok with either or go away.

b. Weight/height

My weight goes up and down in a 40 pound range like a yo yo. Almost annually. You can’t be attracted to me for a specific look of my body. It will be different next month. I don’t know what the fork is up with it. Yes, I talk to doctors about it. I like people with bodies. I like fat bodies. I am…more appreciative of slender bodies than I used to be, but I still prefer some heft. I used to be a bit hung up on height and now I don’t care. I like people.

c. Gender

I am a cis-gender woman. If you haven’t picked up on the fact that I am queer then you haven’t been reading closely. I have had strong attractions to people at every point on the gender spectrum. I am completely comfortable having sexual contact that begins with, “What words do you want me to use for your body parts and how do you want me to touch you?” because I can’t guess. Everyone is unique.

d. Cocks (What the hell—since I am listing my preferences…)

Everyone should remember that the vagina is all about potential space. Yes, it can technically stretch, but in a normal resting spot it isn’t particularly large. My body doesn’t stretch terribly well or willingly (even after giving birth to two children) so I am not a fan of overly large cocks. Period. If it is going to cause my jaw to be sore within five minutes of oral sex I will probably experience a lot of pain during sex and that isn’t good for me. I am so not a size queen. I do not have lower limits on the size of cocks I can figure out how to enjoy. Not all sex is about penis in vagina sex. But I do have upper limits. Ow. No thank you. It’s not personal.

e. Race/marginalization

This is complicated. I am aware that I am most comfortable treating heterosexual white men like pieces of meat. If I fuck them and don’t call later… I don’t feel real bad. I have major hang ups around using people of color and women and gender ambiguous people in the same way. I feel tremendous shame and guilt around hurting already marginalized people. Which is to say… I really like having sex with people who are not het white men. I have a hard time approaching them. I don’t want to hurt them and I am less clear on the boundaries. I err on the side of not being a using asshole. But if you are interested… let me know.

f. Oral Hygiene

YES. Bad breath/teeth that look unclean is really really really repellent to me. I generally won’t kiss someone with bad breath. I will elect not to even if you are a nice person. Just no. I smoke pot and that has impact on my mouth. I do not mind kissing other people who smoke pot. I still really am not fond of kissing tobacco smokers. I don’t like the taste at all.

3. STIs/safer sex

The first thing that ought to happen in foreplay is a discussion of STI’s and safer sex expectations. My habit is getting tested every six months when I’m promiscuous. I am waiting on my current test results. I tested on 3/29/16 and didn’t come back with a positive. They didn’t test for herpes, but I already know about that.)

I have HPV. I have tested clean since 2003, but technically you always kinda have it? I am very very very upfront with this information. I am happy to provide you with access to information. You are an adult and you make your own decisions based on how much of a risk you are willing to take. Given the prevalence of HPV I think it isn’t that big of a deal, but I don’t have to live in your body for the next umpteen years and you do. I never want someone to regret having been intimate with me and I will defer to the stricter preference for barriers.

I also test positive for HSV1, commonly known as oral herpes. I have had a few cold sores as an adult but they are rare and I feel them coming. If you think that HSV1 is a deal breaker for you for oral sex or for kissing, we are probably better sticking to being friends.

I am a big proponent of the idea that we are having “safer” sex. The only safe sex is with your hand. There is risk involved in the play I do and I acknowledge it and try to minimize it. I do not have a desire to play with people who are in denial about said risk.

Gloves… ok honestly we probably won’t be 100% sticklers about gloves but we do use them in party environments because they are safer and more hygienic in a group atmosphere.

Condoms are not negotiable for vaginal or anal penetration. I renegotiated them for oral. I will decide on a case by case basis.

4. Foreplay

a. Breasts

This is really funny… but I feel like I should start tracking this on my period application on my phone. How much breast stimulation, and what kind, varies dramatically through the month. There are days when I will claw your eyes out if you brush near them too hard. There are days when I really want gentle stimulation and lots of it. There are days I want to be hurt very badly. Sigh. I married the most wonderful, flexible guy.

I love playing with breasts/tits. I like on the rough end but I’m not married to it.

b. Ways to turn me on

First and foremost: talk to me. Tell me how hot you think I am. Tell me what you want to do to me. Tell me what you are doing while you are doing it. Just hearing you narrate how wet I am when you slide your finger into my cunt will increase the quantity of wetness. Read me porn. Have me read you porn. My brain is the most potent sexual organ in my body. Pay attention to it. Do you know why I like having sex with my friends? Because the ones I have sex with are the ones who have spent years buttering me up talking about what they like from sex.

Stroke my legs, particularly behind my knees. It is very easy to turn me on when I am lying on my stomach and my legs and back are stroked lightly. This is by far the most sensuous activity for me. I love having my neck and head stroked gently. It’s not a massage–it’s… waking up sensual contact.

Biting is hard. I like it but I get hurt really badly too easily in a way that causes me to go to dark mental places and I dissociate. It isn’t off the table… but it’s complicated. Be really careful. Watch me. Make sure I am still “there”.

Tell me how to please you. I love having someone tell me how to get them off—it will usually be enough to get me off. An awful lot of what I get out of sex with people other than my husband is that thrilling feeling of, “Hey here is someone I haven’t practiced on for years and I’m still talented enough to get them off. Yay!” So lots of instructions about what you want and how you want will… turn me into butter. (Once you have permission to talk to me like this. If I indicate a boundary you had better back off like you hit an electric fence or you’ll get the full taser.[not literally])

B. During Sex

1. Oral sex

I like giving blowjobs. A lot a lot a lot. I like them the most if there is some degree of being “forced” involved. I’m not talking about serious forcing, but pushing my head down on your cock is going to get me all wet. Telling me to suck your cock will get me all wet. Asking me politely if I would mind will probably cause me to lose interest in giving you oral sex. If I do it at all it will be a lackluster job and I dislike performing poorly. OH! These suggestions apply to people I have already had sex with. If I have not had sex with you, you bloody well need to ask. For those of you who have already had sex with me, guiding my head down slowly is giving me plenty of time to say, “Not today.”

For the record: if I have given you a blow job I consider you one of my sexual partners. None of this “oral sex doesn’t count as sex” crap. Don’t bloody ever tell me that we haven’t really had sex. You have fucked my body and probably (hopefully) come inside me. We have had sex. Sure, it was a different hole. Whoopie. It was still penetrative sex. Don’t worry about asking me if it is ok to come in my mouth. If I like you enough to let your dick in my mouth, I’m happy to have you come. I do prefer being told when it is happening so I can synch my breathing, but it is just a preference.

I do have a strong gag reflex and if I seriously fight to bring my head back after you have forcibly shoved my head down on your cock… let me go. I may be on my way to run to the bathroom and vomit. It has happened. It will probably happen again. I’m ok with this. Please don’t let the possibility of this happening prevent you from fucking my mouth with enthusiasm. It is great for me. This being said, I’m not terribly thrilled with having a relationship centered solely around me giving blow jobs. I will eventually feel kind of used (after a year of being in that kind of relationship I really didn’t like him anymore and I didn’t like me much more).
I haven’t played with someone who had a cunt in many years. Sigh. I remember them fondly.

Also: I really like getting oral sex while wearing a strap on. That is fucktastically hot.

2. Positions

I am old, cranky, and in chronic pain. There are times when I am up for acrobatic porn-star sex. There are days when it is, “I am here. What more do you want from me?” I can be fun enough whatever my range for the day. But you will have to respect where my body is on a given day. Your fantasies take a back seat to my physical limitations.

3. Vibrators

In this post kid era, there are times when penetrative sex alone is not enough to get me off. Mr Hitachi, however, never lets me down. I think the point of me having sex is so that I can get off. I know that other people have different beliefs about the purpose of sex, that is fine for them. I’m here to get off. If I’m not going to get off with you alone I will not hesitate to whip out my friend. Don’t worry. You will like the feeling of me orgasming enough to get over your ego at not being able to do it alone. It isn’t you. My body is kinda annoying at this stage. (For the record, when I want to be fucked while using a vibrator I almost always want to be face down.)

4. Bondage

Complicated. Once upon a time I spent a lot of time tying people up and being tied up. It isn’t really Noah’s thing so I don’t really do it any more. But I miss it fiercely. I really like being tied up. I really like being suspended. I really really like being suspended and fucked. Oh the good old days.

5. Group sex
Why yes, I would love to engage in group sex. Thank you for asking. I will make everyone talk more than they feel comfortable talking about wants, limits, permission, consent, etc. Because I need to hear all of those things said out loud. But then hell yeah.

6. D/s

What a difference ten years makes. Wow. Reading my old section here…. delete.

I am in a marriage that has power differential within tightly negotiated boundaries as we model a highly egalitarian marriage in front of our children. It will change after they grow up and we don’t have to look like such nice people any more. We have plans. Ahem.

I uhm, appear to have distinct interest in exactly one submissive man. How the hell did that happen? So I’m really not hunting for more in that department. I think my dance card will be full.

If I am playing with you on a more one-off basis it is very ok to negotiate for a D/s dynamic and tell me what kinds of things you fantasize about. I can be almost anyone for an hour.

7. Pain

Post-children my body has changed dramatically and I honestly don’t know what I like. Well, I know I still like single tails and canes. Those are my perennial favorites. My husband doesn’t know how to use a single tail. Do you? Choking is completely off the table. I have pre-stroke symptoms that are very concerning and I have young children. We cannot risk my life.

I thought the mallet was absolutely awesome. Single tails are harder than they used to be. Sting is really hard for me. I like thud.

8. Care of the delicate bits

Due to some of the stuff that happened when I was very young I have a whole lot of scar tissue throughout my vagina/labia/anus. Scar tissue is like a dotted line in the skin that means, “Please tear here.” Despite my very strong desire for rough, and rougher, and rougher sex… I can’t actually handle all that I would like to handle. (Damnit.) Don’t pull roughly on my labia. Don’t pull my ass cheeks apart with any speed or force. Just DON’T. I will tear open and it will hurt and hurt and that will mostly curtail sex for hours if not days. It sucks ass and so I try to avoid massive tearing. Gentle handling of the bits is important.

That is the paragraph from the pre-kids era. The only update I will give to that is: having children did do some work to break up the internal scar tissue inside my vagina. (Hurray!) But I am still delicate in a way you would not expect from someone with my overall temperament. I’m a fragile toy. Treat me with care.

Because we will be having sex with condoms please to be having lube very close by. It is my friend.

C. After Sex/play

Immediately after sex/play I will want to breathe and hug for a few minutes. I will probably want to spend an extended period of time talking and making out. I will want a check in email afterwards for any bdsm play–I do not need it for vanilla sex. I like being friends with people but that has to happen around my schedule. It is highly limited. I’m not rejecting you. I’m dealing with the fact that right now my life is about figuring out how to be healthy around my kids and that is much harder for me than you might think. It takes a lot of time and energy. It is very important to me that I do this right. It will remain my focus for quite some time.

Maybe I’ll try this.

I’m spending too much time responding to Twitter. Did you know there is currently an armed takeover of a federal building in Oregon? It’s a bunch of white dudes so no one with authority is acting like it’s a big deal.

I need to turn off Twitter. But I like having some place to dump my racing thoughts. This might be disjointed even for me.

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be having conversations with people at all. I’m not educated enough. I can’t cite statistics off the top of my head so my opinion is worthless. Some topics aren’t about statistics. Doesn’t seem to matter.

The thing is, if you spend time on the internet you are going to find people who want to argue about 10,000 different topics. I really sure as fuck don’t have enough time to argue with them all.

I can’t sit down and discuss, rationally, why feminism is not fascism. Fascism involves believing in the supremacy of a state, preferably involving a dictator, it is usually militaristic.

Ok, there are some violent feminists I think it is kind of a stretch to say that feminists are militaristic as a whole.

But I need to stay off Twitter so I’m not arguing with these people. I need to stay off G+ so that when a guy misgenders a woman and I correct him he doesn’t spend a while telling me in great detail how I’m a bigger asshole than any man.

I’m an asshole. My opinions and knowledge are utterly worthless. I’ll stay home.

I’m getting past the flood of anxiety and hitting depression. I walked to the farmers market this morning. I have otherwise been in bed.

I feel sick. My stomach hurts. I sure as fuck need to stop typing and I think there is literally no possibility of that till I get back on meds. I can’t fucking manage my feelings with no no no no outlet.

What the fuck am I even doing? I don’t know.

I have an ice pack on each upper arm, my neck, and I’m sitting on a heating pad. I’ve been stretching slowly all day.

God I hurt.

I feel guilty that I want to be on Twitter. I do it so I don’t feel so lonely. It’s stupid that I feel lonely given that the only three people in the world who would move mountains for me are in this house. I mean, I have great friends. They show up for me. But I have three family members who absolutely love me to distraction. They are it. They are here.

Why do I feel lonely? Why do I feel like I should be reaching out for connection?

I suspect that part of the reason this feels more comfortable is because I got into chat rooms at 15. I bought my first computer at 18. I’ve been looking for connection online, while alone in a room, ever since. 16 years of this being my primary way of reaching out. I mostly curated who I dated this way. If you can’t type like a motherfucker we aren’t compatible.

Not cause there is something wrong with you. Because this is my primary language.

I know people who have made marriages based on not truly sharing a common language. I know a few couples where they genuinely didn’t have a language they could converse in. How in the hell did they manage that?! If one person learns a second language then meets a spouse who primarily speaks that second language it is still not as hard as just…. not speaking the same language. And it happens.

Whoa.

I feel like I have too many tracks going on in my brain. I want to talk about racism, sexism, tech-meritocracy hypocrisy, rape, incest…

All of these topics are things you can’t seriously discuss until you have decades of research under your belt. There is just too much to know.

So I should shut up. Cause I sound as stupid as I am.

But this is how we only end up with white men running most conversations. They are the only ones who don’t think they have to be fully educated before they start lecturing.

I’m going to be wrong about things. I’m going to be uneducated about topics. It is literally impossible to know everything about every topic you want to discuss unless you limit yourself in a way I’ve never heard from another human being.

I worry a lot about misrepresenting things. I worry a lot about being wrong. Even though I know that being wrong is how you grow. I know that mistakes are part of learning. But I’m … so stupid.

I am completely and totally convinced that if I had to get through life sober I wouldn’t make it to 40. Being in my brain today is a fucking nightmare.

It is taking every ounce of self control I have to not start slicing myself to ribbons. Because I’m so stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid.

I don’t know how to make this stop.

Sit still, Krissy. Today will end. Not every day is this hard. But today is hard. Yesterday was hard. The day before was hard.

I’m trying to decide if I want to take an over the counter sleep aid tonight. I’m not sure. Melatonin is probably a good idea. I should take alllllll the vitamins and shit today. I should pretend that taking 5-htp will help me feel less like I should die.

I’m hearing “die die die die die”.

I’m watching The West Wing. I’m trying to focus on something, anything outside of myself. I’m failing.

My head and neck hurt so bad I want to put them through a window. Just for the distraction.

I watched my brother do that. I helped pull glass out of his bloody wounds before the ambulance arrived. After that they made him wear a helmet for years. No one could stop him from punching holes in the wall.

Why am I so violent? Because I was taught to be. I was shown how to be.

I was 9? 10? when that was happening.

Had to be 10. We were in Whittier. He was out of the hospital. He was in the hospital until late 1990 I think.

God I can’t remember the exact order and I hate myself for that. I could reread my book. The funny part is, I’m not 100% sure I got the order correct in the book. I did my best. I don’t know for sure if I put things in the right order.

I know Tommy was in Rancho Los Amigos as of December 1989. When he left Rancho he was transferred to a different hospital then he was sent home. He was home for 18 months before he was sent to a residential care facility in Washington. So was I 9 or 10?

I can’t remember. For some reason, today I really wish I could remember what happened in Whittier with more clarity. So I could be more sure in my own mind that I’m not making things up.

I don’t think I am. I think I just can’t remember exactly what order things happened in.

I have these weird flashes of memory. I remember playing in the back yard of that house. I really liked it. I was safe. There were high fences and a shed and grass that was as tall as me. That grass was… weirdly formative for me. I don’t know why it made such a strong impression. I spent months hiding in that grass. I could see people coming from far away because they made the walls of my hiding place move. I had several different bolt holes so I could get away from Tommy when he came out to hurt me.

That was his primary hobby. He thought it was hilarious.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about this right now. Because I can’t force myself to stop. Because I’m unmedicated and my brain gets to do what it wants instead of what I want.

I don’t know why I need to sit in my room and watch tv and cry and talk to myself about things that hurt a long time ago instead of being with people who are nice to me. I don’t know why.

Because I can’t be nice enough to deserve being in the room with them. Because I will be rude. I will sound disrespectful and snotty. I will sound angry and aggressive.

So I need to stay in my room. So I don’t hurt anyone. Because sometimes it feels like that is all I do. I move around hurting one person after another.

People are right. Monsters like me should be put down for the good of the herd.

I don’t do anything that makes the world better. I don’t matter. I am a waste of fucking oxygen.

Recently a dear friend who loves me very much and who loves my children very much expressed concern that it isn’t fair that I make the kids play in the back yard when it is cold. I am going to cause them damage the same way I am damaged.

If playing in the back yard were enough to cause PTSD… I’d be dead. I wouldn’t have gone through everything. If that was enough to cause someone to feel like their life was at risk… we’d be a different species.

I am damaged because for the first twenty years of my life I had no stability, love, or reasonable support. My kids sometimes have to play in the back yard.

Not fair to say I had no love. I didn’t have consistent relationships. I had days of people loving me. No lying. I had friends. It is such a lie that I had no love.

I don’t know if my mommy loved me or not. Probably? But she couldn’t show it. My sister loved me. But she mixes her love with toxin and poison. I don’t think my eldest brother loved me. I think he sincerely wishes I had never been born. Tommy loved me in between hitting me and trying to rape me. I don’t think my father loved anything. Not really.

What you experience in the first six years of your life imprints your brain and personality for your whole life. I was homeless. I stole food. I was raped. I passed out blowjobs to neighborhood kids because that is what I was supposed to do.

I was stupid, worthless, a burden. That is what I learned.

The kids want to go out to dinner. I should probably pretend I am up for that. I’m not sure if I’ll eat. I may sit there and cry. I guess we’ll find out.

The KOA is A-Ok with us.

You know what? I hear people sneer about the KOA system because it isn’t “real” camping. It isn’t primitive camping. Right this minute I am totally thrilled with that. Instead of being I’m a bad ass butch camper I am able to keep milk cold. I can live with access to a plug. And wifi, see here I type at you. While the kids play at the playground. I like this set up.

Now I get to tell you about the Yellowstone trip that wasn’t. It’s not actually that exciting of a story.

The last two nights of being in a set location has been great. I am knocking myself out so I can catch up on sleep. It’s a good thing. Sleep gets into really vicious cycles for me. Either I can’t sleep and I can’t catch up on sleep and I can’t get out of the insomnia cycle… or I’m doing ok and even I can’t understand why I often have sleeping problems. Two nights in a row of sleeping well plus good solid naps and I feel a lot better. Fewer racing thoughts. Less feeling crazy and unsafe.

I’m enjoying Wyoming. The weather is hot. The folks are nice enough. We aren’t being very social this time. That’s weird for me–traveling without talking to new people is outside my MO. Usually I’m all about making new friends. This time I’m just not. I’m too tired. I don’t have the energy to try and be social. I don’t care.

I’m feeling cranky and sad because the kids really want to write post cards to the folks in the home school group with whom I’m having problems. The kids are asking, “Why can’t I write to ____?”

I don’t want to talk about it. But we can’t. Their parents decided that things had to come to a head right now and the result is we can’t send post cards to the kids. I’m sorry.

We are trying to write post cards to other folks. It’s not like we are running short on people we know. But the kids are focusing on the three families I am not going to write to. Awkward.

I’m tired.

My ideal reader

I love you so much, Noah, because you want to see inside my mind. Because you want to know what I’m thinking about. Even though what I’m thinking about is… mostly kind of fucked up.

I had a train of thought. Then I went to get my arm braces. See how this goes?

Today at the park was fine. I guess. Life plugs along. I’ll tell you about it in person.

Therapy was good. We did a lot of somatic work. What the body holds matters. I have a lot of fight left in me. I have good reasons for the fight in my body. How do I deal with it?

This week Calli accidentally dropped an iPad on my face. That doesn’t quite do it justice. I was lying on my back with a rolled up towel beneath my neck trying to relax, as my chiropractor directed, when my daughter came up to me and said, “Mom I can’t make it…”

I said, being a wise and experienced parent, “Don’t put it over my face.”

She said, “Mom I can’t make it” and dropped it on my nose.

I kind of exploded up into a sitting position while swinging my arms wildly and shouting “Get away from me”.

I cried for a while. She went to her room. When I went in to talk to her she had fallen asleep. (It took me awhile to stop crying. It really fucking hurt. I still have a mark a week later.) She sat up and immediately started apologizing.

Oh darling. If you are that sorry then I don’t want you to be sorry. It was an accident. But next time I tell you to not put something over my face, listen to me. I forgive you.

Accidents are part of life. We can only grow if we fuck up.

I started off wanting to talk about monetization. That is where I started. Then that damn heater made me feel really hot and I got distracted. Noah brought in a heater to persuade me to remove my clothing. He is a thoughtful fellow. To be fair, I told him to. So no persuasion. Hell I advertised on Twitter.

Anyway. I think a lot about monetization and writing. Probably because I don’t have to be paid. It changes the perspective. If you must produce money, what you write is necessarily constrained. Because if you need money you need the good will of the people around you.

I don’t have to care if I piss people off. I can be crass as fuck and not care.

It is a privilege I pay for with my pussy thank you, very much.

The funny thing is: I think the reason why I am a good enough fuck to merit talking about myself that way is because I demand that I be gotten off. I talk about what I want and how I want to be touched. I exist in the room. I demand to be seen. I’m watching the movie, Nymphomaniac Vol 1. It is hilarious, which may not be what the director intended.

Seriously, Uma Thurman does a fabulous job as the jilted wife. Monetizations. Sex. Sorry, got distracted by masturbating. Delirium Tremens. Sorry watching a movie.

Why am I writing? Because it is keeping me company. Why don’t I keep company with the folks I live with? Because I’m having fun.

I have fun alone. Sometimes that seems weird to me. Like I’m breaking a rule.

I will never stop feeling pain because I will never stop abusing my neck like this. *Exactly* like this.

But I will take many months off! I will go travel. I will write in journals. I won’t sit at home and watch porn and masturbate. Clearly my time will be better spent.

I’ll masturbate anyway. I always do.

I want space and I want connection. I create this by talking about masturbation and figuring out who sidles away looking nervous.

Really that is the perfect metaphor for my life. Do I make you uncomfortable? That’s not weird, right?

BUT WHEN SHE LEANS OVER CHRISTIAN SLATER PLAYING HER FATHER IN THE MOVIE YOU KNOW HE ISN’T REALLY OLDER THAN HER AND YOU KIND OF WANT HER TO FUCK HIM.

It’s sick.

I walked away from the screen for 24 hours. I’m just hitting post.

Day 57

I feel like I cheated. I ate a large variety of foods I haven’t eaten in a while. They are all on the fodmaps list, but they represent a massive expansion of types of food and I feel liberated. It’s kind of funny.

Brekkie: gf steel cut oatmeal, strawberries, almond milk, sugar, black tea

Lunch: gf bread, soy cream cheese, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts (that’s the sandwich–it’s hella good), arugula, spinach, vegan honey mustard (contained a little onion–crud), brownie, grapes, carrots

Dinner: more salad! lettuce, arugula?, some radish slices, olives, sweet potato tots (so fucking good), ham and brie sandwich on gf bread.

5am: multiple small solid-ish pieces, very dark. (technically hard to see through blood)

7pm: small pieces, dark brown, very soft

7:30pm: very soft, bordering on diarrhea, still gnarly dark brown

Day 7

They say that if you have a spike in anxiety it can eliminate progress. That’s my experience. I was close to formed poop and now that’s just gone.

Breakfast: Two kinds of cereal eaten with some time delay between them. The peanut butter puffs I ate in the bath tub because I was hangry and freaking out. Then I sat at the table and had “proper” breakfast with the family. I ate the rice cereal with pecans, blueberries, banana, and almond milk again.

Lunch: I had 2 or 3 bites of a chicken breast before I realized it had to have garlic. I was incredibly disappointed because the display sign in the store said, “lemon, salt, pepper” and then I bit into and…. definitely garlic. I was really upset. It’s going to take all month before I can get the fucking irritants out of my diet.

I had pineapple and potato chips and a little bit of turkey breast for the rest of lunch.

Dinner: Noah made a great dinner. (Thank you very much.) Bison patties? Am I forgetting the animal already? I don’t think they were the turkey patties. I had a GF English muffin for my ‘bun’ and I had mustard and roasted tomato on my burger. It was dry as fuck and it took me a long time to chew it all but it was filling and it tasted alright. We had bok choy and roasted pineapple and grilled banana. Because my husband loves me.

Dessert: I had a few bites of almond milk ice cream. Not even a bowl-full because I really “should” be off all frozen foods (known irritant). I hate my life right now.

 

I only wrote down one BM yesterday and I can’t remember if that is accurate or not. Yesterday became a total blur. My day just didn’t go very well. At this point poop has reverted to complete lack of form. Soft cloudy mass in the toilet. At least it is staying more brown instead of being bright yellow?

Out of curiosity…

Normally my writing is about whatever I have in mind on a given day. I can be organized in my thinking/writing but I rarely bother.

That said, a variety of situations keep popping up where people are like, “You should speak!” My response is, “On what topic?!”

So I come to you my loyal and intrepid blog readers. What topics do you think I could speak about? What topics do you see me bring up in a way that could be organized with some work? What would you be interested in seeing me consciously expound upon with more fixed intensity?

Inquiring minds want to know. (See, I didn’t even put a smiley here. I’ve been so disciplined about it.)

Introduction to bdsm as a person with significant mental issues

I was asked a whole bunch of questions else-net. I will put the answer in both places because I think that this person is not the only one who will want this information from me in the future.

First and foremost: whereas my experience has been broad I am just one person. Your personal experiences are going to be different from mine in ways I cannot predict in advance. Take everything I say as very gentle guidance and not as an order. I am not the boss of you. Even though I speak in absolutes and I am a HUGE bossypants. I just talk that way. I don’t mean anything by it.

How do you find people? Well I started on the internet because I am a lucky duck and I came of age in that era. I went to www.bondage.com, www.alt.com, www.match.com (ironically where I met my first “online dom”–that’s a lame story if ever there was one), and IRC. I was pre-www.fetlife.com. I don’t actually recommend fetlife as a good place to meet people. It is moving further and further away from being a community space.

Go to munches. (Yes, I know people in NJ. Let me get in touch with people and I’ll see what I can find out about your area.) When you go to munches go with the expectation that most people will be really old, very over weight and fairly ugly. Of course that will not be even remotely true of a lot of people you meet. But if you go with that expectation then you will be prepared for the reality of the bdsm community. Also: expect that they will be a clique and hard to join. The sad fact is these are people who have been rejected a lot so they are prickly and nervous around new people.

We are not the beautiful people. But we are real people. We are creepy sometimes. We are overly intense. People who find their way to the bdsm community have almost certainly spent a lot of their lives feeling rejected, wrong, and disliked. Not everyone but a large chunk.

Go expecting to be your own entertainment when you get to a munch. Getting to know people sucks. It’s awkward and stiff and terror inducing. These are perverts. Many of these people would cheerfully tie you up and beat you until you scream bloody murder.

The good ones will only do so if you say “Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top.” There will be predators around though. You will have to keep you safe. Even beyond the predators there are a lot of people who have poor social skills for a wide variety of reasons. People are not going to be good at managing your boundaries. You will have to be pro-active and vocal from the very beginning. In my opinion it is ok to end up more on the bitch end of things. Keep YOU safe. Other people don’t know how to be nice to you unless you explicitly tell them.

That is one of the hardest parts of coming into the bdsm community as someone with significant mental health issues. You were probably exposed to things that made it hard for you to stand up for yourself. But when you engage in bdsm you have to do it from a place of absolute Trust. Bdsm is ALL about trust. The physical sensations are nice and all but really what we are playing with is power.

The sadomasochists are going to string me up from a tree. I’m not talking about Dominance/submission. Not all people are into specific consciously power differentiated roles. You don’t have to be a Dominant or Submissive. Maybe you are just into the physical sensations.

But I tell you that it feels different to be hit by a friend you love and trust than by someone who doesn’t like you very much. There is still power involved. Maybe it is the power of giving someone access to your body. You are relinquishing nothing. You are sharing the power.

That trust and power bit are very important. If you don’t think you have the power to keep yourself safe and decide what happens to your body then bdsm is maybe not the best place for you to come learn such power. Some people with extreme mental health problems do ok and become healthier as they have bdsm relationships and experiences. Some people tank really hard and implode. No one will be checking up on you other than you. You have to take it very seriously that you are responsible for your mental health. If you can’t manage your symptoms, then maybe right now isn’t the best time to start.

If you are officially diagnosed with mental health problems I can guess that you have a hard time picking people who are really safe to be around. I may not be right but I probably am. When you have mental health problems your perceptions of the world are always a bit at an odd angle.

It is hard to develop the conscious ability to be rational in judging whether someone is safe or not. You can’t necessarily go by the clues other people tell you to use.

For one thing the most important book you will ever read is The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker. When you have that small icki uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach get away from that person and that activity.

That doesn’t mean that a creepy guy at the munch means you never come back to the munch. But if you feel chased off by someone creepy (could be a woman or a person of non-binary gender) then the right choice is to network online and find a buddy for the next munch. You still should go meet people.

Munches aren’t for everyone. I have also had great luck hunting for partners on www.okcupid.com. Ostensibly it is a “vanilla” site but yeah right.

If you want to top you need to make sure you never inappropriately hit anyone. If that sentence makes you feel vaguely worried, well then you need to spend more time introspectively thinking about it.

Enthusiastic consent is the only way to begin a consensual bdsm scene. If someone is saying, “I’m not sure” then you don’t start. You have to both be completely sure that you want to be doing what you are doing. (I know a lot of experienced bdsm people who will reply that they start bdsm scenes with murky consent sometimes under some circumstances. The point of this essay is for people with mental health issues who are just starting. No, 301 play just isn’t a good plan.)

As a beginner negotiate for what you will do rather than what you won’t do. Creative sadists will make you very sorry you thought you could limit the things you don’t want to have happen to you. Take my word for it. Negotiate the activities.

Keep in mind that life is long. I have seen a lot of people enter the bdsm community and kind of go crazy. They are like kids in the candy store. I want to try EVERYTHING. I want to play with EVERYONE. (*ahem* This may or may not be what I did.)

As a result I had some very bad scenes that hurt me very much. I had one particular scene go very badly and I hung on to the trauma from that for over ten years. I finally went to the top and asked him to specifically, in writing, apologize for our scene because he made mistakes. I made mistakes too and I explained them in detail. But I needed to have him apologize to me and recognize that he did something he didn’t mean to do which caused me great harm.

That kind of thing doesn’t usually work out more than ten years later. If you think you need an apology for something that went wrong, I encourage you to get to know the experienced people in your community as mentors and ask someone to mediate a discussion. The way forward out of conflict is for everyone to feel heard.

In the bdsm community (at least where I live and it seems to be a national conversation but I could be wrong) there is a lot of conversation about consent and what it means. How do you say what you want and get what you want without someone coercing or forcing you to do things you don’t want.

I’ll tell you that those of us who struggle with “normal” life are at a severe disadvantage here. We have to work a lot harder. If we want to escape additional trauma we should move slowly. Glacially slow. I promise you, if you wuss into the community and slowly get to know people and don’t play for six or twelve months of getting to know people… in the scheme of your life that is not time wasted. That gives you a chance to really decide what you want to do.

Go to play parties if possible and watch people play. Go home and masturbate. Think about what things you like and which things made you feel uncomfortable. Avoid the fuckers who think “pushing limits is the best kind of play.” Maybe for a very experienced player with no psychological issues. Not for newbies. Not for people who struggle anyway.

All bdsm will throw you off balance. Your chemical balance will go all over the place. During play and right afterwards you may feel euphoric. Don’t expect that feeling to be permanent. It is often followed by a “crash” and depression. When your body is depleted of all those fun chemicals it is hard.

Figure out your aftercare. Aftercare is a real and serious thing. Aftercare is how you will take care of your brain and body in the few minutes, few hours, and few days after a scene. You will probably need different steps. Prepare nourishing food. Sit around cuddling under warm fuzzy blankets. Read your favorite soothing books. Listen to music that makes you feel safe and like you are a great person in the world.

Read books and websites. More research!

I think that is most of what I’ve got at this moment. Of course here is the obligatory reading list:

(Anything from Greenery Press)

Particularly: The New Bottoming Book and The New Topping Book both by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton.

Playing Well With Others by Mollena Williams and Lee Harrington

Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller and Molly Devon

I happen to (luckily) personally know Janet, Mollena, and Lee. I have known them for a very long time. They are some of the most brilliant and inspirational people I know. I trust them absolutely without question or I would not send you to their books. I don’t know Philip and Molly but that was one of the first books I read and it stood me in good stead.

BDSM is about the people doing it. The people who are only into tickling count. The people who are only into bondage with NO PAIN count. The people who want to do roleplay rape scenes count. The people who want to have no roles they play but they stand there punching each other count.

What do you want bdsm to mean to you? The sky is the limit. But be careful. Watch yourself. I want you here for many years of kinky fun. You can be monogamous or nonmonogamous.

There are no rules beyond “Everyone must consent”. Go have fun.

I was also asked some particular other questions: do you have to have fetish clothes? No. You don’t have to have them. Many people think they are fun. If you go wearing basic black you will be fine. Avoid running shoes. I bought my first fetish items at Hot Topic.

I came into the bdsm community many years after I was diagnosed with mental health problems. I think that it would be different for people who were involved in bdsm before their trauma. For me all of my life has been post-trauma because it started so young.

Don’t hesitate to get into bdsm at any age. I know hot, festive people playing in their 70’s and 80’s. I hope to be one of them.

fence update

 

I have a long way to go. I’m feeling kind of whiny about what the teenage girls did to “add” to the mural. It is going to be really shitty to fit in with the theme. Sigh. I’m half tempted to paint over their half-finished not really there flowers because I don’t want to finish them and they aren’t in a place I would have done random kind of semi-flower-looking flowers. But that would probably be seen as rude. Ah crap.

IMAG1283 IMAG1282 IMAG1281 IMAG1280 IMAG1279

Yup, hernia

The doctor says there is one clear hernia, a probable second one, and a possible third one they may not be able to find until they open me up. Given my symptoms I will probably have surgery. I have an appointment in an hour to find out about surgery.

More wedding babble.

Hello and welcome. I presume you are all here because you know M & E, right? I just wanted to make sure we were all in the right place.

Today we get to participate in a modern day fairy tale. When people write love stories about getting to grow up with and marry the right person–they are writing about couples like M&E. Precious few people get it right so young. I have been lucky enough to know these two since almost the beginning of their relationship. I hope you will all bear with me as I ramble at them about the commitment they are making.

Marriage has existed as a word in our language for at least 700 years and as a concept it is much older than that. Anthropological records indicate that people have been engaging in monogamous pairings for 20,000 years. That’s a long time of people deciding, “Hey I’m sure I like you more than I like any one else.”

In Ancient Rome there were two kinds of marriage the poor people kind where a father deposited his daughter with a groom and they shacked up and the official kind with merging property. The merging of property is what made you someone of status and someone deserving a proper wedding ceremony. From there, a few hundred years later, the Church of England was kind enough to offer couples a choice between merely “loving and cherishing” their partner or “loving, cherishing, and obeying”; I know which one I would choose.

It feels presumptuous for me to tell you anything about relationships. You two have been together longer than I have been married. Luckily for you I have never let my lack of complete authority stop me from speaking.

Marriage is one of the hardest and best things you will do with your life. In picking this person you are saying, “I am good on my own but I am better with you.” You are consciously choosing someone to be your helper and partner in life. It is a great honor and a great responsibility.

Marriage has changed a great deal over the multiple millenium that such unions have existed. I feel like we live in an exciting time for marriage. At no point in the past did couples have as much freedom to define their roles as we do right now. You do not need to have a marriage that will make someone else happy or satisfy their needs. You need to have a marriage built on mutual understanding of your unique quirks and desires. No other marriage will look exactly like yours.

In this marriage you are both focused on how you will grow together. You have been together so long that you have a good idea how you want the larger curves of your lives to go. You have already supported one another through transitions from one life stage to another. You have this built in advantage over most people who get married these days.

Every year on your anniversary you need to sit down together and reflect on how your marriage is progressing. Time will pass–that is inevitable. Growth is not. The only people who can evaluate whether or not you are progressing in the directions you want to progress are the two of you. If you do not stop and consciously take stock you will not be able to determine if you are doing the things that are important to you. Don’t drift through life. Make goals. Make lists of goals for one year away, five years away, ten years away, twenty years away. Make them together and separately. Then check them off one right after another.

Do you know how to be happy and how to make goals? The first and most important step is to give and receive love. Check.  After that you sit and carefully think about what area of your life you want to see difference in. Then you try to decide what that area of your life means to you. How do you want it to look? Write all of this down. Then you organize your results. Then review the options for how to change what you don’t like. You can’t just “stop doing” something you have to replace the behavior with something you are moving towards.

Whether what you dislike is your current brand of makeup or your current employer the process is the same. Notice that you are having a whole set of reactions to a situation or trigger. Then you have to consciously decide what that part of your life means to you. Find a way to make categories as you evaluate. Divide up your thoughts make them patterns. Eventually it will be clear what you need to do. Maybe you will be yelling at your kids too much. Maybe you will be frustrated by deciding who needs to clean the bathroom. It literally doesn’t matter what part of your life the situation is in. Just do the process.

There will be conflict and unrest in your life. It is as natural as breathing. What will determine your strength of character and the strength of your marriage is how you adapt, how you change. Life is change, Princess, and anyone who tells you different is selling something.

We live in one of the most exciting times in all of human history. At no other point in time did humans have the option of changing as dramatically as we will in the next twenty year period. The next twenty years of your life will involve technology that was completely unthinkable even five years ago. Your children will be technology natives. You live in a time and a place where change is happening faster and faster. Being adaptable is one of the most important survival traits our species has to master right now.

I am standing here because I believe in you. Because I have watched you two support one another through massive life changes good cheer and love and kindness. You don’t need a lecture on how to be good to one another–you are already there.

The people who are here with you now are the witnesses for this new marriage. This change in your life and your identity. In choosing to get married you are choosing to say, “The good of us together as a family needs to come before our individual wants.” That will mean hard choices sometimes. That will mean having to bite your tongue when you are feeling impatient. It will mean needing to learn how to express your wants and needs so that they can be met–if your needs aren’t being met then your family is not actually functioning. No one can be a martyr. I say this to both of you. No martyrs.

Whenever you feel like you have nothing else to give you have to find a way. You have to ask for help. You have to find love and compassion and generosity no matter how tired you are, no matter how frustrated you are, no matter how angry you are. You are on the precipice of one of the most grueling stages of your life together. You need to treat the next five years as an investment in the next fifty years. The more kind you are to one another during this stage the more happiness, love and generosity you will experience over the whole rest of your life. Be selfish. Think of the future. Be nice to your partner.

It is about finding balance.

If you do not prioritize your needs and talk about them and insist on them being met then you will not get what you need this lifetime. I say this to both of you. If you do not ask for what you need then you will almost certainly not get it. You have to ask. You have to be brave. You have to take risks. You have to say things that scare you and make you feel vulnerable and weak. Otherwise you will not be able to grow as a unit. Vulnerability is part of the whole process.

You also have to say “no”. You have to say, “I wish I could support you in this way because clearly this is a need for you but right now I can’t.” Don’t be sorry or mean when you have boundaries. Just have them. There are reasons we as a species have extended clans and communities. You are not meant to be an island deriving all of your support from one another. You must be vulnerable and you must ask for help when you need it. First from your partner and then from other people in your life who can help. They want you to be happy but they can only help meet your needs if they know what they are. (This is not an open invitation for people to meddle. People should only show up to help if you want them too–otherwise it is a boundary incursion.)

(Obviously addressing crowd.) Everyone here is a witness to this new marriage. You are here because you love these people. I charge each of you with being a friend to their marriage. Help them grow together instead of apart. Being married is not always easy. It takes community and support and love from a lot of people to make a really great marriage. I say that we are all here for a modern fairy tale because these two have all of the elements for a great marriage–they are so lucky to have all of you.

M, when you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and you aren’t sure how to find more patience you need to close your eyes and think of E laughing. You need to think about how much you want to hear that laughter every day of your life. You want that to be the sound track of your life. You want to make E happy. You want to hear her laugh. As long as you can make E laugh everything will work out ok in the end–right?

E when you feel disrupted and like you don’t know the route forward you need to trust the process. M helps you feel safe. I can tell you right now today that you will not always be safe. M will not always be able to keep you perfectly safe. But you will always be able to return to safety. Within your marriage you have the ability to choose to make your home a place of comfort and calm away from the turbulence of the world. Your home is not about a building it is about the place of safety and love within your heart that you share only with M. As much as you love your parents and your siblings and your children you will always be one flesh with him. Your home will be with him.

Both of you need to consciously balance your own mental health. You need to develop new passions. You must never stagnate. Even when you feel completely overwhelmed because you have too much on your plate, you still need to learn new things every year. You must change. You must grow.

I tell you that the two most important things you must think about as you go forward with marriage is: how to constantly change on a personal level and how to support your partner through all of the dramatic changes that are coming. It is going to be hard for both of you. Both of you will have days that feel so overwhelming that you want to quit.

On those days stop and take deep breaths and remember that you have already spent most of your life loving this person. You have already given so much of yourself that you can never truly sever the bond. No matter what you two are entwined. Doing life as a married couple will be infinitely easier than as former partners. You are bound permanently. Find empathy for one another. Find compassion. Find love. When you are upset think about it from your partners point of view. Be selfish but not too selfish.

I have faith in you. I know that you two will find a way through hard moments and days and maybe even years. You will not allow life to stop you from making forward progress on the things you want. I have seen you come too far to allow any other road block to stop you.

It is time for you two to make some promises. Please repeat after me: {Insert personal vows that they have not given me.}

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded(husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

I give you this ring as a token of my esteem and promise. So that at any moment if you need a reminder of how much I love you all you have to do is look down.

The state of California says that I have the honor of pronouncing you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride.

I now pronounce you husband and wife.

 

Maybe. Ok, now I email it and ask for feedback. I talked to the bride on the phone yesterday and I got the distinct impression she is hoping I will be on the brief side and this is ~nine minutes of talking.

YA books are so easy to read.

#10: Alanna book 2: In the Hands of the Goddess

#11: Alanna book 3: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

#12: Alanna book 4: Lioness Rampant

All by Tamora Pierce. All excellent. Yes, I will keep reading books in this universe. But I’ve bought myself a week of slower reading time so I should probably get around to reading Native Son. I’ve only owned it for nine years. Maybe I should read it one of these days.

PTSD varies dramatically

I read a very good post about PTSD a few minutes ago. Me being me, I have to respond.

My PTSD does not look like his. It has very little in common with his. Mine is different for a lot of reasons connected to longevity of trauma.

When your brain is under stress it reverts to the most basic training you have had in your life. For me the most significant, impactful early training of my life involved seeking out painful sexual contact and learning to be silent through it. I was moved rapidly through a series of homes, cities, and states. I was put in a variety of incredibly unsafe circumstances and left alone with pedophiles and rapists.

My PTSD is different. My PTSD isn’t about bombs. My PTSD is about believing that if someone near me can make their life better by causing me pain they will do so in a heart beat. My PTSD is about not knowing how to feel not afraid. My body does not know how to calm down. I have been afraid for too long.

For me PTSD is about knowing that when other children were loved and cared for I was spat on and called names. I believe that is what I deserve in life. I was taught to expect that. I was taught that when I expected or asked for anything else I would be punished, severely.

I have almost no memory of being in a room with my father without sexual abuse happening. It was constant before my parents split up. My mom just didn’t notice. After the divorce she just wasn’t there. I was always alone.

For me, PTSD manifests as the physical toll of years and years of adrenaline and malnutrition. I have terrible vertigo and tinnitus frequently. I have stomach pain from anxiety that I can’t make go away. If I try to go unmedicated I experience horrible pain when I try to eat. If I don’t eat often enough I vomit. I have the standard terrible headaches and back pain that go along with being an early childhood sexual assault survivor. Apparently almost all of us have that.

For me, PTSD is about believing that there is something that is lovable in other people that I simply lack. I do not deserve, stimulate, engender love. I am simply a black hole into which pain should be thrown.

I truly wish this was whiny hyperbole. I’ve had a bad life. I even wrote a book about it.

For me PTSD means that cutting myself produces enough pain for my psyche to calm down–now I know that reality is as it should be. I am supposed to be in pain. If I am not in pain I need to hurry up and cause pain before I do something stupid like believe it is ok for me to speak in front of people. No one wants to fucking hear what I have to fucking say.

I know that I am a stupid, worthless whore. That is what PTSD has given me. Well, that and living amongst the kyriarchy.

I agree with him that PTSD is about a world view. I will never be able to see the world as a safe place. It has never been for me. Security is a lie. There will always be monsters in the closets.

 

This isn’t working

I had a really bad dream last night about the guy who tazored me and said he would apologize and hasn’t. This morning I woke up to a message from him saying he hasn’t forgotten he just hasn’t done it. This is kind of weird because I haven’t dreamed almost at all since I started smoking pot. I think my consumption is way down–I know that I am way less high than I used to be. If that means I can start having nightmares again I may want to find a way to up how much I am using again. I don’t know how I will find the time in the day to do that.

I haven’t slept much at all this week. I’m really not doing well. I need to send my therapist an email. I need therapy to make me feel better about myself not make me suicidal and non-functioning because I am hysterically crying for days. This isn’t working. This is making my life really bad. I have always gotten some therapy-hangover but not like this. And it’s getting worse over time not better.

Doing EMDR on isolated traumas (Francesca’s death, my miscarriage, Traci’s overdose) seemed very effective. They were fresh, easy to access trauma. There was a specific start and finish and reason and it just worked. Obviously I was having disordered thinking with regard to these specific events.

Having a therapist who wants me to sit there thinking about how bad my birthdays are week after week when the only way I know to make them better is run away from home isn’t doing anything to improve my mental health. The idea of still needing to do this in order to not kill myself in twenty-five years is terrifying. I feel this draining of hope and will to live. No, I can’t lie to my brain and say it will get better. It was supposed to get better when I found a partner. It didn’t. It isn’t going to. Sometimes life is just like that. You have to accept the life you have. You can’t make everything perfect.

I don’t want to sit there thinking about how worthless and unloveable I must be forever.

It isn’t that no one can love me. But people can handle giving me about a teaspoon of love. Then I freak out and they run away. And at this point in my life it feels like all my fault. I am bad. I drive people away with my intensity and anger and frustration. It makes a lot of sense that people don’t want to put up with shit like I dish out. It is a completely logical way for them to care about themselves.

The last therapist I saw (who had to stop seeing clients for personal reasons) would talk to me about my life. We would strategize how to handle frustrating situations. We talked about how different personalities interact so that I can pre-plan what is acceptable from me. I don’t do that at all with my current therapist. She doesn’t have time. She wants us to hurry up and get to the EMDR.

I cut back to twice a month partially because I can’t handle feeling this suicidal every week. I do not have an unlimited amount of self control. The fantasies are changing. They are becoming more realistic. More like things I would actually do. More like things that would end my life without causing a huge amount of collateral trauma to innocent bystanders. In other words: more plausible. That’s not good. Yes, my kids and Noah would still have to deal with the results. But I wouldn’t be ruining the life of some poor truck driver.

I don’t feel like therapy is support right now. It feels like yet more burden of awful. It feels like just reminding myself that I am never going to be like other people. I will always have this caverning evil and disgusting and bad inside me that other people just don’t have. There is no way to change who I am or what has happened to me.

I need to talk to my shrink about this and I don’t know how. I want to just run away. I want to say, “You know how you told me that you were going to charge me $150/hour because that is your extended session EMDR rate and you assume we will have a lot of long sessions and we’ve never had a long session you just shove the EMDR into being most of our session and we barely talk and I don’t know you and you don’t much of anything about me beyond the book. If you only know my life up to 18 you don’t know me.”

I feel more defensive and frustrated by the visit. And I pay a lot of money for the visits. I don’t feel good about this.

K shouldn’t have to be the one talking me through reasonable discipline of my kids. That is a lot of what I pay a therapist for. But we don’t talk about my kids. We don’t have time because she wants us to hurry up and get to the EMDR. Which is making it so I am non-functional and can’t really take care of my kids. I don’t feel like she cares about the holistic picture of my life.

As someone with “extreme mental illness” firing a shrink is a loaded process. I’ve obviously done it (21 shrinks and counting) but when you don’t have a therapist and you are mentally ill all of a sudden every time anything goes wrong in your life, “Well what did you expect–you should be in therapy.”

Therapy is a really weird process. I was not taught how to be a functional adult as a child. That is the plain and simple truth. Therapy is supposed to be helping me become a more functional adult. It is a mixed bag at doing this. I didn’t do well with the chick who really wanted me to have DID (multiple personalities) and I’m not doing well with the chick who wants me to do all of my processing in my head with beeping and she’s just the one who presses play.

I did very well with my last shrink. She was supportive and encouraging. She listened far more than she talked and I never felt condescended towards. She was respectful and encouraging. She seemed to be very impressed with my life in general–I am making a lot more conscious choices than most people. It’s not that I am “that great” but I really consciously decide who and what I will be. Most people just kind of drift through life.

I want someone who can give me advice in specific ways at specific times and help me when I am struggling but mostly be a witness to the fact that I have done a lot of fixing myself. I don’t have that right now.

I’m not fixing myself lately because I’m reeling from the EMDR all the time and she gives me no respect for doing so ever in the past. I feel invalidated and helpless and like I can’t do anything to change myself when I leave her office. That’s not real useful.

So given them I’m all fussed about the above stuff I’m not having charitable thoughts about someone in the home schooling group complaining that I am hosting a running event in Fremont. She lives in Oakland and she wants me to move the event further north. How about San Leandro or the Oakland Hills? Uhm, how about if YOU host an event that is convenient for you and I will come or not and not bitch at you because you aren’t convenient enough for me. I drive a lot for this group. When I rarely host an event don’t fucking tell me that I should be doing it in a way that will make my life shitty and your life better. I feel disrespected. I don’t even know the woman who complained. If it was one of my “buddies” I might feel more open to negotiating because I would be blunt and say, “Ok what’s the trade because you are offering me a shitty deal.” You can’t say that to a stranger.

I leave for a trip in eight days. It was pointed out to me that I might want to pack. Feck. I care much more about the fact that the house is almost ready for the Easter party. Ha.

Yesterday I was an idiot and I didn’t write down that someone was coming over. Luckily she reads my blog and noticed that I didn’t mention her so she emailed me. Excellent. So I didn’t get through my to-do list but I got to see someone I’ve been trying to see for over a month. As a surprise. That was quite pleasant. Then my next door neighbor washed my van. I was rather surprised he did that.

Yesterday my friend said, “When my husband met you he said, ‘She fakes being happy really well but you can see by how she holds her face that she isn’t.'” Many cookies to him. Very few people notice. Very few people care.

I imagine happiness to be akin to the absence of pain. It is a rare and fleeting feeling in my life. I do love holding my babies. That makes me feel happy. Feeling how much they love me is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life.

Harm reduction says to look at what you are doing in life and evaluate the harm it is doing. Right now my biggest harm is coming from therapy. That seems kind of backwards. It may be time to go therapist shopping again.

Hypocrisy, money, and the future

One of the things I feel the worst about is the level of my hypocrisy. I react more or less with violence when people give me advice but I give unsolicited advice all day long.

I try very hard to always say, “In your situation I would do _____ but I don’t know that it is the right thing for you. That is what I would do.” I don’t always but I try.

I have quite a few friends from whom I solicit advice. Under those circumstances I really and truly welcome people saying, “I think you should” because I asked them what they thought. But I’m fucking nasty to people who give me unsolicited bad advice.

I specifically wish I was better at handling this. I get why I react the way that I do. During my lifetime it has been exceptionally important that I am willing to march to the beat of my own drummer. But I could be more civil on the way.

I think this is part of the reason I don’t get along all that well with people who prioritize “nice” over “the full nasty truth” because I’m not a good enough liar. If you are giving me bad advice I don’t want I’m not so good at saying, “Well thank you for your advice I will take it under consideration” while just ignoring them. That smacks of lying or at least consciously misleading people.

I don’t have to want the same things as other people and I don’t have to care about what they want. Only I do if I want to have ongoing relationships. So I hear. My relationships seem to have a maximum lifespan so maybe this crucial failing isn’t that important. I need to maintain a relationship with exactly three people: my two kids and my husband. Past that if I’m not interested I suck at feigning interest.

I feel bad for being self-absorbed until I realize everyone is equally self-absorbed and other people aren’t thinking about me the way I feel I should think about them. I hate shoulds.

Today somewhere between zero and five families might drop by to play in the yard with Shanna. I’m pessimistic but willing to offer when I see people. I want to finish building the playhouse and probably make a raised bed in my back yard. I doubt I will have time for anything else. Tomorrow I want to go through and do all the inside “starts” on vegetables. This year will be another tomato-madness year if I have my say.

I feel a little weird about how different I am from my friends. My friends are not nearly as concerned as I am about having a place to live that is as close to free as is possible in this era. (I’ll always have property taxes and homeowners insurance–but that’s under $4,000 annually.) I planted trees on purpose. I’m building more ways to grow food. I have more ideas for the future.

By the time I am an old woman I will have chickens in the back and probably rabbits. The chickens will get to live long enough to make eggs then I will be non-squeemish and kill them for food. I suspect that the rabbits will be a lot of our meat. I hope to produce more than 50% of what we eat by the time Noah can retire. That’s not something that I can arrange if I move.

I am working very hard on my plan for life. My “plan” for safety. Is it neurotic? Yes. My friends are instead investing in “marketable skills” and making money. That seems like a more sure bet to them.

I don’t think I have ever really “gotten” the American monetary climate. I think first I was too poor and then I had too much guilt about using money I didn’t fucking earn. It’s not that we don’t spend an outrageous amount of money–I totally manage that. (I gotta say: first class trains up and down the UK is going to be one of the things I am happiest about having spent a lot of money on for the rest of my life.)

I want to not have to pay for my home because then I will have more money for travel.

What is funny about me is that I have no interest in going full-on and trying to do the homesteader thing. That sounds like work. I’m fucking lazy. I need to have a good twenty years to set up a yard for what I want.

I’m not afraid of the future. I’m trying to make it so the future will be easier no matter what happens. Given Noah’s model for life I’m reasonably certain that he will not leave me, cheat on me, or abuse me. We do have a consensual bdsm relationship. He has never tried to intimidate me outside of pre-arranged sexual situations. Seems like a win to me. When I first met him and I was trying to explain what kind of relationship I wanted I said, “I want an abusive relationship with an off-switch.” I want to be able to control exactly when and how I am abused.

It’s really funny how life goes. Our play at this point is what I once would have mockingly called sensual play. I don’t really want to be hurt anymore. So I’m not hurt. But we mess around.

Once upon a time I seriously chased pain. I’ve had grown men kick the shit out of me with heavy boots many times. I like to find guys who are specifically not attracted to me and ask them about playing. They are a lot more brutal. Like when they successfully manage to kick me enough that I am wounded and collapsed on the floor and then they grind my face into the floor with the boot… brutal.

I used to like that a lot. Being able to continue having the shit kicked out of me like I had it happen my entire life gave me a sense of mastering my experience of the world. I was tough. I could take it. I could take more than other people. I wanted more pain and pain and pain like a river to fill this aching hole of need.

It didn’t work. And regardless of what gets me off I know what I am not fucking modeling for my kids so that’s kind of that. “My Life As a Former Masochist”

My experience of life is such that I want, pretty desperately, to have a very cheap, easy to maintain and clean, food-producing house. Where I can hide when I can’t be tough. When I have nothing to give. I can stay here and meet my own needs. I don’t need to fake being all nice and shit and figure out the fucking political situation in some company.

But I only have this because Noah is willing to give it to me. So maybe my friends are a lot smarter than me because they are figuring out how to provide their own long-term safety on their own and I am ensuring eternal dependence. I have to bank pretty much everything on this partnership working out. Or I’m totally fucking screwed.

So when I look at my friend’s lives I understand that my advice probably sucks. I can’t ever walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

Part of what makes my childhood as weird as it was is the simple fact that I’m white. When I think about what doors were opened to me because I had been admitted to the right homes and seen modeled appropriate behavior so even though I had not conformed in the moment I remembered and practiced in secret and was able to produce it in a different environment.

Everyone figures out behavior through modeling to some degree or another. Usually you adopt the mannerism of a friend unconsciously and usually I do it consciously. That’s part of my weirdness. I have learned that it is best to not actually do this mimicry in front of the person you are mimicking. It freaks people out. Which basically means my entire survival method depends on always being on the move through new friends where I only reveal a small part of myself.

I really feel I will need to have a place where I have to just be because these people are always near me if I want them or not. I want to know my community. I want to live here and talk to the people and have them notice changes. People are nosey bastards. They want to connect. If they see me year after year they will want to ask questions. If I’m nice. If I feign interest in them.

Rats.

I suppose I’m not really feigning interest. I am interested. I like that I am starting to know the stories behind the cars on my street. I am starting to know names and faces and we have conversations that have actual ongoing relevance.

It’s weird. I’ve been in this house for six and a half years. It’s kind of funny that I want to have a block party for the anniversary of the seventh year I’ve lived in this neighborhood. This summer I will have lived in this house twice as long as the longest I have ever lived anywhere in my life.

It is really emotionally intense to plant trees that will feed me in twenty years. That’s a level of commitment that is difficult for me to describe. I have been having oral sex for nearly as long as I have been alive–at least twenty seven years with people outside my family. Twenty years ago I was eleven. That means I have been having intercourse piv sex for nineteen years by choice.  I have just about known Jenny and Grant that long. Brittney is gone. She didn’t appreciate the book.

So those are the only things in my life that approach twenty years of continual mirroring/behavior influencing things. That’s weird. I’m thirty one. I don’t have other people in my life from that long ago. I don’t have parents. I don’t have siblings. I don’t have aunts or uncles.

But I can’t make friends by sleeping with people ever again. And it means I have to get a lot better about saying no early and hard. And it means I really should take self-defense courses. It also means I only spend time with a very few men who are safe for fairly specific reasons.

I wish I had a crystal ball so I could look at the future and see what will happen. Who will I be when I have had relationships for twenty years? When I have had to be consistent with people that long? What am I solidifying towards being?

I am five years post-rape. In a twenty three year period I was raped by twelve people and that’s a deliberately low number because I can’t bear to really number them.

I started using pot to deal with my constant underlying fear three and a half years ago. About when the honeymoon period of mothering ended and the screaming/hitting me part started.

I told a friend that I was interested in taking the girls to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival some day and she kind of wrinkled her nose. She isn’t interested in women-exclusive space. I laughed and said of course not because she isn’t interested in sex with dykes. But it isn’t really that.

I am very unlikely to ever take my children to a mixed gender event like that alone. I would be too afraid. I want to go to a womens only space (sorry the y bugs the shit out of me) because even if one of those women would otherwise be very interested in pressing her luck I would have a lot of support in defending the space of my children in that environment. I do not place any faith in getting the necessary support in a men inclusive space.

I know that hurts the feelings of some of my friends. My experience is that if there is a problem and I speak up about it women are initially sympathetic but then they have to deal  with their guy so they wander off because he wants to be entertained. It’s the whole clannish thing. I am not part of a clan. So no one gives a shit about me in a conflict–I am the expected loser.

Why didn’t I ever stay involved in a community long enough to try and become a clan? First it wasn’t my choice. Then I didn’t know how. If you make friends by sleeping with people then you only end up with friends who are willing to sleep with people on the first date. It influences how the world works.

Now I’m just not willing to drive the amount required to really belong to any of the communities on offer right now. I’m staying in the homeschool group (of course) but I need to dial back our involvement for a little while. My kids aren’t ready and pushing them to do these things is just ridiculous.

Maybe I can go back to sleep now. I haven’t cried tonight. I suppose that counts as some kind of progress.

Officiating a wedding.

Hey folks! I have a whole set of questions for you!

I know that I know folks who have officiated weddings. What did this process entail for you?

Two of my former students are getting married. My girls will be the flower girls and I was asked to officiate the wedding. I feel quite flattered. <3 I had both of them together one year and the bride was my student aid the next year. She was one of the kids who helped paint my house. I feel quite close with her in particular.

So this is sweet and thrilling. But I'm all… Oh! That sounds like an adventure! With hoops to jump through! Oh gosh. What are those hoops again?

So I ask you, oh LJ because I know some of you have experience. 🙂